iPhone = Amazing

Ryan and I are now officially owners of two brand new iphones! We've had our eye on them for quite some time now and decided to bite the bullet and pay full price. Unfortunately, Ryan wasn't due for an upgrade from AT&T until August and me not until 2010. We decided there was no way we could wait that long so we fought the crowds at the Galleria the day after Christmas and purchased two fabulous new phones.

If you are even considering getting one, do it! They are amazing and Ryan and I have spent way too much time playing on our new phones. We have spent more time over the last few days playing with these and trying to figure out all the bells and whistles than actually talking to each other. Well maybe not, but these have definitely been glued to our hands lately :) Stay tuned for a 2008 recap - I've been working on a post to highlight everything that went on with the Rudy's in 2008!


Passing the Torch

I want to start off this post by saying I am not a cook. I've never taken an interest in it nor am I any good. What is so odd is that my grandmother is an awesome cook as is my mother. How did this skip me?? Poor Ryan. Well, even though I may not be able to cook, I can officially make cinnamon rolls :)

Let me explain, my Grandmother has made cinnamon rolls for years, every family get together and for every holiday. These are not just any cinnamon rolls, they are fabulous homemade cinnamon rolls that melt in your mouth. My grandmother is really the only one that has ever learned or actually made them. My aunt has since started making them but somehow my mother never learned. Now someone has to take this tradition over, right? Well I expressed an interest in learning and as of yesterday, my Grandmother has resigned and handed over the torch of baking cinnamon rolls and dinner rolls. Here's a few shots of all our day baking session:

Did I mention we made 10 dozen batches!?! It was an exhausting day but I will admit, spending all day in the kitchen with your mother and grandmother while baking rolls and listening to Christmas music is a great way to get you in the spirit!
Merry Christmas!!


Benny the Brat

Ryan and I went to lunch today and decided to leave Bennett outside while we were gone. Benny normally stays inside his crate any time we are gone. He always goes right in and is fine. Now that he is almost a year and half old we have decided that we are going to start leaving him outside alone for short periods of time. Well, BAD IDEA.

We were only gone barely an hour and came home to find our backyard a mess. Bennett, the Beast, had torn up our cushions on the patio furniture, taken out the bricks from the fire pit and broken a flower pot. Cotton was everywhere, pieces of the broken pot were scattered throughout the yard and mulch from the pot was all over our patio. Oh, and Bennett was prancing around the yard practically saying, "Haha, see if you ever leave me alone again."

Back to the crate you go Bennett.


My Favorite Things

As a spin off from Oprah's favorite things, I'd like to present Lauren's favorite things from 2008! I thought this would be a fun way to share a few things that I can't seem to live without. So here goes...
Antonio Melani Shoes - I seem to own every kind of shoe from Antonio- flats, pumps, boots, wedges, you name it, I've got it.
Bare Minerals Make-Up - I just discovered mineral make-up a few months ago and I'm hooked. It is so light weight and it lasts all day!

Black Box Red Wine - My good friend Alison has gotten us hooked on this stuff. Yes, I know it's out of a box but it's delicious and cheap, a win-win in my books.

Nikon D40 Camera - Ryan gave this to me for our anniversary this year and it's amazing. It makes any amateur look like a professional photographer. I carry this everywhere!

Garmin - Ryan and I traveled to California over the summer and I must say - this was our lifesaver! The garmin kept us sane as we drove all over the state and we will never travel without it.

Banana Republic - I can't seem to pick out just one thing. My closet is filled with pants, tops, skirts, cardigans, sweaters and purses. Banana is my "go to" store for everything and always satisfies my clothing desires.

I hope you enjoyed looking at a few of "my favorite things" from 2008!


Winter Wonderland

*Update: It is now a little after 9 pm- 5 hours from my last post - and it is still snowing! This is a first (at least in my lifetime) as a Houstonian for it to snow this long. Here's a picture of our house and Bennett who is definitely enjoying the cold weather!

Happy Wednesday!

It's snowing!

It is snowing! That is definitely not a sentence I get to say very often, especially since I live in Houston. Right now I'm sitting at work and can't seem to concentrate because I am in awe looking out the window. We actually have snowflakes! Too bad I'm inside and not able to run out and play. It is definitely starting to feel like Christmas!

I also want to wish my wonderful mother a Happy Birthday! She is such a great role model to me and I don't know where I would be without her in my life. Love you Mom!

Ok, back to staring out the window :)


Time to slow down...

