Thursday, March 22, 2018

i'm proud of you.

Sometimes, all it takes to feel better is to hear that someone, anyone, notices your hard work and can appreciate it. A lot of times though, it goes unnoticed. 

And who wants to ask for appreciation? I’ll admit, I’ve asked for that validation in my life and more times than none, it doesn’t feel authentic enough to truly accept it. Asking for someone to say “I’m proud of you” is nearly the same as asking someone to tell you that they love you. You shouldn’t have to ask, right?

Anyway, I’m guilty on both ends… I want someone to notice, and to say something, but I think there are also times where I don’t say it nearly as much as I should… although, I always try.

So… I’m proud of you. I’m VERY proud of you.

I’m proud of you for making the world a better place, by being a good person.

I'm proud of you for being who you are.

I’m proud of you for taking care of your kids and raising them to be kind, gentle people but also tough enough to stand their own ground if push comes to shove.

I’m proud of you for taking care of your pets.

I’m proud of you for taking care of the housework and making that house a home.

I’m proud of you for going into work every day, even though you’d rather be on vacation.

I’m proud of you for forgiving them.

I’m proud of you for not eating that snack that you really wanted too… but knew you shouldn’t have.

I’m proud of you for treating yourself and allowing yourself whatever freedom you needed.

I’m proud of you for doing what you didn’t think you could do… Whatever that might be.

I’m just really proud of you.

Thanks for being here. Thanks for being an example of strength and honesty. This world needs compassion and hope. The world needs you.

I'd encourage you to let someone know you're proud of them. Especially moms, dads and partners. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

it's getting a little linky in here.

I recently posted some pictures to my Instagram of our house on a sunny Sunday and gosh I wish it were that clean all the time. Speaking of which, you've heard of minimalism, right? Well, get ready for maximalism. TBH, sounds like my kind of party. I am ALL about colors, plants, and keepsakes. I recently came upon this this and I can't stop looking at her home. GOALS.

I just read that Little Fires Everywhere could potentially be picked up as a TV show (here). Which means, I'll need to read it soon! I also really enjoyed Big Little Lies which also had ties to Reese Witherspoon so hopefully she doesn't let me down.

Found this guide all about beer events happening in Cleveland this month. Some of those pique'd my interest and might be very worth going to! 

Speaking of events in Cleveland, don't forget to put Third Friday at 78th Street in your calendar for March 16th! It's really worth it, I promise! 

RENOVATION TIME! Cade and I are finally getting a queen sized mattress (buhbye full!) and I can't wait to have all that extra space! I'm thinking about getting a bed frame  from IKEA which means another trip to Columbus may be in order, soon! 

Here are a list of the books that I plan to read in the month of March in case anyone either wants to read along, or wants to let me know what they thought! (no spoilers, please!)

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
You by Caroline Kepnes
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

HEY MYSTERY/CRIME NOVEL JUNKIES! A brand new website has graced our interwebs and it's incredible! It's called CrimeReads and it's everything you need. I'm obsessed!

Another new (to me) Podcast that I have been listening to a lot lately is Someone Knows Something. Specifically this newest season has me on the edge of my seat! I genuinely think they might solve this case which is all the more reason to check it out. Very good! 

Finishing off with another post about home goods (surprise, surprise!). I recently found out about this company, d + k renewal. I would like two of everything! No, but seriously, if you're into decor and eclectic/bohemian designs then you should check out their Instagram. It's heavenly and definitely provides inspiration! 

Thanks for following along! Have a great rest of your week :) 

Monday, March 5, 2018

february book recap (100 words or less)

Hello, hello! Time for my lightning fast February book reviews.

Between my birthday, surprise trips, dinners with friends AND the occasional shopping trips, I had a heck of a time finishing books in February. There were days in a row that I would go without reading. That was a bummer! BUT, somehow I managed to still complete four books... So that lifted my spirits a little. 

