Saturday, February 21, 2015

Oh baby!

There are certain universal truths in life. They're consistent, even relentless sometimes. 

When you get married people will ask, "when are you going to start a family?" Maybe not right after the ceremony and maybe not even for the first year. 

"We have Jax and Jewels," is apparently not an acceptable response.  Especially to grandmothers who want more great-grandchildren. But you can't fault them for just wanting more people to love.  

When you buy a four bedroom house there are certain expectations that you're going to have enough people living in that house to warrant the extra bedrooms. 

Then when you live in that house for a few more years the questions become louder and more frequent. Family gatherings become more stressful and the ways of saying, "not today" or "in a few years" begin to become even more difficult to muster. Booze helps. That was my weapon of choice at more than one Christmas. An amazing husband who gently switched the conversation to something else was a major help. 

But the hubs and I got it. People were just curious and we've never refrained from saying we wanted kids and we loved kids. Plus, it was flattering to think that others thought we'd make good parents. The timing just wasn't right for us. 

Thankfully, the time is right. Well, as right as right will ever be. 

We're thrilled to finally have an answer to the question that has been posed to us the most over these past seven years of marriage. 

August 2015. That's when we'll have a baby. Or at least that's when my doctor thinks we're going to have a baby. The hubs and I are going to let the little one determine the schedule and we're just along for the ride. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Purple Birthday Gift Ideas

It's my birthday! I kind of act like a small child on my birthday. I refuse to wear boring shoes and even today I'm wearing a pair of purple peep-toe pumps to work. On a Friday! I don't ask people to sing to me on my birthday because it would be a crime for me to return the favor, but if there isn't cake don't bother going to bed because the day isn't over yet. The hubs learned that one year after making an amazing dinner and when it was done I asked, "where's the cake?"  I felt bad about it, I really did. My grandmother used to mail me a cake when I was away at college, so I guess it's safe to say that there has always been cake present on my birthday.  That's just how my family does it!

I might wear a lot of black, but if you asked anyone in my life what is "my color" they'd quickly respond with some shade of purple. It's because Amethyst is my birthstone and I was the world's biggest tomboy growing up. I didn't do pink, but my parents could get me to wear purple. Maybe it's because there were a few professional sports teams that had purple as their colors. If it was good enough for those big dudes, it was good enough for me!

With that being said, above are a few of my favorite purple gift ideas. I'd be happy if any of them found their way into my life.  Just hinting :)  Of course they're all made in America.

Have a great weekend everyone!  There might be a snowstorm in the area tomorrow that might disrupt a dinner the hubs has planned, but as long as there is cake tonight I'll be happy as can be. I'm pretty easy, I just want cake! That's not too bad is it?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Blessing in Disguise

Made in USA: Coat: Fleurette (similar) // Shirt: Steven Alan (similar) // Tshirt: American Apparel // Hat: Brixton // Clutch: Clare V // Jeans: James Jeans // Nails: Zoya 'Gwyneth' // Lips: Mineral Fusion 

I was a proverbial homebody on Tuesday and didn't leave the house until close to 5pm when the hubs just about dragged me out of the house. Granted it didn't take too much convincing, but "hey, you've been home all day, let's go get fried chicken" sadly worked like a charm.

My poor Jax has a cold and it was very unlike him to not want to spend all day playing in the snow. Thankfully my brother still lives with us and was happy to be on puppy duty while the hubs and I enjoyed a much needed dinner out. Plus, I wanted someone home with the pups in case of an emergency.

I don't know if it was the fried chicken or the sight of the world covered in a fresh blanket of snow that elevated my dumpy mood. I'm a worrier by nature and on Monday afternoon my next door neighbor's house caught on fire.  I don't know about you, but when a fire engine is parked halfway in my driveway and I saw flames shooting out of someone's house I tend to go into worry mode. Thank goodness everyone is safe and sound. My neighbor's have recently retired to Georgia and they had contractors in the house getting it ready for sale. I'm sure that complicates the sale process immensely, but at the end of the day there was a house fire and not a single person was harmed. That's a blessing of sorts because it could have been a lot worse.

Also, thank goodness for first responders. Those guys were amazing. They even checked on me, asked how many people and pets were in my home, and asked that I check in with them if I left.

