Tuesday, December 31, 2013

14 Goals for 2014 (Part II: 7-14)

Here is part two of my 2014 goals:

8. Monthly pampering. It's incredible how wonderful a massage can make you feel and I've recently fallen in love with facials. I'd really like to make it a regular, monthly indulgence to get a massage and/or a facial.
9. I used to love working out and doing Pilates either on my lunch break or as soon as I got home in the evening. It's been over a year since I last worked out! It's so easy to make excuses to avoid it, but whenever I start up again I 'm always happy and immediately feel the results. I tell myself that I should exercise every day, but maybe making it a resolution will help. So, here it is: I'd like to start doing Pilates again in 2014.
10. I will be recommitting to my job! I've lost that spark that makes me get into the office early and for the last month or two my 15 minutes late has turned into an hour. One thing that would certainly help me to move faster in the morning is to pre-plan my outfit. It's time to be a grown-up again and set my clothes out the night before like an elementary school child.
11. Keep tidy. Strangely, I used to enjoy regularly keeping the house tidy, but I've let things slide since I've been a housewife. I'd like to get back onto my regular Sunday afternoon cleaning schedule. After all, a tidy home is a happy home.
12. Better food choices at work. Several weeks ago, I rationed a 3 pound bag of candy over the course of a week and justified it because it was "lunch time." Not only will eating better help me with my fitness goals, but bringing my lunch would also help to curb spending.
13. Watch less Netflix Streaming! BBC and I got a blue ray layer as a wedding present and have been overloading on Netflix. I've gone through the entire TLC database and am now working on every true crime documentary television show known to mankind. It's gotta stop.
14. And finally, I want to continue doing the best I possibly can. I won't change the world and I won't cure cancer, but I can make the 6 feet area around me as lovely and wonderful as possible.
 

Monday, December 30, 2013

14 Goals for 2014 (Part I: 1-7)

1. It wouldn't be a new year without a resolution to loose weight. This year, however, I'm going to actually  try to help my sweet Cecilia lose some weight. She's tipping the scales at 17 pounds, which doesn't sound too terrible for a cat, but her frame is so tiny that it looks like she swallowed a bowling ball. This recent picture Letty took of her really opened my eyes to her obesity.
Her bulge goes on forever!

2. Costa Rica! BBC and I really wanted to honeymoon in Costa Rica, but didn't have the money after all our wedding costs. Our plan is to go in October for our 1 year anniversary and honeymoon every subsequent year in October. Nothing like a vacation to keep the love flowing.
3. Graduate school! I've applied to UT for a Master's program in higher education administration. I won't find out if I got in until February, but if I do I will start class in September. How exciting!
4. More career advancement. Getting a Master's has always been an educational goal of mine and the program I want to study will certainly help me advance my career, but there are other steps that I need to consider as well. I'd like to move up the 'ole ladder and work in a larger research center at UT. 
5. After all my hard work getting out of overwhelming credit card debt, it's pretty hard for me to carry a balance on my credit cards. We funded our wedding ourselves, much of which was on a credit card and there is still more to pay off. So, in 2014, I will once again work tirelessly to get out of debt. Fortunately, this time around, it won't be as intense or stressful. Yay to fiscal responsibility!
6. I eat too much damn meat! I first became vegetarian in the 6th grade after learning that my super cool teacher was. I was even vegan for over 5 years, but for the last couple of years I have been eating meat like I was trying to catch up for lost time. I would really like to eat less meat or, moreover, only eat meat when it's a special occasion or a fancy opportunity to try something extraordinary.
7.  Get my wardrobe and closets in order. Like most of the women I know, I have too many clothes. My dresser and closets are overflowing and owning more than 100 sweaters in Texas is just insane. I'd really like to get rid of anything that I haven't worn in more than a year, except the sentimental things. The encouraging thing is that I've had a pretty high success rate reselling things on eBay. Of course, the first thing I want to do with the money I earn from selling my old clothes is to buy new things. Maybe I should enact a two-out-one-in policy.

Monday, December 23, 2013

2013- My 13 Favorite Things

2013 seems to have flown right by, but the year was full of wonderful things. Here are my 13 favorite moments of 2013:

1. Getting married! I, honestly, never planned on getting married, but everything changed when BBC and I started dating. We had been friends for years and I had always been very attracted to him, but life just surprises you some times. He's truly my best friend and better half. Here are two of my favorite wedding pictures and my first blog post after we were engaged. BBC + LD = LUV




2. Buying a new car. I had been without a car for over three years and BBC's was putting on some years. We still wanted to be a one car family, but just wanted a nicer car. I'm so happy with our Honda Element!



