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

weekend recap

Friday after work, Jake and I packed up and headed back to my hometown. It’s been over a month since I’ve seen my family… I’m a sucker for my family. We stayed the night Friday night. I basically just chatted with my mom the whole time, trying to plan out Thanksgiving and catching up on gossip. More than anything, attempting to figure out our plan for Black Friday.

Saturday morning, Jake and I got back in the car and headed down to our alma mater – The University of Illinois (GO ILLINI!). It was the infamous game – Illini VS. Michigan – OR as we Illini say… “MUCK FICHIGAN.” These infamous shirts paint the streets at U of I :)

{ via }

Our team has been playing inconsistent, so it’s no shock that we lost. Regardless of the outcome of the game, we had fun watching the game and being on campus. After all, U of I’s football field (aka: Memorial Stadium) is where Jake and I met 6+ years ago <3

There were ABSOLUTELY gorgeous skies that night….

I’ve only been out of college for a few short years, but MAN let me tell you how much campus has changed!! Massive high rise apartment buildings keep popping up everywhere. For example, that little brown building… yea that’s where Jake lived for his junior and seniors years. That massive 40 story building next to it wasn’t there. It was an old Burger King that had just shut down his senior/my junior year. Poor little building is dwarfed…

{ lucky 7 <3 }

After the game, we made a pit spot back in my hometown to pick up our bags then headed back home to Chicago.

Sunday, we as usual devoted most of the day to the NFL <3 My bears walked away with a GREAT victory over the Lions – YAY!!

Hope you had just as great of a weekend as I did.

Until next time
<3 jenna

happy halloween

How was everyone’s Halloween?? What did you dress up as? What did you do?

Friday night, Jake surprised with with a whole slew of Halloween decorations. He knew that I was sad that I couldn’t find any at any of the local stores and just wanted to decorate so bad :) I spent the rest of the night decorating and watching scary movies.

Saturday, we watched the Illini game. Seriously, we’re pathetic. Overly frustrating watching the game. We have no players that can actually play, or at least they don’t act like it. During the game, we had trick-or-treating hours in our building. I, of course, was SUPER excited!! We probably only had about 6 different knocks on the door, but it was so cute to see all the kids dressed up. Pretty sure I was more excited about handing out candy then they were. Poor Jake scared most of the kids because he was 8x the size of them. Looks like a real monster :)

Saturday night, we got all dressed up in our sweet costumes. Jake and I dressed up as the Silver Snakes team from Legends of the Hidden Temple. We went to a house party where we met some sweet friends dressed as Mario and Luigi. Party felt a little like college with fights breaking out between Forest Gump and Bob the Builder. Forest, of course, ran.

{ silver snakes! }

Sunday, Jake and I met some friends (Brackett and McKinnon) at Timothy O’Toole’s to watch the Vikings game. It turned into watching the game slash all complaining about how horrible of a fantasy football year we’ve all had.

Monday night, obviously watched a bit of football then watched scary movies all night in honor of Halloween :)

Can’t wait to hear about your costumes! What was the best costume you saw?

Until next time
<3 jenna

birthday weekend recap

Yes, my life has been THAT crazy that I am just now able to post about LAST weekend – YIKES!

Last Friday (9/9): Jake planned to take me to the Art Institute of Chicago, but found out that they close on Friday at 4:30pm. With the weather being overcast and somewhat rainy, he went to plan B. We went to Lucky Strike to bowl. We ended up joining another bday party where they gave us free drinks and food – love drunk people on Friday nights :) Jake bowled decent. As for myself, I’ll leave my score to your imagination ;)

After a fun round, we decided to head to a movie at AMC (literally in the same building which is perfect). We saw Captain America in 3D. Totally awesome movie, even if you’re not into the superhero comic book type :)

Saturday (9/10): Spent the day watching college football. Our Illini won (GO ILLINI!) and really looked great on the field. After the good games were finished, we worked on hanging some of the artwork we purchased in our place. Looks great (pictures to come later)! Saturday night, Jake surprised me with an amazing steak dinner at David Burke Primehouse.

{ <3 }

I had the most amazing filet mignon – mmmm! Then they surprised me with dessert. Only problem? See image below…

{ happy birthday…. jake? }

Yep, clearly Jake is birthday greedy and wanted it to be HIS bday :) Totally recommend going to David Burke. It’s located in the James Hotel.

Sunday (9/11): Took time to reflect and remember those that were taken from us 10 years ago. It’s hard to believe 10 years ago last Sunday the towers fell, the Pentagon was struck, and the flight crashed into the empty field. Listening to the memorial service hits home at just how many people passed. Brought tears to my eyes as I watched!

{ always remembered, forever united, never forgotten }

Jake and I packed up pretty early and headed to Naperville for a party to celebrate the first NFL Sunday of the season!! YAY for the NFL!! We had tons of yummy food. I made these…

So delish. Pretty excited that my Bears won. We looked awesome. Here’s to hoping that we look like that every game :) Unfortunately, Jake’s team (Minnesota Vikings) didn’t do as well. Always a tough day when one of us loses and the other wins!

At half-time of the game, Jake’s family surprised me with bday gifts. His bro and Katie got me this beautiful crystal looking frame and some cute accessories for around our place. His parents got me this…

{ kitchenaid stand mixer }

I canNOT wait to use it!!! It’s going to make baking and cooking a breeze :) Now on the search for recipes… After the game was over, they sang happy birthday and fed me a delish homemade ice cream cake.

Monday (9/12): My day of birth. Started great but turned to an absolutely horrible day. I went to the DMV and Social Security office to renew my license and change my name and address. Granted my license expired on my bday, but I had to renew it in order to fly for work. So technically I started work at 8:00am that day. I get to work about 11:00am. I was busy as hell the entire day. Everyone at my agency wished me a happy birthday. At the end of the day, some of my closest even surprised me with a bday song and cupcakes! Other than that, my day was filled with craziness – meetings galore, constant demands, short timeframes, etc. I finally left the office at 9:30pm. Jake welcomed me home as I was shedding tears to a big hug (nothing is better than a hug from him). He proceeded to give me my bday present…

Seeing him brightened my day a bit. The foil made me smile :) I saw a card from my mom and opened that. I shed a few tears reading it. I miss her so much. Her and my sister (and Jake) are my best friends. I’d be lost without them. After a 10 minute break, I was forced back online to do more work. I ended up working until 1:30am on my very own day of birth :( Pretty upsetting day, but at least I had sweet friends, family, and coworkers that brought my day up a bit.

On the bright side, though my actual birthday wasn’t ideal, I did had an amazing birthday weekend!! My bad birthday just reminds me that I have the most amazing friends and family <3 Love you all!

Until next time
<3 jenna