Wednesday, November 30, 2011

t.v. junkie: parenthood

i'm kinda a t.v. junkie.  i won't deny that i love it.  and because i do love me some t.v., i'll share with you my thoughts on a certain genre or show in a post, and since t.v. programming is ever-changing, you'll see more in this 'series' as time goes on.

drama:  parenthood.

parenthood. is. so. freakin'. good. (and there may be some spoilers in here!  beware!)

{image via}
 
the family dynamic on that show is unlike any other i've seen on t.v.  they're close and supportive of each other, they go through good times and they have rock bottoms, and they talk about real life 'issues' that a lot of people avoid in real life.  (having a child with asbergers, intimacy issues with growing older, infertility, single parenthood, job loss, alcoholism, adoption, dating outside your race, etc.)  and they deal with them in really real ways.  they argue, yell, and scream.  they hug, cry, and lean on each other.  some scenes aren't pretty and some are so beautiful they bring you to tears.  this show makes me feel like i'm an honorary braverman.  god, i love that family...even if it's just on t.v.
 
since i dvr the show to watch a few episodes at a time (kinda like a movie), i'm constantly behind and i don't even care.  the storylines on parenthood are so real and the writers and actors really make you feel like you're watching an actual family.

each episode makes me think a particular character is my favorite, and truth be told, they all are my favorite.  camille, the matriarch, is exactly how i hope i am as a mother of adult children.  she is so smart and supportive, but tries not to interfere too much.  ("sometimes being the perfect parent isn't worth the blood on the floor.")   her husband, zeek braverman, is the patriarch, played by craig t. nelson.  he does a phenominal job at being a die-hard, man's man kind of father and grandfather.  like camille, he tries to let his kids solve their own problems, but when he butts in, you listen.  you listen with more than your ears, you listen with your heart.  he has lived.  he has experienced.  his words are full of wisdom and you hear them loud and clear.

{image via}

the four adult children are adam, sarah, crosby, and julia.  and, just so you know, this show solidifies my childhood dream to have siblings.  if there was one thing i'd change about my family, that would be it.  i loved being an only child, but, especially as an adult, i wish there was more than just me.  but, i digress...

adam is a hard-working husband to kristina and dad to haddie, max, and baby nora (who is so new, she's not pictured!). 

{image via}

haddie is in high school and she's an honestly good kid.  (i can see a lot of myself at 17 in her.)  she'll be off to college next year and poor kristina is beside herself that her little girl is all grown up.  but she's still got a little girl in the house now that baby nora arrived.  however, the news of a baby surprised everyone...kristina found out she was pregnant at the same time as adam lost his job.  (luckily, adam is back to work...more on that later.)  and max is the young man of the house.  and max is very, very smart.  much of what we saw of this little family in the first season was max's diagnosis of asbergers.  due to the growing numbers in our country of children with asberger's and autism, i think it was important for a mainstream, popular t.v. drama to bring the issue out in the open and make it real and relate-able.  and i think they've done an excellent job.  especially at the beginning, it's not easy to talk about having a child with asbergers when you're trying to figure out what your child needs.  it's probably even harder to talk about having a child with asbergers after you lost your job and you're still trying to figure out what your child needs.  and it would probably make my head spin right off my neck if i found out i was pregnant after my husband lost his job, all while trying to figure out the best way to nurture and teach my child with asbergers.  and yet, parenthood shows us it can be done.  you may cry, yell, or even leave your husband and two children on the street while you drive away with the baby in the back of the van because whether they want to have family night or not, dammit, you are going mini-golfing.  but, you love.  you love your family, you love your life, and you live.  every day the best you can.

sarah is the single mom of amber and drew. 

{image via}

sarah (played by lauren graham) and the kids had to move back into the braverman house after some financial troubles.  (another real-life issue that people feel ashamed of, and shouldn't, but parenthood throws it out there.)  sarah's a hopeless romantic.  she's creative and loves writing, but her life always ends up very complicated.  she's got an alcoholic ex-husband (played by john corbett) who is finally making the changes she's been asking him to make since amber's seventh birthday.  and, of course, she's finally happy with someone else.  amber recently moved into her own apartment and, after some troubles of her own in high school, is finally coming into her own.  and so is drew.  the poor kid used to be so quiet and awkward, but he's recently started spending time with a nice girl that lives nearby, amy.  she loves music and hangs on drew's every word.  zeek tries to encourage drew the best way a grandfather can, by sending drew to her house with a tool zeek had 'borrowed from her father'.  and by 'borrowed', drew found out, zeek really meant it was his and wanted drew to talk to amy.  cute little budding romance.  and, i totally squealed on the couch when he leaned in for their first kiss.  love that dorky teenage love!

crosby, like sarah, has a bit of of complication in his love life.


