Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Little Letters - February

I love reading Naomi's "Little Letters" posts, so I thought I'd be kinda rude and steal the idea ;)


Dear Spring, 
I'm ready for you, my friend. I know many of us are, but I'm like, really ready for you.

Dear Sugar-Free French Vanilla Coffeemate Creamer, 
I know you're full of shit ingredients, and terrible, I'm sure, for my health in the long run, but I just love you. I really do.

Dear Kindle, 
I can't believe I like you as much as I do. 

Dear Physical Books,
Nothing will replace you.

Dear Paris, 
I can't stop thinking about you and it's becoming a little much for all the non-Francophiles around me.  224 days to go...

Dear Hemingway, 
I can't put to words why I'm obsessed with you. You were into a lot of things I can't get behind (big game hunting, misogyny...), and yet, I think you're one of the most brilliant men of our time. Your flaws are somehow endearing in a way others' flaws aren't. Also you were so handsome I can't deal, which doesn't make up for the misogyny or killing lions, but it helps. 

Dear Scale, 
I like what I'm seeing. I mean not really, but I like that I'm seeing the current number on it's way down. 

Dear Scale at the Gym,
Please match my scale at home.

Dear Personal Trainer, 
I like you, but also I like a lot of other people more than you. But also I have a feeling I'm going to owe you big time at the end of all this.

Dear Black Panther,
I'm excited to see if you live up to the hype on Saturday. I have a feeling you will.

Dear family, 
I went to a memorial last night to honor the life of a good friend's brother who died way, way too soon, and I've never been more grateful to have you. To be able to wake up in the room down the hall from you, to ask you for toilet paper in the morning, to ride to the train with you, to text you for a favor. You are my favorite humans.

Dear Zella, 
These leggings though. I, very dramatically, can't thank you enough.

Dear Paula McClain,
The Paris Wife has continued to occupy my brain long after I've finished it. I can't wait for your next book to come out in May.

Dear Women in My Life,
I can't wait to celebrate you all this spring and summer! Three bridal showers, two bachelorette parties, one baby shower, Mother's Day, my favorite woman's birthday, two first birthday celebrations, two weddings, one due date. Love watching these milestones and taking notes of the best women I know.


//


*Linking up with Jenn!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Weekending

I almost said "happy Monday, friends!" and then got super pumped when I realized it's Tuesday! Nothing wrong with being further into the work week than ya thought ;)

This weekend was a good one and I hope everyone had a good one too! Let's recap...

//

On Friday night Sammy came over with all the ingredients (and some beautiful red roses) for our little dinner at home. 


He stuck with steak, asparagus, a tomato and cucumber salad, and a medley of olives and artichoke hearts, and I stuck with garlic butter shrimp and green beans. Loved how mine turned out and it's zero WW points (if you don't count the butter I cooked with and small amount of bread crumbs sprinkled on top...)! We had a leisurely dinner and nice conversation (which is a step up because usually we don't talk much while we eat hahaha which is a weird thing about our relationship because normally we can't get the other to shut up). I always love cooking and being in the same space in that way with him, so this was a really lovely evening. 



 After dinner we curled up in bed with my laptop and booked our trip to...

YES, we're going to Paris in October and I couldn't be more excited. I have two weddings this summer that extend into July and Sammy doesn't have any weekends off until October, so I picked a weekend that I thought might work and we've been watching the airfare for a few weeks and it dipped to what Hopper is predicting will be it's lowest price, so we jumped on it. We'll only be in Paris for a weekend, but with his schedule we have to go and do things when we can otherwise we'll never get around to it.

I can't wait to go back, especially with Sammy. It's going to be such a different experience and yet I can't wait to experience the same things again (if that makes any sense). I've been all about the French-themed books and music lately, not that that's any different from usual. I know the next seven-ish months are going to fly by but I'm already getting antsy to get there ;) It was a very happy Valentine's Day indeed.

//

 On Saturday I went with my girlfriends to "Wine About Winter." It was so nice to be with all my favorite ladies, tasting a bunch of wine and snacking on many things (God bless free samples).


My heart <3 

Starting to get a little sloppy ^^ haha. We ended the day at O'Tooles for more food we didn't need and some wonderful champagne cocktails with raspberry syrup. A few of us went back to Chelsie and Dan's to hang out before heading home for the night where I promptly passed out.

