Venus Trapped in Mars

31 December 2014

Less Boring, More Awesome in the New Year

For my 28th birthday my mommy dearest so graciously gifted me 2.5 hour cleaning service for my apartment. I was SO excited, because attention to detail isn't really my thing when it comes to cleaning. Heck, I don't even own many of the cleaning tools that are really needed to achieve a thorough cleaning. My vacuum only cost about 20 bucks... that is what we are dealing with here. 

So about three weeks ago, when I decided I wanted to have everyone over for a New Year's Eve party, I booked an appointment for December 31st at 10:00am with Handy. I spent six solid hours last night picking things up, doing laundry, cleaning my closet, finally hanging all the prints I was too lazy to hang since moving in *cough* six months ago *cough*, washing the slipcover on my sofa.... you know cleaning for the cleaning people to come. Because that is normal. 

I woke up early on my day off to drop the dogs off at daycare. I knew the cleaning person wouldn't want two crazy dogs running around, how counter productive would that be? Daycare for both dogs, even at the cheapest place I've found in Dallas is still $20. By the way Downtown Dog is the bomb if you need a recommendation! Wonderful customer service, they always remember Gee and Vee the second we  walk in the door. 

I run to Starbucks, pop in the last little bit of laundry, and sit down around 9:45 to wait for the cleaning person to call. The phone rings.... they're early yay! Wrong. The person called out to work that day and they don't have anyone who can come out on such short notice. Waaaaaaaaahhhhh.

But thank goodness for me, I have my girl Steph taking over today because I'll be buying cleaning supplies and then firing off a bleach bomb in the bathroom for the remainder of the day. Steph and I have been blogging friends for as long as I can remember, and her adventures in New York are some of my very favorites to follow on Instagram. What can I say, I'm a sucker for good skyline pictures! 

Ok, off I go to clean... come on over and help if you want?! *crickets, crickets* Follow me on instagram for NYE party pics, if you're into that champagne, glitter and confetti kind of thing...

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Hi, I'm Steph and I write over at Insert Classy Here.  I love nothing more than a fresh start.  It's time for people to get their fresh start and make their New Year's Resolutions.  The top resolutions made are boring and generic and most people don't actually follow them, so I'm going to give you a few ideas to replace those super lame and general resolutions with easier to follow but still awesome ones.



Replace Lose Weight with Walk/Dance.  It's amazing to me how much people avoid walking.  Use your lunch hour, walk to pick up pizza or candy from CVS.  Walk your dogs, walk someone else's dogs.  Just move your body and quit looking at the scale.  Also, daily dance parties are great ways to burn a few calories.


Replace Save Money with Finish your Chapstick.  Has anyone actually finished an entire stick of chapstick or finished an entire bottle of nail polish?  I challenge you to actually use up your inventory before restocking.  If you look at it as a game, you might actually accomplish it.


Replace Learn Something New to REALLY Learn Something New.  Buy yourself a glass blowing class on Groupon or line up all the newest documentaries in your instant queue on Netflix.  Also, read books, even if they are the trashy kind.  No judgments here.


Replace Drink Less with Drink Better.  Stop drinking as much cheap beer as you can shoot through a funnel (unless it's a very special occasion.)  Start trying new wines - trust me, it's fun.  Stop the hangovers - no one likes those.  Drink water with your cocktails.  Step down off the barstool and out on the dance floor.  Drinking is fun - just don't be crazy and don't always be "that girl/guy."


Replace Be Less Stressed with Unplug.  Sure, knowing what your blog friends are doing each afternoon on Instagram is fun, but try actually having a face to face conversation with your neighbor or your significant other.  Have a phone free dinner or weekend road trip.  You'll feel more connected and less stressed.  If you know more about the Kardashians than your college bestie, you might need to reprioritize.  And if you need to know what I'm doing on Instagram, follow me here.


Cheers to a happy, healthy, smart, sexy lipped New Year.  Come say hi and tell me what your awesome resolution is.

