Thursday, May 31, 2012

Inspirational Words from Coworker X

I've decided to make mini-posters of actual words spoken to me by my co-workers. Obviously I work at The Palace of Couth and Tact. Please feel free to print these babies and hang them in your work/living space for inspiration. Inspiration is supposed to be pretty similar to the rage virus, right?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Secret Blogger Reveal!

I participated in a secret blogger swap hosted by Danielle from Framed Frosting. Over 90 bloggers signed up to send and receive a gift. Today is the reveal party! If you like what you see, keep up with Danielle to participate in the next swap.

I received a package from Miki at Becoming What I Always Was. Pay her a visit. Why? Because she named her stomach Otis and plays Bunco even though she's not eighty.

The package arrived yesterday. As you can see in the photo below, I was not alone in my excitement. The postman had to take a little peek under the outer brown shell. And Pippi gave it several long sniffs. The first thing I noticed upon ripping the paper to shreds carefully opening the package like a lady - Miki had shipped everything in a photo box. Why hello, fantastic idea, nice to meet you. And inside the lid, a little note introducing herself. I'm going to leave the note there and fill the box with blog related items. 

Inside that awesome crinkly stuff - octopodes, earrings, hair pins and paper packs! All things I love and will definitely put to good use. Thank you so much Miki - you are wicked awesome.

I also enjoyed sneaking over to Mandee's blog, Life, Chaos and Quotes to learn a little more about her and put together a package. Visit her blog to see what I sent.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Digital Quilt Project: Collaborative Art

I'm starting up a collaborative art project and YOU are my collaborators - should you choose to accept this mission. Send me a word or phrase using this form. I will:
  • illustrate your word/phrase,
  • add the illustration to my digital quilt,
  • send you a high res copy of your word/phrase + illustration, AND
  • should I choose to put the illustration in my Etsy shop, I'll name it after you.
Keep up with the quilt progress here.

Add a button to your blog to show that you are participating in this project and invite others to join!

Copy the following:

Touché Tuesday Advice Column: Blogging

Need some Whitfield Awesome advice (about anything)? Fill out this form.

[Warning: This is a fairly serious post. If all this seriousness gets to you, please take a Yoda break and come back later to finish up.]

Dear Jen,
Would you ever consider doing guest posts on other peoples blogs? If so, would you post with an assigned topic, or would you only write about a topic you came up with yourself.

All the Best,
Guest Blogger, Interwebs USA

Dear Guest,
I have been giving serious thought to jumping on the guest blogging bandwagon lately. I would absolutely consider guesting on other blogs and I think it would be a fun challenge to write about an assigned topic. 

I have also been thinking about asking others to guest on my blog. I lean towards creating a list of suggested topics for guest posters. For example, if I wrote a food blog and Lola, the avid sweat sock blogger, wanted to guest post, I'd ask Lola to write about a favorite recipe or a food review and a brief intro to her sweat sock blog rather than a full on sweat sock assault. Why? Because I expect certain things from the blogs I love. Sometimes, I find it a bit annoying when I read a favorite blog with a totally off the wall guest post. I don't want to do that to my readers.

Dear Jen,
Here's a serious one for you. I want to know your feelings about blogging while on vacation. Do you/would you do it? Would you schedule blogs to post while you are away so your readers don't go hungry? Or do you just wait until you're back from vacation and recap?

I like to schedule posts ahead of time, but don't always have time to catch up and get ahead blogging. It's a bummer, cause I don't want my readers to think I've just left them high and dry. Maybe I just need to sit down one day and plug away at 'back up posts' that I can store for use during these times. I did that when I first started blogging, and it seemed to work well.
Sincerely, Kacey

Dear Kacey,
While I am not completely opposed to vacation blogging, I am a fan of pre-scheduling posts. I think vacations are for relaxing, having fun and enjoying your family or friends (or enjoying being away from them - no judgement). I tend to rise and shine before my fellow vacationers and take a bit of time to myself. If I were to blog while away, this would be the time to do it.

