Friday, March 29, 2013

H54F #3 | my favorite things on friday! + LOTS of pictures

here are some of my favorite things from the month of march! 

first time this season that i went to watch my husband's weekly men's league hockey game. i was one of about 8 other spectators in the entire arena but it's fun to watch him do something he loves:

spring hat weather. and sunshine. they both feel so good at the end of a long ND winter:

ham and broccoli royale. or in other words, one of the best dinners i've ever made. read about how good it was and how much my husband loved it here:

pi(e) day on march 14th. i posted about it here. the former math teacher in me had to celebrate this day somehow. chocolate cream and banana cream pies for the guys at work:

my husband (parker, parks for short) and my brother (ward) stuffing the chicken with prosciutto ham and provolone cheese. they cooked dinner for me and my brother's girlfriend (alyssa) last weekend: 
below, you will see what we were doing while they were prepping :)

and my highlights of this week!

1 // alyssa and i enjoying a maneater while the boys cooked. a maneater is a martini that has become a staple around my parents house so my mom whipped up a batch when we came to visit - xrated liquor, pineapple juice, and some other stuff that make them oh-so-delicious!

2 // a corona-rita! how cool is that?! just watch your forehead when you lean in to get a sip :)
i just realized 40% of my weekly highlights involve alcoholic beverages. i don't have a problem. it just so happened to work out that way this week apparently.

3 // had some pretty successful wavy curls this wednesday.

4// it was warm enough on thursday to wear my nike kicks with no socks. hopefully that means spring weather is right around the corner!

5 // i just love my fossil earrings.

how was your week? how about your favorites from march? have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

the way we get to the part where we kiss + make up

we have been married for 2 years and.... 6 months. {oops, just realized neither of us remembered it was our half-anniversary on the 24th... oh well.} marriage is awesome. it is downright the best decision we ever made, but it's not all roses, fireworks, laughing, and happy times obviously. most times it's great but sometimes we argue which, for 2 very stubborn people, is not always very effective. it took us about 2 years to figure out that sometimes, in the heat of an argument, it's best for us to just stop. stop talking completely. it allows us to relax. it allows me, probably the more stubborn one, to realize that maybe it's not as big of a deal as i'm making it seem. it allows my husband, the thinker, to formulate into words what he wants to say. we normally give it anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes. and by the time we are both ready to talk again, the anger is gone and we're ready to forgive and discuss. it's our process for getting to the part where we kiss + make up. 

so my husband called me tonight because he's out of town for work. we talked (if you could call it that) for about 30 minutes and said our goodbyes because we knew the unpleasant conversation was going nowhere. then he called about 10 minutes later. when i answered, the first thing he said was "was that enough time?" frankly, it hadn't been enough time. i wanted to say to him "i love you but i really don't like you right now". i hadn't been ready to let go and move on yet. but when he asked me that, it made me smile. i smiled because it reminded me how we know each other so well. we have come so far in these 2 1/2 years to know that we need those 10 minutes of alone time in the midst of an argument. in the spirit of full disclosure, i was glad this was all happening on the phone and not in person because i hate it when he makes me smile when i'm still trying to be mad about something.

we said sorry, i love you, and talk to you later. all is well.

i thank God every day i have parks in my life. i also ask God to help us keep learning together. i love that i continue learning new things about my husband even though i have known him for the past 9 years. i swear, i could write a 500-page book about everything i've learned since graduating college.
ya feel me?
truth be told, i love that he makes me smile, whether i want to or not.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

7 beauty product favorites

i would have to say my beauty regimen (if you can even call it that) is pretty plain. no not plain, that sounds dumpy and boring. how about simple? it's definitely simple. i like to think i'm fairly low-maintenance {even though for some reason parks always says i'm high-maintenance... hmm...?}

on a normal day, i shower in the morning, pick out my outfit, even out the face with bare minerals make-up, slap on some mascara, and blow-dry my hair 75% of the time. sometimes the hair air-dries. i know, lazy at its finest. i work with 9 other men. i am the only chica. noone notices if my hair air-dried one morning. so if the time crunch makes me choose between drying my hair or breakfast, i'm going to choose the food. it's the most important meal of the day, right? don't get me wrong. i am definitely a girly-girl. i love clothes, and makeup, and curls, and dressing up. i just like to get dolled up on a saturday evening around 5:00 while enjoying a glass of wine. i do not always enjoy the getting-ready process when it happens at 7:00 am.

