2012 annual report for my blog!
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.
I absolutely fell in love with “Subway Art” this year and I love all of the printables that are out there on the web. Today I was inspired to make my own – my very first one!
Thank you to Melissa at The Inspired Room for hosting The Fall Nesting Series and challenging everyone to come up with their favorite things about Fall!
So without further adieu, here is my Autumn print:
I spend so much time at Barnes & Noble. Not because I love books (which I do), but because it’s the perfect place to bring toddlers when you’re bored and don’t have much money to do anything else. Jack absolutely loves when I tell him we’re going to Barnes & Noble (which he calls “Barnes & Oval) because he knows that he’ll get to play with the train table, read books, find hidden pictures (he loves I-Spy type of books), interact with other kids, and play with all of the toys in the kids section. The Silverdale location recently updated the store to include many more exciting things for the kiddos: a block table to build things, a coloring table, and even a kids Nook area where Jack can sit on a stool and play on the “Nook Color” to his hearts content. The tablet will read books to him and let him play all sorts of games. (Jack takes after Brady in the electronics department – he’s a whiz!)
Meanwhile, I can sit and peruse through all of the books and magazines that tickle my fancy.
Barnes & Noble is a perfect, free place to let your kids have some good quality fun. It’s always a good idea to let children be surrounded by books. If you go on Wednesday evenings, they even offer “Juice and Jammies” time – where kids sit cozy in their pajamas and a staff member reads kids a story and pours them each a cup of Nantucket Nectars juice.
Today is my 1st Anniversary! Me and my husband have only been married for one year, but we’ve been together for almost 7 years. The first year of marriage is hard, but wonderful. Being a wife is definitely a huge blessing and I love knowing that I have a partner for life who I can trust and give all my love to. I don’t have to worry about the dating game anymore, I have someone who loves me 100% and wants to share their life with me. God sure has smiled upon me!
Don’t get me wrong…my husband can drive me bonkers sometimes. But what man doesn’t drive a woman crazy at times? Like when he leaves his dirty clothes a foot away from the hamper…hmm…but my husband has so many good qualities, it outweighs any of those minor quirks!
Since the first anniversary is the “paper” anniversary, I’m going to make this blog post for my hubby with a list of things that I adore about him and then print it out and give it to him – or wrap his present with it.
So without further adieu, here are just some of the things that I love about Brady:
* He’s handsome. Long hair or short, scruffy beard or baby face, he’s just a good-lookin’ man.
* He’s a loving father to Jack. He tells Jack how smart, cute, and loved he is every day. In the mornings he asks Jack, “Did you wake up on the handsome side of the bed today?” He sits on the floor and plays with him, and is proud of everything Jack does.
* He doesn’t have a hard time saying sorry. Unlike
me some people. If he does something wrong, says the wrong thing, or unintentionally hurts my feelings, he always looks me in the eye and says he’s sorry – and means it.
* He’s forgiving. And sometimes I need a lot of forgiveness.
* He researches everything extensively and learns all about things before he buys them. Before he bought my engagement ring he learned all about diamonds – about grades, clarity, etc. and searched for the perfect one. It may not be the biggest, but it is the highest quality. I told him that he could’ve spent a lot less money and I would still be happy, but he wanted me to have a good one that would last my whole life. Which leads me to my next thing…
* He’s a perfectionist when it comes to things that matter.
* He loves living for God and doing the right thing always. He prays for us before each meal, he loves tithing, he’s honest, and he looks forward to church every Sunday (and any study groups we get involved in).
* He sets a good example for our son and wants to raise Jack up the best possible way. He doesn’t swear, doesn’t let us fight in front of Jack, and showers me and Jack with affection.
* He’s not afraid to sing along to all of the songs on Jack’s preschool shows. In fact, I often catch him singing some of the songs throughout the day – even if the show isn’t on. Catchy little tunes…haha!
* He is the most generous person I’ve ever met. When I first me him, he told me that if he had one penny to his name, but I needed it, he would give it to me. He has no problem treating his friends to meals, drinks, and good times. He’s generous with everyone. Money doesn’t rule over him, and I love that.