I try and outline a general plan for posts on a monthly basis. I just get out a calendar and make notes on it (use post its so you can move them around). I usually don't write the posts until the day before/day of. If I know that I will be really busy or out-of-town, I will write the posts the weekend before. And of course there is wiggle room to add posts when interesting things pop up.

When I first started blogging, I read (on a very successful blog) that you should never apologize to your readers. I disagree. If there comes a time that you feel that you have left your readers high and dry, own up to it. And wow them with a great post. They realize that you don't sit behind a keyboard twenty-four hours a day. They'll forgive you. And owning up to it shows that you are still human. 

I really like your idea of back-up posts! I think I'll add that to my blogging goals. 
♥ Jen

Bloggers, what are your thoughts on guest posting and vacation blogging?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Obsession Confession Sunday

5 Things I'm Currently Obsessed With:
  1. Veronica Mars. I did not watch this show when it was running 2004-2007. Probably because it was a high school drama and I was in my twenties. I noticed it on sale for next to nothing in Target and checked out the description: "A little bit Buffy. A dash of Nancy Drew." Sold! Nancy Drew was my childhood hero and Buffy my teenhood. I'm a few episodes into VM and it's quite fun. A little silly, but that's okay.
  2. Alabama Shakes. The Alabama Shakes "Hold On" video was posted over on Adalou a few days ago. Mid-way through the video, I downloaded the album and have had it on repeat in my car and office since. 
  3. McDonalds Sugar Free Vanilla Ice Coffee. I was obsessed with the caramel iced coffee until I started low carbing. My usual large caramel has 41 carbs. The small sugar free vanilla only has 8.  Tastes pretty good too.
  4. Swimming. Every year, I almost forget how much I enjoy swimming. Almost. I went for my first pool swim this week. And my second. I may have fish DNA.
  5. The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future. This is a good swift kick in the  pants. Which is exactly what I need. And it's not as boring as it sounds to read. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Switcheroo: Goodbye Foto, Hello Featurette. Also Yoda.

I'm just not that into Foto Friday any more. I love photography but I don't love blogging about it. And judging by site stats, I don't think you love me blogging about it either. Boom. It's over. 

Taking it's place...

Surprisingly, I enjoy vlogging. Surprising because I don't enjoy talking. Featurette Friday* will help me continue my quest to become America's very worst vlogger. Each Friday, I will present to you a video of nothing in particular. 

Please enjoy today's video, Yoda Reads NASCAR Romance. Yes, NASCAR romance is a thing (excerpt [slightly adapted for Yoda] from Speed Dating by Nancy Warren). 

*Originally titled The Posts That Will Embarrass My Sister Fridays but those words don't begin with "F", not even phonetically. And Fhe Fosts Fhat Fill Fembarrass Fy Fister Fridays just looks stupid.

Are you on board for Featurette Friday? What sort of videos would you like to see?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Touché Tuesday Advice Column: Money

Need advice from Jen? Fill out this form.

Dear Jen,
I have a lot of money. And when I mean a lot, I mean A LOT! I have so much money, I don't know what to do with it all. I have all my finances, investments, and estates all squared away... In the event something happens to me, I am donating $1,000.00 to National Public Radio, $1,000.00 to promote the domestication of Longhead Dreamer Anglerfish, and the rest will be left to my cat. I hope it's enough.

I am proud of my (future) charitable contributions. But what should I do with all this money I'm rolling in while I'm alive? I am considering human cryogenics, which, in that case, I won't be giving any money to charity...because I'm not really dead!

Do you have any ideas for me? And please, spare me the, 'It sounds like you could spare some money for me' bit. I want a real suggestion.

Forbes Can’t Touch This, Scrooge McDuck

Dear Scrooge,
You could always start a school in Africa like Oprah. Or hug child actors poor kids on commercials like countless other celebs. Or, for goodness sake, give some to Instagram. My photos keep failing when I’m inside a building and that makes me sad.

