Monday, January 31, 2011

I Heart the Weekend

How was your weekend??
Steve and I spent time relaxing, shopping, going out to eat, and cruising around. On Saturday night we got Pho for dinner, a Vietnamese noodle soup (If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend it, especially before the weather gets too warm). We browsed around some shops afterwards, including a used DVD store. You can find amazing deals at these places, and this one in particular had a very impressive selection. We picked up a few random DVDs (including The U.S. vs John Lennon  - Score!) and some ice cream (Ben and Jerry's "Half Baked") for dessert and headed back home. We had a great night watching movies and chatting. It was one of those times where I sort of felt like I was on a first date again with my boyfriend, which just makes me feel all smiley.

We were planning on doing a day trip to Fredricksburg on Sunday, but some unexpected things came up, and we decided it'd be better to go on a day where we have plenty of time to spend. We ended up heading to Black Star Pub and Brewery co-op, which I'd been meaning to try forever. It's very "Austin", and just a chill place to spend a Sunday afternoon sampling local beers and people watching. I really enjoyed doing something a little different and having Steve there to experience it with me. Sometimes I feel like a very lucky girl.

Pho with steak and brisket. Delish!

Ready for some beer tasting. Such a cute little sampler tray!

This was a great place to relax for a few hours. We watched a beautiful sunset.

Hope your weekend was enjoyable, and here's hoping next weekend comes quickly!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Super hero Saturday

Happy weekend! Any plans? I hope that even if you're working for the weekend, you're able to squeeze in some fun and relaxation.

I've had a nice start to my weekend so far. Went to a small get together at a friend's house last night and got to catch up with a few friends that I hadn't seen in quite a while. Steve and I met up afterwards and we stayed up much too late! At about 5am we almost gave into our cravings and went out for chocolate chip pancakes, but we behaved and went to sleep instead. Haha.
Luckily, we got to sleep in this morning (love my sleepy-morning-cuddle-time when Steve doesn't have to go to work), but I like when I have something to get up and do, so I'm forced not to be too lazy all day. In this case, it was a film audition (which was super fun, by the way!). I got dressed and ready to go while Steve made a Starbucks run. Love my non-fat latte' with an extra shot!! It really hit the spot, and the audition put me in a really good mood.

I don't have any specific plans for the rest of the day, but I think tomorrow Steve and I are going to take a day trip to near-by Fredricksburg for some light hiking and roaming around. I've been told it's a very cute German style town with great places for beer, so I'm sure we will be partaking in that as well. Hopefully I'll get some good photos to post here on Monday! The weather is absolutely gorgeous here right now. It totally feels like spring, so I hope we'll definitetly get to enjoy the outdoors. And, I love relaxing on a patio with a drink when the weather is nice. I've missed it!

Wouldn't this be nice?

Before I forget, take a look at another blog I found that I absolutely love, called Apartment 34.

Make up your mind to BE and FEEL amazing this weekend, no matter what!
Catch you later!

Friday, January 28, 2011


In Austin, breakfast burritos are all the rage. I wasn't really sure what all the fuss was about when I first moved here, but I've now tried them a couple times at different restaurants and they really are quite good. I tend to like mine simple. Unlike many people I've met in the south, there are just some condiments I don't consider to be "breakfast friendly" (read: ketchup, salsa, pickles, and so on...). I have, however, been "corrupted" into seeing the benefit in using salsa as a topping for eggs in very specific circumstances, and the breakfast burrito is one of them. Here's a super simple (and good-for-you!) recipe, which you can make at home in about 5 minutes! Great before heading to work, or for a healthy, energizing meal after your trip to the gym. Read on!

Everything you need! Substitues are easy, but I used: one egg (Eggland's Best with extra Omega 3), shredded cheese (Monterey Jack and Cheddar mix), and salsa (I like brands with simple ingredients - no extra salt, etc. Just veggies!), and a medium whole wheat tortilla (flour torillas work, too, but I actually like the wheat kind better with eggs).

I coat the pan with a calorie-free "butter" non-stick spray or a tiny bit of Smart Balance spread. I've started lightly stirring and scrambling my eggs after they are in the pan (rather than mixing them up in a bowl first), because it creates that nice swirl of white and yellow in the egg.  Flip half way through, cook thoroughly.

Add cheese and salsa to taste (you really don't have to go overboard with cheese for it to taste good). Wrap it up, pair it with a cup of coffee, and you're good to go!

