Friday, August 30, 2013


Holy moly. I only have three weeks left in Austin!

I must admit, I've been feeling pretty blue about leaving lately.  I know, I know, Joe and the pups will still be here. My permanent address is here. But in reality, I am moving to Dallas and there really isn't anyway to sugarcoat that I won't call Austin home for the next few years. 

Time for a Reframe?! Yes, okay.

On the positive side, in addition to the facts that I am moving because I have a wonderful job and  I will get to see my parents so much more, it's a FANTASTIC thing that Austin is so hard to leave.  If I didn't have such an amazing, full life here - completely filled with people I love - I wouldn't be so sad. And I wouldn't trade my life or the people in it for anything.

So, for all of my talk about wanting to move... Now that I am about to leave, I can't imagine calling any place but Austin home. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Adding "Author" to the Resume

Remember when I wrote that I was going to write a book for BabyBird Guide? Well... I wrote it!

Here it is, here it is!
To prove its legitimacy, here are a few articles about it:

Austin Business Journal: Beating the Sharks

Upstart Business Journal: "Want to go for a swim?"

Austin Business Journal: Lights Camera Revenue

*Updated: Austin I-Lab Radio Interview: Shark Tank

I can now add "author" to my resume, which is pretty darn cool. Much cooler than I expected.  Thanks for the accountability, blog!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

What Motivates You?

Recently I've been having conversations with people stemming from the question "What motivates you?" How do some people end up super successful while others falter. What keeps some people going beyond adversity? What does motivation even mean? And is it nature, or nurture, or both?

Before I was born, my parents decided that they would provide me as many opportunities as they could AND be as supportive of me as possible.  Hopefully this blog has made clear that I have them to thank for the things I have experienced in life. Anyway, I found the card they gave me when I graduated with my BBA from McCombs in 2001.   It made me smile because they could have given me the same card earlier this year.

"But most important, remember to have fun, keep healthy, and be happy."

"Enjoy your life. In the long run, that is what counts and is what you remember."

When I think about what motivates me, perhaps the biggest component is the drive to make my parents proud.  Twelve years after receiving this card, I have definitely followed their advice.  As I start a new stage of my life, I aim to still be the person that my dad pictures me: "Be happy and loving everyday." 

Motivation at its finest.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Because I Choose To...

Long story short: I lost my new orthotics. The very orthotics that have given me new hope in the world - hope that I can walk pain free again, that I can actually be a runner, that I can justify a $600 expense for my feet!  Somehow, between my front door and my car, they have disappeared. I have spent the last 3.5 days extremely frustrated about it.  (Joe may have other words to describe my droning and complaining, but I will stick with frustrated.) I am so clueless as to where they might be, that I have even considered the possibility that ghosts stole my shoes.

During our morning run, Katy told me a story about a lady who had lived in a Japanese internment camp and lost her baby.  When Katy asked her why she was such a positive, wonderful person without resentment or bitterness, her friend told her "because I choose to."


Life is like that. You can choose to do/be/think/act however you wish.  

While it's a much much much much almost laughable non-comparably-much less big deal than Katy's friend, I have a choice here. I can choose to be frustrated... or I can choose to order new orthotics and go about my business.  Guess which one I choose.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Feelin' Crafty, Part II

Previously I mentioned the bedroom painting mishap of 2011. Lesson learned: paint samples are your friends! At least I had fun with the color!
Anyway, Joe and I finally decided to repaint and cover the blue.  While we were trying to decide a new paint color, we primed the wall with grey paint. Much to our surprise, we really liked the grey! And thus... painting was complete!

I used the leftover grey primer and tester paint to fulfill my Pinterest dreams of making easy artwork. Ta-Da! Now our bedroom looks so much better!

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Makin' Stuff & Feelin' Crafty

For the past few weeks, I have been tackling one of my biggest fears: cooking. Thanks to some not-so-subtle yet needed hints from Joe, and a batch-cooking partnership with my friend Marisa, I am slowly getting over my fear of the kitchen.  It's quite an empowering feeling, I must say! I don't know that it will be sustainable once work starts, but until then I'm quite enjoying trying out recipes and getting to know my kitchen a bit more.  For example, today Marisa and I made coconut nut chicken tenders with a mango dijon dipping sauce, moroccan turkey meatballs, and sweet potato breakfast hash.
Delicious and freezable!
So this is what a food processor does. Who knew?!

So much deliciousness! Is it breakfast yet?!
Building upon this "making stuff" theme, I've also been feeling crafty lately. I busted out my robot-making box a few days ago and put it to use when Joe's nephew came over one day.
With the end result being projects like this.
One day I got pretty bored with paint chips...
But honestly, it was because there is a bigger project in mind...

The blue that has resided on our bedroom back wall was a result of an impulse paint purchase from home depot. Time for a change... all inspired by desire to make some art! All I need to do now is learn how to use a paint roller.

Some *might* say it's time for me to start working again. Honestly, I am not sure I could argue that!

