Tuesday, February 22, 2011

2011 Austin Marathon

Ever since we have lived in our house, the Austin Marathon's route has gone by the house. I enjoy watching the runners go by because I am always in amazement that they have the determination to run 26 miles. This gal is lucky to run 2 miles without having my body revolt against me. There are runners of all shapes and sizes that run this race. There are looks of pain, joy, exhaustion, blank stares, determination, and wariness on the faces of the runners. I love to go to the corner near our house to join the rest of the people who showed up with signs to cheer on their loved ones. They all get so damn excited to see their friends/family run by, and it seems to give the runners an extra boost with the cheering.
I went out back with the pups to enjoy the cool morning and to keep an eye out for the runners. Chewie was watching with me :)

This was the first person we saw competing in the marathon. As he rolled by he waved at me and said Good Morning :) He was holding a conversation with the motorcycle cop while going down the street.

This is how I enjoyed the marathon this year, with my coffee

This lady jumped out of her seat to cheer on her friend/brother/boyfriend/husband and he ran by. She was quite the cheerleader and it put a huge smile on my face to watch the sweet interaction

I did a double take when I saw this guy run by... ummmm... Now I know I already said I'm not much of a runner, but isn't he supposed to be wearing his shoes?

While watching the runners our neighbors dog Romy came out to visit. I ended up walking her back to their house because she was perfectly content staying by my side while watching the runners.
If it wasn't for the marathon tag he was wearing, I would have though he woke up, saw the marathon going by and figured he would join wearing just normal clothes
Polka Dots?
After spending a couple of hours watching the runners go by, I went out to meet friends at Union Park to enjoy some mimosas. Our friend Mike ran in the Half Marathon and a few people met up to congratulate him.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lovin the weather

This past Sunday we headed out to the Barton Creek Greenbelt to enjoy the sun and get in some exercise. The dogs were ecstatic to be out and about. There are parts of this trail that get pretty narrow, which makes it a little bit of a nightmare because there are mountain bikers that zoom by. Chewie and Abbey don't really get that when a biker is coming right at us, they need to move to the side. We walked through the river bed for a bit because of the open space so the dogs could roam without us worrying about the bike riders.

A couple of weeks ago I took Abbey to the vet for a little rash on her tummy (turned out to be dry skin), and I found out that she was a little overweight. Our baby girl is 65 pounds. 65 POUNDS, she is a damn chunky girl! :) Her chest has started to barrel out a bit, and her legs stopped growing. So we have been feeding her a little less each day and we have been exercising more with her. Looks like Abbey and I will be on a quest to slim down for summer :)

Chewie sniffing the air
The hubs and I
No matter what type of noise or stomp of my foot I did, they would not look at me at the same time. Damn them, don't they know mama wanted to take a picture??!?!

We walked for about 45 minutes to an hour, and could tell that Abbey was done. She was panting but still prancing along the path. However.. as soon as we stopped at the car, she laid down on the cool ground and stayed there for a bit. Doesn't she look like some type of crazy dog in the picture?

After 5 minutes on the ground, and a lot of water, she perked back up

We decided that we weren't ready to go home, so we went to Cuatros to enjoy some lunch and drinks while the dogs rested below the tables. Well, they did a lot of standing but they did behave.

Cuatros was nice enough to bring over a large water bowl for the pups. We had a great afternoon out in Austin... I look forward to many more of these afternoons this spring

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day
for the dogs :)
Jim and I aren't huge Valentines Day type people. First off... I hate going to dinner and being forced to order off of a limited menu. When we first started dating we would search for concerts to go to or other fun events. Now... we are just old and boring. :) Tonight I made a nice pot roast (i know... sounds sexy doesn't it?), we drank some wine and we caught up on shows we had recorded on DVR. I did buy the dogs a couple of Valentines Day gifts... a couple of teddy bears.
When we adopted Abbey, her birthday was listed as Feb 14th at Town Lake Animal Shelter. Sure they were just guessing but it still meant something to us.
Last year Taylor died on Feb 13th,
(http://austinfotofreak.blogspot.com/2010/02/taylor-april-1998-february-13-2010.html) so the superstitious part of us thought it was fate that Abbey was born on Feb 14th, the next day. I can't believe it has been a year since we lost Taylor, but I think of her often. She was such a stubborn dog, but I loved her to pieces!

I found these Teddy Bears at HEB and I knew the dogs just had to have them.
Abbey LOVES her stuffed toys. Unfortunately she doesn't exactly cherish them, so they are usually in shreds within an hour

Chewie isn't a fan of most teddy bears because normally they have a squeaky toy inside... which he is not a fan of

Chewie is still checking out the cute teddy bear

Chewie and the teddy bear took a tour around the back yard,,, he was being a nice host

They even hung out for a little bit and talked about the weather

Abbey and her stuffed toy got to know each other quite well

Here she is taking a moment to rest while gnawing on the bear :)


Abbey brought her toy inside with her
The poor teddy bear lasted about 2 hours,,, which is a long time around Abbey. At least she had a good time on her first birthday!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Super Bowl

This year we went over to Mikes house to enjoy the Super Bowl festivities... food, friends, commercials, and football. There was a ton of food to enjoy... unfortunately all of the foods aren't exactly good for you, but tasted delicious! :) I brought the Chicken Wing dip and a toffee shortbread cookie.

I didn't really have a team I was cheering for but I preferred that Green Bay win. No real reason why, just like them better than the Steelers.

Erin and Vannessa enjoying the sun before it went down
Lindsay and Chris
Vannessa and Matt

The Fantasy Football wives

Kyndal and Jackson


Monday, February 07, 2011

Modern Home Tour

I finally went on the Modern Home Tour last weekend. I have been wanting to do it for years, but either work or other plans got in the way. Jim was off shooting for the day so I went by myself. :) It's good to go have alone time once in awhile! I printed up the map and came up with a game plan to see as many houses as I could. I decided to not go down South to visit houses, and I'm a little sad that I didn't. I saw some blogs out there that did visit them, and they looked like some cool ass houses!

