My 10 Guilty Pleasures/Obsessions


Guilty pleasures…everyone has them. Yes, even you! You know, those things you may not want to admit to everyone even though they make you happy.

With the stress of daily life it is important to allow ourselves the opportunity to indulge in our own guilty pleasures at least some of the time.

So today I bring to you a few intimate details about my guilty pleasures and how they make me who I am.

Remember…there is no judgement in the blogging sphere.

1. Grey’s Anatomy.

Grey’s Anatomy has been on TV since I was in high school. I didn’t start to really watch it until my senior year of high school going into college. I loved it so much I couldn’t wait until the seasons came out on DVD each year. I would buy it as soon as it was released and would spend every free moment the next few weeks watching all the episodes. After I watched them once I would go back and watch them again. I preferred having Grey’s Anatomy on my TV than all the other junk that people were watching. So I had it on in between class, getting ready to go out I would have it on, or just when I was sitting down to relax and watch TV. I watched Grey’s Anatomy so much that I got my best friend hooked on it and now she loves it just as much as I do.

I can admit now that my husband now likes to watch it and enjoys keeping up with the episodes with me. One day we watched one of the newer episodes and Kent learned something about one of the characters that played out in an older episode. He was a little distraught about what he discovered because it was about one of the characters he liked. So I stopped the newer episode we were watching and said ok, that’s it we are starting from the beginning. And we did. Just this past weekend, we got caught up to the season of Grey’s Anatomy that just finished on TV. So now we can get caught up and be ready to start the new season with it starts next fall.


2. Cake Batter Flavored Ice Cream.

First things first…I love ice cream! Almost any kid of ice cream will do. BUT if Cake Batter flavored ice cream is a contender then you can bet that it will be my number one choice. I will eat it mixed with gummy bears, chocolate chips, sprinkles, or my favorite cookie dough. There are nights where we have already eaten dinner, gotten comfortable and all snuggled in for the night and I just really want some ice cream, my sweet husband will hop in the car with me just to go to marble slab and get some cake batter ice cream with me. Of course he gets some to but he still does it for me.


3. Lists.

I make a list for almost EVERYTHING! Seriously. Grocery lists. Packing lists. Honey-Do lists for Kent. To do lists. Lists outlining my day. Errand lists. It’s embarrassing to say that I often times have 3 lists started at the same time. For instance, I typically have a grocery list at the house on the fridge and then I have a list I have started as I think of things at work. Then I will go home and compile the two lists into 1 list. And there you have another list. It’s a vicious cycle that I don’t think will ever stop. But it keeps me organized, or at least I think it does.


4. Gel Nail Polish.

Over a year ago I bought myself the Sally Hansen at home gel manicure kit that is sold in drug stores. I was so hesitant at first but now I am obsessed with it. I now paint my nails a new color every week and I don’t have to worry about drying time (which is THE worst and hardest part about painting nails). When this first came out there were not a whole lot of colors to choose from. BUT NOW…oh man, there are so many colors to choose from. I get excited when new colors come out and I go home to show Kent the fun new color I found. I have a collection of about probably 13 now, and they never get old.

Check out all the fun colors I have collected and love.

starter kit

greigeGreige

shell we dance Shell We Dance

wine notWine Not

silver glitterSilver Glitter

rose gold glitter Rose Gold Glitter

pink daisyPink Daisy

pink chiffonPink Chiffon

ocean sparkleOcean Sparkle

mauve maven Mauve Maven

little gold dress

Little Gold Dress

la cremeLa Creme

french manicure
French Manicure

espresso bean
Espresso Bean


5. Cheese.

I love cheese. It should be its own food group. My husband isn’t a cheese fanatic so he finds humor in my love for it. But I could eat a straight handful of cheese, cheese on crackers with pepperoni, macaroni and cheese, wine and cheese, and my absolute favorite queso. In college, my go to snack was always some fresh queso I made in my bullet blender. Now, I love when we go to Rosa’s Café Tortilla Factory for dinner because what I order for dinner is their large chips and queso; yep that’s it, just chips and queso. Sometimes I will get a chicken fajita burrito, but I mostly devour the chips and queso. Mmmm Cheese!


