Friday Favorites – Wedding Pictures

In about an hour, I will be leaving to drop off my baby boy at the sitter’s house for our “practice” day. I set this up so he would get used to being at the sitter’s instead of with me all day…but now that the day is here, I’m pretty sure this practice day is more for me than for him. Tear.

So to distract myself, I looked up something that always makes me happy: wedding pictures. I’ve really got weddings on the brain right now: We went to my cousin-in-law’s wedding this past weekend, one of my favorite people in the whole world is getting married in Chicago at the end of June, and my dearest friend Katie just got engaged last week!! Wedding excitement all around!

With all the weddings going on for my loved ones – and all others out there – I wanted  to post my favorite wedding pictures. These are from Pinterest (of course) and include couple shots as well as group ones. Because weddings just aren’t about two people coming together; it’s about two lives coming together – and all the lovely, wonderful, crazy folks you hold dear.

I love the bride’s smile in this one – so happy! And candid photos are truly my favorite.

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The toasts are often one of the highlights of the reception for the bride and groom. Be sure your photographer gets an action shot or two! Do you recognize the bridge and groom in this pic? 🙂

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This is hilarious! I wish we would have thought to do this with our groomsmen.

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Beautiful. Again, love those candids.

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I didn’t have a dog when I got married, but if I did, this would be a requirement!

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How precious is this? The emotion on the dad’s face pulls at my heartstrings.

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The smiles. The sparklers. Magical.

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You must take a fun pictures with your bridesmaids at least once during the day. You MUST!

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However, no  matter what you do, please don’t involve firearms in your wedding pictures. Don’t. Just don’t.

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I mean, really? Nothing says love like rifles (that’s what those are, right?).

Happy wedding season, friends!

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National Hamburger Day

Happy National Hamburger Day! When it comes to burgers, I am a super fan. So it’s good luck that I live in Akron, home of the National Hamburger Festival and Swensons, the restaurant with the best burgers in Ohio (I would argue it’s actually The Rail, but Swesons is a local legend, so I’ll let it go).

In honor of the day celebrating one of my favorite foods, here are 10 ways I love to “fancy up” my hamburger.

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1. Classic. No need to add anything crazy. Just lettuce, tomato and onion will do.

2. Italian. I got this idea from my mom. Add some basil and oregano to the burger patty. Top with fresh sliced mozzarella, a few baby spinach leaves and some marinara sauce. Bravo!

3. BBQ. There isn’t much that I enjoy more than the combination of sharp cheddar cheese and sweet BBQ sauce. Add crispy fried onions as well and you’ve got yourself a little piece of burger heaven.

4. Mexican. Top the burger with sliced avocado, salsa and queso cheese. If you like crunch, you can also add some tortilla chips to the burger. This is my husband’s favorite thing to do!

5. Breakfast-y. Add an egg, a few pieces of bacon and some avocado slices to your burger. For me, the runnier the egg yolk the better.

6. Fries on the side. Way back when, on a family visit to Pittsburgh, I tried a sandwich with the fries in the sandwich, instead of on the side. There was cool, creamy coleslaw on top as well. Oh man, it was divine. Take a hint from Primanti Bros. Restaurant and pile the fries and coleslaw on a burger. Just don’t become a Steelers fan in the process.

7. Buffalo. Mix some Frank’s Red Hot sauce with blue cheese dressing and put a generous amount on the burger. Add lettuce and crumbled blue cheese and enjoy!

8. Spicy. I was OBSESSED with jalapeno when I was pregnant. Like, I had to have them on everything. I really enjoy them on burgers chopped up and mixed with cream cheese. Spread a generous amount on the bun, add some bacon and prepare to swoon.

9. Mediterranean. What could possibly be as good as a burger topped with hummus, sprouts, feta cheese and sliced cucumbers? Well, if your taste is like mine, not much.

10. Chili cheese. Add a scoop (or two) of chili to your burger and top with shredded cheddar cheese. With some diced red onions on top, it’s perfect!

 

How do you like your hamburger? 

 

Hope everyone has a great National Hamburger Day!

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Taking Stock

How was everyone’s Memorial Day weekend? We spent the entire weekend surrounded by family and friends. It was perfect!

I saw this on another blog over the weekend and loved the idea. What a great way to “take stock” of what is going on in our lives right now. No frills, just us.

Making: Nothing right now, but I hope to start this little project soon!

Cooking: Anything on the grill! Ryan is a master griller, so we have been taking full advantage of the sun and warmer weather.

Drinking: Coffee, coffee and more coffee. The little guy isn’t quite sleeping through the night yet, so java keeps me going through the day. I can’t wait to have a glass of the Sophie that Ryan got for us. It’s Goose Island’s “fancy” beer – and one of our favorites.

Reading: I just finished Life of Pi. Great book – loved it. I’ve decided to alternate between fiction and non-fiction this year, so I’m now reading Country Music Broke My Brain as my non-fiction book. So far it’s…eh.

Wanting: Time to STOP. I go back to work next Wednesday, and it seems like time has flown by the past couple of weeks. I can’t believe I won’t get to spend all day everyday with my little guy anymore. 😦

Looking: For a name for a blog my sister and I want to start. My creative juices really need to start flowing…

Playing: Not sure if this means games, sports or music…so I’m going with music. I’m playing country, of course! I love Florida Georgia Line’s newest song, This Is How We Roll.

Wasting: Time. But like my boy Brad Paisley once said, it’s “time well wasted”: taking naps with all my boys, hanging out outside, sitting around talking with J.

Sewing: Haha, seriously? I’m sewing nothing. Ever. Sorry, Mom.

Wishing: I could follow my passions and find someway to make money doing so.

