Monday, December 17, 2012

Everything is Bigger in Texas: Another 30 B4 30 Goal!

Number 13: Go to a game at Cowboys Stadium.

While I was on my life sabbatical and living in Texas for a few months I realized I could totally cross this one off my list. You know the saying that everything is bigger in Texas? Jerry Jones took that one to heart.

I went with my entire family. We went to a preseason game, so the weather was beautiful. Cowboys Stadium and The Ballpark in Arlington (where the Texas Rangers play) share parking lots. A baseball game just happened to be playing the same night so we parked in the Rangers parking lots cause they were cheaper. The walk was maybe half a mile to the stadium.

This thing is huge. (TWSS)

This is right outside the front doors. More TVs.

Fireworks and the infamous screens.

"Smaller" side screens.

The standing room is kind of amazing. Walking around the stadium you almost don't need seats as there are so many awesome places to stand (and set your drink down) while you cheer. We had seats but only stayed in them for about half the game.

All in all I would DEFINITELY go back and watch another game, but I don't know that I would want to watch a regular season game there. There is so much to be distracted by (look! shiny object!) that I think I would lose track of what's happening on the field. I think I'll stick to Clarendon Grill for my regular season football watching.


Tina Marie

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Go Home Panda. You're drunk.

I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving. I totally know I did.

My day started off with meeting my good friend Jena for lunch at Honey Pig.
What is Honey Pig? I am glad you asked. It is the most amazing Korean BBQ place in Annandale, VA.
It's sort of like Hibachi, in that your food is cooked right in front of you/ at your table. It differs from Hibachi because you don't get a show. You order your meat and they waitress comes to toss it on the wok. She will occasionally pass by to stir or cut the meat, but really, it is all on you. Jena and I always order the thinly sliced spicy pork belly. AKA the Korean equivalent to bacon. Lots of spicy, spicy bacon. We totally demolished it.

Also to be noted, this place is open 24 hours. 

After Honey Pig we wanted/needed to walk off all the food, so we headed to the National Zoo. The Zoo is part of the Smithsonian, so it's free! (Parking, however, is not!) It was too cold for most of the animals, so we went through a lot of "houses" (The Reptile House, The Bird House, etc). It was a fun way to spend the afternoon. The National Zoo is more sprawling than I thought it would be, which was interesting considering I had run my first 5K that very morning before lunch! By the end of the day I was pooped! 
All in all I had a great time, and this is by far the best picture of a panda I have ever seen:

"Go home panda! You're drunk." -Jena


Tina Marie

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I did it!

1. I am taking a page out of Annie's book, and pretending like I never took a months long hiatus from blogging. I am diving back in.

2. I FINALLY did my 5k!

What it all comes down to is that after I moved to Virginia I was ridiculously lax about my running schedule. I am working at night, and have been using that as an excuse not to exercise. About a month ago a bunch of my friends signed up for The Turkey Trot in Arlington. I waited too long to sign up (they sold out) but ran it anyways sans number. My unofficial (stop watch) time is 41 minutes. It's nothing to brag about time wise, but considering I just decided to run 3 miles after taking weeks and weeks off, I was pretty proud of myself.

These are the fabulous ladies I ran the race with. We all broke apart once the race started, but we all hung out together at the finish line!

I am so lucky and thankful to have such awesome friends. I am also really happy that I finally crossed this off my 30B430 list!

Finally, because she has always been an inspiration to me, this one is for Theodora!

A race isn't officially over until you take a picture holding a banana! 


Tina Marie

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Running Like the Wind

Okay, so maybe I'm not exactly running like the wind, but I AM running. Even though I let one of my 30b430 goals get away from me doesn't mean I will let all of the slide away. I keep trying to schedule a time to accomplish number six:

Run a 5k, no walking allowed.

I'm so close to this goal. I started the Couch to 5K program 6 weeks ago. It's an eight week program, and by the end of it I'm supposed to be able to run a 5K. I have to say... It is working! It's a great training program, it really built me up from nothing. When I started I couldn't even run 30 seconds without needing to stop and walk. I'm now up to 10 minute runs! I know it might not sound like a lot, but for me it is a HUGE accomplishment. Also, I don't just run 10 minutes, I just get a break and get to walk after 10 minutes. Usually the break is about 3 minutes long, and then I run for another 10 minutes. I really think that I'll be able to accomplish my goal in just a few more weeks. The biggest problem is going to be finding a 5K to run in. I had plans to run in a 5K in NOLA, but now I'm not sure that will happen, as I am moving. The goal is to find a 5K in East Texas. They are plentiful in Dallas, which is a good hour drive from my parent's house. I may have to suck it up and drive it. We will see. In the meantime I'm just really excited to reach my goal. I even think I want to continue with the running and train for a 10K next!

