Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The last Tuesday of January

I do a lot of communication for work. And I have always sucked at headlines. So just go with my horrible blog post title.

But seriously though. Last Tuesday in January. WHAT? 2015 is HAPPENING, people. I feel like I just said haaaaaay to 2014. Anyhoo...whatever. 

And with my least favorite month February around the corner, I am trying to wear all the cute winter/spring clothes before it's 90 degrees in April before we've even blinked. B/c here's my new plan. All the cute fashion bloggers are blogging about winter clothes while I'm still wearing sleevless dresses in Oklahoma. So I'm channeling their cute November/December styles now. B/c I can. And in February, I will commence with wearing my lightweight spring sweaters that quickly become too heavy for actual "spring" in Oklahoma but are definitely too light for winter. I'm making my own seasons for fashion. I do what I want. And I don't work in Manhattan. I work in a small town in OK. No one cares. 

Moving on...

I have been wanting one of these cute clutches from Gigi NY for awhile. I loved it already but when I saw it had a monogramming option, I was hooked. But they're sort of expensive, right? Especially for a clutch! I mean...it's a big clutch and is leather, but still. Well...I found a great deal on The Knot's wedding shop for these clutches for a new year's sale. The sale is off now, but the listed price is still considerably lower than the store's website AND offers free monogramming, which is not offered from the Gigi site. AND my bag arrived from the actual store...which was cool. I'm sure they have an arrangement with the Knot to sell a certain amount. Fine with me! :) And watch for sales. Maybe they'll have another. 

Here is a photo for actual scale...

What else? Well I got sick before Christmas. Lame. But then I got better- Yay! BUT...then Eric got sick with a cold...and I caught it last weekend. Hell. I had Friday off and had to get an oil change b/c I am only in town during normal business hours on that every other Friday I have off and was WAY overdue for an oil change. Cold or no cold, I was going to the dealership. People moved away from me b/c they thought I had some infectious disease or was upset at the TV b/c my eyes kept watering and I kept blowing my nose. I took a selfie and I look like my boyfriend just broke up with me....or like I'm high. Either way, people didn't want to be my friend at the car dealership (not a bad thing). 

Other than that, our Christmas tree is still up, oil prices are still down (I work for oil & gas), and good TV isn't back for 2015 yet. EXCEPT.. Do you watch Marvel: Agents of Shield? With the sickness infecting our household, we watched season 1 on Netflix and are now fully caught up with the current season (season 2). In a week, friends. I'm a winner. But it is really good! I'm excited for it to come back in March! I love all the XMen, Wolverine, etc. stuff and if you to, too, you'll like it. :) 

So yeah...that's all I've got. Oh and this. I want this. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday Musings

It's Monday. My husband is home today for MLK Day. We're not closed so I may or may not be using my lunch to blog since I'm eating at my desk. Whatever. 

It's 60 degrees here today! Wahoo! It's been so cold in the past few weeks that I've been taking a tunnel from my building to the building next door with the cafe and coffee shop. Seriously people.. It's only like a 50 feet walk outside but I've been going down escalators, taking a tunnel and then going up escalators in the next building. I am loving this 60 degree business. 

So what's new? Not much. 

I got my her did... This is a bit of a story. I wanted to go sombre towards my roots (subtle ombre... whatever) in early fall...around the same time my stylist was going on maternity leave. You should always make changes to hair when your stylist is going to be out. (Sarcasm font needed). Anyway, I had it touched up in the interim, but it just still looked "rootish." (I make up words on my blog). I was so frustrated b/c I felt like I was paying a lot to look like I had roots. (#firstworldproblems). Anyway, she's back and my hair is fixed! Darker roots, lighter hair and blended better! Hooray! It's the little things in life, right? 

Top two are before. Bottom two are after. 

Eric and I saw Garth Brooks! If you are anywhere near Tulsa, your Facebook feed has likely blown up with pics from one of his seven concerts here, but so cool that he did so many shows to make sure his hometown fans got to see him! I really don't think I've met a ton of people who are FROM Oklahoma that don't dig at least some of Garth's music... Even if you don't like country music, he's an icon. 

Loved it when he sang The River and the whole BOK Center lit up with cell phones... So cool). 

Our ladies Fantasy Football Team (Sacks and the City) had our awards brunch. We even have a trophy to be passed on...I have to admit I used to make fun of Eric with his fantasy football stuff... but it's pretty awesome. I learned a lot and I think we all got pretty competitive! ha! 

And since it's MLK Day, I wanted to share one of his quotes... I love this so much for so many reasons. 
I actually just spent last weekend in Dallas at the first ever board meeting of a group I've joined that hopes to better regulate dog breeders- specifically breeders who have several litters per year and/or breed in a commercial (large scale) way. Regulations would only help the good breeders by differentiating them with positive attention...and they would hurt the large scale horrible breeders. So it really does make sense. Honestly, I'm not sure if this is the group where I will devote the entirety of my time. I think we're all still figuring out mission and vision, but it's an amazing group of people that I'm sure will do great things. I just feel like I have to do SOMETHING and you can't find out where you'll land if you never start looking, ya know. 

