Happy Birthday To Me!!! :-)

This past week was my birthday…and I had one of the very best days! If I had known that turning 40 was going to be so awesome, I’d have done it ages ago!!! Let’s take a look at the festivities, shall we? :-)

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Ta-dah!!! :-)

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Me...I'm 40!!! :-)

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Hahaha!! :-)

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Some smartasses I know toilet papered my house...I love them :-)

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A gift from my boss - she gets me :-)

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Flowers from my lovely coworkers :-)

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My darling friend made this fabulous cake for me - yummy!! :-)

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A Hurricane from Pat O'Brien's :-)

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I wore my moustache glasses pretty much all day - they're still in my purse, let me know if you want me to model them for you :-)

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A gift bag - I so love how some people really get me :-)

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The duelling pianos at Pat O'Brien's...So. Much. Fun. :-)

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The Spazmatics stage at the Bluebonnet Palace :-)

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My boss thinks she's funny with these office decorations...I agree, but shh don't tell her! ;-)

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My new cape...I'm going to wear it for realz!!!

My conclusions from this week? I know the very best people, they care about me a whole big bunch…and I’m the luckiest girl alive. :-) Thanks to all of the cast of characters who made my week so lovely…you’re all the best! :-)

Xxx

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling :-)

I had an opportunity to go to local Irish pub Durty Nelly’s today with some of my very favorite people this afternoon to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day early – it was great! San Antonio does a wonderful river parade down at the Riverwalk, and they even tint the water green (no joke -they take partying mighty seriously in this town)…it’s a lot of fun! :-) Here are some pictures:

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So pretty! :-)

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The floats in the river parade :-)

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The Riverwalk :-)

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Even though I look drunk as a skunk, I'm not...just having fun! :-)

May the luck o’the Irish be with you! :-)

Xxx

PS: And may the odds be ever in your favor – I know that the ‘Hunger Games’ has nothing whatsoever to do with St Patrick’s Day, but I feel compelled to say that. :-)

Eight Days A Week

 

If you haven’t realized, Valentine’s Day is this coming Friday, so we are now officially in Love Week. You can’t miss the signs of love everywhere – the stuffed toys and boxes of chocolates pouring off the store shelves, the never-ending stream of obnoxious TV commercials (I beg to differ, by the way – I’m willing to bet that on any given weekend, more kisses begin with beer and tequila shots than with Kay, but…what do I know?!), and the local restaurants promoting their Friday night dinner special events. Whether you have a Sweet Baboo or not, I hope that you will find a way to show someone some love this week – I hope that the love is returned, but if it’s not, then that’s okay, too. I love you – so it’s all good. :-) There’s a lot of pressure on people to do Valentine’s Day right, don’t you think? I hate that – we should show love every day, not just on special days that are endorsed by Hallmark and the Ferrero Rocher company. I try to always show those that I care about some love – I’m not always successful, but I mean well. :-) What are your thoughts on this? Are you a looooooooove show-er???! ;)

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San Antonio :-)

 

Here’s a fun one for you: Did you know that online retail giant Amazon recently named San Antonio (where I live!!) the most romantic city in the United States?!??!?!  Here’s the article: (*and here’s another one!)

SAN ANTONIO — Whether it’s riding in a horse-drawn carriage down Houston Street, eating a candlelit dinner at an intimate restaurant on the River Walk or having a cocktail atop the Tower of the America’s, San Antonians know how to spice up a date.

In fact, just ahead of Valentine’s Day, the Alamo City was named the most romantic city in the country by Amazon.com, who tabulated purchases per capita from 2013 of romantic propaganda ranging from Marvin Gaye albums to adult toys.

“Love is in the air in San Antonio,” said Stacy Keller, a spokeswoman for Amazon, adding that this is the first year San Antonio cracked the top 20 since the list began five years ago.

The purchases recorded include romantic novels, movies and albums, as well as “sexual wellness products”, which include adult-themed novelties, lotions and condoms.

