Run-On Sentences – AKA – My Life Right Now

August 27th, 2014 Posted in Thoughts & Thanks | No Comments »

Time for an update in the world of Betty Leigh Verbeke!  (:  Get ready for some longgg run-on sentences.  Haha.  Yeahhhh.  Thought-streaming is what this is.  Enjoy!

1.             I’ve been living at my new place for a little over a month now and completely love it.  My roommate is super chill and easy to live with.  He is clean and has a great sense of humor and has introduced me to some fantastic music.  We are really comfortable with each other & it feels like we have be living together for much longer than we really have.  We both run different and busy schedules which allows us to have our time alone when we need it.  I really appreciate that.  This last weekend, I finally finished hanging up all of the art in the new place and now it feels even more like my home.  I’m still wanting to buy curtains and a new duvet comforter set, but those will surely come over the next few weeks.

2.            I haven’t heard anything back from the Peace Corps application yet.  I have tried to contact their recruiting office in Dallas 3 times now, but I have been disconnected every time, so I feel like I should let things unfold naturally.  I know the Universe is taking care of me, so I’ll just let it roll this Peace Corps thought around in its mouth for however long it wants to savor the idea.  (:  What I find a tad concerning is that my friend who has been a paramedic for a few years was denied his application because he doesn’t have a 4-year degree.  I also do not have a 4-year degree, instead I have 4 years of college with 2 unfinished degrees.  HAH.  And for now, I don’t plan on going back to school because (after many in-depth conversations with multiple people) I still don’t see the point in spending a bunch of time and money for some temporary knowledge to pass some tests to earn a fancy piece of paper to put in a frame to hang on a wall if I’m still not entirely sure what I want to do with my life and if I will even need that piece of paper to get where I want to go.  Actually, I probably do need it, but I’ll figure that out later.  Right now it’s just a back-burner idea while I live my life in the present.

3.            It’s been over 4 months since my ex and I broke up and about 6 weeks since we’ve seen each other and I truthfully want to say that everything has healed and I’ve moved on and I hope he has done the same.. and I suppose, for the most part, I can truthfully say that.. but I also sometimes catch myself lost in sweet memories of “us” and it makes me feel like I have cotton filling my chest cavity like a child’s favorite stuffed animal that they squeeze too tight when they are in bed alone at night in the dark and I have to learn how to breathe through it.  So there’s that.  Also, on Sept. 2nd it will be exactly one year from the day I met him.  That blows my mind that I fell in love so deep and so fast and it feels like it lasted so long but not nearly long enough and we made such a connection that his ghost rests in my bones with the rest of my past’s spirits.  Ohhh deep love, you’re such a wonderful thing.  I can’t wait to find you again.

4.            I celebrated my one-year anniversary on July 24th of quitting a terrible habit and dealing with the ups and downs of reality appropriately instead of taking it out on my body with guilt and self-loathing.  Yikes, that sounds really terrible.. So to be black and white about it, I stopped eating my emotions and then vomiting them back up.  (Wow.  That too sounds kind of terrible, but it also feels really freeing and terrifying to admit on my public blog when I know there are probs going to be people reading this who know me but don’t know this about me.  So.. Surprise!  I’ve dealt with some heavy shit and I overcame it because I’m a badass!  Haha.)

5.            In the same food-related-realm as the previous paragraph, after the last 3 years of being vegan, I started eating non-vegan things on occasion and I’m deciding not to feel guilty about it.  For the most part.  I suppose part of ridding myself of that guilt is being open about it.  In short, sometimes I crave fish or eggs, so I go get sushi or a breakfast taco every now and then and I enjoy it.  It’s my conscious decision and I know by doing so I am putting my taste buds above my morals and I am probably supporting a terrible industry that is abusing animals and destroying ecosystems.  But maybe all the restaurants I go to in Austin are awesome and don’t purchase from such horrid corporations?  Eehh, maybe some, but def not all of them.. quick, someone call the Vegan Police!

6.            I went to my first ever Quidditch Tournament and really really enjoyed it!  I met some awesome people and animals.  (:  I loved seeing the friendly competition and incredible athleticism and agility and skill and determination and shit-talking and strength and stamina and yeah! (Growing up with 10 years of dance, I didn’t have this.  Though I do appreciate dance and what it did for me, I wish I would have participated in sports instead.  Aah, maybe in the next life?)  Everyone I met was open and chill and hearing the people on the side-lines talk was extremely entertaining.  Esp listening to the older couples (I’m assuming parents of the players) debate over the game and explain the rules to each other.  Haha, I think I could explain it to anyone at this point & I never even finished the Harry Potter series.  Shhhh, don’t tell anyone!

7.            I’ve been seeing a lot of improv at the Hideout Theatre I’m seriously impressed with these talented actors who off-the-cuff make up great shows.

