Thursday, April 17, 2014

25 before 26 ... well it is what it is!

So this is how I did: 11/25. Not great you guys. That is technically a failing grade! In retrospect, I think I should have chosen a little more wisely because a lot of my goals were super expensive! The DSLR camera ($600) attend a conference (put both together it's about $1000! yikes!) buy a house (unspeakable!) visit Austin & San Antonio, see Jim Gaffigan live? Those things all did or would cost a lot! So I am not beating myself up about the fact that I didn't get everything done, and I'm still pretty proud of what I did. I am going to make another list for before I turn 27 and be more realistic about it!

1. Buy a house! This was the big one and we managed to pull it off. Yay! Here's a tour from before we moved in.

2. Read at least one book per month. I did this for the first few months, and I even joined a book club! Then I got stuck on a few books and have been trying and failing at reading one book for the past four months. I think I just read so much stuff on the internet that I don't want to read books for fun anymore? But is that sad? I used to love it so much and I miss having the drive to read! My favorite read from this year was Ready Player One. It was kind of sci-fi-ish and I thought I would hate it but the whole society is obsessed 80's pop culture so there were a ton of fun references and the story was really gripping. Highly recommend!

3. Go on a road trip to the South.  Tentative plan - visit my BFF Syb in Durham by way of New Orleans and Atlanta. I am not sure when this is going to happen, but I think I will roll it over to my next list and see if I can't make it a priority in the next year. I really want to do this one!

4. Eat fruit and veggies daily. Well I've been better at this. I think this is a good goal for me to have overall but I don't think it really fits in on a 25 before 26 list. I think I need to stick with things that need to be done once instead of daily habits. Live and learn!

5. Sew something. Anything. I am sewing something today! Also I sewed a button on a jacket last week. Winning?

6. See Jim Gaffigan live. Yeah, I set myself up for failure here. Right after I put it on my list I realized he wasn't coming anywhere near Houston and it's not like I am going to fly to like... Canada or something to see him when he is touring all over the place. This is still going to be on my someday list!

7. Repurpose a free piece of junk furniture. I troll craigslist regularly but everything scares me! And one of my best friends just had bed bugs and now I'm totally paranoid. This one might need to be free from a friend. HMMM. Does something I already have that was free count?

8. Find a happy mail pal. I got to send some fun mail to our Pretty Providence contributors! But no, I don't think I can count that.

9. Attend a blog conference.  I went to Blog Elevated in September, and next week I'm heading to SNAP! Conference! I am so excited and kinda proud of myself for making TWO conferences happen.

10. Watch The Big Bang Theory. Yup. This all thanks to Michelle, who let me borrow the first six seasons. It was so fun to watch them all in order.

11. Make friends in Houston. Check! I have made some really rad friends in the past year and it's almost all thanks to Blog Elevated and the Houston Blogger Social Club! If I hadn't gone out of my comfort zone and started going to those events, I wouldn't have made 90% of my friends here. To those friends - I love you all! Yay! I've even taken it off auto a few times... still have so much to learn.

12. Buy a DSLR camera. Yay! I've even taken it off auto a few times... still have so much to learn...

13. Learn photoshop and illustrator.
I finally buckled down and forced myself to start using Illustrator more. I'm working on giving Pretty Providence a facelift - the new header is looking so much better! I am loving it so far but it is hard. I would LOVE to take a class of some kind - and not an online one but maybe at a community college or something but we'll see. After May I should be able to get in-state tuition here!

14. Get a plant and keep it alive. Some pretty lilies are blooming in my flower bed! I didn't plant them though... that was a fun surprise from the last owners. I think I need to just get some succulents.

15. Throw a party. Yes! I helped throw a sweet Star Wars birthday party for my nephew last fall. I really want to throw a party at my house now. Preferably a girl kind of party.

16. Adopt a pet. I guess I will just look at everyone's pups and kitties and be jealous because I love animals but apparently I am not ready to act on this one.

17. Refinish my bedroom furniture. Ugh.. I still really want to do this but it's crazy how when you buy a house your priorities change completely. We're saving all our pennies for new countertops so even though this would just take a gallon of paint and a few days I just haven't gotten it done.

