Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Why is it Called Bathing Suit if You Don't Bathe in it?

In June, my sister is getting married in Jamaica. I'm really excited for the event and the trip itself, of course. Aside from my bridesmaid dress all I really need to pack is a bathing suit and a toothbrush, right? 

I've started the search for the perfect bathing suit and here's what I've narrowed down so far. Fair warning, there are more J.Crew suits on here than others...I spent hours searching sites, and J.Crew just appeals to me more than what I found on other sites. 

Gold Trim Tank via J.Crew

Tulle Swim Set via J.Crew
Anne Cole Tankini Set via Macys

Bleu Rod Beattie via Zappos
Halter Wrap Tank via J.Crew
Michael Kors Tankini Set via Macys

Cutout Tank via J.Crew
Twist Front Bandeau and High Waist Brief  via J.Crew
What suit do you prefer? Do you have any suggestions?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Back to the Future

My mom recently gave me a bunch of photos of our trip to NYC summer of 2002, when I went up with my friends Lola and Reese. I couldn't believe how much I've changed when I saw the pictures, and it got me thinking about whether or not the old me would be proud of the current me, and at that point I really wish time travel existed. 

Does anyone else long to hang out with their old selves? Anyone? 

Anyway, if teenage me was able to time travel to the future, I think she would be....

Dave circa 2002 

...happily surprised at who I married. I posted  a short"our story" on the blog here. Long story short (if you didn't want to click over), I had a HUGE crush on Dave in high school and we were really good friends (I even drove him to school our last year in high school!), but the timing wasn't right (I was with a really crappy guy) and I thought he was out of my league. I was (am?) a bookish nerd and he was a football playing popular jock. If teenage me knew that, at our senior prom, the next time she would see Dave in a tux was our wedding day, I'm pretty sure she'd faint. 

...surprised that I don't have kids yet. I had this ridiculous plan for my life. Marriage by 25, babies right away and done by the time I'm 30 so I could "live" the life in my 30s I built in my 20s. I think I'd have to knock teenage me around a bit for thinking that. It caused so much stress in my mid-twenties when I wasn't where I was "supposed" to be. 

...happy that I have a college degree, but sad that I'm not a teacher yet. It's okay 17 year old me, that makes me kinda sad too. 

...most likely surprised that I'm 35-40 pounds heavier than her, but also sad that I'm more aware of my pants size than she ever was. 

...ecstatic that Lola and I are still close. We were best friends in high school and had a bit of a lull in our early 20s where we just lost touch due to graduation, college, life. I'm so glad that we work together so we were able to reconnect. We picked up right where we left off and it's awesome!

What would your teenage self think of you?

Friday, April 25, 2014

End of the Week Roundup

Happy Friday! This has been one of those know "one of those days" everyday. Luckily it was still a good week for me, but the weekend couldn't have come any sooner. 

1. This gif had me laughing way too hard. If you want to see the video in full, which is even more adorable, check it out here

2. Saturday night I had a Sex and the City themed movie night with my friend Becca. Since I kicked Dave out of the house he wet to his grandmother's house to work on his Trans Am. He let me know that our nephews were up visiting too so I stopped by before the evening festivities began. It was so much fun watching the boys help Dave out and they are just so sweet. As I left I told Jacob I loved him and his reply was "I love you more!" still my heart. 

3. Dave surprised me Easter Sunday with an Easter basket! We've never exchanged baskets before so it was a super sweet surprise. It's also a nice reminder that you're never too old for an Easter basket!

4. Most days Lola and I spend our lunch break driving around looking at houses. We work in an area that has very prominent neighborhoods around us so we like to drive around, chat and dream about living in these homes. We came across this particular home Wednesday and were floored. A girl can dream, right??

