Friday, December 24, 2010

Arielle the littlest prancer

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Homemade-ish pizzas chez Blackmon

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With delish dough from Southside Flying Pizza! Nom! One is vegan the other vegetarian!

Homemade-ish pizzas chez BlackmonHomemade-ish pizzas chez Blackmon
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Utah Arrival! Snow with a side of snow.

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Winter wonderland FTW!

Utah Arrival! Snow with a side of snow.Utah Arrival! Snow with a side of snow.



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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hyperbole and a Half: Dogs Don't Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving

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How Sunday's mind works can be summed up by this image. She is so bi-polar that she switches between the two: simple and helper dog.


via hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com
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No. 1: Bazaarvoice puts priority on teamwork, challenges and just plainfun

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Just another day at work at Bazaarvoice! My picture was included in the article.
By Lori Hawkins


AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

Updated: 7:23 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010
Published: 2:42 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010

New hires at Bazaarvoice Inc. spend their first week on a scavenger hunt. Literally. 
Workers are given a list of more than 60 things to do, find or see, such as sitting in on a sales call, taking several people from outside their team to lunch (paid for by the company) and learning about company traditions. (Such as the meaning of "DSB," a frequently spoken abbreviation for Don't Stop Believing, which has become a company theme.) "Instead of 'Welcome, here's your cube,' the idea is to spend the first week digging in and getting to know your company and your co-workers," said Leigh Choate , Bazaarvoice marketing communications manager. "Your training — your real work — begins the following week, once you're really had a chance to dig in and get to know the place." 
The quirky orientation is an example of Bazaarvoice's focus on its people and its culture. The company came in as the No. 1 midsize employer, based on employee surveys, in the American-Statesman's Top Workplaces project. In their survey comments, employees repeatedly mentioned the company's emphasis on teamwork, the shared passion for its mission, and benefits that help them balance work and life. CEO Brett Hurt says maintaining the close-knit, team-driven spirit is a top priority, even as Bazaarvoice's work force is expanding rapidly. The company has 600 employees, about 500 of whom work at its headquarters in the San Clemente office complex on Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360). Bazaarvoice's 17 full-time recruiters are seeking to hire 100 more. 
Five-year-old Bazaarvoice sells software that lets companies add ratings and reviews to their websites. The company has more than 950 customers, including Costco, Crate & Barrel, Home Depot and Best Buy. Even though it's in rapid expansion mode, employees say the company has remained faithful to its core values, which are repeated often: passion, performance, innovation, openness, respect, teamwork and generosity. At Bazaarvoice, the culture starts with finding the right people. Job candidates go through an exhaustive interview process, including tests that simulate the duties of the position for which they're applying. 
"Because of the investment of time placed on the interview process, Bazaarvoice truly focuses on making sure you are both a fit professionally and culturally," said Maureen Shriver , who joined the company this year as a client services support manager. "I have worked in startups, large corporations and small privately owned companies," she said. "I can say that through all my professional lifetime, this is an excellent fit for me in both categories, and I attribute it to the time and attention during the interview process." New employees hit the ground running, Shriver says. "The pace is incredibly fast but because of the excellent vibe and great people, it's manageable," she said. 
Workers are encouraged to challenge conventional wisdom and get involved in decision-making.
"It's not just lip service," said Jon Loyens , director of Bazaarvoice Labs, the company's product innovation group. "If someone in engineering sees something going on in sales that they think needs to be fixed, the leadership will be completely open to that conversation. It's really easy for individuals to bring about change here." The company invests in professional and personal development, as well as plain fun. Each employee get $500 annually to spend on wellness, with half for personal use and the rest for a team activity. Teams plan quarterly outings, which have included a chartered bus trip to Six Flags Fiesta Texas, floating down the Guadalupe River and zip-lining in Wimberley. 
"Teams that work and play together drive better performance and innovation and become more respectful of one another's strengths and weaknesses," said Kathy Smith-Willman , director of People Operations. Every employee also gets an annual amount to spend on conferences, seminars, books or in developing broader skills such as public speaking. In addition, the company provides frequent, always optional training in the office over a catered lunch. Topics include negotiation training, presentation skills, Toastmasters and leadership development. Volunteer work is also encouraged through the BV Foundation, the company's community outreach arm. Bazaarvoice hosts quarterly company-wide and team sponsored events.
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Tazmanian Devil