Seattle, Knoxville, Miami and Alexandria, Virginia, rounded out the top five, respectively. Round Rock, ranked 14th, is the only other Texas city on the Amazon list.

New York and two cities in California, El Monte and San Buenaventura, finished as the least romantic cities.

This cracks me up, and I’m not sure why! I know that indeed there are TONS of romantic things to do here in SA – it’s such a pretty city :) – but I kind of think that even a dirty, ugly city can be romantic if you put the effort and love into it, don’t you?? :) What makes for romance in your eyes? :)  Considering what you know about me (which is probably way too bloody much since I’ve not been blessed with much of a filter), you probably think I’m a miserable princess who is ridiculously hard to please. You’d be wrong, because I’m not like that (I hope), not even a little bit. It takes very little for me to be excited and happy – I’m not a girl who would ever expect a man to buy me a giant sparkly diamond ring…if I want a ring, I will buy it myself. I am so grateful for any and all kindnesses that come my way – I love it when someone buys me a bag of my favorite candies or a coconut water, because they know that I love them. :) I love few things like I looooove a silly poem – and someone will never go wrong by quoting some of the great romance master writers to me. I don’t need to be wined and dined…the way to my heart includes a stop at the nearest Whataburger for a patty melt (no joke – patty melts are my life). While I love all of the fancy things in life, I don’t depend on someone else to get them for me – if I want something lovely, I will find a way to have it…it’s pretty simple. I think that true sentiments from the heart matter far more than any sparkly bauble, don’t you? :)

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Mmmmm...patty melt :-)

Here’s what Ludwig von Beethoven wrote to the love of his life – his immortal beloved:

Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, now and then joyfully, then sadly, waiting to learn whether or not fate will hear us – I can live only wholly with you or not at all – Yes, I am resolved to wander so long away from you until I can fly to your arms and say that I am really at home with you, and can send my soul enwrapped in you into the land of spirits – Yes, unhappily it must be so – You will be the more contained since you know my fidelity to you. No one else can ever possess my heart – never – never – Oh God, why must one be parted from one whom one so loves. And yet my life in V is now a wretched life – Your love makes me at once the happiest and the unhappiest of men – At my age I nedd a steady, quiet life – can that be so in our connection? My angel, I have just been told that the mailcoach goes every day – therefore I must close at once so that you may receive the letter at once – Be calm, only by a clam consideration of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together – Be calm – love me – today – yesterday – what tearful longings for you – you – you – my life – my all – farewell. Oh continue to love me – never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.
ever thine
ever mine
ever ours

Beautiful, eh? I know…those words up there? Worth more than any sparkly jewel. :) Ever thine, ever mine, ever ours. Le sigh. :) I hope that you have a happy Valentine’s Day this week, my dear friends…and I hope that you have the love that you need and deserve. Je vous aime. :)

xxx

PS: Here’s “Something” for you :)

I Believe

This is pretty much what I believe and how I choose to live my life:

