25 May 2016

What's Up Wednesday

It's that time again - the last Wednesday of the month:

What We're Eating This Week - My brother and his wife were here for the weekend and we took them everywhere, so what we're eating this week is salad.  Lots and lots of salad.  

What I'm Reminiscing About - 16 summers ago (wow, I can't believe it has been that long!), I worked a summer position at the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival.  It was the best summer job I ever had.  I got to work with high school students and international students for the summer and we had a blast.  No matter how cold the water was, those kids always wanted to go to the beach.

What I'm Loving - Stella and Dot.  Have you tried their jewelry?  They have seriously helped me to up my accessories game

That really cool gold necklace?  S&D.  I promise, you will not be disappointed in their items.

What We've Been Up To - Louie and Katie came to visit this weekend and we did everything!  First up, Friday night we hit up Chicken Scratch/The Foundry for some live music and fried chicken.  It's a great, low-key place and family friendly too.

On Saturday, we ventured out to the Fort Worth Stockyards and got to see the cattle drive and Katie got to sit on a bull:

Saturday night, we went to Top Golf with Jim and Beej and it was such a fun time.  I am not a golfer by any stretch of the imagination and I had a blast.  One of you should look into opening one in New England, you'd make a killing.

Last week we had orientation for our new international students.  It's still one of my favorite things to do.

What I'm Dreading Hot, hot, hot weather.  And the humidity.  We've had a pretty mild May by Texas standards.  It's generally been in the low 80s, but this week has been all about the humidity and my hair is not having it. 

What I'm Working On Now that Commencement is over and I am between classes, I am going to catch up on some reading.  Currently I am reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and The French Beauty Solution by Mathilde Thomas (the founder of French skin care company Caudalie)

What I'm Excited About - Disney!  And Miche's wedding!  Some fun travel coming up.  I'm heading home solo for Miche's wedding (can we say girls weekend?)  

Then in September Phillip and I will meet up with my family in Disney.  I cannot wait.

What I'm Watching/Reading - I know I'm late to the party, but Making a Murderer is in play while I'm at the gym and also The Americans.  It's on Amazon Prime people - check it out!  So so so good. 

What I'm Listening To - ESPN Dallas.  Generally in the car I listen to sports radio, or if there's a new episode of The West Wing Weekly I'll listen to that too.  If you are a fan of the West Wing, you need to check this out.  Josh Malina dedicates a podcast each week to an episode of the series.  They are currently up to season 1, episode 9.  #bartlettforpresident #letbartlettbebartlett

What I'm Wearing - a lot of jcrew, banana republic, and loft.  Summer skirts and dresses people - it is that time of the year.  Oh and I am COVETING these shoes
What I'm Doing This Weekend - X-Men: Apocalypse on Saturday night and then Sunday I am off to Denver for the NAFSA meeting. 

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month - June = my birthday.  Yay!  I have some travel but mainly I am looking forward to Summer work hours (Fridays off).  I've got some things lined for those Fridays that I'm excited about.

What Else is New - Not much, just trying to decide on a wedding photographer.  #imopentosuggestions
What Are You Looking Forward to This Summer - A five day July 4th weekend/mini break.  Yay! 

What's new with you?

20 May 2016

Friday Favorites

Well friends, we made it through another week!  This has been a long week with a lot going on.  Here's what I'm loving this week...


Commencement!  If you've been following along with me, you know I work for a college and on Monday we held our annual Commencement ceremonies.  This was my first year as co-chair and the first year we held two ceremonies as we had outgrown holding just one.  A little high stakes, but it went so well.  Commencement has always been one of my favorite things about working in education.  Students attaining their goals!  What is more rewarding than that?


This munchkin. 8 years ago this spring I adopted Katia from the Wake County SPCA.  She was a teeny, tiny little thing.  Her favorite place to be is next to you.  She's never been a lap cat, she doesn't want to be held, but little miss nosy wants to be where the action is.  Even if that means crashing out next to me on the couch while I work.


 Quiet nights on the couch.  Phillip and I have busy, crazy jobs. #dontweall #especiallycommencementweek So anytime we can have a quiet Sunday night and just relax on the couch and watch the ID Channel #murdertv or Game of Thrones #yeahsansa, is a win in our book.


Starbucks.  After the first Commencement ceremony I dashed across the street for Starbucks.  What I really wanted was a s'mores frappuccino.  But I have fitness and weight loss goals #thosestubbornlasttwentypounds so I opted for a skinny iced mocha instead.  I got my caffeine hit with a bit of sweetness and didn't wreck my day.