Tina Marie

Monday, July 9, 2012

Kids, You Tried and You Failed. The Lesson is: Never Try.

I love that Simpson's quote. Seriously.

I know about a million days have passed since I last blogged. I totally failed at my 30b430 goal of blogging twice a week. Cest' la vie.
Not that it's a reason, but my main excuse is that my laptop was stolen. Yep, sucks. I still haven't replaced it either. Thank God for the Loyola Library and my student ID still working.
So much has happened since my last entry. The biggest announcement is...


Crazy, I know. Trust me I didn't arrive at this decision lightly. I really wanted things to work out in New Orleans. I was excited to settle down, and start a new life here, but alas, things don't always turn out as you plan. People are asking why I'm moving bacj, there are a few reasons, these two are the biggest:

1. I was disillusioned. My memories of New Orleans are all from college. I of course knew that things would be different, but all I could think about were the festivals, parades, warm weather, tubing and all the other things that made me love this city so much. In reality all of those things are just as amazing as I remembered, but what I didn't remember was the crime, the dirtiness, the inability to walk from my car to my front door without looking over my shoulder, the lack of education, the commuting. Some of these may seem trivial, but after living in one of the nicest zip codes in America for the past six years, it was really hard to come back to this. I consider myself a pretty tough person. I grew up without a lot of money, and I'm no stranger to the struggles of the middle class, but living in New Orleans is beyond that. The bad neighborhoods are everywhere, crime is everywhere. You see people littering on a daily basis. You see people just not caring about their environment. It's all really hard to witness. The Texan in me is viciously proud, so when I see people not taking care of my neighborhood it makes me angry. When I see kids wandering the streets in the middle of the day, instead of at school, it makes me angry. When I have to drive everyplace I go, because I'm too scared to walk alone at night, it makes me angry. All of this really shattered the rainbows and puppies illusion of New Orleans that I had built up.

2. Friends. The other reason I'm moving back to Virginia is because I miss my family there. Not my biological family, but the friends I made into family. New Orleans people are some of the greatest people on earth, but as an "outsider" it's hard to make friends here. Everyone who lives here is from here, and they have all had the same friends for life. I'm not exaggerating in the slightest. When people here ask where you went to school, they don't mean college, they mean high school. High school pride is huge here, it's how everyone is connected. As someone from Texas, by way of Virginia, it seemed impossible to meet people my own age. I'm sure it can be done, but I was just not having any luck. I had a few sorority friends here, and I want to give them all the credit in the world, they are the reason I made it 7 months. Alas, I am a social butterfly, and I just needed more interaction. I know that I can get that in DC.

So, I tried New Orleans, and I failed New Orleans. It's not like I'll never be back. I still love the city and her people. I just know now that Virginia is my home.

Love, Tina Marie

PS- It would be wrong not to mention the social media campaign for my return to Virginia.
A fake twitter was made:
Hats/ Logos were made:
A Petition was sent out:
And a facebook page was made:

Thanks ya'll, you really make a girl feel loved.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Little Known Facts

Now that I have moved I am even more aware of finances and how much things cost. I'm a big penny pincher, but I also love going out to eat and  looooove sitting in coffee shops to work. I have learned a few tricks in my time to pinch those pennies even farther, and now I am here to share them with you.

The Starbucks Refill

Did your mind just get blown? You can refill your beverage at Starbucks for either fifty four cents, or for free.
Here is how. As much as you love the grande frappucino with extra whip and a shot of expresso, it isn't the cheapest thing on the menu, it's also a "specialty drink". Instead opt for a Grande coffee with a shot of caramel, or my summer favorite the passion fruit shaken iced tea lemonade. All the non specialty beverages are refillable for just fifty four cents (tax included, so it may very by a few cents in your state). BUT there is more if you have a starbucks rewards card the refill is FREE. A rewards card is free, it's basically a starbucks giftcard. If you find yourself a Starbucks patron more than once a month it would behoove you to pay with a giftcard/rewards card. Your purchase is 5% off and you get free refills. Also, if you don't go to starbucks don't hesitate to ask your local coffeehouse about their refill policy. I know that CC's offers one free refill as well.

