Friday, December 30, 2011

reflection and resolution

I love this time of year, the end of it. It's a time for reflection and resolution. love. it.

I thought I had done pretty well on my list of resolutions but it seems that I only managed to cross run a (baby) triathlon, make and stick to a budget, clean up and keep my computer organized (and blog reader) and make more lists. So that leaves me with seven overlooked resolutions...

1. Take an academic course.
2. Sew (crafty goodness!).
4. Get a tattoo (or two).
5. (Look into) taking piano lessons.
7. Compile Grandma's recipes and history of my house.
8. Spend more time outside off of my list. 
10. Stick to a cleaning schedule.

That's okay though, I had a pretty damn good year. It was spent training for the triathlon, loving Matt and the kitties, and friends and family, eating and drinking lots of good food and drink. 

I'm taking a smaller approach to 2012's resolutions. Last year I separated my word, balance, from my resolutions but this year it is a resolution of it's own. Expanding on balance and looking at my list of 26 things before 27, which I have yet to post, where I saw a lot of the word "conscious" I chose intentional. The word struck a chord with me while reading this post from Kyla. 

"taking a moment to savour the little moments that knit everything together can slow down time to a stand still." -miss roma
As I work to have more balance in my life with health, good food, laziness, excitement, solitary time and friendship I want to be more intentional with that thought process. I don't want to feel overwhelmed, but consider my decisions and the alternatives thoughtfully.

I'll carry this word with me through 2012 and while tackling these four resolutions.
  1. lose weight. get fit. but seriously, lose a serious bit of with like a final goal of forty to fifty pounds. whew! it's going to take some serious work and i'm glad (very, very, glad) to have matt along with me to get this done.
  2. save at least $3000! and be more financially responsible. this year i learned to really budget and next year i need to learn how to SAVE and not over spend.
  3. be on time. i tend to be a tardy to things and all this achieves is stress. seriously, i'm an adult. it's time to be timely.
  4. develop solid communication skills. i feel awkward in somea lot of social situations and i'd love to be the person who always felt comfortable and could put others at ease. 

That's it. That's all she wrote. Four goals for 2012.

tips on resolution making and keeping:
elsie.  no meat athlete. today's letters.

talking about resolutions, reflections and things for the new year:
kelle (home in michigan!) plus a birthday post.  rachel investing in 2011. gentri lee's fun goals. a recap of a full and lovely year from ashlee. a look back from lisa leonard. the lovely couple of today's letters 2011 review.

one little word:
cherish. up.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

wrapping & shopping & kitties

It's here now, Christmas eve eve.
It brings four Christmases, lots of family, 11 days off, celebrating the new year! I can't wait!

exciting things are taking place today like...
wrapping all the gifts and taking care of this mess.

hanging out with these kitties.

can you see our tiny stockings in the back? 
we'll be filling those with treats for the first time.

and grocery shopping for tapasChristmas.

Have a wonderful Christmas Eve Eve
& enjoy the celebrations!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

a holiday evening

Last night I spent some of the evening writing holiday cards, sniffing this candle (my favorite scent!) and drinking egg nog.

dazzling / original

It was lovely.

 Lulu thought so too.

Do you send Christmas cards? Would you like to receive one? I'd love to do a swap!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

pumpkin cookies!

You know Rachel Wilkerson's a-mazing pumpkin margaritas?!  If you've made them you'll remember!

Just so you know, you'll have a bunch of leftover pumpkin after you strain out what need for the margs. I didn't know what to do with it... but then I started seeing recipes for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Pumpkin* chocolate chip cookies? mmm. Sign me up!

I combined these three recipes... Streaming Gourmet's Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies / Just Bella's Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies / Rachel's Pumpkin Up: Butterscotch Pumpkin Cookies. I'm not sure why I didn't just go with one (probably, because I wanted to feel bloggery. food blogger, with recipes and action shots, I. am. not. oh well), but the cookies are pretty fantastic so I'm not going to complain. 

Be sure to check out the recipes above and here is my varition!

3/4 granulated sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup canned pumpkin 
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger

Add ins of your choice. Walnuts may be good. Today I did chocolate, butterscotch and white morsels!


