Saturday, December 31, 2011

Au Revoir 2011!

So, I've seen a few of these 2011 posts floating around...
and I could NOT resist!
It was a huge year for us, and even though 2010 is when we got married,
I think 2011 was almost better, in a sense where we've really learned a lot about
one another and have truly connected.
I love our life.
Here's a re-cap in photos:
January brought doggies really getting along together, 
extremely cold weather,
& our "knowing each other anniversary" at Delmonico's {our first kiss/purposed to me spot!}
February was full of looove! 
Sugar cookies, cake truffles, Valentine's Day dinner & Holly in a cute shirt!
 And every year we go to the "Ugly Disco"
to raise money for children.
Joe looked a tad creepy this year while I rocked a bump-it!
 March was always such a long month when I taught..
We made a delicious Coconut Shrimp {need to make again!}
I went and visited my girlfriend Ann {so weird to be away from hubs, even for a night!}
and made my favorite new Stella and Dot purchase!
April kicked butt!
We went on vacation!!
{I will need to post all about it!}
Here's a sneak peak! 

May was hectic: we celebrated Cinco de Mayo, because we could, with margaritas, I tried on bridesmaids dresses for my sister's wedding {no, this is not it!} I choreographed a Jr. High Play Fame, and I came home to a mostly eaten melon. #dogscountersurfandeatourfood
June was insane.
I never see hubby as he worked 14 days straight, 
12+ hours a day. 
It was craaaaaaazy. 
However, the first weekend we were able to slip away to LA for business/pleasure.
And at the very end of the month,
all my friends and I met up at a trendy restaurant.
July started off with a bang!
We celebrated ONE year as a married couple!
We drove down to the winery that we got married at.
Stopped for lunch where we had our rehearsal dinner.
We enjoyed our tasty top layer of wedding cake!
Joe's high school friend and his girlfriend {now fiancee} came to visit!
And then it happened.
I turned the big three-zero!
Hubs went aLL out! 
Surprises left and right.
I am so lucky to have all these people in my life!
You know it, "I want it that way!"
August was fairly low key. 
We attended a wedding

and a wine tour!
This was during Hurricane Irene, so we were prepared with our rubbers!! HA
The best wine was here!!
I learned that the wine on big tours isn't really that great.
I guess I really am "all growed up"...
I had fun though!
September was different for me...
for the first time EVER, I did not go back to school
I couldn't be happier, still.
We celebrated Labor Day at our cottage, 
 And began a new tradition:
And at the end of September, I took a plunge and began blogging!!
October is Joey's birthday and he has another tent sale, where he has to work a lot.
I cooked a lot of meals, ran them up to his dealership, and got ready for his birthday!
We had a fun date night with our friends Chris and Jill. 
And one of his gifts I got was a sushi class!
Read more here!
November hubs hunted a lot
And I blogged even more! 
And I went hunting with him! 
And that leaves us with
It's been a wonderful year and I cannot wait for all
of the excitement that 2012 brings!
We will be ringing in the New Year
at home.
Just the two of us.
With our two pups.
How was your year?!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Book Club Link-up