8.            I went to the Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival for the second year.  If you know me, you know I LOVE SPICY FOODS.  This year it was only 104 outside instead of 112 like last year, & those few degrees made a huge difference. I went with Jeff and Renee and some of their friends and we tried probably over 60 hot sauces. Our last line to walk through was deemed the “Line o’ Death” and oh my goodness some of those were dangerously spicy.  I’m surprised I didn’t get a chemical burn on my tongue from trying so many, but I did get a nice little endorphin high!  Haha.

9.            I curled by hair again!  I’m still kind of in after-shock because it’s a few inches shorter and REALLY CURLY and I don’t really know how to handle it, but it’s growing on me.  Literally.  Hah.  I remember loving it last time I did it and this time I really wanted to curl it because I was in a “I need to change everything in my life as much as possible” mode and now I’m not so sure I would have made the choice if I would have waited a little longer, but I’m beautiful either way, so whatever.  Haha.  Did you know Humility is my middle name?  :P

10.         I started running again!  Exercise releases the most wonderful endorphins into your brain!  Yeah, it’s a fact.  Science.  FTW!  Haha.  :b  Anddd runner’s high is easily the best high.  After a run, I not only feel better about myself and am proud of myself, I also get a fuzzy-coated-synapse-feeling that is quasi-orgasmic.  I’ve been running 4-5 days a week for the last 4 (going on 5!) weeks!  Oh, and there is the bonus of losing weight and gaining muscle too.

11.         Another ritual I’ve been committed to the last 5 weeks is attending the Austin Poetry Slam every Tuesday like I used to (it’s crazy to think I’ve been going to this on and off since like 2010/2011ish).  But oh my good feels, talk about a fuzzy-coated-synapse-feeling!  The everything that comes seeing and hearing absolute raw beautiful truth gut-twisting honest heart-wrenching secrets being shared in an intimate setting with talent and strength and vulnerability brings me to tears literally every fucking time.  Unfff, I can’t get enough!  Those wordsmiths know how to tell it & they tell it so fucking good.  If you’ve never been, please please please go and give yourself that experience.  Tuesdays, 8:30p, Spiderhouse Ballroom.  I hope I see you there.  I might even buy you a drink.  (:

12.         I’m journaling all. the. time. Whether it’s art or poetry or just thoughts or scribbles or blog posts that I don’t post or blog posts that I do post or whatever, I’m doing it.  This self-expression thing is a great way to.. well, express myself.  Haha.  I digg it!

13.         && on that tangent of self-expression above, I’m slowly but surely gaining my independence and confidence again to tackle the world head on and on my own.  It’s surprisingly easy to live a sub life, but I used to be a dom & I’m rebuilding that idea in a different way now and I like how things are turning out.  I’m getting to be more and more balanced & so is my life.  Thanks Science/Universe/Mama Nature/Higher Power/Insert-Name-Here for this life and how it’s unfolding absolutely perfectly!  <3

14.         Idk if he would approve of me using his name, so.. I’ve been hanging out with my friend for a few months now, and I am really enjoying it.  Like, more than a lot.  (:  I think that we connect really well on some levels and that we are going through similar situations and can empathize with each other and have fairly mutual thoughts on what is happening and enjoying each other and sharing each other and I am grateful and happy and feel pretty fulfilled that I have that with him and I am hoping/guessing he would say the same.  Plus, the laughing and good looks and sweetness and orgasms and silliness and fun adventures and spoiling and differences in our personalities and being ourselves and being comfortable and feeling understood and open and vulnerable and and and etc. etc. etc.  Yeahh, the list keeps going and it’s all pretty fucking great.

15.         I’ve been catching up with and chillin’ with different new and old friends and with my family because I have had some more free time and have given myself a very engaging and diverse social life since my ex and I split ways and I feel pretty satiated and fulfilled outside of the workplace and that feels phenomenal.  <3  Making new male friends has been somewhat interesting though because I am a very open person and can connect with just about anybody and enjoy connecting with just about anybody, but some can take that as me wanting to connect on a different type of level.  And yes, I know that I am a sexually driven person and technically I am not in a committed relationship, so I am open to connect with people on that level, but I don’t necessarily want to at this point in time unless it feels right.  Did you read #14, the paragraph before this one?  Haha.  Anyway, I guess I’m saying I’m finding it difficult to define boundaries and lines with new friends when I do my best to go into all interactions with love and openness.  It’s like there has to be an awkward moment where clarity is made..  For some reason I feel like that shouldn’t have to happen, but maybe it does?  I am not really sure how to do this yet – clarify things with people.  The sentence I try to form in my mouth is something like “I just want to be a platonic friend with you right now, but that isn’t necessarily how I will always feel as I get to know you more” and that sounds so weird, so I never end up saying it.  But I’m learning.  I’d like to talk about this topic more with people so I can get different opinions and input besides the most common “well maybe you just shouldn’t hang out with them if it’s so awkward” because that isn’t the answer I’m looking for.

