Thursday, December 29, 2011


It's that time of year where everyone reflects on the past and looks forward to the future. Looking back at the past year, I can't really believe all that has happened. It was truly a year to remember!

I have been working long and hard coming up with my
Top 12 Memories from 2011! 

I tried to be cute and pick 11 but I couldn't narrow it down any lower than 12.

Wanna hear 'em? OK...

12. I purchased my first pair of designer shoes! 
I had dreamt of owning a pair of Jimmy Choos most of my life and if getting married wasn't a reason to buy a pair, I was never going to find one. Read the whole story HERE! And see my shoe shoot {yes I did a shoe shoot} HERE

11. Scottsdale
In April I got to go to Arizona to spend a weekend with my mom and get some much needed R&R. It was a great trip and I loved spending some quality girl time with my mom.

10. One Year Anniversary!
Our coffee shop, Coffee Buzz, celebrated one year in business on March 1st. Unfortunately, we closed 6 months later...but hitting that one year mark was a huge feat and I will be forever proud of what we accomplished.

9. Friend's Nuptials! 
2011 was the year of love, let me tell you! Between showers, bachelorette parties, weddings and engagements I was really feeling the love this past year!

8. Britney Concert! 
It was my third time seeing Britney {i am OBSESSED} and was probably the most fun I've had a Brit Brit concert! Our seats got upgraded, the show was the bomb and I got to spend the night with my best friend and sister!
{full story HERE}

7. Arizona vs Duke
Husband and I are ENORMOUS Arizona basketball fans {read why HERE}
When Arizona was matched up to play #1 seeded Duke in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament we knew it would be a tough game that would be hard to win....but as it said in a Sports Illustrated article, "In barely more than four minutes, the damage was done and so was Duke. Arizona hit the defending national champions with an offensive barrage so swift and surprising that the Blue Devils had no answer."
One of the best basketball games I've ever watched! I still get wound up just thinking about it!
{Moment for Life, JJ}

6.  Wedding Planning!
It's hard to group all the planning and parties in to one memory, because I could come up with 12 favorite memories just pre-wedding related. I loved every minute of planning and felt so celebrated the whole year. Between showers, bachelorette parties, meetings with vendors, shopping for my dress and the BM dresses and our Wedding Party Party...every little thing was something to be remembered.
 Read all about the wedding planning adventures right HERE! 

5.  The Beeb's Wedding! 
On September 30th two of my best friends got married! After two years of helping my Carolyn plan her wedding the big day was finally here! And I was lucky enough to be in the wedding {and my hubby was the best man}. The whole day was so fun and special and all of Carolyn's hard work came together perfectly!
Read all about their big day over at Carolyn's Blog: Life, Love & Puppy Prints

4. Bachelorette Lake Weekend!
My best friends {and bridesmaids} and my mom took me up North to Cook, Minnesota for an amazing Bachelorette Weekend! We had so much fun and it was one of the best weekends of my life! Read all about the whole weekend right HERE!

3. Honeymoon!
We went to Mexico for the first time on a week-long honeymoon. It was the most fun I've ever had and could not have imagine a better way to spend my first week as a married lady. The highlight, however, was swimming with the dolphins! Something I've always wanted to do.
{Read all the honeymoon details: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6}

2. Remission! 
September 13th 2011, I was shocked, scared, heartbroken and shaken to the core to learn that one of my best friends and bridesmaid, Courtney, had been diagnosed with Lymphoma. After 3 long months of chemotherapy and radiation we learned that {just in time for the holidays} Courtney is IN REMISSION! Court has always been a pillar of strength and support in my life and in so many others and this is exactly why all of our prayers were answered!

Everything from the week before to the rehearsal to the wedding day was sheer amazingness. I loved every minute and will look back on that week of my life with nothing but fondness and joy. It was without question the best day of the year and my entire life!

I hope you all have a wonderful and SAFE New Year's!
Here's to a fabulous 2012! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The day of me and Jason's first date my fish at the time, Pablo, passed away. I was devastated and afraid that it was a horrible omen for the date to come. Turns out there was no omen and the date was amazing. About a month later, after Jason and I had become serious he surprised me with a new fish who I named Manhattan Tinkerbell {we called her Manny for short}. 
After nearly four years, my beloved Manny has passed away. I know she was just a fish but she meant a lot to me and my heart is aching. She lead a wonderful life and I hope she is up in fish heaven hanging out with her big brother Pablo. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Egg {Not} McMuffin

Yet another amazing recipe found on Pinterest, these homemade Egg McMuffins are so easy, so convenient, so tasty and just a tad better for you than the real thing. 

All you do is take a muffin tin and crack one egg in to each slot. 

Preheat your oven to 350 and bake these bad boys for 20-25 minutes. 

After the eggs have cooled stack them with a Whole Wheat English Muffin, a Turkey Sausage patty and a slice of Fat Free American Cheese. 
Wrap your sandwich in a piece of cling wrap and toss it in the freezer. 

Then, each morning before work you have a fabulously easy {and healthy} breakfast sandwich waiting for you. Simply wrap it in a napkin and microwave for about 45 seconds to 1 minute. 
As someone who doesn't like to wake up even a minute before I have to, these have been a great way for me to make sure I eat breakfast and make sure it something healthy {only 250 calories}. 

Give 'em a try, I think you'll like it! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays

I hope you all have a merry, safe and healthy holiday with your loved ones. 