5. Yet another thing I could not stop laughing over. I literally had Dave in tears watching it with me. 

How was your week?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Night Circus

It's that time again! I participated in Bon's book club again this month for Night Circus

So before I touch on Bon's posed questions, I just have to say I'm not sure how I feel about this book. Part of me really liked it. I LOVED the description of the circus and it did a great job transporting me to another world. BUT....there was a part of me that felt like this book had no '"great" moments. There was no build up or epic showdown, it just came and went and treated you to a magical world while it did. The best way to describe it is linear (the straight line definition, not the progressing definition). I don't like "straight line" books, a book should ebb and flow and have peaks and plummets, regardless of what kind of book it is. 

+ Who is your favorite character in the novel and why?

I didn't have a favorite character, per se, but I did enjoy the story line between the twins and Bailey. I really liked how Bailey wasn't sure where he stood with his life and wanting to find his place in the world and the circus came upon him at just the right time. I also enjoyed when his character evolved into a significant part of the continuation of the circus and the way the twins guided him through that. 

+ What about the main romantic relationship (Celia and Marco) did you like or not like?

I thought the creation of the different tents for each other was sweet. Instead of competing against one another and creating a bigger, better tent than the other, they were creating them FOR each other. That being said, as I said before, Morgenstern's writing prevented any decent kind of development to their relationship that you could latch on to until the very end. 

+ Did you like the writing style?  Why or why not?

At first I really hated how she jumped around from one year to another and then back. It was really hard to keep track of it all at first. Once I got used to it and finished the book, I understood why she wrote it the way that she did, but again, it wasn't easy to follow. I loved loved loved her descriptive writing style. It was just enough to help you create a fantastical picture in your mind without overloading you with details.

+ Anything else you want to say, add, admit, confess?  Now's your time to shine!

If you loved this book, you'll be happy to know Erin Morgenstern has a blog and every Friday she posts a short 10 sentence story called Flax Golden Tales based on a picture a photographer friend of her provides!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tea Sandwiches

There is something inaetly fancy about tea sandwiches. I don't know what it is but when you have some at a party or gathering, it always seems to kick the elegance up a notch.

The best part about tea sandwiches is that they are super simple to make. The nice thing is that you can get really creative about what sandwiches you make--as long as you can cut it up, you can make it. 

It can be a bit time consuming but with the right prep, you can have them done in no time. I recently had to make some for my sister's bridal shower and I made 130 sandwiches in about an  hour and a half. 

The trick to tea sandwiches are to make sure that you "seal" the bread somehow. Whether it's buttering both sides, or using a cream cheese, the point is you want to make sure that you prevent the ingredients from making the bread soggy. 

Here are the sandwiches I made for the party:

-2 loaves white bread
-1 loaf wheat bread 

You want to try and account for three sandwiches per person, so that should determine how many loaves of bread you want to purchase.

Ham and Brie Cheese

- 3/4 lb - 1lb deli ham sliced thin
-spreadable brie cheese
-honey mustard

Lay your bread out like the picture below and butter each slice of bread. Spread brie cheese on one of the bread slices per sandwich. On half of the sandwiches, I also used honey mustard, so that some sandwiches had honey mustard while others did not. Layer the ham over one of the bread slices per sandwich and then place the piece with the brie spread across over top. Cut off the crusts and then cut the sandwich in half diagonally creating two triangles. If desired, cut them in half again to create four small triangles. 

Cream Cheese and Cucumber

- 1 Cucumber (depending the size), sliced thin--I did not use seedless, but I recommend it
-whipped cream cheese--I used regular flavored and it was good but a bit bland, I would suggest using the garden vegetable flavor

Spread cream cheese on both sides of the bread. Then, on one half of the slices, layer cucumber. Place two slices together and cut off the crusts. Cut sandwiches into triangles. 

Chicken Salad

-1 tub of chicken salad (you can make your own if you want, but quite frankly I find that store bought is flavored much better than homemade chicken salad, plus with as much time as you are spending on making these sandwiches, one less step in the process is better)

Spread butter on all the bread slices and place chicken salad on one of the slices per sandwich. Spread the salad around and make sure it's not too thick. Place the other buttered slice on top of the slice with the salad and cut the crusts off. Cut the sandwiches into triangles.

