The Post About What You've Done That's Awesome

Strawberry Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Last week, I solicited your words of wisdom about asking a boy out on the town. Did I mention your advice was crazy good?

It was.

The boy is out of town but I've nudged him digitally a couple of times to remind him how fabulous I am. We seem to be on the same page about that. I'll keep you posted. 



The Post About The Rabbit Recommends v.90

Each week or so I post a readable or watchable and/or a listenable of which I'm fond. You can choose what happens after my recommendation. Ignore, embrace, debate.

Earlier volumes of The Rabbit Recommends can be found here.

Summer has always equaled music to me. The year was 1983 and my babysitter Angie would leave me in her pool for hours while she baked her skin. My job was to rewind the cassette tape so we could hear more Cyndi Lauper, Bananarama, Irene Cara and Michael Jackson. 

Who had a choreographed dance to Michael Sembello's Maniac? Me too.

So each year on Memorial Day weekend, I take the time to craft what I believe to be an ideal mix for windows down and sunglasses on.


The Post About a Weekend of Memorializing

Crazy busy weekend which will include:

Cilantro Bunch
1. Consuming as much of this glorious herb in a variety of dishes including The Pioneer Woman's Restaurant Style Salsa.

2. Getting this cup full of golden goodness. Then I will have spent hundreds of dollars for a gold piece of Starbucks plastic with my name on it. And I will love it like a child from my womb.

3. Playing more words like this and beating Karen933. She lives in the middle of nowhere where I'm pretty sure no one wears shoes outside in the same place they have to use the bathroom. Yet, she spells like a ninja on ADD meds. If you would like to spend time with me in this venue, please select Jamiesrabbits as your opponent.

4. Dropping cash at 2nd and Charles on real books with stitched binding and smelly pages.Click the picture to snag your own coupon.

Carnton Plantation Confederate Cemetary
5. Remembering what really matters.  

"The story of America's quest for freedom is inscribed on her history in the blood of her patriots."  Randy Vader

What are you doing? Is it better? Probably.

{images: Jamie}


The Post About Who Should Make The First Move?

Heart the Window
Let's talk about love, shall we? 

And by "love" I mean "like."

And  by "we" I mean "you."

A new blog I've recently fallen for is A Woman's Guide to Women: A Blog for Men. Sharideth, the woman behind the curtain, posed this pot-stirring question yesterday:

I encourage you to go forth and answer for thyself. My complex and thoughtful answer to that question is "Maybe. Probably not." 

So I have my own question. It's inspired by my guy friend (are we really friends?) who claimed I should ask out the gentleman on whom I have a wee lil' crush. 

Should I make the ask? Should I wait to be pursued? Does it matter? Guys - do you care? Ladies - should I care?

I expect you to bring your best to the table. My mother is depending on it.
{image: Jamie}


The Post About Being in a Fight With My Gall Bladder

Aren't they adorable? A nice balance of generic and Whole Foods elitist.

Unfortunately, they're destroying me from the inside out.

You see, the gall bladder is a small organ that helps you digest fat. Some people may put more pressure on that organ than others. Particular when eating Mexican food or at Arby's. 

Sidebar: The Chicken Bacon & Swiss is the best sandwich ev-uh.

If you continually use your gall bladder as a whipping boy, it will conjure up little magic stones to curse your evenings. Unless of course you think 3am browsing sessions at WebMD are good times.
The factors increasing your risk of gall bladder mutiny are: 
  • Female: Stupid Eve.
  • Fertile: Stupid Cain, Abel, et al.
  • Forty: Stupid aging.
  • Fat: Stupid muffin top.
  • Family: First, there was the being short and affection for elastic. Now this. High five Mom.
  • Fair: Being Caucasian is not your friend here. We also age badly.
A visit to the doctor's office yesterday led to an ultrasound appointment and a list of things I should and should not be eating to avoid surgery.

1. Fiber: Nurse suggested high fiber cereals, none of which were Cookie Crisp or Cap'n Crunch.
2. Omega 3: Nurse suggested grilling fish at home. She lost me at touching a fish.
3. Vitamin C: Nurse suggested juices, which is not milk. Uh oh.
I'm looking for pills that can serve as worthy substitutes for that list.

