Category Archives: 7 Quick Takes (Fridays)

Friday 7 Quick Takes (vol 144)


1.


This week on Totes Awesome Channel, we’re discussing our favorite weakness.


Youtube Link


2.

Bob the Dog celebrated his two year adoption anniversary this week! I’m so in love with that pup despite all the trouble he gives us!

two year adoption anniversary


3.

Speaking of Bob. A few weeks ago for Friday 7 Quick Takes I told you I was struck by inspiration at the same time there was a sale at Michaels. I wanted to dabble in paint and was overzealous and bought seventeen canvases. I’ve since painted one and mod podged two. Here’s one of my mod podge projects! I printed instagram photos with Snapsagram. And then just lacquered them on a 12″ x 12″ canvas.

image

Yes. I am a crazy dog lady who made dog wall art.


4.

I love my friends and I think they’re all great humans. Great humans. So when I say my friend David might be the best human I know, it says a lot. I explain a little bit of why I think that in this blog post. Anyway, he recently sent me a little booklet in the mail of handwritten quotes. I’ve been sharing one a day on my Instagram account and am getting appreciative feedback.

quote from Dave


5.

One of my closest friends (whom I told you about last week and who is moving to Austin from Boston!) gifted me her old DSLR. Learning how to use a “fancy camera” has been on my bucket list since high school! It’s been three days since I’ve been teaching myself tiny little things every day. I document the tiny little facts I learned in a new journal I started specifically for this. Needless to say, all the photos taken so far are beyond crappy. But! But, I’m adoring that camera bag I picked from Amazon.

P.S. If you’re a neophyte like me and are interested in learning, the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance is hosting a one day photography camp. Tickets are open to the public starting tomorrow. If you come we can learn together!

My first DSLR and Camera Bag


6.

I’m still basking in the happiness glow of a great Labor Day Weekend in Houston. I really appreciated my Houston friends being open-minded enough to let me lump them all into one lunch date. I had confidence that they would all like each other. This group photo from that lunch makes me happy.

Thanks Thomas for the photo!


7.

This week’s moments of bliss: ♥ being a beginner ♥ spending a long weekend in Houston ♥ short work week ♥ Bob getting over his stomach bug in time to indulge for his 2nd adoption anniversary ♥ fun things on the horizon ♥ sharing Dave’s quotes on instagram ♥ dinner date with coworker ♥ asking nosy questions and getting honest answers ♥ Bob on a treadmill ♥ dark chocolate with orange ♥ mom’s food

Question: What was the last new skill you learned or try to learn?

Friday 7 Quick Takes (vol 143)


1.


It’s the last week of the month which means it’s free topic week over on Totes Awesome Channel!

Youtube Link


2.

I have a few BFFs. Namely Kim whom I went to Paris with and FFB (Friend from Boston). I’ve written about FFB a few times on my blog. We met in high school and have been mostly internet friends after we graduated high school. I visit her sometimes in Boston but we both have often talked about how it’s really sad that most likely our lives will never be lived in the same city again. I love when the universe proves us wrong in a good way. She is moving to Austin and not only is she moving to Austin but she is joining my company! We’ll be about 100 feet away from each other every day! I can’t believe that things are working out this way. In a little over a month, one of my best friends will be in the same city as me for the first time in twelve years!


3.

In my vlog I mentioned that Bob is sick. He has a sensitive stomach. Anything suspect that he swallows that other dogs can ingest gets him stomach sick for an average of two weeks before he’s fully normal. What really helps is giving him a little bit of Pepto. He hates the pink liquid. So I always feel like a cruel torturer when I pry his mouth open and shove a fat straw with Pepto in it and get as much as I can in his mouth during his thrashing. Afterwards, the scene is both grisly and humorous. Bright pink streaks on his coat and violent splatters on the kitchen cabinets and refrigerator. I basically make my dog really hate me in exchange for half a day of settled stomach.


4.

Louis CK talks about a similiar experience with his dog. Except I didn’t punch or kick Bob.


Youtube Link


5.

