Monday, December 19, 2011

a holiday jumble

I think I might be the world's worst & least consistent blogger. But I'm okay with that. I never put it on my 30before30 list to keep up with this thing...
Christmas is less than one week away, which is completely and utterly insane. I know people usually say that all the time, and pretend they're totally shocked year after year that Christmas lands on December 25th, but I am normally not that person. This year I am. Tucker and I leave for Guadalajara, Mexico on Thursday...maybe that's what has me so caught off guard. Not only am I spending Christmas with my family in Mexico for the first time since I was 15, but I get to take my husband who is going to absolutely love it there. I could not be more excited.
So let's get this started with a happy list, yes?

december happy list
+ (even though you just read this,) having the husband meet the family and get to know Guadalajara. One of my most favorite cities ever.
+ being off work for 6 days straight. It's been pretty stressful/frustrating here for the past week and I am going to really love this time off.
+ having a job that I love. Even though I just complained about it above, I truly enjoy my job and am so happy it's mine.
+ trying new eggnog with the husband when we do our gift exchange
+ pinterest. Dammit Pinterest, I really effing love you and you make me motivated to actually do things.

Now to more important things. Remember I posted here about removing #17 on my list and needing a replacement? I think my replacement is to become crafty. I realize that's a very "wide open" goal and there's nothing physical that I can use to say it's been accomplished, but again we come to the Pinterest thing. I've found so many things on there that I want to make/do and I feel like that's something I can get started on right away.
So this is the first thing I am going to make, now that I'm a crafty lady.
Pinned Image 
Elmer's glue on a canvas, then pain the canvas one color. I love that this is white, and it's a great way for me to add lightness to a dark room upstairs.

So, I've successfully replaced #17 on my list. Hopefully the trip to Mexico will allow me to start taking more pictures and work towards #12 - master taking photos the way I picture them in my brain. My dad is an amazing photographer that I can get tips from, and Mexico is an amazingly beautiful place that is very inspiring. When we come back from our trip, I'll do the obligatory "before new years" post and maybe some pictures will grace this blog. I don't think wrapping Christmas presents counts as being crafty, but just because I want to show you how cute it is, here's a picture of my wrapping paper this year.

OH and I almost forgot! I have joined a book club (yes, I know, I'm fancy), so I'm happily working toward reaching goal #11 on my list - read at least 2 books a month for one year. And I believe the trip will also help me accomplish that. BOOYAH, list.

Monday, December 5, 2011

guest post

I asked my best friend of 18 years to write HER 30before30 list so I could post it on here. I love seeing other people's "happy lists" on blogs, so why not share someone's list of goals? Here is hers. PS. #1 is referring to me. Thanks for the guilt trip. Also, since I AM her best friend, I think she might be referring to me in #2...awkward.

1) Visit Mexico with my best friend of 20+ years, as I've known her all my life and have yet to go
2) Fall in love for all the right reasons - to someone that not only shares my dreams, but is my best friend
3) Stop smoking. Find the will power within myself to better my health
4) Visit Greece - I made a bet with my brother years and years ago that I would be the first to go and lay on the beaches. I lost. 
5) Get married and live somewhere other than the place I've always been
6) Submit a piece of writing to a magazine, and have it published (not sure if I can do that without a degree? Guess I'll find out)
7) Learn another language. Understanding some Spanish doesn't count.
8) Mend my relationship with my dad, as hard as that may be. I do not want any regrets if it becomes too late one day.
9) Become closer to my younger brother and sister. They're growing up without knowing me, and I would love to know them
10) Let my mom teach me how to garden, as this is a passion she shares with her mother, and always wants me to learn. (I kill every plant given to me)
11) Meet someone new every year that I can say without a doubt that they've changed my life in some small, amazing way - and tell them that.
12) See something majestic. 
13) Go skydiving
14) Volunteer at Our Childrens House at Baylor. 
15) Find a career that I love. One that I look forward to everyday.
16) Learn to belly dance (this one makes me giggle)
17) Go on a canopy tour
18) Visit the Galapagos Islands
19) Watch a sumo wrestling match
20) Own my own home
21) Learn to read/enjoy non-fiction books 
22) Go on a road trip with my closest friends with no destination. Just see all the great things we can in the time we have
23) Become debt free
24) Learn to cook (taco bell can't last me forever)
25) Learn sign language
26) Redecorate my home each year
27) Stay in a bungalow in Bora Bora
28) Visit my grandparents more. It's been 7 years since I have. 
29) Learn how to surf
30) Write a book