Wow - I feel like November has flown by and it's hard to believe it's already December 5th. Where did the time go? I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that every weekend in November was filled - let's do a little recap: First weekend in November we went to College Station to watch the two greatest college teams ever play each other (BOOMER), the weekend after that we went to Chicago, Anna and Reid came to visit from Tulsa the following weekend and then we went to Mexico over Thanksgiving! Whew - it makes me exhausted just thinking about it.

Our December agenda is busy but not quite like November. I have spent this past week recovering and relaxing while Ryan has been studying. I've mentioned before that Ryan has been studying for the GMAT test and he is actually taking it tomorrow morning. While he's off taking the test I'm hoping to get some Christmas shopping in and then tomorrow night we're planning to watch my Sooners in the Big XII Championship. Other than that, we are planning on enjoying our time at home before things start to pick back up again.

One more thing, please keep Ryan in your prayers and wish him luck on his test - I know he's going to do great!!


Cabo Pictures!

Here's a collage of a few of our pictures from our Cabo trip. Enjoy!
(click to enlarge)

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We're Back!

We made it back from Cabo last night and we had a great time! My family has been going to Mexico the last couple of years and it has become somewhat of a tradition (one that we hope to continue). However, this was the first time ever we decided to go over a holiday. We celebrated this Thanksgiving without turkey but we managed to have a wonderful time and are thankful that we could spend the time together. I plan on posting pictures later this week so check back for updates!

Now that Thanksgiving is over it's time to get into full swing for Christmas. I'm taking off tomorrow from work and my Mom is coming over to help decorate and then we'll hopefully get some shopping in. It's hard to believe it's already December!



I've been tagged! Sarah (a sorority sister of mine) has tagged me and I thought this one looked like fun. I'm a little late but I figure better late than never. Here we go.....

1 minute ago...I was enjoying my morning snack at work while daydreaming about white sand, beaches and coronas. How am I supposed to do any work when we leave for Mexico in less than 24 hours!

1 day ago...I was working, packing for our upcoming trip to Cabo, eating dinner with Ryan's parents and saying bye to our lil boy Benny!

1 week ago...I was doing laundry from our trip to Chicago and getting ready for Anna and Reid to come visit.

1 month ago...I was decorating our house for Fall, watching college football and preparing for all our upcoming travels we had planned in November.

1 year ago...was November 2007. Ryan and I had just bought our house and we were waiting to close on it in December. We were packing, getting ready for the big move and spending our first holiday season together as a married couple.

3 years ago...was November 2005. I was living in Norman at the Alpha Chi house, passing down my role as President to my best friend Anna and enjoying my senior year at OU.

5 years ago...was November 2003. I was a sophomore in college, living at the Alpha Chi house, having fun with my sorority, balancing a long distance relationship with Ryan and trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up.

7 years ago...was November 2001. I was a senior at Cy-Fair High School, varsity cheerleader, applying to colleges, dating Ryan and spending every free minute with my girlfriends.

10 years ago...was November 1998. I was a freshman at Cy-Fair High School trying to fit in and adjust to this new life. I was on a competitive cheerleading squad, playing tennis at school and spending most of my free time with Leslie.

And now I'm tagging
Nicole - Have fun!


Dear Santa,

Dear Santa (aka Husband, Mom, Dad, Family, Friends),

First of all , I know it is a little early to send out my list but I want to make sure you have plenty of time to shop. I have been a very good girl this year and in case you were wondering, I have a few things on my Christmas list....

The new iphone 3G - I've gotta keep up with the techies...

I'm not picky. I like all colors, shapes and sizes...

A girl has to smell good....

and lastly - a Cole Haan purse.

Now this list may seem a little extravagant but I promise I've been really good this year and I am totally worth it :)


Highlights from Chicago!

We're back! Sorry for the delay in posting - we got in yesterday afternoon and after unpacking, starting laundry and going to the grocery store - I never made it to post pictures. Anyways, we had a fabulous time in Chicago! We arrived Thursday afternoon, checked into our hotel, bundled up and headed out down Michigan Avenue. If you have been to Chicago you will know how exciting this is. Every shop you can ever imagine (and the ones that you could never afford) are located on the Magnificent Mile. However, we didn't venture into the stores that afternoon but instead we headed out to find some Chicago style deep dish pizza. After that we headed towards Millennium park and spent the rest of the day roaming around there.

