Lots of Work & A Little Play

I would say this past weekend consisted of a nice balance between work and play.  I worked from early morning into mid-afternoon Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but each of my days had a sweet finish.  On Friday, I came home to Jason and my aunt Kandace, who had dropped off my cousin Kody and some of his friends at a nearby state park for a camping trip.  Instead of driving all the way back to Houston that same day, to my delight, she decided to spend some quality time with us.  We chatted about this and that for a few hours (as per usual) before Jason served up a most delicious supper for the three of us - pulled pork sandwiches with baked beans and homemade potato salad.  After gorging ourselves and indulging in a little fresh-from-the-box Beer of the Month Club craft beer, aunt Kandace introduced us to the newest Netflix original series, Orange Is The New Black.  We watched the first two episodes and decided we'll have to continue watching, whenever we have time that is.  (Side note:  Both of our schedules are insane and all over the place right now.  We rarely see other for more than a few hours at a time these days, and it's the absolute worst feeling in the world.  We've been sitting on two Netflix DVDs for two weeks now, and we're falling behind on our weekly shows!)

On Saturday, we both got home from work around the same time and quickly got ready to drive up north to meet some friends for dinner in celebration of Corey's 29th birthday.  We were all first-timers at Foreign & Domestic, a little neighborhood restaurant in North Central Austin off of 53rd Street.  The food was pretty pricey, but overall very enjoyable.  We ordered a couple plates of crispy beef tongue which was actually really good, and I ordered corn soup with pickled shrimp, which was interestingly served cold.  That was my first time to try cold soup, and I'm still not sure that I liked it.  For my entree, I got braised goat over corn pudding and pickled cherries.  I wasn't a fan of the cherries, but the goat and corn was a brilliant combination.  Jason and I shared the rocky road sundae for dessert, which was pretty tasty.  My favorite part of the whole meal was probably the cocktail I ordered three times - The Cyclist, a lethal mixture of Session lager, preserved lemon and ginger beer.  SO delicious.

Yesterday,  Jason and I both got off work about an hour late and came home exhausted.  After sharing our unpleasant work stories, we brushed off the day and made another trip northward to see his parents and grandpa where we enjoyed some light conversation and a light dinner of Thundercloud Subs.  Despite our exhaustion, we decided to power through and see a movie at Alamo Drafthouse since it had been quite a while.  We chose Only God Forgives, the new Nicolas Winding Refn film starring Ryan Gosling as a quiet maniac.  It was a really pretty movie that showcased brilliant cinematography akin to that of Lynch and Kubrick, paired with a beautiful score that I would gladly sit and listen to all day long.  The story was pretty basic and the dialog wasn't much to be desired, but overall I found it entertaining, which is indeed the whole point of a film.



Ruby Sparks

Well I finally got around to watching Ruby Sparks a couple of days ago after I'd been wanting to watch it for the past year or something crazy.  It was on our Netflix queue for a while, but, if you are at all familiar with our Netflix queue, you know that movies get pushed around and rearranged multiple times before they make it to the prized No.1 spot.  It's really quite the indecisively violent place for film, you know.  Anyway, we recently acquired a free trial of HBO, which I'm sure we will ultimately end up permanently keeping, so Jason has been recording tons of amazing movies for us to watch at our leisure.  He noticed Ruby Sparks was coming on so he recorded it for me knowing I'd been wanting to see it and being aware of my not-so-secret celeb crush on Paul Dano.  

It's a beautifully adorable story written by the actress that plays Ruby, Zoe Kazan (Paul Dano's lady and granddaughter of renowned classic film director Elia Kazan).  It's about a famous writer named Calvin (Paul Dano) who manifests a woman using his mind and his magical typewriter.  As fictional and unrealistic as the story may be, it brings to light some very real issues that are common in romantic relationships such as losing interest, the desire/inability to change your partner, jealousy, risk and insecurity over possible infidelity.  I've talked a lot on here about how I fall completely in love with a movie if it makes me FEEL.  I want to feel it ALL.  I want to cry, I want to smile, I want to get chills down my spine, I want to burst out in laughter, I want to blush, I want to cringe, etc.  Ruby Sparks definitely had me at hello.  I strongly encourage you to see it for yourself!  


Shop Dreaming

Happy Friday, little lovers. 

One day, I will have a room in my house dedicated to the art of carnivals.

