Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hail all Hail TCU... Homecoming

Last weekend was my second TCU homecoming as an alumna. We played Air Force, but I'll be honest and say I went to see old friends, drink beer, and eat! We spent the afternoon at Rahr Brewery with MC and Phil, listened to music, and drank. Always a good time to be had at Rahr. Unfortunately for this update, I brought my camera all the way to the great city of Fort Worth minus the battery... so iphone pics had to suffice!

It rained ALL day! When I wasn't under a roof, I looked like this:
But then we made it to the Frog Five Tailgate which is for alums who graduated in the last five years. This is quite possibly the best tailgate of the year considering there is free food, beer, and t-shirts! I miss my college days of having more free t-shirts than I know what to do with, so the last amenity was greatly appreciated! So excited was I to receive this free shirt that I failed to notice there was a large mud puddle right in front of the t-shirt table... so now not only was my hair frizz-tastic, my clothes wet, but my feet covered in mud. It was then that I promptly walked (and squished) over to the beer table.

The highlight though was seeing some long-lost friends, 
and some friends we see all the time :)

All in all homecoming was great fun and it was amazing to see so many people I hadn't seen in years! Many more fun times were had that day but due to the above mentioned downpours and my camera faux pas they weren't captured on film! Oh yea, and TCU won against Air Force woo!

Stay tuned because tonight we are celebrating Halloween... The Beer Girl and Beer Keg will roam the streets of Big D once again!!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dum da dum dum!

To be perfectly honest, my workout routine has fallen totally flat. I'm beyond bored with the classes at my gym and the thought of running on a treadmill... well I'd rather fall down an elevator shaft. So, today I signed up for THIS. I'm really nervous, excited, nervous... I thought to myself, what better way to NOT gain 10 pounds (and maybe lose some inches for the dress instead!!) over the holidays than to get my behind kicked three (possibly four) times a week by a professional by the name of "the gladiator"??  It was also rated DFW's best boot camp in D Magazine.

I have dreams that after camp I'll look like this:

Buts lets not get ahead of ourselves, first I'd have to be tan and Brazilian instead of well, pale and Irish. Anywho, I'm very excited about starting this camp! Especially because I get to do it with my fellow "I want to eat turkey and pie and not gain weight damnit!" pal Kristen. So I'm off to buy my 8-10 lb dumbbells, workout mat, and new tennis shoes!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Linens, Crystal, China Oh My!

The Save the Dates are about to go out. They are printed, addressed, and stamped. They also have our wedding website on them which in turn has our gift registry on it AND being the A.R. person that I am, that means our registry has to actually have have stuff on it... So needless to say, O and I spent today, scanner in hand wandering around Macy's and BB&B registering for our fictional 2 bedroom 2 bath house that we may or may not have post nuptials. 

A few months ago, we registered at Crate and Barrel at one of their Wedding party events which I highly recommend as your first registering experience. You have to get up fairly early on a Sunday, (like 10am, but you know you'd be getting up to get ready for brunch anyway!) but there are mimosas, scones, and a personal shopper involved so in my opinion, totally worth the couple less hours of shut eye! Just a word to the wise though, save the mimosas until after you're done registering because you don't need bubbly clouding your judgment of which stemware to choose!  

So, without further ado I will share some lessons learned today while gift registering. 

  • Print out and take with you Real Simple's Wedding registry checklist. Its is well organized, to the point, and the best one I've seen so far. Every store you register at will give you a copy of their "recommended registry items" and I found every one to be excessive and have many things that O and I will NEVER use. 
  • Wear appropriate footwear- take it from the girl who hobbled out of BB&B today with blistered feet and a fiance complaining of sore knees 
  • Give your fiance a kiss and tell him/her thank you for being there and being supportive of you while you're facing the all important decision of whether to scan the cream or ivory bath mat
  • Take ample food and water breaks. You'll be surprised how many calories all this decision making burns.
  • Have a cold beer or glass of sauv blanc waiting for you when you get home.
  • Let pushy sales people try to tell you what you HAVE to have. If you and your fiance will never use crystal candlesticks or the all-in-one toast and egg breakfast maker then don't feel pressured to register for it! 
  • Have plans with anyone  or anything except your couch after your finished. Your head will be spinning with spatulas, thread counts, and china patterns and a little down time will be necessary.
  •  Get frustrated or overwhelmed when you can't make a decision right away. That's the beauty of online registries! Scan both, decided later.
  • Forget to ask about the store's return policies. Some will give you store credit and some will even give you cash but none of them will tell you unless you ask!
So there ya have it. Just a few lil' tips I learned today. To all the Brides out there, do you have any do's and don'ts to minimize wedding registry stress??


