2016: Um Where Did You Go?

This post is probably a day or two late and a dollar short, but since I have a ton of catching up to do, this seemed a manageable place to start today. Beware, my kid is probably going to factor in heavily here. :)

1. What did you do in 2016 that you had never done before?
Saw a positive pregnancy test, grew a human, birthed that human, struggled to figure out how to care for a newborn. I mean, let’s be honest: this year had A LOT of firsts.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions and will you make more for next year?
My 2016 goals (as usual) were many. But honestly, after finding out we were expecting many of them were just not feasible. I am pround of a few things though: I sent a ton of birthday cards, I spent a good amount of time with friends and family, and I finally got a damn headboard for our bed! (If you’ve been reading here a long time you know that’s been a goal for like…YEARS. I don’t know what the hold up was.)

3. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve
We spent our NYE “sleeping when the baby sleeps.” He’s going to bed between 7:30 and 8 these days and I’m rarely up for more than an hour after he is. I guard my sleep like a crazy person, and I caught the Mariah Carey disaster when I woke up in the middle of the night to feed him. It made me glad I didn’t stay up.

4. Did anyone close to you give birth? Did anyone close to you die?
Yes! My family had so many births this year it was so exciting! My cousin Jenny gave birth to a son 6 months to the day before I did. My cousin John and his wife gave birth to a son 3 months after Holden was born. It’s so fun that we had three baby boy cousins all born in the same year. The thought of them all growing up together like I did with my cousins just melts my heart.

There were also a ton of babies born between some great co-workers of mine. There was a serious “Don’t drink the water” situation happening at work because I think there were 8 of us having babies around the same time. Nuts.

As for anyone close to me dying — we had to say goodbye to my sweet Buster and I am still not over it.
22325091193_b8da2a9088_z

5. Did you travel this year?
After we cancelled our official honeymoon to Maui when I had serious morning sickness, I didn’t think to much about travel. Some years are exploratory, and others you stay close to home. This was the latter and it was great to nest, reorganize, and focus on the homefront.

6. What would you like to have had in 2017 that you didn’t have in 2016?
Not much. This year was so full of literal blessings that anything I could have wanted for has been completely overshadowed.

7. What moment from 2016 will remain etched in your memory, and why?
This one has that “etched in my memory” vibe.
op-room

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
You know, I would say successfully navigating my life with a real understanding that I am not in control. I mean, yes, that sounds a little hippie woo-woo and, no, I’m not a recovered control freak yet; however, 2016 was a real practice in that area and I feel accomplished at the end of it.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Writing here. And I mean that. 2016 feels like a huge success in so many ways. It’s a year I’ll remember forever. But I definitely felt a hole where this blog lives. I know people are saying blogs are dead, or rather the personal (non corporate) blogs are dead. But I’m just not ready to believe that. This has been my life’s scrapbook for over a decade now. I’m not quite ready to let it go.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I went through the entire year illness free though ironically it is the year I vomited the most in my entire lifetime. (Sorry, but it had to be noted. UGH Do. Not. Miss. That.) As far as injury goes, nothing official, but I’ll tell you what — having a c-section is no joke and I feel like my body still has some ground to gain in the muscle department. But I’m doing it smartly and slowly and with absolutely zero judgment about my physical appearance. Having a baby has been so liberating in that way!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
It’s probably a toss up between this and this. And of course I didn’t buy either of them, my mom gifted them both to us and OBVIOUSLY moms know best.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Into our savings account. We would like to buy a house this year so we were total misers in 2016.

13. What song will always remind you of 2016?
So I cried the entire way home from the hospital after Holden was born (birth story forthcoming in 2017, I promise) and all I can say about that is — Hello, hormone dump! Ok, and also a little bit of panic. But my point is:we heard this song like 3 times on the drive home from the hospital. Then at his first pediatrician appointment we heard in multiple times on the way there and on the way back. (Sacramento radio, play some variety would ya?) Anyway, we started calling it Holden’s song and it will always remind me of this year.

14. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Written here. Read books.

15. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Not much. I had a really lovely year. I mean, I guess I wish I had worried about my child less (before he was born/after he was born), but I don’t think that will stop anytime soon.

16. What was your favorite new tv program?
Like everyone else in America I adored Stranger Things. I hope it doesn’t have the Netflix Season Two curse because I’m really looking forward to a new one.

17. Compared to this time last year are you:
Happier or Sadder – Immensely happier.
Fatter or Thinner – Well this is a weird one. I’m about 20 lbs below my pre-pregnancy weight (Thanks breastfeeding!) but I know so much of that is muscle, which makes me sad. So I guess fatter, but I weigh less…LOL
Richer or Poorer – Richer in all the ways that matter.

18. What was the best book you read?
Did I even finish a book last year? Sigh.

19. Greatest Musical Discovery?
Old lady alert: I finally figured out how to use Spotify in a way that enhances my life. And for some reason this year I also revived my love for Country.

20. Favorite Film of the year?
The only movie I remember watching was that hypnobirthing movie and I can’t say it was a favorite. :)

21. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
I turned 38 a mere 16 days after Holden was born and the morning of my birthday Garrett made sure I got a 4 hour stretch of sleep and it was the first one I had gotten in those 16 days and boy did it feel like a gift!

