13 in '13

I have seen tons of bloggers recapping their year as the 2013 year winds down, I am not nearly eloquent enough to do that without babbling for pages on pages SO when I saw the link up with Hadar, Kristin and Traci I knew it would be the perfect way to recap the year but keep it to the point.

Anything from Reef, I have been raving about their flats for the last year and a half or so but this fall I splurged on a pair of boots and thank goodness I have some self control or I would own all of their boots. I can't even describe how comfortable they are. 
Just try them! Now.

This would hands down have to be Pitch Perfect, I seriously should have watched this movie sooner...and now that I have thought about it must watch this again soon. How much would I have to bride the mister...

Got a secret, can you keep it up? It's really no secret that I became obsessed with Pretty Little Liars this summer, and watched all four seasons, nor can I wait until the new episodes start next week. I have the blogging world to thank for that. So thank you!

Austin Land and Cattle. They have the most amazing happy hour, seriously you feel like you are eating like royalty at this snazzy steak house but paying very little for delicious food. Plus they have a grown up Frito pie on their menu...who doesn't love Frito pie.

After 12 years of taking Advocare products I finally decided to become a distributor and sell Advocare products...pretty sure I don't have anything else that has been in my life for 12 years perhaps that is a sign.

I signed up originally just for the discount, teachers love discounts, but I have managed to find this whole new side of me that is excited about sharing the power of Spark. Two weeks of vacation does that to a girl.

The whole experience might have been incredibly awkward with no door between the bathroom and bedroom but my favorite gift would be the mister and I's trip to Fredricksburg for my birthday. I am a big believer in gifts requiring you to spend time with the person, its just how we roll.

This one was hard for me, meaning I spent an hour browsing through old pins and suddenly have the urge to rearrange my closet, bake something, workout and start a DYI...so there is that.

Probably the pin that I used the most would be...

My favorite snack ever! So healthy!! No-Bake Energy Bites 1 cup (dry) oatmeal 1/2 cup chocolate chips 1/2 cup peanut butter 1/2 cup ground flaxseed 1/3 cup honey 1 tsp. vanilla

These No-Bake Energy Bites are seriously delicious and the perfect quick snack for those days I have lunch at 12:49...yes that is the exact time on Wednesdays.

Hands down my most therapeutic post was when I posted the 18 Things I've Been Too Afraid to Publish and boy did I feel the blogging love.

But my most enjoyable post was when I talked about the fun the mister and I have with Fireball, the post might scream alcoholic, but it is so us.


I didn't particularly accomplish this BUT for the first time in 10 years my parents sat at the same table and celebrated one of their children's birthdays (my brother) regardless this was a feat I had given up on long ago. Perhaps as we grow older there will be more times which they can celebrate our lives together, fingers crossed. 

I also rode peed on a public bus from Austin to Houston and back all by myself...somewhere along the way I accomplished growing up.

The mister also started his first non bar/restaurant job at the State last February and will be officially full time come tomorrow morning.

This also might not be 'my' accomplishment but it was a great thing for our future...perhaps I need to accomplish something in 2014...

Hands down the pictures from my 28th birthday are my favorite, if you haven't noticed I started using them for everything social media related.


Hands down this would be my trip to New York, not only did I get to spend the week with my mom and sister in the heart of NYC but my bestie came up and we ran around the city like crazy girls. Reminding me that I still need to recap the second part of the trip.

Focus on me. This will be my last official year in my 20's since in 2015 I turn the big 30! And at a time when I don't have kids and very little true responsibilities I want to just be a little selfish.

So I want to focus on:
my health,
my relationships with family and friends,
my finances,
my inner happiness,
 my creativity and its many outlets,
my relationship with my man.

Tomorrow I will actually make more tangible goals and post them for the blog world to see, cause that seems to be what the cool kids are doing.

If you read my goals then you can only guess what my word is: FOCUS.

I hope everyone is ringing in the New Years with people they love, a yummy bubbly drink and of course glitter. Lots and lots of glitter. 

Happy New Years!

- The Babbling Box!

