Baby Girl Nursery

Baby Girl Nursery
Baby Girl Nursery

Summer Bucket List

Summer Bucket List
Summer Bucket List

Drugstore Beauty

Drugstore Beauty
Drugstore Beauty

Weekending: Wedding Fun

Happy LAST day of June!!  Craziness.  I'm looking forward to July - celebrating the 4th, Nick's birthday and our first wedding anniversary.  We finally decided on staying at the Kings Courtyard Inn for our anniversary trip to Charleston and the countdown is on!  Another thing I hope to do in July is buy our first house.  We're in Michigan today house hunting so wish us luck!  Third time's the charm, right?

We had a wonderful weekend that went by way too fast.  Friday night, the drinking began as soon as I got home from work.  Traffic on Friday is brutal, especially in the summer (aka construction season) and you just need something to take the edge off when you get home!

TGIF, for real

Later that evening, I grabbed dinner with my friends at a Mexican joint in the West Loop called De Cero.  The food was delicious but the best part of the meal was my drink - a coconut mojito.  Seriously the best drink I've ever had.  I have a feeling we'll be back for lots of those this summer.


After dinner, we headed next door to check out the rooftop bar at the Little Goat.  It was pretty crowded so we only stayed for one drink -- but we did manage to catch an impromptu fireworks show while on the rooftop.  We headed to one more bar afterwards and then called it a night.



Nick and I had plans to check out the farmers market on Saturday morning but those quickly went out the window when we slept in until 10am.  Sometimes you just need to sleep.  Other than Nick's hockey game in the afternoon, we were lazy all day until it was time to get ready for our friends wedding!

The wedding was right downtown Chicago at the Ivy Room and it was so much fun.  The ceremony and cocktail hour were held outside in a little courtyard and it was a gorgeous setting -- you almost didn't feel like you were in the city, despite the cabbies honking in the background ;)  It was super hot, 90 degrees, and right at the end of the cocktail hour, it started downpouring!  Summer storms roll in fast but we made it inside without getting too wet.


Thanks for all the Instagram love!  You can find the dress HERE!

I did a terrible job taking pictures but it was such a wonderful, special night and we are so happy for our friends Derek and Morgan!  The food was amazing -- they had 3 different stations (American, Italian and Greek) that were all you could eat -- the DJ kept the dance floor packed all night, their families gave the sweetest speeches and you couldn't keep Nick and I out of the photo booth haha.  It was a perfect night and we had a blast celebrating their new marriage!



Sunday was another lazy day filled with hockey, errands and OITNB.  Just the way a Sunday should be :)  Hope you all had a fabulous weekend, too!
Linking up with LeeannCarly and Biana
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Friday Favorites

Hello, Friday!  We've got a big weekend ahead of us - dinner plans with friends, the farmers market, a wedding, and house hunting on Monday!  5pm cannot come soon enough... I'm definitely ready to get the party started.  Since the Five for Friday link up is taking a summer break, I thought I'd join my girl Amanda from Meet @ The Barre, for her new Friday Favorites linkup!  Here's what we've been loving over here...

Favorite Snack:  Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzel Slims
I cannot stop eating these things.  They are sooo good and it's way too easy to polish off a bag in one sitting - with my husband of course, I wouldn't do that alone... Just make sure you have a napkin on hand because they can be a little melty.  I may have had to make an extra TJ's stop this week just to pick up another bag of these little bites of heaven!


Favorite Nail Polish:  Bikini So Teeny by Essie
I've been seeing this periwinkle blue nail polish everywhere so I finally had to pick up a bottle for myself.  I'm happy to report everyone was right because I'm in love. The color is so pretty and reminds of me of bright, blue skies.  I've been wearing it for two weeks straight now!


