Friday, January 20, 2012

Good to Know

Exploded pizza dough is much easier to clean out of one's purse than a broken egg.

I'm fairly certain I might be the only person on this earth that can say that sentence with the level of authority that only comes from experience.

And yes, that is a sticky note stuck in the pizza dough- yum!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

December in Pictures

We kicked off December (or ended November, rather) celebrating yet another 30th birthday! Against all intelligent reasoning, I decided another attempt at the cake that tried to take my sanity. I'm proud to say that the second time around went much smoother and I just might make this one a regular addition to my (small) baking repertoire. 

 Jules, our birthday girl, at Del Frisco's Grill. 

 I had another 30th birthday party the following weekend that I had to miss due to the worst case of food poisoning I've ever had.


I thought I was going to die. Those two trashcans were my best friends for the weekend. I was pounding water just to have something in my stomach to throw up. I had all these red splotches under my eyes from bursting blood vessels from vomiting so hard. It was the longest 48 hours of my life. 

The beginning of the Christmas party season. 

Another party in which I borrowed my attire from The Dot. I took this picture to send to her so she would know her sweater was getting good use and she responded by calling me a not-so-nice name. It's not my fault if she mistakenly fell victim to wearing Christmas sweaters in a non-ironic fashion.

Our girls Christmas dinner. I ended up having to work way later than expected and had to scrap the dessert I had planned. Dinky gas fireplace + marshmallows, graham crackers & chocolate = delicious improvisation.

I have a Valentine card that my brother made me right before I was born (he would have been 4 at the time) and it said "Happy Valentine's Day Whosit Walker". I couldn't help but steal the idea to tag the gift I bought for my unnamed niece-to-be.

Clint holding up the contents of the gift. This is hands down my favorite picture from Christmas. I love his face and can't wait to see him surrounded by pink frilly things wrapped firmly around my niece's teeny tiny finger. 

Christmas at my parents = looooots of wiener dogs.

Nothing says the holidays like red wine and Christmas Spode. 

My dad has been playing the accordion since he was five. It rarely makes an appearance, but Christmas is always an exception. It's highly entertaining. Especially his facial expressions.

Mmm... heaven on earth might be the cheese cart at Old Hickory. I asked for the name of one of the cheeses we had, and the server wrote the name down and told me where to get it- Murray's Cheese Shop in NYC. Alrighty, I guess next time I get a craving for it, I'll just hop on good old Southwest. Ooor not.

Wayne's Thong
Hands down my second favorite photo from Christmas. My dad put thong underwear on his Christmas Wishlist as a joke and my Aunt actually bought him some! It definitely made for some entertaining photos. I love this one of my mom.

Someone gave my cousin this machete type thing for Christmas. This picture just made me laugh.

Yay for tiny dresses!

I hosted a little dinner party for my family the night before Clint and Whitney left. Next time I'll be sure to serve a tried and true recipe. I knew better, but my stubborn nature sometimes takes over. 

I'm not a huge fan of New Year's Eve, so when Mark sent this to me, I had to laugh. My sentiments exactly- so overrated!

Instead of all that, I spent New Year's with my best guy friend from college, Ryan, who was in town from North Carolina. One of his best friends is married to my pledge sister so we always have a blast- as you can tell! I guess I was worried about losing track of that bottle? It was low-key which was perfect! 

The girls. Cheers to 2012! Those shots led to $40 worth of breakfast tacos at Rosa's Cafe the next morning. The person in the kitchen yelled up to the cashier to ask if she was serious when she rang in our order. Ha! Nothing like massive amounts of tortillas and queso to cure a champagne overdose!

Happy 2012, everyone!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Bachelor Adventure, Part II

So one of the fun/scary parts of interviewing with producers to be on The Bachelor is that you really have no clue what you're signing up for because they don't announce who it is until after they've cast most the girls. My casting adventure began in April and ended in late June, which was about 1/4 of the way through the airing of Ashley's season of The Bachelorette.

