Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What I'm Loving Wednesday...

In an attempt to blog more than once a month (I know, it's been a long time since I've done that), I decided to go back to my "What I'm Loving Wednesday" posts. I want to try and focus on happy things these days. :)

I'm loving...

That I finally spent some time working on a craft project. Last Friday night I opted to stay home and have a little "me" time, so I figured it was the perfect time to work on a fall wreath idea I found on Pinterest (the idea is courtesy of this blogger here). Her directions are super easy to follow. The only thing I did differently was cut the burlap strips eight inches long instead of six. The materials were super cheap (courtesy of Michael's and their wonderful coupons). It took me about three hours to complete, but that was because I was catching up on some DVR watching, and I stopped to eat dinner. If I had been working distraction free, that time would have been cut in half.

I opted not to use the red burlap in this wreath. I'll save it for another one.
I found these flowers I had bought for another project, so I just tied them on to give it a little decoration 

I'm loving...

That I got to see this guy play in a T-ball game last weekend (and that I got TWO hugs from him). Look out Steve Avery, I think I have a new favorite baseball player. :)

This is C, the son of one of my best friends
I'm loving...

That I got to hang out with this awesome group of friends last weekend. We went to college together, many moons ago. I hadn't seen some of them in a long time!

No, we aren't being photo-bombed. We know that guy! ;)
I'm loving...

The State Fair of Texas. A few friends and I went yesterday afternoon (it's only $5 on Tuesdays if you bring a Dr Pepper can to the front gate, so we took off work to go). It was a lot of fun, but exhausting. I'm still tired today from walking around all day (and from getting home late). So worth it though!

My yearly pictures with Big Tex
Fun at the Fair
Some of the Texas Sports Legends exhibit

My Mavs friends won't like this picture, but I'm sorry, we've been over this- I was raised a Spurs fan (my folks are from San Antonio). I actually don't know why I even bother defending myself, it's my blog. Lol. :) 
Some of the animals at the petting zoo. I will not confirm or deny that I starting humming the Aggie War Hymn as I walked by the Longhorn (my sister went to Texas A&M). I also will not confirm or deny that I told the chicken it looked delicious. I possibly had Chick Fil-A before arriving at the Fair
I'm loving...

That I got to see my nephew and his family last weekend. They moved to Hawaii almost three years ago and I hadn't seen them since then. Their kiddos are getting so big!

My nephew Greg and his lovely wife Jennifer (yes, he is older than me)

My great-nephews B and G
Thanks for reading (well, looking at my pictures). Happy halfway through the work week!!


Monday, October 6, 2014

Another 101 in 1001 Update!

I want to thank everyone for their emails, tweets, and texts regarding my last post (click here). I'm doing a little better. I've been working at getting things better for myself (it's hard for me to put myself first, but I'm learning that I have to do that sometime). This has included making some changes in my life, but they are for the best. I really do appreciate all the concern and prayers, they mean the world to me. XOXO.

I decided to give another update to my 101 in 1001 list (since my last update was three months ago).

5. Visit three Presidential Libraries that I've never seen before (1/3)
I can finally add to this goal. I went to Kansas City last week and while I was there I forced bribed begged asked my friend that I went with if he wouldn't mind going to the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library while we were in town. He was very sweet and agreed that we could go. It was very interesting. I learned a lot about Truman, it was fascinating. I'm now in the process of reading a biography about him. 

The biography that I'm currently reading. It's interesting so far! The author was very thorough. 
Just a few pictures I took at the museum (we won't mention how many I took in total- it's a lot)
A replica of what the Oval Office looked like when Truman was president. Truman was still alive when the library was built, so there is a recording of him speaking to you when you enter this room. I thought that was kinda cool.
Outside the museum 
9. Visit five states I've never been to before (5/5)
I'm now done with this one! My trip to Kansas City took me to Missouri, which was my first trip there. I went to Kansas City to see my friend Brian, we went to the Monday Night Football game between the Chiefs and the Patriots (yes, I flew hundreds of miles to see a football game that wasn't even being played by my team, don't judge me). I have to say, I'll be a Cowboys fan until I die, but Chiefs fans were amazing. They were energetic, friendly, and very loud. We stood the entire game. It was awesome.

Our view

A Dolphins fan and a Cowboys fan cheering for the Chiefs
49. Learn to cook ten new meals (2/10)
I tried a recipe for roasted cauliflower that was AMAZING. I never had cauliflower before, I now love it. For those wondering, I basically used the same recipe as the roasted broccoli I posted about in July, I just substituted cauliflower. Oh, and I only cook it about 13 minutes instead of 15. I noticed 15 minutes was a little too long. Click here for the recipe

50. Try out ten restaurants that I've never been to before (6/10)
Last Saturday some friends and I went to The Social House in Uptown (making new restaurant number six for my challenge). It was really good and the prices weren't outrageous (I've been to places in Uptown that were a little pricey). The atmosphere was really nice too. And there were TVs showing college football games (which my friend Aaron and I enjoyed). We saw Ole Miss take down Alabama and TCU take down OU. It was awesome. :) Except for the OU fan at the table next to ours, he didn't appreciate me getting really excited when TCU won. :)

Birthday dinner at The Social House for my friend Mel
68. Spend the day at the Dallas Art Museum
I did that this past Saturday (my friends and I did that before we went to dinner).   

