Friday, October 20, 2017

It's Friday, witches (Halloween Inspired links)

How cute are these pumpkin ideas from Lauren Conrad?!

I'm also really in love with some of these ideas.

While we're on the Halloween train, have you ever looked at all of Jimmy Kimmel's half and half costume designs throughout the years?! They always give me a good laugh.

Anyone else hate scary movies? Here's a list of non-scary Halloween related movies. I recently already watched Nightmare before Christmas and Corpse Bride. I think I'm willing to give Beetlejuice another shot. I never liked it as a kid, but I might be ready to try again.

Most importantly ... ONE MORE WEEK UNTIL STRANGER THINGS! Here's the countdown.

Not so much Halloween related as it is just kind of spooky related, but I recently started reading this book and I can already tell it's going to be a page turner. But, I mean... can Paula Hawkins do anything wrong?

Eat too much candy lately? No worries, there's a detox for that!

Patton Oswalt just released his new stand-up special on Netflix titled "Annihilation" and it's wonderful, and funny, and sweet, and perfect!

I think that's all for me! Happy Friday, enjoy the weekend and eat some candy.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

On being an aunt.

Lying peacefully in her bed, in a dark room that she was sharing with her grandma and mom after a fun-filled girls night, was a happy, wide eyed little gal. She wasn't crying or moving around... In fact, if you didn't see her toothy smile through the little light that the crack in the door allowed, then you'd never know she was awake. I quietly opened the door for the third time since I woke up at 6:30 to see if the princess was awake yet. It felt like Christmas morning waiting for the entire family to wake up. I was fine to let her sleep however long she wanted, or needed to. So when I opened the door at 7:30, I finally heard a little "coo" that I took as "I'm awake, you can have me now". I picked her up and walked out of the room. She nuzzled her forehead between my neck and my shoulder as if all those years ago, I grew into a body that she would feel comfortable on. I gently tip toed down the hall way, into the living room housing the air mattress that I was sleeping on, with a big cozy comforter and the faintest light that the morning could offer. We snuggled for a few minutes until she was awake and ready to play. Shortly after, we were joined by aunt Ashley and together we followed her all through the house and let her get into whatever she wanted. We even let her spill a little cup of water on the ground because the smile it brought her from holding and drinking it herself was more worth it than not. 

The rest of that Sunday morning I spent tirelessly chasing her around the house, and even outside. I didn't get a single sip of coffee, and I ate my breakfast while standing up in the middle of the kitchen while letting her have every other bite. I know that I'm not a mom, and I will forever have an immense amount of respect for every mom out there. But what I am is an aunt. I get to steal her for hours at a time, or have a morning with just the two of us that renews every downfall that I might have faced that week. I get to do 1% of what moms do and I make sure to take advantage of 100% of that time. 

Sometimes I'll be on the phone, or Facetime with Jess or my mom and every once in a blue moon they'll say something along the lines of how rotten, or fussy she's been that day and I always come back with "oh, but she's so cute, how can you be mad?!" I think that should be the international slogans of aunts everywhere... 

"They're so perfect, how could they do anything wrong?". 

Being an aunt is the ultimate gift. Being an aunt to Lilah is something that I don't quite know how to put into words, but I'll forever keep trying to explain it until I can get it right. Watching my sister become a mom has made me a proud sister. Watching my mom be a grandma ensures that I'll never lose sight of my own childhood from when she was the best mom to us. I know Lilah is surrounded by pure, authentic and unrefined love and for someone who can't speak yet, she gives it all back in her own ways, that only she can do. I don't know if this is understandable to anyone who isn't an aunt, but it makes perfect sense to me. 

I love being "aunt nae". It's held high as the best title I've ever had. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

The dreamiest date night.

Just as I got home from work on Thursday and was putting on my comfy clothes, I got a call from Cade. He asked me if I wanted to go on a date with him that night. "YES!" I exclaimed over the phone as I'm buttoning my jeans back up. It takes a lot for me to prefer to wear work clothes over comfy clothes, but a date night is right up there as the main exception.

When he got home we played with Frankie outside for a little bit so that he could get the fun time in and exercise that he needed before we headed out. While standing outside I said "I'm not saying that I'm necessarily only hungry for pizza, but I was thinking about going  to Citizen Pie?" and he let out a little "psshht" followed by "that is exactly what I had in mind, too!". Does that mean we're meant?! Cause I kinda think so. But it could also just mean that Citizen Pie is really, that good.

