Thursday, October 2, 2014

Life Lately & Fall Fun

Hello friends and happy October! It's still pretty warm here in Orlando but that never stops me from getting psyched once fall rolls around. Some of my favorite baking occurs during the fall holidays and the weather at least gets to the point where walking to car couldn't possibly result in heat stroke. It's all good stuff, but this year, I'm even more excited because aside from baking my pants off and soaking in all the fun this time of year brings, we have some super fun things going on in the next few months.

We've got a weekend trip to Boston coming up to celebrate my aunt's super special wedding day and as a bonus, we'll be up there for Halloween and get to take our niece and nephews trick-or-treating. We've got another wedding here in Orlando just after that and a weekend cruise in November that we've been talking about taking for months! I'm already thinking about all the Thanksgiving baking I can do this year and celebrating our first Christmas as husband and wife won't be far behind. As of today, we're also officially booked to travel to Cancun in January to celebrate with one of my very best friends from college as she gets married. To make all of this even better, we'll have newborn babies in our lives to love on as a good friend of mine is welcoming a baby boy to the world and Jonathan's cousin is due with a baby girl around the same time. This gives me an actual purpose for being in the baby section at Target, so I'm obviously beyond thrilled.

Carving pumpkins is also on my to do list and I want to make sure we spend more time outside since it will be a little nicer out! We may even dress up for Halloween and I rarely plan ahead enough to do that!

We have so much to look forward to. I got overly excited about all of it today after booking our Cancun trip and picked up beers on my way home to celebrate. Beers on a Wednesday night - that is how we get down around here these days when we're feeling crazy.

I can't complain about life right now though, life is good lately. Here's a few snapshots of what we've been up to:

We adopted another cat. Yes, another cat. The girl who used to hate cats now owns two. Who could have predicted this madness? This one is such a sweetheart and it's pretty often I wake up in the middle of the night and she is snuggled up right next to my chest. No more cats though, really this time.

My parents came to visit last month to celebrate my dad's birthday and we had a blast! Group selfies are fun no matter who you are.

Nothing exciting was happening here, but this photo makes me my heart happy. It was actually a Monday night after a stressful day a few weeks ago and this photo sums up how sweet it is to end every day with this man by my side.

We took a spontaneous trip to the beach a few Sundays ago and wondered why we don't do that more often. It's a short drive for us and we both enjoy days like this so much, but for some reason we get in a rut of feeling like we have to plan these kinds of things in advance. It felt so good to get up and go after church on a Sunday and enjoy the sunshine for a few hours.

We've become True American fanatics. What's True American? If you watch New Girl (and if you don't, you should because it's amazing), it's the drinking game they created. Basically, you chug a ton of beer and move around your home (or in our case, a friend's home) by climbing on furniture and pretending the floor is molten lava but they've actually created legit rules for the game that we kinda sorta follow. You can see those here if you want to join in on the fun. It's really a serious game for mature individuals if you can't tell...

Last weekend was full of celebrations. After the most perfect Friday night date night with Jonathan at one of our favorite spots, I attended my good friend, Lindsay's baby shower. Lindsay started out as a co-worker and has become such a close friend of mine. She helped me so much with my wedding planning and even though we don't work together, I'm so glad our friendship is still so strong. I can't wait to meet her sweet baby boy when he arrives in just a few weeks!

I also celebrated a friend's bridal shower over the weekend. Erin and I were roommates a few years ago and even though we don't see each other nearly as often as we used to, I'm so glad to have her in my life. She's getting married in just a little over a month and I can't wait.

Life has been full of so many fun memories lately and I can't wait for all the fun things to come in the next months! Hopefully I can get to a point where I'm back to weekend recaps instead of random photo dumps of what's been going on in our lives. 

What fun activities do you have planned for Fall?

Monday, September 22, 2014

I survived my first spin class

I may have previously mentioned I've been trying to get back into a regular workout routine again and it's been going well so far. On Saturday, I switched to a new gym that offers classes and miraculously, I survived my first spin class. This may not sound like cause for too much celebration, but you don't know my history with group fitness classes.

