Monday, September 24, 2012

Alright stop... collaborate and listen..

Because I'm suffering from IEP writers block right now, I felt the need to share with you a couple of incredibly important things I need you to invest in, download, and listen to likerightnow:

1) The Charity Miles app; available for the iPhone and apparently Droids? And idk what else. If you have something other than an iphone, do everyone a favor and trade in your crappy phone for an iphone- and then download the free Charity Miles app.

This free (and freaking ridiculously amazing!!!) app uses the GPS in your phone to help keep track of however many miles you run, bike or walk. For each mile, Charity Miles donates 25 cents to a charity of your choice. Last night I did a piddly 2.7 mile run just to try this bad boy out. I ran for ASPCA, and when I clicked on "impact," it told me that my less than 3 mile run was enough to provide vaccinations for 8 puppies or kittens. (You're welcome, Sarah McLachlan.) ASPCA isn't the only charity you can choose from- they offer sponsorships from Habitat for Humanity, Autism Speaks, FeedAmerica, Pencils of Promise, and more. There's NO excuse to not have this, people! And in addition to this, if you're looking for a little extra incentive the next time you're not feeling a work out, just swipe through the different charities you could be giving back to, lace up those kicks, and hit the road!

2) Masked Intruder.

They're pop. They're punk. They're doo-wop. They wear masks. They make me reminisce about That Thing You Do. AND they sing about stalking girls and over all bad-assery with incredibly catchy, toe tapping beats and beautiful, harmonious voices. Call it a gimmick, I call it amazing. It's like a ginormous guilty pleasure, without the paranoia of it ACTUALLY being a guilty pleasure. Free. King. Luff.

3) Trader Joe's Savory Crackers/Chocolate Chip Dunkers/Vanilla Meringue Cookies/Creamy Tomato Soup.

So what are you waiting for?! Grab your (perhaps new?) iPhone, throw on your sneakers, be active for a charity, while jamming out to Masked Intruders, then come home and refuel with Trader Joe's snacks and a bowl of soup. Sounds like a winning evening to me!

Happy Monday, friends!! Hope you have a wonderful week!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sometimes I feel I've got to away..

Now taking donations for these suckers....

Happy Saturday, friends!

It's been a lazy, lazy day on my end. I'm not very proud of it. Sure, Donnie and I cleaned the entire house, did all the dishes, made delicious grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup for lunch (eeeeek it's FALL!!!!) and gave myself a (badly needed) mani with a new fall shade, but I didn't do the MAIN thing I wanted to kick my weekend off with: I missed my morning Team run. It's ok to shed some tears. I have.

I was SUPPOSED to go for a 10 or so miler this morning and I'd been psyched for like a week for it! The route was going to take me through this park that I have been jonesing to run through for like a month now. Donnie doesn't like me logging tons of miles on an out and back type course because he thinks it's not safe. Sometimes it makes me really mad (...ok, not REALLY mad), but really I think it's very sweet that he cares so much. So this morning, my dream was going to come true: FIRST autumn run of the season, awesome park, hill work, team bonding, AND I'd be done and ready for my day by like 8. Win, win, win, right? WRONG. Guess what idiot woke up feeling like complete and utter dog crap? (Hint: this kid, right here.)(...I'm pointing to myself, you just can't see it...) And I didn't even drink last night! UNFAIR. 

It takes a lot for me to admit to Donnie that I'm not feeling well enough to make a run happen. If I ever tell him I'm not running because I don't feel good, he usually won't let me do anything active for like at least 3 days. a total bummer. So this morning, I contemplated for a solid 10 minutes (because that was all the time I had left for myself to get ready) before I swallowed my pride and said those awful seven words: "I think I'm too sick to run..." Perhaps I should add in here that Donnie was going to come with me on this morning's run. While he isn't on the team (nor does he have any desire to run 10 miles...or do a half ironman), he was going to join me at the park and do his own thing while I did mine. So, while I was selfishly contemplating my own run's fate, poor guy had gotten himself out of bed (5:45 on a Saturday, folks) and was in the middle of putting on his running clothes when I decided to break the news to him. What. A. Champ. He didn't even seem upset with me. (Or maybe he was and I just had my head so far up my own ass that I didn't notice any one else's feelings but my own of defeat). 

