If I ever decide to put an enormous red fish decal (of the one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish variety) on my car windshield and label myself the "Fish Daddy, " please smother me in a vat of queso.

Just sayin'.


happy foot

It has been six months since my bunionectomy. I had no idea that it would take this long to recover, but it did. I was finally able to wear a cute pair of shoes for the first time last Friday. I still can't wear heels, but wedges are okay. The good news is, November is a great month to have the surgery. You will have to stay home for about a week, but then you get Thanksgiving to recover, so you have quite a bit of time to recuperate. You'll be in a boot for about 6-8 weeks, so it is nice to do it while it is cold outside. Plus, it isn't as obvious when you are wearing pants. The worst part is having to take a shower with a ziploc over your foot.

This surgery was not about vanity, although I will admit I didn't like my little bunion. It had gotten to the point where it hurt at night and one of the veins was always protruding in pain. Poor Larry had to rub my foot like every single night. It doesn't so much hurt as it is uncomfortable. (Unless you wait too long to get it done, then I hear it hurts.) I would recommend doing it if you need it, but like I said - do it in the winter. If you're in Austin, go to Happy Feet and tell Dr. Harvey I sent you. In case you don't remember, this is the BEFORE picture:
This next one is about 3 weeks after the surgery, when they finally took the bandages off to clean and the stitches had started to fall out. You can still see a little bit of the residual bruising on my big toe. You can also see my skin all peeling and flaky. It was nasty.
Well, here I am - 6 months later. I have a sweet 2 inch battle scar and will probably never be able to wear Manolos, but at least my foot doesn't hurt at night. Here is the AFTER:
I will use Mederma every day for about 2 more months, which will hopefully fade the scar. (Doesn't really matter to me if it works, but I'm still supposed to use it.)

I have 4 days left of my temporary handicap parking pass, and you better believe that I am going to take advantage of it. I'll be Front Row Joe every opportunity I can get.


theme nights

Memorial day weekend was great. I know you don't really want a recap, but you're going to get one anyway:

Friday we just ate cheese and crackers and drank wine and played canasta.

Saturday we got up early and went to Home Depot for flowers. We got all sorts of pretty things that will grow in partial shade. We got home and I started on the potted plants while Larry did some other stuff in the yard. We knew it was supposed to rain, but just expected a sprinkle. We pulled our chairs under the eaves and sat and watched for a few minutes, but then we started getting drenched and the lightening came frighteningly close, so we went inside. Not only that, but we were supposed to go to the Round Rock Express baseball game, so we had to change plans. We ended up at our friendly local bar for dinner and few drinks.

Sunday we went to church, then went over to Shelly's house for her first BBQ ever. It was perfect outside and was a nice relaxing day/evening. We got home in time to watch "Get Smart" the movie, which was pretty entertaining.

Monday we went and got new running shoes. I got some Mizunas that I LOVE. After lunch, we finished the yard. I got all my flowers planted and arranged, now I just hope that I can keep them alive! After working outside, I was hot and sweaty and had the urge for a fruity frou-frou drink. I found some random pinapple-mango juice and thought it might do the trick. So, I added a little vodka and a splash of soda, and added the umbrella. Throw in some cracked pepper & olive oil triscuit snacks, and I was really excited about my little homemade happy hour:

I toasted Larry and the camera:
Took a big gulp, and BLECH! They look a whole lot better than they tasted. In fact, they tasted horrible. Beyond horrible. So, we dumped those out and headed to Maudie's for margaritas. This was Larry all mad before our margaritas arrived:

Here he is after:

I also found what might be my new favorite dish in Austin: Chipotle Shrimp Stuffed Avocado. Mmmmmmmmmmm. So, I was calling yesterday "Maudie's Monday" and decided I wanted to do a whole week's worth of theme nights.

Tonight was "Taco Tuesday." Except I don't really like taco shells or tortillas, so I thought about my new favorite dish and got creative. Instead of taco shells, I scooped out avocado halves and built the taco in there. (kind of like a boat.) It turned out really well. Larry loved it and wanted me to take a picture and blog about it, so here it is:

Tomorrow will be "Whatever Wednesday." Basically because it sounds good and we usually do end up doing something random on Wednesday. My guess is either Carino's or Saltgrass.

