Music Monday & Weekend Recap

I don't even remember when I heard this man's music for the first time, but I am so glad I did.  All of his songs tell a beautiful story- most about love, which is fine with me, but he can also be very political and controversial with his words.  I love when you know an artist is music making for the right reasons.  It's obvious Mason Jennings truly adores his career and uses his talent to respectfully inform and relay a message.  

Merry Monday!  The weekend sure flew right on by.  So, we saw Wanderlust Friday night, and it was HILARIOUS.  From Justin Theroux's ridiculousness to naked old people running in slow motion, I was cracking up the whole time!  Saturday night I drove out to San Antonio to meet one of my best friends, Sammy, along with parents and her 15-month old daughter, Lilly.  I'm kicking myself for not taking any pictures that night!  I even mentioned to Sammy that we needed to get a picture together, but it just never happened.  It was so nice catching up with her; it had been over a year since i'd last seen her.  I've known Sammy for about 11 years now.  We met in orchestra in the sixth grade back when we both played the violin, she wore pigtails everyday and I was certain I'd marry Joel Madden.

Last night I watched the Academy Awards, of course.  I rarely even care who wins which awards; I mostly just like to ooh and aah at the celebs all decked out in their fancy garbs.  Jessica Chastain, Michelle Williams and Octavia Spencer were my picks for best-dressed.  Contrary to everyone else's opinion, I did not care for Gwyneth Paltrow's cape, and I wasn't fond of Rooney Mara's barely-there white gown.  She is too much skin and bones for a dress like that.

Today I got home from work in a cleaning mood, which hardly ever happens so I had to take advantage of the desire.  After cleaning like a mad woman for a couple of hours, I started making dinner.  I tried out the baked apples with savory stuffing recipe I found on Shutterbean, and it was delicious!  I highly recommend it.

I'm working tomorrow and Wednesday and then I'm free for a couple of days.  I'm thinking of venturing out to find a new duvet cover and some decorative pillows, finally.  Cheers to your upcoming week!  May you laugh and play and love and listen to some great music!



Eleven Things

In place of my "Currently" post that you will find on my blog most every Sunday, I have decided to copy Danielle and try out "11 things" tonight.

There are five rules:
1. Post these rules.
2. Post a photo of yourself & 11 random things.
3. Answer the questions set for you in the original post.
4. Create 11 new questions for others to answer.
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you've tagged them.

Jason and I in New Orleans, Oct. 2010
1.  I am an EXTREME girly girl.  I always have been, and I always will be.  As far as I'm concerned, there's no other way to be.  What's better than lacy dresses, pink cheeks and mascara?  NOTHING.  I played with Barbies until I was about 14 and my Easy Bake Oven was my stress reliever for years upon years.  There was a time when parents motivated me to try playing a sport, so naturally, I chose soccer.  To me, the concept of the game was to stay as far away from the ball as humanly possible.  My parents encouraged me to stick it out through the end of the season and I did so...absolutely terrified.

2.  I love to travel!  Unfortunately, I don't get to do it too much because of my current financial situation.  I've actually never been outside of the country, and I hate it.  The one place I've been dying to visit for nearly half my life is Greece.  I am in love with the architecture, the Greek way of life, the beaches and so on.  I've read so much and watched many shows on the Travel Channel about the Greek Isles.  I just can't wait until I finally can get there.

3.  I have a slight obsession with tabloids, paparazzi photos and the lives of celebrities in general.  I just find them so fascinating.  Some of my favorites to follow are Michelle Williams, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Gosling (duh), Zooey Deschanel and many more I can't seem to think of right now.

4.  I can't remember the last time I read an entire book for pleasure.  I would really like to, but I think I might still be burnt out on reading from college or something.  I've definitely tried, but nothing seems to hold my attention.  I hope it doesn't have to do with the rise of technology and our increasing infatuation with iPhones, iPads, or any other devices that supposedly make our lives easier.