Thursday, August 01, 2013

San Diego Photo Dump!

I now present a short recap from our family vacation in San Diego! Because I ever so brilliantly packed my camera, and then forgot where I packed it, these photos are courtesy of my phone. They also mainly feature food, as that was generally the highlight of our days!

Upon arriving on Sunday, we grabbed lunch at the Broken Yolk Cafe in Paradise Beach before heading to our hotel, the Paradise Point.  I selected this hotel because it reminded me a bit of Hawaii - it was on its own island, had numerous pools, activities, dining spots, and a gym. While it was a bit spendy, it was worth it due to the aforementioned amenities.   That evening my dad and I ventured out in search of seafood, and after attempting to go to the Pacific Beach Fish House, we ended up at Fat Fish.

Monday was spent exploring San Diego.  We started with brunch at my favorite, Hash House A Go Go. I dream of this place, so it was fitting that we started things off here. Luckily I knew enough to split two breakfasts between the three of us, but it was still food overload. Glorious, glorious overload.
Next we headed to Balboa Park. We walked around the rose gardens before making our way to Spanish Village.

My parents picked out a beautiful painting at one of the studios, and then we headed downtown.  My dad, in his unbeknownst to him quest to see every ballpark in the US, was quite happy to stop at Petco Park.
After this stop, we headed to Coronado Island for a while and then back to the hotel to swim with Rachel and Elie before heading to Enoteca Adriano for a delicious Italian dinner. Who loves no-corkage fees? We do, we do!

On Tuesday we headed to Solana Beach and did some shopping in the Cedros Design District.  We spent another afternoon by the pool, and then my dad and I braved the crowds at Pacific Beach Fish Shop to have some of the most delicious fish tacos ever.  We had to energize for our following day at the San Diego Zoo!

We started early on Thursday and headed to La Jolla. The highlight was the infamous "Coast Toast" at Brockton Villa.  I will definitely be attempting to recreate this masterpiece at home! Think my dad liked it? "Best french toast ever!" he proclaimed!
As for me, I tried to steer a bit to the "healthier" side with an egg white/soy chorizo scramble.
We spent the morning walking around the beach, admiring the famous seals, and exploring art galleries. I would love to come back here and go kayaking with the seals!  Or live in a house here. Either would be fine. I'm not picky.

Guess what we did that afternoon? Pool time!!! I was happy we had a room by the adults-only pool.
That evening, Rachel picked me up for a wine-tasting event at a hotel in La Jolla. We stayed for a while before venturing to Roppongi and sharing appetizers, including these diver scallops on potato latkes.  We followed it up with dessert nearby. All efforts at eating well stopped at this point of the trip!
Friday morning included brunch at Mission Cafe, and unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of the delicious strawberry banana pancake stack we shared.  Next we visited Rachel's house and admired her amazing design skills and fantastic children's book collection.  It was so fun to see the actual house after seeing so many pictures of it.

Our last big adventure of the week was a visit to Stone Brewing Company. Although it was a bit of a drive for us, we figured it was worth it to visit the most famous of San Diego's breweries.  (Selfishly, I also had decided that Joe needed an "Arrogant Bastard" t-shirt. Because nothing says irony like calling Joe an arrogant bastard.)

My dad and I headed to dinner at Tractor House, a sister restaurant of Hash House A Go Go. After stuffing ourselves with beer, burgers/fries, salmon, green beans, and corn bread... we decided that we were over our food adventure.  This night created a giant food coma for us both.

Saturday was a pretty lazy day.  However, a highlight was getting to walk the bay with Dorine in the morning! She had seen my zoo post on Facebook and checked to see if I would still be in town. It was great to catch up with her, especially with San Diego as the backdrop.  Later my dad and I tried to utilize the resort's entertainment, including croquet and basketball. For all the times I've won at Scrabble, my dad showed me who was boss at physical sports.

That evening we went to the Prado in Balboa Park.  We had enough time to wander around the lily ponds and snap some pictures before enjoying a terrific meal and dessert.  My dad and I had apparently forgotten that we were over our food adventures.  And thus begun "food coma part two."

My mom wanted a fancy brunch to celebrate our last day of vacation. We tried to eat at Snooze, but were thwarted with a two hour (!!!) wait. We ended up at Babycakes instead and then spent some time driving through Little Italy and along the harbor.
That evening, I went with the Wellands to Dante Enoteca for dinner part one. Rachel surprised me by bringing the babies from Jenna's baby shower to dinner.
Before my parents ventured back to Little Italy for dinner part two, I relaxed for a while and spent time reflecting on the trip.  I had a wonderful time with my parents! Our last family vacation (a Paris/Rome combo in 2000) was not exactly a smooth one, even though it was a great trip. (Put a 20 year old and her mom together for two weeks... recipe for one stressed out dad!) But this one went swimmingly. Because of all of our pool time? He he. Good to see I've grown up over the last 13 years, huh?
It was also wonderful to hang out with Rachel and her family, and I can't wait to visit again! San Diego Family Vacation was a great success!