Monday, May 25, 2015

Meet our puppy!

Two weeks ago, we finally got to pick up our little Boxer puppy, Winnie! She is adorable and feisty and ridiculously cuddly, and I adore her.

She is also a ton of work! Tom was out of town last week so it was just me and Winnie. And if I looked away for two seconds, BAM! She's eating a cord or a leaf or a stick. I am constantly shoving my hand in her mouth to pull out various items. At least she's getting used to it?

We are definitely getting used to her. That first week was tough because we knew a puppy would be a lifestyle change, but it almost felt like we'd adopted a toddler. After a couple weeks, though, we are all in a routine. 

Currently she's sleeping with Tom in our bed, spoiled little girl :) Of course we were all "She can't sleep in the bed with us!" and that didn't last too long. She sleeps in her crate at night, but in the morning we let her nap with us. She's little now, but even when she's a 60-pound adult Boxer, I'm sure we will still be letting her up on the bed.

She also loves to wrestle with the cat, sleep in strange positions, do a special yodeling cry when I leave her in her crate and sit on our laps whenever possible.

We love our little Winnie!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Changing my Thoughts: My first few weeks using the Law of Attraction

Happy Monday! We all need a pump-up on a Monday morning, right? Here's one for you:

The past few weeks have been interesting. I woke up the day after Easter, decided there were some areas of my life where I didn't feel happy, and got to working on making changes; some little, some massive.

A couple days later I did some reading/YouTube watching on the Law of Attraction. The idea is that like attracts like. When you are positive and grateful, more good things come your way. If you consistently feel you are a victim, negative things happen (or you are more aware of them.) Whatever frequency you are vibrating at, other things of a similar frequency will find you. And if you put it out there that you have a clear-cut goal and are working toward it every day, things start to happen.

Within a few weeks, my life has started to change:

  • I wake up happier and more excited to start the day
  • I feel I am working toward my dream life and making it happen, instead of just thinking "It would be nice if..." or "I wish I had..."
  • I have far more patience and deal with tough blows easier because suddenly, nothing feels impossible. Nothing is holding me back.
  • My anxiety has diminished drastically.
  • I can get through tough workouts, long days and crack-of-dawn working sessions much easier.

I can't wait to share what I am setting up over the next couple months, but I am even more excited about my attitude and confidence shift.

Here are some videos I liked if you want to learn more about it yourself!

And because you won't hear this nearly enough today, "May the Fourth be with you!"

Monday, April 27, 2015

Weekend Things, and 6 months to go!

Happy Monday!

This weekend was lovely. Tom and I celebrated 6 months till our wedding day on Friday night at Olive Garden. And we saw Age of Adaline, which we both really enjoyed! Definitely a feel-good romantic movie, with some made-up science thrown in. It was fun.

I can't believe we have hit the 6-month mark to our wedding. We started out at 25 months! Yikes. And the to-do list just keeps growing.

One thing on that list is to keep growing my hair. It isn't easy; I usually chop my hair up past my shoulders once a year. But my mother is a hair stylist who happens to love long hair, and she wants more hair to work with for our wedding day, so there you have it. No chopping allowed until November.

Saturday night we made this chicken which was delicious. We've been doing lots of cooking to prepare for living on our own, and so far, everything we've made has been a hit!

And then I made these cupcakes again. Almond cherry. They are ADDICTING. I made 24 of them and six people polished off all of them by the next day.

Yesterday Tom and I took a walk in the woods to find some large branches to make an arch for our wedding. We drew plans all over the driveway in chalk, which was fun, but not as fun as hopscotch.

Hooray for warmer weather!

Monday, April 20, 2015

A nesting weekend, and finding the path.

Happy Monday, friends!

This is the first Monday in weeks that I woke up feeling energized and ready to tackle the week. I am slowly working toward a lot of MAJOR goals for myself and I can't wait to see how everything unfolds. After a couple rough weeks, this is refreshing.

I have been wanting to pick up freelance writing side hustles for awhile now to help supplement our wedding/student loan payments, but for the most part, all I was doing was planning. Now I have an actual goal in mind and things are starting to happen!

Speaking of planning...we spent this weekend doing some shopping for our puppy! We're just about set. We picked up some bowls, a collar and leash, a puppy bed and a brush. Only three more weeks!

We also spent this weekend doing a little apartment prep, mostly gathering supplies we will need and checking to see what we have already.

I'm so excited to decorate our new place. I haven't had the chance to do much decorating outside my room, so I have no clue if I'm any good at it. Tom has good taste, so that helps.

Yesterday I made my favorite homemade laundry detergent, this turmeric chai tea (perfect for the rainy day we had), greek pasta salad for lunches this week and these amazing strawberry muffins.

Mmm....definitely having those for breakfast this morning.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

TWO exciting announcements!!

So it's been a whole month since I posted here. *Womp* I have been out enjoying the sunny weather, doing some side work and just living life.

(Random blurry Easter brunch photo to prove I am still alive.)

