Happy Monday! 8/15

Well shoot, it’s been a while since I posted something of substance, eh? Moving + Disney + unpacking + freelance + regular work takes a lot out of a person! No complaints though – I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I didn’t keep busy.

  1. Friday over lunch I decided we had to tear up the carpet on our stairs. I’m pretty sure the previous owners’ dog slept there every night, so the stairwell just reeked. The stairs will definitely need to be refinished at some point but I’m just happy to not have stinky stairs anymore 😀
  2. After buying all of the painting supplies to redo our porch floor, we…decided to tile it instead. So far we’ve cleaned the porch and put down a moisture barrier, and today after work we’ll be smoothing out the concrete with some mortar (it’s in really bad shape right now.) There’s a good chance we’re biting off a bit more than we can chew, but it’ll get done!
  3. I did a few blind taste tests with Vökin, Grey Goose, and Ketel One with friends and Joe over the weekend, and they all chose Vökin as the best one – so that’s promising! Hooray for *officially* having good product!
  4. One of my friends is visiting this weekend! We have grand plans of building porch furniture and sitting on the porch for hours upon hours, so hopefully Joe and I are able to get the floor finished before he leaves for a conference Wednesday night.
  5. Even though it was already a week ago, I’m putting our Disney trip into my happy things, because..duh. Disney. We took a whopping 274 Photopass pictures; when you’re paying a lot of money for Memory Maker (aka can download all of the photos) – you gotta take full advantage of every. single. photographer. on main street. Heh. Really though, we had such a great time, and are already looking forward to our next trip. Which will absolutely, certainly, without question be longer than 2.5 days:) (Well, 3, taking into account the Delta issues we ran into on Monday.) Look out for a full (mini) trip report in a week or so..once life settles down again!

Whew! Lots to catch up on. In addition to a Disney trip report, I’ll also be posting a couple of reviews sometime soon..yay for getting back into the swing of things!


Blog Award Time!

Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit, I’ve been nominated for a blogger award! Paul from palfitness nominated me for (in short,) the Epically Awesome award – woohoo, thanks Paul!


The rules (which I’ll post below) state that I should write 5 things about me/my blog…and while I think I used up the majority of my fun facts on my previous award post – I think I can pull a few more out of my brain.

  1. I love writing, re-writing, and re-re-writing lists. Shopping lists, packing lists, planning lists, to-do lists….etc. And if I smudge something on the list or it just doesn’t look quite right? I’ll throw that page in the recycling bin and start over. I especially enjoy doing it when I have one of my MochiThings pens that I rave about here on my blog every now and then.
  2. I love subscription boxes, despite currently only subscribing (full-time) to one – Birchbox! I also have recently fallen in love with Club W, get an outfit from Fabletics on occasion, skip FabKids every month, but there’s the option to get an outfit for our niece Bridget, got a lingerie set from AdoreMe once, and have yet to completely cancel, was doing the Graze thing all of last summer (highly recommended,) Joe has gotten Birchbox Man and SprezzaBox in the past, and currently receives clothes from FiveFourClub…and lastly, Barb has given KitNip Box a try, with a PurrPacks box on the way! Wow typing that all out makes it seem like I have a problem – but I swear only Birchbox and FiveFourClub are recurring/monthly boxes!! Hahah. (ps, referral links abound! All but Sprezza I think.)
  3. I have a tough time doing nothing. I think I wrote about this in my New Year’s post (about how I’m like a hummingbird and all that jazz) but really. I can’t think of the last time Joe and I had a weekend where we weren’t doing something. Well actually yes, I can, but it’s because I was alternating between whining on the couch and puking in the bathroom. Even when we think we’ll have a weekend to do nothing but relax, watch movies, and maybe do a little laundry, we end up doing much more than that — and that’s just the way I like it!
  4. I think I’ve made it pretty obvious that I love traveling. Howevvvvver, nothing makes me happier than walking down Main Street USA towards Cinderella’s Castle! Spending the night in the Sahara (in Morocco), eating fresh hummus with a picture-perfect view of Hagia Sofia (in Turkey), or consuming way too much wine on a cruise down the river Seine may be close seconds, but Disney World will always be my second home. Home is where the wifi automatically connects, right?! 😉
  5. Some people need their coffee in the morning to get their day going, I need Diet Pepsi. In fact, my whole family does. If we’re traveling, no matter what country we are in, the first thing we do is seek out Diet Pepsi….sometimes clearing a smaller store’s entire stock, especially in countries where Coke is more prominent. It’s kind of amusing. On that note, we’re all very excited that Pepsi has taken the aspartame out of their DP – hooray! Sometimes I joke that my occasional sucky memory is due to consuming too much aspartame 😛
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Oh hey! A bonus picture of Barb snoozin!

