Austin City Limits Music Festival 2017

ACL Fest

Wooooooof TA!  Austin City Limits music festival beat the crap out of me! Every year I go I hope it’ll be easier, but it never is.  I love the music & the break from normal life – but it’s H O T in Texas and that heat can really beat you up.

This festival came right on the heels of the Vegas catastrophe, which you couldn’t help but feel heavy about.  My friends & I did our best to not bring it up but that’s hard to do when there’s thousands of people stuffed in on top of each other at a concert.  I think that’s how it’s going to be from now on for our generation.  It’s hard to honestly say otherwise.  We have to live in a place where we’re cautious of our surroundings and listen to our instincts, especially when we’re in large crowds.  Unfortunately, that’s where we’re at in America.  Boo, all because of those mother fuckers.

One adjustment I noticed this year, I’m not sure if it’s new or just something I’m more aware of, is the huge crane overlooking the festival with police on it.  They had a birds eye view of the entire festival and you could see they had huge lenses to see everything happening on the ground.  That was about my only piece of mind.

On the 2nd night as Wafiq and I were watching one of the shows, we heard a huge bang come from the other side of the festival.  We told ourselves if we hear it again, we’ll leave.  Then we heard it again.  And again.  There were police near us that also looked concerned, as did most of the people around us.  To make a long story short, it was pyrographics at the stage on the other side of the festival. I’m thinking (and hoping) this part of live performances will have restrictions in the future.  I don’t think it’s worth it to risk confusing a crowd.  With our tensions a little higher than we’d like, Wafiq and I decided to leave early that night.  Again, we’re at a place where you have to trust your gut on certain circumstances, call us dramatic but I’d rather be the dramatic one all day than the one standing there when/if something happens.

I constantly brag about the incredibly insightful active shooter training I did with our city Fire Marshall – I need to do a whole post on that because it was way more helpful than I imagined it could be.

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5 Instagram Handles I’m Afraid To Admit I Love Following

Kourtney Kardashian

Hi everyone!  I have my war with social media all the time because I’m not a big phone person, therefore I don’t check social media all the time.  And I’ve been sort of blah with Instagram lately.  It turned Facebook on me with all the ads & sponsored posts.  They also seem to show me to same 10 photos every time I login and I end up missing new pics from accounts I love to follow… Hopefully this changes.  BUT, I started thinking, there are a few accounts that I get excited to see a new post from.  Below are 5 that I’m kind of shy to admit I follow… eeee!

Please share some accounts you love, or your own! I’m trying to brighten up my feed a little 🙂

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Three Thoughts On Vegas.

Vegas

What. The. Fuck.

At this point, when you hear about another shooting, don’t you feel physically sick? After waking up on Monday morning & hearing about the horrific events that happened in Vegas on my drive to work I had a ton of anxiety & sadness, but it eventually turned into sickness & nausea. I do a really good job at ignoring a majority of the world’s problems, including issues close to home. I’m too aware of them & when I pay attention, everything eats me alive in anxiety.

But it’s as if we’re living in a fucked up war movie, in the United States.

This killer can’t feel the energy of the people watching a fun country music concert? He’s looking at everyone sharing excitement together, feeling free, spreading love and joy but can’t translate that feeling to himself?  He wants to end it? For SO many people?

This is scary.

heebie jeebies

I heard a few things that I thought were worth sharing.

One – I’m horrified at this point about how easy it is to obtain such a large amount of damaging assault weapons.  This is the part of the conversation that makes me nauseated.  I understand being able to defend yourself, the 2nd amendment, and owning a weapon. But I’m having the hardest time understanding why this particular extreme type of defense is allowed, or needed.  (Jimmy Kimmel spoke on this much better than I did: HERE.) People ask me all the time if I felt safe in Dubai, it’s time’s like this that remind me why I felt so safe.  I never heard about a shooting, I never saw a gun or gun shot, I never had that fear.  In America, we do, all the time.

