Friday Thoughts

Tonight (it's Thursday as I write this), Joel and I are starting off "our" weekend with a date to Vampire Lounge & Tasting Room in the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Joel is meeting me there after work, which I think adds a little sexiness to the night. Meeting up in a hotel bar for drinks and cheese plates is totally my kryptonite.

With a long weekend for o Easter, we're planning on checking off quite a few wedding tasks - wedding tie for him and band sizing for us both, and a few other not so fun things, like re-writing my entire address list.

Friday night we are staying home to celebrate our anniversary. We are both making fancy drinks,  indulging in some scallops, shrimp, and sundaes, and drinking a nice bottle of wine.
I'm giving this delicious looking Key Lime Pie martini a try. It's the only recipe I found that doesn't contain milk or cream, two ingredients that seriously repulse me when mixed with booze.

The rest of the weekend should be low key for us famous last words- a few workouts here and there, Easter services, and a small brunch will be about the extent of it.

Have a picture perfect weekend!


Six Years

This weekend, Joel and I will have been boyfriendandgirlfriend for six whole years. We were babies when we started our relationship.
Our 1st picture together
I remember sitting in my dorm room, on our black futon talking to Joel on my black Razor phone,  March 31st, 2007 -  asking him if we were going to finally make it Facebook official. And since it was facebook official, it's the first day that I considered our relationship official. Facebook was that powerful.

We spent the rest of college dating long distance, him up in Minnesota - me in Iowa. He would drive his mom's green minivan to visit me every three weeks and we would spend our summers together back in our hometown outside of Chicago until I graduated college and finally moved into our first apartment together in Wrigleyville.

Joel quickly became apart of my family. 

 My mom loved to cook for Joel, and Nellie and Hannah loved that he was making me happy, and therefore nicer to them. And my Dad was just excited to finally have a boy around - Joel was very good at helping my dad get things done.


My cousins, and friends, and grandparents...everyone...all took him in and couldn't have been more excited to have him part of our group. I think they would have traded me out had anything gone sour in our relationship.

And now that little thing is my Junior Bridesmaid!

Our Flower Girl and Ring bearer

With six years, lots of things have changed. We've grown up, we've gone through good and bad times, we've changed jobs, hairstyles, hobbies, friends.


We've gone on vacations, to funerals; have become aunt and uncle, been through lots of hobbies, bottles of wine, and boxes of kleenx.

We've done the Swine Flu, viruses, and six allergy seasons. We've just gone through life. Six years jammed full of life, but we've been together the entire time, finding the good, trying to laugh, and coming out alive.

Here is to sixty more years of life with my best friend.


Wedding Wednesday: Goodie Bags

 With all of my bridesmaids coming to California from Chicago, I wanted to have a little something fun to give to all of the guests of the bachelorette party to show my appreciation. 

Keeping in mind all of the girls had to fly back with their goodies, I tried to keep them "Carry On" safe. I worked with Cyndi Roberts on Etsy to create a  custom dopp kits for each girl.

I filled the cute bags with some emergency snacks, gatoraid, and nail polish, and wrapped them in fun bags.

The girls opened their goodie bags on the first night in Santa Barbara and everyone seemed to be really pleased with them. Who can't use a fresh new cosmetic bag!?


My Little Things Lately

To be honest, now that we are less than 3 months until my wedding day, it is starting to become all-consuming. The to-do list is long, and daunting, and sometimes I just want to turn it all off and totally ignore it. disclaimer: I'm SO beyond excited to get married, and to imagine the entire wedding weekend, but getting there, at times, is exhausting. 

I'm only getting married once, so I'm trying to enjoy the ride and still maintain a balance in my life and enjoy things that aren't wedding related. I saw my girl Teddi's list of little things that make her happy throughout the week, and I started to collect mine as well. It's been hard to come up with this list, because literally everything we do lately is wedding associated, but, it was cathartic. And, I'm adding more of every item to this week's agenda.

  • The spring weather in Los Angeles does wonders for my overall attitude. And, I even have a sun tan. I never realized how important it is for me to spend time outside, but it really does wonders for me.
  • Sun flowers at Trader Joe's for $3
  • Speaking of Trader Joe's, their organic peanut butter is freaking amazing. And yes, I take a spoon to that jar every.single.day. 
  • I'm such a sucker for Pintrest, but along with that glass of wine you see up top, it's my favorite cool-down activity. My mom used to play Solitare, with a glass of wine, before or after dinner - pretty much after the witching hours of running a house, and now...I totally get it.  
  • Deep cleaning the house
  • Apples and sharp cheddar cheese make a bomb ass lunch combo.
  • Working from home makes me so happy. I look forward to my mornings, my routine with Roscoe, and the ability to multi-task everyday. And, with no commute home, 5'oclock happy hour is never late.
  • Chocolate Chip Candles from Tj.Maxx make my house smell so freaking delicious. I burn candles at all hours of the day but this is my go-to scent and keeps the house calm.
  • My new crock pot seriously makes life really easy (when I remember and prepare to use it)
  • Target's Ribbed Tanks with built in support is the first thing I put on when I get done with work. It is pretty much pajamas, but has enough coverage and shape that you can walk the dog/cook dinner/etc. without feeling like too much of a slob.
C9 by Champion® Womens Ribbed Tank - Assorted Colors
I've got a collection of 4 that I alternate through the week
  • My future Hubs (this is a big thing, but whatevs). He's been very, very good at being a fiance. I try to always give him a warning if it's been one of those days and he's attentive, and calm, and paitent, and makes the entire process very worth it.  
  • Country music
  • Magazine subscriptions make for great mail days. I currently subscribe to three (US weekly, Southern Living, and Shape, but I'm adding a few to this list because they are instant mood lifters!)
  • My Car's Hands Free bluetooth thingy. I call my mom everyday, and I need those chats to happen. Sometimes the call is about nothing more than what I had for dinner the night before, but it sure does make traffic and living far from home, much easier. 
  • Easter candy. Specifically Starburst jellybeans and Cadbury eggs.


