Friday, October 14, 2016

Halloween This or That

Time for a little Halloween post. Let's dig into the this or that.

1) Chocolate Candy or Fruity? I'm not a big chocolate fan...gasp..I know. So I tend to go for fuity
      candy. My absolute favorite candy is Sour Patch Kids extreme. I love sour candy!

2) Witches or Vampires? Definitely witches. Give me a good witch movie, costumes, TV, book, etc.
     Or even a bad one really.

3) Trick or Treat? Treat. I'm not big on surprises or tricks in general. Let me treat someone.

4) Hallowen Party or Scary Movie? Scary movie all the way. I love horror films and we've been
    doing the 31 Horror Films 31 Days this year and having a lot of fun exploring new old movies and
    watching some of our favorites.

5) Skeletons or Zombies? Skeletons. I'm not a big zombie fan.

6) Trick-or-Treat or Hand out Candy? I'm gonna have to go neither. I'm super shy and always              hated going around demanding candy from people, but I also don't want to be on the other end
     and interact with kids. I'm a super introvert, with anxiety and this whole aspect of Halloween is
     my nightmare.

7) Hay Ride or Corn Maze? Believe it or not, I've never seen a corn maze in real life. I have been
     on numerous hay rides though. But I'd really love to find a farm where they do corn mazes in the
     fall. It's been something I've always wanted to do, simple but true.

8) Scary Costume or Funny Costume? Since I find that most of the time "funny" costumes are
    usually offensive and culturally appropriative, I'm gonna go scary.

9) Pumpkin Seeds or Pumpkin Pie? BOTH. I LOVE pumpkin and I'll take it anyway I can make it!

10) Bottle feed a baby zombie or walk alone through a dark forest?  Baby Zombie definitely.
      Movies and TV have taught me that no good ever comes from being in a forest, so that's not
      gonna happen at all. Hand over that baby.

11) Bats or Black Cats?  I love Bats, but I am a cat person. So I have to go with Black Cat. But if I
      can sneak some Bats in as well, I will.

12) Pumpkin Spice or Hot Chocolate? How about some pumpkin spice hot chocolate????

13) Celebrate in neighborhood or at the mall? neighborhood definitely. We do our own thing at
       home and have fun!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Pumpkin Blondies

When my husband needed a dessert for a work lunch and the request was something pumpkin, I began to scour all the recipes I've found online. I finally settled on Pumpkin Blondies, which I traced back to Canadian Moms Cook (pumpkin brownies ). When I went to make it, I realized I didn't have any vanilla extract so I did tweak the recipe a bit and substituted pumpkin spice extract (which I did have on hand). I also used brown sugar instead of white sugar, just because I prefer it in fall baking. I made 2 batches of these to send with my husband to work and they were a hit!

Pumpkin Blondies 
prep: 10 minutes
cook time: 20-25 minutes
yield: about 16 blondies

1/2 Cup Butter, room temperature
1 Cup Sugar (I used brown, but you can use whatever you prefer)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 Cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla (I used pumpkin spice extract)
3/4 Cup all purpose flour

optional: I added a drizzle of agave syrup and I think some pecans would be a great addition as well.

1. Preheat over to 350 F. Grease 8x8 pan. 
2. Cream butter and sugar. I used a hand mixer, but if you have a stand mixer, that would be perfect. 
3. Add all other ingredients except flour and mix well. 
4. Stir in the flour at the end. 
5. Bake 20-25 minutes until edges are slightly brown and a toothpick comes out clean. 

Do you have any favorite fall recipes or treats? Let me know in the comments below. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Going to the movies

I have always loved going to the movies. Back when I was younger our town only had a number of two screen cinemas (back before multiplexes existed). Eventually we got a dollar theater that had 4 screens and brought in indie movies the other theaters wouldn't play. I developed a love for film from an early age. With the multiplexes came more screens, but also less variety. How could there be so many more screens, but less movies showing at any time?

As time went on and as I've aged, I've really loved visiting arthouse theaters or just other theaters in bigger cities. The Magnolia Theater in Dallas. The Alamo Drafthouse cinemas and the Violet Crown Cinema in Austin. Enjoying the shared experience of going to a movie is on of life's greatest joys and I relish every second I'm in a theater getting to slip away to somewhere else for a few hours.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Let me show you around

I live in a town that until a few years ago was only a place people stopped off to grab some food while traveling on I-35 between Dallas and Austin. Over the past few years, due to Baylor and the TV show Fixer Upper, Waco has grown into quite the tourist destination. I'm here to show you around, so that you don't have to come!

