christmas popcorn

every year, i kind of do the same thing. maybe one day i will switch it up and make something different but as of now, making christmas popcorn for the neighbors is so fun and easy!!! i stress easy because this mama doesn’t have much time anymore, especially during the holidays!

this treat requires very simple ingredients: 2 microwavable popcorn packs, 2 bags of white chocolate, pretzels, m&m’s, and christmas sprinkles. i popped the popcorn and then melted the chocolate. my favorite way to melt chocolate morsels is to boil two inches of water in a pot, put a broiler on top and then another small pot in it to melt the chocolate. i melt small batches of chocolate to ensure it doesn’t coagulate or seize, plus i prefer to make small amounts of christmas popcorn to ensure each nook and cranny gets coated with yummy goodness!

i put out a large sheet of wax paper and spread the popcorn out, poured copious amounts of m&m’s, dumped a handful of the broken pretzels, and then drizzled the chocolate in a zig zag pattern across the mixture. after the chocolate, i then dumped a generous heaping of sprinkles all over the popcorn. it transforms into a yummy, sweet, decadent treat for the holidays! mmmmmmm

after the chocolate dries, i then packaged it into mason jars…wide mouth mason jars are best but i only had regular mouth jars on hand. i had pre-dressed them up in festive paper, ribbon, and string.

ta da! yummy, easy gifts for your awesome neighbors! {we are so lucky to be surrounded by awesome neighbors!} i love the holidays – ’tis the season of giving out sweet treats and fun gifts!

via tandeminlove.com

[dressing up the jars]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[the simple easy, unhealthy ingredients]

via tandeminlove.com

[melting chocolate]

via tandeminlove.com

[i would turn around and this candy thief would sneak m&m’s off the counter! i had a picture of her totally laughing, sneaking the candy but it was so blurry…wahhhhh]

via tandeminlove.com

[before mixing]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

xoxo

turkey day ’16

it was turkey day! yay! i love thanksgiving! it kicks off the holiday season and i love the holidays!

i took a pretty long break posting on the blog. one, i was soooo busy with thanksgiving coming up, planning olive’s birthday, hosting olive’s birthday party, and just living life. things just got a little hectic but i am finally catching up!

we did our usual routine – hc’s aunt wendy always has turkey ‘dinner’ ready by 1:30pm so we always head over there first to visit with his family. we got there a bit earlier and hung out and visited with everyone. olive was, of course, a bit shy and quiet around everyone but as soon as her sister grace showed up, she was all giggles!

once food was served, we just sat around and chilled. we ate, talked, and caught up with life’s happenings. olive started to warm up with everyone and really took to kait! kait is sooooo darn sweet with the girls and had so much fun playing with olive. olive’s giggles and smiles were proof she adored kait too!

after a few hours at aunt wendy’s house, we had to leave and drop grace off so she could continue on with her festive celebrating with her step dad’s side of the family.

via tandeminlove.com

[how adorable is kait with ellie?!]

via tandeminlove.com

[chef wendy]

via tandeminlove.com

[not yet warmed up to anyone]

via tandeminlove.com

[daddy is hungry and ellie is bored]

via tandeminlove.com

[trying to hide from the world]

via tandeminlove.com

[gramma jane]

via tandeminlove.com

[my baby]

via tandeminlove.com

[sister besties]

via tandeminlove.com

[auntie missy]

via tandeminlove.com

[giving thanks to the chicago cubs]

via tandeminlove.com

[kait and morgan]

***************************************************************

we then headed to my parent’s house to continue our thanksgiving tradition of eating dinner at 7. we do that every year and our holiday always works out so perfectly. once we got there, i dove into helping my sister with the cooking {as much as i can because i am no cook!} and drinking! thanksgiving would not be complete without a good bottle of wine! yum!

we drank, we cooked, we laughed, and the kids played. it was a cozy, fun, warm evening together. my brother dan decided, this year, to fry a turkey! it would be our first time doing it! it was the highlight of the night…putting a turkey in a deep fryer and boy, that sucker cooks that bird super fast!!

olive was quite spent from a few active days with very little naps that she was totally agreeable to a nap at my parent’s house. baby girl slept for several hours but she so needed it as it would be another late night for her!

more family came by and soon it was a full house {close to 20 people}. it was pretty awesome because i don’t think i held ellie once. all the ladies and gents took turns holding the baby…who doesn’t love a cutie baby like ellie? she’s so darn sweet!

