What is Nicholas Sparks' problem?

Nicholas Sparks is known for writing romantic books. But really, I think he has a hate on for love. Today we got out of work early so a coworker and I went to the $1.50 theatre and saw Nights at Rodanthe, which is based on the novel of the same name. I won't give away the ending but let me just say....you better take some kleenex. And it wasn't just me crying either. That's the second movie in a week I've seen with a sad ending. Perhaps I should not watch whatever sappy movie I've got saved on the DVR tonight and should pay-per-view a good old fashioned action flick instead. No more crying!


It's become a tradition to take our photo in the tunnel of lights at the Walkway of Lights in Marble Falls each holiday season.

Kristin and El Hombre:

Me and Kristin:
Annual photo


As this is the last day of the year I've been thinking a lot about the past 12 months. There were 3 specific things I wanted to accomplish:

1. Lose 35 pounds.
2. Go on a fabulous trip for my 35th birthday.
3. Pass the NCIDQ and become a licensed interior designer.

So how did I do? Not so good, actually. I only lost 15 pounds, the only trip I took was to Calgary, for work, and I failed the NCIDQ*

2009 will be better. Right?!

*test results came in right before Christmas. Again. You'd think they could time that a little better.


An Etsy Kind of Christmas

From my gramma, via Sanctuary (my cousin's store) but can also be found on etsy:
a drikaB bag


From my sister, some very cool jewelry all by the same artist, Shiningstones.


I gave my sister and her husband this print that I found on etsy, by artist jellybeans.

all you need is love


Snow Globe Cupcakes

Snow Globe Cupcakes
Originally uploaded by Bakerella
These are just about the cutest cupcakes ever. Bakerella is a cupcake genius. How anyone could eat these cute things, I don't know, but they probably taste really good.



My mom sent me this video today. It gave me chills and made me tear up. Okay, you know I'm a softy and maybe just a little homesick....

The singers are known as the Cactus Cuties.

This video is of them singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic. It is even better than the national anthem.



Today I had lunch at the Glenwood Grill with a coworker. It was so good! I had their special of the day, which was a mixed greens salad with fried oysters, goat cheese, toasted pecans, strawberries and a cranberry vinaigrette. The oysters were cooked perfectly and melted in my mouth. So good! If I knew how to get back there I would go again. It's not near our office at all though (we were out to see a client) so I will have to save it for a weekend.


A wild hair

Yesterday I couldn't take it anymore, I had to get my hair cut. Right then. No waiting to ask women at work who they recommended, no calling my stylist in Austin and begging her to fit me in on the 24th or 26th of December (as if she would). I put my vanity into the hands of a stranger.

I should have known it wouldn't turn out well when I saw that the woman who was going to cut my hair was the thinnest person I have ever seen. She looked like those kids you see in the "feed the children" ads they run at 2am, only white, blonde and without the distended belly. Skeletal. And, I am pretty sure that the weight of the scissors made her arms quiver.

new hair cut

It's not so bad, it could be so much worse. Trust me, there has been worse (you will never see my passport photo). This hair cut is supposed to be a smooth stacked bob (you know, the one everyone got after Posh spice had it? well I had it first...off and on since 1991 thank you very much) but the back looks a bit like it was attacked with a weed whacker. At least I don't have to look at the back of my head. Pity the people that do.


Blame it on the rain

Normally, it takes me about 15 minutes to get home from work. Tonight it took me 50. Why? Because it was raining. If I thought people in Austin didn't know how to drive then the people in my new town are even worse.


I can't believe it

Originally uploaded by Mygiftsmine
Snow in Austin! I leave town and then it snows. There hasn't even been this much snow in Raleigh yet. Today it was nearly 70 degrees! (at least I wasn't freezing today, so yay).

I hope the pipes didn't bust or anything at my condo. Nah....my neighbor would have emailed me. Right?


It's that time of year...

to eat, drink and be merry. And last night that is exactly what we did. My company had its Christmas party at Sullivan's. I was really excited about it because I had always wanted to eat at the one in Austin but never got the chance. It was excellent. The way I feel this morning from lack of sleep and too much wine (since when is 3 glasses too much...well they were huge), not so much.

