Things I’d Like to Learn to Do

On Tuesday Stephanie posted about vintage skills and it got me thinking… there are a handful of things I’d really like to improve or learn. And since I’m a blogger I figured the next step in my education would be publicly sharing those things with you.

Grow a garden.
My parents are awesome at growing and tending to vegetables and flowers. I hated the outside chores when I was a kid so I didn’t bother learning anything from them. But now I’m feeling that grow-it-yourself vibe and I’ve decided I want a gorgeous garden.

I’m going to start small. I’ve planted some indoor seeds already (and they grew!!) and soon K is going to build me a table garden like this one for the backyard. Right, dear?

…these are called seedlings, right? Pumpkins, zucchini, tomatoes, & peppers!

Learn Improve my German.
I have a very basic understanding of German. I took three years of it in high school but the only words/phrases that have stuck over the years have been the things my mom taught us before we went to Switzerland when I was 7. Numbers, yes and no, please and thank you, hello, goodbye, I love you, etc. (well, not the word et cetera…).

Play an instrument.
I spent 4 years playing saxophone and then five years behind mallet instruments (marimba, vibraphone, xylophone). And then I stopped playing music. I don’t know that I’ll ever get back into it, but I wish I had some piano skills- and it’s depressing that my ability to read music has suffered since I stopped performing.

Improve my sewing.
I have ZERO excuses. My aunt owns a fabric shop, offers different lessons and retreats and workshops multiple times a week, and she BOUGHT me a sewing machine. She’s amazing and she can literally make anything out of anything. I need to tap into that resource and spend some time with her.

Last time I went to her weekend retreat she (and my mom) helped me make this Halloween apron!

Decorate cakes.
My grandma and my husband’s cousin and my mother-in-law’s best friend are all star cake decorators. I’m not shy when it comes to baking or cooking new things, but the last step- the decorating- almost always frustrates me.

Down the street from my house there is an adult education building where they teach cake decorating. This one feels like a no-brainer…

Five seems like a good number to end on, right? Considering I’ve been trying to make ice cream for 9 months I think learning these skills will carry me into retirement. Lol

What are some new skills or hobbies you’re hoping to try? Any tips for me on these five??


Spread a Little Sunshine…

When I first started blogging I got nominated for the Sunshine Award that floats around blogland every few months/years. I think it’s a cute little award because a) it means some blogger somewhere is thinking of you & your blog and b) you get to answer some tag questions (and who doesn’t enjoy that?!). Anyway, Bev from Confuzzledom tagged me for the award a few weeks ago ❤︎

sunshine blogger

The rules are… thank the blogger who tagged ya, answer your 11 questions, ask 11 more bloggers 11 new questions, and display the Sunshine Award. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

1) What is the best book you’ve read so far in 2018?
My two 5 star books of the year so far are HP & the Chamber of Secrets, which was a reread, and Three Dark Crowns.

2) If you could have any animal as a pet what would it be?
(In this imaginary scenario you have the perfect conditions to keep it happy and healthy and there is no danger of being eaten.)
Let’s be real… probably a fox. But I also would love to have a hawk. I think they’re stunning. And also a wolf. And a mountain lion. Pretty much any animal… (I’m a firm believer in letting wildlife be wild. I know you can own foxes and hawks. I never will.)

3) What food could you happily eat every day?
Ice cream. Rice. Chips & salsa. Not together, of course.

4) What is your favourite thing about the place you live?
I like the size of my town. I also love all the hills, trees, and farmland on the outskirts of town. And I love living in the Midwest.

5) Where were you born?
Born & raised in Ohio.

6) Are you eating or drinking anything right now?
Coffee, per usual. Lol

7) What is one talent you wish you had?
I wish I could play the piano. I also wish I could speak another language (German) fluently. Technically those are both things I could work on…

8) Do you have a favourite board game?
It used to be Life, but I really like any board game. Clue is another fav. And Trivial Pursuit. K hates playing board game, though.

9) What is your favourite thing about blogging?
All the friends I’ve made. I also love the creative outlet.

10) What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Probably chocolate covered crickets in 6th grade biology. But I’ve also had snails, turtle soup, alligator bites, and a small piece of a dog treat. *shrug*

11) If you won a large sum of money, what’s the first thing you would do?
In this order… buy land in the country and open a no kill shelter/sanctuary for dogs & cats & farm animals, build Kyle a large garage and let him fill it with cars he loves, pay off debt for my parents, in-laws, and siblings.

Those were fun! Thanks again, Bev!!

