Wednesday, December 25, 2013

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Since our actual holiday card is an infographic which includes confidential information, I created a "for the blog" card from us with another design at Cardstore. In any case, we wish you a joyous holiday! Bask in the company of loved ones, and be well!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

You Can't Take the San Diego Out of the Girl

Last week my partner at work and I left the community to run an errand. As I opened her passenger-side car door, she reached over to grab three receipts off the seat and move a bag on the floor. "Sorry. Hold on, " she said. This made her think about the conversation she had with her husband the night before.

Is your little friend back from California?

Don't call her my "little friend!" She's not a child.

But she's so small. 
(We met recently, and that sweet man is about three times my size.)

Yeah, but don't call her that! She's an adult. By the way, you left the car a mess last week, and she had to ride in it. I blamed you.

Have you been in her car?


What does she drive?

She's from California, she's thin, and she's a vegetarian. What do you think she drives?

A Prius?


And it's immaculate, isn't it?

(nodding her head and laughing, as if to pat herself on the back)

We both laughed hysterically as she told the story. I said, "It doesn't help that I like yoga and make some 'hippie' choices!" It launched us into a larger, more serious conversation about race, ethnicity, and stereotypes (both "negative" and "positive," although I don't think any are truly positive). We both agreed that there is a little bit of truth to every stereotype.

As a San Diego girl, I am no exception. Evidently!

Has anyone ever told you that "you're totally a [insert hometown here] girl/guy"? What made them say that?

Saturday, December 21, 2013

How He Asked Me to Take a Walk with Him

I worked a half day today in order to make up for some lost time earlier in the week due to my trip to San Diego (which I still have to tell you about!). When I got home, I had a late lunch with Mr. TBS, and we were overcome with the giggles watching the cats try to open "presents" (treats in wrapping paper), compliments of that crafty husband of mine.

Being just days away from Christmas, I needed to wrap some gifts, so I headed up to the guest room where YouTube and Hulu accompanied me for awhile.

I heard a pop. And then another pop. I muted my laptop and tilted my head to the side (because we all know that a perked ear and eyes fixed on the floor improve hearing). The pop then sounded like a click. The sound seemed distant, like it wasn't actually in the room, so I opened the closet door, but all we have are some boxes with books in there. And then something caught my eye through the window.

My husband, who had just finished working out, was throwing sticks at the window. He couldn't see me through the sun's glare on the glass, so he kept throwing sticks. I grinned ear-to-ear. It was the cutest thing on the planet.

It's the little things in life. :)

Friday, December 6, 2013

One Fact Can Turn Your World Up-Side-Down

Before she joined our family, her name was Becky.

When I first saw her, I knew we had to adopt her. She was one of four in a litter of creamy, peach and gray fur, and I was drawn to her gentle spirit. She was the soft-spoken one of the bunch and loved to be held. Like every other time I've yearned to adopt a homeless kitty, we walked empty-handed. Four months later she was still sitting in that cage, but this time, she was alone. I wondered how she could possibly be the last to be adopted and saw it as our opportunity to adopt her.

We renamed her Amelie because of her curious nature and sweet disposition. She was meant to be ours, and she has been for the last three and half years. Our Daddy's Girl. Our girly girl. Our pretty Amelie.

On Sunday, we learned something about Amelie.

She has a penis. In a moment of tummy rubbing, purring, and... ahem... pleasure, we saw her his junk.


So that's what we've been wrapping our heads around (and laughing about) for the last five days. The crazy thing is that this isn't the first time we were told we adopted a female cat only to find out otherwise! The same thing happened with Tolly!

Pardon me while I question the aptitude of veterinary professionals and mentally set my world right-side-up again. Amie's a boy. Amie's a boy. Amie's a boy. Amie's a boy. Amie's a boy.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Easy Canvas Prints

I fell in love with canvas prints a few years ago. I was visiting my friend Kerry to meet her then-infant daughter, Aili. The living room had three gorgeous canvas prints depicting stages of their family. If my memory serves me correctly, there was a wedding photo, a stunning pregnancy photo of Kerry standing by a window, and... I think the third was a baby photo of Aili. (Help me out, Kerry.) I had gotten married just a couple weeks prior, and I made a mental note to get canvas prints. But holy smokes! I soon found out that they cost a pretty penny.

Flash forward two and a half years, and Easy Canvas Prints enters the picture. Their name says it all. For starters, the website is incredibly easy to navigate. You can dive right into designing your canvas or browse through the Ideas gallery. More than that, the prices are so affordable. The ordering process walks you through all the options (size, display options, border, color, and retouching), and voila! Your order is on its way to being processed, and you'll have a beautiful canvas on your doorstep in under two weeks.

