Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lately: April

Hi Friends!
Can I just say that the past 3 weeks have been crazy busy and wonderful! I've barely had a moment to sit. This weekend though, I emptied our calendar! I needed a break from everything and wanted to just sit on my toosh, sleep in a bit (8am), and not have anything scheduled in. It has been a nice refresher!

As most of you know Instagram has been made available for Android users whoohoo! What a fun little app. So, here is my life lately via Instagram!

I'll be posting more often, I hope. Can you believe it is only a couple days away from May! Holy cow! Our wedding is about 5 months away!!! I'm excited and I hope our day(s) come together nicely. That's all for today!

Follow me on Instagram
I found this nifty photo collage maker here: Photovisi 

There are some link ups that you can do if you so choose... 
Our Week by iPhone by Amy (posted on Saturdays) & Photo Fun mondays by my lovely friends Savanah and Ashlee (posted on Mondays). Insta-Friday by Life Rearranged (posted on Fridays) Check out their buttons and blogs below! 


life rearranged

Friday, April 27, 2012

Nail Files VIII

The Nail Files

Happy Friday! I hope you have a great weekend planned out! Last weekend when we were on our bi-weekly grocery trip, Mychael made the mistake of leaving me by myself to stroll the aisles for a few minutes and of course I gravitated to the nail polish aisle. I swear it calls my name. I came across Orly, super cute bottle, and only about $2... obviously I had to pick up a bottle!

Orly - Velvet Rope
Then, I felt the urge to go shopping... and that doesn't happen often. I went to Target, picked up some shirts, a cute dress, makeup (ELF and I'm in love) and then of course... NAIL POLISH! 

...and I am pretty sure this is my new fave color combo right hurrrrrrr! Essie's Sure Shot, and Sally Hansen Lady Luck! So pretty, right?! I love all the sparkle!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Point + Shoot - Meeting Lauren Conrad

This past weekend Lauren Conrad was in Houston. I am a huge fan, she was always my favorite on Laguna Beach and The Hills and I am so glad that she didn't just fall off the face of the earth like most reality stars. I met up with Maura and Kristen for the signing, both super sweet girls, be sure to check out their blogs. Anyway, to our disappointment no cameras or cell phones were allowed. We were the first group to be let in so at least we were able to see her before she was tired of signing books! I was so glad I went, I woke up feeling sick and almost didn't go but Mychael told me to go anyway because I would regret it if I didn't. I was a little star struck when we first walked, my first thoughts were wow she is gorgeous! Her voice sounds just the same as she does on TV - I don't know why I thought she would sound any different. I asked her to sign my Glamour magazine, and she was so sweet to blow on it she said they smudge and she didn't want that to happen. 

I'll just pretend like Lauren and I are BFF and we spent the entire day together in Houston shopping and eating at our favorite places. ;) 

Snapped some photos this weekend? Create a post and link up here with Sunny + Scout for Point + Shoot! :)

point + shoot

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Celebrity Look Alike?

I know I have been a bit absent from the blogging and twit world, more-so the blogging, I have just been super busy adjusting to the new job (which I love) and spending time with my friends and family + semi wedding planning! I have seen a trend lately pop up on twitter and it's checking out who your celeb look-a-like is. I figured I would give it a shot! Let's see what this little generator came up with, shall we?

...hmm do you see it? I don't but hey I will take it as a compliment. I think Miley is super adorable and Penelope Cruz, she's hot. I'll take it. Can I have her accent too? 

There is a link up for this so go and check it out and see what others have posted! Follow this lady's blog and twitter, I have no clue who she is but from what I have seen just recently she's hilarious!

A Mommas Desires and Pacifiers

Friday, April 20, 2012

Local Dining: Leaf 'N Ladle

Goodness we have had some beautiful weather in Houston recently. One day it was entirely too pretty to eat inside so I once again checked out FourSquare to see where another local spot was that I could eat. Leaf 'N Ladle Cafe popped up and there was a mention that they had changed up their menu a bit and it was yummy. I noticed before that they had outdoor dining. This is where I was going to eat!

