my life: things I learned this weekend

Hello, everyone! How was your weekend?

Mine was interesting! Wednesday night I arrived at my cousin’s house. Starting on Thursday and ending Monday (with a brief break in between while a family friend relieved me), I watched her three sons and dog while her and her husband went on a well-deserved vacation (that’s their dog pictured below excitedly awaiting the boys’ return from school). While I of course had fun, it was definitely a learning experience. Here’s what I discovered while hanging with three boys ranging from kindergarten to fourth grade:



  • Catch is the best game ever. Inside, outside, basketball, bouncy ball, tennis ball – anything!
  • If you aren’t playing catch, then you should be playing basketball with the mini hoop in the basement, kickball in the driveway, or touch football on the lawn while mocking your 22-year-old babysitter for not understanding all the terms you are using.
  • Macaroni and cheese is the best dinner option, while oatmeal with dinosaur eggs is the best breakfast choice.
  • Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 is an optimal movie selection.
  • When you go to McDonald’s and ask a six-year-old what he wants, and he says a cheeseburger, you should ask what he wants on the cheeseburger. Otherwise McDonald’s will put cheese, onions, pickles, and ketchup on it, and while you are driving home you will keep hearing exclamations from the backseat as each unwanted addition is discovered (good news though: the dog likes any sort of cheeseburger).
  • If you spend Friday night all piled into the biggest bed watching baseball together, all three boys will fall asleep and you will be left to find a new bed in which to sleep.
  • Also, if you attempt to cuddle with a 100+ pound white German shepherd the same way you cuddle with a 40 pound beagle-mix, you might just end up with a bloody nose at 1AM. This will also scare the dog, who will run away and sleep under the bed the three boys took over and you will be completely left on your lonesome.
  • You become much more patient and sociable in the morning once you have had some coffee (all right, so I already knew that, but it was adamantly confirmed).
  • Adele’s music is the perfect thing to sing along to on car rides.
  • You should have way more than 11 games on your iPhone.

P.S. I have a new appreciation for the show Home Improvement.




weekend wrap-up

Friday: Dan came up to Cleveland for a visit. We went to Crocker Park, where we ate at The Cheesecake Factory and went shopping at The Gap. That evening we grabbed some Starbucks and watched reruns of Saturday Night Live via Netflix.
Saturday: Dan and I picked up donuts from our favorite local shop and pretend house-hunted around my city before he had to leave for Columbus. That afternoon I attended my dear friend Ashley’s baby shower (she’s expecting a little girl!). In the evening, I saw my sister Jackie star in the lead role of a new play named Pray for the Missing Girls, which was showing at Cuyahoga Community College’s west campus.
Sunday: After my mom and I went to church together, I spent the rest of the day at home, doing various chores and relaxing. The relaxing portion of the day included reading Mindy Kaling’s new book, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The weekend finished up with a cute Skype and ice cream date with Dan.

(Okay, full disclosure: that photo of the cheesecake is actually a pumpkin pie cheesecake from Olive Garden when I went to lunch with my sister a couple weeks ago. I forgot to take a photo of the cheesecake Dan and I shared at The Cheesecake Factory, which was chocolate chip cookie dough. Can you tell I really like cheesecake?)
All photos taken via my Instagram

weekend wrap-up

This was a perfect fall weekend! Friday I left to visit Dan in Columbus, and that evening we had an amazing dinner at The Wine Guy. Afterwards, we ate ice cream and watched Paranormal Activity (which totally freaked me out!). Saturday afternoon Dan and I went shopping and out for lunch. In the evening, we all ate cake in celebration of Dan’s father’s birthday. (Also on Saturday, my alma mater won in football! Ay Ziggy Zoomba!) Sunday morning we ate pancakes and relaxed. In the afternoon we carved pumpkins, made caramel apples, drank apple cider, and went for a walk with Madison. Then I headed home to Cleveland. My family and I ate our last made-on-the-grill meal of the year, sat around a fire to chat, and ate pumpkin mousse pie and homemade apple crisp. Tell me about your weekend : )

Clockwise from top left:
Dan and I before dinner Friday night; Madison in the bat Halloween costume we bought her Saturday afternoon; pumpkin spice coffee and birthday cake; Dan and I with our pumpkins (a cat and a bat); caramel apple and apple cider with a goofy Halloween straw; sitting around the fire with my family back home Sunday night.
All photos taken via Instagram.

weekend wrap-up

Hi! How are you all on this fine Monday morning? How was your weekend?