{image via}

during the first season crosby (played by dax shepard) was bombarded by a woman he dated briefly years before with news that they shared a son, jabbar.  jasmine had kept jabbar a secret because crosby is a little flighty and irresponsible, and she wasn't certain he'd make a great dad.  well, he proved her wrong.  crosby is a wonderful, loving, and doting dad.  he loves to play, read, and learn with jabbar, which is exactly how you want your son's father to be.  he can act silly, play games, encourage and discipline and jabbar still looks at crosby like he's his hero.  unfortunately, things between jasmine and crosby have fizzled due to a few issues, but crosby's professional career as a music producer is just taking off.  when the 'luncheonette', an old famous recording studio, became available, crosby recruited adam to go into business together.  it wasn't easy convincing adam, who was not only newly unemployed but also very practical and not a risk-taker, to go into business with his flighty, least responsible sibling, but in braverman tradition, they are forging ahead and making their dreams come true.  their first client to record in the studio?  cee-lo green.  success!!!

and then there's the youngest braverman, julia.  she's married to joel and they have a daughter sydney.  julia and joel are both very smart and very driven.  they are also independent and once their minds are made up, there's no turning back, no matter what zeek and camille say.

{image via}
julia is a successful corporate lawyer and although joel was a successful contractor, with the economy failing and building projects coming to a hault, he decided to stay home with sydney.  not a bad gig, if i do say so myself.  he's very popular with all the stay-at-home moms, which drives julia crazy.  what also drives julia crazy?  not being pregnant, like yesterday.  they are desperately trying to expand their little family, and with every negative pregnancy test, julia gets a little more desperate.  now, they are planning to adopt.  and, in true julia fashion, they're doing it her way.  the agency hasn't been as helpful as they'd hoped, but...the barista at the coffee cart in julia's office is pregnant and she's in no place in her life to care for a baby.  julia to the rescue!  as a wonderful mother herself, julia wants the barista's baby to have the life he or she deserves and have a wonderful, doting mother.  i can't wait to see how this all folds out.
okay, that's enough.  you get it, i love this show.  
so, if you're in the mood for some good ole family time, with an amazing t.v. family, parenthood is the show for you.  it's inspiring, funny, humbling, and just a joy to watch.  check it out:  nbc on tuesdays at 10pm.  or dvr it like me.  or watch it on demand or online.  just watch it!
adam:   a wise man once told me that we always have to forgive each other and not get hung up on the past.
zeek:  team braverman.

=) andrea


p.s.  i wasn't paid or perked for this post.  it's all my own thoughts and opinions.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

go to this: clara's dream

growing up, i took ballet.  i loved to dance and since most of my friends also came to the same ballet school, it was naturally part of my life.  a pretty big part, actually.  (once i finally raid my mom's photo collection, i'm sure there will be some oversharing.)

you see, one of my very dearest friends was lucky enough to be the daughter of the artistic director of our little local ballet company, city center ballet.  the company was created in 1984, when i was just three years old and it has grown significantly since its inception.  when i started, we danced on the stage of the auditorium at the elementary school.  after a little while we moved on to a small studio, later to a little larger one, and now it's still in our same little town, but the studio is much bigger.  the projects are bigger, too.  and their creations are all their own.

but, i need to back track.  growing up, there were a few big highlights of the year in ballet.  one was our end-of-the-year performance in june, another was our production of 'the nutcracker'.  every girl dreamed of being clara, but would happily settle for being a party girl or any other role really.  each fall there would be auditions and many, many hours of rehearsals, and in early december, the berkshire ballet company would come up to new hampshire and we would perform 'the nutcracker' together.

long-story-short, the berkshire ballet no longer comes and there isn't a full production of 'the nutcracker'.  but, this isn't a story of what isn't going on with city center ballet, it's about what is. 