Needless to say, I'm pretty sure my husband gets the "Fella of the YEAR" award today. He let me wake him up to run for nothing, he let me sleep it off until like 8:45 while he was awake, making biscuits and getting stuff done, he helped me clean the whole house this morning, AND he just said the most beautiful words to me: "So...what time are we going to run tonight?"

Donnie O'Neil- you sir, are a gentleman. And a scholar.

Oh, and also, Trader Joe's opened in Houston this weekend. That'll get it's own post, perhaps after the completion of this evening run.

Cheers to the official start of autumn, and one of the last long runs I do in my old running shoes!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

'Round here..

As is rather apparent due to my 2+ month hiatus of blogging, things have been a little bonkers lately. BUT it seems to be slowing down....or maybe I'm doing something wrong...? Here's a little recap of my life as of the past few months...

1) I went to New England with my dear sweet love and was reunited with my fabulous parents and my UHmazing friends whom I miss so dearly!!! While in New England, our list of adventures included but was not limited to:
A- Donnie, my mom, my dad and myself spent a day in the beautiful mountains of NH.....
We went to The Flume Gorge, where we gawked and hiked over waterfalls, and Rita found a big leaf...
We visited to top of Cannon Mountain, where Donnie proceeded to give me heart attacks by walking right along the edge of ledges....
Donnie and my dad bonded..

B- The 4 of us visited Salem, MA and learned more about the witch trials. ...and by "learn more about the witch trials," I mean we walked around the town, which has completely commercialized witches, trials, and anything that could possibly be related, and watched a couple of hoakey reenactments of witch hunts, witch trials, and witchy shenanigans.
But the beach was really pretty...

C- I was reunited with this gem- to which we celebrated our togetherness by making tutus, color running, mustache wearing, and binge eating junk food all the while.. Miss her!

Making tutus makes us pretty

There's no wrong time for a snack for two... Yes, we were well aware that we looked like a couple. Wasn't the first time, probably won't be the last..

Pre- Color Run ("Look at all the white people!.........")

Post- Color Run ("Look at all the colored people...ohhh.....")

I mustache you a question...but I'll shave it for later..

D- I went to Cape Cod. Wellfleet, Eastham and P-Town, hell yes! I thought I was doing ok spending the summer in hot, concrete Houston. And then, I came here.....
My old roommate Pat, and the whole gang at Cooke house, was kind enough to let me crash with them and invade various bedrooms throughout the house for a few days. Pat made me an espresso every morning. Out there, on the other side of that house, is the Atlantic. We could whale watch while eating breakfast from our table. You know what I can watch from my living room here in Houston? The heron, that has mistaken my backyard for a swampy wetland. Cape Cod- 1, Houston- zip.
It was a cloudy and blustery few days on the beach, so I figured it would be acceptable for me to jump up on the stand and guard in my street clothes...and anchor bikini. It's ok, I'm a lifeguard. (And, quite frankly, I would have done it if it was sunny out, too. Pullin' the GS-6 card whenever I can!) For some reason, whenever I was sitting in my street clothes with my old loves (ahem, exhibit a- KELSEY!!!!), patrons would direct their questions at me. I think it's a sign that I belong on the beach..
Being reunited with this girl is like walking into a surprise party....and then staying there for 30 years. made sense when we took this picture.... Mattie Fowler, you are a class act. A lady, and a scholar.

Go here. STAT. Clearly I quickly learned I was indeed NOT ok in Houston..

E- My flight got delayed, then delayed again, and then cancelled. That's what I get for scheduling a late evening flight in the middle of ...thunderstorm season?
I'm frowning because I'm only assuming my luggage is getting rain soaked sitting out in the rain for the second time this trip. Assumption confirmed 24 hours, 2 ruined textbooks and wet suitcase full of mildew smelling clothes later...

2- I made it back to Houston eventually, and the whirlwind commenced. Three different job offers, 3 certification exams, 2 interviews and a disastrously organized paperwork filled office later and it's official........

