Posted: January 31st, 2011 | Author: Olivia | Filed under: oDays, oWander | 1 Comment »
my lovely katherine turned 16 (*ahem* + 10) yesterday. and although i wasn’t partying it up with her in austin, i know that a ton of other people who love her (just a little less than i do) were – which makes me happy. i’m looking forward to our planned brunch in february for some quality birthday fun just for her.
our friendship started in 2003 as innocent little email pen pals. we’d trade stories about life, boys, school and send each other pictures of ourselves drinking starbucks so it would be like we were drinking it together. and now, 8 years later, i have to say we’re still pretty cheesy and still talk about life, boy(friends), and our time together at school. the big difference – there’s a depth to our friendship that i wouldn’t trade for the world – the kind that can only be made with time. there’s no tip-toeing around the real issues. it’s honest-to-god true friendship… and to quote katherine… “After 8 years and counting, life is so much better with you in it. ♥”
i really can’t express how much i love you. i appreciate your quirks, even the ones that annoy me (like talking about babies/giving birth). I admire your strengths and the way you strive to continuously better yourself. i respect your opinions and thoughts. you’re my go-to girl. and with that role, you sometimes are forced by me to carry the burden of my problems. but i’ve never seen resentment or anger from you for that. ♥ i also love you for being weird with me. making squeaky noises instead of talking (i think we can have an entire conversation like that). flailing our arms around like we’re going mad. squid. etc. etc. etc. :]
i can’t thank you enough for always sticking by me. this post isn’t as eloquent as i hoped… but you are the writer in this relationship. :] i love you and happy birthday.
i need to find older pictures of us together later… these are from 2005 – present.
Posted: January 28th, 2011 | Author: Olivia | Filed under: oDays | 1 Comment »
i’m overly excited that my bestie is celebrating her BIRTHING INTO THE WORLD this weekend. i won’t get into too much sap this post, but here are some pics from our 2010 trip to london.
photos courtesy of miss katherine fan
Posted: January 28th, 2011 | Author: Olivia | Filed under: oFoodie | No Comments »
because stephanie returned safely back to the states from abroad in taiwan, we went out to dinner to catch-up
when: 6:10 pm, thursday
customer service: A
food rating: B+
r&d kitchen is part of the hillstone restaurant group and within the same chain as the fancy houston’s. in dallas, they’re nestled within the same shopping center as sprinkles cupcakes at preston and northwest highway. it’s a busy little area and parking fills up fast during rush times – but getting there early like we did made it easy as cake. steph and i went ahead to get a table as we feared it would fill up quickly, but to our luck, there were a few empty tables left for quick seating. jessi was able to join us shortly after.
they begin to dim the lights for dinner at around 6:30 pm and honestly, it was a little too dark. i’d like to see the people across from me clearer please. and it also made it hard to take pictures (i’m being selfish). but it’s the type of casual, high-class place where you won’t feel bad wearing jeans and a t-shirt, but you can expect quality food. the place was filled by 7:00 pm with no seating left at the bar and the noise of after-work chatter filled up the room.
i was craving wine and steph was craving coffee, so we indulged in what we wanted. i ordered myself an orin swift abstract red blend from california by our waitresses’s suggestion (who, btw, was very pretty and had perfect skin) and i didn’t regret it. steph gave us our little goodies from taiwan while we sipped on our drinks… did i ever tell you how awesome she is? well, she is. domo galore.
onto the food. i wasn’t feeling extremely hungry, so i ordered myself the mediterranean seared tuna salad that sounded awesome. steph got the same thing since it was her favorite from past times and jess ordered herself a cheeseburger. we also got their famous deviled eggs and hand-cut fries to snack on.
deviled eggs – now, i’d never had deviled eggs before and wasn’t really sure what was in it. steph warned me that there was mustard in it (something i’m not a huge fan of) but i wanted to try it anyway. unfortunately, i’m a bigger “not” fan of onion and r&d’s deviled eggs were full of them. i couldn’t partake in the deviled egg madness due to my personal dislikes, but it is something a lot of reviewers rave about.
hand-cut fries – decent. nothing too different than mcdonald’s honestly. and a little on the salty side. i think a big plus for their fries though are the different sauces they offer you. our waitress rattled off around 5 different sauces we could pick from, but we decided to stick with good ole’ fashioned ketchup.
mediterranean seared tuna salad – my first pleasant surprise when the plate was placed in front of me was the generous amount of seared tuna included in the salad. four decently sized chunks of delicious tuna staring up at me… yum! the salad itself was beautifully presented with vibrant colors of the lettuce (greens and reds), beets (orange/light pink), cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, olives and goat cheese. it also came with a deviled egg for those of you just wanting to try it due to the reviews and decide to get this salad… no need to order the appetizer. all in all a very enjoyable meal. i love beets and it was a perfect addition to the salad. the tuna was seared well and the taste was fresh and delicious.
cheeseburger – i hear it was good. :]
nom. nom. nom.
why not end the meal with some dessert?
ice cream sundae – made simply with blue bell ice cream, it’s just a casual sundae not meant to wow but just as a “feel-good” dessert. the whipped cream was delicious and the added nuts were a plus. we had to get extra chocolate syrup because we’re fatties.
summary – i’d definitely like to come back to possibly raise my rating of this restaurant just because i don’t know how much i can gauge the yum-factor just through a salad since unfortunately the sides didn’t bode well with me. the salad carried the meal and i look forward to when i can add more substance to this review. casual ambiance, great company… great times.
