Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Looking Back on 2014


I can not believe that today is the last day of 2014. It seems like just yesterday that we were ringing in 2014 with champagne, a hockey game, and a few too many cosmos (oops). The first day of 2014 I woke up in the late morning (with a small headache), had breakfast with Parker, and drove to my parents so that I could take my mom to a few out of town doctor's appointments. I really do remember that first day of this year like it was yesterday, and it's hard to believe that it's already 365 days later.

Does that ever freak you out? The fact that 365 days can pass by in what seems like the blink of an eye. I mean, at the time it seems like the Mondays or the working lates or the weekends alone are just dragging by, until you look back on the past year of your life and realize it's over before you even know it.

Sure 2014 had it's ups and downs but I think that overall it was a good year for me. Plus, how boring would it be if this roller-coaster we call life never went up or down?

I turned 26 and am embracing being in my late twenties. I have noticed that I don't get carded as much...

I gained a sister-in-law. The best sister-in-law.

We celebrated 4 years of marriage.

I kept blogging and enjoying the writing process while documenting my life.

I started a job that I love.

I brought back the bangs and realized that, although they are work, totes worth it.

I got a DSLR camera and took advantage of that as much as possible. 

I reconnected with friends that I had lost touch with a bit.

I learned things about myself - like I actually like lipstick, can be a little judgmental, and accidentally start crying when I get angry. 

I hopped on the legging bandwagon and haven't looked back since.

I started cooking at home every night of the week. Oh wait, I'm still working on that one.

And I think the best of all: We moved back to Fargo.

I could go on, and on and on, but a blog post can't possibly sum up all of 2014. I know what I think and I know what I feel and 2014 was a good year. I'm looking forward to 2015 and am thinking it will only take me until about January 19th to start writing the date correctly. 

I suppose now would be the time to share what my New Year's Resolution(s) is but the truth is, I don't even know if I have one. How about... Figure out what I want out of life ... is that too ambitious? 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Blogger Men Tell All [Link-Up #4]

I think I'll just let Parker take it away for this one today...

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What is one thing you really want for Christmas/the holidays this year?

I really wanted a dog :( But a nice vacation will do just fine. :)

Does your family generally do Christmas Eve or Christmas Day (or other sorts of) celebrations?

We usually do a nice Christmas Eve dinner and a Christmas Day Brunch. This year we decided to create a new Christmas Day tradition... Cutting a huge hole in the ice... taking MOST of clothes off and jumping in the gigantic hole and out again (better known as the polar plunge). Only this time... I had to jump in twice... Merry Christmas to me.

What is your favorite part about the holidays?

Prime Rib Dinner and a whole lot of dessert... Gained 5 pounds this year....ooooofda.

What's your New Year's Resolution?

I havent thought of it yet... I still have 48 hours to think!!

Where will you be at the start of 2015?

I will either be in Fargo or Hillsboro or where ever my wife decides she wants to go for the new year celebration.

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Join us and link-up below!!!

Monday, December 29, 2014

1st Annual Christmas Day Pelican Lake Polar Plunge

We've officially lost our minds. See, it all started when my brother said hey we should do a polar plunge and make it a tradition. I'm fairly certain he caught me when I was off my game because at some point I agreed that would be a good time. And then at some point my dad got out the chainsaw and started cutting through the ice. And by that point, there was no turning back - mostly because it probably took a good hour by the time we got the hole ready.

And now, for your Monday morning enjoyment, the sequence of photos that were snapped throughout this entire crazy (stupid) experience:

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It still kind of seemed like a fun idea at this point. Probably because we all still had on coats, boots, hats, and were dry.
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And this is about the time when I think we officially lost our minds. Have you ever walked across wet, thick ice barefoot? Let me tell you, the feet were definitely the worst part.
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Can you please make sure to notice that my brother and Alyssa are making the exact same face in the photo a few pictures up? Seriously, I think they need to crop us out of that one for Christmas Card 2015. We seriously laughed hysterically the entire time. We might be crazy but that was totally worth it. I'm not sure if it will be an annual thing - normally the lake is covered in snow by this time of year and the wind chill is normally well below 0, in which case I don't think you could pay me to do it under those conditions. But if the conditions are right, and if you catch me in a weak moment, I'm probably in.

Oh hey, remember we actually had Christmas at some point in the last few days too? We had a pretty low-key holiday at the lake and I was surrounded by all the people I love. It doesn't get much better than that.
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Back to the grind today, BUT another short week. Man, I could get used to these days off in the middle of the week. Happy Monday chickiebabes!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas Eve (already?!)

