mr. uj.

One day in early January, my family travled up to my sister Laura's house for a visit. UJ was only 8.5 months old when these pictures were taken and he's already outgrown them and is now doing way more. He is officially my sister's little explorer. He's already 9 months old {2 days ago} and crawling up a storm, getting teeth, and getting into everything. The first two pictures are of him sitting in his little chair, and now Laura said he won't even sit in that anymore. {He is a busy mr.--too much poking around to do...}


perfectly refreshing

Man, the gym has been my home away from home the past couple weeks. I'm not turning into a gym-rat or anything, but I know that I'm going often when a girl in my class asked if I was at the gym before class started. When I replied "No", she said "Oh, I just thought you were since whenever you aren't at school, you're at the gym."
I guess I'll take that as a compliment.

The last few times after I've come home from a workout, I've needed a little pick-me-up. That's when I turn to the fruit smoothie. No, it's not quite like the 'shmake' that Jess made. It contains four ingredients: one banana, a handful of frozen blueberries, four ice cubes, and orange juice. Set blender to liquify and pour in glass. I've got a lip-smackin' good drink that is good for me {hello, antioxidants}.

P.S. What tunes are on your i-Pod when you work out? I'm revamping mine and I'd love to know what you're sweatin' to.

the game.

It's official--we are going to the Super Bowl!  It's not going to be the Vikings/Colts showdown as I predicted, but we're still going against a worthy opponent.

Will you be watching?



GG Fashion

Yes. I'm one of those people. I love watching awards shows. If I had it my way, I'd start at the pre-show {you know, the show that starts two hours before the actual award show starts} and not turn it off until the post-show is over. I love the stars--their hairdos, the dresses and the jewelry.

In high school, my friends Jenny and Danielle and I would all go over to Danielle's house and watch the Oscars and have a sleepover. {Danielle-promise me we'll do that one more time before I go off and become a wife.}

Here are the stars that won my vote for "Best-Dressed".

    1. Lea Michele from Glee. Anyone else giddy with excitement that Glee got picked up for a second season?!
    2. Penelope Cruz. That is one sexy mama--she's even holding her own umbrella that's how hot she is.
    3. John Krasinski. This picture is not about Emily Blunt {I like that color, though}, it's all about Jim.
    4. Christina Hendricks from Mad Men. The gays over at Project Rungay didn't love it, but I kinda liked it.
    5. This picture of Ginnifer Goodwin is to merely show you her hair. I love her hair.


    How many of you out there wish you were as relaxed as our girl Karma?

    Me too.
    She gets to lay around all day curled up in a little ball in the sunshine. We give her daily bodyrubs and she gets to indulge on little treats guilt-free.

    While Karma is livin' the good life, I've got all sorts of things swirling around in my brain:

    :a wedding update blog post. I have so much on my plate in regards to the wedding...lots of lists, lots of emails, lots of ideas circling my brain. Did you forget I was getting married? I wouldn't hold it against you since I haven't written anything in the last couple months. I've been so busy actually planning it that I haven't been chronicling what has been going on. Stay tuned-it's in the works.

    :the gym that we just joined has something called cardio theater. It's divine-I get to watch the office while burnin' calories on the elliptical.

    :on Tuesday, I'm going to get a whole new group of kindergartners calling me "Miss Amanda". It's the best part of school--meeting new kids and listening to their stories.

    :today-Sunday, my sister and her family are going to be in town. I'm so pumped for their arrival and getting to hang out and play dominoes. We're all going to see my mom's side of the family on Saturday for our 'Christmas get-together'. Should be fun--and we'll get to eat awesome food.

    :The Indianapolis Colts are playing in the AFC Championship on Sunday which means they are one step closer to going to the Superbowl. Needless to say, I've got my Manning jersey all ready for the big game. Can you imagine if the Vikings+Colts met at the Superbowl? It would be pandemonium at my house.

    :school just started this week. have been busy adjusting to a new schedule which includes class on Thursday from 3-9 and not being able to see Chad two nights out of the week. Things will be easier when we're married. Guaranteed.


