Posts Tagged ‘family’
January 3, 2014
Wait a second… we’re already into the week of 1/3/14? I am well aware that there was a New Year’s celebration and all, but holy geez. Typing that just made it real!
Are any of you back to work yet? If so, then I have some good news for you: it’s Friday! And to get you ready to dive right into the weekend, lets have some fun with week’s installment of Friday Favorites.
Here are a handful of things I have been loving this week. For those of you who are new around here, there is a link up for bloggers at the bottom and an open welcome for all to play along and share some of your favorites in the comment section. Woo hoo!
Friday Favorites #18: Week of 1/3
• coffee mug warmer
After seeing me take coffee down to the computer and watching how long it takes me to finish a cup while typing away, my mom suggested I invest in a coffee warmer.
While I attended practice, I dropped her off to wander around the mall and I picked her up a few hours later with shopping bags. One of them had this Mr. Coffee coffee warmer from Bed, Bath & Beyond in it just for me.
I have really been enjoying the extra time to drink hot beverages downstairs without the inconvenience of having to microwave them when they cool. The plate gets pretty toasty and does a great job of keeping everything warm!
• quality time with Mom
Since I brought her up, I might as well highlight how much I have been loving catching up with my mom this week. She came to visit us and I am grateful to be able to spend some much needed mother-daughter time with her during the holidays.
She even made a trip to the gym with me yesterday!
I am so glad she brought her go-with-the-flow mindset while she’s up here. She’s been great at hanging with our crazy schedules and making the most out of our time together!
• This husky video that might just be the most adorable thing ever.
This one‘s pretty cute too. I have always had a thing for huskies! They remind me of snow dogs that always seem warm and cuddly and the majority of them have the most captivating blue eyes. SO stinking cute.
(Earmuffs Roadie… and, speaking of…)
• Roadie helping us unwrap presents
He’s been getting into everything lately! It’s like he’s a teething puppy or something. Gotta love ‘em (and that face)… but what gives?
Free internet video calling that makes opening presents from loved ones across the miles so much better!
• Avicii’s new song that inspired me to start a new workout playlist. Stay tuned for that share next week!
• winter coat steal
I found this navy and pink plaid coat at Target this week for $17.98. Seriously. A lot of their outerwear is on mega clearance right now.
Oh, Target. How I love thee!
• William-Sonoma hand soap and lotion sets
Gah! I’m obsessed. I first purchased a set of hand soap and lotion to keep in the downstairs bathroom at the William-Sonoma Outlet back around Thanksgiving. Since then, I have bought two more sets as gifts, and two more sets for our other bathrooms in the house.
I included them in this year’s Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide and I stand firmly on that decision. They come in a variety of scents and packages, and I am currently displaying the Basil and Lemongrass fragrances.
• rain boots
Speaking of presents, I am absolutely loving these Style & Co. ‘Drizzle’ rain boots, courtesy of Scott’s Mom and Step-Dad. Wrapped up with them were rain boot liners, which seem super practical for this snowy, slushy weather we have been having this week.
I actually saw the same exact pair in Stein Mart over two years ago and wanted to get them for myself then. I didn’t. But now I have them. Such a good call!
• winter ready
I am proud of a big step that happened this week for me: not being terribly afraid to drive in the snow or bear the freezing temperatures in order to go through every day life.
Don’t get me wrong… there are still times I question why we live in these snowy conditions, and they may or may not happen on a daily basis. But, every now and then I get an answer to my own question and take a step back to capture it.
Getting to experience different seasons and winter wonderlands softens the blow just a little. It’s beautiful!
And I guess that’s it for this week. Today I am really looking forward to showing my mom around town. We have plans for brunch with a possible day trip to Canada, then back with just enough time to catch the Harlem Globetrotter’s perform tonight. Should be a fun day!
Now, the floor is yours…
Have a great start to your weekend!
November 28, 2013
Good Morning and a very Happy Thanksgiving to you!
And to those who it applies, Happy Hanukkah, and Thanksgivukkah too!
