Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tasty Tapas & Spanish Wines featured in New Alamo Menu

A new taste will be served up at the Alamo Drafthouse exclusively during the screenings of THE SKIN I LIVE IN. The special tapas menu created by Executive Chef John Bullington and a mix of Spanish wines selected by Beverage Director Bill Norris will be featured during the first two weeks the film is run.

I had the opportunity to sample the new menu and was surprised at the variety of tastes and textures I was introduced to. Among the new dishes are calamari with romesco sauce and a Castilian soup with roast shrimp. Both were packed with flavors and when paired with the wines, made for a delicious combo.

I'm no wine expert and honestly haven't tried too many before, but the trio featured on this new menu were memorable. All three were great, but my personal favorite was the '09 Telmo Rodriguez Baso Blanco, Rudeo. With a hint of lime, it paired well with the tomato, leek, almonds and manchego in sherry vinegar with herbs.

This special menu is only being offered for a short time, so be sure to swing by the Alamo Drafthouse to see the movie and try this new menu! For more information about the menu or to purchase tickets, please click here.

Above: Crispy Calamari with Romesco Sauce

Above: Serrano Ham and Chicken Fritters

Above: Oyster Mushrooms Roasted with Spanish Chorizo

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hi, Blog! Let's get reaquainted.

I keep saying I will keep up on the blogging. The truth is by the time I get home from work, I feel mentally exhausted and can't find the energy to post. I won't say that it will change, because I'm not too good at keeping promises like that.

There seems to be, however, a light at the end of the tunnel. You see, I've been internally conflicted with many emotions lately. I want a career and a job that I truly enjoy (I know it's possible -- and if not, what's the point?!). I have been working hard towards a higher goal that is now unattainable at my current workplace.

We can blame the politicians or the debt, but one thing has been made very clear to me: I'm in a rut -- and unless the budget allows, I'm not moving up financially or getting a title bump. So, that leaves me with the agonizing thought -- "What is the point?! (Should I try harder?) What are my goals? (Excel in my career) How can I reach those goals? (No answer on this one!)

I never paid attention to the economy when I was in college. My head was stuck either firmly in the clouds or in my textbook as I rushed though my academic career. I demand more, though. It can't really be this bad for much longer... Something's gotta give!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Another Use for a P. Terry's Cup

We are super frequent customers at P. Terry's and one of the awesome keepsakes we get with our drive thru order is a plastic cup. Here's one of the ways I use mine!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Finding My Happy Place

While looking for inspiration to help me with this post today, I have finally come to a realization. I need to just keep writing. No matter how long my day has been and whether or not I feel like writing, I just need to do it.

Writing has been a great outlet for me personally and professionally. Although I'm only utilizing my writing skills to craft the perfect email to my clients at work each day, I still scrutinize every word! I hope to write plenty of interesting things for my readership and don't want any of you to be bored with it.

I've always felt like a storyteller in person and have tried to hone my skills as a writer to have the same effect. Today I realized that life is about finding your "happy place". For some, that may be jogging or cooking, but for me it's as simple as posting to this blog.

I hope you've all enjoyed my work so far, and I will continue to strive for excellence in my writing with a stronger dedication to both of my blogs. It's my happy place.

Thanks to all of you who click my links and read my posts -- I feel honored to have captured (and held) your attention!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ten Guilty [Food] Pleasures in Austin

Whether you are an Austin native or planning on visiting soon, here are my ten guilty pleasures in my hometown. This will revolve around my favorite activity in this city: eating!

UPDATE: I went vegan in February 2012, so I've added my favorite vegan items to this list. 

1) Amy's Ice Cream | You can't consider yourself a true Austinite or even get the full experience without making a trip to one of their eleven location around town.
My omnivore favorite: Mexican Vanilla with almonds and strawberries. We also buy this in quarts!
Amy's doesn't have a vegan version, but another local option that's vegan is Nada Moo.

2) Torchy's Tacos | With a taco to fit every political party and interesting names for each taco, this is luckily just a couple of miles from our apartment.
My omnivore favorite(s): Trailer Park (trashy, of course!) and an order of Green Chili Queso
My vegan favorite: The Independent and Fried Avocado tacos with a side of guacamole, hold the cheese!

