Kittehs

Hello loves!

I haven’t been posting much lately, in part because I have been busy taking care of the two new additions to my little family!

Introducing…

Chairman Chester Meow… We call him Chester for short

and…

Bella

To be honest with you, adopting these wonderful balls of love was one of the best decisions my fiance and I have ever made!  We brought them home on 10/5/12.  They bring joy to our lives every single day.  Watching them play and seeing them grow and learn is so fulfilling.  I can’t even explain how happy they make us!

I would like to sincerely thank Centre County Paws for all of the work that they do.  Without their hard work and dedication, we would never have found our new kittens, and they would have never found a loving home.  While I can understand the appeal of choosing a new pet from a breeder or pet shop, I would highly recommend adopting them from a local shelter, like we did!  There is no way that I could love these little furballs any more than I do.  There are tons of benefits that come along with adopting pets.  For example, you get a great feeling knowing that you are rescuing an animal that someone else left behind.  In addition, it is much less expensive to adopt than to buy a new pet.  Adoption fees are usually reasonable, and you know that the money is going to a great cause.  I would recommend getting to know the animal before choosing to bring it home to make sure that it fits your needs and abilities to care for it, but if you’re patient you can find the perfect pet!

Please keep in mind that, while having pets is absolutely fantastic, it is also a lot of responsibility.  Different types of animals require different levels of attention, and all pets deserve to have a family that takes good care of them.  It’s about more than just feeding them and making sure they have fresh water (which, of course, are both important aspects of pet ownership).  You also have to make sure they are healthy, keep up with vet visits and immunizations, make sure they have comfortable places to sleep, make sure that they feel safe and loved… there’s a lot that goes into pet ownership!

With all of the stress and difficulties that law school and life bring, it is so wonderful to come home every day knowing that these two are waiting for us.  Cuddling up with them at the end of a long day really just makes life a lot better!

If you have any questions about having new pets or about adopting, please let me know in the comments, and I would be happy to answer whatever I can!

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Update: 12/7/12

It’s been a couple of months, and Bella and Chester continue to bring us joy every single day!  In fact, they are both currently warming my feet as I type. 🙂

At first, we were a little concerned that the two wouldn’t get along.  It took a couple of weeks for them to get used to each other (they came from different litters), but now they are BEST friends.  It is so sweet how much they cuddle and play together.  They even groom each other!  Chester follows Bella just about everywhere that she goes… unless he’s just too sleepy. hehe.  I am so glad that we decided to choose two kittens to become part of our family.  It is clear every day how much they love and need each other, especially considering that we are in class and at school for at least a few hours per day, so it’s nice to know they have each other.  Plus, they have very distinct personalities and each bring different things to our lives.  Chester is the snuggler and the gentleman, always posing and looking proper.  Bella is always prancing around like the princess that she is, but she’s also quite the little huntress and loves pouncing on her toys… especially that darned red dot!

Here are some updated pictures!

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Take-Along Treats

Okay folks, so this post is a little bit late considering it was originally meant to be a July 4th one… BUT I think it’s still relevant.  Since it’s football season and tailgates also require fun treats that are easy to transport, here are a few treats you can easily take along to impress your friends!

Cupcakes are always a hit!

Cupcakes are easy and fun to make, easy to spice up with decorations, and easy to transport!  Aside from that, they’re always a big hit with people.  So I think they’re a perfect Take-Along Treat for any get-together.  If I am taking cupcakes to a potluck or event, I usually try to add a little something extra to make them more fun.  You can try different combos of cake and frosting flavors, fun sprinkles to match the event you’ll be attending, pretty decorated cupcake cups… whatever you like!  I personally love making anything Funfetti because, well, it’s just more fun that way!

