Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas Recap + Best of 2013

Our Christmas this year was great. Just enough excitement, just enough relaxing. The Friday before Christmas my Mom and sisters drove down to spend a few days with us. There was a lot of eating, walk taking, and family time. We also went to dinner at Eddie Merlot’s with Will’s parents, which I’ve been dying to try. It did not disappoint!

The girls, Will, and myself even took a family trip with his bro and our niece and nephew to Jump Zone. I served as the official photographer, and it was absolutely hilarious seeing grown men jump around like children.

Mom and the girls headed home Christmas Eve morning, and we continued with our regular holiday routine. Up north to spend a few hours with my Dad’s side of the family. Back to Cincinnati for Mass and dinner. Christmas morning at our house, then over to Will’s parents with his brothers and their families for presents and dinner.

I can’t believe it’s already time to bring 2013 to a close. This was surely the most eventful year of my life. May was definitely the month to remember for us. In that month we celebrated Will’s birthday, as well as him finishing his MBA with an almost perfect GPA at a great school. This was also the month we sold our house, bought a new one, moved into said house, and of course the month we got married! Throw in a trip to St. Lucia for the honeymoon, and I’d say it’ll be a hard few weeks to top.

Other highlights of the year for me are definitely my new job and car in September, and the MANY weddings we attended and friend’s engagements + pregnancies/babies we watched roll in. So many changes in 2013, I am looking forward to being settled, and just living in 2014. Though that’s the plan, I’m sure life has some surprises in store for us, and I can’t wait to see what they are.

Here are some of my favorite/the most popular posts of 2013.

Our love story posts
On life before I met Will
Bachelorette Recap + We're getting a house!
Some recent home updates
On how I have issues
On a ridiculously fun Cincinnati Blate with a ton of awesome ladies
My love for Cincinnati
All of our wedding posts

Happy New Year to you!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday 5: Last post till Christmas edition

Seeing as Christmas is basically officially upon us, this will probably be the last time I post until the holiday has passed. Here are 5 things that we’ll be up to over the next several days.

One. My Mom and sisters come into town this evening! Paige has a half day, and Mom is pulling Brooke out of school early (her most favorite thing) so they can hit the road and be in town by this evening. This means I’ll be taking a half day at work to hurry and stock the house with food and clean up the guest rooms. I can’t wait to have them around for a few days.

Two. Food, food, food. I recently perfected my mac and cheese recipe, and it’s a big hit with the fam. My sissys really don’t eat me, and they take after me with the whole love of cheese thing. I’m sure my Mom will be in the kitchen the entire time they’re here, and my mother in law never disappoints. Throw in the explosion of treats they’re handing out at work today, and I’m sure to gain 5 pounds in the next week.

Three. Even though I got a great start with my Christmas shopping in November, I’ve been slacking on the wrapping. That is at the top of my to do list for this evening, and I hope I can dig out the boxes I need from the basement rather than having to purchase any.

Four. What would Christmas break be without a few festivities around town? We already have tickets to take the girls to Jump Zone, which I heard is basically the most fun place in the world. How can it not be with giant trampolines everywhere? I’ve wanted to try out one of these places since Alexa and Jim debuted theirs on RHOC. Other possibilities include, heading Downtown for ice skating in Fountain Square, Clifton Mills, and Zoo Lights.

Clifton Mills

Five. Everyone, have the merriest of Christmases! I have so much fun sharing here and there on this blog, and getting to know others from reading theirs. I am thankful for this fun part of my life that has served as a getaway from every day realities, and also a way to meet real life friends.

See ya next week!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

brain dump

really wanted to the Simplified Life Planner. But they were sold out. And don't know they day I get the email saying my May Book (backup preference) had shipped, I get an email saying there are more Simplified's in stock? Such is life. I hope the May Book ends up working out for me, because I really wanted that dang Simplified Planner! I'm banking on the small size being key to every day use.

So this weekend is basically Christmas. For me at least, because that's when my family gets to town and the festivities begin. Food, Christmas shows, food, shopping, more food, and overall quality girl time. The last time my Mom say the house we had just put in the offer, and didn't even have the keys yet. I am so happy to get her opinion on everything and have her roaming the halls. Moms really make a house a home don't they?

I realized today I've been at my new job about a fourth of the time I spent at my old job. And I feel like I worked at my old job for a million years. Crazy how time flies!

I have no idea why I don't watch more Giuliana and Bill. She is hilarious and Bill is too cute. I don't really support E! these days but for them I can make an exception.

My dog has had a cold for a week and she sounds like Darth Vader. Every time she breaths I wish I was wearing earplugs. I think it's time to go to the vet. I love her, and I am sure it's not to pleasant for her poor stuff snout, but good grief the wheezing is driving me mad!

I never paint my nails red, but something came over me at Walgreens today. I kind of love it.

That's all for now folks. Happy Wednesday! It's almost Christmas!

