Thursday, January 31, 2013

Friday's Fancies | Winter Birthday Style

What better way to celebrate my birthday than by putting together a winter inspired outfit? You know how much I love snow (and these boots), so a winter birthday outfit is right up my alley.

Winter Slopes Style
the look : left to right 
AllSaints Elgar Cowl Neck Sweater  |  Kate Spade Sailor's Knot Hoops  |  Fur-Collar Puffer Coat
Sorel Conquest Carly Boot  |  J Brand Rail Jean Skinnies

A girl can never have enough tall winter boots to tromp through snow banks with, or maybe even wear while making snow angels. I cannot say enough how much I love, and miss, the beautiful winter snowfall. I'm even hoping to get a little snow for my birthday this year!

thanks for viewing
did you link up with long distance loving too?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Birthday Eve of the Big Three-Oh

Well. Tomorrow I turn the big 3-0. Yipes! That number still sounds a little scary to me, but don't tell my husband that. He's been 30 something for a little bit now. I don't want to make him feel like an old man. A couple days ago he said that he doesn't want to be married to a 20-something anymore. Lucky for me, I'll fit the bill tomorrow. Whew. Thankfully he wasn't trying to leave me and was only hinting at the fact that he's okay with my age. I think I've got a keeper. :)

I guess I'm probably not going to meet that silly goal, that everyone and their brother sister sets, of having kids before I turn thirty. Unless the gestation period for a human pregnancy has been shortened from 9 months to a few hours. Ready, set, go. Nope. Not pregnant. We're still not homeowners either. You know what though, I couldn't be happier be turning 30 surrounded by lots of people who love me. That will have to be enough for now. Life never seems to go according to my plans anyhow. It's probably better that way.

Speaking of plans. Someone made plans for my big birthday this year. Plans that involved some sneakiness, and also plans that involve some cold temperatures and snow. I was notified of these plans only a few days ago, and now I couldn't be more excited to be leaving my twenties. Getting older is always more fun with people you love. Now let's hope mother nature doesn't play any games and that these plans do come to fruition.

Goodbye January, it's been nice knowing you!

The Magical Boardwalk

Maybe it's just the small town girl in me, but there's something energizing about carnival rides. I suppose it mostly reminds me of warm summer nights spent in a funnel cake stupor at the county fair. Those nights marked the end of each summer in my small northern Michigan hometown. The sounds, sights, and smells take me to a carefree world. They still do.

After our relaxing day spent hanging out on Daytona Beach, the guys were just about ready to leave. I had only one thing I wanted to do before leaving though. It involved lights and a ferris wheel. Thankfully we lingered until dusk, so I captured a few rushed shots of the colorful lights. The sight was glorious. I could almost hear the sounds of a lively fair midway playing in my mind. If only I would have eaten that funnel cake we spotted earlier in the night.

lJZvmi on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

The sights, sounds, and smells of the boardwalk captivated me. I could sit and watch the ferris wheel lights all night long. Call me easily amused, but I sometimes live on the border between real life and a world of enchantment. I have a hard time walking away from beauty. Whatever that beauty may be.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Life Is a Beach

Hey friends! Did you have a nice weekend? We spent our Saturday doing touristy things at Daytona Beach, because my husband had a good friend from Colorado in town. After hearing mixed reviews about Daytona Beach, all three of us were all pleasantly surprised to have really enjoyed our day.

The weather couldn't have been more perfect. It was warm and not too hot or humid. Always a plus in my book. We did just a little research on Daytona Beach, but mainly just enough to get us there. We knew they permitted driving on the beach, so our plans consisted mostly of picking a parking spot on the beach and relaxing for a while. There was plenty of birdwatching, football throwing, and sandwich eating involved.

The boys played catch with the football for quite a while, and I snapped a few photos while enjoying the sound of waves crashing on the shore. Driving on the beach wasn't allowed on the beaches where we used to live near Tampa. The sand on Daytona Beach was packed enough for driving in your car or cruising along on a bicycle. Next time we visit, a cruiser bike would be our transportation method of choice.

After getting our fill of the beach, we headed over to the boardwalk area. We wandered past hotels, shops, and restaurants on our way to the pier. I spotted a place that sold funnel cakes, but none of us had an appetite. There were even little shop windows located along the pier that sold french fries, pizza, and shave ice. Next time we'll have to visit with empty stomachs.

