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Monday Musings

February 23, 2015
Yoshis

It’s the last week of February! Bring on the nicer weather! I’m over the cold and grey days. There are some okay ones in the mix though. Yesterday was warmer than it has been, so Adrian and I played “monkey in the middle” with Archer in the snow. It was adorable to see him hop-running between us because the snow was deep for his little legs!

  • On Saturday, we went to a surprise 30th birthday party for a friend of ours. His wife set up a Mario Kart themed get together, where we were asked to dress as a character from the game. The best part was the Wii Mario Kart tournament. I used to be a pro at it on Nintendo 64 and didn’t do so bad, but sadly didn’t come out a champ.  I blame the booze! Adrian and I both went as Yoshi, using this easy and cute tutorial I found online. We made them last minute, as we do most things, but I thought they still turned out pretty great!
  • Do you have a tattoo you regret from your earlier years? Getting it removed may end up being an easy fix soon! The science behind this is pretty interesting too. I have one of my own that I never quite finished and though I don’t love it anymore, I’m not sure if I would rid of it or not. I guess it’s because it’s a part of me now and part of who I was then. I suppose we’ll see how I feel about it if/when the cream comes out!
  • About two weeks ago my left eye started twitching randomly throughout the day. It has started getting less frequent and even stopped over the weekend, but when I was making my coffee this morning, it came back again. I have a feeling it’s stress during the week, so I’ve been looking at different techniques to relax more. I saw these five yoga moves for stress and can’t wait to get started this evening. They seem really simple and I’m just looking for something to help me decompress each night, so I thinking this is a good start for me. The Legs Up the Wall pose looks super comfortable. I’m half-tempted to try it out in the office!
  • Currently Watching: Have you seen Togetherness on HBO? I caught a preview for it before Girls one night and watched an episode shortly after. One episode turned into 5! I really love the cast, with Mark Duplass (definitely one of my crushes), Amanda Peet, Melanie Lynskey, and Steve Zissis. It’s just real and I enjoy and appreciate the humor they find in long term relationships and every day life.
  • Currently Reading: I finished up Still Alice and cried a lot throughout it. Last night, Julianne Moore won the Oscar for best actress in the film, so now I have to watch the movie this week sometime! I highly recomment reading the novel though. Now, I am on to Maude by Donna Mabry. I am close to finishing this one because we didn’t have any plans yesterday and I’ve really enjoyed it so far.
What are some of your highlights from last week?
Monday Musings

Monday Musings

February 16, 2015
Betty White and Bradley Cooper

Hello, Monday! I wasn’t hoping to see you so soon, but let’s make the best of it now that you’re here!

  • Omg, can I just say it is COLD out? I’m sure it is everywhere, but I really wish we could hike up the temps a bit. This morning when I went to warm my car up, it was so cold my radio said “CODE,” which is a security measure, and only happens when my battery dies or someone tries to steal my stereo. Now I have to figure out what that code is because it’s one quiet ride without it. Anyway, I really shouldn’t complain because New England has it bad right now. I wonder what the work snow day policies are for storms like these?!
  • Did you guys watch SNL 40 last night? I’m not gonna lie, I actually didn’t know the special was happening, but when I saw it on Facebook and Twitter, I switched it on immediately and it really made my Sunday night all the better. I have the last half hour to catch yet, but I just loved Bradley Cooper and Betty White’s make out session. She really is someone to look up to, with so much energy and life in her 93 years and I thought it was awesome that Bradley Cooper took part!
  • In case you missed it, sushi burritos exist! I posted on Twitter and Facebook about this because I was that enthusiastic about the match made in heaven and I even found a spot in Philly to try out sometime soon!
  • I really admire this military wife’s point about the difference in feeling afraid and acting afraid, as she takes a brave stance against possible ISIS threats.
  • On the menu: Yesterday at Whole Foods, I came across purple and orange cauliflower and got super excited. I picked up a  head of the purple and can’t wait to mash it up tonight with tandoori  mango chicken sausage.
  • Currently Reading: Still Alice. I really want to see the movie, but I am big on reading the book before seeing the film, so I just picked myself up a copy.
What were you up to this weekend? I hope week is off to a wonderful start!
Dinner, DIY, Monday Musings, Recently

