My Beef With the “Baby Question”

As some of you know, David was one of my best friends long before we started dating. I never looked at him as anything other than “David, my lunch buddy” or “David, my I-really-need-to-vent-about-life buddy”. But lo and behold, God had another plan for us and somewhere down the line, he paved a way for us to present day where we get to spend the rest of our earthly life together.

In the beginning of those “dating days”, I remember specifically one day when I was hanging out at D’s apartment and we filled each other in on our lives, the things we didn’t know about each other. One thing I remember him asking was “If you could be anything, what would you want to be when you grow up?”. It made me laugh because those questions always seem like a question you’re asked when you’re 4 instead of 20 (which I was at the time).

But I gave it some serious thought for a moment. I had always wanted to be an actress (don’t you dare laugh) but I didn’t know if I could do that forever. I had studied journalism but I knew that still wasn’t number 1. Then it hit me. The one thing I could see myself being happy doing for the rest of my life is being a mom. More specifically, a stay at home mom.

I remember being really impressed with his reaction because he thought it was the coolest answer I could have given. He was expecting I’d say a news anchor or an author. Never did he expect me to say the job I want forever does not pay monetarily and is probably one of the hardest jobs out there.

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Fast forward to present day, we have always kept this in mind. I was blessed with a husband who wants kids as much as I do but also had the same mentality. However, with the two of us coming into marriage with debt (damn you, student loans) and only having a small amount in savings, we had decided to wait on activley trying to have kids for 1.5 – 2 years. Being that we are as pro-life as it gets and Natural Family Planners (apparently it’s NFP awareness week?! yess) to the max, if God decided (or decides) to give us a baby before then, obvi we will be ecstatic and are 250% open to life. But we knew we wanted to try to get some things situated before that time comes, if at all possible.

With that said, it hasn’t always been easy being the baby-less couple. Often, I’ll have people (whether it be close friends or family) ask me, “So, you guys pregnant yet?” or “When are you two going to finally have a baby?”. Most of these questions come at me in jokingly posed questions. And I want to clear up by saying, I DON’T MIND people asking me this. That’s not the beef I have. I don’t mind people assuming we might have a baby on the way. I don’t mind people being curious and assuming this pro-life Catholic couple just may have a baby soon. It’s an obvious thing to think. I actually love when people ask me this because it gets me excited for when someday I WILL be a mom. Yes, many people look at it as a “none of your business” kind of topic, but I don’t care. That isn’t the way I look at it and I’d be curious too. Ask away!

With that said. There is something I do have beef with. Latley I’ve been coming across several blog articles or people in conversations or something I’ll hear on the news about family. Most of them have been saying how once you have a baby your family can begin or my family started with my children. And maybe I took it too seriously. Maybe I read into the comments. I personally can’t wait to grow my family, but I would never think that David and I were any less of a family because we didn’t have kids.

When we got married, I became his family and he became mine. Together, just the two of us, we make up our little family. It made me feel as though my little family, or worse, the little families of couples who can’t have children were being belittled. Family has grown to be one of the most important things in both my life and in David’s so I hate when I see it made less than it is. And in today’s world, as most of you know, that’s all too common.

As a blogger, it can often be hard to find your voice amidst all the mommy-bloggers out there. And don’t get me wrong, I love me a good mommy-blog. I never want to be one of the women who join the mommy-wars or talk ill of another woman, although I’m sad to say I am guilty of it. I am human afterall. I’m not really sure what category my blog would fall under. And I suppose I like it that way. It’s this ever-changing documentary of my little families life, I guess.

As I said, when I “grow up” I want to be a mom. But since that is not in God’s plan for us right now, I’m LOVING this time with my little family. Just the two of us enjoying vacations as a little family or going out for dinner as a little family or hours spent in a bookstore as a little family or happy hour as a little family. And when God decides to bless us with numero tres, I’ll be beside myself with joy. And I know D will too. And I’ll be even happier when you ask me “So, you guys pregnant yet?” because I’ll finally get to tell you that I have my dream job!

