Weekend Happy List

Treat Yo' Self

 

If you’ve been reading Eat Up, Buttercup for a while, you’ve probably seen my Weekend Thoughts posts. I loved writing those posts, but eventually I felt like I was linking to my favorite blogs and websites every week, which seemed really repetitive. I started thinking about ways to mix things up. I always love Jacquelyn Clarke’s Scenes from My Week posts, and recently I started using Food52’s Happy Lists as a journaling format (I’m notoriously bad at keeping up with a journal, so weekly lists work better for me), so I thought it’d be fun to share my weekly list with y’all! I’m excited to see what you think!

1/17/16 – 1/31/16

  • listening to the Force Awakens soundtrack
  • Tonks playing with her favorite ribbon
  • Food52’s 57 Small Things to do for Yourself this Year
  • Finishing 1099s at work!
  • bringing grainy, overcooked ice cream base back to life with an immersion blender
  • roasted Brussels sprouts with horseradish sauce — divine!
  • girl’s nights with lots of wine
  • a fun writing project I finished up last week
  • cleaning my apartment — I tend to be a messy person, but cleaning this week has been so freeing!
  • Bon Appetit’s article about Tara Jenson from Smoke Signals
  • playing with ABM’s new A Color Story app
  • lunch date with Teddy at Torchy’s Tacos for some killer queso
  • I’ve watched this video way too many times, and I’m not even a little bit sorry
  • This Captain America: Civil War and Taylor Swift mashup is AMAZING
  • I’m asking Teddy for this shirt for my birthday

What are you guys up to lately? I don’t know about you, but I am SO glad January is over! It was a rough month in a lot of ways, so I’m hoping for a better February. Hoping you guys have a great week!

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On Showing Up

Menger Bar
The bar where Teddy Roosevelt recruited the Rough Riders. No big deal.

 

Hi friends! I’ve missed you.

 

I’m in a bit of a dry spell when it comes to writing. The past few months have been hard, in a way that is no fun to write or read about — doctor’s appointments, financial reports, board meetings. I’ve been avoiding this space because I felt guilty for not writing, and the longer I didn’t write, the more daunting writing became. I almost decided to walk away from this blog forever.

 

But since it’s January, I decided to change up some things. Are you totally tired of reading other people’s New Years resolutions? I promise these will be quick:

 

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Coffee Talk: Roadblocks

RoadBlocks

 

 

If we were on a coffee date, I’d tell you that it’s been just over a month since I finished the first draft of my big novel project, and I am stuck.

 

I thought I might start working on a new novel project, but I couldn’t seem to make the story and characters come together. I thought maybe they just needed more time on the backburner, so I shelved that project and started to work on a second draft of my original project. There were some backstory elements that needed work, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get the pieces to fit. Nothing I was doing seemed to be working, and soon I was beyond frustrated and mentally exhausted. It felt like I was trying to punch through a brick wall with my bare hands.

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The Texas State Fair + My New Dream Job

Big Tex

 

When they say everything’s bigger in Texas, they really mean it. This fair is MASSIVE! It would take at least two days to see everything, but it was still a really fun Saturday.

 

The first thing we did when we got there was pick up a Fletcher’s corn dog. I almost never eat corn dogs, but it was so good! I think it might be the best thing I ate all day. We were standing underneath Big Tex, and I almost had a heart attack when I realized that its mouth was moving as it said, “Howdy, I’m Big Tex!” Then it turned its head and waved at me. Talk about nightmare-inducing!

 

But there were lots of fun things to see besides Big Tex. They had a “Food and Fiber” display where they showed the winners for the different craft contests. There was a massive butter sculpture, but all my photos ended up kind of… creepy. So I decided not to post those. There was also a whole wall of pickles and jam, and all sorts of needlework projects. My favorite was the needlework pastries. I couldn’t get over the cannoli!

 

Wall o' Pickles

In case you thought I was kidding about the wall of jam and pickles.

 

Needle point

Look at those needlepoint pastries! Brenda Flasowski has mad skills!

 

The Food and Fiber building was definitely fun, but my favorite part of the fair was the livestock barn. We happened to visit during feeding time, and we saw a bunch of miniature zebus who were waiting for their big show the next day. I didn’t know there was such a thing as a mini zebu, but they were so cute! I think my new imaginary dream job is to raise and show mini zebus. I mean, look at these faces and tell me they’re not adorable!

 

Mini Zebu

The younger zebus had teeny-tiny humps, and the older ones had big saggy humps. I think this one is a year or two old.

 

Cuties

They were very polite, even though we interrupted their dinner. Rude!

 

Baby Zebu

I mean, look at this baby! I can’t get over it!

 

I also met these cute ladies named Cash Money and Miss Valentine. I knew that racehorses were given kooky names, but apparently dairy cows are fair game. Who knew?

