just 10 things

  1. WOODSON, TEXAS: I’m from this town of 296, where my dad is the superintendent of the one school, which my brother and I started going to in kindergarten; we both graduated from WHS – and I only had seven people in my class. My mom was my sixth grade teacher and still teaches there – and I teach there now, too. No, we didn’t ride horses to school (I don’t even own a pair of boots.), but yes, I love this safe and comfortable home.
  2. WRITING: I remember asking my parents to buy me a tablet to write stories in when I was so young that some of my peers couldn’t even write complete sentences yet. English was always my favorite class in school, and I created my school’s newspaper and started contributing to my county’s weekly paper. I went on to major in journalism and write for publications like Austin Home, New York Resident and Us Weekly and cover events such as SXSW and New York Fashion Week. See where I’m currently writing via my online portfolio!
  3. AUSTIN, TEXAS: I attended the University of Texas at Austin and can still hardly believe I graduated from such an esteemed school. Though I’m away from ATX right now, I’ll be back, because I love it all: Alamo Drafthouse, Cathedral of Junk, Spiderhouse, Greenbelt, The Domain, Kerby Lane, Toy Joy, SoCo, the Veloway – See a complete list of my faves here😉
  4. MOVIES: I’ve always said my favorites are “A Walk to Remember the Titans”, combining two that I love. My family and I loveee going to the theater (mainly for popcorn and previews, amiright?), and if a movie can freak me out (in a scary or mind-blowing way (like “Predestination”…WaTcH!), I love it even more.
  5. FASHION: I always joked that when I die, I want to be cremated and spread around a mall, because I can’t get enough of new trends, window displays, glossy magazines, fashion blogs, “Project Runway”, fashion boards on Pinterest and buying new accessories/outfits!
  6. TRAVEL: I am used to making 28-hour drives to different states and have visited over half of them – and maybe a third of the baseball parks in the U.S. The only places I’ve visited internationally are Cologne, Germany, and Playa del Carmen, Mexico (loved both…can’t wait to see morrre).
  7. CATS: I’ve probably owned about 75 cats, but right now, my husband and I are happily raising Catalina Crookshanks. I’ve also adopted a polar bear, and penguins = mine and Tommy’s spirit animals. Fourth fave animal = unicorn;)
  8. GLITTER: Everything is better with glitter (just look at this blog title and/or ask Ke$ha;)
  9. LOVE: I really really really do try to show love to all – why wouldn’t you? We’re all stuck on this rock together, so be nice/spread peace! Thankfully, it’s super easy to love my loved, because gawww, they’re amazing…like tooooo good to me.
  10. LIFE: Speaking of being on this rock together, remember that it’s all about balance and perspective and blooming where you’re planted and being the best you can be and breathing and finding your passion/sharing it with others and being you and laughing until you cry!
    • Balance: You will have amazing moments of triumph and happiness, as well as horrible moments of stress and sadness. Through it all, you can eat chocolate when you’re sad and happy and dream about the future while still making the most of the present. Everything in moderation, with your head on straight.
    • Perspective: When those sad moments occur, try try try to find the silver lining. Know that everyone deals with loss. And when you’re overjoyed, know that there’s a time for everything, and even good things must come to an end. ALSO, I say these mantras over and over, but I just decided to change this one to “bird’s-eye view”, so that they all start with “B”!
    • Bloom Where You’re Planted: How many times have I blogged about this? My high school English teacher drilled this into my brain, and now, I have it hung in my house and sneak it into my English lessons. You are where you are. Will you always be there? Probably not – since we’re always in a state of motion, with moves and career changes and marriage and etc. So wherever you are and wherever you end up, do your best in that very place.
      • ALSO, I’ve written a good deal about this state of motion: I used to say that life was all about waiting – We wait in lines and drive-thrus. We wait for our alarms to go off, our coffee to brew…for work to start and then be over…then wait until it’s time for dinner, bed and it all to start again.
      • Recently, however, I’ve been thinking that it’s all about change, too; my bff and I feel like we’re always…well…waiting for the next big thing! As we wait and move forward, we encounter these big life events, such as graduating college, finding a full-time gig, getting married, buying a house and having kids. I guess it isss exciting that there’s always something to look forward to…It just seems like the in-between (the “upside-down” I – and other “Stranger Things” fans – may call it) time is just…there – and this time of limbo just flies by!
      • So enjoy those little moments that do make you laugh until you cry, which can be filled with things as simple as going for a walk, stretching as you get out of bed, cuddling with your cat and this.
    • Be The  Best You Can Be: The Woodson ISD motto is a good one, and it’s simple (So why do we complicate things?): Be the best human you can be. Do your very best at every single thing you do. Period. Yay.