5.  I have a strange attraction and passion for dark, emotionally exhausting films.  If I don't feel empty and depressed on the inside when the end credits begin to roll, I feel incomplete and unsatisfied.  Sure, I enjoy the occasional comedy, happy ending and pretty much anything with Paul Rudd in it, but when I think about films that I've truly loved, the dark ones come to mind first.

6.  There are a few words in the English language I just simply don't like.  Here are some to give you an idea:  fossil, fig, ditto, cherub, dud.  And I can't stand cliche sayings like "you can say THAT again" or "it was about 'yay' tall"...whatever "yay" means.  I don't get why you can't just say "this tall."

7.  I adore old school Polly Pockets.  I wish with all my heart they were still being made and sold.  Alas, nothing gold can stay.

8.  I've always really liked veggies, but fruit is a horse of a different color for me.  Ideally, it's wonderful, but in reality, most fruits are too high maintenance for my lazy lifestyle.  If I'm going to eat some fruit, it better be something simple like berries or grapes because I am not taking the time to peel an orange or core and slice an apple.  Sorry, buddy.

9.  I once took a cheesy personality quiz in a chain email where you had to match a person in your life with a color, and each color represented something about your relationship with that person.  I chose the color white for my Nana which meant we were twin souls.  Ever since then I've always called her my twin soul.  She is my everything.

10.  I have one tattoo so far- an anchor on the top of my foot.  I definitely plan on getting more; I have about five prepared.  The only thing holding me back is the money.

11.  I greatly prefer cold weather over warm weather.  If I had to choose between being burned alive and freezing to death, I would choose to be an ice block.

Questions from Danielle:

1.  If money, schooling or time was no obstacle, what career would you choose?
I would be a florist and open my own flower shop.

2.  What's the one thing you look forward to everyday?
Spending a relaxing evening at home on the couch with Jason.

3.  What is your number one, all-time, favorite blog?
Sometimes Sweet, of course.

4.  Biggest online pet peeve?
When people try to be something they aren't- like a separate web persona.

5.  What is your all-time favorite book?
Jane Eyre

6.  What would your "last meal" be?
Probably a traditional Thanksgiving meal.  I am obsessed with Thanksgiving food!  My Uncle Steve's turkey, Nana's cornbread dressing, my mom's whipped sweet potatoes, corn casserole, english peas, and a piece of buttermilk pie for dessert!  YUM.

7.  Do you believe in love at first sight?
No.  I believe you can feel attracted to someone immediately, at a mere glimpse and, possibly, feel a connection, but I don't think it's actual love yet.  That comes with time and through the growth of respect and empathy for that person.

8.  What would your ideal Sunday morning consist of?
Brunch with Jason at Taverna (to-die-for eggs benedict and $1 mimosas!)  And just being lazy at home with our pets.

9.  Why do you blog?
Because I love to write and express myself in a healthy way.

10.  If you had to choose one color to wear forever, what would you pick?
Probably white.  Even though I'm super pale-skinned, I don't think there's a classier color than pure, clean, simple white.

My Questions For You:
1.  What's the scariest thing you've ever experienced?
2.  Describe the most vivid, realistic dream you've ever had.
3.  What is your favorite dessert?
4.  If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what song would you choose?
5.  Which actor/actress would you pick to play you in a movie about your life?
6.  What was your best Halloween costume?
7.  What is your favorite Disney movie?
8.  If you had to go on a TV game show, currently or no longer on the air, which would you pick?
9.  Do you prefer vacationing in the mountains or at the beach?
10.  What is your earliest memory?
11.  What product are you willing to spend big $$ on?


Friday Sweet Friday & Weekend Links

Friday has been my favorite day of the week for as long as I can remember.  This is kind of strange, especially nowadays since I usually work weekends.  Friday isn't necessarily the end of the work week for me; in fact, many times it's the start of my work week!  But, for whatever reason, I always just have a giddy, fun feeling on Fridays.  Now, Sundays are a whole different story for me.  Just like my Pop (my mom's father) I get the Sunday blues.  I always feel really down and out and alone...even though I know I have a ton of love and support in my life 24/7.  It's the weirdest thing ever!