Lunch Portion - Cheese Enchilada Dinner with a Beef Taco
They have a wide variety, salads, soups, sandwiches, and Mexican food. I ordered the cheese enchiladas, usually my staple for Mexican restaurants. It was good, not the best I have ever had, then... the waitress asked if I would like some salsa. Oh, yes of course! I got the green sauce, it was made more authentically than tex-mex which is fine with me. She mentioned it was a bit spicy. Okay, I poured a bit on my enchiladas it was delish. Then my mouth got a little hot... but that's what water is for and I am glad I didn't pour a ton of salsa on my plate. This place seems like more of a lunch spot rather than a dinner spot. I'll be back for sure, there is so much more to try!

Do you have any favorite little lunch spots near your place of work?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Point + Shoot: Weekend

University of Houston Squirrel
I absolutely cherish my weekends with family and friends. I wish someone would change the rules and make every weekend a 3 day weekend. Lucky me, the new job closes the offices at 3p every Friday... earlier if the bosses are feeling extra nice.

On Friday night University of Houston had their Red + White game and obviously Mychael and I were there. We ran into some old friends on our way to the stadium. Here I am with Ashely who I met through the UH Ambassador program. Joining that group was probably one of the best decisions I ever made. I met some of my life long friends there.

On Saturday we had some errands to run and I didn't feel like going down to the stylist to have my hair done for me... I have my hair chemically straightened, but since it has worn off and I have been to lazy to have it done again my crazy curls are back. So I went old school and wore my hair a la natural, if I would have taken the time to blow dry and straighten my hair myself we would have been here all day. By the end of the day my curls were every where! It annoys me, but Mychael thinks it is incredibly sexy.

On Sunday Mychael and I met Shellie and her flower boy out on Galveston Island for brunch. Please don't mind our hair, the wind was pretty crazy out there. I have to say, for the longest time I was searching every where for some "really good" friends when all along they were staring me right in the face. I didn't realize the friends I had made in grade school and in college were my true friends just waiting for me to open up to them. I'm so thankful. I'll tell you all about the little spot we ate at another day.

I'm off to have dinner with my soon-to-be husband (wedding is 6 months away!) and relax before the start of a new work week.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend as well.

Snapped some photos this weekend? Create a post and link up here with Sunny + Scout for Point + Shoot! :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Nail Files VII

 The Nail Files

I hope everyone has had a great Saturday so far, it is beautiful here in Houston. My nails were looking rough the past couple days, I couldn't take it anymore. Do you ever feel like you don't have any nail polish to choose from? That is how I have been feeling lately even though I have a ton.

Today I selected Milani Nail Lacquer Neon - 504 Fresh Teal, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear - 35 In the Spotlight and Seche Vite as my base/top coat.

Now I can be seen out in public again ;) What are some of your favorite spring/summer colors?

Have a great weekend y'all! I'm out to water my plants/flowers... apparently those things need some TLC or they die!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Local Dining: George's Pastaria

I now work in a much nicer area than I did previously. I guess anything is better than the 5th ward, right? Seriously though, the area is nice, full of shopping centers, chain restaurants, independent places, outdoor dining... I'm in heaven! I get to dine out all by myself. I used to do this all the time when I worked in my little area of town. It is actually quite refreshing!

I'm still getting to know the area, I have ventured out a tad here and there. What's the best way to find out where you should grab lunch? FourSquare of course. I hit the explore button on my first day and George's Pastaria showed up as one of the most checked in places near my office. Whoohoo! Pasta!! Okay, pasta is my BFF, but pasta is also what is standing between me and flat abs.

Anyway, a little side tracked there. This place is so cute, it was lunch time and I was seated fairly quickly. They were busy so everyone was running around. The staff was amazing and very attentive. Everyone had a smile on their face. They definitely made this new girl feel very welcomed.

Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken
I ordered water with lemon to drink, it is usually my preferred beverage for my meals. They brought out some garlic bread. Nom!! So good. They have an appetizer of Cheese Toast that I may have to get that next time... or the Fried Ravioli. I ordered the Fettuccine Alfredo and added Chicken. When it came out it looked very delicious! Nice and creamy, lots of sauce (just the way I like it!). I have to say, I was a tad disappointed. I felt like it was a little bland but had pops of flavor here and there, and the chicken didn't seem fresh.

I'm thinking it was just an off day for this dish, or maybe it was just me. I will definitely be back again. The wait staff was incredibly friendly, I have to go back and give it another shot. Perhaps get the shrimp in my pasta instead, or try another dish. 

Do you have a local Italian restaurant that you absolutely love? What is your favorite dish? 

Oh, happy Friday the 13th.... don't let the bed bugs bite tonight! Enjoy your weekend, whatever you do! :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

New View

I know I haven't even completed a full week at my new job but I already feel refreshed! I am looking forward and haven't taken a look back. I obviously still have the "new girl" status, but everyone seems to be very welcoming! My new company is super organized. I'm in organizational heaven! They are teaching me the way the company does things, and they communicate communicate communicate! I love it. Nothing is a secret! I share an office with the sales manager, which I was extremely surprised about. I figured I would have an itty bitty desk sitting in the middle of a room somewhere. Instead, I have a back office with a view! I can take a break from my work (which I now have 5 projects I am working on.. five!! I've just completed my 3rd day there!) and watch the cars pass by on one side or take a look the other way and watch the birds play in the trees. We are on the top floor, I see the shadows of the birds that hang out on the top of the building. I wish there was a way for me to put bird food outside my window. :)

View from my new office
I am very glad that I took that leap of faith and stepped out of my comfort zone. Sunday night Mychael and I were in the car. I was super quiet. He told me he was proud of me. As I've stated before I hate change. He thought that I would have just stayed with my old company because it was comfortable, even if the offer and perks of the new job were better. He told me when I told him I accepted their offer that he was shocked, he couldn't believe it. I was shocked when I took the offer as well, I was floored when I walked into my boss' office and handed him my resignation letter. I apologized to my boss for resigning, and I walked back to my office screaming in my head what did I just do? I had planned on staying with my old company for years to come. The last two weeks at my old job my mind was racing. Was I making the right decision? What if my future would be better off with my old company? What if I didn't like the new company? What if this is a bad decision for me to make right now as a soon-to-be newly wed? What if my boss hated me? Wait. What if my new boss ends up hating me? What if my guys in the warehouse hate me now? What if...

When was the last time you took a leap? What was it? Have you ever looked back?

Monday, April 9, 2012

New beginnings + Going back to my roots

Hello Monday! You didn't come too quickly this time. I was lucky enough to have Friday off. Today I start a new job. I am worried about my old coworkers and worried things will be all kinds of confusing for them, but I tried to brief them as much as I could and I hope that they don't get too stressed out. I'm trying to tell myself that they aren't for me to worry about anymore. I am happy and excited (and scared) to start my new adventure with my new job, and new coworkers. I hope for a more friendly environment to work in and for supportive coworkers. I hope that I get that office family environment that I am yearning for. 

I am armed with my bubbly personality and upbeat attitude. I have my "I can do anything you throw at me" attitude and am ready to learn new things. I am completely confident in myself mentally...and physically. This weekend I found a little black dress in the back of my closet and since fiance and I had been on little dates all weekend I decided I was going to put it on. It fit me perfectly! How is that for a boost of confidence? 

I promise I will have fitness updates here soon, I told myself that I would keep my diary right here. If you haven't noticed over the past week or so I went back to my roots. I started this blog to track my life, whatever it may be and it needs to go back to that. I will still do link ups as they apply to my life personally... but after going through some hard times Mychael asked me... why do you blog, really, why? The honest truth, I started this blog because I wanted a place that I could write my thoughts and feelings, and a place to document my life. In person I am not much of a talker, I find comfort with pen and paper or my keyboard... that's what this place was for me. Having followers/readers just became a perk. Going to meetups and tweeting just allowed me to branch out and meet others who understand putting yourself out there on the internet. 