so anyway, i'm getting off topic. i try to to keep things simple and quick. i like to have products that are healthy for my skin and make me feel pretty without costing an arm and a leg. i definitely have some splurges but i also have some basic supplies that can be found for $8 at target. without further ado, here are seven of my beauty faves:

1 // neutrogena naturals acne cream cleanser | i started using this about 5 weeks ago and it has been life-changing! unfortunately i am almost 25 years old and still struggle with acne. yes, it makes me feel like i'm 15 years old again. i have to use products strong enough to keep the acne away, without drying out my skin. let me tell you, this can be quite the balancing act. one thing i've found that helps is to change things up and use a new facial cleanser every couple months. they say one of the best things to do is "keep your body guessing" so that it doesn't get too comfortable with anything. this cleanser has salicylic acid treatment so i know i'm getting a good clean, it is non-drying, and it leaves my face with this cooling feeling that i just find so relaxing.

2 // bare minerals loud & clear lip sheer in amped pink | i bought this around christmastime {well, i actually bought one for my friend for christmas and i have this problem where sometimes christmas shopping for others turns into just-because shopping for me. oh well. sue me.} i like how it has a sheer, glossy look but feels like a light, moisturizing chapstick on your lips. it doesn't feel gummy and doesn't look goopy. it's perfect for when i want something on my lips with just a hint of color. plus, parks will actually kiss me when it's on my lips versus the scowl i get when i have on really glossy gloss. score! pucker up.

3 // bare minerals prime time foundation primer | i have been using this for about 3 years now. i put it on before applying makeup and my makeup goes on really easily and perfectly even. plus, it makes my face super soft.

4 // clinique lipstick | i have just rediscovered lipstick so right now its one of my faves. i think we all know what it does, why its great, and why you should re-discover it, too.

5 // wella enrich shampoo

6 // opi nail polish in suzi & the 7 dusseldorfs | even if i'm wearing sweatpants nail polish makes me feel feminine. this was one my favorite colors i bought this winter and i love it. plus, opi nail polish and the names of their colors are the best. {i've heard lots of talk about essie but never tried it - anyone have thoughts? opinions?}

7 // clinique high impact mascara | this one is a travel size because it comes free in most of their bonuses. this basically sums up my daily eye-makeup routine.

so there you have it. seven of my must-haves. do you have any beauty product favorites? happy tuesday!

Friday, March 22, 2013

H54F #2 | high five for friday!

1. how annoying is my husband? i went to have a bowl of ice cream and the chocolate ice cream literally had one bite left in the container. pet peeve!
2. how great is my husband? he should be a motivational speaker or something :)
3. sioux ya ya! showing my support yesterday for the university of north dakota as they played in the wcha final five tournament. they lost :(
4. i tried a topsy-turvy ponytail! followed the tutorial from kate @ the small things blog. i don't think it was too bad for my first attempt. you should check out her tutorial here - she made it look super easy. note: i just went to her post and mine looks awful compared to hers! so go check out hers to get a much better example. i'm going to practice and try again sometime.
5. went to the bank that just opened in town and there is now a video camera in the drive-thru between you and your teller. this was new to me. and kind of awkward.

how was your week? have a happy weekend!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

let's talk about feelings + finding happiness

honestly, i'm having a hard time starting this post. partly because i have so many thoughts tied to this one feeling. and partly because feelings are hard to talk / write about in general. 

people feel guilty about small things, important things, and everything in between. sometimes it's something as small as remembering that one time when you were six years old and you stole a paint chip from ben franklin (yup, i did that and my brother told on me). it may be when you realize your cashier at target didn't charge you for that $40 sweatshirt and you didn't say anything (i did that too. am i a horrible person?) sometimes you might feel guilty that a coworker is struggling with making rent and putting food on the table, and you've eaten out for the past 3 nights.  what do you feel guilty about?

for me, i sometimes feel guilty that i went to 4 years of college, got a degree in mathematics education, taught high school math for two years, and don't teach anymore. i'm 24 years old and i used to be a math teacher. when people hear me say that i swear there are two things they want to say to me:
1 // you don't look old enough to "used to" do anything
2 // oh, so you didn't like teaching...?

