Monday, December 7, 2009

Muy Delicioso

As a kid, I always enjoyed the simple pleasure of a pouch of Swiss Miss with little dehydrated marshmallows, microwaved with tap water to produce a steaming mug of hot chocolate. From time to time, however, when we had more than three minutes of patience pent up, my family would make Mexican hot chocolate, which is divine. Cinnamon, vanilla, and cocoa combine to make one of my very favorite beverages. Whisking the milk and cocoa together over a low flame until it reaches a thick and frothy consistency is essential. Infused with strong spices and rich flavors, it is decadence in a coffee mug. Mmmmmm, so tasty and perfect for chilly weather.
Mexican hot chocolate makes me happy.

O Tannenbaum!

Every year, I count down the days until it is socially acceptable to hang all of my Christmas decorations. This is unquestionably my favorite season, and I get so excited to "deck the halls"! While my living quarters are quite limited, I still manage to make room for the essential decor. The Christmas tree is definitely the most fun to see erected and dripping with sparkling, glowing ornaments. While it is small and artificial, my tree is still a beauty and full of memories of past holiday seasons.

My Christmas tree makes me happy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Strange and Wonderful Music

No detailed description necessary. Bagpipes are badass. They look cool. They sound cool.

Bagpipes make me happy.

A Little Good Humor

On an average day, I don't watch very much TV, but it seems that any time there is always one show on in syndication on some channel. I'm not dedicated enough to say that "Scrubs" is my favorite show, but it's without a doubt in the top three. No other show makes me laugh out loud more. I can't bring myself to pick a favorite character because they're all so freakin' hilarious. To boot, they manage to balance humor with the obligatory sappy moments paired with equally sappy music. I laugh, I cry, I get to enjoy Dr. Cox eye-candy. All in all, fabulous show.

"Scrubs" makes me happy.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Third Coast Sounds

Every Sunday morning I have a set routine. Wake up, brush teeth, feed Dayla, turn on KSYM as loud as it will go on my stereo and get ready for church. Every Sunday from 9-noon, the local San Antonio College radio station plays Beatles songs. I love it and there's no better way to start the week, I'm fully convinced.

And "Beatles Sunday Morning" isn't the only reason I love this station. They devote hours of airtime to offbeat and non-mainstream rock, bluegrass, tejano, jazz, techno, country, blues, and many more.

I love hearing a broad and unedited array of songs that won't ever be considered for Billboard. It's exciting for the SA music community, and there are often neat features of unheard local talent. Listen online at

I never know what I'm gonna get, and that makes me happy. For example the other night, they played the "Labyrinth" soundtrack in its entirety......and then again in Italian. God bless David Bowie and all the other musically inclined weirdos out there in the world.

KSYM 90.1 FM makes me happy.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

One down...

Anyone who knows me at all knows I've never been much of a relationship girl. I'd never had interest in a commitment to a man that would lesson my ability to be completely selfish. That's the glory of being in your 20's right? You can do whatever you want, with whoever you want, whenever you want. I was happy living my life in that frame of mind until one year ago tomorrow. One year ago, I fell in love with a boy named Christopher Wayne Carter. Please excuse the sappiness that follows...

Chris and I met at a mutual friend's house in June 2007 and had a short conversation about our shared love of the Beach Boys. Back then, I had no idea he would have changed my life the way he has. After a long, exhausting game of cat and mouse, we finally sat down together on our first official date...March 15Th, 2008. We had a cliched, horribly awkward dinner and saw an extremely sappy movie. I loved every minute of it. At the end of the night, he leaned and whispered to me that he had been praying for God to bring someone special into his life, and he knew it had to be me. From that moment on, I was in. I must admit, I am more than a little embarrassed and surprised with myself for even taking note of this day, and being such a "girl", but it is what it is. I've always made fun of couples who celebrate their "anniversaries" when they're not even married, but now I'm one of the silly sentimental ones. Go figure.
On this day, I feel it's only necessary to share my thoughts of this wonderful person. While this blog is directed toward simple pleasures, Chris is definitely a leading contender for what makes me truly cherish life. He makes me happy. He makes me happy every single day.