dinner was ready by 7 and we all sat down to eat! my dad said a blessing and we got to chow down. the food was super good, as usual – my sister always does an amazing job with the menu and the delicious dishes!

overall, it was a wonderful, wonderful thanksgiving. the holiday feelings were all there. i love how festive it feels and looks, i love seeing family, i love being together on this special holiday, and i love eating and drinking together…hahaha, who doesn’t?!

i am thankful for our health, our family and friends, our blessings in life, and most of all, thankful for our two beautiful, healthy girls.

happy thanksgiving indeed!

via tandeminlove.com

[super auntie thuy]

via tandeminlove.com

[yummy turkey stuffing]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[working hard in the kitchen]

via tandeminlove.com

[kitchen cooking shenanigans]

via tandeminlove.com

[family time]

via tandeminlove.com

[face time with huy]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[dad loving the face time with huy]

via tandeminlove.com

[olive being grumpy from her nap]

via tandeminlove.com

[i love this babe…i know, i say it all the time but she’s amazing]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[these two…so sweet]

via tandeminlove.com[she always has this wide eyed look…]

via tandeminlove.com

[our first time frying a turkey…well, dan fried it and it turned out awesome!]

via tandeminlove.com

[mama]

via tandeminlove.com

[thuy brought home sake from japan]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[yummy chocolate silk pie]

via tandeminlove.com

[he’s sooooooooo sweet with her]

via tandeminlove.com

[i love these two]

xoxo

easy vday treats

oh time. it’s always so limited in my life but i always want to be creative and do something special, festive, and fun. i really wanted to whip up something sweet, simple, and cute for valentine’s day. i used to be obsessed with pinterest but now it’s an outlet for me to quickly find creative ideas or get inspired.

i jumped on pinterest last week and found a pic of valentine’s day chocolate dipped wafers. yummy! i just remembered seeing the pic but never clicked on the site nor did i dig any deeper. so, one day, while grocery shopping, i decided to make them! i mean, they are that simple that i didn’t even need to know what the ‘recipe’ called for.

i picked up vanilla wafers {i liked how the strawberry flavored ones looked but i am not the biggest fan of the taste…i am partial to vanilla!}, a bag of white chocolate morsels, and i already had different shapes of sprinkles at home.

i melted about a cup of white chocolate {maybe just a tad more than a cup} in a double broiler. i dipped some wafers and drizzled the others. i alternated between the two. as i coated the wafers, i placed each one on a large sheet of wax paper to dry. before i dipped the next wafer, i sprinkled each one with just enough fun and used different styles of sprinkles.

one after another, i coated each one and actually had a lot of fun doing so! they were turning out so lovely! i finished dipping the entire package of wafers and stepped back to look at all the festive prettiness going on. it is such an easy, quick dessert to make! i think next year, olive will be able to really assist me with making these goodies!

fyi, if you are interested in making these wafers for the masses {like giving them away to neighbors or co workers}, definitely purchase several bags of wafers. one package will probably gift 3-4 people. i was able to package 6-8 wafers per cellophane bag {festive valentine’s day patterns of course!} and give them to some family members and saved a package for miss olive to eat!

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

ta da! simple, easy, fun valentine’s day treats for everyone {ok, almost everyone}! i am looking forward to making these desserts next year with my little helper in tow {and my other little one, but that baby won’t be able to help just yet!}!

happy day y’all!

xoxo

holiday downtown

we made our annual trip downtown to field’s on state. yes, i still call it that. call me old school. it’s still comiskey park, sears tower, these landmarks will forever live with me in their original names. it’s not like i don’t like to lead change, think differently, or i am not open minded. it just irks me that some family or some company pays more money so they can have their name etched into these chicago landmarks. yes, sears was named after sears robuck and co {the largest retailer at the time} but there is history behind it all. not just the fact that someone dumped money towards the building and says, “ok, we are now naming it blah, blah, blah”. ok, ok. enough venting.

we started our day with lunch at the french market. i love going there. there are so many fun little shops and yummy eats. we walked around trying to figure out what we all wanted to eat. we purchased the kid’s meals first and let them eat while all the adults mulled around, trying to figure out our palette of the moment.

