A ‘Repeat’ Type of Weekend

This weekend was full of fun times-

We froze at a baseball game.
Got severely fried by the summer sun.
And survived the dangers paddle boarding.

Really, it was fun.

The company was the best and this was the type of weekend I’d just like to hit a ‘repeat’ button and do again.

So happy we were all together!

So happy we were all together!

Friday was the baseball game where the temperature dropped and people actually were wearing winter hats and gloves.
It was also Polish Night at the game which means we got to watch a traditional Polish dance show.
And sing the national anthem of Poland.
Random.

Saturday was a total blast – we made a big breakfast and then hit the beach.

We (and I mean all four of us) did not think to use sunscreen because the day started off a bit chilly therefore it is impossible to get any type of burn….. (right?)
I actually spent the first hour underneath a blanket – yeah, I was that person:

beach

DON’T I JUST LOOK LIKE A BUNDLE OF HAPPINESS?

Eventually, I shed the towel and we all enjoyed the day in the sand.
The boys played cornhole like 354 times.
Us girls layed out (aka BURNT OUR BODIES).
I people watched. (OK- I really just watched babies and toddlers because they are so darn cute in their little sunhats and attempts to eat sand.)
Paddle boards were rented and paddled around (which is a total blast by the way- do it!).
Drinks and snacks were consumed.

From the beach (and before we realized how truly burnt we were), we met Mr. Speedy’s friend and all went out to eat at Vinsetta Garage.
This place is a little gem in metro-Detroit so naturally, our out-of-town guests had to eat there!

This is what marriage does to you.

This is what marriage does to you.

I orderd the EV1- a vegan patty that was amazzzing.

I ordered the EV1- a vegan patty that was amazzzing.

After dinner we all went home and reazlied we were severly burnt, had to rush out and buy Aloe (and Twizzlers because they make everything better), and take turns applying goops of it all over our bodies. All of us blamed each other for not putting sunscreen on. Our tan lines are horrific.

Sunday the boys got up early to go watch NASCAR, and us girls had a relaxing day together.

First – mimosas and brunch!

I got a boca burger... I don't know what is with me an these things lately!

I got a boca burger… I don’t know what is with me an these things lately!

Second- we toured Meadowbrook Hall.

I love this historic home and you can throw events here. I tried convincing Brosef-in-law’s girlfriend that she should probably just get married here… I would help plan it. I think I convinced her… to never tour a historical home again with me.

It is only 88,000 sq ft. No big deal.

It is only 88,000 sq ft. No big deal.

After our cultural activity, we learned that her flight got cancelled and decided to cook a fabulous meal for our men.

We both like scallops but had never tried cooking them… so we gave it a whirl.

And it was FANTASTIC. If you like scallops, you’ll love this:

Ricotta Lemon Pasta with Seared Scallops and Sugar Snap Peas

So tastyyyyy.

So tastyyyyy.

What you need:

  • 1 package of pasta (whatever kind you prefer)
  • 1 lb of sea scallops (I counted on 4-5 scallops per person)
  • olive oil
  • 1 Tbls. butter
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 package of sugar snap peas (or regular peas, or whatever veggie you prefer)
  • Thyme, Basil, sea salt, pepper
  • 1 container of ricotta cheese (I used part-skim)

1. Cook the pasta (while it is cooking, move on to step two). When finished, set aside in a bowl, but toss with some olive oil so it doesn’t get clumpy and sticky.
2. Rinse scallops and pat dry. Sprinkle with pepper, olive oil, and some lemon juice.
3. In a large skillet on high heat, heat up some olive oil and butter until foamy.
4. Place scallops in skillet, single layer. Squeeze a bit more lemon juice on top if you want. Cook, turning once, and until brown on outside… about 2 minutes (these cook very fast!).
5.Remove scallops and set aside.
6. In large pot over low heat, heat up lemon juice from at least one lemon, about 3 Tbl. olive oil, a hefty scoop of Thyme, Basil, and dashes of pepper, salt. Add sugar snap peas and let simmer for a few minutes. Toss in the pasta and mix. Add the ricotta cheese and mix gently until everything is evenly coated.
7. Pour pasta/snap pea mixture into a serving dish. Top with scallops and serve!

Us girls really set the mode for the post-NASCAR dinner, pulling on the candlesticks and wine glasses:

After our feast of seafood, we all settled in and watched a 3D movie which is the only time it is socially acceptable to wear shades indoors and if you are like me, wear your regular glasses under the shades. Yep, I felt like a real winner wearing two sets of glasses.

All in all, I loved everything about this weekend !

What was your favorite thing about this weekend??? Burning my bellybutton was a highlight but drinking mimosas and having a girly brunch was probably my favorite thing!

Sincerely,

Lily

My Top 10 Gift ideas for HER

HER.

You know who I am talking about – that lady. Her could be your mother, girlfriend, crush, sister, best friend, teacher, or wife.

HER.

Here are my top 10 gifts for any HER in your life:

1. Burt’s Bees Lip Gloss: Or any Burt’s Bees lip product. It is all natural. It creates a smooth shine and healthy lips. All women wear chapstick, lip gloss, lip stick, or a combo of all three. We need this. It is an essential part of our daily routine. My friend Brittany mailed me this and it is always in my coat pocket.  Find it at CVS for $8.99. PERFECT STOCKING STUFFER.

This is THE BEST.

This is THE BEST.

