Friday, April 27, 2012

summer necessities

Let me start off by saying that I realize it's only the end of April, and it's not technically summer yet. BUT, I'll also throw out the fact that I live in Texas which means that we've already had several summer weather days thrown in the mix, so give me a break. This really and truly has nothing to do with my 30before30 list, but I'm allowed to get off track every once in a while to focus on my list of summer necessities instead.
We've already had 90 degree days here, which leaves me slightly terrified when I think about the fact that we have to get through 2 more months before we reach the hottest days here in Austin. I'm predicting lots and lots of 105+ degree days.
So I've compiled a list of things I'm eyeballing for this summer, things that will make me happy about the 105 degree days instead of dreading them.

Bobbi Brown Beach Body Oil. It moisturizes you while giving you a sheen and making you smell delicious. You really can't go wrong with this stuff.

Cute, easy ways to keep my hair off my neck for those 100+ degree days.


The perfect maxi skirt to dress up or down.

Summer concerts.

source - me. Taken with Instagram.

Ideas for fun, hot backyard parties.

Surprise gifts from my husband! He got me the cute "for like ever" sign. And my feet looked summery with bright pink polish, turquoise sandals and white jeans. So why not, right?

Planning a visit to The Narrows, right here in TX. Why have I not been? 

super quick update on my reading list

So far, so good on goal #11 you guys!
I've added 2 more books to my 2012 reading list that I had written down several months ago and shoved in my desk drawer at work. Luckily I was doing a very necessary cleaning of that drawer today and came across my scribbled down titles: Blood, Bones & Butter and Bringing up Bebe. Have you guys heard about that second book around the blogosphere? Some might say it's controversial, but I think it makes perfect sense. It's basically about why women (and men) should raise babies the way French parents do. Where the parents dictate the in-and-outs of every day and dominate conversations and schedules instead of letting children do that. And sure, I realize that it's not only French men and women who raise their children this way. I was pretty much raised that way and I am in no way French. Either way, it sounds pretty interesting and I'm intrigued, so I'll let you all know how it is. Click the titles for more info, below are some of the covers for your viewing pleasure.

(Oh and I finished reading Unorthodox a few weeks ago and just hadn't updated the list yet. So I'm 5 books in and not in May yet, which means I'm ahead of schedule!)


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

motivated wednesdays: interior edition

Remember back in this post I mentioned that my dream job is to be an interior photographer/stylist? And remember how one of my goals is to decorate our "forever" home to reflect both my husband & I perfectly? Well I've come across lots of photographs lately that have made me yearn for that job and that next house more and more lately. So in my head, I pretend that instead of having a year (or probably a little more) to plan for that next house, I have like 2 months. And that's where this habit of hoarding photographs of interiors comes in.
So this Motivated Wednesday post is dedicated to just some of those photographs. There's much (much) more where these came from.

I'm always a fan of a room that lets in ridiculous amounts of light, like this one. I also love living rooms that have no TV in them. I will try really, really hard to be able to somehow hide our TV in our next home. Rooms just look so much more inviting and sociable without one, no?

I like both sides of this picture - the girly, romantic but laid back room on the left, and the unstructured wall art of the room on the right. I particularly like the room on the left because I think a semi-made bed is always the way to go. I love that the decorative pillows are there, but they're just thrown on there, and the comforter isn't pulled tight.

I surprisingly like the more masculine colors in this living room, because there is still a lot of light being let in, and touches of delicate branches that also lighten it up. Oh and PS. I'm dying for a grey couch.

Big contrast to the picture above, with the massive amount of white. LOVE it.

My pinterest board has lots of yellow & grey combos.
And again - the slightly made, yet unmade bed. Big fan.

It's all about the tiles here. Who needs a shower curtain, right?

SWOON. I mean, really. The colors in this room are perfect, and the simplicity of it too.

I think a white kitchen is the way to go. Especially if you have the chance to add a bright, cheerful pop of color to it. This would probably work best in something like a beach house, but I'm willing to have it in a forever home!

The perfect cozy, simple guest room.

Lastly, I'm aware I don't have a baby, but I absolutely love the idea of the painted ceiling in a nursery with more simple, muted walls.

Which of these rooms is your favorite?

