Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A celebrity appreciation post: Daniel Radcliffe edition.

This isn't my typical post so much as it is a post about how I fangirl over Daniel Radcliffe on a regular basis.

My appreciation for Daniel has grown so much lately - beyond just thanking him for bringing Harry Potter to life.  
He is making such awesome and risky career choices, I can't help but admire the guy.


His episode of SNL a few weeks ago (watch here) was so damn funny, I actually chocked on water from laughing.  He is so fun to watch! 

I cannot wait to see where his career will take him. He is talented in both acting and musical theater, so either way he goes, I know he will be amazing. 

Seriously, you grew up so well. <3        photo credit: Esquire UK  

I'm sure this post sounds like a bunch of words strung together...I honestly just don't feel like typing right now, but felt it necessary to post this for some reason.   :)

30 Day Challenge - Day 4.

Day 4: Your parents.
See the original 30 Day Challenge post here.
 

My parents are awesome. 
They have done so much for my siblings and me, it's unbelievable. 
They deserve all the parenting awards in life!
 
 I had an awesome childhood. I had toys, fun, and of course good home cooked Mexican Food all the time.  They always have encouraged me to live out my dreams, to do what my heart desires so i can live a happy and fulfilled life. 
They are not disrespectful to each other (or anyone for that matter) and their household is always full of love. And Mexican Food.
Did I mention that my mom makes awesome homemade tortillas?  no?  Well she does.
<3

Needless to say, I wouldn't be here without them, and I can't imagine myself ever being born into another family.  This family rocks. This is not an opinion - it's fact.    :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

30 Day Challenge - Day 3.

Day 3: Your first love.
See the original 30 Day Challenge post here.

So, I know I skipped a whole bunch of days and i should technically be on day 6, I think...the the past few days have been busy, insane, and I just never got a chance to just sit and type.
So let's pretend I never skipped any days and get back on track.  :)

My first love.
This will be a celebrity love.

Orlando Bloom.

I'm talking Orlando Bloom circa Lord of the Rings and Pirates Orlando. The Elizabethtown Orlando.  
Don't get me wrong, I still love him now, but back in the day...boy was fierce

Are you serious!?
Hope he was trying to call me!
 I loved him so much back in the day.
I was introduced to Lord of the Rings because of this guy.  I became a fan of Tolkien cause of this guy. 
He made me fall in love all over again with indie films.

I'm super happy he is reprising his role as Legolas in The Hobbit ...my inner fangirl is squealing in excitement!  

So there you have it folks. My first celebrity love, Orlando Bloom.   <3 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

30 Day Challenge - Day 2.

Day 2: Meaning behind your blog name.
See the original 30 Day Challenge post here.

This is a simple one.  almadear is the blog name.  Alma is my first name and Dear is just there cause i didn't know what else to put.  
Or because I think I'm darling.

Yea.

:)

Real post soon. I promise. :)

30 Day Challenge - Day 1.

Day 1: Introduce, recent picture of yourself, 15 interesting facts.
View the original post for this 30 day challenge here.

Ahem. This is where I post a photo of myself.  
Taken with Pocketbooth for Android.
 Aww it's me. :)

It took FOREVER to figure out 15 facts about myself. 
Well, facts are easy. But 15 facts that are interesting? Not so much.  But I finally conquered the task and came up with this:

15 Spectacular Facts About Alma!
  •  I hate reality shows, but I have a soft spot for Face Off over on SyFy. The makeup these people can do is insane and amazing! I love it. 
    Oh and ghost hunting shows. Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures to be specific.
  • I am a member of Gryffindor. But you already know this.
  • Pizza rolls are my snack of choice.
  • I have this obsession with buying notebooks. The Boyfriend has stopped me from buying some for a while now, (as per my request in an attempt to stop wasting money) but that doesn't stop be from lusting after the hottest new notebooks in the school supplies section.  I have a stack of unused notebooks. I think I like the idea of always having them around. I don't understand it myself.
  • The previews for the movie Big Miracle make me cry. Every time.
  • I prefer odd numbers to even numbers. 
  • My most prized possessions are my intelligence and confidence. Two things that can never be taken away.
  • I dared the Boyfriend to kiss me while we were still friends.  :)
  • I own many, many pairs of shoes, but hardly wear them. I prefer my black or brown simple sandals.
  • Musicals make me happy. I need to make a pilgrimage to NYC and see every Broadway show I can.
  • The word "selacamp" (which is a prehistoric fish) makes me laugh.
  • I met the guys from 100 Monkeys. It was glorious. I can't wait to see them again!
  • Reading is my favorite pass time. Next to napping, of course.  I'm 7.
  • I'm still rocking my Pink 30GB Zune Original from 2007.  
  • I get asked at least once a week if my curly hair is natural, or if it is a perm. No. It's not a perm. I was born with it, baby!

