Preparing for Guests

This past weekend, we found out that some friends of ours from college will be coming through our town at the end of this week. We don't get to see them very often, so I was highly motivated to try to get our apartment as clean as possible. In fact, I'm pretty certain that our apartment hasn't been this clean since we moved in (unfortunately that doesn't say a whole lot).

Our apartment is relatively small, but I'm hoping that they will feel welcome. I put together a little welcome bucket and a bathroom basket for their toiletry needs. Sadly, our guests are stuck sleeping on either a twin air mattress or a pretty dilapidated futon (the husband is absolutely refusing to give up his bed). The futon is so bad that my sister actually prefers the air mattress when she comes to stay with me.

So while our apartment won't be confused with the Hyatt anytime soon, I'd like to at least look like I made an effort. Are there any things that you like to do for your guests that they really appreciate?

Cake Pops: The Finished Product

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was spent visiting with my parents and lovely sister, cleaning, and trying my hand at cake pops again! Last time I made them, they tasted great (even though they are so darn sweet), but I didn't get the lollipop sticks. The husband bought me some for my b-day, so I wanted to see if I could actually be successful with putting the pop on the stick! As an extremely novice baker, I was very pleased that I could make a cake pop that actually looks like what it's supposed to. Now, I know that these aren't going to allow Georgetown Cupcakes to hire me any time soon, but at least they're edible.

Look how patient my sister is on the left, putting up with my craziness. Yeah, I know how to spend a Saturday night.

Chance to win a Tervis Tumbler!

Check out How Sweet It Is' blog for a chance to win a Tervis tumbler! I love bringing drinks with me in the car, etc., so this is a great giveaway! :)

Dress Dreaming at Boden

Even though I've given up buying clothes for a little while, I still like to browse online. Here are some dresses that I'm dreaming of today (and ever since I received my Boden catalogue).

My Superfluities posted that Boden was putting their dresses on sale for today. I really love this Boden dress, with it's forgiving cut and upbeat polka dots. I actually feel I could get a decent amount of use out of it, with the husband's upcoming graduation, weddings, and it really just seems like the perfect summer dress.

I also think this dress is pretty cute, but I don't think it'd be as flattering on my body. And I would never get this dress, but I have to love the polka dots! Although it might be a little much, even for me!

A Cooking Shower: Favors

For my friend who loves to cook, we're planning a "cooking themed" shower. An often used idea is the recipe cards, which I found at Michael's for only a dollar. We're going to send them out with the invitations and everyone can share a recipe with the bride.
Happily, the cards match well with red polka dot oven-mits that I got on sale after Valentine's Day. The husband actually picked them up for me. I plan on using them for favors and making tags for them that say something with the idea of handling with care and love...

One game idea that I kind of like is the idea of "guessing the spice". I think that could be fun, especially since it's going to be a pretty small group.

For the bride, I definitely want to get her a monogrammed apron and some gourmet kitchen supplies.

This post also has some pretty cute inspiration boards for a kitchen shower, and Martha Stewart also has some ideas.

I know lots of you have been shower hosts before and attended lots of showers, so I'd love to hear about any ideas you've seen/done!

A Yellow House with a Blue Door

This past weekend, I walked in a different part of my neighborhood, and I saw a yellow house with a periwinkle blue door. It was such a cute little cottage, that I was immediately charmed by it. I can't wait to show it to my sister who loves yellow, but in the meantime, I thought I'd share a few yellow houses. Image found from here.

Image found from here
Image found from here

And isn't this yellow door here lovely?

Weekend Recap

The weekend was filled with warmer weather, which definitely made it more enjoyable. On Friday, the husband picked up Thai food to celebrate my birthday, and we celebrated with cake that he had also bought. He even remembered to get candles! Notice that I also got to enjoy my delicious cake on my tidbit plates. Saturday, I was able to enjoy some time outside and around the apartment. We drove to my parent's home to meet them for my birthday dinner at The Boathouse at Sunday Park that evening. Even though it was pretty busy because it was a Saturday night, it was nice to see my parents, brother, and his wife. It was also fun to eat at the restaurant where we had our wedding reception and rehearsal dinner at. Since it was such a beautiful evening, it was especially nice.
Overall, it was really nice to enjoy my first married birthday and spend time with some of my family. I hope you were able to enjoy some of this nice weather that we had!

