Thursday, November 18, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 15: Something I never leave the house without

I'm asthmatic and literally have not left my home without my inhaler in probably 20 years. I was diagnosed pretty young and my asthma is severe, so it's imperative that I have access to it at all times. Over the years, the right combination of medicine has made it bearable to live with asthma and I don't use my inhaler nearly as often as I used to. In fact, it's been about a year since I got a refill and it's still pretty full. My first reaction was "well how will I ever take a picture of my phone with my phone" and then realized....the real thing I've never left home without. It's my lifeline. Literally. I hate being chained to it and when I go on long trips, I make sure to take a spare just incase. It kind of controls me. My asthma is a lot better, but I still don't feel safe enough to be more than 2 minutes away from my inhaler at any given time.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 14: A favorite TV show.

Couldn't pick just one.


Shutterfly is doing a promotion where you can receive 50 free Christmas cards just for doing a few things!

I know I posted previously that I was considering not doing Christmas cards this year because of the cost of stamps. It was never really about the cost of cards. I have some from last year as well as some I got from the sample sale at work. None are photo cards, but that didn't stop me last year. I was pregnant last year and wasn't about to send my pregnant belly out to God and everyone. But, photo cards are my favorite and I have a new baby to show off. I like to get Christmas cards as much as the next person, but my favorites are photo cards. I have several friends who live back in Illinois and it's so fun to see how their family is growing. I keep photo cards, too, so I have pictures of my friends, their pets, families, children, etc from over the years. I'm kind of sentimental like that. I actually have a box full of cards from my husband over the years and from my oldest friend, Kelli. I think I have cards from 9th grade.

I remember I worked with a lady who, after getting married, had a photo book made from shutterfly. It was beautiful. Since scrapbooking has been on the rise, and people are printing more photos, it's nice to have options on where to get them printed so it isn't the same old Walmart (not that there's anything wrong with Walmart).

Anyways, if you're a blogger reading this, you can get in on their 50 free cards by going here. If you're just a normal person looking for a fun place to get some Christmas cards, you can go HERE. They also have really cute Christmas story cards if you want to say more HERE. Finally, if you don't celebrate Christmas or any other holiday and want to make a cool calendar, which someone made for me once and I loooooved, you can go HERE.

Anyways, friends, it's Sunday and I have a laundry list of things to accomplish today so I better get to it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 13: A favorite song

When I moved to Illinois, Paul played the record that this song is from for me. I grew to love listening to it. It was re-recorded by Fleetwood Mac but the original is the best. It holds a lot of great memories for me and makes me think of my husband.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 12: Three Blogs I Can't Get Enough Of

1. Ashley's Closet - I stumbled upon her blog during my pregnancy by googling "kidisms" and have fallen in love with Big Kid and Little Kid. I look forward to her posts every day.

2. Post Secret - Everyone loves Post Secret. Fresh new secrets served up every Sunday. Although I could do without the stupid videos.

3. Jennsylvania - This is the blog of one of my favorite authors, Jen Lancaster. I was given her book as a birthday gift from my dear friend, Laura. Laura knows me so well and gave me this book during my baby blues haze. Ryan was born 8 days before my birthday and that book got me through some rough nights and long days. I love Jen's blog. Keeps me salivating for her new book!

Honorable mention: So Fawned - I stole this whole 30 days hath November thing from her, only, I didn't make up my own topics. Why do the work when someone else does it for you?

Well, Ryan is gone away with my mom for the weekend. We have some upcoming plans that will require my mom to not see him for about a week, so we lent him out to her for the weekend again.

I was momentarily sad when she brought him by work today. I held him in the parking lot, snuzzled his little cheeks and kissed him until he pushed me away and said goodbye 'til Sunday. I miss him infinitely. I came home from work today, alone, and sifted through the mail, walked around aimlessly and ended up in his room next to his little crib where his jammies from last night still lay discarded. I picked them up and breathed his scent in. Even now, sitting in bed with my sleeping husband, I can't help but wish Baby Ryan were snoozing in the other room. I'm sure I'll be thankful at 5:15 (his new wake up time since daylight savings) tomorrow though.

Day 11: Something I've been craving

I'm late. I know. In my defense, I was sick. I went home from work Wednesday late morning and didn't return until this morning.

Something I've been craving...and will soon get, Chicago:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 10: My favorite place to eat

I don't know if I have just one favorite place. I have one favorite Mexican place. And one favorite breakfast place. And one favorite sushi place. And one favorite ice cream place. But not just one favorite place to eat overall.