A few things to mention:

-You don't want to make the sandwiches too far in advance, I would say no more than a day. Anything longer than that and you'll have soggy sandwiches
-To store, layer the triangles in a container with wax or parchment paper in between each layer. On the top layer, place a damp paper towel over top the last piece of paper to keep the bread from drying out and place in the fridge until you are ready to serve them.
-Try to use different breads (like wheat and white) to give your guests options. 

What are some sandwich combos you can think of?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Bridal Shower

Two Sundays ago, we held a bridal shower for my sister who is getting married in June. It was a really great day and I thought I'd share some moments from the shower with you!

I was in charge of making tropical chex mix (which was a hit!) and tea sandwiches (which I will share the recipes with you on Wednesday). 

My sister is getting married in Jamaica, so the theme of the shower was tropical. The cake was decorated with fondant hibiscus flowers. 

The table that held the cake also had her card basket which was supposed to look like a tiki hut and little pails of candy. 

The wall behind the cake was decorated with pictures of my sister throughout the years. I thought it was such a great touch

I was a huuuuuge baby

Aside from the tea sandwiches and chex mix, there was also pulled pork sandwiches, mozzarella and tomato skewers, and so much more. The drink table had three different options, orange juice, strawberry orange juice and pineapple orange juice, along with champagne and fruit so guests could make their own mimosas. 

Guests were given candles as party favors

The game that I came up with for the girls to play was super fun. I created four different theme boards for the groups to work off of. Each group was given bridal magazines and catalogs and had to plan a wedding based on their theme, kinda like Pinterest. The themes were island (of course), country, vintage, and traditional.

After about 10 minutes (and making sure each group had a wedding dress on their board), I gave the groups rolls of toilet paper and they had to recreate the dress they chose for their board, then I had my sister choose the winner based on the dress that was closest to the picture

It was such a fun day, and it makes me even more excited for my sister's big day!

Friday, April 18, 2014

End of the Week Roundup

Howdy! How's everyone's week been? This week was great for me, and very productive. 

1. Saturday I met up with a girl who found me online to talk about me creating a t-shirt quilt for her mom out of her dad's shirt's, who recently passed away. The idea that someone who doesn't know me trusts me enough with something so special means so much to me. I can't wait to finish the quilt up (which won't be a for a while) and see it come together. 

2. Saturday night, Dave and I saw Captain America with our friends Bob and Becca. It was a great movie, but then again the recent Marvel films have all been awesome. 

Not from the current movie but still hilarious nonetheless

3. Sunday was my sister's bridal shower, which I plan on recapping next week. It was such a great day, and I'm really happy for my sister. About two months left before she gets married!

4. I've been wanting to have this pin recreated for a while now. Dave finished it up for me on Wednesday, it's ridiculous how happy it made me. I love just staring at it. It's okay, I know I'm weird. 

5. I love my boys so much. They make me deliriously happy!

How did your week go? Any big weekend plans?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

100 Happy Days

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know back in January I took on the 100 Happy Days challenge. My 100th day was up on April 12th and looking back, I have mixed feelings about the challenge. Namely the length. 100 days is a really long time to do something daily and there were times where it got to be tedious. 

I appreciated what the challenge taught me, which is finding happiness in my day to day life and not just in the big moments. I probably learned that lesson around day 50 and could have done without the last 50 days. That isn't to say that I don't look back on the pictures and enjoy them, but as I was doing the challenge it went from "man I'm having such a bad day...oh wait no I'm not. This makes me happy, I guess today wasn't so bad" to "this and this made me happy today...I guess I need to post something, what day is it? Am I done this challenge yet?"

I still recommend everyone take on the challenge with one little twist: When you learn the moral of the story, it's okay to stop there. 

