Friday, September 26, 2014

The 5 Senses of Fall

I ran into the SITSgirls Back to Blogging Challenge earlier this week on another blog. While I had written out most of my posts for the week, Friday was still wide open and dying for inspiration and I found it. The "5 Senses of Fall" prompt got me SO excited for fall! I am ready to curl up with some hot chocolate and watch the leaves fall from a cocoon of blankets after writing this post. 

shocking red leaves and foggy fields

hot chocolate and pumpkin everything 

cozy sweaters and warm fires

howling wind and crunching leaves

roasting turkey and cinnamon sticks

What sights/sounds/tastes/smells/touches remind you of fall? 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Your Chili's Companion

Confession: I have been hoarding a precious gift. Since early 2011, I have been sitting on the most amazing cornbread recipe anyone has ever concocted. Worse still, the person who gave it to me passed it along so willingly, and I have not paid it forward.

But - it's time to make amends. That's why today I present to you...

It is delicious. It is easy. And you will eat the entire pan.

Step 1 - Preheat your oven to 350. Grab an 8X8 pan, throw a stick of butter in there, and throw it in the oven while it heats up.

Step 2 - Pull the pan out when the butter is melted. Add 1 box of Jiffy corn bread mix, 1/4 c sugar, 1 egg, and 1 can creamed corn. Stir until just mixed, and pop it back in the oven for 40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

Step 3 - Make this every day of your life, and buy bigger pants. It's worth it. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Celebrating 4 Years

Last Thursday was our 4 year anniversary. It's kind of a weird feeling, like it has gone by so incredibly fast but simultaneously I cannot even remember life before Layne (though I know it really must have sucked.) I talked a bit about how four years has changed me (in all the right ways) yesterday.

The traditional 4th anniversary gift is either fruit or flowers, but for the modern day it's appliances. So, we went with a waffle maker. Yay! I have had waffles every day since (except for when I went to brunch with my mother-in-law). So, we slept in, made waffles, and watched a few episodes of MasterChef. That is an ideal morning in this household.

P.S. We picked up this Williams Sonoma Bellegem Waffle Mix. I only used it the first day, because it was surprisingly sweet. We'd recommend it for a dessert waffle, but I've been using this scratch recipe ever since. It's fine, but I'm going to keep looking for one with butter instead of oil. (yum, butter... right?) Recommendations welcome!

In the afternoon, we went to see "No Good Deed." Our anniversary kind of kicks off fall for us, and I loooooooove scary movies and make Layne watch as many as I can straight through Thanksgiving. It was good, but not quite as suspenseful as I had hoped. Have you seen it yet?

Dinner, as a special treat to my carnivorous husband, was Fogo de Chao. We've tried a few Brazilian steakhouses. The meat has been the best at Fogo de Chao, but the salad bar (at least for this location) was easily the worst. We also really missed the pineapple and vegetables they give you at Tucanos.

The night ended with Georgetown Cupcakes and a Criminal Minds marathon, our show of the moment. (Dr. Spencer Reid is my second love.) 

All in all, it was a perfect day full of 100 moments that reminded me why I love this guy so much.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Still Falling Further in Love

I know in the grand scheme of things four years is not that long. It's the length of high school or college. How old you might be in your first memory. It's a phase, really. But in this case, four years is just the beginning. Thirty years from now, these first four years together will be a blip, a blur.

But right now, these past four years are the most defining of my entire life. I have grown more in the past four years than ever before.

 I have learned to be more open-minded and forgiving. I have learned to put someone ahead of myself, to consider them and to serve them. I have seen someone else in their entirety, the best and the worst, seen them and accepted them and loved them. I have also more fully recognized my own shortcomings and misguided judgments. I have reveled in the joys and empathized in the sadness of another, feeling his triumphs and trials as intensely as my own. I have learned to stop digging in my heels and to compromise. To communicate. To be gentle and kind. To let my own guard down and fully embrace someone else.

Love will do that to you.  

Thank you for making me a better me.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Weekending Done Right (mostly)

The right part is that I secured myself a nice 4-day weekend by working straight through a few for my big event and was finally able to relax a bit - whew! I haven't taken a day off since April, so it was very much needed.

The caveat is that I forgot to take photos. #BloggingFail

Thursday was all about celebrating our 4th anniversary (more on that later), but the rest of the weekend lived up to every expectation you have for a long weekend.

