vacation is over…

Hope you’ve all been well!  I took a much needed vacation from blogging for the past few weeks as I’m sure you’ve noticed. The bathroom is progressing, albeit slowly. My sister-in-law got married and looked gorgeous. My finger is a million times better thanks to hand therapy and I may be able to stop going soon. Work is absolutely insane and I’m overwhelmed and stressed to the max. Oh, and the Pope took over Philly.

Because the university I work at is in Philly, we were closed on Friday as well as today – yay! That meant I got “vacation” – work at home, do massive laundry, do massive cooking. I have to say, I have not felt this productive in a VERY long time. Between Friday and today, I made 4 loaves of pumpkin bread, 1 loaf of white bread, a beef/carrot/tomato/mushroom stew, 2 batches of meatloaf, 3 pounds of turkey basil meatballs, and chicken cordon bleu. Needless to say, I’m now EXHAUSTED, but have a very well stocked freezer!

It probably sounds crazy to cook all of those things in such a short amount of time, but having an extra freezer means that I can do a lot of cooking and freeze it all for those times when we just can’t deal with making a meal when we get home from work, which is often. Plus, we have barely had free weekends since June. In October we have two weddings, in November we have another one, and in between various work functions that take over nights or weekends. But for now? No worries! We have plenty of food to keep us busy for a while 🙂

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a day to be thankful

There are so many things to be bitter or sad or resentful about that sometimes it’s hard to be thankful. But today, among all other days, is a time to reflect on what we do have that makes life so beautiful and amazing.

I have a loving and supportive family and friends who I can turn to. I have a roof over my head. I have a goofball dog and cranky cat to keep life interesting. I have a husband who (tries to) keep me sane and loves me. I have so many little things and little encounters in my life that keep me happy and grounded and make me feel blessed.

No turkey is being cooked in this house today. The Man is at work and a Black Friday Feast is planned with friends for tomorrow so we’ll be sitting around the table giving thanks a little late. Even though I’m not with family today, I have everything I need in the world.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Abby dreaming of the turkey to come tomorrow.

tis the season to be CRAZY BUSY

I think this is the first weekend since September that the Man and I don’t have an event or formal plans. I really have no idea where the early, warm fall days went, but I’m so excited for the weeks ahead!

In the time that I’ve been noticeably neglecting the blog, we had a Marine Corps ball and wedding, both of which were fantastic. I can’t remember the last time I danced in high heels so much in one weekend!

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But as much fun as we’ve had, I’m really looking forward to this weekend. I have some house DIY projects up my sleeve, all my wool winter sweaters to wash and block for the season, and of course Thanksgiving to plan out!

I don’t think I’d know what to do with myself if I wasn’t crazy busy.

a trip to the fifties

The Man and I went to a Halloween party on Saturday at a friends house. I can’t remember the last time I truly dressed up for Halloween other than some peacock feathers and makeup.

For the longest time I couldn’t think of what I could wear as a costume, and I kind of wanted us to match, so we came up with the idea of a couple from the fifties. I had a dress that the Man convinced me to buy at an estate sale – new with tags – for about $10 that would be the perfect base. His costume was infinitely easier – dress shirt and slacks plus a robe and a pipe and he was the perfect fifties gentleman home from a long day of work.

So I had the perfect dress, some over the top jewelry, and kitten heels ready to go. I did some Pinterest searches for easy fifties hair and makeup and got to work. Saturday turned out to be miserably rainy and cold, but never fear! I had the perfect “coat” to go along with the theme.

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Sassy fifties pose.

My German Grandmother’s fur cape-let was perfect, and time period appropriate, along with my Nana’s pearls, my mom’s diamond watch, and my already vintage (and way before the fifties!) engagement  ring. To top it all off, I had an “inside” look with a fancy apron, ready to serve my fifties husband.

I was thrilled with how the look turned out. It was funny because one of the women at the party asked me “Is this real?” to several pieces of my ensemble and was astonished when I said yes. I also told her that my Nana would be proud. She was one of those fifties women who would meet her husband at the door, dressed up, makeup on, and dinner finishing on the stove. So often now, we look down on women of that generation, who took care of their husbands and the home and were happy to do so.

Talking to my mom later Saturday evening, she said that Nana thought grandpa worked with intelligent men and women all day, and he should come home to a woman who was not only intelligent but also beautiful. And you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that.

So here’s to you, Nana, and all you beautiful, hard working, and intelligent women who stay home and take care of your kids, your house, your husband… whatever you do. Don’t ever let anyone tell you you aren’t amazing and just as hard working. And there’s nothing wrong with taking delight in being beautiful while doing it.

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Martini, dear?

fall cleaning

When I think of doing major, whole house cleaning, I usually think of spring. But since the bathroom debacle started, it feels like life has spun out of control so I’ve taken advantage of the unseasonably warm days we’ve been having to throw up the windows and clean out.

One of the hardest things about working full time is finding room in a busy schedule for things like this. I haven’t come up with any revolutionary master plan, so don’t get excited. Even though my friends sometimes joke and call me Martha Stewart for my baking and crocheting, I haven’t become a guru when it comes to making cleaning quicker (or more fun).

I think when you have a room under construction, keeping the house clean becomes even more stressful. While I once felt like my house pretty much always looked put together, it now feels like utter chaos. Things that were in the bathroom or linen closet are now in the guest room, the hole in our center hall seems even more apparent, and the dust kitties seem to be multiplying.

Yesterday the Man and I spent a good six hours outside, trimming trees, pulling ivy, cleaning out the flower beds, and beginning to put our summer stuff up in the loft of the garage for storage. While I might be sore today, I’m really grateful to look out the window and see a nice, tidy back yard. Today has been spent switching over from summer to fall in the drawers and closets and vacuuming all the nooks and crannies on the first floor.

I’m sure when today is over, I’ll look at the first floor of my house with a sense of peace, but right now I just want to curl up on the couch and crochet. Anyone else tacking their fall cleaning? I could use a support group 🙂

feline friday does pumpkin

The Man and I were totally spoiled yesterday for Thanksgiving. The amazing Michele of Pickled Sweet invited us over to celebrate the day with her and her husband in their home. We were treated to turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans,candied sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and the most amazing apple & fennel stuffing. Oh and don’t forget dessert: pumpkin goat cheese cheesecake. ALL TO DIE FOR. Needless to say we were well stuffed by the time we got home, and our fridge is full of leftovers that she sent us home with.

Unfortunately, we’re not sharing leftovers with the cats. They got a can of shredded turkey with cheddar, but other than that I’m being greedy. Or so I thought.

I tucked into a slice of the cheesecake tonight, and lo and behold, what appears at my side but a furry friend who is more than willing to STEAL help me eat some of it. Luna was so hardcore going after the tiny bit I left in my bowl that I had enough time to go get props and snap a pic.

IMG_20131129_201355_838Hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving and a great day of holiday shopping!