Saturday, April 30, 2011

Lizard Love

Today has been such a great day so far! We enjoyed a simple breakfast of Upper Crust Bakery's famous cinnamon rolls, (as well as a decaf, skim latte for me and a small drip coffee for Brian), we fell in love with an amazing house in the adorable, central-Austin neighborhood of Rosedale and while walking Markley saw the above two lizards in love.

Aah, Austin, how we love you so!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

House Hunter-Gatherer

Since moving back to Texas two short months ago, the Austin Luskeys have been hunting for the perfect house to call our own! It's true, our wish lists differ, I will most certainly base my decision 100% on an emotional feeling I get while standing in the center of the home and Brian, rest assured, will be focused on one thing - budget. To be fair, we both want a nice, safe neighborhood (with great schools to utilize in the future) three bedrooms, two baths and preferably an open kitchen/dining/living room floor plan. I wouldn't mind a fabulously remodeled kitchen, crown moldings, formal dining room, a relaxing oasis master suite and pristine landscaping - you know, the charm of a vintage house with the class of a brand new one! I mean, to quote South Pacific's hysterically insightful Happy Talk, "If you don't have a dream, how you gunna have a dream come true?!"

During our hunt, I've been gathering design inspiration and might I say - if all goes according to plan we'll have the most gorgeous house on the block in no time! But first, we have to find a house. Details. Below are two pictures from which I'd love to copy draw inspiration.

I may or may not have seen a house today
that already had black granite counters... :)

If you have to do laundry,
it might as well be in a room this fun!

Every listing we see, we get warmer and warmer. With each house we learn a little bit more about what we need on move-in day and which upgrades can wait. Of course, we'd love to win the lottery and flip a house into a design shrine masterpiece, but there is also something really special about creating a home, one layer at a time, and doing it as a family.

ps. We actually did apply for the show House Hunters and, after emailing back and forth with one of their producers, have a phone interview set up for next week! Wish us luck!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Impatience is My Virtue

I grew up in a family overflowing with strong women. My Grandma was raising four children by the time she was 24 years old and my Mom was already onto her second successful career by the time my siblings and I were in elementary school. Seeing such examples of women who worked full time (both in the workforce and in the home) and had loving marriages and a home cooked, gourmet meal on the table every night by 6:30pm sent a clear message to me from an early age: having it all is the norm.

I often wonder if I had been warned - life isn't as easy as it looks - would I have listened? And if I had listened, would I have assumed that old adage didn't apply to me? I admittedly have a tendency to decide I want something and then wonder why - since I so obviously want it - did it not fall into my lap yesterday.

When we decided to move to Austin, I was encouraged time and time again, "take your time figuring out what it is you want to do." I clearly misinterpreted this advice. For some reason, I heard "sit back, relax, and wait for your next career to fall into you lap as you sit in your apartment watching Real Housewives reruns." What I should have heard, and now understand, is, "try something. If that doesn't end up being a perfect match, try something else!" I had this aha! moment when I came across a job listing for which I thought I might be a good fit. Immediately I thought of the cons - it would be a long commute, I've never done anything in that field before, I'm not sure I want to completely leave the acting/casting/artistic world and have a traditional "nine to five" - the list continues. But then I remember the reasons I was drawn to the listing in the first place - I would learn a lot, my skills and strengths would be put to good use, I would be an advocate for a cause that touches my heart, I could have a work/life balance - the list continues.

And then it hit me. This is what people mean when they say, "take your time." I could fill out the application (a novel concept, I know) meet with the potential employer and talk about the opportunity, see if the job would even be a good fit. Then if it doesn't seem to be all I thought it could, I would just take my time and find something else.

This revelation, I am fully aware, isn't the most impressive discovery, but definitely feels like a weight has been lifted. I'm just glad I came to my senses after only a few months in Austin - not a few years.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Doo unto others...

One of the benefits to living in our apartment building is its proximity to a fabulous dog park. One of the negatives is living near people who are not responsible enough to care for themselves, let alone another living being. The Austin Luskeys are constantly rolling our eyes at the broken beer glass in the landscape (where we are trying to potty train our puppy), gagging on the smells in the concrete stairwell from selfish neighbors who lazily allow their pets to defecate before making it outside and fearing for our lives when the jacked up Chevy Tahoes come blazing around the narrow, blind corners of our disproportionately small parking garage.

The above picture is a note I wrote and placed between one of my rude neighbor's dog's excrements. Classy, I know.

The note reads:


Yes, I took it upon myself to write a note on behalf of my fellow, rule-following residents. The moral of the story is, if you own a pet and live in an apartment building, walk your pet in a neighborhood, enjoy walking (without your pet) in a clean, odor-free stairwell... oh...sheesh, basically if you live on earth and ever come in contact with other humans - BE RESPONSIBLE AND RESPECTFUL OF OTHERS AROUND YOU! That's all.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Austin Livin'

This weekend was a food, friends and art filled weekend for the Austin Luskeys and we must say, we are getting the hang of this Austin livin' thing! Saturday was the Art City Austin festival as well as The Alliance Austin Actors Fair which were both fun and informative. I went to the actors fair to attempt to establish some casting contacts here in Austin and so far so great! I have a lunch meeting scheduled for Friday to discuss how I can get more involved in the Austin casting/acting communities. The art festival was a great way to spend some time outdoors and interact with the nation's most talented artists. Brian and I had a great time pretending we had a mile-high pile of cash we needed to spend on art and deciding which pieces we wanted to take home. The good thing is, we are both drawn to the same styles of art and appreciate photographs, paintings and sculptures with a sense of humor and whimsy.

The entrance to the Art City Austin festival.
(Look closely on the lefthand side and you'll see an
Austinite wearing a sombrero and riding a unicycle!)

Close-up of a multi layered, metal photograph
of Austin's famous South Congress Street!

We also tried an awesome, new restaurant called Eastside Cafe. Get a load of our romantic, date night cuisine:
Plate #1:
Panko & Pecan Encrusted Chicken with Jalapeno Cream Gravy,
Mashed Potatoes & Field Greens
Plate #2:
Four Jumbo Fried Shrimp
with Crispy Fries and Apple Pecan Slaw
Side Dish:
Miso Ginger Acorn Squash

And this is how Markley spent her weekend while her parents were out exploring...
Watching television... in the coffee table...

Snuggling with her favorite toy!

Ps. Today marks Day #16 in my 30 Day Challenge - more than half way there! I'll admit, I've failed on the "blog every day" goal, but I've succeeded on the much more personal and important goals of taking time for myself and reflecting on what I really want and need out of this next chapter in my life. I think giving myself a moment to breathe without the pressure to hurry up and decide has been the greatest gift of all. It's also given me the extra patience I need as we are now on Day #2 of Markley's biggest challenge yet... crate training!