Free Auto Zone Reading

Did a light just go off on the dashboard of your car? You have no idea what's wrong? The first step you should take is driving yoru car over to AutoZone for a free on board diagnostic reading. Basically a customer service associate will ome out to your car and hook up the device. Within a minute or two you will have a free diagnostic reading on your car. Your problem might be as simple as a bulb replacement. you definitely don't want to pay a mechanic $100 an hour to tell you the same thing. Also, if your battery is drained AutoZone will recharge it for FREE. They also have a tool loan program. If you put down a deposit you can check out a tool for a day. Just bring it back and get your deposit back. It's totally worth it to sign up for their rewards program. If you know how to change your own oil they run a special for all the oil you need and a filter for $10! That's way better than $30-$40 at Jiffy Lube. If you find that you still need to go to a mechanic do a little research and find one that offers free estimates. After you get your estimate don't be afraid to call around a bit to get the best price. A little research will save you a lot of money in the long run.

E Book Loan Program/ Free Books

If you are like me and love to read you may own a kindle or a nook. Did you know you can check out library books with your E Reader as long as you have a library card? Instead of shelling out $10 or more for a book, you can check them out and return them without every leaving the comfort of your home. Also, Google has a free book downloading program with Google Play. It's mostly classic books, but sometimes classics make for the best read.

That's all the tips for now, but if you have more feel free to post below!

Love, Tina Marie

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Things I Am Looking Forward To/ Tina's Favorite Things

*** April 9th Post***

So After my last kind of downer of a post I figured I should brighten everyone's day with things I'm looking forward to/ Tina's favorite things list.

Casey's Bachelorette Weekend/ California in August! 

This is our beach retreat in Atlantic City. Fabulous times were had. 

I love hanging out with my sorority sisters. Even when we haven't seen each other in months and years we always manage to pick back up where we left off. It's amazing to have sisters all across the world (Hey Tamsin, you make Epsilon Mu and international thing!)

Pairing/ Favorite thing for this trip: 
My giant straw hat. 

If you don't have a giant straw hat you have no idea what you are missing out on. It's fashionable, you can tie a variety of ribbons around the base to fit any color scheme. It's beige so it doesn't show dirt, and it's travels amazingly well... or at least mine does. I take it along any time I plan to be out and about outside. Love it. 

Second thing I'm looking forward to: 

DC Trip/ Memorial Day in the OBX!

This is one of my favorite pictures of all time (OBX 2009)

Every Memorial Day my DC friends and I would leave the city for Memorial Day and take refuge in a huge house in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I love the beaches there, and it always made for a nice extra long weekend get away with friends. Even though I live in NOLA now I have decided to keep the OBX tradition alive (I'm the planner). This year not only will it be an awesome weekend at the beach, but it will be an awesome weekend with my friends who I haven't seen in SIX MONTHS! So excited! 

Awesome Pairing/ Thing I love: 

My lodge cast iron skillet. 
I know that this may seem like an odd pairing for a beach trip, but trust me, they go together. My friend Sarah makes the most amazing pancakes in the world. She makes them for the whole group at the beach. She bakes them on cast iron skillets in the oven. Maybe some day I'll get her to guest post and share the recipe with ya'll... Sarah? 
Till then, know that this is a great skillet for a great price, and I highly recommend. 

Final thing I'm looking forward to: 

My own place to live! 

I've been sharing a house, but I've decided to get a place all my own. I'm super excited about this. 

Thing I love/ Awesome Pairing: 

Pinterest! I've been able to keep track of a lot of my awesome decorating ideas on my pinterest boards. 
You can follow me too!

So now it's time to go on pinterest and waste 3-4 hours. :)


Tina Marie

It's Not All Sunshine and Lollipops

As all of you know I recently moved to New Orleans.
I have had a great time here so far, and I think I've done a good job chronicling it.

From Mardi Gras...

To the Indians...

To oyster shucking...