There is a lot to celebrate here in the U.S. today and I intend to enjoy every moment of it.
Scott’s parents ended up arriving in town Tuesday morning and we have had a great time catching up with them this week.
Yesterday we took them to The Breakfast Club, our favorite Mom and Pop type of restaurant in the area. It’s a quaint little set up, isn’t it?
For as causal as it is, the menu is anything but ordinary. They always have daily gourmet specials and a specialty dish for every kind of breakfast lover.
I stuck to my usual, some form of egg white omelet. That might sound boring, but I loved Penny’s Favorite!
Ingredients included egg whites, spinach, tomatoes, black olives, light cheddar, avocado and pico de gallo with a side of tomato slices and fruit.
A plate of cold chocolate covered strawberries appeared with our guest checks, which I think is an adorable (and extremely yummy!) special touch.
Since yesterday was also a game day, we didn’t have much time to show them around our new hometown, but we did stop by Yates Cider Mill to pick up some deliciousness am really looking forward to diving into later tonight.
Caramel Apple Pie made with cider mill apples… ummm… drooling. With the cooling temperatures out, our trip was short lived, but we showed them the property and what usually takes place on weekends here in the fall.
We even caught the tail end of an apple pressing! That was the first time Scott had ever seen it, so he was pretty excited.
Love cider mills!
After taking a few scenic routes, we dropped Scott off at the arena for work before the game and spent the rest of the afternoon gathering all of the ingredients we needed for today’s eats. I arrived a couple of hours later.
The game was a fun one, missing a win. When it was over, a friend from Chicago sent me this picture and it put a huge smile on my face!
It’s always fun to have family come to see us in that environment. We all had a great night!
Before I get carried away, I need to sign off and get ready for a full day of cooking. I mentioned earlier this week that I might do a Turkey Trot 10K today, and for those of you who are wondering about it, I was unsuccessful in signing up for it two different times. I saw it as a sign to just let it go and hope to at least fit in an afternoon run (out in the snow!) if time permits.
I was really bummed about it, but can’t complain about being all warm and cozy inside this morning. Hopefully I will be able to participate next year!
I really can’t wait to share the menu (and a handful of standout recipes) with you in the near future. Off to the kitchen!
And a very Happy Thanksiving to you and your loved ones!
November 18, 2013
I really can’t believe it’s already well into Monday afternoon and the start of a new week! Time just seems to keep on flying by, doesn’t it?
I spent the morning working at the computer, lunch at the gym and am currently eating a scrumptious salad at my desk to chat with you all for a bit before heading out the door again. (For those of you who are curious as to what’s in it, I’ll be sure to share the details in this week’s WIAW!)
I also might be listening to the Justin Bieber Holiday station on Pandora. What can I say? I seem to have been bitten by the holiday bug early this year.
The highlight of my weekend was for sure decorating the house with bright lights, stockings and tinsel. Before we get into that, I want to recap the weekend first.
I feel like this could get quite lengthy, so I’m going to try and quickly cover the highlights.
From late afternoon on, I kept busy filming and editing a How I Curl My Hair Tutorial. (<- finally!) A lot of you have showed enthusiasm and have actually found it helpful, which makes me really happy. If you ever have any questions or suggestions for beauty/hair tutorials, give me a shout!
We had already made plans with a friend of ours to grab dinner, but when she expressed her interest in laying low and watching a movie in, we were all for it. I quickly talked Scott into running to the grocery store on the way home to pick up ingredients to make homemade butternut squash soup.
I have never cooked with them before and it was a nice surprise when Scott just took over the job of recipe creating and making for the night.
I always joke with him that I am the “super speedy and healthy chef” and he is the “gourmet chef.” While I bypass more involved recipes, he flocks to them and appreciates extra steps for extra flavors. The result turned out delicious!
(Recipe coming soon, friends!)
Dinner in also included this corn and pepper feta salad I will be sharing with you later this week as well.
