Friday, August 31, 2012

Happy Friday, Friends!

This has been such a busy week! I have barely had time to read posts, blog, and read for fun, so this weekend will be a nice opportunity to slow down, get some rest and enjoy some wonderful late summer weather! Tonight's consisting of homemade pizza and watching Project Runway, and hopefully this weekend I'll find myself at the beach! What are you up to?Enjoy this three day weekend, we all deserve it!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

On my Bookshelf

It's been a few weeks since I've talked about  my recent reads, so I thought I'd update! I'm still working on The Shadow in the Wind. I will say, I do like it, but I'm smack in the middle and (yes I know it's been awhile)  I needed to take a break and read something a bit lighter, especially since my prime reading time is on my train rides to and from work. Let's be honest, because of all the people watching background noise, sometimes it's hard to read a heavier book, right?

Sooo I jumped into Emily Giffin's gushy, rom-com books and being the girl who will go for a rom-com no matter the occasion, I absolutely love them! I read Something Borrowed and Love the One You're With and can't wait to read more from her. They were both unpredictable (in my mind! Yes, even for a romantic comedy!) and left me smiling after closing both covers. So if you're in a mood for light, fun reads where you can just imagine that the male leads would be gorgeous, take these!

Also speaking of light and fun, I read Emily Schuman's Cupcakes and Cashmere book. I had been waiting for this book at the library and it finally came! Of course, it had a lot of her fashion advice, recipes, home decor advice, and entertaining tips all in one little book and I liked it a lot. I wish she could have done a little more though in her fall and winter sections, but her tips on thrifting are fantastic and something I will definitely put into practice! Read it if you haven't already!

I'm planning on finishing Shadow in the Wind and I'm also reading an education book from one of my co-workers that is definitely giving me great tips and approaches for situations with my little kiddos.

 Ok friends now time to ask what you're reading. A thriller? Romance? Comedy? Nonfiction? What what what?

Monday, August 27, 2012

The years go by

Today is my parents' anniversary. I think I can speak for my whole family when I say how blessed we all are to have both of them in our lives. Together they make my life, just...well better. They have made our house a home, given us delicious food, provided me with everything I have needed, given me the three best friends I could have asked for, shown us the importance of faith and prayer, and truly have been the example how important love and communication are in a relationship. All things that only a working, loving unit can achieve, and they have done it,  on top of all the advice, and laughs, and memories they have helped us make together.

I love you, Mom and Dad! Happy Anniversary! I thank God every night that he picked you both to be together and share your lives forever. (and celebrating this is another excuse for something sweet right? Right!)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Fancies: Summer Road Trip

Are we there Yet

TGIF! I'm so happy it's Friday! It's been a great week, but I can't wait to savor one of the last summer weekends...ahh! and when we think of summer, we think of trips. Road trips to be specific! I love a good road trip, especially with the family! However, who says you can't class it up for a trip every once and a while?

I love this blouse offset by the jean shorts. And can I take the necklace? Plus you have to stow all of your stuff in a cute crossbody, and this IIIBeCa is on my wish list. I can just see myself driving away, blasting music with a few diet cokes! Couldn't imagine anything better. If you could road trip anywhere right now, where would you go?

Hope you all have fabulous weekends!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Joining the Bandwagon

So last week I watched these two adorable miniature doxens and I absolutely loved it! Growing up, we never had a dog. We had a cat that we loved, but never took the plunge to have a dog. Sometimes we regret it, but mostly, for our lifestyle when we were younger, it was nice not to have to worry about being able to take care of one. Because we were never really exposed to dogs as much, I never considered myself a dog person.

But after this weekend, I've changed my tune! We've sat for our neighbor's King Charles Spaniels and now I got to help with these adorable doxens. (they're being shy here, but really they were full of energy all weekend!) and now, I definitely could see myself with a dog (or 2 littles for that matter!). Though big dogs are fantastic, I think the littler ones are more my style. I won't be getting one in the immediate future, but hopefully someday I'll be able to have a dog as a part of my home. Do you have a dog? What breed? Or do you consider yourself more a cat person or a dog person? I still love cats, don't get me wrong!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Total Relaxation

I'm serious ladies, I have not relaxed like this in too long!

and it felt so good!

I do not know why I do this more often (well I do, but I digress!).