He knows how to love me. Since I've had him, I've never had to open a car door for myself. He lets me dominate conversations because he knows I love the attention. He cooks delicious meals for me. He pets the back of my head and kisses my forehead when I'm upset. He understands that no matter how much I love him, DayLa still comes first. He just smiles and hugs me when I make an ass out of myself on a daily basis. He's not embarrassed when I wear stretchy pants in public. He dances with me in my living room whenever I've had too much red wine. He worships the Lord with me. He sings karaoke (although very reluctantly). He remembers everything I say, even when I don't. He encourages me to work out, but always turns his head when I reach for another cinnamon roll. He takes me to the park. He loves to see live music with me. He has the strangest sense of humor and always makes me laugh. He doesn't let my indecisiveness bother him. He knows that I'm crazy, and acclimates himself to my mood. He tells me I'm beautiful almost every day. He constantly pushes me to better my life and be happier. He allows me to be as free as I want, with no excuses necessary. He buys me stupid little gifts that he knows I'll like. He listens intently while I ramble about my critical views of worldly issues, religion, politics, and society. His family and friends treat me as if I were one of them. He loves to meet my family and friends. He inspires me to be kind, open minded, and remember my morality. He's (sometimes brutally) honest with me. He tells me he loves me every day, and I know he means it.

We are both starting new chapters in our lives soon, and are excited that we are given the chance to do it together. I don't know what the future holds for me, but this past year has been one that I hold dear and I'll never forget. I thank Chris for that.

My boyfriend makes me happy.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Lions and Tigers and Bears....

When Chris (the boy) finds that I'm having a bad week and taking it out on him, he generally does one of two things.... He either buys me flowers or takes me to the zoo to sit and watch the hippos. He opted for the latter this past week.
Hippos are quite possibly my favorite animal, and few things put a smile on my face faster than seeing them floating, blowing bubbles, and wiggling their tiny ears. We have two hippos at the San Antonio Zoo and they are lovely. A brand new "Africa Live" exhibit is currently under construction for all the big cats, elephants, giraffes, etc. Luckily the hippo tank was the first part done, and it's amazing. I admire them for their ability to be so deceptively precious and so ferocious at the same time. I hear they are one of the world's deadliest and most powerful creatures... Only more reason to respect them in my eyes. Jessica, my college roommate, used to always console me with , "Well, at least you didn't get eaten by a hippopotamus today," when I was melancholy and pouting. True.

My apartment is a short, lovely walk from the zoo, which helps with frequent visitation. And while I generally bee-line for the hippo exhibit, I always enjoy everything else the zoo offers. Monkeys are always a must, as well as the petting zoo, and the butterfly exhibit. Chris loves the Australian exhibit because there are wacky little birds that borderline attack you for nectar... he thinks it's cute...I'm not so sure.
The San Antonio Zoo makes me happy.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Let's Rodeo, San Antonio!

Last week was San Antonio's 60th annual Stock Show and Rodeo, and it was a blast! I went on Friday with two friends, Cliff and Kelsey, to spend the entire afternoon and evening wandering the grounds. We rode carnival rides, watched several livestock auctions, and ate a lot of food. When I say a lot, I mean a lot. All the basics were covered....We started with chicken fried bacon ( which Cliff rudley ate in front of the pigs in the pig barn), then moved on to a round of $6 beers with some roasted corn on the cob dipped in a vat of butter, then a sausage-on-a-stick appetizer before the turkey leg dinner. Next came the pork ribs finished off with quite possibly the best funnel cake I've ever had. Needless to say, I've been eating rather light this week.

Kelsey and I spent a good portion of the afternoon in the children's petting zoo playing with little piglets and donkeys, while Cliff held our belongings. We were surrounded by live music all day, and there was quite a bit of dancing done by the three of us. After being in the hot sun all day, eating, drinking, and dancing, we finished off the night with the actual rodeo (bull riding being my favorite part of course) and a Jason Aldean concert in the AT&T center....not my favorite artist, but he put on a good show. We had the best time, and I'm already getting excited for next year!

The stock show and rodeo makes me happy.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Holy Guacamole!

Quite possibly one of my favorite foods. It's so good, almost perfect. Cool and refreshing, creamy and rich......mmmmm. I refuse to attend any cocktail or house party unless guac is provided. It's one of the simplest dips to make, which makes it even better. Seeing as I live in the Tex-Mex capital of the world, I get the opportunity to eat it a lot. And when I say a lot, I mean it. Even at low cost, hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurants, there is usually a ridiculous up charge for adding a side of guacamole, but I don't care. I'd pay anything for that delicious little scoop of smashed avocados, onions, and tomatoes. Give me a sandwich, burger, omelet, taco, salad, taco-salad, chicken, steak, fish, and (dare I say it?) hot dog, and I'll make it better.

Guacamole makes me happy.

