Thursday, November 20, 2014

If we Were on a Hot Coco Date....

 If we Were on a Hot Coco Date....

... I'd invite you over to my house so that we could use our new Keurig 2.0, because it's really cool and wayyyy cheaper than places like Starbucks. PS- I hate coffee/coffee shops. PSS- Bed Bath and Beyond came again and replaced our old Keurig with a 2.0 for free and we also got a $28 gift card. I love that store.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Lululemon Favorites & Care Tips

Unless you live under a rock I'm sure you've heard about Lululemon, the worlds most outrageously priced athletic wear. When I first discovered the brand I thought "who in the world can afford to spend that much money on workout clothes", but then I became a nanny. As a nanny my "uniform" was workout or lounge clothes. After a couple months I started to feel like I was still in college, not a mid-twenties married adult. Around that time my nanny family, so graciously, gifted me a mall gift card for Christmas and I knew exactly where I was going to spend it- Lululemon. I've been hooked ever since.

Some of my favorite Lululemon pieces:
1. Run Times Tank - My most recent purchase and the most supportive tank I've bought from Lululemon (& I'm rather large chested).
2. Wunder Under - Hands down the best leggings. The brushed (fleece lined) ones are God's gift to winter.
3. Speed Short 4-Way Stretch - Extremely flattering and comfortable shorts. I'm kicking myself for not snagging these up so that my tank and shorts would match ;)
4. Dance Studio Jacket - Love this waterproof jacket. Perfect for rainy days.

Like I said Lululemon isn't cheap so you want to take the best care possible of your pieces. Here's what I do and all of my pieces still look brand new-

1. I wash all of my Lululemon clothes separate in cold water and I only use gentle detergent.
2. Since I'm not a fan of the Ivory Snow scent I add a pinch of Downy Unstopables. This isn't a necessary step, but I enjoy it :)
3. I wash all of my tops in these wash bags from Bed Bath and Beyond. The bags prevent anything (zippers, ect) from snagging the fabric. These bags are awesome, because they're extremely large and they zip AND snap so there's no way it'll open up on it's own.
4. The most important thing is to NEVER put your Lululemon clothing in the dryer. Always hang dry.

So there you have my current favorite Lululemon pieces and how I care for mine.  Are you a fan of Lululemon or do their prices cause you to run away screaming? ;)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Our Time in the Military

With today being Veterans day I figured it'd be the perfect time to write about our time {mostly my husband's, but it was mine too darnit!} in the military, more specifically the Army. As of now Thomas has been a Veteran for two years, but let's back track to the beginning.

For those of you who don't know, we started dating while we were in high school- T was a Junior and I was a Sophomore. Talk of joining the military didn't happen until the spring after I had graduated, 2009. One day we were hanging out and he said he thought about joining, because college wasn't working out for him and he wasn't happy spending his days at Panera. Ten minutes later we were on a different subject and I didn't think about it again... until a few days later saying that he met up with a Recruiter and was moving forward with joining. At the time our relationship was a little rocky and I went into the whole thing thinking "if we're meant to be it'll work out and if not it'll be easier to get over him". That line of thinking really saved me. It took the pressure off and it made the time leading up to his ship out date a lot more enjoyable.

Here we are at the going away party.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Five {Vol. 2}

TGIF! Even though this week has flown by I'm still looking forward to the weekend :) Today I get off work at 6:00, tomorrow at 5:00, and then I have Sunday off! I can't wait to watch football, get caught up on laundry, schedule a few posts, and deep clean the house. I want to enjoy the down time as much as possible, because I know it's only going to get crazier as the holidays get closer. Now onto my Friday Five...

Last week my sweet husband came home from school with a couple Laker goodies for me :) Who knew we'd be reppin' the same school one day.. I won't even lie- receiving this made me even more excited to start in January! It's starting to feel real.

Speaking of grad school I've started to slowly purchase items off my my checklist including a laminator, clip board/binder thingy, and a new planner! After three years I've decided to go a different route from the Erin Condren Life Planner and picked up a Sugar Paper planner at Target this week.

We had a day date Monday and it was a lot of fun! We had a few errands to run, got dinner at Applebee's where we get 30% off for Thomas being a Veteran, and then saw The Best of Me. Even though I read all of Nicholas Sparks' novels I could not and still don't remember any of that storyline! It was weird. The movie was ok, nothing spectacular and I'd recommend waiting for it to come to Redbox.

Do you guys know about Bed Bath and Beyond's amazing return policy?! If not, let me tell you... so we got a set of very expensive pots and pans for our wedding two years ago. The picture on the left is how they looked last week, after numerous attempts at scrubbing them. SO GROSS! I took three into BBB and they gave me brand new ones for FREE! They also informed me that you are not supposed to use any heat over medium on nonstick pans, because they'll burn the outside and crack the inside. Of course I ended up buying $45 worth of stuff while I was there, but who cares we got new pots for free!

