Friday, March 29, 2019

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, all. The week went by a little slower than I thought but went better than anticipated. Big task this week was to get my taxes done, which happened and I'm happy to cross that off the list. Since I'm home alone tonight, I'm hoping to get at least two little organizational projects done in the guest room. Shredding papers and organizing drawers anyone?! I'm a ton of fun on a Friday night, anyone will tell you that.

Anyway, some "favorites," shall we?

// Truly getting behind the spring wardrobe aesthetic. It's my favorite season to buy and wear clothes—I get so jacked up about it. Last Saturday was the first time I felt relatively spring-ish. I can't wait to put my (beloved) winter jacket away for a while. Feeling the same about my knee boots. I love ya'll, but you need a rest, right?

Normally I wouldn't include a wool coat as a "spring" item, but in Chicago it certainly is. Plus this coat is so cheap, it wouldn't keep anyone warm so you can really only wear it when it's mildly chilly.

// I posted about spring and the impending changes it brings yesterday (or in my case, already brought), if you'd like to see.

// I couldn't find any bowl filler I liked to fill the bowl I normally have here, so I ordered some faux lavender on Amazon and put it in this pitcher. It's a nice, easy change for the room. My mom said it looks very French which is the highest compliment you can give moi.

What's not a favorite is faux flowers of any kind so to combat that, I soaked two cotton pads in lavender essential oil and put them inside the pitcher hoping it would give the illusion these aren't fake ;)

// Sammy has been working weekends lately, so having time to do nothing but hang with Henry and watch rom-coms with some wine and popcorn has become my favorite way to spend a Saturday night alone.

// Siding is done on the house! This is a picture from earlier in the week when they had just completed the front. You can see the color difference in this picture—the new color is a cool tone beige. Our door is getting repainted a dark green I believe and new or newly painted shutters to match (which is why they're missing from the photo). We really like it!

// I attempted a turkey meatball minestrone soup this week which, as all my soups do, turned into mush. I can't keep broth to save my life. Still tasted good.

// Easter basket items arrived this week! I know I'm early but some of these things sell out super quickly, so I grabbed them while I could.

For our niece, I picked out pajamas, the sweetest doll (with bunny ears!) I snagged on Amazon for $6.99 (!! and it even came with a tall gift bag!), an Easter book, bath color drops, and egg shaped sidewalk chalk. We have an Easter basket we use every year for her, so I'll throw everything in there and call it a day! I kind of wish this was for me haha.

And since it's our cousins' kid's first Easter, we got him a little something too. I'll grab a "baby's first Easter" book from work to add to his carrot teether (which was sold out last year! I really wanted it for our niece) and Good Night, Moon bunny toy.

// We've changed our initial honeymoon idea and are very excited about it. I'm getting on the phone with our travel agent next week to get that process started even though we're early (go figure). Currently our plan is to honeymoon in Sicily and make our way up through the French countryside, eventually ending in Paris. Basically my dream vacation. 

I normally love planning things, especially trips, but I figured enlisting some help was the smart way to go in this case. This trip is probably going to include a lot of traveling between towns via train and rented cars, and I'm not suuuper interested in wrangling all that while planning a wedding, so I'm very happy to relinquish control to someone else. She came highly recommended so I'm thrilled to see what she comes up in terms of an itinerary. She asked Sammy and I to come up with with a list of our "must haves" before our phone call and he and I are giddy to do it.

Very excited for this weekend. Going back to the bridal store we went to in Algonquin a few weekends ago to try on the dress I fell in love with at Kleinfeld along with a few other styles she had at her other location and brought over to this one. I'm excited to go back with a slightly larger group too: my mom, grandma, matron of honor, MIL, and SIL. My sister is the only one missing because she has to work but hopefully she can come next time!

Sunday we're meeting Sammy's brother and our SIL and niece for breakfast and then I'm having a friend from high school (who I recently found out lives in the next town over) come over for coffee in the afternoon.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! xo

*Linking up with Andrea!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Spring Awakening 2019

I've done a "spring awakening" post every year for the last few years because I love talking about spring and possibility it brings for both physical and theoretical growth and love tracking the for sure or possible changes this season or year will bring.

It was wild looking back on my post from last year. There were so many things I didn't know would happen during that time of year or throughout the rest of the year for that matter. 

