Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Sunday Currently, vol. 5

 Reading  nothing currently.  I know, isn't that sad?!?!

 Writing  a letter to my very first roommate in college.  We stayed roommates for the remaining two years of her college experience and are still best of friends, even if distance keeps us apart.  I'm brunette and she is blonde, I'm a morning person and she is not, but we were both 5'2" and almost weighed the same.  Can I say that we were thrilled with this because that meant more clothes for both of us!!!!  That's right, our wardrobes became fair game =)  We even swapped clothes and bags over the summer!  Now she is married and has a beautiful baby. 

 Anticipating  Spring!  Need I say more????

  Thinking  that a stack of clean gym socks is a great way to start the week =)  When I say "stack" that really means 4-5 nice pairs.  With so few pairs they have to match and stay together.  Yes I sometimes even wash them in my lingerie bag because I HATE when I lose my expensive really soft gym socks!!!  Gym socks matter people, it's silly I know =)  

 Rejoicing  over a fun and successful surprise birthday party for Charles!!!

 Smelling   the last little bit of my "Close" scented hand cream from The Soap and Paper Factory.

 Wishing    I could be eating pistachio gelato with extra whip cream on top. =)  It's the best!!!

 Hoping   to learn one new dinner recipe before February is over.  This ties in with a personal bucket list that I'm already filling.  

Listening     to David Grey's song "Good to be Alive" seriously, you should listen to this song!  It's a great little pump it up running song.  It's my new happy song!

 Sipping  a rosabaya cappuccino. =)  Nespresso, you make me happy!

 Loving   the above quote!  I have to remind myself of this all the time when I get too caught up in all the pleasures and pretty things of this world.  We tend to put so much focus and energy on how things look in the world and completely miss the purpose of why we are here.

Wanting   a day trip to the city for exploring new restaurants and visiting a new museum. 

 Needing   one whole day to unplug and leave my phone and computer locked up.  Out of sight, out of mind.

 Feeling    very grateful for the time in Lent when one can take a step back and refocus, striving to build a better prayer life and conquer bad habits.

 Watching    nothing lately and it's been nice.  =)  Oh wait, I take that back.  I just watched Anna Karenina for the first time!                                                 
                                                  Linking up to Lauren's Sunday Currently.

Friday, February 22, 2013

life lately according to pictures!

Life lately... 
has been a mix of reminiscing over fond memories sitting here in this adorable cafe in Galway, and the excitement of more recent moments, such as those below.
life lately, always involves a cappuccino, or two!
Some valentines baking.
the loving steps involved in a triple layer chocolate mousse cake.
going all out to celebrate Charles and his 33rd birthday =)
Leftover cake + a cappuccino = a lovely weekday breakfast!
"well hello gym! remind me why I'm here...oh yeah, breakfast, I remember" 
I'm savoring every. single. piece. of chocolate!! Good luck finding where I have these babies hidden =)
Not risking anyone stealing them.
Just wishing I was in Hawaii wearing orange flip-flops!  
I think I have the perfect trip in mind for these comfys.
A surprise birthday party for Charles!!!  His first surprise party, ever.
Squeezing every drop out of a tube of "close" lotion from the Soap and Paper Factory.
Colorful spice jars in the middle of winter are like little rays of sunshine.
More birthday celebrations at the Melting Pot.  Want another strawberry, baby?  Guess we found out (the hard way) that someone is still allergic to strawberries.  So sad.
All the aforementioned pictures, yeah, they put us here, again!
It's not a bad thing though.
A great Sunday workout with my favorite workout partner. 
Dating a Tae Kwon Do instructor makes for the best personal trainer when it comes to stretching.  
One drop of sweat at a time.
We are perfectly normal, I promise!  
Being silly is normal, right?!?
Still enjoying these next to my bed.
I know it's more of a color you would wear somewhere tropical, but one can always imagine....
Let's talk Potbellys. 
 It's probably one of my all time favorite "fast food" places.
You can probably find me here almost every year on my birthday and I'm not embarrassed to admit that.  
While I could be riding a bicycle right now, I decided to wear them instead =)
Have a Fantastic Friday!!!
Do you have any fun plans for the weekend???
Feel free to share below.

