Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Vacation planning

Since our beach trip last weekend, Mr. H and I have hankering to go on our own little summer vacation. We have been brainstorming and thinking of (affordable) places to go for a week or so, and last night while going through our crazy storage closet (and stumbling upon a million ancient artifacts from our childhood and teen years), we remembered that we own a tent. And therefore decided to go camping! Enter more brainstorming. Where to camp?

Originally we chose Big Bend. I went there as a child, but Brendon has never been, and it's beautiful and full of hiking and exploring opportunities. BUT it turns out the temperature highs for the summer are upwards of 110 degrees. Bleh, no thank you. We knocked that idea out. So we busted out googlemaps and started digitally roaming around the state and surrounding areas, thinking of places to camp (with summer temperatures in mind).

And we settled on Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas! Random enough for you?

(This lovely photo via here)

It's about an 8 hour drive (the same as the trip to Big Bend) and it's into the mountains! Not giant mountains, but still, mountains! It's full of bath houses built in around the 1920's where you can bathe in the natural hot spring water. You can drink it too (I'll get back to you on whether we're brave enough to do so). Plus, helloooo look at all that greenery! Can't wait to explore those mountains.

We're pretty stoked. We haven't camped in years (I think since we camped at the Grand Canyon? In like 2006???) and can you say road trip?! I love road trips. Especially with the always entertaining Brendon. Stopping wherever we want, snacking on beef jerky, and jamming out and dancing in the car. I seriously cannot wait. The last big (giant) road trip we went on alone together was to California and back (where we stopped and camped at the Grand Canyon). That was easily one of the most fun trips in my life. Bring it on again!

Counting down the days y'all. Can't wait.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Trimmin' my ends

After about putting it off for about 9 months, I finally bit the bullet and got my hair cut. A little.

My mom and I got our hair did together yesterday, we both got a trim (and a head massage, it was HEAVENLY). I was super nervous that I'd get too much cut off, but it turned out just fine and my hair looks and feels loads healthier. And I got some fancy Aveda stuff for my ends so hopefully that will help with future damage control. They were looking pretty dang bushy before.

So here we go, my monster hair before:

Excuse my "I just woke up 10 minutes ago" puffy face.

And tamed monster hair after:

I freaked out a little when my stylist told me she wanted to cut off two inches. I seriously gasped. But it needed to happen, my ends were lookin' rough. And when it's straightened you can't really tell it's any shorter (bonus! not that I ever style my hair...). I also got my thick ass hair thinned out a bit (because it was getting unruly and massive and it is summer and it is HOT) and my bangs (that were originally straight across) cut so they blend into my the rest of my hair. Fun stuff!

I intend on not cutting it again for a while. Because as much as I like having smooth, freshly cut hair, I really like having my wild hair too and I'm still trying to grow it to waist length. Just another 12 inches or so, no big deal.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Port Aransas 2012

Have you ever been to Port Aransas? Or as us regulars call it, Port A? I have been at least 1,002 times and there is always this weird seaweed plaguing the shore and floating around in the water, wrapping around your legs and making weenies like me scream. Not terrible, just slightly annoying.

Port A is a cool place. It's not real fancy, it's no South Padre, but it's laid back and I like it. Brendon and I spent three days and two nights there with my sister, my mom, Brendon's mom, his little brother, his brother's dad, his brother's dad's sister, and his brother's dad's sister's son. Confusing? Don't try to sort it out. Regardless, there were a lot of us. It was a lot fun!

Let's recap this sunny adventure y'all!

This is a terrible picture of both of us, but a few things must be discussed here:

First and foremost, we are extended members of the Cullen family, excuse our paleness.

Second, check out our hats. We stopped at Target last minute before heading out to get hats to protect our paleness. I wanted a cute little fedora but Julie and Brendon logically told me that it wouldn't shade my face too much, so I went with a big floppy hat. Wrong choice. The beach is windy y'all. I had to hold onto it the entire time so it wouldn't fly away (which it did a couple times), I gave up on it quickly. Brendon's hat however worked out great for him.

Third, never put on jean shorts right after applying sunscreen. Mine wiped off all my sunscreen so I got a TERRIBLE sunburn in the shape of shorts. Just where the shorts were. Most awkward sunburn ever.

