Monday, September 30, 2013

Bye September! {weekend recap}

So this was totally one of those weekends where you thought you were relaxing the whole time but it turns out you were just making yourself tired most of the time, which you find out Sunday night when you're utterly exhausted.  We were supposed to have our anniversary pics taken, but the good old Texas weather put a stop to that.  It rained on and off ALL DAY here on Saturday, so we deemed it too unpredictable.

Anyways, Friday night we went out to El Tiempo with some friends--we had never been to an El Tiempo and I gotta say, I was impressed, really good food!  I had fajita chicken tacos and was pleasantly surprised at how fresh they tasted.  Also, I maybe had like four margaritas.  They were well-deserved, don't worry.


Most of these pics are from Saturday I think.  Bryan and I en route to our friend's house to watch the A&M and Badger games and the delicious chili they made in a HUGE enormous giant pot.  I've only seen that stuff out at crawfish boils...actually maybe that's why they have it.

ANYWAYS, down in the corner we have one of their dogs, Penny, who is a delightful little wiener dog.  The guys rag on her for being annoying but I think she's cute.  Barley had quite the weekend...he had two mornings at the dog park, and this resulted in a nice long nap with his dad on the couch Sunday afternoon.

Yay for new nail polish!  I picked up the dark blue/teal-ish one a week or two ago, it's called "go overboard" and I kinda love it.  I was being against dark polish since it's still so nice out here, but it feels right.  Then I went to Target on Sunday and found the other new one, "the lace is on", which I'm super excited to try out. 

And I think we all know this wouldn't be a weekend recap without me mentioning food, so I will just share that Sunday night I grilled up a bunch of jalapeno spiced chicken breasts, veggie kabobs and some brown rice and put together my lunches for the whole week.  I am pretty proud of this!  I did the same thing last week minus the chicken, and I felt really good about what I was eating, but I needed some mid-day protein.  Little wins make a big difference, right?! 

I also need to mention all of the TV from Sunday night.  No, I don't watch Breaking Bad, but I was anxiously awaiting the return of Homeland.  I won't spoil it for anyone, but it was kinda meh in my opinion.  It will be interesting to see where they take this season since right now I feel like it could go a million ways. Also watched Betrayal on ABC last night and I'm semi-intrigued.  Everyone loves a good (fictional) affair and legal drama, right?! We also DVR'd Masters of Sex, the new Showtime series, so more to come on that.

Overall, a great weekend, and this upcoming week is chock full of plans and things to do!  Wednesday early evening is a reception for work, Thursday is BINGO with other lovely Houston bloggers, and Friday night it's party time again for the owner of my company's birthday!  So mostly just need to break through the first couple days of the week.    

Happy Monday everyone!


Friday, September 27, 2013

Four Pics, Friday Five {hello weekend}

K, no one smack me but this is the first Friday I have worked all of September, and fittingly, it is the last Friday of September!  This week kinda flew by, I was busy in a good way at work, we potty-trained puppy to about an 80% success rate, and I got my first blow-out.  Next week is also jam-packed with activities, so I'm happy to have a pretty low-key weekend planned.


1.  I made this recipe for Thai Noodles and Chicken this week.  It was awesome and easy and delicious.  Total keeper. 

2.  Puppy had a winning week prancing around in his new Packers bandanna.  He got a full day of Dad time when Bryan had off on Monday, and as I mentioned earlier, he is about 80% there with being fully potty-trained to go outside.  We are still working on the "holding it" concept...like you can't just go potty in the corner because you feel like it and you just polished off your water.  So win for us!

3.  A few things here--it was 91 degrees out at 6:30 pm on Monday.  So I'm kinda done with hearing about everyone's awesome fall weather and their awesome fall outfits and their super fun fall bucket lists.  We don't get fall here, it's not a thing.  I am probably having a little trouble accepting this as it's only my second "fall" in Texas.  Post next week to follow on this.  Also point two here, 4,000 miles on the Jetta!  Seems like just yesterday she was coming home with us and we had 25 miles.  Womp womp. 

4.  I got my first blow-out.  Didn't love it.  I am a far bigger fan of my hair when it's curled the way I usually do it with my curling wand.  I ended up straightening it for work on Thursday, oh well.  It was a Groupon so no one's mad about it, and I think I would do it again, just at a different place! 

