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Embrace October!

September 27, 2011

My “Embrace October” List…

31  Things to do for 31 excellent October days!

1.Re-read Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone

**a little witchcraft & wizardry to get into that halloween spirit!**

2.Celebrate marathon season by actually RUNNING one

**the culmination of all that summer training!** I did it!!! Nike Womens’ Marathon on 10/16/2011!!!

3.Stock up on some turtlenecks

**my fall & winter staple, loving these tissue ones from JCrew…** 10/5/2011, in some basic colors

4.Commit to a color scheme for our wedding

**why is this nearly impossible???**

5.Indulge in some of my favorite “fun-size” Halloween Candy

** ”fun-size” being the operative word here** It’s not even Halloween, and I have accomplished this to the 1,000th degree.

6.Watch “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown”

**I love me some peanuts characters**

7.Stroll around Lincoln Park on a crisp morning

**a leisurely stroll to explore corners of the park that I have not yet discovered**

8. Make Cinnamon Brownies

**The thought of these is making my mouth water…**


9.Celebrate at a Cousin’s wedding in Philadelphia

**It is going to be GORGEOUS!** So much fun on 10/8/2011!

10.Enjoy my favorite parts of San Francisco

**after running the marathon** Such a wonderful weekend in SF with my sister & her bf! Even got to see the wonderful Lindsay Meyer!

11.Go for a fall foliage run in Valley Green Park in Philadelphia

**fits right in with the marathon training plan** This didn’t happen 😦 Replaced with marathon training runs through Chicago!

12.Carve a pumpkin

**bought carving tools on clearance last year, now it’s time to use them!**

13.Browse the Halloween section at Target

**Target gets me every time**

14.Watch “You’ve Got Mail”

** This movie just FEELS like AUTUMN!**

15.Read “Neverwhere” by Neil Gaiman

** I’ve started it, and it’s feeling spooky. Perfect for Halloween month** Finished this (sadly!). SUCH a good book!

16.Find a new pair of live-in jeans

**aka – the jeans I will not take off until next summer**

17.Browse the Lincoln Park Green City Market (with a hot cider in hand)

**must embrace living next door to this before I move in May**

18.Take advantage of free cupcakes at Sprinkles

**Working next door to Sprinkles + a daily cupcake giveaway announced on twitter is a deadly combination** Too many times, too many times…

19.Pick & Follow a few Fall television shows

**Must decide which new shows I’m going to add to my list**

20.Attend some fun, but *cheesy* wedding events & expos

**I have no reason to attend these as we can’t use Chicago vendors, but two words gets me – cake samples**

21.Pack up summer clothes & other summer things and put them in storage [L]

**get ahead of moving in May NOW by packing throughout the year**

22.Re-Do my budget [again]

**nothing makes me feel more organized than having a perfectly clean budget**

23.Celebrate future sister-in-law’s 30th birthday!

**party time!** Suprise party on 10/2/2011!

24.Break the trench coat out & wear as much as possible!

** this city gets about 2 days of trench coat weather, must enjoy it!**

25.Eat an apple cider donut

**self explanatory** 10/2/2011 at the Long Grove Apple Festival

26.Do a closet clean out & donate clothes to goodwill

**already cleaned out the drawers & have 3 huge bags that need a good home**

27.Watch a movie in Spanish

**because my mind misses the study of foreign languages**

28.Celebrate APPLES: Either at a festival, or you-pick farm

**most likely at an apple festival in the North Suburbs that looks enticing** 10/2/2011 at the Long Grove Apple Festival

29.Create a game plan to look good in wedding dress in 11 months

**not looking forward to this, but must start early!**

30.Make an apple pie

**with apples from the apple festival perhaps!**

31.Find a florist for our wedding

**this is incredibly impossible, as I am too indecisive**


Book Review: Bossypants

September 26, 2011

"Bossypants" by Tina Fey

First of all, I had NO idea that Tina Fey grew up outside of Philadelphia. I discovered this while reading her book, and it made me incredibly happy.

