Wednesday, December 30, 2015

What's Up, Wednesday!

Wednesday! We have a short week at work this week so today is my last day #bliss. We're actually celebrating Christmas tonight with my Dad and I'm really looking forward to it. We had to push it back this year for scheduling reasons but we're all getting together tonight for some chinese food and some present opening.

I'm not sure this linkup is happening this week but I still wanted to do it since it's the last Wednesday of the month!

What I'm eating this week: A lot of leftovers! I'm also trying to start easing back into the portion control side of things after what feels like weeks of eating a shit ton of food. As much as I hate to admit it I'll be on the look out for some new salad ideas I can bring to work for lunch. I'm kind of picky about what kind of lettuce I like {I'm just now starting to get into salads because I've hated lettuce all my life} so the prepackaged mixes don't always work for me but I'd love to find one that does. Any favorites from Trader Joe's? I have to make a huge trip there soon!

{these both sound good}

What I'm reminiscing about: With the holidays here I've been doing a lot of reminiscing about past Christmases and my childhood. I'm a very nostalgic person by nature so it's easy for me to get caught up thinking about the past. 

What I'm loving: I'm currently loving being on break still. That will all come to an end next week but I'm trying to soak up all the free time I have left. 

What I've been up to: This week it's been a lot of relaxing, binge watching, and starting to get back into a schedule after the holidays so I don't reach total shock once school starts up again. I always have to start organizing myself a little earlier than I'd like in order to avoid being completely overwhelmed later.

{I have this exact printable in my new planner}
What I'm dreading: I'm not totally dreading anything but kind-of-half-way dreading going back to school {although trying to remain positive about it as I've said in the past because I know I'll miss it so much once it's over} and some other changes that are quickly approaching.

{how I feel every time I go to class}

What I'm working on: At work, I'm working on a few projects for our editors. Personally, I'm working on a bunch of organizational projects to get myself together after being lazy for the last few weeks haha. 

What I'm excited about: Our NYE plans and later this month when Sammy and I take my cousin's littlest to see Disney on Ice! I can't wait!

What I'm watching/reading: I'm currently on Season 8 of The Office. This is my second time watching the entire series and I feel like it's even better the second time. It's just so good. 

I've started about 97 books but the ones that I've most recently started are Brooklyn {because I wanted to read it before I see the movie but I may cave and just see the movie first 'cause it looks so beautiful}, Anne of Green Gables {because I started reading immediately after getting the collection for Christmas}, and Harry Potter {because my coworkers asked me to read it and as a long time Harry Potter avoider I'm still feeling it out haha}. 

{the prettiest of quotes are found between the pages of this book}

What I'm listening to: I go through a weird music ban after Christmas because I'm sad it's no longer conventionally appropriate to listen to Christmas music anymore *sobbing emjoi* but I guess now I'm over it because I'm listening to James Bay on repeat. Like the same song over and over. It's that good. 

What I'm wearing: Up until very recently it has been unseasonably warm in Chicago so I've been wearing slightly lighter jackets {meaning anything that isn't a parka} and a lot of sweaters to work. But at home it's a whole different ballgame and that ballgame has included a lot of thermal leggings, pajamas, and Christmas sweaters. 

What I'm doing this weekend: This weekend we're bringing in the new year downtown! We bought tickets to a club that will only be opened to those who purchased tickets {until 1:30am} which cuts down on the crowds to an extent. We also purchased a few hotel rooms at a hotel near the club with a few of our friends, so the evening should be a lot of fun!

The event page says "cocktail attire" but I'm not interested in wearing a dress or skirt after all the peanut butter blossoms I've eaten lately so the above is my outfit inspiration. I actually snagged a lace, off the shoulder top yesterday that I'm going to pair with my palazzo pants that look like the ones above. #godblessamazonprime I'll definitely be the warmest of the ladies on our walk back to our hotel ;)

What I'm looking forward to next month: Definitely, definitely Disney on Ice! 