Hazy, Crazy, Lazy Days of Summer: Pt. 2

So if you havn’t heard, these past few weekends have been packed full of summer weekend-cations. Which I just about love. I am the biggest fan of going on vacation, even if it’s only an hour away. The excitement starts building up months in advance as I plan what I’m bringing and what snacks I’ll make.

Months in advance? Really Annie? Yes. Yes it’s true. Vacay is what I look forward to.

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This time around, I had two to look forward to. Mackinac Island and Sleeping Bear Dunes. Yes it’s true. I was northern bound once more. As many of you know, I pretty much grew up going to Mackinac Island every year. So it’s safe to say I wasn’t going to miss this year, my second year with David tagging along and first year as a married lady.

The trip started … well… not on a great note. You see, we are in the middle of leasing a new car. And we picked up said car on Thursday night. Fell in love with this Sunset Ford Escape. Friday morning we wake up and start packing the car and realize our bikes (the only way to get around on Mackinac Island) wouldn’t fit in the back. After about an hour of finangling and shoving, we gave up and realized it wasn’t going to happen. Thankfully my parents were coming up the next day so we were able to pawn one of the bikes off on them and just barley squeeze the other in. Cool. Ok. On the road now.

Well we were driving for about 2 hours when we stopped for a quick rest stop. Jumped out, did our bid’ness and before we leave, David starts checking out our new car. Because he’s a boy and I guess that’s what they do. Finally, he jumps in the car…pissed. Ford, bless their hearts, had given us the wrong car. We wanted a 4-wheel drive (in case of another winter-from-hell) and instead were given a front wheel drive. And it was signed for. And insured. And all that jazz.

So as we made our way up north, we spent most of the time on the phone with Ford trying to get it figured out. Unfortunatly they couldn’t really do anything until Monday, however. So we were gonna have this looming in the back of our minds the entire vacation. Ok. It’s okay. We just need to take a chill pill and try and relax and enjoy vacation.

We both sensed we needed some serious Jesus time so we made a pit stop at The Cross in the Woods, the largest crucifix in the world sitting amdist the peace and serenity of up north Michigan. We took our time and decided to make the best of everything. And once again, we were off.zw

^^David’s reaction when he saw it: “Thats’s the largets crucifix?! I thought it’d be bigger…” Mind you it’s the largest crucifix. There are plenty of larger crosses obviously. But once you get under His feet, you feel the immensity of it.

When we finally made it to Mackinaw City (the city at the very tippy-tip of Michigan’s mitten), we checked in to our hotel. And as soon as we checked in…we wanted to check out. The place was covered. AND I MEAN COVERED with squished bugs. All over the door. The walls. Later I found some ironed into the bed sheets. We were at the point that we couldn’t believe how this vacation was already turning out so we just started laughing! Naturally we laughed all the way down to the Dixie Saloon for some burgers and beer. Several beers. Normally I would have complained but we’d spent the first several hours of our vacay complaining (mostly to Ford or God) and we were only there for a night so I was in the “screw it” mentality at this point.

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^^Bug-infested hotel. Never again.

Can you believe that was all in the first day? The rest of the vacation started better. We got to the island on Saturday morning and went off on a long bike ride. I took that time to really take everything in once again.

The water! The horses! The fresh fudge! The sail boats!

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And then it all took another turn. Apparently, my aunt had made hotel reservations back in January for a specific room for all of us. But for some reason the hotel could not give us that room for the first night. So my aunt was… well… not too happy. She was driving up that day and spent most of her drive talking on the phone with the hotel and getting more and more upset. All the while my mom was in the car with her. So it’s safe to say there were some not-so-great moods when they arrived on the island. Once everyone else (my dad and brother) finally made it to the island that evening, we all had started to relax and unwind a bit. Thankfully.

