Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Where are all the Sea Lions?

I just finished watching a news clip this afternoon regarding San Francisco. Being raised in Northern California I'm always reading and keeping my eye on their local news. I was absolutely shocked to hear of the disappearing Sea Lions at Pier 39. What?!!! The Sea Lions have made Pier 39 their home since...well, my entire life. I couldn't imagine ever visiting Pier 39 and not seeing them. What on green's earth is going on? Where did the beloved creatures go? And why now? I suppose the California economy is so bad that even the Sea Lions have decided to move out of state. Hmmm, I wonder if they were foreclosed on? Those darn subprime loans, LOL. Ok, enough California jokes. However, I'm a true native so I can get away with it.

It's so sad to see the Golden State have so many problems. I remember when we were newlyweds we lived by the marina. My husband was working at large health system in the area. We had a small 1 bedroom apartment that was less than 600 sq ft and we were paying a hefty monthly lease for it. But I wouldn't trade that experience for anything in the world. I have so many lovely memories of our little place. We didn't have A/C (was N/A) because it rarely got over 70's. If you have ever spent any time in San Francisco you'll know it's chilly. You can always spot out a tourist because they'll have on shorts and a Pier 39 sweatshirt, LOL. I can't imagine how much money those little shops make selling tourists sweatshirts. Everyone thinks California is all beaches and palm trees. Not so. Northern California is cool and breezy. And don't get me started on the Sacramento, hot, hot. It snows in the winter and gets up to 119 degrees in the summer. However, I do find myself missing it.

One of the things I miss most is waking up to the boat horns and hearing the seagulls. Sometimes I would drink coffee on our deck and watch the fog lift during those chilly winter mornings, snuggled in a sweater and fuzzy slippers. I do miss the California and the cold weather. Quite different from the Houston weather I live in currently. And now after spending more than 8 years in the South I couldn't imagine leasing a place without A/C. However, I feel that I'm fortunate to be able to have lived so many places. I love to travel and I never miss the opportunity to take advantage of the city I presently reside in. I know Houston will not be the final destination of our journey so I try to take full advantage of the city while I'm here. I'm sure one day I'll look back on Houston and remember little things that make my experience special.

However, I'd be lost if our Longhorns decided to move. Again, where on earth did those adorable Sea Lions go? Something smells awfully fishy if you ask me.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Getting ready for 2010

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas this year. Richard and I had a fantastic holiday this season. I must say that my husband spoils me rotten. I never know what I'm going to get for Christmas because he surprises me every year. He is very romantic and when I think he's not listening he is. He'll remember something I wanted from months ago and surprise me out of the blue. I wish I could say that I'm equally as romantic but I'm not. I can't remember where I put my keys half the time so coming up with a creative gift for him...well, it's probably not going to happen. Every holiday season I'm stressing about what to get him for Christmas. And if I were to ask him he'd just say, "I have everything I want." Don't you hate it when people do that?!! However, this year I decided to buy him a ton of clothes. My hubby dresses in lounge shirts (Tommy Bahama look) most days he's off work. It's mostly hot and humid so that look is pretty comfy for him. He was thrilled with his new wardrobe and he'll look snazzy for our little mini vacay in another week. Can't wait to get away.

To be honest...I can't wait to start 2010 and a new decade. Can you believe we are heading into another decade? I believe this new decade is going to be filled with many blessings. This past one was a difficult one full of many hardships. However, I don't feel that they were all negative because my husband and I grew stronger from them. And I truly believe we are now in a good position in our lives to receive showers of blessings that God has stored up for us. I'm in a good spot in my life right now. I'm confident of who I am, where I've been, and where I'm going. I can finally see all the dots in my life connecting, I have peace over the things I cannot control, and I'm eager to begin working hard on those things I can control. Life is full of much opportunity for those who are willing to go after it. In 2010, I'm planning on becoming more fearless as I go after my dreams and goals. I want to look back in 2020 and think off all the great accomplishments and experiences I had this decade. Every minute counts to an hour, and an hour to a day, a day to a month, a month to a year, and year to a decade. What do I have planned for this year?

1.) Play more tennis. Tennis is one of those hobbies that I truly enjoy. I believe it helps me relax and keep myself balanced. I didn't play nearly enough in 2009.

