Monday, June 30, 2014

Everyday Elegance: Summer Casual

How does Monday come around so fast?!  Thankfully my weekend isn't quite over yet!  Though, Martin and I have had a pretty full weekend so far.

Here is what I wore for our casual date night on Saturday, in which we did more than we've done in a long time!  Martin picked me up from work and we headed to dinner at Wok N Fire, a local Asian fusion restaurant with great Mango Margaritas.  From there we met up with some of my co workers for a few games of bowling, don't be jealous I managed to break 50!  Yes, I am the worst bowler of all time.  And we still had energy left afterwards to see a movie.

I love drapey tops, they are such an easy go to.  They are comfy, but the silky texture helps to keep it feeling not so casual for a night out.  Paired with white jeans, it's such an easy formula for a put together summer look.

I am obsessed with my new sandals.  They are so comfy, but I love the sparkle.  I've been wearing them with everything.

Top| Olive & Oak, TJ Maxx (Similar Print, Colors)
Jeans| Joe's Jeans, Nordstrom Rack (Similar)
Sandals| Jessica Simpson, TJ Maxx (Same)

Friday, June 27, 2014

My Friday Five

I feel like this week has been one of those ones I have gone through in kind of a daze, aka it is time for a vacation.  Thank goodness for the long holiday weekend coming up next week.  I am looking forward to it like you wouldn't believe!

If you've been following along with my #100happydays you've already gotten a sneak peak into my week, here we go!

1| Last weekend I got to head back to my home town, Madison, WI for a quick little 36 hour work adventure.  We had dinner with my parents right off the capital square and I was sitting in the window of the restaurant with this as my view.  The sign of the restaurant was reflecting in the bus stop and I thought it was so cool.

2| It's always nice to go home, I definitely miss rolling green hills and the quiet of the country.

3| I found out they are building a Trader Joe's in my neck of the woods and you could have sworn I won the lottery with how excited I was about it.  It is still in the beginning stages of construction, as in a big pile of dirt on the ground.  But I am so excited to have one close by, no more having to make special trips just to go - I can go all the time!

4| One thing I love about summer is cherries.  It's a little funny to me because I can't stand anything cherry flavored, but give me the real thing and I could eat them until they make me sick.  I've had them everyday this week and still can't get enough!

5| Martin and I are going on a kayaking adventure this weekend. We signed up for a ghosts and gangsters tour on the Chicago River.  Now I personally am not so excited about the ghosts and gangsters (that's for Martin) but I am excited about the kayaking part, it should be a fun adventure!

Do you have any fun summer activities lined up for this weekend?  I hope to find a good balance between work and play because my bathroom project definitely needs some attention!  Hope everyone has a great weekend, see you Monday!

Linking up with:
the lauren elizabeth | the diary of a real housewife | meet @ the barre

Thursday, June 26, 2014

4th of July Style Guide

I don't know about you, but I am super excited for the holiday weekend coming up.  It means a couple things will be happening.  One, a long weekend away.  Two, time up at my family's lake house.  Three, fireworks.

I am not one to typically get to into dressing for any particular holiday, but last week I was trolling Old Navy's website hunting for some new jean shorts when I came across the tank top featured below and thought "Hey I would actually wear that".  One thing led to another and I put together a few of my favorites.  Nothing that screams stars and stripes, but is still patriotic in it's own way.  The best part is all pieces are from Old Navy which means it's an affordable way to dress for the holiday, which is something I am always looking for when I am trying something new.

Chic| Top, Shorts, Shoes
Casual| Top, Shorts, Shoes
Cool| Top, Shorts, Shoes

What are you most looking forward to this 4th of July?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Be Fearless

Last week Liz @ Fitness Blondie launched her Fearless Project.  I had just started following her blog not too long ago, and then this project popped up.  She challenged everyone to write about what they have been through in life and persevered to become fearless.  I am a big believer that everything happens for a reason, so when this project popped up I took it as a sign that I should write about that one thing that I've been putting on the back burner.

Liz @ Fitness Blondie

My story is definitely in the becoming fearless stage, but you have to start somewhere.  This is definitely different content then I'm used to writing about over here, so pardon me while I go a little off course today.  And bare with me because my story is definitely a little lengthy.

Martin and I got married in September of 2012 and we both knew that once we were married we wanted to start trying to get pregnant right away.  We were both 29 and were anxious to get our family started.