I think I'm in a season of life that not only embracing growth but enjoying it rather than bracing myself for big sweeping changes that are to come. I think we did a lot of that last year. Now it's time to to enjoy and simply live.

I can't think of any big change (or even small one) that's going to come in this season (except, fingers crossed, getting a new car but that's boring), so I'd rather reflect on the the big sweeping ones that have evolved since last spring.

// Last spring did bring us a house. And boy has it been a journey. I love our house more every day which continues to be a relief after spending the beginning of that transitional period in a lonely and confused place. It smells differently depending on the season, the living room gets the best light in the afternoon, the ice machine is loud, the floors are real and grainy and sturdy, and when you stand in our yard at night you can see the stars perfectly. It's turned out to be the best place for us to start out and I will always love it.

// We sure did get our dog. But he's a he and not a she like I predicted. And I certainly can't imagine having any dog other than our Henry. He's a nut who still very much has that puppy brain inside a not-so-puppy sized body. He still thinks ice cubes are treats, can only tolerate baths for so long, loves being outside, and only wants to seriously cuddle if he's very, very tired. Our days are never boring with him.

// I spent a lot of last year, especially the early part, being careful not to mention the word "engaged" or "engagement" to anyone just in case it didn't happen. I think I've been pretty clear (on here and in real life) in my feelings about marriage. I truly would have been very happy with the house, dog, and kids. Marriage was never high on the list. Yeah, I'll blame my parents divorce on that one ;) So while I anticipated a proposal as being a big change, I didn't put a lot of stock into the idea. But it happened. And it's been a rollercoaster. And now I have a book about marriage on my nightstand. So I guess you can add it to the list of things I'm very happy about it. After the house, dog, and kids.

// One of the changes I prayed and hoped for so much, especially this time last year, was a job change. I was so desperate to get out of a toxic environment and would go through moments of confusion and disappointment and exhaustion over the job search process. I had several prospects and even a few interviews that ultimately ended in silence or flat out rejection. I was lucky to land an internship during undergrad that resulted in working for some of the best female bosses ever, who gave me opportunity after opportunity even after they moved on and were no longer my boss. It was a former boss who introduced me to my current, the woman who truly changed my life last year (no kidding, in typical dramatic Alex fashion I wrote those exact words in my Christmas card to her haha). And I really believe that. She changed my life. I had a huge amount of big changes happen last year, but getting the job I currently have feels like the most substantial change in many ways. I went from having palpable anxiety every day, dreading going into work, to completely eliminating that anxiety, "Sunday Scaries" no more. I have the opportunity to work on the best children's books with the best coworkers. I even get to use my writing muscle daily. I learn something and am inspired every day. It's been the biggest blessing.

There have been a lot of other "little" changes that have happened since last spring, of course. Just like with every year before, certain aspects are different. But it's also been nice to see some of that slow. There seemed to be a "big" life change every two months or so since last spring and it's been really great to enter 2019 and just live. Just enjoy all those changes and how their impact have impacted other aspects of life.

In this season I'm excited to live life by reaping the benefits of these changes. To celebrate one year in our home, to take Henry to the beach in the summer and sit on the patio with him on warm nights, to slowly plan our wedding, to enjoy being engaged, to plan trips, to celebrate things and people.

In the past, I've ended these posts talking about sheets. That go on your bed. Like a dork. But that's how I've physically welcomed spring, by stripping my bed of its flannel sheets and replacing it with a colorful jersey set. One year I even thought about buying a new white set because white felt cleansing to me. 

Turns out, spring is marked, physically and metaphorically, in many ways. I didn't swap our sheets out this year. It didn't really occur to me to do so. Because we keep a set of white jersey sheets on our bed all year long.

Happy spring, all. We made it.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Weekend Recap

Hi, there. I feel like I've been relatively positive the last few weeks which has felt really good, but there was something in the air this morning.

I just wasn't feeling...anything. I feel like there are a few things this week that are leaving me a little stressed—filing my taxes, getting myself to therapy, even making dinners this week feels daunting (I'm running out of ideas, people! ;) ).

Definitely trying to turn my brain around before it gets too far gone. These are all "stressors" a lot of people would gladly trade their real problems for, so I know I need to get it together.

The sun is shining, my coffee tastes good, I work with fantastic people. It's going to be a good week. And if it's will be a fine week. And that's OK too.

