i must be a mermaid


The greatest fear I have is a quite simple one. It's living a life void of adventure and without real meaning. I don't want to wake up one day and think about all the things I could have done, the places I could have seen, the people I could have met, the person I could have been. 

That's terrifying to me. 
I refuse to let fear hold me back and stand in the way of my aspirations.

"Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain." - Mark Twain


what i do

I love.
Like crazy.
I love my family, my friends and my fur babies -- unconditionally and wholeheartedly.

I wanderlust.
I have an undeniably overwhelming urge to travel the world.
It's an incredible and insatiable desire that I just can't shake.


I believe in being sunkissed every chance you get.
Sunshine makes me one happy lady.
A daily dose of it is good for the soul.


I stargaze.
When I look up at the night sky and gaze out into the universe I'm filled with excitement and wonder.
I can't help but admire the sheer beauty and majesty that we're surrounded by.


a profession of love

Day 5 of Jenni's Blog Every Day in May Challenge is to publicly profess your love for another blogger friend and this one was a total no brainer!

I immediately thought of Casey, from We Took the Road Less Traveled because if I could only ever read one blog for the rest of my life -- hers would be it.
She's seriously that amazing. Casey and I share many things in common -- a love for traveling around Europe, an affinity for good food, an obsession with wine and more importantly, we both have a thing for sarcasm and dry humor. This girl cracks me up! While we're not friends in real life, with the way she writes I feel like we could be.

She's a dedicated Air Force wife, takes the most beautiful pictures, has the sweetest hubby ever, lives in Germany (what what!), galavants around Europe and knows how to plan a European vacation like nobody's business.

But best of all, Casey is funny, she's witty, she writes like a pro (I'm so envious of her impeccable writing skills -- she's a published poet for Pete's sake!), she's entertaining, and she's so down to earth that even though I've only met her in blog land she makes me feel like I've known her for years. 

Plus, she's gorgeous! Love you Casey! Your blog literally rocks my socks off.


be wise, taste the wine

I had a really hard time picking just one quote that I love, so I decided to share two quotes that speak volumes to me.

The first quote comes from Horace, a leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus.

And the second quote I love is from Steve Jobs...

I love each of these quotes because even though it's super cliché to say this, life is short. In fact, it's incredibly way too short, fleeting away from you every second of every day. When you're young, sometimes you think you have all the time in the world to chase your dreams, but in reality you don't. None of us do. It's an illusion. We don't tell the ones we love often enough how much we love them and we put things off to do tomorrow because we always think tomorrow will be there. We sometimes worry entirely way too much about trivial things and neglect the precious moments we have right in front of us. Don't waste time dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. And whatever your dream is, find a way to make it happen. There's so much I want to do in this short life of mine, and sometimes I do worry that there just isn't enough time to accomplish everything. But all I can do is live in the moment, strive hard and hopefully I'll be able to make a dent the long list of things I want to do and be. I think true happiness comes from setting out on the adventure to find your own inner voice and following your true heart's desire.
Because one day soon, all of our candles will burn out.
I want mine to burn hot and bright while it's still lit -- I want to light fires and set others ablaze.


things that make me uncomfortable

I'm uncomfortable when...

:: my roots have grown out way too long because I'm way over due for a hair appointment.

:: someone tells me to smile. Um, why don't you do something to make me smile? Tell me a funny joke
   or pay me a compliment. A sweet compliment on my outfit or my eyes goes a long way! I don't like
   smiling on command.

:: people take pictures when of me when I'm not ready or I'm in the middle of saying something. Hey,
   where's the forewarning, Jack?!

I'm uncomfortable when...

:: I try a new recipe and it turns out horrible so I have to throw it away. This only happened once, but it
   kills me to throw away food like that. Or when we let the leftovers in the fridge spoil. So terrible!

:: thinking I did really well on a test only to find out, nope you sucked! This is also rare, but sometimes
   procrastination bites me in the butt and I don't study like I should. I'm a straight A student -
   anything lower and it ruins my day!

:: sales people follow you around the store and try to find things you might like. Ahem, Buckle. I hate
   this! Unless I ask for your help finding something, please don't bother me while I'm shopping. I get
   that it's your job and they make you do it, but dang it's annoying!

