Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Weekend Perfection

Hello, friends. I feel like I blinked and it was already Wednesday, which is great because we've got another epic weekend planned but it's also not great because I've got quite the to do list to check off between now and then. Also, I'm still basking in the perfection of this past weekend and it wouldn't be right if I didn't take some time to document the happiness. 

It was one of those weekends. The ones where you lay in bed Sunday night not wanting to close your eyes because that means it's over. The ones where you stop multiple times a day and wonder how on earth you've been so incredibly blessed. 

After being out of town the last two weekends, I was feeling super grateful for a low-key weekend at home. Our big plans Friday night included prepping the yard for sod installation which I was surprisingly really looking forward to. The weather around here has been incredible and I was pretty psyched for the quality time with Jonathan. In exchange for my hard work, all I asked him for in exchange was to push me around in the wheelbarrow so I think everyone won in this situation. Honestly he had gotten most of the work done already but it was fun for me while it lasted. 

Saturday morning I woke up to Jonathan's landscaping crew getting to work on our sod installation and as I spent the day doing some chores around the house, it was pretty awesome to watch how quickly our yard transformed. I also love the opportunity to watch my husband in action. He had five of his guys working with him for the day and had also taken on 3 other small landscaping jobs he wanted to get done that day. I would stop what I was doing here and there and just watch him in awe of his ability to manage his employees and his business so well and still be so positive and motivated. He is kind of awesome and I am so incredibly proud to be his wife.

What was I accomplishing while they were totally transforming the outside of our home? I was catching up on tons of chores, prepping for the adult field day we're hosting this weekend and running errands here and there. I also finally decided what to write on our kitchen chalkboard and felt this was pretty perfectly in line with some of our conversations lately. I've had the chalkboard blank for a few weeks but I am confident this quote will be up for a while. 

By Saturday evening, our front and back yard had been completely transformed and I am still in disbelief over how beautiful it is! I will get around to sharing some better photos eventually but in the meantime, here is a photo of Taylor giving the new grass her approval. In case you are wondering, I had nothing to do with the purchase of a leash for our cat. That was all my husband thanks to a recent flea market visit. I'm not proud to say we have a cat leash or that it is used, but you can't deny how cute she is in this picture.

Moving on...

After such a productive Saturday, our Sunday plans were all about relaxing and enjoying our day together. We decided to attend the late morning service at church so we could enjoy the morning and take it easy which meant I could snuggle up and enjoy my coffee in bed and I don't think there's anything better than that. 

After church we made a quick stop to pick out some pumpkins to carve. I scoured the pumpkin patch for the closest thing I could find to a perfectly round, minimally flawed pumpkin and Jonathan opted for searching for the ugliest pumpkin there because he felt bad that no one else would buy that one. Hey, at least there was no chance of us both wanting the same one, right?

I couldn't let us leave without taking advantage of this perfect photo opp. I'm glad we did because I've confessed to looking at this photo a ridiculous number of times since it was taken because there's just something about it that makes me incredibly happy. 

Once my sister and her boyfriend arrived, we chatted for a bit over snacks and beer before we dove in to our pumpkin carving. At this point, I still had no idea what I wanted to carve. I hadn't looked at ideas or inspiration - nothing. This worked out great because the idea to carve the heart eye emoji just kind of hit me out of nowhere and I knew it was the perfect choice. Not a lot of room for error and very little detail work; it had my name written all over it.

The above photo will go down as one of my all-time favorites. I truly believe this. We had so much fun carving pumpkins and I'm so glad my sister and her man joined us, too! By the time they left later in the evening, my body was so ready for sleep but my heart wanted more of this perfect day. Luckily Jonathan was all about watching Jurassic World before bed so I poured myself a glass of wine and snuggled next to him thankful that we could extend the weekend just a little longer. I think I interrupted the movie multiple times to tell Jonathan how incredibly happy I felt or to cheers my wine glass to his cup of ice cream but honestly, who can blame me? 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

All the Fall Things

Well, hey there. Things have been a little hectic around here. We've had a sickness lingering in our house for over a week now. Jonathan had it all of last week and I felt it coming on as I headed off for a friend's bachelorette weekend at the beach. By the time I made it home Sunday, it had hit me full force and I've been in bed the last two days trying to get rid of it once and for all. You'd think with all this downtime, I'd be writing up a storm, but I've been feeling less than inspired and cold meds don't exactly make me want to do anything that requires effort or thought.