3) P. Terry's | Healthy fast food is their priority and there's a freshness that just can't be beat. We love it because even when money is tight, two can done for less than $10!
My omnivore favorite: Veggie Burger with fresh cut onions and a Vanilla Shake
The Veggie Burger has eggs in it, so we haven't visited again. I believe their fries are vegan friendly, and they are amazing, as well.

4) Kerbey Lane Cafe | Our first Austin apartment was conveniently located right behind one. Hungry for pancakes at 3 a.m.? No problem!
My omnivore favorite: Eggs Francisco and a short stack of Gingerbread Pancakes
My vegan favorite: Vegan Breakfast Platter with tofu scramble, soysauges, and a short stack of vegan pancakes

5) Trudy's | Their Mexican Maritini's drew us in, but their tasty Tex-Mex kept us satisfied and crawling back for more. Priced right and great portions made my happy hours more, well, HAPPY!
My omnivore favorite: Cheese enchiladas with Suiza Sauce and an order of their Queso Especial
My vegan favorite: Custom taco plate with vegan refried beans, guacamole, and fixings

6) Thundercloud Subs | Fast, fresh and healthy is their motto catch phrase. Although there are several tasty sandwiches, I can't help but stick to my faves.
My omnivore favorites: The Office Favorite and BLT
My vegan favorite: Veggie Sub on whole wheat with hummus, all the veggies, and double onions

7) Tino's Greek Cafe | I will admit that I had never tasted lamb, but once I had eaten at Tino's, this is the only place I'll ever go to satisfy my taste buds. This quaint little place keeps the meat cooking and spinning with a blast of amazing smells hitting your face upon walking in.
My omnivore favorite: Feta Salad with Lamb
No vegan options.

8) Phil's Ice House | When we lived up North, we found this little gem that serves burgers with sweet buns and tasty sweet potato fries. Once we moved down South, it was a year before they opened up their South Lamar location, much to my delight.
My omnivore favorite: Hot & Crunchy Fish Burger with a side of sweet potato fries
No vegan options.

9) Pluckers Wing Bar | Two words: TRIVIA NIGHT! Every Wednesday night, Plucker's hosts six rounds of trivia including movie lines, the nerd round and sports. I'm not great at all the rounds, so we team up with friends who have varied knowledge for a chance at gift certificates as prizes. PS - We never win, but that doesn't make it less fun.
My omnivore favorite(s): Boneless wings basket with Honey BBQ sauce, blue cheese dressing and a side of macaroni and cheese. Also amazing: fried pickles and sweet potato fries.
No vegan options.

10) Alamo Drafthouse | My preference for all of my movie viewing experiences. I love their restriction on age (18 and up only without parents) and their sense of humor. Oh, and did I mention they have amazing food?
My omnivore favorite: Greek salad (extra cup of dressing on the side, no peppers or olives) -- yes, I know I'm picky, but I feel terrible wasting those ingredients!
My vegan favorite: Veggie Burger (nearly all styles, hold the cheese and mayo) with chips and salsa

Art Imitating Life

Have you ever found one movie that truly speaks to you? I mean to where you compare every detail of your life and create links and meaning to every part of it? When I was younger, I remember taking the extremes of comparison with a little movie called Moulin Rouge.

Now before you go and start making fun of my movie choice, let me be very clear. I was in a time of my life that is completely opposite of my present one. I had no true love (my excuse: I was 15), a passion for singing broadway-style songs at the top of my lungs with music blaring from my dad's sound system from the 80s and felt very much alone.

I believe this was around nine years ago when I desperately wanted a boyfriend, true love and a movie-like life. Moulin Rouge had all of the aforementioned key elements. Like my current situation, the main character was infatuated with a love interest (Satine) who was completely unattainable.

In his quest for true love, he had crept around the squirrelly-looking financier (who thought the same woman was into him) while the dashing Ewan McGregor snatched up Nicole Kidman (Satine). Have I lost you yet?

In a story of impossible love, Satine chose the penniless writer over the wealthy financier. Then she died that same night. How horrible, right? That brought me back to reality and I realized this was not in comparison to my own life. Right when the unlikely character you rooted for the whole movie finally gets the girl, she dies of some obscure disease they vaguely mentioned throughout the film.