 

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We spent the rest of the trip riding our bikes around or shopping in main street or enjoying the freedom of taking a nap just because or reading a book on the beach with the biggest/fattest moon out over the lake. We even got to go to a fancy party on the porch of the Grand Hotel. My favorite part was riding to Arch Rock in the middle of the night with D, my brother Tim and my dad, climbing all the way to the top and drinking a beer as we looked out over the water.

Sometimes, there is nothing better than silence.

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Despite the fact that we had our shares of laughs and fun moments, it was a different year. It wasn’t one that will go down as my favorite year in Mackinac. Everyone, at some point or another, had been in a furiously bad mood. Which happens. I just have never had a vacation like that before.

You see, I’ve been learning a lot about expectations. Not that I need to lower them, but I think I expected it to be like evey other year and for us to do the exact same things as every other year. But I’m realizing now what it means to have realistic expectaions. Now that I’m walking further and further into the “adult” world, I see more than ever that things are sometimes going to go wrong. We’re going to stress about stuff that we didn’t when we were 16. And sometimes, there’s nothing you can do about it right away. Sometimes, you just need to take a chill pill, shut up, and enjoy what short amount of time you have. These lessons are hard. It’s hard learning them because it’s something you don’t learn until after it’s happened. The stress has already come and it’s your choice, yours and yours only if your going to just learn to smile through it or be a lump on a log. We had had some lumps this weekend but we also had some smilers.

The good part in all of this, however, is that D and I came up with the idea and are seriously considering going back up to Mackinac during the winter. There are about 3 inns on the entire island open, it’s basically a ghost town except for skiiers and people who love winter (enter David), and it’s something that not many get to say they’ve done.

So a toast to yet another year in Mackinac! May they never be like this year again :)

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Hazy, Crazy, Lazy Days of Summer: Pt. 1

Do you ever feel a little sad when you come back from vacation? I sure do. And it was no different coming back from my two back to back vacations. So I’m spending this week dreaming of blue skies, blue water and sand everywhere.

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Times like this I’m pretty darn glad I married David because he is SO fun to travel with. Except for the occasional hangry moments. But car rides are a hoot and he’s good at relaxing. I, on the other hand, take a little more time to wind down. And since I’m sure you’re dying to read the recap of our week in northern Michigan, I’ll oblige and show you what we’ve been up to.

On July 4th, we woke up crazyyy early to get on the road to Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes which is right on Lake Michigan. Naturally I was exhausted because I’d stayed up way too late making car snacks like granola bars, roasted chickpeas, pasta salad and tuna sandwhiches. But at least we’d eat well :)

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Our drive up was a blast, as always. It generally involves a lot of red bull, jamming out to obnoxious 90′s beats, and people-watching as cars drove by. Once we got there, we checked into the cutest little motel I’ve ever seen. And then we were off!

People always talk about the sand dunes and say you have to do “The Climb”! So we get to the climb, and we see a big hill of sand and we think, “well that doesn’t look to bad. Lake Michigan must be right on the other side of that hill. Let’s bring food and our towels to go swimming.” When people saw us starting the climb, they must have laughed because we clearly had no idea what we were in for.

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Apparently Lake Michigan is NOT right over the hill. There are several more miles of very steep hills till you get to the water. A little 15 year old informed us we still had a long ways to go. We considered going back. But we’d already started, we were going to finish.  I’ve hiked difficult things before. I once did a 16 mile hike in Austria. But I still think this 3.5 mile hike to Lake Michigan was the hardest yet. Mostly because it was ALL incredibly steep hills in the sand. AND we were barefoot. I encourage anyone to do the hike, but come prepared. Not like us. Once we finally got to the beach after about 1.5 hours, we got to cool off for a bit, only to realize we still had the hike back to do. Yikes.

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^^ This is so deceiving. The water is still another app. 2 miles out. Eventually we made it.