First up, McLane Stadium:

Next you might want some coffee: 

                                   This is Dichotomy (the best coffee in town) and also 
                                    Sergio's (the best taco truck in town)

While downtown, check out the lone part of our skyline, the Alico building:
This was built in 1910 for the Amicable Life Insurance Company and was one of the few buildings to fully survive the 1953 tornado that destroyed most of downtown. 

You may think you want to visit Chip and Joanna Gaines' Magnolia Market and Silos
and I'll tell you that it's really just overpriced homewares you could find in any local small town store or Anthropologie:

The only thing to truly go to the Silos for is the food trucks!

Next we have Common Grounds, the second best coffee in town and a place I've been going since I was in high school:

Growing up, I hated Waco and couldn't wait to leave. We did leave for a few years, but we're back and have actually grown to love our little city. 

*all photos by me

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

10 Things that Make me Excited

Well this is an ever evolving and changing list based on mood and time of year, but here we go with the current

10 Things That Make Me Excited: 

1. My trip to Schlitterbahn this weekend. We used to go every year when I was growing up and I haven't been in about 7 years and I'm so excited. 

2. Going to the gym. If you would have asked me anytime before about a year ago, I would have laughed in your face if you suggested the gym. But once I joined and got into a habit of going, I love it and actually look forward to it. 

3. Watermelon. My favorite summertime fruit and something I eat at least 10 of them (by myself) each summer. 

4. Going to the movies. I love going to the cinema, especially when it's out of town at a specialty cinema and not our multiplexes that show the same crap all the time. I love art house theaters and seeing indie and foreign films. 

Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar in Austin -- FAVE

5. Richard Linklater movies. He's probably my favorite filmmaker and I could rewatch his movies and have millions of times.

6. Peppermint Tea. Besides water, probably my favorite drink on earth. I used to be a coffee addict but then made the choice to give it up last year due to it making my anxiety worse. I used to drink tea sometimes, but now it's a regular deal. 

7. modern art museums. My favorite right now is the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth. In addition to the building/ surroundings being absolutely gorgeous
   They have an amazing permanent collection and incredible galleries that are always changing. Best part is, they are free every Sunday. 

8. Books! I am a voracious reader and have been since I was a little girl. I am always in the middle of at least 3 books at any given time. Pretty sure my all time favorite authors are Neil Gaiman and Douglas Adams.

9. Farmer's Markets. We have what has become a really lovely downtown farmers market. I LOVE it. Fresh from the farm produce is just so much better than the stuff you can buy at the store. 

10. One Direction. I know, I know. I'm a 34 year old married woman, BUT I've been following them since they were on X factor. I actually really love their music and they're all like my little british and irish sons I've never met. Undoubtedly one of my top 3 favorite musical acts and guaranteed to put a smile on my face no matter what kind of mood I'm in. 

What's one thing that you're most excited about right now? Share in the comments!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

My favorite Smoothie

I always wanted to make smoothies at home, but never did. The past 6 months or so I've really gotten into it and have a smoothie everyday for breakfast.
However, my absolute favorite smoothie I've come up with is a snack smoothie I sometimes makes in between lunch and dinner when I'm feeling peckish.

Cinnamon Almond Butter Smoothie:

some crushed ice
2 bananas
2 scoops of almond butter (or peanut butter if you prefer) I use the chunky kind
a shake of turmeric
2 teaspoons of chia seeds
as much frozen mango as fills up the cup
a good healthy portion of ground cinnamon
almond milk

I just toss all of it into my blender cup up to the top and blend until smooth.

This smoothie is really filling and I like that it's not super sweet, but the mango gives you a little sweetness and you get the good spiciness of the cinnamon. I usually make this for myself every few days when I'm craving a snack. I finally gave up the ice cream, cookies, etc a few months ago and have tried to start eating healthier snacks and meals instead. I instantly started feeling better over all.

Let me know if you try this or let me know what your favorite smoothie to make is(I'm always looking for new suggestions!)

