Thursday, July 29, 2010

New Orleans Rock

New Orleans is known for a lot of things, Mardi Gras, Bourbon Street, the food, and the music. When I lived in New Orleans I never truly appreciated being so close to such great live shows. Every year there are 2 major music festivals in the city, Jazz Fest and Voodoo Fest, along with hundreds of lives shows and concerts.

Some of my favorite bands have come out of New Orleans, among them is Better Than Ezra.
I have seen them live only once before, at The House of Blues in the French Quarter. Imagine my delight when I found out they were playing in Baltimore! Imagine my further delight when I found out the concert was FREE!

Tamsin and I headed up to Baltimore on Friday night to enjoy the show.

The venue was really neat. It's called power plant live. It's an outdoor stage set up in the middle of a bunch of restaurants and bars. The whole thing is gated off, so it is very safe.

Pics of the band.

They put on a great live show.

We ended up meeting up with Dave and Rachel while we were out there. It was so insanely hot, but worth it. I'd definitely go again. I hope ya'll check out some of their music, it's really amazing.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Independence Day Camping

A few of you know that I went camping over Independence Day. I'm sorry it has taken me so long to post the pictures, but better late than never!
Also a thanks to Jeremy for actually taking the pictures. I conveniently left my camera at home.

This was our tent set up. We booked 3 camp sites so that we could be isolated. It worked out great as we had 4 tents!

Tamsin and I snacking after the successful contruction of our tent.

Sunset thru the overhead trees. These trees were a God send of shade.

Our death hike. 3 miles down the mountain, no big deal. 3 miles back up, I wanted to hit the easy button.

At the bottom of our hike was a swimming hole! The water was freezing!

Isn't this view beautiful?


Our set up. Notice the bear box we put our food in. It was supposed to be enough for 3 sites worth of campers. We used every inch of it, and still had to store some things in our car.

This bunny got very brave and wandered closer and closer into our camp.
We named him Sir Hops-A-Lot.

Bye, Bye camp site!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tina's Favorite Things: Beauty Products

I'm a KISS (keep it simple sweetie) kinda girl. I don't wear a lot (or any) makeup for the most part. In the morning I don't eve blow dry my hair. I just never got into that whole makeup routine. It wasn't until recent years that I even knew HOW to put on makeup. However, I have come across a few products that I now love.

Evian Facial Spray

Have you tried this stuff? It's amazing. It's a light mist of water (with moisturizers) in a tiny spray bottle. It's perfect size to fit in my purse. I got it as part of my bridesmaid gift for a wedding I was in in Dallas. The wedding was outside in June, so I definitely needed this product. It was so hot and this kept me just a few degrees cooler.

Clinique Eyeliner

I've never paid a lot of money (more than $5) for eyeliner. I was so dumb. The eyeliner at Clinique is amazing. It's cream based to it goes on creamy and blends perfectly. I also bought it not in black, but in violet. If there is one thing I have learned, it's that brown people look amazing in purple. I run with that.

Burt's Bees Lip Balm

So I know this is nothing new for most of you out there, but I couldn't not give a shout out to Burt's Bees. This lip balm kicks Chapstick's butt. I'm not really sure what's in it (crack maybe?) but I'm addicted. It's gotten to the point that I don't ask people if they have Chapstick, or lip balm, I ask if they have Burt's.

Monday, July 26, 2010

It's a Texas Thang: The Hand Wave

I know all of my readers know I am a Texas girl at heart. I may live in DC, but I truly miss all things Texas. My "It's a Texas Thang (Thing, for those without the Texas Twang accent)" will focus on something that I truly miss about Texas.

Today: The Hand Wave

I know we have all been in an experience where we are driving and we left someone cut in front of us. In Texas that is always followed by the hand wave. The hand wave comes from the person you just let in. It's a polite way to thank you for letting them in. I know you may get it on occasion in DC and other places, but in Texas we take the hand wave to new levels.

In Texas the hand wave occurs not only when you let someone cut in front of you, but also when you pass someone on the road. It's a friendly "Howdy". Sometimes you don't wave your whole hand, sometimes you just raise a few fingers off the steering wheel, but it's always there.

I miss the hand wave. This morning I let someone cut in front of me while driving to work and they rolled down their window and gave me a hand wave. It was so nice. It not only brightened my morning, but it sparked this post, and a whole new series in my blog. So I'd like to shout out the hand wavers. Thanks for making my day.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Follow Friday: Texas Bloggers

I love following all sorts of blogs. My favorites are obviously crafts blogs. Not too long ago I stumbled across

It's a great blog all about party decor. I think it must be the sorority girl in me, but I love throwing, and decorating for, a nice party. I get all sorts of ideas for her blog, and as it turns out, she's from Texas! Double win!


