Monday, December 26, 2011

Eating My Feelings

Rough day.  

This morning's routine vet appointment led to a three-night hospitalization stay and possible dental surgery on Thursday for Tolly.

In brief, his blood work revealed that his kidneys are in very bad shape.  Also, he needs to have some teeth extracted, but with his current kidney condition, going under anesthesia could be potentially fatal for him.  Thus, he is spending the next few nights at the vet with an IV to see if anything improves by Thursday for possible surgery.  If his kidney enzymes remain the same, we need to look at what else we can do to keep him healthy.  The thought of leaving him there was gut-wrenching, but it is our best long-term option.  We took Amelie home and visited Tolly again before the office closed.  We'll be back to visit, separately and together, a few times a day.

Our pets are our family, and we treat them as such.  It felt no different than receiving bad news about a relative at a hospital.  We're exhausted.  I cried.  I became very angry at his past owners for their lack of attention to his health.  (The damage to his teeth is due to a long period of neglect/oversight.)  I took a nap.  I went to yoga to clear my head and realign (and it did help).  I ate my feelings in the form of spinach lasagna and peppermint ice cream.  I don't want to dwell on an unknown result or what could happen, because it would be as helpful as trying to self-diagnose yourself using WebMD and Google which usually results in thinking you have some form of cancer.  Our hearts are bruised to not have him home tonight, and we're nervous about what his hospital stay will reveal.  We wish we could talk to him and explain what is happening. 

Today I am thankful for Tolly, our first "little one" who joined our family three years and eight days ago.  (He was my Christmas surprise!) 

I'm going to miss this when I'm getting ready for work tomorrow morning:


Please send good vibes.  And if you have pets, hold them close and say "I love you."  They won't understand your words, but they'll understand what you mean.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Our Postcard

We wish you a merry Christmas 
(or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or Sunday) and a happy new year!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Very Skype-y Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas Eve!  I've spent the last 26 Christmas eves with my mom's side of the family.  (Dad's side is Christmas day.)  This year is my first Christmas away, but Skype has come to the rescue again!

Today's events:
Mr. TBS made yummy veg food.
We bought more firewood.
We watched football.
We Skyped.
We took 10 million pictures of Amelie sleeping by the fire.
We drank apple cidar.
We watched "It's A Wonderful Life."

Without further ado, I give you holiday cheer via Skype!

My nephew pug joined in on the fun!

My bro and his girlfriend were working.  Boo!  But the rest of us had a jolly ol' time!

We temporarily became ages 3 and 7 again.  This happens often.

ME: Dad, I had some work done. / MR. K: I didn't want her to, but she's her own woman. / DAD: I... I mean... I need some time to process this.  You don't even look like yourself anymore.  Scott, how could you let this happen?


He was talking to my mom who was standing at the top of the stairs.  I looked up to see if I'd see my mom too.  I didn't.

My mom's ugly sweater for the contest at my aunt's house tonight.  Please note the white dove on the left shoulder and the ornaments at the bottom.  If she doesn't win the contest, we KNOW it was rigged.

Dear friends, I send many hugs to San Diego, Boulder, NYC, San Jose, Palm Springs, Haleiwa, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Virginia Beach, Spokane, Orange County, Boston, Waukesha, Philadelphia, and Vilsek, Germany.  (I think that's everyone that I know of who reads this.)  I wish you the happiest of Christmases.  I love you guys!  I am so grateful for family and friends like you!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Review: HOMER'S ODYSSEY


Cat lovers -- come one, come all!  This was such a darling book.  It speaks to cat parents, and Cooper so clearly explains the shenanigans that only cat parents know.  I haven't read Marley & Me; I've only seen the movie, but I imagine that Homer is to "cat lovers" what Marley is to "dog lovers."

Side note: I watched Marley & Me two years ago when Scott was out of town for work, and I cried my eyes out.  Tolly was sitting on my lap on the couch, and I felt compelled to kiss him and tell him I loved him... over and over and over again.  Warning: Do not watch Marley & Me by yourself.

