Don’t Stop Believin’

Phew…things sure have gotten crazy at work!! I had an awesome 80’s inspired recap that I wanted to post yesterday, but then things just got NUTS. Before I knew it, the work day was over and I was crashed on the couch for the duration of the evening. So yea, no blogging yesterday. Oh, and when the heck did it become almost October?!?! Time is flying by these days.

Annnnnyways, on to my 80s fab weekend recap. Well, only Saturday (night) was 80s-tastic, but it was so much fun that it definitely deserves a post all its own. Michael and I attended the Journey concert featuring Foreigner and Night Ranger at the Gexa Energy Pavilion in Dallas!!

You all know I love Journey, so I was super excited for this concert and had been looking forward to it for quite a while. In fact, the concert tickets were my 1 year anniversary gift from Michael back in July. So it was a LONG wait! But so worth it.

Night Ranger actually took the stage early, around 6:45pm, so I was glad that I’m super anal-retentive about time and thus we were there nice and early and didn’t miss anything.

You might be thinking to yourself “who the heck is Night Ranger, I’ve never heard of them”, but I bet you’re wrong. Does this little ditty ring a bell?

80’s music videos are so fantastically cheesy. And if you’re wondering, yes, they still have that same long hair. Michael actually joked that from far away they appear young with their tight jeans and long flowing hair, but when you saw a close-up on the video screens you realized they were our parents age haha!

Next up was Foreigner and I do love me some Foreigner! They actually put on a great show and I would probably pay to see them by themselves. I was impressed with how long they played (almost an hour) and that I knew almost every song.

And yes, they also still have the long 80’s hair and interesting outfits. The lead singer wore a solid white get-up. That has to be custom-made because I don’t even know where you’d buy something like that these days!

And finally, it was time for Journey! It was awesome, so totally awesome!

Woo hoo…so excited for Journey (yes, that’s what that stupid face was supposed to mean)

They played for about an hour and 45 minutes which was a bit shorter than I expected, but whatever. All of my classic favorites were played, so I can’t complain. Including the best song of all.

I do wish Steve Perry was still the lead singer though. Arnel Pineda sounds so much like him, but it’s just not quite the same. I would think it has to be a bit strange for him to be on tour knowing that these songs were made so famous by someone else. However, I’m glad that I got a chance to see them and I would (totally) do it again.

So we danced, we sang, and we had a blast!! I love 80’s music, it’s just so much fun.

Friday photo flashback – first day of fall!

Happy first day of fall everyone! Now if only it felt more like fall and not summer here in Texas I would be a happy camper.

Let’s celebrate the first day of fall with some flashback photos of my favorite fall tradition, Homecoming!! It’s the one weekend a year that us old people are allowed to act like college kids again. I actually celebrated homecoming as a college kid, too, but I didn’t realize the true value of it until I was graduated. Sadly, I have to miss homecoming again this year for the third straight year. Super duper sad face 😦

Homecoming isn’t necessarily huge at Kent, but it’s definitely huge for the Kent Greek community. Most of the sororities and fraternities do something special for homecoming. Each year, my sorority hosts an alumni brunch at the sorority house and a tailgate prior to the game. Many of the fraternities do things like kegs and eggs and one fraternity even runs the game ball onto the field for the football game.

Although I can’t go this year, I’ll share with you three pics from my first 3 years living it up as a KSU alumna. As soon as the weather gets cooler it’s homecoming time!

Homecoming 2006:

Kelly, Bryan, and Lisa 2006

Homecoming 2007:

Megan, Courtney, Lisa, and Kelly 2007

Homecoming 2008:

Lisa and Mandy 2008

So what about you? Does anyone else love heading back for homecomings or is it not really the thing to do at your school?

Texas transitions – friends

I’ve really been slacking on the “Texas Transitions” series. Sorry guys!! My iPhone is a jerk and decided to delete ALL of my notes (which included many great Texas Transitions ideas), so, um, yeaaaa. Not cool iPhone, not cool. I’ve gone back to doing things the old-fashioned way, with a notepad and pen. Thus, I hope that my future ideas are safe and sound and I won’t have another minor blog-tastrophy and loss of all motivation/funny thoughts. I really do have to write things down because if I don’t I’ll totally forget that brilliant blog topic idea about 35 seconds after it entered my brain.

So, let’s get to the topic at hand, shall we? Making friends in a new place.