It hurts my heart when I see posts about people receiving their new puppies from the airport... or picking them up at a truck stop or Wal-Mart parking lot. Maybe it's fine. But... the odds are against it being fine. And that's not me being crappy. It's just true. A great breeder wants to meet you, wants you to see the puppies' parents, wants you to see where they are raised...and not just in photos they email you. A great breeder doesn't typically ship puppies site unseen or have a "receiving room" where the puppies are held but the parents are "unable to be viewed right now." I'm not a martyr. I didn't know any of those things. But now I do. And I can't UNknow it. And it makes me almost cry when I see someone paying those people thousands of dollars for the puppy while the puppy's parents sit in a wire crate suffering, likely never to feel grass on their paws. And on top of that, the odds of that puppy having something wrong are high, thus costing the new owners lots of heartache and expense. It just saddens me all the way around. 

As a little (hopefully helpful) PSA....just because these are things I would have liked to know before I adopted my first pup. If you are interested in getting a full breed dog and choose not to rescue, some things you can do:
* Check the breed club's website for recommended breeders. And I don't mean the AKC. I mean the dog breed's website. The AKC only collects fees for licensing. They do NOT inspect breeder facilities.
* Do a google street view/aerial view of the place you're looking to adopt. Does it look like a farm? Farms are okay, buuuuuuut maybe consider increasing your scrutiny if it looks like some sort of farm. Does it look like there are kennels outside or in the back? Just be careful... 
* Ask the right questions. Check out some that the Cavalier Club's site recommends asking here

That was a rant I didn't intend, but really.. we've got to hit these bad breeders where it hurts- their pocketbooks.

Anyhoo, I hope you're having a good Monday in blogland, friends! :) 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Virgin Gorda Recap

Let's not talk about the fact that I haven't even recapped the entirety of our wedding or honeymoon from 2013. (Oops). Instead and in an effort to keep blogging more (and b/c the wedding and honeymoon posts seem so daunting since there's so much detail I'd want to cover), I'll recap Virgin Gorda from our trip in early November 2014. 

Some of what I really love about blogging is that it sort of lets me keep a little journal of things in the moment (or two+ months from the moment in this case...whatever). So in the spirit of giving myself something to look back on and escaping from these ridiculously frigid temps we've got going on, here's our Virgin Gorda adventure from 2014! :)

Why VG? 
We wanted to book a trip for our year wedding anniversary but we didn't know where we wanted to go. It had been a long year... long. Eric's work was insane, I'd changed jobs and while I love my new job, that sort of thing is an adjustment, right? And then we bought a house...after seeing 100+ homes and losing several in the bidding process. All of these are first world problems, but while it was a good and exciting year, it has also felt quite long. We wanted to get away but for the first time in our history of being together, we wanted it to be somewhere TOTALLY chill. We're usually "Let's go see and do and explore!" I mean, we love us some beach time- don't get me wrong. But we also love to experience culture, be pretty active, etc. on trips. A good mix is best. But this time? We really wanted to focus on getting sand on our bums and running the batteries down on our kindles. We wanted SOME activity and the ability to eat and explore locally without feeling unsafe, etc, but the predominant feature was relaxation and checking out from reality for a week. 

We looked a ton of places and ultimately realized it was pretty easy to get to the British Virgin Islands and it also allowed us to really get away. The same cost and distance could have gotten us some other places, but none really gave us the "away from it all" we wanted with that proximity. I mean really... it's a quick flight from Atlanta to St. Thomas and then an hour ferry to Virgin Gorda (or most other islands in the vicinity). Easy peasy. Tulsa is sort of the hard part since we're so landlocked and major flights don't leave from here.. 

We saw that VG gave us exactly what we wanted... It's not overly developed so has lots of local flair and natural beauty. It's safe and people are friendly. It allowed us to explore a little but also to plant our bums on the beach. And our hotel was in a sort of hard to access location on the island, had no tvs in the rooms and had spotty wifi. Heck.yes. 

And now for the photos: 

Someone saw our photos on facebook and was like "Was anyone else there?!" ha! Honestly...there weren't a ton of people...which was GLORIOUS! Plus, we went in late October/early November so hurricane season had just ended and places were re-opening. We scored some great deals that way...and had a lot of places to ourselves. 

Our first day (we arrived the night before really late), it rained a lot. But...well... a rainy day in VG is better than a sunny day at the office. And our view from breakfast (and every meal we had at the hotel) didn't really matter that it was raining. Gorgeous. 

It cleared and we wanted to see the beach, so we took our hotel-provided beach cruisers (adorable, right) and rode down to the beach! The property is large, but they actually only have 31 suites. We could have easily taken a stroll to the beach, but what fun is that when you have bikes?! :) 

This was actually not the first day, but we didn't get a ton of bike photos so I'm using it to describe the first day anyway)
We got to the beach and realized we were the only ones on it! ha! I tried to make an arrow pointing to Eric, but I sort of failed miserably. Squint and you can see him in the center. We later realized we really were some of the few guests on property at the time. It definitely filled up more as the week progressed and the season started getting rolling again after being closed for hurricane season, but pretty awesome to have a nice beach to ourselves! And even when the place is at capacity, something tells me it's not ever crowded with only 31 suites. Oh... I should probably mention where we stayed...We were at Biras Creek. :)

Hotel beach from the other angle...far end of the photo above.

Since Biras is tucked away in the North Sound, it has views of the Atlantic and the Caribbean which was really cool. But...since they were so tucked away, they were only accessible by boat...so they provided fun little beach whalers for a few hours each day to guests who wanted to explore a little. We obviously took them up on that one day...

We anchored down on a gorgeous beach nearby and took some self timed pics before snorkeling and seeing tons of beautiful fish!On that note, we saw so many cool things snorkeling... We even caught a lobster on one adventure in an organized trip from the hotel. Okay okay...our guide caught the lobster but we were there. That counts. (November was lobster season so it was legal). Anyway...I digress... 