//

I slept in on Sunday and stayed in bed until I had to get up for therapy. I came home right after, changed back into my sweats, and played with my new Kindle. And by "new" I mean my girlfriend brought it to me on Saturday because she isn't crazy about the backlight on it and didn't use it, so she SO generously offered it to me.

I was never a big e-book fan as I definitely prefer to hold a physical book in my hands, but I can't deny that I read a lot more using a device like this, so I've embraced it. Especially when I can get library loans on it.

I've been wanting to read Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds ever since I first heard about it, and last week it became a Newbery Honor book, a Coretta Scott King Honor book, Printz Honor book, and was longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, as well as landing itself on many other "best book" lists. So I started it on Sunday morning and finished by the afternoon. It's absolutely incredible and I highly recommend. Definitely going to be talking more about it during my February book review.


I started reading Hemingway's Girl later that afternoon and finished it by the evening. I've been obsessed with reading fictionalized accounts of famous authors (OK, just Hemingway haha), especially after reading The Paris Wife.


I spent the rest of Sunday on the couch reading while visiting with my grandma and uncle who came over for dinner and to hang out. We ordered some Chinese food and they watched the Olympics (because, as you know, I don't watch ;) ). 

//

I slept in again on Monday and it was a perfect morning to do so because it was gloomy and rainy (not that I need a reason to sleep in!). My mom and I watched the season premiere of When Calls the Heart that had recorded the night before and we loved it, per usual. I watched a few Hallmark movies that were playing on TV because once my Hallmark heart gets going, I can't stop it. 


I'm looking forward to the "Spring Fever" movies they were advertising for and I hate myself for it.

I peeled myself off the couch around 5 p.m. so I could make it to personal training where I got my ass kicked. It feels amazing in the moment but I am feeling it today and I'm sure I'll feel it even more tomorrow, which is when I have my next session haha.


After training, I came home, got my life together a little bit which means I watched another Hallmark movie while folding laundry.

The weekend was a perfect mix of relaxation while spending time with people I love. Can't ask for more than that. 
xo


*linking up with Biana!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday Faves

So glad it's Friday, friends! I thought this week was going to creep along with impending three-day weekend ahead of us, but it wasn't too bad which helped a lot. Work was consistently busy (as it's been crazy the last few months), I made it to the gym/worked out multiple times, stayed pretty on track with WW, and still had time for some phone calls to my grandma and to start two new books.

But now I'm ready for the weekend! On to the faves...


ONE / Getting to see this face on Wednesday, if only via Snapchat, was definitely a favorite :)




TWO / Recent Purchases

Nordstrom

I haven't online shopped in a long time (and I shouldn't have been doing it this week either...) but I recently realized just how OBSESSED I am with my Zella leggings, so I checked to see if Nordstrom had any on sale. I wear my plain black ones as every day leggings that I transition into workout ones when I go to the gym right after work, but I wanted ones that could be strictly for working out/running errands or something (aka not work). These were on sale for $30 (now sold out apparently) so I scooped them up.


I love the way tops with a front tie/twist look, but most of the ones I see tie too high up on the body for my personal preference, so when I saw this one I knew I would get a ton of use out of it. It doesn't seem to be available in this gray anymore, but it comes in black and oatmeal. BP has a very similar version that is cheaper, but I think the material on this one looks nicer.

here!

Old Navy

Ah, my loyal and faithful friend. I can always find something at Old Navy which is why I try to steer clear of it most of the time. 

I grabbed this for working out because it was on super sale and I don't have many long sleeve shirts to work out in (my preferred sleeve length for working out). I sized up a few times as well because I hate clingy workout clothes. 

here!
All the reviews were raving about how soft this jumpsuit is, so I can't wait to get it and try it on! I feel like this can so easily be dressed up or down and I'm excited for all the possibilities to try this spring.

here!
I've been waiting to find a chambray sleeveless top/shell that I can pair with sweaters and jackets. I don't love layering long sleeved tops with one another (I get way too hot!), so this will be perfect to layer under some oatmeal and white colored sweaters.

here!
Loft

I always delete my J. Crew Factory and Loft emails because if I look for even a minute at anything they have, I'll cave and start giving them all my money. I really need to just unsubscribe...
But the sales Loft is currently having (40% off your purchase and an additional 50% off all sale items!) are too good to pass up, so I fell down the rabbit hole a little.