We tried for a couple months with no success, and I just had a feeling it would happen when it would happen.  On New Years Eve we found out that we were in fact pregnant.  I remember the adrenaline and excitement, and almost disbelief that it was actually happening.

We got off to a little bit of a rocky start.  I had some bleeding, which I came to learn is pretty normal.  Lots of doctors appointments to monitor that everything was getting started ok, and everything seemed fine.  I was just waiting to get to that 12 week mark to feel like I'd made it into the safety zone and finally be able to share with everyone around me that I was in fact pregnant.

And just as week 12 rolled around, that's when things took a sudden turn.  It was the last week of February 2013, and I remember the weather was horrible.  I had some bleeding and my doctors office had closed due to a snow storm so they sent me to the ER.  After several uneventful hours they sent me home saying everything was fine.  I didn't feel fine though, I felt very uneasy and was very certain that something was wrong.  I had a follow up appointment at my doctors a day later and again was sent home with them saying everything was fine.

Later that same day I was at work, and my water broke at almost 13 weeks pregnant.  I didn't know at the time that that was what was happening, but I definitely knew whatever was happening wasn't good.  The hospital that I was taken to confirmed that my water had broken, and at 13 weeks the baby would not be able to survive and develop properly without the amniotic fluid.  It would just be a matter of time before we would lose the baby.

Which is exactly what happened.  The experience I went through in losing that baby is what I can only describe as one of the most terrible things I have ever gone through.  It is hard to write about it now, even over a year later.

One of the hardest parts with miscarriage is that it is rare to really have an answer.  All you want is an answer as to why it happened, but you usually never know.  It's that feeling of, well if it was this, then I could have done that.

I read a ton of blogs, and follow along with a lot of girls as they go through their pregnancy with beautiful pictures and happy stories.  It's hard to feel like anyone else is going through what you are, which I know is so far from the case.  But it did motivate me to want to share my story.

After the miscarriage we knew we weren't giving up on trying to have children, but I wasn't ready to even entertain the idea of trying for several months.  Mentally, emotionally, and physically my body was in an entirely different place than it had ever been before in it's life.

I was carrying around an extra almost 20 pounds and depressed most all of the time.  Last May Martin and I took a vacation, and it was exactly what I needed as a reset.  I came back and I was ready to get my life back on track.

That is when I got serious with my diet and exercise and dropped the extra weight I had been carrying around.  Which not only helped in how I was feeling physically, but also mentally.

We decided to start trying again in August of 2013.  The months go by with a lack of results and it gets taxing and wearing on your spirit for sure.  In March of this year I was back in to the doctors to see what the heck was going on with me.  My cycles were all over the place, and after 8 months of trying, nothing.

Many appointments, blood tests, and ultrasounds later I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome.  Meaning there was no guarantee I was ovulating, and if I was, on no sort of regular basis.  Martin and I decided to try the route of fertility drugs, and see if that would work for us.

I am currently in my first round of treatment right now.  And sometimes I can't help but feel like a science project with all of the pills, and doctors appointments and blood tests.  But in the end if that's what it takes for us to start the family we imagined, then it's worth it.

I won't lie, some days are just plain tough.  It can be easy to feel defeated and hopeless.  Other days aren't bad at all.  I know others have been through way worse and had much more difficult obstacles to over come.  I know through my journey and story I have learned so much about myself, and Martin, as well as our relationship that I know we would have never learned or experienced had we not been dealt this hand.  For that I am thankful because I know that it is helping grow us in ways we never imagined.

That is my story of becoming fearless, if you made it all the way to the end, thanks for sticking with me!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Everyday Elegance: What I Wore

And it is already Tuesday, seriously, how did that happen?!  I woke up yesterday with the realization that it was Monday, I could have sworn it was Sunday, that's what happens when you have a working weekend!  So I come to you a day late this week. 

Here is a little sneak peak at a simple summer outfit that can so easily be dressed up or down.  I wore this on Saturday and it carried me through work, a 2 hour car trip, and dinner out.

I found this skirt last summer at Francesca's, I love that I can always find fun, colorful, easy pieces there.  And if you time it right you can hit there BOGO 50% off sale, which according to their website is going on through tomorrow!  I have to say these flip flops are super comfortable, and great for walking around in.  Keep a look out because I always spot them in TJ Maxx and Marshalls this time of year.

What's your favorite go to store for easy summer pieces?  Please tell me I am not the only one that didn't see Monday coming!?

