Saturday, February 28, 2015

52 Hand Lettered Project – February Recap

"Places to Visit"
 My mom and I are going to Europe in August. This trip has been a long time coming and we’re both over the moon about it! We’re working with a travel agent, but as of right now our plan is to hit Paris, Barcelona, Florence & Venice. I added Dublin on there because when Max and I take our first trip to Europe we know that Ireland is on the agenda and excitedly talk about other locations to explore!

"A quote about love"
Es tevi milu. This means I love you in Latvian. When I was younger, I had a best friend named Vicki, who was Latvian American. Over the years I tried learning the language so many times it hurt. She would spend every Summer in Latvia and Jenny and I would try our best to learn the language and surprise her when she returned. Needless to say the motivation lasted roughly a week every summer then we gave up. The one phrase that stuck with me was “I Love You”. What can I say, I was a shameless romantic even back then.

"My everyday essentials"
This is quite a literal list. These things ARE my everyday essentials. In life and in love.

"Things that soothe"
Music. Plain and simple. When push comes to shove music is what can change my mood, bring me back from the brink, inspire me, motivate me, change me, mold me and comfort me. Every time. Hands down. 

Wanna join in on the fun? See deets here

Friday, February 20, 2015

February Wine Club – Rose

January Wine Club was Champagne. I picked the theme. But somehow I lost… go figure! True to Wine Club rules the loser hosts the following month. The ladies of Wine Club graced Bellewood with their presence and it was a blast from start to finish! The theme this month was Rose (aww Valentine’s Day…). Half of us brought pink moscato (guilty!), which turned out to be the winner, but they were all pink so I guess that’s the most important part! I had had this wine before and knew I loved it so one day just decided to buy two bottles and share at this month’s gathering. I pulled out all the stops this month and even whipped up the Maxey family world famous taco dip. Another hit!

It was so much fun to plan the gathering at my house this month. I thought it would be stressful being the week that we also leave for vacation, but it wasn’t. It was great and an extremely relaxing evening! I opted for disposable glasses and plates and since each lady is to bring their own dish to pass, the cleanup process was slim to none.

I don’t necessarily like losing, but let’s just say I wouldn’t HATE hosting again! I love showing off our house J

Next month’s theme… Michigan Madness Wine! It’s a play on words for March Madness and each lady is to bring a made-in-Michigan wine of their choosing. I LOVE this theme! What shall I choose…?

Friday Five!

{Florida dreamin’… 24 hours!}

This week was busy! When I wasn't trying to wrap up work projects (new exciting start coming my way!), I was preparing the house for February Wine Club and preparing to leave for vacation. Besides all the cleaning and packing, my evenings were spent running errands like a mad woman. It was nuts, but FAST. I was even able to fit in some MSU basketball action!! Love weeks like this…

Tomorrow we leave for Marco Island! AHHHHHHHH!

I’m not one for the Winter blues. I like to think I can survive in Michigan year round (although last Winter really tested me…), but there is something about this year that’s got me feelin' blue. It’s been blisteringly cold (as I type this it's -11 degrees out!), and in turn I think has made me a little anti-social, and more homebody-ish than normal. All I want to do is come home and sit on the couch under my heated blanket. There is nothing wrong with being a homebody and most times I love being home, but I’m ready to get out and enjoy some sunshine and warmth with my family.

{ventured out one snowy night to visit Ritz Coney before they close their doors forever} 

{February Wine Club prep}

{glittery heart midi ring}

{fireplace lovin’ with my guy}

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Whole Life Challenge-The Lists...

You'd think that waiting around for the end of this no-wine-or-cheese-or-sugar-or bread death sentence would drag on, but the last two weeks of the Whole Life Challenge has really flown by. The anticipation of the next challenge or waiting around for the next time temptation would sneak up and then quietly dismiss herself has accelerated each day.

The Lifestyle challenge for Week 3 was to get 7 or more hours of sleep each night (check and done), and Week 4 was to encourage your teammates on the communication feed. Both of those are things I already try to do in my daily life so, once again, these points came easily...though it was nice to have my existing habits highlighted for a bit. Go, me!

Aside from the self-improvements made by the lifestyle changes, I'm still busy in the kitchen trying to translate our family meals into truly whole foods that will nourish us in greater ways. Forever. #wholelifeSHIFT is my goal.

My husband recently sent me this handy link containing info that I believe should be a staple every kitchen. Similarly, I've found related posts on Pintrest that achieve the same goals. The more informed the better. The more tricks, the more likely you are to get it right.

In the spirit of the LISTS Meggie and I love, here is a list of the lists I've gathered so far over the course of this challenge.

