Thursday, December 19, 2013

Weekend+ Recap - Back to Midwest and New Clothes!

Oh Hey Hi! Good news, I didn't die from my cold. Yay!

Not only am I not dead, but I'm actually starting to feel pretty good. That cold really did a number on me.

Here's what's happened since my day in bed:

We Went to Michigan!!!

It was my extended family's holiday party AND Mike was able to set-up a residency interview at the UM hospital. Besides all the time spent catching up with family and eating delicious food (shout-out to my aunt who seriously hooked me up with vegan deliciousness!), my favorite moment happened on the flight in:

Just as we got through the clouds on our descent I saw it. My first real snow of the season. Eeeeee! It's good to know that I'll always me a Midwest girl at heart.

The cold weather has also added a new item to my ever growing gratitude list:

Husbands for window scraping. What a great thing.

New Clothes!

Monday was a big day in the Socie household. Mike's Black Friday purchase was finally ready for him. Let me tell you guys, it was worth the wait.

"I'm sexy and I know it"

That dude looks goooood. Who wouldn't want to hire a nice looking guy like that?

After all the sitting and moping and feeling sorry for my sick state of being, I started to get a little restless Monday afternoon. I had some chunky yarn and the perfect set a circular needles to whip up a new hat.

...and hubster with the photobomb win.

Guys, I don't want to brag, but I FREE-HANDED that bad boy! No patterns. No tutorials. Just a picture in my head of what I was going for. 

My new hat arrived just in time for our return to the North. Our trek begins tomorrow. Friday night we have a pit-stop and Bethy's house. Then Saturday we drive the rest of the way to my parents' place. Home Sweet Home.

Tonight is Mike and my Christmas celebration. We've got our gifts to each other and our stockings, Coco-nog and holiday spirits, Christmas movies flagged on Netflix, and a vegan holiday roast ready to go. I can't wait to get the vacation started!

Speaking of vacation, I'm not 100% decided on what will be happening on here over the next week. I'm hopping to at least pop in with some pictures here and there and MAYBE a video if you're lucky :) 

Less than one week til Christmas! GAAAAAAHHHHHHH!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Help me. I'm sick.

Ok, I'm only a little sick at the moment. And I really think I'm on the up swing.

Mike and I will be in MI this weekend for my extended family's holiday party. Mike is actually already there visiting a residency program in Ann Arbor. I fly out first thing tomorrow morning.

With all the travel in mind and with the non-existance night of sleep I got last night, I decided it was best to stay home and not contaminate the office further. So instead of work, my day looked like this:

Netflix marathons in bed...

Oooooo, so coooozy.

With provisions of a different sort close at hand. (hahaha, accounting joke)

Ooooooo, so sooothing.

In much more exciting news I want to say a big CONGRATULATIONS to Kayla and Kyler who went off and got MARRIED today. Blessings too you both for many happy years together! 

Back to the Midwest for us! See you Monday.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ornament Tag!

2 weeks til Christmas!!!

So I'm not sure if tags really exist outside of the YouTube universe, but I wanted to do this one blog style so that's what I'm doing. Below I'm going to tag some of my bloggin' buddies for them to do the same thing on their blogs. Really though anyone is welcome to share their responses either in the comments below or by linking to your blog in the comments below. Also feel free to change/add to the tag as you'd like!

Tagging: Bee, Hilary, Sue,  Bethy (vlog it!), and anyone else who wants to join in!

1.) Favorite New Addition Ornament:

We actually have a whole bunch of new ornaments on our tree this year because last year my mom gave us a whole box of ornaments from our family tree, but the champagne glasses are brand new to any tree this year. We found them in a small boutique near Candler Park in, get this, JULY. Yeah we've been waiting a long time to put these guys on our tree. They are hand crafted by a local artisan, and are actually two separate ornaments. The hubby had the idea to hang them in clinking fashion. Very festive :) 

2.) Oldest Ornament:

This Santa is made from plastic, but not cheap-o dallar bin plastic. Early 1900's plastic. That's back when plastic was brand new and very very fancy. This ornament would have been a very big deal to have back then and luckily my family has managed to keep him safe as he's made his way down the family trees so that he can continue to be a big deal now. With him comes a paper written up by my grandma listing all the trees it has hung on beginning with my great great grandparents in 1904 all the way to my parents in 2004. And now we have him. Yay!