16.         Back to speaking of the workplace and tossing in some awkwardness, things are good at the law office, but have been a tad bit “off” lately.  Idk how to explain it, but I feel like the air is different and the vibes have changed.  I understand that totally happens naturally over time, but lately it’s been kind of forced and yeah..  Maybe it’ll clear?  Either way, I am about to celebrate my one-year anniversary at the office on Sept. 16th, so that’s cool!

Okk, I think this incredibly long post covers basically everything that’s been happening as of late.  It does feel really good to do an overview like this.  It’s eye-opening and I have a deeper appreciation and understanding for my experiences when I relay them like this.  You should try it.  (:  & if you read through all of it, thanks for reading!  I love you!  <3 <3 <3

08.10.14

August 11th, 2014 Posted in Photos Of Me | No Comments »

finalllyyy cut & curls <3

Art #54-62?

July 14th, 2014 Posted in My Art | 1 Comment »

wow, I haven’t posted any art on my blog since November 2012.

what’s in this post in no way sums up all of the art I have created between then & now, but it’s a start.

& I’m pretty sure they are in chronological order.

(:

 

#54 – wall art I made for my room when I first moved into my apartment, July 2013 – I used cardboard & paint – the font was found in Microsoft Word & blown-up, and the lips are a blown-up version of my own kiss print (see #59).

 

#55 – from my sketchbook – a reminder to focus on myself because happiness comes from within – I used multiple pens.

 

#56 – from my sketchbook – when I was overwhelmed with love for my boyfriend at the time – I used multiple pens.

 

#57 – a sketch I made after me & said boyfriend parted ways – made with ballpoint pens & the back of a SoLD worksheet.

 

#58 – I didn’t create this one – it’s a beautiful piece I purchased from my friend Emily.

 

#59 – another reminder to myself – I used the back of SoLD worksheet, my kiss print with lipstick, and ballpoint pen.

 

#60-62 – this is actually one of my favs that I’ve made for someone else – my friend Kaitlin is having a little boy named Silas Orion Colby and her baby shower was this last weekend – when I was going through her registry on Amazon.com, I saw a little owl poster that was cute, but I thought I could re-create my own version that would be personalized for Silas – I made up an owl design and used an old map book & some paint, but the awesome part is that in the center of each owl beak is a town with part of the baby’s name – the red is “Silas” (AL), the green is “Orion” (MI), and the orange-brown is “Colby” (WI).

<3

 

Application Sent!

July 1st, 2014 Posted in Thoughts & Thanks | No Comments »

 

I JUST FINISHED SUBMITTING MY APPLICATION TO VOLUNTEER WITH THE PEACE CORPS!

 

Yes, you read that correctly, the PEACE CORPS!

 

Lately, I have been wanting a change.  NEEDING change.

 

I have been wanting to be a volunteer for the Peace Corps ever since I started canvassing with Texas Campaign for the Environment in 2012.

 

So, I did it.  I submitted my application.

 

I got a follow-up email stating I would get another email in which I have to fill out my health history information, then everything would be complete.

 

Oh my gosh, I am so excited!!!!!

 

It’s possible that this time next year I could be helping a community somewhere across the globe!

 

<3 <3 <3

 

Also, I start my new Bikram yoga class tonight!  Hooray for change!  :D

Quarter-Life Crisis?

June 24th, 2014 Posted in Thoughts & Thanks | No Comments »

 

Oh hey, it’s been a while…

And I’m going through some changes.

I guess we all change a little every day, don’t we?

 

WELL, I NEED MORE CHANGES – BIGGER CHANGES.

 

TMI interjection – I’m pms-ing and emotional as fuck, which started this whole post to begin with, which may turn into a ranting-melodramatic-blah-whatever-post…  Buckle your seat-belts boys & girls – you’re in for a long one.  Hah.

So, on that note, let’s ramp up these mixed emotions & start with some gratitude:

 

I am so very grateful for my family & my friends!  I feel like I can’t see them enough & can’t say “I love you” enough!  <3 <3

I am grateful for my job, which is super easy and pays very well.  I am grateful I work around a group of people who appreciate me and we all get along (not like I didn’t have this in my other jobs, but still, it’s really nice to have).

I am so grateful for my little car.  She is so good to me.  (:

I am so grateful I am financially independent and sound.  I am grateful that I am able to pay double rent (last month at the old place and first month at the new place) and it doesn’t put me in a hole.  I am so grateful I have never missed or been late on a payment to any credit card/rent/bill/bank/etc.  I am so grateful I have a savings account.  I am so very grateful I bought myself Invisalign!!  I am so grateful I never worry about if I can afford food or gas.  I am so grateful I am being a fairly responsible adult.