Who in their right mind would want to be friends with this weirdo?!

 If I had to sum up the Texas transition in regards to social life and finding my “niche” it would be: HARD!! It’s not just been hard, it’s been hella hard. I think it would have been relatively hard to meet new people or find my fit regardless of where I had chosen to move, but there are a few things about Texas, my personality, and this situation in particular that have made this challenge especially difficult at times.

Here they are in no particular order…

1 – I moved really far away…like plane flight far, not just long drive in the car kind of far. If I had just moved to Pennsylvania that would be one thing, but I moved half-way across the country.  I no longer had the opportunity to visit college friends for the weekend on a whim. I didn’t have my awesome grad school crew around me anymore. I didn’t have a boyfriend at the time. And I had to work full-time. Where’s the fun in that?! So there were many times that I just felt very isolated and alone.

2 – I am TERRIBLE at dealing with and accepting change. Texas and Ohio are two different worlds and in many ways so are the people. It took me a long time to get over that fact. I remember the first time that I had that “Dorothy you’re not in Kansas anymore” moment so vividly. During my first week of work, a coworker mentioned something about going to “OSU” and I exclaimed “OSU?!?! I had NO IDEA YOU WENT TO OSU TOO, OMG HOW FREAKIN COOOOOOL”. Ok, so I’m exaggering a little, but only a little. Anyway, the coworker looked at me like I was nuts (b/c he knew I was from Ohio) and quickly corrected me saying OSU was Oklahoma State University. NOT Ohio State University. Uhhhh…say what?!?!? There’s another OSU out there? And I’m living in a place where saying “OSU” means an Oklahoma school and not THE Ohio State University. WTF?!

This will always be OSU to me

 3 – A lot about Texas culture is very different from what I was used to and my own views/beliefs/interests/etc. Some of the ways Texans regularly make friends (for example, through church related activities) are not things that I personally find valuable. Therefore, it is sometimes hard to relate.

4 – I was coming from 2 years (well, if you count undergrad and my year off before grad school too it was really 8 years) of party party party. I love the act of “going out” and the many things that can entail! I love going out for drinks, dancing, house parties, holiday parties, you name it. Social gatherings are fun! So I went from a jam-packed social calendar to nada. That was a bit of a blow to my social self-esteem.

Wait, what happened to almost daily happy hours?!

5 – I’m an extrovert. I always test strongly extroverted on MBTI type tests. Once we’re friends I’ll yack your ear off and beg you to hang out with me all the time. However, I refer to myself as an “introverted extrovert” because I kinda suck at getting out there and meeting new people unless I have some kind of “in”. I hate small talk, so I prefer to meet people through other people, via common interests, through work, through activities like a sorority, etc. I’m just no good at going into completely new situations all by myself and putting myself out there. If I know a couple other people in the area, great, I’ll probably make 20 new friends in no time because of networking and connection. If I’m all alone in a room full of people, sucky…I’ll be the one awkwardly cowering in the corner pretending to do something very important on my phone.

So yea, needless to say meeting new friends in a totally new place has not been the easiest thing ever. Not to mention, I really love my friends back home and I miss them terribly. Sometimes I deal with sadness that I am missing out on so much and I don’t want to put in the effort to reach out to new people because I just want my old friends back (plus, then I can network through them and make a zillion new friends easily haha!). However, I just keep on keeping on and recently I’ve tried some new things like going to meet-up groups or getting more involved in my job.

At least I know I have an awesome support system back home and it makes me appreciate holidays and those times we get to hang out that much more!

All work and no play

Hey everyone, look who’s back! Phew…the past few weeks have been busy busy busy. From work, to moving, to a bad bout of food poisoning…I’ve barely had time to think. However, things seem to be calming down now and I am settling back into a routine and I couldn’t be happier about that!

Let’s recap the biggest event of the past few weeks, shall we? Let’s see…I moved!! Michael and I are officially cohabitating now and amazingly we haven’t killed each other yet 😉


Movin' day!

 I had great intentions of taking lots of moving day pics, but about 5 minutes into the move I abandoned that plan. Who wants to see a bunch of pics of me and Michael hot, sweaty, and pissed off? Yea, moving a ton of crap from a 3rd floor apartment is just not that much fun. These are the only pics I got and they were all pre-move.

All packed up

As you can see, I’m a super classy packer. Garbage bags all the way baby!


