Sunday Funday :-)

sunday

1. 5 6 songs you’ll listen to the rest of your life:

  • Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty (One of my all-time favorite songs for no particular reason)
  • Piano Man – Billy Joel (This song ended every dance at my high school)
  • God Gave Me You – Blake Shelton (First dance at our wedding)
  • When I Say I Do – Matthew West (What I walked down the aisle to at my wedding)
  • Ho Hey – The Lumineers (My new favorite song)
  • Home – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros (Another favorite new song)

LT-0463

2. 5 things on your bucket list:

  • Have a few kiddos (One day….)
  • Travel to Austin, Alaska, Thailand, Charleston, South America…etc.
  • Have a piece of writing published
  • Get married Done!
  • Volunteer abroad Done! (Nicaragua and Tanzania)

3. 5 celebs you’d love to hang out with for a day: I’m not too interested in celebrities per se. I guess I’d have to choose Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Jon Stewart, and Ellen. 4. 5 things you always carry in your purse:

  • Lip gloss
  • iPhone
  • Keys
  • Wallet
  • Ticket stubs left over from various events

5. 5 books on your reading list Ah, I have a pic of that!

These are next on my 'to-read' list!

These are next on my ‘to-read’ list!

6. Share the last 5 pictures on your phone I’ve been using my actual camera this weekend, but I have a few phone pictures…

weekend

I hope you’re all having a most-wonderful weekend  🙂

love

It was a good week. Cupcakes were eaten.

I haven’t been blogging as regularly this week.

Alas, there has been too much going on (in real life)!  And the Husband is working on a new blog / blog design which means that this little blog will be moving soon, again.  Although, unlike past moves, the content will be moving over as well.  Just a new name.

Enough of that administrative crap stuff.  All of the cool kids are talking about what they did this week.

So here’s a quick glimpse at what I’ve been doing:

week

1.) Volunteering!  This week some girls from my church group went to a homeless shelter to sort shoes for a few hours.  Trying to search for matches in thousands of shoes strewn about the floor, tables, shelves… it’s harder than one might think.

2.) Wearing yellow.  Is this an activity? It should be because I’m wearing the same cardigan today as I wore in the above picture (taken on Tuesday).  It’s ok to wear the same cardigan to work a few days per week, right?  I say yes, I’m hereby giving myself permission.

3.) Brunch with friends!  Well, this is technically from Sunday, but you get the idea.  It was fun, lots of fun.  We went to Sable and it was delicious.

4.) Bachelorette Party!  I went to a bachelorette party last night and we decorated cupcakes.  I ate all three of mine. There was one chocolate, one vanilla, one red velvet… I don’t even like red velvet but I ate it like a champion.  The frosting was delicious.  Seriously, so good.  Then all 20 or so of us ladies went out to the bars. This morning I’m regretting all things ate and drank last night.

I’m pretty sure my body wasn’t made to digest copious amounts of cupcakes, hard cider, and champagne.  Man up, body!

I have very few links to recommend today, but quality over quantity, people:

A great post on the pursuit of happiness.

I wish I had read this post sooner.

I hope everyone is having a most-fantastic week!

100 days and counting (up).

I’m beginning to think that counting up is more fun than counting down!

I mean, there’s no end point, so it can go on and on and the numbers get bigger and not smaller.  So it’s like every day is an accomplishment.

Agreed? Good.

The Husband and I have been married for 100 days today, which seems like quite the accomplishment.  I mean, we surpassed Kim & Kris’ 72 day marriage, so that’s something!

Remember in elementary school when we celebrated the 100 days of school with bringing in 100 of something?  I always chose M&Ms.  It’s crazy how 100 can seem like so much sometimes ($100 for a shirt?!  Heck no!) and so little other times (100 M&Ms?!  I can eat that in one bite).

100 days of marriage positively flew by.  Probably because we spent a good 20+ days of it on vacation.  It’s a hard life we live over here.

