Archive for June, 2011

Photo Of The Week

June 26, 2011


I’m blogging on my cell phone while sitting by the pool. Ah, I love technology.

We had a Hawaiian themed work party on Saturday. I snapped this photo with my iPhone because I couldn’t help but notice the brilliant blue of the summer sky with the paper lanterns. The heat is killing me BUT I’ll manage as long as I have popsicles, pools, parties & somewhere to take photos.

Hope you had a great weekend!!!


Beg Bicycles

June 24, 2011

Am I just super late to the Beg Bicycle party or what?  I ran across this website and I’m in awe of the pretty bikes and accessories!! Now, I realize biking is totally the ‘in thing’ right now and let me be the first one pushing that bandwagon.  Wait, do you push a bandwagon?  How exactly does that even work?  Whatever.  Of course, these pretty pieces come from Europe.  You just had to, didn’t ya?  Check them out and fall in love with bicycles….


I’ll take one of everything, please.  Like…now.  Bring it to me.  Check out the Beg Bicycle blog.  It’s sooooo cute.

San Francisco

June 23, 2011

{via Pinterest}


Scotland {part 2}

June 21, 2011

So here goes…the last half of vacation recap.  I left off in Dublin, Ireland.  Swoon.  I didn’t think the vacation could get any better after our Ireland adventures.  Boy, was I wrong and pleasantly surprised.  Enter Edinburgh, Scotland – the most gorgeous city I’ve ever seen…ever.

{biking through Edinburgh//photo by Tyler Gould// }

It only cost 60 pounds to fly from Ireland to Scotland.  That is fantastic.  I may have giggled a few times on the flight over, especially when they sold smokeless cigarettes for the 45 minute flight.  We quickly landed, got more cash flow and hopped on a bus towards our hostel.  I think my mouth was open the entire bus ride through town.  There’s so much beauty to see!!! I’m telling you, it’s enchanting.  We stayed at a hostel called Argyle Backpackers.  From Backpackers, it was just a quick fifteen minute walk through a gorgeous park (The Meadows) to get to The Royal Mile and the middle of town.  I quite enjoyed that part.  I LOVE walking or biking. It’s the most fun way to learn about the places you visit.  Plus, it’s a great way to walk off the meat pies and shortbread I couldn’t stay away from.

{hostel life}

{The Meadows}

The second day we were there, we hung out on The Royal Mile and visited Edinburgh Castle.  Yea sure, it’s touristy but it’s a must see.  It’s a real life castle!! Seriously?!  Every part of me that loves fairy tales was in a state of bliss as we explored the grounds.  Gorgeous views and fascinating history.  Plus, a few cannons.

{view from the castle}

{Jamie almost got arrested for this one}

We ran around town the rest of the day and had dinner with good friends from college that evening.  Shout out to Dana and her adorable mister!! Thanks for showing us around and being our tour guides!! It was lovely to see your pretty face.  Already purrfection.  Bedtime approached and the alarm was set for 6:45 am!! We were boarding a train headed for Inverness the next morning.  A four hour train ride to see Nessie herself and her home in Loch Ness.  More beauty awaits.

{view from the train}

{view from the train}

Is there anything more romantic than traveling by train?  Nope.  The correct answer is absolutely not.  I cried three times just because of how beautiful it was.  Plus, they had a snack and coffee cart!!!!  Dream world.  We arrived in Inverness and ran around trying to spot the monster.  Well, we ran around after we had lunch at a quirky bookstore cafe FILLED to the brim with old vintage books, Leakey’s Bookshop.  ::love::

{so so cool}


{Inverness// does it look cold? Well, it was!!}

{Loch Ness}

{Loch Ness}

{Tyler in the Loch Ness// photo by }

{summoning Nessie…I failed //photo by }

{Loch Ness}

A photo just can’t really do this place justice!! So, it’s time for another video.  So maybe I like the camera a little.  What can I say?

Thanks, Tyler.  He’s a smart one and always had a camera around.  We got rained on and were exhausted but it’s totally worth it to take a train and visit!!  We made it home and went to bed a bit early.  It’s vacation!! That’s what you’re supposed to do.  The next day?  Tyler and I biked around Edinburgh.  So, so fun.  It could have been a highlight of the entire trip.  We met Jamie and Jen for brunch at The Elephant House then headed out.  Oh, let me just pause to say that HARRY POTTER WAS BORN AT THE ELEPHANT HOUSE!  The one and only place where JK Rowling wrote the famous books.  DREAMS DO COME TRUE!