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Nothing that a big ole’ burger can’t fix afterwards. Which is exactly what we did. The next day we were lucky enough to come across a beach that not many people knew about but was beautiful! For the better part of the morning we had it all to ourselves. Which meant swimming in the freezing water (I’m still bitter about our previous winter, as it’s made summer cooler), feeding seagulls (one of D’s favorite summer past times), laying out under the cloudless sky (one of my favorite summer past times), and eating all our snacks (both our favorite summer past times).

 

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^^ Probably my favorite picture of summer.

After many hours of this picture-perfect summer day, we headed to one of the inland lakes (Glen Lake to be exact), and went Jet Skiing! I’d done this once years ago in Mexico, however I was a bit scarred after getting run over by it, slicing my arm nad rushing out of the ocean for fear of a shark smelling the blood and coming to get me. Have I ever mentioned my illogical fear of sharks?

Moving on.

David had never been jet skiing but it was right up his alley. We spent the rest of the afternoon speeding around the lake, jumping off and taking amazing photos thanks to David’d LifeProof iPhone case. Followed by another evening of delicious junk food and tending to our sunburns.

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The next day we were heading out but not without stopping at one of the many Michigan winerys. We stopped at Douglas Valley Winery where we did a $5 dollar wine tasting where we could try all of their different wines and ciders.

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We took home some Cherry Vanilla Cider and a spicy Blueberry Wine. All in all it was the perfect way to cap off our first weekend away. Now we only had three days of work and then it was off to our next vacation! My faorite: Mackinac Island :) Although this year had it’s… we’ll call them “stressful moments”. I’ll explain in a later post. Now I’m just going to enjoy looking at my vacation pictures while trying not to get depressed that this isn’t our view anymore…

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Green is the New Black

When I was a kid, green foods creeped me out a bit. They smelled funny, tasted funny and mostly I turned a nose up at them because I knew in the back of my mind that they were good for me. This characteristic is one of the many that has adapted over the years and I’m proud to say I’m happy to eat anything (almost anything) that is green.

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With that said, you can imagine how happy I was when I was asked to review this “new” tea fad; Matcha Green Tea (by Kiss Me Organics). New to me of course, apparently it’s been around for thousands of years. Who knew?

Now I must tell you I’m first and foremost a coffee drinker. I have never been the one to crave a mug of steaming hot tea for the most part. To me, it was always a drink for hipsters and people who were concerned with having coffee-stained-teeth (clearly I have not been concerned with this as my cavity driven mouth will tell you). I’ll drink some green tea here and there for the added health benefits, then it’s quickly back to coffee for me.

But the thing that caught me off guard was the difference between your average every day green tea and Matcha green tea powder. For instance, unlike regular green tea, Matcha contains the entire leaf of the green tea plant (the Camellia sinensis). Wow Annie, could you bore me anymore with tea talk? Hold on I’m getting to the good stuff!

Because the whole leaf is used, you get much more of the health perks and then some! For instance:

  • Energy/Focus Boost- I wouldn’t have believed this unless I had tried it. I read that Matcha acts as a stimulant and a relaxant. So one morning I told myself I would go coffee-free and stick with Matcha for the day. Needless to say I was very nervous about this. I had a cup and was filled with energy the entire day. The best part was that it was a different kind of energy. Less buzzy than I normally feel with coffee and more “awake”. I found myself flying through my work in the morning and in the afternoon, I didn’t even have the usual caffeine crash.
  • Metabolism- Matcha tea can increase your metabolism from 8-10% to around 35-43%! So it is ideal for a pre/post workout drink for anyone working on weight loss. Again, metabolism increases are normal in regular green tea, but the benefits are heightened in the Matcha. I find that if I start my day with a Matcha smoothie (the.best), I can go so much longer without feeling those annoying hunger pangs. Plus with the added energy, I was walking around more and taking less time to sit during my work day.
  • Antioxidants- 137x the antioxidants in regular brewed green tea. No big deal, just fighting wrinkles one day at a time.
  • Glowing Skin- Natral Matcha tea helps protect your skin from UV rays and improves your oxygen and blood flow. For the record, I’ve been outside  ALOT this summer, and have not been sun burned once. Chalk it up to the tea? Say what you will but I wouldn’t be surprised if that a hand in it.