P.S. – Happy six-year dating anniversary to my husband, Thomas Wayne Baze. ❤

The Upside Down

I feel like recently and regularly, my blog posts are combinations of all my recent thoughts/Instagram posts; I’m a very introspective person, and when I don’t have money for a therapist or time for yoga, I get my feelings out through inspirational social media images…and then recap all of that here.

My initial reaction for starting this particular post would be to lead with this: It’s been a weird year, to say the least.

…but – on the other hand – I could ask, “Has it?”

I mean…what makes something “weird”, especially a time in life? Sure, moving and starting a new career and and getting married and all that jazz have been out of the ordinary, compared to my past few years, but moving in general and teaching students period…Not so strange. These things happen every single day.

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So, this leads me to think that it’s just me; I’m weird for thinking it’s weird (getting a little meta, I know). I’m probably overthinking and overreacting and should just go with the flow.

BUT…

(bear with me)

What even isss going with the flow? We’re all here, to live life, on this rock, and we get to choose how/where/with whom we spend that time. And I like to think I soak it all in as much as possible…but I’d also love to say I’m a carefree person…yet I schedule and freak out and plan out possible and impossible scenarios – just in case.

I feel like I should segue now into what my high school English teacher used to tell me: Whatever you’re going through is real, for you, right now. Freaking out about a high school boyfriend or a new job or a bad day may seem selfish, since there are actual problems in the world…but those bigger, worse problems don’t necessarily affect us daily…while at-home, real-life situations do…which is why freaking out makes sense (to an extent).

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Ugh, okay, done – How exhausting!

Let’s move on………

Here are current things I’m stressing/worrying about and why I should/shouldn’t (feel free to offer up any advice at any point;)…

#1: I’m tired.

#2: I don’t get to write enough.

#3: This is reminding me of a previous/similar blog, where I had to remind people that I’m not just being a whiny baby.

#4: I’m not the best teacher in the world.

#5: I’m not the best wife in the world.

#6: I’m a teacher and a wife (wutttt).

#7: I care far too much about what others think of me.

#8: I constantly struggle with kismet, and if I should just make bigger decisions and move again, because I’m not sure if I should live here or in Austin or in New York or beyond.

#9: When I’m not sure what to do with my time, I automatically think, “It’s time for a new IG post/blog!” … though only, like, four people will read this … though, that’s okay, since it makes ME feel better … ???

#10: I think I care too much about “ME” (yet I struggle with self-love…but we all do, to a certain point…Right?!).

I think, inside of us all, there’s a hippie, a free spirit who would love to get carried away by the wind and the music in his/her head and just live life – traveling and exploring and reading and looking at the stars and learning new things.

In reality, though, there are bills and responsibilities. We get tied down by commitments and relationships and fear – which is good and bad.

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It seems like many of my posts trail in to the whole “life is short, so live it well” thing…and it’s true…but I’m too tired to write on that. I’m too confused to discuss the make money vs. be happy debate. And I’m too inexperienced to blab on about why we’re here and what we should be doing.

