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!