I was looking really cute. Imagine me with my glasses. I tried not to wear them, because I am vain, but everyone at work has seen me in them and I started getting a headache without them. You never know when you might meet someone. Although, wearing my big puffy orange coat to stay warm was kind of detracting from the overall look.


I'm in love...

with Trader Joe's chocolate offerings.
Behold their Peppermint White Chocolate bar. I've already eaten one and bought 5 more. 4 of the 5 are for family members when I go home at Christmas. Swear. Oh wait! Kristin's husband doesn't like chocolate. More for me. Yay!

The other thing that I am so totally in love with that it's a good thing they only come 10 to a box (and are probably expensive but I admit that I didn't even look to see how much they were for once) are the Dark Chocolate covered Peppermint Joe Joe's. These are like Oreos with peppermint flavored filling, covered in dark chocolate with bits of crushed peppermint on top. OMG what is not to love.

Marry me, TJ!


Avert your eyes, dad

You know what I have seen in North Carolina that I never saw in Texas? Brown recluse spiders. This evening Lulu sniffed one. I nearly lost my mind. Thank God it didn't bite her! It wasn't the first one I've seen either. In fact, I think I killed a baby one in my apartment last week. Without screaming even. Well not much anyway.


I like pie

Check out this video of my uncle talking about the popular pie happy hour at his restaurant, The Bluebonnet Cafe.


Skunked again

see more puppies

Not Lulu, thank goodness. Kristin was visiting my parents the other night when her two dogs, Gus and Ellie, got skunked. You know, now I don't feel so sad about missing Thanksgiving since it means I don't have to be around two stinky skunky dogs.



According to two different doctors' measurements within the last month, I am only 5'6 and 3/4". What the hell? I've shrunk over an inch? I think there is something faulty with their measuring methods because the scales at my parents' house still says that I'm 5'8". I will check it again when I go home at Christmas but I refuse to believe I have shrunk. Losing weight is supposed to make me sproing up from the weightlessness...right?

I'm coming down with yet another cold/sinus infection or whatever so I saw a new doctor today. She gave me more Ambien. Yay. No more nightmares about The Office or Legend (nothing like waking up in near screams because you were dreaming about zombie dogs). Too bad I couldn't get anymore Xanax from her. Drug seeking? Who me? Never.


A good one

This is a good photo of my mother and me, taken at the wedding. Look how short my mom is!


I needed a laugh

The last few seconds are the best.



Saturday night I was leaving a store and noticed a rainbow in the sky so I snapped a photo. Everyone else around me was doing the same thing. You gotta love the digital age.


At work, I sit near a window so am already distracted enough after years of sitting in gloomy darkness (which I admit, I did kind of like). The past few days have been gorgeous. You can imagine how much work I'm getting done. Today They were calling for snow flurries. I scoffed. But I was checking that window like crazy. Sure enough, the flurries started around noon and we went nuts. We ran outside like a bunch of lunatics. I managed to snap a photo of some flakes that landed on my arm.


It is VERY cold outside now. Lulu and I did her walk around the apartment complex is record time. I've never seen her little legs go so fast.


The Office

Not my new office, but the show, The Office. I've been watching it via Netflix's watch now option on my computer. Between last weekend and this weekend I've watched nearly two whole seasons. Now that may be over doing it a bit much because last night I dreamt about working at Dunder Mifflin. That might have been a good dream, as I'm now understanding all the Jim love I've been seeing on all the blogs, but it was more Dwight focused. *shudder*



Reason #59483 why you should not read about food when you are hungry:

Bacon cinnamon rolls. I feel that if I don't eat these this very moment I might just actually die.


All quiet....

I am probably jinxing myself but Mr. Cough wasn't home last night or tonight either. Perhaps he is a traveling salesman. One can only hope. It's been raining for the last two days. Yesterday it was a nice drizzle and Lulu didn't mind that so much but this morning it was raining pretty hard when it was time to go out. Lulu actually skidded to a halt and tried to run backwards. It would have been funny if I hadn't been in a hurry.