:: I go swimming or snorkeling in the ocean and my hair becomes this horrific, unruly rat's nest that
   takes gobs of conditioner to make soft and silky again. Long, wet, tangled hair is frustrating and so
   not sexy.

I'm uncomfortable when...

:: my heart starts racing because I think I've lost my iPhone somewhere. I start to have a mini panic
   attack and literally become a crazy person trying to find it!

:: my toenail or fingernail polish is chipped. Yikes! I can't stand looking at it or having others look at it.
   I feel judged.

:: I know for a fact that someone is lying to me. The quickest way to piss me off is blatant lying. Don't
   make me cut you!

:: getting caught by the apartment office people having my dogs off a leash. I'm sorry, but they can't be
   cooped up in an apartment, they need to run free! Going for a "walk" tied to a leash just ain't gonna
   cut it.


the king of casseroles: green king ranch chicken

One of my absolute favorite, most delicious dishes to make is actually a twist on two separate recipes. Green Chicken Enchiladas + King Ranch Chicken Casserole. 
I love each of these so much and, one day standing in my kitchen contemplating what to make for dinner, I couldn't decide which one I wanted more.
I wanted Green Chicken Enchiladas, yet I didn't feel like frying up tortillas and rolling up each individual enchilada. But, I also like the creaminess and corn in King Ranch Chicken Casserole, and the ease with which it can be made.
Then, bam! It hit me.
I had an epiphany: why the heck not just combine the two and make a hybrid?!
Genius I tell you!

And so, this my friends, is one of the easiest, most tummy-filling, scrumptiously awesome casseroles -- the king of all casseroles

The cast of characters:

  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 1 can green enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 14 corn tortillas, sliced into quartered triangles
  • 2 packages of cheese: 1 pepper jack, 1 mild cheddar & monterey jack, grated
  • 3 whole 4 oz cans of diced green chilies
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt + pepper to taste

The process:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the chicken, green enchilada sauce, cream of mushroom and chicken soup, corn, chopped onion, diced green chilies, garlic, cumin, and salt + pepper in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly. 

Layer half of the tortillas on the bottom of a buttered baking dish. Spread on half of the chicken mixture, cover with half of the cheese. Put on the second layer of of tortillas, the rest of the chicken mixture and the remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and slightly golden brown on top. Garnish with cilantro (I always forget the cilantro, danggit!) and serve with Spanish Rice and sliced avocado. Delish!

So, there you have it. The king of all casseroles. It's creamy, it's gooey, it's super cheesy, it's a little spicy and it's most definitely the ultimate comfort food.

And I'm damn good at making it, if I do say so myself. What are you really good at? Are you linking up for Jenni's Blog Every Day in May Challenge? If you are, leave me a comment with a link to your post so I can read all about it! :)


the story of my life: in a nutshell

Since I've just gotten back into the blogging world, I've had lots of ideas brewing about new posts to write and I've got a ton of pictures to edit.
I had something planned for today, but I'm nowhere near done editing photos because instead of blogging I should be studying for my final exam tomorrow!

So, procrastinating as I usually do when I have exams the next day, I was catching up on reading some of my favorite blogs and came across something fun.
Jenni, from Story of My Life, has challenged herself and other bloggers to write every day in May.
She's even come up with cool writing prompts and of course I had to get in on the action too!
Today's prompt is "the story of your life in 250 words or less." 

So, without further ado: my life story, the abridged version...

I was born in Houston, TX along with my twin brother on December 13th, 1988.

At around two weeks old we moved to South Texas and I grew up in a tiny little town called La Feria in the Rio Grande Valley. 

We literally lived like 25 minutes from the border of Mexico and we used to walk across the bridge to go have dinner. My family lived out in the country next to cotton fields and my grandparents’ grapefruit orchard.

Shooting bb guns, riding 4-wheelers, playing in the wild life refuge and irrigation canals, fishing at the lake and the beach, going to UIL meets, making up dances with my friends and having country bonfires - that’s what my childhood was all about. I spent the majority of it outside -- dirty, muddy or full of sand, but content.