Any easy breakfast ideas you'd like to share?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Good morning

Just a quick post to say hello, and that I hope you're having a good week. It's almost Friday! I'm having a little trouble getting going today. What about you? I made some coffee, and while caffeine doesn't usually have much of an effect on me, hopefully it will kick in a little bit soon. I plan on going for a run and getting some errands done today. Work has been slow this week, as it sometimes is. I can't complain, but with auditions dying down as well, it does leave me feeling a bit without purpose. I've been trying to come up with some productive ways to fill my time during the day lately. Any ideas for me?

This photo just makes me feel cozy all over.
If you need a little pep in your step this morning, take a minute for yourself before starting your day. Brew some coffee and flip through a magazine or some fun stuff the internet - send a quick happy wall post to a friend on Facebook (you could even send them the little greeting above!), browse through my blog (I'd love to be a part of your morning routine!), or give this blog a try! It's one of my favorites.

I am notorious for making to-do lists. I do it old-school and still write them by hand on little note pads. I am thinking of investing in a cute, decorative pad, just so my lists look a little cheerier. It can't hurt in improving my mood and motivation some days, right? A lot of times, after taking the time to enjoy my morning routine, sitting down and making my to-do list for the day (or the week), is enough to get me geared up to begin my tasks.

Not my to-do list. I wish!

Here's hoping you've had a productive week!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fashion Folder

I love fashion, hair, and make-up. It's sort of a hobby of mine, so I love to constantly change my look (maybe it's the actor in me) and experiment with new things. It's a creative outlet for me. When I'm really feeling the need for some fresh ideas, I'll usually do a Google image search for celebrities whose style I appreciate. Victoria Beckham or Gwen Stefani are common women for me to search, depending on what mood I'm in. Occasionally, I'll just search something like "70s fashion", "Fall fashion", or "vintage models" to get something unexpected. If I know a specific look I'm going for, but want examples, I'll search something like "hot pink punk style". It's amazing the cool stuff you can come up with! These images can give you great inspiration in how to use clothing you already have in a brand new way, which is extremely important for us budget-concious gals.

Other style icons I occasionally look to for inspiration are Rachel Zoe, Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, Michelle Williams (just recently...I love her new, edgier look, especially her new super-blonde short hair!), Kate Winslet, Pink, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Taylor Momsen, Tori Spelling, Geri Halliwell, Lady Gaga, Mary Kate or Ashley Olsen, Bridget Bardot (timelessly sexy), and more. Not all of these people reflect my exact personal style, but the important thing is to look at people who can help you branch out and get ideas, whether it's for hair, make-up, or how to dress.

When I'm browsing through the web and I find something I really like, I want to be able to reference it whenever the mood strikes. I've had a "fashion folder" on my computer for a long time, and I put any "looks" I really like in there. At this point, I have quite a collection, so I am able to flip through the photos whenever I feel like I'm in a rut, or looking for an idea before a night out. It's great!

Here are some of my favorites right now:

My Gwen. Such a fun look. I can 't wait to try something similar when the weather gets warm.

 I got this photo by searching "Fall fashion". I especially love the look on the far right.

 Excellent example of layering (as mentioned in an earlier post).

 So fun. For the right occasion, this is actually something I would try. I already own a hot pink wig (actually, I own several wigs - a perfect way to totally change your look!)

Ashley Olsen. Love this pretty/sophsticated make-up.

 Not Lady Gaga's typical look (yes, that's her), but I love it. This would be a really sexy-comfy look for Summer.

Love. What else can I say?

 Edgy-sophisticated, with sultry dark red lips.

Love this look. It makes me miss my red hair, but the contrast of the white lacey top paired with the firey hair and almost goth-like makeup is brilliant. In fashion, contrast is everything. It's my number one rule!

Share some of your favorite fashion ideas with me and tell me who inspires you!

Little things that make me smile...

This will be a reoccurring theme, we can only hope!

Freshly washed make-up brushes and sponges: I don't do this as often as I should, but I always feel better after I get it done. It only takes a minute and it makes me feel so much better the next time I apply my make-up. Not only does the make-up go on more effectively, but it makes me feel like I'm treating my skin better, which is acne-prone enough as it is! I use warm water and a gentle hand soap. It's best to wash everything before bed so it has all night to dry.

Capes: Lately, it's been the perfect weather to bring out my black, knit cape. I hadn't worn it in a while, but with the weather in the low 60s, it's great to layer over a sweater and skinny jeans for a little extra warmth without the bulk of a coat. Mine is soft and flowing, with simply a hole to put my head through, and an oversized hood. It also has some fringe on the ends. I wore it today while browsing some of the vintage clothing shops in downtown Austin, and it was ideal for such a beautiful day in January. I brought out the red lipstick today too, which I rarely wear. Sometimes, you're just in the mood for it.