I don't get modern art (the top two pictures), but I did like the bottom two pieces, especially the Van Gogh (bottom right). He is my favorite artist. :)
No joke, this was a piece of art at the museum. I was like, this is the part of the horror movie where the museum pieces come to life and kill everyone. We quickly walked away from this exhibit.
76. Make a monetary donation twice a year to a charity (doesn't have to be same charity) (1/6)
I did this back in August towards a friend's charity. I plan to make another donation before the end of the year to another one.

91. Buy myself a nice gift twice a year (1/6)
Last month I finally broke down and bought myself an iPad. I love it. 

I use my iPad a lot for the Kindle app and social media. BUT I also use it to multi-task and watch a football game while I'm recording multiple movies on my DVR. :)

98. Decide about getting an iPad.
I think we just covered that one! :)

That's all for now!! Thanks for keeping up with me! :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Because I'm Happy (Well, I'm Getting There)...

I could go into the "gory" details about why I haven't been blogging over the past few months, but I wanted to keep this post happy and upbeat (because that is what I'm trying to get my life back to- happy). Yeah, I know it's vague, and that could worry some people, but I'm fine, I promise (well, I'm on my way to getting back there at least). 

So, here are things that make me happy...

Spending time with friends:

Even though they have had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad season, I still love my Texas Rangers. And my new iPhone case makes me happy (okay, I got it a few months ago, but haven't posted since I bought it):
Going to the Cowboys season opener, despite their terrible performance. Looks like it's another season of defending Romo whenever he has a bad game. Some things never change:

Chick Fil-A (like I said, some things never change):

These pictures:
Me with Eric Nadel. He's the radio broadcaster for my Texas Rangers. An hour after we took this picture he saw me again and said "hi Rachel". I hear he remembers everyone he meets. I think that is really neat.
Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis. I honestly don't think he wanted to take pictures, but he was really nice and said he would take one with me. I'm more of a picture person than autograph person (if you haven't noticed).
Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels (JD). He was super nice. I was unable to get any inside Rangers information though (sorry y'all).
One of my all-time favorite Texas Rangers- Michael Young. He retired this past year. I was personally introduced to him by a good friend who knows him (so I wasn't just some random fan asking for a picture). I told him we miss him. He said he appreciated that. Wonder if there is a job with the Rangers in his future?
Former Dallas Stars goalie Marty Turco. He was super nice. When we finally took the picture, he apologized to me for the wait (he had been talking to other people when I first walked up. I waited until they were done before I asked him for a picture- I didn't want to interrupt). I was like, you are nice enough to take a picture, I do not mind at all. :) Again, really nice guy.  Another player in Dallas that we miss! I told him that. And that he needed to tweet more. :)
Thanks for all the messages/tweets while I've been away, I'm glad to know I was missed. I'm sorry if I didn't have time to reply to each one individually. Your thoughts/prayers mean a lot to me!

Hope to get back into a blogging groove at some point. Still working out some things, but I do love you all!!

Thought I would post some selfies, just so y'all know I'm okay. (Sorry Matt, I know you hate when people take selfies). ;)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

101 in 1001 Update (A VERY LONG UPDATE)

I know, I don't update for weeks and now I'm going to bombard you with a long post. But hey, it's my blog, I can do what I want. :) Also, who knows when I'll update again, I have to get you caught up! And I'm REALLY bad about updating my progress on my 101 in 1001 list. As always, you can keep up with my progress here.

101 in 1001 Update

4. Attend games at five MLB ballparks I've never been to before
I can FINALLY add one to this goal. Last month I went to Comiskey Park, excuse me, US Cellular Field- home of the Chicago White Sox. When we got to Chicago, it was pouring down rain, I was so afraid the game would get rained out. Of course, after buying a $5 White Sox rain poncho, the rain stopped (it was worth it to have a rain-free game though). But I felt like a traitor wearing a White Sox poncho. That brings my grand total of MLB ballparks to six: Ballpark in Arlington (Rangers) Minute Maid Park (Astros), Turner Field (Braves), old Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park (Red Sox), and now US Cellular Field (White Sox).

Thanks to my buddy Brian for getting us amazing seats just 10 rows from the field
6. Attend a George Strait concert.
After talking about it for nine years, the BFF and I FINALLY saw George Strait in concert. Not just any concert, it was the last concert of his Farewell Tour at Cowboys Stadium (excuse me, AT&T Stadium).