Ok so I had read all these “perks” but after just trying it one time, I was still a little skeptical. For the record don’t do what I did. READ the directions. Because the tea is so potent, all that’s needed is about 1/2 a teaspoon for a mug of hot tea. Well, I didn’t realize this and instead scooped a nice heaping TABLESPOON of Matcha into my mug. I poured the hot water, sipped, and cringed. It wasn’t terrible, but it was VERY potent. My thought process went like this: “Maybe if I chug it really fast it will taste better and be gone sooner”. Well I chugged it and gagged a little. TMI?

I know, I know you’re probably wondering why I’m telling you this. It’s so you don’t make the same mistake I did. READ.THE.DIRECTIONS.

Moving on. Once I got passed the awful mug incident, I decided I wanted to try this stuff out in some recipes. So far, I have tried 2 different smoothie recipes, green tea cupcakes, and in a crockpot meal. My favorite BY far has been the smoothies. Here is the one I liked best (but I also tried a mango one that turned out really good also).

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Berry Good Morning Smoothie:

  • 1/2 cup of cold orange juice
  • 1 tsp. of Matcha Green tea powder
  • 2 tsp. warm water
  • 1/3 cup of strawberries
  • 1/3 cup of blueberries
  • 1/2 banana

- Mix Matcha and warm wter until blended.

- Add all ingredients into blender and run until smooth.

Done.

I loved these because the Matcha wasn’t overbearing in the smoothie, but you could get a good hint of the tea flavor. It made it taste more fresh than usual. Plus I’ve started to make these in bulk and freeze them. I even brought some frozen ones on our vacation this past weekend and skipped the coffee. BOLD.MOVE. I know. I got to use the leftover strawberries from my picking trip (because no one has time to make pies like I originally wanted ;)

The tea came with a free recipe book as well so if you are interested in it, let me know here or below and I can get you a PDF copy for free!

I also made these Matcha green tea cupcakes as well as sprinkled a small amount into a few crockpot meals just for the added health perk. I’ll be posting the recipe to these cupcakes very soon!

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I hope you end up liking the Matcha as much as I have. If you are looking for something to help with the weight loss or skimping on the coffee or are just a tea addict and like to try new things, I highly recommend trying it. Again, read the directions before using it (unlike me) but other than that you may have found your new culinary best friend.

**I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.**

Lessons from Jam

Have you heard that new Miranda Lambert song, Auotomatic? I find myself searching for it on Youtube at red lights in my car because it just finished playing on the radio and I just need to hear it again. It’s currently my jam. For many reasons.

First being that it’s Miranda Lambert and she is just wonderful. As if I need another reason…

Second, I can’t get over how much I love the message.

Hey, whatever happened to waitin’ your turn
Doing it all by hand,
‘Cause when everything is handed to you
It’s only worth as much as the time put in
It all just seemed so good the way we had it
Back before everything became automatic

I have to admit I’m often that person that just wants to get things done now and on my terms. But what a slippery slope to walk on! I’ve noticed the more I bustle through life or take the easy way out, the less I appreciate. Now-a-days we have our smart phones, tablets, head phones, etc. just keeping us distant from one another and doing everything the easy way.

A few days ago I got to appreciate one of those moments where you just put a little more elblow grease and time into something. My mom and I had been talking about going berry picking for a while now (several summers, in fact) and finally a Saturday came around where neither of us were running errands or getting caught up in…well..life. So we went to a local farm nearby and spent some time picking strawberries.

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It was hot and sticky out and I forgot to bring a water bottle with me. But I couldn’t help but think about how much more accomplished I felt after that morning.

