AL FRESCO

As I have mentioned many times, I love a good dinner party. Delicious food and drink mixed with loved family and friends makes for my FAVORITE time ever. With the weather being somewhat warmer yet quite enjoyable this season, it had me dreaming of dining al fresco. The window of opportunity here in Texas for dining outdoors is short as the cold seems to turn directly into HOT! So you have to be on your toes and prepared to get the party started! Of course I would need a back yard (or a boat!) to pull these off, but one can dream! Some of them are actually rather romantic which seems fitting for this national day of love.

Happy Valentine’s Day Y’all!

via pinterest

Oh, sister..

Today is my little sister’s birthday! She is turning 23 and it blows me away! [Mainly because it makes me feel so OLD!] I wish I could be back home to celebrate and make her a badass cake but I will have to wait until this weekend. [baby-step to FOUR O’CLOCK!] My sister is pretty much my best friend and THE funniest person I know. She could have a career as a stand-up comedian… seriously, ask anyone that knows her. You do NOT want to get in a battle of wits with her either.. she WILL destroy you! [It’s pretty awesome..] We usually converse through movie quotes and when teamed up can throw one helluva dinner party. She accepts me with all of my drama and I accept her and her temper. I am so grateful for all of the awesome memories and HI-larious stories we have [and the fact that we get along now!] I honestly could not have asked for a better sister.

You are brilliantly badass and the sweetest sister… [most of the time!]
You are one of the most compassionate, gorgeous and entertaining people I know. HAPPY BIRTHDAY KELLY!! I LOVE YOU! xx

P.S. You can’t even go to a bookshop without making the front page!

A Christmas Outfit

So this weekend I am off with the family for a Christmas-reunion-type thing out in glorious East Texas. This side of my family is kind of large, a few under 60 people. With any family that size there can be some drama. I won’t dive into the deep, dark secrets [I could write a book…] but there will be a new face or two and the absence of others. Unfortunately the one GREAT absence this year with be my great-grandmother. She passed away earlier this year and this will be my first Christmas, out of all my 26 years, not to celebrate with her. [I wrote a post about this not to long ago, I know…] It just isn’t going to be the same, especially since some of the drama is extra juicy this year! My great-grandmother loved fashion and I definitely need an badass outfit to showcase my superiority enjoy the festivities in… [if you knew the gossip you would not think of me as the bitch I am coming off as!] Soo with that.. here is my Christmas ’11 look. [I know it seems a little all over the place but it just goes to show where my mind is at with all this and the holidays! HAHA!]

Lately…

WOW! I can’t believe how long it has been since I have blogged. Work has picked up a bit, which is a good thing, but takes away from my creative juices. I have been just running back and forth between Austin and Houston and spending more precious time with my dear friends and family. Time has just gotten away from me. Also, I have been lacking inspiration a bit due to my stress levels being higher than normal lately. So here are just a few random insights into my past few weeks of running around.

texas renaissance festival. one of my favorite things.

my awesome kitty, Indy [Indiana Jones], hanging out at my parents’ house.

baking my co-worker’s german chocolate birthday cake. think I need to get a REAL mixer already.

racing for the cure in downtown Austin w/ courtney + laurel. yeah, I’m short.

as I head out the door to work. too lazy to get out of bed to say bye.

a REAL buck hanging out in front of a friend’s house. apparently it’s a common occurrence. unreal.

my new favorite drink. obsessed.

a Sunday brunch downtown. loved this! outlet shopping afterwards was tough after all the awesome food + tasty mimosas. good thing we are badasses!

occupy Austin. so tired of this. go away already!

storm rollin’ in on my way back to Houston.

homemade pizza by courtney + myself before the VS fashion show. our six year tradition.

now time for a nap.

HAPPY FRIDAY Y’ALL!

My Dad, the veteran.

I support our troops unconditionally and believe in the fight to secure our freedom. I have strong opinions in support of wars, past and present. War is ugly. The politics run deep, religion is questioned and ignorance is abundant. We civilians will never know the sacrifice these men and women gave. We need to look past the politics, religion and the ignorance of others and give THANKS to OUR VETERANS, the men and women who put THEIR lives on the line for our freedom and protection. For if it was not for their courage, this would not be the land of the free. After all, we ARE the home of the brave.

I am fortunate to be the daughter of a United States Marine. My dad served in Vietnam and there are no words to express my gratitude for his service to our nation. He is my hero and the person I look up to the MOST. He kicks ass, takes names and never backs down. (Except on the rare occasion when he is up against my mom, my sister and I.. HAHA!) He rarely speaks of his service and never seeks out glory in recognition. He saw the service as his duty and served his country proudly. He is by far one of the most influential aspects in my life.

I am proud to call him a Marine; I am honored to call him my Dad.

Many of the men in my family and group of friends have served in the military. I thank you for standing up and protecting our country. I thank you for putting your life on the line for our freedom.

Thank you for your sacrifice.

Semper Fidelis.

The Tree House

I don’t think I was ever one of those kids that dreamed of a treehouse. We didn’t have any large enough trees for that sort of thing. We had A LOT of bamboo and banana trees in my backyard that my sister and I turned into mini-cities, forests or anything we really need it to be including an area sectioned off for our “house.” Thinking about it now, it was not THAT large of a ‘forest’ but to my younger self it was never-ending. It was awesome and quite hilarious.

So even though my kid-self did not desire a house off the ground, my adult-self apparently does! I really think I need a design like this included somewhere on my future property. Maybe for my future kids OR mainly for the adults.. HA! I love how the legitimacy of the structure is played off with an almost “just found this stuff lying around” interior… i.e. mason jar lighting, tree stumps as stools, antler chandelier on a rope hanging from an ol’ pulley, exposed stud wall, and what I would assume to be found ladders and reclaimed wood. I appreciate that because when we were little it was just whatever we could find to add to our natural abode. They apparently had more chic places to look for found stuff than we did in our garage/backyard! However, I do feel like there was a bit of a standard though as to what crap we would and would not use. We wanted our digs to look nice too! Oh, the memories!!

Spotted here by way of here.

County Fair

A couple weekends ago I was back in my quaint hometown during our annual county fair. My mom had entered some pickles so we went and checked out her ribbons. (good Lord this makes us sound country!)

While it has changed quite a bit from my childhood days, there is still a bit of nostalgia hanging on. Our quick afternoon trip turned into an all night party as we ran into some old friends and stayed to listen to one of their husbands play with the band on stage. It was a no-frills, good time!