Valentine's Love List

Happy Valentine’s Day Loves! I hope all of y’all’s days are filled with love and lots of chocolate! Obviously, Valentine’s Day is a day of love—a day to highlight your love for others and for life as a whole. Today I am sharing 17 items from my love list, in other words, here are 17 things I love about life. What’s on your love list?

Breakfast, Brunch, & Breakfast for Dinner

When I say i could eat breakfast foods for all three meals ,the rest of my life, I truly mean it. I LOVE breakfast! I have even shared a bit of my breakfast obsession here on the blog so check out those posts below! For my Houstonians out there, Empire Cafe, Tiny Boxwoods, Vibrant, and Hobbit Cafe are just a few really yummy breakfast spots. Let me know if you want a more in depth post on places to brunch or breakfast!

Afternoon Coffee

Since I can remember, afternoon coffee is an essential part of my entire family’s daily routine. I think my first memories of afternoon coffee are from the summer days we would spend in Midland, TX visiting my great grandparents and other extended family. Around 3:30-4ish in the afternoon, everyone would wake up from their naps and finish up their resting. Someone would brew a couple huge pots of coffee and my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and great grandparents would enjoy each others company over a cup of coffee and a couple of the freshly baked carmelitas, double iced brownies, or whatever else was available. Midland and my grandparents’ house here in Houston were the only places I could get away with having a cup of a coffeemilk during coffee time for a while. Being the first born grandchild and great grandchild, meant sooner or later Great Granddaddy or Grandmother would fix a cup for me. To this day, after school, I always look forward to coffee. It’s the perfect time to catch up with everyone on their days and take a bit of a mid-day breather. Check out my favorite Houston coffee shops here!

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6:00 pm at the Beach—pelican flybys

I guess you could say my family has quite a few rituals or routines. Well, going to the beach every year is just another one. For the majority of my lifetime, we have always gone down to Galveston, however in recent years we have started going to Rosemary Beach in Florida. Each evening, around 6, everyone is back at the house from the beach and showered. Typically you will find, a bowl of boiled shrimp in Old Bay seasoning sitting on the counter, while my mama’s beach playlist is playing in the background (a mix of Kenny Chesney, Bob Marley, Cranberries and some other beachy classics) and everyone is sitting out of the porch with the door wide open, watching the pelican flybys overhead. When I was little, I clearly remember coming out onto the porch freshly showered, in my pajamas and curling into whoever’s lap was available. Just thinking about it, I can smell the ocean air and feel the cool salty breeze.

Cool Spring Weather and Pre Summer Jitters

You know that time of year, sometime in late March or early April when its cool enough to wear jeans but warm enough to wear a tank and flips? Ya, thats another love of mine. It’s the time of year when school is coming to an end, but its not too close to finals, so you don’t quite have finals anxiety yet. After daylight savings, when it starts to stay light longer, my family and I often go on evening walks after dinner. This few week period in the year just has always been one I love.

Wicked Utah Hikes

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We go to Utah every summer and each time we go we do a hefty amount of hiking. Often times, we hike the same trails we had the year before, but sometimes we do venture on to some new ones. Whether we are on a relaxing downward stroll or a direct uphill trek, I always find myself really enjoying it. The combination of the crazy views, the cool yet warm weather, and whatever random conversations my family and I end up having, all create moments I look forward to throughout the year.

Skiing

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Something about flying down the side of a mountain all day long is so spectacular. When I am skiing, I find it to be one of the most relaxing things. Although it’s so freeing, it can also be challenging and just plain fun. I certainly love the frequent hot chocolate stops and listening to an awesome playlist, but one of my favorite aspects of my family ski trips are the ski lift conversations. For the couple of minutes spent on the lifts, I have ended up having the funniest conversations with my siblings and made some new friends with very interesting people. What’s not to love?!

Weekly Family Dinners

A few years back, my family and I established our weekly family dinners, which have become something I look forward to each week. Every Sunday from 5:30-7:30 pm, my Houston family (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, great grandparents) meets at one of our houses (we switch off every week or so). For just those few hours, the adults enjoy drinks, while the younger cousins play, we all eat a rather casual dinner, often followed by dessert, and simply catch up with one another on our past week and the days to come.

Farmers markets

Loads and loads of fresh fruit, homemade bread, delicious jams, and whatever else you may find are why I love farmers markets. In Utah, we always make sure to stop by the Park City Farmers Market, where we grab a loaf of orange-cranberry sourdough, cherry jam, lavender honey, and whatever yummy fruit is available. In Spain, the Barcelona Boquería Meat Market and Madrid’s San Miguel Market were two of my favorite parts of the trip. Fresh, homemade, REAL food is utterly unbeatable.

