Sunday, January 17, 2016

Hello to 2016

Hello! Took a bit of a break from the blog - just have not made the time to sit down and write. Christmas was a bit meh this hear for us with Honey passing and I was really really busy eating and drinking my feelings. So....back on track and totally present for 2016. I will post a few pics from December and get to where I am at now :) these are in complete random order as I am way lazy to put them in any sort of logical or timeliness order!

OK... so work! work has been very consuming the past few months. I have a new boss that I adore but - much higher standards than my prior boss. Or maybe I am more engaged now so hat results in wanting to perform at a higher standard? Anyway.... it has meant much more blood, sweat and energy spent on my professional life. However.... we do also balance that out with fun :) This was a team building even that I planned for our management team - so of course it included leaving work at noon, beer & friend chicken :) Was an amazing day and so much fun! the lady in this pic is a personal mentor for me - she is ah-mah-zing and so knowledgeable. I want to her her when I grow up!

Cookies! I spent much of December in my kitchen baking. I guess it was comforting to me and also helped to occupy my thoughts and hands so.... the cookies were aplenty in the DeVries household this holiday season! were the White Russians... these will always be a holiday drink for me! Next year I will work on a lightened up version but this year... damn they were delicious! Peppermint Mocha Kahlua is oh so tasty.

Oh and then there were the Italian Greyhounds that Erin, Laura and I discovered at brunch one Sunday.... a twist on a standard mimosa and WOW. Delish!

Many nights in December... this was dinner. Impromptu charcuterie and all the wine. And maybe all the cheese too.

This girl has been stealing my heart lately - she is such a sweet and well behaved girl. This is her pic fresh from the groomer - she almost looks like a corgi here lol

I love love LOVED this gold glitter polish for the holidays and NYE - it made me happy to look down and see some sparkle. I think I will be doing this more during the year.

Gotta order these STAT for my girls for holidays 2016! So funny... and true

And more of the baking... I did make SO many that i delivered some to our neighbors. These are eggnog snickerdoodles that were lights out amazing - and some soft ginger molasses cookies that were equally impressive & festive.

Got to hang out with my old bootcamp crew in IL for an evening - we went to one of our old haunts for wings and beer - just like old times! Love these girls!

Yeah so.... this was pretty much my sentiment this Christmas. I just was not feeling it like I usually do - as expected. I am already looking forward to next Christmas so I can actually enjoy it :)

Christmas Eve I did make Chad and I a super fancy delicious meal. I went all out and made Spicy Tuna Tartare with sushi grade ahi tuna.... I was so impressed with myself! Sinfully tasty... And it was really cool because I discovered a fantastic seafood distributor here in STL that get seafood daily from the coasts - Bob's Seafood - apparently this is where all the top sushi chefs get their tuna in STL and - damn was it amazing!

I also cooked a beef tenderloin and made bacon, asiago & chive scalloped potatoes - divine!

And for dessert - I made salted butterscotch creme brûlée .... I actually made the salted butterscotch myself and ..... holy god.... it was nothing short of spectacular. Like I said.... I was all about eating my feelings in December! Here is my salted butterscotch.....

Our lovely tree this year.... we picked it out at Ted Drewes tree lot & I must say this was our best tree yet. Hardly any of the needles fell off and - it smelled amazing the entire holiday. Seriously filled up the first floor with that lovely Christmas tree smell! I hope we always have a live tree - it just seems so much more genuine & festive to me!

 I baked us a sausage croissant cheese bake type casserole for Christmas brunch.... honestly, I didn't like it as much as my mom's sausage bread recipe but - it was pretty tasty!

And we had Italian Greyhounds Christmas morning as well.... prosecco, grapefruit juice & topped off with blood orange pellegrino. YUM!

My nephew Gabe & his sweet girlfriend Amanda came to visit us- so happy to see them! We gave them a quick tour of our neighborhood and had a fun night of cocktails & catching up. Love them so very much!


Dacia - if you are reading this - we cracked open the Gingerbread Stout beer that you sent us for the holidays - it was SOOOO good! Gabe & I loved it!!! Here is Gabe drinking it below....Thank you Sweetpea!

And we had some minor flooding as well..... here is an intersection by my job completely submerged. It was a mess for a few days but - things are pretty much back to normal now. Crazy rains the week between Christmas and NYE. Thankful I was able to work from home the majority of that week!

Chad spoiled me for Christmas this year and got me some great gifts that are truly "me" - loved these pigments from MAC.... I was not expecting these at all and LOVE them! They are pretty neutral so I am able to incorporate them into my makeup routine a few times a week - score!

