Wednesday, January 27, 2010


My friend Nicole tagged me in a blogger game on her Stepmom Blog.

She changed the rules a little (to 5 things instead of 10!) so I am keeping it! Shorter=better.

A. List 5 things that make you happy.
B. Try to do at least one of them today.
C. Tag 5 bloggers that brighten your day. (Tag!! You're it!)
D. For those 5 bloggers who get the award, (should you choose to participate) you then link back to my blog and create your own "makes you happy" list.

1. I know this is sappy but hugs from Matt make me happy. We give each other lots of hugs. It always make my day better!
2. Fruit. I am a sucker for it. Fresh is best, but the frozen blueberries and strawberries in my freezer are pretty amazing too!
3. Taking pictures. duh. :)
4. Checking things off my to-do list(s). [Yes plural. ]
5. Spending time with my good friends.

And I'm adding a 6th, which is sleeping for more than 8 hours!!

And you know what? Apparently today is gonna be a better day than I realized!

1. I should get to see Matt tonight. And therefore receive said hugs.
2. I just ate some blueberries.
3. In an hour I'll be doing headshots for a local company!
4. I blogged on my photography blog, blogged on this blog and called the lady about my receipt. I think that means I've checked off THREE things today.
5. gurdas and I are having dinner after choir.
6. I slept for 8.5 hours last night!!

so, anyone can do it, but I am specifically tagging a few people whose blogs I enjoy a lot! and I wouldn't blame you if none of you did it since, um, yeah october-december I got tagged to do like three things and did exactly none of them, oopsie!

1. jackie.
2. blaze.
3. karen.
4. kat.
5. melissa.

pressurize not propel.

I have a genuine appreciation for handy-dandy oil that can be sprayed on pans and cookie sheets and the like. It is SO easy. It makes less of a mess and uses WAY less cooking oil. Makes Carrie happy.

So, for a while now I've been happily going along trying different sprays--usually whatever was on sale--opting for organic or "good for you" oils or whatever just to see if something became my favorite.

and then.

Over Christmas my niece-to-be Bridget and my mother-in-law-to-be Rosemary and I were making Sausage Balls for the family. (thank you, Nicole, for the recipe. yum!) And when we got to the spray-down-the-cookie sheet part Rosemary was so excited to show me the Misto. They don't use it very often, she explained, but she thought I'd like it and brought it out special just for me.

and she was right. we bought one three days later.

So, what is this "misto" contraption, you ask? Well, it's basically a bottle that you pour oil in, pressurize it and voila! --a fine oil mist is available for you at the press of a button. It cost us like ten whole dollars (or was it 15) at bb&b, though I'm sure it's sold elsewhere.

reasons I like it:
1. see this? it is the list of ingredients on my organic pam. see that very last item on the list? yep, that'd be propellant. makes you just want to eat that stuff right up.

now, my dear friend google and my other friend goodsearch tell me it might be nitrous oxide (which isn't scary) or it might be some other stuff. I don't know and I don't care. I have an alternative and I KNOW what's going into it.

2. this, in my opinion, is WAY more eco-friendly. even if the propellants are totally innocuous, it's still superior. if I take reasonably good care of this misto thingie it'll be in my kitchen for years to come. so that's only ONE container, not, oh, 2ish per year. Plus, I can fill it with the oil of my choice (bonus!) and I don't have to drive to the store to get more for muuuuuch longer.

and? it's cute :)

I am SO GLAD Rosemary showed me this! I already had far too much fun making sausage balls with bridget (she was a HUGE help) but this was icing on the cake!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

you want me to put saltwater where??

I'll be honest with you. At the beginning of my serious sinus troubles, when my doctor told me to get some saline for my nose, my first thoughts were "what the heck--you want me to put saltwater where--that sounds totally gross--surely you jest."

Uh, yeah.

I started off easy. With some saline spray in a little bottle. You just squirted it up in there and it wasn't overwhelming and then you'd need to blow your nose. Nothing exciting or involved. But helpful. I went through one-two of these on a weekly basis, it seemed. I also learned that the Ocean brand spray was soooooo worth extra $$. The generics were seriously sub par.

