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April 20, 2014

2014.Wk16: Easter Weekend


This week wore me out.  On Friday we got a half-day (and doughnuts) for Good Friday.  All I could think about was leaving work and going home and taking a nap.  I fantasized about it all morning.  I was going to set the air conditioner at the perfect temperature (68 degrees) and snuggle down in bed and sleep and sleep and sleep...
 
I went home and immediately crawled into bed, I closed my eyes and...couldn't fall asleep.  I watched TV for awhile, didn't fall asleep.  I turned everything off and counted to 500 in my head (a tried and true method I use when I can't get my brain to turn off).  Still couldn't fall asleep.  So annoying.  I finally called it a loss and got up and started doing laundry. 

Highlight of the Week:

 
On Saturday night we went to Strauss Square to watch The Old 97's.  I had never heard of this group before, but some of our friend's were big fans, so we tagged along.  They put on a great show!   I have to say though, the venue made the evening.  The weather was a perfect 80 degrees, and the pavilion lets you bring in your own drinks.  It was so fun to sit out under the stars and enjoy live music.  I can't wait to go back!
 
 
Lowlight of the Week:  On Saturday I wanted to go to this outlet mall outside of Dallas, but I went a back way and ended up getting so lost I practically drove to Oklahoma.  I am not kidding.  I was basically in the woods.  I took a picture to prove it:

 
I finally made it to my destination, but it took about an hour longer then expected.  So annoying.  Luckily I engaged in some serious retail therapy to make myself feel better.
 
Currently Watching: I somehow was convinced to watch Anchorman 2.  It was mildly humorous, but dumb comedies are rarely my cup of tea.
 
I am, however, very excited to watch television next Sunday for the season finale of the OWN Network's docu-series "Lindsey", which I have been captivated by.  What clothes will Lindsey Lohan unpack this week? Who will she yell at and ultimately fire? What will she be late for and conveniently blame on somebody else?  That girl is a train wreck and I am captivated.
 
Speaking of trainwrecks!  I just watched the Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion show.  The promos for the big altercation between Porsha and Kenya had me so confused/intrigued.  After watching it, I am definitely Team Porsha.  You can put a bullhorn in someone's face and not expect someone to snap.  I don't know what Bravo was thinking letting Kenya go on like that (ratings?).  Ultimately though, the fight was weaksauce.  I am shocked a warrant was issued at all (but dang can that girl rock on a mugshot).  Whatever prosecutor agreed to take that case must be bored out of their minds, because there are surely are more important things to be dealing with in Atlanta then a two second cat fight on cable TV network. 
 
Quote of the Week:  This quote has been going around Pinterest and I love it. 



So true, right?

April 13, 2014

2014.Wk15: A Fresh Start

 
My first week of my new job came and went, and overall it went really well.  I definitely underestimated the fear and overwhelming nature of starting something new, but I think I can manage it, and I actually find the new challenges really exciting.  But the best part of my new job is that my commute has gone from 2 hours a day to about 40 minutes a day, and its kind of crazy how much it has affected my life.  I used to get home at 7, 7:30 and now I get home at 6:00 thanks to an earlier start time.  Dan and I took the dogs for a walk when the sun was still out, and I knew I made the right decision. 
 
Currently Watching:  We watched the Wolf of Wall Street this weekend, and after giving it a lot of thought, I didn't like it.  Generally when I don't like a movie its because its boring or the subject mater wasn't interesting, but Wolf of Wall Street was certainly compelling and the story was entertaining.  It had its moments where I laughed (the scene where he takes too many ludes being one of them), but overall I found the movie to be so derogatory toward woman.  Not to get on a feminist soap box, but I am so sick of the absolute degradation of woman in film being justified as some form of artistic expression.  While I get that DiCapro's character was supposed to be obsessed with excess, the movie probably could have been about an hour shorter if they cut out 80% of the gratuitous sex scenes.  It was just too much, and maybe I am getting old, but we have got to get better roles for woman in film. Unless you break through as a major headlining actress, the only supporting roles available to woman are strippers and trophy wives.  Its depressing.
 