* He never gets lost. He has a compass built into his nose. He’s like a human map – he can always tell you which direction is which, and how to get anywhere. More often than not, he can also lead you down the “road less travelled” and show you short-cuts and paths with better scenery.
* He’s a grill master. He loves to get the charcoal burning and cook up steaks, kabobs, asparagus, avocado, or whatever else tickles his fancy. He’s very good at it too, everything always tastes amazing.
* He loves to try out new ethnic foods. I can always count on him to try out interesting foods with me. He also likes everything that I cook at home – even if it turns out strange.
* He’s sensitive and isn’t afraid to cry. He can always open up to me and let me know how he’s feeling.
* He’s nice to me even when I don’t deserve it.
* He is always concerned about me and my well-being. He puts me first.
* He’s supportive of my hobbies, crafts, and interests. He loves all of my creations and pushes me to sell them and show them off.
* He likes to host with me. Brady loves that I like to play hostess and throw get-togethers, he jumps right in and helps me, and gets excited about it.
* He’s savvy with electronics and technology. If I have any questions about anything electric, I just have to ask my husband!
* He loves to travel with me. If we had money, we would travel the world together and have all sorts of unique adventures. He loves travelling the way that I do – with just a backpack. We stay in hostels, do everything the way that the locals do, and submerge ourselves in the culture. No fancy Americanized tourist resorts for us – if you’re gonna do that, you may as well just stay in America.
* He loves horticulture. He loves growing plants and trees. He’s currently into growing bonsai trees and he made me one with the trunk shaped like a heart. <3
* He kisses me goodnight every single night and tells me how much he loves me every single day. He also never fails to tell me how beautiful I am, even when I don’t feel beautiful.
* He has random knowledge about everything. One time I was all excited because I just learned about the Statue of Liberty – that it is the color that is is today because the copper oxidized. When I told him about this, he already knew all about oxidized copper, so I couldn’t even impress him! Haha – this is basically how it goes every time I learn something new.
* He loves his family so much. Brady has a large family and they are all very close, and he gets sentimental when he talks about them. He especially loves his nieces and nephew.
* He has extreme patience with me – even when I push him to the limit sometimes.
* He will always be there for me through good times and bad, no matter what. I know this with 100% confidence.
* He has seen my good sides and my bad sides and he loves me anyway.
* All of the little details that make him who he is – he is just perfect for me! We have so many of the same interests and we have fun together every day.
Happy Anniversary Brady, I love you!
Love Your Wife
I often take Jack to Barnes & Noble when we’re bored. It’s a free, fun date for both of us. Jack can play with the train table and all of the toys in the children’s area while I sit and flip through magazines and books. I recently stumbled upon a coffee table book called “100 Unforgettable Dresses” and it goes through all of the memorable dresses of the past century, and which celebrity wore them.
If you know me at all, then you know I’m pretty crazy about the celebrity world. I know that it’s fake and not really anything to look up to, but I still love the fun of it. I love celebrity gossip, I love seeing inside the fabulous celebrity homes, and I love the fashion. I would absolutely adore to get to wear a Versace or Valentino dress down the red carpet at the Oscars.
Until that day comes, I can just admire the dresses from afar I suppose…so in honor of that, I’ve put together a small list of some of the dresses (and in some cases, outfits) that I consider unforgettable. Some of these are actually in the official book that you can buy at Barnes & Noble, and some are additions of my own. Some came before my time, some are from my generation of celebs, and some are memorable for all of the wrong reasons – for example, Bjork’s infamous Swan Dress (what on earth??)
Here is my list of unforgettable dresses – the good, the bad, and the ugly – and they are in no particular order:
1. Marilyn Monroe’s White Dress from “The Seven Year Itch” – 1955
(Everyone on Earth has seen this dress, so of course it has to be first on the list.)
2. Kiera Knightley’s Green Dress in “Atonement” – 2007
(I had the pleasure of seeing this dress in a museum once. I had the strongest urge to grab it and go put it on!)
