Fall Catch Up

How is it already November? I loved seeing everyone’s Halloween costumes this weekend. We had fun with our little pumpkin. 

wyatthalloween

katiehalloween1

As I’ve been mostly MIA I thought I’d give a little update on to how life currently is. 

We’ve had a busy and eventful Fall. Here are the big things we’ve been up to:

  • Loving life with Wyatt. It should be no surprise that my life now revolves around my little man. I’m trying to soak up as much time as I can before I go back to work. (more on that below) 

wyattdressedup

  • Life with a newborn is everything I imagined and nothing like I imagined. Some days time goes by so fast and other days seem to last an eternity. I feel like I have so much time and but then really have no time to do anything. I’m now driving again, not driving for 7 weeks was very hard. It’s a huge mood lifter to be able to get out of the house on my own or take walks with Wyatt. He’s such a good baby though, save for a general “witching hour” between 5-7 pm. I love all the cuddles.   image2 (1)
  • Celebrating the fact that Ryan passed the bar! We got the great news on October 9 and have been celebrating ever since. I was not surprised that he passed, but relieved that the stress of waiting to find out is over. He’s now busy applying for jobs after his clerkship, we hope to stay in the Lancaster area, so fingers crossed! ryanbar
  • Celebrating my Pop-Pop’s 90th Birthday! We had a huge party (89 guests! Can you believe a 90-year-old has that many friends?) for him on October 11. Fun was had by all and it was an honor to celebrate him and his love filled life with so many family and friends. P1000899
  • Spending a lot of time with  family. I love that Wyatt (and I) has such a strong supportive family. It really does take a village.  eandv

image1

  • Going out on our first date since the baby. In typical new mom fashion, I got tipsy after one cocktail and we talked about the baby the whole night. image5 (1)
  • Learning to survive on little sleep. It’s still the hardest part of life with a newborn for me. The other day I almost went to the grocery store with my yoga pants inside out. Oops. 
  • Accepting bad news and transitioning roles: Last week I learned that roles at my work have been reorganized and my current workload and hours have been cut in half. I am still going back to work in two weeks, but only part-time. This was very hard news to accept. Sadly we need my income so this hits us pretty hard. It will be a struggle but we can handle it together. On the positive side I will have more time with Wyatt, which is huge. This news amongst Ryan passing the bar and loving his job feels almost like two steps forward one step back. As one friend told me, Wyatt will benefit from extra time with me and will never know that we have less money. I do believe things happen for a reason. We have Wyatt and everyone is healthy. This baby smile keeps me going!

image6

 

What’s Going On?

Hi! I’m alive! Sorry I haven’t been staying in touch. I hate when people use the excuse, “I’m just really busy”, because aren’t we all?

In truth this blog hasn’t been making it to the top of my priority list lately. That doesn’t mean I don’t miss chatting with you all. I wanted to drop in and do a little personal check in. Since we’re friends, right?

IMG_4397.JPG
We’ve been having perfect September weather and I’m trying to spend as much time as I can outdoors (hence me being a no-show around here lately)

I’ve had our new car for 5 months and have just now realized we’ve had free siruis radio. (car salesman said we didn’t because it was a used car).

I’m completely addicted to Call the Midwife. Netflix just added Season 3 and I can’t stop watching (or crying)

I really enjoy a good cry. I think it’s a really beneficial way to acknowledge a situation or feeling and then to let it go. Or sometimes I’m just really hormonal and cry at everything. Whatever. 

This weekend while visiting my old college roomie in DC. 

IMG_4406.JPG
I love that I can go months without seeing old friends and pick up like we’re still 19 years old. 

I took a shot through an ice cream sandwich. It was delicious.

IMG_4407.JPG
Naps have a may to make most things better.

I talk to my dog entirely way too much. But she just gets me, ya know?

IMG_4378.JPG
I’m the stay at home loser that has all the new fall TV premier dates scheduled on her calendar so she doesn’t miss a thing. Excited for Parenthood, Modern Family, Nashville, Revenge, Once Upon a Time, The Mindy Project, Blackish, Walking Dead, and Reign.

I’ve put off fall decorating because I can’t say goodbye to summer. But pumpkin and apple picking and mum shopping are calling my name this weekend. Time to bust out my fall candle collection. Pumpkin cupcake, yes sir!

