Art Imitating Life

I thought that if I opened this post with an adorable picture of my homegirl Emily, that you’d forgive me for my lack of blogging lately. Did it work?

It’s officially fall, which means it’s that point in the year where everything starts to move even faster than it was already moving until you find yourself ringing in the New Year wondering where the past 365 days went. You know what I mean, right? It’s as if the second the cool weather comes and the leaves start to change it’s Halloween->Thanksgiving->Christmas, bing bang boom — hello 2013.

Work life is so busy right now, which doesn’t help the speed of things, and I find that instead of having time to cultivate my little hobbies (blog, gym, photography) I’m finding the truth in the cliche of “not enough hours in the day.” When my art imitates life, and life is speeding by so fast I can barely grasp it, well then the art is somewhat lacking.

All this is not to say that life isn’t good. It is. In fact, it’s great. In the midst of the craziness I do take time to appreciate all the blessings, even stopping to count them every now and then. Even if it has to happen while I brush my teeth in the shower.

So some things I’m loving on at the moment…

Fall Centerpieces. I filled up my lovely Kate Spade New York crystal bowl (shout out to NYCathy!) with dried beans, stuck a candle in the middle, added some pine cones and viola! Table runner is from Homegoods last year and the mercury glass votives are from Michaels.

Starbucks Seasonal Drinks. I’m a huge fan of the Pumpkin Spice Latte and the Salted Caramel Mocha, but I’m also aware of what a calorie trap those drinks can be. So, did you know you can order a “short” at Starbucks??? It’s smaller than a Tall (which for those who don’t speak Starbucks is a small), but you won’t find it on the menu board. I love the short size because I still get a satisfying dose of my favorite coffee concoction without a side of guilt. Plus it makes me rap 50 cent in my head the rest of the morning, “Go shorty, itz ya birthday, we gonna party like itz ya birthday…”

Puppy Dogs. Clearly I’m always loving on my four legged children, but I especially appreciate them when the hubster’s working bizarre shifts or out of town jobs. My furry dudes keep me company, force me to play outside and always listen to how my day was ūüėČ

Hope you’re having a great week! I’m working on not being so MIA.

Scenes from a Weekend: Friendship

This weekend was another Pittsburgh adventure, but this time it was extra special because Hilary is back from Africa! Girlfriend has been gone for 2 years, so we decided a girls reunion was in order and it was high time baby Connor met his world-traveling Auntie!

I swear this little man gets cuter every time I see him! We had a blast loving on him the entire weekend, and catching up with each other on life’s happenings. It had been four years, FOUR YEARS, since the four of us were all together and it was amazing how it seemed like no time had really passed at all.

I feel incredibly lucky to have such amazing women in my life, the kind of friends that cheer you on, pick you up, encourage you, listen with their whole heart and truly wish for nothing but happiness in your life.

It doesn’t hurt either that they know me so well they bring me¬†Eataly¬†goodies¬†from a recent¬†NYC trip, and make funny signs for the guest room door because they know cats make me sneeze.

We got to celebrate an early first birthday with Connor and life in general with each other. It was just what the doctor ordered.

“Yay Connor” because Happy Birthday was too long ūüėČ Alex, you’re a¬†genius!

The new answer to, “What time is it?”

The photo-bomber in the background makes me love this picture even more!

Hope you had a great weekend!

More of the Usual

Somewhere along the line I forgot to introduce you to this little heart breaker. Meet Henry! His mommy is a friend of mine who I met on the second day of my very first job out of college, and she’s pretty much the sweetest person ever (plus she can make a killer meatloaf and sweet potato fries while nursing a baby, so basically she’s a superwoman). She’s also Japanese which explains where this little guy gets his exotic good looks ūüôā Henry and Connor might have to have a baby-off in the category of most squishable cheeks ever.

So now that we’ve got the baby talk out of the way, it’s time for my other most blogged about subject — weddings! As in we went to a wedding this past Saturday of one of Joey’s best friends, and I’ve decided that we’re officially old. We may or may not have broken our no drinking Whole30 rule. Ok, who am I kidding? We definitely broke it. Exhibit A:

This is in fact the only picture I have of the two of us from the wedding, and in a true reversal of roles Joey looks completely normal while I look…well…completely drunk. Awesome.

Back to the fact that we’re getting old. I swear it took me two days to fully recover from a weekend that included a rehearsal dinner on Friday, wedding on Saturday and birthday party for my Mom on Sunday. We’re so out of practice with these marathon type social engagements! Despite the achy bones and breaking out my walker, this weekend was pretty freakin’ awesome given I got to spend time with awesome family and friends. Can’t complain about that.

