Friday, January 31, 2014

Five on Friday!

It's that time again...linking up with ChristinaDarciApril, and Natasha for 5 on Friday and you should too!

ONE.  My parents are coming over tonight (weather permitting) so my Dad can help us try to fix our dishwasher.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we get it fixed so I don't have to pay someone to come fix it, and so I can quit hand washing the's one of the "chores" I hate the most!

I totally let the dishes pile up because I dread washing them.
TWO.  I can't believe it, but we have ZERO plans for Saturday and I'm so happy.  We are supposed to get more snow, so I think we'll be staying home all day.  Which is good because I need to get going on my kitchen projects, and Saturday sounds like the perfect time to get started!

THREE.  The Superbowl is this Sunday already!  Who are you cheering for?  I think I'll be cheering for Seattle, although I'm just hoping to see a good game.  And some good commercials.  I'm also looking forward to seeing Bruno Mars perform at half-time.

FOUR.  I was going to attempt to make Kevin a birthday cake for his birthday on Wednesday, but we already leftover cake from his mom and cookies and chocolate covered pretzel rods from my mom, so I decided I would make the cake this weekend for him, after some of the other sweets are gone.  It's a Cookies & Cream cake that I saw in a magazine.  If it turns out, I'll be sure to share the details!

FIVE.  This week has been DRAGGING.  I am beyond excited that it is finally Friday.  TGIF!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Photo an Hour (Kevin's Birthday Celebration)

Today I'm linking up with Stephanie from Southern Mess and Meg from Meg O. on the Go for A Photo An Hour.  I thought this was a fun little "challenge" where you take a photo every hour for one day (I did it over 10 hours).  I decided to take a photo an hour on Saturday, when we went to celebrate Kevin's birthday with our families.  I thought it'd be more fun than a work day when I just sit at my computer for the majority of the day.

A Photo an Hour Link-Up

These are all taken on my iPhone because of course, I forgot my camera.  And you'll see that I might be slightly obsessed with my dog.

8 a.m.  Cuddles with Admiral...we do NOT want to get out of bed.

9 a.m.  Dreading shoveling all of the 8 inches of snow we got over night.

10 a.m.  Took Admiral out to play in the snow for a little bit before I help Kevin shovel.

11 a.m.  Time to pick up all the toys and get ready to drive to our parents'.

12 p.m.  On the road to Muskegon to see our families.  The snow is falling blowing.  Makes downtown Grand Rapids look foggy, but really it's just blowing snow!

1 p.m.  Kevin opening his birthday presents from my family.

2 p.m.  Playing the wii.

3 p.m.  Time to head to Kevin's mom's.  The snow banks are almost up to the stop sign!

4 p.m.  Admiral (front) and Diego (back) enjoy some play time.

5 p.m.  Kevin opens his presents from his mom.

 6 p.m.  Time for cake for the birthday boy!

The rest of the night was spent playing cribbage.  We headed to Kevin's Dad's on Sunday to celebrate with him before heading home to Grand Rapids Sunday afternoon.

Now go stalk other blogs who are sharing their "A Photo An Hour" posts today--that's I'm going to be doing :)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Happy Birthday to my Husband!

Today is my husband's 26th birthday!  We are both working today, but have dinner reservations at Bonefish Grill to celebrate.  We celebrated this past weekend with our families (recap tomorrow), so tonight it's just the two of us.

photo by Mckensie anne Photography
I can't believe we are 26 years old already. (Kevin finally caught up...I turned 26 last July.  He is constantly reminding me that I am a cradle robber and I am older than him.) I remember celebrating each of our 21st birthdays together.  Things sure have changed since then.  We moved in together, got Admiral, bought a house, and got married.  I can't wait to see what the next year has in store for us!

photo by Mckensie anne Photography
Happy 26th Birthday Kevin!  We love you!
Ericka & Admiral

Monday, January 27, 2014

Happy Monday!

Just stopping in real quick to wish you all Happy Monday ;)  We had a good weekend celebrating Kevin's birthday with our families (more details on Thursday).  The weather was awful and I was happy to finally make it home yesterday.  We are in for more snow and cold weather here in Michigan this week, so I hope you are staying warm wherever you are!

