Monday, December 31, 2012



I didn’t think it was possible to top 2011, but I was wrong! From the Boyne Mountain trip  in January all the way to the Mexico trip in December and everything in between, this year has been unforgettable. I was promoted, Max was promoted, my sister and brother-in-law were promoted, best friends got engaged, best friends got married, best friends had babies, Apple is a proud new addition to the family… the list goes on and on. But the best thing, after 4 years and 8 months (almost to the day) Max and I got engaged! Words can’t describe how happy I am.
This was a pivotal year for so many reasons, and I’m eternally grateful for everything and everyone that was a part of it. I foresee the same upward trend continuing in 2013. There is already SOOO much to look forward too (2 babies and 6 weddings, 4 of which I’m in, one where I’m the one in WHITE, for starters…).
Tonight Max and I are heading downtown to celebrate our engagement and party like its 2008 all while ringing in the year we will start our married lives together.
Here are a few of my favorites from 2012. See you next year!


{balloons after a mini surprise party}


{St. Patty's Day in Chicago}

{one of the many wedding's - this one holds a special place in my heart}

{homemade beignets during a sister visit}

{lollapalooza in Chicago - Florence + the Machine on stage} 

{bye bye 333 - hello 1300 Gezon Parkway} 


{beautiful baby}
{amazing Mexican vacation with my now Fiance (!!)} 

{apple! a beautiful new addition to the family}

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Another Apple Christmas!

As my bio states, my husband has made it a habit the past few years to surprise me with the newest Apple electronic as a Christmas gift. It's sort of become a joke now. This year, with my heart not wanting (or needing) for another computer, iPad, or iPod, we got creative.

We've been talking very seriously about getting another dog as a brother or sister for Jackson and, on the drive up to Michigan for a holiday family visit, we picked up this year's Apple:

She's already a natural model. 

Though this year's Christmas gift wasn't a surprise out of the blue, my husband did give in to getting a very young puppy. The original plan was to find a bulldog who was closer to 6 months--maybe even older. But when we found this 3 month old little porker, I fell head over heels and so my husband selflessly gave in (I may have impatiently pushed him a bit).
To keep up the annual tradition, we simply had to name her Apple. 

 When I say "porker", I mean it...
She weighs almost 2x what she should!
The blubber makes her even more squirmy when you hold her. 

Jackson has been a very patient big brother...letting his bratty little sister try out all of the new toys first (yes, cute as she is, Apple is a bit aggressive and hasn't quite yet learned how to share). 

Daddy is a great multi-tasker. He makes sure both pups get the attention they need...and mediates when necessary. 

Mom and dad aren't exactly dog lovers, but they know how much animals mean to us, so they're pretty good sports when we go up to visit. Mom didn't have too much trouble cuddling up to Apple on Christmas Eve...I had to pry the puppy out of her arms to take her to bed!
(Nice bluff, mom! You're getting a dog next Christmas!)

Apple insisted on sharing a glass of champagne with Meggie & I to celebrate our first semi-annual "company meeting" (wink). 

Ikea has the cutest bulldog stuffed animals. 
Of course we bought one big and one small, so each of our "children" would have a matching bedtime pal.

No NOLA girl should go without a fabulous purple accessory. 

Having an older (and very well-behaved) dog in the house will make training a new puppy a bit easier.  Apple already knows how to sit! 

Yet another thing Monkey now has to share: his couch. Apple takes up only a small corner of what Jackson easily fills!

Just like human babies, puppies do sleep a lot. A snuggler on top of everything else, Apple has no problem sawing out a few Z's on long (LONG) car rides. 

Welcome to the family, baby girl!! You already fit right in!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Five!

{Happy 4 years and 8 months to Max and Megan!}

So, who cares if I had car issues or if work stresses started to get the best of me over the past few days, this week is ending on such a high note it completely washes everything else away. I’m giddy with excitement for the 4 day weekend that’s in store for Max and I (not to mention, only 2 days of work this week AFTER a 5 day Holiday weekend… can’t complain, can’t complain at all!). 
To kick things off, tonight we’re heading to Kalamazoo for an engagement party at Bell’s Brewery. I’m so excited to celebrate with the happy couple and catch up with everyone; I would give anything to not have to drive 45 minutes to get there.
Here are a few things (but not the only things <3) that made me happy this week:
{holiday bar nights; which felt like a mini High School reunion}
{snow! Even though it was a PAIN to run my errands in a blizzard, it gives me hope for a sledding date in the near future}
{Michael Kors watch I’ve been drooling over since this post is on its way!}
{Apple! The new little addition to the family that I’m already going through withdrawal without – more to come on this bundle of joy!}