6. Wine.

This isn’t much of a guilty pleasure since most people who know me know that I love wine. I love red wine, white wine, but definitely NOT sweet wines. In my opinion the dryer the wine the better. But wine is something I not only like to drink but I like learning about it. I like learning about what makes wines different and unique and finding out what tastes I like and don’t like. There is nothing like coming home from a long day at work to your sweetie, pups, and a glass of wine.

Right now these are our two inexpensive go to red wines.

PicMonkey Collage

 

 


7. Potatoes.

Baked. Fried. Frenched. Mashed. Au gratin. Chips. I love potatoes. I would be perfectly content if all I ever ate was potatoes and cheese (see guilty pleasure #5). Unfortunately I don’t, because that would not be healthy, but if I could I totally would. Don’t think I haven’t thought about it.


8. Baths.

I love a good bath. Most people prefer showers because they are quick, but I love baths because you can just sit there, relax and be lazy for a moment. Sometimes a glass of wine accompanies my bath (see guilty pleasure #5) and I will just sit there for what feels like forever. Then I am relaxed and de-stressed for a good night’s sleep and whatever the next day brings my way.


9. I still have a “blankie.”

Well, it’s not technically a blankie. But it is a quilt my grandma and grandpa gave me for the birthday when I was in the 4th grade. At the time I had a white framed day bed, and this quilt had the perfect assortment of pastel colors to make my day bed complete. Well, as I grew up my bed set changed fairly often and after I no longer used it for my bed, it became the blanket I would curl up with on the couch. Now, this quilt has been broken in to perfection and is still to this day my FAVORITE blanket. This quilt keeps me warm; brings me comfort as it has for many years, and reminds me daily of my grandma and grandpa. Doesn’t get much better than that.


10. My puppy Layla.

I never really had a pet growing up. Well, my mom got me a cat one year for Christmas, it was the color of my hair and I named him Tiger. Tiger was an outdoor cat who loved wandering off for days at a time. I can’t remember how long I had Tiger for, but I don’t think it was for very long. Because of that and the fact that he wandered off all the time, I never had the chance to attach to him. Ever since Tiger I have always wanted a snuggly, loveable, fluffy pet of my very own.

When I started dating my husband, he already had a dog. His name is Fagen and he is a Doberman. I finally had a dog to love on and spoil. To this day Kent says I am the reason our tough looking Doberman is such a lover. Fagen began thinking he was a lap dog and of course I let him and I loved it until I realized I can’t keep having a 70 pound dog lay on my lap. I am a pale red head and I bruise easily. I began really wanting my own lap dog.

It wasn’t until this past August 2013 that I finally got my baby girl, Layla.

Layla is a Yorkie and we searched long and hard for her. And I am so glad that we did. She turns 1 year old on June 6th and she is the perfect combination of every quality of everything I wanted in a dog. She is a bundle of energy, she loves to run around, play with her toys, and pick on her 70 pound brother Fagen. Yet she is a soft, snuggly teddy bear who loves to give kisses. I really do believe that animals are good for humans and our health, because my mood completely changes when I see her so excited to see me after I have had a long day at work. I adore her and she makes me beyond happy.

laylaLayla
photo (1)Fagen

 

And there you have it, my 10 guilty pleasures/obsessions.

What are some of your guilty pleasures or obsessions?

A Charity You Should Know About


Sturge-Weber Syndrome. (SWS)

How many of you know what this syndrome is?

My guess is…not many of you.

At least this was the case for me and my family until my niece Anabelle was born.


