Friday, September 19, 2014

Highs and Lows...but no cherry on top.

My decorating and styling got me into a bit of trouble with a famous decorator. 

Shortly before Christmas I got a call from the office of a very famous and high end East-coast decorator.  I had photographed his garden during the summer and now his administrative assistant was calling to see if I would photograph the house all decorated for Christmas. Of course I jumped at the chance and revelled in the thought that my work really resonated with him. I did the job days before the holidays and was invited to visit the design office in the new year to work on a social media plan for the decorator.  It was welcome news to my ears...and a fresh possibility of work and income.

The separation from the publisher was making for a bleak holiday, but the promise of this new work in the new year was welcome and refreshing.  Jenny and I prepared ourselves with a complete proposal and what we had to offer this "decorator" client.  Portfolios were created, images readied, all the I's dotted and T's crossed.  Several snowstorms plagued our progress and weeks went by until the face-to-face meeting in NYC.  I had high hopes. but it all didn't go down as planned and I got quite the tongue lashing...

To be continued...


A box of ice cream cones... Jenny likes the economical quart of soft serve from Dairy Queen and they won't sell you cones to go with it, so we have a box of cake cones and we scoop our own.

A box of current Halloween magazines:  inevitably I run into someone who can't find a copy and I am able to deliver on the spot.

A plastic bin of plates, casserole dishes and flatware left over from my Associated Press food shoot that I do every Monday on location.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Good habits...

 Cutting costs in my personal life has become somewhat of a challenging mind game. Jenny and I are empty-nesters, but with our economic downturn, saving money at every corner is essential. I no longer fill a shopping cart on a whim. I've found the least expensive grocery store, scan all the flyers and make several stops to get the best deals and discounts. We always cooked for the week when the kids were little but now, as just a couple, we let a great many of our careful family habits fall by the wayside. There's an organic frozen pizza that is a favorite of ours that is literally $3 dollars less at another store -- it allows us two pieces each with a salad for around $6 dollars total.  It is not only tasty and filling but the price is right. My new normal is a reborn sense of thrifty. Our treat is ice cream out (it's my wife's absolutel favorite fix) and happiness always ensues from these trips. I am happy when she is happy, and I am well-suited to a baby or kid-sized cone. Have we found the best deal on ice cream? Haha, indeed we have - in a more than sixty mile radius!

What's in my fridge?

Feta cheese and kalamata olives that I add to tomatoes from my parents' garden to make an instant tasty salad.

Two dozen eggs (because I forgot that I already had a dozen). I will make a frittata and chia-quinoa chocolate chip cookies.

Beef macaroni soup which I made from beef that was left over from a shoot for a food client (waste not want not)


Monday, September 15, 2014

All the News that's Fit to Print

I've always navigated too much to do really well.  

2014 has been a very bumpy ride.  At the end of last year our publishing partner ended our relationship.  It was quite abrupt, right around the holidays, and it ended a large project which was meant to solidify 2014 and introduce my readers to all of my insider style tips and tricks that I've mastered over my 25 year-long career.  Sadly, as publishing has shrunk and digital media has virtually obliterated print, it has become harder and harder to find an outlet for my work when I am constantly told that readers no longer need the "page-turning experience."

So picture this: a cold, barren winter sets its sights on the north east, my outlet for work has just totally dried up, and publishers are not willing to engage my brand of lifestyle content. My life will have to change significantly and you won't believe what happens next...



I was an English major at the University of New Hampshire and have zero art background.

Country style maven Mary Emmerling gave me my first job for her magazine, MARY EMMERLING'S COUNTRY, in 1991

I grew up in a ranch style house and always dreamed of having a second floor. I got one and I'll talk about it in my upcoming posts.