Friday, November 29, 2013

Five on Friday - Thankful Edition

Hope everyone had a fabulous & happy Thanksgiving!!  I decided to make my Friday five about what I am thankful for!

One. Family & Friends
I have so much to be thankful for this year. First and foremost my amazing husband, family, friends, and of course, Frankie.  I am sooo lucky to have such a close family & group of friends.  This year we got to spend a good amount of time at all three places that we were invited to for Thanksgiving, and me and my 3 J's are all getting together today for lunch and I cant wait to reunite with all of us together again.  Its very rare that we are all home & able to get together anymore, such a blessing.  I am so thankful for my supportive husband, who has been so wonderful on this journey that we have been on trying to get pregnant. He is truly my best friend & our relationship is built on a very strong foundation that has only gotten stronger over these last few months.

my little fam!

Two.  Health & Health Insurance
Being happy & healthy is such a blessing.  I have no real medical problems, even after our accident I have minimal pain & I'm so lucky for that.  Very thankful to the doctors and physical therapists who helped me recover.  Health insurance is a huge topic right now & even if my rates go up because I'm healthy, I really don't care. I've reaped the benefits of great insurance many times over the last couple years. Between the surgery that I just had to the knee surgery I had a year and a half ago.  I will pay what I have to because I've needed it so many times.

5 broken bones (2 metatarsals in the foot, 1 in the ankle, tibial plateau in my knee, & my hip), 2 screws
and a whole ton of physical therapy later, I'm better!

Three.  Modern Medicine
This kind of goes along with health, but never have I been so thankful as I am today for the advances in modern medicine in regards to fertility.  It's so amazing what they can do these days & I'm so grateful for my awesome doctor & his team.  They've been so awesome throughout this entire process & I can't thank them enough.  I'm sure I will one day be even more thankful to them in the future!

Four.  The things I take for Granted Every Day
From the extras like cable & internet, satellite radio, a nice car, a motorcycle, all of those extras, to the basics like heat, electricity, running water, & food on the table.  There are people all over the world, even in our own community who don't have these things & my heart breaks for them.  I can't imagine what it's like to be hungry & not have food to eat or to be cold & not have a warm place to go.  Joe and I are both very lucky to have good jobs that help us live the life that we live today.

Five.  The Little Things
My bed, my dog, getting a massage, nail polish, taking a ride on the bike, jamming to my favorite songs, sunsets, sunrises, the millions of stars we get to see out at our property, my closet full of clothes, my favorite pair of jeans, the little things in life that make us a tad bit happier when we really think about them. I'm very thankful for those things too... thanks to this article below for helping me reflect on what we really have in life & why we should cherish & be thankful for it.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Stocking Stuffers!

I'm linking up with Cheers Y'all  and Down with the Dearmores for this fabulous Christmas Link Up!

Stocking stuffers are seriously one of my favorite parts about Christmas!!  So many fun things out there that are perfect for stockings!!  This link up couldnt  have come at a better time either, my mom and I hit Target on Saturday for some stocking stuffer shopping & we did amazing!!  Well, actually my mom did amazing, she spent $700 on stocking stuffers... at TARGET!!  She seriously probably had 200+ items, maybe more.  Between toothbrushes, pajamas, trinkets, candy, and everything in between, she killed it in the stocking stuffer department!!   I ended up with a few things for Joe, we do small stockings at home & my mom does the big stockings Christmas Day when we go over to open gifts.  Here are some of my favorite potential stocking stuffers for her & for him!!

BareMinerals/Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Hot To Trot / essie holiday collection kit- Limited Edition! / Wine Wipes (Set of 3) / Apricot Lane :: Peoria, IL 2012: Shop Now / Vino2Go Business Black / Best Stocking Stuffers 2012, Top Inexpensive Ideas | UncommonGoods

Im so in love with the Vino2Go cup & the beer version for the guys (or girls)!  It would be perfect for BYOB events!!   I also love the Whiskey Stones & Wine Pearls.  I hate putting ice cubes in my wine, these are perfect for keeping the flavor of your whiskey or wine!!  

The Essie Holiday Collection is fab!  I love the multitude of colors, especially the mint!  I am also currently obsessed with the Bare Minerals Hot to Trot lip gloss kit, so many fab colors!!

