A blog about all the things we love, regardless of how uncool they are.

Best. Labor. Day. Ever.

Posted: September 8th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Food, Life, Pittsburgh | Tags: | Comments: 1 Other Dork »

Soooooo…… I actually did quite a bit of labor this past Labor Day, but honestly I would be perfectly happy working that much every day of my life if I was always able to take an afternoon break to head over to RIB FEST!

It all started when we were having dinner with our friends, Chris and Lauren, on Saturday evening. At some point in the conversation, Lauren casually mentions that there was “some rib fest” going on over at Heinz Field, home of the Steelers. I couldn’t tell you what Lauren said after that, as I temporarily lost consciousness while envisioning myself with a face covered in barbecue sauce and a pile of rib bones in front of me. If there’s one thing that my father and my Texas roots imparted on me, it is a deep appreciation for meat cooked low and slow and slathered in barbecue sauce. As soon as I came back around, I asked Lauren to tell me everything she knew about this “rib fest” event, and we soon made a plan to attend on Labor Day afternoon. For the next 2 days, all I really thought about was ribs.

As the big event grew closer, I started getting really scared that I was going to be massively disappointed by Rib Fest. What if the food was terrible? What if it was just some run-of-the-mill carnival vendors masquerading as rib experts? What if there were only a few vendors to choose from? However, as we walked in to the stadium grounds, all of those fears were immediately quelled. What we saw were about a dozen rib vendors from all over the country with larger-than-life displays showcasing their trophies and awards from all of the competitions they had participated in and won. And all of them were grilling off ribs 8 racks at a time. It was truly a thing of beauty.

You can see all of the different ribs that we tried above – from 8 vendors in all, with my personal favorites being from a group out of North Carolina. It was also a special treat to get to eat some sausage from a group out of Fort Worth, Texas. However, the wait for those particular ribs and sausage was well over the 90 minute mark – the only bad thing about Rib Fest. The lines were definitely a huge drag, but we made the best of it and would usually split into groups of two and conquer two lines at a time, buying enough for everyone to try. Prices were pretty reasonable – about  $12 for a half rack. All of the ribs we tried we delicious and surprisingly different from each other. Add some baked beans, potato salad, corn bread, and cheese fries and we were all in hog heaven!

We had an absolutely fantastic time at Rib Fest. I’ve always wanted to go to some sort of cookoff like this – be it chili, pies, or barbecue. You better believe that this won’t be our last!

Learning to be more productive

Posted: January 27th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Life | Comments: 2 Other Dorks »

As I have made my transition from the New World into the Real World I am finding myself having to deal with a lot of things that I have started calling (to myself) “life maintenance tasks”  – all of those little things that simply must get done, but they only get in the way of everything else that you’d rather be doing. Now, I know that by even writing these words I am making myself sound ridiculously underdeveloped, but let’s face it, most of us musicians are. We spend most of our lives in  La-La-Land while others our age have long since grown up. But that is a different subject entirely.

What I really want to share with you is just a couple of quick rules that I have started living by and that have helped me to be so much more productive in this vast wasteland of free time known as freelancing. These tips are by no means revolutionary or earth-shattering, but I hope that some of my friends (and maybe some strangers) in similar positions as myself will get some use out of them.

1. MONEY MONDAYS: I’ve always been pretty good with money, but this new life has lead to many more financial obligations and more complexity than I have ever experienced up to this point (I’m sure it only gets worse). So, I’ve enacted a weekly ceremony that I call Money Monday that takes place, as it were, every Monday morning. Simply put, this is the one time during the week where I really focus on all matters financial. Bills are paid. Upcoming bills are planned for. Budgets are reassessed. Net worth is reviewed. And, most importantly, the past week’s spending is picked over using the amazing Mint.com website. Every expense on record gets a looking over, gets categorized, receives a tag if it is eligible for a tax write-off, and receives additional notes if it needs them. Pretty simple stuff, but I’ve found it so helpful to deal with these things on a weekly basis. And with everything taken care of at the beginning of the week, my mind is free to worry about other matters for another 7 days. If a financial task pops up that doesn’t need need immediate attention, it is simply added to the queue to be dealt with on Monday.

