Monday, December 31

thank you 2012

2012 has been good to us. There has been lots of wonderfulness this year. Between my brother marrying one of my best girlfriends, to me marrying my best friend, moving to a new town and getting settled into our married life, we have been so blessed over this past year. I think 2013 has it's work cut out for it but, none the less, I am looking forward to a new year and all that is in store.

I hope you have a wonderful, safe New Year. See you in 2013!

Wednesday, December 19

dinner dilemma

Since I have more time than usual on my hands, I've put extra effort into my creativity in the kitchen. Over the weekend, Jake and I made some delicious chicken parmesan and with just the two of us, we typically have a decent amount of left overs. And there is nothing that I love more than being able to re-purpose left overs for another great meal. After an extensive online search of how to use the chicken, I became inspired to recreate my favorite dish from Noodles & Co.

Amazingly, I had all the necessary ingredients (sort of) to make truffle mac & cheese. If you've never had truffle oil before you are missing out. It's delicious but a little bit goes a very long way.  I took the recipe from this blog and adjusted it a bit.

Truffle Mac & Cheese with Chicken
  • 2 cups pasta
  • 1 tablespoon truffle oil
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken or vegetable stock, warmed
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 block cream cheese

 Cook the pasta according to the package. Drain the pasta, place in a bowl and toss with truffle oil.

 Cut pre-cooked chicken into bit size pieces, warm in skillet or in microwave. Set aside.

In a sauce pan, heat the stock on medium. Mix together the parmesan and flour, so that the flour coats the parmesan. Add to the stock and stir until the cheese has been melted and it thickens slightly. Add the pasta and cream cheese and stir until the cream cheese is completely melted.

Pour pasta and cheese mixture over chicken and mix gently. Add freshly, grated parmesan. Serve and enjoy!

It was delicious and thankfully there are still leftovers!

Friday, December 14


You know that feeling when your socks are all bunched up and something just feels off. That has been my general feeling for the past week or so. It's been a while since I've blogged so let me catch you up. We found out the week before Thanksgiving that the Mr. would be relocated for his job, which is a great thing we've been waiting for. We went to Vegas for a work trip (his, not mine). The Monday we got back, we finished packing up the townhouse and on Tuesday it all got loaded in the truck and we moved three hours north.

We've been at the new apartment for just over a week now. Jake has been at his new building for a week and I have been unemployed for that long. The new apartment is looking great. Our things are falling into place and its beginning to look like us. Jake has been putting in long hours trying to get a grasp for his new crew. And I have been unpacking boxes, running errands, Christmas shopping and baking. Not too shabby of a week.

This is our first big move. At first I didn't quite realize just how significantly it would affect us. It didn't seem that big of a deal until we got here. Then it dawned on me that we're in a completely new city, with no awareness of what is where, and just a completely new surrounding. It's something we've been waiting for and have wanted for a while. But change is hard. This change was hard because the last time I moved some place new it was to college and I had a dorm full of girls and a full schedule to occupy my time. So, this was a bigger change than I anticipated. I'm working hard on making this place our new home and getting settled and cozy in our new town.

Now for a few pictures from our Vegas trip.


Wednesday, November 28


Someone very wise once told me that with every "yes' there is a corresponding "no." Today, my yes is moving on to a new adventure with my new husband. And no is leaving my first big kid job after two years and saying good bye to a town that has been home to me for the past seven years.

I'm not good at good byes. To be honest, I don't think anyone really is. We were not meant to be able to say good bye well. This is my day today. Cleaning out my office. Packing up the life I've built for the past two years at the university. It's harder than I thought it'd be. There were times when I wanted to just up and quit. I was frustrated and didn't feel like what I was doing was important. In those times, I couldn't want anything more than to pack up my office and be done. As I look back on the past two years, I can see how much I have learned and grown as I've become a young working professional. I have met some really great people and I am really going to miss them.

I've been around this town for seven year now. I can't even believe that. So it's a bit bittersweet to not be coming back here tomorrow. It's been good to me and I've have lots of wonderful memories. But this is what Jake and I have been waiting for and we are so excited for a whole new start as newlyweds. So here is to knowing where you've been but not letting it hold you back from where you are going.

My sad little empty office...

And our chaotic house...

But on another note, we're leaving for Vegas tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 21

Happy Thanksgiving Eve

I have a lot to be thankful for these days. In honor of the holiday, here is my list of what I'm most grateful for this Thanksgiving.