I wanted a boyfriend, but not that bad.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Karma for Sale

I have had a ten hour work day. I skipped lunch and powered through to finish some cookbooks for a client at the print shop. I also printed the last project after a year long series of mini projects for a client's wedding. Her mother dropped by to pick up the name cards for the wedding reception in a few days.

From the same mother, I was handed a card thanking me for my design work and for helping them with thank you cards, programs, invitations and everything else in between. Inside was a gift certificate for a local restaurant.

I'm starting my post off to prove a point. I am a hard worker and dedicated to helping people. So why, why am I getting the short end of the stick? Within the last 24 hours, I have been denied not one, but two career opportunities. I felt in my heart and soul that either one of these would work out for me.

Neither did. I am so thankful for this blog. Recently I have been seeking refuge here to voice my excitement and yearning for a new direction. For a brief moment, I felt true clarity. "This is what I'm meant to do," I would think to myself. Why did I think I would receive an offer to both?

I would like to blame my generation and the way we were raised. Everyone is a winner. No one really "loses" when we are younger. You get a participation reward or something! So I find myself at a loss on how to deal with these rejections and what to do next.

As I was sitting in my car at the light a few minutes from my apartment, a homeless man stood in front of my car waving a sign that read, "Karma for Sale". I laughed at the irony and he rubbed his eyes to pretend he was crying after I shook my head.

He then walked on to the next car.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Aftermath

I kept my phone at my fingertips all day. I checked it every five minutes and refreshed my e-mail inbox as the nervousness grew throughout the day. Last week I passionately interviewed for a position I was absolutely certain I had nailed.

This insanity of checking my phone started almost 36 hours ago. I was told I would be hearing their decision yesterday on whether or not I was selected for the publishing assistant position. At the close of the business day last night, I held my breath.

Why didn't they call? What did I say wrong? Who makes the final decision? When are they going to call me? Where will this decision take me?

Today, it started all over, and by 4 p.m., I could no longer handle the uneasy pressure of the situation. They had said I would know something by Monday, right?!

I gathered the courage to send an e-mail. Another half hour passed. Refresh inbox. Nothing. Refresh, stupid inbox! Nothing. Suddenly, my phone vibrated to alert me of the e-mail that had just arrived.

"We regret to inform you that the position has been filled."

Now what?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Your Mom is on FB

When I was preparing to move off to college in the summer of 2005, I distinctly remember the moment I signed up for Facebook. Back then you actually had to have an e-mail address that ended with ".edu"!

It felt so exclusive. I thought to myself, "I am so elite!" Alas, six years later and I see high school students, parents, community members and family that I never imagined would have an FB account.

I'm sure this subject has been touched on before, but I will tell you my personal experience. I was horrified when I saw my mother wanted to add me as a friend. I thought, "Now I have to censor myself!"

And I did for a while. But she has surprised me with just as many comebacks and comments on my statutes that remind me of why we all need these social media outlets. I dare say that FB has made us closer as a family (with my blood-related family members as well as the family I married into).

When I once cringed at the thought of my mom seeing my status updates, I now look to FB to see what everyone is up to and then I make a phone call and find myself saying, "Did you see what so-and-so posted about blank?"

In a place that was created with such exclusivity, and a place I honestly thought was losing that power with the addition of high schoolers with Hotmail accounts, I am now grateful for the changes FB has made.

The social network has completely reinvented the way I interact with all of you. I'm so thankful for that!

Why do you love FB?

Blog idea by Chris Brogan

Art Imitating Life

Have you ever found one movie that truly speaks to you? I mean to where you compare every detail of your life and create links and meaning to every part of it? When I was younger, I remember taking the extremes of comparison with a little movie called Moulin Rouge.

Now before you go and start making fun of my movie choice, let me be very clear. I was in a time of my life that is completely opposite of my present one. I had no true love (my excuse: I was 15), a passion for singing broadway-style songs at the top of my lungs with music blaring from my dad's sound system from the 80s and felt very much alone.

I believe this was around nine years ago when I desperately wanted a boyfriend, true love and a movie-like life. Moulin Rouge had all of the aforementioned key elements. Like my current situation, the main character was infatuated with a love interest (Satine) who was completely unattainable.

