Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bye-Bye 09

Do you ever get a feeling that something big is about to happen? I don't mean like an earthquake, more like a giant ball of happiness and goodness? Today, as I say farewell to 2009, that is how I feel. I feel like 2010 is going to be a giant ball of happiness and goodness.

When the ball dropped and we rang in 2009, I knew that I was in for a fabulous year. A wedding, a marriage, a honeymoon, friends and family to share it all with; I knew that it was going to be a very special and memorable year. And it was. 2009 was incredible.

But there is something about 2010 that gives me butterflies. I feel that exciting things are headed our way, and we are ready to welcome them with an open heart and an open mind.

New beginnings. That's what a new year is all about right? How exciting!

I wish for you all a very safe and very merry New Year's Eve. Remember to eat your black eyed peas and collard greens tomorrow!

To put it in the words of a very dear friend of mine, "May the most you ever wish for, be the least you ever receive."

Good-bye 2009...and thanks for being such a wonderful year! And cheers to happiness and life-changing goodness in 2010.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cooking up Chic

I LOVE to spend time in the kitchen. I have dreams of someday spending time in my beautiful dream kitchen. In my imagination, it is the greatest kitchen on the planet. Until I get to live that dream, why not look super chic in my humble semi-sorry excuse for a kitchen now? Just because the kitchen isn't adorable, doesn't mean the cook can't be!

I am obsessed with these very cute, very chic and very charming aprons! I want to wear a different one each time I cook something. Can't you just see yourself prancing around the kitchen wearing one of these? Shop all of them here.

Swoon. I love them.

Tomorrow I'm going to pick up a hostess gift for our beautiful New Year's Eve hostess...can you guess what she'll be getting?!

GO get one. Feel pretty and chic in your kitchen, you deserve it!

Monday, December 28, 2009

5 Best Days

My husband and I went home for the holidays last week and it was so wonderful. Packed full of great family moments, beers with friends, our first Christmas as husband and wife, new beginnings and final farewells. More to come on some of those.

We were lucky enough to be able to plan our trip around the dates of my sister-in-law's college graduation. It was so special for us to be able to see her walk that stage and celebrate her achievements.

While we were sitting at breakfast on the morning of her graduation, my mother-in-law pulled out some pictures of Adam and I on our graduation days. It took me on a trip down memory lane. My graduation day was, and continues to be, one of the top five best days of my life.

It was just a wonderful day, top to bottom. From waking up to a beautiful card from my best friend and fellow graduate, to ending the night at the best graduation party was truly a magnificent day.

It made me start to think about what the other top five days are. What are my best moments and my happiest days? I think it's great to stop and think about this once in a while. And what I really love, is right in the middle of a great day, when you stop and realize..."This is one of those days I'll remember forever."

Here are my top five best days, thus far. How fortunate for me, that this list is often changing. I'm blessed with many great days. In fact, it's hard to narrow it down to just five. Lucky me!

1. Our Wedding Day - July '09

2. College Graduation - Dec. '03

(my scanner is broken, so you'll just have to use your imagination. Me in an ugly cap, huge smile, maroon tassel, very excited.)

3. The evening Adam proposed - Dec. '08
(ok, so it wasn't an entire DAY of greatness, but the evening was SO amazing, that I think I get to count it.)

4. A random Spring day in Hong Kong - April '08
(my best friend came to visit me in Hong Kong and we many great days, but this one in particular was just so wonderful that I remember sitting with 'ritas in hand and asking her if this is what true happiness feels like. It's gotta be a good day if you're feeling that way!)

5. My last 24 hours in Hong Kong - June '08

I encourage you to think about your top five days. DO it. It will be so fun and make you realize how special your life is.

Also, as you prepare for the New Year, take some time to think about your top moments of the previous year. I love to make a list of my Top 10 and keep it in a safe spot. It's a fun New Year's Eve activity.

Here's to all of our best days!!!


Monday, December 14, 2009

A letter

Dear Christmas Tree lights,
Why are you being so mean? No one loves you like I do, so why are you treating me this way? I love you all year round, not just a few months of the year like some people. In fact, if it were socially acceptable and not at all trashy, I would use you all over my apartment as a lighting source. Yes, I'd even attach you to the ceiling as overhead lighting. That's because I think you make everything so beautiful, but as of late we are not getting along.

For the past seven days, sometimes twice a day, one of you has decided to burn out. Then your little strand brothers all go out too. I have to fish through the carefully (might I add perfectly) placed ornaments and strands of you to find the little jerk who's out and change him. Then someone else decides to act up, and I have to start the process all over again. I am tired of it.

If you did not want to participate in Christmas this year then why didn't you just not work when I took you out of the box and plugged you in to check you? Nope. Instead you decided to play a little trick on me, your biggest fan. I am almost out of replacement brothers for you. So, if you keep this up, I will have to put in one of your red-headed step siblings and then you will start to blink at me in anger. Please don't make me do that.

