Archive for the ‘About Me’ Category

What I’ve been up to

There’s not a really good reason why I haven’t been writing. I just haven’t felt like it mostly. I’ve been busier than usual, but not so busy that I don’t have time for sitting on my butt when I get home from work. I’ve mostly been capitalizing on my right to be lazy. I know don’t normally talk a lot here too specifically about my life details too much, but here’s a little sample of what I’ve been up to.

Junior League. I’ve been a league member for 3 years now, and this year I was selected to be a committee chair. So I coordinate a small group of women. Our committee fulfills our service hours by working on a projects involving CASA and CPS kids.

Sorority. I’ve been my local Alpha Chi Omega alumnae club president for almost 5 years, but in the fall I also was asked to become chapter advisor. This responsibility has really come with a learning curve, and right now since I’m still so new, it’s like taking on a part-time job. It’s part mom, part cheerleader, part friend, part therapist, part organizational skills instructor.

Teaching. In the fall, I also taught a brand new freshman seminar class. Even though I work with college kids daily, the class was a challenge in creating and executing. It was fulfilling, challenging and eye-opening. Some kids truly aren’t ready for college, but they’ve been told their whole life to graduate high school, go to college, and then they’ll get a high paying job. When reality is far different. (I have many more feelings about higher education, but I’ll spare you!) I’m not teaching this semester, so I am relieved I don’t have that commitment right now.

I’ve got a few trips coming up in March (San Diego, Washington DC), April (San Francisco), May (Indianapolis), and June (Minnesota) so I’ll have travel stuff to share, so hopefully it’ll be easier to help me get back in a rhythm of writing more.

And of course there will be plenty of pictures.


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As always, a few days late, but better late than never. Here are my 2010 and 2011 recaps if you care to check them out.

In 2012 Taylor and I :

Paid off his car early (the VW Jetta). Then, just a couple of weeks later, had a huge issue, where we brought the car in to the dealership to check out a problem with the door lock. They said it would be several hundred dollars to repair the lock, and we said, no thanks. Then later that same afternoon they called claiming that there was gasoline in the diesel engine (um, there’s no way in hell!!) and it would require major repairs (to the tune of at least $8,000 dollars, and you better contact your insurance company to get them involved.) After many talks with insurance and the car dealership and about 6 weeks of the car being in the shop, we paid our insurance deductible, turned in our rental car and traded that sucker in. So we also…

Bought a new car. A 2012 Toyota Camry SE.

Celebrated my 31st birthday, our 3rd anniversary, and Taylor’s 29th birthday.

We also did a lot of mentally preparing and budget planning for buying a house in 2013.  EEK!!

Taylor’s sister had a baby, so this year we became Aunt Andrea and Uncle Taylor! Here’s our sweet nephew from just a few days ago. He’s about 4.5 months old here.

Tristan 014

And I:

I didn’t cook as much as I’d like to throughout the year. This year was the first time I in my 31 years that I didn’t go to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving, so I cooked my First Solo Thanksgiving Meal for my in-laws. And for the first time ever, I also didn’t see my parents on Christmas day, so I cooked a ham dinner on Christmas. I didn’t take any pictures.


  • Las Vegas (March)
  • Washington DC/Arlington, VA(April)
  • St. Louis (July)
  • New Orleans (August & October)
  • New York City (September)
  • Dallas (October)


I got a Kindle Fire for Christmas in 2011 and I also joined Goodreads and set a goal of 30 books for the 2012 year. I didn’t make 30, but I did read 24 books, so not too shabby.

I enjoyed everything I finished, some more than others. I started Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, The Art of Fielding, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, but didn’t finish. The only one I legitimately quit because I simply could not get into it was Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. My favorite books were the John Green books (in order of my personal preference) The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns, Looking for Alaska, and An Abundance of Katherines.

Here are all the books I read.