Also mentioned in the vlog are my long weekend plans! I’m going to Houston and will be bonding with my mom over her coaching me through sewing with her sewing machine. I have a lunch date with a group of friends on Saturday. I’m excited as it’s a group lunch and a few of those friends have met each other. One of my favorite things to do socially is to introduce people to each other. I hope they like each other! And then Sunday, I’m cooking dinner for Kim’s Supper Club, whom I met only once. I’m a little nervous about it but may just make it easier on myself and cook something I make routinely instead of trying a new fancy recipe.


6.

Currently Reading: The Interestings


7.

This week’s moments of bliss: painting date with Anita ♥ going to HOUSTON this weekend ♥ a vulnerable moment on the phone with Treavor while sitting on the balcony ♥ crafting Christmas presents ♥ hilarious lunch conversations across departments at work ♥ cuddling time with Bob the dog ♥ reading ♥ sweet email from my old boss ♥ cloudy skies and window views ♥ going to bed early one night ♥ dark chocolate from Brussels

Question: What are you most excited about doing during this long holiday weekend?

Friday 7 Quick Takes (vol 142)


1.


This week on Totes Awesome Channel, we’re talking about our bad habits.

Youtube Link

I was late to work so I sneaked a quick vlog in.


2.

I’m giving away a gorgeous cookbook that might inspire you to buy all the pretty mugs. Head over to the food blog to throw your name in the hat. It ends Sunday at midnight.


3.

Tonight’s Friday activity is seeing Dave Chappelle and Flight of the Conchords at their Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival. Am excited and also curious about Flight of the Conchords. I’m walking in with little to no knowledge about them.


4.

Tomorrow I’m heading to a hilarious themed 30th birthday party, “Time Machine to 1983, 1993, and 2003″. My old high school classmate is serving chicken nuggets which were invented in 1983, showing Bill Clinton’s Inaugural Speech from 1993, and hosting a Scavenger Hunt for Saddam Hussein’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (2003). She also has strict technology rules quoted below.

Rules: NO smartphones or other “technologies” that did not exist in the year 2003 or earlier (there will be a box at the door). NO evidence of the Time Machine To 1983/1993/2003 may be posted on Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Tumblr, etc., but you CAN write about it on your LiveJournal!! THESE RULES ARE VITAL TO THE INTEGRITY OF MY THEMED BIRTHDAY PARTY SO PLEASE FOLLOW THEM.

But don’t worry. I cleared it with her that I may blog about it!


5.

My friend just bought her first home in Miami. It was also her 30th birthday and I was sitting on some miles. And even though I was hoping to save the miles for Alan and me, it was taking Alan and me so long to decide on a trip that I decided to stop sitting on them and spend half of them to see my friend. I don’t have PTO so it will literally be a day and a half in Miami but I get to be there for her in yet another life milestone. She’s turning 30, just got married, and now bam a home! This will be my third time in Florida so alas it doesn’t fulfill my goal of seeing my last of two new states for 2013. I’m trying to not let my goals run my life.

Miami in 3 weeks!


6.

Currently Reading: Man’s Search for Meaning


7.

This week’s moments of bliss: ♥ burgers, fries, and milkshakes with Suzanna ♥ spending some miles ♥ catch up phone dates ♥ crafting Christmas presents ♥ cooking one of my favorite meals ♥ Blue Jasmine ♥ reading ♥ chocolate ice cream and chocolate croissants ♥ a few touching VEDA vlogs about insecurities ♥ a great informal class bout communcation ♥ actual letters in the actual mail

Question: What is your favorite themed party ever attended?

Friday 7 Quick Takes (vol 141)


1.


This week on Totes Awesome Channel, we’re talking about geeking out.

Youtube Link


2.

It’s mid August already. I plan on using the weekend to review my resolutions and see what I can do to start whittling at my goals again. Also, I’ve been eating pretty badly (think late night fast food and cookies and pizza) so maybe I’ll pop a few vegetables in my mouth and take a walk or two around the block.


3.

Harry Potter

I have a serious mental block with fantasy and wizardry and dragons and magic. For years I’ve had friends try to get me to read Harry Potter to me and I stubbornly resisted. After working me for a long time, Ashley influenced me to finally give Harry Potter a shot. (See last week’s Weekly Takes for her persuasion secrets). I started last week and finished late last night. Try 2:30 am on a work night! And I liked it! I might even read the second book after a short break.