2.) Declutter. I've been working on cleaning out the closets, attic, garage, and office over the past few weeks. We have too much! I plan on organizing our house.

3.) Travel more. We moved in 2009 from Austin to Houston. We had a lot going on and I didn't get a chance to fly back home to San Francisco. I plan on at least making a few trips to the West Coast to visit friends in San Francisco, L.A., and Seattle. I also have a few trips planned on the East Coast too. I'd love another European vacation but for now I'd be happy with a little domestic travel.

4.) Becoming more active in my community. Growing up I was always very active in community events. I need to join an organization and volunteer my time. There's nothing more rewarding than giving back to the community.

5.) Find new hobbies and interests. I think being well rounded is very important in life. We should always be trying to learn more. I'm going to make a list of things that I've always wanted to try and go for it.

6.) Spend more time with my husband. I don't spend enough time with him and need to make it a priority. We have "date night" every Friday night. I look forward to it. However, we need to find ways to "get away" once in a while. I'm going to make that a priority for 2010.

7.) God. I don't spend enough quality time with God. I need to turn off the TV, phone, computer and talk to Him more. I need to pick up my Bible more during the day and read His word. He has been so good to me and I don't thank Him enough. I can't imagine what I could accomplish if I were to spend more time with Him. Wisdom definitely comes from a relationship and understanding of God.

So, here are my goals for 2010 and my start for the next chapter of my life. What are some of your goals? What would you like this new decade to bring you?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, y'all! Wishing you and your family a very happy and safe holiday....

Monday, December 21, 2009

We go together like Ken and Barbie....

Today is my Anniversary. We've been blissfully married for 7 years. When we were living back in Austin we would take a small "get away" down to San Antonio. San Antonio is so beautiful this time of year. It's lights are so festive and romantic on the Riverwalk. However, this year we are in Houston. We decided to celebrate by going out to dinner on Saturday night. My husband bought me the cutest apron. I wanted a new one and was eyeing this one up on etsy. He must have looked over my favorites because I was in complete shock that he knew I wanted it. And I surprised him this morning with a pair of new running shoes. Romantic, huh...Well, I suppose an apron and running shoes are not the most romantic gifts but we were happy. In a couple of weeks we are heading off to our cottage. I'm really looking forward to eating some good 'ol Cajun cuisine and seeing some of old friends. Until then....Cheers, to another happy year of marriage.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Sing Off

I normally hate watching reality shows except for Real Housewives. I have no idea why I love that trashy show so much but I do. Well, the other night I was flipping through the channels to find the news and landed on a reality show called, The Sing Off. It's hosted by Nick Lachey. Has anyone seen it? It's so much fun. It has that American Idol feel but it's acuppello groups. I'm not much of a acuppello fan but there's a group called, Beelzebubs. Oh my goodness they are sooo fun to watch. I posted a couple of songs they did. The first one is hilarious but the second is awesome. I heart Styx!!! Styx, Night Ranger, and Van Halen were some of my favorite bands growing up (I had older siblings). They rock! Basically anything they chose to sing from those top three I would have loved. Ok, you have to watch these guys.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Couture Pops

Have y'all seen the Couture pops? They come with a bejeweled handle (which you keep) and you unscrew the lolly pop top off when you're finished. You can buy the candy separate and screw them onto your handle. The lolly pop comes in all sorts of different flavors like Green Apple, Creamy Orange, Watermelon, Pina Colada, Cherry, and many more yummy flavors.

You can even buy a signature stick after Britney Spears, Kim Kardashian, and the Pussycat Dolls. They are so cute and would make a totally cute stocking stuffer. You can find them at

$25.00 for handle and pop

$12.00 for replacement set of lolly pops

$75.00 for set

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Stanton Hall

I have a true passion for plantation homes. That's one of the many things I love about the South. I could only dream to own/live in a plantation home one day. So until I actually get one I travel across the southern region visiting beautiful landmarks that have carved a special place in my heart.

