Painting Party

Since the stress of the wedding has ended we’ve been working hard to make our house feel more like a home.  We are renting a small two bedroom house in Tulsa.  We chose it because it was within our budget and right off Riverside and near Brookside.  If you’re not familiar with Tulsa then you have no why those two -side places are a big deal.  Let me just say they’re pretty hoppin’.  There are great restaurants and shops on Brookside and a large, safe park for early morning runs and puppy walks on Riverside.

The problem with this house, we’ve discovered, is that it’s too small.  Unfortunately, we’re just going to have to come up with some interesting organization tricks because we’re stuck for at least another 3-years, once Richard is finally done with school!  We finally convinced our landlord to let us paint so we’ve been slowly converting the rooms from a yucky tan color to cool grays and vibrant blue in the bedroom and office.  Richard has recently picked up the hobby of making time lapse videos so he decided to capture the long process of bedroom painting.

Check out the video below!

Search for the Tulsa Pizza King

We LOOOVE to eat out.  We probably shouldn’t do it so often as it can get pricey.  We also probably shouldn’t always eat at the same place.  We have our favorites and seem to get stuck in this rut where we don’t try anything else but we’re breaking out I tell ya!

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We’ve decided to set ourselves a task of finding the best pizza in Tulsa.  I’m always up for pizza.  It is my favorite food and if I could eat it every day for every meal I would.  I got this idea to search for the best pizza in Tulsa… I’m calling it the Search for the Tulsa Pizza King because I like to give our adventures titles… after I was perusing one of my favorite blogs, Love Taza, for hours and somehow made it back to some of her earlier posts… I’m talking aallll the way back to 2009 ;).  She and her husband searched for the best burger in NYC & DC.  So I decided to change it up a bit and make ours a search for the best pizza in our own hometown.  I’m crazy excited about trying new pizza places… maybe a little too pumped about this.

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The first place we tried was Pie Hole Pizzeria.  We’ve actually been here before but we decided we’d go again and try and make note of what we liked about it so we can compare it to other local pizzerias.  This pizza place is near Tulsa University.  The restaurant isn’t very big inside but we’ve never had a hard time finding a seat.  I also really love the art they have on their walls.  That Yoda poster makes the Star Wars nerd in me really happy!

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What a cutie patootie!

We ordered a 16-inch pizza half was the Tiki Pizza, our favorite, and the other half was the Pollo Blanco, which we were told is a popular choice.  I really like Pie Hole because they are generous with their toppings and their crust is so good!  It’s crunchy on the surface and warm and soft inside. I also like that for $20-ish dollars we get two meals out of one pizza. (We warmed it up in the oven the next day, the crust wasn’t as good on day 2… Just fyi.)  I also really like that the “plates” are actually individual sized pizza pans.  They’re so cute and industrial looking!

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Me in the background taking a quintessential Insta-pic.

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Back to the toppings for a second, check out those big chunks of yummy veggies and mushrooms.  YUM!  They also do individual slices here which is what we usually do.  I love ordering a slice with a random assortment of toppings.

Next on our list is La Roma Pizza.  If you have any suggestions for other pizza places to try in Tulsa (no national chains) tell us please!  Are you a pizza fan?  What’s your favorite topping?  I can’t pick one I love them all… except anchovies, no thanks.

Engagement Photos

Photo by Rachel Photographs

Photo by Rachel Photographs

We have been together 6 years and somehow have never had our photos taken.  Though it’s only two weeks before the big day our wedding day photographer, Rachel Photographs, and we finally found a convenient time to meet and take some engagement photos.  I am in love with every image she took!!! We took them at the beautiful Woodward Park here in Tulsa.  Everything there is in full bloom right now and absolutely gorgeous. Our little pupsicle joined us for the shoot.  As animals tend to be, he was completely unable to hold still or not be crazy.  So our fabulous photographer offered to juggle him along with her camera, and my bag of makeup and other supplies.  She was kind of awesome!!!  She gave great direction and made us feel comfortable and not conspicuous. We both tend to be a little shy when it comes to being lovey-dovey in public so I think we kept giggling about the situation instead because… well, we’re children.  We also kept cracking up because Richard is incapable of making more than two faces – happy & smiley or disappointed and frowny. Enjoy the beautiful photos!  To see more go to Rachel Photographs website by clicking http://rachelphotographs.pixieset.com/whitneyrichard/.

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Engagement Shoot #1

This Friday we are meeting with our first engagement photographer, we have three total.  The first set of photos will be taken out at Richard’s families farm.  About a year after Richard and I started dating he took me out to the farm for the first time.  He would ask me to join him on adventures where we would ride the John Deer cart through tall grass, gooey mud, rocky terrain, bellowing herds of cattle and skittish gatherings of deer.  I think Richard tries to recreate adventures he fondly remembers with his Grandpa who would take him to see interesting rocks, animal prints, trees or nests.  The land is mostly what you’d expect, vast rolling prairies that seem to go on forever but there are also dense wooded areas, brimming ponds and some steep hills from which you can admire the patchwork farmland below.