This poncho felt like an incredibly necessary purchase to me (which was then enforced after reading the rave reviews it gets) despite it being not springy at all, although I fully plan to wear it in the Spring (and also rock the hell out of it come Fall). It's so me I can't even deal. I think it would be super cute in the Fall with a striped long sleeve T underneath.

here!
I saw a coworker wearing this exact sweater a few weeks ago and I loved it, so when I saw it for 50% off this morning, I put it in my cart immediately. I'll definitely wear it while the weather is still chilly and the color is gorgeous for the holiday season.

here!
These joggers get great reviews as well and I'm always looking for alternative options to jeans. I have a ton of sweaters, button ups, and casual shirts I'm going to love pairing with these.

here!
I thought this would be so cute for summertime so I grabbed it since it was under $15 with the discounts. I could wear it to work with a denim jacket and some black jeans and call it day. 

here!
I've been on the hunt for some gold hoops and really liked the textured detail on this pair. Couldn't tell (and they didn't list the dimensions in the specs for some reason) how big they were but for $7 I don't really care all that much. 

here!


THREE / My Column in the Fra Noi

My mom has been sending this short piece to everyone we know haha. It's really sweet of her though and my relatives seem to be enjoying and getting a kick out of it. It's about St. Joseph's Day which is an Italian holiday my family celebrates in March. It's one of my very favorite days each year.

You can read it here, if you'd like.




FOUR / Valentine's Day Celebration

Sammy had to work on Wednesday night, so we postponed our "celebration" to tonight. We're going to cook dinner together and just chill out. I'm excited to do nothing with him haha. He's making steak for himself, but I plan on making this garlic butter shrimp for me:

recipe here!

FIVE / Weekend Plans

My plans for this weekend have been an upcoming favorite for the last few weeks and I can't wait! Tomorrow my entire group of girlfriends will be together (hopefully! one of them is still getting over the flu) for a wine crawl we do every year.




On Sunday, as I've mentioned several times before, When Calls the Heart comes back! I'm hoping my  mom and I can watch it live together and have a little girl's night.




 I mean...for this shit alone, right?


And I've been looking forward to having Monday off since...the last time we had Monday off haha. I can't wait to sleep in, do some reading, and stay in sweats all day.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!
xo



Linking up with Andrea & April!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Mid-Week Thoughts

+ I haven't watched any of the Olympics. Does this make me a bad person? Or unpatriotic? I just don't get it. I'm totally and completely in awe of the athletes, like I can't even begin to imagine the level of endurance, dedication, and passion one has to have to train the way they do in order to even qualify for the Olympics. So on that end, it's incredible. They're masterful individuals. But as an observer? I'm just exhausted watching them and I feel like I don't know enough about winter sports to be invested.

+ I'm getting incredibly excited for spring. As fall approaches every year, I always think to myself, it doesn't get any better than this autumnal pre-season vibe, but then spring comes and I just can't handle myself. I did a little online shopping for the first time in a long time and got a few pieces that are making me even more excited for the temp to climb a little bit (but just a little bit 'cause I don't need any of that eighty-five degree shit).

+ I start personal training tonight. Ugh. I'm trying to keep a positive attitude (really seems to be working, right?) and hope it goes well. The plan is to go twice a week and then workout one day at home. Hopefully I can kick that up a notch as we get closer to summer (a.k.a. wedding festivities, clothes that don't hide as much, vacations, etc.) and get four to five workouts in a week. That seems pretty crazy to me though, like how do you four to fivers do it? 


+ I'm really tired of thinking about my weight. I'm tired of counting WW points. I'm tired of pulling my clothes away from my stomach where they inevitably cling. I'm tired of declining sex because I don't want to take my clothes off. Or my stomach to jiggle. Or my arms to jiggle. You get it. But I'm not tired of the journey yet because I'm healthy and get to have a conventional (first world, none the less) weight loss journey. I'm not tired of being inspired by cool Weight Watcher instagramers. And I'm not tired of scanning barcodes to see how many points things are (not sure why that's so fun for me). Not tired of the praise Sammy gives when I lose a pound or so a week. Tired and not tired. Depends on the day. But such is life.

+ I'm so excited for the three-day weekend coming up. That's all.

+ I'm disgustingly excited that When Calls the Heart comes back on Sunday night. Officially a Hallmark convert.

+ Sammy works tonight, so we're celebrating Valentine's Day on Friday night by cooking dinner together. We're not big Valentine's Day people (too much pressure!), so we'd rather just chill out. However, I am big on getting snaps like this while I'm at work :) That uniform. never. gets. old.