Crock-pot dinners: We're still going strong with the crock-pot meals. The other night, we decided to try cooking our first whole chicken. We seasoned the chicken and added chicken broth, potatoes, carrots, onions, and mushrooms. Most of the recipes we've tried have been completely from scratch, so we've really just been experimenting. We ended up with what could be described as a rustic chicken soup. The chicken was so tender that it fell right off the bone. We actually were able to serve it directly out of the slow cooker with a ladle. I thought it made an amazing comfort food, although I think next time we would up the seasoning a bit. I think I'll be craving this the next time I'm suffering a bad cold. It would also be the perfect thing to cheer up a sick friend!

 What are some simple things helping you get through the week?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy Hour

I wanted to share a delicious little drink to enjoy when you get off work. I made it yesterday when I realized it was already about 6:00pm and Steve was on his way home. It gave me a little glimpse of Spring. Very simple recipe:
- Ice
- One shot of Captain Morgan Lime Bite Rum
- 7 -Up (You can use Sprite, but I prefer 7-Up, as it's less sweet)
- Lime juice, or a fresh lime
 I adore these pretty colored straws
I add the ice, pour in the Rum, and fill the rest of the glass with 7-Up. If I have fresh lime on hand, I squeeze one slice in and leave it in the drink. I have bottled lime juice in my fridge at the moment, so I just used a splash or two of that. Add as much or a little as you like. You can also dress up the drink by using a colorful straw or a lime slice as garnish. Enjoy!

A little shelf in my dining room. I hope to have a proper mini-bar one day soon. I need to throw a little cocktail party, so I have an excuse to use my "Some call it Happy Hour, for me it's a support group" napkins. A cute little Christmas gift from one of my best girl friends.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Let your weekend mood flow into Monday...

It was a fabulous weekend, and I was sorry to see it end! Saturday night was spent downtown seeing three talented bands, especially Language Room, a band I've enjoyed seeing for about a year now. I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by the opening band, IAmDynamite. If you're looking for some new tunes, and would like to support some independent musicians, check out their web sites. One of my friends came up from San Antonio to join Steve and me, and it was an all-around fun time.

I always love having an excuse to dress up, so nights downtown are exciting. However, it was to be a very cold night (lows in the 30s), and you never know how close you'll be able to park on a Saturday, so I wanted to wear something cute, yet comfy and warm enough to get me through the night without a hitch. One thing I love doing when the weather is cold is finding creative ways to layer clothing. You can be as creative as you like! I don't worry too much about matching perfectly. It's a great way to use a bunch of random, fun items you own to come up with something completely unique, and hopefully warm!
I wore a short dark pink/purple plaid skirt with a white, ribbed, racer-back tank top. I put on purple tights and layered them with knee-high black lace stockings on top. I kept my arms warm with my burgundy fingerless gloves. They are sporty looking with white stripes at the ends and go up to the elbows. I wore my relatively new, khaki colored, suded combat boots, which were a perfect option for style, comfort, and warmth. I also added a dark blue, sporty, zip up jacket, which was easy to remove and tie around my waist if I got too warm once we were surrounded by people and dancing.

I completed the look with very dark, smokey eyes and an almost "icy" pink lip. I kept my hair down, as I was really pleased with the fact that it had become wavy at the very ends throughout the day, but stayed straight and smooth everywhere else.

Steve and I spent much of Sunday shopping. He needed some essentials like new jeans. He's a pretty typical guy's guy, but he has a great eye for clothes and always seems to come across great stuff for me whenever we're out! He spoils me so badly, it's ridiculous, so while we went out specifically to buy stuff for him, I ended up coming home with a new pair of skinny jeans and a super fun pair of patent-leather, red, peep-toe heels! They are such a fun little item to instantly perk up any outfit!
One of my best girls met up with us for a little while, and we had a humorous time sitting outside the dressing room, helping Steve decide on which jeans to buy.

Heels by Paprika, Jeans by l.e.i.

This morning, I woke up with Steve and helped him prepare a whole-chicken dinner in the slow-cooker, to be ready this evening when he gets home. For now, I'm sipping coffee and browsing through some of my favorite blogs before putting my to-do list together for the week.

How was your weekend? Share some of your stories...and tell us how you might be coping with the Monday blues.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

When in doubt, clean. And eat some pancakes.

Had a nice brunch this morning at iHop. Yes, iHop. Not the most classy place in the world to go (especially in Austin, where I know there are some fab brunch spots), but sometimes you're just craving pancakes and a bottomless cup of coffee, and it's the easiest place to drop into.