22. Greatest Food Discovery?
Anything that can be eaten using only one hand got my stamp of approval.

23. Describe your personal fashion concept?
Wear Maternity clothes and try not to look completely unprofessional.
28526797262_a17d873f10_k
24. What did you want and not get?
Another year with Buster.

25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned:
Gratitude (and lots of coffee) can get you through anything.

26. What pictures best represent 2016?
My Instagram Feed for certain. I mean, yes it has turned into a lot of baby pictures. But let’s be real, that is the best representation of 2016.

Hope you all had a lovely holiday. I’m wishing you a renewed 2017 and I hope we get to chat more around here in the coming year. I’m going to try and do better at that. Thanks for being patient.

Print Friendly

Multiple Quick Takes: Otherwise I May NEVER Update

Untitled1. I’ve been struggling to find time to write although my brain is full of random things to discuss. Nothing that is life changing, of course. Well that’s not entirely true — I’m in my 23rd week of pregnancy and that, of course is changing my life. DUH. But you know what I mean, just crippety crap that I’ve been meaning to share. Here goes…

2. Garrett’s mom was in town last week over Garrett’s birthday and over Mother’s Day and we did a bunch of traveling, visiting, cooking, shopping, and then I worked the entire week as well and MAN I AM TIRED. I sure can’t party like I used to, I tell ya. She flew home Saturday morning and I seriously slept the entire afternoon away and then woke up to eat dinner and basically go to bed. Hosting a guest internally and externally at the same time is exhausting, yo! She brought out a bunch of Garrett’s old baby clothes though, which was a riot to see. Like this little fringed vest…OMG!

Untitled

3. We had our Level 2 Ultrasound while she was here. It was SO FUN to take her with us and let her experience this tiny squirming little baby living inside of me. Well, apparently tiny but with GARGANTUAN legs, according to the ultrasound tech. I guess it’s not that surprising — I’m almost 6 feet and one of the shortest people in my family so I didn’t expect a little guy, but it was still crazy to see long ass baby legs. Crazy and fun. it’s still blowing my mind every time we confirm that there is a human growing inside my body. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH.

Legs!

4. It’s funny to think that neither of our sets of parents had any ultrasounds or even knew our genders before we were born. They are both blown away (for better and worse) about all the monitoring, testing and information that is available to us every step of the way during this pregnancy. It is a little overwhelming at times, but it’s also incredibly calming to go in and see our baby growing and developing just like he should and moving around like crazy. People keep saying to me “Just you wait…all that moving will get annoying.” And maybe that is true. But right now, 23 weeks in, I’m savoring how fun it all feels and really enjoying the process. So far this pregnancy has been very (knock on wood) mellow.

5. I did a free one-month trial of Showtime through Amazon Prime and was hoping to find some life changing fun television to watch and so far it’s just been…okay? I’m definitely not feeling like it will be worth keeping up after the free trial for $8.99/mo. I started watching The Affair because it has gotten so much hype and it was fine, but not like BINGE WATCH WORTHY, ya know? I got about 4 episodes in and took a break and I haven’t really felt compelled to go back and see what happens next. So am I missing out? Is there anything else on Showtime that is a must watch before I cancel it on the 27th?

6. We are in the middle of car shopping, which sounds like a very fun and finite task in theory, but we’ve been doing it for months. We BOTH need new cars, so obviously the singular sum of money we are investing alone is requiring lots of thoughts and discussion. Then add in whether these cars are short term commitments or long term commitments based on what will work now versus what will work a few years from now (what if we have another baby? OMG I KNOW, I JUST WANT TO HAVE THIS BABY FIRST — but also: MULTIPLE CAR SEATS. And man, I don’t want to be buying another car in 2 or 3 years because I’m more of a “drive it ’til it dies” kind of person) and UGH. It’s just not the most fun chore ever, and I feel like for the amount of money I’m going to be spending I want to be a wee bit more excited. Tell me about your kids/car situation (especially if you have two close in age. This potential variable seems to be the most challenging to deal with. Especially if you want to drive other people around aside from your actual children. BOO.)

7. Also, we are going to be buying a house soon so I’m very conscious of how much we finance on these vehicles/monthly payments/etc and how that will affect our lending experience in the future. I mean cars are great, but I’m more interested in moving. So many fixed commitments based on a lot of future variable scenarios and I’m finding that it’s sucking all the fun out of things. Adulting seemed like way more fun when I was a kid. OMG, and then there’s the fact that Garrett suggested in a 100% serious tone last night that we should consider buying a mini-van, which: HELL NO! NO SIR. I AM NOT READY FOR THAT. ABSOLUTELY NOT. NO NEVER.

8. We spent a few hours at CarMax yesterday sitting in a bunch of cars with the express purpose of eliminating them from the list. And while we were successful, I almost about died of heat stroke walking around on the lot and sitting in cars that had been sitting out in the sun. It was only 86 degrees out you guys, and I know as a pregnant person I’m “running hotter than usual” but OHMYGOD I am now panic-stricken about being knocked up during June, July and August in Sacramento. It’s going to be a long, hot summer and well — I may just hole up in my air conditioned house without apology and never leave.