Secondly, I don’t think that i’ve EVER laughed so hard in my entire life, at least not while reading a book. This book left me laughing OUT LOUD in many public places, including many a CTA bus. If you ride the bus with me, i’m sorry for alarming you first thing in the morning with my consistent laughter! If you haven’t picked this book up yet, i’d highly suggest you do it ASAP.



Some Favorite Things

September 21, 2011
The following is a hodepodge listing of what i’m seriously loving right now:
1- We Are Not Martha’s Quinoa & Black Bean Salad

photo via We Are Not Martha

Recipe here.. I have been making this very religiously on Sundays and bringing a bowl to work for lunch each day. It’s OH so good, and I have found myself quite addicted. It’s refreshing, filling, and HEALTHY! Also – I can’t forget that it’s a pinch to throw together. 

2- Pimm’s Cup

photo via

 Recipe here.I am not a big drinker, but when I do have a cocktail, I love my gin. Maybe i’m a bit out of the loop, but I had NO clue that Pimm’s No. 1 is gin based! Well, I discovered this fact a few weeks ago, and now i’m obsessed (unfortunately too late, as it’s considered a summer drink). I’ve made a mental note to find a way to make this a signature drink at our wedding in some way, shape, or form.  

3- My Erin Condren Wedding Planner

photo via erin condren

 (obviously my planner does not say Jason & Samantha…) The planner can be purchased here.

After doing quite a bit of browings in bookstores & online, I had come to the realization that I was not going to find a wedding planner that I liked. I searched high & low, but all I could find were:

– frou frou planners with WAY too much writing and too little space for filling in details. I don’t want to carry around some huge binder tied with a ribbon and covered in lace  in my purse every single day.

– basic notebooks with no help on the organization front – just simple blank pages. 

I knew that I wanted some combination of the two, something that would help me keep track of dates & appointments like a typical day planner, but with some wedding flair. This is EXACTLY why I fell in love with the Erin Condren wedding planner. It is totally customized – everything from the monthly calendars that are included in the planner (it’s not based on a calendar year, it starts from your month of purchase), to the personalized stickers & gift tags. I chose not to add a picture – I wanted something a little more discreet in case I had to pencil something in at work or something. 

4- The Stick

photo via

Can be purchased here. The fiance gave this to me for my birthday after watching me fall in love with it over and over again at far too many race expos. I have been experiencing some serious IT band pain lately as a result of marathon training, and this little gem has been quite the lifesaver. It hurts so good, and I can definitely feel a difference when I use this after a run, and when I don’t.

Engagement Pictures (Part 3)

September 20, 2011

Because it was there, and we had to………………………..

Engagement Pictures (Part 2)

September 13, 2011

Round Two! 🙂

Engagement Pictures (Part 1)

September 12, 2011

While my sister was in Chicago over Labor Day weekend for the (later deemed unnecessary) dress shopping extravaganza, I was hoping that she could snap a few shots of Andrew & I, because she’s pretty good at doing that picture thing. We talked about taking some photos that featured our favorite places in Chicago (the lake, Lincoln Park, etc.), so that we can later find a way to tie our love for Chicago into our Philadelphia wedding!

The idea of casually taking a few pictures around the city on Sunday turned into a full blown engagement photo-shoot. Although I was originally opposed to the idea of engagement pictures, it didn’t take much to convert me. I LOVE these photos, especially how the city looks in every single one Thank You to my sister for putting up with us and capturing some great scenes!

I’m going to post my favorites in 3 posts, as I have no ability to edit (whatsoever), and hate making decisions 🙂

Book Review: The Help

September 8, 2011

"The Help" by Kathryn Stockett

 Although I somewhat missed the boat when this book first came out, I made sure to read this book on the beach so that i’d be ready to see the movie. It was the perfect beach read: charming characters, thought provoking, hilarious at parts, and depressing at others.

I’m glad that it’s currently on my book shelf, because it’s definitely a book that i’d like to revisit in the future.

I also thought that the movie was wonderful, maybe it helped that I saw the previews before I read the book, but i thought that the casting was dead on for each character!