Sunday, August 31, 2014

Drive-in Date

On Saturday night, Tyler & I went to the Mendon Twin Drive-In.  It's somewhat newly owned by the Andelman brothers from the Phantom Gourmet.  We didn't expect them to be there while we were there, but I knew it was them as soon as I heard the voices over the intercom!  I held down the fort at the truck while Tyler went to the snack bar.  I told him to make sure he took a picture of them if he saw them (my dad is a really big fan), and he came back with this picture.  Pretty cool!

{Dave Andelman, Tyler, Dan Andelman}

The drive-in was playing retro movies for Labor Day weekend (as well as all of the month of September).  We saw The Goonies and were supposed to see Raiders of the Lost Ark afterwards... I fell asleep during the first movie and we knew we had a long day the next day, so we decided to head home.  Lame, I know. ;)

We piled some of the cushions from our outdoor sectional and a few blankets in the bed of Tyler's pick-up truck to watch the movie.  It was pretty comfy!  Clearly comfortable enough for me to fall asleep.  It was a little chilly out, but between my jacket and all the blankets, I was just fine! 

The set-up at the drive-ins is pretty cool.  They have a big snack bar as well as a beer garden.  Depending on which screen your movie is on, you can sit in the beer garden and watch the movie, too.  I just got some popcorn, but I've heard the food is pretty good!  They are the Phantom Gourmet brothers, after all.

We would definitely go back to the Mendon Twin Drive-in again!  Maybe we'll plan the next time when we don't have to get up so early the next day. ;)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Party Planning + Sundae Bar

We just finished staining our deck this past weekend, which is  s o  e x c i t i n g.  Remember those endless projects I mentioned? Well one of them finally got done!  There may have been actual cheering involved while we were staining the last couple posts.

 We finished it just in time since we're having Tyler's family over for a cookout on Sunday (parents, siblings, & grandparents).  His mom's birthday is today so we're all getting together to celebrate over the weekend.  Word on the street is that she's pretty excited to have someone else throw a party for her, since she's always the one hosting. :)

Cooking and prepping for 12 is a lot different than the usual two of us, but we're getting some help with the food so it won't be too much work.  Using the grill when you're cooking for a bigger group also makes it a little more manageable.  And makes for hardly any clean up! We're having burgers + hotdogs and a few different sides.  I'm still deciding on everything I want to have, but I know for sure we're going to use our grill basket and cook up a bunch of different veggies. We got ours from Target, but this one is pretty similar.  It's so good and super easy!  I ordered a galvanized tub to put drinks in for a couple reasons - 1.) we don't actually own a cooler and 2.) it's so much prettier (and cheaper) than a cooler. I love this one from Pottery Barn, but ended up getting one from Amazon for half the price!

Galvanized Metal Large Party Bucket & Stand

I was also volunteered to make my mother-in-law's cake.  Which is totally fine; however, she requested a carrot cake with homemade cream cheese frosting, using her "favorite recipe".  Eek.  I've never made a cake from scratch before. I always stick to the boxed cake mixes (because they're delicious and easy), so it should be interesting to say the least!  I'm going to pick up a box of carrot cake mix and some frosting, just in case. I'll take it as a compliment that she trusts me to make it & hope for the best!  Luckily, my in-laws love food, and they're not picky eaters. ;)

I also wanted to have another dessert, preferably one that required minimal prep time because it sounds like I'll have my hands full with other things. I knew I'd have to get ice cream anyway to go with the cake, so I thought a make-your-own sundae bar would be a great idea. We're going to have 3 different kinds of ice cream and a bunch of different toppings.  Here's what Tyler & I have come up with so far:

Ice cream flavors:

Whipped cream
Hot fudge
Caramel sauce
Chocolate + peanut butter chips
Reeses Pieces
Gummy bears
Mini marshmallows
Crushed Heath Bars
Crushed Oreos
Chocolate + rainbow sprinkles

We may need to narrow it down a bit.  Good thing is when it comes to sundae toppings, a little goes a long way.  I'm going to set out all of the toppings and just let everyone go to town!  Knowing the company, I'm pretty confident this will be well received.

In addition to (lots) of eating, we'll also probably end up playing some games outside - wiffle bar, can jam, basketball, etc.  One of the number one things we were looking for when we bought our house was a decent sized yard.  While ours definitely needs some TLC, we love that we have it and think it has some potential. It's also nice to have when you have a family of outdoor game/sports lovers over. 

It's going to be a very busy couple of days grocery shopping, baking & cleaning!  I'm already looking forward to a relaxing afternoon at my parents house on Monday. ;) Three day weekends are the best!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Stitch Fix

One day last month, my friend, Karissa, came into work with a really cute pink dress on.  She told me that she'd gotten it from Stitch Fix and suggested that I give it a shot.