3.) Favorite DIY Ornament:

While sitting in the airport waiting for our flight to our honeymoon in Belize, Mike and I had the brilliant idea to hit up the duty-free for a nice bottle of liquor. We picked a bottle of patron and enjoyed tequila sunrises all week long. Being the sentimental type, I kept the cork and tag ribbon and made us a nice ornament to remember our time in Belize. Maybe the travel bottle will become a tradition and we'll have a whole tree of corks and caps someday.

4.) Most Nostalgic Ornament:

This set is awesome for a few reasons. One, the little book actually has the story of the Wizard of Oz in it. And two, it has been hung in the exact same spot my family Christmas for as long as I can remember. I'm not even sure if these are really meant to be ornaments, or what connection you can really make between Dorthy and Jesus, but these guys made our new tree feel like home.

5.) Favorited Gifted Ornament:

"Oh no, we only got one pinecone..." Cue Mike's uncomfortable face :S

Ok, I might have saved the best for last, at least in my mind. A few weeks ago a MASSIVE box arrived with none other than the beloved Milaeger's name on it. I braced myself for the winter awesomeness I knew awaited us on the inside and was still blown away. Inside was a beautifully boxed ornament set with all 12 of the German Bride's Tree ornaments. Each ornament is a symbol of a characteristic for a long and happy marriage. Some of my favorites are the House (protection and shelter), the Bird (joy and happiness), the Fish (Christ's blessing), and of course the Pinecone (fertility). 

Merry Wednesday to you!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas Trees!

Hi hello! It's Monday again. Cray cray.

I was feeling pretty blah today, but I think I'm on the mend now.

More good news: I've got another vlog for you! Watch it to the end for a secret bonus. As always comments and thumbs up's are much appreciated :)

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Hills are Alive

Raise your hand if you watched Sound of Music Live last night!

One of Mike's classmates hosted a watching party. It rocked.

There were twinkle lights, bubbly, and even traditional Austrian cookies.

Pretty awesome hosting. Virtual high-five to Lauren!

Here's a mini-review:

First Impression: Maybe it was the lighting and camera angles. Maybe it was the nun outfits. Either way I couldn't shake the feeling that I was watching SNL for the first 10 minutes. Which reminds me, 1D is the musical guest this Saturday and Paul Rudd is the host...might need to stay up for that one.

Favorite vanTrapp: Now there was a lot of oooooo-ing and aawwwwwe-ing over Gretl in our watching group, but for me Brigita (played by ) was the real standout. Loved her singing. Loved her acting. And it didn't hurt that I wanted a my-sized version of all her outfits. 

Favorite Non-van Trapp: Again I'm going to stray from our group's popular opinion and say that  as Frau Schrader kicked serious butt. Obviously  and   were amazing too. 

Favorite Commercial Break Entertainment: I really hope those of you with Twitter accounts saw the #SoundofMusicPickupLines. Soo funny. But seriously, why didn't they have a live tweet box up in the bottom of the screen Dancing with the Starts style? 

Overall: Loved the experience. Is it fair to equate it to a girly Super Bowl? To me the coolest thing about a special, nation-wide Live broadcast is the feeling of watching it in your house with your group of friends and knowing that across the country there are other people watching and enjoying the same thing. 

Happy Friday! Let's all try to fit in some scenic twirling this weekend.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Hello readers! Ready to become viewers??

Eeeeee I'm so excited to be bringing you this little clip today. I think most of you are well aware of my personal love of vlogs and YouTubers. Well, it was only a matter of time before I stepped out of the stands and onto the playing field. If you like it please comment (on here or on the actual video on YouTube!), and if you are feeling especially generous you can give me one of those spiffy little YouTube thumbs up. It will warm my heart :)

Special shout-out to my sis-in-law Bethy who requested some random vids from me. I hope you stop feeling sick and start feeling awesome soon! #AmericanChummys

Ladies and Gentlemen here it is....

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Dinner Duggar Style: Tomato Soup-erole

Hello party people! Raise your hand if you love the Duggars!!

Have you noticed that these pots are going up later in the day? I'm busy busy at work since my boss had her baby!!! Fun times. Anyway...

One of the things I didn't mention in my recap post was that we've been watching A LOT of Duggar's at our place. I started the marathon before Mike's fam arrived, and lucky for me both Mike's mom and sis are fans of the show.  Now that they are gone I've lost possession of the big screen, and our living room is looking a lot like this:

Dang. He caught me.

