Monday, April 14, 2014


Sunday, Brendon and I got to go to the MotoGP finals at the Circuit of the Americas here in Austin! It was our first time going to anything like this and we HAD A BLAST. Oh man it was SO fun. If you ever have a chance, go go go! It's a three day event, but we just went to the last day. We had general admission tickets, so we didn't have seats, you just go any where you want and pick yourself a spot of grass to chill on. Definitely the way to go I think. We brought a little blanket to sit on and sat at a different spot for each race, so we got to see lots of different sections or turns. The course is HUGE. It's a winding 3.4 mile track that was built for Grand Prix races, the first in America! It's neat just to see the place! It's a monster of a complex! And although it looked like rain all day, it didn't do it! And the clouds kept it nice and cool.

As you might remember, we are proud motorcycle owners! We have a little Kawasaki Ninja 250. Although the bike, Little Darth Vader, is technically mine, I never ride it (ever), so it's really more Mr. Hogan's. He rides Darth every day. So we are into motorcycles! Brendon says next year we WILL be taking our motorcycles to the race. That means, we need another bike (ha), and I need to start riding again (HA). We'll see if that happens.

Before the races started they had some guys doing jumps on ramps. It was insane! Those dirt bikes can fly! These dudes were doing flips and crazy moves in the air, it was extra entertaining. The X Games will be in Austin this summer, I think that would be a lot of fun to check out!

If you drive a Ducati you get VIP parking in the middle of the event. There were just a few of them (sarcasm) and one of them was pink! Most of them were red and black though, mix up those colors Ducati.

And something must be said for the vegetarian options... there were SO MANY! I guess because it's Austin, but there was so much food to chose from, food trailers everywhere! We had lots of choices and that is rare, especially at an event. It's outrageously priced of course, but we were just so thrilled to have options that we didn't mind. And since they were established food trailers from town, it was all delicious!

There were three races Sunday, the Moto3 (250cc), Moto2 (600cc), and MotoGP (1000cc). My favorites were the Moto3 and MotoGP. I loved the Moto3 because these riders were teenagers. Seriously. Like 15, 16, 17 year olds. They guy who won was 19. So impressive. There was a 17 year old GIRL killing out there in this class with all the guys. I loved it! You go girl!! I also like the Moto3 class because that's the size bike we have! Wooo, baby bike!

The MotoGP race was obviously way more intense. There were two guys, on the same team, that slayed the course and were like a minute ahead of everyone. The guy in first held the lead by a whole lot the entire time and then almost ate it at the very last turn into the grandstands. He kept it together though and it was actually kind of hilarious. Also, there was a guy that went too early (poor dude!) at the start and had to do a penalty lap through the pit, but he ending up coming up from the back, passing half the folks out there, and getting 10th place! So cool. I loved it all. I loved how much fun they seemed to be having! They do a victory lap after they're done, and it was so sweet, they waved to everyone aaaaall the way around those 3.4 miles and would do wheelies and tricks for the crowd! Even the guys who didn't do well! It was the coolest thing, people just happy to do what they love for a living. And even though there were multiple wrecks, no one was seriously injured! Yay!

Hands down, one of the coolest things we've done in Austin so far. I can't wait until next year. And it definitely was incentive for me to get my weenie butt back on my bike! If a 17 year old chica can fly around those turns with all the guys, I can meander through Austin traffic!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

"You've Got Mail"

I love this movie. I think it's common knowledge. It's my go to feel good movie, and I watch it MULTIPLE times a year. Like, more than I'm going to admit to the internet. It just makes me happy. It's charming, I think that's the perfect word for it. And it's such a good seasonal movie! I watch it in the fall, in the spring, and around Christmas. And everywhere in between. Because it spans almost a full year, you can watch it whenever and relate to it. Kind of. Except I'm in Texas and not New York and we don't have seasons like they do. BUT NEW YORK!

"Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms."

Ugh, if there's any movie that makes me long to live in that city, this is it. I know the New York of the 90's is probably long gone, but it's just so... New York. And I'd love, for even just a few years, to live there. This movie is also such a lovely glimpse of the 90's. I was 10 when this movie came out, and boy does the styling take me back. Such a simpler and happy time for me. I had a good childhood, and this snap shot of the 90's (and Meg Ryan's ridiculously masculine khaki pants) makes me all warm and fuzzy. But for the most part, khaki's aside, Meg Ryan's wardrobe is on point. Classic. I'd wear some of those things today! There's a velvet jumper thing I'd kill for. But really, the AOL and dial up internet connection noises are the sweetest. That nonsense was hip back then. And of course there's the Starbucks. Oh how I can relate.