27 For 27

So, Friday was my 27th birthday, which got me thinking about all the things that have happened in the past year. Most of it centers around weddings, but I thought it'd be fun to do a list. Some things are more exciting than others, but with more life changes ahead, it's kind of interesting to see what's happened.

1. I got married!
2. Husband and I got to take a honeymoon at the Outer Banks and went "ice cream hopping."
3. We started going to a couple's Bible study together
4. We started going to church together
5. I had the honor of being a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding and survived the two showers and bachelorette!
6. My brother got married (and I also survived that)!
7. I have a job where I make a difference on a daily basis.
8. I got to see my sister a lot this year, and she moved into an apartment that is better than her last.
9. The husband and I moved in together, which has made life so much easier.
10. I finished all of my requirements for my teacher's license.
11. The husband and I had our first married Christmas together.
12. I successfully planned my first field trip, and made it back with all my students intact.
13. I successfully organized a fundraiser for the class I'm sponsoring.
14. I made seven wedding albums at Shutterfly for all of our family members.
15. The husband and I started jogging together in the warmer weather of the fall, which we need to start doing now that spring time is almost around the corner.
16. I started to be able to navigate my way around D.C. better, since the husband worked there last summer.
17. I got to eat a Spudnut (the husband thinks they were a bust; I've never met a doughnut I don't like)
18. I'm still a vegetarian, seven years later.
19. My sister bought me beautiful pearl earrings and necklace for my wedding. They make me feel pretty classy!
20. I drove the husband to Cincinnati and we survived driving in a pretty sketchy part of town.
21. I went to NYC and visited the MoMa
22. My brother bought a house.
23. I started cooking unsuccessfully. That needs to be a goal for this year.
24. I wrote all our wedding thank you notes and sent pictures out in less than a month.
25. Sent out Christmas cards. The boy thought they were obnoxious, but I feel that the Christmas card ritual is a step towards being an adult.
26. Bought a raincoat. No more hoodies for me when it's raining.
27. Found three gray hairs. I think it's going to be all down hill from here.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I hope you all have a lovely day! This "springing" forward has been more of a slow dragging and trudging forward every morning, so it's kind of nice to have a little holiday to celebrate. And best of all it will be the weekend soon.

Since there is a mantle in our apt. we rent (rather odd feature, in my opinion), I attempted to dress it up for St. Paddy's day with some scrapbooking paper that I had on hand. The husband was not amused a bit by this project, insisting that I should really bring it into my classroom to make it more festive...
It's kind of hard to see the little clovers, but they are there!

Wishing you a lucky and happy St. Patrick's day. :)

Free Printables!

As you know, I'm always on the lookout for cute paper products. These printables from TomKat studios fit the bill. If you need something cute to garnish your Mother's Day, St. Patrick's day, etc., you should check this out!

Happy Pi Day!

In honor of my favorite mathematician, my sister! I'm pretty horrible at math, but Pi day always seems like a fun event for students. The only "pi" I'm interested in is actual pie, which got me thinking about some pretty delicious pies. My personal favorites:

Lemon chess pieand chocolate pie. and pumpkin pie
Any other favorite pies that you enjoy?

As a side note, I finished making the cake pops this weekend, and they actually turned out pretty well (considering my culinary klutziness). They are very sweet (you can really only eat one or two), but I think they're pretty good. I'm looking forward to perfecting them.

Cake Pops

During my wedding planning, I became aware of the trend of cake pops. I never got around to making them, but I did enjoy looking at them for the eye candy that they are. Just look how cute they are! And aren't these really cute for St. Patrick's Day? This blogger has been so many good ideas for St. Patty's day.
Now that I'm thinking of shower ideas for my friend's shower, I've recently become motivated to try to figure out how to make them. So last night, powered by a nap, I read some recipes from Bakerella and took a trip to Walmart for some supplies. Currently, I'm baking the necessary cake for the project and this weekend I will attempt to mold them and dip them in chocolate. I have had lots of culinary failures in the past, so I'm not too terribly confident. Although, the actual project actually seems pretty straightforward (it involves a cake mix and canned frosting for crying out loud), I might have some problems dipping it into melted chocolate, etc. Who knows what I could potentially mess up, but I'm determined to try to figure out how to make them. They're so cute, that I feel if I could make these it'd be something really fun to give to others. Have any of you ever tried cake pops and have tips?

