Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Blizzard of 2013

Well, we survived our first New England Blizzard! And now we know what all the hub-bub is about. Nate and I are from Cleveland, which sits smack dab on the Snow Belt and gets a lot of lake effect snow off of Lake Erie. In other words, we're not strangers to snow that falls fast and in large volumes. Neither of us could figure out why the 30 inches that were predicted for the Boston area thanks to Blizzard "Nemo" were causing such a panic. And then the snow came and we realized that, when snow hits a city, there is absolutely no place to put it. Street parking is the norm around here so the snow can't be pushed to the sides of the road - and when it is, there is no where for cars to park. So, even this week, a good two weeks after the storm, when people would leave their parking spots in front of their houses, they would place a lawn chair where their car had been - apparently this is how you mark your territory when the already-very-limited street parking becomes even more limited. It's a very strange site to see lawn chairs and patio furniture lining the streets, let me tell you! 

The afternoon the blizzard hit, the pediatricians' office I work in ended up closing early. There was a state of emergency declared and a state-wide ban on driving! Nate's classes were cancelled so when I got home we ordered pizza, curled up on the couch and watched a movie. It was so fun to have a "grown-up" snowday!
When I got home from work that Friday, I had a package waiting for me. A sweet friend, a fellow Army wife that I met in a military support group while Nate was deployed, read this blog post and happened to see one of my favorite teas in the store the next day. She said it made her think of me so she picked up a few boxes and popped them in the mail along with a very thoughtful card! Side note: I am a sucker for cards, both giving and receiving. Give me one and I'll love you forever. And even if you're not a card person, it won't stop me from sending them. (My father-in-law is very much not a card guy, so you better believe I make sure to send him cards for special occasions!)
Since Valentine's Day was only a few days away, I took advantage of being snowed in and did some baking. 

Our street was finally plowed late-night on Saturday. Nate got up extra early for church the next day so he would have time to shovel our car out. He drove by the church quick while I was still getting ready just to see what the parking situation was and came home to report that there was nothing available. Street parking is the only option and where there weren't piles of snow there were buried cars belonging to other snow-in people.
So, since we were up we decided to get some breakfast. This is the the entrance to our favorite breakfast place in town.

This is what happens when Hubs takes my phone. Very flattering, dear.

What a weekend! It was definitely an experience. A few feet of snow in Cleveland is nothing. In Boston, it's a whole different story.

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Snow Day & SSMT Verse #3

Today our office closed around lunchtime due to the blizzard so I'm snuggled up on the couch with the Hubs drinking tea and watching a movie in the middle of the afternoon on a Friday. And of course we're in our jammies! Hooray for snow days!

I'm a bit late posting this, but this is the verse I've chosen for February 1st-14th:

"Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life." Proverbs 21: 11-12, NIV

Monday, February 4, 2013

Movie Date: Differences Between Him and Her

So, I know I am way behind the times here, but I finally saw Les Mis with the Hubs over the weekend. As we were sitting through the previews we were racking our brains trying to remember when the last time was that we saw a movie, aside from when we are up visiting family and go as a group. People, we couldn't come up with anything. Sadness. We are just not movie-going people. I'm hopeful this will change someday when our budget isn't so tight. So, now you see just how big of a deal this was that the two of us went to a movie. In a movie theater. And didn't just wait for it to come out on Netflix. It was a treat, that's for sure.

Now, you need to know that Nate's movie-going habits and mine are completely different. His he gets from his mother, mine from my mother. If Nate plans the movie, we arrive after previews have already started because he has calculated when the actual start time of the movie will be based on the start time the theater advertised and then adding on how ever many minutes for previews. This leaves no time to pee or get popcorn. Sometimes, we even have slipped into our seats (which aren't that good because everyone else has gotten there early and chosen the best ones) while the movie is playing already. This, to me, ruins the whole experience. I want to see the whole movie! Lopping off the first three minutes just doesn't do it for me. 

Now, if I plan the movie, we get there no later than a half an hour early. And this is a half an hour before the posted movie time. No calculations needed :-) I have time too pee once, maybe twice. We've gotten our buttery popcorn and are settled in our perfectly-selected seats, which must be in the middle of the row, in plenty of time to see the previews from the start.