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tea Time!

Last fall, while perusing the Dallas Arboretum website and their selection of wedding venues (Was I engaged and this point? No, but we won't talk about that.) I discovered that they have a Harvest Tea every year October through November. I've never been to a seated tea and thought to myself "what better way to be a true Dallasite (besides valeting my car and shopping at Northpark) than to have tea and crumpets in the afternoon?" I never made it last year but this year, my favorite newly returned Dallas resident and I decided to check it out.

Our adorable tea set with violets on the cups!

My lovely afternoon tea company.

Our tea sandwiches were served with peach cinnamon spice tea. The clear front runner (as far as tea goes) in my humble opinion.

Our desert plate with pumpkin tarts, amaretto brownies, pecan bars and the delicious orange currant scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream! SO buttery, light, and flaky. All I can say is YUM.

We then ventured out onto the Arboretum grounds to visit the fall festivities.

If one of these darlings had fit in my purse I would have for sure snatched it up for my fall table-scape.

There were fall-tastic pumpkin patches like this all over. I could make a crude joke about the gourd resting between the two large pumpkins on the right-BUT I won't, because I'm a lady... I drink tea.

To the pumpkin house we go!

Not all is classy at the Dallas Arboretum. There are still signs that say no swimming if you got the runs folks!

 Overall, I highly recommend the Arboretum during the fall. We thoroughly enjoyed our tea and wandering around the grounds. If you don't want to shell out for the tea, consider visiting on a beautiful fall day! It's the perfect opportunity to get into the Autumn spirit and enjoy nature while you're at it. I intend to return very soon, or at least before the weather turns frigid.  I hope you find yourself there soon!


Monday, October 18, 2010

Purple Nurple

You can ask any of the fine ladies (and man) I work with and they will tell you that for the past six months I've been on a quest to find the quintessential purple pumps for my lovely bridesmaids. I've searched and examined every purple shoe on zappos, piperlime, through all of the interwebs and beyond. If they sell shoes, I've scoured their website for reasonably priced, non-tacky, satin purple shoes (with no rhinestones please and thankyou!). Sounds easy right? WRONG! It has taken me months but I've finally found The Shoe.

 I think these lovelies will beautifully compliment their graphite gray jcrew taryn dresses come April! I must admit I almost gave up on my search mid September and almost had my maids purchase some nice but not nearly as fabulous purple peep-toe flats. Thank goodness for my unwavering stubbornness and perseverance! AND thank you to my ever patient colleagues who endured countless hours of purple shoe scrutiny! 


Saturday, October 16, 2010


For a long time the only team I rooted for was the Texas Longhorns. Growing up in Austin, there wasn't really an option. Either you were a Horns fan or one of those "damn Aggies..." I have memories of my dad yelling at the television ("how could you be so blind ref?!?! That was clearly holding!!) and my mom sharing wisdom ("the BEST time to go grocery shopping is during a Texas game because there is literally NO ONE there") every Saturday throughout my childhood. The Texas Longhorns to Austin are comparable say to the Packers to Green Bay. When Texas wins, the city's energy and excitement is palpable, and when they lose... serious bummer. 

When I went to college, having lived and breathed burnt orange for 18 years, it was hard for me to get into another team's football spirit. As a freshman at TCU, the main reason I went to football games were 1) I got to tailgate and flirt with frat boys 2) I got to wear purple and 3) it was free. My allegiance to TCU steadily grew over the years. When TCU played Texas my senior year I waffled only for a moment before putting on my purple and white. As an alumna, I feel much more attached to my Frogs than I did as a freshman. I still enjoy wearing purple and I definitely still enjoy tailgating with friends (instead of frat boys). It doesn't hurt that TCU is freakin amazing this year and is the only ranked football program in Texas. So with that, GO FROGS (and go Horns :)

At the TCU-Oregon St. game

Tailgate regulars

It's hard to see, but Phil has purple hair... if that's not a fan, I don't know what is


Everybody say " Andy Dalton!"

Oh Mountain West Conference, we have a love hate relationship

The Frog Horn that blows after each touchdown. Trusty frog always keeps me up to speed when I linger in the parking lot a little too long tailgating!

And the winner for best use of purple is....

Cheers to Football season!! 


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Keep Austin Weird!!