the first one doesn't bother me so much. i spent every day of my 2 years of teaching trying to dress up and look professional so that i did not look like one of the high school students (no, this did not always work).

heading to my first-ever day of teaching. my mom took the picture because, yes, i lived at my parents. in my defense, i lived there because parks and i were getting married in about 3 weeks and didn't live together yet.
the second one, where people assume i didn't like teaching, does bother me. i loved teaching. i was happy when i was teaching. so why stop? here's my story:
          currently, i am office manager at a lumberyard in a small town in nd. whoop whoop, you're     
          jealous! last spring, in the midst of my school year, i found out that my dad's lumber company
          would be opening a new lumberyard in this small nd town because of all the crazy-business-oil-
          field stuff going on in western nd. long story short, the hubs and i agreed to move out here and
          we would both work for the company to help them get started. our clincher was that we'd be
          provided housing and make a good wage so after a year of working here we could make a
          humongo dent in the student loan department. so it's not that i didn't like teaching. it's just that
          another opportunity presented itself at the time.
{side note: the housing being provided is actually a one-bedroom apartment above the lumberyard. yup, it's that cool. more on that and working with your husband in a future post!}

which brings us to present day. i am 24 years old. i used to be a math teacher. i'm not anymore. the part that i feel guilty about? the fact that i'm not even using my degree in education.

the part that makes it ok? i am so happy. i am a completely different person than i was for the two years after college that i was teaching. i am more relaxed. i take time to read. i take time to blog. i take time to exercise. overall, i just take time for myself. and i love it.

which is why guilt is a funny thing. because feelings of guilt and feelings of regret are two completely different things. even though i sometimes feel guilty, i absotively, posilutely, never-have-i-ever (boy, that phrase brings back the college memories!) regretted leaving teaching to be where i am now. regret is wishing i would have never caught this outfit on camera:
me and my closest friend. homecoming @ age 16. 
just kidding, because that outfit is totally hawt.
no, i don't regret choosing a different career path. and as i'm getting used to it, the guilty feelings are going away, too. i've realized that something like this is actually just a part of God's plan. He meant for me to find happiness and purpose in life outside of a career and i couldn't do that when i was teaching.

now i have found that and i couldn't be more grateful.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

lovin bloglovin'

linking up with hooah and hiccups, simply clarke, and all that glitters  as everyone makes the move over to bloglovin'!

as you can see, i am a newbie blogger around these parts, but for what it's worth: i honestly love bloglovin.

it's super easy to follow other blogs, find blogs you might like, and keep a reading "list" so that you know you won't miss a post by any of your favorite bloggers.

i also like that the way blogs show up in bloglovin is still really easy to read and really true to their actual appearance.

plus, i could transfer my blogs in google reader over to bloglovin with one simple click.

no hatin here. come follow me on bloglovin. you won't regret it.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

the night i was horrible and nosy

tonight was going to be a nice, relaxing evening, spent at the local barnes and noble. i was going to read lovely blogs, creep on social media, and write a great, inspiring blog post of my own. dun dun dun.

i packed up my things while parks put on his gym clothes.
he dropped me at barnes and noble and headed off to the Y.
i innocently took out my laptop for some personal computer time.
the first 15-20 minutes were great. josh groban playing over the speakers in the background, soft chatter of the other coffee-shop-goers around me, the faint smell of coffee grounds... picture perfect.

then it happened.
chatty mcchatterson arrived. looooord have mercy. and he wouldn't stop talking about his visions.
then, once my ears were opened to all the excitement surrounding me, i realized the japanese conversation that was happening just 2 tables down from me.
then one of the two boho chic guys at another table spilled his coffee and it literally sprayed all over the japanese-talking folk. meanwhile, his friend immediately began taking a picture of the spill situation and cleaning session that followed (which i would assume is now posted on instagram somewhere).

needless to say, one of my character flaws traits is that i eavesdrop. oops. i swear, i can not help it. i don't do it on purpose. although i don't always try very hard to make it stop. but i promise, i just can't help it.

