Friday, February 28, 2014

What Have We Learned: New Orleans Edition

Hey Hey Hey friends! I've returned from my far away journey to Blacksburg. I am physically and mentally exhausted, but I had such a great time catching up with coworkers from across the state, and I came home with three boxes of girl scout cookies, so I'd call that a successful trip. However, I would really like for someone to explain to me why my organization INSISTS on holding our annual conference during a Blacksburg winter. Could we not hold it in the fall, when the weather is perfect, the leaves are glorious, and the crisp air is alive with magic and dreams? No. It must be in the coldest month of the year, to give us all one more thing to complain about. Today, I attempted to push a luggage cart uphill against the wind, and it was probably one of the worst PLDs of my entire life.

Let's move on. In case you haven't heard, I'm heading out to Mardi Gras in New Orleans on Saturday (no big deal). Matt and I decided to take this trip last year, as a way to celebrate our one year anniversary (three months after the fact). We are beyond excited, especially because the weather is promising to be a sweltering 70 degrees on Saturday. Since I've been away all week, we've really only got one day to pack,but we've been mentally preparing for months. This will be Matt's first time in New Orleans, but it will be my third trip. That basically makes me a Nola expert, and today I will share with you the important knowledge I've learned from my travels.

- I learned that it's always important to pack a pair of "quarter shoes" to wear when out and about, otherwise you may end up having to borrow another gentleman's shoes for just one moment to let your tired, swollen feet relax.


- I learned that New Orleans has perfected the art of frying food--oysters, alligator, dough--you  name it, they fry it, and it's delicious.

- I learned it's probably not a good idea to be in Jackson Square after dark.

- I learned that it's totally cool for dogs to manage wine shops in New Orleans. No big.


- Speaking of going places after dark, it's also not always a good idea to follow your friend and assume she knows where she is going. You might end up in St. Bernard, which I've learned is not necessarily the best place to be at 2am in the morning.

- I learned that the Goblet of Fire resides at Pat O' Brian's:


- I learned that the oddities and eccentricities of Bourbon Street have no pull on me when I am on the hunt for pecan pie.


- I learned that gators will jump for hot dogs.

- I learned that there is a weird, peaceful beauty to the swamps.


- I learned that staying up all night then flying out at 6am is ALWAYS a terrible idea.

- In the end, I learned that I am completely in love with New Orleans.


So you see friends, I am totally prepared for this trip, and like last time, my dear friend Alison has again graciously offered her apartment, and has been coordinating with me for the past month to plan our agenda (an agenda--she knows me so well!).

Traveling together is kind of our thing. Photo snapped in Vegas, circa 2012.
And don't you worry--I've got some great guest posts lined up until I get back, and you can always follow along on Insta and the Twitter!

What are some of the best things you've learned from your travels? Do you think I should order this costume from Amazon and have it FedExed to Alison's apartment?
Venus Trapped in Mars
linking up with Sarah because I am a Nola Fan

All Love,



Thursday, February 27, 2014

Fashionably Late: Date Night

Good Morrow, dear readers! I feel like I haven't treated you to a style post lately, and I'm so sorry to have deprived you all for so long. I don't know how you've been dressing and accessorizing without me, but I have faith that you all managed.

Lucky for you, Niki and Ginny put together this fun link-up, and it reminded me that it was about time I enrich your lives with my spot-on fashion advice.

This month's theme is date night essentials, and let me tell you, have I EVER got you covered on that! Hello, Power Couple over here, OF COURSE I am all about getting glammed up for date night. Here's how it works:

1. I like to do my makeup first...or last, depending on when I remember to do it. It's date night, so go for some dramatic eyeshadow, but remember to wipe it off a dozen times before you get it right. I recommend this eyeshadow if you're like me, and don't have a clue how you're supposed to shade and blend and contour and all that nonsense.

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In the end, you can't even see the eyeshadow, but isn't that the point?
2. Get those nails painted! But do it at the last possible minute, before you're even dressed, to cause the most drama.