Friday Thoughts

Dear GOD that was a long week. Coming off of such a great weekend, I was hoping to just glide through the week in my blissful state, but instead I got pelted with a ton of bricks while I was tied up in a chair. Seriously.

But, today is Friday, so it looks like I am going to survive.
 One thing that really helps keep my spirits up are the wedding presents that are starting to arrive. For the most part, I am keeping them all wrapped up and in our guest closet, but I had to let a few of these placemats come out and make an appearance.

My next trip home, in April, I've got two showers, which means I'm on the hunt for some MORE goddamn white dresses. I'm pretty sure after this wedding, me and white dresses will not meet again for a very, very long time. Thankfully though, these showers are hitting in the spring, and the options are way more abundant. 
If you follow me on twitter (@teatimewithtess) you may already know that in my Wednesday SoulCycle class, I rode next to Sophia Vegara. Talk about inspiration, no??
She was much smaller than I was expecting, about 5'7, with a semingly normal figure. Granted, she was wearing a sports bra, but her curves were not that cray cray. 
She was wearing that coat, but different sunnies. This was not the exact day, but same studio!
And, I will say, she snuck out of class early, ran right into the changing room and fussied up before she left (with sunglasses on, of course). Funny enough too, Leslie Mann was in this class and I was really curious if they were going to make chit-chat, but no luck.

Don't you love that the sun is staying out so much later? Literally in LA the sun is setting at 8pm. I love sunnier evenings and longer days. Summer is on its way!


It goes fast

life was so different this time last year. That's for sure!

One of the best perks of having a blog is looking back.

Looking back, one year ago today, I was wrapping up my first week in California.

I was unemployed, living as a house girlfriend, without an engagement ring on my left hand, or a wedding creeping up on me. 

I was meeting friends, who today have become best friends, and I was still learning how to navigate this crazy city of Los Angeles.

And this year has flown by.

Moving to L.A. was the best thing I have ever done in my life. I have had the best year of my entire life, hands down.

The farthest leap of faith I've ever taken, biggest adventure I've been on, and stupidest risk I've ever took, has turned out to be everything and more that I could have ever dreamed.

if you never try you'll never know

I love my life here, for now. 

I won't stay in Los Angles forever, but today, and this year - I am SO thankful for!

p.s. Isn't it equal parts frightening and exciting how much can change in a year?


Wedding Wednesday: Bachelorette Party II

Saturday morning, after a quick stop at Starbucks, we loaded a private van and headed up to the Vineyards in Santa Barbara. The "tour" we were on, included 3 wineries, private transportation, and a lunch at the 2nd winery.

Our first stop was Firestone which was an inside tasting room with amazing views. 

Since it was still a little early at this point (about 11:15am) we were all pretty good and used the spitting bucket like proper young adults. 

There were no Andrew Firestone sightings, which was a bummer, and the wine was just so/so. I'm glad we started at this spot because every other winery just blew us away.

We loaded up back into the van and headed to our second spot, Rusak, for a perfect outdoor setting. The weather was perfect, and they sat our entire group outside.

They had great music playing, and the entire group got comfortable and just sat around telling stories for almost two hours.

The third winery was a major hit in the wine department too. Last year when Joel and I spent a weekend in Santa Barbara, we had a fantastic bottle of Pinot Noir, called Melville, one night at dinner. I had no idea that Melville had a winery, but clearly some of the girls had read that post and I was in serious heaven to taste more of their collections!

Again, we sat outside, at a picnic bench, and just enjoyed the day. Wine tasting is so calming and relaxing, I could literally do it all day. Especially in Santa Barbara because it feels like you are in a completely different country.

When we got back to our hotel, I was escorted away from my room while my bridesmaids got busy decking everything out for the evening. I got ready in my mom's room so that the entire thing could be a grand reveal. 

I walked in to a true party and couldn't have been more excited or more grateful.


After the entire group was given their martini's, we all sat down to watch a interview with Joel that the girls turned into a drinking game. It was so much fun and had the entire group hysterically laughing.

The girls had planned a lingerie party where I seriously made out. My girls know me well and stocked me full of girly, beautiful pieces that I would have never purchased for myself. I was seriously spoiled. 


My last gift contained a few unmentionables that I will NEVER post on the Internets, but it sure got the party started.


By 10pm we left the hotel for a private dinner at The Hungry Cat in Santa Barbara. The girls even had dinner games for the group which totally kept us from remembering that we were wasted and starving.


After dinner we made quick pit stop at a club. It was 1am by the time we got back to the hotel, and we were all still going. 

Even after a full day of drinking, everyone kept the party alive until at least 2, and not one person threw up. #winning

All in all, it was one of the best weekends of my life. I felt (and still feel) so spoiled, special, and loved, and couldn't even believe how much time, thought, money, and energy had gone into this weekend to make it perfect. And perfect it was.