Thursday, December 15, 2016

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases

Using this picture again because it's my favorite :)

  • Work, work, work: has taken over my entire life lately, but I suppose that's what happens when you have 19 IEP meetings before Winter Break, 7 referrals to screen, and still need to meet your minimums. I was warned that this time of year gets a little crazy, but man this is CRAZY.
  • Tom Brady: is the winningest football quarterback of all time. He has been my favorite athlete since 2004, when I "chose" him since he was number 12 and he had played for Michigan. I'm crossing my fingers that we'll be able to make a quick trip to Boston next year to see a game in Foxborough. It is one of my bucket list items and unfortunately I'm not sure how many seasons I have left!
  • Western Michigan Broncos: My Broncos are undefeated and going to the Cotton Bowl! When I was a student at Western the football team was awful. I'm talking 1-11 awful. But the tickets were free and the games were always a blast. They've come a long way and are giving Western the attention it deserves! It was a wonderful university #ROWTHEBOAT
  • Winter:  arrived fast and hard here in Michigan. We got 10 inches of snow over the weekend and now the temperature has dropped into the teens. Brrrr.

  • Tieks: I just couldn't resist the limited edition Champagne color. They're going to be perfect for the holidays and any fancy event (weddings!) in the future.
  • PrAna hiking pants: I've started collecting items for our trip to Arizona next month and hiking pants were the most important. Thomas said leggings won't work, so I was determined to find a practical yet fashionable pair.
  • Nike Tanjun sneakers: I also picked these up for Arizona and I'm obsessed. They're cheap, fashionable, and so comfy! If you're looking for an everyday sneaker give these a try.
  • NARS Velvet Lip Glide: One of my purchases from the VIB sale and the Bound shade is the perfect fall/winter color for me. I'm not a big lip stick/gloss fan, but these are great.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Weekend Recap | Snowed In

This weekend wasn't nearly as exciting as last weekend, but it was nice to have a low-key weekend before the busyness of the holiday picks up again. Add in an unexpected snow day and I guess it wasn't too bad.

Friday | Work was easy going as Fridays are my "catch up" day. I saw a few students that were absent during their therapy times and then headed to my monthly SLP meeting. Due to the holiday, this months' meeting was held at a local BBQ joint in downtown Jackson. We all had lunch together and then did a little gift exchange. Funny enough, I got the gift that my CF-mentor brought! Our "meeting" ended early, which was a nice ending to the week. Once Thomas got home from work we stopped at Red Robins for dinner and then headed to pick up my grandparents for my uncle's birthday party at a Karaoke Bar. My brother and his girlfriend met us there and we all had a great time. 

Saturday | I was up early Saturday morning so that I could get to Verizon as soon as they opened. I finally was able to upgrade my 16gb iPhone 6 to a 164gb iPhone 7. I was so sick of getting the notification everyday that I had no storage space! I better never run out of space again ;) Thomas worked at REI and I didn't really do anything besides grocery shopping and catching up on the DVR. Duke has been such a cuddle bug lately, so we enjoyed some time on the couch together. Once Thomas got home from work we watched Sausage Party... it was completely ridiculous.
Sunday | Was the usual cleaning, laundry, and getting ready for the week ahead day. Add in over TEN inches of snow and we were officially snowed in. Of course Duke loved it so we took him out a few times to run around in the tennis court lol Around 6pm I was notified that school was cancelled for Monday. It was great knowing before going to bed and being able to turn my alarm off! I was definitely very stir crazy by the end the night though. I can only take so much time at home.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Traverse City Ale Trail | Rare Bird Brewery

By the time we reached the next stop on The TC Ale Trail, Rare Bird, it was getting pretty late and my trail companions were quite tipsy. Rare Bird was a very laid back atmosphere, with live music and dimmed lights. An awesome place if you're looking to unwind!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Weekend Recap | It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The most wonderful time of the year is officially here and we had a great weekend to kick it off!

Friday night we headed out with friends to Wixom for their "big" Holiday Festival... It was a little lackluster, but we still had a good time checking out all of the booths. Once we had had enough of the festival, we grabbed dinner at Wixom Station and then ended the night at Drafting Table Brewing Company where we watched my Western Michigan Broncos win the MAC Championship! ROW THE BOAT!
We spent Saturday evening with Thomas' parents and had a great time. This year we decided to gift our parents "activities with us" instead of typical gifts and I think we might make it a tradition. We started the evening with dinner at ROAK Brewing Company, where we had delicious pizza and Thomas enjoyed a beer flight.

