A lunch break blogger, just writing to hear herself talk.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

He and I

So yesterday, at work, I went to check the lead time on some valves for one of my projects and found out that they had them on the ground at a local shop. Zero lead time. And it was the highlight of my week, hands down.

This is my life. This is why you don't want me blogging about daily life stuff.

When I got home, D was eager to hear the story of the zero lead time valves. And I think he high-fived me because he knew how pumped I was. Then we talked about relief valve sizing, and secondary containment, and construction managers and procurement. And then he told me about the HILARIOUS time he went out to his site after a pump was installed to find the contractors had attached a gate valve directly to the discharge flange of his pump and then a check valve, directly to the flange of the gate valve. And we laughed and laughed about how funny that was. And then I told the story of the four pumps with "redundant check valves" installed 4 inches apart. And we laughed and laughed.

He's outdoorsy and I'm indoorsy.
He's a motorhead and I am 200 miles overdue for an oil change.
He's comfortable living like a bachelor and I love shopping for art and furniture.
He collects guns and I've never fired one in my life.
He doesn't have an insta account and I have two.
He's a skeptic and I'm an optimist.
He is an only child and I have a super tight, HUGE family.
He doesn't follow ANY pop culture and I've had the Oscars on my calendar since November.
He's the type to make friends in the line at the grocery store and I shop with earbuds in.
He's meticulous and I'm efficient.
He loves beer and pizza and I'm 90% gluten-free (except when he orders pizza, and then I'm all like nom nom nom!)

However, we are both undeniably nerdy about our jobs. And as luck may have it, we have the SAME job (at different companies). Which is pretty dope since work is what we both do for 12 hours a day, it means we actually have a helluva lot in common. It really makes all the difference since we technically have very little else in common. We really connect when it comes to mechanical design, sports and our love for Yorkies. 

So yea. I can't really blog about what I do with 75% of my waking hours because it would bore you all to tears. But I can blog about how thankful I am that my boo and I totally get each other. 

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Table Talk

My lunch breaks have been few and far between here lately so apologies for inconsistent posting.

I've talked about the perks of Boom Town life lotsa times on here. It's so easy to get bummed out by the 2 hour waits at restaurants, low inventory at stores, and putting your life in your hands every time you get on the road. I like to post more happy things about how great boom towns really can be!

You guys, we're getting a Chipotle! And there's like FOUR Starbucks here now and we're getting another HEB. And most importantly, Craigslist has a hidden treasure basically every single day. I have to stop myself from snatching them all up. I completely relate to hoarders now. MUST BUY ALL THE THINGS! While I've been a Craigslist Frequent Flyer since we moved here, Wednesday's purchase of our new kitchen table is by far my biggest win!

I'm sure you saw it on Facebook because I couldn't wait like 2 minutes after we picked it up to post about it. I read the caption to D to make sure it didn't sound snotty or tacky. But I just LOVE a good deal and wanted to shout it from on top of a mountain!

D and I had been eyeing Restoration Hardware dining tables for... probably 2 years. We went by the RH Outlet in New Braufels a couple weekends ago and pet them and sat at them and swooned over them and then went home with an empty pickup truck.

Even at Outlet prices, they were out of our budget. This beaut is originally $2,195 *shudder*

I started doing research and found some Ana White furniture plans you could follow to DIY yourself one with kind of a similar vibe and D and I thought it sounded like such a great compromise! And we loved the idea that he would have hand built our kitchen table.

I mean, yea. It's a little outdoorsy and definitely not the same class as RH but we thought we could shorten it a little and it would be a charming addition to the kitchen. Especially since Ana White boasts that it can be built for $65 and a ton of elbow grease!

But then... we just kept using our old table. And watching Mindy Project reruns. And lots of things that weren't building our own kitchen table.

So earlier this week I spotted this ad on Craigslist:

And my jaw hit the floor. Hubba hubba!

That night, we hauled our booties over to East Odessa to take a look at it. When the guy text me directions and the end was "it's the house with the 3-car garage on the corner" I started squirming in my seat like a kid at Christmas. Those are the magic words you want to hear when doing a Craigslist deal.

