Monday, December 7, 2009

Turkey Cupcakes

Give a "gobble, gobble" and then gobble them up!

Thanksgiving x 3

We had three wonderful Thanksgivings again this year! The weekend before Thanksgiving we headed to Tyler for two nights to be with Kent's family. We had fun playing in the leaves with our nephews, and we all enjoyed a boat ride on Sunday. Kent tried his hardest to break his streak of not catching any fish every time we go to Tyler, but to no avail. He's a good sport, though!

My aunt and uncle hosted all of my dad's family on Thanksgiving day in Austin. The weather was perfect ... we sat and chatted around a chiminea and later played Loaded Questions, which was a super fun game. I have a feeling our laughter from the board game often overpowered the football game that the guys were watching, but oh well!

Kent and I hosted my mom's family the day after. We played our traditional game of Yahtzee and RELAXED! We were pretty worn out by the third Thanksgiving.

We are so thankful to have such wonderful family, and are also thankful that so many of them live close enough that we get to see them multiple times a year. Here are some pictures, most of them being from Tyler.

"No photos! No sitting! No breathing! No fun!"

Long-lost blogger here! Lots to catch up on, so hold on tight, 'cause here we go!

So when we last left off, I was in travel limbo and desperately trying to get to Ecuador for a few business meetings. The airline denied us boarding due to "weight restrictions," which I now believe is a bunch of B.S. I think what really happened is that they overbooked the flight, and because we were traveling via frequent flyer miles, they decided to give our tickets away to a "paying" traveler. I raised my voice, but refrained from screaming, and we reluctantly left the airport to try again for the same flight the next day. Alex, who is fluent in Spanish, had to alter our hotel arrangements and reschedule a meeting thanks to the lovely mishap at the airport.

We arrive at the airport the next day a full FOUR hours before our flight, to allow ourselves plenty of time to handle any other hiccups that may come our way. We get up to the counter, and it's déjà vu. They start talking about weight restrictions again, but this time Alex receives a boarding pass, and I am told that I'm on standby, and must check-in at the gate. So we wait, and wait and wait for someone to come to the counter at the gate. It's now less than an hour before our flight is scheduled to leave, and I still don't know if I have a seat or not. Much to my delight, I receive a boarding pass very quickly and am finally able to breathe a sigh of relief.

We had been in the air for about 1.5 hrs. when the captain came on the intercom with an announcement. "Ladies and Gentlemen, I don't want to alarm you, but we are experiencing an electrical problem in the right engine. It's nothing to worry about, but we are going to turn around and go back to Houston and put you on a different plane to Quito just to be safe." SERIOUSLY?!? I must have been slightly delirious by this point, because I remember barely flinching at the news. So another 1.5 hrs. back to Houston, and then we're told that we're too heavy to land, because we still have too much fuel, so we have to fly around Houston for an hour or so to burn off some fuel. Just what Houston needs, more jet fuel in their already polluted air! We finally land back in Houston about four hours after we took off. They got everyone on another plane pretty quickly, and we took off for Quito ... again. It was about 9:45 p.m. the second time we departed Houston, and it's a five hour flight to Quito. Knowing that we had a 9 a.m. meeting the next day, I tried to get some sleep on the plane, but that is never good sleep. Quito is one hour ahead, so we landed at about 4 a.m. and got to our hotel about 5 a.m. I finally got to bed at 6 a.m., and woke up at 7:30 a.m. for our 9 a.m. meeting. Yikes! Needless to say, I was sleep deprived the whole trip, and running on adrenaline the whole time, I think.

We had two meetings on Tuesday and two on Wednesday. Two of the four meetings were almost completely in Spanish, so Alex and I had to go back and forth with the translations. We ended up landing an account at the last meeting, so we were excited about that.

There wasn't much time for sight-seeing, but one of the buyers and her husband graciously took us to the downtown historic district of Quito for dinner and to show us a few of the sights one evening. It was dark, so the pictures aren't the greatest, but at least we got to see something other than office buildings while we were there.

Alex and I were constantly making fun of how strict some things were there. I was scolded for taking pictures at least twice, scolded once for sitting on a curb (in a parking lot, not even on a street!), we were constantly asked to show our IDs, and not only did I have to show my ID when paying for breakfast, but they also asked for my passport! So the running joke was, "No photos! No sitting! No breathing! No fun!"