Let's do a little recapping, shall we?

I met Chelsie Friday night after work for mani/pedis and dinner. It was so, so nice to do a little pampering, in both mani/pedi form and Miller Lite and carb form.

I went with Mademoiselle by Essie on my nails and Carry On (a super dark color, but of course) by Essie on my toes.

will never pass up an opportunity to take a ring pic ;)
We ate at The Cottage in downtown CL because I needed Chelsie to try the popcorn they give you to snack on before your food comes. Idk why but it's the best. And you can throw all your shit on the ground which feels like a cathartic way to end the work week.

I got the rueben and onion rings with a Miller Lite and it hit the frickin spot.

I got home around 8 p.m. and watched Ellen and headed up to bed shortly after 9 p.m. which is becoming what I look forward to every Friday night now haha. Henry still has so much energy, it's hard to do much relaxing while he's awake, so I try to honor his 9-9:30 p.m. bedtime he has during the week (which is in place because I get up so early and have to go to bed at that time anyway haha) on Friday night as well (even though I don't have to get up as early Saturday morning) just so I can have some relaxation time in bed once he's in his crate. He, of course, immediately falls asleep once he's in there haha.

I planned to stay awake until Sammy got home from seeing a movie with his friends but definitely didn't make it and was probably asleep before 10:30 p.m. OLD WOMAN.

We left the house just before 11 a.m. on Saturday morning to head downtown to Metropolis for our cousin's husband's 30th birthday.

It was a really cool spot for a birthday party (there was even a first birthday a few tables over!) because it's dog and kid friendly. There were definitely more kids this year than any year before which is quickly becoming our new normal it seems. (I was also able to confirm my suspicion that another two babies will be welcomed into our family—god willing—by the time our wedding rolls around ;) ). Sammy said, "I guess this what family parties look like now!" I'm like YEP ;)

The sweetest little family. Christina organized a great party for Matt. They had bowls of popcorn out and had pizza delivered, as well as cannolis and mini cupcakes that were so good I was surprised to hear they were from Mariano's. It was all siblings, cousins, and friends. It was nice to be out together without the actual adults ;)

Everyone and their cute babies...and these two jamokes ;)

People have started to ask us about kids (the question I feel strongly should never be asked, ever) and are surprised when I say we haven't talked much about it. People think because we've dated for almost thirteen years we must have had every conversation known to man, but thirteen years means we've been dating since we were fourteen...and why would fourteen year olds be seriously talking about having kids? Realistically, there was no room for that conversation in our relationship until a year ago, maybe, if that. And we've definitely had to the very superficial kid conversation about what names we like and what we're excited to do once we have kids, etc., but nothing super serious.

We've started to talk a little more seriously about it just of late. I still am not sure time-wise, certainly sometime after the wedding but maybe not as far after as I initially thought. Seeing Sammy with kids certainly has my metaphorical ovaries sobbing though, that's for sure.

Sammy and his brother met their parents for a Bulls game after the party, so I went home to the suburbs, hung out with my mom for a while, and then popped on a Nancy Meyers movie and polished off a leftover bottle of strawberry and raspberry rossini (from Trader Joe's, so stupid good) by myself. Quickly becoming my favorite activity to do by myself.

I had some grand plans Sunday to do more "weekly planning" like meal prep for the entire week and clean some of the house and do a lot of laundry. I half-assed a lot of those tasks in favor of a lot of relaxation which was also much needed.

I washed all our bedding and Sammy's uniforms. Packed my lunch for today (I actually have lunch taken care of two days this week and only need to pack three lunches, so if there was a week to slack on the meal planning, it was this one), lazily dusted some surfaces, and made a new recipe for dinner.

It still felt productive and I got to get a lot of reading done and finished my book, watched new Family Guy episodes and got some snuggles, and finished the night by watching Something's Gotta Give, yes, again, because it is endlessly inspiring for me. I truly need Nancy Meyers to create a sample wedding registry so I can just follow her every move for the rest of my life. (And don't think I haven't tried finding her daughters' registries like the creep I am! 'Cause I have... with no such luck.)

So another good weekend in the books. I'm really loving these low-key weekends where I have stuff going on but also have time to get things done around the house and time to relax. My weekends in June are entirely booked up already, so I know we're quickly approaching life's busy season so I'm enjoying these slow weekends while I can.