So we ordered our dinner and sat at the bar. Between the delicious pizza and the guy completely mesmerizing us by how perfectly he made the pizzas, we didn't really say much. But it was perfect nonetheless! We finished dinner and went over to the best little secret in Ohio City - The Market Avenue Wine Bar. I had a 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet (my first one EVER in that year - worth all the hype) and Cade tried a Spanish red (which was, like, mouth watering-ly flavorful and nearly perfect in every way). It should also be noted that Madeline (our waitress) is a Sommelier and all I wanted was for her to sit down with us and just talk about it all night while perfectly pronouncing all the different regions that the wines come from and their respective names. So, I guess we were mesmerized by two people during this particular night.

When the date night came to a close and we headed to our car, I noticed that the streets were empty but it was so beautiful. The house lights were on, and the hanging bulbs from those upstairs decks/porches made it seem like something out a movie. I know I brag on Cleveland a lot, but crowded streets or empty streets, this town has it going on. 

I live for these dreamy date nights and the handsome man that I get to call my husband. The guy who stops at the drop of a dime when I absolutely have to take this photo, and the guy who enjoys a nice glass of wine with me (he has a better palette than I do, by the way). I don't know what kind of spell I put on him to make him love me, but I hope it never wears off. And if it does, I hope he's been convinced enough to stay with me anyway!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Guilty feet have no rhythym, guys.

George Michael just came on my shuffle and I had to stop everything I was doing to serenade Cade to "Careless Whispers". Just in case you guys wanted a little glimpse into our every day life. It's going really great if you ask me!

OK, now that I got that out of the way. Let's focus on the important thing. Me. (just kidding!)

I've probably said it before, and I'll probably say it again - GO TO THE BEACHES OF CLEVELAND! If you're laughing then I totally get it. Don't feel bad about it. But, you'd be impressed. I swear! I took my fam there last weekend and there was only good things to say all around. Clean, peaceful, and it feels slightly tropical! 

Update on the playlist: Hall and Oates. iTunes is slaying it right now.

My work station (^^) the other night and let me tell you; "work" is so much better when there is wine involved.  

This is from the tree in front of our house and it's beautiful. I wish it could stay all year 'round! 

A recent sunrise. There's really nothing to say to this. Just perfection.

I'm not much of a gambler, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that my phone case might be cooler than yours. Star Wars? Flowers? What more could you possibly ask for?

If Cade and I weren't already married then I would probably have our wedding here at Rocky River. It's my little slice of Heaven. I know it's not all mine, but it feels like it sometimes. Also, do you see that quirky little face formed out of the rocks? 

I never know how to finish these random posts sometimes... So, bye. 

JK, I wouldn't do you like that. I am working on a puzzle and it's been consuming a lot of my time lately (time well spent!). I'm finding out that I might be in the minority of people who have a pure, enduring love for puzzles still. Where's the puzzle popularity, guys?!

This was taken on Sunday when I first got the puzzle and now (Wednesday'ish) it is roughly 50% completed. Hashtag: Progress. (Next up in my puzzle queue you ask? Star Wars, obviously.)

May the force be with you!  

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Links of Interest [October Edition]

Puppy of my dreams right there.

Quick! If you're looking for a unique, and interesting shirt to wear during your next best day ever, then you should order one of Cade's Viking Biking shirts here!

Did you all catch the new Star Wars trailer for The Last Jedi? I know I've said this for every Star Wars trailer or teaser but ... SO MANY QUESTIONS!

Do you have an online "happy place"? This work instantly calms me! Those colors...

I seriously LOVE those celeb look alike comparison photos, but these are a new playing field. The Jack Black one seriously cracked me up! 

I already posted one of his articles on Facebook, but Tom Verducci (via Sports Illustrated) is being seriously harsh towards the Cleveland Indians. His most recent article only furthers my point. Bully much?

PODCASTS! Listen to them? My favorites are Revisionist HistoryMy Favorite Murder, and the newly released Do you know who Jason Segel is? (I have a major crush on Jason, TBH).

Sorry for the radio silence, I've just had the best weekend (it kept me busy as can be, but totally worth it), and watching my Indians (hopefully) advance past the ALDS. Be back soon with some new posts! 

Have a happy week! 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Fall Y'all!

