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Snail mail

28 Jan

When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone? In a world of email and text messages, it’s pretty rare to send and receive letters these days. It’s definitely old school, but there is something to be said about taking the time to send a note to those you love.

I don’t write as often as I should, but I’m trying to improve. It’s so thoughtful to hand write a note and let others know you’re thinking of them. Plus, I know how happy I feel when I find a letter or postcard in the mail.

A few people in my life will be getting letters soon, and I hope it brings a smile to their faces.

letters

Hope your week is off to a great start. Happy Monday!

P.S. If you’re looking to catch up on nominees for Best Picture, I saw Zero Dark Thirty this weekend and definitely recommend it. I’ll be seeing Silver Linings Playbook tonight. Cheers to Oscar season!

Winter weather survival

25 Jan

The weather this past week has been bone-chilling cold, and I’ve spent most evenings bundled in blankets watching shows on Netflix. Growing up in the snow belt, I know how to handle freezing weather, but I wouldn’t survive without my winter must-haves. I heavily rely on lotion, lip balm and winter accessories.

Here’s how I stay warm and cozy:

wintermusthaves

  1. Hand lotion: Burt’s Bees, $10
  2. Snow boots: Sorel, $140
  3. Lip balm: Burt’s Bees, $6
  4. Hand warmer: Butler’s, $5
  5. Warm gloves: Isotoner, $24 (the ones pictured are currently out of stock)
  6. Cute hat, J. Crew, $60

I’m also in love with my mattress heater. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend getting on board.

Hope you’re staying warm! xoxo

Twenty thirteen

14 Jan

After a brief hiatus here, and a much-needed break from work, I’m back at it. The holidays were wonderful, and I find it hard to believe that everyone is gone. I keep thinking my brother is across the hall or Sebastian will be here when I get home from work. I know it’s not true, but it would be oh so lovely if it were. In the meantime, I’ve been finding things to distract myself, and yesterday it finally hit me – a new year has arrived. Wasn’t I just writing a resolutions post last year, and then boom, 2012 is gone.

I can’t complain though, it really was a fantastic year. I started getting back in shape, continued growing as a young professional and of course did some awesome traveling. However, realizing  I turn 25 this year (when did that happen!?) I can’t help but want to make this one even better than the last.

This is the year I want to make things to happen. This is the year I want to do things for me and not feel guilty about it. This is the year I want to make myself the best I can be. In a nutshell, this is the year I need to grow up. Even though I’ll always be a kid at heart, at 25 I can’t pretend I’m a kid anymore. My life is happening, and I don’t want to stand back as it plays out in front me. I want to take the reins and show life the way.

I have big plans this year. I hope you’ll stay along for the ride. Cheers to 2013!

2013

My favorite time of year

18 Dec

The house is decorated, the gifts are wrapped, and I’m eagerly waiting the coming days. This truly is my favorite time of year, and not just because it’s Christmas. The holiday season is a time spent with family and friends, and after the tragic events of last week, there is nothing I want more than to hug those closest to me.

My little brother comes home tomorrow (yippee!), and we’ve already made plans to see “Monsters Inc.” and go tubing together. A few other holiday plans include hanging out with my best friends, attending some awesome Christmas parties, a Kent State roomie reunion and of course Christmas day with my family (my favorite day!).

The best, however, comes after Christmas when Sebastian arrives back in the states (8 days and counting). Even better is that we’ll be celebrating New Year’s Eve in Florida! I’m so excited to take another trip together and spend time with my German over the holidays.

There’s so much to look forward to, I can hardly contain my excitement. So if a random girl gives you a big smile and a Christmas greeting, it’s probably me. Merry Christmas! xoxo

P.S. Any recommendations for things to do in Orlando are definitely welcome! And don’t worry, we already have Disney World covered :-)

tree

Spreading holiday cheer

12 Dec

I don’t often talk about work , but this week I want to share something really fun that’s happening at the office. I work at Marcus Thomas, an integrated ad agency in Cleveland, and it’s a pretty cool place. We work in a beautiful, creative space, you can bring your dog to the office and our creative team comes up with some amazing ideas.

One of these recent ideas is our 2012 holiday “card.” I put it in quotes because it’s way more than a card, it’s a 5-day holiday carnival. Most companies send an email greeting, but Marcus Thomas gives you the opportunity to dunk people in a giant tank of eggnog.

tank1

It’s called ” Get Tanked For Charity,” and here’s how it works: Every day this week there are eight new dunkees to vote for. You can view their plea videos and then vote for the ones you want to see head to the eggnog dunk tank. At 3 p.m., the top three employees with the most votes are sentenced to 40  minutes in the tank. The cool part is that you can actually take a shot at them with a custom-built, real-time softball cannon. Every dunk earns $50 for United Way.

Click here to vote, and come back at 3 p.m. to watch live as our employees get dunked. And sign up to take a shot at them yourself! Seeing someone fall into a tank of eggnog will certainly put you in the holiday spirit! Merry Christmas!

tank2

Advent calendars

1 Dec

As a little kid, I remember most years having an advent calendar in the house. Usually it was a large rectangular card with little windows, and each day in December we would open one to reveal the surprise behind it. It was always fun counting down the days to Christmas.

