Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What's In My Bag Wednesday - Week 1

For this week's installment of what's in my bag, I thought I would talk about what is literally in my bag. These are two things I pretty much never leave home with out. The one on the right is my trusty datebook. I love this datebook because it is just the right size to toss in my purse so I can keep track of what is going on in my world. This is actually my second time purchasing this particular datebook (I picked the first one up at a car wash on a whim because I liked the Austin theme to the book) and I'm getting ready to order my 2014 book for myself and two of my coworkers. The other massively huge item is my wallet.  Yes, I said wallet. I know it is big but that is why I like it. It holds everything. All my cards, including all those ridiculous loyalty cards that are hard to keep up with, and my checkbooks (we have 2 accounts) for those random times I need to write a check. Plus it is easy to grab and go if I don't want to take my full purse along with me. It has been nice to toss in the diaper bag and not worry about needing anything else or it getting lost in the bag.  Needless to say, I carry a rather big purse for this reason.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Take Me Out Tuesday - Week 1

Texas is known for two types of food: Barbecue and Tex-Mex. While I have to be in the mood for barbecue, I can eat Tex-Mex 7 days a week. The better question is where do I want to get the Tex-Mex. There are so many good places to chose from here in Austin but I have a few favorites that tend to be my go-to places when I am in the mood for good Tex-Mex.

First, there is my favorite taco joint: Torchy's. Two weeks after we moved into our new house, a Torchy's opened across the street from our neighborhood. There is also one near my office. So I end up hitting there close to once a week. Their queso is to die for with the diablo sauce and guacamole mixed in and my all time favorite, Fried Avocado Taco, is always on the menu.  Plus, I usually like to try the taco of the month just to mix things up a bit.

For quick bite close to work, I like to hit Cabo Bob's Burritos. Cabo Bob's is basically a locally Chipotle where you can select your tortilla, meat and fillings.  I love this place and so does everyone else who works near me because this place is always packed at lunch. Plus they carry the pure cane sodas from Dublin Bottle Works. (Oh how I miss Dublin Dr. Pepper!)

When we want to have a sit down meal, Chris and I always have the debate of Chuy's or La Margarita. Personally, I would always choose Chuy's if for no other reason than to eat a little creamy jalapeno and to sip a Mexican Martini. I love the food. I love the atmosphere. This is always the first place I want to go when I've been away from Austin. La Margarita is Chris's personal pick. He took me there on our first date and we do go there just about as much as Chuy's, many times because the wait is shorter. The food is good, probably more authentic then Chuy's but I still don't think it holds a candle to my favorite place.

My most recent Tex-Mex discovery is Lupe Tortilla. The restaurant has been in Austin about a year and we made our first visit there on Easter. They are known for their beef fajitas and I can understand why. One taste and you will never try anything else there.  I am typically not a fan of beef fajitas but these I crave.  If it is your first visit there, let your waiter know and they will bring you a sample.

So now my mouth is watering and I am ready for some fajitas. Want to join me?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Makeup Monday - Week 1

Somewhere along the way, I became one of the makeup people.  I have always had a love for makeup even though I don't wear a lot on a regular basis. I'm always quick to try new products once they get on the market, which is funny since I still tend to go back to my tried and true long time love products. I think I have tried just about every foundation on the market. The problem I run into is not know if something will work out with my oily skin.  I can't always follow the recommendations of many of my fellow makeup loving friends because they have drier skin than I do which means products that work well for them most likely won't work for me. So I have to try things out for myself and often end up being on a different side when it comes to favorite products.  So here are some of my go-to face products:

For everyday wear, I prefer the CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation. This provides decent coverage although it isn't as long wear as I would like.  My go-to foundation for many years has been Estee Lauder Double Wear. This one does provide the coverage and last through the day despite my oiliness. This is my special occasion makeup and it has yet to fail me. Every time I stray away and try something new, I always end up going back to my Double Wear.  I did find a blog once that stated the Double Wear was the best foundation for oily skin.  I believe it.  I also have a bottle of MAC Pro Longwear that I have been using off and on. It does provide the coverage and staying power that I like but I just don't love the formula.  It feels sticky and thick to me so I don't think this will be a repeat purchase. (Once again, I don't know why I stray away from my Double Wear.)

For pressed powder, I always go with CoverGirl Fresh Complexion Powder Foundation. I love the extra coverage this adds to my foundation. Occasionally, I will even use this by itself and it is enough to even out my skin.  For loose powder, I recently stumbled upon a blast from the past that brought me back to my grandmother's bathroom: Coty AirSpun Loose Powder. The smell, the texture, everything about it was like being a kid again. And, you know what, this stuff works which is why it has been on the market forever! Seriously, go get some. You won't regret it.