Next up was Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo, which was awesome! It was our first time going and we loved it. I could see it becoming a tradition.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Monthly Round Up | November 2016

I can't believe that 2016 is almost over. Where has the year gone?! So much has happened in what seems like the blink of an eye! So before we get to the last month of 2016 lets take a look back at November.
We enjoyed a night out in Downtown Detroit; dinner at Slows BarBQ and seeing The Book of Mormon at The Fisher Theatre.
We attended a University of Michigan football game at the infamous Big House with my brother and his girlfriend.
We voted for the first time together and while we're disappointed with the results we don't take that right for granted.
We celebrated our 10 year dating anniversary with a delicious dinner of crab legs at Weber's, a Ann Arbor staple. 
We celebrated Thanksgiving with both of our families. We have so much to be thankful for this year!
We had a fun cousins night out with family in town from out of state. We have the best time when we're all together.
We also had a great dinner with our great-grandpa in Ann Arbor. These times with him are so special to me.
We had another fun day in Downtown Detroit when we went to see a local high school playoff game at Ford Field and stopped for brunch at Bobcat Bonnie's.

Other big news from November is that Thomas found a job and started full-time, which has been such a relief. It was a great month and I have a feeling that December will be too :)

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Traverse City Ale Trail | The Workshop Brewing Company

The next stop on the TC Ale Trail was The Workshop Brewing Company. It is hands down the strangest brewery I've ever been to. I guess we should've known walking in..
... what do you think they were going for with their decor? Despite the awkward atmosphere, the live band wasn't bad, they had a handful of fun "bar games", and the food wasn't bad. We all shared the nachos and a flight of beer. Neither were bad, but also nothing to write home about. To be honest this was probably my least favorite stop of the night.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Day in the Life | Clinical Fellowship

One of my favorite posts to read as well as to write are "day in the life" posts. A peak into what a typical day looks like during a certain stage of life. I love looking back at these posts and seeing how different life was. As they say the days are long, but the years are short. Here's what a typical weekday looks like for me as I'm completing my Clinical Fellowship.
My alarm goes off at 6:00am and no matter how early I go to bed the night before it's always hard for me to wake up. No matter how hard I try I am just not a morning person. I typically roll out of bed around 6:30am get ready, run around packing my bags, and hit the road by 7:00am.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Traverse City Ale Trail | North Peak Brewing Company

North Peak Brewing Company was our next stop on the TC Ale Trail. I think this was my favorite stop on the trail. Due to the time constraint we only had time to split a flight (water for me), but the atmosphere was great and even though we didn't have time to try it; the food menu looked delicious. It was a brewery that felt more like a restaurant than a bar and had a lot of families enjoying dinner while we were there. It's on my list to visit again the next time we're up in Traverse City.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Weekend Recap | Book of Mormon, UMich Football, Beautiful Weather

This past weekend was one for the books! Friday night we headed over to Detroit with our first stop being dinner at Slows To-Go. T and I shared The Deuce combo and mac-n-cheese sides. From there we made our way to The Fisher Theatre where we saw The Book of Mormon, which was excellent! Very vulgar, but also hilarious. It was T's first Broadway show and I'm glad he enjoyed it. Once the show was over we had quite the adventure getting the car out of the parking garage, but eventually we were on our way. We grabbed drinks and an appetizer at The Rustic Crow, which were delicious, before calling it a night.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

October Recap

It feels like October was over in the blink of an eye! I suppose that's what happens when it's go-go-go at work and at home. All in all it was a great month, but I'm looking forward to a "slower paced" November. Ha!
We started the month out in Grand Rapids, visiting for Art Prize 8. I can't wait to go back next year!
We had a celebration fit for a King for Duke's Golden Birthday.

Our friends had a house warming party. We had a blast catching up with friends who came in town for the big event!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Duke is Four!

October 4th was Duke's Golden Birthday; he turned four! I honestly can't even wrap my mind around the fact that he's been in our lives for four years already. It seems like just yesterday we were bringing him home, but at the same time it feels like he's always been a part of our family. We had quite the birthday celebration!

Once I got home from work we headed downtown so that Duke could get a special meal at Grizzly Peak. They offer a Pups on the Patio menu just for dogs. How awesome is that?! Duke got the PB Dog, because he's a huge fan of peanut butter and once it cooled down he loved it. He took his time and savored it, which is highly unlike him! It was a beautiful day for all of us to hang out on the patio, not too hot (for Duke) or cold (for us). Thomas and I got to enjoy drinks and an appetizer as well.