Favorite Pin: Turn Off Your Straightner
I NEED this!  It would cut so much unnecessary stress out of my life.  At least once a week, I leave my apartment and this sense of panic washes over me thinking that I left my straightner/curling iron turned on.  It never is and I'm pretty sure my products have an auto-turn off after a certain amount of time but still.  I need this.
{Follow me on Pinterest here!}


Favorite Lip Product:  Makeup Forever Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick
I received this lipstick as part of my birthday gift from Sephora and it has quickly become my go to.  My biggest requirements from a lip product are moisturization (is that a word?) and long lasting color and this lipstick meets both of those.  I have the color N9 Copper Pink and it's the perfect shade for everyday.   There are 50 shades so I'm sure a few more will be joining my ever growing collection!


Favorite Post:  Mia at Make Me Up Mia
Mia is a friend I've been lucky enough to meet through blogging and unfortunately, her family has been through the ringer lately.  Her younger brother, Christian, was involved in a very serious ATV accident this past September.  Due to money, insurance and the extent of his injuries, Christian has recently hit a roadblock in his recovery.  You can read more about the families story HERE and please say a few prayers!


Have a great weekend and I'll see you back here on Monday!
Linking up with AmandaLaurenJennie and Rebecca
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Throwback Thursday

I recently downloaded the Timehop app and it's been so fun to check it every morning to see what I was up to on that day in the past!  I have mine synced up with both my Facebook and Instagram but since I've had Facebook longer, that's where the really good stuff comes from.

Side note -- remember when you had to have a college email address to sign up for Facebook?  I was SO excited when my @wmich.edu address started working in the summer of 2006 because I could finally get an account!  Now everyone and their Grandma has it which takes a bit of the fun out of it.  While it is nice to be able to connect with anyone and everyone, you just can't post the same stuff you could of back when only your college friends could see it ;)

Since this weekend has been one year since my bachelorette party, I thought I'd do a little run down of what I was up to at the end of June... each year since 2006!  Let's see what gems Facebook had in store!

2006

I had just graduated from high school and June was filled with all things graduation.  This is one from my graduation party -- what am I wearing?!  So funny.


2007

My first summer back at home after college was a bit of an adjustment!  I missed my friends I had made and wasn't used to having to follow "rules" anymore.  My poor dad.  I headed back to Kalamazoo for a night of shenanigans - aka really just to see Nick again since we were living 3 hours apart (and not dating at this point).


2008

This summer was spent living in Kalamazoo!  Nick and I were dating (finally) and I subleased an apartment with 3 of my girlfriends.  I worked on campus at a terrible desk/office job but there were some fun times, too!  We look like babies in this picture :)


2009

I spent the summer at home in Holland doing a management internship with Macy's and Nick graduated and moved to Chicago.  This was the beginning of a one year long distance relationship while I finished up my senior year -- and the official start of our Chicago adventures!  This was my first time on the L, on the way to my first Cubs game (and that probably wasn't water in that water bottle, ha)!


2010

I moved to Chicago and started my first big girl job!  It was a summer of major readjustments -- a new city in which I barely knew anyone, a new job and a whole new lifestyle.  It was an adventure for sure.


2011

This was our first year in our apartment, living together!  We also lived with our friend Adam who passed away almost one year ago.  Adam liked to do things big and for my birthday, he decided we had to go all out.  There was a pre-game party and then limo's, bottle service and a late night after party involved.  I don't know how we did it back then!  Here's Adam and all the ladies.. just the way he liked it :)


2012

This was my designated "summer of fun."  June brought the Detroit Tigers to town playing the Cubs which never happens since they're in different leagues.  There were 3 games in 3 days and I made it to two of them.  This was only 3 short months before we got engaged -- and I was clueless!


2013

And one year ago this was happening... getting wild with my favorite girls.  It was an amazing night -- from what I remember anyways!








Happy Thursday!
Linking up with Annie
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Good Days


Life has been a bit stressful over here lately, I won't lie.  We're in the midst of house hunting and it turns out house hunting is kind of hard when you're almost 3 hours away from where you'll be moving.  Nick and I have completely different work schedules - him the typical 9-5 and mine being more nights/weekends - plus add in the busyness that comes along with summer and we're finding it pretty challenging to get back to Michigan.