After 100 days of dating I wrote a list for the Husband (boyfriend at the time, obviously) of 100 reasons I really liked him – since we hadn’t said the word ‘love’ yet.  I came up with 100 different things to add to that list for our first 200 days together.

Then I ran out of things for 300 and the list has been retired.  I’m only semi-kidding… I could probably still come up with 300+ things, but really, that’s just excessive.  No one needs that much self esteem!  But see, I have a thing for numbers and counting and celebrating the little relationship milestones.

But for 100 days of marriage… I really have nothing.  Other than I did text the Husband to inform him we have been married 100 days.  So sweet, I know.

I will take this opportunity to fill you in on some of the (less expected, by me) perks of being married to the Husband:

  • He’s pretty fun to travel the world with
Yosemite on our pre-wedding-moon.  Everyone should take one of these!

Yosemite on our pre-wedding-moon. Everyone should take one of these!

  • He has a heart for service and volunteering.
  • Silly dancing never gets old.
We excel at the YMCA.

We excel at the YMCA.

  • Hanging out with married friends.  There’s just something different about hanging out with married couples now that we’re married and truly at the same life stage
  • He opens containers that I can’t open (so manly!)
  • He walks our little monster when it’s cold/rainy/I don’t feel like putting pants on
Ah, walking in the summer is so much nicer than the winter.

Ah, walking in the summer is so much nicer than the winter.

  • We get to show up at family events as husband and wife, which is super legit
  • We can relax and be ourselves without having to impress each other or other people.  I especially love being able to intentionally annoy the Husband and then announce, ‘too bad… you’re stuck with me FOREVER!’ and then following it up with a happy/victory dance.
  • He takes care of me when I’m sick/complaining
I was pretty sick on our wedding day.  As in I could barely stand up all morning.  But the Husband was pretty great.

I was pretty sick on our wedding day. As in I could barely stand up all morning. But the Husband was pretty great.

  • Planning is over!  It was a life goal of mine for so long to be married that now that I am, I can breathe a sigh of relief.  In our relationship I went from the stress of convincing the Husband to marry me to the stress of planning a wedding.  Now I’m relaxed and calm and just happy to be.

I hope you’re enjoying the little victories of your day!

love

How I ended up with a Turkish rug I never knew I wanted.

I’m any seller’s dream customer.

I can’t help it, I’m easy to convince that I absolutely need a product.

Even if that product is a $1400 rug.  No, we didn’t actually pay that much, but that was the starting price!

The Monster was kind enough to model our new rug for me!

Our little Monster was kind enough to model our new rug for me!  He usually charges for appearances, but because we fed him today he did this sitting for free.

It all started with a scarf.  We were in Istanbul and I decided that I needed a souvenir scarf, since I hadn’t bought any gifts from Tanzania or Turkey.  So, to the scarf stall we went.

This is when I knew I was in trouble.

The salesman showed me the cheap scarves (the 15 dollar scarves that I wanted to choose between), then he showed me the more expensive scarves (100+ dollars) and then he brought out the $350 scarves and that’s when I drew the line!  But, I must admit I did splurge for the moderately expensive scarf.

It’s beautiful and silk, darn it!  

Anyway, the salesman (at this point realizing I’m a sucker for a good sales pitch) told us that his uncle has a rug store, and quickly escorted us to the small shop down the road.  The Husband wasn’t the most willing participant, but I wanted to see actual Persian rugs.

Well, at first I thought for sure that I would never actually buy one of these rugs.  I mean, I didn’t love any that I was seeing but I did like hearing about how they were made and seeing all the different types.

Then I saw one I wanted.  DAMMIT ALL!  I knew I was in trouble.

The salesman picked right up on my changed expression and went into official ‘sales’ mode.  The Husband was great at saying no.  I wasn’t quite as good.

We told the store owner that we newlyweds and therefore broke.

The price came down.