I have some things that I've been putting off that need to get done now, like spring cleaning stuff, taxes, etc. I'm getting together this week with my dad and my brother so we can do our taxes together a.k.a write down whatever my dad tells me to because I'm a seven-year-old when it comes to my taxes. 

And I think I'm going to try to tackle some Alex-specific spring cleaning checklist items during the week 'cause once the weekend rolls around, the time I tell myself when I'll get a lot of this stuff done, I don't want to do any of it. Hopefully I can designate one task per weekday and just bang it out in the next couple of weeks (my goal is to have my spring cleaning stuff done by May).

ANYWAY, hope everyone has a great week! xo

*linking up with Biana!

Friday, March 22, 2019

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, all! Another good week in the books. 

It's been really nice having Sammy home every night this week (which hasn't ever happened since we've lived together!). As an introvert, having time to myself many days/nights throughout the week because of his work schedule is amazingly helpful, so I was surprised when having very little "alone time" this week didn't bother all. 

Not sure how long I could sustain that past this week haha but it's really been great spending the extra time together. Next week may even be a little lonely when I'm wearing my face mask and in bed by 9 p.m. ;)

Some favorites, shall we? Starting with some spring decor I broke out (and by broke out I mean pulled out the ONE thing I had to display...). I've had this silver bunny for several years after picking it up from Crate & Barrel during a sale. It's sat in a box, waiting for me to buy a house so I could use it. And then we picked up a little plant from TJ Maxx on Sunday because I felt like we needed some greenery in our lives (but faux greenery because I can't be bothered to keep plants alive).

I stopped at Target with some coworkers during lunch this week and grabbed this dish towel. I also have a French inspired one that feels "spring-ish" in my Amazon cart and an Easter one shipping from Etsy soon. I didn't want to decorate super hardcore for Easter or spring but definitely wanted to freshen and liven things up, so in addition to these additions and swapping out our candles for some spring ones, I have some faux lavender in my Amazon cart that I plan on filling a white vase with and sticking on our table instead of the bowl I always have there. And we'll call it a day.

I don't know that I would necessarily call this a favorite but getting new siding (the palette of shit on our lawn) is nice haha. Still unsure of the color the association chose, but hopefully it turns out OK! We were hoping they would be done today but they haven't even started on our house (they started on the opposite end of our building on Monday). So I foresee a future "favorite" being the completion of this project haha.

But the first grill of the season is definitely a favorite. We were out in 42 degrees with coats but that's basically summer in Chicago after winter and we were thrilled about it.

And this boy was very happy to be outside in his "backyard."

So happy that he tired himself out ("new" experiences tend to really drain him haha) and cuddled with us for the rest of the night which is always my favorite.

On Tuesday, these Italians celebrated St. Joseph's Day which is one of my favorite days of the year. My grandparents used to host just under 100 people every year for St. Joseph's and I always looked forward to it more than almost any other holiday. We haven't done it in a few years because of my grandma's health but she's really hoping to do it again next year. But as soon as Sammy and I get a bigger house, I'm taking over :)

This year, I insisted we celebrate and make some of the traditional foods especially since Sammy wasn't working.

These two while Mom cooked...

I started by making my papa's braided bread.

Sammy really wanted to help braid it, so we did that together which was special because we value our grandfathers' traditions a lot and it felt really nice to do something together that honored my grandpa's legacy.

She turned out pretty well! Didn't taste like my papa's, so I want to find his original recipe and play with it, but it still tasted pretty darn good.

My grandparents used to make an enormous amount of food and it's tradition that people bring something "to the table" as well, so they always had a crazy amount which I obviously couldn't recreate, but I did make the traditional stuff.

We don't eat meat on St. Joseph's Day so my family always makes fried fish, which I did, along with salad, regular pasta for Sammy, and St. Joseph's pasta which is long pasta mixed with cauliflower and toasted bread crumbs (to symbolize Joseph's wood shavings) which is my FAVORITE dish.

It's also traditional to wear red (don't ask me why, we still can't figure it out), so we all had our red items on ;) and took a blurry family photo.

And I wore my grandma's apron which made her endlessly happy :) It was a fantastic night and it made my grandma so, so happy to know we plan on continuing their tradition of celebrating. It really meant a lot to me to celebrate as our little family in our own home.

