Friday, June 28, 2013

Flashback Friday and 25 before 25

Happy Friday!

Instagram has the whole "Throwback Thursday" (in other words: #tbt) thing going on. For my blog, I wanted to do something similar but on Friday's like "Flashback Friday" that way you can get to know me a little better week after week. Hmm, whachathink

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Fall 2009. The semester my little sis rushed Tri Sigma. The semester I became a big sis. It's was the most exciting semester in college because I had the privileged of picking up a little and showering her with wonderful gifts and guiding her through her sorority journey. Greek life truly is an amazing experience that helps you grow. Joining a sorority played a pivotal role in my college life.

I just started following fellow Texas blogger, Kristen from Making Each Minute Count.

She recently posted kind of a bucket list, her 24 hopeful wish lists to meet before her 24th birthday. I decided to participate in this idea and take a stab at it, except for me it's going to be

"25 before 25"
(before a quarter of a century)

1. Become active.  Ever since I went all big girl status with my first full-time job out in the real world, the extra pounds have been stacking up. Nothing drastic but enough to force me to have to buy five new pair of jeans. Freshman 15? More like Post-grad life 15. It's time to take action and get up on that elliptical. 

2. Go to the movies more. My boyfriend and I just recently started committing to this. We realized we were slacking on movies when the Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards aired and we didn't recognize half the movies. 

3. Pay off all credit cards and one loan. You may recall from my 2013 Goal: Pay Off Debt post that I designed a budget plan to where by the end of the year I will have paid off all my credit cards and at least 1 of my 4 student loans. I'd like to commit to that and succeed.

4. Learn how to cook. I can't always be eating out at restaurants. I want to put those Pinterest cooking recipes to action and learn how to make delicious pasta, lasagna, spaghetti, chicken - I want to learn it all.

5. Get my own apartment. My goal is to get a raise at work, pay off that 1 out of 4 student loan and save up enough money to move out. I don't want to make the move until I am financially stable. It's the smart thing to do. 

6. Visit Nashville. The city of country music. I am a huge country music lover. I want to see everything Nashville has to offer. 

7. Give Winston a sister/brother. I want my little baby Winston to have a play buddy. He needs a buddy to keep him company during the day while my boyfriend and I are at work. I'm thinking a white little maltese? I doubt my boyfriend will agree with this but hey - I have a year to convince him! ;)

8. Go indoor skydiving. I have been dying to try indoor skydiving. I don't have the guts to do skydiving (at least not yet) so I figured this would be the closest thing to it. And, Austin now has indoor skydiving! 

9. Take my boyfriend to the Natural Bridge Caverns. He's never been and we really want to do more touristy stuff that around town. 

10. Buy a Macbook Pro. I think it's time to upgrade to a bigger screen. This little white Macbook is time to go.

11. Run a marathon. Preferably the "Color Me Rad" one. I mean, if I'm going to run I mind as well go big with it, right?

12. Go zip-lining (again.) I went zip-lining over Fremont Street in Vegas and the adrenaline rush was insane. Never in a million years did I see myself doing that. I want to take it up a notch.

13. Ride the Stratosphere roller coaster ride in Vegas. I've been to Vegas so many times but have never had the chance to actually go on the ride. It looks insane!

14. Treat my sister to a mini-shopping spree. She's been raiding my closet lately and always complains that I shop a lot. I want her to feel like she can shop and not have to worry about it. That's where big sis comes in. 

15. Complete the ENTIRE pub run route. We never seem to finish pub run. We only stop at five bars (at the most) and for once I'd like to go to all ten. 

16. Read more books. I want to discover more books to expand my imagination. If you have any good book suggestions, leave a comment below!

17. Go kayaking in Austin, TX. It something I would be scared to do. You could flip over and drown! But I'm sure it'd be a great experience.

18. Fill up my piggy bank all the way. My boyfriend bought me a princess piggy bank a long time ago, like back in my early college days, for my dorm. I've always been curious to see how much it holds.

19. Buy the complete set of the Harry Potter book series. My sister took all of my books. We're huge Harry Potter fans.

20. Try one class of CrossFit (just to see what it's all about.) I'm not about all that CrossFit hype. Who am I kidding? I probably won't. Have you read the Stop Crossfit article on Post Grad Problems? Hilarious.

