Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Writing a novel

I want to be a writer. A proper novelist, of course; not one with reality-tv-star-turned-crappy-writer quality. If I could, I would love to have a career like Paulo Coelho, Isabel Allende, or Steven King. Meaning that I would like to be able to publish and sell my books while I'm still alive. That is my dream.

My problem is that I'm deathly afraid of the blank page - of the "what if I'm not good enough?" thoughts that inevitably creep up. I know that this fear is a bit self defeating (in my case, completely self-defeating). If I don't build up my courage to write, then I won't ever be good enough because I'm not writing at all.

Since I moved to Austin, I've been working from home. This means that I have plenty of free time on my hands to write.  So, what have I been doing? Well, a lot of stuff... none of which has anything to do with writing anything other than this blog.

I've been trying to figure out why it's so much easier to face a new post (that I hope you're reading) than a single blank page that no one will read (at least for now). I figure it's because when I write a new post, I always know what it's about - it will be about cooking, a place I like, movies or books. There is always a set topic; I have pictures to take the reader's mind off my writing (ha!), and it doesn't have to be life-changing.

A novel, on the other hand, is long! I have to follow it through from beginning to end, and there is no map. There are no pictures; no do-overs tomorrow. Finally, it has to be really really good! I can take a photograph or make a painting without stress but, nope, the one thing I really want freaks me out.

Now that you know where I'm coming from, I'll get to the real point behind this post. It is not to vent about how I haven't written. It is to tell everyone that I am about to formally start writing. Yay! For my birthday this year, Jessie gave me a novel-writing kit called "No Plot? No Problem".

I'm taking the challenge! The idea behind it is to write the completed first draft of a novel in one month. 50,000 words in one month.  Quantity over quality. I am allowed to write poorly as long as I finish the story. That should take the pressure off, I think.

One of the tools in the kits says that I should let people know about my endeavor so that they hold me accountable to my word count (so I don't slack off). Although I'm not really supposed to share anything that I've written (so don't ask for specifics!). I will take all the cheerleaders that I can get, though.

I'll try to check in once or twice a week with my progress. Hopefully by the end of June, I'll have written a whole novel. Wish me luck!

Sunny Tidbits

Good morning! I hope you are enjoying this last day in May. Can you believe that it's June already? This year is flying by! If it takes about 18 months to feel at home in a new city, then I only have a little bit over a year left. Yay!

Here are a couple of things to read with your morning coffee. Enjoy!

 - GREAT posters and, um... I really wish I was at Book Expo America too! (Austin Eavesdropper)

 - I lost my favorite hat the last time I went to Boston - it completely disappeared from my hotel room. I'm looking for a new one, but can't find another that makes me completely happy: (the Glamourai)

 - This reminded me that I have so much left to decorate in my apartment: (Decor8)

 - DIY ideas: (loving.living.small)

 - Another great DIY idea: (shopruche)

 - I love looking at people's bookshelves too; they say so much about a person: (Little French Nest)

 - These pictures make me happy: (This is Glamorous)

 - I tried making this once before, while I was in high school, but I made the mistake of not following my gut and listened to my friend's advice as to how I should whip the cream. The whole thing was a disaster! It was tiramisu mush (although it did taste good!) I'm trying this again now that I'm older and wiser! (m loves m)

 - Why can't we just stick to what nature gave us? (the Kitchn)

 - Are you watching Game of Thrones? I saw one episode, but don't have HBO. I am, however, considering getting it just for the summer. Any thoughts? (Lainey Gossip)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Life is art

Art [ahrt]:
the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.
the class of objects subject to aesthetic criteriaworks of art collectively, as paintings, sculptures, or drawings: amuseum of art; an art collection.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Weekend Wear (One Stop Shop): Saturday

{Guest Post}: Jessie


5....*on sale $159.99

Have a beautiful day and night!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A quote

I just finished watching "Akeelah and the Bee" on tv, and I really liked this quote. I though that I'd share it with you. Enjoy!

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. 
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. 
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. 
We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' 
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. 
Your playing small does not serve the world. 
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. 
We are all meant to shine, as children do. 
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. 
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. 
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

 - Marianne Williamson

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

the Bright Side - Lustre Pearl

Last weekend, I went to a friend's birthday party at Lustre Pearl, a historic old house that was turned into a really cool bar.  It's on Rainey Street, which I am told is an up-and-coming new bar district. It must be because I had not hear of it at all (not a surprise, though, seeing as how I just moved here!) There were several other bars and restaurants in the area - most looked really cute too! I'll have to go back and try the other ones out soon.

