Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I submitted out wedding to Meg at A Practical Wedding on Monday night, and it felt great! Now, she may never run it, but it's just nice to share my experiences and some of the discoveries that happened along the wedding path and beyond (hence the whole blog thing, right?).

Last night, laying in bed I thought....

"Oh! I forgot to tell Meg that we had invitations in two languages."

"Oh! I forgot to tell Meg that we had a reference to bells on our RSVP cards, so we put bells in people's chairs to ring when we had our first kiss. And I even made bell bouquet jewelry for the ladies so they could just shake their bouquets....which were also handmade by us."

"Oh, and I forgot to tell her that the invitations had intertwined trees on it, and we used the Captain Morelli's Mandolin quote about love being line intertwined trees."

And on and on, just like that.

Then it happened. The epiphany......are you ready for it......because I said it out loud in bed.....

"Wow.....I really did a lot for our wedding," stated very calmly but with a twinge of utter revelation. To which, my love called me his banana and thunked me lightly on the noggin. Totally appropriate! Ugh. Sometimes, you just don't see the whole picture till you're removed from it!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


The rain is out to get me! Yesterday, just in time for my long, long commute home, rain came out of nowhere. It wasn't a light summer shower, oh no. It was one of those red blogs on the radar that brings about flash flooding. I had to forgo the gym, since a flooded parking lot with lightning strikes seemed like a poor choice. And now, when I have to leave for work in a half hour - on that long, long commute - my entire county is covered in a big red blog! Must it be during rush hour, really?

I am happy to announce, though, that even though I did not go to the gym, I did not take the night off. I did a yoga video at home in my front room. It was a the lightest level, and I was literally screaming. My muscles were definitely NOT feeling like warm rubber bands, able to move at will. Nah, they were far more like frozen rubber bands, which are brittle and will crack when stretched. I literally had to take breaks during this very simple routine because things were ceasing up! My oh my, apparently I need more yoga in my workout routine!

And I HURT this morning....from 2o minutes of yoga! Who knew, right? Pitiful.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Now I've done it!

Well, turns out the little cutie mentioned in yesterday's post is still available. The lady that runs the foundation said she's a real sweetie. She also think that since she's so young and good tempered, that she'd be good with the cats. I could see her as soon as this weekend if I choose.

Oh no! What have I done?! Don't I know that the cats will never forgive me! And don't I know that she'll take up a whole lot of time and money?? I really think I may have lost my mind.

What do you all think?

These two disapprove!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Why on earth?!

.....would a cat girl want a puppy?? Maybe I really do read too many healthy living blogs. I swear every single one of those women have at least one dog. Or maybe it's because I think that having a dog will force me to be active. Or maybe I am just ready for a pet that's a bit more interactive than my indifferent feline beauties. Whatever it is though, I can't get "dog" off the brain.

Don't I know that they're a pain in the butt? It would probably be far more expensive than the cats. The cats would hate this new creature in their space. I'd be responsible for the care of it, because, as much as my hubby might like a dog too, he doesn't care to be responsible for it. So, why, oh why, would I want to add responsibility and hassle to my life like this?!

And still, I found myself browsing PetFinder this weekend, and ran into this beauty. I even sent an inquiry. Oh I really, really want this or am I just losing my mind?! Ugh.....

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Accomplished goal

Well, I actually worked out every day except the day that they had to biopsy my hand (and the local anesthetic actually gave me real trouble all over my body.....odd, right?). They weren't the great or the most intense workouts, but I feel good that I did it. Celebrate the small things, right?! Next week, I hope to duplicate my efforts and perhaps increase the intensity!

Encouragement welcome! :)

And in other news....happy birthday dancing-fool groomsman!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ice Cream Social

I'm a goofball! I just love celebrating good things. So, yesterday, I took ice cream to the ladies at work in honor of the anniversary of our proposal. I know, I know, who celebrates that?! Well, I contend that we SHOULD celebrate it because it's a happy event that changes the course of our lives! Plus, everyone loved that I 1) brought ice cream and 2) did something unorthodox. We sat around the conference table in our department with dishes of black walnut ice cream, and every lady at the table recanted the story of their proposal. Each was wildly different and very fun to listen to. It was the highlight of my day.

So, please, go out and celebrate something off the wall! It might even brighten someone else's day too!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A year ago today....

He gave me this...........

And asked if he could turn it into this............

In case you didn't guess, I meant the ring, not the beer!

