Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cheers to 2013

Happy New Years Eve! You can also find me over at Emily's blog today while she is ringing in the new year in Trinidad & Tobago.... jealous!

2013 was definitely good to me, but also very hard. I lost a few loved ones very suddenly, but celebrated some big birthdays and went on some amazing trips.

video
It definitely went by in a flash


Get ready for an epic photo dump....

January


1. Rang in 2013 at not 1 but 2 parties... yep this year we're only sticking to 1
2. With the girls at party #1
3. Beach day enjoying the 80 degree weather in January
4. My 2nd of 3 run ins with Hedo Turkoglu... if you're ever in Orlando you'll most likely run into him
5. My first time at the driving range
6. H working on his form
7. Downtown pub crawl with friends
8. Star Wars exhibit at the science center sponsored by H's work (hey they had open bar!)
9. With Emily at a dive bar after the Star Wars exhibit


February



February was a quiet month, but we went to a car show and I got to pose outside the "Dumb and Dumber" car and "drive" a Marine truck, we fire pitted it up with friends, and took Roxy to go see the manatees at the springs.


March







In March, we went to Magic game VIP style, went to Magic Kingdom, celebrated a friend's new engagement, mourned the loss of my grandmother with yet another trip to CT, and went to our friend's St. Patrick's Day party. Can you spot the photo bomb?


April



We went to Disney's Animal Kingdom... my fav of the 4 parks :)


And we flew back up to CT for my cousin's wedding and a day trip into the city (NYC). We also celebrated our friend's housewarming and the opening of the newest Ale House. 


May


In May, we watched our pool be built and finished, went to Punta Cana, spent a day at Hollywood Studios, I went to brunch with the girls at a place that featured bottomless mimosas *yes please*, and celebrated H's 30th birthday


May was a fantastic month :-D





June

June started off great... we were heading into a summer full of fun and kicked it off with another trip to Magic Kingdom, pool parties, BBQ's, plus I even found out amazing news that I landed a new job, and then it happened.... the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life. Several months later, I still just can't comprehend what happened and put into words how I feel. Losing my cousin is hands down the most devastating thing that has happened to me and right after losing both of my grandparents I just was in a fog and the trips to CT were getting more and more frequent.



But you have to move on no matter how much it hurts, and H and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary as best we could the day after I flew back from her funeral in CT. I cannot believe that I buried my cousin 3 years to the day that she was rehearsing at our Rehearsal Dinner for the wedding. Speechless... however the daily weepiness did become further and farther between with time and I tried to get on with our packed summer schedule.

July


We celebrated the 4th of July with friends, went to go see fireworks, I went blonder than I had in years, painted our stairs myself, went to a baseball game with some of our neighbors, and went to my first ever charity gala.

August 


Margarita fest downtown with friends


Rang in my 30th b-day with great friends


Went to Miami for the weekend with friends and caught a Rockies-Marlins game


September

We celebrated Labor Day weekend by renting some beach condos with friends in St. Pete... so much fun! 


Celebrated K's b-day


I met Teresa from RHONJ


Celebrated our friend Sean's b-day at a local resort with an amazing pool area


October

Corn maze, pumpkin picking, haunted houses, and a day at the beach with Emily and K


November

Florida-Georgia game in Jacksonville


Bahamas cruise with 4 other couples to celebrate a friend's 30th b-day


Our friends threw a holiday-kickoff party the week after we got back from the cruise


December

Our 2nd annual Christmas Party at the house 


Celebrated Emily's 30th b-day by dancing on tables and belly dancing


2013 had some really low points, but I was surrounded by lots of amazing family and friends that helped me get through the rough times. Plus, we got to travel a lot (minus the impromptu trips to CT) and that is definitely my favorite hobby. 

Cheers to an even better 2014 with more traveling and memories with friends and family.

Hope everyone has a safe and happy new year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

What I did on Christmas Vacation...

Why does time fly so fast when you're on vacay? I know it flies when I'm actually traveling somewhere, but even when I have a whole week off to do what I please at home instead of running through airports  it goes by in a blink of an eye.

I wasn't around much here in blogland last week as I was trying to soak up time with family and friends over the holiday week, and I enjoyed every second of it and was reminded over and over again how over the top blessed we are. I know Thanksgiving was last month, but I am eternally thankful for every blessing in my life. Ok sappy stuff over... now onto the photo dump...

I kicked off my Christmas staycation (soooo thankful we weren't running through airports and doing the tour of Connecticut this Christmas. Although I do miss our friends and family up there and they all received packages of goodies in the mail!) last weekend celebrating dancing on tables for Emily's b-day and a wine and wrapping party at my neighbor's.

On Christmas Eve-Eve, H and I took Roxy to go see some Christmas lights and she was so excited that it took her almost 2 hours to stop panting after we got back. Gotta love bulldogs.



On Christmas Eve, H's parents came over and we skyped with his sister and her husband up in CT to open presents.

I was spoiled by my "sis" and got my first Diamond Candle :)


Afterwards, we went out to dinner with H's parents and then went back to their house to play a game before heading back home to go to our neighbor's to sit by the fire pit.


~ Our neighbor's adorable pupper Apollo

~ Skyping with bro and sis-in-law

~ H opening his new Sega console... taking it old school! It has 80 built in original games and he can also play his games on it from the original Sega.

~ H and one of our neighbors waiting for Santa by the fire pit

~ Nothing like sitting by the fire on Christmas Eve


Christmas day, we enjoyed some breakfast casserole and lots of mimosas while we opened stockings and our gifts to each other before skyping with my family to open gifts. Afterwards, H's parents came over to open gifts and have Christmas dinner.