Cliff bar fueling! Gotta have energy to climb all those stairs

 I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t handle stress and frustration well. There might have been a little bit of cursing about my severe lack of upper body strength and our lack of adequate help during the couch, dresser, and mattress moves. But still, we managed to get it all done and no one got injured!

Why does stuff always seem to multiply when you’re moving it?! What a mess! I need to get some after pics to post this week because things are much prettier and organized now. Also, here’s a tip: never buy an Ikea mattress. That thing is so dumb! It literally has no structure too it and when you try to move it it’s like moving a huge pack of Jell-o. All wobbly and annoying.

Perry sure did have a fun time exploring the chaos. I think he was happy to find his familiar stuff back in his possession. He’s such a finicky thing and he was quick to get back into his regular routines like always laying on the back of the chair in the living room and laying on the round chair in the bedroom.

All is right in his world again.

I am more than thrilled that everything is (mostly) put away now. I have a hard time living in disorder. It was a challenge finding a place for everything, and every single square inch of this apartment is full, but I think it’s working out pretty well. I’ll post some apartment pics for you to see tomorrow 🙂

What a doozy…

…this past weekend was! I’m afraid I won’t have time for the recap today, but promise to get it posted tomorrow.

Here is the Reader’s Digest version:

Friday – took off work to move all my stuff to Michael’s apartment

Saturday – woke up with great intentions of getting everything neat and organized. 4pm – BAM – food poisoning hit!!!

Saturday night through Tuesday Morning – I felt like I was dying.

Yep, from moving to a terrible bout of food poising. Told you this past weekend was a doozy! I mustered up the energy to come into work today, but I’m still not feeling the best and I have a zillion work things to catch up on. So, dear readers, I’ll reunite with you all tomorrow and give you the recap (I promise to leave out the gory details of the illness!).

Moving madness – Part 2

Update – WordPress is acting like a jerk and is not properly uploading a lot of the pics that are supposed to be in this post 😦 You’ll have to wait until later to see the curtains and ice cream. 😦

Happy Tuesday, loves! I do love a three-day weekend. However, it always makes coming back to work that much harder. I guess the good news is that I took this Friday off to move, so this is just a three-day week 😉

This past weekend was filled with more moving fun. I now have almost all of my “stuff” moved into Michael’s apartment. I just have the essentials left at my old place (I’m staying there this week, so obviously I still needed some clothes, hair stuff, food…you get the idea) which should make the official move on Friday a breeze! Or at least that’s what we’re hoping.

Perry officially got moved to the new place this weekend and he wasted no time in making his presence known!

He's like a tornado of destruction!

That little stinker also broke a glass in the middle of the night last night that went unpictured.

Maybe if I hide in here they won't know it was me that made that mess...

Our big accomplishment this weekend was hanging some new curtains in the living room. The apartment has VERY white walls (white everything for that matter), so the curtains really helped make the place feel more homey.

Now, let’s just hope Perry doesn’t rip the curtains to shreds. He already thinks they are his new gigantic play-toy!

We also found some time for fun this weekend in the form of date-night at hibachi and some Ohio ice cream that I found down here in Texas!!

Getting ready to head out Saturday night

I must say, I’m more than ready to have this whole move completed. I just do not do well with chaos and change, so I’m feeling pretty frazzled lately. The washer decided to die on us yesterday mid-wash (with loads of other laundry still waiting to be done) and it may have caused me to have a total melt-down. There was just not enough ice cream in the world to fix that freak-out!

However, I’m trying to stay positive that the weather has cooled off considerably (mid-80’s…yay!!), the washer was fixed (thank God b/c I have lots of stuff to wash and doing it old-school style in the nearby dorm was not so much fun), and the move is almost complete! Just taking it one day at a time 😉

Friday photo flashback – It’s football season!

With September comes one of the most glorious times of the year. The start of college football season!

I know you’ve seen plenty of Ohio State stuff on my blog, but I can’t let the first game of the season go unmentioned. I promise to tone down the OSU talk for a while after this post 😉 Not forever, just for a little while!

I sure will miss being on campus this weekend to cheer on my Buckeyes!

I have to confess, I kind of miss the Ohio State Marching Band the most! They don’t call them the Best Damn Band in the Land for nothing. Script Ohio is one of the band’s traditions that gives me chills every time I see it. I’ll never understand how they pull it off without crashing into one another.