5.  No photo in sight to share of this, but tomorrow we are getting our one year anniversary pics taken, and I am so excited.  I don't think we are bringing Barley because he would probably freak out a little and not be so great at sitting or posing.  Maybe next time, buddy!  Fun fact:  I will be wearing some of my wedding jewelry and jewelry that Bryan bought me for my wedding gift for the photos.  Cannot wait to share these bad boys when we get them back from Meg! 

Hope everyone has a great weekend, cheers!



  THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Dear Future Baby {your name isn't Grape.}

Last week, Lauren posted a letter to her future child as a part of a link-up.  Well I'm a little late to the link-up party, but I wanted to join the fun of writing a letter to our one-day baby.

You will look like a combination of us...so if you're a boy you will wear a bowtie (dad genes) and yell at people on the phone (like your mom did), and if you're a girl, you will look angry (me again) and have elaborate costuming (me again), but also be amazingly photogenic as a child (your dad's good genes)

Hi Baby M.,

Welcome to the world!  Mom and Dad are thrilled to have you here, and Barley is probably a little jealous, and so is the other dog we probably got before we had you!  But we are so excited, and happy to share with our families that your name wasn't chosen after a weird TV character, selection from the produce aisle, or random map point.  In fact, your name is probably Elizabeth if you are a girl or Cole if you are a boy because those are the only two names we like.  So, there's that...your parents are picky, yay!

Some things you should know--your nursery isn't all blue or all pink, because I think that kind of thing is overkill.  And if you are a girl, you will wear real Packers jerseys, not pink ones, because football fans are fans, no gender discrimination necessary.  If you're a boy, your dad is already teaching you how to grip a football so you can be a state champion like him.  (This will be hard because we live in Texas now...he had it easier because he was in Wisconsin, but shhh, I didn't say that.)

Truth be told, we will support any path you decide to take as long as you are following your passion.  After all, I got a degree in political science and government, which most people would tell you are dead subject matter areas!! Your dad is a scientific rockstar, and I imagine you will probably have a healthy appetite for beer one day if he's still working for the same company.  If you get some of my reading and writing skills and his math and science skills, well, you will probably go to MIT.  No pressure though.

You will love watching TV, especially shows like 30 Rock & The Office re-runs, Parks and Rec, Mad Men, Homeland, The Wire, Band of Brothers, and The Soup....mostly because those are the only things we watch!  You will probably love dogs as much as we do, and I pray that you try to ride Barley one day like he's your personal pony.  I'm not going to lie, I bet one year you actually do get a puppy for Christmas...because secretly, we will want another one too.

Even though life with us will be lots of fun and include vacations and certain privileges like having a TV in your room one day, probably getting a crappy car when you turn 16, and Oreos (dang we are going out on a limb here), we hope that you will work hard and be nice.  That's sort of the family motto.  Do your best at whatever you do, work hard to achieve your goals while following your passion, and always be nice.  You don't always have to agree with popular opinion or kiss everyone's butt, but be nice and respectful to those around you.  Life is more fulfilling as a nice person, and if you can, go the extra mile and volunteer once in a while.  We love you.

Love,
Mom and Dad


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Weekend Recap {anniversary in NOLA}

So we have officially been married for a year as of yesterday!  I must say, I can't believe a year has flown by since we started out on this journey together.  We have had ups and downs this year; Bryan's dad passing away, my mom being sick, settling into a new life in Houston, starting exciting new jobs, and adopting Barley!  Without Bryan in my life as my husband and most importantly, my best friend, we wouldn't have gotten through the rough times and been able to celebrate and enjoy the best times!

*ahem sappy part over*  So we went to New Orleans for the weekend, left Friday morning and came back last night (one more day would have been ideal), and we had an AMAZING time.  Neither of us had ever been and now I think we can't wait to go back.  So here, to summarize, are multiple photo collages:

Cafe du Monde beignets & coffee (excellent.), anniversary glitter on our table at Arnaud's Saturday night, walking Bourbon Friday afternoon & evening.  Dinner at Arnaud's Saturday to properly celebrate.  
(don't worry guys...food pics are below!)

Bryan had gumbo, shrimp and grits, and creme brulee.  I had the Arnaud's salad, pork tenderloin with truffle mashed potatoes (duhh when don't I try and eat truffled things?), and pecan pie.  Um I had never had pecan pie before guys....what's wrong with me? It's delicious and perfect and I want more.

