Monday, April 17, 2017

The Weekend: Happy Easter

To say it's been an interesting two weeks since my last life update post would be an understatement.  

To make a very long and boring story short, last Saturday I woke up with a full body rash.  When I saw full body I mean FULL BODY.  It completely covered my face, neck, chest, hands, legs, stomach, back.....you get it.  It was bad.  It kept me home for five days, including three work days.  The worst of the five was Sunday and by Thursday I was cleared up enough to go back to work.  I saw two different doctors and it was decided that I must have had some type of viral axantham, which basically means a virus that manifests itself as a rash as opposed to a fever and aches.  I guess I can be thankful that I didn't feel bad but it still wasn't the most pleasant of expierences.   I literally looked like a leper from the 1800s.  I would have scared little children for sure.  Thankfully it's pretty much gone from the majority of my body, save for the sides of my arms and my upper legs.  I was told that it just has to go away so now it's a waiting game to see when it's going to completely disappear.  

So now that that is documented, lets get onto to my Easter weekend! 


FRIDAY

Since it was a holiday weekend, that meant I had Friday off from work as well.  As I mentioned I had missed work Monday to Wednesday so I didn't have to worry about taking the entire week.  Since my face had finally cleared up I knew the one thing I did not want to do was sit at home all day.  So, I convinced Jenny and her hubby to explore a little bit of Houston that day.  We ended up walking the trails at the Houston Arboretum for the afternoon.  It was the perfect day to spend out doors.  Warm, but with a cool breeze and some cloud cover.  We brought along their three dogs, each of whom had a fabulous time.  We worked up quite an appetite after wandering for a few hours so next we headed to Niko Nikos, a local Greek restaurant that has a couple of different locations around Houston.  I'm not a huge fan of Greek food but it was tasty and hit the spot.  If your a fan of Greek food, then you'll definitely want to check it out.  


SATURDAY

After a particularly active Friday, Saturday was particularly boring.  A leisurely morning was followed by a trip to Trader Joes for some flowers and Target for a few necessities.  While at Target I picked up all the things I needed to make Rice Krispie Treats for my contribution to Easter Sunday lunch.  I've never made them myself and was pleasantly surprised at just how easy those tasty little treats are to make.  Butter, mini marshmallows and Rice Krispies are literally all you need.  But I went ahead and followed this recipe.  I also added a few drops of pink and green food coloring to make them a little more festive.  I wrapped up the night with a Lord of the Rings movie marathon.  I know I'm the coolest person ever to all of you right now.  

SUNDAY

Easter Sunday dawned bright and early.  I didn't attend an Easter service this year but I wish I would have.  I headed over to my friend Whitney's house for Easter lunch with my Rice Krispie Treats in tow.  We had the best afternoon eating, visiting, and celebrating the reason for the day.  After lunch, the adults hid Easter eggs around the apartment complex and then the kids had a blast finding all the eggs.  I was on baby duty for my friend Arielle and loved every minute of it.  Following the Easter Egg Hunt, Jenny and I headed to Barnes and Noble for a quick browse and then headed home for the rest of the evening.  I wrapped up the evening with some tasty leftovers from lunch and the series finale of Girls.  


******
Overall I had a pretty great Easter weekend.  I'm thankful that the rash is finally clearing up, I just wish it would hurry and clear up on my legs because short season is upon us.  Anyway, I hope everyone had a fabulous Easter weekend!  

Sidenote: There are exactly 5 more Mondays until summer vacation so I'm gonna use that thought to help me get through this Monday!  

Linking up with Biana for Weekending! :)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Your Next Favorite Book: March Reads

It's my favorite day of the month!! Sharing the books I read throughout really is one my favorite posts to type up.  I love getting to see what everyone else read and add some new books to my TBR list!



Here's what I read in March!


Goodreads Synopsis:  Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. In just a few weeks she'll have the operation that will turn her from a repellent ugly into a stunning pretty. And as a pretty, she'll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun.