That took entirely too long to think up! 
:)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A 30 day challange.

Got this from the lovely 20 Something Muddle.

I have recently been having a blog block. I have no idea what to post...and if I do, I don't know if it's important enough to post.  Blah.

So I saw the 30 Day challenge on her blog, and decided to take part in it.  :) 
Who else wants to join me on this?


Day 0: The 30 Day Challenge Explanation and Description
Day 1: Introduce, recent picture of yourself, 15 interesting facts
Day 2: Meaning behind your blog name
Day 3: Your first love
Day 4: Your parents
Day 5: A song to match your mood
Day 6: A picture of something that makes you happy
Day 7: Favorite movies
Day 8: A place you've traveled to
Day 9: A favorite picture of your best friend
Day 10: Something you're afraid of
Day 11: Favorite tv shows
Day 12: Something you don't leave the house without
Day 13: Goals
Day 14: A picture of you last year - how have you changed?
Day 15: Bible verse
Day 16: Dream house
Day 17: Something you're looking forward to
Day 18: Favorite Place to Eat
Day 19: Something you miss
Day 20: Nicknames
Day 21: Favorite Picture of yourself ALL TIME Why?
Day 22: What's in your purse?
Day 23: Favorite Movie
Day 24: Something you've learned
Day 25: Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs
Day 26: Your Dream Wedding
Day 27: Original Photo of the city you live in
Day 28: Something that stresses you out
Day 29: 3 Wishes
Day 30: a picture of yourself this day and 5 good things that happened since you started the challenge

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Celebrating a year of life!

Baby Mikey enjoying a car ride!
 So the Boyfriend and I attended another birthday party at Peter Piper Pizza this weekend (the lsat party is mentioned here), this time for my little 2nd cousin who celebrated his 1st birthday.

Baby Mikey had a long road to get to where he was today.  He was born  a premie, and spent the first quarter of his life in a hospital, so getting to 1 is a huge deal!  You can read more about his life and the tough road he has traveled at his momma's blog here.

The party theme was Cat In The Hat, and I dressed for it without realizing it. I randomly pulled my red/white striped tank top, so I felt awesome the entire time.


Photo time?  Yes I think so.


My parents smiling pretty for the camera :)

The boyfriend and I posing in makeshift frames.  :)

Baby Mikey with my cousin Mikey and his awesome wife, Pepper.

ohhhh he loves me :D
 The awesome thing about Baby Mikey is that he LOVES to be held. He never cries with me!   I have held him for extended periods of time and he has yet to shed a tear, so that makes me feel pretty damn awesome.

Also, his mom and I agreed that he better love me, because when he gets older, I am reading Harry Potter books to him. It will be our bonding unit.  :)

mom and dad being all cute and stuff.  :)

Green eggs and ham cake!  Isn't this AWESOME?

Poor thing had no idea what was going on.  haha!

:) Happy family.

Boyfriend and I  <3

The gifts we got for baby: a cute book about love and a teddy bear to match.
 I'm so happy baby is happy and healthy today.  :)  Can't wait to celebrate his 2nd birthday and beyond!  :)

Baby liked the bear more then the book. Ah well.  :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A celebrity appreciation post: Darren Criss edition.

After spending the last couple of nights listening to Darren Criss' EP album to relax me to sleep, I felt it was only right to make a post about why I love him.

So here is why.


Photo from Google.

  1. He is very pretty.
    I'm not superficial at all, but he is easy on the eyes.

  2. He is a brilliant song writer and singer.
    Before Glee, Darren was a YouTube supermegafoxyawesomehot stud. Don't believe me? Read ahead!
    Are you a Harry Potter fan and have yet to see A Very Potter Musical or A Very Potter Sequel?  If so, what are you waiting for? Go watch it all...then see this one!! 
    If you have, then you must already know that he wrote the music for the plays (along with a few friends) as part of a troupe called StarKid.
    Also, his EP called Human is awesome. You can get it for under $5 over at Amazon.

    His singing voice is amazing.  Not the best out there, of course, but there is no doubt that the man can sing, and he sings very well.

  3. He is a great addition to Glee.
    So after he gained populatiry on the web for A Very Potter Musical, Darren auditioned for Glee and scored the part of Blaine Anderson, who plays opposite Kurt Hummel and an openly gay student.

    Darren, being straight, plays the role of a gay student very well.  The way he looks at Kurt nearly kills me in each episode.  I love his character, and I'm so glad he was added as a regular.

    His character is my favorite next to Rachel and Kurt.