All I know is this: I’m in control of my life. I make my own decisions. If the majority of me wants to work hard at a job that helps to pay the bills and helps to feed my online shopping obsession, then that’s what I’ll do. If part of me needs to escape now and then, and just talk with friends around a fire or roadtrip to the beach or hide in a fort with my best friend, then I’ll do that, too.

I’m one person, trying her best to be happy and to make others happy. Sure, I fail, and at times, I upset people and get super stressed and get into fights and freak out. But then I breathe, refocus, get up, dust myself off, and keep on trucking…because I have/need/want to do so.

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So I write to remind myself to be the best I can be: the best wife and teacher and friend and daughter and work-outer and sister and employee and customer and blogger and human…because…why not?

P.S. – Have you watched “Stranger Things” yet? You should! I stole my title from there, since “the upside down” is this alternate reality…kind of like the one in my head; when I get into those funks of “what is life” and “am I doing enough” and “stop being so whiny…but care a little more, too”, I’ve decided to refer to that as The Upside Down – a place where I may think too much but where I always come out better and more driven…so visit it, if you dare or if only to realize that you should love you!

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Austin Bucket List (&then some;)

This started as a checklist for my Austin Bucket List, but then I kept remembering other awesome stuff I’ve done elsewhere! Therefore, I’ve broken down my life, giving you the adventurous highlights AND all the cool stuff I’ve done in the 512…

1990-1999:
First steps, words, day of school and lost teeth (and busted out teeth and fake teeth, due to a spill on the gym floor, since, even at a young age, you couldn’t keep me away from a basketball!)
Nearish-death #1 (man tried to break in and kidnap me as a child)
Austin:
First trip to ATX
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2000-2005:
First junior high basketball game (in which our team received a technical for having six girls on the court)
Went to NYC
Broke the Red Sox Curse (by visiting Fenway for the first time)
Disney World + Orlando trip
2006-2007:
First kiss/boyfriend
Went to Germany (where I met my current bf!)
2008:
Nearish-death #2 (caught in a Gulf riptide and thrown into rocks multiple times)
2009:
Got first car (Bevo Squarepants)
Graduated from high school
Austin:
Got first tattoo
First college parties, classes and dorm
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2010-2014:
Went to Hawaii
First couple roadtrip
Covered NYFW
Graduated college
Spent Christmas in New York City
Austin:
Knocked the following off my ATX Bucket List: Alamo Drafthouse, Violet Crowne, fly a kite at Zilker Park, Trail of Lights, shop/eat on SoCo, Peter Pan Mini Golf and hike/bike/kayak/Sup on/at Mt. Bonnell/Lady Bird Lake/Veloway
2015:
Started my own business
Nearish-deaths #3 and #4 (stalked in NYC; had to talk to cops about someone trying to break into my car…while I was in it)
First friend engaged (Congrats, Kirstie & Jordan!)
Austin:
Did SXSW (I’d been involved before, but having a platinum badge from Us Weekly, interviewing celebs like Ryan Gosling, going to panels and parties…This year was different;)
My parting words? The things remaining on my to-do list!

In Austin:

Hippie Hollow
Pinballz
Hamilton Pool
Jacob’s Well
Esther’s Follies
Capital Comedy Club
In Life:
See all of Europe
See the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls and Mount Rushmore
Have my dream wedding
Reproduce
Publish a book
What’s on your to-do list??

Seven Little & Light Life Lessons

If you’re looking for tips on how to find The One, career advice or details on the latest diet craze, you’re out of luck, because these little life hacks are fluffier things I have come to realize.