Thomas sent me this picture while I was at work Sunday and I about died. Duke obviously takes the cold weather very seriously and is really excited! Fall/Winter are his favorite seasons :)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Halloween 2014

I know that everyone says it, but seriously where does the time go?! It seems like we moved to Grand Rapids just a couple weeks ago when it has actually been three months. I know that part of the issue is my erratic and all over the place work schedule, but the days just pass by in the blink of an eye. I'm constantly asking myself how the day is already over when I still have so much left to do. The house has suffered, this blog has suffered, and I just can't understand how people have time to do it all. Oh how I wish I could be one of them...

So lets back track to last weekend... Halloween. To be honest I've never been a fan of Halloween, more specifically the whole dressing up thing. In middle school and high school I took the easy route with football player/soccer player/ect. The last time I dressed up was in 2009 and I wore my MIL's cop costume, but this year Thomas was determined to dress up.

So Friday afternoon {yes the day of Halloween} we headed to Halloween USA in search of costumes. $100 later we walked out as Mario and Luigi {such a rip off!}....
 While the costumes were cute they 1) weren't worth the money 2) not practical for MI weather 3) a terrible idea
 It was pretty entertaining watching Thomas drink his beer through a straw, because his mustache was in the way!

Our friends drove in for the evening to "celebrate" with us and they blew our costumes out of the water! The were gnomes and their costumes were awesome! Homemade and very creative :)

Next year if we dress up again we'll be going that route- making our own costumes and that means planning in advanced, NOT waiting until the day of.

So how did we spend our evening? We started out at TGIFriday's for dinner where Karen and I had the most delicious Caramel Apple Martini! From there we headed to a local lounge that had live music and good drinks. Then it was time to pick up the rest of our group and head to a house party... and I'll never make that mistake again. I don't do well with college parties.. My poor husband thinks I'm such a party pooper. What a disaster and unfortunate way to spend our evening, but we did have fun with our friends once we made it back to our house and now we have a few funny memories!

Homemade costumes or store bought?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Anniversary Trip to Gatlinburg, TN | Day One

Oh hi, hello there. I have been working on this post for weeks now and I think it's time I finally hit publish. I mean this trip happened four months ago for Pete's sake!

So back in July Thomas and I headed down south to Gatlinburg, TN to celebrate our two year wedding anniversary. When deciding where we wanted to travel to we only had two requirements, that it was within driving distance and that it was relaxing. Gatlinburg definitely fit the bill!

We decided to hit the road in the middle of the night, leaving Michigan at 2:30am, which got us into Gatlinburg around 11am.

2am looks good on us don't you think?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Weekend on the East Side

This past weekend we finally made it back to Livonia for the first time since we moved across the state in August!

Before we made it to Livonia we sold one of our cars! Ever since moving to Grand Rapids we hadn't been driving Bu enough to justify the monthly payments so we decided to throw it up on Craigslist Monday night and it was sold on Friday! Thomas bought it when he got back from Afghanistan and she made many trips back and forth between Michigan and Louisiana. Thomas and I loved that car, but now we're saving ~$500 a month and that feels great.
One last picture together ;)

Friday afternoon I spent making homemade caramel apples with my grandma and cousin Sarah. I wish I took a picture, because they turned out delicious! Then we went out to dinner with my in-laws to celebrate my FIL's birthday and had a great time catching up with them. From dinner we spent the night catching up with friends and watching Restrepo, a heartbreaking documentary about the Afghanistan War. I think everyone should watch this documentary and I even think that it should be playing in High School history classes. I was stunned during the majority of the film and I am married to a veteran who served a year over there! Being told stories and watching them are completely different.

Saturday morning we spent at the Henry Ford Museum with my in-laws. We specifically went to see the Gridiron Glory: NFL Football Hall of Fame exhibit, but we also toured the museum as well. The exhibit was really cool and now Thomas and I definitely want to make the trip down to Canton, OH to see the entire thing.


Tom Brady's Draft card ;)

 Ford Field built out of LEGOS!

I have man hands... and I'm pretty sure I'd make a great QB if I tried ;)

Once we finished the museum we headed to my grandparents house where we had a family dinner. My entire family was there and it was great being able to see everyone at the same time! We spent the day catching up and watching the UofM vs MSU football game. MSU kicked butt so my husband was thrilled, but my family was not. Personally, I don't really care that much about either team. It's always a great game though.

On Sunday we met Thomas' grandma for lunch and then I met up with my three best friends from home at the mall for shopping and dinner! It the perfect weekend, because the weather was great and we were able to see everyone that we've really missed! :) Now I need to get caught up on laundry and chores... yippee ;)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Random Brain Dump..