My gorjana hoops.  I love these earrings.  They are my go-to hoops.  They look great dressed up or dressed down.  I love everything by gorjana.  Like these rings, and this necklace.  If you're looking for something simple and classic that will wear well with everything, check out this line.


Rent the Runway.  My sister used this for my brother's wedding last year and I am going to do it for a wedding I am attending in August.  #yeahmicheandderek  Instead of buying a dress you'll wear once, you rent a dress and then return it.  They have all different price points and a ton of designers to choose from.


NothingPink.  My cousin Kelly has started a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women get genetic testing for the BRCA genes.  I am so proud of Kell and what she has accomplished with this organization.  
Those are my faves this week!  What are yours?


15 May 2016

Life Lately

Spring was crazy around here - I had a ton of travel, more than usual.  It's good to be home though, so what have we been up to lately?

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.  The critics panned it, but we both really enjoyed it.  Henry Cavill is a little flat as Superman, but Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot as Batman and Wonder Woman make up for it.

For the second year in a row, we competed in the The Vineyard Run 5k in Grapevine.  Up until this point I have won every race we entered.  Until this one.  Phillip beat me by a minute.  Boo.  To be fair, he has been working very hard at getting his speeds up...and I have not.

I had my first Drybar experience.  Oh wow.  I loved it.  I will definitely use them again. I'm okay at straightening my own hair, but it's so nice to have someone else do it.  And it came out great.

I went to Drybar because I took Phillip out to dinner for his birthday.  The big 3-7 for him deserved a very nice steak dinner at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse.  I cannot recommend this place highly enough.  He had a steak. Of course.  I had the crab cakes, which were probably the best ones I've ever had.  And coming from this east coast girl that is high praise.

And the summer blockbuster season has begun.  We went to see Captain America: Civil War opening weekend.  So so so good.  It's still relatively new so I won't say much for those of you who haven't seen it yet.  I'll just say that I think it's the best of the Marvel movies so far.  They really outdid themselves this time.

Sunday wouldn't be Sunday if I didn't FaceTime with this munchkin.  She's getting so big!  Three and half going on thirteen.  She has quite the personality.

We rented Macbeth last weekend.  Visually stunning.  Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard were incredible as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.  My only nitpick was that it was in the full Shakespearean language.  It's been awhile since I've been immersed in that and it took some getting used to.

I know I'm late to the party on this, but I finally started Making a Murderer on Netflix.  I'm only one episode in, but I'm hooked.  I've been watching while I've been on the treadmill Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

Showing off my new Stella & Dot necklace.  Isn't it pretty?  Most of my statement necklaces are S&D and they've really helped me elevate my accesories game.  Interested in trying for yourself?  Let me know and I'll set you up with my stylist.  She's awesome and helpful and you will love everything you buy, I promise.

I mean, this kid, come on.  

This is from earlier today.  I was researching wedding photographers and Kate crashed out hard next to me.  She snores, ha ha.

That's a peek into my world lately.  What's new with y'all?



11 May 2016

Stranded: Book Edition

Oh it's been so long since I've blogged and I miss it.  I need to carve out time to make this work.  So I'm jumping back in with a linked post... 

Stranded with Shay and Erika!  This month we're discussing what three books we'd want with us if we were stranded on an island.  The first two were easy.  They were books I've read over and over and over again and never get tired of them.

I can actually thank Mrs. Williams, my high school English teacher for the first two recommendations.  One is a book she required us to read and the other is by an author she required us to read.  I discovered this book after she made us read another.

I will forever love Pride and Prejudice.  I am just about to finish reading it for the 523rd time.  Not really, but it's probably a close estimation.  I just love the interplay between Lizzie and Mr. Darcy.  

This is such a good book.  I cannot recommend it enough.  Mrs. Williams had us read The Shell Seekers which is also fantastic.  But I keep coming back to Coming Home.  A sweeping WWII epic novel it captures romance, heartache, the war, everything - without being over the top.  Read it, you'll love it, I promise.
Oh and what to pick for the third?  I'll have to go with Agatha Christie.  She's another favorite.  I love her stuff and I wish that I had discovered how much I liked her years ago as my grandmother used to read her books and we have that in common.  She passed away about 9 years ago, so we never got to share the experience.  Which Agatha Christie book to pick though?  Murder on the Orient Express?  And Then There Were None?  Nope...