Most of my experiences here have been good ones, but not all have been. 
I was inspired by my friend Kennedy to write about my living in New Orleans, and the transition I went/ am going through. It isn't all good. A lot of it is very stressful. The whole moving thing in general is stressful, and throw 1500 miles in there, and you become a big old ball of stress. Not to mention that I didn't have a place to live when I moved here. I was lucky enough to have good friends who put up with me for 7 weeks before I moved out. However, I'm the kind of person who HATES to inconvenience people. It was really hard to know that I was putting them out for that time. On top of these obvious stress inducers there were also the little things that I had to adjust to. The traffic/ commute time. In Virginia it took me 15 minutes to get anywhere I wanted to go. I rarely went into DC unless it was for work, and even then I either took the metro in, or timed it so I wasn't driving in traffic. My good friend Tamsin lived "far" and it took me 20 minutes to get to her house (which was still less that 10 miles away from my house). In NOLA a 20 minute commute anywhere is standard. Going along with the car troubles, is the fact that no one in NOLA walks. Sure, there are tons of runners, but people here run for exercise. In DC I walked as a way of commuting. Everything I wanted was a 1.5mile or less walk away; the move theater, the metro station, bars, restaurants, grocery stores, friend's houses, etc etc. It's weird to be so reliant on my car, and also a little scary knowing that should anything happen to my car I wouldn't be able to do anything until I got a new one. 
Another thing that was hard was changing food that I ate. I always thought I would LOVE moving back south and getting my fill of fried foods. What I didn't realize it that while living in DC/VA I changed my eating habits. I tried many more foods (yay Korean BBQ and Mongolian!) which I can't get in NOLA. Also, I ate a lot more fruits and vegetables, and fried foods became more of a treat than a staple in my diet. The first month I lived here everything tasted like it was over salted. 

I don't want ya'll to think I'm unhappy after this post. I'm still just working out the kinks of living here and changing everything about my life. I just want to be real, and maybe a source for anyone else looking to move. 


Tina Marie

Stay Tuned In...

This weekend I learned that all my recent blog posts haven't been published.
This totally sucks. I have been pre-writing my posts, but apparently they have been dissappearing.
I also learned that most of you need a facebook shout out when I write a new post, otherwise you won't read it.

So, stay tuned in the next day or two as I attempt to recover my posts and publish them.

Until then, here is a picture of my day:

PJ's Coffee on Maple.


Tina Marie

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Internet Dating, Part Two

Last week I talked about my foray into internet dating. Imagine my surprise when a guy emailed me with coherent, full sentences! He had a job, he liked to read, he had a degree, and overall, he seemed to have his shit together.

I decided to dive in and meet him.

I knew from him picture that he was ethnic, of some sort. When I met him, I found out that he is originally from India. I was sort of thrown by this information, but decided to roll with it.
We started out chatting, and while ordering, I found out he is a vegetarian. After our food came I decided to ask him about this. I have lots of friends who eat special diets for one reason or another. For some it's gluten intolerance, for some it's healthy lifestyle choices, and for some it's keeping kosher/ for religious reasons. He informed me that he is a Brahmin, and therefore wasn't allowed to eat meat.

For those who are unfamiliar with the Hindu caste system, Brahmins are the top caste. They are the most educated, and the wealthiest caste.

This brings about the question: Why are you on a date with me?

I know I'm awesome, but there are several things I am not:

It's really rare for people to marry out of thier caste.

I actually had a very enjoyable evening, but I felt like sparks weren't there. We ended the night with a hug and a goodbye.

So, for you other internet daters out there.

Do you go on dates for the sake of dating, even though you know it isn't ever going to go anywhere?

Tina Marie

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Where is home?

I am so glad that I live the life I live. I am so blessed. I have a family who loves me. Both my parents are still alive, and still married for that matter. My brother and sister are blessings each and every day.

On top of all that I have this amazing network of friends.

I have lived in Dallas, East Texas, Austin, New Orleans, and DC (Virginia). Maybe it's a lot, and maybe it isn't, but it got me thinking. "Where is home?". Right now home is New Orleans. It's the city I have chosen to settle down in. I'm building a business here, meeting and making new friends, and doing the best I can to appreciate every day. However, a few weeks ago I went "home" to Texas. My parents now live in East Texas. I never grew up there. I don't have any friends there, but it's still home, because it's where my parents are. I also call Dallas home. It IS where I grew up. It's where I learned and made friends. It's where I went to school for 13 years.

