Five for Friday!

It has been great to have a short week, and I think the fact that summer is here is definitely making me happy.  First up are these peonies from my mom's garden.  She sent them home with me last weekend, and all week they have been bringing me such joy.
I also picked up a basil plant from Trader Joe's, and I'm so excited about it.  I love having tomatoes, basil and mozzarella for lunch in the summer time. I've been buying the little packets of fresh basil in the store, but I think this will be way better (and maybe even cheaper!).
We also bought our first watermelon this week, and it is absolutely delicious.  I always forget about how good it is, and then when I start eating it again, I think that it really doesn't get much better than this.
On the less healthy side, I jogged down to Georgetown Cupcake on Wednesday to pick up birthday cupcakes for a co-worker, and I also got a cupcake for myself.  Some people think a cupcake is just a cupcake, but this peanut butter fudge flavor is amazing.
Just as sweetly, the husband saw the address book from Minted that I've been dreaming of and bought it for me.  It arrived on Thursday, and I'm so excited!  We both agreed that the quality is great, and I can't wait to start putting addresses in it. It was definitely a kind and thoughtful surprise.
This weekend should be low-key, and I'm very thankful for that !  I'm hoping to pack for our upcoming mini vacation to Florida, and I'm getting my hair cut. As of now, I think those are the only plans on the books, and that sounds perfect to me!  What are you looking forward to this weekend?

My Sister's French Themed Birthday Gift!

For my sister's birthday,  I was really excited for her trip to France, so I wanted to give her things that I thought would be useful.

First up, I found this bag from Target, and I thought it would look nice for walking around but not too expensive so that she would be upset if anything happened.
I also found this dress at Old Navy that I thought looked Parisian because of the stripes.
And this scarf from Banana Republic, which was also on sale.  I love traveling with scarfs; I find the soft material so comforting.
I also picked up this little laundry bag for her in the red polka dots from the Container Store.  I think these are so handy!
And I made her a sign inspired by this one.
I sent it all to her last week and then I got to watch her open it up via Skype.  We just started using it, and I think it's so nice.  It makes you feel a little closer to each other!  It seems I've definitely been on on a kick for themed gifts!  Have you given any thing fun lately?

Happy Birthday to my Sister!

This is from when she visited me for my bday!
Happy Birthday to my sweet sister!  I'm so excited for her because she is celebrating her birthday in France.  Her boyfriend took advantage of some deals, and he managed to pull the trip together very reasonably.  While she was anxious about traveling, I've Skyped with her and she seems to be having a great time. (I'm so thankful for Skype because it was definitely good to talk with her. Technology is seriously so amazing.) 
Every day, I am so thankful that she is my little sister.  Even though she is younger than me by a year, I look up to her so much and cannot imagine what I would do without her. There is no one else on this earth who can pretend to be interested in what's new at the Loft, stationery or whatever random thing I'm thinking about. We're going to visit her when she returns from France at the beginning of June and I cannot wait to celebrate her! 

Weekend Recap: Birthday Celebrations!

Since the husband's birthday was on Thursday, we celebrated with some cake and a concert to see this band downtown. The husband really loves these Pepperidge Farm cakes, and I seriously went to three stores, so I could buy the right cake. He's worth it though.
Even though we've been in the area for almost three years, we have never made it to Camden Yards, so this year, we decided to go for his birthday.  I made him an Oriole themed basket, and I thought it turned out well.  Usually, the husband just gets beef jerky, so the fact that there was an Orioles shirt thrown into the mix is a step up.
Saturday was a great day for the game.  The Os ended up losing, but it was still really fun to see the park.
On Sunday, I drove down to the Richmond area because it was my mom's birthday!  Miracles of miracles, I didn't hit any traffic, and  on my way down, I saw the Rolling Thunder riding in, which was quite a sight.  My brother and sister-in-law came over to my parents' house, and we all had a really nice time celebrating my mom.  I didn't know if I was going to be able to make it down there, but I'm so glad that I did.
Monday was really low-key and relaxing, which is just what we like. The highlight was a trip to Trader Joe's and sitting by the pool.  We also at dinner on our balcony, which was fun.  It feels like summer has really started!  How was your weekend?

Memorial Day Sales: Ann Taylor

I was supposed to be on a shopping ban this month, but I'm afraid that Ann Taylor's 70% off sale has made me fall down the rabbit hole. 

I've been wanting this skirt for awhile, and they still had my size and it was less than $20, so I couldn't resist.
I just purchased this dress and I'm really curious how it will look.  If it's a disaster, I can return it, but if not, it's a great deal for $33.
I also am trying this dress.
My navy blue and black cardigans have been washed one too many times, so I thought I'd try these, since they are only $18.
Some of the jewelry ends up being very reasonable; I got this necklace for $10.
Of course, there are many great sales going on right now, but  if you need to update any basics, I'd check out Ann Taylor!

Five for Friday: Stationery & Paper Goods!

