V-Day Post: Alysha’s Package!

As promised, I am finally catching up on some V-Day posts!

I wanted to show you some of the super cute things my sister sent me for Valentine’s Day…

As you can see in the pictures, she sent me some really cute Owl-themed V-day stuff!  And a really fun “Middle Sister” wine! I was so excited about that! It’s a “Sweet and Sassy” Moscato. I am so excited to drink it, but part of me doesn’t want to because its sooo cute! Also in the picture are a super cute mini-fondue set, a funfetti whoopie pie kit (which we are going to make together for spring break), sweethearts (my fav candy). I am sure a few things are missing from the picture… like the chocolates I devoured. But basically the package was so amazing that I busted into it and started using things before I took pictures. Oooops !

In addition to the things pictured, she also filled the package with some other fun stuff, like some rockin’ sun glasses! And she was kind enough to mail me some of the stuff I left behind at Christmas, like my moshi pillow, teas, and nail polish. I also got an “Eats, Shoots, and Leaves” calendar. If you don’t know what it is, it basically makes fun of poor grammar. It’s hilarious and I have been greatly enjoying it.

Everything was WONDERFUL. My sister has great taste. 🙂

So, Thanks Alysha!!! I loved my VDay package and felt super loved by my sister. 🙂

VDay Catch Up Posts: VDay Weekend

Moving on in my VDay posts…

As everyone knows, I’ve been very stressed out and overwhelmed with school lately. So my sweetie planned a very romantic Valentine’s weekend for me, to help me feel loved and relax and destress!

So, last Friday, Jonathan took the day off of work to spend time with me! I also don’t have class on Friday, so that made it really, really nice! I had made him homemade chocolates during my smidgen of free time on Thursday, with the help of two of my good friends! I think they turned out nicely!

(Side note, Alysha, I wanted to make some for you but thought they wouldn’t turn out very good in the mail…so I went with Brownies instead… so we can make some over spring break if you want to!!)

Here’s what they looked like
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Jonathan planned some surprises for me, too. First up, we had couples massages! The last time we had professional massages was on our honeymoon, so this was an awesome surprise! Afterwards, I felt so relaxed and amazing!  Jonathan had also booked us a room at a local hotel for Friday and Saturday night, to help get me out of the house and unstressed. It definitely worked! Jonathan had booked a Valentine’s day special, so at the end we got a gift bag with champagne, plastic flutes, candy, and some other goodies. It was really sweet. 🙂

On Saturday, we went spinning. Now, some of you might be thinking, “Ick, 8:30 am biking on your romantic weekend? whaaat?”  But we are so excited about biking the french country side and we love spinning and training for it! After spinning, we got Kolaches (if you’ve never had a kolache, , you should! kolachefactory.com) We took those back to the hotel, watched a movie and ate kolaches!

Post-kolache eating, we enjoyed the hotel’s indoor pool and hot tub. Very nice and relaxing.  Then we got nice and dressed up, and Jonathan took me to the orchid exhibit at the botanical gardens.  I have a ton of pictures from that, so I will do an orchid post later. After orchids, we went to Monarch for dinner, which was also delicious and fabulous.  We don’t do fine dining very often, so it was a really nice splurge. Monarch has southern influences in their cooking, so of course I ended up having sweet tea fried chicken… amazing!  Jonathan got a sweet potato coated cat fish. Which I actually tried, and liked. Crazy!


On Sunday, we slept in, and then we went to Cafe Madeliene in Tower Grove Park for brunch. The wait was long, but the atmosphere was really nice and the food was great!  After that,  I had to go to class, so that was the end of our romantic Valentine’s Weekend.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope everyone is spending atleast part of it with someone they love, whether that’s a significant other, a friend, a family member, or a cute and furry pet.

🙂

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I’ll just publically be super mushy and make a shout out to my husband, Jonathan. I love you. Thanks for being my valentine. 🙂

So here’s my mushy VDay song:

It’s Kinna Grannis, Valentine….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvydhvh2768

 

I have a ton of V-Day related posts I want to do (food, outings, crafts, packages, etc!) But they will have to wait until I have more time to upload pictures and write posts. So just warning you, this blog is going to be very red and valentinesy for awhile. If you hate that stuff, check back in in March. I have a ton of VDay pics that need uploading and I shall be uploading in the near future!