I'm looking forward to the Sunday Currently.
I'll "see" some of you ladies then =)


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Slimming down and getting healthy

Or at least that is what the goal is anyway =)
Truth is, I've been trying pretty hard to get into the groove, but it's not always easy!
Like it's supposed to be easy, right?!? Whomp whomp whomp.
I know a little more weight is inevitable one day, but not now thank you!!!
So back to working out...
Smart water makes recovery a little easier.
A new spin on a yummy breakfast ~ add raspberry jam and granola to your greek yogurt.
And this lady is my favorite!!! Right when you think you can't do another rep, she mixes it up!
I've found her DVDs to be great workouts that give results.  
Boosting up on a new favorite ~  acai berry vitamin C drinks.
I know exercise is a huge metabolism booster, but I also believe in.......portion control.  
Yes that's right, portion control!!!
 I'd rather have smaller portions and the freedom of eating whatever it is I enjoy most! 
Personally, I think diets have a yo-yo effect.  When you diet you lose weight, but the minute you stop a formal diet (which for many diets don't/can't last forever) you gain all or some of that weight right back.
While it's partially true that gaining weight has to do with what you are eating, you can still gain weight eating all healthy foods as well.
And why not enjoy what you eat???
Just eat less of it and I promise, it will help you fit into those skinny jeans, I know!!
Eat one cookie, not four.
Eat one taco, not two.
Eat a quarter of that candy bar, not the whole thing =)
Drink a small coffee, not a large.
The minute I go from a huge dinner plate down to a medium or saucer size plate, I notice a huge difference.  It's not the butter that's making you fat, it's how much butter you are using!

I'm also all about quality over quantity!!! =)
Personally, I'd definitely rather have a tall whole milk latte with whip cream than a Venti skim milk no whip latte!!!  
But that's my opinion =)

What are your thoughts???  
Would you rather go for the tall whole milk latte or the venti skim latte???

Monday, February 18, 2013

Life Lately Link Up

I'm excited to be co-hosting the Life Lately Link Up with our two lovely hosts, Alli 

Feel free to join in on the fun below!!!

Here's a little life lately:
Valentines is something that Charles and I enjoy getting into.  I have incredibly fond memories from our very first Valentines last year, but I think this year was even better.  I sipped wine, napped and snuggled under a blanket while Charles made dinner!!!  It was all so sweet, the dinner, the chocolates, flowers, a card. 
But then, the next day I walked into the house and found this!!

 A gorgeous bouquet of flowers with a sweet note!
It was a total surprise.
 This guy knows the way to my heart and he sure is a romantic!
I LOVE that about him =)
Baking some Valentine Sweets! 
 A cappuccino celebration!!! =)
 Happy with his white mocha!
 A very special day for Charles as he continues his journey coming in to the Church.
 Charles and his godfather ~ both amazing men!
Working my way back up to some hard core workouts at the gym! Plus, I finally pulled the 
Pilates DVD out.  Yay for Denise Austin because she makes it possible =)
 And one more flower photo just because I love flowers SO much!

Now link up with us, it's always great to hear what's happening in your life lately!

1) Follow your hosts via GFC
2) Follow your co-hosts via GFC
3) Link up a Life Lately post or any post about your life
4) click on the link below to link up =)

Grab a button:


Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Sunday Currently, vol. 4

 Reading  through other wonderful Sunday Currently posts.

 Writing  out many different lists, some more exciting than others. =) 

 Anticipating  a fun dinner at the Melting Pot with Charles and his family tonight.  We are going to be doing lots of celebrating, 5 birthdays to be exact!!!  

  Thinking  that I've been quit the slacker when it comes to blogging lately.  It sometimes comes and goes in phases.  #needtobebetteraboutthis

 Rejoicing  over the fact that Charles and I were able to spend a full 15 hours together yesterday.  It was one of the best Saturdays EVER!!!  Amazing what one can do in 15 hours!!  To top everything off, we even cleaned and purged his entire kitchen =)  

  Wishing   that I could stop time right here and now.  I'm blogging and Charles is sleeping on the sofa right next to me.  Gotta love lazy Sunday afternoons!

 Planning  on going to the gym at least three times this week.  So happy that gyms exist for the dreary winter months.  I'm more of a hometown/park district gym kinda girl, not a fan of YMCA.  How about you?  I like when the facility is small, clean smelling and cozy.  Plus it's more fun when the staff are friendly and know you.

 Sipping    a cosi cappuccino.  Just one shot this time. =)

 Loving   the blue skies!

 Wanting  to let you know that I put together a 26 year old bucket list, feel free to check it out, especially #12. =) It's kinda my favorite one!!!  

 Needing  to give myself a pedicure!  I'm not a fan of winter toes.

 Feeling  like a nap would be awesome right about now.  Too much blogging to get caught up on though.

 Thanking  friends like Brianna for sending the sweetest note and chocolates in the mail!!!  Nothing like having dear friends to remind you how to love and think of others.

Linking up to Lauren's Sunday Currently.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A 26 year old bucket list

( crazy how time flies, this picture is already a few years old!!!  It was taken on a really important day at the end of our college careers)

It would be best to write this list at the time of your birthday,  but seeing as my birthday was months ago, I thought I would still jump on this and follow 
the awesome trend of a dear college friend who writes over at 
Yep, that's us two up on the right in the picture above and yes, I'm just that short! Ha, ha.  
She and I both share a deep love for writing out lists... lists, lists, lists!! 
This is something Becs and another friend came up with.   Read her blog for the complete story!
The rules are as follows:

a. 12 items only.  In theory, complete one a month for that year.
b. you can replace items with equally good (and attainable) goals through the year but they have to be deemed worthy by the other person.
c.  whatever you don't finish in that year carries over to the next year.
d.  dream no small dream.