1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add pumpkin and beat well. Then add eggs and beat well. Finally add vanilla and beat well.

3. Mix together dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture, about 1/3 at a time and mix well after each addition. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spoon or spatula.

4. Spoon batter onto cookie sheets that have been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray or lightly buttered. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Let sit for one minute after removing from oven. Then cool on wire racks.

NO EGGS?! 1/4 cup applesauce & 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
NO BAKING POWDER?! 1/4 teaspoon baking soda & 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

I'm taking these to our THIRD Annual Cookie Day at work! mmm. There will be all sorts of goodies. 

*I'd say 80% of the time I type pumpking.
 It happens to be a yummy fall beer.

Monday, November 28, 2011

blogging + Christmas music

Sometimes when I'm not quite sure what to blog about I find myself wandering through posts I started way back when. There are around 70 or so and some are over a year old. It's a little bit of nostalgia, and I like it. Sometimes I'm able to develop them into post, other times they are just a thought that does quite go where I expected.

Back in September 2010 it was about finding my blogging voice, whether that's sharing a bit of what's been going on in my life (that's not my life, obviously, but I found it inspiring) or making sure you see these fun videos! I thought to myself, just because I'm late to the {blogging} party doesn't mean I can't have a great time. And I am, I'm quite enjoying myself.

And without further ado... let's get some Christmas music up in here!

It's that time of year when the world falls in love, every song you hear seems to say Merry Christmas, may your new year's Dreams come true.

And this song of mine in three quater time wishes you and yours the same thing too.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

deck the halls

soooo pretty.

such a mess!!!

Decorating for the holidays is such a delight with the boxes you get to open, the color on the tree, the decoration  - once they're in place. 
Of course there is the time inbetween when there are boxes all over the house and it's doesn't seem like it will end.

We're takling the tree one box at a time, one night at time. 

I can't wait to share the finished product. 
It will be a winter wonderland.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


As I {st}rolled through my reader this morning I enjoyed reliving many Thanksgiving celebrations and taking note of what others are thankful for. So before I start gushing about how excited I am for Christmas-time I decided to take a moment and share what I am thankful for. 

I'm thankful for my wonderful boyfriend Matt who bought me a glass blowingworking groupon, rode with me two hours to Dearborn, drove when I couldn't handle the lights anymore (bad reflective glasses?), was ready to just kill three hours waiting for me during the class, then drove us back home staying patient even when my shotty navigation kept taking us out our way. I'm truly thankful for all that he offers me and the love he brings into my life. 

Last year I did a bit of sharing what I was thankful for each day on blog posts in November. I'll bring that back next year for sures, because as I was trying to remember all that I am thankful for on Thursday it was hard to list everything.
Here is my list from last year. I am thankful for my cozy home. amazing, creative people like those who've made these videos. my orange boots. [not being afraid of color, wearing five different, solid blocks of color today. maybe too much of good thing.] hope. dreams. adventure. hope. this new beginning. a fresh start, the perk of a monday.  the sunshine streaming in. warming my heart and home! feeling whole and goal filled! having hair that i usually don't hate.
I did a quick search of my blog and found these things that I shared my thanks for, Lauren at the little things we do does a good job asking you to fill in the blank of what your thankful for the whole year through.

I am thankful for new love, family, the holiday season, a great meal, my wonderful home, sweet kitties, a good job, loud laughter, ridiculousness, friends, honesty, caring, silliness, happiness and seeing the beauty of everyday.

I am so thankful for the love and support I have in my life. The good health of [most] everyone I care for. I'm thankful that I'm strong on my own as well. 

The best things catch me by surprise and then I'm thankfully reminded how beautiful the world is.
Today I am thankful for an hour long chat with intelligent co-workers from a different workgroup.

This is my list from this past Thursday 2011:

Thankful for: Matt, family, kitties, friends, sleeping in, good food, my health, coffee, the Olympics, apple cider, the holiday season, laughter, family and friends x2, tights, color, travel, my job, football, dog shows ;), music, television, sunshine, snow, oranges, apples, hot showers, a roof over my head, the silly kitties, and once again Matt! That's a ton of stuff, and I'd come up with more but it's time to take a hot shower and put on some tights and spend the day with Matt and his lovely family celebrating all that we are thankful for!!

