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Month-i-versary

In honor of our 1 month-i-versary, we're married!  Today Mike wore the shirt he wore on our first date, which I oddly remember and he doesn't wear often.  I said, "You're wearing our first date outfit and it's our month-i-versary!" :)

It has been quite the month.  We celebrated my sister's birthday (always quite the affair), packed, moved, took a little trip to Nashville, went to LouFest!  (Mike drove back and forth from Chicago-St. Louis 4 times.  (3 times in one week.)

I'd love to share some of our wedding photos, if you're interested, with a couple big call outs first.  We loved our photographer, both in personality and photo quality (Jenn Shaffer) and our flowers (Stems).  We also got a great cake from Weber's Bakery.

Enjoy!












The Best Thing That Happened To Me This Week

Anyone listen to "It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders?"  

They have a series where people call in with the best thing that happened to them this week.  I love it.  So.  Much.  

I want to try.  Maybe I can try every Friday?

This week I loved spending three days in Nashville.

What's the best thing that happened to you this week?

Nashville - Honeymoon Part 1

A couple weeks ago we sat around and decided the find a cheap flight for a Labor Day trip likely was not the best tactic since we're watching our pennies a bit through transitioning into having a full-time student (Mike) and our move to St. Louis.  We just want things to balance out a bit before we start spending.

So we had been taking an informal poll from people we talked to: Nashville or Memphis.  (Both a reasonable drive from St. Louis.)  It was actually really close!  We decided on Nashville for this trip, but I'm sure we'll make our way to Memphis at some point.

I clicked around on hotels.com and hotwire because this is a budget trip after all!  We ended up getting a great deal on a 4-star hotel downtown that we were really excited about: 21c Museum Hotel.  Two floors of the hotel are a museum!

When I had a spare moment I started looking for places for us to visit in our 2 night, 3 day stay.  I knew right away I wanted to go to Hatch Show Print.  I had it on my list whe…

New St. Louisans

Here we are.  A couple of new St. Louisans.  

I think it's fair to say we both feel a bit lost right now, especially surrounded by boxes.  The tricky part of these boxes is we are currently in temporary housing so we're not sure how much to unpack and how much to set aside for when we move again...

I arrived yesterday and Mike helped me carry in the big furniture once he got home from class.  As I looked at the puddle of sweat I was dropping, I walked up to the shower to see all the bruises appearing on my legs.  Honestly, my dad moved all the boxes in the truck into the townhouse during the day all on his own.  Let's all pause to give a round of applause for my dad!  Aside from the fact that it was above and beyond what we could have asked, I was beat after packing my car (to capacity), cleaning our place in Chicago and driving to St. Louis.  (Also, it's a good thing he was there because apparently the copy of Mike's key that we made in Chicago did not work...)

After…

Traffic

How often do you tell someone you live in Chicago and they reply, "The traffic!" followed by a grimace.

My standard response is, "It's one thing you don't get used to."  

Or I didn't anyway.  

I am excited to have less traffic in St. Louis.  Although the rest of this post is contradicting that fact.  It is usually true.

Sunday we made our way to my parents little Missouri town, Ste. Genevieve.  It was right on the line for the solar eclipse and Mike had school orientation on Wednesday.  Getting out of Chicago was one of the lightest traffic we've experienced.  The rest of the ride, not so much.

Apparently lots of people were on the same route as us.  

Wednesday I made myself comfortable at a coffee shop near St. Louis University campus to work and it turned out to be SLU's move in day.  It was in the 70s Wednesday so I settled in outside until the tension between the cars and traffic directors got to be too much (and I needed to charge my computer).  

Happy Hour

Hey, friends, happy "Thirsty Thursday".  I feel like I haven't used that phase since college.  Oh college.... I guess I'm getting older.  Mike & I are having a date night tonight since we're both having our respective bachelor/bachelorette parties this weekend.  Wahoo!

