Friday, May 4, 2012

when in sonoma, do as the sonomans do

Whenever I visit northern California, either with Nick or my family, one of my favorite things to do is visit my uncle in Sonoma.  Sonoma is one of those places that makes you feel like you are walking through a post card, which is I think is why I love it so much.  Either that or because everyone is always encouraging you to another glass of wine.  Yeah, I definitely love it because of the wine.

My uncle is the type of person who could make any place seem interesting.  Everywhere we go, he knows an interesting story about the history, or a funny anecdote, and he sees beauty and creativity everywhere.  He took us to Cornerstone, which is sort of like an outdoor landscape architecture gallery.  The gray skys made every hue pop, and the grape vines were just beginning to peek out at spring.  There are plots or gardens that different landscape architects have designed, and my personal fav was the one that had chicken wire clouds with crystal raindrops that looked like DIAMONDS (said in the voice of the guy from the Old Spice commercial.)  While I was taking pictures a woman standing nearby was commenting "Isn't it just LOVELY?!  I just ADORE that!"  The more she said it, the more I knew this lady and I could definitely be lady bros.

The evening involved wonderful chillens who told stories, and laughed, and played games, and told jokes, and danced, and quietly listened to the "grown ups" (first time I've grouped myself into that category.  I even got to sit at the grown up table!), and recited poetry they had memorized, and looked quietly with me through photography books, and did everything that wonderful children do.  Oh, and did I mention they even speak two languages?  When I was their age, most of my time was spent beating up imaginary bad guys and being the pink ranger.  WHY again do I get to sit at the grown up table?  Oh right, because there was wine there.  Something about drinking wine a few miles away from the vineyard it was made made me feel very sophisticated.  Until I spilled ceviche on my lap.  Sophistication points -25 for that party foul, but +15 since I now know what ceviche is.  Flippin' incredible is what it is.

And I will conclude with this little ballad I just made up:

OH Sonoma,
I wish you were my home-a,
in your vineyards I would roam-a,
we'd sip merlot til we were in a coma,
then wake up with a bump on my dome-a.

That's about all I got.  Lucky for you ;)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

and then i left my heart

in gorgeous San Francisco.  (Luckily I had Nicklaus, who stole it back for me, and is currently holding onto it for safe keeping) #mushygushyeww!  But for reals though, San Francisco may just be my favorite place in the whole wide world so far.  I mean, where else can you browse artwork on the square, sip Italian coffees, shop in a 6 story Nordstrom's, ride a cable car (do people use the word trolley anymore?  It makes me feel silly when I say it but I kinda like it...), taste the salty air, and have the pleasure of laying eyes on this dapper gentleman?

Art or antique?  You be the judge.  

We also took a lovely jaunt across the bay to Sausalito, where on a clear day, has the most amazing view of the San Fran skyline.  Unfortunately it was not so clear for us, but the city behind the fog still took my breath away.  And we ate greasy fish 'n chips because... well actually, that requires no reasoning, we did it because it tasted like a seafood party in my mouth (for a second I thought I heard Flounder and Sebastian singing "Under the Sea!," but tuned it out so I could devour my fried little fishies.)  

And all over the city are these heart sculptures, and my grandpapa was kind enough to snap a picture of us in forn of the one that Tony Bennet painted.  Note: 12+ inch height difference, will remember to wear taller shoes for next picture.  

Oh handsome city by the bay, I'm getting tummy butterflies just thinking about my love for you.  Don't get me wrong Boise, you're still my main squeeze, but somethin' about those salty waves and Golden Gate just gets me.  

Perhaps it has something to do with San Francisco = play by the bay, Boise = work/school.  Hmm, tough choice there Alex, but I'm going to go with "What is San Francisco, greatest place on Earth?"  

Hope your Wednesday flies by!  As for me, my day looks like this:

Things I have to accomplish today:

Things I have accomplished today:
Kissed no less than 3 booboo's betta
Look at my computer screen
Anything but homework

Yeah... when LAUNDRY seems like the more exciting thing to do... it's bad...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

without further ado...