Feel free to submit YOUR 30before30 or 40before40 or whatever life list you want! I'd love to share it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

breaking the rules and asking for suggestions

I need to make one adjustment to my list. At first I wouldn't let myself change it, because that seemed wrong. But then I realized this is my own damn list and I make the rules. 
#17 on my list was to swim with the bioluminescent plankton in Puerto Rico. We're no longer going to Puerto Rico (for now...we might make our way there eventually), so I need to replace #17 with a different goal. And I have no idea what that should be. Any suggestions? Make sure it's not something a realist would pick (see previous post about that here).

I'll leave you with a Pinterest find, maybe to spark your imagination and help me find a replacement goal. The only word on the list below that I have heard of is 'saudade', because when I visited Brazil a few years ago, the people I met there told me that's how I would feel about leaving Brazil. But my 2 favorite words on the list are 'forelsket' (even though it may or may not sound like foreskin and that does not make you think about falling in love) and 'gheegle' because I am forever being made fun of for wanting to squish cute things.
Perhaps #17 can have something to do with incorporating new words in to my vocabulary.

Monday, November 28, 2011

how a sitcom got me thinking.

I heard the above quote the other day while watching the show Modern Family with the husband. He immediately looked over at me and smirked, and I knew what he was thinking: he's the dreamer, and I'm the realist. HOW BORING AND TERRIBLE IS THAT? I see where he's coming from - I'm constantly reminding him to not be TOO positive in his thinking (for example, don't overshoot on estimating that holiday bonus we get at work...), but I do it because I'd much, much rather be pleasantly surprised than disappointed. Not that there's really anything (too) wrong with being a realist, but I don't want to be a straight-up realist. I'd love to be a drealist. A dreamer who is realistic in her thinking. And maybe that's what this blog is about, anyway. So at first, I was thinking, "is my list too full of 'realistic' things, other than things I've dreamed of my whole life"? So I came to my blog prepared to bulk up my list full of ridiculous, almost unachievable things, but then I really read through my list again. I mean...I think it's kind of a dreamer mentality to assume that I'll be able to master photos the way my idol's take them, go to Greece, see the Northern Lights, visit Spain, learn to tango, become fluent in Portuguese and give birth in 5 years! If I met someone who did all of that in that amount of time, I'd definitely high five them.
For a while I struggled with seeing all these people I went to high school with (some of them younger than me) post pictures of their insane, world-traveled lives. I mean, people who couldn't form a proper sentence as a high school Junior were suddenly in Bangkok working at PR firms, or in Buenos Aires hosting their own TV shows. Really? How the hell did that happen? I'd see old friends of mine posting pictures from Australia and then no more than a week later, they were in Greece. Needless to say, I was a bit jealous. And when I say "a bit", what I mean is that I was foaming at the mouth. I had all of these travel dreams I wanted to achieve and either nobody to go with me (I'm scared to go alone...I've seen Taken. And Locked up Abroad on NatGeo.), or nobody I could count on to follow through on travel plans.
But then I met my husband. One of the things I told him I loved about him when we first started dating was that he doesn't just dream up things, he actually achieves them. Always. And even though we get made fun of for planning our lives 3 years in advance (and I'll admit, sometimes I wish we didn't have a plan yet for next November), I know that we'll get to my list. And I know that we'll get to his.
So, husband, thank you for getting me off the ground. And thank you for making this list seem as important as if it was your own.

