December 2, 2016

a very, merry, sticky christmas

Every Christmas I run into the same exact problems.

Do I make my own gift tags or buy the cute ones at Target?
Do I buy the cute tags or buy the almost-as-cute $1 ones at Target?
Do I pay extra and get our return address printed on our Christmas card envelopes?
Do I pay to buy an oh-so-trendy handmade stamp for our Christmas card envelopes?
Do I send Christmas cards this year?
^^^HA, big fat JK on that one. Of course we have to send Christmas cards this year and every year. Wink. 

A-n-y-w-a-y-s, I'm sure you all completely understand my first world Christmas problems, and I'm sure together we can overcome such trials and tribulations.

Enter StickerApp. They help people like us overcome holiday panic! There's more time to trim the tree when you're spending less time hyperventilating the holidays (no? too far with the alliteration?).

When StickerApp contacted me about customizing my own stickers I A) said YES (in bold, italics, and caps lock, obvi) and B) knew this was my answer to all problems gift tag and Christmas card envelope related. Basically StickerApp was my Come to Jesus moment, and I'm so glad I saw the light.

Now for those of you who are also like me in that you have online designed a lot of photo books that sit collecting dust on your shelves, then you're in luck because designing custom stickers was a lot like designing photo books. Read easy and fun. One photo upload here, one resizing there, add in a text box or two, move everything around twenty times before you're satisfied, and voi-freaking-la you have a masterpiece.

I made these ^^^ stickers to use as envelope seals for our Christmas cards because who doesn't love a chance to quote Home Alone?! Spoiler for anyone reading this who is going to get a Christmas card this year.
And then because I was having too much fun procrastinating work by designing stickers I decided to add in some small gift stickers to the mix. Let's just say this Christmas is going to be off the charts trendy.

And that's the story of how stickers changed my Christmas game for the better. Have you tried StickerApp yet?!

I received products for my honest review, but I mean, come on, these stickers make my presents and envelopes look like the cool kids in high school. 
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November 30, 2016

happy camps-giving

There will be a bathroom there. I promise!

Famous last words, am I right? Oh I'm sorry, let me back up so you don't think I was scared to go in public in fear of bleeping my pants or something.

The very beginning of this story is that Freddie has been wanting to go camping. Actually the very, very beginning of this story is that I married a man who I thought was not into things such as camping in the middle of nowhere with no company but the bugs, however I was mistaken. Fast forward to just the very beginning and you'll find Freddie b-e-g-g-i-n-g me to go camping. All the time. For the past year.

It all started with a tent. After all, isn't that how most camping stories start? Freds researched and bought the best little tent that REI made, and then somehow within the next three to four months after that tent purchase we had a sleeping bag, lantern, flash light, and cast iron. All these hashtag camping necessities sat in our closet for months. And lemme tell ya, that's kind of where I preferred those items.

I tried my best to get out of camping. And listen, when I say I tried my best I really mean I pulled out all my tricks.

But you'd have more fun if you went with your male friends!
But I'll complain!
But we're busy for the next five weekends!
But I teach late on Fridays!
But you knew I wasn't an outdoorsy person when you married me! You want to divorce me?
But, but, but....

Pretty soon my brain ran out of but's and my butt was in the car on the way to a campsite. A campsite that was secluded enough so we could be away from light pollution, but also not so secluded that there wouldn't be a toilet and/or help for when the scary bad guys came to get us in our tents. <<<I've seen enough scary movies (read about three) to know that camping by yourselves in the middle of nowhere is stupid because the bad guys will find you and you will not survive (can you already tell how much fun Freddie must have been having at this point?)
fact: you can see about thirty-trillion-bazillion more stars out in the boondocks than you can in the city of Houston. 

Spoiler alert: The toilet was on the other end of the campsite so thank goodness I practice Pilates and can squat. That's enough about that.

Now listen here, it pains me to say this (like what I must assume is childbirth level pain), but I kind of had fun.

Freddie's somewhere at work reading this saying, "I told you so!" for the fifty-sixth time since we've been together. Fifty-sixth millionth time, that is.
We had a tiny, sandy, muddy spot right on the Colorado River. Lupe loved running off. Freddie loved going to get some more wood for the fire (seriously, I think he said that a total of twenty times and didn't even sit down more than five minutes that night) (men, insert eye roll) (take away eye roll because that firewood kept me warm). I loved eating s'mores. Coyotes loved howling. Cows loved moo-ing. And well, everyone had just a dandy time in camp land.
fun fact: I skipped a rock TWICE. First time I've ever successfully thrown and skipped a rock before so uh, where's my trophy?
Stay tuned for the next Weiss family vacation when we go camping again to a spa. Wink.

Have you ever squatted in the woods before? Excuse my manners, have you ever gone camping before?
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November 23, 2016

blessed not stressed

Well dudes and dudettes, somehow the Earth managed to rotate a whole 366 times, and we meet again on a Thanksgiving day.

I really can't believe it. Sometimes I think I'll wake up and it'll be Thanksgiving 2029 already (and I'll be rocking the age of forty, obvi), but that's neither here nor there.

As with every Thanksgiving, it's time for a thankful post. As with every Thanksgiving thankful post, it's time to skip the obvious things for which I am thankful and dig deep to find some not-so-obvious things for which I am thankful.

This Thanksgiving I am so #grateful #blessed #notstressed for...
thankful blog
Josiah from Planetary Bicycles
Because he found and picked up Lupe (he called Lupe "Beans," but we'll forgive him) and gave him to us. Josiah, you're an angel. Lupe, you're the best.

Concealer
Because during this Great Acne Breakout Of 2016, I have been able to leave the house looking only mostly red vs. entirely red. Thanks, concealer.