Then, as I saw my bank account dwindling I googled "make your own nasal saline," got directed to this and found out what a neti pot was. I spent $15 and bought the squeeze bottle one. It seemed more like what I was already used to. Little did I know! Turns out that it filled up your whole nose, and it kind of freaked me out. I hung onto it and tried something less scary. And waited for my next doctor appointment to ask him about it.

I also learned about the pressurized version of the pre-made saline. The pressurized version REALLY makes a difference. But it's like $7 a bottle and creates a lot of waste. I talked to my doctor and he said they were all good options, but I should try the squeeze bottle again because it could really do wonders for me. I listened. I liked it better after I got over the weirdness of the sensation.

I also bought a neti pot. Also from neilmed, using the same solution as the squeeze bottle. Really, it seemed like a gentler way of doing things--maybe very good for days where my nose was sore or I was congested and didn't want to shoot the liquid up my nose. So I spent another $15 and got the neti pot kit. and hooooooo buddy, did I use that a lot.

so, now I have a neti pot, a squeeze bottle and sometimes a nice little collection of saline squeeze bottles and the pressurized saline.

and then I as introduced to the navage system. now, I'm gonna tell you this thing is EXPENSIVE. it is a contraption, not a super-simple item. And before I bought it I had to write them an email asking about their rinses--because you use a new bottle every time you use it. They assured me that they were developing an alternative that didn't require the shipping of something dissolved in water, and they told me my neilmed packets would likely work just fine but would void the warranty. Luckily I got it on a supersale, and I have certainly gotten my money's worth.

the pros:
-the premade squeeze bottle is portable.
-the pressurized bottle really does an amazing job, especially if you're congested.
-the neti pot really cleans things out and is gentle
-the squeeze bottle cleans even better than the neti pot!
-the navage pulls a vacuum on your head and really gets stuff out--wow!

the cons:
-the premade squeeze bottle creates a lot of waste and not much bang for your buck.
-the pressurized bottle also creates a lot of waste and sometimes won't stop flowing when you release. also expensive.
-the neti pot is not always awesome if you're already stuffed up.
-the squeeze bottle cleans is better than the neti pot if you're already stuffed up, but still not as good as the pressurized bottle or navage.
-the navage creates a lot of bottles to recycle, takes up quite a bit of space comparatively speaking, and costs quite a bit more than any of the other options. I only paid $39 plus shipping when I got it on a super-duper-duper sale, and even then. yikes. plus, to keep the cost low and the waste low too, I voided the warranty by using the saline solution packets.

my assessment: they all have their place.

In my opinion--the most eco-friendly and pocket-friendly options are, far and away, the neti pot or the squeeze bottle. both of them use little tiny dry packets and you fill up the bottle at home, so there's no shipping of water from one place to another. and they are both about $15 for the bottle/pot plus 50 packets of the saline mix. I spend $10 three times a year or so to get new packets of the mix.

And I think depending on your situation, one of the other options might be a better fit.

But most importantly? Whichever one you choose--I think everyone should use them. I think that's the most eco-friendly option of all. Because sinus rinses are a preventative measure, and ultimately lead to fewer sinus issues and less medicine consumed--which in the grand scheme of things makes the world a much better place :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"put a big red ribbon on it and deliver it to your door and you know what to do with it, right? all right."

~the refreshments

(and, a special thank you to jessie for making me want to listen to them today!)

so, updates, updates...

-matt and I have made about 85% of the table signs but we still need to get frames and spray paint them. it took less than two hours.
-we are about 1/3 of the way done on our favors.
-by next tuesday we should be 80% done with the silverware.
-we've booked a hotel, made our website, figured out about the marriage license and even completed pre-marital counseling.

