Tuesday, January 29, 2013

DIY Freckles

Look what I did this weekend! I gave myself a tattoo:

JJ bought a tattoo gun and set-up kit off Amazon and I was dying to give it a test drive. Naturally, we tattooed a grapefruit first in order to practice. I quickly learned that I am a terrible tattooer and should not give tattoos to myself, or anybody else for that matter. 

Grapefruit squiggles

Here's a video of me giving myself my first self-tattoo:

It was pretty fun and to be honest, I would really like to tattoo myself again, but I lack both ability and creativity. I mean, what am I gonna do? Give myself an Ozzy Osborne smiley face, knee tattoo? Here's the final product:

More of a mole than a freckle

Friday, January 25, 2013

5 Facts Friday

  • I haven't bought new panties in close to 5 years. I know that sounds crazy, but my grandmother used to work at a lingerie store and kept me well stocked in the finest lace. My dainty knickers have since been worn in/out and my lovely underthings look dumpy and sad. My favorite purchase of the new year has been a dozen newsies to replace the oldsies.
  • So, this happened and I never knew about it:
  • One of my sea monkeys is pregnant! Well, according to the internet, they don't actually "get pregnant", but rather carry around cyst babies that will be laid at the bottom of the aquarium until they hatch. Either way, she's glowing and I'm going to be a grandmother. The whole "cyst babies" sounds gross, but not nearly as gross as watching them copulate for two days. Here's a photo of the mother to be (that green stuff is food):

  • Yay, my birthday is coming up! Last year I had such a great party that I don't think anything can top it, so I will celebrate quietly. Stayten and I tried to get psychic birthday readings last year, but the results from our I-35 "psychic" were exactly the same and far from accurate. I think I'll splurge this year and make an appointment well in advance. 
  • I am really looking forward to doing absolutely nothing this weekend! Well, not actually nothing,  but I've been traveling so much lately that I'm excited about staying home and taking care of some chores. Interested in what I'll be doing? Here's my list:
    • I'm working on a Pinterest craft project, which is always a risk, but it involves spray paint and a doormat. 
    • I'm in the process of thinning out my heard of clothes and eliminating everything that I haven't worn in two years. So this weekend, I will be seperating out things to post and sell on eBay and getting a nice pile together for a friend's clothing swap in February. So far I have decided to part with ten of my 140+ sweaters, so I'm pretty proud of myself!
    • Valentines, Valentines, Valentines! I never send out Christmas cards, but instead choose February as my busiest mail month and will start making my Valentine's Day cards this weekend.
    • In more "get rid of stuff" news, I will be sorting through additional things in my home before BBC and I make the big move to our new house. Various collected thrift store art work, kitchen things, beauty items, and craft supplies. The next ladies movie night should be a good one for giveaways!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I'm Down For Whatever, DFW!

This past weekend my sweetie and I took a little road trip to the DFW area. We weren't there very long, but we managed to fill our three city tour with lots of great memories.

Our first stop was my father's house in Ft. Worth where BBC met my father and step-mother for the first time. He is only the third living friend of mine to ever meet my father, so that is kind of pivotal. We had a great time sharing cocktails, catching up, and snuggling with my "brother" Max. Brandon said that it felt like we were just hanging out with some old friends of ours, which makes me pretty happy. Spending time with my family is usually low key and just like drinking beers with your buddies, so he fits right in.

"Brother" Max and "Sister" Ella cozy by the fireplace

Sunday afternoon we trekked to Denton to celebrate the impending birth of the Baish twins. Not only was it enjoyable to see my old college town and show Brandon some landmarks in my history, but it was great to see Kenna and Josh. Of course, that radiant beauty still wears a smaller size than me even with two buns in her oven. The shower was at Rubber Gloves, we had lots of fun, and I got to hold the club's mascot, Pepe Lopez!

Kenna, Josh, and their little nuggets

Pepe Lopez in my hands!

After the shower, we made our way to Dallas and grabbed a quick drink with Jamie. Audra was not in tow, as that B ran off for a quickie vacation in Austin as soon as we arrived in Big D.