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Sunday's newest trick is wild, just wild. We need more mediative evening activities.
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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Homemade Apple Pie : Wadsworth, OH

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Local apples from Bauman's. My aunt had us slice up the apples and we put it all together.

Homemade Apple Pie : Wadsworth, OH

Nom, nom, nom!
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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Squirrels are picky eaters : Momo edition!

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Hello Momo

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Meet the little Momo

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Meet the little Momo

While eating Home Slice today, Courtney and I were walking back to our illegally parked vehicle (we always park at the Baptist church) and spotted a little furry friend. My first reaction was, "Look, baby squirrel!" and then, "OMG it is coming toward us!" Courtney's reaction was to sit down and let it come sit on her, which it did. It then proceeded to burrow in her hair and fall asleep. So of course, we brought her home.

So there you have it, Momo is here for the moment! ;-)

Meet the little MomoMeet the little Momo
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Birthday fun! 24!

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Off to Frank for vegan hotdogs and then back to delicious vegan Dino cake! This is after Dino themed drinks and fun with my supportsters!
Birthday fun! 24!

What a wonderful 24th bday!
Birthday fun! 24!

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Birthday Dino-mite!

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Hooray for being surrounded by some of the most amazing people on earth! 


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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hipster Dinosaurs = genius

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ancient Greek Ruins

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Sunday and Fleur have transformed this in a little piece of history. Greek ruins are all the rage these days.

Ancient Greek Ruins
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Wizard of Oz - Google Style!

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I love Google Doodles, they make me happy every morning when I open up my web browser. :-D


via google.com
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Friday, August 6, 2010

No words to describe how delicious Indian night at Casa de Luz is...

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Indian Night: Organic, Gluten-free,Vegan


No words to describe how delicious Indian night at Casa de Luz is...

Soup
Creamy Coconut Ginger Carrot Soup

Salad
Garden Salad with Mint Dressing

Plate
Cauliflower, Beets, Onion & Broccoli in Curry Sauce
Basmati Rice
Red Lentils
Mixed Blanched Greens with Tahini Sauce
Grilled Flat Bread with Pecan Apple Raisin Chutney
Green Sauerkraut
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My car also enjoys the pleasant hyperbole...

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But holy smokes it's hot!

My car also enjoys the pleasant hyperbole...
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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bandvoice starts off the Bazaarvoice All Hands with Abba

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This day is already shaping up to awesome.
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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Houseguest

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We've had a 90lb houseguest this weekend and our squirrelly little Sunday has been having oodles of fun. Chancho is one cool dude. The amazing part of the experience is how many people will come up to you and ask questions about a 90lb teddy bear-esque pup. It has been a hilarious weekend full of park time, frolicking, & pups gone wild. Chancho & Sunday are BFF and it is pretty adorbs.

HouseguestHouseguest
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Bazaarvoice EOQ Madness

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This is what the office looked like on Friday! There was a company wide decorating contest to see who could bling out their cubes areas the most. My team chose a magical theme and the result was filled with leprechauns and unicorns vomiting rainbows. Other fan favorites included: Emerald City, Serving a Great Quarter (tennis theme), & Jungle Oasis! I'm extremely partial to the unicorn.

Bazaarvoice EOQ MadnessBazaarvoice EOQ Madness
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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Little cousins at horse camp

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Oh what a week last week was! My two little 8 yr old cousins were staying at my apartment in Austin and attending Horse Camp from 8-12 every morning. It was a fun week filled with family friendly movies like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Lightening Thief, the Velveteen Rabbit. We had to eat primarily at diners as one little imp eats only things that are yellow (Mac&cheese, butter pasta, bread).