Have any of you been to Daytona Beach? I know we'd like to visit again soon. Hopefully we get a chance to visit before the hot summer months are upon us. The winter months are my favorite time to visit any tourist destinations in Florida, because there are smaller crowds and the temperatures aren't hot enough to make you melt.

Hope your week is going swell!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Sunday Currently | 15

yesterday | Daytona Beach, Florida

reading today I'll be finishing up The Poisonwood Bible, and then I'll be looking for my next read. I keep hearing that Gone Girl is a good one, so maybe it'll be next. That or Little Women.
writing I haven't been in the writing mood lately, but I just might try and tackle a few blog post drafts today.
listening to the sound of the washing machine run through its rinse and spin cycle. There's nothing like the sound of a clean apartment. Ha!
thinking that our visit to Daytona Beach yesterday was a lot of fun, and next time we really need to rent beach cruisers and ride alongside the Atlantic.
smelling Bounce dryer sheets with febreze.
wishing for another trip to the beach soon. We really don't get there often enough.
hoping that we'll have visitors again sometime before this summer. I have a tough time convincing people to visit us during the summer months. Gosh, I wonder why...
wearing purple fleece pajama pants and a gray t-shirt. It's time for some weekend house(apartment)cleaning.
loving that we really don't live all that far away from Daytona Beach.
wanting another cup of coffee... especially after watching Dangerous Grounds on the Travel Channel. It will make you appreciate good coffee. I'm also wanting to hang the west elm curtains that I just purchased.
needing to eat something for lunch.
feeling thankful that my husband could visit with his friend this weekend.
clicking on some other Sunday Currently posts... and who knows what else.

** Catch up on past editions of The Sunday Currently... read them all here

... link up your edition of The Sunday Currently with Lauren

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Buckets of Organization

A couple years ago I shared the storage problems of our last apartment kitchen. It had very little cabinet storage, but we came up with an affordable and functional solution for our tiny kitchen. Thankfully our current apartment has plenty of kitchen storage, so that's not the problem this time. The office area, on the other hand, leaves a little to be desired in the storage department.

We tucked the desk into a nook near our balcony, and we realized there are very few places to hide all of our my crap computer desk necessities. If there's one thing that drives me crazy, it's having all our little odds and ends out for everyone to see. Call me modest, but I like leaving the inner workings of our office space to our guests' imaginations. Nobody needs to see that stuff!

Our computer desk does have a small drawer for hiding things. It's perfect for things like bills, pens, a couple of cords, and notepads. However, that drawer isn't large enough to store away all the pens, pencils, highlighters, and scissors I've managed to accumulate over the years. I even threw away handfuls of old pens and pencils when we moved! How these little collections manage to grow so large is beyond me. Maybe it has something to do with my hoarding tendencies?

Apartment living has its challenges, and we're no strangers to having limited storage. Enter Ikea fintorp rails, hooks, and buckets. Those nifty little buggers create storage in the least likely of places. They don't look too bad doing it either. We hung one rail with three galvanized buckets, and that gave us plenty of places to store the little odds and ends that won't fit in the computer drawer.

Ikea sells the fintorp rail and accessories as a kitchen storage item, but nothing says you can't use those items in your office. I'm even thinking of using a couple in our guest closet to hold some of my craft materials. They have no limits, those fintorp rails. Use them anywhere.

We still have a little work to do before the office area is completely organized. It's a good start though. There's a reason I didn't show you the floor to the right of our desk. I have a basket down there, and it's full of picture albums, coupons, and spray paint. No one ever said it's perfect in here. We're a work in progress.

How do you solve your storage problems?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Central Florida Bucket List

You mention Florida, and I imagine most people instantly picture Disney World. However, Florida is much more than just amusement parks. My husband and I moved to the Sunshine State from Colorado in June 2011. We suffered a bit of culture shock at first, but we are slowly learning to embrace all that Florida has to offer. That doesn't mean we're not terrified of the upcoming summer and its heat though.

The lack of winter still has us confused, but that only means we get to enjoy things that most people miss out on during certain months of the year. (I would know. I grew up in northern Michigan.) Sometimes we really miss the mountains, dry air, snow, and skiing. Those things have made way for charming small towns, palm trees, beaches, endless entertainment, and a large selection of state parks.

My husband and I put together a Florida bucket list last year, but we need to amend it since we live in a different part of the state now. We did cross a few things off of our last list. It may be easier to start over instead of changing the last list, so here we go.