Our Sunday night ended at my Grandmother's house and she instantly adored Brandon, showering him with compliments and kisses. My grandmother is an exceptional lady and an unconventional matriarch to our family. She drinks like a fish, curses like a sailor, and has the best stories even if they are only partly true. We sat up chatting until after 1am (BBC crashed at midnight) and only went to sleep when the wine river finally ran dry. Granny is full of surprises: she loved my electronic cigarette, taking more puffs of it than I did, and said that she'd like to meet a man who makes her want to get in his wheelchair  in a septuagenarian's get in his pants  reference.

As we headed out Monday we made a few required stops at Good Records and Dolly Python. The vintage baby coffins and taxidermy at Dolly Python always catch my eye, while BBC seemed to enjoy the head wear most

Raven-headed Martha Washington wig

Oddfellow hat from Bruce Lee Webb

BBC and I have been craving Grandy's biscuits for months now (see old blog references HERE) and were looking forward to our DFW trip with mouthwatering anticipation. The Dallas area is the closest location that still has Grandy's restaurants, so we mapped all the locations on our way home to Austin and stopped off to watch the Presidential inauguration while shoving gravy into our faces. It was as cheap and delicious as we had remembered, but afterwards we were both pretty happy that there aren't any in Austin to fatten our waistlines. In BBC trivia, his first job was as a biscuit boy at Grandy's in Bryan, Texas.

Two number 5s, please!

I cleaned my plate!
BBC makes a sammy outta his chicken fried steak

Our trip was pretty great, even though we didn't get to spend as much time playing as we would have liked to. I'm constantly surprised by how wonderful Brandon and I are together. We both love adventuring on our travels and stopping off frequently to check out strange looking places or to grab a drink at small town watering holes. And after our Christmas travels and this DFW trip, I realize that I love my family, but visiting them with my sweetie completely eliminates that family-stress that sometimes creeps up mid visit. Here's to more travels and adventures in our coming years!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday Tidbits

Happy Tuesday, y'all! Here are some tidbits
  • My sea monkeys doubled in size over the weekend!
  • My BF got a missed connection on Craigslist. Several people from his work told him about it, which I guess is pretty exciting. He remembers the girl, because well.... she was smoking herb in the alleyway. In true sweetie form, he sent her a nice little email saying that he was flattered, but had a girlfriend that he was very much in love with. Naturally, I was upset that he didn't tell her that he had a beautiful  girlfriend that he was very much in love with. What is even more adorable is that the red beanie she mentions is actually a lovely, ladies knit cap from Etsy that my mum gave me for Christmas several years ago.

Girly head wear on my burly babe
  • I got a tattoo last month that I haven't really shared it with anybody yet. It's a traditional style cartoon representation of my kitty, Cecilia on the inside of my right arm. I think I'm a pretty tough girl and I have bigger tattoos that took longer to complete, but this tattoo was outrageously painful. Not only did my arm swell up something fierce, but I still have a huge bruise around that area. If I had only thought about it, I might have realized that the inside of the arm is a really sensitive place and chosen somewhere else, but fortunately I powered through it! Here's a photo:

  • Guess who got a summons for jury duty yesterday!!! ME. I actually really like jury duty and feel proud that it's my civic duty to potentially judge potential criminals.
  • Lately I've been having thoughts of rushing to the dealership and buying a new car. Granted, that seems like an irresponsible thing to do, but I know I will be buying a car this year, I know the car that I want, and really the only thing stopping me from going to buy it is laziness. This weekend BBC and I are going to DFW and I think it would just be great to go in my brand new car  (said in my best Price is Right voice)!
Vroom, vroom

Friday, January 11, 2013

5 Facts Friday

Welcome to Friday! Here are 5 random things:

  • I want to go to Vietnam! Last year my dentist and friend Ashley went to Vietnam and her stories of cheap beer, delicious foods, and beautiful beaches have enticed me. A blog I follow, Honestly... WTF  just made the trip and the photos of Ha Long Bay are beautiful. These small cruise ships look amazing!:

  • In August I started coveting a pair of black Tom's desert wedges, but put off buying them for reasons that are completely unknown to me. As fate would have it, they are completely sold out online, in every retailer in Austin (trust me, I've called them all), and are even impossible to find on eBay. For the last two months I have been begrudgingly seeking out an alternative and finally found something on Amazon this morning.
Amazon version in grey!

