Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Arizona | Desert Shooting

On our last day in Arizona we drove around, did some shooting, and explored Sam's hometown (Kearny) and the surrounding areas (Ray/Superior). This is what the boys were looking forward to the most and I was just along for the ride. While the boys enjoyed the guns, I enjoyed the sunshine and scenery!

This side of life in Arizona is the complete opposite of life in Michigan. You can't just go driving around in the desert, find a good spot, and set up a range. But that's one of the things Thomas (and Sam too) love most about the desert or this side of AZ.
I told the boys that we needed to try In-N-Out while we were in AZ and Sam didn't let me down. We stopped for dinner on our way to the airport and it lived up to the hype! We enjoyed Animal Style fries and burgers as well as Chocolate Shakes. Everything was delicious and reminded me of Johnny Rockets inside Cedar Point.
It was such an awesome trip and I'm excited to visit again in June as part of our Vegas trip. Now that we've played tour guide in Michigan and Sam has in Arizona, our plans are to meet up at a neutral location for our next trip and explore somewhere new together!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Currently | March 2017

It is officially Spring! That means it'll start to warm up in Michigan right?! One can only hope so, because we're really starting to get sick of this dreary cold weather. While I'm over here hoping for warm weather here are some other things that are going on currently..

Writing: All the IEPs and Medicaid billing. IEP season is officially here and I have 14 to write and meetings to hold before Spring Break, which is in 8 days.
Eating: Chipolte Cheddar Gardetto's.. I am addicted and just can't get enough! They aren't readily available near me, so when I see them I buy the entire stock.
Loving: The new blog layout I just ordered! I went with the Millie & Livie theme from Get Polished and can't wait to get it all set up. The tricky thing is finding the time...
Drinking: Any and all caffeine I can get my hands on. I'm still not adjusted to the time change. I have been staying up until 11:30ish, which is wayyy past my bed time, and then can't get out of bed in the morning.
Reading: I just started You by Caroline Kepnes last night. I purchased it a couple of months ago for a reading group challenge, but never got around to reading it.
Watching: I've slowly been watching The OA on Netflix and it's very intriguing! Scandal has been insane this season and while nothing Poppa Pope does surprises me, I couldn't believe how the last episode ended! Like I mentioned yesterday, Thomas and I have been watching The Night Manager when we have time together and it's a great show too.
Wondering: How much my Urgent Care bill is going to be from earlier this month.. Adulthood stinks.
Listening To: Buttons by The Weeks. Ever since the Kings of Leon concert two weeks ago, where The Weeks opened, I've had this song stuck in my head. Give it a listen!
Looking For: All of the pieces for Audrey's Putting Me Together Spring Challenge. It's been a little over a year since I've participated in a style "challenge" so I'm excited to do one again.
Needing: To get a hair cut and my eyebrows waxed. It's been seven months since I've gotten it cut, which is ridiculous. I've been hesitant to find a new stylist here in Ann Arbor, because I'm anxious that they won't be as good as the one I saw in Grand Rapids. I hate finding new service providers (stylist, doctor, dentist, vet, etc.)!
Smelling: Copper Coconut candle from Bath & Body Works. It is delicious and smells exactly like the beach! Which is where I wish I was at the moment..
Planning: My girls trip to NYC with my Grandma and cousin that is two weeks from today! We have a loose itinerary planned, but now I'm looking for restaurants. If you have any recommendations, send them my way!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Weekend Recap | Dronin'

Happy Monday! We had a pretty low-key weekend, but I still don't feel rested or prepared for the week ahead. Don't you just hate when that happens?! Anyway here's a quick bullet point look on our weekend...

* Friday night our friends came into town and we went to dinner at Carlyle Grill, which has the best crab cakes we've ever had, hands down!

*After dinner, we headed back to the apartment to hammer out some details for our Vegas trip in June. If you have any restaurant or recommendations on things to do/what's a must see please send them my way!

* We watched the Michigan State basketball game, which will probably be the extent of March Madness for us. We're not big basketball fans.

* Saturday we headed to my in-laws house where we spent the day visiting Thomas' parents and Grandma, who is currently staying with them. It's been a while since we've seen them, so it was great to catch up and spend some quality time together.

* While at his parents Thomas wanted to show them his new toy, a super fancy drone, so we took it out and flew it around for a while. That's how we got that awesome photo above :)

* Sunday morning we bummed out on the couch and started watching The Night Manager on Amazon Prime before Thomas headed to work for the evening. It's been really good so far!

* I spent the rest of the evening writing IEPs and scheduling out the next two (crazy) weeks at work. It is definitely IEP season. Only 9 more days until Spring Break!