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[working the runway]

via tandeminlove.com

[sooooooo many delish goodies]

via tandeminlove.com

[my favvvvvvvvvv]

via tandeminlove.com

[i snapped this pic because of the above lights but now i find it funny because the three girls in the picture look like me and my sisters in a less sophisticated way. thuy is to the left, kim in the middle, and that would be me…yes, with the colored hair]

via tandeminlove.com

[love these little rug rats]

i decided to go with a vietnamese favorite, banh mi. unfortunately, it was an ok meal. there just wasn’t the right kick to it. my favorite banh mi is from ba le up in argyle or really, my aunt vuong’s banh mi. my aunt’s sandwich is the most delicious, hands down.

we walked around, i bought the kids candy and purchased some hot, freshly made sugared donuts for everyone to eat. i love going there on the weekends too because it’s so quiet. the market’s busy time is monday through friday {since it’s down by the train station}. so, on saturday, it’s chill and crowd free and you can casually walk around without waiting in line at any booth.

via tandeminlove.com

[banh mi]

via tandeminlove.com

[mowing down a hot dog]

via tandeminlove.com

[being all cute while we wait for our freshly made donuts]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

after our little lunch fun at the french market, we headed down to fields on state for some holiday fun. we typically head to the eighth floor to see the tree in the walnut room. we snap some pics, relax on the sofas, and just chill for a bit before we head downstairs to their ornament room. we love going there to nab a few ornaments for our tree.

before we actually did all that fun stuff, the kids wrote their letters to santa. it was so cute. reagan was so serious about it and olive intently wrote hers with beautiful doodle marks. after their letters were dropped off in the mailbox to the north pole, we headed on up for some christmas tree fun.

via tandeminlove.com

[she was loving the felix in a box]

via tandeminlove.com

[writing letters to santa]

via tandeminlove.com

[in deep thoughts]

via tandeminlove.com

[hanging out on the ‘clean’ carpet]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

we perused the different trees and we were trying to figure out what ornaments we wanted to buy. hc found his ornament right away! it was a glass red fire engine truck. of course! it was a perfect ornament. i thought – hmph…he scored a cool ornament right away. i looked and looked but i was having a hard time finding an ornament that i really liked. i finally walked into a room that they had in the far back and found a whole bunch of ornaments that i loved! give me a dessert ornament any day and call me a sucker! i chose an ice cream cone ornament as my decor of choice!

after we hit the ornament room, we cruised downstairs to grab a drink and a bite to eat. oh my…there was a line for everything! everything! i went to starbucks and it was quick to order but it took over 15 minutes to get my drink! bananas! anyhoo, after our stint downstairs where the restaurants were, we all decided to call it a night. we all gathered our treasures for the day and headed home.

it was a lovely day {the temp was amazing…60 degrees!}. we had a great time spending the day in the city with our family. it was fun, yummy, and festive. i love going downtown and seeing all the pretty christmas decor and experiencing the hustle and bustle of the chicago. it’s all part of the cray holiday season!

xoxo

happy halloweeeeeen!

oh! i love halloween! it’s always the kick start to the holiday season but i love halloween for all the cute kiddie goodness. i love that it’s such a kid holiday to me. i enjoyed it soooo much as a kid and now, i love that my daughter will love it too!

i’m into the cute kiddy, spooky, fun part of it. not the gory, scary, bloody part of it. nope. not that at all. i love charlie brown’s pumpkin patch, i love all the kid’s shows that display a halloween theme, i love hocus pocus, i love fun pumpkins, yummy candy, cute little costumes, and spooky fun decorations.

halloween has always been a holiday of imagination and eery haunts. so, every year i look forward most to the trick or treaters! oh, it’s so much fun for me to give out candy to the little ones. i love seeing all their costumes and the giddy looks on their faces when they get a big handful of candy!

when i was younger, my most favorite thing to do was to decorate our house {mainly our front door} with fun, festive decor. i would play spooky music on a radio {hidden in the garage} and look forward to every ring of the doorbell! i would sometimes go so far and make dozen of treat bags. yes i did. a total sign of my overzealous, crafty nature. i would buy fun little halloween treat bags; fill each bag with candy, festive stickers, spider rings, trinkets, and anything i considered fun halloween items a kid would love!

as a kid, i loved running home to see what was in my bag of goodies and going through all the fun stuff that was given to me. my most favorite items were always the unique treats. whether it’d be a coloring book, or a fun pack of goodies, or something different that you didn’t see every day. of course, my most favorite candies were reese’s peanut butter cups, heath, bit o honey, and sweet tarts. yum.