  • BBC's brother gave me sea monkeys for Christmas. I set the aquarium up on my desk at work and really enjoy watching the little guys swim, but have a terrible fear that the cleaning crew will accidentally knock the tank over. They're pretty active swimmers, just going around and round in circles. I hope they're not bored.
  • My sweetie and I are getting super excited about our upcoming move to a house! We've done a really great job of making my tiny, single lady, garage apartment work for the both of us and honestly, I would have killed any of my ex's by now if we had tried to live together without walls. My apartment is a studio and is completely open, which makes the promise of a new bedroom with a door and walls so exciting for me! To commemorate the big change I want to splurge and create the cozy, warm bedroom sanctuary I've always wanted. I also thought it would be a great idea to get new linens and furniture to make a space that is ours because after all, Brandon just joined me in my apartment and has been trying to fit in amongst my years of collecting. Anyhow, the excitement makes me feel like a teenager again planning my first apartment. Here's my inspiration:
Poppies, poppies, poppies
Orange and green
  • A couple of weeks ago, a girlfriend of mine was talking about how much she loves books on tape. I told her that I've always thought it would be neat to be a voice actress and record books on tape. In one of those "follow your dream moments" she suggested that I volunteer to read and record books for the blind and I just signed up! Apparently, with my background in chemistry I would be an asset for reading chemistry textbooks. I'm really excited that I will be able to legitimately fulfill a fantasy of mine while helping others!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

In A Pickle

Yesterday marks the saddest day of 2013 so far. Last night I learned that my 30+ jars of Christmas pickles are disgusting! If you think I'm being melodramatic by calling this the saddest day of 2013, then you clearly have never tasted my pickled green beans!

I pickle once annually and for the last four years, or so, have been giving away my delicious pickled green beans as Christmas presents. Sure, it's a cheapskate's gift, but each year I get more and more requests and cheers for them and over time I have perfected the recipe. Pickling is a bit of a gamble, because you never know how the pickles will turn out until they have properly cured first. My standard cure time is two weeks and I often start gifting the pickles before they are ready to eat. It's a risk, but with a perfected recipe I never foresaw disaster. This year's pickles, however, are a disaster as I forgot to add salt to the brine and they just taste awful!

The worst part of all of this is that I have over 30 jars of gross pickled green beans to get rid of and no replacement presents. Sure, I could re-pickle, but I don't wanna! Also, I feel pretty embarrassed about those individuals who received my pickled green beans for the first time and now they must think I'm a terrible pickler who shamelessly self-promotes terrible pickling abilities. (So sorry Trailer Space and BBC's parents). Oh, the tragedy!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Flu, My Review

I have the flu, y'all and it's awful. I am, however, on the mend so here is my guide to making the flu just one thumbs down instead of two.

A big, fat thumbs down

  • Fever Buster: After having a fever for over three days, the only thing to break it has been Tylenol Cold & Flu Severe. Not only does it have acetaminophen for pain and fever, but the pill on the box has magic sparkles guaranteeing it will work!