So I'm going to talk about all of them.

My favorite food is Mexican food. Lucky for me, I live in Texas where it's plentiful. My husband, on the other hand, doesn't love it. I've finally gotten him to love fajitas, so he always orders them no matter what Mexican restaurant we're at. A few months after we bought our house, he suggested that we try out a local place I'd never been to called Mena's. I was skeptical and initially declined but then decided what the hell, and off we went. Of course, Paul ordered fajitas. They have special fajitas that are seasoned with chipotle and he loves them. They also have a little twist in that they serve their fajitas with sauteed potatoes. I had the brisket tacos. It's shredded brisket seasoned with chipotle and served on hot corn tortillas with an avocado salad. I love Mena's.

My favorite breakfast place is a tiny little place called Bic's. They don't have a website. It's THAT kind of place. I remember the first time I went, I was with my mom and Diane. We went out to breakfast nearly every Saturday during my pregnancy. I recall walking in the door for the first time and feeling like I was in a small town. My dad's family comes from South Carolina and I felt like I had walked into a diner in South Carolina. Bic's is awesome. It's as old as I am and their food is good and cheap. Now that Ryan's here, I don't get to go out to breakfast as much, but when I do, we go to Bic's. I always order the Texas style french toast...which is 3 slices of french toast cut in half with butter melting all over them. It comes with a side of two eggs and bacon or sausage. I always pick bacon. I am ashamed to admit that I usually eat every bite of the french toast. Coupled with coffee, it keeps me full until dinner time.

My favorite sushi place is a little place called Carrollton Sushi. No one in my family likes sushi except for my dad. So about once every couple of months, we have dinner together at Carrollton Sushi. It's a tiny hole in the wall place that's in the same parking lot as an Albertson's. It's nothing special, but it's cheap and delicious basic sushi rolls. Nothing fancy here. I recently had dinner with a friend at a swanky sushi place in downtown Dallas. In the GAYborhood, actually. While it was good, I missed my simple philadelphia roll with my dad. I spent $30 on dinner that night and all we ordered was two rolls and a glass of tea. Carrollton Sushi is just a small place with simple rolls that are affordable and tasty. Part of the sentiment for me is that it's a place for me and my dad.

My favorite ice cream place is Braum's. When I moved to Illinois, I realized they lacked several of the southern fast food chains I was used to (Whataburger, Sonic, Jack in the Box, Chick-fil-a, Braums..) but the one I missed most was Braum's. Sure, you could go to Oberweiss or Baskin Robbins, but nothing was like Braum's. I spent my childhood weekends with my grandma and part of the fun of that was getting to go to Braum's and get an ice cream sundae. My brother, to this day, still only orders a banana split. I prefer the brownie fudge sundae made with german chocolate ice cream. It's a brownie on the bottom, hot fudge, two scoops of the ice cream of your choice, topped with even more hot fudge, whipped cream, nuts, and a cherry on top. It's heavenly. And probably a week's worth of calories. But I sure did miss that when I was away for all those years. And now that I have a Braum's a mile from my home, I've noticed I don't go there nearly enough. Even just a scoop of strawberry on a waffle cone is something to write home about.

Those are the favorites that came to mind. I would love a sundae right about now.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 09: The last item I purchased.

Coincidentally, I am wearing it today. I bought this last Friday at Old Navy. It was on clearance. Still a bit pricey for my taste, but I liked it a lot, so I shelled out the $15 for it. I know, I'm such a cheapskate. I don't shop for clothes very often and when I do, it's usually from the clearance section. I just can't bring myself to spend money on clothes or shoes or purses, as much as I want to. I just can't. It's dark grey, which you really can't tell from the picture. It's very soft and warm and I can wear it with jeans or dress pants, as I'm doing today since I'm at work.

So that's my last item I purchased, apart from groceries, which wasn't nearly as interesting. Plus, I took this picture in the bathroom at work (came out pretty good, I think) and I don't have my groceries here, so...a shirt you'll get.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 08: The city I live in.

I live in a suburb of Dallas. Although when people ask, I generally just say Dallas. I'm going with that for this post. You all may have seen "Dallas" during the World Series. Or maybe watching a Cowboys game. I mean, simply googling "Dallas" returns pictures of the Dallas cast and several Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. I'll tell you - that's not my Dallas.

