Monday, October 28, 2013


More details are coming soon, but I'm so excited to announce that Chris and I are engaged! 
I couldn't be happier and have been floating on a cloud the past couple days.

I can't wait to write out the full "story", I literally haven't even had time to sleep since Saturday. We are so excited for everything that's to come!

Friday, October 25, 2013

High Five for Friday + 10 Years Since...

Happy Friday! It's getting chilly here in Maryland... there was actually frost last night. I'm not sure how I feel about that... I'm ready for the holidays but not ready to be freezing all the time! 

This week was a busy one and I managed to squeeze 5 days of work into 4 because I'm off work today. The downside of living an hour away from work is that when you have a dentist appointment smack dab in the middle of the day, you really don't feel like driving back and forth to work twice. Or only working for 2 hours... so you take the entire day off. I'm not complaining.

Exactly 10 years ago, on October 25, 2003, I went to homecoming with this guy. I kept him waiting while I got ready and I still do to this day. Somehow, he still puts up with me. I couldn't have asked for a more patient, intelligent, hilarious and loving man to build a life with.
I can't believe it's been 10 years since this night! Chris and I didn't start dating until a few years later, but this definitely "sparked" something in us. It wasn't the right timing (I mean, hello, we were 16/17) but we remained best friends and I always knew we would end up together.

I joked to Chris that we should re-enact this photo today. I still have the dress!
On another "love" note, I went wedding dress shopping with my friend/former roomie Katie for her upcoming wedding. It was so much fun, we always talked about being bridesmaids in each others weddings and I'm so happy for her and excited for this whole process! Not to mention, she looked gorgeous and found a couple pretty amazing options.

She didn't try on any of these! No spoiling allowed {I'm too superstitious!}
Today is also my beautiful grandmother's birthday! Her example of unconditional love and support is one that I will cherish and follow for the rest of my life. I love you, Bubbe!

a few years ago...

more than a few years ago ;)

I don't really have any other pictures from the week because I was so busy with work that I would literally come home and collapse. That should make this weekend even sweeter :) Have a great one!

Linking up with Lauren

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Gotta Start Somewhere

Last night was Day 1 of Couch to 5k for me. I decided it was time to get off my lazy butt and do something. A couple months ago, I started to get into shape by running. I noticed my weight go down and my muscles become more toned.
Then we moved, I lost my convenient apartment gym and I got lazy again. Not to mention having an hour commute, leaving minimal time for leisure activities.
Then I realized... those are just lame excuses.
I'm doing this.

I am blessed to not need to lose much weight, but I need to get healthy. I need to improve my mental and physical health and there's no better way than exercise. 

Last night I ran straight out my front door for 2 miles and I feel so good. Yeah, my muscles are sore but I am doing this!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Weekend in Pictures

This weekend was an eventful one. We had no time to work on the vanity, so there it sits in the garage, still. Is it just me, or are weekends too short?  I think we need 3 days. I could totally cram my work into 4 days!

Here's our weekend in pictures...

loving these orange dyed (and regular) sunflowers

this combination is so yum!

our first try at making indian food. wow it was so spicy! we're learning :)

Renaissance fair! Food, shows, and lots of interestingly dressed people. Fun!

sword swollower. insane.

My mom's Belle sitting like a lady... too cute.
Not pictured, we also saw Gravity in 3d Imax. Oh my gosh... if you see one movie, go see this one. In 3d. I was a little on the fence about seeing it, but it was incredible.

Now it's time for another Monday. Thankfully it's a four day week for me as I took Friday off! What did you do this weekend? 

Friday, October 18, 2013

8 Inches and Friday Randoms

Happy Friday!
It's been a pretty eventful week and getting back into blogging is just what I've been needing.

1) I cut 8 inches off my hair! I feel so much lighter and probably even lost a couple pounds as a result. I've been wavering between loving and hating it, but I'm leaning towards the "loving" side now. It's an adjustment for sure.

don't mind the awkward selfie 

2) Chris and I decided to refinish my old vanity. My dad and I refinished it once five years ago and after a few burn marks and peeling paint, I decided it was a good time to tackle it again. This project is a tricky one for sure, but I can't wait for the finished product.