Funny story, my mother-in-law texted me this a while back: "We saw the movie Lincoln last night with another couple. We arrived at the theater thirty minutes early...UNTHINKABLE. We took a vote and decided to drive to another theater and miss the previews there, so we wouldn't have to wait. It worked out beautifully! I knew I would have to share this with you!"
See where Nate gets it? ;-)

So back to Les Mis, I was definitely worried because I went into it having incredibly high expectations. I am one of those rare people (along with my husband) that has never read the book or seen the play so I knew pretty much nothing about the story line. Every single person I know that has seen the movie has said it was wonderful, even people who've read the book. Usually it doesn't work that way so I knew this movie had to be pretty incredible. 

I was also worried about it being a musical. I thought for sure at some point in the almost three hour movie that I would have enough, that it would get annoying. I am shocked to report that this never happened! I really liked that it wasn't just big number after big number but that two or three characters would sing alone together. That helped break it up for me. 

Nate also really liked the movie. In fact, we both left the theater raving about how amazing it was. Let me tell you, this never happens, people! We never give movies this stellar of a rating. And, even more unusual, we rarely agree on how good a movie is. So, this one was something special. 

Have you seen it yet? And if you've read the book, would you recommend it? 

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Weekend Away

{If you're interested in following me on Instagram, there is now a link in the left sidebar} 

We spent this past weekend in upperstate NY visiting my hubbie's alma mater, eating some delish meals, doing a little antiquing, watching hockey and spending time with old friends. 

 My latest Target find

 Sunrise over the campus chapel, the view right outside our hotel room window on Saturday morning.

 It was -15 at 7am - I was not about to go outside to take an "actual" picture, so you have to look passed the annoying screen to see the beautiful rays of sun hitting the snowy chapel. 

The rising sun hitting the ice and snow made everything sparkle. What a way to start the day!

 Chicken Riggies, a famous local concoction

 We were glad to see the hockey team was playing at home. 
Nate played during undergrad and I think it was hard for him to watch from the stands! 

We came across an antique "barn" on Saturday and spent quite a while looking at all of the booths. I was in heaven with all of the tea cups and china. I settled on this one - pale blue and gold English bone china.

 When we got home Sunday night, I had a tea date over the phone with my mom.
And this stinker wasted no time finding the milk!

We were away for less than three days and Puff acted like we'd left him for weeks! 

After whining and running around the house for a few hours he finally passed out.

 Mondays are my day off so, if I can swing it, I like to sleep in a bit and then spend the morning on the couch either catching up on shows, blogging or reading. Perhaps my favorite part of the morning is being able to lounge around in my pajamas and drink coffee out of a regular cup instead of a travel mug. There is just something so enjoyable about holding a favorite mug filled with piping hot coffee and having the steam waft up into my face. 

 My new post-Christmas mantle. All of those wine corks are actual corks from bottles we've drank. It wasn't until a few months ago that I got the idea from this Pinterest post to date the corks. I'm bummed I didn't think of doing this sooner. Somewhere in that jar is the cork from our bottle of Champagne on our engagement night!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Favorite Things Friday

I took off work today so Nate and I could travel to NY. He was asked to speak at the college where he attended undergrad so we're making a weekend of it! In the spirit of this casual Friday, here are just a few of my favorite things at the moment.

I read her first five novels and really enjoyed them. I cannot justify paying hardcover prices so I've been anxiously awaiting my "number" to pop up on the library waiting list...And then I happened to find a copy for $7.00 at Marshalls! It is really hard for me to find good fiction but so far this one is just as enjoyable as her others.

 I double this as my bubble bath and my shower & shave gel (okay, maybe that means I "triple" it?). I cannot get enough of this subtle-yet-refreshing feminine scent. I so look forward to this when I get home from work.

The past two times I've been home, my mom, sister and I have gotten pedicures together. So fun! I've gotten this eggplant color with these sparkles on top and cannot get enough! I purchased my own so I don't have to wait for my rare pedis to enjoy this stellar combination.

 After snatching up a box of this tea around Christmas and discovering that it is, indeed, like snacking on a hot, gooey sugar cookie, I was desperate to stock up on this seasonal treat. I haven't been able to find it in the stores since then so I ordered a few boxes from Amazon.
I remember reading about a Dove deodorant that has chamomile in it a long, long time ago in some magazine and have never been able to find it...until now! I am loving the way it smells.