The good news is that I'm starting to feel normal again which is good because we have a productive and fun weekend planned. I mentioned before I feel like once October comes, our lives kick into high gear with so many exciting things going on. With so much to look forward to about the next few months, I thought I'd share my Fall to do list today.

Carve pumpkins. I'll admit when I'm up to my elbows in pumpkin guts I wonder why I chose this activity for myself, but it's been a few years and Jonathan and I have never carved pumpkins together so it is absolutely on my to do list this year.

Make a pie. I have a confession. I've never made a pie before. From cobblers to cookies, I've made a lot of delicious treats but it's time I finally baked a pie and there isn't a more perfect pie making time of year than the Fall, right? I'm not just planning on making any pie, I'm planning on conquering this beauty of a pie crust I stumbled upon recently.

Host an adult field day. I'm planning this for my sister's birthday at the end of this month and if the weather is as perfect as it's been lately, it'll be the best day of fall fun all in celebration of my sweet sister. I'm still working out the details, but kickball and a three-legged race are on the agenda and of course, beer and lots of shenanigans, I'm sure. We'll follow up our day of competition with a bonfire at our house to continue the celebrations.

Treat myself to some yummy fall flavors at Starbucks. In the last few years, I've significantly cut down on my Starbucks visits and these days, I usually stick with a regular coffee with a pump or two of vanilla. With that being said, I have every intention of treating myself now and again to a Pumpkin Spice Latte and the new Toasted Graham Latte. Yum.

Give our outdoor space a total makeover. We've spent so much time perfecting the details inside our little home and now that we're pretty satisfied with what we've done inside, it's time to turn our attention to the outdoors. We decided a while ago once Jonathan's busy summer season was over, we would lay new sod and clean up the yard and by we, I obviously mean he. Don't judge me. I help in my own way by offering love and support and Chik-fil-A for lunch. Not only are we going to give our landscaping a huge makeover, but we're finally going to put the finishing touches on our back patio. We've been getting by with random furniture back there since we got the patio built over a year ago. We're ditching all of the random furniture and getting the most magical farm table built for the space. Between that and our hammock out there, I'm pretty sure it's where I'll spend every free minute over the next few months. There couldn't be a better time to do all this since the weather around here will be just perfect for enjoying our happy new outdoor space.

Our farmhouse table is a work in progress, but I can't help but share this little preview we got today. I might have squealed when I caught a glimpse of this beauty.

Treat myself to some yummy fall flavors at Starbucks. In the last few years, I've significantly cut down on my Starbucks visits and these days, I usually stick with a regular coffee with a pump or two of vanilla. With that being said, I have every intention of treating myself now and again to a Pumpkin Spice Latte and the new Toasted Graham Latte. Yum.

Watch a scary movie with my husband. I typically have zero interest in watching horror movies. I think the last time we watched a scary movie together, our breakers kept popping and the electricity was going in and out at which point I shouted "that's enough!" and turned the movie off. Jonathan loves them though and no matter how many times he tries to convince me to watch with him, I insist on something more like Pitch Perfect 2 and we meet somewhere in the middle. But the thing is, I love that guy and there's no better time to suck it up and watch a scary flick with him. Just one though because I'll probably regret this 5 minutes in.

Not dress up on Halloween. I'm glad we decided early on to have a night in with some friends on Halloween. All I've wanted to do the last few years is make sure we're somewhere we can sit in the driveway, drink a few beers and hand out candy to the neighborhood kids. We've done this the last few years at my in-laws and it's been the perfect low-key way to celebrate. Any year I've committed to going out in costume and getting crazy, I've always regretted the decision the minute I step in the costume section of any store. I immediately feel overwhelmed at what to be, what to do, where to go, how much money I'm about to waste on a costume. It feels good to not participate in the costume nonsense and just use Halloween as an excuse to have a fun night with some friends and also indulge in some sweet treats.

There you have it! I have to be honest and say how relieved I am this list isn't all food-related because for a minute I was worried in might go in that direction.

Now tell me...
  • What's on your Fall to do list this year? 
  • How are you planning on celebrating Halloween?

Monday, October 5, 2015

Important Lessons from the Weekend

We spent Saturday night in Tampa for a comedy festival featuring Aziz Ansari, Amy Schumer and a handful of other comedians I hadn't really heard of. It was a blast and we were blessed with perfect weather for it, too.

Every now and then, I look back on what was an awesome weekend and the only way to share the highlights is to pass along some important lessons I think are worth passing along. I did this a while ago here and I think it really gave you some fun insight into my weekend, so let's go for it again.

