2022 was a weird year. When I was first asked a word to describe it ‘subpar’ was my response – ironically that was B’s word too… at least we’re on the same page. 🙃
This past year everyone was right back into it, whereas in 2021 people still seemed to hesitate in regards to the virus, 2022 was like all bets were off. It also felt like a lot of our core people in 2020 and 2021 had a lot of other plans and we weren’t a part of them… which was proven as I was sorting through pictures trying to find highlights from each month, that is totally fine, but it just felt a little lonelier and a conversation B and I both had and noticed throughout the course of the year. Not the worst thing, just something we noticed – and that’s just part of life.
We were lucky enough to take a few trips from Palm Springs in March to a getaway at the Cabin in the Woods x2 to Miami and even Colonial Williamsburg — I even made my way to St. Louis at the end of January! We definitely had many new adventures together, which is something I always love and cherish. In addition to our travels, we made and did our own little Summer bucket list which mostly consisted of dining out around our city at places we’ve never been or haven’t been in forever. B and I also enjoyed a lot of charcuterie boards, sushi nights, and evenings on our patio at home watching TV and playing Yahtzee. Another highlight for 2022 was that B and I attended our first and our second concerts in our 11 years together! What concerts you may ask? Elton John and Lady Gaga… pretty epic.
Another monumental highlight of 2022 was we finished our kitchen renovation! We finished in April and have been loving it ever since, we’ve hosted a few times and of course, had our own dance parties and cooking nights to ourselves. Our dining nook is also a new spot for us to sit and enjoy dinner together and recount our days and talk about the latest — even though we spend most of them together!
This year also involved a lot of personal growth, a lot of blah, and of course some stress — I found my voice in areas of my life that it (if you can believe it) hasn’t been so loud. I’m not completely sure what 2023 has to hold, I have a few things in mind, but for some reason, this year seems more unknown and eerie than others, but not necessarily in a good or bad way. Maybe this is just how life is for a while? Mediocre?
Merry Christmas from our new kitchen! Last Christmas we had a big open room, and now we have a beautiful space that we can cook in, decorate and just live in.
This Christmas season has reminded us that as much as you have planned, life and God sometimes have other plans for you that are beyond your control. Some of those things are sad, some of those things are annoying and sometimes those things can be good! And sometimes, those things remind us to slow down, hug a little longer, and relax.
As 2022 wraps up, I hope you can soak in a little more Christmas magic and that these last few days are relaxing, productive, and fulfilling to end the year on a good note.
Is year five like the first mini-milestone when it comes to wedding anniversaries? I think it might be! This year’s themes are fun and offer a bit more creativity than year four – although, I will say we knocked year four-anniversary gifts out of the park with our Cafe Appliances in our kitchen remodel, the timing just happened to be perfect for us! But let’s talk about year five wedding anniversary gifts; the traditional gift is wood and the modern gift is silverware… but I might challenge that to be goldware!
“Your roots have sprouted much like a tree by your fifth anniversary, so together you can endure anything.”
“All the meals you’ve enjoyed together and will continue to share are best commemorated with beautiful silverware.”
We always love going the traditional route whenever possible – and this one feels like it could be easy with endless options, but when that is the case, I always like to try to make it a little more special or unique to us! OK, so it’s no secret if you’ve read my previous wedding anniversary gift guides that I love to head to Etsy. There are plenty of wooden themed gift options that offer personalization – here are a few I found and why I love them.
Apple Ornament Box: This is super simple and I love the play on “love you to the core” it’s such a sweet and symbolic jester that can remain as a reminder even after the fifth anniversary – plus this one opens and you can include a sweet memory, better yet, it could be used on a weekly or monthly basis to exchange sweet messages to each other after the anniversary.
Jenga Memories: I hate playing Jenga, because it gives me anxiety but I also love this idea because it’s a unique and personalize way to document 5-year milestones. Instead of doing the engraved route, buying a Jenga set is another way and as a gift, combination anniversary activity you and your sig-o could take turns and write memories, moments or milestones on your Jenga set. This could be PG or R rated even. 😏
Engraved Hammer: Of course, I love this because B and I are no strangers to home projects and building a life and home together. Plus, this can be a useful tool or used more as a decorative piece or have as the inside hammer.