The recipe I'm bring you today was very, VERY loosely inspired by Anna Duggar's Chicken-etti Recipe.  Basically her thrown together chicken/spaghetti mash-up inspired me to make a mash-up of my own. Tomato Soup + Pasta Casserole = Tomato Soup-erole!

What You'll Need:
1/2 box a pasta
1 can tomato soup
1 1/2 cans water
1 Tbs corn starch
1 Tbs nutritional yeast
12 saltine crackers
Salt & pepper to taste

First, pre-heat your oven to 400 and get your pasta cooking on the stove to al dente. Now start working on the soup.

Add the soup and water to a small sauce pan and heat to a low boil. Add the corn starch and stir continually while soup thickens. Add the nutritional yeast and salt and pepper to taste. The saltine crust will add a lot of salt to the over all taste, so keep that in mind.

Once the pasta is al dente, pour it into an oven-safe casserole dish then cover with the soup.

Crumble the saltines over the top of the casserole. Pop it into the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the saltines start to look toasted.

Let it cool for 5-10 minutes then dish it up and enjoy!

Happy munching!

Monday, December 2, 2013

I'M BACK! And so is December.

Hi Hello! I hope you had a lovely week. Did you miss me?

Here's what happened in our house...

First, look at this face. I woke him up on Tuesday. He was pretty ambivalent to my start of the holiday excitement.

Sleepy Doodle

Day 1: Flights and travel all worked out fine despite the horrible, horrible weather we had here all week. It was the coldest Atlanta Thanksgiving in over 100 years. I told the fam to leave the cold weather back home next time.

Bethany was hungry and I'm always on board for food so our first stop fresh from the airport was to Ormsby's

Sister, sister!

Mike and his mom got their shuffleboard on. Bethy and I cheered and heckled.

Day 2: was all about being tourists...and hiding from the cold and rain.

World of Coke! I love the 4D movie sooo much.


Surprisingly our little place did a great job accomodating more than just Mike and myself. Apartment win!

Oooo yeah, fancy table time.

If you were wondering, the tiramisu was divine...and has been completely gone for a few days now.

Om nom nom.

After dinner we all cozied into our food comas and enjoyed a couple Peanuts' Thanksgiving specials. Lovely.

Cue Peanuts theme song. Doo do dodo doo doo...

Day 4: We dropped the fam off at the airport :(   Mike and I hit up some Black Friday sales.

Retail Therapy: real person, adult style

New suit ordered! Positive interview ju-ju acquired!

And of course we did some decorating.

Looking good, Marv!

Let me know how your holiday week went in the comment's below!

Monday, November 25, 2013

It's Holiday...Go Do Something with Your Fam

Hello people!

It's almost Thanksgiving. Mike's fam arrives permitting...knock on wood. As such, I'll be  off doing other things this week away from the computer. Get excited for a big recap next Monday. Quickly though, here are some things to tide you over til I return.

Win, Win, Big Ol' Win!

Yeah that's my dash. And you'll notice the break light is on, indicating that I was parked at the time I took this pic. Safety first. The light you don't see lit up is our check engine light. Our buggy fixed herself! Yay! No rants this Monday. All is well on the auto front.

Smallest Weekend Recap Ever

Yup one pic. I cooked up some yummies this weekend in preparation for Thursday. After all the baking was done I took a look around at the mess of dishes and ingredients and was ever so thankful I made the dessert ahead. Self five!

That's all I've got for ya.  Enjoy the week. Give Thanks. Eat food!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thanksgiving Prep Time! and Harry Potter 5 Faves

Hi Hello! It's Friday....and next week is Thanksgiving....and the week after that? December!

Holy moly I just can't get over how quickly the Holidays have shown up this year. We once again have the honor of hosting, this time with the Socie side as our guests. That means that this weekend will be full of lots of prep. My strategy for a low-stress Thanksgiving meal: make ahead AMAP (as much as possible). 

Here's a look at our weekend to do's:

Grocery Trip: Round 2

Mike and I already brought home most of the goods last weekend, but there were a few pesky items that require trips to specific shops, in this case Trader Joe's. On the top of our TJ list: crescent roll, pumpkin puree, and surprise, surprise Cowboy Cavier.

Make Ahead AMAP (as much as possible)

My two main targets for making ahead are the mashed potatoes and the layers for our Pumpkin Tiramisu dessert. 


Doesn't that dessert look divine?? We got a trifle dish as a wedding gift that I've been anxious to use. Bonus points for make ahead, no heat up required, AND fancy pantsy presentation :)

Cleaning and Sprucing Around the House

We've already done some serious fallifying around the house. Last weekend I added even more:

We ended up with extra watercolor leaves that I'm not sure what to do with. Mike seems to think we are toeing the line of going decoration overboard. He has no idea what I'm capable of. Muahahaha.