Eric and his trusty GoPro. You actually see it above in the boat photo, too. He took SO much video and some cool images. We actually haven't even gone through them all yet. But I had to post this b/c seriously.. That thing was in his hand the whole trip...haha!

That said, I am really thankful we had the GoPro b/c it let us get some really cool shots of fish, underwater stuff, boating and snorkeling...like this one! Yes it is highly edited with a filter b/c the actual image washed us out a lot with the sun backlighting us so much. But it's still cool, right? :)
I look like I'm trying to communicate very seriously with my hands...haha...
We actually did take a break from beaching to go on an "easy" hike near our hotel. There are several hikes and we opted for one labeled easy. Okay... we're from Oklahoma. It is FLAT in Oklahoma. So...while this wasn't a death-defying hike by any means, it was pretty darn vertical and the opposite of easy...haha.. But we really loved it and are glad we did it b/c hello amazing views! It was just funny that our expectations for "easy" were much different than the locals.

A pic of our typical perch... Didn't stink.

A vacation must include pina coladas for me. Seriously. Not even being sarcastic. Give me all the pina coladas.

Before dinner, we wanted a pic before the sun went down... But as I mentioned before, the resort was on the empty side of things part of the week...haha.. Enter the self timer again. I think we did alright... This was also before I dropped pasta on my brand new blue silk dress and almost ruined it. I really should post photos of things like that too...

One of the things I REALLY wanted to do was visit The Baths. The pictures from it...wow. I just had to see it. Someone at our hotel told us to go early before any tour groups visited since it's a major attraction in VG. Anyway... it was well worth the visit and the short little cave hike to get there. Gorgeous naturally made caves/pools from massive boulders...
I should mention that to get to the Baths, we had to get to the mainland from our hotel. Biras has a great ferry that runs all day long to get folks to and from the main area of Virgin Gorda in about 5-10 minutes. And then they even set up a car for us once we'd arrived so we could go explore on our own that day.

After the Baths, we headed to a gorgeous beach called Savannah Bay. I relaxed and read my Jack Reacher books (Seriously, I have sort of become addicted to Jack Reacher series) and Eric tried to get cool shots of the waves with the GoPro. I'd say he succeeded... This is pretty darn awesome, I think. (I just had to steal it from his instagram b/c I didn't have a version I could access to add on my computer since the GoPro stuff is on his..so it looks weird.) I'll have to come back and add more of his cool wave pics when we get them all sorted out.

 Sunrise from our little beach condo. Another Eric photo. I take selfies and random photos. He takes professional looking ones...haha.. Eh well. It's a good mix.

And, after a week, we said goodbye to fabulous VG. :( But to keep things interesting, we booked a plane to get us to St. Thomas for our flight home instead of taking the ferry again. Storms were bad and the ferry is hard when it's raining b/c you're in the lower area with like no air. So...a little plane seemed better. Little did we know it was storming so bad that the ferries were all cancelled anyway...and the plane... had no visibility all the way to St. Thomas. Soooooo...yeah. I am not remotely scared of flying and that flight...I think it took a day or two off my life...hah... Thankful for a good pilot and guardian angels...

Anyway, it was a truly fantastic trip, much needed getaway and great celebration of one year of marriage! :) We tried to compare it to our previous trips and it's so hard to compare trips or locations. They're all so very different and we've been in such different places when we've visited, ya know. Like this one, we wanted total r&r whereas others, we wanted adventure... So just hard to compare. 

If you're curious about VG, feel free to shoot me an email and I'll try to answer questions!

This was a really long post. I'm likely the only one reading this entire post...b/c well... it's fun for me to revisit...haha... So yeah... forgive my novel and if you stuck with me, I owe you a pina colada. 

Stay warm and dream of the Caribbean... I know that's what I'll be doing... ;)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Resos.

A little late but here for resolutioning! Also does calling it "reso" make me "basic" or whatever? I heard abbreviating things makes one basic. Also...please know how tongue in cheek I say that b/c well... I'm in the camp that's so over everything being called basic. Can't we just build each other up as women instead of calling things "basic?" It's dumb. Let's make that a resolution. Okay...moving on to the real ones. 

In random order, I present the list of things I'd like to do/work on in 2015...compiled with great thought in mind in my leather bound resolution book...wait...no... it was just the notes section of my phone during the past few days...

So these are vague. I know you're supposed to be all "spend 1.5 hours doing ___ per week by cutting down on ___." Yeah. Mine are more like "Enjoy life..." (Insert rainbow and daisies). And there are a lot b/c they're all pretty darn attainable, I think. 

1. Be on my phone and social media less in 2015. Okay... so I want to have a resolution to blog more but then it sort of contradicts this one. That said, I feel like sometimes my social browsing is just so mindless. Blogging isn't mindless. So maybe it wouldn't count? I dunno. I've just found that when my computer is "not responding" at work or when I'm waiting in line for something, I'm on my phone. And well...that bothers me about myself. On one hand, take advantage of any down time and peruse the social sites while nothing else is happening. On the other? Can't I just sit there without being entertained for a few minutes? Gawd. Anyway...we'll see how this goes but I have some tactics I plan to employ to make it happen. 

2. Get more sleep. This is a no brainer. I'm a night owl. I have always been a night owl. Those that said "Oh...you'll be less a night owl as you get older..." They're totally-without-a-doubt-100% wrong. I mean, sure I've HAD to dial my bedtime back from like college hours. Obviously. I still stay up way too late for my typical 5:15 wakeup so I can commute the hour to workie work these days. So yeah. More sleep. 