I was emailing with a a friend last week, thanking her for being such a great friend, and she asked me if I was coming "home" in May. She lives in Virginia. I never would have dreamed that I would call Virginia home. I don't have any family there, and I didn't "grow up" there. I did however spend the better part of my 20's there. So much happens to you as a young adult to shape who you are for the rest of your life, and all of this happened to me in Virginia. Virginia is also where most of my friends are. Don't get me wrong, I have amazing friends in New Orleans as well, but I have more in Virginia. These people became my family away from my family. They sat by my hospital bed when I was sick (literally). They celebrated birthdays with me. They were my "peeps". When I was visiting my parents I got lost, and asked someone for directions. The lady said "I'm not sure, I'm from Baltimore." Immediately my face brightened and I responded "Really?! I'm from Virginia!". (For those geographically challenged, Maryland and Virginia sit on either side of DC, and it's common to commute from one place to the other). She and I chatted for a few minutes, sharing a bond of being so far away from "home".

I'm not sure that I will ever not call these places home. I suppose the Lord has chosen to bless me again. This time with 4 different places I can always call "home".

Tina Marie

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Foray Into Internet Dating

I know what you're thinking:

"But Tina, you're so awesome and cool. How are you single?!"

My answer:


Yet, I am still single, and now that I'm not in college anymore it's become a little harder to meet new people. Throw on top of that the fact that I am self employed, and it makes meeting people even tougher. This is why I decided to try internet dating.

Being the frugal person that I am, I went with a free dating site. I'll refrain from saying which one, but I had heard good things about it. I went online and made a profile. I made sure to include nice pics of myself and a good description.

About 5 minutes after completeing my profile I started to get messages. I quickly realized there were three distinct groups of guys messaging me:

The guy who sees a picture of a hispanic girl

and immediatly pulls out all the Spanish he knows.

Key words usually include: Holla, bonita, and chica.

Amazingly I didn't message this guy back.

Though the wife beater shirt in his profile pic made him hard to resist.

Next we have the ghetto fabulous guy. Did you notice his name is "Mr. Swagg"?

Included in this group are people who send messages that say "Hey" or "Sup" and nothing else.

Also included are people who use "u" instead of "you" or "ur" instead of "you're".

I'm by no means a grammar Nazi, but if on your first impression you can't be bothered to type full words, I don't really see a future there.

The last group of guys messaging me are the "seemingly normal".

This group of men seem to have their shit together. They have steady jobs, they use full sentences. It's quite exciting to get a message like this, because they are few and far between. However, there is a reason this group is called "seemingly normal" and not just "normal".

I chatted with one fella, let's call him "John". John was a teacher, he seemed nice enough. After two days of messaging I suggested we meet for coffee. He said that he wouldn't feel comfortable meeting me alone, and he wanted to bring a friend along. Umm, what? I told him that I would probably feel uncomfortable in that situation. He tried to explain that his parents didn't allow him to meet people he met online.

Let me repeat that. HIS PARENTS DIDN'T ALLOW HIM...

Aaaaaaand, that was the end of that.

I'm not sure if I will continue to "internet date". I've actually yet to go on an actual date with anyone. I suppose if nothing else, they make fun stories.


Tina Marie

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Love, Tina Marie Antiques

El numbero uno.

That mean's "The Number One", as in "The number one thing to-do on my "30 before 30" list was to establish my business in New Orleans. Originally the plan was to move my catering business down here and to open up a food truck. This plan existed before I found the awesomeness that is antiques. I know I sound like a little old lady, but I seriously LOVE this business. If you've ever seen "Storage Wars" or "American Pickers", I kind of do a cross between those two things. I buy items at auction and sometimes I pick items. This satisfies my love of shopping.
I also love to be crafty and restore old items, which I get to do in this line of work.
Earlier this month I high-tailed it to Texas and brought back a ton of stuff for my little shop.
I have a space in the Magazine Antique Mall.
3017 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 896-9994
(next to Sucre, across from the Cigar shop)
I have tons of "fun" items. (That one is for you Frank.)
My goal is to have pictures up on my website soon, so you can buy things from far, far away.

I'm so excited for this ya'll.

