Friday, October 29, 2010

Addicted to Apps

iPhones are awesome! And needless to say, I've got a little bit of an app problem! As in, I've already downloaded too many and I can't seem to unhinge myself from my iPhone. It didn't help that I had multiple iTunes gift cards that had been collecting dust for the last year and now all of a sudden I have a use for them! Besides the Scene-it? Horror, which I cannot stop playing for the life of me (well, not any more since I've already answered all the questions on it), Retro Camera Free is my new favorite app (and it was free, yo!). It's one of those things that's pointless and simple yet ridiculously fun...I heart it!

I'm sorry, but retro Cheese is just too cool for school!

My little nerd heart is just going pitter-patter here! Eeek!

Our house...converted into one that looks like it could have been in Halloween! I promise Antoine is not standing inside holding a knife or chainsaw though.

Getting my geek on with my new ridiculously oversized $10 prescription glasses! My HLP is going to hate them, I already know!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Big Guy

We've had Cheese for over 3 months now! For some reason that just doesn't seem right, seems like it's been longer. It feels like we've been through so much with him already...two trips to my parent's house, a series of vaccinations, the snip-snip of his little balls (and subsequent era of the Edwardian collar), and numerous trips to the dog park. In the last three months he's gotten so big! He's no longer that little 10 lb puppy we brought home one Monday evening...

Awe, look at how itty-bitty he is here! This was taken the day we got him, when we stopped at a rest area on the way home so he could go potty. Such a little baby!

Now he's over 35lbs and still growing...

He's definitely still a puppy, but he's looking more like a grow-up dog everyday! An impossibly adorable grow-up dog with enormous feet and never-ending ears! Who gives you this sad-face about 75% of the time! [His other face is a version of this one, just more sleepy!]

One thing hasn't changed...he's still so cute! We can't go anywhere without someone stopping us and telling us how handsome he is or that they've never seen a basset his color before. He's a character for sure...curious (always investigating with his nose), cautious, silly, clumsy, hopelessly friendly, calm, and easily distracted.

And he's oh so cheesy!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pretty Accessory

After coming home from my parent's this weekend I was surprised by a little package in the mail, addressed to yours truly. Once I violently ripped off the packaging I discovered that it was my new iPhone case, which I wasn't expecting until later this week! In a matter of minutes the new case was popped onto my iPhone and I was admiring its awesomeness! Now, for your admiring pleasure...

Ta-da! I adore it! It's bold and feminine and [I might have already mentioned] awesome!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Doggy Wrestling

This weekend Antoine, Cheese and I made our way three and a half hours north to my parents house. I had a scheduled visit to my dentist to get a cavity filled (yes, I still go to the dentist that I've gone to since I was 10 years old), a visit my grandparents, and some quality time with one of my best friends planned. The ride up was a piece of cake (as was the ride home)...Cheese pretty much slept the whole way. The icky cavity business went well (my dentist is a genius, fyi), although I despise when my right side (or left for that matter) goes numb for three to four hours. Not pleasant.

Saturday night Cheese and I drove to Wooster to visit my best bud from high school Manda, her husband Russ and their new puppy Wesson. It was a good time; I got to see Manda, who I haven't seen in almost a year and Cheesy got to play/wrestle with another puppy! As soon as we walked through their door the puppy wrestling began. And it continued for 2+ hours and it was hilarious! They were just a roaming ball of energy, fake snarling, jumping, wrestling goodness. After about two and a half hours they were both pretty much pooped...

My apologies for the not-so-stellar iPhone pictures.

Then there was silence for a little while they laid around the living room playing with ice cubes and various toys.

Then they got their second wind (miraculously) and this time the wrestling got a little bit rougher. All of a sudden Wesson, with his razor like baby teeth, had a hold of one of Cheese's massive ears and was tugging! Cheese tried a counter attack, but unfortunately, unlike himself, Wesson has very small ears and a nub for a tail. Needless to say Wesson, the younger puppy nearly half Cheese's size, was clearly the winner of this puppy battle. And poor Cheesy was the obvious loser, walking away with a couple of bloody gashes in his ear. You may call him a wimp, but I call him a lover (not a fighter).

I think he had a good time, despite the war wounds. And we really enjoyed that he proceeded to sleep for the entire day on Sunday!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hello There!

