one down, one up 14

Jeremy Jordan

Happy Halloween, everyone!  I hope that you have a great time celebrating!  Believe it or not, I actually have no costume – weird, right?  I’ve been telling people that I have two-dimensional design capabilities, but the second you add the third dimension it’s a hopeless cause.  In the meantime enjoy thet 14th rendition of my weekly blog link up, one down, one up.

one down
My one down this week is my internet. I can’t even explain to you how flipping frustrated I am by the internet in my house. I got a new modem a few weeks ago (because the last one stopped working), and I don’t know if I got a shittier one than the last one I had, but all of a sudden the internet got super spotty. One day this week that I was supposed to be doing blogging stuff I spent time setting up the signal repeater to try to boost the signal further up the stairs and that still failed. Wednesday I  got so pissed off that I went into the basement and came out with the longest ethernet cables I could find and ran the router all the way up to the top floor of my house. That still didn’t work. When I left the house my roommate said the ethernet cable she plugged directly into the modem wasn’t working either, so maybe it’s a Comcast issue? I’m so sick of troubleshooting this and it’s taking so much time in my life – between trying to fix it and needing to wait for pictures to upload. So. Frustrated.

one up
No question asked the best part of my week was the Jeremy Jordan concert that I went to last night in New York City. I discovered Jeremy Jordan while watching season 2 of Smash while it was airing and fell in love with his voice. (You may also know him from The Newsies on Broadway.) When I found out he was going to be singing a show at 54 Below I booked it immediately.  The name of the show was “Breaking Character” since it was his first solo show (and 2 other reasons that I can’t remember right now). So yesterday I showed up at 54 Below, awkwardly ate dinner alone, and people watched until the show started. He started the show off with his college audition piece – and acted it out as if he was still in college. It was pretty awesome to see where he came from and where he’s made it to today. He’s also a goofball apparently, which was awesome. He also really wanted his piano player and musical director, Ben, to get laid before the evening was over. We got to hear his story of how he met his wife, and we got to hear them sing three duets together throughout the course of the evening. (She’s also a Broadway star.) We got to hear how he really felt about Smash ending – and his rendition of Broadway, Here I Come almost brought me to tears. The amount of emotion he put into every ‘character’ he played on stage was incredible. I couldn’t find any You Tube videos that really do him justice, but if you like Broadway music at all, you should listen to this. Phew. Goodness gracious. What a good start to this weekend in New York.

Don’t forget to link up with the worst and best parts of your week below!


Step 1: Write a post of your own.
Step 2: Link to this post.
Step 3: Add your link below.
Step 4: Go check out someone else’s link.

WITCH HatWell, it appears we do not need a WITCH update today, because I got an email last night entitled “WITCH!”.  I have to double check her numbers (my list is at home and I’m in New York), but until further notice, Alison of Simply A has won WITCH.  Congratulations!

a stream of consciousness

 Random Philadelphia Picture
here is a random picture of Philadelphia for your viewing pleasure

Can you believe October is almost over?  Just two more days, and I’ve managed to find a way to create content every day except one.  That’s not too shabby.  I still need to decide what I’m going to do with my November posting schedule though, I think I’m going to try for Monday to Friday and take it from there.

I had my alarm set to write today’s post for 7:16am.  Then I woke up from a bad dream around 5:30am and decided I needed to push the alarm back a little bit and set it for 7:36am.  I hate setting alarms on the 0’s or the 5’s and can’t explain why.  When I woke up my internet decided that it didn’t want to work, so I had to walk all the way down three flights of stairs only to confirm that it was not the modem.  (Then I put in a load of laundry because I realized I need jeans for the weekend.)  Then I came all the way back upstairs, found an ethernet cord and connected my laptop to the router only to find that the internet was making it’s way up three flights of stairs.  Then I pushed the little button on the router and all was good in the world.  By then it was 8:05am, meaning that I missed my 8:00am posting time.  Oops.

