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Like a Kid Again

13 Feb

Last weekend, my brother came down to stay with us. He was in town for a conference and we were lucky enough to have him visit for a few days. Although Shane had to attend his conference on Friday and Saturday, we were able to spend a good amount of time visiting, chatting, and just relaxing.

On Thursday, we whipped up some of my becoming-famous Mexi-burgers (recipe to come). The boys gave them two thumbs up, which is a wild success considering they are lean turkey burgers.

I also won them over with my Sweet Chocolate Secret Cupcakes (SCSCs). Another recipe for another day…and yes, these were healthy too! Shaner even ate one as part of his breakfast on Saturday.


It was so awesome to have him come and hang out. I adore my siblings and love every minute I get to spend with them.

Shane got on the road Sunday afternoon to head back home to his wifey (they just celebrated their one month anniversary. Yay!).

Phil didn’t have any homework so we were trying to decide what to do with our day when I got a wicked-good idea; office makeover time! We’ve been planning away and last week I selected the paint color and furniture. So, we decided to tackle the project.

office2 office1

Hot mess…..

I went and picked up the paint while Phil cleaned and emptied out the room. He started painting and I headed out to run errands. Two hours later, I finally was home with a big haul. groceries

And the room was done! I’m in love.


Since I was feeling nostalgic, I made some homemade chicken fingers and roasted asparagus for dinner that we enjoyed during the Grammys.veggies chicken fingers

It was a great weekend with lots of fun, relaxing and exciting projects!


Shane and Nichole’s Wedding Day

6 Jan

Happy Sunday, all. I sure do hope you are having a nice, relaxing post-holiday weekend.

I have been down and out fighting a nasty cold/flu and working all weekend. Yes, I know you are jealous of my amazing life.

But, I digress. Last we talked, I was wrapping up my brother’s wedding weekend. So, lets jump back.

Saturday, December 29 – Wedding Day

On Saturday morning (the big day!) My sister and I were up and out the door to meet our brother at the resort. We all headed to the spa for hair appointments. Shane was sweet enough to come and sit with us. It was fun for the three of us to have some alone time. You see, we are like the three Musketeers. Linds and Shane are two of my best friends and we always have a great time when we get together.

Once we had our do’s, Linds and I put on our faces and then met the rest of the groomsmen for lunch.


The guys headed back to their room to get ready and Linds and I went back up to our room to get ready. Our room was next to the girl’s room, so we stopped in to visit with the girlies, see the beautiful bride and have our make-up touched up. It was really fun to spend time with both bridal parties and see the couple be so excited for the day.

At 2pm, it was time for the groomsmen to gather for pictures.


And before we knew it the moment arrived.IMG_9211.jpg

Sorry, no pics during the ceremony as I was an active participant. But I can share that this wedding was one of love, friendship and soul mates coming together to start their lives as Mr. and Mrs. There were plenty of tears as Shane and Nichole wrote their vows and added some sweet touches to the ceremony. It was so amazing to stand up and watch my brother find his other half.

The wedding party took pictures around the resort before cocktail hour. And then we made our grand entrance followed by the cake cutting, the first dance and speeches.


Then it was time to party! And let me tell you, party we did!! (Sorry, very few pics during this time and several that don’t need to go public.)


But the star was my little niece, Natalie who started walking recently and went for hours on end at the wedding. She was ready for a good time!


On Sunday morning, my sister and I hosted a brunch for the newly weds

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I cannot put into words the fun we had celebrating Shane and Nichole. They had a beautiful wedding and weekend filled with great friends and family. And if one thing is for sure, my family is the luckiest for we are now complete with the addition of the new Mrs. Dilloway.

Congratulations Shane and Nichole. Here’s to a lifetime of adventures, love and happiness.




Here We Go!

27 Dec

Over the river and through the woods to grandma’s my parent’s house we go!

After the winter snow shit storm yesterday, we woke up ready to get this show on the road. The snow delayed us, but didn’t slow our excitement an anticipation to be up north with my family.

While many bloggers are recapping their Christmases and talking about post holiday blues, I have my Christmas still I front of me! It doesn’t feel like its Christmas yet since I haven’t seen my family.

This morning we quickly got ready, jammed two suitcases to the max with clothes and shoveled the six inches of snow that came down in less than six hours. Then, we hit the road!!

Luckily the sun came out to clear the roads and its been smooth sailing. Although I wanted to be home yesterday, it would have been a long and very stressful drive. Better safe than sorry.

As much as I love Christmas, the real reason I’m so excited is for Saturday – my brother is getting married!!!! I’m so, so anxious to get this party started! We have a full five days of rehearsals, family gatherings, hair, nails and other appointments, Christmas celebration, New Years and a few workouts (can’t wait for more TRX classes)! Lots to do with all of my loves ones.

The Christmas spirit is still alive and kicking in this girl. 🙂

About to pull into my parent’s driveway. Catch ya later!

What are your plans for the new year?



What Are You Grateful For?

25 Dec

As much as life has sucked so hard lately, I have to say I’m grateful that its around the holidays. Seriously, if this rediculousness was going down in January, I’d be in therapy every day.

