You guys, I have a dilemma.

Holiday season is coming up, which means many occasions in which we have to get fancy. On my calendar in the next few months are: a winter wedding, a company holiday party, and New Year's Eve out with our friends. And I need something to wear!

I'm embarrassed to admit that I currently do not have a little black dress in my closet and I think, at age 21 11/12, it's time to change that. I'd love for it to accentuate my curvy curves, but within reason, since I don't want to be the skanky secretary at the office party. But let's be real, I'll probably be wearing this out on NYE, so momma wants to look hot. 
[PSA: That was the first and last time I have/will call myself momma. Don't worry].

My sister and I searched the mall last night with no luck, so I've taken to the internet to help me out. This is what I've come up with so far, but I need help! What do you all think?

when duty calls

With all of these Hurricane Sandy shenanigans, Ben got the call from his [Air Force] chief on Saturday, asking if he'd be willing and able to go to New York City to help with whatever they needed, depending on how hard they were hit.

He agreed, got a text late Sunday night that he needed to be on base Monday morning, so we got him ready and off he went.
 There are whole trunks of this stuff in our attic apparently, and they make camouflage everything these days. 
For example, there's the giant Eskimo coat in camouflage....
 And the nerdy camouflage bucket hat.
I was a little scared about being left alone to face the hurricane by my lonesome, but Ben rounded up about a thousand flashlights plus I know where he hides one of his giant hunting knives, so I'm all set. Don't you even worry. 
 And just for good measure, this is his "I'm going to fight Hurricane Sandy" face 
[or realistically, his "stop taking pictures of me at 7 in the morning" face].

So don't you worry, lower East Coast, Ben and his Air Force buddies are coming to save the day. Stay warm while you wait!

rainy weekend

This was a different kind of weekend, as I was under the weather and didn't make it into work on Friday or Saturday night. I have to say, I didn't mind the weekend off. It was a nice change from the norm.

Friday night, my little sister had a sectionals volleyball game, so I rallied from leaving work early, went to cheer her on, and then Ben and I went to grab some grub afterwards.

The name of the game on Saturday was comfort. It was comfort food for breakfast, an excellent mail day with the giant comfy infinity scarf that the beautiful Amy knitted for me, and comfy fuzzy socks from Target that go all the way up to my knees. Some naps were interspersed in there, as well as cuddling on the couch, watching Moonrise Kingdom. All in all, a nice cozy day. 
And Sunday was more of the same. We went to church, stuffed ourselves with more panacakes after, jumped right into football and homework, and ended the night with some more SNL reruns. I crafted a little bit during football, making a little book of our wedding cards, and I put together an Etsy order that I got the night before.

I feel lame blogging about this weekend because I only left the house twice the whole time. 
But really, sometimes those are the best weekends.

friday faves [part 9]

Yesterday surprised us with a beautiful, sunny 80 degrees, so after those panacakes and grown up things, we decided to go for a bike ride. Along the way, we found a secret little path and explored. It turned out to be the path that train tracks used to be on, back in the day, and was the coolest secret we've found in our town yet.

The bummer is that that beautiful weather was only around for one last day, and starting today, it's going to be cold and miserable for the rest of forever. If that's the fate of your town too, here are some links to keep you company in your misery:

- The sweetest part of the day.

- I'm not sure I could pull it off, but this adorable bow ear warmer would be perfect for this upcoming winter.

- Even the classiest gals around could learn a thing or two from this article on how to be a lady.

- Did you hear that Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are hosting the Golden Globes? That's the smartest thing tv has ever done. They should just run the world. [found via A Cup of Jo]

- Are you as obsessed with wedding videos as I am? I CANNOT wait to get ours. This couple makes the best ones ever.

- And lastly, my fave What Should We Call Me's this week: one and two.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

linking up with rouge & whimsy on this wonderful Friday

days off

One good thing about having these weird jobs and a husband still in school means that usually about once a week, we get a midweek day off together.