I hope you'll continue to stick around, and say hello here and there. :) Wish me luck on my first day with my new job!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Point + Shoot: Easter

April 8th, 2012 - Easter Flowers
I'm rejoining one of my favorite photo link ups again. It's called Point + Shoot with Sunny + Scout. I used to play along when Fat Mum Slim was the host and I really enjoyed it. You can read about it here. I grew up in a deeply religious Catholic family, Easter used to be church in the morning, Easter egg hunt and BBQ with the family. As I grew older I grew away from God due to events which have taken place in my life. I have been, and still am angry with him. I know that they say that God will never put you through anything you can't get through... but there are some things I just can't even imagine why someone, who is supposed to be so godly, would put a person or family through. 

So now, Easter to me is just simply about being with my family. Getting each other a small little gift, and having a great little low key lunch or dinner. This year my parents gave me the beautiful flowers above. I gave them a little cross to place in their home. 

I pray for others when they need it, I ask for prayers for my family and friends... but when it comes to me I feel like I am better off on my own. I don't judge anyone who has a lot of faith. In fact I feel inspired by them and I feel envious. I don't feel any one religion is the right religion. I believe in science, it makes sense to me and there is no blame there... science/mother nature/karma isn't a person. It just is. Have you ever struggled with your faith? Was there anything that brought you back to it?  

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Baby Celia

Y'all!!! After typing up this post... I continued to look through some of my photo albums. I found one that just had some random photos in it, but when I first opened it THIS photo was right there! Ahhhhhhhh!!

This is me at 6 months old!!!! I think I am so happy I could cry, in fact I have that little lump in my throat... I thought I had lost all of my baby photos!!!! Wow, just wow. I still have those same chubby cheeks to date, somethings will never change. I both love them and hate them. I'm just so happy right now that I have this photo to look back on.

...and since this is definitely a throwback photo I am linking up with Monica for Throwback Thursday. Grab a photo and link up!!!!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Fried Pickle Tour - Katz

I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful friend who I can call my partner in crime. Shellie and I are carbon copies of each other. Would you know that we both (supposedly) had a mean girl status in high school? Yet, we had a mutual respect for each other and I was a tad afraid of her. Why you ask? She was dating a guy I thought was the cutest thing on earth! Seriously, funny little dude who made everyone laugh. 

I've known Shellie since middle school but after high school we lost touch. I posted on facebook about my Scentsy biz and asked if anyone wanted to have a party, she was the first one to speak up. I am so glad that we were able to reignite our friendship! She will also be standing by my side at our wedding! Squeee! 

I love Shellie and her Flower Boy because they love fried pickles just like me! They gave up eating fried foods, and sweets for lent... but apparently Sunday is a free day? I convinced them to come out and have fried pickles with me a few weeks ago. After lent is over her Flower Boy said that we could go on a fried pickle tour! I'm holding him to that! 

Shellie + Flower Boy / Friend Pickles / The Love + Me

Shellie and Flower Boy suggested we go to Katz. I had never been there. I liked the atmosphere, and our waiter was pretty funny. Oh my goodness their fried pickles were amazing. I almost died when I ordered them, the waiter got excited (I thought to myself these my be some dang good pickles!) and ran into the wall behind him! The batter was perfect, and the ranch was delish. I don't think I have been anywhere where both the batter and ranch were satisfying. 

Do you love fried pickles? Where is your favorite place to get them? Have you made them at home... yummy? Don't be mean, share your recipe with me!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Ybarra Family Day

A couple months ago Mychael and I went into the storage unit that I had rented after Ike, what we were able to salvage from our house only fills half of a med unit. We weren't able to salvage much and with the rush of trying to get as much out of the house as possible while it was (or so we thought) safe I couldn't remember what all we were able to salvage. I saw a purple laundry basket full of albums. I only have photos that date back to high school. When I see people posting up photos from when they were babies or in their toddler years it breaks my heart. I don't have any of those photos... I guess I will always have memories in my heart. I will be posting photos here as I get them scanned in. 