But the holidays give us a chance to take a breath and enjoy the people we love and beauty around us. It’s a time to reflect on the year and get excited for a new leaf when the clock strikes 12.

I have to say, I am very blessed in so many ways. I’m married to my best friend and my pup brings me so much joy. I <;3 my boys.

I have a house. A house! I feel like such a grown up. But honestly, I finally understand the intense connection one has to a home; projects, taco nights in the kitchen, dancing in the back yard under the stars, planting and decorating. I'm slightly attached and certainly in love.

My health. Priceless. I'm so blessed to have a healthy, strong body. Recently, I have realized the importance of honoring your body through self respect, clean food and daily sweat sessions. I have every intention of doing what I can to stay healthy.

Family. In one week there will be a new addition to my family. My brother is getting married on the 29th and we are so excited for Nichole to be an official member if the Dilloway clan.

So many wonderful things to be thankful for.



A New Holiday Agenda

20 Dec

Oh my the holidays are quickly approaching and I am READY! Shopping is done, gifts are wrapped, only a day left at work and then I will be free as a bird!

The past two weeks have been h-e- double hockey sticks, so I am anticipating the break to be extra awesome.

We will be at home for the next few days celebrating our friend’s birthday, relaxing and hopefully planning our spring vacation. Because honestly, that is all I can think about right now.


For Christmas, we will be at home for the FIRST TIME! In fact, I have never not been at my parents house, or in the past few years, Phil’s mom’s house. It will be a change to wake up in our home – one that I am looking forward to but also think there will be a twinge of sadness. My Mother in Law is coming down to celebrate the holiday and is scheduled to arrive on Christmas Eve. So, we will have family and have planned some fun activities.

On Wednesday, we are heading north to my home for a HUGE weekend; Christmas, New Years and my brother’s wedding! Oh, it is going to be a solid week of good times.

Between the lack of snow and a wedding just days after Christmas, I have barely given the holiday any thought. Like I said, a whole different holiday this year.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Do you live somewhere that gets snow? Do you have any this year?




A Weekend of Celebrations

2 Nov

This week flew by. Thanks to some travel time, I can hardly believe we are at Friday already. And not only Friday, but the second of November. Gigga what?

Where is time going? Slowww down.

Before I jump into this weekend, I have to share the great time I had last weekend. It was a big one filled with friends and family and lots and lots of celebrations. On Saturday, my sister, mom and I hosted a shower for Nichole. It was a beautiful fall day and we had such a wonderful time playing games, gabbing, lunching on some great food and celebrating the soon-to-be Mrs. Dilloway.

After, my sister did her best to get me out of the house so everyone could prep for a very early 30th birthday party for me. My actual birthday is a few weeks away, but it was the last time the family would be together before Christmas, so Phil and my siblings pulled out the stops. It was a great night filled with friends and more food!!

I also received my dream gift. Yes, the Vitamixer has arrived!! Thank you everyone for a lovely night!

Sunday was spent brunching and dressing up for Halloween.

It was a busy, busy weekend that was filled to the brim with family, fun and love.

And now it is time to get cranking on this day because Phil and I are hitting the road tonight for a weekend away. Weeeee.

Catch you on the flip side.




Weekend Recap 10/20

23 Oct

Kids, I had the best of best weekends.

I know, I am a little behind the train, but Mondays are always tough with an early morning gym sesh, work and my Monday night ritual followed by an evening alone as a single parent – I usually don’t sit down until 9pm to eat dinner. As was the case last night. Oh well.

So, back to the weekend.

I started it off with a trip to the salon for an update on color. It was much-needed (no pics, you can see the color in the following pics). It was funny because I was fidgeting the entire time and my hair dresser asked what was up. I totally had not realized I was being a squirm and said I was excited because my husband and I were going out for date night.

We have not had a date night in a few months – I think it was due to our busy summer schedule – so I was more than ready to bring it back!

Our plans included getting dressed up, heading out to drinks and then dinner. Fun!

I didn’t take many pictures, I was way to captivated by my hot date. 🙂 But we had such a great time! Dinner was at Novi Chop House, which was a first for both of us. We enjoyed some wine, lobster appetizer, house salad and steaks (obviously). We left full and happy!

Saturday morning started with a workout – yay me! (Yes, I am my own cheerleader.) I had to rush home, shower, eat, get ready and pack for before my ride came. Three of my girlfriends and I were road tripping to Notre Dame for the football game!!

I went with the gals last year and had a great, great time. So, I was super excited for this years trip.

The girls picked me up at 9am and we spent the three-hour car ride gabbing away. Once we arrived at ND, we took a mini tour to all of the must-sees.

Around 1pm we went back to the parking lot for some tailgating. We munched on homemade guac (amazing), chips, veggies and sandwiches. It was a nice little spread that was much more girl-ified than most tailgate eats. And I liked it!

When it was game time, the sun came out and we headed into the stadium for kick off! It was a perfect day – sunny 54 with no wind. Bring on the football!!