Cheese
Because cheese. #worththestomachcramps

Clorox wipes
Because sometimes deep cleaning is hard, and a quick Clorox wipe wipe down will do the trick. The term sometimes here refers to mostly all of the time, just to clarify.

Target's dollar section
Because where else could I stock up on cute as a button $1 cards that just sit in a drawer in our apartment because I never remember to send them?!

Costco
Because samples.

The dude in the sandwich line at Central Market 
Because he informed me my book of stamps had fallen out of my purse. I need that book of stamps in case one day I remember to send the $1 cards I got in the Target dollar section! !! !!!

The Pilates mat exercise, Jackknife
Because it is the most humbling/omg-why-don't-my-muscles-work Pilates move ever.

My giant drying rack from IKEA
Because finding creative places to drape clothing gets harder with each load of laundry.

Southwest flight attendants
Because how are they always so happy and hilarious?! And why haven't other airlines caught on...

Happy night before Thanksgiving!
May your sweet potato casseroles be as sweet as your faces. 

November 16, 2016

when i'm wrong

So here's the thing...

one of my many flaws quirks is that I very adamantly dislike things. When Sperry's were all the rage back in 2007, I made fun of them. Loudly. When everyone was romping around town wearing rompers back in 2010, I laughed. When Freddie asked me to go bike riding with him from the years 2011-present, I wrote blogs about how much I disliked biking. 

The second half of that quirk up there is that after I loudly pronounce my distaste of things, I eventually take a complete 180 degrees turn and suddenly like and enjoy all the things I formally disliked.  This means that in 2008 I bought Sperry's and proudly wore my shoes of the boat nature. In 2011 I wore a romper. As a matter of fact, I wore one again this past Saturday night. #longhairdocare 

This all also means that I, Emily, have been the one asking Freddie to go on bike rides recently. Talk about the worst! <<<me being the worst, that is. Also we aren't talking about bike rides like biking-around-the-park-by-our-house bike rides, we're talking about long-butt-biking-to-the-complete-other-side-of-the-giant-city-of-Houston bike rides. 

I can't really put my finger on what made me change my mind about bike rides, but let's just say it's in my nature to change my mind. Speaking of nature, maybe the fact that Mother Nature finally brought fall to Houston (read 78 degrees weather) helps a bit. Ain't nobody got time to bike in 100+ degrees weather, but somehow everybody has I have time to bike in non-dying-of-heat-exhaustion weather. 

Oh! Oh! Another fun thing I realized...you can bike TO places. Mind-blowing, I know. 

Places that serve wine. 
Places that serve $1 mimosas. 
Places that have pizza.
Places that have...my heart (Since apparently I am fueled by alcohol and food) (I promise I do more than eat) (Like Pilates) (I do that almost as much as I eat). 

Anyways, things we learned from this post. 1) Biking is kind of fun now. 2) Let's pretend I never hated it. 3) Freddie loves my flaws quirks a lot. 4) Let's all go biking together sometime. 

More scenes from Recent Rides with Rick...

Dear Freddie Ricky Bobby, I'm sorry I was so annoying about bike rides. Now where should we bike this weekend?
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November 4, 2016

just breathe

Well, hello there. Hi!

I feel like I'm finally back at school after a long sickness absence (think mono length) and the teacher is calling role, and I finally get to say PRESENT! or HERE! or whatever kids are saying these days.

Oh, what's that? Nobody calls role anymore because it's 2016 and #technology? Cool.

Today's post is about to get real. Really real. I've spent the last three weeks slowly crumbling into a deep, dark pit of anxiety. Add in some stress, self-hate, second-guessing, overthinking, and a dollop of insecurities and you've made an Emily (plus so many other people in the world) (I want to hug all of you).

A dollop of sour cream is soooo much better than a dollop of insecurities. 

I've always been a worrier by nature. Oh my gosh, what if we are late?! Freddie, turn down the music? Will the world end if I don't make the bed this morning? Etc., etc., etc., but recently my worry has gotten on an elevator and gone up about 25 levels.

Full disclosure: I haven't made our bed once in the past three weeks. A) I think this has been the first time in my adult life when I haven't made the bed every morning. Insert big gasp <here>, B) That's how bad my anxiety felt. Crazy Emily couldn't even make the crazy bed. and C) The world didn't end, in case you didn't notice.

I won't bore you with the details of the dreary anxious place in my mind, but it's not pretty. You know what else isn't pretty? When you don't take care of yourself.  And after these past several weeks, I fully believe that part of taking care of yourself includes admitting things aren't great, asking for help, and hugging the crap out of your support system.

It's okay when you don't smile every minute of the every day. It's okay when you reach out to a friend or family member and be straight with them. Tell them what's going on. Tell them what sucks. Because you know why you have a family and have friends?! TO SUPPORT YOU. To encourage you. To love you. To show you grace. To give you a helping hand. To like your crazy. To make you nice playlists that calm you down. To help you make goals. To help you achieve said goals.

That's why these people are in your life, so use them! Because we aren't meant to go through life alone with no human connection.

End of story. End of rant.

Now let's see what my Camera Roll says has been going on in my life for the past several weeks...
^^^Lupe wanted some coffee.
^^^We bike around Houston so we don't feel as guilty for stopping for food like this along the way.
^^^Set-up for a private this week. Why haven't you tried Pilates yet?!
^^^Lupe knows no personal space and it's kind of the greatest. Except when you're really wanting personal space. Like when you're trying to type this blog post, for instance.

So there you have it. Anxiety + dogs + Pilates = my life. But my life also = an amazing support system, a cute as heck dog, and a Pilates teaching job where I get to teach something in which I fully believe. Now go take a few deep breaths, stand up nice and tall, and go conquer the crap outta this Friday.

Happy Friday!
Linking up with Amanda
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