Tina Marie

Monday, March 19, 2012

St. Joseph's Day kicks St. Patrick's Day's Ass

Good Monday Morning Everyone.
This was a great weekend for Saints in New Orleans. Not "THE" Saints, but Saints. It was St. Patrick's Day, which I'm sure many of you all also celebrated. New Orleans does St. Patrick's day up right with two weekends worth of parading and cabbages. I'm saving that post for another day.
This weekend was also St. Joseph's Day. St. Joseph is the husband of the Virgin Mary. You can learn more about him here, if you are so inclined. In New Orleans the Mardi Gras Indians come out on St. Joseph's day in full gear. They march through the neighborhoods. The main starting point is A.L. Davis park in the central city neighborhood. It's normally not the safest of neighborhoods but yesterday is was transformed into a multi block party. There were lots of food trucks, and people set up with grills (I had a grilled pork chop AND a smoked sausage... cause I love food). It was great to walk around, take pictures, and just enjoy the beautiful day. Most of the spectators were African American people who lived in the neighborhood, and played some part in the festivities, but there were definitely a good number of folks from other parts of the city. For the most part it seemed to be local New Orleanians, enjoying each other's company.
I had one of the best times ever. I had actually never seen the Indians before. When you attend college in the city you live in a bubble that is "uptown". I am loving the exploration of other parts of the city. Things like St. Joseph's Day are the whole reason I moved to New Orleans. They really illustrate the culture of the community. I know that I'll never really be a New Orleanian, because too much of my heart belongs to Texas, but one day I want my kids to be able to partake in these festivities as a second nature. I want them to be New Orleanians, and slowly but surely I'm learning all that I can, so I am able to pass it all along...

A video I made of the Indians chanting...
The Indians create elaborate costumes.
Every one is hand sewn and takes a year to complete.

I loved the all white costume.
Feathers, plumes and thousands of beads are incorporated into each costume.

Each tribe is different and has its own set of colors and themes each year.

I will soon put up a link to a picasa account with more/better pictures. I left my camera cord in Texas and I'm waiting for my little sister (biological) to mail it back to me, so for now we have to make due with the pictures taken with my phone. Also, feel free to leave comments and/or questions below. I fixed the comment section so you no longer have to log in to leave your thoughts.

Tina Marie

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Very Manly Post

I had to balance out yesterday's uber girly post with something a little manly, so today we talk about tools.

I'm a tool nut. In my arsenal I have a glass cutter, a hand saw, a variable speed power drill, hammers, wrenches, screwdrivers (both flathead and philips), a staple gun/nail gun combo, a caulk gun, and a few more to fill it all out. Lately though I have felt the need to expand.

I went to Texas to visit my parent's last week, and wouldn't you know, my dad had extras of two items that I'm just itching to play with. A Circular Saw

Seriously, a circular saw is super badass. I could cut through bones with that thing! (Not that I would.). Now I can cut down my headboard a few inches, and perhaps even cut some 2 by 4's to make a few shelves, you never know.

He also had an extra jig saw.

Jig Saw

This is a great saw to cut out shapes and patterns in wood. I've never used a jig saw before, so I might grab some practice boards before I dive into a project. I can't wait!

Are you a tool fanatic? What should my next tool purchase be?


Tina Marie

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Rent The Runway

I'm warning ya'll upfront, tihs is a ridiculously girly post.

I've been a member of "Rent the Runway" for awhile now. The idea is that instead of paying hundreds of dollars for a dress for a special occasion you can rent it for a fraction of the cost. even though I have been a member for awhile, I've never actually used the site. I am the biggest bargain shopper ever. I never pay full price for anything, and I'm not a label snob, so I can usually find a dress for less than the cost of a rental.

Today in my inbox I had a special offer though. Rent the Runway is giving me a $50 credit for my birthday! I jumped on the website and started to sort through the dresses. I knew I didn't really want to spend anything out of pocket.

I found the Hampton Harbor Dress, which I think is lovely. It also looks comfotable enough to sit around in the backyard in, which is the birthday plan.

The Hampton Harbor Dress

The problem with the Hampton Harbor Dress is that I'll end up having to spend $15 extra out of pocket. Now, I know $15 isn't a lot of money, but keep in mind I had intended to spend $0 before the coupon.

I also found the Aztec dress. I like it too, but not nearly as much.

The Aztec Dress

The Aztec Dress would cost me $5 out of pocket. I feel like $5 is more justifiable of an expense.

A third option would be to head off to Burlington Coat Factory, Marshalls, Ross, or TJ Maxx and spend $25 or less on a dress I get to KEEP.

A fourth option would be to wear one of the 85 dresses already hanging in my closet. This option is boring, and for the time being I'm going to pretend it doesn't exist. :)

This is where ya'll come in! I need advice! Which dress (if any) do you think I should choose? Has anyone used Rent the Runway before? Did you like it?