I gots an iPhone bitches! Hells yeah!

I feel like I've just been invited to a fantastic party that the 21st century is throwing! Sure, I'm showing up [somewhat fashionably] late, but oh well. Now, before you go thinking I'm all kinds of fancy and's refurbished (aka like 50% of what you'd pay for a brand new iphone, but it still looks new!) and it's the 3GS, not the iPhone 4 craziness. I'm so excited! It's been practically glued to my hand since I got it in the mail yesterday. It's shiny and beautiful (and I may have drooled on it, just a bit). Oh, the gadget love! Right now it is naked, but my *custom designed case should come sometime next week! I feel like a crack-addict on Vine (or "a kid in a candy store" for those not from Cincinnati).

I hope you all have fantastic weekend plans!? We're heading north to my parents house with the Cheese-man. Antoine will be visiting some of his best buds in Youngstown and I'll be making a trip to the dentist, my favorite Chinese place, and my grandparent's to visit. I'll hopefully also be hanging out with one of my bestests that I don't get to see very often and who recently got herself an adorable little puppy as well! Yay, puppy play date between the Cheezers and little Wesson! Happy Friday folks!

*When I mentioned custom designed case to my (60+ year old) coworker, he thought I was referring to a case in binding terms (aka a cover) and told me I should have just made my own!

Friday, October 15, 2010

New Favorite Lunch Spot

Over the past month or so I've been making my way downtown during lunch about once every week. This is unusual for me, since I work about 10 minutes from downtown and I'm widely known for being a person who packs (my lunch, that is). But I just can't help myself, and neither can Antoine (who happens to work downtown). We're hooked on this fairly new sushi place called Soho Sushi.

Now, I'll admit I'm generally not one to go nuts for sushi...but this place hits the spot and I just can't get enough! It's inexpensive, friendly, quick and, my most favorite part, geared towards variety. I call it the Subway of sushi places. It's a very create-your-own-roll kind of place with a good number of options (and many non-raw options), and my favorite part...they've got a non-seaweed wrap option. Seaweed (aka "nori") is the thing that I hate about sushi. Something about the taste/texture wigs me out...but then, Soho Sushi to the rescue with soy wraps! They're these soy based, bright green wraps that don't have much of a taste (compared to the overwhelming taste of nori) and I love it! Finally, I can enjoy sushi!

So, on that note, I'm off to meet Antoine for sushi! Happy Friday you guys! And if you ever find yourself downtown for lunch...check out Soho, it's mighty tasty!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Special Congratulations...

To one of my favorite couples on this planet (aka my sis and brother-in-law)!

Happy 10th Wedding* Anniversary!
You guys are amazing and I love you! Congrats!

*That's 10 years of marriage! They've actually been together 17+ years! I think they might like each other...a bit.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

And the winner is...

Commenter #2: Mr. Antoine Tran!

No, this was not a rigged giveaway. chose him fair and square, as you can tell from my handy dandy screenshot, which I did all by myself! I'm so proud!

Anywoo, Antoine will be receiving this handcrafted beauty of a book:

Antoine is my biggest fan (and I happen to be his) so I couldn't have asked for a better person to win this giveaway! Thanks to all who participated...hopefully there will be even more of you next time around!

Oh, and in answer to my own question...I'd probably take a movie because I've probably lost my glasses in the process of getting stranded on said island. So I'd either take:
  • Harold and Maude - my absolute favoritest movie EVER...good music (Cat Stevens), hippy-dippy storyline (80 year old lady and 20-some year old guy fall in love...cuter than it sounds), and crazy late-1960s outfits/hair!
  • Grosse Point Blank - it's probably my most watched movie of in my movie collection. I love the 80's music! And I can't help but love the corny plot [and John Cusack...and that quirky Joan Cusack]. It'd be the perfect movie to tune in and out of while fashioning a raft or coconut bra!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Movie Challenge

Before I met Antoine, when I was a single gal, I was known for being a bit of a movie freak. It was not uncommon for me to watch 4 to 6 movies a week. Hell, before I had two jobs I'd walk out of the public library with a stack of 8 to 10 movies. And then I would spend my weekend glued to the tv, watching said movies. For Christmas and my birthday, there were always movies on my wishlist. My movie selection became so vast that friends started to refer to me as their own personal Blockbuster. And that made me strangely happy! I liked being the girl that watched movies all the was my thing!