3. Do laundry more frequently. This one is funny but serious...ha! I got used to living in an apt with laundry in the basement so I often wait until ALL THE WHITES are dirty before washing. It drives Eric crazy...lol! And speaking of... Eric... He washes like 4 times per week. So yeah...maybe the Griffins have a happy medium we need to meet. 

4. Focus on the present...while also working on achieving long term goals. It's a balance, I know. But I really want to be good at BOTH...which is truly challenging sometimes, right?

5. Shop less. (Needs no explanation...unless Loft is having a sale...in which case this can start tomorrow). 

6. Continue to prepare for the zombie apocalypse. Obviously. 

7. Prioritize time with friends and family. This also means saying no to things that are NOT a priority and take time away from things that are. 

8. Actually DO something to help animals (specifically dogs). I share a lot of stuff on social media about animals, education, rescue, etc. But I haven't really gotten involved in anything. I will do that this year. I've already dipped my toe in one organization and I'm interested to see where it goes. It's hard to find my niche b/c I just don't think I can be the person that goes in and physically rescues animals from bad situations. I seriously think I'd need to be on medication if I did that. It breaks my heart in a way that I just can't even explain. But I'm a lawyer who works in communication.. There's GOT to be something I can do with my skills that is helpful, ya know. 

9. Travel somewhere different in the United States! Sort of silly, but Eric and I have gotten to go a lot of great, amazing places, yet we haven't explored a lot of the US together. And with finishing our house this year, we'll be working to saves a little cash flow...so I'd like to take a long weekend and go somewhere we've never been together- Seattle, Portland, Maine, Connecticut, San Diego, Charleston...There are definitely a few places on our list. :) 

10. Speaking of the house, finish renovating our new house! :) We should be in it by the holidays this year, just depending when demolition officially starts. 

11. Do more things with Eric that make us laugh or learn. 

12. Read more books! Goal= 30 books this year. I realize that's a low goal for some, but I'm not really a voracious reader these days... Just depends how much I'm traveling for work, etc. When I have down time, I love to read. I read 4 books on vacation this year alone. Just need to make the time. 

13. Plan a trip with my mom to celebrate her retirement from teaching school after 30 years! (She retired in December). I said I wanted to take her on a trip and I want to make that happen. She's never really been anywhere tropical so I was thinking even a cruise or something. Mind you, I've never been on a cruise, so recommendations appreciated. 

14. Pay off student loans. You guys. I avoid talking about this stuff on here but law school at a private university is expensive. I'm getting really close and when I do, you will inevitably see a present to myself in the form of a handbag, a home furniture item or something like that on my instagram...b/c that's responsible. Whatever. 

15. Reinstate our 3rd weekend date night. :) We got married the third weekend in October, so we started to have a fun date night the third weekend of every month. He plans one, I plan the next. It fell by the wayside with busy schedules and stuff. Blah. I want to do that this year and keep it up all year. 

And now that I've rambled adequately, here's a pic from NYE the other night. :) Sparkles, red lipstick and a handsome date for the win!

Happy 2015! Let's make it a good one! 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tuesdays are for blogging

Happy Tuesday after Christmas! Oh wait...that's not a thing. I hope you had a very Merry Christmas! 

Eric and I had a great holiday that included: making the dogs wear sweaters, getting to rock my new VS pjs, spending lots of great time with family, eating lots of good food, receiving lots of very sweet gifts, seeing some movies and being in denial that work must resume. I really think someone should pay me for holiday-ing. I'm pretty good at that. 

We're getting scary good at self timed photos...The below is from Christmas Eve. :)

Gracie is giving the stink eye...likely because she loves her sweater so much. ;) (Actually, she was falling asleep...haha!)
Anyway as far as holidays go, it was a great one. :) I tend to spend a lot of time stressing and guilting myself about seeing everyone for a good amount of time, doing everything and wanting to make everyone happy for the holiday...while also trying to maintain sanity and figure out some traditions for Eric and me to start for our little family. I hope I'm not alone in all that craziness. Thankfully the holiday always goes seamlessly so I'm not really sure where all the self-induced guilt comes from. I just really want everyone to feel special b/c everyone in our lives really IS so special to us. I couldn't imagine people who have families spread across the country or divorced folks to visit. We are so lucky to have everyone so close. 

After a nice chill weekend, I went in to the office Monday but worked from home today... 

Therefore, these were my coworkers... 

They're ruthless bosses. ;) 

...and these were my work shoes. 

I'm pretty sure I could get behind this whole "working from home" thing. That said, there's no photo of my face or hair b/c I haven't showered today or put on makeup. So there's that. 

I am currently in a state of frustration at several fashion blogs I follow b/c they are making me want all the things. ALL THE SALES. And then all the NEW things for spring. I think "I might want utility pants..." Within about 15 minutes, I am like "I MUST HAVE UTILITY PANTS" and am insanely searching for any that are on sale. I really need to get a grip. Glad to be meeting a friend for a drink tonight b/c I'm pretty sure I'd end up with some weird purchases if left to my own devices for a few more hours. 