If you've never heard of it like I hadn't, it's basically an online styling assistant.  You complete a questionnaire to make sure they know what you like, what you don't, what you want more of, your sizes, price point, what types of clothing you're looking for (work, casual, going out), etc.  You can also provide the links to some of your social media profiles, like Pinterest, so they can get an even better idea of what you'll really like.  Once you complete your questionnaire, you pay $20/fix and they'll send you 5 clothing and/or accessory items.  The $20 can be applied towards your purchase of any of these. Once received, you have 3 days to send back what you don't want.  When you checkout online, you can enter why you didn't want to keep whatever you end up sending back, so you're more likely to get something you like better next time! You can get your fixes sent automatically every 2-3 weeks, month, or two months.  I opted out of the automatic fixes, but I think it would be a fun way to get some different things a few times a year.  

I just got my first fix in the mail yesterday (there was about a month wait period when I ordered).  I entered the lowest price point - something along the lines of, "the less the better".  I also specifically included in the comments section that I like tops that can be worn both at work and casually with jeans, as well as statement necklaces.  Here's what I received...

All 5 of the items in my fix (Aubrey not included):

They include a little styling guide that includes a couple different ways to wear each item:

#1. Riley Distressed Boyfriend Jean, $68

#2. Milan Lace Print Back Pleat Top, $58

#3. Kahlo Embroidered Solid Tank, $38

#4. Colibri Floral Print Sleeveless Top, $44

#5. Shelly Layered Ombre Stone Bib, $42

 I ended up keeping #1 and #3.  I really like the cut of the shirt, but it's kind of hard to see in the picture.  The necklace was a close contender, especially because I'm a sucker for anything ombre.  I ended up sending it back because I thought I could probably find something similar for less money elsewhere.  Plus, I already have my eye on a few other necklaces. ;)  Overall, I was happy with my first fix and would definitely recommend trying it.  It's pretty fun to not know what your stylist is sending your way!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Fall Bucket List

While we were sitting outside on our deck one night over the weekend, Tyler & I started naming a few fun things that we knew we'd want to do this fall in somewhat of an attempt to get rid of my end-of-summer-blues.  This inspired us to make up a fall bucket list.  Here's what we've come up with so far.

1.)  Go apple picking.  We went here last year since it's just a few minutes away from our house.  We went in late September, and things were already a little picked over (no pun intended) but they have all different kinds of apples to choose from.  We're going to plan on going a little earlier in the season this year so we can make sure we get some good ones!

2.) Make an apple pie (or two, or three...).  I usually don't like "cooked fruit", so any type of fruit pie is usually a no-go, but I love my own apple pie. It's so good.  Just sayin'.

3.) Get pumpkins & decorate the inside and outside of our house.  Last year I went on a hunt to find white pumpkins and couldn't find them anywhere. I was seriously sad about this.  If anyone who lives in the area has any suggestions, please let me know!

4.)  Carve a jack-o-lantern for Halloween.  We didn't get any trick-or-treaters last year because we live kind of in the middle of nowhere, but I would still like to have a pumpkin or two lit up, just in case!  I love how these pumpkins look ("carved" using a drill), and they seem so much easier to make.  These ones are also illuminated with white string lights inside the holes.  We've only got a few hundred extra of those after I accidentally bought the white strings instead of green for our Christmas tree one year. Maybe now I can put them to good use!

5.) Hike a mountain.  We'll probably end up hiking Mt. Wachusett since it's the closet and most convenient to get to (and right near where we grew up), but maybe we'll venture a little further north to some of the bigger mountains.

6.) Drink a million gallons of apple cider. Get as many apple ciders from Dunkin' Donuts as I can before they're gone for the season.  Angry Orchard falls under this cider-drinking category, too.  Some apple cider sangria or this festive apple cider drink also sound delish. If you couldn't tell, I just really like a good apple cider.

7.)  Football Sundays with some turkey chili, and chips, salsa & guacamole!  I just kind of pretend to know what's going on, but I have to admit that football is my favorite sport to watch even if I'm not the biggest fan.  Go Patriots! ;)

8.)  Make pumpkin bread/muffins, maybe a pumpkin pie, & drink lots of pumpkin coffee (basically, pumpkin flavored everything).  Apparently, I'll also have to workout a lot this season because of all the junk I'll be eating.

9.) Make a stove-top potpourri. Here's the one I made last year around Christmas time - it smelt really good and just makes the house feel cozy. I don't remember exactly what I put in it (measurement wise), but I believe it was just water, cranberries, bay leaves, oranges, cinnamon sticks & cloves (i.e. exactly what you see in the picture).  It takes all of 2 minutes to throw together in a pot and you can just leave on simmer all day.  It'll stay for a couple days, if you add a little more water as it starts to evaporate. After the first day, everything starts to look kind of brown but it'll still smell just as good!