9. You guys, I really miss my dog. I know it will get easier, but man it is still hard.

So over having his picture taken. With that look I think we might be approaching Buster's teenage years.

Print Friendly

Faithful Companion. Pillow Stealer. One of a Kind.

Buster

Saturday night we made the gut wrenching decision to say goodbye to Buster. To say that we are heartbroken doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface.

While the decision was, thankfully, very clear in the end it does not take away from the absolute devastation that we are currently experiencing. I am speechless to describe how low we are feeling, and every sentence I type sounds so melodramatic. But the truth is this: it is the largest loss I have felt since my dad passed away, and I had forgotten how physical the pain of loss can be.

Grief is so non-linear, and it feels strange to be managing it amongst the minutiae of daily life. To be experiencing it side by side with the joys we are going through as parents to be.

Buster 2

Four years ago when Buster walked into our lives, I was not confident that I could take care of something that was so dependent. As his health problems escalated over the years, I not only developed confidence but I became almost dogged in my desire to give this dog the best life possible despite the poor genetic hand that he had been dealt. We were constantly searching for answers to his health problems, and while I knew we would find them someday, I didn’t think that it would be the same day that we had to say goodbye.

I am angry because we were hitting our stride as a family. While things were never “normal” with Buster, we had gotten to a place of effective management with all of his challenges. Food allergies. Environmental allergies. An autoimmune disorder. Chronic Ear Infections. Eye Lesions. Mouth Lesions. Nose Lesions. Inflammatory Bowel Disease. A mis-shapen stomach. All things we knew how to deal with. Make no mistake, we knew he was not going to be one of those dogs who lived to be 20 years old. It was inevitable that one day we would part ways, but I am angry that he was barely 8 years old, and this was the end of the road.

There was a point, about a year ago, where it began to feel like Buster was brought into our lives specifically to help demonstrate that we could, in fact, take care of something. We had both been cautiously considering trying to have a baby, and after surviving years of the team work required to address a dog with a number of special needs, we began to feel like “Ok, maybe we actually can take care of a human.” It feels bittersweet to know that Buster won’t be here to help usher in the baby that he helped us prepare for.

Buster 4

Over the years, unknowingly, we rearranged our lives for Buster. Never leaving him for too long. Learning to recognize his barks. Understanding the sounds and needs of his tiny little overworked body in an effort to anticipate the intervention it would need before a problem could escalate. I even joked with a friend recently how I ashamed I was that I would drive him to another neighborhood for walks (TWO BLOCKS AWAY) because it was quieter than ours and Buster could be skittish around cars, and no longer enjoyed walking down the one busy street it took to get there.

But it wasn’t really shame, actually. There was joy in that accommodation. Finding small things I could do to make his life more enjoyable or more surprising was such a simple form of happiness for me. For both of us. And it’s happiness that I am reminded of during so many parts of my day now, but then it is quickly replaced with a feeling of loss, like a punch in the gut. No longer needing to leave the lights or the tv on while running out to do an errand. No longer joking with him “Ok, buddy — Don’t buy anything on QVC while I’m gone” before heading off to work in the morning. No longer needing to look down before I put my feet on the floor first in the morning to make sure I’m not interrupting a snoring puppy. They were silent gifts that no longer have a recipient.

Buster 5

Where there was joy and love, it is now just quiet and empty. My house that was full of lightness and brightness a week ago all of a sudden feels dark and hollow all at once. It’s amazing how these habits came about so seamlessly that I honestly didn’t even realize we were going out of our way. It just felt like part of loving him. A love that he returned so unconditionally, every single day.

Our hearts have a permanent hole without him, and while I know from experience that we will get through this one day at a time, and that we will think more about the gift he was instead of about the loss we feel, right now it seems like we are at the bottom of a very steep mountain.

Buster 3

Print Friendly

House Stuff, Baby Stuff, Dog Stuff

The objective this weekend was to relax and to decide on nursery furniture.

Buy Buy Baby

After two trips to IKEA, a trip to Buy Buy Baby, and helping a fellow dog walker save their dog from a rattlesnake bite while out on our leisurely Sunday stroll, I can tell you we only accomplished one of those things. Hey, at least we were productive? I guess I’ll relax when the baby gets here BAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA.

With a baby coming, we are very much in the process of purging crap from our house: clothes, books, random things, furniture. It’s fun, but purging leads to re-evaluating, re-evaluating sometimes leads to reorganizing, and then reorganizing leads to buying more stuff. I’m sure Marie Kondo is shaking her head.

But we have actually been quite happy with our progress. We’re getting rid of furniture that’s never really worked for us, addressing house issues that have been “on the to do list” for years because we all of a sudden have a fire under us to fix them, and doing some major re-structuring of space. All of this is normal, I think, when you are inviting a new person (and the necessary amount of baby-related crapola) into your house.