Valentines crafts + Shout out to Alysha

First, GIANT thanks to Alysha for my awesome VDay package! It rocked! I will do a seperate post with pictures of the amazingness this weekend, since it takes a really long time to find and load that many pictures and I have homework to do still :/   but…..I LOVED ITTT! :-D:-D:-D  I won’t spoil the awesomeness by telling you what was in it.. so you’ll just have to wait! 🙂

If you haven’t already gathered, Alysha and I have this tradition of sending each other Valentine’s Day packages. For some reason, this year, I felt really crafty! I sent her four crafts. I found all of the crafts online, and I am happy to re-find the links if anyone wants them.

Craft Number 1: Heart crayons! Basically, I melted down crayons by chopping them into little pieces and baking them in the bottom of a heart-shaped donut pan.   image

Craft Number 2: I Love You tea bags. I replaced all of the tags on the teabags with my own, and they spell out “I love you”.

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Craft Number Three: a felt fortune cookie! I got this one from Martha Stewart. It turned out pretty cute!

 

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Craft Number 4: A heart shaped book mark. Basically, I cut out cardstock in a heart shape, and then used craft glue to glue the top of the hearts together and left the bottom unglued.

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Weight Watchers Milestone + Christmas Ornament Picture

So, I got busy and forgot to blog yesterday… oops!

On the other end, I feel fully recovered from my illness and my weight has seesawed its way back up and has stabilized over the last few days, so I am feeling good about it!

I track my weight on Sundays, so I was glad that I felt like I had a somewhat stable number to put in today. And guess what? I reached a new milestone on Weight Watchers… 5% ! Yay me!

 

I am also about to go buy books for school, and that means I am about to have a lot of homework. So no more crafting / fun times for awhile for me … so in honor of that, I am posting a picture of the salt dough ornament I made for Alysha!

She took a pic and emailed it to me awhile ago, but I hadn’t gotten around to posting it yet… here it is!

 

This was the one that I thought was most successful. The shape is a Dala horse, which is an iconic horse from Sweden. She had bought me cookie cutters when she studied abroad in Sweden, so I used them to make a horse ornament for her!

 

Sweet Eyeshadows: Perfect Match at Ulta

But first, a better picture of that Asian Pear Sorbet…

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Shown pictured with a simple ginger cookie. I’ll ask Jonathan for the recipe, because it got lightened up, also. We took the sorbet and cookies over to Nancy and Louis’s last night, and they both seemed to be a hit! They paired quite well together, if I do say so myself.

 

Next, this is not the best picture of me due to the lighting, which made my blush look way pinker than I think it did in real life. So ignore the clown cheeks.. but in this picture I am wearing two sweet make up gifts from Alysha. I have been trying for weeks to get a good picture of the eye shadow, because it is my new favorite product, but alas it never happens. So I have also taken a picture of this cute little set, shown below the picture of me. It came from Ulta, and is called Perfect Match. Each little circle really is perfectly composed to create great eye looks! I love, love, love it! I haven’t touched my arsenal of other eyeshadows since I got it, because it is just too perfect! I am also wearing a hot pink Lancome lipstick, also a gift from Alysha.

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Anyway, I didn’t do a full “Look what I got for Christmas” post because I got so many wonderful gifts and Ihave not had the energy to take a picture of each thing and write a post that gigantic … but I may post some shout outs as I want to share various items here or there. But trust me, I got some really rocking gifts and feel really loved and appreciated by my family. In fact… I just got another present in the mail.. hehe.. but that will have to wait.  But anyway, last night I was jazzed about the make up gifts!

I was also inspired by my college roommate to do something more exciting than a pony tail with my hair, and since school has not yet started, I had lots of time to play around with it, and I rather like how it turned out! Although the more I look at this picture with the weird lighting, the more garish I think the total effect of the hair plus blush is. Oh well. The eye shadow is sweet. If you’re looking for some cute colors, I highly recommend that set from Ulta.