When I was 10, my family moved to College Station, TX and at 15 years old, I hoped on a plane to Germany where I spent the next three years in a little town called Idar-Oberstein. Gosh, I hated that town. I was a stubborn little twerp while I lived there and refused to speak German. Sure I learned it, having no choice, but I would only speak in English unless ordering food or shopping at a clothing store. At 18, I moved back stateside and started college here in Austin where I still live now. I’ve gotten over my stubbornness and I’ll be taking German III next semester and going on a study abroad to Berlin this summer! 

262 words... Shoot! It's hard to keep your life story at 250 words or less! There's just so much to tell. Anyway, what's your story?


weekend things + a Q&A

kickin' it solo poolside // a pretty dried flower // reading material for the pool: the spartans
vanilla lavender scented candle // apples & cinnamon oatmeal // my new fur baby, Acho :)

So Erin, from Living in Yellow, posted these and I thought it'd be fun to get a little more personal and answer some deeper questions. It's a personal interview sesh! Here we go...

1. If you could do one thing differently in your life, what would it be?

To be honest, there's so many! Everyone says you should have no regrets, and sure that would be awesome if it were possible, but is it really possible? No way. That's a load of crap if you ask me. Of course everyone has something in their life that, if given the chance, they would absolutely do differently. You can't tell me otherwise. I'm not sure I would change all of my "regrets," because some of those things made me the person I am today. I'm thankful for some of the mistakes I've made because they were learning experiences that I'll have for a lifetime. That being said though, if I could go back in time, I would tell my younger self: "don't sweat the small stuff, kid." Seriously. Life's too short. Be more, do more. And, I wish I would have made up my mind about what to study in college a long time ago... well I thought I knew what I wanted to do (Radiation Therapy), but as it turns out, I'm super wonky. Politics is my thang! It took me 3 years to figure out that that's where my heart is and it's sorta what I want to do with my life!

2. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Oh man. That's a toughie. Physically, I have no idea where I want to be. I know I want a career in politics and I wouldn't mind living in D.C. (where there's actually 4 seasons!), but the field is so broad, so I'm not sure what direction I'm headed in just yet. I've considered things like working for political campaigns, nonprofits, or a lobby firm to things like being an ambassador or a foreign diplomat or working for the CIA. I'm still a work-in-progress on that one. However, if I somehow find out how to become a travel blogger... I'd do that! Anyway, while I'm not sure physically where I'll be in five years, mentally I just want to be content with my life. No complaints, no real worries, nothing bogging my creative side down. Just at peace and happy.

3. Do you honestly want kids?

As of right now, no. I don't want kids. I used to really want them... I wanted three, actually. I wanted 2 boys and one girl, with the boys being older and the girl the youngest. (As if you could order them that way, haha!) But as I've gotten older... I've realized that maybe having kids just isn't for me. There's so much I want to do with my life -- so many places to see, people to meet, adventures to go on. I just don't think I want the responsibilities of raising another human being, let alone three for that matter! Maybe it's selfish, but hey I guess I'm selfish. Is that really such a bad thing, though? If I were to ever change my mind though, I think I might adopt a baby/kid. There's so many children in the world already that don't have a safe place to call home. 

4. What has been the best moment of your life so far?

There have been a lot of great moments in my life so it's hard to pick just one, but I would say nothing beats the summer I went to Garmisch (2011) and went hiking/bike riding in Austria. I was with my parents and sister (wish you were there brother!) and we were up in the mountains at this lake called Sebensee. It was a gorgeously sunny day and as we were hauling butt down (I'm talking flying on our bikes) we could see big dark clouds rolling in on us -- and then I felt it. Cold rain drops piercing my skin as I flew down the trail. My dad and I were going so fast it was almost scary if you thought too much about crashing, but we were laughing the entire time! We were literally laughing out loud. It was an exhilarating experience and one that I'll never forget! I felt so free in that moment.

5. What is your life theme song?

Hands down, has to be the song Pursuit of Happiness by Kid Cudi. I love that song and it never gets old hearing it. I'm on the pursuit of happiness and I knowww, everything that shine ain't always gonna be gold, heyyyyyy, I'll be fine once I get it, I'll be gooooo-ooood. This song just speaks to me. (Minus the  'driving drunk' part.) Life's about doing what you want, living to the fullest and finding your own happiness.