Handcrafted Wooden Utensils: Since our kitchen remodel, we’ve been wanting and looking for new utensils — and can’t quite find something that fits. Not only is this set handcrafted in Seattle, WA., but the finish and set is beautiful, I also can’t help but think of the wooden utensils I had growing up and how sturdy they were.
Other ideas include custom ornaments, charcuterie boards, engraved signs, plaques, trays, or picture frames – if you’re going the traditional route you have plenty of options to make it special!
Like most, you may have had this on your wedding registry – maybe your taste has changed in the last 5-years? Maybe it hasn’t, but you want to add a little flair to your silverware game. This is the perfect excuse, to add, grow or change it up completely. We got brass silverware for our wedding, but didn’t use it unless it was a special occasion, since our kitchen upgrade it’s become our go-to, I just wish I had more of it! Here are a few things to consider if you’re going the silverware route to celebrate year five:
Price Point: How much do you want to spend? This is obviously all with what you’re comfortable with. But consider a few things if you’re in love with something but not the price.
Ask yourself: How many times did you get new silverware growing up? (never) Does your current set match? Or is it hand-me-downs? (we had mix-match & hand-me-downs).
Pro-Tip: Don’t be fooled by the price point and how many pieces you get, for the price you may feel like you should be getting a whole set, when in actuality you’re only getting one place setting!
How Many Pieces? For our wedding, we were equipped with 8 tables settings for our bronze flatware – which always seemed like plenty. Since our kitchen renovation, and dishwasher life we quickly run out of our nice flatware! Also, another way I like to gauge quantity is imagining the biggest group of immediate family or closest group of friends if they were all to come over for dinner – how many pieces would you need? We would need around 12 – aka – we need more!
Handles & Finishes: Not sure if this is something that bothers you… but fat or square handles can be a little bulky in your hand while you’re eating! So if you like your current style or size, keep that in mind when you’re shopping. I have small hands – but obviously I’m not the only one who uses them, so if possible try to test out some different options in store if you’re looking to make a big change. Finishes can go hand in hand with cleaning and care or your general style, try to go for something classic since this is can be an expensive and not a piece that is typically changed up.
Cleaning & Care: If you like having the ability to use your dishwasher as much as possible, it’s important to make sure you’re picking out dishwasher friendly pieces. However, if you’re looking for more of a statement, special occasion option like silver – know that you’ll have to do some hand washing and care! Always read reviews whenever they’re available.
Happy Fifth Wedding Anniversary and Happy Shopping!
I had full intentions of getting this post up on my birthday, 11 days ago – but I embraced our desert vacay and shut off from all personal and professional work (at least 95% of it!).
And it felt so good.
One resounding reflection I had during my birthday week and over our Palm Springs vacay was just how necessary a trip like that is, for everyone – and just how good for the soul it is. And as much as I’ve always tried to do more that is good for the soul, it wasn’t until I was sitting poolside without a care in the world that I realized this was the ultimate good for the soul moment.
This past year I feel like I’ve made leaps and bounds in prioritizing my anxiety, mental and physical health – and I’ve noticed the resounding change in just feeling better. Although trust me, there are still plenty of weak and challenging moments – I know my anxiety is always looming in the shadows. Perfect example, on our travel home from our super relaxing and perfect trip – we had a layover, the airport was packed with people and I was instantly overcome with chest pain and anxiety which stayed with me for the rest of our travel and even into the next day being home. The switch flipped from vacay back to reality and my anxiety was right there to welcome me home.
But as I reflect on all those good moments from the vacay week, I just felt so content on my birthday and looking ahead. I want to continue riding the 2022 wave, do things we want to do, not be afraid, and start living life again – and continue to choose and prioritize those good for the soul moments. I also want to not be afraid to share my voice, opinions, grow confidence in myself, the decisions I make – and honestly stop caring so much what other people think (it’s really hard!). I hope 32 brings on lots of hosting in our new kitchen, slow moments and soaking life in. ☀️🌴🍹
To be able to spend a week in paradise with B, my person, was simply incredible. I felt beyond blessed, grateful and was so spoiled all week and had the best time taking a break from life, kitchen renovations, and the last 2-years.