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I Cant Wait For…

Mindful

Attention All: We have a new motto in our household.  I’m putting the same test on you & your household as well.  No more “I can’t wait for…”

I’ve never been someone who’s said “I can’t wait for…” or “I can’t wait when…” very often but I caught myself the other night.   I kid you not, Wafiq & I said approx 4 times in a row an “I can’t wait for…” sentence.  “I can’t wait for us to get the new computer screen”, “I can’t wait for the new speaker”,  “I can’t wait for…”.   We sat down on our badass couch in front of our huge ass TV in our treehouse home and started laughing.  WTF.  We have everything we’ve ever wanted right here in front of us.  There were moments we couldn’t wait to have our own space, we couldn’t wait to get through the immigration process (& payments), we couldn’t wait to make money… and here we are with all of those things fully accomplished.

And now we’re acting like we need more?!?

Even when we barely had our own room to sleep in, we rarely said out loud how much we couldn’t wait to have our own place.  I think we both knew if we started to focus on the things we didn’t have, we could end up in a dark, miserable tunnel of misery.  So we rarely talked negatively.

It’s interesting once you start having “things” you start focusing on more things, for some reason.  I think accidentally.  I laughed out loud when I heard myself.  We both did.  And we said, no more! It’s freaking ridiculous what we’re doing.  And instead, we focused on watching the season premiere of Survivor.

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My First Dating App Pic + A Little Dating History…

Dating Picture

Last week I did something a little anxiety provoking by logging onto Facebook & scrolling through years of pictures.  I don’t use Facebook very much anymore, and have never been a die-hard Facebooker.  For a few years after graduating college I deleted my Facebook all together.  No matter how much mind control you have, scrolling through a feed of highlights from everyone else’s life takes its toll on you.  I felt myself questing decisions I was making & comparing, comparing, comparing! – so I let Facebook go. At the time it was fantastic.  Since then I’ve rarely been using it & do my best not to get sucked into scrolling through my feed.

Ok, so this leads me to the other night, I stalked myself.  I wanted to see what was up with Miss Katie in her good ol Facebook days.  Years ago Facebook used to be a place where people posted full albums of a night out, dinner, vacation, dog, friend, time at the park.  Not 1 photo, but an album of 50.   These days Facebook is more business-y? And people sharing articles.  Instagram took over photos I think.  So I stalked back to the days of albums.  I should continue by saying, I don’t like erasing past decisions, which is why I try not to delete anything that I posted myself.  If I wanted to post it at the time, that’s how I was living life! OUI!

I felt pretty good after stalking.  Solid life experiences I’ve been documenting.

BUT THEN, I came across this photo of myself on my apartment balcony and immediately remembered.  MY FIRST DATING APP PHOTO.  I think I was 21?  Somewhere around there, and guys I put so much effort into this photo! The outfit, the lighting, the smile, the head tilt!  Probably even the nails…  I remember getting this shirt for $5 at Forever 21 & I never loved anything more.

My one & only dating app picture – on E Harmony
I put myself on EHarmony.  EHarmony at 22.  I remember feeling like the guys I was meeting on my own weren’t interested in anything more than going to church with their parents on Sunday mornings OR binge drinking on Monday nights.  Not for me you know, can we land somewhere in the middle?  So EHarmony (and blind dates) were my jam.  I pretended I was on The Bachelor and had a new date every week, on Thursday nights.  I had that system running for a long time…  Thursday was perfect by the way, the date didn’t interrupt one of my already planned fun weekend nights but was late enough in the week to actually relax & enjoy the night. Highly recommend setting up a similar schedule if you’re single.

The problem with Eharmony was that no one wanted to date me.  I think I was too young for the site?  One of the dates that I landed was with this guy that met me for appetizers.  He barely spoke & I don’t think listened to anything I said.  But I was so excited for this date!  I remember that. I can’t remember why, I think because he was older and it made me feel like he had to be more mature & maybe potential for a 2nd date??  Well we ate the apps, he took me to a nearby bar, and I saw a smile for the first time of the night when he looked up for the first eye contact of the evening and asked “what my sexual preferences were”.

