Monday, April 29, 2013


It tastes as good as it looks, I can promise you that.

This birthday cake snocone was about as crazy as our weekend got.  Turbo was helping host a golf tournament, and was gone Thursday through Sunday morning.

My to-do list was quite lengthy, but did any of it get done? Nope. Since my only real "job" is to clean, do laundry, and cook dinner, when Travis is gone I kind of feel like I'm on vacation. Is that terrible?

 I spent Friday with the pups on the couch (another treat we partake in when Turbo's gone) and a full DVR. I never watch TV but record a hundred shows, so I was set to be lazy all weekend! 

Saturday, I did a little shopping in San Antonio but not before I got locked out of our house for 4 hours after closing the door behind us when I let the pups out. After a sad attempt to break in to every door and window we have, I finally decided to walk a few streets (barefoot. in a XXL shirt.) to our friends house to use their phone to call T who was staying just 20 minutes away. Total walk of shame - really, college all over again. I am SO thankful I decided to walk back in the house to put on shorts and a bra - which I don't always do. That walk of shame would have been a hell of a lot more shameful pants-less and bra-less. 

Neighbors were looking at my hotmessyness - and our unleashed dogs, wandering about - as I explained that I had gotten locked out and was just walking to borrow someones phone. Of course, I confessed that I don't actually know my husbands phone number when they offered theirs. Really, has anyone memorized a number since 2002? I got some definite eye rolls.  
Welcome to the neighborhood Mandell.  

Other than that, my weekend was incredibly chill. 
a nice way of saying worthless

Weekend lesson: hide a key somewhere and memorize your husbands phone number. 

I should also note that this is my second time to be locked out of the house and unable to get in.  About 7 times I have gotten locked out and successfully broken in. AND I've locked my keys in my car no less than 13 times...

No one should probably ever give me a baby without some serious, immediate, OnStar/AAA coverage. 

link up here, here, here

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

good things to come

and I'm kicking them off with this fab new blog design.

There's just something wonderful about a nice, organized space isn't there?

A space can tell you a lot about a person. Good or bad, it can change you mood, energy, and sometimes can even lend itself to productivity. Now if only every room could do that...

Over the last few months I've been slowly working on "my room" as we call it. A room that is completely mine, full of color (which is basically nonexistent in my neutral colored home), organization (in progress), and chock full of inspiration. 

Ideas, sticky notes, to-lists, inspiration galore pulled from magazines, catalogs and a million sketches, are all staring me down and I .love. it! In the last few weeks I have accomplished more here, than I have in ages. 

That's what a great space can do for you!

My hope is that having a new beautiful place in the www to share with you will inspire me to be a little more diligent. I have SO much I want to show & tell you all about! 

We are in the car a lot it seems. Truthfully, as much as I would love a little more time at home I look forward to being on Turbo's passenger side. Some of our best, and most important conversations take place in the cab of his truck. (I also get ample time to catch up on my mags and catalogs which I don't mind one bit.)

  Recently, on one of our countless drives home, Turbo and I were having a discussion about all things "future". He told me that I can't waste talents by not offering them to others.  He also encouraged me to really pinpoint what I love and what I'm good at and make something happen with it. And I full heartily want to, have wanted to...   

How pompous of me to presume people may actually like or even care what I have share, show, and tell, right? But in my (usually) wise husbands words, "if you're not going to do it, someone else will."

So very true.

New ventures like this can always be a little intimidating. But I think I've gathered enough encouragement to follow where my mind wanders. I mean really, what do I have to lose?

In the coming weeks I am excited to share a new endeavor with you!

This exciting little revamp you're looking at is what Travis would call an "investment".
see, he's usually so wise! Lucky me!

And didn't Bri do an amazing job? Total case of the green eyed monster here, I have complete respect for anyone who knows what the heck they're doing with html and even more respect for someone who is willing  email me back and forth no less than 40 times to make things look exactly as my (very specific) mind had hoped. Go check out her other work

link up here, herehere, here, and here

Monday, April 22, 2013

we're adults

You know what makes a girl feel like a full fledged adult? Spending an entire weekend doing nothing but house projects. Want to know what makes a girl know she's an adult? Actually enjoying an entire weekend of doing nothing but house projects.

There is no running away from this anymore. I am an adult.
How did this happen? And when can I move back in to the dorms?

But I'll continue to dream about too many margs. At 2 pm. On a Wednesday. And try my damndest to pepper those in as much a possible.

But this new life isn't half bad. I quite love it actually. 

In a word, our weekend was productive. Very productive.