I think we're pretty good to go. I am kiiiiinda freaking out about the dress thing, but I keep reminding myself:

1. some very generous friends and family have offered me theirs
2. if push comes to shove there's an option that would work at JCrew. and Target, of all place.
3. I am lucky that lady agreed to take the dress back!

so, yeah. I have wedding on the brain. serious wedding on the brain. it's kind of invading every bit of my life--my sleep, for instance. night before last I had a dream that Matt and I were on the way home from the mountains and there was a blockade and they made everyone go into this building and wash their hands with this certain soap/liquid/whatever. I have no idea what it was. but Matt did it and his hands were find and his ring was too (apparently we were already married). but I did it and it turned my ring black-ish and my diamond yellow/brown and we couldn't get it off and in my dream the ring wasn't the one I am wearing now, but anyway, bizarre! even good ol' trust dreammoods didn't know what to tell me.

last night I had a dream about dresses. which by the way I am terrified of looking for!! and I don't really recall the dream and I am definitely, definitely okay with that :)

let's see, what else...

I've recently developed an obsession with vintage tablecloths (I look for new ones pretty much every single day. thankfully I have been talking myself out of buying them. mostly.)

I am sneezing like a mad woman. Seriously, I might try to tally tomorrow. I would bet I've sneezed at least, oh, 30-40 times today. I've had 6-7 sneezing fits, ranging from 3 sneezes to a good five or six consecutive sneezes. I'm having my allergies re-tested on friday and can't take my dear old zyrtec or, um, any other sinus stuff, really, until then. I'm also not having beer (I avoid it when my allergies flare up) and trying like hell not to actually get sick while waiting for the two hours of needles and then the sweet relief of benadryl and allergy medicine.


until then, it's n@sonex and using sinus irrigation. I have multiple options, by the way (three "systems" and then at least two other things) and I've been meaning to blog about them, their relative awesomeness AND their relative (apparent to me) eco-friendliness. perhaps tomorrow.

oh yeah, and I'm having a GIVEAWAY on my photography blog. chiggity-check it out! I reached my 100th client earlier this month and I'm celebrating that awesomeness!!! please go comment on there or on my photography facebook site!

and, um...yep. that's kind of it. I'm definitely alllllll over the place. like, in life. hence the lack of blogging. or, um, anything other than wedding planning, working and photo editing :) I have a few more milestones I need to get through (find dress. order invites. order blank labels. reserve tables and chairs.) and then I think I will feel much, much better. plus, hopefully by then I can quit having people hurt my feelings. I figure the closer we get to our wedding the less time people will have to be sh!tty. it's really only a very small number of people, and if you're reading this it pretty much can't be you, but yeah. getting the feeling some folks only think about themselves. and that is all I should say :)


hopefully tomorrow: sinus-ee-eco-friendly-ee post.
hopefully by sunday: carrie has found a dress!
hopefully soon: we can start talking about other things. like, y'know, my cats. or earth hour. or books I've read (which so far this year= none.)

love love.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

more pretty things

I've been playing with the manual settings on my camera. I usually shoot in program or aperture mode, but I've been doing more and more in manual--because if you have the TIME, it is amazing what manual can do!

so, I shot some of the residents of my china cabinet in the lovely morning light a few days ago. starting from top left, going clockwise...

1. that's the compote we bought in selma, alabama. man, that was a fun time!

2. my granny gave me this. it's a snowglove of Tulsa. See the little golden driller and the Tulsa skyline? is that too cool for school or what?

3. that lovely tray and punch cup? that is a gift from george & tonya! when we were in augusta tonya and I went antique shopping and I saw those and she said "shower present!!!" I got the set of 6, but they had two other sets of 8. I kind of wanted to buy them all, but I couldn't justify it!!

4. another snowglobe that sits safely in my china cabinet. this is of new york city, see the statue of liberty! also a gift from my granny--when I was 15 she took Anna and me to the northeast. We went to NYC, to parts of new jersey, to see the liberty bell and visit the smithsonian. I saw "The King and I" with Lou Diamond Phillips and we went to the Rainbow Room and I got my first manicure and I saw the Air & Space Museum and LOVED it. Seeing that snow globe makes me smile every.single.time.

5. mooooooo cow creamer. I bought this 'cause I thought it was adorable and hilarious. (and see my frankoma elephant mugs behind?) this creamer? also feature on rory and lorelai's table on gilmore girls!

6. It is probably a bad sign that I'm starting to forget where things came from. but that shot glass on the left is from katie & taylor--they brought it back from ireland for me! the blue compote is from our stop in vermont on antique row or whatever they call it. {I should probably blog that trip, huh? show of hands, who wants me to finally get around to doing that?} and that blue glass bird and green glass dish are both pieces my granny gave me!