This bar definitely has a casual and laid-back attitude. There were quite a lot of people the night that I was there, but the feel of the place never got incredibly rowdy or frantic. Everyone was friendly - including the staff and bartenders - and it was easy to strike up a conversation, play ping pong or hula hoop in peace. 

Loved the interior! This fireplace is amazing. I hear that they light a fire in the winter and let people lounge all over the house. There are great little nooks for sitting in the different rooms if you want something a little more private.

"Here all is good"

The backyard at Lustre Pearl is huge! There's lots of seating, and games - including ping pong and hula hoops - Hula Hoops! Inside the house, you can also play foosball and play music on an incredibly old-looking jukebox. 

 After a long night of ping pong and hula hooping - A taco truck! I didn't try them, but they looked really really good! The truck is there all night, and always busy.

Lustre Pearl is great! There is nothing gimmicky about the place - simply a nice location with good drinks where you can have as much fun as you'd like. No pressure! I had an amazing time, and am thrilled that I got invited to "discover" this place. 

I will be back soon and often. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sunny Tidbits

Good morning! I spent a couple of hours online for you - hope you like what I found!

 - Beautiful turquoise chair. Unfortunately, there are no plans to go to Belgium in the near future: (Decor8)

 - Stone side tables! (Loving.living.small)

 - Kind of wish that I had gone to this event - wine and chocolate, what more could a girl ask for?: (Austin Eavesdropper)

 - Delicious recipes for gifts... or to make for yourself: (the Kitchn)

 - I need to eat more greens, too! Here's a good recipe for salad dressing...and cookies: (Joy the Baker)

 - I think I would dress up in a comfy but super cute dress, and go all out on my hair and makeup. Gotta look great on your last day. You? (Lucky Mag)

 - Ideas for style icons: (This is Glamorous)

 - Great pictures: (m loves m)

 - Sons of Anarchy is one of my favorite shows, and Charlie Hunnam is amazing as Jax! He does look really bad in pictures, but if you haven't watched the series, you really must. It's on FX: (Lainey Gossip)

 - Some deep thought for a Tuesday morning: (Paulo Coelho's blog)

Have a lovely day!

Monday, May 23, 2011

My Summer Book List - 2011

It's almost summer! That means that it's time to start working out like crazy, eating healthy, and getting together the summer reading list for those lazy days by the pool, in the park, at the beach or sitting on your balcony.

My main requirement for a good summer book is that it not be depressing - I don't want to cry over my lemonade/michelada/margarita/water.  It sounds like an easy enough requirement to fill, but no; apparently, sad and depressing books are all the rage.

Here are a list of books that I am considering. Keep in mind, this is a summer list; there might be some chick-lit books involved. Actually, that's quite likely; I do like some lighthearted girly books! I haven't read  any of them yet so don't hold it against me if they're not life-changing!  I'll make sure to review them after I'm done, and I might even add some more to the list soon. I'm a fast reader!

Here it is! My summer book list (so far):

 - "O Aleph" by Paulo Coelho.
This isn't out in the US yet, but he is one of my favorite authors. Just for that, this should be good, like the rest of his stuff.

 - "How Did You Get This Number" by Sloane Crosley.
I love her name. Isn't it great? This isn't a new book; I think it came out last year, but I hear it's really funny and witty.

 - "Graceling" by Kristin Cashore. 
Young Adult (YA) Fiction is really really good sometimes. 
I heard about this book while watching "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart". It's probably not a mindless read, but seems really interesting.

 - "Lonesome Dove" by Larry McMurtry.
Yes, like the movie. A very good friend of mine, who has great taste in books, recommended it. She said that it's her favorite book of all time - I'm intrigued!
Love the title - sometimes that's a good enough reason for choosing a book.  

 - "Dead until Dark" by Charlaine Harris.
 This one is the first book of "The Southern Vampire Mysteries", which resulted in the True Blood TV show on HBO. I like the show so I should like the books, no?

 - "Twenty Wishes" by Debbie Macomber.
I think this is my chick-lit book for the summer. There has to be at least one!
    Have you made your summer reading list yet? I'd love to hear your recommendations!