My first favorite season is winter (whatever!), but my second favorite is definitely fall. Also, for anyone interested, it's then proceeded by spring and then last and certainly least is summer. Am I the only person alive who has a real, genuine hatred for summer? I don't even feel slightly bad for saying that either. It's just heat, and sweating and not being comfortable outside, but feeling guilty for being inside. Just not my cup of tea... But I digress! 

OK, so anyway. I had a little photo shoot outside because 64 degrees with a slight breeze and just the right amount of sun is what my dreams are made of. My 'mum' bought me those mums ^^ up there and I guess I just never realized how much I love mums. I mean, look at them! Such beauts. I guess that's one thing I enjoy about the warmer weather is the fact that plants / flowers / gardens can thrive, and grow out there. SO OK, THERE'S ONE THING. Anyway, I have my apple pumpkin candle lit and all my pumpkin-themed decor out... It's a wonderful thing. Also, I'm going to hang my spooky Halloween sign up here soon so I'm definitely "about this life".

Calling all you "good-deal-lovers"! These little ceramic pumpkins are only $1 at Target. ONE DOLLAR! I should've bought 10 of 'em, but these three are just perfect for now. 

SEEEE what I mean about the outside photo-shoot. Also, back on that Target deal thing; those bigger pumpkins were only $3. Actually now that I think about it, I should go back and stock up ASAP.

(Terrible picture, I know. But I wanted to post it anyway.)

 ^^^ New read. SO GOOD. Cade surprised me with it as a gift because he knows two very important things about me. 1.) I LOVE writing. I mean, I regularly write in a journal, AND I have a blog. 2.) I want to write what I enjoy writing about, but also what other people might be interested in reading. This book is answering ALL of my questions, and teaching me so much. I'm only a few chapters in, but highly recommended! 

 Happy Fall Y'all! (Don't care how often that phrase is said, it's always fun to me!)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

My opinion on soy sauce. [A challenge by Cade]

I don't know if it's because I'm a sucker for girl scout cookies and boy scout popcorn, or if it's that I just don't know how to say "no" to them. Or maybe it's because I've literally been there (done that) and anything younger than 18 is too early to know that kind of rejection... But I have YET to say "no, thank you" to a kid that offers me girl scout cookies or boy scout popcorn. I know what you're thinking right now - what does this have to do with soy sauce? Well, [your name here], Cade so kindly challenged me to write creatively with no event, or planned topic. Just write. He'd give me a subject and I had to write... right then and there. (OK, I made the last part up because he gave me this challenge over dinner and I had a mouth full of pasta at the time and was no where near my laptop.) Anyway, I couldn't say no. But of course, as all marriages go, I turned it into a compromise. Cause why would I just do something willy-nilly with nothing in return? SO, that illustration up there ^^ yeah, that was his part of the bargain. I think it worked out pretty fairly.

OK, so back to soy sauce. Here's the thing - I love it. When we go to Japanese or Chinese restaurants I usually double up on the soy sauce. Sorry to any Yum Yum sauce fans, not my cup of sauce. Also, with sushi!! It's so funny because two things I have to have with sushi is soy sauce and a lemon. Which kind of sound terrible alone together. But it's like heaven when combined over sushi. 

So my opinion is a good one for soy sauce. I'd prefer the sodium one, but my heart and body tell me I should get the low-sodium kind. HEALTH, AM I RIGHT?  

Should this post be all about soy sauce? Probably not. So let me say this; I read a book ... I mean, I am in the middle of reading a book that says, when writing, I need to make sure that what I'm writing is interesting to the reader. I hope this quick read has been interesting, but I also wanted to let you know that while this may be my blog, with my words and silly thoughts, I do it for you. I enjoy sharing the good parts of my days and I really enjoy writing.  I know I joked about it waaaay back at the beginning of this post, but I like the idea of these writing challenges from Cade. There's a whole list of reasons why, but mostly because I tend to be someone who has to put a lot of thought into what I'm posting or writing about, so to write something on the spot is a little nerve-wracking. It'll be good though. For me, and hopefully for you! I promise to keep it interesting as long as Cade promises to choose interesting topics. (Hopefully he doesn't ask me about my thoughts on climate change, or what wood is best to build an entertainment center) ... Also! don't be afraid to challenge me as well. I'm always up for something fun! 

Take care, be well, and buy the darn cookies and popcorn! 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A day with Lilah.