Champs is always a good idea 


Love being outside this time of year (yes I wore my antlers all day)



~ Gingerbread coffee from Dunkin on Christmas morning

~ Countdown finally reached 0

~ H finally got his sound bar and subwoofer

~ Beautiful Kate Spade presents from H

~ Skyping with my family back up in CT to open gifts

~ Little bro enjoying his cheesehead hat

~ Santa Paws came for Roxy

~ Our new ornaments to each other on the tree

~ Beautiful Lennox ornament from my aunt

~ Gorgeous mint earrings from H which I hinted very strongly at (can be found here on Etsy)

~ Dessert and games on the patio after dinner



Most of my Christmas goodies... my favs are my gifts from Kate Spade, Viva La Juicy Noir, the beautiful earrings from H, and the camera from my parents.


Also love all the Christmas cards we received this year... so much love from friends, family, and other bloggers :)


The day after Christmas, we had a day date and went to go see Saving Mr. Banks, have lunch, and do some shopping.





Hope everyone had an amazing Christmas!







Friday, December 27, 2013

Post Christmas Shopping

There's just something depressing in the air after Christmas is over. There's so much build up to the big day... all the shopping, baking, wrapping, decorating, etc... and when it's all over you're left wondering how it went by so fast. But, thankfully there are after Christmas sales and New Years Eve to look forward to. Hopefully I didn't just panic a bunch of you for not finding a sparkly dress to ring in 2014 yet.... don't worry there's still time!

The day after Christmas, H and I went to go see Saving Mr. Banks (great flick if you're looking for something to go see and of course now I'm full steam ahead looking into annual Disney passes) and then grabbed some lunch and did some shopping. We stopped in The Gap and at Pottery Barn and were amazed by the sales going on at The Gap.

I picked up this 4 in 1 dress for only $11 marked down from $60. Most of their items are already on clearance and then you can take another 40%-50% off. 


I used a gift card from my aunt and uncle and picked up some items at Pottery Barn. How pretty is that snowflake candle?! Only $6 on sale ;-)



Of course, my favorite item was the bulldog wine stopper... adorable!


Today, I headed over to my happy place - Target and was disappointed at how much of the Christmas stuff was already gone, but was able to pick up plenty of items at 50% off. 






Love these festive shot glasses marked down to only $3! I plan on gifting them along with a bottle of liquor as a hostess gift for our friend's NYE party we're going to.

And of course the VS Semi-Annual sale is in full swing, which I'm sure I'll be causing some damage there as well 0:-)

What post-Christmas deals did you take advantage of?


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Eggnog Cookies

Looking for a last minute holiday recipe for tonight or tomorrow? Well, you've come to the right place :)

I was looking for a festive recipe to bring over to my neighbor's to wrap presents this past weekend and of course Pinterest brought me to this yummy recipe for soft eggnog cookies. Thankfully, I already had all the ingredients so I was good to go.



Ingredients

1 and 1/4 cups of sugar
3/4 cup of butter (1 and 1/2 sticks)
1/2 cup of light eggnog
1 tsp. of vanilla
2 egg yolks
2 and 1/4 cups of flour
1 tsp. of baking powder
1/2 tsp. of cinnamon
1/2 tsp. of nutmeg

Directions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit

Cream the butter and the sugar. Then add the eggnog, vanilla, and egg yolks and combine until smooth.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg.



Add flour mixture to butter mixture. Once combined, put in the fridge for a few minutes to cool the dough.




Then scoop dough onto cookie sheet and place into the oven and bake at 300 degrees for 17-20 minutes or until the bottoms are brown.




I didn't frost them as they were sweet enough, but if you'd like to frost them use 1/4 cup of butter (1/2 a stick), 1/2 cup of light eggnog, and some powdered sugar. Beat the butter and powdered sugar, then add eggnog and continue to mix. Then frost the cookies and allow the frosting to harden.

If you're looking for more holiday recipes, I've also recently posted recipes for red velvet cupcakescreme de menthe cookiespumpkin cheesecake, and pumpkin spice cupcakes from scratch.


Perfect treat for wrapping presents and drinking wine with my lovely neighbors. How cute is that wrapping paper?!

*Merry Christmas*

Monday, December 23, 2013

Dancing on Tables Kinda Weekend

Merry Christmas Eve-Eve! Is tomorrow seriously Christmas Eve?! This is when I count my blessings for my Monica Geller OCD tendencies that I'm all done Christmas shopping, all my presents are wrapped and under the tree/shipped up to CT, and I can just enjoy watching Christmas specials and enjoying holiday cocktails until then. Feel free to hate me now ;-)

But... before all the Christmas festivities get kicked off we had a very important birthday to celebrate this weekend. Since Emily went up to Savannah to celebrate her 30th birthday last weekend, her husband and I put our heads together and planned a fun night out to celebrate the birthday girl and we ended up going to Taverna Opa which is a Greek restaurant that features belly dancers, dancing on tables, and food and bottle service presented to your table while on fire.


~ Bottle service on top of the table

~ Birthday girl with the shots being poured on top of the table

~ Ooooooopa! Shots for the table and napkins flying everywhere

~ Birthday girl with her husband

~ Some of the girls with the b-day girl

~ Belly dancing

~ K showing us how it's done

~ Dancing on top of the table

~ The b-day girl with her gift from the girls, we all chipped in and got her a Clarisonic Mia in one of her favorite colors


SO.MUCH.FUN



After dinner, we made our way over to a tequila bar for some more drinks and we sat outside since we all realize how old we're getting since the music from the live band inside was too loud. Yep.... but I had the most amazing coconut margarita...

I broke out my pleather leather leggings and corset top for the occasion which are both from F21 and paired it with my Kate Spade turquoise bracelet for a pop of color.

And I used my Naked2 mixed with Sephora's Chrome Eyeshadow and my new mascara primer. Love having such full and long lashes without applying false lashes.






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