Book the trip, rent the mustang, and order another cocktail. Here’s to 32! 💜🎉
I’ll have to admit, the start of the new year did not have me excited. There was nothing ‘new’ to look forward to, and I was feeling less than motivated about making goals for the new year. My IG caption for NYE was; “Hey 2022, we have no expectations for you!” – and that has been widely true after the last two letdowns, I feel like it’s the safe bet. Not to mention, we got hit with the Rona the first week of January, soooo our month has been widely focused on that and taking care of our health.
In my 2021 recap, which was also a bit delayed, I reflected on a lot of the positives that did come with the year, which honestly can be summed up in my goal successes from this past year.
Goal Successes: I paid off my student loans and way ahead of schedule might I add (like 10-months ahead of schedule), which was such a great accomplishment and huge relief. I continued to invest in myself and started therapy, went to a lot of doctor’s appointments to figure out what was wrong with me, which resulted in a completely changed my diet/lifestyle, and eating better food.
Typically, I liked to share in detail my goals for the year – but I’m not going to do that this year. Instead, I’m going to still write them down in my notebook and work on conquering them this new year. It’s a lot of the same honestly, with a few more specific ones but I’ll continue putting my mental and physical health first (through food, exercise, self-care, making me a priority), take trips for B and me, save more money, continue to work on my anxiety and build boundaries.
I will say, I do firmly believe in making goals, setting intentions, and making priorities for yourself. They help you adjust and prioritize, reel yourself in, or push yourself more. I actually already accomplished one of my 2022 goals… so I’m hoping that will be a bit more liberating and help me continue to do more things that I want to do with B.
Here is too minimal expectations, letting our hair down, and having some fun this year!
Bear with me, I was really hoping to get this up pre-2022, but alas, I had a lot of mixed feelings about 2021 when it came to writing this recap and a lot of mixed feelings with the new year coming. So I think I’ll keep it short and sweet.
2021 was sort of worse than 2020. Does anyone else agree? 2021 started off with a lot of loss. Most of it was expected, but there was one that wasn’t and it hit and hurt hard and still does. 2021 also brought on loss, not so much in the physical sense but relationship sense too – it’s hard to describe, but losing family can be one of a relationship even though they’re still physically on this earth. But there is also some healing in coming up with that resolution… as I said, 2021 brings on some dark feelings. Scroll for some positive.
As I was pushing myself this past week to not focus on the negative of 2021 – I did realize that there were definitely a few achievements and highlights even if they felt few and far between. My biggest I think was my gut health journey and lifestyle change for the better. Kicking off nearly 25-30lbs off of my body and completely changing my knowledge, learning about my body, seeing what works and what truly doesn’t work for my body from a food perspective has been life-changing – especially when I break away from it.
Other highlights included; celebrating miracle Mav, learning and connecting more with good friends and family, getting over grudges, learning to trust a bit better, getting on an airplane yet again in the midst of a pandemic, actually starting our kitchen renovation, not being afraid to use my voice in the moment and in tougher situations, creating boundaries and saying no.
So 2022, I’m trying not to have any expectations for you – not even finishing out kitchen, because the last few years bring on false hope and I’m honestly over it. So whatever you got 2022, let’s go.
Merry Christmas! B and I were really hoping to have a brand new kitchen for Christmas, but apparently, the Grinch is in charge of cabinet lead times.
But next Christmas we’re going to have a killer new space that I’ll be sure to bake too many cookies in, drink too much champagne in, deck the halls with, and even host a few get-togethers and dare I say get our annual Christmas party back in the books!? Oh, what joy that will bring!
I hope that your holiday is filled with the true meaning of Christmas, new memories, sweet treats, lots of love, health, and happiness. I hope the family drama can be ignored for at least one day, maybe two… and that we can just be thankful to be together. ♥️
My last kitchen reno update was from August with demo officially underway. Fast-forwarded to mid-September we confirmed our ‘contractor’ and got work started, as we finally got city permit approval – which was honestly such a pain in the butt and took way longer than anticipated. So to give an abbreviated update on a big project that has lasted over the last 3-4 months, I’m going to touch on a few of the roadblocks – but spare the gory deets – cause we are in such a better place.