in my defense: it's not just me. parks and i are like steve carell and tina fey on the movie date night. we could probably spend an entire coffee date together listening to other people's conversations. we communicate with each other via looks / eyebrow raises in reaction to innocent bystanders' conversations. and honestly, we'd probably have more fun and be more entertained than if we just had a conversation of our own. i like to tell myself it's not horrible of us. i like to think it's cute and quirky.

so, today's blog post will not be great and inspiring and lovely. it will be short and sweet because, frankly,i've spent so much time watching everyone around me that i've run out of time.
(plus, more innocent people keep showing up and i've got to get myself out of here before i latch on to their stories, too.)

great song that makes me happy:

it might not be brand new, but it's new to me and, currently, it's my jam. 
great message: a new pair of shoes can be life-changing. 
you don't have to tell me twice. preach it brotha.

Monday, March 18, 2013

what a weekend

i really don't feel like mondays are that bad.
i mean, everyone just picks on mondays: they say things like "back to the grind", "weekends need to be 3 days long", "sooooo tired right now". wah, wah, wah.have i said these things before? obviously. it's not like i'm all "whoo-hoo, monday! i love you! i missed you!" but is it the worst day of the week? no.

here's the thing, mondays aren't that bad. i'm busy at work with it being the first day back for the week so usually the day flies by. i'm normally pretty energized on monday - i don't mind getting back into a routine. the bachelor was on [till last week when sean left lindsay, my fave, in the dust]. dwts is on mondays. etc. etc. etc. i would almost have to argue that i think tuesdays or wednesdays are worse than mondays.

tuesday = 2nd day back, losing the adrenaline rush, but still somewhat busy.
wednesday = hump day ;) but i feel like the day itself is my lowest point of the week. all caught up on work. still 2 days to go. ugh.
thursday = it's the new friday.
and friday is just da bomb diggity.

the way i see it, mondays are not so bad. plus, on mondays you can reminisce about how great the weekend was. here are my top 3 of my weekend shenanigans, in chronological order:

1 // working the home and garden show on saturday morning.
our booth. didn't our guys do a great job building this? i was so proud.
ok, the working on a saturday morning part wasn't my favorite but it wasn't so bad. the best part? there was a tastefully simple booth at the show! delicious dips, soups, sauces, and salsas that are either ready to eat or super easy to make. i bought a 'bacon bacon' seasoning and made a 'bacon bacon dip' just by mixing the seasoning with some sour cream and mayo. serve with pretzels. yum:

2 // lazy saturday night with the hubs. sounds lame for a st. patty's day weekend but for 2 people who have been battling colds since the middle of february it was nice and relaxing. we did make-your-own sandwiches and caught up on our tivo recordings. it was a much needed, perfect night-in.
{no pictures, we don't exactly look like sweatpant models when we stay in on a saturday night.}

3 // time with a girlfriend on st. patty's day afternoon.
we had lunch at an irish pub: sandwiches and big ass beers {that's actually what they're called}.
then we got a coffee and went to the kohl's that just opened at the beginning of the month. we had a blast burying ourselves in the new summer accessories section. {the big ass beers could have played a role in the amount of fun we had ;) just kidding. sort of.} we both left with a new hat and pair of sunglasses. now if only we hadn't just gotten a snowstorm, i would feel as though spring / summer were just around the corner.

what did you do to celebrate st. patrick's day? do you hate mondays or think they're not so bad?

happy monday, kiddos!

linking up with and weekend shenanigans and #yolo mondays .

Sunday, March 17, 2013

to spin or not to spin

in the quiet of the morning, over a nice hot cup of coffee, i think. i think about a lot of things. in order to get you up to speed, here was my thought process:

it's so quiet when parker is still sleeping.
i love the mornings.
i never used to even be awake in the mornings.
i've learned so much since college.
i never would have guessed we'd end up here.
i like our tiny, little one-bedroom apartment.

i should really get some more decorations on our walls.
i should go on pinterest to get some more ideas.
i probably shouldn't go on pinterest because i have things i have to do today.
there's so little time in a day between work, blogging, cleaning, working out...
i guess i haven't worked out in awhile.
i should get back into a good routine.
maybe i should try a new class.
i tried spin class once.