I came across a few photos from my parents 20th anniversary. I threw them an anniversary party, I was so proud of myself. I couldn't have done it without the help of family and friends though. 

My parents after they walked in surprised. I had been working all morning setting up the venue with others and we had my aunt tell my parents she was picking them up, but couldn't tell them where they were going. When my Mom walked in she started crying and both of them were just so shocked that their baby girl had done this. I was so happy to be standing there to see their reaction to all their family and friends gathered to celebrate their 20yrs of marriage. 

My parents were married on 08.31.1984 at the courthouse, so for their 20th anniversary I wanted to give them what they didn't have originally. Surprisingly, I ordered the cake from Wal-Mart for about $118.00, then my cousin and I bought a couple dozen roses and decorated the cake and table ourselves. Everyone thought I paid a private local baker because it was so delicious.

We even had a toast. But, since I was only 20yrs old ... we did it with sparkling grape juice. The whole event was actually alcohol free. Neither of my parents really drink so it was fitting. At the end of the function a city counsel woman came up to greet my parents and declare that 09.13 is Kemah Ybarra Family day and presented them with a Proclamation.

The one thing I have always cherished growing up was that my parents have remained together, through thick and thin. If there is any couple out there that has lived by the vows they took it is my parents. As deeply religious as they are, I still don't understand what God could possibly have planned for them but I do hope that in the end it is something good and well worth the blood, sweat, and tears they have shed. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I adopted a Cougar!!!

A couple weekends ago Mychael and I went to the Houston Zoo for the reveal of the new live mascot for the University of Houston. This is an extremely exciting time for the University of Houston community. The last time we had a live mascot was in 1989. Shasta VI will reside at the Houston Zoo, and at least right now will not attend live events.

I was very impressed at the turnout for the ceremony. We arrived just a tad late and I didn't expect the area to be jammed packed. It was like this behind us as well. I couldn't see any of the speakers, I'm a tad too short but it was great to be there and be a part of our university's history. 

I was bummed when they first announced that our new live mascot is male. Traditionally our mascot has been female. At the ceremony they told us that Shasta VI was rescued after a hunter shot and killed his Mom. Shasta VI was born in September 2011, after his mom was killed the Washington Dept of Fish & Wildlife went on a search for her cubs. There were 3, and Shasta VI was the last to be found and rescued. December 2011, they transported little Shasta VI to the Houston Zoo. Then, March 2012 our University of Houston announced that we would adopt the cougar as our new mascot!! You'll be happy to know that the hunter has been caught and punished!

This little guy is such a ball of energy! He was jumping around playing and with everyone there it was quite hard for us to get a good photo of Shasta VI. I fell in love with the little man. I am a huge cat lover, and I am a huge supporter of our university (former UH Ambassador here) so it was a huge deal for me personally.
I saw this mysterious man with a mysterious item under his arm. I asked to see and it looks like this will be the official mascot photo that will hang in our alumni center. He did not speak a word to us or others who asked to photograph him with the photo. We did see soon after that he was escorted with the president of the university by Zoo officials. He must be someone important!
We were on our way out of the Cougar area when I saw a couple tables, I had to check them out! One was the Houston Zoo adoption program and the Houston Zoo membership sign up table. I had always wanted to adopt an animal at the zoo... This was the time. So, I am a proud Cougar Momma! I didn't sign up for the biggest package as I want to do that as a married couple with Mychael. You get a stone with your name on the Houston Zoo wall for that one. I'm happy to know that I am contributing to the maintenance of the habitat for the two cougars at the Houston Zoo.
The Houston Zoo holds a special place in our hearts because it was one of our very first dates. As two poor college students we tried our hardest to choose dates that didn't cost us too much and the Houston Zoo has always been on of our favorite places. We go annually on or around the 4th of July. So much fun. I definitely recommend it.

Lunch at the zoo is so relaxing!

Mychael asked me since we were at the zoo now if we were skipping out on our traditional date... um, definitely not! We will be back in July! Do you visit your local zoo? What is your favorite part?