21. Enjoy a nice dinner at the Tower of the Americas. I have lived in San Antonio all my life and I've never had dinner up there. I hear it's nice but that the food isn't great. I figured I would give it a try, despite the 50/50 reviews.

22. Clean out my closet and donate the clothes. Whenever I clean out my closet I always take it to a buy/sell clothing store to get some extra cash. I want to change that and donate it. Someone else needs the clothes more than I need the extra cash. Someone else will give it a greater value than the $2 per clothing item a buying clothing store will offer me. You can't put a price on clothes on someone's back.

23. Eat healthy. I love my fast food but I want to live a long, healthy life. I need to cut back and eat healthy to stay in shape.

24. Buy a Nikon or Canon camera. I want to capture the times I decide to go on spontaneous trips with my spontaneous vacation crew. I want to capture the memories made on family trips. I want to provide better photos for you guys on this blog! (Really, I want to post photos of Winston in HD. Just kidding!)

25. Get a shiny new ring.  I mean, a girl can dream, right? The clock is ticking and this girl wants her Cinderella story. :)


Monday, June 24, 2013

Weekly Wishes

Weekly Wishes Link Up!

This week I decided to participate in The Nectar Collective's link up where you set a goal or challenge for yourself for the week.

What's my goal for this week?

Set time aside for myself.
I know it probably sounds crazy coming from someone who literally just got back from vacation but coming back to an inbox full of emails and a mailbox full of upcoming bills can be overwhelming. I'm the kind of person who wants to tackle everything in hopes to be free of stress but instead that adds stress. There are a million things I want to do but not enough hours in the day. It's frustrating and it can take a toll on your health. 

I want to learn how to balance life and set time aside for relaxation. Whether it's going for a run late at night, going to a 6AM yoga class or even going to a nearby park during my lunch to read the latest Cosmo magazine, as long as it allows me to escape my worries and ease my mind of all stress, then I've succeeded. I'm hoping a routine will come out of this. Everybody deserves a little "me time" and sometimes we forget to keep up with it. Set a time aside to doing what you've been wanting to do for a while. Clean out your closet. Reorganize your files. Sign up for a gym membership (A chuckle just slipped because I've been "planning" to go sign up for a gym membership but my booty loves the couch and my money is liking the view of the inside of my closet. But I will get to it!)

Do you set time aside for yourself? 
What's your "me time"?

Thank you Melyssa from The Nectar Collective for starting such a motivational link up. It's a reminder that we need to continue setting goals for ourselves in an effort to better ourselves as individuals. I'm excited to take part in this weekly link up. 

Want to join in on the fun? 

The "Weekly Wishes" link up rules are easy. 

1. Share your posts about your goals, challenges, or wishes for the week, month, year, decade, whateverPosts completely unrelated to the theme or linked to your homepage will be deleted.

2. Link back to this site so others can get their goal-setting on, too (You can use the button below!).

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3. The most important rule of all! You MUST visit the person’s blog who linked up before you and leave them some motivating comment love. This is non-negotiable and is such an important part of this linkup! We are here to encourage each other to accomplish our goals. Let’s do this together! Can’t wait to visit your blogs and see what you’re wishing for this week!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Glam Up Your Office Area

Happy Sunday! I hope everybody had a fabulous and relaxing weekend. My weekend consisted of sleep, unpacking, sleep and relaxing. Las Vegas threw off my sleep schedule and left me exhausted. (Not to mention broke! I don't know how I'm going to save up enough for Los Angeles next month. Luckily that's a short family trip.)

I've been obsessing with office space decor. I think it's the part of me that is dying to have a little place of my own to decorate each room. For now, my little office area will be my design project.

If your office desk or cubicle doesn’t put a smile on your face, then you are in dying need of an office makeover ASAP. Think about it. You spend the majority of your time at your desk at work, so add a little color and personality to cheer up throughout the work week. Remember to keep it classy and professional. After all, it is a work environment. 

Some of us may not have the luxury of have a large office space but instead a small cubicle-like area. Be creative. Make it work. I've been in the mood of a office desk makeover and have been on Pinterest looking for some inspiration. For me, I prefer keeping my work area simple and classy. Find your style and revamp your office area to fit your personality. 

