My Obsessions

My girl Kristin did an awesome post last week that I knew I was going to copy as soon as I read it. She polled her closest family and friends and asked them what they would say she was obsessed with. Obsessed is a word we all probably use entirely too much, so I thought it would be fun to see what my people said about me. Family/friends weren't allowed to be answers because of course they come first in my life no matter what :) For the most part? Not too many surprise answers, but here are the results after polling 9 people.

Bengals/Football got 8/9. The one person who didn't list this? Jared! Haha- his excuse was that since it was my job maybe he shouldn't list it. Disclaimer- it needs listed ;) I mean, have you read the title of my blog?

Mexican food scored 7/9 My college friend Erin specifically listed quality mexican food, and I like that answer best. My dad also said "mexican vacations" which halfway counts- he knows I go for the food, not just the beaches.

Disney and Blogging both got 6/9. I was surprised that many people said blogging but I guess I kinda' do it all day/every day. I just didn't expect everyone to know how deep my love is for it!

New cities/vacations/traveling got just 4/9 but I'll take it. I love seeing new areas and getting time away from the office, especially with Jared! Travel is worth every penny and if I were rich I'd do it even more often.

Honorable Mentions:
Organization/Planners/Lists- 3/9
Dave Ramsey 2/9
Puppies 2/9

Jared listed Jodi Picoult and pretzels which are solid choices that no one else said. I guess that just goes to show you how I spend a good chunk of my spare time at home. Book in hand (preferably a Jodi) and pretzels by my side. I'm a simple girl, really. I don't need much to keep me content but Mickey-shaped pretzels do get bonus points.

The color orange and orange polka dots were both mentioned. I do love me some orange but I had no idea anyone thought I was OBSESSED with it. Although, our wedding theme was sorta' centered around both those things.

And last but not least I got ONE vote for, and I quote, "those disgusting circus peanuts" lol! So maybe I did write an entire post about them... Yeah, I'm pretty obsessed.

I'm Thankful

This weekend I had a lot of free time, a rarity it seems. We had an open calendar for the most part and I had plenty of alone time and plenty of time with Jared. A perfect weekend blend, if you ask me (which you didn't- but hey, this is my blog after all!). All the free time really gave me a lot of time to think and to reflect. I took things slow, I wrote in my personal journal, I thought about goals and future plans, I prayed for family and friends and most of all I just felt thankful. There are too many things we forget to appreciate when life is busy. The small things that we'd miss if they didn't exist. So today I just feel like shouting from the rooftops a few things I'm thankful for...

A parking garage downtown. Rainy days suck and I genuinely feel bad for those who are walking to work in the nasty weather. I'm glad I don't have to remember an umbrella every day because let's be honest- I would likely forget it nine times out of ten. I don't function well in the mornings.

Technology. I've said this multiple times, but every chance I get to Skype with my little niece just reminds me again how great video chatting is. I hate being miles and miles away from her and missing a lot of her growing up, but Skype helps me feel not quite so far away. She's getting older and talking more, showing me things and one of these days soon we'll get an "Aunt Erin" out of her- I just know it ;)
Sorry, no pics of that cutie allowed. But you can see how happy that little girl makes me :) PS- I miss my long hair!

Vacation days. In the grand scheme of things, I actually don't get that many days off. Much less than most people I know, but boy- does that make me appreciate the days I do have to spare! I've still got a few beautiful days to use before this year is up and I'm clinging to them like gold at the moment. I am SO thankful I have paid time off and want to squeeze the most I possibly can out of those days. Now I just need to decide when to use them!

A good margherita pizza. Enough said.

Pictures. I've been doing a lot of cleaning and purging lately and came across tons of photos I hadn't looked at in a long time. I know how much I love looking back at my mom and grandma's old pictures and I'm so thankful I'll have plenty to pass down to generations after me. The memories just cannot be beat.
Ok, yeah- we were cute as kiddos. #truth ;)

My health. While being injured was a very minor thing compared to many issues people are dealing with every day, it truly opened my eyes to how fortunate I am. Overall I'm a healthy, strong person and I don't want to take that for granted. I want to keep taking care of this body and this life because we only get one.

Other notable mentions?
 - Fantastic multi-colored pens
 - Good coupons when getting your car worked on
 - Disney movies and a hubby who loves them just as much 
 - BW3's Sweet BBQ sauce- nom, nom nom!
 - A good pedicure that lasts 3+ weeks and going strong
 - All of you who take the time to read my crazy posts :)

So today- try to be thankful. Sure it's a Monday, but it only has to "feel" like a Monday if you make it. Take a quick second to be grateful for all of life's blessings today. We are so fortunate!!

