Ice House and Tacos

Friday, June 29, 2012

Pants: Zara...Blouse: Target...Cardigan: Target...Necklaces: Target & J Crew Factory...Earrings: Banana Republic...Shoes: J Jill via Buffalo Exchange...Bag: D&B via Buffalo Exchange...Shades: Gap via TJ Maxx

We said goodbye to our couple friends last night. He finished his Master's and they're going to travel for the summer before they move to Seattle. It's big and exciting, especially since she went up a few weeks ago for a few interviews and has already landed a job and found a place they're likely to rent.

The group met up at the West Alabama Ice House which has a great outdoor seating area, dogs milling around, basketball hoop, and lots of picnic tables. There's an amazing Taco Cart across the street. My Guy has had the hardest time warming up to not-really-nice-looking food carts, but he agreed that we could eat tacos for dinner while we sipped on beer and got nibbled on by mosquitoes. I thiiiink he might be a convert. Mmmm, all that spiced, greasy meat, warm tortillas, cilantro and onion overflowing and tasty, tasty green sauce that burned my mouth. It was a magical meal. And CHEAP!

One of the cute milling dogs was a fluffy, curly haired black ragamuffin, a poodle mix, maybe?, and it kept casually jumping up on the bench of our picnic table as the guys were getting up to shoot some hoops and stuck it's little face into the plate of taco leftovers. I had to swat him away a few times, nervous that he'd eat the onion. Onion is bad for dogs, right?

There was also a minor tragedy with me and the red version of the hot sauce. It was seriously pigmented and managed to get all over my fingers, the back of my hand, up my arm and in between my fingers as I opened the little plastic container. Which meant there was a very high likelihood of getting on myself, which of course I did. I ran into the bathroom and used hand soap to launder myself, walked out with an enormous wet spot and went on my merry way with the knowledge that it's so blasting hot it would dry within a few minutes. And it did. And I stuffed my face with delicious tacos and all was right in my world. Small pleasures.

You're the Best Around

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dress: Target...Cardigan: Target...Sandals: via DSW...Belt: thrifted...Bracelet: thrifted

An Ode to Target:
Your dresses are long and pajama-like. How I love thee.

Short and sweet- that's how I roll.

Dudes- I watched Karate Kid for the first time ever and I LOVED IT. I was a little shocked by how less-than-totally-corny Mr. Miyagi was and how earnest Daniel seemed to be. The ending was too rushed and there was no real resolution, but I liked the mix of cornball 80's teen crap and and the genuine interest and connection with Mr. Miyagi. We had one girlfriend watching with us last night who couldn't stop laughing at the cheesy moments, but I feel like on the whole it really is a movie with enough heart and entertainment to hang onto a spot in a list of must-see's. I have a few quick notes about the film, though: I would gladly take any of the vintage cars off of Mr. Miyagi's hands if necessary. Nothing better than a sweet old classic car (My grandpa has a major infatuation with Studebakers... and many other vintage cars- it rubbed off). Also, if four days of hard manual labor to teach dynamic and pertinent karate skills was all it took, I would probably be a karate master several times over. I call bull pucky. One last thing, Johnny is a turd, a mean spirited jerk and I'm glad Daniel kicked him in the face at the end. I'm not a violent person, but I like a good underdog story.

That's all I have to say about that classic movie.

Which way to the Gun Show?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Skirt: Banana Republic...Tee: H&M...Belt: thrifted...Shoes: via DSW...Shades: via TJ Maxx

Here's to hoping the rest of the week rolls along quickly. I'm tired already!

For the first time since we've been in Houston, I am a member of of the University's Rec Center. This means that 1. I can yank on my swimsuit and hang out poolside anytime I want, which is great since we live in an old apartment complex with no extras like that. 2. My Guy's Bromance teaches swimming lessons, so we can go harass him and/or eavesdrop for the adorably awesome kid quotes he tells us about. 3. I can work out at real equipment- something I haven't done in years.

We worked out yesterday and I am out. of. shape. Scary out of shape. So, starting now, we're going to make a real effort to get over there and sweaty at least 4 times a week. Because if you're too wimpy to work out for long segments, you should just do your best to work out often. And I want good muscles, so there you have it.

Are you linking up? Pleated Poppy's What I Wore Wednesday!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pants: Gap...Tee: UO...Shoes: Seychilles via DSW...Belt: Target...Necklace: Target

Our neighbors are the coolest. It's already hot and soupy all the way until the middle of the night, but we still all hunker down at the picnic table outside and chat for hours in the evenings. A lot of us are dog owners so we're formulating a plan to make a wood slat fence of sorts to keep dogs from escaping down the front sidewalk. Miles has been relatively trustworthy to spend the time outside roaming free with his leash dangling behind him, which is kind of unheard of for a beagle, but the fence will be nice.