Without getting completely scientific, let me start with telling you briefly what Sturge-Weber is. According to the Hunter Nelson Sturge-Weber Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute, Sturge-Weber Syndrome is a rare neurological disorder affecting approximately 1 in 20,000 births. Children with this syndrome typically have a port-wine birthmark on their forehead or the entire side of their face . In addition to the port-wine birthmark, those with Sturge-Weber have abnormal vessels on the surface of the brain which can cause seizures, muscle weakness, and developmental delays.

Hunter Nelson Sturge-Weber Syndrome Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute at Johns Hopkins Medicine have recently discovered the underlying genetic mutation responsible Sturge-Weber Syndrome and their hope is that they can now move towards more targeted therapies for those who live with this syndrome.


Now let me tell you about my best friend and niece Anabelle, who will be 9 years old this year. She is the most beautiful, smart, creative, strong, and ambitious person I know. She has a love and passion for her friends, family, and everyone she meets. Anabelle also has Sturge-Weber Syndrome.

Anabelle had her first seizure shortly after she turned one. That’s when we began to educate ourselves on SWS. It was something none of us knew anything about at the time but we wanted to make sure we were educated in order to give her everything she needed. Anabelle’s parents (my brother and sister-in-law) have and are doing everything possible for Anabelle to have the best life she can.


 We are praying that since research has discovered the cause of SWS, the cure and more effective treatments will soon be discovered as well.

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My sweet Anabelle

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Getting our dance on

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Me and my flower girl

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Anabelle with her mom (Julie), dad (Alan), and brother (Burton)

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photo 2Anabelle and I through the years


In the meantime Anabelle, our family, and other loved ones of those with Sturge-Weber Syndrome, (see one of my favorite research efforts here) are raising awareness about this syndrome and raising money to support the advancement of research for this disorder.

One Saturday afternoon, my niece had some girls from her class over. They decided to set up a table outside and sell rainbow loom bracelets and lemonade. I found out later that it was a huge success, not only because these rainbow loom bracelets are cool, but Anabelle was going to give all the money they raised to her SWS doctor, Dr. Anne Comi, who is the director of the Hunter Nelson Sturge-Weber Center at the Kennedy Krieger Institute.


Working hard for something and not seeing instant results can be a hard concept for children to grasp. But Anabelle understands that not only will her effort help others with SWS, but also that she will one day personally benefit from the advancement of research.

I know, I know. there are always stories on the news about a child who went through some miraculous effort to raise money for a charity, which is so fantastic, but I guess those stories felt distant to me since I didn’t know the child who did the fundraising.


I recently traveled to see Anabelle and the whole family because I missed them all terribly. While I was there I had Anabelle show me how to make these cool rainbow loom bracelets. One of our favorite things to do together is anything crafty and artistic, so this was right up our alley. Of course, after I made one of these bracelets I was hooked and wanted to make more.

After I got home from my visit, I decided that I wanted to help Anabelle out. I bought my own rainbow loom and rubber bands and started making bracelets for Anabelle to sell. So I guess now my niece has a distributor all the way in Lubbock, Texas.

Anabelle made bracelets for my husband Kent and me. They were red and black since we both went to school at Texas Tech. Kent wears his to work everyday and is SO proud to tell everyone that his niece made it for him. Some of the guys he works with like them so much they have asked to buy some.

My plan with all the bracelets you see below is to send them to her so she can get busy selling them. In addition to these colors, I have also purchase red, black, camouflage, and even pink camouflage rubber bands to appeal to all the Lubbockites.

My hope is to sell some locally and assist Anabelle in raising money to advance research for Sturge-Weber Syndrome.

 

Take a look at some of the bracelets and colors below!

Anabelle sells these bracelets for $3 each.

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These are metallic colors.

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These glow in the dark.

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These are fun bright neon colors.

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The purple and turquoise combination are the colors
Anabelle has chosen to represent her foundation.



 If you want to contribute to the advancement of research for SWS,
you can make a donation to the
Hunter Nelson Sturge-Weber Center here.