IMG_4372-0.JPG
I’ve read 12 books this summer – I love talking about books but also hate recommending books that others end up not liking. What’s your opinion, do you like reading book reviews or discussing books?

Ryan and I rarely go to the movies. I think we’ve seen 5 movies in the theatre together: Batman the Dark Knight Rises, Lincoln,  American Hustle, and The Fault in Our Stars. I want to see Gone Girl, but I also don’t want to be disappointed. Also hate people who talk or have their cell phones out in the movie #grumpyoldlady

I prefer to watch movies at home, with the comforts of wine and bathroom breaks where you won’t miss a second. Plus darkness and quietness and no cellphones. 

Speaking of cellphones, I watched the pilot of the new TV show, Selfie. Pretty basic story line and bad acting, but a good message and trite take on My Fair Lady 

I was impressed with Emma Watson’s UN Speech. I’m inspired that she is using her celebrity for good and encouraging humans around the globe to widen their perspectives. 

Why is white cheddar Pirate’s Booty so addictive?

IMG_4404.JPG
That is all for now.

Leave a note, tell me what you’re up to, if you’re a crazy dog lady too. Let’s chat!

 

 

Thanksgiving Vacation in Asheville, NC (mini post)

Leicester Cabin

Is it really Monday morning? Am I really back in PA? So this is what the internet looks like? Excuse me as I recover from spending 11 hours in the car, driving home from Asheville, NC after a whirlwind 5 day trip (with two days worth of driving included). We had quite an adventure and I can’t wait to tell you all the details!

But, my own bed is calling my name and work tomorrow is going to be brutal – so this is kind of a cheat post – a quick check in to say hello and hope y’all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and share some photos of the cute cabin we rented.

We were SO happy to make it to the mountains of Leicester, NC (about 40 minutes outside Asheville) after driving through a surprise snow and ice storm. My brother and his wife live in this rural town in an adorable country house. My parents and Ryan and I rented a beautiful cabin about 5 minutes from their home.

lone pine lodge leicester nc

thanksgiving cabin porch

When we arrived there was about 4 inches of snow on the ground – a surprise for this time of the year. It was tricky navigating the curvy mountain roads and the steep driveway up to our cabin. But my brother Eric’s smiling face greeted us and the snow just added to the peacefulness and beauty of the serene mountain views.

leicester cabin view thanksgiving

cold cows in leicester nc

ryan and katie leicester nc thanksgiving

snowy mountains in leicester

Thanksgiving 2013 Asheville, NC

We were more than ready to have some drinks, eat a big meal, and get cozy by the fire. We had a busy three days ahead of us! Can’t wait to share our other fun adventures and pictures.

We had zero internet or phone activity unless we were in town. So that meant zero texting, zero calling, and no internet. It was kind of hard to get used to – I kept running to my phone to look up something or to check a black friday sale. But soon enough we were leaving our cell phones behind and relaxing. So, Please forgive me as I catch up on being back in the real world.

Can’t wait to share more tomorrow!

xoxo katie

 

Weekend Wrap Up – Thanksgiving Week 11.25.13

unnamed

Another weekend flew by and now we are greeted with a beautiful two-day week and Thanksgiving vacation! This weekend was kind of a whirlwind – we didn’t have too many plans, but it was busy with errands, and decorating, and preparing for Thanksgiving. I scored that adorable sign above at Home Goods – could have spent a fortune there on Saturday!

Our house is a beautiful cozy Christmas retreat and I love just sitting on the couch basking in the glow of all my reindeer (my obsession) and pretty candles while watching cheesy Lifetime Christmas movies.

Today, I’m so thankful for a two-day week and so thankful to be able to travel to the Asheville, NC area to spend Thanksgiving at my brother and sister in laws house. This will be my first time traveling to his new (3 years!) home. My parents have visited them over Thanksgiving the past couple of years while I’ve stayed at home (no vacation time and dogs to take care of). I’m so excited I get to come along this year!

So, in the wee hours of Wednesday morning Ryan and I will load up my parent’s mini van and join them for the 11 hour trek to NC.

Both the cabin we are staying in and my brother’s house are in the mountains and very isolated, so I will be without internet connection for a few days. My blogging will be limited and I will enjoy unplugging and family time. My brother and his wife are vegans and we will be having a 100% vegan Thanksgiving!