Posted: January 28th, 2011 | Author: Olivia | Filed under: oWander | 1 Comment »
i think some of the things that bother me about church (other than the people – that’s number one) is the routine and how predictable the services are. each church usually has it’s own little thing going on, but one of the major consistencies i’ve found across these “modern” churches are the worship leaders and how they put on a show for their ‘audience’…
1. why do you have to change your voice to be so breathy? i know that’s not your normal voice.
2. when you pray, do you realize you’re just being overly dramatic?
3. why do you stick so many long pauses in your prayer? is it because you didn’t rehearse it enough beforehand? this might go with question number two in being overly dramatic.
here is an example of the worship leader’s prayer:
(in a breathy voice with random voice inflections)
“oh dear and mighty god…
we come to you broken…
(long pause/start strumming the guitar)
and humbled by your awesome and glorious presence.
thank you so much for your amazing love. thank you…
(long pause/emphasized strumming on guitar)
for your mercy and grace.
[insert something specific to the sermon of the day]
[insert something to close out the prayer - along the lines of "watch over us this week", "we put our trust in you", usually also tying in to the sermon of the day]
let us go forth and praise you…
(start playing a song from the guitar)
anyway, sorry if i insulted you, but come on. you know that’s all an act. BE REAL.
Posted: January 27th, 2011 | Author: Olivia | Filed under: oWander | No Comments »
PLEASE. DO NOT TEXT AND DRIVE!
Posted: January 25th, 2011 | Author: Olivia | Filed under: oDays | No Comments »
this is worth mentioning. g brought me back a little present from colorado.
a bag of PEMMICAN BEEF JERKY!!!!
backtrack – i LOVE pemmican beef jerky, but they have pretty much disappeared from all of texas. i’ve even searched online, but they are either out-of-stock or can’t be ordered online. so depressing.
loooooooove. the only problem now is that i just want to savor this little bag and i haven’t even opened it yet.
Posted: January 25th, 2011 | Author: Olivia | Filed under: oWander | No Comments »
i’m actually quite excited that the king’s speech starring colin firth and geoffrey rush got nominated for so many oscars. the more i think back on it, the more i like it. with all the crap out there nowadays, it takes a moment to appreciate true acting talent sometimes.
it’s also amusing to see geoffrey rush not have a pirate tone to his voice. :]
Posted: January 24th, 2011 | Author: Olivia | Filed under: go52, oDays | No Comments »
i was the perfect domesticated partner this weekend.
cleaned my heart out:
- my bathroom
- washed both dogs
- vacuumed everywhere, stairs and all
- laundry (clothes, bed, dog towels)
and cooked!! i wanted to make g a nice dinner as a ‘welcome back to dallas’ since he’s not traveling for well, two weeks. i planned a slow-cooked meal including brussel sprouts/bacon and brined pork belly. also some corn since g seemed to refuse to want to eat brussel sprouts.
went out and bought a dutch oven. i didn’t even know there was such a thing and why are they so expensive?! but i love it and i’m happy with it :]
it came out decently well. i’d put less salt in the brine next time, but not too shabby for my first time. and of course, i love the brussel sprouts. i even got g to say it was decent.
10.52: first-time making a slow-cooked meal for us to enjoy!
Posted: January 23rd, 2011 | Author: Olivia | Filed under: oWander | No Comments »
every sunday i participate with millions of other people in reading the postsecret blog, where people can send their secrets anonymously on a postcard. i don’t usually connect with any, but this one made me smile inside.
this is how i feel whenever people say ‘god has a plan’ or ‘trust in god, he knows what he’s doing’ or like the postcard, ‘everything happens for a reason’. i admit that i’ve said these things before, but thinking back… they’re just empty words of encouragement. they’re cop outs to delving deeper into the situation… into connecting on a personal level. in some cases, i know that these words are comforting because, well, you just don’t want to take responsibility for anything or don’t want somebody you know/love to take responsibility. it’s god’s responsibility, it’s out of your hands, right? i guess so, but eventually… what are you going to do about it?
honestly, in the big picture, i do think things happen for a reason – but this just might be my perception and how i react to the challenges set before me. i want to use those opportunities to teach myself something, or at least better myself in some way. but sometimes saying that to somebody in pain is not always the best thing. sometimes, you need to put aside your own agenda. faith is a funny thing. for a lot of christians, it’s the only thing that matters. god is the number one priority. i understand that. i get it. i can even respect it. been there, done that. but sometimes, it’s just exhausting for the other person. and all i see is the hypocrisy of it all. it’s blinding.
anyways, don’t take these words to heart. i’m just recording down my thoughts. it’s nice to see how your ideas change year after year.
Posted: January 20th, 2011 | Author: Olivia | Filed under: oDays, oFoodie | No Comments »
made myself brussel sprouts with bacon for dinner tonight and i must say… DELISH?! never knew brussel sprouts could taste good… they’re like tender baby cabbages and well, bacon makes everything better.