Have I mentioned that I'm sick of snow and ready for summer to come right now??

Friday, January 24, 2014

Five on Friday

Happy Friday everyone!  I don't know about you, but I'm beyond ready for the weekend.
I'm linking up with ChristinaDarciApril, and Natasha for 5 on Friday and you should too!

ONE.  I made stuffed peppers for dinner the other night and they never seem to disappoint.  Nothing fancy this time, just things we had leftover--ground beef and Mexican rice that were left over from taco night and a can of Skyline Chili that we had in the cupboard.  (Pinterest has tons of different recipes too) Just cut the tops off the peppers, remove all the seeds, fill with your ingredients, bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees, top with cheese and bake for a few more minutes until the cheese is melted, then enjoy!

TWO.  This weekend we are celebrating Kevin's 26th birthday with our families, assuming the weather cooperates. We're supposed to get more snow, so we'll see.  Kevin's birthday isn't actually until the 29th, but we are planning to do some celebrating this weekend.

THREE.  I'm on the hunt for some cute, warm winter boots.  I LOVE these Sorel boots, but they don't have my size right now.  Anyone have any other recommendations of where I can find some great winter boots?

FOUR.  As I was listening to Justin Timberlake Pandora yesterday, some Usher songs came oh man do I love me some Usher!  I think I may need to download a bunch of songs.  I love all the "old" stuff from him: Burn, My Way, You Make Me Wanna, Nice & Slow, U Got it Bad, and the list goes on.  It's amazing how some good music can really change your mood sometimes!  It also helps that Usher is gorgeous..

FIVE.  I ordered a cute print from GroopDealz yesterday to add to my wedding gallery wall.  I can't wait to get it, hang it, and show you all!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Blogging Q & A

Yesterday I was tagged by Mary Leigh at Thrift for Today in this fun blogging Q & A, so today I'm here answering the questions!  

Have I mentioned that I miss my long hair?
When did you first start blogging and why? 
I started blogging in August 2012.  I had a couple of reasons for starting a blog:
1.  Kevin and I were engaged and I wanted a way to keep my out of town family updated on everything, and a way to keep track of everything so I could look back on it some day.
2.  We were in the process of buying our first house, so I wanted to be able to share our adventures with owning a home, DIY projects, decorating, and everything else that comes along with it.

Have you had any past online presence?
 I had personal social media accounts, but that's it.

When did you become serious about your blog? 
Honestly, from the start I was pretty serious.  I blogged a lot about our wedding (you can check out most of the wedding posts here), and now that we've been married for almost seven months, I'm hoping to blog more about home projects, crafts, recipes, etc.

What was your first blog post? 
My first blog post was called "Here Goes Nothing..." on August 15, 2012 and it was about my reasons for starting my blog.  You can read it HERE.

What have been your biggest challenges blogging? 
Being consistent and delivering quality posts.  Ideally I'd like to post 3-4 days a week, but sometimes I might only get 1-2 posts out a week.  I love reading blogs with great content like cute craft or DIY projects, room makeovers, etc., but I'm struggling getting out the quality content that I love reading...but I'm working on it :)

What is the most rewarding thing about blogging? 
I've met some really great people through blogging.  I've realized that there are other people out there who are a lot like me and I love it!  I love the sweet comments I get from readers, and it just amazes me that other people are actually reading what I's so awesome!

What is the most discouraging thing about blogging? 
Like in real life, I think there can be pressures in the blog world.  Whitney from I Wore Yoga Pants wrote a post about this just the other day and she explained it all perfectly (at least in my opinion she did).  I want to always "keep it real" on here, and not fall in to the pressure of thinking I have to have a perfect life, spotless house, endless wardrobe, etc.  The blogs I like the most are the ones I can relate to the most...the ones who are real.  It doesn't matter how many followers they have.

What is your lasting inspiration or motivation? 
What is your blogging dirty little secret? 
Hmmmm I'm not sure about this...I don't really have one.

What is your current goal as a blogger? 
I just like sharing my real life experiences, projects, etc. and hoping that someone out there can relate.  So my goal is to just keep things "real" around here (as previously mentioned) and hope that you all enjoy reading it! 