i enjoyed the class. between the panting, burning legs, and dripping sweat i had a really good time. later that day i told myself i was going to do the spin class every monday. every monday morning at 5:30 am. 

the next day, my quads were not the only part of my body that was sore. i've never gone horseback riding but i think i know how it would feel to travel around the world by horseback. because that's how i felt. ouch. i haven't been back to the spin class since that day.

which brings me here: to spin or not to spin? 
part of me says 'spin'. if i start going every monday, i could look like this:
another part of me says maybe i should try something less painful. like running 20 miles. that would be less painful that spin class i think. or yoga. maybe i'll try yoga. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

ebony + cobalt

i love to add fun accessories to a simple pair of skinny jeans and long-sleeved tee for a casual-but-cute date night with parker.
in all honesty, i was going to title this post black + blue, but that sounded too much like a bruise and bruises are not chic.

other than spending quality time with my hubs, our thursday-night-date-night was fabulous for 2 reasons:
1. i wore flats

this is fabulous because i have spent the last 4 months in boots due to north dakota winters. thursday was warm enough to go sock-less and break out the flats for the season - it hit 35 degrees. that's something to celebrate, people! 

2. thursday was also pi day (3.14). being that i am a former high school math teacher, i obviously felt it was my responsibility to make sure my coworkers officially celebrate the day in style by treating them to chocolate cream and banana cream pie:

life is short. find joy in the little things.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

how to get your husband to eat broccoli

2 things that are great about parks: one, he's not a picky eater. he will eat anything except 3 things - ranch, pickles, and mayo. and two, he actually doesn't mind cooking so if i get home from work late / need to write a blog post / need to pay bills / just don't feel like it he will cook dinner. so i am lucky.

but guys will be guys. they'll eat junk. they'll have a huge "snack" right before dinner. they won't eat veggies unless the veggies are actually sitting out on the counter ready to be eaten. and even if this is the case. even if i have washed, rinsed, prepped, and sliced carrots, cucumbers, peppers, cauliflower, and broccoli he won't go near the green, cruciferous stuff.

me: "have some broccoli."
p: "no thanks."
me: "just try it. it's delicious and crunchy and so good for you." (i'm not like a broccoli expert or anything. it just seems like something that would be full of vitamins / minerals / antioxidants / cancer-fighting agents / etc...)
p: "sam, i don't do raw brocolli." (emphasis on the 'do')
me: "ok, then."
me: "but seriously, it's so nummy if you dip it in the ranch dip!"
p: stink eye. glare. "sam, you know i don't do ranch." (emphasis on the 'know' this time)
i did know. but sometimes a girl just can't let it go. and sometimes a girl just feels like being annoying.

a couple weeks ago we had ham for dinner. since i was planning on making this dish i had parker cut some of the leftovers into cubes. we put it in a freezer baggie and threw it in the freezer until we felt like making this dish. we had some chopped onion ready-to-use in our freezer, as well.

i put off making this dish for a week or so because i thought it looked like it would take awhile to prep but i was pleasantly surprised. we did it together and our prep-time was about 30 minutes. not bad at all - especially when you use the time together to decompress, have a glass of wine, chat, & listen to music while you cook.

the recipe says to use a 9x13 baking dish - i would recommend using the biggest one you have. i used this one:
find it here
it is a 9x13 but i was really thankful it has the extra-tall sides (and the cover is really nice, too.) it's a big recipe - we had it for dinner and still had lots of leftovers. parks has since proclaimed it's delicious, he loves it, and our kids will gobble this stuff up someday! i think he was just so excited about it he was imagining our life with ham & broccoli royale in the future... :)

so, without further ado, here's how you get your husband to eat broccoli.

ham & broccoli royale
1 c. uncooked long grain rice
2 10-oz packages frozen broccoli spears (or chopped)
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 c. fresh bread crumbs (or small cubes)
2 c. finely chopped onion
3 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 c. milk
4 c. cooked ham, cubed
velveeta, cheddar, or swiss to cover top of casserole

cook rice according to directions & spoon into greased 9x13 baking dish. cook broccoli according to directions (a bit firm). place over rice in single layer. melt butter in large frying pan & pour 1/2 of it over bread crumbs & set aside. saute onions in remaining butter. add salt, pepper, & flour. cook, stirring constantly, until bubbly. stir in milk and cook until thick. put in ham and heat until bubbly. pour mixture over broccoli. then place cheese clices on top, followed by the bread crumbs.
bake @ 350 for 45 minutes.