Go Say Hey Girl Hayyy To Steph :: Blog // Bloglovin // Twitter // Facebook // Pinterest // Insta

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30 December 2014

A Very Electronic Christmas

Have you guys seen that "Sarah's Year" thing on Facebook? Well, obviously it would say *insert_your_name_here*'s year, but you know what I'm talking about? Well since literally everyone in my feed was taking part, I thought I would take part too. And yes, I might just jump off a bridge if Facebook tells me to!

Well I pulled mine up and it was so bland. Sure there were adorable pictures of Gee and Vee, countless pictures of my cocktail du jour (that's the cocktail of the day...mmm that sounds good I'll have that) and of course lots of memes... but nothing that really showed the year I've had.

There were obviously no pictures of CB and me having an absolute blast over these last 7 months, no status updates or mention of him, no relationship changes. Of the very few pictures I have even posted with the new friends I've met this year, none showed up in the random "Sarah's year" feed. To the outsider, let's say my college friends, for example, who don't read my blog, they would have no earthly idea of the happiness that surrounds my life these days.

I kinda like that. Maybe next time I see my sorority sisters for the first time in a couple years, the catchup will be more involved than "Oh yeah I know, I saw that on Facebook!"

This Christmas, I didn't get to go home to Virginia. I have a VA trip planned to see my family with CB in just a few weeks though, and get this BOTH round trip plane tickets were $270 total, for both... $270 I say! Thanks Virgin! So instead, I spent Christmas here in Texas and CB's family was not only so kind to include me in their festivities, but I got the coolest present ever.

CB's mom, we will call her Chalupa Batwoman - she reads here too btw so hiiiiiiii Chalupa Batwoman - made (yes I said MADE) me the most incredible gift ever. This stained glass Power T for the window right above my patio door. Check out how absolutely beautiful this is.... talk about the potential to be pinterest famous! She needs a blog and etsy shop ASAP!


I felt pretty spoiled this Christmas. I went from opening the beautiful stained glass piece, to getting woken up with breakfast. CB's culinary history is about on the same level as mine is, so this was such a thoughtful surprise!






On Christmas Day, in between the different family gatherings, we had to make a two hour detour to Denton, Texas. Instead of getting cranky or pouty, we both just took the approach of my favorite quote, "Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure," and set off to explore Denton, a college town I had never visited.




And I found this bomb pink wall and the trip was suddenly all worth it for the photo opp!




And then, it was finally time for what we had been waiting an entire month for, Lights All Night! I'm going to leave the full expert recap and Lights All Night details up to Helene (which can be found here, here and here) and instead show you the pictures I deemed blogworthy from the two day festival.

::: Lights All Night Day 1 ::: 
I changed clothes like twelve times before I felt comfortable. Ah well, that is part of our basic rights as women, correct? I also believe we get unlimited mind and attitude changes. I think that is written in the constitution, look it up. 



:::  Lights All Night Day 2 ::: 
Also known as the very first day in my entire life I've ever worn lipstick. No joke. Sephora gave me lipstick in that birthday gift they give everyone, and I decided to run with it. I felt like I was messing with it, and reapplying the entire evening. I don't like feeling high maintenance when I'm out, so if you have any lipstick tips for me, leave me a comment! I'd love to hear them!  







In this picture below, I was trying to point out this guy's Rondo jersey. Rondo joined the team like AAAAHHHHHH minute ago, how did he already get a jersey!? Mavs fans are speedy, yet I don't even own a current player's t-shirt. Doesn't that make you feel so sad for me? I thought it might.



Totally kidding. Not even mad. #MFFLStrong

Now on to the next party.... New Years Eve! Who is ready?



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29 December 2014

50% Off Ad Sale + 15 Weekend Plans

I like to introduce my ESPN2 sponsors in a way that gives you a little more insight into who they are and what they blog about. I've had them pick GIFs before that describe them best, but I've really enjoyed having these ladies list what they would do on a weekend with no plans. Not only do you learn a little more details about their lives and personalities, but it also hooks you up with some ideas for your weekend! Because there is nothing worse than the back-and-forth of "What do you want to do? Well I don't know what do you want to do?" 

