Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy Holiday Catchup!

Contrary to many assumptions, I did not die in Texas! I just fell off the face of the blogging world for a while. Did you know that college is actually somewhat challenging? Imagine that.

All jokes aside, I have (until recently) been up to my neck in studying and, of course, sight-seeing in Texas! I suppose it is only appropriate to attempt to catch up the last few months under one blog. Here goes!

In late September, I experienced my first trip to the hospital in Texas. It's funny, I went years without having stepped foot in a hospital while living in California, but it only took a few months to land me in the E.R. in Texas! I guess everything IS bigger in Texas... even the problems! ;-) I don't know if you readers will remember, but a while back I had been completing "The Breakup Challenge". Well, I became
 frozen in that calendar challenge when I could NOT get myself to go get blood work done for one of the day's events. I even walked into a blood drive van and sat down, but couldn't go through with it! Well, they drew tons of blood at the hospital during the visit, and I decided that this would have to suffice for my attempt! :-P
I was told that I had a case of pleurisy, which is an inflammation in the lining of the lungs and chest. It caused my oxygen levels to deplete, meaning that I wasn't getting enough air to breathe, in turn giving me severe chest pains from the inflammation, and tingling/numbness from the lack of oxygen. If that isn't bad enough, the hospital then gave me an anti-inflammatory called Ketoralac, along with a prescription-strength pain killer. When the pain didn't go away, I decided to seek a second opinion at the UNT Wellness Center. During my visit the doctor discovered that I was allergic to the medicine (Ketoralac) I had been taking, and the pain I kept feeling was not only the pleurisy, but I had also aggravated my stomach lining, producing heartburn. But, rest assured I am back to good health now, and enjoying my life in Texas.

For starters, In October I dressed up as a nerd for Halloween and attended one my first "college parties" with my boyfriend and my friend. It was different going to a party and knowing NO ONE except who I came with and the host who invited me. I was thankful to have my boyfriend (pictured left) with me, as well as my friend, because they helped me break out of my shell and get to know other students from my campus. It was a great time, and for the first time since the football game I went to, I felt like a real university student, doing normal "college life" things.

I had the same good friend (and now AKA my beloved roomie!) over at my old apartment and carved pumpkins with her as we listened to Halloween music. We designed our own pumpkin (pictured right) and had a great time laughing as we took random pictures and roasted the pumpkin seeds we gutted out of "Earl", our crazy pumpkin.

Back in late October, I traveled back to California and witnessed my cousin marry her best friend. It was great to see family again and catch up with my life in the Lonestar state! The wedding was beautiful and my cousin looked radiant.

I even managed to go experience the great state fair of Texas! It is so different from the Orange County annual fair that it is incomparable. For starters, there is this huge mechanical robot cowboy (pictured behind me left) that speaks and says hick-like sayings along with advertisments about the fair. Most people were in awe and liked him, but aside from taking a picture by the guy, I was creeped out! I did manage to ride the ferris wheel there, which allowed me a great view of the Cotton bowl, and got to go see some animals (including my favorite-baby pigs!). It was great to see how it's done in Texas!

The roomie and myself!
One random Thursday night I went to Billy Bob's for a "girls' night out" with my roommate and her friends. We danced the night away and laughed about all the little things that went on. It was a great stress-reducing time, and I managed to meet some great girls who go to TCU! On the California vs. Texas side, Billy Bob's is HUGE, and makes any other honky tonk look miniscule to it's largeness! While California has tons more line dancing, Texas is known for their partner dancing. I watched as guys spun girls intricately around the dance floor. It's a great sight to see. Billy Bob's also offers pool tables, a place to take pictures, a restaurant, gift shop, etc... the list goes on and on!

I managed to catch a few concerts during this semester, as well! I saw Incubus with my boyfriend and his friends, which was amazing. They put on a GREAT show, and I was so glad I made the spontaneous decision to go! It was interesting however, how the concert center had to delay the show due to storm weather.
This was the first time I saw a Texas rainstorm in full force. Being from California, I thought the concert would be cancelled, and we would all have to leave. But, in Texas the storms last for such little time that they just asked us to wait in our cars until the storm passed. We filed back into the outdoor pavilion and stood on top of damp grass to listen to the music we had come for.

In November, I saw the Zac Brown Band perform at the same concert center with some girlfriends. Randy Travis even made a guest appearance! It was a great and truly memorable night! The one difference I can give from California country concerts and Texas country concerts is the crowd. I wore my cowboy hat and boots out, but I was actually a bit shocked when the majority of the concert-goers were wearing semi-casual outfits.
However, the one upside I will give to California is that the concerts aren't as packed as this one was. I'm talking even Stagecoach (Indio, CA) was more spacious. Sure it was bigger, but at least you had breathing room wherever you sat. The pavilion seemed to pack in way too many people in both general and VIP area. It was a bit odd to me, but so long as I got to hear the songs I came for, I was a happy camper.

With all the fun aside, when I wasn't out touring the towns of Denton and Dallas and enjoying great music, I was delving into one of two things: School and cooking. I know, the first one is obvious, and the second seems impossible, but when I wasn't doing homework, in class, or studying for an exam, I was learning new recipes and trying them out on my grateful roommates!
I perfected my Chicken broccoli and spinach alfredo, tried out enchilada suizas, homemade spaghetti, and even made my family's recipe for fatayas a few times!
I fell in love with baking after having a girls' night baking with some friends from campus, and decided to try out my luck with baking more intense recipes. My friend, Elisha, has been such a great mentor with my cooking and baking. She has such creativity with her baking, and even understands the science aspect of it. Together we cooked cupcakes with cocoa cookie dough centers from scratch! To check out her knowledge, tips and advice on couture baking, check out her site here! :-)

Near the beginning of December, I was able to experience Historic Downtown Grapevine before I headed back to California for the Holidays. For anyone who truly loves the Christmas spirit, seeing Grapevine during the Holidays is definitely a must! Between the nippy cold weather and the glowing lights synchronized with Christmas music, it was such a merry way to celebrate Christmas before I flew back!

Since being home, I have visited with both family and friends. I am enjoying a nice long month back home, and consequently have gotten to see just about everyone that I've missed while being away! I threw a Christmas cocktail party to reconnect with all my close friends, and that turned out to be a blast.

That pretty much sums up the last few months for me! I hope you are enjoying your holiday time, and I wish you a very Happy New Year!

~ S ~


  1. Janelle (The Roomie)December 29, 2011 at 1:05 AM

    haha if you think billybobs is big, you should see cowboys dance hall in san antonio hunny! lol

  2. A Christmas cocktail party?

  3. Yes! My mom and friends helped me throw a Christmas party with holiday-themed cocktails (both light liquor and virgin drinks). I will try to post pictures later on!


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