It turns out that this particular lovely Friday is the end of my work week (sort of).  I do have to work on Sunday, so I guess you could call it a half-weekend.  Nevertheless, I'm happy to have a Saturday off!  Tonight Jason and I are going to see Wanderlust!  I adore Paul Rudd, and I'm pretty much obsessed with the fact that Jennifer Aniston and the oh-so-dreamy Justin Theroux are an item.

Check out this fab Austin sunset we enjoyed yesterday evening:

Here are some links I've enjoyed the past week that I'm super happy to share with you:

This Daily Food Plan on the USDA website is perfect for calculating your personal calorie intake.

This upcoming movie, The Five-Year Engagement, looks really cute.  It stars Emily Blunt and Jason Segel so how could it be bad?

I found Ashley's top knot tutorial to be very resourceful in trying to construct my own.

Sophia Grace & Rosie never fail to crack me up and wow me at the same time.  Check out this video of their latest performance.

Paula Deen, the Queen of Butter, shares her list of '20 Sensational Shrimp Recipes' which make me want to run out and purchase about 50lbs of shrimp ASAP!

Peep these DIY faux terrariums that Elizabeth posted as a guest blogger on Skunkboy Creatures.  So cute!

This tutorial for cutting your own perfect side-swept bangs is a little cheesy, but you can't deny her bangs look pretty bangin' when she's done.

That's all I've got for now, children.  Enjoy your weekend!



Here's to you, Mrs.Robinson

The Graduate
Directed by Mike Nichols
Amazing soundtrack by Simon & Garfunkel

The Graduate is a film I keep especially close to my heart.  The soundtrack, completely by Simon & Garfunkel, reminds me of riding in the car with my Pop as a child.  Every single time "Sound of Silence" or "Scarborough Fair" starts up, I get the chills.  It's such a sweet story about the uncertainty of young adulthood, love and going after what you want.  Not to mention, Dustin Hoffman and Katharine Ross looking mighty fine.  I don't know how everybody hasn't seen this movie, but it is an absolute treasure among films.





Courtesy of Matablog
Today's Music Monday subject is Julian Plenti, also known as Paul Banks of indie-rock band, Interpol.  His first solo album is titled Julian Plenti is...Skyscraper and I am madly in love with the entire thing!  I recently learned that he's working on his second full-length, and I couldn't be more excited.  Banks is pure talent at its finest.  He truly has an ear for amazingly emotional and raw music.  I can't wait to see what he's planning for his next album.  Here's one of my favorites from Julian Plenti is...Skyscraper.  It's called "Games For Days."  Hope you enjoy as much as I do!




So I've decided that I would really like to try promoting my blog and getting it out there as much as possible so I can share my crazy, wild thoughts with the entire world!  [insert evil, conniving laugh here]

In order to do this, I have got to stop playing around and come up with a real plan for this blog.  I've thought about just completely starting over, but I believe I have a few great posts on here so I'll just stick with what I have so far.  Therefore, within the next couple of months, I'll be experimenting with different varieties of posts.

Since I sort of wanted to make this a music blog originally, I'll definitely keep up the Music Mondays, and possibly post an entire playlist at the start of each month.  Because I'm such a movie/TV snob as well, I'd like to throw in a weekly post about whatever film or show I'm currently obsessing over.  Food is another area of interest for me so maybe I'll post a recipe once a week, chat about whatever craving I might be enduring or talk about little changes I'm making to try to eat healthier. I'll also be a copycat and make a Friday post for "weekend links."

