Monday, December 11, 2017

to mexico we go!, part one


our holiday in mexico...oh man, did we have a blast. all four of us have been feeling the post-vacation blues something fierce since we got back. but, i always like to take that as a sign of a memorable, whirlwind of a trip. i mean, there's nothing to feel the blues about unless you had an exceptionally great time, right?

so we initially started planning this trip about a year back when our friend michael (our other friend named michael, not jana's michael :) ) told us he was planning to have his 40th bash down in playa. he was letting friends know so, if they were interested, they could start planning. T and i had been missing mexico something serious since our honeymoon so, we jumped at the chance to go back! then, we thought, well let's make it a getaway for us and take an extended trip/see if m+j want to join in. thankfully, they were of course game to come and were more than excited to start planning. 


[our first, of many, cheers' for the trip]

flash forward to our first night in playa. sweet, balmy air, music playing everywhere, colorful people all around us, and us, altogether. i couldn't stop mentally pinching myself that after all that planning and waiting, we were finally on our trip together! 


[exploring on foot]


[cigar selections]


[inviting watering holes]


we were excited to be there, but exhausted from flying. so, we turned in a little early after taking in the scenery that night. 


[maxing and relaxing]


our first morning, jana and i did a little rooftop yoga session with a post-swim cool-off before getting breakfast with the guys. aka the best way to wake up, hands down. then, we packed up our things and made our way to the beach for the day. 


[thirst quencher]


[beach babe-ing]




sometime later, we left the beach in search of some afternoon treats and drinks. thankfully, our neighborhood bar also happened to have some amazing tacos and tasty pesto ceviche. 


[bros with their girly drinks]


[all the ceviche]


after lunch, we got cleaned up and made our way over to michael's apartment for welcome cocktails with everyone who flew down for the weekend. it was so great to get to see so many familiar faces who were equally excited to celebrate the birthday boy, and to grab some beach time. 


[bday coasters]


[rooftop hangs]


[one of my favorites]


we later made our way to our favorite mexican spot to treat m+j to some great wine, atmosphere, and most importantly, food. 


[word to the wise, trust when they say the salsa is spicy here!]


[couple of cuties]


[morning views]

Friday, December 8, 2017

top five


earlier this week, T and i got back from a little winter vacation with m+j to playa del carmen, mexico. it was the perfect getaway with our best friends, and filled with more inside jokes and memories than i can count. 

we are still settling back into our routine sans 80 degree temps, ceviche and taco breaks, and mescal-rita refreshments. but, i felt a mini recap was in order while we get back into the swing of things. although i thought i'd switch things up this time since it was so unbelievably dynamite, and instead do a top five recap. so, without further ado, here's my top five favorite moments from our friendcation. enjoy!


we spent the better part of the day sailing on a catamaran, and took a swim break at a coral reef. right when i jumped in the water, a sea turtle swam under me - i couldn't believe my luck, i was so excited. T, michael, and i snorkeled around the reef, and at one point i turned my head to find a sea turtle coming up to meet me face to face. i'm talking less than a foot away, guys...i actually squealed out-loud. it was amazing! plus, there were loads of huge sting rays swimming all around us, and very curious, and colorful fish. color me cloud nine!


[living the good life]



one of our days out and about, we took the ferry to cozumel to take m+j to our favorite hidden beach. we first learned about it during our honeymoon, and has since been our number one beach of all time. we just had to introduce them as we knew they'd love it as much as we do. and, surprise, surprise, they loved it. not only was the beach picture perfect (even with overcast and occasional showers), the water was stunning and perfect for snorkeling with all of the colorful fish. an added bonus, it happens to have some of the best ceviche and spicy salsa we have ever had...we are still talking about it.