I created this post on Sunday (October 1) in the early afternoon... Before total darkness took over our country from what happened in Las Vegas. It's hard to focus on anything positive right now when so many are aching, and confused (myself included). However, I think it's SO important to find that glimmer of hope. Find something that makes you happy, count your blessings and don't forget to share your love. 

Quick story: every night before bed, I make a mental list of all of my blessings from that day. Saturday night, I was fighting sleep because my list was just so long (the day I'm going to talk about below). I think I even counted corn crops as a blessing... Anyway, I went to bed with a giant smile on my face and I slept so peacefully. It was a similar situation on Sunday night as well... I had a great weekend. But it ended so abruptly when I woke up on Monday morning. Monday night, when I went to bed it was hard to think of anything positive. I'm thankful for my family and friends and that I got to live one more day in this beautiful life... But it felt selfish. I fight with these feelings a lot but I always come back to focus on happy reminders. I hope you do too.


I mean, just look at her. Breaking your heart with sweetness, right? 

Last weekend, Cade and I met up with my mom and sister and we all took Lilah-loo to the Rufener's Fall Festival! Not only did I get to hold her for the barrel-tractor ride, but I also got to take her in the inflatable jump house, down the inflatable slide AND in the corn pit. Being an aunt has it's perks when it comes to doing things that are probably, really, only for kids. 

We were probably traveling at the speed of a snail, but nonetheless, it was exciting enough for her, which was exciting enough for me! Look at that face of pure excitement!! 

We barely fit in there, but still; we fit! 

This was, hands down, the best part of the day. Just a big ol' pit of corn that you can play in. My feet sunk directly to the bottom and Lilah could practically walk on top of it. 

Check out that kid in the background completely covered and living his best life.

She probably would've sat like this for hours... I know how much fun I was having in this (as a 20-something year old) so I can only imagine what it was like for her.

Guys, snot and all. I love that face! 

Can we do this again, stat?!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Life Lately [Downtown CLE]

Hey there, hi there! I say something similar to that when I greet Frankie when I get home that goes "hey derr, hi derr, ho derr" and then I get sad thinking about Hodor. If you don't get that reference then you should cancel any plans you have over the next month or so and just binge watch all of Game of Thrones. You'll probably thank me. Or you'll hate me. But I hope its thanking me! I'm a sensitive one. 

Anyway, hi there! I have been working on a very personal blog post for some time now and every time I go to write a new post, I find myself looking at that one and thinking "is today the day?" and then it's always a hard "no". I know I'll get to it one day, but not today! Today I just wanted to share a quick little tidbit of my time at the Indians game with friends a few evenings ago, and then a few hours of exploring downtown afterwards. To be totally honest with you all, I don't go downtown very often because a.) too many people b.) too many trendy restaurants / bars that all have the same crowd / offer the same things and c.) parking (duh!). No offense to downtown, I just enjoy the outside areas a little more.


Honesty time! ... I really thought that an Indians game on a Thursday afternoon would've been at least a little bit quiet (a.k.a kind of dead'ish) but I was SO wrong. Look at all these people! It was more exciting than not and I'm so happy it ended up this way (even if it took me 30+ minutes to find a parking garage). Also, we won! 

 This was my FIRST (yes, you read that right; first) ever Moscow Mule! I know what you're saying - "so?" but I can't believe it's taken me this long. Not that I think I'll have one again, but because they've been so trendy and talked about... It shouldn't have taken me this long!

 Then we finished the day off with an early dinner at Masthead! We all tried each other's pizzas and maybe even lipsticks (ahem, Clinton!). Have I mentioned how much I love good friends?


After such an exciting Thursday night, I decided to stay in on Friday night. You might have seen this photo already, but I wanted to talk about it again really quickly. I tidied up, did all the dishes, got my 'jammies on, and lit my fall scented candles - by 6 o'clock. Then, I proceeded to pour myself a glass of this Buckwheat Orange from Western Reserve Meadery and put on Beauty and the Beast for the second night in a row. Cade walked in the door from work / happy hour with new colleagues right around the same time that our dinner was delivered and it was, like, the Friday night of my dreams. Lazy / productive / relaxing / comfortable. 

Posting this a little later than I originally planned to so rather than saying "happy weekend", I'm going to say "happy week ahead!". 


Monday, September 25, 2017

Life & Black Holes (In a good way!)