18. Blog here at least once a week. Kind of a fail but I've done a lot better here so I'm counting it!

19. Decorate a cake. I did the cake for my nephew's Star Wars party and made really fancy cake pops - which were so time consuming but definitely a hit.

20. Plan a girls weekend. Still want to do this. One friend even proposed a fun girls weekend in Austin but due to budget restraints I couldn't make it happen! So sad. I hope next time the opportunity presents itself I can afford it! Would've killed two birds with one stone on this list.

21.Make a "dinner rotation" binder.  Oh boy.

22. I just realized there was no 22 on the original list. #fail

23. Visit Austin and San Antonio. I'm really hoping that I can make this happen soon! It would be pretty simple but it's a matter of money and here's something I am learning about living far away from your family: you spend all your money just going to visit home! I'm starting to wonder if we'll ever go on a real vacation again!

24. Discover a new band or artist to be obsessed with. I did find a new artist I love! Her name is ZZ Ward and you've got to give her a listen.

25. Plan a fancy date night with husband once a month. EEK. If fancy means me asking him to go to a dollar movie two hours before it starts then yes I'm doing great. This is also maybe not the best for a 25 before 26 list. Still a goal I should be working toward more. We do a lot of fun things though, so I don't feel like we are super in need of fancy dates.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

visitors + the houston rodeo

A few weeks ago my brother Cameron and his wife Kumi came to visit us. I was so thrilled and we planned ahead of time to go to the Houston Rodeo. It was our first time and it was awesome! We'll definitely be back next year.

But I digress, before we headed to the rodeo we went downtown and did one of the touristy things I hadn't even done yet. We went to the Chase Tower - on the 60th floor they have a big lookout where you can see almost the whole city. It was a really cool view. Houston really is huge. 

Cam & Kumi

Cameron and I were raised to love food, a lot, and it's in our family culture that when we go on vacation, we plan everything around what we need to eat. Trying great restaurants is a must. So I wanted to take him and Kumi to some of my favorite places around town. The first stop was Flip N Patties - a filipino food truck. Cam served his LDS mission in the Philippines so he was really pumped to try that and speak Tagalog to someone. It turned out that the guys were born here so they understood his Tagolog but couldn't speak back, haha, oh well. We spread out a blanket and ate it on the lawn of a museum, and it was tasty. 

At the Rodeo, we all ate delicious garbage. On the left, Kumi has a baked potato covered in Mac & Cheese and bacon bits. On the right, I have a tater dog. A tater dog is a hot dog, wrapped in potato chips. They fried the whole thing. Omg it tasted good but I don't think we're meant to eat like that. Because that wasn't enough, I insisted on trying the deep fried pecan pie, and it was amazing. I was hoping everyone else would help me eat it but honestly I ate most of it myself. #noshame

One of our favorite stands there. They pulled out all the stops with the food.

The actual rodeo was way awesome too. My favorite parts were the mutton bustin' and the calf scramble! Hilarious. We made sure to cheer loud for the Utah boys. There were four or five that were from Spanish Fork and Payson.

After the rodeo came the real show. Usher!!! He was amazing. The dancing was incredible and he did all the classics. I honestly don't love his new stuff. Anything before 2007 is my jam, though, and he delivered most of those hits so I wasn't complaining! At one point his earpiece stopped working completely and he couldn't hear himself but he still sang like an angel. 

It was a great first day with those two. The rest of the weekend we had cajun food, big juicy burgers and BBQ, to name a few, and toured NASA space center, explored Galveston a little and went to the outlet mall. Totally awesome weekend, if you ask me.

Monday, February 17, 2014

my review of cheap movie theaters in houston.

cute old vintage movie theater photo - villa theatre salt lake city 1949
The now closed Villa Theatre in Salt Lake City circa 1949.
 I saw Flubber there. We listened to Tubthumping on the way.