Today's post is a link up with one of my favorite bloggers, Ashley at Everyday AEM.
She's adorable, sweet, down to earth & if you're not following her, you certainly should stop reading this post, and go find her here!
She and her blog bestie Crystal decided to start a book club.
I joined because, well, I started a book club in RL but it fizzled.
The book they chose was How to Be a Hepburn in a Hilton World by Jordan Christy.
Now, mind you, this was written a few years back, so while its information is still relevant and applicable, it is a tad out of date. {ie. there are no Snooki or J-Wow mentions!} These are just my opinions and what I personally believe. Everyone is entitled to their own thoughts.  If you've read the book, I'd love to hear yours!
The questions they posed were as follows:
1. What do you think is the most important piece of advice that Jordan Christy gave in this book? 
I believe it's a great read for girls who really truly are trying to find themselves.  I 110% agree with the chapter about letting guys chase you and not throwing ourselves at them. Believe me, when you find the one, he won't even want to go to bed with you right away. Okay, maybe he'll want to, but he will refrain from treating you like 'just another bar girl' because he thinks higher of you than that. If he, and you, are ready to settle down, there won't be need for silly drama or games, or drunken texts. If it's meant to be, it will happen organically & he will 'move mountains for you.' [If you're still single and have not read He's Just not that Into You, go buy & read that next! So true. Be patient. It will happen. I promise you!]
My now husband, then boyfriend, took me out Tuesday, saw me Wednesday, spoke to me Thursday, and didn't land but a kiss on my lips on our date Friday.  He truly treated me like a lady {something I was NOT used to!} and he knew that when he met me, he'd treat me the way I deserved to be treated. I wasn't even sure he really like me, because he just didn't try anything. Boy was I wrong!  
I also related really well to removing toxic friends from your life. It is SO hard to stop being 'friends' with people nowadays, with texting, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter...etc. 
My mother always taught me though, "You'll know when you've had enough. Enough is always enough."  That can be applied to not only horrible boyfriend relationship but also friends and family member relationships.  Some people just don't fit into our pie. 
There are only so many slices that can fit at once!
Live the life you love and enjoy it with people you love.
2. What do you think is the most obnoxious “Stupid Girl” characteristic?
Ehh...It's hard to say! I just wish girls, people in general, could be true to themselves and not try so hard to be something else. Heidi Montague comes to mind...You were so pretty girl, why would you want to ruin yourself and now look so weird??
{I recall sitting on the couch with hubs, watching her explain all of her new surgeries and poor Joe couldn't watch and eat his dinner at the same time. It made him want to get sick!} That should say something. Now, I'm not saying I wouldn't want to try a nip, tuck, botox or something in the far off future, but to completely mutilate your body when you were already good looking? It's sickening and sad. **FYI wanting and doing are two different scenarios haha**
I also am guilty of loving the RHO___(you name it, I watch it!) I think some of the women look fantastic, while others could take a class in Sophistication101 
3. There were SO many great quotes in this book. Do you have a favorite?
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." --Jane Austen (she's my FAVORITE author!!)
4. What do you hate most about how our modern day media portrays women? Which celebrity do you dislike the most?
Sex sells. Like it or not, it's been happening forever! I think there are a lot of strong females portrayed, but they are not at all entertaining. Jersey Whore Shore is a perfect example of this.  I am the first to admit I watch this trash, yeah buddy! But it's more of just a comedy than anything else to myself (and hubby, sorry dude, you do watch it with me!)  I don't condone children watching this show, and when I was teaching, I would be completely baffled that parents would allow their 13 year old daughter to watch it.
As a 30 year old, I know that it's really uncool to flash your hoo-hoo and dance around intoxicated in the middle of the day. Team Metaballs could learn a thing or two...
Should we send them a copy of this book? 
{side note: I still cannot believe they were in Italy representing themselves as US citizens like that! What a joke! I would have totally done way more than just go out to nightclubs getting bombed every night. #endrant}
 5. Jordan Christy said that one of the best ways to cultivate a healthy self-image is by celebrating your positive and unique qualities. If you have the time, take the “9 Types” Personality Test here: Did you discover anything new about yourself? Which type are you? Which traits do you feel are most representative of you?
Well, I took the test and ended up with this!!
Type Two
The Helper

The caring, interpersonal type. Twos are empathetic, sincere, and warm-hearted. They are friendly, generous, and self-sacrificing, but can also be sentimental, flattering, and people-pleasing. They are well-meaning and driven to be close to others, but can slip into doing things for others in order to be needed. They typically have problems with possessiveness and with acknowledging their own needs.  
At their Best: unselfish and altruistic, they have unconditional love for others.

I can't really argue. I can say, as I get older, I've learned to say no when I really can't extend my help! I put heart and soul into everything I do...which is partially why I chose to stay home and not teach this year.  I want to do something really well. Not lots of things, not so well. I have to really focus on putting myself. Currently I'm starting to make working out {going to the gym} a priority, not an option. I'm doing okay so far!
Where do you fit?  What's your personality? 
 6. What are the top 5 things on your Smart Girl list? (goals to become a more articulate, knowledgeable, and well-rounded person.. see Jordan’s list on page 62)
I don't have a list, I just want to be a better ME every single day. 
I will do this by making goals, sticking to them, always improving who I am. By the age of 30, I've gotten my 4 year degree, taught 8 years, received my Master's Degree in Education, bought my own house, met and married my soul mate, sold said house & am truly living "happily ever after." I know I want to be a mother and I know I will be a great one!
 7. One of Jordan’s suggestions for staying out of a rut with your group of friends is to travel together to your “signature cities.” If you have time, take the signature cities quiz here: You will have to make an account to get your results, but it’s definitely worth it. What’s your signature city? Have you ever been there? Do you ever see yourself visiting your signature city in the future? Would you ever consider traveling to your signature city with your group of friends?
Haha so, yeah...totally took the quiz! I want to have my hubs do it and see what he gets! 
I got :


