Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Highlights

In honor of the last day of 2012, I'm taking a look back at the year today. Here are some of the highlights of the past year.

I celebrated a milestone birthday in January and had an awesome owl cake. I can't wait to see what this year's cake looks like!

I finally cut off my hair to be donated in honor of my birthday as well. I can't believe it's been almost a year since I've had my long hair.

I attended the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale again in 2012. I cannot wait to attend in 2013 and hopefully go to the Colorful Day in Fort Wayne, as well!

Our oldest niece graduated from high school.

We celebrated our 2nd anniversary in June with a trip to Binder Park Zoo to feed the giraffes.

We attended the Josh Turner concert at the local county fair in July.


In October, I threw a baby shower for my best friend, Tricia.

And in November, we welcomed her son to the world. I love to hold that little guy!

We celebrated 2 Thanksgivings this year. Fried turkey is always a highlight of the year!

Christmas was spent with family and was a wonderful time.

I can't wait to see what 2013 holds for us!


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Social - New Years

Sunday Social 
Favorite New Year's eve you’ve had before

I've never really had a memorable New Year's Eve before. I'm usually either at home or at a friend's house.

Are you doing anything for NYE this year and if so what?

Probably just going to Mass and then chilling at home. There is a bottle of Raspberry Sparkletini in the fridge that's begging to be opened, as well.

Name a book we should all read come January?

The best book I read last year, Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson aka The Bloggess.

What are your new year's resolutions?

To do everything possible (and within our faith) this year to get pregnant.

To have a better job by the end of the year.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

He was born in an obscure village,
The child of a peasant woman.
He grew up in still another village,
Where he worked in a carpenter shop
Until he was thirty.

Then for three years
He was an itinerant preacher.
He never wrote a book.
He never held an office.
He never had a family or owned a house.
He didn't go to college.
He never visited a big city.
He never traveled two hundred miles
From the place where he was born.
He did none of the things
One usually associates with greatness.
He had no credentials but himself.

He was only thirty-three
When the tide of public opinion turned against him.
His friends ran away.
He was turned over to his enemies.
And went through the mockery of a trial.

He was nailed to a cross
Between two thieves.
While he was dying,
His executioners gambled for his clothing,
The only property he had on Earth.
When he was dead,
He was laid in a borrowed grave
Through the pity of a friend.

Twenty centuries have come and gone,
And today he is the central figure
Of the human race,
And the leader of mankind's progress.

All the armies that ever marched,
All the navies that ever sailed,
All the parliament that ever sat,
All the kings that ever reigned,
Put together have not affected
The life of man on Earth
As much as that

One Solitary Life.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

I love sending out Christmas cards every year. And since I couldn't send one to all of you, I'm sharing this year's card here on the blog.

 Since we don't have kids yet, we always include a picture of our other babies, our cats, Mimi and Sammy.I used Instagram pictures, so Sammy came out a little purple. It's artistic.

This year's cards are from Tiny Prints and I love them. I did get them mostly free thanks to a sponsored post. But I really do like Tiny Prints and their products. These are the best cards we've ever had. 

Did you send Christmas cards this year?


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday Social - Favorites

Sunday Social
What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

It honestly just depends on what I'm craving, but I frequently get chocolate chip. I really love a regional brand of ice cream called Hudsonville. Their Cake Batter ice cream is my new favorite. I also love their seasonal Strawberry Shortcake ice cream.

What is your favorite smell?

This depends on the season. In the spring and summer, I like floral scents like peonies and lilacs. In the fall, I like the smell of fire and leaves. In the winter, I love a good pine scent.

What is your favorite TV commercial? (Past or Present)

 I hate commercials! They are the worst thing about watching live TV. Netflix has definitely spoiled me.

However, when I was in college, there was a local commercial for a gun shop that I frequently saw on TV and it's probably the creepiest/funniest thing I've ever seen. Everybody knew about these commercials all because of the guy in them.

It's the creepy laugh at the end that kills me. He did that in every single commercial.

What is your favorite day of the week?

 Saturday.I always have it off and every other week my husband has it off.

What is your favorite way to waste time?

The Internet. I can waste whole days just doing Facebook, Pinterest, reading blogs, Tweeting, etc.

What is your favorite article of clothing? (Feel free to show a picture)

I am going to say my wedding dress. Seriously! I loved my dress and I'd love an excuse to wear it some more.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's OK Thursday

Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK...

To still not be done with Christmas shopping

To be skeptical that the winter storm will be as bad as the news predicts it will be. The high was 51 degress today, people!

To worry that the snow will be bad and already plan to not leave the house all the weekend, just in case.

To be so ready for winter break even though I don't work everyday.

To already miss my best friend even though she only moved on Tuesday.

To be jealous that my best friend now lives in a town with an Ikea.

To use trips to see my best friend as an excuse to go to Ikea.

To spend my weekend listening to Christmas music, baking, and wrapping presents.

To dread my upcoming birthday.

What's OK with you this week?


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday Social Dec 16

Sunday Social  
What is the wallpaper on your cell phone?