Let me break this down. I love going to the movies, and prefer to see movies at the theater than at home on the couch.  Thankfully my husband shares the sentiment. We watch enough TV at home, so we like the whole experience of going out to a movie. This being said, if you know me even a little bit you are aware that I do NOT like paying full price for anything movies. Once in a while we do it, if we're invited by friends/family and don't want to be losers about it, or if something totally rad like Harry Potter is coming out & we're dying from excitement.

So before we moved to Houston I looked up movie theaters in the areas we were looking for housing, no joke, because I wanted to know that there would be a place for us to see movies! There are actually a lot here, which is good because the regular movie theaters prices are higher here too. So because I'm that much of a nerd, I'm going to share what theaters we've been to, review and compare prices. Maybe this will interest someone else? Maybe it will interest no one?

All the prices I share are going to be for 2D night-time movies.

HOUSTON -- Since I happen to live on the south-ish side that's what I know so that's what I will review.

Super Cheap: Premiere Nasa Dollar 8: older movies, last stop before dvd release
Adult: $2, $1 on Tuesdays. This theater is old and not really that nice but it does it's job and it's never crowded so we frequent.

Cheap: Pearland Premiere 6: $3.50 brand new movies I have two words for you... not clean. But we just sit down and don't touch anything. Who cares? We get to go on a movie date for $7!

Cheap: Texas City Cinemark Movies 12: $4.75 brand new movies Old, clean, and the people watching is entertaining enough by itself. The movie is just a bonus.

Pretty Cheap: Pasadena Cinemark Hollywood Movies 20: $6.75 brand new movies Still haven't been here but I plan to go very soon!

Splurge: Cinemark: $9.00 or $10.00 & Super Splurge: Edwards Greenway: $11.00 ewww - I don't care how nice or new a theater is. It's just not worth paying $25 for two people to see a movie.

Premiere Cinemas has other cheap theaters in the Houston area and other parts of TX, I just haven't been to them. I've been hoping to try out Star Cinema Grill soon, on Tuesdays and Thursdays their tickets are $6. Anyone been? How is the food?! Studio Movie Grill has Groupon deals often but I'm never on that side of town.

I'm also, against my better judgment, probably going to check out Wellborne Cinema 4 in Alvin that was closed, but has just been completely renovated and has just opened again. Rumors are the tickets are $5. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

this week 5 years ago: facebook stalking, and how 'hot rod' changed my life.

This week five years ago, Jacob called me and asked me out on our first date. On that first phone call, we immediately bonded over the best movie ever: Hot Rod. I had this song as my ringback tone (remember those?) so when he called, he complimented me on it.

Jacob: I like your ringback tone.
Me: Thanks, it's from my favorite movie! Hot Rod, have you seen it?
Jacob: Have I seen it? Hot Rod is my favorite movie.

And we knew. Maybe you've never seen Hot Rod and want to know what song I'm talking about? This scene is one of the best in the whole movie. One of. Gosh that whole movie is incredible. Behold:

So we set the date, Saturday night, Valentine's Day. I spent the week speculating about how the date would go, shopping with my friend Chelsea for something cute to wear, painting my nails and facebook stalking him. The usual, right? I went to dinner with my Dad and told him how impressed I was that this boy was actually asking me on a real date on the hallmark holiday most men avoid like the plague. I knew he was a man.

My best friend Syb was Facebook stalking him too. She and I were talking in our room and it went like this.

Syb: "I looked at his Facebook."
Me: "Oh you did?"
Syb: "You guys are the exact same person."

Here are a few of the photos on his FB profile at the time.

Handmade Hot Rod halloween costume                         Playing the drums at some festival.            

Jacob with his brothers and sister. Loving your family is an attractive quality, am I right?
His 'likes.'

Don't worry, I would soon find out he was FB stalking me too. Then we went on our fantastic first date and basically never spent another day apart. Two weeks later, we were at a party and committing some pretty terrible PDA crimes (sorry everyone who was there, we were drunk in love) and he told me that he would be changing his relationship status. Seven months later we were married for time and all eternity and we still love to watch Hot Rod together, among other funny things.

Sarah and Jacob

Here's another one of our favorite parts of the movie: 

It's a funny thing, how having the same sense of humor or being able to quote the same movie can bring people together. Has this ever happened to you? Did facebook play a role in your love story?