Friday, November 30, 2012

When Fridays Are "Saturdays"

1.) When Fridays are "Saturdays,"  I am a happy woman.  Mr. TBS and I are off from work today!  We're taking the furry ones to the vet for their annual check-up this morning, and then I'm a free woman!  Wahoo!

2.) Per usual Day-After-Thanksgiving tradition, we got our Christmas tree!  Autumn and Christmastime make us giddy.

3.) This ornament was part of my birthday package from my sister back in September, and I love it!

4.) Doing the November #YogaADay Instagram challenge has been awesome.  I've surprised myself a number of times.  Who knew I could almost do Crane pose?!  Not me.

5.) After mentioning that my dad likes to say "Make it a great day" in Wednesday's post, he sent me this text message.  I still call him Dada and Buster Brain, sometimes.  (I loved calling people Buster Brain when I was a kid.  I had a speech impediment, so it was more like "Bustooh Bwain.")

P.S. The Firmoo giveaway ends tonight at 12:00 a.m.!  I'll contact the 25 winners via e-mail.  Good luck!  Big thanks to Firmoo!

Happy weekending, friends!

Linking up with From My Grey Desk

Thursday, November 29, 2012

One-Hundred Dreams, Part II

I'm continuing my List of 100 Dreams!

I'm not going to lie.  This is kind of hard to do.  While creating this list, I draw a blank, then the ideas flood my mind, and then I wonder if they're interesting enough.  This process has reminded me that I need to dream BIG instead of limiting my thoughts to what I think is possible, or even worse, what is easy to do or likely to happen.

Here are 20 more for the list:

21.  Spend a day at a Farm Sanctuary  (I will not be surprised if I cry upon arrival.)
22.  Learn how to whistle a tune  (I'm working on it at the expense of Husband's ears.)
23.  Attend a recording of SNL
24.  Serve on the board of a really awesome non-profit
25.  Crochet or knit a baby blanket
26.  Try henna hair dye
27.  Give birth naturally
28.  Donate to Locks of Love or Pantene's Beautiful Lengths program
30.  Adopt sibling cats that must be adopted together (which are more difficult to find homes for)
31.  Go glass-bottom kayaking
32.  Fly first class
33.  Ride a tandem bike
34.  Make my own loose-leaf tea
35.  Visit Price Edward Island
36.  Enjoy a beer in a German bar
37.  Learn how to waterski
38.  Milk a cow
39.  Turn one of my kid's "masterpieces" into a Child's Own Studio softie
40.  See a Cirque du Soleil show

I'm off to feed my dreams some Miracle Grow.  Happy Friday Eve!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Spot o' Tea

This is most of my tea collection at home.  I have a small one at work too.

I drink a lot of tea and own a lot of cute mugs.  I think my Instagram photos make that very clear.  When I get to work, I make a cup of tea.  Sometimes, I have another in the afternoon.  I like a good tea after dinner.  Sometimes, when I have Skype dates to catch up with friends, I'll have a mug of tea, so it feels like a we're hanging out in a coffee house.  :)  Sometimes, my tea is very wise:

I took stock of my tea collection at home over the weekend and realized that I should finish the tea I have before buying any more, especially the loose-leaf tea since tea does go bad.

How to Store Tea (and Make It Last):

  • Keep away from heat, light, and humidity.
  • Store loose-leaf tea in an opaque, air-tight, non-plastic container.  (Tin is best.  Plastic will transfer odors and spoil the taste of the tea.)
  • Keep in a dark, cool cabinet or pantry.
  • Buy in small quantities to ensure that the tea is used before it spoils.

Clearly, I've failed the last point.  I have promised myself that I will not buy more tea for the next three months.  I better get my (tea) drinking cap on, because this tea collection needs to be drunk!  Anyone want to come over and help me?

Norbert (my owl) and I wish you a splendid week.  As my dad always says: "Make it a great day!"

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Very Merry Firmoo Giveaway (with 25 Winners!)

I'm really excited for today's giveaway, because 25 of you will win it.  Did you see that?  There will be 25 winners!  Today, you have the chance to win...

 $20 to!

With glasses starting at $8.00, this is a great deal, and your odds are good since there will be 25 winners!  You can use it toward a holiday gift for someone else, or let's be real, you can buy something for yourself.  :)  I'm eyeing these pairs:

Found HERE and HERE

I got my first pair of Firmoo glasses in September and fell in love.  I love the selection, the quality, and the outrageously low prices.  Naturally, I bought another pair last month.  Since their glasses are so affordable, I now see glasses as accessories that can change with outfits instead of paying hundreds of dollars for one pair that needs to last for at least a year.  I'm a Firmoo fan for life.

