Weekend Wrap Up – October 21, 2013

Another weekend gone and we’re also experience the first chilly Monday morning. October is flying by – I even came across one house that already had their entire lawn covered in Christmas decorations!

After we finished our customary gym, run errands, and clean house duties, Ryan’s parents came into town to visit. We took them to a local apple orchard where they could stock up on some local produce and goodies. We then joined my parents for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. It was a nice night and it’s so nice to combine both of our families.

Saturday night, Ryan and I decided to watch the 30 min. Toy Story Halloween special. About mid way through we looked at each other and thought, “we really need to have a kid to watch this.”

On Sunday we did a little “Staycation” in our small town. Ryan made me some delicious Pumpkin Spice pancakes.

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

We then decided to check out a local Harvest Festival at the Conestoga Historic Society. I was preparing myself for a little podunk pumpkin painting, hot dog grilling festival. However, we were blown away by this museum! Plus, it was all free!

conestoga wagon

Conestoga Wagon

museum

Conestoga is a small village, named by William Penn for the local Conestoga tribe of Native Americans (now extinct). The museum has a plethora of Conestoga Wagons, Native American relics, and local artifacts dating from the late 1700’s – 1920’s. For the festival, local artisans were dressed in period costume showing off their handiwork – like blacksmithing, weaving, dying, leather working, pottery, baking, cooking, and woodworking.

yarn dying

Yarn Dying

DSC_0096 cute period kids arrow heads DSC_0093 DSC_0119 DSC_0120 DSC_0115

They also have a couple of restored family homesteads from the late 1700’s – set up inside like an authentic family house. We were really surprised how much we learned.

1800's home early 1800's kitchen

molasses cookies

molasses cookies

restored 1770's home

restored 1770’s home

bearAnd once again, Ryan said “We really need to have kids so we can do more stuff like this”. Some day, some day!

Sunday evening I got together with my RDS ladies group.

Pumpkin Cheese Ball

I made this fun Pumpkin Cheese Ball, courtesy of Ashley over Rainstorms and Love Notes. The weekend wrapped up way too quickly. I have a busy week ahead and am happy to have it fueled by a fun weekend!

xoxo katie

Five Friday Favorites – 5 Things That Made Me Feel Old

Five Friday Favorites The weight of my thirty years felt a little heavier this week.

Sure little things make me feel old daily, like twerking, the ignorance of kids, and the newest fashions at Forever 21 (kids these days ammiright?). But this week, there were 5 other moments that kind of made me pause and think, wow, this is happening – I’m half way through my thirtieth year. I swear that sometimes I have to remind myself that college was 12 years ago. But then I remember, we didn’t even have Facebook until the last semester of my Senior year. Facebook people! The one thing that I now check countless times a day.

So here were the five things that made me stop and think that I’m officially closer to adulthood than I am to twenty something.

1. Hunger Games Catching Fire Tickets

hunger games

One of my bff’s Ashley and I always get tickets to see the midnight showings of movies generally set aside for the teenage population like Hunger Games and Twilight, oh and Sex and the City. So it was a given that we’d be getting tickets for the Nov 21 midnight premier of Catching Fire.

Imagine my delight when I went online to buy my movie ticket and discovered that they now offer an 8 p.m. showing!!! I yelped in my office chair. Yes! I do not have to take a disco nap in order to see the midnight showing. I won’t get home at 3 a.m. and be a complete waste at the office on Friday.

2. Discarding Some of My Party Dresses

party dress

I love dressing up. I think I have more little black dresses, bandage dresses, and sequin dresses in my closet than work pants. But, lately they’ve been hanging in my closet unused. Just not really my scene anymore. Some were a size 2. I was just hoping that maybe, someday, I could shrink myself back into them.

Who am I kidding? These dresses deserved to be out partying with some new hot young thing. So, I did the mature thing and accepted my 30-year-old hips and donated them, only keeping the ones that fit me and that weren’t designed for a 17-year-old.