3. I like to plan out my outfit days in advance, then decide to do something entirely different ten minutes before we leave. This will involve throwing around lots of clothes on the floor of my closet, agonizing over every choice, and finally settling on an oldie but goody from ModCloth.

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4. Date night calls for your fancy shoes and fancy accessories, but if you've suddenly become paralyzed by the thought of making fashion choices, then know that you can never go wrong with pearls and a pair of black pumps.

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Not pearls, but you get the idea...right?
5. Put that chapstick away! This is date night, not some quick trip down the road to pick up your chipotle order! Go for your favorite lipstick, give a spritz of your nicest perfume, grab your clutch and you're good to go!

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Don't forget to make your significant other take lots of pictures of you at the restaurant, so you can blog about it later. Pictures are crucial and are more important than eating. (Just kidding! Nothing is more important than carbs.)

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Okay, wait, he's more important than carbs.
What are your go-to date night essentials? Even if you're only going to your tried-and-true Mexican joint, sometimes it's fun to just get dressed up and enjoy a night on the town.


linking up this week with Niki, Ginny, and Nicole
All Love,

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Love, Loss, Hope Repeat

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm at a conference for work this week, and when I sat down last night to check over today's post, I realized I didn't have one scheduled. This seemed appropriate, because when I logged onto Blogger I had intended to either start over or edit what I had to reflect events that happened this morning.

Early yesterday, in the area I called home for over 20 years, a domestic violence incident left four people dead and one in the hospital. The victims included a mother, grandmother, and 17 year old student at my alma mater, as well as the gunman. The grandfather survived and is in fair condition.

My heart breaks all over again every time I see mention of this on social media. I did not know the family personally, but it's a small, tight-knit community, and I know plenty of people for whom this tragedy cuts deeply. The details are still unclear at this point, but for once no one is hopping on Facebook to rant about this law or that law that must be passed to prevent such things from happening. For now, all anyone can seem to do is hope and pray for strength, comfort, and healing to the victims' family and friends.


I have no other post for you today--I simply ask that you keep this family and our community in your thoughts and prayers. These types of events always shatter us to our core, and remind us that life is fleeting and fragile. Take some time to appreciate all the love in your life--it is a gift  that is not guaranteed to us from one day to the next.



Paz y Amor,

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Treat Yo Self Tuesday: Spring Wish List

Hello, my dear, wonderful readers! I'm currently traveling to the beautiful town of Blacksburg for a work conference, so I obvi wrote this post in advance. If the weather has gone as predicted, we've got another miserable week of winter in front of us, which is positively devastating after the dreamy weather we had over the weekend.

Despite the snow in our forecast, I am getting absolutely antsy waiting for the arrival of spring. This happens every year for me, and it gets triggered when we have a spot of warm weather in February. In addition to an impulsive need to pack away all sweaters and traipse about in shorts, I also feel an impulsive need to shop--color you shocked, amiright??

Every change of season makes me feel compelled to shop. Obviously, new weather patterns call for new clothes, shoes and accessories! Since we're making our way to a little festival known as Mardi Gras this weekend, I'm holding off on splurging on any new items, but a girl can dream!



1 & 2 // Once March sets in, it feels completely unnecessary to bundle up in your heaviest, winter coat. I love these two lightweight options from Nordstrom and Anthro. Not only are they super cute, but they're also versatile enough to go with anything.

3 // Sometimes, it's just not warm enough in the spring to wear your cutest, sleeveless dress. That's why I love this tunic from Anthro--it will keep you warm, but you can pair it with some bright accessories so you don't look so dark and gloomy. Not to mention, I am in love with the lace detail at the bottom.

4 // My Sperry's are starting to look a little rough around the edges, so it might be time for a new pair. This year, I might be a little edgy and get a pair like this one from Nordstrom, with a fun, animal print.

5 // This Vince Camuto dress screams "SUMMER" to me, and that's why I want it so badly. In my mind, it seems logical that if I buy a summer dress, then boom! Summer has arrive, just like that.

6 // Hello, pink polka dots! J.Crew, you never fail to have a billion things on your site I want to buy. (Also love this option, which I may or may not have bought this past weekend.)

