Friday, August 23, 2013

We All Scream for Ice Cream Illustrations









These Ice Cream Illustrations are 2.5 x 3.5 inches each and were made for a swap.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What I Wish I Could Tell my 19 Year Old Self.

With back to school here and around the corner for many students,
I can't help but to think back to what it was like during my freshmen year of college.

This blog post is sure to be silly with some photos of myself that I cringe while looking at.
Here is a list of some of the things I wish I could of told my 19 year old self.



On my Grades:

I was totally that girl who called her parents up to complain how disappointed she was when she got a B.
My parents would always laugh and remind me that there were lots of worse grades I could receive.
I'm extremely lucky to have such a laid back mother who let me read whatever I wanted at a young age and pursue interesting hobbies.

Continuing on...

On my first day of Art School, one of the professors in this awful lectures we were forced to go to every week as foundation (or freshmen) art students there was this long rant about how grades worked in art school.

I distinctly remember him saying "You will get C's if you're average and most of you will get C's, not A's because that is what you will earn. You're average. You won't be the best artist here." Ouch.

Advice to my 19 year old self: Contrary to what they are telling you here, don't freak out if you don't get an A. You'll still get into graduate school and art is highly subjective anyway!
You don't need to spent 40+ hours on every project outside of class because that's absurd and overkill during your freshmen year.
Remember you're in college and you're suppose to have a social life.

On Handling Roommates:



Posting images like these to myspace (yes, myspace) at the time may have not been the best idea.

Back story here: One of my roommates freshmen year should of walked around waving a flag that read "I am crazy" at all times.
She lied all the time, met weirdos off the internet and would go "hang out" at their apartments and went swimming at night in a river while drunk. She also thought she was going to turn into a Vampire. Just to name a few of her favorite hobbies.

Anyway, another roommate and I posted this image on my myspace blog (or bulletin?) for our friends to guess what substance our roommate left all over our bathtub/shower after we had just finished cleaning it, twenty comments later our other roommate was obviously a little ticked off. She later moved out (not over this) and we became very civil to one another.

Advice to my 19 year old self: Don't air your problems with someone else out publicly over the internet. No one wins.
You just look like a jerk and you'll make other people uncomfortable.

On Dying my Hair:

When I was 14, my Mom let me get some highlights dyed in my hair. In high school, I dyed my hair all kinds of colors.
Many of my crazy dye jobs were total disasters... and the same goes for this look I sported when I was 19.



Everything about this photo is incredibly awkward...
my neon pink/black makeup combo, I look like I'm missing a tooth and the random blue metallic fuzzy earmuffs on my head.

Yes, neon orange hair. Neon Orange Hair.
What in the world was I thinking?

You're probably looking at this photo going, "it's not that bright"...or "it's not that bad."
It really was, see what it looks like with an orange shirt...


I am cringing right now.

Of course when the orange faded, I naturally bleached it again and dyed it with Bluish Purple Streaks.
Even my crazy Russian Figure Drawing professor said in his thick Russian accent "Jennifer, purple isn't natural."


This is the only picture I could find of it which is probably a good thing.

After the purple eventually faded out and my hair was left looking fried, I had it professionally dyed blonde until sophomore year when I had it dyed a rich chocolate brown.

Advice to my 19 year old self: Don't dye your hair orange, no matter how good of a color the dye looks in the jar.
This color will not be for you.
Remember you're too pale to sport anything neon ever.



Face Palm.