And since I'm in such a good mood on this short work week (I have both Wednesday and Thursday off hooray!) I've decided to run an ad sale. Use code STARBUCKSLOVERS to take 50% off any ad spaces between now and continuing through December 31st. Yes, I know that isn't the lyric, but that is what I hear. Sorry Taylor, maybe enunciate better next time. 



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5 Things Christina Would Do On a Weekend With No Plans
Locally
(and by locally I mean within an hour and a half of where I live in East Texas, including DFW)
1. Hit up Plano & Frisco to shop at Trader Joes, REI, and Ikea

2. Spend a day at either the Dallas Arboretum or the Fort Worth Arboretum

3. Explore Nacogdoches on a weekend when they have a festival

4. Explore Waco (just not in the summertime when its hot)

5. Attend a festival/event in a nearby town -- like the Tyler Rose Festival, the East Texas Balloon Race in Longview, the Azalea Trail in Tyler or Dogwood Trails in Palestine




 Uncustomary Art

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5 Things Mary Would Do On a Weekend With No Plans

+ Yarnbomb a pole

+ Drive down streets I've never been through in Baltimore, searching for new street art

+ Write letters to penpals

+ Dance with strangers, or on bar counter tops

+ Binge watch It's Always Sunny or Arrested Development




 Holland's Reverie

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5 Things Chelsea Would Do On a Weekend With No Plans


1. Whisk away on a mini adventure- camp, hike, etc.

2. Find a babysitter and go on our first date in two years:)

3. Convince my hubby to get up with kiddos and then sleep all day

4. go to a movie- it's the little things, right?

5. spend all day exploring around the farm, with snacks, a camera and kids in tow- it really doesn't get better.





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23 December 2014

A Wine Walk To Remember + 5 Meals that Need Beer Instead of Wine

Anywayssssssssssss (you should click that link if you don't know my problem with the word anyways) So anyways, about my weekend. 

On Thursday night, Helene, Michael, CB and I all went to the Deep Ellum Wine Walk. You pay $5 (or $8 in our case since they ran out of the $5 glasses) and you get unlimited wine at nearly every shop in Deep Ellum from 5pm-8pm. Unlimited wine. I'm not sure if you heard me..... $5 = Unlimited Wine. 

We had way too much fun, as you probably would expect with unlimited wine for $5 (not sure I told you the price of the unlimited wine...)! Michael and CB are besties, which made Helene and I laugh, but also a little excited since we adore each other so much. They talked fishing, we talked blogging (obvi). 



I need this piece below. I am a literalist. As in I can't even tell you how bad I literally need this right now....






 
The Colt 45s were not included in the $5 unlimited wine price, but they were cheap... because... they are Colt 45s. Did I ever tell you about that time I met Afroman??! Another day, another blog post. 

I don't have a very good transition here, so I'm just going to say one word... 
Donuts







 
You are welcome for that.
Moving On.
 
On Saturday, CB whisked me away to Winstar World Casino in Oklahoma. Let me explain my choice for the wording, "whisked me away"...

CB entered an all day Poker tournament that morning. I don't know much (read: anything) about Poker, except for what James Bond has taught me. So naturally I envisioned him in a tuxedo, a bellman knocking on my door with a beautiful red box tied up with a big black satin bow. I would bring the box to the bed, slowly untie that satin string with one hand, lift the top of the box to reveal the most beautiful Oscar De La Renta pink cocktail dress (yes I'm combining Sex and the City now, this is my day dream people) with a note that read: 

I need you looking fabulous.

So when you walk up behind me
and kiss me on the neck...

...the players will be thinking
about your neckline...

...and not about their cards.

Ok so my day dream has drifted back to Casino Royale again.... 

But there was no dress, because I'm fairly certain CB thinks Oscar De La Renta is a character on Sesame Street. There were no shaken not stirred cocktails, no villans trying to sabotage my man. Just a ton of TVs all on the Eagles vs Skins game, guys with beer bellies, uncomfortable chairs and harsh florescent lights. Oh, and it took hours. 

