Monday, August 31, 2015

The Fabulous, Relaxing Weekend

Happy Monday, friends!  We had a wonderful weekend, and as sad as I am to see it go, college football starts this week, so the week can’t be that bad!   

Thursday, I picked up some new bows for Olivia… she was in desperate need since she’s been wearing her same newborn bows forever.  I found the best consignment shop here in town who sells new bows that won’t break the bank… I don’t know about y’all, but I just can’t bring myself to pay $6 - $10 for one bow, so it was quite a score to find brand new bows for $2 - $4!

Friday, Jacob’s new school celebrated all of the summer birthdays with a class party so I took a late lunch break to join him.  It’s always such a special treat to see my Boo during the middle of the work day!

Friday evening, my cousin from Brooklyn was in town with her two littles, and her mom and dad (my aunt and uncle) invited us over to their house for dinner and to let the babies play together.  She and I were preggo at the same time with both of our babies, so Jacob and Leo are only two months apart, and Olivia and Clara are only six months apart.  We only get to see them a couple of times a year since they live up in good ol’ NYC, but it’s always a fun time when they come down to visit.  The kids get along great, and I hate it that they don’t get to see each other more often. 

The weather was perfect – cloudy, cool, and not very humid, so we had dinner al fresco on the balcony – spaghetti, salad, bread, and red wine.  Perfection.  The kids had a blast together as always, and it was the perfect end to the work week.  So relaxing.

Saturday morning I took Jacob to a birthday party for one of his friends at his old school, so after two weeks at his new school, he got to see all of his old buddies!  They were all thrilled when he walked in the door… he got some huge hugs and the joy on his face was priceless.

Saturday evening, our baby-sitter came to care for the nuggets, and Brian and I went on a DATE NIGHT!!!!  If you read my Five On Friday post, you probably saw that he and I had our twelve year dating anniversary on Friday, so it was nice to get out sans kids and celebrate.  

First up, we cranked up the Fly station (channel 47) on satellite radio for the car ride to the restaurant.  Have y'all checked this out yet??  They play hip hop and R&B from the 90’s and 00’s.  If you don’t know, and you’re in your late 20’s to early 30’s, you must check it out.  It will bring back memories from high school and junior high (and maybe earlier than that).  Best station ever.  Just make sure you don’t have your kids in the car.  ;o)

Anyway, we cranked it up and sang along with Ja Rule, DMX, and Coolio all the way to the restaurant.  Our restaurant of choice?  A new local Italian Steakhouse that just opened in our downtown area.  Our friends have been raving about it, and now we totally understand why.

It’s in an old building from the 1800’s in our downtown area, so it has high ceilings and exposed brick.  The ambiance is perfect for a date night and it gives off a very hip vibe.  Great music hummed in the background – Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, and John Mayer – to set the mood.  Brian and I both ordered their center cut angus filet topped with fried garlic in an herbed butter sauce, served with mashed potatoes and grilled broccolini garnished with a lemon wedge.  I paired mine with a Cabernet and Brian paired his with a beer.   

You guys, everything was completely out of this world.  I’ve had a lot of good filets during all of our travels over the years, but none of them even compare to the one that I had Saturday night.  It was divine.  And I ate every single savory bite.  Who knew that the best filet in the country exists right in our home town? 

The best part of dinner?  Having an hour and a half of uninterrupted conversation with my favorite person in the world.  Priceless. 

After dinner we had some time to kill before our movie, so we walked around hand in hand downtown.  We stopped by a craft beer market that we’ve been meaning to check out for quite some time, and we picked up a couple of things – some Not Your Father’s Root Beer that we’ve heard is amazing, and some Kentucky Pumpkin Barrel Ale for me, because, fall, duh.  Oh, and because,10% alcohol.

It started to rain, so we cut our walk short and headed back to the car.  We stopped by a gas station to load up on candy for the movies – a Kit Kat and Airheads Taffy for me, and some Peanut M&M’s for B – and then we headed to see Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.  It was really good – action packed and never a dull moment!  

Sunday morning we brought the kiddos into our bed and snuggled for a while before getting up… I think they missed us!   

After breakfast, I did it… I busted out the Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin candle and pulled out the fall décor boxes!!!!  Our whole house is now filled with pumpkins, and fall leaves, and everything cinnamon scented.  It looks and smells wonderful!

This is our mantle before I decorated... I'll be sharing the "after" soon!

For lunch, we took the kids to Panera, and then we went to a Dinosaur Exhibit that was here in town for the weekend.  Jacob was in heaven… he kept saying, “I’m going to love this, I’m going to love this,” over and over on the way there.  It was so sweet!  And he did love it. 

After that, it was naps for the babies, and I was left alone in my office to organize pictures with Michael Buble and Steve Tyrell, and a Pumpkin Cheesecake candle burning in the background.   

Have I mentioned that I loved every second of this weekend?! 