Merry Christmas Eve!

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I truly cannot even believe that it's already Christmas. This season has flown by this year - more so than even other years in the past. Does it just go faster and faster the older you get? 

We don't even have snow here in North Dakota yet! Sure we've had a few flurries, but the temps have been so warm that they melt away as fast as they're falling. I can't even remember the last time we didn't have a white Christmas. I'm honestly kind of hoping for a little snowfall over the next 24 hours so we can have a pretty blanket of white, instead of the tannish-brown color that grass seems to be at this time of year.

And we don't even have our Christmas tree up this year - aaaand we just finished shopping last night so there are absolutely no wrapped presents...yet. Thank goodness today is a short work day so I can get wrapping done this afternoon... just in time for the wrapping paper to be torn off, I guess. Maybe nobody would notice if I just slapped a big bow on the outside of the Scheel's bag? :)

Speaking of work, this is the first year ever that I've worked (or really done anything) on Christmas Eve. And yes I do realize how spoiled that makes me sound. After finishing school I taught for 2 years (i.e. there was a whole week and a half of doing nothing around the holidays) and the past 2 years I've had Christmas Eve off. Now i guess it's time to grow up and go to work like the majority of the adult population.

Even though Christmas completely snuck up on me and I've been one of the most last-minute people ever this year, there's something about this season. It's not the Christmas cookies, different renditions of O Holy Night, or homemade Bailey's - although, let's be honest, ya gotta have that stuff, too. It's about believing and being grateful for this beautiful life. I hope you have a Merry Christmas with your families!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Blogger Men Tell All [Round 4 Questions]

Guess what time it is... Blogger Men Tell All time! It's almost a little embarrassing that I get pretty super duper excited for this link-up every month. This month I vow to give the questions to my man sooner than 12 hours in advance of the time the link-up goes live. Actually, I might even hit up a different man in my life for some answers (dad, brother, change things up a bit...)

Blogger Men Tell All is a monthly link-up hosted by myself, Becca, and Melissa as a way to get a man in your life involved in your blog! All you have to do is have him answer these 5 questions and link-up your post with us next Tuesday! Can't wait to hear what those guys have to say!

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  • What is one thing you really want for Christmas/the holidays this year?
  • Does your family generally do Christmas Eve or Christmas Day (or other sorts of) celebrations?
  • What is your favorite part about the Holidays?
  • What's your New Year's Resolution?
  • Where will you be at the start of 2015?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Pickles and Procrastination [Weekend Recap]

You know it was a good night when this level of excitement was felt the next day at 12:15 upon finding the temporarily lost wallet...

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Friday night we went out for a bite to eat to catch the beginning of the Bison game (which they won - going to the National Championship for the 4th year in a row!) Ward and Alyssa ended up meeting up with us and apparently "going out for a bite to eat" turned into just "going out in general" - it might have been the adult apple cider shot that we decided to try out before leaving the restaurant that got things going...

Either way one thing led to another which led to getting home after 2:00 am. I haven't had a night like that since college and I definitely don't recover like I did in college. Needless to say, Saturday ended up being a much needed day of rest.

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Those are pickles in our beer. It's a Midwest thing - try it.

Saturday's level of productivity meant that shit needed to get done on Sunday - more specifically, we needed to start Christmas shopping. We definitely procrastinated this year, but partly because of our opposite work schedules. Nobody likes to Christmas shop alone and this was the first available weekend when we were able to do it together so it is what it is. And we were successful Sunday so it's all good. We also don't exactly have a ton of people we have to buy presents for so it wasn't a huge task.

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If I've learned anything from blogging it's that cute (even semi-cute) outfits should always be documented (even if it's as embarrassing as a bathroom selfie).

How was your weekend? Can you believe that it's already Christmas week?! I'm definitely looking forward to my 2-1/2 day work week :)

Friday, December 19, 2014

a gopro vid + christmas stuff

oh hey, friday! it's nice to see you - we've been missing you since monday :) 

actually, this week went by fairly fast for me. work was busy busy busy - which i love! i would much rather be busy and have the days fly by than the alternative. even better, next week is a short week. hellooooo christmastime!

1 || my brother finished his video of our trip to the boundary waters over labor day! 1 - how amazing are go pros? 2 - how freaking talented is my brother?! i am so thankful he puts in hours of his time to create memories like this that will last a lifetime...