We're expecting some serious sleet on New Years Day, which should provide a great opportunity to post some goals/resolutions. I'm trying to keep a list. Mine are pretty simple this year. 2014 has been  a really solid year... It's actually crazy to think of all the things that can happen in just 12 little months. This year alone, Eric and I got a new house and I started a new job. In isolation, a year doesn't feel like a long time, but the things that can be accomplished...just awesome. We're headed out with some friends for NYE tomorrow night and I may have gotten a new sequin dress. After the holiday food, I'm fairly sure an errand tomorrow might include going to get some spanx before the eve. Eh whatever. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Since I was cranky last week...

I had to make time to come over and post when I'm NOT cranky. B/c well... I'm rarely cranky...and I rarely post these days...and I don't like seeing my most recent post as spewing rants. (I like using the word "spewing" in everyday language.) So, instead, here's a heap of random before I've had coffee. 

* I think I need an intervention with my "must save all the dogs." Don't get me wrong... I LOVE that. But.. well.. I've friended so many groups and rescues on Facebook that my feed is like one rolling replay of the sad scene from Old Yeller. I think I just need to maybe organize what I'm seeing on a regular basis a little bit more. B/c seriously...I think Eric is fairly concerned I'm about to grab a posse and go Red Dawn on some puppy mills. I guess I just like to think that if everyone was educated about what went on, they wouldn't ever get a dog from a bad breeder (bad breeders=puppy mills). But sadly, that's not true. It seriously makes me SO upset that people can just turn a blind eye b/c what they don't know can't hurt them. *sigh* I just never knew that most puppies online were from mills. I never knew that those places could register their dogs with the AKC b/c there's no real regulation. And while I have rescued and consider myself informed, I still never knew. I never knew that some of the worst puppy mills are maintained by the Amish (what?!). (Seriously- read this). So I'd think that if I could help educate others, they would do their research... But I've learned some people still wouldn't...and that makes me so sad and disappointed in humanity. To me, it's just sensical to go MEET the dog in person...to meet the breeder...see where the dog lives (unless of course you rescue...which I'm obviously majorly a fan of). B/c good breeders...they WANT to meet the buyer b/c they want the dog to end up somewhere good and safe. The ones set up on the corner of a parking lot? Maybe not a solid breeder. The ones who will ship you a dog from the web without any references or meeting you? Not a solid breeder. Anyway... I've gotten really wrapped up in it lately and it's sort of impacting my sanity. It feels good to be so impassioned about something, but it also feels a little helpless to just read about all the dogs that need help. So... must clean up the Facebook feed and shift focus to organize my efforts a little more before I decide to start a literal one man army and march in for the puppy mill apocalypse. 

* So haaaaaay...how about I talk about something else... Like these amazing leggings. For real, people. These are the best leggings in the history of leggings. (Is there a history of leggings? I'm sure there is...) Anyway, on one of my recent work trips to Houston, I visited the Galleria (seriously the only think I do to entertain myself in free time there). I popped into Loft and tried on some leggings with a sweater I thought I "needed." The sweater was a toss back. But the leggings... wow. I didn't even expect to like them. They were just to gauge the sweater...but gosh I.love.these.leggings. They're ponte so they're thick and they fit so well. They hold their shape, hold their color after multiple washes, don't pill (at least mine haven't) and are actually quite warm! They're very dark black and matte...not sort of shiny like some can be. I mean...shiny can be good but not when you're wearing something super tight on your derriere...haha...Anyway, I'm 5'7 and the length is great for me, but they also have them in petite. I'm typically a 4-6 and went with a small and they're great. I only say that b/c sometimes I go with a medium in tights/leggings but the medium was too big in these. Small was perfect. They're 50% off today and you won't regret it if you get these leggings. Trust me. I hadn't found a pair of leggings I liked...ever..until these. I mean they have like 600 positive reviews. Can't go wrong there. 

Link to leggings at Loft

* Eric and I met with our builder again last night and I think we're thisclose to final plans for our new house! We are both SO excited and so thrilled with what we've come up with. January will likely start demolition! We're moving the kitchen to another room, which will then move the dining room where the kitchen is and increase the living room space. We're adding an outdoor sitting area, a master suite and some other really fun stuff! I can't freaking wait to get started! That said, I'd better buy all the leggings and other stuff I can now b/c something tells me Eric is about to ground me from shopping when this gets underway...haha... And admittedly, I'm thrilled but also kinda bummed that this is likely the last Christmas in our little cottage house. I love this house! We just need a leetle more room for a potentially growing family (at some point...not yet). Wanted to share a pic of our tree and stockings in our casa this year. :) I really love our little decor set up this holiday. It may or may not need to stay up well into January... 

Annnd that's all I've got. Except I bit my cheek and now it's all weird. Don't you hate that? Aside from that, Tuesday is looking pretty good... I hope you have a good one, friends!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

B/c maybe my coffee hasn't kicked in yet...

My life is FULL of things to be thankful for so to even rant or complain is often just...well...dumb. But when I re-read my posts and am all sunshine and daisies, that doesn't feel very authentic...haha...I mean we all get annoyed at things, right? So, while the things that annoy me are admittedly first world problems, I'm going to share some anyway...

* When people say "You aren't going to even pay attention to those dogs when you have kids someday." I hear this one A LOT. And I have to preface... It's not from friends, family or people who I know really well. It's typically acquaintances or pseudo strangers. And while friends/family have made allusions to it before and it still bothers me, it's more like "Oh goodness..what are you guys going to do with your fur kids when you have babies..." in a teasing/sweet way. But not rude like "YOU WILL DISREGARD ALL OTHER LIVING THINGS WHEN YOU HAVE BABIES." And yes...that is exactly how some people communicate it...maybe without the yelling caps lock on, but that's how it feels...lol! 