Cooper's story begins with the adoption of her third feline kid against her better judgment.  She was in no position financially to support a third cat, but Homer was a scraggly, blind kitten who would soon be euthanized.  No one believed that a poor, helpless, eyeless cat could have a life worth living, and in truth, I don't think anyone wanted to be responsible for a "special needs" cat.  Thus began the adventures and life lessons of loving and living with Homer.  Cooper's memoir recounts Homer's fearless  discoveries of new territories, his open-hearted approach to new people, and even his heroic encounter with a burglar.  Cooper's cats affected her life in ways that most single 20-somethings don't experience.  Having three cats determined where she lived, who she lived with, and how she "baby-proofed" her home.  (Balconies were not an option for a brave eyeless cat that inevitably jumped on and climbed everything.)

Through moving to new homes, four lay-offs, living in downtown Manhattan on 9/11, and integrating her future husband into "their life," Cooper looks back on how saving a "poor blind kitten" changed her life in such positive ways.  Homer taught her what it means to accept, forgive, tolerate, love, thrive, overcome, and grow.

If you're not a "cat person," I wouldn't recommend this book.  The references and minutiae of feline ways many not speak to you the same way it did to me.  But if you love animals, especially cats, give it a go!  I found myself giggling as I read page after page of cat-isms that I understand and observe in my own furry babes, Tolly and Amelie. 

And with that, I have officially finished my December book for one of my anytime-of-year resolutions!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

When Clothes Strike Back

What can I say?  Sometimes you have to use clothes to lift you up!  I've been at the office alone this week, and with most of the world being on vacation right now, no one is calling or e-mailing me or asking me for anything.  I've received four phone calls in the last 5.5 hours - and one of the them had the wrong number.  This is my fourth and last day of office solitary confinement, and I needed a pick-me-up. 

I made the executive decision at 6:30am to festivize my outfit for work.  I figured it would be okay to break outside of the standard professional attire since I'd be flying solo in an abyss of silence.  A gray sweater dress may be boring but not when you marry it with purple tights, my favorite scarf, and rad earrings (that I misplaced a long time ago, forgot about, and found again)!  


So take that, lonely office!  I guess I'll go back to my Christmas Pandora station now...  Happy "Friday" to me!  And merry eve of Christmas Eve's eve!  (Did you catch that?)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Photo Update

I'm still sore from Pilates Ball and Vinyasa this weekend.  I've been going to bed late, and I expect nothing less of tonight.  I feel too lazy to type, so it's a good thing I have some photos to offer instead.

FRIDAY

We share a building with a restaurant... which means we have a false alarm fire evacuation every other month.

Christmas parting gift before my bosses left for vacation

I'm 27, and I sit like this at work 50% of the time.

SATURDAY
Tolly is opening a present from Summer, Mike, and Rocco.  He already knew cat nip was involved.

Enjoying the tissue paper after playing with his cat nip monkey.

We heard the rustling of tissue paper for the next 48 hours.

We recorded the opening of presents to show Summer and Mike.
It includes a happy ending.


 
What can I say?  We appreciate shock value.  A lot. 
 
SUNDAY/MONDAY:
 
The mister has single-handedly been accomplishing my goal of using one new vegan recipe per week.  I love men who cook, especially when that man is my husband.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Eggplant Chana Masala  (He made this last weekend, actually.)

Pecan-Crusted Seitan with Quinoa

Got a 2012 planner!  Here it is before I transferred birthdays, anniversaries, and bill due dates.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Our Smoky Adventure

I used a fire extinguisher last night.  True story -- of the non-"E! True Hollywood" variety.

Yes, it is true.  One year ago, my job included being a safety trainer and teaching employees how to use a fire extinguisher, and I proved that I retained that knowledge! I remembered to PASS.