Happy Blending!

actual photo of me with my smoothie

Monday, June 27, 2016

Lularoe: my newest clothing obsession

I hadn't ever heard of Lularoe until March of this year. I saw someone mention it on instagram with a link to their friend's shop on facebook. I went and was thinking: "oh this is one of those junky shop from home things. The clothes are probably cheap overpriced trash." Nevertheless, I joined the facebook group and looked around. I saw that the leggings were the place to be. Ended up joining a few other groups and decided to give a pair of black leggings a chance.
  I got the leggings in and...wasn't impressed. Sure they were soft, but they were thin and cost $25. I can get $5 leggings from forever 21, what do I need these for? Then I wore them a few times and oh boy did my opinion change. I fell in love.
Cut to today-the end of June- and I have 7 pairs of leggings and 6 shirts. I am officially obsessed.

If you didn't know, Lularoe is a company where consultants sell the clothes through at home shops, facebook groups or periscope parties. They have leggings, skirts, dresses, tops and even cardigans/cover ups. There are constantly new patterns coming out and only a small amount of items are made in each pattern. So far, I've not tried the dresses or cardigans. The leggings are so comfortable though. They are buttery soft and so much fun.

Pig, whale, and gemstone leggings

My favorite shirt is the perfect tee. It really is perfect.

It has side slits and a flowy bottom and is just so comfortable and flattering. 

I was so skeptical at first, but the clothes are really so much fun and so flattering on all body shapes. I suggest searching groups on facebook and join and get ready for your next obsession.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

June is when the sunflowers in our flower garden start to bloom. That's when I know that summer is really here. When I can look out my front door and see all the sunflowers growing taller and opening up to the heat.
Our flower garden is right outside our front door, going all the way along the path from our driveway to the door. I love when they grow tall and basically hide our door from the street. It's like a secret path hidden away by green and yellow and it makes me smile so much.
We usually plant a bunch of other flowers at lower levels and in other parts of our yard, so we've always got something new, but we love these sunflowers coming back year after year. Announcing the start of summer, opening themselves up to the sun even as I want to close myself off from it.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Floral Photography

Our front garden is starting to bloom, so I thought I'd share some photos I took of it last week. We've got a little of everything in there.

And a photo of one of our friendly strays we feed named Meow Meow. He looks a little worse for wear because he's been feeling the need to defend our yard from some other neighborhood cats. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Getting Out, Body Acceptance and that summer feeling

The sun is shining, we have heat advisories and you start to sweat just walking from the house to your car. Summer is definitely here. Even though it is hot and everything is crowded, Summer is a great time to do some reflection and with that in mind....Here are 10 things I'd like to accomplish this Summer.

1- Learn to accept/love my body more. Look, I'm fat. I know that. There's no getting around it, but I've spent too many years letting my insecurities and worries about what other people might say about me keep me covered up. I live in Texas. It is rare that we ever dip below 90 and common to be above 100 most days in the summer. I've forsaken comfort to keep myself hidden away in cardigans and long pants in this heat for too long. Which leads me to

2- Step outside my comfort zone. Wear sleeveless shirts more. Buy some shorts. Let myself be a bit more comfortable and learn to ignore all those insecurities to at least not keep so covered up I give myself heat stroke.

3- go to the pool more. Go to the waterpark. Get in that water and get out of that heat.

4- Keep going to the gym. Go more. Work up to longer time/higher incline on the treadmill. 

5- Stop eating out so much. Cut it down to once or twice a month instead of 2 or 3 times a week. 

6- Eat healthier in general. Instead of ice cream or cookies or cake, have fruit for snack. Or nuts. 

7- Look for a job. All of my previous work has ended and I really need to kick it into high gear, beat my anxiety that's been keeping me from working and get back into it. 

8- Explore. Texas is such a gorgeous state and I really want to get out there and see more of it. There are so many cool cities and towns and areas to visit so close by. I just need to get out there and see it. 

9- Have fun!!! Whatever I'm doing I want to have fun. I have such a tendency (well mostly due to my pessimistic attitude and anxiety) to over analyze things and not actually enjoy the moment. I need to work on just enjoying what I'm doing instead of worrying about everything else. 

10- Keep Cool. Like I mentioned, it gets hot here. It's already hot, so have fun. Keep hydrated and keep COOL!