He also brought home Only God Forgives from Redbox at his trip to the store. Neither of us had ever heard of it, but figured it was worth a shot since it stared Ryan Gosling. (<- swoon)
Eh, not so great you guys. The middle of it skipped, which meant we missed a few chapters, but even so I don’t think I will ever be putting that flick on again. We found ourselves laughing at parts that weren’t supposed to be funny and confused majority of the time. Regardless of the film, it was the perfect Friday night in. Hats off to the (gourmet) chef!
Saturday turned into an unexpected work day for Scott, which meant an excuse to organize and clean the house for me. It had been a while since I dedicated an entire day to house chores and projects, so I really didn’t mind.
Before he left, I made another batch of Fiber One pancakes I have been loving the past few weekends.
The mix is ridiculous easy, and I quickly added some flavor by a generous sprinkle of cinnamon, a sliced up Granny Smith apple, and agave nectar. I got really excited when Scott approved of the “healthier” taste and will for sure be making this combo again!
I spent most of the afternoon organizing my Game Day dance bag, cleaning out my closet and getting the guest room ready for Scott’s parents visit next week.
It’s still a work in progress with the hodge podge decorations and random side tables I’m pretty sure are from Scott’s college days, but it will work for now!
I took a break from the indoors and took advantage of the “warmer” weather outside with a run with this guy in the late afternoon.
Both of us appreciated the fresh air and I hope to sneak in another few outside runs with him before it gets too chilly! Scott got home around 5:30 p.m. and once again, we didn’t have much but laying low on our brains.
I look a tad annoyed here, but I really was enjoying the quality snuggle time with all of our fur babies.
Sunday turned into another spontaneous Sunday Funday. After practice, two of the girls met up with me, Scott and a few others for lunch at Mi Zarape. I ordered the chicken fajitas with corn tortillas and split them with a friend.
We ended up chatting the afternoon away at our booth for two hours! Finally, we left and I was more than glad to hear someone else mention they wanted chocolate.
My sweet tooth has been stronger than ever the past few weeks, and we tried out a new-to-me frozen yogurt spot to hopefully tame it.
It’s called Cool Yo and I thought the inside was pretty cool, yo.
It had the standard set up of most serve yourself yogurt spots, but I was highly impressed by their selection of toppings.
When I saw a few unique ones I made it my personal goal to get all of my favorites into one bowl. Mission accomplished!
You can’t even see it, but there is a mix of chocolate and pumpkin frozen yogurt as the base. Toppings include Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies (!!!), cheesecake bites, chocolate covered pretzels, and crushed Andes Mints. The mint chocolate lover in me left very, very satisfied and full.
We got home with just enough time for me to shower and get out the door for a new Sunday night church service with Scott and another friend. Since we both have Sunday morning rehearsals, we like to take advantage of night time services in the area. This was the first time I have ever been to this kind of service that actually turned the lights out for the music worship!
It’s called Lighthouse and is meant for a young adult audience. I enjoyed the message and the music and will be sure to return from time to time.
We got home around 9 p.m. and while we could have easily turned in for the night, I got a second wind and was dyyying to decorate the house in holiday flare. I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but I wanted to get most of our decorations up before Scott’s parents arrive and this week is crazy.
I finally convinced Scott to participate when I mentioned we could put on Christmas tunes and drink eggnog. He took the liberty of pouring a premade mix and adding rum and a sprinkle of nutmeg to the top.
I guess I am a bit of an eggnog snob because I prefer it to be mixed with some kind of milk (this time I used unsweetened almond) and served really, really hot. Is that weird?
I’ve always been a hot coffee/tea/cider drinker and I guess it’s the comfort of it that has me set in my hot eggnog ways. Both versions were really tasty.
When we told our plans for decorating to our friend Kylee (who joined us at church), she was all about helping and brought her cute little dog named Kobe over to join in on the fun too. Roadie loved his tiny play buddy!
Since we were all still full from the fro yo, we ended up snacking our way through dinner with a variation of crackers dipped in this cream cheese hot pepper jelly dip Scott whipped up.