3. No Desire to Go Out For New Years Eve

netflix and wine

Going along with the above, this is the first year where I have zero desire to do anything for New Years. Most of you are probably thinking, New Years?! That’s two months away – but yes, I like to plan.

Can we all agree that NYE is usually a big fat disappointment? I usually get all dressed up and go to some fun party, but it never lives up to your expectations and you usually go home with an empty wallet and some dried tears or vomit.Last year, Ryan and I escaped to an island off of Puerto Rico for NYE. We just can’t beat that. This year I’d be perfectly content staying home in sweat pants, watching Netflix and drinking wine.

4. Spending Money at the Grocery Store

full fridge

In my mid twenties I’d spend as little as possible at the Grocery Store so that I could spend the majority of my paycheck on clothes and trips. I basically lived off of lettuce, ketchup, Boca Burgers, yogurt, rice cakes, and canned green beans. I made it to the grocery store maybe every other week.

Now I feel like I’m there almost every other day. I get a thrill on produce sales and live to stock up my fridge with goodies. I’m constantly trying new recipes and actually consider myself a cook! Gasp!

5. Newfound Forehead Wrinkles

wrinkles

I’ve noticed some fine lines creeping their way across my face in recent years but while I was dabbing on some sample wrinkle cream I received I was completely shocked to notice the deep wrinkles forming in my forehead. Like Grand Canyon deep!

Okay, I may be exaggerating and all of the above may have made me obsess a little more about my aging., but is this normal at 30? I don’t buy in on all those ridiculously priced wrinkle creams and line fillers.  So what do you do? I say pour a glass of wine, turn on Netflix and say cheers to the next 10 years!

What makes you realize you’re no longer a Spring Chicken?

Have a fabulous weekend!

xoxo katie

Obsession: House into Home (and the Best TV/Movie Homes!)

So, I must confess, I’ve always been obsessed with houses. And it’s more than just the simple architecture or curb appeal of certain houses – it’s the home that exists because of the house. All the memories, life events and moments that occur in your house that make it a home. How Christmas would not be the same with out the decorated banister. How that crumbly bathtub made your child hood baths an adventure. How that awful shag carpet just brings up memories of coziness and grandparents. I love connecting all the dots to why a memory makes such an impact on our lives. How one little element can shape our perception.

I can trace this obsession back to when I was a little girl and my mom would pick up those gigantic Sears or JCPenny catalogs that weighed around 20 pounds.

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I’d flip through to the furniture and home decor selection and cut out of my favorite bedroom sets, living room, and dining room. I’d then create an entire imaginary family – complete with a mom and dad, cool oldest sister, slightly ignored middle sister, and then usually two toddler twins. I’d assign each of these family members a bedroom set clipped from the catalog. (The coolest girl always got the canopy bed, hands down). I’d intricately set the clippings up on the my carpeted living room floor so that to my mind they resembled a two-story house. Each room was full of its own stories and memories. After playtime was over, I’d gather all the clippings and carefully store them in a shoe box. I’m sure that shoe box is somewhere in my parent’s basement to this day.  (see kids don’t need fancy gadgets or toys!).

My obsession carried over as I got older. On school bus rides or long car rides I’d distract myself playing this game. 1. Pick a number between 1 – 20. Let’s say you picked the number 9. Count the houses that you drive by. The ninth house that you pass is your new home! No cheating! I liked to imagine how I’d make that log cabin, McMansion, or smaller rancher into my own.

Currently, I obsess over the listings on Zillow – trying to find the perfect homes in our price range, even though we’re nowhere close to buying a home. I drag Ryan to open houses and pretend we are serious about buying. Sorry real estate agents!

Ok, so you’re probably wondering where I’m getting to with all of this. With my obsession with houses and all the emotions they can evoke imagine my delight when I stumbled upon this lovely site that showcases the interiors of homes featured in movies and TV!

