Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Confession time:  I realized something yesterday as I was paying my bills. Something bad.

I'm Brenda and I'm a shopaholic.


"I only buy things that are on sale."
"I will definitely wear all of these shoes someday."
"I can't decide which color I like best, so I should get all three."

Excuses, excuses!

Here are the facts: 
I spend more than I make.
I have more than I need.
I need to stop shopping.

This will not be a forever thing... more like a fast.  A shopping fast.
{Ironically, I am a super fast shopper.}

So for the next 4 weeks (the entire month of February... God bless that shortest month. Aww, crap it's a leap year!) I will strictly monitor my spending and keep it simple by sticking to the 3G's: Gas, Groceries, and *Gasp* no Ross.  That last one is pretty painful (and I guarantee their stock is going to plummet) but hopefully I will learn to appreciate what I have, spend money wisely, and stop cluttering my life with stuff.

{I do think it's kind of silly to blog about it, but the blogosphere does offer some form of accountability, so I will check in from time to time to let y'all know how I'm doing}

FYI: Andrew is not required to participate in this experiment because as a poor, struggling grad student, he has lived this lifestyle everday for the last 5 years.
However, there are no loop holes, meaning he is not allowed to shop for me. No enabling!

On a completely unrelated note, check out these fabulous heels I got for Valentine's Day...

Don't judge, the shopping fast starts tomorrow and
you know Bing always goes out with a bang!

Monday, January 30, 2012


Andrew heard back about this last week and, unfortunately, he did not receive the fulbright scholarship to conduct research down in Argentina next year.  We're a little disappointed, but not relocating to South America means we get to move back down to Southern California sooner. 
Hello San Diego Summer of 2013!

I'm down with that!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Finally Friday

This has been one loooooonnnnnnng week. Andrew started his final semester of classes (don't feel too bad for him, he had a 4 week Christmas break) and teaching has been keeping me extra busy. The attention span of a 6th grader is a constant challenge... I've exhausted all of my silly voices during read alouds and I've resorted to a capella singing the day's activities just to mix it up a little.

**For the record, (in my most mary poppins-y voice to the tune of spoonful of sugar) "Just a paragraph on the summary helps your english grade go up, your english grade go up, in the most insightful way" is not their favorite song. Nor is it mine. Nor are their grades going up. I love the word nor; teaching english has it's perks.**

So aside from tormenting middle schoolers with my lovely vocal arrangements, I also managed to complete a few more of those radical new year's resolutions.

Here are this weeks accomplishments...

 *Still needs another coat of paint, but done for now*

 I know this doesn't really count, but it's a start.

 I even got new running shoes
because our friends are trying to get us to do some 5 k's coming up
(we'll see)

And we have visitors coming next month!!!

Happy Weekend!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Pixar's "Up

Fulbright: A possible adventure in Argentina

Andrew recently applied for a scholarship (fulbright grant) to live and conduct research in Argentina (just south of Buenos Aires) for 10 months. He would be doing work for his dissertation to complete his PhD. He applied way back in September and we won’t hear back until March either way. But, if he is accepted, we would move to Argentina in February 2013 and stay there through November 2013.

Everything is still way way way up in the air, and the likelihood of this happening is fairly slim, but it is a possibility. I mean, Texas was once “just a possibility.“

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Texans Unite

Yesterday our awesome friends Brenden and Carissa (remember from this post)
came to visit from Houston for the weekend. Love them!
And  today we met up in Austin with our mutual and also amazing friends Caleb and Jenna, newlyweds from the Dallas area.

 Got yummy lunch at the food trucks on Congress Ave.
and dinner at Salt Lick in Driftwood.

Texas is huge and our friends are spread out all over,
but it felt a little more like home this weekend.

Shopping at the San Marcos outlets
and Hey Cupcake makes me happy to be in Texas too :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

This week

This week I...
Turned 28 and celebrated my birthday with friends

  and krispy kremes and cupcakes

Started a long term sub job teaching 6th grade english

And needed a lot of this
Got "pinspired" by this pretty creation... a vintage brooch bouquet

Love my tutoring job!!!
A nice little break from those precious 6th graders :)

Watched the movie Contagion
and sanitized my house like a crazy person

Watched the movie Midnight in Paris
(not to be confused with Paris Hiltons *ahem* movie - one night in paris)

And I know where I want to go for my 30th Birthday

Decorated for Valentine's Day / Still haven't put the Christmas tree away
What? Christmas is over and we're almost half way through January.
Well I guess I didn't get the memo :-) 

I have been pretty good about keeping up with my new year's resolutions.
Here's some I accomplished this week:

Yeah it's a book for 12 year olds, but it's in the curriculum and it counts.
I plan on reading lots more books now that
I have a kindle - courtesy of Andrew and the Hoags :)
But for now I'm mostly mastering my skills at Angry Birds. Check out that high score!
{And giggling at the fart app}

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Today is my birthday.