Especially in light of the above letter "d" here's to a 26 year old bucket list!!!!
Here it goes:

1. look into graphic design schools.
2. learn how to make tiramisu cake.
3. take a trip to California for the very first time, especially San Fran and San Diego.
4. read Les Miserable.
5. paint at least 1-2 rooms with fresh coats of new color.
6. learn at least 2 new recipes per month, keeping track of them by writing them down. 
7. take a trip to the East Coast.
8. reach 100 followers on my little blog by next January 1st. 
9. discover 2 new restaurants downtown Chicago.
10. meet up with a new blogger friend in person for coffee.
11. help transform my down syndrome sister's room into a cozy bedroom/art studio.
12. get engaged =) of course my favorite one!

Thanks for sharing this wonderful bucket LIST =) a great idea, Becca!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Wednesday Challenge ~ Pay it Forward

Last weeks Wednesday's Challenge went really well and I'm thrilled that so many of you joined 
in and participated with me.  Challenges are even better when they are strengthened by friends who are so eager to support an effort to do something good or reach out and help those around us.  
And I know that many of you missed out on last weeks Wednesday Challenge but are excited to join in on this one:

Today's Challenge will be to Pay it Forward!!!
While this will sort of be a fun challenge, it may require a little more effort or going out of your way, but isn't that what makes a challenge even better??? 

ALL of us, Okay not all of us, but many of us know how much coffee makes our day! 
So just imagine how much more it would make someone else's day if we were to bring someone at work a cup of joe, or buy the person behind us his or her lunch/snack.
We've all heard of those pay-it-forward chain reactions where a drive-through has well over 15 cars all buying the person behind them their coffee. 
I'm not expecting this to happen (or maybe it will, you never know!), I'm just hoping we can brighten someone's day 
through a little act of thoughtfulness and kindness.

On a personal note, I've even had people standing in front of me at the grocery store offer to throw my few items onto their bill and simply as an act of kindness.  It may only have been a few dollars worth of groceries, but it's the gesture itself that brought a smile to my face.
Let's make an effort to do this today ~ bringing smiles to other people's faces!!!! =)

Feel free to keep what you do private, but feel free to comment letting me know 
whether or not you're up for the challenge and get ready to Pay it Forward TODAY!!!

Feel free to extend this Challenge into Thursday as it's easier to do in the morning when people are drinking coffee. =)


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Playing Catch Up!

Let's just say that I haven't had the stomach flu since......since I can't even remember when!
But when it hits, it hits and takes you out for a few days :( 
It sure makes you grateful for the days when you're actually healthy.
Now I'm just catching up from the many things neglected in the past few days, so I'm sorry if you haven't really heard from me.
Now I'm back!!! Or at least I think I'm back!!!

No, really, here is some pump it up inspiration to help kick the blah feeling....
"Creativity is maximized when you are living in the moment".
Now "put that in your pipe and smoke it!" courtesy of Maggie Smith =)
Just one of many favorite Downton Abbey references.  If you haven't watched that show yet, you really need to get on it.
Here are a few pictures from a recovery weekend:
Thanks to Charles, he came to my rescue with crackers and 7up which I sipped out of a mug.
Soooo you know that point where the only thing that could make you feel halfway human is a shower?!?! Yeah, after doing just that, I made myself get in the car and head over to Charles' belt testing.  I had never been to one of his testings before, so I couldn't miss this one.  Plus, one can only stay in bed and sleep so long.  So proud of you, sweetheart!!!  

 It's also times like these when it's cold and freezing outside that I'm really really grateful for an indoor gym!!!  But tricking myself into thinking I was well enough yesterday to jump back into things wasn't such a hot idea.  Today was a different story.  Slowly but surely, we're making progress in the right direction. 
 Maybe it's because I've been sick, maybe not, but I've been craving plums, grapefruits, bananas, pot roasts and stew!!! Really kinda random, I know. 
Of course many things involve garlic too!
Oh and don't forget red pepper, gotta love some kick!
Any other garlic lovers out there???
Sorry for the random, but I guess catching up involves random.

Get ready for tomorrows Wednesday Challenge!!!!!
It's all ready to go and I'm super excited to share it with all of you =)

Stay healthy!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Sunday Currently vol. 3

 Reading  through a whole bunch of new blogs that I discovered recently.