Mine was pretty darn good. Friday night I worked, and then went to go see a movie with the boyfriend. We saw No Strings Attached, a new romantic comedy with Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman. It was very enjoyable! It was definitely funny and somewhat touching. I thought Portman and Kutcher had great chemistry, and I loved the supporting cast (especially Kevin Kline, Mindy Kaling, and Jake Johnson). If you plan on seeing it in theaters, make sure you are on time because the first 10-15 minutes of the movie reveal important background information about the dynamic of Emma (Portman) and Adam (Kutcher)’s friendship. Overall: ★ ★ ★ ★
Saturday I worked, and I spent the afternoon with my wonderful friend Elizabeth! We decided to go on a mini-road trip to a coffee shop called Red Rambler, but it turned out we got the hours wrong and it was closed when we got there (meaning another mini-road trip will have to occur in the future). We had fun chatting anyway and ended up getting coffee at Panera instead.
On Sunday, the boyfriend and I went to church and treated ourselves to Starbucks and catching up on episodes of our favorite shows. I worked, and I had one of the most productive afternoons/evenings that I’ve had in a long time.
This week should be pretty busy for me – teaching every day and something going on every evening – but ‘m feeling pretty optimistic about it. What’s going on with you this week?
Photo 1, Photos 2 – 4 author original

weekend wrap-up

Hello, everyone! I’m sorry I missed a post or two last week. My final projects are due this week, so the past couple weeks have been pretty busy. This weekend was a nice break, though! Friday I went to P.F. Chang’s with my friends Elizabeth and Courtney for my girls’ night out Christmas present. It was so much fun! We got dressed up in cute sweaters and heels & ate delicious food. Afterward we hung out at their apartment (along with the dog!).

the dessert we all shared – so amazing!

The three of us at dinner

Madison with her new cupcake toy her aunts got her : )

Saturday I went to Panera with the boyfriend and our friend Rob to study, went to a near-by shopping area to window shop and relax, and hung out with Elizabeth, Courtney, & our friend Sarah. We watched this movie:

I LOVED it. It touched me so much. Beautiful, honest, funny, sad, full of love and wonder. I can’t wait to read the book after all these final projects are done!! (Also, Julia Roberts was fantastic, of course)

Sunday morning I went to a Bob Evans brunch with one of my old roommates Kim. It was so nice to catch up with her, especially since she’s graduating this month! She got me two cute baking cookbooks for Christmas – I can’t wait to try out the recipes and share them with you all : ) Sunday afternoon I went to the movies with my friends Eva and Julie. We saw this:

It was great!! I was excited to see it when I initially saw the trailer in theaters…then I got a bit nervous when I read mediocre reviews. However, it was REALLY good! There is certainly a good deal of nudity, sexual content, and swearing, but there are also a lot of meaningful and romantic moments and conversations. It’s a movie about loving someone even though the circumstances may be hard…even though you KNOW the circumstances are going to be hard. Amazing, loved it!

What all did you do this weekend?

P.S. I apologize if posting is a bit sporadic this week, I promise it will be back on track no problem ASAP/next week!

weekend wrap-up & the holiday season

isn’t she just the cutest?! under the tree at the boyfriend’s house

Hello, everyone! I hope you had a great weekend! I did – I shopped (got some of the boyfriend’s presents!), hung out with my cousin, visited my grandma, watched the Ohio State/Michigan game (GO BUCKS!), did a good deal of homework, watched The Holiday (one of my favorite movies – great story, romance, comedy, awesome actors/acting, Christmas, etc.), had a second Thanksgiving dinner with my parents and sister, and went back to school early-ish to work on more homework and run some errands.

Now that the holiday season is fully and officially upon us, I am definitely looking forward to some specific seasonal activities, like:

  • Decorating!!!
  • Hot chocolate of every flavor
  • Holiday specials & movies on TV
  • Candy canes
  • Snow days
  • Holiday music
  • It’s A Wonderful Life, Holiday Inn, White Christmas, & Scrooged – on DVD, uninterrupted
  • Shopping! and just generally being in shopping locations, fully decorated, and filled with people
  • Making paper snowflakes
  • Making the dogs wear reindeer antlers
  • Christmas cookie baking
  • Christmas cards
  • Holiday get-togethers with family and friends
  • People smiling more & giving back
  • Tons of little special traditions

And so much more!!

What did you do this weekend? What are you looking forward to this holiday season?

weekend wrap-up

Hi, everyone! How was your weekend? Mine was great!

Friday night the boyfriend & I drove to his hometown to visit his family. Once we got the dog all settled in, we went to dinner!

Old Bag of Nails Pub for fish & chips : )

the boyfriend & I outside dinner

Saturday morning we woke up early to watch a soccer game with his best friend (Arsenal!), then picked up my brother who lived in the area, and went to see…


Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part I! Soooooo amazing!!! I want to see it again. Actually, I want to see part II in theaters immediately. It was funny, dramatic, action-packed, moving…just incredible. Check out this article on its audience appeal.

After that, we hung out at his house for awhile. We had amazing frappacinos made by the boyfriend’s sister, went to get pizza, and then went to TARGET! Then we went to bed early.

Sunday was spent eating breakfast, listening to Christmas music, doing homework, lunch, and then having coffee at this amazing coffee shop, Crazy Goat Coffee!

having coffee at Crazy Goat!

Then, we headed back to school. It was such a wonderful weekend : )

What did you all do this weekend?