Not all the blogs I follow are crafts oriented. My friend Annie turned me onto a great blog called

The woman has a few biological children, and a couple of adopted children. Her husband runs a youth center in a not so great neighborhood in Dallas. She is a stay at home mom, and supports her husband and the youth center. On top of all this, they decided to move to the not so great area of Dallas in order to better serve the community. I am from Dallas, and I know a lot of kids who grew up in the neighborhood she lives in. I can't believe all the good she is doing. It's great to see someone giving back to my hometown.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sign the Petition to Restore the Gulf

Sign the Petition to Restore the Gulf

Gulf Coast Restoration

The other day I received this from the president of my alma mater:

To the Loyola University New Orleans community:

Restoring the Gulf Coast after the oil spill will require vast resources. A nationwide movement is underway to help gather those resources, and Loyola University New Orleans supports this effort.

I urge you to watch the video I have linked to below, and sign the petition that accompanies it. The video is produced by Women of the Storm, a New Orleans-based organization founded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Their petition asks the federal government for financial assistance in restoring the Gulf Coast.

Please watch the video and consider signing the petition at

For more on Loyola’s activities regarding the Gulf oil spill, visit our Crude Awakening website.

With prayers and best wishes,
Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D.

I ask that you please take a minute and visit the links and most importantly sign the petition.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tina's Favorite Things: Fashion

I'm am hardly a fashionista, but there are certain items I have found in my travels that I could not live without.

Here are a few of my favorite fashion items:

HUGE Rings.

I have to attribute this newer obsession to my friend Tamsin. She totally turned me onto huge rings. It was completely her thing first, and I'm just a copycat. I can't help it though. I love them.
My favorite place to find big rings in DC is Eastern Market, and my favorite place in NOLA for all kinds of jewelery is Trendz (yes, with a Z, but don't let that turn you off to this place). Both have cheap one of a kind pieces that will add a lot of flair to your wardrobe.
See full size image


Shut up. I know what you're thinking. But I can't help myself I LOVE my bumpit. I bought it originally as sort of a joke. A "Haha, look at me being ridiculous", but it's turned into a love affair. I love adding some volume to my do, and I love taking my bumpit out when I'm with a group of people... especially guys. Men are totally fascinated with the bumpit. It's hilarious.

Hair Volumizing Leave-In Inserts - As Seen on TV, Light Brown

LL Bean Totes

My friend Annie bought me a mini LL Bean boat and tote for Christmas a few years ago. Now I am totally hooked on these tote bags. They have zipper tops, so things wont fall out of them. They have long handle, perfect for slinging over your shoulder, and most importantly (for me), they are indestructible. These things can take a beating. They are meant for boating, so you can leave em in the sun, get them sandy, get them wet, crumple them up, and they will continue to hold strong. They are completely color customizable and come in an array of sizes. I've asked for the x-large for Christmas.
Boat and Tote Bag, Zip-Top

Monday, July 19, 2010

Getting Organized

As many of you know I live in a studio apartment. This living situation definitely has it's pros and cons. The biggest con is that I don't have a lot of storage space. I have one huge walk in closet, and while it may seem like a lot, this is my clothes closet, my linen closet, and my storage closet, all rolled into one. Since I moved in a few months ago I knew that I would eventually have to purchase storage bins. Everything was sort of haphazardly thrown into the closet. There was a semblance of organization, but just a small one. This weekend I made my way out to target and purchased about 10 canvas bins. I also went to Michaels to purchase their oversize shoe boxes. Over 2 days I got it all done.

The end result:

Because I got rid of the bookcase that was in there I managed to squeeze in a small table. I like this much more. It means I'm not holding onto unnecessary stuff. The table will become my makeup table.

I'm super excited about the reorganization. Now I have to tackle the clothes mountain that is in my bathroom...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I Won an Award!

I won the Sugar Doll Award on The Wet Nose!

A big thanks to Lydia at The Wet Nose for my award.
Lydia is a wealth of knowledge for any dog owners out there. She is a true animal enthusiast. She gives great advice, tips, and is extremely knowledgeable in the area of show dogs as she is on her way to purchasing her first show dog puppy! I highly recommend her site to animal owners, enthusiasts, or anyone who enjoys learning!

As part of my award I have to pass along my award to other 10 other bloggers.

Tina's Favorite Things: Kitchenwares

For a really long time, my friend Sarah told me about these awesome pancakes she made. I knew I had to have these pancakes. I finally did during my Memorial Day Beach Weekend in the OBX. Sarah was right, these pancakes were amazing.

Sarah also, for my birthday, bought me a cast iron skillet, so I could make the pancakes myself. I have come to LOVE this skillet, seriously, I have no idea how I lived my life without it.
Cajun Cookware Cast Iron Skillet W/ Handle Round - 10 Inch
The mine looks like this, no lip makes for an easier surface to cook on. Though, I do plan on purchasing one with a lip for easier boiling and broiling.