Here’s how it looked in the museum:
3. Julia Roberts’ Red Dress in “Pretty Woman” – 1990
Of course, her other dresses in the movie are also unforgettable. Who can forget the cute brown polkadot dress, and of course the hooker dress. On a side note, how sad is it that mothers are letting their toddler daughters dress up in the hooker dress for a tv show? “Toddlers in Tiaras” – boy oh boy.
4. J-Lo’s Green Versace Dress – 2000 Grammy Awards
(This was back in the day when she was dating Diddy!)
5. Bjork’s Swan Dress – 2001 Oscars
(Many many many people made fun of this dress and imitated it in the following years. Fun fact: When Bjork wore this, she even pretended to lay an egg on the red carpet!)
6. Lady Gaga’s Meat Dress – 2010 Video Music Awards
(Complete with a meat headpiece, meat shoes, and a meat clutch purse)
7. Audrey Hepburn’s Little Black Givenchy Dress in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” – 1961
(It’s safe to say that this is where the LBD first began…)
8. Princess Leia’s Slave Gown in “Return of the Jedi” – 1983
(Technically not a dress, but there is a skirt involved, so…)
9. Kate Hudson’s Yellow Dress in “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” – 2003
(This is especially beautiful when paired with the yellow Harry Winston “Isadora” necklace that she gets to wear at the gala)
10. Kate Middleton’s Engagement Dress, Wedding Dress, & Reception Dress – 2011
(Issa Engagement Dress, Alexander McQueen Wedding Dress, and Alexander McQueen Reception Dress. Both of the McQueen Dresses were designed by Sarah Burton. The Dutchess is now a fashion icon and every dress that she wears is instantly replicated and sold out around the world!)
11. Pippa Middleton’s Maid of Honor Dress and Reception Dress – 2011
(The bride’s sister was just as famous as the bride herself!)
12. Kate Winslet’s many dresses in “Titanic” – 1997
(She wears quite a few more than I’m showing here, but these are the most popular ones: the boarding dress, the “jump” dress, the “flying” dress, the dinner dress, and the sinking dress)
13. Madonna’s Wedding Dress – 1984 MTV Video Music Awards
(Later reprised at the 2003 VMA’s by Britney Spears, and the infamous Britney/Madonna kiss)
On a side note, another one of Madonna’s infamous outfits, the Cone Bra, was also featured on “Toddlers in Tiaras.” It’s so sad (and weird) what some moms do to their young daughters…what they make them wear and how much makeup they put on them. No, I don’t watch this show. I’ve just come across these pictures as I’m googling images of the dresses for this blog post.
Too much makeup for a child, holy moly:
Anyway, now back to the original reason for this blog post…
14. Cher in Bob Mackie – 1986 Academy Awards
15. Geri Halliwell’s Union Jack Dress – 1997 Brit Awards
(Who doesn’t remember the Spice Girls…along with all of their crazy short dresses and ridiculously tall platform shoes?)
16. Britney Spears’ Jean Dress – 2001 American Music Awards
(This dress is mostly memorable because she got Justin to wear a matching outfit!)
As a huge Britney fan, I’m posting some more of my favorite “looks” of hers:
17. Kate Hudson’s Gold Versace Dress – 2003 Oscars
18. Jessica Rabbit’s Red Dress in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” – 1988
That concludes my list for now…there are millions of dresses of course, but I can’t include them all. Let me know some of the dresses that you think are unforgettable!
In honor of Mother’s Day I want to dedicate this blog post to my beautiful mother. She is more than my mom, she has also been my friend all my life. She had me when she was young (20) and so I’ve always had a youthful, energetic, fun mom – and I love that! And now that I have a child of my own, my mom is also the best “Omi” to my son. She adores Jack and loves to spend as much time with him as she can. She takes care of him like he’s her own. For that I am very grateful. I love watching Jack get to grow up having such a close relationship with my mom. Things like this make my heart happy.
Of course there are unlimited reasons why I love my mom, but here are some of the most important ones:
* My mom is beautiful. She smiles all of the time and she always looks young and fresh.
* My mom is generous. Every time I visit her, I find myself leaving her house with either a bag of food or a 10-Dollar-Bill hidden in my purse or pocket. She can’t not send me home with anything! She’s also generous with others. She especially has a soft spot for troubled teens and she often takes them under her wing.