They're basically heaven on Earth.

Last Thursday was coffee to go, a field trip to Trader Joe's for the first time ever, Halloween costume making, and some mini-polaroid pictures.
This Thursday, it's been heart panacakes, mini panacakes [or tiny pans, as Ben calls them, as he makes that adorable face up there], and time to enjoy our coffee sitting at the kitchen table. We have some grown up, money shenanigans to deal with, but then we're going for a bike ride on this 75 degree day, and after a relaxing day, we'll probably end the night with a movie, cuddled on the couch.

Even with all that crap I was whining about yesterday, life is really so good. Especially on days off with this guy.

in between

This is me today, with new bangs that I'm not quite sure what to do with and leaf earrings that turned out to be foreshadowing for my morning.

On my way out the door for work, I dropped my toast peanut butter side down right in a pile of leaves. This was after that Monday I had and then a fairly normal Tuesday. I had a sane day in between two crazy days and that's just indicative of my life right now. I feel like I'm at an in between stage of life.

I'm at two jobs that don't mean anything and I'm hoping for the one I interviewed for last week that could be a total game changer for my life right now and for my career. I'm in between wasting my time and actually building a name for myself in my field.

I'm in between having my shit together on a day to day basis and being a total hot mess. Some days, the house is clean and I have an idea of what to have for dinner and my outfit is actually reasonable to leave the house in, but other days, it's completely the opposite.

I'm in between feeling pretty and feeling gross, with skinny days and fat days and hair that only sometimes cooperates. It's times like this that I hate how much my self-image can warp my self-confidence.

I'm in between being a kid, calling my mom for questions about what beef should look [and smell] like, and a grown ass woman, conquering recipes and directions and telling off creepy men all by myself.

I'm in between a lot of things right now, and to be honest, it's frustrating. It's frustrating to not have everything all figured out, even though I know I'm not the only one in this phase of life. This is what it's like to be a recent college grad; your early twenties are supposed to be when you slowly figure everything out, screwing up and getting lost along the way. But in all reality, some days, I'd rather just skip ahead to the part where Ben and I are in jobs that we love, making enough money to be able to afford the things we want, and living in a city that we want to make our home for at least the next few years. I know that being at that place doesn't guarantee that I'll have all of my other junk figured out, but maybe I'd be a little closer.

But thankfully, I have a home that is mine, all mine, and a sweet husband who makes me feel like whenever I'm with him, that's exactly where I'm supposed to be. This phase where we get in heated arguments about our budget, end up saying "screw it, it'll work out" and get drunk on the couch while we watch SNL reruns? This is a phase that I like.

dance it out

Sometimes, on a Monday, you leave your house without shoes on by accident and don't notice until you're all the way out to the garage, getting your bike. 

You ride into town to get your hair cut [woo bangs!], stop at the grocery store after, and then get home to realize you left the beef you just bought at the store, which is the whole reason why you went there in the first place. 

You decide to just drive the car back to the store to save time, but can't find the key anywhere, which is when you realize that your husband took the one and only key to the car with him to school. 

You call in to work and explain that you have no way of getting there, hang up the phone, and turn this song on.

Sometimes, you just need to dance it out.

Ho Hey by The Lumineers on Grooveshark

weekend things

This weekend was, as always, lovely. But it was way too short! I always wish that Sundays could last forever, but I guess that's not gonna happen, so I'll just enjoy them while I can.

Saturday, Ben was gone again for the Air Force, so I had a relaxing day to myself. I woke up slowly, eating breakfast and listening to Fran's playlists on Spotify. Then there was Halloween costume making while I watched The Sweetest Thing on Netflix [so weird and scandalous, but funny], a pretty autumn run, speed cookie making while I got ready for work, work for 5 hours [Saturday night shifts are crazy at restaurants, man], and then a Halloween party!