Then, since my laptop was open, I realized that I didn’t have an out-of-office message on yet.  You see, I took vacation for today and tomorrow because some of the Baton Rouge Chorus ladies will be in New York City, so I have to go see them (obviously).  Jeremy Jordan is also playing in concert at 54 Below tonight, which I am more than excited for.  This will be the second concert that I am going to be going to alone this week.  Slowly getting used to it, but it’s not my favorite.  This is, however, significantly better than what I used to do where I used to buy two tickets telling myself that surely I could get rid of the other and end up spending money on tickets that were never used.  So I guess I’m making progress.

I have a pretty big to do list for today before I head to New York.  It includes taking pictures of new products andcreating November’s newsletter.  I also have to finish doing laundry, eat breakfast (I have Kix downstairs which I’m pretty excited about), and take a shower (which I’m never really all that excited about).  The laundry part doesn’t bother me though, I actually really like the “instant” gratification of laundry.  I also really like folding clothes, but hate matching socks.

Once I get to New York I’ve actually created another huge to do list for myself of things that I want to get done around the internet.  You know you live close to New York when you plan a trip there and somehow your to do list is mostly stuff that you could do from sitting in your own bed.  At least I can find a cute cafe in the Village to hang out at or something.

Also, if you haven’t seen it yet, I wrote a guest post on my new friend Jenn’s blog about how to open a shop online.

That’s it, that’s everything I have to say this morning.

WITCH HatOh, and today’s WITCH number is 70.

cheese pairings

cheese pairings with dibruno brothers

Last Thursday I went to happy hour at the DiBruno Brothers located at The Franklin.  Apparently they’ve been doing these happy hours since April, but somehow I only heard about them recently and there’s only one left on this upcoming Thursday, October 30.  They’ve been pairing with different alcohol distributers to host a great event revolving around cheese pairings and using the hashtag #3cheesethursdays.  I went back through all of the #3cheesethursdays posts and compiled a list of pairings they’ve come up with in the past 6 months.  And now, for your salivating pleasure, 35 cheese pairings:

Gouda Pairings

# Cheese Drink
1 Nylander Gouda
(sweet, sharp, complex, barnyardy)
Hazed and Infused Dry Hopped Ale from Boulder Beer Company or Trauger Pilsner
2 Hollands Family Cheese Marieke’s Gouda with Foenegreek
(soft and mild with notes of maple)
Yard’s Thomas Jefferson’s Tavern Ale
3 Holland’s Family Cheese Marieke’s Smoked Gouda
(rich and full-flavored)
DuClaw Hellrazer IPA
4 Marieke’s Extra Aged Gouda
(robust with undertones of spice, coffee, caramel, and toasted nuts)
Dobel Paloma: Dobel Tequila with grapefruit juice and a splash of lime
5 Foenegreek Gouda
(smooth, creamy cheese with a slightly sweet, nutty flavor)
6 Big Ed’s Gouda cheese
(slightly sweet, rich buttery flavors of a French alpine cheese)
Barefoot Refreshers Summer Red

   holland's family cheese marieke smoked gouda pairings

Goat Pairings

Cheese Drink
7 Goat cheese
(honey chèvre)
DC Brau Corruption IPA
8 Goat Cheese
(creamy spread)
Victory Witbier
9 Monte Enebro
(lush, strong, & creamy goat cheese)
Churchville Lager

Blue Pairings

Cheese Drink
10 La Peral
(mild Spanish blue)
DC Brau El Hefe Speaks
11 Verde Capra
(beautiful creamy, tangy blue)
Neshaminy Creek Churchville Lager
12 Billy Blue cheese
(creamy, tangy blue)
Alameda Cooler: Hangar 1 Vodka with sage leaves and a splash of seltzer
13 Wildfire blue cheese
(cow’s milk blue cheese with a fiery heat)
Dogfish Head Ancient Ale Theobroma

billy blue pairings

Parmigiano-Like Pairings

Cheese Drink
14 Cravero Parmigiano
(medium-strong, hints of barnyard, and sweet tropical fruit)
DC Brau Public Pale Ale
15 Washington’s Crossing
(sweet, creamy, full, hinting at parmigiano)
Yards Tavern Ale or Boulder Beer Co. Buffalo Gold
16 Pecorino Classico Riserva cheese
(buttery & delicate taste with a slightly sharp taste)
Dogfish Head Ancient Ale Etrusca
17 Snowfield’s cheese
(distinct buttery flavors with notes of parmesan)
Barefoot Refreshers Sweet White

