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