Coffee Season

Hello, hello! Summer FLEW by – and now we are entering fall, my hands-down favorite season. The cooler temperatures make me want a hot cup of coffee more than I normally do – and trust me, I want coffee just about any time of day, any time of year. Coffee is my comfort; it’s what I drink when I want to wake up, as well as when I want to relax. It’s what I share with family and friends while catching up about the up’s and down’s of life. It’s a part of who I am, and if you think that sounds silly, do a quick search of the internet for coffee memes. Looks like many other people agree with me! Continue reading

Healthy Babies!

To a mother, there is nothing more important than the health and safety of her children. What they eat, where they play, what their little eyes see…it’s a constant worry and factor in the decisions we make. I love learning new ways to improve my children’s lives, which is what I’d like to share with you today!

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I recently joined Seventh Generation’s “Generation Good” online community, which provides a forum for like-minded people to share tips and information on raising our little ones in a clean and safe environment. This is a HUGE priority for me, Continue reading

What We’re Eating – April 4 – 9

It sure it cold for April here in Northeast Ohio, so our meals this week are warm and comforting. And tasty of course 🙂

Breakfasts: blueberry waffles (store-bought); oatmeal; toast with salmon cream cheese and capers (my latest obsession – it’s so unbelievably good!); fruit; yogurt

Snacks: strawberries, carrots and green peppers, granola bars

Lunches: leftovers (one of the perks of having only 2 1/2 people who can eat solid food in the house is lots of leftovers! I hardly ever have to plan lunches.) Continue reading

Oh, hello!

Well…it’s been exactly 10 months since I last posted on here. I’m sad and disappointed with myself that I let such a long time go by, so readers (if there are any of you still out there), here’s a quick catch-up of the last 10 months:

  1. About a week after I posted my last entry, we found out we were adding another baby to our family! Our second son (L) was born the Saturday after Thanksgiving. L is healthy and a welcome addition to our clan. J loves being a big brother…most of the time. 🙂
  2. J has been delighting us left and right during his second year. I always heard how jam-packed a baby’s first year is with milestones, but WOW – the second year doesn’t disappoint either. Walking, running, talking, dancing, problem-solving, singing…every day is so fun! Of course, it’s far from sunshine and rainbows all the time (hellloooooo, temper tantrums!), but just watching him grow and learn has brought so much joy and wonder to our lives. J turns two this month.
  3. My handsome firefighter husband started a part-time job on top of his full-time gig, which has made scheduling sort of crazy around here, but he loves it…and I love that he is so happy with his chosen line of work. Speaking of work, this fall I was promoted. Along with a fancy new title came a fancy new office. I tell ya, a door is a GAME CHANGER for long conference calls. Speaker phone has become by best friend.
  4. I signed up for my first 5K since having L. Actually, it’s my first race in over a year, so it’s going to be slow going. A friend of mine from high school signed up with me, which gives me motivation to get out there and train!

That’s just a small sampling of what happened since I last posted. Of course, there are tons of other newsworthy events that occurred (My sister had twin boys! My best friend got married!), but this would be a very loooong post if I went into all that. So for now, I’ll just say this: I’m so happy to be back. Writing for this blog has been so fun for me, but also therapeutic. By nature, I’m very number-driven and task-oriented, however, I do have a creative side that doesn’t get to shine very often. So, since I’m on maternity leave for at least two more months, I thought this would be the perfect time to get my creative mojo on. This is a work in progress, but I’m thinking of setting weekly goals that will challenge me in various ways:

  1. My culinary side – Raise your hand if you have about 2 million recipes saved on Pinterest that you haven’t tried. Both of my hands are up, which is shame because I have pinned some delicious looking recipes. Therefore, every week, I want to put my Pinterest boards (here and here) to work and try a new recipe. Up this week – a Mississippi Roast. (Am I the only one who has to sing that little song in order to spell Mississippi? Every.time.)mississippi-roast-tablefortwoblog-3Source
  2. My craft / DIY side – My mother and sister amaze me at how crafty they are. I wish I possessed the creativity gene they share, and I’m in a constant state of awe at their ability to sit down to work on a project instead of, say, starting another Netflix marathon (which is especially impressive now I’ve told them about Making a Murderer. Guys, seriously – YOU HAVE TO WATCH IT). My home is devoid of so many DIY wonders, and it makes me sad. So again – my Pinterest board is finally going to get some love and attention. This week I plan on attempting a wreath. I haven’t decided if it will be Valentine’s Day wreath or a spring one…but either way, I’ll be sure to post pictures, no matter how awful it turns out. I’m also including organizational projects in this category, since they are technically DIY. And a lot of times just as pretty as craft projects.
  3. My literary side – I just love reading so much. That’s really all I have to say about that. My goal on Goodreads is to read 36 books this year. I’m on my sixth book, A God in Ruins. It’s the sequel to Life After Life (which I loved). I figure if I get a good start on my goal while on maternity leave, I can reach 36 by the end of 2016. Any good recommendations?

Thanks for sticking with me…if anyone did. And if my audience has dwindled to zero, that’s ok. I started this blog four years ago (!!!) for fun, and that hasn’t changed. Here’s to a productive and creative 2016!

Love,

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Friday Favorites: Thanksgiving Tablescapes

Today we are officially under the two week mark until Thanksgiving! Are you hosting this year? If so, do you have your table planned? I’m not hosting, so there will be no tablescaping for me, which is probably for the better because that is a lot of hard work! Instead, I decided to look through all the gorgeous fruits of everyone else’s labor and put together my favorites in this post. That counts as work, right? 🙂

Favorite blue, gold and cream

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Favorite use of wheat:

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Favorite all white tablescape:

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Favorite preppy table:

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Favorite use of a lantern:

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Favorite purple tablescape:

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Favorite farm table + lights!

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And finally – favorite kids table:

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With love,

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Bonfire and S’mores

As much as I love Akron and everything it has to offer, this time of year makes me miss country-living. I grew up in a town about 30 minutes outside Akron. It isn’t what I would call a “small” town, but it definitely isn’t a big place either. At about 15,000 residents, Ravenna is a good mix of city and country. We’re kind of out in the middle of nowhere, but just down the road is Kent State University – and all the restaurants, people and activities that come along with a large state university.

I loved living in a place that had all the luxuries of a larger town, but still had the small town feel. When the weather was nice, my friends and I would spend our evenings playing sand volleyball at Kent State, getting a quick bite to eat and then heading out to someone’s house for a bonfire. Far away from street lights, traffic and noise, we’d spend hours just sitting around a fire – talking, laughing and enjoying the simplicity of our young lives.
Now that we live in the city, Ryan and I settle for a fire-pit in our backyard to hold our “bonfires”, and one thing we really love to do around the fire-pit is make s’mores. I recently saw on Pinterest (of course) the idea to have a Gourmet S’mores Party. Oh yeah – I’m in. How awesome does this party look?

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This is an invite for a bonfire I saw – so cute!

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Or if you’d rather skip the bonfire and make some indoor s’mores:

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Wouldn’t this be a perfect cold weather treat?!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go buy my local grocery store out of s’more supplies. Happy Monday!

With love,

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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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