.: our new central Florida bucket list 2013 :.

visit St. Augustine and see the Castillo de San Marcos
experience a sunrise on the Atlantic coast
spend a day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
see Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba at Downtown Disney
kayak the intracoastal or Wekiwa Springs or both
drive to Key West and spend at least one night there
visit the antique markets in Mount Dora
go deep sea fishing
take part in an art deco architecture tour of Miami
eat our weight in food at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival
see an Orlando Magic or Solar Bears game
I'm sure my husband would still like to kite surf (not me)
eat at as many local restaurants as we can (a post in itself)

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Some things in our list are not found in central Florida,
but that doesn't mean we can't take a two-day trip eventually.

We obviously have lists of restaurants we'd like to eat at, music venues for a night out, and various other little things. This list is really just the tip of the iceberg, but I think it's a decent start. It's fun having goals. I'd hate to move away and wish we had done more Florida things, because there are still things I wish we had done while living in Colorado. For instance, we never made it up the Pike's Peak cog railway. Major regret! We don't want to miss out on any special Florida experiences.

Anyone out there have suggestions
of places to eat, things to do, etc..?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Sunday Currently | 14

link up your edition of The Sunday Currently with Lauren

reading still reading The Poisonwood Bible... I aim to finish that this week. I really do.
writing not much other than just a few blog posts.
listening to Suit & Tie by Justin Timberlake... you guys, it's catchy! I'm listening to a few other new downloads on our iTunes. Some Mumford & Sons, The Lower Lights, and The Weepies. Nice little mix going on here.
thinking that I'm still sad (not necessarily mad) about the Broncos loss.
smelling the Festival of Trees wax burning in my Scentsy warmer... you can see the nice glow of lights it casts on the wall in the above picture too. Smells nice and looks pretty.
wishing that the Broncos were playing this weekend. Hmph!
hoping that I don't have to turn on the air conditioner today. It's getting warm outside...
wearing black skinny jeans, chambray top, and a scarf that I'm about to take off because it's getting a little too hot for it. I would almost move somewhere cold just so I could wear scarves every single day of my life. I love them that much. Seriously.
loving that I got to wear socks the past few days! Socks, people. That's a Florida miracle. :)
wanting a delicious home-cooked meal made just for me.
needing to not be turning 30 soon. Seriously?! I'm about to enter a new decade. Not too sure how I feel about that one.
feeling super happy for some reason.
clicking through some other Sunday Currently posts today... and who knows what else I'll stumble upon today.

Today when my husband was about to walk out the door for work, I noticed a thread clinging to his shirt pocket. Being the little perfectionist I am, I wanted to get rid of that stray thread. I gave it a little pull and noticed it wasn't coming from his pocket but his buttons near his neck. Obviously I had to rid of it, so I gave it a little tug. That darn thread just kept coming, and before I knew it I had pulled out a whole lot of thread and a button. Whoops. Not only did I get rid of that pesky thread, I also have to sew another button on his pilot shirts.

If your pilot is missing a shirt button today, he might be my husband.

Hope you're having a great Sunday!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Mattress Shopping For Dummies

These past couple weeks in our new apartment have kept us busy with minor improvements, mattress shopping for our guest room, grapefruit eating, and other random things (aka moving one pile of unpacked things to another room so it looks like things are getting done). Let me tell you, there have been plenty of lessons learned these past few days.

under that cozy bedding is a mattress that's about to get returned

My husband thinks grapefruits are the devil, and I have to admit that mattresses should most definitely be part of that evil list. He hates grapefruits. I hate mattress shopping.

You will never find the 'best' deal on a mattress. There are about 9 different names for the same mattress, so you will have a hard time comparing prices across stores. Shopping for mattresses is about as fun, and complicated, as shopping around for the best deal on insurance. Comparing mattress prices is like trying to complete a Rubik's cube with your eyes closed. Let's just say it's impossible.

the trusty affordable and simple air mattress

Our air mattresses started to sound like fluffy white cloud beds after days of comparison shopping for a real mattress. Maybe we'll just sleep on those forever. When looking for a good air mattress, I don't need to know the difference between extra firm, super firm, plush, pillow-top, euro-top, memory foam, spring count, etc.