  4. He showed Broadway what he's got.
    Darren has shown us that his vocals and dancing shoes fit in well in the Broadway environment. His 3 week run in How To Succeed in Business Without Even Trying (which you can get info for here) is coming to an end, but from the videos I've seen, he is great.
Done.  Back to work!  :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A need for ink.

This is my ankle getting tattooed on july of 2010.  :)  photo courtesy of the Boyfriend.
It's been 1.5 years since my last tattoo, and I have a huge urge to get more.  I find myself on Tumblr looking at the "tattoo" tag lusting over some of the best I see.

As of now, I have 3 tattoos (wrist, ankle, back of shoulders).

Tattoos are like pringles: once you pop, you just can't stop!

I'm at work, so this post is just random and fragmented all weird.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hey Hollywood: stop ignoring us! A soapbox post.

An Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

I just finished watching the Golden Globes - which I enjoyed thanks to Ricky Gervais, who is brilliant - and I was utterly lost on most of the films nominated. 

I'm a HUGE awards show enthusiast.  I love the glitz, glamor, fashion, and fanfare.  I usually make it a point to see all the nominated movies with the Boyfriend before Academy Awards time...but it just gets harder and harder each year to do this. 

As I'm sure a lot of you know, a lot of the hyped movies get limited releases in select cities, like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.  They get seen by the people there and members who vote for awards shows, they get nominated, and then as a last ditch effort to include the masses, Hollywood (I say Hollywood as a general term, of course) releases these movies 2 weeks before the Academy Awards at our local discount dollar theaters. Sometimes they get billed as new movies and get screened only at the regular full price theater. 

The movies in question here would be The Descendants, The Artist, Iron Lady, We Need To Talk About Kevin, My Week With Marilyn, Carnage, and Beginners...just to name a few.

Hollywood, it seems, has this notion that people in small town have no interest in "artsy" movies, and tend to show us movies that suck.
A recent article by Roger Ebert highlights this very thought:
"Box-office tracking shows that the bright spot in 2011 was the performance of indie, foreign or documentary films. ... Yet most moviegoers outside large urban centers can't find those titles in their local gigantiplex. Instead, all the shopping center compounds seem to be showing the same few overhyped disappointments. ... The message I get is that Americans love the movies as much as ever. It's the theaters that are losing their charm. Proof: theaters thrive that police their audiences, show a variety of titles and emphasize value-added features. The rest of the industry can't depend forever on blockbusters to bail it out."
During the Golden Globes tonight, a lot of the ads for upcoming movies were movies that were already nominated for awards and being pushed for Academy Awards.  They will be coming out here soon, but I wish we can see them at the same time as everyone else in the country. 
I want to make my awards predictions based on my actual viewings, not based on reviews by other people on the internet!

---------

So here is where I get on my soapbox.  Hollywood needs to stop giving the small towns only films they coin to be blockbusters.  Sure, some are cool, but most suck.
Stop giving shitty movies like Jack and Jill or Twilight (bleh!) 3 screens out of the 16 available, and give the 2 extra screens to movies that deserve to be shown to audiences like myself and a lot of other people I know who are willing to spend $10 on a ticket. Send us your indie, artsy, foreign and documentaries! 

A lot of the movies I love today - the movies I rush out to get on DVD at the best store in the world (Target) - are usually these indie, foreign and artsy films that I never get a chance to see beforehand. A lot of these movies never get the recognition they deserve and a lot of the actors never get the accolades they deserve.

Do you know how many people around here would stare at me blankly when I would say "Marion Cotillard deserved that Oscar!" when she won for La Vie En Rose a few years back? 
Also, when I would say that The King's Speech deserved Best Picture last year, they had no idea who or what I was talking about. 
I was lucky to see these movies mere days before the Academy Awards.

Hollywood, stop thinking that small towns don't care for these films. We do.  We are not backwards people. We want to fit in like everyone else and feel that we are deserving of films that turn out to be beautiful gems. 
I want to see the films mentioned above badly.  Show them here soon.
Don't do this to us next awards season.  :(

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Some family time.

I love being an aunt.
I have a lot of nieces and nephews, and this weekend, my brother, sister-in-law and nephew came down to visit.

My family lives far away from my little corner of South Texas, so seeing them is usually a big deal.  This nephew, Zeke, is now 9 years old, and the last time I saw him was when he was 7.

The boyfriend and I decided to take Zeke out for Ice Cream at what is apparently "the-hottest-hang-out-like-OMG" in my hometown, Bass Pro Shop. 
My brother is a big hunting/fishing/camo enthusiast, and Zeke shares this interest, so I figured he would like going there for Ice Cream and a little shooting at the arcade shooting game.

