Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye, 2013.

I've made it no secret that I am crazy DONE with 2013. Though there were positive points, the past year was very difficult--emotionally, financially, physically, professionally, etc. It felt like it was just punch after punch. Long story short? BRING ON 2014! I am so optimistic that 2014 will be a year of change and everything wonderful.
So, with 2013 nearly in the rearview mirror, this year in quick review (real talk: the beginning of the year's specifics are less clear because I wasn't blogging again yet).
We rang in the New Year with a pajama party with our BFFs. Rhyno had shoulder surgery and was out of work or a few months.
We celebrated a low-key Valentine's Day at home.
My family's dog, Banana, died. My dad had a birthday. We celebrated St. Patrick's day with tons of corned beef (for Rhyno) and beer (for both of us).
We paid taxes--it was my first year as a full time freelancer doing so and holy hell, it kicked our savings account in the nuts. Our dog, Tasha's, health began to slowly decline. I began planning my first really big event for work and I did awesome.
My hours were severely cut at work. Rhyno went back to work.
I completed the Warrior Dash and Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. I signed up for both events in 2014.
I saw She & Him. We celebrated the Fourth of July with our BFFs. We hit the seven year mark. My mom celebrated her birthday.
Man, this was a rough one. Our beloved Tasha passed away. My business partner/best friend and I lost a dang cupcake contest. Rhyno was in Colorado for a long ass work trip.
We went to a MasterChef party with some of our favorite people. Rhyno turned 31. We welcomed Violet into our little family. She thanked us for adopting her by breaking my laptop.
This was a good one. I started freelancing a bit more. We saw Rhyno's favorite band live as a birthday gift. I turned 28. We celebrated 3 years of marriage. My sister had a birthday. We met the amazing Nick Offerman. And Halloween was rad.
I ran the Hot Chocolate 5K in a hot dog suit. Our basement flooded while I was under the weather. I practiced Thankful Thursdays. We received some devastating family health news. My Charlie-Bear had his first sleepover at our house. Thanksgiving was crazy delicious.
The pajama party Progressive Dinner was full of laughter and fun. Violet and I were snow bunnies. We joined my parents for a night at the Morton Arboretum Illumination. Christmas was joyous. I purged, cleaned, and redecorated the house. I got some great work news.
Bring it on, 2014! Happy New Year's Eve!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Like a Purgin'.

I hate/love myself SO much over this title. Seriously, I rock/suck.
Before 2013 is gone for good I had one big goal: purge my dang house of all the dang junk and clean every inch. I'm happy to say I've nearly completed this task (I only have half of the basement to finish). It has been SUCH a cathartic experience. I forced myself to get rid of the JUNK. I am a sentimental beast and will keep random things forever. Over the last week I've purged the trash and wiped off the dust. Our home is more simple, more spacious, and better decorated.
The accent wall in our front room--after over a year it is almost done!
I'm looking forward to starting 2014 with a fresh, clean slate! What about you?

Friday, December 27, 2013


Love bombs from two wonderful ladies in my life.
I am currently...
....eating so many delicious leftovers! My gramma is the world's best cook (no, seriously, she is) and she always makes everyone a dinner plate to take home. Rhyno and I treat it the leftovers like gold and dole out one tiny bite at a time to savor every morsel.
...making resolutions right and left. New Year's Eve is right around the bend, yo! I am so ready for a happy, healthy year.
...on my To Do list sadly packing up the Christmas decorations and happily doing a deep clean/purge of our home. Rhyno and I have been saying for weeks that we need to get rid of all the JUNK. We always try to purge but still hold on to some things. Nope, be gone, clutter! But, ugh, I will so miss you, my beloved Christmas tree and your bright colored lights. It is always so hard for me to undecorated my house after Christmas but I am SO looking forward to the fresh start.
...listening to all the Rilo Kiley I can get my hands on, like always. 2013 was a rough year for me and RK is my comfort object. They have been my favorite band, confidant, and best friend since I was 15. I swear I listen to The Frug a million times a day. Jenny Lewis has helped me through every good, bad, sad, and joyous moment in my life. My brother-in-law bought me one of my favorite albums of all time (The Execution of All Things) and I want to listen to it all day forever and ever.
...reading Melissa Explains It All by Melissa Joan Hart. I am a '90's girl and I love Melissa Joan Hart without shame. She is my favorite. I cannot resist a good memoir. I just cannot.
...watching less TV....it's a resolution that I am starting early. Dang, I miss TV. It works out though because the DVD player in our bedroom decided to crap out earlier this week (and we don't have cable TV in our house).
...loving how generous, wonderful, and thoughtful the people in my life are. Early in the week I came home from an emotionally rough day to two packages on my doorstep. I ripped each open and found what's pictured above. In each box was a perfect bundle of things I deeply love and honestly? I was moved to tears unwrapping each item. Lovely, beautiful surprises that made me feel so grateful to have such great friends.
...hoping for the most kick ass 2014 possible--for me and for you, too. 
 Have a great weekend!
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Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Happy Holiday.

