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We like to make excuses to celebrate and what better way to celebrate the Christmas season then an ugly Christmas sweater party. This weekend sparked the first of three Christmas parties this season. My best girlfriends hosted the party Saturday night and it was a great success. We stuffed our faces with bacon wrapped appetizers and holiday spiked drinks. We played sherades and drinko, had an ugly sweater fashion show and swapped white elephant gifts.

The perfect party combination consists of:

IMG_20121201_204713Start with a photo booth. Documenting this momentous occasion on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is a requirement. I mean, how else will all your followers know you found the perfect excuse to drink and party with your friends?

Speaking of friends. Invite them. Nothing says a lame party like an empty room with your uncle standing at the food table all night and that one friend that got drunk and passed out by 8 p.m.

Booze. Don’t even hate. Even the most G-rated parties have some kind of alcoholic beverage. It may be Smirnoff, but hey, we’ve all been there.

Food. Don’t get stingy with this part. Snowman cupcakes? Do it! And nothing is wrong with a cheese ball. That shiz will carry you through four rounds of drinko.

Drinking games. If you’re like my friends, have multiple drinking game options. Beer pong, kings cup, flip cup, drinko. Keep it coming. These people know how to make their liver work. Let’s face it. That liver needs it’s exercise. No one wants a fatty liver.

Sherades. Nothing says party like a game that consists of acting out phrases that tipsy people have written out on a piece of paper. Extra points for making it Christmas-themed. Triple points for the three people that wrote down Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.

IMG_20121202_010507Incentive. It’s a sure fire way to get me to say yes to an invite if you include a little incentive. Ugly sweater contest? I’m in! Second place may be first place loser, but I’m still holding the wine. I know you’re jealous.

Fashion Show. You know you’ve hit the jackpot of all jackpots when the party breaks into a fashion show. Picture this pretty lady sashaying down the hallway cat walk and busting out some sweet grindage up against an unsuspecting friend. Hey, don’t judge. I was aiming for that 1st place spot. At least I wasn’t the one rubbing my nipples. Man, THAT would have been embarrassing!

White elephant. Who came up with the name for this concept? Bring a gift and unwrap a gift or steal from someone else. I’ve never wanted to steal so much in my life. Such a genius idea. Most successful gift? Starbucks gift card and mug. You can NEVER go wrong with a gift card and coffee. Best. Combo. Ever. Unfortunately, I didn’t end up with the Sbux. I ended up with a drinking game I handed off to someone else and a pound of chocolate. A pound people! It’s like Easter again!

IMG_20121202_114300The future hubs. Okay so this one is just for me, but I must document the night I witnessed a drunk Joe. I blame it on the drinko. After more than 2 years, I’ve never seen this man even slightly drunk. And I met this kid in a bar. This was a real treat to witness. Actually, he’s not any different than he is sober. There’s just a lot of “Man, I think I’m drunk,” comments. It was cute.

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State Fairs are fun.
They’re even more fun when you play hookie from work like I did last Monday.
A three day weekend? So worth it!

My dad was visiting from Small Town, USA.
Is that a legit town somewhere? Someone should look that shiz up on Wikipedia.
If so, then I totally just lied to you.

He’s actually from Iowa. The same place where yours truly comes from.
And if you’ve recently read up on your Iowa history then you’d know that my pops lives in the same town that President Herbert Hoover was born.
Poor Herbert. That’s really the worst name ever. Was his nickname Herby? Like Herby the dentist. Quick! Name that reference. (Herby the dentist from the classic Christmas tale of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer for those that have never experienced Christmas)

Anyway. State Fairs are always a good time. Rickety rides, corn dogs and small time vendors.
It’s really the only setting where you can buy a Tempurpedic and munch on fried butter. Yes, fried butter.
Only in A-merrr-i-ca!

You know what else you can do at the State Fair? Pet and feed stingrays!

Look, that one is smiling.

Now there’s a certain process that you must take to feed these bad boys.

Step One: Rinse your hands and arms. These things are super high maintenance. Your grimy body is just too much to handle for these guys.

Step Two: Buy fish. Let’s face it. The Children’s Museum has to make money somehow.

Step Three: Hold the tail end of the fish in your hand with your thumb tucked into your hand. These buggers will suck your thumb right off if you’re not careful. Plus, those fish gotta see what’s going to be their inevitable demise. Poor things. Disclamer: Don’t worry. Those fish were already dead. I wasn’t about to wrangle a fish to feed those stingray suckers.

Step Four: Lower your hand deep into the tank and let the rays swim over your hand and suck the fish right out of it.

And since I’m all for education, here’s some facts about these stingrays:

They don’t actually have any teeth hence the sucking. Man, they’d be a real hit at a crawfish boil.

They are extremely soft to the touch. Ah yes. My Spring 2012 collection will feature a stingray petticoat and matching fedora.

Kidding! Please don’t come after me PETA.