Here's the deal. We are breaking up after this Christmas. I will put you away; far, far away after this year and I will go get some brand new of your kin for my tree next year. But for now, can you please just play nice until Friday? Please? Don't make this harder than it already is.

Yours truly,

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Chalkboards Dos

I recently told you about my chalkboard project of table name signs. This is Part Two of that project.

I love the idea of a seating chart instead of traditional escort cards. It's so fun and different! You can get really creative and have a lot of fun with it.

For my friend's rehearsal dinner, since I was already making chalkboard signs for the table names, I decided to keep with the theme and make a big chalkboard seating chart. I think that it turned out well, it was a hit at the party.

Now I have this large chalkboard sign and I've been trying to find more uses for it other than sitting in a corner. I made this sign to go outside of my friend's apartment for his very elaborate and delicious Thanksgiving dinner.

And I am loving this so much that it will probably be a permanent fixture in our Christmas decorations for years to come. (of course I'll have to keep the list up to date each year. then double check it. check it twice, if you will.)

I'm loving my big ol' chalkboard sign. Hopefully I'll be able to find many more uses for it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

i scream, you scream...

We got an ice cream maker as a wedding gift and it has changed my life! I have found a new passion, making ice cream! I love to get creative and come up with new flavors. Honestly, as soon as I finish making a batch, I am already dreaming up what the next one will be.

My best one yet?


I know.

Here's what I did. I've got this great recipe for a sweet cream base ice cream. (recipe to follow) I usually make that and then add whatever my heart and tummy are craving.

I found these little beauties. Red Velvet Whoopie Pies.

So I cut them up and added them to the ice cream maker.

Then I put in some big chunks and mixed all it up before putting it in the freezer. My husband and I have an ongoing discussion as to what's better...big chunks of goodness or small nibbles all spread out. So naturally, I do both!

This ice cream was so good. Really, SOO good! In every bite you'd get some cake and ice cream, then once in a while you'd get a little surprise bite of icing. Amazing!

Here's the recipe for my sweet cream base, as well as a few tips from this self proclaimed awesome ice cream maker.


2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup milk

Beat the eggs until light and fluffy. Whisk in the sugar, a little bit at a time. Pour in the cream and milk. Turn on your ice cream maker and slowly add the mixture. Let it "churn" for about 25-30 minutes.

- Add anything you want to this, it will be amazing! Get creative and let your cravings guide you.
- When you add candy or cookies or whoopie pies, do it only in the last five minutes otherwise it will all sink to the bottom.
- After about 30 minutes, the ice cream will be soft serve consistency. Put it in the freezer for a few hours if you want it to be harder.
- You can use low-fat milk and cream, but it doesn't always freeze as well. So my advice is to not feel guilty about it, consider it a real treat and just ENJOY!
- My other favorite add in so far? Mint Oreos. Yup.

Life is sweet, ice cream is a treat. GO make some! It'll make you smile and feel all giddy inside. I Promise.

Monday, December 7, 2009

it's SO pretty!

It's up and I love it, as always. As promised, here's some eye candy.

I know I'm a sentimental schmuck, but I just love opening the ornament box and re-living all of those memories as I gently unwrap each one. Thinking of the person who gave that ornament to us, or the place where we brought it back from is what really puts me in that Christmas spirit. What I love most about our Christmas tree is that every single ornament contains so much.

This is the other thing I love about putting up a Christmas tree. Decorating it with this man. It wouldn't be nearly as much fun without him.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Treeeee time!

We're going to get our Christmas tree tonight! I had to blog about it because I am so excited!! I will take a picture and post it when it's all finished and twinkly.

Adam and I got engaged two years ago at a christmas tree lot, so it has even more meaning and joy than it did before. Most romantic and perfect night of my life, well, next to the wedding!

Here we are just after he popped the question.

Yipeeeee, it's Christmas Tree time! My favorite time of year.

Chalky goodness

I always wanted to be a teacher when I was a kid. Whenever friends came over, we played school. When my big brother was babysitting me, we played school. (poor guy, he hated regular school so I can't imagine he much liked playing pretend school on a Friday night!)

So, it's no wonder that I am currently mildly obsessed with chalkboard paint. I puffy heart love it. I want to paint all the walls in my apartment with it and then draw all over them.

Instead, I focused this love on a project. I was recently given creative control over my friends' rehearsal dinner. They had already booked the venue and didn't want to deal with the decor. They gave me a budget and set me free. It was so fun!

Naturally, I saw this as the perfect opportunity to use chalkboard paint to make some fun things for their rehearsal dinner. Below you can see the fruits of my labor.

In order to use the chalkboard paint for a project, I decided to go with a Harvest/Oktoberfest type of theme. The dinner was in a brewery, so I named all of the tables after popular Wisconsin beers.

this is right after I finished them...

and the finished product on the tables

Aren't they just darling? So rustic and charming. I can't wait to find another use for them.

More chalkboarding to come tomorrow!