Butterscotch & Caramel-Hints Pairings

Cheese Drink
18 Rupert Reserve cheese
(deep, sweet, & full of butterscotch flavor)
1800 Coconut & Pineapple Juice
19 Coolea
(smooth and chewy with a caramel flavor)
Yards Philly Pale Ale
20 Equinox cheese
(young alpine style, smooth and nutty with notes of caramel)
Dogfish Head Ancient Ale San’tea

cheese goodness pairings

Cheddar Pairings

Cheese Drink
21 Keen’s cheddar
(cow’s milk, earthy, farmstead cheddar)
Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale
22 Pasture’s Cheddar cheese
(clean, crisp flavors, finishing with hints of fruit)
Barefoot Refreshers Perfectly Pink
23 Cracked Pepper Cheddar
(full-flavored with cracked black pepper)
Clown Shoes Clementine Witbier
24 Garlic and Herb Cheddar
(savory cheddar full of herbs and spices)
Clown Shoes Hoppy Feet
25 Montgomery’s Cheddar
(savory, nutty & meaty cow’s milk cheddar)
County Line IPA
26 Saxon Creamery Pastures Cheddar
(fruity & crisp cheddar with caramel notes)
Yard’s Brawler

delice de bourgogne pairings

Other Goodness

Cheese Drink
27 Delice de Bourgogne
(whipped triple-creme with hints of mushroom and straw)
Sparkling Wine
28 Mobay
(delicate and rustic)
Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale or Dogfish Head Ancient Ale Kvasir
29 Humboldt Fog
(floral notes, herbal overtones and a clean citrus finish)
Unfiltered Wheat Beer or 80-Acre Hoppy Wheat Beer
30 Pecorino alla Canapa
(rich, full, and buttery)
Boulder Beer Co. Mojo IPA
31 Tome du Pere
(funky cow’s milk cheese washed in Alsatian Pear Liquor and elderflower)
Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale
32 Gruyere Alpage
(gruyere made from alpine cow’s milk)
Southern Tier Pumpkin
33 Cranberry Jalapeño Monterey Jack
(sweet & tangy with some heat)
Clown Shoes Galactica
34 Brunkow Cheese’s Little Darling
(earthy, fruity, & nutty)
Allagash Saison
35 Carr Valley Cheese’s Mobay
(delicate, rustic, goat’s & sheep’s milk cheese)
Deschutes Twilight

humbolt fog pairings

Which pairings are you most excited to try?

If you happen to be in Philadelphia on Thursday, October 30, don’t forget to stop by The Franklin for Happy Hour.  I’ll unfortunately be in New York (rough life, I know), so y’all should definitely go eat enough cheese for me.  Also, this is not a sponsored post, I just really love cheese.

WITCH HatWITCH number is 71.

photography lessons learned

Last weekend I finally got the chance to take pictures of my friend Ryan again.  You may recall that Ryan was the first person that I took pictures of during my summer photo project.  I decided the only way to know exactly how much better I got was by doing the same shoot I did the first time again.  It’s actually crazy how much more confidence I gained in just a few months.  I wanted to share with you some of the photography lessons learned I experienced throughout this process.


Fun fact, I didn’t read my camera manual until the third or fourth photoshoot that I did this summer.  Big mistake.  I was missing some super key facts like – how to focus, the difference between taking pictures in video-mode and photo-mode, how to use the touch screen – really simple things that made a world of difference.  I shot the entire summer using my 50mm f1.4 lens and I absolutely love it.  Next I’m going to work on mastering a zoom lens, I still need to decide which one though.