And our neighbors are such interesting people, too! A special ed teacher, an artist, a gallerist, a wine specialist, a physicist, a med tech/ male nurse. Some of these folks do archery, some do rock climbing, some photograph weddings, some are bidding singer/songwriters. Vast and varied. I learn a new tidbit or hobby every time we hang out together.

We've never really had good neighbors before. In Tucson, our apartment was managed by a scary, angry, vindictive woman, which reeeeally set the mood for the rental experience. In Ohio, we had a string of bass with amp-playing night owls, pot smoking creeps and many arguing couples around our apartment. We're very lucky and happy our place in Texas is full of good people. It really makes it feel like home.

Have you ever had awesome neighbors? Any especially good stories about your nightmare neighbors? Share!

A Weekend of Awesome

Monday, June 25, 2012

Skirt: F21 (old)...Blouse: thrifted...Cardigan: Target... Belt: thrifted...Shoes: J Jill via Buffalo Exchange...Earrings: Wish Boutique

Yeah, yeah, the skirt's too long.

Hey, you all! I'm not exactly thrilled to be back into the work week, but I sure can't complain about my weekend. Friday we made this asian style slaw salad to take to an evening of grilling and hanging out with neighbors. I got to spend the evening mostly with our glass artist upstairs neighbor- he and his wife are both so friendly but I never get to chat with him alone. I discovered he's wonderfully refreshing and cheerful with a few naughty stories tossed in even when he's not playing the role of respectable husband. I enjoyed it immensely. Saturday was lazy and hot until about 2:00 when we went to the Pride Houston's festival (booths, swag and awesome people watching). We met up with a crew later in the evening, drank weird Wild Blue beers to get them out of my friend's fridge and wandered up to the Pride Parade. I cheered and nearly lost my voice, high-fived more skinny men in only underpants than most people will high-five in their lifetime, was gifted a boa that fell off a float after I yelled "May I PLEEEEEEASE have that boa?" and someone picked it up for me, high-fived a few drag queens, a bunch of LGBT allies, more skinny boys in only underpants, several insanely tall latina lesbians... I was a high-fiving machine. But, only one mermaid for our parade. Yesterday was spent catching up with a friend from when we lived in Tucson (this friend grew up 45 minutes south of Houston, it's a treat to be able to see him pretty often when he comes home). We were invited to join his family for the day at their rental house on the beach in Surfside, which was filled with lots of chatting and laughing, chips and dip, splashing with our dog in the ocean and more Frescas than any one person should consume in a day. It was hot, what was I supposed to do to keep cool enough to stay out in the sun to burn myself crispy? Kidding, I used sunscreen. Anyway, it was a wonderfully relaxed day and I love love love that his family didn't treat us special at all, we just got to join the lump of people milling and snacking and lounging and helping ourselves. My favorite kind of family time, even if it wasn't my family.

So, what were you all up to this weekend? Anything awesome? What are you looking forward to this week?

From Pride... I adore these women!


Friday, June 22, 2012

Jeans: UO...Blouse: Target...Cardigan: Gap...Shoes: J Jill via Buffalo Exchange

Tomorrow is Houston's Pride Parade. I thought I'd get an early start and dress in a rainbow of colors.

I've kind of weighed whether or not to write about the Pride events... Many of the bloggers I've gotten to know and appreciate happen to be religious and are awesome people. I didn't want to rock the boat, push anyone away, whatever... Here's my story: I, very thankfully, grew up in a warm Christian household, my parents are inclusive and loving people. My church was an awesome community for me as a shy, introverted kid who liked to learn and analyze and assess new ideas. When my Guy and I got serious in high school and I found out his sister was gay, my whole view of religion kind of shifted. I noticed that people I had looked up to as a kid had mean-spirited condemning views of the gay community. Their religion was used as a bludgeon for denying rights to the LGBT community. And I was absolutely repulsed. When I left home for college, I didn't seek out a church to attend. I couldn't maintain a relationship with a broad organization that told me one of the most loving people in my life was "not okay." And I kind of adore that my loving, Christian, faithful homelife formed me into the accepting, inclusive person I'm proud I've become. But most of my experience with the rest of the religious community didn't have the same values as me... Anyway, I'm not a heathen, I'm not religious, I'm not irreverant, I'm just doing my best to be loving.