Wall bottle opener / WORKING MAN'S HYGIENE KIT / WHISKEY STONES & GIFT SET / Search results | / Dollar Shave Club The 4x Monthly Razor Membership / Brew2Go Bla

If you follow Little Baby Garvin then you already know about Dollar Shave Club.  I got this for Joe last year & I even use it now.  It is such a great price & such a great razor I cannot sing praises enough for it.  We use the $9 razor since Joe shaves his head & face I thought that would be the best investment for him & so far so good a year later!!

I also love the Working Mans Hygiene kit, it would make a nice pair with the Dollar Shave Club membership.  Lots of manly scents & personal hygiene items that will really make them feel like men!! 

Thanks again to our wonderful hosts for this fun holiday link-up!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Our Weekend According to Instagram

I had a weekend full of photos, if you follow me on IG (@lenaridley) you would see that I was kind of a serial picture poster.

It started Friday afternoon with this picture of my wishbone necklace, which if you've been reading along (read original post here) you would know that this is a Good Luck Fertility necklace that was given to me by a sweet friend of ours & her boyfriend. I’ve been wearing it since the IUI procedure for a boost of luck!! Hope it pulls through for us!

what a sweet little face he has <3

Saturday morning started with snuggles with my little sweet potato Frankie. Joe had to work so I was up at the butt crack of dawn (5:45) and wasn't really able to go back to sleep so we went from the bed to the couch & relaxed & watched TV for a few hours in the morning before my mom picked me up for our normal Saturday routine of grocery shopping & lunch.

seriously how awesome are these pillows!?

We decided to hit Target to get stocking stuffer shopping done & of course Target came through again as always in their dollar section with some adorable Christmas decorum. These pillows were $3 and the signs were $1. So cute, can’t wait to decorate on Friday!

so in love with this sweater in mint!

Saturday night we went out with some friends for dinner then came back to our house for a couple rounds of Liars Dice. I got my mint version of the Emily Maynard sweater in the mail this week from Apricot Lane. I ordered it back in August so I was pretty pumped when it came in this week. So in love with it, it’s so warm & comfortable, I wore it with leggings and I seriously felt like I was pajamas with a cozy robe on.

so much truth to this statement!

Sunday morning I found this perfect quote for what’s been going on in life as of late. Things have never really come easy for me or Joe, it seems like we constantly have a streak of bad luck, or an obstacle in the way of whatever it is that we’re trying to achieve, but I swear it has made us so much stronger in the long run.  Now we're just counting down the days!!


While perusing the interwebs Sunday morning & catching up on the DVR I sipped Glazed Chocolate Donut coffee out of my adorable new Cantina Mugs from CB2 (thanks to Stephanie @ Newlyweds North for sharing these on her blog last week). They’re so cute & only about $4 a cup! I had to have them!

LOVE my new table!! 

And last but not least, what I waited all weekend for, my BRAND NEW dining room table! It’s so perfect & gorgeous! It’s one of our only pieces of furniture that isn't a handmedown or something that we grew up with. I consider it to be our first official piece of nice furniture for our future home. We took a quick trip up to Pier 1 in Joliet to pick it up, I also bought those amazing mercury glass candle sticks that I’m using for a center piece. I can’t wait to add some fresh greens from the tree farm this weekend. Definitely need a table runner of some sort too.

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Five on Friday

One. The Appointment
I figured I would roll the details of our appointment in with my Friday favorites because it is the most important thing to happen to me, not just this week, but of my entire life pretty much.  Monday we had an ultrasound, Dr. G said that I had a really nice follicle & that we would schedule the IUI for Wednesday to give it a chance to grow just a bit more.  That night we went home, and relaxed, woke up at midnight & Joe gave me the hormone injection, it wasn't bad, but I'm glad that he was the one doing it rather than me.  Not sure I could've brought myself to do it.  Wednesday we headed back down to P-town & had the procedure done.  It only took a couple of minutes, & the pain was minor.  Now we have to wait a couple of weeks before we go to the hospital to get pregnancy test done via blood draw.  Fingers, toes, legs, crossed.  Hands folded, eyes closed, baby dust sprinkled, rabbits foot rubbed, etc!! 

adorable baby dust made & photographed by Jess Bigley|Bigley Photography

Two. Merry Christmas (present) to me!
I've been eyeing up this Torrance Dining Collection from Pier 1 for a couple months now.  I love the bench style seating & the mahogany finish.  I pinned it a few months ago & decided just to peek at it again last weekend.  I noticed that it happened to be on a pretty decent sale so I mentioned it to Joe.  He said... "go ahead and order it"... and I immediately did... while we were out to dinner, I was so excited.  Wednesday when we got home from Peoria the benches were waiting for us on our back porch & the table & two chairs will be ready for pick up today!  I decided on two benches and two chairs rather than just the one bench and five chairs.  We are planning on going to Joliet on Sunday to pick it up.  I can't wait to see it all put together. I also signed up for the Pier 1 card and my purchase has already earned me $30 and 20% off so I'm going to treat myself to a new centerpiece when we go to pick it up!