In February, I read: 

Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Everything I Never Told You
A Man Called Ove
In a Dark, Dark Wood

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Bernadette is a wife to Elgie and a mom to Bee, and a world renowned architect. The family lives in a slummy, unique house that has blackberry vines growing under their floor boards. Bee, a scholar and too smart for her own good, remind her parents of a promise they made which was a family trip to ... Antarctica! While planning the trip, Bernadette gets herself into trouble... One thing leads to another and eventually, Bee and Elgie are forced to search for missing Bernadette.

I had SO much fun reading this book. It's essentially a compilation of emails, faxes, conversations, etc. instead of typical story telling. You're  playing the detective and really getting to know each character in a different perspective. I give this book ALL of the thumbs up and what's more is that they're turning it into a movie! Coming out in May 2018 and you betcha I'll be seeing that.

Everything I Never Told You

Lydia Lee goes missing, and is eventually found dead in a lake near her house. While her family is left to try and piece together either what happened, or what went wrong, they uncover so many questions they have, and missed opportunities they had. Together, James (father), Marilyn (mother), Nath (brother) and Hannah (sister) will share their story and what Lydia, and the rest of the family means to them.

Get your emotions ready with this one! For a fictional novel, this sure is deeply personal. When reading this, I found myself not thinking... I didn't try to piece anything together, I didn't try to figure out what might have happened. I just read and took it all in. I got so lost in this book that I felt like I knew each character on a personal level. It's a great story and I would HIGHLY recommend this one. My only suggestion would be to immerse yourself in the story, don't try to figure anything out or make any assumptions.

A Man Called Ove

Ove is a grumpy old man with only one objection in mind. It's a simple plan and shouldn't take much time, thought, or effort. But when everything goes a frenzy and one delay causes another, causes another, Ove becomes frustrated and engulfed in situations. By reflecting on his past and keeping that objection in mind - Ove does his best to stay on course.

When I started this book, I genuinely thought I'd have to give it up before I could make it halfway. The old grumpy man, Ove, is seemingly racist, rude and incredibly disrespectful. ...and then you get to know him, and his past, and kind of figure out why he is the way he is. It uncovers details of his upbringing and the love of his life, Sonja and the life they lived. By the end of the book you really fall in love with Ove. I laughed out loud, I got very angry, and I had a stream of tears coming down my face for the last few chapters. A book has never made me feel this way and I will strongly urge everyone reads this. I don't think I'll ever forget this book, or Ove. 

In a Dark, Dark Wood

Nora (or Lee, or Leo, or Leonora) is living her life as a crime writer in London when she receives an email from an unknown address asking her to join in on a "hen" night for an old friend, Clare. Nora, not sure whether it's legit or not decides to go with another mutual friend, Nina. What starts as a semi-typical bachelorette weekend party quickly turns scary... Can Nora remember the details to save herself? 

I didn't get a lot of time to read during my weekend but when I did, I couldn't put this down. In all it took me four sittings to finish it (a couple of them only an hour). It's very suspenseful and will keep you guessing until the end! To be honest, I tried and tried but really couldn't pin point who the guilty person was until "they" came forward! Very good, and very thrilling! 

I've already got my March books planned out and can't wait to get started! As always, let me know if you read something great! There's not much better than having a friend to discuss a book with. 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

life lately.

I'm not entirely sure why, but I've been a little unmotivated to blog lately. I don't know if it's maybe the lack of something to write, or some other underlying reason that I haven't figure out yet. Regardless, I reminded myself this past weekend that I should really try to make a post at some point this week. 

So, without further adieu, please enjoy my "life lately" which is mainly just a bunch of random photos from my phone and some words to go along with them. TA-DA!

My mom got me the cutest little monthly/daily calendar and planner for Christmas and I made a point to write about my day, every day. It's been really great so far and I already love looking back to see if I can remember other details about that particular day. I've also made notes of certain things to keep track of, like, watering my plants, paying certain bills, etc. Organization is key, right?!

Speaking of plants - Now that the sun is trying a little harder to show itself (you're welcome anytime now, Spring!), I've been cleaning and nurturing my plants a little more. Over this past weekend, I had some one on one time with my ZZ plant and wiped each individual leaf with coconut oil. They look so shiny and healthy that even I started to question if this was a real plant... Don't be fooled though, it's real! 

