Friday, December 20, 2013

last five on friday of 2013!

Knowing that I have two glorious weeks off has made this week crawl by, even though it was filled with work parties - seriously, I haven't bought my own lunch once! I think it's totally appropriate to wrap up my week, and even a little bit of the year, with five things today.

I love when the sky goes from blue to orange and I didn't take many pics this week so this is what you get.

1) I had a serious case of the blues this week - anyone else? My work life is always busy in December with the opportunity to work late and make extra money and planning graduation and the staff holiday party. Family life was in full swing with my nieces visiting for Christmas extra early and Andrew's dad coming to town. That, on top of gift-buying just had me in a terrible mood for about four days (and also caused blog silence - if you noticed, it wasn't you, it was me). I am an awful gift-buyer because I hate to get you only what you asked for and I hate to get things that I think are boring. Christmas shopping stresses me out every year. Luckily, the blues are gone, the shopping is mostly under control, and I think I can finally start to enjoy the Christmas season... well, what little is left of it! (This also happens every year and has me super sad when it's time to take down the decorations...)

2) Speaking of holiday parties, they have all been great. I may at times get frustrated with things at work but the holiday season brings out so many good traits in people that often get overlooked in the day-to-day. On Monday, my suite had a party with a white elephant gift exchange. The gift I brought was stolen a few times and I stole a gift from the Executive Vice President - a two gallon mason jar for serving drinks at parties. It's cute. Tuesday was the all staff party at Lucky Strike, which is a nice bowling alley/bar. We had Wii, Kinect, and pool on top of bowling and though a few people complained, most of the feedback was great! Wednesday was lunch with one of the deans who always asks us to bring items to donate to a nearby shelter instead of exchanging gifts while he takes us to a nice lunch and gives us a gift. It is so far beyond what anyone expects of him, plus we all get to leave feeling like we helped someone else.

Thursday was lunch with my boss and her other employee - the three of us are the only non-deans in our suite. We went to Haven, another restaurant on the Top 100 in Houston list. I had never been before but I loved it! I peeked at the inside and it was beautiful, but we sat outside and enjoyed Houston's current winter temps in the high 60s. I had chicken confit with bacon spaetzle (a mix between pasta and dumplings) and crispy brussel sprouts - the brussel sprouts were the best part! My boss insisted we get dessert so I had the chocolate ice box pie. While it was nothing amazing, I definitely want to go here again. My boss got coffee and I said "Oooh, I love French press" to which the waiter responded "We're in Texas. That's a freedom press." I thought it was funny and I will be calling it that from now on.

My meal. Yes the photo is wonky but my coworkers don't know about my blog and my need to get a perfect pic would have caused too many questions.

3) I am definitely looking forward to the next two weeks. This weekend, Andrew and I are making marshmallows to give as gifts to my family. On Monday we are having Christmas with my dad. We are going to wake up and have Christmas Morning together on Christmas Eve since we are flying into Baltimore to drive to Delaware to see his dad on Christmas Day. We'll be in Delaware for a few days, then drive to New Jersey to spend our days in New York City. I'm looking forward to a change of scenery, yummy meals, and real, cold weather at Christmastime!

4) Since it's Christmas (and at Christmas you tell the truth) (name the movie!) can we speak for a minute about how great starting to blog has been for me in 2013? Really, I am out of words to describe how great this community is. How I scroll back on twitter as far as my phone will let me so I can see what I missed with you guys during the day. How new comments never get old, how new readers make me so happy, and how good posts I read keep me thinking all day, or longer. Gchatting has become a new hobby, blog friends are now real friends, and it just makes me.... happy. So thanks to all of you who have stopped by, said hi, had email conversations with me, tweeted me back, whatever. Let's keep it up next year!

5) And, since I think it's kind of an unwritten thing that the blog world will be quiet til the new year, I am going to do what many of my blog friends have done and leave you with some of my favorite posts from the past to give you poor souls stuck at work next week something to read...

So, friends, let's stay in touch via twitter and instagram. What is this snapchat thing - do I need that, too? Two weeks feels like a long time to be away but I know it will fly by. I hope you have a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and the chance to relax and spend time with family. Or away from family, if that's what you need. Cheers to 2014!

                                                         THE GOOD LIFE BLOG


  1. lauren! i love this post. blogging in 2013 has been fantastic for me too; i've connected with so many amazing people (like you, duh!) and it's beyond ridiculous how happy i get when my email goes off letting me know that someone has left me a comment. BEYOND RIDIC.

    i already stalk you on twitter etc. no snapchat for me; isn't that what IG is for?

    Vodka and Soda

  2. Blogging in 2013 has been pretty great too... I took a mini break but I came back and love it. :) Lol @ freedom press. And I have no idea what snapchat is but I've decided I'm either too old for it, or I don't need something else to keep me up past my bedtime.

    Yay for 2 weeks off!

  3. Yes get snapchat, you need it to send pics with me!! And hahaha freedom press that is hilarious, love it!

  4. Why is everyone trying to make snapchat and google+ a thing? I already have too much to keep up with!

    2013 has been a great year for blogging for me as well. I have gotten to connect with so many amazing people. You included!

    Sounds like you will have some fun traveling and getting some real winter weather. How exciting! I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!!!

  5. I'm sorry you had the blues this week! It sounds like your week was full of excitement, despite the stress of the holidays and gift giving. I'm glad that 2013 ended up being such a pivotal year for you and your blog. I know I appreciate meeting you and becoming friends, it's really helped me a lot when I started my blog and now try to maintain it! It would have been a different experience without knowing you! I hope you have a great two weeks off and enjoy time traveling. Will you share the marshmallow recipe? I'm very intrigued by this! And think it's so cool that you and Andrew are making them together! In case I don't talk to you - I hope you have a Merry Christmas!!

  6. You had quite a few work holiday celebrations! My word! Sounds like fun though but I can totally relate to feeling overwhelmed with it all. So glad that blogging has brought us together! So excited to see what the new year brings! Hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  7. Hurrah for a fabulous blogger network!

    I will post scatterly like next week and the week after, mostly recaps for my own good (to look back on).

    I'm sure I'll be seeing you on FB/instagram (I want to say Twitter but I don't park myself on there enough and only see most things when tagged in them).


  8. It sounds like you had the perfect week before vacation. All that food - yum! I'm sure no one really expects to be that productive during the last half of December. I'm only taking an extra 2 days off during the rest of December and I'm sure I won't get a whole lot accomplished.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! It was so fun to read all your posts this year (my favorite ones are included in your favorite ones!). I'll stay up on what you're up to through IG. Take care and have fun traveling!

  9. i would just like to talk about how jealous i am that you get 2 weeks off.

  10. I've been in a horrible mood too!! Stressed about gifts and kid stuff, sadly I wish Christmas was already over and I could go back to stress free living.

    I LOVE Snapchat it's super fun, I say get it get it!!

    Have a great two weeks off, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

  11. I used to like you. Until you had 2 weeks off. That shit ain't fair. At all.
    Crispy brussel sprouts sounds SO good! We've tried making "chips" out of them before and have failed miserably every single time.

  12. Have a great time with your family and we NEED to hang out in the new year!

  13. yay for quoting Love Actually!!! yay for a good blogging year!

  14. wow that meal looks amazing!! and yay for Love Actually! I found you from five on friday and i can't wait to read more of your blog :) happy new year!

  15. just found your blog:) so cute! newest follower!


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