I grew up with cool parents who took me to fun events. I can't count how many times I've been to the Deep Ellum Art Festival. My mom and Diane were pretty poor when their relationship began. I only saw my mom on the weekends, so we were always looking for free things to do. Dallas as a great free "paper" called the Dallas Observer that lists all kinds of cool stuff, even free stuff, to do. So our ritual was to pick up an Observer, find something semi-kid friendly, and head out. I think that's how we started attending Easter in the Park.

Easter in the Park is an annual picnic at Robert E. Lee park in downtown Dallas. It's a gay event and features a pooch parade, in which dog owners dress their dogs up in costume and parade them down the road. Also at Easter in the Park is the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, playing in the background. My mom and Diane always took us to Eatzi's to pick out food for our picnic before heading to the park. It's one of my strongest childhood memories. It was always so fun. At the end of the events at Easter in the Park....a drag queen easter bonnet contest. Fun for the whole family!

Also home to Dallas is the State Fair of Texas at Fair Park. I can't even begin to explain the magnitude of the state fair. I'm pretty sure it's the most awesome one in the entire country.

There are just a lot of really cool things to do here. We have countless museums and that's just the Dallas side. Forget about Ft. Worth. I know I'm not going to convince anyone reading this to pick up and move to Dallas, but it's my home. I've lived elsewhere and while Chicago is magical and near and dear to my heart, Dallas is my home.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 07: A Song for Today

Now, a song for the day. It's November and the beginning of "the holiday season". Which is what prompted me to pick this particular tune.

A Simple Kind of Life

My friend has a blog and her latest update was about saving money which got me thinking.

I had a conversation recently with my husband that started with me saying, "Aren't you glad I'm not one of those women who has to have designer everything?". His response shocked me. He looked at me and said something along the lines of "I like that you're content to live a simple life. I don't think things would have worked out if it were any different". I never really thought of myself as a simple girl before. I enjoy a designer handbag as much as the next materialistic girl. The difference is that I don't buy it, no matter how cheap it is. And then I started thinking about how almost everything in my life has come about secondhand.

My house wasn't built for me. It's as old as I am and has had countless owners.
Our living room furniture is all secondhand. Except the tv. The very couch I'm sitting on was negotiated to be kept during the sale process of buying our house. Almost all of Ryan's clothes and toys are secondhand. Most of my clothing is not secondhand, nor is Paul's, but I do own a few pair of secondhand shoes and tops. I mostly shop secondhand because I like to save money, but there's more to it than just saving money. It's about living simplistically. Because even buying stuff that's less expensive than actual retail price is still buying stuff. And accumulating stuff. And spending ridiculous amounts of money on stuff. Just stuff.

To me, it's not just about buying used items, it's about not buying the item at all. There was a big toy consignment sale this weekend. I love consignment sales. I haven't missed one since I was pregnant. I didn't go to this one. Instead, I stayed home with my boys and played and saved my pocketbook some dollars. I understand why people fill their homes with things they love. I've lost my treasured items to fire. twice. So to me, it is what it is...just stuff. And not worth the money, no matter how great of a deal it is.

That being said, we are very fortunate to be able to afford the things we wish. I guess it's a trade off. Some people love to shop. I love to have my house cleaners come and scrub my toilets and baseboards so I don't have to!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 06: Three favorite quotes

I really don't want to cop out on this one, but I don't think I can think of three favorite quotes. Or even one. I could rattle off a list of favorite songs or favorite books, favorite colors, favorite clothing items, favorite people, favorite scents, but not favorite quotes.

The first thing that came to mind was a line from a song from the Disney movie, Alice in Wonderland. It's been my favorite animated movie since childhood. While all the other girls loved Ariel or Cinderella, I always identified with Alice. The song goes

"I give myself very good advice,
but I very seldom follow it.
That explains the trouble that I'm always in"

It's not really a quote, so much as a line from a song. Another "favorite" I could list dozens, if not hundreds of, but it will have to suffice because it's the only one I could think of. So I owe you two more someday.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 05: Myself Five Years Ago

Five years ago I:
  • Was 21
  • Lived in Illinois
  • Went on my very first cruise
  • Got engaged
  • Went to Vegas
  • Got a kitten
It was 2005. It was an exciting year. I had lived in Illinois for nearly 2 years in November 2005. I had a job I loved, had recently gotten engaged and taken a trip to Vegas, and got a cute kitten named Squeak. I had only a few pictures to choose from for this one since I don't know where a lot of my pictures are. This picture was taken in Cozumel. I often look back and think about how great certain times were. Sometimes memories are sensationalized but I really do think that was an awesome year. It was definitely one of the happiest times of my lives. Man, I wish I was in Mexico right now.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 04: A fabulous friend

It took me no time to decide who I'd write about. She is very humble and probably will wonder why I chose her, as she views herself as anything but fabulous...depending on how much she's had to drink! ;) I'm not posting her face in case she would prefer that the people reading this not see it.

