Tag: Totes Awesome Channel

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?

Friday 7 Quick Takes (vol 133)


1.

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


Youtube Link


2.

I’m feeling more like my happy self since these two posts.


3.

Want to see me as a little person?


4.


I’m posting more regularly on the food blog in comparison to last year. This week I cranked out two posts, both pizza related!


The Day I Tried 16 Pizzas


Umami Mia Pizzeria


5.

This weekend Kimmy is coming up to Austin to celebrate her friend’s birthday. Alan is having a friend stay over tomorrow night. I plan on crashing Kim’s friend’s birthday festivities, socializing a bit with Alan’s friend, and hanging out with my little from Big Brothers and Big Sisters for the first time in two months. Also, get as much work as I can get done for a silent auction I’m helping with, cleaning, and meal planning. I feel so behind on most of my obligations!


6.

Currently reading: Letters to a Young Poet

“There is here no measuring with time, no year matters, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means, not reckoning and counting, but ripening like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of spring without the fear that after them may come no summer. It does come. But it comes only to the patient, who are there as though eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly still and wide. I learn it daily, learn it with pain to which I am grateful: patience is everything!”


7.

This week’s moments of bliss: peonies ♥ happy hour at work ♥ work lunch with my department and a couple of other people from other departments ♥ media tasting at a barbecue trailer ♥ sweet and touching email from someone who read an old food blog post I wrote in 2010 ♥ finishing a book in less than two days ♥ less than two weeks away from Fourth of July in Portland! ♥ friends reaching momentous milestones ♥ small talk with the librarian ♥ last weekend spent in Houston with family and friends ♥ emails from my sister

Question: What are you happy about?

Friday 7 Quick Takes (vol 132)


1.

It’s the last week of the month which means it’s free topic week at Totes Awesome Channel! However, I missed out on last week’s. I thought it was free week so Kim and I recorded free topic week while at the airport in Istanbul but wireless on the plane was too splotchy to upload. Last week’s topic was actually to talk about Totes Awesome Channel in celebration of our two year anniversary. So today, I present to you last week’s vlog and this week’s vlog topic combined.


Youtube Link


2.


One of my oldest friends got married last weekend. It was quite a whirlwind. As soon as I got off the plane from Europe, I was rushing to go celebrate with her. I read somewhere that the average friendship lasts about 7 years. This one here has spanned a good fifteen years. I love that as I reflect on her life, I can remember her learning how to drive as a teenager and now she’s married! God willing, if we remain friends for another fifteen years, I cannot wait to see what other milestones I will have the honor of witnessing as her friend.

Also, this may the first time I’ll be able to wear a bridesmaid dress again. Ha!


3.

More about Paris and Amsterdam next week!


4.

It took us almost a year to plan and save for Paris and Amsterdam. Now that that’s done and over with, I’m feeling a little lost without an audacious goal. Currently I’m using my restless energy to tackle my student debt. At the beginning of this year I had a little over $19,000 and am currently sitting at just under $17,000. I’m halfway towards this year’s goal of paying down $4,500 but my audacious goal is to pay it all off as soon as possible.


5.


Currently reading: War World Z

I never thought I’d read a zombie book!


6.

A lot of my reading list I get from Ashley. She told me about Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck. I read it while I was in Paris and I enjoyed it so much. I have highlights in my Kindle version that I plan on moving to a blog post or my reading journal, but here’s a passage I highlighted.

For I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten too much or not at all, slept around the clock or missed two nights of sleeping, worked too hard and too long in glory, or slobbed for a time in utter laziness. I’ve lifted, pulled, chopped, climbed, made love with joy and taken my hangovers as consequence, not as punishment. I did not want to surrender fierceness for a small gain in yardage.


7.

This week’s moments of bliss: ♥ impromptu Fast 6 date with Alan ♥ I’m back in Texas! Back in my bed! Back with my dude and pup! ♥ a phone date that happens once a year happened ♥ making extra payments towards student debt ♥ brand new desk at work ♥ staying connected ♥ eating lunch with mom ♥ filling up my calendar with girl dates ♥ catching up on Mad Men ♥ noodles ♥ puppy cuddles

Question: What’s your next big adventure?

Friday 7 Quick Takes (vol 131)


1.

This week on Totes Awesome Channel, we talk about our obsessions.


Youtube Link


2.


I vlogged about being worried about pick pockets to the point of obsession. Since recording that vlog, I rearranged my wardrobe so that it could hide a money pouch underneath my clothes. I feel a little better about the pickpocket prevention since I recorded the vlog! But…


3.

I found a new obsession to be anxious about regarding our trip to Paris which is in FOUR days. We made a reservation for our first five nights in Paris through Airbnb. I tried to confirm the stay with the person we booked with but she hasn’t be in touch after three emails. This makes me worry! I called Airbnb today and they are going to try to get a hold of her. If they cannot by the end of the weekend, we’ll have to find somewhere else. Come on lady! Contact me and save us some stress!