I hope you had a warm and happy holiday!
Though I felt like Christmas Eve and Day went by in a whirlwind, I am thankful to have spent time with great family. I am stuffed to the gills with delicious homemade cookies, feeling more spoiled than ever with my haul, and feeling luckier than you may know for time with the people I love the most.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Merry!

Merry Christmas! (if you celebrate)
I love this day so, so much. Per tradition,  Rhyno and I will be spending the morning eating breakfast and hanging out with his family. Then around 1pm we'll drive over to hang with my parents and grandparents for "grown up Christmas" (drinking champagne and watching the WGN Bozo Christmas Special--do you love Hard Rock and Coco and Joe too?). We'll open gifts, wear PJs, and eat a big dinner.
I hope you have the merriest, happiest, loveliest day ever. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Last Minute Sweets.

It's Christmas Eve!
Christmas Eve is a big day in my family and one of my very favorite days of the year (even though I always have to hand out gifts ;) ). This is the day of the year where ALL of us (and that's a ton of people) get together and share in years old traditions. For out-of-towners? We call them on the phone and pass the phone around for an hour (reminiscent of when we would call my late great-grandparents and pass around the cordless).
I have a huge family so as much as I'd like to, I can't afford to buy each person a cute gift. A few years ago I started a tradition of making sweets for everyone instead of buying a gift. Maybe you leave my sweets out for Santa (why does that sound dirty?) or maybe you inhale the chocolate the second you open it. I just like knowing I have something to show each family member how much I appreciate them.
In case you're thinking of doing the same but freakin' that you ran out of time? Here are some quick, last-minute dessert ideas you can package up with colored cellophane and a cute, hand-written gift tag. Plus, if you're a baker? You probably have all these ingredients in your pantry already!
I actually haven't finalized my sweet for 2013 yet! I will be sure to share when I do.
Have the coolest Christmas Eve!

Monday, December 23, 2013


Hey, hot babes!
It's absolutely not a secret that I love a good documentary. I love learning more about my world and the things/beings in it. My documentary preferences lean toward the food and animal treatment realm but I love finding a wonderful doc that sucks me in. Recently a friend posted this link to a Buzzfeed round-up of documentaries that are bound to make you cry. I plan to tackle a few of these (over time...if I watch them all in a day I'll never leave my house again).
A few of my recent favorite docs?
This movie is wildly talked about and it absolutely gutted me. "When you look into their eyes, you know somebody is home." Ugh, I died. I've researched confinement and captivity for large animals before (hey, crazy animal person) and I still felt shaken after watching. When I was a kid it was my absolute dream to be a whale and dolphin trainer (like every other first grader, right?). So good, educational, and worth the watch. As a lover of the ocean and the big creatures under the surface, this doc is so important to me.
I dream of one day committing to a completely vegan lifestyle. As a looooong time vegetarian I so appreciated this film and subject matter. It's important for people to realize they don't have to completely commit to veganism, they can omit just some animal products and that's still progress.
Cancer is near and dear to me and this documentary is like soul food. I don't keep it a secret that I worship at the alter of Kris Carr. I adore her and her outlook on life, eating well, and being kind. If you've never watched this, I totally recommend it (I watched it twice in one day!). Even if cancer has never impacted your life personally, it's such great information and Kris is just the best.
And one I haven't seen?
I also recently heard about The Ghosts in Our Machine and can't wait to watch it. Again, a huge animal rights supporter, I think people SHOULD educate themselves on how product creation is related to animal welfare.
What are your favorite documentaries?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Everything is Illuminated.