See what I mean about paleness? LOOK AT MY SISTER. All tan and bronzed and crap, and I am albino. Also, creepy how much we walk alike huh?

Serious wind = hat shirt.

Our condo had floor to ceiling wood paneling. In every room. Including the bathrooms. I only had one panic attack.

All weekend I said that Brendon looked like Jason Mraz with his sunglasses and hat. I don't think I even know what Jason Mraz looks like.

 This ones for you Jules.

It always weirds me how alike we are. We're almost exactly the same size. People used to ask if we were twins. Except I was the test run and missed out on the good stuff, tanness and blond hair. And she got my moms face and I got my dads.

Brotherly sand castle adventures! Brendon's little brother got the tanness and light hair too. What's up with that?

You can't go to Port A without taking pictures inside the shark mouth.

And I'll leave you with this golden nugget:

Kind of bummed we got no group shots. I attribute it to everyone aside from my mom and I being constantly inebriated. Kidding! A little.

It was a really fun trip. It was great to hang and "bond" with family and the beach was great. We decided if we're ever loaded we'll buy a little house down there. Dreamin' big.

Monday we were back to the daily grind. Work, work, work. And the good news is that Brendon is working too! No more school for a few months. YAY for two incomes! The bad news is that so far our schedules are pretty conflicting and that means not much husband and wife time. Hopefully it will get settled soon, I miss my man. And although Port A was a fun little escape from reality, we didn't get too much time together. I think this summer we need to take another little vacation, just us two. Any ideas on where to go?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Back to reality and Mother's Day

We are back! We spent the weekend in Port Aransas with family enjoying a whole lot of this:

We came home Sunday night and Brendon and I ended our little vacation with dinner and a movie. We saw Dark Shadows. My review of it is; cute and entertaining, but the trailer gives everything away. It was alright. The Avengers was waaay better, go see it now. RDJ Y'ALL.

Since we've been back I've slept in too late, worked, done zero working out, and am suffering the breakout of the century due to putting sunscreen on my face all weekend. My skin sucks.

But before I overload your eyes with scenes from the beach, I want to recap our mother's day shindig!

My sister, her boo Alex, my mom's friend Ray, and I hung out with my wonderful momma all day on mothers day and took her to Clear Springs in New Braunfels. I had never been there before, but I had heard through the grapevine that they had some good catfish. Turns out they do! Best catfish I've had in a long time, maybe ever. Plus the place is just super cool. It's in a really old building covered in old signs and all kinds of random crap. We got to sit up on the second level and look out over everything. Bonus!

Pretty sweet right? And like I said, the food is legit. I can't believe I had never been there before. It's so dang good, I plan on returning!

Cute face Jules.

There are a lot of things I can't stand about New Braunfels, but they have some damn good food there. I could spend a week just eating around the town. And I heard there's a waterpark there too. Every few years we spend a day at Schlitterbahn (as a kid we had season passes every summer, I was schlittered-out), it's been a while, I'm thinking we're due for a trip!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Instaweek & one year down!

Wow y'all, this week has been crazy. Actually this whole month has been crazy! There aren't enough hours in the day lately. We have been busy bees and I am ready for things to slow down. Work has been nuts for me and the end of the semester is always hectic for Brendon. But Tuesday Brendon finished his first year of pharmacy school!!!! One year down, three to go! Exciting stuff. Thus begins the summer of awesomeness. This is his only summer off while in school so we are determined to enjoy it!

Somehow with all the wildness lately I have kept up with my running and working out. Along with running as often as I can, I've been doing pilates and also a little light weight training with Brendon. I have become one of those people, who enjoy exercise. Hell may have frozen over y'all.

And here is my gift to myself for one month of being active:

Girly ass workout gear. Look at that sports bra. I saw it and was like, is this for real? A rainbow puked all over it. It was so ridiculous (and on clearance), I had to buy it. And I am officially an owner of those running shorts. You know the ones I'm talking about, the ones that college girls wear NONSTOP like it's a fashion trend (except mine are cheapos from Old Navy and not Nike, I can't bring myself to drop a whole bunch of money on something I'm going to sweat all over) and do so in large groups so it looks like everyone coordinated (who knows maybe they did... "Hey, are you going to wear a baggy t-shirt and running shorts again today? OMG ME TOO! Make sure to do your hair and make up though.").  The girls of UT, I swear. Okay, okay, END running short rant. Anyways I promise to only wear them while working out... and maybe to post workout food runs. But isn't that stuff cute?! Those little tank top things are awesome, super lightweight and soft. Plus they were like two for $10. WIN.

