Monday, August 30, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness ...

Read this sweet story!  It's a reminder that there are still kind and selfless people out there.  I certainly am not in a place to be giving random strangers $50, but I know I will be in that place someday and I hope I can do something just as sweet.  

Hope you all had a great weekend ... my sister and I are back to our respective homes tomorrow afternoon and I will be back to posting on Tuesday :) 


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Today is my sweet Grandma's 79th birthday ... Happy Birthday Grandma!  My Grandma has multiple health issues, including short term memory problems and has had a rough year.  I am SO happy that my sister and I are able to be in Texas this week to celebrate her birthday with her!

Celebrating Father's Day 2007 at Lake LBJ!

Pop-pop, Me, Colbs and Grandma
Summer 2007

Grandma, Aunt K., K., Me and Colbs
Summer 2007

My Grandma and all her grandchildren
Christmas 2009


We love you!

Friday, August 27, 2010

National Dog Day!

Whew, three posts in one day!  It's a lot, but it's National Dog Day today (August 26th) and I couldn't let it go by unnoticed!  So, take a moment today to honor your furry little friends!  Here are a few pics of mine:

Addy on the weekend we brought her home:

Helping with the dishes:

Helping me pack:


Replenishing her electrolytes:


Meeting her cousin, Harley:

Driving across the country:

Sleeping with her sister:

Recovering from hip surgery:

And we can't forget about Baby Lucy:

Meeting her for the first time:

Lucy on Halloween (love her ear!):

I swore she wouldn't sleep in my bed:

Meeting Oscar:

Lucy's first Christmas:

Cheering on the Colts in the Super Bowl:

Making cookies with her momma:

Just eating a bone:

Helping us move:

Just driving across the country:

Reading about Washington's Top 10 Wineries:

Let's go wine tasting!

These dogs have captured my whole HEART.  They are so sweet, funny and full of personality.  My life would not be the same without them!

San Marcos ...

did not disappoint!  I seriously LOVE that place.  LOVE LOVE LOVE it.  But, I'll start from the beginning, because we had a pretty eventful day before we even set foot at the outlets!

We managed to get up and get going pretty early this morning.  Austin is a 3 hour drive from Houston, so we needed to be out the door early if we wanted to have time to eat lunch with my cousin AND make it to San Marcos.

Our first stop of the day was about an hour into the trip.  We stopped at a very normal looking gas station.  However, the bakery inside had homemade kolaches.  YUM.  If you've never had kolaches, find somewhere around your home that makes them and RUN there.  They are SO good.  I've decided that kolaches are the next recipe I am going to try to tackle.  However, the kolaches weren't even the interesting part ... there were roosters running around the back of the gas station, wandering in and out of the gas pumps and just hanging out.  Only in hill country ...

Then, we hadn't made it very far down the road before we saw a COW wandering around in the highway.  I mean, we were on a smaller, back roads highway, but it was still four lanes and traffic whizzing about.  It happened too quickly to snap a picture, but the cow meandered across the road and looked SO forlorn as he realized there was fence up and he couldn't get back in to the pasture.  It was quite a sight!

We met up with my cousin next at her sorority house at UT.  She gave us the grand tour and then we headed to SoCo (South Congress) and meandered down the street.  We stopped for lunch at the South Congress Cafe ... a quirky little cafe that you wouldn't even notice if you weren't looking for it!  I've been hearing about "Migas" forever, and I finally had my first plate ... delicious!

After lunch we dropped my cousin off and headed to the outlets!  We shopped until we dropped and I came home with these: 

The Victoria's Secret Lacie Panty ... I didn't even know that VS Outlets existed, let alone that they would have my favorite undies!  They didn't have the best colors, but who really cares?  Especially since they were $2/each.  In the store they sell 3/$30 ...   

Two Bath & Body Works Candles ... I have a hard time spending money on candles ... but not these!  They were 75% off!  I LOVE the cinnamon smell for the fall.

A lovely eyeshadow compact from last Christmas with 6 eyeshadows in it:

A mask from Origins ... that unfortunately, is not on their website, so I hope I can find it in the future at an outlet! 

These beauties from TB ... perfect for the fall!

And a great little sweatshirt/sweater type thing from Banana Republic which will be perfect for the fall as well.  It's cream colored and I'm planning on wearing it with skinny jeans and my Hunter wellies or regular boots if it's not raining!  

All in all, it was a GREAT day at the outlets.  I just LOVE a good deal! 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Deep in the heart of Texas ...

Hopefully, I can post more later ... but for now, we are off to Austin to have lunch with my cousin and then to the outlets at San Marcos!

