Monday, August 26, 2013

pinterest finds + weekend recap

Just as I was getting settled into the mindset that fall is here, a 90 degree heat wave decides to sweep the Tri-State area. Typical. I drank a few Caronas over the weekend to try and get back into the spirit, but it just didn't work. Summer, take it easy on us for the next few weeks will you? I can't handle 90 degrees. I just can't.

I did managed to put my disdain for the temps aside long enough to enjoy a weekend of summer activities. The husband was out of town, so I spent a lot of time with friends. Friday one of my work girlfriends stopped by to hang out on the deck for a bit. Saturday I spent the afternoon at the pool with a few of my best friends, then headed Downtown for dinner. I finished the night off with some neighborhood friends, and that about wraps it up.

It's so great to finally have my closest friends living in Cinci

I'm getting increasingly more obsessed with The Food Network. I guess I'm finally HGTV'ed out, or maybe I'm just getting more into cooking. Either way, The Pioneer Woman Cooks and Trisha's Southern Kitchen are my new go to shows. Their lives are fascinating without them being able to show me how to cook. Throw in yummy "normal person" recipes, and I'm sold.

With above mentioned food obsession, the holidays just around the corner, and trying to make a lot of house decorating decisions, I've spent a lot of time on Pinterest lately. Here are some of my favorite pins.

I'm not a huge fan of chocolate, but I love pumpkin and marshmallow so this is right up my alley. I will absolutely be trying these in the coming months.


Adult pumpkin spice latte. Genius.

This is super adorable and looks easy to make. Our front door is a deep red color so I think the white and burlap would really stand out.


Fried Green Tomato Caprese? YUM!

Linking up with Leeann and Sammy today. Happy Monday people. Here's to the upcoming 3 day weekend!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday 5

Linking up with Natasha this week!

This week's 5 for Friday is going to be totally random, because that's just about the perfect word to describe how I'm feeling now. I'm not sure what it is about this week, but my brain feels scrambled. Thank goodness it's Friday, so all is well in the world, even if I can't manage to focus on anything for more than a 7 minute time span... Here's what I'm loving this week.

1. Buzzfeed. 

I'm always loving Buzzfeed. It's hilarious and usually spot on. Two of my favorite recent finds on the site are "27 Everyday Decisions that Twentysomethings Are Really Bad At Making".

They should add "How to capitalize a title to that list... Anyway, it's histerical, and after I showed to to my best friend Amanda she reported it was "stupid acurate" which pretty much sums it up. If you weren't guilty of at least a few of these things once upon a time, we probably couldn't be friends. I know personally, there are about 5 things on this list I can't seem to master. Specifically numbers 2, 6, 10, 19, and 25. Which ones are you still guilty of?

2. Budgeting

This is a weird thing to be excited about, but for me it's a pretty big deal. Since graduating college (and moving on from the financial methods on the above list) I've always had and maintained some semblance of a budget, but never one that involved a spreadsheet or taking out cash and cutting myself off when I ran out of funds in a particular category. That is the type of situation I'm going to start September 1. I want to get serious about saving and eliminating the little bit of credit card debt I have left, and now seems to be the time. What are your budgeting tips?

3. Fall TV

The decent of fall TV to make room for all the shows that actually involve a plot cannot come soon enough. Don't get me wrong. I love a good Reality TV binge, but I think I've had about all I can take for one summer. Bring on the Modern Family, The Middle, Law and Order SVU, Mad Man, Nurse Jackie, etc, etc. I could really go on all day. What shows are you ready to have back in exchange for reruns and bad mini series?

4. Paint

We haven't gotten any closer to deciding on a paint color, but we're making progress. There are just one or two more samples I want to try, then we will just have to decide whether or not the laundry room and foyer will match the family room or kitchen and dining room, and we'll be in business. I was sold on the navy family room, then started getting cold feet. I think I'm going to go through with it in the end. Here are some of the pins I'm hoping our color will turn out similar to. 

We have a lot of neutral furniture and decor, and have large windows that get a ton of light, so I think it may turn out pretty fab. You check out my home board to see some other options we've been considering.

5. Wedding Pictures

Our amazing photographer called to let us know our wedding album is in! I cannot wait to pick it up on Sunday. I posted a few discombobulated wedding recaps here, but in honor of the album, here are some of my favorite professional shots from the day.

Happy Friday people!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

the time i almost got kidnapped

So approximately 3 years ago, just before I met Will, I'd been dating this guy. He was far from notable, but I was pretty torn up about the whole break up. Combine that with my usual insanity, not wanting to enter the "real world" from college, and having no clue what I was going to do with my life, and I was just about over the deep end. I really didn't know what to do to make myself feel better, and was having a really hard time sleeping at night.

