Monday, October 1, 2012

Changing locations

It's official. I'm moving. Good-bye, sweet, blogspot; hello, wordpress.

So the new site is easy to remember, as it's the same name for this one, only with wordpress:

See you over there!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fall races

Woo hoo! I have officially signed up for my fall races and am excited about getting back into the fall running schedule.

First up, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is this weekend. It’s a 5k run, one that I’ve run multiple times. I’ll never forget my first time running it with Rindy, though. It was our first race, and we were so tired! About two miles in, we started shouting that we were running for pancakes. And we did. IHOP was our next scheduled stop.

IHOP after our first race
 I actually found out about the Race for the Cure yesterday and managed to sign up right before the deadline. Whew! Kari and I are running it together, though I think she’s going to beat me, ha!

Next up, the following weekend, is the one mile fun walk for diabetes research. Sadly, this one conflicts with the Bark in the Park 5k, so Vicki and I will not be running that. I’m sure Vicki is very happy about this. She’s not much of a fan of Bark in the Park like I am. 

"What do you mean, RACE???"
 (Note: Vicki never actually ran the 5k with me. We wanted her to walk the one-mile fun walk, but that never worked out either. She just sat, shivered, and waited to go home.)

The Autumn Breeze is scheduled for Oct. 20, and I’m really excited that the race course appears to have changed for this race. I love the hoodie that comes with registration, but the race has been torturous. It’s just boring! It’s a there-and-back route for three miles! Who wants that? This year, we noticed the start point is different, so I hope that means no more there-and-back running. It’s okay for training, but when you are in an official race, you don’t want to do that.

(I feel like the Rock & Roll New Orleans half administrators could take note of this, as about four miles of this year’s race was a there-and-back. So. Boring. AND congested. It was just a bad idea all around.)

So the schedule has been set! Let the fall races commence!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bathroom Renovations Update

The end is near. I see a light at the end of the tunnel. It's so close I can almost taste it.

My bathroom has walls.

You have no idea what a big deal this is for me right now. Thanks to Hurricane Isaac, my contractor got pulled down south for his day job, and our project was on hold for about a week and a half. However, now he tells me that I should have my paint colors finalized this week because he's painting Saturday! Hooray!

So, in anticipation of my beautiful new bathroom, let's take a look at what once was.

The entrance. Note the ivy green and light pink color combo. Gawg-eous. 

Ah, the sink. The prize of the bathroom. Please, admire the flowers.

A close-up shot, just in case you weren't positive that these were actual flowers painted in the sink. YEP. Let's remember, too, the house was built in 1969.

And what house built before 1990 would be complete without a soap holder and toothbrush holder that does not hold any toothbrush (minus a travel-sized one) made today?

I actually like the toilet. It's been replaced in the last 5 years, so we're keeping it. And the trash can. Maybe. It actually may not "go" with the new bathroom decor.

We're also keeping the blinds. However, that weirdly-positioned towel rack is G-O-N-E.

Floor is staying, too. Mainly because this project is already bleeding us dry, and I can live with the floor.

Oh, and the tub. My PINK tub. PINK. Here's the crazy thing, guys. When the walls came down, our contractor discovered a Coke can that expired this year in the wall. Therefore, we estimated that this bathroom has been renovated in the last ten years.


I wish they had called me first...

And here's what my bathroom looks like now. I'm ridiculously excited to have sheet rock up. When our contractor put it up, I might have danced a jig.

Oh, yes, and I have a bath tub in the middle of my living room. Seriously. I kind of wish it were out of the box, because, frankly, I'd be lying in it with a bunch of pillows and blankets.

Okay, so out with the old and in with the new! My sink came in last week, and I, ahem, finally opened it today because I was trying to match it with the tile for the vanity.

Look at that beautiful bowl! Sniff. I love it so much.