I am officially hired on as the Special Education Resource teacher at an elementary school. I have the best kiddos ever, and my new school is off the chain! (The other day, my principal gave me a key chain just for being the first person he met in the hallway that day.... NUTS!!) (In the off chance you can see the bags under my eyes in this picture, please be aware that I had just finished up 3 weeks of ridiculous stress (and perhaps some over ambitious wine consumption to help offset said stress...) I don't normally look like someone has smashed me in the face with a burlap sack full of rocks...I don't think...

3- One of the finest ladies I know, with one of the best kids I know, told me that whenever I wanted to take her kiddo for the day I was welcome to. Well. Now that he's not my student anymore, I'm totally posting this picture on my blog. He is the sweetest, cutest, most fantastic and fun little boy you will EVER meet! My heart aches not having him as a huge part of my day anymore, but I know his new school is fantastic for him. And his mom is SUPER at keeping me in the loop!! Such a wonderful, wonderful family!
Yup. That's love, folks. Look out, Donnie...

4- I joined Team in Training and began training for the Oceanside 70.3 Half Iron Man! That's another post in and of itself. But I will say- it's been SO fantastic so far! The people I've met are absolutely wonderful!
My girls Claudia, Misty and myself after a leisurely 20+ mile ride last weekend. Go Team!

So, needless to say, August was a complete whirlwind. But now that it's over, and I think things are slowing down (and summer is FINALLY nearing an end!!!), I can look back and say it was one giant blessing. So cheers to autumn, folks! May your pumpkin lattes be perfectly mixed, and your mornings be crisp. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Me, Myself and I

Linking up this morning with some lovelies to partake in a little Me, Myself, and I to get this Tuesday morning started. Join in!!

What is your biggest phobia?

Clowns. For real. They were always scary, but that effing guy in Saw who rode around on that creaky tricycle really went above and beyond. FORGET IT.

....or losing the ones I love. ....and clowns.

If you could relive any day of your life, what would it be and why?

It would probably be completely cliche of me to say "the day my husband and I got married," BUT- hear me out. We got married in Disney World. Our photographers were really fun. The ceremony was very sweet. Our reception was hoppin'. I had my best friends and family all with me in the happiest place on earth. We went to the Magic Kingdom after the reception was over. And then Epcot. In addition to eating this insane brioche french toast with caramelized bananas foster and delicious wedding cake earlier in the day, I also got a bangarang pastry in France. And then we spent the night in the Grand Floridian. On the concierge level. Where we had access to a fridge full of soda all night long. And they gave me free least, I'm assuming they were free. Sooooo, yeah. I'm gonna go with that.

Delish cake and a cute boy... jackpot.

Hell yeah, GF slippers!! 

If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what would it be?

Hm, 27 into 28 has been pretty good. I'm about to start a fabulous new job. I feel like I have a little bit of wisdom (...emphasis on the "little bit" part). Mary Kay has done fabulous things for my skin ((shameless plug: ask me about how it can help yours!!!)) so my wrinkles are still being warded off thanks to the TimeWise Miracle Set. My knowledge of good wine is ever growing. I'm starting to surprise myself in more sensible life choices. And my body hasn't completely given up on me yet. AND I'm not 30. So, that's a big plus.

What celebrity do you get mistaken for?

I don't get mistaken for any celebrity. But once, when I was in high school, my "friend" told me I looked like a lemur. It shook me pretty bad (hey, I was at a delicate age!). So now, even if someone does tell me I look like someone, I let them know that they're probably just thinking of a lemur.
Me on my wedding day.....

....a lemur...

What songs are included on the soundtrack of your life?

Soulshine, by the Allman Brothers. Because, it's a wonderful wonderful song, and anytime I'm feelin down, or it's a rainy day, I blast it at top volume and sing at the top of my lungs and it makes me feel so happy.
Baby, I love you- the Ramones version. This song makes me think of Donnie. It's a really sweet song. And we dig the Ramones.
This. Entire. Album. Download it. If you haven't already been enlightened to Girl Talk, check him out. I put this album on my life soundtrack list because of how many freaking long runs this track list has gotten me through. Lonely marathons, half marathons, and training runs alike. There's just something about it that never gets old. And it totally amps me up.
And this. Well, all of the Immaculate Collection, really. But this song spawned numerous dance parties in my bedroom growing up as a kiddo- either alone or with friends. Who doesn't like 80's Madonna?! 90's Madonna, ok- we'll talk. But 80's Madonna?! Legendary.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday letters, and other thing I'm thankful for..