Monday, December 16, 2013

back in the day

Back in my day, Facebook was just for college kids. If I'd known my future in-laws or my grandmother was going to be on Facebook, ever, I wouldn't have posted half the things I did. Luckily, all of my college albums are private. But does anyone remember the "notes" feature? Thankfully, I don't think those are too big anymore. I recently stumbled upon a few notes that I'd posted in college, and I'll tell you one thing, I was NOT keeping it classy in the mid 2000's.

Fortunately, the 25 random facts about me that I'd shared wasn't that bad. I originally posted this five years ago, when I was a junior in college. Today's commentary is in italics. This was pretty funny to look back on. Oh how some things have changed so much, and some not at all.

1. i might as well have a split personality. in almost every aspect of my life i see positives out of opposite positions. This is still true. But I'm happy to report my grammar has improved.

2. i am very indecisive, but when i decide i want to do something i do it no matter what people say. Still true.

3. i dont consider myself "from" anywhere. i moved around a ton as a kid and continue to do so, and as annoying as it is, i love it. Still true, but thankfully, I'm finally settled.

4. my mom is my hero, my best friend. Yup.

5. my little sisters are the only reason i want kids in the future, they are the softest spot in my heart. Double yup.

6. i have the most amazing, understanding, bad ass freinds i could ever ask for. And we're still going strong. Some things really do get better with age, good friends are one of them.

7. im a lot more book smart than people give me credit for, and a lot less street smart then id like to admit.This is still half true. The older I get, the more I realize I have to learn.

8. i have regrets who doesn't?

9. i will buy anything that is PINK. that color really makes my day. This makes me laugh. I'm not as bad as I used to be, but it's still my preference for most things when possible.

10. i hate drinking tap water. SO false. I love drinking water now.

11. i like wearing plain clothing, preferably black . Always.

12. i am a 50/50 mix of my parents and if you know them THAT is scary Ha. Still mostly true, but now it's less scary.

13. i am convinced going to high school in huber heights ohio has screwed me up for life. This also makes me laugh, and you would too if you know anything about Huber. Today, I'd call it more of a learning experience.

14. going to school in huber heights ohio was somehow one of the best things that ever happened to me. See number one. 

15. i still love high jumping. I will always love track and field. I wish I could still jump somehow!

16. Since i turned 16 ive liked working more than school I wished away a lot of my college years. I did and still do love working, but I wish I would have started a Master's program right away.

17. i love taking pictures. Yup.

18. i can NEVER sit through entire moves Double yup.

19. i didnt know how to spell cincinnati untill i lived here. Sad but true.

20. i have 7 million speeding tickets and i never think theyre my fault lol. Haven't gotten one since this post I don't think! Knock on wood. I'm much more cautious in my old age.

21. im obsessed with houndstooth. Not anymore. The chevron of 2009.

22. im way too forgiving. I've gotten over that.

23. i care way too much about tv. Still trying to get over this one. My guilty pleasure for sure.

24. i own the best cavalier of all time. RIP to Cavi. That car got me through some hard times, and I loved it dearly, but I'm happy to have upgraded twice since then.

25. i LOVE everyone in my life :) Some things never change.

Friday, December 13, 2013

5 on Friday

Happy Friday! This week flew by for me. We have just one thing on the agenda this weekend, and I couldn't be happier about it. Bring on the free time. Now, this week's 5 random things.

1. Our Christmas Card

Everyone should have received their's in the mail by now, so I wanted to share here. This is our first year doing cards, and I plan to keep it up. We used Zazzle because I'd found a Groupon, and they turned out wonderfully. My only complaint is that I can't figure out how to get a preview without a watermark. Blog problems! I absolutely love the way they turned out.
2. This pin. I know Winter doesn't exactly scream "fruit", but when it warms up a bit I will absolutely be whipping this up. Looks amazing! I am not a big chocolate fan, so I'm always looking for fruit related deserts to try.

3. The end us coming.

Of the year that is! I have already started writing my recaps of 2013 and goals for 2014. I love reading what other's as well, and can't wait to see them start floating around the blog world. I also need to find a new planner for 2014. The Erin Condren I used this year is just way too big.

Suggestions are welcomed! I'm considering this Whitney English Day Designer, since the 2014 Simplified Planner is sold out.

4. Snow Days

They've been all over the country this week. I can't remember having any days off last year due to weather, and I've already gotten to work from home twice this year. We're barely into December, so I can't decide if it's awesome or horrible.

Holly thinks it's a good thing.

5. I love finding perfect lists on Buzzfeed that are basically my entire life. "19 Everyday Struggles of Being a Right Brained Person" is right on point. I've taken a quiz saying I'm left brained, but I refuse to believe it. Every single one of these things is me to a T!

Linking up with Natasha today!

And that's all that's rambling around my brain today. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

my heart is happy. best commercial ever.