Monday Musings: Fancy (Without the Fuss) Gift Wrapping Ideas

December 22, 2014
Countdown to Christmas

Two and a half days until Christmas! Yippee! I’ve been keeping track with this nifty Christmas Countdown. The Christmas gifts have been bought, the decorating is done, the cookies have been baked. Ahh, feels nice to be in a good spot. The only things left to do are spot clean the house, prepare for our Christmas guests, and wrap, wrap, wrap! I’ve collected a bunch of fancy gift wrapping ideas to keep things interesting before ripping the presents apart!

  • First is a gift wrapping tutorial by Apartment Therapy to show off your awesome skills. This is one thing I have never quite gotten down, but I’ve always hoped my gift receivers would think my extra folded paper in the creases under tons of tape was charming. Gift bag anyone?
  • Speaking of bagging those presents, I thought Paper and Stitch’s super easy Ink Blot Gift Bags were the perfect flare to add along with the tissue paper and bows.
  • Looking to use up all those last inches of paper left from last year? A Beautiful Mess came up with wonderful ways to use scraps for creative gift wrapping!
  • DIY Acrylic Gift Tags from Design Sponge are a great way to personalize your presents with style.
  • Mashable has 25 ways to hand-personalize all your goodies! The first one uses washi tape… See, I told you it was amazing!
In other news
  • I tried this trick for falling asleep faster, and though I don’t know if I beat the minute mark, it definitely had me snoozing way sooner than usual!
  • Happy Winter Soltstice! The shorter and shorter days cut into my productivity, so I am welcoming the longer days to come! Here’s a bit of science behind our seasons.
On the menu

And just for fun, I spruced up one of Archer’s latest photos because we’re both nuts about Christmas!

Archer Santa

 

 

I hope you have the happiest of holidays! Do you have any neat wrapping ideas or embarrassing Christmas photos of your pets to share?
Dinner, DIY, Monday Musings, Recently

Monday Musings: DIY Gift Ideas

December 15, 2014
Monday Musings

10 days ’til Christmas! So exciting, but I still have lots to do. My face can be found under procrastinator in the dictionary, that’s how bad it is. I have my decorating done and have been watching lots of Christmas movies and baking lots of goodies, but just haven’t gotten on board with the shopping yet, and that’s kind of important now that we’re under the two-week mark! It’s been gray and chilly lately and we’ve had some back-to-back holiday parties, so when I have time to spare, the movies and baking just won over the crowds this time of year. I also need to come up with a dessert for Christmas Eve to bring to my mom’s and I need a menu for somewhat late plans to host overnight guests on Christmas day. Eek!

Even with only ten days to go, I want to stick with adding some personality to my gift choices by making a few myself, so I hit up my Pinterest (Let’s follow each other!) and looked through my recent favs. These are great ideas if you are looking to add some charm to your presents this year too.

DIY Gift Ideas:
  • I love this tutorial for DIY Marquee Letters. I want to make them for myself for a makeover project in 2015, but know that these would definitely be popular for many of the girls on my list!
  • This little Gift Wrapping Starter Kit is perfect for college goers or those on your list who just moved into their first place.
  • A Simple Light Up Shadow Box would be a lovely gift for almost anyone, since you can use a fond memory photo or a couple’s photo that you adore for your friend or family member.
  • Washi tape is so versatile and can be given as a stocking stuffer to make this, this, or these awesome wall accents!
In other news:
  • The last sequential date in at least twenty years landed two births at 10:11 on 12/13/14! There were also many, many weddings. How neat!
  • Lena Dunham’s gift to Taylor Swift was just too cute not to share. I need to find an affordable option like it on Etsy for my pet-loving friends!
On the menu:
  • I saw this Honey and Lemon Roasted Pork Loin yesterday and meant to make it, but my pork loin didn’t thaw early enough for me to marinate it as long as I wanted to… So, tonight it is!
 Are you already set for Christmas or do you have items on your list left to tackle yet? 
Monday Musings