It was a Wednesday, just an ordinary Wednesday, in the middle of an ordinary week. He insisted that we do our monthly trip to BJs Brewhouse to celebrate our first date, even though we were a week late and had been out of town visiting his parents. We did our usual appetizer and a nice brew, then left. On our way out the door, he muttered "are you sure you wanna marry me....I'm kind a dork" (Word substituted as what he really said could be offensive.....and I'm not looking to offend anyone today.) I said that was why I loved him, so yes. He walked me to my car, gave me a longer-than-usual "see you at home" kiss.....and started sinking to his knee. Sadly, I'll never know exactly what he would have said, because I didn't let him get all the way down there nor did I let him ask. In my excitement, I squealed and snatched the ring. It was on my finger in less than a second without the box even being fully opened. Um....oops? What can I say; I got excited. And stayed excited.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Okay, did we really have to go from a winter that contained multiple show storm IN Texas....directly into full-fledged, 100 degree heat summertime? It's only been summer for two days, and it's breaking the century mark with even higher heat indexes. Usually, I don't mind so much about the heat. I just hibernate in the A/C all summer long to seek my far-too-pale self from burning. But this year, I'm trying to motivate myself to go to the gym at lunch, and that is so much harder when it's stifling outside. My office is one of the warmest spots in the building anyhow, so I'm usually a bit warm all day without running on an elliptical during lunch!

Anyhow have tips or tricks they can share to combat the heat and still get a good workout in? Does the heat stop you from working out?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

4 months!

Yesterday marked four months of marriage. That means that today, four months ago, we were getting off a plane in Baltimore, MD, very late at night.....and waiting over an hour for the shuttle (which broke down and had to be replaced) to take us to our hotel.

I loved Baltimore. It had a nice bustle to it without feeling scary or too fast. I am, after all, still a bit of a country girl. Since I'm wishing we were back there today. I thought I'd share a few highlights.

Happy hour at Mich O'Shea's....our favorite spot there.

Cheesing outside of Ace of Cakes.....which was incredibly difficult to find and it was COLD out! But we promised my uncle a photo in front of it.

Pre-flight-home lunch at a The Ale House on Pratt Street that does great English style ales. Pretty right? I had an Irish, and he had a hand-pumped ale.

Highly recommend going to Baltimore if you ever get the chance. It's a unique, beautiful, culture-filled city, and I'm glad we spent a blissed-out week walking ALL OVER it.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Granola Bars - Attempt #1

As I mentioned, I want to make more of our food from scratch so that I know what went into it. I'd just like a little more control over what we eat. Yesterday, I attempted my first granola bars! As with most first, I really don't think this one was completely on the mark.

I used this recipe from Eating Well, with some changes. The changes were that I subbed agave nectar for honey, cranberries for apricots, and almonds for walnuts. I kept the ratios the same though.

Two things worked against me. One, I need a better pan. My baking sheet is very old, so I lined it with parchment and cooking spray in attempt to prevent sticking. Yeah, total failure. It was a massive undertaking to get the paper off the bars, and some were simply discarded because the paper was fused to the bar. Two, my oven has a hot spot. I know this, and rotated the pan, but apparently that wasn't enough. A good chunk of corner was burned.

Overall, these bars have a nice chewiness, but something just seems off. I'll be trying a different recipe next time that involves yogurt as the protein source instead of tofu.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

New header

The header is up! Go have a look? I made the pieces in the header with beads from my honeymoon. Do you like?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Shaken and stirred

Starrise last night was pretty darn good. I didn't perform perfectly or anything, but then I never do! I did make it through all three performances without too many noticable flubs though, and I call that a win! The third dance was with hairdresser bridesmaid. We look good sporting our Faire finds!

Four other troops performed last night besides students under my teacher, Cathy. And one of them is my new girl crush. Gorgeous, right?! And the whole bit with the wings was awe-inspiring. It gave me chills.

Hope you have a fantastic weekend ahead of you!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Shakin' it

I put myself through an hour and forty minute rehearsal yesterday in order to perform in the Denton Starrise performance tonight. I hadn't danced since the summer haffla. I attempted to practice on Tuesday, and I had a really hard time finding my steps. So, the long rehearsal was necessary. It was also painful! I woke up i the middle of the night with aching hips. Let's hope that doesn't inhibit me tonight.

If you want to see an hour (and five totally different troops!) come out on out tonight! Send me a message, and I'll fill you in on the details.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Playing with a lightbox

I picked a few of the pieces I've made for myself to use as a new header for the Etsy shop. So, this is what we produced while playing with the light box. These are unrefined.

The carnelian necklace background came out a little yellow. I think we can fix that though.