Top| Target
Jacket| Gap {Similar}
Skirt| Francesca's {Similar 1, 2}
Purse| Michael Kors Outlet {Similar}
Shoes| TJ Maxx, B.O.C. by Born {Similar}

Friday, June 20, 2014

My Friday Five

Yay for Friday!  I can't say this week has flown by, I seem to have come down with a little something and being sick in the summer just doesn't seem fair!  But it is not going to stop me!  On we go with my week in review.

1| I've been trucking forward with my #100happydays challenge.  It's funny because when I started it the challenge mentioned that something like 71% of people fail to finish it.  If you know me, I don't fail, so that's enough of a challenge right there to complete it, though sometimes I find myself remembering in the last minutes of the day to actually post my photo!  I know some of you have talked about jumping on the band wagon with me and starting the challenge, do it!  I would so love for others to join in, you can start it at any time.

2| I was way past due for some new running shoes, thanks Mom and Dad for the birthday gift!  It was my first time going to an official running store and getting fitted for running shoes.  It was pretty cool to try on and compare all the different styles, not so cool to have to run on a treadmill in a store with someone filming your gate from behind.

3|  My husband has been bugging me for a juicer forever, and my parents finally gifted him one for his birthday.  As you can see, he was clearly really excited about it!  I will admit it is pretty cool, as long as he does the dirty work!

4| I was in the city for a work event that we had on Wednesday night and I was walking back to my car and got to witness the end of a date.  My guess is it probably wasn't the first date, maybe a couple dates in, but it was so cute!  The couple was walking right in front of me and they must have gotten to her apartment and stepped to the side and they were doing the whole "I had a really great time tonight" thing as I walked past.  It definitely put a smile on my face!

5|  I've started to mess around with my new camera a bit, even though I don't feel like I know what I am doing at all, I am super excited about it.  Right now my number one subject is my cats, they always seem to be available!  I couldn't help but share this one I captured of Charlie, I'm so excited he seems to be feeling better, he goes back in for a check up on Tuesday so we will see what they say.

This week also marked a blog milestone, I surpassed 100 posts on this little blog of mine!  I still feel like I'm just getting my feet wet, I can't believe I have posted over 100 times.  I hope everyone has a great weekend ahead of them.  We have a work event in my home town this weekend, even though it will be busy I'm looking forward to getting to visit home for a quick bit.  See you next week!

Linking up with:
the lauren elizabeth | the ladies at Five on Friday | the diary of a real housewife | meet @ the barre

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Bathroom Remodel: Vanity Makeover

On Tuesday I shared a little sneak peak of our vanity makeover for our new bathroom.

It's not completely finished yet (there are a few touch ups to be made) but it is so close, I thought I would share.  Let's go back and see what we started with.

The cabinet was in good condition, the brown was just not going to cut it in this new serene white and gray space we have been creating.  I have refinished a few pieces of furniture this way, including what I now use as my TV stand, which has held up great over the last 4 years, so I figured following suit and doing this the same way should provide great results.

The vanity has been residing in our extra room next to the bathroom so Martin helped me put a drop cloth underneath and prop in off the floor with some scrap wood.  First we removed all the drawers and door and hardware.  Then we then gave everything a light sanding, and wiped it all down with a liquid deglosser to make sure the surface would be ready for paint.

I have learned that the best primer to use in this type of situation, where there has been some sort of previous shiny finish that you haven't fully removed, is an oil based primer - it will grab hold to anything, including laminate.  I just went with the original Kilz primer this time because that is what I had on hand.

Since cleaning up oil based paints can be a pain I tend to stick with cheap foam brushes that I can just chuck when I'm done, then I don't have to really worry about the clean up!  I started with the foam brush getting into all of the raised details and nooks and crannies that a roller wouldn't be able to do.  Then I went back in with the roller to give a nice even coat to all the flat surfaces.

It doesn't look pretty, but that's not the point.  The primer is just giving the latex paint something to adhere to so it doesn't come peeling off the otherwise previously shinny surface.  The nice thing about this primer is that is dries relatively quickly so within an hour or so you are able to move on to the paint, aka making it look pretty.

I approached applying the paint in a very similar way as the primer, using a brush first to cover all the raised details and little corners.

And then going back in with a roller to tackle all of the flat surfaces.