I spent the whole weekend watching two adorable mini doxens, watching a lot of tv with my best gal pals my sisters (aka cooking shows and romantic movies. That means you Justin Timberlake and Ryan Gosling!),  and indulging in a little chocolate. It felt so good because this hasn't happened in so long!

I don't know when I'll have the chance to have a weekend of nothing, but I'll definitely savor this one for a while! When was your last weekend of utter relaxation? It's seriously rejuvenating (and probably should make a comeback one of these days!)

image via pinterest

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Fancies: Summer Sunset


Happy Friday friends! I just finished my first full week of work this week, loving it so far! I think this is going to be a good year. I can just tell!

This week, the lovely Mrs. {av} asked us to channel a summer sunset. Well I don't know about you, but this weekend, evenings in Chicago are going to get chilly by summer standards. I'm talking 55. That's a little chilly for this summer-loving gal! So in honor of those lovely August sunsets, I put this together. Perfect for a night out on your back patio, a stroll on the beach, or a last minute night out with friends. And actually, I'm going to wear (almost) this exact outfit today to work and then dress it up for a family bbq this evening. It's just too fun and easy not to recreate!

Stripes + Minnie Pants = You can do no wrong!

(plus doesn't this new bauble bar necklace just remind you of a sunset? I'm in love with the color and shape!).

What are you up to this weekend? I plan on doing some relaxing, dog walking, and more relaxing. Sound like a plan? I think so!

Happy Weekends and go check out Long Distance Loving for more Sunset Fancies!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Opportunity Dances

A few weeks ago, I saw this quote on Brighton the Day and I just had to share. It was too good not to!

I thoroughly believe in this. I think that in order for good things to come to you, you have to work hard to achieve them. Yes, we all know that. But the way this quote is worded...I don't know. It seems more romantically said and definitely inspiring for me to want to work even harder to gain more opportunities.

and this goes for opportunities in every aspect of my life from my work, to friends, to relationships. I'm ready to get out on that dance floor and make some magic.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


So I don't know if you watched the Olympics! Who am I kidding? I think everyone watched the Olympics at some point right? Well then you probably heard this song called Home from a guy named Philip Phillips. 

I'm kind of obsessed with the song. 

Maybe because it reminds me of the Olympics and how awesome they were, or maybe because I'm at home again. I don't know. I've had the tune in my head for days and can't get it out. And that's ok, because I just love it! 

But then I realized that I love all songs with the titles of Home! Because there are quite a few!

I think I heard Home with Michael Bublé when I was about 13, and I'm still in love with the song. I could listen to that man croon all day long!

And then there seemed to be the anthem of my senior year of high school: Home by Daughtry. We all loved it because of the great melody, but maybe again it was because we all decided that we would always have a home at our high school. 

What do you think? Do have a favorite Home?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Weekend Highlight: Train + Laughter

Happy (late) Monday ladies!

Last night, my friends and I went up to Ravinia (an outdoor music festival) and saw Train perform (and Matt Kearney and Andy Grammar) and it was so fantastic. We had so many laughs, ate a lot of good food, and sang at the top of our lungs to songs we have known since we were really young (did you know that Train has been around for 18 years? I had no clue it was that long!).

We really had a fantastic time and we played countless games of Bananagrams! Have you ever played? Seriously once you play once, you'll be hooked!

Nights like this one show how truly thankful I am to have my friends be there. Such a great end to a nice, relaxing weekend!

What'd you do this weekend?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Fancies: Gorgeous Gingham!


I was not the first to jump on the gingham bandwagon, but I have totally changed my tune! When I saw my sister Ellen come home with a few gingham shirts, I had a jealous sister moment (it's normal right?). Well time passed and I happened to get a gingham shirt as a gift (hooray!) and I have worn it a ton this summer, more than I ever thought I would! It's the perfect transition piece from spring to fall, and even in the winter, the black is definitely a go!

But presently, I can definitely take this look from now to later with just a few simple adjustments! Obviously, I'm still embracing summer to its fullest and not admitting that it's August and that there are only a few weeks of my favorite season left. See, I'm not admitting it! So I'd wear this outfit, right here right now. I love a great white skirt. However, I do love my fall wardrobe and I'd take these dreamy boots with this cozy sweater as a layer and enjoy those gorgeous fall colors. How about you? Are you a gingham person?

This weekend I'm planning on prepping for the start of my job next week, so excited! I'm also going to try to watch what's left of the Olympics and on Sunday my friends and I are seeing the band Train! So pumped! I hope you all have wonderful weekends as well!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Achieving my Impossible

I honestly did not know how I wanted to sum up my feelings until I saw this pin last night.