via tandeminlove.com

i really do hope olive grows up to love halloween just as much as i do or any holiday for that matter. i hope that her imagination is vivid and inspiring to create some halloween memories and magic of her own!

happy halloweeeeeen everyone!

xoxo

stop being so crabby

sunday funday consisted of trying out a new restaurant and sweet treats to top it off.

my sisters were interested in trying this new restaurant called crab and spice. we all gathered there and were then led to our table in the back. it was brand spanking new and they didn’t have a liquor license yet! i definitely can say it was clean. we sat down and perused the menu. i let my sisters do the ordering, they are more keen on the seafood picks and i am always along for the ride.

they ordered the shrimp, crawfish, and snow crab. we had a few yummy sides of corn, potatoes, and rice. i was partial to the shrimp. it was the best dish on the table. it unpeeled it all, mixed it with my rice, and had a hearty, spicy, tasty meal. olive ate some of the shrimp and rice but mostly noshed on the french fries that my nephews had ordered!

we were absolutely amused because our server {tyler??} was obvs new and very inexperienced. the poor guy. he had no clue. he was so nice but just did.not.get.it. he forgot our drinks twice. he couldn’t answer our questions. he was sooo confused when we ordered. he didn’t tell us what they were out of, so we were bombing every time we wanted something. when it was time to pay, we asked him to put the cash towards the check and then split the bill in two. he had NO idea how to split the check on two credit cards, even though we did our best to simplify it for him! oh boy.

via tandeminlove.com

[she kept saying “baawooon! baawoooon!”]

via tandeminlove.com

[getting ready to get their crab on]

via tandeminlove.com

[crabtastic]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[the boys, ready to eat]

via tandeminlove.com

[cheers to plastic bibs]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[i love my crabby girl]

via tandeminlove.com

[shrimp, crab, crawfish, rice oh my!]

via tandeminlove.com

[nobody puts baby in a corner!]

after we finished up dinner, we all drove over to downtown downers grove and everyone got some sort of sweet treat at every day’s a sundae!  we have been going to this place since we were kids! it was such a beautiful night. just perfect. we sat outside and ate our ice cream. the kids ran around and screamed. olive was absolutely fascinated by the train. every time a train rolled by, olive would wave and say ‘bye train! bye train!’ and blow it kisses. so adorbs.

via tandeminlove.com

[classic dg]

via tandeminlove.com

[mmmmm, which one?!]

via tandeminlove.com

[best smile everrrrrr]

via tandeminlove.com

[refreshing sweet treats]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[throwing kisses at the train]

via tandeminlove.com

[“bye twain! bye twain!’]

it was such a fun, low key evening. we had a great time hanging out with the fam. evenings like these on warm summer nights are what i am going to miss! oh summer, your visits are way too short. please stay a little longer.

xoxo

las vegas part deux

on our third day in vegas, we started it out the right way again…c a b a n a time! woo! we started early {again} and this time around we ended our pool time a bit later than the day prior. our first day at the cabana, it actually rained. like hard. everyone was in awe because it never rains in vegas and if it does, it only lasts for a few minutes. but the rain that happened the day prior was fierce. it thundered, there was lightening, and it rained very heavily where they were posting flash flood warnings! thank goodness we had already clocked in some major pool time before it rained but it did cut it short by an hour or two.

our second day at the pool, it did rain again but it was very short lived and we were back out in the pool partying it up within no time! after spending 7-8 hours in the pool…yes you read that correctly…we spend that much time out in the sun drinking, eating, and ‘swimming’, we all went back to our rooms to get ready for the evening.

this time around, we were heading out to old vegas {aka fremont st.} for some sushi and amusement. we met up with matt and johann, grabbed a cab to our destination of choice and didn’t fear for our lives like we did the day before with our crazy reckless cabbie driver!

via tandeminlove.com

[strawberry lemon vodka lemonade!]

when we arrived, it was quickly apparent that old vegas was double the craziness of the strip. our eyes were getting whip lash from all the {discreet} gawking and weirdness swirling all around us. we slowly walked our way to the sushi restaurant and we were 100% entertained along the way. we finally made it to the restaurant {super cute and quaint place} and we were seated right away {we had reservations and we were early but it was not a problem…thank goodness because panda – aka johann – was hungry!}!