10.) Pile on the sweatshirts & blankets, and have a campfire (without the mosquitos!). Maybe while drinking some of the beverages in #6.

11.) Have a festive Halloween-themed breakfast, with these candy corn waffles (which will also give me an excuse to buy that waffle maker I've been wanting to get for a while).  Because candy corn waffles are normal for two 25 year olds with no kids, right? :)

12.)  Try not to complain too much about all of the leaves we'll have to clean up out of our yard.  Hoping the 13 trees we took down last spring will make a little bit of a difference! Last year was pretty brutal.

Now back to enjoying the unofficial last week of summer! The weather is feeling more like it should in August again, and I'm more than okay with that. :)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Gratitude Challenge


My sister challenged me to share 3 things I'm grateful for, for the next 5 days, on Facebook.  Because I knew I would plan out what I was going to say each day ahead of time (because that's what I do), I thought I'd share my thoughts here.  Even though the more I think about it, the more I can come up with, these are the first 15 things that came to my mind.

I'm grateful for...

1.) My family. My parents + my sister. I'm grateful for the relationships we have and the time we get to spend together.  I'm also thankful that it didn't take my sister and I until we were "grown up" to realize how cool our parents are.  Seriously, they're awesome.

2.) My husband, who is one of the most hardworking people I know. He always knows how to make me smile and is there to wipe my tears.  He is truly my best friend.  I know that I can tell him anything and he will be there for me, no matter what.  "Look, in my opinion, the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly who you are.  Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you, the right person is still going to think the sun shines out of your ass.  That's the kind of person worth sticking with." (Juno)  Hits the nail on the head, for sure.

3.) Growing up with my sister.  She is my built-in best friend for life, and has always showed me the ropes.  She knew I was nervous about going to my first day of middle school, so we stayed up all night talking - she drew a map of the school so that I would know exactly where all of my classes were, gave me the low-down on all of my new teachers and suggestions on how to make new friends. Not because I asked her to do it (or any of the many similar things she has done for me), but because that's the kind of person and big sister she is.  To say that I admired her growing up (and still do today) is an understatement.  

4.) Marrying into a family of some of the kindest people I've ever met.  There's definitely not a dull moment when we're all together. They made me realize how fun it can be to have a big family.

5.) Bradley, Colby & Aubrey - my kitties (aka my fur babies).  Call me a crazy cat lady, which is fine because I kind of am one, but these guys are some of my best friends.  I look forward to seeing them every day after work, knowing they will always greet me at the door.  They're also some of the world's best cuddlers and can put a smile on my face, just by being their little furry-selves.

6.) Finding the person who I wanted to spend my life with so early in life. Though I certainly didn't know that he was "the one" at age 14.  I'm thankful that over the past 10+ years we've grown together, not apart. And that after over a decade together, he still thinks the sun shines out of my ass.

7.) Our house.  Homeownership is one of the most rewarding things I've experienced.  I love being able to call this place ours.

8.) Growing up in a small town. Hubb has my heart.

9.) Having a reliable car.  I didn't realize how great of a feeling that would be until I bought my very-first-all-by-myself car a couple years ago.

10.) Having a mom who cooked supper every night for our family growing up (and a family who sat down at the kitchen table to eat together every night).  I hope to master, or at least get better at, this whole cooking thing some time before we have kids who are old enough to tell me if my cooking sucks.

11.) Working for a company that truly cares about their employees. 

12.) Summertime! Sunshine, green grass, warm weather, sleeping with the windows open & fresh air coming in.  Doesn't ever get old in my book.

13.)  Music.  A good song has the ability to completely change my mood, power me through a workout, or get me dancing like a crazy person in our living room.

14.) The fact that we live close enough to the coast that I can easily take a day trip to the beach. The smell of the ocean is one of my favorites.

15.) The internet. I love how the internet can be used to share news & ideas, and how it allows people to keep in touch, no matter how far apart they are.

I'm also grateful for the fact that this was actually not a "challenge" at all, knowing that I have so, so many things in my life to be grateful for.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Happy Friday!

When my alarm goes off in the morning, my first thought is always "do I have to go?", followed quickly by "what day of the week is it?".  And when it's Friday, I practically jump out of bed.  Ready to get to the weekend!

I seriously can't believe there are only TWO weekends left before the unofficial end of summer (I could have said "start of fall" instead, but I'm feeling a little glass half empty about this).  Summer is my  f a v o r i t e  season and I really wish it would stick around a little lot longer.  I've already seen leaves slightly changing on the trees, Halloween candy and fall decorations.  I love fall and the holidays, but what comes after is the worst (cold weather, driving on snowy roads, no leaves on the trees until MAY, dark at 4:00... overtime hours at work through April doesn't help either).  All that being said, I'm planning on soaking up as much of the season as I can in before it's gone for another year!