Monday, March 11, 2013

i'm addicted to the limited + 3 reasons to love hats

in the midst of having parks photograph me, pre-planning for my blog post, and actually writing my blog post, i've realized i'm addicted to the limited. oops. am i gonna try to change this? probably not.

anyway, it's monday. and on monday mornings, this is as good as it gets around here. comfy skinny jeans & teal tunic sweater with some boots and earrings to dress it up.

oh and i love hats lately. 3 reasons:
1) warmth: its winter in north dakota. did you know you lose the most body heat through your head? {i don't know if this is actually true but i feel like moms everywhere have been telling their kids this for decades}
2) their cute, different, and a fun way to accessorize.
3) if you've ever experienced a north dakota winter, you know it's super windy. a hat holds your long, glowing locks in place. no more hair getting stuck in your lip gloss. voila!

sweater: the limited [no longer for sale but find a picture here]
coat: eddie bauer [similar here]
jeans: the limited
hat: tj maxx
earrings: the limited
boots: steve madden @ nordstrom [from 2 years ago]

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The day i accomplished nothing {outside of cyber-world, that is}

new look! whaddya think?? 

i like it. i think it looks clean... crisp... fresh (it sounds like i'm talking about a head of lettuce right now....?)

i do like it, though. work in progress since i'm still a newbie on the blogging block but baby steps, people.
tips / advice / thoughts are mucho appreciated.


so anyway, i feel guilty because i've baaaasically been doing nothing other than this since i woke up this morning.

wake up, get coffee {never, ever forget that part}, do things on my computer until 11:30, finally shower, eat a bowl of reese's puffs, slap on some face powder, pack up my potential, and end up here: 
where i continue to spend more time on my computer, blogging with a caramel frap, surrounded by a whole variety of other fish in the sea to people-watch at the local barnes & noble.

here's the thing, i'm sick. super, yucky, feel like crapola sick. {did i also mention my husband has been gone ice-fishing since thursday and so i don't even have anyone to whine to or take care of me???????}

i should be sleeping. or at least sitting on the couch spending quality time with my blankie and netflix; but i can't. i have instead kept myself busy on my macbook all day. i have a problem. 

hi, my name is samantha, and i have a problem. i can't do nothing.

that's not just really bad, double-negative, trailer-trash grammar. i mean, i can't 'do nothing'.

i can't sit on the couch and watch netflix. i can't fall asleep during the day. i can't stop thinking about everything i could be getting done during precious daytime hours. i used to 'do nothing' all the time in college. i could spend a full saturday with the oc, or gilmore girls, or really any other tv drama on netflix and not worry about the studying, papers, laundry, and so on that i could be completing.

i think there are two issues here:

issue #1: type-a personalities. guilty as charged. perfectionism at its finest. nuff said.

issue #2: this whole 'growing up' thing. lots of grown-up things are cool: marriage, wine, your own place..... {can't really think of anything else on the spot here ;) } but there are also things like bills, cleaning your own place, jobs, and whatnot that certainly are not always at the top of my "things i think are cool" list.

it can be so easy to get caught up in these things, especially in a society that's always trying to get done as many things as possible in the shortest amount of time possible. a person can easily forget that it's ok to have a little r&r. it's ok to not have a perfectly-thought-out plan. it's ok if at 4:00 in the afternoon you realize you've done nothing but blog, read blogs, and consume coffee, cold medicine, reese's puffs, and a caramel frappucino.

we need to let our minds wander. we need to daydream. we need to take some time to not think at all. i need to challenge myself to do these things. have some r&r. enjoy life, including down-time, without getting caught up in just getting things done.

i truly believe it can make us more focused, happy, healthy people in the long run.

my point: today i have accomplished nothing {outside of cyber-world} and i'm ok with it.
tonight's agenda: a glass of wine and parenthood on the couch.