1. Smoothies 

3. Preparing for post-WLC life: Spring will bring a second attempt at a more sophistocated veggie garden.

4. Honoring the supplement component of the challenge, I'm finding more  natural solutions far outweighs popping a pill every day.

5. Seeing as the Lifestyle challenge for Week 5 is to make time every day to do something you love, I'm forced to make more time for reading. Darn. There are few things I love more than finding new books to read. The first book shown here I've just startied and the second will follow.

6. New running gear for the impending change in season.
My new kicks are shown above. Swoon.

Meanwhile, I'm still truckin' along with the overall points. Though, knowing my husband, his competitive side is not going to budge, so my ambition now is to stay in second place;  "Winner" might as well be tatooed on his beautiful bald head. Well played, my love.

Our 7th Valentine’s Day

Last weekend was Valentine’s Day. Our 7th Valentine’s Day together! We had a fun conversation re-living every prior years and what we did for the holiday. There was year 1 that where Max made me a 4 course meal in his dorm room, complete with a cheesecake dessert! How that boy was able to grill fish on a jacked up George Foreman is beyond me! Then there was our engagement year where I surprised him at a sushi restaurant with champagne and rose petals at the table. That was a fun one… those were some of the highlights, but to be honest, besides that first year we came up empty handed on the middle years. I have no idea what we did and it’s bugging me…

Anyway, getting back on topic… Lovers Day 2015!  E.P.I.C. (I’m sorry, I’m just such a sucker for this shit!)

We woke up early Saturday and did our normal shuffling around the house… with coffee and catching up on TV shows. We were really just trying to pass the time until noon when we decided to head to Sundance downtown for very special beverages (and sidekick dishes!). From there we went to a new downtown dive called Tin Can. Impressive! This place was so much fun. Just the kind of place we could hole up for hours. We’re already planning our next Saturday afternoon spent there with a group of friends. Finally, around 4:00, we would venture to Eastown… cause it was time for SUSHI! Maru is by far our favorite sushi in the city and on Saturday’s they have half off signature rolls. You just can’t beat that!

After a quick bevvie (& cupcake!!) at The Meanwhile we headed home for a relaxing evening. We were totally planning on a game night. But decided on Diners, Drive-In’s and Dive’s and just relaxing on the couch. 

So perfect. I love that man, and I love that we both love days like this. 

Until next year St. Valentine!!

{he thinks I'm one in a billion}

 {I don't know if I've ever been this cold!}

{Michigan weather grrrrr!}

Monday, February 16, 2015

Monday Motivators: Lundi Gras!

Happy Lundi Gras!

Tomorrow is the big day. The last day. For the past two weeks, NOLA has been accumulating energy, creativity, comradery and debauchery...but after tomorrow's Fat Tuesday parades, it comes to a screetching halt.

Today, the people of New Orleans are hitting the streets to soak up as much of this month-long party as possible because today is Lundi Gras...or Fat Monday (why not, right?).

Over the past 8 years, my husband and I have developed our own traditions and preferences when it come to how and what we participate in during Carnival season. I think I like parades a bit more than he does, but when the weather, mood and crowd is just right, he's all in.

It's got to be said that the Whole Life Challenge hasn't made it easy on us this year because taking advantage of the open container law couldn't be more fun than during Mardi Gras. Well, the "no alcohol" rule of the game has sliced that privilege off at the knees. Lucky for me, I've saved up some indulgence ponits along the way, and couldn't have picked a better time to spend them. It may not be full-on inebriation but, at my age, that's probably not a bad thing.

I've managed to make it to a few parades so far this year and, if the weather behaves, I'll catch the last few tomorrow.

 [My buddy, Kim, doesn't hold back when it comes to beggin for good throws]

I've made some parades part of my runs--interesting to have beads thrown at you while you're also in motion.  I always bump into someone I know, so take advantage of a few minutes to rest and yell at a few floats.

[My baby girl throwing a tantrum during costume try-on session.]

[You're looking into the eyes of Darth Vader]

I've marched in one--with Apple--only the costume aspect of it didn't exactly go as planned. It was warm out and covering my already hyper English Bulldog in all black didn't seem like the responsible parenting move. 

[Unfortunately for me, Darth decided to stay home, 
but Leila tried to make an appearance.]

[We had our fun. And we saw so many people we knew along the route. Guess that's what counts.]

This past weekend, my husband and I biked Uptown to one of my favorite parades, Tucks.

I just can't help myself: this krewe is all toilets and rolls of toilet paper and's rediculously beatufiful...and right up my alley.

Can't believe Carnival 2015 has already come...and is almost gone. Tomorrow, the St. Anne parade will roll right by our house, here in the Bywater, and then we'll say goodbye until 2016. Maybe one of these years we'll get some more Michigan folks to witness the magic!