via tandeminlove.com

[old vegas & sushi]

via tandeminlove.com

[ready to manger manger!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[fremont street has gotten crazier!]

via tandeminlove.com

[people peddling for money]

via tandeminlove.com

[bright lights, lots of people, and pure craziness]

via tandeminlove.com

[need i say more?]

via tandeminlove.com

[the man in the diaper scared the crap out of hc, rightfully so and said. hahaha]

after we ate, we walked along freemont street again. it was so overwhelming and honestly, quite sad. so many ‘street’ acts were going on, waaaaaayyyyy too many children up too late and viewing a lot of nuttiness, it all really made my heart heavy. it was gritty, real, and definitely a world i am not often exposed to {i really don’t view myself as a sheltered person either}. but it was heartbreaking to see so many people doing what ever they could to make a buck and it was just a wee bit disturbing to me. after we spent some time in old vegas, we headed back to our hotel area and got ourselves some gelato and called it a night!

***

the next day, we were meeting liz, josh, and family at mon ami on the strip for brunch. before we met up, we stopped at giada for a drink! it was delicious. i had a prosecco sangria that was super yummy! we enjoyed the ambiance, decor, and the movie they were playing on the telly! i was totally sucked in…it was subtitled and fabulous. the movie was called nights of cabiria and i was in love.

after a few drinks at the bar, we headed out to mon ami for brunch and we were all on time! woo hoo! we were seated on the patio and got down to business with our order. i claimed the diy bloody mary bar, matt ordered a ginormous st. germain drink, and we ordered a bunch of apps to start with. it was fun and yummy. we had a great time with everyone as usual. you can’t beat eating, drinking, and amusing conversations.

via tandeminlove.com

[cheers! prosecco sangria…yum!]

via tandeminlove.com

[matt’s tall drink of choice]

via tandeminlove.com

[little brienne]

via tandeminlove.com

[their lovely alfresco dining area]

via tandeminlove.com

[lovely liz and her beautiful babe]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[delicious scallops]

via tandeminlove.com

[love these two]

after brunch, we all trekked back to liz and josh’s cars to head on out. one car went back to their house and the other car {us} went to a mall so josh could pick up stella’s birthday gift. while josh did that, we stopped by the yard house for {you guessed it!} another drink. heyyyyy, it’s vegas!

via tandeminlove.com

[the yard house]

via tandeminlove.com

[s’mores…you just can’t go wrong]

via tandeminlove.com

[liz and josh’s pool]

via tandeminlove.com

[stella, liz, josh, hc, matt, johann, and cheri]

we all then headed back to liz and josh’s house and ended up staying there the entire afternoon and evening until it was time for us to leave. liz cooked us dinner {tacos}, the boys hit the pool and drank whiskey, i hung out with the ladies, and in the end, we were all outside by the pool enjoying the warm evening.

it was another fabulous trip to vegas. hc and i had the best time hanging out with matt & johann. we love vacationing with them! we also loved that my brother and tashina were able to join us and we always love seeing liz and josh {notice the love theme here?!}. every single one of them are great people and we are so lucky to have them in our lives. we are so blessed!

xoxo

vegas part un

so, i couldn’t squeeze our vegas trip onto one post. it would have been waaaayyyyy too long! i think a two part story is just perfect. i must also say that i have been so behind on my posts. always too much to do with very little time!

we were so excited about our trip. we were looking forward to getting away and relaxing for a few days. it had been a bit since hc and i have had some time to ourselves {besides the random date nights – in which we need to get better at that too!}.

i’ll leave out the details but our flight there had a {not so great} layover so we spent our time at the bar {who doesn’t?!}, had a few cocktails and eats before we boarded our plane destined for sin city! during this time, i learned, from hc, how to properly order a ‘philly cheese’ steak sandwich and also they don’t call ’em philly cheese steaks either! you learn something new each day!

via tandeminlove.com

[just me and my louis]

via tandeminlove.com

[our view for a few hours]

via tandeminlove.com

[wiz with]

via tandeminlove.com

[cheers to layovers!]

via tandeminlove.com

[here we go!]

once we arrived in vegas, it was a series of events that started our fabulous get away off on the wrong foot! first, our or i should say my luggage took forever to show up! after waiting quite a bit to retrieve it, we finally got a cab to the hotel. our check in was smooth but once we walked into our hotel room, it totally stunk like smoke! ugh. just awful! hc called downstairs to complain but he didn’t get any real answers and no real solve for the problem.