We came back to the hotel and got ready for our first evening out. We had a recommendation for Bin 36, a wine bar/restaurant, and it was great. The atmosphere was awesome and the food exceeded our expectations. Afterwards, we made our way to a piano bar to enjoy a few beers and live music.
Friday morning we slept in, sipped on a Starbucks, read the paper and headed out for the day. This was the day of WALKING. Ryan and I had mapped out a few neighborhoods that we wanted to see and according to Ryan, everything was in walking distance. Well we set out, ate lunch at a local pub, then began the walking. We headed towards Lincoln Park and found ourselves at the Zoo. We both decided that we hadn't been to the Zoo since elementary and now was a perfect time to check out the animals.
After we wandered around about an hour and half we decided to keep walking. Ryan mentioned that we weren't too far from Wrigley Field and that we should just keep going. So of course, it seemed like a great idea. Well that was before I knew how far it was! We finally made it (over an hour later) but it was well worth the trip. However, I did not agree to the walk back and we found the nearest train to take us to the hotel.

Later that evening we ate dinner at Hugo's Frog Bar, enjoyed frog legs, drank good wine, and had a wonderful meal. We decided to venture out to another local piano bar and had a good time.
Saturday we woke up to cold weather with the promise of snow. We decided to stay close by the hotel and experience all the fabulous shops. Of course, I found several things I wanted to buy, but my loving husband reminded me that our suitcases were already full and that I could always buy them later at home. I could of really used a girl with me :)
We spent our last evening at a wonderful Italian restaurant and actually checked in early. Our legs were sore, my feet had blisters, it was cold and we were ready to head back to the hotel. All in all, we had a wonderful, relaxing vacation and we're already planning where we can jet off to next.
Meanwhile, our puppy Benny had quite an adventure at the Mills' house. Bennett managed to chew up their patio cushions, get sick, spend a night at the vet and cost us a couple hundred bucks! Oh well, at least he's OK and we had such great babysitters :)

We have another busy week ahead of us as one of our favorite couples, Anna and Reid, come to visit us from Tulsa this weekend and then we're off to spend Thanksgiving with my family in Cabo!
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Off to Chicago!

Ryan and I are off to Chicago tomorrow morning for a mini vacation. We don't have any big plans set but are looking forward to the colder weather, good food and relaxation . We also have some exciting news that we plan on celebrating. Ryan found out today that he has been given the opportunity to step out of IT and join the Finance world as a Financial Analyst. I also found out that I received a promotion at work. All in all - it was a good week and now we are looking forward to a fabulous weekend in the windy city!

Have a good rest of the week and I'll be back on Sunday with updates and pictures!


Rudy Rivarly Recap

As always, we had a great time at the OU/A&M game. It was a perfect fall day in College Station that made for a great tailgate and a fun time at the game (well for some at least). This year Ryan and I ended up not sitting together but only because we had 4 seats total between my parents, Ryan and I, but they were not all together. We debated on how we were going to sit and decided that it would be fun (and smart) for my mom and I to sit together and to let the boys have the other two seats. This worked out well as my mom and I were able to spend some quality time chatting and cheering on the Sooners and Ryan was able to watch his Aggies without hearing me sing his all time favorite school song - Boomer Sooner :)
Here are a few pictures from after the game...

Alison, her lil sister Lauren and I

The flip cup champs - Team Win!

The whole gang

Oh and in case you were wondering, the Sooners dominated the Ags 66-28 (Sorry Ryan - I had to do it )



Rudy Rivalry

It's a big week in the Rudy household - A&M plays OU this weekend in College Station. In case you are wondering, I'm a Sooner and I have married (gasp) an Aggie. I come from a family of Sooners (well minus one) and Ryan one of Aggies. The past 6 years we have gone to this game (not always sitting together and not always speaking to each other) and we will continue this tradition yet again on Saturday. So far the Sooners are up 5-1 in this match-up but that one loss for OU was absolutely miserable. The Sooners came into Kyle Field ranked #1 in the nation and had a heart breaking loss in 2002. Of course, that was the year I sat in the A&M student section sporting my crimson shirt next to aggie football fanatics Ryan and Mark - never did I make that mistake again. However, the Sooners made up for it next year in Norman with a 77-0 win.

Even though one team ends up on top of the other we have still managed to have some of our best memories from this weekend. I could go on and on with all the stories we have but I'll keep this brief and post a few pictures over the years....

Alison and I at Kyle Field - Fall 2004

Ryan and I in Norman - Fall 2005

3 Ags, 2 Sooners and 1 Coug - Fall 2006

Ryan and I in College Station - Fall 2006

Alison and I tailgating in Norman - Fall 2007

May the best team win -- BOOMER!


