A Simple New Year’s Eve

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Happy 2014!

The past two days have been full of countless toasts, hopes, and inspirations for the New Year. We had a blast ringing in 2014 at one of our favorite places – our home. I honestly think that last time I celebrated New Years at home was back when I was in high school. We all know I like a good party and any excuse to drink champagne and wear sequins.

In the past I always wanted to try new things on New Years – I’ve done the all-inclusive dance parties, the warehouse parties, the house parties, the gayborhood bar hopping, the ski lodge trip, and the tropical island trip. Most have been disappointments (oh except for the tropical island one – last years New Years in Puerto Rico was unforgettable). Yes, I have fun memories with girlfriends but usually the bad outweighs the good. There is too much stress over what to do, what to wear, who to kiss at midnight, and how long it takes to get a drink at the bar. The night usually ended in some combination of exhaustion, being broke,  tears, and regret.  How is that any way to start a New Year?

This year I switched it up a bit. Back in the Fall we decided to spend New Years Eve at home with just the two of us. The fall was a busy time traveling around seeing friends. We wanted to wake up in our own bed and have the night to ourselves. Simplify – one thing I plan to achieve this year.

I rearranged our furniture and made it so we would spend the night eating and drinking upon a huge pile of blankets and pillows in our living room surrounded my candles and strung up twinkle lights. It converted out little home into a cozy, romantic, love nest for the night. We dressed up a bit, made some favorite appetizers, and toasted the night away.

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We eventually changed into sweats and watched a few episodes of Breaking Bad (yeah we’re a little late to that party!) before the clock struck midnight. I was so happy to use our Champagne flutes from our wedding and as we clinked our glasses after midnight we shared our hopes for the New Year. We facetimed with family and were in bed by 1:30. (On a side note, my parents were up partying until 2:30 …hmmm how things change!)

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On New Year’s Day we hosted my family for the traditional New Years Dinner. We loved welcoming everyone into our home and feasting together. It was a great way to welcome 2014.

I may just be getting old, but I loved staying in together.

Happy New Year! The best is yet to come!

xoxo katie

Favorite Moments of 2013

Christmas is over.

I’m back at work, sitting at my desk trying not to cry that there is no more Christmas music, movies, or people being extra nice. The Christmas hangover seems four times worse this year.

Know why? Because it’s been a pretty damn great year over here. As I grow older, I feel like I’m always saying something similar to, “This was the best year yet!!!”. But truly, this year was full of so much love and growth. Each year is a blessing and I feel like I become more and more aware of that as I accumulate more years under my belt – which in turn makes my days so much fuller.

And it’s not just the big blessings, like vacations, our wedding, and success at school and work. The smaller everyday moments, when added all together, turn our life into the beautiful masterpiece we will look fondly back on when we are in our 80’s talking about the good old days. I’m talking about the good morning kisses, the sing a longs in the kitchen, the chats with parents, the meals with Pop-Pop, the walks around our neighborhood. That is life. That is what we will remember.

Who knows what 2014 holds for us. We have some hopes but fate is always full of surprises. But I never give up on our hopes, they are what define us as a person and couple. We look forward to the adventure.

As we prepare to say goodbye to another year, I wanted to share five of my favorite BIG moments of 2013.

1. New Years 2013 in Vieques, Puerto Rico

Vieques Puerto RicoDecember 31, 2012 it was a blustery and cold day as Ryan and I boarded a flight headed to a very small island off of Puerto Rico. Veiques is a gorgeous island with some of the most pristine and tourist free beaches in the world. There is only one hotel on the island. All other accommodations are inns and rentals. We had quite an adventure staying in a waterfront apartment, exploring the island on a jeep and checking out the local cafes. Other highlights included the Bioluminescent Bay kayak tour, wild horses, and getting lost in the jungle.

New Years eve was spent dancing in the street to a Puerto Rican band with about 100 other revelers, sipping drinks out of paper cups, and dipping our feet in the ocean. You cannot beat that for New Years!!

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2. My 30th Birthday/Bachelorette combo Party

On March 26 I turned 30 and was excited about it! Most people are hesitate about saying goodbye to their youth. Not me, I’m celebrating getting older – it’s a gift some people are never able to receive…not to mention my 20’s were a MESS! I loved my casual joint 30th Birthday/Bachelorette party at a cabin in the mountains. It was a small group of just my bridesmaids. We had so much fun just being silly together, shopping, eating, drinking, making YOLO t-shirts, hot tubbing it, and singing karaoke. It’s rare for all of us to be together – so it was really special to me.