Five For Friday...on steroids

Normally I am super excited for Fridays, but this Friday has me jumping with anticipation as I await my bestie and her man to fly in from PA. 

But before the drinking, girl talk and catching up I figured I would post a few of my favorite snapshots of life lately...sort of an Five for Friday on steroids.

Two weeks ago life went a little crazy due to a Robotics competition, we ranked 14 out of 24 not great, but my hope is next year we will have more interest and not begin preparing 2 weeks before the competition when other teams had been working since September. That Saturday also happened to be our friend's annual wine party, I was up for 23 hours that day. Champion!

Please excuse the one and only picture my frazzled mind remembered to take. I also helped the mister make a stocking for his work stocking contest.

We had a little 'cultural celebration' at school last Thursday basically the middle school version of a holiday party. The students are each responsible for bringing something, I made them each a card and tried to set it up as cute as I could, then of course we took a few silly pics on the ipad and then watched Elf. I also received the sweetest presents from a student, I HEART poinsettias! (I also received the nicest black scarf from a student I forgot to take pictures of...seriously this teacher was super surprised!)

The mister's 30th birthday was last Friday so we celebrated it with homemade toasted ravioli's a St. Louis tradition, presents that insulted him and lots of yummy beverages. We also snagged free tickets to the UT vs. Michigan basketball game so  Saturday we ventured out in the daytime for a little beer and basketball. Sunday was a day spent relaxing with mimosa's and crafting. 

Christmas Eve is always celebrated at my Grandma's with Mexican food and margaritas. My little brother is the youngest kid so present exchange is very odd, basically we do a version of white elephant...everyone brings one present and we play the game so that everyone gets one present. Regardless, it was nice to catch up with everyone and it was the first time in seven Christmas's that the mister joined us instead of going back to St. Louis.

Christmas Day is always a bit calmer, my Dad cooks dinner and we exchange presents then just relax on the couch all day watching Christmas movies. We barely made it through Elf and White Christmas before we were all snoring on the couches. Then me and my sister continued our disgustingly good tradition of eating Jack In a Box Christmas late night...don't ask.

I stuck around Houston for another day to spend more quality time with my mom but all we did was body roll (workout) and work on her website...definitely not picture worthy. And now I am just counting down the minutes until I get the text message that Erica has landed...I feel mildly bad for the men in our lives but whatever I require some serious girl time stat!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday and is looking forward to a relaxing weekend before the New Year!

Linking up with DarciLaurenJennifer and Lauren.

- The Babbling Box!

Happy Holidays!

I am officially in Houston and smack dab in the middle of family time and holiday cheer, and loving every minute. Minus the no internet which means this blog post should be short sweet and full of errors.

Last night my dad took us out for margaritas, we drove around a million dollar neighborhood looking at Christmas Lights, one house had 5 Christmas trees lite up inside who was time for that, and finished our evening with Christmas Vacation.

As family time draws out and your looking for something to fill the awkward silence or nagging questions about your life choices, I figured I would share a few of my favorite Christmas movies

Christmas Story, nothing screams family.fun like bunny suits, angry Santa and a leg lamp.

White Christmas, this movie is a classic in my book. Brothers fighting, sisters fighting and then of course the amazing beautiful happy ending. 

Home Alone, there is something about this Christmas classic that pulls on my childhood heart strings. 

It's A Wonderful Life, no Christmas movie list would be complete without this classic.

Christmas Vacation, I am sure you are sick of me talking about this movie but I just don't get sick of this movie, ever.

After compiling this list I realized that all of these movies also share dysfunctional families, perhaps a common Christmas theme as well.

No matter how you are spending your holidays I hope you are surrounded by love and happiness. 

Happy Holidays!

-The Babbling Box!

Holiday Cheer

Yesterday's post was a little 'heavy' so today I figured I would change gears and sprinkle a little holiday cheer over here.

Hot Chocolate or Eggnog?
Both, in small quantities. I am not a sweet drink type of person but one glass of each every holiday season satisfies my cravings. At the law firm a attorney used to make us each a mason jar of homemade eggnog, it was delicious but after one glass I was never quite sure what to do with the rest of it. 

Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them underneath the tree? 
As kids my parents always wrapped our presents and Santa's presents were left unwrapped all around the tree. Our stockings were also from Santa and those were unwrapped as well. My Dad's now ex-wife always wrapped the gifts in the stockings for each kid which was always very confusing to me. It's funny how each person as a preset notion of what gifts should be wrapped and left unwrapped.

Colored lights or white? 
On the Christmas tree white lights but outside I like red lights. Those crazy strings of lights with the whole rainbow just don't scream Christmas to me. 

When do you decorate? 
This is the first year I have decorated since I left my mom's house ten years ago, so I did it the day after Thanksgiving. I think 'Black Friday' will be my official decorating day, keeps me from spending money.

Real or Fake Tree? 
I love the smell and look of real trees but the only way to get a real tree to our house would be for the mister to strap it on the roof of his car...and he might love that car more than me some days...so fake it is.

What Tops Your Tree?
Our guard monkey. A few years ago at the zoo I saw this stuffed monkey and he looked like the angriest, judgiest stuffed animal I had ever seen. Immediately me and Erica thought it belonged with the mister. Over the years guard monkey has worn glasses, gotten a St. Louis Cardinals hat and even a remote control car...we are a unique couple. So when looking for a tree topper the mister's obvious decision was to rest the guard monkey upon the top to judge all of us.

Favorite Christmas Memories or Traditions?
When we were kids my parents used to load us up in the car on Christmas Eve and go drive around and look at Christmas lights. There would even be Christmas music playing in the car and Christmas cookies. Then we would go home and watch Christmas Vacation. Once my parents separated we started splitting the holidays up so the tradition faded away but I have high hopes of dragging my Dad Christmas light looking Monday night then watching a Christmas movie.

Funniest Christmas memory is hands down the year I ruined Christmas. I was the oldest child, there by the bossiest child to my brother and sister, I was seven or eight, my brother was five or six and my sister was three or four. Christmas morning at like three in the morning me and my brother tip toed downstairs and started looking at all of our awesome gifts from Santa. But that got boring. So we took our stockings upstairs to his room and dumped them all out and and played with everything we got, then expertly put it all back together...to not give anything away. But that also got boring. So we went and woke my sister up telling her Santa had come and she should come play with us...she wouldn't. So we got her stocking and played with her stuff. Some where along the way I got the brilliant plan to open one present and then rewrap it...before long every present under the tree had been unwrapped. My parents woke up and were very unpleased with us for ruining Christmas that year for my sister...it wasn't my fault she wanted to sleep.

Do you remember your favorite gift as a child? 
Unfortunately I don't, but if I had to guess it would probably have something to do with Barbie...I LOVED Barbie as a kid.

Do prefer giving or receiving? 
This one is hard for me right now, I like giving but I also second guess if the person would like it and then the money issue...so I prefer making gifts for people. It also makes me feel guilty to receive presents when I can't give them, so I prefer to not receive presents. That whole thought process is crazy I know.

What is your favorite Christmas song? 
Trans Siberian Orchestra- A Mad Russian's Christmas.

Candy Canes. Yuck or Yum? 
Blah. I don't really care for sweet things so I don't go out of my way to eat candy canes or other Christmas candy.

Favorite Christmas Movie? 
This one is a hard one, I already have a post planned for this week of my top favorite Christmas movies...but I would have to say Christmas Vacation. That movie never gets old.

Might or might not have bought this to wear Christmas Eve this year...

Do you shop online or at stores?
I prefer online. Crowds, lines, lots of people, traffic all make me super anxious and grumpy.

Photo Cards, Letter or Store Bought Card? 
I prefer photo cards. Last year the mister and I did photo cards and I wanted to do them again this year but we never could find the time to actually take pictures, so store bought cards it is.

Now it's your turn, join the link up!

- The Babbling Box!


It's been 15 days since I last visited my blog or checked in on bloglovin...

