Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Weekend Recap + Check-In

Hi, there!

Took another couple weeks off from this space. This seems to happen to me at some point each year where I just feel bogged down by other things happening in life or overwhelmed once I realize how much time has passed and all the things I need to document here and then I go get a snack and binge watch episodes of Four Weddings from 2014 and call it a day.

I definitely want to recap Christmas, post some photos I've stockpiled showing daily life over here, an update about Henry turning six months old (which is important to me only, I know), and I definitely want to start using my creative muscles a little more and write some posts here that go beyond Friday Favorites and Weekend Recaps. Feeling confident about that.

For now, a weekend recap will suffice in order to get back into this blogging habit. 

We got to leave work an hour or so early on Friday in preparation for the snowstorm we were expected to get—everyone hoped to get home before it started to really come down.

Sammy was feeling alfredo sauce Friday night, so we stopped at Aldi to get a jar. I made it with chicken and tri-colored tortellini. He was super unimpressed with the sauce for some reason. I, of course, loved it haha.

He spent most of the night in the basement playing video games (a relatively new pastime he's taken to as a way to decompress from work. I love that he's found something that helps in that respect.) which meant it was free to snuggle on the couch with Henry solo and watch Indiana Jones: my favorite pastime.

The snowstorm didn't seem as bad while it was happening, and even though it doesn't look like much from this photo which I took after midnight from our guest room window, but we did get about seven inches or so which was more than predicted. The wind was the worst of it, in my opinion. Especially when we had to take Henry out.

We had some snuggles in the morning...

Before heading over to Sammy's grandma's to "make the sausage" as his family says. They buy huge quantities of various deli meats to hang in his grandma's basement as well as sausage we tie and hang. It dries in a room in their basement (that they keep extra cold during this time) and in a month or so, they'll take it all down and portion it out among each family. It's SO good. We cut it and serve it with antipasto as appetizers or just have it as a snack. It's awesome fried as well.

It's a tradition both his grandparents started, one his grandfather really spearheaded. He passed away in September so doing it without him was bittersweet because it's sad to not have him physically with us, but it's such a testament to his legacy that his grandchildren feel so passionately about continuing the tradition.

We always spend the morning getting the sausage ready to hang and then spend the afternoon having lunch together (Sammy's grandma makes hamburgers from the leftover sausage which are UNREAL), talking, and playing with the insanely cute children now apart of our family.

We spent the rest of the day mocking how I drive (which isn't totally inaccurate ;) )...

And spending the rest of the evening chilling with Henry, watching movies, and getting takeout from Tommy's. Speaking of, if you're local to CL, I would recommend the teriyaki chicken pita from Tommy's. I've yet to find my order with them yet, everything I've tried has been just okay, but I really loved this pita sandwich. They don't sell baked potatoes, so instead of getting fries (I didn't need any side honestly because this sandwich is so filling on its own), I made some parsley potatoes in the Instant Pot. And yes, I took the lettuce and tomato off this because I don't like anything that's healthy for me.

I snuck upstairs at the end of the evening to journal (another way I'm hoping to to stretch my creative muscle) and do some reading. I loved being up in my library in the quiet of the late night looking at the snow out the window. 

I went with Chelsie to a baby shower for our girlfriend's SIL. It was such a nice afternoon. No games meant we got to sit around with our other girlfriends and have (always) much needed girl time. I got to see a friend there who is getting married this Saturday and it was so fun to see her so close to the big day! 

How cute were the favors? Wine glasses filled with loofas, essential oils, bath bombs, and tea lights.

They had Portillos chopped salad, Italian bread, vodka pasta, and a meat and vegetable lasagna. They also served cake from Costco which I honestly want to be the cake at our wedding. It was so good. I shouldn't have been surprised, Costco is good at everything, but I was. Also, $18.99 for a HUGE sheet cake. OKAY, COSTCO. I also had three very full glasses of white wine with Sprite because I'm an adult who can't drink straight alcohol.

When I got home, Sammy and I made pizza with extra sausage from the day before. And it turned out SO good. We're definitely going to become homemade pizza people. We bought dough from the store, but I definitely want to try my hand at homemade dough soon. (I actually got Sammy a grilling kit to make pizzas on the grill for his upcoming birthday and while we were making this pizza he mentioned wanting to make pizza on the grill when it gets warm, so I'm excited thinking he'll really enjoy that gift!)

I stayed up later on Sunday night than I normally do because I knew I'd be working from home Monday (we don't get MLK day off) and wouldn't have to get up as early to get ready and commute, so we stayed up watching Hoarders #ClassicUs and watching the eclipse. That meant this guy stayed up later than normal and was very tired when we finally went up to bed ;)

I was home yesterday working from home because we're finally moving onto our new floor at work (!) and IT was setting stuff up which meant no internet or server access. I had a great buddy all day, even though he quickly got used to me being home by the afternoon and really wanted to play.