Now, here's a list of things I want, but cannot afford at the moment:

Free People Marina Embroidered Dress
Kate Spade Mug

Westward Leaning 7.2 Sleeping Beauty Sunnies

Kate Spade NY Shawna Shades in Pale Mint

KitchenAid Stand-Up Mixer

Marc Jacobs Classic Q Izzy Handbag

Anthropologie Oxfords

Apple iMac

To round out this super random post, I present you with my current favorite song, "Sinful Nature" by Bear In Heaven.  The video for the song is basically a weird, David Lynch-esque interpretation of Pretty Woman.  I could take or leave the video, but the song is absolute gold.  Enjoy :)



We Went To The Beach

In the midst of all the hustle and bustle Jason and I are both currently experiencing at work this summer, we were able to escape to the beach for a couple of days.  We drove into Galveston Sunday afternoon and met up with my mom, sister, brother, aunts and cousin for dinner at Landry's on the Seawall.  My family lives in Houston which is only about an hour away from the island, and, to my delight, they decided to take a little trip to spend some time with us at the start of our mini-vacation.  Monday, we treated ourselves to breakfast at Waffle House and then spent a couple of hours in the sand and sea before wandering into town to browse the shops, have lunch and pick up some treats at the famous La King's Confectionery on The Strand.  After a few more hours down on the shore searching for seashells and enjoying the breezy, overcast day, we made our way back down to the east end for dinner at The Spot, where I had the most delicious coconut shrimp!  The trip was short, but oh-so-sweet, and it made me even more anxious for our trip to the Pacific NW in September where we will spend EIGHT days away from the madness!



Texas Style Council Summer School

I don't think I've mentioned it yet, but a few weeks ago, I officially registered for the TxSC Summer School Conference along with my fellow blogging besties, Emily and Sarah.  I couldn't be more excited about this endeavor, or that it's taking place right here in my city!  I'm definitely going to find myself well outside of my comfort zone, but I'm going to make the absolute best of it and try to network with as many ladies as I can, and I'll have my good friends there beside me all along the way.

On the first day, Lulu's is coordinating a clothing + book swap in which each lady donates two pieces of used, but still-in-good-condition clothing and one book.  I've already picked two articles of clothing, but I haven't decided on a book yet.  There is also going to be a happy hour where we can go and mix n' mingle with all of the other conference attendees.  I am super excited to meet one of my favorite bloggers at this event - Joanna Wilkinson of Keep Austin Stylish.  I have followed Joanna's blog for a couple of years now, as well as her Instagram and Twitter, all of which never fail to entertain and amuse.

On Saturday and Sunday, there are a number of 101 type classes for blogging, general education and small business.  I am looking forward to attending classes lead by some of my other favorite bloggers including Katie Shelton of Skunkboy,  Jen Lula of Jen Loves Kev and Tolly Moseley of Austin Eavesdropper.  

Saturday night, TxSC is throwing a cocktail-attire Prom with lots of fun things going on, and Sunday morning, Elsie and Emma of A Beautiful Mess are giving the keynote speech!

I am beyond thrilled that I get to be a part of this, and I hope I take away as much as possible to build and promote my blog to the fullest extent.  August simply cannot come soon enough!



By the Sea, By the Sea, By the Beautiful Sea

Jason and I are off to Galveston on Sunday!  I am so excited!  I know Galveston doesn't have the prettiest of beaches, but that was my beach growing up in Houston, and it will always be a precious place to me.  We would go a few times a year when I was younger.  

Shopping and lunching on the Strand, biking down along the sea wall, building sand and drip castles, spending hours upon hours at the Stewart Beach water slides and getting some old fashioned ice cream and candy at La King's.  

I am ready for relaxation and rejuvenation after that crazy holiday weekend at work!

Historic Pleasure Pier - entertainmentdesigner.com


Backyard BBQ Summer Playlist

First of all, I hope you all had a fabulous fourth of July with lots of beer, hot dogs and pseudo-patriotic enthusiasm!  I had to work until 11 p.m. last night, but afterward I was able to meet up with Jason, Corey and our friends Kyle and Krista, who are visiting from San Francisco, for some celebratory beers in honor of America's birthday.

