January 30, 2010


Today is the wedding of my dear friends Elaine and Paul! I'm SO excited and SO happy for them, and I know tonight is going to be a total blast.

I'm also honored to be part of this wedding - I'll be doing one of the readings. I teased Elaine that this is how I'm going to start my reading:

Congrats to the future Mr. and Mrs. :) You deserve nothing but amazing things in the years to come. I love you guys!!

January 29, 2010

Winter Wedding Inspirations

I saw these on ruffledblog.com, and even though I'm going to a winter wedding this weekend (more on that tomorrow), I am not personally having a winter wedding. But if I were, I would want to use each and every one of these inspirations. HOW CUTE ARE THOSE FLOWERS?! I love it! The decor for the cake and everything is so simple and elegant, yet so easy!! To view the entire blog post go here. Gorgeous :)

January 26, 2010

Rack of Lamb and Zucchini

Well it's been a while since I've posted up one of my new favorite recipes lately so here you go! This lamb chops recipe is one that Allen and I did on a whim for our little mini celebration the Monday before Christmas and I've seriously been craving it ever since! I'm proud of this one because it's one we did completely on our own with no recipe (so bear with me while I write this out - if you have any questions just let me know!)

Sorry - this one is not for my veggie friends unfortunately, but the zucchini recipe below could work for you! Just skip down :)

Rack of Lamb
- 1 whole rack of lamb (the one Allen and I got from Meijer had 8 racks in it - there's not a lot of meat on the bones so 4 each was the perfect amount, we weren't crazy full or anything)
- Olive Oil
- Santa Maria seasoning (we got this seasoning from Allen's brother Mark in AZ - I believe it is only sold on the west coast, but it basically consists of sea salt, garlic, a little pepper, and minced onion if you want to create your own)

Preheat your oven to about 450º. Season the full rack (top and underneath) with seasoning while you heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a cast iron skillet on medium high. If you don't have a cast iron skillet, you could probably just use a regular large stove top pan and prep a baking sheet for the oven. After the olive oil is heated, put the rack of lamb in the skillet and sear on each side for about 3 minutes, or until you get a good crust on the top end. Put the full skillet in the oven with the top of the lamb facing up (or put the lamb on the baking sheet with the juices from the stove top pan) for about 25 minutes. Pull it out and cover the lamb for about 10 minutes to rest. Enjoy!

Zucchini Recipe 
This is a recipe that I really stole from my mom so I have to give her credit there. It took basically everything in the world for my sister and I to eat vegetables growing up, and this is one that I would usually eat with no problem. The parmesan cheese in this recipe really covers up the veggie taste, without being too unhealthy for you, so I have to love it (plus, I love cheese).

1 zucchini (for one serving)
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Parmesan cheese (I like fresh grated but you could use anything)

Preheat oven to 350º (either conventional or toaster oven). Cut the zucchini length-wise and put on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake about 8 minutes, or until zucchini is cooked through and cheese is crusty on top.

January 21, 2010

Adorable flowers

Just a quickie for an adorable little flower arrangement I saw on Clover & Bee:

I absolutely love the urns with the roses and how they compliment the tables. As much as I love tall centerpieces, I don't love when I can't see across the table at the people I'm sitting with. I think these are the perfect compliment for classy, a little vintage, yet absolutely gorgeous. I would probably look for something similar to this, but maybe have a grouping of them with different urns and/or different flowers in multiples on tables. That would also depend on how our tables are set up, but at a minimum I think these would look great at a head table or something.

Love, love, LOVE! The whole wedding that these were featured from can be found here, and the photos of the event are awesome. A little too vintage for my style, but still adorable all the way :)

January 19, 2010


I am crazy frustrated with trying to find a reception spot. Granted, we haven't looked into that many places just yet, but on our first excursion up to Traverse City we saw one venue that I just drop-dead fell in love with. This would normally be an awesome thing, except of course, that my eyes are bigger than my budget and it's looking slightly unaffordable at the moment.