Other things you’ll see at the State Fair:

A man on a pole and not the Magic Mike kind.

How’d you like that job? With half your body somewhere else, you just sit there all day commenting on people passing by. Not really my cup of tea, coffee or pint of bourbon but to each his own really.

Now you can’t leave the fair without gorging on some sort of fried food.
I went with the classic corny dog.

Instagram makes my dog look real good. Or the mustard does. Either way it was a jalapeno-filled, cheese haven of processed bliss.

Now, I’m off to go test out some fried recipes so I can compete for the most artery-damaging food competition. I’m thinking a deep-fried bacon cheeseburger wrapped in more bacon and fried again in motor oil for a beautiful crunchy outside and a juicy, meaty inside. Genius! Grand prize winner right here!

Another weekend down and it was seriously one for the books.

Friday night, some friends and I made our way to the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo in Denton. Wade Bowen, my favorite Texas Country musician, made a little concert appearance. And lets be honest here, it’s the main reason why I was headed to such a place.

You know how when you’re at a concert and you just start dancing where you’re standing? Yeah, I made that look real good Friday night. Song after song my legs were like they had just been diagnosed with restless leg syndrome. They had a mind of their own and I couldn’t stop them from tapping, stomping and swaying their way through the badarse tunes of Mr. WB.

And then I made the decision to get on this.

I think I’m officially too old to ride carnival rides. They’re too rickety and my body just doesn’t take the jostling so well. I was a bit white walking off of that baby.

Saturday was filled with things I didn’t get to do last weekend for my birthday. Manicures and pedicures with my ladies made the morning and dinner at the Cheesecake Factory made the night. A few things to take away from the Factory: best mashed potatoes EVER and a pretty darn good turkey burger to boot.

That’s red velvet cake cheesecake and a butterfinger and reeses cheesecake. They were a little slice of heaven on a plate. Amen!

And now it’s Monday. Make it worthwhile, ya’ll!

Well, ya can’t say I don’t try my darnest. Last night, the ole weatherman was forecasting some much needed rain. I had plans to get my butt out on the trail and nothing was going to stop me. I was out of the house and pounding the pavement by 7 p.m., the exact time the storm was meant to come through our town. Luckily, it stayed off for a good hour, but not until I nearly pissed my pants in absolute terror.

I was about 75% of the way through my run when I heard something you never want to hear while running. Sirens. They were loud and long and I started to get concerned that a tornado had been spotted and was headed our way. Craptastical! It was quite comical though when I saw a runner stop dead in his tracks to listen to the siren. Um, hey buddy! I’m booking it out of here. You should do the same. See ya!

I wanted to share this story because a year ago I would have seen the cloudy skies and made it the perfect excuse to snuggle up on the couch with a pint of ice cream and no motivation to workout. It’s just so good to feel good — even though while working it out I’m sweating like a banshee and praying that the torture will end.

Since I didn’t have much time to show you all, I wanted to share with ya’ll a few photos from the concert last weekend.

Note to self: This angle does not do me any favors. Double chin AND my bra showing.

Here’s the winner.

Double chins are no fun.

I should be out on a nice long run.

They are unappealing on me.

Working out and eating right are the key.

Bam!

This double chin charade happened with Joe as well, but I won’t torture you with the full nostril photo that occurred from yours truly. I’ll save it for another time.

Moving on to a man that certainly doesn’t have a double chin.

I can’t even tell you how awesome this concert was. Jason is such a talented musician. He brings not only his fantastic voice, but a band that killed it on stage. The show was filled with trumpets, trombones, harmonicas, percussion and so much more. It had such a perfect musicality to it.

Can ya tell I loved his backdrop? I couldn’t stop staring at it. It’s like going to a Dallas Cowboys game and only watching the ginormous screen in front of you. Luckily, it didn’t take anything away from the actual concert.

And I think I’m more in love with that man after seeing him live. Joe has some competition.

Saturday was my 24th birthday. Do I look older?

Here’s a little weekend breakdown:

Frozen yogurt with my boss who shares the same birthday as myself.

A small celebration with my parents after work on Friday.

A chocolate cake with four candles. Yup, I’m four!

Friday night movie, The Campaign, with Joe. Zack Galifianakis MAKES that movie.

Birthday breakfast waffles.

Shopping and lunch with mama.

A quick change and off to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner.

A quick meltdown because the Cheesecake Factory had too long of a wait.

Dinner at Blue Mesa. Not impressed.

Sweet hellos to my lovely friend, Kara, and a quick drive to the concert venue.

Christina Perry and Jason Mraz sing their sweet tunes.

Lots of singing and booty shakin with a churro in one hand and a beer in the other. Perfect combo!

A stop at the merch booth for a “Mraz is a four letter word” t-shirt.

Sunday shopping at Dick’s Sporting Goods for some new running apparel and a 15 lb kettlebell.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I’m sad it’s over, but it’s on to the next week.