People keep telling us, “Oh you don’t need that much stuff” which I believe in theory, but the truth is — baby’s need some stuff. So we started with the major stuff this weekend. We plan to go pretty low key with the nursery mostly because we have to – the room is SUPER TINY. I wish I had a picture to show you. Wow, ok so I just spent an hour scrolling through tons of old photos and apparently I have never photographed that room in our house?

Other thoughts I had while scrolling: I would kill for my 2012 body composition right now. Seattle is beautiful. Time flies and kids grow so quick. Dang, I’m sad we aren’t going to Maui this year.

Hmmm…Ok, I will take a pic of that room soon even though it is currently filled with crap. I’ll make that happen.

Anyway, a little refresher on our living situation: we currently live in a 3 bedroom house (master, guest bedroom and office) and we’re going to leave it that way because it works for us. But we also have an annex (with a door) off our master bedroom that used to be Garrett’s “man cave/game room” that is now going to be the nursery. (RIP Man Cave. Well, I guess it will still be a man cave, but just for a squishy little baby man.)

House

We plan to move in the next year, so we think this little space will work perfectly, for now, so we want to outfit that room, but also buy some long term things. To say the least, it has posed some challenges: There is no closet, few walls (one wall has a door on it, one wall has a sliding door on it, one wall has oddly placed light switches) so this weekend we busted out our measuring tape and found a solution with some furniture that we hope will work.

baby shopping
Why don’t cribs come equipped with coffee cup holders, man?

I was set on a double wide dresser/changing table with a hutch for storage, since there will be very little storage in the room, and a crib at a minimum. We have a pretty massive walk in closet in our bedroom so I don’t mind sharing that with baby, and the doorway to it is right across from the future nursery so I think we’ll just hang whatever baby stuff we need to in the entry there for easy access. But you still want other fold-able baby clothes and supplies accessible by the changing table, hence: double wide dresser and hutch.

Here’s the nursery furniture we landed on, which I’m pleased with:
Nursery Furniture

Just the crib and dresser/hutch. We still have a glider to buy, and I may end up picking up that little nightstand-ish piece as well to keep by the glider just to store breast feeding “supplies” — I don’t know. This is all new to me. It’s the blind leading the blind here AND BUYING FURNITURE. Danger, Will Robinison!

Anyway, we ordered everything from the appropriately named Buy Buy Baby and now we just wait 4 months for it arrive. (WHO KNEW this stuff takes so long? :))

In other news this weekend I also had a small breakdown over unpasteurized cheese. I don’t miss alcohol really at all. But what I miss dearly are HOT TUB HOT scalding baths, and unpasteurized cheese. I may have shed a tear or two about it this weekend. Alone. While grocery shopping. Awesome.

I’ve found I am getting super good and shedding lots of tears about random things lately. We watched Draft Day recently and I cried during the first five minutes. For no reason, and couldn’t stop. (The NFL Draft — SO EMOTIONAL?) And a couple weekends ago I was so frustrated at how frustrated I was, I just cried about it. Seemed reasonable. Although when Garrett asked what initially frustrated me, I couldn’t actually pin point it. These pregnancy hormones are really no joke. :)

Walking B

I spent most of Sunday crying though, because I had a sort of traumatic experience. We took Buster for a walk because it was a gorgeous day and as we were heading back to our car I noticed an elderly guy coming up behind us and carrying his dog. My spidey-sense sort of went off, seeing as people are usually walking their dogs, and right as I started to think that something might be up — he yelled to us asking if we had a car because his dog had been bit by a rattlesnake.

Everything happened so fast, but we ran to my car (score — pregnant and out of shape, I can still hustle!), I left Garrett and Buster to fend for themselves a bit, and we got this guy and his dog into my car and took off for the closest emergency vet clinic. The dog was howling and in so much pain, and the guy was just hysterical in the back seat consoling his dog and saying “Please Esther, don’t die” and the entire time I felt absolutely calm. But the second we got them to the vet clinic (Thank GOD it was open!) and the dog was in being treated, I just started sobbing and couldn’t get it together most of the day. Adrenaline + pregnancy hormones are a real combo.

We took a trip to IKEA later that afternoon to pick up MORE FURNITURE (omg) and I couldn’t keep it together there — every time I thought about sweet little Esther, and her scared owner it I just got so sad. It just went on all day, reliving it. I was just out! in the world! crying at the drop of a hat. JEEZ LOUISE.

GOOD NEWS THOUGH: Garrett and I did stop by the vet clinic later on in the afternoon just to inquire about the dog (she was a fluffy little Australian Shepherd type mix just about Buster’s size, so I was very worried) but they said that she was alive and recovering, and only paralyzed in her leg where she got the bite and that even that may be temporary. That made me feel a little bit better, but honestly I just teared up writing about this, so I’m still shaken. Again: Pregnancy Hormones, NO JOKE.

On a happier note, we assembled our new media stand from IKEA the same afternoon (and by “we” I mean Garrett). My own personal version of hell is a 40 page long instruction booklet from IKEA, no unpasteurized cheese, and no booze in a piping hot bubble bath afterward, so I just couldn’t really be of help. 😛

ikea stuff

But in the meantime, I was able to perfectly captured Buster’s GIVE ME THAT TREAT IN YOUR HAND face while this was all going on. So that was a win. :)

Buster

So tell me a good story: What did you get up to?

