12.20.2014

My Work Happy Place

My office environment is a bit different. My co-workers are two very hairy beings that prefer to lie on the floor on either side of me and occasionally lick me to get my attention. My main interruptions are the sounds of the doorbell ringing or when Michael rings in.

I work from home, which sounds great, because, well, it is. I am one of those people that like to get up as early as possible and get things done. But my office technically isn't just at home, it's wherever I am. Because I work in social media and marketing, I need to have the tools on hand to be able to respond quickly.
Luckily, I have the HP Stream tablet with Intel Inside®. It's light weight, easy to use,  I can take it with me everywhere since there is Free 4G data right out of the box. That means if there's no Wi-Fi, it's no problem! This is especially important if I'm outdoors or need to pull up something quickly for a client.

The HP Stream is a new kind of tablet with Intel Inside. I have 1 TB of cloud storage for a year as well as Office 365. That means I can access all of my Word, Outlook, Excel and even Powerpoint documents on my tablet. I've never seen a tablet do that before.
I remember I had an emergency and had to get a presentation to the client quickly. My hands were tied since I was an hour away from home with no laptop. I didn't know what to do. But my problems are solved with this slim tablet I can take everywhere. It's a tablet I can count on since it's the HP stream has the built-in Intel Inside® processor. 
I can take my tablet with me to the mall, the gym, coffee shops, and of course my favorite #WorkFromHappyPlace, the couch. 

With the HP Stream I can take my work and my projects with me. All in a professional looking and easy to use HP device!

This post is sponsored by Hp and Intel but all opinions are my own.

12.19.2014

Treat Yo' Self

Last night Sarah, the boys, and I went out to celebrate her birthday. We did the Deep Ellum Wine Walk. We grabbed $8 mugs and walked through the city to meander from shop to shop filling our mugs along the way.

 There was a camera crew walking around and to get his attention I lied and told him we were famous. Who were we with? "Lookitup.com." I don't know, it was the first thing that came to my mind. Regardless, it was a blast and I can't wait for it to happen again next month.

I wanted to get Sarah something pretty that she could wear on her birthday. Of course, with the holidays and time running short I had to think quickly. That's when I turned to Fragments. It's an online jewelry store with the most beautiful baubles, countless designers to choose from, eclectic pieces, and literally thousands of pretty things to pick.

I knew I could find something Sarah would love. And I was able to find it quickly and easily with the Samsung Galaxy Tablet. One of the prettiest displays I've ever seen on a tablet. I cannot explain to you just how pretty it is. But, of course, I'll try.

The keyboard vibrates slightly as you type (a feature I never knew how much I'd enjoy) and it's so easy to navigate. This is the best way to watch Netflix and shop for jewelry.
It was so hard to narrow it down I ended up getting something for Sarah and a little something for myself. How could I not? Everything is so unique and beautifully crafted. It's Christmas, after all, treat yo' self.
If you need any last minute Christmas gifts I highly recommend checking out Fragments and the Samsung Galaxy Tablet.

****
And as an early Christmas gift to you, I have Stephanie on the blog from Life According to Steph. If you aren't reading her yet, stop everything and do it. She's funny, she's smart, she's my go-to organizational guru (she's blogged about that here), and she's just kick ass in general. We're doing it interview style to get to know Steph a little bit better. I even got her to open up about her husband's favorite post!

1. What's your favorite post you've written and why?

I've been blogging since August 2011. It's hard for me to pick a favorite! Most of my favorites were other people's favorites too and they're on my popular posts page. I really like sharing recipes and talking books on posts too. And of course Thursday Thoughts were I just share random crap most weeks. I think I went overboard on this answer. 

2. You are so organized, what's the best way to stay organized for 2015?
First and foremost, I use a paper planner, it's like my bible. This year I'm trying out a Plum Paper Designs planner for the first time. Secondly, I make goals. I think about what I want to do for the year and when might be the best time to focus on which things. I don't like to start out with a long list of goals or resolutions - I tend to lose sight of them when I do that. Instead, I make seasonal and quarterly goals. A little longer than a month but not long enough for me to forget what I'm supposed to be working towards. Big and small things make the goal lists. 