Cade and I recently saw the movie Annihilation and it was beyond amazing. First off, Natalie Portman(!!!). Is that not enough for some of you? OK, fine. Very intriguing story line, beautiful cinematography, moves at a perfect pace (not too slow, not too fast) and just the perfect amount of thrill.  You'll be doing yourself a favor to grab some popcorn, a nice beverage and enjoying this movie. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about it, but truth be told, I think this might be a movie that I watch over and over. 

Did I tell you about my new prints? I purchased a couple to add to our collection and I love them so much!

Meandering Mississippi # 11 from Parish Ink. A small, local Louisiana shop that we fell in love with a couple years ago when we visited. 

Vive La Louisiane by Aaron Draplin. Louisiana related again, but could you resist those groovy 70's tones and all the little phrases and quirks about the different towns/cities/parishes? Irresistible if you're asking me! 

I've been attempting new patterns and styles of crocheting lately and I have this really great idea in mind... I just need to make it come to life. I really hope I can get this figured out, ASAP but regardless... Crocheting is so relaxing and it gives me something to do! 

I've found my truly favorite home cooked meal. It's also very simple, and VERY cheap. Ready for this?... Quinoa, chicken, red pepper hummus, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers and feta cheese. Throw all of that in a dish and enjoy! The flavor, you guys. THE FLAVOR!

You know it's a good weekend for me when I get to spend some quality time with Lilah. Gosh, I love her so. The "older" she gets the more she develops into her own style and I really think she's going to be a force to be reckoned with. She has the happiest, most bubbly personality that instantly makes you smile, and her intelligence is really coming through. At 18 months, if you say "ready... ONE" she says "TWO, FREE!!!" very excitedly. You can't help but smile big and just kind of stare in complete and utter awe. Here we are hanging out under the dining room table while all the measly adults sit "properly" and eat lunch. 

And last, but not least; Cade and I took this past Monday off and we decided to be productive (grocery shopping... YAY!) and ventured over to the east side of Cleveland. While over there we went to breakfast AND lunch. Breakfast was at this cute little coffee shop and bakery called The Stone Oven. We got the pastries down to the left and some tea and coffee. Then, for lunch we went to Choolaah and I kiiiiiind of, maybe, ate my weight in Indian BBQ. I really can't help myself when I'm there. It's SO good. 


Whew, ok now that wasn't so difficult! Can you believe February is coming to an end?! I've already got my February book recap post nearly complete so be on the look-out for that! 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

a surprise getaway [day two]

Looking back now, it's crazy how much we fit in a two day span. But at no point did it feel rushed, or stressful... I guess that's what happens when someone plans the entire trip in great detail (thanks again, Cade!). 

On day two, we woke up and immediately got dressed for the day. No dilly-dally'ing or wasting time. It also could've had something to do with hunger, but let's pretend like we're just very motivated individuals who are always ready to get a new, great day started, ha! 

Breakfast! We went to the cutest, well-known cafe around - Fox in the Snow. We've been to a few other local, smaller places in Columbus and they are usually totally worth avoiding the crowds so this was an exception. But, in this case, we decided to go where everyone goes. We also got really lucky and a table opened up just as we placed our order so we took it immediately! 

We tried a few of the pastries, and Cade got their coffee while I got my chai latte. Everything was scrumptious and well made. In fact, I'm still dreaming of that strawberry pastry. 

After breakfast, it was still early so we decided to go to North Market and walk around. There were the most beautiful bouquets that I had to photograph (of course) and pretend that it was spring already. The lady who owns the shop was incredibly kind and even suggested that I move things around, or take the signs out so that I could really get the best photos. 

We also got a few (or several) new spices to add to our collection from the Spice Market! 

CHEEEEESE. I explained to the fellow behind the counter that we were travelling and that it probably wouldn't keep well in the car all day, but that everything looked so delicious. I then told him how much I love cheese, but because I tend to go on and on, I cut myself off. I bet he was very thankful for that! So I didn't get any, nor did I try any... But they sure look incredible, am I right?