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We then ran back to my mom’s house and started to make some homemade jam. Last time I helped do that I was probably about 7 years old and my job was to “stir without burning myself”. Well, let’s be honest. That was my job this time too. But I think I enjoyed myself more this time. Afterwards we had 12 jars of homemade strawberry jam plus some leftover strawberries to make some pies (or for David to just eat, because that’s what he ended up doing. no pies for you).

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I’m the first one to admit that a lot of the time all I’d rather do is take the easy way out or in this case run to the grocery store to get some berries. But sometimes, as adults, I’m realizing we just need a time out. Time to sit and be slow and do things the hard way and rub some dirt in it and make something from scratch.

Hopefully you’ve already learned this lesson and didn’t need Miranda or a berry pickin’ day to come to your senses. But sometimes we just need a reminder, a little push. And the big perk? You get some really good jam at the end of it all (literally or symbolically). Enjoy your jam day!

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Bread and Ze Buttah

I love carbs. Very much. I like carbs dipped in things, smotherd in things and slathered with things. Now I know first hand that too much of a good thing (i.e. carbs) can be a bad thing. Which is why I try to moderate my carb-intake. HOWEVER. You certainly can’t eliminate carbs from your diet, right? Cause they are good for you too! How do you think I have energy this morning? Carbs (ok, anddd protein but that’s another post).

So back to my carbs. I’ve been looking and looking for a good crock pot bread recipe since we don’t have a bread machine. And recently I came across this one at Life with 4 Boys! And by “recently” I mean back during Lent because I made this a lot for bread and water fasting.

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The best part about homemade bread (besides the carbs which I so lovingly touched upon already) is putting something on it. It’s true. There are few (if any) breads that taste bad with something spread on top. Whether it’s some peanut butter or a grilled cheese sandwhich or toasted and dipped in tomato soup, let’s be honest… bread is just better with a mate.

In steps butter.

Along with the bread recipe, I had also come across a blackberry butter recipe. One glance and I was thinkin’, “MMMM…nope. Not gonna happen.” But once I read the recipe and saw how easy it was (this is no churn-it-yourself kind of recipe), I was convinced I had found my bread’s mate.

Both are easy and both are TASTY. Win-win in my book. The bread will make your house smell so homey and I love it toasted and warm with either a slab of the blackberry butter or even some peanut butter. Let me know what you think!

Let’s start with the bread. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 cup Flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp or 1 packet of Yeast
  • 2 tbsp of Sugar or Honey (I’ve tried it with both, I like honey a teensy bit more)
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 cup warm water (not hot!)

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^^Do not judge me for having Christmas plates still out in March when I took this picture…

- Start by mixing together your flour, salt, Yeast and sugar (or honey) into a large bowl.

- Add your oil and water. Stir the mixture until it becomes dough like then switch to using your hands.

- Work the dough with your hands for a few minutes. Work it into a ball. If it gets too dry, add a dash of more water. If it stays too sticky, add a dash of flour.

- Continue to knead the dough for 5-6 minutes. If easier, put some flour on a surface and knead there. Your hands may become tired after a few minutes.

- Line the crockpot with parchment paper. Place the dough into the crockpot and close the lid. Cook on high for 1-1.5 hours. Lift the bread out with the parchment paper to make sure the bottom is browning. After it has the brown-ness (not a word I know) that you want, place it under the broiler for a few minutes (if that) to brown the top. Be careful because I burned my first loaf in the broiler. Me and the broiler are still getting to know one another…

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And your done! NOW let’s move on to the Buttah! I found this recipe here at The Lazy Daisy Kitchen (such a cute blog name if you ask me). Keep in mind you can cut this recipe down as needed. It makes a pretty good amount of butter, which is nice if you’re looking for gifts to jar up. For D and I? It was a lot so make accordingly…

You’ll need:

  • 1 pound salted butter, softened
  • 1/8 cup of honey
  • 1/2 cup of black berries

- Whip together the butter and honey until fluffy.