My Dearest Friday

Every once in awhile I unofficially bring back that "Friday letters" link-up that everyone, myself included, used to do. It's just a great format when you've got a lot of things to touch on- don't you think? A nice, tidy way to wrap up a week and update the blogworld on how incredibly boring good your week has been. Let me proceed:

Dear sweet Friday, This week you showed up incredibly fast and I loved it so much! I think it was because I felt so stress-free this week- rare! Please continue to surprise me like that going forward.

Dear weekend, you are absolutely free of plans for the first time in who knows how long?! I promise to fill you with the perfect mix of productivity and relaxation. Doing laundry and watching Flip or Flop sounds like a great plan for tomorrow morning- we'll start with that ;)

Dear world, my hip is healed! I'm done with all those doctor appointments! I'm sure you all are sick of hearing about my hip injury- I know I am. It's been months since I first hurt it and I'm finally pain free! It's seriously amazing to just be able to walk and feel 100%. I'll still be easing back into other exercises little by little, but I'm so ready to be fit and active again.
That miserable day in March where said injury occured.

Dear hair, I'm really sorry that I haven't cut you since last July. Yikes! Since the only woman I trust to touch my locks lives about an hour away it's just not always at the top of my list. I think it's time though- you've been neglected for far too long.

Dear Mom, Have an amazing time on your roadtrip! I am already so jealous and wish I could jump in the car with you ladies. Be safe and take lots of pictures :)

Dear Jared, You are going to ROCK the Tough Mudder tomorrow! You are seriously a beast.

Dear Readers, I don't say it often enough but THANK YOU for showing up to this mess of a blog all the time. Your comments and emails and just your eyeballs reading along mean the world to me. Don't be a stranger- I love hearing from you all :)

Happy Weekend!

Not Just a Football Fan

Everyone around here knows that football is my one true love, but I still love watching most other sports. Especially this time of year. I always say that May-June are my dedicated baseball months, where I actually follow the Reds closely and try to get to as many games as I can. As soon as July hits, it's full-on football mode for me! Unless of course it's time for the Olympics, and in that case I happily share time. (Can it just be August 2016 already?! Rio!!!) But since it's still June- I can enjoy baseball a little while longer. Jared and I got to be in the suite with some of my coworkers last Friday night which was an absolute blast.
You can tell from the photos that this is a rare treat and we were pretty pumped ;) Usually we get to do this once a year but we missed our chance last season, so it's been awhile. We made up for lost time and helped ourselves to a ridiculous amount of food- mainly guacamole for me and that dessert spread for the mister. The Reds beat up on the Marlins that humid, gross night and there were post-game fireworks, too. A classic summer evening at the ballpark.

It's exciting downtown right now since the All-Star Game is here in Cincinnati this year! People are hard at work around the area making things beautiful and getting ready for the large crowds that will be here next month. Giant mustaches are going up all around the city and I keep spotting new ones each time I'm out- they are so funny! The idea was fueled by the handlebar logo for this year’s All-Star Game as well as the history of the Reds franchise and returning trend of facial hair for baseball players.

Now if only I could actually afford some tickets to the game... Hint, Hint. Anyone, anyone? If nothing else, Jared and I hope to make it to the fan fest to check out some of the happenings. I'm looking forward to our city being in the national spotlight for a bit. Has a big sporting event ever come to your city??

At Least the Decorations Are Pretty

The morning of my 10-year reunion I found (and plucked!) a lone, gray hair. I should have taken that as a sign for how the rest of the day would go. Goodness. It was rough, okay? A lot of things just didn't go right. Lesson learned- I cannot and will not take on another reunion again. The time, money and effort just aren't worth it- especially when I know there are other people who would enjoy planning it more than I would. It's hard, because I do enjoy throwing a good party, but high school reunions are just different. Hopefully a committee will form for any future get-togethers so the responsibility can be divided up and I will happily be in attendance, but not in charge.

I'll spare you the nitty-gritty details of what all went wrong and instead show off our decorations. The decorations turned out great and everyone likes to see pretty stuff anyway. Just believe me when I say behind the scenes it was not even close to pretty. We didn't need a ton of decor, but enough to make it look inviting with our school colors. I made trivia cards to put out on the tables as an ice-breaker of sorts; something for people to look and chat about as everyone was still arriving. They were a big hit and everyone had some good laughs over them.