2. Magazine Subscription: THIS IS SUCH A GOOD GIFT. You know what I love? Curling up a with a good magazine that I didn’t have to pay for. Does she like cooking? Home decor? Travel? Clothes? Sports? I look forward to finding my Self, Runner’s World, and Country Living in my mailbox every month. Get her subscription to a magazine- you can’t go wrong! It is like getting a present every month! Find a variety on Amazon for a range of prices… or just find the magazine directly and order.

YES. DROOL.

YES. DROOL.

3. Wine, this wine: This is just not any wine. This wine is made in Northern Michigan and it is hands down the BEST RIESLING I have ever had. It is sweet but not as sweet as a Moscato. It is smooth and airy and light. I love it. Buy her a bottle of this or an entire case and invite me over. Please. Find the Late Harvest Riesling at Black Star Farms, they can ship or have a list of stores that carry it (many in Detroit area). $15.00

This wine seriously taste like an explosion of all good things.

This wine seriously taste like an explosion of all good things.

This also makes a great hostess gift if you are attending a holiday party!

4. Home Decor OR Decor Surprise: This present only works if you live with the woman or are extremely close with them. Do not do this to a crush or teacher because it may freak them out. Re-arrange and re-decorate a space for them. It doesn’t have to be extreme and doesn’t have to cost much. This image of the bookshelf was one I rearranged- group colors and sizes together and add a pop of color with a new bowl, with fruit. Or buy a vase. A photograph. A few new pillows for the couch. We love and adore home decor. Seriously. These pillows from Kohls are a favorite, $64. I also love this cable knit pillow (it is like a big sweater!), for $69.  Love Nate Berkus line at Target and this starburst, $13.98. You can never go wrong with a classic Kate Spade vase, $50. I adore her Grace Avenue collection and it goes great with ANY room.

A little home decor is always a good gift.

A little home decor is always a good gift.

Mr. Speedy bought me this canvas art and I love it. What a perfect way to dress up the wall!

Mr. Speedy bought me this canvas art and I love it. What a perfect way to dress up the wall!

5. Gift Card to a Salon for WAXING: Or if she doesn’t get waxed, a nail salon or hair place will do. Every lady requires maintenance and let me tell you- I would be so happy to receive a gift towards getting my eyebrows waxed so I don’t have to worry about the expense of it all. A massage would work too. So many good options. Find out where she gets her business (nails, wax, hair cut, etc.) done and go grab a gift card!!!

Don't I just look like  a model?

Don’t I just look like a model?

6. Personalized Stationary: This goes along with the post on men gifts, but seriously, EVERYONE could use some high-end stationary for their personal correspondence. Or if the woman has a favorite flower, buy some with that on it. The choices are really endlessly. Include some stamps for extra bonus points. Order some from Paper Source, or these cute ones from NaomiLynn, $15.

Stationary!

Stationary!

7. A Getaway: Although pricey, this is easy peasy and means a lot. Book a weekend trip (or even just one night) somewhere to go. This is perfect for girlfriends, best friends, moms, or sisters. We love getaways. Find a picture of the person on vacation and write on the back “Merry Christmas- get ready for another trip because we are going X (name location) on X (name dates)!”. A great place in Northern Michigan where Mr. Speedy proposed but would be a fun trip for ANYONE, is the Inn at Bay Harbor. From $157. Or I took him for a night away to the Dearborn Inn (and we visited the museum across the street) which was a total blast, from $149. BE SURE TO GET BUFFET BREAKFAST.

Fate.

Fate.

8. Lavender Vanilla Pillow Mist: It is fact that the scent lavender helps relax and get into sleep mode. Pillow mist is probably one of the BEST THINGS EVER.  I use this before sleepy time, just spray a little on the pillows and climb in. Mr. Speedy doesn’t mind although it doesn’t make him sleepy…. never mind. What a great gift, find it at Bath and Body Works for only $10.

Buy this for anyone, they are sure to love it. Who doesn't like to relax and sleep???

Buy this for anyone, they are sure to love it. Who doesn’t like to relax and sleep???

9. The Pioneer Woman: A Year of Holidays (cookbook): The Pioneer Woman is one of my favorite blogs and she is an amazing cook…. and photographer. And she is hilarious. All of her cook books are stuffed full of rich and flavorful recipes, complete with easy steps and pictures. Perfect for any level of cook. She has three cook books out, but this latest one, A Year of Holidays, is geared around holiday foods. I love that- recipes for any occasion! Find it at Barnes & Noble, $20.99.

Love this cook book!

Love this cook book!

10. Solar-Powered Dancing Daisy: Mr. Speedy bought me one of these and it sits in my window at work and DANCES ALL DAY LONG and always brings a smile to my face. When the sun hits it directly, it dances to fast that the plastic pedals hit each other. It is crazy but it makes me laugh. And brightens my day. I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying this thing. Find it at a Dollar Store, $1. If you really want to be funny, buy a whole bunch. (ha, get it? Bunch?)

It dances in the sun! So dang cute!

It dances in the sun! So dang cute!

Other notable mentiones: soap from CerealFly – try XOXO scent, $4.50, a book on her hobby/passion, a red nail polish that is fast-drying – we rarely have time to wait for our nails to dry and we always need a good red color.

There is my little list of gifts for women… hope you enjoyed it and good luck with the rest of Christmas shopping! One more week and it’ll be here.

I am going to go put myself in direct sunlight now and see if it gets me to dance.

Sincerely,

Lily

27 Thoughts for 27

Yesterday was my 27th birthday.

I am so old.