Happy Friday, ya hot babe!
Last weekend my parents, Rhyno, and I headed to the Morton Arboretum's Illumination. I love the Arboretum. Years ago Rhyno and I spent a Saturday there and decided that was THE place we wanted to get married...then we saw the prices. Aye carumba! Since we don't crap gold and neither of us was on the verge of winning the lottery we ultimately decided against the Arboretum as our wedding venue but it's still one of my favorite places to spend a few hours.
WARNING: Some of these photos are blurry because I was freezing my buns off. Also, someday I'll have a cool camera that takes cool photos.

We started with lunch at our house so that my parents could check out our holiday decorations. A cheese and sausage plate (complete with a port wine cheese ball and a swiss almond ball), various crackers, strawberries, fruit dip, candy cane chocolate chip cookies, and a cream of potato soup from scratch with the fixins (not pictured because I'm the worst, guys).

After lunch and playing in the snow with Violet, we headed to the Arboretum (I forgot my phone at home and it was oddly freeing). Look at that moon! And those trees! And those lights! P.S. It was freaking freezing. Don't believe me? See below.

A thermal, a t-shirt, a hoodie, a coat, gloves with hand warmers in them, a scarf, ear muffs, and a hood. FREEZING!

Hello, how precious are my parents? I love their guts.

Rhyno fell in love with the spotlights and is determined to get some for the many trees on our lot.

Just a sign, you know.

These tree lights were controlled by music--you sang into a microphone and the lights changed colors and danced around. It was SO cool.
Though I didn't get nearly as many photos as I wanted to (thanks for dying on me, camera battery!) I thought it was such a cool display--I'm a sucker for colored lights and nature! Though we were freezing, we all agreed that we'd definitely come back next year. What a fantastic idea to utilize such a beautiful space in winter.
Have you checked out Illumination yet?
P.S. Can you even believe Christmas is next week? Sheesh! Where does the time go?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Happy Holi-Nays.

Holi-Nays? Get it? Like holidays but short for nails? Okay, I'm done.
It's absolutely not a secret that I love two things.
1.) Glitter
2.) A theme
The holidays basically blow my mind with all the on-theme glitter-splosion nail art possibilities. Admittedly, I'm not great with intricately painted nails--my left hand is relatively useless. Since we are pinchin' pennies after holiday shopping I was perusing some cute, and relatively easy, ideas for my Christmas Eve & Christmas Day nails.
Some top contenders:
Adorable! Though not SUPER easy, it'd probably be less of a headache with a well-placed stencil...or if you just print it out and bring the photo to a friend who is good at painting nails.
Dots, yes. I can handle dots.
Party nail alert! I like a good accent nail, it makes me feel really fancy.
GLITTER! I swear, I'll be 98 years old and still lovin' the sparkle.
Are you into the nail art trend or do you let your tips go au naturale?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Letting Go (of Yourself and Your Flaws).