3. Oakland trip. In May BBC and I joined Beth, Matt, and Lacey for a wonderful Bay Area vacation. We stayed with Greg and Yea-Ming and had the cheapest and most fun vacation ever. You can see more photos and read about our trip here: Bay Area Vacation Photos

The gang at Alcatraz


4. Honeymooning. Since we financed most of our wedding ourselves, our honeymoon was a budgeted one, but since many of our friends donated to our honeymoon registry, we were still able to live it up big in a small-time fashion. You can read more about it here: Honeymoon'

Beers and steers in Luckenbach, Texas


5. Football season with the ladies. Every fall I work part-time at the UT football games. I've been fortunate to work with several of my girlfriends in the past, but this season was exceptional with Karen, Margaret, and Letty by my side.

Letty, Karen, LD, Margaret

Letty, LD, Karen, Margaret


6. Grandy's. Brandon and I love Grandy's. I don't think much explanation is needed beyond that, but we were fortunate enough to have two seperate trips to the DFW area where we got to put Grandy's deep into our faces.

BBC makes his Grandy's into a sammy


7. My bachelorette party! I can't remember ever having a ladies trip even though my girlfriends are some of the most important people in my life. My bachelorette party couldn't have been more perfect: my gals, 24 hours of spa time, and pina coladas. You can read about it here: The Last Days of Spinsterhood



8. The few, sweet bubble baths I've taken. I love the quaint little cottage we live in, but I have always been a bubble bath gal and not having a tub has been surprisingly hard on me. Every bath I've had this year has been heavenly. Bathing while cat sitting for Beth, sleepovers at my parents' house, visiting the Baishes in Denton, the night before our wedding..... every tubby has been so perfect!

9. This year marks my first facial and eyebrow waxing. I've always hated my eyebrows because frankly, I wish I had more eyebrow hair. I thought getting them waxed would just be a mute point, but Ella at Esty did an amazing job making my sparse brows look fuller by waxing and shaping them. She's a wizard and you should visit her. Here's the important LINK to book an appointment with Ella.

10. My mum's 1st entire year of sobriety! I am constantly amazed by my mother's endurance and tenacity dealing with her addiction. I never knew my mother sober until last year when she went through treatment. She's an exceptional and strong woman and I'm so proud of her journey.

Wedding day with my mum

11. Beyonce! It may seem strange to put Beyonce on my list of favorite things from 2013, but I think it's pretty understandable. Beyonce is definitely my spirit animal and since her new albumn dropped, 2013 is ending on a high note. I unsuccessfully tried to make Halo  our first dance wedding song and Drunk in Love  is the newest single to get my booty bouncing.





It's truly been an amazing year for me, but I've been racking my brain and can't find two more things to round off my list. So, I present to you, two of my favorite blog posts from 2013 to complete the wonderful 13:

12. Yoplait Moments




 13. Oscar Schmoscar

Thursday, December 12, 2013

'Tis the Season to be Shopping

A lot of my favorite blogs are posting gift guides and wishlists to inspire Christmas shopping. Personally, I'm not a fan of Christmas shopping even though giving gifts is one of my favorite things to do. Quite frankly, I don't have the money to purchase holiday presents and I don't like being told to give gifts. Presents for no reason are always a better surprise! Even though my go to Christmas gifts are homemade pickled green beans, I thought I'd present some gift ideas for those people we love.

For my lovely cat ladies:
Squeeze me and die!




 For new dads and fathers to be:


Para los niƱos:


For our 4-legged friends:

For your crafty pals:
  
What's on my own Christmas wishlist:
I'm not really sure why this girl is sleeping!



Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Father's Day

Last night I started getting sappy while drinking hot cider in bed with the kitties. I am so fortunate to have the lovely life I do, but in that same moment, I remind myself that I've earned it by successfully moving past those roadblocks that come up from time to time. If I had to do it all over again, I gladly would, but the second time around, I would take my dad's advice.

I posted those sentiments on the 'ole Facebook, which made me want to elaborate with a blog. Since people have "Christmas in July," why can't I have a Father's Day moment in December. So, here is my very short list of great advice from my dad* that I wish I would have heeded.

*[Blog footnote here: I have two dads and have disregarded great advice from both of them. This list is a combined effort from both my dad and my father.]