  1. The Hunger Games
  2. Mockingjay
  3. Catching Fire
  4. Divergent
  5. Paper Towns
  6. Girl Over the Edge
  7. Wife By Wednesday
  8. Water for Elephants
  9. Looking for Alaska
  10. Thirteen Reasons Why
  11. The Fault in Our Stars
  12. Daughter of Smoke and Bone
  13. Juliet, Naked
  14. Fifty Shades of Grey
  15. Fifty Shades Darker
  16. Pretty Little Liars
  17. Flawless
  18. Perfect
  19. Unbelievable
  20. The Book Thief
  21. Gone Girl
  22. Flight
  23. An Abundance of Katherines
  24. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

I am too lazy to link those books to another site and/or list their authors, but if you’re interested in knowing more about something and can’t find it, let me know and I can point you in the right direction.


  • True Blood (Season 4)
  • The Tudors (Seasons 3 & 4)
  • Dexter (Season 6)
  • And plenty more miscellaneous episodes of Sister Wives, Family Guy, South Park, The New Girl, and Tosh.0

Listened to/Discovered MusicA few of these albums aren’t new, some are especially played out, but I loved them this year anyway. Saw Two Door Cinema Club at House of Blues in Houston in October.

  • Two Door Cinema Club – Beacon
  • Fun – Some Nights
  • Of Monsters and Men – My Head is an Animal
  • The Lumineers – The Lumineers
  • Katy Perry – Teenage Dream
  • The Black Keys – El Camino
  • Keane – Strangeland
  • O.A.R. – Rain or Shine

Did nice things – As a sort of informal resolution, I tried to do more  nice things this year. I kept track for myself, but don’t care to post the tally here. In general, I sent cards and care packages to friends and family who needed it, and I also did nice things for people I didn’t know. I really enjoyed it and I hope to continue this year.

How was your 2012?

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A few weeks ago, a few of my friends posted about either their skin care regimen or their makeup staples. I love seeing what other people use so I though I’d share what I use regularly.

A little about my skin first. My skin is combination, so I have some oily and some dry spots. I break out, and have a little bit of acne scaring.

About 3 years ago, before I got married, I started getting facials on a pretty regular basis to try to help with the breakouts. Around that time, because I knew I couldn’t keep up with the expense of weekly facials long past the wedding, I started using Philosophy’s Purity Made simple and Hope in a Jar. Yes, it’s a bit pricey, but I’ve tried other things that I really didn’t like as much. And Philosophy very frequently offers coupon codes for up to 40% your purchase, so I usually stock up with a coupon.


I started using the When Hope is Not Enough serum. I like it well enough but don’t think it’s performing miracles on my skin. I may or may not purchase again when I run out.

When my face starts breaking out, or when I’m feeling oilier than usual, I use the Lush Grease Lightening. It’s got rosemary, tea tree oil, witch hazel, and some other good stuff to help control oiliness, and treat breakouts. It’s very soothing on the skin.

As for my makeup habits, I use a mixture of expensive products and drug store stuff. I should get in habit of wearing some concealer more frequently, but I generally just use the Garnier Anti Dark Circle Eye roller. It’s lightly tinted, so it does a good enough job at covering up some under eye darkness.

I love the Maybelline Pure Stay Powder Foundation. I don’t wear liquid foundation much these days, and this powder is awesome. It covers up redness and acne scars.

I’m in love with the Urban Decay Naked Palate. I usually just pick something quick to wear for work, but love that I can also play around with the various colors for a fancy eye.

I’ve been using the Cover Girl Perfect Point Plus eyeliner for probably about 10 years now. (it’s hard to see in the picture on the black dresser) The liner is very smooth, and some people have asked me if I wear liquid liner, it looks that good. I also really like the little smudger on the bottom.

I used to use the Nars Orgasm blush but recently changed to the Benefit Bella Bamba blush. It’s a good amount of pink with a tiny bit of sparkle.


I didn’t show any mascaras because I am always trying new ones, so I don’t have a particular favorite. Although I do recommend the Maybelline Great Lash Big or the Cover Girl Lash Blast. Right now I am working my way through the Sephora mascara sampler I got for Christmas and finding myself reaching for the Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay mascara more than some of the others.

So there you have it. My basic daily skin care regimen.

I’m always up for trying new stuff (and a good excuse for a visit to Ulta or Sephora) so let me know if you have any recommendations for me.