Once we had all finished our food we headed back home for presents! A new blanket, some bones, and a couple of toys. I think it's safe to say that Duke had the best birthday ever. We love you Bugs!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Weekend in Grand Rapids | Art Prize 8

This past weekend we made our first trip back to Grand Rapids. We had been looking forward to this for weeks (since we moved really) and I refused to let the rain put a damper on our weekend, so while it didn't go exactly as planned we still had a great time in our favorite city.

I was able to leave work around 1:30pm on Friday, so we were able to get a head start on the drive and avoid rush hour traffic. We dropped our bags and Duke off at a friends house and headed to the brand-spanking new New Holland Brewing restaurant, The Knickerbocker, on Bridge Street. A handful of friends met us there and we spent over four hours hanging out. The restaurant was insanely busy, so we had a 2 hour wait, but thankfully there are multiple bars and lounge areas that we were able to pass the time with. While the atmosphere is excellent and the drinks are good, we wouldn't recommend the food. We found it to be overpriced and mediocre.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

September Favorites

For years I've enjoyed watching monthly favorite videos on YouTube. It's where I get the majority of my recommendations from. So I thought I'd start compiling a list of items that I'm loving every month.

Food and Drink
- Apple Cider: the one fall craze I jump on board with. Forget PSL; give me a cold glass of apple cider and I'm a happy camper. Random fact: 99% of the time I prefer cold drinks. The 1% is hot chocolate.
- Trader Joe's Balsamic Glaze: run, do not walk, to Trader Joe's and buy this stuff! It is worth way more than the $2.99 price tag and I put it on everything. Pizza, caprese salad, chicken, etc. Psst- you can even buy it on Amazon if you click that link ;)
- No Thai: our local Thai food joint is awesome. We've been there twice already since we moved to Ann Arbor and I have a feeling it'll be one of our favorites. Their chicken curry fried rice is bomb!

- Essie Gel Couture: I've mentioned my love for this before, but every time I paint my nails I'm blown away. I'm currently on day 9 and my nails are just now starting to show wear on the tips. I picked up The It Factor (a fall-ish pink color) at Meijer while grocery shopping this past weekend, meaning I now have five colors.
- Moroccan Oil Treatment: A few months ago my hair stylist used this after styling my hair and I've been hooked ever since. Mainly due to the scent, it smells divine! 
- Moroccan Oil Dry Shampoo: Again, I purchased this after hearing that it smells just like the oil treatment (it does!) and I've been impressed so far. I was using Batise for Brunettes and while it worked well I couldn't stand the scent.
- Bite Beauty Lipstick: I'm not really a lipstick kind of girl, but when I got my make-up done at Sephora for our anniversary pictures the make-up artist used Fig and I was impressed with how comfortable and long wearing it was. So I bought it #duh I've since purchased a lighter shade, Sugarcane, and I like them both. 

- Command Strips: Every renters dream. An easy way to decorate walls without the hassle of making holes and then having to patch said holes. Oh and we use them to keep our cabinets closed, because we have a certain dog that likes to open them.
- Oxo Shower Caddy: When we moved into our apartment (and went from having one shower to two..) we got this shower caddy. The thing I love the most about it is that I can fit my jumbo bottles of shampoo and conditioner and that it holds a lot of products in general.

- Post-its: I've have never used as many Post-its in my life as I have this first month as a SLP. They're all over my desk, in my planner, and in my bag. They're great for writing down quick notes or reminders and then tossing once they've served their purpose.
- PaperMate X-Tend pens: My favorite pens e-v-e-r. The only place I can find them is Amazon so I've stock piled them. I keep a handful at my desk, in my work bag, in my purse, and in our home office. Ordering in bulk is the best!
- Erin Condren Teacher Planner: This planner has been a lifesaver this past month. I use it to schedule all of my meetings and to lesson plan. My district uses a different form for attendance and data recording so I don't have to worry about those. I plan to write a full review/how I use it soon.
- TeachersPayTeachers: I discovered this goldmine last year while I was in grad school and I can't even express how much it has helped a new speechie like me. I've found fun activities my students love, no-prep activities that have saved my butt countless of times, and I like supporting SLPs.