But it sounds like you really want to do something with your money to inspire people to say things like “whoa, that d-bag sure has a lot of money” or “think of all the kids Derek Zoolander could have taught to read good and do other stuff good too with that money”.  So, obviously, you should build a tree house out of large bills. Paper is surprisingly strong when folded correctly and tree houses are super fun. Don’t believe me, read this report on the folding endurance and tensile strength of paper and this report on the funness of tree houses.

And I never would have said, “It sounds like you could spare some money for me.” I don't need your money – I’m basically Rick James...


BONUS RANDOM CRAP: I continue my quest to become America's Worst Vlogger with a BirchUnboxing

Monday, May 21, 2012

I came this close to being blown to smithereens, y'all.

I came home in a rush Friday, thanks to the following thought process (the advice I followed is highlighted):
[Thursday Night]
Smart Self: "Dude. The church lady retreat starts tomorrow. You should pack your overnight bag now."
Stupid Self: "Duuuudddeee. You should totally launch your etsy store ahead of schedule. And then make iron on tee shirts to wear at the church lady retreat. Promoting yourself at church lady retreats is totally cool. You can pack tomorrow morning before work."

[Friday Morning]
Smart Self: "You got out of bed on time! Let's get that bag packed."
Stupid Self: "Or you could use this extra time to stop at McDonald's for a small sugar free vanilla iced coffee. It's totally cool for your low-carb diet. You'll have time to pack when you get home from work."

Smart Self: "You don't get off until 5:00. It takes 30-40 min to drive home during 'rush hour' and you have to be at LaHacienda at 6:30 for the retreat kickoff."
Stupid Self: "Shut. Up."
[Friday Afternoon]
Stupid Self: "I totally hate the way the iron on shirt looks. It's too big. Stop and buy another shirt after work. Cut out the iron on and hand sew it to the new shirt. It'll look quirky and awesome."
Smart Self: "That will look way better. But you never packed."

So I arrive home in a rush needing to sew a new shirt and pack a bag and be at LaHacienda in 30 minutes. And then I see it. A triangle shaped box. A WMD. A Weapon of Mass Destruction is sitting on my front porch. 

I rack my brain - have I ordered anything recently? Two books from Amazon. Neither of them  WMD shaped. Birchbox, but that's not supposed to arrive until next Wed and it isn't WMD shaped either. I decide to call some department with the word "Federal" in front of it but all I can think of is the Federal Reserve Bank. They can't even figure out money - what would they do about this? So I decide to take care of it myself. I watch Criminal Minds. They detonated a bomb once. I think. 

The box says it's from Lieberman's. Nice job terrorists, no one will ever suspect a Jewish person of sending a WMD. The box also says "Orange. Even3. SALM-4896." I don't know what kind of bomb that is but it sounds bad. Orange is right below threat level red. So I assume it will take out my entire neighborhood but not my entire town. This neighborhood isn't that great anyway. I should warn my cousin and her daughters who also live in my hood though. Nah, it probably won't reach them.

I carefully open the box. The bomb is covered in packing paper so I can't see it. Sweat drips from my brow. I think about how I didn't realize bombs were so light-weight and how I haven't sewn the new shirt yet so surely the old shirt will be the only thing that survives the blast and everyone will be like "wow, that's a crappy shirt." I finally get through the packing paper and see this:

What?!? A clue? Oh wait. Liberman's is a wholesale prints place and I ordered this from sneaqpeeq. And I did it wrong - no free earrings for me. 

BTW, we split up into 3 groups at the church lady retreat for late night activities/sleeping. This may have happened because my group was awesome:

I'm fairly certain that the owners of the post-it-ed cars and the forked yard said things that began with "Good Lord" the next morning. Obviously we helped them grow spiritually. We so won the retreat. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Foto Friday: Lomo Part 2

Remember a couple weeks ago when I introduced you to my lomo crush? It's finally time for part 2: my lomo photos. 

I decided to treat my film cameras like a digital. I used my Diana and Oktomat just as I do my digital camera so that I could study the differences. Honestly, I don't think it made for very interesting photos. For the next rolls, I'll be experimenting with double exposures.

Have you done any experimental photography lately?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hammer Time! (My Etsy Shop is Now Open)

Whitfield Awesome Shop is now open for business and ready to meet all your quirky art needs! 