We told him we didn’t even need a rug (lie, we totally did need a rug – I just hadn’t realized it until the very second I saw the one I loved in this small store in Istanbul!).

The price came down even more.

We told him that we had no room in our suitcases to bring it back to the States.

The price came down further and the man pulled out a tiny bag and somehow managed to fit the rug inside of it!  Magic.

Basically, by the time I was invested in the conversation and really needed this rug.

The Husband thought I had completely lost my mind.

The salesman was mostly talking to the Husband, who kept referring him to me since I was going to be actually purchasing the goods.  Ah, sexism at work.

Anyway, we finally all agreed on a price.

The Husband shook his head quite a few times.

OK, he shook his head more than a few times.

But now I have a rug, and a beautiful rug it is!

It really is one of the best ‘souvenirs’ I’ve ever bought myself, and by far the most expensive.  Take that, cheesy shot glasses – you’ve been replaced!

love

What I read when I’m drinking wine.

Sometimes I get so busy that I forget that I’m only human and do not have the abilities to tackle every task at hand and try to do everything anyway.  And then life reminds me that I’m only human and strikes my over-exhausted body down with sickness.

Last week was one of those weeks.  I was so busy, so productive, and so happy.  and then BAM! everything shut down. (By ‘everything’ I’m referring to my immune system).

I was fairly certain I was going to die on Friday from the common cold.

Yeah, this could be an example of me being dramatic, but seriously, I had the fever, the chills, the sore throat, the stuffy nose, the cough, you get the idea.  I felt disgusting and managed to look even worse.  Maybe that’s why the Husband took pity on me and was even nicer to me than usual.  This is one of the great perks of being married – I have a wonderful roommate who is willing to cook for me, rub my feet, draw me a bath, etc.

Do I know I’m spoiled? Definitely.

The point is, this weekend was more uneventful than I had hoped, but the Husband took great care of me and I was able to read a fantastic book!

Silver lining people, silver lining.

This book.... I cannot say enough about it.  It's kind of self-help but pretty much just awesome.

This book…. I cannot say enough about it. It’s kind of self-help(ish) but pretty much just awesome.

Over the weekend I finished The Gifts of Imperfection. No summary of this book (that I could write) would do it justice, but suffice it to say that this book is one of my very-favorites and I think I’ll find it to be quite life changing.

What book is next on my list?  I have a whole shelf full of possibilities, filled with recommendations from friends and blog writers and all sorts of other sources.

These are next on my 'to-read' list!

These are next on my ‘to-read’ list!

Don’t worry (were you worried?), I didn’t spend the entire weekend with my nose in a book and devoid of any human interaction. On Sunday my mom came into town and we went to brunch and any weekend that involves a fancy brunch is pretty wonderful.

It wasn’t just an ordinary brunch, either.  We went to Longman & Eagle and it was every bit as fantastic as I thought it would be.

Oh brunch, how I love thee.

Oh brunch, how I love thee!

Ah – books, love, brunch, family, wine, a documentary or two… I had quite the successful weekend.

I hope you enjoyed your weekend and are recharged for the week ahead!

Three cheers for love!

I kind-of sort-of wish I could hate Valentine’s Day because it’s just another Hallmark holiday and all of that good stuff.  But the thing is, I totally love Valentine’s Day.  It’s always been one of my absolute favorite holidays.

I mean, what’s not to like about a day celebrating love?!  Plus (need I remind you) there are chocolates involved.

Need I say more? Exactly.

So, in honor of February 14, I’d like to propose a toast:

This is how we spent our v-day evening.  Terrific dinner at Boka!

This is how we spent our v-day evening. Terrific dinner at Boka!