Also for my birthday my parents bought me every little girls dream... that's right, a kitchenaid standing mixer.

Kitchen Aid KSM150PSWH Artisan Series Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield
Isn't it pretty? I still haven't used it as it's soooo ridiculously hot in DC right now, nothing on earth makes me want to turn on my oven. Originally I was kinda sad that they didn't get me one that was a color, but now I like my white one. White goes with everything...

Finally, when I went home for my cousin's wedding, I managed to snag something from my mother's kitchen. My mom has long had 2 sets of cookware, a stainless steel set, and an enamel cast iron set. It was long ago decided (by the fates) that my little sister was to have the nicer, cast iron set. However, my little sister is in college right now. She has no need for enamel cast iron cookware... I on the other hand...

Yep, I stole her cookware. Well, I didn't really "steal" it, as she allowed me to take it.
Dune Essential Cookware Set (5-pc.) by Le Creuset

This is kind of the same thing I have, just a different color. Now that I have this cookware, I can't believe I ever cooked on pans I bought at Target.

Although I love my new kitchen items, I feel like I've started myself on a downward spiral. Did you know that there are accessories for stand mixers? Things like, meat grinders, and ravioli makers, and ice cream makers, the list goes on and on. And I promise you, not one of those items is "cheap".
I suppose if this is my addiction it is one I could live with. I hope you all feel inspired to head to the kitchen this evening.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Follow Friday: College Friend Edition

Today's follow Friday is a friend of mine from college... Meghan.

Meghan is one of the funniest people I know. She and I are both from Dallas, but didn't know each other until we went to school together in New Orleans. During college we would have hilarious road trips back home together. They included stops at Shoney's (and scarfing down a 3 course meal in about 15 minutes), dangerous driving situations (Meghan remember when we both noticed the drunk driver and 30 seconds later he turned his car the wrong way on the highway?), and copious amounts of Jack in the Box, (exit 108 to Gonzales).

Among Meghan's most notable moments/ shining accomplishments are:

1. Perfecting the art of the white drunk girl dance. You know the one where you grab the front of your hair and you sway back and forth. I often pull this move with my friends in jest (even though I'm not white). I learned everything I know from Meghan.

2. You know the scence in Drop Dead gorgeous that goes:

With one week to go before the pageant, I was finishing up my outfit, rehearsing my talent, brushing up on current events, and running 18 miles a day, on about 400 calories. I was ready.

Meghan quotes that line better than the girl in the movie.

3. Starting her own blog (with a kickass name):


Love, Tina Marie

Thursday, July 8, 2010

From the Capitol: Hot as Texas

That's what it feels like in DC right now. It's hot as Texas here.
I have been trying to think of a few ways to cool off. Here is what I have come up with:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

From the Foodie in Me: No Bake Dinners

Frito Pie:

It is too hot to even pretend like I want to cook. After awhile a girl gets tired of sandwiches. This is when I start getting creative with my microwave. One of my favorite microwave dishes is Frito Pie. I know some of you northerners have no earthly clue what I'm talking about. Well trust me, Frito Pie is a Texas/ Southern delicacy...

You'll need:

1 can of Chili
1 bag of shredded cheddar cheese
1 large bag of fritos

First put chili in a microwave safe bowl and microwave COVERED for 3 minutes.
The goal is to warm the chili up.
Next in a casserole dish put down a layer of fritos, enough to cover the bottom of the dish
Then put down a layer of the warmed chili
Then put down a layer of cheese
Repeat until you have 2-3 layers of each item
next put back in the microwave for 1 minutes, just enough to melt the cheese on the top layer...

Serve as you would a casserole dish, and enjoy!
You can top your frito pie with green or white diced onions, sour cream, or whatever else your heart desires!

A one layer frito pie.

Love, Tina Marie

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Independence Day is My Favorite Holiday

It really really is. It beats out Christmas, and Thanksgiving... even Kwanza... ;)

As a child I have fond memories of spending July 4th Weekend at the lake. We would boat, and grill out, and in true Texas fashion, when night came, we would blow things up... a lot of things.

fireworks over the Dallas skyline

I'm not really sure what the laws are in Texas, but we sure liked our firecrackers. There are no gifts exchanged on this day, just the acknowledgement that we live in a great country. That is something I have always loved.

These past couple of years I have spent in DC have been fun. The first year here was the best. I had to work on July 4th, but watched the fireworks from an air conditioned room in the Sheraton hotel. We had a perfect view of the monuments. Though I have had better views since then, it was the best because it was the first. I felt such a sense of pride and joy that day.

fireworks over the monuments

This year I'm going old school. I have a camping trip planned for this weekend. I'm really excited for it. Even though we wont be popping fireworks (against the law in the park) we will be spending the weekend outside with friends. I really can't wait to share pictures of the park with you all. Stay tuned in next week!

Love, Tina Marie