It's been a while since I've posted one of my notorious playlists (hardy har), but I swear it's not me!  It's my aging little MacBook that is just barely trucking along at this point.  It refuses to play ANY videos, music links or really anything that requires Adobe Flash Player because apparently my computer is too old to undergo the updates.  Oh, and it can't handle the latest version of Spotify either (which is why I can't take screen shots of my Spotify playlists as I have in the past).  I would love to run out and buy a new one, but unfortunately money doesn't grow on trees for this household, and I would prefer to save my money for our upcoming trip to the Pacific Northwest.  Maybe after the trip I'll start factoring a new computer into my budget!  Until then, please bare with me and accept my typed out song listings.  Here are some of my favorite songs to blast during the summer.  I'm talking windows down, salty beach air, the smell of sunscreen, the taste of popsicles, summer love and everything else that makes our hearts go pitter-patter this time of year.  I encourage you, obviously, to check these songs out for yourself via Spotify, iTunes, Grooveshark, Pandora, YouTube or however else you kids listen to music these days!  Enjoy :)

"Goodbye" - Best Coast
"Catalina" - Allah-Las
"Dream Captain" - Deerhunter
"Royals" - Lorde
"Down By The Water" - The Drums
"Baby" - She & Him
"Sleepwalker" - Nerve City
"Smooth Sailing" - Queens of the Stone Age
"Indigo Meadow" - The Black Angels
"Cola" - Lana Del Rey
"Solitude Is Bliss" - Tame Impala
"King of the Beach" - Wavves
"Demons (Diplo Remix)" - Sleigh Bells
"Wild" - Beach House
"Such A Bore" - Bass Drum of Death
"The Purple Bottle" - Animal Collective
"Don't Worry Baby" - The Beach Boys
"You're So Fine" - Ricky Nelson



Link Lovin'

I thought I would take a little time to share with you some things I have come across on the inter-webs as of late: things I am currently pining for, things I found beautiful and/or things I felt inspired by.

Maeby says hi!

+ + +

Elsie & Emma of A Beautiful Mess are constantly giving me ideas and inspiration so I wasn't the least bit surprised when my jaw-dropped open in awe of the cuteness that is this back porch party they hosted last weekend.

The 'back porch party' post lead me to peruse the West Elm site which only led to tears and disappointment because I cannot afford anything at that shop, and we don't have a house to decorate just yet anyway.  BUT that won't stop me from drooling over these glass jar light pendants or these outdoor orb lanterns.

How adorable is this handbag from Modcloth?  Instant love.

A few delicacies I've made recently: the Pioneer Woman's baked french toast, baked eggs in a spicy tomato sauce courtesy of A Cozy Kitchen and a brownie sundae baked in a jar!  All delicious and all repeat-worthy!

Top Left: Baked Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce
Top Right: Baked French Toast

Last night, I attempted another recipe from A Cozy Kitchen, Goat Cheese and Apple Tarts, to take over  to our friend Amanda's as a post-dinner treat.  They were pretty delish, but probably would've been better fresh out of the oven!

(Something you should know about me: I am obsessed with goat cheese! It works out well though because Jason stopped eating dairy back in March, but he can still eat goat cheese because it doesn't contain lactose.  Therefore, I can make all the goat cheese dishes I desire!)

I recently participated in a giveaway put on by A Beautiful Mess in which all of their sponsors contributed gift cards and/or items from their shops.  I fell head-over-heels in love with this dress from Red Clover Boutique.

Lastly, this isn't really something I found online, but I wanted to share it anyway!  Jason and I went to Roll On Sushi Diner in North Central Austin the other day, and it was so good.  It's probably the best sushi I've had in Austin.  I was beyond satisfied with the Half-Baked Californian roll that I ordered.  So, if you ever find yourself craving sushi in Austin, check this place out!



Dad's Birthday Weekend

As I mentioned before, my dad and Rebecca made plans to come up to Austin this past weekend to celebrate his birthday, and, as always, we had the absolute best time together!  Friday night, Jason and I met them at Mai Thai downtown, which had surprisingly very tasty Thai!

Jason had to work Saturday night, so I accompanied my dad and Rebecca to the Oasis on Lake Travis where we dined with a couple of their friends.  Luckily, I remembered to take my camera along so I got some really lovely shots of the sun setting over the hills and the lake.  Post fake Tex-Mex, icey pina coladas and many a mexican martini, my dad decided he was unsatisfied that the Oasis did not offer tres leches cake as a dessert, so we ventured to the original Chuy's location on Barton Springs Road where we indulged in some tres leches and more drinks to our hearts' content.  I'm so thrilled that I got to help my dad celebrate his birthday, and I look forward to partying it up with him in all the years to come!