Every night, I would come home and get a download of the day's events. The kids would have terrorized Sunday, bickered between themselves and have shed tears if their painting projects weren't perfect. Horse Camp was a big topic as they would confess their love for the horses they had been assigned: Quincy & Walter. They would tell me if they were scared or if they had trotted on their horse. All the little fun details they could muster. On Friday, they had a horse show to celebrate the end of camp. As their guardians for the week, my sister and I went to take pictures and see what they had learned to give a full report to their parents. The results were hilarious. We found that even with their big stories of triumph, they were beginners! But the obvious fun was how excited and gloriously happy they both were atop their equine friends. I've included a little video of them riding!

It was wonderful to have them spend time with us and we enjoyed their terribly funny perspectives on most anything.
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On the way to South Padre Island

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Sunday is the best car rider in the universe. She falls asleep within minutes of the engine starting and will grunt and snore off and on during the trip. We are on hour 2.5 and she has been wonderful the entire time. So excited for her 1st beach experience. Let's hope she doesn't do something crazy and gets invited back for another family vacation. This little week vacation promises to include horseback riding, sea turtles and sand castles! Let's hope the weather holds!

On the way to South Padre Island
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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Notice anything odd?

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Notice anything odd?
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Sunday swimming at my parent's pool

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Like a champion, she will jump in again and again. Looking forward to quiet time tonight!
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Friday, June 18, 2010

Wide open spaces, my friends, wide open spaces

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Heading to Pleasanton, TX.

Wide open spaces, my friends, wide open spaces
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Daily commute

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Daily commute
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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Little Sunday and her Fleur

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Little dogs running around being crazy!
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hipsters & Yuppies ..... gray area ;-)

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Beans praying to the fan god.

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While marooned sick on the couch, couldn't help but document and giggle at Courtney's hilarious/ awful cat. Animals always try to make you feel better I s'pose.

Beans praying to the fan god.
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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

TRUTH: What your email address says about your computer skills!

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I've been telling people the same thing for ages! Gmail is always the safe, smart, cool choice!



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Unlimited vacation is definitely a perk @Bazaarvoice!

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By Steve Habel 
Flaunting the standard idea of how much paid time off employees should be entitled to take, some companies are letting workers make that decision on their own. In the process, they're dispelling old notions about vacation time while creating a sense of company ownership and loyalty and exploring the ever-changing idea of the workplace.

Bazaarvoice, an Austin-based company that uses customer reviews to help online vendors increase sales, offers a vacation policy based entirely on trust.

"Someone could come in and in that first year, if they wanted to, they could take four weeks," said Brett Hurt, Bazaarvoice's co-founder and chief executive officer. "There is no accrual. There is no tracking. It is completely based on trusting our employees and trusting ourselves. That has become one of our most radical cultural policies."

The trust-based vacation policy was enacted six months after the company was founded in May 2005, and Hurt said it's worked for four and a half years without abuse. Since that time, Bazaarvoice has expanded to about 550 employees globally with about 850 clients. Hurt said the company is 500 percent larger than he had expected at the five-year mark, and he credits a good deal of its success to the workplace's culture — with the untraditional vacation policy becoming a "lightning rod of sorts."

"When you treat people like adults, when you treat them with radical trust, they in turn do the same for you," he said. "If you treat people like they are in jail, then they will act like they are in jail."

The secret — though Hurt is far from shy about revealing it — is hiring people well-suited for Bazaarvoice's culture. His company puts job candidates through a rigorous period of interviews and testing to glean high-performing employees who will thrive in a dynamic workplace.

"As the CEO, I was nervous," he said, recalling when the idea was first pitched. "I didn't have any companies to point to as an example. We took a real leap of faith with that. In hindsight, I'll tell you that it's one of the best decisions we've made."