Cheers to Valentine’s Day and the love that’s celebrated.  Cheers to all the love in life, past and current, that has gotten me to where I am today.  Cheers to the friends I’ve had and the friendships I’ve lost and the great friends who live life next to me, still.  Cheers to all the first dates and the last dates and the dates that never were. Cheers to the loves that made me cry and the loves I hurt and the love that is always worth fighting for.  Cheers to fleeting love and enduring love and the love that probably wasn’t love at all.  Cheers to pre-date jitters and nervous laughter and awkward conversations that lead to much more.  And cheers to the good times that are only that and nothing else.  Cheers to taking risks and getting hurt and trying again.  Cheers to the private jokes and drunken nights and driving around with no destination in mind.  Cheers to staying out late and bending the rules and the summer heat.  Cheers to sharing ice cream and kisses and stories.  Cheers to the valentines in grade school – one for every person in the class – and for giving the extra-special ones to the friends that meant the most.  Cheers to crushes and flings and firsts and the best friends who were a part of it all.  Cheers to arms that hug and ears that listen and shoulders that are leaned on.  Cheers to dressing up and red lipstick and – shoes.

An excuse to wear red high heels?  Yes, please!

An excuse to wear red high heels? Yes, please!

Cheers to heartbreak and mended hearts and hearts that could not be any fuller.  Cheers to soul mates and lovers and confidants.  Cheers to companions and the supporting characters in the story that is our life.  Cheers to holding hands and sweaty palms and making the first move. Cheers to making promises and saying vows and the community that supports us. Cheers to love and respect between strangers and random acts of kindness.  Cheers to love that knows no boundaries, that exists in spite of flaws and accepts me the way I am.  Cheers to self-love and acceptance and unique beauty.  Cheers to breaking-up and making-up and finally feeling at home.  Cheers to all of my valentine’s this year, near and far, that have helped to form me into the person I am today.

But really, cheers to love in all of its forms that I’m thankful for everyday, but especially celebrate today.

And of course, a most special cheers to the Husband, who also happens to be my valentine.

Our third year celebrating Valentine's Day together!

Our third year celebrating Valentine’s Day together!

I hope you had a most splendid day celebrating love in all of its forms!

XOXOXO.

I just had the most delicious weekend.

I had a phenomenal weekend this past weekend.  The kind of weekend where I can breathe a sigh of relief and contentment on Sunday night because I finished everything I wanted to do and feel caught up on life and saw friends and ate great food and drank quality drinks and all-around feel fulfilled.

I am savoring every second of these happy and content feelings because some weekends are frustrating and sad and lonely and unproductive, but this weekend was not one of those and for that I am thankful.

I won’t go through every single thing I did, but actually I’ll probably end up listing it all anyway.  Sorry about that, just bear with me.

Publican

On Friday the Husband and I went out with a high school friend of mien and her husband at a place in Chicago I’ve been meaning to go forever – The Publican.  It was fantastic.  I was happy that they had seafood dishes because it’s basically known for its  meat and beer and I don’t eat or drink either one of those.  It was tapas style and the dishes were delicious and we shared so much great food and laughed over beers and scallops and hams and mussels in beer broth.

Dave and Rachel dined with us on Friday.

Great friends, great drinks, great food… nothing beats this!

Speaking of which, you’ll be happy to know (well, you probably don’t care, but I’m at least happy to tell you) that I’ve settled on my ‘adult drink of choice’ which is Ketel One and water with lemon.  Perfection in a glass.

I spent my Saturday shopping on Michigan Avenue with one of my absolute favorite people ever, Miss Brittany.

Well, first we went to Xoco.  I had never been there before and it did not disappoint in the slightest.

I got the fish stew.  To-die-for delicious.

I got the fish stew. To-die-for delicious.

Now, I really don’t go shopping very often (I promise!), but lately I’ve really been figuring out things I need to buy and have been going at this list with extra-enthusiasm.  Our stores-of-choice for this shopping expedition were Sephora, Anthropologie, and Nordstrom Rack.  The things I purchased included: a cardigan (yes, another one), raspberry jeans, an ‘&’ sign for house decor, a candle, conditioner, blush, bronzer, exfoliator, moisturizer, foundation, eye liner, eye shadow, lip liner, lip gloss, a winter coat…. it was exhausting.  I found some awesome deals, too!