Hooray! Now for the rules:

Include the picture of the award in your post and thank your nominator while linking to them. Tell the blogging world 5 things about yourself and/or your blog. Select 5 nominees, name and link to their most recent post!

That’s it! Pretty simple, I’d say.

My nominees:

Allison – 10 ways

Jamie – From 5’3

Linda – Nutsrok (she has an award-free blog, but worth a follow!)

Kelli – Kelifornia

Joanne – My Life Lived Full

Sooooo, yeah! Hooray awards! If you haven’t checked out any of those blogs, you should definitely give them a look 🙂 Hopefully everyone’s weeks are off to a great start! We woke up to another 4+ inches of snow here in Kalamazoo. Mother Nature can suck it – I’m ready for spring!


Real Talk – Paris etc.

Last Friday the unaccompanied man next to me at the movie theater ordered a beer, left the theater before it was delivered, and never returned.

Last Friday I couldn’t focus on how amazing Daniel Craig – I mean Spectre – was, because I was too busy worrying about where that man went, taking note of the nearest exit, and planning what I would do if he came in, guns blazing.

Last night my friend texted me a picture of the aftermath at the Bataclan in Paris.

Last night I sat on our couch, caught off guard by the tears suddenly pouring down my face out of sadness and anger toward everything going on in the world right now. (She has since apologized a zillion times and all is well.)

I’ll be the first to admit that my mind gets away from me from time to time, but in an ideal world there wouldn’t be any reason for me to worry about taking the train from Michigan City to Chicago this weekend…except that Michigan City is apparently on ISIS’ hit list. In an ideal world, when someone leaves a movie theater without drinking their beer, paranoia/anxiety shouldn’t set in, thinking about all of the what ifs. And who knows how long it will be until I can share my favorite international destination, Istanbul, with my husband without being put on someone’s watch list.IMG_7066

Although people are frustrated that similar/recent attacks in Beirut, Baghdad, and Kenya are being ignored, I think that because Paris has been featured in so many books and movies that most people feel some slight connection to this romanticized city, whether they’ve been there or not. The same can’t be said for the other cities, but that’s a different conversation for a different time. If changing profile pictures to a washed out French flag or re-gramming the Eiffel Tower peace sign is how a person reacts to all the crap going on right now, more power to ’em.

Amazing view of Sacre Coeur.
Amazing view of Sacre Coeur.

I’m not one to typically get hung up on major issues, political or otherwise, but for some reason I feel like I have so much going on in my mind just floating around. My heart is heavy. Maybe because I was just there. Maybe because I’ve had a connection to French culture/France since the 4th grade (thanks, French Back to Back!) Maybe because of the relief I felt as I saw a handful of Facebook friends checking in as ‘safe’ on Friday evening before I even knew what was going on. Maybe I don’t need a reason.

Selfie, minus mumsie.
Family selfie, minus mumsie.

I don’t really have anything monumental to say about what is happening that hasn’t already been said in another blog, news article, or Facebook post. Assuming all Muslims have a hidden agenda obviously isn’t the answer. Assuming all refugees have a hidden agenda isn’t the answer. Hopefully someone out there knows what the answer is…I want to bring my (future) kids into a world that has more good than bad.

Disneyland Paris, May 2015
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Been to Paris twice now, have yet to actually visit the Louvre.

 Oof. That was heaaaavy for a blog that usually posts about food, married life, and hedgehogs. I need to get my butt back to the Happiest Place on Earth for some self-medication…but in the meantime, Christmas music + raking leaves while it’s still nice out.


Sometimes I buy baby things.

Let’s be real for a hot second: I bought a pair of shoes on my phone while drunk on Nicaraguan rum on our honeymoon. They were a good purchase though, and will be very useful next summer. I’ve also never forgotten to brush my teeth while inebriated, which is pretty admirable, if I may say so myself.

This is the only documentation of rum/shoe buying night. Thank goodness for strawberry banana smoothies and 1 cordoba cans of Pringles.
This is the only documentation of rum/shoe buying night. Thank goodness for strawberry banana smoothies and 1 cordoba cans of Pringles.