Thoughts on the tile? The bathroom colors are basically light brown and dark brown with a white border separating the two. I thought a whitish-brown tile would go well with the color scheme, but I'd love some input, especially since it's going in this week!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fresh Meat

Despite teaching an overload this quarter, I’m actually enjoying it. I like my students. We’re a small department, so we’re close with all of our students. It’s one of the things we pride ourselves on. If I hear of a sports internship, I know immediately who to call to tell about it. If it’s a job opening in a town 30 minutes away, I know all our graduating seniors to tell.

At the beginning of a new quarter, with a new class, however, there are always a few names that I have trouble matching with their faces – ESPECIALLY if the student in question doesn’t speak or ask questions or really stand out in class. Now, if the student does something completely wrong, like sleeping in class (which happened today), I quickly learn his/her name because I’m yelling it (which also happened today).

In my 101 class, I have 13 new, unfamiliar faces among the few I do know. I learned the majority of the students the first day when we did an icebreaker, but as it was the first day, about 1/3 of the class didn’t show up. And that’s just bad on them. Because on the first day, I learned some very interesting things about my students. One used to be a dog trainer. One did a story about a tattoo parlor and ended up getting a tattoo (which her parents don’t know about, ha!). One is from Seattle. Two played sports in college.

This is why I love where I teach: I get to actually know the individuals I teach. It’s not a super big campus, and I don’t have enormous classes where everyone is an ID number instead of a name. I see these kids grow throughout college. In fact, (TEAR!) my first freshmen class I taught when I  came on board just graduated this past year. It was a bit bittersweet. I miss those kiddos.

But there are always new ones to teach, new ones who will come into my office, new ones to read in our school newspaper. As long as I learn their names first. =)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Seven years and counting…

“You know there’s not an elevator to take you to the top, right?”

I rolled my eyes at my husband as we walked to Hot Springs’ mountain top tower to overlook the city. “You’re making that up. You better watch it, because I’ll make you walk up those stairs.”

“No, seriously, there’s no elevator,” Kyle said without cracking a smile. “You climb the stairs up and then there’s a lift that brings you down.”

And then he grinned at me.

We had come to Hot Springs the night before, arriving hungry and ready to chow down on some Italian food from our favorite place, J & S Italian Villa. This is what we found.

No J&S for us that night!
Burned. Burned to the ground.

Thankfully, my aunt randomly texted me a happy anniversary message and informed me about her favorite Hot Springs restaurant – Belle Arti downtown.

It was amazing. I might have eaten leftover lasagna for breakfast the next morning. Okay, I did.

Caprese salad, our favorite appetizer!
My lasagna
Kyle's steak
The actual day of our anniversary, we decided to do the touristy things, eat breakfast downtown (YUMMY banana pancakes), shop downtown, grab some fudge…and visit the top of the mountain.

As we walked in the doors to the mountain tower, the two guys working the counter looked at us and immediately said, “The elevator’s out. It’s 21 flights of stairs to the top. But there’s a discount.”

I looked at Kyle and burst out laughing. “Serves you right!” I said. “And we ARE walking up!”

We bought a sports drink and started the 21-flight hike, along with other sad souls. We took SEVERAL breaks as well, but, after going up for what seemed like forever, we finally reached the top.

After the long hike
Hot Springs

Happy anniversary to my best friend! Can’t wait to see what our seventh year of marriage brings! =) 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Well, isn’t this yummy

WARNING: Do not consume unless you plan on drinking six glasses of water with one cup of soup. ;)

Kyle and I are a bit masochistic, sometimes unintentionally. We moved to New Orleans a month before Katrina. We both are working on our Ph.D. degrees (Have I mentioned that? Yep, hubby’s just started his classes!). And we both really, REALLY love spicy foods. How spicy? So spicy that tears spring up in your eyes and your nose starts running. THAT spicy.

What can I say? We’re south Louisianans born in north Louisiana.

So I found this recipe online for a crawfish and corn soup that I adapted to fit our spice needs. The great thing about this recipe (other than it’s mouth-watering taste) is that you can make it as spicy as you want – just depends on what you like! Seriously, you've got to try it. It was immediately designated a staple in our household after one spicy bite.