I am so old… and often smile at Mr. Speedy and not the camera.

I have left my mid-twenties and am now entering my late-twenties.
I am almost 30, soon to be 40 (basically).
I currently am a fiance, soon to be wife.
I have a small head that seems to not grow.

Birthdays, for me, have always been something I look forward too…. until I hit 20 and realized I was no longer a teenager, read a magazine article that claimed your skin ages and starts to sag at 20, and had no idea where I was going with my life. After that depressing moment, birthdays seemed to mark a moment that just amplified that I was an adult, had responsibilities, and had to make a successful life for myself.

Except, I had no idea what I was doing. And still, in many ways, have no idea what I am doing.

But that is okay. Each birthday that passes, each year that flies by, I learn a little more about what I want or do not want in my life. I don’t have everything figured out but my birthdays now are a happy, joyous, celebration of becoming more of the woman I want to be rather than clinging to the younger, less-responsible years.

So in celebration, here are-

27 thoughts on my 27:

1. I never thought I’d run a marathon.

I really never had this race on my radar at all until I met Mr. Speedy. Then he signed up for a marathon and urged me to join. And I did it. Wowzers.

2. I’ve grown to love wine.

Seriously. I am not a big drinker and never drank really until  I was in grad-school. Beer I am picky with and liquor makes my eyes water. Yuck. But wine…. if it is sweet, and has a pinch of fruit flavors, I love it.  It is fantastic to cook with, great with a meal, and even better to relax on the weekend with friends.

3. I never thought I’d get married under 2 years of knowing someone.

Let me re-phrase that – I knew I’d get married someday, but never this soon. Marriage was something that I always dearly wanted for myself but never found the right love. Dating was fun but never serious in the sense that I could imagine it playing out in the future, or rings being exchanged. I always figured I’d get married around 35 if I was lucky.  If you met me a few years ago and was like ‘Hey, you are going to get married when you are 27,” I would have laughed and been like NOPE. But life is funny, throws you curve-balls, and sometimes pushes you towards the right person so beautifully, you just got to thank God and His planning.

Mr. Speedy proposed under 1 year and we will be married under 2. Fancy that.

4. I am (still) a complainer.

I am trying to work on this. Really. It is probably one of my most unattractive qualities. I have a tendency to complain too much and make it quite obvious that I am not 100% happy with whatever is occurring. I need to practice patients, endure uncomfortable situations, and not let little problems cause such a dent in my emotions. I’ll get there, maybe by the time I am 30.

5. My skin IS REALLY aging.

It really is… but I have been using anti-aging cream on my face and neck (don’t forget about the neck! or else you get turkey neck), for the past 4 years and I feel like it is working. Kind of. Ask me in 5 years.

6. I am satisfied and content with my body.

loveee

BOOYAH. This was a long journey and I struggled for some time but let me repeat that – I LOVE THE WAY I LOOK. It only took me a decade but life is oh-so-much sweeter when you accept yourself, faults and all, and are completely satisfied with your body. Ignore the social demands, ignore the irrational thoughts. I sitll have ‘negative’ thoughts and feelings, but for the most part, I like to think I look like a rock star and am hyped about my body confidence.

Confidence is worn best with a smile and let me tell you – that attracts anyone’s attention and makes them think ‘Dang. That girl has got it!’

Love yourself. It is the only way to live this life.

7. My mom is one of my best friends.

My mom and I talk almost daily. She supported me and stood by my side through times when I was irrational, mean, and just plain ugly. She is a hard-worker and giving beyond giving. If I am half the lady she is then I will be happy. We are close friends and I am so happy that my mom and I have the relationship we do.  I would not trade it for the world.

8. I love LOVE love having pen pals.

I love writing letters, getting letters, and having pen pals. I have 5 or 6 at the moment and it rocks my running socks.

9. I never thought I’d have anything remotely as beautiful as this:

Please ignore me ET fingertips.

Please ignore me ET fingertips.

10. I still don’t like dogs/animals/pets.

Uh yeahhhhh…. I thought maybe at this point in my life, I would be a little less cold-hearted towards animals but I am not. It has gotten worse. I just have absolutely no bone in my body that cares about them or wants them near me. They just do not appeal to me. Just keep all animals away from me, thank you very much.

11. But one day, IN THE FAR FUTURE, MAYBE, a golden retriever will be part of our family.

I am going to be honest, if having this furry-smelly creature means Mr. Speedy would be the happiest man alive, I would allow this pet. BUT under strict guidelines: it is not allowed in the kitchen, bedroom, on furniture, or bathrooms. It would have to be HIGHLY trained, to the point that it would not come near me. And we would have to have at least 385735 acres of land for it to run around and (hopefully) get lost in and never return..

I’m kidding. I would be so sad if it did get lost….

Mr. Speedy loved this dog.

Mr. Speedy loved this dog.

12. I thought by now I would have a library. Preferably, one like Belle’s:

belles-library

13. I’m blessed with an amazing family.

No family is perfect but mine is perfect for me. Although Pirate is pirate-like and my sister and I are opposites, they are amazing. My parents are amazing and have shown me what a true marriage is all about- endurance, compromise, romance, dedication, communication, humor, and taking time to make time for each other. I am blessed to have my sister as a friend and my younger brothers in my life. I have an extended family that is pretty awesome too, many of us girl cousins get together and are best friends. Family is such a foundation for one’s life and I wouldn’t change a thing about mine.