Linking up today for some Friday letters..

Dear Friday the 13th- you are what people make of you, and today I think I made you pretty awesome.
(Bahaha, you're welcome)

Dear Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker- thanks for making this homemade mango gelato so outta control

Dear wifey- I. Can't. Wait. Til. Next week!! (Even if it's a little longer than a week away...I'm calling it next week!) Color runnin', tutu making, ice cream eating, money blowing, beach volleyballin'..... ho man!!!! I can't handle this..

Dear Max- the other day we let Lady out and you and I had some much needed QT. Then you got your nose stuck in your ball. It takes a pretty special guy to get a round object stuck on their face. But you did it. And I think you're real cute.

Dear Charlie Chaplin- Thanks for being so freaking adorable.

Dear Donnie- thanks for the best movie date ever last night! I'm oh so appreciative that you've made me sit down numerous times to watch all these old flicks. I'm even more appreciative that you make me watch them over and over again until I like them. But this one only took one try- and I'm SO glad we got to see it on the big screen last night! We have good movie dates- and I like that.

Dear Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor- you're my most favorite.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Week at a glance..

It's been a rainy rainy week here in H-Town, the land where dreams come true. While it was a real pain in the ass for the first 4 days, I've decided to embrace it today. (read: try and make me put on real clothes.) The other half is at work, all of my swimming lessons are cancelled, and I've got three more assignments to finish up for the week. And so, without further rambling on, here it is: a photographic journey via my instagram through the last 4 days of my life. Once again, you are so welcome.

On Saturday, my rad grandmother-in-law, a couple of Donnie's aunts and his cousin Matt and I took a journey up to the Kemah Boardwalk (apparently, the fun doesn't stop at the Kemah boardwalk....) to celebrate Aunt Nancy's birthday. We had decided to eat at this restaurant that provided outdoor seating so that you could "enjoy" your meal while watching the boats coming in and out of the harbor. After about 3 minutes of waiting to "enjoy" these views, we were all covered in so much sweat that sweet Aunt Nancy finally agreed that, yes, maybe we would be more comfortable sitting inside in the air conditioning near a window. (Thank you, Jesus). Anyway, food was good. Company was good. And in Kemah, on the boardwalk there is an area where you can pay a quarter and feed the catfish below. (Yes. You read right. "Feed the catfish." Catfish and dirty brown water. That's how Kemah rolls.) (Kemah also apparently rolls with idiots who don't know how to steer their catamarans and wind up sailing full speed into the outdoor dining area where guests can be found "enjoying" their meals. Aces.)

When I'm home in New Hampshire, one of my favo things to do over the summer is make stops at local farm stands in my town with my mom. I don't think there's anything better than homegrown heirloom tomatoes. I love it when they look like a totally misshapen beach ball with all those lines on them. It's like they're telling you exactly where you need to slice them. (Tomato salad, anyone?! Nom.) But alas, I'm not in New Hampshire (yet!!!!!!!!!). So instead, I took a picture of some "greenhouse" tomatoes in my local H.E.B. Totally not the same- but still pretty. 

Tuesday was laundry day at our house (read: Tuesday was the day that I actually got around to doing the laundry since I'd been putting it off for a couple weeks...and was sick of looking at the pile in my closet...ok, ok, maybe it was outside of my closet too) and of course I waited until right before bed to put the sheets back on. After realizing that we didn't know where Lady was, Donnie conducted a brief search (read: Donnie checked the bed because that's usually where Lady is if she's not trying to weasel her way into your lap on the couch) and found her underneath the recently washed blanket. Clearly, she doesn't see anything wrong with this picture, other than the fact that Donnie obviously woke her up from a perfectly normal and acceptable nap. (Photo cred shout out to Donnie)

As I mentioned, it's been a rainy, rainy week here in Houston. On the Cape, the rain is awesome because it tends to drive away the Griswolds, leaves you with a bangarang nap and work out day, and you still get paid bank for it. Here in H-Town, however, it floods the backyard, drowns my flowers, makes my dogs smell bad, and forces me to cancel my swimming lessons (farewell, income, I miss you so...). 