We find houses online that disappear before we can even coordinate a time to get back there and we can forget about seeing a house twice.  We made that mistake with the awesome house with a pool - saw it on a Saturday, spent a couple days thinking it over and then Nick finally had a chance to head back that Thursday to take one more look at it and submit an offer.  Welp, they sold it Wednesday night.  Lesson learned that we need to move fast(er).  

Goodbye beautiful pool :(

Yesterday was a bit of a grumpy day for me when THREE houses we've had our eye on and wanted to see sold.  And we still don't have a chance to make it back to Michigan until Monday so who knows how many more will go before then.  I was moping around and just feeling bad about the house situation when I noticed that Lisa was co-hosting a linkup today focusing on what makes for a "good day."  It made me realize I needed an attitude adjustment because life really isn't that bad.  I know and trust that God has a master plan and that all of these houses that are slipping out from underneath us are just blessings in disguise.  I shouldn't let my worries bring me down and cause me to have a bad day because the perfect house is out there waiting for us and we will find it when the time is right!


So here's to trusting in Him and here's to what makes for a good day :)

It's a good day when...

Dessert follows dinner.
Anything chocolate will do.

Pretty Little Liars is on.
Total guilty pleasure show.

There is time in my day to squeeze in a nap.
Never happens anymore.. but that just makes it extra special when it does.

I get my hair blown out and nails done.
Can I hire someone to take care of this everyday?

A Backstreet Boys song comes on the radio.
Backstreets back, alright.

I have a fruity cocktail in hand.
Fruitier the better.  Extra points for a little umbrella.

There is zero traffic on my drive to/from work.
Very, very rare but when it does... bliss.

I get to lay out and soak up some Vitamin D.
I know it's bad for you, I really do, but I love me some tanning.

Fresh flowers are on my coffee table.
I'll even happily let them block my view of the TV.

Breakfast is for dinner
Preferably made by my husband, the breakfast king.

Forrest Gump is on TV.
A movie I can never say no to.

These are the little things that can make for a good great day!  Thanks for hosting, Lisa and thanks for the attitude adjustment! ;) 
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At Home Spa Night

One of my favorite things to do is have an 'at home spa night'.  I try to do this once a month, on a night when Nick is out with friends or has a late hockey game.  It's relaxing, rejuvenating and I always feel like a million bucks the next day.  Here are my favorite products so you can have your very own spa night!


I'm not a bath person so I always stick with a shower.  It's not quite as relaxing but this way I can also give my hair some lovin'.  I use my favorite cleansing shampoo by Neutrogena to get rid of all the product build up in my hair and then follow it up with Macadamia Oil's Deep Repair Masque.  The masque only needs to be left on for a few minutes but I leave it on for almost 20 minutes.

During this time, I focus all my efforts on my body.  Bath and Body Works 2 in 1 Body Scrub + Wash is my go to product to scrub off all those dead cells.  Your skin just feels so soft and clean after using this stuff.  I then take care of all the other things us girls have to do in the shower and finally rinse my hair.  I like to rinse with cold water because it makes my hair shiny and I tend to have less fly aways.

After the shower, I throw my hair up in a towel to dry, follow with the same Bath and Body Works scented lotion and (my favorite part) slip into my robe.  I am obsessed with robes and this waffle one from Target is a favorite.  In the winter I'll throw it in the dryer while I'm in the shower.. pure perfection.

Finally, my face.  I wash using my long time favorite cleanser and my Clarisonic.  If you don't have a Clarisonic and are having skin problems, get one right now!  They are amazing and totally 100% worth the money.

Once my face is clean and dry, I apply the Glam Glow Youthmud Mask.  Looove this stuff.  Again, pricey but worth it!  It stays on for about 20 minutes and after I usually plop down on the couch and begin a Netflix marathon.. beauty and binge watching, my kind of night! ;)

Linking up with Khala and friends for Tuesday Tea
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Weekending: Birthday Celebrations

Another weekend has come and gone!  They sure seem to be going fast these days - I mean we're practically about to say goodbye to June.  It was a good weekend filled with a nice balance of fun and rest, with some work thrown in there unfortunately as well. 