What else is new: I had mentioned in an earlier recap post that Sammy had received some good news and that news is definitely what is new with us. He has recently been offered a candidate spot in the Wisconsin State Troopers' Academy! This is excellent for him because it means he can start his career in law enforcement while experiencing a higher level of training {state trooper academies are more militaristic than regular PO training}. He's still in communication with Chicago's department and will continue their process when he's home on weekends from the academy, so the future is still slightly up in the air, but for now Wisconsin is where he will be. 
After completing the academy in July he'll be located in a specific town and we're hoping for somewhere near the border of Wisconsin and Illinois so we can still see each other as often as possible. I'm trying not to worry about the future right now because it's all unwritten and something neither of us have control over {and it's really easy for me to get sucked down the rabbit hole of worry and get totally overwhelmed}. At the end of his "probationary" period, which will be January 2018, he can start applying to transfer back to Illinois. I'm trying to stay as positive as possible and always remind myself how much this means to him. 
He's been so wonderful about everything and always trying to prove how hard he'll work to make this work out which has made me feel so much better {even though he has nothing to prove because I know we'll both work hard to keep things strong}. It's going to be an adjustment but they require all candidates to go home for the weekends so I'll see him every weekend which will definitely help with the adjustment for both of us. I know so many people have partners overseas in far more dangerous situations than this, so I know overall I'm extremely blessed. It's definitely going to be a learning experience for both of us but I'm sure we'll come out of it much stronger together. 


That's all for now! I'm spending the rest of this week trying to do little organizational projects in order to get my life back on track haha. On the list is organizing areas of my room, creating a new budget, making a reading schedule, organizing school stuff {just bought all my books for what felt like a million dollars}, setting some seasonal winter goals, and setting up some meal/exercise plans. All with my new arc planner my cousin told me about from staples haha. I'm soooo nerdily into this planner. I love that I can find printables on pinterest and just add them in using my new hole punch ;) 


Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas! {2015}

Ahhh, these last few days have been so nice and I'm sad to see them end. I'm going to do a huge photo dump starting with my brother's birthday which was on the 23rd because it always feels like the beginning of the holiday festivities. 

We had dinner over at Biaggi's to celebrate. I got eggplant parmesan and a glass of lambrusco which is my favorite wine ever and I can never find it on menus so I was thrilled to be able to order a glass.  

He's so cute :)

We came back to the house to open gifts and have some pie & ice cream. It was a nice, chill evening before the craziness of the holiday started up. 

Christmas Eve started out by going to Dinkel's Bakery with my brother and Dad. It's a Christmas tradition we have with my Dad (my sister couldn't be with us this year because she had to work) and it never disappoints. We always grab some German stolen and some pastries to eat while we're there. I also grabbed a German butter cake to bring with me to Sammy's house for Christmas Eve dinner later that night. 

The streets in Lakeview were decorated so beautifully I had to snap a few photos. It's my new favorite neighborhood outside of the Loop. 

We went to the Brauhaus for lunch since German food for lunch after Dinkel's is tradition.

I got potato pancakes and a side of spatzel because it's my favorite German dish. Brauhaus' spatzel does not disappoint. 


I had to get the Haufbrau pale lager as well because it's ma fav. 

More gorgeous homes. Loved them.

After lunch we walked over to Gene's Sausage Shop & Delicatessen so I could grab some ingredients for the antipasto platter I was bringing by Sammy's house for dinner. It's such a unique deli and grocery store. I wish I had more time to walk around. I also grabbed some German chocolate to add to a grab bag gift I was putting together. They had so much variety!

I came home and got myself and everything I was bringing over to Sammy's before heading over to his house a little early to help out. Here's what the table looked like before all the family came over. 