I could only find this tiny picture of the set together, but I will take a picture of
mine once it's all set up!

Three.  New Movies
Over the last couple days we've watched The Conjuring, The Heat, Olympus has Fallen, & Man of Steel and have been happy with ALL of them.  We try to watch as many movies as possible, between Netflix and Cinema Now on our PS3 we love being able to rent/watch movies so easily & quickly.  If anyone's looking for something new to watch, all of these are good!!  There's some serious eye candy in Man of Steel, Henry Cavill is gorg! The Heat is just plain funny, Olympus has Fallen is a nail biter, & The Conjuring will give you nightmares!  

Four.  Holiday Scentsy's 
My all-time favorite smell at Christmas is fresh pine.  Once I let Joe we decided to get a real tree, I was most excited about the smell the Fraser Fur would bring to the house, & I maximized it with the Festival of Trees (I believe replaced by Fresh Pine), my house smelled like a winter forest all season!!  This Christmas I'm trying Cozy Fireside & Christmas Cottage (along with Fresh Pine).  I also love Silver Bells, Eskimo Kiss, & Winter Snowberry!! Seriously could change the scent about once a week during Christmas!!  My wonderful Scentsy girl Ashley reminded me of the 6 for $25 deal so you really get one scent for free, totally worth it!!  I also decided on Newborn Nursery (maybe some kind of good luck charm??) Black Raspberry Vanilla, & Bora Bora Blossom for a few new ones all of which I use in my Whoot Warmer.  What are your favorite holiday scents?

Five.  Decking the Halls
Yes, a week from today I can officially begin decorating for Christmas.  Joe is pretty strict about no Christmas ANYTHING until after Thanksgiving, but literally the night of Thanksgiving we pop in Christmas Vacation for the 1st time of the year to kick off the season of giving & pop open a bottle of champagne for mimosas.  On black Friday I pretty much refuse to go anywhere close to town so I spend the day inside decorating, watching Christmas movies like Elf, White Christmas, Fred Claus, Home Alone, & The Family Stone.  Saturday or Sunday depending on Joe's work schedule we will go to cut down our tree.  So excited to deck the halls!!   

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

These are a few of my Favorite Things!

I'm linking up with Cheers Y'all  and Down with the Dearmores for this fabulous Christmas Link Up!

Of course like I’m sure many others lately, I’ve really been wanting to jump on the bar cart wagon!  If you Google bar cart you will find all sorts of beautiful pieces, but you click on them and realize that the prices are astronomical.  After browsing some blogs a couple weeks ago I found Target now sells a bar cart made by Threshold & the price is very reasonable!  I asked for this from Joe for Christmas this year, I’ve only had to remind him once so far.  Hope it’s waiting for me under the tree Christmas morning!

Lots of potential!

Two.  Pregnancy
I know this is kind of more of a personal wish, but if I could have anything on my Christmas list, it would be to be blessed with a baby.  What do you know today happens to be the day that I’m getting the IUI procedure done & it would be such a wonderful Christmas gift not only for us but for our families as well.  Both my mom and step-mom have specifically asked for a grandbaby for Christmas this year, I would love to be able to pull through for them.  I can see the perfect pregnancy announcement in my head, I can see tears of joy, I can see us having the best day of our lives when we read that the pregnancy test is positive.

This bag is amazing.  It so classy and simple.  A black bag is a must in anyone’s closet.  I do have a serious purse obsession & this purse is really high on my wishlist.  Bonus, the price is unbelievably reasonable!  Would seriously die to have this bag for that price!

If you follow Little Baby Garvin then you’ve seen these amazing hammocks before.  These are seriously the best & I would love to have one for out at our property.  Right now we have a roped hammock out there which is great for something to leave out there, but once we build, I’m determined to have one of these fabulous hammocks for our backyard.

Five.  Ray Bans
I’m not one to spend much on sunglasses, but I love these tortoise shell Ray Bans.  That is all.

Kate Spade has some amazing watches out right now, from glittery & colorful, to classic.  There are a few that I really love.  I already have a few watches, but you can never have too many!

both of these are amazing watches!! so cute & fun, yet classy.