Like your signature city, you're vibrant and have a spicy flair. Whether you're hanging out at a café or catching a new band, you're a friendly, people person who no doubt enjoys being out and about, but who also knows how to take it slow when the time is right.
You've got a genuine interest in experimenting, and Austin's a town to satisfy all your senses. This hub of music, art, and food is the perfect place to sample the sights. Where else can you choose from over 100 bands, see a million bats on their nightly flight through a park,
and taste some of the best BBQ around all in one night? But if you need to get away to enjoy the Great Outdoors, Austin can offer you that kind of escape as well. When it comes right down to it, partner, this extra-sensory city is your match made in Heaven.
Which is really funny because Joe actually lived/worked in Dallas, Texas and I is always talking about it. He says I would love it there and we'd fit right in.  Our city is really small and we sometimes feel like we don't fit in here...but maybe we can go visit Texas!  
 8. Overall, what did you think about the book? What was your favorite part of the book? Least favorite?
I thought it was a really fast/easy read. A lot of what she said should be prior knowledge/common sense, however, I know it's not.  I feel like anyone who actually reads this book doesn't really need any help in the sophistication area...but maybe someone could actually learn from it.  I will fully admit that her checklist is a bit far fetched about what to have/not have in your closet.  I love me some high high heels, short minis, and tight tops with maybe even {gasp} some cleav. I just don't wear them all at once! A little here and there is more than fine. Jeans & a flirty top.  Short skirt with a longer/oversized sweater.  Heels make your legs look longer, why wouldn't you want that? We are women; we are supposed to be sultry, sophisticated, and beautiful. I am not talking about dressing like Julia Roberts at Easter brunch, but if you're out on a hot date with your man, what's the problem?  If you've got it, flaunt it.  Just know time and place. I rarely dress up, but when I do, I have like to add some spice in my wardrobe.
I do believe in less is more, 
and I personally think pearls can be hot. 
And remember no matter what you're wearing, you'll only look your absolute best when you are feeling confident in yourself. A woman who oozes confidence & self-respect,
will turn heads.
A few things I'm going to look into, this book the author said she and her best friend adored and would give a copy to their (future) husbands.
And the other one I'd like to find is this one:
I'm a big fan of books that change your life.
I hate to use the term "self-help"
however, I suppose we are helping ourselves me the best we can be by reading books like that! If you think that today, you are the best you can ever and will ever be, I feel sorry for you.
There's always room for us to be better.

Have you read any of these books above?
Are you interested in joining the blogger book club?  

Our read for January is
I'm not going to lie, it's already downloaded onto my nook, 
and I may or may not have started it.
I'm a sucker for sass & cheese. :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Christmas Goodies

I don't know about you, but are you still recovering from Christmas like me??
I have spent lots of time catching up with friends and family and truly enjoying it!
I've worked out quite a bit this week and
am excited to try IM =X Pilates {whatever-the-heck that is?!} today.
I wanted so share a few more gifts I receive/gave.
I guess I really do love my wine!
I got a bottle of my favorite Pinot Grigio from my mother-in-law.
An adorable shoe/wine bottle holder and a fabulous red I cannot wait to try!
A silly cork from my MIL {love the fishnets!}
And a silly Santa costumey thing that goes on a wine bottle from my step-brother.
I also got some beautiful wine charms from Kristin, but that's for another post!
Got Wine?
And one of my favorite gifts I gave to my hubs was a frame with a bunch of photos
that we took on our honeymoon.
I put them all in sepia tone and blew up one of us in Rome.
We had such a magical time!
I can't wait to get it on a wall!
If you want some fabulous baking ideas,
link up over with Michelle at
She is quite the baker!
I made a few goodies this year.
If you missed my cookie party post, go check that out!
 I need to start earlier next year!
My favorite goodie I made:
Chocolate Cake Truffles
You can use any boxed cake you want, 
I wanted to do gingerbread, but Sadie {my dog}
licked the cooling gingerbread.
So, chocolate cake it was!
1 box cake & follow its directions (water/oil/eggs) & bake--let cool
1 tub of frosting (I used vanilla)
Chocolate candy coating or bark (white or regular)

The key with these is COOLING!
They can be icky sticky tricky if you don't!
After you bake the cake, I even let it cool overnight.
Crumble cake into a bowl and stir in frosting.
COOL in fridge or it will be sticky!
Roll into balls.
I put them into the freezer for 20 minutes
Melt the bark and grab some toothpicks and wax paper.
Put the wax paper down on a counter to ensure an easy clean up.
If you have cutsie little truffle cups, use those!
Take each cake ball and with a toothpick, dunk the ball into coating.
If using sprinkles, put them on right away, otherwise they won't stick.
I then put them in the garage on cookie sheets to cool before placing them into 
adorable bags with ribbons.
They make perfect little gifts.
Leftover melted bark?

Those are pretty yummy too!
What goodies did you make this year?

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Merry Christmas Indeed!

The madness before Christmas:
Going crazy.
Last minute shopping & wrapping.
And now, it's all over.
Hub's has to work today :(
So I figured I'd share a bit of our holiday crazies with you!
Round One:
Dinner at Joey's Gram's Christmas Eve
A handmade doggie hat--just cracked me right up!
 An overview of the many {holiday} faces of me!
Wine & coffee. Sums me up! ha
Christmas Morning at our house:
 And a few things that Santa surmised me with...

 That pretty blue box!!
What should I engrave, a D?
 The doggies enjoyed their treats & toys!
Round 2: 
Christmas at my dad & step-mom's!

Round 3:
Christmas Dinner at our house with friends
Tomorrow we'll celebrate Christmas with Joe's parents. 
Round 4.
Today Joe has to work 
BOO :(
I miss him!
As for now, I must take the dogs on a very, very long walk. 
We all need it!
How did you spend your Christmas?!