I’m looking forward to exploring their town, touring Biltmore Estate, and seeing the views of the Blue Ridge mountains. Oh, and all the games, drinking, and snacks that will be taking place!

When we return on Sunday – it will officially be Christmas time!

As November is drawing to a close – I thought it best to do a second recap on my Fall Goals:

fall goals

Clean out closets and donate clothes   – almost all done! Will post before and after photos of my closets, because I’m proud! 

Resist buying any clothes until November   – As I mentioned in my first recap – I failed this right away. But I succeeded at not buying any clothes or accessories for myself between mid September to the second week of November! I honestly didn’t miss having a new shirt once a week (yes, I was that bad)I used the saved money on Christmas gifts.Score! 

Organize office

Print photos from wedding and other recent events for albums and frames  

Learn more than just 4 settings on my camera – getting there!

Wake up earlier on the weekends  – nope, we just can’t seem to kick lying around in bed on weekend mornings when we have no urgent plans. 

Do more than 12 full push ups at a time   

Stop late night snacking and wining – nope! this has probably gotten worse – I blame the cold weather and being covered in baggy winter sweats and blankets! Also explains why the only clothes that fit me well right now are yoga pants and dresses. Time to get serious —(after Christmas?!?!) 

So I completed 50% of my goals. Humpf. I decided that in the future, I’m going to break them down in months. I will be posting my December goals soon and will be taking part in Amber’s (from Mr. Thomas and Me) #sayyesproject.  Help me stay on track guys!

How are you spending your Thanksgiving?

 

xoxo katie

 

 

 

The Easiest Baked Oatmeal

easy baked oatmeal

As the weather turns colder I find myself craving a warm and filling breakfast. This is THE easiest baked oatmeal you will ever find. Perfect for lazy weekends or holiday gatherings. You simple place all the ingredients in a crock pot and let it cook overnight and awake to a delicious and warm breakfast.

Ingredients:

4 Apples – peeled and thinly sliced

2/3 Brown Sugar

4 Cups oatmeal

3 cups water

1 tsp Cinnamon

 Directions:

Place apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon in crock pot. Add 4 cups of oatmeal and 3 cups of water. Do not stir! Cook on low heat for 8 – 9 hours.

bakedoatmeal2

Serve hot – I like to mix in a banana and and peanut butter, and sometimes chocolate chips!

I make a pot of this on the weekend and it lasts Ryan and I all week. Would also feed a large family on Thanksgiving morning.

baked oatmeal yum

xoxo katie

The Thankful Project – A Job

thankful project

It is the month of Thanksgiving – a perfect time to reflect and remember all that we have to be grateful for.

I’m joining Kenzie’s The Thankful Project over at her blog Chasing Happy. Today we are discussing a job that we are thankful for.

To be honest, I’m thankful for every job that I’ve ever had. Not just because good jobs are hard to come by these days, but because they were all different and all suited me rather well.

The job that I want to discuss today though is my very first “real” job out of college. I was floundering a big after graduation. It took me a good 8 months to find a “career” job. There seemed to be zero good fits for me and my English degree, until I stumbled upon an ad for a job at an international boating magazine. After studying the company a little bit, I knew this was the job I wanted. I was ecstatic when I got an in person interview.

I was a nervous wreck and dripping in sweat under my suit. Everyone was so nice and it was a beautiful office located right on the bay. But, everyone was a passionate boater. It was their life. When they asked me about my boating experience, I choked up and looked nervously around the room. I knew if I mentioned my Pop-Pop’s small time fishing boat they would smile and think “awe isn’t that cute, that’s the type of boats we use as a dinghy”. I put on my biggest smile and said, “well, not much, but I can’t wait to learn and become a boater like the rest of you!” I couldn’t believe it when they offered me the job on the spot.

Like most other first “real” jobs I learned a lot of valuable lessons, tools, and became much more self-aware about myself. Like any job, it wasn’t perfect and I did my fair share of complaining during my time here. But in hindsight, it was pretty great. Here are a few of the things I’m thankful for the most about my 3 years in this position:

1. I learned to stand up for myself and to use my voice. When I started this job I was feeling pretty low about myself. I had done so well in college, but couldn’t find a job. While at this position I gained confidence in myself. I learned to speak out about what I like and didn’t like about my position and low and behold, a mere 6 months after starting, they created a new position for me – that better suited my passions and tool set. I learned that my voice matters. 