7 // I've said it before and I'll say it again--these Tory Burch sunglasses really need to make their way into my closet.

8 // Does Kate Spade anything really require an explanation?

9 // A change of season means it's time to change the wreath. I thought about buying us one of those fancy, custom made ones from Etsy, but sensible heads prevailed when I spotted this more affordable option from Target.

What are you feeling the need to buy, as the seasons change? Let's go shopping and make bad decisions together!
Glossy Blonde

All Love,

Monday, February 24, 2014

Just Another Music Monday, V.14

Hi there, friends! The weather this past weekend was wonderful and much needed. The highs were in the 60s--that's right, you heard me, THE 60s!! It felt so balmy outside, I even wore shorts:


I may have jumped the gun on the whole shorts thing, but I didn't care. The sun was warm on my back, I had a deliciously cold Stella and plate of pork nachos in front of me, and if I closed my eyes, I could imagine it was spring and we were no longer gripped by the cold, miserable hand of winter.

Anyway, some of you hopefully noticed that I guest posted for Helene over the weekend to share my Breakup Playlist. Since this playlist is so special to me, I wanted to share it with you all again today, and maybe give you a little more background.

You see, I've never been emotionally damaged from a major breakup. The few times I was actually in a relationship, I always did the breaking up, because when ya know it's over, it's over. So, if I never got dumped, how did I manage to create the best breakup playlist in the world?

Starting around my sophomore year of college, I made chasing boys my full time occupation, and they rarely, if ever, chased me back. Even if a boy did decide to "be caught," I would quickly lose interest and end up breaking his heart. I was a big time flirt and I suppose I loved the thrill of the hunt, but every now and then one guy would come along and I would be hooked. I would become single minded to the point of recklessness as I pursued him, and by the time I finally realized it was going nowhere, my heart was crushed. Deep in my emotional meltdown, I would crank the Postal Service, stuff my face with some Taco Bell, and journal my little heart out.

My friends kindly made me this funfetti masterpiece after one such instance.
During those moments, the only thing that could bring me back from the brink was music (okay, it wasn't just music, but it played a huge role). Now that I'm happily married, I have no need for the Breakup Playlist, but I still play it from time to time when I'm feeling angsty or going through a rough period. These songs have special meaning to me, and I hope that somewhere out there a reader will stumble upon this and it just might help nurse a broken heart.

1. Sara Bareilles, "Gravity"
This was my anthem. The song is about always getting pulled back to that one person you know will never work out but you can't seem to tear yourself away. Sara B. has an amazing voice, and she really delivers in this emotion-packed song.

2. The Postal Service, "Nothing Better"
I never liked Death Cab until I started listening to The Postal Service, and then I realized it was everything my angst-ridden heart needed. "Nothing Better" is their perfect broken-heart song, especially the line "don't you feed me lies about some idealistic future/my heart won't heal right if you keep tearing out the sutures." This one is for all the boys who come around, talk a big game, say all the right things, then walk away leaving a big, gaping hole in your chest where your heart used to be (I'm dramatic, can you tell?).


3. The Hush Sound, "Break the Sky"
This song was always appropriate when I was getting ready to dump someone. I always dreaded being the heart breaker, but I knew I couldn't keep on with something when it no longer felt right for me. My favorite line here is a tie between "I'll break the sky, for you and I are going nowhere" and "fear will hold you back, if you believe in that."

4. Miley Cyrus, "The Driveway"
You better believe my breakup playlist always had a good dose of Miley. This song was from her debut Miley album (aptly titled "Breakout"), and although it isn't as intense as her new music, it's still appropriate for processing your emotions after calling it quits with your boy (or girl).

5. Ingrid Michaelson, "The Chain"
Ingrid is my very favorite singer/songwriter of all time, and I'm pretty excited about her upcoming album. "The Chain" is from "Everybody," an album that really spoke to my soul at the time it was released and still remains one of my all-time favorites. This song in particular is beautiful--it reminds me of how you want to hate everything (except Taco Bell) when you've fallen out of love, but you know that you just need time and healing before you can even think of welcoming another romantic relationship.