P ull the pin
A im at the base of the fire
S queeze the handle
S weep side-to-side

Erin, we may not have loved that part of the job, but aren't you proud of me?!  ;-)

When I got home last night, we were doing our usual "How was your day/What do you want for dinner/We need to buy _____/You are awesome at life/I know, right?" chatter.  (Okay, so I added the last two.)  Also included, the tale of my lame lunch.  And then I said,

"Can we light a fire?"  We continued our conversation as I opened the iron curtain of the fireplace.  He sat down next to me and grabbed the log and lighter.  I moved back, trying to give him more room to be centered in front of the fireplace.  The log was lit.  Yay!  Fire!  I moved to the edge of the couch, and we stared at the fire while we talked.  Two minutes later, I said,

"The smoke is coming out."  In retrospect, it's such a vague, stupid comment.
Duh, Linz.  It's a fire.  It makes smoke.
What I meant was "The smoke isn't going up the chimney; it's coming out of the fireplace!"  We immediately realized that we thought the other opened the damper.  He reached for the damper lever, and all of the times it could have gotten stuck on the inside of the frame, it was then.  Grrreeeaaat.  He wasted no time to say,

"Get the fire extinguisher!"  And then I saved the day, all of our possessions, the cats, and our lives  put out the completely tame fire in our hazy living room.  The next several minutes included smothering the fire alarm, opening the windows and front door, turning on three fans, and using cardboard to wave away the evidence.  Needless to say, we'll never forget to quadruple-check the damper.

Remember to PASS if you have to use a fire extinguisher!

My closing statement: "Whenever we light a fire, we stop what we're doing and ask who opened the damper."
His closing statement: "Well, now you have a story for your blog."

Yes, honey.  Yes, I do!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gone Are The Days Of Reliable Potlucks

PREFACE

I've officially gone vegetarian, and the last time I ate meat was October 22. With my best friend's wedding, Thanksgiving, and Christmas soon after, it seemed like the worst time to make a decision like that, but I couldn't wait. I really felt like I had to do it. So I did! 

SAD (STARVING) STORY

My office space is rented from a management company.  It's great, because they provide a receptionist, mailing services, kitchen with snacks (and the uber-chic coffee maker), office furniture, and handle all maintenance/repairs.  Today, the management team hosted a holiday luncheon for us... which led to my first veg dilemma.  There was a gigantic spread, but I couldn't eat half of it.  Most of the substantial lunch items had meat in them, so this is what I gathered for myself:

I ate most of that cookie by the time I sat down.  Judge me.  I don't care.
Side note: What a pretty plate.

There wasn't even a salad bowl.  I guess I can't blame them.  This time of year is widely accepted as the "eat 'til your pants don't fit" season, so who would want salad?  Although this wasn't a potluck, lesson learned.  For all future potlucks, I will need to bring a veg/vegan dish.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I Got This, Yo.

Don't tell me I'm not organized.  I'll call you a liar.  And punch you in the shin.  (Haha!  But really...)  ** That was humor.  For the record, fighting is not the answer.  And I'm more of a pacifist than you might think. **

In the spirit of my any-time-of-year resolutions, I made this beauty:


If you think that looks like a five-week schedule of yoga, Pilates and belly dancing -- ding! ding! ding!  You are correct!  This baby was created for a few reasons:
  1. I love lists and schedules.  They hold me accountable.  I still can't believe I don't have a 2012 planner yet.
  2. I'm a visual person, and I feel more productive when I can see what's ahead of me and what I've accomplished.
  3. I work 35 miles from home.  After a full day of work and approximately two hours of driving, I like to know what the rest of my day holds.  To be efficient, I need to know the best days and times to run certain errands.
  4. I'm attentive to my finances.  I have not paid more than $9 for a class at any studio which is a success in and of itself.  They are usually $17-20 each.  But just because I got really good deals (through discount sites and studio promotions/sales) does not mean that I'm not going to make the most out of those bucks!  I've found my favorite classes that will vary my work-outs and make me down-right sweaty.  Thus, getting the most out of the money spent.
  5. I wouldn't be myself without it.  My parents will vouch for me.  And so will anyone else who has worked with me.

Groupon-esque websites have been my saving grace in Houston!  All of these great studios have deals all the time.  I'll be so disappointed when I have to pay full price for a class.  Although, with this track record, that may not happen anytime soon!

Do you think I'm totally neurotic now?  Will you still be my friend?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Where's The REPLAY Button?

Today I'm thankful for the weekend I had.  Is there a magical remote to the universe with a "Replay" button? 