In his quest for true love, he had crept around the squirrelly-looking financier (who thought the same woman was into him) while the dashing Ewan McGregor snatched up Nicole Kidman (Satine). Have I lost you yet?

In a story of impossible love, Satine chose the penniless writer over the wealthy financier. Then she died that same night. How horrible, right? That brought me back to reality and I realized this was not in comparison to my own life. Right when the unlikely character you rooted for the whole movie finally gets the girl, she dies of some obscure disease they vaguely mentioned throughout the film.

I wanted a boyfriend, but not that bad.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Anxiously Waiting

I had two job interviews last week, and I feel that both of them went well. I never really stopped looking for a (degree-related) job. Even at the print shop, I always had an eye out for something involving writing.

In January, within a few days, I found two opportunities. That's not actually true; I found one and tried to create another. At the school district I work for, a communications job was posted that caught my eye. I quickly applied and thought, this is perfect!

A few days later, I googled publishing firms in the area and found an amazing company that actually looked fun. I've heard the whole thing over and over about, "if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life!"

So far I have not found that to be true. But after interviewing (for the second time) with the publishing firm, it really hit me that could be true for me someday soon. But back to the interviews.

The first one went great! I felt extremely qualified and the work environment offers plenty of growth and personal development. It offers an opportunity to learn the publishing industry from the ground up. I walked out of there feeling great, and then drove only ten minutes to my apartment. Saving on gas would be a definite plus!

The second one went equally as well and was scheduled only two days later. I was thrown some tricky questions and within a few minutes I realized I was not excited about this particular position. It has more to do with writing than the first, but there is absolutely no possibility for promotion.

The publishing job has a high chance of developing into something much more and previous assistants have moved into other departments in the company as a result of their hard work.

I've always worked hard and always had a goal. If there isn't a ladder, or a "next step", then what are you working towards? I am somewhat of a gamer, and "leveling up" feels awesome. There is a rush of accomplishment that comes with conquering each quest.

Come Monday, I will find out if either was a match for me. Landing one or the other position would be an automatic level up for me, but I crave more. I'm ready to take the first step.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Total Money Makeover

I think I'm pretty good with money. We do have our weaknesses, such as eating out (I despise cooking and the mess it tends to make), as well as shopping for clothes. Other than that, I just save whatever is left.

I've never actually made a budget, but I am about to learn. During my lunch breaks, I catch The Dave Ramsey Show on 98.9 The Big Talker here in Austin. He always says something that catches my attention, including his constant urge for listeners to take part in a total money makeover.

He teaches Seven Baby Steps to financial peace. I started reading this book two days ago, and have had a hard time putting it down. Yesterday rocked my financial world escalating my situation from doable to downright terrifying.

My parents graciously paid off my student loan, but my husband discovered an $8,000 chunk of money we had forgotten that he borrowed. This discovery virtually canceled out the payment of my loan, in a sense.

As a result, we are learning how to budget tomorrow. I will be printing off the budgeting forms and getting to work on this. Luckily, we don't have any credit card debt. We aren't starting off too bad, but I would like to be debt-free in less than two years.

We'll see how this goes!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Opportunity is A-Knockin'

I've sent out hundreds of cover letters and resumes over the past year. I usually accompany them with only a few professional sentences along the lines of, "please let me know if you require any additional information in regards to my skills and qualifications for this position."

Now, that took several e-mail attempts to polish that one sentence up. I am a writer, and always felt like I had the right word for most situations. Somehow, though, I wasn't standing out among the crowd.

Then on one cold January night, I was browsing the Internet for publishing firms in Austin. I loved to edit and might like the publishing industry, I thought. I had worked for a magazine and my college newspaper, so I thought, "why not,"!

I played with keywords in the search engine until I came across one that caught my eye. On their site, I found a video about what it was like to work for their company and was floored. Everyone looked really nice, it seemed to be a fun work environment and they all worked very hard. "That's it," I thought! It was like something resonated with me.

I immediately located the owner and started, well, writing. I did something I had tried in the past but never with much success: expressed my sincerest interest in a position--any position--for the company.

That was six months ago. A month after my e-mail, I received a response from the owner. He said he would let me know if anything came up. Over five months have passed, and guess what? I have a telephone interview tomorrow.