Eventhough the trip was fast and furious, I really enjoyed Quito. Here are a few photos of my journey:

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Travel Update

I should be in Ecuador right now, but I'm still in Houston, blogging from my hotel. Due to weather issues, they did not allow any more passengers on the plane after "x" number had already checked in. I have a feeling that we barely missed the cut-off. It all sounds ridiculous to me, but whatcha gonna do? Sooo, please pray that tomorrow goes better for us! I know everything happens for a reason, but I'm bummed that this means one less day of fun in Ecuador. :(

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Headed to Ecuador

Tomorrow I'm leaving for my first business trip out of the country! I'm super excited and nervous at the same time. The company that I work part-time for in Houston is sending me to Ecuador for five days to meet with prospective and current clients. Luckily, there is also another employee going with me who is fluent in Spanish to serve as my translator. Thank goodness, because this German girl knows very little español! I learned a few words working at the outlet mall at Ann Taylor for four years, but I don't think pantalones, zapatos and por favor would get me very far in Ecuador. (Although I would probably come home with some great Ecuador fashion items!)

Ecuador (pink on the map) is in the northwest part of South America and borders the Pacific Ocean, Columbia and Peru. The Galapagos Islands are also a part of Ecuador, and I would loooove to visit, but it takes a good day and a half to get there by boat, and I won't have that kind of time. I doubt I'll have much access to the Internet while I'm there, so I'll have some catching up to do in the blogging world when I get back.

Kent and my three year anniversary is on Wednesday, and I don't get home until Thursday. I'm very sad to miss it, but we'll celebrate on the weekend. I'm going to miss my hubby and pets tons! I'm a little nervous to leave them, too. It's not that I don't think Kent is capable, because he is and he definitely pulls his weight around the house, but there are certain tasks that I do everyday, that he just isn't used to doing. So, here are some of the actual post-it notes that I will probably leave around the house to remind hubby (and to make me feel better). It's not Tuesday, so I hope I don't get in trouble with SupahMommy for this!

Friday, November 6, 2009

It Never Hurts to Ask ...

“It never hurts to ask” has been one of my mantras for a long time. My theory is, "What's the worst that could happen?" And most of the time, the answer is simply that they will say no. Boy did it pay off to ask last night. Literally.

Hubby and I went to Kohl's to check out their selection of luggage. We have been "making do" with some falling apart, semi-working luggage for a while now. I really wanted new luggage before an upcoming trip on Sunday (details to follow in tomorrow's post), and hubby agreed that it was time. There was a BOGO sale going on, but even with that special, I was still a little taken aback by the prices. But we agreed that it was better to spend a little more for higher quality luggage that can take a beating, rather than replace it with average stuff every couple of years. So we pick out one medium and one small-sized suitcase and roll off to checkout.

As we are checking out, I notice some scratches on the backside of one of the handles. I mention this out loud to hubby, and the sales lady hears me as well. But by this point, he had already signed the receipt, so I don't expect her to offer a discount. She says that I can go pick out another one, and I tell her that it was the last one. She then says that we can take them to customer service in the back of the store, and they might be able to give us a discount, but who knows.

So we roll off to the back of the store. On the stroll back, hubby whispers to me, "You ask for a discount, I don't want to." Sticking to my mantra, I agree and we patiently wait in line. Correction ... I'm patiently waiting, but hubby on the other hand is playing with the non-damaged suitcase by spinning it around and around as fast as he can. He was very impressed with the four dual wheels that rotate 360 degrees (they are pretty nifty). He spins it a little too fast and it goes crashing to the ground, loud enough that the two people ahead of us in line turn around to see what the commotion is. I then whisper/hiss to him, "You are NOT helping our case here, they're going to think that we damaged it ourselves! OK, it's our turn."

Teeny Bopper Customer Service Girl: "Can I help you?"

Me: "Hi, we just purchased these suitcases and I noticed that this one is slightly damaged, and it's the last one. Is there anyway we can get a discount?"

Teeny Bopper Customer Service Girl: "Sure. But THEY could have done this for you up front." (shakes her head in disapproval)

Me: "Oh. They must just be lazy. You sure are working hard back here." (crossing my fingers that I'm scoring points with her)

She then starts the return and re-ring process, and it's taking a while, so I tell hubby that I'll be a few feet away looking at shoes. After all, I've just saved us some money, shouldn't I get to spend the savings on some new, cute fall shoes?
I'm still close enough that I can hear them conversing ...

Teeny Bopper Customer Service Girl: "So how much of a discount do you want? 10, 20%?

Hubby: "10% is fine." (My sweet hubby, not wanting to be greedy. I don't blame him, the scratch was barely visible, and you know it would have gotten scratched after it was thrown into the plane the first time anyway.)

Charming Customer Service Girl: "I'll give you 25% off."

Hubby: (Silence) "Uh. OK. Thanks!"