Zeke on an ATV outside the store.

 If there was ever a time I wish I had taken my DSLR camera anywhere, this would've been one of them. The point-and-shoot I carry in my purse simply isn't fast enough or powerful enough to capture the sheer delight on Zeke's face when he walked in the store.

The boy was so excited to see all the animals along the walls and seeing how big moose antlers can get.
Since I had my less-than-adequate camera, this is the only photo I was able to get of his excitement:


Such a cutie!
He made a bee line for the giant tank of fish toward the back of the entrance, and was awed by the giant alligator gar and catfish in the tank.  It was adorable to see how excited he was!

I was lucky to get this photo. He wouldn't stop running around trying to follow the fish. Ah!

The shooting games were fun.  He's got a pretty good aim going on. I didn't see him play much, since these guys selling Time Shares suckered me into talking to them and wouldn't not let me leave, but from the little I did see, he was pretty good!

Then finally we got ICE CREAM!  I love the waffle cones at this place. They are so YUMMY! 
Yes, I know I'm  doing the calorie counting mambo, but I ate low cal all morning and afternoon to be able to indulge in a yummy waffle cone and ice cream.  :)


I love this photo.  But my DSLR would've taken it so much better at a low F-Stop!
The little man then did what all nephews do to their aunts: he suckered me into buying him a toy.
I gave him a $15 limit, and he picked a Cozy Critter, which is the Bass Pro Shop's answer to Build-A-Bear.

He got an awesome little white tiger he named Steve. Steve is awesome and firece.

stuffing the tiger with stuffing :)

Steve doesn't like being ignored. Big hugs for Steve.
Then the whole family got together for dinner at the restaurant attached to the store, The Fish Bowl.  First time trying it and it was pretty decent. 

Zeke also started calling the Boyfriend "Uncle Paul," which he thought was awesome.  My brother says that means he is officially knighted  into the family.  Haha!

My brother and lovely sister-in-law.

I hope he had fun.  :)
I need to see my other kiddos before they get too old and hanging out with their aunt and their uncle at Ice Cream Shop becomes uncool!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

How to be a good customer: a revival.

I went to Target last night for a couple of food stuffs, and noticed this woman picked up a lipstick from the Revlon section and walk while deciding if the color was for her.  After a few steps, she placed the lipstick back on the rack, but in the Rimmel section.
Later, I saw her again at the cereal aisle, and she grabbed a box of Cheerios and a box of Apple Jacks.  She walked forward, decided she wanted Fruit Loops instead an put the Apple Jacks box back where the Fruit Loops go.

While shopping, I also found empty Starbucks cups, popcorn from the food court on the floor, and an opened box of oreos.

My point in typing all this?
It's people who do this who make retail a horrendous experience.

I worked in retail for a mere 8 months at CVS in 2010.  In those 8 months, I saw the how some people can be.

Thanks to facebook timeline, I was able to go back to my 2010 posts where I had a little series called "How To be a Good Customer" that I would post whenever I saw anything worth posting; and now I'll share that here!

How to be a Good Customer and Avoid Receiving Shitty Customer Service.