Friday night was the final night of birthday celebrations.  We got together at my friend Nicole's place for some drinks before the bar.  It's not often that many of my girlfriends are all able to get together on the same night so that alone made me happy!  We learned how to play Civil War which was extremely entertaining.  It's a fast pace, 3 person version of beer pong - very fun and very dangerous if you know what I mean. 



The birthday kids

During our walk to the bar, I experienced a Chicago first - I saw a rat!!  It was huge and disgusting and so gross.  However, I do consider it a success that I've lived here for over 4 years now and that was my first sighting.  Fingers crossed it was my last!

Saturday morning was slow going.  We slept in until 10am and just laid around the apartment until the early afternoon.  It was very much needed, I'm getting too old for the bar now.  Since it was the first official day of summer, we decided to skip a proper lunch and go get gelato! 

Nick and I have had bikes for two years now but one of them is always broken so we can never go on rides together.  We decided that needed to change.  And if we were going to be having gelato for lunch, we should probably ride bikes there to get in some exercise.  A new bike shop opened right by our place so we walked them down there and they totally hooked us up!  We left with practically brand new bikes - well not really but at least our brakes worked and our tires weren't flat anymore.


We made our way up to Black Dog Gelato in Ukranian Village with no big bike mishaps besides someone yelling at us to use the bike lanes.  Ah, the friendly people of Chicago.  The gelato was delicious - I had a mixture of lemon sorbet and cookies and cream.  It was an interesting combo but sooo good.  We found out that they serve doughnut gelato sandwiches (drooling) on Monday's so we will be back for that - probably tonight if we're being honest.


Since our lives revolve around food, as soon as we got home we started planning our dinner.  We hit up the grocery store to pick up the ingredients for a Pinterest recipe I've been dying to try and Nick's recent obsession with onion rings.  We made this Teriyaki Salmon with Sriracha Cream Sauce and it was ah-mazing.  It was also our first attempt at deep frying at home and the onion rings turned out fabulously!  What a coincedence that yesterday happened to be National Onion Ring Day ;)


Saturday night brought a couple episodes of Orange Is The New Black - slowly working our way through the first season - and Sunday looked a lot like this.  All day long.


Hope you all had a great weekend and happy Monday!
Linking up with Leeann, Carly and Biana
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Five on Friday 6/20


Cheers to Friday!  We were actually supposed to be in Florida this weekend but decided to cancel our trip and save money for our big move coming up.  Being responsible is no fun.. I could really go for fruity drinks by the pool all weekend!

Linking up with April and the lovely Five on Friday ladies.. let's get right to it!

+ Bloglovin
I finally got my act together and have started using Bloglovin!  {Follow along with me here}  I've always read my favorite blogs through GFC but since not everyone uses it, it was difficult to follow along with some people.  Almost all bloggers use Bloglovin so this has made my life much easier - I have no idea why I waited so long to give it a try!



+ Birthday Celebrations
It's been a full week of birthday celebrations!  I spent my actual birthday on Monday with Nick and then we celebrated again on Tuesday night after volleyball with dinner, drinks and cake.  Presents have been arriving in the mail all week and it's been so great to hear from friends and family!  Tonight is the last birthday hooray - a bunch of our friends are getting together to celebrate my birthday and two of my friends birthdays that were on Tuesday.  It should be a good night!

Birthday cake for our friend Rich and I!

+ DV Rhoda Sandal
I've been waiting for these sandal/wedges to go on sale and as soon as they did, my size was gone!  So sad!  I'm hoping I can find somewhere that has my size that will price match Nordstrom.  There are quite a few other sizes left so get them while you still can!  Side note: also loving these DV wedges - too cute.