Already looking so much better!  The paint I used was Glidden's Flat, color matched to Behr's Dusty Mountain.  I went that route simply because my TV stand, which is finished in the same color, was done the same way and I wanted the colors to be a match.  I went with the flat because I knew I would be adding my own protective finish, versus jumping right in with a high gloss paint, which is always an option as well.

After the vanity, drawers, and door had received two coats of paint it was dry time.  I let everything sit out for the week and didn't even bother tackling the next step till the following weekend.  I truly believe that the key to the longevity with these refinished pieces is allowing everything ample time to dry and cure.  Trust me, I have learned that lesson the hard way!  It's just so hard when you see your nice and newly painted piece to want to get to actually using it, but then it tends to get scratched and dinged because the paint is still soft.  Its just like getting a manicure and reaching into your purse before the polish has fully cured, it's never pretty.

The next weekend I went back in with a poly protective coat.  I have had this little quart around for years and used it on many projects.  So far nothing I have used it on has shown any discoloring or yellowing, so since there is still stuff left, I'm sticking with it.

I've learned that this finish is best applied with a brush to help minimize any bubbles in your finish.  It's very thin, and it needs to be applied very thin, otherwise you end up with these lovely whitish drips on your newly refinished piece.  I usually apply two coats, which I did in this case.  I few ugly drips showed up which are the few touch ups I mentioned in the beginning that I need to take care of.

You can see in the image above on the far left, as well as inside the door frame on the right the white.  Those would be those pesky drips that need to be fixed.  But other than that, you can see how the piece now has a nice shiny finish, which will be great for the bathroom because now it can be easily wiped down, and hopefully withstand the constant change in temperature that a bathroom tends to go through.

It may not be at the fully pretty stage yet, but it will be soon.  Whenever you can't find the right piece for the space, don't be afraid to make the right piece for the space!

If your just joining me, catch up with my bathroom remodel:

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer Garden

I had a goal for the last several summers to start a garden.  It was something we always had when I was growing up.  In my memory we had these really large gardens full of tons of produce, I could be wrong, but it always felt like there was so much stuff.  Strawberries, raspberries, corn, carrots, potatoes, radishes, peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, rhubarb, asparagus, zucchini. . .and I'm sure there was more.

Now I don't have that large of a yard (were talking like a 1/4 acre here) so 2 summers ago my husband and I cleared out the back corner where we knew we wanted to have our tiny garden.  Then, last summer we finally got around to constructing it and actually had a summer garden for the first time.

All we did is pick up a few pressure treated 1 x 6's (to withstand the elements), as well as a 2 x 2 (which we used as the corner braces), and screwed it together to make a huge rectangle.  We buried part of the bottom board in the yard, then stuck in a handful of stakes which we then used a staple gun to attach chicken wire to.  A must in our parts, otherwise we wouldn't get to even see anything that we were growing.  There are a ton of rabbits running around, and though cute, they also like to eat everything in your garden.

Even though our garden isn't huge (it's about 12 feet by 6 feet) it was so cool to see how much we got out of it last year.  This was just one of our many harvests last summer.

So we are back at it again this summer, growing some of the same things as last year, as well as trying a few new things.

On the right side of our garden we've planted a few herbs.  The nice thing is the chives stick around from year to year so they just keep getting bigger and crazier.  We also have basil, and still plan to add cilantro the the left of the chives.  We've also planted two different varieties of tomatoes, don't ask me which ones, I just know they are different!

On the left side we have a cucumber plant, new to us this year.  As well as a zucchini (pardon my misspelling in the photo, spelling has  never been my forte) which are so easy and great to grow, you just have to keep your eye on them because before you know it they can be the size of a baseball bat.  We had just one zucchini plant last year as well and I can't believe how many we got from that one single plant.  We also have two green pepper plants, and then a whole bunch of onions.  We had attempted some lettuce, but it doesn't appear to have made it.  Perhaps it will still sprout up, you never know.

We definitely take the easy route and pick up the starter plants from Home Depot.  They are a few bucks per plant and allow us to get a head start a little later in the season, versus if we were to get started from seeds.  Which was especially good this year due to our extra long winter.

The nice thing is one the plants are in, all they need is water and weeding.  The tomatoes and peppers will need stakes once they get so big, but that isn't much work at all.  I can't wait to see what we are able to grow this summer.

Do you have a summer garden?  What are you growing this year?

