face to face

Today’s business world enables us to work from virtually anywhere and we can now do business with people from anywhere. For instance, I have been working closely with our media planner and buyer for almost two years, speaking with him several times a week and working through planning, challenges and celebrating successes. But, I have never met him face to face. I’ve never even seen a photo of him. I know lots about him and he knows lots about me, but we have never met face to face. It seems so weird that I could work that closely with someone but never have met in person.

I arrived in DC (home of my media planner-N.W.) for a conference. I had a few hours to kill so I contacted N.W. to see if he could meet me for lunch. We met at one of my old faves- J. Pauls in Georgetown. There is always that weird moment just before you meet someone new and there is always, for me, this fear that we won’t be able to find each other- which is an absurd fear because it’s not like you are in a room filled with hundreds of people. It’s a small restaurant. I knew what he was wearing- kakkis and a lacoste shirt (like every other guy in Georgetown). Anyway- he greeted me at the door. We had a great lunch. Talked about our media plan and discussed old haunts in Georgetown. I’m so happy that now I can fill in the blanks in my mind when we speak on the phone.

I know you are wondering what he looked like. Did he look like I imagined? We’ve all had those terrible let downs at the movies…you read a book and have an image in your mind of what the characters should look like, only to be let down by the movie depiction. N.W. looked exactly how I envisioned more or less. He was taller than I imagined, but other than that, his voice and personality sounds like he looks!

Dinner is served

After a long day at work, I came home dreading “whipping” up something for dinner. My lucky day….my dear MIL had a fab dinner prepared for us. I think I like this in-law living. Clothes that I had in the dryer were neatly folded and placed on the stairway for us to take upstairs, dogs had been fed and walked and a gourmet dinner awaited. Can we stay forever?

I have to stay this is the first time I have ever come home from work with dinner prepared from start to finish and dishes done NOT BY ME from start to finish. This is the best new thing YET! For dinner my MOIL prepared grilled sockeye salmon with a light glaze, fresh corn and a spinach salad- and fresh fruit for dessert. Yes I think I can get used to this. The salmon was fresh from whole foods. Sockeye is red salmon or blueback salmon, and is an anadromous species of salmon found in the Northern Pacific Ocean and rivers discharging into it. It is considered endangered in some areas (hopefully not where ours came from). I’m not usually a fan of salmon but this was fresh, buttery and delish. Not “fishy” at all. She prepared it with a very light marinade that gave it just a sweet salty complement.

And as an aside….Salmon is a great food to eat 24 hours before a big event…a party, a meeting, etc. because it will give your cheeks a natural rosy glow.

Bon Appetite…and cheers to many more nights like this!

Year old bread…Delish french toast

Hope Town Light House

Have you ever been to the Abacos? (out islands in the bahamas) Time stands still in the Abacos. Pristine beaches, clear blue water and no development. Heaven. But there is something else that makes it heaven….Homemade bread from Vernon’s Market. Vernon is a fabulous baker. His specialties – bread and sweet key lime pie. But let’s focus on the bread. Melt in your mouth bread…best when it’s still warm.

Now before I continue I must tell you about Vernon’s market. Let’s just say it’s an experience. Hold your nose when you visit…its not uncommon to find rotten veggies. Most veggies and meats need to be shipped in from the states, so they aren’t the freshest and they keep them on the shelf as long as possible. Daily shipments don’t exist. And the Market does not have a big welcome sign on the door but rather, “When we’re here we are open and when we are not, we’re closed.” Despite the less than charming concrete floored market, we all love Vernon’s tasty treats.

Last year when we went over for our summer vaca, I decided I’d try to freeze some bread. I totally forgot about it, until I cleaned out the fridge for the move. So this morning in honor of Father’s Day we decided to give it a try. I forgot to mention that this bread makes the BEST french toast. This is unlike any french toast you’ve ever tasted.  I almost liken it to a homemade doughnut. And guess what? One year later the same spectacular flavor! I couldn’t even belive it.  Next trip to the Abacos….I’m bringing back a lifetime supply!

Give em somthing to talk about

I love to break the rules. Isn’t it fun to give em something to talk about! Day one at the in-laws. I head out to work-7am- cute kaki seersucker suit, fab tortoise brown heels, big chunky stone necklace. Neighbor walking dogs. I politely say good morning and hop in my car and am off to work. Later in the day, the gentleman I saw earlier in the morning approached my father in law to inquire about the “young lady” leaving his house so early in the morning. My FIL politely told him I was his daughter in law and that we would be living with them for a few months….The man looked at my FIL and quickly said, “Well that’s good. I thought you were having a menage a trois!” Seriously, I am red-faced, embarrassed just thinking about it. OK- I don’t want to think about that anymore.