Print Friendly

Staycation Review: 2 out of 5 Stars

I took a 5 day Staycation beginning last Thursday, and I had planned to have all sorts of fun adventures to chat about on the blog this morning, but all I have to show for it is a Doctor’s Appointment and a dead Fitbit.

Not so photogenic, those things.

I am still sick. Typing those words is frigging depressing, but I’ve come to the conclusion that whatever I’m dealing with is now beyond the scope of Dr. Google’s education. I had a super bad cold the last week of 2015 and it hung around the first couple weeks of the year but now it is JANUARY NINETEENTH and I am not myself. My cold symptoms have subsided for the most part (except for a nagging, uncomfortable cough) but I still feel incredibly weak and tired.

I have zero endurance and my five days off were basically filled with things like grocery shopping and then taking a nap. Taking a bath and then taking a nap. Getting the mail and then taking a nap. (Ok the last one is an exaggeration, but you get what I’m saying.) On Thursday I had 5 loads of laundry I planned to do, and by yesterday evening there were 3 left. It’s not like laundry is running a marathon, but it sure felt like it this weekend. (Of course in one of the two loads of laundry I washed my Fitbit and despite having that mishap before — this time it did not survive. WEEP!)

I did venture out to a spin class on Friday night because I thought I felt alright, despite knowing that probably wasn’t the best decision. But it was a Neil Diamond THEME RIDE, and in my mind I was like “it’s only 45 minutes, you will survive.” And I did — but then of course, I came home and took a nap. And then went to bed for the night two hours later.

So. At this point I have set aside my stubborn tendencies and made a appointment with my doctor for Thursday, but I feel stupid and like I don’t even know what to say. “I had a cold and still feel like shit. Fix me.” I don’t have high hopes they’ll tell me much with that description, but I don’t really know what else to do at this point because I’m too tired to figure it out myself. GRUMBLE. In the meantime, I’m obviously skipping last week’s workout post because I didn’t. I mostly worked out my eyelids opening and closing them so frequently.

I did manage to make a recipe last Tuesday that was supposed to be a GAME CHANGER! And it was in the sense that it made Garrett break out in hives. So that sure changed the game. Yikes, sorry babe! As you can imagine, I won’t be sharing that recipe here as a “recomend.” :)

So, all in all, I’m glad I had 5 days off — it was a welcomed respite, but nothing like I had hoped. Continuing to lay low this week, work, and see the doctor. Cross your fingers for me they can tell me something informative, because I’m getting a little stir crazy up in here with all this resting. It’s hard to take on 2016 when the sheer act of making the bed makes you feel like need to get back in it.

Print Friendly

What I’ve Been Into This Week

Happy Friday, friends!

What a good week this has been! I had so much fun watching The Golden Globes last Sunday that I think it just set the tone for what was a fun and mostly relaxing week. I’ve been taking it easy — I’m not longer dying (THANK GOD) but I’ve still got a nagging cough and just needed some rest, so I’ve been taking advantage of lots of downtime.

Here’s what I’ve been into:

Reading

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Finally getting into my book club’s pick this month: Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. It definitely feels like everyone and their mother is reading this book, so I can’t wait to finish it and discuss. Garrett has started it and told me it was a little weird, but so far I’m enjoying it.

Listening

I find, when it comes to what I listen to, that on any given week I’m usually committed to an audio book, podcasts, or an album of some sort. This week it’s been all podcasts.
criminal

I’ve been loving catching up on Criminal, even though that show can sometimes be a little heavy. The most recent The Stay was really sad. When I was done listening, it reminded me of how I felt when I watched that documentary Into The Abyss.

But the episode prior about the LAPD dive supervisor who was faced with doing a dive in the La Brea tarpits was FASCINATING!

On a MUCH lighter note, I really enjoyed Modern Mrs. Darcy’s new podcast called What Should I Read Next?

what should i read next
She has guests each episode and asks them to discuss a few books they loved, a few they hated, and what they’ve read recently. Then she makes a recommendation. The first two episodes are up and were so fun!

Perusing

Lots of fun stuff on the internet this week, as usual!

*10 Instagram Accounts I Love Following — I always loving finding new Insta accounts to follow. Who are your favorites?

*A Week of Meals to Break Your Junk Food Addiction — A little simple, healthy meal inspiration seemed to be just what I needed this week.

*Smoking in the Mirror – 10 Years of Girls Gone Child — I can always read long posts about why bloggers blog. Makes me feel inspired and nostalgic.

*Speaking of bloggers talking about blogging, I liked Bri from Design Love Fest’s thoughts on returning to old school blogging. I feel like a lot of people are going back to their roots this year and just SHARING. Thumbs Up Emoji.

*2016 Fitness Trends: How We’ll Be Working Out – This showed some interesting data around what industries are increasing and decreasing interest.

Watching

I’ve been in the mood for comedy apparently, because the only things I watched this week outside of my normal Bravo-worshiping tv schedule was John Mulaney New In Town and Louis CK’s Chewed Up. Both very different. Both VERY hilarious.