Should Not:
1. Cow's Milk and all its phenomenal derivatives: I immediately began rocking back and forth and muttering lines from Rain Main. Hello...what's the creepy Kashi supposed to float in?
2. Sugar: I might have started to pull my own hair.
Silver lining...
3. Radishes, Turnips, Cabbage, Broccoli, and Cauliflower: That's exactly like my doctor telling me I'm too fat to run. Fine by me. 

Upon calling my Mom to detail my doctor's visit and ask where she'd like me to have the Thank-You-For-The-Heredity hydrangeas delivered, this conversation ensued:

Mom: Honey, I've been meaning to mention something. You should consider this online dating site I've been hearing about.

Me: So...when you hear I may be dying, even just figuratively because of the ban on cow's milk,  your first thought is "find a husband?"

Mom: You'll need someone to take care of you. And help you pick out a tombstone.

So what you? What seems to be ailing you? Or better yet, what fiber cereals includes a cartoon character?

{image: Jamie}


The Post About My 5 Favorite Apps for iPhone Photography

My family's never really been camera people. My mother only now is using a film point and shoot manufactured by KimoraLeeYamaguchi or something Asianesque like that.

Disclaimer: This is not me excusing the absence of second-born photographs.

However, the nurturing took hold and I was never the one posing the group and capturing the moment. Until now.

And there are 2 factors:
1. Konrad, the Nikon SLR camera.
2. Bugs, the iPhone.

I'm particularly obsessed with Bugs, so I thought I'd share my favorite photography apps. 

Camera+ really is revolutionary with bells and whistles and such. Whether you're Annie Leibowitz or my mom, you'll love it. Take your pics straight from the app and adjust exposure, ISO, and focus. It includes the delightful feature of a "photo flashlight" which lets you see how scary the flash will be first and then adjust. You can tweak based on scene and add FX effects all within the app. And then export it to all kinds of places like your library, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and email. If you only get one app - this is the one.

Sometimes a photo is great, but it's greater when it gets a caption. Right across its face. With Labelbox, you pick your tape, pick your words and save. Also send to many of your social media hangouts.

Diptic lets you tell a story with your photos by creating collages in all types of layouts. The above photo was to tell the story of what Camera+ could do with a photo taken on a Blackberry.
This collage tells of a story of serving folks who survived the wrath of a deadly tornado. Plus, I threw in a lovely label for good measure.

Sometimes you want what you can see, not what your lens can see. That's where Photosynth excels. Shoot wraparound panoramas and then easily publish to Facebook or your website. I look forward to using it when I'm in prettier places. Like outside. For now, all you get is my 3 cups, my favorite printer and all the scissors I hoard.

5. Instagram
Instagram is ideal for photos and for socializing. Sort of like tailgating or the DMV. Take a pic, filter, and add to your feed. You can also send directly to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or email. Some of my favorites to follow are @carynorton, @jasminestar, @karlaarcher, and @shannonsteele. Feel free to take a gander at the Jamie's Rabbits feed. It's truly riveting.

5 Bonus Apps I Hug and Squeeze:
Flickr: Great manager of your online library. 

Color Effects: Do you wish your picture of a red rose only showed that rose in color? You're in luck.

Hipstamatic: I'm 10% 60-year-old hipster so I adore the app that takes your photos back in time to analog.

TiltShiftGen: I'm 65% 12-year-old girlie girl. So having an app that makes it appear as though I took them from a Hello Kitty toy camera is winning.

Half Tone: I know the bulk of you are moms or pale geeky guys. For you boys, here's to you. This app conjured up this of my godson:

Finally, learn even more about taking your iPhone to the next photography level with my favorite mecca of knowledge: iPhoneography.

So...what did I leave off the list?

For the record: I'm 25% highly functioning, mature adult.

{images: Jamie}


The Post About The Birds Who Carry Your Email Away

I sometimes serve as the backup technical wizard at my office. 

I thought it was because I was young and spry. But most of my questions come from those younger and spry-er. They say it's actually because I use terms like "jpeg" and "hashtag."

Recently, a coworker frantically called due to an email lingering in her Outlook outbox. After a few questions, I deduced the drama was related to the Mount Rushmore-sized attachment. 

No one embraces limits. Even when I clearly explain that the "birds who carry the email to the far off land of Serverbia" can only fly with so much weight on their wings.