After one sleepless night, I just couldn't take it. I threw on some sweats, hopped in the car, and drove to this great park by my apartment. It had a beautiful view of a little airport and I think you could even see the river.nI planned to go there and meditate. Take a walk. Jog a little. Clear my mind and figure out where and how and when I was going to "start the rest of my life".

It was going to play out like a movie or really good book, then I would go home and my life would begin. Except when I actually got to the park, I just sat there. I waited for the epiphany. I waited to get the motivation to run, and even walked around a little. It never came. What did come was a couple in a white SUV. Just a few years older than me, with 2 bikes strapped to the top. I was insanely jealous. I was sure they were this happy, yuppy, madly in love couple who had probably woken up at 5am to exercise before they started the perfect day together. I just knew the girl would be clothed head to toe in lululemon and have a Starbucks in her hand. But when she got out of the car, this chick was carrying a bottle of wine.

I have never been so shocked to see a bottle of wine in all my life. Before I know it, I'm up and walking down the path. "Get away from these crazy people" I thought. "Who the hell drinks a bottle of wine on a Wednesday morning in a park? At 5am no less. THIS IS NOT PART OF MY PLAN". To make matter worse, this path I started down led straight into the woods. And of course these morons followed me and struck up a conversation.

Did I want a glass of wine? What was I doing in the woods? Had I been back there before? Did I know all of their cats were buried there? Did I want to see where? Did I want to go to the pool with them later? No really, they really wanted me to see their cat graves. Yes, they knew it was illegal to bury cats in the park, but it seemed like the right thing to do you know? This went on for about 30 minutes. And somehow we ended up deeper and deeper in the woods, off of any legitimate trail.

This chick was insanely creepy, and started asking more and more personal questions. I'm pretty sure she offered me drugs, it's a bit of a blur. I still can't remember how I ended up getting out of that conversation, but I'm pretty sure I just got up and started running to my car. Then proceeded to drive around town a bit to make sure I wasn't being followed.

The point of this story isn't to show how weird (or stupid) I am. I think about it often because it reminds me of one of life's greatest lessons. People are not always what you think. The grass is not always greener. Instead of pretending to be the chick from "Eat Pray Love" with the park as my India, or being  jealous of others and what they appear to be or have, I should have been learning how to be happy and fulfilled with all of the blessings I was taking for granted.

Eventually, I got there, and have been living happily ever after. I hope the girl in the park never finds this post...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

prioritizing time + a recipe

I've been carrying around some major guilt lately. Sometimes I think it's warranted, and sometimes I think I'm being silly. I'm talking about that feeling of "I should have/could have done ......" with my time, but instead I slept in, or spent the day being selfish, or just did a whole lot of nothing. Sometimes I neglect cleaning, or laundry. And I never regret it. But sometimes, I feel like I neglect people. And I do regret that. I think?

It seems like visits with friends and family get fewer and farther between as we get older and busier, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Obviously is sucks, but this is normal, right? Normal or not, relatives are getting older. My friendships are growing thinner. I know less and less about people I used to talk to 100 times a day. Yes, they will always be my best friends, but it's heartbreaking not being able to witness every single special moment with people who are? were? such a huge part of my life.

I feel like I'm kind of saying goodbye to an era. An era where I was out every. single. night. When I would galavant all around the world (ok, the state) partying with my friends or visiting someone's random relative at their beach house. An era of 3 hour longs happy hours multiple times a week, and sleepovers that turned into late brunches and afternoons at the pool. An era where laundry and chores could be put off for weeks, instead of just days. College was really great,wasn't it? But really, I'm saying goodbye to the era of free time.

This is something I vow to work on. Time management. The balance of life with calm and fun with obligations. How do you balance these things? Life, family, work, school, romantic relationships, friends? #oldpersonproblems

On a happier note, last night I made pantry pasta, a dish by the Pioneer Woman. I've had this pinned forever, and after seeing it on her show, I had to make it. It turned out great! I even left out the chicken, and my meat loving husband still approved. It was quick and easy and dirt cheap. I see this dinner making lots of appearances on our table. Linking up with Blissfully Miller and Lets Get Bananas today.

pic from her website. recipe here.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Is it Monday already?

No matter how often Monday's come, I never hate them any less. Ugh. Another great weekend has come and gone in the G household, and another crazy work week is in the works.

My attitude every Monday of my entire life.

Our Friday night was pretty low key. I was exhausted from the work week and not feeling the best, so we just did some snacking and DVR watching. The rest of the weekend was much more exciting. Saturday we did some things around the house, then headed Downtown to shop at City Flea and have lunch at Bakersfield. It was the perfect afternoon to spend outside, I stumbled on a ton of unique/perfect for us flea market goodies, and as always the tacos, queso, and margaritas at Bakersfield were perfection. My pictures do not do them justice. If you live in Cincinnati and have't experienced this place, go NOW.