Other things I wish I could of told my 19 year old self:
1. Don't walk through alleys while trying to shorten your trip to class/the store/a party, you'll meet the creepiest people ever.
2. Avoid drinking any liquid that comes in 40oz. bottles.
3. Avoid eye contact at the laundrymat. You'll immediately get asked for money.
4. Stop making your bed, this way your roommate and her creepy friend will stop sleeping in it and using your pillows.
5. Don't yell at the guy drumming on buckets outside your window to make some money, he'll start coming around more playing all day and night.
6. There is more things to eat in the Dining hall besides salad, soy milk with cheerios and Sushi. Remember when you found out Fajita Friday existed? Best Day ever.
7. Frat parties are lame as were most themed parties, you could find better things to do with your Friday night.
8. It's a dumb idea to hang out at clubs where fights are common along with people getting robbed.
9. You should of taken down your roommates christmas lights, they didn't need to be on 24 hours a day inside our dorm.
10. You should of explored more Vegan Restaurant options in the city sooner.
11. Don't let your roommate walk around barefoot in a park known for syringes in the grass.
12. Do laundry more often. Why wait until you have no more clean clothes to wear?!
13. There really is no point to getting your belly button pierced.

Hope you found some sort of amusement in this post,
What do you wish you told your 19 year old self?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bad Customer Service= Complaints. Complaints. Complaints.



If you haven't already noticed Blogging isn't always about Sunshine and Rainbows.

Sometimes many bloggers have things they want to get off their chests or just out into the Blogosphere.
...A hope, a rant, a full on vent over something possibly typical.

The past couple of days, I have been trying to get my Bank accounts fixed.
You see, the bank screwed up and spelled my legal name wrong on my accounts and for my new cards soon to be in my mailbox.
I then received another phone call that my Credit Card also through this bank was deactivated, which was extremely fishy.

Here with this situation:
As the ridiculous human being I am, I have paranoia that my cards won't work and I won't be able to access my accounts.
Then, I'll be stuck somewhere because I won't be able to get gas because my cards are all declined.
However, I still try to tell my mind to be rational that this will not happen.

Meanwhile, the customer service I experienced was absolutely horrendous.
I wasn't disclosed information about my accounts that I should have been.
On top of that, the bank was not apologetic for their screw up or for wasting my time.

I'm always that person...you know the one who says "I'll write a letter about this or I'm going to complain," but I never actually do either of those things.
I'm not the type of girl that wants to give people a slap on the wrist or get them fired.

Well today, I finally did it. I wrote a complaint and sent it off.
I wrote a very long complaint explaining my experience with the bank Saturday, Monday and today and how bad Customer Service makes me reconsider being their customer.
I highly doubt it will even be read as they're a big bank but I feel better.
I feel better in my own head, like I stuck it to the man.

Whatever business you run, if you screw up either admit it or at least be apologetic about the situation.
I'm not a big fan of the phrase "the customer is always right," but I was right. Bad Customer Service gets you nowhere in the long run and if anything you will lose your customers.

There I said it.
Now I'm done and will think back to my happy place above in the photo, where I was this morning.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Baseball Weekend: Social Media Works!



This weekend, My husband and I went to two Orioles Baseball games.
The Baltimore Orioles vs. The Colorado Rockies.
We were lucky enough to be season ticket holders this season and didn't use tickets to two of the games so we swapped them out for this past weekend.

What was great about being at Camden Yards this weekend was that MASNorioles (Mid-Atlantic Sports Network) was having a promotion called MASN Social Media Weekend.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday...you could tweet or instagram to win seat upgrades and autographed "Swag."

....and well I was pretty determined to win.


The very wonderful, Nate McLouth



So Saturday, I tweeted away and instagramed (just created a new verb) photos attempting to win.
The service was terrible on my phone because I'm sure many hundreds of fans were also trying to enter.
Since I seemed slightly disappointed when we didn't win, my husband said "It's okay, we can try again tomorrow."

So we did.
On Sunday, we tried again and I thought if I didn't win it wouldn't be a big deal.
The weather was beautiful out (besides a few rain drizzles) and my husband is the best company.


This is the photo I put up on my Instagram attempting to win some O's Swag.

It was the third inning and all of a sudden two young women in MASN t-shirts came down to our section looking for "Jenn."
"Are you Jenn? Are you Jenn?" They asked the woman seated in front of us.

