Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Way Back When: Engagement Pics

So, I get ideas in my head for blog posts pretty often but I only take the time to blog at lunch! Luckily, one thing I can blog about is easily done from my desk, so that is what's getting posted today.

I got married in June 2010. We were engaged for 18 months (!!!) before that. It's a long story for another day. Even though there was no Pinterest back in my day, there was theknot.com, so I knew right away that I wanted engagement pictures (even though we didn't send out Save the Dates or anything).

Choosing a photographer was difficult for me. I didn't want my wedding memories to look antiquated, or posed, or not like me. If my wedding had a theme, it would have been "us." I didn't know it at the time, but I wanted natural light, relaxed poses, and a little bit of quirk thrown in.

My debit card features one of my favorite quirky photos and it gets compliments ALL THE TIME!

Our photographer was one of the last choices we made in the whole list of wedding to-dos. I met Lindsay at the bridal show and realized we went to high school together, though we were never friends (she was way cooler than me!)

So, after we found our photographer, it was time to try to get in shape, find a location, and pick outfits. I loved getting a different feel for different pictures, so I loved that part. We selected Hermann Park in the spring as our location and between the trees, architecture, and water features, I definitely recommend it!

Andrew is a lifelong New York Giants fan and I have become one through marriage. I liked other couples' playful photos that showcased sports, so I wanted to take some of our own (all photos by the talented Lindsay Elizabeth and can be found here).

I wear eyeliner now. I wish I had then.

Then I decided to be a total fool, and well, this happened. But I think it loosened Andrew and I up.

I wanted some more casual shots in clothes we might wear in daily life, so we took these. I chose my dress and bought his shirt to coordinate. After we took the photos, he informed me that he hated the shirt. Oops...


And then, I wanted something in nicer clothes. Andrew is not a suit guy, so I thought a button down would be nice, and I got to pick out a dress that I still love (wish it still fit... post-wedding weight gain is a topic for another post!)

Loved my pink heels! I also wore them for our wedding.

So, if I had to sum up tips/tricks for e-pics, they would be:
1) Have a purpose for them. Ours were included as part of a bridal show promotion. As badly as I wanted them then, I only display a few of them now, so if you are going to take them, do so to send out with your wedding announcements, thank yous, etc. Or hope they are included =)
2) Check to see if you will get digital negatives. We didn't, so the only ones I have are the ones in the blog post about us and ones we purchased hard copies of. But, see point 1 - it doesn't really matter to me.
3) Let your significant other have a say in what he wears or one of the outfits! He has to look at these too.
4) Have somewhere planned to change, or do fewer outfits (back of an extended cab truck is not ideal).
5) Do something fun or withhold a silly story from one another to share - it's much easier to have fun than to try to look like you're having fun! 
Bonus Tip: If you're as pale as I am, perhaps consider some self-tanner??

Thanks, Whitney, for motivating me to look at these again!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Weekend Fun (what happened)

So, my weekend didn't go the way I planned it, but it was fun nonetheless.

I completely forgot that I had planned a reception for a competition happening at work Friday night, and since I forgot about it, that means I didn't make strong plans that I felt confident leaving to someone else. So, I worked late. By the time I got home, Husband wasn't in the mood for a food truck and instead suggested we try Tandoori Garden, just a few miles from home.I didn't take any photos because it was just a normal Indian place, but it was pretty good and we will likely go back. I ordered Chicken Tikka Masala and we had some naan that had onions and herbs cooked into it which I could have eaten by myself.

Saturday we decided to go to the Chocolate Holiday Spectacular at Cross Creek Ranch. First of all, Cross Creek is a gorgeous community! They have a seven story silo in the center with an elevator that gives you a view of the whole development as well as a cafe and gym for residents. There are all kinds of long grassland areas in the median and reforestation areas along the roads.

View from the passenger seat. Yes, it's facing the wrong way, and no, I don't know how to fix it.

We found the model home park and many of the houses were beautiful. However, the event wasn't what I expected. It didn't have the chef demonstrations that were promised, and only four of the homes had chocolate, and the holiday decor was minimal in many of the homes. I know I shouldn't complain about a FREE event, but it wasn't what I was expecting. Regardless, the homes were so pretty, inside and out!

I loved the turret of the home, the paneling behind the bed (Husband hated it), and the amazing stone fireplace. The stonework stretched to (two-story) the ceiling.