'clara's dream' is what's going on right now with city center ballet.  





i may be biased because of my personal fondness to city center ballet and the fact that my very dear friend (remember the daughter of the artistic director?) now choreographs the entire production, but clara's dream is exactly that, a dream of a performance.  it's beautiful, captivating, whimsical, and it's my favorite way to kick off my holiday season.

there are three performances on saturday, december 3rd at the lebanon opera house, at 1:00PM, 4:00PM, and 7:00PM.  (as a special treat they offer a sweet event called clara's tea, with some lite bites from local bakers and some visits from dancers in their costumes from clara's dream.  it's a great way to make the day even more special.  and, like last year, clara's tea is sold out!  they even added a second seating to accommodate more people!)  

tickets are reasonably priced at $12 each and the hour-long performance is great for bringing little ones.  for ticket ordering, visit lebanon opera house's website here.

here are a couple photos of last year's performance (from city center ballet's facebook page):




in case you haven't caught on, i highly recommend going to this performance, or any production of city center ballet.  clara's dream is wonderful, it's inspiring, and it's short enough that if you have to drag your boyfriend/husband out of the house there isn't enough time for him to roll his eyes.

besides, you'd be supporting the local arts, so go to clara's dream.  bring your daughter, sister, mother, aunt, husband, or friend.  you won't be disappointed.

 dancing, whether flawlessly, or not, makes goddesses of us all. 

=) andrea

 p.s.  city center ballet has other performances throughout the year.  find information on their website here or just wait til i blog about another show!

 p.p.s.  i wasn't paid or perked for this post, they are all my own personal thoughts and opinions. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

sunday yumday!

i hope everyone has recovered from their turkey-induced comas.  i know, for me, the day after thanksgiving isn't much of an eating or snacking day.  but by sunday, i'm back in the rhythm of things.  plus, sunday is football day, so the kitchen is practically calling my name!

around mid-afternoon today, mike and i both realized we hadn't eaten since the cereal we had for breakfast, and we needed something yummy.  we threw together some basic nachos, just chips and freshly shredded cheddar cheese, but i was craving something different and delicious.

enter kale.

kale?  seriously?  enter a vegetable?????  yes, kale.  and if you don't believe me on its merits, you can check with this farm girl and this city girl.  i first saw the recipe for kale chips from the farm girl and after the city girl also posted the recipe on her blog, i knew it was a must-try.

kale chips.  requires 4-6 stalks of kale, organic preferred.  (pardon my super-awesome cell phone pics.)

 

1.  preheat oven to 315°F.  

2.  tear leaves from stalks and rip into chip-like sized pieces. wash and dry well.  

3.  toss leaves directly on the pan, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.  be generous with the olive oil. 


4.  sprinkle garlic salt and freshly ground pepper and massage the leaves to get them good and covered.  


5.  arrange leaves in a single layer onto a baking sheet.  


6.  bake for approximately 30 minutes or until crisp.


make sure you taste them immediately, but don't burn your fingers!  they are just such yummy little morsels of flaky deliciousness.  they remind me of roasted pumpkin seeds...i think the kale gets a slightly nutty flavor when baked.  the yummy, flaky factor is totally unexpected, but they are absolutely delicious.


i actually surprised my best friend a couple weeks ago and showed up with a bunch of organic kale, all ready to make a snack while we have our weekly catch-up session.  i had told her about my first kale chip experience and she was quite excited to try them.  as they baked away, we couldn't leave the kitchen out of delicious anticipation.  once they were done and out of the oven, we. couldn't. stop. ourselves.  we just stood over the stove, picking up the flaky little kale chips and savoring each bite.  and we may or may not have been practically licking the pan clean once it was cool enough.  (too bad i didn't get a picture of that, huh?)

so, based on deliciousness and ease, i give kale chips two big thumbs up!  i highly recommend that you stop what you're doing and go make some kale chips.  okay, maybe not immediately, but you should try these very very soon.  you won't be disappointed.

in kale we trust.

