Apr 29, 2012

On the Hunt

I've graduated from Pinterest boards for our new house to actually talking to builders! We're not 100% sure we are going to build but at the moment it's our first choice (and for me first choice by a landslide).

Friday I ventured up to one of the neighborhoods I've been pining away (online style) for in Round Rock and then since I was already in the area, explored another recommended neighborhood. My adventure confirmed a few things
  1. I definitely want to live off the 45 toll road. The toll road runs east to west and seeing the traffic trying to get off the toll and go further north...no thank you. That looked atrocious. Also door-to-door from my office it was 19 minutes, even at 4:30p on a Friday. Pretty good if you ask me.
  2. 2500 square feet is about right. Having now walked through a home I knew was 2500 square feet, I can say that's the right size for us, give or take a smidge.
  3. We're dead set on two upgrades: wood floors and nice countertops. Others I am fairly flexible with or in some cases, am not really interested in (extra tall crown moldings? who really needs that?).
The next steps will be mortgage approval and then potentially pricing out exactly what we want; lot, floor plan and upgrades. I think these are June and July projects. We'll all be crossing all our fingers and toes in the meantime.

Apr 27, 2012

Good Read: ForbesWoman

One of the greatest things about my pro Girl Scouting days was the number of smart women who I was surrounded by and who said things like "other women helped me; now I want to help you." They would offer sage advice, be open to unusual workplace conversations and in general, happily play the role of mentor.

In that spirit, because other women have and continue to help me, I'm sharing this ForbesWoman article: American Employers are Waiting for You to Close the Wage Gap.

Happy reading ladies

Apr 25, 2012

Wall o' Fame

This birthday I'd like to honor the Bras & Birthdays Wall o' Fame. Much thanks for your donations y'all!

Erin & James A.
Mom & Dad
Ashley D.
Meg D.
Jon & Erin H.
Tad D.
Lindsay R.
Brittney G.

Hurray birthday!

Apr 23, 2012

1 House Decision Down

Coming soon to a rental listing near you
(Assuming you live in Austin/Pflugerville)
For the past couple months,and especially the past week or so, we've been going round and round about house things. We want to buy a new place this year but there are so many questions. Do we build? Do we buy an existing house? What do we do with our current place? When do we want to move?

We don't have answers to all of them yet but I think we just knocked out "what do we do with our current place." The plan is to turn it into a rental property. We figure we can rent it out for 5-ish years, wait out the slumping market, and then sell this baby for a tidy little profit.

Since 5-ish years also aligns with the desired ranch buying time frame, I told Ross he could take whatever we make on this house and invest it into his ranch land. This seems fair because 1) let's be honest - we know who is going to do the bulk of the landlording work and 2) I've already been promised that when we sell our big Round Rock house in 25-30 years, I can spend the money on a beach condo.

Now with any luck, life, the market and in general, the universe, will abide by the plan.

Apr 20, 2012


Inspired by Brittney's recent shoe post and Alta's ongoing fashion posts, I'm sharing my latest fashion excitement: new black peep-toe pumps!

Mmm shoes
Yesterday I bought these beautiful new heels on a lunch break DSW adventure. It may be a little hard to tell in the picture but they have some texture to them and a small bow on top. There's a slight platform which in addition to being great for height, on this particular pair provides tons of squishiness.

On behalf of myself and these no longer orphan shoes, I'd like to thank Lexi for my Christmas shoe gift card, DSW for my birthday discount and my office for being so near to such an excellent shoe store.

Apr 19, 2012

$185 and counting

So far the Bras & Birthdays campaign has raised $185! That's enough to cover the cost of a clinical breast exam for someone who can't afford it. And in $15 more dollars, it'll be enough to cover 2 of 'em!

I'm aiming for a total of $500 raised which would be enough for
  • 5 clinical breast exams
  • 2 screening mammograms
  • 10 post-treatment wigs
  • 20 gas cards to help patients get to treatment
Thanks to everyone who has donated. I appreciate it and I know the Central Texans receiving BCRC services appreciate it too.

Apr 17, 2012

Baby Ken!

iphone_picHe's here!

Baby Ken arrived Monday night after a long labor. (His mama can tell you all about it.) The short version is he's here! Six pounds, ten ounces and cute as a button!

Apr 14, 2012

California is where stars are born

The other day I was quite pleased to discover that my video editing software includes making slideshow style videos with photos. I guess this is a somewhat basic function for video software but I just hadn't played with it very much and didn't know the capabilities.

Anyways, I was excited and made this little 1 minute video on my trip to California as an excuse to experiment with the feature. Here ya go!

PS After basically hearing this song on repeat for 30 minutes while I sorted out the timing, Ross has requested a vote in the music selection for my Europe video. I didn't know I would be making a Europe video but apparently I will be. Song suggestions can be directed to my hubby.

Apr 13, 2012

Happy 31st!

iphone_picThat good-lookin' husband right there, the one to the right, he turns the big 3-1 today.

Per his request, we're having a pretty normal Friday night: burgers and beer. The one change: I'm buyin' (because ya know, it makes a difference and all). I believe the festivities begin around 7p.

Many moons ago we decided Europe would be our birthday presents to each other. So it's only fitting that after 6 attempts at buying our train tickets, I was successful this morning. Thus, for his birthday, Ross received 4 one-way train tickets across Italy and Austria, concluding with a first-class ticket for the cross Austrian haul. And he's even got a wife to tag along.