Apartment living

Getting used to apartment life again is taking some time. It's been fairly easy because my complex is new and until today I had no one living near me. Now there is someone in the unit above me. I can hear his washing machine. Lulu barked when he was thumping around. As long as there is no loud noise after 10pm I'm good. But really, how thin are these floors if I can hear the washing machine cycle? That never happened in my other apartment.

In other news, Top Chef started again tonight and sadly I do not get to watch it. The satellite company could not get line of sight from my patio, so no dish for me. The cable company here doesn't carry Bravo and besides that they can't come hook up the cable until the 22nd. So that's right, the tv addict is living without television. It's just awful.


The kindness of strangers

Earlier today I was driving along, just going to the Food Lion, when the tire light came on in my car. I needed gas anyway so I pulled into the gas station. Getting out of the car, I heard a hissing noise. No, there was not a snake wrapped around my tire (that was my first thought...I'm tired...my brain has not been fully functional this week). Instead, there was a big bolt sticking out of it. Really not what I needed at 5:30pm on a Sunday night. On the Sunday night before I start my new job.

After I got my gas I pulled around to the side of the station and start getting out all the things to change the tire. I can change a tire. I've done it once before, on Kristin's SUV, but it's been a long time. Thankfully, this man was driving by to go to the car wash and stopped to ask if I needed help. For 2 seconds I thought about saying no, because I want to be able to take care of myself and not be a helpless girl, but then I came to my senses and said yes. It took him less than 5 minutes to change the tire. Then he was gone like Superman. I didn't even get his name.

But then, doing my shopping at the Food Lion, I ran into him again. His name is Scott. So a giant shout out to Scott in Apex. Thanks a million.



Right as we started to walk down the aisle I realized that I was about to start bawling my eyes out. My little sister was getting married and then I was moving 1500 miles away the next day. So many emotions! So I was trying very hard not to cry as I walked down the aisle. I hope I was smiling more in the photos from the official photographer.

trying not to cry

First dance

First dance

Father daughter dance

Father daughter dance

The cake

Our tradition--self portrait at arms' length

Weed candies

This van passed me while I was driving to NC. I had to speed up so I could call my sister and tell her to look up the website (which doesn't seem to be working at the moment). Weed via lollipops. Just what the world needs.

Weed candies


At the rehearsal
bridal party

Hanging out at the Belmont in downtown Dallas


Getting ready

getting ready
Kristin getting hair done


Made it!

I made it to North Carolina, just in case ya'll were wondering. Also, just in case you were wondering, it is just under 1500 miles from Dallas to Raleigh. That is a lot of driving. Just ask Lulu....

Lulu does not like the car

At first I'm all "ooooh pretty trees, fall foliage, nice"

More trees

But after a thousand miles of seeing this, you get over it.


The wedding was great....more on that later.


What I'll be saying....

on Sunday and Monday.....

more animals


We work hard for the money

Yesterday my parents came over to help me with packing and getting the house ready to sell. My mom packed up the kitchen while my dad and I built this patio. It was hard work ya'll. And there was math involved too! There are 40 concrete pavers there. Those things don't just float themselves into place. Not too bad for our first (and last) patio endeavor. Frankly, I'm looking forward to renting again.


ps....a good substitute for Ambien: a day of hard manual labor and a shot of nyquil. I slept the entire night through.


Last Day at Work

Yesterday was my last day at work in Texas. It also happened to be the October birthday celebration. Even though other people had birthdays this month I was the only who was in the office. The guy in charge of bringing the dessert decorated cupcakes with candy letters to spell out "HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELIZABETH". It was a most excellent way to end 5 years. I nearly cried when I left. Also, I love the juxtaposition of girly napkins and the cowboy table cloth.


Even though there were some trying days I'm going to miss my coworkers/friends.
Never a day went by that we didn't have some kind of crazy conversation.