3) Have you checked out my broccoli and cheese soup? It's seriously so good. This recipe makes ton, I currently have the rest sitting in my freezer just waiting for a busy work night to be heated up easily. Yum yum yum

4) We're planning on a fun weekend of (hopefully) finishing up the vanity, seeing Gravity (I heard it's one of the best movies ever, has anyone seen it?) and going to the Renaissance fair. Probably some more picture-hanging and setting things up thrown in there, too. 

5) I'm so so excited to be blogging again. I've missed the interactions with you all. I haven't stopped reading everyone else's blogs over the past couple months but I find it so therapeutic to write my own. Having somewhere to keep track of my happenings is pretty amazing. When I look at posts from a year ago, I realize how much my life has changed. When I get to write out my honest, raw feelings about my relationship or anything else, that's therapeutic.

Have a great weekend!
Linking up with Lauren for High Five for Friday

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"You Don't Understand Yet"

Recently, someone asked if I was married. I replied, "No". Since this was someone I couldn't go into personal details with, I couldn't reply with my usual "No, but we've been dating almost 7 years, lived together 5 of those years" so I left it at that. To which the person tells me "you don't understand yet- you will when you get married".

Wait a minute. What don't I understand? It really got me thinking. Sure, we aren't married yet- I get that. There is a whole other level of commitment and I don't mean to devalue marriage in any way. But to assume I don't "understand it"? I'm not sure what that means. 

photo credit: Michael Maiatico

So, here's what I do understand.
I understand faithfulness and loyalty. 
I understand making my boyfriend a priority.
I understand the need for communication.
I understand compromise.
I understand caring for each other when one is sick.
I understand the balance of spending time together vs. spending time with others.
I understand the difficulties of managing several households on holidays.
I understand having inside jokes that no one else in the world would ever understand. 
I understand the desire to want to start a family with this person.
I understand wanting to be with this person for the rest of my life.
I understand being so mad at someone and loving them so much at the same time.
I understand what it's like to go through some of the most difficult times imaginable and have this person by my side, supporting me no matter what. I understand that I do the same for him.

I'm sure I (we) have a lot to learn. I know marriage will open up a whole new set of doors. 
But I would say that I think I understand pretty well.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Broccoli & Cheese Soup

*If you're here from Pinterest, Welcome! Please check out my other recipes here.

I feel this soup needs no introduction.
Basically, I'm obsessed with Panera's broccoli and cheddar soup so I tried to duplicate it. The only thing missing was the bread bowl, which you bet I'll be trying to make soon. 

2 cups broccoli, cut into small florets
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt & Pepper
3 oz (or about 2/3 stick) butter
1 small onion, finely diced
1 cup carrot, shredded
1 cup flour
5 cups milk (I used 2%, use whatever you prefer)
1 cup light cream
1 tsp nutmeg
3 cups grated cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 400F. Place broccoli on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake 20 minutes (careful so the broccoli does not cook too much and turn brown). 
Melt butter in large pan over medium heat, cook onions until translucent. Add carrots. Mix in flour until absorbed, cooking about a minute. Add milk, cream, nutmeg, as well as salt and pepper (to taste). Add roasted broccoli. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for about 25 minutes. Stir in cheese, add additional salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with a crusty bread and enjoy!

Monday, October 14, 2013


We moved about a month ago now, so I feel it's the perfect time to get back into blogging! We were without internet until the end of September so I finally feel like I'm joining the 21st century again. 

Chris and I are so happy in our new home. We're still decorating and buying furniture so I haven't taken many pictures. I realized that while we're in our home now, my online home is here and I've been neglecting this little space for so long. I've missed it so much.

So, lately I've been cooking, baking, decorating, diy-ing and mainly working. My hour/plus commute has been pretty grueling and has been an say the least. It's worth it to come home to a place we love and be only 10 minutes away from both of our families (although we still don't see them as much as I'd like).

I have some recipes to share soon and also a pretty big (for me) DIY project, so stay tuned!

I'll leave you with some pictures of our house before we moved in and will hopefully have the decorating done soon....

Huge deck. There's construction going on all around but it's just about finished now.


Dining/Living room before move-in

Cute little window from the master bathroom. Soon, all that land will be built on...enjoying the view now.

New Fall Wreath. Refer to this post if you'd like instructions!

Ok, I lied... we did decorate one room completely. Our new dining table!


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