If you have time, check out the website for San Marcos.  Tory Burch, Saks, J. Crew, Banana Republic, Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn ... I could go on all day.  Hopefully, I will have lots of good finds to report about at the end of the day!

99 Things ...

I thought this was fun:

Instructions: The post is a list of 99 things you could have done, and you are supposed to bold the ones that you yourself have done.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band 
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disney World
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language - I don't have to be fluent, do I???
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person - honestly, it's not that impressive 
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain 
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching - I'm going in September!!!! YAY!
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial - luckily, L.Rae lived in D.C. for a few years and I made 4 (yes FOUR) visits :) 
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square 
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Got a tattoo
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit - does being the law clerk count???
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

How many have you done??

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot is an Indie rock band from Syracuse, New York and they are AWESOME!  If you like Indie Rock ... hurry on over to iTunes or your local CD store and pick up their new album, The Orchard, which comes out today!

I LOVE this band.  Their first album, The Rhumb Line, is really good and I am really looking forward to hearing The Orchard.  Some of my favorite songs from The Rhumb Line are "Can You Tell," "Too Too Fast," and "Suspended in Gaffa."  I've had the privilege of seeing them in concert twice, and they are just as good in person as their recordings.  I saw them at Lollapalooza last summer and in Birmingham this past September.

J.'s old roommate went to high school with the cellist, Alexandra Lawn.  She is super cute and a fantastic dresser.  When I saw them at Lollapalooza, I didn't know that his roommate knew her.  I LOVED the dress she had on at Lolla.  I couldn't stop talking about it.  I even told J. about it ... why?  Who knows.  J. definitely didn't care about it.  But I'm glad I did because he says "S., you know that she went to high school with my roommate.  He could probably find out where that dress is from."  I didn't really believe that his roommate could find out, but sure enough a week later he told J. where the dress was from.  I hopped over to the website and checked it out ... it was reasonably priced AND on-sale ... it was in my hands the next week.  :)

Then when we saw them in Birmingham, she was wearing the dress and we got to meet her!  They are playing a festival in Seattle over Labor Day Weekend, called Bumbershoot, so we will likely be seeing them again in just a few short weeks!  J.'s old roommate is moving up here and should be here by then, but might have to leave that weekend for Navy training so I'm not sure if we will get to meet them again.  Either way, the band is great and could use your support!  So, if you like Indie Rock go pick up their album!

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weekend Recap ...

If you're reading this ... then my scheduled post worked!  Yay!  This is the first time I've tried scheduled posting.  I can't commit to regular posting while on vacation so I did some in advance!

Anyways ... J. and I had a pretty tame weekend.  It was slightly ruined by the Navy (when doesn't the Navy ruin things??) so it was pretty much just another two days in my stay at home life.

Friday night, J. and I went to Thai Gusto, a restaurant here in Everett that we have been meaning to try.  We actually tried to go once a couple of weeks ago, but everything in Everett closes at 9:00 p.m. and we showed up at like 8:45.  We're (well at least I'm) used to city living, where I can go to dinner at 9:00 or later and still have to wait for a table!  Anyways, it was a really nice little restaurant.  They had the typical Thai menu, but one different thing they did was set dinners you could get for 2-4 people.  We had the "Central Thai" themed dinner.  It came with spring rolls, Tom Kha soup, Pad Thai with Shrimp and Chicken and Spinach with a peanut sauce.  It was SO good and a great price too.  Especially for having a four course dinner!  Then we came home and watched countless episodes of Criminal Minds.  I LOVE that show.  I might have to add it to my Netflix Queue.

Saturday, J. had to "work" at the base.  They were having some kind of ball and he had to go help with parking.  So, I spent the day cleaning, going to the grocery, buying mass amounts of books at Half Price Books and making dinner.  Sounds like a typical day to me.  We started to watch Sherlock Holmes after dinner, but J. fell asleep.

Sunday, J. had to do a "work party" to help clean up after the ball.  In my opinion, work and party are not words that go together.  Just because they tacked on "party" to the end of the phrase does not mean he's going to have fun!  I did mass amounts of laundry and started packing, YAY!

It was a very uneventful weekend, but we've got a lot coming up in the next few weeks so that's okay.  We are pretty much going non-stop from now until the end of September!  I am REALLY looking forward to all our upcoming trips and visitors :)

Hope you all had a much more exciting weekend than we did!


Monday, August 23, 2010

Houston, here we come!

I'm leaving bright and early tomorrow morning for my week-long trip to Houston!!!!  SO excited ... for multiple reasons:

1.  I consider Houston my second home.
2.  I haven't seen my family since graduation in May.
3.  I haven't seen my sister since I moved at the end of May.
4.  I haven't seen my cousin since Christmas!!!!
6.  Ninfa's Fajitas
7.  We will be celebrating my sweet Grandma's birthday while we are there!
9.  And probably a million other things I forgot to mention ...

