Friday, April 29, 2011

sweet surprises

I know that I am an incredibly lucky gal because I have a husband who brings home daisies and sorbet, lights candles, and rubs my shoulders when I've had a bad day.


Being married totally rules.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Business in the etsy shop has been super slow lately, and I'm wondering if I really want to keep it going. Selling online has always felt somewhat inorganic to me, and I must admit that I have never grown comfortable with the process. While I have no delusions about my work being "high art," I also find it a bit demoralizing to think of it as a simple consumer product.

However, there is also no attraction whatsoever in the alternative. Submitting to galleries or being juried for art shows costs way more time and money, not to mention the personal beating of the constant rejection, which I know that I am not emotionally stout enough to handle.

The brief moment in my life when I thought that I wanted to be a professional artist has come and gone, now I just enjoy the thought of my work being enjoyed by others. The money isn't an issue; as long as the expense of making a piece is covered, I don't care about making a profit. I just can't think of a way to get my stuff out in the world without making it into something it's not: either head-up-my-ass-high-brow art or a throw away online product in a sea of other throw away online products.

Of course, this could all just be a side effect of a constant stream of head aches I've experienced this year over the "business" side of owning a business. Noooooo fun.

Monday, April 25, 2011


So, I just created a Bloglovin account. I personally use Google Reader, so I'm not sure why I did it. Maybe because I think the name "Bloglovin" is pretty much the cutest thing ever. Anyway, if you use Bloglovin, here's a link that they are making me post in order to prove that this is my blog:

Follow my blog with bloglovin


sportball + easter

I could really get used to not working weekends. Unfortunately, this was my last free one for a while. No worries, I made good use of it.

Sportball Saturday:

Easter Sunday:

Yes, I eat the ears first. Because the ears are the best part. Obviously.

I made vanilla cupcakes (recipe here) with buttercream frosting for the family, but I can never seem to find an icing recipe that I like. They're always way too sugary, even when I used less than the suggested amount of confectioners sugar. Does anyone have a great non-sugarcomainducing icing recipe?

Friday, April 22, 2011

a life of great passion

I read a great interview today on Yes and Yes (such a great site, I highly recommend you give it a read) with a woman who discovered true happiness through the questioning of her faith in Christianity.

Unfortunately, searching for one's own spiritual truth isn't a lesson that is exactly taught in high school or college. Why not? We are encouraged to be self-motivated, eager to learn, and independent, but if this does not include self-reflection then we are still just sitting idly by believing exactly what our parents  taught us to believe and never contributing new ideas or growing beyond our adolescent selves. Having been brought up in Christian churches, I am familiar with the idea of not being complacent, of passionately reaching for God. What I want to understand is why no one is encouraged to passionately reach for themselves? To hungrily search for their own beliefs and ideas. A meaning that will make them complete. Although I have been comfortable with my own particular spiritual beliefs for several years, it is only recently that I have been actively trying to understand myself and what my own "meaning" in this world is. Without a spiritual imperative, it's easy to become lost in the daily grind and live a life without purpose.

Maybe the trick is that we have to create a purpose. Find that thing to live for. It could be God, family, or work, but whatever we do should be done with vigor and abandon.

Great passion does not have to be restricted to religious zeal! I may still be searching for my own meaning, but what I do know is that I want to live a life of great passion, wherever that passion may be directed.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

DIY: chipotle burrito bowl

Like most decent Americans, I love me some Chipotle. Love, love me some Chipotle. However, there are obvious downsides.

1. 1,000 calories per burrito = fat Michelle
2. $6.50 per burrito = poor Michelle
3. 110% recommended daily sodium per burrito = heart attack Michelle

So, I have devised a way to have my burrito and eat it to, so to speak. And, you can too.

I used:

1 can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans
1 can corn
shredded cheese
Herdez medium spicy salsa


First, I drained the tomatoes, beans, and corn, and combined them in a baking pan. Then I sprinkled them with e.v.o.o. and salt, and roasted for 10 min.


Second, I made a cup of rice in my handy-dandy rice cooker. Best Christmas gift I have ever received. Ok, that is an exaggeration, but it's definitely in the top 20.


Third, I mixed everything together. That's it. I served mine up with lettuce, salsa, and cheese. This recipe makes lots of left-overs, which keep really well for several days and are good either warmed up or straight from the fridge. Today I had some with yogurt, and tomorrow I am going to try it wrapped in a tortilla and garnished with cream cheese!


Anyone else have any fun waistline/money/heart saving recipes? We're trying to be a little more economical here in the Casa de Johnson, plus swim suit season is upon us, and I definitely need a little more work before I have shed my winter coat.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

the weekender

I feel the need to devote an entire post to my favorite jeans. Because, let's face it, jeans are a big deal.

Behold, The Weekender!
Photo on 2011-04-17 at 10.36 #3
Photo on 2011-04-17 at 10.38 #2
Photo on 2011-04-17 at 10.39 #2
Date: April 16, 2011 / Occasion: doing nothing
Details: shirt-??? / jeans-Frocks

These are like boyfriend jeans, only about 10x more awesome. They are the perfect sweat pant replacement for lounging around at home on the weekends. I think it's true love. 

putting a thing in the mail

Oh my god, you guys, I finally mailed the rest of my grad school application. I spent at least three hours proofing every last form, and I am still terrified that a typo got left in there somehow. Of course, before I could walk the 100 ft to the mailbox I had to change out of my pjs and do my full hair and makeup.

Because, you know, they might see me.

Obviously, then I had to take pictures of myself because, damn, I look good.


