Top five of 2009

This is my last documentation of 2009; phew! What a busy week in blogging. I've been so excited to see girl's recaps on 2009. It's been exciting to find out that some of my favorite fashion bloggers haven't been blogging that long and yet their blogs are so successful! Phew.. I just said blog a lot in a row! One of my biggest resolutions is to continue working my butt off on Selective Potential. It has been the best thing ever so far and I hope it'll get even better in 2010. Anyway, as promised, here is a little fashion recap on 2009. I've only been fashion blogging since September (so that's a total of 4 months out of 12) but I've gotten a lot done since then! These top 5 were taken from Chictopia's chic votes. They are mostly my favorites.. but I'd also like to add a few more favorites that I took before my blog really took off. Enjoy and have a safe and happy new year's eve!

#1 - Living in Winterland - taken in December (just recently!) It was on the front page of Chictopia, which I think really helped with the chic votes. It's also really flattering to see that my number 1 voted outfit is the outfit I'm in every single day right now. Nice!

#2 - November Sun - taken in November. This is my favorite outfit I've ever worn. This is exactly the style I want to create everyday, just in different forms somehow. Not only am I wearing my favorite boots ever, I'm in love with the dress, the bag.. just the entire feel to the outfit. If I could only have 1 outfit.. it would be this.

#3 - Sweet November - taken in November. This won Weardrobe's "Best look in heels" contest! This is when I was obsessed with the side braid and wore it every single day! I felt so autumn in this look. Definitely one of my favorites.

#4 - Bright snow - taken in December. I personally loved these photos and this outfit. Of course, I knew I'd get some slack from girls saying.. oh how dumb, it's freezing outside. Of course it is. I'm not wearing this out and about. I just wanted to play show and tell! I'm glad it was rated in the top 5. I think it was deserving!

#5 - Gun Lake - taken in November. I love this romper so much. It was such a happy accident that I (or my friend, Andrea) found it for me. I felt the whole look really came together well. I feel like it's very similiar to #2, which is the exact style I've strived for and was never able to accomplish until now!

As you can see, I've had a busy November and December.. but I also wanted to feature some of my favorites from before these two months and before I was really "noticed" in the blogging world.

In September, when I started.. the photo that kind of "took off" was my Little Black Dress look. I was so excited. I had only been fashion blogging for about a month, when I was featured on the Who What Wear style stalker article... and nearly had a heart attack for this Rainy Days look.

This first outfit, Blue November, was featured on Kensie's blog! And the second outfit, Sixty-eight degrees, was just a big hit on Chictopia with comments. I felt crazy when I put this outfit on.. but I loved it.. and the comments I got from girls were such an inspiration. It honestly inspired me to push the fashion envelope even more.

And.. definitely one of my favorites, Ask Me Again.

It's kind of weird how I've been naming my outfits. You kind of have to with Chictopia, Weardrobe, Lookbook and blog titles! Hopefully I can keep up the creativity in 2010! Can't wait to see what I come up with in the new year and to see what all of you come up with too!

New Year's Dieting Post

My email has been flooded with emails from girls asking me how I lost my weight and if I could give tips and how I did it and many more questions. In this post, I'm going to try to cover everything for all of you! And in celebration of being on Weight Watcher's for 1 year, I wanted to do a post where I share my success with you all. I thought I'd put together some forms, export my dining out guide and write up a daily example for anyone out there struggling with their weight or who has dieting at the top of their new year's resolutions. It was mine in 2009 and I'm so very proud to say I accomplished my goal (and lost more on top of that!)

My personal experience: A brief history is.. I was always a bit heavier. In high school, I averaged 135 pounds, size 4 jeans, which is a comfortable weight but never ideal for what I truly wanted for myself. When Brett and I were planning the wedding and I was stressed with school, I went up in my 140's. Then, after we were married, I was having a meltdown because I couldn't afford college and I was stuck in a full-time job I was super unhappy at. We moved into a town I thought I'd escaped forever and I was just really unhappy and got up into the high 150's. I think one point I even hit 160. I tried in 2008 to do Weight Watchers. I lost 15 pounds before giving up and going back to old habits of fast food, being stressed and having no self control. After we moved to Grand Rapids, I was in my low 150's. Felt awful in the summer, could never find a bathing suit I loved and instead of swimming in Lake Michigan (my favorite) I was on the beach wrapped in a towel.