The first time I took photos of Ryan, we ended up in a park – a small park where every place you turn it looks busy.  I had no idea how to handle this then, and to be honest, I’m not sure I’d know what to do with it now.  I did learn that I really like shooting with a more city-esque background.  The lines are cleaner.



This is a two part one.  The first time I took pictures of Ryan I wore a just-above-the-knee length skirt.  BIG mistake.  I couldn’t get into any position gracefully to take a photograph.  This time I wore jeans.  MUCH better.  The second part of this has to do with what Ryan is wearing.  I didn’t bring up attire beforehand because he didn’t ask.  Other people have asked what they should wear.  I learned really fast not to say anything along the lines of “whatever makes you feel pretty/sexy/insert-good-looking-adjective-here”.  I still don’t exactly know what to say, but I do know what not to say now.  Oh, and lucky for me, Ryan decided to wear something that awesomely complimented his eyes and skintone this time, as opposed to bright yellow…



Oh goodness, lighting.  I haven’t been doing this very long, but I can almost safely say is every photographer’s most loved and hated technicality.  Constant, not harsh lighting is wonderful, the golden hour is delightful, shadowy harshness creating all sorts of shapes all over your subject – horrible.  The first shoot Ryan and I kept aiming for wherever we could find light, even if that light was spotty.  This time around Ryan actually said to me “I feel like you’re trying to keep me in the dark” – he was just being a pain in the butt.  Being in the “dark” creates a much more smooth looking photo though – where you can actually see the person’s face.  And by dark, I mean well-lit shade.


Black and White

I don’t know why it took so long for me to remember that black and white photography existed, it’s a good way to cover a number of sins. I actually didn’t make any shots black and white last time for some reason, but I got a few good ones this time around.  Here’s an example of this time:

Black and White new

Here’s an example of one that I would have done from the last batch.

Black and White

Posing Ideas

Goodness gracious, guys.  Posing is hard.  Not only is posing hard, but figuring out how to tell people to pose and to make them feel comfortable.  I’ve spent so much time reading posts like this, and this, and this.  It’s still going to take a lot of practice, but I’m getting better.  Oddly enough, me making funny faces always seems to work.  The first time I took pictures of Ryan, he was pretty much in the same pose the entire time.  The second time I figured out three easy poses and them tweaked each one slightly, but overall the whole reel looked a lot different.



I didn’t realize when I said I was going on a Photography mission that I was also going to be going on a Photoshop mission.  There have been a handful of resources that have been priceless to me.  Photography Concentrate is absolutely wonderful.  They offer a bunch of different tutorials that are very well-done and easy-to-follow.  Two that I have bought and loved so far are Extremely Essential Camera Skills to get better at understanding manual and Really Easy Retouching.  I also love getting their newsletter every month – so informative, with such good tips.  Here’s a before and after done on Photoshop skills alone.


Keep Learning

This one is a lot of fun.  In the past few months I’ve gotten the chance to be other people’s models to learn what it feels like to be the posee (as opposed to the poser), I’ve been reading Click Magazine (affiliate link alert) to get ideas for capturing great moments, and I went to an all-day conference.  Each of these experiences has made me a better photographer and has taught me something about what I like and don’t like in my own photography.  I realize I’ve been holding out on you about the all-day conference, but it wasn’t the experience I expected so I’m still trying to figure out how to relay that information on the blog.

Have Fun With It

Ryan is a goofball.  I absolutely love that about him – and it made for some great moments while I was taking pictures.  Remember to laugh and smile, because at the end of the day, that’s how you’re going to capture the greatest pictures.  Here were some of our “have fun with it moments”.

Fun Times1

Our Shadows.  In that last picture he’s actually making a halo.  I couldn’t figure out what he was doing.

Fun Times2

Ryan being The Thinker

Fun Times3

Ryan being The Flash, aka Ghost Ryan

So there you have it.  I would definitely say that I made some progress over the past few months and I’m excited to see what happens next.


WITCH HatToday’s WITCH number is 62.