This week was a time for starting over with this blog. We're trying new things, and letting loose! Among the new traditions we hope to establish is a series of Friday posts featuring humorous moments from wedding days. We're calling it Funny Photo Friday. We won't add an image EVERY Friday... just when we think we've got something worth sharing.
My recent reminiscing about The Price Is Right got my wheels turning about another part of my childhood that so defined the fabric of who I am today that it must be shared. No, I'm not talking about my education, my politics, or my family. I'm talking about our grocery store. Publix.
A grocery store? (you ask with doubt). Ab-so-lutely. The older I get, the more I realize that I am a true Floridian. I despise cold weather. Skiing requires a lake and a boat. Boots are something used in Thanksgiving day plays at elementary schools. And I've shopped at both the Piggly Wiggly AND the Hoggly Woggly (no relation). My sentiments were perfectly expressed on Facebook recently when my cousin, Susan, posted this graphic defining the essence of a true Floridian:
About a third of the way down, you'll find a little dilly in there that really sums up the Floridian's attitude towards Publix: "You know... that no other grocery store can compare to Publix". Now before you start assuming that I've been in the sun too long, let me explain.
Publix wasn't just a grocery store. It was THE place to go if you lived in Florida. Growing up in a family of seven (!!), shopping for groceries was part sport for us. Some of my earliest childhood memories include riding in the "buggy" at Publix with my mom. The tradition included visiting the bakery for a free cookie. The choices were sugar or chocolate chip. My passion for food was evident at an early age. I weighed 100 lbs. in the 4th Grade. Needless to say, free cookies were very much in my wheelhouse. But it's not just my childhood that built a bridge between me and Publix. It was also my first summer job. I started in the deli when I was a young buck of 18 years old, and returned for several summers during my college years.
Now that I'm older, I love Publix for other reasons. It's the largest privately held company in Florida. It's also been the fastest growing company in Florida for several years running, according to Florida Trend magazine. They sponsor just about every community distance run from Miami to Atlanta, and give back to their community. Oh, they also make the best subs around (seriously... you have to try one!!). In fact, I incorporated a pair of Publix subs into my proposal to Meg (a picnic lunch that I packed for an afternoon at the beach).
So it's easy to summarize that Publix is good for our state. But there is one other key reason I love Publix - it's the last grocery store that still embraces southern hospitality as a policy. Whenever you shop at Publix, instead of battling demoralizing checkouts lines, you'll often find a cashier waiting for you at the front of the lane asking "Are you ready to check out?". Next, you'll be whisked through the checkout process by an army of baggers. Lastly, they'll take your groceries out to your car for you, load them, and refuse your gratuity (I always insist). It's just... the way things should be done.
Meg has also found ways to love Publix (since I do the grocery shopping). Being the avid blog reader that she is, she has embraced Publix through blogs like Southern Savers and I *HEART* Publix.
So for those of you that have stumbled across the "It's a Florida thing" graphic, perhaps now you'll have a better grasp of what role Publix has played in this Floridian's life. And the next time you visit our lovely Gulf Coast, swing by Publix... and enjoy!
Meg & I share an odd passion for the classic game show The Price Is Right. I grew up watching the show each weekday morning, and I can remember it being a morning television ritual while my mom did chores around the house. Of course, the beloved Bob Barker was hosting back then. Nowadays, Drew Carey is guiding the ship.
There is just a magic to the show... the crazed contestants stumbling down the aisle to take their place in history, the hostility that can only be evoked by the nefarious $1 bid, and of course classic games like Plinko.
Most weekday mornings, you'll find Drew gracing the screen of our office TV - a welcome distraction while we wait for images to batch, CF cards to download, or DVDs to finish burning. It's a show that requires very little "investment" to watch... we can tune in for the high points, and not worry too much if we miss a segment or four.
Many of you know that over the last couple of years, I've lost just over 100 lbs. Drew Carey is a celebrity that has recently followed a similar track, losing a total of 85 lbs. Drew used running as one of his primary weight loss tools, and Runner's World actually did a profile on him a few months ago: Drew Carey | I'm A Runner.
So I feel like we're kindred spirits now, Drew & I. But there are other reasons to enjoy The Price Is Right. Just a few weeks ago in June, I was actually watching when this happened:
If you're not a fan of video posts on blogs, I'll give you the spoiler alert... a guy lost his tooth on the way to the stage. Seriously, I can't make this stuff up.
But I digress.... Let me tell you what's happening. Just this morning, I opened a hilarious letter (well, I thought so, anyway) from Wells Fargo informing us that we are now "preferred customers" as we financed our new house with Wells Fargo AND we have a checking account with the bank. The letter explains that as a reward for our loyalty, we are now eligible for a "free gift" of our choosing. YES! My very own game show prize package moment! I could almost hear the announcer bellowing "Charlesssss Baaaaiiiisssden, come on down!!! You're then next contestant on The Price Is Right"!