I am so mother-fucking grateful I am about to move into a townhouse closer to the heart of downtown and close to all the places I frequent and out of the fucking east side and with a cool new roommate who seems super chill and is easy to get along with.  I am so grateful I am going to be living with someone again.  I love the contrast of living alone sometimes and living with people other times.  I am so grateful for contrast and how quickly life changes.

I am so fucking grateful for intimacy and orgasms.  And sex puns. :P

I am so grateful to be inspired by myself and by others.  I am surrounded by so many talented and thriving people and it inspires me to do so much with my life!  Literally, as I typed that last sentence, my eyes started to prick with happy tears and my heart started to race with joy.  I am so grateful for life and all of the possibilities I have and get to witness in others.  I have a drive/pull for more and more and more.  I always want more, to learn more, to create more, to be more, to strive more, to change more, to love more.

I am so grateful that I have CHOICES.  I can choose what I want to eat and wear, what I want to purchase and where I want to work, where I want to go to school, where I want to hang out with friends, where I want to spend time alone.  I am grateful that I can feel proud of most of the choices I make.

I am so grateful that next month is my 1 year victory!  I am so grateful for anniversaries of awesomeness, like I’ll be 3 years vegan in October and 5 years cigarette free in December!  I am so proud of myself for these accomplishments!

I am so grateful for self-love.  You need to love yourself first before you can know how to love someone else fully.

I am so grateful for reflection.  Looking over my past – the places I’ve worked, the friends I’ve made, the people I’ve dated, the places I’ve been, the drugs I’ve done.. I can’t change any of it, and honestly I wouldn’t because all of together it makes me exactly who I am today and I am happy to be me. (:

 

So this is where the questions of “who the fuck am I at the core?” and “what the fuck am I doing with my life?” come in..

Hahaha, yep.

 

Like I mentioned above, I have this drive/pull to do more, but what do I want to do?  I have so many interests and sometimes it seems impossible to pick a career out of them.  Which is why I have two unfinished degrees in Architectural Engineering and International Business.. And now I kind of want to go back to school, but I don’t know 100% what I want to go back to school for.

Job wise, I want to go back into nonprofit work because it was SO FULFILLING and it kept me active – mind & body.  (I don’t like sitting at a desk and behind a computer all day – I don’t want to do this for the rest of my life & I literally can’t or I will go insane.)  I want to focus again on the environment and human rights through some type of nonprofit work.  I am still very politically active and want that to be more of my job in general and not just something I do in the down-time at my current job.  But I want to keep my current salary so that I can keep my current worry-free lifestyle.  And unfortunately, I know that I would not have the same money flowing with nonprofit work.. not with the canvasser lifestyle anyway.  And I know that I got super burnt out on canvassing, so I don’t think I want to do that type of non-profit work again.  What are my options?! Tell me!

Also job wise, I want to focus on fitness/nutrition.  This has always been a HUGE part of my life.  I eat healthy and get in shape, then I get out of shape by being lazy and binging on emotions.  I spent the last year overcoming a major battle that I have been fighting for years and I am SO PROUD of myself for this, but I still have a long way to go and I feel like if I focused on this for my career/school that it would instill my ideals and my personal accomplishments even further into my lifestyle and heart.  Maybe it doesn’t have to be my career, but I would love for it to be!  I want to share my accomplishments with others who need the motivation to get to wherever they want to be.

Honestly though, I really want to just get the fuck out of Austin, but then again, I don’t want to leave this great city.  I don’t know if that means that I need to travel more or what…  I love the city, the people, my friends, my family, everything.  But I also want to go SO BADLY.  I want to get a job in a different part of the world.  I want to travel all over the world.  I want to go to school in a different part of the world.  I want to get out, but still have the comfort of home.  I want a permanent apt/house in central Austin, and be able to leave for months at a time knowing that everything will still be there when I get back.  And I want to have the time/resources to create too – I want to be able to express myself through art and writing and dance and any other outlet that tickles my fancy.  I want bookoos of cash and endless hours so that I can do all of this effortlessly!  …  I guess you have to play the lottery to win, huh?

 

Bah, back to reality – should I go back to school for nonprofit management and/or personal fitness and/or nutrition?  I think that would be the ULTIMATE career – working part-time at a nonprofit for human rights and/or environmental justice and part-time as a personal fitness/nutrition trainer.  Can this be my little niche in the world?! THIS IS AN ATTAINABLE GOAL, RIGHT? .. I suppose anything is an attainable goal if you want it bad enough and are willing to put in the effort..