Don't worry, our plans aren't all work. We've got a HP marathon to finish up, starting with movie 6 tonight. In honor of the marathon I bring you my Harry Potter 5 Faves from around the web:

Click on the title links to be taken to the sources.

Favorite Apparel: Whorecrux Tee from Screened Lolz. Also love this tee that I gifted to my bestie Bee.

Favorite Experience: Warner Bros. Studio Tour - Holy dream vacay!! 

Favorite Stuck in Your Head for Daaaaaays: Potter Puppet Pals: The Mysterious Ticking Noise

Favorite Quote: 

Happy Friday! Have a magical weekend!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Potato Dinners and Easy Peasy Smashed Potatoes Recipe

Hello dear friends! Guess what day it is.....HUMP DAY! YEAH!

Can you believe Thanksgiving is just a week away?  The holiday season just started and it's already flying by! In honor of the upcoming holiday, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite quick and easy sides. 

I love these guys for a few reasons: 
1) They are totally easy to make and pretty foolproof in execution. 
2) They look fancier than they are (especially if you use red potatoes) 
3) They're POTATOES!!! What's not to love??

Let's pause for a minute and gather round into a nice little truth circle. It's confession time, and I'll go first. I may have called these guys a side above, and they're great for that. BUT that doesn't mean that I've never had them as the main course. In fact, they may have been my dinner last night. No judging remember, we are in the truth circle.

While I love cooking up something inventive and semi-complicated for dinner, more often than not I just want something quick and easy. Sometimes that means we are eating pasta with sauce from a jar. No frills. No sides. No salad first course. Just a quick and easy dinner. Even more often than pasta and sauce though, is the Potato Dinner. 

Back in October (can you believe that "back in October" is a real thing already???), Mike and I went to an orchard  and in addition to the apples, we bought a pretty large bag of sweet potatoes. Welcome to the era of sweet potato fry dinners. Yummy. After the sweet potatoes were all used up, we kept the potato dinners alive with grocery store bags of golden potatoes. Our preparation method of choice: Smashed! 

Here's What You'll Need:
2-3 medium sized golden or red potatoes per person
Salt & Pepper
Hot Sauce or other favorite seasoning(optional)

Smashed potatoes require a two step cooking process. First preheat your oven to 450. Next prepare your potatoes to be boiled. Place the potatoes in in a large microwavable dish. Cover with water to about 2 inches above the potatoes. Microwave on high for 12-15 minutes. Microwave time will very depending on the size of your potatoes. The goal is to get them to a point where they can be easily pierced with a fork but aren't crumbling apart. Usually this is around the time that they start to float in the water.

Potato hot tub...yummy.

If you don't have a large enough dish or would prefer to not use your microwave, you can boil the potatoes in a large pot on the stove.

Once your potatoes have been soften up, place them on an oiled cookie sheet. For easy clean up, I recommend lining the pan with foil.

Halfway there.

Now comes the fun part. Pull out the potato masher and smash each tatter into a flattened disk. A fork and a little extra muscle would work fine too.

This could also be a good stress reliever after a long day. Just imagine the potato is that annoying person's face.

Season your taters with oil, and salt and pepper to taste. I have a handy little oil mister that I use to get a thin layer of oil evenly over the taters. You could use a brush or just carefully drizzle and spread with a spoon or your Jesus spoons (fingers).

You can stop with the seasoning right here if you'd like, but I've been on quiet the spicy food kick for the past few months. Bring on the hot sauce!

Just drizzle over the potatoes as desired. Other fun topping ideas: steak seasoning, garlic and herbs, taco seasoning, chili powder...the possibilities are endless.

Pop that deliciousness into the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until little crispy brown edges start to form.

Behold, crispy, carb-y goodness.

Plate and devour!

Happy almost the weekend! We can make guys!

Monday, November 18, 2013

When it Rains, it Pours

Blerg, blerg, blerg...I'm grumpy. It's Monday. I apologize in advance for the general negativity of this post. Feel free to skip down to the nugget :)

I try to be a "look of the bright side" sort of person. I try really, really hard to not stress over small things and to find the nugget of goodness in whatever crap-tastic situation I've found myself in. But this week is already challenging the heck out of me.