Enjoying: My son. Now that he’s more interactive, he’s a bundle of fun!

Waiting: For the night when J sleeps 8+ hours! We’re working on it…

Liking: The slight tan I got over the holiday weekend. I always feel better with a little bit of glow!

Wondering: How I will ever balance my work, family and social lives…

Loving: Summer. And everything that comes with it!

Hoping: My poor puppy’s tail feels better. We think Gunner strained his tail over the weekend while swimming. For everyone who knows Gunner and how much that dog wags his tail, you know how much this has to hurt him. Breaks my heart 😦

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Gunner and Sarge swimming

Marveling: At all the things my sweet baby does everyday.

Needing: A coffee date with my lovely (and newly engaged!!) best friend Katie. Tomorrow morning can’t come soon enough!

Smelling: Charcoal. Love it!

Wearing: My favorite maxi dress and sandals.

Following: Cooking blogs. I have the itch to cook lately, especially meals I can freeze.

Noticing: That people have no boundaries when it comes to parenting advice. Complete strangers love to give me their two cents on child rearing. Just nod and smile. 🙂

Knowing: That I’m doing my best. And that’s going to have to be good enough.

Thinking: Of gift ideas. We have a ton of summer birthdays coming up!

Feeling: Stressed. Big changes coming next week.

Bookmarking: Sleep schedules for babies according to their age. And summer cocktail recipes.

Opening: Our back door about 1,000 times a day. Our dogs cannot get enough of the sunshine!

Giggling: Along with J. Loving his little laugh!

 

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Road Warrior Safety

I’ve recently discovered Freakonomics, and it’s safe to say that I’ve fallen in love. I have really enjoyed all of the books, and I listen to the podcasts while walking with J. The authors definitely make me look at the world in a different way.

One of the podcasts I listened to lately was about motor vehicle accidents involving the death of pedestrians. Data from 2012 show that there about 4,500 pedestrian deaths in the US annually. That’s a huge number, and far too big.

When I heard that, my mind quickly went to my friends and family who love to run, walk and bike this time of year. After long Northeast Ohio winters, we can’t wait to put on our sneakers and hit the pavement. But it’s the reality that we share the road with vehicles – lots of them. I’ve had some closer-than-I’d-like experiences with cars while biking, running and walking, so I wanted to share safety tips for all users of our roadways – whether you’re in a car or not.

Safety Tips for Runners and Walkers

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– I hate this one, but it is recommended that you do not wear headphones, especially if you’re going to be running or walking on the road.

– Remember to run/walk against traffic, so you can see what is coming. Never run down the middle of the road.

– Carry your ID and a cell phone. I love these Road ID bracelets. You never know what could happen, and in case of an emergency, having your ID information could be life-saving.

– Stop at stop signs to ensure traffic yields to you. Never assume cars will stop for you, even if you are in a cross walk.

– If you’re running at night or early in the morning, be sure to wear bright, reflective clothing. Avoid head-to-toe dark clothing.

– Running with a friend or group is great and can be very motivating, but be courteous – and safe: don’t run more than two abreast.

Safety Tips for Bikers

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Keep in mind: Bicyclist on public roads have the same rights and responsibilities as car drivers. They are also subject to the same state laws and local ordinances.

– Ride with traffic, not against it.

– Obey all stop signs, yield signs and traffic lights.

– Use hand signals for turns. This alerts drivers of your directional intention and helps keep you safe – and it’s the law.

– Don’t weave in and out of parked cars, even if they are in the way. Motorists may not see you when you try to move back into the flow of traffic.

– When riding at night or early in the morning, be sure your bike has good lights. Front light, wheel and pedal reflectors are a good idea – and often required by law. A rear red light wouldn’t hurt either. Again, as with running and walking, wear light-colored and/or reflective clothing.

– Always ride in a single-file line.

– And of course, always wear a helmet!

 

 

Be safe out there, friends!

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International Firefighters Day + Cinco de Mayo!

Did anyone know that May 4 is International Firefighters Day? Unfortunately, me neither. I saw this today and was instantly bummed that I missed out on this holiday. After all, our house is home to one hunky firefighter, and I wished we would have celebrated yesterday. Since we didn’t – and he works today – we’ll just have to have a little party tomorrow. Any fun firefighter themed food ideas? To Pinterest I go…

One holiday I cannot possibly forget is Cinco de Mayo! I have loved this holiday for years, and what’s not to love? Mexican food – good! Margaritas – good! Hanging out with friends who enjoy both of these things as much as I do – good!

It's Cinco o'clock somewhere!
It’s Cinco o’clock somewhere!

However, Cinco de Mayo 2014 is a bit different for me this year…

First, I’ll be riding solo this evening with my sweet baby. He’s been a bit cranky today, so I don’t know if he’ll be in the real party spirit tonight. I can’t complain, though: he was a good sport and allowed me to take a picture of him in a fake mustache earlier. Coolest.baby.ever.

Secondly, I started a month-long challenge last week with some awesome folks led by my best gal pal Katie. The challenge is to be at our best with both physical fitness and healthy eating. Got the fitness part checked off for the day (WHEN DOES T-25 GET EASIER, PEOPLE?!), and I’ve fueled my body with the right foods…so far. The kind of Mexican food I enjoy doesn’t exactly fit into a healthy eating lifestyle (hellooooooo, chips and cheese dip!), so I’m going to go another route: chicken burrito bowl with quinoa. Here was my inspiration:

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Grilled chicken, onions and sweet bell peppers on top of quinoa. Topped with hot sauce and avocado and it’s healthy south-of-the-border dining at its finest! Except that we are out of avocado. Of course. Of all days…

Anyway, happy day-after-International Firefighters Day and happy Cinco de Mayo!

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