Fast forward to a couple years later, now I'm blissfully in love and working the hours away at two jobs. Love and work takes up a great deal of time, but add in a house, three cats and a puppy and you're looking at very little free time. Nowadays our great collection of movies only collects dust. We're much more prone to watch tv series since they're quicker and generally require less focus, especially when we watch Friends or Seinfeld; tv shows that we've watched a million times and can practically recite. And while I like this (watching tv series) I've been feeling like our dvd collection is being neglected.

Then, some time ago I was reading one of the blogs I stalk and I saw this. What a genius idea! Like the grumbles family we do not have cable, nor do we have netflix. Instead we survive on illegal downloading and a hoard of tv series box sets. And instead of a movie closet we have a built-in movie shelf.
Our built-in shelving. Notice, how we cannot fit anymore movies in if we wanted...the thing is packed!

Immediately, after reading the grumbles' post I thought, "This would be a great way to reconnect with film". And a great way for Antoine to see all the movies that I love and all the ones that I say, "You've NEVER seen that?!?" to when I ask if he's seen a movie!

Other pluses to a movie challenge:
  • It's free gives us something to do that costs zero money and requires zero thought or effort.
  • I'll get to see some movies I've never seen (i.e. some of Antoine's movies), and ones I haven't seen in a while.
  • Antoine will get to see a ton of movies he's never seen, some of which are my absolute favorites.
  • We can weed out any movies that both of us cannot stand. Some of the dvds Antoine bought before we were together and he's never even watched them.
  • I get to watch (and laugh) as Antoine suffers through a slew of musicals, foreign films and animated cult classics, including my childhood favorite...My Little Pony: the Movie!!!!!
Facts behind the clusterf#@k movie challenge:
  • There are 366 movies on 363 dvds (I have a couple of those dvds with two movies on them)
  • This only includes our dvd collection, not our tv series, blue-ray, or vhs collections (which are housed on separate shelving)
  • The dvds are arranged alphabetically (starting with numbers) and are not subdivided by genre
  • The movies must be watched in order.
  • No movies can be skipped, even if we have recently watched them (hehehe, I don't think Antoine's looking forward to watching the first five Harry Potters in a row, again!!).
  • 75 to 90% of the movies were originally mine
Along the way I'll post random thoughts about the movie challenge and keep you posted with our progress. I may even discuss a movie or two that inspires, intrigues, or nauseates me...who knows!

To view the complete list of films in our movie challenge check out the "Movie Challenge" tab just under the Wonderous Clusterf#@k header. I'll be crossing off movies as we watch them. Also, I've added a little thing-a-ma-bob near the top on the right hand side that lists the next 6 movies on the list.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Fall Weekend

Four of the things that I love most in this world (besides Antoine and my animals) are my HLP, Yellow Springs, Fall, and ice cream. Now, when you combine these four things in one Sunday (plus the aforementioned Antoine) you have an utterly ecstatic Jessica! This past Sunday Antoine and I drove to Yellow Springs to meet up with my bestest and her bf for a day of Fall fun. We hiked, we picked pumpkins, and we ate ice cream...all around good times. Here's some highlights from the day...sorry I didn't include a picture of my gorgeous waffle cone full of chocolate peanut butter ice cream from Youngs, but it would have only made you jealous!

At the Glen Helen raptor center...and no, that doesn't mean Velociraptor.

I made friends with a caterpillar, who I named Lettuce. He then proceeded to attempt to commit suicide by jumping off a small bridge. I then rescued him from drowning, because that's what friends do. True story!!

There purple flowers were everywhere along the trail.

My HLP getting a piggy back ride from her guy.

Unfortunately, the pumpkins sucked big time this year! I think it's because of the drought this summer. I didn't find nearly as many pumpkins to take home as I usually do!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chilly Weather Cuteness

Somehow, here in Cincinnati, the weather went from sweltering summer heat to crisp early winter air in what seemed like a matter of minutes. Sure, we had a good day or two of brisk Fall weather, but, as usual, the universe continues to tease me. I love Fall! It's the season I look forward to the most! The crunchy leaves on the ground, the pumpkin picking, the apple cider, the long walks under vibrantly colored trees, the hoodies, the cardigans...