I spy with my one eye- some wrinkles, shoddy looking eye makeup as a result of swimming and working out (and let's call a spade a spade here- shoddy application), and an iris that appears to show armageddon (but without Ben Affleck or Brucey). I got stuck in some non-moving traffic last night and got really bored, so I decided to take pictures of everything around me that was interesting (..............). 

I sure hope you guys (and by "you guys," I mean the 2 of you who are probably reading this) have found some thrilling things to take pictures of this week! If you don't have an instagram- get it. And then follow me! (beckysoda) Happy Thursday!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


My girl, Katy told me I needed to link up for some Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday. So here I go...

I don't know how I used to waste so much time before Pinterest. And don't even get me started on the wedding I planned sans Pinterest (it's still kinda tough to think about...)(...that skeleton key board where guests wrote "keys to success," old suitcases for card boxes, and I don't even want to talk about all the photos we DIDN'T take). Hence my most recent pin board, entitled "Too little, too late, Pinterest." My friend had told me a few months ago when it was first starting to get big (to me, anyway) about what a freaking time dump it would be. Had I only known....

BUT- every cloud has a silver lining, and this cloud just found like a heap of silver linings to repin! Perhaps it's the "oodles" of "free time" I have now (read: not having to wait until my bathroom breaks to check all of the fun apps on my phone) that's to be the cause of this recent pincrease. Perhaps it's that I'm now looking at all these recipes and crafts and knowing that I JUST MIGHT have time to make them! ...Or maybe it's because my school work is beginning to get a little old (cue also recent influx in blog posts). Whatever it may be, I have compiled my list of top pins from the last few days to share with you. Because you didn't have to ask. You're welcome.

1) The. Freaking. Keys.
I love skeleton keys. I love rustic looking things. And, while we might not actually take your advice, I sure like reading keys to success. So thanks a heap, Pinterest. Thanks a heap.

2) Recipe for the day: How to make Starbucks Passion Tea Lemonade.
While I'm a complete Starbucks addict and will drink probably anything the barista puts in a cup, I am just too frugal (read: cheap) to pay $7 for a caffeinated beverage. (Because that's about how much a trenta beverage other than coffee costs. And my body doesn't respond to caffeine unless I consume a liter of it in about 30 minutes.) However, I am indeed a sucker for their passion tea lemonade. (If you haven't had it, you're probably off your rocker). This recipe is a dead ringer! (Course, it's pretty hard to eff up: passion tea, lemonade, simple syrup- shake well.) It's the most refreshing, perfect summer evening drink! Especially when you add vodka.

3) Ummm, hello curtains??!
Oh hello there, no sew Roman shades. These are made from a tablecloth (tablecloth?!?!) and tension rods, apparently from the Targ. The possibilities I see in my head are endless. AND- think about how cheap easy it'll be to change 'em out?! (Cue hideously tacky seasonal tablecloths to go with my fave holidays! Halloween in August, anyone?! YES!)


Yeah. I don't even own a pair of Tom's. But I'm totally gonna go buy some, wear a freaking hole in them, and then patch 'em up with some ridiculously cute patterned fabric. Thank you, Tom's-wearing-hippies.

For the love of God, someone buy me this outfit. It's gonna look great with my new patchworked Tom's.

6) And for those of you who are not on the "baby wearing a headband with a big fake flower on it"...
....still not on it? Then there's something wrong with you.

7) After years of working on Cape Cod, my Cape Cod bracelets are as much a part of my everyday attire as my [unfortunate] tattoos (and much more pleasant to look at)(damn you, college decisions...) But after years of wear and exposure, they are looking quite worn. My new solution:
Cape Elizabeth bracelets! Not quite so much tarnish, cute, and still pays homage to my New England heritage. So buy me some. My birthday was a couple months seems like a few of you may have forgotten.......