But then my head proceeds to flip out on money – “you just signed a new lease!, do you really want to have to pay back school loans?, what about FAFSA?, do you make too much money now to qualify for grants?, what about scholarships?, what school year should I apply for – fall 2015?, do you even need to go back to school to be able to reach your career goals?!?!” …

Then my heart jumps into my throat – “OMG, are you really going to do this?!, are you sure this is what you really want?!, I guess you don’t know until you try – right?!, but what if you just end up wasting time & money like the last 2 times you tried to go to college?!, again – are you sure you need college to reach your career goals?!, and again – are you sure this is what you want?!, UGHHHH – but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life behind a fucking desk and computer – no matter how good the pay is – my soul won’t be fulfilled with any type of basic administrative job!”

And then the break down beings –

*crying*

WTF do I want to do with my life?!

Is this current idea I have for a career/college change what I truly need/want?!

How do I even get started in making the change, or any change?!

How do I answer these possibly rhetorical and inner-personal-growth questions?!

*sobbing*

 

 

Breathe.  Damnit.  I am so grateful for breath.  <3

 

Because I Need It

May 8th, 2014 Posted in Thoughts & Thanks | No Comments »

Yup, this post is about the break-up.

Because I need it.

For reflection.  Later.  And now.

 

Change is inevitable.  It’s the one constant in life.

Funny how that works.

Things didn’t turn out the way I planned/imagined.

Oh well.

I trust the Universe.

It’s unfolding perfectly.

 

Breathe.

 

Personal growth is a good thing.

And now I have ample time to focus on myself.

 

Things I learned from all this:

  • I am more supportive than I thought.
  • I am more patient than I thought.
  • I am definitely a care-taker.
  • Maybe I should own a pet.  Probs not, though.  Pets are too hairy.  I’ll stick to plants.
  • I will be a fantastic wife if/when I get married.
  • I will be a great mother if I ever decide to have children.
  • I am more intuitive than I thought.
  • I am weird/quirky and make little noises all the time that I wasn’t really aware of before.
  • I am more jealous than I thought.  I’m kind of working on it.  Not really though.  More so just accepting it as fact.
  • I am completely surrounded by loving friends and family and I am so grateful for each and every one of them for being so fucking awesome.
  • I am definitely a hopeless romantic.  Ok, maybe I knew this one already.
  • I now know what absolute true and overwhelming love feels like.
  • You shouldn’t put someone else before yourself, because if they leave, then you are left with an un-fulfilled you.  (That is kind of shitty to say following the last point, but whatever.)
  • I am emotionally stronger than I thought.
  • I am pretty good at letting go/I am working on it.
  • I can do whatever the fuck I want and you can’t stop me.
  • I deserve whatever I want because I am an amazing individual.  Bam.  I said it.
  • And much, much more .. that I’m sure I will think of right after I post this.

 

Finally, I do want to note that we (Ethan and I) shared about 8 months of pure bliss in this relationship and I am so very grateful for the time we had together.

And that’s all I want to say about it.

<3

 

Cruisin For A Bruisin

April 16th, 2014 Posted in Thoughts & Thanks | 1 Comment »

Adventures of Betty & Kelly, aka Bets & Kets, aka Belly & Ketty, aka Barbara & Keisha, aka Barbie & Kesha!  :P  So many aliases!

Get ready to see too many pictures of Kelly and I acting ridiculous on our fabulous cruise!

It was 6 days/5 nights of nothing but wonderful on the Carnival Triumph & our ports were in Progreso, Mexico and Cozumel, Mexico!

**I may have left out some events; I had drunk-brain most of the trip.  Shit happens.  :P

Day 1

We were so freaking excited, we got hammered with three drinks each before the ship even set sail, haha!  It was quite a start to a very alcohol-soaked trip (our tab at the end was $800)!

At dinner we met our new BFF, Preston, who we hung out with pretty much every evening for the duration of the cruise.

– first drinks! the green iguana -

– our room! so happy to be on board -

– first little towel critter -

Day 2

We hit the pool decks with our books for a few hours, then went to lunch where the ENTIRE staff on the cruise broke out into the YMCA and dazzled us all!

We hit up an art auction with some free champagne and Kelly almost bought a $150 piece of art, but decided against it at the last minute.

We hit the casino to buy some playing cards for Kelly’s collection and paid a whopping $1 for the deck!  Then we crashed for a quick nap before dinner (we did this every day) and when Preston tried to remember our names, he deemed us “Barbara and Keisha” for the rest of the trip.  :P

We went to make fun of the drunk singers at Karakoe with Preston, the best of which was a woman singing Cher’s “If I Could Turn Back Time” with a raunchy fist pump, ahahha!

We laughed our asses off at the comedy show!  The comedian was hilarious and we made sure to see him again on our last night.

– drinks on the pool deck -

– nothing but ocean -

– a few drinks in -

– YMCA lunch special -

– Kelly doing some hallway drinking – 

– looking pretty for dinner -

more drinking after dinner -

– second little towel critter – 

Day 3

Progreso, Mexico!  Kelly and I walked the beach and settled in the perfect spot to tan and read for while before grabbing lunch and strawberry margaritas at a little beach-front cantina.