Because we are us, we obviously had lots of drinks too:  Ketel & soda (my go-to), a nice red blend, a grenade (because you have to, right?), and a beer sampling at a local brewery.  

So the upper right is the restaurant we ate at Saturday evening, and the other three are of the outside courtyard/building of the apartment we stayed in.  Let me say that Airbnb did NOT disappoint!  The place we stayed at was super cute, very charming, and gave us a really awesome local experience for half the price of a hotel.  We were walking distance (5 minutes) to Bourbon, 10 minutes to Cafe du Monde, and 10 minutes to the streetcar stops near Canal.  Amazing.

This is my "sightseeing" collage.  Streetcar we took the the WWII museum (oh yes, btw it POURED rain all day Saturday so we couldn't do the cemetery tour we wanted to do.), a beautiful and wonderful second line wedding parade!  It was so fun to see, and seriously I almost cried it was so great to see the bride and groom's family ready to celebrate with them!  And everyone had the great umbrellas you see to beat the rain!  
Ok so there I am doing my creep face in front of Marie LaVeau's voodoo house....excuse the red wine teeth. Our place was next to a voodoo temple, I'll be honest I was a little sketched, but we bought glass rings at Marie LaVeau's because we are tourists and they're a cute and cheap reminder of our trip.

There is a copy of FDR's speech the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked.  The WWII museum was incredibly powerful and moving, I would recommend it to anyone who even remotely enjoys history. Very informative and lots of amazing pieces on display to see.  Really gave you an accurate feel for what an undertaking the war was. 

Finally, Jackson Square and the Saint Louis cathedral.  Gorgeous.

 So a final few pics--Bryan's alligator burger with slaw, me unlocking the Historian Level 5 badge because I'm a history badass and there's no debating that now....internet agrees, y'all!  

My peanut butter-bacon-green tomato double cheeseburger.  Everyone go put peanut butter on your burger now!  This stuff is made for being on burgers.  This is the second time I've had one so yes, I'm also an expert on this, and foursquare would badge me if they could.

Bryan & I at Cafe du Monde on our rainy Saturday morning, and finally, the perfectly cork wine menu at Patrick's Bar Vin, where we spent a couple hours post-dinner Saturday enjoying some delightful reds.

So there it is y'all....we also bought souvenir for our niece and nephew (alligator jerky, a mardi gras mask, pralines, and voodoo dolls), got ourselves an original photograph by a local artist to frame to remember our trip, and just basically had a great weekend enjoying ourselves and celebrating one year of marriage and great things!



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Partyyy Peopleee {Nashville recap}


Airport-Vanity Fair and a surprise appearance by DD and the infamous pumpkin muffin. So good.


Woo we made it, didn't the MOH make the cutest gift bags?! We got snacks and bachelorette essentials. 


I contributed hangover kits with our bride's beautiful face on them.  Included was some alka seltzer, emergen-c, a wisp toothbrush, granola bar, tums, and mints. We definitely used them!


The trio of doom is reunited!!  Fireball commenced.  Don't worry, she is wearing a fanny pack boom box! Yes.


Loving life on the pedal tavern.  i was showing how easy it would be to fall off and then maybe one girl from our trio of doom (not me or the bride) did slip off and knock her head on the curb a little, but otherwise I highly recommend pedal taverns, especially if your city is flat. We got quite the workout going up some of those Nashville hills!


Sent this scary gem to Bryan the next morning as proof I was alive...but really though, we went to breakfast and a bar about an hour after this, so win! 

Saturday night we had our "nice" dinner out at a place called Cabana. It was amazing. 


Sweet potato biscuits and peach jelly. These were probably my favorite part of the meal! I already started pinning recipes to duplicate.


Fried green tomatoes with goat cheese and chow chow. AMAZING as well. 

And for the finale:


Sweet tea roasted half chicken. Scalloped potatoes. Southern green beans. This was pretty damn good, and I don't even like sweet tea. So if I did, I would have LOVED this. 


After dinner it was back to the downtown bar scene. We had gone up and down most of Broadway the first night, so we went over to the bars on Second Ave...including Coyote Ugly:


I hate CU, but wanted to share this pic as its the only one of me in my dress where you can also see my boots, haha. 