14. I never thought I’d be an aunt.

By marrying Mr. Speedy, I acquire the title ‘Aunt’ to his 2 nieces and nephew. This is pretty exciting. My birthday card from them was addressed to ‘Aunt Lily.’ SWOON. I love it.

And, a bonus, is that one niece has the same name as me so it is almost like a great scheme of generations of Lillians… totally not planned:

"WHOA WHOA... WHAT DO YOU MEAN I ONLY GET TO HAVE 3 CUPCAKES???"

“WHOA WHOA… WHAT DO YOU MEAN I ONLY GET TO HAVE 3 CUPCAKES???”

15. I never thought my grandparents wouldn’t be around for my wedding.

Is this depressing to mention? Sorry. I always pictured my Grandpa to be present for my marriage. He was the best. But he and all my other grands are gone. But I suppose they will watch over the entire thing and be toasting up in Heaven with important ancestors and making bets on when the first great-grandchild will be born.

16. I’m girly.

I was tom boy for A LONG time. I used to dislike shopping, never used a hair dryer, and thought swimming in a pool was equivalent to a shower. (It is NOT, in case you were wondering.) But now, that is all changed. I love shopping! I enjoy doing my hair (or trying) and I like to put a dab on make-up here and there.

I still have no idea what concealer or foundation is nor do I think I’ll ever use it, but I do use an eyelash curler like a boss.

This birthday I recieved many lovely gifts, including K.Spade items I was lusting after – 2 sets of earrings and a watch. Totally Girly.

17. Surprises are really the best.

I have a tendency to SNOOP and PRY and RUIN ALL SUPRISES. But, being with Mr. Speedy (who is always full of surprises) has taught me that waiting and not ruining surprises is very sweet. I still semi-ruin his surprises by hinting that I have something for him… so he usually knows when it is coming, but I am no longer blurting out whatever that gift may be.

Mr. Speedy, hands down, is the best surprise-giver ever. He does it all the time. Sometimes small, sometimes big. I can’t keep up with him.

Today at work, Mr. Speedy suprised me by having Jimmy Johns delievered for the my ENTIRE staff AND then a few hours later, these were delievered:

I CAN'T WAIT EITHER. So sweet. Does it get sweeter than this? Nope.

I CAN’T WAIT EITHER. So sweet. Does it get sweeter than this? Nope.

18. 10 miles.

This amount is my ‘normal’ everyday run. I never thought that 10 miles would be normal and 4-6 is short.

19. I am very indecisive.

I am like Sally from ‘When Harry met Sally.’ I change my order at the last minute and have serious issues picking out my outfit and accessories. I over-pack and have mental breakdowns if I am rushed while trying to get dressed up for a fancy event. Never rush an indecisive person. It makes them feel foolish and like they are missing half their brain while they are searching for the right earring or perfect heel.

Mr. Speedy has learned how to deal with me when getting ready for things or when we have to order a meal. Or a drink. He understands the personality quirk of mine and thankfully, accepts me.

Just making this list has been difficult. Planning an entire wedding for a person with my inability to make direct, quick decisions has been like planning on jumping on a hopscotch square that constantly shifts and moves and tilts. Difficult and challenging, but possible.

20. I never thought Prince Charming was a) really this charming and b) this good looking and c) a perfect fit for me:

He ha the best legs and arms.... and torso, butt, and all other spots.

He ha the best legs and arms…. and torso, butt, and all other spots.

Really. Seriously. How DID this happen? How did I find Prince Charming and he find me? Fairytales do happen, people.

I had Prince Charming dreamed up in my head, and then POOF- he does exist. Only he is better than anything I could have thought up and is sweeter than the sweetest honey. Stronger than the biggest bull. Faster than the fastest cheetah. More caring than a thousand band aids. More helpful than a school of teachers. Funnier than any comedian. Patient like a monk (that one is weird…. they are patient, I think). More manly than Paul Bunyan himself. More suave that James Bond. Sexier than a shirtless man holding an infant. Tastier than a….

Ok, I’ll stop. You get the picture. Prince Charming does exist and he is Mr. Speedy. I’m going to try to stop drooling all over the keyboard now.

21. Moody moods.

With age, I have noticed that PMS does exist and I get moody once a month, for about a day. I never used to have this. But now, I have it. And thought I’d share with you.

So glad I got that off my chest.

22. I am blind.

Not really, but almost. Another thing that age has gifted me with is horrible eyesight. My prescription is -3.75 is both eyes and if I do not have my contacts or glasses on, I cannot see diddly-squat. I once had a full conversation with a tree when I had no contacts or glasses present. True story.

23. Sports make you strong.

I have always been atheltic and had a natural need to perform- whether it be through running, swimming, or playing tennis. I love the way getting my sweat on makes me feel. I absolutely would not trade my toned thighs and runner’s butt for a skinnier set of legs. I love how whenever I see another female running, I think ‘GIRL POWER.’ Sports make you sassy, give you confidence, and make you soar.

Get your sweat on, ladies.

24. I would like to start or be part of a book club.

This is my goal for year 27… simple and sweet. Hopefully, I can make it happen because I have currently been part of a book club with only one member (me) and it is kind of lame at times. I need some discussion and argumentative, thought-provoking perspectives. I also want to have people over and serve wine and fine cheese.

Basically, I want to create the Jane Austen Book Club.

THIS MOVIE IS THE BEST!!

THIS MOVIE IS THE BEST!!

25. I have never ever smoked a thing.

I have never ever smoked anything in my whole life and am proud of this. I have never tried a cigarette nor do I want too. Smoking is one of those habits that makes my toes curl and lungs cry.