4.

I dabble in a lot of hobbies. I bought a bunch of yarn and knitting needles and only made one scarf before I boxed up my bulk supplies. Then I made two half scrapbooks and boxed up all the fancy paper and prebound scrapbooks I bought. I wanted to make coasters and made four janky ones then stuck the huge bag of ceramic tiles in my drawer. Do you see a pattern?

In a couple of weeks, Anita and I have a painting date scheduled. We were trolling instagram and saw some beautiful DIY painting projects and were inspired to try our hand at painting.

Today I bought seventeen canvases. SEVENTEEN. Because Michaels had a sale and I am a creature of habit.


5.

funky wall

I had dinner with Treavor and Anita just behind this funky wall.


6.

Currently Reading: Potty Mouth at the Table

Sometimes I find a book recommendation somewhere and then I immediately put it on hold at the library. Then when it finally is my turn in line to read the book, I have no recollection what the book is about or why I put it on hold. This is one of those books! I technically haven’t started it but it’s my next in line.


7.

This week’s moments of bliss: ♥ burgers, fries, and milkshakes with old coworkers ♥ Treavor swinging into Austin ♥ catch up phone dates ♥ noodles ♥ cookbook book club ♥ noodles ♥ chips and queso for dinner while reading ♥ a long walk with Bob ♥ morning wake up cuddles from Bob ♥ getting carried away ♥ actual letters in the actual mail

Question: What was the last scary thing you did?

Friday 7 Quick Takes (vol 140)


1.

This week on Totes Awesome Channel, we’re chatting about how we keep ourselves organized.


Youtube Link


2.

I’m just going to leave this photo of Bob the dog here.


3.

Kim and I started to brainstorm about our next international adventure together. We’re thinking Argentina! We have our eyes set on South America for a few reasons. We’ve never been to that continent and PTO is so limited with our other trips (not together). Extended weekends in South America is much more doable than Europe and obviously Asia. I’m also saving a particular area of Asia. My oldest travel dream is to do Vietnam with my parents when they’re finally ready to retire. I vlogged about that today for VEDA.


4.

Currently Reading: I’m five pages into Harry Potter, Book 1

If you know my reading taste at all, you would know that reading Harry Potter was something I never ever thought I’d do. For years my best friend in Boston had given up on influencing me to read HP. I just had such a strong bias against magic and fantasy. Well Ashley Riordan has gotten under my skin and finally compelled me to check it out from the library. I inquired about her persuasion technique and her response was perfect. Refer to next take!


5.

Ashley’s Secret Sauce Recipe For Persuasion

Step 1: Mention the thing often over an extended period of time, connecting it to things that you know the person cares about. Don’t act like you’ll die if they aren’t persuaded. Make them think it was their idea.

Step 2: Celebrate briefly when you have been successful, and then back off and let the person experience that thing on their own.

Step 3: If they enjoy the thing, just be excited about it with them. Refrain from saying, “No duhhh!” If they don’t like it, judge them quietly and reconsider the friendship.


6.

This weekend I am instagramming a farmer’s market for Texas Farmers Market. I’m loving this weekly hour long gig mostly because it gets me up early in the morning on a Saturday and because I love Instagram. Then having lunch with old coworkers on Saturday at my favorite burger joint and Sunday we’re having our third Cookbook Book Club potluck. We chose Smitten Kitchen Cookbook!


7.

This week’s moments of bliss: feasting with a girlfriend ♥ Alan making us a delicious dinner, his first time cooking dinner! ♥ presents in the mail ♥ this email thread ♥ leaving work on time today (last week I left at 7:30) ♥ phone call with Naz and a pretty blue box in the mail from her ♥ annoying Bob the dog by blowing bubbles in his face ♥ reading on the couch while Alan made dinner ♥ morning cuddles with Bob ♥ so much Tex-Mex ♥ homemade tomato soup

Question: What do you have planned this weekend?

Friday 7 Quick Takes (vol 139)


1.

It’s the last week of the month which means free topic week on Totes Awesome Channel!


Youtube Link

I talk about turning 30 and being stupid with my loved ones.


2.