Here's to hoping this week goes smoothly! Linking up here.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Recent Reads | February Edition

One of my goals this year is to read more. Back in high school I read all.the.time, but once I started college my free time diminished. Now that Thomas and I are working opposite shifts I have a lot of free time, which is pretty evident by the seven books I've read since the end of January. Linking up here.
Truly Madly Guilty 3 stars
I've been a huge Liane Moriarty fan for years, but this story fell flat. It took me a really long time to get into it and it never captivated me, which was unlike any of the other her books. Instead, I'd recommend The Husband's Secret, What Alice Forgot, and Big Little Lies.
The Woman in Cabin 10 4 stars
I've seen this book all over blogland and decided that I needed to give it a whirl. There's a reason for the hype! I was sucked in and couldn't put it down, even staying up way past my bedtime a couple of nights. The twists and turns kept me guessing throughout the entire book. I'm excited to check out other books by her!
The Good Girl  5 stars
I kept the mystery theme rolling with my next read and I was even more hooked. Staying up until 2am on a work night hooked! I just needed to know what happened next and did not see the bomb coming that was dropped at the end.
Two by Two  4 stars
This was not your typical Nicholas Sparks love story, but that doesn't mean that there weren't any tears! Instead of a husband and wife love story, this story was about the love between a father and his daughter. I believe that Sparks' stories have changed since he has gotten divorced, that now they aren't always happy endings.
It Ends with Us  5 stars
In my opinion, this was the BEST book on this list so if you only read one READ THIS ONE! It is raw, heartbreaking, inspiring, and brutally honest. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. You love and hate each character, which I think makes it even more relatable.
Dark Places ★ 3 stars
I've had this book sitting on my iPad for years (since I read Gone Girl) and just got around to reading it. I didn't find it as captivating as Gone Girl, but it was a much darker storyline and that could've played a part. The day after I finished the book I was told that it was turned into a movie and I had no idea! I watched the movie, which is available for free on Amazon Prime, and lets just say I'm glad I didn't spend $10+ on it at the theater.
Leaving Time ★ 4 stars
Next up was a book by another favorite author of mine, Jodi Picoult. I wasn't a huge fan of her last book, Lone Wolf, and I don't know why she has been writing such animal-heavy storylines, but I thought this one was pretty good. I didn't see the huge twist coming at all! One thing I love about her stories is that I learn some pretty interesting facts, even though they're fiction.

Like I said, I've been busy! If I had to rank them in order I'd say; It Ends with Us, The Good Girl, The Woman in Cabin 10, Two by Two, Leaving Time, Truly Madly Guilty, and Dark Places.

What books have you read lately? I'm always looking for recommendations! 

Weekending | Back to Grand Rapids

Another great weekend is in the books! After working a half-day on Friday we hit the road to Grand Rapids. We decided to lay low Friday night and then almost burnt the house down due to a grease fire, enjoyed a Catholic Lent dinner of fried fish, and spent way too long playing Play Nine.
We hit up Wolfgang's for breakfast on Saturday before the girls headed to the bridal salon to try on a few more bridesmaid dresses and the boys flew the drone. We met up again for lunch at O'Tooles/Harmony Hall and spent a couple hours playing Codenames. Yes, we're those people now :)
Then it was time for the main event or the main reason we went to Grand Rapids... a roller skating birthday party for Zach! The boys rented out a local rollerskating rink and it was awesome! I felt like I was 10 again :)
By the time the party was over, we scarfed down some pizza, and got back home we watched our clocks turn from 1:59am to 3:00am and promptly passed out. We had to leave bright and early Sunday morning which was rough and why I'm still dragging today... I just can't hang like I used to ;)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Kings of Leon WALLS Tour

Three late nights in a row and loosing an hour has resulted in a few unproductive evenings this week. That is why I still haven't recapped our weekend... but first I want to post about the Kings of Leon concert!

This was the concert we were supposed to go to in January that got cancelled last minute due to illness. So on Thursday evening after work we headed to Detroit, grabbed dinner at Grand Trunk Pub, and then made our way to The Fox Theatre. It was the first time I've been inside The Fox in years and I was absolutely blown away. The architecture is breathtaking, there is so much history, and it was such an awesome concert venue!
The Weeks ended up being the opening act, which was a surprise, and they were really good. Then Kings of Leon knocked our socks off for 24 songs. We thought it was a great mix of new and old songs. Personally I'd say it was the best Kings concert I've been to and I've been to four.
Slow Night, So Long
Four Kicks
Molly's Chambers
Eyes on You
The Bucket
Sex on Fire
Find Me
On Call
Use Somebody
Waste a Moment
Now I'm even more excited to see them at DTE, my absolute favorite venue, in August!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Arizona | The Grand Canyon

After our first attempt to see The Grand Canyon failed miserably we had high hopes for the next day and thankfully we were NOT disappointed!

There is a reason it is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is absolutely breathtaking and unbelievable. Pictures don't even come close to doing it justice. It was COLD, a brisk 25 degrees! Thankfully I was wearing multiple layers (pretty much every warm layer I brought to AZ) and the sun was shining!
We went to the South Rim of the Canyon (the North Rim is closed in the winter). Once parked and packed up we headed to the shuttle area and hopped on the Kaibab Rim Route. We took it to Yaki Point where we got our first real views of the Canyon. We spent about an hour walking around, hoping down onto different "platforms", and taking in the view. There was quite a bit of ice so it was a little nerve-wracking to be off-the-beaten-path.
We hoped back on the shuttle and took it back to Mather Point. This area was a lot more crowded so we didn't stay long. Instead we walked along the path towards the Village. Unfortunately, due to the weather (fog on the first day and the snow/ice) we weren't able to do any of the hiking trails like we had planned. One day we'd love to hike a portion of the South Kaibab Trail.

It's amazing what a difference 24 hours can make! 

I'm so glad we decided to try again, because it was the highlight of our trip. The four hour drive back to Phoenix was rough, but I don't regret it one bit. If you haven't seen it yet GO!