Friday, January 30, 2009

Waiting for Kiddos/ Buses

I was driving home from my informational interview (in which I was stood up..sad) and got stuck in a long line of buses next to a school near our apartment. I was going to go around them (because they were waiting on all the kiddos) but was afraid because of oncoming traffic. While I was waiting for the buses to move (and eventually a teacher's aid stopped traffic to allow me to go around), like 5 different kids came up to the car to see if I was their mom. One little girl opened the door, and immediately had a look of complete horror/terror go across her face. Therefore, I conclude most mom's with children between the ages of 8-5 own silver Honda accords. I really felt sorry for the little girl, and her pink matching scarf and hat were SO adorable I almost did take her home with me.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


This is an awesome video. I have watched it repeatedly today and cannot get over the detail and absolute creativity captured in these few minutes. I hope if anyone filmed me sleeping it would be this eventful.

P.S. The song is pretty good too!
P.P.S. I also love the white bedroom above, but unfortunately I am too fond of red wine and chocolate to ever have a room like that.


Today while knitting in my favorite corner of the apartment I realized that I have not given my evaluation of Minnesota yet, and for some reason the apartment is particularly cold today reminding me that I'm not in Kansas...I mean...Texas anymore. So I'm going to give my comparisons of home state and my current state.

Texas vs. Minnesota

1. Texas always has fantastic hot and spicy food available...but Minnesota has the weather appropriate for eating it

2. Minnesota boasts the most literate citizens but some of the most expensive independent bookstores (went into one today near my apartment, ridiculously expensive for books)

3. Texas has boots and cowboys that are good looking but a little sweaty while Minnesota has the boots and cowboys too except their a little on the blue and frozen side

4. Minnesota has all 4 seasons...Texas has 4 different levels of heat - hot, uncomfortable hot, sweltering mind-blowing hot, and death

5. Texas has my favorite music capital of the world - Austin but Minnesota has my favorite theater infused twin - Minneapolis

6. Minnesota houses some of my favorite authors - Neil Gaiman and Thomas Friedman, but Texas has some of my favorite people - Abra and Corey

7. Texans know how to make and consume margaritas on those humid summer nights but Minnesotans know how to drink giant mugs of beer while huddled inside a cozy pub

8. Minnesota is the land of a thousand lakes while Texas is the land of a thousand friendly faces
9. Texas has water skiing, beaches, and armadillos but Minnesota has snow skiing, mountains (kinda), and white bunnies

10. But the biggest conundrum - Texas has my family and friends and Minnesota has the love my life

Overall Minnesota has been pretty great. I have gotten to experience a "real" winter and fall and have enjoyed all the time I've gotten to spend with Dale. Also, I've learned the pleasures of mass transportation and living in a real eclectic neighbor and above all appreciating the architecture of the city. I sometimes miss Texas especially on days when my feet refuse to thaw, and I don't know how long we'll stay here in Minnesota, but I do know that Minneapolis will always have a piece of my heart...a frozen little piece. :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Reception Ideas

Here are some of my ideas for centerpieces for the wedding. Simple, autumnal and hopefully inexpensive. Also, I really love this cake and am thinking this style but in creams and whites.

Also, if you are curious, all these drawings and pictures are in my moleskin (which I recommend everyone should have for jotting down ideas), and I got very motivated today to use my scanner. So Voila!


So lately I've been sketching and trying to improve my skills. I only like to draw women for some reason- mostly because all of my men end up looking like each other or complete idiots. What's funny is that my drawing style looks the same as it did when I was 13.

Scoot, please...

Cheers for being in love! and Dale Austin!

Addams' Family House

I just found out that Neil Gaiman lives in/near Minneapolis, MN. He decided that when he moved to the U.S. he wanted to live in an "Addams' Family House" which can only be found in the America and Minneapolis was the lucky if you need me I will be scouring the countryside for his home.

Congrats Neil!

Last Friday, I reread one of my all time favorite books - Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I have read and reread this book probably more than 15 times. It is a simple story of Tristan Thorne traveling to find a fallen star to give to his true love. With dark overtones and fanciful characters, this fairy tale weaves a compelling story of integrity, romance, and adventure.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who appreciates a good fairy tale or enjoys fantasy in its purest form. However, do not be persuaded to watch the movie in lieu of reading the book because while I love Claire Danes, she should have turned down this role. This watered down commercialized version of this fairy tale completely leaves out all the unique language and tone of the original masterpiece.

Also strangely enough, this morning I read that Neil Gaiman received the Newbery medal for his book The Graveyard Book which I have not read yet but will definitely have to pick up. So this is my congratulations to Neil Gaiman author of my favorite book!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Engagement Photos

Dale and I are taking our engagement pictures soon, and I want an outfit like one of these. I absolutely love that dress by JCrew.

