31 August 2010

Brooklyn's 1st haircut!

I cannot even begin to explain to you all how excited I was to schedule Brooklyn's first appointment with a dog groomer! My poor puppy has needed her hair cut and nails trimmed for WEEKS now. But I had been hesitant to schedule anything until I had done my research.

After looking into many pet groomers in the area, I decided that paying anywhere between $30-$40 was reasonable. I also knew that I didn't want to take Brooklyn somewhere commercial like Pet Smart or Pet Co because there are too many dogs, too much noise, etc. for a puppy'a first time to be left alone without her momma and some random person attacking her with loud clippers (I'm only slightly overprotective, ha!). I finally decided on a boutique pet grooming salon that is about 1/2 a block from my apartment called La Pooch. Isn't that cute?! I read multiple reviews about Nancy and her grooming business. Everyone seemed to love her, especially those with small, first-time puppies. I was sold and scheduled an appointment for 9 a.m. this morning.

I was nervous as I dropped Brooklyn off. Even though Nancy was very nice and thought Brooklyn was super cute, being the overprotective pet owner that I am, I was still a little sad to leave her there alone. I got a call right at about the time I was going to take my lunch break from work so I went straight over to pick Brooklyn up. I was really excited to see her trimmed up and smelling clean. This was my first sighting of my newly bathed, trimmed, and perfumed Brooklyn:

{I'm sorry, but this is the cutest puppy in the entire world! Please note all of her hair on the floor behind her and the puppy mirror on the back wall.}

Nancy said that Brooklyn did very well for her first grooming experience, but wasn't the biggest fan of the noise that the clippers made. This surprised me a little because anytime I blow-dry my hair, Brooklyn wants me to blow the air on her. Oh well, she'll get more comfortable with the noise as she gets older. I was SO excited to see her all dolled up and even ordered her a new collar. I can't decide if I want her to have the black w/pearls, turquoise w/pearls, or yellow w/pearls, but we're only purchasing one. Any opinions out there?

Overall, Brooklyn had a great 1st haircut. She loved Miss Nancy and I'll for sure be taking her back to La Pooch again. Unfortunately, the pink bow didn't last but about 5 minutes. No biggie though. I was ready, camera in hand, to take a couple of pictures before she pulled it out. She's such a booger!

{I love this little pup!}

Hey! I almost forgot to ask: If you read my blog on a pretty regular basis, I'd love to know about it! On the right hand side of my blog is a button you can click to "Follow" me. I have 29 public followers and I'd love to hit 30 or more! I know that I do a ton of rambling, but blogging is a fun way to keep up with family and friends I don't get to talk with often. I'd love to know if you read my ramblings:)

26 August 2010

Watch out Betty Crocker!

Somehow I did not inherit the family cooking gene. My great grandmother on my mom's side was a fabulous cook. Back then cooking shows didn't exist on TV. Instead, cooking competitions showcased talented cooks. My great grandmother, Anna Beasley, won countless ribbons for her original recipes and hosted elaborate dinner parties at her house for years. She even printed her own cookbook title "Coast and Cactus Cookbook." My mother has always had a knack for cooking and my sister, Emily, works at a fancy French restaurant in Houston as a waitress and manager. Have I mentioned she cooks full meals from scratch and has a vocabulary for expensive wine like no other 21 year old I know? Yup, I got the short end of the stick.

However, I would like to think that I'm just beginning to scratch the surface of what could be an excitement for cooking. Thanks to Luke, I finally have someone to cook for on a more regular basis and I'm actually thrilled to do so. I guess that is part of loving a man and knowing that the way to his heart is through his stomach, ha! Someday I will be his wife and I'm hoping to have an plethora of options for meals once we're married. I guess I better get moving!

Alright, you're not allowed to laugh at me, ok? I'm going to tell you about what I cooked tonight and I need you to affirm me on my trek to becoming a good cook. I know this was a pretty simple meal and nothing was actually made from scratch (I'll get there, I promise!), but Luke loves it and that is all that matters. My girlfriend, Sarah Kubala, told me about this little "on the side of the box" recipe that her mom makes every so often. Sarah has also cooked this for her fiance, Andrew, and he's a big fan. So, I attempted this meal once and it was a big hit with my boy. He asked for the same meal again tonight, and with those blue eyes, how could I say no? So, without further ado, here is a little jambalaya!