  1. Employees are not your kid's babysitters.
    I don't know how many times people would leave me their kids in the front of the store saying "I'll be right back, restroom!" while leaving their kids up front with me.  It's annoying.  Employees are not paid to watch your kids and possibly not even qualified to do so.  Take them with you or don't bring them to store at all!
  2. "Next Register" means go to the next register.
    Read the signs. Register is closed. Do not stand there and ask "is this one open?!" like a dumbass. Reading is power.
  3. Keep your reasons for buying certain items on the down low.
    Since I was working at a pharmacy, there were several times people would come up to the register with an array of medicines, or first aid, and try to explain to me why they needed it. i remember this one man telling me "I ate something really bad at Taco Bell, so I need the softner, pepto and tums. you know how it is."
    No. No I don't know because I avoid Taco Bell.  And I didnt need to hear it.
    Keep your reasons for buying certian things quiet, please. Gross.
  4. Use the price checker.
    People would come up to me all the time saying "how much is this?" when I was obviously very busy.  There are price checkers all over most stores. Use them. 
    If they don't work, then it would be acceptable to ask an employee.
  5. Please keep your children with you and keep your eye on them.
    Many times, I would see children running laps around the store aisles. Some would get items and throw them around, messing up the planogram set up and breaking things.  Some would even wander out the doors and we would have to run after them.  And the parents were no where to be found.
    Parents, put your children in the cart or hold their hands. Do not let them roam around.  Show them public etiquette.
  6. You won't be judged by what you buy.  Unless it's junk food and you're paying with EBT.
    EBT is food stamps.  Food Stamps should be for under privileged people to by nutritional food for themselves and their families.
    This does not include cheetos, candy, sodas, pizza, and other snack food in high quantities.  I remember ringing up someone who was going to have a party for about $90 worth of pizza and sodas.  They paid it all with EBT.
    This is what people do with public assistance?  Don't even get me started on people whose cards had remaining balances of over $1K...
  7. Say hi back.
    At CVS, we were required to say "Hi! Welcome to CVS!" with the enthusiasm of a child on a sugar high to every single customer who walked in.  Only few people said hi back (like Brenna! She always said hi to me and was always awesome!)
    Some people were just jerks about it.  Some would not acknowledge you and others would do this:
    Me: Hi! Welcome to CVS!
    Guy: I want sunglasses.
    Me: Well good afternoon to you, too!
    Guy: I said I want sunglasses.
    Me: Sorry?
    Guy: Sunglasses. Where are they?
    Me: I'm sorry?
    Guy: Oh forget it (turns back to the door)
    Me: aisle 20.
    Guy: what?
    Me: what?
     I would intentionally act stupid when stupid people acted like this. Be nice, say hi.
  8. READ THE SIGNS.
    I cannot stress this point enough.
    Signs are put up for your benefit.  At CVS, I was the Photo Lab Manager, and when our machines would be down, we would put up little signs saying "one-hour photo is undergoing maintenance" or "one-hour developing is down"...something to that effect.
    If you sit down at the kiosk, ignore the big white paper sign placed in front of you and go through the one-hour process anyway, do NOT start getting angry at the employees for not telling you anything. You were trusted to be responsible enough to read.
  9. Math is your friend.
    If you are going to dispute a price, do the math first.
    I remember one instance where a customer came up to me disputing a sale item that was listed for "2 for $7.98" on the ad and the tags. They each rang up to $3.99 separately, which was correct. The customer wanted to buy 1 and refused to believe that each were $3.99.  She was convinced they were $3.50. 
    She demanded to speak to the manager saying that I was lying about the price.  The manager came and gave her a mini math lesson.
    Know your math. Pay attention in grade school!
  10. The store does not make the ad. Corporate does.
    Many times, the ad has items the store does not carry. The CVS i worked at never carried the summer lawn chairs, for example.  The ad, however showed lawn chairs.  The ad also states "may not be available at all stores."
    That being said, people would come in looking for lawn chairs, only to be let down...then promptly begin yelling at me saying "THEN WHY DID YOU PUT THIS IN YOUR AD!"  One person harassed me for 2 minutes because of this exact reason.
    Honey, call headquarters in Rhode Island if you have a problem with the ad.  No one here makes them.
  11. Don't assume employees are high school dropouts.
    One time, a lady got upset because I did not know what a certain medicine was for. I told her to ask a pharmacist in the back, because they are qualified to answer such questions. She then said "hmpf, about as much as what I should expect from a high school drop out like you!"
    WHOA, SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!
    I told her right away "excuse me, but I probably have more of an education than you have since i am currently in school to get my second - yes second - degree in higher education, and it shows since I would never in my life degrade a person the way you just attempted to degrade me."
    Lady put the medicine down and left the store.  Fun.
    Not all employees are high school drop outs.  Some of us were trying to get through college.  Think before you speak!
  12. With that in mind, Don't act like you are superior just because you are on the other side of the register.
    Employees are people, too.  If you want respect as a customer and as a person, treat store employees with respect - same goes for people in the food service industry, cosmetology industry, any industry.
    Like the wonderful Queen J.K. Rowling wrote: "If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals."
  13. Do not leave unwanted merchandise just anywhere.
    It's disheartening to see lipstick in the candy rack, magazines in the pamper aisle and a bag of chips in shampoos after spending so much time making the store look presentable for YOU. 
    Honestly, if you are a messy customer who is careless about putting merchandise back, I always assume you are like this at home...and WOW a lot of people have messy ass houses judging by how they treat things at stores!
    If you don't want it, put it back in it's proper place.
    If you are being lazy and do not want to put it back, give it to an employee or your cashier.  They will appreciate that you do at least that.
    Even now that I am no longer in retail, I never leave things just anywhere; and when I do see something out of place, I usually fix it.  I should be on payroll for many stores in my area. Just saying.
  14. Be friendly!
    Be nice! Smile when employees smile. Say "hello," "good morning" or whatever when you go up to the register, even if the cashier looks like they would rather light themselves on fire. The small gestures go a long away.  Trust me, you will be remembered for how good or how bad of a customer you are, and the service you are given is based on how you treat those proving you the service.


You made it to the end! Yay!

Sexual Healing.