Well, the one good thing about this new chill in the air is that it gets you thinking about outwear and all the lovely jackets out there. I was recently perusing ModCloth and noticed these lovelies and I just had to share them with you.

I love this military inspired jacket...especially all the buttons!
I like the simplicity of this one...not too busy, just a nice, all-purpose kind of jacket. The closures give it a little understated character.

For some reason I picture this one on a young NYC business woman, with heels, a chic white button-up and a pencil skirt.

This one screams "Audrey Hepburn" to me! I can totally picture it with a pair of simple ballet flats, black skinny leg chinos, and a pony tail. To complete the Hepburn feel, you could go window shopping and eat a delicious bear claw while you drink your morning coffee!

I adore this insanely cute jacket! I think it might be too adorable for words!

What kills me most about it...the buttons! They're just too ridiculously sweet!

And more rose buttons. Oh and I love the frills...girly, but not too girly.

Happy Tuesday folks! Also, don't forget to enter my giveaway for a super special handmade book!

Monday, October 4, 2010


Hello peoples! I hate to bring you this unfortunate news, but I is MONDAY! Ugh. I'm sure you are as distraught and downhearted as I about this sad revelation. The weekend went far too quickly! And besides a delightful tea-time at my sister's tea house yesterday (it's rad, you should go there!) and a gluttonously delicious dinner with Antoine at Walt's Barbeque (it's finger-lickin'-good) the weekend was full of work and not enough fun! But, I have something to cheer everyone up, including myself...

It has become customary for bloggers nowaways to feature cool giveaways now and again! If you follow Pioneer Woman or A Cup of Jo you'll know that giveaways are commonplace. Hell, sometimes these wonderful ladies even feature multiple giveaways in one week. Then again, they have thousands and thousands and thousands of followers/readers so it makes sense. But, that's not to say that the run-of-the-mill, everyday blogger can't feature a giveaway too! Sure, I might have the lowest number of followers in the history of blogging, but oh well, that doesn't make me feel any less left out! I want to give away crap too, dammit! I appreciate the few readers I have as much as the next person...actually probably more. I love you guys and I'm so glad you stop by every so often and actually spend time to read my posts and look at my annoying pictures of my animals! So, bring on the giveaway!

I thought long and hard about what I should give away here. It needed to be relatively inexpensive, since I'm not exactly rolling in the dough. And it needed to be something I would want to win in a giveaway. Something that meant something to me; a gift that was personal while also slightly cool. Also, I wanted to convey a little bit of myself in the gift...I wanted it to be a little piece of me and what I love. So, I decided to make a book.

Handcrafted by yours truly, for one lucky reader. The book is roughly 8" by 8", with blank white text paper, perfect for journaling, sketching, or writing down you favorite recipes. The endpaper is beautiful handmade paper, but not handmade by myself...but by a professional. It is hand sewn by myself with tapes (to give it a tad more structural integrity). It's a quarter binding, meaning the spine and a small portion of the cover boards are covered in bookbinding cloth and the rest of the cover consists of marbled paper. You may remember the marbled paper...

I made it during my marbling workshop almost two months ago. And trust me, it's much prettier in person and on a book than in this picture.

Giveaway rules:
The giveaway will end on Wednesday October 13th at noon (EST). Any comments received after noon (EST) will not be counted.

To enter, simply post a comment below answering this question:

If you were stranded on a desert island, what book or movie would you take with you, and why?

Oh, and please supply you email address, so I can contact you if you win (no worries, I won't pass it onto anyone else!)

I will only count one comment per person. Anyone is free to enter, the more the merrier! The winner will be chosen at random using

Also, it is not required that you become a follower of my blog or follow me on twitter, but I would really like it if you did! And I might even be eternally grateful to you and your affection, and thus consider sponsoring more giveaways in the future [*wink, wink*]!

**You may have noticed that I did not include any pictures of the completed book in this post. This is mainly because I want the gift to still be kind of a surprise for the winner! Sure, they will be getting a book, and they know that, but they won't know exactly what it looks like until they receive it in the mail and unwrap it! It's more fun that way!