But anyway... here's my thing... Why even say that unsolicited comment? It's like you telling me "Look at this awesome thing I love" and me saying "Well, you won't even like it once you have something totally different that doesn't even relate at all." How is that even tactful or appropriate...or sensical?! And actually...it's not even like that b/c I am usually just hanging out and make a passing comment about our dogs when the unsolicited comments occur. And no, we don't have kids yet, so I feel as though any defense I have is basically fruitless to these comments and ends up just making me angrier, so I just say "Well, we'll see..."And okay... I get it. I'm sure we'll get frustrated at the pups more than we do when we have human babies...and won't baby them as much as we do...fine fine. But really... you're talking to someone who just joined a freaking legislative advocacy group to fight puppy mills. I love dogs. And I REALLY love mine. I didn't get a dog as a placeholder for a baby. I didn't get a dog b/c I thought it was fun. I got dogs b/c I love dogs. So for someone to say something like that to me is not only disrespectful, but also hurtful b/c they're insulting my love for my FAMILY. 

Sure...they're furry family...but they're my family. And really.. why say anything at all? Why the comparison I didn't even ask for? Dogs are not kids. Kids are not dogs.So yes.... they will be treated differently. I just don't get it. And it's not like we treat them like royalty now... I mean we walk them, we play with them, we enjoy them, we love them...I don't have sceptors or crowns for them. I don't get it. 

* Are you up to date on Walking Dead? If not...stop reading.... Have you stopped? Seriously.. Stop. B/c here comes a spoiler... I am mad they killed off Beth. Just when I was starting to like her. *sigh* I will miss her songs and goodness. Also she was starting to kick some butt and I liked that.
* I don't love allthedry skin. Allthedry is totally one word. I used to be on the swim team so with regular swim practices in high school, I grew a hatred for dry skin induced by chlorine. I am pretty much addicted to moisturizer. But I feel like nothing is working. Recommendations appreciated. :)

* Debates on Facebook. Good grief I can't stand that if I post something fairly benign, someone can fine a way step in and debate on it. If I was that person always engaging in debates or posting politically charged statuses, fine. But goodness. I have entirely better things to do than stir up stuff on Facebook. Sheez. It actually happened to me today on a post I never anticipated would create a debate...about our college's ex football coach. Sheez. Anyway....

* I travel to Houston for the last time this year later day...and I am so thrilled it's the last time! B/c I am over traveling. I want to be home. And let me say.. I love my job and am so thankful for it and the people I work with. But I'm just ready to settle in for the holidays and not have to pack all my toiletries in a one quart baggie. :)

If these are my biggest annoyances as of late, I'm doing pretty well, I think. Also the baby photo I posted in this post that found on a meme site sort of made my day...haha... Happy Wednesday, friends. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Self-timed Christmas (cards)

I've been traveling a lot. And scheduling Christmas card family photos didn't happen. We remembered the weather was supposed to get bad this past weekend (and it did) so last weekend, Eric and I decided to (read: Jackie pressured Eric into) take some self-timed photos with the dogs in hopes of getting one for a Christmas card. I mean..."It can't be that hard, right?" (hahahaha.. Famous last words). 

Approximatly 150 photos (seriously) and my leg falling asleep from kneeling in the same position forever and we got ONE with both dogs looking at the camera and us looking normal...haha.. Really, it's not my favorite pic of Eric and me of the bunch, but the dogs are looking so we're going with it. The order is already in for cards. (In retrospect, we really should have bribed a friend to come over and call the dogs names so they'd look and snap a few pics, but whatever. We're self-sufficient). 
We make this look easy. haha...

This one was my fav, but Winston is apparently watching a bird/leaf/tree/squirrel...
And a few demonstrating the hilarity of the day that took us to the above pics...

Winston wanted to face the pool. *sigh*

Forcibly holding Winston down so he doesn't run...haha...

Eric: "I look like I'm strangling Gracie." Me..."No you...well...yeah. You do. Crap. Let's do another set."
Admittedly, it really wasn't that bad. It took us like 45 minutes or so of dedicated efforts and we got a usable pic. Works for me! As a fun part though, we took all these in the backyard of our new house. :) We're meeting with our builder tomorrow to see some plans he's come up with and I'm so excited! They're saying January is ambitious but very doable to start everything. (We sort of got about 4 months behind schedule from where we wanted by waiting forever to get started, but whatever...). I really will post some photos as we start actually DOING something. At this point, it's like "Here's the house we're going to change. Hooray!" haha... But when we get some demo pics rolling and plans, I'll come back and share more.

Hope your work is slowing down in anticipation of the upcoming holidays. I know mine is. (I should really knock on wood as I type that). I guess my work isn't slowing as much as the people who I do stuff for are out of the office a lot more... Lots of very tenured people at my company with lots of vacay time to burn = quiet holidays, I hope. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Vacation by the numbers

Also known as the "I don't want to get back into the swing of things" post. 

I haven't posted in forever. Let's just forget about that. Eric and I just got back from our first wedding anniversary vacation! We went to the BVI/Virgin Gorda for a week and it was awesome. :) 

4      The number of books Eric and I each read.

0       The number of guests besides us at our hotel for the first few nights! It was the end of their slow season and starting to pick up..but it was a small resort, too. It was super cool (and a bit weird) to be the only people on property...haha). We ended up meeting some other really cool people at the resort, but having it to ourselves for a couple of days was sort of awesome.