"Tijuana Thursday" takes place at Plucker's Wing Bar. Larry loves Tijuana Thursday and the cheap mexican beers. I don't particularly enjoy the food at Pluckers because I don't like chicken wings, but they do make a good burger and chicken sandwiches.

"Fun with Friends Friday" hasn't been officially planned yet. But it will consist of either being in a cabin in Fredricksburg with friends or Happy Hour with friends.

In other news, school started again for me, but I'm only taking 3 hours so hopefully it won't be too bad.

Whatever the theme for your week is, I hope it's good. =)



I really like decorating cakes. I think I would be good at it if I ever took the time to get into it. Here was my very first attempt:
I got a little carried away, but I had just learned how to make flowers, so don't be too harsh. I never really did another one after that. It takes a lot of counter space and a Kitchen Aid mixer for the frosting, neither of which I have.

But I feel like .maybe I should get back on the cake wagon. I mean, how many of you have ever gone to pick up a cake and been disappointed in the way they decorated it? Or the ugly cursive handwriting they used? Or, if you ever visit cakewrecks, you can see why I need to get back into this former hobby. For example:

Happy Administrative Proffional Day

Really? You couldn't call and get the Bride's name?

Cangrtalation to all the recent graduates.

I'm just guessing, but I bet the person who purchased this was hoping for "It's a Girl" instead of "It a Gril"

And, my personal favorite.... Just imagine placing the phone call to the bakery, and saying, "I would like you to write BEST WISHES SUZANNE, and underneath that, WE WILL MISS YOU." hahahahhaha

I rest my case.


the stuff that nightmares are made of

Larry and I went down to relax in South Padre a few weeks ago. There are plenty of stories to be told, but they'll require me editing and resizing pictures, and frankly I just don't feel like doing that right now. (It is beautiful outside, and I'd rather enjoy the evening with one of Larry's famous burgers and a glass of wine than waste it on the computer thankyouverymuch.)

However, one evening we went and had dinner at Louie's Backyard. (Yes, the place you used to go during Spring Break to dance and drink Whammies.) We had some leftover bread, so Larry was throwing small pieces of it over into the water:

What happened was so frightening and disgusting that it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. All of a sudden, literally HUNDREDS of catfish swarmed the little pieces of bread.

Here is a close-up of their nasty whiskered faces:

Sleep tight.


APA tutor needed

Feedback on my first grad school lit review:

The paper is really a good piece, in my opinion. However, the conclusion section needs further development. Nevertheless, the paper has the potential for presenting to the Academy of Human Resource Development International Conference in Nashville, Tennessee in February 2010 and eventually to a journal. Please feel free to let me know if you are interested in doing so. I would be more than happy to help you improve your work.

Paper: 36/42
Writing: 4/4
APA: 1/4
Total: 41/50

Ha! Obviously I need lots of work on the whole "APA" formatting thing, but other than that, I'm pretty excited. Feel free to congratulate me. ;)

P.S. I REALLY thought I would get a "C" in this class, hence my super excitedness.



Sarah and I have literally been friends since birth. Well, she is six months older than me, but here is proof that I'm not exaggerating:
I'm on the left (in blue) at about 2 weeks old, Sarah is in the pink. So needless to say, our mothers have had many conversations over the past 30 years or so.

The most recent was on Saturday night. Here is how it played out:

Nancy (Sarah's mom): Where did we go wrong?
Pat (my mom): What do you mean?
Nancy: With our daughters! What happened - where did we go wrong?
Pat: What did they do?
Nancy: They are carrying around DOGS in slings instead of babies!!!

(photo courtesy of Sarah's blog - go there to get the full story and to see more pictures of the bags that I have nicknamed "weinersatchels")


Cali Chapter 3: How did we fit all of this into one day?

Unless you were on this trip with me, you might just want to skip this post. It is going to be really long. But if you are totally bored at work and looking for distractions and semi-interested in hearing about one of the most fabulous days ever, you're in the right place.