Hooked on Houses  gives you a peek inside all of you favorite homes from your favorite shows. It’s so fun to see the inside of these homes from a new angle, or how they look un decorated. Also, you may be surprised at what other movies the same house was used for! Some of my favorites:

Father of the Bride

Father of the Bride house

Gilmore Girls

homes from Gilmore Girls

Revenge

homes from revenge

 The Family Stone

family stone house

 The Holiday

Iris's cottage from The Holiday

 Stepmom

stepmom house

As you can see, I love the cozy, cottage, farmhouse feel.

There are homes from over 100 tv shows and movies for you to gawk and dream over. Love it!

xoxo katie

Make Your Bed!

make you bed!

How many times did you hear this phrase growing up? I hate making my bed and hardly ever do. What’s the point? No one except me sees it. (I do make it when I have company over). It’s just going to be unmade again later that night. In the mornings our dog Maggie remains sprawled out on it like the Queen of Sheba – making it impossible to make anyways.

This was my attitude before I read that the simple act of making your bed in the morning can lead to happiness, productivity, and profit! Yes, this 2 minute chore is supposed to have major benefits!

Back at the beginning of October, I vowed to make my home a happier place. I finally made strides this weekend, discarding bags of unused bath products, clothes, and files. It’s hard for me to part with sentimental things, but in the end it was a relief. But, simply making my bed on a daily basis just may turn my difficult path t  enlightenment into easy street!

In his book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg explains that daily bed making is something called a Keystone Habit – habits that are catalysts for larger, positive habits. Duhigg states, “Making your bed every morning is correlated with better productivity, a greater sense of well-being, and stronger skills at sticking with a budget. It’s not that a family meal or a tidy bed causes better grades or less frivolous spending. But somehow those initial shifts start chain reactions that help other good habits take hold”.

Basically, making your bed will help you pave the way to a life full of positive and productive habits.

I’m not so sure on the sticking to the budget part yet but I’m sold on being productive! I’m going to test this theory out for the next two weeks. So, go ahead and gloat Mom. You were right.

xoxo katie

 

 

Weekend Wrap Up – Celebrating Fall 10.13.2013

This weekend was a weekend set aside to stay at home and recharge our batteries. Ryan and I have had busy weekends since Labor Day weekend – most of the time going away for the weekend. So we really needed to devote some time to our home and to each other.

We nested, cooked, and celebrated all things Fall!

Fall Indian Corn

Saturday we woke up early and hit a local farmer’s market. We scored some beautiful pumpkins and produce for great prices. Check this out, we got 4 pumpkins, 4 gourds, Indian corn, mums, a cauliflower, spaghetti squash, two acorn squash, 3 tomatoes, 1 pepper, 2 zucchini, spinach, 5 apples, and apple butter all for $30.00!

Maggie is o b s e s s e d with pumpkins. She turns into a frisky little puppy when you give her a mini pumpkin. It’s the cutest thing ever. We let her push it and carry is around until it starts to resemble a wilted prune. After we had to take it away from her she proceeded to bark and beg for all the other pumpkins on display around the house.

maggie pumpkin

It was then time to Fallorize our home (yep making up words over here).

fall decor fall decor mum pumpkins fall decor 3 fall decor in sewing drawer

Ryan had a paper to slave over and I needed to get started on our de clutter project. I locked myself in our office and after 5 hours I had 8 bags of stuff to get rid of. 4 Goodwill bags and 4 large bags of trash. It felt like a huge weight being lifted off my shoulders. I’ve been putting off this project for weeks.

We then hit the kitchen. Over Saturday and Sunday we managed to make:

Acorn Squash

Stuffed Acorn Squash (do you want my recipe?)

Huge batch of Baked Apple Oatmeal

Guacamole

Homemade Peanut Butter

Skinny Eggplant Rolitini.

Our fridge is full of yummy goodness.

After Ryan finished his paper on Sunday we were able to relax together; took a long walk with Maggie and then sat our on our deck with wine and candles to enjoy a brisk Fall Sunday night.