1. Choose a color scheme that defines you.
You don't want your work area to look wild and crazy with colors everywhere, like it's Cinco de Mayo or a fiesta all over your desk. Keep it simple, classy and clean. Once you've chosen a color scheme, work from there. Right now I'm into the whole black, white and gold. After some online hunting for office supplies at some of my favorite stores, this is what I came up with. 

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2. Surround yourself with inspirational quotes. 
We all have those days when we’re stressed at work and need a pick-me-upper to turn our day around. You can find prints on Etsy, bloggers' shops or if you're familiar with Photoshop, make one yourself with your favorite inspirational quote. 

Image via Made By Girl

Image via Charm & Gumption
FYI: They also have some super cute inspirational pencils that are great for those days when you're feeling down. 

3. Add some life to your work area with some fresh flowers. 
Don't wait for your significant other to send you beautiful flowers on your birthday or Valentine's day. Go to the nearest flower shop and add some life to your desk area. It will instantly brighten up your day. It truly does add life to your surroundings. There's something about flowers that just put a smile on my face. It's a constant reminder that there is life outside the office.

[Image via Pinterest]

What's your office decor style? 

Tell me what your office decor style is like. A great way to start your office makeover is Pinterest. Find some inspiration on what you would like your office space to look like. The office space decor ideas are endless! 

Image via The Every Girl

Image via The Glitter Guide

Image via Tumblr.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Week Recap: Puppy Graduation, Las Vegas and the NBA Finals

I have a good excuse as to why I have been MIA from blogging: Winston's last puppy training, NBA finals and vacation in Vegas. It was an exhausting but good trip. (Note to self: next time I go to Vegas, I need to have self-control when it comes to gambling. Those slot machines are addicting. Once you sit down, it's over.) I'm excited to share all the wonderful happenings that occurred during this past week! Get ready for a photo overload on this blog post.

Happy puppy graduation!  
Thanks for all the good luck wishes. It was tempting to skip the class because we did not want to miss Game 5 but we didn't and it was worth it. Winston did amazing. I am a proud puppy momma. He did every trick perfectly and even threw in an additional trick: roll over. The trainer was impressed. We had practiced the "roll over" a few times before so I was happy he nailed it the day of training. The diploma the trainer gave us was the cutest thing ever. She even had graduation hats for us to put on our little pups for a picture. It took Joseph and I a while before we could finally get the hat to stay on Winston but once it was one, we went crazy with photos. It was the cutest thing I've ever seen in my life. 

We are seriously obsessed with him. We could not stop laughing at how cute he looked in his puppy graduation hat. The trainer asked us if we wanted to enroll him into the next level of training. We are going to hold off on that for a while. We have a lot of expenses coming up but we are definitely considering it. 

I (just) can't get enough of Las Vegas.
Yes, I have returned to Las Vegas and this time during the weekend of the Miss USA competition. Now, before I get into the Miss USA competition let me just confess: I am a Jonas Brothers fan. Yes, I am a 24-year-old girl who loves the Jonas Brothers. They are my guilty pleasure. Everybody has a guilty pleasure, right? Don't judge me. Nick Jonas was co-hosting with Giuliana Rancic and the Jonas Brothers were performing at the competition. When I heard there was an opportunity to attend dress rehearsal, I jumped to it. When I walked into to the Planet Hollywood theatre and saw Nick Jonas and Giuliana Rancic on stage rehearsing, I almost had a panic attack. Fan girl moment. I'm trying to upload a video of their dress rehearsal performance but it's taking a while to load. I will post it once it's done uploading. They performed "Pom Poms" and "First Time" - amazing!

As for the rest of the Vegas trip, it included DJ Pauly D, Latin Nights, Bellagio Fountain Show, losing money gambling at the Cosmopolitan casinos and more! Take a look.

It was a much needed vacation. I got my tanning on and shopped the day away. I lost money gambling. I walked the strip until my feet could no longer walk. I'm pretty sure I got a good workout. The temperature was extremely burning hot, and that's coming from a Texas girl. Vegas heat is like an oven whereas Texas heat is humid hot. 

