Friday, July 31, 2009

Different, but the same?

Jen: I've been delving into my heritage a bit, so I thought it would be fun to do a post on our nationalities this week!

I have a few key relatives who are great at maintaining family trees and are willing to do the research, but even more who are clueless. I've had a difficult time finding a starting point in my search, but I've recently been able to find out that I have quite a bit of Native American in me- specifically Cherokee and Chickasaw/Choctaw!

I've always been curious as to where my eye shape came from because it doesn't quite match anyone in my family. In fact, I've had countless people ask about my heritage because they say my eyes look "ethnic". Perhaps the Native American came into play there.

What has always cracked me up is how when our hair color is similar, people say that Crystal and I look like we could be sisters. I look at them like they're total loons and ask if they realize that I'm Caucasian and she is half Japanese?!

Crystal: Yea, I definitely look Japanese in that picture. :) But normally I don't look as Asian as that....and I love that people think we look like sisters! They must just be able to sense that sisterly love we have :) :) :)

And that's awesome you have some Native American in you...nothing like some diversity to make beautiful people. :) And you say Choctaw and I immediately think of Tim McGraw, music lovers will know what I'm talking about :) Other than that though I guess I've never heard of all the same!

I'd love to do some genealogy research and find out my history....I think I know my nationality....half Jap and Half Irish/German....but with those European backgrounds they tend to be pretty mixed and everyone ends up just saying they're Irish/German unless they really know, lol. :)

It'd be fun to see if there's any famous/historical people in your history!! Sounds like a lot of work though! :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Question of the week

Crystal: So i was sitting here trying to come up with another blog topic....major blogger's-block right now....and I decided to google 'question of the day' and see what came up....

And just to give credit where credit is due, this is one of the sites that popped up:

And the first question says: If you could eat only one cereal for the rest of your life, which one would you pick?

So I'm thinking maybe we start a question of the week post...? And we'll come up with (or find if our minds are being blocked by the unknown) an interesting question every Tuesday (??) and post it for our answers as well as our reader's answers :)

So here's mine:

I'd have to say...Honey Bunches of Oats. It's one cereal that I never seem to really get sick of....I usually go on trends where I'll eat boxes of one cereal for a couple weeks, and then I'll get sick of it and switch to a new one, but then eventually switch back to the original one...........but I think Honey Bunches of Oats is ALWAYS good. :) :)

What about you Jen?

And our readers??

Jen: I love the "questions of the week" idea, and Tuesdays work for me!

If I could eat one cereal for the rest of my life, it would have to be Frosted Mini Wheats (preferably the brown sugar variety)! I never get tired of them!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Jen: How do you feel about Starbucks? I ask because today they are giving away a free pastry, and I have Starbucks on my mind! I enjoy the convenience of having someone else make my coffee, and tend to like the ridiculously fattening additions that Starbucks is known for.

Many argue that the price is practically a crime. I agree- to a point. When you go to Starbucks, you're going for the experience in addition to the coffee. Soccer moms and execs alike love to be pampered and have their name written on the famous green cup before it's filled and handed over.

What are your thoughts on this, Crystal?

Crystal: Perhaps I'm not the best person to ask about this....I don't particularly like coffee....actually, I just plain don't like it....I think the only times I've drank it were mainly because I was bored and just wanted to get something that was free to drink, or I was sleepy and have heard these rumors about caffeine keeping you awake - yet it does nothing except make me sick.....

So in my mind...paying ridiculous prices to get a cup of coffee at Starbucks when you could go next door to 7-Eleven or McDonald's (who I hear has very good coffee) for a fraction of the cost - just seems silly.

With that said though...I find Starbucks to be a fantastic meeting spot. I've had a couple of business meetings for my photography company at a Starbucks before, and I've even had job interviews in the past that took place at a Starbucks...with that said, buying a cup of expensive coffee is paying more for the venue (kinda like a rental fee?) and is more worthwhile.....

...and while I never buy coffee from there, I do buy frapuccinos (java chip...yummm!) and I find those very much worth the money that I pay for them.

Jen: I know that some may want to throw stones at me for saying this, but I think that the McDonald's iced coffees are vile! 7-Eleven, on the other hand, rocks my socks off!

Crystal: I tasted the iced coffees at McD's once because it was free and it was disgusting - but that's coming from someone who doesn't like iced coffee...Dan liked it.
But when I said McDonald's coffee above I was actually referring to their original hot coffee...not the McCafe line......I've heard their coffee is good....??

Friday, July 10, 2009


Crystal: I talked about posting this Etsy shop ages ago for one of my photography clients and I just got completely sidetracked and I just looked at her shop right now and was blown away by how gorgeous the fabrics are that she chose for her pouches...and super cheap too!

I thought you might like the cupcake designs she has. :)

I think this might be my favorite though - Birds of Norway

And I don't know if Blanca is reading, but she might like this one :)

Here's the link to her whole shop: BeeLoveLee

Jen: I love it all! I would probably buy the Birds of Norway for myself, but everything is adorable! And yes, I think that last one is perfect for Blanca! It's awesome to see so many of our readers comment with their love of these products and the BeeLoveLee shop!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Honest Scrap Award

A huge thank you to Carole at Art Plus for this award! Crystal and I are going to combine our blog picks for this award and each choose a few. As usual, mine (Jen) will be in red, and Crystal's in purple:

We are suppose to select seven of our favorite blogs and tell you why we like them, so here goes:
(Presented in no particular order)

Let Them Eat Cupcakes- This blog is full of fashionable goodies, and has a Marie Antoinette theme, which completely speaks to me!

Sarah Says Awesome- Sarah has an unrivaled amount of sass and spunk that keeps me coming back for more!