Have you learned or become passionate about anything through blogging that caught you by surprise? 
I've definitely learned a lot through blogging...there are so many talented people in this world.  I read all kinds of blogs lifestyle, fashion, DIY, etc. and I love how creative everyone is in their own way.  I've definitely become a lot more passionate about DIY projects.  I see so many great things on other blogs, and it inspires to do things in our home and share them with everyone and hope they can get some ideas or inspiration from it

Now I tag Emily from Beauty and the Greek and Amanda from Happily Ever After!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: DIY Rehearsal Dinner Invitation

I know that it's been almost seven months since our wedding, but I'm finding there are some small details that I forgot to share, so I'm back for another Wedding Wednesday!

Photo by Mckensie anne Photography
We did our wedding on a budget, so I did the rehearsal dinner invitations myself.  I found some ideas on Pinterest and then I created my own invitation using Microsoft Word.  I just printed the invitations on some purple cardstock and then mailed them out to everyone.  You can definitely make it more fancy than I did, but it was cute, simple, and most of all inexpensive.  So here is the wording that we used:

Did you DIY your rehearsal dinner invitation?  Or did you find it easier to have someone else do them for you?

NC Belle In Boots

Wedding Wednesday

Monday, January 20, 2014

Weekend Recap: Friends, Fun, and Football!

We had a great weekend spent with friends and watching football.

Friday night we went out to dinner at Red Robin with some friends and then went for a couple of drinks.

Saturday was spent doing stuff around the house before we got ready for a surprise 30th birthday party for my friend's husband.  The party was at a country bar downtown where there was a live band and line dancing!  We enjoyed a few drinks, listened to some good music, and I even learned a couple of different line dances with the girls!

My friend Melissa (it was her husband's birthday).  She's super tan because they just got back from a cruise for their honeymoon...I'm just a little jealous :)
Line Dancing.  I'm on the far left :)

Sunday morning we went to church and then went to see Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.  Kevin and I both liked it, so I'd totally recommend it!

The rest of Sunday was spent doing laundry and watching football.  I'm excited for a Denver-Seattle Super Bowl!  I really like Petyon Manning, but I've really liked the Seahawks this year, so I think I might be cheering for Seattle.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Five on Friday Time!

I'm linking up with ChristinaDarciApril, and Natasha for 5 on Friday and you should too!

ONE.  We don't have much planned for this weekend, so I'm thinking I'll give myself a fun manicure.  Abby posted a great tutorial for doing polka dot nails...I think I'm going to have to try it out!  Or maybe I should try something like this in honor of the NFL playoffs this weekend :)

Football nails - awesome idea for football season
TWO.  Our dishwasher quit working for some reason on Wednesday night.  Something about a temperature sensor or something.  I'm waiting to hear back on how much it would cost for someone to fix it, but I'm hoping it's something my Dad can help with instead.  So now I have to do the dishes by hand for a while.  #firstworldproblems

THREE.  I'm ready for my hair to be long again!  I chopped it off in August, but I'm ready for it to grow back ASAP.  What I wouldn't give to have this hair right now:
Long dark hair
FOUR.  I've been seriously addicted to Pinterest lately (and from reading some of your blogs, I'm not alone).  It must be the new year making me want to be all organized, stylish, and crafty...and I'm not mad about it.  Now I just need to buckle down and actually DO some of the things I've pinned.

FIVE.  In case you missed it, I got a little personal on here yesterday.  I shared the story of my struggles with my teeth.  I even shared some pretty embarrassing photos.  You can check it all out here.

Hope you have a great weekend!!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I have the worst teeth. Ever.

After a routine visit to the dentist this week for a cleaning, I thought I would share my struggles with my teeth.  They are horrible.  Name a dental issue/procedure and I've probably had it.  Now, don't get me wrong, I know it could be worse.  I still have my teeth (well the majority of them-you'll understand soon).  

I've been going to the dentist/orthodontist/oral surgeon ever since I can remember.  So here's a little timeline (with photos-you're welcome) of  my dental adventures.  A lot of my close friends probably don't even know all of these things because I used to be embarrassed about some of them, but I'm not anymore, so I decided to share my story.  I know it's not the most interesting thing to read, but I'm glad I have it all documented.  And hey, maybe someone out there can relate!  Or you can just look at some of the embarrassing photos I included...