5      The number of mosquito bites I have left...and I cherish every one...haha... (In denial vacay is over).

20     Number of times Eric and I said something about moving to the Caribbean, buying a boat, renting a boat, learning to sail, etc. You get the gist. 

2      Number of times our power went out at our little beach cottage b/c of an overnight storm! Crazy!

20+  Number of pina coladas consumed by Eric and me. 

2      Number of hours it took for us to hike (mostly vertically) to another resort for lunch. Views were fantastic, but we later discovered there was a much easier path...haha.. Oops. We're glad we took the one we did, but it was just funny. 

1      Number of lobsters caught on a snorkeling trip!! (Our guide caught it, but we videoed it. That counts). 

200+  Number of GoPro videos we took. I mean they're short clips and you have to take a lot b/c it's hard to tell if you got anything. But still..It's going to take awhile to get through those! ha!

1     Slightly terrifying flight in a puddle jumper from Virgin Gorda back to St. Thomas to get to the main airport to go home. In a storm. With no visibility (even the pilot said there was no visibility). Ferries were all cancelled due to the weather. It was pretty nuts. 

I have no idea how it went by so quickly! I feel like one minute, I was on the beach thinking "Thank gosh it's only Saturday!" And then the next, it was Friday and time to go home. Blerg. Europeans have it right with that whole "holiday" thing where you take off like 30 days..haha.. So thankful we get to go some gorgeous places and I wouldn't trade our trips for the world, but goodness I would love to stay even longer b/c I'm greedy like that. :) 

We both want to explore Europe- specifically the Mediterranean- before we have kiddos, but relaxing beach vacays are just so hard to beat. Who knows. Maybe next year. :)

The thing about traveling is that it makes you want MORE. It's sort of awesome and frustrating in that way. And you meet other people that travel, too. And some of them have boats, etc and just sail for months! And it's like "Sooooo how do we figure that out?!" haha.. So needless to say coming back to work is a challenge. 

Anyway, this vacay was much needed for the two of us. If you've been reading awhile, you know how we love our beach getaways...but this year was just a long year and a relaxing vacay was so very appreciated. I changed jobs and travel a LOT more (40% of my time or so) and Eric's work has been so.freaking.busy. So some months, we've sort of been like windup toys. Just wake up, wind us up and we go until it's time for bed. It's been a GOOD year. I mean, we got an amazing house (updates on renovations soon!), I took a great job, Eric's work, while insanely busy, has been challenging and rewarding. Our families are happy and in good health (despite a slight scare with my mom earlier this year, but all is great now so barely worth mentioning). We are lucky. We are thankful. We are blessed. But good grief we needed a getaway...haha...

I feel so lucky that Eric and I decided to use some of my old travel miles and his miles to go to St. Lucia the first year we dated. B/c I think that sort of set the bar to try to take an annual trip. And it's made me a firm believer that getting away is worth it. Even if it's just a short getaway. Or a close getaway. It doesn't have to be a beach or the Caribbean or a week or two long. Just that down time to reconnect is oh so amazing. :)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Tahoe Top 10

If we're friends on Instagram, you know we just got back from Tahoe with Eric's side of the family! :) It was a really great time and a nice little getaway. I have more photos that I'm sure I'll bore you with, but for now, thought I'd just share some fun Top 10. :)

In random order...

#1 The super awesome clear blue water. I haven't ever seen a lake that gorgeous and pristine.

#2 Catching my first fish...ever! I'd never been fishing and caught my first lake trout on a morning fishing expedition...and then got to eat it later for lunch when Eric grilled!

#3 Hiking! I freaking love hiking. I wish we had more places to hike around here. Oklahoma is gorgeous, but it's also pretty flat. ("Where the wind comes sweeping down the plains...") Don't get me wrong... we have some trails and Turkey Mountain and all that... but hiking in the real mountains...unbeatable. We hiked to a little waterfall...I also freaking love waterfalls so that's an added bonus!

#4 SUPing. Eric, his brother and I decided to SUP all the way to Emerald Bay from the Camp Richardson area (for those who know the area). We quickly realized that was a bad idea with the 30mph wind, but the SUPing was fun nontheless! (I'll spare you the story of almost getting carried out to the middle of the lake by the strong winds and Eric yelling "TURN TO SHORE!" b/c he didn't think I could hear him... as I yelled "I'm trying! STOP YELLING AT ME!" It was a special moment, friends....hahaha...It reminded me of the Friends ep where they're moving the sofa and Ross is saying "Pivot...pivot...").

#5 Being there for one of the biggest storms in recent times and losing power for several hours...We had to get a bucket of water from the lake in order to fill up the back of the toilets to flush since our house was on a water well (electric powered). It was pretty hilarious. :) And well...lemme just say... the storm was legit, but these Okies felt right at home in a good old thunderstorm...haha!

#6 Gondola ride to the top of the mountain. It was gorgeous. I'd love to see that place covered in snow. :) I'm sure the locals would too, since snowfall has been lacking in recent years...which also impacts the lake. I hope this year delivers for Tahoe snowfall.

#7 Boating all over the lake. It was cool to see everything from the water. Eric wakeboarded until his legs went a little tingly from the cold water...haha..

#8 The sunsets. It stormed for the first couple of days we were there off and on, but those storms delivered some amazing sunsets. There's just something about a gorgeous sunset over the water..*happy sigh*

#9 Not needing A/C! Don't get me wrong.. I'm a Caribbean beach vacationer to the core...but sometimes escaping from the hot Oklahoma summers for cooler weather is just divine. A light sweater and shorts? Yes.please.

