Not Before My Staycation

So while I'm on my Staycation Vacation, I've asked one of my absolute favorite bloggers to take over Fan Friday. Nicole is hilarious, a runner (aka the breed of person I envy more than anything), a graphic designer, creative, intelligent, innovative and a downright entertainer. Ok I'm gushing about this girl a smidgen, but I just adore her. I asked Nicole to take over Fan Friday because I knew I would leave y'all in the best possible fanatic hands, and just as expected, my girl didn't let me down. Now don't be a boob and go follow Not Before My Tea, but not before you read this...

When Sarah emailed me and asked if I wanted to do a guest post for Fan Friday, I'd like to say that I kept my cool.  But that'd be a lie... I was jazz hands, happy dance pumped.  I felt like Princess Kate had just asked my opinion on a new pair of dungarees for baby George.  Only this was even better because I don't even really know what a dungaree is, and Kate probably thinks that "football" means soccer.

I was also honored that Sarah would trust Fan Friday, my favorite weekly link-up, in my hands.  You might all find this amazing but I link up with Sarah almost every single Friday.  The amazing part isn't that I link up though (I mean, who wouldn't?); the amazing part is that Sarah lets me link up every Friday... because every Friday, my post is completely irrelevant to the link-up.  (Which is actually sort of incredible, really, given the link-up's many, many topics.)

But despite all this, she asked me to guest post anyway.  And God knows I don't want to let her, or all her lovely readers, down... so this week, as the Ruler of the Fan Friday Link-Up, I am going to write the most relevant post ever to grace the internet.  Relevance is the name of the game, after all, and with this post... we're all winners.

1.  Manual paper towel dispensers.  To the people pushing automatic bathroom anything: I admire your optimism, but please stop now.

2.  Bloody Marys.  It's sort of like a vegetable, and you can put pizza on top.

3.  Brunch.  They have Bloody Marys there.

4.  Lists.  They're all sorts of succinct, and complete sentences are optional.  Blue Green Pig Dumplings.  Doesn't make sense, but this is a list... doesn't matter.

5.  Maryland.  Old Bay everything.

6.  Chicago.  Not as good as Maryland, but eat here enough and you might forget.

7.  Sarah.  Sucking up?  Who, me?

8.  The Baltimore Ravens.  The Ravens are a religion.  For those of you who think that they can be lumped in with "Maryland," I will pray for you.

9.  This Woman:

10. Grey's Anatomy.  It's not just for pre-teens, guys.

11. Google.  I graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biochemistry, which is a fancy way of saying I'm really good at Google-ing.

12. Hedgehogs and other small animals that sort of look like hedgehogs.

13. Sunday Mornings.  It makes the rest of the week worth it.

14. Blogger.  So free.  So easy.  And so temperamental and unexpected, you'll never have to watch E! News again.

15. The Skimm.  Just... you're welcome.

16. Spring.  This winter, Chicago set a record for the most days with temperatures below zero AND inches of snow.  It would be something to celebrate if it wasn't so god-awful.

17. ZzzQuil.  I'm still convinced this year's Nobel Prize was fixed, because ZzzQuil is by far the most influential advance in our society to date.

18. Golden Grahams.  And if the makers of ZzzQuil didn't win, it should have at least gone to the guy who gave us Golden Grahams.

19. Tacos.

20. Target.  Cop-out, I know, because who isn't already a fan of Target?

21. Moms.  I mean, this doesn't really need en explanation.

22. Country Music.  Wait, are bloggers allowed to like country music?  Whatever.  Ben & Jerry's could be a temporary fix, but I don't know where I'd be right now without Chris Cagle and Sara Evans.

23. Ice Cream.  Okay, but yeah, Ben and Jerry's is pretty good too.

24. Running.  To counteract the ice cream.  I'm running in the Boston marathon on Monday for no other reason than for the resulting ice cream debt.

25. Ibuprofen.  See number 24.

Whew.  That felt good.  Who knew being relevant could be so freeing?  Maybe I'll start following the rules more often.


Now what did I tell you? GO FOLLOW THE RULES NICOLE. She holds a BIOCHEMISTRY degree for God's Sakes. (And I don't even know if I spelled that right....)

Venus Trapped in Mars

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The Dallas Staycation

The last time I took a vacation, I mean a 6 day, 7 night actual vacation that involves a plane, and a hotel room for an entire week.... 


Ah well there was....

And then there was that time....


I think the answer is senior year of high school, 2004. Sure there have been 4 day Spring Break trips here and there in college, as well as countless long weekends and of course visits home (home involves a beach) but an actual vacation involving a resort or a cruise or a passport... yeah, I got nothin. I think when bills and number of dogs grow, vacations dwindle! 