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5 Items To Bring Into Your Festival Fashion

Festival Ready

Hell. Yes.  I love the Austin City Limits Music Festival. It comes at the perfect time, the end of the boiling hot Texas Summer.  The last hoorah!  Some of my favorite things include live music + being outside & the lighthearted energy.   (However, not a fan of festival crowds)

There’s a few pieces I’ve stalked & have my eyes on for festival time.  The cool part of festivals is that you can get really creative with your clothing… REALLY creative. And no one cares.   On my regular run to the Coffee Tea & Bean drive thru on Saturday mornings, I don’t feel as comfortable rolling up w/stick on tattoos & a bikini top.  Come festival time, it’s all creativity on deck!  OR you can opt to creativity, level 0 and no one cares, that’s the part I love.  If I’m feeling red lips or glitter, I’ll happily give it a try. If I’m feeling my pajama shirt & a make up free hippie spirit, I’ll do that too. FREEEEEEDOMMM!!  This year for me, I’m sticking to comfort.

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What Do You Think A Shelled Sunflower Seed Is?

Sunflower-Seeds-2

Holy shit!  Almost literally. I was scared to go to the bathroom the morning after I ate those fucking sunflower seed shells.  I know that’s all you’re wondering, how was my poo poo.  Well, ladies and gentleman I’m relieved to report everything flowed normally… so far.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about you didn’t see my Insta Story. I’ve been trying new cookbooks & have recently been using the Naturally Nourished recipes.  I went for a casserole recipe the other night & noticed one of the ingredients was “shelled sunflower seeds”.  To me, this meant in-shell.  I was in Trader Joe’s googling “Shelled Sunflower Seeds” with results showing sunflower seeds, IN SHELLS.  Confirming my thoughts that the recipe had to mean sunflower seeds, in their shell.

Does baking a shell of any seed make sense? No it doesn’t. But neither did putting bulbs of garlic in green juice to cure my shingles, but it worked.  My mind told me no. My gut told me yes. To pursue & discover this new secret vegan ingredient, sunflower seed shells.

I blended about 1/4 Cup of sunflower seeds, in their shells. I did have a moment of hesitation after noticing the sunflower seed shells weren’t grinding down very well.  After persistence, I sprinkled the crumbs onto my casserole and baked.

Sunflower seed shells are a softer shell, okay?  I ate them as a child.  I know.  So I thought, maybe baking them would create a soft, crunchy crust.  Clearly wrong.

THIS WAS NOT A GOOD IDEA. And likely unsafe. Therefore, don’t do it. Shelled means unshelled. I don’t understand it still, and probably never will, but what the hell, learned something new.  In my defense, in another recipe from the book it asked for “Pistachios, out of their shell” which is why I assumed if that’s what they meant w/sunflower seeds they would’ve said it the same way?

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Life Chats, Moving 9.8.17

Life Chats

Finally the day has come, we moved into a different space. Remember when I moved into this tiny apartment and I was so happy?  I believed that was literally all I needed in life, a perfect shelter.  I’m still on the small living environment kick, too much space gives me anxiety.   I know most people hate moving but I’ve decided I love it,  I’ve moved a lot and lived out of a suitcase more years in my life than I’ve had a closet.  Not really.

Getting rid of shit is my jam. It gives me the same excited butterflies you’re supposed to get when you see your significant other.  Moving forces you to really purge shit out.  All those things that Wafiq was making us hold on to because “we have space” are officially at Goodwill. And all the stupid clothes, cheap gimmicks and nonsense you can find on THIS list are gone!  Moving is a breeze because all our “things” (besides the bed, sofa, and TV) fit in a few boxes 🙂  Awww my favorite feeling.

One of the many reasons we’re so excited about our new place is that the view is open to trees, no more walking path!   What do you guys see when you look outside your window?  We started feeling a little like we were living in a hamster cage because our windows opened to a walking path that people loved to bring their dogs to, so we happy peeps right now.

