Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Did you dress up today for school, for work, or for an event with your family?  I'm not dressing up this year, but you can see two of my favorite costumes HERE.  This here blog has gained a lot of traffic from "three little pigs costumes" and "monsters inc costumes" Google searches!

Although we don't have any Halloween parties to dress up for, we got in the Halloween spirit this weekend and carved our pumpkins while watching "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!"  Mr. TBS is the creative one in this relationship.  Yes, he even sketched possible carving designs to choose from.  I looked at all of them, decided they were all too difficult, and carved our last initial.  (I told you.  I'm not creative!)  We baked the pumpkin seeds too.  Autumn wafted through the house, and the seeds were delicious!







Pumpkin carving  +  "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown"  +  Pumpkin seeds
= A GOOD NIGHT

Play safely, and enjoy the night, my friends!  Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mr. TBS!

I love you, dear husband!  I'm so happy that seven years ago, we met and you became my "work crush" who I swore I would never date -- but then dated ten months later.  What can I say?  When I want something, I go after it.  It wasn't so bad being pursued either!  ;)  Your wit, class, intelligence, creativity, ambition, charm, undying thirst for learning, and spontaneity make life so much more adventurous and hilarious.  Thank you for being my partner in life.  We make a pretty kick-ass team!

Cheers to fun times ahead, because God knows we're so serious...





Happy birthday, darling dear!  

Monday, October 29, 2012

Houston Nostalgia

We put up those lights last October... and kept them up until we moved at the end of March.  I loved them!

A colleague of mine was in Houston for the weekend.  Other than my two weeks of training at our corporate office in Las Vegas 16 months ago, our relationship has existed over e-mail and phone, but she is wonderful. I couldn't pass up an opportunity to hang out with her, especially outside of work.  I had so much fun with her, and I wish we worked at the same office!

Driving down the I-45 and into Houston that afternoon made me feel nostalgic.  My days of driving 35 miles one-way for work are long gone, and I don't miss that at all, but I felt a sort of happiness thinking about living in River Oaks in Houston.

When we lived in that apartment...

I explored our new city on my own since Mr. TBS was rarely home.
I got a career-changing job.
We often walked to Ruggles Green, Whole Foods, and Petsmart hand in hand.
We got in our first fight in five years and learned from it.
My case child was adopted.
I tried yoga for the first time.
We had no idea it would be Tolly's last home.
Our plan for living in Houston changed.
I started using Skype.
We learned how cold Houston can get (and we loved it).
I became a vegetarian.
I had my Starbucks that I would drive through every once in awhile on my way to work.
I became a pro at driving through the pothole-laden streets of Houston.

I know our brains have a way of mostly remembering the good and doing away with the rest.  If I dig down deep, I'm sure I could rattle off the things I didn't like about living there, but that would be useless.  That time has passed, so why even bother?  Houston has been good to us!  So much in my life changed in the time we lived in that apartment, mostly for the better.  I never thought I'd say this, but I feel the same nostalgia for Houston that I do Downtown Manhattan, another former "home."  The cities are hardly comparable, but sweet memories were made in both.

I love those breezes of remembrance and temporary longing for good times past.  Even better is knowing that as good as those memories are, now is wonderful.

Are there places that make you nostalgic?


NOTE: I went to the Whole Foods in my old neighborhood while I was in Houston, because we don't have one near our house now.  I spent an hour there... in one aisle.  Whole Foods in my Target.  I can spend forever wandering around, and I want everything.

Friday, October 26, 2012

WHOA! It's Friday!

This week flew by!  Just as it always does, Monday came too soon, but my week was off to a great start.  I suspect sleep-deprivation was the culprit, but by Wednesday, I was a worrywart.  I was stressed about how busy I'll be... in January.  I admit that I was being irrational.  I think crazy things when I'm tired.  Thanks to a sweet friend who shared her graduate school wisdom, I'm back on track.

NOTE: Worrywart?  My inner-granny needs to calm down.  I used the word gossipmonger the other day.  How old am I?

Despite my day of being ridiculous, it was a great week.