I was craving pancakes, but when I got there, I decided to try the whole wheat french toast combo, which also comes with egg substitute and turkey bacon. A bit healthier, but still right along the lines of what I wanted, and it was delish! I've never had egg substitute before, and honestly, I wouldn't have known the difference. Steve didn't seem to be worrying about eating quite as healthy...

I headed back to my apartment after to get ready for an interview that was then canceled at the last minute. Bummed!! Feeling disappointed, I decided to distract myself by doing a nice cleaning job on my bedroom. I vacuumed (with my amazing new vacuum cleaner, which I got as a Christmas gift from my mom. It is not normal to love something used for cleaning this much), made the bed, re-organized my closet (which had gotten a bit messy after my MAJOR re-organization job a few months ago), and cleaned my entire bathroom.Then I sprayed the whole room with this beautiful smelling Glade "White Tea and Lily" air sanitizer that I found recently for only $1. Ah, it feels nice. It's even a warm enough day that I decided to open the windows to let some fresh air in.

Too many beauty products? Nahh...

I found a good use for this basket, which we bought full of goodies for New Years Eve snacks - to hold lavender bubble bath, colorful, butterfly shaped soaps, and my body brush.

Love my lamp from IKEA.

Tonight, Steve and I are meeting a friend downtown to check out a great local band called Language Room. I am looking forward to a fun night out, after the let-down today. Audition-wise, it's been a trying week. I'm doing my best to look ahead, and that's all you can really do, right?

I like keeping magazines close by to browse through before bed.
I also added my new "sweet pine" scented oil and reeds to the nightstand.

Friday, January 21, 2011


It's important to hang onto your inner child, don't you think? I'm lucky enough to be in a relationship where it seems perfectly acceptable to embrace ours often. Ha. For example...

...suddenly deciding to throw water baloons at random objects the dark.

...eating mini-Twix bars in the shower.

...two words: tickling and tackling (this would be Steve's favorite, I believe).

...watching animated movies. These days, definitely not just for kids, but a fun change of pace sometimes. This week, I've seen Despicable Me (surprisingly good, and so sweet!) and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (not as good as the former, but still pretty well done. I enjoyed trying to place all the British actors voices).

Hope you enjoy some silliness this weekend!


Spent way too much time in bed this morning (not that I'm complaining - it was lovely) and got up just in the nick of time to make it to a film audition. Picked up Starbucks frappuccinos for me and Steve on the way home. Since then, we've been chilling on the couch under a blanket and watching movies. All in all, a nice morning (ok, afternoon, more accurately).

Things should be a little bit back to normal this weekend, as this past week we've spent a lot of time house/pet sitting for friends in South Austin. I've also been running around to auditions much of the time. I haven't seen my apartment much. I think tomorrow night I'll be going out to see one of my favorite local bands with Steve and some friends. Other than that, I just plan to chill and hopefully get back to a somewhat normal sleep schedule. It's about time to start hitting the treadmill again, too. I've been lazy this week!

What are your weekend plans??

 Bed head! Steve likes to take random photos of me.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Little things that make me smile...

"Luxury" for less: I like to feel like I'm living "the good life" as often as possible. I've always been good at finding bargains and learning how to live within my means, while still feeling like I'm splurging. One of my favorite ways to do this is to enjoy a glass (or two, or three...) of wine occasionally in the evenings, especially after a stressful day. I'm not a wine connoisseur by any stretch of the imagination, but I know about different types of wines and I've tried a good number of low to mid priced brands (if you're one of those people who must spend at least $20 to enjoy a wine, this section probably isn't for you!). However, my go-to wine for a while now has been Walmart's (yes, Walmart) brand, Oak Leaf. It costs - get this - only $3 a bottle and tastes perfectly good. I especially appreciate their Cabernet Sauvignon, which is my favorite kind of wine, but their Pinot Grigio is also pretty impressive. I also like the Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc from time to time. I actually find most of their wine comparable or better than many of the brands I've tried for around $10.

When I first moved to Austin, sometimes I would enjoy a bottle of the Merlot with a box of DOTS candy (the yogurt kind)! Weird (and not particularly luxurious), I know! But it was so good, and it was the perfect little escape when I was feeling stressed. I'd sit by the big window in my bedroom, or on my balcony, with a magazine and relax.
I don't know many people who can't afford a $3 bottle of wine occasionally. Since I enjoy the taste of the Oak Leaf, I feel like it allows me to keep some wine around the house, for whenever that craving might sneak up or I have guests, without noticing any real difference in my bank account!

A inexpensive wine (as long as you enjoy the taste) is also a great idea, because you then feel freer to splurge on a dinner to go with it for an instantly more luxurious or romantic experience. Pair it with a pizza from a little Italian spot, rather than a chain restaurant, or grab some sushi for something light!