But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to become a pretty. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world-- and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally a choice: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. Tally's choice will change her world forever...


My thoughts:  Really really enjoyed the premise of this book.  I read it in a day.  I've also already read the second in the series and as soon as I get back to school, I'll be checking out the third from my school library.  Put these on your list, they're good!  Real good!



Goodreads Synopsis: When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know... 

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.


My thoughts:  I actually listening to this book on my drive home over spring break.  My expectations were really high with this one because everyone told me how good it was.  I really enjoyed it, a lot actually.  But I have to say I think I like the premise of the Infernal Devices just a tad more.  I'm also not sure if I will be reading any of the others.  I didn't really like that she made Clary and Jace fall for each other and then make them think they're brother and sister for an entire book. (I may or may not have gone and read all about books 2-3 when I got to the end of book one and was so disappointed).  That's just too weird.  And yes I realize they're not brother and sister but.....blegh.....just creeped me out.  So while I did enjoy the storyline a lot I'm dying to read the rest of the series.  Plus I've heard that she should have stopped at book 3 rather than going to 6.  Maybe at some point I'll read the rest, but I have so many others on my list that I'm fine with the rest of the series taking a back seat.  




Goodreads Synopsis:   Please make a list of everything you consider essential to your life.
The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.

Emma
Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.

Jane
After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.



My thoughts:  This was a random find at Target with my friend Jenny.  She bought it and read it first and then passed it along to me.  It was.....weird.  But in a good way for me.  It kept me guessing the entire book and had me wondering if I would ever be able to live with basically nothing but the bare basics.  The answer is most likely a hard no.  But I it definitely stayed a thriller for me most of the book.  I read a few reviews that slightly compared it to 50 Shades of Grey, not so much for the sex but for the controlling and bizarre personality of one of the main characters.  It was a very weird book but I have to say I didn't hate it.  But it might not be everyones cup of tea.  Oh and apparently it's being made into a movie with Ron Howard as the director.  




Goodreads Synopsis:  An eccentric wallflower...

Most debutantes dream of finding a husband. Lady Pandora Ravenel has different plans. The ambitious young beauty would much rather stay at home and plot out her new board game business than take part in the London Season. But one night at a glittering society ball, she’s ensnared in a scandal with a wickedly handsome stranger. 

A cynical rake…

After years of evading marital traps with ease, Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent, has finally been caught-by a rebellious girl who couldn’t be less suitable. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him. But Gabriel finds the high-spirited Pandora irresistible. He’ll do whatever it takes to possess her, even if their marriage of convenience turns out to be the devil’s own bargain.

A perilous plot…

After succumbing to Gabriel’s skilled and sensuous persuasion, Pandora agrees to become his bride. But soon she discovers that her entrepreneurial endeavors have accidentally involved her in a dangerous conspiracy-and only her husband can keep her safe. As Gabriel protects her from their unknown adversaries, they realize their devil’s bargain may just turn out to be a match made in heaven...



My thoughts: Lisa Klyspas is one of my favorite historical romance authors and I've read just about every book she's written.  I loved getting to see some characters from her past novels, that's actually one of my favorite things that authors do in their books!  But I also think this is a great stand alone.  You could 100% enjoy the book without having read any of the others in the series.  If you're looking for an easy, fluffy, and cheesy romance, this is the book for you! 




Amazon Kindle Synopsis: One duel could be considered a matter of honor, but three duels are attempted murder! With enlightened society outraged at such reckless behavior among young noblemen, the Prince Regent orders Robert Whitworth, the earl of Tamdon’s heir, and Lord Dominic Wolfe to end their dispute by allying their families through marriage. Whichever party refuses to comply will forfeit his lands and title.

Whitworth relishes the idea of sending his younger sister Brooke to his enemy’s remote estate. He knows the Wolf will reject her as a bride, thereby losing his wealth and status. The Wolf, however, is determined to scare away the Whitworth chit. With dueling no longer an available means of destroying the man he abhors, he will be satisfied to see him lose his lands and title. But he hadn’t expected his enemy’s sister to be so resourceful or resilient.