I usually have my Friday post uploaded the first half of the day on Fridays but am only now just starting at 9:15 pm. It’s been a busy week both outside of work and at work. I got home from work at 8:30!


3.

VEDA (Vlog Every Day in August) has started! It’s exciting and this is my fourth year. It feels like what I imagine summer camp would feel like. You see a lot of old faces every day for a month in August and meet new friends! I plan on posting weekly recaps with videos. If you’re active on Youtube, you can follow my personal channel to keep up more regularly.


4.

As of today, I’ve met my personal goal of paying down $4,500 of my student loan. Which means I’ve paid down more than double what I paid down in 2012! I’m so proud of myself and more motivated to keep on keeping on. I was planning on abandoning my retirement resolution of $2,000 and just keep going with the loans. However, I read somewhere recently about how much money you should have save for retirement by the time you’re thirty (I’m not used to owning that number as an age), and I wasn’t even near the low end of the range.

So the new goal is to only pay the minimum amount of my student loans every month and put all the excess towards a Roth IRA. Finally. My Roth IRA will get some attention for the first time in years.


5.


Currently Reading: Dark Places

Still on a mystery murder kick.


6.


I felt very loved this week. My friendships are the most cherished things in my life and this week I was reminded of how lucky I am. Even days after my birthday on Sunday, checking the mail was such a fun adventure in sweet letters, beautiful care packages, and hilariously themed boxes. I wish I could just win the lottery and scoop up my people and go somewhere awesome.

birthday package

This week’s moments of bliss: ♥ department team lunch to get to know new hire ♥ sending my Boston friend’s resume to my company and hoping for having her closer ♥ funny ball themed gift box from Jennifer (it’s so funny and clever, I’ll post it on Wednesday as a Wordless post) ♥ birthday lunch with coworkers who are basically more than coworkers ♥ reading ♥ rare affection from Bob the dog ♥ date night with Anita! ♥ catch up phone calls ♥ balls potluck ♥ sushi happy hours ♥ getting help at work from programers

Question: How do you feel about your retirement fund?

Friday 7 Quick Takes (vol 138)


1.

This week on Totes Awesome Channel, we’re chatting about travel.


Youtube Link


2.

Ashley Riordan was stressed. And she was emailing me about how her shoulders were hunched and her eye was twitching and it made her feel like T-Rex. She also said something about eating popcorn. It gave me such a strong visual that I drew her as T-Rex. During the next two days, I’ve continued drawing her as T-Rex. I think 3 days in a row of doodles means I have inadvertently started a daily comic strip on Instagram about Ashley the T-Rex. I’m toying with posting the strip on weekends on the blog so perhaps tomorrow you’ll see more of her story. It’s riveting.


3.

The charity event I helped plan with the philanthropy committee of Austin Food Bloggers Alliance was last Friday and it went well! I was worried about having a successful event and it was a success! We raised more than we did last year. The final numbers are not figured yet as we are still closing out our silent auction. More photos posted on the food blog.


4.


August is around the corner which means VEDA is around the corner. VEDA stands for Vlog Every Day in August. Anyone can join us!

What does joining VEDA entail?

  1. You sign up for a Youtube account. Chances are you already have one if you have a Gmail account.
  2. Then you register for VEDA.
  3. When the memberlist is published, add everyone to your subscriptions list.
  4. Upload a video every day. There will be a calendar of suggested topics.
  5. Watch the videos of others doing VEDA and comment.

Why would you want to do this? It’s nice to have a video archive of your life to look back on. You’ll meet wonderful like-minded people. Some of my closest friends today are friends I met on Youtube. Seriously, we take trips together even! Lastly, it’s really addicting just to make things. If you take the leap, shoot me a comment or email! I’d love to follow along.


5.


Currently Reading: Sharp Objects

I’m on a mystery/thriller kick.


6.


I’m turning the big 30 in two days. Am trying to focus on having a ball instead of fretting over societal conventions.

7.