Buying

I had to stop at Walgreens to pick up cough drops the other day, and of course I left with two new lipsticks. Did you know Burt’s Bees has like, actual legit non lip balm lipsticks now? THEY DO! And they are pretty fun!
burts bees lipstick Image Credit

I picked up Blush Basin and Juniper Water — basically the lightest and darkest shades my Walgreen’s had (All the shades are right here) and I love them both! Easy to wear, and they feel moisturizing without being too high maintenance. In case you needed something to impulse purchase the next time you are a Target… You’re welcome! 😛

******

Have an awesome weekend, friends! Hope you are doing something fun!

Print Friendly

What I’ve Been Into This Week

What a crazy week it’s been with people returning back to work and reality after the holidays, right? I wish I had found this funny or die instagram post on Monday morning — I probably would have printed it out. LOL

It was a gray and rainy week, which sounds sort of depressing but my formerly brown drought deprived lawn was loving it, so I guess I am happy. I just feel like my wardrobe was not prepared. I guess there should be some shopping in my future? I can live with that. :)

Nevertheless, we survived the week and now: WE WEEKEND! Here is some stuff I’ve been into this week that seemed worth a mention.

**************

Reading

books
I’ve been pouring through My Cooking Year by Ruth Reichl and listening to The Storied Life of AJ Fikry on Audible. Both have been GREAT so far, so that’s a nice way to start off January after a year of mediocre reading.

Scrolling

On the internet there was all sorts of interesting stuff floating around.

*Kendi’s Top 10 Beauty Buys of 2015 – I thought it might be fun to write something similar because I bought a lot of new beauty products this year, but look — 7 of Kendi’s 10 would have been on my list, so hey — read that one instead. :)

*57 Small Changes You Can Easily Can Make To Improve Your Life — I was lured in by “small” and “easy” and for the most part they were. I especially liked #5, 9, 24, and 31 (SO MUCH YES to # 31)

*6 Face Masks That Really Deliver — I ALWAYS love talking about face masks and a few faves I enjoy are on this list.

Pinning

Get in mah belleh, all of you!

*Korean BBQ Steak Bowls with Spicy Sesame Dressing

*Massaged Kale Salad

*General Tso’s Meatballs

Watching

netflix-making-a-murderer

Like everyone else in America it seems, I spent the New Year’s Eve Weekend binging on Making A Murder and I am unsettled with the experience. It was thought provoking and tragic. Dramatic, but realistic. And really, just so sad. It’s hard to say “I recommend it!” But I absolutely do.

Listening

weeknd
*The Weeknd’s album Beauty Behind the Madness. And I can’t decide if I like it yet. All of the hits are hits, but the album versions all seem to have really vibey intros which bug me. I’m undecided, but still listening.

Around The House

We got sick the week between Christmas and the New Year and I came across a random coupon for Lavender scented Breathe Right Strips. Congested as all get out and chugging cough syrup like it was Purple Drank, I figured what the heck could we lose.

Turns out: they were actually kind of awesome! And mixed with my new bad-ass humidifier (old lady alert!) and some essential oil voodoo, I feel like things are getting back on track. Whew!

cough syrup

******

That was my week in a nutshell. What have you been into?

Print Friendly

2015: What A Freaking Year

I know I owe y’all a wedding post, but every time I sit down at the computer after work it feels like climbing a mountain. We’ll get there. But for now, answering this ubiquitous year end questionnaire sounded so much more manageable. And also like a little bit of catch up. So indulge me!

(Questions have evolved over the years and I amended some myself.)

*****
1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?
Bought a wedding dress.
Wore a jumpsuit.
Got married.
Woke up next to MY HUSBAND.
21562369601_c9de0d91ba_o
Nuts, this year.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions and will you make more for next year?
I achieved a remarkable amount of my 2015 Goals, all things considered. The most notable: “Have wedding. Stay Sane. Pay Cash.” The “stay sane” part was probably a C+, but an A+ on having the wedding and paying cash.
I also purged the crap out of my house and did it without ever uttering the word KonMari or saying a prayer to my socks. So: thumbs up on that.
And I had a very arbitrary goal of prioritizing personal upkeep, and until recently I did a very good job of having a regular, on point manicure. So that was pretty cool. (Julep Flora and Kiara Sky Back to the Fuchsia were my jam this year.)
nails

I’ll continue that in 2016, for sure. And as for — will I set goals? DOES A BEAR SHIT IN THE WOODS?

3. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve
I guarantee you I will be in bed before midnight because I am an old lady, but we will spend it having appetizers for dinner and drinking (leftover wedding) champagne! Only 2 cases left. :) I’m more excited about New Year’s Day though: FIESTA BOWL // GO BUCKEYES!

4. Did anyone close to you give birth? Did anyone close to you die?
My cousin Jim gave birth. Well, his wife did. In the picture below he is on the left.

As for folks dying, this month we have lost two friends, Paul and Mandy – both to cancer. Both so young. Honestly, it’s still a little bit unbelievable. Paul is in the middle next to Jim. He was practically a member of our family for many years. Such a good guy.
Paul

My friend Mandy had cervical cancer, beat it, and it came back very aggressively this spring. She blogged her way through the end and I really can’t say enough things about how beautiful and inspiring her attitude was. If you would like to read some of her thoughts, her website is right here.