- Don't go to a particular German restaurant in a group of 3 couples and be the only girl who drinks beer in the group. Why, you ask?  Because the boys will inevitably order a boot full of beer which requires 4 people to pass it around the table and drink it until it's empty and you will involuntarily be one of those four people. If this happens once, certainly don't make the mistake of going with the exact same group to the exact same restaurant again. The boot will arrive at the table, everyone will look around the table until you make the connection that yet again, you have to chug beer out of a boot while the entire restaurant sings and cheers you on.

- Sometimes on a Saturday morning, you need to ignore what you were supposed to do (work out) and do what you want to do (browse Target with a pumpkin spice latte in hand).

- Speaking of Starbucks, you should do yourself a favor and try their new toasted graham latte as soon as possible. You can thank me later.

- Don't try to take a photo of Amy Schumer on stage from what seems like a million miles away. Security will be on your case before you even have you camera open meanwhile there's a guy 5 seats away from you who has been smoking pot all night but no one in charge has seemed to notice that or the overwhelming scent in the air.

- If you're ever at the amphitheater in Tampa, don't decide walking to the casino would be easier than trying to get an Uber. It's not easier. It isn't the nice evening walk you had in mind. Instead, it's a walk reminiscent of a Walking Dead episode with mud and dirt roads and you can see the casino in the distance but it's really not as close as it looked when you guys first made this brilliant decision. Luckily, I had great company but still, just don't.

- When you're up $200 at the casino and your husband thinks it's time to call it a night, don't say, "but we just got here! Let's at least keep playing with our winnings." It'll be just three minutes later and you'll be wishing you'd kept your mouth shut and told your husband how smart he is.

- When your husband is doing yard work and calls you outside, be skeptical. One second he is asking you to help move one thing and the next thing you know, you're picking up rocks and carrying tools around. I'm not saying you shouldn't help, but I am saying you should know what you're getting yourself into when you say, "yes honey?" and step outside.

- When in doubt, do stick to your original plans. After we made plans to go to Tampa for the weekend, tons of other things came up that we really didn't want to miss at home. We even considered canceling our Tampa plans since we knew we couldn't do it all if we went away. I know if we had stayed in town, we'd be just as happy with our decision but I'm happy we stuck to our plans and had some fun just the two of us. It doesn't hurt that we have lots of fun plans with family and friends to look forward to the rest of this month!

There you have it. It was quite a weekend for us and with a friend's bachelorette weekend in St. Pete just a few days from now, I'm looking forward to enjoying some downtime at home this week. I hope your weekend was full of some beautiful fall weather and fun!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Few Things on Friday

Happy Friday, friends and happy October! I love October. I feel like our lives kick into high gear every fall with lots of events, travel plans and family fun. I just love it. So much to look forward to, so much to enjoy. I've got a few random things worth sharing with you all on this beautiful Friday, so let's get to it.

You've gotta try this recipe for sweet potato hash.  I get a huge kick out of treating Jonathan to breakfasts like this and I had the perfect opportunity to give this recipe a try a few weekends ago. I do recommend trying to do some prep the night before because it took a bit of time to put together on a Sunday morning. Totally worth it the effort but still, a lot of prep for breakfast. You've gotta make this one. It's delicious! 

I'm a huge fan of any posts on marriage and relationships and these two posts, well they rocked my world this week:

We're heading to Tampa this weekend to see Aziz Ansari and tons of other comedians at a comedy festival and I can't wait! I love little getaways like this because they involve minimal traveling but tons of fun with my husband. Perfection. 

I also have my sweet friend, Laura's bachelorette weekend coming up and at the end of the month, we're hosting a birthday celebration for my sister in which I've planned an old school field day and bonfire. I told you, October means lots of fun to look forward to. It's gonna be great!

I've had the latest issue of Real Simple sitting on the counter for weeks now just waiting for the perfect time to lay in the hammock and soak in every last bit of Real Simpleness but sadly, it has yet to happen. It's funny because every month I read Real Simple and it gives me the best ideas and I keep reading it because I just love the ideas but I never actually do them. Yet I will never stop being a huge fan and saving special time to read the issue for that month. Anyone else? 

I started reading All the Light We Cannot See and even though I'm enjoying it, it's been a little hard for me to get into. Then I saw Mindy Kaling's new book was out and right now I'm just resisting the temptation to start it. I don't like moving on until I've finished a book and from what I've heard, I know All the Light We Cannot See will be amazing. The good news is that I love having some really great reads in my near future. 

Cheers to Friday! I hope your weekend is full of whatever you're craving - fun, food, rest -- enjoy it!