I love the colors at the farm this time of year.  Everything reflects this amber light that has come to signify autumn in Oklahoma to me.  It’s also the perfect time to venture out for photographs because as the weather grows colder dangerous creatures like snakes begin to pose less of a threat.  Here are a few images that I sent our photographer to convey the creative direction I’m envisioning.

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Via a Healthy Living Maintenance

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1) I want the pictures to be fun and relaxed.  I really love when the photographers seem to be peeking through the vegetation at the couple

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2) Our 4-legged son will be joining us for some of these photos so I’ve been searching for some example poses and shots.

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3) I love when photographers capture the smaller moments instead of just your typical photos of the couple smiling and hugging.  I think the one above leads you to understand the couples intimacy without being overly lovey-dovey. I also like the little details like mugs and goodies, it expresses the mood better.

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4) The creative images above capture stereotypical images in an imaginative way.  Through the use of shadows, silhouettes and interesting angles tried and true poses get a breath of fresh air.

I also found this link on how couples should dress and this list of typical couple poses a useful starting point.  We’ll see if any of this information actually leads to a successful engagement photo session.  For a look at more of my inspiration visit my Pinterest Engagement board.

Life Lately

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Lately life seems to be flying by.  I always mean to take more photos of my everyday life but I absolutely hate most of my iPhone images.  They always come out grainy and that probably says more about me than the equipment but I just can’t handle it.  So here’s a glimpse of the past couple of weeks.

1) We celebrated our 6-year anniversary this past week.  We sort of just fell into being boyfriend and girlfriend because of this we are not sure when our actual anniversary is… so we decided the first week of October will forever be our anniversary week.  Friday, Richard took me to the Tulsa State Fair which was my first time going to a state fair.  We pet cows, pigs and sheep, ate an indian taco and a fried snickers, rode two terrifying rides and watched a horse-riding/shooting competition!  Overall, I’d say a successful experience.  Saturday evening, I made him a “fancy” dinner which included an appetizer, main course and dessert.  We dressed up and ate by candle light.  It was nice 🙂

2) Baxter got a shower this weekend and he was such a fluff-ball after.  We couldn’t stop laughing at him.  He looked like a little lion.  This picture doesn’t do the fluffiness justice.

3) I painted the inside of our medicine cabinet with chalkboard paint.  The bathroom is my absolute least favorite room in the house and I’m trying to figure out ways to make it less so.  The quote was an anniversary surprise for Richard.

4) We got a couch!!! We’ve lived the past 3 years without much in the way of furniture.  The couch we had before was made using two palettes, a twin mattress and fluffy pillows my mom made us.  It was a great idea but it always needed to be up against a wall because I couldn’t figure out how to make a back for it.  I was so excited about our new black and gray tweed couch!  The day it was delivered I drove 12 minutes home on my 30 minute  lunch to sit there for about 7 minutes before heading back to work.  I LOVE IT!  We feel so fancy now.  It makes me think of this clip from Borat.

Have a Happy Tuesday!

Read Me, Please.

Typewriter

Typewriter (Photo credit: mikeymckay)

I have finally decided to end my sabbatical from the world of news and journalism and work really hard at getting back to what I went to school for, am good at and I enjoy doing.  After leaving my job as a news producer for a TV station, I decided to give news a break.  I stayed as far away from TV news shows, news websites and newspapers.  I occasionally would watch the weather or listen to NPR but mostly the feature pieces and not the news hours.  After 5 years of eating, breathing and sleeping news, I was burned out and tired of keeping up with the latest info.  But a friends recent going away party made me realize that I do miss the journalism world somewhat.  I miss knowing what’s going on in the world and being able to participate in conversations about current events.

Over the summer I made an effort to seek out freelance jobs in the Tulsa area.  I was lucky enough to find one magazine, TulsaKids, that quickly offered me some possible story ideas for a future issue.  Well that future issue is out on stands and online now.  The story is about how children develop communication skills and how parents can help them become strong successful communicators.  Through the writing and interviewing process, I learned so much about children’s development.  That’s one thing I love and missed about writing, when you are working on a story you must fully immerse yourself in your topic, learning as much as possible so as to improve your article.  If you live in the Tulsa area go out and buy a copy of the magazine or if you’re farther away click here to read my article!  I’m hoping it will make its way onto the TulsaKids Top 15 most popular articles list!