Friday, March 8, 2013

I ACTUALLY did a Pinterest project

Due to Pinterest, I constantly have this to-do list in my head that doesn't go away and seems to grow exponentially. Wouldn't it be cool if I tinted 5 different mason jars in 5 different colors to place on a coffee table that I built out of pallets? It would be totally cool. Am I going to do it anytime soon? Probably not, but I might someday. So my Pinterest boards are just full of all these ideas that I might do someday.

And I actually did one.

And I love it:
Black & white cropped photo of our first dance. It's about a 16 x 20 on a 1-inch thick canvas.  It now hangs in our bedroom & I love it in there because our bedroom has a grey/yellow/off-white theme goin on {which also happens to be pinterest inspiration}. 

Super easy to do:

1.  Pick your photo
2.  Decide what you want your "look" to be. I decided to do similar to the one I saw on Pinterest & crop the photo so that our faces are not the focal point.
3.  Decide where you will hang the canvas so you can pick your size.
4.  I recommend taking your photo to a photo place & explaining to them what you want for the end result.  I found that it works best if they do the cropping of the original photo because they need to plan for the parts of the photo that will wrap around to the back side of the canvas.
      *The cost of the canvas will depend on where you go & the size you choose. Mine was around $75.00. A little expensive but totally worth it - plus, save it for a time when you have a coupon like I did and it's really not so bad.

Then just wait for them to call and say your project is ready. 
Ta-da! Pick it up. Hang it up. Done. 
See, super easy?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I'm baaaaaaaack!!!

I bet you're so excited. 

I bet you're feeling like I did when I finally saw Breaking Dawn Part 2... you've been waiting in anticipation and wonder for so long that you want to be sure you grab a blankie and a glass of wine in order to fully enjoy this moment.

{Guilty pleasure: I love *love*. And the Twilight Saga is a great love story. Don't judge.} 

Well, get whatever you need to make this moment special because I am officially back after my 5-month sabbatical. It'd be great to say I was too busy to blog because I was off doing some worldly deed that I wouldn't even think about bragging about; I was just busy. And probably a little lazy.

But, let's be friends again. Here's what we've been up to:

1. We moved. The hubs and I moved for the first time ever. {See all my reasons why this is a good idea.} It's not perfect. Life isn't perfect. What's important is we love each other, we love our apartment, and we love our jobs and coworkers.
Taken November 2012. Many changes have been made/decorations unpacked.
2.  I started working in a "man's industry". I used to teach math. Now I work in a lumberyard. I scan, file, problem-solve, keep inventory, and work with a bunch of men who, believe it or not, make me laugh & smile every day. I love most of my job.
{The parts I don't love....? Hmmmm... I'm feeling a future blog post...}

3.  We celebrated part of our Christmas in a hotel room at the Motel 6:

Post-move, Parker's grandparents are now 8 hours away. Thus, they made the necessary arrangements to celebrate with us at the halfway point. Even if that meant fitting all the presents, Christmas tree, ornaments, and yummy food in their Chevy Malibu, only to unpack in a Motel 6 hotel room for a 36-hour visit. They love us. We love them.

4. We visited my husband's family in Arizona over New Year's. We are lucky people.

Us with his parents.                                      Parker being a proud honorary-uncle.

5.  I read The Help [loved it!] and The Perks of Being a Wallflower [...].

6.  I started running - whoop! Why? Because I love clothes (when I'm comfortable and confident) so I gotta get in good shape! {Oh, also because we are signed up to run the relay at the Fargo Marathon.}

7.  We went to Colorado with my family {husband, mom, dad, brother, & Alyssa (brother's gf)}. 

Compilation of the trip. Courtesy of Instagram.
8.  I have a green thumb. Who knew? I certainly didn't. I have......7 plants in our apartment right now. And I've kept them all living on my own since November!

9.  I stopped running. Minor road block of busy schedules and being sick but my routine will begin again soon! We had our first outdoor beverage:
This doesn't sound like newsworthy information; however, when you live above a lumberyard on the side of a highway, not only is having an adult beverage outside to enjoy the nice weather a lot of work, it's also newsworthy.

10.  I started blogging (again!). Now that life has finally settled down after the move and a new normal, I missed my blog. I missed sharing thoughts and news now that I have time. I missed hearing about others' thoughts and news. {Oh, and some people kept bugging me about it, too.} 

Either way, glad to be back; I won't leave again :)

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