Tina Marie

Cher, Also, This Post Isn't Kid Friendly

Do you read The Bloggess? No? You should. Like right now. Seriously, I'll wait.

If you do read her, you know that she has a giant metal chicken named Beyonce.
Story here:

Picture of awesomeness here:

Best Part is I saved that image on my computer as "KnockKnockMotherFucker".

So fastforward to me moving here amd driving up and down River Road everyday. Everyday passing the River Road Flea Market, and passing this:


Yep, a sea of metal chickens.
Now, the logical person would have a chuckle and move on.

This is what I did:

me: I'm buying a metal chicken for my yard. I need a name.

Anne: I'll think about it and get back to you. Chastity comes to mind.

me: I was thinking Cher.
me: Not Cher the singer. Cher from Clueless.

Anne: That is a good one. What about Heather?

me: Ooo. Maybe I need TWO giant metal chickens.

For those of you who don't get the Heather reference, go watch "The Heathers". I'll wait.
For those who do get it, we can still be friends.

And that is the story of how I decided I needed two metal chickens for the yard.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Run Forest, Run!

Last week my friend Frank posted an article about the Zombie 5K obstacle course.

With every fiber of my being I wanted to run in it, but alas, it isn't coming to a city near me, yet.
But if you are in a participating city, and you're super cool, you should totally do it.

This is video from Atlanta. It looks so AWESOME.

Well, even though I can't run in the Zombie 5K Obstacle Course, I remembered that running a 5K, without walking, is a part of my 30 before 30 list. So, I looked up races, and I signed up for the "Run Forest, Run" 5K. It's sponsored by Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, and it's in the French Quarter. It's at the end of April, so that gives me 2 months. That should be plenty of time to train for it, and actually being signed up, and paying money means that I can't flake out.

The first part of my training is to get myself to the gym. I'm going to start taking step aerobic again, and with a little persistence I should be able to outrun any zombie.


Tina Marie

Saturday, March 3, 2012

What's in it for you.

So now that I'm writing twice a week, I suppose I should ask my reader what they want more of.
More crafty stuff/ home repair? More of my life in New Orleans? More recipes? More random stuff?

Also, I need/want more of ya'll to follow me! So if you are reading on google reader or you click my posts everytime I post in twitter or facebook, I need you to go to and click the "Follow" button on the right hand side.
So easy, so quick.

As added incentive for every three people who follow me this week I will add that many more posts during this month. So if I get 30 new followers I will add an extra 10 posts this month in addition to the 2 a week I'm already doing! That's SO much extra Tina, all for free! All you have to do is click a button.

For those of you who are already following me, kudos. You're totally part of the cool kids, and as a reward you get this picture of a baby giraffe.


Tina Marie

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Crossing off the List/ Recipe Time

I am finally (sort of) settled in New Orleans. I'm getting a lot accomplished on my 30 before 30 list, but there is one thing in particular that I need to start now, Number 22, blog twice a week for a year. Yep, as many times as I get too busy to blog, I no longer have an excuses. It's on my list, and I am determined to make it happen.

Today I'm going to share a recipe. It's no secret that I'm Catholic, and as a Catholic person I don't eat meat on Fridays during Lent. That being said, eating tuna sandwhiches and fried shrimp can get old really fast. I was on the phone with my mom last week and she reminded me of another dish that she made for me when I was younger. It's called Abondigas. Technically an abondiga is a meatball, I flatten mine and make them cakes. If you like crab cakes you will like this dish.

I start with a can of pink salmon.
The salmon has the bones in it, so you will need to pick out the bones.

After you have deboned your salmon you need to add about 8 saltine crackers crushed up. I just crush them in my hand before adding them to the mix. Next add one raw egg and half of a small onion, finely diced. Mix everything together and add a a pinch of salt (remember the saltimes have salt on them, so don't add to much) and a dash of pepper.

After mixing everything together form cakes, similar to crab cakes. Fry them until golden brown on each side. I used a little bit of olive oil in my pan, but you can use butter, any kind of oil, or the spray stuff. You just want to make sure they don't stick.

That's it! You're done! Your salmon cakes, or abonigas, are ready to eat. I like to eat mine with tortillas. But you can have yours on their own, or with bread or crackers. Enjoy!


Tina Marie