Not to purposely include back to back selfies or anything, but I had ordered these "bride" shirts several weeks ago and the original package got lost in the mail so the shop sent me a new package and it finally arrived this week. I'm obsessed with the two items I got.

The sweatshirt is seriously SO soft. It's roomy (I definitely could have ordered a small which hasn't happened since like the fourth grade) and just feels like quality. The color isn't showing well here but it's the prettiest peach/blush color.

I beg of you to ignore this pose I'm doing and please don't ask me about it. But this is my "Le Bride" shirt I just had to have. I looove it. It's definitely too big (which I'll never complain about) so I have to roll up the sleeves and tie it at the bottom, but I think it's going to be so cute with a denim jacket or blazer.

I'm definitely going to be wearing one of these next Saturday to my dress appointment. YES, ANOTHER ONE, OK?

I reached out to a recommended travel agent this week to see if we could get a super head start on honeymoon planning. We want to do a honeymoon registry as part of our overall registry so I was hoping to get some ballpark ideas cost-wise even though organizing our registry is many months out as well. My little OCD heart loves to start planning early, what can I say? A little sneak peak as to where we might be headed... ;)

I just ordered this dress (since it was 60% off from Tobi!) as a possible engagement photo option. I'm super anxious to get it in the mail to see if I like.

I'm meeting Chelsie tonight after work for a mani/pedi dinner date which I'm really looking forward to. Tomorrow is our cousin's 30th birthday, so we're headed downtown for that which should be awesome, and then I'm spending the evening with my momma. And Sunday I get to fully relax and prep for the week...lazily ;)

Have a great weekend! xo

*Linking up with Andrea!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Little Letters — An Update

It can't be possible that I haven't done a "little letters" post since LAST May. OK, it totally can because I'm me and I'm lazy, but that just seems crazy. I thought maybe I would do a quick recap post, a "mini little letters" if you will.

Dear June 2018,
You were sweet to me, June. We celebrated our niece turning one, my cousin's bridal shower, another cousin's baby shower, started updating our home, relished in the simpleness that became our daily routine like bike rides to the train station and seeing bunnies in the early morning and making roasted potatoes for dinner and reading on the couch and tending our garden. Took family photos and had family and friends stop by to see our home. Bought a watering can. Celebrated our friends getting engaged at Disney World. Laughed a lot at my cousin's bachelorette party. And best of all, closed the month celebrating my friends, the sweetest people, get married. You were a hard month to top.

Dear July 2018,
July, you had many a family party (although, every month seems to include many family parties for us, but especially you, July!): several graduations, another first birthday, my mom's birthday, Sammy's grandpa's, fourth of July parties, one rehearsal dinner, followed by my cousins's lovely wedding. We had more friends stop by for breakfast outings and thrifting in town. More boxes made their way to our home along with furniture finds, like my beloved bookshelves, and paint cans which gave our bedroom a breath of fresh air. My dad and I worked our last county fair (for the foreseeable future). And best of all, our boy Henry was born this month. And we quickly became obsessed and couldn't wait to pick him up. June may have been sweeter, but July gave us our boy SO, you win, July.

Dear August 2018,
Our house started coming together more quickly during your days, August. My library started to fill in with books and a gold lamp and Sinatra photos. Sammy hung Fitzgerald quotes above our bed (per my request) and I could have married him right then. We celebrated my grandma's 84th birthday with Chinese food and had (almost) all our favorite friends over for our official housewarming party which filled my heart with more joy than I can say. We visited with Sammy's grandpa any chance we got. Had many a driving lesson with my dad. Our cousins had their baby and we still can't get over his cuteness. Did many the "summer" thing in the form of Parisian night at Catigny Park with my mom, county fair research at Boone County's fair with my dad (dorkiest sentence I've written to date), Italian fest in Franklin Park, a night at Ravinia with my dad. Got to meet a fellow blogger and CL native for drinks. Prepped for Henry by purchasing a personalized bandana and dino toy. And, best of all, went and picked him out and lost our shit. You were filled with a lot and the most summery of all the months.