Monday Musings: Holiday Activity Crawl

December 8, 2014
Macy's Christmas Light Show

Hello Monday! The bags under my eyes are heavy today, but I’m counting down until my second coffee run, to perk up a bit. This weekend started off with my work holiday party. It’s a nice opportunity to get out of the stuffy office and relax with coworkers, aided by an open bar, of course! Saturday started off a slow day, but ended with a girls’ sushi/movie date, making it my favorite kind of Saturday. Then on Sunday, poor Archer had to go to the vet because of a suspected UTI. At one point, he peed 10 times in an hour! It makes potty training extra difficult because he can’t help the urge to go, but hopefully there is no real set back. We got him on antibiotics, gave him extra cuddles last night, and this morning he was showing some improvement, so yay! I was hoping to get some Christmas festivity in yesterday, but settled for some more decorating and watching Elf with the little guy. That did hit the spot, but I have my eye on some holiday activities soon. I think a holiday crawl is in order!

Philadelphia Holiday Activity Crawl:
  •  We used to go to The Macy’s Christmas Light Show and Wanamaker Organ Concert as kids, but it has been many years since my last visit. I can’t wait to sit on the floor and watch reindeer and snowmen dance on the four-story curtain again!
  • The Blue Cross Riverrink Winterfest kicked off on Friday! It sits on the Delaware river and looks wonderful with a lodge and some events like “Skate with Santa.” I haven’t skated in a long time, but how fun would it be to try it out again there?!
  • The Comcast Holiday Spectacular is a tradition going on its seventh year. The shows run for fifteen minutes and are free! I love when the city offers holiday celebrations to families for free, so everyone has the opportunity to participate in holiday cheer.
  • Christmas Village  in Love Park is one of my favorite holiday finds. There are over sixty vendors, the majority of them hosting handmade items, which means lots of unique gift opportunities. My absolute favorite is a nesting doll shop. I began my collection last year and plan to visit again and buy one each year.
  • A Longwood Christmas doesn’t take place in the city, but it looks to be worth the trip to Kennett Square. Many friends and family members have gone to see this exhibit in years past and absolutely loved it. This year’s display is bird-inspired and looks like it will be stunning. My sister recently got engaged here back in the Spring, so I’ll likely make the trip with her, so she can walk me through her special day.
  • Another stop outside of Philadelphia, in New Hope, is Peddler’s Village Christmas Festival. The village offers a beautiful light display, visits with Santa, crafts, and shopping. They always offer great seasonal festivals, so I’m sure this one won’t dissapoint.
In other news:
On the menu
  • Tonight, I’m making baked chicken parmesan. I’m not in the mood for standard spaghetti, so I’ll be serving the chicken with this One-Pot Red Wine Pasta from A Beautiful Mess. It looks great and I already have all the ingredients on hand, ready to go!

 

What holiday spots are you planning to visit this year? I’m always interested in hearing about local favorites, even when they aren’t close to home!
Dinner, Monday Musings, Recently

Monday Musings: Cyber Shopping

December 1, 2014
Monday Musings

It’s December 1st… How did that even happen? I know we still have a few weeks of Fall left, but I feel like it’s already time to say goodbye now. Big sigh, but, the continuing holidays are too fun to get down about the changing of seasons. Since I skipped out on Black Friday, I can’t help but get sucked into Cyber Monday shopping. There are lots of great deals out there today and it’s also nice to support small businesses while you’re at it.

Here are a few things I’ve been ogling
In other news
  • This moment of peace amongst Ferguson protests that I wish more people would see
  • Black Friday decline: Sales are noticeably down since last year
Entertainment
  • Last night, I caught most of Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever on Lifetime. I couldn’t help but watch one of the internet’s favorite memes become a movie star. It was totally cheesy, but worthy of watching as a family. Aubrey Plaza as Grumpy Cat is pretty amusing and the cat openly pokes fun at Lifetime throughout the special.
  • I was surprised to read that the often bold and self-accepting Jennifer Lawrence was super nervous to sing “Hanging Tree” in Mockingjay Part 1. Of course, it turned out to be a hit!
On the menu

 

How’s your Monday going? Are you taking part in any Cyber shopping?