Our flight was delayed, then back on time, and then delayed again and then taking forever to take off. We arrived back home to Texas extremely late, missing Game 6 of the Spurs vs Heat game. I gave in and bought WiFi to listen to the game from thousands of feet up in the air. I was trying not to scream but I couldn't help it. Even the pilot couldn't help it. He was giving us scores every 5 minutes. It was such a close game. Both teams want it bad but we all know who wants it more: THE SAN ANTONIO SPURS. I'm praying we win Game 7. Tim Duncan wants his 5th ring and deserves it. WIN FOR TIMMY. Can you tell the NBA finals is driving me crazy?

Let's go Spurs! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Bachelorette Talk

When I first found out that the next bachelorette was going to be Desiree Hartsock (also known as Dez), I was ecstatic! I loved her on Sean's season of the Bachelor and was convinced he was going to pick her as his future wife. When her first episode aired on Memorial Day, I was disappointed. I was not digging the batch of guys at all. For the first time in bachelor history, I missed an episode of the Bachelor/Bachelorette last week...and I didn't really care to go watch it on Hulu to get caught up.

Tonight, I thought I would give the Bachelorette one more try, despite Dez's constant use of the word "amazing" throughout the show. Why give the show another try? 

1. It's about someone's journey to finding true love. (Except for the fact that only 2 or 3 couples have remained happily together after the show.)

2. I love hearing what the cast of Kidd Kraddick has to say the following morning. It's hilarious! I love following Kelly Rasberry's live tweets on Twitter during the show. 

3. There's always the SMALL chance that Josh Abbott Band will tweet about the Bachelor/Bachelorette again. (They tweeted about Sean's season and I nearly died of laughter.)

Week 3, let's see what you got!

Already, I've lost interest.
Dodgeball as a group date? Not feeling it.

To the dude on the blue team that said "It was intense. We went balls to the wall." .... I mean, really?

The guy on the red team who is on the floor "in pain" because he broke his finger. Bro, it's dodgeball. Man up. One of the most painful feelings you've ever had? Don't talk to me.

Alright, so 15 minutes into the show and I'm already over ABC. But I'm toughing it out just so I can see the girlfriend walk in and call out her "boyfriend." 

Why are these guys so eager to open up to this girl about their "past" just 2-3 weeks into the show? Take it slow. Don't rush this process. "Love is patient, love is kind." Come on, boys.

And OF COURSE there's anther guy who has a little boy. Surprise, surprise. I knew it. 

I spaced out after that "confession" so I decided to head on over to Twitter to read along with Kelly Rasberry. Turns out, she's not live tweeting tonight. Bummer. 

THE PHONE CALL from Chris Harrison.

Can it be anymore staged? I think I'm done watching the Bachelorette. It was worth a shot. I think I'll just read Reality Steve. I'm extremely disappointed with how the show turned out. I was really hoping I'd enjoy watching Desiree's season. She seems like such a sweet girl who truly wants to find the man of her dreams. I wish her the absolute best and hope that one of these guys turns out to be her prince charming. Every girl deserves to find the man of her dreams and fall in love. Every girl deserves a happy ending. 

Are you watching the Bachelorette?
Did you tough it out?

Let me know what you think. Maybe I'll consider watching it again later on. Maybe.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Winston's Puppy Training: Week 5

I figured I'd do a quick little post on Winston's puppy training.

We didn't make it to Winston's puppy training class last Thursday because it was Game 1 of the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat game. I know, we're horrible parents but it's the finals! Luckily we were able to make up the class by attending another session on Saturday morning.

I love going to these puppy training classes because Winston loves it. He's so attentive and is eager to do the tricks because he knows he'll get treats. I mean, look at him being ready for class! The trainer loves him.
During Week 5 of training, Winston learned how to say hello to other people. The problem with Winston is that he's very friendly and tends to jump. He gets extremely excited when he sees other people so it was hard to get him to sit still for others to pet him. 

I thought the course was 8 weeks long but apparently next week is already "Graduation Day" - whoa, time flies! The trainer said he needs to perform all tricks: sit, down, leave it, loose leash and either "play dead" or "shake paw." Talk about pressure! We have a lot of work to do from here until Thursday.  Let's hope he graduates puppy training. Wish us luck!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday, y'all! 