We did a little tourist shopping and then hopped back on the boat for a few more drinks & a nap.

We attended a talent show with only 3 acts, but they were good!

We went to the “deck party” with Preston where there were not nearly enough people dancing and an annoying camera man was all over everybody.  Needless to say, we didn’t stay long.

– Progreso, Mexico beach -

– one of many birdie friends -

strawberry margaritas on the beach -

100_9190[1]

– one of the longest piers in the world -

– back to the boat -

– drinking our calories -

– the ship’s smaller pool & hot tubs -

third little towel critter -

Day 4

We went zip-lining and snorkeling!!  We each only paid $90 and spent a few solid hours at a resort in Cozumel where we played on a zip-line obstacle course, climbing 60 foot towers and crossing rope bridges!  Then we went snorkeling and saw some little & big fishies doing their fish thing.

We were going to do a Tequila tasting, but we decided against it and headed back to the boat for lunch, some more shopping/drinking, and then took another much need nap.

We went to the Magic Show where we saw so many beautiful dancers in elaborate costumes and a few pretty good magic tricks!

We went to a show with Preston after dinner called “A Kiss Goodnight” which was a burlesque-ish show… they said you had to be 18+, but there was not one tit shown!

– snacks for later :b -

– resort in Cozumel, Mexico -

zip line obstacle course -

snorkel snorkel -

– Kelly being adorable -

Carnival Triumph -

– fourth little towel critter -

– we’re cute -

Day 5

We spent most of our day on the pool decks with our books, took a nap, and went to dinner.  This was by far the laziest day.  <3

We went to a double comedy show with Preston and got shit-faced with 2 bottles of champagne plus a few glasses.

We drunkenly stumbled to the piano bar for a few drinks and a sing-along sesh.

We took black-out pictures before passing out…  Oh joy.  :P

– last day view on the pool deck -

– our hilarious, handsome, and “humble” friend, Preston -

- black out pictures… not bad (; -

fifth & last little towel “critter” -

Day 6

We ported in Galveston around 8:30 in the morning.  Kelly and I were more hung over this morning than any other on the trip, haha.

We endured a nauseating breakfast, packed up our last belongings, stood in the customs line for a relatively quick period, and then drove back to Austin!

Once home, I unraveled with the love of my life.  (;  So good to be back in my own bed and in his arms.  <3

 

I am so very grateful for Kelly Joy Mullen and our 6-year friendship that continues to be fantastic fun!  Cheers to a great vacation & hopefully many more to come!

Recent Meals

March 11th, 2014 Posted in Food I've Made | No Comments »

Well, my blog may be turning into a quasi-food blog for vegans… dun dun dun :b

 

To start, one of my old coworkers/bosses at TCE would bring her lunch to work and it always had assorted noms in it.  Renee, aka Noodle, this dish was inspired by you!  First, mixed grain quinoa with cumin seed, pecans, and baby kale.  Second, sauteed (in coconut oil) brussel sprouts with serrano peppers, shredded carrot, and garlic.  Third, steamed cauliflower.  Fourth, vegan cheese sauce made with nutritional yeast and coconut milk.  Fifth, a handful of fresh cilantro.  Definitely not a boring lunch!  Goodbye lame meat and cheese sandwich, hello healthy vegan plethora of awesomeness.  :D

 

This is the first vegan meal I cooked for Ethan (and he loved it, of course)!  (:  We go out to eat, a lot.  More often than I thought, considering we have been together 6 months and this is the first vegan meal I have cooked for him..  Anyway, we went out for Italian the other night and his dish looked so rich and creamy that I started to crave something similar – so I made this!  It’s gnocchi (a potato-dumpling pasta) with shiitake mushrooms, onion, and garlic, smothered in a daiya mozzarella & coconut milk based pesto sauce!  Creamy, goopy, rich, filling, deliciousness.. Mmmmm.  However, it’s not the most photogenic dish.  Haha.

 

This is made with the same week’s batch of groceries – vegan food does have diversity!  It’s not all celery & lettuce, haha.  First, steamed cauliflower with evoo, creole seasoning, and flax seeds.  Second, lightly stir-fried (in coconut oil) shiitake mushrooms, shredded carrot, garlic, onion, and serrano peppers.  Third, batsmati rice cooked with turmeric, cumin seed, and bay leaf – then mixed with baby kale.  Fourth, the best herb on the planet, fresh cilantro.