7. this is not in my china cabinet! but I liked it. it's another picture of the paper flowers I made :)

something more substantial soon. apparently right now all I really want to talk about is things that are pretty :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"[I] fell victim to one of the classic blunders..."

~the princess bride

note: pardon the posting, un-posting and re-posting. for a hot minute there it looked like I might be stuck with this, but now all is well. though she did mis-measure, we all make mistakes, and the lady does get two thumbs up for customer service!

um, well, sort of.

so, this? this is NOT my wedding dress. isn't it lovely? and awesomely vintage? and wouldn't it be just darling as a wedding dress? if you said yes, then you have two eyeballs and know me well.


despite the very, very clear typing on the post saying that this dress had a 38 inch bust, it actually does not. no, not even a little. as a matter of fact, it doesn't even have a 36 inch bust. nope, nope, it's more like 34. because a 34 inch bust is for someone who is, oh, a 32 B. Which I clearly am not.

and you know what? if it had *said* that? I never, ever would've purchased it.

so, this is NOT my wedding dress. and my classic blunder? going through the entire mental process of "do I need to lose weight? should I try to fit in this dress? do I want to spend the next 3 months starving myself and working out like a mad person? should I reconsider creating some sort of 'wedding diet?'"

and the answer to all of these questions is the same: no. absolutely not.

soooooo. I am going to go actual wedding dress shopping and *try* not to be snippy with the employees who suggest buying a dress a size smaller to encourage me to diet, or who want me to wear the value of a small honda on my torso for, oh, 8 hours. I am pretty bummed about this--especially since I really, really wanted a vintage dress--but alas, 3 months is not a ton of time, and I just don't know that I'll be able to find a vintage one in time.

on the plus side? now I know it's definitely not "me" it really is that the dress was mis-measured. and I can also show y'all the picture of the pretty dress. and I can now say that I know for sure that I want either a strapless dress or a vneck dress. And that I prefer strapless.

positive thoughts, icing and silver lining, Carrie. positive thoughts, icing and silver lining.

and bah humbug.

Friday, January 08, 2010

the kind of thing that makes my day

so, before I get to that, a little preface.

for my birthday party like, oh, going on three months ago, my dear friends jennifer and nicole had people donate canned food to give to local charities. that was my present. and alllllll the food we collected really, really warmed my heart.

during this goings-on we also celebrated our engagement and I got three big bottles and two little bottles of champagne! I have some very fabulous, generous and lovely friends. that night I also bought my friend his first drink--here's gurdas with his first ever margarita! it was a margarita per his request! and of course, my amazing KDs. we took this after some people had left, so if you aren't in this, so sorry! I was too busy having fun to insist on pictures! :)

and that make-a-difference sign Lara made? yep, still on my fridge!

then, another wonderful friend of mine (not sure if he wants to be named) donated to a charity on my behalf as my birthday present! carrie=overjoyed!

and then yesterday I came home to find a letter from the raleigh rescue mission saying that yet ANOTHER one of my friends (a couple, really) had donated in my honor!

folks, I can't tell you how special this is to me. it is SO important to me that I do whatever I can to help others. I am so grateful that I have friends who would honor me with that kind of donation--especially one that serves the unfortunate right here in North Carolina, right where we live. The people on the street in this cold, cold (but not as cold as Tulsa!) weather. You are fantastic, incredible, inspiring, day-making people. Thank you for all that you do, from the bottom of my heart.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

loverly wedding details

so, things are starting to come together for our wedding! since Christmas, Matt and I have gotten a LOT of our wedding stuff. a LOT.

and these little beauties are part of that! a lot of these are etsy finds, though all of the solid ones I found at salvation army or antique malls. the most special of all, though, is the pink and gray and mulberry one on the lower left. that one is a gift from matt's mother to me--it is the tablecloth she and her family used when they were growing up! it makes me feel very, very special and honored to have it! and it is SO TOTALLY FABULOUS!

a handful of these I will keep (and obviously one of them is the one from rosemary!) but the rest I will give away or sell--so if you see one you love, let me know, and perhaps later this summer we can make a deal :)

another picture of pretty things--more potential decor for our wedding! though, I have NO idea what to do with the bottlecaps--I just think they look awesome and go with our theme! but those flowers are made of wrapping paper from our shower, and that's a leftover champagne bottle with christmas lights inside! some or all of these will be gracing our wedding--and I can't wait to see it all together!