Beautiful, eh? I love this – and I try to live it every day. I think it’s really important to model this kind of thinking for my Wee One as well, and I had a great opportunity to really show her earlier this week. I picked her up from school in the middle of the morning to run her to an appointment downtown – getting to see her in the middle of the day was a huge treat! :-)   As we were parking, I noticed an older couple struggling with the parking payment machine. Although there were some other people standing around watching them, I felt compelled to ask if I could help – they explained that they had stuck their credit card into the wrong slot on the machine and that it was wedged inside and stuck – and yes, they’d be grateful for the assistance. I noticed that the gentleman was wearing a Team Canada Olympic hockey hoodie exactly like one that I have – I asked if they were Canadian, and they were (from Edmonton); I told them that I hailed from Manitoba, and then plunked down on the ground to figure out how to get their credit card out for them. While I used my keys to work on loosening the card, they chatted with the Wee One – and still the other people just stood there, taking this all in. Why they didn’t offer to help, I don’t know…whatevah. I had the card nearly out but was going to need some Tweezers to finish the job – happily, they were traveling by car and had some in their luggage, and we had the card out in no time! :)   I helped them with retrying their parking payment – we realized that part of the problem was that this machine didn’t accept their Canadian credit card. I happily paid their $10 parking fee for them, and gave them their ticket – and set about the business of paying for my parking. The man tried to pay me, but I didn’t want his money – if you can’t do a good deed for your fellow man, then what is the point in being alive, eh? However, he insisted – and gave the money to the little one, who didn’t know any better and was excited to add it to her Paris fund piggy bank. :)   We thanked them, and headed on our way – but before we got too far, they called out to us again and asked for some directions and help. They wanted to see the Riverwalk and the Alamo, of course, so we walked them over to the edge of the Alamo property, and showed them where the stairs to the Riverwalk could be found. I also pointed out a bunch of other sites to them, recommended the river boat tours, and some excellent lunch spots in the downtown area. As we walked and chatted, we shared some details about our lives with each other, and they invited us to join them for lunch – however, since we both had to return to work/school, we politely declined and went on our way. As we walked away, the little one loudly declared, “We make friends and bring joy everywhere we go!” She’s right, you know - I kind of do make friends and speak with people in my travels, and I’m happy that she’s learning to do that as well. This is so important to me – even though we live in a huge city, we can treat those around us like they are our friends…remember, strangers are just friends we haven’t met yet! (*Don’t worry – she understands that she isn’t to speak to strangers on her own and she’s well-versed in Stranger Danger rules and practices)

This type of encounter would have been pretty commonplace in my hometown in Canada – I remember sitting in the local watering hole with some of my girlfriends once (20 years ago, in fact…where the hell does time go??! The years pass by, and yet I look no older – mysterious! ;) ), when a young man walked in and tried to order a drink – in French. The woman working the bar was not a French-speaker, so she called me over to see if I could help. I introduced myself, translated his order, and then invited him to come and sit with us. His name was Stéphan, he was from France, and was on an agricultural exchange for the summer in a nearby town. He’d been so busy on the farm since his arrival in Canada that this was his first night out. He sat with us all evening, practicing his (very) broken English, and I filled in the blanks with he and the others at the table. He asked if he could see all of us again, so we gave him our numbers – and then proceeded to spend the summer taking him places, showing him the sights, teaching him how to golf (one of the most hilarious things you could ever imagine)…it was great. :) There was no great love affair between us – it wasn’t about that (even though most of my girlfriends thought we were doing ‘le shag’ on the daily); it was about being kind, helping somebody out, and doing things to make someone else’s life better. And you know what? There’s nothing better than that. :)

That picture up there is really on to something, don’t you think? Next up for me: Be courageous and wild at heart. Look out, world!!!!! ;)

xxx

Breakfast At Tiffany’s

On Saturday night, one of my friends from work and I went to Painting With A Twist for a great night of drinking, laughing, and painting – it was AWESOME!!! Even though neither of us won the Tiffany pendant they were giving away, we had a fantastic time! Painting is so soothing for the soul…I can’t even tell you. If only I had some talent!  ;-) Here are some pictures from the evening:

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The original piece that we were working from :)

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Drinking JD always helps with the quality of the painting! :)

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Early stages :)

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Ta-dah! My finished product!!! :)

Fun, eh??? Yaaaa!!! I get so unreasonably excited when I do this….it’s ridiculous!! :-) I mentioned above that we didn’t win the Tiffany’s pendant they were giving away (boo! hiss!) – but I’ve been doing some window shopping online at the Tiffany’s website and have found some lovely things you might want to put on your Christmas list!!

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Elsa Peretti for Tiffany ring

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Tiffany Bow Earrings

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Tiffany Bow Ring

 

I hope you’ve made Santa’s Nice list this year!!! Come to think of it….I hope I have, too!!!!! ;-)

 

Xxx

C’est Si Bon

I’ve been dying to go to the local San Antonio restaurant La Frite for ages, but for whatever reason something has always happened that kept me from getting there. I finally went for lunch this past Wednesday, and thankfully it didn’t disappoint.