My alma mater was also playing, so Phil was sending me text messages with updates.

At the end fo the day, ND pulled out the W, but my alma mater lost in the last few seconds. Boo.

We piled back in the car and started our three-hour trip home with a quick stop for dinner. I arrived home around 10pm only to find Phil just coming home, too. Apparently he had been out all day with friends enjoying the game as well! Love football Saturdays!

Despite being a crazy workout girl, I decided to turn off the alarm and sleep in. And let me tell you, it was glorious. It was one of those moments that you wake up with the sun on your face after a long night’s sleep feeling ready for the day.

Phil and I headed out for coffee with Henry. We walked around downtown Plymouth – the weather was unbelievable. Too nice to be inside, that was for sure!

We ran a few errands and came home for breakfast. The rest of the afternoon was spent cleaning, not the most fun, but it felt good to have a clean home. The rest of the day was pretty low-key; boob-tube and dinner.

It was a great weekend! Completely relaxing, filled with fun, accomplishments and time spent with some great people.

How was your weekend? Are you still floating from your weekend high?




Weekend Recap: Party Fun

15 Oct

Last weekend Phil and I drove up north to my hometown for a weekend packed full of events and festivities. It was my brother’s bachelor party and soon-to-be sister in law’s bachelorette party and shower.

We made the drive mid-day Friday and arrived just in time for a round of hellos to my whole family before changing and heading out to North Peak for dinner.

Nichole had a great group of girlfriends and family who came out to celebrate her big night.

We enjoyed a great dinner with some gifts and goodies.

After, the group moved out to Turtle Creek for some dancing.

The night wrapped around 1:30am.

The next morning, I met up with Nichole for a TRX class at a local gym. Nichole’s good friend and bridesmaid is a personal trainer and was teaching the class at 9:30. After a few texts to confirm we were all up and still in, we met at the gym to get our workout on.




I have never done TRX and I have to say I am a BIG fan!! The class flew by and I knew I was getting in a great workout. I love the concept of using your own body weight.

After class, I headed home for a shower, lunch, play time with my niece and more visiting.

The guys took off around 12:30 to start their full day of bachelor festivities including an overnight stay at a local lodge. So, the ladies were left to our own devices!

But, we had another celebration. At 5pm we met up with the group of girls again at Hands On Art for Nichole’s shower.


We had a great spread of homemade eats from soup to salad to bread fresh from Grandma. After we filled up, Nichole’s matron of honor lead us through a few games; design a wedding dress and trivia about Nichole. And guess who was the big winner!!!! Yay!

Next up was dessert and gifts. Nichole and Shane scored some great items off of their registry – they are well on their way! But one of the best parts of the entire weekend was sharing the book we all created.

In our shower invitation, there was a seperate peice of paper that asked all of the ladies to write a letter to Nichole and if you wanted, to add a picture.

The book was put together so beautifully; starting with a letter from her mom, then sisters, friends, then her new family to be (my sister, mom and me) and ended with a letter from my brother, her fiance.

She started tearing up immediately. What a beautiful gift to keep and look back on through the coming years.

Saturday night was spent cheering on the Tigers and crashing – we were whipped!

The boys came home on Sunday in a decent enough state (surprisingly). So, we all enjoyed a family breakfast before packing up and hitting the road.

It is so hard to believe the weekend is over – it literally FLEW by! But, I had such a great time celebrating two very special people. And we get to do it all over again in two weeks for shower #2!

Congratulations Shane and Nichole!!




Birthdays + Chicago

17 Sep

Happy Monday all! I hope you had a great one!

I spent mine in Chicago celebrating my neice’s first birthday! It’s so hard to believe how fast she’s grown up.

My whole family was in town along with the rest of Natalie’s family and lots of friends. We enjoyed a weekend full of food, cake, presents and of course lots of play time and laughs.

Sunday was another special day; my best friend’s 30th!! We couldn’t be together to celebrate, so we had a night at the salon last Thursday for some manis/pedis. This coming week I’m hosting her actual birthday party that I am super excited for- especially with our new kitchen appliances!

Hope you all had a great weekend and are kicking it today.



A Year in the Blink of an Eye

14 Sep

One year ago I got a call from my brother-in-law with the news we had all been waiting for; Natalie McGovern had arrived.

Philip and I drove to Chicago to meet our new niece. From that day forward I have felt a new place in my heart that warms when I hear her in the background during calls with my sister, when I hold her or see her latest picture on her blog. (Yes, she has her own blog.)

Natalie has added something to my life, though I don’t know if I could put it into words. It’s not anything I knew was missing. But there is something different. I can only narrow this down to love.

What truly boggles my mind is how I can feel this love before she was born, how it has grown in 365 days – but more so, what it must feel like to be a mom. To see your child grow, to love more than you can imagine.

Now, I understand that everyone thinks their kid is the cutest one. But it’s not so much their appearance that makes us so biased, rather, a we are reflecting what they have added to our lives; love, joy and beauty as we have never seen or felt before.

Happy first birthday to the beautiful Natalie. We love you so much. Xoxo.