 

Cash Money and Miss Valentine

 

After saying hi to the animals we walked over to the rides so we could g on the Ferris Wheel. Unfortunately the line was really long, so we went up to the observation tower instead. I was bummed about missing the Ferris Wheel, but that just means I have to go back next year, right?

 

Ferris Wheel

 

What about you? What’s your favorite part of the State Fair?

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2015 Fall To-Do List

Fall To-Do List

 

The first day of fall is TOMORROW, so I’m actually right on time with my Fall To-Do List this time! (I was a liiittle behind on my summer list in June). Speaking of, here’s a recap of my summer list:

 

  • Make a big Goodwill trip with old clothes and books
  • Set up a little herb garden on our new back porch
  • Make pesto to keep basil from taking over
  • Have friends over for drinks – maybe a weekly or monthly sangria night?
  • Go on a weekend road trip
  • Go swimming  (I actually went jet-skiing and tubing!)
  • Spend as much time as possible on our porch (bonus points for ice cream eating / rosé drinking)
  • Drink all the smoothies. All of them
  • Set up a little creative space in the new apartment
  • Bonus: make a pie!

 

I’m actually surprised with how many things I got done considering how crazy this summer was! I couldn’t find a time that worked for everyone for dinner and drinks, so I’m hoping to do that in October. We couldn’t fit in a weekend trip either, but I have my fingers crossed for a roadtrip to Austin soon.

 

The most surprising thing I did was jet-skiing and tubing for the first time at my brother-in law’s engagement party. I’ve always been too scared to do it, and honestly, just thinking about jet-skiing still stresses me out. But I did it, and I survived even though I flipped the jet ski. (Ooops!)

 

I also made a black n’ blue pie for Labor Day from The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book. I was a little intimidated because they have suuuper high standards for everything. But the pie turned out really well! The filling was killer, but honestly, I wasn’t a huge fan of the crust. (Please don’t hate me, Brooklyn!) The recipe was kind of fussy and it wasn’t noticeably better than my favorite pie dough recipe. Despite my mixed feelings about the crust, I’m really excited to try more fall and winter pie recipes from Four & Twenty Blackbirds.

 

Phew! I didn’t know I had so many feelings about my summer to-do list! Here’s my Fall To-Do List:

 

  • Go to the Texas State Fair
  • Finish my first draft x
  • Start a new knitting project/ try weaving
  • Make my favorite apple pie
  • Drink lots of hot chocolate and hot apple cider
  • Write/ read on the porch on a weekend morning
  • Make doughnuts for the first time
  • Go to a bonfire

 

I’ve already crossed one thing off my list (still can’t believe my first draft is done!), and now I’m really excited about all the fun fall activities. Fall is hands-down my favorite season, so I can’t wait to check off all the things on my list. I wish I had written down “drink your annual Pumpkin Spice Latte.” I always get really excited for them, and then remember why I only get one every year — they’re so sweet, even with 2 pumps of syrup! You’d think I’d have learned by now, right?

 

Do you have any fun plans for fall? I’d love to hear!

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A Quick Life Update

Making friends with our new neighbors.
Making friends with a super cute new neighbor.

 

How has your week been? I hope it’s been a good one! My week’s felt like an old Friends episode — remember the episode where Monica’s mom says she “pulled a Monica” because she baked a fake nail into her lasagna? That’s pretty much been my life this week.

 

But besides my “pulling a Monica” moments, I managed to finish my rough draft on Tuesday! I had originally planned on finishing it by November, and then I decided I could finish by October 15… and then I finished a month early. I still can’t believe it! I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about it, which I’m planning on talking more about next week. So far this week I’ve been celebrating with ice cream, and I’m planning on visiting a bookstore and getting some tacos this weekend!

 

Teddy and I decided to eat vegetarian for a week, and so far it’s been going pretty well! So far we’ve stuck to old favorites like Joy’s spicy vegetarian tortilla soup and Jeanine’s spring green lemon & basil pasta. Tonight we made some quick pickled veggies which weren’t as quick as we expected… so we went to Chick-fil-A. But that means our pickled veggies will be ready for dinner tomorrow. I’m excited! We’re not planning on becoming full-time vegetarians, but we’re hoping to incorporate more vegetarian meals during the week, so it’ll be nice to have some favorite recipes in our back pocket. I have my eye on this jalapeño and cauliflower mac n’ cheese for next week!  

 

I’ve been craving a non-writing project for a while, but ever since I finished my rough draft I’ve been pinning so many DIY projects — and I’m the girl who avoids DIY projects at all costs! (I usually agree with Victoria: DDIY — Don’t Do It Yourself.) Right now I’m leaning toward this weaving tutorial: now all I need is a loom and some yarn.
That’s pretty much all I can think of that’s new around here. Hope you guys had a great Thursday, and that your Friday is super short!