And I love me the gays. Many of my dearest friends in adulthood identify with the LGBT community in one way or another. And I'm not going to apologize for forming strong, supportive friendships with loving people and I'll happily state that someone's gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, skin color, hair color, or food allergies has nothing to do with how I choose the people important to me. As long as you're willing to show a little humility and humanity, we'll get along just fine!

Happy Pride!

Bike Rack Blues

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Stolen outfit elements? Perhaps. If you think the pleated skirt and silly gold peeptoes are familiar, you're  a keen observer...

I thought after yesterday's story of absurd tragedy, another story of my ineptitude.

I love my bike. I love my bike rack. I bought it from a shop in which the owner is knowledgeable but isn't gross and patronizing about it. When I went in for a tune up, they offered to sell me an old junker rack rather than the $65 "mack daddy" rack. Because I wouldn't appreciate a nice one and I'm too cheap.

Last weekend, we spent a lot of time biking everywhere. And every time I touched my bike, I nearly tipped it over and definitely knocked my basket off the side of the rack. Every darn time. Water bottles scattered everywhere, the contents of my sling backpack dumped to the ground.

This is why I don't have nice things. I'm a bike rack menace. It's also a good thing I went with a back basket... I'm an overcorrecting steer-er and would probably wind up eating pavement if there was weight in the front on my handlebars.

Oh. My. Gosh.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Skirt: F21...Tee: UO...Scarf: Target...Shoes: J Jill via Buffalo Exchange...Hair Pin: H&M

Oh, my goddness gracious. Yesterday was the most absurd series of Mouse-trap style chain of event tragedies I've ever experienced at work.

1. The door handle on Boss Lady's front door pulled off in my hand. Poopy.
2. We completed our 3-week scrubdown of the the step-in tub that Boss Lady's husband never uses. Bug wash-out and water swirl.
3. The flipping tub's drain crapped out.
4. It crapped out in the bathroom directly above my office at the house.
5. The water drained not so much into the plumbing and more so into the cavity between the 2nd floor and my ceiling.
6. The water gushed (not drip... drip... drip. Think of a horse urinating. Gross. But accurate.) out of a small MR-16 light fixture.
7. Right into my hair.
8. Gushing quickly enough that the measly mug I ran into the kitchen to get to catch the downpour was laughable.
9. My co-worker saved me with a large stainless mixing bowl.
10. I ripped the cords for the copier/printer out of the wall and hauled it into the kitchen.
11. 4 1/2 feet away from the light fixture gush we had a second unfortunate and unexpected water gush out of the integrated ceiling speaker. Crap.
12. Crazy spashzone compromised both the Dell computer with our precious database and the Apple with our precious everything else.
13. Rip more cords out of more walls and jimmy them through gromets.
14. Oh, yeah, beg my co-worker to ask the other gal to turn the stupid tub off and get the water to stop pee-ing on me.
15. Die on the floor.
16. Revive myself to call plumbers and the crappy tub installer and harumph about the shoddy worksmanship.

Yeah, that was my Tuesday. I look so happy in these photos... If only I'd known...

Well, I'll still cheerfully link up, like most Wednesdays, with Pleated Poppy's What I Wore Wednesday and A Little Bit of Lacquer's Work It Wednesday.

It's a Pain in my Neck

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Skirt: Beijing tailor...Blouse: Odille via Buffalo Exchange...Cardigan: thrifted...Bag: D&B via  Buffalo Exchange...Shoes: Nine West via Buffalo Exchange

This blouse is so incredibly weird. There's an almost menswear style hem detail, it has asymmetrical buttons, odd grecian-inspired wrap detail. But, I love it.

I slept on my neck funny on Friday. It still hurts (TUESDAY!!) to turn my head too far from side to side and I can't lift my chin enough for a decent kiss goodbye in the morning. I'm tired of sending my husband off for the day with a sour frown and a whine that I can't reach his face- he needs to squat his 6'4" self down to smooch on me. Silliness. Any tips or tricks to ease up this pinching strain? Heck, if you told me the trick was to jump one-legged and sing "Mary had a Little Lamb" I'd try it.

Actually, no I wouldn't. I'm only mildly gullible, made up solutions are only a little bit helpful and I will brand you a faker. And I know list of possible solutions and/or the word "gullible" are not written on the ceiling, thankyouverymuch.

A Happy Early Morning Phone Call

Monday, June 18, 2012

Dress: Target...Shoes: Steve Madden...Belt: thrifted...Bag: D&B via Buffalo Exchange...Necklace: Target

I got an early call from my sister in Hong Kong this morning. It's so nice to hear her voice every once in a while. Emails are great, but hearing a story in her voice is always better. She and her boyfriend moved from a 250 sq ft apartment to one with a real bedroom and closing door, a separate work space and dining room and lots of good storage. They had been dying to find a bigger place where they could each be in their own space if they got frustrated or stressed so I'm happy they found a good one. They also found a new tenant to take over their old place, so the normal 60 day submission date for landlords was a non-issue. And they didn't use an agent for any of it, so fees were to a minimum. I think it all went just about as well as one could hope for, which makes me happy.