OMG...that is all I can say

I HEART Sweaters!

I was watching Full House today, and Stephanie was wearing a sweater I owned as a kid. It made me realize how adorable I was and 90's clothing rocks.

Why are sweaters on animals adorable? It's absolutely ridiculous. Animals don't wear clothes and yet I see a kitten or pug in a sweater and I melt. I want to spread them on a cracker and eat them up. I can completely identify with the guy in this commercial. Kittens = scrumptious snack...especially if they are wearing a sweater.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Salt is Awesome

So I ran by the lake for the first time this winter. I tried out my new under armor outfit (thank you Mom and Dad) and was completely warm. My biggest obstacle was the snow/melty snow/ ice/ slush on the sidewalks making me slip and slide a little. It was kinda like running in sand; therefore, I have concluded that SALT is one of the most awesome creations ever. The sidewalks that had been thoroughly salted were a nice oasis during my three mile run. So Rachel - 1 and Minnesota winter - 0

Also, I tried out a new recipe tonight, and it was a complete success. We had chicken thighs with a tomato/ green chili/ cumin/ peanut sauce - lots of Indian flavors. I am very proud of myself - I conquered running in Minnesota winter and Indian cuisine in one day.

Hoot Hoot

Owls are just too cute especially when you can put them on anything!


I watched the inauguration yesterday and felt proud to be an American. At first, I didn't really like Obama and was worried about his presidency. Now I feel he genuinely does want to improve our country and will do everything he can (as an individual) to work on our current issues. I just think we as a nation cannot forget that while he does have a huge influence on policy that he is working with an entire government system to get things done. While Obama may have some very liberal ideas about health care and social policies, he does not have absolute power and is working with an entire organization to run the country.
Also, I am proud of the Bush administration for making the transition a smooth one for Obama, and it brightened my heart to see Obama and his wife walk George and Laura to their helicopter. Traditionally the new president walks the former president out and waits on the steps, but they walked them all the way to the helicopter. It made me hope for a more unified political atmosphere for the Obama presidency, can to and also I just hope Republicans will not behave like the liberals during this term and do everything to discredit him.

I want to do my duty as an American and stay engaged in public policy and remain aware of the changes in America. One way I feel like I can contribute is to pray for the Obama administration and make sure I am involved in every voting opportunity.

Good luck Obama! I hope you can make your abstract promises into concrete results and give the American people the hope and positive energy they need to have faith in our country. You are in my prayers, and I look forward to seeing what you can do.

Monday, January 19, 2009


So the last couple days I have been sick of not having a job. I am very ready to have a routine again. I kinda have one now, but from 10 am to 4 pm there isn't really a schedule. While I am ready to have a job and contribute to society and my family's finances, I don't want just any job. I don't mind a job where I have to "pay my dues," but I want a job that is working toward an overall career....makes me feel overwhelmed just thinking about it.

I have been reading this book (which I HIGHLY recommend), and it really stresses the importance of getting a job that is working toward your overall goal. Unfortunately, THAT is what I have to figure out.

Where do I see myself in ten years?

I want to have an advanced degree by that time, gained some managerial experience, what...I'm not sure. I keep playing with the idea of getting into publishing/ editing and eventually teaching at the university level, but then I worry that I will hate it once I get into it. Too bad, graduate school isn't free.

Anywho, I DO recommend that everyone between the ages of 22-35 should read this book. I bought it thinking I would just use it as a reference book and it would be too "preachy," but I was completely wrong and am reading it cover to cover. It has really practical information....good stuff.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Future Ideas

So I came across the book that I really want to get but I know it will just be a tease since I don't have a sewing machine. I absolutely love this quilt because it looks more modern than the average homesewn blanket so I'm going to start collecting cloth for this future project. I need to do some research on sewing any recommendations are welcomed.

Sew excited about this blanket!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


So I read this on Susie's blog and loved it. So I'm going to be a complete copy cat but isn't imitation the most sincere form of flattery.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before? Moved across the country, experienced a white Christmas, got engaged, lived in sin :)

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? The only resolution I kept from last year was to read 40 books. I counted up how many books I read and it was 37...but I'm counting it even if I did count the books I just reread. I'm setting more goals this year than anything such as dressing cooler (I know lame), being more web savvy, and being more proactive about art (such as knitting, writing, etc.)

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No, but I'm super ready my sister to start having kids even if it is in a couple years

4. Did anyone close to you die? Yes, my dad's dad - Papa. I lived with him one summer in high school. I really miss him. There house just doesn't feel the same.

5. What countries did you visit? None.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? More action less worrying. I feel like in 2008 I worried a lot about things without taking action until October 3rd. I want to feel more in control about my life and future and start really laying out carreer and financial goals.