We learned that hard way that $250 mattresses don't really seem all that different from $600 mattresses with brand names on them. (The fact that we recently returned a mattress and box spring due to manufacturer defects is a post all in itself). You don't always get what you pay for, and you sometimes find out that paying less gets you more. Nothing seems to make sense any more. You might even begin getting your butt and head mixed up after a day of mattress shopping. It's that confusing.

soothing blue and white bedding might mask a cheap-o mattress... right?

Need a decent and affordable bed? Just save yourself some time and buy the cheapest one you can find, and then slap a pillow-top mattress pad on that thing and call it good. Either that, or save up and splurge on whatever bed you like first. One saves money, and the other gets you a comfortable bed in less time.

Whatever you do, try not to get mad at any mattress sales people. They know not what they do. :)

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Losing Makes Me Mad

This blog post title could also be called "Our Football Team Lost a Playoff Game and My Husband and I Were Mad For at Least an Entire Day", but that wouldn't fit in one nice neat line. So losing makes me mad it is. I guess I'm a sore loser. Don't even get me started on how Michigan's season ended. Fudge.

first year as Denver Broncos season ticket holders

We take our football pretty seriously around here. I did attend the University of Michigan after all. Having football season tickets will make you a fan pretty quickly, plus it doesn't hurt being a fan of the best college football team in the universe either. (Take that Ohio).

my dad and I at a Michigan game

After moving to Colorado and meeting my husband, becoming a Broncos fan was a clear choice. I didn't care much about the NFL while in college, but it plays a big role in my life now. We go to great lengths for football around here. My husband and I attended Broncos' training camp practices in the scorching sun. I even touched *Brandon Marshall's sweaty workout shirt you guys. All in the name of football.

* Forget that he no longer plays for the Broncos. Also ignore my pink Cutler jersey. We don't speak that name in this household.
me and "B. Marsh" at Broncos training camp

Finally after about 8 years on the wait list, my husband became eligible for Broncos season tickets. For a whole glorious year we enjoyed attending every single Broncos home game. Let's not forget the fun of tailgating for each game. We very regretfully gave up our season tickets when we moved to Florida in 2011. I'm not still entirely bitter about the fact that we didn't keep them and try selling them on stubhub or something. Nope. Watching from the couch is more fun than being at the actual game anyways... said no football fan ever!

wearing the big orange cowboy hat

If you're one of those bandwagon fans who only followed the Broncos when Tim Tebow played QB for a minute, then you can just stop right here. Let me just say, my husband and I were over the moon when the Broncos picked up Peyton Manning. Seriously. We like to see our team win. (refer to the title of this post). You want to talk about someone who's heaven sent... it's Manning. Things started out a bit shaky, but Manning quickly proved he was back and knew how to run an offense. Playoffs here we come! Winning is so much fun muahaha.

orange cowboy hat and Coors Light for the big game

My husband and I were incredibly excited to see the Broncos in the playoffs and winning games. Not to mention, their record won them the right to play at home in Mile High Stadium for playoff games! We prepared for game day and wore our "lucky" shirts that seemed to help the Broncos win games all year. We became superstitious after the Broncos lost every time we wore a different shirt, so we busted out those lucky shirts and some Coors Lights. Nothing like a Coors Light (or two) and some Broncos football to make us feel like we were back in Colorado.

Without going into game details telling you how much I think the refs crazy penalty calling doomed Peyton's fast-paced offense you just need to know that the Broncos lost that playoff game this past weekend. I didn't speak to anyone the rest of the night. (unless you count a few angry texts with my dad... he really felt badly for us). Losing stinks! I'm not even sure I can pull myself together enough to watch the rest of football or the Super Bowl. Okay, maybe I'll tune in to watch Beyonce at half time. I'm still ticked we won't be watching the Broncos though.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Devil's Fruit

This blog post title is courtesy of my husband. Much to his disgust, I purchased a bag of grapefruits at the grocery story this past weekend. He was immediately repelled as if he was a vampire facing a clove of garlic. Seriously, the man looked at me as if I was the grossest thing on planet earth. All because I was holding a bag of grapefruits at the grocery store.

a grapefruit knife helps, but use a knife to separate the flesh from the skin....

Just a couple days ago I ate my first grapefruit from the bag, and I even talked my husband into taking the tiniest bite. He actually gagged, and then told me, with the most serious face ever, to get that devil's fruit away from him. I kid you not, he definitely had me laughing at his passionate hatred for a little defenseless piece of fruit.