I've decided every Sunday I will try to complete a "Currently" post, so here's the one for today:

My mom and I on Thanksgiving Day, 2011
Currently obsessing over:  Tattoos!  I just can't seem to get enough of them lately.  Ever since I started reading Danielle's blog, my passion for big, bright, beautiful ink has grown tremendously.  She's such an inspiration to me, being a successful high school English teacher turned stay-at-home-mom with a Master's degree.  She is proof that it's possible to have a love for tattoos (and be covered with them) and still be a respectable woman with class and prestige.  I love her reply to disapproving people that try the whole "just think how you'll look when you're old and wrinkly" argument.  She says that most everyone will be old and have wrinkles someday- at least hers will be pretty and colorful!  That's exactly how I feel.  Who cares?  You're old and probably way over your self-consciousness anyway.

Working on:  Sprucing up my blog and getting it out there so the world can see what a sweet soul I am!  (See more on this in the paragraphs above the picture.)

Thinking about:  My future.  It's so cliche, but it's so hard not to think about what's to come.  I'm 23 with a Bachelor's degree in an extremely competitive field that I'm not even super interested in anymore.  I have a pretty secure job in the hotel industry, and I'm starting to think it's not so bad after all.  I had a nice chat with my mom about it today, and she's encouraging me to stay in this field  because people will always need hotels so it's financially safe.  Although I do get stressed and overwhelmed easily at work, it can be glamorous and interesting at times.  I've seen mild celebs, gotten free tickets to events, met some really classy people and learned a lot about myself and how I react in certain situations.

Anticipating: The return of Mad Men on AMC.  It's been nearly two whole years since a new episode of Mad Men has aired on live television.  That's just ridiculous!  Something about people involved in the show unhappy about the amount of money they were making.  Even more ridiculous (in my opinion).  Jason and I started re-watching season four last night because we can barely remember what all happened leading up to this upcoming season.  If you haven't seen an episode of this super-glam show, I highly suggest you get on that ASAP.

Listening to: The Kills.  I used to listen to this duo back in high school, but I was never THAT into them.  I liked a few songs here and there, but I couldn't listen to a full album all the way through without skipping songs.  However, their 2011 LP, Baby Says, is pretty great if you ask me.  I've been listening to it tons lately.  I can't get enough of that dark, yet upbeat sound.

Eating: I've been on a cereal kick these days.  Most mornings I have to be out the door by 6:30 a.m. for work, and I used to never eat breakfast.  I know, I know, shame on me...breakfast is supposedly the most important meal of the day.  So as of late I've been packing a small bowl of Oatmeal Squares or Mini Wheats with blackberries.  It's so tasty, especially with almond milk (my new thing).

Wishing: I made just a little more money so I could finish decorating the apartment and get a new TV.

And that concludes my "currently" posting for the day.  I've been yacking and yacking and I didn't even mention the colossal amount of fun I had last night at Carli's bachelorette party!  I'll leave those stories for a later post.

Happy Sunday :)



Happy Love Day

happy valentine's day, lovebirds.

So happy I have the day off from work so I can spend ALL day primping and prepping to look my absolute best for my special date tonight with my best friend/lover/inspiration.  We have tickets to the Alamo Drafthouse Valentine's Day Feast.  They're showing The Princess Bride while serving a four course meal with wine pairings.  I am so excited!  We've been to one before a couple of years ago for New Year's Eve, and it was spectacularly unforgettable so we couldn't wait to attend another!  I still haven't decided what I'm going to wear, but I'm thinking red lipstick is a must.  (he he!)

I am just absolutely giddy on this day- a day I used to despise.  It's funny how it works like that.  Although, I don't believe this day is just for romantic couples.  It can be for all types of relationships.  My parents always give me Valentine's gifts, and it's tradition for Nana to send me a card with a little somethin' inside.

In honor of this lovely little day, here's just a handful of some of my favorite love songs:

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones


I think we're just gonna have to be secretly in love with each other and leave it at that.

‎"He had made a request for his usual escort- the one from his days on the circuit- to meet him at the pier by way of the Green Line bus. As always, she was late."