And just so you don't think me a liar, here's a video of me doing the Hammer Dance. Your eyes are so lucky right now.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

That one time when I read to you

The winner of the short story contest I entered was announced today. They spelled my name "Deb Atwood". Sometimes I get "Gen" or "Jenn" or "Bi..." but this is the first time I've seen it spelled it that way. Silly geese. 

Someone (unfortunately not the judges) told me that they very much enjoyed my story and would like for me to develop it into a novel AND could totally see it as a movie. I didn't even have to pay or threaten violence upon this person to make them say that. (Fine, it was my sister. But I think she really, really meant it.) 

Before I begin the novel, I'd like to share the short story here in it's entirety. I want feedback. Even if you hate it. The only feedback I got on the contest page was "haunting". Yep. One word. I assume she meant that she found my story haunting. Not that she was planning to die and then haunt me for wasting minutes of her life on my terrible story. 

I'm going to read "The First Dissidents" to you. On video. Just listen, don't watch - it's all talking head. I like to hear authors read their words. I read "Bossy Pants" but I still want to listen to the audio book because I'm interested to hear Tina Fey read it how she wrote it to be read. If you would like to read the story but really don't want to listen to the awkward child voice that comes out of my 30-year-old mouth, you may read it on this page.

Here goes nothing. Or something. We'll see.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Touché Tuesday Advice Column

Need advice from Jen? Fill out this form.

Some people are abominable snowman handed.

Dear Jen, 
You recently posted about having social anxiety and being newly single. I'm in the same boat. How do you meet men?
Sincerely, Scaredy Cat

Dear Scardey,
You have come to the right advice column! I am terrific-wait for it-ly terrible at meeting men. I should probably suggest online dating. I know a lot of people who have had success with it - like they're married to the person they met online success. I tried it once and had to delete my profile. Apparently I only match perfectly with majors (major douche, major potential to become a serial killer, majorly underwent an abominable snowman hand transplant). I'm sure my experience is the exception, not the rule.*

My only real good advice: stop looking. Do your thing. Work toward goals. Treat yo'self. Men will notice your happy and confident glow. Each time I started dating someone, I wasn't looking. A couple guys I dated were friends for a while before we noticed each other as something more. A guy I went to school with knocked on my door 6ish years after graduation and we dated for a bit. The relationship didn't last long but it allows me to tell people who say "you'll never meet someone sitting at home" to shove it. A couple guys followed my MySpace Journal - we connected over a love for writing and eventually dated for a bit. The last guy I dated introduced himself by showing me photos of an event I was involved in. I complimented his photos and then became very blinky and insanely awkward when he tried to chat. For some strange reason, this interested him. Months later we started dating.  

I've been busy filling my new single girl dance cart with goals for my blog and online shop, thoughts of grad school, a new freelance web project and writing contests. Working towards these things is making me happy. Your happiness should never be contingent on another person. Humans will let you down. Do you, Scaredy. Don't worry about the rest. The rest is just a bonus.

*Unless you are killed by a crazy-handed jerk whom you met online. Then I told you so.

What do you think ladies? Any advice for Scaredy Cat? If a dude is actually reading this, weigh in!

Monday, May 14, 2012

DIY: Beach Like a Local

Look, I'm building credibility.

It's beach season and I'm pretty much a beach professional. My entire life, I have lived a short drive from beaches you have probably heard of. The amount of time I have spent covered in white sand and salty water would add up to an impressive percentage. So I know for a fact that if you haven't been to the Gulf of Mexico, you owe yourself a trip. And I feel it is my duty to help you be the best tourist you can be.

Living in paradise is tough. But someone has to do it.

Beach locals scoff at tourists. We pretend not to like you. We laugh at how you are clueless on a Tai Frasier level. We can't wait to see your sunburn. But here's a secret: we are so glad you came. You boost our economy and we need you.