* My mom loves ABBA. You’ll often walk into her house to find that she didn’t hear the door opening because she’s singing along to ABBA songs while doing the housework. Of course if I walk in on this situation I generally just start singing right along with her! Me and my mom have been to the Broadway show “Mamma Mia” in both New York and Seattle, and we saw an ABBA tribute concert together and waited by the stage door to meet one of the group members.
* My mom can kick anyone’s butt in Scrabble. Seriously. I dare you to challenge her to a game.
* My mom is a wonderful cook. She doesn’t reference any cookbooks, she just mixes and matches all sorts of random ingredients and calls the finished results her “concoctions.” Her concoctions always turn out delicious.
* My mom was a “wild child” when she was a teenager. I know this for a fact because I once took one of her old journals. Whoa! (When I told her recently that I had it, she said “Oh no, I thought I burned that a long time ago!” )
When I went through my own wild period during my senior year of high school, my mom didn’t judge me or give me strict curfews, she simply trusted me. She let me go to parties and have freedom, but she always told me that I could call her anytime I needed her, even if it was in the middle of the night. She made me promise to never ride with anyone that was drinking, and reminded me that she would come and get me anytime, anywhere. Though she tried to lead me down the right path, she let me learn from my own mistakes.
* My mom loves gardening. She takes pride in her yard and garden, and it always looks like a park at her house. She loves working outside in the sunshine and talking to her garden gnomes while she does it. And when I come over, she’ll go out and snip some fresh flowers for me, just so I have a pretty bouquet to take home.
* My mom makes every holiday special. For birthdays she decorates a “birthday table” with flowers, presents, and goodies. For Christmas she always has music going, little snowmen everywhere, and so many presents that they swallow up the tree. For almost every holiday she makes a huge turkey or ham for dinner – with her signature mashed potatoes on the side. It doesn’t matter what holiday it is, big or small, she wants her kids to be home with her and she makes it memorable.
* My mom’s eyes get all squinty when she laughs too hard. I LOVE when I can get her to completely lose control and just laugh her head off. I always try to run and get my camera to snap a picture before she stops. She looks so pretty when she’s laughing.
* My mom fed my Hanson addiction. And my Moffatts addiction. And every other weird teenage addiction I had. She let me and my cousins dance on her couch to TLC. She let me wallpaper my room with posters of my latest boy band crushes. She bought me numerous binders and packs of sheet protectors so that I could make scrapbooks of those posters. She took a car full of teenage girls on a road-trip to Canada to see a Moffatts concert. She (to this day) lets me blast the Hanson Christmas CD every year on Cookie Day. That’s just how she rolls.
* My mom took me travelling all over the world when I was growing up. She had me bitten by the travel bug. I am an avid traveler and it’s thanks to her. She took me to 22 different states, and a few foreign countries. We also went to Germany every other year, and that’s where my mom is the happiest. Being in Germany brings out all of my mom’s inner joy. She loves being with her cousins, barbecuing out back in the gazebo, walking around Bremen, driving on the autobahn, and going to the safari park. If I could afford to buy my mom a little house on the Brink in Schwanewede, I would do it in a heartbeat. Then I would probably move in with her.
* My mom is a hard worker. She has always been a hard worker, in her home life and her professional life. She doesn’t know how to take a nap in the daytime because she always feels like there is something else she should be doing. She is the head secretary for the high school and the school could not function without her. Everyone relies on her. Everyone at the school loves her and she is every student’s favorite office lady. When I was in school, everyone always told me what an awesome mom I had. My mom was more popular than I was!
* My mom always tells me how beautiful I am. (Although sometimes when she sees me without makeup she asks me if I’m feeling alright, because I “look a little pale.”)
* My mom always dreamed of being in the Noxzema commercials. She told me that when she was a teenager she always wanted her and her daughter to be the mother-daughter duo in the Noxzema commercials that she saw on tv. She has used Noxzema for as long as I can remember and her skin still looks great. Plus I will forever associate the smell of Noxzema with my mom.
* My mom loves me “in the whole wide world.“ She always told me that growing up. Now I tell it to my son. “I love you in the whole wide world.” Special words.