As you may have heard, there’s a hurricane that recently f*cked up parts of Texas.  In Austin, we lost power for 20 hours & had wind + rain but nothing much larger than our regular storms.  Please remember, when you’re thinking of Houston and all the damage it’s done, there are several smaller communities that have been damaged as well & also need help + resources.  The less popular babies need attention too 🙂   I have to say, it’s refreshing to run through my Facebook feed and see all my Texas friends coming together to love & support one another.  No more wrestling over topics that don’t serve a purpose or creating fights & arguments because we’re bored.  There was awhile there I didn’t even check FB.  So, proud of Texas right now and proud to be a part of the state.

And mother earth must be freaking PISSED off right now, brewing storms all over the place.  EEEk. I pray everyone stays safe & cuddled with their people. Love love love.

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3 Tips For Normal People Trying To Take A Pretty Picture

Good Photos

I HATE taking pictures.  I take them all the time for Instagram & my blog but it’s my least favorite thing to do.  People stay interested w/images more than a ton of writing so I know if I want my blog to be what I imagine, it has to include photos.  But it’s the hardest piece of the puzzle.  Can you be more into yourself than when you’re taking photos, trying to be pretty?  Ugh it makes me uncomfortable more than you’d imagine.

When you see pictures of me, this is typically the process. First, I hold the camera & Wafiq poses for it so he can remind me how easy it is.  He doesn’t care if other people are looking at him as he tries to act cool for pictures, he models confidently.  Once he makes me laugh enough, we switch.  He grabs the camera & tells me to do the same thing.  Boom, all my pictures.

I’m uncomfortable taking pictures & I know I’m not the only one.  Being in a picture these days means you’re likely going to be plastered on social media for everyone’s eyes.  Back in the day, a photo was shared w/family & maybe a few friends.  Now it’s all eyes on us, all the time!  The good side, having these pictures posted everywhere means we’ll easily be able to have the memory.  The best part, the memories. So I don’t let myself shy away from taking them.

There are a few, super simple tips I learned in college when pictures really started being a thing.  I wasn’t used to my picture being taken & after seeing a few horrible ones I started following these three rules for ALL photos.

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An Olive Oil Hair Mask Story

Olive-Oil-Hair-Mask

I’m doing a throwback post today.  I’ve been editing prior posts & came across this Olive Oil + Hair story.  I died laughing because I vividly remember smelling like a kitchen & trying desperately to convince myself that I could NOT walk around all day/w olive oil in my hair.  Way too much alone time.  But the post made me laugh so I figured I’d repost it today & hopefully enhance your day w/a little humor – Enjoy!

I saved my life.  More like my hair’s life.  I have super long, thick, blonde hair that has been severely neglected since my move to Dubai.

I rarely wash it. I try to go as many days as possible in the most extreme ways not to wash my hair. (The key is finding different ways to wear your hair the second & third/fourth/fifth day without a wash.)

The problem happens on the days I choose to wash my locks.  I’ve been using shampoo that I believe physically assaults my hair. I’m nearly positive my hair is crying when I put the shampoo through it & it continues to cry until it gets oily again. In truth, my hair has probably been crying since I landed in Dubai.

I used to buy expensive shampoo + conditioner because I spend a lot of money highlighting & want to stretch the color as long as possible. I don’t want to waste the money I spent highlighting, by ruing my hair with bad product. Miss High Maintenance, Hiiii

That all went out the window when I got to Dubai. I RARELY do my hair. And when I do put in effort, it  means half blow drying it & leaving it down. Most often I braid it or put it up in a bun.

The neglect started when I ran out of my good ol American shampoo & couldn’t find the one I was previously using. Shortly after that, I found a few pieces of my hair that I think missed my last trim, so I cut them myself..?   I’ve never done that before.  Between nasty shampoo and a self trim, I  thought my hair was treacherous.  I started putting it in a ponytail every single day, which again I don’t think is good for your hair. The color started fading (probably just in my head) and it turned into Rapunzel length.  In a bad, ratty way.

So I booked an appointment to get my hair cut & highlighted.  BUT, I was completely terrified to show up to a nice salon with my hair being dried out, self cut & brassy. I went to Pinterest in last minute efforts to find a solution that could fake maintained looking hair until it was fixed.

Olive Oil.

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