We topped off the weekend with dinner at my parents’ house – a home cooked meal, a bottle of wine, and good music with my favorite people. 

I feel so relaxed. 

And now Thursday night is the first game of college football… we don’t even care who’s playing… we’ll be cracking open a cold one (pumpkin for me!) and watching anyway!  Cheers to the work week!

And since I finally found someone who has a weekend link-up, I'm linking up with B Loved Boston for Weekending.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Five On Friday

Today I’m linking up with A. Liz Adventures and Carolina Charm for Five On Friday and A Little Bit of Everything Blog for Friday Favorites. 

Today marks twelve years since Brian and I started dating.  Twelve.  I know we now have a wedding anniversary to celebrate instead, but I still love marking this occasion as well.  In light of our dating anniversary, here are five random facts about our relationship before we got married.   

O N E  

So, how did we meet?  We met back in early 2002 through a mutual friend, which brings me to...

T W O 

...Brian and I lived together before we ever even dated.  What?!   

Once upon a time, at the ripe age of 19, I was attending our local university, and I decided that I was ready to move out of my parents’ house and be on my own.  And by “on my own” I mean that I wanted to live with roommates.  Well, none of my girlfriends were interested, and I just so happened to have a guy friend who was looking for a roommate because he had just moved back home from college.  He had a friend named Brian who had also just moved back from college who he thought would be the perfect third party. 

So, the three of us moved in together and lived in harmony for, oh, maybe three months before I decided that, A, I was not ready to live on my own, and B, I didn’t like living with gross boys.  I missed my Mommy and Daddy and moved right back home.  #Baby  

The boys replaced me with one of their friends from work, and we all stayed friends, which eventually (way down the road) resulted in Brian and me dating.

T H R E E 

Apparently the first time I remember meeting Brian is not the actual first time that I met him.  Huh?! 

The first time I remember meeting Brian was just before moving in with him when we were all looking for a place to live at the beginning of 2002.   

But apparently we actually met for the first time during the summer of 2001, eight months or so prior to that.  I was with a group of friends with whom I worked, and we all met at a little league field to play a late night game of softball.  Supposedly Brian was there with his group of friends with whom someone was mutual friends with one of my friends.  Do I remember Brian being there?  Nope.  Does he remember me being there?  Yep.  Apparently I make a good first impression.  ;o)

F O U R 

My daddy has known Brian since he was just a kid.  Crazy!! 

One of my daddy’s best friends is the dad of Brian’s best friend.  My dad used to go hang out at his dad’s house, and Brian would be over there, too, hanging out with his friend.  Small world?  Yep.

F I V E 

For the first year that we dated, Brian gave me red roses every single month on our anniversary – one for every month that we had been together – one rose on our one month anniversary, two roses on our two month anniversary, and so on… all the way until he gave me a dozen roses on our one year anniversary.  I saved every single one of them, and they are all labeled and stored in an old shoe box.  Makes me smile every time I open it.  

I know it sounds cheesy, but I feel like my life truly began once I started dating Brian.  I have always had a pretty good sense of self, and I have always been an independent person, but I feel like my true self was finally revealed when I met him.  I’ve never had more fun, done more travelling, or been happier in my whole life than in the last twelve years that he and I have been together. 

He has always brought out the best in me, and for that, I love him. 

Happy twelve years, Babe.  

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What's Up Wednesday


Happy Wednesday, everyone!  It’s time for another installment of What’s Up Wednesday and today I’m linking up with Shay, Mel, and Sheaffer. 

What We’re Eating This Week 

Monday night we had one of our favorite simple meals that is super easy to clean-up… One Dish Sausage and Roasted Vegetables.  It’s delicious, healthy, and it only dirties one dish!  Plus, we always have just enough left over for me to have lunch the next day and it’s even better the second time around.

What I’m Reminiscing About  

This Friday is Brian’s and my twelve year dating anniversary and my mind is still trying to process the fact that it’s been twelve years.  2003 sounds like so long ago, but it really seems like just yesterday that we started dating.  I’ve been taking a walk down memory lane this week, looking through old pictures, and it brought back so many wonderful memories and reminded me why I fell in love with him in the first place.   

Because he’s so handsome… duh.  ;o)

What I’m Loving 

Last weekend I cleaned out Olivia’s closet and came across the most adorable shirt that she’s had for six months and has never even worn.  Somehow it got mixed in with some old clothes, and I forgot all about it.  I’m so happy that it still fits, and even though it was supposed to be for her first birthday I figured, hey, she’s still one, so it still works!  Not to mention her 18 month birthday was yesterday, so it was totally appropriate.  Now to let her wear it a million times before she turns two so we can get our money’s worth… ;o)

On another note, Olivia came home from school with her first pigtails on Monday and it was pretty much the cutest thing ever. 

