happy terrific two

today is my 2 year anniversary of blogging. 

first of all, i want to say thank you for reading my blog. and all of its randomness. 

i have enjoyed meeting as many of you as i can (via blog comments, emails, facebook, instagram, etc…). i have enjoyed reading your blogs. i have enjoyed trying your recipes and experiencing your life through your stories. i have enjoyed reading about ingredients i don’t even like, and have not “enjoyed” reading about your dating woes and disasters. but you are all fantastic writers, and that’s what keeps me reading. 

there’s nothing sophisticated or themed about my blog. it’s just a bunch of random experiences that i want to share. 

and with that said, stay tuned for more random experiences that i will still be sharing!

may you all have a fantastic week. =)

xoxo,

sierra lei

 

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30 for 30

my sister turned 30 this year. when she turned 21, i took her to get her nails done and i bought us matching outfits and accessories. i wasn’t too fond of fake nails, but i kept the tradition of dressing alike for her birthday for a few years. here are some pictures of my sister and i dressing alike, some on her birthday and some not:

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aside from dressing alike, i have taken my sister out to dinner or have arranged for birthday dinners for her. we had fondue one year, just the two of us. i took her to her favorite restaurant another year, the old warsaw. a big group of us took her to dinner at a japanese buffet restaurant, tokyo one. dinners are always the main part of birthdays, but i wanted my sister’s 30th birthday to be very different than the others. for my 30th birthday last year, i had an awesome dinner with friends, followed by an after-party at a bar. i pretty much celebrated my 30th birthday all week. well, my sister doesn’t do that. she doesn’t go out much, she doesn’t go to bars, and she surely does not go to clubs. she’s on her last leg of school and currently student teaches third grade. she gets up at some ungodly hour of the morning, goes to school, comes home, prepares for her next day, and is in bed by 9. her birthday was on a monday and i wanted to do something on her actual birthday instead of on the weekend prior, so i took all that information and came up with giving her 30 gifts for her 30th birthday. before i came up with the idea, she would always say she needed “teacher’s clothes” and i would hear stories about the rules that teachers had and stories about her students. after i came up with the idea, i took the stories and incorporated them into the gifts that i would get her.

i started my 30 for 30 project by listing all the things i wanted to get my sister. aside from the teacher theme i was going for, i also had down a list of things that i knew she wanted or thought she would enjoy. she’s very much into the paris theme at the moment, so that helped with some gifts. i called my dad the day i came up with the idea, and he made some great gift suggestions.  i told some of my friends, too, and they came up with some neat ideas. of course 30 gifts would cost a ton of money, but i tried to play it smart-to shop sales, shop clearance, use coupons, etc. i had about a month to shop, so i did every chance that i got. working in a mall helped because i was able to swing by a store on a break or look around for ideas. she had been wanting good eyeshadows in neutral shades so i got her the latest mini naked palette that came out by urban decay. i love my naked 2 palette, it’s amazing and i use it all the time. she had been obsessing over a bobbi brown lipstick of mine, threatening to steal it, so i brought it out while shopping and found her a few lipsticks in a similar shade. i got her some gift cards so she could buy whatever she wanted from certain stores. i studied her closet to see what she had been recently purchasing to figure out what to buy as far as teacher’s clothes go. some major department stores were running ridiculous sales on top of their clearance so i would spend what seemed like forever going through every piece of clothing. i found amazing dresses and tops and belts and accessories at ridiculous prices. the prices were so low that i was putting multiple gifts in one box. my 30 for 30 was probably 80 for 30 or something, if we counted every item. haha. some gifts were gag gifts. bath and body works had an anti-bacterial soap sale and i got her a bunch of full-sized soaps “because her students have germs.” she student teaches third grade. i also hand made her a “survival kit for naughty students” which consisted of a yardstick, a roll of duct tape, a bar of soap, and a dunce cap. as far as the paris theme goes, i got her an eiffel tower necklace, sets of notecards with her name personalized on them, and the very last gift she opened was an amazing memory board that my friend/co-worker handmade for her. my friend, amber, makes memory boards and sells them on etsy and she couldn’t have made it any more perfect. i was SO excited when i got to see it in person and i was SO sure that it was going to be my sister’s favorite gift out of all of them, so i made it #30, the grand finale. if any of you want custom-made memory boards, you really should check out my friend on etsy. she is very talented. i’m having her make one for my new black/gray/pink bedroom and my co-workers have thrown their orders in as well. if you want to look at her work, click here.