I've been using Benefit Erase Paste for a while now and I like it alright. It isn't the best concealer I've ever used but it works for now until I use up my current jar. I think I might try Boi-ing next. I had debated Fake Up but was told to steer clear of it since I have oily skin and it is formulated for this with dry skin (good to know, thanks Benefit Brow Bar lady!). I used Prescriptives Camoflage Cream  for a while and it was really good, probably the best since the old school Mary Kay concealers that had the yellow or green tints to them to cover certain things. I was happy to find out that you can still buy Prescriptives online. I just haven't bitten the bullet yet to make my purchases from them.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Supper Club Sunday - Week 1

Chris and I have been doing Weight Watchers since the end of July with a pretty decent amount of success.  I've lost 16 pounds and he has lost about 20.  I think we have both stalled a bit which I hate with the holidays coming up because I wanted to be closer to my goal so I could relax a bit and enjoy some of my favorite seasonal foods. But I figure I can still enjoy my holiday favorites in moderation and really hit the diet hard again after the first of the year. I'm still pretty motivated to lose weight, especially when I see a picture of myself with a roll right above the waist of my jeans. 

One of the things that has helped us be so successful on our diet was the menu planning we have been doing using WW friendly recipes. I found a lot of recipes that we really got excited about trying. As people who loved food, this is just what we need so we wouldn't be as tempted to cheat. One of my favorite new recipes that I discovered was the taco soup my boss made for us for lunch one day (we started out doing Weight Watchers at Work). This soup was so tasty that I made it two days after I first tried and it is sure to be a regular on my menu plan now.

Taco Soup - Weight Watchers
serves 8
6 points per 1 cup serving

1 pound lean ground beef
15 oz can pinto beans
15oz can yellow corn
15 oz can stewed tomatoes
15 oz can kidney beans
1 cup chopped onions
1 oz packet Taco Seasoning Mix
10 oz can Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles

Brown the ground beef and onions together until the beef is no longer pink. Transfer beef mixture to a stew pot. Add the remaining ingredients. Do not drain any of your canned ingredients as this makes the base for your soup.  Bring to a boil.  Then reduce heat to a simmer until heated through (about 20 minutes). 

You can also fix this in the slow cooker. Just brown your ground beef as mentioned above. Then dump everything into your slow cooker on low for about 2 hours or until everything is heated through. (This is actually how I fixed it. The stove top method is from my boss's instructions.)

I served this with Southwest Tortilla strips on top but you could add avocado, shredded cheese, or sour cream.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Scoreboard Saturday - Week 1

It was my intention to discuss interesting football games I watched in my Scoreboard Saturday posts. However, that would have required me to actually watch football today. Alabama had a bye week this weekend so I ended up spending my day in other, less fun ways.  My company is in the middle of upgrading our accounting software so we had to spend our morning completing the work needed for our month end close so the upgrade can take place on Monday.  Not really my idea of a fun Saturday but we made the most of by enjoying some Round Rock Donuts and my boss's yummy pulled pork. On my way home, I had to pick up my team's packets for the Austin Race for the Cure next weekend and hit the grocery store. The nice thing (bad thing?) about HEB on a Saturday is they give out samples while you are shopping. I tried some tasty chicken, wine, and sushi. So of course I ended up coming home with some of it.

After I got home from the store, Chris mentioned that Jackson's eye had looked a little goopy before nap time but seemed fine when he woke up.  I leaned over to give him a kiss only to spot the telltale goop in both eyes. A quick call to urgent care and we had an appointment an hour later.  There went our date night since we could no longer leave Jackson in the (free) child care we had setup for the evening.  Disappointing for certain but I hate that my little man isn't 100%. Fortunately he seems to be feeling OK overall. He was playing around and coloring at urgent care while we watch Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs until the doctor came in. We now have antibiotic eye gel that has to be put in J's eyes twice a day for 5 days.

So it's a little different scoreboard this week but here's where we stand:
Stressful Saturday 1
Julie 0

Friday, November 1, 2013


Surprise! Two months later, I finally decided to show back up in your feed reader.  I really didn't mean to fall off the blogging band wagon but it happened.  Since school started back, we have been non-stop.  I know that never really changes in my world but it is the truth.  Somehow we seem to be busier than normal.  Plus I used a lot of my Fridays off during the summer to blog and schedule posts.  I haven't had that free time recently so I guess I will have to try to make up for it now.

Luckily, it is now November and that means NaBloPoMo.  One of the goals I set for myself this year was to complete NaBloPoMo again.  The last time I did this, I found out I was pregnant with Jackson at the end of the month.  Hopefully we won't have any surprises like that again this year but nonetheless, I suspect it will still be fun.  I decided to make things a little easier on myself by deciding on a them for each day of the week. Unfortunately, since you are catching me in the middle of football season, there will be football talk so beware! Here they are:

Supper Club Sunday - where I share some of my favorite recipes
Makeover Monday - where I talk about makeup
Take Me Out Tuesday - where I talk about restaurants I love
What's In My Bag Wednesday - where I talk about products I can't live without
Thirsty Thursday - where I talk about drinks I love
Football Friday -  where I talk about the upcoming games
Scoreboard Saturday - where I recap interesting games from the day