He also got me UD new palette - Smokey - LOVE!!!! I could not believe what a great job he did this year.... pretty resourceful guy went to Sephora and had them look up my account & make some suggestions based off of my past purchases - brilliant!

 Chad also gave me the Radko ornament for Miss Honey - this made me cry but, I am so happy this will be a special ornament for us that will always be front and center on every tree we have in her memory. I am so thankful to have such a thoughtful & sweet husband :)

And so... with all that "eating of the feelings" and "drinking all the wine" and "baking all the cookies" thing that happened over the holidays..... January is a reset/recharge/refocus cleansing month for me.

Lots of salads and veggies....

eating much more fruit.....

Quinoa, chicken & broccoli here with soy sauce... quick and easy weeknight din!

Bebe is trying new things also.... we have started taking her to doggie daycare a couple days a week so she can interact with other pups and get some fun time in. She is really good with the other dogs but - much more interested in the people that work there - which can be pretty typical behavior for border collies. Again - such a sweet sweet girl we have! Here she is with some new buddies at DD! Look at that sweet smile :)

back to food prepping - egg muffins for breakfast during the week!

We actually finished an entire bag of cuties - these suckers are so good but i usually avoid buying the big bag because... well it is a big ass bag! But - we finished this one and I just bought another one today at the store. I need the extra vitamin C!!!

Oh and this stuff - Frosted Sugar Cookie Popcorn - is the devil. Straight up. I will NOT be buying this again. It is too damn delicious and temping. Devil's snack I tell ya.

New cutting board! Awww... aren't we cute!

 I have been battling off a cold the past week so this has been my life..... gotta love the EmergenC!

I was feeling like hell on this morning but - put on my purple peacoat I bought on sale over the holidays - I must admit it did lift my mood :) Cant tell so much in this shot but - it is a really pretty shade of purple.

I remembered to bring in my rosemary plants this year - right before our crazy cold ass temperature drop - yay!!!

This was a post-workout breakfast - egg white scramble with spinach, peppers and colby jack cheese on a whole wheat english muffin - YUM!

I am back to working out with Josh on a group training team but also - getting in my running when I can. I will always be a runner at heart :)

Let's talk about this hair for a bit.... it is looking pretty good in this shot but....sadly, I typically have it wrapped up in a bun most days. I have had long hair for quite awhile and seriously craving a change. I have decided to cut it at my next appointment - time for something new and, hey, it's only hair and will grow back if I decide I miss it. Love my little Buddha there in the background :)

I have been obsessed with the move The Holiday over Christmas... seriously watched it about 7 times. I love Cameron Diaz's hair in it! and her jewelry but.... mainly her hair! Thinking of a cut similar to this but maybe a bit longer to the shoulders.

Our first snow of the season - so late this year and it was kinda a bust... we actually woke up to more snow this morning that was not in the all. Gotta love the surprise snows!

So.... I am back on track with healthy eating and gym time and feel refocused. I was thinking of starting a new blog up that focuses more on my nutrition and workouts - we will see. I will share it on here once i get it up and going. I would blog more tonight but - need to get some shut eye so I can have a productive Monday - Cheers and wishing everyone a fantastic week! xo!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


This holiday has been a tough one for us - our sweet Honeybear crossed the rainbow bridge in early December. We miss her dearly but she let us know it was her time to go. She was such a sweet and loving dog and I am trying to focus on the joy she gave us and the wonderful life we were able to provide her. I imagine her happy and running somewhere, chasing bunnies and rolling in the green grass. Rest in peace sweet girl - you will always be in our hearts.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Thanksgiving, Food & Deep Thoughts in Yoga

Hello! Just checking in here - 11 days of vacation was glorious!! Really felt amazing to take a long break from work. Thanksgiving was fantastic as always - we had Chad's family in town and our annual Friendsgiving party. I did a super bad poor job of taking photos... I think the only photos I took over Thanksgiving was of food! Story of my life lately ;) In fact... I just got back from the gym and had cookies for dinner. I feel a New Years Resolution brewing.... pics from the past couple weeks...

Got in touch with my inner goth girl over my holiday....blast from the past. Oh how I miss and love you Siouxsie!

Introducing cutie pie Miss Finley! I forgot how tiny babies are at first....and also how cool it is that they sleep a LOT so Erin and I have more time to drink beer :)

Miss Mavers with her favorite meal... hot dogs and broccoli.... bet your dinner was not this fancy

I had three rotten ripe bananas so made a loaf of Cinnamon Banana Bread - holy hell this was amazing! Chad was a happy man :)

I made a really awesome Asian Chicken Salad w/ black sesame seeds - so good! Cilantro makes everything better.