"The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don't know what the hell they're doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino."

Nora Ephron, I like you. This movie is so simple and sweet and cute and it's really just about two people connecting, with words. Sharing nothing and everything and becoming crazy about each other and even though things get mixed up and messy, the connection is so good that it wins out over the craziness. And it's happily ever after. I love happily ever after.

"I would have asked for your phone number and I wouldn't have been able to wait 24 hours before calling and asking, "How about coffee, drinks, dinner, a movie, for as long as we both shall live?"" 

And of course there's Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan and their adorable on screen chemistry. I also am an intense fan of Joe Versus the Volcano. Sleepless in Seattle isn't bad either. I've got this soft spot for Meg Ryan. She's just the cutest thing, and we're the exact same height. We slightly above average height girls gotta unite. Also, shop girls unite! I also run a shop!

Well, yes. That was just a blog about You've Got Mail. Ahem. It makes me happy, so there. That picture up there is from this site, which goes into serious detail about Katherine Kelly's brownstone. Wouldn't we all love to call that place home?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Run the Ranch 5k

Spring in Texas, huh? Look at that sky! Sunday Brendon and I ran the "Run the Ranch 5k" in Steiner Ranch. If you are not from Austin, you probably don't know where or what Steiner Ranch is, so let me lay it down for you. Steiner Ranch is a GIANT suburb wedged in a U-bend of Lake Austin and Lake Travis. It's hill country for sure and it is beautiful. I worked out there for over a year, and although I enjoyed it and the commute is pretty breathtaking, I am happy to be working back in the city.

Steiner Ranch is a very affluent area, and this was definitely the most... family friendly? 5k we've ever run. There was basically one demographic represented, if you catch my drift. We were some of the only people without kids there, gosh, SO MANY KIDS. Totally logical as it is a suburb, but dang. Fast kids too. Dang kids and their endless energy.  

The course was basically just out through a little neighborhood and back. Did I mention that Steiner Ranch is hilly? The whole race was hills. Thank goodness that's all that's around our apartment! We did pretty good though! We placed 5th and 6th in our age group (18-35 both males and females, and as a disclosure, this was not a big age group. Most of these folks were parents, in the next age group.) and finished with a better time than we usually get running 3.1 miles. Our first mile was 8:44, our second was 9:04, and our last was like 9:55. The end was this stupid long hill that seriously seemed to last forever. No pro times of course, but I'm proud of myself! Felt good to stomp all over those hills.

All and all I liked the race. Not sure we'll run it again, just because we felt so out of place being young and childless. And it was slightly unorganized (this was only their second year) and such a looooong production. However, SO well sponsored. They had lunch! Hamburgers of course so we were out of luck, but hey, they provided lunch! And coffee and bagels and fruit and froyo! I mean they went all out with the local businesses. Freakin' Randall's was giving out free roses! The goodies were awesome. Especially since I think registration was only like $10? So maybe we will run it again!

It felt good to run a race, especially now that I've been training decently. I love the excitement and atmosphere! It also felt good to be back out in Steiner Ranch, as odd as that sounds. It's so pretty out there, I miss it!

Next up is the Autism Speaks 8k at the end of May. I imagine it's going to be pretty hot. We're trying to get used to running in the heat, but man we went out the other day when it was like 85 and I thought I was going to die. Seriously, pass out and puke at the same time. I'm hoping my body acclimates quickly. Texas heat/humidity is not playing games. AND THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Yesterday was my birthday, y'all! I turned twenty-six! Heading into to those late twenties, how crazy is that?

I had a wonderful day. Really, very, very, wonderful, because of some wonderful people. I had to work, but my sweet coworker had our desk all decorated with birthday goodies (balloons everywhere!) and she had a caffeine free diet coke in my hand before we even turned the lights on. And then my dad surprised me at work with flowers! He drove all the way up to Austin to see me at work. Sweetest thing ever.