6. Kodaline, "All I want"
This is a somewhat new song, but I can tell ya that back in the day it definitely would have made the breakup list. Just listen (and watch the video) and tell me if you managed to make it through without crying.

7. Taylor Swift, "Last Kiss"
Did you really think I would make a breakup playlist without any Tay Tay, the Queen of Breakups? Of course not. I really like the slowness of this song, and it's way better than "Never Ever Ever..." My favorite line is "I keep up with our old friends just to ask them how you are," because sometimes you can't seem to let go, even though you need to.

8. Mumford and Sons, "White Blank Page"
I had to end this with some Mumford. I feel like including this song really needs no explanation, and if you think it does, then find my reasoning in this lyric, "tell me now where was my fault/in loving you with my whole heart."

This list of songs is only a sampling of my actual playlist--I usually had about 50-100 songs rotating in and out, depending on the situation and my mood. I know most of these songs are from a few years ago, but it dates back to a time in my life when I was super emotional and super boy crazy, which is always a bad combination.

What would you put on your breakup playlist? I've put all of the songs I chose on a playlist below, plus I threw in a few more as a bonus. You're welcome.

All Love.


Friday, February 21, 2014

What Have We Learned?

Remember that time I took part in a giveaway with Bonnie? Well, big news, there's a winner to that giveaway and that winner is Bri R.! Congratulations, Bri! Bonnie should have already contacted you, so you're probably rolling in the dough right now, you lucky duck, you!

In other news, the weather has been positively tropical this week--we've reached highs in the low 50s! I love it so much and I never want it to go away.

It's been a few weeks since we've had any learning moments, so let's review all of the little lessons life has been throwing at us this past month.

- Like most of America, we've been binge watching House of Cards this past week. Also, like most of America, our minds have been blown by the ridiculousness in this show. We watched the first season during late March/early April last year, so every time I hear the theme music, I find myself desperately yearning for the warmth of spring. Oh House of Cards, you just make me feel so many emotions!

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Millie says the House of Cards music reminds her of her first true love, Maddox.
 - I've learned I'm a terrible, horrible, no-good puppy mother. February 18th came and went this week with no mention of the day's importance. What's so important about some random date in February? Well, on February 18, 2013, Matt and I made the three hour journey to Staunton, VA to bring home the most precious little butterball on the planet, and our lives have never  been the same.

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She threw up on me twice that day, but how could you be mad at that face?
- I learned that Panera gift cards still work, even if your puppy tried to eat it.

- I've realized that, if I wasn't so concerned about pollution, the oversized creek in our neighborhood would be perfect for tubing. Millie, however, has learned that she's still not so sure about that creek--at least, not until she gets signed up for swimming lessons.

- I've learned that I really love to see the Virginia countryside blanketed in snow, even when I never want to see snow again.

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- I've learned I really need a hot bubble bath and some time with my kindle, because it has been far too long since I've treated myself to either of those things.

What have you learned this week, readers? I hope you all have the loveliest of weekends. If you need some weekend reading, check out my guest post about this DIY project on Love, Pasta, and a Tool Belt, followed by a very special music playlist tomorrow on Helene In Between.

 I will see your pretty faces again Monday morning!

All Love,


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Must Not Watch Movies

As bloggers, I think we are all eager to share the best movies we've ever seen, both past and present. Let's look on the flip side of that coin for a minute, and talk about the movies you should never watch. After all, wouldn't it be ever so kind and gracious for someone to compile such a list, so that you can read it and never have to suffer through the same movies yourself?

You're welcome.

Here are five of my Must Not Watch Movies:

1. The Mortal Instruments
I'm a little embarrassed to even admit that I read the books, but there it is. I could tell from the previews it wouldn't be worth the money to see it in the theater, but one evening, I realized it was just us girls (Millie and me), so I decided to rent it. Ummmm, biggest waste of $4.99 EVER. The producers just decided to they would throw in some models with muscles and nice hair, and call it a day. It barely followed the plot in the book, and when it did, it was because they felt like they had to, like they were checking items off a list. It was dumb on so many levels and I elected to do laundry, TWICE, instead of watching the whole thing. I give this movie five bombs, which means I want it destroyed, never to see the light of day, ever again.