This week’s moments of bliss: ♥ lunches with coworkers both from current job and previous jobs ♥ caught up on Pretty Little Liars which means I get my freedom back ♥ sweet cards from my parents in the mail ♥ doodling funny looking dinosaurs in my work notebook ♥ catching up with this season’s Dexter (I swear I’m not a couch potato) ♥ increased food blogging frequency this week ♥ pink roses ♥ Bob the dog surviving eating chicken bones from the trash ♥ inappropriate emails with girlfriends ♥ the word “balls” ♥ the night I had juicy beef ribs and mashed potatoes that I made myself for dinner while reading a mystery titled, The Dinner

Question: What kind of adventure should Ashley the T-Rex go on?

Friday 7 Quick Takes (vol 137)


1.

This week on Totes Awesome Channel, we’re talking about VEDA (Vlogging Every Day in August). Starts soon!


Youtube Link

P.S. I never watch proof my videos when I upload them to Youtube but maybe I should start.


2.


Coming up with 7 takes this week will be a bit of a challenge. I spent most of my free time organizing a silent auction for Cupcakes & Cocktails. The cocktail reception is tonight and we’re raising money for The Arc of Capital Area. If you’re in the Austin area and would like to mingle with locals with cocktail inspired cupcakes and cupcake inspired cocktails, please come! Ticket sales have ended online but we’re still selling at the door.

Event Details:
Location: LE CORDON BLEU, 3100 Esperanza Crossing #100, 866/337-9293
Time: 6-9
Ticket price: $35

If that doesn’t convince you to go, take a look at one of the cupcakes being served by Blue Note Bakery.

They are called shot poppers. For obvious reasons.


3.

I’m dogsitting for a friend of mine and her dog lets me cuddle her for as long as I want, which is something Bob doesn’t let me do much. I wish I could keep her for just a little bit longer. Here’s a video of them playing catch.


4.

Earlier this week I found a wallet in a parking lot. I saw that the address was an apartment address in Austin and had a hunch it may not be a current address. Austinites move pretty often if they’re renting. So I tracked her down on Facebook. Less than 24 hours later, she reunited with her wallet! As much as Facebook can be noisy, I really love it for things like this. The second thing I have to say about this is, I wasn’t expecting a reward as it was no skin off my back getting her wallet to her. She met me at my work and I didn’t even have to drive to her. But yet she gave me a hand written thank you note with a reward. It was very sweet of her to do. I wish though that returning wallets aren’t something we’re so surprised by.


5.

An exboyfriend I haven’t talked to in eight years tried to add me on LinkedIn this week. This isn’t something I’d normally share on my blog but coming up with 7 takes when the only thing notable things I did this week was eat with friends and work on a silent auction is really difficult!

We dated for four years and it ended badly. Just seeing his name in my email was kind of surreal. I went so long pretending he didn’t exist that it’s jarring when I bump into evidence that he still does!


6.

What I’m Looking Forward to This Weekend:

Lots of couch time catching up on this season’s Pretty Little Liars, cleaning, laundry, cooking, and a reading date with Anita


7.

This week’s moments of bliss: ♥ lunch with old coworker ♥ puppy snuggles ♥ personally designed post card by Ashley in the mail ♥ trying out Qui with girlfriends ♥ Pretty Little Liars ♥ picking more books than I can read at the library ♥ learning a new skill, shrink wrapping gift baskets ♥ noodles ♥ emails with Ashley ♥ pictures of Ryan Gosling eating good food ♥ rain in dry Austin

Question: Do you keep in contact with your exes?

Friday 7 Quick Takes (vol 136)


1.

This week on Totes Awesome Channel, we’re chatting about small talk. I actually love small talk but I’m not sure if I’m any good at it! Regardless, I never shy away from an opportunity to talk to people.


Youtube Link


2.

I got back from Portland and World Domination Summit late Monday night with Anita and plan on writing at least two recaps. It was an amazing weekend that included breaking a world record and prancerising with Treavor. He came down from Seattle with my college mate, Jennifer and we had a lot of fun being kids together. More on that next week! For now, here’s the World Float video.


3.

I’m acting as silent auction chair for Austin Food Bloggers Alliance’s charity event, Cupcakes and Cocktails. I had never done anything like this before so it was kind of a culture shock how much of a pest I had to be and how much energy and time it takes to wrangle items. My free time has been devoted to picking up items, following up with commitments, and uh, episodes of Pretty Little Liars. (I just discovered this show a couple of weeks ago after Ashley D vlogged about it on Totes Awesome Channel.)