I also wanted to get a custom banner that we'd be able to use for years to come at future events/reunions. I searched high and low for this and purchased from BananaLala on Etsy. Again- I highly recommend them! Anna and Mikaelah are sisters from Indiana and were great to work with on this. I am absolutely obsessed with the quality and cuteness of our banner. We got compliments on the banner all night and it made for a cute photo-opp too!

There are tons of cute things in their shop but like my order, they will customize anything you want AND because they are so awesome, you can get 20% off one item now through July 17th with coupon code SUMMER20. Be sure to check out their Facebook page as well! :) 

The final highlight of the night? These DELICIOUS cakepops made by a local gal who does them out of her house. If anyone in the Cincinnati are needs affordable treats I will be happy to pass along her contact information. They were a big hit and I absolutely snagged a few extra to take home with me ;)

Thankfully, amid the chaos I had my main man AND my bestie there alongside me. We survived the class reunion and I couldn't be more grateful that I had those two with me. Sidenote- Lacey and I's husbands were refusing photos that night, but I promise they were there!

It's over, and I think the people that were there had fun, and that's what really matters. Maybe a dozen things went wrong, but if the crowd had a good time that's honestly all we should care about. Whew- I'm breathing a sigh of relief right about now.  Cheers to finally feeling stress-free and cheers to a low-key week/weekend ahead!


This week has been one of the busiest ones I've had in awhile- and the weekend just gets busier! I've slacked on my email inbox, I've pushed household duties aside more than I'd care to admit and I'm pretty sure I've eaten the same lunch and dinner almost every day this week. Sometimes you just gotta' roll with it and cram everything in. I am definitely going to welcome a calmer week next week. Here's why I've been a little sleep-deprived:

-  I had 3 physical therapy sessions this week. No complaining on those- I love it!! I've been scheduling the 7:15am appointments whenever possible and I enjoy starting my day that way. Make no mistake, it's a workout. Also? I want to go back to school and become a PT now... never too late, right?! ;)

-  I also volunteered to take photos at a soccer clinic this week that Jared and his cousin are putting on. Muggy, buggy and all-around disgusting- but it was fun to watch Jared 'coach' and be in his element. 

-  I worked countless hours on this class reunion I've planned for Saturday. Ten-year high school reunion here I come! What I thought would be a really fun event to plan has turned into more of a headache, honestly. I'll be glad when Saturday night rolls around, the decorations are in place, the food is ready and everyone is just there. Hopefully I have a positive post to share with you all next week about how it went. Then I don't have to think about this for another 10-15 years. Luckily my bestie Lacey is stuck planning with me.
Please hold your comments on the color of my skin in the top-left. Definitely went overboard w/ the prom tanning that year.

- Tonight Jared and I get to attend the Reds game with my work. We'll be in a suite, thank goodness, since lots of rain and storms are in the forecast. We usually get to do this once a year, but last year we missed out due to traveling. Even if the rain comes, I will enjoy plenty of tasty (free!) food and schmoozing with the bosses.

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend- I have lots to share next week! :)

I am...

I am a mess work in progress, always. See above photo.

I keep less and less as the years go on; Be gone, clutter!

I wish I could travel each month to somewhere new. (Don't we all??)

I sing every word to every song I hear. Totally not annoying, I'm sure ;)

I dance daily. This is no exaggeration… Car-dance, Office-Boogy and Kitchen-Shimmy are specialties of mine.

I think my hip is starting to feel normal and strong again- hallelujah for physical therapy!

I really want a puppy.

I need to remind myself daily that I'm allergic to puppies.

I should spend more time writing my book. Why is it so hard to feel creative at the end of the day?

I can always count on Kristin to motivate me via Gchat.

I like lifting weights… a couple years ago I never thought I'd say such a thing.

I love mexican food more than I should. I know a lot of people say this, but seriously- I have a problem!

I make a pretty amazing tortilla soup.

I always stay up way too late for important sporting events. I'm a Pacers fan first, but I've gotten over their season and have been loving these finals. I'm rooting for Golden State tonight! Are you #TeamSteph or #TeamLebron??
Throwback to last's years playoffs- what a game this was!

*Can't remember where I originally saw this- but I've had it saved in the drafts for awhile as a prompt. Feel free to 'steal' and post as you please!*

Tackling One Week at a Time

After an incredibly productive weekend, it can sometimes be both calming and stressful to look at a new week ahead of you. Almost every Sunday night I get out my planner, see all that's already penciled in and add other obligations and to-do's and before you know it? There's barely any white space left for the next 5-7 days. Yikes! How do I manage to cram every inch of downtime with something? This week especially has me feeling a bit overwhelmed- between doctor's appointments, volunteering, a Reds game with my office and my class reunion finally on Saturday, it seems as if there is no way I'll get it all done.