The Hump Day Blog Hop

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bathroom Remodel: Vanity and Things

Ok, I know, I haven't updated you on the bathroom remodel in forever.  It has been extra hard with this nice weather to get motivated to stay inside and work.  But there still has been progress made, not nearly as much as probably should have been made by now, but we are definitely nearing a finish line which is exciting!

First up, the not too exciting odds and ends.  We left off with the tile being grouted, which means after the grout has cured for at least 48 hours, it needs to be sealed.  We let ours sit for a good week, mainly because of our scheduled and when we can actually get work done on the bathroom.  Let's start with a pretty picture first because really why not.

Sealing the tile is a super easy step, but super necessary.  It helps keep your grout in good condition and avoid growing things like mold and mildew from all the water it will be exposed to.  We chose to go for what seemed like the mid line product that Home Depot offered.

You simply spray it on all the grout lines and let it soak in for about 5 minutes.  After that you come back in with a damp sponge and wipe it down to get rid of any excess and drips.  It takes about 3 hours to dry, and after that you can go back in and repeat the steps to put on a second coat.  The only bummer with this step is you can't see the progress, you just have to know you are doing good for your bathroom long term.  While we were at it we also sealed the floor tile at the same time, might as well knock it all out at once!

Once that step was completed there was some caulking that needed to be done.  Not much, but I am not good with caulk, I don't know what it is, but I just don't seem to have the patience for it.  It can make such a difference in appearance and finishing things off, but I can never seem to get the nice straight lines I am looking for, so I left this step to Martin.

Once he knocked out the area around the tub it was finally time to install the shower hardware.  So excited for this step because it would make it finally look like a working space.

Oh yeah, finally coming together!

And the good news it, that's not all!  If you turn yourself around to face the other wall there has been one more update.

The vanity is back in, sporting new color.  I will be sharing the details of the vanity transformation later this week, but in the mean time since we are finally nearing the finish line, a list of what we have left.

To do:
  • Install all the trim, caulk and paint
  • Buy and install toilet
  • Install glass shower door (that has been sitting in it's box since January!)
  • Buy and install new vanity top and faucet
  • Refinish vanity mirror
  • Touch up paint around shower tile
  • Accessorize (my favorite part!)
There are still a handful of things left, but nothing is crazy time consuming.  I can't wait to take my first soak in my new tub!

If your just joining me, catch up with my bathroom remodel:

Monday, June 16, 2014

Everyday Elegance: What I Wore

Here we go with another week, I can't believe we are already starting to think about plans for 4th of July, isn't that supposed to happen later in the summer?!  Somebody please slow the clock down, that would be great, thank you.

We spent the weekend celebrating our birthday's, so I can't say it was too productive.  Don't worry bathroom, I didn't forget about you, in fact I hope to get some progress made today.  Saturday night we went out for tapas, which I love.  Then Sunday was Martin's actual birthday and we kicked off the day with breakfast out, which is always a nice treat, and later caught a movie at our favorite theater, iPic.  We love iPic, you can choose between the comfy club chairs or the recliners, plus they have a full service bar and made to order food.  Martin picked 22 Jump Street which was a good mindless comedy.

Here is what I wore for our casual Sunday birthday celebrations.

I am in love with the ikat print on these shorts.  I picked them up last year at Old Navy and unfortunately they don't have another print as awesome this year, though they have some good alternatives.  The best part is that they are black and white and can pair with so many different things.

These sandals are a recent TJ Maxx score.  They are super comfy, plus I love the added sparkle of the rhinestones and beads.  The earrings were one of those unexpected purchases.  We were in World Market a few weeks ago picking up something else, and they just caught my eye when I walked past the jewelry.  I can't find the exact ones online, but I am pretty sure they were about $9.99, can't get better than that especially considering I was recently eying some similar ones for four times that price.

Have you had any good finds lately?

Shirt| Old Navy
Shorts| Old Navy (Similar)
Sandals| Jessica Simpson, TJ Maxx
Earrings| World Market (Similar)

Friday, June 13, 2014

My Friday Five

What is it about things coming at you in 3's?  That old tale definitely rang true for me this week, starting with a visit to the animal hospital this week with my Charlie. Thankfully he is back home, but under a watchful eye for he has not fully returned to his normal self.  Luckily the week went up from there!

1| I'm loving my #100happydays challenge, it is keeping me accountable to find the silver linings, even on those days, you know those days where it doesn't feel like there is anything to be happy about.  Have you joined the challenge yet?  If not, you totally should!  You can follow along with me on instagram!