Formula Fun....

So I was reading a few blogs today during my lunch break and I came across one that was talking about weight loss and the number of calories you are allowed to eat in a day without gaining weight. This calculation is called your TEE (total energy expenditure) and it is the number of calories you burn in a day. It set out a formula that you use to calculate this number which is called your TEE (total energy expenditure) and it is the number of calories you burn in day. I, of course being very curious, had to try this for myself. I’ll let you scroll down, calculate your TEE for yourself and then give my opinion at the end….

Your TEE takes into account 3 factors. So we will do 3 different calculations! Here's how you do this... Ready? Grab a calculator, some paper and a pencil.

1) Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)- Your BMR is the number of calories your body burns in a day when operating at absolute minimum capacity. So, in other words, if you did absolutely nothing all day your BMR, then, is the number of calories your body burns just to keep you alive. (heartbeat, digestion, etc).
BMR is influenced by several factors, including age, weight, height, gender, environmental temperature, and diet and exercise habits. It's almost impossible to pin down your BMR to the exact calorie, but you can get close. Here are the formulas for calculating your BMR. Grab a calculator and plug your numbers into the formula that is for you!

MALE: 66 + (6.3 × body weight in pounds) + (12.9 × height in inches) − (6.8 × age in years)

FEMALE: 655 + (4.3 × weight in pounds) + (4.7 × height in inches) − (4.7 × age in years)

Keep your number handy!!

2) The next number you need to know is your physical activity level. Which one of these descriptions best fits your day-to-day routine? Give yourself the appropriate score.

- a. Sedentary Physical Activity Level - Do you have a desk job or sit for most of the day? If the answer is yes, your score is 1.1.
- b. Light Physical Activity Level - Are you on your feet and walking around for at least half the day? If this is you, your score is 1.2.
- c. Moderate Physical Activity Level - Are you on the move pretty much all day, with a few breaks, this is the level for you. If you're in this category, your score is 1.3.
- d. High Physical Activity Level - Does your job require being constantly on the move, and does it require manual labor? If you're in this group, your score is 1.4.

3) The last part is figuring out the number of calories you burn from exercise on an average day. The number of calories you burn during any exercise session depends on a few things, primarily your body weight.
Use Jillian's chart to help you figure out the number of calories you burn from exercise on an average day according to your weight, the type of exercise you do, and how long. Keep that number handy!

Okay, ready to find out how many calories you burn daily???? (PS-I will share my numbers)

Get the three numbers you've come up with and simply multiply your BMR by your daily activity score, and then add your exercise expenditure. Whatever you get from this final calculation is your magic number. As long as you eat less than that number you should lose weight, right???

Ok here's mine...

2307 -- So basically what that means is that I now have a great excuse to eat more! I typically track what I eat on a daily basis and have a good idea of how many calories I eat. Now maybe I’m way off but I don’t think I normally eat 2,307 calories in a day. Ok, Ok, maybe some times. However, I know I haven’t eaten close to that number today so I think I’ll wander down the hall for my second brownie (covered in icing) for the day.

At this rate I’ll be 5 pounds heavier next week :)



Wow - this week has flown by (at least for me)! I mentioned in my last post that I was traveling to Philly for work and I had a great time. I arrived early Tuesday and had the opportunity to walk around the city. The weather was perfect (low 60's and sunny) and it truly felt like fall. This was my first time in Philly so of course I had to make a few of the famous historical stops. I regret that I didn't bring my camera but I didn't want to lug the Nikon around all day. Besides, I was trying to blend in with the locals. The city was bursting with Philly fans as it's been years (I think 28) since they have gone to the World Series. Oh and the work meeting went well also :)

Here's a few other updates from our week:

- Ryan won his flag football game on Monday
- My new fancy office chair arrived on Monday
- Ryan and Benny had quality time together while I was away :)
- Ryan is more than half way finished with his lessons from his GMAT course
- I spent some QT with Alison and Mark at one of our fave happy hour spots last night
- Ryan found out he is moving out of cube land and into an office next week
- We started the morning off right with Starbucks

and the weather is looking fabulous for the weekend!

Have a great day!


Weekend Wrap-Up

Here are a few highlights from our weekend:

  • Had Friday off from work

  • Ryan cooked me a fabulous steak Friday night

  • Saturday morning jog at the park

  • Spent all day Saturday with The Merediths

  • My Sooners won!