Can you relate? Looking at an entire week, or month, in advance can sometimes stress me out. Obviously we want to know what's around the corner, or what we need to be prepping for- but seeing it all written in one place can send me into panic mode occasionally. Funny, isn't it? A planner which is supposed to keep me organized and on top of everything- can almost have the reverse effect at times if you let it. Anytime I freak out I try to take a few deep breaths and just focus on the next 24 hours. Usually that works for me. Then I can think about what has the highest priority that day- start there and work my way down. I'd say that's what Jared and I did this weekend and in the end it paid off. We got SO much done and just focused on the tasks at hand one by one.

Friday I had to drop my car off to have some work done so Jared met me there. I'm typically a person that does not enjoy Fridays. There, I said it! The commute just always takes extra long because everyone is rushing to get somewhere and as a result there are more accidents and hold-ups. We're all so eager to get to that weekend that we end up delaying it even more. So the traffic tried to annoy me Friday as usual, but we dropped my car off and decided to make the best of the evening with some quick sushi takeout, finishing a movie and an early bedtime. Hashtag old people.

Saturday Jared coached a sports clinic with his cousin bright and early in the morning and I had to be at work later that afternoon. You can guess who got to drop him off since we only had one car, right? Up at 6:15 on a Saturday isn't my ideal way to start things but again, I made the best of my time. There was no way I'd be able to get back to sleep after dropping him off so I hit up the grocery store, list in hand. And you know what? I kinda' loved being the only one crazy enough to be at Kroger that early. I got what I needed and was back home with plenty of time to do what I wanted. Decluttering was on the agenda and I filled another couple bags of stuff to take to GoodWill.

That afternoon I had to give tours at the stadium for a few hours. Luckily I was stationed inside most of the time since it was hot hot hot. I passed the time by sending ridiculous pictures to friends, stalking players coming in and out and doing hip stretches when no one was around. I worked some too, I promise.
After a long day on our feet the last thing Jared and I wanted to do was work in our yard- but we knew we needed to. It's a project we'd put off for far too long and Sunday's weather wasn't looking too promising - it was now or never! We tackled Lowe's like professionals and forced ourselves out into the muggy evening for a few hours. 
Definitely our most glamorous pictures to date ;)

I am pretty confident I have never looked or felt that disgusting in my life. Sweat was pouring off of me, I had dirt everywhere (including on my eyelids somehow) but we kept on trucking. Chopping, weeding, mulching- we made the most of those few hours and it was well worth it. There is still more to to (hello, backyard!) but the progress we made felt pretty awesome.

So "make the most of it" is something I'm trying to remind myself day-in and day-out. We're all busy- that's life! If I just sit and pout or stress about how much I have going on, that's not exactly going to solve anything. I've just gotta take control of the hours I do have and make them count. It would have been much easier to just flop on the couch while I was home and say, "I'll get to that tomorrow" but there's no satisfaction in that! Crossing things off the list, one thing at a time, one day at a time is the only way to function. So this week I'm not looking too far ahead, I'm just sticking with today.

Fabulous Friday

Sunday night started off on a bad foot and I just KNEW this entire week would be doomed. Dramatic much? Thankfully I was wrong and this week has turned out to be a wonderful one. I've found myself smiling, dancing and singing more than normal this week. Although those are all regular occurrences, I really upped my game this week. Jared's been calling me 'happy feet' the past few days. He says since I got that pedicure it's just went to my head (or toes?) and I can't seem to stop moving. He may have a point... More pedicures in my future then!

I started physical therapy this week and what I was not really looking forward to, ended up being so enjoyable. I had two sessions this week and loved both the physical therapists that worked with me. It's been great so far and I honestly am looking forward to another couple weeks of this. Being able to walk/get out on my own in general is amazing. Crutches are retired and I can walk again! I'm back to using my FitBit, and while I'm easing back into (per doctor's orders!) I'm upping my steps a little bit every day to get back to where I was pre-injury. It's nice to not be feeling like a slug again even though I've got a long way to go.

I watched Jared play some softball finally. He tore it UP last night! I didn't make it to as many games as I have previously, mainly due to the fact that I was on crutches for the majority of it. Let me tell you, as if crutches in normal life aren't awkward/annoying enough- try crutching into a ballpark with a bunch of drunks on a Thursday night. No thank you ;) Even though last night was 90 degrees and humid we had a blast!

