4.01.2015

Spring Goals

February and March aren't my favorite months of the year. It's this sort of in-between time with not much going on, so I'm extra excited with the freshness of Spring and the lead in to summer. 

 We've been in the same routine for the last two months, and I think a solid list of fun to-do's is exactly what I need to bring in a little fun around these parts.

I'm giving myself until June 1st to knock all of these out, so hold me to it!


::: Book a summer getaway
 
Because of our schedules, it looks like the only time to get away this year is going to be August. We had originally thought about going to London for Wimbledon, but that is going to have to hold off until next year so we want to pick a place in the U.S. neither of us have been to. Right now I'm leaning towards Jackson Hole, because ideally I'd like to make it a not cross country trip. Austin was a contender, but I think August in Texas might be just too hot. Any other places you think we should stick on our list? Maybe Aspen? 


::: Purge and Reorganize
 To begin cleaning out a messy closet take every single thing out of it. | 17 Invaluable Tips For Anyone With Too Many Clothes
I'm embarrassed to even walk into my closets right now. They are pitiful. They are not organized correctly and I have a lot of junk hanging on hangers that I never wear. I need to take everything out and start from scratch but it's a big project an dI find ways to get out of it every time I start. I keep telling myself "one of these weekends" but I really need to break up the job into sections and make some headway on it soon. 

 
::: Add some summer classics
  embroidered tunic + white denim scarf!
Well, I'll be making room soooooo.....I need new! I need light, summer-y clothes: white jeans, linen/cotton shirts, light cardigans, cotton dresses, pair of black sandals...

::: Update our bathrooms
guest bathroom bower power
Our bathrooms haven't been touched since we moved in 3.5 years ago and they're in need of some "elevation". A few minor updates will make a big impact, so I just need to get Joel on board and make some decisions of the route we want to go. 

::: Keep up with Church
Start each day with a grateful heart.
We've been doing a really good job about getting to church every weekend. Lent has been a fun time to get back to our schedule but I want to make sure we stay at going to church every weekend we are in town. 
 
::: Try 1 new class at the gym
sooooooo true
 No explanation needed. 

:::  Read at least 2 new books
I haven't been in the mood to read lately which is so unlike me, so I now I need to put it on the list to get back into the routine. I annoy myself going into my room to sit on instagram for an hour. Such a waste of time.

Can you believe it's April 1st!? I'm totally bringing out the white jeans on Easter!

Hello Spring

3.30.2015

Weekend Report

Friday afternoon Joel's parents and brother drove up from San Diego. The weather all weekend was so summery which was a nice treat for them since March in Chicago is still pretty bleh. We grilled out Friday night, hung outside with the new bench, and watched football (losing my mind) basketball.


Saturday, Joel's brother Andrew left pretty early to get back home, but the four of us decided to go out for a hike.


The hike was hot and steep but Joel's parents did a great job. We rewarded ourselves with brunch at Coral Tree Cafe and then laid low for most of the afternoon. For dinner, we continued our burger tour with burgers and beer at Plan Check.


The burger itself was top three I've had in LA (1. Father's Office, 2 & 3 tied Umami/Plan Check). I wasn't a big fan of the fries, but they had amazing appetizers (crab dip was on points) and the best freaking dessert (doughnuts with bananas, whipped cream and ice cream), and a great beer and wine list.

We recorded the Kentucky game and stayed fiercely away from all TVs and social media throughout dinner. It was a freaking nail biter but I'm so glad Kentucky is still in. I'm really, really rooting for them to take it all the way. 

Sunday we went to church for Palm Sunday and before we knew it, it was time for them to head back home. Joel and I needed some time without the TV, so we hung on the patio for most of Sunday evening, played scattgories and listened to music to cap off the weekend.

Here's to a great new week! 




3.27.2015

Five on Friday

::: ONE :::
 
So I started Unbreakable: Kimmy Schmidt and I can't stand it. I also can't stop watching it. It's pretty dumb....it's really dumb...but Ellie Kemper is adorable and for whatever reason I keep finding myself binge watching the damn thing.

::: TWO :::
 
And speaking of little touches....I found the perfect pillows for my trash to treasure bench that I found last week. Of course, the free bench ends up costing me a pretty penny, but I think it's just darling and adds another area for us to enjoy outside.  

::: THREE :::
 
It's been so hot here in LA this week which means I keep ruining my dinner appetite with happy hour at Yogurtland, but hot damn I gotta cut this dessert binge I've been on.

