Friday, September 28, 2012

Five Things

1.  Life is extra sweet when you have an amazing friend who just shows up at your door with hot gooey cinnamon rolls late at night.

2.  Skype dates with good friends from studying abroad days is definitely a great way to spend an evening!

3. the iPhone 5 is absolutely incredible!!!!  Enough said =) not to mention how it makes your day to get the very last one in the whole store and THEN find out that when you turn in your 3 week old iPhone 4s in in exchange for the iPhone 5 that you don't have to pay a penny more (yes, they were shocked too)!!! Yippy, I love apple and their customer service.  Nicest people ever!

4.  Somehow grocery shopping has been extra therapeutic and relaxing this week. Costco and I have been good friends.  Lemon Chickens with homemade croutons are all ready to take to a friends house for dinner tonight!

5.  Next step to a productive Fall is buying new running shoes, any recommendations????  Please, all you runners out there, help, fast!!

6.  Looking forward to an amazing weekend and a girls trip to the city.  Sprinkles Cupcakes, here we come!!!  Even more reason for Running shoes, right?! =)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hope Chest

I'm not sure how many of you have heard of a hope chest or even know what it is, so I thought I would share a little bit about mine with you today.

A hope chest is usually an actual chest or a big box that a girl fills with things for her future.  A mother can help her daughter start one, or if you are like me, I had no trouble starting one on my own =) It is a way to save special things for your future home, family, or children.  It is kind of inevitable that one comes across something when they are 16 that they would like to tuck away for their future.

 This is something that I started years ago and have been building on ever since.
Over time I've come across all sorts of random things that I'm saving for my future children.

I thought I would share a few of these things with you today so you get the idea of this tradition.

My lovely cousin over at Dusty Window Panes made this adorable baby hat for me:

she and her mother also made matching baby booties that just melt your heart

Hopefully in the future my little girls will put on these little aprons (which I have two of in slightly different sizes) and will play tea time or bake with me in the kitchen.  


 I'm sure they would want to be just like their blogger mama and have their own adorable camera!

What little girl wouldn't want a little horse like this?!?!  And yes, I actually have one hair clip stored away.

Steiff animals were cute toys that all of us girls grew up with and I even kept my well loved doggie given to me by my grandparents for my own children.

While some people use an actual chest, I just use this cute box a friend gave to me years ago.

What do you think of this tradition?  Do you have any other cute ideas like this?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Apple Bake Off

This wonderful group of friends kicked off the Fall season with a trip to the apple orchard.

 The cute couple on the left =) (the couple on the right are cute too, I love them all! ) had the brilliant idea of having an apple bake off with the apples we picked together.  We were of course all on board with the idea and less than a week later the boys and girls were in separate kitchens getting their baking skills on!

Upon arriving at Rozann's adorable abode, we were greeted with a handful of cute aprons from Anthropology.  Wine and beer in hand, we created individual pizzas and got right to baking our Fall creation. 

We had a blast baking together in Rozann's lovely kitchen.

We make a great team if I do say so myself!

Oh my goodness, this was the cutest kitchen I've ever seen!!!  Just like out of a Country Living magazine =)

Fresh out of the oven!

This is called taking baked goods to the contest in style!  How adorable is this?!?

All of our finished products come together.

Here is our Apple-Pecan Pie Cobbler topped with incredible ice cream, candied caramel bites and homemade caramel sauce:  A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!

We were all pretty happy =)

Even if we did end up in a sugar coma, ha ha!

And then came the very first day of Fall which looked like this.  Love, love, love the feel of Fall.  

How are you spending your first days of Fall?  Are you planning on having an apple bake off with family or friends?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Five Things

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend.  Over here the weekend was filled with friends, good food, an apple bake off, making new friends, shopping, time with my boyfriend, Church, a play and some Downton Abbey & hot chocolate!

Here is a little recap of life as of late.

Firstly, I'm pretty happy to be wearing this scarf again and even more glad that leopard is still in:

It's a favorite of mine from J.Crew =)  

I would much rather own one really nice scarf that I absolutely love and wear all the time as opposed to owning several that I never really wear and don't really like.  My father always taught me this, smart man ;)

And I'm WAY super excited because I just found out yesterday that we have a Sprinkles Cupcake store right here in the Windy City!!!!!!!!!!!! 

(I don't have to go to CA for these after all!  Even though I still plan on visiting there eventually just because it would be fun and amazing!) 

Ummm I definitely think a visit to the city is in order now that I know this!  Maybe this week??? =)

I'm also pretty excited to have just found something pretty similar to POG juice!  POG was one of the best drinks we had in Hawaii and I've been keeping my eyes open for it ever since.  