You know what else I can’t complain about? The dentist! After putting off going to the dentist for more years than I care to admit, I finally got my teeth cleaned a few weeks back and my one sad little cavity filled this evening. All those dental fears were for nothing! The hygienist that cleaned my teeth was so nice and straight-out-of-Jersey funny. She said she’d pronounce my last name like the Italians intended — Tro-EEE-Zeeeee. Love that. Then today when I went to get my cavity filled the dentist said it would hurt less than a flu shot, and he was totally right! I didn’t feel a darn thing, not even the needle to give me novocaine. Had it not been for the post-cavity-filled crooked smile, I would have sworn there was no needle involved.

You know that’s a good look.

So what’s going on with the usual in your life? Any cute babies or party hardy weekends? Do you see the dentist every 6 months? I’m totally starting.

Simple Things Sunday: Hello, Baby

I got to spend my Sunday afternoon snuggling up with this little cutie pie. Baby Emily had me at hello. And seeing Kacie as a mommy for the first time just made my heart happy. She was made for this role.

As my circle of friends continues to expand to include these new little lives, it somehow has a way of¬†putting¬†everything else into perspective. It’s a reminder of how important¬†and precious life is, and how we should remember every¬†day¬†to be good to one another, live optimistically, laugh more and¬†love more fiercely. Lets get all Ghandi up and here and just remember to Be the Change, people. Be. The. Change.

Welcome to the world, baby Emily. We’re all so happy you’re here.

BUmP-date

You know when you’re at a restaurant waiting and waiting for your food to come, and so you tell someone to go to the bathroom because everyone knows that when someone goes to the bathroom that means your food will come? Well, it was sort of like that in terms of me mentioning in my last post that we were still waiting on the arrival of Kacie’s little girl, and then that afternoon I get a text message saying girlfriend had gone into labor. Only the arrival of a baby is like a million times better than restaurant food! Unless maybe you’re at Eataly, in which case that statement could be debated ūüėČ

I’m thrilled to report that Kacie and her husband welcomed sweet little Emily Rae into the world this past Tuesday. I’ve seen lots of pictures from a very proud new grandpa, and mom and baby are doing well.

And in other breaking news, I’m excited I can finally share this:

That’s right, Alex ate a really big lunch! ūüėČ

Actually, Alex and the hubby have officially announced they’re expecting their first bambino (bambina?) January 2013. I couldn’t be more thrilled, this girl was made to be a mommy.

Anyone else have fun baby announcements to make? This is clearly the theme of 2012, so by all means let me know!

 

Let’s Catch Up

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I wish I had a good excuse for my blog-related-MIA-ness, but excuses are overrated. My biggest problem is that these weeks are just flying by. I can hardly believe it’s August, and while I’m trying my best to live in the moment and suck up every last bit of summer, I find myself dreaming of leather boots, cozy fall sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes.

But back to the here and now, let me bring you up to speed on my life:

  • Whole30 in the house! I’ll do weekly posts during our 30 day challenge, but so far so good! I’m not sure my pasta-deprived husband is going to make it through, but I have high hopes! More later this week.
  • We found a tiny little produce stand around the corner from our house and that makes my heart super happy.
  • Anyone else suffering through tired days at work due to staying up way too late the night before watching the Olympics? Story of my life this past week. Love me some Olympics.
  • Still obsessed with Instagram. @dianatroese. You follow me, and I’ll follow you.
  • Kacie’s official due date is tomorrow. Baby girl is still warm in the oven. We’re all anxiously awaiting the good news of her arrival.
  • Redskins first pre-season game is this Thursday which means last night we were discussing RGIII jerseys and homemade chili. Definitely not helping me stay in that summer frame of mind.
  • No Simple Things Sunday yesterday because I haven’t broken out the camera in over a week! Bad Diana, bad!

Happy Monday, make it a great week!

Kacie’s “Sugar & Spice” Baby Shower

Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice, that’s what Kacie’s Baby Shower was made of.

We had such a fun time running with this theme for her shower, using a pink and brown color scheme for the decor. From pink and brown tissue paper pom poms, to pink polka-dot balloons, to pink hydrangeas in mason jars wrapped with brown ribbon…

When it comes to baby girls, there’s never too much pink.

My personal favorites though were the “Baby Girl Reading Sugar & Spice Mix” favors, complete with pink gingham cloth tied with brown ribbon. These were custom made by Custom Love Gifts on Etsy.

Oh, and my co-host, Laci, flew from Raleigh to Baltimore with her handmade diaper cake in her carry on. That’s friendship dedication folks! (Not available on Etsy, though it arguably should be ;))

Lets talk games! Laci and I decided to stick with two games, one being the “Don’t Say Baby” game that is played throughout the shower. I stole this idea from Sara’s Nautical Baby Shower, and it was as funny as ever watching guests get more and more competitive as the afternoon went on, just waiting for someone to trip up and utter that little four-letter word.