Dear September 2018,
You started off with a big loss as we said goodbye to Sammy's grandpa, but it was an honor to know him and get to celebrate his life. And it was made a little easier when we got to bring Henry home a few days later. Needless to say, this is all we cared and talked about all month long. We learned tricks and took walks and learned how to climb stairs and not pee in the house and watched him grow like a weed right before our eyes. We celebrated our friends getting married and had such fun doing it. We went apple picking and decorated for fall which I had been waiting to do since the day we moved in. Henry's puppy ways and energy drove us nuts (he still does) but it got easier every day. I entered my first apple pie contest and got reamed. Henry had his first trips around town and we got stopped every five feet by someone gushing over him which I loved more than anything. Best of all (albeit overwhelming), September brought the most changes: We got Henry, I got my license, and got a new job. 

Dear October 2018,
The first of your month, October, brought my first day at my new job which has continued to be the best decision I could have made for myself. It is the greatest place to work with the nicest people. I am very, very lucky. Then we went to Paris. Have I mentioned that before? It was pretty fun. I haven't thought about those four days every day since then or anything. We decorated for Halloween and made crock-pot recipes and carved pumpkins and had more family over and got a popcorn machine and asked one of my favorite people to be a bridesmaid in my very own wedding and got to see my best friend's new house. We saw Elton John in concert and went to a "pumpkin party" and celebrated Halloween downtown with friends and passed out candy to neighborhood kids in our very own house while eating chili and cornbread. Henry dressed up as a dinosaur. And best of all, we got engaged. October, you were a total whirlwind of trying to balance regular life and holiday festivity with the biggest change of all. It was surreal and overwhelming and emotional and sometimes isolating and disappointing and hard to handle which resulted in guilt. But therapy helped and it's taken until now to get "back to normal." So you were hard but you were also the best. Life is funny like that.

Dear November 2018,
November, you're one of my favorite months, you know that? And not just because your first day is my birthday. We saw two downtown venues on my birthday and quickly realized our dream of getting married downtown may not happen. We ate at Freddy's and made it home in time to vote and have family over for pasta and Dr. Pepper. My coworkers brought in treats and gave a champagne toast in honor of my birthday and engagement. There was a girl's trip to Florida and a sister trip to NYC, both SO good I still think about them weekly. I hosted Friendsgiving and asked my best girls to be bridesmaids, something I've waited a long, long time to do. Tried on wedding dresses for the first time and shocked the hell out of myself when I loved it so much I didn't want to stop (I thought I was going to have a Carrie Bradshaw rip-this-dress-off-me-moment). Celebrated Thanksgiving and bought our first Christmas tree the very next day. Decorated for Christmas which was the highlight of my decorating adventures in our house. Went to our town's tree lighting and I teared up. Celebrated my SIL's birthday and, best of all, toured a venue in Lake Geneva that has now become the place where we'll get married. November, you were family and friends and warmth and glowing lights and plans for the future and I loved you more than all the rest.

Dear December 2018,
December, I had high expectations for you. You came with some unexpected kidney stone issues that manifested into a month-long ordeal. It was nothing severe, more annoying than anything else, but it put a slight damper on what I hoped would be a super festive and fun month since I was almost always uncomfortable or in pain. But we prevailed in the form of sending our first Christmas card, watching Home Alone any chance I got, making Henry wear festive clothes, making Christmas cookies with Chels, having cousins over for a Christmas brunch and later in the month for Cugini Christmas, making our gingerbread house, doing Polar Express with our niece downtown, our trip to Dinkels and celebrated my brother's birthday, and Christmas Eve and Christmas, and new traditions and old ones. More bridal party members were added. I worked from home several days. We rang in the New Year, just us three. And best of all, our house felt like a home the most during your month. So grateful for that.

Dear January 2019,
I'm a person who tends to not mind winter, after all, we live in Chicago. It's supposed to be cold. But you really got to me this month, Jan. You really, really did. But there was light in a lot of hunkering down and making cozy food and watching movies. Our move got postponed at work and we worked from home or other locations while our new floor was being finished. I got to see one of my favorite people's new homes in the next town over. Being neighbors is my favorite thing. It snowed 87,000 times and we had 700 cold days. I had another kidney stone procedure. Nothing stands out as a "best of all" which kind of sums you up, no offense.