And here are a few other photos I took at the North Market: 

So, fun fact: Did you know that I enjoy reading? PSYCH! It's been a show this whole time. Kidding, but do you know what's NOT a joke? The book loft in the German Village. THIRTY TWO rooms full of books. Books that you didn't even know could, should or would exist. Just books on top of books on top of books. Mostly all on sale, or at a small discount. I can't stress enough that it has


And, to nearly close off our trip to Columbus we, again, had to pay a visit to Hoof Hearted Brewing. We really love this place and they have yet to let us down. 

Lastly, and not pictured; our trip to IKEA! Yes, we walked the wrong way nearly our entire trip through the store, and yes those infamous Swedish meatballs didn't sit well with Cade or I and also, yes we got a lot more than we actually needed because "when in IKEA"... BUT most importantly, we WERE IN HEAVEN. The closest I have ever been to an IKEA was watching "500 Days of Summer" and that really doesn't count. So I was really looking forward to it and it did not disappoint. We got a few small furniture items, some pillows and pillow cases, candles, fake plants, ALL OF IT.

PHEW! I know this was only a couple of weeks ago, but I'm ready to go back! What a fun trip, and time well spent with my mister. As I mentioned in my last post, the photos are fun to look back on, but the conversation and the hand holding, and being away from everything are really what I loved most about the weekend. 

But for real, Cade... Can we go back now?! 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

let's just stay home tonight.

I'm just going to cut straight to the point - I love being at home. I love peace and quiet in my house and I love cuddling up on the couch, under a blanket, after a long day and reading a book or watching TV/listening to a record, or simply just chatting with Cade. I also enjoy going out every now and then... Whether it's meeting up with friends or family for an occasion, or just Cade and I going out to dinner and/or an event. The majority of the time though, if I had my preference... I'd probably just stay home. It's funny, because I say that and then I'll protest sometimes that "I just really want to stay home and do nothing!" until I'm out, having fun and inevitably it leads to me saying something along the lines of being really happy that I decided to go out after all. Where that feeling went a few days later when I'm protesting to stay home again, I have no clue. Regardless, I'm a home-body.

Speaking, really quickly, of staying home.. Have you ever heard of this brand? I came across them a couple years ago and truly admire so much of what they sell. Plus, the name is perfect - "Stay Home Club"? SIGN ME UP.

OK, ok, ok. Back to my main point. Now, I'm no connoisseur of all things "on trend" when it comes to what I enjoy when staying home, but... here are some of my favorite things! 

BOOKS (or, not...)

I'm not going to get into books because I already have a whole post dedicated to that, so you can reference this post for those suggestions. I did have a fun idea from a friend about another book-related post though! I think I might go forward with that soon.


I got Cade a record player for his birthday and we've already taken so much advantage of having it. We got this brand of a turntable and it works great. Quality of product and sound are superb!

OCS Modest Mouse (We didn't purchase this set, but have a few of their albums)

NETFLIX (or Amazon, or HBO, or Hulu) and ... relax. 

Here are a list of shows that we have thoroughly enjoyed watching and I am totally, 100% willing to suggest them.  

Game of Thrones on HBO -- OBVIOUSLY this had to be number one. Obviously.
Westworld on HBO -- Season two starts April 22! 
The Great British Baking Show on Netflix. Watch this and then say it with me "THE LAYERS!"
Sneaky Pete on Amazon Prime
Goliath on Amazon Prime
Bob's Burgers - This airs on Fox, but we watch it on Hulu.

...and here is a list that I, personally, have enjoyed sans Cade.

The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu. Season two begins April 25th! 
The Crown on Netflix, your majesty.
The Newsroom on HBO. This is a little older and no more new episodes or seasons... but a great show nonetheless! 

Ms Elaneous, let's do something different. Shall we? (see what I did there? No. OK..) Miscellaneous 

Fancy dinner night ~ This one is always fun and there is great reward at the end. All you have to do is find a meal with at least 100 steps and calculate who will do what without an argument ensuing and voila! You have made yourself a three course meal to enjoy at 8 in the evening. 

We love a good game night sometimes. We own a plethora of board games - Monopoly (traditional set AND Stranger Things), Battlefield, Scrabble, Connect Four, Guess Who... You name it, we (probably) got it.