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3. Our Wedding

I think this is pretty self-explanatory – but yes I loved every minute of our wedding and most of every minute of our wedding planning. I loved sharing our vows to each other in front of all our family and friends. I loved having an excuse to get all of our family and friends together for a big party. I loved all the preparations and how it was a reason for my Mom and I to bond for 6 months. And yes, I loved my dress. It was a simple yet elegant Sunday and we were very lucky.

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4. My Mom’s Surprise 60th Birthday Party!

On July 9 my mom and best friend turned 60! After all that she did for me for my wedding I wanted to give her a big celebration. Together, Ryan, my dad, and I planned a SURPRISE birthday party at Ryan and I’s house. My mom loves all things beach and ocean related so the theme was easy. I had a blast planning and preparing all ocean themed decorations and food. About thirty guests attended and we managed to keep the surprise under wraps. The night was so much fun!

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5. Taylor Swift Concert with Kay Marie 

 Also in July, my bff and I went to go see Taylor Swift in concert for our second time together. I have no shame in expressing my complete love for Tay Tay. People can knock her relationships and music as much as they want, I will never waver. Girl is talented, driven, positive, and a great role model. We had so much fun rocking out with all the teens and moms at the sold out stadium. We even had fun waiting for 1.5 hours in between sets until a terrible thunder storms passed through. I’m so happy by bestie shares my love of Taylor!

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 2014, I’m ready! Come and get me!!

xoxo katie

5 Favorite Books from 2013

Another year come and gone. There are only 3 more Friday’s left before we say “see ya later!” to 2013 and welcome 2014 into our lives. 2013 was a year full of love, change and growth. (really, what year isn’t full of these three things?!)

But, how do you sum up a year? I can’t help but reference “Season’s of Love” from Rent, that asks  “How do you measure, measure a year?” There are five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes in a year. What did you accomplish? What did you learn? Can you measure it in sunsets, laughter, hugs, cups of coffee, miles driven, tears, diapers, text messages, fights, trips, weekends?

There is no way to sum up the moments of the past year – but I’m going to try with top 5 lists for the next three weeks. So how about in books?

It’s no secret around her that I love to read. And, as a reader I’m always looking for good book recommendations and reviews. I wanted to share with you my top 5 books that I read in 2013:

2013 top 5 books

1. Beautiful Ruins

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A story about dreams and how they grow with us through our lives or fade away. This book explores the dreams and the journey of flawed but fascinating characters and spans 50 years. It takes us from the Italian coast in the 1950’s to the set of Cleopatra in the 60’s, to Scotland in the 80’s and modern-day LA. It is full or surprises and enchantment.

2. The Light Between Oceans

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I can safely say this is the most beautifully written “new” book that I’ve read in the past 10 years. It is 1918 on a small rock of an island in Australia and a light house keeper and his wife make a life altering decision that will devastate and destroy not only their world but those of others. We are reminded that one person’s moral justice means the exact opposite for another.

3. The Book Thief

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I’ve always been fascinated with historical novels that take place during the Holocaust. Narrated by death, this novel tells the story of Liesel and how books (meant to be burned by the Nazis) provide her with comfort, love, and connection. She befriends the Jewish man her foster family is hiding by sharing her books. We are reminded at the power of words to heal and feed our souls.

4. The Fault In Our Stars

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I ate this young adult novel up in one sitting, like it was a delicious bowl of ice cream. We are welcomed into the world of terminally ill 16 year-old Hazel who is fighting Cancer. She meets and falls in love with Augustus, who is also terminal. Seeing the strength and perspective of these young adults allows up to widen our spectrum and re ask ourselves the big questions of life and our purpose as humans.

5. The Interestings

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The Interestings follows 6 teenagers who met at a summer camp in the 1960’s and remained friends throughout their lives. Spanning 40 years, the novel examines how people, friendships, and relationships change over time. The complex characters all face challenges due to social class, talent, money, envy, health, and personal happiness.  It’s kind of a more grown up “Now and Then”.

Please comment below on some of your favorite books from 2013! I’ll need some new recommendations for 2014.

Remember reading is sexy!

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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