Thanks for being so patient with my non-blogging over the past two weeks. Things have been a little crazy at our house... I have a new job!!!
It will be hard to leave my kiddos at Leadership Scholars, but I have an exciting new opportunity that I'm just totally over the moon about. I'll be joining 4C for Children as their Director, Development.
4C is our region’s pioneering leader, advocate and resource for high-quality early childhood education and care—and has won many, many awards for being an outstanding place to work.
My last day at Leadership Scholars will be July 6, and my first day at 4C will be July 16. Do you know what that means?? A STAYCATION in between! A full week with no work and responsibilities... Pinterest crafts, here I come!
Hopefully I'll be back to my regular blogging schedule, but be patient with me if I'm not. The next month is going to be a bit crazy for me!
My little sister Beth graduated last weekend from Ohio University. She is a rock star... she majored in fashion merchandising and started her first "big girl" job this week at Abercrombie's corporate headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. I am so proud of her!!
My family. Love.
Beth and our parents
I love this picture. She was so hot and kept calling this her cape.
Gramma is so cute!!
Aunt Barb, Beth, and Andrea
My sweet baby sista
Nick (Beth's boyfriend), Beth, me, Zac, Ryan (Em's boyfriend), Emily, Andrea
This is my every day.
We still count as newlyweds, right??
Andrea was jealous she didn't have a boyfriend with her... if she did, she would have kissed him like this.
Today marks six months since I started running again. It's hard to believe it's been that long, but it also feels like I've been doing it forever.
Those babies just finished a 30 minute run...
A few things I've learned in six months of (almost) weekly running:
Running in January is much preferable over running in June. It's HOT.
You should buy extra socks in case your dog eats them out of the laundry basket - more than once.
If you take a week or two off on accident, you will notice a difference in your body.
Running burns calories and lets you eat more and yummy, bad for you things, but it is not a license to eat only those things for long periods of time. Trust me.
After you finish Couch to 5K, it's harder to stay motivated.
One of my favorite parts is running by little kids who yell, "I like your dog, lady!"
It's easier to run when I have more time... sort of like everything else.
I wish I had taken before, during, and after pictures of my body for days when I get discouraged.
Six months in, I still don't love running, and I'm not sure I ever will. I don't mind it though, and I love what it does for my body and my health. I love that it forces me outside and that it's good for my sweet puppy. I'm planning to stick with it!
who is the very best dad I ever could have asked for. He's amazing. This man was meant to be the father of girls, and would have been totally wasted on sons. He's thoughtful, comforting, available, supportive, and just plain wonderful.
My father-in-law is pretty amazing, too...
and I sure do love my Papa.
I'm a pretty lucky girl to have so many wonderful, loving, supportive men in my life. Happy Father's Day to all of the wonderful dads who put band-aids on boo-boos, coach soccer games, pick up the pieces of broken hearts, and serve as their children's biggest cheerleaders.
I have a snobby confession to make: I think I'm a super awesome pinner. So much so, in fact, that I'm worried that you don't follow me on Pinterest and you might have missed out on some of my awesome pins.
So I'm going to share some of them with you here, too. Hope that's okay with you!!
Asparagus goat cheese pasta. Yes, please.
Sixteen ideas for food bars for parties. So cute.
A jar to write fun memories on throughout the year. Open them on New Year's Eve.
What a fun family tradition!
A love map! Where you met, where you got married, and where you live now.
I don't know how to make this sweet thing but I'm going to have to figure it out!
Strength workout. I did half of it and couldn't walk for two days. Victory.
This might be my favorite quilt of all time. I need to make this!
Last night I was having one of those nights. The kind of night where I was in a funk. I hate those nights. I was torn between acknowledging my feelings and allowing myself to just feel off for awhile, and also mad at myself for dwelling on problems that are so minor in the grand scheme of life. Like... so minor.
In an attempt to shake my funk, I decided to make some comfort food. You heard me right - I made it. Like, I cooked it myself. Zac didn't even help. Are you impressed?
He was actually at a Cincinnati Reds game with his dad and brother. Him being gone usually goes something like this:
Zac: "Tomorrow I'm going to go to a Reds game with my dad and brother."
Me: "Cool! That will be fun for you guys." Fast forward 24 hours.
Me: "I am super starving and have no idea what to make for dinner because I never cook."
See what I mean about my minor problems? Embarrassingly minor.
Anyway... I headed over to trusty Pinterest to look for a comfort foody recipe to make. Enter creamy tomato pasta. Nothing too fancy, but it did involve at least a little bit of effort!
Alfredo Sauce: 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 2 teaspoons flour 3/4 cup whole milk 1/4 cup half & half 2 garlic cloves peeled and crushed 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 pound farfalle or other short cut pasta
Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.