    Sports Fans--check these out.

    Does anyone else watch American Idol? {Well, duh, Amanda. That's like asking "Is snow white?"} The American Idol fans of the world have probably all heard "Pants on the Ground" from Tuesday's episode.

    I bet you haven't heard Brett Favre singing a little of it, though:

    And while we're on the subject, here's a video that LaDainian Tomlinson made:

    Happy Football watching!

    his + hers: debating over hair.

    Help Chad and I settle a debate.

    Do you like Kate Gosselin's hair--


    or Long?

    Vote Now!

    Chad likes the long hair better saying "I'd rather see her head shaved then back to that spiky hair." {I like the short hair better--sorry. I've never had a problem with that look.}


    sgt. pepper.

    {Nobody is as stylin' as these guys.}

    Today on The View {don't judge me, I'm still on winter break}, Elisabeth Hasselbeck was wearing this black military jacket that was totally inspired by Sgt. Pepper and the Lonely Hearts Club Band. It kind of looked like this, except hers had gold instead of silver {I can't find a picture of E.B. in said jacket--apparently, no one else wants to find it.}
    I'm definitely in need of a new jacket, I'm just not sure that this is the style I'm going for.

    Below is a clip of "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" from the movie Yellow Submarine.

    {Yes, this is weird...but I am in love with them.}

    at least there's some red.

    The holidays are over. Yesterday, we undecorated the Christmas tree and packed it all up. All my ornaments from my house are neatly packed up in a box marked "Fragile" waiting for our first Christmas tree next year. I reflected about what we did Christmas '09: the sights we saw, foods we ate, games we played, singing we did, and movies we watched.

    That last one really stuck out to me: movies we watched. Usually, our Christmas is filled with the classics and the modern flicks {I'm thinking of Santa Clause and Home Alone 2}. Sure we watched White Christmas while decorating. We watched Elf while wrapping presents and A Charlie Brown Christmas while sharing a meal.

    But most of our nights in December were filled with watching something that wasn't very festive.

    Dexter. Yeah, Dexter.

    The show about a serial killer who hunts bad guys. Not exactly filled with Christmas cheer.

    We love it. We borrowed the first three seasons from an evil coworker of mine who never wanted us to go outside in December {not really evil, but that's what happened.}

    Now it seems like all we talk about is Rita, the Ice Truck Killer, and the opening scene where Dexter gives this look:

    Any other Dexter fans?


    year one.

    Happy Monday morning!
    {Okay not really...I'm stuck at work until 3.}

    Happy Birthday, little blog!
    {That one is for real.}
    One year ago today, I started this little baby. I had been reading Bethany and Jess's incredible blogs for a while and I thought to myself "Hey, I think I want to start one of these."  It's one of those projects that I never really expected liking it so much--it's morphed into my own personal journal {even though I leave it unlocked for you to read}. I throw in my thoughts, my photos, what makes me happy, and what I strive to be.

    It's fun looking at the year that has passed by. I have chronicled so many events and written about different aspects of my life. 315 posts later here I am. I'm being retrospective today and taking a look at some things that happened from 1.11.09-1.11.10:
    *sharing 25 things about me.
    *Threw a baby shower for my sister and her little boy and then met him.
    *Laughed at Carl Lewis singing the National Anthem.
    *Freaked out about becoming an adult. {Still treading the unknown waters of adulthood..with Chad's help, am learning that it's okay not to know everything.}
    *Realized I'm not always in control of every situation {am so glad that responsiblity is God's; I would do a terrible job.}
    *The 1st time I shared about my chalkboard obsession.
    *Writing about the greatest weekend ever.
    *Watching UJ grow.
    *Me. A 10-year-old ladybug.
    *Sharing my desire for a new zip code.
    *A {select few of} our engagment pictures.

    It's been a rewarding journey. Here's to another year of stories and experiences.




    Dwelling Inspiration: Because I Said So

    Remember about two weeks back when Lifetime had  Because I Said So on practically every night?