In 2009, I made another new year's resolution to lose the weight. I hated paying the money for a gym membership, but I did it, and on New Year's Eve, I started. We went to dinner with friends at Applebee's and I ordered off the Weight Watcher's menu and I stuck to it. I started doing the elliptical machine at the YMCA four times a week at about 30 minutes each period. Then I'd run around to a few different weight machines attempting to tone my arms, my legs, and my belly. I stuck it out.. and by the end of January, I lost 10 pounds to bring me down to 140. I felt so much better after just 10 pounds. In February, I got a pinched nerve in my calf. I could barely walk. Brett had to help me down stairs after a movie one night because I couldn't move. I limped everywhere. I cried my eyes out... honestly. I was like, I'm being punished. I don't deserve to be thin. But I never cried over a bowl of ice-cream or binged on my favorite comfort food. I cried over the sink, I sobbed into my low-calorie chicken noodle soup. The doctor said I could slowly get back into working out, but said I was doing too much too fast. So I tried the elliptical again and my leg got worse and worse. So I went into the gym and walked around the track. It felt like I wasn't exercising, like I was wasting my time, but it made my leg feel better. After a few times, I started doing more laps, walking faster. My leg started to finally feel better in March and I decided to sign up for our 5K. Never having done a 5K before, I was so excited and so nervous. I started running around the track, increasing laps each week, until I hit April and I could run 3 miles. 3 miles. Me? I know... it's crazy.

By the time I ran my race, I finished in good time, crossed the finish line and felt like a brand new person. I had lost 25 pounds. I was 5 pounds away from my goal and I've never felt more on top of the world. After the race, I stopped running so much, but never gave up on my diet. Finally, on my birthday, July 29, I was down 30 pounds to 120. My goal. My 23rd birthday gift to myself was a brand new body. And with losing weight, I didn't just lose weight. I seriously became a different person entirely. I was happier, funnier, a better wife to Brett even. I felt confident and I bought new clothes and I cried when I looked into the mirror at myself. Losing that weight was honestly the best experience and I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. I swear the more you struggle, the more rewarding the whole experience is.

In September, I was down 35 pounds to my very ideal weight, 115, which I plan on staying at for the rest of my life. Well, not when I'm pregnant, obviously, but right after having babies I will go back on Weight Watchers (they even have plans for nursing mothers!) so I plan on staying on this diet for the rest of my life, and that is an amazing feeling. I know... dieting for the rest of your life? How could that be fun? It truly is.. coming from the girl who's favorite food is chicken alfredo from the Olive Garden and chicken tenders from Red Robin. I mean, seriously? The girl who sits on the couch and hates sweating? If I can do it, anybody can do it. It changed my life 100% and I'm in love with who I've become. And it's not just being thin. It was the whole dedication, self control, struggle that got me to where I am. And I'm not saying that being thin is the only way to be, it was just something I really wanted for myself. I have so many friends who aren't the "ideal" weight and aren't dieting either and are completely happy because they are gorgeous and have the self confidence. I think no matter what - self confidence is the sexiest thing you can have.

My biggest advice: Don't give up. It's as simple as that. I had gain weeks when I had counted every bite and thought I did so well. My leg swelled up like a blue balloon and I limped around with mascara stains all over my face, but I kept walking at the gym and sticking to my diet plan. If I had given up even after 5 gains, I would have never made it. If I thought this was going to be a piece of cake and those pounds were just going to "slide off", I would have never made it. And this is also coming from the most impatient girl  ever. This is something you have to work at.. and struggle over.. and have patience with. It doesn't come easy, but if you want to do it, it's worth it in the end.

Need help?: Honestly.. if you need help or have questions or want to ask me whatever, please do. You can email me at and I will try to help you in any way I can! I had Brett's mom to talk to this about and help me through and it was a blessing so it's really nice having someone who is going through it (or went through it) and knows how hard it is. If you're doing this, good luck! And also.. if you're trying to diet, do it the healthy way. It's an average of 2 pounds a week, which I know doesn't sound like a lot.. but trying to do more than that isn't healthy. Eat everyday, be healthy, lose it the way you should and it'll stay off. Fads don't work.

Bright snow

I'm not about to go frolicking around town in this dress in our current weather situation, but I couldn't wait to show you the Rodarte for Target dress I just bought last weekend. I went to the Target in Muskegon and the collection was barely touched. Muskegon doesn't know what they're missing! I found the exact dress I wanted in my exact size... and I absolutely adore it. It is the perfect print. I also read that two of my favorite girls, Jen Loves Kev and Orchid Grey also bought the same one! I can't wait to see Julie in hers too!