Saturday started with us waking up at like 8am AGAIN. We went and had our fabulous free breakfast treats in the Regency Club (can you tell I love saying that we had club access?) and then kind of split ways again. But first, Lindsey and Lana went down and saved 4 chairs by the pool so that we could have the prime spot later in the day.

Amy was training for her half-marathon (SHOUT OUT TO AMY FOR DOING IT IN 2 HOURS!) so she had to run 10 miles. No, that is not a typo. She ran 10 miles while on vacation. Lana and Lindsey both went running/jogging/walking on the beach. I walked the 1 mile to Main Street and did some shopping. I bought Larry a hat, some swim trunks and a t-shirt. I bought Sarah some peacock feather earrings. I bought myself a swimsuit cover-up and a little hair-tie that looks like a hibiscus. I also *almost* bought this swimsuit in red:
I should have, because I tried to find it online and it is GONE. I borrowed this picture from ebay. (If you come across this Juicy Couture embroidered swimdress in Red, size Large, buy it for me and I'll pay you back!!!)

Lindsey, Lana and I all got back around the same time and headed to the pool. Here I am in my new swimsuit cover-up:

The time at the pool was GLORIOUS. I don't know any other word for it. It was not too hot, not too cold. It was perfect. We had the little waitress come by, we ordered some drinks and quesadillas, read our books and visited. To be honest, it might have been one of the highlights of the weekend for me!

Lindsey and I had to leave the pool so we could make our 4pm spa treatments, Amy and Lana weren't scheduled until 5. (Amy and I had scheduled massages, the other girls got a facial.) I had spent my time in the jacuzzi and sauna and was in the waiting room, waiting for my name to be called. I stepped out to get some almonds and Lindsey popped her head out and said - they're ready for you! For lack of a better word, I'll just say that my masseuse was pretty hot. (If you go to the Spa at the Hyatt in Huntington Beach, ask for Adam.) The funny part about that is he was Amy's masseuse right after me. He asked her if there was anything in particular he needed to focus on or that was giving her trouble. Well, since she had just run 10 miles, she wanted to say that her HIPS and LEGS were sore. What she said when he asked what she wanted him to work on was, "My lips!" LOL. She clarified quickly by slowly saying - my LLLLeeeegggssss and my HHHHiiiipppps, but still, that is really funny.

Okay, once we all were done with our treatments, we went back to the room and had some wine. All we had was one of those portable corkscrews that look like this:
Well, it took 3 of us to work that thing. Amy and I held the bottle while Lana pulled the cork. Lindsey took the picture as we were laughing hysterically at ourselves.

Once again, we got ourselves ready, which is quite a feat for 4 girls in one room. I was ready and had Lindsey take this picture of me on the balcony. For obvious reasons,I was not feeling my hair:
I was on a quest to have a "poufy" ponytail, so I watched a youtube video on how to do it. I even called downstairs so they could bring me a fine-tooth comb so I could tease my hair. (It worked okay, but I have to practice some more.)

We went and had dinner at a Mexican place - I can't remember the name, girls??? - and it was really good. I once again managed to ask complete strangers to take our picture:

This is the second guy I asked:
His name was Justin. I remember that, because it was funny that he took a picture of himself first.

Since it was our last night in town, we decided to go to a bar before we headed home. We went to what we THOUGHT was an Irish Pub. 8 million decibels of rap music later, we realized that indeed, it was NOT a true Irish Pub. It was packed, so we asked a lady if we could use the extra chairs at her table. (I use the word "lady" loosely. A better term for her would be a "cougar.") Lana said, "Do you mind if we use these chairs?" She said, "Yes, I do mind." Ummmm.... okay, whatever. We eventually found chairs at a table right next to her. You can see her back in between Lana and Lindsey:
I think the guy's face behind Amy and I is funny:

We could only stand to stay there for one drink, so we finished up, paid our tab and got the heck out of dodge while we still had some of our hearing intact.

We went back to the hotel - and of course, went to the hotel bar. (The Red Chair, for those of you who have forgotten.) It was probably around 1o or 11pm. (I honestly have no idea.) We walked in and the place was ASLEEP. There was a piano player singing some James Taylor, we ordered our strawberry pineapple infused vodka martinis from the bartender (Doug) and had a seat. And this, my friends, is where it gets fuzzy. I'm not gonna lie. But I have pictures to remind me, so I'll do my best.