Monday, April 23, 2012

#8 - participate in some sort of marathon or race - DONE

5k with obstacle courses has been completed!
 This past Saturday was the Diva Dash that I've mentioned before, and it was so much fun. Since this was my first ever organized run/race, I didn't really know what to expect at all. But we lucked out with great weather and the run itself was easy, along with the obstacles which I was nervous about leading up to the 5k.
Now that I know that I can easily complete a 5k, I'm bringin' out the big guns. I agreed to do a half marathon (while slightly intoxicated). I have lots of time to start training for it, because the marathon isn't until December...but I'm still super a little nervous. I wasn't intoxicated enough to agree to do a full marathon - I have no desire whatsoever to run for 26.2 miles. None. At all.
So I decided that I'd give myself an entire 6 months to train for this half marathon, even though normally only about 3 months are needed. Better safe than sorry, though!
Since I have an extra 3 months to train on top of what I really need, I'll probably try to push myself to be able to do a little over the 13.1 miles, maybe 16-19...because, why not, right?
The training schedule that I'll be following is based on a 10-week training period with me having every Sunday off (woohoo!) and running 4 days a week while also doing some cross training on "off" days. If you're interested in the training schedule, feel free to comment or email me and I'll send it over.

Have you ever run a marathon or half marathon? Do you have any desire to?

Here are some pictures from the Diva Dash this weekend...none of these are mine, so thanks to everyone else who took them!

This was our team, Victorious Secret, a few days before the race, at bib pick-up.

So even though I will cross this item off my list several times before I turn 30, I'm not going to hesitate crossing it off now. Here's an updated look at my 30before30 list:

visit santorini, greece with husband - learn to speak Portuguese fluently - go on a girl's weekend trip to a vineyard - own an original art piece - learn how to bake my own sourdough bread - give birth - start a movie night tradition with husband and kids - participate in some sort of marathon or race - plant a thriving vegetable garden - have/start a camping tradition with my husband and kids - read at least a book a month for one year - master taking photos the way i picture them in my brain - decorate our "forever home" to reflect both my husband & i perfectly - start a sunday night supper tradition - visit barcelona and madrid, spain - see radiohead live again - become crafty - ride in a hot air balloon - visit maui for 5 year wedding anniversary - start teaching my children how to speak spanish fluently - start a regular yoga practice - sleep in a tree house - see northern lights - volunteer at a soup kitchen on thanksgiving day - start taking a monthly photo of my children for at least 10 years - take a road trip (more than like 24 hours of driving!) - save to send my children to whatever college they want (if that's what they want) - learn to tango with my husband - take my own (professional looking) newborn photos of my children - surprise my husband with the best birthday gift ever (still don't know what that is....)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

motivated wednesday

I'm going to just stop lying to myself and others and pretend that Motivated Mondays will continue on through these 2 new hire classes I have going on at work. It just won't happen. So from now on, or at least through the summer, you'll be seeing Motivated Wednesday posts instead. It's just as good!
PS. Before I forget, the Diva Dash is this Saturday so I can at least promise one more post this week with pictures of that! Don't laugh if my face is super red, k? Thanks.

motivating me to accomplish #14: start a sunday night supper tradition

raspberry & white cherry yogurt pops...wouldn't these be the perfect treats to have at a dinner party in the middle of a texas summer?

or what about chocolate chip zucchini brownies?

OR...banana bread? but wait for it, it's not just any banana bread. it has chunks of chocolate in it...and bourbon. yes, that's right. i feel like that's very appropriate for a sunday night supper in which we'll be focused more on what kind of delicious cocktails are available, right?

motivating me to accomplish #17: become crafty

i love the idea of having a frame wall in our next house, and i think this would fit in perfectly! i'll be honest, i don't normally like anything having to do with the heart shape, at all. but these make sense! luckily, between the husband and i, we have several maps to put in here. maybe beaumont (where he's from), dallas (where i'm from), austin (where we met), hawaii (where we got married), greece (where we'll be going! it's #1 on my list, afterall) and probably vegas as that was our first trip together, and where we got engaged.

motivating me to accomplish #23: sleep in a tree house

why are there no cool treehouse hotels in the states? this seems highly unfair, but for now i'll be satisfied looking at this amazing, peaceful treehouse hotel in sweden.
can you even imagine staying here? i'd drink tea and coffee all day, reading books and taking pictures.

motivating me to accomplish #15: visit barcelona and madrid, spain.
this one ties directly in with #12: master taking photos the way i picture them in my brain. i've always thought of barcelona and madrid as places that i could perfect taking pictures because they're full of exactly what i love to photograph: amazing architecture, old mixed with new.

and motivating me to finish the whole list:

Friday, April 13, 2012

update on goal #11

Update! On goal #11 - read at least one book a month for a year.
I just finished reading Wild, by Cheryl Strayed. You guys. It was so good. I started it on Sunday and finished it last night (Thursday) because I couldn't put it down. I think the reason I love memoirs and/or autobiographies so much is because normally, the lives these people have led are so, SO different from mine and I'm unbelievably intrigued by that. And I'm always a little bit sad at the end of a book that I couldn't put down - I never really want it to be over. But I'm really excited to move on to the next book, because this is one of the funnest goals I have on my list! 
My bookshelf has always been a prized possession - 
from when I was a little kid and filled it with Bernstein Bear books, through high school when it was filled with Ray Bradbury and F. Scott Fitzgerald,  to living in my first apartment and filling it with Kerouac, to now...filling it with Palahniuk, more Kerouac, Murakami and as many memoirs as I can get my hands on.