* My mom has a soft heart. She gets teary-eyed easily and I bet that she is crying reading this right now. Don’t worry mom, I got emotional while typing this up too!
* My mom helped me spread my wings. She encouraged me to get good grades and get scholarships so that I could go to college. When she dropped me off at my dorm room for my first year, I started bawling and wouldn’t let her leave. She started crying too. It was hard for me to fathom the idea that I wouldn’t be seeing my mom every single day anymore. Thank heavens for cell phones.
* My mom is so strong. She was by my side Every.Single.Minute when I was going through all of my medical situations. She slept by my hospital bed countless nights and prayed for me every day. In a span of 7 years I had about 8 surgeries (or more…I’ve lost count) on my neck to remove a tumor (an arterio-venus malformation). My mom never let go of my hand. She took me to every doctor’s appointment, every MRI, every CT Scan, even travelling across the country to meet new doctors. When I was in the hospitals, she started a tradition of buying me a new Beanie Baby for each day that I had to be in there. (My Beanie Baby collection is therefore quite extensive!) I don’t know where I would be right now if it wasn’t for my mom’s love and support during the hardest and scariest years of my life. I am SO blessed to have my mom.
* My mom is the heart of our family. I once read a sign that said “Home is where my mom is” and I can totally relate to that. I know that I can always go home and she will always be happy to see me.
* My mom taught me to be a great mother. My mom has always been very loving and affectionate. She’s not afraid to hug, kiss, and cuddle. There is nothing as important as that. I’ve seen families that have plenty of money, but no affection. I can’t imagine growing up in a cold environment like that. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, but there was never a shortage of love.
I love my mom so much and I thank God for her every day.
She is a daughter, sister, grandmother, wife, friend…but for me, I have the blessing of calling her mom. Happy Mother’s Day.
“There is no way to be a perfect mother, but a million ways to be a great one.”
I looked at my husband tonight and I told him “I love our mantle so much. In any future homes that we have, we have to have a mantle. I’ve never had one in my life before and now that I have one I can’t live without it.”
Silly, right? I have completely fallen in love with our mantle.
I also love all of the trim in our house. I love the fancy shaped trim-lined mirror above the fireplace. I love all the little details of our 1920′s cottage. It’s old-fashioned and charming. But my favorite thing is the mantle. I decorate it different for each holiday and during the rest of the year I have candles and pictures on it.
This is my mantle:
In honor of mantles, I’m posting some that I like.
I don’t know about you, but snow in March??? WOW! Spring is definitely taking its sweet time getting here this year. But that just means that we’ll all be even more ready for it when it finally makes an appearance. I can’t wait to get out all of my cute clothes for the warmer weather, have BBQs, maybe even have a garage sale, and take Jack for walks to the park on a more regular basis. Until then, I’ve been staying inside – cleaning my house (Spring Cleaning time!) and decorating for Easter.
Growing up, Easter was always one of my very favorite holidays. I love Jesus, and I love Easter Egg Hunts! Plus my mom always made a big delicious dinner and we all got dressed up in our Easter dresses and had good quality time together. Ah the memories. Now I have a little boy that I get to do all of this fun stuff for! I’m so blessed.
Unfortunately for me, all of my Easter decorations are packed away right now, in a tub on the bottom of a pile in the basement. Since I don’t feel like digging it out (and yet I still wanted our home to look somewhat ready for Easter), I went to the store and just bought a few little decorations. Next year I promise that I’m going to go all out with my entire collection of decor!
I bought some miniature carrot ornaments and miniature egg ornaments, along with window clings (I love those things). Now where on earth do I hang all of these cute mini ornaments? I don’t have one of those small Easter Trees (although I want to get one someday) so I went out into our front yard and sawed off a neat branch from our tree. Then I mounted the branch onto our living room wall and voila! I had a place to hang my ornaments, and it looks beautiful!
The Branch (before decorating):
Aren’t these little carrots just too adorable?
I still had a lot of leftover egg ornaments, so I decided to make a short garland to string in one of the doorways. Here’s how that turned out.
Here’s the mantel – with the remaining eggs and some of the window clings.