Brooke Whitworth has been dreaming of her first season in London because she intends to win a husband who will take her far away from her unloving family. Instead, she is being sent to the Yorkshire moors to wed a mysterious nobleman whose family is cursed and who has thrice tried to kill her brother. But there’s no room in her heart for fear; this man is her means of escape. She will make him love her!



My thoughts: This wasn't my favorite of hers.  I honestly didn't even bother really finishing it.  I skimmed because I knew what was gonna happen and got kinda bored.  The premise caught my interest but sadly the book fell flat for me.  She has others that are much much better.

*******

Overall March was an ok reading month.  I was able to accomplish my 5 book goal for the month and I liked most of the books ok.  Nut my favorites were Uglies and Devil in Spring.

Off to get some more recommendations for my TBR at the Show Us Your Books Link up with Steph and Jana!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Hello April!

HELLO APRIL!!! I am particularly excited about this month because this means we have exactly two months of school left. TWO MONTHS!  I can taste summer and it tastes so good!

I'm honestly not in the mood to make any goals for April.  So instead I'm just gonna share a lot of randomness that's been floating around in my head the last few weeks and fill you in on how I did on my March goals.  I'm going in on the fun with the What's New With You link up!



What's New With You


March goals revisited:

1. Spring clean my closet.  Still hasn't happened.   
2. Work out twice a week for the month.  Yeah no.  I think I went and worked out twice.  Shame on me.  
3.  Write at least 9 blog posts.  Check!
4. Actually get up when my alarm goes off.  Check check!  I'll let you in on a secret though, I just started setting my alarm for 6:00am and that forced me out of bed since I HAVE to be out the door by 6:45 or else I'm late for work.  I still wish school started an hour later then it does, then getting up would not be a problem.  I'm usually awake naturally at 7 or 7:30 on weekends.
5. Read 5 more books.  Check Check Check.  Once again I had some really good reads in March.  I'll be sharing them next week! 

And now on to the randomness......

[one] I'm highly considering switching over to Wordpress.  And when I say highly considering I mean that I've pretty much decided to do it, I just need to do some research on the best way to go about it.  I know that I'm probably gonna need to hire someone to do it for me, because I don't think I'll be able to handle all the coding involved to do it myself.  But I don't want to pay a ton of money on the process but this little ol blog of mine isn't exactly raking in the dough.  In fact it's raking in no dough.  

[two] I've been working really hard to up my Instagram game and it's really paying off!  I downloaded Helene's free ebook on how to grow your Instagram and y'all it's totally working.  Instagram is my favorite social media outlet.  I love taking pictures, looking at pictures and connecting with other bloggers!  



You can follow me on Instagram here

[three] I am so sick of the dark circles under my eyes.  I feel like I've tried every single under eye concealer, foundation, and cream under the sun and they still show they're ugly faces.  

[four] I love Dancing with the Stars but I can't stand Erin Andrews.  She tries way to hard to be funny and is so annoying when she is interviewing the stars and their partners after they dance.  

[five] The Amazing Race is back on TV.  I have always wanted to go on this show and that hasn't changed.  Maybe this should be motivation to actually work out.  Because if nothing else you have to be in shape to run that race.  

[six] I'm finally on the Halo Top ice cream train.  So tasty.  

[seven] I watched the season premier of Southern Charm on Monday and I could not stop lusting after Cameran's swimsuit.  It is exactly that I'm looking for for the cruise.  SO CUTE.  I found out via Instagram (which is you're not following her on social media you should be because she is HILARIOUS) that she got the suit at TJMaxx!  So I'll be scouring all the TJMaxx's in Houston until I find it.  




[eight] Brady update.  He is LOVING life at my parents house. My mom sent me a video of him playing with her cat outside.  They were chasing each other, climbing trees and just having the best time.  My mom said that he basically spends all his time out there now but comes in at night for some snuggles and love.  This makes my heart so happy and proves I made the right decision.  Sadie is much happier too.  She's relaxed and super cuddly again.  I've even seen her playing with the toys I have around the house.  Yet another sign that I made the right decision.