Sunday was nice too, once we finally dragged ourselves out of bed. We watched football, did some homework on breaks in between, walked into town to get a pizza, watched more football, went for a run together [boys make everything more fun], and did more homework while we I ate a thousand of those cookies I made. It was nothing crazy, but it was life together and I loved it.

October 21

A year ago today, Ben came home from his deployment.

He was gone for six months last summer, from May to October, and it was the loneliest six months of my life. I had my own adventures studying abroad in France and starting my senior year of college, but when part of your heart is missing, life just isn't the same.

Thankfully, he made it home safely and we jumped right back into doing life together. And what a year we've had since then. Seriously. He proposed in January and we got married in July, and now here we are, a year later, in a completely different place in our lives. He came home as my boyfriend and now he's my husband and I'm oh so grateful for this incredible year that we've had together.

And here's hoping that another deployment doesn't happen anytime soon. Or, you know, ever.

This is from his sister's wedding, the day after he got home last year.
Sorry for the low quality, but it was inside a dark reception hall.
We were happy.

friday faves [part 8]

his & her coffee while running errands yesterday. 

This week went by really fast to me. Did that happen for anyone else? I'm not complaining, but it's just odd when that happens. 

The past few days have been well spent with Ben, working on crafty things [me] and homework [him]. I started grad school on Monday, so I've had a little to do for that, but it hasn't been anything crazy yet, thankfully. We had a really nice day off together yesterday and spent our evening working on Halloween costumes for our party this weekend. I know I've said it a million times, and I'll say it a million more, but I love doing life with that boy.

My college roommate is visiting town this weekend, so I'm excited to see her, and I'm also really excited for the few craft things I'm making. I hope this weekend is as nice as the last one

Here are some fun links from around the web for your Friday:

- Usually, marriage advice is not my fave. It's generic and cheesy and what works for one couple doesn't always work for another. But this article was real and funny and applicable. I'll allow it.

- I am all about a wedding where the bride wears a flower crown. Especially if it happened in the late 60's. [or 2012, like mine]

- These are totally going to get made this weekend. Thanks to Betsy for tweeting me the recipe!

- This is why Ben and I aren't planning on having babies until someday far far far away. Yuck.

- and lastly, Ashlee touched my heart with this post. She is such a sweet woman.

That's all for today, kids! What's on the agenda for you guys this weekend? Whatever it is, I hope everyone has fun!

delicious [graham cracker-peanut butter-chocolate] balls

Sometimes I get the urge to make things. Usually it's with paper and crafty things, but on Sunday, it was with chocolate and delicious things.

This is how it went [in abridged, true to my personality form]:

So you take about one package of graham crackers and smush those up real tiny. I used the plastic bag, wooden spoon method because it's fun to hit things.
Then you add about a cup of peanut butter and mix it on up. You need enough PB to keep everything together, but the mixture should be dry-ish. 

Once everything is good and mixed, roll it into good sized balls, put it on the wax paper and stick it in the freezer for 45 minutes.
Then you take those out of the freezer, and melt the bag of chocolate chips in a separate bowl. I left some out to try and keep for decoration, but they didn't stick, so I ended up melting those too for more chocolate. Just melt the whole bag to save yourself time.
Roll the balls in the melted chocolate by gently tossing them in the bowl, rolling them around with a spoon, and digging them out. The recipe I found suggests rolling them in bits of candy to add flavor, or tiny chocolate chips for decoration, but I didn't have any of that shenanigans.

Throw them on the tray, stick it back in the freezer for another hour, and presto! You've got yourself some delicious, crowd pleasing balls. Enjoy.

little love letters

Today, like every other day, I'm in love with the world, so it's a day for little love letters:

Dear little sister,
 First of all, you kicked butt in your senior volleyball game last night. It's so crazy to me that my baby sister is finishing up her last season of high school volleyball, and so will end an era of sitting in stinky high school gyms, cheering "Go Hilton!". I'm so excited to see where you go to college and what you do with yourself in the future. You're so smart and capable of any damn thing you set your mind to, so don't sell yourself short. Go make a name for yourself. I'm proud of you, kid.