While this may have been the perfect opportunity to print a professionally shot wedding photo, Mr. TBS and I decided to welcome a life-sized Baby Boone (six months old!) to our wall. Can you blame us? Don't even get me started on sleeping Amelie in the background. Ha! This photo is the perfect snapshot of who they are as a pair, and it is so special to us -- even though the Droid phone camera quality pales in comparison to a fancy DSLR. But even then, Easy Canvas Prints produced a great canvas print! I plan to display it on unpainted pallet wood, eventually.

What do you think about our canvas print? With the holidays just around the corner, I highly suggest you check out Easy Canvas Prints. (They're on Facebook too!)

Sign up for the exclusive deals on the homepage to get anywhere between 40-65% off!

** I received a complimentary canvas print in exchange for my thoughts on the product. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

An Unexpected Lesson at Neyland Stadium

One of the things I didn't mention in my recap of the UT game yesterday is that Life served up a humbling lesson. Believe me when I say that a football game is the last place I expected to have a moment of self-reflection.

See that lady waving around her pom pom in the photo? (You can't miss her. She's the only person standing and cheering like it's midnight on New Year's Eve. But I'm getting ahead of myself.) This story is about her.

Energy is contagious at events like a football game. Everyone is decked out in team colors, music is blaring throughout the stadium, and fans just want to have fun. I was no exception. I don't know all the rules of football, and I knew nothing about the UT Vols players, but I was happy to be there! But at what point is someone having too much fun? When he or she is in a drunken stupor, obviously. Who determines when one is having too much fun?

When the game started, it was cute to see this petite woman who clearly had a deep love for her team. She cheered. She sighed. She yelled. She waved her pom poms. She stood up. She danced.

The problem? She rarely sat down. I'm not kidding. Did you notice that she is the only person cheering in that photo? You guys, the woman was always cheering, even when it didn't seem relevant. As my cousin Sara said (about a girl we ran into at two bars) at my bachelorette party, "Every song is her jam." The same could be said about this woman. I started to feel annoyed, scoffing to my husband that this lady was dancing around to Young Joc's "It's Goin' Down" and The Lonely Island's "I'm on a Boat."

Does she even know what this song is about?
She cannot clap on beat to save her life.
Does she realize that she's cheering during commercial breaks?
When is she going to sit down?
Oh, my gosh. I'm embarrassed for her.

And then it hit me. I realized that I was bagging on a lady who was simply having a good time. Sure, she was overzealous, but she wasn't belligerent. I was being a snob. A wave of "whoa" swept over me. It took a few minutes to set in. Then, I looked at my husband and said, "Well... to be fair, the world would be a better place if people had as much fun as she's having," and he agreed.

This lady reminded me that I don't have to be the best or the prettiest or the smartest or the tallest or the richest. Life is meant to be fun, so have fun! (Pom poms optional.)

One caveat: It would be polite to sit when the rest of the stadium is sitting so that you're not blocking the view of the person behind you. :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Exploring Knoxville: UT Football Game

I'm obsessed with taking panoramic photos with my iPhone.

The weekend before Thanksgiving, I went to my first big football game! UT was playing Vanderbilt, and my husband was given tickets to the game. It was a last-minute plan, but I want to see Knoxville for all that it is. I have wanted to go to a football game (Division I college or NFL) for so long. It was a quick drive from our house to downtown, and then we braved the cold and wind on our walk to Neyland Stadium. One thing I love about this college town is that people show up in all their orange glory to support the Vols no matter what kind of season their having. It's been less than stellar season, but the town is painted orange every game day.

On November 23, the stadium was nearly packed. I loved the energy of the stadium. It was just as I had expected and a big part of the reason I've wanted to go to a major football game. My university's football stadium has a mere 6,000 seats, so the experience was nothing like this. S had a few flashbacks to his college days at University of Wisconsin-Madison. I love hearing stories from his college days, since I didn't arrive on the scene until much later in his life.

To our surprise, our seats had the nifty cushions, and we snuggled up under a blanket. I loved all of it. The marching bands, the fireworks, the pre-game ceremonies, the halftime show. And thanks to my show choir days, I knew the lyrics to "Rocky Top" which, as the unofficial fight song, only played a million times. "Rocky Top, you'll always be home sweet home to me..." S was surprised I was singing along!

Four turnovers worked in their favor which kept them in the lead, but ultimately, they lost. Being that it was the last home game, a win would have been nice, but at least it was a close game.

It was a fun night! I'd love to go to another game next season. And hey, a win would be great too. Ya hear that, Vols? ;) 'Til next season!

- Be prepared to walk a mile or two to the stadium.
- Bring a blanket.
- Wear orange. :)