Lulu does have very soft fur

For when I start knitting again:

Originally seen on the Fail Dogs blog.


iSad redux

Yes, I know I said I wouldn't be posting again, but then something major happened this morning. My iPod died....again. This iPod isn't even two years old. So once again I made the trek to the Apple store to see what the deal was. I think I have a curse or something. At least it seems they have lowered the replacement price because I could have sworn I had to pay $75 last summer. So in addition to paying less money I am also getting more gigs because they no longer make the 30GB. Tomorrow I should have an 80GB classic iPod. Which is good because there is no way I can drive across the country from Texas to North Carolina without some music. You can't just rely on the radio. There could be nothing but banjo music! Sure I still have my shuffle but that holds what? 100 songs? Not enough time to craft a playlist of 100 songs that I can tolerate for 18 hours.


Can't blog, too stressed

Don't bother checking back until mid-November because the likelihood of anything new until then is about zilch. Too much to do and IT' TOTALING FREAKING ME OUT. Also, I still have a sinus infection and I think it's eating my brain.

Hopefully, the next time I post will be from my shiny new home in Raleigh.

But before you go...how cute are Kristin and El Hombre? Just 3 weeks until their wedding!


Does this make my butt look fat?

Is my butt too big?


Official Announcement

It's been very hard, but for weeks now I've been keeping quiet about something major. Now that I've told all the affected parties at work, etc, I can tell y'all.

I am moving to Raleigh,North Carolina!! At the end of the month!!

So now you can see why I was so stressed out. All that on top of the studying was about to do me in. It still may because I have no idea how I'm going to find a new place to live, pack up my house, sell it, and move across the country in a month. All I want to do right now it veg out on the sofa and knit.


It's Over

The test is over and I don't want to talk about. It was terrible. Hopefully now life can sort of get back to normal. Stay tuned....


What I plan to do on Sunday

after I'm done with the exams:

see more puppies

For Luck

My parents gave me this ring for my birthday:

Teardrop Moonstone Ring

The description in the Sundance Catalog says:

Moonstone is said to balance yin and yang energy. It is one of the birthstones for June and for the zodiac sign of Cancer. In India, it is a sacred stone, believed to bring good luck. Legend has made moonstone, said to arouse tender passion, a prized gift for lovers.

Given that I have my exam on Friday and Saturday I need all the luck I can get. Thanks Mom and Dad. You picked out the perfect gift. I love it.




Not really, but yes really. See, my sister (who is totally awesome *kisskiss*) gave me her old computer since she upgraded to a Mac. Over the weekend, since she was in town for ACL, she moved everything over for me. Including the iTunes. Here's where the tragedy comes in.

Because she had tons of music on her computer and I wanted to keep it, some finagling had to be done. After much wailing and gnashing of teeth (and xanax too...hey, I'm under some stress here) I've got all the music set up. But it didn't transfer my play lists! Do you know how long it's taken me to craft those things? Years!


I still have them set up on the old computer so maybe next week, when I have time, I will painstakingly write down every song on every playlist so that I can re-create them. Or maybe I will live dangerously and free and not do that.

Right now I have two computers networked to each other with a big mess of cables and stuff under my desk. It makes me want to clean and ya'll know I don't like to clean.

And I want to get everything set up on the computer so it's perfect, just how I want to it. Do I have time for that? No, I do not. Frankly, I shouldn't even be posting this blog right now. I should have my nose in the books, studying like mad.


Dear Diary

I'm turning 35 on Wednesday. So not excited about this. You know what would make me excited? Beautiful expensive material possessions. Like this necklace from the Sundance Catalog jewelry line:

Or these Biala shoes:

Or new bedding from Pottery Barn. For a while I hated everything in their catalog but lately they've had some really good stuff. Someday I might actually be able to make a decision and decorate my bedroom.

ooooh! A relaxing tropical vacation...after hurricane season is over, of course.

But what would really make me excited....for this next week to be over already. I am so tired of the NCIDQ looming over my head. I'm looking forward to next Sunday so much. No more worrying about studying. I can lounge on my sofa guilt free! I can pick up my knitting again! I can find something new to stress out about!

ps....I'd still take that vacation though.


You know you're sick when...

it's the season premiere of Grey's Anatomy and you're too tired to watch it. Thank god for the dvr.