Maybe I’ll print up one of those make up sheets and do a few looks and post them later. We’ll see how ambitious I get. 🙂

Healthy New Years Meal (a day late)

So yesterday the hubby and I had this delicious and healthy meal planned for our New Years dinner… and then we both felt too lazy to go grocery shopping so we postponed to today!

Anyway, pictured below is Chicken Rollatinis (recipe from skinnytaste.com, http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/04/chicken-rollatini-with-spinach-alla.html). The recipe turned out absolutely delicious, as does everything we have ever made from this website. Kudos, Gina!

We did simple roasted broccoli and cauliflower, which we made by drizzling olive oil over it, and seasoning it with oregano and garlic pepper seasoning, and then roasting on a cookie sheet in the oven.

And finally, Jonathan had made whole wheat onion rolls, so today he sliced them into toast points and crisped them up in the oven.

Weight Watchers wise, this plate is 10 pts, and it was super filling and fabulous!

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New Years Resolution: Be Intentional

I have already written about how weight watchers seems to be working for me. I work hard to record all of my food intake and activity output and try to stay within the boundaries set for me.

I just put together a budget for us, and we are going to try to stick to the boundaries we set for each category.

I also reorganized my desk and created a “to sort” stack and a “to do” stack, since those types of piles frequently get mixed up.

As I was doing these things, I realized what I was doing was forcing myself to not spacily float through my days, eating whatever, spending whatever, and putting my stuff wherever. I am trying to force myself to be intentional in those areas.

And I realized that trying to live with intention is a much better New Year’s resolution than “lose ten lbs” or “save more money.”  I started thinking that the things I usually resolve to do are consequences of actions, not actual actions I can take. So my overall resolution is to be more intentional. And sticking to weight watchers, budgets, and organization in my house are tools to help me be intentional. And hopefully losing weight, saving money, and having an organized house will be natural (and exciting) consequences of my resolution.

I know we’re really talking about semantics here, but I think that making a resolution about my mindset and attitude is going to be more fulfilling than making a resolution about the outcome of my year.

 

 

 

Christmas Recap

Christmas was pretty good this year!  For the first time in three years, Jonathan and I actually got to spend Christmas together, which was really nice. We were in Ohio for break, and my family came into town in waves, which was sort of an interesting but fun experience! Here’s the recap of Christmas week:

Weds, Dec 21:

Of course Alysha and I still had Christmas shopping to do, so we shopped, shopped, shopped! Then she had planned a nice evening together for my birthday! We ordered Chinese from our fav Chinese restaurant, and had a game night with my mom! We popped open the copy of Scattergories that Alysha got me for Christmas (yeah, I opened it early, my bad..hehe) and had a hilarious time playing it. I highly recommend this game for people who like word games! It’s one of my favorites!  Then we played Phase 10 while watching Top Chef Texas. It was a fabulous way to celebrate my birthday! 🙂

 

Thurs, Dec 22

Another Alysha day! And of course, more shopping! (Were you really expecting anything else???)  We went on a hunt for dressers that took us to the antique district in Lebanon, and to Ikea in Cincinnati. This was my first Ikea experience, and it was so much fun! Alysha ended up with fabulous dressers and I ended up with a hodgepodge of random and cute items including candles and a note book. By the way, Alysha, don’t forget to water your orchid!

Fri, Dec 23:

Alysha left because she’s a working woman now. So I met up with Dylan, Randal, Nichole, and Jonathan for lunch at Chappy’s.

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I’m pretty sure I had an allergic reaction to the food, because around 1 oclock my throat started hurting really bad, and by 7 oclock, it had stopped completely. At the time, I thought I was just getting sick. But I don’t think you can recover from strep in 6 hours! Then we went home, and watched the movie Morning Glory while we waited for Dad to get home. He got in in the early evening. Jonathan went to take his little brother, Curtis, Christmas shopping and I got to have some good quality time with my Dad. We went shopping and then came home, and Mom made chicken curry and I added green beans to it (much to my Daddy’s chagrin.. hehe).  Having mom’s curry tasted so good! I need to figure out how to make it the way she makes it! Then we convinced Daddy to play phase 10 for the rest of the evening.