Let's pretend, instead, you & I are sitting down for Happy Hour, "Thirsty Thursday," if you will.  It's one of those happy hours where the bar isn't insane, the wait staff is somewhat nice, and we feel like sharing real events in life, not just how upset we are with our country and talk of TV shows (which I can never really contribute to).  And, hey, let's say they have solid specials too.  Why not?  So here we go.  

How's your summer been?  Mine has been a bit crazy.  Here's what I'd tell you:

-At the surface we're planning a wedding, house hunting and moving out of the city I've lived in for 12 years and away from all my friends.

-Wait.  You'r…

Zucchini!

Zucchini is back and strong and I'm so excited!

I went to Stanley's for my weekly vegetable run and saw they were $.69/lb.  $.69/lb!  Half my basket was zucchini.

Every time zucchini season rolls around I make this delicious, easy, and quite healthy zucchini soup.  I'm sure I've mentioned it here before, but we all have a lot going on and a reminder never hurts. ;)

So here it is courtesy of Food & Wine: Silky Zucchini Soup.

I plan on making it at least once more before zucchini season ends.

Fun tip:  if you have an immersion blender, the recipe is even easier!  I got mine from groupon years ago and it's still trucking along.

13.1

Over the weekend I ran my third half marathon.  Friends, it did not go well.

These pictures were taken after the race when I decided I was not dead.

My stomach was upset pretty much the whole run, but especially the first half and I have a cold.  (Summer colds, eh?)

I still did it though.  I ran the whole thing and crossed the finish line.

Feel free to read on if you're interested.

It took me forever to settle in, pretty much half the run.  It usually only takes me 3 miles to settle in during a marathon.  So that was annoying.  The stomach issues were likely the cause.  I really thought cheese and I were becoming better friends, but that does not seem to be the case.  

Around mile six, when I started to settle in, my body was like, 'oh hey, you've been neglecting me for six miles.  now you're going to be in pain.'

So I was in pain the rest of the run.  In fact, today my knee still hurts.

So, we'll mark this down as my worst half marathon, I finished in 2 hours.  Damn, …

Hopes and Dreams

What are your hopes and dreams today?

When Mike and I are at dinner or just hanging out and have honestly run out of things to talk about, Mike asks me what my hopes and dreams are.  He asks sarcastically and mostly making fun of me because I ask questions along these lines probably too much for his liking.

(I'm banking on him not reading this...he's not a big fan of any blogs not about city planning or cars...)

I roll my eyes a tiny bit (oh how the tables turn).  And then I always answer.  If Mike is always game when I pester him with questions like these, I definitely have to ask when he asks, even if it's sarcastically.  

I really like it.  It makes me think of goals for the day/week/month and it's really good for me.

So happy Tuesday, get at 'em!

Moisturizer

I said when I turned 30 in January I was going to start using moisturizer.  Now, 6 months later, I can say I've kind of achieved the goal, but not really...

I have a moisturizer from several years ago, which I received as a Christmas gift.  I used it off and on over the years, mostly off.  I've probably used it more this year than ever before, granted the bar was very low.

I don't like it though.  I don't like the smell or really how it feels either.

Then I heard True Botanicals released a lower-priced Basics collection designed for younger skin, technically for people in their 20s, but whatever.  I decided to try their hydrating oil (the smallest one) to see if I am able to be consistent with use.

First impression: I'm still figuring out how much to use, but I love the smell.

10 Miles

In a couple weeks I'm running another half marathon.  I've done very little training, which terrifies me a bit.  A few days ago I decided I needed to at least get in a 10 mile run to prove to myself I can do it.

To run the 606 from our place, running there, running the whole thing, running home totals a bit over 6 miles.  That's about as far as I've run this season.  
As I passed the midway point, I remembered why running has always been my therapy.  I started feeling really annoyed about things.  Then around miles 6-7-8 I was fighting back tears.  By mile 9 I felt great.  Clarity.  Perspective.  
I know I can do it now.