after getting settled into our airbnb, exploring the area, and having dinner, we decided to have a nightcap at our neighborhood bar just across the street. holy cow, what a find! those mescal-ritas were so tasty. the perfect mix of tart, spicy, and just a hint of sweet. plus, the atmosphere was too inviting. had we not been so tired, we could have stayed all night. an added bonus was that their dj played a great mix of 90s and 80s throwbacks that had us singing along - still unsure if that was their intention ;)


taking m+j to our favorite hole-in-the-wall dinner spot. the food is perfectly executed and unique. the atmosphere is nestled into an area that is so much like a jungle, you'd swear you were actually in one...complete with bird calls, rivers running throughout, and tucked into the trees. during our delicious dinner, a rain shower came through and added that much more to the intimate setting of the night while we dined under the canopy.  


the last, will sound the simplest, but spending time on the beach in playa with T, and m+j. just being able to enjoy in those moments that we were all there together on this amazing adventure. that was pretty wonderful. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

that 70s show


have you ever had an item that was on your faraway wishlist? i'm talking an item or article of clothing that you've loved, but didn't think you'd come across in real life. well, this 70s style babydoll dress had been on the very tip-top of my faraway wishlist for as long as i can remember (followed by a pair of knee-high white patent-leather boots).


ever since i saw 70s mod girl halloween costumes growing up, i had always wanted the real thing. then, while out shopping at one of my favorite hidden gems with my mom, i stumbled upon it! it was perfect, even down to the last detail...the puffed sleeves, empire hem, brocade pattern, color combination, and fit. i fell in 70s babydoll dress love y'all.




T said i looked like a bond girl - um, yeah, i'll take that compliment! maybe i'm on a recon mission, or looking for a certain bald, bearded james bond of my very own to fall in love with...who knows? ;)

Monday, November 27, 2017

turkey time


i hope you all had a great holiday weekend! this year was T and i's turn to host his parents for turkey day, but we had the added pleasure to have my parents down as well. to say i was excited would barely be covering my excitement...think jumping for joy. 

this was the very first time we would host both sides for a major holiday, so i knew it had all the makings of a memorable day. 


we of course had wine, but to add to the festivities, i made an apple cider sangria. loads of fruit, a cinnamon stick, bourbon, apple cider, and wine - aka autumn in a cup. 


[mom working on appetizers]


[mashed potatoes to be]


[a little thanksgiving day roughhousing]


[matchy, match]


T took lead on smoking the turkey while i took lead on the sides. we made sure to include all the main staples: garlicky mashed potatoes, smoked turkey gravy, mashed sweet potatoes (courtesy of T's mom), roasted green beans with garlic and bacon, cornbread stuffing, and rolls (T's mom, of course). 



after dinner, we took advantage of the warm temperatures by lounging outside to watch the sun set while my brother taught my nephew how to kick around a soccer ball. a couple of people took the classic post-turkey nap, and we let our stomachs settle before dessert. 


[family photo]


[my love and fellow co-host/chef]


[pumpkin pie, caramel apple cheesecake, and chocolate + pudding trifle with dessert wine]


after more stories told, dad jokes made, and laughs shared, we closed the night with tender goodbyes. a beautiful holiday surrounded by those we love the absolute most, and i couldn't be more thankful we got to share it altogether. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

pipe shelving


you know those house projects that have been on your to-do list for a long time, but, for whatever reason, keep getting put to the back burner? our pipe shelving project in our dining room was at the tip top of that list since we'd first moved into our home. but, for loads of reasons - not enough time, not the right time, the financial commitment, etc, etc - it kept getting pushed to the wayside. 

then, at our three year home-aversary, after a recent decluttering, it felt like it was the perfect time to cross this project off our list. 


when we first moved in, we initially placed a bookshelf there, but found it cut off the room. over time, we realized it created a bottleneck effect when the pups were charging out the door, or when we had groups of friends over. plus, it never felt like it was the right fit for the space. 


[T measuring out the space]


our hopes for the shelves were to create better looking storage that could tie this wall into the sort of industrial-rustic look we have in our home. 




the result? greater than we could have ever hoped for. i could finally bring in my cookbooks so that they were in a logical place while being closer to when and where they'd be used. plus, all of our kitchen gadgets and trinkets look so much better. an added bonus was that it finally opened the room back up aka no more bottlenecking - yes!

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