PSA: Apparently this week was National Sibling Appreciation Day, and while I generally don't partake in these (fake) holidays, it gave me the opportunity to share one of my favorite photos of my siblings:
 
 
This photo was taken in December 2004, a week or so before I left for London and we were hit with a major snowstorm.  It was taken in the front yard of our childhood home.  Kevin is now taller then both me and Ryan, and my parents sold the house.  So much as changed in 10 years, but my brothers are still as cool as ever (but Kevin still puts bunny ears on Ryan in pictures, some things will never change). 
 
Quote of the Week:
 

April 7, 2014

2014.Wk13-14: Adjustments

 
These last two weeks have been a challenge, for a multitude of reasons.  By Friday night I was fried.  Dan was out of town and I decided to try and have a little spa evening.  It was pretty much a comical disaster. 
 
First, I tried this Boscia Luminizing Black Mask that I got for free from Sephora.  This mask is intense ya'll.  You put it on in a thick slab and let it dry.  Then, I peeled it off my face and it felt like six layers of skin went with it. I have the proof:


(Dan thinks its embarrassing that I posted this video, but you know I love a good bathrobe.)
 
This mask didn't work so well for me.  Not only did it make my face super red, it caused some seriously teenage acne on the side of my face. Probably not going to be using it again. 
 
I then ran a bath in our bathtub for the first time.  I am a bath enthusiast, but we use our pool and spa so much I have not needed it.  I have a lot of issues with our master bath tub.  First, its gigantic, so it took forever to fill up.  Second it is way too long and shallow.  I stayed in for about five minutes and promptly added "get a new bathtub" to our house wish list. 
 
I also decided to try a new nail polish color.  I have always thought blue nail polish was really ugly, but the powers that be say its "in" this spring.  I am not one to argue with these powers, as I used to be a big hater of black nail polish and now its one of my winter staples.  I tried Essie Parka Perfect and I don't hate it.  It is growing on me, but I am still not comfortable enough with blue to wear it to work.
 
Big News: I recently got an offer at another law firm and decided to take it, but the decision as really hard.  The people I worked with at my last job were incredible, and I am going to miss the team very much.  I talked to a lot of people before making the decision, and everybody urged me to take it.  That being said, it was a hard week wrapping up my cases and saying goodbye to my coworkers.  I had been with the firm for the last three years, and it was my first "real world job".  Bittersweet, for sure. 
 
Highlight of the Week: 



The Perot Museum has been open for some time now, but I haven't had the chance to go. On Saturday it was pouring rain, and it was the perfect time to check it out  with my friend and her cute little toddler.  Its a really great museum with a lot to do and see, including racing a dinosaur, interactive sports exhibits, watching a tornado form, flying in an interactive bird center, etc.  I hear they have adult nights that I am going to need to sign up for, because you kind of feel like I jerk doing the interactive exhibits when there is a line full of really excited kids. 
 
 
Lowlight: My best friend went into labor at 27 weeks. Thankfully the baby is doing great, but so scary nonetheless. Lots of tears.  She wont be able to wear clothes for a couple of weeks, but I want to send some premie stuff when she can.  Does anybody have any good websites/vendors for itty bitty baby clothes?
 

Currently Watching:  We finally watched The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.  Just as everybody said, it was excellent.  I am always impressed by Jennifer Lawrence's versatility as an actress.  That being said, I heard they are doing Mockingjay in two parts, which is just so stupid.  First, its the worst book in the trilogy. Second, there is not enough substance for it to carry two movies. Catching Fire might be the last movie for me.  We will see. 

Quote of the Week: 


April 3, 2014

How To Start a Book Club


I am blessed to be a part of an epically great book club. Our first meeting was on November 13, 2009. We read Little Bee by Chris Cleave and basically all hated the book. Despite the bad first choice, our book club is still going strong 4.5 years after our first meeting.  I think it has a lot to do with the following structure.

How to Get Members: In 2009, my friend and I had recently moved to Dallas and decided we wanted to start a book club to meet new people. We each knew one other person in all of Dallas, and we each invited that other person.  Voila! Our book club was born.

