Five on Friday [fall soup edition] // 10-21-16

The crockpot is on low, the soup is simmering and my home smells delicious. It’s soup season!
Here are some of my favorite fall soups, once again courtesy of my Pinterest page.

Seriously, The Best Healthy Turkey Chili - Perfectly spiced healthy chili made with lean ground turkey, kidney beans and corn.:

ONE // Chili. I finally found my favorite chili recipe, that I still like to tweak a little every time I make it.

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Copycat Recipe - This copycat recipe is so easy to make and tastes a million times better than the original!TWO // Zuppa Toscana. This is one of my all-time favorites. Whenever we {rarely} go to Olive Garden, this is a must have.

Creamy Chicken and Corn Soup with Potato and Bacon.:
THREE // Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder. I haven’t actually made this one yet, but it’s on my list!

5-Ingredient Easy White Chicken Chili -- make it in the slow cooker or on the stovetop in minutes! | gimmesomeoven.comFOUR // White Chicken Chili. Sometimes is like white chicken chili better than red chili.

Super quick and delicious thai coconut soup packed with rice and chicken. Definitely a winner!FIVE // Thai Coconut Soup. I’ve only made this once, and it was delicious and I definitely need to make it again soon!

What is your favorite soup?

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If We Had a Coffee Date (Vol. 1)

photo 1 (1)Let’s have a coffee date! If we were to meet up for coffee, here is what I would tell you:

I’d tell you how proud I am of Loren finishing his first trimester of SLP fellowship (how has this already flown by!?). He’s loving it and I can’t wait to keep watching him excel.

I’d tell you the new Gilmore Girls trailer had me asking so many questions (Emily in jeans AND a tshirt??!!) and getting even more excited for November 25th (even though I probably won’t be watching it until several days later). Get the coffee, poptarts and pizza ready, people!

I’d tell you I’m loving my new coffee bar and I’m having fun setting it up and rearranging the kitchen.

I’d tell you how excited I am to be shadowing a wedding coordinator this weekend.

I’d tell you how hard it is to have patience sometimes when you’re waiting to hear back from people about potential job changes.

I’d tell you that Loren and I have been SO good with our workouts every morning until this week when we got sickish and it felt good to finally be back in the gym today.

Now what would you tell me?

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Weekend Recap on a Wednesday

We’ve been busy this week building and hanging things, so here is finally a quick weekend recap on a Wednesday.

Friday {date} night started off with modeling Loren’s selection of Warby Parker glasses and figuring out which ones looked the best. I think we found the perfect pair for him! We then made dinner and dessert together. It was the perfect, relaxed date night before the rest of the crazy weekend.

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Yes, it should say “off” not “of”.

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Saturday morning we headed out to Cincinnati so Loren could help shoot an all-day wedding. I dropped him off, then ran on SO many errands to SO many stores. WAY too much shopping for me. Thankfully, Carrie met up with me when I went to the mall, so that made it way more fun and bearable. After shopping, it was time for dinner with the Crisp family! It was a little weird without Loren there, but still so fun. I seriously married into an amazing family! By the time Loren was ready to be picked up from his wedding, it was pretty late so we went straight to bed.img_4937

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This little cutie pie is starting to look so old!

Sunday we had breakfast and went to church with Loren’s parents, then headed over to Caleb and Chelsea’s for the afternoon. We had a great time catching up, knocking over Jenga, eating donuts, laughing, drinking coffee, playing with their ADORABLE new puppy and then made a trip to…IKEA. I’ve been wanting to go to IKEA pretty much since we moved here, and we finally made it happen. (More on what we found coming later when I do an apartment tour.) Of course, we couldn’t leave without getting some of their amazing Swedish meatballs. Fun afternoon with great friends!img_4949dsc_0707 dsc_0710

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Isn’t little Alfie the cutest?!

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We got home way later than planned, but it was all worth it being a little tired on Monday.
I hope you are having a great week!

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Five on Friday [fall style edition] // 10-21-16

Now that we are in the middle of fall and it’s actually turning colder, it’s time to pull out all the fall outfits! Here are some of my favorite must haves, courtesy of my Pinterest page.

Stripes are like a neutral, they go with everything // Shop similar pieces on Effinshop.com xx: ONE // Neutrals (+ stripes.) I feel like most articles of clothing in my closet are some form of neutral. Can’t go wrong with black, grey and taupe! I recently got this sweater that I plan to wear all fall and winter.

Fall stripes.:
TWO // Olive vest. I finally found this olive vest and there are just so many ways to style it! Definitely my current favorite piece of clothing.

75+ Fall Outfits to Copy ASAP - Page 3 of 4:
THREE // Dress, scarf, vest (or cardigan) and boots. This is the perfect way to style those summer dresses in the fall.

