Friday, September 26, 2014

Fan of Friday: Week of 9/26/2014

Apparently, for the last couple months, I've been in love with blacks and grays.

Not exactly practical in 100 degree heat...

In the image below is every item of clothing I've purchased recently (minus two shirts from my England trip).

Black and Gray Wardrobe

Maybe my inner spirit is in a mood, but I just want to wear black. I want to be a badass in black. I'm not. I'm not a badass at all, but black feels good right now. I'm Sandy at the end of 'Grease' in my tight black pants, sleeveless sweatshirt, and faux leather jacket.

I think, after some reflection which really shouldn't be inspired by a post this shallow, that I've been feeling kind of tread on lately and black makes me feel stronger. Less weak. Even if it's just a black top with polka dots made of sleeping kittens.

I don't usually wear black with black, but if I start doing that, someone should really start to be concerned about why I feel so helpless...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

British Youtuber Haul

I promised it on Monday in my post about my trip to England and I'm actually delivering!

It's my first video!

Yes, it's ridiculous. And yes, I felt painfully awkward through most of it. So please be kind.

However, let me know what you think. I would love some feedback, and maybe some ideas of things to talk about if I ever work up the nerve to do this again.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Have You Even Heard of Bournemouth?

A couple of weeks ago, I traveled for work yet again. For the third time in three years, I went back to England to work on the robot of a very important customer. If you'd like to read about my first two adventures, click here or here. The robot was having a different problem than the last two times I was sent out to fix it, so fortunately I didn't need to pack my tools and could travel a bit lighter. It did mean a handful of side effects I wasn't expecting since this wasn't the usual problem, but nothing too catastrophic.

The first time I went to England for work, we worked in Bournemouth but stayed in Basingstoke. The second time, we both worked and stayed in Basingstoke. This time, we stayed in Bournemouth and worked in both Basingstoke and Bournemouth. It made for a longer day than normal, but it was even longer by all the celebratory pints my coworkers kept throwing back afterwards. And it did guarantee that we got to eat at our favorite restaurant, the Portsmouth Arms in Basingstoke. I was quite sad to learn that it was a chain, though.

The hotel we stayed at, the Royal Norfolk, had to be the prettiest hotel I'd ever seen. Every little detail was gorgeous. It made me feel like a princess and a complete mess at the same time. I definitely was not put together enough to fit in.

The walls were a little thin and there was no air conditioning, or even a fan, so I didn't sleep that great. However, everything else was spot on.

Including the location. The hotel sits on top of a hill, surrounded by beautiful old churches. At the base of this hill, a two minute walk, was a beautifully manicured park and the midpoint of the shopping district.

On the other side of the park was the beach. A traditional English beach with a pier, rows of rentable cabanas, and families taking in the last of the sunny summer days.

Once we had finished working, we had a free day to sight-see. We leave an extra day in case there were any unforeseen problems, but we've fortunately never needed to use it. On our last two visits to England, my boss wanted to see Stonehenge and Bathe. This time he wanted to see the ruins at Glastonbury. It sounded like a nice day, but I wanted to spend some more time in contemporary England. In a move that made me incredibly nervous, I asked him to leave me behind so I could explore Bournemouth and do some shopping. It probably wasn't the greatest move for my career, but it couldn't hurt more than any other ridiculous decision I make.

And I don't regret it at all now. I had the best day. I sat in the park, watching tourists pay for the overpriced balloon ride. I found an aviary full of adorable birds that I can only assume chirp with a British accent. I explored the old churches that were still intact.

My favorite part of the day was afternoon tea. Sitting on the veranda of the gorgeous hotel, people watching on the street below. And since I was alone (which I think scared the waitress a bit), I didn't have to share any of my delicious treats with anyone else. I'm not a big fan of tea, but it was probably the best tea I've ever had.

However, most of my day was spent shopping. I brought back a good assortment of goodies and souvenirs. I went into just about every store. I made a list of the things I wanted to buy as I went. And in traditional British blogger fashion, I'm trying to make a haul video. If everything goes according to plan, it should be up on Wednesday.

Stay tuned...

Friday, September 19, 2014

Odile, You Tease

Remember the great storm of 2014? Remember how Hurricane Odile was heading straight for Tucson? She was going to clobber us with five to seven inches of rain. People all over town panicked. The City of Tucson distributed over 10,000 sandbags and people queued for hours to get their hands on the them. My husband's company sent him home early to beat the storm. We charged our electronics and gathered flashlights in case we lost power. We bottled water in case we lost water. We moved everything not nailed down out of our front and back yards.