Being home meant I could start dinner early in the day, so I baked baked lemon chicken in the Crock Pot with creamy lemon pasta. Unfortunately, Sammy couldn't come home for dinner because he was so busy at work, so I had this all to myself ;) 

I finished the evening off with phone calls to my grandma and mom, watching House Hunters, and making this makeshift apple crisp in the microwave. Delicious and might have to be made again tonight...

In an interesting turn of events, we got an email yesterday telling us that in addition to some IT delays, there were delays with the inspections that needed to be done on our floor in order for us to inhabit it. SO we've all been instructed to work from home today and tomorrow as well. Everyone knows I LOVE my job, seriously, there's never any reason to not want to go to work, which I'm eternally grateful for. But I won't say I was super disappointed when I got that email just cause of the snow outside, and the few inches we're supposed to get today, as well as the low—sometimes single digit—temps we've had. 

It's been incredible to be home and get to spend extra time with Sammy before he goes in for his shift. Sammy cleaned the house on Sunday while I was at the baby shower, so I've enjoyed not having to do any actual cleaning, but it's been nice to be home to organize some leftover things from the holidays and recovering from surgery and what not. Trying to get the house in order has definitely helped me mentally. 

I was in an insanely good mood yesterday, it was so good for my soul. I'm a homebody by nature, so while I thrive on being with people I love and staying somewhat busy, it's also incredibly restorative for me to spend time at home too. We're supposed to get an update email tomorrow on whether we've been cleared to work from our new space, so we'll see if I make it out of the house this week ;)

Looking to get some tedious editing (both in books and in InDesign files) done today while answering emails as they come in, do some laundry, place a grocery order, do some blog planning, and get some snuggles in with Henry. 

Hoping to see you guys back here more frequently on my end. Thanks to those of you who read my words. Means more than you know. xo

Friday, January 4, 2019

Friday Favorites

Hi friends! It's been a minute over here. I wound up in the hospital with another bout with kidney stones a few days before Christmas, so dealing with that and all the madness that comes with the holidays and holiday aftermath, I haven't had much time or energy to blog.

The Friday before Christmas I woke up with some pretty uncomfortable symptoms of what I suspected was a UTI, so I planned to go urgent care before or after work, but on the way to work, the pain worsened and I realized I must have developed a kidney stone as well. Long story short, I hightailed it to the ER where we discovered I had not one but three stones, two of which were bilateral which required bilateral stents be placed in. I've had one stent in my kidney and bladder before, but not two, and I can say the last two weeks haven't been fun. They're just uncomfortable almost all day long, especially when you go to the bathroom, and I'm on several medications that have made me feel all sorts of irregular and just not myself, so I'm really excited that I'm having them removed along with one remaining stone I have left (apparently I passed the other two last week!) on Monday. 

Definitely not a favorite haha but having everything removed and hopefully getting back to normal IS. And then they're supposed to run more tests afterward to figure out why I produce stones at such a rapid speed for my age.


I have a life lately/favorites post that I had written for the Friday I ended up in the hospital, and even though it's kind of outdated/belated stuff, I still want to post it for documenting purposes. I also want to recap Christmas for sure. So those things aside, here are some favorites lately, starting with this view and the lovely winter bouquet Sammy's parents brought me the night I came home from the hospital.

-This was my first week back at work after being off for ten days. Those days were so nice, especially while I tried to manage my pain level. Having the time off was definitely a favorite, as is working for a company that is so flexible they let me work from home at the end of last week (which made it feel like I was off, even though I technically wasn't) and having a short this week was amazing as well.

-This Eddie Bauer coat is definitely a new favorite. Chelsie has one and wore it while we were in NYC and I loved it so much, I knew I was going to add it to my Christmas list. I don't own anything in this "peacock" color and I'm super into jewel tones right now, so I'm digging it. It's incredibly light (it's down feather) easy to move in, which I love because I haaaaate constricting coats more than anything, but I can't believe how warm it keeps me. Highly recommend (and it's on sale right now!)

-These last few weeks have been so good with Sammy. We've been able to spend a ton of time together because I've been home during the day when he's home before he goes to work. It's been awesome to have that extra time together while still getting my own alone time too.

We've spent a lot of time (okay, all our time) on the couch because I haven't been feeling up for doing much, but also 'cause we're super lazy in general. It's been fun to spend more time in our basement (I'll read while Sammy plays video games) on the couch that's scary comfortable. We even turned our fireplace on one afternoon.

-In wedding-related news, we booked our photographer! I'm so excited to have that vendor taken care of because they're already booking up for 2020! Crazy. Isn't her grid so beautiful? She's the sweetest and I'm so excited to meet her when we do our engagement pictures. 

-I got this AWESOME Monopoly game from my mom for Christmas ;) these are my four favorite ladies.