Today's OOTD! You might say we're a little excited for fall fashion.: FOUR // Chambray shirt and colored jeans. I wear my red jeans at least once every week (similar here) and often pair it with a chambray shirt for a simple, classy look.

Make room in your closet, these transitional booties will be your best friend this fall! This simple and chic style features a faux suede upper, western-style paneling and stitching detail, size zippe:
FIVE // Booties. ALL DAY EVERY DAY. I bought this pair a few weeks ago and I’ve worn them practically every day since then. They are so versatile and match pretty much everything. I’ve almost forgotten about the other pairs in my closet!

What’s your most important fall fashion piece?

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Apple Picking at Tuttle Orchards

As mentioned yesterday, we went to Tuttle Orchards this past weekend and I thought it deserved a whole post on its own. Tuttle Orchards are about 40 minutes northeast of us, and definitely worth the drive. Not only do they have rows upon rows of apple trees for picking, but also a pumpkin patch, sunflowers for picking, a corn maze, hayrides, farm store, grill that serves lunch and a Sweet Shop with caramel apples, apple cider slushies, & homemade fudge. The perfect place for a date or taking your whole family!
We went kind of late in the apple picking season, so by that time there were just Red Delicious and Golden Delicious left. You can bet we gathered plenty of those and I can’t wait to make some apple crisp and apple sauce, and of course dip them in caramel sauce. 🙂
After picking apples, we visited the Farm Store, then headed to the Sweet Shop for some apple spice & pumpkin spice doughnuts and apple slushies before grabbing lunch from the Grill.
It was a perfect fall day and we will definitely be going back next year!

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Thanks for stopping by!

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The Perfect Fall Weekend

This weekend, thanks to family and friends, we explored so much more of Indiana. Please sit back and enjoy the plethora of pictures to make up for the weeks when I don’t have as many.

Friday after work, we went over to my sister’s for a hotdog roast birthday party for her two October boys. Crazy to think that a year ago, I was at Brady’s birth! I love these crazy boys and am so grateful for every birthday we can celebrate with them.
After the party, we went home where Loren’s parents, who had come to spend the night, were waiting for us. We enjoyed catching up over apple cider and donuts.

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Saturday morning Loren and his dad went for a run and then we all took our time getting ready and had a nice relaxing breakfast. Eventually we headed out to Tuttle Orchards for some apple picking. Loren and I have been talking about going apple picking for so long and when his mom mentioned about going when they came for a visit, we totally jumped on that idea. We picked apples, drank cider slushies, ate the best apple and pumpkin donuts and downed some fresh-grilled brats (full post here). When we were fat and happy and loaded with apples, we headed back home where Loren and dad worked on staining the headboard, which is finally finished now!! Before they headed back home, mom and dad treated us to a delicious Mexican dinner. Such a fun day and I’m so glad they came for a quick visit.img_4852dsc_0095dsc_0075dsc_0065 dsc_0078 dsc_0157

Sunday afternoon, we met up with Ryan and Kristel for a rainy hike and photography session at Turkey Run State Park (full post here). It was pouring rain for most of the drive up to the park, but once we arrived, the rain had mostly slowed to a drizzle. We picked a trail and started out, and when it started pouring again, we kept on going. Turns out, hiking in the rain (when it’s not cold) is pretty fun! Guys, I had no idea Indiana had such a beautiful and amazing park! We will definitely be going back and hiking some of the rougher trails.

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A perfect outdoor fall weekend!
I hope you got outside and had a wonderful one as well.

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Five on Friday [earring edition] // 10-14-16

Today’s favorites are some of my favorites earrings:

pearlsONE // Pearl studs. I wear my pearls pretty much every other day. Simple, classy and look good with everything. I got this set a few months ago from H&M to use on both my first and second holes, and I’m not sure how I survived before I got them.

N&S Signature Silver Nickel and Suede Leather EarringsTWO // Silver leather earrings. Last year I discovered Kilee’s blog and leather shop she and her husband run together. I snagged these lightweight, beautiful earrings and always get tons of compliments whenever I wear them. Now I just need to add a few more of the colored earrings to my collection. 😉

Burnished Stud SetTHREE // More basic studs. I got a collection of studs from francesca’s this summer that I wear frequently. These similar ones are from Forever 21.

hoopsFOUR // Hoops. I’ve been on the hunt for some classy, yet not obnoxious hoops and these from Anthropologie may be the ones! Christmas list, anyone?

FIVE // Geometrics studs. Fun, small and still make a statement.

And because studs (especially pearls) are my favorites, here are 5 reasons to love studs.