My sister and I snuck in a little birthday run (she rocked a 5k! She was all, "ehh I wont be able to run the whole thing", KILLS IT.) and then we hung out at home with Brendon for a bit before it was time to go to dinner. Brendon wouldn't tell me where we were going, but we ended up at Chez Zee (have you been? OMG the dessert!) where a few of our friends and my momma were waiting to surprise me! Sneaky husband of mine. Such a lovely surprise! We ended the night with presents and then we watched Tangled. Because I love Tangled, and my sister had never seen it!

Seriously, such a good birthday. I am really fortunate to have such amazing people in my life who are all so good to me. My family and friends are the greatest and man, that guy I married. He's a good one. He spoils me rotten. My Princess Complex is spiraling out of control.

So far 26 feels just like 25, but I am looking forward to another year of life and the surprises and adventures it will bring! 25 was such a great year, I can only imagine 26 will be as well!

And here are the photos from home. There aren't many, because we have been severely slacking on the photo game lately. Also, I was exhausted. Excuse my sleepy face. And who sits like this?

Julie's signature face. Miley has nothing on this, Julie's been doing it for years. And I leave you with this:

That's a jar of tahini! We'll be making hummus soon.

Kite Building

As mentioned in my last post, I made a kite for the Zilker Kite Festival, in hopes of flying it with the 100 bazillion other people in Zilker. However, the festival was cancelled. And this was AFTER it was moved back a weekend. Whatever. I got to fly my baby at the beach and it was awesome.

Making a kite is actually really easy, if you have a sewing machine. If you don't I'm sure some amount of tape would work. You just need fabric, thread, dowel rods, two bic pen caps, and one metal grommet. I used ripstop nylon fabric, in hot pink with neon green accents. Because, the 80's. A year or so ago I picked up this home sewing craft book from like 1993 at Goodwill that is mostly all a waste of paper, but there were instructions for a kite in there! And it worked out really well! I wouldn't say the instructions were easy to follow, but once I deciphered them throwing the thing together was cake.

Look at me all about to sew that pin!

So after some measurements, some cutting, and a few stitches, BOOM, you've got a kite! The form is made with dowel rods, and the center removable rod is held in place with BIC PEN CAPS! I was like what the heck when I read the instructions, but it works perfectly. Who knew!

I made the delta kite, but there's also instructions for a rounded kite. That required soaking a dowel rod in water and then bending it to your required curve, and I was like, NOPE. But it might be worth trying someday when I have... more patience.

And the winner of the most awkward kite flying stance goes to... So I definitely used some string meant for crocheting, because where do you get kite string? It worked just fine. That kite flew like a champion. I had so much string, it flew so high! And didn't fall once! That might have been from the perfect kite flying wind at the beach, but whatever. It was successful! I want to take it out to Zilker soon so I can show it off here in Austin.

Yay for kite building! Such a fun and quick project, with such awesome and usable results! I mean that kite is SOLID. So much better than the plastic business you get at the store. Perfect craft if you've got (older) kids. I'm thinking of making another for next year, but getting creative with the colors! Maybe a manly one for Mr. Hogan.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Port Aransas 2014

So tomorrow is my birthday. And for my birthday, I treated Brendon and I to a long weekend at Port Aransas. Because it's my party and I'll go to the beach if I want to. And because I wanted to check on the ocean. I hadn't seen it in a couple years and I wanted to make sure it was still there. And we've both been working our butts off and deserved a little break!

The weather was a bit funky for the beach, as you might have noticed from the first photo, however I actually loved it. It was cool and often intensely cloudy with a near constant chance of rain (I don't think we saw the sun once, perfect for us vampires), and thus the town and beach were pretty bare. It was wonderful. We still did everything we wanted to do, it just wasn't sweltering hot and there weren't a gazillion people everywhere. Also, no seaweed! I feel like there is ALWAYS seaweed everywhere (see our last trip to Port A as a prime example), but maybe because it was spring instead of summer?

See that pink triangle up there? I made that kite! I actually made it for the Zilker Kite Festival, which was cancelled this year due to bad weather, so I was very excited to try it out and see if it would actually fly. And it did! So well! I think it deserves it's own post, so hopefully you'll see more of my hot pink kite baby soon.

And even though it was not exactly warm out, we swam! And it was so fun! We jumped and played in the waves (and screamed) like little kids. It was awesome. I've never been a huge fan of getting in the ocean, but it was seriously enjoyable this go round.

No trip to Port A is complete without a photo in the sharks mouth! We are so good at being tourists:

Not our bunker in the sand. But a very cool one! A family staying in our condos made it and it held up all weekend! Kudos to them.