1. Good health for my family.
2. Great friends who live close enough to travel to visit.
3. Jake's new job opportunity and all that he will learn while at his new facility.
4. For the ability to travel to my parents house for the holiday.
5. A warm place, to lay our heads at night.
6. A energetic and sweet puppy.
7. My siblings, both biological and in-lawed. They're the best.
8. My current job, although I only have three days left, but it has been a great opportunity.
9. Our upcoming move, new apartment and new adventure.
10. The ability to write, be creative and express my thoughts.
11. My marriage. It's the single greatest gift I could ask for.
12. My hard working husband who strives to provide for us each day.
13. Our parents who have given us life and taught us so much about it.
14. A hope that one day all will be right.
15. A faithful God who's love is far greater than my mind can understand.

My heart is so full this season. So many wonderful moments have come our way this year. There just aren't words expressive enough to show just how blessed and thankful I am. I hope you experience great joy and gratitude regardless of where you find yourself.

Blessings to you and your family this Thanksgiving holiday. May you enjoy one another with great joy and laughter over a delicious meal.

Thursday, November 15

projects, paint & packing up

There has been a lot going on recently. Yet, I've managed to squeeze in a few fun projects. Since we don't have a lot of extra storage space in the townhouse, my jewelry has been hiding out in the closet. When I saw this idea on Pinterest I got inspired. We had some extra boards from our wedding signs that were just the perfect size.
So, I picked up a few half off antique looking drawer handles from my favorite, Hobby Lobby. Then my wonderful husband helped by fastening them to the board. He then hung it our bathroom where I can display all my necklaces.

I also love seeing it each morning because it always reminds me of our wedding. It makes me smile.

We also painted a wall in the living room which then required new pillows for the couch.  I found a beautiful paisley pattern, again at HL. I didn't have a pattern so I laid the material out over the pillows and measured the size. I pretty much prayed that they were the right size the whole time.
Although, I've sew many things I've never actually made pillow covers. It was pretty simple. They are an envelope closure in the back and I made them to fit over the 20" pillows we already had on the couch.

An hour and a half later, two pillows were done and they fit perfectly. I have some more material to finish the, not as pretty, gold pillows. I really like how they turned out.

We did all this hard work and fun projects over the past couple weeks making our home so cozy. And then Jake gets a promotion and so now we're moving.

Yep, we're packing up again and heading north. We will be moving to the South Bend area, which is new territory for both of us. Irish territory! It has all happened pretty quickly, so it's still very new to us. We're hoping to get packed up and moved around the first week of December, but details are still pending.

We're really excited for this new chapter to begin. New town, new jobs, new house. It'll be fun. I'm always up for a new adventure. I'll keep you updated as events unfold.

Saturday, November 10

wedding picture gawking

I've spent a lot of time gawking at our wedding photos.  A huge shout out and thank you to our photographer, Kim Calabrese at Divine Photography. Kim is my childhood best friend and we have a lot of memories together. So it was extra special that she was the one to be there during all the in between moments of our wedding day. There are so many pictures that I haven't posted online. We have 707 to pick from! Talk about a lot of gawking. Here are some of the photos you haven't seen yet of the details and pre-ceremony shots.

 I just love them. Keep tuned, I'll share more of the post ceremony shots soon.

Monday, November 5

welcome november

Well, it's November 5th already. How did that happen? Too much goodness going on, I suppose. Between work, birthdays, spooky Halloween, and road trips, time can really get away from you. There has been a lot of fun wrapped up on the last week. I'll help you get caught up through my iPhone pictures.
This year for Halloween, I dressed up as Cat Woman, Winnie dressed up as Wonder Woman and Jake was Superman. We were action packed! We spent Halloween at the nursing home with Jake's residents. They sure do love our pup, especially when you put her in a cute little costume. She had her fill of tootsie pops and sugar cookies. Yep. They just loved to feed her cookies and she loved it too.
Mom and I had our annual birthday shopping trip. Always a success and its something that we both look forward to every year. We capped the day off with dinner in the kitchen at Buca Di Beppo. It was so fun to watch the inner workings of the kitchen as we enjoyed some delicious Italian food.
Speaking of are my new birthday boots! Thank you to grandma, my brother & sister-in-law. And Jake who patiently waited for me to pick the perfect pair.

Winnie was trying to help me do some household dusting.

Ok. Not really. But she is cute.

To top it all off, we spent this past weekend in Milwaukee visiting some dear friends of ours. Alex was one of Jake's college roommates and still one of his best friends. We always have a great time when we visit with Alex and Corey, even though they're Packer fans. We also love Milwaukee. It's such a neat city. I would have never guessed, but every time we visit we always talk about how beautiful it is and how much fun stuff there is to do. Plus, the company is always great. It has been so fun for me to get to meet Jake's friends and their wives, to develop new friendships and to share in our current life experiences. It's something we truly enjoy. Now if only we could turn the heat up a bit in Wisconsin...

And every time we drive home, we always stop for some Portillo's. Always.