=) andrea

p.s.  for the record, mike isn't quite as enthusiastic about kale chips, he has an extremely limited taste for vegetables.  but, he did try one and didn't hate it.  he just didn't try another.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

happy thanksgiving

i'm feeling rather thankful this year...i have my family, my friends, my health, their health, and i have all of you.  in the last couple of weeks, as i've begun to 'put words on paper' (so to speak), think creatively, and express myself publicly, i've felt very thankful for not only you terrific readers, but to me for giving myself the chance to share 'my kinda perfect' life with you.

thank you so much for reading!  i look forward to sharing my traditions with you (as i get the hang of documenting everything!).

in blogging tradition, i decided at the last minute to throw together a cute little thanksgiving tablescape.

with little to work with as far as space in our apartment, and little to work with as far as 'extra supplies'...here's my simple, yet my kinda perfect creation:


our only set of dishes is a 100% mismatched set of fiesta.  i only have one item in each color, so it makes for a continuously creative and fun-looking table.  i stuck to orange because it's my favorite color and it's very thanksgiving appropriate.

i used wood beaded bracelets as my napkin rings with yellow napkins.  i used fall-themed cupcake papers to hold the bread and kept the fall and wooden theme going with the apples and almonds in wooden bowls.


a cream colored pashmina was perfect to drape over the table and keep it light.  and again, because orange is my favorite color, why not add an orange glass lantern with a wood wick candle for ambience? 

i hope you all have a wonderful day with your friends and families. 

happy turkey day!

=) andrea

p.s.  i'm also thankful for hobby lobby.  that's where i got that clock pictured above.

p.p.s.  i'm also thankful for home goods.  that's where i got this awesome lamp, with a perfect shade for my orange-loving self:



{i'm sorry for my terrible quality photos.  they're as good as i can get 'em!  need a new camera.}

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

fur-babies!!!

some of the things in my life that i'm most thankful for have four legs.  i love our two kitties!  (and i love all of our friends' pets too!)  they give us so much happiness in their furry little bodies.  and, since in my kinda bio, my fur-babies were mentioned (briefly...those darn character limits), i think a proper introduction is in order.  without further ado...

francesca is my little pumpkin muffin.  she's persian and i got her from a breeder when i was still single and ready to mingle living alone.  how could i resist this face?


my little baby mini kitty
many people have asked me, 'why get a cat from a breeder when there are so many in shelters?'  well, because, to be honest, i wanted a persian.  i grew up with two little persian ladies, candy and cream puff, and just love their smushed little faces and fluffy fur.  they were wonderful companians and i couldn't imagine not having another persian kitten.  so, i did some research about local breeders, costs, etc., and based on my desires (orange or white or both and definitely a kitten) i picked my little girl.  she was about 4 months old when i picked her up in may 2007.  (the picture above is shortly after she came home.)

here's what my little francesca (or franny, fran, silly goose, goosey, pumpkin) looks like now:



don't worry, i'll continue to share pictures of my fluff ball!  but, her little brother needs to be shown off too!

meet leonardo!


there's the loverboy.  he's one lucky kitty.  i rescued him shortly after mike and i got together.  it was the end of january, it was cold, it was snowy, it was wet, windy, and not the environment for a little kitty boy. 

i work at a dealership and leo was running around our parking lot trying to stay warm (and alive).  we put out food and tried to leave water, but it froze.  (that's how cold it was, for many days in a row.)  a few of our sales staff had seen him and even thought he was dragging one of his legs.  he evaded us for a couple days until another co-worker (hi linda!) and i had had enough.  we went out with food and treats and tried to work our cat whispering skills magic.

after linda and i coerced him out from under our loading dock (full of scrap siding and a bunch of crap!), we got him inside and we all snuggled him to make sure he knew he was safe.  then leo curled right up on the bed linda kept at her desk for days her little yorkie came to work with her. 

right after leo was rescued! glad to be warm and dry.
i called mike to ask what he thought about rescuing this cat (not like i hadn't already made up my mind or anything).  we had been together less than 2 months, but i was confident enough in our relationship to feel compelled to get his opinion.  he didn't say no,  so i called the vet i bring franny to and brought him right over.  they recommended he be neutered and be kept overnight.  i knew he was in good hands, so i kissed him and left my poor little malnurished nameless kitty for the night.

