twenty fourteen // year in review.


Another year down! I reviewed 2013 around this time last year and it's such a fun post to look back on. Here's a look at 2014...

January proved to be a slow month as we struggled to get back into the swing of things after a long vacation. We cooked a lot, enjoyed the new Yale SOM building, and celebrated C's birthday. (Remember that time I took my blog private?)

February had so much snow, my birthday, and chocolate pudding.

March was busy with traveling to Istanbul and Athens, C spent a week in Israel, saw Jersey Boys, took a cooking class, and I learned photoshop (sorta).

April was exciting because we found out C would be spending the summer working in Austin! As the weather finally started to get warmer, we explored Mystic, saw Motown with the moms, and made a quick trip to Baltimore for Easter.

May meant giving up sugar, lots of face masks, delicious chicken broccoli mac & cheesethe best smoothiemy first guest post, and a trip to the beach to celebrate this bride!

June started off with a wedding in Dallas before we headed on to Austin to move C into this temporary home for the summer. Otherwise, the month was filled with super long hours at work.

July included two trips to Austin, a discovery of my new favorite makeup, baked oatmeal, our 1 year wedding anniversary, and a round up of some of our favorite restaurants in Austin.

August was jam-packed every weekend. C returned from Austin just in time for Alex's wedding, I visited the Birchbox store and the BITE Lip Lab. We took an impromptu trip to Kennebunkport, ME and then met up with friends in Deep Creek, MD. We rounded out the month with a day date to Essex and Guilford. CT.

September (luckily) was a bit more low key. I shared my favorite mascaras, finally read WILD, and we surprised C's dad in Baltimore for his birthday. The month ended with a Needtobreathe concert in NYC.

October gave way to cooler temps and beautiful fall colors both in CT and in Vermont. I started learning calligraphy over the summer and got really into natural skincare.

November came quickly (along with the holidays!). I switched to natural makeup, made the best pasta ever, watched a lot of Netflix, read a lot of cookbooks, and celebrate Thanksgiving in Baltimore.

This brings us to parties, shopping, decorating, party mix, cookies, all the things. We made a quick trip to Charlottesville, VA before spending Christmas with both families and then we're jetting off to Cali!

monday musings.


>> If we're friends on Insta, you saw that our holiday break started a little early with a quick trip to Charlottesville, VA. Well the verdict is in people...we love Charlottesville. The town is adorable and the people are so sweet. In case you ever find yourself in the area, we stayed at The Boar's Head Inn and ate at Tavola and Brookville (both insanely delicious). 

>> After Charlottesville, we spent some time in Baltimore with C's family which was great. However, the movie Foxcatcher is NOT great. I'm sure it will win all kinds of awards but it just didn't do it for me. 

>> On somewhat of a whim, I got my hair highlighted today (balayage??) for the first time ever. It's  very very subtle. As I've gotten older, my hair has become darker and darker. I've always prided myself on having naturally highlighted blonde hair but it seems those days may be over. I'm obsessed with my stylist, Katherine, so I trust her with my life. She did a stunning job and now...I want more. All the blonde.

>> What did I do before I had podcasts in my life? I'm now obsessed after spending a collective 15+ hours in the car this weekend. My current favorite (after Serial of course) is The Lively Show. Go check out. I think I'll do a full post about my favorite podcasts later this week. 

>> We're headed to Cali just after Christmas and I'm so dang excited. I've been planning this trip for a long time and I'm kind of amazed that it's finally here. 60s and sunny...calling my name! 

>> What are your favorite holiday traditions? We always go to the 11pm Christmas Eve service at church and we always do stockings before gifts (where as C's family does them last). I'm looking forward to the more memorable traditions we'll create over the years. 
monday musings.

monday musings.


>> It's strange. I don't have a single picture on my phone from this past week and I haven't posted on Insta since last sunday. It's like the last week of my life just...didn't happen. In fact, just now, I had to look back at my calendar and remember what the heck was going on. I'm actually a little miffed that I don't have any pictures considering we actually did some fun things that I'd like to remember! 

>> Last week was pretty low key. I've been doing my best to wrap up the Christmas shopping and we picked up a few more this this weekend. 

>> Thursday we dined Chez Booth and it was a blast. At the end of the night, we had been laughing so hard that my cheeks were sore, actually sore. You know that's a sign of a good night. Thanks Booths!

>> C graded finals Friday night so I spent some quality time with my couch, Apple TV, and a giant bowl of party mix. Caught up on all my shows and really took advantage of the down time. 

>> Saturday I made these pancakes and they were awesome. When C says "best ever" you know you're onto something. After running a few Christmas errands (finding the right tights is HARD), we cleaned ourselves up and headed out to two holiday parties. Both were a blast and we have no photographic evidence of our holiday outfits.