RECAP:
We dined out.
We went to the movies.
We teamed up and completed house cleaning at lightning speed.
We rearranged furniture.
We went out for dessert.
We christened our fireplace.
We ate pizza.
We watched the Packers win.

Did you notice how all of those activities start with "we"?  Oh, the goodness of "we."

Our go-to weekend morning cinema.
They just don't build movie theatres like this anymore.
It's rare that we're in pictures together these days!
Amelie cozied up with me while I read by the fire. 
Go ahead and "oooo" and "ahhhh" at how beautiful she is.
My sis made that blanket for my mister last Christmas.  Love it!

And as if my weekend wasn't great enough, I had a private belly dancing class last night!  I was the only student that attended class.  My instructor knows I have a dance background, so we got to do more advanced stuff.  Holy cow!  You think you know how your body moves until you try belly dancing.  Oh, the concentration!  I'm so determined to get both figure 8 moves down!  And if I happen to get some ab definition in the process, I guess I'll just have to deal with it.  ;-)

AND... the hubbers made eggplant chana masala (from The Kind Diet) last night!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dances With Dad

Spring of 1996: Sixth Grade Formal Dance
For months, all of the sixth grade students at my school learned the fox trot, waltz, swing dance, cha cha, and every other style that kids don't know.  Our teachers put together a formal dance, complete with dance cards.  Our parents were invited, and although we all thought it was such a stupid idea at first, it was such a fun night.  Our dance cards were filled out for us, because it encouraged us to venture out of our comfort zone.  Looking back on all the photos, you can see how much we, the kids, loved it.  The dresses, the ties, curled hair, corsages and boutonnieres, the decorations -- we felt so special!  The parents were so impressed with how much the teachers invested -- and that their 11-year-olds knew all of these dance styles!  I have two favorite moments:

1.) I had a dance with my cousin Nathan who was one of my best friends in school.  After his parents divorced, we didn't see each other except at school.  I haven't seen him since elementary school.  He was such a funny and SMART kid!  I hope he's healthy and happy.
2.) The father/daughter dance.

Spring of 2011: I Got Married!
And I got another father/daughter dance!

How great are these side-by-side?  What a difference 15 years... doesn't make!  I think I just tugged at my own heart strings.  I love you, Dad!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Why Wait?

How many times have you heard someone refer to (him/her)self or someone else as a "work in progress?"  I think we all have an idea of the person we mean to be.  We just need to actively improve ourselves and put that vision to the test, little by little.

I consider myself a smart and relatively healthy person.  But I could be better.  Here are a few things I'd like to work on:
  1. Brain Exercise: I used to read a book a month, but I've fallen off the wagon.  I can already feel my brain becoming mush.  I need to put my private college education to good use and prove that I know how to read.
  2. Body Exercise: Work it out, girl!  Now that I've found a studio I really like, I'm zeroing in on the classes that will become my "usual."  And because I need to be mindful of money, I've decided to compromise by running on a treadmill once a week to fill in the gap between classes.  Three classes, one run, every week.
  3. Meal Planning: I'd like to integrate more plant-based recipes into our diet.  We have this bad habit of forgetting to pick a recipe before we go grocery shopping, so we always end up buying the same food.  We have a good number of cookbooks (including vegan), so I don't have any excuses.  I need to start trying a new recipe every week.
I'm not waiting for 2012 to roll around.  Resolutions can be started at any time!  Check back in a month to see whether or not I'm glad I publicly posted my resolutions here.  :-)

Do you have any resolutions in the works?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wanderer

I don't shop, I wander.  I love wandering through stores, especially the ones that have more than just clothes.  Do you know how much time I can spend in Target by myself?  Or a thrift store?  There are so many things to look at.  Although I inevitably eye 20 things I want, I'm the girl that usually walks out with nail polish or stationary.  (I prefer a paid off credit card to a new wardrobe -- which really cramps my style.  Pun intended.) 

Whole Earth Provision Co. is a short walk from our place, and it's been added to my wandering list.  Clothing, yoga mats, jewelry, toys, shoes, camping supplies, books, knick-knacks, and really random things that amuse me.  Faves from my last Whole Earth stroll:




And guess what I bought after an hour?  Nothing.  I was just happy to play in the store for awhile.  At least Scott doesn't have to worry about me taking extravagant shopping sprees!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Gold Stars

Confession: I  HAVE GOLD STAR SYNDROME.
Hi.  My name is Lindsay, and I secretly collect gold stars.