[nine] I'm think about chopping off my hair for the summer.  I just don't want my face to look fat. But I really want to do it.  

[ten]  I am literally a grandma.  At 8:30 every night I get so tired and am fighting to keep my eyes open past 9:30.  I can't make it past that without falling asleep on the couch though. SO TIRED ALL THE TIME.  I think this is another clue that I need summer to get here, like now.

*******

Alright, well I've babbled enough I suppose.  I'm really hoping to start posting more than just book reviews and randomness soon.  I really want this blog to start going in a more concentrated direction I think.  Since I'm not super happy with teaching anymore I really want to start exploring other options and who knows, if I start taking it seriously my little space of the internet could turn into more.  I'm so stuck on what I want to do and am constantly changing my mind.  I'm planning to use a large portion of this summer to really think about it and start making some definite strides to where I want my life to go.  

Wish me luck and say a prayer that I figure it out soon!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Currently [March]

The end of March is upon us.  It's been a great month but I'm excited for April! Lots of fun things are happening in April and plus, that means we're one month closer to the end of school!! woo hoo!

Seeing as how it's then end of them month, lets wrap things up with a good ol.....



Reading....I just finished the book Uglies by Scott Westerfeld.  So good.  I literally read it in two days.  Started Tuesday and finished Wednesday.  I'll be going to my school library to grab book 2 tomorrow.  I have so many books to read it's not even funny.  I just wish there was more time in the day so I could read more, watch my shows, and blog without feeling like I'm missing out on something.

Watching....All the shows right now.  But my favorite is Big Little Lies.  SO GOOD y'all.  If you don't have HBO, find a way to get it because you MUST watch.  I'm also so excited for April because Southern Charm is coming back and I'm pretty sure I like that show more than all the Real Housewives franchises combined.  And I just found out that Southern Charm: Savannah is coming to Bravo soon.  Fingers crossed it's as good as the original.

Looking forward to....This weekend!  Jenny and I are planning a trip out to see the bluebonnets on Sunday!  I loved taking pictures in them last year and this year we're going to the bluebonnet capital of the world, Brenham and Chappel Hill, Texas.  The bluebonnet fields are in fine form from what I can tell from Facebook and Instagram!


Wanting....a fresh look for the blog.  It's been two years with this particular layout and I'm bored.  I want something new.

Thinking about....The fact that we now have 44 days of school let.  All I can think about is being on a beach with some of my best girls, soaking in the sun and sipping a fruity drink.  We've made reservations to go to a place called Mr. Sanchos while we are in Cozumel and I am so excited for this to my view of the day.




Feeling....uncomfortable.  SO yesterday I spent the afternoon in an urgent care getting some antibiotics prescribed because Sadie bite me.  It was 100% my fault though and not her's in the least.  I was getting ready for work yesterday morning and thought I was stepping over her when really I was stepping right on her.  She yelped and reacted.  I didn't even really think anything about it until my foot started throbbing about and hour and a half later.  It started turning red and swelling just a tad so I went to see the school nurse.  And she advised I go get it looked at because cat saliva is apparently full of bacteria and can be very infectious.  So to the doctor I went, she cleaned it up and gave me the antibiotic.  I think the reason for reaction is because the bite punctured my skin and went deeper than a playful bite.  I really was more worried about Sadie then I was myself and still was when I got home.  But she was just fine and I will be too! But it does hurt when I walk.

Loving....This shirt and this shirt from J.Crew Factory.  I bought them on Monday.  Hello summer/cruise wear!  Oh and my new little gallery wall.  I still haven't posted a picture of it, see for Instagram stories and Snapchat but I will.  It's right about my desk and bring so much more personality to my living room!  I'll post a picture soon! :)

Needing....to buy a scale, as in a weight scale.  Ok so I've never owned a scale in my entire life.  And right now I'm trying to lose a little bit of weight, because #swimsuit season and I have no idea if what I'm doing is working because I can't weight myself.  Which is slightly annoying.