6. What is one thing that you have yet to accomplish that you want to do before you die?

I want to take off to see the world and circumnavigate the globe on a tall ship (anyone ever seen Tall Ship Chronicles?). 
7. If you could choose one thing to be known for, what would it be?

I want to be known for having an infectious smile and the willingness to be adventurous. 
8. If you could do anything right this very moment (no consequences, no fear, etc.), what would it be?

Oh goodness! I'd take my family somewhere, to a beautiful island in the South Pacific, perhaps. And bust out my sailing skills that I learned from sailing on a tall ship on 'em! Ka-pow! :) I'd love to be able to just take at least a year off and go on an adventure!

9. What has been the most challenging moment in your life?

Honestly, I've had a lot of really challenging moments and I haven't decided how much detail I want to reveal about them on this blog. But for now, I think Erin said it best on this one -- death. My grandpa, a friend, a best friend's husband. Every one of those situations has been challenging in different ways but yet they all share a common denominator that bothers me to no end -- I had no control over offering a different solution. 

10. Summarize yourself in one word.

Wanderlust-ing. I realize that's not a word, but it is now.
And there you have it, folks. A more personal interview with yours truly. Took way longer than I thought it would. And I think this may be the longest, in-depth post I've ever written.
I think it's time for a drink and a dvr'd episode of RHOOC!


travel bug

This summer is going to be EPIC.
I've been dying to get back to Garmisch for the summer and this time, instead of spending just two weeks there, I'll be spending 2 months in this gorgeous city!
Are you jealous?

And THEN, in mid July I'm going to Berlin for a study abroad!
I'm beyond excited! Everyone I've talked to that has either visited Berlin or lived there has nothing but good things to say about this city.

Berlin, I hear, is THE place to be.
Especially if you're young and looking for an adventure.
It's rich in history and culture, teeming with tons of art galleries, museums, record shops, döner kebap stands, beer gardens, cafés and much, much more.

And, lucky me -- I get to study at one one of Berlin's oldest universities, which is home to some of Germany's greatest thinkers, including Albert Einstein.

There's also a never-ending list of sites to see, like the Brandenburg Tor, the Fernsehturm, Museum Island and the Berlin Wall.

I'll certainly try to see as many historical places as I can, but I'm also looking forward to exploring other parts of the city and getting off the beaten path.
I've already met a couple locals who have promised to show me the real Berlin and take me to do things that aren't in any tour guide.

This summer is going to be amazing!

[berlin pics via]


Do what makes you happy.

Is it spring already? Dang, where has the time gone?!
The last time I posted on this little ol' bloggy blog of mine was December 21st.
I can't believe it's been so long!
So, remember when I asked if anyone could guess where I was going to be traveling for Christmas break?
Well, (as you may know) I never even posted about my destination or shared my pics for you to oogle over - what a terrible blogger I am! Oops, my bad. I sort of just fell off the face of the earth after I got there. Which was Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany by the way!

Traveling across the world, with pictures to show off is like blogging gold and I totally F'ed that up.
What the heck was I thinking?
I'll tell you exactly what I was thinking about.
Snowy mountains, tall glasses of beer, shopping with my momma, wine, a weekend trip through Austria down to Italy, the most delicious food I think I've ever eaten, more wine, a ski jumping contest, cute Bavarian boys to oogle over!
I was so caught up in all the relaxation and pure bliss of not having any responsibilities for four weeks that I just never got around to sharing all of the awesomeness I was experiencing.
And ever since I got back from my trip, blogging got put on the back burner, which made me sad so I decided to get back to doing what I love and what makes me happy. And blogging does just that.
And I have like a gazillion pics to post and will hopefully be sharing those soon too. Even with all the pictures I do have though, I still wish I had taken more.
Pish posh.

After coming back to Texas, I started school at a new university (eat em up cats!) and it's been a bit of a whirlwind this semester... it's almost over though! It's been crazy, but it flew by and there's so much in store for this summer! I can't wait to tell you all about it tomorrow. ;)

So I hope to see yous guys back around here, same time, same place. Deal? Deal.

P.S. Man it feels good to be blogging again!