2|  On Wednesday I celebrated my birthday, my 31st birthday to be exact.  For the most part I actually like birthdays, you get your own special day - in fact I am a firm believer that birthday celebrations can and should be carried on throughout your birthday week.  I will admit though that 31 feels a lot older than 30, I don't know why, it just does!

3|  Did you catch that picture in my #100happydays challenge?  My most awesome birthday present ever from my husband!  I've been wanting to splurge on a nice new camera ever since I started this blog, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  Martin got me my first dslr camera and I am so excited to start to learn how to use it.  Any advice or favorite tutorials out there that you want to pass my way, I would be glad to receive them!

4| Not only did Martin get me the most awesome birthday gift ever, he also brought me home a gluten free cake which definitely gets bonus points because you have to have cake on your birthday!

5| And last, but not least, not only is it my birthday week, but Sunday Martin will celebrate his 31st birthday as well, so we get to spend the weekend celebrating our birthdays together!  Happy early Birthday Martin, I love you tons, to enjoying many more years together!

I hope everyone has a great weekend and a Happy Father's Day.  Hopefully I will have some bathroom progress to show you all next week!

Linking up with:
the lauren elizabeth | the ladies at Five on Friday | the diary of a real housewife | meet @ the barre

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Summer Bucket List

Usually I would say that the fall is my favorite season.  I don't know if it was the unusually long and harsh winter we experienced this year or what, but I find my self extra excited for this summer.  Here are some things I am looking forward to checking off this summer.

1| Run outside often
2| Have a vegetable garden, and use everything that comes from it
3| Get a nice tan and stock up on some Vitamin D
4| Eat outside often

5| Have bonfires on our patio, more than once
6| Host a BBQ with friends and family
7| Visit Lake Geneva, WI
8| Garage overhaul (clean, insulate, and organize)
9| Visit my family's lake house

10| Read a book
11| Cook at least 3 new recipes
12| Finish the bathroom remodel
13| Go to the beach
14| Make s'mores

15| Go to a drive in movie
16| Go to an outdoor concert
17| Go on a kayaking tour (use the Groupon I've had since last summer!)
18| Star gaze
19| Go hiking
20| Go on a bike ride

20 seems like a manageable number, here is to accomplishing them all! What is on your summer's bucket list?

Charlie Update: He is back home with no official diagnosis yet, on some meds and acting more like himself.  Keep your fingers crossed he keeps improving!

Linking up with:

The Hump Day Blog Hop

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Some of you may have caught this snap shot on instagram last night.

That is my baby, Charlie, and he is not doing good.  The fact is he has not been doing good for about the last year.  After a round of several vet appointments last year with tests that all said nothing was wrong, and a round of steroids that seamed to make him feel better I kind of let him be.  He had lost a little weight, and was getting more picky with his food, but I was kinda just hoping that was due to him getting older.  He seemed pretty good most of the time, and then every once in awhile he seemed extra picky for a few weeks, and then would go back to his normal self.

Then this last week he gradually went from eating, to not even interested in his food by this weekend.  All of a sudden he looked super scrawny, and then yesterday morning when I got up to feed the cats he wasn't himself at all.  He wouldn't even acknowledge me when I said his name.  I immediately got on the phone with the vet and had him in there an hour later.

As of right now all I know is that there is something wrong/abnormal with his intestines.  As the vet said it could be anything from as serious to cancer, to he could just have a chronic intestine issue that needs to be treated with some medicine.  They are keeping him right now to give him fluids and meds and to see how he responds to those, and I can only hope positively. 

When I left him yesterday morning they said I was welcome to come and visit him anytime.  Martin and I went to visit him last night, and I am so glad that we did.  I was so worried about him after the way he was acting this morning, I'd never seen him act like that before.  When we visited, he was already acting more like his old self.  His eyes were more alert, and he started purring when I was holding him, and snuggling like he usually does.  That gives me hope that he is going to get better because I am not ready for our time together to be up yet.  Which was presented by the vet as something that might be the case if we are looking at cancer.

Charlie's not a young kitty anymore, he's almost 10 actually, but he truly is my baby.  Charlie is my first pet as an adult.  I got him in the fall of 2004.  I had just graduated from college the previous spring and had moved to Chicago with my then boyfriend, and I remember it took a lot of convincing from me, but I finally talked him into letting me have a cat in our apartment.  I had always grown up with animals, cats and dogs, and I was ready for my own.