Giddy BFFs!
The King himself
"Oh the last goodbye's the hardest one to say...
...This is where the cowboy rides away." 
9. Visit five states I've never been to before 
I am able to add three more states to this list after I went to visit friends in Indiana last month (we made side trips to Michigan and Illinois while I was there). Since I went to Iowa earlier this year, I just have to visit one more state and I'll be done with this part of my challenge! 
Visiting The University of Notre Dame
Was able to visit my friend Christie and her kids, Mini M and T, while I was in Indiana!
Me and Christie at Lake Michigan. And yes, when we crossed over the Michigan state line, I did announce we were in the home state of the great Steve Avery. :)
While in Illinois, I was able to meet up with my lovely friend Harrie, who lives in Chicago. She was brave and wore her Cubs gear over to the White Sox part of town!
15. Take a trip to the beach. 
Since I didn't specify if it meant ocean beach or lake beach, I'm gonna count my trip to Lake Michigan as a beach trip. The water was FREEZING, so I opted to lie on the beach and read. :) I did stick my feet in at one point.

Yes, I know, I'm pale
18. Vacuum apartment weekly for a month.
I've actually done this for two months! Yeah, go me. :)

29. Pay off personal loan.
HOLLA! Tomorrow I make my final payment on my personal loan. That leaves me with only a credit card, my student loans, and my car loan. Then I will be debt free (again- holla). 

42. Volunteer at the annual company seminar
I've already done that. In fact, it starts this week. Boom.

49. Learn to cook 10 new meals
I can finally add one to the list. Well, it's not necessarily a complete meal, but I tried a recipe for roasted broccoli and I REALLY enjoyed it (click here for the recipe). NOTE: I did NOT use garlic on mine, mainly because I didn't have any. But I did use the olive oil and pepper and it turned out really good. I just recently became a fan of broccoli, I didn't eat it growing up.

50. Try out 10 restaurants that I've never been to before 
I was able to add two more to this list, making the total 5. I am only counting restaurants in the DFW area, not the ones I go to on vacation.

March 15- Old Texas Brewing Company in Burleson
This place is awesome. Next time I'm in Mexico, I mean, Burleson, I want to go again. :)

Hanging out with my favorite Burlesonian...or is it Burlesonite? Anyways, hanging out with my bestie Chance at Old Texas Brewing Company. Yes, we are very silly. And he just LOVES when I make him take pictures. :)

June 6- Esperanza's Mexican Cafe and Bakery in Fort Worth
From the outside, this place looks like a little hole in the wall, but the food was really good. It's off Main Street in Fort Worth (like you are heading towards the Stockyards). I went there when some friends of mine were in town visiting. 

56. Go on 20 walks
Okay, so I've only gone on one, but hey, it's a start!

57. Read at least two new books a month
I'm so far behind on my weekly book challenge (six books behind to be exact), BUT, I've read 21 books so far this year, so that is averaging more than two a month, so for this challenge, I'm doing great! :)

One of the books I read was Special Heart by Bret Baier. I met him at a book signing at SMU back in June. He's a super nice guy, and it was a great book. I highly recommend it!
59. Complete three group Bible Study courses
My Bible study and I completed one about Ruth and Esther earlier this year. Some gals in my group didn't care for it, but I personally liked it.

63. Attend a symphony
Back in April, the BFF and I went to see Radio Days: A Salute to the Troops presented by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. It was amazing. I really enjoyed it. It had a lot of "big band" music, which I enjoy.

I didn't get a picture of us at the symphony, but here is one of us at a sports bar dinner afterward.
67. Spend a day at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
Okay, so I didn't spend a WHOLE day, but I did spend the whole afternoon with some friends- we went to the see the Indiana Jones exhibit. It was A-MAZ-ING.

Actual costume worn by Harrison Ford in the movie. Queue Rachel freaking out.
My museum peeps!
81. Treat a friend to a nice dinner (non birthday related)
I wasn't sure if I should count this one because I owed him a dinner after losing a bet, but I'm going to (I hope you are happy Brian). :) When I was in Indiana, I took my friend Brian out for a nice steak dinner. Stupid Cardinals. Or in this case, stupid Braves couldn't beat the stupid Cardinals. I'm never making a bet with this guy ever again. You think I would have learned after the first time I lost a bet to him (we don't talk about the first bet I lost. Let's just say it happened in 2011. That should say it all). 

84. Treat myself to a manicure
I may have done this one more than once. :)

85. Treat myself to a pedicure
As I'm sure you can tell, I had to force myself to complete this task. :)

87. Set aside one night a month for "me time"
I've actually been a homebody lately, I probably have had more "me time" than "social time". 

88. Watch a sunrise
I'm not a morning person, but when I flew to Indiana, my flight left at the crack of dawn, so I got to watch the sunrise from the plane (that was cool).

89. Watch a sunset
On July 3 some friends and I went to my office to watch a fireworks show (we had a better view, and we weren't outside being eaten alive by mosquitoes). We got there early and were able to see a beautiful sunset from the office windows.

90. Treat myself to a Chick Fil-A milkshake once a month
Did you really doubt I would be able to do this? Lol.

Hope you are doing well!! Thanks for taking the time to read my very long post!