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I Wrote My Husband a Note Every Day for a Year…

…here’s what happened.

img_2992About 9 months into our marriage, I read about a couple who, at the end of each day, wrote a one-sentence note about how they appreciated/loved the other person that day. I thought this was a great idea, and we gave it a try. Loren and I already had a journal where we would write longer letters to each other on special occasions throughout the year, but little love notes every day sounded even better! Now, about 1 and 1/2 years and two journals later, we don’t ever plan on quitting.

Here is what we have learned:

Neither one of us can ever keep it to one sentence. This is the hardest thing for us. I can probably count on one hand how many times we’ve actually just written one sentence. This is not a bad thing – the more you appreciate or have a funny or sweet memory from the day to share, the better!

There’s ALWAYS something good to write about your spouse every day. Even on days we barely see each other, we can always come up with something. Those dishes he washed for me – I’ll thank him for that. Those funny texts he sent that made my day- I’ll recap that. That parting kiss this morning – I’ll mention that. His support when I’m having a hard day – I’ll focus on that. You never know what acts of love will be noticed and appreciated.

We’ve learned to verbally appreciate each other more. In the beginning of our dating relationship, I had a hard time expressing my feelings to Loren. We’ve come a LONG way, and writing out my feelings towards Loren has given me daily practice in this area. We also recently started reading out loud to each other what we’ve written. Makes it even more personal! As a result of this verbal appreciation, I’ve become less shy about expressing my emotions and feelings to him in person.

Loren has better handwriting than I do, even when he changes his style. If you opened up our journal, you could easily see which handwriting is mine, because it’s consistently awful, even when I try to write nicely. Loren, however, has beautiful manly handwriting and likes to switch it up, so sometimes it looks like 4 different people are writing in the journal. Don’t worry though, it’s just the 2 of us.

It’s hard to stay mad at your spouse when you have to write something good about them. I honestly don’t think Loren and I have ever really gotten mad at each other, but sometimes we do get pretty annoyed. So when the note writing time comes around, we pretty much HAVE to kiss and makeup. Talk about not letting the sun go down on your wrath!

Mundane days can be just as fulfilling and special as fun-filled days. I like to think that we aren’t boring people. Weird, for sure, but not boring. Sometimes that weirdness is hilarious. Like making up songs while getting ready in the morning, coming up with ridiculously impossible hypothetical situations, dancing, new inside jokes, things I say in my sleep, etc. Records of this weirdness are always very entertaining to look back on after a few months or years.

Writing to my husband every night before bed has now become more than a cute little idea (now routine) that I wanted to try out. It’s a visible, tangible and reliable record of our relationship’s past and an exciting opportunity to see how it continues to grow in the future – memories that are forever documented for us to look back on for years to come.

What do you do to strengthen your marriage?

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Weekend Progress

If you noticed at all, my blog was MIA for the past two days, but we are back up and running!

Now for a quick weekend recap:

Friday night, I had a girls’ night with Neah and Vashti while Loren was at at our church’s annual men’s conference. We ate lots of ice cream, painted our nails and watched several Gilmore Girls episodes. Trying to get them caught up before November 25th!

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Saturday morning while Loren was at his conference, I did some Saturday stuff like laundry and cleaning and errands and baking. That night, we finally had a date night at Thai Spice and Finding Dory. We were going to see Finding Dory in 3-D, but I misread the showing times and we were stuck with regular boring digital cinema. Sorry, Loren! Next time. We finished off our date night at home with apple cider and donuts.

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Happy mail!

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Sunday afternoon, Loren made some pretty good progress on the headboard (almost done!!) before the Daku family came over for chili and games (no pictures because I’m a failure in that department). It’s been a while since we’ve had them over, and it was a blast!

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I hope you had a wonderful weekend in this perfect fall weather!

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Five on Friday // 10-7-16

Oh hey, Friday!

img_4771img_4770img_4763 img_4773ONE // Luke’s Diner came to town. As you may have seen on my Instagram, some other Gilmore Girls and I made it over to Luke’s Diner on Wednesday for coffee. Can’t wait for November 25 (if you don’t know why, that’s too bad)!!!

Incredible, perfectly spiced healthy turkey chili made with lean ground turkey, kidney beans and corn. This version is simply the BEST!TWO // This chili recipe. I still haven’t found “my” perfect chili recipe yet, but I made this one this week and it came pretty close! Next time, I’m going to tweak it a little more and hopefully perfect it.

THREE // My new workout schedule. In addition to her leather goods shop and other work, my SIL creates workout schedules. I’ve been doing one she sent me for the past couple of weeks, and I love it. Nothing like a 6am sweat!

finding_doryFOUR // Finding Dory is finally in our cheap theater, so you know where to find us for date night. Can’t wait!

FIVE // Hoopla ebooks. I’ve mentioned hoopla for free audiobooks and music (through your library) before, but they recently added ebooks, and as much as I love physical books, it’s been great to not have to run to the library.

Happy weekending!

 

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