Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 Year in Review

2010 is quickly coming to a close, and I am thankful for another year of fun and blessings.

There were many firsts, and a couple of once-in-a-lifetime-experiences.

--My honey & I went to Game 6 of the ALCS, and saw the Texas Rangers beat out the NY Yankees, to make it to the World Series for the first time in franchise history (and shortly after the Rangers exited bankruptcy with new owner Nolan Ryan). My honey is a die-hard Yankees fan, so it was a very sweet win for me!

--We also went to Game 5 of the World Series to cheer on the Rangers, never expected to have that opportunity! Unfortunately they lost the game, and the Series, but oh what a ride.

--And we went to the Thanksgiving Day Cowboys-Saints NFL game with my good friend Christy and her family. The Cowgirls lost so it was even better!!

--I went to a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley with my coworkers - complete with beer & Wrigley dog. I love Wrigley!

--We celebrated my parents' 45th wedding anniversary in June; the entire family gathered at the beach for a weekend of sun and fun.

--Our family welcomed my niece, Reagan Jane into the family in late August.

--Volunteered at Best Friends in Kanab, Utah with my friends Saira & Val - what and incredible opportunity!! I can't wait to go back and volunteer again.

--Saw the Andy Warhol exhibit at The Modern in Fort Worth

--Saw the da Vinci piece at The Kimball in Fort Worth (only one in the western hemisphere!)

--Cooked quite a few new dishes, and found a few new favorites (including Spicy Pulled Pork, The Perfect Potatoes Au Gratin, Cajun Meatloaf, Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie, and The Best Baked Corn)

--Speaking of the kitchen - I finally finished my remodel, as we installed the backsplash earlier this year

--We tried many new restaurants, including Fred's Texas Cafe, Eddie V's, Sushi Axiom, and Dixie House Cafe (all favorites of ours)

--My honey & I took quick weekend road trips to Austin and Houston

--The Great Shoe Search of 2010 culminated with the ultimate find: Alegria Palmoa.

--My friend Trisha & I attended Maya Road/The Crafty Scrapper's Artistic Journey in October

--I had a semi-crafty year, learned how to make glass tile pendants (and shared the How-To with you!)

--My mom joined me in Vegas and we had a blast! We stayed at The Signature by MGM, saw "O" at Bellagio, visited the Hoover Dam, ate and drank well. We also went to Southern Nevada Pug Rescue's Pug-o-Rama event.

--I began volunteering with DFW Pug Rescue - what an amazing bunch of people helping pugs!!

--I saw Bon Jovi in concert. Up close and awesome!

--I jumped into the realm of DSLRs, and have been learning about photography. How do you like this one of my Audrey??

2010 was so much fun. I can't wait to see what 2011 has in store for us!

Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Snubbed by Starbucks

So I got snubbed at Starbucks this morning. The only Sbux between my honey's work and the house doesn't have a drive through. So it's a pain to walk in, but I really wanted my coffee today.

A guy walked up to the counter about the same time I did, and I let him go first. now, in reality, any "man" in Texas will always let the lady go first. it's just how they do things here. that should have been my first sign.

The chick taking the order greets him by name, and knows his order. that should have been my second sign.

She takes my order, and the guy at the register rings me up. I cough up my Starbucks card, knowing I'm 1 coffee away from my very own personalized gold card. he rings it up without saying a word to me, crabby ass. should have been sign #3, right?

Whatever...I just want my coffee so I can get out of there.

The barista hands "Les" his coffee, complete with the little sleeve, and a green stick in the spout to keep it from spilling. I thought to myself "awesome, those sticks are great to keep the car from getting messy".

Then she calls my name, and hands me my cup. No sleeve, no green thingee. Fine, the sleeves are in a basket on the counter. As I'm slipping the sleve on, I ask her for a green thingee.

Bitch looks me in the eye and says "oh we're out, I only had that one".

Uhm, lie. I see them sitting there in the back. Stunned, I looked at her and said in my best snotty-bitchy voice, "wow, only for the regulars, huh?" and walked out.