I love Operation Beautiful
I've written about weight loss time and again--my struggle to find balance and control disordered, unhealthy patterns. Though it terrifies me to put my struggles out there, I feel like the mental aspect of it (which can be the biggest road black) is finally on the upswing...because of five words I said out loud to my husband before falling asleep a few nights ago:
"Have I let myself go?"
As soon as it left my lips, I knew it was true (of course Rhyno didn't agree). I knew that gaining weight had done more to my body that add pounds. It had zapped me dry of my confidence on all levels. I realized that I've been putting much less effort into myself in the last year and a half while gaining back the weight that I had lost. Gone were the days of putting my hair up in funky styles with bobby pins, now I was shoving my curls into a messy top-knot. Since I out-chunked most of my cute clothing I was sticking to slouchy sweaters and stretch pants. I had let myself go in the familiar sense--the effort just wasn't there for the last year and a half. It isn't fair to me or my husband that I had made my looks and how I presented myself a last priority. Don't get me wrong, I'd dress it up for client meetings and big events but day to day it was schlubville.
I'm not saying looks are everything because clearly health is, but I used to really enjoy finding a colorful and fun outfit, pairing it with a couple fun accessories, slapping on makeup (my mascara techniques are the stuff of legends), and letting my curls fly. I had allowed a few extra pounds to override my love for looking and feeling adorable.
The next morning, thinking about the question I'd asked Rhyno I decided to let myself go in another sense. Let that naggy voice that says, "Well, you're chubby, why bother trying to pretty it up?" (P.S. Isn't that naggy voice just the biggest bitch?) I am letting go of the negative thoughts about myself and learning to love my body even if I am a work in progress. I'm slowly learning to let go of that naggy, uber-bitch of an inner voice. I know, it's so mega cheese-ball but I've been making an active effort in the last week or so to focus less on the cellulite on my thighs and more on the feet below them with a perfect arch. I smile at myself in the mirror after brushing my teeth because I'm working on getting healthy and losing weight, but I still love myself and my body now. For all its flaws, my body gets me where I need to go and responds to healthy changes as it should. I have all my limbs and digits and I'm able-bodied. That should be good enough.
We live in this world where if someone admits that they like something about themselves, they are conceited or boastful. I am wired to focus on the flaws instead of making them positive things. Ew, so over it. I love my shoulders and my crazy curly hair and my eyelashes when I glob them with magic mascara and my lips and my feet. I love my body and am working to make sure it is as healthy as it can be and that change really starts from the inside of your noggin. We've all seen those great Dove ads about seeing yourself differently and we SHOULD see ourselves differently. When my friends talk about their physical flaws, honestly? 99% of the time I can't even see them. You can be a work in progress like I am (with necessary work to be done) without hating yourself or your bod.
So basically, long and rambling story short, I was feeling sorry for myself one night and I realized this magical gem: something doesn't have to be perfect for you to be in love with it...and that includes YOU.
You are beautiful! I mean it. Now go forth and kick some ass today, you stunner.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Enjoying the Holidays.

Dang, I love the holiday season. I love winter too, isn't that weird? So many people whining about Midwest snow and I am like a child running for my snow pants to go sledding.

The older I get, the more privy I am to conversations about how stressful the holidays are. People get their undies in a twist about having to shop and wrap and cook and decorate. After overhearing crabby conversations and seeing one bajillion (slight overestimation) Grinchy social media posts, the  complaining really began to suck the joy out of such a magical time of year. Then I realized that this time of year is magical because you have the power to make it so and perspective is everything.
Granted, I don't have children yet so my holidays are a BIT more tame than those blessed with littles but I think perspective works for parents too. Your home doesn't have to look like someone's Christmas Pinterest board barfed all over it. You only have time/energy/resources to put up a tree with generic ornaments? Do it and be proud of it! I get goose-bumps every time I come home from work and see our beautifully lit tree in the window. Squeeze every moment of loveliness out of the season. I'm lucky to have a family an in-laws that I adore so I don't quite understand the whole, "UGH! I have to spend Christmas with my naggy family!" Dude, they put rum in egg-nog for a reason. Find a way to enjoy your family because you never know what might happen.

If you don't have three hours to spend stringing fresh cranberries and pinecones together for a festive DIY project, who cares? Throw some cheap-ass tinsel on your tree instead and turn on your favorite holiday movie (I love them all, I most recently re-watched Scrooged because ALL HAIL BILL MURRAY).
Don't ruin the magic for anyone else and, most importantly, don't ruin it for yourself. Stop worry about every calorie or how much better Suzy Q's decorations are than yours. Feel thankful for what you have and who you have to share it with. Enjoy the season. Get what you can get done done. Go sledding. Drink a crap-ton of hot chocolate. Wear warm pajamas. Give a lot of hugs. Get all the joy out of this magical, twinkly light-filled time of year. You'll miss it when it's gone...well, I know I will.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Snow Bunnies.