- Add in berries and mix together allowing the berries to burst until the desired look is met. I left some  berries in tact.

- Add in any more honey or berries to taste.

- Store in a jar OR if you want a log of butter, scoop the butter onto some plastic wrap, wrap it up and mold to the shape you want, then wrap that in foil and refrigerate.

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Martha Stewart who?!

Now grab a cup of tea, cut into that warm-fresh-out-of-the-crockpot bread and slather on a heap (yes a heap) of butter and enjoy! Enjoy those carbs. Enjoy them.

Closet Revamp: Cropped Pants

When I get up in the morning, I am tired and sometimes cranky. To say I am not a morning person is an understaement. My mornings consist of me dragging myself out of bed (or David dragging me out of bed), slowly and painfully getting into the shower as my body trys to wake up and my head says no, eat a quick breakfast, PLAN to do something with my hair but after glancing at the clock realizing I don’t have time so it’s gonna be a top-knot kind of day, dress quickly, packing a random/thrown together lunch, making sure D is ready to go (on the days we drive together) and practically running out the door.

So it’s safe to say I don’t have extra time at all in the morning. With that said I generally have two fall backs for my attire: LBD or LCP. Translation? Little Black dress or little cropped pants. I’m sure the “LCP” will catch on.

But given that it can be very boring to wear the same thing always, I genereally try to change it up as much as I can. AND since I’m a newlywed(ish) and have to focus on adult thinkgs like a budget (ew),  trips to the mall come fare and few. So I’ve taken to doing a little revamping this summer. Taking all the things I own in my closet and pullin’ a switcheroo by matching them with different pieces I normally wouldn’t. It makes me feel like I just went shopping :) Here are a few usabel and reusable pieces I’ve found to keep my favorite pants fresh. Some dressy, some business-y, and some relaxed. Basically here is a glance of what I tend to wear on a very regular basis.

These black crop pants are from the Gap. They have several colors, but I’m still beating myself up for not getting more colors. Thank God for Twice, cause I found a few there :)

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* For the record, I’m not sure how “fashion” bloggers do it, always having the time to take nifty photos of themselves in these perfectly planned outfits. This alone took me awhile, more than I usually would like to spend on photo taking. My “ADD” was kickin’ in big time by the end of this. God bless those bloggers who give us “little people” something to aspire to :)

Apartment Living: The Nays

On weekends when David and I are driving back home from mass, sometimes we’ll pass these neighborhoods that have these big signs that say “OPEN HOUSE! Tour Now!”. So obviously we immediatly turn in. We (just me) like to make up new identities to the people showing the house. David is a lawyer and I am in med school. And sometimes I’m British. Depends how I’m feelin’ that day, ya know? Because let’s be honest, I always get the “How old ARE you?” card cause I look more like 16 than 24, so med student sounds a little more like, “Hey, I’m an adult and can make decisions like buying a house with my lawyer husband”, when in reality… well let’s just say we’re not in the market for a house just yet.

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^^One of our “Open House” homes. Maybe someday?!

With that said, I’m always walking around these BIG fancy houses, just thinking how I would decorate if this was my house, or deciding which bedroom would go to each of our imaginary children.

And then I get home. To our apartment. Which MOST of the time I enjoy. It’s spacious, good neighbors, blah blah blah. But there are days that I just want to pack the bags and head for a REAL house. And these are just some of the rifts I’ve had with our little place that push me towards that even more…