My biggest pet peeve of this nasty habit are a) people that smoke while on running paths– sorry, you are doing it wrong and b) smoking… in general.

26. My career is a winding, confused, undetermined path.

What the heck am I doing?

When I was in college, if you asked me where I would be at when I was 27, I would have said working in an art museum in Chicago or New York or Italy. When I was in graduate school and you asked me where I would be at 27, I would have said teaching at a community college and working at library. Now, ask me where I am at, at 27?

Answer: All over and I have no idea.

My career path has not been direct nor has it been clear. I am successful in the sense that I am working and independent. I am paying off my student loans and able to save money. I am able to splurge and buy Pantene ProV (my Suave days are over) and I indulge in Starbucks here and there.

But, I am not 100% happy with my current job. I feel alone most of the time. I am grateful to be working but I feel like I need to make some changes soon.

And what will I do? I don’t know and I don’t think I’ll ever know what I want to do…. and I am okay with that. But, I do know that I want to be happy and only I can make that happen.

27. Each day really is better than the last.

This past year, this really has held true. Every day seems to get better and better, and not just because Mr. Speedy is a part of my life. As you get older, you have more experiences and memories and life is just…. richer. Fuller. More exciting. The future is literally popping at the seams with possibilities and opportunities. I have no idea what might or might not happen, but I am excited. Sure there are going to be tought times, there always are, but I am looking forward to what the future brings.

Life gets sweeter and more precious as I get older.

The appreciation grows.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Sincerely,

27-year-old Lily

Mackinac Island Re-cap: A present, fancy dinners, and lots of exploring

Lovers at Grand Hotel.

Lovers at Grand Hotel.

The post is going to be quick and simple, with lots and lots of pictures.

We had a blast at Mackinac Island. Here is a quick re-cap through some lovely shots:

Waiting for the ferry-

DSC_0002DSC_0005DSC_0016DSC_0021

The ferry was large and in charge:

DSC_0007The water was BEAUTIFUL:

DSC_0009

Once seated on the top deck and in motion, we quickly realized that it was WINDY and CHILLY. My hair was quite amazing:

DSC_0028DSC_0040DSC_0043

The bridge and the island!

DSC_0032DSC_0060DSC_0062

We immediately enjoyed drinks and a humus appetizer before going to our hotel. Have I mentioned I love orange peels?

We were on a pre-wedding-mini-moon.

We were on a pre-wedding-mini-moon.

Scenes from our walk to the hotel:

Our hotel room was AMAZING. Large king size bed, funny old-fashioned decor, a sitting room over-looking the lake and bridge:

Have I mentioned that I love his arms? I do:

Drooooool.

Drooooool.

Now for the TIFFANY PRESENT. Any guesses? Mr. Speedy was COMPLETELY SHOCKED (well, he knew I was giving him something because throughout the entire week I was like “I have a present for you and you shall receive it this weekend.” But he had no idea what it was!)

DSC_0117DSC_0120They were CUFF LINKS from the Gatsby line of jewelry that came out at Tiffanys….. aka perfect for our themed wedding.

I love them. They are perfect.

I love them. They are perfect.

I had to give them to him oh-so-early prior to the wedding because several times he attempted to purchase some for his tux or talked about purchasing them for his tux. What is a girl to do? I couldn’t exactly be like ‘DON’T BUY ANY CUFF LINKS BECAUSE YOU WILL GET SOME BUT NOT FROM ME, LETS GO RUNNING.” He ended up wearing them that night at our fancy dinner 🙂

Okay, after making out for 354365534 hours and recovering from our lovey-dovey feelings, we went to our fancy dinner:

Very patriotic.

Very patriotic.

The next day was full of adventures. After our buffet, we played chess on the porch:

I was frowning and losing.

I was frowning and losing.

And then we started off on exploring the island:

I am pretty sure that Mr. Speedy’s favorite part of this day, was discovering this dog who sat at still as a statue and just mellow and sweet:

Mr. Speedy loved this dog.

Mr. Speedy loved this dog.

In the far off future, I will have to learn how to love dogs because Mr. Speedy will want one. However, if we have a very large yard with plenty of room and like, a separate living house for a dog, then I am okay with this pet. But it cannot go near my bed, kitchen, couches, or drool near me. Or poop.

Maybe I am not okay with this….. ::shudddddders:::

After exploring, we had a couple of drinks at The Gatehouse, enjoyed some coconut shrimp and then had fancy dinner #2:

It was like a painting.

It was like a painting.

We also spent lots of time with my old college roommate and her mother, who were on this trip. I don’t know if I mentioned it, but the owner of the Grand Hotel is an alum of my college and every year, for the past 4 years, there has been an alum trip and you get to stay at the Grand Hotel at a very discounted rate.

It was a blast that she was on the trip and to catch up!

I also think I am going to do fudge wedding favors from the island….. I mean, how perfect does that sound and all of the out-of-town guests can drool over the amazing Michigan famous dessert. Um…. yes!

Seriously though, if you EVER get the chance to visit this place or need a vacation spot – go here. End of summer is the best because the leaves are changing and it is not very hot/humid and there are not hudge crowds.

Sincerely,

Lily

Running, Showers, and Wine!

UM HI.
Sorry I haven’t blogged in a million years… I’ll catch you all up to speed with my life in a short and sweet numbered list.

