A New Beginning

Such an amazing weekend, you guys. Three day weekends are the sh*t. We took our wakings slow, afternoons unplanned and evenings into the wee hours. We didn’t necessarily say “good-bye” to summer {St. Louis still has its toasty moments}, but we definitely started to prepare for slightly cooler weather and longer nights. A new beginning.A New Beginning // Fall 2014
When we were on an evening drive, we noticed the leaves beginning to turn and fall from the trees. It’s crazy to think this could happen right at the end of August, but there it was. A peek into the beginning of fall. The beginning of September…

September is probably one of my favorite months. Not just because it signals the beginning of the fall months but also because of a few other {beginning} celebrations:

//engagement anniversary
//dating anniversary
//most importantly, our precious daughter’s birthday

Huge milestones, friends. A celebration of those magnificent beginnings and experiences. And preparing for another amazing trip around the sun. A new beginning.A New Beginning // Fall 2014

I wish I could say as things grow and change, it’s all sugar + spice.
However, the reality is that it’s more like sticky + startling.

And that’s okay.

{Plans change. Hands get tossed up into the air. Moments pass us by.}

That’s something we forget to tell ourselves at the beginning of each year, each month, each new beginning. It’s okay.

It’s okay if we didn’t meet the 27 goals we set for ourselves during the previous month. You know why? Because maybe we bashed the hell out of 10 goals instead of giving a mediocre performance to the entire 27.

Sometimes crossing that goal off of a check-list isn’t as important as truly fulfilling and satisfying the unspoken need of why you placed it on that goal list in the first place.

Instead of making another goal list this month, I encourage all of us to jump into new experiences and just be, regardless if it’s within your comfort zone or so far away from that security blanket that you feel like you will completely fall apart at the seams. {And for the list-makers in all of us, why not shoot for just one great experience.}

And … if you already created that darn September list, as I suspect many of us have, and this needs to pass you by, I understand. But, please remember that there will be a new beginning.

A New Beginning // Fall 2014

Welcome to September, friends! It’s going to be a great one!! xo

Currently.

Thinking// Will my pickles turn out?

I snagged the recipe from a fellow blogger. I don’t know why I’m so…nervous about this. Overthinking it. I just need to remind myself that good things take t i m e. A wonderful lesson that can be applied to so much in this awesomely awesome life, wouldn’t ya say?

And of course, I’m also thinking about my Mads turning two. Oh, my goodness. Two. Where did the last two years go? I know, I know. When she’s 18, when she’s 30, when she’s 50,  I’ll still wonder where it all goes. And hopefully, I’ll always be able to say that it is wrapped up in wonderful memories, full of love and laughter. How can we love someone so much? Goodness.

Reading// Per recommendations from the girlfriends, I am starting If I Stay. I was told to be ready for the waterworks… Not again! Just getting over The Fault In Our Stars.

I’m also checking out one of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. I love her. I discovered her in a women’s studies class in high school and then re-discovered her in a women’s studies/religion class in college. {Yeah, I took a lot of women’s studies classes…} She keeps drifting back into my life and I’m very okay with that.

Also, I will be working my way through this list. If you have read anything on this list, thoughts/recommendations/stay-aways??

Watching// It runs about 20 minutes long but this TED Talk seems to pass in 2 minutes. A wonderful presentation from a teacher of poetry on encouraging self-expression. And to the moms out there, “B” is amazing.

 

Thankful for// Grandparents. The bond you create with them, regardless of when the relationship started or how long it lasted, can be inspirational and powerful. The keepers of the “past” and the go-to people when you need an extra hug, kiss or cookie. Life lessons learned from these folks can really transform a person. And as time marches on, as it seems to do very quickly, these magical creatures we call grandparents start to look to us for answers and stories. I’m so thankful for three amazing women I’ve had in my life, and I’m eternally grateful for the folks charged with the task of being Maddie Cakes’ grandest of parents. You guys rock.

What are you currently up to?

Linking up with A Mama Collective & When at Home

Thankful Thursday // 08

Another week winds down…and it was a little stressful. It just seems like the perfect storm begins every time we start to feel the weight of a little bit of stress. It builds and builds and builds and builds. Holy moly! Let me catch my breath. GEEZ.

At these moments, we unknowingly start to hold each other a little tighter, kiss a little longer, laugh a little louder … trying to blur out the bad and focus in on the good. So much good.

This Thursday, I’m super thankful for those extra loving and silly moments that cause this…
Thankful Thursday // 08

We chose to bask in ridiculousness, throw away the outside stress and be present in this one moment, a moment that behaves much like the stress – it’s fleeting. As we ride out this perfect {stress} storm, my loves and I will be over here enjoying all that is wonderful, magnifying the good. Because there is so much good.

Try: Release the stress and laugh extra loud // hold a hand a little tighter // walk a little closer // sing a little louder // breath a little slower.