To give you some background, I don't handle the heat very well. My body gets overheated very easily and it doesn't take long before my face is bright red and my head is pounding. A few hours outside on a hot day has the potential to land me in bed with an awful headache. My family actually calls me "Heatstroke" because on numerous occasions, they've had to witness this nonsense.

It was the year 2007 and I was a junior at the University of South Florida. I decided to switch up my workout routine and attend a class at the gym. I forget the actual name of the class I chose, but it was basically 30 minutes long and it totally sounded like something I could handle. Aside from some arms workouts with dumbbells, it basically turned out to be a step aerobics class. Somewhere in the midst of stepping on then off, then right and left, over and over and over again, I realized I was getting a little overheated and stepped off to take a break, only it was too late and then, I fainted. In the middle of the class. I had no idea what happened until the instructor was standing over me asking if I was okay to which I answered yes and walked right on out of there. I can laugh at this now, but at the time I was completely mortified and told myself I would never take another group fitness class.

It's safe to say for someone like me, out of all the group fitness classes my new gym offers, spinning would be the class I'd be most likely to pass out in, yet there I was on Saturday morning, not passing out. I even made it through the whole hour! I'm still pretty shocked my mother-in-law convinced me to try it out, but I'm glad she did. I'm not gonna lie, 20 minutes in I was wondering what the hell I'd gotten myself into but that didn't stop me from sticking it out. I had to make a serious effort to avoid getting "overheated" and I didn't try to keep up with what everyone else was doing. It's 2 days later and  my thighs are so sore I could hardly get out of bed this morning. It's awful but I kinda also love it and I never thought I'd say this but I'll be back on Saturday morning for round two.

Do you spin? What classes do you enjoy?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The kitchen is my happy place

It's no surprise I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, which is funny because not long ago I wouldn't call myself much of a cook at all. In fact, I'd probably laugh at you if you asked me what I was cooking for dinner. Things sure have changed, though, because these days it seems I am at my happiest when I'm in the kitchen cooking (or baking, of course) up something delicious. Not only do I enjoy cooking and baking, but I get so much joy out of finding a new recipe I love.

It only makes sense that I'd like to pass these recipes on to you! After all, I'm sure most of you can relate to having hundreds of recipes pinned on Pinterest but not knowing which ones to try first. Trust me, I've been there. Maybe this list will save you from aimlessly scrolling through Pinterest trying to decide on a dinner recipe and realizing 3 hours later you totally forgot about dinner...not that this has happened to me before...

This is one of  those I knew Jonathan would go nuts over. He couldn't stop raving about how much flavor these had!

I've tried a few recipes like this before but found they were too complicated for me and by that I mean they required more ingredients than I had the patience for. This recipe is simple, quick and yummy! 

Let's just say I know what I'm bringing to our next family gathering. This was a big hit in our house!

This is a Paleo recipe and the first meatball recipe I've ever attempted. It's super easy and delicious! 

I always get on a Snickerdoodle baking kick around this time of year, so I couldn't resist when I came across these babies. Jonathan looooves snickerdoodles so these treats were perfect to surprise him with when he came home from work yesterday. 

Last night, we did the Lemon Basil pork chops served with baked asparagus and the Cucumber Watermelon salad and all I could think to myself was how this was such a perfect summer meal. With each of these recipes only calling for a few ingredients, it was easy to pull together and everything tasted delicious! 

What have you been cooking up lately? 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Finding a Balance Between 'Sorry' & 'Sorry I'm Not Sorry'

A few weeks ago, Jonathan took me on an impromptu date to our favorite sushi place. The place is always packed, especially on Friday nights. Even with the long wait time, we decided to wait it out and enjoy dinner together. After all, we weren't in a rush. While we were enjoying our dinner, an older couple was seated at the table next to us and we couldn't help but notice they were getting impatient waiting on their server to come by. At one point, Jonathan even joked around with them offering to share our lettuce wraps. They laughed and eventually, they grew too impatient and decided to leave the restaurant. As we noticed them getting up from their table, without thinking I said goodnight to the couple, gave them a sympathetic look and said "I'm sorry." I didn't give it a second thought but my dear husband was quick to call me out. "Why are you apologizing to them? It's not your fault their server never came to the table!" I laughed because it does sound ridiculous. I just explained that I felt bad for them and the words just spilled out! 