8) Do you ever feel like your love handles need some work?

I'm waiting for Donnie to tell me our "diet" is over so I can binge eat these cake batter balls while watching hours upon hours of How I Met Your Mother episodes on Netflix. If that's not a perfect night, I don't know what is..

9) I see lots of canvas and glue in my future....
I am in lust with vintage maps...vintage anything really... but I'm not a hipster. I can't wait to buy a (or take over someone else's) color printer and make some fabulous wall art.... maybe for our new kitchen?!

So perfect. However, could be slightly depressing if you lead a boring life and have nothing cool to write down. Then you're stuck looking back at each day of each year, year after year, only to be reminded that you didn't do jack. So. Get out there and do jack... stuff... so if you do decide to make this calendar, you'll have something to look at.

So there you have it: 10 things that have wasted my time in the last week. ...really 11 if you count this blog... Some people look down on procrastination. Really, it's an art. And I'm a freaking artist.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Weekend Favos

As I sit here, sipping/chugging my iced coffee and procrastinating school work even more, I've been reflecting a bit on my favorite things. (Yes, raindrops on roses AND whiskers on kittens!) So I've made a list for you. Feel free to like these things as much as I do. I hope they can bring you the same kinda happiness they bring me.

1) Nail polish, nail polish, nail polish! Current seasonal faves, and both on my fingers as I type:

Essie's Turquoise and Caicos
Essie's Ole Caliente

2) This. Freaking. Movie.

If you have yet to see this movie, first of all- shame on you. Second of all, that's enough stalling. Rent it. Buy it. Illegally download it (but then buy it so that you can support this fabulous film). I found this film to be a deep breath of fresh air. If you don't finish watching this movie with a big hankering to watch either City Lights and/or Singin' in the Rain, go back and do it again. You clearly watched it wrong. If Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds hadn't already put "learn how to dance wicked good" on my bucket list, Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo just did.

3) The beach. With my four leggers (and fellow two legger, of course). 

Just a couple of beach bums.

After a long day of attacking foot high shore break, (read: a day of projectile throwing up salt water due to vicious attacks on foot high shore break), Lady is feeling much better, contrary to her facial expression in this picture.

Max, smarter than little Lady, did not stage attacks on the Gulf today and greatly enjoyed his (and his momma's!!!) first beach trip to Galveston.

Friday was my first beach day here in Texas (yes, and it only took me 5 years to embrace it...). My rad sister-in-law and amazing new cousins took me back in November for a wild and crazy weekend, but alas, the weather had been even too cold for me to hit up the water. I did stick my feet in though...while wearing my fleece and long pants. Back then, it was reminiscent of Cape Cod.

Friday, not only were pants nowhere near in sight (get your mind out of the gutter- it was a million degrees outside), but I couldn't see the bottom. This water was brown. B.R.O.W.N. Like, I held my hand about an inch under the surface and I couldn't see it. I hear that can be normal for Galveston? Woof. BUT- brown water, raging heat and a humidity that just won't quit aside, it was a really nice "day." (I'd call it a day without parenthesis, but it was so freaking hot that we only lasted like 2 hours before Lady started vomming all over the place [] and Max kept trying to sit on my sweet mother in law's towel...or just straight up on my mother in law.) Lady got to try out her new life jacket (pictures of that one to come!) and Max kept trying to throw his body down and roll all around in the dried seaweed along the waters edge. Sometimes my dogs are really special...

4) Daydreaming about our upcoming New England trip!!! This one's so good it requires it's own post. Maybe tomorrow. Orrrr later tonight, as I'm sure to continue NOT doing homework.

5) THIS MOVIE. In our dvd player and on my telly right now. 

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it.

Remember how freaking awesome John Hughes was? I dare you to find someone who hasn't seen (and totally dug) at least 3 of his flicks. (Hell-oooooo?! The Molly Ringwalds. Boom.) They just don't make movies like these anymore.

6) 5 day weekends with this guy... Thanks, America.

He's even cute pixelated.