1. Whit and I roamed the mall, talked girl/married talk, ate delicious Great American Cookies (a first for me), and unintentionally bought matching purses over the weekend.  I'm glad I grabbed some Whit Time before she headed to work that night.  (She works at a concert venue.  How fun is that?!)

2. I love me some Trader Joe's goodies, especially teas and chai mix.  Thank God Trader Joe's is back in my life!

3. I wish I knew Bev's professor's name, so I could credit her/him.  Those are true words, and guess what?  This girl doesn't want another job, let alone an unpaid job.

UPDATE: The professor's name is Dr. Marissa Pei.


4. I totally kicked work's ass this week.  Could it be that my never-ending to-do list is being whittled down to a single-digit list?  I'll raise a glass to that.  (Not at work, of course.  I can't imagine people would appreciate me drunk-e-mailing them.)

5. I just found out that one of my friends wrote a young-adult novel, and I can't wait to read it!  Journey Into Shadow is available in hard copy and Kindle edition.  Sarah was that girl who filmed elaborate videos while the other students in our 8th grade English class threw together last-minute costumes and read off of note cards.  The ever creative and hilarious Sarah graduated college in three years, got her masters, and is getting her PhD.  Basically, she's making the rest of us look bad.  ;)  So everyone, do yourselves a favor.  Put down your stupid 50 Shades of Grey, and buy your copy of Journey Into Shadow by Sarah Thaller!


I've got a busy weekend ahead, but I'll be sure to get some sleep too.  We don't need another day of sleep-deprived Lindsay.  As Clare says, Bon weekend!


Linking up with From My Grey Desk

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sophisticated Dinner Conversation

Setting: Restaurant

(Mr. TBS typing on his phone)

ME
What are you looking up?

MR. TBS
The answer to the age-old question.

(silence)

ME
So... what's the age-old question?

MR. TBS
"What is the difference between an ass, a donkey, a mule, and a burro?"

ME
That's the age-old question that people seek the answer to?!


Yes, this conversation happened while we were out to dinner.  To all you youngins pining for your Prince Charming who will whisk you away to a fantasy land of romance and poetry, this is what real married life sounds like.  Get excited!  Of course, you want to know the answer to this age-old question, right?  Read below, and color yourself educated, my friends.


ASS:
A wild animal and relative of the zebra.  (Full name: African Ass)

DONKEY:
A domesticated ass.
Male = jack
Female = jenny or jennet

MULE:
Offspring of an ass (male donkey) and a mare (female horse)
* Offspring of a stallion (male horse) and a jenny (female donkey) is a hinny.

BURRO:
A small donkey.

Notes:

  1. My condolences to all you Jacks and Jennys out there.  Now you know what your name means.  ;)
  2. We thought donkeys lived down the street from us and have called them as such, but they're burros.  I'll apologize to them on the way home today.
  3. I'm sure this is exactly the kind of important stuff NBC had in mind when they started their "The More You Know" campaign.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Couch and a Nice Man Named Jerry


This is the new couch we bought for the upstairs den.  How it got there is an amazing story.

We've mulled over which couch to buy for the den since we moved into this house seven months ago.  Until I started school last month, we rarely used the second floor.  Occasionally, I did yoga or watched TV shows on my laptop upstairs.  The vaulted ceiling and window views of trees and sky were wasted, because we spent all of our time downstairs.  We decided to cozy it up, especially since it's my prime study area now.

Our weeks-long search for a couch ended yesterday!  It's plain, but it was a really good deal and fit our needs.  We were a bit too confident in thinking we could tie it to the roof of Mr. TBS's car, and we found ourselves staring at the car and couch in the parking lot in the Houston heat.  We didn't have enough rope, and the couch looked like it might slide off on our one-mile drive home.

A large trucked pulled up a few empty spots over from us, and the pony-tailed driver stepped out and said,

"If you cover the gas, I'll take it in my truck."

I smiled, and said, "Oh, well, we're hopeful this will work."  Is this a scam?  Who is this pony-tailed man with bad teeth offering to drive this couch to our house?  What's in it for him?