Sat, Dec 24:

I got to spend the day shopping with Daddy and having more quality time. We did manage to procure a turkey, and all the fixings for Christmas dinner! In the evening, we went out to dinner at Red Lobster, and it was a lot of fun. I also bought a funny hat from Old Navy and wore it out to dinner.

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 We ordered lobster pizza as an appetizer, and then Mom, Dad, and I all ordered steak and lobster combos. Really, we should have ordered two combos for the three of us, but nobody wanted to share their lobster so we ordered way too much! Jonathan got the tilapia, which I tasted and I actually liked! I hate fish, but I am starting to broaden my taste!

Sun, Dec 25th:

I spent the morning and early afternoon with Jonathan’s family. We had so much fun opening gifts and the playing Cooking Scrabble (which was one of our presents from his parents). If you haven’t played Cooking Scrabble, it’s a really fun take on Scrabble. You get cards that give you options to do funny things. For example,  you can play a microwave card, which doubles your score on your word if you can play your word in under 15 seconds. There is also a wine pairing card, which, when played, allows you combine letters with another player to form two words, and you each get half of the total points. So it’s Scrabble to the next level! I highly recommend it for anyone who likes word games!
spencer, the dog also got festive…

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Somehow, when I took the picture his eyes came out scary!

In the afternoon, I left Jonathan to spend some time with his brother, and I went with my dad to pick up my older sister and her husband from the airport. That evening, we ate a delicious Christmas dinner of turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, roasted vegetables, sweet potato casserole, dinner rolls, and of course, pie!  Then we spent the rest of the evening playing Phase 10. All evening my Mom kept saying I was channeling my younger sister, Alysha, by the way I was acting. (I really missed having her with us!). For example, at one point, Jonathan was eating a turkey leg, and I was like, “EW, that is so gross!” (Alysha is a vegetarian). Anyway, we missed her. And since we missed her while she was working the night away, we postponed present opening to…

Mon, Dec 26

We loaded up three cars with Alysha’s stuff, and headed to Columbus, which is an hour and a half drive from Centerville. Saira rode in my car, so it was nice to get a bit of quality time with her, too! We made it to Columbus, unloaded all of our stuff, and then set up presents under the tree! Then a quick brunch of Taco Bell/Pizza Hut Express, cinnamon rolls, and sparkling cider. Then, onto the opening extravaganza! I think everyone enjoyed their presents, and it was a lot of fun! I definitely enjoyed mine. 🙂   After that, Saira, Alysha and I played Ticket to Ride (my present to Saira) and then I had to leave. 🙁  So sad!

I drove back to Centerville, swung by the house to get a few things I had forgotten, swung by Jonathan’s house to get him, and we started the long drive to St. Louis. We stopped at a Steak N Shake for dinner and had a quick sit down dinner instead of eating in the car because I was feeling very sad and lonely about leaving my family.

At one point, however, the high way was shut down and we got detoured through a small town, and getting to STL took way longer than it usually does, so that was exhausting and a bummer.

But here I am, back in STL safe and sound. When we got in last night, it was raining like crazy, and when we woke up this morning there was a heavy layer of snow on the ground. How did that happen?? Guess I should think about shoveling…

New Technology!

For my birthday, my parents (with some advice/help from my sister) got me a new phone and a data plan! I feel so lucky! I love, love, love my new phone! It’s a G2X android. I can do so many things on it, like check email, play games, download stuff, listen to music. It’s amazing. I’ve barely been on a computer since I got it!

 

I need to figure out how to blog and how to post pictures from it. It has an awesome camera and I have taken several great pictures I’d love to share eventually.

 

I can’t believe how much fun this phone is! Okay, sorry, I’m more than a little excited!

I am glad Alysha has been around to teach me how to use it. She’s had an android for years, and knows all about this sort of thing. The first day, I felt so old and slow, I couldn’t figure anything out. But Alysha taught me all about apps and widgets and screens and zooms. She also set me up a Words With Friends account… Scrabble has always been one of my favorite games and now I can play all the time on my phone! 🙂

I am sure I am not using my phone to its fullest potential, but I am enjoying it.  🙂