Monday, November 7, 2011

#12 - master taking photos the way i picture them in my brain

Let me start off this post by saying that I'm a terrible, sorry excuse for a blogger. I get so caught up in reading other people's awesome, inspiring, creative blogs and instead of thinking "good idea for an update!", I think "shit. Well I can't top that"...but I've come to the realization that I'm totally okay with that, as long as I just use this to keep trying to cross my entire list off.
This post is an inspiration of sorts for me. Goal #12 on my 30before30 list was to master taking photos the way I picture them in my brain. I've never been able to pinpoint the kind or type of photography that I love doing. That's probably because I say I enjoy photography (a LOT), but I never go out of my way to make it a real hobby. One that I can say I've done several times in a month, or that I've practiced at to become perfect. So here are some links with photographs or photo projects that I've compiled for the last few weeks and are SO, so, so inspirational. They range from portraits of families (with badass, tattooed rockstar parents, or jewelry-maker-gone-interior-designer-moms, of course. Who else would I want to photograph??), to homes that are beautifully decorated, to children with some super intense, show-stopping gazes. 
Hopefully this will get me off my ass and get me in gear to reach this goal. Soon.

1. Families Project. I love the idea of candids of a family, as one of my goals is to take weekly pictures of my children (preferably with my husband as a regular in the photos, too). These are very simple photos, but they express a lot.

& Link to project: Here

2. Kimberly Coole. She is a freelance travel photographer. Which equals my dream. No big deal or anything. 
Link to project: Here

3. Philip Klinger. He takes amazing architecture photography, that's simple and not overly edited.

& Link to photostream: Here

4. Lonngren/Widell Photography. The portfolio consists of everything from portraits, to lifestyle, to still life, but I mostly love their Interior Design photography. How fun would it be to invade people's personal, private spaces and see what they keep in there?! 

& Link to gallery: Here

I'll try to do a weekly or bi-weekly roundup of inspiring photos for myself, stay tuned! 
PS. I actually got RAINED on during my run this morning!!! I never thought I'd see rain again, much less feel it. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

happy things

I'm copying fellow bloggers and making a happy list today, since I haven't posted in an entire week. Even though the bloggers that I'm copying from are ridiculously well known and keep their blogs updated daily, I'm still lumping myself in their same category, so what?

10 Things That Are Currently Making Me The Happiest Ale Ever
1. I finally got to put on a sweater this morning. I may be hot by 2:00, but I don't give a damn.
2. Being super duper smitten over my husband & talking about our 1 yr anniversary trip to New Orleans (& everything we're going to eat! & all the pictures I'm going to take!).
3. Food truck festival this weekend. I'm going to eat like a madman, then work out extra on Sunday!
4. Canceling my gym membership. This may not seem like a good thing, but I'm working out more than ever without it! This will force me to keep up my running training.
5. Being less than 2 months away from introducing Tucker to my favorite city to visit: Guadalajara.
6. Seeing picture updates of my niece & nephew. I just want to squeeze them all the time.
7. Getting Christmas present ideas! Not for me, but for others. I love, love, love buying presents. But even moreso, I love, love, love buying presents without lists so that people are surprised!
8. My Nescafe that I'm drinking right this instant. Don't judge: instant coffee (especially Mexican instant coffee) is where it's AT.
9. Lusting over a Michael Kors watch. This probably shouldn't be on my "happy" list, but when I eventually buy myself that damn watch, I WILL BE SO HAPPY.
10. Reaching my yoga goal on my 30before30 list. Since I posted the list, I've done yoga twice a week, which to me sounds pretty "regular". But I'm not counting it as achieved until I've done it for a couple of months. I'm getting close, I think!

Feel free to post YOUR happy list! It's fall, everyone has a reason to be happy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

this doesn't really count as an update

Unfortunately I don't have time for a real "update" right now, but I refuse to let a whole week go by without at least something on here. So I'll leave you with a few pictures from my "30before30" board on Pinterest. These are pictures that I've come across that all have to do with things I want to cross off my list. They're really motivational because most of them are really beautiful and make me jealous. That's always a good sign.

Oh, and if anyone can find me an outfit like this for Oliver, I'll be forever indebted to you.

Quick book update: I'm 68% done with book #1, Not That Kind of Girl...I'll finish it by Saturday and am still accepting recommendations on book #2! YOU DON'T HAVE MUCH TIME TO SUGGEST!