The Royal Tenenbaums
A film by Wes Anderson


Houston, Murder, Sickness & Music

Happy Monday, all.  Jason and I had a fabulous weekend in Houston visiting my family.  We drove in Thursday afternoon and made a quick stop on the Northwest side of town to see my Nana, who is doing much better after her open heart surgery last summer.  Then, we ate some lunch at the fine Willie's Ice House before heading over to the east side to Mont Belvieu where my mom, sister and brother live.  We ordered pizza and chit-chatted to our heart's content until we crashed for the night.  Friday, they all had to go to work and school, so Jason and I drove over to Baytown and caught the noon showing of THE GREY with my celeb crush Liam Neeson.  It was awesome!  Neeson vs. wolves...doesn't get crazier than that, my friends.  That night, my mom made her delicious harvest chowder with corn bread and we sat around playing Scattegories and Clue.  On Saturday we all went down to Seabrook to hang out with Aunt Kelley, Uncle Steve, Aunt Kandace, Nana and my cousins.  We had a Kitchen-family traditional lunch of taco soup and cheese dip, superb as always.  During a heated game of Clue later that night, my mom asked my Aunt Kelley about a creepy "Murder Mansion" story she'd been told that supposedly took place in Seabrook, just a few miles from where my aunt and uncle live.  It turns out the story is true.  Apparently this millionaire sex offender named Bill List moved to Seabrook from Ohio in the '70s and had a huge 32,000 square foot mansion built right on the bay.  The mansion was super ugly and looked more like an office building than a home.

The Murder Mansion
In his free time, List would peruse the streets of Montrose and Westheimer in downtown Houston for young, homeless "street" boys.  He would bring them back to his mansion in Seabrook and give them food, shelter, drugs, or whatever else they might want, and in return, he expected sex.  Oh, and they were also his prisoners- they had no way of getting out.  There are rumors that he murdered some of the boys, but I don't think anything was ever proven.  However, List was said to have been abusive and into sexual pain.  One night, four the boys got together and formed a plan to kill List.  The next morning after List went to work, the boys did heroine and completely trashed the house, writing obscene things on the wall.  Smiley, one of the boys, wrote "Bill List is a sick man.  He is going to die" and signed it "Smiley, 1984."  When List got home, Smiley shot him in the head as he was heading up the stairs.  I think the boys were eventually caught because we found something online about Smiley getting out of jail on parole, and he evidently lives just ten miles away from where the mansion used to be.  The mansion was knocked down about four years ago and condos were built in its place.  Some of the residents that now live in those condos claim to have seen a creature and shadows roaming the property at night.  I was super-intrigued by the story especially because I've been going down to Seabrook ever since I was about eight years old, and I had no idea of its history.  Plus, I'm really into haunted houses and spooky stories like that.

When we left Aunt Kelley's that night we had to drive over to the condos where the Murder Mansion once stood just to see if we ran into Mr.List or happened to catch a glimpse of old Smiley.  Of course, we didn't see anything, but it was neat to see where all of that took place!  The next morning, Jason and I went over to my Dad's and hung out there for a few hours before heading back home to Austin sweet Austin.  We caught the very end of the Super Bowl, which was fine by me.  Congrats, Giants!

I woke up this morning with a sore throat, which is usually the first sign that I'm getting sick.  Thanks, world.  Sorry, body.  So, basically I've just been taking it easy today.  I took a bath earlier, gave myself a much-needed pedicure, made cream cheese and herb scrambled eggs and made a grocery list.  Now, I just need the energy to get off the couch, put some clothes on and get to the grocery store.  I might take a nap first... :)

I'm super excited to try a new dinner recipe tonight- Griddled Polenta Cakes with caramelized onions, goat cheese and honey topped with ground chorizo and served with a sweet potato.  Doesn't that just make your mouth water?

Since it's monday, I'll leave you with some music.  This is my favorite song by London indie-rockers, Yuck; it's called "Suck":