Monthly Archives: June 2012

Book Review: In the Bag

Standard

After a string of post-apocalyptic dystopian society novels, I wanted something light and easy. I’d envisioned an easy beach read – I just wish I had a beach on which to read it! Luckily, that’s exactly what I got.

In the Bag brings together a single dad and his son and a single mom and her daughter on a trip to Europe. After the kids’ bags are mixed up, they exchange flirtatious emails and agree to meet – secretly – without their parents’ knowledge. Meanwhile, dad is working on an art exhibit opening with mom’s best friend – and mom is called in to help with a last minute emergency. Son and daughter meet and things go well before heading south at the end. However, fate brings them together once again as mom and dad are eager to go on another date – this time, with the kids. Their complicated stories unfold, and as the truth is brought to light, they realize just how perfect they are for one another.

I really liked this book. Is it going to be a best seller or top my all time favorite list? No way. But it’s quite possibly the easiest read I’ve ever had – I literally read it in two halves, in two very short sittings – and ideal for beaches, poolside lounging or just relaxing on the couch.

Advertisements

Spoiled!

Standard

BREAKING NEWS: I am spoiled and my husband is awesome! Oh, wait…that’s not new information AT ALL :)

Before I left for my trip to Austin, Chad and I went out to an AMAZING dinner. We sat on the patio, drank adult beverages (sangria for me, Corona for him), listened to a live band, ate amazing food, and enjoyed awesome conversation while the breeze blew through my (our?) hair. It was, in fact, an amazing night out on the town.

After dinner, I asked if we could window shop for a few minutes, before heading back home – to which Chad obliged (bless him). Inside the store, I found a purse I really liked and Chad told me to get it – but I said no, since I was probably going to spend a ton of money in Austin in the next 5 days. We left the store and I didn’t think about it again.

That is, until I returned home from my trip and found dinner waiting for me on the table along with another surprise! Chad decided I needed the purse :)

I love it!!!

I’m spoiled :) And also very, very lucky!!! Thanks, Boo!!

Book Review: Article 5

Standard

On the plane to and from Austin, I finished reading Article 5, a new post-apocalyptic teen book. Clearly I’ve been in a “mood” lately, between Hunger Games, Divergent/Insurgent and now this.

Article 5 was okay. I mean, it was good, I guess. Just not as good as the others I’ve read in the same vein. The story line was interesting and the characters were predictable, but if you liked THG or Divergent, you’d probably like this too – just not as much.

I felt that with THG and Divergent, I couldn’t wait to read more and that I really cared about the characters. Here, not so much. I guess you could say they really didn’t “lose” as much – friends and family members regularly died in the other two books, and while these characters faced hardships as well, it just wasn’t as engaging.

All in all, I’d say you should read THG and Divergent over this. But if you really want to read it, go for it.

 

Austin…You Never Disappoint

Standard

Whew! I just got back from a whirlwind trip to Austin, AKA the greatest place on earth (sorry, Disney). While I was in town for business on Monday – Friday, I flew in on Saturday afternoon to squeeze in some time with friends in my favorite city.

Lindsay picked me up from the airport and we dropped my things at the Hilton downtown before heading to her brand new house in North Austin. Well, new to us – technically it was built before we were born :) I must say, her house was AWESOME. 2,500 square feet, but it didn’t feel overwhelming at all – it felt very homey :) After getting the grand tour and enjoying some wine, chips and salsa with her and Luke, we were off to some DELISH Thai food in my favorite kind of restaurant, a hole in the wall. It’s only in a HITW that you can get amazing food, true local flare and dirt cheap prices. Loved it! We then headed to a wine bar and split a bottle of bubbly, as they were half off – it’s like they knew I was coming!

I ended up spending the night at the hotel, since Luke and Lindsay’s AC went out. But they met me bright and early Sunday morning (with homemade scones in tow!) and we headed to the Greenbelt for a hike. It was my first time hiking the Greenbelt, and I seriously don’t know why. It’s exactly the kind of thing I love to do – how I didn’t do it in my short time in Austin, I’m not sure. Mid-way through our hike, we arrived at the dog park and proceeded to stalk (literally, Lindsay ran after) three corgis – mine and Chad’s future dog of choice. We finally caught up to them and got to pet the pups while the owners answered our questions (Luke and Lindsay were also in the market for a dog. I say “were” because two days later, they got themselves a puppy named Benji!) – it was quality. We also talked to an owner of a border collie and watched as the corgis and the border collie played together – it was adorable!

After the hike, we headed to the original TacoDeli for tacos, queso and aguas frescas. YUM! Then off to the Co-Op to buy more things burnt orange (you know, because the three of us have so little UT paraphernalia) and to Whole Foods to pick up a few things for L&L’s dinner. All in all, an amazing day with my BESTIE and her hubby!

No, we didn’t eat ALL of that. We tried though.