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New Years Resolutions 2013

I was organizing the other day (shocker) and came across my new year’s resolutions from 2004, the year I graduated High School. This made me literally laugh out loud as I remember writing these with my best friend (one of the engaged onesJ) like it was yesterday. We decided on a list and proceeded to decorate it on a small piece of typed paper, then tape around it until it was basically “laminated”, and swore we would keep them in our wallet the entire year. In the end, I don’t remember if we hit all of our resolutions because a few months later we were heading off to Michigan State and nothing else mattered… at the time.
I think that was the last time I actually wrote down my resolutions. This year, I’ve decided to take a similar approach. Not keep a semi laminated copy in my wallet, but make sure my resolutions are visible in a way that is inspirational to me.
Based on other blogs that I follow, it seems the “thing to do” is write your resolutions on a piece of paper, frame them, then set the frame in a place that you’ll often be reminded. I LOVE this idea. So I stole it. The resolutions now reside in my “office” where I spend the majority of my personal time when I’m at home.
Alright, so here they are… For the world to see (and keep me on track):
  1. Take kickboxing
  2. Work on the road rage
  3. Save Money
** Disclaimer for Max: I want to be clear… this does NOT mean that I CAN’T spend ANY money on things other than bills or necessities. This means that I will make smart choices where spending money is concerned ;)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Back in the Game

It's been almost 2 weeks since my half marathon.  Between work, a nasty cold and traveling home for Christmas (a visit to Meggie and the family that came and went way too quickly), I haven't had a chance to get back into my running routine.

Tomorrow is the day.

We're in Chicago with my husband's family and it's bitterly cold outside.
So, early in the morning, when the chilly winter air is so still and quiet you could hear the snowflakes hit the ground, I'll bundle up, plug in and set out on a solo jog.

I can't wait.

During my period of rest, I've been entertained by the following images & captions...

This has been me all week.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Five!

{Christmas lights at the Funky Buddha - I don't know why but this makes my shavasana so much more peaceful)

Tis’ the season! This week was filled with all sorts of Christmas-like activities. As per usual, I did not get all of my shopping done as early as I had hoped (shocking!), so that was one thing on my daily to-do list. On top of that, I was able to squeeze in a couple of Christmas movies (at least listen to, gotta love the multi-tasking), we had our holiday celebration at work with the annual ugly sweater and pot luck Friday, and best of all, it is finally going to snow (or so they are predicting)! Nothing gets me in the holiday spirit more than snow!
I am so looking forward to this 5 day break. Not only will I finally see my sister for the first time in 6 months, I have a date night planned with Max, get to celebrate a night out with my newly engaged friend (yes, another one J) and a birthday celebration at a martini bar. Not to mention down time with my family toasting champagne and chatting by the fireplace.
Her e are five additional things that made me happy this week:
{Christmas carolers frolicking through the office} 

{Friday morning breakfast! hah just kidding... I had to get them out of the apartment and I love watching the vultures at work} 

{perfect surprise cupcake to come home to after a long day} 

{sparkles! definitely wearing the dress for New Years...}

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Holidays in NOLA

Even after 4 winters here, it's still SO weird to see palm trees, wear sandals and see green everywhere just days before Christmas.

As much as I love not having to make my morning commute on black ice or through several feet of snow, I will admit I'm really looking forward to traveling north this weekend to a more "normal" holiday atmosphere.

Here are a couple of images of what I'm seeing now as holidays and winter are in full swing in my southern, warm, humid home of New Orleans...

Canal Street downtown NOLA

This picture is legit. Promise. 
It's along my running route, actually
 (in the yard of a ridiculous southern mansion).
 Look at how high up those lights go! I have been watching them put these up for weeks now using cherry pickers. Imagine the 
stunning sight in person! 

Looking forward to snow in Michigan & Chicago! 

Happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My Kinda Seasonal - December Music Edition

As I mentioned in this post I tend to change my go-to playlist around based on the month or season. Songs may guest appear for a specific month because it was popular around that time or season, it’s an actual seasonal song, it was on a T.V. show I saw… the list goes on and on.
For the month of December in particular I have A LOT of songs that come to mind. The obvious being Christmas songs (duh) but this month for many years of my life was first semester FINALS time. This means countless hours in the library/coffee shop/dinner table studying. I personally would much rather study with a soundtrack of music in the background rather that the bickering chit-chat of the sorority girls on the second floor of the library, to which they considered their personal living room (more gossiping went on than studying). And while I did enjoy a friendly Monster break here and there, more often than not, I wanted to get-in-get-out.
Here is a list of songs that are currently gracing my “seasonal” playlist. Whether they came from countless hours of studying, a T.V. show, the radio, or random Pandora finds, these songs hold a special place in my heart this month:
1.  The General Specific – Band of Horses
2.  Wonderwall – Ryan Adams
3.  Dice – Finley Quaye
4.  Don’t Forget Me – Way Out West
5.  Existentialism on Prom Night – Straylight Run
6.  Day Old Hate – City and Colour
7.  Abandon Your Friends – From Autumn to Ashes
8.  Silvia – Miike Snow
9.  Littleblood – Division Day
10. La Vie Boheme – Rent (really anything from the Rent soundtrack)

BONUS Track: Hanging On – Ellie Goulding (Feat. Tinie Tempah)**

** This is a song that I am currently obsessed with and wanted to share. I’ve listened to it so much over the past 2 weeks that it will probably be on my December playlist come 2013.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Farewell Hobbes

{loved the holidays}

Hobbes was a beloved member of Max’s family. He wasn’t like a normal cat. In fact his family was convinced he was a dog since he never meowed, always welcomed you at the door, always responded to his own name and was loyal to a fault.
Max will always remember him galloping through the yard, loving the wind blowing through his mane.
Hobbes was taken from us too soon. But at least now he's in a better place where he no longer lives in pain. His life was happy and spent with a loving family. He will be greatly missed.
{best friends}