On an only partially related note: tonight, I bought over half of Gymboree’s 40% off unisex hedgehog collection.

In case you missed it – I have a small collection of unisex baby clothes (keeping it unisex is the only way to keep myself from buying every cute onesie that crosses my path), a medium-sized collection of potential potty training fodder (Tsum Tsums), and a large collection of children’s books. I like to be prepared, what can I say? Oh – I also have a pet hedgehog, which I suppose is important to know, for validation of this purchase.

But I mean really, how could I just ignore the existence of these amazing things? And yes, I bought two sizes of the socks.

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On that note, I’m going to  finish this episode of America’s Next Top Model (season 9 has a girl from Valparaiso, Indiana – super awesome), and going to bed. Goodnight, loves.


fall favorites!

Well, it’s 70 degrees out, and the 3rd of November…not very Fall-like, but you absolutely won’t find me complaining. However, despite the unseasonal weather, it is mid-Fall, which I’ve decided calls for a Fall favorites list! I’ve given myself a handful of categories that I think align nicely with my day to day life, so hopefully this is something I’ll be able to stick to on a seasonal basis! (Maybe more often than that. Who knows.) Also, sorry I’m so wordy! o_O

Movie: I’m going to go the semi-expected route here (well, maybe expected), and choose Halloweentown. One of my favorite parts about our Apple TV is that there’s a Disney Channel app that not only lets you watch the Disney Channel live, but also has a large on-demand section. This on-demand section had a huge number of halloween DCOMs throughout the month of October, and I watched the vast majority of them (including a new DCOM, Invisible Sister, which I loved) – but of course Halloweentown takes the cake. I’ve also recently enjoyed The Martian and Warm Bodies, and am super looking forward to seeing Spectre this Friday.


Book I’ve recently finished: Sometime over the past few months I noticed my mom reading a book called The Museum of Extraordinary Things – which I subsequently borrowed from her (hooray for long check-out time frames at the library!) and really enjoyed. I ended up Googling the book after finishing it for a reason that I no longer remember, and noticed that Geek Love was highly recommended for people that enjoyed reading The Museum of Extraordinary Things…so I added it to my list! Both books revolve around family-run freak shows, and of course lots of weird…things… that one can expect when reading about that lifestyle. Geek Love flips between two time periods, past and present, which took me a few chapters to get used to, but I really liked the book overall!


Book I’m looking forward to starting: I put 4 eBooks on hold last night – and had planned on getting a Kalamazoo Library card on my way back from hot yoga, but forgot the documentation needed, so that’ll be soon! I don’t want to have to buy books if I don’t have to at this point (yay budgeting!)

  1. What Alice Forgot – Liane Moriarty
  2. China Rich Girlfriend – Kevin Kwan
  3. Slade House – David Mitchell
  4. The Heart Goes Last – Margaret Atwood

I think I have a weird taste in books. Anyway – I’m most looking forward to Slade House, but there are 5 holds ahead of mine. I don’t really get how eBook checkouts work, but hopefully I can read it soon!


Beauty Product: Thanks to Birchbox, I have been able to try out more than my fair share of lip colors, face creams, eye serums, peels, etc. – and I think one of my favorite finds over the last year and a half or so I’ve been getting Birchboxes, is the Marcelle Hydra-C “energizing hydrating gel”. I brought my initial sample on our family trip to Paris the day after I graduated, and I swear it kept my face looking purrrrdy despite art school exhaustion and  jet-lag! As soon as I got back home I ordered the full size version, and have been using it ever since!

Sidenote: Sometime in the near future I’m going to make a post about my everyday makeup. I’ve only started getting into the whole makeup thing (aka about a month pre-wedding) so it’s been fun getting more and more comfortable with what I’m doing!


Music: Well other than the obvious fact that Christmas music has started, I’m loving Selena Gomez’s new album, Revival! It’s perfect to put on while cleaning the house, or even trying to get in the zone to get some freelance work done. I’m also enjoying Levels by Nick Jonas, and Cake by the Ocean by DNCE (aka Joe Jonas. Don’t judge.) – any time they come on the radio, I can’t help but dance/sing along!