I must have stood in front of the mailbox for a full three minutes willing myself drop in the envelope. But now I can finally say that it is done. :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

warning: extremely positive thoughts ahead

No photos or fanciness today because I must leave for work in mere moments. I just wanted to stop by and comment on how good life can be (get ready or some serious cheesiness!) I don't know if it's the yoga, or the emotional/mental exercising, but these days I feel like I can take on the world. Certainly, I have bad moments and am often disappointed by people and events, but knowing that I can handle these disappointments is the difference between happiness and hopelessness. It's a weird feeling, being happy with the right here and now...but I like it!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mellow Yellow

One nice thing about having a non-traditional work schedule is that I can sit at a cafe drinking Red Bull on a random Thursday morning. I can also spontaneously decide to paint my bedroom yellow. Which is pretty much what I did yesterday.



After a lot of help and many hours, my bedroom is no longer a depressing cave of dreariness! It is a happy place. See?


Next step: hang the clown painting!

Outfit: Dress As Shirt

Date: April 14, 2011 / Occasion: errand running, cafe sitting
Details: dress-Frocks / shorts-Old Navy / shoes-Nine West / necklace-Etsy / watch-Michael Kors / sunglasses-vintage

I've only worn this dress as a dress on one occasion. It was way too short and I was uncomfortable the entire night. Solution? Throw some shorts on under it and call it a shirt! Genius? I think so.

Who else got crazy hail storms last night? I'm normally a fan of tipsily enjoying a good spring storm, but this one was just scary. Made me grateful to be safe and sound inside with lovely people near me.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ta Da!

Today has been crazy go nuts. I am officially done with today. The good news is that I officially submitted my grad school application and secured another letter of recommendation. And I bought a clown painting at Goodwill for $2. Score!

Since my last couple pictures had filters, I thought I'd give you a better idea of what my hair looks like now.

Photo on 2011-04-06 at 10.22

Photo on 2011-04-06 at 13.22

It's still not really what I wanted (so dark!), but I like it, so I'll probably let it hang out until my next haircut in a month or so.

Seriously, I can't wait to hang that clown painting.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Austin, TX: Food, Drinks, and Mustaches

This weekend Corban and I took a little trip down to Austin, just to get away (also, to eat...the eating was very important.) We re-visited some favorite spots:

Magnolia Cafe for nommy breakfast items

Perla's for delicious food and drink

Once Over for coffee and peaceful reading (Corban is reading The Pale King by DFW and I am working on Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer)

And had a few new experiences:

Imbibing delicious cocktails at Peche (I highly recommend the "Bees Knees")

Shopping on South Congress where I bought some lovely sunglasses at Prototype Vintage

Cataloguing all the different types of hipster Austin mustaches

Then, of course, we came home and immediately went out to watch the Rangers kick some Orioles butt.


I took my AE-1 on the trip, but I didn't really use it. I prefer portraits to landscapes, and it was only me and Corban, so I didn't exactly have an abundance of subjects.

A lovely break, but now it's back to the grindstone. Today I am observing an ESL class taught by the famous and talented Ken Myers. I'm excited to see friends and hopefully learn something (crossing my fingers that the "something" is not that teaching ESL is way more than I can handle and I should fall on my sword directly!)

Stripes and Pearls

This is the last outfit post before unveiling the new hair! It's not really that exciting, but I do feel the need to interject some razzle dazzle into my life every now and then. At least I'm not blogging about going to the grocery store (which I did today...and it was awesome if you care to know.)

Photo on 2011-04-04 at 17.34 #2

The occasion for this outfit was a margarita date at Gloria's with Leigha. I do love me some Gloria's. And Leigha. And I love this outfit. I will use any excuse to wear a long string of (fake) pearls. A+! Go me!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Grey Silk and Cotton

It is 6:30 and I am awake, unable to sleep. How should I spend my extra two hours before Corban wakes up? Duh, blogging.

This is a pretty typical work outfit for me. And by typical, I mean "I wear this shirt like every other day."

Photo on 2011-04-04 at 12.30
Photo on 2011-04-04 at 12.35
Photo on 2011-04-04 at 12.34

Again with the awkward posing, but I love these shoes and wear them constantly. I thought it only fair that I share them with you, dear reader.

I finally got my hair colored yesterday (blond stripes with two inch roots are definitely not the look this season) but I'm not 100% satisfied with it, so I'm going to wait and see if it fades a little more to my liking before I post photos. The anticipation is palpable!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Flowers and Braids

The ladies at work love it when I wear pigtails. I think it's because my comparative youth amuses them. This weekend I sported this lovely combination.

4/2/11 outfit

Everyone loved the flower especially. It was a gift from the lovely and talented Celia who recently opened an etsy shop. Go. Shop. Enjoy.

I wish I had more to say because I am in a particularly tired and lazy mood this afternoon and want to put off going to the gym for as long as possible. Le sigh.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Texas Rangers: The Stealing of My Heart

Ok, let's talk about
the Rangers (pre-apology to all non-sportball fans...believe me, I am one of you with the exception of this particular team.) We all know that I love the Rangers. And, not just because they went the World Series last year. posers. When I was a little girl I used to think that I would marry Nolan Ryan. I would still like to give him a hug one day. So, there is a very particular type of devotion here. Let's just say that I was glad to sit in Kenji's backyard, drink tequila, and watch some Spring Training...

(photos taken with the illustrious vintage Canon AE-1...I'm getting better, I think)

...and then I was super excited to tailgate before Opening Day (no, we did not get tickets to the actual game, my devotion does not extend to $300 a pop tickets.) I had never tail gated before and discovered that it includes sitting, getting sun-burned, drinking beer, and eating hotdogs/burgers/ribs.

(self-pics taken with POS point and shoot)

Not a bad use of a Friday morning, I'd say. I promise, I'll try to keep Rangers talk to a minimum this summer. I know nobody cares. Unless you do care. In which case you'd better speak up now.