These lovely green strands came out nice and bright though. I think the repositioning of our bendy clip lamps really helped.

These pieces are specifically mine because I made them with beads purchased while on our honeymoon. We found a beading shop called Beadazzled in downtown Baltimore right near Mick O'Shea's Irish Pub! How fortuitous! The fresh, new hubby had the idea to make me purchase beads (as I am a huge cheapskate) in order to make my own souvenirs from our honeymoon! That hubby, he's a genius. I love wearing these pieces. Both have matching earrings too!

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


So, there's a side effect from reading healthy living/eating blogs. It makes me want to eat better! Who knew, right?! (Heh, yeah, I know. That's the point.) I've learned about so many products that I'd never heard of like skyr, almond milk, chia seeds, and quinoa. I realize I probably should have heard of all these things, as they are at the local Central Market that I stalk. Well, all but the chia seeds. But some of that stuff is just foreign to me still. I'm working on that.

The other side effect is that I seem to want to MAKE more things from scratch. I'm a convenience cooker. Now, I try to make the convenience food as healthy as possible by reading labels, but there's only so much you can do from a mix or a manufactured, finished product. Lately, I don't want the mass produced, preservative latent, stuff I can't pronounce filled food. I want food that I know what every single product is. I'm finding it now that I'm looking for it. But I'm also making it. I made a fantastic healthy batch of brownies (I tweaked the recipe by using whole wheat flour, organic eggs, and plain fat-free yogurt) and probably the best banana nut bread (again, I used one whole organic egg instead of egg whites) I've ever eaten. Baking from scratch....well, I forgot how fulfilling it is!

Next, I really want to make my own granola bars. Anyone seen a recipe I should try?? This is the closest I've come to one that I want to make. I'd have to swap the apricot for something else, as it's just not my thing, but I love the idea of using silken tofu as the protein base.

We'll see how much longer I can keep this up!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Yesterday left me utterly drained. First, Monday felt like it lasted for roughly 72 hours. After that, my zumba class took it out of me. Then a situation with some friends took a turn for the worst. Now, I feel listless and have nothing positive to say.

So, I'll leave you with this...............

His big, cheesy grin mid-ceremony.

My big cheesy grin when pronounced husband and wife!

Photos by A Love Story Photography.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Best speech ever. No, seriously.

So, if you read the post I referred to yesterday on the hubby's D&D blog, then you might be curious about this speech that he mentioned. Well, the speech was by his best friend/best man/our former roommate/the guy that got to see us fall in love first-hand. Best man is a very unique person. He's one of those people that you either LOVE or HATE.

Speaking of hate, that's how the best man's speech started, "I hate (the groom)." Then a long pause when every guest (and my brand new husband and I) drew in a collective huge breath because no one knew where this was going or what was happening next. Where do you go from I hate my best friend, really?!

Apparently where you go from there is to a level of sheer brilliance that no one expected. He moved on to give a little background between he and the husband and of his experience as the outsider witnessing the birth of our relationship. It was very touching. I'm AMAZED neither of us cried.

Then......he proclaimed that our vows were lacking, because he knew us and felt that we'd missed a few things. He made us go repeat-after-me style. First, he made the new hubby repeat things like: "I'm wrong, you're right" and "Yes, I want to watch that cooking show with you".

Then me. Mine were cruel. "Yes, I want to play Dungeons & Dragons" and "In fact, I want to roll a character RIGHT NOW!". To which the hubby almost pulled out his iTouch to pull up the dice application. I literally cringed. He'd done the unthinkable. He made me vow to play in a D&D game. I cannot tell you how much that pained me, but I think the look on my face speaks volumes. I guess he finally got me back for tricking him into eating a turkey burger over two years ago and telling him after he'd proclaimed it delicious!

And back to hate....he ended the speech by saying that the reason he hated my husband so much was because my husband had raised the bar on friendship to a level that most people just cannot match, and thus had changed what he expected a friend to be forever. I think that says something, don't you?

It was an epic speech. People are still talking about it. Nichole, our photographer, said that in her years of wedding photography, that may have been one of the best speeches ever. And one got it on tape. No one thought to video our speeches. I'm okay with it though, because I remember how it felt to hear those words, to laugh to the point of tears, to be moved by our nearest and dearest, and to be honored by their words.

Photos by A Love Story Photography.....Please note the glee in the husband and the best man's eyes as they're making me vow these things. For reference, I am playing in the husband's next campaign. I'll be sure to give you the scoop as it happens. I'm scared to death!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Sitting at my mother-in-law's kitchen table in a Houston suburb. It's already hot and kind of gross. Nonetheless, I will be walking this cute guy in just a few minutes.