Apparently, ABC is having "National Stay at Home Week". Like I need a reason to stay home and watch tv. It's a miracle my skin hasn't grafted into the sofa by now. Hmmm, well I do have a leather sofa. I bet that helps some. Harder for the skin to grab hold.

I am so strange.


What was I thinking

I don't even remember writing last night's blog post. So, no more popping an ambien and then blogging for me. Who knows what kind of crazy confessions I might make!

Today I saw the dermatologist. You'll all be so relieved to know that I'm going to live. The mole is nothing but a "red spot". Hmmm, okay but it's still gross. He zapped a bunch of spots on my shoulders with liquid nitrogen (oh the burning), told me I have dandruff (gee thanks), and gave me an rx for some face wash so I can have beautiful skin again.

This evening I went to my little research focus group thing. Guess what it was on? Just guess! The iPhone and what kind of information we'd like to be able to access from it. Too bad there weren't actual iPhones to play with. That would have been awesome.


Blogging under the influence

first let me apologize for the randomness of this post. You see, about 10 minutes ago, I took my first ambien. I'm feel a little bit like I drank too many margaritas, only with out the acid reflux (damn getting old suxs).

Okay gotta make this fast, the words are getting blurry. Side affects of this medication may make do inappropriate things like sleep driving (HIDE THE KEYS), making and eating food, making phone calls and having sex. Sounds to me like one big house party. WHATCHOUT

as I can no longer really see what I'm typing I should probably just brush teeth and plop into bed,

PS....Lulu got sprayed by a skunk last night while visiting my parens. Glad they are dealing with the destinking and not me.

PPS....aren't those flowers pretty? my brithday is coming up. maybe i've mentioned it? It's on Wednesday October 1st. The most wonderful day in teh world. everyone should love me on that day.


A dog in love

The music totally makes this video. My hat is off to its maker.


This can't be good

For a few years now I've had this little pink mole* on the side of my leg. I always hated it and wanted it removed but my doctor said it wasn't any big deal. I tried to ignore it. But sometimes I would touch it, just a little, to make sure it was still there (why yes, I am strange). So the other day I noticed that I couldn't feel it! What?! Where did it go?! I looked in the mirror and it was no longer pink. It had turned a darker color. And it was no longer raised! And it kinda hurts. This is not good. Not good at all.

It just so happens that I already had an appointment set up with the dermatologist next week for my yearly mole check anyway. I think my body knows and is fighting me because along with this mole thing I also have developed some kind of funky rash on my neck (which my friend so helpfully pointed out to me during lunch) and acne on my forehead. How can I have wrinkles and acne at the same time? Not right.

*yes, that is my mole and no, you don't want to know how much I had to contort to take that photo. Lulu was not amused that I spent 10 minutes trying to get a photo instead of feeding her dinner.



One dog bone.
Reward: a million licks.
If found, please contact Lulu.


Somehow, Lulu has misplaced her most precious bone. I have looked every where. Under the bed, the coffee table, the entertainment center. Even the backyard, just in case she took it out there from some crazy reason. She misses it. I miss it too because instead of gnawing on it quietly tonight, she took every single squeeky stuffed toy out of her bucket and "killed" each one of them. LOUDLY.

I could have died....

Okay, perhaps I am exaggerating just a bit but I do live in a somewhat sketchy neighborhood and yesterday I just could not take the loud car stereo any longer. For over an hour it had been pulsating. I could hear it in my home, over the hum of the a/c and the television and it was about to drive me insane. So I went outside and walked past 3 homes and halfway down the parking lot of the apartment complex that sits next to my condo development. There was the offending vehicle. A dark blue pick up truck. Windows down, teenagers milling about.

At least the boy had the courtesy to fully turn off the stereo when I walked up to his window and said in my best mom voice "excuse me". I then told him that if he did not keep it turned down I was calling the police. Punk ass kids.

This is not the first time I've had to confront them about the music and I expect it won't be the last. I sort of get a kick out of it. But that is probably something someone could get knifed or shot at over.

more animals

oh...guess what I hear now.....I don't really want to call 911 to report the loud music but if I call 311 they're just going to patch me over