Next up on the list are shoes. My ankles have been KILLING me lately and I'm not sure if it's because I've been running too much on concrete (probably) or my ancient shoes are finally dying (the soles are starting to fall off). Brendon and I are running the Rebel Race (Central Texans, come run it with us!!! I may or may not die, but it will be fun!) next month, and you go through mud so that will be their last harrah. I have no idea what kind of shoes to get though. Anyone have a particular brand they love? The last time I bought tennis shoes was my junior year of high school (so sad they've lasted this long), sooo... I'm a little clueless.

SEE THAT? Muscles. Little tiny ones, but muscles.

And because I have the next three days off:

I PAINTED MY NAILS! Actually Greg painted them. Jk, he doesn't have thumbs. We can't wear nail polish at work, so this is the first time I've had nail polish on my fingers since.... last summer? I miss painting my nails! Yay for pretty colors on your fingers!

And I leave you with sleeping cats, because I feel like they haven't graced my blog with their presence in a while:

Life is good at the Hogan household. We are happy and the future is bright! Best summer ever? I sure hope so!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Love for my momma

My mom is an amazing woman. She is one of the kindest souls in the world, incredibly hard working, and hilarious. I love her to death and I owe her so much. Like for starters, my life.

Thank you for being so great, mom. Seriously. I am so thankful for everything you've taught and done for me. You have always been there no matter what and have always supported me in everything I do. I would not be who I am today without you. You are such a good person. The values you instilled in me have shaped who I am, and I am forever grateful. Thank you for being so loving and giving my sister and I such a wonderful and fun childhood.

My beautiful momma and a chubby baby-me at what I can only assume is a tex-mex restaurant, knowing our taste.

Also, a huge thank you mom for giving me such a great environment growing up for creativity. I have been creating "stuff" since I can remember and you have always encouraged me. You taught me that the sky was the limit, I can do anything if I put my mind to it (or I can at least try) and I have taken that and ran with it. It fuels my life, making things makes me happy. And of course thank you for teaching me to sew and cook! Brendon thanks you for the cooking as well. You were, are, and always will be, the best mom ever. Happy mother's day!

And happy mother's day to all you other momma's out there who did not give birth to me! A special shout out to a few of my favorite mom's; my sweet step-momma Lynne, my mom-in-law Deb, and my bestest friend Kristy. You are wonderful and I love you all!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Headed to the beach!

We have a little family beach trip coming up and I am excited! Not only is it a little vacation, but we haven't been to the beach in YEARS. I'd say probably since 2008? Well, scratch that, we went to Galveston last year in February, but that doesn't really count since it was cold and foggy. Regardless, I'm ready for some sunshine and ocean air! I'm not really a beach person, I actually fear getting into water in general (especially water that contains biological life that may eat me), but we are long over due and I can't wait!

In preparation for this trip we got new swimsuits today! We have had the same old swimsuits forever (since we rarely swim) and I'm pretty sure the last one I bought was from Walmart and was like $8. Classy, I know. So today I ventured out to the mall (dangerous) and got us some new beach wear! Exciting stuff!

Brendon got this little number:

And I got these two:

These are the fanciest swimsuits I've had since probably high school. Coming up in the world y'all. And obviously homegirl looks way more fab in them than I will. I'm a little concerned about my extreme paleness out in the sunlight, but I plan on bathing in spf 100 everyday. Hopefully I will survive and avoid the lobsterness. 

If you are in the market for a swimsuit, both GAP and Old Navy are having hella sales. Get you some. I'm also thinking of investing in a straw hat. Too old lady? Whatev. I'm going all out, it could be the last time we see the ocean for years. I have to make a good show!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Rainy days

Lately we've had some great storms. It doesn't happen often here, so I'm enjoying it while it lasts. Listening to the rain, waking up to thunder, getting soggy at work while handing out drinks to cars who insist on pulling up as far away from our drive thru window as possible ... it's all lovely. And the clouds have been extra awesome lately. Plus it has cooled down a little, it was in the 90's last week. NOT ready for that nonsense.