I want to tell you all that life has just been so stinking busy lately that I haven't had time to blog, but then I'd be lying... And who wants to lie?! Yes, I know, you pessimists, everyone does. But OK, not me. At least not right now. In actuality, I haven't been that busy. But I have been enjoying some downtime. Earlier last week, Cade and I went out for a quick date, but otherwise, we've been spending a lot of time at home (with the exception of this past weekend).

Friday night, we went out for a fun Friday night with friends finished off with dinner at Citizen Pie! The pizza is legit guys. There's one on the west side AND east side. So all Cleveland-ites should try it. 

Saturday was NON-STOP. Zoo, and Oktoberfest. It was fun. I miiiiiiiight have even got another (couple) of tattoos. And by "miiiiiiight" I mean I did. For sure. MORE ON THAT LATER.

Baaaaaaabes. Christine, Charlotte, me. all with fresh lipstick and all ready to have a Saturday night to remember. I will preach it until I can't talk anymore - FIND GOOD FRIENDS and keep 'em. Ladies, I love you. 

First, let me say that the giraffe exhibit is my favorite exhibit at the zoo. Second, let me say that my wonderfully fearless and always-happy niece also enjoyed the giraffes which further proves my point that her and I will be two peas in a pod as she gets older. She will (hopefully) love Star Wars and quirky-everything just the same as I. I can already picture it. She's my favorite. God, I love her. SO MUCH.

I mean, look at her! No pants, hanging out with the sheep. She is my spirit animal. 

I need like 4 or 5 more hours in my day because I have SO much that I want to write about, or share and before I know it, it's been almost a week and I haven't posted anything. It's not for a lack of trying, but I should try harder. I'll add it to my list. :P 

For now, let me leave you with this crazy thing I heard (actually, read)... If a black hole were to swallow the earth, it would take a very long time for it to happen. But there would be literally NOTHING we could do about it. Could you imagine? Just like, "hey I have to run to the grocery store real quick, if that black hole swallows us all while I'm gone just know I love you" is basically what you'd have to say every time you wanted to leave. Am I the only one with these thoughts? I KNOW GUYS, there is a lot going on in the world today. Sorry I added another (I know I didn't, but let me imagine). I hope the black hole doesn't swallow us all, but if it does just know that I love you. Now, I have to go get laundry detergent BECAUSE THE CLOTHES WON'T CLEAN THEMSELVES.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

[Little] Life lately

Hi there! Hope you had a great weekend, and beginning to your week. It's been a little hectic lately and somehow in the last five days, I think I've felt all of the emotions! When I have crazy days, I always like to plan a little quiet time to relax and watch a movie. Sunday morning I woke up at 6:30 and could not fall back asleep. So I made the most of it and got up to find a good movie that I've not seen before. I chose ... (drum roll, please) ... Jackie! Wow, I know I've heard incredible things about it, but until you see it... Just, wow. Natalie Portman was perfect for this role. There were parts of the movie where I had to remind myself that she is not the actual Jackie. I'd highly recommend watching it if you get the chance. Later that evening, before bed, Cade and I watched Lawless and I also loved that movie (more than I thought I would, too!). 

Happy thoughts: The Indians won 22 in a row, and were coined America's Team. Yes! My Cleveland Indians deserve all the good attention, and hopefully it carries them well into the post season * cough * cough * World Series!

Neutral thoughts: I very much believed the fall weather was here to stay and then it turned into 80's every day. On one hand, I'm sad that I don't get those chilly fall days yet, but on the other hand, I like waking up and not being freezing cold. 

Angry thoughts: CONSTRUCTION IN OHIO. Will it ever stop?

Sad thoughts (and it might get a little deep here): When I was little, I thought you lived to be exactly 100 years old, and on your 100th birthday you just went to sleep like the lady in the movie "Titanic". I loved that idea, until I realized it's the farthest thing from the truth. Death is cruel, and hurtful and whether you're directly impacted by the death, or by the pain that someone close to you feels from it, it still doesn't seem fair. More than ever, I think this world needs love. For several reasons... Not just the obvious ones. 

And I'll close off with another happy thought: We are officially less than 100 days until Christmas!! I believe today (September 19, 2017) is 98 days. I know I can just "google" it, but I take pride in knowing the Christmas countdown by heart. (Sorry Cade!)

Have a great week guys and gals. And remember, give love!