 Writing  or rather I should say "wrote" a letter to my "Grandma Lil" because I stuck to my Wednesday Challenge.  So glad that so many of you were able to take on this challenge with me! It was a good one. 

 Anticipating  watching Charles at one of his TKD belt tests today!!!  It's my very first time watching him test and I'm pretty proud and excited. Hopefully I can kick this sickness before then. 

  Thinking  that the snooze button should never have been invented bleh bleh bleh.

 Rejoicing  over the fact that my little blog had over 270 page views in one DAY!!!! I don't mean boast or bring up this excitement two weeks in a row, but I can't help being overwhelmed by all your love and support!  Even ask my boyfriend, he knows how much I enjoy your friendship and this blogging community.  

  Wishing   that I could take trips to see all my dear friends scattered all over the US.  This is the only bad part about going to school in Florida where all your friends come from places ranging from Colorado to NYC.  I wish I could tell them every week how much they are thought about and loved.  Some of you may be reading this now, so please know you are in my thoughts and prayers and very near and dear to my heart, even if I don't talk to you on the phone all the time.

 Hoping   you all continue to join me in the Wednesday Challenge this week!  For those of you who participated last week, thanks a bunch!  It felt great to finally get round to a letter I had been wanting to write for quite some time. Wouldn't you agree?? I hope you enjoyed sending out your letters as well! =) Can't wait for the next little challenge!

 Planning  some birthday surprises for Charles!!!  I can't believe he ( I mean YOU honey because I know you are reading this =) will be 33 next week.  Holy smokes you're getting so old I mean young and wise.  I love you so much and I can't wait to celebrate your birthday with you.  If only I could plan surprises half as good as the ones you planned for my birthday last year.  This guy seriously has talent in this area!

 Sipping    literally sipping coke very slowly cause of this silly stomach flu :( I forgot what it was like to have this bug and it's not fun!

 Loving   yes still loving all the beautiful goodies in my Valentines Day box from Tina over at Like Ordinary Life.  I will don my apron this week and start baking some Valentines goodies with all the wonderful things she sent for the Valentine Blogging Party!!!!.  It's through meeting friends like this that makes me realize this is what blogging is all about.  I love making friends I can relate to!

 Wanting  an anjou pear cause they are my fav, especially when they are perfectly ripe.  Don't know how well that would sit in my stomach though.  Maybe tomorrow.

 Needing  to lose track of time in the gym a few evenings this week.  It's the best time to go when everyone else is already home and you get the whole place to yourself, wouldn't you agree?  Of course it's also nice to get your workout done in the early morning, too!

 Feeling  overwhelmed by life's emotions lately.  You're all women, I'm sure you can relate.  It's not necessarily a bad thing, just a powerful feeling.  Why are emotions so exhausting sometimes?

 Thanking  friends like Becca for being so kind and thoughtful as to send me her awesome granola recipe!!!

Linking up to Lauren's Sunday Currently.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Valentine Blogging Party!

It's not every day that I get to join in on the fun of a blogging party, but when one pops up on the block and it's an open invite, I'm totally down for going!!!  It's a wonderful place to "meet" new people and make new friends!!!

This year a Valentines Blogging Party was hosted by CaseyNicoleLaurenAshlee and Alycia.   They were such sweet hosts and co-hosts ~ make sure to check out their lovely blogs!
While the party supplied ample opportunity to meet many new friends, this party also allowed me to "meet" and truly make, one delightful new friend. 
I feel very blessed right now because I think I met a kindred spirit through this party!
Tina who writes with such ease and talent on her blog, Like Ordinary Life was paired up with me for the Valentines party. 
Meet Tina:
Addresses were exchanged, each others blogs were discovered, shopping was done and then sweet boxes were delivered and received!!!!
Not to mention, the two of us had way too much fun tagging each other in cute instagram pictures as our boxes arrived on our doorsteps!
 What a sweet and thoughtful package she sent in the mail.  I really loved how she put it together with a baking theme and even sent some of her famous homemade chocolate chip cookies!!!
Now I'll let some pictures do some of the talking =)

And as I've told Tina, I think we are like two peas in a pod, seriously.  
Not only can we relate in many ways, but the two of us have the same taste in many things. Yes, we were even born a few months apart in the same year, what are the odds?!?!
I'm very, very grateful for the opportunity to blog and make friends, especially with people like Tina!
We've already become fast and dear friends and I hope that one day we can actually meet up in person. Cause that would seriously make my day!
Make sure to stop by her lovely blog Like Ordinary Life today and start following her adventures and funny stories.   I love that Tina says it how it is.  She is witty and expressive.  She is not afraid to disagree.  She stands up for what she thinks and isn't afraid to speak her mind.  Like every normal person, she sees life how it really is, but she is always challenging herself and looks on the bright side of things. =)
Thank you Valentine Party for bringing such a great friend!