******

So long March!  We had a great time together!  See ya next year!

Have a great Thursday friends, we're one day closer to the weekend!!!!!

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Exploring Houston: Murals of the City {Part 2}

Last year I pulled together my a few of my favorite murals from around Houston.  Since then the mural scene has totally exploded.  In large part due to the HUE Mural Festival, that occurred for the 2nd year back in October.  Over 100 different artists took part in the festival and painted new murals around the city.  And boy did they come up with some amazing stuff!

My partner in crime when visiting the Houston murals is Ashley from The Wandering Weekenders so when I found out about a few of the new murals I knew I had to see if she wanted to come along.  Plus we were doing out annual birthday photo shoots so we hit two birds with one stone.

So without further ado I give you.....


Attached to each mural you'll find below are links to each of the artists Instagram pages and the hashtags they use for all the photos taken in front of their murals!  So be sure to head over to Instagram and give each of the artists some Insta-love! 


Love Wall - Whaley Fine Art

This was the wall that inspired me to find some new murals this year.  I originally saw the wall on a friends Instagram post on Valentine's Day.  The minute I saw it I knew I wanted to take my 29th birthday pictures here.  It's located in the same area as the Zipper Wall.  It's a relatively small space and there are two other murals flanking either side but there is still plenty of room to capture pictures.  There is a little railing directly in front of the mural so you will have to navigate your pictures around that.  

You can Instagram the following hashtags to see some of the many pictures people have taken in front of the wall.  #lovewallhtx  and #dreamzincolor.

You can find the love wall in the East Downtown area at the intersections of Leeland and St. Emmanuel Streets.






El Chan Guri - Luis Valle

So, I'll be honest, this is not a wall that I would typically visit.  It doesn't really go with my taste but I appreciate it for the artistic value and the talent behind planning and painting the wall itself.  Just about the only think I can draw free hand is a flower so this is pretty amazing and worth seeing in person!   I do however, love the colors that make up the background of the mural.  Those are right up my ally.



Fineapple- Trees McGee 

Personally I find puns hilarious so this wall gave me a good laugh.  Ashley really liked it so we couldn't resist getting a picture of her in front of it.  It's located on the same stretch of wall as the El Chan Guri mural.  You can also check out #RoyalMcGee for more pictures and murals by the artist. 



You can find both the El Chan Guri and the Fineapple murals at: 1800 Opelousas St. over by St. Arnold's Brewery.  

Be aware that your GPS might lead to a sketchy area, so my advice is to turn onto Maury Street the make the first right and you'll be on Opelousas street and will find the walls not problem!  


Rose Wall by Tyler Kay
(Disclaimer: I don't know if this is what it's actually called but it's a big rose wall so there ya go)

I first saw this wall over on It's not HOU it's me (a fantastic blog where Michelle and Anastasia cover all things Houston and travel related), and thought it was so neat!  Especially with Beauty and the Beast having just released in theaters.  It wasn't on our list for the day, but as luck would have it we basically stumbled on the wall while we were looking for the El Chan Guri wall.  And because of my love of Beauty and the Beast I knew I had to get a photo in front of it.

You can find the Rose Wall at: 1213 Maury Street, you'll be in the St. Arnold's Brewery collection of warehouses.




Sadly we only were able to snap photos at four of the many murals located at each of these places because it started to get rainy.  But there are a ton more murals along the stretch of each wall in the locations mentioned above.  Each are so unique and really do have their own story to tell.  

I'm really hoping the HUE Mural Festival happens again this year, because I will definitely want to attend and watch a few of these murals come to life in real time.

******

Just like last year, looking for, finding and snapping a few pictures in front of all these new murals was so much fun.  There really is nothing like getting out and seeing all that your own city has to offer.  

Happy Exploring! 

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