Birth-Age 8:  I had typical cavities/fillings.  Nothing crazy yet.

Age 9:   I had my first experience with the orthodontist.  I had some type of "appliance" installed on the roof of my mouth because they needed to correct my cross bite.  I had to go in about once a month for them to adjust it.  I think I probably wore it for 10-12 months.

Age 10-12:  Just more cavities and fillings.

Age 13:  Two things happened around this age.  I had an "expander" installed on the roof of my mouth to stretch my jaw because they didn't think I had enough room for all of my teeth.  I had to insert a key in the thing and turn it every night so it would stretch a little more.  This caused a GIANT gap in my front two teeth.  Lovely.  Just what I want right before I start high school.

Look at that gap...unreal.  I'm pretty sure I could fit a straw through there.  That is what the "expander" did to my teeth.
After all of my baby teeth fell out and my adult teeth came in, they realized that my top eye teeth never came in.  They were there, just never came in.  My orthodontist referred me to an oral surgeon.  The oral surgeon determined that I needed surgery to uncover the eye teeth that never came in.  They were able to uncover one enough so that a bracket could be attached to it when I got my braces and it could be pulled down using the braces.  However, the other one was not in a position to be "saved" so they removed it.  So I just didn't have an eye tooth on my left side anymore.  They said they would leave enough room with my braces to do an implant in the future.

Age 14-17:  I have braces on my top and bottom teeth.  For 3.5 years.  All through high school (suck).

Age 17:  I get a "flipper" for my eye tooth (basically a fake tooth attached to a retainer).

Age 21:  I get braces AGAIN.  I'm told there is not enough room to do an implant, so they have to put braces back on for 6-8 months to create the room.  16 months later the braces finally came off.
Yay for braces a second time - NOT.
Age 21:  I get all four wisdom teeth removed and have my implant done (while I'm still wearing the braces).  The new "tooth" can't be attached to the implant for several months until everything I continue wearing an awful fitting flipper.
You can kind of tell how swollen my cheeks are in this pic (I'm on the right).  This was a couple days after the wisdom teeth and implant surgery.
Age 22:  The braces finally come off and I get my new tooth!

Age 23-25:  I'm not exactly sure what age I had these done, but it was over these couple of years.

First:  You know that little piece of skin that connects your bottom lip to your bottom gum line?  Well mine was pulling on my gums, and causing my gum to recede on one of my front teeth.  So, I had that "clipped" and my lip stitched to my gum further down in my mouth so it wouldn't pull any more.  Then, I had a soft tissue graft done on the tooth where the gum had receded, which basically just gave me some gum line back on that tooth.

Second:  I had a crown done on one of my back teeth.  When I was young, my tooth was so bad, that my dentist literally put a filling around the entire tooth, and since it had been many years, the filling was cracking and my tooth was hurting, so a crown was done.  Well it doesn't end there.  The crown was fine, but my tooth still hurt, so I had to have a root canal done on it (which wasn't bad at all, actually).

Third:  One time when I went in for a cleaning, they said my gums were very bad, and I needed a deep gum cleaning.  And OMG was that awful.  Painful and uncomfortable the entire time.

Also over these years, I had all of my old silver fillings replaced with new, tooth colored ones; had the ridges on all of my teeth filed down, and I got a bite/night guard that I wear at night so that I don't clinch/grind my teeth while I'm sleeping.

Age 26 (today):  I go to the dentist for my cleaning on January 14, 2014 and I'm told that my gums aren't in the greatest shape.  Story of my life.  Literally.

It just gets old.  And expensive.  I'm very thankful that I have insurance, but trust me, insurance does not cover everything.  I don't know what to do anymore.  I go for my cleanings every year (always have), I brush twice a day, I got the Sonicare toothbrush that my dentist recommended, and I floss once a day.  I guess it's just my genetics.  That's what I'm going with.

Just one time, I'd like to go to the dentist and have them say everything looks good.  Just one time.  Is that too much to ask?