{This is the jambalaya mix I used}

{While the 2.5 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil boiled, I cut up an entire link of turkey sausage. This is not all of it, obviously}

{After the water began to boil, I added the spices, rice, and sausage. After this had boiled for a little longer, I set the stove on low and let the mixture cook for 25 minutes}

{While the jambalaya cooked, I made some cornbread}

{All this took was 2/3 cup of milk, 1 egg, and the mix}

{I love making cornbread cupcakes!}

{Kind of far away, but here is the finished product!}

{Cutie patootie}

{This is a funny picture for a couple of reasons. Don't be fooled, we didn't eat at the table. Project Runway was on, DUH! But I wanted to show off my cute new yellow place mats my momma bought me today:) And I had just started a load in the dishwasher, so please excuse my paper/plastic ware}

{And of course, the evening wouldn't be complete without Brooky Bear begging for some jambalaya}

Alright, so maybe I'm not Betty Crocker, but I think it's a start! I have a couple of cookbooks that haven't been opened yet, but I just may have built of enough courage to crack one open and see what I'm working with. I'll keep you posted. But for now, I'm proud of myself.

Do you like to cook? Would your family or friends say you're a "good" cook? What is your favorite thing to cook? Please share!

19 August 2010

Here to stay

Luke asked me to drive out to Zephyr after work this afternoon because he had run out of cat food for Bibbles. I always love making a trip out to camp because I get to see people that are like family to me. This happens when you live, work, sweat, eat, and pass out with the same people day in and day out for four summers in a row, three months at a time. :) Brooklyn made the trip with me and we, as always, had a great time. However, the best part of today's trip happened once I had hit the road to head home.

You see, I've been talking to Claire, my little sister, a lot lately because she has just recently moved back to Waco and into my old house. It's weird that for the first time in four years I'm not headed back there myself. I'm a little sad, but still more excited about my new life in Corpus and all that God has planned for me here. But up until tonight, this is the most thought I'd given Baylor.

But tonight I remembered that I would have already been gone. At this point last year, or any of the last four years, I would have already moved back to Baylor. I'd be attacking Target, filling my house with new toiletries, groceries, etc. I'd be getting together with all of my Tri Delta sisters to have dinner/movies nights or headed to get coffee at Common Grounds. It almost blew my mind for a second, because I've never been at this place in my life before. I'm not gone. I didn't leave.

Leaving camp to go back to Waco was always a really tough transition for me. When I was in Waco, I was in a Waco routine. Class, afternoon nap, something Tri Delt, talk to Luke, bed, repeat. When I was at camp, I was in a camp routine. Breakfast, rec/morning worship activities, lunch, afternoon rotation, dinner, worship, evening event, bed, repeat (include spending every waking moment with Luke within a short walk's distance of me). Transitioning between the two was never easy and that drive from camp back to Waco was always full of sappy love songs and hysterical tears. Long distance relationships are tough and it was always super hard for Luke and I to separate again. I would eventually get back into my Waco routine, but that drive was rough. 

I won't make that trip this year. Or ever again. I graduated from college, Luke and I are engaged, and I now live in Corpus Christi. I don't really have any emotion about this right now, except for that it's weird. I love where I am, I miss where I've been. I'm so thankful for the last four years and I look forward to new adventures as a young adult.

Tonight I drove away from camp, but not back to my home in Waco. My home is now in Corpus Christi and it is a place Luke visits often, a 50 minute trip versus the old five hours. The transition won't happen this year. Is it weird that I almost miss it and am yet very content to be staying right where I am? I'm such a goof. :)

{My babies out at Camp Zephyr. Luke said, "I love my girls!" Ha!}

Coffee, the sniffles, and shopping!

Heeeellllppppppp!!! I just ran out of K-cups for my Keurig!!! This must be fixed, STAT! I can't got without coffee...I can't go without coffee...I can't go without coffee...(head twitching, hands shaking).

Seriously, I have an addiction. :)

In other bummed out news, I'm sick. Blah. I woke up on Tuesday not feeling so great. My throat was a little scratchy, but I figured this would go away as the day wore on. Nope! I started taking medicine yesterday and when I woke up this morning, my body told me that it was official. Headache, congestion, sore throat = 2 Dayquil, 1 Echinacea, and a cup of rooibos tea. I'm about to drink my LAST cup of coffee, that is, until I get to Bed Bath & Beyond to get more K-cups. When I'm sick, I like to drink anything warm to sooth my throat. I know I should be drinking water (thanks mom!), but coffee is a "comfort food" of mine. Sad, I know, but I'm not ashamed!