As women, it's my understanding that many of us share this common habit: we are overly apologetic. We don't do it intentionally and for me at least, we're not even conscious of it until someone points it out. That person for me is Jonathan who is constantly calling me out for apologizing when it's not necessary. I don't say I'm sorry because I think he (or anyone else for that matter) is actually mad at me or upset, but it's just my natural instinct.

Oh, you're having a bad day? I'm sorry.

I got overly emotional. I'm sorry.

I'm calling you in the middle of the day and I know you are busy. I'm sorry.

I couldn't sleep...I'm sorry if I kept you up.

Can you relate to any of these scenarios? I certainly can and I know quite a few ladies who would agree. A good friend of mine who is guilty of being overly apologetic herself posted this Pantene ad to her Facebook account a few months ago and it obviously hit home with me. 

Jonathan has been on my case about this from the moment we met. I apologize for silly things like being moody and he looks me in the eye and tells me to stop apologizing to him...that we are married and he knows me and I don't have to explain myself to him. Sometimes he'll tell me I don't have to apologize and I'll apologize for apologizing! It's madness I tell you! 

The examples in this video of women apologizing in a work environment strike a totally different cord. As women, we can be strong and professional while being respectful without feeling like we need to walk on eggshells around our male counterparts. 

I don't know where I'm going with this but I guess my point is I shouldn't worry about explaining myself all the time. There are certainly times where an apology is absolutely necessary, but I'm pretty sure apologizing for being emotional doesn't fit that criteria. I want to find a balance between being compassionate and being confident in my actions and convictions. People who truly know me won't doubt my intentions and I need to trust in that. Like Dr. Seuss says, "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

Can you relate to to this at all? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this! 

Monday, August 11, 2014

I forgot to blog for a month, but I'm back.

Oh, hey. I'm back after an unplanned break from blogging. It's been over a month since my last post and I miss it. Honestly, I don't know that I'll ever be a big time blogger who shows up here a few times every week and I'm okay with that. I just want to make sure I keep writing. It may not matter to anyone else, but coming here when I have something to say or something to share makes me feel good so I need to make more of an effort to keep it up. Here's what's been going on in my world lately -

Lots of family time and because of this, my heart is oh so happy.

After months and months of hearing about how awesome Stitch Fix is, I finally tried it out for myself. You probably already know about Stitch Fix, but if you haven't heard of it before, you fill out a style profile on their website and pay a $20 styling fee, then select a delivery date. Stitch Fix ships 5 items (clothing and accessories) to you to try on in the comfort of your own home and you choose what you'd like to keep and what you want to send back. The $20 styling fee can be used toward your total purchase and they provide a pre-paid envelope for you to send back the items you don't want.

I've read a lot of Stitch Fix reviews and based on others' experiences, I knew the first fix typically wasn't great...that it takes a few times for your stylist to get to know your style and preferences. Still, I couldn't wait to see what they sent me!

I'll be better at posting more info on the items I receive going forward, but my first fix contained a pair of earrings, a casual tank top, a pair of black dress pants, a navy blouse and a denim jacket. Aside from the denim jacket, I liked everything I received but I sent back everything but the earrings. Both tops were really cute, but I didn't love the fit of the tank top and the blue shirt had flutter sleeves that just weren't flattering. The dress pants were great, but I don't think the fit was right for me and the denim jacket....I just didn't see myself ever wearing it.

I may have only kept one item from my first fix, but I am thrilled with it so far! I can see why my stylist chose each item based on the information I provided even though I didn't end up keeping them. I know by providing feedback and details on my style to Stitch Fix, the items I receive will get better and better. It goes without saying that I went ahead and scheduled another fix for next month and can't wait to see what I get!

If you're interested in giving Stitch Fix a try, click this link to the Stitch Fix website and sign up for an account!

I'm getting back in shape. Seriously this time. I've made some half-assed attempts at getting back to the gym lately, but this month, I'm not messing around anymore. I made it to the gym 5 days last week and it feels really good. It's amazing what a difference it makes in my mood and energy level. I know this shouldn't be news to me..but when you get in a rut you forget how good it makes you feel to be active and in shape. Well, here's to never forgetting again because I feel like a whole new person.