Our book club is completely comprised of friends inviting friends.  Some people have moved away, but we have a pretty core group that ebbs and flows from 5-8 people. I would say this is the ideal number. It is still intimate enough for everybody to really get to know each other and talk, but it is big enough so that if one or two people can't make it, we don't have to cancel.

Where: We rotate "hosting" the book club. The "host" of that month is required to: (1) pick the book; (2) email everybody the name of the book (3) pick the location for the meeting and (4) send out a reminder of the book being picked.

We let the host pick where the book club meets. For awhile, we met at people's homes. But over time, we have evolved into meeting at restaurants and coffee shops around Dallas. This has been great because we have been able to try new places together and explore other neighborhoods. Also, it takes some of the pressure off hosting.  

When: I am a firm believer that the best time for any social club is Sunday afternoon. Every book club who has ever tried to host during the week or on a Saturday falls apart. Monday through Saturday is way too unpredictable for people. Sundays are always quiet for pretty much everybody. We always have ours at 3 p.m. This leaves people time to go to church in the morning and is a socially acceptable time of day in which to indulge in a cocktail. Additionally, 3 p.m. on a Sunday is a pretty quiet hour for most restaurants, and we are always able to get a table big enough to accommodate our group. 

With regard to the date, at the end of book club we all whip out our calendars the next month and try to pick a Sunday that works for the most people. Rarely are we able to find something that works for everybody. We are not sticklers about doing it every month, sometimes we go 5-6 weeks out to find a date that works for everybody.

Keep A Record:  At every book club we do two things.  First, we each rate the book from one to ten and someone keeps track of how everybody scored each book.  Also, we take a picture.  This ritual dates back to the very first book club, and its crazy to see all the babies and haircuts we have had in a five short years!

How to Pick Books: Picking the book is always the hardest, because nobody wants to pick a dud.  That being said, do not stress over it.  Some of our best book clubs have been discussing how much we HATED the book. 

Here's the thing, the joy of a book club is reading books you might not otherwise read.  So we all keep a pretty open mind to books, but try not to pick books that are too out there.   Here are some basic rules we have discovered through trial and error.  First, don't pick really long books because people can't finish them in time.  Try to keep your choice under 300 pages.  Second, the books people have previewed first always turn out the best, i.e., the person hosting already read the book and liked it. Third, we all try to read the books but we don't stress about it.  If you have a month where you couldn't finish the book or even just didn't like it, its not big deal and nobody takes offense. 

March 27, 2014

2014.Wk12: March Madness

 
This week was March Madness, which means I looked extra busy with my laptop propped up by desktop, catching all the games. And what madness it was! It was so fun to watch all the upsets. I love me a good upset. Unfortunately, my bracket took quite a beating and I have basically given up on winning any pools. Someday. 


Gonzaga beat OK State in the first round, which I was quite happy about since they are a great team. This year was a bit rocky for the Zags (at least when compared to last year's #1 season), so I knew the game against Arizona was going to be tough. It turned out to be tough to watch too, and I turned it off before the first half and checked in every now and then to watch us turn over the ball. Hate to see a season end like that, but there is always next year.

Things I Bought and Loved:

 
 
 
Photos of the Week:


One of my favorite things about our "new" house is that we can walk to a decent number of locations to pick up dinner. Chipotle is a constant for us, and I like to take Kadira along for the walk. She cannot handle being away from Dan for more then two seconds, so whenever he is inside ordering she just sits and stares with a level of focus I wish I could harness into my daily life.



Love this bug.


I have been working on crocheting a blanket for my new niece for like...oh....nine months? I did about 1/5 of it until two weeks before she was born and then had to crochet like crazy to finish it. Sadly, did not have it done in time for her birthday, but once I got it done it did provide a good excuse for us to stop by and hang out with this sweet little girl. How cute is she?  

Stay Tuned:  Remember that secret resolution I talked about?  I finally completed it.  Not sure when I will be ready to share, but I'll divulge the details soon.  (Once again, this is not a pregnancy thing.  I am seriously drinking the biggest glass of wine right now. Promise.)

Quote of the Week:
 

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