I told you pinky promises were important to me!  While cord is still M.I.A. (starting to suspect I never had one in the first place.  It's either that or the theory that Lola ate it, in which caseI think we would have had serious problems by now) I DID finally get my pictures from our trip to the bay area on my computer.  Northern California was so beautiful everywhere we went, which not only caused my eyeballs to explode, but also led to my filling my memory card up, so there may be a few more vacation posts, if that's alright with you it's alright with me.

Anyhoo, this particular set of photos were from the day we took a drive to Bodega Bay, which happens to be the very place Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 film The Birds was shot.  If you have seen this classic, you may recognize the top photo from the scene where little children run away while being viciously attacked by carnivorous birds.  Although our trip to Bodega Bay was not quite as life threateningly exciting, the gray skies made every speck of color pop.  Also there was a surprisingly high number of "Kite and Candy" shops.  Apparently in Bodega Bay, when it comes to kites and candy, business is a boomin'.  Needless to say, Nick and I stocked up on handfuls of saltwater taffy, which I proceeded to shove into my mouth at an impressive rate.    When it comes to candy, I have a five-year-old's amount of self control.  Which is why when they cashier said my bill needed to be at least $5 to use my debit card, I hesitated for about all of 1/2 a second before grabbing a peanut butter cup the size of my fist that I had been eyein' since I walked in.  She kinda gave me a funny look, but I just gave her a look right back that said, "Yeah, I'm going to eat a colossal peanut butter cup, and then I'm going to blog to the world about it.  I feel that it is necessary."  Peanut butter cups just know the way I like it.

Oh, and say hi to my Grandpa, he's that dashingly handsome male standing next to the other dashingly handsome male known as my boyfriend.  In case you don't know me, my boyfriend is the one without the mustache (for now, working on convincing boyfriend that a mustache would suit him well.)

And we had lunch at a restaurant called The Tides, where I was able to, from a safe distance, take a few pictures of birds, waves, and the other wonderful sites that lovely landlocked Boise, Idaho unfortunately does not possess.  And then I ate my weight in clam chowder, and for a girl who grew up eating Progresso Clam Chowder, it was in a word, wowza.  That chun-kay clam chowder would have put my ex Progresso in a full nelson and made it say uncle.

And everything was wonderful, and sugar tummy aches were forgiven, and I survived Bodega Bay without being eaten alive by birds, and it was glorious.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

no rain no gain

It's easy on gray rainy days, such as this one, it's easy for me to become kinda Debbie Downer about it, especially since we've been getting spoiled with Summer sneak peak weather.  But since we are getting fewer and fewer rain cloud days, and we're getting closer to hot weather (so excited, totes already have about a dozen swim suits picked out already), I've found a cooler, rainier day tossed into the mix once in a while is kind of a nice change of scenery.  Although I do kind of feel like a cotton headed ninnymuggins for wearing rain boots with a summer dress yesterday when it was warm, and sandals today...  that's what happens when you get dressed before looking outside your bedroom window.  I could have asked Siri what the weather was looking like today, but Siri and I are taking some time apart.  Every time I ask her something, she basically tells me she's "busy," probably researching who most recently got knocked off of DWTS (or Dancing with the Stars for those of you who don't have time to watch TV because you're doing grown up stuff.  To which I stick my tongue out and give one of those mouth farty noises).  Anyways, here are my favorite joys of the rain cloud day.
- Love is a Four Letter Word, aka Jason Mraz's new album.  "Be Honest" one of my top favorites, but almost every single song on this album is sweet and delicious, it's pretty much an audio dessert.  Which, unlike the normal kind of dessert, does not make my thighs jiggle, but instead makes my bum sway.  #upgrade
- The color scheme of the gray sky with the bright green that has decided to blanket Boise recently.  I don't know why, but the green sky combined with rainy mist makes me giddy.  While taking above picture I said out loud to myself "Look at this leaf!  Just how green is this leaf?"  Some of the local furry yard dwellers were slightly judgmental.
- Gettin' my chi with some Chai Tea.  Need I say more?
- Jamie Cullum plays in my car, on my laptop, or on my pod basically nonstop.  If Jazz and Pop had a baby, that love child would be he who goes by Jamie Cullum, for reals.  I make mixes of my favorites, but Twentysomething is a great album.    
Find your favorite parts of the rain and let me know what they are.  Besides that, if you need me I will be driving in the rain, looking at the geen, listening to Jamie Cullum, drinking chai tea, and basically anything besides studying for my test that I keep rescheduling and not studying for!