Still cooking and baking up a storm. First of all, if you've never had a cream cheese carrot cake muffin, I suggest you change that as soon as possible. I'm not even a huge carrot cake fan and I had to give just about all of these away before I ate them all.

I also made a pineapple salsa recipe a few weeks ago for a get together at our house and it was a huge hit. I'm saving that for it's own post, though, because it deserves to be in the spotlight. I tried this Parmesan Zucchini and Corn recipe the other night and it was delicious and super easy to make. I also just recently successfully fried an egg for the first time. It was a big deal in our house because usually I leave that up to Jonathan and stick to what I know: scrambled eggs. To celebrate this momentous occasion, for breakfast on Saturday I made this bacon, egg, cheese and avocado sandwich for Jonathan it and it just about blew his mind. My man loves his avocado and I get really excited when I'm making something I know he is really going to like. You could say I'm (1) loving every second of being a wife and (2) really enjoy being in the kitchen these days.

Enjoying this season of our livesMarriage is freaking awesome. I'm simply amazed by it. Sometimes I still have to stop in my tracks and wonder on how earth this kind of love found us. It's hard to believe and it's something I will continue to praise God for and celebrate for ever and ever.

We're busy and happy and healthy and I couldn't ask for much more than that!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Weekend Highlights

Well, hello. It's safe to say blogging has fallen by the wayside lately and I'm trying to get back on board here. My last job afforded me the ability to do most of my blogging at work and that is so not the case with this new gig. The last thing I've been wanting to do after working at my desk all day is get on the computer at home in the evening. But anyway, here I am, so let's do this. I'm still upset that 4th of July weekend is over. We celebrated America with my family and had an absolute blast. Here are are just a few of the highlights from our weekend -

Last Thursday marked 6 months since our wedding day and while we obviously didn't make a big fuss over 6 months, I spent the day in disbelief. I can't believe it's already been six months and I still can't believe this is my life. Also, this photo.

Photo by Lora Rodgers Photography

I know I haven't even gotten to our 4th of July celebrations yet, but something else very exciting happened before we even hit the road on Thursday. For the first time in my life, I successfully curled my hair. Yes, I'm 28-years-old and not only did I just purchase my first curling iron, but I used it successfully. Only my sisters and close girlfriends know what a huge accomplishment this is for me. I was preeeety excited as we hit the road, as you can probably tell.

Our 4th of July consisted of Fireball. Lots of Fireball shots. Mom and I spent the morning grocery shopping and barbecue prepping while Jonathan golfed with my dad and brother. We spent the afternoon eating and drinking by the pool and finding reasons to take shots of Fireball.

The afternoon ended with a family wiffle ball game in the middle of the golf course in the rain and it's safe to say this was my favorite part of the day. We even woke up the next morning without even a hint of a hangover. Who am I and what happened to the girl who can't day drink?

On that note, I hope you all have a great week...or what's left of it seeing as I'm just showing up here and it's already Wednesday.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Weekend Surprises & Shenanigans

My weekend started off with the sweetest surprise from my husband. My heart has been hurting lately missing my older sister and her beautiful babies. They live in Buffalo and we rarely get to see them. I came home from work Friday and Jonathan pulled me into his office telling me he had something that would make me really happy. He handed me a folded sheet of paper with a note on the back that said, "Babe I love you so much. I can't wait to see your face when you open this."

I was already in tears before I saw what was inside, which happened to be two round trip tickets to Buffalo. In just three weeks, we'll be surrounded by my favorite kids on the planet and I absolutely cannot wait!

With that, I'd say our weekend started off on a fantastic note! After calling my sister to discuss how excited I was, we met up with some friends for Medieval Times. I know...what a random thing to do on a Friday night. One of the guys found a Groupon and we all thought it would be fun and it certainly was.

Saturday after cleaning the house, shopping and trying unsuccessfully to curl my own hair, I spent the evening with this lady.

Back in our single days, we used to go out all the time and as we spent the night joking about how we don't know how to go out anymore, we accidentally ordered a weird amount of food at dinner proving this point. Let's just say we met up with Jonathan and his buddies after dinner and were able to bring them an entire entree and appetizer to snack on. All in all, we had a blast and I'm proud to say we stayed out until almost 2 a.m.!

