Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Miss Softy McBlue. Harry and the Potters t-shirt. Apt 9 jean shorts (thrifted). Puma running shoes.

Went to see Harry Potter last night in 3D at IMAX with Eric, Rene, and Claire. Had to nerd out and rock my Harry and the Potters t-shirt. Book + Geetar = Lightening Bolt!

I rushed off to the movie having just returned from a sweatiful work out with my trainer. Obvis, I opted for super casual. I've been wearing my new, comfy running shoes--a RunTex purchase I made this weekend in anticipation of running around Lake Merrit later this week with my BFF when I visit her in Oakland! If we are good, we'll also be running on the San Diego beach, as we are we'll be heading south to our hometown and staying with another dear friend from high school!

On a side note, Eric and I were re-discovering Jens Lekman this evening and it was lovely. Many of his songs remind me of when Eric and I first started dating (3 years ago). The thing that gets me though, is that when I asked my boyfriend to play something else, what do I hear but TGIF by Katy Perry?! Say what you will about her, but Blaine more than sold me on Teenage Dream with his hott Glee cover, and TGIF is the best guilty pleasure song since Miley Cyrus's party in the USA! Just sayin'.

Vegas summer

Wonderful Things I have done in Vegas:

1) Been blown away by the extravagance of our hotel!!! (We are staying at the Palazzo/Venetian)
2) Eaten at delicious Top Chef restaurants. My favorite has been Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Fenniger's Border Grill
3. 2-hour Poolside naps
4. Excellent conference presentations by leaders in differentiated instruction (Rick Wormelli is so energetic, crazy, and inspiring!)
5. Eyeball shopped pretty stores like Tory Burch
6. Cocktails in hotel room and constructive, interesting conference debriefing with lovely coworkers. It really feels like a family! We are all passionate about creating a nurturing, yet high expectations culture for our kids
7. Gelato on peaceful strolls by myself
8. Worn the hotel robe after relaxing showers and pretending I live here in this room
9. Rode in a redonkulous, stretch, Escalade limo to get back to the airport
10. Got to know better a co-worker who was my roommate during the trip and turned out to be an absolute sweetie who I hope to work with more next year!

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Venetian summer

Monday, July 11, 2011

I am in a strange, fantastical land! Laughing red panda slot machines! Flat screen tv in the bathroom! [There is also one in our bedroom and sunken(!) living room--but bathroom?] I need to take a bubble bath and watch a Justin Bieber concert at the same time!

BTW, I guess I am a serious country bumpkin because the last picture is the serious pleasure I take in being brought a free drink of my choosing for playing Press Your Luck penny slot machines. NO WHAMMIES!

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Ciao, prego

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hello! After enjoying so many many lovely blogs over the past few years, I thought I'd finally try my hand at it. This will begin as place for me to document interests in fashion, fitness, teaching, and whatever else sparks my fancy. Woot!

Maude braids. L'oreal Penelope Cruz red lipstick. Jade earrings (SF Chinatown). Madewell dress (Buffalo Exchange).

Farmers Market & Iris

This weekend we went to the farmers market to meet Elizabeth and John's nephews and get fresh produce to prepare a potluck dish. The nephews were adorable and I brought them some summer reading I hope they'll enjoy. My get-up ended up being inspired by Iris in Taxi Driver. Maybe not the best thing in which to meet young children, but it was hot outside! Didn't Travis Bickle talk about the scorching NY summer affecting his better judgement? I mean, a lady's gotta keep cool!

We also went to a potluck at our friends, Bertina and Scott's home, overlooking Townlake. This was a high-stakes potluck as there were prizes (kiddie party favors!) for the best dishes. Bertina earned first place with her amazing, fall-off-the-bone ribs. I wish I had pictures of Eric's blissful, rib sauce-covered face! We tied Scott's sister, Jamie, for second place: her 3-cheese mac and cheese and our carne asada french fries (ala San Diego).

We ended the evening with a summer beer tasting at our friend, Jacqueline's. It was great to catch up with Jac. Knowing her from my grad school cohort at UT, she is one of my oldest ladyfrens in Austin! I wasn't able to track it down in time for the party, but my new (to me) favorite beer this summer is Dog Fish Head's Festina Peche. My friend, Carrie, introduced me to it at the Draughthouse, as they have it on tap there. This beer has peach juice in it and it so refreshing and delicious! I can't help but think of bellinis when I drink it.

This afternoon we met up with A.T. and Libby at for my favorite enchiladas verde at Julio's (which we jokingly pronounce Joolio's). I gave Libby a copy of Henry Huggins (Beverly Cleary's first book. Hopefully, she'll find Henry and Ribsy's hijinks amusing!

Ok, and now I'm going to tackle packing for a week in Vegas! I'll be there for a work conference on differentiated instruction. It will feel good to focus on lesson planning for a bit. I also hope to people watch at the casinos and get some good time in by the pool. :)

I know I'll miss the boy and the kitties. I leave you with Belle admiring our new basil plant.

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Location:Austin, Tejas

South Carolina summer

I am a school teacher and this is the first summer I am enjoying off. Last summer, I taught summer school for both a private reading company and Austin ISD. While my finances benefitted from the extra income and I loved teaching my kiddos, I did begin last school year slightly burned out. This summer, I opted to take off and the entire two and a half months has/will be filled with rest, reading, and travel.

My first trip was a week-long beach vacation in Hilton Head, SC. After high school, I spent ten months volunteering for AmeriCorps *NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps). We were based in Charleston and that's where my love for South Carolina began. I have so many fond memories of that place that the sight of grey waters, long seagrass, palmetto trees, and signs for boiled peanuts make my heart swell. The friendships made at 18--away from home and across the country for the first time--are some of the strongest connections I still have. Needless to say, I was extremely nostalgic when we where there and Eric was very patient, listening to story after story about people he has not yet met.

Our days were filled with coffee on the balcony overlooking the Atlantic, morning beach jogs followed by ocean dips, reading, napping, cooking while listening to amazingly silly pop music.

Gap tortoise shell sunglasses. Banana Republic floral cotton tank. Banana Republic seersucker shorts.  Coach Madison handbag. New Balance sneakers.

We daytripped to Charleston and my heart exploded with love for my AmeriCorps peeps. I have my heart set on a reunion weekend in a rented beach house on Folley Beach or James Island! The first place we went was one of my old haunts, Juanita Greenberg's Nacho Royale, where we feasted on a delicious black bean burrito. It was wonderful to revisit the gorgeous downtown, admiring the old southern mansions, wrought iron gates, and cobblestone streets.

My favorite part of the trip was when Beezers (childhood family nickname for Lisa, Eric's sister) came and joined us for the last 2 nights. She is so fun and sweet! We read and gushed about the Hunger Game series. Of course, much time was also spent in the ocean. Beach vacation, I hart you!

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