Looking for a job? My advice: pour your heart out. Someone will listen and understand your passion.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother Knows Best

Early on a Sunday morning, I have quietly woken up before my alarm. No more sleeping in until noon and groggily hearing the shrieks of my parents, "what is wrong with our teenagers?!"

No, I am now 24 and laying in a bed my father made for me as a teenager while I listen to my mom and dad prepare some food today. It's Mother's Day morning, and this post will be a shoutout to them both.

Mom, thanks for reading to me every night as a small child. Over the last two years, I have regularly babysat and put two amazing kids to sleep while their parents went out on a date. A huge part of our routine is story time.

I had asked my mom a couple of years ago if she read to us before bed. Taking offense to this question, she defended herself with, "of course we read to you! Every night!"

My bad! Memory has never been my best friend. This nightly reading obviously shines through in mine and my brother's lives. He uses words to make music, and I string words together to make stories. Thanks, guys, for taking the time to patiently answer our "but why"'s during the reading sessions with a "let's listen and find out".

I was going to make this post about my dad, too, but they heard me giggle over their comments while cooking. So, I need to get downstairs and be a helpful daughter. At any age, you're still a daughter or a son. Don't ever forget.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Back in the Saddle

Somehow I have completely let my blog go untouched for too long. Time to get back in it to win it and let this ol' thing document my life again.

From what I can remember, my last few posts were probably shedding light on my not-so-lovely side. Over the past few months I have grown slightly bitter towards how my life was shaping itself. I was feeling a little undervalued and overwhelmed.

Things are better, and I finally received the nod I had been waiting for. Not a title bump or raise per se, but more hours. We'll take what we can get! I always work hard, so a couple extra hours a day is fine with me. Now I am working on another goal: this blog.

I had hoped to write twice, maybe three times a week. Fail! Let's see if I can keep your interest.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Taking Flight

As we fly 30,000 feet above ground, my husband and I occupy ourselves with a shared crossword puzzle and a can of Ginger Ale. We have no itinerary planned for our trip in New York, but I think I prefer it that way. I need a little more spontaneity in my life.

After speaking with many people, I've heard what we "have to do" and received suggestions on affordable dining. I am excited to get there and plan on blogging each day, like a digital travel journal.

I know I haven't been the most dedicated blogger lately. Things always seem to pop up or I'm just really tired. So here's to New York!

More to to follow. : )

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Editing Gone Mad

One of the first things that I like to do when I receive an e-mail or flyer to print at work is to skim through it for errors. I do not claim to be a grammatical or editing genius, but I can spot an extra space in a sentence from a mile away. (Who taught those kids to hit the space bar twice after a period?!)

Five things that drive me crazy:
1) The misuse of the words there, their and they're.
2) Any misspelled word. With spell-check in word processing programs and even included during e-mail composition, this leaves no excuse for misspellings! Especially with Google. (Did you mean definitely?)
3) Too much "fluff". Get. To. The. Point.
4) The unnecessary comma before "and" when listing items/things in a sentence. (ex.: "We ate corn, green beans, and mashed potatoes for dinner.")
5) People who misuse a word in a sentence, thinking it means something it does not. Once again, Google. Please.

I make mistakes when I am writing, but even I like to dissect it afterwards to ensure that I don't sound like a complete idiot. Sometimes I even use a pen on a posted memo to put in the apostrophe that's missing, or a capital letter when need be.

I miss editing. So if I correct your writing, please don't take offense. I am only trying to put my expensive journalism degree to use.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

New York City, are you ready?

It's been a while since I posted last. In a little over two weeks, I will be visiting a city I've always wanted to see: New York City!

During my freshman year of high school, I had it all worked out. I was going to be a clinical psychologist with an office in NYC. I am not sure where I came up with that idea, and I know I wouldn't be good with patient therapy since it involves more listening than me talking. And we all know I love to talk.

That career choice soon left my mind (too much school involved), and I fleetingly chose interior design as my next career path. I was, after all, subscribed to Veranda! How chic: a designer in NY!