D was on the fence going over there. He wasn't as crazy about the idea of a round table and didn't think it would be big enough but agreed to take a look at it. At $300, it was topping out our price point (yea, we're cheap-o's) and it we weren't so sure it was "Brand New Never Used" as advertised. I promised him if it wasn't a dime, we'd walk away. When the guy opened the garage and we walked in, he gave me a big eyes, happy frown? Do you know what I mean? Like "Holy cow, that's a baller table, poker face poker face" If you know D, you know the face, I bet.

When the guy lifted the big tag still attached to it and said "ugh, it looks like I paid over a grand for it", I barely contained my internal tap dance. And I don't even know how to tap dance.

Needless to say,

In to the truck it went

And after some finagling, grunting, two squashed fingers and a short stand off between D and I about the best way to get it through the doorway,

It's absolutely a RH knock off. I have zero false beliefs that this is a real deal RH table. But no one else (except all of the internets, now) needs to know that! It is a dead ringer! D thought I was going to cry I was so happy that night when we finally got the table in our little dining area with our dirty, hand-me-down rug and unfinished walls and our dogs playing around the foot of it. I just love good deals and I love nesting in our new home!!!

The very first thing Tiny did was lay down on one of the legs. Like a little puppy chaise lounge. <3

Now to figure out the chair situation. These old ones are getting sold with the old table. Looks like we're going to need 6 (it's a 60" table) and unlike with the table, D and I have very different chair tastes. Time to save our pennies and keep our Craigslist eyes peeled!
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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Insta-ntly Inspired

I love Instagram. It's so fun. It takes so little time. My skin instantly looks flawless with the Valencia filter. What's not to love?!

I don't look like this. This is what Insta thinks I look like. 
I mean, pores, where did you go? Hair, how did you get so shiny?!
Was I smelling something stinky when I took this picture in November? 


So I created a second account! I was inspired to do this by one of my insta friends who cross-posted from her second account. She and a group of friends had all created second accounts as a fitness support group! They all post pictures of healthy choices they make throughout the day, inspirational quotes, snack ideas, brag photos of how much water they've drank... yada yada yada. And then they all comment on each other's photos, encouraging and interacting.

If you're reading that paragraph and think it's the COOLEST IDEA EVER and you are a little jealous and you're counting on your fingers how few friends you have that are as narcissistic and obsessive as you that would do something awesome like that with you... well, 1) we're soulmates 2) take a moment to think about what a weird generation we live in that this is something we might consider a hobby and 3) you're wrong! Because I bet tons of your friends would think this is a great idea! I know I do!

I already followed a bunch of fitness celebrities and yoga instructors on my regular account because it's a total pick-me-up, right? And I'm guilty of snapping a picture of my salad to document for myself what a healthy badass I'm being. So I thought, why not create a separate account and post them! I love seeing other people posting about health and fitness but I'm starkly aware of the fact that not everyone wants to see a pic of every meal I eat. Enter: @Arica167

These are the only 3 things I've posted on it so far. 
But in my defense, they have very witty captions with them.

So, clearly I emailed my sister first. She's always up for fitness challenges and already thinks I'm a weirdy so it was very low risk to pitch this idea to her without fear of her thinking I'm a weirdy. Luckily, she didn't think I was a weirdy at all (no more so than before, at least). She was on board (I knew I could count on her).

But then I could only think of one other insta friend that would do it with me and that was Lori. Again, I have no fear of her judging me for being obsessive about food and exercise and again, she was like, duh, yes, I'm in.

And then I told D about it and he thought it sounded really cool! Which surprised me in a good way! When I asked if he wanted to do it, he was like, "oh hell no" but he's a boy and doesn't even have a regular insta account so he doesn't count. I told my mom and she was like, "YEA! That sounds great!" and slowly I gained the confidence to bring my idea to my other judgement-free zone. The blog.

So how 'bout it? Who out there wants to see pictures of my Subway salad every other day?! C'mon. That's pretty tempting, right?

Follow me! @Arica167 And if you create a fitness account, I'll follow you! And I'll shamelessly post my unflattering, sweaty workout selfies, my ideas for sneaky ways to burn calories, my carrots and hummus afternoon snack... and I'll constantly be looking for healthy things to do so you all think I'm healthy and then maybe I'll accidentally actually become healthy!!! It's genius!!!
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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Our Little Valentine

We got a puppy.

