Friday, July 11, 2014

A little Snoop love

Because it's Friday, and because Friday means 90s rap:

(Linked up with Whit, 'cuz duh.)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Paying-it-forward with a #GratitudeAttitude

I had 40 people sign up for my Paying-It-Forward with Gratitude project (maintaining a #gratitudeattitude, just the way I like it), which was phenomenal! (One of my Twitter friends calls this a "Generosity Philosophy," which I find adorable and I'm probably going to steal it.)

A short recap, if you didn't join in: I ordered two sets of cards: one for me to write to friends (on the right), and one to send with those cards for friends to pay it forward (on the left)!

Both cards via TinyPrint

I was able to get all the letters out in a week, and minus the two Canadians (sorry, y'all!), I was able to use spider stamps for everybody (Courtney, that was intentional for you!).

All handwriting my own, usually slowly with mistakes!

I had a blast writing to everybody, and I've already heard from a handful of people who have received theirs already (like Kelly, Sarah, Holly, Whitney, and Paige). I'm excited to hear about all the pay-it-forwards from friends and their stories about sending their own handwritten letters. 

Do you write handwritten letters or plan to send one to someone soon? Tell me about it!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Seattle recap

Hold your horses for a picture-heavy post!

As you may have read, I went to Seattle last week for an academic conference (RSA), which I took as a partial vacation considering I was already flying to the Pacific Northwest. Behold, my trip in photos:

Upgraded to first class? Don't mind if I do.

Instead of staying in the expensive conference hotel, I stayed at Paul's (about 20ish minutes away from the conference hotel) for free! That means I did a lot of cuddling with this dude:

The conference was awesome. I presented the first full day (Sunday), which means the rest of the conference (Monday-Wednesday), I got to enjoy other presentations (and give out both my work business cards and blog business cards)! One of my favorite presentations had to do with understanding metadata encoded within tweets (with an explanation of what a tweet is):

Paul also took a few days off to spend time with me, so besides going to Seattle, we also went on a lovely evening hike up Rattlesnake Ridge

After the conference, I headed over to the peninsula to hang out with my fam! Nothing says a Washington summer trip like a convertible ride with dad (don't worry, this selfie was taken in the driveway). 

And dinner with this dude is always a fun event:

(Also, doesn't Scott look totally Adam Levine-y with that hair?!)

I also got to see my favorite Princess MooCow and Smartie Pants:

...and we took A LOT of photos. (You're welcome for only having to see one!)

I also made yet another Seattle trip with TPH since he had never been on a ferry before. (He couldn't stop saying, "We're on a boat!" and "There are seagulls!") 

I ended the trip with a Mariners game with three of my favorite people (Paul's not pictured since he's taking it; you can tell 'cuz we look so small since he towers us short people). 

Overall, it was an amazing trip! I can't wait to go back.

(Also, if you're keeping track, I've sent all but 10 of my Pay-It-Forward #gratitudeattitude cards! If you signed up for one, be on the lookout!)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A little Seattle love

I'm halfway through my trip to the PNW and I've only taken three photos. Who am I?! 

Paul had never been to Kerry Park or Queen Anne (and he's lived in WA for how long?!) so of course I had to take him to one of my favorite locations. (This is also a place I tell friends who are visiting to go to for a typical Seattle skyline view. Kelly, this means you!)

The conference has been good (although clearly I skipped Monday afternoon from the photo above!), but I'm definitely ready to see my family! Staying with TPH has been pretty cool too, however--Monday, I complained that Paul had no ice cream, and he surprised me with some yesterday after I got back to his home late from the conference. Best. Roomie. Ever.

Stay tuned for more Pacific Northwest news--the weather has been stunning, so expect more (albeit cell phone) photos soon!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Paying it forward (with gratitude) sign-ups

You know how I love doing big birthday projects that have a giving or gratitude theme? 28 letters of Gratitude, 27 acts of kindness (that erupted into a zillion acts of kindness from y'all!), and 26 gifts to 26 strangers? I'm living a life of a gratitude attitude...and I want to share it. 

With the help of Tiny Prints, I'm taking this idea of being thankful (in months other than April or November!) and going further. After convincing the Powers that Be over at Tiny Prints that they should help me (proving it can't hurt to shoot for the stars--I learned that from Bob Goff), I'm doing something crazy. And by crazy, I mean crazy awesome. Because I can.