Happy love day, all xo

Monday, February 12, 2018

Weekending

Happy Monday, friends! I was kinda dreading this morning after what felt like luxuriously long weekend, but so far, the day is going well and less stressed than I thought it would which I'm grateful for. Every time I "dread" Monday morning, the day is never as crazy as I think it's going to be, so I need to chill out, especially since there are so many worse things that could be happening in life than dreading a Monday morning. 


I worked from home on Friday since we got many inches of snow and traveling to work would have been tricky since they didn't plow many streets until the late morning. But it was SO nice to work from home. Ugh, you remote workers have it so nice ;) I could really get used to that. 

I powered through my entire to-do list before ending the work day and then I got ready to go out to dinner with Sammy's parents and his brother's family for Sammy's birthday. He requested BBQ so we stopped into the Rack House Tavern where he split their BBQ platter with his dad, brother, and SIL, and I tried the beer battered cajun shrimp with jalapeƱo coleslaw. We thought the food was just OK, definitely good, but we're kind of BBQ snobs, but our server was really lovely. 


The birthday boy always requests Portillo's chocolate cake on his birthday, so his brother and SIL hosted us at their house for said cake and coffee. We got some more quality time with our niece who is so much fun and eight months old now! 

(also, if you're a chocolate fanatic like Sammy and live near Portillo's, you get a free slice on your birthday ;) )

Afterward, Sammy met up with a few friends at the bar and I was very content to go home and relax for the rest of the night ;) I spent the night doing some vacation research (more on that later!) and working on an anniversary project for Sammy and I which led me to discover that you can order photo prints from Amazon! I love Amazon so much I can't even deal--they can do anything over there! I'm hoping they deliver a little sooner than they're scheduled to just 'cause I'm anxious to start working on the project. I also stayed up until after 2 a.m. finishing The Paris Wife. Brought me to tears.

On Saturday I slept in and stayed in bed for hours which was glorious. I finished another book I had started a few months ago. I ended up liking it, so I was glad to finish it and add another book to my Goodreads reading challenge for the year. 

(I gotta step it up a little...)

When I finally got up (and by "got up" I mean I moved from my bed to the couch...), I watched A Walk to Remember and She's All That both of which I've been itching to rewatch. I distinctly remember watching each of them for the first time as a kid, so they're nostalgic ones for me.

  

Later that night, my girlfriend and I decided to grab dinner and go see Fifty Shades Freed. I don't get a lot of solo time with this girlfriend so it was really nice to spend time together and she ended up treating me as a belated birthday gift which was so sweet of her. 


The movie was good. I mean, it's not good, but it was good haha. I proceeded to go home and watch the first two back to back and then texted Sammy to maybe search for some scenes on YouTube if he was in the taking notes kind of mood.

On Sunday I went with my mom and sister to a baby shower my cousins were throwing for their brother's girlfriend. She's the sweetest woman and they make the cutest couple, so we're thrilled they're expecting a baby girl!


The shower was so lovely down to every little detail. My cousins are so talented when it comes to throwing parties, everything is always so unique and tailored to the occasion and/or person. 


It was a tea themed shower, so we all had individual tea sets at our place settings, a tea pot filled with flowers as the centerpieces, and mugs to take home as favors.


My cousin collects dishware, so she just had all these settings at home... 
She's too much. I just love her.
I loved all the alternating fabric as table runners as well.



I loved that they hung little hats, headbands, and socks instead of onesies. And the two little robes on the ends!


My cousins cooked all the food because and it was delicious. We had chicken salad sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches, cucumber sandwiches, Greek orzo salad, and a plethora of desserts.





Loved spending the day with some of my very favorite ladies (many of whom are not pictured here!).


Always gotta take a serious pic ;)


Me and my favorite, favorite love (and the centerpiece I won ;) )


One of my cousins hand personalized each of these mugs with a guest's name on it to look like a tea bag was hanging out. How cute is she?! 


And my other cousin made the cookies (which is actually her full-time job because she's incredible at it). If you're in the market for some crazy cute cookies for an upcoming event, check out Pretty Yummy Bakery. She does amazing designs.

After the shower I did a little laundry and mostly bummed around. I was in kind of a weird mood because of the "Sunday scaries"and then I couldn't find anything I wanted to do to occupy my brain (while being super lazy this weekend, I kind of exhausted myself of movies and books), so my thoughts were just festering in my mind for a while. 
But being back in the groove of things at work today has helped and I have plans to try a cycling class after work at the gym I just joined, so I'm looking forward to seeing how that goes. 

Here's to a productive week ahead! 
xo