It's hard to tell in the picture, but I'm wearing the same exact outfit!
It helps that I've only grown 6 inches in the last twenty something years :)

The more things change, the more they stay the same!
Hmm, that sounds like something old people say. am I twenty eight or 128?

Oh well, at least I've still got my cute purple beanie.
I've decided it's timeless.
Not the case with many of my other 80's paraphernalia...

Let's review, shall we?
The attack of the itsy bitsy teeny weeny bikini
I promise I'm wearing bottoms, you just can't see them under all the voluptuous rolls.
 Sunning at the beach in Rhode Island in the Summer of 1984
Cruelty. Pure cruelty.

80's tastic side pony and large bangle accessory

The "slip" dress... makes a comeback every decade,
but is definitely a fashion flop.

Let's just refer to this as big crimpin' and move on.

And lastly, my favorite 80's accessory... the heart sunglasses.
I actually still love these and am now making it my goal to
bring them back in style this year. It's on <3 <3 <3 !!!

And now for some birthday words of wisdom:
My dad once told me that "the older you get, the faster time goes by."
Turns out he was right.

{Except in the case of waiting in line at Ross. That's when time stands still.}
And so there I shall be, in my magic time machine, at Ross Dress for Less.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


With every new year comes new year's resolutions.  I've never made a new year's resolution mostly because it's sort of anticlimactic how they're rarely all that effective and always super vague like "lose weight", "don't drink caffeine", and "save money."

All that could be destroyed with one quick trip to Starbuck's spending $6 on a trenta caramel frappucino with extra whipped cream. {overpriced fatty coffee}
Yum. Not making that resolution.

However, with 2012 promising to bring on the end of the world and all (see here), what's the harm in making a few fun new year's resolutions? 

{And you know they must be fun so that I will actually do them}

Without further ado here they are:

New Year's Resolutions 2012

1- Eat more ice cream because it's delicious and makes me happy. Ooh and gelato too.  
I  know that the "more" is vague, but when the topic is desserts it's perfectly acceptable to keep it limitless. 

2- Organize (and maintain) my closet. Hmm, initially this one sounds dull but last time I cleaned out the closet I found a whole bunch of cute things I totally forgot I had. It's like free shopping! (Unfortunately not the case when organizing the fridge. Expired food rarely comes back in style next season.)

3- Learn to cook something fancy. Moment of truth: I have 38 cookbooks and have yet to actually cook something. Come on, no surprise there. (I do bake a lot though and have thus justified my beautiful limited edition pink kitchen aid mixer time and time again!)

4- Date night once a week. Coincidentally this may end up being the default dinner on the night that I actually attempt cooking a meal (see resolution #3)

5- Take more pictures of Maddie Bear. OMG she's so cute!

6- Fly somewhere I've never been before. It has to be somewhere far away, hence the plane. Phoenix airport DOESN'T count.

7- Manicure and pedicure once a month. - Thank you mama for the gelish polish kit that makes this so much more convenient and affordable :)

8- Send one snail mail card or letter a week. I miss old school mail.
(Birthday cards count. Electric bills don't count.)

9- Not cut my hair for a whole year. (Health trims don't count)
I always want my hair longer but get really impatient waiting for it to grow out.

10- Paint a wall. Renter-Schmenter, I want an accent wall!

11- Have a yard sale and use the money I make to buy Andrew a new car.
(probably hot wheels- it's the thought that counts.)

12- Read 3 books, just for fun.

13- Make something I found on pinterest

14- Learn a silly expression in another language and turn it into everyday vernacular.
15- Acknowledge the fact that I can't see and actually wear my glasses.

16- Go to an awesome concert {word on the street is that these guys are doing a reunion tour and I am so there!!!}

17- Drive to New Orleans. We live so close (8 hour drive) and have talked about going there since we moved to Texas. This year, we're doing it!

18- Spend one whole day each week month in my pajamas. Starting today :)

19- Go on a camping trip. I'm not exactly nature girl, but any excuse for s'mores and uggs and I'm there! 

20- To be determined... probably something to do with expanding my shoe collection.

All those resolutions might be a little ambitious,
but when all else fails I'll resort back to resolution #1...
ice cream is the most important meal of the day!

Happy 2012!!!