We all figured it would be someone from Ashley's last few guys, but had no clue at that point who even made it to the end. There were rumors about Ben, but you never know if those rumors were about him being Ashley's final guy, the next Bachelor, or cast in the hot mess that is Bachelor Pad. At that point it could have been anything.

By the time it was confirmed in early August that Ben was the next Bachelor, it was obvious that I was not going to be cast. However, HAD I been chosen, my cheesy introduction would have been so easy because Ben's sister, Julia, will likely end up being one of my niece's future aunts!

So follow me here because it sounds so much further away than it really is, but basically Whitney (my sister-in-law) has two younger brothers- Garrett and Kyle. Garrett and Julia (Ben's sister) have been dating for awhile and I have a strong hunch that they will end up getting married.

I met Garrett (and the rest of Whitney's family) in Napa a few years ago and just adore all of them. Garrett is such a nice guy so I have no doubt that Julia (and by the same token, Ben) are good, solid people as well.

Garrett and Ben.

The whole thing is just so crazy to me. What are the odds that the season I applied for would end up being a guy that is so closely connected with my family? Too funny.

While I'm happy not to have had to share a house with 25 girls that as a whole seem a little less than stable- it would have been really fun to meet Ben. He just seems like a very normal, down to earth guy.

I know they put the crazies in the mix to make good TV, but I hope that there are a few good ones in there for his sake (so far Kacie is my favorite).

Can't wait to see what kind of drama this evening has in store!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ben's Would-be Bachelorette

Remember these photos that I couldn't tell you the purpose of awhile back

Well, that lil' opportunity didn't quite work out, which means I can now spill the beans!  Those photos were taken to send to the producers of The Bachelor!


I know, I know.... 

So let's just start from the beginning.

Season after season, with each new Bachelor, my friends tell me the same thing over and over... "Natty, you NEED to be on The Bachelor! It would be so fun, you would be great, this it totally right up your alley, DO IT!"

So one wine-fueled night after one of those incessant "DO YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW WANT TO DATE THE NEXT BACHELOR?!  GO TO BACHELOR.ABC.COM RIGHT NOW!" commercials, I took the bait.

I pulled it up out of curiosity and it was only five questions- piece of cake for someone as proficient at tipsy texting as I am. So I answered their five little questions, attached the Facebook Profile Pic Du Jour and called it a night.

I completely forgot about it until about three months later when I sent a weird number to voicemail and got a message from one of the producers saying they got my info and were very interested and would I please call them back. I didn't.

A week later I got another call/voicemail and then after that, an email.

I'm not sure why I didn't call back right away. Have you ever seen a toddler playing with a new toy and they push a button and are so startled when lights start flashing and music starts playing? And they look at you with that scared/shocked/excited smile even though they were the one that caused it? That was so me. I honestly didn't expect anything to happen after I pushed Submit. So when she called it was kind of one of those "Holy shit, what have I gotten myself into?!" moments. I finally decided just to return her call to see what she had to say and go from there.

What followed was several weeks of back and forth, with me jumping through their various hoops.

After our initial conversation, she asked me to send her 15 pictures of myself. Sidenote: WHO has 15 pictures just of themselves other than professional models and high school seniors?!? I definitely didn't, so I just sent her various recent photos of me with friends, but told her that I could probably have a friend take some of just me if she wanted.

She did.

So we did the photoshoot* (thank you, JJ!) and I sent her all of those.

She called back that day and said she loved them and she was sending me an application and release form so they could to do a background check.

I filled out their 5-page application explaining why I was still single, signed my life away and sent it back to her. Apparently that body I dumped in the lake a few years ago didn't show up, because she called back said the app and background check looked great and they were very interested in learning more about my personality.

This is where it gets fun- she asked that I put together a 15-minute video telling them about me. Do you realize how long 15 minutes is?!  SO FREAKING LONG!

I printed off her list of questions, charged up the camera, iced down the booze, and called my girlfriends.

THAT was a fun day. Alex filmed, Erika coached, and Julie made sure my glass of wine was full. It's really funny to compare the footage from the beginning of the day to that from the end of the day.