I thought the buffet had a really fun "look what I found at an antique store" feel to it. The top right is a detail shot since I loved the chicken wire and the semi-open drawers.The built-ins were in a sitting room right inside another home. I don't normally like built-ins, but I love the idea of wine storage and I like how the ones to the side were imperfect in size and orientation.

Saturday night, we did head to a Night at Market Square. One of my super-sweet and always fun coworkers met up with us and walked around with us. Since I am a child, I insisted on making sure we were in the square for the light-up car parade! 

If this doesn't make you think of Beyonce, then something is wrong. And if you have never read about Beyonce, then please do so. I'll wait.

This one was cool, but it didn't light up so it wasn't in the parade.

Sunday was football and the Giants had a great win over the San Francisco 49ers! We cheered so loud that we scared the cat, oops.So, that was it in a nutshell. This feels really boring and I need to work on my blogging skills. Until then, find me on twitter (lauren1031) or instagram (laurenm10). We'll see if this sticks.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Weekend Fun (the plans)

I am super pumped about this weekend! I have to work late next Friday night and all day next Saturday, so we have lots of fun weekend plans that I am pumped for...

Tonight husband and I are going to meet for dinner at Memorial Wine Cellar for yummy dinner from H-Town StrEATS. Don't let their punny name or quirky exterior deter you - this is one of my favorite food trucks in the city. My favorite thing they have is the Shorty Mac - a grilled cheese sandwich with short ribs and mac and cheese. Yes, I know it's pure cholesterol but it is oh-so-yummy...

fab photo by moi at our last H-town trip

Then we'll go home and catch up on the DVR or else watch Dateline. Love me some Keith Morrison!

Last spring, we started to think we were in the market for a new house. We decided to wait it out for a while longer, which is good because it gives me more time to play on Pinterest and see what I have to have. This weekend, a neighborhood near-ish to us is having a model home show with CHOCOLATE demonstrations... and they are free. So, two of my favorite things = win-win. We're going there tomorrow. And, the homes will be choc(k) full o' Holiday Decor. Sign me up, I will be there. 

This was their set-up last weekend. Yum. via

And then... we are planning to go to the always-fun A Night in Market Square on Saturday night. Even though I work downtown, this is a pretty far walk during an hour lunch break and parking is kind of a pain, so I never get over there. We went last year and there was music, samples, giveaways, and a really cool glow in the dark art car parade so I'm looking forward to going again!

So fun! via

And then on Sunday the husband will watch lots of football and I will likely run errands, or else nap a lot. And go to the gym to make up for all the deliciousness I am set to consume.

So, after a long, busy week at work with an even longer and busier week ahead, I am looking forward to fun and lots and lots of food. I will do my best to take pictures of some of the fun things that Houston has to offer and in my increased effort to social media-ize myself, will tweet them as I go. I'm @lauren1031. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

thinking about it...

so. totally. jelly.

Had I known that this amazing blogging community existed, perhaps I would have made myself blog (again) years ago...

Like many bloggers in the universe, I blogged before it was cool. I had a livejournal, circa 2003, that served as my diary of thoughts for the world to read. Linked to it from my AIM profile. Anyone else?

So, right now, I am going to try to take baby steps to committing to this. And if I do, then I will spend the time to fancy this thing up and think of a real title. And delete this post. I just need to write it to put some kind of half-hearted commitment out into the world!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Some Thoughts on Forever 21

Oh, Forever 21, home of what I regard as throwaway clothes. I never buy anything from you expecting it to last beyond 15 washes. I do, however, have a pair of sandals that have yet to fall apart after two summers of wear, so bonus points for that.

Because I need something for skanky suit day at the office via

But as my office is a measly two blocks from your huge Downtown store, I find myself in your throes at least twice a month. Many of the outfits make me feel O-L-D.

Corduroy shorts. Seems a little ironic, right? via

However, I feel better when I see women in their 40's shopping right alongside me. Ah, the joys of being surrounded by skyscrapers and office buildings and people with very important jobs.

I felt the least old I have ever felt inside of XXI (ex ex eye? twenty one? what do the kids call it these days?) this afternoon. Ke$ha's "Blow" was blasting (sidebar: just typing that made me lose IQ points) and one employee was insisting to another that Lady Gaga sang it. "Oh, I thought it was Britney," was her coworker's reply. I wanted to school these younguns in my depth of Top 40 Radio Knowledge, but I enjoyed the self-satisfaction of being smarter than a 14th Grader too much to do so. Maybe I do have something on those kids, afterall.