Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Photo-a-day in July

I inadvertently took a little vacation from blogging this month, but I still want to document a few of July's highlights. Here is a picture a day of what we've been up to...

I probably forgot to mention this part of our drive... conveniently blocked it out!

I only lasted 5 days before an outfit repeat. I am a failure! But I successfully lived out of 1 suitcase for the whole month, proving it can be done. {1 suitcase + 2 totes of shoes} 




 July is ending on a high note with a tasty burger at In-N-Out.
Here's to an awesome August!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Kristie's Bridal Shower

Yesterday was my sister's bridal shower and it was SO. MUCH. FUN!

 The bridal shower was at the clubhouse at Tyler's mom's complex about an hour south and it was beautiful! I stand corrected for balking at the idea of zebra, turquoise, and burlap for a theme.
It was lovely. My mom is always right and she knows everything. She's a bit excessive, but very wise.

Weeks of blood, sweat, and tears A lot of prep went into pulling off this soiree, but it was all worth it.

Special thanks to Uncle Chris and Aunt Vanessa for transporting truck loads full of party supplies
and preparing so much delicious food...
{homemade bruschetta, strawberry vinaigrette salad, and vegan cupcakes!} 
 Andrew and my dad got a work out hanging all the lanterns and banners.
Aunt Vanessa and Andrew prepared all the food. Spinach mozzarella ravioli with pesto, various cheeses and wines, hummus and crackers, and all sorts of tasty treats. My stellar contribution in the kitchen was making those veggie & ranch cups. I personally thought they were an excellent finishing touch on the buffet table and really tied the whole meal together :)

We played "Who knows Kristie Best" and I got 3rd place. Oops. 
There was also a "Name that spice" game which I obviously passed on as my knowledge of spices is limited to salt and pepper oh and also white cheddar popcorn seasoning.
What the heck is coriander anyway?
 So many people came to celebrate my sweet little sis!

Throughout the party lanterns would randomly fall from the ceiling and a couple times they bonked people in the head. Those people got prizes :)
Nice job hanging the paper globes, Hoagie-Bear!
 The Mr. & Mrs. burlap pillow project was finally complete and on display.
Impressive free hand painting, Kristie!
 After the party was over we did some group photos...
 Upper left: me, Kristie, Melissa, and mom
Upper right: girls with Aunt Vanessa

Cindy (Tyler's mom), Kristie, Tyler, Bayley (Tyler's sister)
 Tyler's family is WAY into the Giants baseball team... might have been a mistake to check the score.
 Bride and Groom in their goofy sweet hats I got them.
 And, as always, another epic dance party to end the evening! My cousins are so much fun!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Mid State Fair

The other night I went to the Paso Robles Mid State Fair with my mom and my sister, Kristie. It's about an hour north of Pismo Beach and we try to go every year because usually they get fun musical acts and they always have the best kettle corn and funnel cakes. I make most of my important decisions based on food. People think we moved to Texas for Andrew to go to UTSA, but really it was all about the bbq :)

The band Sister Hazel was playing the free stage (they're that 90's band that do the song "It's hard to say what it is I see in you, wonder if I'll always be with you. Words can't say and I can't do enough to prove it's all for you.") They were great and even though we only knew that one song we still had a blast. Like I said, an extra large bag of kettle corn makes everything infinitely better.

The Mid State Fair is where I've seen classic bands like Journey, Heart, Bryan Adams, Steve Miller Band, Rod Stewart, Eddie Money, Switchfoot, 38 Special, Smashmouth, Phil Vassar, and Carrie Underwood (won free tickets for her show... we tend to win free stuff a lot, so yay!)

Sometimes they get pretty awful musical acts though. Like in 2004 when I won tickets to see Jessica Simpson. But whatever, they were free tickets! In fact, the first time I remember going to the fair was in 1992 when my mom won tickets on the radio to see Michael Bolton there. Admittedly M.B. concert tickets are not a great thing to win, which is probably why 8 year old me was the only one to agree to go with her... I was in it for the carnival rides and cotton candy. After one minute of "Time, Love, and Tenderness" we were outta there! 

Monday night when we went, John Mayer was headlining and I'm just not a fan. He's too breathy with his vocals, he ruined Tom Petty's Free Fallin', and he's too much of a playboy. Plus I know he's full of it when he says my body is a wonderland and nobody likes a liar. So we hung out in the stands next to the main stage and listened in on a few songs and then took off to look at blingy jeans and cowgirl hats in the shopping exhibits. North County is like a little piece of Texas and my mom and I jumped at the chance to wear our Sam Moon cowgirl hats (that were way, way cheaper than the ones at the fair. Sam Moon for the win!)