Here are some of my favorite pictures of the last 50 days of the challenge. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Liebster Award Part Deux

Yay! I got nominated for another Liebster Award! I really love these things, they invoke such community among bloggers. Stephanie over at Superheroes in Jammies (I love that name) nominated me for this round of the award. 

The rules for the award always change up a little so here's a quick gist of the rules that were on Steph's blog:

1. Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you and display the award. 
2. Give 11 random facts about yourself.
3. Answer the 11 questions from the person who tagged you and create 11 new questions for the people that you tag to answer. 
4. Nominate 11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers for the award and let them know....I don't know 11 blogs with fewer than 200 I gave you my current favorites that are around that range... 

Random Facts:
1. I really want to get a decent DSLR camera but don't have the money to justify such a big expenditure, so my iPhone camera will have to do for blog pictures.

2. If I could eat dessert every night I would happily. Brownies and cupcakes and Tiramisu, oh my! (that's a play on the Wizard of Oz if you didn't catch that)

3. I dislike thinking up random facts on the fly, I'm better at bringing them up during conversations...I'm on day 3 and fact 3.

4. I went rock climbing in high school  and loved it, but when I tried it a few years ago I was so terrified I only got maybe six feet off the ground (just slightly above my own height), freaked out and decided to keep my feet planted to the ground. Still love ziplining though.

5. Dave and I have a goal to visit all 50 states someday.

6. Sometimes I like to drive around with my radio on scan during the whole drive. 

7. My favorite number is 4. 

8. I have four siblings: one older sister, a step brother and sister who are twins (but you can just take the "step" part out, they're family--blood or not), and a younger half brother.

9. Growing up I had a monkey that was a puppet/stuffed animal, I named him Virgil and carried him everywhere with me. I still have him stored away at my house.

10. I was really creative growing up, I taught myself how to sew, and made up games to play with my little sister. I even created a board game for her and I to play when I stayed at my dad's house on the weekends.

11. I can waste hours on websites like The Meta Picture, looking at memes. I love me my memes....say that ten times fast. 

Here are the questions Stephanie posed:

1. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I would say either down south somewhere (but only if I could have a true Southern home with a wrap around porch) or California. But honestly, wherever Dave is, that's where I live. 

2. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

I would say Jumper capability (like from the movie). That way, I could travel anywhere for free...and I can't say I wouldn't live comfortably like Hayden Christensen did in the film.

3. What is your favorite candy?

Milky Way!!

4. What is your biggest fear?

Only one? There's so many....but the first ones that come to mind are being buried alive or drowning.

5. What is the worst injury that ever happened to you?

Knock on wood, I've never broken a bone. KNOCK ON FREAKING WOOD. However, in third grade, I did drop a cup of really hot soup on my thigh and suffered second and near third degree burns. 

6. What was the last book you read?

Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. For Bon's book club!

7. What is your favorite season?

It's a toss up between fall and spring. Perfect temperature days....

8. Silver or gold?


9. What is something that you have recently learned?

 NASA uses the movie Armageddon as part of its training program. 

10. What is your dream job?

Teaching, of course! But full time blogger/writer is a close second!

11. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Mint Chocolate Chip

And here are my questions for the "chosen ones" (feel free to answer any of these in the comment section, even if you aren't nominated!):

1. If you could choose, what would your last meal be? 
2. Name something you hate, why do you hate it?
3. If you had to move to a different state other than the one you currently live in, what state would you choose? Why?
4. Favorite TV show (s)?
5. What is one movie you cannot stand? 
6. What is your preferred form of social media (twitter, pinterest, instagram, etc)?
7. If you  had to listen to one genre of music for the rest of your life, what would it be?
8. Heels or flats?
9. What is one of your pet peeves?
10. What was your favorite subject in school?
11. What is one skill or talent that you have?

Here are my nominees! Check them out!