Then, somehow, that dream faded, too. Now I will get to see how the city really is, through the eyes of a twenty-three year old. I may love it or hate it, but I secretly hope I don't fall too in love with it. It would be an impossible dream to live there, just as it was nine years ago, as I pined over a magazine spread (with stunning photos of living rooms!) sitting in my freshman math class.

The latest dream of mine is taking an elevator up to any magazine office in NY and asking for a tour. But that might be creepy, right? Ah, it's New York City! I'm sure I'm not the first crazy person to attempt it.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Diapers, Tantrums & Bottles, Oh My!

I find myself yet again catching my breath on the couch after my regular babysitting gig. I'm waiting for the parents to return, but that just allows me more time sit here and think. I know I have touched on the subject before, but recently I've been thinking heavily on the matter.

The last time I write about having children, I concluded that I would wait. Yeah, I have a confession: I am probably one of the most impatient people out there. And yes, I'm practical. I know that having a child isn't cheap. But I'm frugal anyway. Beyond obsessive...

I keep hearing things swirling in my head. "You and your husband both need steady, well-paying jobs!" (Oh wait, that's my mom's voice). "You need to buy a house first!" (This is in direct relation to the well-paying job statement).

It would be easier to pay off our student loans, save for a house, find a steady, well-paying job and ONLY then even remotely consider having children. Sound like after all those accomplishments, I will be well into my mid-30s.

Again, I don't know if I have the patience to wait that long or even the physical/mental/emotional strength to begin rearing a child then. So, here's to finding a well-paying job, sticking with renting affordable apartments and paying off my student loans. Forget the cookie cutter plan for life! We're going to have to skip a few steps I think.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Update on Resolutions

I have been trying to think of an interesting topic, but I still can't think of anything. Then it occurred to me today when my mom asked if I was eating a healthy lunch. No, mom, I wasn't.

One of my first blogs this year boasted my ambitious resolutions: eating healthier this year. It worked for the first month. Then it went downhill from there. I blame a combination of my husband's work schedule and the fact that I have been conditioned to believe that going anywhere in public at night equals violent crimes in not-so-well lit parking lots.

It's easy to say I'm just getting lazy about chopping up cucumbers and honeydew melons. But I am. I mean, this is how I've always been. I get super excited about making a change and it fizzles out.

I have found myself sitting in the same drive-thrus on my lunch break instead of munching on a salad with cucumbers. I still have time to get back on track, though. The year isn't over yet.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Confessions of a Workaholic

An avid reader and supporter has brought my lack of blogging to my attention. I have an excuse, really!

I will start off by saying this: I am a hard worker. I don't know why I have this insatiable appetite for working, but I do. With this habit, I had accumulated over 150 hours of comp time at my current job.

I've only used it twice in bulk, and the first time I took 56 hours off (7 working days) for my wedding. The next bulk of time was used last week. My boss suggested I take off for four consecutive working days.

I'm not proud of it, but when I take time off from work (whether it be forced or if it's a weekend), I do absolutely nothing. I mean, it's almost embarrassing. I literally do as little as possible to compensate my overworking habit.

That is why I didn't write last week. And when I realized this, it saddened me. I did spend my time finishing The Tudors series that I love. I also discovered The Secret Life of The American Teenager. Even now, at the end of a long day at work, I am laying on the couch writing this post!

Sometimes you have to allow yourself a break. My husband enjoys spending his time off playing disc golf (an outside activity), while I enjoy the pleasures of doing very little (an inside activity). A perfect match! Works for me.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Finding the "Write" Fit

I want to write. I have an outlet here, but that's what it is. An outlet. I feel like I have so much to express and I don't usually put this skill to use. I just want to write something... Anything. I can't find a position that requires 90% writing. If you know of something out there, please let me know!

I just feel so selfish when I say I want to completely enjoy my work. Is that crazy? Surely there must be more people like myself out there that feel out of place and underutilized! Raise your hands if you are.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Vintage Love

I just realized I had my vintage radio on the wrong setting. The treble was too low and, in fixing this, I shall never part with my beloved radio. I toyed with the idea recently, but my mind is now set!

It was about six months ago when I made one of my numerous trips down to Thrifttown that I saw this beauty. It's nearly seven foot long, and fits perfectly under my bar in the dining area. I saw this radio and literally bought it with no way of knowing how I would haul it to my apartment. My Dodge Stratus would not approve its size. So I called a friend who talked her dad into letting us borrow his truck to get it here.