Buffalo Wild Wings

My husband loves Buffalo Wild Wings. He's a huge fan of chicken wings, he loves playing the trivia games, and he enjoys the fact that it's a sports bar. He loves the place so much that he actually made me go there for my birthday one year when he wanted to see his team play in a basketball championship. I hate Buffalo Wild Wings. As a vegetarian, it's pretty horrible. The one that we went to during college had the worst service, and we would spend a super long time waiting for our food in a crowded, noisy environment.

Buffalo Wild Wings is apparently running a deal where you can get 3 dollar burgers on Wednesdays. My husband wanted to try it out, but I've been rejecting the idea because we usually have Bible study on Wednesday nights. Since it's his spring break, Bible study was canceled, so we decided to give it a whirl. I was not enthused, but it's his spring break (and his spring break has been pretty lame). Well, I was actually really surprised. They've re-done their bocca burgers. No longer are they a dried out, tasteless blob. They're actually quite tasty! So, for three dollars we may have to go back sometime. It was pretty fun to go out and be pleasantly surprised. Have you guys ever re-visited a place that got better or took a turn for the worst?

On Letters

I love sending out letters and cards. I don't always do it consistently, but I try to send my family members and close friends a card every now and then. I spend entirely too much money at Hallmark and love to stare at the card aisles in Target and Walmart. I find myslelf lured into holiday value packs and am slated to continue sending out cards for St. Patrick's Day and Easter.

Last weekend, my sister came to visit, and we stopped by TJ Maxx. I love some of the fun, non-essential items that we find there. My sister ended up buying me these cute Kate Spade Idiom note cards for my birthday in a few weeks. While letters/cards are a little outdated, I think they're such a fun treat to get in the mail. In some ways, I probably get more pleasure mailing cards than my poor recipients. What do you think about mail; is it an outdated concept or a sweet surprise?

Six Month Wedding Anniversary!

Sunday marked our six month anniversary! While it's not a real anniversary, I still wanted to do something to commemorate the day. The husband has been feeling sick all weekend, so we just had a quiet day. However, I did put my "culinary talents" to good use ala Betty Crocker and whipped up some cupcakes for him. I'm under the delusion that he likes them, but I think that he's just being polite. The cupcakes are supposed to read "Happy 6 Months." On a side note, I watched an episode of Georgetown Cupcakes last Friday, and I have to say that I'm getting pretty excited about moving to D.C. next year based solely on the fact that I'll get to go visit!

So, here's the sweet husband eating his cupcake. I have to say that marriage is even better than I imagined it would be. I

Pink Cards

Truly Gifted Pink Thank You Card
Send thanks with Shutterfly custom Thank You Cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Dreaming of Sheets

The husband has a pretty odd habit of liking to sleep on top of comforters and not sheets. I've been putting up with this new sleeping arrangement for almost six months now (and will continue to happily do so), but on the rare occasion we get to sleep on sheets. There are perfectly lovely sheets on our bed, which got me thinking about bedrooms and just how wonderful it is to sleep on sheets (or just sleep) in general. Here are a few lovely ones that I'd happily sleep in any night!

All images from House Beautiful

What I love in the rain

Yesterday was a rainy, rather miserable day outside. Fortunately, I was prepared for a rainy Monday; my husband bought me Rain-x for my less than stellar windshield wipers. It really made the commute home much easier!
It also made me lust after a rain coat. I like this one from L.L. Bean, but it's ridiculously priced for a rain jacket.
I also really love this jacket from Target, but it got some mediocre reviews. However, I think that it's price might make up for it. I know rain coats aren't very stylish, but I love the ability to just throw it on and put the hood up and you're able to stay pretty dry. What do you love when it rains?