Here it goes:

1. GOTR started: Maybe this is why I have found it difficult to attempt to blog during the week… training a mob of 3rd graders to run and race around cones is not easy. Especially when you accidentally forget their snack in your work fridge and they all turn against you and decide that they need a snack in order to listen.

Tip: Do not EVER forget the snack when dealing with children. It basically makes you the worst-person-ever.

2. Bridal shower in NE: My darling fiance and I, along with my mother and brother, piled into a car and made the 12 hour trip. This is me about 23 minutes into the trip:

LET ME OUTTTTTT

LET ME OUTTTTTT

Below is a picture of us, after we arrived-ran-showered, ready for our guests to arrive. I wore a new dress specifically for the occasion that was bridal-like and fluffy on the bottom. I felt like a tall cupcake with brown icing flowing down my head:

Deco couple of running loooove.

Deco couple of running loooove.

The table was deco!

OH My... how amazing is this? His mom and sisters are the best!

OH My… how amazing is this? His mom and sisters are the best!

3. I need to learn how to open presents without awkward faces. Please look:

I am so weird. He is so handsome.

I am so weird. He is so handsome.

Seriously, why am I so weird? Like this next picture, apparently I thought it was time to be a flamingo:

"Hiiiii I luvz youuuuuu."

“Hiiiii I luvz youuuuuu.”

The right couple is Mr. Speedy’s sister and her husband. They are super cute! And she is one-heck of a fit lady…. she teaches Jazzercise which we did the next morning and I almost knocked myself out while attempting the moves.

I have no dancing skills whatsoever.

4. She also cut my hair ! And waxed my eyebrows so I was not beast-like.

My mom took this pic! Sneaky!

My mom took this pic! Sneaky!

5. The way home from NE was the ride from HELL. The 12 hour drive turned into 17 hours because of the following:

  • Rainy weather: Everyone was sliding and driving 40 mph.
  • Traffic: It was everywhere.
  • Mr. Speedy puked consistently between IL and MI: My poor love got food poisoning at a diner. I can honestly say there is nothing worse than seeing the love-of-your-life on all fours on the side of the expressway, getting drenched in rain, puking up his guts. Ughhhhhh.

6. Mr. Speedy and I like going in our hot tub:

BAHAHAHAHAH

BAHAHAHAHAH

7. Last week at work, Jimmy Johns gave one of my co-workers 60 (SIXTY) samples. It was amazing. I ate 8 and stashed 5 more. Hehehe:

Best co-worker everrrrrr.

Best co-worker everrrrrr.

8. I have two awesome pen pals who are also my awesome blogger friends who will be coming to my wedding. In celebration of all of this, I made them something special and they will get it shortly in the mail!!! Ekkkkk I love pen pals! Brittany and Megan rock (and I’m sorry this ruins the surprise):

Pen pal packages!

Pen pal packages!

I have been practicing my fancy writing… kind of looks Halloweenish though:

Yikes. Maybe I won't address the wedding invites?

Yikes. Maybe I won’t address the wedding invites?

9. It is FALL…. and I am getting paler by the second and my hair is turning black. By the time of the wedding, I will be a glowing worm of a woman:

Ghost? Yes.

Ghost? Yes.

10. Speaking of wedding, I did some planning this weekend with my Mother and Sister. And then we drank wineeeeeeeeeeeeeeee:

I love her. She is the best!

I love her. She is the best!

This next picture truly shows that I am not the only one that takes awkward pictures-  my sister has that trait too:

WHAT IS GOING ON.

WHAT IS GOING ON.

In conclusion, life is great, wine is sweet, and I need to learn how to smile properly.

Sincerely,

Awkward Lily

The Meatball Saga

So Mr. Speedy and I are moved in and all. We are enjoying nesting in our love nest and all. I am trying to cook new recipes. And all.

This week I attempted to make meatballs.

This so pretty. So... simple, right?

This so pretty. So… simple, right?

Meatballs were a very vital substance to my diet growing up. My mother would cook them, with a side of spaghetti, and they always came out as perfect little orbs of tender meat. She would add an egg or two to make them hold together, some bread crumbs and seasoning, and make it all look so easy.

One thing that my Mother never did was attempt to cook dinner while While You Were Sleeping was on in the background. I suppose this is where I went wrong.

Ahem-

Mr. Speedy went out for a quick run and it being my rest day, I stayed in to prepare a romantic dinner (it was our 15 month anniversary) of scrumptious meatballs and pasta. My Mother had texted me earlier all the necessary ingredients – a pound of ground beef, a pound of ground turkey, some chopped onion, two eggs, a big pile of ketchup, some Italian bread crumbs, and various spices- which I had picked up at the grocery store conveniently on the way home from work.

Mixing them all in a large bowl that was partially warped due to the dishwasher, I could see straight into the living room and view the t.v. and sympathize with a miserable Lucy (Sandra Bullock) in her monotonous ticket-booth job. I had the skillet already warmed up with olive oil, and using a spoon, dropped balls of mixed meat into the pan. Sizzle sizzle, they hissed at me and began to cook.

And this is where I went wrong. Well, this is where I made my first mistake.

Proud of my beautiful orbs of beef and turkey, I poured myself a bit of wine, leaned in the kitchen entryway. I was completely relaxed, admiring the fruits of my culinary labor sizzle and completely confident Mr. Speedy would be drooling all over it. I turned my attention to the movie and watched as the nurse hears Lucy say she was going to marry that man. GASP. She just did what!?! I love this scene. I love how then Lucy has to play it cool with her pretend engagement to a dreamy, successful man. I suppose if I saw Mr. Speedy get mugged, and I rescued him from getting squished by a train, I would totally impersonate his fiancé to stare at him while he slept…

This is me. I am her. The end.