It's no secret that I love stationery. I think there is absolutely nothing better than sending cards to people I love, and it just makes your day a little brighter.  I'm really fortunate, because my sister feels the same way and is always sending me encouraging, loving notes.  When Tiny Prints gave me a  coupon, I couldn't resist buying these notecards, which are just like my save the dates from a long, long time ago. I just had to pay for shipping, so even though I'm on a "shopping ban" this month, I made an exception.
Around Mother's Day, I was thinking that a new address book would be lovely for my mom.  I realized that I just thought that because I want one, so I refrained, but aren't these cute from Minted? I'm still walking around with my Excel document that we created for our wedding invitations, so I'm definitely putting this on my wishlist for Christmas next year.
Now, I love printing off my own address labels, but if the husband and I ever get our own permanent home, I'd love to get an embosser.  This thing seems fancy! Again, I thought about getting this for my mom, but realized that she might not get her kicks from this.
Finally, Papyrus is having a Memorial Day sale, and you could pick up these cute Kate Spade notebooks.  Plus they have free shipping!  I'm refraining because I really am trying to watch my spending, but aren't these lovely? 
Thanks for letting me indulge in my love for stationery for a moment! I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Memorial Day!

Happy Birthday to the Husband!

Today is the husband's birthday.  We already started celebrating, and have declared that it is his "birthday week". Tonight we are going to a concert downtown, and we're finally going to make it up to Baltimore to go see the Orioles play (something he has wanted to do for  long time, but we've never done). I am looking forward to the celebrations! 

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday! It's been a week, but the rain has stopped and I'm gearing up for a big event for my work on Saturday evening.  In the meantime, I've been thinking about birthday gifts for my mom.  I'm loving these earrings from Banana Republic, and I think they look like something she would enjoy.
April showers also bring May flowers, so in between the rain, I saw some beautiful tulips.
 I gave some hydrageneas to one of my co-workers, and they made the office so cheerful. I love Trader Joe's flowers.
I've also been enjoying re-reading this book on my Metro ride to and from work.
I can't wait until Sunday when I have my car back and my work event is over!  I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Storm Clouds

There were some storm clouds brewing over the city, and I thought it was so interesting, so I snapped a few photos. 

I guess in order to get spring flowers we have to weather a little rain!

Five for Friday!

I'm definitely looking forward to the weekend! The husband has had to work a lot this week, so I haven't seen really seen him, and it has made the week seem long.  This weekend, he has a trip for work and I'm going to see my parents for Mother's Day, but we will have some time on Saturday morning before we both leave.
1. Even though the husband's been working long hours, when I've come home from work I've been greeted by a made up bed, complete with throw pillows and the throw blanket.
2. A new washer.  Ours broke last weekend, so it got replaced on Wednesday.  I'm excited because the capacity is a little bit bigger and quieter than our other one.
3.  Cards!  My sister and sister-in-law both sent me really loving cards this week, which has been such a sweet surprise.
4. I've decided to take a little shopping break for the month of May, but aren't these shoes pretty?

5. Most of all, I'm looking forward to celebrating Mother's Day with my mom.  I plan on making her some cheesecake lemon bars, which are one of her favorites. I also picked up a lemon scented candle, which smells amazing, and a mini orchid.  They are just little tokens, but I'm trying to focus less on gifts this season.  I also plan on making her a little sign inspired by Proverbs 31 like this one.
 The husband won't be seeing his mom until next weekend, so we're sending her this little Willow Angel until they can celebrate.  Can you tell that I really love these figurines? This one is called beautiful wishes for you, love, health and happiness.
What are you up to this weekend?  However you spend it, I hope it's lovely!

Thursday's Thoughts

I was tagged by The Southern Wife, so here are a few questions and answers for Thursday!

1. What are you most looking forward to this summer?
Vacations, watermelon, and the pool
2. What travel destination is on your bucket list?
One day, I'd just love to get in the car with the husband and drive across the country.  We're driving up the east coast to Maine this year, so we will see how that goes! 
3. What's your favorite movie of all time? Pride and Prejudice
4. If you could have dinner with one celebrity, who would it be?
I'm not a huge celebrity person, but I've really been enjoying watching the Mindy Project lately, so I'm going with Mindy Kaling.
5. What do you do for exercise/working out and how did you get into it?
Umm, I try to jog, but I'm not very dedicated.
6. What's your ideal date night with your husband/significant other?
I love dressing up and going to a nice dinner with the husband, but our afternoon trips to the monuments and the Smithsonian are also lots of fun.
7. Why did you start blogging?
I started reading blogs, and thought it would be fun to have my own.  When I first started I was teaching, I felt pretty isolated, so this was a good outlet.
8. What's your favorite holiday to celebrate?
I really enjoy celebrating all holidays, but Christmas is definitely my favorite.
9. What 3 things can you not leave home without?
My cell phone, wallet, and chapstick (or keys if I'm driving!)
10. What's your favorite book you've read lately?
Bread & Wine

Five For Friday

Hello, Friends!  I'm so happy that it's Friday and we have begun the month of May!   Here are five things that I've been loving this week.

1. Exercise!  I definitely fell off the bandwagon, but I started walking/jogging again, and it's been so good for me.  I'm hoping that this month I will be better disciplined.

2.  Phone calls with my sister.  I usually talk to my sister every evening, but this week our talks have been particularly therapeutic.

3. Leaving work on time/not late.  Somtimes I end up working later, and that really just puts me in a state of exhuastion.  This week the work has been lighter, and that has been so incredibly helpful (giving me the time and energy to exercise and tidy up the apartment).

4. I know this is materialistic, but I ordered this dress from Old Navy for $10 and I love it.  I bought a black one, an anchor one (for a swim cover up), and this blue one.  I love wearing the blue one around the house; the material is so soft!
5. Bittersweet- I re-read this book this week, and it's really helped me think about what matters.  I really love all of her books; they just make me feel better about life.
This weekend I'm looking forward to some sunshine and getting together with a friend.  Wishing you a lovely weekend!