My husband and I both ecstatic, I yell, "I'm Jenn!"
One of the women proceed to tell us and the rest of our section, "Jenn has just been upgraded because she follows MASNorioles. Here are your tickets behind home plate!"
Our section went a little crazy as if they had won and the women proceeded to pass out t-shirts to some of the kids seated around us.

We then posed for a picture and went off on our way to Section 40.
The best seats we have ever had in Camden Yards.


This picture was posted on @MASNorioles's twitter, I was one of five fans that won.

And I won, just for tweeting to MASN! :)



I'm happy to say you can really win things from Social Media.
Twitter helped give me and my husband awesome seats and a great day at the ballpark.

I hope everyone has a great Monday and a lovely week. Cheers!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Diamond Candle Review and Giveaway!

The wonderful people over at Diamond Candles sent me a fantastic candle to review.

I had been wanting to check out their candles for a while, you see their candles are not only all natural soy deliciously scented candles, they also contain jewelry!
Yes, in every Diamond Candle there is a ring that can be valued either at $10, $100, $1000, and $5000 US Dollars. Wow.

With the help of my husband, we picked a Strawberry Bliss scented candle.
Diamond Candles shipped very fast and securely.



We're big candle people and light them about daily in our house.
When opening up the box, we were surprised at the size of the candle and the scent. Both were great!

Let me tell you, the candle burns so clean and filled up our living room with the scent of Fresh Strawberries.
We burned it for a couple of hours for three nights and then noticed the top of the foil in the molten wax.

Here are some photos of extracting and revealing the Surprise Ring Inside.


Diamond Candles suggest that you blow the candle out and then remove the ring with a pair of tweezers.


I easily pulled the ring out without and resistance.


Each ring is wrapped in foil with the ring protected by a small plastic ziplock bag.


Here I am wiping some of the extra wax off onto a paper towel.


Peeling the Foil!



I got super excited at this point as my husband was snapping the Camera away...


Oooooh! Ahhhh! It's a ring alright.


It wasn't stamped on the inside which makes me think it's worth $10 but it's lovely and high quality.



Overall, I am super impressed with Diamond Candles and can see myself buying them regularly.
They're natural soy candles and sustainable! Woo.
The surprise rings are a fun touch...and potentially worth something!
They're also cheaper than many other candle brands on the market.
They would make great gifts for any lady in your life.

Interested in learning more about Diamond Candles?
Here are the various places you can find them on the internet:
Diamond Candles Website
Facebook
Pinterest
Instagram
Twitter

So besides giving me a candle to review for my blog, the generous Diamond Candles has offered to giveaway a free candle to one of my readers! Woohoo! Use the Rafflecopter form to enter below.

To make this more fun for me, feel free to leave a comment on which candle you would pick if you won and thank Diamond Candles for being so generous!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Disclosure: I was not compensated financially for this post, however, I did receive the product directly from the company. All opinions are honest and my own. Winner will receive a code for a free candle to be directly sent from Diamond Candles.

Back to the Sea ATCs







Some artist trading cards recently made for a Sea themed Swap. Watercolor, ink and colored pencil. Traded.

Monday, August 12, 2013

I didn't think my Wedding Cake existed



If you read my blog or know me personally, you know that I was happily married two weeks ago.

Pictured above, is the cake that I selected for the big day.
It was a three tier Buttercream Frosted Cake with Chocolate inside along with hints of Raspberry.
I had my own idea for the flowers on top, but one of the reasons I picked this cake was because of the way it looked with those orange flowers.

The Cake for me and my Spouse, was one of the most exciting things for us during the reception.
We knew that everyone would enjoy it and it would be one of those cakes that everyone would want to eat.

The morning I arrived to our venue to get my dress on and get ready to walk down the aisle,
I had asked our new coordinator (who was mighty clueless, but that's a whole other story) if the cake had arrived.
I had a hunch a few days before that it may not even arrive after this conversation with my Mom:

Mom: "They said the cake is arriving at 4pm."
Me: "On Saturday or Sunday? Our wedding is at 1pm, that's a little ridiculous."
Mom: "I asked ________ if she meant Saturday or Sunday but she didn't give me an answer."
Me: "So we may not even have a cake."
Mom: "Probably."