I kept trying to write a post but it came out sounding so ungrateful/selfish/winy that I scrapped the post and another day went by without posting. I have been busy. Life has been chaotic/messy/stressful...I am sure I could come up with a few dozen adjectives but I will stop. And I planned to give you a wonderful recap of life lately... 

But as I was catching up with hundreds of unread blog posts I saw a post that Kym did over at Travel Babbles 18 Things I've Been Too Afraid to Publish Here and the topic really resonated with how I have felt lately.

I have had a blog post sitting in drafts with this quote for weeks...

So without further ado...

18 Things That I Have Been Too Afraid to Publish

If this is what adult life is like I would like a redo, I certainly wouldn't have rushed out of college or gotten that 'big kid' job so quickly if I had known how extremely boring and frustrating it all would be.

I have over $30,000 worth of debt in my name and not a single thing to show for it besides a college diploma and a closet full of clothes I hate most mornings.

I wonder constantly if teaching is the right field for me, I have become extremely jaded about everything in the two and half years I have been doing it. 

I am extremely unhappy about my weight and the way my body looks right now but have zero motivation to step up and fix anything.

I don't think I am at the 'right' school, I can go most days without a single adult saying hi to me or even being that friendly. Perhaps its my own anti-social fault but I have worked in many places and made lots of friends with coworkers in the past.

I often wonder if I should quit blogging or spend more time blogging. I am riding the in between fence of just not having the time for something that isn't going somewhere but needing the release of writing out my thoughts.

Blogging/social media makes me extremely jealous of all the amazing clothes and lives I see posted. I realize we only take pictures of the best part of our lives but I look at those pictures then look at my own life and say 'what the hell am I doing'.

Relationships are hard. There are times I feel like I am not making the Mr. happy or we aren't doing it 'right.' I don't feel like we have enough intimacy, passion or intensity, but really the picture of 'perfect relationships' was painted by Hollywood, so what do I know.

My family and I aren't close. I have zero relationships with my extended family members. My immediate family isn't the close, sharing, supportive, celebratory family that I wish it was sometimes. So I avoid them a lot more than I care to admit.

I need to be told I am pretty, sexy or hot...basically given compliments at least once a day in order to feel better in my own skin. Basically I need a lot of attention.

I sell Advocare products and I have a TPT side that I use for supplemental income but I hate the idea of using my blog to make money or promote myself. BUT I need to do this or get a second job.

I feel like we are 'house' poor because we have a very expensive and large house we rent in Austin but the rental market in Austin sucks so unless we are willing to live in a one bedroom apartment there isn't a ton of cheaper options. Then I feel a whole new wave of guilt because the Mr. pays 2/3 of our bills.

I don't think all students are going to achieve success or can be saved. I write students off eventually. I actually hated a student this semester. I mentioned I am jaded once already.

I don't have a lot of people I trust or I feel like I can confide in, less than a handful.

I am a horrible friend. I only look for friendships when it is convenient for me. But I get incredible depressed when I realize I only have a few girlfriends. I have no clue how to even make friends at this point. Anti-social much?

I didn't buy a single Christmas present this year, I feel guilty about this but truthfully I can't justify adding to my debt more than I already have lately. I am approaching 30, this shouldn't always be a issue.

I tell everyone, and myself, that I don't care about getting married or having kids but I do. I figure if I push it off or say I don't want it, it won't hurt if I don't get it. And I am terrified of ending up like my parents, hating each other and resenting the kids.

I allow things to eat my alive and stress me out to the point of unhappiness, all seventeen of the items listed above will cause me to lay in bed worrying about life rather than sleeping or actually doing something about them.

I was unsure if I could even come up with a list of eighteen, but surprisingly this list came flowing out faster than I could even type out the sentences. Please don't judge me too harshly for the list...its not even noon and I feel I need a drink after that emotional word vomit.

I also promise, I am not depressed, promise...
but I think sometimes with blogging we only show the parts of our lives we are comfortable having other people judge, comment on, read, etc. And this post is simply the other part of my life, the part I keep hidden behind the gifs and stupid selfies.

Don't worry they will be back in full force Monday.

- The Babbling Box!