2. Dark Shadows
I didn't even need to watch this movie to know it was a most displeasing knockoff of the original show. This movie gets three bombs, because it at least gave the OG enough attention to show up on the Netflix instaque.

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I could not sacrifice even one plot line.
3. The Vow
First of all, I totally understand this was someone's life story, but this was the most anticlimactic movie EVER. They spent the majority of the movie playing up the tension after the accident, and the subsequent divorce, and then it just ENDS with a little caption at the end that says, "bee  tee dubs, they got back together and had a family, super cheer!" Really? I sat in the front row of a movie theater with adolescent girls giggling all around me to see that? This one gets another three bombs--for the producers, directors, and writers who wasted money, talent, and a legitimately fascinating real-life story on a less-than mediocre movie.

4. The Ruins
My friends and I went to see this while we were in college. We had just returned from a service trip to Mexico, so we thought a scary movie about old ruins in Mexico would be a great idea. We were so wrong. I'm a sucker for dumb, scary movies, as long as they've got a good, compelling mystery to go along with it. The Ruins had none of that. We watched, waiting for the plot to turn and for SOMEONE to finally explain what kind of ancient god had cast its curse upon the ruins, but in the end, it turned out to be nothing more than an evil plant that like to kill people. I give this one five bombs because I'm still angry about it.

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No evil plants lurking here.
5. Nights in Rhodanthe
Oh Nicholas Sparks, you peaked in The Notebook, and it took me until The Last Song to fully realize that, when not even Greg Kinnear could save your sinking ship. The story was SO predictable (like most Nicky Sparks stories), and my friend and I basically spent the entire movie trying to guess which one would die tragically. Spoiler alert! It was Richard Gere! Boo hoo! Meanwhile, all the other women in the theater are in tears, but we can't stop laughing because James Franco looks like he may have been high while filming, because his eyes were all squinty and lopsided. Three bombs for this one, because I at least got some measure of entertainment from watching.

Well readers, I know I've got plenty of other movies to not recommend, but these five stand out to me the most. Which movies make your hate list?

linking up with Nicole

All Love,

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Project Gryffindor: Cauldron Cakes

HUMP DAY!!! At least the weather has started to warm up, but I fear that it's only another tease from Mother Nature. Any minute now we'll probably find ourselves back in the midst of yet another Polar vortex, and spring will only be a distant dream that will never fully be realized.

Please excuse my melancholy mood. To make up for it, I've got a special recipe to share with you from Project Gryffindor--Cauldron Cakes! Cauldron cakes are nothing but pancakes dressed up with some lemon zest, but they sure are tasty! Matt devoured his and talked about them all day, so this recipe has the Power Couple stamp of approval. Never fear--Bisquick still does the trick in a pinch.

Cauldron Cakes
From the Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook

You know the rules--get those ingredients assembled and measured before all else!
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 stick of butter (8 T), melted
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk mixed with juice of 1 lemon, left to sit at room temperature until thickened or microwaved for 30 seconds-1 minute until thickened
  • Syrup, fruit, powdered sugar, or another topping of your choice
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Milk not pictured, because Matt was graciously making a run to the store to pick some up.
Now that you've done as I asked, let's get the party started.
  1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and a salt. (Learning moment: when baking, you will almost always mix the dry ingredients--minus the sugar--separate from everything else).

  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, and lemon zest together until light and fluffy, about one minute. Drizzle in the melted butter while whisking vigorously, then whisk in the milk. **Note: We didn't start soon enough to get the milk at room temperature, and even microwaving didn't seem to thicken it. Everything tasted fine, but any experienced cooks out there know the difference?
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    Pre-whisking.
  3. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture. Whisk the two mixtures together until just combined. The batter will probably still be lumpy--don't try to over-mix or the mixture will get too tough.

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  5. Spray a skillet with cooking spray (or use a nonstick griddle) and heat to medium-high heat. Pour 1/2 cup of batter into the skillet and cook until the surface bubbles and the bottom is golden brown (check by lifting lightly with a spatula).

