Tuesday, May 20, 2014

checked off: #4!

i am so, so, so happy to say that goal #4 has been checked off my list: to own an original art piece.
this one was not an easy feat, guys. 

i try to give back stories with some of my goals, so here's this one:
tucker & i went to new orleans in 2012 to celebrate our one year wedding anniversary. we spent a lot of time going to art galleries, and came across a gallery that had some show stoppers for us. we had talked before about how hard it is to find a piece of art that two people agree on - i mean, if you're spending money with the intention of something being on your wall forever, it's sort of a big deal! but, this gallery had a few pieces that both of us absolutely loved.
and then we looked at the price tag. and suddenly, we didn't love them so much anymore. but the goal of owning an original piece was something that we both left new orleans with, and we thought it would be something we'd work towards over the next several years.

fast forward to december, a few months ago.
we go to guadalajara to visit my family there, and stay in one of my dad's new houses - above the master bed there is a huge painting of a tree, and literally at the same time, both tucker and i thought "i want that and i want it now", veruca salt style. so we get some information from my dad about the artist, and it turns out that she's a local artist there in guadalajara who he could get us in contact with, and who could provide a huge original for a fraction of the price of one in the states. we were able to provide her with the exact size we wanted for our wall, and pick our colors as well as talk about the style of the tree we wanted, which was great. this all sounds fine & easy & great until you try to ship a 6ft oil painting that can't be bent from guadalajara to austin, tx without an importer's license.
so, without getting in to the story too much, i will tell you that it took a little over three months to get to us once it was completed, the border agents actually wanted a photo of it because of how familiar they were with trying to ship it, my brother mario's help was crucial and we wouldn't have gotten the painting without him, and now we are so happy that it's here. 





so here is what my 30before30 list looks like now:
1. visit santorini, greece - 2. learn to speak portuguese fluently - 3. go on a girl's weekend trip to a vineyard - 4. own an original art piece - 5. learn how to bake my own bread! - 6. give birth - 7. start a movie night tradition - 8. participate in some sort of marathon or race - 9. plant a thriving vegetable garden - 10. go on an annual camping trip - 11. read at least a book a month for one year - 12. master taking photos the way i picture them in my brain - 13. decorate our "forever home" to reflect both my husband & i perfectly - 14. start a sunday night supper tradition - 15. visit spain - 16. see radiohead live again - 17. become crafty - 18. ride in a hot air balloon - 19. visit maui for 5 year wedding anniversary - 20. start teaching my children how to speak spanish fluently - 21. start a regular yoga practice - 22. sleep in a tree house -23.  see northern lights - 24. host thanksgiving at my house (insead of a parent's house!) -25. take a weekly photo of my child/children for an entire year - 26. take a road trip (more than like 12 hours of driving!) - 27. learn to tango with my husband - 28. take my own (professional looking) newborn photos of my children - 29. surprise my husband with the best birthday gift ever (still don't know what that is....) - 30. end this whole thing with a 30th birthday bash that's worthy of being blogged about




Monday, May 19, 2014

mexico trip 2014

time for picture overload. 
also, let's not mention the fact that i haven't posted in months. we'll just move on from that.

last week, tucker and i got back from a vacation that we had kind of been putting off for a long time. about 2 years ago (or maybe even more), we bought a groupon on a whim for a 4 night stay in baja california sur, mexico. it was one of those things that seemed like such an incredible deal that it'd be stupid to pass it up, and it turns out that was very accurate. i say that we had been putting it off, because with work, moving in to the house, other personal travel, etc, it just wasn't happening as quickly as we thought it would. but long story short: we made it to cerritos surf colony and completely fell in love with the place. it was one of the best trips we have ever been on, and we're so, so glad we finally made it out there.

this was one of the few beachy places i haven't been in mexico, so i was really happy to get to check another place off. i can say that i've never been to a beach that's as isolated as this one was - there were never more than about 20 people on the beach at a time, so it was like we had it all to ourselves. 
our little casita was right on the beach and we were lucky enough to wake up and fall asleep to the (super loud) ocean sounds every single day. 
we spent most of our time either reading on the beach, in the cute little town nearby eating shrimp tacos and looking at art galleries, or having a beer in the pool area. we were even able to get a massage on the beach right in front of our little villa! it also helped that there were 2 kitties that lived on-site, the food at the pool bar was amazing, and we found a top secret half-mile beach that we had to ourselves***. 
both of us really, really hope we make it back out here sometime in the next few years, it is definitely a place that has left a mark on our minds, and we hope it never gets spoiled!























***i have to give major props to my husband here. the picture below is the walk-in entrance to the secret beach that we found. not pictured is the mile-long hellish road that we had to drive down to get there. while i was saying "ummm maybe we should turn around?! i don't think our rental can take this road!!!" in a high-pitched voice that usually only dogs can hear, my husband politely ignored my complaints & drove like a champ over approximately 6,732 huge rocks, dips and cacti so that we got to this gem.






