Friday, May 19, 2017

Life Lately

Happy Friday, all! I have absolutely zero plans for this weekend and I can't express how much I've been looking forward to it. I am in bachelorette party planning mode over here (the big weekend is next week!!), so I'm happy to have a little time to get some small projects done this weekend. 

Other than that, I have no plans other than parking myself on the sofa to watch tv and read all weekend ;) total bliss. 

In other news...some photos from life lately. 

Back in April, Chelsie's bachelorette invitations arrived! I asked a designer I work with (who happens to also be one of my best friends) if she would make the invitations for me based on an image I found and purchased on Etsy (for $4!), and she worked her designer magic and made these stunning invites for us. 

I went with a floral theme for her engagement party invites and used it again for these. I think it's a perfect combo of feminine with a little glam coming from those gold accents for a bachelorette vibe. 
It definitely pays to know a talented designer ;) Chelsie loved them so much she said she didn't even want to put it on the fridge because she didn't want to crease it, ha!

If I didn't know me I might not believe it either, but my mom and I joined a kickboxing class at the end of April. Classes are in the evenings at a martial arts studio that's literally across the street from our house (I used to take ballet there when I was little and it was a dance studio), so the location couldn't be more perfect. 

It's a full hour and half the class is cardio, half is kickboxing. It's nonstop, I've never sweat so much in my life, the classes never get easier, but I'm addicted. I can't believe I like it as much as I do, even though I definitely don't look like I like it during ;) It's been awesome to find something athletic/physical that I actually enjoy doing. Because they work cardio into the class, it's marketed as a weight loss class as well, and I've been dropping some pounds here and there, so I'm hoping to keep that up as we approach wedding season. 

My mom and I went to a few bookstores in Oak Park on Independent Bookstore Day. It was a gloomy, rainy day, but so nice to be out supporting independent bookstores that facilitate many educational events for children and allow authors to do signings and speak/market their books. 

A few titles I grabbed: the new George Saunders which sounds crazy cool / a dated copy of Sherman Alexie poetry. The cashier even did a double take on this one and I'm so excited to own it. I'm not sure how much of his poetry has been published/circulated / A DFW because he's the man / an anthology of stories all pertaining to food or set in the kitchen / a new YA from a Chicago local author (which I've already finished and enjoyed).


On the last Sunday in April, I went to Sammy's cousin Sarah's bridal shower. It was so lovely. Her and her sister (who got married last year) have the most beautiful taste. I'm always in awe of them. 

They used a rose gold canister for the "kisses" game. ROSE GOLD. Like come on. 

I made the "How old is the bride?" game which included about 4 hours of Cricket time because I'm 89 and have to constantly familiarize myself with that machine every time I use it... 

Sarah's shower was a "display shower" where all the gifts are opened by the bridesmaids as guests arrive and set them on the table and then are displayed with pre-made name cards indicating who brought what. 

Sammy's SIL's first baby shower was like this as well. There are companies that can be hired to do this for you (like his SIL's mom did), or you could do it yourself. Christina (the MOH), myself, and another bridesmaid took care of opening, documenting, and arranging all the gifts and while it was a little hectic, we managed to finish before we were seated for lunch. 

I know some people have mixed feelings about the display showers and I could tell some people were uncomfortable with us opening their gifts instead of the bride and groom, but to each their own. I like the idea of not being center of attention for an hour while everyone stares at you as you open your gifts, but I think it's a little more personal to have people watch your reaction as you open something they picked out for you. But I know people complain about having to sit through gift opening as a guest. I personally love watching couples open gifts at showers haha. And I've already told Sammy, "We've been dating for a hundred years, so we're doing the opening of every single gift we get." ;) 

The shower was at Sullivan's in Lincolnshire and the room was really elegant and simple. It was another gloomy, rainy day, so the fireplace added a nice ambiance to the room. 


We played this game as well, and it was adorable to watch Sammy's Italian grandpa make his decisions on who he thought "said what" ;) he was really proud he got so many right

I get these incredibly annoying and ugly snapchats throughout the week ;)

A few weekends ago I spent my Friday night wrapping more engagement and baby gifts. Ah, this season of life. I just love it. I'm so happy for my people. 