It’s such a simple way to get into the spirit of the season, and this year I have a new advent calendar. Knowing that Christmas is my favorite holiday, Sebastian thought it would be nice for me to have one of my own. Each day is marked by a little cloth pouch filled with a treat that hangs from a string of red ribbon. I’m already in love with it.

advent1

advent3

advent4

advent4

Happy December 1! Let the countdown to Christmas begin!

How to win a turkey

29 Nov

The fire department in my hometown puts on a fundraiser every year called the Turkey Raffle. Don’t be confused by the name – they literally raffle off frozen turkeys. But it’s more fun than it sounds. The turkeys are raffled off in quick, five-minute rounds, and the winning ticket is chosen by a large number wheel. Your goal is to buy tickets before the wheel is spun at the end of each round. If you bought a ticket with the right number, you win!

Step 1: Find yourself a ticket guy.

Step 2: Buy some tickets.

Step 3: Wait for wheel to be spun to see if you won.

Step 4: Wheel is spun and winning number is announced.

Step 5 (a): You have the winning number. Go up and get yourself a turkey.

Step 5 (b): You didn’t win. Throw your tickets to the ground in frustration.

Step 6 (a): If you lost, go buy yourself more tickets.

Step 6 (b): If you won, go buy yourself more tickets. You can never have too many turkeys.

The Turkey Raffle was quite an experience, especially for our visiting friends from California and of course zee German. We had an awesome time though and walked away with no less than six turkeys. This may or may not have been why we cooked three for Thanksgiving this year. Oh well! Gobble gobble!

Deck the halls

6 Nov

I know, I know, Halloween was only last week, Thanksgiving hasn’t even happened, and the department stores are already putting up their holiday displays. I’m going to let you in on a little secret though… I love it. I was out this past weekend and was so happy to see all the trees, decorations and presents. I even enjoyed the Christmas music playing over the speakers.

I just can’t help it. Ask my family – I have always loved Christmas. There is just something about the season that makes me so incredibly happy. I think it has a lot to do with all the wonderful memories I have from when I was a kid.

So just the sight of green and red has already begun lifting my spirits. So much so, I was half tempted to decorate the entire house already. Both of my siblings will be here for Thanksgiving, but Grace won’t be home for Christmas. Part of me thinks it would be fun to have all the decorations up when all of us will be here.

Looking at all I need to get done though, I doubt I’ll get everything up in time. But I couldn’t help myself and had to start some holiday decorating this week. While my dad is visiting my sister in Oregon, I thought it might be fun to give his new deer mount a little holiday makeover. ‘Tis the season, right?

Cheers to the holiday spirit!

A little faith and some random thoughts

15 Oct

Two weeks have gone by since I arrived home from my vacation in Germany, and I’m starting to get back into the groove of things. I’m always in this weird funk when I return – my physical body is here, but my heart is somewhere else.

Last week felt especially difficult. It was a rough week at work, and I was seriously starting to doubt myself. Just when I was feeling really down, I came across this quote:

It’s so true that we often put ourselves down, or at least I do. It’s something I will try to change because I know I am worth a lot, and I should try to have more faith in my abilities.

Speaking of quotes that helped me get through the week, I am obsessed with the character Phil Dunphy from “Modern Family” and his Phil’sosophy on life. This one is my favorite:

And finally, this Saturday I attended a wedding for two of my close friends Kyle and Danielle. It was a beautiful ceremony for a beautiful couple. The reception was a blast, and I feel in a much better place this Monday.

{the lovely couple}

{Nick photobombing us – Lauren, Erika, me}

{in John’s words: we would absolutely survive the zombie apocalypse}

Cheers to the week ahead!

images via: 1, 2, 5 and my friends’ FB photos

Seven questions

13 Sep

Even though I’ve been reading it weekly for awhile, this is my first time linking up with Gentri Lee’s 7 Questions (a day late, too). Anyway, here goes nothing!

1. Do you have any weird food combinations that you love?

Not so much anymore, but I used to LOVE ketchup sandwiches growing up. Yup, just ketchup and bread. Delicious, no?

2. Have you ever written a blog post, published it, then immediately deleted it?

I can’t say I have, but I do have posts I never published. Sometimes I just need to get things off my chest, but then I don’t have the courage to actually post what I wrote.

3. What is a hair style you wish you could pull off, but would never be brave enough to try?

Pixie cut. I cut my hair pretty short in high school, but since then the shortest I’ve gone is shoulder length. I’d love to just chop off my hair one day, but I probably never will.

4. Would you rather have to always use the sun to tell the time or directions by the stars?

I’m directionally challenged, so I’d go with telling time by the sun. Although, living in Northeast Ohio that might prove difficult some days.

5. What is a fall trend that you are excited to try?

Polka dots! I love them any time of year though.

{taken at work – me in polka dots}

6. Who is your style icon?

Hmmm… I don’t really have one. I kind of just wear what I like, but I do think Rachel Bilson is adorable no matter what she wears.

7. What’s your favorite outdoor activity?

I love running, swimming and skiing.