Guess I will now drive out of my way to a different Starbucks - at least that one has a drive-thru. *sigh*
Enjoy your new day! (with, or without Starbucks!)

Deck the Halls

Ready or not, Christmas is around the corner. My halls are all decked out - are yours?

I thought I'd share my tree and a few of my favorite ornaments with you.

Without further ado: VOILA! 

I decided against any sort of garland this year. I just wasn't feeling it. This year the simple look worked for me. And normally garland is my FAVORITE. Guess I'm in a weird mood this year. Meh...oh well!

This gingerbread couple are my oldest and dearest ornaments. My mom buys ornaments for everyone each year. That's her thing. She got these for me in 1978.

This little longhorn and star ornament is also one that makes me smile when I hang it on the tree. I got it at Rodeo Houston - many, many fond memories!

I don't remember where or when I found this filigree heart, but it's one of four, and a favorite!

And then there are the pug ornaments. This one from Florida - where else do Christmas + golf = ornament?? I always picture the pug saying "WHEEEEE" like the little piggie.

And this one:

Last, but certainly not least - my annual Starbucks ornament. They do a ceramic ornament of each red holiday cup - this is actually last year's. Yes, I'm addicted.

And no post about my holiday decor would be complete without Black Santa. My mom collects these guys (the Santas that is), and wanted me to have one too. She bought it for me several years ago, not realizing that Santa was a chocolate man. And this was long before the BF and I shacked up. I get a good laugh when Santa comes out of his box each year.

Ah Christmas. Ho. Ho. Ho.

Enjoy your new day!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Guest Blogging @ The Scrap Shoppe

As promised, I'm guest blogging over at The Scrap Shoppe as part of her Homemade Christmas recipe week.

Check it out!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Adult Realizations

A friend of mine shared this with me - I have no idea who the author is. If you do, pass it along in the comments and I'll give them the credit!


1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is a great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

7. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

8. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

9. Bad decisions make good stories.

10. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

11. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

12. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

13. I keep some people's numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

14. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

15. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night that more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

16. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

17. I sometimes have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

18. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

19. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

20. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and pinning the tail on the donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.

.Enjoy your new day!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Two of My Favorite Appetizers

December is the month of holiday parties, gatherings of friends and family.

Here are two of my favorite appetizers to take along to these gatherings - Texas Caviar and Artichoke Dip. I hope you'll forgive the lack of pics - I haven't made them yet.

Artichoke Dip
--imagine a creamy white bubbly cheese dish. you can do it!
1 package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
4 oz mozzarella or monterey jack cheese (I always add more...more is better)
1 can artichoke hearts (I like the quartered artichoke hearts)
dash garlic powder
--drain & chop artichoke hearts

350 degree oven, bake 20-25 minutes. Stir once halfway through.

And it's seriously that easy!! Serve with bagel chips, corn chips, melba toast, or whatever you like. Fritos scoops is one of my favorites.

Texas Caviar
ok, it's not really caviar. But it is GOOD. It requires opening & draining cans, and chopping some veggies.

You can handle that, right?
Ok - here's the can list. 1 can each of:
black eyed peas
black eyed peas with jalepeno (if you can't find this, use the regular BEP, and finely chop a jalepeno)
white homini
diced tomatos

The veggies:
--2 cloves garlic (is garlic a veg? hmm...)
--1 medium bell pepper - chopped
--1 and 1/4 cup chopped onion
--1 and 1/4 cup chopped parsley (use cilantro if you prefer)

and 8 oz italian dressing

--drain all the cans, throw into a big bowl with the veggies and dressing.
--chill 2 hours (let those flavors mingle and get happy!)

Enjoy your new day!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Working Girl's Survival Guide

It's probably not a big surprise that the drama and stress continues with my job.

At least the jerk-boss is gone. That's been a relief. But the work is still piled up deep, and no relief in sight. I can bitch and complain and whine about work - but it doesn't really change anything (ok, it does feel better for just a little bit!).