the next day when i went to pick him up, literally every staff member at the vet told me what a sweet boy i had saved.  i already knew i had done 'the right thing', but it warmed my heart to know even a suffering little kitty could make an impression on the folks at the vet.  these people encounter cats and dogs every day, but my boy had squirmed his way in their hearts...

broken leg and all.  yup, x-rays confirmed leo's back right leg was, indeed, broken...but it was already healed enough that they recommended leaving it.  he had a slight limp, but the vet assured me he wasn't in any pain.  so, i brought him home to meet his big sister.

i'll just say that she was less than thrilled, but has grown to love tolerate him.  i'll overshare more on their relationship as time goes on. 

oh, and that broken leg?  you'd absolutely never know.  leo runs around like a panther and acts more like a dog than a cat.

so, there they are, our fabulous fur-babies that we are so thankful to have in our lives.  they are our daily greeters and playmates.  and we love them to pieces.

what about you?  do you have any pets?  have you ever rescued an animal or adopted one from a shelter?  i've always found pets to be rewarding little creatures and would love to hear about yours!

A rarely seen 'together' photo opportunity.

meow.

=) andrea


{Images are all mine, poor photo quality and all!}

Monday, November 21, 2011

t.v. junkie: the sing off

i'm kinda a t.v. junkie.  i won't deny that i love it.

growing up i was a bit restricted on how much t.v. i could watch...mostly because we only got a handful of channels, but of those channels, i was only to choose pbs.  don't get me wrong, i loved me some 'mr. rogers' neighborhood', 'sesame street', and 'reading rainbow', but by the time i was in junior high, my friends were being entertained watching 'fresh prince of bel-air', and i was stuck learning while watching 'square one' and 'ghostwriter'.

even then, i wasn't heart-broken, i liked those shows i watched, but i knew there was more out there, even more than the 'fresh prince' or 'blossom'.

today i love a huge variety of t.v. programs:  reality, drama, comedy, contest/talent, food/home, game shows, etc.  and, as much as i try to 'not watch as much t.v.', if i like it, i'm gonna watch it, if i don't, i'll do something else!

but, because i do love me some t.v., i'll share with you my thoughts on a certain genre or show in a post, and since t.v. programming is ever-changing, you'll see more as time goes on.  here's my first in the 'series'.

contest/talent:  i chose this as my first, not because it's necessarily my favorite (and it's not necessarily not!), but the final episode (other than the results) is tonight!  check it out before it's too late!

i love me some a capella music...so 'the sing off' on nbc is my kinda show. 

{image via}


and there is a local group this year! the dartmouth aires. they are one of my favorites. 

{image via}

the thing that amazes me so much about this show isn't the unadulterated talent, because there is plenty of that.  it's the fact that their sound is so complete.  the percussion, the high notes, the melodies, the bass...it's all so clear and beautiful and full, whether a group has five members or twenty five members.

another of my faves is pentatonix...that's the group of five.  and they are a.m.a.z.i.n.g. 

{image via}

they include club/d.j./remix sounds to a point that you truly forget there are no instruments or synthesizers.

and don't even get me started with the judges. ben folds? 

{image via}


love his nerdy quirks and, of course, his own talent.  he always gives very constructive criticism, even when the performance was stellar.

sara bareilles? 

{image via}

i wish she could sit next to me on the couch when i watch it.  she's so energetic and honest.  good judging qualities.  plus, she's beautiful.  and hilarious.  and she has a potty mouth, which may or may not be a problem of my own.

then there's shawn stockman. you know, from the days of boyz II men. 

{image via}

he knows music and has a stellar ear for a capella. 

i can't say enough about this show...just watch it. or dvr it. or watch it on demand or on the internet. just watch it. and if you only watch one performance, it should be this.  or you can tune in tonight at 8 and vote.

just do it!  you know you want to.

=) andrea

sunday yumday!

as the holidays quickly approach, our time becomes more valuable.  i recently attended a 'tastefully simple' party hosted by a friend of mine and was blown away by how delicious everything was and how simple their recipes were to put together.  it was perfect timing with the holidays coming up to be able to order a few things and have simple, delicious things on hand!