The sun was out all day and I was in love. I got out of work early, basked in the glory of sunshine pouring through my car windows, bright blue skies, clear roads, lunch and shopping with my adorable husband. What more could I ask for? We went to the mall to return a dress that was too small and I couldn't find anything else I liked, so I'm just stockpiling all of these gift cards. Why is it that when you have gift cards.. you can't find anything you like. But when you're poor and walk into a store, you're in love with everything?!

I really need a wedding to wear this to. It's a shame I only have like two friends in the real world and they aren't getting married in spring. If you live in Michigan, or a surrounding state, and want to invite Brett and I to your spring wedding, we will buy you an amazing gift.. promise! Or.. Kait and Jer...? There's still enough time! I'll help you plan!

I'm very excited for the holidays to be over, mostly because I was eating too much. I know it's alright to say.. oh it's the holidays, worry about it later, but those are the exact predicaments that make me nervous. I'm pretty sure I'll be gaining tomorrow thanks to the sweet potatoes and the cookies and those delicious rice krispy treats my mother made. Not to mention, the chicken fingers and french fries and the chocolate pecan puddles. Ugh. We tore down all the Christmas decorations tonight and I'm really glad. I was feeling unorganized. I also threw away everything I might be tempted to snack on. Our fridge and cupboards are pretty bare and that's the way I keep it always. Feeling better already!

Brett is at band practice and I'm watching Father of the Bride on television. It was definitely my favorite movie growing up - along with part 2 and Grumpy Old Men and Grumpier Old Men. I honestly believe those four movies taught me every moral I have. I had somewhat of a hard childhood and somehow I think I turned out normal and I must give credit to those movies. I still to this day see Steve Martin in new movies and think of him as a father figure. I used to have to stay home by myself at night, when my mom had to work evenings and I was so scared.. so I'd just watch Father of the Bride every single night.. sometimes twice in a row. It just always made me feel so much better. Just the other night, we saw It's Complicated and my heart melted when I saw Steve Martin. Love him!

I'm kind of slacking on updating the Selective Potential mix compilation, but I haven't forgotten about it. I'm just in love with a few songs right now that I really wanted to put on the player for a few days. I'm currently in love with my post-hardcore bands. I go in and out of phases all within the realm of punk. I'm seriously insanely stubborn with music and I have been since I was pretty young. Right now, I can't stop listening to this song (Lock and Key -303). If anyone's got my heart, it's you. I updated my player too, of course. Enjoy.

Psst.. any other Michigan bloggers out there? Am I the only west Michigan fashion blogger? I really want to attend a blogger meet up in the area (Chicago, even?) Let me know. I'd love to meet some new girls! Or try to put one on.. or get a few girls together for the Kendall fashion show in the spring. Keep me in the know!

Looking back on 2009...

I wanted to do a couple of posts to wrap up the year of 2009. Since I consider this more than my fashion blog, it's also a personal lifestyle blog.. I wanted to do a post to recap the year on my personal life. Next I'm going to do a fashion post on a few of my outfits through the year (even though I really only started this in September!) but it'll be filled full of goodies, especially for new readers who haven't lurked back far enough yet. So enjoy. (Note: This is extremely picture heavy. For those of you with slower connections, I don't blame you for backing out now.)


Tall Ships released their full-length, Voyages, with Truth and Justice Records. They were able to put them out at this hardcore show in East Lansing at Mac's Bar.

This was the month that we said goodbye to our favorite venue in the world, Skelletones. It was a local, underground, all-ages venue in downtown Grand Rapids. I started going to shows when I was 14 years old, so for about 9 years and Skelletones was open 10 years, so they have always been around. I've spent countless hours here.. having some of the best times of my life. This is our really good friend's band having a reunion show, The Tide, at the farewell weekend. What a sad weekend.


In February, Tall Ships had a little mini weekend tour up north in Mount Pleasant and Traverse City. We had the biggest snowstorm ever and drove in pure madness. We stayed the night at a friend's house and played two shows that weekend. It was a blast.


In March, I lost 20 pounds (This is me jumping for joy!) I started December 31, so this took basically 3 months to lose 20 pounds and I couldn't have been happier. I never felt more accomplished in my whole life. This is when I started to fall in love with fashion, too, obviously. Once you have a new body to work with, the possibilities are endless, it feels like.