 I also squeezed in a few drinks with my best friends, then Will and I went to a local church festival and grilled out for dinner. The church holding the festival was one we've considered joining, and where our kids may one day go to school, so I'm sure this will be the first of many Seaton Fests to come.

Sunday morning we took a walk then spent a couple hours at Macy's. Originally, we'd registered for fine china. Three months, 5 place settings, and a few pieces of silver later, we headed straight for returns. Our china is beautiful, but it's just not practical for us right now. We decided to keep two sets to still use on special occasions, and may complete the set later. I'm pretty happy with that decision considering we walked out with bags full of more useful kitchen gadgets.

That about wraps it up! I did a lot of thinking this weekend, thoughts that could probably take up ten separate posts, so I'll summarize. I feel so, so blessed. My life has been no cake walk, but it has been more than I could have ever asked for or imagined. I think I've experienced just enough hardship to make all of the awesomeness we're experiencing right now just that much sweeter. I've failed just enough times to really revel in the successes we've had in our dream wedding and new home and busy careers. Here's to hard work paying off, a little (ok probably a lot) of luck, and all of God's blessings.

Happy Monday!

PS- Thanks to Aubrey for my new adorable blog design :)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

it's the little things

This has been a pretty freaking fantastic few days. That was a lot of alliteration, but it needed to be said.

It has felt so, so, soooo good outside. A little humidity here and there, but we're currently on the couch with windows open. Pumpkin Buttercream candle lit. Sipping red wine. Perfect. It's the little things people. It's surprising how thrilled I get over such small details.

The past few days sure didn't disappoint either. I tried out a great new brewery in town called 50 West for happy hour Thursday. It was right up my alley, and I can't wait to take Will there. Then on Saturday I finally convinced Will to pick out some paint samples. I'm not sure the colors are perfect, but it's so fun to get the ball rolling on operation: paint. And while at Home Depot, we found the cutest, comfiest deck set for basically pennies. Thank you end of the summer sales.

I cooked up a storm and made my favorite soup zuppa toscona, and roasted my first whole chicken. I used this recipe, and it was to die for. Ree never lets you down. Will raved the entire way through dinner, and when we had it again the next night. I have a feeling I'll be repeating that meal for many years to come.

Our lawn is a train wreck, and the treatments on that started today- thank goodness! I never thought I would have a care in the world that pertained to any type of yard maintenance, until now. When you own a home, and put so much blood, sweat, and tears into that home, and the dreaded crab grass takes over, it's a pretty big slap in the face.

The rest of this week will be hectic, but there's also plenty to look forward too. Thursday I'm taking by best friend (who was our maid of honor) out for a celebratory birthday/new apartment dinner. Then Saturday we're going canoeing with a big group of Friends. I am pretty excited for both, so hopefully the next two work days FLY by.

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

fall is the new summer

I hate to be that person that is always talking about the weather. But I can't help it. I can. not. get. over it. I hate Winter with a passion, and we don't really get a Spring these days, so I normally get pretty giddy when Summer rolls around. I was a little sour for a few minutes thinking about how this Summer has been remarkable cool. No constant laying out or running around in cute summer mini dresses (thank God for maxis). But then it hit me- it's basically like we're getting a really long fall. Which is actually better than a sweltering hot summer.

I think I'm going to go ahead and embrace this realization. So Summer- it's been real, but it looks like Fall is the new you. Time for fall decor, tailgating, seasonal beers, yummy traditional recipes, scarfs, and most importantly- fall candles.

I can smell the Creamy Nutmeg from BBW now.

 Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

what i've learned three months in

As of today, Will and I have been married for 12 weeks. While this hardly makes me an expert, I got to thinking about what I've learned in this past few months. People always ask us "So is it different? What's changed now that you're married?"

I'll tell you what's changed- my name. Every time I go to sign my last name and start with the first letter it is nearly impossible to write my married name instead of my maiden name that is so engrained in my right hand once that first G is on paper.

But it all seriousness, I think the main thing that has changed for me is the way I look at things. The way I handle our conversations and *ahem* disagreements. We are both stubborn. We both think we know best. Obviously only I do, right? ;) Before, I would try to get the last word. Convince him to see it my way. But I have realized through trial and error, and making many big decisions over the last several weeks, that that's not really how it works. No matter who is right, or who makes more sense, sometimes people, including married people, will differ.

My husband will never share my opinions on the appropriate time to get up in the morning, and I will never share his views on how organized our home should be. And that has to be ok. Right now the things that I have to accept, the things I have to bite my tongue on, are trivial, but I know in time they will become more omnipotent. How to discipline our children. How we will manage our finances once we have those children. The big stuff. And when those big decisions actually come into effect, when we're living them instead of just discussing them, I want to be prepared. I want my patience to be a mile long. My understanding that we are in this together to be solid.