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    Give it a flip with the spatula, cook on the other side, then remove it from the griddle. Keep on keepin' on until the batter is all gone.
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    Deliciousness.
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    Millie is the ever-dutiful cook's helper.
  7. Add your favorite toppings and you've got it! Serve with bacon and a mimosa. 
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Our preferred topping is Wildwood's syrup, which was heating up in the microwave when this picture was snapped.
That's it for the second recipe in the Project Gryffindor series! Now I really want to eat these again--guess I know what I'll be making for brunch this weekend!

Love, Pasta and a Tool Belt
All Love,

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Zumba Like a Boss

Hello, friends, and Happy Tuesday! Snow is STILL showing up too frequently in our ten day forecast, and I just desperately need spring to arrive already.

Glossy Blonde

Somehow, despite the worst weather of all time, I've managed to get to the gym more often these past few weeks. As I was dancing like a pro through another Zumba class, I thought to myself, "Gee Katie, I bet your bloggy friends sure could use a Zumba confidence boost!" What do I mean by a confidence boost? Well, once you finish reading this post, you'll have the tools you need to face ANY dance-cardio workout!

via
Are you ready?

1. Take a spot in the back of the studio. You might think "I'll be brave and go to the front row," but beware--this is where the popular girls congregate. They're tight with the instructor and have tons of inside jokes. Laugh at the wrong time, and you'll immediately be shunned to the back row.

2. DON'T WATCH THE INSTRUCTOR. Are you crazy?!? You think you can just watch someone with moves like Jagger and get the steps down right away?!? No. Find a girl who looks like she knows what she's doing but dances at your pace. Maybe one day you'll be so good you can teach the instructor, but today is not that day.

You will not look like this on your first try.
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3. You'll notice as you dance that others get really into the Zumba mood, and they may let it out a giant cheer or whoop every now and then. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, get involved with this. As a first timer, you might let out your war cry at the wrong moment, and that will only be awkward.

4. Don't get too cocky. Just because you nailed the warm-up doesn't mean you are going to master the double time salsa that's coming up.

via

5. Be prepared for the occasional gawker to peer through the door/observation windows. They'll never understand that you just gotta dance.

6. When all else fails, salsa. If you can't salsa, march in place and shake your hips a little, and no one will be the wiser.
via
7. Congratulations! You've survived Zumba. Reward yourself some salted caramel gelato, and dream of the day when you'll be in the exclusive, front row Zumba club.

Remember, friends, group excersise classes can be intimidating, but with the right attitude you can conquer your fears AND burn off all the calories from your carb addiction at the same time!

Have you ever tried Zumba or other complicated workout classes? If so, what are your tips?

All Love,


Monday, February 17, 2014

Power Couple Does Valentine's

Hi there, dear readers! We've come to the end of our snow-imposed four day weekend (five day weekend, for those lucky ducks who get President's Day), and Monday is not going to be kind to me. For now, I'm going to seek comfort in the celebrations we had over the weekend, and share with you all a little recap on how a Power Couple celebrates St. Valentine's holiday.

1. Arrange a playdate at the playground with the neighborhood parents. Even though you're all snowed in, the kids will still get to have a little Valentine's party with each other.

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2. Next, go ahead and give your child her Valentine's gift: her very own snowball, just for her and nobody else!

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3. Cuddle up on the couch and watch a complex, though-provoking movie. I recommend Despicable Me 2.

4. Avoid the crowds and dine in on Valentine's Day.

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5. Eat all the comfort food.

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6. Go to the salon and spend way too much money on a straightening treatment for your hair. It will be worth it when you don't have to stand under the hair dryer for 45 minutes every morning. 

7. Splurge on a nice bottle of champagne. This ain't no Andre, so don't go mixing it with orange juice!

8. Go to dinner at a fancy restaurant. Wear a princess skirt, even though it is 15 degrees outside. 

9. Spend at least one evening with pizza, gelato, more champagne, and a House of Cards marathon.

10. Toast to spending a 3rd Valentine's Day with the coolest guy ever.

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How did you spend your Valentine's weekend? I hope it was everything you imagined and more, and now let's hold hands and attempt to get through this work week!