After our productive afternoon, Brit & I went out to dinner to celebrate our most fantastic and successful shopping day of all time at Vermillion with our significant others where I got the most AMAZING vegetarian dish I’ve ever eaten.  I’m not even being dramatic, it was that delicious.  We all belly-laughed and enjoyed cocktails and dined on Indian food (and other infusion-type dishes) and stayed for hours and hours.  I even ordered three desserts and we finished every morsel.

Brit and the Husband (mine, obviously, not hers)

Brit and the Husband (mine, obviously, not hers)

Today I woke up and went to CrossFit and the Husband and I ran some errands and bought a piece of furniture and some frames and then we went to church and ate dinner.  Perfection.

My credit card is a bit overwhelmed after all of the use its gotten in the past few days, but I am so, so happy that I took care of so many things I’ve been saying I needed to buy for weeks.

And now I’m watching the Blackhawks and I’m about to read and cuddle with my little monster.

Perfect weekend?  I think so.

I hope everyone else has had an equally wonderful weekend.

Receiving an unexpected gift in the mail is my very favorite thing.

I really love receiving gifts in the mail.  Actually, that would imply that I often receive gifts in the mail, which would be quite misleading.  By ‘gifts’ I mean that I love receiving packages in the mail that I’ve ordered myself (online shopping, you are too good to me) and have forgotten about by the time they arrive – so you see, it’s exactly like getting a gift… except I have to pay for it myself.  I was going to make the title of this post long enough to explain that whole thing, but then remembered that this isn’t Twitter.

Since we did just have that whole wedding thing, we were constantly receiving gifts from other people and I loved it.  But even with weddings it’s kind of like buying yourself gifts with other people’s credit cards.  That whole registry thing is semi-awesome.  It’s only semi-awesome and not really awesome because I absolutely hated registering and really don’t need any more ‘stuff’… but the things we did register for we LOVED getting and use all of the time.  I’m a bigger believer in the registry now than before I was married, that’s for sure.

Well, that was a tangent.  The point is, when I open up a just-received package it’s like my birthday!  I always wonder what’s in there and if it will fit and sometimes I subsequently wonder what the heck I was thinking when I ordered a dress I knew would be 2 sizes too big.  That’s really another topic altogether, probably.

Oh Kate Spade, everything you make is wonderful.  Thank you for my new hat.

Oh Kate Spade, everything you make is wonderful. Thank you for my new hat.

This weekend I opened up a whole package from Piperlime and another one from Sephora.  Today I ordered a few cardigans from Banana Republic which I will undoubtedly forget about by next week when they should arrive… And I think yesterday I also may have purchased a few things from Birchbox… The crazy thing is, I don’t even remember!  See how fun this is?!  By the time these boxes come I will be so surprised/happy/in awe of how I know myself well enough to buy the perfect gift.

I hope someone (everyone!?) else can relate.  It’s the little things.

I wish I had time to read the entire internet. Except for the stuff written by crazy people.

I love articles.  Love, love, love articles.  I digest like, 100 articles/blog posts/etc per day.  I wish I were exaggerating but I really don’t think I am.  I also don’t count the articles I read so ‘100’ is a nice round approximation.

But you get the idea.

Anyway, in case I forgot to send you the link, here are the things I read, saw, and thought about this week:

  • Correlational research determines it’s (probably) beneficial for daughters to have a father with egalitarian views.
  • People still use the word ‘retard’?  Really?  This amazing family tries to put an end to that.
  • A Christian magazine weighs in on gun control and gives me something to think about.
  • I learned how to master the universe.
  • Evidently the contribution limit went up for Roth IRAs for 2013.  I can now contribute $500 additional dollars this year!
  • I read a beautiful love story.
In an unrelated note, this is a phenomenal way to spend a Thursday evening.

In an unrelated note, this is a phenomenal way to spend a Thursday evening.