Happy 31st Birthday Honey!

Apr 11, 2012

EuroTrip Inquiry

Dear Friends,

Sights I expect to see on my train riding
As you know, next month we are embarking on EuroTrip 2012. We have flights and we have hotels. Woohoo! What we do not have is train tickets.

Are these a "buy online before we go" purchase or a "buy in the station when you get there" purchase? Which is easier? Which is cheaper?

If you suggest buying online in advance do you have a suggestion on which site to use? Which train to travel on (assuming that like airlines, there's more than one)?

If you suggest buying in the station, any tips? How long before the train departure should we arrive? Are there additional fees for buying the day of? Will I need a passport to buy tickets between countries or just to deboard when we arrive?

Other general train tips for Europe? While I've traveled by a myriad of transportation options in North America and Australia, the European norms escape me. But I am sure you, my very well traveled friends, have all the answers.

Much thanks for your help!

Apr 10, 2012

Bras & Birthdays

A coworker of mine spent this past weekend in Vegas as the kick off to her 40th birthday year. That's right, year. When I asked how she was going to continue the celebration, she told me with a whole year of fundraisers. Be still my heart for yes, this woman truly is all you aspire to be.

As a kid I wasn't allowed to start talking about my birthday until the first of April (however I feel strongly that if Mom knew I was planning a whole year of charitable celebrations, I could have started talking about it April 26 of the year before).

Old habits die hard and it wasn't until early April that I really started thinking about my birthday, though admittedly I came to no conclusions for the celebration.

But today when my very charitable coworker shared her plan and then mere hours later led a webinar for the BCRC on launching personal fundraising pages, I had my answer. Birthday fundraiser part two: the shamelessly committed and enthusiastic edition! (See birthday fundraiser part one, the 2011 starter edition.)

ABA logoThis year's birthday fundraiser is called Bras & Birthdays in honor of BCRC's Art Bra Austin, for which I am the communications chair, and of course, for my 27th birthday. And because let's be honest, the name got your attention.

Because the need is so important, I have set the lofty goal of a LOT. I would love to see my fundraising go, in the words of Buzz Lightyear, "to infinity and beyond."

As of right now, at 9:25 p.m. I'm sitting pretty at $80 in donations. Pretty damn good for only having the page live for 7 hours.

Thanks in advance for considering my alliteration of a fundraiser and I promise to keep y'all updated on the progress and what that progress means to breast cancer patients in Central Texas.

Apr 9, 2012

31 Days of Fun

The only thing as good as the actual fun is looking forward to the fun. The next 31 days are going to be pretty awesome around here.

April 12: TriDelta happy hour
April 13: Ross' 31st birthday
April 15-16: Zach & Mandi visit
April 16: Brittany's baby! Lil man KC is expected to arrive
April 20: Birthdays with Ross' family
April 21: Birthday with my family
April 25: My birthday
April 28: Art Bra Austin pre-event
May 5: Cinco de Mayo

And the 12 days after that will be enormously fun in Italy and Austria!

Apr 6, 2012

California Recap

I'm home from California, catching up on all y'all's blogs and realizing I like the ones with pics best. So I'll eat my own dog food and give you my week in Cali in images.

Spent time on day 1 with Kev, including lunch at this cute waterside restaurant and later that night, dinner with Carly & her sister & brother-in-law

On Day 2 we went to the San Diego Zoo (check that off the bucket list!) where I discovered my love of baby giraffes. How cute are they!

 Then we went to the Flower Fields in Carlsbad, CA

Then admired the ocean which exponentially increased my determination to get a beach condo one day

The next day Mom & I flew to San Francisco. We wandered and eventually ended up in Macy's which was advertising their flower show. It was CRAZY. We also met Carly's parents and other sister and brother-in-law that day.

On Monday I had to start working again but Mom & I took a cable car down to dinner at Fisherman's Wharf and I saw the Golden Gate Bridge (though with the distance, fog and setting sun, didn't get much in the way of pictures)

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were a blur of work which included attending a conference, conducting more than 50 video interviews, entertaining clients and giving a presentation.


Go home

As today is a work early dismissal day, I'm taking Pam's advice. I worked at work (well home office today) and now, it's after work and instead of working, I am sharing this AWESOME Ignite video with you.

And then I'm taking Lexi on a jog, gardening, getting a pedicure and finally, a massage. And tomorrow Ross and I are taking Lexi to the dog park and bar hopping with friends. And Sunday we're having Easter dinner with our family. All that I think Pam would agree fall into the "have a life" category.


(Unless the F bomb really offends you and then here's your warning: it's central to her theme.)

Apr 3, 2012


We're in Mashable!

See: http://mashable.com/2012/04/03/online-giving-non-profit-infographic/ 

For those of you not familiar, Mashable is like the NY Times of the digital world. Any one who geeks out to tech, especially of the online variety, pines away for Mashable. Thus this story, more than made my day today.

Apr 1, 2012

Stay Classy San Diego

In tribute to the newly announced Anchorman 2...I'm not sure who is more excited, Ross or Kevin.

As it's way past my bedtime I'll be brief. I'm in San Diego! With Mom! And Kevin! And Carly!

Here's a picture from dinner last night.

More pictures from the San Diego Zoo and Flower Fields coming soon.