Here's how to beach like a local:
  1. Pack light. All you need is a towel, sunscreen, and a bottle of water. If you're fancy, add a snack, a book and a beach chair (an actual beach chair, not a camp chair). If you need a contraption with wheels to carry your belongings, you are bringing too much.
  2. No zany zinc colors. It's not 1992 anymore.
  3. No radios. You are at the beach. Listen to the beach. Plus no one else around you likes the 80s hair band you like. No one.
  4. Look for shells, but act like you really don't care about them.
  5. Say things like "remember how we used to just park along the dunes and walk through?" a little too loudly.
  6. The sugar white sand "sings" because it's made of quartz and all the grains are of the same size and composition. This is actually really cool. Pretend not to notice. (Hurricanes have whipped out a lot of the shoreline in recent years. Dredging has replaced some of it with crushed shells, making for less musical sand. This allows locals to say things like "remember when the sand was pure?". See number 5.) 
  7. If there's a pier, go to the side with the fewest people. The people are never evenly distributed. Ever. (Do the here's the church, here's the steeple, open the doors and see all the people hand thing. Except make one hand a nub. That's how it goes near a pier.)
  8. Find the main parking lot and then drive away from it. You'll likely find a smaller lot down the road.
  9. Try your best to never enter a beach bathroom. Public restrooms are usually disgusting anyway. Add a bunch of people dripping sand and what you hope is just water. (You absolutely do not want to change here - wear your suit under your clothes.)
  10. It is highly unlikely that you will be attacked by a shark. Jellyfish stings, on the other hand, are extremely common. Please do not pee on someone with a sting. (If you are attacked by a shark, do whatever you want. In fact, pee on everyone around you.) That whole pee thing is a myth. White vinegar will help - bring some with you if you're skerd. Locals just tough it out. "What, this silly little jellyfish sting? Pft. I rubbed a jellyfish on my eyeballs before I got here." We cry in the car on the way home.
Tell me what makes your town trip worthy and how I can blend in. I have a hankering for a road trip.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Obsession Confession Sunday

5 Things I'm Currently Obsessed With: 

  1. Liam Neeson. This is not a new obsession. It just seems to have flared up a bit lately. Tough, smart, hunky, funny. I've decided that all I want in a man is for him to be Liam Neeson. Is that so much to ask? I realize that my obsession with him is based solely on characters he has played. If any of you actually know him and he is not dreamy, keep it to yourself. 
  2. The Beach. One of the best things about living in Northwest Florida is the proximity to beautiful beaches. You'd think that I have been living here so long I'd be tired of the beach. No. It is breathtaking every time. I really think Florida employers should work in weekly beach leave time as a benefit. My family stayed on the beach this weekend for Mother's Day. It was stormy, but still nice. 
  3. Moms. Especially mine, cause she's awesome. I hope all of you mom readers feel special every day of the year. But I hope today gave you a little something extra.
  4. got 2b POWDER'ful Volumizing Styling Powder. Similar to dry shampoo, but more oomph. I have fine hair - this is one of the few products that really adds volume.
  5. Jenna Meroney, Panhandler. The May 10th episode of 30 Rock featured Jenna, Florida Panhandle native, working to get her southern accent back. (I'm an FP native too!) They say some pretty funny things about the Panhandle throughout this episode. Fortunately for us, one thing we're good at around here, is laughing at ourselves.  "I thought that girl from Toilet Swamp Cove was dead and buried but she's always been there inside me and now she's taking over. I want to throw a Natty Light at a cop car." 
Now tell me what you are obsessed with and then get out there and be that knockoff designer shoe!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Foto Friday: She get it from her momma

Lomo Part 2 has been postponed until next Foto Friday because today is all about my momma, y'all. Sunday is Mother's Day after all. 

Of course we must start with cat lady photos. The top photo is my mom. The bottom photo is me. We are pretty close in age in these photos. I'm amazed at how we are both sitting on the floor in front of furniture with a lamp to the right and a cat being forced to love us in our hands. It's almost freaky. 

Next, the diva shots. Yes, we did.

Photo montage! 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Writing Words: The First Dissidents

I'm participating in the May Show Off Writing Contest over at The Write Practice. I posted my entry today and my heart is beating really fast at the thought of letting other people judge my writing. 