>> Sunday started off with leftover pancakes (amazing again), a few episodes of Lost (we're almost done with the whole series!), and lots of lounging. I did a little crafting of Christmas gifts as well. Also really excited to share what I made! Coffee with a friend and dinner at my mom's rounded out the evening. 

>> Only 3 work days left in 2014 for me!! That's NUTS!! Feeling a little anxious about getting everything done and dusted before closing up shop. We have a lot of travel coming up (starting Thursday) and all the logistics are making be a bit weary. Hopefully, it all goes smoothly. 

>> Please recommend your favorite podcasts!! We have a lot of driving time coming up and I could use some fuel. We've saved up the last few episodes of Serial and I've heard good things about This American Life. Any others you love?

Animate your ecards with the free Animate Me app. Make photos talk and move to the sound you apply - Turn this e-card into a funny video ecard!

what i'm loving lately.


I've been somewhat at a loss for blogging topics mostly because I'm trying to work on living in the moment and also because I've just been so busy. However, I recently discovered a whole bunch of fun things and felt the need to shout it to the world. Also, the below picture has absolutely nothing to do with that I'm going to talk's just that I love this season because, holidays, smells, lights. 

>> Evernote...for recipe cataloging! 
I'm a recipe hoarder. If you've ever taken stock of my Pinterest account, you'll notice the plethora of recipes. I'm horrible because I also don't keep track of which one's I've tried...maybe I should start a board for that. Anywho, I also tear recipes out or clip them from all over the world. I've been keeping them in an unorganized binder that I never search through. ever. C convinced me that Evernote was the way to go because I could scan the recipe with my phone, and tag it so it would be searchable in Evernote. Best part? It syncs with all my 1 million devices so if I have an impulse to try a recipe while AT the grocery store, I can do it! I'm obsessed and already spent quite a bit of time snapping away. You need this. In general you need Evernote.

I already told you about this in Monday Musings but you know what, it's so good that it deserves another mention. If I haven't convinced you already, just go get it. Major color impact. Major hydration. Major major. Price tag justified. (I have Fleur Bleue)

This. app. is. cool. I read about it in January's issue of Real Simple (mags are always so ahead!) and new I had to have it. It's a huge undertaking on the front end but I'm excited about the possibilities. Basically, you photograph each piece of clothing you own and then enter all kinds of details such as price, size, brand, season, etc. Then you can put together "looks" and log what you wore each day. Additionally, there is a packing list function so that you can virtually pack for a trip without hunting through drawers. Additionally, if you enter a price for an item, the app will track the cost per wear based on how frequently you wear it. There are a whole bunch of other stats you can get as well. My plan of attack is to photograph each outfit when I take it off at the end of the day and then catch any missing pieces when I do laundry. I think this will make it more manageable without taking out EVERYTHING at once. 

>> The smell of Christmas, brought to you by Scentsy
Iced Pine. Spiced Berry. Cinnamon Spice. Basically all the flavors. These bad boys are amazing and smell like heaven, look adorable, and are less dangerous than fire. 

Oh and one thing I'm not loving...super dry skin (so rare for me) and serious static electricity...all up in my hair. Ugh!

monday musings.


>> Between traveling for work and a busy week in general, I was really looking forward to the weekend, especially since it would be low key with not much planned. We spent Saturday doing a bit of Christmas shopping at the mall and stopped by a few holiday parties. Sunday I was SUPER productive (as you can see from the decorations above!). 

>> I'm really excited about all the DIY projects I have going on right now. I'm not going to share what they are specifically since some of them are Christmas presents but I'm really dang excited. I will share the tutorial for how I made the burlap wreath above. It took all of 15 minutes and I think it looks awesome. 

>> We got a slow cooker for Christmas (delightfully early!) which I'm so pumped about. We made this soup last night and it was delicious, so easy. Love a good recipe where you throw everything in a let it cook away. Also, do you have any favorite slow cooker cookbooks or recipes? Send them my way! 

>> TJ Maxx has some GREAT holiday goods right now especially wrapping paper and adorable ribbon. I stocked up on some supplies on the cheap including the burlap for the wreath! I need to frequent these places more often!

>> Made my first batch of Party Mix of the season, it makes the whole house smell so amazing. I made one slight change and changed the pretzel shape, I know, such a rule breaker. It's always such a special holiday treat and I was thrilled to be able to share it with your friends who just had a new baby! (Also, I got the LAST boxes of wheat, corn, and rice chex in the store. A Christmas miracle!)

>> If you love lipstick but also crave hydration, this stuff is the answer. It's expensive but worth it. The color impact is great but also super moisturizing, best of both worlds. This color (fleur bleue) is exclusive to Sephora and it's perfection.

>> This is THE BEST cleanser ever. There, I said it. Go get it now.

© ALESSANDRA MARIE • Theme by Maira G.