I took tons of photos, but I tried to narrow them down to just a few per house. One house I went do didn't allow photos, and it figures because it was one of my favorite houses to visit. The tour cost $15 before the day of the tour, and $25 the day off. For me, it was worth paying the money to walk through these incredible houses. I LOVE the Home and Garden channels and looking at how people decorate or have their house set up, so this is like the live version of the TV shows that I like to watch.

Trends I saw were lots of windows, glass tiles in kitchens and bathrooms and fantastic lighting. I saw lots of great ways to light up a room, which we have an issue with in our house.

The first house I went to was closest to our house. It was located off of 2222 in between Mesa and Mopac.
I didn't get to ask if this was a bulldozer and rebuild or if they just brought the original house to the studs and reworked it. I can tell you that most of the houses in this neighborhood were built between the 50's and 70's so this house stood out a bit. Over all I thought the house was nice, but it didn't have a great flow to it, it felt like a bunch of rooms placed together to make a house.

Something I didn't think about was having to take off my shoes to walk through the houses. I wore slip ons so I was walking around in my bare feet... kind of gross :) (I spy a part of my foot :) )
This house had lots of great windows in every room of the house. This was their living room, which was near their kitchen.

The master bathroom was awesome.
Great lighting, huge bathtub, glass tiles, and a nice walk in closet

The 2nd house I went to was off of 2244 near 360. This house was for sale, and I believe the asking price was 1.4 million. Pffft... sure, let me just dig into my piggy bank to buy this house :). This house was on a hill, and towards the bottom of the hill. I had to walk down a steep drive way to get to the house.

This is the master bathroom. It was done in all whites and was one of the largest bathrooms that I saw on the tour. What I loved was the door to the bathroom... it was a sliding door made of frosted glass.

3 sides windows in the master bedroom...
It felt like the bedroom was part of the forest, damn cool.

The living room was like the master bedroom, 3 sides glass and very open. The kitchen also had tons of windows but it was pretty plain (grey counter tops and white bottom cabinets). Since this house was on a hill it had bedrooms/media rooms on different levels. It was a fairly large house, and when you were on one side of the house it almost felt like you were in a different house.
The 3rd house I visited was near Walsh Tarrelton and 2244. This was more of a remodeled older house and I thought they did a good job. I LOVED this carport, it almost seems more decoration than useful carport. I think this type of structure would also do well in a back yard to cover a patio

This bathroom reminded me of something you would see at a beach house with the whites and aqua colors. What I wasn't a fan of, was the shower and lack of enclosure. To me, the water would just get every where, and there isn't anything keeping in the heat/steam of the water. Now, I haven't taken a shower with this type of fixture so maybe I am wrong about that.

The patio and backyard space at this house was fantastic. Huge patio, pond, access to the patio from multiple areas of the house and beautiful trees.

The homeowner added a screened in porch to the master bedroom which really extended the living space.

The next house I visited was my favorite. The family living in there asked that no photos be taken, which is a shame because they had some great design elements and it was beautifully decorated. On the 2nd floor, over looking their living room, they had a little area that was slightly sunken and tiled. They had a lot of plants in this area and it had a drain in the floor so I am assuming it made it easier to water the plants. They also had a couple different patios to over look downtown Austin and Lake Austin (actually it may have been Town Lake)

Cool side gate

View from their patio

This house was West of Mopac near Lake Austin Blvd. It was a smaller house, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms (maybe it was a 2.5 bathroom) and lots of open areas.

This was the side of the house where the living room was (and if you go far enough back one of the bedrooms). Lots of great windows and the living room had a structure that rolled up. I am curious to see how that window/wall rolled up and down (or if it slide from side to side, forgot to look).

Another pretty bathroom

Looking down on the kitchen from the sitting area. There were lots of great bookshelves at this house. I loved this open room, it had fantastic lighting as well.

I was curious about this stop on the tour. It was downtown smack dab in the middle of 6th street. I have probably walked by this place hundreds of times over the years without realizing the home that is there. The entire structure had 2 different levels, a hot tub/pool, 2 kitchens and a few bedrooms.

Overlooking the living room
I was surprised when I walked into this room! This was in the middle of the house
This was the 2nd kitchen, and it was above the pool area, in an open room. I'm not sure I'd like cooking while smelling the chemicals from the pool, But I love the curved kitchen!

Now on to the East side, and I have to say I was a little disappointed with the last 2 places I visited. The homes were pretty but just lacked something. This is the first floor of the house, and it is set up nicely to entertain. The kitchen opens up to a good size living room.

There were 3 smallish bedrooms upstairs with 2 bathrooms. I believe this house was for sale, but I forgot to look to see how much it was going for.

The last house I visited was a new construction, and not sure if it would be considered a house or a town home. The backside of the structure was attached to another home that looked just like the front home.

LOVED the blue rug that they had in the living room

Each home (front and back) had an upstairs area on their roof. They had it decorated for yoga, not sure if I would put a grill up here, but maybe a little Chimera

The kitchen opened up to the living room. As you can see, the kitchen is all white with a glass back splash. Not sure I'm down with a glass back splash... I think I would want some thing more durable and that would hide the splattered food better :) The floors were done in concrete so walking through the undecorated house (first one was decorated, back one was not) it felt very cold.

I had a great time walking through all of the houses. Sure, some weren't my style but I'm sure people out there would love a glass back splash :) I came away with a lot of great ideas on how to improve our house and new colors that I want to paint our rooms. I can't wait to do this next year.