And finally, I'm redesigning my blog. I know, I know- I have changed it countless times but for some reason it's so much harder to settle on a look for your own blog. I'm happy to do yours for you, but when it comes to my own I can never 100% finalize what I want. Until now.... bum bum bummmmm. I THINK I have a winner. I'm ready for something bright and fun, something that fits my personality a little more. Hoping to have her ready to go Monday morning!

This weekend we have a lot of random things to do and places to be- but I'm ready for it. Bring it on weekend! 

Is Butter a Carb?

Is anyone else as annoying as I am? I quote movies like it's my jay-oh-bee. Job. Over and over again I quote them. Sometimes I just quote them out of the blue because they're on my mind. Other times I tie random phrases from favorite movies into every day life and pretend that they just make sense. Let me dive into a few favorites of mine. 

Mean Girls. I vividly remember seeing it in theaters the day it opened. I was a junior in high school and the entire local theater was packed with kids from my high school, I practically knew everyone in there and we all rendezvoused at Applebees afterwards, quoting it already. Those were the days, right! This movie has no shortage of quotes that also fit into every day life.
"Is butter a carb?"
When Jared and I are eating healthy and I just really want to eat all the bad things.

"You can't just ask people why they're white."
When anyone else says something awkward in a social setting.

"No, I just have a lot of feelings."
When I just want everyone to love each other and get along.

Elf is obviously another classic movie that everyone knows and loves. And I'm sorry, but its not just for Christmas. I typically have to bust it out at least once during the summer for those feel-good moments and to remind me that Christmas is halfway here. I'm obsessed, I know.
"Why's your coat so big?"
Jared and I are both so weird and randomly ask each other this. No rhyme or reason to it, we just do.

"Good news, I saw a dog today!"
Again, no logical reason I should be saying this in every day conversation, but I do.

"Hope you find your dad!"
I say this to people when they leave my house. Seriously, I do

"It's very purpley!"
Anytime someone wears anything purple at all.

Monsters University- such a good animated film. I own a couple of the plush characters and I am not ashamed to admit that! Not quite as quoteable as some movies, but there's a solid one-liner I utilize a lot:

"I can't go back to jail!"
When I think I messed up/did something wrong.

Gladiator- a movie I didn't expect to like when Jared introduced me to it years ago, but man, I loved it. I have one favorite line from that movie:

"Are you not entertained!"
When anyone is staring at you and its uncomfortable. Just yell that quote.

And I'll leave you with a favorite of mine. Anne Shirley always had so much wisdom and I never get tired of the Anne of Green Gables movies. Tomorrow is always, ALWAYS fresh.

What's your favorite movie to quote? Are you obnoxious as I am by working in one-lines anywhere you can? ;)

The Other Erin

As I mentioned last week, I had my good college friend Erin come in town this past weekend to visit and stay with us. It was SO great catching up with her and also not having any real plans/obligations. We went wherever the wind carried us and just had an absolutely great time together. I basically treated the weekend like a mini-vacation and my wallet got a bit of a workout. I don't know how people do this every weekend because I'm certainly going on a spending freeze after these last few days. It was completely worth it though.
Friday night we called for a group dinner with some other friends/family and then hosted game night at our place. It'd been awhile since we had a big group over for games and as always, things got crazy and competitive pretty quickly. We played Hedbanz and quite a few heated games of CatchPhrase into the wee hours of the morning. I didn't go to bed until 2:30am. That might not seem like a big deal to some of you- but I haven't seen that hour in a looooong time. I'm way too old for that kinda bedtime ;)

Saturday I showed Erin around the ever-popular Jungle Jim's, we grabbed lunch and then enjoyed a mani/pedi together. It was my first time getting a pedicure since my wedding so I was in heaven. I'm thinking they need to be added into my budget because it was so incredibly relaxing! I got a fun minty color on my fingers and toes that I'm pretty obsessed with at the moment.

I also finally learned how to play Euchre this past weekend! Erin explained it better than anyone else has ever attempted and we played a few rounds with Jared and our friend Joe- and I didn't do too shabby, if I can say so myself.

To close out the weekend Erin and I went to see Pitch Perfect 2 which was hysterical and even better than I thought it would be. Thumbs up from me!!
It was so nice to have my 'other Erin' here for a couple of days and just not have any cares at all. We looked at photos and reminisced about college which gosh, I miss some days. But I know we just need to do a better job of planning times to see each other. Sure, we're all busy- but I need friendships like these in my life- there's no excuse to go months and months without seeing each other when we only live two hours apart. We've got another girls date on the calendar I'm already looking forward to it. Cheers to friendship!