This is me. I am her. The end.

And then I smelt burning. Something was definitely burning.

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Burnt. Burnt. So burnt.

Quickly, I turned the burner down from high to low, suddenly remembering that my Mother had warned never to use HIGH heat, always MEDIUM heat for meatballs. That was my second mistake. Ball-shape no more, they had become warped and misshapen under the high heat just like my mixing bowl.

Then, I did what any newly housewife-in-training/cook would do- I concealed all evidence of the disastrous meatballs. I plopped them neatly on top a bed of pasta, smothered in sauce, and grated a colossal serving of fresh parmesan cheese on top, making it look like a gourmet meal.

I strategically continued to cover the burnt areas with more sauce and cheese....

I strategically continued to cover the burnt areas with more sauce and cheese….

A few more spoonfuls of warm sauce, and the meatballs were hidden away… deep down there, just waiting to be discovered.

Mr. Speedy came home from his run, showered, and scooped a helping of the meal, eager to eat.

“Do you smell something burning?” he asked.

“Uh… burning? No.” I said sheepishly. “I mean I did have a candle going [lie] and I did light a match for that [another lie]. Also, I believe the dryer makes a funny smell [super big lie].”

“Huh,” he said and twirled his fork with some food. Then he took a bite, slowly inspecting the taste, and looked directly at me.

I quickly realized I had no idea who I was dealing with because I completely expected him to spit out the food, and accuse me of feeding him hockey-puck chunks of scorched beef.

But instead, this great handsome man whom cares oh-so-much about me and my cooking ego, explained that it was the BEST meatball he had ever had. The best. He quickly ate one, two, and then a third. He even said that he actually preferred the burnt crust because it made them crispy, almost like they were fried.

And I, taken aback and melting due to his endearing comment about the most horrible meatballs one could ever come across, showed him that I still had a huge bowl full of uncooked meat that I could make more meatballs with, you know, since he liked them so much.

“OH no….,” He said, rubbing my shoulders. “Let ME cook these, you go sit and relax.”

And you know what Mr. Speedy did? That man baked them on a cookie sheet until they were golden brown and perfect. I mean PERFECT. He could not have rolled them into better balls and he could not have timed the baking down to a better second. We even watched the rest of the funny love triangle between Lucy and Jack and Peter while they baked (Mr. Speedy obviously can multi-task in the kitchen).

We feasted on his balls (that sounds bad, you know what I mean) the next day, but only after he assured me that my meatballs were just as delicious and tasty.

Honestly, if this is not love, then I do not know what is.

Sincerely,

The-one-who-burns-things

PS I also managed to shrink multiple dress shirts of Mr. Speedy’s in the dryer this week. He simply stated that I am learning and it is okay, they are just expensive shirts… but that I’ll get the hang of it.

PSS I think I need to sent away to a boarding school on cooking and cleaning, and learn the basics.

PSSS At least I am an excellent kisser and companion in bed with long legs (I mean that in terms that I am very good at cuddling, not the… never mind. I don’t even know. I give up).

Just call me Picasso

Back in the fall, I went to a painting workshop at a studio (here)  with two girlfriends.

We could bring our own drinks (aka WINE) and food and paint!
I made a beautiful tree that now hangs above Mr. Speedy’s bed.
It is worth at least $567,899 but I shall never sell it- it is too close to my heart:

I call this 'Blue Tree."

I call this ‘Blue Tree.”

Weeping Willow.

Weeping Willow.

My one girlfriend, got inspired by her drink that she brought (HOW DOES SHE DRINK THAT)- she is so crafty:

She carried that thing in her PURSE.

She carried that thing in her PURSE.

Gorgeousssss!

Gorgeousssss!

I went to ANOTHER painting/wine event this week with my cousins and friend.

This one was at a winery (located here) with very cute owners that allowed me to sample 57 bottles.

It was amazing. It was delicious. It made me forget that I don’t know how to properly plan a wedding and that my undies were completely inside-out. I need to get a job here:

OH, hello. I love you.

OH, hello. I love you.

The set-up!

The set-up!

This was really good. It made me paint like a professional.

This was really good. It made me paint like a professional.

This is my cousin Pamelalalallalala.

She was married into the family (she married my cousin who looks like Ben Stiller).
She always dresses cute and has a fierce love for her puppy.
She is the only blonde in our entire family unit.

winepam

And there is me…

I had to wear my spectacles because I was going to stay up past my bedtime and my eyes were twitching:

I am so glad I look attractive.

I am so glad I look attractive.

We were painting a sunflower. It was very simple to follow and not too complicated.

Our little group- the bottom left beauty is my other cousin, who will be a bridesmaid in my wedding (I REALLY HOPE SHE GIVES ME HER PAINTING AS A WEDDING GIFT):

We are just a bunch of painters.

We are just a bunch of painters. Cousin P, Me, Cousin E, Friend L.

Whoever thought to host painting events at wineries or places where people can drink wine was a genius.

If you ARE IN MY AREA AND WANT TO PAINT- here are some upcoming paintings you can sign up for:

I really like the sunset. Or the field. Or the purple flower. I like them all.

I really like the sunset. Or the field. Or the purple flower. I like them all.