4.

Weekend To Do List

  • Pack for Europe
  • Pack for friend’s wedding weekend after Europe
  • Write wedding toast
  • Schedule two more blog posts (guest posts)
  • Buy mom Mother’s Day present
  • Spend some quality time with Alan and Bob
  • Complete as many tasks as I can for a philanthropy event by Austin Food Bloggers Alliance.


5.

I’m taking off on Tuesday and will have limited internet access until I get back to Austin after Memorial day. I have at least three great guest blog posts centered around traveling that will post while I’m gone. Check in to see! The first one goes live on Wednesday.


6.

I’ve been experimenting with plating my food. This meat and potatoes plate for last night’s dinner may be my favorite.


7.

This week’s moments of bliss: ♥ impromptu Iron Man 3 date with Alan ♥ Double Chocolate Chunk Rice Krispy Treats ♥ Paris being FOUR days away ♥ Bob’s skip-pounce-run ♥ workday lunch date with Jamie ♥ emails with Ashley ♥ getting better connected with BFF (we were in a communication slump for a while) ♥ pretty lightening storms ♥ finally opening that jar of duck fat ♥ phone calls with mom and dad ♥ late night nachos on a work night

Question: What are you currently obsessed with?

Friday 7 Quick Takes (vol 130)


1.

This week on Totes Awesome Channel, we talk about the best piece of advice we have been given.


Youtube Link


2.

In the last couple of weeks, I saw two movies I loved so much.

The first one was Place Beyond the Pines. I’m not recommending this movie just because I’m a Ryan Gosling obsessed fan either! I just loved how the story unfolded and thought it was beautifully filmed. If you go see it, email me; I’d love to talk about it with you!


Youtube Link


3.

The second movie was Perks of Being a Wallflower. I read the book in high school and it was one of my favorite books for years. The writer directed the movie and I love it when the writers directs the movie adaptations. They are there to protect their interpretation of the original story! I dare you not to be charmed and moved by this movie.


Youtube Link


4.

Currently reading: Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In


5.

Bob is battling a nasty stomach bug. He’s getting better but I am nervous feeding him solids again! This photo was taken before he got sick. I promise I don’t torture my pup when he’s down and out.


6.

I’m planning another compilation video similar to this one.

If you’re interested in submitting a clip, send me an email.


7.

This week’s moments of bliss: ♥ Perks of Being a Wallflower date with Anita ♥ fun admin lunch ♥ spontaneous lunch date with Nam ♥ 18 days till Paris! ♥ returned a lost dog ♥ took myself out of the house to read and eat by myself ♥ dinner with Anita & Alan motorcycle stunts ♥ being better about staying in touch with BFF ♥ long overdue phone date with BDF ♥ chats with my sister

Question: What was the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Friday 7 Quick Takes (vol 129)


1.

This week on Totes Awesome Channel, we talk about our favorite shows.



Youtube Link


2.

Today marks 5 years with my little from Big Brothers & Big Sisters of America. I wrote about our first date here.

We are celebrating by going to the motorcycle races at Circuit of the Americas. It’s an awesome opportunity afforded to us by luck of the draw and a generous donation to Big Brothers & Big Sisters. I look at photos of her when she was eight and I can’t believe how much she’s grown. At 13 she can pass for much older! (Which is kind of scary to me.) Here’s to another five years!


3.



Speaking of five year anniversaries, Alan and I finally properly celebrated ours which was last month. I wanted to check out The Elephant Room in Austin. It’s been around the whole time I’ve lived in Austin which is 12 years now, and I have yet to experience the jazz scene there. We were going to go to celebrate in a timely manner but SXSW made it complicated so hence the delay. I’ve never listened to live jazz. It’s even more soulful and sexy live.


4.

I love Bob’s body language in this one. His paws make him look freaked out.


5.


If there was a theme this week in food it was bacon. I had lunch with a coworker while running errands. Beer & Bacon Ramen. Nuts right? Then I saw our bacon was going to go bad soon so I cooked up all 8 slices. I used the bacon grease to make my own croutons! I’ve never made my own croutons before but what a genius way not to waste stale bread!


6.

We’re 25 days out from leaving for Paris! I have been declining a lot of friend dates and dinner dates in an attempt to save up all my pennies. It makes me feel like a downer but the exchange rate and pricing over there is steeper than here! How soon is too soon to start packing?


7.

This week’s moments of bliss: ♥ jazz club date with Alan ♥ beer bacon ramen ♥ beer grease croutons ♥ banana nutella cupcakes from my favorite cupcakery ♥ Boston loved ones are safe and their loved ones are safe ♥ 5 years with the little ♥ Kim and I exchanging everything we see about Paris ♥ good vegetarian nightthe comments on my last blog post ♥ finally getting to level 3 of Jillian Michaels ♥ conversations with dad during rush hour

Question: What shows do you watch?