Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I'll dress up for a burrito

Andrew and I had some trouble getting into the Halloween spirit this year.
No parties to go to and we didn't feel like giving candy to kids we ate it all ourselves on accident.
So it seemed like our Halloween was going to be a bust this year.
Enter Chipotle!
Every year Chipotle honors it's patrons (who sport a costume) with a free or discounted burrito.
All the years we lived in San Diego it was free. Freaking recession!
But for 2 bucks we're still loyal to their cause.
So we dug up our old costumes that I bought for a bargain the day after Halloween 2 years ago
and headed out stopping at not just one, but two Chipotles.  Hello lunch tomorrow.
And for those of you who think that's excessive, if you really knew me, you'd be disappointed I didn't go to at least 3!

 Happy Halloween!!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Enchanted Rock

Today we got all out-doorsy and drove 80 miles north to Texas Hill Country for a hike at
Enchanted Rock State Park.
 I remembered to wear my longhorns/Fall colors. When in Texas... "hook 'em horns"
 Until today I had no idea there were actual "hills" in the hill country.
Right now my calf muscles can tell you that with certainty.

sidenote: everyone knows I'm a midget, lovingly referred to as "midge" for short. Pun intended :) and I have been known to wear heels in completely inappropriate situations all the time. For example, those boots I'm wearing look flat, but don't let them fool you... inside are these magic inserts that give me the extra inch and a half that I need to be 5' tall (like my driver's license says I am) and I wore them for our entire hiking adventure today. If only I could stack like 3 of them together so I could be the height of a normal short person! So I can honestly say, that yes, I even hike in heels. I'm hoping the added challenge burns off additional calories. So far my sources (thighs, butt, belly, etc.) say not so much. Can't blame a midge for trying!

Then we headed to downtown Fredericksburg for some pumpkin patch fun and lunch.

Tonight we're feasting on pumpkin seeds and carving jack-o-lanterns.

Hope everyone is having a very enchanted weekend!

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Pumpkin and a Puppy

I got a pumpkin so now it's officially Fall... Any excuse to take a picture!

Sometime in the middle of the photo shoot, Maddie decided enough is enough.

You wouldn't guess it from all these silly photos, but Halloween is not my favorite holiday. I'm all for dressing up and eating candy, but usually, like this year, Halloween falls in the middle of the week which makes it a real nuisance. Everyone (in Texas anyway) knows that the best place to be is Austin. I was going to specify for Halloween, but in general Austin is the best place to be in Texas.
The real best place to be is Lahaina, Maui like me, Ashley, and Veronica were for Halloween in 2009. OMG that was the best! There will never be a better Halloween than that. EVER!
But 6th street in Austin is a close second. Unfortunately it is a 4 hour round trip traffic laden drive to 6th street where all the fun is and, on a Wednesday, that is just a terrible idea.
So, in short, I am protesting Halloween this year. And perhaps every other year too. Because, just like everything else, it will never be as fun as it was in Hawaii.

Jack London Symposium

We interrupt your regularly scheduled Brenda shopping/outfit-of-the-week blog for an exceedingly rare update from the man who puts the "Hoag" in Hoags and Kisses, Andrew.
This week I travelled to Utah State University in Logan, UT, to present a paper at the biannual Jack London Symposium.  At one point during the conference, I talked to a Utah State graduate student who said she is frequently asked why she moved to Utah when she is not a Mormon.  I think the following pictures do a pretty good job of answering that question.  Utah is beautiful!

The conference itself was a great experience.  I am a Jack London fan, but I did not realize how versatile of a writer he was nor how many people around the world love him and his writing (There were even two people from France at the conference!).  Utah State also happens to have the second largest collection of Jack London manuscripts and first edition books.  The exhibit at their library was great.

 What truly made the conference a great experience was the people, especially my fellow UT San Antonio colleagues, Dr. Jeanne Reesman (my dissertation committee member and graduate advisor) and Calvin Hoovestol (who graciously let me share a room at the hotel with him).

The conference took place over four days, so we had plenty of time for exploration and fun activities. The highlight was definitely our trout fishing expedition at a local trout farm. I didn't do any fishing personally, but I sure ate more than my fair share of trout. So delicious!

This last picture was taken after the conference was over as Calvin and I drove from Logan to Salt Lake City.  This is the local Mormon temple for Brigham City, a small town about 50 miles from Salt Lake.  We were stopped at a light, and I thought it looked pretty amazing in the sunset.
I've really gotten used to this whole academic conference thing.  My first one was in San Francisco, and the next one will be in Boston, MA.  I think Brenda will actually join me for that one, too, so you know there will be a whole lot more pictures.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Like mother like "dogter"

Here's Maddie Bear checking out tonight's loot and then finding her toys in one of the bags.
I always knew I should get that "my maltese is smarter than your honor student" bumper sticker :)
Have a wonderful weekend!!!