Mr. TBS and I tried to devise a plan but got nowhere.  As a last resort, we wondered if that man's offer was too good to be true.  Only a few minutes later, he was walking out of the store, and Mr. TBS asked,

"Excuse me.  What was your offer?  If we pay for the gas to our place, you'll drive it home for us?"  It was true!  He asked nothing more than money to cover the gas, so Mr. TBS offered $7, and it was a deal.  This man's name, we learned, was Jerry.  As the heavy-duty truck suggested, he worked in construction and cabinetry building.  He was quick tying the couch down, and we were on our way.  In the car, Mr. TBS and I were stunned that a stranger was so willing to help.  We pulled together all the cash we had ($17) and were disappointed we didn't have a beer or bottle of water at the house to reward his neighborly act. 

Jerry helped unload the couch and carry it upstairs without hesitation, all the while offering tips on how to make the process easier.  (Those stairs and tight corners are killer.)  When all was said and done, do you know what he asked?  He wanted to know if he could have our rope that we used to tie down the couch instead of the cash.  On a recent project, some guys ruined his rope, and he needed one.  We were so grateful for his generosity and helpfulness that we gave him the rope, the $17, and as many "thank yous" as we could squeeze into the conversation.  We truly would not have been able to get the couch upstairs without him.  We were all smiles, but he looked at us as if we did him a favor.  With the kindest eyes, he wished us a wonderful day.

At face value, this story is about a couch and a nice man named Jerry, but it's much more than that.

Jerry reminded me that there are really genuine and selfless people in the world, 
and sometimes, they appear when you least expect it.  

He reminded me that people can do good things when you give them the opportunity.  

He reminded me that no matter what someone looks like on the outside, 
he can have a giving heart and bright spirit.

Jerry, you are awesome!


For the remainder of the day, I studied in the comfort of our new couch.  :)


When is the last time you met a "Jerry" or were a "Jerry" for someone else?

Friday, October 19, 2012

High Five For Friday

Happy, happy Friday!

My eyes have been glued to my computer screen at work all week as I organize and revamp our operations, and yesterday, it got to the point that it felt like my contact lenses were sucking on my eyeballs.  It sounds terrible, and it feels terrible.  I had to keep reminding myself to blink more often.  ;)  Fortunately, my eyes will catch a break this weekend... as they read a textbook.  Yipee.  I'm ready to power through! 

Here are a few highlights from my week:

ONE
Mr. TBS surprised me with tickets to Shen Yun in December!  This award-winning touring company revives Chinese tradition through dance and original music.  It looks incredible!  Can't wait!



TWO
Do you guys remember my friend Mae?  Guess what?!  The adoption is complete, and Abi is home!  I literally cried tears of joy for her family!

THREE
My friend Dixie/Liz/Ellie (We share the name crisis.  Ha!) currently lives in Germany.  Since she's abroad, we use a Walkie Talkie (and texting) app called Voxer.  This week, she sent me a picture of her new Firmoo glasses with the message "My new glasses for under $10, thanks to you.  They just arrived today!"  You can't beat that.  Firmoo, you are too good to we glasses folk.  You get your first pair FREE, y'all.


FOUR
If you know any aspect of theatre, you will love What Should We Call Actors and How Do I Place That?  Instant pick-me-ups.

FIVE
I've decided that Lauren is my favorite kind of "bad influence."  She tweeted a photo of her new hello tray from Target, and I bought one that night.  Couldn't resist.  I don't have anywhere to put it right now, but I couldn't resist.



If you need me this weekend, I'll be the girl with her head stuck in a textbook

Linking up with From My Grey Desk

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Best Costumes Are Homemade

I rarely dress up for Halloween, but I marvel at homemade costumes.  Two years ago, co-workers and I dressed up as the Three Little Pigs at work.



We were pretty hot hogs, if I do say so myself.  But the homemade costume that I am most proud of was made in college.  It also happened to be a pretty kick-ass couples costumes.  If you're a Pixar fan, you'll love this.  We wanted to be Mike Wazowski and Boo from Monsters, Inc.

Source

Source

Dressing up as Boo would be easy, but how in the world were we going to make Mike Wazowski?

The Answer: Fabric, quilt stuffing (is that even what it's called?), foam, and Duck Tape.