Honeymoon

Mike & I have been going back and forth on honeymoon plans.  He's starting his graduate program a week after our wedding.  Originally we thought we'd just put it off for our one year anniversary.  But let's be real, maybe we can go somewhere for our anniversary AND somewhere small for our honeymoon, just to celebrate the two of us.

First we thought, we'll drive to Nashville or Memphis for Labor Day and spluge on a fancy hotel.

Now we're exploring doing one of those searches on kayak where you say, take us anywhere, whatever's the least expensive.  We think we'll take a look right after the wedding and just go, we're last minute planners anyway.  A surprise for everyone!

Have you ever done something like this?  Any tips?

Monday Dinner

Yesterday was Monday.  I was beat from the weekend.  I didn't want to drive to the grocery store.  I needed to cook something for dinner.

My go to summer dish popped in to my mind: one-pan farro with tomatoes

I walked over to Target after work to get some tomatoes and I was good to go.  

Highly recommended.

Wine Bottles

Does anyone besides me sometimes (read: often) choose wine bottles based on their label?

My sister picked this one out but I would have picked it up too.  I'm also very drawn to labels with bikes.

Just a note to kick start your week :)

Walk It Out

Things are a bit crazy around here lately.  It's a good thing the weather is finally taking a turn to motivate me.

Thursday before Mike left for work he told me everything he's stressed about.  With our wedding and move and start of grad school (for him) in the near future we have a lot of things we need to prep for. We're really doing our best, but sometimes it's too much.  For the past...month ish...when Mike gets home from work I have a list of what we need to accomplish that night.  

One step at a time.

So yesterday I decided we needed to take a break and go for a walk.  

We ended up at Rocking Horse's patio where they have $4 drafts on Thursday and talking about what we need to do, but it was at least a step away from the to do list.

Sonoma

Saturday Morning discussing Napa vs. Sonoma:
Boss: "I did a little research and I saw a comparison.  Napa is for the Land Rover, Sonoma is the Jeep Cherokee." 
I now understand this reference since Mike has many favorite car shows.
"We're not Napa people."

That was all the convincing I needed.

My boss was planning to go after we finished work Saturday and fly back to Chicago Sunday.  Mike was on his way out to join me and we hung out in San Francisco for a few days.  We decided we would rent a car for one day and head out to wine country.

We started out early and visited Big Muir National Park first.  

Then we made our way to Sonoma.  We started out at Buena Vista since it has a lot of history.  Then we eavesdropped other tasters to figure out we would go to Ravenswood.

I loved it.  I was pretty exhausted from the push to get through my work event Saturday and then Mike & I walked over 10 miles on Saturday and Sunday.  Monday was a good day for a break.

It was 30 de…

We Have News (more news)

Mike is starting St. Louis University's urban planning graduate program in the fall! 

September 1 is our official move date, but Mike will be there a couple weeks beforehand to get started.  

I think it's fair to say we're both experiencing some mixed emotions, but we're excited for new things!  

One of Mike's uncle's gave him this shirt for Christmas and I'm pretty sure he wore it for 48 hours straight after he got his acceptance email!

P.S.  Housing options in St. Louis are AMAZING!!!

Registration

*Karen tells me that is not what I'm supposed to say, but it makes sense in my head...

Saturday I was in San Antonio for work, I did get to hang out with a friend while I was in town so that definitely made the trip better, combined with the fact that the volunteers there are just wonderful.

I knew Sunday was going to be overwhelming before I left on Friday.  I always write lists when I'm overwhelmed, I wrote a list.  (Even though I hardly referenced it on Sunday.)  Just writing it down helps me feel better.

Sunday we registered for at two places, starting at 9am.  When we finished the second one (which we were both dragging ourselves through) it felt like it was time for bed...it was 2pm.  Guys, this experience brought so much clarity to people's registerys.  I would not necessarily say it was a fun experience.  And I am very happy Mike seems to have a vision because we would limit the insane number of options down to a couple options together and then I would say I don'…

We're Engaged!