3. What's your husband's favorite post you've written? Does he read the blog?
I think he reads it most days. I had to ask him his favorite. It's I Didn't Marry My Best Friend. I like that one too, and HuffPost even contacted me about it (watch that here).

4. How do you balance it all: blog, work, social life etc?

I follow this rule: I can do anything, but I can't do everything. I always make sure my priorities are straight. I love blogging but I don't put it before my job or living life. 

5.  If you could travel to any place in the world where would it be? 
Just one place? That's too difficult. Some things on my must see list: Niagara Falls, Paris, Yellowstone National Park, Cuba.

6. What's your favorite Christmas movie?
A Christmas Story and Christmas Vacation.
Check out Steph on Facebook, stalk her on Instagram or Twitter, and follow her on Bloglovin.

12.18.2014

The Best Songs of 2014 (+ Linkup)

Among my favorite things every December are the year-end reviews. Especially when it comes to music. This year I heard lots of great stuff. From big names like Beyonce, to obscure acts like Galantis, music hit some high notes this year.

I've posted my picks for the worst songs of 2014, so this post features my choices for the best. Considering everyone's different musical taste, I tried to stick to popular songs and songs that I just flat-out loved. Like last year, I've kept it to 10, but it was really REALLY hard with all the great choices.

The Best Songs of 2014

10.  ILoveMakonnen ft Drake - "Tuesday"
Tuesday (Feat iLoveMakonnen) by Drake on Grooveshark
Tuesday has never been given so much love, but when you have the club "going up" on this day, it matters. Basically, we learn that if you put Drake on a song, it's going to be popular. But ILoveMakonnen's interesting mix of beats and vocals is what helped push this song into my list. Plus, every time it comes on the radio (which is a lot) I have to turn it up.
Best lyric: "Got the club going up, on a Tuesday. Got your girl in the cut and she choosey."

9. Iggy Azalea ft Charli XCX - "Fancy"

Fancy (feat. Charli XCX) by Iggy Azalea on Grooveshark
We already know she's fancy, but I couldn't help singing the lyrics every time it came on. Iggy's rapping style is fun and a little surprising. I think we all wanted to be fancy just like her.
Best lyric: "First thing first I'm the realest."

8. Galantis - "Runaway U & I"
Runaway (U & I) by Galantis on Grooveshark
Whether or not you like EDM music, you would probably like this song. It's upbeat and exhilarating and reminds me a little bit of Avicii's "Dear Boy" (which is one of my all time favorite songs.) This is probably my favorite song of 2014.
Best lyric: "Think I can fly, think I can gly when I'm with U. My arms are wide, catching fire as the wind blows."

7.   DJ Snake and Lil Jon - "Turn Down For What?"
Turn Down for What by Lil Jon & DJ Snake on Grooveshark
The ultimate question of 2014. How many times can one say turn down for what? A lot, to be honest. Regardless of the repetitiveness this song is a hit and has been played in virtually every bar and club in America about 7,000 times. Can't stop, won't stop. I for-see this song being played into the future when we can't simply can't turn down anymore.
Best lyric: Well considering the song repeats the same few words, I think we all know what the best lyric is. 

6. Calvin Harris - "Summer"
Summer by Calvin Harris on Grooveshark
Every year needs a summer anthem and it was easy to pick since that's the title of the song. It brings elements of feeling lazy on a warm day, and the excitement of a long night.
Best lyric: "We could be together baby, long as skies are blue."

5. Chris Brown - "Loyal"
Loyal by Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne & Tyga on Grooveshark
Which version do you prefer? East Coast or West Coast? Truth be told, I don't even know the difference. But every time this song comes on, I am ready to dance. From the music video antics to the catchy hook, this song is a hit. Let's just hope Chris Brown can keep his cool.
Best lyric: "Just got rich."