Start the tomato sauce. bring a large pot of water to boil. score the bottom of the tomatoes, blanch in the boiling water for about a minute, cool and peel. discard skins. roughly chop tomatoes and set aside.
In a small saucepan, sweat the minced onion and garlic in about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium low heat for about 5 minutes, until soft.
Add the tomatoes to the onion and garlic. if you want a thin sauce like mine, blend the sauce with an immersion blender. cook about 15 minutes until thickened.
While the tomato sauce thickens, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions.
While the pasta and tomato sauce are cooking, make the alfredo sauce. melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. whisk in the flour until smooth and cook about 2 minutes, until brown.
Whisk in the milk, half & half, and garlic and season with salt & pepper. continuously whisking, bring to a simmer and cook about 2 minutes until thickened. fish out the garlic with a slotted spoon and discard.
Whisk in the parmesan. the sauce will be very thick, so add 1/3 cup of the hot pasta cooking water to the alfredo sauce to thin it out a bit. remove from heat.
Drain the pasta and add to the alfredo sauce.
Mix the basil into the tomato sauce and add the tomato sauce to the pasta. mix well.
I should mention that I did NOT make my own tomato sauce - we didn't have enough tomatoes and who am I kidding? I never cook... when I do, it probably won't be to make tomato sauce from scratch! It was delicious though, and definitely did a wonder on my funky mood. A bowl (and a little more) of this later and I was feeling much better about the state of the world.
My friend Vicki threw the most gorgeous birthday party for her sweet daughter Lucia, and as soon as I saw the pictures, I was begging her to let me share it with you. You might want to sit down for this -- it's incredible. Vicki and her husband adopted Lucia, and became her forever family earlier this year. I don't think I've ever met a happier, more loving family before. They're incredible.
And Lucia is one of the cutest babies I've ever seen. But I digress.
These were the outdoor decorations. How sweet! Vicki said Lucia's favorite part was the pinwheels!
Did you notice the rainbow flower boxes in the picture above? I know. Totally exquisite.
Absolutely everything was rainbow. And adorable.
Vicki made the sweetest garland with the weekly pictures she's been taking of Lucia. How cool is that??
This girl thought of everything.
The sweet dessert table... pun totally intended.
How cute are these??
How fun is this kid's craft table set up with pony beads, coloring, and fruit loop lollipops?
Vicki didn't miss a single detail. She is so adorable.
Even Mom and Dad dressed for the occasion! And seriously - how cute is that baby?!?
Is this not the cutest, most wonderful first birthday party you've ever seen? I love all of Vicki's homemade touches and the small details that absolutely pull everything together (um, flower boxes? To die for).
Happy birthday, sweet Lucia! Thanks to Vicki for letting me share the details of this gorgeous party. I told her she should go into business - I would totally hire her!
Our decorating projects are always a compromise and collaboration. It usually starts with me having an idea, Zac throwing in his two cents, and then us settling on a design or idea that's a mix of both. It usually works out well for us, and we end up liking our compromise idea better than either original.
The cool thing about planning a bedroom remodel is that every night as we laid in bed we ended up brainstorming ideas. You might remember that our bedroom has two closets. One night, Zac suggested that we add some cool letters above the closets that said "his" and "hers." To be honest, I wasn't on board at first. No one goes into these closets but us, and we know whose is whose.
The idea started to grow on me, though. I looked up getting the metal letters from Antropologie.... but $18 a piece? Yikes. It was time to go all DIY on this project.
We started with these paper mache letters from Hobby Lobby. At $2.47 a pop, they were a steal. We went with the paper mache version because they were thicker and stand off from the wall a little bit, plus we liked the font. They had flatter wood letters also.
We took a gamble on the Krylon metallic spray paint - we weren't sure how it was actually going to look on the letters. The verdict? What else in my house can be spray painted metallic???
Beautiful, and not even close to finished. We did one coat on each letter and made sure to get the sides, but that's it. We went inside thinking it would need a second coat later, but when we saw this we knew we would be fine.
Isn't that spray paint amazing? It must have other uses in my house - anything that isn't as shiny metal as I want it to be!
We took the letters upstairs and attached them to the wall with poster gum. They are really light, and there wasn't a good way to use nails to hang them. I did have a flashback to being in 8th grade and using poster gum to hang N*SYNC posters on my walls. Oh, the memories.
Here's a close up of my letters. Can you tell they aren't metal? The light even reflects the way it would if they were really metal.
Here's a shot of them over my closet....
and over Zac's. I love the textured element the silver adds to our greyish/blue and white color scheme. They look fantastic, and they've been up for two weeks and haven't fallen down yet. You've gotta love that poster gum.
What do you think? Would you be fooled into thinking they are the real deal? And most importantly, what else can I spray with the metallic spray paint??
Click HERE to see the blog parties where I'm linking!