OK, let’s get into it. One of the biggest outcomes of the permit process was the need to actually add and build a new foundation for the 2ft by 8ft area we were expanding as opposed to doing a cantilever. This added to the timeline and budget, but in the end, honestly a better solution. So this first part of the process was SLOW, waiting for the brick, cement, and all the layers to dry and settle.
Cabinet Drama & Delays. Another roadblock that we didn’t anticipate was our kitchen cabinets. We were confident and told that we would be able to get those measured and ordered (before our footprint was complete). WELL, that wasn’t the case. The original cabinet company we decided to go with seemed to have a lot of upfront misinformation and we had to wait over a month before we were even close to being able to order cabinets (aka half our timeline) – as they requested to have drywall up before measuring and working on any layouts. Needless to say, the deadline of making Thanksgiving… or even Christmas was shot especially as lead times increased on top of that. Long story short, we ended up finding another (local) cabinet company who worked with us a million times better, had great communication, great solutions for our space, and a fair price compared to the original company (and the cabinets have been ordered!)
Contractor* Be Gone. At the beginning of November, we kindly said thanks for all your work to our ‘contractors’ and took over the rest from there. We quickly realized as more of the aesthetic work was being done that the attention to detail was missing severely and B and I are way too picky, spending a ton of money and have a vision and like things the way we like them. *grins* We ended up having to finish cleaning up the mudding, all the painting, flooring, finishing electric fixtures, adding all the trim work, and will end up doing the backsplash once we have cabinets and counters in place. This was a little extra sticky because it was a family friend who we went with, and have worked with before – but it just wasn’t going to work out for the full project like we’d hoped.
*I’m using the word “contractor” because it’s the easiest way to say our family friends who were doing the work for us.
REAL TALK: Dealing with the workers day in and day out, and living in the construction was EXHAUSTING. It NEVER ended – this heightened once the workers were actually in the house. And B and I were not in a good space as a team – we were stressed, arguing, upset, and frustrated with the work, progress, communication, lack of communication, games, and everything else in between and we were just over it. The unfortunate best thing for us was to get as much done from them, give a firm cut-off date and cut ties for our sanity. The sanity still took a bit to get back to… but I think we are finally in a better place (until we have to install the backsplash I am sure). 🙃
Now What? Basically, we are in the ‘wait for cabinets’ stage – which we’re hoping come sometime in January?! We have a big open room just waiting for it to truly become a kitchen. We are also waiting for our stove to be delivered again, so hopefully no more delays from that end. We were able to finish the floor install over Thanksgiving with a huge help to my parents – and again, thank goodness, because the attention to detail my dad has doesn’t even compare to our ‘workers’ and I know B and I would’ve been pissed… but I’m digressing!
We cannot wait to host in our kitchen, I honestly just cannot wait to have a sink on the main floor… and for my dining room and rest of the house to get back in order with everything misplaced. So, until then, we wait!
Today is our four year wedding anniversary! As if year three wasn’t weird enough – we had another year literally together practically every day working from home together. Since we conquered working from home together, we decided to try something else that was challenging, like conquer a major home renovation and make healthly lifestyle changes.
This year we grew a lot and went through a major health journey together – although it was primarily for me, B was an integral part in the success of my gut health journey and both of us getting back on track and into a healthier lifestyle. I don’t think I would’ve been as nearly as successful with it all, without him. He carried our team from grocery shopping to meal prep all the way to cooking. On top of the initial journey, we’ve been holding each other accountable ever since.
We also decided to take on a major home renovation that has definitely tested us. Dealing with contractors, having gigantic holes in your house, not having a kitchen for 6+ months, on top of spending a lot of money. We had our fair share of arguments, disagreements and also kismet moments. Our kitchen for the record, still is not finished – but hopefully we’re on the home stretch and just in the waiting game for cabinets, I think the contractors, headaches and major stresses are luckily behind us. What I cannot wait for is all the new memories that we are going to create in the new kitchen, all the parties were going to host and all the little moments we’ll have together there too.
I can’t believe we’re kicking off year five married together. Each year we continue to conquer new adventures, take on new challenges and grow together as a team. We are never short of having lots of big plans, from house projects, to more firsts and many, many more travel plans.