So today, I figured I’d give em a little more to talk about- this time on purpose. My in-laws live across the street from the country club and the road is busy. After an afternoon at the pool, reading and visiting with my dear friend JH, it was time to take the dogs for a walk. I’d already changed clothes three times…morning walk, yoga, pool. I didn’t feel like changing again. There was only one thing to do….walk the dogs in my bathing suit!!!!!!!!! I threw on a wrap so I wouldn’t be completely obnoxious…but to set the scene for you- Blue bathing suit (no K it wasn’t a polo), bright yellow wrap, BIG blue wide brimmed hat, big fab sunglasses and flip flops. I was quite a site strolling down the country club road. I feel certain the neighbors are now really wondering what is going on at the H house! Why walk the ordinary walk when you can spice it up….these cc folks need a little spice!

A Reliable Wife

 Despite what you may think…I am not describing myself (though I do think I am quite the reliable wife!). I started a new book today- A Reliable Wife by Roert Goolrick. An Oprah recommendation. Set in 1907, the book is basically about a mail order bride. A wealthy man in a small mid-west towndesires to change years of solitude by finding a companion to live out the remaining years of his life. According to the book synopsis, it’s an enthralling tale of love and madness, of longing and murder…Read the first 50 or so pages and it seems to be a good read. Characters develop quickly and the plot is moving fast enough that I am ready to pick it back up to see what transpires.

Perfect summer read- love, scandal and murder! What is it about summer that goes along so well with a good book? I don’t know if I read faster or have more time to read, but every summer my interests in books increases ten-fold. I can remember as a child riding my bike back and forth to the Dunn Public library several days a week to check out the next book in the Sweet Valley High Series. That was long before Saved By the Bell and 90210. Most people love to curl up in the cold winter with a good book, but for me nothing is better than an afternoon at the pool with a good read.

I’d love to hear about your reading recomendations…please leave a comment!

To have and to hold….from this day forth.

Before you get married you hear these horrible stories about other people’s mother in laws. I’ve heard of situations where the MIL insists that you join them at the Club for Sunday lunch EVERY Sunday, the MIL who insist on having a key to YOUR house and feels free to let herself in from time to time to “fluff and puff”, the MIL who judges you for everything and the husband who thinks nothing you do is as great as his mother, and lest I not forget the MIL who insists everyone wear matching white outfits for a “family” portrait on the dunes of the beach and then sends out the embarrassing photo to 500 of her closest friends. (My apologies if any of the above is offensive to you…it’s just not my style).

So in my 20’s as I kissed a lot of toads, I had the fear of God bestowed in me that I would end up with the prince who came along with the MIL from hell. What if the MIL was a dictator or even worse…a complete pushover? What if she was stuck in the 50’s? What if she was mean and over protective? It could have made for a life of misery. I think that part of my dating process was as much about dating the right in-laws as it was dating the right guy. I needed a total package to live happily ever after….

And luckily for me, I found the perfect combo of mother and son! Last night we spent our first night living with the in laws while our house is being renovated. For many, this would be sheer drudgery. Six months with a mother in law privy to every move we make. But for me, it’s going to be a fun adventure. My mother in law is nothing like the women described above. She is totally respectful of our life and our privacy. She is always there when we need her and NOT when we don’t. What an amazing quality to have. She has graciously welcomed us and our two four legged children (one of which…dear Woo…who has no manners what so ever and does whatever he wants whenever he wants and the other has an insatiable appetite for paper- eating mail, magazines and hard cover books).

Sure-We’ll have some challenging days…like those when I don’t want to talk to anyone but she wants to know all the nitty gritty about my day and there will be days when she definitely doesn’t want to deal with me or sweet Woo. But at the end of the day…we’re family…and this situation is just temporary!

Thanks to my MIL for embarking on this awesome adventure with us!

Cover Girl

I’m going to be a super model. Well. Not really. But I was asked by our print vendor to be spotlighted in their upcoming ad series. Not as glam as cover girl. But then again, I am not really cover girl material. Anyone in the marketing biz, knows the importance of having quality, reliable printers who understand the brand. I honestly don’t think I could keep my sanity without our partner printer. How many times a month to I have an “emergency” print job for someone who failed to plan in advance for the conference they had been planning on attending for a year?! My printer never lets me down.

Then there are the challenges associated with our brand. We have a really edgy, fresh brand (at least for an accounting firm). The challenge is that many of our pieces have this really cool gradient color effect…but that gradient is a NIGHTMARE to print correctly. The pressmen shutter to see me coming!

Anyway- I have never been asked to be featured in an ad campaign…kind of a fun first! Something new for sure.