We have a handful of projects going on around the house and with our first full weekend home in what seems like ages, we knew we needed to take full advantage. And that we did.

We finished Trav's bar downstairs. He originally wanted me to paint it all old and chippy, like an old crab shack. I was ALL OVER that idea. Somehow, we ended up with this...I (mostly) kept my opinions to myself.  He gave me the entire house, I'll let him have his basement!

I refinished two pieces of furniture and got boards ready to finish out our dining room shelves. 

Do y'all have a closet or shelf with fun finds to "shop" through? I'm always changing things out throughout our house, I love shopping through this stash for the perfect addition! But it was high time to clear out a few things, get it re-organized, and a little more functional.

I think I was most excited about going to the nursery and planting our very first garden! Holy cow, getting a garden ready is hard work. About died. We planted tomatoes, jalapaneos and chilis, potted some herbs, and got seeds ready for a bigger veggie garden we'll make as soon as they sprout.

And you would never believe how helpful these girls were throughout the entire weekend.

We managed to squeeze in a long lunch with friends and a trip to San Antonio, where Travis fell in love with Hobby Lobby -I can't make this stuff up y'all, I had to drag him out of there for the sake of our wallet-

Other than lunch with friends our meals consisted of out-of-this-freakin-world turkey jerky with a heavy sprinkle of sno-cones. Duh. 

And Turbo made some guacamole. Jerky, corn dogs, sno-cones, guac.  You'd think I didn't just join a weight loss challenge or something.

link up herehere, here

Sunday, April 21, 2013



More on the "new" Urban Sky later this week!

In the mean time, do something wonderful today. Something that makes you supremely happy.
Mine will include working in the yard with Turbo, we're finally putting in a vegetable garden y'all! 

And it's quite likely a sno-cone break will be included!

in need of a new blog design? go here. fast!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

front porch sitting

On September 27th, 2012, after five very long months of house hunting, we were given the keys to our first home.

This precious little house circa 1929 is slowly being transformed into our home

Although quite the undertaking, it's a job I've dreamed of tackling since well, ever.
 Well, since spending hours in front of the TV watching "Flip this House" in high school.

I have full intentions on slowly giving y'all a peek inside but with spring here, and an open weekend at home (what? those exists?!) my mind is spinning with all things "curb appeal"!

And boy does our little house sure need it! Take a look:

On the to-do list:
-replace rotten siding
-make new shutters
-repaint house
-repaint porch
-trellis over garage
-mock picket fence at sidewalk 
-flag pole
-create fllower beds
-add color to beds
-line sidewalk
-update mailbox
-plant kitchen garden
-plant cutting garden
-pot porch flowers
-refinish daybed
-refinish desk
-make daybed bedding and accent pillows
-purchase outdoor rug, coffee table, iron bistro set

I have a million ideas in my brain about the overall look, little details, and feel I'm after. Travis never seems to quite understand them. Enter: pictures. I've been browsing through magazines and pinterest for pictures of what I have in mind. It's funny how when I verbally explain what I want to do he's rarely on board but as soon as I show him a picture he's all about it! Boys.

Here are some rough ideas I love that are still in keeping with the cottage-y nature of our house. 

probably going to stick to a neutral color here.

Okay, Travis is still a little unsure about the dresser and daybed.
The phrase "trust me" is used A LOT around these parts!

On a bit smaller scale of course.

And here is some general inspiration...
I've had a hard time finding great do-able yards so far in my search.

And you can bet your sweet little behind our porch will be decorated to a T with each new holiday!

When can we start buying pumpkins?!

Monday, April 15, 2013

pura vida

Easter weekend Travis and I traveled to Costa Rica.
Welcome to the world's longest post known to man kind.

The goal: catch as many sport fish as possible in two days.

Our trip was planned for the tail end of the season but we still managed to raise/hook nearly 20 fish and land 11. Not too bad for a (two)days work! 

We traveled first class for the first time in our lives. The simple fact that I was taking pictures of "first class" things tells you it is not something we do often (ie. ever)

Can't drink all day unless you start in the morning! And that we did. 
And no lie, this was one of the best steaks I've ever eaten.

The food, the drinks, the hot towels (sheesh!), the movies, the convenience, the extra space...the extra space alone is enough to make Trav fork over the big bucks in the future. Although I told him maybe we should reserve such treatment for "special occasions" only.

Let's get real here, you could fly me to a gorgeous location in a wooden crate thrown under the plane, and I'd be okay with it. 

However, we nearly drank enough to cover the costs, I'm sure of it! So maybe it's worth it after all?