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Time…You Are Such A Sneaky Thing


I can honestly say that I have NO CLUE where the time has gone. I feel like life is a swirling vortex of happenings lately. From family, work, and trying to have a social life I have barely found the time to sit here and even write this blog post.

So what has happened in the past month since my last blog post?

First off, Kent and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary on March 2. Again I ask…where has the time gone? It does not feel like we have been married for a year already, but man what a wonderful year it has been.

The last week of February, the week before our anniversary, we decided it was time to put a patio in our backyard! We have an awesome tree in our backyard, but it keeps the grass from growing in a very large portion of our yard, so it was mostly dirt. And with both of our dogs chasing each other in the backyard and rolling around in it, a mini haboob seemed to always be created in our backyard. So we decided that it was time for us to do something about it. Below are some before and after pictures.

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Before the work began

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The Outline

photo 1 (5)
The new patio has Fagen’s approval

photo 3 (2)The end result

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Layla loves the new patio

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Layla really loves the new patio

photo 3 (5)
Layla hanging in the shade with me on the lounge chair

It makes such a HUGE difference and we are so in love with it. We love nothing more than sitting back there while our dogs run around while listening to music, playing cards, sipping on a glass of wine, and eating some good food.

For our first anniversary we decided not to follow the traditional anniversary gift idea of paper. Instead, Kent bought me this GORGEOUS necklace!! It has the stone of March in the middle to symbolize the month we got married in. He is so good!

Once he finds a smoker that he likes and wants, my anniversary gift to Kent will be a new smoker so he will have something new to enjoy on our patio. So anniversary weekend was a success!

photo 3 (3)My GORGEOUS necklace from my sweetie!

Secondly, for the weekend after our anniversary, we had ANOTHER anniversary outing planned. We had heard about it through friends and finally decided to sign up to do it ourselves. We went to the small town of Post, Texas to The Garza Hotel and participated in their Murder Mystery night! It was SO much fun!!

It was called the Murder at the Four Deuces and took place in the 20’s.

So the way it works is, you sign up for the murder mystery night, and about 2 weeks before the date you get an email with your character and your characters role. Along with some other information that may be useful for you to know before the event. BUT you cannot share any of your characters information with anyone else who is participating. Do you know how hard it was for me to not cheat and look at Kent’s character??! I was tempted SO many times but I resisted.

Anyway, it is a one night event, dinner and breakfast are provided, there is a champagne toast, game prizes, and you get a night stay in the hotel. PLUS you get to dress up in costume which was probably my most favorite part.

We met some other wonderful young couples and just had an absolute blast. We will certainly do it again!

photo 5Inspector Neville and Baroness Ravioli

photo 1 (2)Getting into character 🙂

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My homemade head piece

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Friends from work helped me make this

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Baroness Ravioli & Inspector Neville

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Our characters had a secret love affair

Thirdly, work has been really picking up and keeping me busy. From my work as an academic advisor at the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech to teaching my Public Speaking class at Texas Tech on Monday evenings after work. I find myself just completely exhausted some days. It’s embarrassing how exhausted I have been lately. My Friday nights have consisted of me getting home, pouring a glass of wine, snuggling with my doggies and husband and passing out on the couch at 8pm. PATHETIC!!

On top of all of this there are SO many weddings and trips happening between now and the end of the year. Lots of planning, saving and packing to take place for each of the trips and social events going on.

Woooo….are you exhausted yet? Cause I am, just talking about all of it!

Needless to say, with so much that has been going on, with the weather being so hit or miss, and me just being flat out exhausted, the running has definitely taken a back seat on my list of things to do (insert sad face, embarrassed face, and crying face here).

I am determined though to start doing something again whether it is running or something else to get me moving and my heart rate up. I don’t know what it will be yet, so I am open to suggestions. But I am definitely ready to get back in the saddle again.

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