It's a picture of a dahlia that I took while out flower shopping this summer.

What do you keep beside your bed?

On top of my bedside table is my alarm clock, library books, and a picture of my husband, along with random stuff that seems to pile up. Inside the table, I keep puzzle books and more random stuff that I've shoved in there to get it out of the way. I should probably clean that out some time.

What is your least favorite chore?

Cleaning the bathroom

If you could eliminate one thing from your daily routine, what would it be?

Can it be work? Cause I'd love to be able to give that up and I even like my job.

What do you do to vent anger?

Depends on where I am...

At work, I can't let the kids see when I'm mad, so I try to take deep breaths and count in my head. Then I vent to other teachers when the kids aren't around or at home to my husband.

At home, I can be mad and stomp around and growl and yell if I want to. It usually helps to calm me down pretty quick.

What is your favorite Holiday of the year and why?

Christmas. I love the magic of Christmas and being with family. I love the story of Christmas and celebrating Advent. Most of my favorite childhood memories are from Christmas.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I think I'm going to have to call 2012 the year I had weird conditions and illnesses.

Back in February, I managed to get TMJ, which still bothers me from time to time.

Now, I've managed to pick up Pink Eye, most likely from one of the munchkins at work. Lots of kids and teachers have been out lately, so I guess it was only a matter of time until something got me. But did it really have to be something that makes me look like an angry Ood?

Source: via Emily on Pinterest

I woke up with it Monday and did manage to leave the house to attend a funeral. But by Tuesday morning, it had spread to both eyes, so I called the doctor and she called in a prescription for me. Now, I'm just waiting for the redness and gunk to go away, so I look normal again. Since it's contagious, I can't work until it does go away.

This is also impeding my ability to finish my Christmas shopping, which is starting to stress me out. I really want to be done already and I feel like I've only just begun.

My best friend and her sweet little baby are moving to Minnesota next week and I really need to go see them before they leave. But, I won't risk exposing them to this, so it really needs to go away!

Fortunately, my eyes do look better today, but they are definitely still pink. While I wait to feel better, I've been enjoying acting out this scene for my husband:


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sunday Social

Sunday Social 
Favorite Holiday Movies/TV Specials?

How the Grinch Stole Christmas - the animated one, of course! 

Do you do any volunteering during the holidays if so what? If not what would you do?

I don't, but I'd like to volunteer with kids. In high school and during my retail job, I liked buying toys for underprivileged kids and helping out with parties for them.

Favorite toy received as a Child for the Holidays?

The one I remember the best was my American Girl doll.

What was your must have item in high school for the Holidays?

I remember really wanting a phone for my room and then later, a TV.

Item you begged for the most and never got? 

 I'm sure there were toys when I was younger that I wanted and didn't get, but I really don't remember anything. I got plenty of wonderful things throughout the years and always appreciated what I did get.

What do you do on Christmas Eve? 

We do Christmas with my husband's family on Christmas Eve. Usually we get together for dinner and fun and then attend "midnight" mass (which is actually at 11:00)

Sorry that I didn't blog much last week. I had a very busy week since I worked every day. There is something going around the schools and causing a lot of the kids to be sick and I got some of it in the middle of the week, plus I had some TMJ problems again along with some other dental pain. So, I basically worked and then came home slept until it was time to go back to work all week. Hopefully this week will be better.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday Social - Holiday

Sunday Social

What is your favorite Holiday season tradition?

 I love everything about the Holiday season. I love decorating the house and tree. I love baking treats. I love singing Christmas songs in church and going to midnight Mass. I love spending time with family and friends.

Do you have a certain Holiday movie you watch more than others? If so what is it?

 I don't really watch holiday movies a lot, but I highly enjoy Elf.

Show us your favorite decoration or pinterest decoration you wish you could have

Our first Christmas in our house, I made this wreath. I bought a plain wreath and added some ornaments that I picked up cheap at Michael's.

This is my favorite ornament on our tree. We picked it up on our honeymoon.

I love our Nativity because it's from my childhood. Every year, the children at my childhood church received a piece of the set. I have all the pieces that my brothers and I got over the years.

Favorite Holiday song?

O Come, O Come Emmanual
O Holy Night
White Christmas
All I Want for Christmas is You

Favorite Holiday dessert?

I always make a Toll House pie for Christmas dessert. I also love to bake all different kinds of cookies throughout December and freeze them for Christmas.

What is on your wish list this year?

 Some sweaters, kitchen gadgets, comfy clothes, and some movies. Apparently I'm feeling domestic.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Wrap-Up

This year, we did two Thanksgivings. On Thursday, we did dinner with my mom, my grandma, and my youngest brother's family. On Friday, we did dinner at our house with M's family.

Here's a look at our weekend Instagram style:

I made mini-cheesecakes for Thursday's dessert and I also sent a few with my husband to work on Black Friday for my former coworkers who started their day at Midnight.

My brother deep fried the turkey. It was delicious! This is by far my favorite way to cook turkey.