Spoiled pups over Thanksgiving... Puppy Pumpkin Pie, treats galore and a thanksgiving feast in a can. Seriously, the ingredients in the canned food was straight up your basic Thanksgiving dinner...turkey, sweet potatoes, corn, green beans, cranberry, etc. The girls LOVED it!

These should come with a warning label. Seriously good. I am usually not too intrigued by the crazy oreo flavors but had to try this one.....serious crack habit. Glad these are not around all year.

 I snapped a photo at the bar one night.... Bad Purse or Bad decide. My friend Laura just went with "Bad Life Decisions". Gotta agree with her here. Jon Bon Jovi called and he wants his murse back. Oh yes, we had fun with this one :) Purse shaming is wrong I know #sorrynotsorry

 Ahhhh the day I almost threw our printer out the window. I just wanted to change the ink cartridge. Boy was that a mistake. After a few frustrating finally decided to be my friend again

I crafted again over my break! My "Thanks" votives I did a few years ago.....the pain all flaked off as I used the wrong type of paint. Boo. But I loved them so much, I decided to give it a go again....with the proper tools. And Acrylic paint.

After a lot of cussing....and maybe an emergency beer at 11am.... I finally got the hang of it :)

Turned out pretty good! Watch out Etsy!!

 Random selfie... I think I was impressed with my makeup and flat iron skills here

My sweet niece Dacia sent us a special release beer from Hardwood Brewing - a Gingerbread Stout. We are saving this for Christmas - but I was so excited to get this! What a sweet and thoughtful girl - thank you Dacia Lane if you are reading this...yummy beers heading your way soon :)

 Chad and I being goofy on Thanksgiving Eve...our tradition is to clean the house that day and then go out for dinner and an oatmeal cookie shot. Gotta love traditions :)

And the infamous oatmeal cookie shots :)

We may have had a couple white russians over the holiday as well....tis the season! Oh and I fond a Salted Carmel Kailua online.....Dear Santa, yes please. Thanks. Bye.

So Chad did a little Black Friday shopping.... he got up at 2 am to go stand in line for the Bourbon County Stout release - he was happy with his loot. He picked up regular BCS, Coffee, Barley Wine and BCS Rare. Happy happy husband :)

I think my favorite side dish I make over the holiday is the cranberry chutney. It smells so good and tastes amazing. I love making a brie pastry with it.

I also made a quiche with our Thanksgiving Ham leftovers. I was not joking when I said I took zero pics of people. Food Only. Blogging Fail!

Robin and Ashley from next door made the most amazing home-made pretzels I have ever had in my LIFE. Seriously - so freaking good.

My Brie Pastry with Pumpkin Tortilla Chips...

Joanne made her amazing Pesto Herb Orzo Salad....just for me! Well....I may have hid it away from everyone and kept it just for myself and in my mind...that means she made it just for ME. I always try to replicate this and fail. Seriously the best orzo salad ever. Thank you Joanne!!!! XO This has been my dinner several nights the past week.

My favorite memory from this year - Chad coloring with Maeve and Kate from next door. It was fun to have the kiddos here a year older and running around and having fun. Minus a singed teddy bear that accidentally got thrown on the mantle when we were drinking all the wine  we looked away for a half second. Teddy bear saved, fire alarm silenced, everyone cheered, crisis averted, Friendsgiving success!!

My work peer and good friend Tina flew in from Cali this week - we went to yoga together and sweated out all the stress. I will be seeing much more of this beautiful face this year and that makes me so happy!

So - yoga the other night was amazing. There is just something about hot yoga that I love. The teacher that night started class out by sharing her reflection for the day - it really resonated with me deep in my heart. She said to think about how often we are doing a task....walking the dog, brushing our teeth, preparing a meal...and you are not even present in the task. You are thinking about what's next,  or fretting about something that happened a year ago. 

Sleep walking through moments.....making the grocery list in your head while in conversation, worrying about the meeting you have in the morning while brushing your teeth the night before, wondering why that person from your past said something rude a year ago 
while you are stuck in traffic. 

Her message was to be present in the task, be present in the moment, be present in your life. You cannot change what has happened in the past, you should not fret over something in the future that may never be. But you can be present and embrace the moment. I think I fell a little bit in love with her at that moment. Her words hit me like a brick and have really stuck with me. I am trying to do more of this. It is hard but - a practice, like yoga. I'm going back tomorrow for more :)

And I leave you all with that loveliness. Be Present :) XO