I cried. Not gonna lie.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Awakening.

At church this past Sunday, we were told about having an Awakening.
You know, when you suddenly realize that for an extended period of time, you just weren't there. Almost as if you snap out of a daze.

While I've never had a hard-hitting awakening, I had a small one the other day.  All thanks to my phone and an app I downloaded called Lose It! (link will take you to Amazon where you can get the app for Android phones).

To quote the product description: "Succeed at weight loss with Lose It! Set goals and establish a daily calorie budget that enables you to meet them. Stay on track each day by recording your food and exercise and staying within your budget. The Lose It! app features a simple, streamlined interface, and a comprehensive database of foods and activities. Quickly add new foods or exercises to the database, and setup recipes for more complicated foods."

So I downloaded a management app.  I figured "Cool! Now I can see what I eat everyday in plain sight!"

My Awakening happened when I looked at Day 2 of use and realized I ate more calories in snacks than I did regular meals. Over half the day's intake was snacks. 
WTF moment right there.

My Awakening prompted such questions as:
  • when did I decide it was important to eat that candy bar?
  • Did I need to get that cookie at the Target food court?
  • Just because there are cupcakes at Church, does that really mean I need to get one?
I realized I'm eating sometimes for the sake of eating. Just because I can.
#firstworldproblems if I ever saw one.

Even though I know I will never be skinny (because i simply wasn't built to be skinny. I have hips and I love them! Being curvy is something I like!) this doesn't mean I can't be healthier.

So it's been 2 days since my Awakening moment, and I've already stopped the snacking.
The snacks I had yesterday were so much better: dry toast in the afternoon and a shared bowl of low-fat popcorn in the evening.

I also realize that I could squeeze in a little more exercise than I usually do.  I should get back on to my Wii Fit, because it's fun, more yoga stretches and a tad bit more cardio. 

Day 4 of using this app, and my eating choices have already changed a  lot.  Let's see where this takes me a whole year from now. :)

You have five minutes to wallow in the delicious misery. Enjoy it. Embrace it. Discard it. And proceed.



Title for the post is a quote from the movie Elizabethtown.  Just in case you're wondering.

Sometimes, little things happen around me that i envy.  Things I'm not able to do yet or can't experience yet.It makes me bitter, sad, jealous.  Three attributes that I never aspire to have.


I'm sometimes feel like I am not entirely satisfied in my current position.  I thought I would be more financially stable, more independent, etc by the time I hit this age.  But certain choices in school and career have brought me to the place I am now:
I choose to stay in school and get a second degree that I felt was essential. 
I chose to work on my photography career instead of following a more "stable" path.  While photography is growing and I can justify getting a studio soon (another feat all it's own!), it still doesn't make enough money to feel like it can be my only occupation.

I know I'm not the only person who feels that they are in a situation like this.

On the flip side, I know I shouldn't feel that way. 
I should feel fortunate that I have a roof to sleep under, an INCREDIBLE family and parents who are supporting my decision to photograph people for a living, an incredible boyfriend who is helping me get my business off the ground running, and great friends.  
I have an awesome job that I love, and a part time job substitute teaching that I am growing to love more and more with each assignment.  How many people can say they love what they do? I can!

I know that I should never feel envy for someone else getting to do something I can't do.  I should feel happy, excited, proud. And I do feel all those things.
But there is still that little dark spot that makes me want what they have.

And I just need to remind myself that I don't always have to do what others are doing.  
I can't focus on what I don't have...
...I need to focus on me; on what it will take to get where I want to be.  :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Lola Story!

My baby's beautiful eye.  :)
A lot of people ask me "oh my gahhhwww, where did you get your dog?"

First off, I didn't "get" or "buy" Lola - I adopted her! She is my child and the little love of my life!  I can't imagine a more perfect, beautiful, or precious dog.  :)

Lola's 5th birthday is in February, so I figured this would be the perfect time to type out my Lola story for all to read! Prepare for a long post and photos! 

...ready? 

Time travel back to 2007.  It was a Sunday, and the Humane Society was holding an "adopt-a-thon," and it had been maybe 4 years since I had set foot there. So i decided to go with no intention of adopting and see the cute little animals that were up for adoption.  I walked into the puppy kennel, and I noticed all the puppies were asleep and avoiding the people around them. I didn't want to disturb them, so I was about to turn around..until I heard a sharp "YIP! YIP! YIP!"

I turned around, and in the middle kennel were two little Welsh Corgi/Jack Russell mix puppies - one long haired, one short haired. Two of the most adorable things I have ever seen in my life!  I knelt down to pet them and they both were so happy to be getting attention.  I immediately felt it in my heart that one of these little pups was mine. That the reason I was randomly pulled to visiting was for one of them. I asked the Humane Society rep who was with me if these were spoken for, and she said "The furry one, yes. The short haired one, no. They are sisters!"