- Shameless: T started watching Shameless on Netflix a few weeks ago and then I got sucked in. It features a crazy dysfunctional family that makes you feel grateful for your dysfunctional family :)
- Football: When we're home during the weekend football is on our TV. College or NFL, it doesn't matter. I've been super impressed with my Patriots still kicking butt even without Tom Brady (or their second string QB)!
- Pinterest: Am I the only one that goes in waves with using this site? I can go months without visiting the site once and then other times I stay up way past my bedtime pinning. I think booking three trips for next year is to blame ;)

- Hunter Tour Boots: My in-laws got me these for my birthday and I love them! I've had the Original Hunter boots for years, but they always felt so heavy and stiff. The Tour version is the complete opposite, light and flexible. I also love that they can be folded and therefore are travel friendly. I recommend Tour over Original any day!
- Tieks: Now that I've had these for a month and worn them excessively I can say they are worth the price tag 100%. I plan on writing a full review soon, but let me just say this- they're so good that I'm already saving up to buy my next pair! Treat yo'self and get a pair ;)
- Kendra Scott: KS jewelry is really the only jewelry I ever wear anymore. The quality is great and they're classic pieces. My most worn pieces are the Dani earrings, Elisa necklace, and Rae necklace.
- Detroit Tigers Hat: Lately, I've become a fan of baseball caps again. They're perfect for weekend errands when I don't want to do anything with my hair. Or when it's rainy. While the white version is a nightmare to keep clean, it matches everything.

So there you have it; a few things that I'm loving this month! I'd love to know what has been on your favorites list this month?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Scenes from the Week | Vol. One

I recently came across Emily's blog and loved her version of a weekend recap, Scenes from the Week, so I've decided to give it a whirl! Sometimes our weekdays are more eventful than our weekends or something happens on a non-weekend day that I want to document here on le blog.
1. T, Duke, and I went for a 4 mile hike here in Ann Arbor called Bird Hill. It was quite hilly and by the end of it Duke was so tired we were able to take his leash off. Adventures are even better when Duke can tag along!
2. My Kendra Scott loot. I definitely took advantage of the promo last week where if you spent $100 you received a free Rae necklace. Ya'll, I've been waiting for over a year to get a silver Rae necklace. So I ordered two rose gold pieces and got my free Rae :) 
3. Stuck in rush hour traffic. I got stuck at work a little later than normal and had to pick Thomas up from an interview. I'm grateful that I don't have to deal with it often, because I can't handle it.
4. "I don't know how it happened... I just woke up like this" - Duke. Forever laying in silly positions and making me laugh!
1. Oooh Sephora packages are some of my favorites. I am OBSESSED with the Moroccan Oil dry shampoo. I typically only use dry shampoo twice a week, so I don't mind spending a little more on it. The scent just can't be beat and it does it's job! I'm also excited to try the feet masks.
2. I spent a couple hours this weekend catching up on recorded shows from the week. I'm a grandma and can't stay up past 10pm so half of my shows end up recorded.
3. I know it looks terrible but chili dip is so delicious and a fall weekend staple, especially when you're curled up on the couch watching football. I also love Buffalo Chicken Dip and can't wait to make it.
4. Target $1 candy for the win. I love candy corn, but only a small amount of it. The personal sized bag was perfect and I've had my fix for the year.

I excited for the week ahead; low-key nights at home and a weekend trip to Grand Rapids! We can't wait to be back in our city. I hope you all have a great week :) Linking up with Bianca here.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Currently | September 2016

Enjoying: The weather we've had this month, which has been in the low 80s and sunny. Unlike the majority, I'm not ready to let go of summer just yet. To me fall = winter is coming and I strongly dislike winter here in Michigan.
Feeling: Sore. We went for a impromptu 4 mile hike in Ann Arbor yesterday, so today my glutes and shins are a little sore. The hike was hilly with a lot of large rocks and branches. Of course my husband had us run up (and then down) all of said hills.
Loving: That after weeks of searching online I finally found the Michigan State Spartans zip-up I've been looking for. At a mom and pop college apparel store in a mall forty-five minutes away from me.. but the drive was worth it! I would've been really bummed if I ended up empty handed.
Reading: Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty. I'm having a hard time getting into this book, which is unlike any of the other books I've read by Liane. Maybe it's because reading hasn't been a priority lately? Either way I'm hoping to change that soon. 
Watching: Fall Premiers! Gotham, Law & Order: SVU, Chicago PD, How to Get Away with Murder, Quantico, etc. Who else is stoked fall TV is back?! The only show missing is Scandal. I need some Olivia Pope back in my life. We've also been watching Shameless on Netflix, which has been a great show as well.
Wishing: For T to receive a job offer. He's been applying relentlessly since we moved to Ann Arbor and I know that he's starting to get a little stir crazy. So if you have some good vibes or juju to send our way we'd appreciate it! I have to say that he's been an awesome SAHH (Stay at Home Husband) this past month though ;) 
Needing: To hang photos/decor on the walls. We've been in the apartment for 6 weeks now and I'm embarrassed to say that the walls are still completely bare. We have the frames and command strips, but we just haven't gotten them put up yet.
Wearing: This striped dress from Target. Yes, it's maternity. No, I am not pregnant. After seeing Audrey's post I knew that I had to give it a try! I originally ordered it in a S, but thought it was a little too big so I exchanged it for X-Small and it's wonderful. The length is perfect to wear while working with little kiddos, the material is beyond soft and comfy, and you can never go wrong with a simple stripped dress.
Planning: All of the trips! I've been bitten hard by the travel bug. I'm working on three trips for next year and I wouldn't be opposed to adding more :) The best part of working for a public school district is all of the paid time off, a travelers dream!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday Five