Duck tape works for everything.  It held the costume together through two nights of Halloween partying.  That's pretty hardcore in my book.  You're probably like, Lindsay, shut up and show us the costumes.  OK, OK.  So pushy.  ;)  I present Mike Wazowski and Boo!

I don't know how he would feel about me posting this, so... happy face icon, it is!

I made that.  (curtsy)  Well, we made that, but he isn't here to fight me for bragging rights, so... I made that. At the second party, I carried around a doll of Sulley which completed the Monsters, Inc. cast.

What's your favorite Halloween costume?
Do you make your costumes?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

5 Ways I Make Air Travel More Enjoyable


I've always loved flights.  The excitement of packing up and going somewhere far away has never worn off completely.  Both of my parents worked for Braniff Airways.  One of my earliest true memories, not a memory recreated by photographs or home video, is passing out candy to passengers during a flight with one of my mom's co-workers.  It only happened once, I think, but I remember feeling special.  Oh, the little things!  When I got older and started traveling solo, I felt like such a grown-up.  I'm not going to lie.  I still have that funny "I'm such a big girl now" feeling when I travel alone!  Some things just never get old.


For whatever reason, that "big girl" feeling usually makes me the best airplane seat neighbor in the universe.  I have entertained kids while (grand)parents catch a break, given a mom and her baby my aisle seat, and traded seats with taller people who clearly would not be comfortable in a middle seat.  More than once.  You'd think it was Christmastime with that kind of giving mood.  The interesting part of the scenario is that I think doing things like that made the flight more enjoyable for me too.


These may not apply to everyone, but here are...

Five Ways I Make Air Travel More Enjoyable

  1. Plan to get to the airport early.
    The standard recommendation is to check in at the airport 90 minutes before departure for domestic flights.  I always plan to get to the airport at least 15 minutes earlier than that (30 minutes if I'm parking at the airport).  Traveling is stressful enough.  The last thing I need is to be late and running through the airport.
     
  2. Avoid checking a bag, if possible.
    This makes a world of difference.  Even when I've flown home for weddings, I have only taken a carry-on suitcase.  Skipping baggage claim saves me time on both ends of the trip.
     
  3. Put your best foot forward.
    It is amazing how much more likely people are to help you if you smile, make eye contact, and put your best foot forward.  When I do this, the airline staff is always more willing to help me with questions about tickets, seat assignments, shuttles, and directions.  That makes my life a lot easier.
     
  4. Say hello to your seat neighbors.
    Similar to point #3, those people you have to sit next to for hours?  Yeah.  They'll like you a lot more if you greet them when you sit down.  You don't have to be their new BFF.  Just smile and say hi when you sit next to them. 
     
  5. Bring something to keep you busy.
    It makes the flight go by quickly.  I can rarely sleep during flights, but it's boring as Hell to sit and stare at the back of the seat in front of you.  I never assume I'll be able to sleep.  I always bring a book to read.  If I get to sleep, it's an added bonus.


What kind of traveler are you?  Do you keep to yourself?  Make new friends?
What do you do to make your travel experience easier?

* All photos taken on my trip to Philadelphia last week.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

32 Never Looked So Damn Good

Happy birthday to my sister Summer!  I've written about her before, and I'd like to take this opportunity to share a few more of my favorite photos of us.

This is a perfect candid moment of us.

We had a lot of matching outfits growing up.

We had sleepovers in each other's rooms even though I hogged the bed.

Such young fashionistas.

Our age gap looks like a lot more than 4 years here!  I had a prolonged awkward Duckling phase, so I'm going to skip photos from ages 11-15.

I bet she didn't tell her college friends this is what she did when she visited home.

Her college graduation and my high school graduation!

Oh, you know.  Just two sisters casually sitting on a couch... not posed at all.  (During my last trip to SD, April 2012)

Happy birthday, Summer!  32 never looked so damn gooooood!  How lucky I was to be born with a built-in friend.   ♥  I love you, Summ!  Cheers to an amazing year ahead and all that it holds for you!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Whew! It's Friday!

