Friday, January 13, 2012

New Goals for a New Year ~ 2012

  1. Buying a 2012 calendar might be a good start : )
  2. Throw a New Years Party!
  3. Go to Haiti on a mission trip this spring.  (just got accepted to go YAY!!!)
  4. Consolidate my to-do lists.
  5. Purge my magazines keeping the most wanted pages in an organized binder.
  6. Work out 3 times a week ~ with the goal of losing 5-8 lbs. 
  7. Pray more often.  
  8. Learn how to be a better blogger.  
  9. Go to the American Barista and Coffee School of America for a week.
  10. Organize all my moms recipes into one book for her.
  11. Run a half marathon.
  12. Go hiking for a week in Wyoming.
  13. Take my mom downtown Chicago on the train for a fun girls day in the city to celebrate her birthday! 
  14. Finish transferring all addresses into the new address book.
  15. Read Persuasion. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Years Eve ~ Ugly Sweater Party 2012!!!

Did I ever mention that I am a big fan of Etsy!!!!!???  
After my new recent discovery I'm an even bigger fan than before!
This year I wanted to throw a fun New Years Eve Party and it all began with figuring out how to invite my guests.   Should it have a theme, should it not have a theme, what theme should it have?  Originally I made some cute homemade invitations, but I quickly discovered that it wasn't all coming together as I had planned.  There were too many little details to include and I was running out of time to get everyone's mail address and so after a short visit to Etsy I quickly scratched my own invites and came up with an even better idea ~ thanks to Etsy!  The new plans were to have an ugly sweater party!!!  This seemed like a fun idea especially because I had people from several different circles all coming to the party and I thought that a little silliness would be a great ice breaker!!!  I found this woman on Etsy who designs invites and puts in whatever words you need the invite to say.  Her reviews were outstanding and people couldn't recommend her enough. The best part about it was that she had my invites done within hours of getting my e-mail request.  Once she finished making the invites, I could e-mail her back and forth up to three times to perfect any changes that might need to be made.  Seeing as she did such a fantastic job from the start, no changes were needed and my invites were ready to be "sent" out!!!  Check out the final product above!!! While there were many ways I could have given the invites to my guests, the easiest and cheapest way to do so was via facebook where I could easily and conveniently continue to add guests to the list as I thought of them.  I was also able to send reminders and additional messages to my guests at the click of a button!  How easy is that!!!??? So with the help of Esty and my new favorite blog: Aesthetic Nest, I was able to come up with great ideas for the New Years Party!!!!

P.S. Aesthetic Nest is a mom's blog that has some amazing party ideas.  That is where I got the idea to be cohesive and to have a particular theme throughout the evening. 

If we are going to wear ugly sweaters, we are going to wear ugly sweaters!!! ha ha

Our now established New Years tradition ~ thank you my lovely fellow hostesses! 

1st Place!!!

Half the party that stayed on.  Yes we were hard core ~ we played scattergories till 3AM!!!  Such great fun!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Stumble Upon Quote of the Day!

"May today there be peace within.  May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.  May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others.  May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.  May you be content with yourself just the way you are.  Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.  It is there for each and every one of us."

Dream. BIG. Opening a Coffee House!!! (at some point in my life : )

Van Leeuwen Coffee House NY ~ Some Dream Inspiration for the New Year!!!

Being a coffee connoisseur (thanks to being a college student : ) it would be my life long dream to finally one day open a quaint coffee house of my very own!  In college I had a roommate who would always say to me as we talked of our many lifelong dreams: "Dream BIG girl, dream big!!!" and this has always stuck with me.  So here I am still, browsing around, getting ideas and still dreaming!

I can still vividly remember THAT exact day when I "enjoyed" my very first taste of the drink everyone called COFFEE!!!

Love this style of drip coffee

This is the first coffee house picture that I happened upon in the "The Knot" and immediately fell in love with.  It's small, cozy, self contained, artistic, manageable, old-fashioned and appealing to the eye.  This picture came from a great little article on this couple who opened their own little coffee house and ice cream parlor in NY.  I just loved their personal style and had to share!

Cute seating ideas!

Following in the footsteps of many things that my Grandma enjoys, it was my Grandma Lois who gave me THAT first sip.  Now while some things are "love at first sight" or "love at first taste"coffee and I did not have that particular experience when we first met.  My Grandma and I were out shopping together in downtown Barrington and loving her daily coffee we stopped in at the local Starbucks.  She offered me a sip from her cup and being quite curious as to the taste of this popular drink, I accepted.  Here I was with my first cup of straight black coffee in hand and my immediate reaction was.....
 "oh gross, this is bitter and nasty and who really drinks this stuff anyways???!!!"  
But at the time, I thought it was the "cool" thing to drink and so I was determined to like coffee.  Every time my Grandma would come to visit she would bring the cold little Starbuck's frappuccinos in a bottle and we would share them by each drinking half the bottle.  ( I know she enjoyed sharing her love of coffee with me and splitting these bottles in half was a great way for her to justify drinking these as a treat to herself .... I mean at that point it's only half the calories, right : ) I thought it was cute and I always loved sharing our (at the time "mutual love") of coffee as it made for some great memories. Anyhow, thanks to her I came to LOVE coffee and not just the kind loaded with sugar and cream!!!   Oh yes, and now she is the one telling me, "you know you shouldn't drink too much coffee!" or "you should really try drinking half decaf, half regular" : )  I love you, Grandma!!! I'm glad we can share in our now mutual love of COFFEE!!!
This is my current "baby" that I take care of every day and that gives me the perfect cappuccinos in return!  If I ever open a coffee house, this is coming with me in remembrance of what gave me the drive and energy to dream BIG!!!