Our Sunday was spent at a family pool party and after a beautiful day of swimming and losing at beer pong, we headed home early for a relaxing night which meant Jonathan fell asleep at 7 and I stayed up watching a Revenge marathon.

Luckily it's a short week and we're already making plans for the long weekend!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Weekend Accomplishments

It's not often (lately) that I can honestly say it was a productive weekend. We've had plenty of super fun weekends and this one was fun too..just more of a productive fun than a drink too much and watch too much television kind of fun. 

one. Baking. I finally found a good recipe for jumbo blueberry muffins. I can make a regular blueberry muffin without a problem, but every recipe I've tried for jumbo, bakery-sized muffins don't come out like I want them too. I also baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for no reason other than the fact that I was in the mood to bake. Surprisingly, I have no photos to prove all this activity.

two. I made it to the grocery store before 9 a.m. on Sunday. This is my dream every week, but it rarely happens. I love getting there and getting my shopping done before I would normally be out of bed on Sunday. Not having to wait in line at the deli makes me feel like I'm really rocking at life. 

three. We biked 14 miles yesterday. I was in the mood for a long bike ride and since we've gotten my bicycle, we really haven't ridden more than a few miles. Less than a mile in we got sidetracked and stopped for a beer...okay, a few beers but eventually we were on our way again. We made a few other stops along the way and treated ourselves to Italian ice as we made our way back home. It felt good to spend most of the afternoon outside being active.

four. I took on the ambitious task of prepping our meals for the week last night. I've prepped meals and snacks for the week here and there before, but nothing like this. After a few hours in the kitchen, we have breakfast and several lunches, dinners and snacks all ready to go. Honestly, the whole process didn't take as long as I expected and Jonathan helped with some of the prep work. It's going to be real nice having everything ready for us so we can take time out each night for exercise without feeling like we have to choose between cooking a good dinner or working out. 

We managed to spend time with friends in the midst of all this, which made this a pretty perfect weekend in my book. I was sad to see it come to an end! 

Hope your weekend was a happy one! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

We Spent 3 Hours at the Movies & Forgot to See a Movie

This past Friday as I drove home from work, I couldn't help but think we were due for a spontaneous date night. I called Jonathan and told him we should go out to a movie or something and that is just what we did....

Well, kinda.

With nothing in theaters we were dying to see, we settled on the 9:45 showing of 22 Jump Street. We figured even if it wasn't great, we might get a few laughs out of it and hey, we never go to the movies so why not? We headed out super early so we could stop and have a drinks and some appetizers near the theater first. Even still, we got to the movie theater a good hour and a half before the movie which is totally fine because they have a bar and video games. We ordered ourselves a round of drinks and after playing a few games, started to wonder what the heck we were going to do with ourselves for the next hour or so.We grabbed a table at the bar and were were having a blast just talking. It’s so funny how you can live with someone and see them every day but it’s still so important to go on actual dates with each other to really engage in conversation and focus on each other. I was loving every minute. 

So much so, that Jonathan looked at the clock and realized it was 9:45 and the movie was already starting. We’d been doing plenty of drinking, but not much eating and we’d also planned on grabbing food before the movie. Where did the time go? Jonathan jumped up in a panic and I spent about 30 seconds trying to convince him we should just skip the movie all together because I was having too much fun. Always the more reasonable one, he convinced me to go in the theater but not before we picked up pizza and snacks on our way in.

Finally, we walked into the theater to find there were no seats available. Zero. I couldn't help but laugh as we stood there with snacks and drinks and nowhere to sit. Luckily, they were kind enough to let us swap out our tickets for something else. We ended up with tickets for the 10:30 showing of Neighbors and decided to head straight in the theater so we didn't miss another one. By this point, we’d been in the movie theater since 8:00 and I was 3 vodka tonics down. We found seats and ate our snacks while we waited for the movie to start. Finally, 10:30 came around and as the movie started, I started to feel sleepy and antsy. I’ve made the mistake of going to a movie drunk before and I’m just not cut out for it. I need conversation. I need activity. Give me a few drinks then sit me down to be quiet for a few hours and I’m ready for bed in no time. I powered through the first 15 minutes of the movie when like music to my ears, Jonathan whispered in my ear, “Let’s go home.”