Please do me a favor: hug your loved ones and review your fire safety procedures. If you didn't check your smoke detector batteries in the fall when you changed your clocks, please do it now. Make a fire exit plan and make sure every single person in the house knows the meeting place outside.  We're purchasing two separate fire extinguishers just because my first reaction when I saw that fire yesterday was to grab a fire extinguisher. My second reaction was to put harnesses on the dogs so they were ready to roll out if needed.

Here's a great checklist to get you started thinking about your own fire safety plan. I know these plans look like common sense and people tend to think they'll know what to do when the time comes, but you never really know how many seconds mean the difference between being safe and not being safe.
That's just my little PSA for the day. Thanks putting up with my worrier side.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Best White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie Recipe

Can we chat for a second? I think we're all guilty of going a little Pinterest crazy these days. Don't get me wrong, it's admirable and amazing that we spend so much time tracking down the perfect recipe for just about everything.  Half the fun is the find, right?

But you know what makes the best recipe? It's the one you find on the back of the Ghiradelli White Chocolate Chip bag on a Saturday afternoon after you've finished grocery shopping. It's the recipe where you magically have all of the necessary ingredients in your pantry because you already went grocery shopping and you're not heading back out to pick up more flour. Even if that means you can't eat eggs for breakfast the next morning because you won't have enough to bake cookies and make eggs. Let's be honest, cookies trump eggs any day of the week in my house.

This was my life on Saturday afternoon. I had a hankering for White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies, but that desire didn't occur until after I picked up macadamia nuts at the grocery store. I spent some time on Pinterest looking for a recipe and got shot down a few times by ingredients I didn't have on hand. I usually do keep a lemon in the house just in case something calls for fresh lemon peel or lemon zest, but at that particular moment in time the last of my fresh lemon was submerged in hot tea and couldn't be saved.

That's when I realized there was a recipe on the back of the bag and I had all the ingredients.

That my friends, is what makes the best recipe. It's the recipe you can whip up at the moment your craving sets in, you have the ingredients, it makes your house smelly yummy, and the finished product is incredibly tasty. Add a glass of milk and life is good. Snuggling by the fire is optional, but a nice garnish.

Oh, and the cookies were amazing as well. My tip for cookies: if the baking instructions say bake for 10-12 minutes don't bake them over 10. The cookies will keep baking once their out of the oven and you don't want them drying out.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Clutch Moment

12 of the very best American Made clutches

For the few years I've been trying to get better about not overloading my purses with too much stuff. But I think as we can all admit, that's harder to do than it sounds. Yes, there are times when I find 5 different tubes of chapstick in one bag and then there are the days where I can't find my car keys because they're stuffed in the pocket of a bag that I forgot I used.

A little over a year ago I started keeping my absolute essentials (wallet, keys, chapstick, concealer, Altoids, hand moisturizer, travel tissues, etc.) in a leather dopp kit. It's made moving from one bag to another really easy. Especially going from a work day to a night. Let's face it, my company issued laptop bag is not pretty by any stretch of the imagination, but that sucker holds everything I need it to plus a pair of heels. However, the nanosecond I get to a car and can ditch it the better because the bag is so heavy it might be a contributing factor to some of my back problems. Okay fine, it's not the bag, it's what I put in it!

My little dopp kit bag wasn't really cutting it on its own as a clutch. It's gotten pretty beat up and it's not a fun color. Yet, it still does the job for helping me stay organized.

A few weeks ago my hubs and I had dinner plans with friends immediately after work. That meant straight from the train, to a car, to the restaurant. Instead of using my dopp kit as a clutch I put my essentials, plus a lipstick, in my new Clare V fold over clutch and I seamlessly transitioned from work to night. Added bonus, the hubs bought me the clutch for Christmas and he was pumped I actually liked it. Duh, I love it! And it's a clutch made in the USA!

I'm kind of dropping not-so-subtle hints for another clutch for my birthday later this month. I know keeping essentials in a clutch isn't ground breaking by any means, but if this is your standard operating procedure - what types of clutches work best for you? Do leather clutches scratch easier with all the jostling? Really, is this an excuse to get that leopoard one that everyone seems to have? I'd be okay with that!