  • Date night with Aaron and Nicole

  • Slept in Sunday morning

  • Lunch at Ruggles Cafe

  • Shopping at Rice Village (don't worry - Ryan is the one who was shopping today)

Dinner at La Mesa

Overall it was a GREAT weekend and we had beautiful weather. This week I'm headed to Philadelphia for work so check back soon for an update!


Chicago Bound!

So Ryan and I have been wanting to go to Chicago for some time now and we finally booked our trip! We will be taking a long weekend in November to escape Houston and head to Chicago where we can relax, sight see, drink coffee and actually wear a coat for once in the Fall.

As of now we don't have any definite plans so please let me know if you have any restaurant recommendations or suggestions on things to do/see!



We have water! It's official - we actually have running water and I have now taken my long hot shower and ran the dishwasher. And yes, the laundry is going to wait until Sunday.

However, we came home to a nice surpise in our front yard. Not only did they fix the water they decided to place this huge Caution sign in our front yard. As we drove up I couldn't help but laugh as Ryan is not pleased at what he sees......

What now? I assume they are coming back on Monday to pick it up, right? Do we leave it out all weekend and look silly?



It's officially the weekend (well at least in 30 minutes) but I've already tuned my mind off work and focused on the weekend. I'm looking forward to a relaxing evening that includes take-out and some wine, a Saturday filled with college football and friends and an uneventful Sunday. I'm also hoping for a weekend where I can take a shower with flowing water and not just a few drips, wash clothes and even run the dishwasher. I know this may seem odd but we have been now going on 5 days with NO water pressure.

Let me explain - The City of Houston finally came on Sunday to pick up all the debris from our front yard (leftover from Ike) and somehow they managed to break the water pipe. So we have had water flowing in our yard, down the sidewalk and into our neighbors yard. They have been out several times this week and Ryan has spent several nights on the phone with them and they have told us, time and time again, that it would be fixed. We're crossing our fingers that when we come home today we'll have water and we can take a nice long hot shower, wash clothes and even run the dishwasher. Well, maybe the laundry can wait until Sunday...

Have a great weekend!


Meet Benny

As I mentioned in my first post I wanted to keep everyone updated on the Rudy household and I think it's time I properly introduce Bennett. It's hard to believe that we will have had Benny with us for a year next week. I'll admit that we had no idea what we were in for when we decided to get a lab but it's been one heck of a ride. Also, one year ago we were in an apartment with no intentions of leaving. To make this story short, we picked up Bennett Thursday night, found a house with a yard on Sunday and made an offer the following Thursday. We laugh that our dog cost us A LOT of money. Clearly, it's not a good idea to have a puppy in an apartment when you live on the third floor. It didn't take long to realize that our puppy was going to grow and grow and grow and an apartment would not suit our new lifestyle.

I'll also admit that the first few weeks I was wondering what in the world we had done. He kept us up all night, peed all over the floor and required way more attention than I thought was possible for a dog. However, over the year, things have changed in the Rudy household. Now for those who know Benny know that he's a little hyper and not the most trained lab, but he sure is the cutest. We've grown to love our lil Benny over the year and couldn't imagine it without him in our life.

We have also become "those people" who are obsessed with their dog even though we swore we wouldn't. Over the last year I've managed to take a few hundred of pictures of him and here are just a few of my favorite:

Bennett is such a big part of life now and I'm sure you'll be hearing much more about our crazy adventures with our dog!

**Update: Just as I finished this post my sweet lil boy Benny jumped on my white couch with muddy paws. Oh the joys of having a puppy.....


Fall Fashion

Fall is officially here and it is one of my favorite times of the year. Fall brings college football, cooler weather, candy corn and of course my all time favorite, Fall clothes! Fall is in my opinion the best season for shopping. Who can resist all the cute cardigans, sweaters and handbags they have out right now!

Now, the only thing in the way of me buying my cute new Fall wardrobe is my husbands spreadsheet. Yes, he has calculated a strict budget for me that is all lined out on an excel spreadsheet. The spreadsheet was handed to me one day at lunch after he had seen my online credit card bill at Banana. I know, I know, I never said I was perfect and sometimes I get carried away with my retail addiction. Does anyone else have the same problem?

Anyways, here are a few things I've had my eye on this Fall and maybe, if I spend wisely, I can splurge on a few of these items.

*Update: My wonderful mother decided to come into town today and take me to lunch and do a little shopping. Somehow we ended up at Banana :) and they had the cardigan (pictured above)! They were out of it in the brown but I was able to snag it in red. It's super cute and I can't wait to wear my new favorite item this fall!