We spent 3 hours in the movie theater and after attempting to see 2 movies, we went home after seeing zero movies. As Jonathan said, "Only we would get to the theater an hour and a half before a movie and somehow miss the movie."

The best part about this whole thing? I'm not the slightest bit upset that we missed the movie both movies. I loved every minute of these shenanigans. I had the most fun sitting at the bar with my husband, then sitting in an empty theater eating pizza and laughing at everything. The nights that don't go as planned always turn out to be my very favorite ones. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! We stayed up way too late last night finishing season 2 of Orange is the New Black and it was so worth it. Has anyone else finished it? I’m happy to say season 2 did not disappoint. It definitely wasn’t our intention to watch the complete season in less than a week, but we just couldn’t help it. The good news is that we don’t need to find time this weekend for binge watching, which is good because it’s looking like it’ll be a busy one.

I’m spending tomorrow with my friend, Sarah for some much-needed girl time while Jonathan works, then tomorrow night we’re attending my 10 year high school reunion. It’ll be fun, although I have felt somewhat indifferent toward the whole event for some reason. I guess with Facebook the whole mystery of what everyone is up to since high school is a thing of the past, not to mention that my best friend isn’t attending. I am looking forward to it, though! It’ll be fun to catch up with everyone and have a fun night out with Jonathan.  

Sunday I’ll be heading to my parents’ house to celebrate Father’s Day. On that note, today’s Friday Favorites are all about this man I’m lucky enough to call my dad.

Photo by Lora Rodgers Photography
one. His dance moves. I told the story of how my dad just recently debuted his dance skills and just this story alone is one of my favorite memories with him. Read it for yourself, but the short version is that his approach to dancing is on point.

two. His strong conviction. For my sweet father, no matter what the topic, there is no gray area. He either loves it or hates it and he doesn’t sugarcoat it when it’s the latter. President Obama? Don’t get him started, seriously. The Boston Red Sox? He doesn’t miss watching a game. Irish Car Bombs? Loves them.
I have strong opinions for the most part, but I can be very indecisive and all too often, I see both sides too clearly to take a strong stance on something either way. I love that my dad has such strong beliefs and that he stands by them.

three. He freaking loves his family. I know, this isn’t out of the ordinary for dads as a group, but I admire how much my dad genuinely enjoys being with his family. Ask him and he will tell you his favorite vacations have been the ones where we are all together. We all have such a good time and you can truly see the joy he feels when we are together. Growing up, he put our family first and he made sure we all learned to do the same. It’s why my siblings are my very best friends and they always will be, because we all learned to stick together and be there for each other.

four. Him and my mother raised 5 children, 4 girls and one boy. I don’t know how he survived my sisters and I going through high school one after another. We certainly didn’t make it easy on him and he was tough on us at times, but I know my siblings would all agree that he has always been our biggest supporter and even when he was hard on us, we always knew he had our best interest in mind.

five. He speaks up. My dad isn’t afraid to give you his honest opinion. He’s not afraid of speaking up when he doesn’t agree. He’s always reminded me to do the same without being afraid of what people might think of me. There are so many times I think of him when I don’t know how to handle a situation and I know he would tell me to speak my mind. There have been so many times when I could’ve kept my opinion to myself but instead, decided to speak my mind and in those times, the situation has always worked out for the best.
There you have it; just a few of my favorite things. Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

Linking up with Amanda for Friday Favorites.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Because Life is a Special Occasion

Last night had the potential to be so productive. I always have so much I want to accomplish in the evenings when I get home from work and quite often, I ditch those plans pretty quick to relax with Jonathan. Last night was one of those nights. After sitting down for one of our favorite dinners as of late, spaghetti squash with turkey pesto meatballs, Jonathan pulled a bottle of champagne out of the fridge and suddenly my plans to be productive were long gone.