She's very cute. She's adventurous and smart. Her name is Valentine but she's not particularly lovey dovey just yet. She's got too much exploring to do.

Unfortunately... I'm having a weird emotional reaction. Remember how I mentioned that I was sure my heart was just going to explode with love when we brought her home? Meh.

I mean, yea, she's totally adorable. Doing well with potty training and is starting to let her precious personality shine through and all that... but I'm just not utterly obsessed with her yet. That's so mean, right? I chalk it up to sleep deprivation.

However, Kanye? Oh man. On Friday I loved him the most you can possibly love a dog. And then on Saturday, I loved him ten times that much. He is SO STINKING CUTE with Valentine. He LOVES having a playmate and I think we picked her up from the breeder at just the right age. They are playing so great together. He lets her just hang from his face fur, bite his tail, crawl all over him. He brings her toys and lets her get a good hold and then gently plays tug-o-war with her. And this morning, I was in the bathroom and they were playing in the bedroom and K came running in and gave me a look. And when I followed him, I found Valentine chewing on one of my Michael Kors high heels! I mean, COME ON! Isn't he the best dog ever?!?

I would have never in a million years guessed that he would take to his little sister like this. And it happened overnight. It took zero coaching. It is 100% just his instincts. I've never seen anything like it. I officially take back all the jokes I've made about him being the least intelligent Yorkie I've ever met. If you judge a fish on it's ability to climb a tree, it'll live it's entire life believing it's stupid, right? He was made for this. This is his calling.
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Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday 5... er... 4!

I'm keeping it to 4 this week because, well, my life hasn't been that exciting lately (see #4)

1. It's almost Valentine's Day! No, I don't mean February 14th, but the day we bring our Valentine home! Tomorrow, K becomes a big brother and I can't handle my excitement. I've said it a million times but I can't imagine my heart being more full of love than it already is for K. When I have a human baby, my heart is going to just explode, I know it. It's going to get close if I love Valentine half as much as I love K.

2. THIS ARTICLE by a high school kid that got posted to The Huffington Post. She's a clever, kind girl and I'm super impressed by her. The Taylor Swift parts don't particularly resonate with me but she does nail how I feel about girls that describe themselves as "Guy's Girls". I've always immediately distrusted those girls and now I can put my finger on why: They are jelly haterz! Devaluing women, making them out to be silly and unworthy. Not based on each individual girl's behavior but based solely on gender. Not okay!

3. Is this not the most depressing stick figure family decal ever?? Haha I am completely evil but I laughed so hard when I saw this! It's a man in a wheelchair and a dog. It's like the one going around the internet of a woman and like 18 cats? Have you seen that one? I took this one myself. This person exists in Midland, TX. I also saw one the other day with a dad, 3 kids and an empty space next to the dad with an arrow pointing to the space that said "Position Available"! That one was actually pretty cute I thought. I never caught them at a red light to get a pic of it though.

4. I got a heater for my office. Yes. This is blog worthy in my world. It has improved the quality of my life. I hate winter and ambient temperatures <80 degrees which is 365 days a year in my office building. I typically sit with it like this, in my chair, warming my very core.

The other day I accidentally left it on over night and the cleaning crew shut my office door so the next morning when I walked in I actually coughed from the suffocating heat of my office. Then I smiled and snuggled in to my sauna office. I've had multiple vendors come in to give me pitches and about 15 minutes in their faces are red and they start sweating a little. Unexpected perk! Shorter sales pitches!

Have a great weekend, Bloggies! XO!

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

iPhone Addicts Annoymous

If anyone was wondering how my weekend went, it went like this:

This is what Tavi calls "bitchface" in case anyone was wondering. It's something your significant other generally only captures. Maybe your sister. You don't make this face at everyone. It's usually when you're hungry and you've been on a road trip with your boyfriend's mom all weekend and it's Sunday and you want to go home and you didn't find anything good at the outlet malls and you're just over it.

But, luckily, sometimes even if your face is ugly, your hair still looks pretty fly from the wedding the evening before. Which was lovely and worth the road trip, I might add.