Speaking of shopping, I must tell you of my good fortune with shopping lately! I've always loved Ann Taylor LOFT. In fact, before I moved to New York last spring I practically bought out every LOFT store in the state of Texas (Once again, thanks mom!). But being a recent college graduate and budgeting life a little differently these days doesn't allow for purchasing clothes all too regularly. But alas! I have a secret to share with you. Ann Taylor LOFT in Corpus Christi has FABULOUS sales all the time! Back in June I bought a pair of jeans at ATL for $3. A couple of weeks ago, I purchased a $98 dress I was eying last spring for $3.42. I also bought a cute white blouse for $3.42 and a pair of peachy-pinkish shorts for $6. Most recently, I purchased two (very different) grey skirts for work and a coral top for $3.66 each! Crazy, huh?! I don't know what it is about this particular store, but if you wait long enough, they will put "Final Sale" tags on some of the cutest pieces and there is always another 25 or 30% off. I love that Ann Taylor LOFT is helping me to dress like a cute business woman without breaking the bank!

In all of my saving money by shopping at LOFT, I did "splurge" just a little. I needed a new pair of black pumps, so I hopped over to Macy's. Unfortunately, I can't find a picture of the shoes I bought on their website. But here is a picture of my new shoes' twin. They look just like this:

I love that they have a little bit of a platform because I'm a shorty. :)

And last, but certainly not least, look at how big Brooklyn has gotten! I can't believe she's been in my life for over 2 months now. When I took these pictures, she started barking at me, ha! She's such a booger. :)

14 August 2010

She's a big kid now!

My 16-week old puppy does two things very well: jumping and barking.

Here are the many objects she barks at:
-the refrigerator
-the dish washer
-the ironing board
-any shadows
-any person that runs/walks by
-cars (both moving and parked)
-pretty much any noise she hears requires a barking response

And the many places she jumps:
-straight up in the air (at abnormal heights for a puppy her size)
-onto the couch (with the greatest of ease)
-into and out of the bath tub
-the toilet's edge (BIG no no)
-the trash can's edge (Once again, no no)
-off the bed

A couple of the places she is choosing to explore, like the toilet and trash can, are starting to test me, but I love her so much that its hard to stay angry for long. Having a puppy really is like having a kiddo. When she jumped up onto the couch for the first time, I was SUPER proud, ha! She really does bring so much joy to my life. I mean, come on, who couldn't love this? :)

11 August 2010

The best laid plans...

I'm a planner. I love to know what's going on. At Camp Zephyr I planned activity rotations and evening events. I'm applying for jobs where much of what I will do includes organizing and planning. Luke goes crazy trying to plan things (he is NOT a planner like me) because he knows I will drive him crazy if there isn't a plan. In a few moments, I will go to Barnes & Noble to buy my new 18-month planner because it's back to school season and new planners are hot off the press. Have I mentioned I like to PLAN??

Sometimes I wonder why God made me this way because He always seems to change my plans. Why give someone this yearning to plan life out the best way possible (in my own eyes) only to completely change in up in Your own time? This is mine and God's relationship; we're a funny duo. I plan and He changes the plans. I get frustrated and he still loves me. I roll my eyes and we laugh about it together. Such is the story of two people who want to plan the same life. Here's a little foreshadowing: HE always wins outs in the end.

If you would have asked me back in January where I would be today, I would have told you married, on my honeymoon, and employed full time. Well guess what, I'm NONE of these, ha! A couple of months ago I would have been embarrassed to admit these things. However, I'm at total peace right now. That is, if you consider a tornado of a life at peace. :) But I think that is how peace really works. We think of peace as calm and relaxing when in fact, you can be at peace while the world spins madly on around you. This is exactly where I am. And it's not where I had planned.

Right now I am working two part time jobs. I'm a freelance consultant for a social media marketing company in Corpus Christi, Neovia Solutions. I am surprisingly excited about this job! I've only met with one client so far, but I have another meeting tomorrow and tons of analysis work to be done. Marketing is the business side of what I love to do and I'm liking it. I'm also a part time office assistant for La De Da...Events, an event decorating company in Corpus Christi. One of the best, I might add! This job is fun because it lets my creative and organizational side come out. While I am still actively pursuing and interviewing for full time jobs, I'm happy with the work God has blessed me with. These jobs not only help me pay the bills, but are growing me professionally and hey--I could have no job, right?