Have a wonderful Thursday and a fantastic Friday, friends. xo

Iced Coffee + This Simple Syrup Goodness

So, I had every intention of making this cinnamon dolce syrup from Karen at Kitchen Treaty, but friends, honestly, I don’t know what happened. I suppose it was a happy accident that occurred around 5:50-ish a.m. Instead of the cinnamon in the recipe, I added in a splash {or two} of vanilla extract. And let me tell you, it was amazing! Now, I have no clue what you would even call this now, but for now, let’s just call it awesome iced coffee with this simple syrup goodness. Sounds about right…

Simple Syrup Goodness

1/4 c brown sugar
2 Tb + a lil extra pure maple syrup
1/4 c water
dash or two of vanilla extra

I combined all of the ingredients together on the stove on medium heat until all the sugar dissolved. About five minutes. When I was done, I let it cool down and hang out in its new friend. While the syrup was cooling, I dumped some ice cubes and room-temp coffee into another class. Then, I added about 2 Tb of the cooled syrup to the iced coffee.

Iced Coffee + Amazing(ly Easy) Simply Syrup

After I added the syrup, I added a splash of whole milk. Oh, the beauty!

coffee and milk make beauty

And I watched it just hang out for a minute…Iced Coffee + Amazing(ly Easy) Simply Syrup

Oh … I watched it again…Iced Coffee + Amazing(ly Easy) Simply Syrup

Finally, after just watching these guys hang out, I stirred it up and enjoyed!Iced Coffee + Amazing(ly Easy) Simply Syrup

Hope you try this out! Let me know if you like it as much as I do. Also, what do you love to add to your iced coffee? {Sweetened condensed milk is a guilty pleasure of mine!}

Linking up with the Create & Share DIY and Recipe Party and Pig and Dac- join in!

His X Factors

When I was asked how I knew J was the one for me, a million little things came to mind. Sure, he made me laugh, and he treated me with respect. He got along with my family and friends. We shared a lot of common interests {and being a fellow red-head did not hurt!}, but really, there were several other things, the X factors, that sealed the deal. These factors extended beyond the first date and really live at the core of his being. Things that make you go Z I N G ! His quirky qualities that signaled to me that this guy is a keeper. Here are the top three…

His X Factors

The X Factors

01 // His apartment did not smell.

Walking into a guy’s space and being hit with a wall of cat smell or dirty laundry smell or smoke smell or any kind of nauseating smell is a quite the opposite of warm and cuddly. As I walked the two flights to his apartment for the first time, I was slightly … terrified. Throw out any fear of this guy being a habitual nighttime sandwich maker or collector of ex-girlfriends’ locks of hair. Silently praying that it just did not smell too bad was my one wish. When he unlocked the door, I was shocked. Not only did it not have any odor w h a t s o e v e r, the kid cleaned. In fact, it smelled fresh. Happy dance.

02 // Opening doors for others was second nature.

Yes, I’m very capable of opening my own doors. Besides the fact that it is nice and very thoughtful, it was also an indication of how he treats others. He’s a helpful fella that will step in front and open those doors whether he knows you or not. Many times, I’ve walked out of a place, turned around and he was nowhere to be found. Wait a moment. He was at the end of the train of people. This guy … I tell ya. But beyond the doors {remember I said this was an indication of his overall being}, he’s an A+ dad, the #1 team player in life and always willing to help family, friends and co-workers. Working together comes naturally for us. And I love it.

03 // He had basic cooking utensils.

I mean, to say I was really happy to see cooking utensils in his kitchen is an understatement. And I’m talking about utensils other than the three musketeers: spoon, knife and fork. Did he have a gourmet kitchen with stainless steel appliances? Absolutely not. {Super quaint, seafoam green + metal. Missing it.} But what he did have included the necessities like two spatulas, a whisk, a sharp knife + a cheese knife {I. know.} and a potato peeler. He could cook {almost} anything with these. Until the moment I realized he didn’t have tongs so off to the store I went. But knowing that he had gathered these important items by himself {and that they were used before} let me know he went beyond a microwave meal bachelor. And honestly, the cheese knife really could exist on it’s own number … in fact …

03.1 // Cheese Knife.

I found a guy that loved everything and anything all things cheese. His eyes would light up if I asked him to try something new and funky. His favorite cheese is Muenster. He loves Gouda and Gruyere. Fondue or on a cracker, he will eat it. Bake it or fry it. Stuffed inside or wrapped around. Cheese curds. He just … he gets it. :) And he was able to slice the deliciousness into savory little squares for us to enjoy. Cheese knife props!

For the single gals {and guys} out there, I urge you to think of your X factors – those qualities that you may not think about immediately but a few unique characteristics/things that really could help define how the two of you could mesh together in the long run. And for those attached, what are your X factors that ignited the spark??

 

(Hi, bubbs. xxxxoooo)