  • While working on my undergraduate degree in fine arts, I failed a test and was held back in the highly competitive photography program. My disappointment led me to momentarily consider switching majors and becoming an elementary school teacher. While my mum was distraught and horrified that I wasn't going to be an artist, my dad gave me the best career advice ever! He said that it didn't really matter what I did for work or if I felt fulfilled in my job. The only thing that was important is that I felt fulfilled in my life and had a job that afforded me enough money to buy a six pack a night.
  • After college, I saved up money (despite the fact that I was comfortably racking up tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt) to buy a brand new washer and dryer. A year or so after purchasing my shiny new Whirlpool I moved to Phoenix. My father suggested I sell the washer and dryer, which absolutely appalled me. So instead, I rented a storage unit for two years at $40 a month while I lived in a shitty apartment without hookups. In conclusion, I spent twice the amount of money the washer and dryer were worth just so I could keep them and not use them!
  • I have had a handful of breakups in my life, but I had never been heartbroken to the point I was a few years ago when I ended the long-term relationship I was in prior to BBC. My heart was in such a terrible place and my mind had completely gone missing. While talking to my dad, who called me every other day just to chat and listen to me cry, I told him that I had sent one of those terrible, groveling emails begging for reconciliation. The second I sent it, I knew I didn't want to be with Mr. Ex again, but I still couldn't stop myself from wanting to put it out there. Richard (my dad), naturally went into his physicist brain and told me the following Einstein quote,  Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  My dad also told me, during this time, that one day, I would fall in love with my best friend and I would have "so much fun." I didn't believe him, but damn if it didn't happen!

With my sister and my father- 2002-ish

With my dad, 2003




Monday, December 2, 2013

Thankfully

I hope everybody had a lovely Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving used to be my favorite holiday several years ago, before I started working at the UT football games. The last home game of every season is on Thanksgiving, which means I rarely get to enjoy a friends and/or family meal. Thursday I woke up with a killer migraine that wouldn't go away, even with my super duper migraine pills. I missed work and the turkey that comes along with it, but my pouting only lasted a day because I had Letty's Friendsgiving to look forward to on Black Friday.

Keeping with Thanksgiving tradition, I present a list of 13 (since it's 2013) things I am thankful for:
  • My wonderfully, sweet husband.
  • Having the ability to pay bills online.
  • Soup
  • A warm home during the cold nights.
  • A job that doesn't require a uniform.
  • Our new car. Last week we bought a Honda Element! We drove through the hill country this weekend and all the windows throughout the car make it great for scenic drives.
 

  • Wendy Davis! I'm counting down the days until Texas has a new governor.
  • Netflix streaming
  • Cyber Monday! I'm racking up some amazing deals, y'all. 20% off here, 50% off there!
  • This song, that always gets my blood pumping:

  • The best girlfriends a lady could ever ask for.
  • Shellac nail polish that lasts more than a few days before chipping.
  • My wonderful, lovely life!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thursday Tidbits

  • Are scabs compostable?
  • One of my best friends, and hairdresser, is about to go on maternity leave to have her first baby. While I'm super excited to meet 'lil Charlie, I'm terrified about my hair looking less than fabulous. Today I get coiffed and on Christmas Pam will get the best present ever.
  • My personality animal is a dolphin, y'all. What's yours?

  • I've joined an online dieting competition. You pay your entrance bet and if you meet the goals (often to lose 4% of your body weight in 2 weeks), then you share the pot of money with everybody else who met the goal. Letty has been doing it for some time now, and I just needed the motivation to slim down. I'll let y'all know how it goes and hopefully I'm the only one who loses the weight and can win the entire $9,000 pot. Fat chance! 
  • I got my first facial this week and I absolutely loved it!!! Ella, at Esty, is an esthetician friend and I've been meaning to get a facial from her forever!  I finally did it and it was absolutely amazing! My skin started having some bumpy issues whenever I first started planning the wedding, but they still haven't gone away. Already, after just a couple of days, my skin is looking better. I also learned some valuable things. For example, I exfoliate way too much (twice a day usually) and dairy can cause all sorts of skin issues, especially if you're having digestive issues. Let's just say, that since I've started eating yogurt daily (as a part of my pre-wedding calorie crunch), my GI tract has been a little tumultuous.   