Have you seen the latest Dick's Sporting Goods Christmas commercial? I love TV, and I love a good commercial. Especially one that uses an amazing song and touches my heart.

The Lumineers + older sibling reference + sport reference = water works. I have cried over this literally three times in the past 24 hours. Twice when it came on TV, and once when I just watched it on You Tube. I actually made Will stop what he was doing and come in and watch it, and I'm pretty sure he was equally expressed.

I love every single thing about this one minute and thirty two seconds. It even made me think having a son one day could be as fun to watch as having a daughter. There were no boys in my family growing up, so I have a hard time conceptualizing this. And now I want a baseball glove. Which I'm with Dick's on this one- sporting equipment is so much better than freaking video games.

If you haven't seen, this is a must watch. And have a tissue near by. Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

home updates + dedicating space

We've been busy bees lately trying to the the first floor somewhat "finished". 

The laundry room.

We recently decided to make the laundry room a craft room, rather than just a room for the dogs like we have been using it. The thought of using over 100 square feet of the house on the dogs, when they sleep in our room anyway, just didn't sit well with me.

I had been using one of the upstairs spare rooms as my own personal office, and Will had been using the real study downstairs as his. That has been really confusing as far as where to keep what, so we decided to just share the office, and put my sewing machine and art supplies in the laundry room, aka future craft room. That also frees up a bedroom for when we start adding little people to the family.


Halo paint on three walls + Clear Skies paint as an accent wall. Both by Benjamin Moore.

To Do:

-I need some type of craft station. The builder's website shows this room with a high top table against the window with stools, but I don't really like the idea of blocking the sunlight and views outside. I will have my eyes open for ideas until something looks good.

-I also plan to add a good amount of shelving for all my crafty things.

-Find a surface for the top of the washer and dryer to make it a folding station.

-Pick out some accents or a piece of art for these walls. I like the clean airy feel, but it could use a little something. 

The Foyer.

Updates: Halo paint.

To do: Nothing on my list. Keeping my eye out for more wall decorations.

The family room.

Updates: Christmas decor, a shelf, and a storage bench/ottoman.

To do: Curtains.

The office.

This room has pretty much been done since we moved in.


Paint. The color is a nice blue picked out by my husband, without me. He never bothered to ask the name, so we'll just go with blue.

To do:

Nothing on my list.

The kitchen + dining room.


New Rug from Joss and Main for under the dining table. Display shelves in the corner. Dark blue island (in the mystery color from the office).

To do:

Not a thing! I'm thinking about more curtains, but still on the fence.

Love how things are coming along!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Weekend + Christmas Party Recap

Our weekend was a huge success. I left the office early on Friday to work from home the rest of the day, because a pretty serious winter storm was coming our way. And despite the fact that this is Ohio, people act like they've never seen winter roads in their life. I also stopped at the grocery on my way home, and it's a good thing I did. I had some friends post pictures of the lines after work and it did not look like a good time.

Saturday I spent literally from 8am until 7pm getting ready for the party. Though I did take one break to play in the snow with the puppies. I managed to take about 100 pictures, but none of those included my food set up :( Considering all the time I put in to this I'm pretty sour about it, but what can you do.

Besides the normal fruit tray, veggie tray, cheese + meat, etc. kind of foods, my list of preparation included:

Spinach Dip
Caprese Skewers with Balsamic Reduction
Mint Chocolate Chip Birthday Cookies
Ricotta + Honey Dip

I think I made about 30 servings of each of these items, and it took a lot more time and prep than I anticipated, but I am so glad I did it. Not that they would probably have told me otherwise, but everyone said the food was great. There was NOTHING left at the end of the night, so I consider this a huge win. The only thing that was a little questionable was the red sangria. I followed the recipe, but the cinnamon and nutmeg flavors were WAY too powerful.

I think I've talked before about how me and my 5 best friends from High School are pretty much a permanent fixture in the universe. I have lots of close friends (feel very lucky for this) but they are my oldest and dearest. It's rare we can all get together, so I was happy 5 out of the 6 of us were able to spend the evening together.

This is my bestie (am I too old to say that?) Julianne. She started dating one of Will's friends not long after he and I started dating. Now they're engaged! And live 5 miles away from us. It's pretty perfect.

I think we will continue to have our Christmas party every year, but over all, I know I will never be someone that throws a lot of big get togethers. Throughout the night we had 30+ people show up. It was great getting to see all my friends, but I hated not being able to sit down and spend a lot of time individually with each one of them. I woke up thinking "Oh, I never got to so ___ to so and so" and "I wonder what ever happened with such and such conversation".

Sunday will and I spend the entire day lounging around the house. We watched a ton of ABC Family movies. The Mistle-Tones and Holiday in Handcuffs were pretty phenomenal. We accidentally missed the end of The Mistle-Tones so I may or may not purchase the DVD.

Today, it's back to the grind. How was your weekend? 
© g squared. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.