This week, as well as last week and the week before, work runneth over. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. I couldn't have picked a better time to give up my Pinterest. I've really enjoyed having more free time; I think my boss approves of my increased productivity levels too! At work it's easier to stay focused when I'm not tempted to take a brain break and get lost in the Home Decor pages of Pinterest.

At home, however, I've been only marginally less sedentary. I've had to find other things to do while glued to the couch watching Game of Thrones like it's my job. The number 1 thing I've found has been napping. I've fallen asleep even earlier when I don't have my iPad keeping my eyes open.

When I'm not napping, I've been keeping myself busy with the paralyzing return of Candy Crush, the short 10 minutes of Lumosity each day, Facebook quizzes:

No surprises there...

Checking my Mint.com App 10 times daily, making grocery lists in the Notes App, Playing Harry Potter QuizUps like a boss:

I mean, duh. And also you spelled Wormwood wrong. And also I'm now a House Elf ranking.

Verifying nothing has changed on Facebook in the last 45.5 seconds, ditto with Insta, and learning some very critical phrases in Spanish on DuoLingo

So yea... iPhone addictions are tough to break. I may have to delete ALL fun apps off my phone. 

I did do one cool thing the other day! I did a coconut oil treatment on my hair. Since going lighter, I've been needing extra moisture and had heard good things about this stuff. Basically, I just sat on the couch (duh) with my jar of coconut oil and scooped some out with my fingers (in the solid state) and worked it in my hair in 2" pieces.

Basically exactly what my hair looked like through all of junior high. Greasy as heck. But it washed right out with one shampoo and my hair felt great after! Looked like I'd just gotten a haircut, too. 

I've heard tutorials where you melt the oil and pour it on your hair... but this seemed far less messy. I did blast it with the hair dryer on hot for a few minutes before my shower... dunno if that did anything.

Okay, gotta get back to Candy Crush now. Those Candy bombs aren't going to disarm themselves.

May your New Years Resolution success be greater than mine!


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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Gift Card Wish List

I totally skipped over the obligatory "Christmas Haul" post, not because I didn't get some perfect, thoughtful, heirloom-worthy gifts. But because my house is messy so the pictures I took were so not blog-worthy. Such is life.

However, being overwhelmingly grateful this holiday season has not stopped me from keeping an eye out on how I plan to spend my gift cards! Holidays sales, meet my wish list. Wish list, meet Holiday Sales. I hope you two get along swimmingly!

Warby Parker Chandlers
because allow me to rant about this, yet again. It is NOT FAIR that JUST BECAUSE I have perfect vision, I am excluded from an entire category of accessories! And sunglasses don't hurt your vision, so why should optometrist-approved, fancy, glare-proof vanity glasses be disallowed? WHY!?

Because D says so. He says it will ruin my vision. BALDERDASH, I say. So they're on my shopping list, right behind a note from my doctor proving Daryl wrong.

I want a tiny pair for my second holes. Yet again, D tried to ruin this by saying "won't that kind of draw attention away from your big, expensive ones?" but I say nay. The more diamonds in my ears, the better. Also, I'm just craving some diamonds in my life so maybe this will give me the quick fix I need :)

New brown boots
Pictured here are my current brown boots. They're killer. I've never seen anyone else with them ever (I got them at Anthropologie but they don't carry them anymore) and I get complimented on them every time I wear them. The guys at work LOVE them and always ask if they can touch them. Unfortunately, the cool braided saddle leather has started to tear. It's really soft and beautiful, and thus, fragile. After 2+ years of wearing them to death, they're starting to look ratty. Time to upgrade.

Pureology's 21 Benefits
I have heard rave reviews about this product. Tons of recommendations for color treated hair gals. Even Maskcara dedicated an entire post to gushing about how incredible it is. So I'm going to take a shot of tequila and fork over the dinero and let you guys know what I think. It's honestly not THAT expensive, but due to the fact that I survive pretty exclusively on Target's Up and Up brand products, this feels like a total YOLO purchase.

10.0.6 Be Pure mud mask
This one doesn't cost much dinero ($5.99) but again, I've heard some great reviews so while I'm at Ulta, I may as well pick it up and see if it's really the dupe for GlamGlow (although I won't be able to make the comparison because I sure ain't paying $60+ bucks for a tub o' mud mask). If this doesn't work miracles, I may be doing some research on Clarasonics.