SAAAAWEEEET! Hubby then finds me in the shoe department and relays the conversation to me, adding, "I think she liked me!" I responded with "Awesome!" or something similar, and I guess he was hoping for some jealousy from me and was slightly bummed that I wasn't. I told him that teeny bopper customer service girls are welcome to flirt with him, as long as it means money in our pockets! Especially 25%, holy cow! I told him I'll be cashing in my shoe coupon at a later date. I expected 10% off, and we got 25% off, so I'm pretty sure that means an upgrade to Nine West!

Here's our nifty new Dockers luggage:

We then headed to Papa Murphy's Pizza to take a pizza pie home for a quick dinner. We recently discovered Papa Murphy's. If you haven't been to one before, it's the Subway of pizza joints. You basically build-your-own pizza and then take it home and bake it. It's delicious, and tastes fresher than delivery (and it's cheaper). We order The Cowboy which is a concoction of premium pepperoni, Italian sausage, fresh mushrooms, black olives and an herb & cheese blend. So good! It's usually $12.99 for a large, so we went to pay and they tell us the total is $8.50. Are we on a roll, or what?!? We didn't have to ask for that discount, but what a great way to end an already lucky night! Here's a stock photo to get your mouth watering:

So remember ... it never hurts to ask!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Halloween @ Wurstfest

We did it! We escaped the trick-or-treaters this year, dressed up and went out! Can you guess what we are supposed to be? Anyone?

We are "An Office Affair" ... boss and secretary. Scandalous, I know. But hubby was happy with the minimal amount of dressing up required and the fact that our costumes were almost free! Plus, we got lots of laughs and comments all night.

Kent's costumed turned out really great, but besides my shirt being buttoned wrong, it's hard to tell what else my costume entailed in these pics. I had a pencil, paperclips and rubberbands stuck in my hair, and some post-it notes on my rear end.

Courtney, my college roommate from Baylor, came down to spend the weekend with us! It was soooo good to see her ... it had been a whole three years ... we last saw her at our wedding! She was super excited about Wurstfest, and it was fun to be able to take her, especially since we had a few German classes together at Baylor.

Mmm, pork chops on a stick are soooo yummy!

This guy played a beer bong like an instrument ... priceless.

Courtney also has a blog, and it's hilarious. She just moved back to Texas from Oregon, so go visit her at The Baptist Nun and give her some comment love. Court, you really need to have a post where you explain your Halloween costume, because it still confuses me! ;)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New Uses for Old Things

Those of you who know me well know that I love to organize. So this article from Real Simple magazine is right up my alley! Some of these ideas are just plain silly, but some are really clever and I plan on using them. Do you have any new uses for old things that you are already implementing? Do share!

(I already use these six-pack holders to transport the dirty champagne glasses from the limos to our house to wash them. A condiment tote is also a great idea!)

Monday, November 2, 2009

I won, I won!

I won the postcard giveaway from Jessica @ This, That and My Blog!! So excited! I'm working on the design, so I'll let you know what I come up with and how they turn out. Thanks for providing your readers with these awesome giveaways, Jessica!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Jessica over at This, That and My Blog is hosting some great giveaways! I'm shooting for the 100 free brochures from We really need some new brochures for Skyline that show updated pics of the Party Bus, so if I don't win, I'll probably still order from them anyway! I'm also crossing my fingers for the 100 free postcards. Don't you think they'd make great handouts to advertise our limo Christmas Light Tours? I get extra entries for each giveaway for posting this, so wish me luck!

Post-It Note Tuesday

Time for Post-It Note Tuesday brought to you by SupahMommy!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Trick-or-Treat, smell my ... annoyance ...

So, it's almost Halloween. I usually stay home and pass out candy, because I like to see all of the cute kids in costume. OK, honestly I usually stay home, because we don't get invited to any parties. There, happy? And since I am stuck at home, I make the best of it and go all out with the front porch decorations, spooky music blaring, GOOD candy, etc. So after all of my efforts, is it too much to ask for a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T from the trick-or-treaters? Instead of voicing my complaints to my poor husband this year like I do every year, I thought I would vent to you poor, unsuspecting, blogging souls.

Complaint #1:
Really kiddos, MUST you cut through my flower beds? I know my sidewalk takes a hard right angle, but did trampling over my vincas really save you that much time? And parents, don't just watch ... this would be a great time to teach "respect for other people's property!"

Complaint #2:
OK, listen up, here's how the scene should go down:

(ring doorbell. Once will do just fine, three is the max if you are super excited.)

(open door)

Trick-or-Treat!!!! (enthusiastically)

Wow, what great costumes! You're such a pretty ballerina, and you're such a funny clown and oooo, scary pirate! (hand out candy) Here ya go, have fun!