they sent a gentleman up from housekeeping and all he did was empty out an aerosol can of scented spray into our room which made it worse {i couldn’t even breathe}!!! argh, i was fed up! that was it…i walked downstairs and inquired about why we couldn’t switch our room! after a long exchange of words, we didn’t get our room exchange {due to the nature of the rental} but we did get a credit!

hc and i finally settled in after a very long day and woke up to a beautiful, sunny, warm fabulous day! we had rented a cabana {something we do every time!} and we were ready to soak in the very bright sun and consume many delicious libations!

hc secured the cabana and johann was already down there by the time i had gotten ready and joined them. as i was relaxing, johann and hc went upstairs to get matt to join us and the party ensued! after a few hours, huy and tashina finally joined us! the last several years we have visited vegas, huy has been able to join us…we are lucky he’s so close! just a few hours of driving from l.a. and bam! you’re in vegas!

via tandeminlove.com

[my bro and his fiancé, tashina]

via tandeminlove.com

[delicious lobster eggs benedict]

via tandeminlove.com

[we loooooove our cabana time!]

via tandeminlove.com

[goofing around…poor matt got splashed by huy]

after hanging out at the pool all day, some dark clouds rolled in and we decided to call it quits at the pool. we traipsed our way back to our hotel room and got ready to head out for the evening. we cruised around the hotels to get to caesar’s forum shops {my favorite place to shop while in vegas} to pick up a few things for matt.

our final destination that evening was at the pamplemousse restaurant right off the strip. it’s a quirky, mysterious, dated french eatery that matt’s sister, liz, recommended. our cab ride there was the most obscene ride i have ever taken! like ever! we clung on for our dear lives! the cab driver sped down the boulevard as if he was in the indy 500 and blew e v e r y red light he hit. i don’t mean a light that had just turned yellow to red but a full blown red light! i think he went through four in a row and then as we neared the restaurant, he realized it was on the left side and proceeded to stop in the middle of the three lane street {mind you, without a signal on to notify the other drivers we needed to turn} as cars flew by us! oh em gee. we, obvs, made it there unscathed by the care of God.

via tandeminlove.com

[hanging at the grand gardens in bellagio]

via tandeminlove.com

[love these two]

via tandeminlove.com

[we looove starbucks! a chic looking starbucks in caesar’s forum]

via tandeminlove.com

pamplemousse was vintage, chic, and it felt like we were straight out of a movie. keifer, our server was a riot. pure delight. he totally made our evening, our meal. his personality was quirky and amusing. he told us the history of the restaurant, we played vegas trivia with him, and he was absolutely sweet and kind. we ordered the five course meal and every morsel was delicious. keifer insisted that we ordered the belgium chocolat mousse…he said it is made in true french style! oh, it was absolutely fabulous. perfect and sweet.

via tandeminlove.com

[getting ready to dine at pamplemousse]

via tandeminlove.com

[cutest couples ever]

via tandeminlove.com

[best crudites presentation]

via tandeminlove.com

[palette cleanser // sorbet with champagne]

via tandeminlove.com

[dining with the best: hc, liz, and josh]

via tandeminlove.com

[seriously. to die for decor in this place. vintage, funky, quirky, so vegas]

via tandeminlove.com

[pure french chocolate mousse // divine]

we loved, loved our experience at pamplemousse. it was entertaining, fun, delicious, and grande. we had the best time hanging out with the group and laughing with our fun server, keifer. i love exploring and reveling in such fun vegas finds!

xoxo

memorial day fun

i am, obvs, a bit behind on my blog posts and a bit out of order…oh well! life can get so busy, hectic, and time is so darn precious! but nevertheless, it’s always better late than never!

so, we were double booked on this beautiful, glorious day. we could’t have asked for better weather…it was sunshiny, warm, and the most perfect temperature. hc was chomping at the bit to drive the jeep. how could i say no? everything was in alignment to do so.
we were headed to marina and corey’s house for their going away party. yes, sad but true, they’re moving to boston. i’m so excited for their new adventure but super bummed they won’t be around town anymore.

we were the first guests to arrive. we wanted to get there as soon as we could because we had plans with hc’s parents as well! as soon as we pulled up, the boys were in awe over hc’s jeep! i told them that they could jump inside and they were all so excited!