I have an inner Rachel Berry, though not nearly as neurotic or narcissistic -- or so I'd like to think.

Glee's Rachel Berry puts a gold star sticker next to her name.  Reason?  See next photo.

Such a defining line for her in the pilot episode!

I love doing things right, and I love when they're acknowledged.  I've been this way for as long as I can remember.  Is that so bad?

I'm a well-rounded person, but I've never been the best at anything.  I always try my best, and it generally lands me in the realm of "Very Good" but not "The Best."  However, I was one of those lucky kids who was encouraged daily.  I had amazing teachers who challenged me and nurtured whatever academic skill they thought I possessed.  My dance teachers and vocal coaches gave fair criticism and wanted me to succeed.  My parents left "We're so proud of your accomplishments" notes on my bathroom mirror.

So what happened when I got older and the recognition and verbal gold stars dissipated?  I had to tell myself.  (And my parents still do too.)  There have been times when I felt like I put a lot of work into something that went unnoticed.  And even more frustrating, there have been times when I felt like someone else was recognized for something menial and far smaller.  (Argh!)  But you know what?  That's okay!  I've learned that as long as I genuinely put my best into everything, I'll be awesome at life.  And that's way better than getting a "good job" gold star from someone else.  Agreed?

Let it be known:

Being Awesome At Life   >   Gold Stars

Sunday, December 4, 2011

May Your Days...


Oh, my!  Evidently, my brain took a vacation this weekend.  I didn't do much more than stop at Michaels, Home Depot, and Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts.  Other than that, I've been writing holiday postcards and watching movies in a sleep-like state.  Very fitting for a rainy day like today. 

Good thing we don't dine at our dining table.

In all fairness, work has been busy for the last six weeks.  Most notably, I received a very validating e-mail from our corporate office.  In most cases, receiving an additional project would prompt a sigh but not when the e-mail lists the reasons for being chosen for said work: "You are an incredibly fast learner, detail-oriented, an amazing multi-tasker, and most of all, have such a wonderful positive attitude."  Pardon me while I toot my own horn for a moment.  Toot toot!  *jumping for joy*  I've been very happy with this job for the five months I've been here, but it's hard to gauge how others perceive me when I work with them remotely.  (Corporate is located in Las Vegas.)  Doubts, you have been assuaged!  Small e-mail, big validation for me.  Cheers to another week ahead!

Friday, December 2, 2011

How The Other Half Lives

Today I am thankful for: newly single friends who have stories upon stories of wildly entertaining developments in their lives that they care to tell me about with exquisite candor.

It's like watching a movie that I don't have to pay for!  I, then, happily settle back into my Friday night of having the hubby home (yay!), the kitties sleeping, and writing my to-do list for the weekend.  Oh, my gosh!  Who am I?  Better yet, how old am I?!

In any case -- hello, weekend!  I welcome thee with open arms!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wendy's Lookbook

UPDATE: 12/7/2011
Wendy keeps sending me signs that she's destined to be my stylish, new best friend.  ;-)  Her post "Priceless :: Education & Canvas bag" highlights City Year!  My two "city years" that I served in NYC and Los Angeles are slightly indescribable and mostly defining, and it excites me to see others learning about CY for the first time.  Wendy is stylish, but she's so much more than designer clothes and a pretty face!

* * * * *

My blog isn't a how-to blog or a lifestyle blog or a craft blog or anything fancy with a gimmick.  It's just a life blog.  However, I have fallen in love with blogs of all types and interests!  DIY projects, vegan living, crafts, hair, and funny things (e.g., Cake Wrecks, Smart Phowned, FML, etc.).


I recently discovered Wendy's Lookbook.  It is pure sophisticated style at its finest.  It captures her style tips, outfits, and videos (homemade yet high quality!).  For anyone interested in fashion, this is the daily blog for you!  While the content is focused on material things, Wendy's Thanksgiving post is about who she is. 

