Monday, August 27, 2012

First day!

Well, like a lot of people around here, today is my first day back at school. Seems weird to say that I'm starting my second year of graduate school as I don't feel like it has already been that long. Also, my summer 'off' still consisted of doing school-related work, so it wasn't a true break. 

But I'm ready to be back. I like routines so I'm ready to get my schedule down and just go through the motions of school, TA duties, and studying. During the summer I can tend to get anxious. When I'm not busy, I over-analyze which is never good for me. Thankfully this summer I kept myself busy with some school stuff, 'fun' reading, exercising a lot, and learning to clean the apartment regularly. Sounds exciting, doesn't it? 

The start of school also brings my favorite season-- fall! Though it won't be cool here in Texas anytime soon, at least I get to start watching football again! I don't have a class on Friday like I did last semester, so Matt and I should be able to make it to some local high school games as well as watch our Aggies in their first season in the SEC. It will be...interesting! 

So to all of you who are going back to school today or have kids that are- hope you have a great day back! What are you most looking forward to for this semester? For me, it will be writing my Master's thesis and knowing I can actually do research on my own.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Slicer

A product came to my attention over the weekend for one reason and one reason only: the comments.

The product- the Victorio Banana Slicer

You can and should read all of the Amazon comments related to this product as a way to make you smile on this Friday, but here is an excerpt of some of my favorites.

  • Best of all, when we downsize our household, we won't have to find room to store this gem ... it will be the centerpiece of our art collection, proudly displayed on the new living room wall.
  • If you don't buy 11 of these the terrorists win
  • This dream was finally realized with the invention of the 571B Banana Slicer, the invention that will define our century, an unmatched monument of how far we have come, and how little we have yet to go now, with the most grandest of challenges for humanity finally and most spectacularly solved. 
  • As you may or may not know, I have 27 trained monkeys I use to do my evil bidding. Well, the younger monkeys teeth have not fully developed and so slicing a banana to feed them is a necessary chore. The adult monkeys used to have to chew up bananas and feed their young but not anymore with the Victorio Kitchen Products 571B Banana Slicer. The adults are going bananas over this time saving easy product. No longer so they have to taste and chew the deliciousness banana without eating it teasing them like a teenage prom date.
So please, go read some more of these comments. It will make you happy, I promise. And then tell me which ones are your favorite, k?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cheese & Chocolate Make Everything Better

To continue our weekend of festivities prior to the beginning of the fall semester, Matt and I visited a nearby location of the Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant. I had tried fondue once a few years ago but Matt had never had it so I knew he was in for a treat!

The DFW area has restaurant week(s) where several area fine dining locations have a price-fixed 3 course meal where $7 of each meal are donated to a local food bank. We thought it would be a great time to take advantage of that deal and chose the Melting Pot as I had been wanting Matt to try it. Plus, we would get a good deal for the amount of food we ordered and I can't pass up a good deal! 

Anyway, our Saturday night dinner did not disappoint! It took us a little while to get used to the cooking your own food aspect during the main course, but we got the hang of it and enjoyed the delicious cheese, sauces, and of course the melted chocolate. Dessert is always everyone's favorite course, right?

But enough words. Here are the pictures of our delicious meal, via my lovely cell phone pictures.

The first course: green apples, various veggies, and bread
Main course: potstickers, steak, chicken, & shrimp plus a myriad of sauces
And of course dessert: strawberries, bananas, rice krispies, brownies, marshmallows,  pound cake, and cheesecake!
All done!
Yum! Just looking at these makes me want to go back like, now. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Dallas World Aquarium

This past weekend was filled with lots of fun for the husband and me. We decided to treat ourselves a little as it is our last 'free' weekend before the fall semester kicks off and it was definitely worth it! To kick it off, we visited the Dallas World Aquarium Friday and had an absolute blast! Though it was pricey at $20/adult, we found it worth it because:

  • It is air conditioned. This is Texas. Need I say more?
  • SO many cool animals, from an octopus to a sloth to an anteater to a crocodile to a giant river otter... I think you get the point
  • Really cool layout. As it is in the middle of downtown Dallas, there isn't a lot of room. The aquarium is more like a maze spread out over several floors and it made for a lot of fun exploring.
  • Decent food. We were surprised at how delicious and decently priced our lunch was. There are 3 dining options and the one we chose served us delicious sandwiches with fresh fruit, cooked to order. We were happy!
But enough words, here are some fun pictures from our adventure!