I met up with Amy (yay for her being back from Chicago!) and we trekked out to College Park for an IKEA trip. One rarely needs an IKEA trip, but you can always find a few things to pick up. I found some dish towels and bought a cute little cactus for Layne's nightstand that he quickly informed me he did not want. I also bought this vest from Old Navy. I am not usually an Old Navy shopper, but I've been sitting on a gift card for a few years (literally, it's been in my wallet for almost three years) and finally decided to get rid of it. And after sitting on the decision to buy the vest from J. Crew until it was on back order until sometime through late October or December, I just went for it.

What do you think? Yes, it's a poor substitution, but I think it will do.

We have had amazing weather here in D.C. lately, and Saturday was no exception. I had brunch with my mother-in-law at Farmers Fishers Bakers. They offer a delicious brunch buffet right on the Georgetown waterfront. Afterward, we walked along the Potomac for a bit and then headed up into Georgetown for some window shopping. We found this cute furniture store with actual reasonable prices - unheard of in that neighborhood! It has already lodged itself at the top of my list next time I need to buy a new piece.

Don't you love lazy Sundays? After such a lax weekend, it is hard to face a new week. But it's a bit easier after dinner at my in-laws. Layne grilled up some streaks, and my mother-in-law made her awesome potatoes au gratin with gruyere cheese.

What did you do this weekend? I hope you soaked up the last rays of sun before fall is fully upon us!

Linking up with B Loved Boston and Champagne and Suburbs.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

I'm So Lucky

Today is 4 years married to this sexy guy.

Amazing photos by Sanae James

I am feeling romantic, so be prepared for some mushy, gushy love posts next week. But, for now, I'm going to celebrate with my man.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dying to Get my Craft On

Have you felt it? The chill in the air? The first sign that the season is changing?

It can only mean one thing....

Time for fall crafts and decorating! I am very lucky to have a crafting buddy who is always up for anything I throw at her. And now that fall is on its way, I am preparing myself for fun projects. Here's a collection of some things that have inspired me...

Wreaths - I am not usually a huge fan, but I have been wanting to hang a wreath on the inside of my door for a while now. (I live in an apartment, so who cares about the outside?)



Pumpkins - is it even fall before you buy your first pumpkin?



P.S. I found this tip on making your pumpkins last long. I live in a damp climate, so I am definitely giving it a try this year!

Knick Knacks - My mom always decorated for the seasons with just a huge amount of stuff. I hope to follow in her exact footsteps. :)


Do you decorate for the seasons? What are you hoping to add to your home this fall?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

In Other News...

Last week was big for me. In addition to finally hosting the biggest event in transportation technology of the year with my co-workers (whatever - nbd), I also got a job offer!!!! 

I am beyond thrilled to be joining a local marketing group, where I will get to focus exclusively on e-mail and social media. Or, as some may call it, living the dream. I'll get to work on a national campaign, and it'll be for another company that I believe in! I don't start for a few weeks, but I wanted to share the news now because I am just soooooo excited!

 I feel awesome. : )

Monday, September 15, 2014

Back in Business!

So... I pretty much disappeared there for a few weeks. But, I'm not going to make an excuse. I hate when people go on and on about how busy they are, as if they somehow have fewer hours in the day than the rest of us. We are all busy. We all have a lot going on that we have to juggle and find a way to prioritize and get done what we can. Over the past few weeks, I have had more to get done than I usually do, and at the end of the day my priority was to relax (aka - binge watch Netflix and turn off my brain). So, the blog kind of fell by the wayside.

Instead, my focus has been on work. Last week was my big event. THE big event. The event that my every action at work this past year has been focused on and building to. And I couldn't be more thrilled with how it went! It was surreal, and rushed, and over before I even had a second to catch my breath. Overall, I just kept pinching myself that I was involved in an event of this caliber.

For those that don't know, I work in intelligent transportation. It was a new industry for me this year, and it has been incredibly welcoming. It's a niche group of people that are dedicating their lives to making transportation safer, more efficient, more connected, and more environmentally-friendly. By now, you probably have heard of autonomous or connected vehicles  - those are my guys! But they're also doing incredible things with traffic and weather monitoring, parking, traffic lights, emergency response, and connecting with your cell phones to make getting around easier. It is mind-blowing and I'm incredibly proud to be able to help in telling their stories.

If you have any interest in experiencing the magic that is the future automobile, I'd recommend googling "ITS World Congress" or visiting the YouTube page.

I'll be back later this week with normal content.
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