4.  Disclosure ft Sam Smith - "Latch"
Latch (Ft Sam Smith) by Disclosure on Grooveshark
Okay, this song came out in 2013 (and I even put it on a playlist back then) but it didn't become popular until 2014. As it should, because it's awesome. The world of electronic music is starting to sink it's teeth into mainstream and I'm all for it.
Best lyric: "I'm so encaptured, got me wrapped up in your touch."

3.  The Chainsmokers - "Selfie"
#Selfie by The Chainsmokers on Grooveshark
Say what you will about this repetitive song but it hit the nail on the head for our instagram obsessed generation. #ButFirst... Everyone and their mom captured their selfies with "but wait lemme take a ..." It's an awesome song and it helped give The Chainsmokers some much deserved attention.
Best lyric:  "Oh no, I think I'm gonna throw up. Wait, nevermind I'm fine. Let's go dance."

2. Beyonce ft. Nicki Minaji "Flawless" Remix
Flawless (Remix) (Feat. Nicki Minaj) by Beyoncé on Grooveshark
It's the song that launched a thousand shirts. Everyone has a "flawless" or a "I woke up like this" exclaiming these lyrics (myself included.) It's a girl power song of sorts and is a good reminder that we look good and should ell ourselves that.
Best lyric: "I woke up looking this good and I wouldn't change it if I could."

1. Taylor Swift - "Shake it Off"
Shake It Off - Taylor Swift by Shake It Off - Taylor Swift - Taylor Swift on Grooveshark
2014 was the year of Swift and she knows it. Taylor had everyone and their mom singing, dancing in their car, and even doing the unthinkable — purchasing an actual album. It's all thanks to this massive hit that I couldn't get out of my head. Say what you will about Taylor, she did everything right in 2014. This is not my favorite song of the year, but it deserves the number one spot since Taylor conquered all.
Best lyric: "It's like I got this music in my mind say it's gonna be alright."

Honorable mentions: Tove Lo (Chainsmokers Remix) "Habits", Alesso "Heroes", Wiz Khalifa "We Dem Boyz", Wacka Flocka and Steve Aoki "Rage The Night Away", Ian Bluestone "Tension", and Porter Robinson "Sea of Voices."
I might need to make a "Best EDM songs of 2014" with so many I'd include!

So link up below and tell me your favorites for the year!
The Best Songs Of 2014

12.17.2014

When Time Stands Still

Yesterday was a whirlwind. In the morning, I was on the radio. Mid-afternoon I filmed a video for a new Dallas skin care line. And by the end of the day I shipped out 50 Wine Not t-shirts. Which is not the normal number I ship out, in case you're wondering.
I planned to have dinner with my family. For the first time since the summer, all six of us would be together again — my mom, dad, sisters, Michael and me. To be honest, I was worried. The day had already been long and stressful, and sometimes family get-togethers can add to that stress. That's the thing about families, they know how to get under your skin. I was weary enough to be undone by even the slightest remark.
But having dinner with my family at Cosmic Cafe (a hole-in-the-wall vegetarian, Indian restaurant) was just what I needed. I laughed to the point of tears. We talked over each other (especially talking over my father). I ate too much naan, we told stories of school and work and life, and we were a family again.

I'm one of those people who gets sentimental around the holidays. I like to hold on to the little moments and store them in my memory. I've always been this way. I have a hard time with getting older and an even harder time with change. So around the holidays time seems to stand still. It's a time to remember the past while being in the present. It's a time when I'm overwhelmed with gratitude for the people in my life. Even if some of them drive me crazy. I feel like a kid again and I still get to act like one this time of year.
Things change, and I have to get over it and get on with it. But for the month of December I'm not aging for even a second.


Don't forget to link up tomorrow for your favorite songs of 2014! And if you need to catch up, here are my picks for the worst songs of 2014. Grab a button and link up tomorrow!
The Best Songs Of 2014
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