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I didn’t think I was going to write one of these, but then I finally looked back to see what I wrote last year, and thought I’d do it again. I kind of like having a little summary all in one place. Here’s 2010 if you’re interested.

This year Taylor and I :

Moved into a new apartment, and survived.
Celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary.


  • New Orleans (March)
  • New York (May)

And I:

Completed a 2nd Warrior Dash, without barfing


  • New Year’s Day in New York City
  • My 30th birthday

Cooked – Not as much as I would have liked. Learned how to cook risotto.


  • Italy (July)
  • Austin (October)


  • Room

Harry Potter Series

  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow

Started but couldn’t finish

  • The Pioneer Woman, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels
  • Chelsea Handler, Chelsea, Chelsea Bang Bang


  • True Blood (Seasons 3)
  • Lots of How I Met Your Mother &  Big Bang Theory
  • Tosh.0
  • The New Girl
  • Lots of Intervention, Addicted and Obsessed

Listened to/Discovered MusicAgain, not all new stuff, but I love all the same.

  • Matt & Kim – Cameras
  • Eric Hutchinson – Sounds Like This
  • Freelance Whales – Weathervanes
  • Discovery – Discovery LP
  • Ke$ha – Animal
  • Grouplove – Never Trust a Happy Song
  • Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros – Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
  • O.A.R. – King

And talking about 2011 wouldn’t be complete with a special new category.

Developed Friendships

  • I became closer to friends I already had while planning our trip and traveling to Italy together.
  • I also met new friends at the Blathering. Some of them I think will be friends for a very long time.

Can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store!

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A few weeks ago -R- and I were chatting when the conversation turned to best friend jewelry. She said she didn’t remember ever having any. I knew I had, so I dug through my jewelry box, and lo and behold.


Having both halves could mean I didn’t have anyone to give the other half to, but judging on the state of the “Friends” half, maybe I had two best friends!

I also have half a “FRIENDS FOREVER” necklace. When I was in high school, my German pen pal and her family had a layover in Houston when they were on vacation, so we met up at the airport. This was back before the mega security, so we could go to one of the restaurants in their terminal. We exchanged a few gifts with each other, and so maybe wherever she is now, she’s still got the other half.

I also exchanged my fair share of friendship bracelets, but I couldn’t find any in  my jewelry box.

Anyone else still have some of these childhood artifacts? Were you more a bracelet or necklace best friend?

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Sweet Dreams

I can always remember having pretty vivid dreams. When I was young I had a recurring dream that a dinosaur that was stomping through the neighborhood. I don’t have that one anymore, but I think I figured out that there was a spot somewhere in the street in front of our house, that when a car would drive over it, it would make a loud noise. Maybe like when they put a big sheet of metal over a hole.

I also once had a dream about an evil snowman that I thought was in my room, at the foot of my bed and wanted to get my sister. I remember sleeping with my head under the covers all night, because I was afraid he was still out there.

Taylor never really dreams, or at least they aren’t anything he remembers when we wakes up. But I almost always have something to tell him about my dreams.

A couple of nights ago it was a good dream. There was a big party, with a bunch of family and friends. Even people I haven’t seen in forever. I thought the party was a going away party for my friends Cherrye and Peppe. But it turned out that the party was for me too, and that all the family and friends had pooled their money for me to be able to go to visit Italy too! They all knew how much I wanted to go. (Side note 1: In real life, they had just left to go back home to Italy that same day, so I had been thinking about them a good bit. Side note 2: Friends, family, now you know what to get me if you are ever stumped for a gift idea!)

Then last night I had a weird dream. In my dream, someone was making bacon out of strips of human skin. Only, in the dream it wasn’t gruesome, it was normal. And people walked around without their skin. That was normal, and kind of cool. But then, they also made clothes out of the human skin bacon. Like, skin bacon shirts and skirts. Flowy skirts of raw human bacon. Sorry, I’ll stop now. It’s all very strange indeed.

When I told Taylor, he threatened that I wouldn’t be allowed to read anymore before bed if I keep having strange dreams.  It’s only the Hunger Games. (He might have also been creeped out a little bit.)

So, now it is your turn to tell me about your dreams!

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