We also did an impromptu photo shoot with the self timer in the middle of the fairgrounds. I always wonder what people think of us when we set our camera up on whatever surface appears to be relatively stable and then pose for 10, yes TEN photos at a time. Ten is the highest number you can set the camera to for timed photos. My mom always taught me about the rule of "best of" photos. You take a bajillion so you have options for what are the best of those bajillion. Thanks to DSLR cameras and 16GB SD flashcards that is a good rule of thumb, but in the days of film processing it was a nightmare!
Unfortunately I'm too impatient to sort through all those photos to find the real "best of" so I just make sure everyone's eyes are open and those are the ones that make the cut.

Here is the take away from today's post:

1. Always say yes to the fairgrounds and order the biggest _________ (insert: cotton candy, funnel cake, or deep fried anything)

2. Always set your camera to the max number of self timer photos and just embrace the wacky stares from people passing by. They're just jealous of how much fun you're having and contemplating a photo bomb.

3. Listen to "All for You" by Sister Hazel until it is as stuck in your head as it is in mine. Ugh, so catchy.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

blogging from the beach

Avila Beach as seen through my sunglass lens.

I have learned the secret to happiness, {you know, besides salvation and Jesus} and it is living life in a perpetual state of vacation.

Truth: we are in the middle of a major move in which all of our belongings are 300 miles away in storage, we're funemployed, we are living out of carry on luggage, and we are nomads/hobos/transients, or whatever nomenclature you prefer :)

The truth we prefer to focus on: everyday is a beach day!

We get to enjoy one more month of bouncing between our parents' houses (which are luckily only 3 miles apart) before settling down in our new apartment in Santee, California. In the midst of this arrangement, our base camp has been the beach.

PS, not to beat a dead horse shark, but what I said about the local jaws is true and there have been several sightings even since we got home.  {great white shark tosses kayak   shark sighting at Guadalupe Beach}

Perhaps the sharks are also aware of how great a vacation destination the central coast is. I guess I can't fault those godless, savage, man-eaters! 

And now for your blast from the past SAT analogy...
Birds : Erika   ::  Sharks : Brennie

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Taking the scenic route home

Yesterday I had a job interview for subbing/teaching for the school district I used to work for in San Diego. It went great, (re)hired on the spot! For some added scenic fun, we turned our little day trip to SoCal into a mini vacation by travelling back home yesterday on the 1. Ok, it's called Highway One or Pacific Coast Highway, but I am letting my true California native flag fly when I put the word "the" before a freeway. I didn't know that was a thing until I moved to Texas and I told someone, "We live off the 1604, so take the 35 to the 10 to the 151 to the 1604..." and their response was something like, "you're not from here, are you?" In these parts there is only one freeway and it's called 101. So I grew up saying just take the freeway south; I love the simple life of only one freeway. And I love a long drive along the coast. 
I also love all the malls that are right off the 1. 
We cruised through Orange County, but sadly didn't see any real housewives, drove by Laguna Beach and Newport Beach, went past Los Angeles (downtown LA above), stopped at Santa Monica, and met back up with the freeway in Malibu. In related Malibu news, did you see the recent Kardashian's where Bruce Jenner bought a beach house in Malibu just because his 30,000 square foot Calabasas home with Kris was feeling a little cramped? Oh the humanity! But also, I can't really blame him.
There is a place in Newport called Fashion Island Mall. It is my new favorite. Unfortunately, all I could afford there was a fish taco from Wahoo's. Sad face.
Santa Monica was beautiful. Except for the creepy guy with a big, yellow python around his neck begging for money to pose for a picture. Ugh. Gross. I would pay him to stay away from me. I thought pythons were only allowed to run rampant in Florida. Oh, Florida... making California look civilized :)
The coral Coach clutch and black flip flops were my shopping souvenirs at the outlets in Camarillo and Carlsbad.
I didn't realize my name was so hard to spell. Am I saying it wrong? Does it sound like Brine-duh? Face palm. 
Just for the record, we did actually spend some time in San Diego. We ate at our favorite burger place, Hodad's, in Ocean Beach. And we walked along Sunset Cliffs just down the street from our alma mater, Point Loma Nazarene University, where Andrew will be teaching next month. Lousy view from the office, no?
We checked out Santee, our east county home for the next year, and visited with friends. We also drove by Andrew's other teaching job at San Diego Christian College (lower left). I interviewed at La Mesa School District (lower right). Gotta love palm trees in a lobby.
The best part was looking out the window and seeing these views.

Home sweet home!