This was a seriously awesome and very relaxing trip. I am and always will be a mountain lover at heart, but man did I miss the beach. It felt so good to be back. The sound of the ocean, the damp salty air, even the sand, I missed it! We relaxed and played and ate like pigs, and although Brendon had to do a little studying, it gave me a chance to veg out (and nap)! We even got some running in! We did two four mile runs barefoot on the beach. And we will never run barefoot for that amount of time again. Although it was lovely at first, I ended up with some seriously horrendous blisters on the bottoms of my toes. Shoes next time for sure.

And here are the trip details! We stayed at Casa Condominiums and it was really great. Like RIGHT on the beach. Shortest walk ever. And room 107, if it's just a couple of you, is perfect. It has the most fantastic upgraded kitchen! I've stayed a lot of places in Port A, and I think this might be my favorite.

As far as places to eat, our favorites were Shells and Venetian Hot Place, both delicious Italian food with excellent service, and then Taqueria San Juan for the yummiest, speediest, and cheapest breakfast. Oh and Coffee Waves! The cutest coffee shop, which is actually quite huge for a coffee shop, with the most helpful team! We asked what vegetarian friendly places were available and they pointed us in the right direction. I wish we would have stopped by again before we left, I love me a good coffee shop. In general, as far as being vegetarian friendly, Port Aransas doesn't kill it. But there a few places with good options, like those mentioned here. If there was ever a time where I wished I still ate seafood, this was it!

Brendon and I agree that vacationing together is the best. Ever. Even if just for a couple days. So thank you Port Aransas for our little escape! You were lovely as always. I honestly can't wait to go back!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Running love

Totally unedited selfie of me after running. Like those blotches? That's what happens to us vampires when we run. More on this in a second, but first: OH MY GOODNESS SORRY I AM A TERRIBLE BLOGGER. Seriously. It's just, my life! It's so busy and really not that interesting. But I PROMISE I am doing (relatively) exciting things in the near future and I will TRY to document and share. For the four of you that care.

Anyways, back to that ridiculously large photo of me. No matter what Anastasia Steele does, don't run in pigtail braids. They will beat your shoulders, arms, chest, and even your face. So stupid. Anyway, running! It's a damn addiction. But the good kind. We have been running our BUTTS off. Like four times a week, at least. And holy hell have we (I) made progress. For a while it was just running the same 5k route and always stopping to walk a bit. Then one day I ran the whole thing. And then I stopped having to walk at all. And then we added more miles. And then more. And then the other day I ran six miles, which is the farthest I've run, ever. To you pros, that's nothing. But to the girl that couldn't run an entire 5k at the beginning of the year, this is exciting. A half marathon seemed impossible a couple months ago, but now I think it's totally attainable and something I am working toward. I'm still really slow pace-wise, but I don't care. As long as I'm running, I'm happy. I just love it. I love the way you feel afterwards, although during sometimes I feel like I am going to DIE. And I love that I'm almost always sore and can feel my legs getting stronger. I can't see it (no visible muscle growth... yet!), but I can feel it when I run or stretch. Also my skinny jeans have a rougher time getting over my calves these days. Ha.

We've got two races coming up, a 5k at the end of the month and an 8k at the end of May. I haven't run a race since the Trail of Lights 5k and I'm excited to pin on that number again now that I've made the progress I have. And there's just something so awesome about races. So much positive energy and just generally good vibes. Man, I love good vibes. Also there's snacks.

And speaking of good vibes, everyone seems to be feeling and sharing the running love lately! We've got a few of us at work that are on that running game, and as silly as this sounds, the online love has been so good. Thank you Facebook friends for putting up with and supporting all my running posts, seriously. It's so awesome to share this new found love with others and talk about motivation! It's like we've got a little support group going on! Keep on running, y'all. You da best.

So that's what I've been doing. Running, running, running. And working of course. I'm a little concerned about what will happen this summer when it gets real hot. I run in the afternoons and evenings because, duh, working at a coffee shop means no morning runs. When you get to work at 5:30am, running before work is out of the question. When it's 101 degrees out, afternoons and evenings are going to be challenging to say the least. But I'm hoping we can keep up the frequency and progress. Running in the heat can do nothing but make me stronger! Or kill me via heat exhaustion. Hopefully the former.