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Traveling

Exploring and adventuring new cities, states, and countries is unbeatable! It continues to amaze me just how different other parts of the world are. Traveling is the best way to dive into new cultures and atmospheres.

Movies from the 80s

So I have this obsession with old movies, specifically movies from the 1980s. I love all of the John Hughes movies, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, and the Breakfast Club, just to name a few. But movies like Lonesome Dove (yes, I love all 6 hours and 11 minutes of it lol) and Top Gun are definitely at the top of my favorites lists. Below are some of my absolute-must-see movies. If you haven’t seen any of the films below, stop what you’re doing, grab some popcorn and begin watching.

  • The Breakfast

  • Sixteen Candles

  • Cocktail

  • Pretty in Pink

  • Lonesome Dove

  • Top Gun

  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

  • BIG

  • Karate Kid

  • Flashdance

  • Stand By Me

  • Footloose

  • Dirty Dancing

  • Can’t Buy Me Love

  • Star Wars

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Rodeooo

Sometimes I think about how cool it would be to live in places like California, New York, Paris, Sevilla, London, Florence, or somewhere other than Houston, TX. However, I always find myself coming to the conclusion that while I certainly hope to explore more areas of the country and globe, I really love Houston and would miss it so dearly. I could go without the indecisive weather, or the mass amount of summer mosquitos, or the 100% daily humidity, but one thing I cannot stand to miss each year is the Rodeo. Even though I was actually born in New Orleans, I think I have been to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo about every year of my life. About this time each year, my inner Texan comes out and I crave nothing else other than country music. You can catch me at Turnpike Troubadours and George Strait this year at rodeo!! Yeehaw!

Blog Posts!!

Blogging has truly become a form of relaxation for me. When I can sit down for an hour or so and just write about what is on my mind at the moment, I feel so in tune with myself. I know, I know it sounds kind of corny, but really I love being able to relocate my mind from school work and dance and cheer to just write and share.

A Good Read

By absolutely no means am I the worlds fastest reader, however if I find a book I really love, I get so into it. In fact, one of my resolutions for 2019 is to read 12 books. In fact click here to check out my reading list and here to follow me on Goodreads. Between shades of Grey, The Notebook, and Crazy Rich Asians, just to name a few, are some of my summer books that I couldn’t put down.

Dance Parties

Your girl LOVES a good dance party and always has. When my sibs and I were little, the best Friday night in our eyes was dinner out followed by family dance party USA and quite frankly, a dance party always sounds like a plan to me. Give me some good music, a dance floor, and I will be on it all night long!

Laity Lodge Youth Camp

Ah, camp. I could write endlessly about the past three summers I have spent at LLYC, but no worries, I promise I will keep it short and sweet for y’all’s sake. There’s this special thing about camp, my camp, when your in the canyon, alongside the Frio River, surrounded by a couple hundred of the coolest, most unique people you have met, that is just so captivating. You truly can walk up to anyone at camp, whether it is a camper, counselor, crew member, staff member, or a cook, and ask them about their life, their faith, and how they are really doing. Y’a’ll may shed a few tears, laugh uncontrollably, and then walk away from that conversation feeling closer to that person than you do someone you have known your entire life. Not only are the relationships made at camp utterly indescribable, but the memories are the funniest, most wacky you could possibly imagine. Each time I have spent a short two weeks of my summer in the canyon, I leave with some really awesome people in my life, a years worth of stories to tell, and a deeper look into my faith.

Slow Wake Ups

I believe the best way to wake up in the morning is to to spend about thirty minutes reading or lounging in bed with a cup of coffee in hand (even better if someone brings you a cup) before actually getting out of bed. Having a little bit of alone time first thing in the morning is precious. It just gives you a moment to wake up, gather your thoughts, and think through how you plan to conquer your day.

Long Runs

Slow 2 mile runs have morphed into part of my weekly routine and I would be lying to you if i said I am over the moon each time I go on a run. But with that being said, I do love to go on a nice long (still very slow) run on a Saturday morning, of course, after I have very slowly gotten out of bed. Specifically, the 3 mile loop around Rice University is certainly one of my favorites, as it’s perfectly shaded by hundred year old oak trees. If I am wanting a long run, I will run from my house to Rice, around Rice and back home. It’s even better if I have a running buddy to chat with!