Thursday, February 20, 2014

weekend adventures in lost maples

over the valentine's day weekend, the husband & i made our annual trek to lost maples - this is our 5th trip (4th year) out there, and it's a tradition we hope to continue forever & ever. lost maples state park is in vanderpool, texas and is about a 2.5-3 hour drive from our house, but it feels like it's forever away.
we've stayed at the same cabins every time we go, it's a little cluster of 5 cabins up a very windy, hilly road that makes you think you're not in texas at all. there's no cell reception/wi-fi except for at a general store on the way to go hike the trails in the park, which brings me to my next point - the hike is the best part of it all! the park itself is absolutely beautiful, especially in the fall, and we always go up the west trail which is about 5 miles, 3 of which are uphill.
we've become pros at packing for lost maples and have our traditions of making skillet burgers, drinking cheap beer (lone star, usually. but this time we brought along my new favorite gluten-free beer), playing cards and in the mornings we read out on the porch (swinging porch bed!) with our coffee.
 
one of the goals on my 30before30 list is to have an annual camping trip, but i'm pretty sure i'm going to have to do some editing and maybe change it to an annual glamping trip? because i really enjoy having a toilet to use.
 
texans - what are your favorite camping/glamping/hiking spots?
 






 

Friday, January 10, 2014

2014 & my 30before30 list

i know i'm a few days behind (9, to be exact), but i've decided on which 30before30 goals i'm going to focus on for 2014:
 
-learn to speak portuguese fluently.
i've mentioned this before, but my mom is brazilian and unfortunately i never learned portuguese from her. my brother & i both learned spanish first, then english...and it was probably going to be pretty overwhelming to throw in portuguese in there, but i'm still just a little bit bitter about it. i definitely understand 90% of it because it's so similar to spanish and because we've heard my mom speak it most of our lives here & there, but it is time. it's time to sit down & really learn it, so that next time i go to brasil, i can sound really fancy.
so, last night i started on rosetta stone! it was only 30 minutes, but it's something. and just for the record, i got a 96% on my pronunciation. just sayin'.
 
-own an original art piece.
this is not something that the husband & i expected to do for a few years, but on our recent trip to mexico we came across an artist that we became slightly obsessed with, and now we are working on getting one of her pieces. more on that later! but this is also in the works.
 
-decorate our forever home to reflect both my husband and i perfectly. okay, so this is actually pretty much done. it's just the pictures that haven't been taken, and the goal above - the original art piece - that we're waiting on.
 
-go on a road trip. planning for this goal is already underway, so i'm pretty sure this one will be a really fun one to cross off this year.
 
-plant a thriving vegetable garden. luckily, i got started on this last year and now have the perfect box garden for it. i'm hoping to get kale, watermelon, jalapenos, tomatoes, mint, green bell peppers, and carrots throughout the year.
 
 
okay, that's it. there are 2 or 3 more that i'm pretty certain i can accomplish in 2014, but those are the 5 major ones that i will get done, no matter what!
 
there are also a few things that are not on my 30before30 list that i'd love to do this year, like going to a fun cooking class with the husband, volunteering at urban roots again (any austin friends want to come with? it's really fun!), and reading more (in 2012 i crossed off a reading-related goal that i'd maybe like to try again).
 
 


Friday, December 27, 2013

checked off: #18!

back in july the husband gifted me a ride in a hot air balloon, knowing it was part of my 30before30 list, and i finally got to check off that goal very early on christmas eve.
you know the part in james and the giant peach where they are able to get the peach to fly high up in the air? i think that's where my hot air balloon dream started. i'm aware it's not a hot air balloon in the book/movie by any means, but it's the closest i can get without actually living in a roald dahl book. and just on a side note, if i were to live in a roald dahl book, it would definitely be the bfg, but that's neither here nor there. anyway, i think that's where this whole thing began and i've been saying it's on my to-do list since i was little.
there's your backstory! now:
bright and early (and i mean early early, as it was a sunrise ride), we headed to the meet-up spot for take-off. i was actually pretty nervous on the drive there because, as much as i've wanted to ride in one of these, it's still scary. you're going all the way up in the air in a wicker basket suspended by a balloon...filled with fire. that's lacking some logic, no? but it was absolutely beautiful, perfectly cold, and so so much fun. we spent about 45 minutes total in the air going over the hill country and ended up over a neighborhood waving hi to little kids who came out in their pajamas to see the balloon. and when we landed (in someone's front yard!) we got a brief history of hot air balloons from our hilarious and inappropriate pilot, and a champagne toast.
and for the record, it's not scary at all...and this is coming from someone who is not a fan of flying.