'tastefully simple' offers dip mixes, spices, bread mix, jellies, etc. and each one has their own original recipe, which requires only two additional ingredients!  how simple!  (ba-dum-dum.)  not only are the original 'tastefully simple' recipes super easy, their products are extremely versatile and offer way more than only what the original recipes give you.

the product that surprised me the most was their 'bountiful beer bread'.  it's super delicious and only requires their bread mix and beer (or soda or carbonated juice).  really?  it's that simple and it tastes good?  really, it's true.  when i saw the bread on the table i was excited to try it, but when the rep told us it was just mix and beer (bud light!), i put it on my order. 

{image via}

plus, mike likes bread and beer, so i was sure willing to bet he'd love it!  after another friend at the show said she usually made it with harpoon or long trail (and that using blackbeary wheat made it sweeter, but still delicious), it was confirmed that i'd definitely buy the 3-pack of bread mix.

since my order arrived on my doorstep on friday, i knew sunday would be my beer bread day.  there were plenty of choices of beer in the fridge:  sam adams octoberfest, coors light, long trail ale, long trail i.p.a., and long trail harvest.  i knew the coors light would be like the bread i tried at the party, a lighter flavor...so we figured a heartier, more seasonal beer would be ideal.  so, sam adams octoberfest or long trail harvest? 


i love brown ale, so that's what sold me on long trail harvest.  then i got to work! 



the oven was pre-heated to 375 and my loaf pan was greased.  the directions told me to add the mix to the beer, so i put the beer in the bowl first.  mike helped with the mixing.


we mixed for about 25 seconds (directions said 20-30) and poured it in the loaf pan.


then there was the option to dump 3 T of melted butter on top...so, we opted in.  butter makes everything better, right?

after 50 (to 55) minutes in the oven, it came out looking and smelling delicious!


i highly recommend this delicious bread!  and so does mike!  four thumbs up around here!  it's especially yummy when you have it when it's still warm....mmmm. 

it's funny how most of my go-to recipes are quite simple and include only a handful of ingredients...and it's those that are truly the most enjoyable. 

have you tried any simple recipes lately?  how about any overly complicated ones?  or have you had this deliciously savory bread? or anything else from 'tastefully simple'?

i hope you all enjoyed your own sunday yumdays!!

=) andrea

Friday, November 18, 2011

a little handmade christmas

i might be kinda crazy...because i make my own christmas cards.  i have for several years and even though it's one of the most time-consuming projects i do all year, i get a lot of enjoyment out of not only making them, but hearing what the recipients think.  plus, how much 'stuff' out there is really put together by hand?  i love homemade stuff!

i create something different every year...and until i dig out my supply of past cards to take more pictures, all you get is a peek...at last year's project!  

i buy blank cards and fancy them up with my own design.  i've made a santa, a gift, a christmas tree, and many other things, but last year i made ornaments to adorn each card.  i use scrapbooking paper and cardstock, glue and tape, some sparkles or puffy paint.  i try to keep it relatively simple, but last year, i went a little over-the-top.  especially when you consider that i send over 50 greetings.  (50?!  yes, fifty.  because i think it truly is the thought that counts, i count my christmas card as a gift to 95% of the recipients.  very few people receive actual gifts in my life.  they are the extra special ones, like mike and my parents.) 

why was this so over-the-top, you ask?  each ornament was unique.  yup, over 50 ornaments were all different.  i started by creating the shape of the ornaments (a few cards had two, most had one), cut them all out like a scissor-handed maniac (sherry understands claw hands!), then i used the scraps to decorate them.

then i laid them all out to get the full effect of my hours and hours of hard work.


{my own picture}


i was going for a retro-y feel, and i think i achieved it pretty well, at least on some.  i have a few favorites.  what about you? after this, i punched a little hole in each ornament and tied a little ribbon.

the picture ended up coming in quite handy.  after all my hard work, the thought of having one (or two) ornament(s) on the front of each card left me feeling (prematurely) underappreciated.  if i were lucky enough to be a recipient, i wouldn't know that my card was different than everyone elses'.  so i made little labels out of this picture and stuck it on the back of each card.  that way people could find 'their ornament' and appreciate my insanity creativity.

and people did appreciate them!  many people ripped the ornament off the card and put it right on their tree!  that was very heartwarming to know my creations were on christmas trees all over the country! 

do you make your own christmas cards?  do you do one of those online photo cards?  do you send holiday cards at all?  receiving cards during the holidays makes me very happy.  i love seeing pictures of my friends' kiddos and getting updates from family and friends.  plus, it's the only time of year my mailbox is overflowing with personal snail mail.  it not only makes me feel popular happy, but that first card really kicks it off and makes me feel all nostalgic and festive.

i think i'm going to buy these stamps:

(image via)


what will my cards be like this year?  i'll give you a hint:  they're a little sweet and a little spicy!