Knowing her past and seeing what she has created for herself puts words like hope, strength, success, and ambition into perspective.  I'm so proud to have been a CASA, but I also saw how hard the juvenile system can be.  My case child got adopted.  Wendy did not, but I think she's done a damn fine job of creating her own happiness.  Go Wendy!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

'Tis The Season

I had a very nice Thanksgiving with good conversation, delicious food, and very social people.  I am very grateful that someone opened her doors to us for the occasion.  The four-day weekend also included a lot of laughing with the mister.  The hearty, giggly kind that nourishes the soul.  We gave Thanksgiving our undivided attention, and now it's time for Christmas and the New Year!  Decorating was a no-brainer this weekend -- tree included! (Click to enlarge images)




Although Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, Christmastime is about family tradition for me.  It's a time of hot cocoa, clay-mation movies, festive lights, board games, carols, chilly weather, greeting cards, crafts, photos, and all the memories created in the process.

What is your favorite thing about this time of year and which ever religious holiday you celebrate?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

With A Thankful Heart

'Tis the day that Americans give thanks to one another and for all that is wonderful in their lives.  Don't you wish people treated every day like Thanksgiving?

I wish you a merry Thanksgiving!

We will not be with my family for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years Eve this year.  This is a horrible travesty for my family.  An absolute travesty!  Unfortunately, it is not feasible.  I am 27 years old, and this is the first first we will not all be together.  Trust me.  It's incredibly disappointing -- to the point of tears, even -- but then I remember how lucky I am that I have such a beautiful family to miss and be missed by.  I'm so thankful!

I watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this morning.  In truth, the Broadway performances have always been what I look forward to, but it's family tradition to watch it together.  Even though we're all in different households now, we continue to watch it.  While it's fun to watch, I think we are all hanging on to the memories that we created when it was just our family of five under one roof.  In all my nostalgia this morning, I made this collage of our Christmas photos over the years.


We've grown up, and our family has literally grown in size!  Other things I am grateful for:

Health
Husband who is so much more than I hoped for
Job that I enjoy and supports us
My case child being adopted
Outpouring of love & support through all the changes we endured in the last year
Friendship
Forgiveness
The fresh start that moving to Houston has given me
Being invited to a Thanksgiving dinner tonight
The southern hospitality of Houstonians
Real mail
My education and the value my parents always bestowed upon it
Tolly and Amelie who instantly make me feel better on a bad day

There is so much more, but no one has the time to read that list!  What are you thankful for?  Ask yourself every day!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Friend is a Mermaid.

I'm serious.  She's also a princess, a fairy, an elf, Ernie from Sesame Street, and various other magical things.  And sorry, men.  She's taken.  You can't make any mer-babies with her.  Actually, you really can't.




Monday, November 21, 2011

I Love Kale Chips


Yes, I sure do!  And they're so easy to make.  A former nutrition professor of mine would give the class all sorts of tips on how to add more vegetables to their home menus, especially for those students with children.  She said that her kids loved potato chips, and one day, she decided to give them kale chips instead.  To her surprise, they loved them, and kale chips became a staple of their snack diet.  Well, I made them at home and fell in love with them too!  Now they're one of my favorite work snacks.

So simple.  Try them!


RECIPE

Rinse 1 bunch of kale and pat dry with a paper towel.
 

Tear into small pieces (approx. 2" x 2") and set aside in a large bowl.
  

Pour 1-2 tbsp. of grapeseed oil into a small, shallow cup or dish. 
  

Dipping your fingers in the oil, lightly rub into each piece of kale.  Lay pieces on a baking sheet.  (This can be a bit time-consuming, but tossing the kale in oil leads to really soggy chips.)
  

After you have filled the baking sheet, lightly season with salt and/or pepper.
  

Bake at 250 degrees for 30 minutes.

Greeting Cards Don't Have To Cost You Your First-Born Child

I look forward to this time of year all year long, and yet, somehow time gets away from me, and I don't always plan appropriately.  I don't like feeling rushed in any situation, but I really don't like feeling rushed to write holiday cards.  Real mail is scarce in this day and age, so it's extra important to take the time to write a nice note.  Fortunately, with a little reminder from my childhood friend, Anna at Life Lessons, I have already designed and ordered holiday postcards from Vista Print!