Seven.  Bareminerals Face & Body Luminizer
I'm a sucker for make up kits.  My friend works for Sodorstrom Skin Institute & they sell their own line of makeup, Simply Beautiful, which I love & Bareminerals.  They've both got some great holiday kits this year I would love to get my hands on.  I've actually already got this Simply Beautiful Winter in Wonderland kit from my mom as a Christmas gift since it's been out for a couple months already.  I can't wait to try it out!

Of course I do not expect to get all of these things, but a girl can dream!  Hoping my family is reading this! Sorry there's nothing cheap on this list!  I guess sometimes I have expensive taste! Oops!  This is a wish list, after all.

Friday, November 15, 2013

five on friday

One. The Biggest Week of Our Lives
This week coming up is going to be huge.  I've been on a hormonal roller coaster ride for over a month now between being on the pill, then off the pill, then on Clomid, my body is probably thoroughly confused. Monday we head back down to Peoria for an ultrasound, if everything looks good, we will have the IUI procedure done.  I have a lot of faith, & a good feeling that this will work for us!  I know that I need to probably prepare myself for a let down too, but I'm so used to that let down feeling already, I consider myself an expert.  If the procedure does work, it will be the best gift we could ever ask for!  Nerves are definitely kicking in, but I'm planning to enjoy myself this weekend, relax, & let be what is meant to be.  

all the meds, and yes, that's an injection that I have to self-administer.. yikes!

fingers crossed!

Two.  Pravana Organic Sulfate Free Shampoo & Conditioner
I just started using this stuff this last week & so far I love it.  I've been using sulfate free shampoo for a couple of years now.  I've always used the L'Oreal brand which has worked wonders on my hair, but decided to try this salon quality brand that my bestie Jen has been using on my hair the last few times I've had it done.  I'm using the Keratin Infusion Shampoo & the Hydrating Conditioner.  I highly recommend these to really anyone, but especially people with hair that damages easily.  Mine is so thin & breaks off pretty easily, over the last few years I've started taking the best care of it that I can using coconut & argon oil treatments, blow drying with low heat, & using products like It's a 10! to keep it as healthy as possible.  I used to glue & or weave extensions in my hair & wore them all the time so my hair was basically destroyed.  Now I use clip-in extensions when I'm wanting some extra length & volume.  Prenatal vitamins have also made a huge improvement on my hair, I think I'll be taking those for the rest of my life!

Three. Target Cartwheel
If you shop at Target, and let's be real, who doesn't shop at Target, this app is for you!  It's for both iPhone & Android & totally rocks!  You can search all kinds of different categories from babies, clothes, cleaning supplies, furniture, food, basically anything in the store for discounts & show it at the register on your phone & BAM, you've just saved yourself anywhere between 10, 15, 20+ percent on your favorite items.  Most of the deals run for the entire month too so you don't have to rush out and get it right away, (although it could be a great way to justify going to Target three times a week!)

Four.  Emily Maynard Sweater
Back in August, Apricot Lane opened up their pre-order for this adorable sweater they refer to as the Emily Maynard sweater since she was spotted wearing it & started the trend.  They had the blue & the mint available so I jumped all over the mint one right away.  Unfortunately, we still haven't gotten them yet. Wouldn't you know it, my friend Jenny who owns CNJ Style (you can read about her fabulous boutique here or check out her Facebook page!) ended up getting these sweaters in the blue version & a black and white version, so adorable!  So Monday when I was off & drinking wine with my friend Jessica I showed them to her & we immediately decided that we both needed to have one so I ran down to the store & picked one up for the both of us! Can you say, Twinks?!  It's such a cozy, comfy sweater, so glad I'll have it in both mint & blue.

Five. Bigley Photography Giveaway
I just want to remind everyone about the awesome giveaway from Bigley Photography!  If you haven't entered you have until the end of the month!  You can enter on her Facebook page by liking her page & sharing the photo of the banners, you can also follow her on Instagram @Jessbigley.  She's giving away 3 of these custom made banners (design of the winner's choosing!) at the end of the month, just in time for Christmas!!  Be sure to enter!

Happy weekend!! Enjoy!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pumpkin Gnocchi

So here's the scoop... I thought we were making pumpkin filled raviolis, but when I talked to my aunt she really wanted to try making pumpkin gnocchi's instead.  We're pretty awesome at making ravs now, we've been doing it for a few years, but gnocchi's we've never tried.  Although really messy, they are so easy & taste delish!