Speaking of budget, can we talk for a split second about how much I hate to budget?! My financially-savvy fiance and I are crunching numbers (ok, let's be honest, he's crunching all the numbers) to make sure this is all affordable so we don't go into bankruptcy in our first year of marriage. Responsible? Yes. Slightly eye-opening at what we can't afford? Absolutely.

That being said, we are extremely lucky that we have some beloved family members who have offered their services for a few aspects of the wedding process (his mom is a master cake-baker so she's got that on lock, and my aunt is a florist/artist/extraordinaire that is generous enough to offer her services as well). This will save us in a lot of areas, but even with this huge amount of help, I think I need to come back to some realistic views of how this wedding is going to go.

This is my "reel it in" pep talk to myself, in case you can't tell.

My dad keeps coming into my head when I start thinking about the wedding and all the fun, cool things that I would like to do with it. His favorite saying: "You and your sister, you have champagne taste on a beer budget."

I hate when he's right. Hopefully we'll be able to find a happy medium somewhere.

January 15, 2010

Things I'm loving right now

Hello blogosphere. Hope you're doing well.

So there are a few things going on right now that I am absolutely loving! And I felt like sharing.

#1. Conan vs. Leno
I can't even tell you how much I'm loving the NBC battles right now. It's kind of fascinating to me. Not only because I happen to love a good corporate scandal, but also because since I started re-watching Conan this week because of the whole battle, you can tell he has completely come back into his own! (yes, rewatching, because his show changed a lot when he moved up in time slots) I missed his old goofy ways, and you could totally tell he had watered things down when he became host of the Tonight Show (whether it was asked for by NBC or not is too soon to tell). But I respect the statements the guy has made to the general public, and I am happy he is back to his old ways - including cutting waist strings. That's what made him so successful in the first place! So therefore, in case you all were dying to know, I am on Team Conan. Not that I have much against Leno - I think he's been put in kind of a rough spot by NBC - but it's time for a new Tonight Show host, and it should be Conan O'Brien. That is all.

#2. Sherlock Holmes
Ok, I know that there's some back and forth on this one right now, but I loved the Sherlock Holmes - and not just because of my love of Robert Downey, Jr. (but that didn't hurt either). Granted, the plot was a little "eh" since I'm not huge into witchcraft or the supernatural, but I thought the portrayal of Holmes and Watson was awesome. RDJ and Jude Law were a perfect match as far as I'm concerned! Can't wait for a sequel (if there is one).

#3. Spin Class
LOL! Ok I'm not that much of an old lady, but that picture made me laugh. So I just started up a spinning class last week, and MAN am I loving it!! It is such a great work out and since Allen and I are on a hardcore health-kick these days, I've decided that this is the perfect kind of cardio for me. The class I'm taking does 35 minutes of cycling, and then 15 minutes of either core or strength training work. I love, love, love it no matter how sore my booty was after that first bike ride (and believe me, I was sore). I just have such a hard time motivating myself to run or go on the eliptical, so I'm pretty happy with this choice so far. Hopefully I'll keep it up for the next 12 weeks!

This weekend is full of some fun plans - tonight we're going to Lansing to see an Irish band with two of our friends, and tomorrow will be a lot of cleaning and school work until Jill's going away party (ok, that's not fun for me, but it will be fun to see everyone). And then Sunday is the first night of our cornhole league! This should be interesting... :)

January 8, 2010

Woah gorgeous

2 posts in one day?! Are you kidding me?!

Ok I couldn't help it though - I was browsing and found these photos of gorgeous bouquets from Karen Tran Florals. I love the bride and bridesmaid bouquets! The centerpieces aren't too shabby either, but definitely out of my price range ;) Had to share. Love.

