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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Recap of Visits with Friends

It seems a three month break is always enough of a break to get me wanting to return to blogging again. How many times is it ok to begin a post with, "I'm back!" ?? Whatever the number, I'm learning to continually give myself grace to enjoy blogging for my love of creative writing and crafts, and not to put pressure on myself to live up to any "blogging standards." I so appreciate when YOU, my loyal readers, encourage me to return to this space. (I'm talking to you, Aunt Lynn and Caitlin, to name a few!) I've always been an introvert, and I guess that holds true in blogging, that I'm grateful to have 10 loyal readers and don't need 1,000 followers to cheer me on. 

So let's jump back a bit, shall we? Mike and I traveled every weekend over the summer (literally, we had one weekend at home from May-August) but the miles on our car are totally worth the time spent with friends and family. Here's a sneak peak at some of my favorite summer memories :)

We didn't get a picture of the whole family, but Mike and I spent a Saturday with his family at a friend's wedding. We stopped by to see my dad after the afternoon reception, and he snapped a pic of me and Mike all cleaned up :)
Two August weekends were spent at my family's cottage with friends of ours. Our friends Ian and Abby joined us first, and out of all the fun games we played and bonfires we had, the only picture I have is of the boys losing in Scrabble! At least if Abby and I are not pictured, we can confidently say we won this game (even if we did lose all of the other yard games, haha).
Our friends Abby and Brad joined us next, and I love this traditional picture we've started doing with them! Actually, the tradition started back in college, but at least once a year, we try to do a group selfie picture to document our fun get togethers. This one just happens to be with the Mackinaw bridge in view...my fave!
In a weekend visit to our friends Caitlin and Colin, we enjoyed an evening outdoors at an ABBA tribute concert! The weather was perfect, and we really enjoyed the chance to catch up with dear friends we don't get to see often enough! The concert venue even had hot air balloon rides available, but we decided to save ourselves $20 each and just watch from the ground ;)
Lastly, let's just pretend this picture from September was taken on that summer trip with Ian and Abby ;) In reality, this picture was taken when Ian got a 3D TV and I just had to document how sweeeeet we all looked in the 3D glasses, haha!
I'm so thankful for these fun pictures with friends to remind me of what wonderful visits we've had with them! More blogging to come :) Stayed tuned for posts of a friend's beautiful wedding and a wonderful fall women's event!

Friday, July 25, 2014

New Designs

In between staying late at work a few nights each and enjoying fun summer weekends with friends and family, I've managed to make a few new designs. It's essential to feed my creative side every now and again!

First up -  invitations! I was given very open-ended instructions to create something in neutral colors with a vintage feel. I love how these turned out, and especially love the softness that the doilies add to the design. Some gorgeous calligraphy-type text would make these invitations pop! Which one do you like best?
Then just last week, I helped my sister...well, let's be honest, I made this wreath for my sister. ;) We were inspired by the many Pinterest wreaths that feature large flowers and a cute letter for your last name. Shannon and I have been meaning to do this forrreeevvver. As in, we've had the supplies since January...but! Better late than never, and it's actually perfect timing since she can take down the cute 4th of July wreaths we made and keep this one up until late fall. Don't you just love the whimsy of these little flowers mixed with the large blossoms?!
More lovely designs to come soon...!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Two Easy Meals

I've probably cooked more in the past six months, than I have in my entire life. Don't be fooled...the meals are nothing too special but they sure do taste good! So I think that's enough to give myself a pat-on-the-back, right?!

My mom introduced me to this first meal, and we made it together at our cottage. Caprese Chicken! The flavor of the chicken is super delicious, but the melted mozzarella cheese is my favorite part! The recipe we used can be found here. And bonus...it's only 5 points on the Weight Watchers plan, so if you're needing to or wanting to watch your weight, this meal is perfect.
This second meal, Sweet and Sour Chicken, I found simply by Googling something like "easy dinner recipes." I knew Mike had had a long and frustrating day at work, so I wanted to surprise him by making dinner at home all by myself :) He had to eat it really fast so he could finish working from home, but he did say it tasted good (and appreciated me making it). And come on, any meal that uses chicken nuggets but makes them taste like they're not chicken nuggets is good in my book!
The recipe for the Sweet and Sour Chicken can be found here. One note: I substituted flour for cornstarch because it was cheaper and I knew I'd use flour again. Just use about 3 times more flour than what it calls for cornstarch, and cook a few minutes longer. 

Bon Appetite! (said in my best Julia Child voice!)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Beautiful Bridal Shower

On Sunday I drove to Illinois for the day (huge thank you to my mom who drove along just to keep me company!) for my dear friend's bridal shower. Julie and I were sorority sisters in college, and I am so thankful for how our friendship has grown, even though we live many states away. I was so flattered when she asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding, and I'm grateful to be included in the events leading up to the wedding!
The beautiful bride-to-be and me.
Julie's sister didn't miss any details in hosting the bridal shower! Everything was so lovely. And I love that you can see how much these sisters love each other just by looking at this picture!
Each guest had a china plate to use that belonged to someone in Julie's family. Such a sweet touch!
I loved wrapping this gift and making the card, which made it extra fun to watch Julie open the gift.

I can't wait to see Julie and Andrew get married next month, and be a part of their special day!