I made my first ever pumpkin pie for Friday's dessert. It turned out great. Too bad everybody enjoyed the leftover mini-cheesecakes or was too full for dessert. M and I ended up eating the whole pie by ourselves over the course of the weekend.

It's already been requested that I make the mini-cheesecakes again for Christmas.

Of course, family time also means game time. We love to play Apples to Apples!

While I did not go out shopping on Black Friday, I did take advantage of the online sales and do some early shopping on Wednesday. I did look at the Cyber Monday sales, but sadly the things I know I want to buy are not deals today. Plus, my husband's workplace is offering a bigger employee discount starting tomorrow and their online site has some good offers that go through tomorrow, so I'll be ordering tomorrow instead!

How was your Thanksgiving? Do any shopping this weekend?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Social - 4s

Sunday Social

Name 4 jobs you’ve had in your life
  • Grocery store cashier
  • Retail department supervisor
  • Paraprofessional
  • First grade teacher
Name 4 movies you would watch over and over
  • The Princess Bride
  • Tangled
  • Pride & Prejudice
  • Bride & Prejudice
Name 4 places you have lived.
  • The house I grew up in in my hometown
  • Muncie while I went to Ball State University
  • Tampa, FL
  • Our current house in our hometown
Name 4 of your favorite foods
  • Pizza
  • Buffalo Wings
  • Warm chocolate chip cookies
  • Chips & Salsa from my favorite local Mexican restaurant
Name 4 things you always carry with you
  • Cell Phone
  • Wallet
  • Planner
  • Lip gloss
Name 4 places you have been on vacation.
  • Walt Disney World
  • Washington D.C.
  • Mackinac Island
  • Minneapolis

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Farm Rich Review

I recently had the opportunity to try some snacks and appetizers from Farm Rich and I wanted to share with you my experience.

Farm Rich makes frozen snacks and appetizers that easy to make and their variety ensures that there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Since M and I are big fans of mozzarella stick appetizers at restaurants, the first Farm Rich product we tried was their Mozzarella Cheese Sticks. We loved them! They were really easy to make. In fact, we even made them two different ways. I baked some the first time and then M threw some in our deep fryer one night for a snack. They were delicious either way!

I especially love that they are made with 100% real mozzarella cheese and the breading is seasoned just right. They're even a source of both calcium and protein.

Next, because we love pepperoni pizza, M requested that we try the Mini Pizza Slices. Again, these were very easy to make. I baked some up with the cheese sticks one night, but they can also be made in the microwave.

These were really tasty too. The pizza crust is stuffed with mozzarella cheese (100% real again) and pepperoni slices and some marinara sauce. I love that they use whole pepperoni slices so you can actually taste the pepperoni in every bite. Again, these are a source of both calcium and protein.

Will we be trying these products again? Definitely! I think Farm Rich products will be a staple in our freezer from now on. They were tasty, filling, and so easy to make. I can't wait to try some of their other products, like the Mozzarella Bites!

If you're looking for a wholesome, easy-to-prepare snack, I highly recommend Farm Rich snacks and appetizers!

Disclaimer: I was provided with free products to review for this post. All opinions are my own.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Free Card from Treat

Have I got a Treat for you today! (Sorry, couldn't resist!)

You may know that Shutterfly has a greeting card brand called Treat. They offer lots of great cards that you can personalize and send very easily on their website.

I recently used them to personalize a card for my friends Tricia and Ryan to congratulate them on the birth of their son. It was absolutely perfect and they loved it.

Tricia loves gnomes, so this was perfect!
I loved that it was easy to do and arrived quickly (I had it sent to me to give to them since we didn't know when the baby would arrive.) It was made on nice thick cardstock and I was impressed with the quality.

So, I'm really happy to share with you today a code for a free greeting card of your choice from Treat! They've got everything from Thanksgiving cards, to birthday cards, to anniversary cards, and even get well cards, in addition to tons of others.

Just use code TREATBLOGR today, Monday November 19 or tomorrow, Tuesday November 20 to get a free personalized card.

Now, I'm off to find a card to get for free!

What kind of card are you going to get?
Disclaimer: I was provided with compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Social - Thankful

Sunday Social

For this week's Sunday Social, instead of questions, we're talking about what we are thankful for in honor of Thanksgiving.

First of all, I'm thankful for my family and my husband's family. They're so supportive and loving. I'm looking forward to spending the holidays with all of them.


I'm thankful for my best friends who never fail to make me laugh. We've had a lot of great times together and I can't wait for more!

I'm also thankful for this little friend Tricia's brand new son! He finally arrived 2 weeks after his due date and after ruining my fun "Guess Baby's Birthday" shower game. Don't worry, I'll be reminding him of that every year on his birthday. I held him the day after he was born and the baby fever is definitely running high now!

I'm thankful for my job. It may not be the full-time job I want, but it's a lot closer than my previous retail job and I actually enjoy it. I'm very thankful that for the first time in 7 years, I won't be working on Black Friday.


I'm thankful for my husband who puts up with my crazy and just gets me. I love being married to him and I can't wait to see what our future brings.

I'm thankful for our cats.

What are you thankful for this year?