Sidebar: How snazzy is Matt Wertz' new album Weights & Wings?

I suggested we delete the outgoing email from the outbox, but it wasn't budging when we tried the Plan A combo of highlight and delete. So here's what came next:

Me: Why don't we try clicking the email & dragging it to the deleted folder?

Coworker: How do I do that? 

Me: Just click the email so it's highlighted and while holding down the left button on your mouse, pull it till it hovers over the folder labeled "deleted items" and then release the mouse button.

Coworker: I don't have a mouse.

Me: What? 

Coworker: Remember, I have a laptop. So I don't have a mouse.

Me: {blink, blink}

For the record, young and educated does not necessarily mean savvy. 

I blame a childhood filled with too many trophies for just showing up.
{image: Jamie}


The Post About Short Term Memory Problems Making You Late

I have some short-term memory issues. Hence the rabbit-chasing.

Exhibit A
This morning I was getting ready in the bathroom and remembered my lipstick was in my handbag which was in the living room. I stopped lining my eyes, walked 30 feet directly to the lipstick and saw a book I needed to return to work. I placed the book in my bag and walked back to the bathroom. No lipstick.

That scenario happens almost daily. Just substitute any room and any object and end the story with me asking "Why did I come in here?"

Exhibit B
After a long Lenten season of fasting television, I was ready for 30 Rock on Easter Sunday. 

But where was the remote? I searched for 15 minutes and almost decided to do laundry when I said to myself "THINK! Where could it be?"  

And then I remembered this:
Remote Control Out of Place
In a different room on my Rainbow Brite bookshelf

How did I know? Because this may or may not be where my sound system is the loudest when I may or may not do my cleaning-the-house-dance-breaks when I may or may not also need a "microphone."

Exhibit C
One pair of sneakers. One casual Friday. Can't find the right one of the pair. No reason for it to be anywhere but where I'm looking. Unfortunately the search is delayed by this:

You have a pile like this, right? Clean clothes lying on top of hangars and left shoes. Just me?

Even after digging through that fresh as a spring breeze monstrosity, there was still no missing sneaker. So I said to myself "THINK! Where could it be?" 

And then I remembered this:
This was a photograph I took of one shoe in my driveway for the post when my doctor told me I was too fat to run. Also, the last time I saw those shoes. Missing sneaker was by the front door. 

If I'm ever late, now you know why.

P.S. We have a winner of the $30 Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic Gift Card:
Winner: Miss Manda who said...  I think my kindness is beautiful :) or my teeth 

Miss Manda - congrats! Contact me at jamiesrabbits@gmail.com to collect your bounty!

{images: Jamie}


The Post About The Rabbit Recommends v.89

Each week or so I post a readable or watchable and/or a listenable of which I'm fond. You can choose what happens after my recommendation. Ignore, embrace, debate.

Earlier volumes of The Rabbit Recommends can be found here.

I'm not necessarily recommending one specific book although you wouldn't regret some Bossypants via Tina Fey. You will LOL even if you're like me and realize the "LOL" has lost all integrity.

Today, I'm suggesting checking out e-books from your public library. My obsession with e-books took off when God got up in my bidness about my boyfriend Tele Vision. During Lent, I managed to read 11 books. And not wash my sheets.

E-check out is free, easy and accessible on your e-reader, smartphone, and desktop/laptop. Overdrive wins most popular since it provides 13,000 libraries with virtual libraries. You can visit the Overdrive Search Engine to see if your local library is cool like that.

Positives about the E-Library:
1. No conversation that starts off with "Where did I put my book?"
2. No conversation that starts off with "What page was I on?" I normally ask this when I fall asleep while reading. Although my drool stain is a great bookmark, it's usually found 6-8 pages ahead of what I can remember reading last. It's quite impressive how many pages I can turn while unconscious.
3. No dirty looks from the library scientist. I managed to keep Stephen King's Just After Sunset for 17 weeks and still didn't read it. It's now on my wish list in my e-library app.
4. Free.

I know you purists will argue things like feeling paper and smelling paper and I was with you. I even have a Rainbow Brite home library. But my cyber-crush Michael Hyatt called it 2 years ago in his post "That E-Book Thing Will Never Catch On." He included this:
"In 1442, 'I will never get used to a book. It doesn’t feel right. I just love the experience of unrolling a scroll and the beauty of hand-written words.' Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type and the mechanical printing press in 1439."

