New Year's Eve...

Celebrating the end of a year; 365 days of the past. Celebrating new beginnings; hopes of things to come. Celebrating promises; commitments to goals we strive towards. Celebrating second chances; changes and fresh starts.

I am so excited for the New Year. I just have a feeling this is going to be a really good one. I have a lot to be thankful for in 2011: Dan and I turned a huge corner in our marriage, we survived a series of tough obstacles together, we are healthy, we are thankful for our loved ones, Dan is so much closer to his Master's, I discovered a new career path, we adopted a new furry baby into our family, and we traveled the most beautiful place on earth (in a camper van no less!). 2011 was good... but 2012... yeah, it's going to be great.

So how about a few New Year's Resolutions? I gotta admit I love these... I'm a glutton for punishment and a real sucker when it comes to pointless deadlines and meaningless restrictions on personal goals. January 1st seems to me as good a day as any to test out a few new challenges and I'm on board with the masses... bring on the predictability... here's what I have planned for two thousand twelve:

1. I am going to be good to my body; working out, eating well...the whole bit. 
Having been naturally thin all my life, I let my discipline slip this year. I've had my fun, but I simply feel better when I'm doing my body good. No numbers, no counting...just doing what I know is best for me. 

2. I'm going to write my sweet grandma a letter at least once a week. Growing up, she lived less than a mile from my house and was a crucial part of my everyday life. After I moved to Colorado we only saw each other around the holidays. Last year she moved to Arkansas to live with my Aunt and our communication, and her memory, has slowly faded. Letters are a great way for her to stay connected as she can read them again and again, whereas specific conversations may be spotty. My grandma is one of the most influential and important people in my life and I say a prayer everyday that I'll be able to see her again soon. 

3. I am embarking, full-force, on a new career path. I am excited for where this year will take me; the new things I'll learn, and the challenges that lay ahead. I started off 2011 with so many expectations, hesitations, and assumptions, but 2012 is a whole new year filled with who-cares' and what-ifs. I am ready. I am excited. I will make the most of it.

4. 2012 is the year I am a better wife. I'm not talking high-heels and dinner on the table by six... but I do know that despite everything else going on, Dan is going to need me by his side as he finishes up this last season of school! Freeeedom! If 2012 is full of awesomeness, 2013 can only be better.... So for this next year I am going to try to do everything I can to make life easier on my man. If dinner isn't on the table when he gets home, it will be in a carryout bag, and if laundry isn't done on the weekend, I'll febreeze the heck out of his closet. Now that's love. and Devotion. 

I hope you are all celebrating the New Year in the very best way you can. Our Eve consisted of a game  night with friends, cheap wine, and cheering at midnight~

...and playing with Sarah & Colin's adorable new puppy, Lily. She's a kisser!
We watched the countdown on TV, had a champagne toast, and crawled into bed early this morning. 
It was a very happy New Year indeed!


Today is full of things like a lazy breakfast, lots of coffee, movies, and pajamas all day. After working on our dang staircase nonstop for three days we're ready to rest...after the Christmas decorations are put away, laundry is done, and the house is tidied of course. Dan starts back at work on Tuesday...but gosh I'd give anything for a few more days of nothingness with that boy.

Lots of love and happy wishes for you all! Thank you for making 2011 such a special year for us.

x    o    x   o


mini home {{tour}} for the holidays

 With the holidays coming to a close, and the New Year on the horizon...
 I am seriously running out of time to catch up on 2011!
On my list of many-to-do's-before-the-new-year (who'm-I-kiddin'?) is to post a few updated photos of our house, since it's been a few years.. While the rest o' the place is still in...the works... I managed to snap a few of our 'tidied' up living and dining 'rooms' prior our trip to home for Christmas.  Though it's always an evolving project, this is our little home as of late:

 dining room:
corner hutch from my parents. 

Anthro teacups. Anthro bowls. Vintage s&p shakers, from my in-laws.

Vintage bird picture. PotteryBarn mixing bowl. Horseshoe.

Anthro bowls. Crate&Barrel Plates. Bliss Inc. teacups. Thrifted Vintage teapot.

Thrifted Crate&Barrel creamer. Thrifted pitcher. Creamer from ceramic sale at UCDenver.

 Thrifted books, scale. Mercury Glass votives from Bliss.

Dumpster-dived velvet chair. Ikea bookcase.

Welp, that's 'bout it.

However,since these were taken (last week), we have started refinishing our stairs and are replacing the nazz old carpet (second to last pic), putting up new crown moulding, and giving our baseboards and trim a lil' facelift... come the new year (give or take a couple days) our condo will be in need of a few more photos to show itself off. Since we bought it in June, 2009 we've been making improvements (paint, electrical, plumbing, bathroom, lighting, moulding, windows, blinds, etc.) as time and money allows. Our list is growing shorter and shorter (finally!) and the last few checks will be next to the kitchen list (painting cabinets, new counters, backsplash, lights) and guest/craft room list (new floors, computer, desk/office furniture). After everything is finally done, we're hoping to simply sit back, relax, and enjoy it for all it is, then start looking for a new place? Ha! Just kidding, we're staying put for a few years before we let our eyes wander to the next stop. 

This has been a very busy and exciting year for us but I cannot wait for all that 2012 will bring...for now we are looking forward to our trip to Ireland in March, getting my Real Estate license, and Dan finishing grad school in the fall! I know 2012 is going to be full of fabulous things, I can just feel it. I wish you all the very happiest of New Year's celebrations and I cannot wait to see you soon!