::: FOUR :::
Easy easter decor idea
 Are you an Easter decorator? I want to be but I haven't found anything that I love, love. I just decided to host a little Easter brunch for my family that will be in town next weekend, so I want to add a few touches to make the house a little festive without going overboard.


::: FIVE :::
Outdoor Dinner Party | Summer Entertaining | Two Peas & Their Pod california love
 This weekend my in-laws are in town which will keep us plenty busy. Tonight we're grilling kabobs and brats and then tomorrow after a hike and lunch, we're hitting up Plan Check for burgers (we're on a roll lately). I'm sure there will be lots of basketball watching, a few errands, and mainly just soaking up time with Joel's parents while they're in town.

Choose Happy

3.25.2015

Random Life Updates

:::On our way home from San Diego on Sunday one of our neighbors had this outdoor bench sitting outside for someone else to come and grab. It's the perfect size for our narrow balcony, and even though we don't technically need it....I think it will be a really nice little area once I get a few new pillows to spruce it up. 


:::I've had a bunch of administrative stuff come up at home lately - and dang is that annoying. Along with filing our taxes, I have to get my car registered in California which requires a few tests and a DMV appointment, I was called to Jury Duty in April, and we have to book a bunch of travel arrangements for summer trips. Thank goodness Joel has a built in house manager ;) 

:::The list of house updates I want to make keeps getting longer and longer. Since I know we are going to be in our apartment for at least another year, there are few updates I want to make. I'm loving these shelves that Sarah Tucker found from CB2. They're $55/shelf and I think they would like great in both of our bathrooms. 

 
:::I've been a little lazy in making dinners during the week and I really need to get back on a better schedule. I made a valiant effort last night, but after I realized I forgot the main ingredient for the dish I was making, bagels and eggs had to work for dinner. 


::: Excuse my post-gym look but I'm wondering if I should bite the bullet on this target hat. I've been looking for a wide brim white hat for the summer and I just couldn't tell if I liked this or not (it could have been in part due to my sweaty hair)....but the more I look at the picture, the more I like it. I've tried the J.crew one on like 10 times but it just doesn't seem wide enough.



That about catches you up. I can't believe it's already Wednesday - have a great rest of the week.

So true.

3.23.2015

Weakend Report

Typo intended. I've fallen out of the habit of taking lots of pictures on the weekends and my Monday weekend reports are taking the hit! I'm going to seriously try and change that this week and get back to better posting habits.

So, this weekend while in real life was so, so fun....in blog life looks pretty dang lame.

Friday night we met up with a friend and had dinner at Pono Burger in Santa Monica which is never a bad way to end the work week.

Then, early Saturday morning we drove to San Diego to visit with Joel's family. His parents are spending the first part of their spring break down there and then on Friday will make their way up to us in LA.

We spent most of Saturday at Balboa Park which was beautiful, met up with more family (Hi Uncle Mark!) and just enjoyed the day outside. When we got home we watched basketball, made fish tacos, and had a pretty adorable bath time.

I took one picture of all that fun, but thankfully it was a good one. 

We hit the road early on Sunday to try and spend as much time with my girl Mallory as possible. She was in town visiting her sister, and cut out half of her day to spend with Laura and I.


The three of us, and Joel, had such a fun afternoon drinking wine and catching up on life events. I can't believe that I met both of these girls from this blog.....random blind friend dates that have turned into lifelong friendships.

I had to bail on dinner because my voice was about a 0 by the time they left, but I'm hoping that another day of pounding tea and honey I'll be back to normal.  And I'm going to work on the picture thing!

Everything is going to be OK. by cosmosingapore #Photography #Quotation

3.17.2015

Chicago Recap

Right when I landed in Chicago, my mom picked me up and we met my Dad and sister Hannah for dinner. I'm really bummed that we didn't get a picture, but we had a fun, fun night and I was so glad that I was able to get into town with a little extra time before I had to work. 

Every week my mom and Uncle Jimmy take my Grandma (Kuka) out for breakfast. Whoever is in town or free joins in, and this week my cousin Liz and her kids Jack and Ella were able to join too.  


Ella had turned one the day before so I was able to get to celebrate with her since I won't make it back for her big birthday bash. 


The weather in Chicago was perfect the whole time I was there. Everyone was so happy to see the first signs of Spring, and I loved the crisp 50/60 degree temps so my mom and I tried to sneak in walks whenever we could.  

 
Believe it or not, that's the only snow I've seen all year (sorry). 