P.S. Possible job interview that could lead to possible booty kicking job on the horizon.  I'll let you know more when I do! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

a promise and a list

I know that by looking at little bloggypants over here, you would probably not guess that I take pictures beyond those on my instagram (@daniiijackson) or on my iPhone... but I for reals do.  And the Bay area was perfect for breaking in our new and first semi nice camera.  Semi nice camera's are a new thing to me, most camera apparatus I have used in the past generally come with a setting in which you can put animated birthday hats on your head, or appear to be in France.  Which produces little picture gems such as this one:

But does not produce what a hipster would refer to as "photography."  And some of the pictures I took out turned out halfway passable as non-photography.  And I understand the title of "Vacation Post Part One" sort of necessitates following parts...  And just as soon as I find my camera cord, which
i pinky promise 
to do by the end of this weekend, I will share them.  And by the way, pinky promises are very sacred to me.

And now, a little list for your Wednesday:

Things from this Week that I Will Consider Doing Differently Next Time

- Getting out of the shower and shaking some thang in the bathroom mirror, only to turn and realize that the door, that leads to the bedroom, that has a window that is directly looking into my bathroom is open.  And there may or may not have been some singing and choreographed dancing to "Sexy and I Know It." No one will ever know.  Except the neighbors who live directly across from our window.  They know.

- Feeding a toddler 4 popsicles before 10 am.  No further explanation.

- Asking someone to hold my frozen yogurt popsicle while I take a shower.  Turns out that's an unreasonable request, at least according to my boyfriend who repeatedly asked "Did you seriously ask me to hold a frozen treat for you while you were in the shower?  Who asks someone to do that?"  But at least he put it in a zip loc in the freezer for me, so maybe that one actually goes down as a WIN in my book. #winning

- Forgetting that when I'm driving in my car, people can actually see inside.  Does anyone else get in that "I'm in my own personal car where I can sing, dance and pick my nose if I want to and no one will see meeeee" zones whilst driving?  It's a little thing I do, and it has led to some seriously awkward stop light sits.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

banana bread: making tuesdays awesome since 9 am this morning

Nicklaus has a most wonderful little grandmama, who not only has an adorable scottish accent (still waiting for the perfect moment to ask her to say "They're ALWAYS after me lucky charms!"), but she also has this banana bread recipe that she has shared with us that produces little golden muffins of banana heaven. I've been eating a little bit healthier lately, following a diet I have personally designed and named the "Vegetarian Except for Cafe Rio Pork Barbacoa Salads... Oh and Fish Too" diet.  I like these as a dessert.  They have a little too much sugar and butter for me to consider this a brag-worthy breakfast (meaning I WILL eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  But there will just be no bragging of it afterwards, and if anyone notices I will distract them.  Just kidding.  Just kidding about being just kidding.  Wait... huh?  Now you're so confused that you don't even know what I'm talking about.  And that ladies and gentlemen, is the art of distraction.) But they do make a pretty guilt-free dessert, and still have just enough sweetness to keep me from shoving handfuls of mint Newman-O's into my mouth. Which, by the way, if you don't know what Newman-O's are, well then you simply have not lived.  But I digress.  Fact: 'nanner bread is the only way I will eat bananas.  Fruit and I have very big issues with texture, but we're working on them and only time will tell if we are able to put that behind us and grow together in the same direction, putting our differences behind us.  We go to therapy twice weekly, fruit and I.  


Without further ado, Grandma Aileen's Banana Bread, baby! 