And the bride and I got some nice pics in too...not just hugging statues.  These are just of few photos that are shareable, because after CU, things got reallyyyy ugly.  We went home around 1:30 and the night commenced with our bride calling her mom a liar, jokingly of course, but it was hilarious.


Sunday we got ourselves together for brunch at Puckett's Grocery and Restaurant where a few of us had these Tennessee Painkillers.  


Whiskey, pineapple juice, coconut something..all you need to know is that they are delicious and hopefully I can find a full recipe for it eventually!  Highly recommend this place for breakfast...very reasonably priced and just what we needed to re-charge.

You know we hadn't had enough bar time yet, so we went back to Second Ave for more drinks before our flights...aren't these signs great?


Seriously nothing good besides weight loss has anything to do with salads.


One last lemon drop before we left! Oops.


And finally, my sad face photo when I was at the airport all alone, and everyone else got to go back to Chicago. My flight got delayed repeatedly so I didn't get home until 11 Sunday night, blerg!

Guys, I would go back in a heartbeat!  Nashville trumps Vegas for me as far asbachelorette party time goes--I loved being able to wear my boots and feel casual without judgment. Perfect for a crazy bachelorette weekend! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Off to Nashville! {bachelorette party time}

Woo so today at noon I'm flying off to Nashville for one of my besties' bachelorette parties!  She is getting married in November in Chicago and I absolutely can't wait!

I am a little sad to be gone from Bryan and Barley, I always worry about my boys when I'm not around.  But, it will be so great to see a few girlfriends this weekend!

Here are some photos of my prep for the weekend, as well as memories of bachelorette parties past to tide y'all over while I live it up this weekend! If you have any tips for fun in Nashville, leave it in the comments! We are doing a pedal tavern tonight, and then bars on Broadway after and on Saturday night.


Clearly our priorities are in line.  

Mmm this is probs what I'm wearing Saturday night! Boots & dresses.

Torn to-do list of dreams, a fishbowl of racy questions, a BUCKET because, yes. And of course my mom and I last August at my bachelorette.  If you're from Chicago, we are at the one and only Big City Tap.  Yeah, oh boy. 

That was before I drank the vodka-soaked gummy bear juice and leaned out the trolley window telling everyone I liked their dresses....

See what I mean? We know this weekend is gonna be classic. 

Have a great one y'all! 







Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words {wedding wednesday}

Today I wanted to talk about some of the photos I'm especially happy I have, because as a bride or groom, there are a lot of details you miss, and also a lot of photos you'll wish you had of moments at the end of the day.

I loveee so many of ours, but going through them now, 11 days ahead of our anniversary, it's fun to realize which pictures I really like!  I'm also excited about photos, because at the end of the month, Ms. Meg from Everyday Meg and Meg Cady Photography is taking our one year anniversary photos!  Cannot wait to share those on here.

One of my "fluffing"--we have a whole lot of these actually!

An overview of the church mid-ceremony

The second after we walked down the aisle.

Our second kiss as husband and wife!


"Wedding stuff"--ok the details you spent months planning, but might forget about:


Low centerpieces & tablescape


My bouquet with dad's tie wrapped!

Centerpieces & tablescapes

Champagne glasses two of my bridesmaids got us, chargers, placecards, etc.

Multiple shots of your cake--we have about 30 I bet.  And I love them all!


Close-ups are important too!


I am so happy that we had the time to take photos in multiple places--church, the woodsy area behind church, and throughout downtown Milwaukee--near the river, in an alley, on the street, etc.  And there was still time to hit up a bar too!

Church photos, with the veil fully extended and showcased.  

Something a little closer.  Through the trees.

More urban from our downtown shoot--these were probably my favorites.

If you can, one with a team mascot you love!  Go Badgers!


Casually walking and talking and laughing.

Close up and being weird together

Further out, more romantic, with my veil wrapped around us.

Finally, the last batch I'm so happy we have are huge overview photos of our room.  I think the place we had our reception was one of my favorite things about our wedding--the room is huge and beautifully lit, and just gorgeous.  

Empty, pre-guest arrival

During our first dance

During dinner, everyone is seated

Dancing!  Always, always get pics of the dancing :)


Find my other Wedding Wednesday posts here:
Our Proposal Story
Wedding Overview
Little & Personal Details 
Wedding Attire
Chits and Giggles