{I was freezing so I bought a hat….a really furry one}

{mint tea and elephant shortbread…mmmm}

After brunch, we headed off on our mountain bikes (ha) that we rented from the hostel for 5 pounds each.  It was SO COLD and that whole driving on the different side of the road thing freaked me out a few times but I loved every second of it.  Plus, Tyler is a blast.  Uh oh, video time!

My goodness, so pretty.  But I’m going to be real honest and admit those hills wore me out.  Still loved it though.  Every second.  The last few days were spent relaxing and exploring the city.  Oh, I got sick.  That was a huge boo!!!  I’m all better now.  *smile


Europe is a place that stays in your heart and mind forever.  Not only did it increase the desire in my soul to see the world but it also reminded me how beautiful the world is….and the people on it.  I can’t wait to go back.  I can’t wait to explore.  I can’t wait to fall in love with yet another place.  It’s magic.  Thanks for sharing in my journey. 

**all photos were taken by me with my iPhone, unless credited to another

Annalise Tang

June 20, 2011

Look at this sweet baby girl! I got to see my niece over the weekend and we are all totally smitten. She is precious!

Three months old & beautiful.




Happy Father’s Day!

June 17, 2011

I’m headed to east Texas for the weekend to see the family.  I also get to hug my adorable little niece.  I’ll be back next week with the Scotland post.  Hooray!! Happy Father’s Day!! Especially to mine because I think he’s the best. 

{My dad when he was just a little lamb! Look at those glasses! Ah-mazing.}

Ireland! {part 1}

June 16, 2011

Hard to believe that an entire month has passed since we were running around Europe; catching trains, hauling backpacks, climbing hills, eating  fish and chips, visiting pubs…it was magic.  It would be impossible to write out every single thing that we experienced and every single thought that went with it (plus, let’s get real, you’d be bored to tears anyway).  Here’s a quick little run through with photos and videos from our week in Ireland.  In the next post, I’ll share about Scotland.  I have to say that this was one of the best vacations ever.  Now….prepare yourself for the onslaught of videos and photos that await. 

Packed our bags and headed out for two weeks of glorious adventures in Ireland and Scotland.  Yes, this is all we brought.  Yes, I did go shopping in Ireland to buy more clothes because I ran smooth out.  *smile

Dublin, Ireland-
These were my travel buddies!  Jen and Jamie awaiting the bus at the Dublin airport.  Hostel bound!! We stayed at The Times Hostel in Dublin and it was perfect.  Cheap, within walking distance, clean, plenty of great people to meet, and quiet (sort of).  We explored, explored and explored some more.

Our first tour was at Trinity College.  It made me wish I had gone to a college in a different country.  Just splendid. 

While at Trinity College, we toured the library to see the Book of Kells.  Breathtakingly beautiful handiwork!!  It’s safe to say we were all amazed with the detail and time put into the ancient pieces.  Such care and devotion the artists put into making the Gospels come alive.  It was worth the $5 to see. 

We spent the afternoon at the Guinness Storehouse.  It truly was fascinating and HUGE!! After you got through waltzing about the six story museum, you were able to hang out in the bar waaaaay up high with a gorgeous view!

We even got a rainbow.

This brings me to the next stop on our Dublin adventure.  I’ll be honest, we had lunch at this particular place one day and I’m pretty sure that I almost died SO the thought of going back wasn’t too appealing.  But apparently, it’s one of the best places to hear live Irish music so I was sold.  Hello, Temple Bar Pub.

I walked into Temple Bar a single little American gal and walked out with a handsome English…fiance.  What?  Yep.  It’s true. 

The engagement shot.  We had witnesses.  Lots of them.

I know, I KNOW!! But I just couldn’t help myself!! He was so sweet and charming and that accent!! Ohmuhgawsh.  I couldn’t say no.  Oh, Adam.  I was one smitten little Texan as soon as I walked by and he said ‘Excuse me.  Do you know what time it is?’  An hour and a half later I was wearing a ring.  Well, it was his ring.  But seriously….it was the cutest. 