First off, the grocery list:

2 TBS butter
1 bell pepper
¼ cup of frozen seasoning mix (because the bell pepper just isn’t enough)
1 can rotel (I used the hot rotel, of course)
Tony’s (naturally)
Old Bay seasoning (again, naturally)
Dash of pepper
2 cans corn
1 can creamed corn
1 pound crawfish
1 can evaporated milk

Now…time for magic!

Start by sautéing the bell pepper in the butter.

While I was sautéing, I decided that one bell pepper wasn’t enough, so I pulled out our frozen seasoning mix and tossed somewhere between ¼ of a cup to ½ of a cup in. I added Tony’s and Old Bay and let the ingredients sizzle and tossed in the rotel.

By this point, the kitchen smelled magnificent. My stomach began to growl, and Kyle called from upstairs, “Is it ready yet?” Oh, no. Sadly, no. This is a quick soup to make, but, unfortunately, it’s not ready in 10 minutes. Takes more like 20.

After about five minutes after adding the rotel, I tossed in the corn, crawfish, and evaporated milk. And some more Tony’s and Old Bay. Right here, let me go ahead and add that if you're going to buy crawfish, PLEASE buy Louisiana crawfish, not China crawfish. Yes, it is more expensive, but it's fresher and supports our state economy. Help out a Cajun, y'all.

After adding the remaining ingredients, I let the soup come to a boil and kept it there for about 10 minutes. Then, frankly, I couldn’t wait any longer. It was time for dinner.

So for those of you hunkered down for Isaac (or for those of you in north La or higher who are anticipating rains and cooler weather), this is a great warm-up soup. Again, prepare for the heat. It’s coming.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


If I were a smoker, I’d need a smoke right about now. As it is, I’m a nerd with asthma, so there’s no way I’ll be around cigarette smoke.

What’s causing this craziness, you ask? Bathroom renovations.

*breathes heavily into a paper bag*

I cannot WAIT until the bathroom is done, for more than one reason. First, it’s going to be GAW-GEOUS. Seriously, this is my dream guest bathroom. Unfortunately for guests who will use it in the future, it will also eventually wind up as the kid bathroom. Secondly, I don’t do chaos in my house. I’m not necessarily the cleanest or tidiest person, but, as I told a friend yesterday, if you spend the night at my house, you don’t have to wonder if you should wear shower shoes in the tub. It’s clean. Promise.

Gulp. Was clean.

The demolition started yesterday, and, because I’m crazy, I have to avoid the bathroom area. I try to ignore it, which, frankly, is a little difficult, as there is visqueen along my carpet going down the stairs. The poor pooch hates the tarp. She’s very finicky about different textures, and, while she hates my super soft Bath and Body Works robe, she also hates the texture of the visqueen. I’ve finally convinced her to walk down the stairs on her on, but there were a few hours last night when she refused to walk on it.

See? Dog’s crazy, too.

The awful pink tile is almost gone. It’s completely gone from surrounding the bathtub, which means there’s a whhhooolllleee lot of broken tile on my bathroom floor. But, no, wait. We’re not going to focus on that here. =) This is a happy blog, so I’m going to focus on what the bathroom is going to look like in a few weeks.

The light fixture:

I’m trying to go for a romantic mood here, and I like copper, so that’s why I went with that choice. I also like neutral colors, so it’s all a win. However, let me be the first to say that picking out a shower faucet to match my sink (just wait) was ridiculously time-consuming.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, my favorite part of the new bathroom – the sink. I splurged a bit because, hey, it is a remodel, and if I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it right.

Ahhh…I love this sink.

This is why I’m going to be okay with the current chaos of my guest bathroom: for the sink, ha! Kyle’s already said that he might want to switch bathrooms (we both share the master bath currently) because he knows this one is going to be fantastic.

The process is started, and it will be complete. I just have to be a little patient. Just a little.

**All photos from