Chocolate and Sprinkles Dipped Strawberries

Legitimately one of the easiest Take-Along treats I’ve ever made, and they got the most compliments at the Fourth fo July party!  They look amazing, taste amazing, and no one needs to know that they only take about 10 minutes to make!  All you have to do is buy some strawberries and some sprinkles and some dipping chocolate, and viola!  You can use dark, milk, or white chocolate or any combination of them.  I used white chocolate to play on the Red-White-and-Blue theme for the July 4th party, but you can mix it up however you like.  Basically, just wash and dry the strawberries well.  (Make sure they are very dry or the chocolate won’t stick properly!)  Follow the directions on the dipping chocolate.  I use Dolci Frutta because I’ve always had success and it’s available in my local grocery store, but whatever you find in the produce section will probably work just as well.  Make sure to follow the directions on the package very closely, you don’t want the chocolate to scorch or seize.  Dip the strawberries, and sprinkle on your sprinkles before the chocolate sets.  Once you’ve got them all done, put them in the fridge until you’re ready to go!  I usually place the dipped strawberries onto wax paper to harden because then they won’t stick, but I don’t think it’s 100% necessary if you don’t have any on hand.  SO easy and such a hit!

Fourth of July S’more Treats

And, of course, my signature S’more Treats!  I switched it up a bit by trying some with white chocolate, too.  But otherwise, the same basic idea as in my previous post!  These are a hit every time I bring them to any function.  They never last long, and I always get compliments.  Easy to make, easy to bring, and delicious!

Here was the spread I took to the Fourth fo July party!

I hope you find some of these ideas useful for your next tailgate, potluck, or get-together!  Please feel free to share some of your favorite take-along recipes in the comments!

 

XOXO

All Hail New Nails

Have you been looking for a new nail polish to try?

I had my eye on this Butter London shade since I saw it on Pinterest months ago.  I happened to notice that Butter London was available (finally!) at the Ulta near my house.  I checked, and saw that they had the color I had been envying, but after looking at the price tag, I decided against it.  Well, I just couldn’t get it out of my head, and I ended up going back a couple days later specifically to pick it up!  The polish I drove back for?

Butter London’s All Hail the Queen:

 

Um, hai.  This color is FANTASTIC.  It’s a great nude color, so it goes with anything.  But the underlying shimmer and sparkle adds just a little something that makes it appropriate for party time, too!  Also, it looks crazy cool in the sun!  It’s hard to explain and pretty much impossible to photograph, but trust me, it’s awesome.  $14 is a little more than I would normally like to spend on nail polish because for me, I prefer quantity over quality when it comes to nail colors.  BUT, after trying this one color, Butter London has made a believer out of me!  Absolutely worth $14, in my opinion.

I tried to get a shot of how cool it looks in the sun. This definitely doesn’t do it justice, but you can kind of see the sparkle! You can check out this link for a much better picture!

I think this color is great for any season, too.  That’s one of the benefits of a nude, it can be perfect anytime.  That also really helps me justify the price tag because I know I won’t be limited to only wearing it during the summer.  Basically, I recommend this one for sure!  In fact, I liked it so much, and one of my friends was so jealous, that I ended up buying it for her for her birthday, too!

 

Do you have any favorite nail polish shades or brands?  Please share in the comments!

 

Wedding Planning: Buyer’s Remorse

In my last post, I shared with you some of my experience with dress shopping, and I mentioned that choosing my dress was a bit unexpected.  I managed to have some second thoughts shortly thereafter.  I was wondering if I made the right choice because I made the decision so unexpectedly and felt a little pressured by a limited-time sale to make the decision on the spot.  I spent much of the weekend and all of Monday second guessing myself, and I was feeling really confused and upset.  I didn’t want to be THAT girl who picked the wrong dress, but I also didn’t want to be THAT girl who kept looking after making the choice.

I have Tuesdays off at my internship, and my mom called the bridal salon before I woke up to see if they had placed the order for the dress yet.  As of Tuesday morning, they had not, and she (wisely) asked if they could hold off so that we could just be sure. The staff was completely understanding and extremely helpful.  They made it clear that all they wanted was for me to be happy with my dress, so I could try on as many as I wanted to feel comfortable.

Of course, it’s important to remember that we had already placed a 50% deposit.  Those are not refundable.  This particular salon was willing to transfer the deposit to another dress if necessary because the order had not yet been placed.  That may not be the case everywhere, and we happened to get lucky that they hadn’t yet ordered the dress.  I emphasize this because I would hate for anyone to read this and assume it’s easy to change your mind once you sign off on your dress.  I don’t think that’s really the case, but a lot of things happened to line up in my favor!