We can only cling to any one thing for so long.

Note: This advice does not apply to scrunchies or Saved By The Bell.

A few ornery tornadoes hung out in my state 2 weeks ago and so many have raised their hands to help us recover and rebuild. I speak for every Alabamian by saying "Thank Y'all!"

One way you can give AND get:

The compilation album "The Wind Will Carry the Voice of the People" includes some of my favorite artists:
All proceeds go to The Red Cross Disaster Relief Efforts in Alabama.

Plus, it continues our digital theme since you download the album. Therefore, no cursing over the RIDICULOUS CD LABEL THAT CAN'T BE REMOVED WITHOUT A PICK AX.

Recommending Disclaimer: I don't suggest anything because I get it free or because I have some sort of illicit relationship with an e-librarian or musician. However, I would be more than willing to consider one with the latter.


The Post About How Comic Sans Can Help and Hurt

My friend and coworker Lisa texted me a snippet of "How To Remember Everything" in this month's Health Magazine

Sidebar: Health is an ideal publication to read while not exercising and bingeing on Doritos.

Health Magazine Article
Lisa wasn't necessarily critiquing my memory skills, but she wouldn't have been far off the mark.

I promise to post the details of my most recent come-apart over a missing sneaker.

Lisa's text was actually intended to point out #3 in the memory protection tactics.
Health Magazine Article
Lisa, a lover of the font Comic Sans, thought she'd found a weapon to battle my well-documented font snobbery.

She is wrong. As is the scientific study. As is Health Magazine. As is your mother.

Comic Sans is diabolical. 

As is its slimy cousins Kristen and Papyrus.

Note: My favorite free handwriting fonts are found at KevinandAmanda.com.

{images: Jamie}


The Post About $30 Gift Card Giveaway

Peanut Depot Morris Avenue
In Birmingham, there's a movement to embrace one simple fact: You Are Beautiful.

That phrase has popped up on overpasses, sides of buildings, and in bathroom stalls as a reminder that you're quite snazzy despite what the mirror might say.

And my mirror can be quite the trash talker. That's why I never clean it.

Plus, I've learned to simply respond politely with "That's not very kind." Or "What do you know, you stupidhead?"

So what about you? What makes you beautiful? 

As an incentive for your disclosure, I'm giving away a $30 Gap / Banana Republic / Old Navy Gift Card.
Because sometimes rather than eat my feelings, I buy them presents.

How To Enter:

Leave a comment answering the question:

What's one thing about you that's beautiful?

**2 Extra Credit Entries**

Each of the following will give you one extra entry in the giveaway. Please make sure to leave a separate comment for each thing you do!

1. "Like" Jamie's Rabbits on

2. Follow Jamie's Rabbits on

**You can accomplish both of these tasks by clicking on the links.**

Important Details: Open to anyone in the US or Canada. Must enter before 11:59pm CST on Sunday, May 15 to qualify. Winner will be chosen randomly using Research Randomizer and announced Monday. Obviously, anonymous folks can't win unless they leave a name in the comment. P.S. Although my closet could be a spokesmodel for Gap and its subsidiaries, they don't know the first thing about this giveaway.

Visit the You Are Beautiful Birmingham Facebook Page or the B-Metro (you) are beautiful feature to learn more about this good times art project.
{image: Jamie}


The Post About When Jan Wrote a Book

I Heart Mom

I wore this shirt today. 

The first photo I took was while wearing it, but it lays quite differently. And I'm trying to keep this blog SFW (suitable for work).

Whether plumped up or flat, the shirt is not a lie. I do love my Mom. One of the biggest reasons lies in the pages of this book:
DSC_9831 copy
Are you someone who ponders the perfect Mother's Day gift for months and months?

Me neither. 

One year, I found myself having failed the pondering yet again and needing to snag something on the way to see my mom. This led to a drug store which led to the above book. 

The tchotchke of books.

DSC_9834 copy
It's one of those Hallmark-ish journals with 200 questions for a mother to answer about every moment she's ever experienced. It's essentially work.