Upon paying $90, (yes, I tried to talk that down, but it is gorgeous, honest!), a woman wheeled it outside in the rain and proceeded to drop it. The top sliding cover fell and chipped a bit of the edge off. I almost shed a tear.

We covered it with blankets as fast as we could and drove two miles to my apartment. Three flights of stairs later with nearly 100+ pounds of deadweight, my back was thrown out and I had a rare vintage gem in my dining area. I still need to buy a needle for the record player, but the radio is crystal clear and the speakers are original and amazing.

I love all things vintage and only buy these collectibles from Goodwill stores or thrift shops. What can I say? I love a good bargain. Here it is, in all its majestic beauty!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

1) Make List of Goals 2) Accomplish Them (or at least try!)

I've been thinking about my recent post, and upon viewing it from the reader's perspective, I can see how it may have been misleading. I mentioned how I had always "envisioned my life", and how it wasn't going as planned. I won't lie: I don't have my life figured out. At all.

I'll start off with this: I am a planner (which I know is silly, because we're always growing as individuals and changing our views and perceptions of ourselves). I was always a planner. During my junior year of high school, I had "planned" my college career. Then when I was told I had to take calculus for a teaching degree by my college advisor, I quickly changed my plans.

Even a week before I set out for college, my boyfriend (husband, now) urged me to follow my true passion: writing. After a year at the magazine I worked for, I changed my plans again and pursued something entirely different! It's not that I'm what you would call "wishy-washy". I sometimes see a different path, and think, "I'll try that!"

And all of my decisions boil down to my list of goals. I never actually wrote them down, but I always have a mental list of what I would like to accomplish in a month, a year or a decade. It's definitely not etched in stone, and if I did have an actual list on paper, it would be covered with eraser marks and entire paragraphs would be scratched out.

The point I'm trying to make is whether we realize it or not, we all have something we're striving for in this moment or by next year. I never feel like I have a clear vision of any of my goals, how I will accomplish them or if I will even be pursuing the same ones in six months.

That's the beauty of it, though! You can always add one to your list or start from scratch when you're really feeling adventurous. And with that, I think I will re-evaluate mine. It needs some fine tuning.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Beautiful Side of Fruits & Veggies

While I am trying to push through the second week of the new year (and my new eating habits!), I have found comfort in an article I stumbled upon today. As pale as I am, this news is exciting to me! I've always been opposed to tanning salons and now I have yet another great reason to keep munching on cucumbers and honeydew melon.

The beauty part is just a perk. My main inspiration for really sticking it out this year is my overall health. There is a dedication of time involved in the preparation of my foods, and it's no secret that I despise cooking. Nonetheless, I can't let myself quit this time.

And on that note, a flyer for a new gym in town landed on my desk at work yesterday. I must admit I looked at it longingly for about a minute, envisioning myself breaking a sweat on some cardio machine. Then that vision passed. I'll just stick with the healthy food for a while and ease my way into something of a workout routine...

I need to become friends with my Wii Fit board first. After all, it doesn't have a cost for sign-up or monthly fees. I can't wait to stand on it soon so it can tell me I didn't reach my goal I set a month ago. It's probably as vicious as a personal trainer, though. When you step on the board at it's command to weigh you in, it says, "Ohhh!"

Thank you, Wii Fit board, for using the tough love tactic!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Life: Why Planning Never Works

For so long, I envisioned my life in this order: grow up (check!), earn a college degree (check!), marry an amazing man (check!) and start a fulfilling career (still working on it). Among other chapters in my life, raising a family was at the top of the list. I've thought long and hard on this and have decided that may have to wait just a bit. And I totally won't lie to any of you when I say I'm just not there yet.

It's nights like these (every other Tuesday) when I care for two amazing children. I cherish these moments with them and can't wait to fully experience this completely one day, but something tells me I'm just not there yet. I am excited for the possibility of children in the next five or so years, but always imagined it would be wedding bells followed shortly by the pitter patter of tiny feet (on my dark hardwood floor of the house we don't own yet)!