I always put window clings all around the house. They just add a nice pop of color to the windows, and I want Jack to live in a fun, festive, colorful environment. I want the holidays to be special in every way. In fact, the front door is always designated as “Jack’s Door” when it comes to the clings. I always buy a sheet of fun kiddie-style clings for his door. This time the door features little bunnies painting eggs. This is a fun way to get Jack involved in the decorating process, letting him have a door to decorate with clings. (The clings are hard to see in these pictures – sorry.)
In the kitchen I added some beautiful religious clings.
Here’s one of my kitchen windows.
The only thing I need in my house now is a beautiful cross to hang on the wall. I’ve been looking around online to find one that I love. Here’s a couple that I want to get (not just for Easter, but for all year round):
Happy Easter everyone! May God bless your families and homes this season!
How lucky that St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Saturday this year! That’s practically begging me to host a little get-together at my house!
I made an “official” Facebook invitation/event page about 2 months beforehand…my brother thought I was completely insane for doing it that early…but I thought it was perfectly reasonable. I needed people to write my name on their calendar before someone else snatched them up for the green holiday! And I got to prove to my brother that I was NOT crazy when one of my friends told me, “Sorry, I’ve had plans for St. Patrick’s Day since last November!” SEE? People make plans early! (To be fair, my friend’s plan involved going to the Broadway show “Wicked” – totally appropriate since the main character is a green witch). :)
Anyway, this particular party was an “adult” party (i.e. there would be alcohol), so Jack stayed the night at his Omi’s house (we are German and so my son calls his grandma “Omi”). The night before, I decorated the house and went grocery shopping for all of the food that I would prepare. I love the preparation and anticipation of the event as much as I love the event itself!
Here are some cheap decorations that I got at Dollar Tree. It’s so funny because if you look closely at the banner, you can see that that there’s something wrong with it – that’s what I get for getting it for only a buck!
Before he left for Omi’s house, Jack helped me make some green cupcakes. He loves mixing batter…and he also loves to lick the bowl when it’s all said and done!
The batter looks like that green slime from the old Nickelodeon shows!
Fresh out of the oven!
Anyway, for the get-together I had planned on a dinner & game night, with some green drinks. For dinner I made a crock pot full of chili and put out trays of different toppings, so that everyone could customize their chili to their liking. Sour cream, olives, tomatoes, avocado, chips, cheddar cheese, onions, green onions, and cornbread on the side. Trust me, this is the only way to do a chili dinner! Everyone loves it. I learned this from my mother-in-law, who makes what she calls “5-way chili” every New Year’s Eve. (At this party, it was more like 8-way chili due to a few extra toppings).
Here’s how the table looked with some of the food on it. I put all of the toppings into 2 muffin pans for ease of clean-up. The cornbread muffins are on a plate to the left.
Here’s a photo of the complete mantel/table. I put cute little leprechaun window clings on the mirror, and then green tinsel and a subway art print (from Pinterest) framed in the middle.
Close-Up of the printable:
Click Here for a link to the Subway Art Printable.
Other foods that I made for the party were:
*Green deviled eggs – with Avocado! (I didn’t really use a recipe, I just added a smashed up avocado into my regular mixture of egg yolk and mayo and stuff…but for those of you who would like a recipe, I found one here).
*A green veggie tray with green ranch to dip, a platter of dipped strawberries (dipped in chocolate, green candy melts, and chocolate rolled in chopped pistachios)
*Chips with green (tomatillo) salsa
*Green candy-dipped pretzel rods. (The pretzel rods can be seen in the above picture, on the back of the table).
Now for some drinks! My husband went out and bought a few different liquors and mixers that were green. He also bought light beer so that we could dye it green. We even had a green pitcher to put it in! Here’s a picture of Brady pouring himself a nice green beer!
Here’s our little drink table. I made green Jell-O shots, and we even had a Roulette game for green shots. In the shot glasses we made mini Midori Sours, Green Apple mixed with Sierra Mist, and some other random combinations. Spin the wheel and you never know which drink you’ll get…but rest assured, they’re all delicious!