Thank you!! (enthusiastically)

Not so hard, right? So you'll understand that when I answer the door and you just stare at me and hold your bag out, I'll just stare back at you until you respond appropriately. If I must prompt you, it will be, "Yes, can I help you?" Then if you respond with "Umm, Trick-or-Treat??," I'll say, "Oh, I didn't know why you were here!" And if you fail to thank me after receiving your delicious candy, prepare to hear, "What do you say ... ?" I know, I know, Halloween is supposed to be fun, but they're obviously not learning manners at home, so I feel that it is my civic duty to help these poor kids.

Complaint #3:

If you have facial hair of any kind that is not a part of your costume ... no candy for you.

If you drove yourself to my house to trick-or-treat ... no candy for you.

If you have hickeys ... no candy for you.

If you are trick-or-treating with a 3-month-old ... it's pretty obvious who is going to be eating that candy later, so no candy for you.

So there you have it. The rules are very simple if you would like to trick-or-treat at my house. Call me The Candy Nazi if you must, but I think my complaints are justified. What do you think? Who knows, maybe we'll get lucky this year and actually go to a party and avoid these annoyances all together!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Post-It Note Tuesday

Wow, Tuesday again already? You know what that means ... time for post-its! Go to SupahMommy to make your own! C'mon, u know u want 2!

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Weekend of Birthdays

Kent's 35th birthday was on Friday, which was perfect, because he now has Friday's off from work (he now works Monday-Thursday, usually 6:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. w/ a 30-min. lunch). We had planned on a sushi dinner with friends, so we headed over to their house around 7 p.m. Little did Kent know that I had arranged for one of our limos to pick us all up! I couldn't think of one single time in the last 18 months since we started our business that Kent actually got to sit IN THE BACK of a limo and just enjoy himself. We've taken limos out a few times for family surprises and get-togethers, but Kent was always the one doing the driving! He was super surprised, and we all enjoyed a bottle of champagne on the way to A-Tan Sushi Bar in N.B.

After dinner it was off to Liberty Bistro for dessert and drinks, where Kent had his all-time favorite dessert, Pot de Crème.

Saturday night was my mom's birthday. The whole fam headed over to McAdoo's in N.B. for some delicious seafood.

The birthday girl!
Yes, there is a story behind this strangely cropped photo. Some members of our party were feeling a bit self-conscious after their large meal, and I was told that I must crop the photo in the appropriate place before posting. :)

It was a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Post-It Note Tuesday

Here's my first edition of Post-It Note Tuesday. I got this fun idea from Jessica over at This, That and My Blog, and she got the idea from a friend who originally got if from SupahMommy! It's a great way to vent passive agressively or just remind yourself to do something. It's kinda hard to stop once you get started though!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Kent and I have been slaving over our Party Bus for the last two weeks. This past week was torture. Late, LATE nights of laying tile and adding extras to the bus. We were sore and sleep deprived, but we are very pleased with the final product! And the reservations are coming in, so that makes it that much more satisfying. This past weekend I was finally able to play catch-up with laundry, cleaning and cooking. Everything house related had taken a far backseat. Poor Kent told me yesterday that he had to use a hand towel to dry off after his shower the other day, because we were out of clean bath towels! (we have separate bathrooms, so I didn't realize!) Yeah, that's pretty bad! But things are getting back to normal now, and I've finally had the chance to do some fall/Halloween decorating. I LOVE this time of year. Crisp autumn air puts me in such a good mood. Another thing that makes this time of year my favorite is that it's Wurstfest season! I'm so looking forward to the delicious German food, fun and music that is Wurstfest ... just a couple more weeks!

Whitney's Baby Shower

I co-hosted a baby shower on Saturday with five other lovely ladies. The mom-to-be is my dear friend Whitney. We have known each other since we were babies ourselves, and she was one of my bridesmaids. She is due in about a month. She does not know what she's having (exciting!), so we kept the color scheme neutral.

I could not find a pre-made invitation that suited Whitney's style, so decided to handmake them. She is a fabulous seamstress, baker, artist, etc., and loves antiques, so I thought this fit her well. The assembly process ended up being a much bigger job than I anticipated, so I called in reinforcements, and we knocked out the 35 invites ... thanks Mom and Gail!

My mom made this CUTE diaper cake. What a practical centerpiece!

I made these baby rattle cupcakes. The dots are dark chocolate M&M's with the logo facing down, and the handles are lollipop sticks with a gumdrop stuck on the end.

Playing "Guess How Big Around the Belly Is" with yarn. Whitney's grandmother guessed exactly right!

Whitney and the hostesses.