Hurt said Bazaarvoice's employees are productive on the job, know their work is valued and, subsequently, don't worry about taking time off.

"We have stories of people who have worked here for three months, aced their position, then went to China for three weeks," he said.

HubSpot, a Cambridge, Mass.-based Internet marketing company founded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates, has a policy similar to that of Bazaarvoice.

"Our new vacation policy is that there is no vacation policy, no paid time off forms, no vacation rollover, nothing," Brian Halligan, HubSpot's CEO and founder, wrote on his blog. "If people want to take time off, they can take time off. ... We hire very smart people who are very focused on contributing to the growth of our company. We trust that the folks will use ‘common sense' with regards to taking an appropriate amount of time off."

Halligan said most companies' vacation plans are relics "of an era when people worked 9 to 5 in an office, like our fathers did. The Internet and mobile devices have enabled our employees to work where they are comfortable (often at home) and the hours they are comfortable (often in the middle of the night)."

In a phone interview, Halligan said the company's vacation policy has been in place for about six months.

"At a recent employee meeting, our 150 workers were asked if they liked the policy, and 148 of them said they did," he said. "Some of our employees used their time off to go to Asia, which can be a long haul from the U.S. east coast.

"We are not worried about the potential for abuse of the policy because giving our employees this option allows them to take ownership in the situation and in their jobs," Halligan said. "Our managers keep a close eye on things to make sure we have all our bases covered and not too many people are out of the office at the same time."

While time off from work is often viewed as an earned employee benefit, a whopping 66 percent of employees were found to have neglected to use all of their vacation time in 2009, according to a study released by Philadelphia-based career management consulting firm Right Management.

Before choosing vacation guidelines, corporate leaders must decide what they want to accomplish. Companies must decide if the vacation policy is designed to create a reward, minimize costs or even to be competitive, and each can lead to different conclusions.

For more information about benefits such as vacation time, resources include industry associations and chambers of commerce. Some of Austin's local labor data is available at austinchamber.com/dobusiness/greateraustinprofile/workforce.html.

Marketing publications staff writer Beth Bond contributed to this story. 

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Delicious happenings at Frank in Austin

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Veggie dog w/ carmelized onions and cheddar. Spicy waffle fries to split as there are just too many!

Delicious happenings at Frank in Austin
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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Smoke Monster cupcakes for the #lost finale

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Smoke Monster cupcakes for the #lost finale
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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Gordough's one hell of a doughnut

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This is "the rattler" fudge icing, gummy snakes & Oreos on a doughnut. Ridiculous. While the doughnut was good, the gummy wad a little over the top. Feel sick, but worth the trip!

Gordough's one hell of a doughnut
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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Austin's Renegade Craft Fair purchases

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Loved, loved, LOVED everything!


Ok Print by www.Rarrarpress.etsy.com
Spoon ring ... I can't remember!

Austin's Renegade Craft Fair purchasesAustin's Renegade Craft Fair purchases


Girl Prints by www.Elsieblog.com
Austin's Renegade Craft Fair purchases

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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Poteet Strawberries! Nom,nom,nom!

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Drove all the way out to Poteet to buy some strawberries out of a toothless man's trunk! Hooray for mother's day brunch and an awesome week of strawberries!


Poteet Strawberries! Nom,nom,nom!
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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Why hello there gorgeous! New MAC equals happiness!