We rarely drink champagne and hardly ever keep it in the house, but we happened to have a few bottles leftover from Easter brunch. Jonathan made a comment about how he'd normally want to save it for a special occasion, which obviously prompted me to pull up the following quote on my phone:

We popped open a bottle (or two), settled in for a few episodes of Orange is the New Black and clinked glasses no less than 6 times because when I'm drinking champagne, I can't hep but cheers to anything and everything. It was quite the celebration, let me tell you. Nights like this are my favorite nights. It was just an ordinary Wednesday evening and because we decided to do what we wanted to do rather than what we needed to do, it turned into something special. It's just another reminder that we shouldn't wait for the right moment or a special occasion to wear something, do something or drink something. Our life is a freaking special occasion and there are always so many reasons to celebrate, so why wait?

Cheers to marriage, living in the moment and waking up hangover-free and making it to the gym at 5 a.m. It truly is a Christmas miracle that I don't have a pounding headache right meow. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

10 Things I Thought I'd Never Do

I'm pretty sure I saw these posts floating around blogland a few months ago, but as usual, I'm late to the party. All this talk lately about how we adopted a cat got me thinking of all the other things I've done that I never thought I'd do, so here are a few of them:

one. Meet my husband at a bar

two. Wear matching swimsuits to the beach with said husband. What can I say? I bought an American flag bikini and Jonathan couldn't resist matching me. Thank you to my sista for capturing this candid...

three. Have an NRA sticker on my car. I'm all for the NRA, but it was Jonathan who felt we needed to show it on our vehicles.

four. Try (and fail) at online dating, but thank goodness for my lack of success because eventually I fell in love and married the most amazing man

five. Break my finger playing kickball. I know...

six. Own and sell my first home before the age of 28

seven. Participate in a mud run

eight. Find out I need bifocals at the age of 28

nine. Enjoy cooking and actually be kind of good at it

ten. Turn my love of baking into a little side business

What about you? What's on your list?

Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! It's been a busy work week and therefore my plans to blog all week have been sadly pushed aside, but it's Friday and I'm determined to make time for a quick post. What better way to do that than to join Amanda's Friday Favorites link-up? I'm excited to share my favorite things from this week and check out some new blogs to follow!

Celebrating this hunk. Today my dear husband turns 26-years-old and I can’t wait to spend the weekend celebrating with him. I’m so grateful I get to share my life with this man!

Sore muscles. I successfully got my butt to the gym at 5 a.m. three times this week and if you know how much of a struggle that has been for me lately, you’ll understand this is nothing short of a miracle! I joined Living in Yellow's 1,000 minutes in 30 days challenge this month to help motivate me and it feels great to be getting back in the fitness groove!

Hulu Plus. I mentioned we canceled cable several months ago and we’ve never looked back. This week, we finally made the move and signed up for Hulu Plus. It’s been pretty sweet catching up on Modern Family…we are several seasons behind and I forgot how much I loved the characters in this show, especially Phil.  

Our new addition. I never thought in a million years I would be blogging about how adopting a cat was my favorite part of the week, but here I am, doing just that. She seems to feel at home here and is just really sweet and calm. I’m so very glad we decided to bring her home. You could say Jonathan is in agreement…

Feeling like a new woman because I finally got my hair trimmed and highlighted this week. I was way overdue so I’m feeling like a million bucks now that I ditched the roots. Speaking of hair, I’ve been on the hunt for a good dry shampoo and after trying several without any success, I’m kind of liking Herbal Essences dry shampoo. It’s the best I’ve found so far, but if you have a better suggestion, please share it!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! What are you favorites this week? 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Duck Farts Taste as Bad as They Sound & Other Weekend Happenings

Hello and happy Monday! I'm gonna keep it short and sweet today, but I want to fill you in on our weekend fun!

On Saturday evening, we met up with my parents who were staying at one of the Disney resorts for the weekend. We booked a room at the resort so we could have a good time without worrying about the 45 minute drive home from Disney. We went out on the town for dinner and drinks...lots of drinks. My dad is on an Irish Car Bomb kick lately and while everyone else proceeded to do several of those, my mom and I just knew that wouldn't end well for us. Instead, we were convinced to try a Duck Fart, a shot made up of Crown and Kahlua. For the record, this tasted as awful as it sounds. We moved on to Lemon Drops which are always a good choice. Lemon Drop Em'!