From the airport to the resort community of Los Suenos where we were staying was about a 2 hour drive with traffic. No worries, our cabbie hooked us up with the most delicious Coca-Cola Classic I've ever sipped on (and I hate Coke) and Costa Rica is known for their cashews, which were simply ah-mazing. 

We were all craving a little local brew, so when traffic backed us up perfectly to a little market it was like a sign from heaven to get our drink back on. 

We checked into the hotel, jumped in the golf carts and headed to dinner at the marina.

Then headed to the casino (each night) where I proceeded to be Turbo's little sugar mama by turning his hundo into nearly enough to cover the costs of the trip.

I've got I had some mad 3 Card Tute skills. (3 card poker)

We won't discuss how I managed to lose nearly all of my winnings the last night.

But can we discuss how cute the preppy little roulette chips are??

The sun rises early on the equator and we had to be up with it to catch our boat each morning, so it was always an early night for us. 

After a quick breakfast we jumped aboard the Super Fly

And headed out about 60 miles (almost 2 hours) before we dropped the lines and waited anxiously for the first big bite!

Turbo was really (like little kid, ridiculously cute) excited. 

If you've never been offshore fishing with a crew, basically the way it works is you sit back and drink, chat, nap, what have you, and wait until someone yells something along the lines of "sail on!" (probably in Spanish depending on location) 

Someone then straps a fighting belt on you and you reel that bad boy in.  It really requires no fishing skill what so ever. However, the ability to reel anywhere from 5-30+ minutes and hold a heavy pole is required. 

Travis asked me if I wanted to reel in the first one. I was excited to but after having just woken from a nap I told him he could do the honors.  Big mistake, because the first catch wound up being quite the trophy fish!

A 64 inch Dorado. Mahi Mahi/Dolphin fish/whatever you choose to call it.

Try to contain your jealousy when I tell you this fish will be hanging on our wall in 2-3 months.
Thank goodness for the basement! 

Almost immediately Jose filleted him and got him ready for our lunch.

Straight off the hook into our bellies. Fresh is an understatement. SO good. 

I reeled in the next one! I was pretty pumped.

And not more than 3 seconds after hooking him, 2 others were on the line!

sidenote: a fighting belt is not flattering. 

"Catch a bill fish" was happily crossed off my to-do list!

And talk about a rush. This is why people love bill fishing! 

Check out the sail dancing out of the water in this shot. Only in Costa Rica craziness like this happens, we were told.

Turbo was one proud husband.

Pounding it!

The rest of the day was more of the same. Fishing, napping, picture taking, and soaking up some sun!

At a few different points over the weekend the boat was surrounded by thousands of dolphins. It was quite an incredible sight!

We headed in around sunset and enjoyed more Mahi Mahi for dinner.

The next day was the same story with a little louder music and a lot more beer drinking added in.

Imperial is no Belikin but it did the job.
Speaking of, our honeymoon recap is a little overdue, I'd say.

We caught more fish...

Some of us even jumped in the middle of the pacific ocean with our catch...

I was sad that was our last fish of the trip. Next time I will be swimming with the sails also!

We drank...

We had several dance parties which may have also led to a Harlem Shake...
nothing Turbo loves more than a good Harlem Shake.

Jose's got some moves only a central american could have! Envious. 

We I took the best naps ever experienced...

Oh, and our crew? They were -awesome-.

The fishing was fantastic and the company was even better!

What more could you ask for?

Over the course of the trip I was excited to play with my camera on the trip.
The crew also had a great time snapping pics!

We plan to get some sort of lens to better capture action shots before our next trip. Turbo was pretty excited about the difference in quality a good camera captures. I think he's addicted too!

Catching fish all weekend wears a girl out!

Travis also found his "dream" boat.

My thought about that? If we're going to go big, let's go BIG!

A girl can dream, right?

Moral of this long story:

If you get a chance to visit Costa Rica, go! It was such an incredible trip. 

The fishing was fantastic.

The scenery is absolutely breathtaking. 

However, if you're staying on the pacific side don't expect beautiful beaches.


And also, please, I repeat, PLEASE spell check before taking pictures of sand written messages.  So much for adding this one to our collection... 

Vacation fail.    

Oh, and on the way back to the airport we crossed "The Crocodile Bridge". 
It was just that, a semi-rickety bridge brewing with giant crocs below.

It was pretty wild.  Literally. 

Costa Rica is more known for their rain forest and the gorgeous plants and unique animals. Our next trip will surely include a trek in the jungle. 

The countries motto is "Pura Vida" which translates to 'pure life' or 'the good life' but the people of Costa Rica don't just say it, they live it. 

Maybe we should all move there?