'Twas a busy week, y'all!  Our day at Dewberry Farm over the weekend included the Houston sun, so I was wiped that night, but come Sunday, it was time to pack up for a business trip to Philadelphia.  The business side of the trip was widely successful, and I had dinner with two of my friends from my NYC days!  It had been far too long, and the night just wasn't long enough.  More on that later.


1.) Philly gifted me with a real autumn with colorful, crunchy leaves!

2.) I couldn't pass up a Dunkin' opportunity.

3.) I had two smooth travel days (and finished all of this week's textbook reading)!

 4.) My bosses are sweet.  Flowers don't usually woo me, but how beautiful are those roses?!

5.) I got my new tote from Lauren!  Yay!


High five for Friday, friends!  Soak up the weekend!

Linking up with From My Grey Desk

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Philly and England and Georgia! Oh, My!

I didn't mention it here, but I've been on a business trip in Philly.  I fly home today, but I've enjoyed stepping out into a brisk 50-degree morning and crunching red and orange leaves under my feet.  It is definitely fall here, and I love it.  Isn't it funny that we always long for the next season?

In the winter, it's too cold, and we can't wait for the spring sunshine.

In the spring, the rain becomes an annoyance, and the endless days of summer call to us.

In the summer, it's too hot, and autumn promises cozy days and much to celebrate.

In the fall, we grow tired of grey days and anticipate the holidays and the promise of a new year.

Autumn is my favorite season, but I shall do my best to enjoy the present season thereafter.  :)  I was spoiled to grow up in San Diego, CA, where it's 70 and sunny most days.

Have you  been to San Diego before?  Today I'm sharing some of my favorite things to do in my hometown at English as a Second Language!  After living in England for three years, Gesci is moving back to the states today.  I'm sure her life is a bit stressful right now (to say the least!), so I'm filling in for her.


Comments are disabled.  Come over to English as a Second Language, and share some love!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I Hope...


... this isn't the last time I live in the same neighborhood as farm animals.

... I can better remember that I should not be eating as much food as Mr. TBS when we go out to dinner.  (I'm not kidding about that.)

... I do, in fact, complete this MBA program by spring 2015.

... I don't die of boredom when my bosses are out of the country for two weeks in December.  I'll be all alone at the office.  Blah.

... I can still shake my groove thang when I'm 80.

... I follow through with a trip to Austin (and lunch with Jenni!) before I leave Texas.

... my family knows how much I love them, even when we're upset with each other.

... a money tree grows in our backyard.

... I gain confidence in cooking.

... we get Netflix soon, because I want to embark on a Dexter marathon.  I got hooked in with that damn free three-month Showtime subscription when we moved, and now it's killing me that I can't watch the show!

... the world doesn't end on December 21, 2012.

... it gets really cold here this winter.  Come on, winter!

... Mr. TBS and I travel to Europe soon.

... I hope a kid soon follows that.  I hope I'm a good mom.

... we move to a city that has true seasons (but with a somewhat mild winter) within five years.

... Amelie and Boone live forever.

... I don't completely embarrass Mr. TBS when we finally go to Disney World and Wizarding World of Harry Potter together.  I'm going to be like a kid who got a puppy and Power Wheels on Christmas Day after eating 100 packets of Fun Dip... times infinity.  He might need one of the baby leashes for me.


Obviously, I'm in a silly mood today, but there's nothin' wrong with being hopeful for all of these things, right?  :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Autumn Fun for the Family














This weekend we went to Dewberry Farm.  Mr. TBS saw an ad in the paper, and it just sounded too fun and cute to pass up!  We thought it was going to be like other farms we've seen but with some games and attractions added into the mix.  Boy, were we wrong.  Dewberry Farm is a mini theme park!  Farm animals, concession stands, hay ride, pumpkin patch, corn maze, zip line, gigantic slides, fudge shop, a massive playground, carnival games, and bottle blasters and corn cob cannons.

There was one difference between us and every other couple at Dewberry Farm.  We didn't have a kid with us, but we had too much fun to care!  It's a "Texas family tradition," and as far as I'm concerned, we "started a family" when we made the commitment to spend our lives together.  So there.  ;)

Plus, I considered it a day of research.  You know, observing parents and children in their natural habitat... of excitement and melt-downs.