My blogging "come back" has been lackluster to say the least and for that I apologize. I've had a hard time finding the creativity and motivation. I draw a blank every time I sit down at my desk to write despite the list of topics I have written down. So in an attempt to channel that creativity today I'm just going to write whatever random thoughts come to mind. Enjoy ;)

  • The weather change has really done a number on me. I've had a constant headache for two days now and I'm finally over my first cold of the season. While I'm not the biggest fan of fall {because it means that summer is over and winter is coming..} Grand Rapids sure is beautiful with all of the trees changing colors. I already miss the warm weather though...
  • Speaking of Grand Rapids we finally feel settled in and that we are home. It's such a fun city and there is always so much to do. I can't wait to continue to explore it and experience all it has to offer. I have a feeling that we'll be here for a while ;)
  • Today was my first day off since I started at Macy's sixteen days ago. Granted, half of my shifts are only 3-6 hours so it doesn't really feel like I haven't had a day off yet. I still have time to keep up with house duties, my TV shows, and blogging {when I feel like it} so it isn't too bad. I definitely thought that I was done with retail years ago, but it's the best job for me right now. I might even stay after the holiday season is over and work one or two days a week while in school.
  • I'm loving that all of my TV shows are back. When the weather is colder I love curling up on the couch at night and watching my shows. As of now I'm watching Sons of Anarchy, SVU, Scandal, How to get Away with Murder, and Revenge.
  • Duke has become a cuddle bug and I love it! Almost every night he hops in our bed and curls up in between Thomas and I. It is my new favorite thing :) He's such a little ham.
  • We're heading to the East side this weekend and finally get to see our families and friends that we haven't seen since we moved in August! It'll be a jam packed weekend, but I can't wait :) I've really missed my grandparents and brother. Hopefully I remember to take pictures so I can write a weekend recap post next week.
  • I am completely overwhelmed at the idea of having to revamp my wardrobe for grad school. I've always been a yoga pants + hoodie kind of girl and that isn't going to fly anymore. I've slowly begun to pick up a few things here and there, but I'm hoping for a big shopping trip with my grandma before school starts. I've started a Pinterest board and if any of you have outfit or fashion blogs recommendations please send them my way! I mainly need tops and accessories.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

What's Been Going On...

Long time, no blog. It's been harder than I imagined getting used to working again and staying on top of my other duties. And unfortunately when that happens the blog has to take the back seat. However, I do have some free time so I thought I'd pop in and give a little update on life as of late.

  • The biggest thing that happened this week was that I was accepted into grad school!!! After applying three times I finally got in! To be honest, I still can't believe it! The program starts in January and is only four semesters long so I will graduate with a Masters Degree in May 2016. Thank you for all the well wishes!
  • I have worked everyday for the past 10 days at Macy's and I don't have a day off until Wednesday! I can't complain though, because the extra money is nice. I have a whole new professional wardrobe to buy! For the most part I'm enjoying it, but it is nice to know that it is short term. I thought I was done with retail five years ago. 
  • The discount isn't bad either ;) I got this beauty for 40% off this week! I plan on using it for my school bag.
  • On top of these great things I came down with a horrible cold this week which put me completely out of commission when I wasn't miserable at work. You should see the dirty laundry pile and the dishes! Ahh!  I hate getting behind, because then I get so overwhelmed.

So that's whats been going on in a nutshell. I'm drowning in tissues, dirty clothes, but so ecstatic to start the next step in my speech-language pathology career :)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Weekend Recap {Duke's Birthday + Doggy Cake Recipe}

There's no question about it, fall has arrived in Western Michigan. The leaves are changing colors and have started to fall, I am currently wearing gloves while typing this post {it is extremely cold in our office!}, and we spent the entire weekend watching football...  However, we did venture out to the movie theater to see Gone Girl and we were both incredibly impressed! We're also really excited for all the new movies coming out over the next few months.

On Saturday we celebrated Duke's birthday which means I have a few fun pictures to add to this otherwise boring post ;)

Doggy Cake recipe {adapted from here}

Peanut Butter and Banana Doggie Cake 
  - 1 cup all purpose flour  
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt  
- 1/4 cup creamy all natural peanut butter
- 2 bananas, smashed  
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- approximately 3/4 cup water

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F  
2. Spray a standard 8 inch round cake pan with non stick pan spray  
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add the oil, egg, peanut butter and smashed banana and mix with a wooden spoon.  Add in the water as needed to make the mixture the consistency of a typical cake batter
4. Pour the batter into the round pan and bake for about 40 minutes {It only took ~25 minutes for me so just keep an eye on it}.  Remove cake from pan and allow it to completely cool before icing {I used the creamy peanut butter as frosting after the yogurt chips would not melt}.

 He was not really amused with the hat...

 I HATE our floors, but what can you do?

You could say that he loved being spoiled all day long and loved all of his presents :) He's my best bud and I loved spoiling him!