It finally snowed here in Illinois! Like big, fat snowflake snow!
Violet had never seen snow before (a few flurries but nothing this major). I threw on Rhyno's work boots and took her to play. She loved it! She kept flattening out her body and burying her face in the snow. She begs to go out about ten times an hour and just plays out there and runs through the white stuff.
Our  backyard is just a big, ol' blanket of white!

Watching neighbors ride snow-mobiles in the cornfield behind our house.
Though it stinks to drive it, I do love me a freshly snowed-upon yard (even with crazy V's tracks all over it) even if it doesn't love me back. I was walking to get the mail (sloped driveway, ripped winter boots...you know where this is going) and BLAMMO I fell cartoon-style in the street. I was perfectly fine with this since it was the mid-afternoon and no one was outside until I realized my neighbors had a clear shot of me through their front window. Aye carumba, snow why you hurt me so?

Are you a snow bunny, too?

Friday, December 13, 2013


 Our outdoor dino-mite Christmas decorations. Damn, we are urber nerdy.

I am currently...
....eating my favorite sweet potato soup from Allyson Kramer. I'm still juicing for breakfast and now I've added soup for lunches. At some point in life I might just go on a liquid cleanse. Just kidding. I wouldn't last, I like to chew things.
...making plans for New Year's Eve! I can't wait to hug the guts out of 2014, I am positive it'll be the best year and I'll be celebrating with some of my best friends in pajamas at a casino game night. Yes and yes and yes and yes.
...on my To Do list sending out holiday packages to out-of-town relatives! Once those go out today my holiday to-do list is officially all crossed off. It has taken SO much will power not to rip into the cookies I ordered for Rhyno's out-of-state family. I will be relieved when they are out of the house for good.
...listening to all the Christmas music! Mostly She & Him, the Carpenters, and Kelly Clarkson.
...reading every gosh darn thing on Buzzfeed. I have to start sleeping with my phone away from my bed because I catch myself staying up way too late flipping through the Buzzfeed app reading every single article.
...watching, um, everything. Sometimes, when working from home, I'll keep the TV on in the background (this is an annoying habit and weird because I was NEVER allowed to watch TV while I did homework as a kid). When you don't have cable and you work long hours, you quickly run out of things to watch. So you move to the basement to watch things on Hulu while you write and once you run out of the usual shows (New Girl, Mindy Project, Raising Hope, etc.) you get into trashy territory. The other night I found myself watching ::cringe:: Rock of Love: Season 1. It's so bad. So bad. If you've ever seen it, I promise you it is WAY worse than you remember. It's foul.
...loving the people in my life. I have such wonderful and supportive friends and family. I'm a lucky gal for sure. It's worth noting that my husband is kind of the best, too. After a particularly emotionally draining and difficult day yesterday I came home to find he had set up our outdoor Christmas dinosaurs (above photo) as a surprise AND when I walked in he handed me an early gift to cheer me up. It was an amazing FurryBones robot. I collect FurryBones and I am obsessed with cute robots. Not only was it just a perfect gift but it was so nice to come home to cheer and thoughtful gestures from my dude. Homerun, Rhyno.
...hoping for health and good cheer for everyone in my life. And yours. And everyone else's.
 Have the best dang weekend!
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Thursday, December 12, 2013

You Go, Swear Word.

WARNING: Inspirational swear words ahead.
Most definitely needed to see this today.
It's true, you awesome swear word, you are an awesome swear word. Go kick some serious ass today. When life punches you in the face, put some make up over that shiner and go get shit done. You're the best. Don't forget that. Ever.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Rappin' About Wrap.

Let's get this out of the way: yes, the title of this post makes me hate myself a little and love myself a lottle.
One of my favorite parts of the holiday is finding super cute wrapping paper and dressing every gift up with curly ribbons and big, shiny bows. I am one of those weirdos that will buy a few different patterns of wrapping paper and alternate them as I wrap gifts for each person so they don't have two gifts with the same paper. Every year I say that I am going to do really unique, elaborately crafty. I picture myself buying washi tape and hand lettering each gift tag. This year I had this idea of buying plain red paper in bulk, hand lettering names onto it with silver markers, and tying it up with green ribbons.
But, no, I just bought the brightest wrapping paper that I can and the shiniest bows that Target had to offer. Aren't I the worst? Totally.
 To continue with my tradition of envisioning craftier wrapping, here are a few I have up my sleeve for 2014...
What's your holiday gift wrap style?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Learning from Mistakes.