Eleven bloggers is a lot to tag so I’m going to nominate/tag some friends who I know enjoy questions like these. But please play along, too, if you want to answer them! Don’t be shy!

Alright Tanya (A Mindful Migration) & Stephanie (Not Entirely Perfect) & Rebecca Jo (Knit by God’s Hand) & Nadine (Life by Nadine Lynn), here are your questions:

1) If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with that time?
2) If you were transported to another decade, which decade would you choose?
3) What’s something you wish you knew more about?
4) Would you rather live in a castle, mountain cottage, seaside bungalow, or Beverly Hills mansion?
5) What’s a food that you hated as a kid and love as an adult?
6) Are there any “mythical creatures” (big foot, unicorns, ghosts) that you believe in?
7) What is something about you that people think is weird?
8) If you had to move out of your city/town, where would you choose to live?
9) What’s your favorite television channel?
10) What is your favorite dessert food?
11) What’s your favorite kind of writing to do? (i.e. blog post, creative, letter, etc.)

If you ladies don’t want to answer the questions I will definitely not be heartbroken 🙂 All for fun.

The Bridesmaid Diaries

I’m not sure how things work with the men, but the ladies’ side of a wedding party can get nuts. (I’m pretty sure most men smuggle in flasks, make jokes about it “not being too late to run…”, and bitch about uncomfortable rental shoes.) If you’ve ever been in a bridal party maybe you’ve experience these types of women:

The takes-herself-too-seriously maid/matron of honor. You can reach out and ask if she needs help, but Ashley has everything taken care of. She’s even stuck personalized labels on all 87 water bottles at the bridal shower. If you need anything you can get a hold of her with the number she printed on the bottom of the ‘day-of’ itinerary she passed out at the rehearsal dinner.

The I’m-over-it maid/matron of honor. Excited at first, but then fully consumed by med school. She let the bridesmaids plan the bridal shower, took the bride to a dive bar for the bachelorette party, and she forgot her shoes on the day of the wedding. You know she and the bride are never speaking again after the big day.

The I-should-be-the-maid-of-honor bridesmaid. After the maid of honor gives her speech, Victoria stands to give hers. At the shower she low-key takes charge and rolls her eyes at the streamers and balloon hung by the m.o.h. And dress shopping? She will literally claw your eyes out to sit between the bride and the bride’s mother.

The flower girl/ring bearer’s mom bridesmaid. Raising kids is tough work and she’s been a little absent from the pre-wedding festivities. (Hell, y’all didn’t bother inviting her to the bachelorette party.) Getting kids to behave and perform at a wedding after getting their hair done, missing their nap, and strapping them into an itchy dress is damn near impossible. Someone get this woman a medal and a dirty martini at the reception.

The shit-show bridesmaid. Sometimes she responds to the group chat, sometimes she doesn’t. The bride bought her bridesmaid dress just to ensure she’d have it in time for the wedding. Her phone is dead 75% of the time, she’s late for every get together, and you’re pretty sure she came to the bridesmaid brunch in pajamas. For whatever reason, the bride keeps her around.

The friend-since-elementary-school bridesmaid. Since she still lives in the same town as the bride, she’s available and present at every event. As long as she has time to schedule off from her nursing job at the hospital, Lanie can show up to any event and help with any last minute details. Plus the bride’s parents just love her.

The college-friend bridesmaid. With a million inside jokes fresh on her mind, she’s always throwing out a quip that makes the bride laugh and give her that, ‘I’m glad you’re here’ look. Unfortunately, the open bar and single groomsman at the reception are her #1 focus as the night progresses.

The new-friend-bridesmaid. Having only met a year ago through work, this hip chick and the bride have bonded over girls’ nights out, monthly book club, and Sunday coffee dates. Will the friendship will last forever? Who knows. The wedding pictures will, though.

The sister-of-the-groom bridesmaid. While you’re sure she loves (or will grow to love) the bride, we all know she’s working her tail off trying to keep her beloved brother happy and put together. She’ll ensure that the whole show runs smoothly and on-time for the sake of her parents’ friends (a.k.a. the wedding guests).

The girlfriend-of-the-bride’s-brother bridesmaid. Let’s be real, Kelsey doesn’t give a shit about the wedding, the bride, or the nuptials. She just wants to hit up the open bar at dinner. She’s only been with the bride’s brother for 7 months and you’re pretty sure they’re on a break right now anyway, but it was too late to kick her out.