What We’ve Been Up To 

Right now we’re pretty much just focusing on our new routine... waking up earlier, feeding Jacob breakfast at home before school, me dropping off and picking up instead of Brian, etc.  It’s been quite an adjustment for everyone, but I finally feel like we are starting to get used to it.   

As for our first child, Maui, we finally took her to get groomed for the first time in six months.  Poor girl, she’s been neglected for so long.  We will definitely have to do better next time.  Doesn’t she look so cute, though?

What I’m Dreading 

Next month Brian has to travel for work and he will be gone for a whole week.  This will be the first time that he’s had to travel since Olivia was born (we’ve been very lucky) and I’m absolutely dreading it.  Olivia’s school is on the opposite end of town from where I work and Jacob’s school is off in a completely different direction than either of us.  Both of their schools don’t open until 7:30 AM, and I have to be at work at 8 now (I already had to adjust my schedule from starting at 7:30 AM to starting at 8 when Jacob started his new school two weeks ago) so I’m not sure how I’m even going to make this work.  Not to mention my boss is probably going to be ready to kill me…   

It’s looking like I’ll be getting up around 5:30 or 5:45 AM (hats off to all of you who have to do this on a daily basis), getting myself and both kids ready to leave the house by 7, making the long journey to drop Olivia off right at 7:30 when they open, zooming over to Jacob’s school to drop him off by 8, and then flying to work to try to get there by 8:30.  Since I’ll be getting to work late, I’ll be taking short lunches (or no lunch depending on how late I get there) and then I’ll have to leave at 4:30, pick Jacob up, go aaaall the way down to pick up Olivia, and then hopefully make it home by 6 so I can get them fed, bathed, and in the bed by 8.  Sheesh, it’s going to be a rough week.  If anyone wants to come spend the week with me and help out, feel free!  I’ll feed you.  And wine you.  Hehe.  

What I’m Working On 

As mentioned in my weekend post, I’m currently refurbishing our old buffet table… it’s now done with the exception of hardware.  I’m currently on the hunt for some pretty knobs, but I’m not sure exactly what I want yet.  Hopefully I will find something soon, because I can’t wait to share it with you.  So far I like these because they are similar to the knobs on our cabinets.


But I’m also trying to decide if I want to do something a little different like these.

Another project I’m working on is getting the café lights strung on our new back porch.  I ordered these from Amazon and they are gorgeous.  I just have no idea how to hang them or where to start.  I know that I want to hang them around the perimeter of the porch (not across the ceiling), but I can’t decide if I want them draped like this -


Or if I want them to be straight like this -   

I also don’t know what kind of hardware to hang them with.  The safest thing would be to nail them, but I’d rather not put a ton of holes in the wall if there’s another way to do it.  We have a bunch of these Command Decorating Clips, but I’m worried that the summer heat and humidity may wear them down and make them slide right off the wall.   

I’m completely open to suggestions, so let me know if you have any! 

What I’m Excited About 

Decorating our house for fall this weekend.  Need I say more? 

I took a little peek inside one of the boxes this weekend and I got soooo excited!!

What I’m Watching/Reading 

Hubs and I are still watching that train wreck, Bachelor in Paradise, and I seriously can’t even deal with it anymore.  I told Brian last night that I didn’t even know why I was watching it anyway because I already have enough stress in my life… I don’t need to take on other people’s stress.  Haha.

We’re also still watching Parenthood and I could not love it more.  I’m already feeling sad thinking about it being over, and we’re only in the third season. 

I started reading The Girl on the Train last week and it is fabulous.  I’ve been staying up way past my bedtime every night because I can’t put it down.  I’m just now about halfway through it, so I’m hoping to finish it in the next week or so.  I can’t wait to see how it ends!

What I’m Listening To 

Aside from my beloved Ed Sheeran album that I can’t stop listening to, I’ve also been on a jazz and old standards kick lately (even more so than usual - which is A LOT), so I’ve had Rod Stewart’s first Songbook (“It Had To Be You… The Great American Songbook”) and Attila Fias’s Piano Lounge albums on repeat.  That music never fails to relax me.  Seriously, listen to it and see if you don’t start feeling cheerful right away!

What I’m Wearing 

A whole lot of this…

But I wish I was wearing this…

Soon enough, soon enough…  

And in case you missed my post last week, here are some of my looks from last year’s fall and winter season. 

What I’m Doing This Weekend 

Date night, for the first time in foreverrrr (sing it with me!)!!  And I'm very excited because I can finally wear my Old Navy romper that’s been burning a hole in my closet (is that an expression?)… I’ve been dying to wear it, so hopefully this weekend will finally be the weekend! 

What I’m Looking Forward To Next Month 

College football, a three day weekend, and pumpkin everything!  Yee-haw!

What Else Is New 

Olivia hates wearing shoes in the car… every time we put her in her car seat, at least one (or both) of her shoes are off within 2 minutes.  I don’t even know why we put them on for the car ride anyway!

Have a great rest of the week, everyone!