Sunday, July 29, 2012


The second week of InstaSunday!


The stray cats that refuge at my house.  :)  They get fed daily.

My Lola asleep on my bed.

GPOY. Finally had a good curly hair day!  The next day, my hair got fuzzy, and I realized that I need a hair cut.

Nail color for the moment. Pink glitter!

Paul and I made s'mores the other night over the stove.  :)

Our Trust Snape stickers from 2007 when we reserved our copies of The Deathly Hallows.  :)

I was watching Olympic Gymnastics on NBC's online live feed and found my crayons. My artistic skills are certainly something to be jealous about.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


I know a lot of people participate in InstaFriday, but I find Sunday a better time to show of highlights of my week via Instagram.

I'll do this every Sunday, I think, to make sure I always have at least one thing to post per week.  :)

If you have Instagram, feel free to follow: @alma_dear

My three little loves watching my dad get out of the vehicle :)
My Lola is on the right, and the family dogs Bubbles and Candy.  :)

Lola at Petsmart looking at all the toys I can't afford.

The best lip balm EVER. my lips were dry and hurting for about a week, and 1 day with this stuff made them go back to normal!

Stuck at the train.

My Lola!!

Does anyone else eat their milkshakes with french fries?
Whataburger fires are awesome.

I just love how my engagement ring shimmers in the sunlight. :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I just have a lot of feelings right now! A very Potter post.

I saw posted on Tumblr that today marks 5 years since the release of the final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Allow me a moment to cry and remember how awesome it felt to finally hold the ending of this amazing series in my hands at approximately 2am (long line!) 5 years ago...

About a year ago while in seated in the movie theater for the screening of the final Potter movie with my friends, we all decided to write in a shared journal what Harry Potter has meant to us.  I've decided to type out the entry I wrote to share with you all.

My amazing friends, Jaime and Jeanne, and fiancee Paul sporting our TOTALLY AWESOME Starkid shirts at the Deathly Hallows part 2 premiere.  

Prepare for a sappy story.

The first time I heard about Harry potter, I scoffed and said "PFFT! WHo is going to read about a boy who can do magic?!"

I wrote it off before giving it a chance. I was 14 or 15 years old...I thought myself as "too old" to like such childish things. (What an idiot i was!)

Then on Thanksgiving Day in 2001, my parents wanted to go watch a movie, and out of curiosity due to reviews, I said "let's see this Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone movie."

From that day on, I was under Harry's spell.

That weekend, I managed to get my hands on a copy of the first book...and upon finishing got the next two books. The Goblet of Fire was already out by then, but I had to save up my pennies for it since I was expensive!

I became a dedicated fan from that day forth. I read the books over and over, and faithfully saw each movie upon release.  As I got older, I started attending the midnight book and movie releases.  I was - and still am- amazed by how many Harry potter fans there are. This story unites us together. This story makes us family. Whether you are part of Dumbledore's Army or Voldemort's Death Eaters - we are all in this together.

And now, a little over a decade after my introduction to this magical world, it is coming to an end.  But not a true end!

From the books on my shelf, to the DVDs on the rack, and to the tattoos of the Potter book stars in my shoulders, Harry will always be a part of my life. When I have children, they will know Harry's name. 

Above all, Harry Potter taught us many lessons that I know I will carry with me in my life:
          1) Doing what is right over what is easy is always the way to go;
          2) It does not do well to dwell in dreams and forget to live;
          3) Always sort out your priorities;
          4) Never wander into the forbidden forest unless once wishes to die a most painful death;
          5) Love is powerful;
          6) We all have something worth living for;
          7) Magic is real if you believe in it.

No words will ever truly express how much I love this series, or how I fell in love with this fictional world and characters. I think Severus Snape summed it up best when he said to Lilly Potter "it's real for us."

I solemnly swear to carry this story with me for the rest of my life.

When I am old and gray, sitting a chair and reading a tattered copy of HP, someone will ask me "you still read those every summer after all this time?"

And my response?  "Always."

See? that was sap-tastic.  But whatever, I love Harry Potter through and through!

As JK Rowling said, "Hogwarts will always be there to welcome us home." 
Thank you JK Rowling. Through your brilliant story and your fantastic characters,  you’ve made the world a better place by showing us that love and goodness will always conquer evil.

WEDDING BLOG! Please follow! :)

As mentioned in a previous post, Paul and I decided to make a blog specifically geared toward wedding planning and budgeting.

So if you want to keep up with us and see what we do, follow!!

We're gonna post our ideas, DIY projects (when we get to tehm) and any budget tips we come up with.

Go follow!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Backstreet Boys, OMG! An appreciation post.