3 mashed, ripened bananas
1 stick butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
A splash of vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour (golden stars given if you use wheat flour)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Mix, pour into muffin tins or loaf pan, and bake at 350 degrees until tops of muffins or loaf is golden.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

dani jackson, advice columnist?

*Clearly, anyone who makes a face like this, and takes a picture of it, not really someone you should be taking advice from...

Like I enjoy doing, I will start off this "advice" post by saying, I have pretty much no qualifications, or any reason really to think I should give advice.  I don't particularly know if I give good advice.  In fact, this advice column is really unique in the sense that no one has really asked for my advice... but I thought "Dani Jackson, girl who spouts out un-asked-for opinions" wouldn't quite draw the readers in...

So, no I do not have any Dr. Phil experience, but I am alive, and I do get annoyed/annoy other people from time to time.  In my opinion, this is enough to give advice.  Here are a few little nuggets for you to digest.

- Boys: If we are fighting, do not ask the question "Are you serious?" or anything of the like.  If we are arguing, I am absolutely serious about each and everything I say.  More than that, I am passionate about each thing I say as well.  Asking "Are you serious?"  not only wastes time and a lot of mouth energy on your part, but odds are it will make me want to be a girl who seriously slaps you.  Don't make me be that girl.  

- Girls: Don't talk *crap about your friends, ever.  Crap includes anything you would probably not say word for word to someones face.  I understand the need to "vent," but that's why we have Moms, boyfriends, sisters, and a lot of other people who really don't care.  You tell these people, because you know that's where the conversation is going to end.  But telling something about one girlfriend to another, you know that's going to spread.  

And don't facilitate the crap!  If Friend A starts talking to you about what Friend B was saying at your last get together, seriously walk away.  Nothing screams "I'MANAWFULFRIEND!" like when a friend starts trash talking another one of their friends to you, because guess who those two are talking about when you're not around.  It's a baaad sign.  Don't send it, and when you see it, well... don't say I didn't warn you.

-Boys: Posting endless song lyrics and quotes about how much you respect women and how every woman deserves to be treated like a princess is not attractive.  It doesn't make you look like a diamond in the rough.  Also don't post things about how "good guys always finish last, I'm always in the friend zone."  Yeah, now you are.  You just single handedly placed yourself into that file.  Girls don't like "arrogance," they like a guy who likes himself and thinks he's a good guy and is proud of it.  And if I were feeling really inspirational I might even through in a #YOLO, right about there.

-Girls: Don't be afraid to be smart, or funny, or weird, or goofy.  I feel like as a girl, the number one thing I should always be aiming to be is pretty or hot, and personally, I find that pretty boring.  I mean, if I woke up looking like ScarJo (which is just a little nickname I have for my close, personal friend Scarlett Johansson), I would probably not be a complainer (I would also probably give a few victorious fist pumps).  But let's aim to be more like Kristen Wiig, or Tina Fey, or Drew Barrymore.  Why are these women successful?  Because they aren't afraid to be ugly and goofy and offer something to the table.  

-Boys: Don't fart in front of us in public.  There is literally no way I can react that doesn't make me feel uncomfortable.  Do I ignore it?  Comment?  Nope, not finding anyway I can get out of this without being awkward.  And on top of that, now it stinks.  So overall, thanks.

-Girls: Why are we always hating on other girls?  Because last I checked, we all have quite a bit in common.  So why are we in constant competition?  I'm going to be the first to drop out of this secret war we never talk about (but don't we all know what I'm talking about here?), and say I'm not competing anymore.  The advice part?  Uhm, join me?

That's about all I got.  So if you're feeling me, let me know.  Oh, and if you have any actual situation you would like some complimentary advice* on, let me know!  Send it to this handy dandy Facebook page made for this blog!

*Advice given has not been proven or tested to work, and may, in reality, be a bad idea and the receiver of said advice should proceed with caution and not punch the advice giver in the face if advice does not yield desired results.  And although advice is complimentary, the giver of the advice will accept gifts if the advice, against all odds, seems to help.  You down?