All of the guests that came over had to wear lots of green – the sillier the better (notice my wig?) and get their picture taken by “Lucky” the Leprechaun…and if anyone didn’t wear green (or enough green for my taste!) they had to wear a mini green hat for the night!
Here’s me and Brady, followed by a picture of our little guy, Jack:
Here’s a group shot:
After we all had our fill of chili and drinks, it was my favorite part of the night: Dessert! If the cupcakes and dipped pretzels and dipped strawberries weren’t enough, I also had an Ice-Cream Buffet. Chocolate and Vanilla ice cream, with all different toppings to choose from. Bananas, strawberries in syrup, maraschino cherries, whipped cream, mini M&Ms, Nestle Buncha Crunch, chocolate syrup, chopped walnuts, sprinkles…you name it! Here’s a picture of the deliciousness:
After dessert we all sat around and played board games and laughed the night away! All in all, it was a wonderful evening. Thanks to everyone who came and made it special!
P.S. If anyone out there hasn’t played the game “Blokus” or the game “Ticket to Ride” – you really have to try them. They are phenomenal! And always a big hit with every guest that we play them with! (Pictured above is Blokus)
I recently stumbled upon the idea of ABC Dates! This is basically going on 26 dates (once a week, once a month, whatever you can afford) and doing fun things that start with one letter per date. What a fun way to keep your married life exciting…not just “dinner and a movie” night each time you finally get a babysitter for the kiddos! You and your spouse can either take turns planning ideas for each letter, or sit down and plan out each letter together. Plan the whole alphabet and save up for each date, or just be sporadic and decide what you’ll do on the day-of. You get bonus points for doing “double-letter” dates, like “Picnic in the Park” or “Donuts for Dessert” or “Limo ride to Lunch”….you get the idea!
I have compiled a list of some ideas for each letter. Of course there are SO many more ideas out there, but here are some basics. You could also do a version of ABC Dates where you eat different foods associated for each letter, instead of doing activities that start with the letter. Whatever you choose to do, make sure to have a ton of fun with your spouse and create special memories.
Take a camera with you on each of your dates and take photos of your activities. When you’ve completed the whole alphabet, make an ABC Photo book!
This list covers all sorts of dates: cheap to pricey, relaxed and romantic to adventurous and extreme, seasonal ideas, local ideas (Seattle area), and ideas for other parts of the country. (Most of these ideas you can use in Seattle though!)
A: Aquarium, Art Museum (or Art Gallery), Amusement Park (get your picture taken in a silly booth or on a roller coaster!), Arcade, Antique Shop
B: Baseball/Basketball game (professional or at a local school), Bowling, Boat Ride, Browse at a Bookstore, Brunch (make sure to get a fancy mimosa with that yummy brunch!), Build-a-Bear together, visit a Beer Brewery or a Beer Garden, Bubble Bath for 2, walk across a Bridge, Botanical Garden, Batting Cage, BINGO (at your local casino or Bingo hall), Bocce Ball in the yard, Bike Ride, Build a Sandcastle on the Beach, stay at a Bed & Breakfast, Bungee Jumping, Bakery, Brazilian Restaurant
C: Comedy Club, Clogging Class, Cooking Class (or Cook together at home), do a Craft together, Car Show, embrace your Cheesiness at a Carnival or Circus, Coffee Date, Corn Maze, Concert (local concerts are a great alternative if you can’t afford concert tickets to a famous band), Casino, Cheese Sampling, Chocolate Factory (there are a couple great ones in Seattle!), Camping (skip rocks and keep your drinks Chilled in the Creek), and if you live by a farm…there’s always Cow-Tipping!
D: Donut Dessert Date, Drinks & Dancing, play Darts at a Dive Bar, Disneyland, feed Ducks, Ride the Ducks (Seattle), Dinner Cruise, Drive-In Movie
E: Exercise class (yoga, pilates, etc.), “Pick-an-Envelope” (fill 3 envelopes with ideas and let your spouse choose a sealed envelope), ride an Elevator to the top floor of a skyscraper and kiss all the way up!