7. What date(s) from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? January 18th - realized I really hated my job, June 24th - Dale moved to Minneapolis, October 3rd - moved to Minneapolis, November 1st - Dale asked me to marry him

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Having enough guts to make a decision about moving and quitting my job and not giving up when my boss was a complete jerk

9. What was your biggest failure? I don't like to look it as a failure but last year I wanted to be more health conscious and more physically active. I was until Dale left. I just want that same committment and to succeed this year.

10. Did you suffer any illness or injury? I hurt my back during NIWeek but it was fine.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Our plane ticket home for the was nice seeing everyone

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Dale for going through some tough times at work and striving to always be creative and inspired (I really admire that), my mom for being so understanding about me moving and so supportive through the whole process

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? The voters of California, a certain sibling who won't speak to his mother,

14. Where did most of your money go? Moving

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Getting engaged! Moving! Dale and I starting our life together

16. What song will always remind you of 2008? I don't know the name of it but Dale put it on our moving playlist and it has a guy singing in a deep voice "We'll be living with our hearts on fire"...he knows what I'm talking about

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:i. happier or sadder? ii. thinner or fatter? I am definitely happier. Last year I was worried about Dale moving off to NY or SF, and I am also definitely fatter. Unemployment has not been good to me, but I am currently working on that.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Physical activity, reading, creating, exploring

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Watching TV

20. How will you be spending Christmas? I spent Christmas in Texas at my parent's house and then traveled to all of Dale's families' homes

22. Did you fall in love in 2008? Yes. Over and over again.

23. How many one-night stands? None.

24. What was your favorite TV program? Surprisingly Gilmore Girls...I know I'm like 5 years late

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I don't like the word hate. I am more disappointed with some people.

26. What was the best book you read? The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Little Lame Prince

27. What was your greatest musical discovery? Birds and the Bee

28. What did you want and get? A home with Dale

29. What did you want and not get? a really satisfying job

30. What was your favorite film of this year? Man on Wire (I think it came out in 2007 but I just saw was amazing)

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I went to College Station. I turned 23.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Getting hired by some publishing house with so much money they don't know what to do with it on October 5th

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? Pretty much the same as it’s always been- boring. I think I looked a little drab and too casual. Too many jeans, flip-flops and T-shirts. I am definitely stepping it up for 2009.

34. What kept you sane? Dale, my mom, and doing that play last spring

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Lately I've really liked Maggie Gyllenhaal..and I'm ashamed to say Daniel Radcliffe (it is only because he is Harry Potter)

36. What political issue stirred you the most? The presidential election was this year. Mostly because I feel conservatives (which I consider myself one) completely overreacted to Obama winning (the world isn't going to end and I sincerely think he wants to better the U.S.).

37. Who did you miss? People at NI (mostly Corey), my family, Susie and John, Jenni

38. Who was the best new person you met? Esther Porter from Coffee House Press - I met her for an informational interview and could have chatted with her all day, Liem - hopefully he will give me a job

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008: being in love is easier than you want to make it and sometimes you have to work in the muck to work in the palace

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: (this is my favorite quote and I always use it but it seems to always say what I mean)

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began,
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet,
And whither then? I cannot say.

J.R.R. Tolkien

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

i HEART cupcakes

I really want to become a great knitter and knit little food...especially a cupcake just like this. Doesn't it look delicious?

Devoted son, burritos, and the power of the Internet

I was reading through my daily Shelf Awareness newsletter, and it had a story about a son who posted on his blog about his parents' struggling independent bookstore right before Christmas. He promised to buy a burrito for every person who spent over $50 at his parents' bookstore. While this story is heartfelt and amazing alone, what is truly wonderful is that it worked. His parents' bookstore experienced 6.5% growth in sales compared to last year, and it is all because of the Internet. He posted on his blog. Then his friends posted on theirs. Again and again until someone like myself is moved by their story and posts on their blog thus making this story truly viral.

My mind is officially boggled by this firsthand viral marketing experience. Also, how many freakin' burritos did he have to buy?


So my fiance and I are completely obsessed with pugs. I can pretty much look at pug pics on flickr for the same amount of time as looking at wedding pics on We're thinking of having a pug face for the groom's cake - although it may be too cute to eat.

P.S. Pugs + knitted sweater...I just might explode
P.S.S. A pug named Wookie.....Death by cuteness

Monday, January 12, 2009

Snow on a winter day

As a southerner, I have never had the experience of a quiet snowy day. It is just precipitation but it is so quiet and peaceful - like God is pouring sugar into his coffee or dusting the top of a chocolate cake. All I want to do is curl up with a book, a comfy quilt and some well sugared coffee.