Did I mention that all new customers get their first pair for free?  (Hello!)

Let's get to entering, shall we?  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fine Print:
Giveaway closes December 1, 2012, at 12:00 a.m.
25 winners will be contacted via e-mail.
Credit must be used by December 25, 2012, at 12:00 a.m.
Excludes designer glasses.

** This giveaway is sponsored by Firmoo.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, November 26, 2012

'Tis the Season

Don't you love four-day weekends?  I hope Thanksgiving was filled with love for all you Americans (and I hope last week was a nice week for all you non-Americans)!  This weekend was so wonderful which is why getting up for work was tough today!  Yikes.  I'm in denial and clinging to the last four days which officially launched the Christmas season in our house.  We've had a long-running "__ Days 'Til We Get Our Christmas Tree" countdown, and getting our tree was the first order of business on Friday.  Decorations out.  Tree lit.  Holiday scented candles burning.  Christmas movie playing.  Cozy home.  'Tis the season!  The day after Thanksgiving may be Black Friday to many, but it's Christmas Tree Friday to us.

Crisp air was a lengthy visitor this weekend (Hallelujah!), and we bundled up for the farmers market.  We got a new coffee roaster at the market, and although I don't consider myself a Coffee Person, my Cup o' Joe hit the spot.

I have to admit that I was disappointed that we didn't have anyone to celebrate Thanksgiving with this year, but the rest of the weekend definitely made up for it.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that Christmas trees make everything better.

P.S. Be sure to check back tomorrow.  25 of you will be very glad you did!  Oh, the suspense.  Is it killing you?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

For These Things and So Much More

Family, by blood, marriage, and adoption (including animals).
Friendships, new and old.
Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe-Joes.
Waterproof mascara.
Mr. TBS's cooking skills.
My job.
Pandora Radio.
This blog and the people who read it.
Handwritten notes.
Modern Family.
Hot showers.
Four-part harmony.
Another year of life.

For these things and so much more, I am thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!  
Give thanks, share love, and eat delicious food.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mondays Are Happier When It's a Short Work Week

Happy Monday!  I can safely say "Happy Monday" without having office furniture hurled at me, because it's a short work week.  Hallelujah for that.  I envy those who have the entire week of Thanksgiving off, but hey. I'll take what I can get.

This weekend was a lot of the same but some new too.  I wanted to get a few pictures of my farmer's market's float in the Tomball Holiday Parade on Saturday (because I manage the Facebook page, not because I have a weird obsession with the farmer's market).  My parade experience is limited to Disneyland parades and watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade from the comfort of my couch, so I took advantage of the brisk morning and headed out to join the crowds on the sidewalk of Main Street.  I got horrible photos because of the direct sunlight, but the event provided top-notch people-watching.  The idea of a small town sounded really cute, and it was.  Also, if you want to catch funny family moments, go to a parade!  Sometimes, the parents are so much more embarrassing than the kids.

The holiday cheer continued at home when Mr. TBS decided he wanted to swap our fall decorations for Christmas decorations.  We plan on getting our Christmas tree this weekend, so he prepared the room.  I'll tell ya.  There is something magical about twinkling lights and candlelight!  It makes the house so cozy.  We quasi-hijacked Thanksgiving, but I'm not complaining.

We're not sure what happened to Boone, but he is favoring his left leg.  Watching him climb instead of jump is breaking my heart.  He consoled himself by curling up in a bin and snuggling with Amelie.  They have vet appointments next week, so we're hoping for some clarity if he's not fine by then.

Throw in a Saturday evening bike ride, a Sunday morning walk with my love, watching every episode of "Nashville" on Hulu (I'm still judging myself), and homework, and you've got my weekend.  I'm ready to plow through these three work days.  That will be one more thing I'm thankful for on Thursday!

Has anyone else quasi-hijacked Thanksgiving (other than Michelle)?

Friday, November 16, 2012

High Five For Friday

1.) Jeans that fit!  LOFT for the win!  It's going to take awhile for the excitement to wear off.  And hey, are those hips I see?!  Yeeeaaah!  Maybe I'll look older than 18 now.  Yeah, right.  Who am I kidding?

2.) After reading that Betsy's blog came up in her job interview, I was curious to know what a Google search of my name brought up.  Surprise, surprise!  My headshot and bio are up at Grow Soul Beautiful already.  I did a photo shoot in September for a 2013 series.  I'll let you know when my articles are posted!