This past weekend was the weekend that Luke and I, back in January, had chosen to be the weekend we'd get married. August 7th has now come and gone and we're not married. But can I tell you something? I'm SO glad this did not happen for many reasons. Financially, we were not ready. I was let go from my first job out of college in July. Luke can easily support himself on what he makes, but with Luke still in college until December, I HAD to be working full time for both of us to be supported. How could I have ever predicted the way that first job was going to work out? I couldn't have; but God knew. Luke and I also had, and still have, many things to talk through before getting married. Yes, we've been together for 5 years, but living in two different cities for 4 or those 5 years leaves many opinions and ideas unspoken of. We're so happy for the time to dig into each other and our relationship; to be a "normal" couple. This past weekend we took Brooklyn to the bayfront, went to eat at our favorite restaurant, Water Street Seafood Co., and hung out at my apartment. I know these sound like such general to-dos for a dating couple, but we're loving just being together. We also watched a ton of "Say Yes To The Dress" and the Military channel. He learned about wedding dresses and I learned about sniper guns. Life would be SO incredibly different had we gotten married on August 7th, but I'm at peace at where we are now. Oh, and we're starting to think (slowly!) about a new wedding date. I'll keep you updated for sure. :)

 {Brooklyn at Agua Java for the first time!}

One thing I love about Luke is that he doesn't care about what other people think about him. He just does his own thing; chases his own dreams. A couple of months ago, I couldn't say this to you. A couple of months ago I did care what everyone else thought: about my wedding being postponed, about having or not having a full time job, and anything else I had planned that had "failed," so to speak. But God has worked on and changed my heart a ton through this entire process. I feel so blessed to be where I am right now because God loved me enough to not let my plans follow through. These were MY plans, not HIS. And His plans are so much greater than I'll ever know. Every once and a while I begin to feel myself starting to care about what others think or I try to step out on my own and make new plans. But I immediately get on my knees and lift my eyes to the hills (Psalm 121:1). I've already learned this lesson. His plans are perfect and I know He's watching over me. It's a peaceful place to be.

Now, I'm going to Barnes & Noble. It's time for that new planner! ;)

06 August 2010

Playing dress-up

I've never been a morning person. So, when I heard my alarm go off at 4 a.m. this morning, I was less than thrilled. But I still got up, took a shower, blowed my hair dry, and got in my car to head to the Solomon P. Ortiz Center. Why, you might ask? Because I had agreed to dressing up like a bride to promote The Engagement Party, a bridal fair hosted by La De Da...Events coming up this Sunday in Corpus Christi. How is it that I've gotten sucked into the bridal world of South Texas??

[Side note: So I started working at The One Bride Guide as a sales executive after graduation. Then this past week, after my time with The One was over, I was asked to be an office assistant (and decorator, coordinator, helper-outer) part-time for La De Da...Events, one of the largest and most popular event decorating companies in Corpus Christi. I had met Leana, the owner, through my job at The One. Although I'm also working as a freelance marketing consultant and still applying for full-time jobs, I can't seem to get out of the bridal world. Is this a sign?]

I arrived at the Ortiz Center at 4:53 a.m. and was in a wedding dress by 5:15 a.m. There had been a little miscommunication, so the hair and make-up ladies were running late. All I have to say is that on the day of my actual wedding, things better go WAY smoother than they did today! The dress that I wore was a size too small and had a corset. After the sweet lady sewed me up in that thing, I began to wonder if my body would forever take a new shape once I was released from the death jaws of that dress! While I was struggling to breathe, one lady was pulling on my hair, trying to get it into an up-do, while I had another lady air-brushing my make-up. This was my first time to have air-brush make-up done and I have to say, that was AMAZING! My make-up looked so smooth and flawless. And it sort of feels like someone is spraying your face with a mister, except its not water, it's make up! I wish I had someone to air-brush my make-up everyday, ha!

The crew with KIII-TV was really sweet and we had a lot fun talking in-between segments. My friend Aubrey, who is the event coordinator/wedding planner for the Ortiz Center, was interviewed and did a great job! Overall, although we didn't see the sun rise until about 6:15 a.m., it was fun morning. Here are a couple of pictures from my KIII debut (because they were taken w/an iPhone, the pictures don't do the make-up justice):

{This dress looks nothing like my actual wedding dress, so it was fun to play dress up! My real dress still wins though}

{Air-brush make-up!}

{Aubs and I. We're famous, ha!}