*Please pick up on the satire here. While I’m sure I’ve described some bridesmaids to a T, I’ve stood next wonderful people in weddings and don’t condone categorizing people into such general boxes 😉 I’m also a strong girls support girls advocate so, ya know, this is all in fun.

But also… one of these sounds familiar, right? Maybe you even identify as one. Haha. I know I do…

First and Foremost

Hi! I missed y’all 🙂 Coming back strong with a fun little “firsts” tag that I borrowed from Stephanie! I was driving my parents nuts with all these, “What was my first xyz…?” questions.

What was your first word? My mom thinks it was “Nan.” My dad and his siblings called their grandma (my great-grandma) Nan. According to the story I was told, I tried to call my dad’s mom Nan. Since that was bound to get confusing, I was forced to figure out a different name. Some how the term “Numna” (num-nuh) came about. And that’s what everyone has called my grandma since I could talk. Yay for being grandkid #1!
Do you still talk to your first love?  Not really. We’re Facebook friends and I see him around maybe once a year, but I don’t go out of my way to talk to him.

What was your first alcoholic drink?  Wine coolers. I’d tasted my parents’ beer/wine before, but my first intentional just-for-me drink was a wine cooler.

What was your first job?  My first real collect-a-paycheck job was at Quiznos. And after a month I got fired. Lol

First pet?  Bruno, who was a very good boy.

What was your first car? My darling yellow Volkswagen Beetle. His name was Lenny and I totaled him four years and three days after I got him.

Who was the first person to text you today?  Aubrey! Saying how excited she was for Kayla and I to come hangout in Cleveland with her. (I answered this question last Thurs.)

Who was the first person you thought of this morning? Enzo, because he kicked me in the throat at 2 am.

Who was your first grade teacher?  Mrs. Turner.

Where did you go on your first airplane ride?  My dad’s pretty sure my first plane ride was to Boston. My aunt & uncle lived there at the time and they took me there to meet them.

Who was your first best friend and do you still talk?  I had two best friends growing up, but we were friends because our moms were friends. The first bff I picked for myself was a girl named Lindsey. We still talk. We went to a country superfest last year together.
Lindsey is on the right.

Where was your first sleep over?  Ever? Probably my grandparents’ house. I also remember staying with my aunt and uncle (not the ones in Boston) when I was a kid. They were in their twenties and we’d play Nintendo and Sega way past my bedtime.

What was the first concert you ever went to? A Fallout Boy, Hawthorne Heights, From First to Last, and All American Rejects concert. I was a freshman in high school.

What was your first broken bone?  I snapped my tibia and fibula when I was 7. That hurt a bit.

What was your first piercing?  I’ve never had anything pierced.

What was the first foreign country you’ve gone to?  Switzerland when I was six.

What was the first movie you remember seeing?  I think my parents took me to see The Little Mermaid in theaters, but I looked it up and it came out in ’89… so I don’t know. Air Bud was the first movie I ever cried during.

When was your first detention?  Six grade, I think. I was a good student, but I forgot to do my homework sometimes. I remember getting at least two detentions in middle school for incomplete work. In high school I got caught skipping class and got in-school suspension for two days. Lol. I was a good student, just defiant.

Who was your first roommate?  Kristene. We went to hs together (and elementary & middle school) so when we picked the same college we decided to room together our freshman year.

Kristene is in black. I’m the moron with ORANGE hair. Woof.

What was the first sport you were involved in?  Frickin’ T-ball. Then I went on to do baseball/softball for 8 more years. Woof.

What is the first thing you do when you get home?  Let the pups out, comb through the mail, and then sit on the ground with Ly and E to play with them and snuggle them.

When was your first kiss?  My freshman year of high school, toward the end of the year. It was actually a pretty good one (although K is my favorite person to kiss 😉 lol).

I love that pig picture so much, lol. I think someone in my family made me that costume.

Ok, now you answer some of these! What was your first plane ride or concert? Does anyone get anything other than their ears pierced first?! (Besides nothing at all, lol.)


Happy Thursday! And happy belated Valentine’s Day, friends! 💗

What are you currently doing/feeling/looking forward to? Here’s what’s going on with me!

Reading… to distract myself. When we fly I engross myself in books to distract me from my anxiety. I finished Girl Waits With Gun on our last flight. I’m still working on Dead Wake. I’m about to start Three Dark Crowns.

Eating… out very often. Trade show season drops us in new hotels and cities so we get to check out the local cuisine. This week it’s guacamole and steak and so many good veggies!