I wish this post was a post announcing a vacation I have coming up, but as I'm sure you gathered from this title, I will not be vacationing anywhere this year. Money is an object to me, vacation time is limited to just two weeks a year (only one last year since I was new to my position), I have two dogs that cost as much to board as a hotel room at the La Quinta and I just don't see a vacation being a possibility nor a priority for me. 

Plus, I like to milk my vacation days for all they are worth. For example, I like to plan my vacation days one at a time, tacking them on to an already long holiday weekend, just like I'll be doing this weekend! We have Good Friday off, so even though I'll be off 6 straight days from work, I'll only be using 3 days of vacation. 

Remember that one time I said to take something off before you leave? Yeah, everything I've already said could probably be erased from this post... ah well! Already typed it. 

So my Mom will be coming in town today at 3pm.... Vacation for her, Staycation for me! So why not check some stuff off of my Dallas Bucket List while we're at it, right? I'm going to make a new tab on my sidebar just for this bucket list, so I can check things off as I go.


Dallas Cowboys

Texas Rangers Game 

Dallas Stars Game

Dallas Mavericks Game 

Feed a Giraffe at the Dallas Zoo 

Watch a NASCAR Race at Texas Motor Speedway 

Take a Trolley Tour of Uptown

Visit the Dallas Farmer's Market 

Visit the Sixth Floor Museum

Visit the Dallas Arboretum

Go Ice Skating at the Galleria

Visit Thanks-Giving Square

Eat lunch from the Food Trucks at Klyde Warren Park 

Experience the Texas State Fair and get a picture with Big Tex 

Have a Cocktail in Reunion Tower 

Get a Mani and Martini at Beauty Bar

Check out the Original Neiman Marcus Downtown

Beat your friends (you'll never beat me #sorrynotsorry) at Top Golf

Tour the Deep Ellum Brewing Company


The Full Circle Tavern**

Katy Trail Ice House*

Bar Belmont**

Soda Bar**


The Quarter Bar*

The Ginger Man*

Stackhouse Burgers**

Bowl Lounge (this clearly could double as an attraction!)


The Foundry

Lee Harvey's (Dog Day every Sunday afternoon!)

Denotes: **Skyline Views *Great Patio

Follow me on Instagram if you want to Staycation vicariously....
(who wouldn't want to do that?!)

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5 Must Haves for Any Bachelorette Pad

Must Haves for Any Bachelorette Pad
This is a sponsored post, content not written by Venus Trapped in Mars

Reflecting tastes, personality and interests, a home is more than just a roof over our heads. It is a sanctuary, a place where we spend our leisure hours, entertain guests and store our belongings. While bachelor pads were once all the rage, an increase in the number of professional, independent women means that feminine, tailored lodgings are fast becoming hot property. Want to transform your bare canvass into an alluring, functional bachelorette pad? Read on to discover what essential ingredients you need.

The best thing about having your own space is that you have full control over everything. Don’t let anyone else sway or shame you; if you have always dreamed of having a completely pink apartment, go for it! Other great colors to play with include pastels, bold blues and white. It’s always best to have a unified color theme for each room, so start by planning in detail what each room will look like.

Fun Accessories
It’s time to bring out your personality and cater to your tastes. What sort of theme or tone do you want for each room? Popular options include vintage, luxury and feminine chic. Use accessories such as candles, flowers, chandeliers, mirrors and artwork to convey your desired ambience. There are hundreds of blogs websites devoted to home decoration and stores such as Super A-Mart (www.superamart.com.au/) stock a wide variety of homewares and accessories. Be creative, be bold and have fun with the process.

Shoe Room
Forget a weights room or bar, a room devoted entirely to shoes is the ultimate feature of a bachelorette pad. Actresses and singers such as Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera and Jessica Alba are all the proud owners of shoe rooms and you can be one too. Even if you don’t have the biggest budget or largest space available, work with what you have to create a special place for your prized possessions. Make use of drawers, storage systems and shelves, and think outside the box.

Walk-in Wardrobe or Closet
Not a fan of shoes? What about clothes? Give your garments the love and attention they deserve with a walk-in wardrobe or closet. Wander through and feel a sense of pride and harmony as you peruse your items, noting how organized and spacious the area is. Not only is a walk-in closet a jaw-dropper for friends, but it can really reduce stress and wasted time. No longer will you be searching for hidden or hard-to-reach apparel; your wardrobe, featuring lighting, mirrors and drawers, will ensure that everything is easily accessible and categorized.