The greenbelt system in this area is genuinely gorgeous. So, how can I resist taking Harley on them?!

Now for those of you in the know, no, Harley will not be finding a new home with us. The ongoing question of "would you like a dog?" was more of a joke than anything else. They really do not want to give up the dog. And I do not blame them. He's about the sweetest thing ever, and I'm happy I get to visit him here.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Great Photos

My honey wanted to help me take better photos for my Etsy shop, so he made me this....

It's a homemade light box. In order to take photos like this.....

Now how cool is he?!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What have we done to each other?

Take one girl with a passion for Renaissance Festivals. Add one boy with an avid Dungeon's & Dragons campaigning group. This is what you get!

Go ahead, you know you want to look!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What a day!

What looks wrong about that photo? HAHA! That's my almost 30 year old television on the flat screen stand connected to the TiVo, but NOT the XBox because there aren't enough connections on such an old TV. I'm almost amazed the TiVo works. And the remote is so bad that we can't change channels or use the volume controls. So, we've been using the buttons on the front of the TV. When was the last time you got up to turn up the volume on your TV?! I feel totally retro.

As you can see, the good TV is still out for repair. The freezer, however, seems to be working. I have a pint of Ben & Jerry's in there just to see if it will survive. The hubby is calling it our "canary" since the ice cream was the first indicator that the freezer was going out both times it's died. Does this mean I need to keep a pint of ice cream in the freezer at all times now? Yeah, I think so.

And in other news......MY SHOP IS OPEN! Please go check it out on Etsy. I only have two items listed, but I hope to keep adding to it. Also, I know that the header needs to be resized. That's happening tomorrow. Just in case the link above doesn't work, the site is:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Repair day!

Well, today is a day of waiting, but for a good cause.

I have to drop the television off at a repair shop at 9am. I hope they can get it back to us in a timely manner. We don't really have an adequate backup! Guess we'll be using the laptop as a television.....(gasp) doing something that doesn't involved watching a show. Perhaps there's a tiny piece of me that would be okay if there was no television for a couple days. It forces us to find other, perhaps less mind-numbing activities.

After the television is dropped off, it's time to wait for the freezer repair man. Now, if you've never had your freezer die on you, can I just say that it's incredibly difficult to go for a few weeks without needing something frozen! You may think you don't use your freezer very often, but it become crystal clear after you've been without one that they are essential. No frozen vegetables to fall back on. No ice cream to snack on. No ice. No where to put raw meat if you can't use it all fast enough. It's a total pain! I am really looking forward to having the darn thing back.

I hope they can get the freezer repaired with a little day left over so that I can go grocery shopping! I am on a bit of a strike until it's fixed. Some food spoiled, and I find that wholely unacceptable.

And what shall I be doing during all this waiting? I'm making whole wheat banana nut bread from scratch, painting my toenails, and hopefully getting some beading done. Such a good day! Ahhhh.....productivity and relaxation all in one day in the middle of the week. I really cannot ask for more.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Power of productivity

Productivity is intoxicating. I find that when I can look back on a day or a week and feel that I actually managed to get something done (for a change), it really does amazing things for my spirit. I suddenly feel that I am capable of seeing things through, and that's something I very often forget. Then it inspires me to one-up myself.

It's going to be hard to one-up this weekend. I got some much needed shopping done for essentials that I'd been putting off forever. (This required the hubby to convince me to unclench my little tight-wad fists and fork over the dough.....but a girl can only put off buying foundation garments so long before it's just sad.) I managed to hang out in a relaxing manner with the hubby and friends. That was attempted, but not completely accomplished, last weekend. I'd sort of been reclusive other than going to Scarborough, so it was a nice reconnection. Sunday, I reorganized my man's closet. His clothes were so jumbled and cramped that he really had no idea what he owned anymore. That's my fault, so I felt I needed to fix it. I also went through a box of papers that he'd laid aside for me to look at before our wedding. Things were either filed and labeled, shredded, or tossed. No more box staring at me every day. A tidy, organized space brings a sense of calm that cannot be duplicated by shoving things in corners.