Let's just say Julie was REALLY good at her job.

So I put my mad iMovie skillz to good use and pieced the whole thing together and shipped it off.  (I thought about putting the youtube video up here for your amusement, but I'm not sure I'm that transparent since I honestly have no idea who reads this little blog and the video gets pretty personal. Although the outtake montage at the end is definitely worth a few laughs.) 

The producer called back a week later and said that they were going to be in Dallas the next weekend and asked if I would come down to meet her in person. And that's where it all kind of went to hell.

She asked me the same questions in-person that she asked me to answer in the video. Not wanting to waste her or my time, I gave her short answers- probably not the best way to convey sincerity and/or interest. And when she asked me what happened with my engagement, I started to tell her that my ex had turned into an egomaniacal asshole, but stopped mid-sentence, made a mental note of the camera in my face, and gave the oh-so-PC answer of "We met when we were 18 and grew into different people." Not exactly the type of looney-tunes answer or lack of self-restraint the producers of The Bachelor were looking for apparently.

My journey to find love sadly ended there in that room.

Looking back, I think it worked out how it was supposed to. I would have missed out on my trip to Florence in October and the timing couldn't have been worse with everything that Bossdad and I had going on at work. Oh yeah- and I saved my family from potential embarrassment caused by bubbly induced cat fights. Can I get an "AMEN" Walkers?!

Part II of my Bachelor adventure post coming up next, also known as "Holy Shit, the Bachelor is BEN?!"


*After the shoot this spring, I strongly urged JJ to start her own photography business. Little did I know she was already considering it and I'm so excited to tell you that she went through with it! She started Greenhouse Studio a couple months ago and is doing incredible work. Check her out if you are in Dallas!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Things I'm Loving...

  1. Remember that meeting I was really excited about?  Well, it's official- our little ad agency now represents one of the four major professional sports teams in Dallas, the Dallas Stars. It's been a huge task to take on during our busiest time of the year, but the massive opportunity involved in representing such a well-known Dallas brand meant there was no way could let it go by.  It's one of the most intense accounts I've ever worked on, but intense in a wonderfully stimulating/challenging way. I'm also quickly learning the world of hockey as I stuck my foot in my mouth discussing live scoring on LED billboards during one of our first meetings (I used the score of '16' as an example which I've since learned is ridiculously high for a hockey game!)
  2. The fact that The Bachelor started last night! This season hits close to home for several reasons, so I'm very excited for my Monday night guilty pleasure to have started back up.
  3. That my first birch box will be arriving soon! I have been on such a beauty product bender lately! I think it must be my impending 30th birthday, but holy wow- I cannot get my paws on enough scrubs, serums, and lotions. If you are a beauty junkie, check it out- it's a cheap way to test new products and get a little fun mailed to your door once a month. 
  4. Gentleman's Rants on youtube. Some of them are pretty crass and can get a tad offensive, but I cannot stop watching them.
  5. "Cinema" a cover by Jason Evigan. It's not available through iTunes, but you can download it here. I saw it on Jason's wedding video that was posted on Pinterest and fell in love with it. Enjoy!

Belated Holiday Wishes!

Hello lovelies.  Wow- this blogging business has certainly gotten away from me. December 12th was my last post.  So on that note, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas & a happy, happy new year!

My big brother, Clint, and his wife, Whitney, were in town for 10 days for the holidays so blogging took a backseat to soaking up every moment of family.  We had some amazing dinners, some fun family outings, and I got to feel my niece kicking up a storm. Pictures to come.

When I wasn't spending time in Plano with the family, I was working- in some cases 12 hour days. I am in advertising, not nursing or another profession that requires such insane hours. However, this time of year is always nuts for our little ad agency because we put our clients' media plans together on an annual basis. So it's basically a year's worth of work crammed into about six weeks. Six weeks that always collide with the craziness of the holidays. All I have to say is, thank goodness I was ahead of the game and did most of my shopping online AND early.

Looking forward to playing catch-up on everyone's blogs! Happy New Year!