 I just have to share that this weekend started off with one of the best Friday nights ever!  A few friends all got together and had an apple bake off.  I think we just started a new tradition =) It was girls vs. boys and of course I think it's pretty safe to say that the girls probably won with their incredible Apple-Pie Pecan Cobbler, even though I don't think it was ever officially decided.  

I also spent Saturday day with my mom and sisters.  We went shopping with my 14 year old sister for her birthday and somehow all ended up finding clothes we needed.  No, not just "needed" but yes, needed.  I am going with my mom to a tech conference on iPads mid-october up in the twin cities in MN and so we needed a few pieces of clothing for the trip.  Between Ann Taylor Loft, Banana Republic and Old Navy, I say we found a great selection and good deals, thanks to coupons on my little iPhone =)  Love that thing!

I spent Saturday night with my sweet boyfriend.  It was nice spending some quality time together.  I ended up back in the stores trying to help Charles find some dress clothes and thankfully we were successful.   In the process I found out boys are pretty easy to shop for, but sorry guys, your clothes aren't nearly as fun as ours!!!  Hee hee 

We made up for shopping by going to Smashburgers for dinner, drinking lots of tea and enjoying the rest of the evening together.

Okay, so we are a little crazy about the leopard print and my mom does steal my scarf from me all the time.  Time to surprise her with one so she will stop stealing mine =) 

Post to come soon with full details about our amazing apple bake off.  

Have a great Monday!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Enjoying Life

Today I'm thrilled to share with you a wonderful guest post from a very dear friend of mine. While I enjoy calling her Becs, some know her as Becca or... as the grand stories of her blog will also tell you, she is also known as Sheila =)   She is tremendously gifted with words (as our mutual professors and I would agree :) and I've thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Becs more and more as our College days drift further into the past.  So, here is the Saturday scoop from the writer herself, Becs:

Hello Maggie’s readers!  I’m so happy to join you on Maggie’s lovely blog today. Maggie and I met back in our Ave Maria days and our post-grad days have been filled with random spurts of letter writing and text swapping.  She’s taking over at my blog (Bec's Little Black Blog) with a Fall post so that I can join you today with…

6 Simple Steps to Enjoy Life More

I feel like I am constantly re-evaluating and re-writing out my dreams, goals, and to do lists.  I’m sure I’ll do this all my life long, but along the way I’ve found a few quick ways to take a step back and enjoy life more.  I hope they help you to enjoy life a bit more as well.

     Stop planning and just do.  Most of the time the biggest enemy I face is myself.  I get in the way of my dreams and my hopes.  I get in the way of what I really want to do and how I want to spend my time. There are many times when I don’t do things that I should do to enjoy life simply because it seems too spontaneous or it wasn’t what I had in ‘my plan’ for the day.  I think women especially struggling with the whole planning aspect of life and sometimes the biggest thing you can do to enjoy your life a little more is to give in to your spontaneous intuition for the day—whether that leads you to the nearest coffee shop to write, a park to walk or take pictures, or striking up a conversation with a random stranger.  Most of the time the things that most impact us are those that the ones we don’t plan.

     Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk.  I’m pretty sure at some point or another I have cried over spilled milk—or spilled coffee, or any other very minor flub of the hour/day/week.  Another way to enjoy life more overall is learning how to pick your battles and then letting the spilled milk be spilled milk.  Let yourself be human and make mistakes.  I would venture even to go as far as saying “learn to laugh over your spilled milk.”  A priest told me during my freshmen year of college that one of the best things I can do is to learn to laugh at myself.  Start doing this in your work life, in your relationships, and in your personal life to take away some very unnecessary stress.

     Cook A Meal.  Carefully note how this step comes after “Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk.”  Though not all of us are gifted with skills of cookery or even necessarily enjoy the time in the kitchen.  However, I am convinced that at least attempting to cook a meal or try a new recipe is automatically cathartic.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve told my good friend Sam over the phone, “The only thing I could do was come home and cook and bake.”  There’s something about it that gets creative & practical brain juices flowing in a balanced manner regardless if the meals turns out the best or not!

     QT = Quality Time.  Whether you’re extroverted or introverted, love people or hate people, everybody needs some good quality ‘me time’ to refresh, refocus, and enjoy life a little more.  Are you busy and constantly on the go?  Does your job or personal life require your constant engagement with social activity?  Learn how to say ‘no’ and schedule in some time for yourself.  Are you introverted and need down time to function in a humane fashion?  Taking a time of the day every day for yourself will be beneficial not only for you but for all those you have to work with as well.  It’s important to take care of yourself and ‘fill yourself up’ so that you can give quality time and attention to those who are important in your life, to function well at work, and to handle the unexpected encounters we face daily.  