Mike & I are engaged!  We're pretty excited over here and trying to plan an August wedding.

He proposed at The Robey hotel rooftop and it was perfect.  He wanted a public proposal, I did not.  Somehow we both got what we wanted!
Note:  Mike decided it would be fun to put out our arms, which I followed his instructions.  He then decided it looked silly and did not pass along that decision to me... ;) P.S. Photo credit to my sister!
Just for fun, here are some "fun facts" about Mike:

He did improv at several Chicago places and graduated from iO's program.  One of the reasons we're often going to comedy shows with his friends in them.

He loves chocolate.  Like a lot.  To the point where if there's a sweet without chocolate he doesn't see the point.  This is only really a challenge with birthday cakes because my sister does not like chocolate.

He's a night owl.

He doesn't like yellow cheese.  He will pick around it.

His current favorite video game is grand…

Breakfast

Every morning I fire up a skillet and make kale and eggs.  (I like it.)  Sometimes I will have toast or add some cheese or on special days avocado!

I recently came across this idea for breakfast sandwiches - and I love breakfast sandwiches - on Cup of Jo from the lady behind Smitten Kitchen.  I've jumped in full force the last couple weeks and I love it!

It's super easy and somehow more delicious than my normal kale & eggs.  Maybe it's just the fact of mixing things up a bit.
Add a little water to the egg and beat it before pouring it into the skillet.  Cook briefly before adding the filling.
I'm a big kale for breakfast fan so it's kale for me.  Sometimes I add a little cheese if there's some around. 
Fold it up, right there in the skillet.  Let it cook a bit longer.  This helps my kale wilt a bit and cheese melt.
And done!  Super quick and easy!  I'm a fan of open faced sandwiches so I have a slice of toast at the bottom.

Enjoy!

Society 6

My friend, Rubina, mentioned Society6 in the fall and I really enjoy it.

This is a great way to honestly support artists where there main tagline is "Every Purchase Pays An Artist."  Hundreds of thousands of artists use Society6 as a producer and Society6 prints their art on all kinds of products: t-shirts, blankets, art prints, coffee cups
I love my mug that Karen, my sister, gave me for Christmas.  I get compliments at coffee shops all the time and then I go in to my spiel about Society6...

Check it out!

Date Night

I think I've mentioned here before that my love language is quality time.  I am so glad I know this.  Typically, throughout Mike & my relationship we spend a lot of time together on the weekends.  Then we moved in together in August and I quickly found myself gone almost every weekend for work.  I also found myself annoyed at Mike a lot.  For pretty much no reason.  Except for the fact that we weren't spending as much quality time together as I need.

By the end of the fall we figured out if I'm going to be gone, we have to plan a date night for the week.

So last weekend was my first work weekend trip of this year.  We took ourselves out Thursday night (in the rain) and it made a huge difference.  We went to Reno and Spilt Milk and had a lovely night out (even though our clothes were quite wet at Spilt Milk).

Another Newsletter

We all know newsletters are the new thing.  They range from delivery once a day, once a week, once a month and accross the spectrum, delivered to your inbox.  So, another newsletter you ask.  Yes!  And it's great!

My latest discovery that I really enjoy, maybe you've discovered it too, is Eye Level.  It is a bi-monthly love letter to all things literary.  It's currently in it's third issue and I'm in love with it.

I've added great new reads to my library request list, the wait is long, but it's worth it.

Check out their three issues here!

5 Year Journal - Again

I know I've mentioned my 5 year journal here before, but now that I'm in my second year and everyday I get to look back at what I did that day last year I can't tell you how much I love it.  And I imagine I will love it more and more as the years go on.  I'm already dreaming of year 5!  

It takes a maximum of 5 minutes to jot down a few notes from the day and then you move on.

I have this one.  (I'm pretty sure it was more than $12 when my grandma got it for me so that looks like a steal.)
But this one looks amazing!