It's such a nice day today. Texas decided to throw some rain at us today but now it's nice outside. It's the kind of day where you want to just sit outside and read the latest Cosmo issue while having a barbecue with the family - and that's exactly what I'm doing, with a little blogging of course. 

Little Winston is enjoying the backyard, having a little play date with the four dogs my family has: Dakota (a German Sheperd), Sally (a Chihuaha) and Wendy & Holly (terrier mix). And of course, my dad has his Tejano music playing so it feels like I'm in Laredo. 
Cosmo has a lot of bright color and outfit ideas, so of course I started thinking - it's time to mix and match some of those new clothing items I bought 2 weeks ago with clothes in my closet.

I'm a huge cardigan lover, so when Gap had cardigans on sale I was super excited. I bought this bright pink cardigan thinking it wouldn't match with much but I've been able to pair it up with a lot lately.

Especially white pants since Memorial Day was a couple of weeks ago so we can now officially wear them again. (Who even follows that rule though?)

Top: Gap / Cardigan: Gap / Shoes: Tory Burch / Clutch: Gap / 
Earrings: Betsey Johnson / Bracelets: Francesca's, Mod Cloth and Alexandra McQueen

Hope everybody enjoys their Friday today!

PS: GO SPURS GO! Drive for five. How amazing was Parker last night with that last shot? SWEEP!

My first time participating in the Friday link up #backthatazzup !

With my partner in crime/pledge sister/one of my best friends in Ireland for the next month, I wanted to dedicate this one to her. Our song! No matter the distance, she still manages to cheer me up regardless of the huge time difference. I'm loving her play-by-play text messages of her Ireland adventures.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Should I expand my Apple family?

Lately I have been going back and forth with deciding on whether or not I should dip into my savings account to buy an iPad mini. (I know, I know. I’m supposed to be saving but hear me out.)

Last Christmas my dad bought my mom an iPad and she is hooked. She absolutely loves it. It’s extremely convenient for her and very user-friendly. It was the perfect gift for her. She no longer uses her computer which I think is amazing. I’m happy for her because I would see her constantly struggling with typing out the link to websites and navigating through Facebook. She used the computer for two things only – banking and Facebook. Now, she feels like she’s on top of the world with her iPad and has even figured out how to watch some of her favorite novelas on it!

Why have another iPad in the same household?
For starters, I plan on moving out at the end of the year. My goal is to completely pay off 1 out of 4 of my loans prior to making that big move and have a decent amount of money saved it. (Crazy goal, I know. But thanks to my strict budget plan, the goal is looking more and more realistic.) I want to be financially stable and ready for that move. So, it wouldn’t necessarily be a second iPad under the same household for long.

Convenience. There are times when I'm in bed and I realize I have to make a payment or send out a quick email. I don’t want to have to get up and start up my computer again for one small task and an iPhone has such a small display screen that it tends to get frustrating. Sometimes I like to just lie in bed and watch YouTube videos or read some of y’alls lovely blogs. It’d be so much easier with an iPad mini. It would make life so much easier (or lazier.) I wouldn’t have to worry about a large laptop heating up and burning my legs. I mainly use my laptop for projects, writing, design work, research, etc – for the more time consuming projects.

But you already have a NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight!
I know, I know. The poor little NOOK is gathering dust on my nightstand. It was a spontaneous buy that I enjoyed for the first 3 months. I wanted to get back into reading. I went through reading 3 books on the NOOK and then suddenly became distracted with reality television. I do want to go back to using it again. I enjoyed reading during my lunch break while at the nearby park. It was relaxing. The NOOK is mainly for reading. I probably should’ve just bought the NOOK HD to avoid this dilemma.

iPad mini Wi-Fi 16GB


Now, if I buy an iPad mini I would have to buy a cute iPad case and I already found just the right one. 

You can never go wrong with Kate Spade designs and this one matches perfectly with my desk area at the office. It’s a perfect match waiting to happen!

What do you think?
Is it worth the buy? Should I hold off in case Apple decides to suddenly come out with a new version of the iPad mini? The pros and cons are pretty much neck in neck!