also, my sister was not a big card person. how funny, since i’m the complete opposite. so…i thought it would be funny to attach a card to all her gifts. hahahaha.

if any of you think of doing this for a birthday, for any age, it’s really fun and it doesn’t have to cost much if you shopped like i did. sign up for email alerts or rewards memberships from stores and use coupons. shop sales and clearance racks. hand make things. but allow yourself enough time to get everything together-and wrapped. i am a professional gift wrapper, so of course everything had to look perfect-and it wasn’t as hard, because i think wrapping them all was the most time-consuming part.

aside from the 30 for 30 gifts, we took my sister out to 2 nice dinners within her birthday week. it was fun and delicious.

here is a captioned photo gallery of my 30 for 30 project. enjoy!

xoxo

 

one of the first gifts i wrapped...with a card.

one of the first gifts i wrapped…with a card.

 

hiding gifts results in only one thing: putting them in the trunk.

hiding gifts results in only one thing: putting them in the trunk.

 

hiding fully wrapped gifts in a closet.

hiding fully wrapped gifts in a closet.

 

while she was at school, i took the day off from work to set up.

while she was at school, i took the day off from work to set up.

 

i had my sister blindfolded when i brought her in the house. this is her shocked face.

i had my sister blindfolded when i brought her in the house. this is her shocked face.

 

gift #1: bread pudding, one of her favorite desserts.

gift #1: bread pudding, one of her favorite desserts.

 

teacher's kit for naughty students. the dunce cap.

teacher’s kit for naughty students. the dunce cap.

 

this was a gift that wasn't on my list but was perfect for the teacher's kit. like a boss!

this was a gift that wasn’t on my list but was perfect for the teacher’s kit. like a boss!

 

dad's idea. chicken soup for the teacher's soul. we grew up reading chicken soup books. it was perfect.

dad’s idea. chicken soup for the teacher’s soul. we grew up reading chicken soup books. it was perfect.

 

she knew what this gift was. i made her try on a NIQUEA.D necklace from papyrus and she fell in love with it and wanted it so bad. so i got it for her.

she knew what this gift was. i made her try on a NIQUEA.D necklace from papyrus and she fell in love with it and wanted it so bad. so i got it for her.

 

putting her necklace on.

putting her necklace on.

 

oooooohhhh.....

oooooohhhh…..

 

gift #30!!!!! the memory board that my friend hand made for my sister!

gift #30!!!!! the memory board that my friend hand made for my sister!

 

 

we used my niece as a prop. she's a great actress.

we used my niece as a prop. she’s a great actress.

 

one of my sister's 2 birthday dinners.

one of my sister’s 2 birthday dinners.

 

 

 

 

for those of you who just walked in…

…hi!

 

i looked through my iphoto to find a picture of anything i took a year ago…and the funny thing is that my gravatar image (that would be the thumbnail picture of me, right?) is actually a photo that i took exactly one year ago. so there you go! but if i was to post a picture of THREE years ago, these are some pictures of my little man (a.k.a. my “rent-a-kid”…or “nephew” if we want to keep things simple) and i when a bunch of us friends and kids went to the park for some football and fun:

 

that was one of my most favorite days of taking pictures. we all wore white shirts and blue jeans and the kids (all age 2 at the time) looked super cute and were fun to take pictures of. the weather was nice and it was just a great day. so there’s a bit of a “blast from the past.”

i love reading blogs…or looking at pictures. i love pictures. i love everything visual. the topics of blogs that i love reading are art, photography, fashion, makeup, pastries, dating, and cupcakes. yes, i have a tab for “cupcakes” and a tab for “pastries.” haha.

*art: i have always loved art. i wanted to be an artist when i was little. i love monochromatic art. i love abstract art. i love graffiti. i love cartoons. i love caricatures. i love watercolors. i love sketches. it’s easy to tell what i like because when i see something, my eyes get big. haha.