Naturally, I had to spend the next two days hanging out with him!  He was from England but his band was in Ireland touring the same week we were there.  Purrfect timing.  Ok….moving on!!! 

The next morning, around 6 am, we boarded a tour bus with a few friends we met from Italy and headed to the Cliffs of Moher and an Irish farm to hike through the hills AND feed baby lambs.  Dreams do come true other places besides Disney Land.  In case you were wondering, we went on a MacCoole Day Tour.  It was fantastic!

In the photo below, see that castle waaaaay off in the distance?  Oh my.  Gorgeous.  Moments, later I MAY have hopped a fence and I MIGHT have walked on the restricted trail with no barriers to POSSIBLY get a little closer to the cliffs.  But I’m not admitting to anything.

Sometimes, pictures can’t really do it justice so here’s  a quick video to show how amazingly wonderful the Cliffs of Moher are.  God really showed off his creativity in Ireland.

Clearly, we arrived home alive.  Before our trip to Ireland, I was warned that I would probably starve because the food was awful.  Um….I ate SO MUCH!  Fish and chips are ah-mazing!  I’ll call this video ‘Ode to Codfish and French Fries.’

So great, right?  I have to go back as soon as I’ve saved up my euros.  Ok….there’s still more.  Crazy, it is.  We ran around Ireland a couple more blissful days then boarded a plane to Edinburgh, Scotland.  I can’t go on any longer for fear that you’ve fallen asleep on your keyboard.  Hey, hey you!! The blog post is done now.  I’ll save Scotland until tomorrow.  Oh, here’s a little treat before I go.  Adam (you know, my fiance) has a music video.  Ah-mazing.  So…if you’re into cute British boys with guitars then check it out!! The cutie in the white shirt and sunglasses is mine though. *wink

**Disclaimer:  No, I’m not really engaged.  No, I’m not getting married.  Yes, he did propose.  Yes, I said yes.  No, I’m not crazy.  Maybe a little.  Yes, I still have the ring.  Yes, we’ve skyped and emailed since I’ve been home.  Every American girl needs to hear a British accent every now and again.  *smile

I had some great photographer friends along on the trip!! If you missed the blog post with a few of Tyler’s great shots you can check it out here.  His photos are waaaaay better than my iPhone shots.  Trust me.  Hopefully, there will be more of these later.  Keep your fingers crossed.

30 Days

June 15, 2011


Today was the start of my ’30 Days Without Coffee & Soda’ challenge. I only decided to start this yesterday so I’d say today was successful, considering I had zero planning going into it. Cold turkey, baby. Just how I like it.

My reasonings aren’t spiritual or thought provoking. More of a healthy lifestyle choice for a month. I’m curious to see if I feel more alert, have clearer skin & less jittery mornings. I’ll be 30 in a month and a half and I would like to enter that addiction free. Unless we’re talking about my addiction to pretty dresses and acoustic guitars. That isn’t going anywhere.

Just call this my adult science fair project. I might even end up with a gold medal or something. Now if I can make it through morning two. *wink

*photo taken with my iPhone


June 14, 2011

Have you guys seen my motivation floating and twirling and running about?  If so, please return it to me as soon as you can.  She seems to have taken a trip and left me home alone to fend for myself. 

I don’t travel much during the summer and this tends to make me feel a little… off.  My mind works better when my day-planner is packed from sun up to sun down.  I feel backwards when this happens.  There are SO many things that I should be and could be doing in my down time:

–blog more (oh, like that Scotland and Ireland post!! Blast!)
–take loads of photos and learn to edit them
–sewing lessons so I can mend some unwearables
–cook yummy things I’ve never tried before…like rhubarb (did I spell that right?)
–write letters and finally send the ones sitting on my desk (whoops!!)
–pretty little crafty projects
–work out regularly
–kick caffeine to the curb (for just a month or so)
–you get the idea….

So how does one motivate themselves?  We’ll see!!  I’m hoping I can figure this out before the whirlwind of life hits again.  I miss the whirlwind already but know there is peace in the stillness.  I’ve just never been good at finding it. 

{iPhone photo// jogging trail & twilight}

My, oh my!

June 7, 2011

What was that, you ask?  Just the sound of my heart stopping.

{We Heart It}

I will always have a little place in my heart for husky pups.  Gorgeous.  Ok, I think I can breathe again.