=) andrea

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

my other half

i've mentioned him a couple times without much explanation...so, this is a necessary post.  and it's a little lovey-dovey.  (you've been warned.) 

meet mike. 


{august 2008, my own picture}
he's my other half.  and i just love him to itty bitty bits.  okay, not bits, but i do love him with every itty bitty bit of my heart. 

mike and i met a little over 4 years ago.  we worked at the same place, but were in different departments so we didn't interact very often.  i kept my eye on him, but i knew he was younger, so i was reluctant.  (silly me.)  he kept his eye on me, but he was shy, so he kept his distance.  after awhile our little 'hey, how was your weekend?' mini-convos turned into more talking, getting-to-know-each-other, and friendship...eventually including each other in our weekend plans...a first kiss...and, as you say, the rest is history.


we will celebrate 4 years of togetherness on december 2nd.  4 years?!  seriously?!  time sure flies when you're having fun.


and, mike and i definitely have fun together.  i share his love for new england sports teams, although he's definitely way more die-hard than me.  (anyone else ready to rally together to get the nba on board this year?!?!  mike may have a stroke without the celtics!)  we also love to be outside, especially in the warmer months, and have had a lot of fun traveling and creating our own adventures.  we enjoy celebrating life with friends and family...and we also love just chillin'.  

we've lived together (officially) since august 2008 and have moved twice (all rentals), once from an apartment to a house, then from that house to an apartment.  (more on that apartment-house-apartment adventure later.  let's just say we were feeling eager and optimistic.  and then we got smart.)  i love our current apartment.  it's in the neighborhood that i grew up in and it's so convenient to everything in our area, including our jobs (which are, coincidentally, practically next door to each other).  it's got some character, which makes me okay with staying there until we save enough to buy our first home.  our apartment is just what we needed.   it's definitely my kinda perfect!

mike and i also look forward to our future, which will be a lot of fun to share here.  all that house, engagement, wedding, and baby stuff is so exciting...but until it's 'right', we'll just enjoy each other the way it is now.  and there's certainly enough to blog about in the meantime!


mike and i have gone on many mini-trips and two week-long vacations together, fort lauderdale, florida (april 2009), and montego bay, jamaica (april 2010).  here are a few pictures because i need a vacation who doesn't love tropical scenery?


{jamaica 2010, my own picture}

{jamaica 2010, my own picture}

{fort lauderdale 2009, my own picture}

{fort lauderdale 2009, my own picture}


{sunkissed at margaritaville, jamaica 2010, my own picture}

{fort lauderdale 2009, my own picture}

{at the beer garden, our favorite place in fort lauderdale, my own picture}
creating this post makes me realize that i really need to take pictures more often.  none of these pictures adequately represent mike's current look, with longer, very curly hair.  (i absolutely loooove his longer locks.  those curls!  okay, i'll have to share a picture of that as soon as i get one!  maybe turkey day!)


our trip to jamaica was a christmas gift from my parents, who are lucky enough to have a rather large collection of miles and points to various airlines and hotel chains.  i'm extremely grateful that they share their bounty with us.  mike and i both believe that experiences are far more enjoyable and valuable than any item ever could be, so giving us the gift of travel was right up our alley.


we've had a blast over the last (almost) 4 years making lots of memories.  mike took me to my first red sox game:


{my own picture}

{my first delicious fenway frank! my own picture}
...and my first patriots game:  (note:  this game was in october!)


{last row of gilette stadium, my own picture}

{a very cold and snowy gilette stadium, my own picture}
...and he makes me the happiest girl in the world.  


(i love you mike!  thank you for all you bring to my life.  i'm beyond happy to share my life with you...it's our kinda perfect!)


have you and your sweetheart gone on a fun vacation lately?  or did they bring you on a 'first'?  i love our adventures and would love to hear about yours!

xoxo


=) andrea
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