13 of ’13

With 2013 coming to a close, I want to look back at our year and remember 13 of my favorite memories. We love our little life so much!

1. St. Patty’s Day Leap Frog

Image

2. Two week road trip that started in Charleston

Image

3. And stopped in the Everglades

Image

4. A quick trip to Niagara Falls

Image

5. Finally catching the elusive walleyes on Timewarp on Lake ErieImage

 

6. A Chicago weekend getaway with my best girls

Image

7. Summer nights spent enjoying our backyard

Image

8. Black Hills camping over 4th of JulyImage

9. A weekend with friends in New OrleansImage

10. Bringing home this cutie

Image

11. Wisconsin camping with some of our favorite peopleImage

12. Surviving rafting the Gauley

Image

13. And celebrating this handsome guy’s 30th birthday with family and friends in Minnesota

Image

2013 was an amazing year and we can’t wait to see what 2014 will bring us! Happy New Year!

 

30 Day Challenge

Anyone else spiral out of control over the holidays? Like non-stop eating, drinking and no exercise? (Please please let me fit into my New Years Eve dress this week!) Due to the overwhelming fact that I need to get back on track, I’m creating a 30 day challenge for myself for the month of January. I just made this little game up and I want you to join in if you feel like you need some extra motivation to accomplish some goals in the month of January.

Here’s how my 30 Day Challenge works.

Step 1: Pick three REALISTIC goals for yourself. They can be absolutely anything but they have do be doable but they should challenge you. Here are mine:

1. Walk at least 2 miles every day

2. Eat only salads for lunch during the work week (I seriously need to cut out some carbs and my veggie intake has been lacking lately)

3. I am only allowed two drink drinks during the weekday. (i.e. I can’t drink every night like I have during the holiday season. Okay, maybe it wasn’t every night but it sure felt like a lot)

Step 2: Do them.

And that’s it! The challenge starts on January 2nd and goes through the end of the month. I’m giving myself New Years Day to be lazy but then I’m kicking it into high gear on Thursday. For real.

I wanted to share my plan with you to keep myself accountable and also to maybe motivate you to join me. How about for the month of January we try to blow our own damn minds at how motivated and disciplined we can be, huh?

Image

My Go-To Brunch Moves

If you’ve been to our house for brunch, there’s a good chance you’ve eaten these breakfast bakes before. I discovered them through my best friend Pinterest about a year ago and they are my new standby’s anytime there is a special brunch occasion. This post isn’t going to be too exciting because typically, I have had a couple of bloody mary’s at these said brunches and I don’t take pictures of the food. Plus, I’m not that awesome at food photography.

In my opinion, if you’re having a group over you should serve something sweet and something savory. Let’s start with the Overnight French Toast. Shocker – this recipe was adapted from my girl Ree from Pioneer Woman. You seriously can’t miss with most of her recipes, including the best lasagna we’ve ever had (recipe coming soon). This is super easy to throw together the night before and bake in the morning. Just be sure to use good sour dough bread. You’d be missing out big time if you didn’t.

For the savory, I can’t get enough of this Cheesy Sausage Spinach Egg Bake. You make this one the morning of your brunch but it’s so fast and easy and seriously, people rave about it. I did make some adjustments to this recipe that I personally think are pretty vital: use cornbread stuffing mix and sage sausage (Bob Evans brand if you can find it!). My dad even made this the other day for a Christmas brunch and decided to substitute broccoli for spinach which I’m sure turned out great too.

Anyone want to come over for breakfast tomorrow? I already feel like I need a reason to make these again.

And because I feel like I need to include a picture in this post, here’s a picture of some of my favorite honeys. Happy weekend!Image

 

Weekend Recap

Merry Christmas Eve! The past couple days have been so busy and fun that I feel like I’ve barely had a chance to sit down, much less write blog post! This Christmas Eve morning though Ryan is still sleeping, I just made us a breakfast of biscuits and gravy, and I have my coffee, so I’m ready to write. We had such a great weekend, I want to make sure I tell you all about it. Let’s start with Thursday.