     Unplug.  It’s almost impossible to get away from your phone, iPod, computer, TV, radio, etc.  It’s almost only possible if you make an effort to do so.  Unplugging from the virtual realm for a certain amount of time, either daily or weekly, can help you see more clearly those relationships and friendships that are in your physical vicinity.  Internet, in all its glory (that includes blogs), is fabulous, but keeping it real is much more important.  Scheduling in your plugged in time will allow you to have more time unplugged and will make your plugged in time more fruitful and focused.

     Finally, Set Goals.  There’s nothing more enjoyable at times than using that strikeout font.  Take a few minutes to write down all the practical things you need to do for the week, your personal goals (running, writing, reading, painting, photography), or your dreams (things you want to do this month/in the next two months/this year).  Put the list of goals on your fridge and enjoy your life a little more by working towards your goals.  

While all of these steps may be “simple” steps, simple doesn’t always mean “easy”!  Most of these I’m still putting into practice, but I always enjoy my life a little more when I do these simple things!   Thanks for stopping by!

Have a great weekend =) 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Life according to my iPhone

So I have to admit that I haven't been on top of blogging lately, but I guess that's because I've had a pretty good excuse! =)  

This past weekend we celebrated my grandmother's 80th surprise birthday party and boy was it a blast!!!  The weekend held some of the best moments ever spent with the relatives....laughing, telling stories and memories of grandma....just being together.

Here are a few snippets that I captured via my phone:
Okay so this makes it look like my relatives are made of food and animals (guess I just didn't instagram the cousins :)
A much better update about the party and our trip to the farm will be coming soon!

Hope you are all enjoying this lovely September weather =)

Friday, September 7, 2012


Stitchfix has been the new fix =)

I thought it would be fun to try this company and see what they would pick out and how it would fit ones personalized style. (it's also a great way to branch out and mix up what you would normally wear).

Shopping for clothes couldn't get any easier than someone else doing the shopping and delivering the bag box right to your front door!!!

I absolutely loved the mix of colors the stylist picked out!  She even payed close attention to the specific request of one dress, one scarf and three shirts.   All you have to do is pay a styling fee of $20, someone else picks out 5 items, ships them to you for free and you decide whether or not you want to keep any of the items.  If you choose to keep even one item, then that styling fee of $20 goes right towards your purchase.  If you choose not to keep any of the items, you just send it all back with free shipping and handling and your account only gets credited the $20 styling fee.

Easy Peasy!!!  Needless to say, I only kept the pretty scarf out of this box.  That way.... One, I didn't lose my styling fee and it went towards an item.  Two, I wasn't really looking to buy or spend money on clothes, I just wanted to get my fix and try this awesome company out!  Three, it's almost Fall and scarves are perfect for Fall =)

Have you tried stitchfix yet and what did you think?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Giveaway Winner!

Drumroll please....

The winner of the surprise giveaway is Sleepy Headed Mom!!!
Thank you for sharing some of your favorite Fall traditions:

1: baking and eating pumpkin pies.
2: going for a walk on a nearby trail through the woods while sipping on some pumpkin spiced coffee. Love the sounds of leaves crunching under my feet.
3: picking out and trying on Halloween costumes for or son and finally taking him for trick or treat.

Your surprise package is all ready to ship =)

A really big "thank you" to everyone who participated in the giveaway by sharing their favorite things about Fall.  I will be sure to incorporate your great ideas in my upcoming guest post over at Bec's Little Black Blog!

It was fun learning a little bit about each of you through a few of your Autumn traditions.

Thanks for sharing!

Have a great Wednesday =) 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Fall in a Cup

Can I share how extremely happy I am because the Pumpkin Spiced Latte is here =)
  It came out just today! (Terrible I should even know this, I know :)  Will there most likely be a trip to Starbucks at 6:00 am some point tomorrow?? Ummm YES, I think so.

I also wanted to say a huge "thank you" to all of you wonderful ladies who have already entered in the fun Fall giveaway!  You have all been so helpful in sharing your favorite things about Fall and I've really enjoyed hearing all the great things you cherish about Autumn!!!

It is also nice because I get to know all of you even better.  So Thank YOU =)  

What are your favorite Fall beverages to sip on during the chilly days?

Have a great holiday weekend ~ I'm off to the cabin with the boyfriend, my brother & friends!