Dear apartment,
  It seems you have two temperature settings: A Thousand Degrees or The Arctic. Can we please just find middle ground? Going to bed sweating is no bueno, but neither is waking up with icicles on our noses.

Dear pencil skirt,
  You helped me rock my important interview yesterday afternoon and today, you're just accompanying me to my normal job, but that's important too. You make me feel skinny and classy and I like you.

Dear autumn,
  You're gorgeous. The drive to said interview yesterday was breathtaking with all of the changing leaves on the trees and blue skies and green grass. God really knew what He was doing when He made you. Thanks for being so darn pretty.

Dear Benny,
  You always get out of bed to close the closet door for me, you try to keep us afloat with this dumb budget we made, and you kiss my forehead every chance you get. Plus you're hot. You're the best roommate I could ever hope for and God knows how blessed I am that you decided to marry me too. I'm excited for our date day tomorrow!

three & three

top from here. bottom by BA

We've been married for three months and three days now. It's an incredibly random number to get worked up about, but it just kind of hit me this weekend: three months seems like a long time and not such a long time all at once.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that this marriage thing is working out. It's better than anything I ever dreamed of, and believe me, I've been dreaming about this for a while. 

I'm a thankful girl on this three month & three day mensiversary, and that Avett Brothers lyric up there? That just explains it all.

wonderful weekend

This weekend was really so nice.
I know I say that almost every weekend, but this one was even better than normal, if you can believe that.

 Friday, I had to work all day: one job from 9 to 5, and the other from 6 to 10:30. It was a long day for sure, but I started it out right with a leftover biscuit from the morning before, some coffee, and a kiss goodbye from my Benjamin.
 Saturday, Ben left early in the morning for his Air Force drill weekend, so I had all that day and Sunday to do whatever I pleased. I chose to do a craft with our wedding cards, start Friday Night Lights [so many tears!], and put our wedding pictures on flash drives for our parents.
These babies right here are our favorite wedding cards of the bunch. Our friends are awesome, obviously.
Then it was time for a little run down a closed off road. This road is so pretty with the changing leaves, even if I did get chased by a fox on it one time.
I had to work again Saturday night, but I made a stop at Target beforehand to pick up the basics: printer paper, Halloween shapes mac & cheese, and hair dye. That place is such a madhouse on Saturday afternoons, but I put on my brave face and pushed little old ladies around to do my business.
[just kidding, I didn't actually assault any grandmas. promise.]
After work, I did the classy thing and ate some of that mac & cheese right out of the pot, drank some beer, and watched SNL reruns. It was fantastic.
And Sunday? Sunday was probably the best day of the bunch. I woke up to some birds chirping outside of my window [no seriously, I'm not making this stuff up], and I laid around in bed for a while. Once I worked up the motivation to do something with myself, I had a breakfast full of chocolate [the best kind of breakfast], cleaned and vacuumed the entire apartment, and rearranged our living room. I am woman, hear me roar.
I also whipped up some of these suckers for dessert at my Dad's later that night.
Once said delicious balls were all finished, I went for another run, got persuaded into buying popcorn by a shy little nerdy Boy Scout at my door, and then got ready to go to my Dad's for dinner and see Ben for the first time all weekend!
Dinner was delicious [thanks Wanda!], and we all had fun together, as usual. There's 6 of us kids, so when everyone is together, with significant others included, it's definitely a party. And aren't the grown ups so cute?
To wrap up the night, my little sister Jessa came over to dye my hair for me. I went darker and I think I like it, but once I style it and everything, we'll see how it really is. TBD.

and that's it! Benny and I ended the night with football [him], blogging [me], and some midnight snacks [the both of us]
God bless autumn weekends.