My mom received it as she has received every gift she's ever been given...with gushing and flourishing and bear hugging.

And then 2.5 years passed and she regifted it.

To me.

DSC_9835 copy

It was filled to the brim with the minutes of a life well-lived. Moments that were powerful and poignant and reminded me that Jan Golden is a person.

A pretty phenomenal person.

DSC_9837 copy

She included advice worthy of a second and third read.

DSC_9829 copy

There's the Macaroni and Cheese that will solve your problems. Or at least induce the carbohydrate coma to help you forget said problems.

DSC_9841 copy

She even made it about me since she knows how much I like that. I choose to ignore the fact that the pictures jump from 18 months to 18. Second born syndrome.

DSC_9845 copy

She even added little scraps that speak some crazy truth.

Dear Mom,

You're the bee's knees.

Your Favorite (although pictures don't support that claim.)

{images: Jamie}


The Post About A Week in Pictures

I pressed pause for the week because of that pesky natural disaster that wrecked my state.

However, I thought I would share some moments from the last week to tide you over until we return to our regularly scheduled blogging.

Keep Calm and Carry On

I purchased this recently from a snazzy Etsy shop: CollagOrama. It was an ideal week to write this advice of the British on my heart.

Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs
Sometimes I ignored the above advice and lived by the mantra "Keep Calm and Eat Your Feelings." 50% off is a tool of the devil.

DSC_9447 copy
First grown-up photo shoot. It was equal parts joy and nausea. Photographer Jasmine Star suggests 800 hours of shooting in order to become really good at portraits. My apologies to Maranda and Derek who got to be a part of hours 1 and 2. Feel free to take a gander at the results on Flickr.

Alabama Tornado April 27 2011
And there's still that tornado business. This is a gas station near my home. I bought gum there last week. You can see more disaster photos on my Flickr stream.

The back of the @dreamcakesbham truck does not lie. Thank you for my #ALsocme yummy!
Did I mention I've been eating my feelings?

{images: Jamie}


The Post About Tornado Disaster in Alabama

Tornado Debris

I took a break from blogging early last week for the following reasons:
1. I only got 5 hours of sleep on Sunday night.
2. I slept 10.5 hours on Monday night.
3. I was retaining 5 lbs of water during #1 and #2.

By Wednesday I was ready to write. However, that evening the 2nd worst tornado disaster in US history happened. 

And "happened" isn't really a fair descriptor.

Think bigger than that. Think 148 separate tornadoes that left 339 people dead in 6 states. And 250 of those are from Alabama.

Now think smaller than that. Think one of those tornadoes touched down only 3 miles from my house and left this in its wake in my community.

Alabama Tornado April 27 2011

Alabama Tornado April 27 2011

Alabama Tornado April 27 2011

Alabama Tornado April 27 2011

Alabama Tornado April 27 2011

I captured these images while volunteering with Operation Blessing which is providing hot meals to first responders, relief workers, and those families trying to salvage what's left of their property in Pratt City and Smithfield.

Some of you navigate your own meteorological demons like earthquakes or blizzards or hurricanes. Meanwhile, I grew up here where terms like wall cloud and hook echo simply meant hopping in the bathtub and waiting out the weather.

But this was different. For the first time I actually left home and huddled with neighbors at a makeshift storm shelter at my church. And in moments, lives were lost and homes were rubble and despair set up camp across the state.

I returned home and found no electricity, no cell service, and no clean water. I also found walls and a roof and trees exactly as I left them. 

I didn't fully understand the storm's impact until driving to work the next day and passing the above neighborhoods. Suddenly they weren't just images on a newscast. They were the homes of moms I see at Wal-Mart and grandfathers I see at Lowe's and kids who play basketball at my church.

And the pink purse pictured at the top? It's storm debris I found in my yard. 

Who's the little girl now missing her go-to accessory? Is she safe...scared...alive?

Despair has taken up residence across Alabama.

But he cannot stay. He is not welcome here.

Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.  
Jeremiah 31:13

If you'd like to be a part of relief efforts, please consider a financial donation to any of the following who are just a sample of the organizations coordinating amazing efforts on the front lines:
You can also visit Alabama Possible's Tornado Relief Page and learn about a variety of ways to give, serve, advocate and organize across the state.

{images: Jamie}
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