We ordered deep dish pizza (obviously) and hung out with my Uncle Charlie and cousins and then I had to leave early Thursday morning to work on a conference in the city through Saturday.

Thankfully the conference ended by 4 each day so I was able to sneak in time to see my friends. Thursday night I finally made it to Eataly and it is just as cool as you would expect.

Literally it's a playground for adults that like to eat and drink, so we were in heaven. Amanda, Sara, and I continued our carb fest at Quartino's which is one of my all time favorites in the city and it's had been a long time since I had been back so the girls happily obliged to take me there.


Friday was another full day of conferences but it was downtown so I was able to sneak breaks and enjoy a few walks in the city which was really nice.

Friday night, after happy hour at Amanda's, Jenna and Hannah joined us for dinner at The Boarding House.


I had not been before, and it was amazing. Everything we had was spot on, service was amazing, and when we couldn't decide what our final 3rd dessert choice would be, the waiter brought out both of what we were deciding between.

 We stayed at the table for almost four hours, and while we were there Hannah's boyfriend stopped over to say hi. He was hosting a big St. Patty's day party the next day and was on his way home from the bank when he stopped over.

When we left, we got into the cab and got a call from the restaurant that an envelope with A LOT of cash had been found under our table. All of the girls in the cab had no claim to it, and then it dawned on us that it must have been Michael's.

He had collected everyone's bus money for the next day and the envelope had fallen out of his sweater pocket. Michael came right back to pick it up, but I was overwhelmed with the honesty and kindness of the restaurant, I just had to share the story. They wouldn't even accept a tip for doing the right thing. 

I will always be a fan, and if you find yourself in Chicago, I highly recommend you give this restaurant a shot. Top notch food, ambiance and clearly...people. 

On Saturday after the conference I took the longest train ever back to the suburbs with about 3 million drunk St. Patty-celebrating fools. I'm pretty sure 3 people were arrested just on our train ride, so by the time we got home (which took an extra friggen hour), I had a pounding headache. My dad made steaks and we watched a movie which was just what the doctor ordered. 

Sunday the three of us walked up to breakfast which was a perfect way to start the day.


My mom and I did some shopping, but I came out empty handed and when we got home, I took a long nap before my dad made a perfect St. Patrick's day dinner. 


Monday morning came too quick, like it always does, and I was back in LA before I knew it. 


A work trip that brings me home is the absolute best kind....so now it's back to reality (and the gym) before Joel's family arrives in California for their spring break on Saturday!

3.10.2015

Peace Out

get away 

Off to Chicago!!!
I'm going to try and be better about gramming, so if we're not friends, find me on insta @teatimewithtess

See you next week 
xx

3.09.2015

Weekend Report

Things were pretty chill around these parts this weekend...and Joel and I spent most of it together at home. After work on Friday we decided to have a dinner of appetizers, which is truly one of my favorite kinds of dinners.

We noshed on cheese and crackers with sprigs of Rosemary (which is my new obsession), bacon-wrapped dates, and spinach and artichoke dip. 

 
           
 And side note, have you ever had the spinach and artichoke dip from Trader Joe's? I'm not a big fan of frozen foods, but this one is legit. I would easily put it in my top 5 favorite TJ's items.

I have to report back on the Amazon FireStick that we bought a few weeks back. We've  gotten a lot of use out of it and we're catching up on movies (and tv shows) that have been on our list for years. We watched Bottle Shock and.....if you are a wine-o and/or a Chris Pine fan.....so that should mean everyone here reading falls in to one or both categories...you've got to watch it. Such a great movie! 


Saturday after the gym I met my cousin Erin for brunch at Tavern and then came home to finish up a few chores we decided to let linger until the weekend. 

We went out Saturday night to Umami burger in Santa Monica and holy hell was it good. There are few things I love more than burgers, fries, and a cold beer. 
 

Only downside is that both Joel and I were uncomfortably full for like 24 hours after dinner. They pack a strong punch.

Sunday we took the dog for a walk and then made our way to Church.

The weather was perfect on Sunday so we spent almost half of it on the patio listening to music and grilling out. 

I did have to snap this picture because it's equal parts funny and sad, but our new neighbors keep their cat out on the balcony (we don't think all day, but...)...and well...cat is clearly not a big fan of her new digs. 


Today is kind of like my Friday again, even though I am working a conference while I'm Chicago, it's hard for it to feel like work when you're in your favorite place.

 Happy <3