  1. Be adventurous: I’ve never had caviar or done stand-up paddle boarding, so I’m going to do those things in the upcoming months, because I can and should! What are some adventures on your bucket list?
  2. You should move regularly: Yes, I transfer to new apartments frequently, because I get bored, but what I really mean here is that physical activity is one of the most important things. I never realized how valuable a built-in athletic period was in my life, and now, it can be a struggle, but even if you’re just stretching two or three times a week (but I’d prefer you do more;), your body will thank you.
  3. Know your passions: We have one short life, and we should fill it with people, careers and hobbies that please us. So indulge in that one Netflix show, go back to school to fulfill your dream and get all wrapped up in things that make you happy AND can pay the bills.
  4. Know your weaknesses: First off, you should know this just so you’ll be prepared in interviews, but more importantly, it’s good to keep personal perspective, to know what makes you human, where to ask for help and how to build yourself up.
  5. Have patience: All of life is waiting – in line for groceries, for your alarm to go off, to find an SO, for your favorite month/holiday/day of the week – so learn to deal with all of this, as well as the rest of the odd/not-always-perf curveballs of life.
  6. Love yourself: You’re going to have a bad time if you’re always upset at/disgusted with why-oh-you. Sure, you may wish your bottom teeth were straighter or that you had a Kardashian booty or that your could paint like Picasso, but you’re you, and that.is.awesome.
  7. Cherish your loved ones: If you are having trouble with any of the above, at least you have at least one person who gets you and cheers you up…so tell me about those lovely people, because I love to brag about mine!
This covers numbers one and seven, and we can talk about these lovely people, too;)

This covers numbers one and seven, and we can talk about these lovely people, too;)

dream a lil dream

when you fall asleep – “slowly, then all at once” – and when your mind wanders, pondering beaches, beauties and beer, you are DrEaMiN…and these are mine!

polar bears – i will adopt a boy and girl, turn part of my backyard into a freezer and repopulate the earth

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RIP Knut

travel – i’ve been blessed to see tons of our nation with my family, and i can’t wait to save enough to backpack through europe, adventure down under and even glamp under the marfa lights

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ut – this was the only place i applied, and i’ll always remember getting accepted on that chilly friday in october 2008 (2008…wow!)

nyc – i thought i wanted to live there but got to intern there instead, and what a dream come true

celebs – these creatures fascinate me, and i’m still working to build up my list of 116 sightings/convos

model – “you’re tall – you must model!” … someday

love – every little girl plans out her love life, and i love living mine

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write – maybe i was born to do just this, whether it be in nyc (covering all those celebs) or just jotting down craziness on here

bevo – my dream car became mine in the most spectacular way – yay

True Love & Its Crazy Rules

I know several of my posts are about Real Housewives, but this one is actually deeper. One of my favorite Bravo women – Carole Radziwill – just wrote a new book, The Widow’s Guide to Sex & Dating. Not only is she a coveted RH of NYC, but she’s also a journalist who was married to a Kennedy (see why I love her?). 

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In honor of her new book, she’s having fans write on some of her dating rules, and this week’s is “don’t sleep with him until he thinks he’s in love with you.”

I know I’m young and may not have that many juicy love stories or deep insight into fate and kismet, but here are my thoughts on this rule…

There’s no logic to these things. You meet someone and you fall in love, and that’s that. This Woody Allen quote sums up the tip-of-the-iceberg when it comes to love. Whether we’re eight, eighteen or fifty eight-years-old, we see The One, fall head over heels and can’t help it all.

My first word was the name of a cute boy my dad coached, and from then on, I remember crushing on boys on the playground and beyond. My “real” moment of this, though, happened on a plane ride to Cologne, Germany, where I set my eyes upon Tommy Baze. I switched seats to be by him the entire ride, bonded over music and small towns, ended up at the University of Texas with him…and the rest is history!

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The course of true love never did run smooth. Then, however, bumps and trials come. Our romantic drama may not be as extreme as some of the scenes from Shakespeare, but we lose a little bit of the luster and must decide if this is, indeed, true love.

I was only 16 when I met Tommy, and the first years of college can be confusing, wild and life-changing, so we definitely hit some snags.