I took a nap, watched Silver Linings Playbook in full,  got emotional over Silver Linings Playbook, gambled without following any of my own rules, watched football, watched basketball, watched more football, started drinking at the bar, made friends with the bartender...... and finally, 9 hours later, CB had finished the tournament in 8th place bringing in just about a grand

I was one proud girlfriend and was ready to celebrate! Psssht, who needs 007 when you have your very own blogland man of mystery, Chalupa Batman! And celebrate we did! We ate pizza, played some slots, and I went to the casino's club, Mist, in a cardigan. Ballin!  








 
Another great weekend in the books, it's my Friday today, Christmas is coming, I get to rage at Lights All Night this weekend and I don't have to be at work again until Monday morning. December, you're alright my friend! 
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Another friend who is alright in my book is Daisy from Simplicity Relished. Daisy is a foodie, and like me, a lover of the finer things in life: wine and beer! I'm never conscious of pairing my cocktail/wine/beer order with my meal, so this is a really fun post Daisy has for us today! Without further delay, here are 5 Meals that Need Beer Instead of Wine! 
Serve with Beer


 
Hello there! I'm Daisy and I'm a total lightweight, but I usually can't resist a good glass of wine. In fact, I think that almost every lunch and dinner can be improved by a sip or two of chardonnay or pinot-- à la the French.

But there certainly are some dishes that wine can't polish off quite as well as a beer can. These foods just need that bubbly, refreshing, slightly bitter profile that only beer has. So what are they?


5 Meals that Need BEER Instead of Wine
+ a few pairing suggestions

Serve with beer 2
 
1) Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. Something about the gooey, toasty goodness of a grilled cheese just asks for a pairing of bitter-sweet bubbles. I'm a fan of pale ales usually, but I would even go with a Lager just because this decadent sandwich is oh-so-buttery. Want to make this exact grilled cheese, by the way? Here's my recipe for the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.

Serve with beer 1

2) Chinese Dim Sum. Have you tried dim sum yet? These salty-savory flavor-packed dishes are perfect for indulging and overeating. Some of the most popular dim sum dishes include shrimp or pork dumplings, pork buns, and more BBQ pork. So yes, only a beer pairing could suffice for all those heavy flavors. Try a Tsingtao beer next time you're out for Chinese food.

Serve with beer 3

3) Fried Chicken. Or anything fried, really. This down-home food needs to partner with a down-to-earth beverage, so ditch the wine and choose a classic beer that you love. Oh, and we made this fried chicken and these sweet potato fries; fast food ain't so fast when you make it yourself.

Serve with beer 5

4) Mexican Street Tacos. You haven't had Mexican food until you've gorged on these overflowing, spicy-fragrant, double-tortilla tacos from an authentic spot. Luckily for us Californians, this delicious meal is highly accessible. With such trademark Mexican flavors-- corn, chili powder, onion, cilantro, and cheese-- there's nothing better than a Corona.

Serve with beer 4

5) Japanese Ramen. Anyone growing up in the 90s probably had Maruchan's Instant Cup of Noodles at one point or another, but that is *not* what I'm talking about here. Real, hearty Japanese ramen can come in many forms, but one thing is for certain: the broth is rich, the noodles fresh and the toppings decadent. In fact, I had my first beer over a delicious bowl of Japanese ramen: a Sapporo. Sapporos are so light and delicious that even people who hate beer won't complain!

CC big sur 21

Meet Daisy...
Hi friends! If you can't tell from this post, I love cooking and eating. I also like blogging, and Simplicity Relished is where I hang out online. In addition to sharing the occasional recipe, I write about style, traveling, faith, blogging, giving back, and of course simple living. Come on over and say hello!

What are your favorite foods to pair beer with? I would love to know!
Go say HEY GIRL HEY to Daisy! ::: Blog // Facebook // Twitter // Insta // Pinterest

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