It wasn’t as fancy as our Sweet & Spicy Cream Cheese Dip, but it was enjoyable and slightly addicting nonetheless with this homemade jalapeno pepper jelly from Scott’s step-mom.
Eventually, we got around to putting the tree together. I let Scott handle the tree and lights and I decorated the rest of it. (Works for me, since the ornaments are the best part of it all!)
We didn’t get too crazy, but here’s what our living room currently looks like.
I always love seeing the ornaments we have collected throughout the years, on our own and together. One of my favorites has always been The Rockettes dancers, from my trip up to see my friend Lauren perform in the New York Broadway!
I got a question as to what happened to my fall decorations this year. Welp, here’s the extent of them. I guess I was too excited for Christmas to get here to dwell on it too much this time.
And that was our weekend in a nutshell! Friends, laying low, and lots and lots of yummy food. Good thing I made that trip to the gym today!
Off to go get a flu shot and run some errands before practice tonight. I have a lot of fun things in store to share with you this week, which is what really makes this Monday not so bad. Hope you all have a great rest of the day!
Question of the Day
Are you ready to get into Holiday decorating and traditions, or still holding onto fall as long as possible?
November 5, 2013
Holy guacamole you guys. I feel like I say this a lot, but this past week has been nothing short of a whirlwind.
I’m sorry for the temporary blogging hiatus yesterday. You see, I was smack dab in the middle of “Not Growing Up” and enjoying spending as much time possible time with our friend, Barry, while he was in town from Chicago.
I guess it all started with a quick and insanely eventful three days in Florida! Putting the good food and spots we ventured out to aside (I’ll be covering some of my favorites later this week!) this post will be filled with friends and family photos. Because after all, that’s really why we went there.
After an action packed Opening Night Wednesday night and close to zero sleep, Scott and I set off for the south and arrived home in Orlando, Florida about 1:30 p.m.
We were instantly welcomed with warm weather, sunshine, and palm trees. As much as I adore experiencing the seasons and changing of the leaves up in Michigan, I do miss the feeling of calmness I get when I see palm trees.
They just scream home to me.
After lunch, we drove over to my parent’s house in Longwood to say hello to them before the craziness of our plans started.
<Enter continuous chaos!>
Scott and I came into town for a friend’s wedding but wanted to make the most of our time there by seeing as many people as we could. With only two and a half days to do it in, we most definitely lost sleep and quite possibly may have also lost our minds. But, we’re home now and are doing our best to catch up and get back to reality.
In the grand scheme of things, all of the running around and stress of coordinating was well worth it, and getting to pop into town to see people I love couldn’t have come at a better time. Below is a compilation of the highlights, which may include an unexpected (and ridiculously awesome) twist in the end. Here we go!
Friends and Family Time in Florida
Like I mentioned, we met my friend Meggan for dinner Thursday in Winter Park. She was the very first person to come visit us after we moved up north and I was excited to catch up with her over a nice dinner at Prato.
(Happy Halloween colors!)
We got home and went straight to bed ready to tackle the next few busy days of visiting. While I planned to sneak into a barre class while I was home, I completely slept past my alarm and missed it Friday morning. Bummer. Instead, my body caught up on some sleep (temporarily) and we finally made our way out the door to meet another Megan for lunch.
She also came to visit us over the summer! Must be a Meggan/Megan thing.
We spent the afternoon wandering around the city, got pedicures (yes, that “we” includes Scott!), and made it home to my parents’ house just in time to drive over to my sister’s for a family dinner. It was SO great to see her and spend time with my brother, grandmother and their families.
We also got to see Courtney, who I have known since I was two years old!
As I made my way around the house catching up with everyone, I started to realize our time together was way too short. I really wish I had at least another day with them!
While I was home, my mom booked a flight to come see us right after Christmas which made me feel a smidge better about leaving so abruptly.
Can’t wait to show her around our area in the wintertime!