So off we went, back to the salon.  The consultants were wonderful and genuinely wanted me to leave feeling happy and comfortable with any decision I made.  We chose a few more dresses to try.  I tried to pick things that were very different so that I could feel like I tried “everything” to make sure I was making the right choice.  I tried on a lace dress (it was gorgeous on the hanger but a disaster on me), some options with more or less bling, a couple of different silhouettes…

After trying them on, I found one other that I really liked.  I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it on Say Yes to the Dress about 50 times, and I can see why so many women choose it now.  But then the consultant had me try on “my” dress one more time and BAM.  That was it.  She left me in it in the dressing room alone for a few minutes as she ran off to get something, and as I was standing there alone, no distractions, I was reminded that it is perfect for me.  The way the skirt falls is positively dreamy, and I couldn’t stop running my hands along the fabric.  I love it.  It is me, and no other dress would be what that one is… for me.  The consultant brought me back out and my mom knew too.  We jacked me up a bit, made a couple changes to some of the accessory details, and now it is perfect.

I am so happy that I made the choice to go back and take a second look.  I made the initial decision out of a combination of excitement, emotion, and pressure to make a decision while the sale was going on.  But going back and trying some more options has made me 100% sure that this dress is what I want.  I always watched the girls on TLC and thought to myself “when they say it’s the dress that makes them feel beautiful, THAT’s the one.”  And this dress makes me feel beautiful.  And it’s the one. ❤

XOXO

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Where I found my dress:

If you’re in the Las Vegas area and looking for a dress, I found mine at Bowties Bridal Boutique, and Lauren was my consultant.  She is wonderful, and I recommend asking for her if you try there!

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TIP:

If you are starting the search for a wedding dress, looking online is really helpful.  But beware!  Not every salon carries every designer.  I had originally chosen a favorite online, only to find that it’s not sold anywhere in my city… the designer just doesn’t sell here.  The closest place I could have found it was San Diego… which is a bit of a trek and an unnecessary expense.  So be a bit cautious!  I would suggest doing your preliminary searches to get ideas, but then to narrow when you’re becoming more serious about your decision.  Look at the websites for the salons in your area to see which designers and styles they carry ahead of time so that you can tailor your search accordingly!

Wedding Planning: A New Journey

Hello all!

I am in the process of attempting to plan my wedding to my fantastic fiance.  I have trouble deciding what to have for lunch most days, so I am pretty much terrified at the prospect of planning such a huge event!  At this point, I am in the beginning stages of planning.  I am hoping that chronicling my journey here will help me organize my thoughts and maybe help someone else who feels as overwhelmed as I do, and I welcome any (positive and constructive) suggestions you may have!

Last week, I made a few forward steps to get started!

1.  I went to Barnes and Noble and picked up these to help myself get motivated and organized!  I picked this organizer because it has an actual 3-ring binder as well as a 3-hole punch inside, and I thought that could help me keep organized more easily.  However, after looking more closely at the content, it doesn’t seem as helpful.  I’m considering exchanging it for one that is better suited to my wedding style and budget.

2.  I checked out my first wedding venue with my mom!  I found the experience a little overwhelming, but overall very helpful! It feels good to have gotten a tangible start to the process and feel like something has been completed.  Although I plan to continue looking at a few more options since this was only the first, I think that this particular venue is a real possibility.  It combines a classy feeling with the option to add some fun and personal touches.  In addition, the wedding coordinator is AMAZING, which I think will be an extremely helpful thing in the long run.  She seems to be on the same wavelength as I am when it comes to ideas, so that’s really going to come in handy if we choose this venue.  In addition, she spent nearly THREE hours with my mom and me, discussing options, ideas, decorating plans she had previously implemented, helping choose tentative color schemes, touring the facility, etc.  She was SO wonderful, that I could consider choosing the venue based on her alone.  In short, I feel MUCH better about the next steps in planning after checking out the first venue and meeting with the wedding coordinator.  Here are some lessons that I’ve taken from this experience:

  1. Choose a venue that has a vibe with which you connect.
  2. Look into the details, too, not just the overall look of the venue.  For example, this particular venue’s banquet rooms are names for Founding Fathers and other famous historical figures from the American Revolution, which I think is cool because it ties into our Washington, D.C. proposal!
  3. Make sure the wedding/event coordinator goes through the package information and pricing with you.  Find out where you can cut corners, what options can be customized, and what can be changed.  For example, if the package includes an open/hosted bar for the entire reception, but you only want to have it for the cocktail hour, find out if the venue can accomodate this preference and what change it will make with the package price.
  4. Ask about extra fees, taxes, and gratuity!
  5. Take a look at the bridal changing area and see if you like it.
  6. Check out the ceremony site, if there is one, even if you aren’t really planning to use it.  You never know what you might find!
  7. Choose a wedding coordinator who “gets” you!  If he or she doesn’t like the same ideas you do, it’s going to make things much more stressful and difficult.  If you LOVE every idea that he or she suggests or tells you they’ve done in the past, you’ve got a winner!

I’m sure I’ll have more to add to this list as time goes on, but these are a few things that I noticed during the appointment and thought would be important!

3.  I chose my dress!!!!!!  Sorry for all the exclamation points… but not really 🙂  My mom and I really went just to look at a bridal salon that a family friend recommended to see if we would be interested in scheduling an appointment.  But, it turned out that they weren’t that busy, so they had me try a couple things on.  The first dress was pretty, but just not quite my style.  But the second one… It’s perfect!  Obviously I can’t post a photo just yet, but I am so excited to have found a dress that I love and by such happy accident!  I cried, my mom cried, even the consultant cried!  I was a little reluctant to say “yes” right away, but once they had me completely try it on (it wasn’t actually available in-store in my size, so it took a little consultant magic) and they reminded me that it was on sale for nearly half off, I just couldn’t pass it up!  Let’s just say that the dress incorporates some of my favorite things in the world, and I can’t wait for MY dress to come in so I can try it on over winter break!

 

Okay, well, I think that just about covers it for now!  I hope that you have enjoyed this first installment, and please let me know if you have and questions, comments, or suggestions!

 

XOXO

5 Year Anniversary

This week, I was blessed to celebrate my fifth anniversary with my fabulous fiance!  I could not have found a more wonderful man to spend my life with, and I am sincerely grateful that we have been able to grow together as a couple and as individuals throughout the past five years.

Since five years is a pretty significant milestone, I wanted to surprise my fiance with a gift that symbolizes both how extremely proud of him I am and my committment to him.  Last year, he surprised me with an engagement ring, and I haven’t been able to really spoil him yet, so I wanted to take this opportunity to do so!

When I saw this particular Movado watch, I knew it was perfect!  Since we are both in law school, I thought the ESQ was particularly fitting 🙂

 

I am hoping that this watch will be something that he can keep for a long time.  I wanted him to have something nice that symbolizes how proud ,of him I am.  I have been so impressed with the man he has become, especially within the last year as we have been engaged. going to law school, and living together.  I know that he is making his way into the professional world and wanted to give him something that belongs there with him!  Movado is an iconic and traditional brand of watch, and the ESQ line adds a little modernity to the designs.  I hope that he likes this watch as much as I do, though it seems he does so far!

 

I just wanted to share my excitement over this milestone and this gift with you all!  In case you’re wondering what he got me, I’m pleased to say that it came in a “little blue box!”  It’s so pretty, and I love it!

 

What’s your favorite anniversary present that you’ve received?

 

XOXO

Friday Favorites

This new app is SO much fun! My friends and I just can't put it down, and it's available in a free version. It's basically like pictionary, but way more fun!

Happy third installment of my Friday Favorites!

This light pink flowy dress is just gorgeous!

Betsey Johnson nail polish??? YES PLEASE!

TLC’s Friday Bride Day

Featuring episodes of Say Yes to the Dress, Four Weddings, and more, what’s not to love???

Hope you enjoyed!

XOXO