So friends, regardless of your team of choice, I wish you all a happy start to the football season! Unless you are a Michigan fan, then we have problems 😉

Drive, Drive on down the field,
Men of the scarlet and gray;
Don’t let them through that line,
We’ve got to win this game today,
Smash through to victory,
We cheer you as you go!
Our honor defend we will fight to the end
for OHIO!


Brownies + Reese’s = A better day!

I’m not sure what the deal has been lately, but things have been a little cray-cray. From work craziness to general life frustrations (like my iPhone suddenly using a crap ton of data for no apparently reason and causing me overages or my constantly deflating car tire), the past two weeks have been, well, nuts!

To avoid pulling out my hair or sitting in a corner crying in frustration, I busted out my baking supplies and got to work. I love to bake and I think it’s one of the best forms of stress-relief when things get a little crazy. Plus, enjoying the end result is an added bonus 😉

What could possibly be better than a brownie with a Reese’s cup inside. All wrapped up in a nice little tin-foil package?!

This recipe is always a huge hit, so I wanted to share it with all of you as a “bad day cure” in case things ever get a little cray-cray.

Ingredients: 1 box of brownie mix, 1 bag of Reese’s minatures, eggs, water, oil, and foil cupcake wrappers

Directions: Prepare brownie mix as indicated on package 

Unwrap about 16 Reese’s cups and set aside.

If you live in Texas (or the surface of the sun) your Reese’s cups will likely be a little soft and this will happen as you try to unwrap them:

To avoid this problem simply pop your Reese’s cups in the fridge for about 5 minutes before unwrapping.

Line a cupcake pan with foil wrappers. Do not use the paper ones, they will stick to the brownie!

Using a large tablespoon, fill the wrappers just over 1/2 full. Do not over fill! Then, place a Reese’s cup in the center of each muffin. Do not press down!

As you can see, the Reese’s will sink a little on their own.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 22 minutes or until set. Do not over bake! I use a toothpick the first time to test the brownie part. When it comes out mostly clean, they are done!

To avoid eating all of the Reese’s cups you need for the recipe, keep a bag of mini Reese’s on hand to snack on while they bake 🙂

When the brownies are done baking, take them out of the oven and allow them to sit in the pan for about 1 minute to firm up a bit. When they’re not blazing hot, transfer them to a cooling rack. Just don’t let them sit in the pan too long or they’ll continue to bake (another reason you don’t want to over bake them in the oven).

Let them cool completely before storing. However, feel free to sneak one while it’s still warm to treat yourself. You have to taste test them, after all! 😛

Oh yea, and don’t forget to lick the spoon when you’re all done! If this doesn’t make your bad day better, I don’t know what will!

Moving madness

It’s that time again. Time to gear up to move to a new apartment. Sigh…it feels like all I ever do is move! I’ve moved at least once a year since 2001. Neeless to say, I’m a pro at it!

This time is a little different because I’m moving in with the boy!

In a lot of ways this move is easier because I’ve been able to gradually start moving things in and won’t need to do it all on one hurried day like the last time. Which is nice considering Texas has decided to continue to torture us with 110 degree temps. However, it involves some work on Michael’s end as he organizes his stuff and moves things around. So that’s what we started working on this weekend in preparation for the full move which takes place September 9th. Dear Texas, please cool off considerably by then so we don’t die!!

First thing on the moving to-do list was moving one of his computer desks from the former “computer room” (soon to be our bedroom) into the “spare room”. The monstrosity of a bed in the background is part of the provided furniture that comes with his apartment (the apartment is also a perk of his job…aka…we don’t pay rent or utilities!!).

The end product turned out pretty well. He had to downsize to only two monitors since he’s using only one desk for the time being (formerly he had three monitors and another desk entirely for two printers and loads of other stuff). I insisted the lovely Ikea lamp had to be on the desk because I hate overhead lighting and only ever use lamps. I think lamps give off a much more homey feel.

Overall, I think the desk area has a nice calming feel to it. You just can’t see the total mess that’s lurking in the other half of the spare room 😉

The livingroom and kitchen are still definitely works in progress!

That furniture will be going (it’s provided by his job and he opted to give it back) and my furniture will be moved in.

There’s still quite a bit of organizing to be done in the kitchen, but I made a nice dent in the progress while Michael set up the computer area.

So there you have it! Now you know what will be occupying most of my free-time for the next week and a half. Keep your fingers crossed that the weather cooperates and everything goes smoothly!