*photography: i’m just a gal with a sony cybershot camera, nothing fancy. but i can take a trillion pictures in a small amount of time. i just like taking pictures. if i had to frame every picture i took that i loved, i’d need a few houses. i love looking at photographer’s websites. i wish i could be photographed to look editorial. i loved watching “america’s next top model” because there were so many behind-the-scenes activities going on in the show. if a photographer came up to me and said, “i would love to shoot you one day,” I’D BE ALL FOR THAT! that would be so cool! photographers do amazing work, i can’t even get into it. THERE ARE SOME that i am far from fond of. one of my favorite photographers is dave lachapelle. very colorful and crazy.

*makeup: another reason why i love photography. i love looking at the makeup job that is done on the models. i have NEVER been taught how to put on makeup, so i thank youtube for that. i have come to the conclusion that the “crease” eyeshadow look is not for my eyelid type, but the smokey eye definitely is. i love beauty products, but i hate the fact that they’re really costly. i am constantly looking for tips on how to put on makeup, how to have good skin, and how to buy products. i guess the first step is to drink water. that is something i RARELY do and should start getting on. eek!

*pastries/cupcakes: since they’re both in the same category…and they’re self-explanatory…need i say more? haha. i love pastries. i love flaky pastries, mini desserts, cupcakes, moist cakes, marshmallow icing on anything, and AMAZING decorations. when it comes to my love for cupcakes, i actually just like the decorating part. and eating cupcakes, of course…i don’t usually eat my own cupcakes because i am around them all the time. i have taste testers for that. sometimes i’ll have one friend taste test, sometimes i’ll have a few friends. i love reading dessert blogs and food blogs. and when they have pictures, I LOVE THEM MORE. everyone asks how i stay skinny (currently weighing in at 112 lbs.)…i don’t really know. i just say “don’t exercise, eat everything you want, and don’t ever sleep.” but i shouldn’t be saying that because i’d really love to start being fit (toned all over) and start getting into a healthier lifestyle. and, like i said, i guess the first step is to start drinking water…i really don’t enjoy things that don’t have flavor…ugh.

*dating: i’m just a very curious person about the personal lives of others. dallas is such a shallow city. i don’t mean to talk crap about it, but there are trophy wives left and right and up and down in this city. it is quite hard to make friends that you know you WILL keep for a really long time. people think they’re better than you. material things matter. and after your late 20s, kids start popping up and it’s not just dating single people anymore-it’s dating single parents. people’s dating lives are very interesting to me. why people break up, why people stay together, why people keep leaving each other and coming back, there are so many reasons. i am such a sucker for love stories. how he proposed, what he gave her for valentine’s day, what he did to make her day better when she was feeling down, i can’t stop hearing or reading about it. i have some friends who have some of the most amazing boyfriends and husbands i have ever heard of. after over 10 years of marriage and he still gives you flowers at least once a month? he serves you breakfast in bed? he had flowers delivered to you AND your single friends on valentine’s day? where do you GET THESE GUYS? it’s amazing. i have yet to read stories like these in blogs, so maybe i’ll have to do more reading…as if i don’t already do enough.

-this week was my sister’s birthday week. this was us on her birthday week FOUR years ago:

when she turned 21 (8 years ago), i started a tradition of getting us matching outfits for her birthday and taking her out to dinner, whether or not she had a boyfriend. on this night, i took her out for a fondue dinner (her request). this was also the year that we did 2-day celebrations, so this next picture was us the next day when a group of us went out to dinner to celebrate her birthday (again):

it was the middle of the night. we were hot and messy. but still dressed identical. =) and for future reference, she is always on the right and i am always on the left. haha.

i really should get to bed. it’s past 3 a.m. and i have to be up for work at 9 a.m…and i will be hating myself.

don’t get on pinterest, sierra….don’t get on pinterest………………………………

xoxo

miscellaneous randomness

1. i have never received valentine’s day flowers before, until this valentine’s day 2012. the funny thing is that on monday i kept telling my co worker’s, “i hope someone gets flowers tomorrow so i can take pictures of it and look at it!” and i was the only one that got flowers. *aaaaw!* and not only 1 dozen…but 2 dozen! i absolutely love flowers. they’re beautiful, looking at them makes me happy, they smell good…i grew up around flowers (plumerias and gardenias in particular) so i just love them.