We put one of our beautiful wedding photos to good use for our holiday postcard.  And I love it!  Simple, classic, and downright inexpensive.  And by inexpensive, I mean I paid less than $15 for 100 postcards including shipping.  People, don't underestimate the power of Vista Print.  And as Anna pointed out on her blog, postcard postage is only 29 cents!

Tip #1: Search Google for "Vista Print 100 free postcards"
The website is sneaky in that it caters to the viewer and his/her website traffic. 
If you go straight to the website, you will not be able to find a "100 free postcards" deal.

Tip #2: Create your own postcard using a blank template to get 100 free. 
If you select from the holiday category, the deal doesn't apply.

I've fallen in love with rubber stamps recently, and to my delight, I found a holiday stamp set (16 stamps, 2 ink pads, 2 mini glitter pens) at Michaels on sale for $4.99!  Stamps are usually a couple bucks each, so this was an absolute steal.  I can't wait to send our postcards out with a little extra rubber stamp cheer.


Also, please visit Anna over at Life Lessons.  I met her when we were wee ones in the same performing arts program.  She was little Annie Warbucks to my Sheila Kelly -- one of the villains, for those who haven't seen the sequel, Annie Warbucks(Fact: AW broke all off-Broadway records in 1993 but exceeded the maximum amount of performances to be nominated for Tony Awards which jeopardized its move to Broadway.)  Anna is busting at the seams with cuteness and class, and she posts all sorts of crafty, yummy, and wise things.  You will love her!  Unlike my blog, hers is written for a wider audience.  Check her out!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanks to You and You and You!

I'll cut straight to the chase.  I apologize for pulling a Houdini.  Work has been incredibly busy for the last two weeks, and after work, I didn't want to do anything other than go to a studio class, eat, and sleep.  So I did.  But I'm back now!

Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and no surprise here, I have a lot to be thankful for!  Among the greatest of these thanks-inducing things is people!  2011 had the potential to be terrifyingly stressful, but it's almost the end of the year, and I'm completely happy despite being far away from family and friends.  Scott and I found out we were moving to another state, planned a wedding in four months, packed up our lives, and dove head-first into a new life.  And that all happened by June!   I think we've worked really hard to get where we are and keep things positive, but we've also been surrounded by a lot of great people.  I think one of the things I am most proud of in my life are the people in it.  Who's the lucky girl?!  *pointing to self*

In the last two weeks of "Where in the World is Mrs. Kudia," I've done a lot of catching up with people.

  • Erin and I had a Gmail love fest which made me wonder how anyone gets through life without a friend like her.
  • Dixie called from Germany, and although I missed her call, it made me feel like she wasn't in another country.
  • Cory and I laughed about how crazy our lives were in LA but how we wouldn't change a minute of it.
  • My parents called last Sunday night to wish me a great week and tell me they're proud of me.
  • Summer and I talked two days in a row... and texted... and e-mailed... and texted again.
  • Annie and I talked after many months!  Hallelujah!  I can't wait for her wedding in April!
  • Jen and I laughed about how funny we are.  I don't know if anyone else agrees, but we're pretty sure we're funny.
  • Skype completely failed me today, so I resorted to regular ol' phone conversation with Caitlin who is almost done with grad school!  YAY!
  • Jake and I continue our game of phone tag.  :-/
  • Skype also ruined a date with David, but I tried to make up for it with this:


So thanks for being such marvelous people!  I hope you have a great Thanksgiving week ahead, and I send hugs from Houston.  And because Tolly is adorable and he knows it, he wanted me to show you this video he made.  Ain't he the cutest show-off you've ever seen?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sweet Afternoon



Today I am thankful for the uber-chic coffee maker at work that also makes delicious hot cocoa.  Add a dash of cinnamon for an extra afternoon pick-me-up!  I can already foresee that I will need every ounce of self control to resist have hot cocoa all winter long.  Not only is it delicious, but it holds a special place in my heart.  My dad got Summer and I hooked on hot cocoa and toasted peanut butter sandwiches at a very early age! 