Friday, November 15, 2013

5 Facts Friday

  • Last night I hosted our monthly ladies movie night after having taken a break for October. We decided to have a Hanksgiving to celebrate Tom Hanks, Thanksgiving, and turkey, of course, but things didn't quite go as smoothly as usual. After a formal vote, we decided to watch The Burbs, but I forgot to rent it and it was damned near impossible to find online (AKA not on Netflix streaming!). We ended up watching Joe vs. the Volcano instead, which I really love. Also, half of our crew was sick, had lady cramps, or just couldn't make it.  Worst of all, Margaret spilled hot coco on herself!
  • Here's a picture of two feral co-eds I saw on campus today.
Bathing kitties
  • This Christmas the husband and I have decided to skip visiting the families. We got to see everybody at the wedding and since we had such a lovely time staying close to town and cozy-ing up on our honeymoon we're going to do it again. Naturally, the most important thing in searching for vacation rentals has been a jacuzzi! 
  • In more Christmas news, the annual departmental holiday party at work will have a karaoke contest. Jessica and I will perform a duet, but we haven't decided what song yet. Islands in the Stream  isn't on the list of available songs, but for unknown reasons there are tons of Cher songs. Here's my favorite, but I don't think it's really duet material:



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wednesday Tidbits

Happy, happy Wednesday, y'all!!! Feast on these tidbits:
  • I'm applying for grad school! It was my original plan many, many years ago to get a Master's degree, but after my Bachelor's in Fine Arts, I wasn't completely sure of what direction to go. I've been in love with administrative work after years of doing it, so when I found out that UT had an Higher Education Administration master's program, I figured it was a perfect fit. I take the GRE on Friday, apply for admission in December, and in February I will find out if my social life is put on hold for two years. Fingers crossed!
  • Once again, BBC and I will be working on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving used to be my favorite holiday before I started working at the UT football games, but since I've gone so many years without celebrating, it just feels like any other day. This year, however, we will be celebrating with friends on Black Friday, so we'll still get our turkey, gravy, and stuffing on.
  • Well, it's official: I have legally changed my name! My Darcy days are over.
  • I've been very slow in getting our house back in order since the wedding. For weeks leading up to the wedding, we had a living room full of boxes (wedding stuff, unopened presents, etc.) and while I've eliminated those, I haven't had a chance to TCB and get our house cleaned and organized. Between honeymooning and football games, all of my weekends have been full. This weekend, while BBC is working at Fun Fun Fun Fest, I will be sailing through a multipage to-do list. I can't wait!!!
  • I'm anxious to get another tattoo! While I do want to get some sort of crow tattoo to symbolize my new married life, I still have two more pigeon tattoos on the wait list. I'd like a two-headed pigeon in black and grey with the 'Lil Wayne lyric, "far from the usual," but I'd also like an anatomical diagram of the internal organs of a pigeon. Why do I want so many pigeon tattoos? Anyhow, that brings me to the following: How To Love, by 'Lil Wayne and the insides of a pigeon.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Honeymoonin'

This past weekend BBC and I took a mini honeymoon and headed out to Fredricksburg. We had originally wanted to honeymoon in Costa Rica, but he didn't want to take time off from his new job and our money rapidly disappeared while planning our wedding, so we've put that off until next October. We easily made our first executive decision as a married couple to honeymoon annually on our anniversary.

We booked our Fredricksburg weekend after a very strong recommendation of Two Wee Cottages, from Pam. This place was great, y'all! The prices are extremely reasonable, the owners are strict about giving you lots of privacy (we didn't see them one time), and you get your own private, secluded hot tub just outside the cottage door in a screened in patio.

Our little cottage, "My Little House"

What more do I have to say?! Private Hot TUB!


Staying at Two Wee Cottages felt like staying at your Grandmother's house, but without the mothball smell and if Grandma tried her damnedest to make your stay pampered and romantic as if her only hope of great grandbabies was riding on your happiness there. The place was covered in doilies, delicious, fresh, homemade bread was waiting for us when we arrived, and the homemade goodies were replenished twice a day: strudels, cakes, brownies..... we seriously gained pounds of weight here with all the yummy baked goods. The kitchen was also fully stocked with our favorite soft drinks, juice, cereal, tea, and coffee. It certainly lives up to the Bed and Breakfast+ that was advertised. We brought our left over case of champagne from the wedding and drank mimosas all day while wearing the super cozy bathrobes provided.

Cake and Cake and Cake and Cake and Cake!

Hubby in a robe

After lounging in bed all morning and afternoon, we started our adventure by hiking up Enchanted Rock. I had never been before and was starting to get skeptical as we drove towards it. It looked more like a dirt covered hill than a rock, but once we started walking up the skepticism quickly went away. Damn, that thing truly is one huge, enchanting rock. The hike was pretty steep and several times I thought I was too lazy and out of shape to make it, but I did and the view was worth all the leg cramps. After all, I knew there was a hot tub waiting for me when I was done.

A big rock on an even bigger rock!

Sweetie was bitten by some cacti

Thumbs up, I did it!