I was running and training at the YMCA when I receive a call from Brett saying he crashed his scooter (yes, we used to own amazing scooters!) and flipped over his handlebars.. and thinks he broke his shoulder. I ran and sped so fast to the hospital and we found out it was a broken clavicle. Worst thing ever. Brett works at job that requires a lot of labor, so he was put on disability. For 4 months.

In April, we also purchased an amazing $300 van for Tall Ships! We found it on craigslist and it's the crappiest piece of crap ever, but it's amazing. It breaks down, it doesn't start, the power steering is awful, it's an absolute dump.. but we love it. It used to be an ice-cream truck, so it came equipped with a music box. Not a good idea for the boys in Tall Ships...

I also went downtown to Grand Rapid's sidewalk chalk flood with Jen. There are a ton of cool events in Grand Rapids like that. We just walked around, drew a bit of art on the sidewalk, got some lunch and enjoyed gorgeous weather. Love her.


In May, it is tradition to go to Holland for their Tulip Time Festival. Tulips everywhere, festivals, carnivals, food, everything Dutch you can think of. It's a really great time.. and always marks the prime of spring to me.

Brett and I decided to destroy our bodies in May too! We went to Mos Eisley's with a friend, because he was getting a tattoo and Brett dared me to get this done. I had my monroe pierced before, but I mean a septum piercing? Ouch! But I did it. Well, Brett did it first.. and I watched him wince in pain and I can't believe I actually went through with it.. but I did. I'm so tough! Look at us! Matching husband and wife septum piercings!

In May, we decided we were going to move to Grand Haven (we were living in Grand Rapids at the time.) A super amazing, adorable, wonderful, huge, gorgeous apartment opened up and we couldn't say no. It's perfection. I'm so glad we decided to move. This is home to me.

I also trained and worked my !@% off for months to run my first 5k. I know a 5k isn't much, but when you're 35 pounds overweight and have never ran more than a mile in your life, a 5k is a huge deal. Well, I got through the race, I didn't want to die and I didn't give up.. I finished.. and I felt so so so amazing. I'd recommend a run/race/marathon to anybody. It's so liberating. Especially if you're trying to lose weight like I was.

That same day I ran the race, one of my very good friends, Kimmi, got married to the love of her life, Anthony. It was a gorgeous wedding.. and I had so much fun. I'm so happy for Kimmi and am so excited to see her grow as a person with him. It was an incredible day.

Also, another redneck tradition of ours, is to go to the Fruitport Old Fashioned days. It's basically just a dirty carnival with a petting zoo and rides and fireworks, but I love it. Every year. It's probably because it's when Brett and I first started flirting 3 years ago. It brings back the good memories.

For memorial day, Tall Ships had their first show in Detroit. We took the disgusting Tall Ship's van and I was stuck in back with these two. It was the sickest ride of my life.. and this is the sickest picture ever, but it was a blast. Definitely some of my favorite Tall Ship's memories are in this van.

At the end of May, we finally moved into our new place. We spent weeks painting it, prepping it, cleaning it and getting it ready. The first day we moved in, I finished our bedroom.. and I'm still in love with it to this day. What a perfect apartment for us.

Moving to Grand Haven was a dream. This is definitely a place that feels like home to me.. and probably because Brett grew up here, it reminds me so much of him. And since he's my favorite person in the world.. this place is my favorite place in the world.


In June, we had an "apartment warming bbq" for friends. We grilled on the outdoor patio, stuffed our faces with this amazing chocolate cake and went down to watch the musical fountain. If you didn't know, Grand Haven has one of the largest musical fountains in the world. Amazing, huh? Haha. I live in such a tourist town.

Our very good friend's, Kaline, had their CD release show. Tall Ships played the show and put me on the spot for "Tieka ships". That's where I go up and "sing" for one of their songs. I'd have to say.. I have a blast on stage. It's all a huge joke, but it's so so much fun up there.

After a few trips to IKEA (and maxed out credit cards...) we pretty much finished up our living room. I still have a few chairs to get and some things to do, but I love it. It's the coziest living room we've had. Our entire apartment is all wood flooring.. and I love it. Such an old place, but with so much character. I love the walls even with the white baseboard. If and when we buy a house, I want it to have the same charm as our apartment does.

We went to the most ghetto drive-in theater ever to see The Hangover and I slept through Terminator. I just loved laying in the back of Brett's old car with him. I'm still a teenager in love with this kid.