Phew what a week! I don't think I've look forward to a Friday this much in a very long time. I am ready for the weekend.
Linking up here
One. First Full Week
The main reason why I'm ready for the weekend is because this week was my first full week of the school year and it has been exhausting. I'm certainly getting a taste of what being a "real" speech-language pathologist feels like. Constantly running around, asking 50 questions a day, going into the wrong classroom, arriving late (... and early), changing the schedule every other day, and the list goes on. That doesn't mean I don't love it though, because I do. I still have to pinch myself that I'm finally here.
Two. New Kings of Leon Music
We've been waiting so long (three years to be exact..) for this! They released their new single, Waste A Moment, last week and the full album comes out October 14th. KOL is one of the few bands that Thomas and I both really enjoy. I am not a huge fan of the trippy theme they have going on though...
Three. Great Weekend... That I Didn't Blog About
I never had time to write the post, but I don't want it to go undocumented so here's a short and sweet recap :) Saturday we went to a fall festival hosted by T's Catholic grade school with his friends from grade school. Over priced beer and mediocre food, but the company couldn't be beat. Half of the group then headed to Ann Arbor to see the final midnight movie of the year at the State Theatre, Mad Max. It was definitely a unique experience. I'm not a huge fan of the movie to begin with, Thomas slept through the entire thing, and the chairs were the most uncomfortable chairs I've ever (voluntarily) watched a movie in. Sunday we headed over to Detroit to see the Tigers play. It was the most perfect day for a baseball game and despite the loss, we had a great time! After the game we decided to stop at Cheli's Chili Bar and look who was hanging out outside... Chris Chelios himself.
Four. Essie Gel Polish
It's been all the rage lately, but for me, it's lived up to it's hype! I'm currently on day 8 and my nails don't look awful. So far I've purchased four colors (Fairy Tailor, Take Me to Thread, Model Clicks, and Caviar Bar) and have a couple more on my shopping list.
Five. Fall Candles
I'm not a "OMG IT'S FALL" type of gal, but I do love some Leaves and Black Cherry Merlot candles from Bath & Body works :)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Traverse City Ale Trail | Jolly Pumpkin

Our next stop on the Traverse City Ale Trail was Jolly Pumpkin. This brewery was the most difficult one to get to as it is 25 minutes up the Peninsula and far away from all of the other trail stops. This would be extremely difficult if you were doing the trail by bicycle. We didn't have time to enjoy the outdoor seating area/patio, but we plan to go back one day to check it out. Thomas said that their beers are typically very sour, but he enjoyed the one he had this time. I was a fan of how they stored their mug club mugs :) The food menu looked awesome too. Jolly Pumpkin actually started in Dexter/Ann Arbor and that location is on our brewery list to check out one day as well.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Weekend Recap | Labor Day Weekend

Why can't every weekend be a holiday weekend? I wanted to take full advantage of my four day weekend and we did just that!

Friday | T and I headed towards Grand River Brewery in Jackson, but first stopped at my work so that I could show him the town, buildings, and where I go everyday. The brewery was nice and the weather was beautiful. Our next stop was the oldest Cider Mill in Michigan, Dexter Cider Mill. We each got a spiced donut and shared some cider. Both were delicious! We headed back to our apartment, took a little nap, and then headed to the gym. Leg day was a killer so we spent a few minutes in the sauna afterwards. The rest of the evening we watched the Michigan State football game.