Feeling comfy-sexy: I love getting to that point at the end of the day where my work or little tasks are done, errands are completed, and I know I can slip off my tight jeans or boots, and put on something comfy (this is also where my Walmart wine can come in!). However, especially after a crappy day, I still like to feel pretty. My boyfriend usually heads to my place after work, so sometimes I like greeting him in something cute, even if I don't want to dress up. If you have a boyfriend or husband, grab one of his shirts (a button up dress shirt works perfectly) and put your hair up in a bun or ponytail at the very top of your head - the messier the better! Instant cuteness. If you're single, no worries! While you're drinking a glass of wine, slip off those heels, and put on your favorite PJs or baggy t-shirt. Play some music or put on a favorite TV show (see below) and make yourself an amazing dinner. I'm the least domestic girl you'll ever meet (thank goodness Steve cooks, right?), but I absolutely love cooking up something while drinking a little wine. Even if I'm by myself for the night, I light candles and really take in the alone time. It's important to schmooze yourself, too!
I greeted Steve in one of his jerseys last night. Wearing Texas gear to look cute for him may have been a bit too easy... :P

Carrie Bradshaw: Yeah, I said it. I didn't get hooked on Sex and the City until it had already been over for some time, but I absolutely love it now. Infact, I just caught a mini-marathon starting on E! What perfect timing. I had a rough overnight, complete with nausea and a pounding headache, so this might be just what I need to wake me up a bit and put me in a better mood. This show just makes me feel all good inside and reminds me to be one. amazing. woman.
Don't we all want her life?

Go on then, leave a comment. I wanna know what little things make you smile.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy January

Usually once the holidays are over, I am fully ready for Spring to begin. What's the point in this cold, dreary weather if there aren't pumpkin pies to be eaten or presents to give (and recieve)? But lately, I've decided to embrace the last couple months of Winter, and it's actually been very nice. Granted, it doesn't get horribly cold here in Texas, but we've had our share of uncomfortable days lately. Last week, we had about 7 days in a row of thick, grey clouds (though not much rain) with temperatures in the low 50s. It was a true pleasure to finally see the sun again this week, and usually, I like overcast days better.

I've been trying to remember to light candles around my apartment more often lately to create a cozy atmosphere. I really want to stock up on some more! They are such an easy way to decorate. My boyfriend invested in a slow-cooker last week, and has had quite a time inventing recipes and cooking us up some really yummy, wintery dinners. Of course, I'm the one having to smell the food most of the day while he's at work, so by the time he gets home, I'm STARVING!

Beef stew in a sourdough bread bowl

The first day with our slow-cooker, Steve made a beef stew with plenty of carrots and mushrooms (our fave!). It had given my apartment a perfect aroma by the time Steve showed up after work...with his arms full of fire wood! We enjoyed having the first fire since I moved in and curled up on the couch for dinner. Spring feels much further from my mind on nights like that.

Our second slow-cooker mealChili and Cornbread

Do you have a favorite winter-time recipe or tradition for staying cozy?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

First real post

To start things off, I'm gonna share some of my current obsessions. Since this is the beginning of my blog, it's important to know where I stand on the important things, right? I'll try and update my "currents" periodically. ;)

My current...

...favorite clothing: My new dark grey skinny jeans, which I got from Target for $19.99. Sleek, yet a tad rock 'n roll. They were such a find. My black suede thigh high boots, which my boyfriend bought me recently, are a very close second.

...go-to Starbucks order: Grande non-fat latte' with an extra shot. I add one packet of Splenda. Delish. The Verve - Urban Hyms (1997). Driving around listening to this CD just makes you feel cool. And who doesn't feel immediately inspired when those strings begin to play in "Bittersweet Symphony"? obession: oversized T-shirts (usually paired with sleek shorts, leggings, and big heels). Also, big or sparkley rings. I've become quite a fashion nut, so please bear with me. It will be a large part of this blog. For me, it's an art, and what I consider to be a hobby of mine.

In LOVE with these heels (Christmas gift from my boyfriend) obsession: Ginger pudding, which I tried at a Sushi place called Zen last week. Creamy heaven in a bowl, people. I highly recommend it. Actually, you're probably better off not ever tasting it, because dessert in moderation is key, and this stuff does not make it easy.

...favorite blog: Cupcakes and Cashmere. This is one of the type of blogs I referred to in the previous post. Just puts you in a good mood. The girl who writes it (Emily) is very cute, very cool, and sets an example for the kind of life I'd love to be leading myself!

What are some of your "currents"?