I'm going to be 26 in August (oh dear, I'm old), and every time I hear or see the Backstreet Boys, it's like I'm 12 again.

Gosh, these boys were my life in middle school!
Seriously, I love these boys.
I still have all my original CDs from the 90s and purchased all the recent ones - even the ones without Kevin - just to support them. 

My walls were littered with BSB posters when i was a kid. All four walls, behind my door, part of the ceiling (until my mom had me take those down)...everywhere.  I would get issues upon issues of Teen Beat, Tiger Beat, Bop, and whatever other teen magazine just to get the posters and fangirl over them.

This was me fangirling at 12 years old. I'm sure it look very much like this. 

The recent news that Kevin is BACK in the group was just mind blowing to me.  And - omg - they are making a new album together! All on the eve of their 20th anniversary of being a group!  My heart, and the 12 year old girl in me are just overjoyed!

From the Backstreet Boys Instagram (@backstreetboys) account.

(what, you didn't know Kevin was back and that a new album is in the works? READ NOW!)

And now the boys will be getting a star on the Hollywood walk of fame! 


What makes me happy is seeing how much love and support BSB gets from their fans. Fans like myself who just love them since puberty, new fans who are just now discovering's amazing.

I saw their Good Morning America interview on July 17 (watch) and to see the news reporters dance and get GIDDY after the boys sing I Want It That Way is just so heart warming.  it shows that once you're a Backstreet Boys fan, you're always a fan!


This will be us one day, guys.  This will be us.

Why did I wait so long to watch Game of Thrones?

Because I'm an idiot, that's why!

About 3 weeks ago, i started watching the series, and finally finished it up yesterday. I loved it.

If you don't know what Game of Thrones is, go watch it. Seriously.  HBO has the episodes on their site, or you can view them elsewhere.  Just watch it.

Back story in case you need it:
Game of Thrones is an American medieval fantasy television series created for HBO. It is an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin's series of fantasy novels, the first of which is titled A Game of Thrones.  Set in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, Game of Thrones chronicles the violent dynastic struggles among the kingdom's noble families for control of the Iron Throne; as the series opens, additional threats from the snow and ice covered region north of Westeros and from the eastern continent, Essos, across a narrow sea are simultaneously beginning to rise.  [x]

I've always had a fascination for medieval age fantasy, so the show sucked me in immediately.  Add in two awesome characters to root for, and BAM! I'm hooked!

Arya Stark
 I have an immense love for the characters Arya Stark and Jon Snow.  

Little Arya is a bad ass little girl who does not want to grow up and be princess or queen like her sister, Sansa, does.  She wants to be free to do what she wants and learn to sword fight.  She is just what every little girl should aspire to be: herself.

and Jon...well he is a bit of eye-candy, no?  I love how noble he is to the Stark family. He is a Stark through-and-through. 

Jon Snow

I'm also a member of the I Hate Joffery Fan Club.  This boy is a selfish brat who has no right to the iron throne!

 I hope someone axes his head in Season 3 or I will be sooooo angry!  (I haven't read the books...does he die, or at the very least lose the throne?!)  His evilness just burns me from the inside.  But the fact that he is such a mama's boy amuses me. 

This wasn't much of an informative post. I realize that.  I guess I just needed to publicly announce that I an now a GoT fan.  :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pre-wedding planning and wedding talk.

So I will eventually be making a separate blog for Wedding planning as to not bombard my personal blog with DIY projects and centerpiece ideas. :) 
But for now, I can mention it a couple times on here, right?

Paul and I have been engaged for approximately 2 weeks, and we already have a couple questions that everyone - EVERYONE - likes to bug us with:

  1. "So when is the wedding?"
    Guys it's been 2 weeks. Give us time to enjoy this engagement without stressing over details for a while.  It's gonna be non-stop wedding for a few months when we finally set a date, so SHHH for now!  When it happens, you'll know!

  2. "So, who's taking you're photos? haha!"
    This one has been asked so many times, i can't even count it anymore.  Since Paul and I photograph weddings professionally, people think it's clever and funny to ask us this question.  At first, it was funny...but then it got annoying. 
    People have been asking this one since 2009 when we started photographing in 3 years, it's gotten old! 

    I still get a kick out of the facial expressions people make when they ask this, though.  Kind of like the bad joke eel:

However, I know these questions will soon come to an end once we set a date and find a photographer.  But until then, i think this sums up my feelings on these two questions:

Aside from that, Paul and I have begun preliminary discussions for that big day.  We've devised a guest list - which is longer than we initially thought (206 people. what? why!?) and have talked venues.