Here's the recipe:
Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes
Cook two pounds of quartered peeled potatoes in boiling water for 20 minutes; drain.
Steep one sprig of sage and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg in 1 cup of hot cream; 10 minutes.
Remove the sage, mash with potatoes, 1 cup pumpkin (real pumpkin not pumpkin pie filling), & salt.

Pumpkin Gnocchi
Mix 2 cups cold, leftover Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes with one egg & 1 1/4 cup flour.
On a floured surface, roll into ropes and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.  
Cook in boiling water until they float.  Toss with butter & grated parmesan.  Or freeze.

make the Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes the night before & refrigerate.

flour is the key, lots of flour because the consistency of the mashed potatoes is really gooey. 

press a floured fork into the dough, place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet & freeze,
or boil immediately.

finished product, tossed with olive oil, salt, & asiago cheese!

What we loved about this was that it's actually two recipes in one.  The Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes are amazing and would be perfect for a Thanksgiving meal.  Sprinkle a little nutmeg on top & present in a festive dish or bowl.  The real pumpkin flavor is ever so subtle, the nutmeg & sage give it the perfect fall flavor. And these were extremely easy, messy, but easy.  I promise to share the rav recipe on here one day, it's much more work, but ever so yummy!

Friday, November 08, 2013

five on friday!

One.  Being Thankful
November is all about being thankful.  Some people share something they're thankful for every day on Facebook, but I've been trying to just think of something & reflecting on it for a couple of minutes & keeping it to myself.  We have a lot to be thankful for, mainly our family, friends, health, & jobs, but there are many small things that we take for granted every day that we should be thankful for.  This month at work I decided to take up a donation for two families who have children who attend Lighted Way a local school for children with very highly specialized needs that can't be met in the public school system.  One family has six kids who are all special needs, one of which attends Lighted Way. & neither of the parents work.  The other family is a single mom with two children, one who attends Lighted Way.  I'm taking a collection of money, clothes, & promised them a turkey dinner for each family for Christmas.  It feels amazing to be able to contribute to families in our local community.  We all know people who have lost jobs and haven't been able to find new ones, it doesn't mean that they aren't hard workers, it's a reflection of the demise of our society & I really want to help these families out as much as I can.  

Two. Archer Farms Caramel Macchiato K-Cups
These new K-cups my co-worker found are sooo yummy.  I'm a big coffee fan, especially flavored, as you can probably tell by my past posts about different flavored K-cups.  This one has been a great new fall flavor. Pumpkin Spice is definitely another flavor, but now that we're into November, pumpkin is on it's way out to make way for the Christmas flavors so this Caramel Macchiato has been a nice change up.

Three.  Nothin' to do Weekend
So excited to have no plans or commitments this weekend!  The last two weekends have been awesome between Galena and Las Vegas but we need to tighten our proverbial belts for a couple weekends after what we spent in Vegas and Joe wants to get out to the property to start working on getting the last of what he needs to clear so we can start laying out where our house is going to go!  More exciting things coming up for us.  

Four. Eric Church
If you have been listening to any country radio, local or satellite, then you've probably heard his new song, The Outsiders.  It's awesome.  It's more rock than country & it definitely gets me going.  I'm so excited for his new album to come out on February 11th, that is soooo far away!  I've seen Eric Church in concert 3 times and he has blown me away every time.  He is probably the best performer I've ever seen because he just LOVES what he does & get's crazy on stage.  Plus, he's not bad on the eyes at all either.

Five.  Grandma's Treasures
My grandma passed away a little over a month ago & I'm still getting some of her things cleaned up and moved over to my house.  For small items I got a gorgeous crystal decanter & a Lord Doulton pirate mug, the mug has always reminded me of my grandma, she has had them since I can remember & they always lived on the same shelf.  I also got my grandma's hutch & all of her dishes from The Friendly Village collection. Very vintage & perfect for the holidays!  Some other special things I received from her at her request were paintings done by my great-grandma Zurita.  I repainted the frames white & I can't wait to hang these up.  I love the shabby-chic look of the flower paintings & that's my theme for our main bathroom when we build our house.  The winter farmhouse is also one of those things that has always reminded me of my grandma's house.  I'm not sure if this will have a permanent home or just be up for the holidays, but I love it nonetheless. Thank you grandma for being so selective with your items, it means a lot to me!  Miss you!

farm house


Happy Weekend Friends!!

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