Drinking… mixed drinks. And also coffee. And tons of water. #TradeShowSeason

Feeling… proud of myself. After lots of prayer and some serious self-talk, I managed to get on a plane and fly without totally freaking out. My palms got sweaty, but I didn’t death-grip K’s leg and my stomach stayed out of my throat. Haha.

Wishing for… a new president, a world without school shootings, no homeless dogs.

Thankful for… our fabulous dog sitter/house sitter. I feel so good knowing Ly and E are being loved on when we leave.

Planning… a vacation. It kind of sucks because by the end of spring we are sooo traveled-out, but our five year anniversary is in April and K has agreed to go on vacation. (Whew!) I’m trying to find some place interesting but relaxing. Bonus points if we can find a direct flight 😉

Loving… Kyle. We didn’t really do anything for Valentine’s Day, but we were together all day. We’re together all day, every day. I couldn’t spend this much time with anyone else. He’s the best (and the most annoying sometimes, lol).

Praying… for God to take my worries and for our travels to be safe and uneventful. Also praying for those hurting from tragedy, sickness, financial struggles, etc. I can’t stand these shootings. Every week, guys. Multiple times a week, in fact. WTF. (In addition to praying I’m also voting, donating, volunteering, etc. I think you should pray for the guidance and opportunity to help and remedy the pain people feel- not just hope it gets better for them.)

Excited about… K’s birthday (nothing planned), being home for a few weeks (nothing planned), the *hopeful* slowness of March (nothing planned), & a food and wine night in Cleveland with my favorite gals next Friday.

Ok, your turn! Tell me what’s new with you! What are you excited about?

Coffee Date on a Cold Rainy Morning

Good morning 😊 It’s a little dreary and damp this morning but our drinks will keep us warm. I’m linking up with Kristen & Gretch today to share what’s new. Grab some coffee- let’s chat!

At the start of 2018 I was sick for nearly two weeks. Being sick is so frustrating. After having my throat swabbed and blood tested, I was told it was just a common virus and they couldn’t prescribe any drugs. Infuriating. “Take Tylonel and cough drops for a few days,” they said. More like overdose on Nyquil and pray to the healing goddesses for my lung capacity to come back 😑 Whatever. I’m grateful it’s gone now. After I finished complaining I’d ask how you’re feeling. If you said anything less than “Great!” I’d probably slide away from you. No offense.

Things have been stressful lately 😟 Not my story to tell, but we’ve just had a troubling few weeks. As far as schedules go, January was a slow month for K and I, but things are about to pick up for the next 3 or 4 months (at least). It’s a challenge to juggle professional and personal strife. If we were having coffee I’d ask how life in general is going for you. I hope you’ve have a happy 2018 so far.

On a brighter note, I asked forced two of my best friends to buy concert tickets with me to see Kenny Chesney, Old Dominion, and Thomas Rhett this summer!! (Thanks for the heads up, Laura!) I AM SO EXCITED. We’re seeing them in Columbus so we can pre-game at Kayla’s, uber to the stadium, and uber right back! Easy, cheap, and safe! Have you seen any of these artists live?? I saw Kenny last year and OD the year before that, but I’m SO EXCITED to see them again! Any (summer) concerts in your future??

Speaking of music, I really like Taylor Swift’s album Reputation. It feels good to just turn it up and jam. No shame, friends.

Guys… I’m the weirdo who’s GLAD for some snow before spring turns the whole country icky. (I hate spring… allergies and thunderstorms (which give my dog fits) and mud and the smell of dirt. BLEH.) Are you suffering from the winter blues? I wouldn’t judge you if you said you were ready for spring.

Before we start reaching for our coats and scarves I’d remember to tell you a funny little story. While two of my best friends live hours away, my other bff and her husband and two kids live a short walk away. We moved to her neighborhood in the fall and pinpointed that her house was on a hill a few streets away. Last night we turned off all our lights and she flickered hers off and on and then I did the same. I can’t tell you how hard I laughed at the nearby hillside lighting up and going dark. Totally silly and juvenile, but I love that I have framily so close.

Sigh… my coffee is growing cold. Is yours?

Last but certainly not least, Alexandra and Rachel have been driving the Gratitude Train over at Year of Gratitude since the start of 2018. Every Friday they have a guest contributor and tomorrow it’s me! Pop over there and get a rare Friday dose of me if you want to 😉

What's New With You

Best Christmas Gift EVER

We spend a lot of money on dogs throughout the year… between vet visits, food, new beds, medicine, noms, and toys these dogs want for nothing. As a special treat for ourselves this Christmas, we bought Lylee and Enzo dog DNA tests. NO REGRET, guys. We found Wisdom Panel 3.0 kits on Amazon (on sale!) and they’re 100% not sponsoring this. The results were both amazing and surprising.