5 days at work per week  
x 
3 months of winter  
=  
a whole heap of self control needed

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Liar, Liar

Remember when I called Houston an autumnless pit?  I lied.  The weather has definitely changed with the season!  It may not be the Wisconsin fall dazzling with amber leaves and the crisp breath of nature that Scott misses so much, but it has been cold! 

True story: I wore a scarf last week.

It was 48 degrees when I left for work at 8:00am that day...

... and 54 degrees the next morning.

I ran an office errand yesterday at 12:30pm, and it was 55 degrees.  Sweater dresses, boots, tights, scarves, and hats are steppin' out after all! 

Today I am thankful for my little kiddos that I can cuddle with on these cold nights.

MEOW!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Because Sometimes Bullet Points Are Easier

  • I Skyped with one amazing Leah Press on Saturday night, and we laughed a lot.  Typical.  We have one of those friendships that include a lot of laughing at ourselves and making interesting sound effects for simple tasks -- and a little bit of "what do you want to be when you grow up" chatter.  And we spent over two hours on Skype doing just that.

     
  • Although I'm not a fan of Fox News, I was happy to see that my company's Facebook profile posted this article about yoga.
  • I just finished reading Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet, and I'm reading it again.  There was a lot of information, and I think I'll retain more of it with a second read. Also, I read this daily:


  • I envy Scott for being the thespian in this relationship now.  I should have known this would happen!  (Loss of Identity enters stage left) 
  • While others despise daylight savings and the darker evenings, I really appreciated that the sun was up when I had to get ready for work this morning. 

Friends, keeping in touch is hard.  I get it.  But I miss you, and I want to hear how your life is.  Please shoot me a text or e-mail or comment below with a quick update -- just three bullet points!  That will take less than a minute.  Tell me how you are... *ahem*... ANNIE LUNDBERG (soon to be WELDON).  :-)  Thank you.

And now I'm off to belly dancing!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Word Vomit

For anyone who has seen the movie Mean Girls, you know what I'm talking about.  It's the instance in which your words seem uncontrollable, and they just come out.  Yup, word vomit.  I have two rants that I absolutely must say!  I hate that this may sound mean, but please read it with a dash of sarcastic humor.  :-)

1.) Today I could do without: all the unnecessarily humongous trucks in Houston.
** This rant is brought to you by Houstonians. 

If everything is bigger in Texas, why does it seem like so many men on the road are compensating for something?  Oooooh, yes!  I went there.  Houston is the third largest city in the country.  It's metropolitan.  There are more corporate businesses than farms.  So why the gigantic trucks?  Please.  Someone enlighten me, because right now, I just think they're trying to... fill a void.

2.) Today I could do without: the entire Kardashian family.
** This rant is brought to you by every headline, radio show, TV program, and magazine that continues to bring up Kim Kardashian filing for divorce after 72 days of marriage -- her second marriage, no less.

Who says that the "evil, sinful gays" are going to ruin the institution of marriage? Kim and all the other Hollywood "celebrities" have already done that for us. Furthermore, the Kardashians need to be permanently removed from the E! network, and Ryan Seacrest should be sued. I'm serious. I'm sure he's broken some sort of FCC rule as the executive producer of all Kardashian shows.  It's conflict of interest when he has exclusive interviews with his "reality stars" on his radio show.  How is he permitted to promote his own product which makes him millions of dollars when another lesser known radio host would be fired for promoting his own garage sale?  Talk about a man who knows how to work the system. 

 Now, let's all do ourselves a favor and stop reading about them and watching their shows. Just treat them like Jessica Simpson, and they'll disappear too.  (Sorry, Jessica.  I hadn't intended to make a dig at you, but truth is truth.)

** MID-DAY UPDATE:
My former boss at The AjA Project sent me this post.  I guess someone agrees with me!

** ANOTHER UPDATE:
Leah, thank you for sharing this:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What I Did On Saturday :-)

Saying "I do"

 The Parentals

 Father of the Bridesmaid

 Mom's Baby Girl

 Five of Seven BMs

 I'm not sure what just happened, but I love this Linz-Sueee moment!

Meet the Conways!