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Heaven in crepe form :-)

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Damn respectable sandwich :-)

I wanted to go there originally for the mussels – I’m crazy for mussels, and Moules Marinières are my absolute favorites EVER. SideNote: I learned how to make mussels this way in a café in Brussels, Belgium -I mentioned to the waiter how very much I loved them, and he invited me to the kitchen to chat with the chef. I happily took him up on the offer, gushed to the man in charge about how magnificent his mussels were, and he tossed me an apron and a knife, and proceeded to teach me the proper way to make these. I’ve followed his precise instructions every time I’ve made them for the last 17 years, and I’ve had a ton of compliments on them. They are kinda yummy, if I do say so myself. :-) I’d heard that La Frite’s Moules were pretty yum, too – but I decided not to try them on Wednesday, because I was there for lunch, had to return to my training, and could not drink wine, which I think is an essential accompaniment to any good batch of Moules. :-) Instead, I decided on a ham and cheese crepe with a side salad, and some Belgian fries on the side – and my dining companion had the Croque Monsieur…very good. My food was absolutely bloody AMAZING, no joke….divine!! The sauce that accompanied the crepe had the most delicate favors, and the hint of wine was just perfect. The ham was slightly smoky, and the smoothness of the cheese provided the perfect counterpart and kept the ham from being overpowering. Fabulous!!! The crepe itself was light, perfectly cooked,and deliciously thin….just fantastic!!! I loved La Frite – the staff was attentive but not at all annoying, the ambiance was lovely, even during the day. It was GREAT!! I highly recommend La Frite downtown – I can’t wait to go back for dinner!!! :-)

Xxx

Out Of Sight

I’ve had company from Canada for the past week (yaa!), and while I felt dreadful that I’ve been so busy with work and getting the school year started that we didn’t spend enough time together, I tried to make up for it with a weekend of sightseeing! On Friday night, we had a most excellent dinner at The Cove (I have taken a new lovah – the Latin Lover burger and a warm beet salad!), followed up with drinks at The Friendly Spot downtown. Love that place! :) On Saturday, we toured the historic King William district, the Pearl Brewery, and did some excellent shopping at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods…yaa! :) On Sunday morning, we checked out Mission Concepcion and Mission San Jose – SO beautiful! :) Here are some pictures! :)
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San Antonio really is such a pretty city – and I know that I don’t take time enough to visit the tourist attractions, stop running around all the damn time and see the city through different eyes. I totally should, though…it’s gorgeous here. :)

xxx

I Found A Masterpiece In You

Now that I’m finally taking a bit of a summer vacation, having the time to do fun stuff with my Muppet is just the absolute best. :-) Today we took a trip to The McNay Museum here in San Antonio, and we had a fabulous time! :-)

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It’s a bit disgusting that I moved to San Antonio 10 years ago next week (!!!) and have never visited the McNay before, but I’m happy to have remedied that today. I will definitely go back, if only to sit in front of the Monet ‘Water Lilies’ painting that they have and bask in its glory. I’ve seen many many Monet paintings over the years, and the beauty still gets me in my heart, brings tears to my eyes, and chokes me up…but isn’t that what life and art are all about? :)

xxx

Colors of the Wind

This morning, the Wee One and I went to a painting class together, and it was AWESOME! :) We went to a studio in San Antonio called Painting With A Twist, and it was such a positive experience – we can’t wait to go again! :) The picture that we chose to do was called Candy Heart, and their version looked like this:

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Pretty, yes? Our wonderful instructor Cristina (and assistant Rachel) was fantastic about encouraging us to use our own color choices and be creative with how much color and highlighting we wanted to include. We took pictures as we went along – here’s a few of the in-progress work:

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Now….the finished products! :)

 
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Aren’t they lovely??! So much fun! :) Afterwards, we went to one of the Wee One’s favorite places for lunch – Z Tejas – followed by a shopping trip to Sephora.