Sammy's family served the 7 fishes which is an Italian tradition and it's a delicious tradition at that. This meal is right up my alley because even though I don't eat meat I do eat seafood, so there was so much for me to eat! She also served pasta with vodka sauce, stuffed mushrooms, green beans, potatoes, and lemon chicken. 

Sammy's grandmothers {and mom} make a ton of cookies for every occasion ever haha so this is a little sneak at what we had for dessert. There was also my butter cake, pretzel jello salad, oreo balls, and birthday cake!


Here's what Sammy's parent's tree looked like! We were also celebrating Sammy's dad's 50th birthday that night {hence the balloons}!

We spent the night eating, celebrating, and catching up. I loved being able to see Sammy's brother & SIL and his cousins we don't always see {except we were missing a few unfortunately}. After everyone left we exchanged gifts with Sammy's parents and brother and SIL. They got me two lovely sweaters from Old Navy 'cause they know how much I love it there haha and the illustrated version of Home Alone which I was thrilled to get {and made my brother and sister listen to as I read it to them out loud later that night ;) }. His parents got me leggings from Coldwater Creek {which are without a doubt the greatest leggings ever}, a beautiful top for work, gold bar earrings {to match a necklace I have}, cute boot socks, and a Michael Kors ring his mom has and I had said I liked. They totally spoiled me. 

All the siblings got Sammy's Dad Black Sabbath tickets for his 50th birthday and his mom got him a trip to Philly to see all the Rocky destinations since he's a HUGE Rocky fan {and obv Ozzy fan haha} so for Christmas Sammy and I got them a gift certificate to have dinner while in Philly. We also got his mom perfume. And we got his brother and SIL a gift certificate to a brewery downtown so they could have a date night!

A little Christmas morning selfie {in my Mickey Christmas pjs}!

Here is our gorgeous tree at my momma's!

My 22 year old brother set cookies out for Santa ;) & someone propped himself up on the couch to watch the gifts being open.


My siblings kept making fun of me for how nerdy my gifts were. I kept trying to deny it but in retrospect I realize it was kind of nerdy to get a hole puncher specific to my planner. And mostly books. I just love it though :) I'm so giddy over my Anne of Green Gables collection {mini series and all!}.

We had such a nice Christmas morning. My grandma slept over the night before and was with us to open gifts. I gave her a ring for her wedding ring finger {because her original wedding ring hasn't fit in years and she wears a different one on that finger} with my grandpa's actual signature engraved into it. She absolutely loved it and it was a really touching moment for the two of us. 

We all cooked breakfast together and sat down with a glass of champagne and had a lazy morning eating and laughing. 


I love taking pictures of our Christmas table in the daylight.

Our tree ready for round two!

I finally got around to using the cranberry wine I bought on the bachelorette trip I went on in September. I mixed it with some prosecco and sat down to read some Anne of Green Gables. 


We sat down to dinner a little later. My mom made ham, pasta, cheesy cauliflower with crunchy onions on top, vegetable casserole with breadcrumbs on top, and baked potatoes. I obviously ate all the starches. ;)


I made a ton of peanut butter blossoms and ate almost all of them myself. SO proud. We also had some mini strudel, leftover cakes from other holiday parties, and a huge platter of cookies Sammy brought over when he stopped by later in the evening. 


My Dad stopped by as well and we spent the evening watching home movies, talking, and then finishing the evening by watching The Andy Griffith Christmas episode. 

I also couldn't stop taking pictures of the Christmas tree! Or eating the damn peanut butter blossoms. 


Although the holiday seemed to include a lot of relaxing it was also filled with a lot of running around and errands leaving me relatively exhausted come the 26th. I've spent the last few days in pajamas, binge watching The Office, and eating way too many leftovers. I'm getting excited for our NYE plans downtown and starting to goal plan for the new year. 

There's nothing like a beautiful holiday to prove all the magic that surrounds your life. I'm so, so grateful for everything I've been given in this life. I hope everyone had a beautiful holiday and some relaxing days afterward. On to the new year...