 It was a fun night. Sunday morning we found a spot by the pool and relaxed for a few hours before heading home for a family BBQ. Having my parents in town for the night was such a treat and I loved having some uninterrupted time with them!

After spending a few hours at Jonathan's uncle's house for a BBQ, we went to pick up the newest addition to our family! We haven't quite decided on a name for her yet, but we are super excited!

It's so strange, actually, because I am not a cat person at all. I have always disliked cats for the most part and that hasn't really changed. I can't explain it, but when we first saw this one a few weeks ago, I fell in love! They weren't doing adoptions that day, so we left and that was that. I surprised myself by planning to back and see her again on a Saturday when they were doing adoptions so I could get more information and a few weeks went by before I could make it back there, but this past weekend, I did. I sent Jonathan this picture telling him I was in love and wanted to take her home.

He loved the idea and we talked a lot about it that night before going back to see her on Sunday. Needless to say, Jonathan was totally on board after hanging out with her for a few minutes and we decided to go for it!

I'm not going to get ahead of myself and call myself a "cat person" or anything crazy like that, but I seriously never thought I'd be the one telling my husband I want to adopt a cat and there we were yesterday, adopting a cat.

Now, we just need to decide on a name for this sweetheart. Only we would have our future children's names picked out but not be able to choose one for our pet. If you have suggestions, please share!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: The Reception

Hello and happy Wedding Wednesday! I have to say, I'm not great about showing up here every Wednesday to recap our wedding, but when I take the time to go through photos and prepare a post, it always puts my heart in such a happy place. When I say the wedding day flew by, it's difficult to get across just how true that statement is. Taking some time every few weeks to peek at our photos again and choose some of my favorites takes me right back to that particular part of our day and I really love that about blogging in general. So let's get to it, shall we? Here are some I mean lots of my favorites from our reception.

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Snyder for the first time ever!

For our first dance, we twirled around to "Baby I'm  Yours" by "The Arctic Monkeys."

Jonathan and his momma danced to "A Song for my Son" by Sarah Connor.

My daddy and I danced to "Dance Baby Dance" by Chris Cagle. I've never been able to listen to this song without crying and the first time I heard it, I knew it was the one we'd dance to. This is just one of the many moments of our day I shared with my father that I will never ever forget.

Trying to keep my tears under control which was a constant the whole day.

My dad was a nervous nelly about his speech and I have to say he was so amazing. Watching him up there welcoming Jonathan into our family and being genuinely over the moon about it was more than I could ever ask for.

This photo kills me! I don't even need to show you the photo that came after this for you to tell that Jonathan's cousin, Bree (the one diving in the blue dress) caught my bouquet! I love this one!

This photo of my mom makes me so happy.

This next photo requires a story because it is too amazing not to share. My father has never been much of a
dancer. Whether we've all been at another wedding or just a night on the town, we've never been able to convince him to get on the dance floor and just dance. Quite a while back, I found a funny pin on Pinterest that said, "The secret to dancing: Pretend you have a wedgie and try to get it out without using your hands." I sent it to my dad because I knew it would make him laugh and didn't really think about it again. During our reception as people started hitting the dance floor, I was so pleasantly surprised to see my dad not only on the dance floor, but he was tearing it up! I obviously had to rush over there and celebrate his new-found dance moves when he caught my eyes, leaned in and said these three words:

"I'm doing it!" 

I knew exactly what he was referring to (my little piece of advice I had texted him probably over a year before this) and I know I will never forget how unexpected and hilarious this moment was! My dad proceeded to spend the remainder of the night on the dance floor and even grabbed the microphone for some karaoke at one point! I don't think I'd ever seen my dad have such a genuinely good time before. I love that man!

Our wedding reception was an absolute blast! I'm glad we kept things fairly simple and focused on making sure everyone just had a really good time. I knew the night was going to fly by and I tried to stop every now and then and simply take it all in. Even still, the DJ announced our last song and I was shocked that our night was coming to an end. I'll never forget dancing with Jonathan to the last song with the happiest tears in our eyes as we watched our loved ones dance and celebrate around us in complete awe and appreciation. It was truly an unforgettable night.

All photos by Lora Rodgers Photography.
Linking up for Wedding Wednesday.