With about three weeks until New Year's Eve I am getting excited about 2014. 2013 has been kind of a bummer year for multiple reasons and I am so ready for a fresh start. Since I am nowhere near my goal weight (with fluctuates and tons of stress in recent weeks, I am only about 7 pounds down from where I started months ago), I am taking advantage of what's left of 2013 to assess my heath-related mistakes.
The main changes I've been incorporating into my life as of late?
1.) Water. All Day, Every Day.
I know I should be drinking a ton of water every single day. I used to be amazing with this and would take down my weight in ounces of water every dang day. In the last year though, I've fallen behind. In the last week or so I've been training my body to drink my weight in water every day. On the days that I am dreading chugging that glass of the good stuff, I remind myself that the faster I lose weight the less I'll have to drink.
2.) Cut the Crap
It's not news to anyone that processed foods are NOT good for you. I have been slowly cutting out the processed things we buy and plan on trying new recipes to take the place of our typical buys (like finding a great whole foods granola bar recipe instead of reaching for a box full o' sugar). Rhyno and I also used to order out for dinner ALL. THE. TIME. In the last month we have really cut down and I have put in a better effort of actually making us dinner. I know that I feel better when I eat wholesome foods.
3.) Goin' Mental
A big part of being healthy is all in your brainz. I've been researching articles about happiness and managing stress and dealing with bad news. I feel like I was much grumpier than usual this year (mostly due to, ya know, my hours getting cut at work, my family dog dying, then mine and Rhyno's dog dying, a bad birthday, devastating family news) and I'm done with it. I am focusing on not only being happy but better dealing with the icky stuff in life.
4.) Move Your Buns
I have a knack for saying I'm going to start some crazy, intense work out regime and then realizing I can't handle it and feeling badly about myself. Now it's just about moving a little every day and working up to a bigger, better plan. Whether it's a yoga DVD before bed or a walk around my neighborhood with Violet or putting our treadmill to good use while I catch up on episodes of New Girl, I need to MOVE. Every single day. It doesn't have to start off as some two hour long boot camp, just move as much as I can manage.
5.) It's About More than Food and Exercise
There's more to getting healthy than all of the above. It's about sleeping better, taking better care of your skin, and being better in general. I've been trying to wean myself off of sleeping with the TV on at night (I know, it's terrible). I've been doing research about Neti Pots (totally got one even if I'm a little afraid of it) and digestive cleansing. Whole being wellness, bro.
I'm hoping to make even more healthy changes in 2014 and stay on track to be my healthiest, best self. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Annual Progressive Dinner.

The holidays are kind of the best, am I right?
Every December my family and I participate in the Progressive Dinner (this is the 11th year already!). We travel from house-to-house to enjoy good food, festive decorations, and there's always a theme. This year was a bit different in that we stayed at one house and didn't travel. No sweat off my back though, it gave us all more time to hang out and chow down.
Selfies with the gang
Admittedly, I didn't take many photos. I managed to bring my Nikon and batteries and then left it all in my purse all night. I guess that what happens when you are having fun. This year's theme was "Slumber Party" so we all showed up decked out in cozy PJs, played slumber party games like charades, had a pajama fashion show, and scarfed down breakfast for dinner (with yogurt parfaits, build-your-own skillets, and waffle sundaes). One of my favorite parts of our Progressive Dinner are the things everyone brings--each family is required to bring an ornament for every other family (which brings an instant smile when I unpack my tree trimmings every year) and a bag of canned food to donate to those in need (it's nice to give back).  
See you in 2014, Progressive Dinner!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Be Thankful (Even Though November's Over).

Life can change in a blink of an eye, I'm learning that as I get older. Sometimes the change is uplifting, sometimes it tears your heart out. Be in this moment as much as you can--even if the moment is angry or sad or dull or intense. It can all change so quickly.
Enjoy your weekend! Every single second of it.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

O, Christmas Tree!