As I took that picture above on our patio there was a huge crack of lightning (hence the lit up sky) that I swear hit somewhere a couple buildings down. It was so loud. I screamed a little and ran inside. What a wuss.

And this is the bad side of rain. The lake that forms in front of our door every time it rains. There is a good 4 inches of standing water at our doorstep. I don't know how it hasn't flooded our apartment yet.

In non rain news, I ran on a treadmill today! In a GYM! The gym is pretty much the last place I normally would ever want to be. Ever. But today I put my big girl shorts on and finally went with Brendon to the gym (his favorite place to be). Mostly I hated everything about it. It's overwhelming and there were way too many people there to laugh at me while I failed at doing whatever you do at a gym. And the machines seriously scare me. I don't know if you know this about me (and if you're around me enough you've experienced this first hand), but I am clumsy. And highly accident prone. And a huge mess of uncoordinatedness. So workout machines are a little frightening for me. But it's been so hot lately (ughhhh spring where did you go?) and raining when it's not hot, and I want to keep up running, so I thought I'd try out this thing they call "the treadmill". And I have to say it wasn't bad at all, once I got over the fear of making an ass of myself in a painful way. There were definitely moments when I was like "omg I am going to face plant it so bad", but I survived without injury. And it is waaaaaay easier than running in real life, outside. It's flat, you're in ac, and the "road" is moving for you. I ran almost 3 miles, no biggie. Next time I go, I'm going to try an incline. Maybe. That might be asking a little too much for my coordination, but we'll see. Baby steps. 

AND it's been a month since I've been working out y'all! Hurray! I'm proud of myself. I've never stuck with anything like this this long, and my body is happy with me. And I reeeeeally enjoy running, which is weird as hell. I look forward to it. I, MARIE BROOKS HOGAN, ENJOY RUNNING. Such weirdness. So to reward myself for a month of activity, as I promised, I get to get new workout threads! Yay for cuter stuff to sweat in! One more month and I get new kicks!

Back to the weather, I will leave you with this ridiculous golden nugget of Brendonism: He asked me if I thought Sophie was scared of the storm and I laughed and said no (she's not scared of anything, except maybe the vacuum and a shortage of food). And he said, "yeah, she eats lightning and shits out thunder." I concur husband, I concur.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Gone country, kinda.

The other night I went with Brendon to the University of Texas American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (long enough name?) end of year banquet at this cool German/bbq place called Scholz Garten. Apparently it is the oldest business in Texas! Felt like New Braunfels up in there! They had a beautiful solid carved wood bar. It was pretty awesome. We plan on going back!

The banquet was "western" themed, so we dressed up! I love dressing up. Why are there not more theme parties?

Like our half-assed country outfits? Brendon is definitely wearing Sperrys and I did the UT-soriority-girl thing and wore boots with a skirt. Although we both are native Texans and grew up in the woods, neither of us are very "country". But we had fun pretending! Also I am so pale, I am pink.

The banquet was pretty fun. I always feel like the odd lady out at these functions, the only non-genius in the room (jk y'all, we all know I'm a genius), but I still had a good time. It's fun getting to know all the other pharmacy students. Plus the food was great and I got to see Brendon receive awards! I was so proud!

What a cutie! Seriously, I am very proud of this man. He is about to start his final exams and is wrapping up his first year of pharmacy school! This dude is a rockstar. There is nothing he can't do and I can't wait to watch him kick ass and take names forever.

Our lives this week will be filled with studying for finals and working like crazy. Obviously you can guess who will be doing which. But this time next week we will be DONE with the first year and it will be summer vacation. Hallelujah! Just work and play and lots of husband and wife time!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Anniversary Celebration!

Yesterday was a very good day filled with love and cuddles and calling everything "the anniversary (whatever)". For instance, I sat in "the anniversary traffic", took "the anniversary nap", and we found "the anniversary awesome parking spot downtown". Just kidding about that last part, not sure if we actually said that, but we did find LEGIT parking downtown. Like steps from the restaurant, while fools were paying $8 to valet park their Mercedes. RICH PEOPLE.