After a much-needed shower, Michelle picked me up from the hotel and we went on a food truck crawl. I’ve wanted to try

Gordough’s for as long as I can remember – which is pretty much since it opened and all my friends started talking about it), so we went there, to Torchy’s, and to the Elizabeth Street Cafe. We thought we were going to get to more places, but our tummies could only hold so much! But it was great to catch up with such an awesome friend – just wish we could do it more often!

I retired to my hotel room and watched the Heat beat the Thunder (boo!) and then it was time to start working the next morning. All in all, we made the most of our day-and-a-quarter together, Austin – until next time!!

Cuddlin’ Babies

Standard

My friend Nicki and her husband had their first baby on Tuesday, and yesterday I had a chance to go visit mom, dad and baby Tucker at the hospital! Newborn babies are always so cute and cuddly, especially since they’re usually wrapped up burrito-style¬† like literal bundles of joy :)

Nicki, of course, looked amazing (as usual), but was all too ready to leave the hospital (they are to be discharged today). In her typical OCD fashion, as soon as she got back to her hospital room after the C-section, she asked the nurses to tidy the place up, as it was driving her crazy. You see now why we are friends!

But I know why you’re really here – too see cute baby pictures! So I will make you wait no longer:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Congrats Nicki and Jared!!

There Once Was an Old Man in a Van…

Standard

So, I dropped off my car at the repair shop this morning to get a new starter. I took the shop’s complimentary shuttle to work, which was of course driven by a sweet little old man with a hearing aide. After listening to his life story and yelling my answers to his questions (hearing aide, remember?), he asked me if I had any children – to which I replied “Not yet.”

He then proceeds to tell me about his best friend, who is an OB/GYN at Baptist Hospital here in LR. He tells me how amazing of a doctor and caretaker this man is, and that his granddaughter is the RN in the delivery room for this doctor – so my baby would be in great hands with his BFF and granddaughter at the helm.

As if I were not sufficiently weirded out enough by this conversation, he then tells me his BFF OB/GYN’s name – AND IT’S THE GUY WHO TEACHES SUNDAY SCHOOL IN THE CLASSROOM NEXT DOOR TO OURS! I’m sorry sir, but there is NO WAY that I am letting a man that I see every week get all up in my lady bits – that’s just TMI for the both of us! Sure, he is a very nice man, with a lovely wife and outstanding children and grandchildren – I’m not denying that – but that does NOT negate the fact that he would know WAY too much about me if he were to deliver said baby/ies.

As I got out of the shuttle van, the little old man gave me his card and wrote his BFF OB/GYN’s name on the back, so that I wouldn’t forget. How kind :)

Nerd Alert! Awesome Social Media Facts

Standard

I was perusing Ragan.com today – probably the best website for professional communicators, if you ask me – and came across this really cool article about social media. It’s in the same vein as the YouTube videos you’ve undoubtedly seen about social media facts (and if you haven’t, here’s one of many).

As a professional communicator and social media lover, I really loved this. Some were new, some were old and some were downright odd! I think it’s great to keep up with the latest trends and information in whatever industry in which you work (Chad reads nerdy meteorology magazines, for example), and the fact that I find the material so stinkin’ interesting just reinforces the fact that I’m in the right career field – which is always a great feeling.

So without further ado, here are some of my favorite social media facts from this article:

Facebook: Links about sex are shared 90 percent more than any other link. (This does not surprise me in the least – I’m sure Freud would say I TOLD YOU SO if he were still alive)

Twitter: Twitter handles more search queries per month than Bing and Yahoo combined (24 billion versus 4.1 billion and 9.4 billion respectively). (YOWZA – who knew??)

LinkedIn: LinkedIn’s revenue has doubled every quarter for the last two years. (Is it going from $1M to $2 to $4 or from $50M to $100 to $200? Either way, that’s impressive.)

YouTube: It originally started life as a dating site and was influenced by the Hot Or Not website. (Really?? I don’t see YouTube being an effective dating site – but perhaps the platform has changed a lot since inception. Also, does anyone remember Hot or Not? I remember it being all the rage my freshman year of college – I was disgusted by the idea then, just as I am now.)

Pintrest: Pinterest drives more referral traffic than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined. (That is a LOT of referrals, y’all. If you’re a consumer-facing brand, you are seriously missing out if you’re not on Pintrest and are looking to increase market share/awareness/etc. Separately – I signed up for Pintrest when it first came out, but never did anything with it. However, I regularly get emails about people following me on Pintrest. STOP THAT, Y’ALL! I’m not worth following – I’m not even a user!)

Instagram: President Obama is on Instagram, having joined in January 2012. (Who cares? And this is not a political statement – I don’t care if any country leader is on Instagram – don’t they have better things to do than take hipster photos??)

Google+: The Google +1 button is used more than five billion times per day. (What the what?! Other than a senior executive at my company, who recently joined us from Google, I don’t know a soul who uses Google+.)

Klout: Justin Bieber is the only person with a perfect Klout score of 100. (Oh yes, because Justin Beiber is who I want to be the most influential person in the world. God help us.)