Directly after dinner, we set out for an after rehearsal dinner party hosted by the bride and groom we came in town to celebrate. While I forgot to snap a picture of us all together, I did, however get the camera out for this guy.
Eh, you win some, you lose some.
After an hour of mingling, we then made our way downtown to catch the tail end of Megan’s birthday celebration!
Once again, it was wonderful to see familiar Florida faces and left the night feeling sad that our time together was cut so short.
Saturday was just plain AWESOME.
With only a few hours of sleep under our belts, Scott and I got up at sunrise to meet a group of our church friends for breakfast at 7:30 a.m. I’m a bit upset I didn’t snap a photo of us all, but it was with the same group of folks that threw us our send off party before we moved away last year!
We chatted it up for about and hour and then followed them over to our church to pop into their morning rehearsal for the Singing Christmas Trees. (Remember when I was in that show?) Once again, our time with friends was short but sweet.
We made it back over to my parents’ house with just enough time for me to drop off Scott and bring my mom along for brunch with Katie and Ashley (who were both bridesmaids in our wedding!). Since Ashley lives two hours away in St. Augustine, I was so excited to hear she could make it down for a quick visit. She recently became a mother and I was SO happy to finally meet baby Rylan in person!
That bow. That outfit. That smile. I couldn’t stand all of the cuteness!
We spent the rest of our morning talking about life and Katie’s upcoming wedding. I can’t believe how grown up we all are already. It seems like just yesterday we were in high school figuring out how to straighten our hair.
I sure do miss them!
After wrapping things up, my mom and I stopped by the mall to pick up a pair of heels and lipstick for me to wear to the wedding later on. As soon as I got home I hopped in the shower and got ready as fast as I could. Ready, set, here comes the bride!
While I normally take more than enough photos at events, this one was different than any wedding I have ever been to. Our friend Karly was marrying someone you may happen to recognize, along with the rest of the ushers.
No I am not lying.
And I’m still freaking out about it.
As soon as we arrived, we told security we were there for a different event (the “secret code words”) and were handed off to a few different escorts until we got to just outside the reception area. We were asked to check our cell phones and cameras, and were told that we couldn’t post anything about the event anywhere.
I guess that was a small price to pay for getting to attend this event. As we made our way to get seated, I just about died when I saw Justin Timberlake appear in real life. There he was, escorting the couple in front of us to their seats… no big deal. Trying to stay calm, I couldn’t wait to see who our usher would be and may have squealed like a little girl inside when I saw it was Lance Bass.
I only had a million posters of him hanging up in my room in middle school. Since Justin was an obvious favorite of the boy band, I always had a thing for Lance instead.
He approached us and held out his arm for me to grab onto. I for sure thought I would trip or say something ridiculous, but instead kept my composure pretty well.
Just a few minutes later, it was time for the ceremony to start and I put my excitement over what just happened aside to see the beautiful bride walk down the aisle. She looked absolutely stunning and giggled a few times as she made her way towards her groom. Ah, I just love the two of them together!
The wedding was everything I pictured it being. Fabulous. I can’t share much, but I will include a few photos of the after party outside the reception area when we were allowed to get our phones back.
(Get it, Chris!)
It was truly a party and everyone had a blast into the wee hours of the morning. As exhausted as I was, we held strong and celebrated the night away with the newlyweds.
They even did a birthday shout out to him at midnight when he officially entered his forties! What an amazing way to kick off the day!
As you can imagine, the lack of sleep continued on with a wake up call of 6 a.m. for our flight home which we almost missed. A late start paired with a slow shuttle and unfortunate security check points almost did us in this time.
Luckily, we made it on just in time for last call and arrived back in Detroit with just enough time to get to the arena for a home game, followed by an outing for the birthday boy.
Now that I am home looking back at it all, we seem crazy. At least that’s what my family tells me. But you know what? We live in the moment and make the most out of every opportunity. Call us nuts, but we’re on a mission to enjoy this last year or so before things settle down a little.
Today, I’m off to get ready for another home game. Thanks for checking in and I will have more stories for you tomorrow!