For real though, yesterday was wonderful and once again Brendon spoiled me rotten with his awesome-husband skills. Even though we agreed NO PRESENTS, Brendon was bad (wonderful) and got me beautiful aquamarine (my birthstone y'all!) earrings and a necklace to match a ring he got me a few years back. I love them! He is too good to me! So for my gift, since Mr. H has been hankering for another tattoo, I agreed to fund it for him whenever we finalize his idea and find a good tattoo artist (know of any in Austin? holla atcha girl!). He wins in the gift giving department obviously. Slacker wife!

After relaxing and chillin' (and napping on my part) all afternoon yesterday we headed downtown to grub! We ate at Eddy V's and it was amazing. It's a fancy sea food and steak place. Pricey, but everything was so good. And I love, love, love seafood. The service was great, the food was phenomenal, and we had fun pretending we were fancy pants people. We got a giant crab cake as an appetizer, then Brendon got the sword fish, and I got ahi tuna. Oh and we had parmesan french fries and truffled macaroni and cheese on the side. It was all delicious. I consider myself a connoisseur of ahi tuna (HA) and that's seriously the best I have ever had, not to mention the biggest ahi tuna steak I've ever seen. And the dessert menu! Oh my goodness. I want to go there and just feast on desserts. They had so many good choices. We settled on the chocolate mousse because it is literally, my favorite food. It was divine. Seriously eat there if you ever get a chance (they are in Dallas and Ft. Worth too, northern friends!). I told Brendon last night he should have never taken me there because now it's my favorite place to eat ever. I am drooling now after typing all that. End food rave.

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE! How sweet is that? Our server was so nice! We even got a card that a bunch of the staff signed. I want to go back. Right now.

After dinner we wandered a block over to 6th street. We wanted to go to this bar called Darwin's that we had seen last time we wandering around there. We are big geeks and fans of Charles Darwin, so of course we wanted to check it out.

Turns out that place has absolutely nothing to do with Mr. Darwin and was just a grungy bar like all the others on 6th. We were really let down, we were expecting pictures of finches! Too nerdy for you? Props if you understood that. So we had one beer and watched some extremely drunk older people act a fool. And then peaced out.

Jim Beam dude as decor? Not Darwin-esque at all. Also, my cute husband.

Awkward there-are-wasted-old-ladies-dancing-behind-me face.

After leaving the un-naturalist inspired bar, we wandered around and people watched for a while. I think that is the only value 6th street holds for us. People watching. There are just sooo many weirdos (some of them a tad on the scary side). There was this lady walking around with grocery bags on her feet and around her neck while she was carrying her shoes. Whaaa?

Handsome husband! Oh how I love you! At the "Darwin" bar he untucked his shirt, rolled up his sleeves, and said "it just got casual". Endless love for this ever entertaining man.

And I'd like to take this moment to take a short break from our anniversary recap to introduce you to my latest sewing creation, the purple anniversary dress:

It's made of a super comfy and pretty purple linen. I'd say by far this is the most "well made" dress I've made so far. It's super tailored and I tried it on a gazillion times while making it to make sure it fit perfectly. I can't tell you how many times I restitched the waistline and back stitches to make sure it was perfect and everything was lined up. And there are pockets!

I used the same pattern as my holiday dress, just went with a different skirt and sleeve style. I added the collar just for fun. I made up my own pattern for it and everything! Can you tell I'm proud? Even Brendon said it was the best thing I've made! Yay!

And here's my handsome husband again:

Thanks for letting me take pictures of you, even if you make the fake smile.

When we got home we had some of our wedding cake! We (my dad and Lynne, as we were skipping off merrily (not soberly) into our limo post-wedding) saved the top tier so we could eat it on our one year anniversary because I guess that's what you do?

Mostly it tasted like freezer. It was delicious a year ago, but last night it was pretty gross. We ate enough so we have good luck, or whatever it's supposed to mean, and then chunked it. I think it probably would have tasted better if it was in some sort of air tight container, but it was just in the cake box freezin' all year. Word to the wise if you're getting hitched soon, invest in a big tupperware for your cake!

So that was our evening! We ended it by watching a movie and cuddling. We even stayed up until midnight! Not quite the wild night we had a year ago, but it was perfect. Brendon spoils me so badly! He wonders why I have a princess complex. I am so in love with my husband! One year of goodness down, bring on another!

Side note: after walking all night in heels (and eating 800lbs of food) my run this morning was brutal. My ankles said no, no, no! I guess maybe I should walk in heels more, because apparently my legs are out of practice.