Circling My Head- Renee floors me with her timeless posts about her amazing (and large!) family. She takes me out of my world and places me in her's with such ease that sometimes it's jolting when her post comes to an end and I find myself back in my reality. I love it!

A Fanciful Twist- Vanessa sees the world in colors we can't even imagine! To step into her blog is to step into another world, full of whimsy and delight!

The second requirement to accept this award is to tell you things about ourselves:

1. Thriller was my favorite video as a very young child!

2. My favorite fairytale is The Twelve Dancing Princesses, closely followed by Rapunzel.

3. I'm 27 years old and my wisdom teeth are just starting to bother me. It sucks. A lot.

4. I'm afraid of clowns. I thought that this was an irrational fear until I discovered photos of me (that I obviously blocked out) at a pumpkin patch with the scariest looking clown I've ever seen! Poor little me looked absolutely terrified as I bit my nails and was bending as far away from the "creatures" as possible. Oddly, pumpkins are amongst my favorite things.

5. I always seem to have panties in my purse, but it's because I lug my laundry to my mom's house and a pair always tends to fall out of the laundry basket into my backseat. I will notice this a couple days later and stuff them into my purse to put away when I get upstairs. And then I forget! And then I rediscover them at the most inopportune times!

And now for my (Crystal) favorites :)

Haute Whimsy - not just because she's my bestie...but because she is full of talent and creative and amusing thoughts...I am constantly entertained when reading her blog. :)

Palos Verdes Daily Blog - As a photographer I started checking out this blog to find some new interesting locations in my local area...and then found myself so amused at all the different things that are right around me that I didn't even know about! :)

Five Moms and a Blog - Well I really just ADORED their blog banner....but the blog itself is very well written and quite interesting!

Just Add Glitter and Stir - Another blog with a fantastic banner...and I LOOOVE the blog name. But over all of that she has some great craft highlights! :)

Now...5 things about me :)

1. I can be a bit obsessive. I like to collect and attain EVERYTHING...from collecting figurines and coffee cups to insisting on watching every single movie and tv show that's available on Netflix.

2. I get very frustrated very easily when things don't go as planned...but I am a solution seeker as well

3. I am an entrepreneur at heart...I've been devising money-making tactics since I was a wee-one. :)

4. I am a geek...I was a thespian in high school, I'm a member of Toastmasters here at my work, I love computers, the Internet, and the Sims or anything similar to the Sims....and I love fantasy stories/movies like Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, etc. :)

5. I love macaroni and cheese and will order it at any restaurant that serves it regardless of how high class the place is. :)

So - Jen...I think we're supposed to tell the people we awarded that they got it right? Did you do yours already? I'll do mine shortly....

Jen: I didn't realize we could post each other's blogs! I amend my list by adding Avery James Photography! Beautiful photos and anecdotes written by the famous Crystal Henning!!! And yes, she really is famous! She even has an imdb page (although it only has one thing listed and needs to be filled, ahem!)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Crystal: So I've developed this great love for plants and flowers and just anything that grows over the some know, we redid my grandfather's backyard and memorialized it as "Avery's Garden" about 3 years ago. We dug everything up, replanted grass, flowers, trees, shrubs, etc.

Unfortunately, the soil at my grandfather's house isn't great, it gets really hot in the summer and really cold in the winter (for Southern California standards at least) and my fiance and I know know little to nothing about more than half of everything we've planted has died, including the grass :(

I just came across this awesome product which I will hopefully some day's not a huge investment, but on top of everything else we NEED right now, this is towards the bottom of the list...but eventually..........................I sooooo could use this product:


You basically stick it in the ground where you want to plant something, leave it there for a day or two (gotta read the directions), it measures the air temperature, moisture, drainage, etc.....then you plug it in to your computer and it tells you what kind of plants to grow there based on your location and the data it collected...and I think I even read somewhere that it alerts you when you need to water!

How handy is that....? I might never kill a plant again with this thing. :)

Oh - unfortunately for our global readers, it says it only works in the U.S. :( But maybe there's something similar already out there for your country....

Jen: I think this is about the best thing I've ever heard of! I'll pull out the handy cliche and say it might be the best thing since sliced bread!

It's funny that I should read this now, because I'm currently watching my mom through her window as she's trying to salvage her garden. One of the downsides to living 5 miles from the beach is that the soil is very sandy- not a good growing environment.

Easy Bloom sounds like something to put on your Christmas list ;)

P.S. I just found this from one of the founders of EasyBloom:

I’m one of the founders of Easybloom. I wanted to answer your question about working out side of the United States. One of the thing that the sensor does, is ‘normalize’ lighting conditions based on cloud cover. For instance a cloudy day might look very “shady” to a plant. So if the sensor detects shady conditions, but it is actually in the middle of a field, then the reading would be inaccurate. For that reason the website checks the cloud cover for the area where the sensor was in the ground and ‘normalizes’ the data based on actual cloud cover.

We do not yet have a feed of the cloud cover by postal code in Europe, which is why it wouldn’t work well there.

I hope that this helps.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sears Tower

Jen: Could you do this?! I think it would be a really cool experience, but I was clenching my fists so tight while watching the video that I actually hurt my thumb! I'm somewhat afraid of heights, but not enough to keep me from something like this. I'm more afraid of being high up without enclosures- bungee jumping, bridges, etc.

Crystal: I can't see the's just a blank box :( But from the sound of your post, I'm doubting I would do it...I don't do anything scary and definitely not things that involve heights.......what is it???

Jen: Hmm, I guess the video was removed. Basically, they created an enclosed glass box at the top of the Sears Tower, much like a balcony. You can step inside and feel like you're floating x amount of stories above ground!


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