As much as we love fake bidding on prize packages every morning - we're stumped when it comes to selecting one of the above options. So we figured, like any confused game show contestant, that we'd poll the audience - we want your vote! Take a look at the fabulous array of prizes, and let us know what you'd pick. I'm currently leaning toward Emeril's 16 pc knife set. Meg voted Le Creuset "but not in red!" When I told her that we don't have a choice of color, she scoffed - as in - scrunched her face, threw up a hand, and made a 'schkfff' sound. So please, be my guide...
What would you get?
Press "Love It" under the item (or items) that you'd choose & cast your vote. We'll announce the results in a week!
For those of you that write a blog, have a Twitter following, or even try to send out holiday cards before it becomes January - you may be able to relate to this post...
For the past three years, our blog has been caught in an endless cycle of "catch up" posts. Every year we relaunch an effort of regular blogging in hopes of sharing photos from every shoot, which is followed by an inevitable crash when our ambitious schedule fills to the brim. As you have come to expect, our lofty goals take a nose dive and we simply disappear. The frustration & "blogger's guilt" has occasionally been enough to spur a mid-season flurry of activity - but most recently, we just left our poor little blog languishing for months without a post to even try to guilt ourselves into regular blogging.
Fast forward to our last Monday meeting (an informal weekly chat where Meg & I discuss all things business) and my wife piping up with "I really think we need to start blogging again." Cue my sigh. "Okay, Meg - that's fine. But no big proclamations this time about regular blogging - it's too embarrassing when we just stop cold 3 weeks later." Now it's her turn to sigh. "I know - but I am SERIOUS about wanting to change the purpose and format to something more - I dunno - US. I want to worry less about things sounding clever or looking perfect and I want to feel free to just TYPE - about anything. I want to talk about the new house, and what I made for dinner last night, and what home decor thingamabob I'm coveting - because that's what I like to read about on Facebook and the homemaking type blogs I follow... I want to start writing again like I am talking to a friend. If some business stuff creeps in, awesome - but I don't want to be tied down by the notion that the blog is a marketing tool anymore. If it's just about self-promotion, I'd rather get rid of it. It's not doing us any favors sitting inactive - and I know myself well enough now to know that I'm never going to warm to the whole 'look at what I did this weekend' format. So that's where I'm at." WHOA. It was like a light switch had been flipped on. We had never fully voiced the sentiment that running a blog about work took the fun out of the format for us and made it more - well - WORK. Somewhere along the way, it stopped being personal. Our voice... and perhaps more importantly, Meg's voice... got lost.
So in a rather large shift... a first for our business... we are going to transition this blog from Pulitzers Prize worthy posts a record of our shoots to a completely personal romp detailing the experiences from our journey - be it real life, our work, or something more abstract. We are officially hitting the feared "Reset" button (Nintendo users?). We are starting over.
As we begin this new chapter in the life of our blog, we invite you to pull up a chair, and grab a cup of joe (gag me, that is so overdone)... to become a part of our journey. We want you to see "behind the scenes". We want to share our iPhone pics because that's how we capture our everyday life. We're letting go of the idea that our images=our image and we vow to get real. We want you to see the personal stuff. And I'll even try to explain why Sonic Happy Hour makes us so... happy.
Change is in order and I, for one, couldn't be more excited. Stay tuned, friends.
Anytime we have the pleasure of announcing that our clients and their fabulous weddings have been featured somewhere, it's the best part of our day. Anytime that wedding can be referred to (like something as awesome) as the "500 Days of Summer Wedding" - well, that just sends us over the moon!
In honor of the final day of summer, Jet Fete - a new blog from the creators of The Bridal Bar - launched a featured post on the New Orleans destination wedding of Lauren Levy (Neustadter) & Scott Neustadter. These two Hollywood lovebirds met in the film industry: Lauren is an executive at 20th Century Fox and Scott co-wrote the screenplay for the movie (500) Days of Summer. You might have heard of it... *wink*
It's an *amazing* movie (seriously, I'm not just saying that because our client wrote it either - check it out for yourself, if you haven't already!) that was inspired by real events & conversations from Scott's life. Meg is a HUGE fan of the movie and loved reading this interview with Scott - so fellow fans might like to read up on his reality-meets-art chat over here: Huffington Post. And, of course, you must visit the Jet Fete Blog, and read all about the so-great-it-should-be-it's-own-movie story of Lauren & Scott. This one is NOT to be missed!
PS - Have you heard? This blog is getting PERSONAL!