I wrote a story called "The First Dissidents". I mostly stick to humor here on Whitfield Awesome. This story is not funny. No way around that. But. I figure since "Writing Words" is in my blog header, I should share it here as well. Look up. Boom. Writing Words. Unless you are reading this through a feed. Boom. You can't see my header.

"The First Dissidents" is a short story, but a short story is a really long blog post AND if it wins (I can hardly allow myself to believe that is a possibility), I'm supposed to allow The Write Practice to publish it exclusively on their blog and in a book of twelve short stories (a book!). So here's an excerpt...
“I must get to my station.” Her station was inside a large room where She and others like her connected one piece to another while They watched. They watched from behind mirrored helmets. They watched with electrically charged devices in their hands. Always scanning. Always ready. 
“Yes, you will go to your station. Today. Tonight we will leave. But you must listen and do as I say.” His voice had grown slightly louder. 
“No thank you,” She said as She tried once again to move. 
This time He grabbed her. With his left hand full of her elbow, his right waved a small vial under her nose. “Snap out of it!” His voice was too loud this time. The green darted about again as a soft whirring came from outside the cube. A familiar whirring that They made. 
She and He stood very still and kept very quiet until the whirring retreated. “What is in that vial?” She was beginning to think more clearly. 
“We make it at my station. It is called Truth."
If you want to read the entire story, check out the comments section of this post.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Touché Tuesday: Mother's Day

Need advice from Jen? Fill out this form.

Dear Jen,
It's almost Mother's Day and I can't think of what kind of gift to get for my mom. I want to get something cool that she'll really enjoy but I'm stuck.
Please help, The Middle Child

Dear Middle Child,
If your mom is...
  1. smart, get her a book out of the non-fiction section.
  2. whimsical, get her an old-fashioned latch-hook rug kit. Preferably a unicorn.
  3. conservative, get her a collection of commemorative plates.
  4. slutty, get her a tube top.*
  5. crafty, get her a basket full of supplies.
  6. crunchy, get her grocery co-op dues paid.
  7. southern, get her a subscription to Garden and Gun.
  8. sweet, get her some flowers and take her out to lunch. 
  9. mean, get her a cupping session.
  10. northern, see number nine. [Oh snap!]
*If your mom is slutty and this made you mad, you are deflecting. Go talk to your mom.

♥ Jen

Now I need your help on a very serious matter. We're talking life and death. I have a hair appointment Thursday morning and I need a change. I'm growing my hair out so a new cut is a no go. What do you think? Blonde, red or brown? Here's a little hair history for reference:

Two of these aren't real. Guess which ones and you
win pride in your ability to spot a terrible wig!

UPDATE: Decided on red with chunky blonde on top and dark auburn (almost black) bottom layer.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Girl Behind the Blog: Beauty Products

I was catching up on Paisley Boulevard the other day and enjoyed Colleen's vlog about her favorite beauty products. Turns out Ashley at 5OH Wifey is hosting (with various cohosts, this time Jenna from The Life of the Wife) a vlog series called The Girl Behind the Blog and the May video prompt is beauty products. 


I love watching vlogs of bloggers I follow because I am always interested to hear what their voices sound like. I decided to link up just in case any of you are wondering what I sound like. Turns out I am terrible at vlogging. I say "uh" too much. I don't think I understand how to pronounce the word  "for". And I totally botched the ending (if you have kids looking over your shoulder, I may have mentioned a beaver's home after said botch). 

Watch at your own risk...