My grandmother ate plenty of grapefruit when I was younger. I must have got my grapefruit tastes from her. She always prepared them with a little bit of butter, brown sugar, and then heated it all up in the microwave. Doctor it up right, and that little devil's fruit grapefruit goes from tart to juicy and delicious in no time flat. Seriously. Not to mention, I just read that grapefruits are good for speeding up your metabolism. That wasn't enough to make my husband take a second bite though, and he doesn't need help with his lightning fast metabolism anyways. I guess I'm going to have to eat the whole bag myself.

just spread on a little bit of butter....

... then add some brown sugar ...

... pop in the microwave for about 30 seconds and enjoy!

Did I mention the grapefruits I bought came from a farm in Florida? Not only did I get to support local business, but I can speed up my metabolism and gross out my husband all at the same time. I'd call that a successful day.

Do you like these little devil fruits too?

Monday, January 14, 2013

For My Mom

Today is my mother's birthday, and I'm grateful for every year I have her here. Her mother, my grandmother who I never met, passed away from cancer when my mom and aunt were only teenagers. Two young girls without a mother lost their father a short 20 days later. Even though that isn't something we talk about often, my mother's loss sticks with me until this day. I'm very grateful that my mother is here to celebrate another birthday today. Happy Birthday, Mom!

As a teenager, you often know more than your parents. You have no idea how precious your parents are until you think of losing them. That can be said for most people in your life, so don't forget to tell people you love them. It makes my heart hurt to think my mother was never able to see her parents celebrate birthdays when she was in her 20s and 30s like me. It's just so hard to imagine.

My mother has taught me many valuable things through the years. She raised me to be intelligent and to never dumb myself down for anyone, especially boys. I always saw her with a book in her hands, and she can play a mean game of Scrabble too. Those brains run in the family. My mom never let me get sucked into the vanity of being a teen girl. There was never encouragement to dye my hair, wear a face full of makeup, or dress in revealing clothing. She taught me to love myself the way I was made. I'm forever grateful for having a mother who never made me feel inadequate.

Now that we live far apart, we don't see each other as much as I wish we could. She still welcomes me with a favorite meal on the table when I visit to this day. It's not always the things she says but often the things she does that stick with me the most.

I'm thankful to still have my mother here, because I know that isn't always the story for everyone. Unfortunately I don't get to be with her today in Michigan, but she is close in heart. Hey Mom, Florida is calling you to get away from the snowy north. Happy Birthday! We love you.

wedding pictures by Alison Rose Photography }

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Sunday Currently | 13

link up your edition of The Sunday Currently with Lauren

reading I just started reading The Poisonwood Bible. Hopefully it's a good book I can get into reading, because it's been a while since I had a good read.
writing a grocery list of some things we need and a to-do list of things to get done in our still not completely unpacked apartment. Maybe I'll write a bucket-list of things to do in our new town. There are so many things to do in central Florida besides Disney World.
listening to the hum of the refrigerator. It's pretty quiet around our new apartment, and we're enjoying it.
thinking that I'm still really bummed out about the Broncos loss last night. Ugh!
smelling some lingering scents of Durango Diner green chile from breakfast this morning.
wishing that the Broncos were still a part of the playoffs. I don't even know who to cheer for anymore, because I don't really like any of the remaining teams very much. Boo!
hoping to save some money in these next few months... and that we start to feel a little more at home soon. I also hope to do some exploring soon.
wearing an old Urban Outfitters tee that says "Guten Tag Berlin" (any German speakers out there) and the new pajama pants my husband gave me for Christmas.
loving the song that you'll find embedded below....
wanting to sip hot cocoa next to a blazing fire with loved ones while it snows gorgeous white fluffy snow outside. We're having an "unseasonably warm" January in Florida right now (at least that's what the meteorologists on the news say), and we're already using our A/C. Yikes!
needing to do something productive today. Maybe I'll even venture outside our front door today. :)
feeling seriously sad that the Broncos lost. I just can't get over it yet.
clicking one of my husband's coworkers mentioned this Harry Potter website called Pottermore, and I've been spending a little too much time exploring there. Yep. I'm a dork.

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This beautiful song by Down Like Silver doesn't help my want for snow.....

Happy Sunday everyone.
Now go link up with Lauren and read some of the other editions of The Sunday Currently.