I suggest you looking up your local winery or art shop and seeing if they offer courses like this. It was a fabulous night out and I have some pretty wall art to show for it.

And if your painting doesn’t turn out, you can always use it as a fancy serving tray to serve wine on! PERFECTO!

Sincerely,

Lily

10 mile Hilly Race Recap

Yesterday, Mr. Speedy and I got up bright and early (5:15 AM) to run a 10 mile race in a very hilly land.

This is what he looks when he drives, alert and awake:

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Why you no look at me?

And this is what I look like when I ride, silent and sleepy:

20130608-214708.jpg

I love the inside of my eyelids. Let me be.

Approximately 2.5 miles into our ride, and a few sips into my morning coffee, I felt the urge to GO.

I mean BY THE BEARD OF POSEIDON, I NEED A BATHROOM NOW.

Mr. Speedy was on a mission to get to the race early and was not stopping. I started to do deep-breathing like a full-term pregnant lady and it actually kept my mind busy.

When we made it to the race, Mr. Speedy literally drove straight into the porta-potty line with his large diesel manly truck, and I bolted out and yelled this to him:

20130608-214725.jpg

He told me to stop being dramatic and go do my business. So I did. And then I went again after we pinned our bibs.

Then the race started.

It was a hilly 10 miles but fabulous. My garmin went crazy 0.5 seconds prior to the start, so a friend graciously let me borrow hers. My splits stayed close to 7 minute/mile pace, which was good to see. Around mile 3, a girl ran up beside me and asked what my goal was and if we could run together. YES. YES LET’S RUN TOGETHER. I love pairing up with a buddy, it helps in so many ways. We helped each other up each brutal mountain and encouraged one another. We talked briefly about the amount of sweat that was forming on our bodies, saying something along these lines –

20130608-214732.jpg

gahhhhh sweattttttt

At about mile 8 my running friend confessed she had to PEE BADLY. I told her NO WAY ARE YOU STOPPING TO PEE- WE GOT THIS. In retrospect, I should have probably let this 17 year old new friend of mine go potty rather than being a demanding 26 year old crazy pace lady. But, she stuck with me and we finished proudly together. She wanted a picture with me and told me about all her college plans. Ahhhhh I LOVE meeting other girl runners!!! I even made friends with the overall female winner who ran the race at around a 6:30 pace. She had really cute hair. I wanted to touch it but figured that is a)creepy and b)not appropriate.

Mr. Speedy was super fast and got 4th overall. He was at the finish line, rested and waiting, by the time I sped over it. We embraced in a sweaty hug/kiss and I was temped to do a full make-out but figured that would make all the children spectators gasp in horror….

I ended up running only about 15 seconds away from my PR and finished at 1:11:18. If only I moved a bit faster!!! Next time… next time, I’m breaking 1:11 or else I’ll break some bread. (I am not a very threatening person FYI).

Here is a picture of our fun running team we are part of, the Hansons Yellow Team:

20130608-214744.jpg

We are just so….. yellooooow. YOLO.

I really like my pink shoes. They make a statement. I love all these guys, they rock my socks. But that guy behind me with the #6 bib….. MEOOOOOOW.

This is what we won for placing in our age groups- COFFEE MUGS RAWRRRRR:

20130608-214752.jpg

This will be perfect for our future home. We have two matching mugs.

Did I mention that this race gave out POPSICLES afterwards????

Best thing ever. I ate 76 and that caused me to have a sugar rush and take these pictures:

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HIS EYES. SO CAPTIVATING.

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WE ARE NORMAL I SWEAR.

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Practicing for the wedding?

After making-out and removing my shirt an realizing we were in the public parking lot and should stop… we awkwardly drove off, stopping to get a latte (my FAV):

20130608-214852.jpg

McD’s has very tasty lattes when Starbucks is not near.

And then we got ready, headed to a friend’s for a BBQ, where I drank 2 glasses of sweet wine with feet that were nude (barefoot) :

20130608-214922.jpg

My legs are really pale. Ew.

….and that caused me to get sleepy.
And nap on their couch like a pile of pillows.
Basically, I was the most lethargic house guest ever.

I missed the actual BBQing at the BBQ.
Sorrrrrrrry!

Is there any better way to spend your day after a race? I think not.

xoxo

Sincerely,
Lily

A Prayer For Every Day

I’m giving you someone else’s poem in lieu of my homemade poetry.

If you followed my old blog, you will know that I am not the world’s best poet.

And since everyone is still a bit shocked and hurt by the Boston attack, I’d hate for you to suffer more with my horriable sounding poems and imbalanced lines.

If you read this poem with some wine, it will probably make you feel happier and somewhat inspired:

IMG_1206

Make me too brave to lie or be unkind.
Make me too understanding, too, to mind
The little hurts companions give, and friends,
The careless hurts that no one quite intends.
Make me too thoughtful to hurt others so.
Help me to know
The inmost hearts of those for whom I care,
Their secret wishes, all of the loads they bear,
That I may add my courage to their own.
May I make lonely folks feel less alone,
And happy ones a little happier yet.
May I forget
What ought to be forgotten; and recall
Unfailing, all
That ought to be recalled, each kindly thing,
Forgetting what might sting.
To all upon my way,
Day after day,
Let me be joy, be hope! Let my life sing!

-Mary Carolyn Davies

Keep on running….! All you marathoners are my personal heros… God Bless xoxo

Sincerely,

Wine-O-Lily

PS I should probably stop drinking wine if I ever want to run a marathon again… Or run… Or…. nevermind.