Monday, October 3, 2011

#12: read at least 2 books a month for one year

When I was a kid, probably up until I was about 20 actually, I read about 20 or so books a year. The last full book I read was in Spanish (and if we're being honest, I had read the book in English already so I could have possibly skimmed), and before that I read a book called Straight Up and Dirty. Yeah, that's right. This highschool newspaper editor (nerd) stooped low enough to read a memoir that might as well have been based off Sex & The City. Not one of my proudest literary moments. Hence, goal #12. I know it doesn't say that it has to be an "intellectual" book per se, but that's what I had in mind when I wrote it down on my list. I'm not saying it has to only include words I have to look up in every paragraph, but something that actually makes me think. This goal also came up because of my semi addiction to TV...I need to get the hell over that. I would much rather revert back to the Ale that could not name all of the Housewives (except the ones in New Jersey, I'll keep them....), so hopefully this goal will get me back there.
The book I started reading tonight is called Not That Kind of Girl, by Carlene Bauer - a memoir that follows a girl as she's growing up in evangelical churches, and finally decides to explore her religion and even create one that she can call her own. Intellectual enough, I suppose.
Suggestions for my next book (that I have to start in 2 weeks!) are more than welcome.
For now, I leave you with this:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Yozoe pt. 1

So....maybe our first at-home yoga class wasn't quite the success we were hoping for. But pretty soon, I'm going to be able to look juuust like the girl pictured above - I'm sure of it.
This Tuesday is Yozoe part 2, and we're determined to make it through the entire video without: 1) making fun of the instructor's fake smile, 2) getting creeped out by her inverted limbs, and 3) drinking a beer. I think those are some solid first steps.
Before Tucker and I went to Maui for our wedding, we worked out for about 4 months straight, 4 days a week (at least)...needless to say, I was in the best shape I had been in. And then, of course, we get back to Austin and all of the gym visits stopped. So I've been trying to get back in the game, somewhat successfully, but my eating habits have reverted back to when I was a 17 year old stoner for some reason. So in an effort to get back to feeling great, I've spent looots (too much) time looking up healthy recipes that don't sound terrible and boring and flavorless. My first attempt was smoothies...really healthy, GREEN smoothies. Green makes everything healthier, right? This whole health kick was nowhere to be found on my 30before30 list, but...oh well. I'm still posting it because this is all about re-reading it and motivating myself to actually make a change and not just talk about it. So, this will secretly be number 31 on my list. Note to self:

Monday, September 26, 2011


I guess that's what this whole blog is about in the first place, right?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

#21: start a regular yoga practice

I have officially started to work toward item number 21 on my list, "start a regular yoga practice"...well, I've kind of started. Today I visited Black Swan Yoga, a donation-based co-op that teaches daily yoga classes in downtown Austin. I went with my friend Lesley, who now knows about the blog, which means she is morally responsible for motivating me to reach this goal, because she got herself in to it. We may or may not have gone to the wrong kind of class for beginners (we did)...but we learned how to take really quick deep breaths & how to chant in unison! That's something, right?
We decided that maybe we should do our own at-home yoga classes together before venturing out in to the public yoga world again. But I feel good that we at least have a starting point. Tuesday nights will now be dedicated to yoga videos until we feel like we have all of the poses down and won't be immediately pinpointed as the newbs at a yoga class. Tuesday nights also means Rachel Zoe Project is on Bravo, what if we're defeating the whole purpose of clearing our minds of first world issues and meditation by watching the show after yoga? At least Lesley came up with the name "yozoe" for our Tuesdays, since we're combining the two. And everyone knows that coming up with a designated name validates everything. 
So, #21, you are far from conquered. But it's a start.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

First Things First

Let's begin with "the list", because that's where this whole blog came from. As I was reading through one of the many blogs that I stalk, sfgirlbybay, I came across several different blogger's Mighty Life Lists. It's a list of 100 or so things you want to accomplish in your life - same concept as a bucket list, but with a name makeover. On a slow day at work, I decided to start my Mighty Life List, but realized that most of the things on my list were pretty short term - how the hell do I know what will be on my life list in 20 years?! So I decided to customize my list a bit, and make a list of things I plan to accomplish between now and my 30th birthday. I plan to use this blog to update the steps I'm taking to make sure everything gets checked off. So this gives me a little less than 6 years to accomplish my "30 Before 30" goals....I think that's pretty doable.
I'll be crossing off items on my list as I accomplish them, so hopefully this will soon be a very crossed off list.


1. visit santorini, greece - 2. learn to speak portuguese (at least conversationally) - 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. host a super themey movie night - 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 a creative class of some sort - 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