we walked up and said our hello’s to marina, corey, and her parents – muma and poopie. i love them. i’ve known marina since 7/8th grade and pretty much have known her parents since then too. they are such good, sweet people. i could hang out with them all day!

via tandeminlove.com

[i love how i caught hc in the reflection of my sunglasses!]

via tandeminlove.com

[ready to party!]

via tandeminlove.com

[the kids were soooo excited to see hc’s jeep pulled up…they all jumped inside!]

via tandeminlove.com

[such a cute picture with tilly, that is dana in the background…she was so sweet with olive]

via tandeminlove.com

[me with the mrs. that is moving away…wahhhhh]

via tandeminlove.com

[i love these two…they are the sweetest]

slowly but surely, more guests started to arrive. we mingled, nibbled on random apps, and imbibed refreshing beverages. i couldn’t wait to meet miss amelie! i had not had the chance to meet the little beauty. oh, she’s sooooo sweet. such a little princess, just beautiful! of course i only had her in my arms for just a few minutes…miss olive found me and started to throw a little fit. she does not like babies in my arms! boo…i only had a few minutes with the babe but it definitely was wonderful for the few short moments!

via tandeminlove.com

[me and the beautiful amelie…she’s soooo precious]

via tandeminlove.com

[rich loving ben]

via tandeminlove.com

[the two cutest peeps]

via tandeminlove.com

after a few hours of hanging out, we had to go. we were super bummed…let me tell ya, we could have hung out there for the whole day. it was so great seeing everyone {love them all!} but alas, we had to get to our next engagement!

***

we cruised back home, switched out our cars, and jetted on up north to hc’s parent’s house {right off the river} to continue our memorial weekend fun. when we arrived, his parent’s were out on the boat so we put olive in the swing and she was a happy camper. that girl just loves the swing!

as soon as they came back, aunt wendy started grilling. we all hung out on the patio while the food was being cooked. olive was definitely having a fabulous time {she was super giddy to see her sister grace!}, she was at gramma and papa’s house, they love to spoil her by letting her do whatever she wants and feeding her lots of sugar!

via tandeminlove.com

[olive loving the swing]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[red white and blue]

via tandeminlove.com

[the fox river]

via tandeminlove.com

[pretzel sticks and yoohoo…so healthy!]

via tandeminlove.com

[missy, aunt wendy, and hc]

after we ate and had our desserts, we all just kind of chilled. olive was a hot mess. she was sweaty, sticky, and dirty…yuck! we gave her a quick bath there before we went home. baby girl was not going home like that!

it was such a fantastic day with everyone. we had the best time hanging out with our friends earlier and had so much fun hanging out with the fam later on in the evening. it was a perfect day…weather, people, and fun all rolled into one lovely time.

xoxo

ash wednesday

here weeee goooo! it’s the start of the lenten season!

wow…i felt like it just popped up on me. i was so unprepared. it was like boom! it’s time to fast {i’m hungry!}, reflect on our relationship with God, repentance, penitence, basically go back to square one and it came out of nowhere. literally. wednesday came and i was like whaaaaa? it’s ash wednesday?!

anyhoozle, this journey that we embark on every year is about cleansing our minds. it’s a time to think and pray. to challenge yourself to be better, give back, forgive, and think about, truly, how fulfilling your life is. it’s not the material items that complete you but your kind actions, kind words, and kind thoughts that should make your life fulfilling and complete.

annndd, then there’s the part of giving something up. the question is what? what will i give up that will really be impactful? it’s a decision that has so much weight to me. i think about the suffering that Jesus endured for 40 days and nights and it makes me feel like giving up anything is so minuscule! nevertheless, it’s a reminder for us, that even though what we give up is nothing compared to Jesus’ suffering, it our way to bring ourselves close to God.

every year, i love this time because it really challenges me to be a better person. to slow down and appreciate the life all around me. to love the people around me even more. to try, try, try again because i am not perfect. i will stumble and fall. i will get back up to try again to be at my best.

via tandeminlove.com

you are dust, and to dust you shall return genesis 3:19

doesn’t my ashy cross look more like a thumbprint?! ha.

i’m excited to embark on this season of lent. a time to renew myself, work on my commitments, and give back. cheers to a fulfilling and grateful lenten season.

xoxo