I have my eye on these braided shower curtain rings from Target. Although, we have glass shower doors for the time being. Still, salivating.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Operation Get Skinny: 40//30

 This post is a long time coming. For those of you that have been around here for awhile, you may have noticed teeny me getting not-so-teeny. 112 pound, size 0 me started to disappear when Nate was deployed from April 2009-May 2010. Due to several factors that all deserve a post of their own, including depression, medications, lack of exercise and "eating to cope", and simply being in survival mode, I lost Skinny Minnie and ended up over 200 pounds. 

 August 2009
(Four months into deployment, before I started gaining.)

I was aware, pretty much from the start, that I had a problem. But, when I gained the first ten pounds I told myself that I was just doing what I had to do to make it through deployment. And so it continued with each ten pound gain after that. 

May 2012
At my heaviest

 I felt horrible and looked awful, but for a long time I had zero motivation to do anything about it. I was stuck. And then came a series of "When are you due?"s which not only made me feel worse about myself and how I had clearly "let myself go," but it made me realize that I couldn't hide my extra weight anymore. It was obvious, especially to people who had known Skinny Minnie, but even to new acquaintances, that I was significantly overweight.

June 2012

That's when the pity party got out of control. A lot of tears and hugs from Hubs convinced me that I didn't have to be stuck at this weight forever. My main motivation to start Operation Get Skinny, as I have come to refer to it, was our talk of wanting to start a family (no, we're not pregnant...and no, we're not trying) led me to join Weight Watchers in July. Whenever we do decide to start a family, I want to go into a pregnancy being as healthy as I can be. I want to be able to work out during pregnancy, but the recommendation is not to do anything more strenuous than you were doing prior to getting pregnant. And, up until July, that was absolutely nothing. I wanted to be a healthy, safe place to grow a little human, and being 200+ pounds and grossly out of shape was not going to cut it. Something had to change.

July 2012

So, in July, I signed up for Weight Watchers and also began working out five days a week. I do a combination of pilates and the elliptical and try my best to stick to WW points. I have been SO happy with the results and plan on using the basic idea behind their program even after I have reached my goal weight.

Three months into Weight Watchers and 20 pounds down!

{While I'm not trying to get back down to 112, I am trying to get down to a healthy weight for my 5' 8" self, which is between 130-140.}

And, on New Year's Eve 2012,
40 pounds lighter...
30 more to go!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Happies, Lately

Here are just a few pictures of the things making me smile lately, as captured on my phone. 

 Bubble baths, especially after a long day at work. Bubbles, fancy soaps, candles, water that is just a little too hot, a relaxing station on Pandora. Ahhh. (This amazing soak tub is actually my parents' - I enjoyed several sudsy tubs while we were home to visit. Our poor excuse for a tub will have to do for now.) 

 For the past two years, since I found this fabulous tiered wedding cake cookie cutter, I've made cut-outs for our anniversary. I end up freezing most of them and pulling one out now and then when I'm craving one. Like now. I cannot believe how well this recipe freezes! Once they thaw out it's like I just baked them that morning!
 My sweet boy hanging out with me by our tree...Yes, it is still up. 
 Sipping on a McDonald's Peppermint Mocha. So much yummier than the mocha at Starbucks...and a whole lot cheaper!

 New-found favorite. Champagne + Wine = a much less burpy romantic evening than solo Champagne

 I woke up Wednesday morning to several inches of snow, and it was still coming down pretty hard in huge flakes. It was beautiful. Until I had to drive to work in it.

 I picked up this tea a few weeks ago and haven't been able to find it since. It is delish with a pinch of sugar and a dash of milk. 

 What a ham. I was trying to do my Bible study lesson and apparently he felt like I was just not paying him enough attention.

  Tea time on a Sunday afternoon. Perfect activity for in between worship and a good old Sunday nap. 

My new tea cup! I found this antique while I was shopping with my mom back in Ohio. It looks like a courting couple.

 Handsome goober.

 Snoring and twitching - must have been a good nap!

 Christmas flowers from Hubs

 Any idea what the star-shaped white ones are? They were so neat looking!

 I've read all her other books and I've been not-so-patiently waiting for my number to come up on the library waiting list since I have a hard time justifying hardcover prices. But then I found it at Marshall's for $7.00!