Friends night! Sorry, is this selfish? I don't want to go out, so you come here. Eh, regardless. We love having company over and making dinner while hanging out. 

Artsy fartsy. Let's paint! We've been known, on occasion, to whip out our paints and canvases in hopes of creating something. 

Cleaning. LAME - I should remove this one, but I'm trying to be truthful here.

Last but not least, there are those random evenings where you make dinner, sit at the dinner table to enjoy said meal and a couple hours later you're still just sitting there.. having great conversation over a drink or two. What's that old saying? "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time". TRUE. Plus, sometimes those long, uninterrupted conversations with a person you admire, watching their face glow discussing their passions, or what they love, is truly worth more than anything else that could possibly be going on.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

a surprise getaway. [day one]

Last weekend, Cade completely surprised me with a pre-planned getaway. He did his research and made sure everything was taken care of (with the help of some very kind friends) and didn't say a word of it until I got home from work on Friday. The only thing he said, and asked was that I not make any plans for the weekend of the 10th, and that, if possible, it would be great if I could take a half day from work. Done, and done! 

When I got home from work on Friday, everything was all set. He surprised me with this birthday spinner to help keep us on the move without having to put too much thought into our next plan and we were off to Columbus! 

Here are a list of the places we visited during our little trip: 

Hoof Hearted Brewing
Seventh Son Brewing
Martini Modern Italian
Novak's Tavern
Fox in the Snow
North Market
Book Loft
Columbus IKEA

When we arrived in Columbus on Friday afternoon, our AirBNB wasn't quite ready so we headed over to Hoof Hearted and had a quick beer to kill some time. After that, we dropped everything off at the BNB and got ready for our special night! (Side note: on the way down to Columbus we stopped a couple times to check out some stores so that I could find a new outfit and I ended up getting one at ... Old Navy! Crazy fashionista, am I right?!) So, new outfit and all, we headed out for our special night. We primarily used Uber the entire evening (safety first!) and really liked every driver we had. They were all so friendly! Love when you get a good person to drive you around :) 

First stop! Seventh Son. When Cade and I first went here a year and a half'ish ago, we immediately knew it wouldn't be our last. Great little stop, and the staff is super friendly. Oh, and the drinks are good too, I suppose! 

We each had a couple of drinks and chatted about this and that. It was mainly me just repeatedly saying things like "I can't believe you planned all of this!" ... "I swear I'm not going to cry in a public place, but I just love you so much for all of this" ... and then the occasional "alright!" said in my best Linda Belcher voice.

After we left Seventh Son we still had some time to kill. So we decided to Uber to the restaurant and just walk into somewhere near there for a drink, or to check out a shop. Right next to Seventh Son was a place called "Novak's Tavern" and we decided to check it out. You go up the steps and it's a really nice, local-feeling bar. The bartenders were incredibly friendly and the one, Alexa, and I actually kind-of had something in common. Que "it's a small world after all". Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures here, but that's only because the conversation was so good that I didn't want to take my phone out. 


Yep, date time. We had a great table with a beautiful view of the restaurant and kitchen and the meals... Oh boy. They were unbelievably good. Seriously, you wouldn't believe me if I tried to describe them.

This bread was magnificent and mouth-watering, "ugh!" worthy bread and then you throw in that pesto sauce... Phenomenal!    

I had the chicken carbonera for the first time in MY ENTIRE LIFE and why did I wait so long?! WHY!?

To top it all off, we finished our meal with that cheesecake pictured at the top. It's a mascarpone cheesecake and truly was the icing on top. Every bit of this dinner was incredible and again... the staff was friendly as could be. I'm sounding like a broken record, I know. 

When the meal was finished we were full of food and excitement. It was getting a little late and we knew that we had a full itinerary for the next day so we opted to head back for bed rather than stay out further. Definitely a good decision on our part (hello rest and water!).

This feels like it's already getting a bit long so I'm going to save "day two" for another post. 

Thanks for reading, and for letting me share a bit of our fantastic date night. The pictures, and the memories are incredible, but the conversations and the special moments are what I'll remember most. I sure do love that man of mine and I am beyond blessed that he loves me enough to have planned something like this.