She is one of my oldest friends and I trust her infinitely. We've definitely had our ups and downs, and even though we don't have a whole lot in common, she is the person I look forward to talking to every day, the person I want to share my most embarrassing stories with, and the person I seek advice from.

She's probably the bravest person I know and I admire her for that. She is a good person. She loves fiercely. She is by far the most open minded person I have ever met in my life and it would do me some good to heed her way of thinking from time to time.

More than anything, she is my constant companion. My frequent advisor. My mentor. And I hope I am the same to her. She is supportive and friendly and the type of person you either love or hate. I happen to love the shit out of that girl.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 03: A close-up of my day.

Close up of my day times 4! The top right is Ryan sleeping as seen on our video monitor. Top right is my desk at work at lunchtime. Bottom left is my cup of coffee this morning as I got ready and the bottom right is my keyboard at work. Yes, that's a container of honey. Roundrock honey to be more specific!

I am one tired mommy today. Long day at work and since my sweet husband is at a work function tonight, I was alone with the kiddo. I don't spend much time with Ryan alone. Sadly, I only see him for a few hours a day, so Paul and I typically share that time. Tonight it was solo mommy time. Ryan and I ate some pumpkin apple baby food (well, he did. I just fed him). After that, he ate about 6 oz of formula and then I gave him a bath. Following his bath, he walked around in his walker while I cleaned the kitchen. After half an hour of walker time, we had some tummy time and Ryan scooted himself all over the place! He was ready for bed at that point and was sleeping like an angel by 6:45. So I cooked dinner and now I'm watching some Mad Men waiting on my dear husband to come home!

Up next: A Fabulous Friend

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 02: Something I ate today

Those are almonds and they were my breakfast today along with a cup of peach yogurt. I used to be a big breakfast person. I have always eaten breakfast. When I was a kid, it was mostly cold cereal. In high school, I ate a lot of canned tuna for breakfast because I was weight obsessed and refused to eat carbs. As an adult, I reverted back to cold cereal at home. Over the last two years, I've gone back and forth between homemade oatmeal, bagels, and cereal. Since having Ryan, I just don't have the same voracious appetite in the mornings. Lately, I've scaled it back to a cup of yogurt, or a handful of almonds, or in today's case, both. I love almonds and unfortunately, my husband is allergic to them. It's not so bad that he can't have them in the house, but there are a lot of things we can't share because of his allergy. So it's always a treat to eat them!

01: Self Portrait

That's me. At work. At approximately 7AM. Most mornings, my hair doesn't look that good. And it doesn't even look great there! I actually curled the ends of it this morning. See, last night I wasn't feeling well, so I went to bed almost immediately after showering. So I woke up with some wicked bedhead and the only way I could pull off a sexy tousled look was to put some effort into it. It took about 5 minutes and looked good for a couple of hours. I usually sport either stick straight hair or a ponytail. So you get a treat today!

Love This

I read a blog called So Fawned. At first I was going to do the whole "A post every day saying what you're thankful for". But then I saw this. I'm already a day behind, so I owe you two posts today.

Day 01: A Self Portrait
Day 02: Something I ate today.
Day 03: A close-up of my day.
Day 04: A fabulous friend.
Day 05: Myself, five years ago.
Day 06: Three favourite quotes.
Day 07: A song for the day.
Day 08: The city I live in.
Day 09: The last item I purchased.
Day 10: My favourite place to eat.
Day 11: Something I’ve been craving.
Day 12: Three blogs I can’t get enough of.
Day 13: A favourite song.
Day 14: A favourite TV show.
Day 15: Something I never leave the house without.
Day 16: A celebrity I’m swooning over.
Day 17: My family & myself.
Day 18: What I wore today.
Day 19: A silly self-portrait.
Day 20: A childhood anecdote.
Day 21: Something that makes me rather happy.
Day 22: Something that I miss.
Day 23: Fifteen facts about Sam.
Day 24: Something that means a lot to me.
Day 25: The contents of my purse.
Day 26: A photo of some place I’ve travelled.
Day 27: Myself, one year ago.
Day 28: A favourite movie.
Day 29: Something I could never tire of.
Day 30: Three great things that happened this month.