This is the Stanton Hall Plantation House located in Natchez, Mississippi. The original owner was a cotton broker by the name of Federick Stanton. He had the house built between 1851-1857. Many of the gorgeous accents from the molding, marble fireplace mantels, wrought ironwork, were transported from Europe.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Christmas Wish List

This is my Christmas Wish List for Christmas 2009

A need a new bottle of one my favorite perfumes, Tiffany by Tiffany & Co. I've been wearing Tiffany since high school. I love it! My grandmother (the one who liked to travel) sent me a bottle when I was 16. I can never stay with just one fragrance (it must be the Gemini in me). I have 4 favorites and I switch depending on the season, event, or my mood.

I've been eyeing up this book called, Southern Gardens by Southern Accents. It's not new but it has some beautiful photographs and has given me some fantastic ideas for this Spring. I'm so looking forward to start gardening again. I've been wanting to plant pink and yellow roses.

Ok, y'all know how much I adore plantations. Since I can't live in a plantation home right now doesn't mean that my birds can't, right? I found this plantation bird house and have the perfect spot in my yard to display it. Southern birds must need a southern plantation home, lol....

New Gardening boots. I love these pink rose boots. I like gardening boots more than gardening clogs because of red ants and soggy soil.

I adore this pattern. I've been looking for Magnolia china pattern for the past two years. Although I haven't seen what I'm looking for I did come across this tea set. Oh, how much I want this tea set. It's so Southern! I could definitely host a tea party with this set.

What is on your Christmas wish list this year?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Alice in Wonderland

Did anyone else catch "Alice" on the Syfy channel last night? Yes, I said Syfy (don't judge). It's really good if y'all haven't seen it. My hubby likes to watch Syfy and he told me about the new show. He knows I'm a huge Alice in Wonderland fan and thought I might be interested. And although it wasn't much like the Disney cartoon it was very cool. The "Hatter" is by far my favorite character. The second episode is coming on tonight at 9pm.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tiger Woods

I've been watching the news this afternoon and I'm so disgusted with the Tiger Woods story. This athlete was suppose to be one of the good ones. There are hardly any good role models out there for younger generations and Tiger was one of them. Well, not anymore. I applaud the sponsors for pulling out of the contracts not to muddy their own reputations. I believe in forgiving those who desperately seek it but I also believe in consequences to bad behavior.

Do you believe society has taken a blind eye approach by excusing bad behavior because they are enamored by stardom? I believe this to be true. Not long ago this would have been a career ender but I hardly think Woods will get nothing more than a simple disappointing head shake and disapproval snicker at most. I can already hear the excuses pouring in now and how we should foolishly feel sorry for him. Look at Kobe Bryant. Can you imagine being Vanessa Bryant? Kobe has a 2nd affair scandal (rolling eyes). This man is still praised because of his athletic super stardom. Shouldn't personal integrity count for something regardless your athletic capabilities? The guy is a cheating sleaze bag and yet he still has faithful fans? I don't understand.

What about Michael Vick (Atlanta Falcons) who plead guilty for dog fighting (torturing dogs to death)? He's back on the football field making his millions. Where's the standard people? Basically if someone looks good, plays a sport well, or sings/acts well, they are pardoned from personal accountability in our society? They can do and say whatever they want and we the people will kiss their feet. Yeah, that's what I want my future children to look up to, NOT! We've become a whorish nation of dirt bags if you ask me. I believe if we stood up and refused to support the celebrities who break the law, have affairs, curse and threaten (Serena Williams), etc.. it would not only change the bad behavior of celebrities but society. Kids watch their role models get into trouble with no consequences but a mere slap on the hand. What is this teaching them?

I don't know about you but I'll be choosing to root for anyone but Woods on the next PGA tour. He's very talented on the greens but I cannot support him in good faith. I hope he truly is sorry and can save his marriage for his kids sake. But his reputation has been tainted in my book. There's a high cost to low living.

True meaning of Christmas

One day Jesus will return to establish his kingdom in Jerusalem

Luke 2:1-7
1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to his own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

This is called, Grotto the Nativity, located beneath the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem. This is where Jesus was born.

Mary's well in Nazareth

Part of the church where Jesus began teaching as a child

When I was younger my grandmother would travel to many exotic places around the world. I remember when she went to Egypt and rode camels to the pyramids (she sent me an Egyptian necklace). I remember when she traveled to Asia and sent back wax dolls from China. But one of the most treasured gifts I still have today is my wooden camel she sent back from Jerusalem. The camel is hand carved out of olive wood. It's very similar to this one.