Here's my plan:

1) I pledge to send up to 40* handwritten notes to anybody who signs up below via Google Forms. 
(All your information stays safe and I won't sell it to anybody. By providing your address, you grant me permission to send you some love.)

2) With that handwritten note you receive, I'll also include a blank card and envelope. 

3) You will write in that card some messages of love and gratitude, and give it to someone you're grateful for (mail it, hide it, hand it to your bestie, it doesn't matter). 

There are no contingencies to who signs up. No requirement to blog about your letter. No requirement to be my biggest fan (although that spot is currently open, applications are accepted!). No requirement to order anything from anybody. Just a promise to share the gratitude that I'll be sending to you.

So, you in? Sign up using this Google Forms widget and I'll be forever grateful:  

Edit 6/26: Sign ups are now full! Be on the lookout for some gratitude love soon!

Because I'm in Washington state (!!) for the next week, writing will start soon thereafter. If I don't send you something immediately, I promise, it's coming, just be patient. Or harass me on Twitter, 'cuz that usually works too. ;)

*Limited to 40 people because I'm a poor postdoc and we make a laughable wage, plus I'm paying for all postage. That also means I'd prefer U.S. addresses only because outside of the U.S. can get a little spendy over time. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Taking a note from Holly and letting you know what I'm currently up to...

Productive. I got to work a little early so that I could knock some things out--I'm definitely someone who thrives in the morning.

This is what my desk looks like. You can tell when things get busy because there will be more mess and less things checked off on my to-do list.

Nothing yet, but I'm about to start making my to-do list for the day. 

Coffee. Duh.

About to eat some Chobani coconut yogurt, 'cuz that ish is good. 

Listening to...
Jason Mraz's new album (that of course I preordered on iTunes, like a boss). If you like Mraz, you'll love this album (aptly titled YES!). He's releasing a song at a time, so the entire album is not available until July 15th, but I highly recommend this song (because you're beautiful, you know) and this song (the ooooohs are so catchy!) that are already out.

Nothing, as I'm at work. Maybe a news video a little later. I have been watching Chuck on Netflix from a recommendation from Mere though; I highly recommend it!

This awesome gratitude project I'm going to be bringing y'all sometime soon. It will probably be in two weeks because I'm about to go back to Washington state for a conference (woot!), but it's going to be something to wait for indeed.

Wishing for...
Saturday to hurry on up--that's when I fly back northwest! Looking forward to seeing my family, bestie, and getting plenty of hugs. 

Life, as per usual, and the two Mraz songs above. 

Just in case you're curious as to what I've been up to! If you're in the Washington area (Bellevue, Bremerton, or anything in between) next week, holler and let's meet up!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A hilarity-filled Wednesday

I have a confession to make: I did probably the dumbest thing I've ever done yesterday, and I'm insanely embarrassed about it. However, after talking to my mom about it, she said it was too good not to share--and I agree.

I bought my car about three months ago, and I love her. She's not named yet, but I can feel that it's coming. 

She has been great to me and I'm very happy with the decision. So imagine my heartbreak when on my road trip to Dallas last weekend, I got a crack in my windshield! I was behind one of those stupid trucks with rocks that tell you to stay back 500 feet, but my gosh, I was in another lane and on the friggin' highway so what else was a girl to do? Anyway, I heard a large rock hit my windshield, and low and behold, a crack about two and a half inches appeared vertically, almost halfway in between the driver and passenger side. Thin but noticeable, I rubbed my finger over it in horror and then debated going straight to a glass shop or waiting until I got back to San Antonio.

I waited.

My appointment at Safelite was yesterday, after a quick phone call on Monday to get insurance set up and the claim ready to go.  I take my baby girl in to get her fixed, which is actually her second imperfection (the first was a baby scratch from a bolt that ended up getting touched up with some paint). But I digress. I pull up a little early to my appointment, and the technician comes out to see where the crack is. I point it out, and he comments on how thin it is. Right?! He rubs his finger over the outside of the glass and says the crack must be on the inside, because he can't feel it. We open up my car door, he goes to touch it...

...and it's a friggin' Kolton dog hair, stuck to my windshield on the inside.

(I should point out that I like to keep my car meticulously clean, especially since it's new and still smells new. If Kolton gets a ride, the back seat is immediately vacuumed out, so hair never gets past the back seats, let alone the windshield.)

Yes, I mistook a black dog hair for a crack in my windshield. Go ahead and laugh at me, but I'm sure you've done similarly ridiculous things. Right?! Tell me some, make me feel better.