3.) I love the LC Lauren Conrad blazer I got this summer, and although I cannot get on the trend wagon and call it "oxblood," I can tell you that I intend to wear my burgundy/maroon blazer as much as possible.

4.) Problem: No internet at home.  Silver lining: First red Starbs cup of the season.

5.) How gorgeous is @estefmartin's #YogaADay photo?  It's so beautiful and sexy!

Happy weekend, friends!

Linking up with From My Grey Desk

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Random Thoughts

+ I was soliciting denim advice from anyone and everyone on Facebook and Twitter, and Meg saved the day.  LOFT petite denim for the win!  (Hence, the photo.)

+ Songs that fade out really annoy me.

+ Anna got me thinking about toasted coconut.  I'm hungry.

+ Parting hair in middle is never an option for me.  Never.

+ I really want to play in the snow.  Texas, get some snow up in here!

+ Waterproof mascara is the only thing that can stand up to my stick-straight lashes.

+ I love my friends.  I got a just-because "I love you" note today.  Also, another friend ending her novel-length e-mail update to me with this: "Ok, that is more than enough for me right now. Tell me what is happening with you! I love your blog and it makes me feel like I'm more up to speed but I also feel like I exploit the easy access and don't return the information. I will work on that <3"  I knew she was stalking me.  I appreciate her honesty.  ;)

+ My only doppelganger is the cartoon version of Pocahontas.  How sad (or awesome?) is that?

+ I know I sound like a broken record, but my home internet is a heap of junk.  Yup, it's out again.

+ Who is excited about Thanksgiving?!  *raising hand*  I don't even have Thanksgiving plans, and I'm looking forward to it.  Weird.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Quiet Time

Sometimes, I underestimate the power of quiet time.  Like most people, I share my quips about wanting more hours in the day, implying that my life is so hectic at the moment that I want nothing more than to sit in silence or sleep.  But even when I have leisure hours at my disposal, they're rarely quiet.

I prefer that there always be music playing in the car unless I'm talking with someone.  

On slow Saturday mornings, I'll turn on a movie while I put on my make-up, peeking out the bathroom door to watch when I hear that something good is coming up.  

When I study, I prefer having background noise.  (Yesterday, I moved my studying downstairs, because the white noise of the washing machine and Mr. TBS cooking made me feel more comfortable.)

When Mr. TBS is sitting in a quiet room reading or surfing the internet, I think I'm "bored," but really, the absence of noise tricks me into thinking that nothing fun or productive is happening.

But on Saturday afternoon, Mr. TBS took a nap on the couch (Amelie joined him), and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to go for a bike ride.  So I did.  No music.  No talking.  No Instagram or Twitter.  Just the breeze rushing past my ears.  It was lovely.  I hope you had a great weekend too!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Hoping For a Malaise-less Weekend

It's been a weird week.  I've had a constant migraine, a bit of a sore throat, and all-round malaise this week despite sleeping 8 hours at night.  I can't explain it, and I can't shake it.  Mr. TBS wondered if I'm allergic to something.  (Maybe since we live in a rural area with a lot of roaming wild animals now?)  Who knows?  But enough about that crap.  Here are some bright spots from the week!

1.) I fell in love with this INC top at Macy's two months ago.  It has sequins which makes me feel like a '90s stage mom, but I'm not even sorry.

2.) Is it possible to be obsessed with an Instagram account?  I love looking through the other #YogaADay photos on Instagram, and I'm obsessed with islarosete's photos!  They're so creative!  I love how she integrates her husband and child into the poses.

3.) I was introduced to Traditional Medicinals Organic Throat Coat tea by my first vocal coach when I was a kid.  This tea has been my best friend this week.

4.) My fingernails are rarely painted, because it seems like a lot of work for lasting only a few days.  But who knew I could keep painted nails looking pretty for over a week?!  (The colors are O.P.I. Grand Canyon Sunset and Sally Hansen's Gem Crush Big Money.)

5.) This guy.  He is the best.  When people tell me how great he is, I just smile and say, "I know.  I married him!"

Enjoy your weekend!

Linking up with Lauren for High Five For Friday
and Tara (Houston blogger!) & Vicki for The Nail Files

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Scribbles from a Lefty

I once received a compliment on my handwriting, because the person thought it looked nice, especially for a lefty.  I'm not sure if I was supposed to be infinitely grateful for such a kind and generous compliment, especially as a lefty, but I laughed and asked, "What is that supposed to mean?"  As it turns out, she didn't know and immediately apologized, laughing through her embarrassment.