One of the first exhibits. There is a monkey around there somewhere...
And monkeys in the rafters

Part of one of the big aquariums with manatees, turtles, catfish, and other creatures
Matt with his favorite tank...
Because it had these guys- garden eels!

The beginning of the octopus series...

A scorpionfish that looked more like an underwater rhinoceros!
The classic shark tunnel

So that is some of our adventures from that day. At night we had dinner with some of my relatives-- made for a really fun day!

Friday, August 17, 2012

An Addition to the Family

Before you ask, no, I'm NOT pregnant. No worries or need to get excited on that front. 

Anyway, as I've alluded to this summer has been quite emotional for my family. A big reason for that has been the introduction of our niece into our family! 

I'm not going to go into the details, but let me just sum it up in one of my favorite verses:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 
Romans 8:28

A month ago, my brother finally got to meet his 3.5 year old daughter for the first time since she was born and I got to meet her Wednesday. She is adorable, sweet, intelligent, playful, etc etc. I cannot wait to get to know her more and I'm so glad my brother gets to be the dad he has longed to be.

The first time my brother met her

She is quite the little ham as you can see
A lot of the future is still uncertain, but I'm so thankful my family gets to be a part of her life! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A little Pinterest

Figured I would link up today with the Vintage Apple to bring you some of my favorite pins from the past few weeks! Sources for all images can be found here

Matt may have learned this the hard way...

Speaking of Disney... :)
I absolutely love this cake... my birthday is next month after all!
"The Most Tragic Romance There Ever Was--Carmen and Waldo"
Here is your daily dose of nerd.
Which one is your favorite? 

Monday, August 13, 2012

So Hi

Hello there! I accidentally took a 1 week off of social media and it was pretty refreshing. This summer has been quite emotionally exhausting and though this past week was no different, it was nice to take a break from writing. 

Unfortunately, this upcoming week will also be emotionally charged. Today my parents have to put my dog, Gigi, to sleep. My standard poodle has been in my life for 13 years and was unfortunately diagnosed with intestinal cancer last week.

I had already a trip planned home last Thursday through Saturday while Matt studied for his summer course final as I haven't seen my parents all summer, so I was able to see my baby one more time and tell her bye. She was on steroids while I was there so she was still mostly herself, but I could tell she had lost a lot of weight and her hips were also giving her a lot of trouble. 

We've lost various pets before, but it's different when Gigi was my dog. I didn't get to take her to live with me post-wedding for several reasons, but I have always considered her my baby and I will miss her dearly. I'm just glad she is no longer in pain and I cherish all of the fun memories I have of her. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

At least he used a turn signal

Here's a fun video for you on, straight out of Houston, TX. Make sure your sound is on so you can hear the commentary. 
Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston
If that video doesn't work, click here. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Which Olympian Are You?

Yup, more Olympic goodies for you.

OK, go here. It is a fun little site where you can type in your height and weight and see which Olympian your body corresponds with best. 

Don't worry, you can change it from meters/kilograms to feet/pounds. And in case you were wondering, the tallest guy is over 7 feet tall while the girl is roughly 4 ft, 6 inches. Craziness!

But where do I fit in? Well, it gave me two selections-- one guy, one girl. The female is the football (soccer) player Rachel Brown from Great Britain.
Why isn't she smiling? Source
The other option is Francesco Faraldo, representing Italy in Judo. Here is his mug shot picture.

Seriously, it's like they can't smile! Source
I think I will take Rachel. Don't think I would stand a chance in Judo. Come to think of it, I wouldn't be much good at soccer, either. I'll stick with my grad student job!

So what about you? Who are you most like?