weekend recap

Only a few more weekends until Christmas :) :)

This past weekend was full of celebration. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Ryan and Katie, were in from Colorado for Katie’s birthday. Friday night, we all met up at Club Lucky in Bucktown to celebrate her 30th birthday. Food was delish. Totes recommend it if you haven’t been! Afterward, we all headed to Trader Todd’s in Wrigleyville. It’s become a birthday tradition of Katie’s to always celebrate there. If you haven’t been, you should. It’s a great laid back karaoke bar.

{ birthday girl belting out a tune }

{ is it love? }

{ or is it abuse? ha }

Saturday night, some of my friends were throwing a Christmas party at their place. I LOVE Christmas parties. Everyone was dressed up looking so nice. Christmas music playing. Lights strung. Rain falling from the sky. Wait, that’s not very Christmas-y. Best part of the party? Photo set-up. I mean… just look at this and tell me you’re not impressed…

I can’t wait for more Christmas celebrations. I love this holiday :)

Sunday, per the usual, was NFL all day long <3

How was everyone’s weekend?

Until next time
<3 jenna



thanksgiving weekend recap

As usual, my days became crazy after Thanksgiving finished up and just now am able to post. Nothing like a Friday recap about the weekend before :)

Thanksgiving was awesome! It was Jake and I’s first Thanksgiving as Mr. and Mrs. :) We went to see my family on Wednesday and stayed through Friday night. Then we spent the rest of the weekend at Jake’s family’s place.

While in my hometown, I conquered a DIY serving tray project with the help of Jake. Turned out awesome…

{ DIY serving tray project }

This Thanksgiving, as I said before, was the first Thanksgiving where I was an official adult, an official wife :) SO with my domesticated adultness, I pitched in to make dinner. I made 3 dishes:

1. Scalloped Corn

* The picture below is NOT mine. Obviously mine looked way better looking and was way more delish!

2. Homemade Mashed Red Potatoes

3. Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

It was really my first time cooking for anyone on a serious scale, not to mention it was my first time with any of the above recipes (except the corn – a fave <3). Everything turned out great. I received many compliments on how good it was. Even my sister was shocked to compliment me on how delish my homemade mashed potatoes were :) The pumpkin cheesecake bites were a massive hit. It made so many that I was able to have it at my house, Jake’s house, AND bring the rest to work. YUM :)

BLACK FRIDAY – A favorite sub-“holiday” of my family <3 This is what my mom, my sister, and I look forward to all year long. Once my sister and fam arrived at my mom’s Thanksgiving afternoon, we immediately began to scour the ads and strategize a plan for the night. In years past, we’ve ALWAYS been out at the stores before doors open. Usually we go out around 3am. Last year we went out at midnight. This year? More stores decided to open early. We contenmplated going out early, BUT this was the first year we didn’t have a door buster so we decided to wait until 3am. That was until 10:30pm when my sister found a computer deal for my mom. We proceeded immediately with no sleep to pack up, grab some snacks, and get in the car at 11:00pm for Best Buy. It was a very successful day. It wasn’t nearly as crazy as in years past. We got every deal we sought out to get.

That evening I took a 30 minute nap, then we packed up around 7pm and left for Jake’s. The rest of the weekend we spent hanging out with Jake’s bro and wife (Ryan and Katie) who came in from Colorado. We had fun cooking, laughing, looking at bulldog puppies (<3), watching sports, etc. Sunday, TONS of people came over for a football game in the back yard. Afterward, another huge meal.

It was an AMAZING 6 day weekend full of family time and laughter. I love my family beyond words <3 Here’s a few pics from the weekend…

Until next time
<3 jenna

christmas time?

Hard to believe, but Christmas season is here. Typically I don’t start celebrating the Christmas holiday until Thanksgiving night. Traditionally, my family puts up our tree Thanksgiving night with Christmas music blaring throughout. The following day is Black Friday, which is the ultimate season kick-off.

This year, however, Christmas season has come a little sooner. Typically retailers start putting their ads out in the papers and through eblasts right as November 1st hits. That’s also when Christmas radio stations hit the air. Now I’m used to hearing some Christmas music before Thanksgiving. My mom is quite the lover of Christmas music. She loves to blast her Josh Groban or Celine Dion Christmas CDs all through the house.

This year it’s a bit more intense. With being married this summer, this is the first Christmas season that my husband and I have ever lived together. We’ve been together 6+ years so I was well aware of his love for the season, but wasn’t fully prepared for the full spectrum of his holiday joy. Yesterday (November 1st), Jake woke me up at 6am (still dark) singing and dancing to N’Sync’s “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” exclaiming how excited he was that Christmas season is here.

Later that day I started thinking about Black Friday. Neither of us had a good Christmas tree, so I knew that was a hot priority on our list to get. I sent him a few links of a couple of artificial trees. Jake, in his excitement, insisted that we go buy one that day. He picked me up from work and we went off to Home Depot and bought the prettiest most real looking 8″ Christmas tree. This is what ended up happening when we got home…

It has LED lights and should last us a minimum of 11 years. The bulbs are really pretty too. Not your standard bulbs. They’re about 2-3 times the size and crystallized like these…

{ via }

Jake has always put his tree up as soon as November hits. As I mentioned before, my family’s tradition is to put it up Thanksgiving night. Jake and I came to a compromise. We can put the tree up as early as he’d like, BUT we will NOT decorate it until Thanksgiving night the earliest :) That way we both win. I’m pretty sure all the condos around us and hotels are looking at us and think we’re crazy. At first I thought it was crazy, but hey… Christmas is an amazing season. Why not make it last longer? It already flies by so fast :)

Until next time
<3 jenna