      Friday, May 20, 2011

      Tuesday, May 17, 2011

      Sunny Tidbits

      Good morning! I hope that you are having an amazing day. Here are a couple of links to keep you entertained:

       - She's obsessed with Pinterest too: (Austin Eavesdropper)

       - Anthropologie dishes in action: (Keen & Fitting)

       - Another excuse to visit France: (French by Design)

       - Ideas to expand your playlist: (Decor8)

       - More music! I really like this playlist: (m loves m)

       - I'm 5'5", almost 5'6", does that mean I get to chose? (Lainey Gossip)

       - This made me hungry: (This is Glamorous)

       - Sake bomb time! (the Kitchn)

       - I need a camera too! My cell phone camera is just not cutting it. What should I get? (Making it Lovely)

      - Words of wisdom: (Paulo Coelho's Blog)

      Monday, May 16, 2011

      Finding a Fashion Icon

      I've been thinking a lot about my wardrobe lately. This is probably because I'm decorating my apartment and all of my extra income is going towards pictures, mirrors and furniture instead of clothes and shoes. What I have bought lately is inspired by Jessie's amazing fashion posts. I realized, while reading a magazine, that lots of people can answer the "who's your fashion icon" question. The answers are usually Kate Moss, Audrey Hepburn, Coco Chanel, etc. I have no idea, and I figure that I should. No? Do you have a fashion icon? How did you decide who to chose?

      To find my fashion icon, I went online. The first advice I saw was that you should find a celebrity that looks like you. This didn't sound right; what if the person shaped like you dresses horribly? Jessie didn't think it was a good idea either. I asked her and got a "no, no, no! not someone who looks like you, but someone whose fashion sense you admire" - makes much more sense.

      After about an hour of looking through fashion pages, I hadn't gotten any further so I took a quiz (of course) to at least label my style type - The Chic Fashionista: Fashion Style Quiz. According to the quiz, I have an eclectic style - a little bit of everything, but not necessarily bohemian. Pretty much a style that can't be categorized. The quiz gave a list of celebrities with eclectic style who dress nothing like each other. I didn't recognize any of them or feel particularly drawn to their fashion sense. Still no help.

      I finally gave up and logged in to Pinterest. I figure if I'm not any closer to finding an icon, then I can at least catalog some great looks. I might also end up repeating a specific person on my board - that would be a big clue as to whom I admire, I guess.

      Have you been on Pinterest, yet? I'm addicted.

      So... in conclusion, I'm not any closer to choosing a specific fashion icon. I am, however, enjoying looking at pretty clothes and letting them speak for themselves.

      The search continues! You can check out my board to see what else I've added. I'll keep you posted.

      Friday, May 13, 2011

      Weekend Workout Wear: Saturday

      {Guest Post}: Jessie



      1. Banana Republic...$79.50
      2. American Apparel...$22.00
      3. Forever 21...$10.80
      4. Academy...$59.99

      3....jacket only

      1. Banana Republic...$79.50
      2. Anthropologie...*on sale $49.95
      3. Zara...$129.00
      4. Forever 21...$4.80
      5. Guess...$38.00
      6. Aldo...*on sale $39.98

      Have a beautiful day & night!

      Weekend Workout Wear: Friday

      {Guest Post}: Jessie


      1. Lululemon...$148.00
      2. Athleta...$50.00
      3. Reebok...$70.00
      4. Lady Foot Locker...$89.99

      Have a beautiful day!

      Tuesday, May 10, 2011

      Sunny Tidbits

      Happy Tuesday! Happy Mother's Day to all you beautiful mommies in Mexico, and Happy Belated Mother's Day to everyone that celebrated on Sunday! Here are a couple of things to browse while you have your morning coffee.

       - From one of my favorite authors to all the great moms: (Paulo Coelho's Blog)

       - I need to try this place out, and I really, really, really want a pair of oxfords like these: (Adored Austin)

       - The perfect summer buys: (Lainey Gossip)

       - These pictures make me want to be more adventurous with my decorating, but I'm not sure I have the talent or the guts: (Decor8)

       - A good link to even more good links: (loving.living.small)

       - Got the beach on my mind; even when it comes to decorating: (The Decorista)

       - Beach Drinks? (Joy the Baker)

       - Want to spend the afternoon baking now: (This is Glamorous)

       - I need to be healthy and get in summer shape, but this looks sooo good: (Grilled Cheese Social)

       - Same goes for this recipe: (smitten kitchen)

      In honor of mother's day, I want to share a vintage picture of my mom, way back before I was born - she was gorgeous, no?

      She really is the best mom! I only hope that when I have kids I can be as kind and loving as she is always.

      Saturday, May 7, 2011

      Weekend Beach Wear: Saturday

      {Guest Post}: Jessie



      1. Target...$34.99
      2. Gap...*on sale $29.99
      3. Forever 21...$12.80
      4. Payless...$22.99

      4. 5.

      1. Target...$34.99
      2. Zara...$39.90
      3. Zara...$109.00
      4. Old Navy...$14.50
      5. Aldo...$35.00

      Have a beautiful day!