For the second game, it was “Guess That Baby Food.” Guests broke up into teams, and had to taste/sniff test 5 jars of baby food. Guesses were written down, and points were awarded for each correct ingredient a team guessed (i.e. two points if they only said Apple/Pear for Apple/Pear/Banana).

We laughed, we cried gagged, we all vowed to never feed our babies that crap. The winning team got to steal two pins each from any other guest at the party. And sticking with the Sugar & Spice theme, the 3 guests who had the most pins at the end of the day took home a box of Coconut Macaroon Cookie mix tied with ribbon and a wooden spoon. Sadly, I forgot to take a picture ūüė¶

Oh, and PS: I love the photo above because Kacie (right corner) clearly heard someone say “Baby” from across the room. Get it girl!

When all was said and done, we had a perfectly lovely afternoon celebrating this beautiful Mama-to-Be and the upcoming arrival of her sweet little princess. We can’t wait to meet you little girl!

The Best Plans Are Unplanned

I’m a planner. I love my lists. You know this. But I also love a certain amount of ‘fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-ness’ in my life. That being said, lets circle back to the Summer Kickoff Bucket List and see how we did:

2012 Summer Kickoff Bucket List

  • Grill!
  • Eat watermelon
  • Go to the pool
  • Get to spin class (hello bathing suit season!)
  • Buy something new to wear in NYC
  • Take a hike with the dogs
  • Get things prepared for Kacie‚Äôs Baby Shower! More on this coming soon!
  • Install new closet system Ok, technically it’s not DONE, but my carpenter (aka Joey) is running into some challenges. It’s getting checked off for being in the works though.
  • Donate old clothes
  • Get travel plans together for Georgia Trip Flying down with the bros for a wedding this month. Never been to GA!
  • Start a new book that doesn‚Äôt have the words ‚Äú50 Shades‚ÄĚ in the titleThe Pam101/DSpot Book Club is making a comeback. More to come.
  • Take lots of pictures

Not bad at all! I’m actually surprised a trip to the pool hasn’t happened yet. As for the hike with the dogs, we did have an impromptu Yellow Lab Party, so that sort of counts.

The Lab in the middle is Moose’s legit half-brother, Cooley. And Cooley’s two-legged sibling just happens to be Joey’s godson, Owen (have I lost you yet?). Their whole family came over for a last minute visit recently, which then led to an impromptu barbeque complete with food, friends and the above pictured tiki torches. But seriously, how squeezable is this little guy???

The baby’s not bad either. Ba-dum-CHING. I love Owen’s little man pose. Justin & Amee, you made one cute kid!

Moose and Riggo were pretty fond of him too. And Owen was pretty fond of Moose’s tongue.

Hey, if you were surrounded by that many dog tongues, you’d try to grab one too!

While it was good to check things off the bucket list, I will say my favorite parts of vacation were the unplanned things — our BBQ/Dog Party, meeting Sara & Eric in Annapolis, a S’mores run with Alex and a shopping trip with my Mom. I’m looking forward to more unplanned plans this summer, with a nice sprinkling of the planned things too. You know I’m all about finding the magical balance.

The Only Thing Constant is Change

I’m making the preggo-friend rounds lately, and had a little city date with Sara last night. The last time we got together she spilled the beans to me that she was pregnant, so it was extra fun to see her cute little growing baby bump and gush all about her nursery design ideas. I met this girl on the second day of my first full time post-college job. By day three we were attached at the hip — literally because my desk was right next to hers. I realized that we’ve been doing brunch/lunch/dinner/coffee dates for about 6 years now, and over that time our conversations have run the gamut — ¬†from what bar we’ll be at Friday night, to who’s dating who, new apartments, to buying homes, buying puppies, getting engaged, getting married, career moves, finances and now babies and family.

The conversations change, we’ve seen our priorities in life evolve, but at the end of the night we’re still two girls, sipping wine water and dreaming about our futures. So while they say the only thing constant is change, I’d argue that another thing that’s constant is friendship. And like anything in life that’s worth it, friendships require a little bit of work. You have to make time on a Monday night after work to drive into the city to meet for dinner, and let friends easily twist your arm into fawning over itty bitty girly clothes at Baby Gap even though you probably should be heading home. It’s a little bit of effort, a little bit of sacrifice, but a lotta bit of worth it.

PS: How adorable is Sara’s baby shower invite?!

Scenes from a Saturday: Starbucks, Sonograms & Singing

Despite the rainy weather, Saturday was perfectly happy and sunny. Mama-to-be Kacie and I went to Reston Virginia because everyone’s favorite North Carolinian, Laci, was in town with a talented school acapella group she choreographed for¬†SingStrong¬†(PS: They killed it, and brought home first place!). You may remember Laci from past productions such as Kacie’s Bridal Shower, Kacie’s Bachelorette Party¬†and Kacie’s Wedding. Need a visual reminder?

Oh man, I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of that picture.

Today looked a little more like this…

Hope you’re having a great weekend!