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New Apartment Inspiration

Tonks' favorite spot
Somebody is really liking the view.

 

Confession time: I’m soooo excited that it’s almost August. July has not been my favorite month because I’ve been moving for the past three weeks. I know it sounds totally ridiculous, but Teddy was out of town for over half of July, which was stressful enough without me trying to move… by myself. Yeah, that went really well.

 

Semi-miraculously, I’m still on track with my novel, but this blog has been a little neglected recently. And I’ve been so stressed/ busy/ thinking about apartment stuff non-stop that my brain is feeling a little fried. So I’ve decided that August is going to be a month of settling into the new apartment and refilling my creative and emotional wells that so desperately need it.

 

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Hustling vs. The Slow Burn

 

Kirby Cove, CA

 

Are you a hustler? I’m sure you’ve seen all the handwritten notes on Instagram that tell you to hustle, hustle, hustle to get where you want to go. I totally agree that there are times you have to hustle your booty (to meet a deadline, to get the last cupcake, to finish last-minute packing…), but most of the time, I’m not a hustler.

 

When I was in college, I disliked small daily projects, and hated busy work with a passion. I would much rather write a ten page paper than tweet about the book we’re reading (yes, one of my professors made us do that) or do a dumb worksheet. Some of my classmates thought I was crazy, but I loved having a month or two to really dig into a big project.

 

Ironically, now my job is full of small daily projects, but I still feel the same way about my creative work. For a while, I tried to stick to a really strict blogging schedule while writing at least 350 words a day. But when I started feeling burned out, I realized that wasn’t working for me.

 

So I cut myself some slack. I try to post here three times a week, but sometimes I only post once or twice. I try to write 350 words of my story every week day (sometimes I write a lot, other times I can barely hit 200 words). I’m trying to keep up a slow burn, instead of a constant hustle.

 

I can only imagine how tricky it is if you work in a creative business! I see some people on Instagram or Twitter talking about how they’re hustling (for the 10th picture/ tweet in a row) or talking about how they really need a rest but they’re pushing through it. I secretly think those people need a nap and a cookie.

 

I wonder if being a hustler is more about personality types — I know people who hustle all the time, and they love it. What do you think?

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2015 Summer To-Do List

Parking Lot Sunset

 

It’s only June 23 and this summer has already been craaaazy. We flew to Chattanooga for a friend’s wedding, celebrated our first anniversary, and next week we’re flying out to California for me to meet Teddy’s grandparents and extended family. Then I’m flying back to Texas while Teddy stays in California for a bit to collect gold and opal. And then we’re moving to a new apartment. Phew, just writing all that out makes me feel tired!

 

Since life has been so bananas lately, I’ve been desperately craving a routine. And while life won’t go back to normal until at least mid-July, Emily’s summer to-do list inspired me to write my own. My serious to-do list is already a mile long, but I want to make sure to remember that it’s summer! And summer means ignoring the to-do list every now and then in favor of eating some ice cream in the sun.

 

Here are some fun things I want to do this summer:

 

  • Make a big Goodwill trip with old clothes and books
  • Set up a little herb garden on our new back porch
  • Make pesto to keep basil from taking over
  • Have friends over for drinks – maybe a weekly or monthly sangria night?
  • Go on a weekend road trip
  • Go swimming
  • Spend as much time as possible on our porch — bonus points for ice cream eating / rosé drinking
  • Drink all the smoothies. All of them
  • Set up a little creative space in the new apartment

Having a Goodwill trip at the top of my list might seem weird, but I always want to purge my closet before I move, and apparently I’m starting early this time around. Lately I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by all the clutter and I really hate packing. So I think a Goodwill trip before we move will actually be sort of relaxing. Does that sound crazy?

 

What about you? Do you have any fun plans for this summer?

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Quick Update

Hey guys, last week I mentioned some health issues I’ve been dealing with lately, and the fact that I was waiting for some test results to see what’s actually going on. It turns out I don’t have a benign brain tumor (!!!) or a junky thyroid, so it must be PCOS. I’m so thankful it’s not a brain tumor because my youngest brother has had two brain surgeries in the past, so that option really had me freaked out.

 

As far as the diet changes go, so far sticking to (some) whole grains and avoiding processed sugars as much as possible seems to be working for me, so as long as it works, I think we’ll go with it. I think the baking will have to wait for parties/ having people over, which I’m mostly ok with as long as I can have some chocolate every now and then. (I offered to make cake for anyone who visits me in Houston over on Twitter, and I’m 100% serious. If you’re coming to town, hit me up!)

 

I think that’s everything. Thank you so much for listening, friends! Your thoughts and comments seriously mean the world to me, and I appreciate them so much!
Also, if you’re wondering how I justified going to Franklin Barbecue when I’m supposed to be eating healthy… let’s just say that was my cheat day.

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