I haven't totally accomplished it yet, but I think my first big marriage lesson is this.

You don't have to agree on everything, you just have to agree on how that exact thing will work in your home and marriage.

What is the biggest lesson you've learned in your marriage or relationship? What is the best advice you were ever given as a newlywed? I'd love to hear!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sister Week Recap

There is no one word that I can think of to describe how happy the past week has made me. There were a few struggles with having a house full, trying to still help out at work, and hubs being extremely busy at work- but for the most part, it was a a dreamilly perfect 7-8 days.

Most of my family is dispersed all over the country, and I've talked before about spending my teenage years living five hours away from my Mom and sisters. So when we get together, it's all I can do not to run screaming through the streets how happy I am. This trip was no different. The sibs and I had a fun filled weekend of shopping, eating, baking, swimming, amusement-parking, visiting family, and all sorts of other fun.

What makes all of this even more exciting is how much my girls just love Will and his family. And how much all of my in-laws love them back! They really treat them like part of the family, and it's kind like it's all meant to be ;) I really got lucky in the in-law department!

Here are a few pics to recap our fabulous week. If you follow me on Instagram, some of these may be a repeat.

I for one was shocked but excited that the fall beers are already out. Bring on the fall!

Last year was my first time at Homerama, and this year we brought the girls. Many great decorating ideas were noted.

Waiting in line at King's Island. I forgot how annoying that is! Luckily the park wasn't too crowded. 

The house across the street is making some serious progress. 

I made a quiche! And naturally forgot to take an after photo. I used the Pioneer Woman's recipe for Cowboy Quiche, found here. I added some green peppers and it was delish. This recipe actually ended up being enough for two quiches, so I froze one. Cooking once for two meals = win.

Here's the pic Ree posted along with the recipe on her site.

It was a wonderful week, and I wish they could have stayed another. Sadly, PTO is hard to come by, and I am deathly afraid of all of the emails that are undoubtedly awaiting me when I go back to the office Monday. The fun didn't stop when I met my Mom to get the girls home Saturday morning. I made the trip home just in time to celebrate the marriage of two more of our wonderful friends! They had a Skyline bar with personalized bibs, and these foamy glow stick thingies for all the guests. Definitely one of the best receptions I've been to. This was our 4th wedding of 2013. 2 more to go before we're done for the year. I love this time in our lives and getting to be a part of so much happiness and celebration.

Weird quality, but I guess that's what happens when you practice photography via iPhone. 

Speaking of weddings, two of our other good friends god married a couple of months ago, and had THE most amazing photographer. You can see her work here. It's pretty flawless. This picture has zero to do with my week, but I love it so much I thought I'd throw it in.

Linking up with Sami.

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 2, 2013

5 for Friday- Cincinnati Love

It's no secret that I love Cincinnati. There are a lot of things about this city that drive me nuts, and I know things can always change, but I really can't see me ever living anywhere else. One of my favorite things about Cincinnati is UC. My years there were some of the best of my life, and I will never forget the connections I made, or the lessons I learned on that campus.

So many people give UC and the city of Cincinnati a bad rap. It's not enough this, or too much of that. Blah. Blah. Blah. So I am dedicating this week's 5 for Friday to what my favorite things are about the 513. Linking up with Natasha!

1. how it makes me feel. how we live.

Obviously everyone has their own take on where we live, but for the most part, I think this about wraps it up. The big city and small town you get all at once. The opportunity. The sports. I went to a young professional conference yesterday called Bold Fusion, and this video was shown there. It totally and completely sums up my opinion on this city. Take a minute and watch how we see the city!

2. the potential

Back to Bold Fusion. That is just one of the many events, clubs, meetings, etc., that I have been blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of. There are so many young people doing everything in their power to change the negative perception of the area. To keep talent here. To maintain Cincinnati as a great place to work, live, and play. I've studied and worked with some brilliant people over the last few years. I am confident in where we will take this city!

3. the play.

Bengals. Reds. UC. Xavier. Cyclones. Whatever team you support, all the games are fun. Maybe you're like me. The professional tailgater that could care less who wins or loses (except the Bearcats of course). The Banks. Kings Island. Coney Island. Party in the Park. Farmers markets. So many concerts. Parks, parks, and more parks. The list goes on. Basically, there is a whole lotta fun jammed in this city. The rivers. The lakes and mountains just a quick trip away. Loveland Bike Trail. Shopping. I really could go on.

4. the food.

I've posted about some of my favorites here, here, and here. There are a ton of local favorites I am more than obsessed with, but my top picks are definitely Bakersfield and Dewey's. And there are few things greater in life than blue ice cream from Kings Island or mac and cheese from Keystone.

Read this article on BuzzFeed for more on the best.

5. my little dot on the map, and who I share it with :)

I'll let the pictures do the talking on this one.

Happy Friday people!

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