2. It provided me the opportunity to travel the country. Part of my job entailed traveling around to different boat shows across the country. I got to travel to some pretty spectacular coastal places in New York, Florida, California, and Washington. It was a lot of time away from home and a lot of hard work. I would never want to go back to the grueling 12 hour days of running a boat show, but I wouldn’t trade in my experience to see beautiful parts of this country on someones else’s dime. Although we worked really hard, we also enjoyed times at fun restaurants and bars. I have so many memories like the ER visit in Miami, being in San Diego for Mardi Gras, and group happy hours on the deck of boats in the San Juan islands.

3. It opened me up to new things. Through this job I became friends with people I would have never considered being friends with in college. It allowed me to see that “clicks” don’t have to exist in adult life. Before I started this job, I swore that I hated wine and I would have never tried sushi. And surprise, surprise, now I love sushi and am a major wino. I also would have never considered becoming a graphic and web designer – but while at this job I self-taught myself some basic html and Illustrator and had so much fun that I decided to go back to school for it!

4. It Made me less shy. When I first started at the young age of 22, I was basically terrified to call up strangers on the phone to talk to them about our business. But, as my three years progressed I quickly found myself as the bubbly blonde that loved welcoming and introducing our clients at events and even acted as the emcee during our Auction and Trivia nights. In hindsight, this job really helped me grow into myself.

5. It introduced me to a whole new world of people. I never knew that “boaters” were such a niche demographic of people, or that they were so fun! These people can drink! I had so much fun over the years meeting various welcoming boaters at our events. I think that was my favorite part of this job – hearing all of the amazing stories of our readers and event attendees. Most of them were devoted boating and travel enthusiasts who gave up all of their belongings and their home to live aboard their yachts and to travel the world. They had a dream and they made it come true. I found them to be inspiring and once again fun!

6. Instilled in me a good work ethic and to live by the motto, “work hard, play hard” As I mentioned above, we worked extremely hard. But, we always rewarded ourselves at the end of the day with either a night out somewhere or by having a few glasses of wine back at the hotel or office. Even though it was sometimes hard to get up the next day, we would get up, strap on our boat shoes and attack the next day. (I know for sure I wouldn’t be able to keep up now at age 30.) Even though we drove each other insane sometimes, I learned the value of team work.  Our boss would always says, “You gotta work hard to play hard.” and I remember thinking that it was so cheesy. But, it is a good motto to live by at any age. I continue to celebrate each victory while simultaneously look forward to the next step.

What is a job that you’ve had that you are thankful for?

xoxo katie

Weekend Wrap Up 11.4.2013 Day at the Bay

We sadly said goodbye to the long days this weekend and ushered in colder weather and 5:00 p.m. sunsets. It’s that time of year to cozy up indoors under blankets. Friday night I had a wild and crazy night in, cooking and baking up a storm before settling down to catch up on our DVR.

On Saturday, Ryan and I celebrated one of the last warmer days with a day trip down to Havre de Grace , the most northern town on the Chesapeake Bay. This quaint port town marks the spot where the great Susquehanna River empties into the Chesapeake Bay.

Ryan and Katie Havre de Grace

It also coincidently was our 5 months wedding anniversary – and since we like to celebrate all special moments, big and small, we decided to toast to love!

We started with a little lunch complete with two martinis, Caramel Apple and Flirtini for me. They said “mini martinis”, you could get two for the price of one “regular” size one, but these were pretty large and hit the spot!

katie martnis

crabcake

fish tacos

After lunch we explored the town, and ventured around the waterfront. The fall foliage was simply beautiful set against the Bay. Havre de Grace is home to the Concord Point Lighthouse, built in 1827. The keepers house was so adorable. After enjoying the views, we sat outside on the waterfront for what I believe will be our last outdoor drink of the year. Cheers!

fall on the bay

katie fall

house

park

old bank

french bakery

steam boat

lighthouse

keepers house

sunset

ryan fall

sunset 2

house on hill

katie and ryan

lighthouse2

xoxo katie