PS - so you are aware, this blog is also for me to categorize things I like for my wedding. Since it's so far out, I'm sure I'll forget all of this at some point, so I'd like to be able to come back here and be like "wait, where were those bouquets I like?" and easily access them. Woo!

The 'zona

After the craziness of the holidays died down this year (well, it didn't exactly die down, we just straight up and left it), Allen and I headed to Arizona to visit his brother and sister that live there. We were joined by a few friends and had a really great, fun, WARM time. And by warm, I'm saying it doesn't take a lot to convince me to move somewhere warm when it's 70º and sunny with clear skies. That blast of cold air when we came back to Detroit was not a fun one.

A few of the fun photos from our trip:

Allen and his brother Mark

The boys, after doing a bit of rock climbing (Jeff, Erik, Mark, Eric, and Allen)

Mark and Allen teaching their nephews "The Captain" (Alex is on the left, Andrew on the right)

"The Tree Incident"

So, a funny thing about "The Incident". Mark, at some point on New Year's Eve, decided it would be a great idea to tackle our friend Eric into the Christmas tree. He even went so far as to ask Molly permission to do so, and had the foresight to remove some of the more sentimental ornaments from the tree beforehand. Well, the thought was that the tree would just fall back into the wall. Instead, the tree crumpled underneath them. This is the aftermath the next morning. We all just decided to chalk it up to Nick (the cat) being pissed about not getting enough Christmas presents this year.

January 6, 2010

The Engagement Party

So I'm straight up convinced that Allen and I have the most generous and amazing family and friends in the world. How I know this is because of the mass amount of people that showed up to the engagement party that my sister Erin (aka maid of honor) and friends Jill and Erin threw for us. I'll say one thing - I had such a blast seeing everyone! Even if that's the smallest indication of how awesomely fun our wedding is going to be, I'm all set.

There was food (oh MAN was there food - a chocolate fountain even!), lots of Traverse City wine to pay tribute to our wedding location, a slide show (if I can get my hands on it, I'll post it), a trivia game, and my parents gave Allen and I a beautiful set of Waterford champagne glasses to use for our wedding toast. We're going to do our best to not break them before the wedding, cuz that's how we tend to roll.

There were many great photos that were taken that evening, but there are two that are my favs:

We call this one, "The Physical Challenge"

Yep, that's Jess proposing to me to earn extra points during the trivia game. She did a fabulous job because I said yes.

On my mom's Facebook (yes, she has a Facebook), she captioned this one "We were four...now we're five!" aaaaaand I was pretty much about to cry. I did tell her that my dad is seriously going to have to work on smiling for photos if our photographers at the wedding are ever going to stand a chance at a good family photo. He did pretty good in this one though :) Also, my sister has inspired me to tan...a lot...before the wedding.

Another big huge ginormous thank you to the Erins, Jill, and my parents for helping out and for putting everything on for us. Love you! :)

January 4, 2010

A quick one!

Sorry for the delay in blogging - I apparently have to learn how to draft and save for later.

One of my favorite things Allen and I did during the holidays was have our own little Christmas celebration the Monday before the actual holiday. It was really, really nice to cook a big dinner, watch a movie (nothing holiday - Inglorious Basterds, haha! But that movie was awesome), and exchange gifts. I hope it's a tradition that we carry on with us for as long as we continue to have crazy holiday seasons.

Speaking of...the holidays were absolutely CRAZY. Way too much going on, and while all of it was a lot of fun (more to come on that), I was a little relieved to leave for Arizona on the 28th to go visit my future brother and sister-in-laws.

While we did a lot in AZ (more to come on that also), the best part was just relaxing, hanging out with everyone, and reading my newest book The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. I have to say, the book was really interesting. Brought a lot of light into new topics of science that I had personally never thought of before. The end of the book completely dragged on, but for a while it was impossible for me to put it down (ask anyone I traveled with). I recommend it for sure!

More to come on the holiday festivities, our engagement party, and Arizona. I just have to finally load all of my pictures up!