Whats Up Wednesday

Wow! Wednesday again already!?!
By this time last week Dan and I were sitting on the balcony of my parents "new" condo, watching the sun setting over the ocean, and scarfing down bean & cheese burritos from our fave Mexican shack, LBJs (El Burrito Junior, for you non-loc's). 

We. Were. Home.

We really could not have asked for a better Christmas vacation, though it felt entirely too short. We got to spend time with our families and see a couple good friends, feast to our heart's content, and even squeeze in a trip to the spa (thanks mom and dad!). It was so nice to have all of the siblings together again- it's been a couple years- plus, I got to meet my brother's adorable girlfriend Shanice and chat about wedding plans with my lovely new sister-in-law-to-be, Patty (Dan's brother Andrew's fiancee- he proposed on a bridge in Paris!...seriously.) 

We hosted dinner on Christmas Eve then went to a service at the church Dan grew up in. It was all very nice. I had hoped we would have had more time for games but we did all go for a walk along the strand before sunset. We had sunny, 70' weather the entire weekend... I think our families paid off mother nature to try to bribe us into moving back (it was working!). Christmas morning we woke up, had breakfast, and opened gifts at Dan's house. Despite attempts at "simplifying" this year there was still a huge mountain of pretty presents under the tree! We had a huge lunch, then headed over to my parents' to do it all over again! (well, except the waking up part... but we probably could have used a nap!). Before dinner we went down to the sand to take a few "family portraits" since the only pictures my mom had to frame were ones she snagged from Facebook... (told ya it's been a while since we've all been home!). Then we had a huge dinner, lots of dessert, lots of wine...then opened gifts! Goodness gracious, totally overboard but we are so, so thankful for everything! After dinner, the "kids" headed down to Sleepy Hollow- the "Christmas Lights neighborhood" in town. We used to be walking distance from our old house and would go every year on Christmas Eve but this year was just as fun. We walked up and down each street, stopping to snap photos of our favorite houses and sip our brandy cider to" keep us warm". The next morning we flew back to Colorado and were greeted with about 6'' of snow that was left over from the weekend, but we were so glad to see our furry babies. I always feel funny leaving them, especially around holidays, but our good friend house-sits for us and always takes good care of them. We took the pups to the park to play before heading home and cuddling for a good couple hours while watching Madagascar (always hilarious) and Baby Mama (just eh). 

~Here are a few phone-photos from our trip~


~almost there!~

~GumTree in Hermosa Beach~
...adorable lunch spot, thanks Erica!

~Hermosa pier~

~sleepy hollow~

~heading to LAX~

~snowy sunset playtime!~

~home (currently, at least!)~

I'm a happy girl! Dan has off work until after the New Year, so we didn't waste any time getting started on some of the projects we have been wanting to tackle for a few months. First up, we're refinishing the wood/trim on our stairs, replacing the nazzzz carpet, and putting in new balusters. One of Dan's coworkers has graciously let us borrow some of his heavy duty tools and we've already made trips to HD & Lowes to get all of our supplies. This is something we've been wanting to do since we bought our place in 2009 and are so excited to finally be getting it done! Next will be the kitchen facelift and guest room/craft room/office re-do! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! Ok, well I better get back to sanding, priming, painting, and...uh, cooking?
Hmm, looks like it might be an Eggos-for-dinner kind of night!

Hope you all had an absolutely wonderful Christmas, and are enjoying your weeks so far! Only a few more days left in the year! I'm so excited for 2012, can I just tell you!?

x   o    x   o


Whats Up Wednesday!?

No really, I'd love to know!
Are you done shopping? Just starting?
Have you made anything fun lately?
Are you travelling? Staying put?
Let me know!

Around here we've been busy trying to get things together before we head back to California for a few days to spend Christmas with our fams. We're so lucky that our parents live about 15 minutes from each other and our siblings are still in CA (we're the black sheep) so we usually get to see every one when we visit. We are trying to keep plans as simple as possible - just spending time with families and seeing a few friends- sometimes it can be so hectic trying to do everything each time we're home, so I am just looking forward to a few good meals, playing games, and seeing the ocean. 

...But there is still much to do before we hop on the plane! 
Laundry. Cleaning. Packing. Making. Baking. Wrapping. 

Not to mention Dan and I are planning on having "our" lil' Christmas tomorrow morning before we head to the airport... breakfast-feast and all! Typical over-achievers.

Since it's "What's Up Wednesday", here's what I was up to this past week 
(plus or minus a few days):

I made these:

Em made truffles, cookies, and children everywhere filled with joy.

(and well...Sarah made a finger-wig... but she wore a cute apron while doing it!)

We celebrated Artie's 8th birthday!

 he requested peanut butter-oatmeal-white chocolate cookies.

and waited very patiently to eat them all up.

 I 'hosted' a mini cookie exchange for the girls in my bible study:
...this is apparently the only photo I took that day...
for good reason.

Everything was delicious, and cleaned up* by the time they arrived.

*shoved in closets and thrown to the top of the stairs.

I made some other stuff:

 and finished this:

I wore this:

and this:

I went to the museum with a friend:

I made this for the Christmas Card Exchange party:
and mailed it all the way to Ros in Australia!

 I ate this juicy grapefruit:

I made these on a whim and mailed them out yesterday:

 I went to my favorite grocery store and they had a four-piece band playing Christmas music...on top of the bakery aisle. I Love you Whole Foods.

I watched my husband and dog have this conversation:

(and now you probably did too, ha!)

By the time you've finished reading this we should be jet-set for LAX! 
Hello, 70 degree weather! 

...so what's up with you?
*have a wonderful wednesday everyone!*