Study or Home Office
Whether you like to write, read or work from home, a dedicated study or office space is a great addition for your home. Style it according to its function; for a creative, productive environment, have white walls adorned with inspirational mood boards, slogans and artwork. For a peaceful, refined library, seek inspiration from classic literary figures such as Sherlock Holmes and Jane Austen.
What do you think? Did you find this article useful? Please share any tips or thoughts in the comments section below.
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Dumb, loser.

There have been several specific incidents I've done lately that make me feel like the dumbest human alive. As I hear the stupid comments fall out of my mouth, unable to stop the personal train wreck that has already commenced, I cringe realizing how dumb I just sounded.

But it got me thinking, what else do I do that makes me feel like a dumb loser?

1. When someone watches me do basic addition: The other day I had to order food for work. The BBQ delivery man handed me my receipt and asked me to sign. Total was $44.81. Left a $9.00 tip. Then it came time to add it all together and I could feel his eyes on me like lazer beams. I started to sweat and second guess my work... $53.81 total. $53.81 right?If I was tipping $10 + $44 would be $54, minus $1 brings it to $53, right? Right? RIGHT? RIGHT? RIGHT? 

Dumb, loser.

2. Multiplication: My Boss: "So we have 7 nights worth of hotel rooms in Miami, and 8 of the guys from Japan flying in on Monday, and 2 more on Friday. Each room is $232 a night. So that brings our total tooooo what? Sarah, just off the top of your head, what's our rough total?"

Um. Um. Uh, carry the 4, add the 9, put the 0 on the second line, add those two lines together, total plus equals times 6... um um um....

I know you aren't going to believe me when I say I was good in math in college..... but I was given a calculator.

Dumb, loser.

3. When I can't tell where a line starts: 
*sees people lined up from all different angles*

Me: "Ma'am are you in line?"
Them: "YEAH"

Walks over to the middle....

Me: "Excuse me, miss, are you in line?"

Walks over to the other side...

Me: "Sir, are you in line for the register?"

Me: "Hi, are you in line?"
Them: "Line ends back there." Points to a group of 12 people scattered around, lacking any sign, what so ever, of single file formation. 

Dumb, loser.

4. When I push instead of pull. Well, actually, doors in general: The other day I got a spray tan, the girl behind the counter thanked me and smiled, I waved back, then pushed my shoulder into a door that didn't budge. I stumbled back a bit, looked up and noticed a large sign that said USE OTHER DOOR.

I then felt the need to tell the girl behind the counter my reasoning for pushing that door, as if it was something other than I'm a gigantic moron... "Oh this door worked for me just yesterday (I wasn't there yesterday) is this a new thing you're trying out with the door exiting system?! I will remember this next time, for sure!"

Dumb, loser. 

5. Can't figure out the phones At work: I accidentally hangup every time I put someone on hold. I can't transfer calls. I can't figure out how to successfully use the intercom. I somehow manage to get the speaker phone turned on right in the middle of listening to voicemails. Yet everyone else at work has zero problems using the phones...

Dumb, loser.

6. Trying to read a map: I'm a firm believer that north is always straight ahead of you. Always. South is behind you, east is to your right and west is to your left. That is how it works. At all times.

Dumb, loser. 

7. Left on red from a one way to a one way: Ok, I'm on a one way road right now, correct? And I'm trying to go left, correct? And that road I'm trying to go on is one way too, correct? And the light is red, but there is no traffic at all, so I can go now, correct?

*sits with left turn signal on for 5 minutes waiting for light to change to green*

Dumb, loser. 

8. Tripping: The other day I was walking up to a bar, through grass, wearing heels. I twisted my ankle and stumbled when I stepped in a hole in the ground. Immediately turned around, walked right back to my car and left the premises.

Dumb, loser. 

9. Working with tools / building things: 
Dude: "Can you pass me a bolt and also a phillips head screw driver?"
Me: "Ummmmmmm...."

Dumb, loser. 

10. When people talk about scents or taste notes: "What flavor stands out most to you in this pinot noir? Is it the cherry flavor? Or is it the hearty floral tones? Or maybe it is that sweet vanilla with a hint of black pepper that stands out to you?"

Me: "Umm.... the wine flavor?"

Dumb, loser.

11. Crosswalks in big cities: Everyone walks when there is clearly a big red hand telling us to HALT! But I don't walk, and everyone whizzes past me. But guys, there is a big red hand!

Me: "Uhh you guys go ahead I'm just gonna sit this one out. I'll get with you guys next time"

Dumb, loser.

Do you do anything that makes you feel like a total dumb loser? Or is it just me....

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