+ Charleston Hotel
One vacation that we absolutely have NOT cancelled is our first anniversary trip to Charleston!  It's coming up super fast now and I NEED to book our hotel.  I've been stalling because I'm completely torn between the French Quarter Inn and Kings Courtyard Inn.  Anyone have any experience with either of these?  I know I probably can't go wrong between the two so I just need to pick one!  Come on July :)


+ Summer Recipes
Yesterday I shared five of my favorite go-to summer recipes, check them out here!  These are all super fast and easy recipes courtesy of Pinterest.  The grill is king in our house in the summer and this chicken/pineapple skewer recipe is my absolute favorite.


I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
Linking up with AprilLaurenJennie and Rebecca
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Summer Recipes

The higher the temperatures rise, the less time I spend in the kitchen.  This direct correlation is the reason behind why my weekly Meal Mondays have completely disappeared!  We seem to be constantly on the go in the summer and eat out a lot more than normal.  Not to mention, who wants to spend a lot of time in a hot kitchen slaving over the stove?  I definitely don't and that is why when we are home for dinner in the summer, I tend to resort to the same few (really easy) recipes.  I call them my summer recipes because they are on repeat June-August.  I found them all via Pinterest so I'll direct you right to the original sources!







I hope you enjoy them as much as we have!  What are some of your favorite go-to summer recipes?
Linking up with Annie
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My Wedding: Five Things I Would Change


If I could do my wedding day all over again.... what would I do differently?  To be honest, there isn't a whole lot I would change about my wedding because it was the most perfect day I could have hoped for.  While it was really easy to write a post on the things I would do all over again at my wedding, I struggled a bit to come up with five things I would have changed about the day.  Which makes me happy because who wants to look back on their wedding with regrets?!  No one does so that's why I figured I would share a few things that I would encourage other brides to consider/do.

+ Videographer
This is my NUMBER ONE biggest regret.  I am so sad I didn't have a videographer.  I had a million reasons not to get one - the cost, I already had an amazing photographer, would I really watch it? - so I didn't.  And while I have hundreds of beautiful pictures (that I look at weekly still), I would give anything to have some actual footage from our big day.  Work that videographer into your budget.  Do whatever you have to do - it will be SO worth it!


+ Bridesmaid Dresses
I was actually obsessed with my bridesmaids dresses but I feel really bad about how much I made them spend!  I hate to even admit it.. but they were $315.  That was probably my crazy bride moment - I thought I needed these Monique Lhuiller dresses but I'm sure I would have been just as happy with something more reasonable.


+ Send Off
A send off at the end of the reception was one thing that totally slipped my mind!  During wedding planning, I had all these grand ideas of a send off with sparklers or sprinkles or something fun that would result in amazing pictures.  And then I developed bride brain and it got completely forgotten about in my planning!

One of the last pictures of the night!  No super cute send off pics here.

+ Weather
Obviously this is something I had zero control over, but in my perfect world I would definitely have changed the weather!  75 degrees, sunny with a slight breeze was all I was asking for.. instead I got a high of maybe 55 degrees, clouds, windy with a threat of rain all day (but thankfully never did).  Our reception was right on the water but that was all for nothing because we had to put the sides up on the tent.  And bring in heat lamps so everyone stayed warm!  In July!


+ Utilize Bridesmaids/Relax
My last one isn't something I would have changed about the actual day of the wedding but instead leading up to the wedding. I would have utilized my bridesmaids a little more because there were a few times that I was stressed out with everything I had to do but didn't want to bother anyone.  Well that was dumb.  I've been a bridesmaid before and I was willing and ready to help at any chance - I don't know why I didn't take advantage of my 4 girls that lived in Chicago with me.


And finally, R-E-L-A-X.  I had a million things going on during wedding planning; I was working, taking classes and trying to keep up some sort of social life and sometimes I let it overwhelm me.  I wish I would have realized that those few months were only going to happen once in my life and to loosen up and enjoy them a little more!

If you want to read more about our wedding, check out the recaps here!  What would you have changed about your big day?
Linking up with ShannaJordon and Liz
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