PS- I'm slowly learning how to use my camera in Manual mode, but I still have a longggg way to go so I apologize for wonky lighting.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Five on Friday

This week has just crawled by so I'm glad it's finally Friday! Don't you hate how time seems to crawl when you're waiting on something? Hopefully next week goes by faster!

ONE. Duke's Birthday
Tomorrow Duke turns two! How is he already two?! It seems like just yesterday we were having his first birthday pawty. This year I'm attempting to make his cake myself so we'll see how that goes. I've really enjoyed spending so much time with him since we moved to Grand Rapids, he's my best bud.

TWO. Matching PJs
It's amazing how much more feminine you feel when you were cute, matching pajamas to bed! I always find adorable ones at Target.

THREE. New Winter Coat
A few weeks ago I saw this coat at The North Face and couldn't stop thinking about it. I was way overdue for a new coat, I've had my current one for six years and it's been sewn a few too many times. I ended up finding it on sale so I snatched it up. It's perfect- warm and feminine!

FOUR. Silhouette Vinyl Projects
After owning the machine for 9 months I finally used it! I made the labels for our pantry and a decal for my phone charger! I still have a lot to learn, but I'm loving it so far.

FIVE. Gilmore Girls on Netflix
Where you can find me when I'm blogging, folding laundry, ect. Netflix is a fabulous thing!

Linking up here

Thursday, October 2, 2014

October Goals

How is it already October?! This year has seriously flown by in the blink of an eye! I swear the older you get the faster time goes by. Before we know it it'll be 2015. Today I'm posting a few things I want to accomplish this month.

1. Work as much as possible- I am no longer unemployed! I'm working at Macy's for the holiday season. I figured that if I get into grad school the holiday schedule works out perfectly, because it ends in January. And I can't lie, I'm really excited about the employee discount ;) I start training on Monday and my "home" departments are HANDBAGS, fun jewelry, and intimates.

2. Finish one book- I haven't been reading as much as I used to and I've been "reading" the same book for two months now. It's hard to find the time now that fall shows are back and I'm blogging again, but I need to finish it!

3.  Visit an orchard- West Michigan has a ton of apple orchards and the one on the top of my list is Robbinette's. Our friends have raved about it and I figured we need to enjoy the Fall festivities before the snow comes!

4. Stay on top of blogging- I still have to finish my pages (about, bucket list, ect) and I'd like to be consistent with my posts. I'd also like to start an organization series soon!

What goals do you have for this month?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Weekend Recap- Interview, Art Prize

Our weekend was the perfect amount of relaxation and fun. Don't you just love when that happens?

Friday night was pretty low key. We took Duke to the dog park (where he made friends!!!), I pampered myself with a bubble bath and painting my nails, and then we watched The Double which was pretty good.

I had my interview bright and early Saturday morning and I feel like it went well! I should hear back within 2 weeks so I'm crossing my fingers (and toes!) for good news :) We spent the rest of the day and night downtown- checking out some of the art that's here for Art Prize, which is a pretty awesome art competition here! We only got to see a small sampling of the art so I'm sure we'll head back downtown a couple more times before it's over. Grand Rapids is definitely a cool place to live :)

We just hung out at the house on Sunday and I cooked up a little football feast- chili, pigs in a blanket, and homemade queso to enjoy during the games. We actually watched the Tigers baseball game the majority of the day, but that's okay.

Like I said, perfect combination of fun and relaxation!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Five

I can't believe how fast the weeks are flying by and that it's already the end of September! Ahh! Where does the time go?

{One} We finally got to check out our neighborhood's dog park this week and we, especially Duke, love it! We've gone everyday since Monday. We don't have a fenced in yard and this is only 3 minutes away so it's perfect. It gives me a reason to get out of the house and Duke gets his very needed exercise.

{Two} Warm weather is back and I'm loving it! I feel gypped by the summer we've had in Michigan so I'm going to hold onto this warm weather for as long as possible. I'm one of those weirdos that doesn't really like fall...
{Three} I hate doing dishes... HATE it. These two things {& my cleaning gloves} have saved me though. The Target brand dish packs are so easy {have you ever accidently poured too much detergent in the little square?!} and they're cheap/always on sale! The Oxo brush was my husbands request, but I've grown to love it too. We typically use it with the sponge head, but I love that they're interchangeable. I also love that it has a stand ;)

{Four} I love being back in the swing of blogging and I feel like I have a pretty good groove going on :) Now I just need to keep working at it and get this baby to grow!

{Five} My big interview for grad school is tomorrow morning. I'm nervous, excited, but mostly just anxious. I'm ready to get it over with so that I don't have to worry about it anymore and I'm ready to get the decision letter {hopefully in 2ish weeks} so that I'm no longer in this limbo. I'd appreciate any well wishes and I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

I hope you all have a great weekend :)