Because of the "adopt-a-thon," adoption fees were dropped to $75, and I had some cash at home. I told the rep to please not let anyone else adopt her, that i would run home and bring the cash right now. She said yes, and off I went.

I came back within 20 minutes and paid my fee. They told me that the puppy would have to be held for 3 days for observation since she was just dropped off earlier that morning. I consented, singed a few things, took some photos of her to show everyone and left.

When I got home, I called the Boyfriend - who had NO IDEA what was going on - and nonchalantly asked him what he would think if we got a dog. A female puppy dog. He said "oh that would be cool...but why?"
I took a deep breath, "CAUSE I JUST ADOPTED A PUPPY!"
He sounded shocked. "What? Right now? You have one?"
"I get to pick her up in 3 days. I went to the shelter and found her. She's perfect. I think I was sent there to get her, like she was waiting for me."
"umm...okay. wow."

Needless to say, I freaked him out.  Poor guy.  We had only been together a couple months at the time (currently going on 5 years!) and here I am adding a furry little member to the family. 

For 3 days, we went over names. I forgot the names that were runner ups, but Lola ended up winning!

On day 3, the Boyfriend and I went shopping before getting her. We got some puppy food, a bed, toys, leach, collar, etc. Then we went to the shelter to get Lola. She was all clean and ready to go home with us. They gave her a microchip, and all her papers...then she came HOME!

Her first day at home.  :)

She still sleeps like this :)
The photos are from her first day home with us.  She was shy and playful, and a handful!

She spent most of her first day exploring her new home from the couches, to the backyard just sniffing everything in sight.

She already knew how to use puppy pads, which was AWESOME, so we had no accidents in the house. All we had to do was figure out a way to make her go outside instead of relying on the pads. (This took only 2 weeks to accomplish. My baby is a genius.)

On her first night home, she got sick.  I woke up around 2 am to a whimpering puppy and i knelt down to see what was wrong. She waddled to the puppy pad and threw up...she threw up live roundworms.
WTF alive worms?
It was gross. It was so, so, so, so, so gross. I couldn't eat spaghetti for weeks.

I got on the internet right away and found the number to our local 24 hour emergency vet, called, and they said to take her in 1st thing in the morning.

Poor Lola was infested with roundworms! I was so scared for her and Boyfriend was so worried.  He says that the moment he realized she was sick, and he felt worried, was the moment that he realized her loved her.  Aww.

She also had something called Kennel Cough, which is an infection of the upper respiratory system, and a case of puppy mange.  She was on so much medication for the first few weeks of her being with us.

Luckily, with time, she got better.  The worms disappeared, the infection went away, and the mange was clearing up and becoming a thing of the past. She was back to normal!

I loved her puppy phase. Her chunky limbs, her huge tail...everything!

Such a doll!  you can still see a little bit of the mange around her eyes here, but it went away!


So Lola grew and grew.
She started growing into her chunky legs and long tail before our eyes!


Mommy, I have a stick!


In 2008, we took her to the Petsmart training course, which she aced and graduated top of her class in, beating out the smug Spaniel and the Great Dane!   She still knows her tricks, but won't do them unless she gets something in return. Such a brat!  I couldn't find her photo with her diploma.  :(

Beautiful!
This is quickly turning into a picture post. Hope you, my dear readers, don't mind.  :)

One of my favorites...shows her goofy side!  Courtesy of Justin.

Sherlock Lola!  In her winter coat.  Courtesy of Justin.
My favorite time to see her is in the morning.  :)   Her morning face is adorable!
In 2009, I decided to take a portrait of her as part of the Boyfriend's Christmas gift.  It was the year of homemade gifts.  It took a whole hour to get one good photo of her!  The results:

It came out perfect!  It still hangs on the wall :)

Her 2010 Christmas photo is a little less formal, a little more face:

:)

Lola and Daddy (the boyfriend) sometime last year, I think.  Courtesy of Will.
So far in the last 4+ years, Lola has brought us nothing by fun, love and happiness.  I can't imagine my life without her; I can't imagine a world without her.  
I've been told the ever so fun phrase "she's just a dog..." when I talk about her this way.  But as any pet parent would know, they are not just dogs (or cats, or hamsters, or birds, etc).  They are our children. We take care of them. They rely on us for fun, food, shelter, water, love, hugs...and they take care of us and show us an unconditional love.