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So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s gonna be really hard. We’re gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, you and me, every dayWe’ve all been swept away by Ryan Gosling quoting this, and if/when you reach this point in a relationship, you know it’s real and that you can work through tough times and choose each other forever.

After many tears and thoughts and even joining dating sites to get over each other, we eventually became “official,” choosing to be together, for reals and for good.

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I was made and meant to look for you and wait for you and become yours forever. And then we feel complete, knowing that this is why we exist, to live and love, just as Robert Browning spoke about long ago.

Now, we’re a few years into our relationship, and I know we’ll face even more challenges and crossroads, but we only have this one short life, and I’m thrilled to be spending mine with a cutie I met on a Lufthansa flight.

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So when it comes to not sleeping with (or being with or kissing) a guy until he’s in love with you…I say go with your gut! Because as my first point mentions, we seriously cannot help it when we fall for someone, and no matter how great everything seems, we are going to have to have lessons learned. So get out there, and while being smart and safe, test the waters, go on adventures and see if/how you can meet your Prince Charming (or Noah Calhoun;).

As always, thanks for reading, and be sure to keep us with all the news surrounding #WidowsGuide.

 

 

wondrous wednesday: what is love

 Love. How many times has that word been typed, doodled and spoken cheesily on the big screen? It’s always out there, floating around, doing its thing, yet…does anyone get it? Like, truly grasp what this little word is all about?

I’ve been in a serious relationship for exactly two years today. It feels like longer, since I’ve known Tommy (and been crazy about him) since I was 16. Other times, though, I’m like, “22 is so young. I’m practically still a baby! Yikeslifeisscary!”

This post isn’t about my relationship’s ups and downs (I’ll just say…We’ve had plenty.). It’s instead about, well, love. I want to explore it with you, friend! It means something different for everyone, yes, but I hope you hold onto something here and that you realize all the love in your life and stay extremely thankful for it.

My roommate loves Whole Foods. She loves it. I think she sleeps there some nights. She also loves studying journalism, playing tennis, chit-chatting on the phone with her mom and making her own granola bars. What she doesn’t always love is the fact that she’s single. And she’s probably going to kill me if she sees this, but I’m here to celebrate this fact! I barely even remember what it was like to be single (so I can’t imagine how I’ll feel after, like, 50 years of marriage…but I wouldn’t change a thing), but I’m pretty sure it was fun, right? Sure, there were lonely nights and times you just wanted your head to rest on a muscular shoulder while watching The Notebook, but mostly, you felt free and independent and strong and sexy and young and wild.

Takeaway #1: Look at Samantha Jones…Single is supaaa sexy, sucka.

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Having three older brothers, my dad was apparently “stuck” with the Red Sox as a child. His interest started at an early age, and – of course – the bittersweet suckage pulled him in, and now our homes are donned with Boston lamps and coasters and swimsuits and clocks. I don’t know if you know much about the BoSox, but their journey is never smooth. We give them all our love and devotion during baseball season, and we usually end up disappointed, but us Chowdaheadz stay strong and spirited!

Point Dos: Love isn’t always easy (or a two-way street or fun or happy…), but commitment is usually worth it!

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(Reader’s Warning: More than likely, all these words are loose and flexible and based merely on my little life, ha.)

One of my good friends has also been in a serious relationship for a while, but when she sees her ex…She’s completely in love with her current boo, but I guess she just can’t let go of the fact that this other guy was her first kiss, the first guy she took home, etc. Sure, will always have some sort of feelings for exes, but it’s kind of unhealthy to dwell too much, especially if you both have really moved on and are with new people. I’m beyond sentimental, though, so I get it; I still every gift/card any guy has ever given me ever, but it’s all about balance. As long as you’re just looking back at the past and smiling that it was so great…instead of smiling at your ex every chance you get to try to win him back…you’re probably good!

Third Thing: Cherish what you’ve had, live in what you have and look forward to what’s yet to come.

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wondrous wednesday is here to inspire