And you know what happened?

Tucson Odile

Nothing. Every weatherman in town had to eat their hat.

Some pretty clouds that hid the mountains and that was it.

Odile Tucson

Odile missed Tucson completely. Other than some sprinkles of rain in the morning, we didn't get any rain. This may seem like a good thing, but in a desert, we needed the rain. Most of the city was excited for the storm.

It was fun watching all the news programs the next morning. They danced around, trying to avoid admitting they were wrong about the storm. The panic was for nothing.

Although, they're already talking about Hurricane Polo, so they may not have learned anything from this... 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

You Can Always Go Downtown

Usual weekends for us are fairly slow. We like to stick around the house, or at least our side of town. Since this past weekend was an anomaly for our system, it deserves documentation.

Friday started out fairly typical. I ran to the grocery store after work and bought the supplies to make up a double sized batch of Sriracha mac and cheese. We both have lunches for the week now. Round that out with an Amazon Prime showing of 'Beverly Hills Cop', which neither of us had seen before, and it was a nice, average Friday night.

After not being able to sleep, I leaned into it and got up early for a run. Have I mentioned before that I'm training for a run in the beginning of October? It's a five miler and I'm nowhere near that distance right now. My run Saturday morning was 3.1 miles total, but I did have two walking breaks. If I could do five miles with some walking breaks in under an hour, I'd be pretty happy.

Most of my afternoon was wasted lying in bed, finishing my book, Timeline by Michael Crichton. There are definitely some major plot holes, but I'd read just about anything from the man who brought me Jurassic Park.

Then we began our long, busy night. My sister was in a play! A play guys! A friend of hers wrote it and cast her. She had been rehearsing for weeks so we stopped and picked up some hydrangeas as a present when we drove all the way to downtown to see her perform. 

Before the play, we grabbed some dinner at a new place called Diablo Burger. I can't say I found their burgers particularly spicy, but the veggie burger was yummy, the seasoning on the fries was tasty, and I love a place with good condiments already on the table. {Sidenote: the place that we go to for Pub trivia never has any condiments on the tables, even ketchup. When you ask for it, they bring a little tub of it and it's never enough. It's just the worst.)

We timed it almost perfectly, just enough time to inhale some burgers before walking over to the play venue. I'd post some pictures of the play but 1) they all came out blurry and 2) my sister would probably kill me. She was great, though. So proud.

Instead of actual play pictures, how about one of the flyer for the festival?

After the play, my sister and all of her friends and family went out for drinks at the bar across from the venue. I never go to bars so I was excited to try something new. Except they wouldn't let me in. Womp womp. Something about a new law when it comes to driver's licenses. Realized afterward that I had my passport on me so I could have gotten in, but I was so embarrassed that that bar is now dead to me. DEAD TO ME!

Instead, we went to Hub Ice Creamery and I got my sorbet on. I'd never been there before, but it was quite good. We took our tiny cups of delicious, delicious ice cream and wandered around the INSANELY busy downtown. Downtown Tucson, which honestly has always kind of been a joke, is less of a joke now guys. There's actually stuff to do and see. I'm quite proud of my town for finally getting it together after all of these years.

And it had also been forever since I'd just hung out with people. Just strolled and explored and chit-chatted. And of course, took some selfies.

Shaking it up once in a while apparently isn't a bad thing. Who knew?

Monday, September 15, 2014


Over the last couple of months, blogging really hasn't been a priority for me. I've been telling myself that I have been neglecting this space because my life has gotten busy, but that's really not true. Yes, I have been busy, but definitely not so much that I can't take 20 minutes and an Instagram picture and form some sort of post.

Let's be real, this blog not exactly about quality for me. It's about just getting it out. Whether it's a journal entry as to what I've been doing or a crazy opinion rattling around in my brain or even a cat picture, I need to express myself.

I'm going to stop waiting to make progress on house projects and post about them as they lay because honestly, I think most people hate those people who can do a whole living room redo in just one weekend. Most of us (especially Sam and Rusty) can't even manage to put together a piece of Ikea furniture in that amount of time.

Anyway, I'll be here more. Hopefully I'll push my comfort zone a bit, even if it's just to have something to write about. I'm bringing back 'Fan of Fridays' and admitting to some loves that are incredibly ridiculous and uncool. I'm going to try some different styles of posts. Knock on wood, I'm even going to try making some videos. If anything, it'll be something to see, like a train wreck perhaps.

And I am totally open to suggestions. If you have anything you'd like to see more, let me know below. I can only run on my own ideas for so long.