This week, we should have all the repairs around the house completed. We went through an odd string of breakages including our freezer, modem, router, television, and possibly TiVo. No fun. But, soon, we'll be back in working order (oh please, oh please) and back on with life as usual. I suppose that is an accomplishment in itself.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The little fail that could

Cooler of beer, group of good friends that kept us laughing all evening, a park next to the lake with a great breeze, a blanket under a bank of shady trees, and barbecue from Metlzer's make a great way to spend an evening. Finding out that the fireworks you went to said park to watch without having to deal with the hoards of people on the other side of the lake are just below the tree line.....well, let's just say that the fireworks made the evening fun in the most unexpected way. We could only see the very top of the sparkled plumes and the occasional high flier. So, we stood by the shoreline making jokes about them instead. Really wretched jokes that you wouldn't want children to hear. And of course, the fireworks were MY idea. Way to go, me! Thankfully, no one seemed to care because the place and the people were highly enjoyable. Fireworks were not necessary. The best part, it was largely unplanned. One couple asked on Friday what we were doing Saturday evening. The other couple called while we were out there. Spontaneous fun is very often the best kind.

Let's see what Sunday has in store!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Gone too soon

There's a little twinge of sadness lingering for me today because I won't be seeing my renaissance fair friends this weekend, like I have every weekend for the last eight weeks. It's probably best that it doesn't last longer because Texas has turned decidedly hot at this point and being outside in the heat of the day is not so good for this fair-skinned girl. Plus, I have neglected chores in the name of fun for two months. Still, it's a little bittersweet when the first weekend after close rolls around.

So, I'll make the most of it by getting some things accomplished I hope, and end it with fireworks by the lake with my love! Not a bad way to go!

Friday, June 4, 2010

More on music

The music for the ceremony wasn't just put into order and played on our big day. Nope. All three songs were modified. My hubby had convert two of the songs from video files to audio files. He also cleaned them up a bit. This was after a couple hours of searching for the "right" versions of the songs to even try this on. The song I walked down the aisle to was far too long. It had a long lead-in. To me, the lead-in wasn't all the recognizable, and it was a little too slow to walk down the aisle to as well. So, he spliced the first few notes of the intro into a portion about 30-45 seconds into the song that picks up the main melody. And it was sliced SEAMLESSLY. He really did a great job on it. Within 15 seconds of the song playing, anyone that has ever heard the song would recognize it.

Thank goodness he knows his way around all sorts of computer programs, because this would have NEVER happened if it was left to me. I can barely download songs, much less manipulate them. This was part of the planning/prep process that showed me that if we both work to our strengths, then we can accomplish anything we set our minds to.

And I loved our quirky, non-traditional music.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Beat of a different drum

Shortly after we discussed getting married (decided to get married really, just no ring yet), I found the song I wanted to walk down the aisle. I asked my not-quite-fiance to play anything instrumental on his iPod that he had. One song came on and, BOOM! I knew. It was a song that set a tone for all the other songs in the ceremony. Our lineup was as follows:

Bridesmaids' March: Instrumental version of World Can't Tear Us Apart by Trivium
Bridal March: Nothing Else Matters (a Metallica cover) by Apocalyptica
Recessional: Instrumental Version of Still Alive (from the video game Portal) by GLaDOS

Obviously, not your traditional wedding music. We definitely decided to throw tradition out the window on this one. I absolutely loved it! It was really beautiful, and I felt like we snuck a little something in without anyone noticing. Trivium is one of my hubby's favorite metal bands. Metallica is one of my brother's favorite bands, and I love that particular song. Still Alive is a twisted little song from a video game that we (and all of our friends) love by a great songwriter. And most importantly, it made us happy.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

In my dreams?

I had a dream this weekend that this turned into a food blog, so I had photos of every meal. I believe this is a testament to how many food blogs I've started to read and how inspiring I find them! I've always loved food, and I try very hard to cook meals that I would consider a balance of delicious and health-conscious. But these ladies take it to levels above and beyond anything I ever considered. I walk through Central Market looking for ingredients that I'd never even heard of a month ago. Then I made healthy brownies. Healthy brownies?! And.....they were good. We even went to a self-serve frozen yogurt place (which I didn't know existed till I saw it a half dozen times) during the long weekend. It was heavenly!

I think I'll try to start documenting some of our better dinners to post once a week. Maybe it will spark someone else....or at least help them with their meal planning every once in a blue moon.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Day 4

Amen for long weekends! We're on day four. Yeah, we took an extra day off. :) We had a good excuse. My Ruby (my car) will be in the shop all day. She went in at 7:30 this morning, and she won't be back out till late afternoon. Hard to go to work without a vehicle, right? Especially since they don't offer service vehicles. That's my excuse anyhow!

So, what will we do with our extra day while everyone is at work?! Well, go to a matinee of course! We're going to Iron Man 2 at noon. YAY!

I love our day off together. They're such a treat!