 

2. i have been looking into finding a makeup brush set. during my online search for one, i decided to look up blogs about makeup brushes and stumbled upon a video clip from EnKore that compared makeup brushes to paint brushes! very neat and very interesting…i can’t seem to upload the video, so here is the link.

3. i made an impulse buy…i blame it on working with the personal assistant to the VP of our company. she used to work for sephora and has her “cosmetics certification” if i said that right. i spent a good few days talking to her about cosmetics and beauty products. i knew i was going to get into trouble discussing that with her, she is very knowledgeable. i also blame it on the particular item that i bought because it was a pretty popular valentine’s day gift to girls from their boyfriends and husbands. so…i bought the urban decay naked palette 2.

 

 

amazon is selling this palette for over $60. at sephora it is $50. i’m sure it’s going to be one of the best $50 i’ve spent. i’ve heard lots of amazing reviews on the naked 1 but i wanted the naked 2 first. eventually i will get the naked 1. =) i’ll put that on my wish list. i see a makeup and beauty products obsession coming on…as if i didn’t have it already.

4. rumor has it that the ipad3 is coming out soon, so i figure i’d wait until it does. for now, my apple gift cards must hang out in my bedroom. 

5. i have had a mac-n-cheese kick lately. sometimes i’ll make it for breakfast, too. i have no idea what’s up with that. and no, i am not pregnant. 

6. i had a gift wrap station in the hallway of northpark center from february 1 to valentine’s day. it was definitely one of the most fun experiences i have had at work. some of the popular items that i gift wrapped this holiday were christian louboutins, louis vuitton handbags, lululemon yoga gear, james avery jewelry, sperry shoes, michael kors handbags, perfumes, and those overpriced godiva chocolate covered strawberries. they better be wrapped, half a dozen costed $50. i was surprised that i did not wrap much from victoria’s secret. very surprised. 

7. my brother said i’d be a lot cooler if i knew how to make mocha cupcakes. thanks to my great friend, jessica, who gave me the big book of cupcakes by betty crocker, there is a mocha-caramel cappuccino cupcake recipe. all we gotta do is not put caramel and we’ve got a winner. i don’t hate caramel, my brother just doesn’t want it. i also looked at a recipe for oreo cupcakes. that sounds interesting. i’m definitely down for doing mocha cupcakes soon. i love coffee. 

8. i haven’t been liking my eyebrows lately. i think i need to get them shaped and trimmed. they’ve been just bugging me. that’s what happens when i get my dad’s eyebrows. but i love my dad, so i don’t mind TOO much. 

9. i have been doing terrible with my journal writing. shame on me…*sad face*

10. sometimes i refuse to log in to pinterest because i know it will suck me in for a handful of hours and i won’t care about anything else. and i thought facebook was bad!

that is all. 

xoxo

 

halloween fun

on saturday, i decided to go to the oak lawn block party for halloween. i had never been there and i wanted to take pictures of all the neat costumes. obviously, that meant i needed a costume myself, so i had to brew something up. i used some of my nephew’s white face paint and slathered some black eyeshadow on my face and body…..teased my hair…..later on used some of my nephew’s tube of blood…..and this is what i got:

 

 

unfortunately, there is something wrong with my memory stick, so i have yet to upload the pictures from the block party. it was a blast, let me tell ya. so many costumes, i couldn’t even enjoy them all as much as i wanted to…or take pictures of them! but i will work on getting the pictures into my mac so i can show y’all. there are tons of great photos.

 

on sunday, i wanted to do something simple, like a devil…but ended up buying a tray of face goodies (paint, scars, glitter, etc.), so i decided to do up my costume a little more…….note, i have never worked with face paint before. i just wanted something that resembled flames…

these are some of my favorite pictures of sunday night:

 

 

it was a fun halloween weekend. finally…a halloween that beat halloween ’02 in hawaii!!!!!!!!!!! ❤

enjoy!

xoxo