But I have two very exciting announcements to make up for it!

So the first thing...

We are getting a PUPPY!!

In May, we will be puppy parents to this little Boxer girl, and we are SO excited. We have been researching dog breeds and puppy training for about two years now, so we were finally ready to contact breeders. We went back and forth on breeder dogs and shelter dogs, but because she will be our first dog together, we wanted to know the dog's whole history and exact breed.

We thought we would wait much longer to get a dog. At least a year, until after our honeymoon. But because we live at home with Tom's parents (and his friend Jake) there will be lots of people coming and going to help socialize her and let her out when we are at work.

So now we are working on picking up everything she needs, choosing a name, etc. And it is so much fun!

Back to that timing I said, it's convenient because we live with Tom's parents. But as of the beginning of July, after living in their basement for two years, we will have our own place!

We will be about a minute from Tom's job, so he can let the puppy out at work. They are very dog-friendly apartments, and the lady who showed us around told us the people who live below her have two boxers of their own. 

Anyway, that is my quick update for today. Lots of exciting things! And plenty of lists to be made, errands to run, payments to make, etc. Oh, and then there is that wedding thing we are doing.

Happy Thursday!

Monday, March 16, 2015


What a beautiful weekend! The weather was incredible, I got to spend time with so many friends, had a super productive Sunday...

...and today I feel nauseated and just generally upset about having to get out of bed. That weekend of greasy, sugary and delicious food did not treat me well. The good news is today will be crazy gorgeous for March in Illinois! 77 degrees and sunny? I'll take it.

Last week we sent out our save-the-dates! That was so much fun and made everything feel a little more real. 

We spent months gathering addresses (p.s. I used the Weddingwire guest list program and it is AWESOME) and thinking about what we wanted save-the-dates to look like and when to send them.

We opted for magnets because they're practical. Seriously, that's why. If they're going to sit on someone's fridge anyway they might as well be useful, right?

The only problem with magnets is they are a weird shape, and we didn't do much searching for smaller, specialty envelopes. We went for the smallest we could find and added a sheet of vellum inside to fill the envelope a little better without weighing it down too much.

I also freaked out and insisted we had to have a pumpkin stamp on the back of the envelopes. I don't know why that was such a big deal, but I had to run out to Hobby Lobby and get one. So I did. And I felt better.

But because I am really not great at any sort of crafting or DIY activities, I stamped the envelopes with the pumpkin, stacked them up and got orange ink all over the front of half the envelopes. Here's a tip: Ink needs to dry! I stared at them, upset at my own incompetence, and finally said "Whatever, it adds character." I don't know if that's true, but at the moment, it was what needed to be said.

My work space. 

So this picture is great because it really shows off the state of my life right now. That is the basement where we currently live, I only like to work on the floor (anyone else?), you can see my ever-present mug of hot tea and I put items from my recent trip home to Chicago all over the table. Also, Girl Scout cookies. 

A random picture from the friends and I went out to an Irish bar Saturday night! My face was frozen at this point because we had to keep taking the picture over and over. Yes, we made sure St. Patrick made it into the photo with us.

 Happy Monday!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

An exhausting/happy weekend

Happy Wednesday!

I know we're mid-week already, but how was your weekend? We were lucky enough to have some warmer weather. And by "warmer" I mean like 37 degrees. So. That's balmy in Illinois in March.

This weekend I went home to the Chicago 'burbs to see friends and family and have another dress fitting!

I left straight from work Friday and met a couple of my friends at my grandma's house for pizza and a sleepover (my grandparents are awesome.)

The next morning we headed out to the dress fitting. I got us lost for awhile and we were half an hour luckily I have friends who don't mind my total lack of direction?

(P.S. I've got my dress on in this picture! Good work, friends, at blocking the dress.)

After that, I met my mom at her salon to get my hair colored. My mom is an AMAZING hair stylist. She's been doing it for decades. So I'm pretty spoiled. But I still only get my hair colored about once a year because I am lazy. I also like to chop my hair once a year, but my mom squashed that idea because of the wedding. I am definitely going to be a post-wedding hair chop kind of person...

Then we went to Long Grove for lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, the Long Grove Cafe. We used to go there yearly for our birthdays (a week apart) but since I've moved away, that's been harder. We took advantage of the nice weather and went this weekend!

Long Grove is also known their chocolate-covered strawberries (which I forgot to get a picture of...) but here is the inside of the candy shop!

I spent the whole weekend eating. Seriously. Saturday night we went out for Mexican food and I couldn't even look at the food. 

Sunday morning we had brunch at my family's house and then I drove home. It's about a 2 hour, 45 minute drive. I usually get books on tape to pass the time if I'm driving alone. This time around I've been listening to The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs.

I got home and immediately took a nap. So much food, so much socialization...I'm the kind of person who needs some serious alone time after seeing a lot of people. That was definitely true of this weekend.

I'm gearing up for another crazy weekend, and I can't wait!

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