who i read wednesday

I haven’t been able to get into What I Ate Wednesday so I decided that I’d go another route tonight.  Recently, some of my good, real life friends have been getting into the blogging world and I wanted to share their blogs with you.

stinkandhincks

My good friends Sarah and Lindsey have start a blog called stinkandhincks.  Sarah is Stink and Lindsey is Hincks and they’ve grown up and left the Mitten (that’s Michigan for those of you who don’t know) and the blog features their exciting adventures in NYC and Cincinnatti.  They’re only a week into it but so far, it’s been highly entertaining plus, I love these girls so for me it’s a win-win to keep up with their daily happenings.  Seriously, you’ll love these two.

The Mode Life

The Mode Life is a blog that multiple women from in and around Michigan contribute to.  One of those contributors is my wonderful sister, Emily.  This week they posted her first entry and soon after, her second!  She has lots of wise things to say as do the rest of the ladies so read up.

The Smiths

Jess and Erik are some of my nearest and dearest friends and proud parents to little Owen who will be 1 year old on Saturday.  Since he was born they’ve been keeping us all up to date on his adventures, growth and irresistible cuteness through their blog.  Seriously, if you’re looking for a cute baby blog, this is the one.

Of course there are lots of other blogs that I read that are written by blog friends or by people I don’t know at all.  You can find these on my favorites page.

Do your friends blog?

What are some of your favorite blogs?

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my bachelorette party in pictures

My bachelorette party was yesterday.

Peach Jell-o shots are my new favorite, awesome contribution Mary!

This amazing spread was there to greet us in Chicago.

Em even made my favorite, pineapple pizza!

She decorated with pictures my friends sent her.  It was such a fun display to look at!

And she made sure everyone had a little gift.  Softlips is the best!

And she ordered empanadas as part of our Argentine feast at Tango Sur.

The food was amazing.  Just as good as the food we always ate in Argentina.  Chicken, ravioli and steak – beyond delicious.

Then we hit the bars.

And danced the night away.

What a great group of girls to say goodbye to singlehood with.

And then this morning…

We brunched.  Another fantastic meal.  Notice the Nutella on my pancake.  Heaven.

Thank you Emily for throwing an amazing bachelorette.  Every single thing was perfect and every detail so well thought out.  It was everything I could have hoped for.  I’m so grateful to my sister and all of my friends who took the time to travel to Chicago and celebrate with me.  I loved every minute.

If this weekend was any indication of how much fun we’re going to have at the wedding, I can hardly wait.  It’s going to be a riot.

What are some of your favorite memories with friends?


lovely saturday

This morning I was the guest of honor at a brunch shower thrown by some of Todd’s mom’s friends.  She has many friends who have been in her life for a long time and it was so sweet of them to throw the shower.  We had a great time getting to know each other over brunch and the brunch was delicious to boot.

Fruit salad, egg casserole, yogurt with fresh berries and granola, scones and baked french toast made for a perfect brunch.

After breakfast we shared some stories and then opened gifts.  Once again, I’m blown away by everyone’s generosity.  It’s really been amazing.

(My mom and I at the shower)

It was a really lovely way to kick off my Saturday.

After the shower, I drove to Portland, MI to meet up with my friend, Jess and have a snack with her and deliver her bridesmaid’s dress.  Jessica lives in Eaton Rapids which is about an hour and a half away so we don’t get to see each other as much as we’d like.  It’s always great to catch up and hear about her life and her sweet son, Owen.  He’s such a cutie!

(Jess and I as bridesmaids at our friend, Sarah’s wedding)

After chatting for awhile we headed back to our respective homes.  She’s attending my Chicago bachelorette party in two weeks and I’m so glad that she (and all of the other girls) are making the trip for it.

This was a very busy week for me, I didn’t make it home before 9:00pm any night and right now, I am sitting.  And relaxing.  I was going to cook dinner but I think I’ll just eat hummus and crackers for dinner, because I can.  All in all, a lovely Saturday.

How are you spending your weekend?

east side adventure

Today was a super Sunday.  It’s opening weekend at Comerica Park in Detroit so Todd and I went with some friends to the Tigers’ game today.  It was seriously the most perfect day.  All week they had been calling for rain but this afternoon the sun was shining and, believe it or not, it was hot.  I love warm weather and I did not mind the 80 degree weather at all.  I was so happy just to be outside on such a gorgeous day.

Of course, ballpark food is always one of my favorite parts of game days.  I had a hot dog, an ice cold lemonade and split a bag of peanuts with Todd.  Exactly the right combo.

The Tigers lost to the Royals today but it was so much fun to spend the day at the game, enjoying our friends and the beautiful day.

After the game, Todd and I went to IKEA to look for some things for our newlywed apartment.  We’re moving May 1st, the Sunday before our wedding so we thought it would be a good idea to pick up a few things before then so the apartment would be a little more ready for us post-honeymoon.

When we were done there we met up with our friends Justin and Krista for dinner at The Prickly Pear Cafe in Ann Arbor.  They had been at the game with us but were all the way down the row so it was really nice to be able to catch up with them over dinner.

After eating my fair share of chips and salsa, I decided on the Vegetarian Sweet Potato Enchiladas.  I really like sweet potatoes so I couldn’t pass this dish up and I’m so glad I didn’t, it was delicious!

I don’t really think of sweet potato as a Mexican food and I love when Mexican restaurants offering interesting choices with unique ingredients.  Oh and the squash salsa on top was a great addition.  Good work, Prickly Pear!

Today was a really nice day.  It’s always good to get out town and spend time with friends, we were lucky to spend the first gorgeous day of the year together.  And honestly, it was nice to have a day where I wasn’t thinking of or doing anything for the wedding.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the planning and preparation process but it was nice to step away from that for a whole day as well.