I have successfully kept up with my favorite pair of Steve Madden aviators I got at TJ Maxx for at least 6 months. The tinting on them is flaking off on the edges though (I didn't say I PROTECTED THEM, I just didn't physically lose or crush them), so I feel like this means I'm mature enough to own some Raybans. I'm pretty sure these Raybans are what makes Posh Spice look so skinny. Yup. The sunglasses. So, yea, I need them.

Vince Camuto "Basics" cuff

Yes, I know it's a little weird... but I tried it on at Dillard's the other day and was utterly obsessed instantly. But it's so basic looking! I was like, NO WAY am I paying that kind of money for something so plain! But I can't stop thinking about it. I may have even drawn it on my arm in pen and considered getting a tattoo similar to it. So... I don't think I'd have any buyer's remorse if I invested in this one.
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Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Watching: Bowl Games! Soaking up every last bit of football I can get, obviously! And I'm just going to say it: I am damn knowledgeable about football! I impress myself on a regular basis. I can spot most fouls before the flag is thrown (except holding because they all look like they're holding, all the time!) I mostly know the names of the different positions. I can recognize blitz formation. I know quite a few players, and not just the hot ones. I mean, D's got a keeper!

D's guac has been a food group at our house. The perfect football watching food.

Reading: Still Game of Thrones. It's getting very juicy. But since that's no new news, I read this really inspiring article and totally recommend it.

Planning: Our trip to go pick up Valentine!!! Our breeder sent us a couple pics last week and I had to contain myself from SCREAMING at work I was so overwhelmed by how cute she is. She's clearly perfect in every way and I cannot wait to bring her home and love her forever.

Making me mad: My nightmares. They've gotten really bad again lately. D slept in the guest room last Thursday night. I really think there is a connection between working out and my nightmares. I think the endorphin rush messes with me. Do you think I could get a doctor's note excusing me from being physically fit?

Making me happy: The new 'do! Now... I'll be honest... when I told her I wanted "caramel highlights", I was not expecting them to turn out so... orangey? and when I say it like that, it sounds horrifying. I guess they look pretty natural. Basically, I wanted a big change but the girl didn't want to dump bleach on my virgin hair. We compromised and I plan to layer on the highlights throughout the late winter and spring.  Now then... who has some good deep conditioning treatments they want to share with the class? :)

Craving: New clothes. I'm sure it's just the beginning of the year high that's got me wanting to make tons of changes but I've got a hankerin' for a shopping spree. Luckily, I'm a total cheapskate. It's something bred in to all engineers, I'm convinced. So... TJ Maxx, you better watch out. I'm about to make it rain tens of dollars up in here.

Avoiding: Pinterest! As much as I will proclaim my undying love for that website, I am in New Years Res mode and feel like accomplishing something! Pinterest actually consumes a TON of my time. When I put the iPad down at night, I get bored really quickly. So I made a list of all the Pin projects I'd been planning to do and then deleted the app off my phone and iPad. It's been a tough habit to break! But it's working! I'm spending way less time on the couch.

Creating: A beautiful kitchen and breakfast area. :D Cannot wait to show you guys the before and afters when we finish her up!

Celebrating: A fresh start! Christmas decorations are down. Healthy groceries in the fridge. I've been to the gym three times. I'm pickin' up what you're puttin' down, 2014.
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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Copy Cat

I have been on a roll of doing some really bloggery stuff lately, you guys. Unfortunately, it's been because other creative ladies have created some great DIYs and I've followed their instructions and copied them. Much less blogtastic... but I thought I'd share the cool stuff I've done but cannot take any credit for!


inspired me to do a crappier version of my own! 

And this...

...showed me how to do this! It fell down a couple times throughout the day but otherwise I liked it!

I loosely followed one of these recipes...

...to make these.

Hold on to your hats for this one... 


Oh and also I saw this...

... and made this. I just wrapped it in yard for security and to make it look kind of nice? 

So for the record, I have not just been sitting around eating chocolate covered pomegranates and watching marathon episodes of Game of Thrones this holiday season *cough*...

I have been carefully copying other people's creative Pinterest and blog posts! So, yea, come on by the blog any time and check out the copy cat stuff I've been doing while planted in front of my TV at night!!!

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