I took these pictures because I was super impressed you could see my collar bones. Not once, ever, ever ever, could you see my collar bones. This is right when I got down to about 120, which is 30 pounds loss. It's amazing having a brand new body that you're in love with.

Many of our summer days were filled with playgrounds.. and bike rides.. and trips to the local ice cream shop.

At the very end of June, our friend Peter, moved in with us for the summer before he had to leave for school in the fall. He took our spare guest bedroom in the back. It was super fun having him there all summer.


On the day before 4th of July, we always go to Gun Lake for the fireworks to Peter's mom's house. We always grill out, eat yummy food, play wiffleball and watch fireworks. A lot of our friends came out and it was just a great summer memory.

Brett and I decided to start our tradition of taking a once monthly "michigan adventure" trip. It was a gray and yucky day, and we didn't know what to do. Brett asked, "Are there any caves in Michigan?" and so we googled it.. and there is only one in the lower peninsula. Bear Cave. So we drove 2.5 hours and went. It was so so so amazing. I had an absolute blast doing something totally corny and amazing with Brett. Afterwards, we went to St. Joseph and fell in love with Silver Beach. Michigan is a gem in this world.

We took another trip in July on the ferry from Muskegon to Milwaukee, WI. We visited Milwaukee for a little bit, but it wasn't really our city, so we proceeded on to Madison, Wisconsin. Now that's our city. Very cool town. We had tickets to go see The Riverdales but first walked all around, shopping, eating pizza, touring the Frank Lloyd Wright building, enjoying gorgeous summer weather, sitting on benches, running in the rain. The show was amazing. Afterwards, we left at 1 am (our time) and I drove straight through the night and we got home at 7 am. I'm a trooper!

July 29, I turned 23 years old. I was treated to my favorite restaurant, Olive Garden, and spent the evening with him and his parent's scarfing on confetti cake. Look at those legs.. I was so fit back then! This is probably the first "fashion" shot of me, even though I didn't intend for it to be!

During coast guard festival (our town turns into the craziest tourist town ever!), Tall Ships played their last show with Peter as their guitarist. It was at the fire barn right downtown. It was a pretty good show.. and we spent it with friends. Friends stayed all weekend for the festival. Peter left Tall Ships to head to grad school in Cincinnati.


We grilled out for friends on the day of the coast guard parade. We all watched the parade in the rain (well some of us) and then saw a movie during the day.. and grilled out in the evening before all walking down to the fireworks. I love coast guard festival. Way too many people, but it is really a fun part of summer.

Our good friend, Jeremy, has an aunt who had a cottage up in Shelby, so we decided to go spend an evening there. The cottage was gorgeous and right on Lake Michigan. We got there, but the summer had gone away and it was pretty much cold and rainy, but we stayed inside talking, cooking and sleeping. It was really a good way to say goodbye to summer.. with good friends.

We raised a butterfly, Dill. I had never gone through the process of watching a butterfly emerge from their cocoon until I was 23 years old. Well, we caught Dill at the cottage when he was a caterpillar, watched him crysallis, watched him hatch. It was tearful watching him fly off into the world!


In September, Brett's parent's treated us to the most amazing weekend ever in Mackinaw Island. Well, our first night was in Mackinaw city. We stayed in a lovely hotel right on the lake and walked around the city.. stuffing our faces on ice-cream. Saturday, we took the boat to the island and checked into our adorable bed and breakfast for the weekend. Between the tour of the fort, the ice-cream, the food, the fudge, the bike riding, the graveyards, the caves, the hikes, the naps in our adorable lilac bedroom and the haunted walking tour.. it was one of the best days ever. I'm absolutely in love with the memory of looking back on that trip.

I went to visit Andrea to go to one of her events, IgniteLansing. It was definitely.. a blast. Something I didn't expect at all, but was totally blown away. It was just a bunch of speakers who got 5 minutes to give a presentation and it was fun, and refreshing to be out with people I didn't know and amazing to see Andrea at work with her photography. I loved it. And I loved spending time with her. (This is when I was at my thinnest too.. 113.. I want to get back there!)

Soon after that, autumn began. Leaves started coming down and little did I know that this autumn would be the best autumn yet. I love this time of year.. it's my favorite. I love the colors, the scents, the atmosphere, the events, the amazing things to do. Autumn is definitely the best time of year, especially in Michigan.