We had a fancy dinner at Navajo Grill and took in what counts as the nightlife in downtown Fredricksburg. Small town people-watching is usually pretty exciting, but we couldn't really take more than an hour of drinks here and there. Brandon saw a couple of familiar folks who said hi, which once again proves that he knows damned near everybody! Our final day in "the F-burg" ended with a much needed couples massage.

We stopped in Luckenbach on our way home and it was the last day of a biker rally, so the town was hopping pretty hard. After some beers, cheeseburgers, and a photo on a longhorn, we had conquered the town and headed back for Austin.



All in all, it was a great little honeymoon and we will definitely visit again and stay at Two Wee Cottages. I just love going on adventures with my best friend and want to see all of the world with him!!

XOXO,
LD-C

P.S.
If you book a stay at Two Wee Cottages, let them know I referred you and I'll get a bottle of wine the next time we stay. Trust me, you will be very happy there!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Wedding Bells

I think that most of my readers attended our wedding, but nevertheless, here is my recap blog about one of the happiest days of my life.

When BBC and I started planning our wedding, we were absolutely certain about some things and completely neutral about others. We knew we wanted a small, informal ceremony followed by a blow-out party. I think in the end, we executed our wishes pretty well and we simplified our plans by ignoring anything that wasn't important to us.

The night before the wedding, Brandon's parents hosted a lovely rehearsal dinner at Asti, even though we didn't have a single thing to rehearse. It was, however, the perfect setting for our parents to meet. Our families got along wonderfully! There was a moment, during the toasting phase of dinner, that I had an out-of-body experience and realized, for the first time, that we were having a rehearsal dinner!!!! I've been to my fair share of rehearsal dinners and I knew what to expect, but it wasn't until that very moment that the wedding seemed real. Fortunately, I didn't have a freak out and I just turned to my best friend and smiled.

With my sweetie

Sistas!

The in-laws

For some prudish reason, I didn't want to spend the night before our wedding together, so instead of sleeping at home, Beth wrangled some of my best ladies for a sleep over. My girlfriends might be the most important people in my life and I felt a little gypped about not having bridesmaids. Granted, I also knew that picking bridesmaids would be impossible for me, but I still wanted to have that girly time while I got dressed and ready to get hitched. A pre-wedding sleepover was the next best thing!!! Champies with the girls, some beauty time, a much needed bubble bath, and some terrible bridal television was still not enough to put me to sleep as I was too wound up with excitement for the next day. Nevertheless, we woke up before 8am to grab some grub and head out to our venue for the wedding prep work.

The gals and I, along with my mum and Aunt Cici, made our way to the Zilker Clubhouse as best we could since it was the first day of Austin City Limits. Our caravan was stopped at all the police checkpoints (and there were at least 5) and not a single one was aware of our resevation for the clubhouse. Thank goodness I didn't have a single Bridezilla bone in my body, or I would have absolutely lost it. Simple fix: I called the city and they took care of the rest.

Our ceremony was for immediate family only, was attended by less than 20 people, and was performed by a friend who easily has the biggest heart ever, Mitch.

I do's in front of the Austin skyline

Rev. Mitch


We had some time to kill between the ceremony and our big 'ole party, so my husband and I grabbed a bottle of Dom Perignon and a blanket to sneak off for some quality time before our quests started arriving. While we couldn't hear ACL at our venue, we were able to hear some Queens of the Stone Age from the little wooded nook BBC and I found out back. When the mosquitoes and gnats overpowered us, we went back to the clubhouse to see that many of our friends had already arrived. It was perfect timing, since waiting for your guests to come to your party is kind of the worst!

Everything turned out better than planned: Frito pie buffet, two beautiful cakes made by friends, mooning in the photobooth (you can see the pictures HERE), a shot-gun beer toast from Beth, and the best DJ that money can't buy. BBC and I had planned our wedding playlist for months beforehand and still stand pretty firmly behind it, but nobody was dancing. At least not until our friend Andrew started playing his own records.

Frito Pie, y'all!

Cakes by Amy and Julia

Trailer Space group shot

Photobooth with my hubby

While there are certainly some things I would do differently (like have to-go boxes for people to take home cake), I wouldn't change much about our special day. I didn't practice dancing with either of my fathers, which might have seemed poorly planned, but I love how natural and lighthearted our dances turned out. And the same goes with the first dance with my husband. If we had taken dance lessons or rehearsed some cute routine, I wouldn't have the vivid memory of him trying to manhandle me in front of our families and friends.

It was a great day and I'm still running high from the fumes of bliss! And now, I give you our formal wedding portrait:

Tintype by Lumiere Tintypes in Austin, TX




XOXO,
LD-C