We are hoping to do this wedding for under $6,000.  With the inspiration from the lovely Sebrina from this blog who was budgeted at $5,000 and went just a  tad over, we know we can do this for that amount! 
I plan on blogging all about the ways we keep it under budget, hence the separate blog i will  be making soon, to stay motivated and to hopefully motivate others to do the same!

Which brings me to my next topic: dresses!

Paul already knows that I was a blush colored dress.  Blush is essentially a light pink. I find those dresses beautiful!  I was inspired by Reese Witherspoon's pink dress from her recent wedding.

Someone asked me on facebook the other day "why did you tell him the dress color?"
Paul was made aware of the dress color choice just because I wanted to make sure he would be okay with me breaking the white dress tradition.  And yes..he's fine with it.  :)

My mom and his mom on the other hand? I'm not sure.  I haven't brought it up to them yet.  They are both sticklers for tradition, so I'm sure that will be a FUN conversation one of these days.

But even if they hate it...i will still go with it.  It would make me happy to have something so unique.  And besides, i'll be the one wearing it, right?!
I photograph too many weddings with the traditional white ball gowns, and that fantasy for a princess dress is just not there for me anymore.  I want to feel comfortable that day, and just be myself. 

I'm sure this isn't the only wedding post I'll make on my personal blog. 
But i'll try to keep it to a minimum here and make the wedding blog soon! 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

It's the little things...

...that show you are awesomely compatible the Fiancee and I are.

In case you haven't realized from a couple past posts, I love making lists. 

*SPOILER ALERT* this is a lovey-dovey post!

My Top 8 Reasons on Why Paul is Awesome

Paul and I taking advantage of a photobooth at a wedding we photographed. :)

  1. He will kill spiders for me.
    There was a jumping spider on his wall today, which apparently has been hanging out for a couple days, that I totally freaked out on. Because spiders scare the living daylights out of me. 

    After some squealing on my part, he took care of the situation. My hero!

    This wasn't the only time Paul has saved me from spiders!  He has a long track list of getting rid of Wolf Spiders for me. If you all have seen a Wold Spider..those bitches are huge, scary, and possibly death itself.   It's good to know I will always have my spider bodyguard!

  2. I can eat in front of him.
    I don't need to order salads at the Pizzeria. I don't need to tone it down and eat half my meal and claim it's too much. I don't need to skip dessert!  I can eat in front of him and I love it!  Nothing says love like eating a whole large pizza together during a stay-in movie night.

  3. He is Lola's daddy!
    Long time readers now about Lola.  If not, go see her story here!  He is a great dad to Lola! She associates the word "daddy" with Paul, so it's great.

    Paul and I with Lola at the beach :)
  4. He supports me and my dreams.
    You can't ask for more on this one. He has been supporting me since the day I decided i wanted to pursue Photography back in 2009.  Since then, he's given up several weekends to shoot weddings with me, or do portrait sessions. He even invested in a nice camera to help out! He doesn't need to do any of it..but he does.

    Without him, I'm sure my photography business would've never worked out...but it's growing. And I have him to thank for it.  <3

  5. He is as big as a nerd as I am.
    We are nerds. Huge nerds.  Techie and Harry Potter nerds. I love it.  We both have a serious love for fonts and typography.  We love going to tech stores to look at new technology we can't afford and compare them to each other.   it's fun!

  6. He is teaching me how to swim.
    I CAN'T SWIM, Y'ALL!  I never learned how as a child.  But every time we get in a pool, which isn't often, he makes the effort to teach me!  I can doggy paddle now! And I can move forward! It's getting better! 
    I will still use life jackets when in open water though.  Not ready for open water!

    Paul and I out in Lake Austin.  I'm holding on to him for dear life.

  7. He likes that I have an opinion.
    I don't have to shut my mouth and act like nothing bothers me. 
    I'm not confrontational, but I like to speak my mind...and he encourages it. 
    Not many girls I know can say that about their other halves. 

  8. He is like my puzzle piece.
    I've never felt as perfect with anyone as I do with him. I honestly can say that he is like my missing puzzle piece. the way his hands fit with mine, the way our hugs just click, the way his neck and shoulders cradle my head just's a perfect fit.


Moral of this post? Paul is awesomesauce. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

An excuse to make a post during this writer's block of mine!