On My Own

* And now I'm humming the classic Les Mis song *
Oh, isn't there a new movie of it coming out? Get excited!
Hoagie Bear is living it up linguist style at the lit conference in Logan, Utah.  And me and Maddie Bear {everyone's a bear at our house, I'm brennie bear. Just go ahead and get on board} are here all alone to fend for ourselves until he returns on Sunday.
Boo hoo hoo.
So far, in his absence, I have "cleaned out" his side of the closet. You know, to make room for my winter wear for the 2 days that it's freezing cold and 60 degrees in Texas. I got rid of a lot of stuff too. 5 boxes today, plus 6 more in the garage from when I rotated in the Summer/all year round wardrobe. Not all of it was his stuff (only 1 box), I'm not that terrible a wife! And he will get to enjoy a nice long shopping day where I buy him a whole bunch of cute new outfits to replace the old ones.
I am that terrible a wife.
Needless to say, I chose NOT to post pictures of Hoagie Bear's side of the closet because:
- there's not much there
- in fact, the only clothes he has left are the 4 outfits he packed in his carryon this week (not really, but almost)
- in the off chance that he sees this post he might not be happy about it
- and lastly, boy clothes are boring
After over-hauling the closet, I think it's time to have a yard sale.

I didn't get rid of everything, I still kept a few pairs of shoes...

I do have a little confession to make when it comes down to actually having a garage sale: I am the girl who makes glittery signage, fancy labels, and organized displays of my items but when it comes time to sell them, I end up keeping a lot of stuff, or conversely, giving it away for free (not even re-couping the start-up cost of my bedazzled yard sale signs). When I say that I keep a lot of stuff, I don't mean that I do take-backsies where someone wants something and I say oh no, that's not for sale I still want that. That is silly and completely non-yard-sale-haver ettiquette. I just start to unpack boxes and make a little huge-mongous pile of "Well I'll probably need that sometime in the near future, so I'd better go ahead and hang onto it." My house is full of that someday you'll be useful stuff.
Isn't everyone's?
Now I feel guilty.
Which brings me to the other thing I've been doing since my personal chef left yesterday.
Eating fast food.
For every meal.
It's actually embarassing going through the drive-thru (God forbid they actually see me) and picking up 2 sausage mcmuffins (Maddie's gotta eat too!) and then thinking, well, lunch is only a couple hours away I'd better get a spicy chicken sandwich and french fries too. And then they ask "would you like anything else?" And you know you can't leave McD's without one of their chocolate dipped cones, that's like the best thing they have to offer. And a $1 sweet tea. It's all good, I get the unsweet kind so it's totally healthy :)  But then they read my order back to me and it takes an eternity and I feel like a cow.
I'd like to thank McDonald's, Jack in the Box, and Carl's Jr. for making this week without hubby here to cook for me more bearable. I'd also like to credit you for making sure my skinny jeans don't fit (or my fat jeans for that matter). Thanks.  On the bright side, I have had to do ZERO dishes the last couple days. So there's that.
In hindsight, it's not a good idea to eat a bunch of junk and then try on all your clothes.
No wonder I got rid of so much stuff!
Hoagie Bear we need you!
Come back!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday

I'm linking up with Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy for some fashion fun. And because it's been a while I've never participated in WIWW, I have some catching up to do...

First, here's what I wore this week:
 * I tried on my new "clip in bangs" - I don't love them, but they're a fun non-permanent change *

The following pictures are from the last couple months and consist mostly of my visual packing list I create everytime I go on a trip. Yes, I am admittedly a little O.C.D. when it comes to organized packing, and I actually take photos of each planned ensemble and then decide which ones make the cut. I know it's silly, but it really makes packing a lot less stressful.

Take our July trip to Alaska for example.
I had to fit all of my wardrobe needs in one tiny carry-on so each piece had to do double duty...

On our way to Alaska, we spent some time in California so I had to pack for very different climates.
And then it was back to Texas which is basically sweltering hot all year,
so this is what I live in most of the time...
I have a little problem with recreational shopping.
But I can quit anytime I want to, right? I just don't want to yet.  
I don't even know what all I need until I see it in the store.
Case and point - This week's bargains:

Andrew left for Utah to speak at a Literature conference this morning
and you can bet your sweet bippy I am going to spend the next few days
consoling myself in his absence with some retail therapy!