Rum-ba-bum-bum, right? I now have this jam stuck in my head.
I am addicted to Christmas. I really, really am.
The day before Thanksgiving, in a desperate need for some cheer, I decided to surprise Rhyno while he was at work and cleaned the whole house, pulled all the Christmas decorations out from the crawlspace, and decorated every inch of the house. There is nothing that makes me quite as happy as our Christmas tree. I look forward to putting it up all year long and my heart always breaks a little when it's time to pack 'er up for the season.
For now though? I'm enjoying every second of sparkly, shimmery, holiday magic that our beautiful tree provides.

Have you put your tree up yet?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Entryway.

In the last year and a half-ish that we've been living in our home, I've been trying to spruce up every corner and make it a real home. One area that I've put off (um, mostly cause I never realized I could do anything with it) is our small entryway. Our front door is in our front room, with a half wall separating it from the living space. For now we just have some cute coat hooks on the wall but Rhyno and I both agreed we need something more--a small table to put keys and things on.
So of course I ran to Pinterest and started drooling over the many ideas for the entry space of our house. Some ideas...
I love how gorgeously organized this space is with calendars, hooks, and designated spaces for everyone's things.
So much storage space! I love having an enclosed space to put our shoes because if left out in the open, Violet helps herself to chewing them up.
My favorite! I love the bench with multi-colored pillows to add an extra punch of color to the house.
I can't wait to make this little space even more welcoming!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Go Go Juice.

I mentioned before that I am head over heels for Kris Carr. My new favorite lady is a healthy living and happy living guru, and also the queen of juicing (her motto is "Make juice, not war"). Inspired by Ms. Carr, I've been trying new juice recipes here and there with a plan to start incorporating fresh juice into my daily morning routine (adding yet another drink to my liquid breakfast).
My latest juice was okay by me--Rhyno wanted nothing to do with it. I think when I make him juice, I will HAVE to add some type of fruit.
The above photo is:
3 cucumbers (washed, unpeeled)
1 lemon
1 small piece of ginger root
4 broccoli stems
Serves 2
I love how light I feel when drinking green juice for breakfast--plus it's full of nutrients. The only downside for me is that you can't really prep it ahead of time. I've read over and over that you should, ideally, make the juices right before you drink them since the produce begins to break down.
What's your favorite juice recipe? I'm dying to try more!

Monday, December 2, 2013


In an effort to soak all the joy I possibly can out of life, I've been trying to really find beauty in those every day moments that I tend to typically take for granted. I know that someday I'll long for that extra time in bed or that piping hot coffee while sitting on the patio. I attempted to snap shot the little things as to not completely forget those little things.
My Sunday moments:
Sleeping in...and by "in" I mean 6:30am when Violet decided she wanted to play.

Speak of the devil! I can't say no to that face.

Rhyno teases me about my "millions of breakfast drinks." Ice water, ginger tea, black coffee, a few shots of wheatgrass, and hot water with lemon juice.

And then he teases me about my pills. They're actually vitamins--omega 3 oil, folic acid, a multi-vitamin, and kombucha capsule to be exact.

Shopping til we drop. Rhyno and I spent a good chunk of the day seeing Catching Fire (mmmmm, Peeta) and Christmas shopping.

Sweet scented candles to make our house not stink of dog.

Playing Frisbee with Violet in the leafy backyard.

A late afternoon sip. A fancy craft beer for him, cheap pinot grigio (cause I can't tell the difference) for me.

Loud music on loop. Rilo Kiley's RKives.

Enjoying a treat for being a good girl while we were at the mall. It was the first time we left her home alone outside of her crate and she didn't destroy anything!

One of my favorite times of day. Where the night sets in and our lights come on. Also, Violet is messy.

A Sunday evening bath with homemade sugar scrub, a good book, and hot water.

A stack of varied books to keep me occupied.

A homemade soup for dinner. It took hours and turned out kind of gross. Win some, lose some.

Checkin' my steps.

Washing the day off of my face. This is my favorite routine. It's been (mostly) the same for about a decade. There's comfort in that.
What are your favorite mundane moments of your day?