On Thursday night, Ryan and I had a little date night. Before we had any friends in Columbus, the Columbus Zoo and it’s animals were our friends. We bought a season pass and used to go to the zoo A LOT. Like an embarrassing amount of times. Now that we have friends, we don’t go to the zoo very often anymore but we made sure to go see the zoo all lit up for the holidays on Thursday. We had dinner at our favorite pizza place, Mellow Mushroom and then went to Wildlights.

Image

Image

We had fun, but let’s be honest. No animals are out at night in the winter. We saw probably a total of 5 animals and it was super crowded. Here’s what we looked like when we got home:

Image

On Friday night I was invited to a girlfriend’s house for an ornament exchange party! So fun! Tons of great appetizers and drinks and it was really fun to meet a whole new pack of girls. I made these toasted raviolis to bring and they were a hit. I was a little nervous about frying them, but they really couldn’t have been easier. I will definitely make those again.

Saturday morning we had breakfast at this super cute restaurant called Village Crepe in Pickerington. Ryan had a showing at his house out there and we found this little gem. After the showing, Ryan and I volunteered for a couple hours at the Mid Ohio Food Bank’s Pantry where we helped people shop for groceries. My family growing up had a tradition of volunteering around the holidays and it’s really stuck with me. I think volunteering year round is really important, but there is something extra special about volunteering at Christmastime. If you ever want to hear a funny story about our experience there though, ask Ryan to tell you a story about ground beef 🙂

After volunteering, we went to see Anchorman 2. Look out for Ryan’s movie review coming soon (and check out his other ones while you’re at it – he cracks me up).

On Sunday, we hosted a Christmas Brunch for 11 of our friends complete with bloody mary’s, mimosas, and the dice game (a Wehking family tradition)! To keep this post from being so long that you won’t read it, I’ll post our brunch menu and recipes at a later time – we’ve built up some tried and true dishes that are definitely worth sharing! I was too busy having fun to take many pictures but here are a couple.

Image

Image

Image

(No Ryan didn’t get a new tattoo – it was his prize in the dice game. Looks kind of good though doesn’t it?)Image

Enjoy the holidays with your families! We’ll be missing ours a ton and send you lots of Christmas love from Ohio!

A BEARy Ugly Sweater

This past Saturday I attended my first Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. Well technically, I was hosting the party. And technically it was for work. My coworker and I were the hosts of our company’s suite for the Columbus Blue Jackets (hockey) game and we invited some of our best customers to come. So fun! But first I had to find my ugly sweater.

Luckily I had to look no further then our own costume bin in the basement to find this gem, once worn by Ryan in college:

Image

I mean, how perfect is that? Gaudy, pilly, and Christmasy. Perfect! Unfortunately, I don’t think my husband ever washed it after he bought it from the thrift store eight years ago so it was also smelly. I took care of that issue and here’s how I “styled” it:

Image

And yes, those are puppy paws photobombing my selfie 🙂

We had such a great night and our customers were totally in the Ugly Christmas Sweater spirit. First Ugly Christmas Sweater Party was a success! Now if both Ryan and I are ever invited to one of these next year, we are going to have to fight over this beautiful piece of cardigan heaven.

PS: Here’s a view from the awesome suite if you are curious!

Image

Girls Christmas Movie Night

Can you believe I’ve never seen Love Actually? Can you believe one of my best girlfriends in Columbus hasn’t seen this holiday classic either? Last night we set out to change that. The girls came over to our house for some wine, snacks and the viewing. So fun! Nights like that remind me how important it is to have girlfriends. Ryan was “kicked” out of the house (I think he happily left) and had a guy’s night playing video games and drinking beer with our friend Cody.

Here’s what was on the menu last night:

-York Peppermint Patty Brownies (Just use regular box brownie mix and make according to the directions. Pour half of the batter on the bottom of the pan, lay the peppermint patties in rows, and top with remaining mix. Cut into small squares because these babies are RICH!)

Creamy Bacon Parmesan Dip

-Hummus and pitas straight from the store

-And this cute little cheese, grape and rosemary tree! (Pinterest inspired of course!)

Image

My sweet friend Katie is so good about bringing over a hostess gift anytime there is a party. I can’t get enough of this wine bottle sweater she brought over last night!

Image

Aren’t the holidays just the best??