As I type this, she is sitting at my left, looking down the hallway and chewing on a toy.  The moment I say her name, she looks at me with a huge smile and a wagging tail. I tell her to get on the bed, and she does, then eagerly  gets on her hind legs and puts her paws up to my chest to "hug" me.  I like to think that when she does that, she is telling me she loves me.  

Lola, I know you can't read, but know that I love you always.  Thank you for picking me as your Mommy, and thank you for finding me.   <3


Monday, January 2, 2012

Recipe: Buñuelos.

***NOTE: if you share or link this post or any of it's text or photos anywhere, please let me know in the comment section! Thank you!***

I know several people over on my facebook have been eagerly awaiting this post since New Years Eve.  I finally have a chance to type it all out!

Buñuelos are a traditional Mexcian tradition around the holidays.  They are basically fried dough, sprinkled in cinnamon and sugar.  They are different in many parts of Latin America, varying from flat, round tortilla shaped, to doughnut hole shaped.

This particular recipe is from my Grandma Consuelo, whom I never had the pleasure of meeting, but who's recipe lives on through my mother.

This is the easiest recipe I have ever seen for buñuelos.  I have seen some complicated ones with a million ingredients...but this one is quick and straight to the point!

Without further ado...


Traditional Mexican Buñelos

Makes: a crap load of buñelos.  Sharing is caring, y'all!

Ingredients:
  • 5 lb of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour, set aside
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 cups of oil for flour mixture
  • 4 cups (estimated) of oil for frying
  • 4 tbsp of cinnamon
  • 2 cups of sugar
Also Needed:
  • A rolling pin
  • Pot
  • Frying pan
  • Cutting board
  • Large dish, bowl, or pan covered in  paper towels (to place after frying)
Steps:
  1. Make the cinnamon infused water. In a pot, boil the water with cinnamon sticks inside.  Once the water has changed colors, toss the cinnamon sticks, keep the water warm.
  2. Mix the powdered cinnamon and sugar in a bowl, set aside.
  3. Put all 5 lbs. of flour into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add tsp of salt and 1/2 cup of oil.  Fold in the ingredients by hand.
  5. Make sure the cinnamon infused water is warm enough to touch with your hands. Slowly add the cinnamon infused water to the mixture and mix by hand.  Add little by little until the mixture is fully saturated.  Do not let the mixture get too soft.  Not all the water will be used. Mix well.
  6. Prepare the cutting board and rolling pin by sprinkling some flour on them to avoid the dough sticking. 
  7. Place dough on the board and knead for about 10 minutes, or until firm.
  8. Cut off small round pieces of dough (about 2 or 3 TBSP in size), make into small discs and set them aside into a bowl or plate.  If the dough gets stuck, add a pinch of loose flour to the dough and spread to prevent sticking. Do until all the dough is gone! 
  9. Let dough sit 15-20 minutes covered in foil.
  10. Prepare the frying pan on the stove top with oil.  Do not boil, but get it hot enough.
  11. One by one, spread the discs using the rolling pin into flat circles.  (If you are like me, they will look like Africa and Brazil. My mom is way more agile with a rolling pin).
  12. One by one, place the rolled out dough into the frying pan.  Fry until golden brown and flip using a fork.  Fry until brown.
  13. Once the buñelo looks nice, brown and crispy, lift from the pan using a fork. Let the oil drain and transfer to the waiting dish.
  14. While warm, sprinkle the buñelo with the sugar and cinnamon mixture on both sides.
  15. Repeat steps 11-14 until done.
  16. Let cool, enjoy!
  17. Just a tip: do not cover the finished buñelos in foil.  For some reason, it removes the crunch...and makes them soft!

Now for the (almost) step-by-step photos featuring my lovely mother.  :)

Mixing the cinnamon and sugar.

That's a lot of flour! 5 lbs worth of it!



Don't forget the salt, baking powder and oil!



Mix, mix, mix.



It's mom! 
In what is obviously a true Mexican tradition while making buñelos, she is watching Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai on Telemundo

.
Add the cinnamon infused water SLOWLY while mixing.



Mix, mix, mix some more!



Knead the dough until firm, or about 10 minutes.



Watching The Last Samurai while cutting small discs will make the experience so much better. lol.



Add caption



The discs gets sprinkled with loose flour to prevent sticking to the cutting board or rolling pin.



Flatten them into tortilla-like circles.  Mine never come out this round, just saying.



Place in pan filled with oil, flip over until brown on both sides.  They fry pretty quickly, so keep your eye on it.



Drip the oil before removing completely.



While warm, sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar over the buñelo.



Yum!



You can also cut the dough into halves or quarters..or fun shapes!



Oh my gosh, that looks so damn good.

 


Oh! New readers from 20sb, feel free to follow.  :) 
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