And it expressed it perfectly.

I am so proud and happy to say that I finally have a full time teaching job, and I could not be more excited! After all of the worrying and doubt that I have experienced for months, I can finally rest easy and get prepared to start the first chapter of my career. Of course, I know that I am lucky to have found one now, as I could have been looking for years, as some have. I'm thankful that I have such a supportive family, who has been doing everything they can to help me succeed. I am so ecstatic to start and be as creative as I can, working as hard as I can.

For the past few months, looking for a job has been my impossible. It has been a big, black hurdle that has seemed so daunting, and all my work and efforts did not seem to be paying off. After rejections and doubts and wrong cities and wrong times, I finally achieved my impossible.

and I have to say, it feels really good!

I hope that all of you achieve your impossible, and when it's done, I promise you, you'll never feel better!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Happy Birthday, Oreos!

Ok, so my family can attest to the fact that sometimes when I find a topic that interests me, or a single fact that I thought was interesting, I share it with just about everybody I know. More than once.

And yesterday I found out that Oreo is celebrating its 100th birthday this year!
Source: via Cloie on Pinterest

Happy Birthday Oreos! Seriously, I love these cookies. They were an after-school treat that made that glass of milk much more enjoyable. They have topped many an ice cream sundae, or my favorite use of them has to be the Oreo Ice Cream Mud Cake that my grandma makes oh so special. They've also inspired the homemade oreos and whoopie pies, and who can complain about any of those things!

So here is my tribute to America's favorite cookie (and I had to go with pins. because you'll probably want one or more of the delicious recipes. or maybe that's just me!):

Source: via Timmi on Pinterest

Source: via Pam on Pinterest

Source: via Sherlyn on Pinterest

Source: via Shawn on Pinterest

Ok so I probably am going to go buy some oreos. Or at least think about buying them! Here's to 100 more years!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Peanut Butter Pretzel Granola

Remember when I was so tempted a few weeks ago to make these granola bars?

Well I gave in to my temptation, lucky to have all of the ingredients on hand! The process was pretty easy. Well messy, but easy and I was so excited to smell the deliciousness of the melding of chocolate, oats, pretzels, peanut butter, and rice krispies (yes!) baking together in the oven.

My end was result was...different than expected! Maybe the humidity had something to do with it, or maybe there was not enough holding the "dough" together, but after I let the bars cool and went to cut them, they broke into many little pieces. So really it turned into granola instead of the intended granola bar. Do I still love it? Yes! Absolutely! The flavors are fantastic! I had a little bit yesterday post run and it was a delicious little treat to have (speaking of treats, it would also be fabulous on ice cream!).

I found the recipe here so let me know if you guys make it and what happens! It's still tasty and I definitely want to try again and share with friends!

Monday, August 6, 2012

A night at the fair

Hey guys! Hope you all had fantastic weekends! We took our two day trip up to our favorite Wisconsin spot and it was just what we needed. Though it rained the second day, we were able to go to our favorite junior county fair at night, a highlight of ours. We love seeing the livestock, playing on the tractors, and apparently, picking up other people's winning prizes! Just kidding, although my dad had fun with this hammer he found on the ground!

This cow was so hungry he wanted to eat the streamers above him!

This duck won first prize. Have you ever heard of a duck in a fair? 
My camera died pretty early on, and being me, I forgot to bring the charger. So here's what you didn't see:

  • We swam. a lot. It was fantastic!
  • We watched a lot of the Olympics. I mean, if you're not watching should! And I want to be best friends with the USA Women's swim team!
  • We cooked delicious, fresh, burgers and made s'mores for dessert. 
  • We paid paid a visit to the people in the Amish country and picked up the most delicious donuts. Seriously, nothing tastes better. Have you ever had Amish made desserts? They are the best!
 It was perfect. Very low key and just what we all needed at this time of the summer. How were your weekends?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Off we Go

So today's the day that we've been waiting for, about all summer. Every year we always take some sort of family trip, usually for a week or so. Because everyone has gotten so busy we haven't been able to fit in a trip with all 6 of us, which is really sad, because those are some of my best memories.

But this week we're fitting in all we can, a two day trip up to our favorite spot in Wisconsin. I can't wait to get in some much needed time together, eat some s'mores, and soak in some good Wisconsin rays!

See you Friday!