App: Plant Nanny – I actually just downloaded this app today after seeing it on Buzzfeed, and am super excited to see if it works for me! If you haven’t been able to tell from my past few posts, I’m on a mission to drink more water – so far unsuccessfully. This app takes your activity level and weight into account to tell you how much water you need to be drinking each day. As you drink water you tell the app, which subsequently waters the plant you’ve chosen on the app – the more water you drink, the better your plant grows…and it looks like you can upgrade your plant with new seeds and pot designs. Hooray for gamifying an important daily task! Here’s hoping it works for me:)

My plant doesn't even have eyeballs yet. Womp.
My plant doesn’t even have eyeballs yet. Womp.

Another sidenote: Gamifying is super interesting, VW did a whole series of videos on gamification that are worth a watch: the fun theory

TV Show: American Horror Story! Especially last week’s episode. I have a weird fascination with serial killers, and loved reading Devil in the White City (based on H.H. Holmes’ hotel built for killing during the 1893 World’s Fair…and Mr. March is loosely based on H.H. Holmes) – so everything about this season is right up my alley – especially last week’s serial killer/devil’s night dinner! I’m anxiously waiting for the Devil in the White City movie to come out, but for now AHS will have to do:) I also love the group texts that two of my friends and I send each other during each episode.


Brand: The past week or so has been spent ogling the goddess leggings from ALO. They look SO comfy, cozy, and perfect…minus the price tag (at least until after our Disney trip.)

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Etc: I originally had 3 ‘etc.’ sections – but this post is already super long. My other/random Fall fave is going to have to be Witches Brew! If you’ve never had it, it’s a spiced red wine that is even more delicious when it’s warm! It’s also around $6 a bottle, which is even better.


And that’s that! Yay fall! And yay for it being in the mid-70s for the next few days in November <3



happy monday!

It’s Monday again, and you know what that means!

  1. My new client special is up at Kalamazoo Barre, so I’m trying a new studio, Bent 9, where one of Joe’s coworkers teaches! It’s actually a hot yoga studio with hot barre 4 days a week, today is an intro ish kind of class to hot yoga in general, so we’ll see how it goes!

1) I’ve never taken a yoga class in my life. I’ll have no idea what I’m doing.

2) Once one of the teachers cranked the heat up to mid 80s at Pure Barre and I wanted to die. I need to actually start drinking more water.


2.  Joe and I officially have tickets to see Spectre on Friday night. We love James Bond (…and Daniel Craig, that should go without saying) so we’re super excited! It also helps that we are going to the fancy dinner-serving theater again. It makes date nights awfully easy.

3.  I’ve been making yummy food and just not posting about it. My apologies. Yesterday afternoon I made mozzarella balls – chunks of mozzarella wrapped in biscuit dough and baked into a cheesy melty goodness. Looking forward to eating one of those when I get home from yoga.IMG_3796

4.  Christmas music!!! I’m sure there are plenty of haters out there, but if there’s one thing I love about winter (I hate cold, and dislike snow 83% of the time) – it’s the Christmas music that I’ll be listening to from now until….well as long after Christmas as I can get away with. Thank goodness for 100.3 WNIC – not the hero we deserve, but the hero we need. Or however that saying goes. Even though I don’t get that channel out in Kalamazoo (except on iHeart Radio, which is good enough for me!)

5.  Beef stroganoff for dinner one night this week – yum. I get cravings like a pregnant woman (and subsequently always joke with Joe that when I actually am pregnant he’s going to be a busy guy fulfilling all of my cravings) and a couple of weeks ago was in dire need of beef stroganoff. So as soon as he got home from work, we took a trip to Noodles and Co, and got their equivalent. Sadly it wasn’t even close to being as delicious as how my dad makes it/homemade…so this week I’m going to attempt to make it – and I’m super excited 😛

Hope everyone’s week is off to a marvelous start, happy Monday!



Review: Matrix 6 Mega Bright Eye Gel

Disclaimer: I was sent this product for review from OZ Naturals, with no compensation other than the product to try out. The following post consists of my honest thoughts & opinions about the product!

For as long as I can remember I’ve had somewhat noticeable (dark/puffy) circles under my eyes…and for just about as long, I’ve been trying out different “un-puffing” “brightening” “caffeinated” “cooling” etc. products to try to fight the circles – pretty much unsuccessfully. If I’m being truthful with myself, it’s probably in part because of not getting enough sleep and/or being dehydrated, but I’ve continued the hunt for a product that works like it says it does! Soooo when I was approved to review OZ Naturals Mega Bright Eye Gel, I was super excited to give another product a try!

IMG_3665 Continue reading “Review: Matrix 6 Mega Bright Eye Gel”