Fuck, that makes me sad just typing it. What a gem she was.
Mandy

As you can imagine, the end of this year has really caused me to reflect on how I am spending my time.

5. Did you travel this year?
I visited the Central Coast; Scottsdale, Arizona; Palm Springs; and had an awesome Bachelorette weekend out in Calaveras County. TAKE ME BACK (to any of those places, really.)

6. What would like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
Health. Fitness. Sanity. Time to myself. Weekends away with Garrett. A tropical vacation. Time to read books. Yoga. And you guys, I think I want to run another relay race. (HURRY TALK ME OUT OF IT!)

7. What moment from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
There are a few. Of course the wedding, but I think that is kind of the easy answer.
I mean this happened in 2015:
be cool

Also: The Royals winning the World Series.
Eric Hosmer

But if we are talking actual “moments’ the most memorable was the night before the wedding. That will forever be etched in my memory because we stayed at a beautiful hotel and our room overlooked the Capitol and I took a moment to stand in front of the window at just about midnight and everything was all lit up and the city looked beautiful and I had this incredibly calm feeling that everything was going to be okay.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Not eloping.
Discovering how awesome Audible is.
Finding Dia + Co.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Pretty much everything in this video.
I spent this year out of touch with myself, checking things off lists, going through motions, stressing about things I didn’t really care about, and holding my breath. I don’t regret any of that because I honestly have no idea what I could have done different, but it definitely feels like a failure.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I kept a year-at-a-glance calendar to track my workouts this year (FREAKING GREAT idea that I have more to say about, but the cliffs notes is I will totally do it again in 2016.) Anyway, if I was sick and didn’t work out I would mark the days off as “SICK” so I knew that it wasn’t just me slacking during those times of inactivity. Looking back over the last year I was sick FOUR TIMES for one week or more. You guys. YOU GUYS. That has never happened to me. My poor, overtaxed immune system this year. I’m fighting off a cold right now and I’m not sure who will be the victor yet. I can’t even tell you how focused on my health I will be next year because seriously, that was depressing to look back on.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A last minute mini-moon trip to Palm Springs the week after the wedding. (We thought for a minute we’d just wait until April to take our honeymoon and be fine. STUPID.)
Spotify Premium.
An Audible Subscription. (Did I mention how fricking great that is!?!)
A beautiful rose gold iPhone 6s.

12. Where did most of your money go?
The government took a hefty chunk, but an even bigger chunk went toward a casual dinner party I threw for 110 of my closest family and friends. Also: I bought a looooooooooooooooot of lipstick.

13. What song will always remind you of 2015?
Probably our first dance song at the wedding.

14. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Exhaling all of the oxygen in my lungs. Traveling. Feeling sunshine on my skin. Walking my dog. Working out. Writing on this blog. Being in nature. Buying clothes that I love.

15. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Being stressed. Shallow breathing. Staring at my bedroom ceiling instead of sleeping. Distracting myself from stress by mindlessly watching You Tube videos. Buying Lip Products. HOLLY YOU DON’T NEED ANYMORE LIP PRODUCTS.

16. What was your favorite new tv program?
I feel like this year Vanderpump Rules really made life worth living. (Especially when accompanied by the Watch What Crappens Podcast.) I also enjoyed How to Get Away With Murder for a while, but then it got a little nuts.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? Sadder. 2015 took a lot out of me. I worked a lot. Stressed a lot. And we lost two friends who were just to young to die. I know I will perk up, but I am definitely sadder at the end of this year.
Thinner or fatter? So. Much. Fatter. We’ll take care of this next year though.
Richer or Poorer? Richer. Richer and Sadder. How’s that for a case study in money ain’t everything. It also can’t buy you class, according to The Countess so it’s a good thing there’s not a question about Classier or Less Classy, because honestly it would be a toss up.

18. What was the best book you read?
Sadly, I didn’t read a ton of books this year. But I really enjoyed Delancey and The Girl On The Train.

19. Greatest Musical Discovery
That I’m a Justin Bieber fan, apparently. But how “Great” is that really? Let’s…never speak of this again. (But dude, his new album *is* really good.) I also really enjoyed Ryan Adams cover of Taylor Swift’s 1989 album.

20. Favorite film of the year?
Not counting our annual and ceremonious viewing of Teen Witch, I don’t remember watching that many movies. We watched Somm on Netflix this year. I think that was this year. Anyway, we loved it. Since that is the only movie I remember watching, I think we can call that the favorite. That Sommelier test looks simultaneously terrifying and inspiring.

21. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
I turned 37 in October and I can not tell you at all how I spent it. Since it was 25 days after the wedding I probably spent it muttering “HOW GOOD IS THIS LIFE NOW THAT WE ARE NOT PLANNING A WEDDING?” :)

22. Greatest Food Discovery
The Chicken Liver Pate at The Tropicale in Palm Springs.

23. Describe your personal fashion concept of 2015?
Is this clean? Does this fit? Are all of my appropriate bits covered? Are these workout pants completely nuts? Not a whole lot of time for personal fashion concepts in 2015. I regret this, actually.
fashion concept

24. What did you want and not get?
A sip of a PumpTini. Dinner at Sur. You know, really important things. Look out, 2016!

25. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A chilled bottle of Lisa Vanderpump’s Sangria in my fridge? Ok, ok this is starting to veer into weird fangirl territory which is not my intention at all. I’ll stop now.

26. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned
Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Also, this:
la croix

27. What pictures best represent 2015?
grumpy cat
family portrait

Print Friendly

This Weekend + Blogging About Our Wedding

Am I the only person who starts to feel anxiety at the end of the year about digital photo management? Something about the ease of iPhone and Instagram photos and digital sharing and all of that makes me so much less inclined to print photos. This doesn’t bother me eleven months out of the year but something about December makes me feel like: PRINT! ALL! THE PHOTOS! So that’s happening this weekend. Lot’s of photo printing, frame updating and hanging.

I hate frame hanging with a fiery passion. I need a good tutorial on how to hang frames absolutely straight and beautiful with zero tools or measuring. Also only using nails. Because tape measures and fancy wall mounting hardware? I HATE THAT SHIZ!

Since we’re talking about photos, Garrett and I have yet to finish selecting our photos for our wedding album. You guys it is like the “end of year photo anxiety” ON STEROIDS. So many gorgeous ones! Here is a random one:

wedding photo

Even though I’m making a weird face, I love it! And there are like MANY HUNDREDS of pictures I love. oy! (Granted, this is a good problem to have. But still!)

So let’s talk about the wedding and the blog for a minute. I know a lot of you inquired in the comments of my last post and via email (OMG, thank you for all your sweet emails!!!) about whether I would post about our wedding. And honestly, I’m happy to! I think I just wanted to come back and say hello before I all of a sudden inundated you with photos of “HERE IS MY WEDDING BLAH BLAH BLAH” after a few months of radio silence.

If you’ll indulge me, I’d actually like to kind of tell the story of our wedding. Does that sound weird? It’s ok to tell me it sounds weird. I guess what I mean is that I’d like to show you pictures — but I’d also like to talk about how we made the decisions we made and why we did some of the things we did. You see, I was not the kind of person who could work my job, live my life, and plan my wedding, while also blogging about it with excitement. The fact is, this pretty much nailed my wedding planning experience, and had I been blogging through that, no one would have wanted to hear from me.

But now that it’s over — I look back and think it was just perfect! I have so many positive things to say about it, so I guess in that sense I’m glad I waited to talk about it. I was thinking maybe this weekend I would start getting some of those thoughts together and write some posts for next week. It will be a multiple post situation for sure, so hopefully that won’t make your eyes roll back in your head? And if it does — maybe pop back in and check on things the following week, huh? Ok, cool.

Thanks for all your patience with me here folks. I think this will be fun. Have a lovely weekend and let’s meet back here next week. xo

Print Friendly

Hello From The Other Side

It just took me 10 minutes to figure out how to log in to wordpress because it’s been so long. So, that’s embarrassing. I guess that means we are probably overdue here.

The other problem I’m having is that I just stared at the screen for over an hour trying to figure out what to say. The blogging muscle is REALLY atrophied, y’all.

It makes sense: my Ad Network canned me (rightfully so for not posting in 5 months!) and my Amazon Affiliates account was shut down. It’s like the universe is saying that this website is just primed (see what I did there?) to just go softly into the night.

But the thing is — I am just not ready to stop sharing.
I’m also not ready to stop writing.

The community and landscape of blogging has definitely changed –so much so that just writing “community and landscape” just made me feel a little bit silly. The internet is vast and full of so many platforms from which to shout that it’s hard to know what, if anything, is left to be said.

I feel like I’ve outgrown this home.
Well, maybe not the house itself, but the decor?
I don’t know why I am turning to metaphor here.
The easiest way to put it is that I am not ready to move on, but I definitely need to spruce some things up around here.
I need a little refresh, but I know that I am not done sharing here.

I’m going to ease back into what feels right, and I think that starts by just showing up here. I’ll be puttering around and changing things to more accurately reflect who I am and what I’m doing here. I don’t know how long that will take or what it’s going to look like in the end. I don’t even know if I remember how to do any of it. All I know is that I miss sharing food, fitness, random thoughts and daily life. So maybe we’ll just start with that.

I’m just not sure how to best do these days between Instagram (love), Twitter (is this dead?), Snapchat (hoo boy someone explain that to me), You Tube (seems intriguing.) But what I do know is that now that I’ve survived the majority of 2015, gotten married and finished most of my thank you notes (:)) and not gone completely insane — I finally have some time to think about all of the things I’ve been missing.

And writing here is one of them. I’m looking forward to sharing the new normal.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Print Friendly

Welcome!

photo

Instagram

Categories

What I’m Pinning

  • If you are consideri
  • "Humans Never Dogs F
  • turquoise earrings,
  • How To Do a Major Pr
  • short hair styles fo
  • PB fudge6 (1 of 1)
Follow Me on Pinterest

Archives

Posts

February 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jan    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728