While I'd love to find a job doing something I love, that isn't an option right now. I'm not in a position where I can chuck it all and walk away (but a girl can dream, right??).

So until I win the lottery, I'm stuck. I ask myself daily - multiple times - "how can I find ways to cope in this situation? how can I make it tolerable enough to make it through another day, another week, or another month?"

And then I thought that if I'm asking myself these questions, I bet someone else out there is asking them too. I can't claim I've found THE answer, or know THE magic to making it happen. I will gladly share what I'm doing to try to cope.

First, I acknowledge that I'm trying to cope. Right? Admit there's a problem...that's where all the "programs" start. Take a deep breath, and just throw it out there. Here, I'll go first:

I have a problem. I'm not satisfied or fulfilled with my job, it's keeping me stressed out, and I just plain don't like it.

See? not so hard. The key is that once you know what the problem is, you can look for ways to solve it.

I've already mentioned that walking away isn't an option. I've been testing the waters of the job market, but if I'm honest with myself, I'm not clear on what else I want to do right now, and even if I did, is the grass really greener on the other side? I kinda doubt that... so I'm stuck here for a while.

One path of coping I can take is to focus on the things I do like about my job.

1. I work with GREAT people. Most of them. A very high percentage of them even. They are smart, personable, and fun to work with. That in itself is a blessing. And going into battle work I'm glad we are on the same team.
2. I work in my PJs from home full time. Huge, huge perk! No commuting, just roll outta bed, through the kitchen for a cup of coffee, and into my office.
3. I work with some pretty cool clients. Yeah, a couple of them are real jerks, but for the most part, they are neat companies.

Another coping mechanism? I remind myself that I'm working to live, not living to work. I use this tool when I get emotionally wrapped up in my work, and have trouble closing the office door. I am not willing to sacrifice my personal life for what is essentially - a job. That's right, it's a job, not a career (really - do careers exist anymore??)

An excellent one for when the work is overwhelming, and I have no idea where to start tackling it? The work will be there in the morning. It isn't going anywhere, and I am doing my best to conquer the mountain. This one is big right now - as we continue to be under staffed. I try to make reasonable commitments, and then do my best to meet them. Doesn't always work... but I'm not interested in 12 to 14 hour days, week after week. Cuz that's what it would take to even make a dent.

One thing I've learned is that it's important to have other interests and places to spend your time. Try to choose something you're passionate about, and that makes it easier. For me, it's been volunteering with DFW Pug Rescue. Maybe for you it's volunteering with your church, or another organization like Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Meals on Wheels, or a group you were in during your college years (for me that was AKPsi!). Or any other worthy organization. Maybe it's crafting, or decorating, or creating. Or writing, or reading. Or yoga. Or a sport (playing, coaching or just watching) - kickball is BACK y'all!.

Whatever it is - take time to discover your passion. It might just save your sanity!

Oh, and one other thing to understand - your passion may change, and when it does, that's ok. Find what interests you, drives you, and makes you WANT to walk out of the office in the evenings.

One last tip - and this one may be obvious. Have a support system. A boyfriend/husband/girlfriend, friends, family - the bigger the better. Someone to support and sympathize with you through the tough days (gelato, anyone?), and to cheer with you in the good days. And someone to moan and gripe with - because so many of us are in the same boat, paddling upstream.

So what drags you out of bed each day? What drives your passion? How do you cope with a less-than-perfect work situation?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's Saturday...and December..and..

...I should be running around checking things off my list.
Grocery shopping
Buying those last few Christmas gifts
Making those last few Christmas gifts
Trimming the tree
Cleaning the house

well, you get the idea.

I should be motivated to do all of these things, get into the holiday spirit, get off my duff and just DO.

But I'm not. All I want to do today is snuggle on the couch with the pugs (and my honey bunches), and be lazy. And that's what we're doing so far. Maybe the rest of it will come along...

You won't be too upset with just a card, will you?

Enjoy your new day!