One of the most amazing things to happen was ArtPrize in Grand Rapids. It is the largest Art prize in the world.. it's a competition where artists come from all over the world to compete and win the grand prize. There was art all over our city.. and I loved every second of walking around looking at everything. Definitely one of my favorite memories from the year.. is walking around, seeing (and hearing!) Nessie.. and drinking hot apple cider with Brett. Love, love, love. Can't wait for ArtPrize again next year.


Brett and I took our annual autumn Chicago trip. Since Chicago is so close, we go way more than once a year, but we just make it a 100% habit to go in autumn. It's gorgeous. This time, it was absolutely freezing. We went for Brett's 25th birthday to see a few shows for Riot Fest. We got to see Screeching Weasel for the first time.. and it was amazing! I loved it. We stayed at a friend's house, did some shopping, saw some amazing city views and had a blast. I love my time in Chicago. I'm glad we live so close to the greatest city ever.

Grand Rapids Fashion Week was definitely a highlight of my year. I tried to get more girls to join, but it ended up being Andrea, Brenna and I, which was fine by me. I thought more girls in our area liked fashion? C'mon..! Maybe next year I'll have a bigger turn out. We got all dolled up at my apartment, drove out to the show, walked around the boutique area, grabbed dinner downtown, watched the runway show.. and it was so much fun. We went out afterwards to get dessert and drinks.. ultimate girly fun. Loved it. Love these girls.

I was a hair model for Andrea! Well, it was for one of her friend's, but Andrea got some amazing photographs out of it. It was in downtown Muskegon.. and it was interesting. ;) I love the way this photo turned out.

We had our ultimate autumn day. We went to Halloween USA, we picked out pumpkins and binged on caramel apples, we watched halloween movies, listened to halloween music, carved pumpkins, baked seeds and made our apartment so autumny and lovely. Perfect autumn day.

My BFF, Jen, came to visit all the way from Denver, CO! She moved last May with her husband and is now an art teacher.. how amazing is that? Although I miss her to pieces and want her to move home so that we can watch every girly movie and eat too much delicious food together, I'm so proud of her and how amazing she's doing in Denver. She's such an inspiration to go for my dream career someday too. Someday..

Halloween is my favorite! I love it. This halloween we didn't do too much besides go watch Paranormal Activity and go to a hardcore show in downtown Grand Rapids with Peter. We had like.. 3 trick or treaters. I was so highly disappointed. We passed out all of our candy at the show instead. I dressed up as a cat for.. like.. 3 years in a row? I need to come up with something more creative next year.

Brett and I found a really great spot on the beach for photographs. It was very very cold this day.


Brett's parent's got a new kitten, Belle! Well.. it was Belle. Until we found out it was a boy, and now it's Bello. Hahahah. Love this kitten. He.. she.. he.. is adorable. I love him.

We had freak weather in November of 70 degrees. We were in pure shock and there was no way we could sit inside, so we took a trip north to Pentwater. We quickly realized Pentwater is a summer tourist town.. and there was absolutely nothing to do, but we enjoyed the gorgeous weather and the drive back. It felt like summer.. perfect, perfect weather.

Like I said.. freak weather. Me, in November, on the beach, warm, sunshine, gorgeous weather? It's a miracle!

I loved November because of Brett's amazing long hair that he chopped. Booooo.

Brett took, probably my most favorite photo of me ever, in November. Perfect weather.. again.

Of course, November is famous for Thanksgiving, which we spent with 3 families. First, my Dad and his girlfriend. Then we stopped to my Mom's house. Then we went to Brett's parent's house. Never again. Next year it will be 1 family.. and it'll be the family that asks us first. I hate traveling around to 3 families.. it's the worst! But it was a good year. Peter came along too. I stuffed my face.


Our weather has been perfect this year. I mean, summer was a little cold but I can't complain. October was cold, but November was so warm, so I mean.. Michigan really has been blessed this year. Perfect timing.. because December started.. the first snowfall began. It was gorgeous.. but we were pounded! I drove home in a crazy blizzard. I love first snowfalls.

We bought a new car! Brett's Passat had been in the shop for weeks.. things were going wrong left and right with it, so we traded it in and got a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee! We love it. A bit of a gas guzzler, but we love it.

Our December's "michigan adventure" was to Frankenmuth, Michigan. Michigan's little bavaria. Basically Christmastown, USA. Perfect town for December.. and it was a blast. We went to Bronner's.. the largest Christmas store in the world. Walked downtown, shopped around. Ended up at Tony's in Birch Run for the biggest meals ever and it was such a lovely winter day.