We have a few, what seem like endless, projects at our house to accomplish that I'm sure we will try to finish  (read: work on one while hoping they magically finish themselves) this weekend so we can start some more on the line up. ;)  I'm also hoping to get some backyard hammock-ing in under the lights.  I feel like we just hung these up and haven't gotten to enjoy them enough!

For Labor Day weekend, it looks like we'll be having/going to a few cookouts/parties with our families.  We're hoping to get that fire pit that we almost-bought-a-million-times-but-never-did before they're all sold out for the season (though Amazon might be the only choice at this point). We're also planning to hit up the drive-ins this weekend or next since we haven't been since high school and it's a pretty awesome summertime activity!  Both drive-ins in our area are having "retro" nights for the holiday weekend (showing old movies), which sounds pretty cool.  An ice cream stop wouldn't hurt either to round out the end of summer festivities - I never say no to ice cream! ;)

Here's to hoping the workday flies by and I'm home with the hubs, cold beverages in hand, before I know it! Have a great SUMMERY weekend!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Graphic Tees

I've really been loving all of the cute graphic tees I've been seeing lately.  I tend to buy them and just end up wearing them to bed or around the house.  I spend an embarrassing amount of time at home in a tee + sweatpants.  About 99% of the time, I'm changed out of my work clothes within 15 minutes of being home.  This is basically my after-work checklist:

Tyler's a lucky guy, huh?

In addition to adding to my pj collection, I also love seeing graphic tees dressed up with a skirt + a statement necklace, though I don't know if I'm fashionable enough to pull it off ;).  Here are a few of my favorites!

1 \ 2 \ 3 \ 4 \ 5 6
(Side note: I think I'm subconsciously a little obsessed with any thing grey.)

I wear this tee on a weekly basis - pretty sure Tyler loves it.  I think it's especially encouraging when he's doing chores around the house, mowing the lawn, etc. ;)

I also came across this one, which would make a great gift for my husband (because he thinks it's hilarious), or my father-in-law (because he loves bacon more than any other person I've ever met).

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Vacation Recap

We got home last night after our 8 day getaway to Florida.  We thoroughly enjoyed doing not much of anything - sitting in the sun, sitting in the shade, swimming in the pool, riding the waves. ;)  We also did end up parasailing, going to Disney and going on a tour of Big Cat Rescue before we left.

The place where we stayed in Sarasota was awesome.  Our door was literally steps away from the beach and pool, making it very convenient to run back to our room for drinks/snacks, bathroom breaks, etc.  We rented "cabanas" for 3 days on the beach, which was well worth it.  It was hot down there, but totally fine when we could just relax in the water for hours!  There was also a one man band who played some sweet tunes (including some Jake Owen, Kenny Chesney and Neil Diamond -"Sweet Caroline") on Tuesday night.  We I danced like a crazy person on the beach as the sun went down.  My parents have been there before and it's no wonder they keep going back; we would go again in a heartbeat!

My sister, Whit, got a new waterproof camera right before we left so she was able to get some pretty cool pictures. Between the three of us, we took over 1,000 pictures this past week. I will just leave you with a couple twenty of my faves.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


I'm officially on vacation for the next 10 days!  And I've been singing Jake Owen's "Beachin'" in my head all week long.

Tyler, my sister & I will be heading down to Sarasota, FL bright and early Saturday morning.  We'll also be going on a mini road-trip to Disney World for 2 days while we're down there.  Tyler's never been to Disney, which makes it even more exciting!  I'm also hoping to cross para-sailing off my bucket list (if I don't chicken out), and of course get in some R&R while sipping a cocktail or two on the beach.

Where we'll be staying in Sarasota is about an hour-ish (I think) further south from where we stayed on our honeymoon last year. We had an awesome time with some beautiful (and very warm) weather. Here are a few of my favorite photos from last year's trip.

Going on vacation for 8 days means doing some strategic packing (and an excuse to buy new clothes "for the trip").  Here are a few of my top picks.

Gold sandals | Necklace | Tee | Shorts | Maxi dress | Pineapple sweater | Bikini | Striped flipflops | Cover-up - Old Navy {sold out online, maybe you can find it in store!}

There are tons of summer clothes on sale right now since they're changing out the seasons. It's the perfect time to stock up on some summer essentials for next year or a late summer getaway.

I'll be spending the next 36 hours cleaning, packing & getting lots of kitty cuddles in.  Thankful to have some awesome family members willing to watch all of our fur babies while we're away!
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