(Also, geez YouTube. Could you try a little harder to pick the least flattering screenshots?)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Obsession Confession Sunday

5 Things I'm Currently Obsessed With:

  1. Pilates. I realize I'm tardy for this party as Pilates was big several years ago. I did take a PiYo class back then (but let's be honest, it was mostly Yo.) I just bought a Pilates machine from WalMart because it was on extreme rollback. [Several reviewers state that the carriage slide is rough - mine works great. I think maybe they didn't put it together right. Not that I'm a Pilates machine engineer or anything; I just followed the directions.]
  2. Harajuku Sunshine Lovers G. I love coconut. I love to eat it. I love to smell it. I love to rub it's oil into my skin. I found a bottle of Harajuku Sunshine Lovers G at TJ Maxx for about half retail price and snatched it up (though it's pretty inexpensive to begin with, as far as perfume goes). It's coconuty and beachy and smells like summertime. "G is an oriental/ fruity/ gourmand with notes of fresh coconut, jasmine, and cotton woods."
  3. Low Carb Dieting. At the risk of sounding like an infomercial, low carb dieting really works! I've tried so many combinations of diet and exercise with little to no results. After 3 weeks of low carbing it and moderate exercise, I've lost 15 pounds. (Yes, I'm still using the pee strips - I love watching that little square turn purple.)
  4. My 10 year plan. Circumstances just changed for me so I need a new 10 year plan. I'm thinking  I'll spend the next 4 years building the Whitfield Awesome brand. Of course this will make me filthy rich. Then, for the next year or so, I'll get a sperm donor/have a baby. Over the following 5 years, I will be a stay-at-home author while my daughter or my gay son and I become the next Gilmore Girls. 
  5. Beyonce's Why Don't You Love Me Video. I love the styling in this video. And the sexy hope she gives to a thick thighed gal. Not to mention the content is hitting home right now. "I got beauty, I got heart, Keep my head in them books, I'm sharp, But you don't care to know I'm smart, Now, now, now, now, now, now, now." 

Friday, May 4, 2012

That One Time When I Got Dumped and the Economy Was All “You Can’t Afford to Get Over It” So I Made the Internet My Boyfriend

I got dumped this week. One day you’re all dumb and happy and getting gifts of pee strips. Then, before you know it, see ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya.

Let me give you the rundown of my dating history. I posted a bunch of horrifying things yesterday, why stop there?
  • In kindergarten, a boy kissed me on the shoulder at the cubbies every day. I realize this does not count as a relationship but sometimes I wish things were still that simple. Plus, he was totally the hottest kid in our class. High five!
  • My friends set me up with a boy in middle school (I was also in middle school, pervs). We talked on the phone a few times and held hands at a high school football game. Then we just stopped talking to each other. I realize this one doesn’t count either, but this is my blog.
  • A boy stood in a tree at my cousin’s house and yelled my name because he was pining (pining – in a tree – lol) for me. This one never had any hope of counting but I couldn’t resist that whole pining thing.
  • I started dating someone near the end of high school and spent the next 4.5 years with him. There were lots of ups and downs. After we broke-up, I built a house and didn’t date again for two years.
  • I had a short but intense relationship with a guy. After we broke-up, I bought a car and got back into the dating scene rather quickly.
  • This time, I wanted to date around a little bit (not synonymous with sleeping around). My personal best:  four dates with four different dudes in one week (one named Forrest – I was willing to change Jen to Jenny, but one date was more than plenty). This period helped me realize that casual dating really wasn’t that much fun and I was no longer interested in dating unless it was with someone who wanted more than a kissy-face movie buddy. Social anxiety + meeting new men all the time = torture.
  • Now here I am. Dumped by the one I thought was just right for me. The one I thought was so different from the others. I can’t afford to build another house. I can’t afford to buy another car. I’m definitely a retail therapy kind of girl. Apparently when my heart hurts, it wants to drop some serious dough. But. The economy is peeved and when the economy ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. I do need something else to love though. And that something else is, drumroll please…
The internet! I’m finally going to get my Etsy shop up and running. I have thought about a “Whitfield Awesome” brand for many years now. Time to get it off the ground. I’m also going to get serious about my writing. I’ve wanted to be an author since second grade. No more excuses. And making the internet my boyfriend probably means that you’ll be seeing even more posts here.

Any advice for the brokenhearted? (Unless it's "you'll find someone one day". Single people hate hearing that.)