The rest of the day will be spent swimming, picking a dear friend up from the airport, and just hanging out and being best friends. Weekends with my Muppet = The Best Times EVER!!!! :)

 

If you’ve ever thought of attending a painting class like this one but hesitated because you fear you lack artistic ability, please get in line behind me..and put your fears aside and GO! :) Give it a shot!!! It’s absolutely the most amazing, fun way to relax…and it’s really just so awesome the feeling you get when you’ve created something! :) Loooooooove this!!! I can’t wait to go back!!!!! :)

Thanks Painting With A Twist! :)

xxx

All These Things I Hate…

…and a few that I love :)

 

When I wrote about the whole Mercury in retrograde thing earlier this week, I was looking for something to blame my current funk on. It seems easier to find something planetary to be the cause of it rather than my own shit getting me down, don’t you think? Anyway, in the spirit of things that are currently irritating me, here’s a list:

-the fact that no matter how red the lipstick is that I buy, that shit ALWAYS turns pink when it hits my mouth. WTF, people???!

-the fact that nobody seems to want to go out of their way to spend time with me or talk to me or anything…I am always the one putting in more effort, I bring the enthusiasm, and I am always the one making the first step and doing all the work. I’m sick of it. I want to seek refuge in my house until the world starts coming to me. (DISCLAIMER: this is probably not true, but it sure as hell is feeling like it these days) (grr)

-the fact that even when I put SPF45 sunscreen all over my body, I STILL end up with this situation on my shoulders following a measly hour  in the Texas sunshine:

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-the fact that I really want a teeny tattoo on the underside of my right wrist (I would prefer it on my left, but that’s my jacked-up arm and is likely to undergo more surgery in the not-so-distant future, so…I need to steer clear of that bad boy), but because of my occupation I need to avoid the wrists. That sucks, folks. :(

-I had better quit now, while I’m still sort of ahead…considering my recent funk, I could probably rant and rave for hours about things that have been pissing me off. (idiots! stupid people! toxic fuzzy caterpillar looking things on my doorstep! telemarketers! people who write cryptic status updates on Facebook and don’t fucking explain what is going on because they want the whole world to rush to them and ask but they don’t deserve the concern because they are being douchebags!)

 

 

And now for some things that I really, really like (lest you think me a negative whinge-bag):

-these pictures of Marilyn Monroe’s wedding to Arthur Miller…I have always been so drawn to her and her unapologetic way of living her life. She lived big, she loved big, and made zero apologies for it – my kind of girl. :) Look at how gorgeous and happy they look – dammit but I love that. :)

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-sangria – I love love LOVE sangria and can’t get enough of that stuff. I need need to make the pilgrimage to Espana here in San Antonio (near UTSA) for some of theirs…it is a miraculous elixir, guaranteed to rid you of most things that cause you irritation and funk – and the stuff they make at La Gloria at the Pearl Brewery ain’t too shabby, either! :) (Fun Fact: sitting outside at the bar at La Gloria is AWESOME – the atmosphere can’t be beat, and the bartending staff is amazing! :) )

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-sushi always makes me happy – here’s some I had recently:
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-and finally…the fact that I am hell-bent and determined to make strawberry jam next week! :) I have made it a few times about 20 years ago (when I was a wee lass of 5 years old…imagine….going to all that work by myself…. ;) ), but haven’t attempted it since – and I have one hell of a hankering for homemade strawberry jam! I just went online and ordered some canning supplies from Amazon (I don’t know why, but ordering canning supplies makes me feel like Martha Stewart and a hipster from Williamsburg, Brooklyn all rolled into one …how nutty is that??!), and I am anticipating having a couple of days off work next week (woohoo! because I am a BEAST at setting up online testing and I will have the job done hella early!!! Yaaaa me!!!!)…so jam-making is on! I will keep you posted! :)

 

You know what? Ranting and raving about stupid shit up at the top followed by a few things that are making me happy really did the trick…once I read over the happy stuff, I realized how dumb the hatin’ at the top was – and now I’m feeling better. Apparently I am living by my new adage:

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I’m going to order a sign version of this from Etsy this weekend to hang in my office…it fills my wee heart up with buckets of joy, it does. :)

 

Happy day, friends! :)

xxx