I am already working on my next articles and looking into reaching out to other magazines for possible freelance work.  You better believe I’ll be posting all of my future articles on here as well! I am so excited to be writing again!  Writing was the first thing that made me interested in a journalism career and it is by far the part I enjoy and missed the most.   I’m not sure where my career path will lead me but I know it will include writing.

Thankful for my Family

I absolutely love my family!  We’re one of those families that just MUST see each other regularly.  When it’s been too long since I’ve seen them I feel like a part of me is missing.  The first time I brought Richard to Dallas for a familial gathering I warned him, “They sometimes say mean things to each other but they’re just joking.  Don’t worry, they’ll be nice to you… since it’s your first time meeting them.”  With this warning in mind he entered a house full of love and laughter accompanied with a little bite.  I’m glad that he liked them and they him.  Due to school and work he has never been able to join me in my regular visits but when he can I feel completely at peace, surrounded by the people I love most.

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That same situation occurred again just a little over a week ago but with a few changes.  Rather than Richard and I making a trip to visit them, they all traveled to visit us for our engagement party.  The party was made bigger and better by the addition of Richard’s family as well.  It was the absolute best!  Richard was not excited about the engagement party because he was certain everyone would be bothered by the time and effort it took to travel to our hood for an event that would last only a few hours.  But none of that happened… I think… everyone wore their happy faces and it was perfect.  Richard admitted that the day was much better than he anticipated and I refrained from telling him “I told you so.”

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The art piece I did for this thankful entry is inspired by my cousin, little Baby J.  He is just now trying to make word-like sounds but he’s been speaking to us for ages using his hands.  One of my favorite signs is “I Love You”  because he just hasn’t figured out how to bend his fingers correctly so the sign ends up looking like a spider.  It’s the funniest/cutest thing.  I’m so lucky and happy to have been born into this family and to watch as our love grows to encompass the newest additions, like my baby cousins and of course my love bug, Richard!

Fancy Shmancy Dinner

Thursday night was Richard’s mentor dinner. We got all gussied up and rubbed elbows with his classmates and their significant others as well as some esteemed alumni. We had a tasty meal and Richard got a great freebie, a new stethoscope that is values at around $300!!! Good thing he got it for free because he was going to buy another one soon.

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So more on the outfit. Do you ever wear something and you just hope that someone asks you about it? Well… Maybe it’s just me. This was one of those outfits for me. I scored this dress at a 40% off sale at Ann Taylor. The original price was $98! What!?? The sale price was $69.99 which, for me, is still way too pricey but that extra % off knocked it down to $35! Score! My fashionable Aunt Rebecca once told me “If it’s not on sale, you don’t need it.” This is advice I have lived by ever since.
That pretty necklace is from Anthropologie and was a Christmas present. So glad I was finally able to break it out. The shoes are from TJ Maxx and are replacement shoes for a different pair of black patent pointy toe kitten heels. Thanks Mom! Unfortunately no one asked about my outfit but I suppose I can gain some satisfaction from sharing the details with my friends on the World Wide Web!

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Also can we take a second to admire my handsome date!? He recently bought a new suit from J. Crew. I love the cool gray color and the shirt and tie pairing were all his own doing. The tie, which I really like, was inherited from his grandfather. What a handsome man!

Packing Up!

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The last time I published a blog post on Two Chicks it included a long list of items that were new in my life.  One of those included packing up and moving from the farm and returning to town.  I’m really not sure what I was thinking moving out to the middle of nowhere.  I love visiting the farm but I’m not much of a country girl, despite the fact that I was raised in a small rural town.  Well we’re in the process of packing up again.

I’ve moved once a year for the past six years.  Trust me, repeating the process so often doesn’t mean it gets any easier.  (Though we have picked up some tips: NEVER buy boxes!  Go to WalMart past midnight and pick whichever ones you want… therefore the Kleenex boxes.)  We knew the last move was only temporary and that we’d likely be moving again in less than a year.  That knowledge didn’t keep us from spreading our belongings across every inch of this apartment.

This looks like a lot less packing than what it felt like.  I have SOOO much left to do!

This looks like a lot less packing than what it felt like. I have SOOO much left to do!

Though I’m not looking forward to the process, I am excited about this move.  This will be our home for the next four years.  I’m excited about the stability.  I’ve never really put much effort into decorating any of my previous abodes because what was the point.  I’d likely be moving in a year and spending money and energy on personalizing a place I wouldn’t be in for long seemed silly.  I’m excited about making this home our place.  I’m also excited because this will be our first home as a married couple… you know, in a year when the ceremony takes place.

Anyway since we’ll be decorating and purchasing furniture on a dime, I’ll be on the lookout for great sales and offers.  If anyone knows of any good second-hand or wholesale stores or flea markets in and around Oklahoma (especially Tulsa), let me know!