Unfortunately, I am all practical and waiting for the absolute right moment (maybe when my husband and I both have steady jobs and we say to each other, "what student loans?!") These thoughts never crossed my mind when I was writing out the outline of my life!

If you have been following my blog, you might remember me jokingly saying I planned to eat better this year. I have taken it seriously and stocked up on fruits and vegetables. The change isn't so terrible (cucumbers and red onions "spice up" my salads for lunch), and I discovered I prefer honeydew melons over cantaloupe. I also am trying to stick with water and am proud to say I can't remember the last time I had a soda. Maybe I'll even dust off the 'ol Wii Fit Board. Let's not get too ahead of ourselves, though!

My husband is well informed of the situation and has been ordered to keep me in line. I always give up way too early, but not this year. I have to start taking better care of myself now if I want to be ready for an extra heartbeat later on--planned or not! This won't be easy, but that's what goals are all about.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Interru--"Are you busy?"--ptions at Work

A few days ago at work, I realized I had been interrupted nearly 40 times an hour (or so it seemed) by my coworker's rhetorical questions. "Should I package this job for delivery when I am done with it?" I never noticed the constant interruptions until I watched a video from TED titled, "Why Work Doesn't Happen at Work". See what you think about his views on this!

While it doesn't apply to my industry (print production), it could easily apply to many others. I thought it was worth a post. I only wish I could have that dreamworld of a workplace!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Resolutions Schmezolutions

Let's stay trendy and talk New Year's resolutions. Over the holiday break I finally broke down and bought two things that I had been wanting for so long. The first, and ultimately the best investment I have made in a few years, is my new iPod Touch. Amazing.

The second most important investment that I made over the break was in a little book by Kelly Cutrone titled, "If You Have to Cry, Go Outside". Love it. This book was approximately $26 at my local bookstore. For those of you who know me, you already know I would not pay that. However, on my new iPod, I have an app called iBooks. The digital version of the book was only $9.99--yes, please!

Her book was amazing. It inspired me. She's all about finding your inner purpose. That's what I have been trying to accomplish the past five years, to no avail. I've tried a few different things and keep scratching them off my list. I'm ready to find something that works for me and my lifestyle. New year, new ambitions.

I'm not really sure what I need to try next. I know I have about six months left here in Austin for sure, so I'm thinking big. I'm thankful for my job, but I guess I am selfish for not being satisfied completely with it. Do you know what I mean by "satisfied"? I want to delve into something and be truly good at it, but I also want to feel inspired and learn more. If you lose your interest, are you done learning, or just bored?

Am I crazy to be 23 and want to actually enjoy work? I mean truly enjoy it. I feel like I know my job pretty well, and I feel great when I help people every day, but I like ladders. I like goals and seeing what is the next step. How can I push myself even further?

That's what 2011 will be about for me. I'm kind of excited to be looking for more things to scratch off of my list. I should probably start running and start eating more fruits and vegetables, too. But let's not get too crazy.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Wanted: Amazing Job

I've been staring at wanted ads for months, always keeping one eye out for an amazing job. It's funny to me that you never see the other spectrum of the job hunting process: a description of what the job seeker desires. This is what my ad would look like.

Journalism graduate seeking full-time position that requires critical thinking skills, creativity and strict attention to detail. A strong work ethic and dedication are two of my most important qualities. The position must include utilizing my writing, organizational and communication abilities.

B.A. in Mass Communication, with an emphasis in Print Journalism from SHSU

- Strong work ethic
- Exceptional organizational skills
- Expert multi-tasker
- 2+ years of managerial/supervisory experience
- Ability to handle customer service issues as they arise
- Knowledge of Adobe CS4, Microsoft Office, and iWork

- Develop story ideas and generate content as needed by the employer
- Utilize organizational skills to improve communication and effectiveness of overall tasks
- Heavy interaction with many people on a daily basis
- Handle customer service issues as they arise with a friendly demeanor
- Write for hours on end, with attention to AP Style

- Former Associate Editor for Your Austin Home & Lifestyle Magazine
- Former Entertainment/Copy Editor for The Houstonian
- Currently working in production field

If you feel like I would be a great match for a position, please send me a cover letter highlighting your accomplishments and a fact sheet about your company. Please include your salary history for this position and three recommendations from current employees.