Let me preface the rest of this by saying, "I think the theme for tonight is going to be TEACH UNLEASHED." ("Teach" is my nickname in this group of friends.) I don't really get loud and crazy that often, but I was feeling the urge that night.

Lana decided that the lower your drink was, the more fun you are. Here we are... Amy is "fun," I am "funner," and Lana is "funnest."

At some point, the piano player (Dean) said something about Texas. We said, "We're from Austin. WooHoo!" and all that. We went and posed for pictures in the famous red chair that the bar is named after:


I stole Lindsey's pose, so they made me come up with a new one:
If you look really hard, you can see the tip of my head behind the chair.

We became best friends with everyone in the place. This is where I earned the nickname "Prez" because of my unique ability to chat with every person in the place like I was running for office. At one point, there was a gentleman in white jeans who said he was from Austin, so we adopted him. He is notable because when we were introducing ourselves, he didn't hear Lindsey correctly and called her "Nancy." I loudly said, "There is no Nancy here!" and totally embarrassed him, but hey - that's what happens when you're around me after three or four or five drinks. (I am not going to post his name or picture, because he may be stalking Lana at this point in time.) We met Molly from LA and her beau from England, Laura and Rob from Phoenix, Big John from somewhere and others that I can't recall at this point in time. We seriously owned that place.

Amy sang "These Boots are Made for Walking":

At one point I gathered all the girls in the bar to sing "I Will Survive" but those pics deserve a post of their own.

Here I am having Amy reapply my lipgloss:
Here I am stealing the waitresses pen because Larry likes free pens from hotels:

Here is the bartender Doug and the jar of infused vodka that we DEPLETED:

Lana and I met some other people and were up at the bar talking and totally forgot that we should probably pay the bill, so Amy took care of the $130 tab. I think Lindsey took care of grabbing our purses and sweaters so that they didn't get left on the red chair. (Not really sure.)

Lana and I decided we weren't ready to go to bed yet, so we said goodnight to Amy and Lindsey (aka Nancy) and went to hang out in the hotel lobby with a bottle of wine. (Because NOTHING says "classy" like sitting in the hotel lobby.) We met some of the soccer boys who were on their way to Jack in the Box. We tried to get them to take us with them to get some tacos, but he said, "My Porshe is only a tw0-seater." Whatever. At some point we took our bottle of wine out to this little cove by the pool, where we discovered some of our friends from the bar. We stayed out there for a couple hours (???) until I think somebody from the hotel told us we were being too loud. Some girl that we nicknamed Maria Maria drank the rest of our wine, so we knew it was time to go. (Yes, I know I am glazing over some portions, but this blog is already too long.) Lana and I went back to the hotel lobby. This is what I look like at about 5 in the morning on the couch in a hotel lobby. (I edited Lana out just in case. She is a big-wig, so I wouldn't want her to get fired.)

So, that was Saturday. I only have three words: SO. MUCH. FUN.

I'm not going to do a whole separate post for Sunday, since it basically consisted of us waking up, eating breakfast (where some random guy that none of us recognized was all, "Hey girls! We had fun with y'all last night!" or something like that), me feeling like crap, and flying back home - where Larry was waiting to take me home so I could crawl into bed and fall asleep.

I highly recommend a girl's weekend to all of you. Where are we going next and who is in???


shameless product promotion

Yes, I still owe you blogs over Cali day 3, the Pat Green concert, our trip to South Padre and assorted other events. (Just giving you reasons to keep checking back...) But the good news is that I'm finally finished with this semester of grad school! I owe it all to this product:

Let me just go on the record and say that I love Spark from Advocare. I used to drink it in college when my friend Jenny sold Advocare. Then I kind of forgot about it until I realized we have a friend that sells it here. Well, not really sells it, but he is a distributor so he orders it for us at cost. It is just a powder that you pour into a bottled water or sunny delight or something. (I use water.) It seriously helps you focus and get things done. So, thank you Spark. We are in for a long and beautiful relationship.