^that's the little tiny moon you can still see up there! ^







here's what my list looks like now:

1. visit santorini, greece - 2. learn to speak portuguese fluently - 3. go on a girl's weekend trip to a vineyard - 4. own an original art piece - 5. learn how to bake my own bread - 6. give birth - 7. start a movie night tradition - 8.participate in some sort of marathon or race - 9. plant a thriving vegetable garden - 10. go on an annual camping trip - 11.read at least a book a month for one year - 12. master taking photos the way i picture them in my brain - 13. decorate our "forever home" to reflect both my husband & i perfectly - 14. start a sunday night supper tradition - 15. visit spain - 16. see radiohead live again - 17. become crafty - 18. ride in a hot air balloon - 19. visit maui for 5 year wedding anniversary - 20. start teaching my children how to speak spanish fluently - 21. start a regular yoga practice - 22. sleep in a tree house -23.  see northern lights - 24. host thanksgiving at my house (insead of a parent's house!) -25. take a weekly photo of my child/children for an entire year - 26. take a road trip (more than like 12 hours of driving!) - 27. learn to tango with my husband - 28. take my own (professional looking) newborn photos of my children - 29. surprise my husband with the best birthday gift ever (still don't know what that is....) - 30. end this whole thing with a 30th birthday bash that's worthy of being blogged about




Tuesday, December 3, 2013

checked off: #24!

i can finally check off another 30before30 goal!
#24 on my list was to host thanksgiving at my house. this may seem like a pretty small goal compared to some of the others, but believe you me - it was a big deal to me. i've thought of it as a rite of passage almost, and now i'm pretty convinced that i'm a real live adult. we sat in the dining room and used cloth napkins and everything!
my parents came in from dallas, along with my step-sister and her partner, and my furry nephew (their dog, fenway). we had so, so much fun and even though my sister in law did most of the turkey frying (because i was 99% sure i'd blow up my family and house on accident), i still kind of cooked my own thanksgiving turkey. and mostly, the husband did all the marinating and stuff. but, we'll pretend i did it all myself.
the day was full of football, wine, lots of pies, ping pong in the backyard, and sitting by the fire. i didn't take as many pictures as i would've wanted, because i alawys get distracted and forget about that. but here's at least some photographic proof that all of this is true:




 
 
 
and now that thanksgiving is over, i am in full christmas mode. all christmas presents have been purchased, some of them have been wrapped, and the house is decked out in its christmas gear.
i've even started watching all of the horrible christmas chick flicks that started playing on tv as of december 1st, and i'm not ashamed of it at all.
 
here's an update of what my list looks like now (and PS. the hot air balloon ride has been booked, and is in a few short weeks!!)

1. visit santorini, greece - 2. learn to speak portuguese fluently - 3. go on a girl's weekend trip to a vineyard - 4. own an original art piece - 5. learn how to bake my own sourdough bread - 6. give birth - 7. start a movie night tradition - 8. participate in some sort of marathon or race - 9. plant a thriving vegetable garden - 10. go on an annual camping trip - 11. read at least a book a month for one year - 12. master taking photos the way i picture them in my brain - 13. decorate our "forever home" to reflect both my husband & i perfectly - 14. start a sunday night supper tradition - 15. visit spain - 16. see radiohead live again - 17. become crafty - 18. ride in a hot air balloon - 19. visit maui for 5 year wedding anniversary - 20. start teaching my children how to speak spanish fluently - 21. start a regular yoga practice - 22. sleep in a tree house -23. see northern lights - 24. host thanksgiving at my house (insead of a parent's house!) -25. take a weekly photo of my child/children for an entire year - 26. take a road trip (more than like 12 hours of driving!) - 27. learn to tango with my husband - 28. take my own (professional looking) newborn photos of my children - 29. surprise my husband with the best birthday gift ever (still don't know what that is....) - 30. end this whole thing with a 30th birthday bash that's worthy of being blogged about
 
 


Monday, October 7, 2013

europe pt. 3: barcelona

(see parts 1 and 2 of these europe posts here and here.)

oh, barcelona. 
i am so, so glad that we decided to end the trip there. both tucker & i agreed it was our favorite city that we visited on the trip, and it was the best of all worlds. it felt like a beach-city, a huge urban, sprawling city or a small neighborhood rolled in to one. as i mentioned in the first europe post, we went through vrbo and rented an apartment that we absolutely loved. the neighborhood we were in, barceloneta, is an easy 5 minute walk to the beach, and has tons of great bars, restaurants and bakeries surrounding it. it's also a short 15 minute walk to las ramblas...we got very used to that walk, as that was where both of my brothers rented their apartments. it was such a walkable city, which we really loved - with the exception of our trek to the airport on the last day, we barely had to use our subway passes.
we spent a total of 4 nights in barcelona, and because they were the last few days of our two week trip, our legs were finally starting to give out on us and let us know that walking 15 miles per day is not normal. we didn't really rest until the last day we were there, though, which allowed us to see everything we wanted to see. the sagrada familia was, of course, incredible. even though we got there early, we did have to wait in line for about an hour and a half but it was worth it. i'd say my favorite "sight" in barcelona was park guell - an enormous, hilly park where gaudi's house has been turned in to a museum and is surrounded by a ton of his other creative works. tucker & i packed a picnic and spent several hours there, and i'd highly recommend it to anybody. 
i also had some of my most favorite meals & drinks in barcelona (i really love cava. like, really love it.) and we just cannot wait to eventually go back. 

(the building that our apartment was in is from the 1800's and had original brick walls!)















until next time, europe!!!

(ps. i checked off a goal on the 30before30 list! new and updated: right here)

 
SITE DESIGN BY DESIGNER BLOGS