At this point, I was preparing myself for the cake not showing up.
The new coordinator then tells my mother that she does not see it in the fridge.
After a few large sighs and deep breaths, I text my Groom that I was told that our cake is not there and I have no idea where it is.

Luckily, I then hear a knock on the door and it's our previous Wedding Coordinator (who is AMAZING) and I ask her if she could help figure out what is going on with the Wedding Cake.
She promptly returns saying she not only found it but asking if it had the correct number of tiers... I told her three, two for our guests and the top tier for Jason and I.

I come into the reception area after our photos and being introduced and see this...



At the time, I thought it looked off but paid no attention to it as it's my Wedding Day and I wanted to have a fabulous time with my husband, friends and family.
When it came time to cake cutting, we traditionally sliced the first piece together and then the two tiers were taken into the back where they cut pieces for our guests and brought them back to the cake table.

At this point, my brother and mother both tell me they cut up the little top tier that was suppose to make it's way into our freezer because they didn't have enough cake for our guests.
The sad part, Jason and I each only had one bite of cake... we didn't even get to share a full piece and all the cake was gone.

Upset about whatever was going on with our cake, I asked the old Wedding Coordinator if she could look into it because the new one was doing nothing but hanging out behind the bar.

My mother comes back to tell me she will be contacting the Venue which is also owned by the Catering Company within the next few days to figure out what went wrong.

The catering company's response was surprising.

First, they said well we weren't going to order all three tiers because of the amount of guests you had.
This didn't make any sense because they were paid in full for the amount of meals that were well over the number of guests for two tiers. Had I known they basically were going to give basically us a different cake without my knowledge, We wouldn't have picked that one.

Second, They claimed they would make it up to us.
I told my mom they should refund her part of the cost if that was possible.
They decided they would send us two cakes. The first cake immediately, for Jason and I to enjoy. The Second cake is scheduled to be sent on the week of our anniversary next summer.
Here is the cake we received the other day:



We had some good laughs over the "Happy Anniversary" written on the top.
The cake is just as good as I remember it tasting.
My Mom called the Cake "...The Happy Two weeks Cake. Happy Saturday Cake. Happy Sun is Shining Cake."

I'm glad the situation worked itself out and that we had a cake in the first place.
Brides, keep calm if something isn't right and it will end up being able to be fixed somehow.

Happy Monday everyone, I hope their is some cake in your lives.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

An Easy Dinner: Homemade Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli and Breaded Haddock Recipes



That time I blogged about what I just ate for dinner in my home...

This meal was just really satisfying and fulfilling so I felt the need to share.

Fish: Seasoned and Breaded Haddock.

To make:
1. Slightly thaw Frozen Haddock Fillets. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2. Place the fish fillets on a glass baking dish that has been lined with foil.
3. Melt in the microwave about 2 1/2 to 3 Tablespoons of low fat margarine (I used smart balance).
4. Drizzle fillets with margarine. Use a spoon to sift a thin layer of Italian Breadcrumbs on top.
5. Next, season with Basil and Parmesan.
6. Bake for 35-40 minutes in your 400 degree oven.

Homemade Mashed Potatoes.

To make:
1. I used Russett Potatoes, about 3 pounds worth. First, I washed and peeled/cut the potatoes skin off.
2. Slice the potatoes in half and place in large cooking pot. Fill with water to about two thirds of the pot.
3. Boil on medium heat for one hour to an hour and a half depending on how large your potatoes are.
4. Drain water, mash your potatoes in your large cooking pot add 1/2- 1 cup of skim milk and 2-3 tablespoons of margarine.
Add salt and pepper if desired.

Steamed Broccoli.

1. Add Frozen Broccoli to microwave safe dish with a tablespoon of water.
2. Cook 5-7 minutes depending on your desired tenderness.

Super easy healthy dinner and I didn't even add any salt to mine. ;)