The hardest part is swabbing your dogs cheek for 15 seconds twice. OOF. Enzo just laid there but Ly wasn’t a huge fan. We got the job done, though.

So we submitted our kits between Christmas and New Years and the results were emailed to us this past week. Not bad.

Ok… On to the results. Any guesses first??


K and I pinpointed Ly as a husky-boxer mix and that’s usually what we tell people. Turns out she’s got quite a bit of dog in her… (but also we weren’t wrong).

The test goes back to her great-grandparents. There’s a potential for 8 different purebreds. Turns out Ly had seven purebred grandparents and one mutt.

She’s an equal part staffie, shepherd, boxer, husky, (American) bulldog, chow, & lab. And then a misc. mutt mixture.

Wisdom Panel

Lylee’s results weren’t too surprising. I think I was most surprised that there isn’t MORE husky and boxer in her. I assumed she had some pit (American Staffordshire Terrier & American Bulldog). I wasn’t expecting Chow Chow, but I totally see it now.

Appearance: In my opinion, Ly is built like a husky/shepherd. She has a square head and slight under-bite like a boxer/pit, though. Her fur is thick and she’s got endurance and strength for days. I imagine the yellow coloring come from the Labrador Retriever.

Personality: I could go on for weeks about canine personality. I think it’s fascinating. Lylee is probably one of the smartest dogs I’ve ever met (holla’, German Shepherd) but she’s also incredibly headstrong (boxer, chow, husky). She’s not necessarily territorial, but she’s extremely bonded to us and Enzo, and she definitely only chooses to listen when she admires the human talking to her (chow). She’s energetic, hyper, talkative, an escape artist (husky), and a digger. She also loves to play fetch (lab) and she can sniff out any toy. Many of these breed descriptions said she might not be good with other dogs- especially those of the same sex. BINGO. They also said she is potentially great with children. Not so much… lol.

Overall, it’s kind of reassuring to know why Lylee is so bonded/protective of us and why she tends to dislike other dogs. I knew there was some boxer and husky in her, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that she’s got purebred pit, too. Obviously we love her regardless of the results, though.


We thought Enzo was some kind of whippet/border collie/weimaraner mix. Or even a Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever mix.

So. Wrong. I’m almost upset over Enzo’s results. I feel bamboozled.

I love all dog breeds the same- I’m just confused about E’s results. I mean, he’s more of a husky than Lylee is! I 100% see the beagle. The other two purebreds perplex me.

My best guess is that those mixed-breed ancestors have some small terrier in them (like a Russell) and some sighthound (like a whippet). Honestly… I just don’t know. Haha.

Appearance: After getting E’s results we googled beagle-husky mixes and beagle-shepherd mixes. I guess he looks similar to some of those dogs. I’d say his small size and floppy ears and face structure is pretty beagle-like. We think the husky ancestors had to be brown/tan huskies, not black/grey ones. Enzo has NO black fur or skin and we known black is a dominant color in dogs, so we’re fairly confident in our assumption. Enzo is muscular but I don’t know where that comes from. I guess the mixed-breed plays a large part in E’s appearance.

Personality: Enzo is the sweetest soul in the world. He has a laid back personality and he’s ridiculously good with other dogs and children and almost everyone. He’s the least aggressive dog in the world BUT he does love to give chase (husky?). Also, if we’re on a walk and a scary-looking unfamiliar stranger (hood up/baggy clothes/has a quick or aggressive walk) gets too close to us Enzo will keep his eyes glued to the person (typically male) and growl  at him. It’s super out of character for him but he’s done it multiple times so it’s not a fluke. E is extremely bonded to us (esp me). He was a dream to train and he still lives to please us. Whatever he is, I feel like he got all the best qualities of those dogs.

Kyle is obviously pumped. He’s been walking around the house calling the dogs “my two pretty huskies”, lol. I’m happy to know what the dogs are but it doesn’t matter one bit. Haha. Our dogs will always be mixed rescue dogs 🙂

If you’ve ever thought about doing a DNA kit for you pup, I say DO IT. Especially if you can get a kit while it’s on sale!

But also- did you guess right??

* It completely got past me that Wisdom Panel is a Mars Inc. company. Mars is not a cruelty-free company. If you decide to DNA test your dogs, do more research than I did and spend your money in a way that keeps your soul happy.