2. COMPUTERLESS MORNINGS: I honestly cannot believe how much of an effect this simple change has had on my days. I don’t need to say much about what a time-suck the internet can be. We all know it. In fact, it’s kind of happening to you right now, isn’t it? ;) By simply leaving my computer closed all morning, not opening it once (because once you do, it’s all over), I get my days started at least an hour earlier every day – easily. If I didn’t have an iPhone, I don’t know how well I would do at this. I check my email in bed every morning, read some facebook updates, check in on twitter, and then I GET A FRIGGIN MOVE ON. Now, having some web and graphic design work to attend to, I can’t go all day avoiding my computer. However, by the time I do crack the laptop open in the afternoon, I am much more focused on the work ahead of me and less likely to meander around some trashy blog. Try it out out for yourself. Maybe your computer wasteland comes later in the day, say after work? Well then maybe you’ll want to be computerless until after dinner. Just find that time when you are most wasteful, and eliminate it.

So, like I said, nothing revolutionary here. But I hope it helps some folks. Do you have rules, tips, and routines that you’ve set in place for yourself that make a huge difference in your life? We’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Welcome to 2010!

Posted: January 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Life | Tags: | Comments: 2 Other Dorks »

Well, Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you had lots of fun last night and are ready to start a fresh new year. My New Years Resolution in 2010 is to do more dork-a-thon posting. It is a resolution that I’m pretty sure I can keep. Ever since 2007 when my resolution was to “make my bed more often”, I’ve decided it’s way safer to choose resolutions that are easy to keep. And I’m not alone. Now, while everyone else is trying to “work out every day”(who has time for that?) or “do a better job of saving their money” (not in this economic climate), I’ll be over here, blissfully writing about the dorky things Jason and I do on an every day basis. And you lucky ducks get to read about it. Are you pumped or what!?

Now, to kick things off right, I think you all should see our house! We moved in in September and have been working REALLY HARD on making this place “home” ever since. (the biggest reason why we haven’t been posting). We’ve been cleaning, taking down wallpaper, pulling up carpet, painting, tirelessly searching for just the right used furniture on craigslist, decorating, the list goes on and on and on. So here’s a sneak peak of the house. This is a picture I took in November when the leaves almost finished falling. It’s cute, isn’t it?? It’s a 1935 bungalow, and the previous owners had lived here since the early 60′s. It’s in great shape for it’s age, and we love it! Some day, we plan on taking down those awnings and painting the trim a contrasting color. Hopefully it won’t be long before you see the “after” pictures.


I am wishing you all a healthy and prosperous New Year. And I really mean that! Take care of yourselves this year, and as difficult as times are for some of us, just remember what your 3rd grade teacher always said, and “Do your best”.

On Wisconsin!

Posted: August 21st, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Life | Comments: 1 Other Dork »


Well, we’ve raised anchor and sailed away from Miami for the greener, yet colder, pastures of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We just wanted to let the few people who subscribe to this blog of ours know that we still love Dork-a-thon with all of our hearts, but are currently devoting all of our energy toward finding a new place to live. However, once we’ve settle in, you can be sure that we’ll be back with lots of fun recipes, photos, crafts, and other things that make our clocks tick.

Jason & Emma

3-Day walk for Breast Cancer

Posted: May 30th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Life | Tags: , , , , | Comments: Dork out with us! »

This week I started training for a huge event to take place in November. I’m joining Jason’s mom and family in Dallas, Texas to do the 3 Day walk for Breast Cancer which benefits Susan G. Komen for the Cure. My mother and sister-in-law are also flying down from Wisconsin to join us for the event.

Since I decided to take on this challenge, I have learned of so many friends and family who have been touched by breast cancer, whether personally or through a loved one. The statistics are staggering. Of the 192,370 women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, 40,170 will lose their lives to breast cancer. Another 1,910 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and 440 men will die from the disease this year.

About one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Although older women are more at risk to get breast cancer, the disease knows very few boundaries. All women–regardless of race, ethnicity, age or family history–are at risk for breast cancer.

The 3-Day Walk for Breast Cancer is a 60-mile walk that takes place over the course of three days. Each participant makes a commitment to raise a minimum of $2300, all of which goes to breast cancer research. I am thrilled to be a part of this event. Although this will be a challenge for me, it is so exciting to be a part of something so much bigger than myself.

So far, I have rasied about $600 of my $2,300 goal through the generosity of friends an family. If you are interested in donating to help me reach my fundraising goal, please click the link below. Any amount is greatly appreciated and your efforts will not go unnoticed!

Thanks for reading!

Click here to donate!