-And, a surprise to no one, the obsession continues. Love these books I received as well.

-Speaking of, I'm reading Last Christmas in Paris and am totally enthralled with it. I started it before the year was over and wanted to finish closer to Christmas since it felt rather festive, but I didn't get around to it. Luckily, it isn't an overtly festive read, so it doesn't feel weird to read it now.

It's so good. It's set during WWI and told almost entirely through letter correspondence, which makes it a relatively quick read. I can't wait to finish and see how it ends and I definitely want to read all the things these women have written.

-On the book front, I managed to reach my reading goal just under the wire! I did read about ten super easy, romantic-comedy type books, which makes me feel like I cheated a tiny bit, but they're still books! And they still took time to read! ;) Upping it to 55 books this year. My goal is to eventually average around 60.

 -My mom also got me the Barefoot Dreams blardigan everyone in blogland talks about and it is as good as they say. I definitely wouldn't spend the money on it myself even though I KNOW I'm going to wear it an obscene amount and it would be worth the investment, but it's a lovely gift to receive. It kept me very cozy this week at home, as did the cabin socks pictured below that I'm now obsessed with as well.

-I was gifted several self-care related items like bath bombs and face masks aka my favorite things, so I spent one afternoon finally breaking in our bath. Disappointed to find that our stopper is faulty and I had to refill the bath twice before calling it quits haha. Hopefully we can get that fixed because I would love to be able to take baths throughout the winter.

-A definite favorite: when Sammy picks up soup for me even though I insist I'm not hungry even though I really am and just didn't feel like getting up to cook anything haha.

-I had a surprise day date with Chelsie last week which was so nice. We got lunch at Benedict's in downtown CL—I had their "holiday panini" turkey, brie, and a cranberry-orange relish on ciabatta bread—and got our nails done.

-I took more staged photos of my ring because I can't help myself. That's the ornament I got Sammy this year. It has an image of how the constellations looked the night we got engaged on the back.

-This guy finally started using his bed for napping. And is getting HUGE.

 -Henry had a rough night one night last week (he threw up three times) and by the morning, he was not having it in his crate anymore, so I took him downstairs and thought he would be fine to be in the kitchen for a little while by himself so I could go back to sleep for a bit (we do this a lot on the weekends so he can play in the kitchen or just stretch out while we're still waking up), but he was also not having that and wouldn't stop crying, so momma came down and laid on the couch with him.

Which lasted approximately thirty seconds when he left to go sit at the other end of the couch so he could look up the stairs and wait for Sammy to come down.  He loves his Dad. No appreciation for what his mother does ;)

-We spent the last three days of our break watching a ton of TV which ended up feeling kind of gross haha but I couldn't muster the energy to do much because my symptoms were rather unpredictable. All our favorite Disney and childhood movies were on last week, so couch time was rather well spent.

-Sammy had to work NYE which was good 'cause I didn't feel like going out or doing much. It was a little lonely throughout the day after he left for work, but I tried to keep a little busy by taking down all the Christmas decorations (aside from our trees and garland which we'll take down this weekend), cleaning our bathroom, and making Marcella Hazan's pasta sauce for dinner. It's an incredibly easy recipe, and I've always wanted to try it, and it turned out awesome. I served it with herb chicken tortellini, Italian bread, and the tomato cucumber salad Sammy loves.

-We ate early in the evening, so I had some snacks waiting for us when Sammy got home from work. We watched a few episodes of Hoarders (we're weird) before switching to a NYE countdown.

-It was really special to ring in the New Year with my two boys. I've never had such a low key NYE. Usually I'm at my mom's (which I definitely did miss this year, I won't lie) with my whole family or with a big group of friends. But this year it felt fitting to be in our new home, just us three.

-The last day of "break" included two movies I've been wanting to see (Cockblockers—funny, Bad Mom's Christmas—not so funny), getting a little organized for the week, and pup naps.

-Sammy picked up something for dinner while he worked, and I had leftovers so I didn't have to cook. And finished the night off with some tea and animal crackers from Aldi. Seriously, get some if you have an Aldi near you. 

-On Wednesday night just as I was getting home I was thrilled to hear Sammy had already eaten at work because I just haven't been on a cooking kick as you can tell from the 100 times I've mentioned it in this post. So I made myself a snack plate and lived my best while watching To All the Boys I've Loved Before for the 78th time. HOW PUMPED are we for the news about the sequel?! Just me? I need a release date stat.

I think that's it for me! We're having dinner at Sammy's brother's tonight which I'm excited about because we don't get to spend enough time with them. Tomorrow my dad's family is having a Christmas party, and Sunday I'm so looking forward to relaxing all day, doing some laundry and meal prep since I know I won't want to cook after my surgery on Monday, and watching the Golden Globes—I love award season!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! xo

*linking up with Andrea!