(source is me - this is currently my bookshelf)

Here's what my list looks like so far (click the titles to link to descriptions):

I'm getting started on Unorthodox tomorrow and am pretty excited about that.
Still undecided on the last 3 books, but I got some good suggestions and will be deciding soon! Also, the list will most likely change, let's be honest. 

I'm happy that it's April 13th and I finished my book "for the month", so I'm not only on track, but I'm ahead! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Hi, I'm Ale and I'm the world's worst blogger. It has been a week and a half since my last post.
I'm telling you guys, this 1:00-10:00 shift at work really messes with me sometimes! The days that I DO work that shift, I get a ton of stuff done in the mornings (long runs, grocery store runs, ab workouts, taking care of the yard, reading), but I can't justify typing up a blog because I still feel rushed. So, here I am finally. This week I only worked until 10pm on Monday and Tuesday, so I have these next 3 days with a normal schedule, followed by the weekend. YEP. SO EXCITED.
Anyway, back to me sucking as a blogger.
I couldn't even label my post Motivated Wednesday because I've done that recently and it just makes me feel worse, so let's just go with a simple "motivation", yes?
The Diva Dash that I mentioned in a previous post is next Saturday...yay! And in preparation for the Dash, I've been running 3-4 times a week. Now, let me tell you a little bit about that. I'm an absolutely terrible runner. Terrible. My face resembles a very ripe tomato within minutes of starting my run, and I don't have good form. Lately, my calves have been sore every day, my ass is sore, my iPhone arm band is completely drenched on a regular basis and my pedicures don't last long. AND IT'S AWESOME. I feel really good, full of energy and honestly, pretty proud of myself for keeping it up.
So, let's celebrate me feeling awesome by looking at spring & summer clothes that are motivating me to keep up this thing called healthy living, yes?

There are few items of clothing that I love more than racerback tanks. I've got a bunch of them - they make your back look so pretty and I love a shirt that helps me show off my husband-dedicated tattoo that runs across my shoulders!

Springy dress + belted cardigan. Gimme.

Must. Find. More. Colored. Denim.
Also, must find out how to make it look cute when my shirt is slightly tucked in like that. I always look ridiculous.

I want this black top in my life. I also want the $198 that it would cost to buy this top.

There are some seriously nice legs needed to wear this little dress.

I want you guys to know that I couldn't even get myself to take a shower after my run because I was too tired to stand up in the shower. So I'm typing up this post in some nice, sweaty running gear with a bright red face, while still panting heavily and craving a huge bowl of pasta.
Enjoy that vision.

Monday, April 2, 2012

motivated monday: backyard edition

It's Monday! Not only is it Monday, but it's Monday, April 2nd. That probably doesn't mean much to most of you, but to me, that means that I start training a 1:00-10:00pm class at work. I've mentioned before that I really, really love my job and that I feel really lucky to have it. That being said!!! It's hard to work a 1:00-10:00 shift for 8 weeks at a time. SO, I'll be wanting to put together my Motivated Monday posts more than ever.
My awesome in-laws were here this weekend and as a belated birthday gift to my husband, they helped us fix up the backyard. In previous posts, I've mentioned that we've added a patio (with a partial awning/pergola), and we had bought our furniture for the patio several months ago. Now all we needed was an expert gardener (mother-in-law) to help our gardening-challenged selves going. The only pictures I have for right now are mostly of the patio itself. 
How is this motivating? Since these are pictures of something I've already gotten accomplished?
WELL, I'm glad you asked!

I'm determined to spend time out here. Here being the backyard, of course. I'm determined to host those Sunday night suppers in the backyard. I'm determined to water the grass as much as I'm supposed to! I'm determined to keep my OCD husband happy and sweep the stained concrete every now and then! I'm determined to make this our favorite place to hang out in our house.
So seeing these pictures literally right after it's all been done will hopefully help me do all of those things.
And it's also part of a goal on my list: #13 - decorate our "forever" home to reflect both my husband & I perfectly. We both think we've accomplished this with the backyard so far. 
(PS. Later, I'll post pictures of the new flower bed we have in the front yard thanks to my mother-in-law's help and guidance!)

Where is your favorite place to hang out in your house?