For the record, being left-handed isn't an illness, a disability, or yucky cooties.  It just takes extra effort to not smear everything when writing on a white board or with inky pens.

Do you want to know how I ended up left-handed?  I chose to be.  When I was in kindergarten, my teacher, Ms. Sue Bear, noticed that I switched hands while writing and drawing.  I think she was concerned that I would have difficulty writing letters correctly if I did that, so she encouraged me to write with one hand.  I vividly remember this conversation.  I guess I chose left, because my dad is left-handed, and he helped me with homework.

Joelle (I adore her!) at Something Charming had the brilliant idea to share handwriting, as she is a wedding planner and calligrapher.  I'm no calligrapher, but here we go!  :)

I love handwritten letters and cards.  I just hope my loved ones can decipher the messages.  ;)  Who knows how to analyze handwriting?  I want to know what mine says about me. 

Write it Down

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

You Know You're a Cat Lady When...

  1. #catlady and #meow are common hashtags on your Instagram account.
  2. your package in the mail includes a card to Amelie & Boone from Milo & Otis (ahem... Lauren!), and you exchange countless e-mails with a fellow animal lover.
  3. you have a cat pumpkin in your house for Halloween.
  4. blog friends inquire about your cats' names.
  5. you find a toy mouse in your purse when you're at work.

It's official.  Guilty as charged.

Monday, November 5, 2012

One-Hundred Dreams, Part I

Yoga break from studying yesterday  (#YogaADay with Grow Soul Beautiful)

So... remember that time I was supposed to write a paper but ended up reading my friend's blog?  And then I went back to writing my paper but then had an impromptu Skype date with one of my best friends at 9:00 p.m.?  And then sang a song which I made up on the fly with lyrics like "I love writing papers, Because they're so much fun, Bullshit, I'm totally lying to myself right now, I don't want to do this, But I'm doing it, Because I'm awesome at life."  (The royalties for that one are just rolling in.)  And then finished my paper and submitted it three minutes before the deadline?

That was totally last night.

I haven't been such an "eleventh-hour pusher" since college.  It's nice to know I've still got it.  ;)  But I don't plan on doing that again.  (But I will, I'm sure.)

One of my absolute favorite bloggers recently started writing a list of 100 dreams after reading 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think.  Throughout college, I wrote in a journal consistently and used to keep a running list of goals and dreams.  Some are the same, some are different.  I thought it would be interesting to put together a new list, so I'm sharing...

My List of 100 Dreams
  1.  Read the entire Harry Potter series
  2. Create "best of" photo albums with the digital pictures dating back to 2006
  3. Read one leisure book per month (starting with Journey Into Shadow by Sarah!)
  4. Make working out a priority (because it's not right now)
  5. Cook something new once a month
  6. Take more pictures
  7. Keep a childhood journal for my kid (like my mom did for me)
  8. Be less judgmental
  9. Master a handstand
  10. Stop waiting until the 11th hour  (Ha!)
  11. Prioritize wants and needs
  12. Finish graduate school
  13. Have a country house with a clothesline that looks romantically simple, not trashy.  ;)
  14. Make a wedding album
  15. Visit a European castle
  16. Ride my bike more often
  17. Use baby sign language with my future kid
  18. Have a garden and composting bin
  19. Familiarize myself with the number keypad on the right side of the keyboard, so I don't have to look at it as I type
  20. Meet Christiane Amanpour

That's all I have for now, but I'll share the next 20 soon.  Do you keep a list of dreams or goals?  I always forget just how much I want to accomplish until I start writing it down.

How was your weekend?  Are you pumped about Election Day?! 

Friday, November 2, 2012

High Five For Friday

1. We got some real autumn weather for three days!  30s at night and 50s-60s during the day.  But... now we're back in the 80s.  It's just not fair.

2. During our faux-fall, I had the chance to break out a sweater dress, scarf, and boots!

3. Halloween kicks off the holiday season!

4. I got my second pair of Firmoo glasses!  After I saw my friend Aunie wearing them, I had to have those retro specs!  Don't forget that your first pair is FREE!  :)

5. I started the November #YogaADay challenge with Grow Soul Beautiful.  Let's see if I can be as creative as these other yogis

Happy Friday!  What's on your agenda for the weekend?

Linking up with From My Grey Desk
Dear Lauren, #meow