I experienced a gorgeous ice sunset right in my very own amazing town. How beautiful. This is the winter that people don't see or appreciate.

We held our 3rd annual Christmas party at our place! Too much food as always, too little people as always, but it was a great time nevertheless. Love our friends.. loved this night.

And last but not least, I celebrated the holidays with my family.. number one, being Brett. I had a rough Christmas Eve.. and the best part about having crappy days is that I get to go home at night and curl up with Brett in bed and he just totally understands without me ever having to say a thing. Even though I rant and rave and complain to him and he just totally gets me. He's the best family I could ever ask for. I love him more than words can say.

I'm not done with 2009 yet though. New Year's Eve is coming up.. and I'm hoping that it's wonderful as always. I'm so excited for 2010. I'll be posting resolutions soon.. and a lot of other new things for the new year! Yay! If you read this entire post, you're a trooper. You deserve a treat.

Living in winterland

We are absolutely in a winter wonderland right now... and I'm loving it. This is the kind of winter that I love. I'm in love with the gorgeous white snow, when it's not so cold and you just appreciate the beauty of it all. I'm still really in love with something one of our friends said a year ago when she visited Michigan. "

There is a freshness that is inescapable. Each time I step outside, it seems to hit me in the face, taking my breath away and leaving me stopped in my tracks to exhale."

I love winter for so many reasons and that is being one of them. Winter forces you to slow down, reevaluate things, it's like a wake up call. It gives you time to think things through. It gives you a few months to hibernate, figure out who you are, what you want, it lets you work hard, it lets you emerge in spring as a whole new person if you wish. It also really makes you appreciate the warm weather you do get. I've lived in winters my whole life and was always so unappreciative.. I'm glad I'm finally coming around this year. It's such a gorgeous thing to experience.

Today, Brett and I picked up our good friends, Kait and Jer, and headed to East Lansing for some shopping. Only went to a couple of stores. Urban Outfitters and American Apparel. UO was having a "take an additional 50% off sale items", so we went to check that out. They actually had quite a few cute things! I got a new skirt for $9.99 and some cut off Levi jean shorts for $4.99. Can't beat that! I can't wait to wear them. I also got a new cardi (not on sale) but still needed another one to get me through winter. At American Apparel, I got a new gray v-neck. Their cloth is too comfy and perfect and I don't have one of their v-necks yet, so I just had to spend the $22 to get it. Oh well. We grabbed lunch at Noodles & Co. and headed back home! We got a new GPS.. and it's so lovely. I used it even when we knew our way home. Hehe!

Now, we're housesitting for Brett's parents. They went to Detroit for a couple of days to visit family. I cleaned out my car, Brett filled my tires, watched Julie & Julia and am now catching up on this so that I can go play Deal or No Deal on Wii with Brett. Hope everyone had a lovely weekend. Back to the daily work grind tomorrow!

Outfit details:

Old Navy jeans
Zenana Outfitters jacket
Scala Classico hat
Jeffrey Campbell boots

Christmas at Mom's

Saturday night was our traditional Christmas at Mom's house. She always has her party the day after Christmas, which works out great with family. I love her and my step-dad, Dave, to pieces. Their party was so much fun. Our entire family showed up.. and we have a huge family. It was really great to see everyone. My mom loved my photo booth idea so much that she decided to do it at her party too. I love the way it turned out. Brett and I got up there to do our photos and everyone was laughing and when we were done, everyone clapped. We're photogenic professionals!

This is me, with my gorgeous mother and sister, Lori. Someday I'm going to dip up some old photos of me and my sister. She's older than I am, but we've been such great friends. I think my Mom had her when she was 19 and had me when she was 35. Quite a difference, but you'd never tell when we get to see each other.

My mom's tree was adorable. I had to get a snapshot of her lights because it completely reminded me of something that Delightfully Tacky would have on her tree!

What a super fun night. We even got our first wedding photography gig! It's for family, for my cousin, Tina, but it's a start! It's not until next October, so we're going to get another (better) Nikon and a few more lenses. I'm also going to order a few more photography Photoshop actions. It'll be super exciting. Brett and I don't do much on the weekends anyway and if we could earn a few by doing weddings or senior portraits, why not?! I'm super excited. We're going to try to do an LLC freelance business after I graduate, called D&D Design. How great would that be?