Let me start by acknowledging that in the grand scheme of things what I am all in a tizzy over is nothing. First world problems at its best. But sometimes one small hiccup is followed by another, and then by another, and before you know it your camel's got a broken back. Are you following me? It's a rant. I apologize for lack of cohesion.

You know how they say that when your interviewer asks about your weaknesses, that you should name a weakness that can also be a strength? Well planning is my weakness/strength. I like planning. I'm good at planning. I can be very analytical and realistic. I can come up with a step by step game plan. I can throw in just enough creativity to keep things interesting. Cry me a river right? Here's the bad side: one teensy, tiny little hiccup with the plan...DEVASTATION!!! Nothing can be fixed. Forget everything. Failure. Abort mission.

And sometimes when the original plan was really well thought out, with noble intentions, chock-full of responsible behavior and self-sacrifice for the sake of a greater goal, that little hiccup can feel like a giant kick in the shin. Thanks a lot universe. Sorry for trying to be responsible. 

Bottom line, we are all safe and sound. Things could be worse. Side-note: anyone know of any mechanics looking to do some free work :D

Ok, one last blerg then I'm done. BLERG!

The Nugget of Good

Moving on to cheerier things. Here's a few exciting things that have gone down in the past week-ish.

1.) THREE different and unrelated couple friends of Mike and myself got engaged! Tis the season.

2.) One of my fave vloggers, Marie Bitsanclips, had her baby boy, and the name: Luca Matthew! Now, I'm personally partial to Luca Monster, but I suppose Matthew is better for babies of the human variety :)

3.) I finally got around to making the cover for our utility storage shelf! Much more classy looking.

I used an old table cloth for the fabric, velcro for easy access to the items on the shelves, and added box pleats to the front panels for extra flair.

Sigh of relief. Already feeling less blreg-y. Besides, it's almost lunchtime.

Cheers to tomorrow not being Monday!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Lots Can Happen in Two Days' Time

Hello Friends! It's Friday, Let's party!

So usually I don't need to do much re-capping until Monday, but man oh man has it been a crazy few days. Some of the news we had planned, but some was a surprise to us. I'm feeling a bit on the emotionally drained side of things. TGIF for sure this week. 

In honor of the craziness of the past few days let's start with the end....


They're baaaaaack! Yay. Totally my "It's the holidays when..." moment

My first red cup of the 2013 season.

I try so very hard to limit my trips to Starby's as much as possible. It is definitely a habit I'm not ready to pay for at the moment  But there are certain times when you just have to break your rules and do what makes you feel good. $6 might seem like a lot for a peppermint mocha, but what's the price of that giggly "omg, it's really Christmas time again" feeling. For a nice morning treat after a long week, $6 feels like a bargain.

Here's the other thing about the red cup: Nostalgia. This lovely red cup makes me think back to all my red cups of the past, but specifically my 2011 red cups. This was back when Mike was just my bf and I was working on a long-term project in NYC. It was a lovely time in my life. I was surrounded by friends at work. I was living in an awesome city. Everything was la la la, lu lu lu. And the Starbucks holiday motto that year: 


Now when the red cups first showed up with that motto I feel like my friend H and I gave each other long-distance googly-eyes. We both had boys that we suspected had rings in their possession...what a lovely hint, hint. "Look, even Starby's wants you to propose" Not as sly as we thought, but guess what? Before the year was up, we both had shiny new bling on our left-hands. There's magic in those red cups.

The Unexpected Surprise

Mike was tutoring Wednesday night. I was taking a luxurious pink bubble bath thanks to my lunchtime Lush run. And Luca was eating an entire pack of Trident. FYI the artificial sweetener, Xylitol, found in Trident and in most other sugar-free gums and candies is toxic for dogs. What resulted was a late night run to the animal ER where Luke stayed for the night, a not so restful night of sleep for Mike and myself, and a follow-up day stay with our regular vet. One massive vet bill later, Luca is 100% fine. Knowing that you can now giggle at his cone of shame pic.

The beautiful Luca flower in full bloom.

The Expected Surprise

This one's  a surprise for you, my lovely readers. Mike and I got inked up last night.

43.07423° N, 89.38793° W        

Curious where the coordinates land you? Overture Center, Main Lobby. The location of this glorious life event:

Special thanks to Rebecca at Studio Noveau for beautifully capturing our special day. Check out  more pics here.


As I said it's been a whirlwind week. Nothing a little Peppermint Mocha can't soothe.

Cheers to weekends, and red cups, and holiday memories to keep you warm.