This unexpected and positive use of my morning also meant major bad hair. So, Pinterest came to my rescue and produced this lovely triple low bun which is not. bad. at. all. Sometimes chatting on the phone for an extra 10 minutes is rewarded with accidentally decent hair. I win.

OTI: My Pick

Friday, June 15, 2012

Ever develop a style crush on someone whose "look" is wildly different from your own? Yeah, enter Amanda from Off Of Broadway. Everything she puts on her body looks like perfectly slouchy magic. That combo of loose top and slim skirt? It always always looks good on her. Strong shoulders, powerful runners' legs, long, boyish frame.

Here's where I've noticed I have figure deficiencies (and I fully own up to these being my own ridiculous assessment of why clothes I want to look good in will never be right for my body... I'm actually fine with my figure): 1. I have wider hips than I realized. I would need more of a boyish straight frame to make this combo work. I know I'm slim, but my hips are relatively bangin' for as little as I am. 2. My hands are huge, my wrists are little and my shoulders are narrow. Not a good combo for the type of wonderfully slouchy and oversized tops Amanda can rock, it kind of makes me look skeletal rather than ethereal. Important distinction. 3. My posture has become crap. And that's my own stupid fault.

So, I will admire and adapt. Slouchy sweater? No, but how about something straight rather than nipped in and fitted? Cool. Miniskirt? Heeeeck no, knobby knees, but let's shoot for a(nother) pencil skirt. I will, however, continue to swipe Amanda's awesome jeans, tee and heels looks. That's always a weekend win. Just click the link and scroll through a few posts... you'll know what I mean.

And that's why I love interpretations. Check out Erica, Kayla and Grace and all the other goodies linked up!

OTI: Group Pick

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Skirt: Gap, thrifted...Shirt: J Crew...Cardigan: Banana Republic, thrifted...Shoes: Seychelles via DSW...Earrings: Banana Republic

Um, yes. This inspiration was awesome, the chance to remind myself about this pleated skirt was awesome, gingham is awesome. Erica, Kayla and Grace- good call on sending one out to the masses!

Today is a big day, sort of. My Guy applied to a music teaching job in China and I'm responsible today for sending them physical copies of a DVD of his music and a DVD video of his site-specific performance. A sample curriculum and other qualifying documents will be emailed to the selection committee by the end of the month, they'll review materials from everyone and decide who goes from Round 2 to Round 3 (Interviews!). We're not holding our breath for anything, my husband isn't even through his comprehensive exams yet. Exam completion would classify him as ABD (all but dissertation) and most hiring universities won't follow through with anyone without their degree in hand, but it's an excellent learning process to go through the steps of preparing for a selection committee.

But, not bleeping up getting the materials mailed and slated to arrive on time is a big responsibility. Especially international mailing. Think good thoughts for me around 1:00 p.m.- I'll be in line at the post office getting ready to mail. Eep!

OTI: Kayla's Pick

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Skirt: thrifted...Tee: UO...Shoes: J Jill via Buffalo Exchange...Belt: Target...Scarf: via TJ Maxx

Kayla is the queen of Rock and Roll glam hints, like a vest, moto jackets, a graphic tee here and there... I tried several vest options for today's OTI, but they just aren't my thing. And I'm okay with that. I tried the recent looped and belted scarf trend. And this scarf is too long or too short, depending on how I loop it. So, I went with status quo scarf styling, and it feels most "me." And then it dawned on me: That's what OTI is all about. Take an inspiration, pull a little nugget out of it, don't copy, just make it your own. So while this looks nothing like the fabulous inspiration photo, it jump-started a look I'm very pleased with. Casual, graphic print tee's and vests aren't sensible for my work week, but a dressed up tee, skirt and the mix of cheerful color and a summertime vibe are exactly what I was looking for. (My shirt is a pale mint... can you tell? Neither can I.) BTW, check out Erica and Grace and the link ups to all the other gals playing along. W.I.N.N.E.R.S.

I'm also gonna say it... the mint bug took about 3 months to bite, but it got me good. I cracked up when I read this post... Um, guilty as well. I may or may not debut the mint crops I found sometime next week.

Additionally, all Link Ups seem to be on Wednesday, so here are a few more: Pleated Poppy's What I Wore Wednesday, A Little Bit of Lacquer's Work It Wednesday
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