Dear February 2019,
YOU. You may have been my most stressful month to date. For no particular reason other than winter started to get to me even more, I was financially drained and worried sick about it, I wasn't having a ton of fun with the "bride" label, lost my engagement ring which resulted in one of the worst fights Sammy and I have had (but ended well when we found it the very next day, even though the after effects of our fight were still present). But we celebrated his 27th birthday and had friends over for Superbowl and gained a few more groomsmen. Went to our annual Bulls game, and tried on more wedding dresses. Celebrated Valentine's Day and went to Wine About Winter and my cousin's baby shower. Edited my first book for Smithsonian. Went to a vendor show at our venue which was the turning point when I started having fun with the "bride" label. We got the best package from our photographer, I decided to take Sammy's name legally (keeping my maiden for work purposes), ordered a "bride" shirt, etc, etc, etc. There were fun things in there February, but you stressed me out, man. I was happy to see you go. But best of all, so grateful to you for making me a bride I can enjoy being.

I guess it wasn't so "mini" after all ;) I really loved doing this kind of post when I did it regularly, so hopefully I can get on my shit and remember to do them at the end of each month starting back up with March. Thanks for reading, if you have. xo

Linking up with Jessi!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday, all!

It was a good weekend, just as I suspected. Love when that happens :) Started out the weekend with a Friday night free to do whatever I wanted which meant we cracked open the door because we still can't get over how fantastic it is to be home after work with the sun still up.

I talked to my grandma on the phone for a while before watching a few episodes of Ellen I had racked up throughout the week and then headed up to bed by 9 p.m. ;) blissful.

I got up Saturday morning and started to get the last of my bridal party "proposals" ready before I headed to my grandma's for a cousin lunch.

I got my junior bridesmaid a super soft personalized robe and two of my flower girls got the same flower girl book our niece got as well as some "girly" things like sparkly tumblers, bubbles, nail polish, and hair bows.

Their mom is my soulmate, seriously she's one of my favorite people on Earth, but we don't see each other as often as we'd like which means I don't see her girls that often either, so I was happy they weren't totally weirded out by some rando asking them to be flower girls in her wedding ;) (even though they totally look like it in this photo! hahaha)

oldest still looking unenthused, youngest getting warmer ;)
I asked my other cousin's daughter to be my junior bridesmaid because I literally can't get enough of her. She's the most incredible eleven-year-old EVER and I can't wait to do all the bridal things with her. Her grandma (another one of my cousins—Italians have a lot of second, third, fourth, etc., cousins...) is another one of my favorite humans on this Earth and she was so floored when I asked Elise to be a junior bridesmaid. 

My sweetest girl. Ugh, just love her.

We spent the rest of the afternoon eating, sipping bellini mixtures, and catching up. Our get togethers always come at a time when I need it most.

I got home in the early evening and got into a random cleaning kick, so I dusted everything on our lower level, recycled a ton of read magazines that were collecting dust on our coffee and end tables, and swapped all our fall/winter candles for spring/summer ones which felt so good.

Sammy worked the day shift on Sunday so Henry and I woke up together and had a lazy morning.

I placed a grocery order and while I waited for it to be delivered, I wanted to go through some of the wedding magazines I've received so I could then recycle them.

I took a few pictures of some things that I liked or inspired me. I was SO happy to see a wedding featured where the bride had as many bridesmaids as I'll have! I'm starting to lose my patience a little bit with people who are constantly telling me I have a lot of bridesmaids. Oh really? Is fifteen a large number? I wasn't aware. *eye roll* I think this looks awesome actually, although I don't know how many staged photos we'll take since I definitely prefer candid which I think looks more effortless and relaxed than the formal, posed photos a lot of people take.

I didn't need to see a photo in a magazine to be reminded that our photos are going to look awesome and we're going to have a great time as a large party—I already knew that despite countless people who have acted like it's going to be hard to manage—but it was certainly fun to see.

Our groceries were delivered (this is about a 1/8 of what I got... we needed quite a bit), so I put everything away before Sammy came home for the day.

He ate a quick lunch and we ran over to the theatre by our house to catch an afternoon showing of Captain Marvel which I loved and am surprised didn't get a higher rating. We picked up some dinner on the way home and relaxed together for the rest of the night.

It was exactly the weekend I needed: relaxation mixed with productivity and family time.

We have an unusual week this week in that Sammy will be home every night which will be nice. We're celebrating St. Joseph's Day tomorrow like the true and correct Italians we are ;) and I can't wait to do that together in our house for the first time. Other than that, looking forward to a pretty low key week, maybe getting together with Chelsie on Friday night for a mani/pedi date.

Hope everyone had a great weekend and has a great week! xo