where is my mind?

I got a recommendation for a good book to read the other day, and it got me thinking about all the books on my wish list waiting to be bought and read. And that got me thinking about all the books already bought and waiting to be read. Here's my stack of books that have been waiting to be read since at least the beginning of the summer:

And here's the stack of books that have actually been read since the beginning of the summer:

Odd because I usually prefer a more literary or old-fashioned novel, but lately I've been wanting light-hearted, throwaway books instead. Along the lines of Confessions of a Shopaholic and Twilight. I'm not sure what this says about my current state of mind... don't think I want to know.

a perfect weekend


(I spent four hours getting my hair cut and colored, but yay for no more gray hairs, and yay for actually having waves for the first time ever, although they took so much time that I doubt I'll ever do it again.)

and shopping...

(So many sales, including some clearance tank-shirt dresses from Express that are perfect for summer.)

and sushi...

(Zushi Sushi is my second favorite sushi restaurant in San Antonio. We always order the rolls named after cities: Las Vegas, San Antonio, and St. Petersburg shown here. Even better with a saketini!)

and white chocolate ice cream sundaes...

(With strawberries and hot fudge buried under way too much whipped cream.)

and, last but not least, the new season of 24 finally out on dvd!

(Which is so impossible to stop watching, suspense kills me! I actually couldn't fall asleep last night for wondering whether Tony Almeida is a bad guy or not. I'm thinking not, but that face looks pretty evil.)


Two boys come and basically turn the summer upside down. Before them, I have nothing to do with the exception of a trip to the drycleaners or grocery store. But after them, it's a whirlwind of noise and laughter (and music blasting from their laptop, dvd player, and wii simultaneously) with legos covering everything.

For some reason they double our number, but at least quadruple the amount of dish and laundry washing that has to happen just to keep us from living in complete filth.

I can't count on my hands how many times I've seen the latest boy movies like Star Wars Clone Wars, Kung Fu Panda, and The Mummy movies, but I also get to make them watch movies that I remember from childhood like Flight of the Navigator, E.T. and The Princess Bride. (Gremlins is now one of their favorites.)

These boys think it's funny to sit right next to you and fart continuously during the movie, but now they say excuse me every time. Which, to me, is the most satisfying thing about kids - watching them change for the better because of you.

It's weird to have a profound effect on a person from the ground up, to know you are (partially) responsible for helping form the base for their future ideas of what is right and wrong and normal.

What I want to teach them is pretty simple: to be good people, caring and nice to others instead of mean and selfish; to be thankful and happy for everything you have instead of sad and bitter for what you don't have; to be self-sufficient with decent manners (a.k.a. I am not the maid, and I'm not talking scrubbing the floors here, just putting dirty clothes in the hamper instead of dropping them on the floor wherever you happen to change, and saying please and thank you when asking for what you want instead of just demanding it). Sometimes, I can see it working and that is the best feeling.


Coronado, California is now officially added to the list of places I would live...

but only if it's beachfront!


Not too much time for blogs, but lots of time for swimming...

and home-made margaritas!

signs of texas

Typical gas station decor?

RV pulling a horse carrier, going 20 miles under the speed limit, on a one-lane highway, there were three of them in a row:

Where are you going in an RV that you need to bring horses with you?

Downtown Austin from far away:

Bimbo Bakeries - Bimbo mean something else in Spanish?


Donkey at a gas station:

This makes it all better, most of it anyway:

iphone camera love

Why I Love My iPhone, Part 2

The built-in camera, along with a few apps, has for the most part replaced my digital slr and photoshop. Especially for throwaway blog pictures; most of the photos on this blog were taken with my iPhone. And since my phone's always with me, I always have a camera handy, with nothing extra to carry.

Here's the built-in camera app with full screen preview, you hit the little camera icon to click away:

Then you open PhotoGene, to crop (I love the square crop!) and edit exposure and levels:


This is what you get:

Then CameraBag, where the real fun begins. It has filters that stimulate different camera effects, including holga and lomo cameras (my favorites):


Here's the lomo (lolo):

Here's the helga (holga):

And you can also combine filters. Here's the photo with lolo applied, and then helga:

There's a CameraBag group on flickr, where you can really see the potential.

This is only semi-related, but very interesting. This artist, Jorge Colombo, sells prints of digital art "painted" directly on the spot using an iPhone app called Brushes. (Buy these prints here, for $20, better hurry!)

One of them was recently the cover of The New Yorker. Pretty unbelievable, if you ask me.

Can you believe this dude painted that with his finger on his iPhone screen? Crazy.

oh, how i love the 90s

The 1990s are back, as evidenced by these pictures, stolen from here, here (via) and here, respectively:

And as evidenced by the fact that my sister's old docs were at $217 on ebay last I checked (with still days to go):

Those aren't her actual boots, as you can see below, hers met an unfortunate early demise from Hurricane Katrina:

This semi-sheer floral number is as close as I've come to living the look:

(A girl at the gas station offered to take this, and even though she cut out our heads, she did manage to get a most of the dress in.)

Since they say you shouldn't wear anything that you were old enough to remember the first time around, and since this looks a lot like a Contempo Casual number I used to wear in high school, this dress has no business anywhere near my body. But I sure do love it anyway.


Snow ice cream - I knew this was a thing! 

Last year (two years ago? man...), when we visited real snow with the kids, I mentioned we should make snow ice cream and got some blank stares and comments about acid rain in response. We used to eat it all the time when we were little kids, well, whenever we drove to my uncle's house to see real snow. He lived in Mississippi, so I guess it wasn't that often at all. 

I was so happy to see Paula Dean making it on tv yesterday, just like we used to make it. I felt so validated. I knew this was a thing! I remember it being really good too, but maybe not so much with the acid rain... 

Look at all this ice cream just begging to happen:

(Actually, I just think these pictures are hilarious. We had so much fun that day.)

if you don't like cactus, you won't like this post

Last Sunday, since our flight wasn't until the evening, we decided to drive from Phoenix to Sedona. I'm so glad we did!

As we drove, the scenery slowly changed from cacti-covered hills to crazy red mountains. The temperature also slowly changed from 103 degrees in Phoenix to 81 degrees in Sedona.

It took us about two hours to get there (love the 75 mph speed limit, although probably not if I had been driving), we stopped to eat at a quaint Mexican restaurant (good food, but the restaurant was a little on the dirty side) in the Village of Oak Creek right outside of Sedona, then drove straight back to the Phoenix airport. 

Cacti mountains:

(This is my favorite thing about Phoenix: layers of mountains each way you look.)

(This is my second favorite thing about Phoenix: two-story cacti everywhere you look.)

Somewhere in between, it looked a lot like Texas:

Red rocks:

I love to see places that look different than anywhere else I've seen. I love to be able to imagine somewhere in my mind, and know exactly how it looks from real life rather than from a movie or photograph I've seen. 

And, my husband, this is just for you, because I know this post's title is killing you:

Copied straight from wiki, which makes it automatically true.