Friday, March 20, 2009

In Search of Sand & Sun

Okay this picture of ProBars & seitan jerky plus

this picture of Alba vegan sunscreen and Kiss My Face bug repellant, etc plus

this picture of little kitties waiting patiently...

means, we are off on to what we hope is a fabulous vacation for the week!

Share with me your best vacation spot & I'll be doing a fun little giveaway from Hard Candy when I get back...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Long Journey Back to Blogland

Like Odysseus and his long journey home, I have finally found my way back to my beloved blog. Yes, my audit loomed over me like menacing Cyclops and when it was all over, procrastination & doubt about my blog direction set in like Circe casting spells, but I am definitely happy to be back in blogland!

Oh so many months ago, I was off to L.A. for a last minute shoot...we always make sure to have cute little welcome gifts along with the production books waiting in the hotel for clients & crew. I found these A Scent Of Scandal soy candles. They are super fun & the best thing of all, they are a vegan company! My assistant producer picked one up just for me- it says "producer/hustler". Technically, they are referring to film producers which is completely different, but doesn't matter because I hustle too- big time. This was perfect at the end of a long work day to light my minty fresh candle, put on a robe & order room service.

Here are some shots of the house we shot at- didn't get that many great shots because I was busy hustling & making sure everything was running smoothly....
Here's a peek at a tiny portion of the designer clothing brought in for our celebrity and boy were the clients unhappy when the stylist let the celeb walk off with 15 pairs of very expensive shoes...
Those bags hold a multitude of pillows & fabric that we of course never ended up using...but the prop stylist is always ever ready.
So much more to this gorgeous house that was on the market for something like 20 million, but then again that was in December when the economy hadn't quite yet headed as south as it has now- was just such a hectic shoot, fire marshals, giant generator, and big time photographer that I had never worked with before...all I wanted to do was lie out by the pool.
For me, no trip to L.A. is complete without stopping at Swingers for the tofu chilaquiles- love me the Swingers menu with items specifically marked "vegan"...
After a brief respite home- working on prepping my audit over the holidays & working to get our street cat acclimated & vice versa (I mean, no joke- the first week of him crying all night in his crate was making me cry, since I was already stressed from work load & audit.), I was off to Orlando for another shoot.

At the airport, am always thrilled to see a Cibo Express- not sure if they are just at Jet Blue terminals, but they always carry a vegan deli sandwich...
Lucked out in Orlando finding the kind of modern, minimalist home that my clients are always searching for...this was a rare find:
Can you spot our celeb in the corner there? Orlando went off without a hitch and at this point I was so pooped, I barely took any behind the scenes photos.
Here are things I treated myself to during my exhausting work & audit schedule:

Candle 79's paella (one of my favorites, along with the ancho-chile brownie sundae-no pic, posted way too many times already):
Rice flour rolls with kale and mock ham from Vegetarian Dim Sum House:
Sacred Chow's soy meatball hero & tempeh reuben:
Sacred Chow's cesar- which is the most amazingly yummyiest salad ever...
A creme filled chocolate cupcake from Moo-Cluck which I picked up at Whole Foods- just like a hostess...
And yes, every now and then I also made some delicious things like Fronch Toast from VWAV which I made with raisin cinnamon bread with a side of Field Roast Artisan Apple Sage sausage. I like my Tofurkey sausage, but Field Roast is just a whole other world...
My first recipe for Dreena Burton's Eat, Drink & Be Vegan, which SKO got me for Christmas- the cajun tofu is simply delectable- served with some argula, grapefruit, bean salad & roasted fingerlings.
When I returned from Orlando, I had to turn in all the stuff that I had prepped for the audit. That was such a relief to just have it out of my hands & off my shoulders, not that it was over mind you, just that it was out of my hands. The nerve-racking day came & went- it went as well as it could have except that they requested to come see my home office, which is my only office. There are very definitely rules about what constitutes a home office and I had to get prepping.

Here's a glimpse of what the tax man saw when he came to visit:
Mr. Taxman sat right in my new chair (yes, that would be the official first piece of new furniture in our place- a Cherner chair for a steal at the DWR outlet because of a minor scratch) and grilled me about my work & receipts. Yes, I blabbed about everything because I was so damn nervous. Of course, once they put you through the wringer, you sit on pins & needles waiting for them to get back to you for the final, still waiting. Ridiculous.
Our official second piece of "new" furniture that we won on Ebay for a great price. The Reve dresser sells for $2700 at DWR and it was a steal at $500- granted it is scratched on the side & a few other nicks & dents, but never used and the way Booboo sees it, it's already broken in so a few accidental scratches from her won't be a big deal.
And our little street kid, Thelonious, seems to be adapting to kitty condo living just fine. He remembers nothing of living on the cold, hard street just down the block. Just wishing that no animal or person ever had to live that way...we help where we can. Please adopt a rescue or stray if you can!
To get through these stress-filled months, I have relied on several things: Fcat's loving support, unconditional kitty love, friends & family, but also through reiki, meditation, crystal healing and chanting mala. Through the reiki, meditation & chanting, I was able to stay focused & grounded and basically sane. I chanted a Ganesh chant daily- to remove obstacles.

Here's a pic of our altar table- Fcat gave me a tibetan singing bowl for Christmas. It's a great meditation tool & also helps to charge my crystals.
One last note, the little blue box which Buddha sits atop is where I keep my reiki requests - when I was first made aware of the strays down the block and we were trying to help them find homes, I put a picture of some of the cats in the box with the intention that they would find homes. All five of the kitties in the pic have homes now... just goes to show you how strong prayer & intention can be.
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