Monday, February 16, 2009

My Mangrove Boys

There is a group of gentlemen that has played a very big role in my life for the past five years that I couldn't imagine being without. The Electric Mangroves, a local rock/blues band in the San Antonio area, rock my world. Not only are they amazingly talented musicians, but they are my friends.
Live music is one of my passions in life, having attended hundreds of concerts and shows in a massive variety of venues. Even though I consider myself very open-minded and enthusiastic about experiencing a new band, nothing makes me happier than grabbing my closest girlfriend and dancing to the Mangroves. I love when they play the old Toadies and Stevie Ray Vaughn cover songs that I know every word to, but I get super pumped when they play a new song they've just written for the first time. Watching them practice making music with little to no guideline, and hearing their inspirations come out through a guitar, drumset, or even trumpet is fascinating to me.
Bobby, lead guitar, is extremley good at what he does. He is quiet, but hilarious. Laid back, yet driven. He is a man of mystery, but never unkind. Plus he loves my cat.
Oscar, bass player, is probably the funniest boy I've ever known. While his sarcasim gets him into trouble on a fairly regular basis, he still has a good heart.
Matt, drummer, is hands down the strangest person I've called my dear friend. With his unruley curly hair, "ecclectic" attire, and nonchallant attitude, I can honestly say I've never had a bad time with him. He's funniest when he doesn't mean to be and strangely charismatic with the ladies.
Tasso, vocals and guitar, is the "leader" if you will. I can't say enough kind words about this man. One of the freindliest, sincerest, and sociable people I have ever know. His first priority is always his family, friends coming a close second. He pays no mind to popularity or the feeding of egos, he just wants to have a good time and make good music while doing it. With his kind soul and wickedly handsome looks, I'm convinced he can take on the world.
I truely love these boys and love supporting their little band. You should, too.

The Electric Mangroves make me happy.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Brackenridge Park

Amid the trees, gravel paths, and spring-fed waterfalls, I can forget that I am in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the nation. I sometimes avoid the park on pretty Saturdays because the mass quantities of 4 year olds with Dora the Explorer pinatas hanging from trees can be a little intense, but that doesn't stop me from roaming Brakenridge at least 3 times a week. There are so many fun things to see.
I love to people watch there more than anywhere else. I will sit and overfeed ducks while watching dads fishing with their little boys. I will run the paths with music blaring through my headphones and lose myself for a little while at least. I take my boyfriend's puppy to the playground and let all the little kids roll around with her until somebody poops out. I will sneak to the backside of the SA Zoo that neighbors the park and watch the monkeys through the chain-link fence . The park also neighbors the Whitte Museum which is breathtakingly gorgeous. There is a train (intended for the entertainment of small children, but primarily occupied by adults) that circles the perimeter of the park while teaching the long yet fascinating history of the park and the surrounding area.
This place definately holds a very special place in my heart and I cherish it and all it's charm.

Brackenridge Park makes me happy.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Hi! Welcome to Jamba!

While the peppy music and brightly colored attire of the employees may intimidate me certain days I feel slightly lethargic or hungover, Jamba Juice makes me very happy. I am a self-proclaimed smoothie officianado, and they have some of my favorites. Reasonably priced and made from fresh ingrediants, their smoothies will start anyone's day off right. Having a store mere blocks from my apartment is amazing. Yes, it would be economically wise to make my own smoothies at home in my own blender, but I would be missing the shear variety and that little touch of Jamba they put in every neon painted cup. I won't even go into the parfaits and oatmeal....mmmm.

Jamba Juice makes me happy.


My dear friend Allison once told me, "A good cat is the best thing anyone could ever wish for. He'll be your boyfriend, your best friend, and your pillow all at the same time." Truer words were never spoken.
Judge me at will, but I love my cat. Just seeing his little spotted face makes me happy every day. He thinks he's smarter than me, refuses any form of discipline, and takes up more space on the couch than I do, but my adoration is unwavering. If you do not already have a cat, I sincerely suggest you get one tomorrow. It can only change your life for the better.
When I picked him up from the crazy trailer-park cat lady's house where he was born, I never would have known what an impact he would have on my life. He is my constant. I have lived in three different homes with him, had roommates come and go, gained and lost friends, but at the end of the day when I lay in bed, my DayLa is there performing his mandatory task of being the inside spoon.
My cat makes me happy.

Joining the Blogging World

I have succumbed to the pressures of society and decided to join the blogging community. Every member of my family does it, and I am a devout follower of their writings. I read about the everyday adventures of life in the country with my parents, corralling toddler twins with my eldest sister, the amazingly gifted photographer, along with reading about many outrageous and hilarious parties attended by my other sister, the active and outdoorsy one.

Through becoming engrossed in their blogs every day, I realized something. I have a very boring life. There's no way I could narrate my everyday in the written word, because nobody would ever want to read it. Therefore in lue of noting what happens to me in my everyday existence, I dedicate this blog to the simple joys that make me happy everyday. There are so many beautiful and lovable things in my life that make me blessed. Some may be silly and some may be serious, but I believe that anything that puts a smile on my face deserves recognition for it. That is why I do this...