Since I was just a youngster of 17, every fall I visit Zilker park to surround myself with music of bands from all over the world. As soon as you walk into the park you can't help but shake your hips and tap your feet a little bit to the drum beats and guitar riffs echoing through. Austin City Limits is the perfect harmony of friendly accepting people, rockin music, and local delights such as Torchy's TacosO and I have been to ACL together for three years now, and this year was no different than the last in that we just had a freakin' AWESOME time! Here's the run down:

The obvious highlight for O and I on Friday was Vampire Weekend. They put on an amazing show with a mix of songs from both first and second albums.  The only and I mean ONLY downside to this show were the teeny-bopper fans jumping up and down in front of me that I swear, if that neon sunglasses wearing 14 year old hit me in the face one more time with her flailing pony tail....

Oliver and I were really looking forward to seeing Manchester Orchestra  on the second day but unfortunately, the lead singer sounded like he'd smoked 30 packs of ciggys before coming on stage. We managed to fill the hour like this:
Sweet Leaf organic green mint and honey tea and Vodka makes any show worth watching!

Onward with the rest of the day! Broken Bells was the next band and holy smokes were they worth waiting through Manchester! Their hit song "The High Road" is just a perfect melding of inspirational lyrics with dance worthy drums and synth.  Love them! And now for everybody's favorite band of the day.... MUSE 
 Muse's live performances are seriously some of the best I've ever seen. You just have to see them to know. I'm fairly certain I danced off every one of the torchy's tacos and sweet tea vodkas I had consumed that day. Great ending, to a GREAT day!

The first show we saw on Sunday was Midlake. This "little" band's (they have seven members... they utilized a "four guitar attack" as Phil put it) harmony is phenomenal coupled with other instruments like flutes and piano. They have a delightfully weird sound that mixes rock with classical and an image to match. The other highlight of the day was The Eagles. Not much needs to be said about this institution of music. They have the number one selling album of all time. 'Nuff said. 

And now, a few of the people who made it all happen. 

You can tell Rolling Stone that my last words were I dig music! I super heart Almost Famous :) 



Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tapas? Sangria? Si por favor!!

As a side trip from Germany, we went to Barcelona! This town merges a city and beach with typical Spanish flair.  The food, sangria, architecture, sites, shopping... did I mention the food and sangria?? Not only was the food amazing (OMG lobster paella!!), we had perfect weather for visiting Barceloneta beach. We were also in town for the annual Le Merce' festival. We never could really put our finger on what it was celebrating but Oliver and I never miss a party! 

The aforementioned tapas. In the back left corner you will see my food lover in Barcelona- Manchego wedges... 

La Boqueria is one of the World's largest open markets. If it's food, it's here!

This Iberico ham is famous in Catalonia. It is a pig that only eats acorns or something and then they sell it for 159 euro per kilogram (2.2lbs)!  

My artsy fartsy pic of the trip. The moon was rising over the beach! So beautiful.

A day at the beach was exactly what we needed after two weeks of eating and drinking our way through Germany... I was tempted to leave the cover up on!

Barceloneta Beach

My lobster paella looked like it was about to crawl off the plate but man was it tasty!

Inside La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia- This Cathedral has been under construction since like 1845 or something. The concept and design is very intriguing but when I walk into a cathedral, I don't expect to hear jack hammers working away. It's expected to be done in 2020. I guess that's what siestas and cava do to construction. Oliver's opinion, and I quote "if the Germans were building this, it would have been done 50 years ago!"

An excerpt from a restaurant menu translated into English. I really appreciated that they took into account that not everyone could read Catalan, BUT I really also wanted to bring to their attention that not many people "cock" with rosemary.

One of the nights we decided to do it Catalan style. Bring any spirit of choice to the beach and lounge awhile! Oliver and I happened to pick up some Piper Heidsieck in the duty free shop and thought this would be a perfect night to enjoy it, oceanfront.

Human Towers at Le Merce

We still have no idea what the tradition behind these human towers is (besides just being freakin' cool). We figured out that the goal is to make them as tall as possible (duh) and then have a small child climb to the top and wave to the crowd.*

Do these candies not look delightful?? Oliver and I bought some mixed chocolates from this place, and to our disappointment they had some sort of scorching hot chili pepper mixed in with some strange gummy substance.  Oh well, at least the display case was pretty.

I love food art!

Roamin the streets with my new purple striped scarf purchased that day, because in Barcelona (or just Europe period) you must be wearing a scarf.

Cava Sangria, I love you and all of your other sangria friends. Thanks for an incredible time. That is all.

Our trip to Europe was truly unforgettable from beginning to end. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to visit so many different diverse and interesting countries. O and I have decided that our next stop (after the honeymoon) will be South America. It is time to conquer a new continent, or at least visit...


*Sidenote: As a pediatric nurse, it was difficult for me to enjoy the children climbing to the top of these four story human towers as much as the crowd around me, as all I could see flashing like a neon sign in my head was Traumatic Brain Injury!!! Over and over.