 

Breakfast of champs!  Who needs oats and yogurt?  Nobody.  That shit is gross.  Haha, this gem is organic blackberries, strawberries, & almonds in coconut/almond milk with cinnamon & agave nectar.  It’s decadent – super tart berries with crunchy almonds, surrounded in sweet horchata-esque goodness (but way lower in calories).  Now try and tell me with a straight face you don’t want some of that!  (;

 

I made spring rolls & they are surprisingly very easy to make!  (:  But what I really like about them is that you can put pretty much anything in them and they will taste great!  Haha.  These have spaghetti squash (in substitution for the traditional vermicelli noodles), cilantro, shredded carrots, tofu, spinach, and flax seeds, all wrapped up in rice paper and dipped in peanut sauce & Sriracha.  (Tip: I found that the best way to transport them to work is to wrap each one individually in wax paper.)

 

Here’s yet another Renee-inspired dish to finish this post.  (:  First, “curried” (curry powder/ turmeric powder/ cumin seed) mixed-grain quinoa with pecans.  Second, wilted spinach with shredded carrots, garlic, crimini mushrooms, and flax seeds (cooked with coconut oil).  Third, sauteed (in coconut oil) red bell peppers, onion, and asparagus.  Fourth, the almighty Sriracha.  Noms!

 

My Birthday Month

March 4th, 2014 Posted in Thoughts & Thanks | No Comments »

February should be a longer month.  It’s the shortest month of the year, yet it really has some great stuff.  I mean, come on – It’s the month of love!  Don’t get me wrong, I think Valentine’s Day is totally for boosting Hallmark and Hershey sales, but love is a great & powerful thing and it should definitely be celebrated!  And duh, it’s also my m-f-ing birthday month & I’m awesome!  Hahah.  :P

Alright, so this is what I experienced in this glorious & short month:

Feb 1 I went to Carnaval Brasileiro with Ethan, Sean, Laura, Kara, Billy, Forest, Jeremy, Malinda, Meredith, and Jordan. (All thanks to Kara because she had a bunch of free tickets to give away!) In sum, we had a drunken blast!  Haha. Ethan and I weren’t wearing a costume (because we decided about 2 hours before it started that we were actually going to go), so we were some of the weirdest ones there, but at one point Ethan lifted me up and put me around his neck and said that I was his costume.  :P  He’s so silly.

Feb 2 I spent half of the Super Bowl with my family & friends up in Cedar Park and half of it with Ethan & his friends. I found this year’s Super Bowl to be uneventful in that the game was a total domination of one team over the other and I like to watch in suspense as one team and the other fight their hardest to the end with just a few points separating the winner and loser. However, the commercials were pretty great in that they were laced with human rights/ equality!  :D

Feb 3 I went to see Buddy Wakefield’s World Tour with my friend, Meggan & her sister. I had never seen Buddy before, but I am a huge fan of slam poetry and he had some great stuff to share with us. I definitely wouldn’t mind seeing him again.

Feb 4 I finally got my license renewed! I have had the same license since I was 18 and it expired on my 24th birthday, so it was time. And wow, the DMV is just a lovely place, really buzzing with good vibes and provides an absolutely enthralling experience that can’t be replicated anywhere else. I can’t wait to go there again. (Where is the sarcasm font?)

Feb 5 My friend, Molly and I had dinner at El Alma! I think I mention her in every monthly update because we have monthly meet-ups, haha. But there was a lot to catch up on this time and it was great, as always, to see her. (:

Feb 8 I had lunch with my friend Tristan, aka T-Cup at one of my favorite places to eat, Bouldin Creek Cafe. I should really eat there more. They are soooo good and their menu is pretty much all vegetarian/ vegan! (:

Feb 9 I got in some sweet nephew snuggle time (like I do every weekend) and then met up with some old TCE friends that I haven’t seen in wayy too long and they all seem to be doing well, which is fantastic to hear!

Feb 10 Kelly Joy (who I’m going on a cruise with in April!) and I had dinner at Mama Fu’s and then I met up Jessica & Kelly for some late night fun to bring in my 24th birthday right!

Feb 11 My 24th birthday! I got off work early because my bosses are awesome. :D Then, Ethan surprised me with a bouquet of my favorite flowers (lilies), a plate of vegan dark chocolate covered strawberries & jalapenos (that he hand-dipped himself), a box of bon-bons, and a bottle of red wine!  Then he took me out to eat at New India (because Indian food is my favorite cuisine), and after that we went to the Austin Poetry Slam (because like I mentioned earlier, slam poetry is just wonderful and has a huge part of my heart)!  Oh, and while we were there we ran into my friends, Meggan and her bf, Freddy!  It was a great way to celebrate by 24th – I couldn’t have asked for anything better!  :D

 

Feb 12 Ethan and I went to the Austin Network Mixer which had a panel of different acting agents talking about their process and answering questions for the audience.  I surprisingly really enjoy going to acting events like this with him.