#10 Last but certainly not least... Getting to spend fun quality time with Eric's side of the family. I don't have siblings so it's such a different experience to me to have a group of people to go do things with on vacations. It's really fun because everyone can really do their own things and have a great time. :)
My Cubs hat made lots of appearances on this trip b/c (1) I didn't want to do my hair and (2) my derm said to be careful burning my sun-damaged scalp. I looked back at photos and laughed at how many I have wearing that hat. Go Cubs! lol! :)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Turning 33 and accomplishing "all the things"

Hi friends. So I'm now blogging as a 33 year old! :) I'm considering this my last year in my "early 30s" since I'll be in my mid-thirties next year...right? (Don't answer that). Anyway, I had a great weekend celebrating my birthday and Independence Day! (It doesn't suck to be born on the 3rd and always have the day off after your birthday...just saying).
32 was a really big year- I got married, changed jobs, bought a new house (my FIRST house)...so 32 was pretty landmark as far as ages go. :) Excited to see what's ahead for 33. And with so many things last year, I'll even be great to just have a calm and solid year. Isn't it crazy how much can happen in just one year? And not going to lie... my 30s have been really good to me. I'm definitely a lot happier than I was in my 20s on an overall basis...Not that I wasn't happy (just had flashes of fun memories in my 20s like a superfast slideshow in my brain)...but it's a different kind of happy. A more comfortable-in-my-own-skin kind of happy if that makes sense.

Anyway, I had a goal of writing a post about 33 things I've learned...or something similarly creative and thoughtful... but it just didn't happen. That said, I've still been doing some thinking. And, for some reason, it's recently dawned on me that there's only so much time to accomplish all the things. What are all the things? All the things... Ya know...the things you mentally list that you plan to do "someday."

(No I am not having a quarter/mid life crisis. I had that in my mid twenties. It was weird. Be glad you weren't around).

For example... So...it's no secret that I big puffy heart the beach and beach towns. If it's warm, quaint and coastal, I'm pretty happy. I've always wanted to live at the beach (and so has Eric, so that helps). I think if when I'm old and wrinkly and reflecting, I'd be sad if I couldn't say I'd lived at a beach at some point in my life when I was young enough to enjoy it. For some reason, I really started obsessing about it in the past month or so...I didn't want to tell Eric b/c well... we just bought an awesome house. And I LOVE Tulsa. Like...if you ever come to Tulsa, I will pull out my Tulsa pom poms and practically do a cheer for you (I don't really have Tulsa pom poms). But I really started thinking about it...and finally mentioned it to Eric. And...I could list the zillion reasons why I love my husband and why we're a perfect match...and one of them would be that he "got it." Like...didn't even have to explain or justify. He just got it and was like "Well let's do it then...We can make a plan." (Love that he plans... The A-type chick in me gets all warm and fuzzy with plans.)

No, we're not talking this year...or next... or even the next few. There's not a rush. We're excited to renovate our house and settle down in it. But sometime in the next handful of years or a little more, you might read a blog about us picking up and going coastal. Which coast? Who knows. Maybe it's a phase... sure. So I could link this post someday and be like "haha.. how silly I was..." But...maybe it's not. And if it's not...then why not do it, right? Life is only so long.

I think some of this is coming from getting older (and wanting to do all the things...duh.. I said that)...and some of it is coming from just being happy. It sounds like it's restless...but it's actually the opposite. I'm really happy in this 33rd year of my life. And it feels good. I'm with the person I plan to spend the rest of my life with and start a family with. I'm really satisfied with my career and the place I've reached in that regard. I've got great family and friends. And importantly, I'm happy with who I am. That doesn't mean there aren't bumps and bruises along the way, sure, but the glass is half full the way I see it. And I'm enjoying the present...but also thinking "okay what next?" and I'm not thinking that with a frustrated sigh but more with a big smile with sunshine in my face. Cheesy...I'll give ya that...but it's true.. Yes, there's family planning too among the "things"...and while we definitely want that, we're also not in a hurry (even though that seems to break some people's brains and make them comment with strange, slightly inappropriate things but that's for another blog), but there's definitely a feeling of "Let's do it!" regarding all the things... things like living at the beach someday, among other items.

So no deep thoughts about being 33. Just a happy post about life being good and new horizons yet to discover. :)

And now that you've read my rants for a few minutes of your life you'll never get back, I'll share some pics from my birthday! 
Birthday breakfast at Wild Fork :)
...where, if you don't order the sourdough french toast, you're just out of your mind.
This guy. :)
Okay, so I've wanted to go shooting. Eric kept avoiding taking me (which I'm sure has nothing to do with how clumsy and high strung I can be... exactly the kind of person you want with a weapon). Anyway, I actually rocked it. And I had a blast!
I've been wanting to try our new blowout bar so I thought it was a good birthday treat. I kinda wanted loose, beachy curls and got tight, bouncy curls.. so there's that. But, I couldn't have done it myself so it worked. And it was fun. They gave me wine. That didn't suck. I'd go back.
Pre-dinner photo with these guys. And you'll notice the curls fell quite a bit like she said they would. I liked it more when they did. :)
We took a selfie like this in our first real photo alone together (not in a group), so naturally, I wanted to re-enact it outside Prhyme after dinner for some reason. It turned out pretty cute, I think. :)
The rest of the weekend was spent birthday lunching with my mom, pooling it up at our new house with friends and then with other friends watching fireworks. Add some r&r, some errands and that's the weekend! Hope you had a great holiday weekend!