  • Medicine Soup: When I was growing up my mum had two secret weapons for fighting illness. The first were hot toddies, which could cure anything from a headache to heartbreak. The second, however, truly has healing qualities. My mum's special medicine soup was made with lots of love and a canned chicken! Apparently you used to be able to buy a whole, cooked chicken stuffed into a can full of broth, but the last few times I've looked for one, I couldn't find it, thankfully. Here's a quick version of the recipe if you'd like to try it yourself. I made some yesterday, which is probably the only reason I'm feeling better.
    • Chop and saute 1 large yellow onion, 5 carrots, 5 stalks of celery, and 4 cloves of garlic in 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large stock pot until translucent. Remove the meat from a whole, cooked, store-bought rotisserie chicken, ripping the meat into small chunks. Add the chicken, 2 tablespoons dried sage, 2 tablespoons dried thyme, salt and pepper to taste, and 6 cups of vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Smith Brothers Warm Apple Pie throat drops are heavenly! A bag usually costs $1.00, tastes delicious, and the active ingredient is Pectin (think Hot Tamales/Fireball cinnamon burn) which numbs a sore throat sweetly.
  • My sweetie has been my secret weapon for beating the flu. The last time I was this sick I wasn't well taken care of and ended up in the hospital. Even at that time, with a 104 degree temperature, Mr. Ex wouldn't take the time out of his party schedule to take me to the ER. BBC has been nothing short of wonderful during my bout of sickness by constantly refilling my cup with Gatorade, shopping for sickie essentials like popsicles, watching movies with me in bed, and rubbing my back as I cough and complain. Having a sweetie makes such a difference!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas Great-cation

Well, my Christmas vacation is over and I'm back at work after nearly two weeks off. This year I went with my sweetie to Georgia to spend Christmas with his family before heading to Houston to stop in with my mum and dad. I had a wonderful time and would easily say this was my favorite Christmas ever. Here's a quick vacation review with the help of some photos:

We started our vacation with a 16+ hour drive to Georgia, which was much better than I had anticipated. The best part of our road trip was a stop off in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to meet the LSU mascot, Mike. While taking this photo, Mike purred at me, which sounded more like a soft roar and startled me so much that I jumped.

Mike the tiger

Our first destination was a small town outside of Macon, Georgia at BBC's parents' home. I had met his parents one time prior and immediately liked them. His father is a Georgia farm boy who likes to poke fun of me for working at the University of Texas. He's a Texas A&M graduate and told everybody he introduced me to that he was making me sleep in the garage on a cot since I'm a longhorn. Brandon's mother is such a sweet southern belle. I loved learning about their family's history and looking at old photos with her. They really accepted me as a part of their family immediately and made my visit so special.

Baby BBC
BBC's great, great maternal grandfather
1911, BBC's paternal great grandfather as a child
BBC's father and uncles. It's a fishin' family, y'all!
BBC playing weedeater with his band Feedback in 1987

On Christmas day the family traveled to St. Simon's Island on the coast of Georgia for a couple of days at the beach. I am a beach girl through and through, so I was really looking forward to this part. The town was pretty deserted, so we got the entire beach to ourselves!

The beach was our backyard
Horseshoe crab on the beach.

St. Simon's beach Christmas driftwood tree

St. Simons' working lighthouse
Long walks on the beach with my sweetie

We had one day trip while in St. Simon's to Jekyll Island, which used to be the private beach resort of the wealthy, such as the Rockefeller and JP Morgan families. It was so beautiful and walking amongst the posh cottages made me think of my favorite heiress, Evelyan Walsh McLean

Mossy tree at Jekyll Island Club
I've always wanted to find a sandollar on the beach!
Yes, I'm the city girl wearing heels on the beach

We drove to Houston from St. Simons, which felt like it took 3 hours more than the drive out there. We were able to immediately crash once we got to my mum and dad's house, but not before we had our second round of Christmas presents. I showed my sweetie around my hometown hitting all the hot spots like my childhood home, League City's premier townie bars, and the Kemah boardwalk. We also got to spend some quality time with my sister and her little family. My neice and nephew are growing up so fast, but I guess that's how time works.

Making friends at the Kemah Aquarium
Me feeding "sea pigons"
My favorite Kemah gal, Evalyn Walsh McLean portrait at Tookie's

We got back home in Austin New Year's Eve, just in time to unpack and head to the Liberty for a show that BBC was playing in a Stooge's cover band. It was a mellow night for us, but was the perfect way to wrap up our splendid Christmas holiday.

Our 1st photo of the new year