F: Foreign Foods, Fondue for 2, Fireworks Show, Ferry Ride, Flea Market, Farmer’s Market, Frisbee, Fishing, pick Fruit at a local Farm/Orchard
G: Golf (or driving range), Game night (board games, cards, dice), Garage Sales (make sure to go to the ritzy neighborhoods!), Gardening, Go-Karts, Geocaching, Grape-Stomping, Glass-Blowing, Glass Museum (Tacoma)
H: Hiking, Happy Hour, Hayride, Horseback Riding (or take lessons), get a room at the Holiday Inn (or other Hotel) for the night, Hot-Air Balloon, Helicopter Ride, Hookah Lounge, Horse-Drawn Carriage, Haunted House, Hat Shop (try on all the silly hats and take pictures, if permitted)
I: Ice-Skating, Ice-Cream Shop, Improv Theatre, IMAX Movie, IKEA
J: Jazz Club, do a Jigsaw Puzzle, Jogging, Jump on trampolines, Jet-Ski, eat Jamaican Jerk Chicken (yum!)
K: Karaoke, Fly a Kite, Kayaking (there are many places that will rent you a kayak by the hour)
L: Library, Laser Tag, Limo Ride to Lunch, Luau and Limbo, Lingerie shopping
M: Movie Marathon, attend a Musical, Mini-Golf, Museums (many offer a free day every month), Mountain Climbing, Mountain Biking, Medieval Faire, eat a Moroccan Meal (with your hands!), Massages (professional, or give one to each other), Murder Mystery Dinner
N: Nature Walk, NASA Space Center, Naked anything (Naked Nintendo, Naked Cooking…whatever!)
(Genesis 2:24-25) “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and they were not ashamed.” (New King James Version)
O: Orchestra, Opera, Open-Houses (dress in your smartest attire and go look at houses together…tell what you love and dislike about each house), Ocean
P: Paintball, Picnic in the Park (or if it’s raining, Picnic in the Park wearing Ponchos!), Picnic indoors or in your backyard, Parade, Play Pool in a Pub, Para-Sailing, Pizza (ask them to cut the pizza into a heart shape), Piano Bar, Playground, Pool Hall, go to a Play, Palm Readings, Psychics, Paint-your-own-Pottery
Q: 20 Questions (whether you’ve been together 3 months or 3 years, ask questions that will still make you learn something fun or new about your spouse), have a “Quickie”, play “Quidditch”…yeah yeah yeah…I know that’s not possible unless you can fly…but “Q” is a hard letter!
**Here are a few sample questions for “20 Questions” – If you could have picked your own name, what would it be? Favorite cartoon character? What was your favorite toy when you were little? If you could have a weird, unusual pet, what would it be and why would you have that pet? What would you do if you were invisible for a day?
R: Roller Skating, Rock Climbing, Rafting, shooting at a Rifle Range
S: Sporting event, Snorkeling, Swimming, Stargazing (outside or at a planetarium), Surfing, Sailing, Street Fair, Sledding, Spa day, Skydiving (indoor or outdoor), Snowboarding, Skiing, watching the Sunrise or Sunset
T: Test-Drive a fun sports car, Rent a Tandem Bike, Train Ride, play Twister, Trapeze School (available at Teatro Zinzanni), Tea-Tasting, play the “Tourist” in your own city: go on tours, sightsee and take pictures of the things you take advantage of every day.
U: Try a Unicycle, (or a Ukelele), visit a local University and attend one of their classes or events
V: Volunteer (Rescue Mission, Soup Kitchen, Elderly Home, etc), Volleyball, Video Games, Visit a Vineyard
W: Wine-Tasting at a local Winery, Window Shopping, Wrestling Match, Wishing (throw pennies into a fountain together), Water Park, Wax Museum (Madam Toussad’s), Whale-Watching (up in the islands), Wake-Boarding, Water-Skiing, WII
X: Xerox your butts (or hands…whatever), X-Box
Y: Yosemite/Yellowstone National Parks, go to your local YMCA for some fun activities, go to the Yankee Candle Company and take in all the good smells
Z: Zoo, Zip-Lining, Zumba Class
I hope you enjoyed this list and maybe even use some of these ideas!
If nothing else, just share a plate of Spaghetti with your spouse one night after the kids are in bed!