All Love,

Friday, February 14, 2014

My Funny Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day! Wherever you are, whoever you're with, I hope you take the time today to eat lots of chocolate and give special attention to the people you love.


Yesterday we were snowed in, and we spent the day playing with our doodle in the snow, followed by dinner with our neighbors (and everyone arrived dressed in pajamas, which was perfect).

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My office was closed today, again, but instead of enjoying my day off, I'm nursing a cold/sinus infection/some sort of sickness. I'm hoping to rest and get back in good health by tonight, so I can enjoy a home cooked meal with Matt, therefore I'm going to be brief.

First, to my Valentine: Matty, I thank God every day that we both ended up in the same crowded bar that fateful night in April 2011. I know I can be cranky, irritable, stubborn, and I think I should probably shower more often, but yet you love me anyway. I love the little family we have with our doodle, and I'm excited for the day when we get to shower some little ones with cutesy Valentines--but for now, we know Millie needs to be an only child, so we'll enjoy February 14th with champagne, crabcakes, and chocolate cake.

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Second, to my readers: thank you all for coming back to this blog day after day! I'm amazed that so many people enjoy what I have to say, and I'm so grateful you all take the time to read my posts and comment. Since I can't send all of you a Valentine's card, I thought I would give back to you another way. Ashley from the Grits Blog recently posted a Pay it Forward initiative, and since I commented, that means I get to participate too! I love the idea of Pay it Forward--I'm so tired of everyone being negative and mean on the interwebs, and maybe this way we can spread a little joy back into the world.

Here are the rules: the first five people to comment with "I'm in!" will receive some sort of surprise from me this year. I only ask in return that you incorporate this into your blog as well, and be sure to copy and paste the button, too! (And if someone wants to help me on how to get the HTML code to show up under the picture, I would be forever grateful.)

Pay It Forward

Friends, I truly hope you all have an amazing Valentine's Day. It's so easy to get dragged down by the day-to-day frustrations and all the nonsense that goes on in the world, so please take some time to love yourself and share that love with others.

Lastly, as another Valentine's treat, here's a special love themed playlist I've put together for you--I promise it won't be too sappy!

linking up with Helene, Sarah, and Leslie

All Love,

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Galentine's Day

As I write this, the snow is falling steadily outside and Matt and I are preparing to spend a few days snowed in with the doodle. Let's hope the power doesn't go out, because if you read how I prepare for snow storms, you will know we are poor equipped to handle such a disaster. Anyway, let's put snow talk aside and get to the 4th day of Valentine's Week!


This day is very special. Why? Because it is February 13th, and EVERYBODY knows that February 13th is Galentine's Day.

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Only Leslie Knope could come up with Galentine's Day.
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Valentine's is all about celebrating the ones you love, but Galentine's is especially for all of your lady friends, and, in the words of Leslie Knope, "it's wonderful and should be a national holiday."

I agree.

I know that I'm guilty of saying not-very-nice things about other females, for really no good reason at all, and I'm trying my darndest not to think like that anymore. We women have our work cut out for us, and we ought to stop finding ways to tear each other down and stick together.

So, for today, make sure you tell all your lady friends (and acquaintances and maybe even strangers) how much you appreciate them. Personally, I would like to let one very special Galentine know how much I love her. This girl:

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Millie, last year you came home to us almost a week after Galentine's Day, and it was the best present ever. I know that I've been yelling at you a lot lately; you've picked up a nasty habit of barking in our faces for fun, and you can't let a sock hit the floor without grabbing it and running under the bed. Despite all these maddening qualities, I still think you are the bee's knees, and you will always be my Galentine!

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Don't worry, bloggy friends, I didn't forget about you! I think you all are the bee's knees as well, and I wish all of you a happy Galentine's Day!

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How will you celebrate Galentine's Day? Shall we get the petition started to make this a national holiday?

linking up with Karly, Jackie, and Nicole

All Love,

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