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Why hello there gorgeous! New MAC equals happiness!Why hello there gorgeous! New MAC equals happiness!
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Bull Riding competition @bazaarvoice All Hands

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Of course this is necessary... :-)

Bull Riding competition @bazaarvoice All HandsBull Riding competition @bazaarvoice All Hands
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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My cube as of late

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My cube as of late
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Swimmer

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My Sunday has finally joined the ranks of awesome swimmers everywhere! She just jumped right in while we were hiking in the Greenbelt!
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Singing Tesla Coils by ArcAttack at Bazaarvoice's Social CommerceSummit #scs10

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They rocked it! Visit www.arcattack.com to see more clips. It was my favorite part of the party!
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Flipbook I made at Bazaarvoice's Social Commerce Summit lastnight! #scs10

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Soo much fun!!!
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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Reflections on week one of being vegan

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This week has been great! I've been cooking up a storm and creating some delightful meals. Rip's recipes are really great and not that complicated. The only thing I would say is that it is too much. We always have leftovers from dinner and so that because a sandwich (for the most part) for the next day. That works for us. Besides that we have definitely been eater better and more delicious meals, so I will follow the breakfast and dinner plans for Week 2 and just skip out on the lunch bits.

Another comment would be that it is a very different approach to vegetarianism & vegan-ism than I have ever done before. The meals & recipes are catered to people who might miss eating meat, and so last night we ended up making a tofu/meat crumbles (delicious) "meatloaf". I have never been one to buy meat substitutes, and have held to the school of thought that if you don't want to eat meat there is no reason to eat a meat-like meal. I will admit that I have been getting a lot more protein from this and have been feeling more energized and less hungry as a result. I think my ideal situation would fall somewhere between the two.

So far my favorite meals have been the E2 Black Beans & Rice Extravaganza & Meatloaf. I'm excited for week 2!

Click for the Weekly Engine 2 meal plan!
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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sunday gearing up for the Mighty Texas Dog Walk

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Sunday gearing up for the Mighty Texas Dog Walk
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Friday, April 16, 2010

My next camera bag: cute, stylish. discreet & purple

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via kellymoorebag.com

As I've mentioned in the title this bag meets all of my current requirements for a camera bag. I've been searching for something that looks good and will mask the fact that I am actually carrying a camera bag. The front pockets will be great for my "must have" knick knacks that I am always carrying around with me. I'm just starting out my journey into photography and so far am really enjoying it. I would love to have this bag to tote around my new found hobby!

Found this bag after @swissmiss asked for recs.
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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hot Rods on SoCo

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Makes me love this area even more! I need to find a house over here. STAT. Stopped here to grab a lil' Home Slice & Hey Cupcake!

Hot Rods on SoCo
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Sleeping pretty hard on the way to Poteet's Strawberry fest

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Sleeping pretty hard on the way to Poteet's Strawberry fest
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Friday, April 9, 2010

We can go ahead and say that Sunday is pretty submissive

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Wimp, wuss...genius? Everyone has their own survival technique.

We can go ahead and say that Sunday is pretty submissive
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Wildflowers make my drive home wonderful. It's like I live in a DixieChick song.

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When I got back from Paris, I noticed the weather had warmed up. I was pleased after having spent a week in mildly cold Parisien weather. The result of the lovely spring weather has been a gorgeous sprinkling of wildflowers all along the Texas highways! It makes me feel delighted and giddy at the same time. The bluebonnets are everywhere and the sky is a BIG great blue. All of it is making my commute a bit easier and filled with small joys.

Wildflowers make my drive home wonderful. It's like I live in a Dixie Chick song.Wildflowers make my drive home wonderful. It's like I live in a Dixie Chick song.

I love spring and am not looking forward to summer, when the flowers shrivel with the heat and everything is so of dead. For now, I'm just reveling in the magic of spring (probably not coincidental that a "magical" device came out in spring).
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Monday, April 5, 2010

Meet Forever 21’s stylish sisters, Linda and Esther Chang

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Media_httpwwwlatimesc_bilki


Interesting profile on Forever 21's secret sauce: the founder's two daughters. The siblings are working on different projects, but the eldest, Linda, started the entire Social Media branding department for the retail chain. A marketing strategy that has kept Forever 21 with an edgy look and connected with its target market via blog, facebook, etc. Her sister, Esther, heads visuals and has given Forever 21 that cheeky in-store experience that we have all grown to love.
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