So if you’re in Austin and would like to contribute to a great cause, come to Cupcakes and Cocktails next weekend. Tickets are only $35 and all proceeds from ticket sales and silent auction will go to The Arc of Capital Area, a local nonprofit who work with the intellectually and developmentally challenged. It’ll be on July 19th, Friday, 6pm -9pm at Le Cordon Bleu. You can bid on these little guys too.


Read more about them here.


4.


Something I tweeted:


It’s true and sweet Anita offered to host this pot luck.


5.


I’ve been showing this photo of Bob to everyone.


6.

Currently reading:
Man’s Search for Meaning
I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp

Two very very different books.

What are you reading these days?


7.

This week’s moments of bliss: ♥ scratching off a state in my 50 states goal ♥ prancerising with friends ♥ visiting the animals at Oregon Zoo ♥ really really delicious ice cream ♥ a delicious and fun night at Kenichi’s sake media event ♥ punching the air randomly while walking down the street with friends ♥ live emailing Ashley D my reactions to Season 2 of Pretty Little Liars ♥ late night browsing Powell’s Books after a dance party in Portland ♥ Alan and I had date night at the grocery store this week ♥ surprising my mom with a delivery for her birthday ♥ I ate a lot of noodles this week

Question: What is something you want to learn more about?

Friday 7 Quick Takes (vol 135)


1.

It’s the last week of the month, which means free topic week over at Totes Awesome Channel!


Youtube Link


2.

Want to hear a gross story?

I have a set of purple of earphones that I use at work. It’s missing one ear piece but that’s okay because I only wear one at a time anyway. It’s always plugged into my work computer. I came in one morning and noticed that my earphones were missing. What made it even more peculiar was that there was another set of black earphones left on my desk. It had both ear pieces and was definitely not a new pair. I was a little creeped out. I thought perhaps someone saw my broken ones and did a very nice thing by giving me working ones. But who pays that close attention to earphones? And I was attached to my purple dilapidated ones! I asked around but no one knew anything and I stopped asking around just in case I end up offending someone who was maybe trying to be nice.

For the rest of the day, it remained a mystery until a friend who works at a different corner of our office called me. She took me to someone’s office and pointed to broken purple earphones and asked me if they belonged to me. Stunned, I asked how she found them. She said someone told her that his boss was complaining that he thought someone was stealing earphones and replacing them with broken ones. I loved the contrast in our stories. He was complaining that someone replaced his perfect pair with broken ones and I puzzled over someone taking my broken ones and giving me perfect ones.

We hypothesized that our cleaning crew were borrowing earphones and then inadvertently switched two of them.

Disgusting right?

Another friend was horrified enough for me that she got me a new pair. I leave the original broken ones on my desk as a decoy. Also, I now call the guy who had his switched with mine, my ear bud.


3.

When I read Ernest Hemingway’s Moveable Feast, Ashley and I giggled over the fact that he had his cat babysit his son and called the crib a cage. Want to see me in a cage?


4.

This time next week, I’ll be in Portland for World Domination Summit! My traveling mate is out gallivanting in Spain right now but I can’t wait for her get back to discuss our exploring. And eating. My stomach is literally growling as I type this.


5.

My sister was an entire month early with my birthday presents. I can’t believe just two years ago I didn’t know her last name or where she lived or how to get in touch with her and now we regularly keep in touch! I’ve never expected to be in touch with her again. Our current relationship has been such a surprising source of gratitude in my life.


6.

Currently reading: Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West

I actually finished this book this morning before going to work. I could not put it down. I’m striving to be a more informed world citizen and though this was a painful read, I’m glad I read it.

What are you reading these days?


7.

This week’s moments of bliss: peonieslast weekend full of celebratory festivities girl’s dinner trying out a new to us restaurant ♥ birthday presents from my sister ♥ not being able to put a book down ♥ DOMA ruled unconstitutional ♥ Wendy Davis ♥ tried delicious, new, and fast weekday recipe ♥ getting to know my new desk mates ♥ getting to know coworkers who work in different departments over lunch time discussions ♥ the ability to stay connected with my long distance friends through email

Question: What is something you want to learn more about?