I remember we looked at a few shelters in Chicago, and then one weekend in October we were back in Wisconsin visiting our families and my mom and I went out to several places to look at kittens who needed to be rescued.  It was the end of the day and we were going to check out a litter of kittens that was listed in the local paper as recently being rescued and needing homes.  I remember walking into the ladies house and there was a crate full of kittens climbing all over each other, and in the middle was this little orange kitty who had just received a bath, just sitting there staring up with big eyes, calm as can be.  I knew he was the kitty for me.  I played with a few of them, but he was the sweetest.  When I picked him up he just cuddled, he never tried to get away.

To this day, everyone who meets Charlie still says he is the sweetest cat.  Even today at the vets, I heard it multiple times.  He is the only cat I have ever had that will let you hold him cradled like a baby in your arms, he gets so relaxed he starts to doze off.

Charlie has been with me through so much that last 10 years it is almost unbelievable.  He has been the one constant there through it all, and it always amazes me how in tune they are to being there for you.  My kitties can always sense when I'm sad and need a little extra cuddling.  Charlie I am sending positive thoughts your way, I hope you are feeling better and getting stronger and that we can have you back home soon!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Everyday Elegance: What I Wore

We had another weekend full of gorgeous weather, meaning great opportunities to eat outside - my favorite!  It feels like it's been awhile since Martin and I had a date night where we went out just the two of us, and that is what we did Saturday night.  We went to one of our favorite places which is a local winery and restaurant, Coopers Hawk.  There are two location in close proximity to us which is great because they always tend to be so busy, and we tend to decide last minute where we want to go, so usually we can get in at one of them!

Here's a look at what I wore on Saturday night for date night.

I proclaimed my love of wedges last week, but another great summer staple is maxi dresses.  I love that it is seriously like you are just wearing a sack!  They are so comfortable, but it's a dress so you look pulled together, maybe even a little fancy!  The great thing about this dress is how flowing it is, meaning you can eat as much as you want!

Denim jackets are such a staple, and so worth investing in.  I think my Gap jacket is from college, no joke.  I picked up this gold Michael Kors crossbody bag at the outlet mall a few weeks ago and it is my new favorite go to.  I love using small bags, and I love the gold color of this one - it adds just a little something extra to whatever you are wearing.

What's your favorite summer staple?  Wedges, maxi dresses, shorts. . . so many good things to choose from!

Jacket| Gap (Similar)
Dress| Cynthia Rowley, TJ Maxx (Similar)
Shoes| Ciao Bella, DSW (Similar)
Purse| Michael Kors, Outlet (Similar)

Friday, June 6, 2014

My Friday Five

I can not get over how incredibly perfect the weather has been lately.  I could seriously just sit there and soak it up all day long, if only!  I totally think we should have summer breaks for the rest of our life, does anyone know who I need to talk to to make that happen?  Well until we figure that out, here are a few snap shots from my life this week.

1|  I kicked off my #100happydays challenge and am loving it so far, I highly recommend jumping on the bandwagon!  You can follow along with my challenge on Facebook or Instagram.

2| I was getting a little bored in my workout routine, or lack there of, so I decided to revamp and commit Tuesdays and Thursdays to strength training.  I'm loving the Fitness Buddy app.  I've had this app for awhile, and it's great because it has built in workouts based on different body areas or goals, as well as a place to keep track of what you did and how much weight you lifted - it helps to take the guess work out of it.  I think it costs a few bucks, but definitely worth it!

3| I mixed up my usual lunch routine with a light and refreshing caprese salad this week, it was so good I ate it Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday!  It doesn't hurt that it's so easy to whip together either - chop of some tomatoes, mozzarella, tear up some basil, add a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil, finish with a little black pepper and lunch is ready!

4| There is something about when these flowers bloom in my yard, I love the color!  I had this plant in my yard for several years before it ever even bloomed, I remember all of a sudden one summer there was this hot pink out of no where, it was definitely a nice surprise!

5| Every summer my studio and the local park district partner together to put on a Summer Dance Concert Series and tonight kicks off the first one.  I always looks forward to it because I love being outside in the summer, and not only do we get to be outside, but we get to dance to live music which makes for a pretty fun evening!

Here is to a great weekend hopefully balanced with a little relaxing, a little working on the house, and a little quality time with my husband!  See you next week!

Linking up with:
the lauren elizabeth | the ladies at Five on Friday | the diary of a real housewife | meet @ the barre