2 || monday i had a massage appointment at the end of the work day. after moving and all of that a massage was just what the doctor ordered and it was ah-mazing. i came home afterward, poured a glass of wine, lit some candles, took a hot shower, and basically did nothing the rest of the night. does it even get better than that?

3 || christmas is less than a week away (insert heart-eyed emoji here).
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4 || confession: we haven't put up our tree yet, and we probably won't even get it up. i plan on enjoying my christmas-y decor, twinkly lights around our apartment, poinsettias, and christmas music as much as possible to make up for it. 

5 || today i wrote all my work-related events and all birthdays/anniversaries in my 2015 planner - yes, that makes me very happy and most definitely makes my week's list of top 5s. 
this weekend is time for christmas shopping on steroids! we don't have a huge list of people to buy for but we're approximately 9% done with our list, soo.... christmas-shopping weekend it is! what are you up to this weekend?! 

linking up with oh hey friday and high five for friday!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

I Wish I Could Be A House Manager

OK, I have known this lady for a little while but never knew that this is her job. I'm pretty sure I would be totally cut out to be a house manager - and live in New York... maybe. Enjoy getting to know Rebekah below!

Hello readers of The Samantha Life! My name is Rebekah and I blog over at Blue Giraffes and Concrete Jungles.


Samantha has been awesome enough to let me take her space today- and when first offered the gig I kind of panicked. I had nothing to talk about, and honestly I still don't. My mind is blank. So with my lacking inspiration I decided I would just let you guys get to know me, and hopefully I can get to know you too.

First off, my name is Rebekah (see that K in there?). It's a little different than the normal spelling, but I will let you know it is still pronounced just the same. You would be very surprised of how many ways I've heard it. I will respond to Rebekah, Bek, Bekah, Monkey, Babekah, but never Becky. No, It's Becky- but really I hate Becky. It you don't want to be friends with me then you should use that name.


I live in NYC- been here for about 5.5 years and I still can't believe it myself. New York is a rockin' place and I very much appreciate the seasons because I grew up in Florida. Game-changer! My father works for Disney World (it is okay to be jealous) and I was sick of the heat. After college, in Virginia at a very small private women's college called Hollins, I moved even further up. So far no regrets.


Here in NY I have kind of a funky job, I work as a house manager. You might now be asking yourself, What is a house manager? and I will tell you. It means in a weird way my job is to be a stay-at-home mom. I'm the chef, the nanny, the personal assistant, the liaison between other household staff members and service providers. I'm the everything. I work long hours and am sometimes crazy busy and other times I just sit around all day and blog. Welcome to NY, where someone is able to hire someone else to manage their lives. The coolest thing about my job is that (even though I probably shouldn't post this on the internet!) Tim Gunn lives in their building. I see him about once a month and we like to chat the weather. I also travel with them, and we usually go first class. bling bling.

my two monkeys
Which brings me to my blog! I think it is a great space- a place that is comfortable, mostly happy and about a real life. I do a lot of book reviews (an addiction!), recipes (perk of the job) and travel. I'm also that typically blogger who tells you about their fun-filled (or lazy) weekend. I'm a tv-fiend, bookworm galore, and trying to find my place in the world just like each and every one of you.


I hope you can stop by and say hello- hit me up on any of the following spaces! 
facebook/bloglovin/twitter/pinterest/instagram/blog

Check out this month's featured lady: 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Weekend We'll Always Talk About

Last weekend my aunt (from Colorado) and uncle (from Vermont) were here visiting. We only get to see them twice a year so on Friday Ward, Alyssa, and I headed down to my lake to spend the weekend with them at my parents (Parker had to work again, obviously).

I think the weekend can be described in 3 ways: fun, dance parties, and relaxation. I'd try to tell more but I just can't possibly describe the fun and love that is my family. And also, I don't want to incriminate anybody ;) What happens at the lake, stays at the lake. Except pictures of the flooded basement due to the upstairs sink overflowing. I just couldn't resist that one.

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Dad and his girls.

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And that would be my aunt / soul sister.

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Bloodies for the Bison game - they won!

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Winter "nature walks".

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Did you have a great weekend? If it didn't involve fans in the basement or ice packs it would be a little boring compared to mine ;) Now on the agenda for this coming weekend: Christmas shopping - when did Christmas become only 10 days away?!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Looking On The Bright Side

Oh hey, looks who's alive! You know how sometimes your life is so busy, happy, and full of love and joy that you don't have time to sit down in front of a computer and write about it? Yeah, that's totally happening over here. I'm not saying by any means that if you have time to sit in front of a computer every day that your life is not full of love or joy. I certainly have felt very happy and content with life for the past 2 years and continued to pump out a blog post regularly. 