Have a happy day (even if it is Monday)!

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Rookwood: Eats and Cocktails

Located in the old Rookwood Pottery Co. building in Mt. Adams, the Rookwood Bar & Restaurant has been open for about two years now. The building is one of those fantastic locations that can't seem to keep anyone for too long. It also one of those places that most everyone in Cincinnati has been to, in some reincarnation or another. Except me! I've been in Mt. Adams a handful of times, and usually every time I'm there I don't stay long. It's just not my cup of tea, but I've always wanted to see inside the old Rookwood building. But like anything else, it got lost in the long list of things you want to do and see. Until now...

This past Sunday Antoine and I made a dinner date with my sister (Michelle) and her husband (Christian of SOLAST) to check out the Rookwood. Neither of them had been to this current reincarnation, so we figured it'd be fun!

It's just as I imagined, beautiful etched glass as you enter the building, rich dark wood framing the doorways and, as you go in further, gigantic brick kilns. It seems slightly foreign to see these massive kilns surrounded by an extensive brick and metal bar, but I guess that's kind of the allure of the whole place. I desperately wanted to sit in a kiln, but I had read somewhere that you had to have a party of at least 6 to sit in a maybe someday.

I did sneak this picture of the kiln that's in the bar area. It's kind of like the "lounging" kiln, very swanky! (FYI: it's VERY dark in there, so I apologize for any crappy pictures ahead of time!)

The Rookwood has this raven theme going on...not sure why, but it makes for some pretty decor!

A couple weeks ago I had read a review of the Rookwood and there was one thing in particular that stood out to me...fried bacon. I immediately mentioned it to everyone in attendance and it was a given that that's what we would be getting for our appetizer. Drizzled with a jalapeno honey glaze (that wasn't overly spicy or sweet, just really nice) these crispy, delicious bites of heaven were worth every single heart clogging bite! My sister kept calling it Kentucky Fried's was super crispy, rich and decadent! I wasn't able to get a picture, because the second that plate landed on our table they were devoured...followed by a throng of slightly orgasmic sounds from everyone at the table. It was un-freaking-believable!

Along with the scrumptious bacon, my sis and I opted to share a couple of their signature cocktails. We chose the Jack Rose, applejack brandy with pomegranate grenadine and fresh lime, and the Dark and Stormy, Gosling's black seal rum, ginger beer, and fresh lime. Both were delicious! I think the Jack Rose was my favorite, but the Dark and Stormy was pretty good...very refreshing!

For dinner Antoine and Christian both got the pork belly sandwich. Braised pork belly on a fresh ciabatta with fontina cheese, watercress, pickled red onions, mayo and a fried egg. They were both very pleased.

Antoine and I actually shared our sandwiches with one another, since we're that kind of couple [insert gagging noise hear]. And I'm glad we did! The ciabatta was delicious, not as chewing and hard as some ciabattas can be, and the pork belly was excellent! I especially enjoyed the watercress in combination with the rich pork belly and fried egg.

Just like the guys, my sister and I ended up getting the same thing, the burger. A beautifully cooked, juicy burger topped with fontina cheese, gorgeous caramelized onions and a thyme aioli on a hearty, but not too hearty, bun. It was delicious and I would definitely get it again! Add some fried bacon on that and I'm in heart-attack heaven!

Again, sorry for the not-so-fantastic pictures! But take my word for it, the burger was delicious and beautiful.

Antoine and I opted to share a basket of their fresh-cut fries. They were good, nothing out of this world...but I felt like I didn't need them with all the fantastic-ness of fried bacon, pork belly and burger going on! Michelle and Christian shared a basket of the fresh-cut Grippo fries...which were basically like our fries but dosed in Grippo seasoning! They were tasty! If you love Grippos, you'll love these fries!

All in all, it was a pretty great meal, delicious food, tasty drinks, and good company (if a little strange). Service was good...a little snarky, but in a good way. If it hadn't been for the small children walking around and around and around and around and around the kiln right next to us, thus making everyone at the table very dizzy, I would even say it was perfect!

If you haven't been to the Rookwood, I'd definitely give it a try sometime! It was delightful and trendy. It'd be a great place for a romantic date night out. Or to meet up with a big group of people for drinks and fried a kiln!