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Great Bake Fest of 2011

Please hit play before reading this post:
This Christmas marks three big firsts for me:
1. My first Christmas as a married lady
2. My first Christmas {and holiday for that matter} hosting
3. My first Christmas volunteering to bring desserts to our family's Christmases

If I'm being honest, #3 is the biggest deal. I don't bake...I'm an appetizer type of girl. You need a snack? I'm on it! Dessert? No way Jose. Thanks to my new love of Pinterest I have been inspired and motivated. When asked what I would like to bring to all four Christmases I excitedly and nervously responded "dessert!" To which all four families responded, "Are you sure?" Thanks guys. Anyways, the SECOND I knew I was in charge of dessert I turned to the one and only person who could help me in such situation....THE BEEB

Last night my beloved Carolyn came over and helped prevent me from a nervous breakdown, provided essential baking instructions and stained her palms red in the process. We were two little Baking Bee Machines! In terms of our productivity...I give our Mint Martinis full credit. 

We experimented with five different Pinterest recipes and of the five, four of them turned out....which I consider to be an enormous success! Hey, these were made in my kitchen, it's a miracle any of them turned out. 

The one recipe that did not work out was the Angel Bite Mints found HERE.
I think the problem was that I added way too much powdered sugar...we followed the recipe exactly, but it got way too clumpy. I tried to salvage the recipe by adding more cream cheese, but then it got too soft and sticky. Eventually I had to let it go. Huge bummer. 
My attempt at Angel Bites. 

Now, let's get to the good stuff...the recipes that worked! 
Yup, check that out! Baked it all! WHOOP! 

I think my favorite to make were these ADORABLE reindeer cookies that turned out exponentially better than I was expecting! 
How cute are they?! I think they're going to be a hit! They're Peanut Butter Cookies with mini-chocolate covered pretzels as the antlers, chocolate chips for the eyes and a red M&M for the nose! Check out the recipe HERE!

We also made Mini-Oreo Cheesecakes, which after accidentally trying one for breakfast turned out AMAZING! 
 These were shockingly easy....find the recipe right HERE! 

Then we made these adorable little chocolate dipped marshmallows! 
There wasn't a set recipe for these bad boys but all we did was melt semi-sweet chocolate chips and then dipped the tops of the marshmallows and then sprinkled them with festive sprinkles! The inspiration for these little guys was found HERE! 

We had a last minute addition when I saw Red Velvet Cheesecake Cookies on Pinterest! 
WARNING: Red Velvet cake mix gets EVERYWHERE and stains everything red. When you sample the cookies you may end up looking like you were part of a murder crime scene.....Exhibit A. 
Though incredibly messy and a little scary these cookies turned out amazing...I will say though, they are HUGE! The recipe yields 10, we doubled it and made the cookies smaller and still ended up with only 16 cookies, granted a couple broke on the sheet and a couple ended up in our bellys. 
We decided to skip the white chocolate drizzle due to the fact that they are already about the sweetest cookies I've ever tasted. Find the recipe for these HERE! 

It was such a fun night filled with Christmas music, adult beverages, a HUGE mess and a successful first bake session! Thanks Beebs for being there to hold my hand...when everyone "oohs and ahhs" over my amazing desserts I will take full credit, but I will be thinking of you and your red hands! :) 
After 4 hours of baking you tend to look a hot mess. 

What are you baking this Christmas season?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Recent Purchases.

Tis the season of giving, and let me tell you...I LOVE shopping for Christmas presents. It might be one of my all-time favorite things. Sure, it's great getting gifts during the holidays but my favorite part, truly, is giving them. 

Nonetheless, I just got married and just had a birthday so it was sort of inevitable that I would grab a thing or two for myself and our home {thanks to some pret-ty generous peeps}. 
Here's the recent goodies I have treated myself to:

My incredible mom and step-dad got me new Smashbox makeup brushes for my birthday along with a very generous Macy's gift card so that I could upgrade my makeup, which I so desperately needed to do. I've mentioned several times my love for Smashbox makeup and my homegirl Misha at the SB counter hooked me up!

 I got Sheer Focus Tinted Moisturizer {to use as my foundation}, the Brow Tech Trio {to shape and beautify my brows}, Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder, Powder, Fan, Contour, Angle Brow & Shadow brushes, Photo Op Eye Shadow Trio, my favorite product the Photo Finish along with the Finishing Powder,  HyperLash Mascara and my go-to Bronzer! Now I can look like this every day:
My husband is not cool. 

I am redoing our master bathroom and am PUMPED about it! We got all new towels and a shower curtain for the wedding but I forgot to register for matching bath rugs. But, no fear, thanks to a return and a super sweet gift card from Katie & Billhead I was able to snag these: 

I need a place to keep my business cards, and they take up too much room in my wallet so enter Michael Kors and this adorable Logo Card Holder.

Space and organization is a major issue in our kitchen, so I got this Bookshelf Pot Rack from Crate & Barrel to give us some extra storage.
I love it! It's been working out great!

I am in desperate need of some new clothes, so I probably should have spend a little more time and money looking for pieces to enhance my wardrobe. But, I found a couple of great things from Express and that was enough, for now.
Wide leg slim fit jeans, chiffon overlay shirt and a leather and rhinestone cuff bracelet. 
NEW WALLET!!!!!!!!!!!!
You guys....I have wanted a Coach wallet for as long as I can remember. I have a couple of little Coach wristlets but I have always wanted a beautiful Coach purse and luxurious Coach wallet. I have never had the means to buy either r if I did have the means I would talk myself into something more practical. Well not this year! I'm 27, I just had a birthday and dammit I deserve a new wallet! So ladies and gentleman please let me introduce you to my new friend, the Madison Gathered Leather Accordion Zip Wallet in Midnight!