I'm also quite pleased because with the exception of the lights, I made all of these with things that I either had already or were on their way to being recycled! We got a lot of bottles from the NYE celebration (9 I think!) and we got the lights suuuuuper cheap on the 26th! (70 cents a piece on clearance at big lots!)

yaaay for inexpensive decor!

other accomplishments:
-we're making headway on the silverware (about 42% of the way done!)
-we've figured out about accommodations
-we've finished most of our wedding website
-and we got some favors done! 16 of them just need labels and we cleaned out about 70 bottles, too!

by the way? in like two hours from when I'm posting this? our wedding will be less than one hundred days away! eeks!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


hi there. it's taken me six days to say "happy new year!" to the blogiverse. and I think I'm okay with that.

but now? now it's time for resolutions. last year I said:

1. read more. (eh...not so much.)
2. continue grad school. and apply to get a real actual graduate degree. (I took classes, but no application. which might be a nice blessing in disguise.)
3. get to work earlier. just a little, but earlier. (I was doing great at this...and then I started working like a crazy person, followed by editing like a crazy person and doing school work like a crazy person. crazy people don't sleep much. therefore, no early bird getting the worm.)
4. get organized at home. for realz. (giant step forward here, if I do say so myself.)
5. stop buying crap I don't need just 'cause I like it. (again, improving...)
6. scrapbook our road trip to oklahoma and back. (did.not.happen. did one page.)
7. get more states. I want to have less than 20 left by the end of next year. (SUCCESS!)
8. in the summer, grow more food that I can eat. along with this, I want to specifically grow tomatoes and basil (yet again) and I have a goal of making my own mozzarella ( at home, then making a pizza using tomatoes and basil I grew myself. I might get extra adventurous and make my own cheddar too (I use white cheddar on my pizza) (no cheesage BUT I grew a lot more and joined a CSA-- yippee for me!)
9. keep on keepin' on with my photography. things have gone CRAZY in the last year--getting published, selling many a print, working with I have to take a good hard look at what I want to be doing, but what an amazing, encouraging year. I already have one and possibly two weddings booked, and a session this weekend with a friend from VA. I must say, I need to toot my own horn, yes? :) (I think I might need more horns! My worked was praised in the KD magazine, I got positive feedback from professional photographers, I got to do portrait & wedding work in three states and, most importantly, it seems that my clients love me! I have a fun photography surprise coming up soon, too! With my 6 weddings last year and already 6 booked for 2010, I am SO blessed!)

so, 2k10...deserves 10, yes?

1. get married to the fabulous matt. be as green as is reasonable/practical.
2. figure out about grad school. apply. let life decide for me. (post to explain coming soon!)
3. try to live based on the church calendar. (a suggestion from our pastor. I already waited to take down my decor until tonight because Christmas technically ended yesterday. We are now in the season of Epiphany)
4. always go to goodsearch before google.
5. craft/paint more. actually, no, I mean "be creative when you aren't getting paid to be creative" more. blog more. craft more. sew more. create more. just typing this out makes me yearn for a nearby hobby lobby!
6. be more active. e.g., attend the free yoga class on monday nights that is held two floors below me in my building on a regular basis. go for walks with matt. go to rockclimbing again. etc.
7. be a better assistant girl scout troop leader.
8. improve my financial situation. 2009 was a year of spending $$$ on weddings and many photography investments. I need to fully recover from it.
9. go on more dates with Matt. we spend a lot of time together, but only go on "just us" dates occasionally.
10. keep on keepin' on with the green. e.g.--after our wedding, take the "no shampoo" challenge for 2 weeks (and keep going if my hair behaves). there are more ideas cookin' in this head-o-mine, but that's it for today.
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