What I'm trying to say is, there is SO MUCH to be thankful for. 
Life is good.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Matt + Movember

I feel like it's grown even longer since this picture was taken Sunday.

My good sir has earned $220!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Traverse City // Mission Peninsula // November 5 & 6

Traverse City // Mission Peninsula // November 5 & 6

You know it's going to be a good weekend when your waiter says, "I don't normally say this, but you know you guys are ordering a lot of food, right?" Oh, we knew it and it was and it was so totally worth it.

This weekend was total decadence. As much as we loved the food there's no photographic evidence, but here it is in drinks and scenery.

2 lads winery

the views at 2 lads

A walk. The colors were STUNNING. 
Thankful for micro-climates!

We're adorbs. per ushe. ;)

The Jolly Pumpkin

Right Brain Brewery

Bowers Harbor

Finally, the view from our room at the Tesoro Inn a beautiful, contemporary bed and breakfast!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

questions & senses & links

1.   A nervous habit I have is probably avoidance on annoyance. When I'm nervous I'll either avoid the situation or get annoyed that it hasn't been resolved. (If they'd just asked me...)

2.   Something that makes me sad is when other people are sad.

3.  Today I am thankful for a productive afternoon. We finally took care of our leaves, picked up my sewing machine, bought an iPhone, Heather's Restaurant for dinner, and Tim Horton's doughnuts for breakfast tomorrow! Now tv and veggin'. A Happy Saturday.

4. My favorite room in my house is the living room. It's where we fort, where we eat, where we snuggle, where we tv/movie/read/mac. That room gets a lot of love and we love it. I wonder what Matt's favorite room is and why... his answer: "My favorite room is the living room. That's where I can relax. If we were to get a comfier chair, it might be the library."

5.  I can't stand not knowing how best to respond to a situation or how I should act in the first place.

6.  If I had an extra $100 to spend on whatever I wanted today I would save it for our annual Christmas shopping trip that's just two weeks away!!!

7.  The last person I hung out with was, well if you don't count was my bowling team, Split Happens, Thursday night. I was mediocre. It's all about the social wellness!

Craving: Apple Cider, crisp and refreshing.
Making: an advent calendar for December. I hope it comes out as I picture it.
Watching: Criminal Minds, backed up DVR.
Anticipating: the iPhone 4s making it's way to me.
Loving: the holiday season is here! don't you love that the holidays are there own season.
Feeling: ouchy, I have this sharp pain in my shoulder from a pulled muscle and there's no good way to soothe it.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Package Pals - What I Sent!

Is it a pile of stuff sitting on the living room table? 
(not that ever happens)

Is it a Christmas gift for someone over seas?
(subtle reminder to my Croatian readers)

NO! NO! Silly, it's...

brought to you by the sweet (and patient!) blogger Gentri Lee!
(how great is that name!)

 It was great to participate in package pals with such great bloggers!

"From Michigan to Idaho (the mitten to the potatoes!!) a goodie box full of great etsy finds, some sweet treats and a few more surprises made it's way to my package pal Karly! It was fun to break out the kraft paper and finger knitting and share a bit of myself with a new pal."

Here are a few more snaps of the package I sent off to Utah:

the box was lined with different scrapbook papers & once contained a 4x6 frame and photo album I sent off the picture frame with the list of all the goodies in it!
plum disco beads / finger knitting via me! / isavirtue notebook
Lemon Heads / Red Hots / a disposable camera! / Jones soda lid with a secret message ;) / a note
All wrapped up and ready to head to Idaho!!! 

And off she went.
Isn't sending and receiving mail the best?!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

my {semi} grown up Christmas list

I've got Christmas on the brain my friends! And why not...

I'm sure you're anxiously awaiting a holiday gift giving list from me, I guess you don't even have to buy these things for me!

a fabulous 10x10 print from Alicia Block 


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