  • Neighbors and their dog pee. For the most part, I genuinley like our neighbors. They are a bunch of young couples like us and are super friendly. We don’t hang out or anything, but we help each other out when needed. HOWEVER. We live in a three story apartment complex (with everyone having their own entry to the outside), David and I being in the middle on the second floor. We have a balcony, but so does the neighbors above us. They also have a dog… Do you see where I’m going with this? During the winter, I went out on the balcony several times to find yellow snow. “David…did you take a bathroom break out here last night?” …No…okay…wait a minute… THE.DOG. It’s been peeing on the balcony above us and dripping onto ours. Because it was winter, we decided to wait until it got warmer to see if it happened and then we’re gonna have to have a little talk with the neighbors. Cause nobody wants to be sitting on patio furniture and get a shower of urine. Just, nobody.
  • Parking. We have one of those covered spots to park our car, so David usually lets me park my car under there. Then there are about 10 other spots that are up for grabs, on a first-come-first serve-basis. But if a neighbor is having people over, well then we can’t even park to get into our own apartment. Grrr. In the grand scheme of things, that’s not that bad. But when you’re carrying two weeks worth of groceries. It almost is that bad.
  • Personality? What’s that? We are allowed to paint in our apartment. Under the condition that when we leave we paint and prime back to white. I’ve always dreamed of having all sorts of warm and/or bright colors filling my home. But there are a few reasons I don’t. 1. This is not our permanent home. We are saving for a house, so it just seems more hassle (and a waist of money) than anything to paint, only to have to paint back whenever we leave. 2. I’d rather save my color scheme ideas for when I actually have a house, because again, it’ll be our forever-home (most likely) adn I’ll actually be able to enjoy it for quite some time, rather than a year or two and it’ll be gone. (Also, all of our cabinets and counters are also white, which I liked at first because it looked clean, but now I sometimes get the feeling I’m in a hospital).
  • Little Walls, Everywhere. I’ve posted about this before, but our apartment has a LOT of little walls, mostly because there are a lot of little angles and corners leading to different corners. So I’ve really had to get creative when it comes to decorating, cause in my opinion, it’s so much easier to hang one big painting or do a gallery of photos a one nice big wall. But none of those will fit on our little walls. Now I could probably decorate one, two or maybe three of these “little walls” easily, but they are everywhere. I’ve started to run out of ideas. I’m sure this can also be a problem in a house, it just depends on the how it was built. But if anyone has any other ideas, I’m all ears. Cause I have about 3-5 more little walls to fill at this time. And I’ve got nada.
  • Appliance, They Have a Mind of Their Own. This part is mostly directed at our dishwasher. Our awful, terrible dishwasher. For the record, I AM glad we have one, as washing is dishes probably my least favorite thing to do. But this one is pushing it. For starters, it only holds a small amount of dishes. But worse, the top shelf hardly ever gets clean. If you put too many bowls or cups on the bottom, it’ll block any of the water from getting to the top. So then after we run our dishes through, they actually look dirtier because all the crap from the below shelf got blown up onto the top shelf and sat there. It looks a little like this.photo-2

That bowl in the back? Yeah all it’s contents (which was melted chocolate) ended up on the top of the bowl. Really, dishwasher? Really?

  • “Gardens”. Okay maybe this one isn’t too terrible but one thing I am REALLY looking forward to in a house is having a full garden. I’ve never been one to enjoy weeding or planting that much, as it was one of the dreaded chores my mom had for us on the chore-chart growing up (oh that dreaded chore-chart was the bane of my existence as a kid). But now that D and I are on our own, I am much more excited to have a spot of my own to grow what I want and have the flowers that I love. As many of you know, I started a balcony garden, which only can fit one pepper plant, one tomato plant, 2 pots of basil, one pot of cilantro, and some flowers. I love this garden. Mostly because it feels like an accomplishment, as I never really thought of myself as having much of a green thumb. I like to spend timy at my patio set reading and enjoying it. It makes me that much more excited for when I can have an actual garden to spread out in. Oooo maybe I’ll get to plant two tomato plants. Oh the possibilities!

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Maybe it sounds like I’m griping. Well, I am. I’m allowed to gripe sometimes, right? (gripe. what a good word you don’t hear too often. Duly noted). But like I said, I generally like my apartment. How could I not? It’s our first home together. It’s where we started our little life together. It will always be very special to me. But sappy stuff aside? Sometimes this place knows how to get me to gripe (see what I did there ;)