I hope everyone else had an awesome Sunday and that it was nice and warm wherever you are!

How did you spend this amazing day?

What are you favorite ballpark eats?

whirlwind weekend in chattanooga and homemade pretzels

I had such a full weekend, long post ahead!

After a wonderful, whirlwind trip to Chattanooga to celebrate Jen and Evan’s wedding I am back home.  When I arrived in Chattanooga, Sarah picked me up from the airport and met up with the other bridesmaids leaving me the rest of the sunny, gorgeous, 75 degree day exploring Chattanooga.

 

First things first, I went to find a snack.  I stopped at Niedlov’s Breadworks, an adorable bakery right downtown.

 

I ate a delicious, buttery chocolate-filled croissant and made a plan for the day.  As I was sitting there I noticed a real live knitting club was meeting there, how cute and southern is that?  After my snack I headed towards the riverside area where there are a lot of restaurants, bars, an aquarium and an outdoor flea market.  The whole area was bustling and lively and was the perfect place to soak up the sun.  One of my favorite things is discovering a new place and I love to just take my time and poke around town, Chattanooga definitely did not disappoint.

 

After my tour of Chattanooga, I headed up to Lookout Mountain where our B&B was located.  There were such amazing views of the city from the mountain.  After checking in, I did a 20-minute yoga session in our room.  This was the frist time that I’d ever done yoga without an instructor and I felt pretty good about it.  I definitely prefer to have an instructor there, guiding me through my practice but it’s good to know that practicing at home on days that I can’t make class is an option.  It felt good to take that time out to do something good for my body in the midst of so much food and celebration.  Oh yoga, you make me smile.

 

Jen and Evan’s wedding was such a great event.  The venue was in Lookout Mountain, Georgia and had a gorgeous view of Chattanooga.  Her dad performed the ceremony which was very touching.  I couldn’t help but think about my own upcoming wedding during the ceremony and that made it even more special, I can’t wait to marry Todd in just 6 weeks.  Congratulations Jen and Evan, I’m so happy for you two!

 

The B&B that Sarah and I stayed at was called the Garden Walk Inn, and our friends Debbie and Andy stayed there as well.

We all had breakfast together this morning.  They served baked peach french toast which was amazing!  I’m going to have to find a recipe to try at home.

Look at all of that whipped cream, almond goodness!

After breakfast we said goodbye to Debbie and Andy and then Sarah and I made our way to Atlanta to catch our respective flights home.  Like I said, a whirlwind trip!

Todd picked me up at the airport and we headed home where he had dough waiting to make homemade soft pretzels.  Todd used a WikiHow recipe to make the dough.  We rolled out the dough by hand, it reminded me of my preschool days when I would make worms out of play-dough, it was exactly the same technique!  We then shaped the pretzels which was surprisingly challenging, the dough would fall apart if it wasn’t moist enough but the work was worth it.

After coating the pretzels with the baking soda mixture and an egg wash we sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar, sea salt or sesame seeds and then popped them in the oven.

Ten minutes later we had delicious, soft, hot pretzels!

I was amazed at how good they were!  We made some pretzel nuggets too and those were even better.  They were exactly the right consistency, just as good as any pretzel stand.  What a fun and tasty way to spend a Sunday evening!

 

I definitely had a great weekend.  It combined so many of my favorite things: weddings, friends, spending time with Todd, sun, food, new places.  Just lovely!

 

Where was your last weekend away?

What was the best new place you’ve recently discovered?

 

one saturday, two showers

Yesterday I was lucky enough to be the guest of honor at not one but two bridal showers.  How lucky am I!?  Well, I should point out, one bridal shower and one couples shower where Todd had a place as co-guest of honor.

Custom wine labels - one of many special touches at the shower.

My first shower was hosted by my aunts and sister for all of the ladies on my mom’s side of the family.  As if being able to spend the room with a group of women who I love and have helped shape me from a young age weren’t enough, my Aunt Lori, Aunt Judi and Em went all out to make the shower really special.  Lunch was amazing, a beautiful smorgasbord of chicken pot pie, salad, fruit kebabs (expertly skewered by the youngest shower attendee, my cousin Claire) and decadent desserts.  We played a game where we had to attempt to match up couples’ wedding photos with their 50th anniversary pictures.  It was fun, really challenging and a great reminder of where Todd and I are aiming – we’ll be celebrating our golden anniversary in no time!  We wrapped up the afternoon with a wine tasting that featured wines from places that mean something to me: Argentina, Spain and Northern Michigan.  All of the little details like that made the day so special, I loved every minute of it.  My talented photographer cousin, Rebecca, was in charge of capturing the day on film and I can’t wait to see and share her shots!

In between showers, I meant to bake a batch of the Cookies and Cream cupcakes I found at howsweeteats.com the other day but Em and I ran some errands and also, out of time.  Thankfully, Todd is amazing so he whipped up a double batch of them so we’d have dessert at the shower.  They turned out so delicious, the frosting tasted just like Oreo cream, yummy!

Cookie and Cream Cupcakes!

Our second shower was hosted by my maid of honor and sister, Emily along with Todd’s best man, Travis.  Todd’s parents graciously lent us their house for the night and let us take it over with about 25 friends.  It was great for our friends to intermingle and get to know each other and so fun to have an excuse to get everyone together.  Dinner was my favorite, pizza – yum!  We spent the night chatting, eating, playing Todd and Kate trivia and just enjoying time together.  I feel so lucky to have such a great group of friends support us and I’m so lucky to have my sister as my maid of honor.  She is so generous and thoughtful, I couldn’t ask for anything better.  Thanks to all of our friends for their generous gifts and spending the evening with us.

What was the best part of your bridal shower?