Monday, December 20, 2010

The Chuas: Living If

Wedding on the top of Mt Kilimanjaro
Two of my best friends in Minnesota are doing something so incredibly adventurous, something that most people dream about but very few people actually do. They are putting what they need into a backpack and are setting off to travel the world for the next few years!!

They have been talking seriously about it for about two years. They got married with the intention to join the peace corps (you have to be married to be placed together) and last spring they decided it was time to put a plan in place. They evaluated their spending to start saving some serious money, enrolled in, and started researching locations.

I don't remember when they decided that they would be ready to leave by the end of December 2010 but I remember thinking how far away it seemed. Now, it feels as though that just happened and I can't believe they are actually leaving. I am so excited for them! I cannot wait to live vicariously through them, to hear their stories, see their pictures, and know that they are living their "if". I am so proud of them for that and so happy to call them my friends.

My excitement and pride does come with a tinge of jealousy and buckets of sadness. Matt and Erica have been wonderful supportive friends. They are spontaneous, funny, interesting, smart, and they have great taste in food, beer, and friends. They have been living three blocks away from Nick and I for three years now. They are the go-to friends for dinner, happy hour, and really any random event that comes up. They know more about our relationship than most of our friends and we know theirs. If they are able to make it to our wedding, Matt is a groomsman. If they are caught on a mountain somewhere, then we will just have to plan to meet up with them somewhere new and exotic.

They are launching a travel blog. They haven't left the state yet and it is already detailed, captivating, and distracting me from work. You can follow them HERE!

 I'll miss you guys...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Pick Me Up: All the Best Charlie

It's something in the name Charlie that equates to beloved characters...
    Sorry Charlie Brown, you didn't make my list.

  • Charlie Kelly. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I would watch anything if I knew this guy was in it. His voice alone makes me crack up. He has the best one liners.

  • Charlie Pace. Lost. He has made me cry more that any tv character. But on a lighter note, I had this stuck in my head for days after the first time I heard it.

  • Charlie and Harry. Type in Charlie on and at almost 260 million views you will find the cutest British kids, how could you not love?!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Boston: I'll Be Home for Christmas

Nick and I bought our tickets for Boston yesterday! We will be there for Christmas and I can not wait to go home. It is going to be longer than many of our trips east but the holiday will keep it busy and still have me struggling to spend the right amount of time with family, visit with friends, and have a vacation.

I love Boston around Christmas! I love downtown, I love the family traditions, I still love waking up at my parents house on Christmas morning.

We are flying out Christmas Eve morning on a direct flight. I'm a little nervous about getting there on time but we have almost seven hours between when we land and when my favorite part of Christmas begins.

My favorite part is the Christmas Eve party. It is in the town where my Mom grew up. All of my family on that side attends all the way down to second and third cousins. My great aunt plays Christmas carols on the piano and somebody dresses like Santa and makes a big show of coming down the stairs ringing bells, sits in an overstuffed chair, and hands out presents to the little kids.

Nick was a great sport and played Santa two years ago. I was his helper. He was such a trooper that after he had taken off the very old suit and packed away, he put it back on when cousins showed up late and asked that he do it again for pictures with their newborn. He did with a smile and it was worth it! See below:
 When I was a child, I knew the Santas in the mall were not the real thing but I always believed that the real Santa showed up at my party just to hand out presents to my cousins and me. I believed that my Grandmother had some kind of friendship with Saint Nick and we were special.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Putting It All Together: Winter Favorites

My wedding shoes!! My friend Alair is always well dressed and so I asked her for recommendations of places to look for wedding shoes. Within five minutes she sent me a picture of my shoes. They are the ones. I just knew it. When she first found them, the price was more than I could allow myself to spend but after another minute of searching, she found them for a much better price. I'm in love.
We also got our Save the Dates and despite my overcritical eye (of my picture) I am very happy with them!

Every one of these little steps brings us that much closer to the picture of what our wedding will look like.

On Saturday I am going bridesmaid dress shopping with my future sister in law and Nick's Dad's girlfriend. We are going back to where I got my dress as that was such a wonderful experience. I'm really looking forward to having that piece of the day come together. On that topic if anyone has a recommendation for a jewelry store or Etsy designer I should look at, please let me know!

Outside of wedding updates... I am getting excited for the holidays. Last weekend we spent a night in Stillwater. It is a small town bordering between Minnesota and Wisconsin. It sits right on the river and is lined with mom and pop shops and bed and breakfasts. It is forty five minutes away and it feels like another world. We bundled up and walked through the shops looking for Christmas presents. Nick being the engineer that he is brought a small note pad with him and made lists of who we are buying for and ideas for presents. I think it's absolutely adorable when he does things like that.

The store where we spent all of our time and by time I mean money are the bookstore and the Olive Oil Company. Best balsamic I have had outside of Italy. Blueberry flavored balsamic, yes please!

Also TimTams are back on the shelves at Target! Go now and stock up. The best is chocolate creme.

                  TimTam Slam Recipe:
1. Take one timtam and take small bites out of either end.
2. Using your favorite hot drink (coffee etc), dip one end of the bitten timtam into the glass and suck like a straw through the other end.
3. When liquid comes through, quickly lift the timtam out of the mug and place in mouth.
4. Enjoy!

Lastly, sometimes I wish I just lived inside an Anthropologie store. I adore so many of their clothes and have been spending way too much time scrolling through their clothes.

Also if you need a pick me up check out this, this, and this.