I think it's just that since moving home I've been trying to catch up on so many "things". I say "things" because they're not really things. It's shopping with mom, having a glass of wine at night with a friend, meeting another friend for lunch, and seeing my family at a spur-of-the-moment dinner out. It's made me have to take a small (temporary) step back from my original goal of blogging every day during the week. Mostly because I don't want to miss out on any of those moments that I've been missing for 2 years. And I know all bloggers and non-bloggers can understand stepping away from the computer and enjoying life so it is what it is :) 

So here's a little update on life lately. I hope that you have all been having a lovely December!


I had the flu for 2 full days and I literally thought I was going to die.
On the bright side... I think I lost 5 pounds. Man, what a jumpstart to my diet. Although, it's not really diet season. It's more like the complete opposite of diet season.

We don't even have our Christmas tree up yet! Actually Parker asked if we should even put it up this year (with the move and everything). Umm, duh.
On the bright side... My apartment is surrounded by twinkling Christmas lights, snowmen, and snowflake candles. I think I'll just enjoy what I have for now :)

I haven't blogged in over a week, which is so completely weird and a little bit stressful at the same time. And yet, things like life have been going on.
On the bright side... I've seen friends, gone to our work Christmas party, continued to unpack and decorate our apartment, stayed up way too late, got my nails did (there's this whole glitter-ombre thing happening that's totally awesome), and watched way too many episodes of Criminal Minds.


I should probably clean our apartment, catch up on some laundry, or do some dishes after being sick slash completely useless for 48 hours, but I'm totally not going to.
On the bright side... We're going Christmas shopping tonight :) It's the one night of the week that Parker is done with hockey early so we'll be grabbing some dinner out and doing what little bit of Christmas shopping can happen between 6:30 and the times the store close. Is there anything better than walking around a decked-out, christmas-carol-playing mall with your honey?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Currently [December Edition]

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Making :: progress on our unpacking process! This week I have already unpacked close to 10-12 boxes and that is a big deal. That's 10-12 boxes more than I unpacked last week. Plus, once you get going it's fun since the apartment starts to look pretty and homey again, rather than sparse and bare. 

Listening :: to music that is not Christmas or Holiday music. I kept telling myself I had to get through the boxes in our apartment before the Christmas decor could come out and Christmas music just doesn't give the same feeling when you're not surrounded by snowmen and twinkly lights. If everything goes according to plan I should finally be listening to Christmas music by Friday :)

Wrapping :: nothing, yet. Mostly because I don't even know where all our wrapping paper is packed...

Watching :: Netflix, because we've lived here for weeks and haven't even gotten tv service yet. More specifically I'm watching the full seasons of Criminal Minds which means I'm not sleeping great but such a good show.

Anticipating :: this weekend :)
How about you >> Is your home in full Christmas-y mode yet?! And how is your Christmas shopping coming? If you've started then you're further along than I am...

linking up with Jenna and Anne!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Well I Guess That Was Thanksgiving

Ok seriously, wasn't it just Halloween?! How is it already time to be getting all the Christmas decorations out?! Which, if we're being honest here: I didn't get one Christmas tote nor ornament out on Thanksgiving weekend. I'm pretty sure that makes me a horrible, un-American person who's not even qualified to own an Instagram account. On the other hand, I have unpacked like 8 boxes since Sunday which means I could technically be off the hook for the week since I set a goal to unpack 1 box each day. But I'll probably keep tackling it each night so that I can feel somewhat-organized and have some Christmas decorations out by the middle of December at least.

Did you have a happy, relaxed Thanksgiving?! I think that's my favorite part about Thanksgiving - total and complete relaxation. I love Christmas, no doubt it's my favorite holiday. But there's something about Thanksgiving - the only to-do is cook a meal and every other part about it is completely focused on relaxing and enjoying who you're with. 

We had Thanksgiving with my parents, brother, and his wife Thursday. Friday I had to work but Saturday my mom and I enjoyed shopping - what a good kick-start to the holiday shopping festivities. In the downtime of the weekend I tried to spend as much time as possible at the lake and I was able to see one of my best friends while both of our hubbys were working. I think my favorite part about being home is getting those random 3-hour Friday wine nights and not having to only have perfectly-scheduled coffee or lunch dates in order to stay in touch with my friends. I just love being back home!




We also were able to hit up the penny wine sale Saturday so you are looking at one happy girl with a wine-stocked storage closet :) I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving too!!

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