Foto Friday: Lomo Part 1

I ♥ lomography. If you aren't familiar, lomography is lo-fi photography. It's about film and plastic and light leaks and surprises. And often hipsters. It began in 1982 with some Russian envy of Japanese lenses and a few curious Austrian students (read more about that at 

My current fave toy cameras: Diana and Oktomat.

You must check out Misha Ashton, a fantastic lomographer. I am really enjoying (and envying) her Flora and Fauna double exposure series. 

Moose & Cherry Blossoms. Top-notch, yes?

I first became familiar with Misha through her Kickstarter campaign.  The campaign helped her produce the amazing book of photos pictured below. It's the first in a series and it looks like there is 1 copy left in her Etsy Shop!

Next Friday, in Lomo Part 2, I will share some of my lomo photos with you. Until then - don't think, just shoot. From the hip.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Things I'm Afraid To Tell You

Inspired by this post by Jess at Makeunder My Life, Ez at Creature Comforts challenged the blogging community: write a Things I'm Afraid To Tell You post. There is a big disconnect between real life and what many bloggers write about. Our feeds say that we are always happy and everything is always pretty. We think this is a service but sometimes it makes others feel inadequate. I know I've had that feeling once in a while after catching up on my favorite blogs.

This does not mean that Whitfield Awesome should become a run-down of my everyday life. I'm not going to write about laundry (which I don't do often enough) or every time I'm sad (which I am too often). I'm just going to get down to the nitty gritty with you. At least this once. This also does not mean that I am walking around in despair. I have a lot of great things going for me and love my life. On with the show...

I want to live off of my
creative abilities instead of working an 8-to-5, but don't believe I ever will.

I want to publish a book but don't believe I ever will.
I want to get married and have a baby but don't
 believe I ever will.

When someone nearby laughs, I always think they're laughing at my weight.
I hate how pale I am.
I think my cheekbones are totally whack. 

I don't always take care of the dishes before bed.
One of my extra bedrooms is full of boxes (I closed on the house 8 years ago this month).
I have social anxiety but also don't like being home alone.

I'm a Christian but don't act like it enough.
I'm the best person I know at being in denial
I'm an enabler.

I act tough but get hurt easily.
I rarely feel accepted.

cried while I typed this post.

How about you? If you have a blog, are you up to the challenge? Want to make a confession in the comments? You could always confess something anonymously. Sometimes it feels good just to say it "out loud".

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Touché Tuesday Advice Column

Need advice from Jen? Fill out this form.

Dear Jen,
My co-worker routinely takes credit for MY work/ideas. I don't want to tattle to our boss, but I do want it to stop. She is driving me crazy. Any suggestions?
All the best, Frustrated in Florida

Dear Frustrated,
I know the feeling. I also know that my advice on this is easier to say than do. Because I'm a sayer. I often let bad behavior slide because I don't want to rock the boat. Keep everyone else happy and you'll be happy, right? Not usually. Here are a few suggestions for tackling this problem head on (boat - tackle, get it?).  

[I have no idea what you do so I will stick with the fishing theme for my examples. It was that or stripping. You're welcome. Unless you are a stripper. In that case, good for you for not wasting your assets.]  
  1. Be direct with her. Say something like, "Betty, I have noticed that you sometimes pass my crabs and crabbing ideas off as your own. I put a lot of work into my crabs and would appreciate it if you would stop doing this."
        a. Optional: add a compliment to soften the blow. (Blow softening reduces retaliation.)  
            "You are so amazing with fish nets anyway; you don't need my crabs!".
  2. Pavlov her. Each time she takes credit for your big tuna, give her a subtle reprimand such as coughing on her or bumping her bait bucket or slapping her in her stupid face (except not that last one). Each time she does something good, reward her with something like a piece of chocolate or a compliment or fancy fishing line. She should start to exhibit more and more good behavior. I hear this also works great with children and dogs. 
  3. Stop it. Stop sharing your crabs with her. If she asks about a catch, say you are coming up empty. And lock your tackle-box at quiting time. If you are required to share work/ideas with her, cut her off at the pass. Find a way to show your boss your catch before your co-worker gets her hooks into it.
♥ Do As I Say, Not As I Do Jen