    Although I don't love this movie, it was one of those movies that cause me to think to myself  "Is anyone really that cool?"
    I say this because if you've ever seen Mandy Moore's character's apartment, you'd have to agree. It's the perfect blend of single girl with vintage bohemian thrown in. It's the apartment I want to live in. The kitchen is amazing.

    So I thought that I should show you what I mean when talking about all this inspiration I got from MM's apartment. Then I discovered it had already been done. {I'm sorry, but since you know that I'm in love with all things chalkboard, I'd like to dedicate my life to constructing a refrigerator like that.}

    By the way, am growing hair out so that I can get it to look like this:

    {click to enlarge}

    Are there any movies out there that inspire you?

    our next voyage.

    Has it really been that long since I last posted?! Three days might not seem like a long time, but after seeing everyone's New Year's resolution posts {which I loved reading, by the way} I feel like it's been ages since I last shared something with you.

    I'm actually not at my house right now--instead I'm tucked away at my grandparent's house in MN until tomorrow morning. With this mini-vacation that I've been treated to, comes some unruly weather. In this part of Minnesota, the snow has been blowing and the wind has made the house creak as it passes through. It's just been a typical January here in the Midwest.

    So why do I have pictures of a giant inflatable slide and a resort on this post?

    Because at the end of February, Chad's family and I are taking a trip to St. Pete's Beach, FL for five days.  We're considering it a pre-honeymoon {albeit, with family} and a way to beat those dreaded mid-winter blues.

    Now, you might think that this is a post all about how I'm going to be in Florida for five days and you're not...but I do have a genuine question:

    Yay or Nay: Tanning Booths?

    I've never been inside a tanning booth {or as Chad affectionately calls it-a "cancer coffin"} but I don't know of another quick way to darken my pale, pale Wisconsin skin...keep in mind, we only see the sun three months a year.

    What do you guys do...lotion, booth, sprays? Do tell!

    Up next for the Countdown to Sunshine: finding a new bathing suit {in the middle of winter}

    P.S. Those pictures were copied from the resort we are staying at...we're insanely excited to go on the slide.


    our Christmas eve.

    At Christmas play and make good cheer, For Christmas comes but once a year.—Thomas Tusser

    Highlights of '09:
    *Chad and Eli getting the Menards gifts wrapped in newspaper courtesy of their father-in-law
    *The traditional treats that my mom makes {top left picture}
    *UJ hearing the 'music box story' from his grandpa {top right picture}
    *Hannah opening up her cd from Chad and squealing with glee
    *Having this be the first {and last} Christmas as an engaged couple

    happy Sunday to you!

    Happy 2010 to all of you! Hopefully you are loving twenty-ten as much as I am. It's unbelievably cold here in central WI {-6 degrees} so I thought that by looking at a nice cup of hot chocolate it would warm me up a little bit. For my first post of the year, I thought I'd give you 10 lovelies that I have gathered up around the web.

    01. This sparkly dress makes me want to celebrate New Year's all over again. And that hair. Oh, how I love that hair.

    02. How to make butterbeer. Time to channel your inner Harry Potter.

    03. After seeing Sherlock Holmes last Monday, I'm ready for  Iron Man 2 to come out.

    04. Anyone get a Snuggie for Christmas? How about a  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle one?

    05. Oh, these images are so, so lovely. Check out the  Hitchcock-inspired photo spread {I'm particularily fond of the Scarlett Johansson one--love the movie Rear Window.}

    06. Raise your hand if you're into  award shows? I am. 100%. {Am happy that George got nominated for his role in Up in The Air.}

    07. This house reminds me of my best friend in grade school who lived in a underground house...it didn't look like this at all, but to me, it was pretty amazing {she had/has a grass roof!}

    08. Joseph Gordon Levitt is reason #5684 why I would like to watch 500 Days of Summer again {possibly owning it would be nice, too}.

    09. I already know that I would spell out UJ's name with these letters. It's a perfect addition to any baby's room.

    10. Such important words for me to remember.


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