Oh this one is good. I could read it over again.  And I have.  Not as many times as P & P and Coming Home, but a fair number.  
That's my list!  Which three books would you pick if you were stranded on an island?

27 March 2016

life lately

Oh my, it has been awhile hasn't it.  It has been crazy the last few months.  Since the holidays kicked into high gear in November, it's been a non-stop flurry of activity.  What have we been up to you might ask?  Come along for the ride with the latest installment...


Ah, Christmas season - we had fun at an ugly Christmas sweater party and started what turned out to be a very mild winter, even by Texas standards. The highlight of December?  A trip to Las Vegas for New Year's.  I had only ever been for a quick trip and Phillip had never been.  We made plans people, and tried to cram as much as we could into 5 days.

Pictures do not do the Grand Canyon justice at all.  It was breathtaking.  And deep.  Very, very deep. Did I mention it was very deep?  I had a couple of moments where I was nervous #afraidofheights...but because it is so big, you almost can forget about how deep the canyon is.

So what else did we do?  We saw a Prince tribute band, ate at some delicious restaurants, saw a Cirque du Soleil show, walked about 100 miles, rode the High Roller and oh yeah, this...

We're getting married!  So exciting, right?  Phillip proposed New Year's Eve, just before midnight.  So many people asked me if I knew he was going to ask me or if I had any idea it was coming and to be honest it was a complete surprise. 


When we got back, the next weekend Phillip helped his brother's family move to San Antonio and this little lady came to visit me along with her mama.

That weekend there was a bridal show in Fort Worth and being newly engaged and all, I was eager to go.  Melissa and Rayla came to stay for the weekend and I got to have my Maid of Honor and one of my flower girls come with me.  We had so much fun.  Rayla liked visiting and was very happy to see Uncle Phillip when he got back from San Antonio.


A lot of travel for me - Oklahoma City and then a quick trip to Rhode Island for my sister's housewarming party.  Sleepovers with this girl are always a good idea.  We got to hit up a local Mexican place and had a great siblings dinner with Louie and Katie.

It was back to Texas and before my mom and step-father came to visit the following weekend, Phillip and I headed to the AAC - let's go Mavs!

We won in overtime!  It was a fun game and we always enjoy watching Dirk & co. play.  #MFFL

The next morning my parents arrived in Texas and they culd not have picked a better weekend to visit.  Weather was in the 70s and sunny.  We got to check out the Fort Worth Stockyards, the Bush Museum, and eat some good Texas food.  My parents also got to meet Phillip's parents and I'm pretty sure Rich enjoyed the chicken fried steak at Ozona's.  


Cruising into March, more travel for me - Lubbock, Austin, Phoenix, oh my.  Oh, and a little Spring Break fun too. 

First it was off to Lubbock for a VA Educators meeting.  I wish I had taken pictures of the campus at Texas Tech, but it reminded me very much of Ohio State.  There was this huge, sprawling campus on one side and then there is main street (a la High Street) with all these bars, shops, restaurants, student housing, etc.

Spring Break week was a nice opportunity to hang with these two and enjoy lunch with Billie-Jo and Jim.


#lovethem #theymeltmyheart #family

Spring Break had barely finished and I had to pack up and head to Phoenix for another work meeting.  

This one was AACRAO - American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

I had submitted a session proposal and it was approved, so I got to get up in front of a group of people and present.  It's interesting, I am not a huge people person and having to chit chat with people I don't know wears me out, but give me a topic and a powerpoint and I love to get in front of people.  #presentationgear #introvertsunite

This was my first time in Phoenix and I thought it was a beautiful city. 

My mentor was awarded honorary membership in the association, he retired this past year.  I'm glad I was able to be there to see him recognized.  #taughtmeeverythingiknow

I made it home in time to cram in two full days of work before a fun Easter weekend.  A couple months ago, Beej and I registered for the color run.  It was fun!  We had a great time.  I'd definitely do this race again.

 After #theblueishardtogetoff

I finished in 32:37, which was really good for me.  Phillip and I are doing the Fort Worth Zoo Run next weekend.  This will be my third and Phillip's second.  It's a fun morning and the last part of the race goes through the zoo.  

After scrubbing off all the color, it was time to try my hand at a new recipe for Easter dessert - lemon cake truffles.


My plan is to also make pineapple upside down cake.  Monday afternoon I am off to Austin again...I feel like I am living out of a suitcase lately.  I don't think I would do well having a job that required me to travel for work all the time.  

That's a peek at what we are up to..what's been going on with you lately?