Saw this on Tumblr, thought I'd give it a shot :)

My Life Story in MP3 format.
  1. Open your library (iTunes, Media Player, iPod, etc)
  2. Put it on shuffle
  3. Press play
  4. For every question, type the song that’s playing
  5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
  6. Don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool…
Opening Credits :  “Trying To Pull Myself Away” - Glen Hansard from the Once Soundtrack
Waking Up : ”10,000 Promises”  -Backstreet Boys
First Day of School: ”Superman" - Dave Matthews Band
Falling in Love : “Lover Lay Down" - Dave Matthews Band (Perfect shuffle timing!)
Fight Song : ”Always" - Rilo Kiley
Prom : ”The Thrill Is Gone" - B.B. king
Life :  ”You and I" - Ingrid Michaelson
Mental Breakdown : “Between The Cheats" - Amy Winehouse
Driving : ”Free Bird" - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Flashback : “Come In With the Rain" - Taylor Swift
Getting Back Together:  “I Run To You" - Lady Antebellum
Wedding : “By The Sea" - Sweeney Todd Soundtrack
Birth of Child : “Near To You" - A Fine Frenzy
Final Battle : “It Ends Tonight" - The All-American Rejects
Death Scene : “My Heart Will Go On" - Cover by New Found Glory
Funeral Song: “Don't Leave Me" - Blink-182
End Credits : “L.A. Freeway" - Roger Creager

 Wow...a lot of those actually kind of match up! I was giggling each time I switched to a new song and saw that it fit the moment listed almost perfectly!  And no, I didn't skip any songs.  :)

Anyone else want to do this?  Leave a comment so I can go see your song list!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Boyfriend will hereforth be known as The Fiancee.

THAT'S RIGHT FOLKS.  Paul popped the question!

It's only fitting that the first post I make in weeks is something this awesome.

Cue the excitement GIFs:

So, I know a lot of people will be asking "OMG how did he ask you?!" in the next coming days, so read on if you want to know!

Back track to the early part of Wednesday:

We were trying to figure out what to do for July 4th...should we go to the city's Fourth of July celebration event here? Stay in and just make it a movie night? Then Paul suggested maybe we go out to South Padre for dinner, a firework show, and a walk on the beach.

Since we hardly ever go to our lovely beach, I was game.

We got there and went to one of our favorite restaurants, Parrot Eyes. It was so nice out, so we sat outside and enjoyed the sunset. :)

the view from the deck where we sat.
This is the only photo he let me take of him all night.  He's so adorable.
Dinner was filling and yummy.  By the time we were done, there was about 20 minutes to go before the firework show, so Paul suggested we head out to the beach to get an awesome view while the waves came up to our feet.

Only we didn't plan the beach walk too well.  The firework display apparently happens near the beginning of the Island strip, and we went to Beach Access #3 toward the back of the Island.  But that didn't matter, we walked along the side of the shore waiting for the show to start hand-in-hand and talking about anything and everything.

It was so dark and alone!  Very few people were on this part of the beach, mainly due to the darkness. The moon hadn't come up all the way yet and was a deep orange near the horizon and a few stars lighted the sky.   Beautiful night.

We walked and walked and kept checking the time to see how long it would be until 9:15pm for the show to start, and Paul started said "don't worry. just because the fireworks haven't started yet doesn't mean it's not coming." This was his clue.

Then they started. Red, blue, white, green, pink...half of them blocked by resorts, but still visible from our faraway patch of beach.  We hugged, kissed, and just enjoyed each other for the moment.

He started hugging me closer and then whispered "So what do you say?"
I asked him "Say to what?"  I honesty didn't know what he was asking.
He slipped his hand in his pocket and slid the ring on my finger wordlessly.
I was surprised!  "Really?" I managed to ask before I started crying.  He started to laugh saying he didn't think I would cry...haha! 
He thought the girl who cries to Baby commercials and who weeps uncontrollably during America's Got Talent wouldn't cry. Silly Paul.

I think we stayed quiet for a few moments, then he said "So what do you say?"
"yes!" i said while sniffling, a few tears going down my face at this point.

More hugging, more kissing...then Paul, being the silly one that he is, said "so when do we tell Facebook?"


Yea, facebook had to wait until we both had the chance to tell our parents and siblings (which we did!).

I told him I wanted to dance with him on the beach. It was too windy to have been able to hear the phone's music, so we sang.  We sang and danced to Darren Criss's song Not Alone...which is the song we picked months ago as our wedding song (yes, we've talked about marriage before today).
I bet Darren Criss would be so proud to now we love his song that much. 

Sorry, i had to!

Then we walked back to the car in what was possibly the scariest 5 minutes of my life.  Why? Because at night, our beach is infested with Ghost Crabs.

oh gosh, they scare me.  So the whole walk back, I clung to his arm while lighting the path with our cell phone lights.

After arriving at the car without getting attacked by crabs, we headed to the bar and grill down the street to listen to a band play for bit before heading home.  :)

I bet anyone reading this wants to see the ring, right?

The photo I sent to my siblings right away!  and WHOA man hands.  ban angle!


Are we happy? Yes, indeed!  We've been together for a little over 5.5 years, so I'm sure those who were expecting it are just as happy!

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