Feb 14 Valentines Day! <3  I had Jessica and Kelly over to my place for the first time since I moved in (which is insane because I have been there for almost 8 months). After that, I went to Ethan’s – I only got to spend the last 30 min of this day with him because he got off work so late, but we made the most of it! (;

Feb 15 DonNell & Vladimir took Ethan & I out to lunch at Haiky for a late b-day lunch! They also gave me some amazing vegan chocolates (one with lemon, one with honey, and one with walnuts & mushrooms) and a cute picture frame with a picture of me & my sweet little nephew in it!

Feb 20 I had dinner with my long time friend Amanda at Hunan Lion! She is preggers and is having a baby shower next month! I am so happy for her! I can’t believe that I have known her for over half my life.. crazyness.

Feb 23 Marked the begging of the last week of the month, which is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week! This is an issue that is very important it me and it should have more light shed upon it because eating disorders are a fucking bitch to deal with alone. Believe me, I know from experience.

Feb 24 I voted!  Hooray early voting for the primaries!  Can’t wait to see some positive changes in TX government!

Feb 26 Perfectly following that last sentence, it was announced that US District Judge of San Antonio granted a motion for preliminary injunction preventing TX from further banning same-sex couples from marrying in the state! It’s not official yet – but it’s a huge step in the right direction for TX! Hooray equality!

Feb 27 Ethan & I laughed our faces off at the Long Center! Did you ever watch the show “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?” – well Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood did a night of audience-involved improv and it was fantastic! Ethan & I even got to participate and make sound effects for starting a boat engine!  Gah, my cheeks are still sore from all the giggles!  Haha, too much fun!  :D

Recent Meals

February 17th, 2014 Posted in Food I've Made | 2 Comments »

vegan fridge

This is a an example of what a vegan fridge looks like.  Fruits, veggies, and varying condiments.  Noms galore.

 

sriracha

Also, as a vegan, it’s impossible to live without the most amazing condiment ever made.  And if you didn’t already know, there was a recent scare that the Sriracha factory was going to close down in California because the caustic fumes were bothering the local residents.  Thank goodness they didn’t actually close down the factory (maybe that was just a smart marketing ploy?) – because it’s spicy and tangy and belongs on EVERYTHING.  This is why my parents are bad-asses and bought me an entire case for Christmas.

 

meal

This dish is mostly composed of “Miracle Noodles” – the garlic and herb kind.  Seriously, it’s a real thing.  Google it.  They are gluten free and soy free and have close to zero calories.  And yeah, that is a f-ing miracle when it comes to noodles in my book.  Also, they’re pretty good.  A little different in texture, but with the right sauces  and accompaniments, they’re tasty.  I used a garlic-teriyaki sauce and added shredded carrots, snow-shoe peas, red bell pepper, broccoli, onion, and cilantro.  To top it all off – as seen in the top left corner – Sriracha.

 

meal

Because salad doesn’t have to be iceberg lettuce and ranch dressing.  *GAGS*  This delicious green plate is baby kale, baby spinach, cilantro, yellow grape tomatoes, Annie’s Naturals Green Garlic Dressing (which is extremely flavorful if you’re into that kind of thing), and Sriracha.  Duh.

 

meal

In all honesty, I don’t remember much about this dish.  Haha.  I’ve had this picture saved in my phone since December.  I do remember this was one of my first attempts at a vegan cheese sauce and it was pheNOMinal.  No joke, that stuff was like crack and I made it for the next 3-5? days.  The sauce is super simple: coconut milk (not the lite kind) and nutritional yeast – with whatever spices you want to add.  Just heat the coconut milk and add nut-yeast slowly while stirring until you get the consistency desired.  Then pour it over everything you want cheesy.  With cilantro.  And Sriracha.  (Side note – if you go through a ridiculous amount of hummus during the spring/summer like I do, save the tubs to use as tupperware the rest of the year.  It’s free-ish and durable and the perfect size.)

 

meal

Ok, I didn’t make these, but I did really enjoy eating them!  My Sweets, aka Ethan, made me this amazing plate for my b-day.  (It was really cute the way he presented it too.. he told me he made me a cake and I squealed thinking he actually baked me a vegan cake, and then he said “well, my version of a cake” and unveiled this beauty.  Hahaha.  He is the best.)  It’s fresh strawberries and fresh jalapenos dipped 3 times (or so he says :b) in vegan dark chocolate.  With 24 candles, because it was my 24th.  My baby sure does loves me.  <3

 

meal

My co-worker called this one “rabbit food.”  Haha.  Perhaps that is what it looks like, but in reality it’s red quinoa, shredded carrots, anaheim peppers, garlic, collard greens, and pecans.  Can you guess what I ate it with?  Sriracha?  Nope, dumb-dumb, a fork!  Hahaha.  Really though, I did cover that dish in Sriracha and it was sooooo good.

Cheers to yummy and healthy eats that are environmentally sustainable and harm-free to animals!