Speaking of love...these prints. Old Navy with the baby clothes, man. (Old Navy with all the clothes, because let's be real, they're all I wear.)

At the beginning of May, I spent the afternoon by my cousin's. She's a due a week after Sammy's SIL and I'm so excited for this baby too! How adorable is she? I can't get over their bumps.


She had us come over to hang out and swatch the LipSense that she sells. She's also a genius makeup artist, so we usually end up playing with lipstick whenever we're together. 

Love being with my female cousins so much. It was such a fun afternoon of catching up. 


And of course I have to snap 80 pictures of their house because I'm obsessed with her. And I can't get over the little details. The teepee! That canvas! Ugh. Too good. 


Also totally obsessed with how they've taped every single sonogram to the wall in their kitchen <3

That same weekend in May, Sammy's SIL had her second baby shower with Sammy's side of the family. It was a sweet bee themed shower and I think everything we made turned out well. 


We made little jars of honey as place card holders and gave away beeswax chapstick as favors. 

One of my soulmates (and our new love!)

Cugini. Some of my favorite ladies on Earth.

The flowers were cute and simple with some baby's breath and yellow daisies. I loved the little bees popping out!

I made NM take this picture and she ended up loving it. OH that babe. 

Zia and Zio post shower. We can't wait for our niece or nephew to get here! We're under a month away! Life is going to be so different in a blink of an eye.

I've been trying some new recipes lately, especially low carb ones. I hate myself for it, but I have to lose some of this spare tire I'm carrying around. 

I toped these zucchini meatballs with some homemade gravy, ricotta, and fresh basil and absolutely loved them. Definitely going to keep this one in the rotation. 

Last week, I was fortunate to attend a work luncheon at Bernie's Books over in Lake Bluff. They're an incredible organization that the publishing company I work for has connected with. They've provided millions of books to low income neighborhoods and schools in Chicago. They're absolutely incredible and I'm always looking for ways to get more involved with them. 

A love of reading starts early and is crucial to a child's emotional, mental, and academic development. So many children don't have access to books which is ridiculous and incredibly sad. The fact that Bernie's has been able to reach as many as they have is truly remarkable. 

Over 400 people attended this lunch, we had delicious passed appetizers, a salad, and dessert before we heard a NYTimes bestselling author speak and sign books. I hope they receive many donations as a result of this lunch (despite the fact that they didn't ask for a cent). 

Last Saturday, Sammy and I were both off work (which only happens here and there) so we took advantage of it and went to Waterfall Glen in Damien to hike and spend the day.

We picked up some lunch at Trader Joe's and ate on the rocks by the water. 

The weather was beautiful and it was nice to hike and explore a place we've never been. 

For Mother's Day last weekend, I made my momma breakfast in bed since it's my tradition. I made a garlic potato, sausage hash with caramelized onions and red and green peppers. I threw two eggs over easy on top. It wound up tasting really good which I'm happy with since I completely made up the recipe haha. 

We had family over later in the day for dinner and took this family photo which is my new favorite thing. 

We're celebrating National Police Week this week! And even though I'm clearly biased, this is the greatest officer I know. His dedication to improving the perception of officers in this nation is unmatched. I'm in constant awe of his dedication and love of protecting and serving others. 

Doesn't look too shabby in a uniform either ;) 


Along with some other snacks I packed up in a bag for him, I decorated some chocolate creme-filled Krispy Kreme doughnuts with thin blue lines. I also made him a "cruiser kit" filled with things he can keep in his squad car. He quickly named several things "unnecessary" upon opening it BECAUSE HE'S SO FUN TO GIVE GIFTS TO but Mr. Minimalist ended up being very grateful ;)

It's been a fun Spring so far! I can't believe we're heading into Summer mode... 

So many last minute wedding details are wrapping up and I can't believe the big days are going to be here before we know it. I know I'm probably going to disagree with this when I'm the one getting married, but honestly, I kind of can't see myself being more anxious and nervous for myself than I am for my best friend, ha! I say "it's crazy" and "I can't believe it" all the time these days, but... it's crazy! and I can't believe it! 

It's going to be so, so fun. 

*linking up with Andrea and Christina

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