For the first time in a long time, I woke up Monday morning feeling rested and ready to conquer the work day. I really need to set aside more weekends like this.

How did you enjoy your weekend?

xoxo katie

Five Friday Favorites – Guilty Pleasures 10.11.2013

Five Friday Favorites

I’m devoting this week’s Friday Favorites to five of my top guilty pleasures. It seems that most people’s “guilty pleasures” come out in slightly tipsy moments over cocktails or when you’re having a moment of female bonding. A woman might bashfully admit that yes, she does indeed have every single season of The Hills on DVD or that she can’t seem to quit rocking out to Selena Gomez (this may have been another way for me to slip in an extra two of my guilty pleasures here). But are these things really something to hide away and feel guilty over?

If something makes you happy, why do you have to hide it away? If a person is going to judge me over something as small as my choice in music or my opinion on a movie then they aren’t the type of friend I want to have anyways.

Life is too short, have fun, and let your freak flag fly! Who knows when you’ll meet someone who shares your same “guilty” pleasure!

My top five not so guilty pleasures:

1. Ketchup

ketchupI love ketchup. I love to slather my fries and mac and cheese in it, make ketchup and bread sandwiches, and use it has a dressing in a bind. This may seem like a weird “guilty” pleasure but ketchup is what triggered the whole idea of this particular post. Last weekend while having brunch with friends, I dipped my pickle into ketchup, like I always do and a friend shouted out, “oh my god, did you just put your pickle in ketchup?” I boldly replied, “yes!”. His response? “I love to do that to, but I’m always afraid to do it in front of people!” Do not hide your ketchup away people!

2. Taylor Swift

Taylor SwiftI love this girl with every inch of my soul. I can sing every song from every album by heart. I don’t care how ridiculous she is. I don’t care that she is still surprised every time she wins an award. I ignore all the bad press she gets over relationships (come on, this girl is way too busy to hold a man!) She is like the little sister I never had. I started listening to her when I broke up with my ex fiance and I would cry and cry and cry and it felt okay. She kept me going. More recently, Ryan used “Love Story” to propose to me. He has had to listen to her albums on repeat in my car since we started dating. Bless him. The two concerts I’ve attended have been two of the best performances. The girl has ambition, drive, talent, and isn’t afraid to be herself.

3. Us Weekly

At my first “real job” out of college we did a meet and greet around the conference table. We were to say one thing that most people don’t know about us. I said, “My favorite thing about Friday is going home to collect the newest Us Weekly from my mailbox.” They’ll looked at me like I was crazy. I thought it was a light and fun response especially since we worked at a magazine, I thought knowing that I still care about paying for a printed subscription would matter. Apparently, it just made me sound shallow and stupid. Oh well, their loss for being Judgy McJudgersons. I love celebrity gossip. I know way too much. I also save them. If you’d visit my basement it’s like a celebrity gossip museum. I have every “important” gossip magazine (especially if it involves Miss Britney Spears) starting from 1998. It’s a serious business.

4. Pretty Little Liars

Pretty Little Liars

I love my teen dramas. I love the bad acting, the clothes, the drama. Pretty Little Liars knows what they are doing. I’m so hooked that I have a countdown on my phone to when the next pivotal episode airs. I screamed at the TV screen at the mid-season four finale this summer. I read all the theory blogs and have read the books. If I don’t find out who A is soon I’ll tear my hair out and end up at Radley. (By the way, all previous seasons are on Netflix – don’t worry I won’t tell anyone)

I couldn’t live with out musicals. Emotions are simply better said in song. I just love feeling all the feelings! I was raised on the above musicals and as a child I re enacted scenes from all of them on my parents balcony. An early career ambition was to be a lyricist. I thought it was normal to know all the words to these popular songs – and then was sad to know that most people never even heard of them. Then there is me, who goes around thinking, wow this would be the perfect moment to pause and sing. It’s like having a sound track to your life, how cool is that?

xoxo katie