So, I hope you all have a fantastic week!  I've written a few posts this weekend that will post during the week and I will try to blog a bit while I'm there ... but I don't like to commit to anything while on vacation.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Guilty Pleasures ...

I stopped by Half Price Books today to get ONE book for my plane ride on Monday ... and I came out with TEN books.  Whoops.

I couldn't help myself.  I found the ONE book that I was looking for and then I decided to peruse the Clearance section and they had so many books that I have been looking for on Clearance ... and how can you say no to a book you want that is only $2.00?  And hardcover?  You just can't.

So, now I just need one book to complete my Confessions of a Shopaholic Series and one book to complete my Big Stone Gap series.  And I have a few books to choose from for my plane reading next week :)  I just love having a nice large stack of unread books!

Now, where to put those books ...

Hope you are all having a good weekend!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Two things ...

1.  I made these brownies this week and OH MY GOD, they are AMAZING.  And I wonder why I can't lose weight ...  I did freeze half of the pan to bring out when we have guests in September, so I guess that is being semi-good.  But, the other half of the pan ... they are going to be gone ASAP.

2.  I finally used my Nordstrom gift card that J. gave me for my birthday.  I am the proud new owner of these:


The photo is a little large but whatever.  They are so cute!  And came in the signature Tory Burch box with Tory Burch tissue paper ... I want to be cool enough to have tissue paper with my logo on it.  Well, I'd have to have a logo first, but you know what I mean.  My only issue with the whole experience is that the guy who helped me at Nordstrom was so dang RUDE.  I love Nordstrom.  And one of the reasons I love it is because the sales people are SO nice and friendly and helpful.  Not this guy.  He apparently did not think I belonged in Salon Shoes and could not believe that I did not yet own a pair of Tory Burch Reva Flats.  Ummm, maybe not everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon right away?  I was super irritated ... especially because I was wearing designer jeans, some pretty expensive jewelry and carrying Louis Vuitton ... and trying on $200 flats.  Clearly I like nice things and have no problem purchasing them.  Apparently that is not good enough in his eyes.  And it really shouldn't matter WHAT I was wearing ... it's his JOB to bring people shoes to try on.  He shouldn't be passing judgments.  I should have just marched out of there and given my commission to someone else!  Anyways ... I'm just about over it.  But I will most definitely be taking any of my future Salon Shoes business to the downtown Seattle Nordstrom to avoid Mr. Rude.  

Anyways ... I hope you all have a FANTASTIC FRIDAY!  And a great weekend! 


Friday, August 20, 2010

Sonoma or Bust! (Part III ... Probably should have been called San Francisco or Bust!)

Whew ... it had been a whirlwind weekend so far.  And we had one day left.  We got up and headed out to brunch.  We tried Bullit in Russian Hill ... it was exactly what we needed.  I loved their menu.  I could have ordered a million different things ... they had a grilled cheese bar, burger bar, SLIDER bar, and a brunch menu.  I went with the grilled cheese bar and had the "Wake and Bacon," cheese, bacon and a fried egg.  I also substituted my salad for tater tots ... all of the online reviews said the tater tots were a must, so I thought what the heck, I'm on vacation.

From there we headed over to the Painted Ladies ... the Full House house.  We did a quick drive-by and then headed towards Fisherman's Wharf.  After dropping L.Rae at a random intersection (she was heading to Outside Lands, a concert in Golden Gate Park) we headed to meet up with Bart and the rest of our wine tasting crew.  We said a quick good-bye to them and they headed to the airport.  J2K, J. and I headed to Del Monte Square where we sat outside at Jack's Cannery Bar.  There was live reggae music in the square, so we wanted to sit and enjoy the music.  Then we headed to Lombard Street, which was conveniently next to J2K's house and then we were off to the airport.

The Painted Ladies:

 A famous San Francisco trolley:

 View of Alcatraz from Fisherman's Wharf:

Fisherman's Wharf:

 View of Golden Gate from Fisherman's Wharf:

Ghirardelli Square:

Me and J.:

 J2K and J.:

Lombard Street:

It was a quick trip, but SUCH a good one.  I am so thankful that J. and I were able to join our friends out in Sonoma and see L.Rae and J2K.  B. is heading to Afghanistan for a year at the end of September so this was my chance to say "Good-bye for now."  It truly was such a special weekend and the memories are stamped on my heart.  (And now in my blog! Yay!)  And a big THANK YOU to everyone who gave me money for graduation ... your gifts made this weekend possible!