things that made me happy in 2016

Dec 31, 2016

As we say goodbye to 2016, the year of crazy things happening when we didn't expect it, we reflect on what it was like for us personally in that year. Mine was nothing like I expected, especially moving in with someone new. It's been real 2016, bring it on 2017 we're ready for you.

01.08.16 - our first official date to a Jackals hockey game with his friends, he was nervous to bring me which is adorable considering he is so confident. We went to Friendly's for ice cream and I drew him a picture of himself eating ice cream. It's when it all started.

We spent Valentine's Day together at a Sweetheart Ball in 0 degree weather. We drove to see frozen waterfalls and had lunch at a brewery. We fell in love in two months, we moved in together within months of dating, we fought, we laughed, and had a ton of fun in the last 11 months together. 

I went to six weddings this year, five of my friends weddings and one of his. It was a great year for love. Another friend of mine went to ten weddings, which is crazy because I thought six was a ton, both were a ton. In 2017, we have one wedding and in 2018, we have three! Already!

Liam experienced his first ever pedicure and fell in love with Starbucks soy chai's, our drink of choice. He also fell in love with pedicures and wants them once every few months to make sure his feet are like walking on clouds, as he puts it.

I met my favorite high school band, The Spill Canvas, and went to a concert with two great friends. The best part is that Hal brought her baby girl to the concert and we put sound proof baby ear muffs on. We received a lot of stares but it made it all the more funny, she fell asleep half way through so those things worked!

In May, my little Gabbi had a bachelorette party in Las Vegas and we partied like we were in college all over again. It was exhausting and amazing. We danced and got to see a 50 Cent and Ludacris concert.

In June, my friends here in Upstate New York threw a bachelorette party for our friend T. We drove around in a limo to a bunch of wineries around the lake. It was amazing in the bonding type of way, when you know the friends you've made are perfect for you.

Travel. Not nearly as much as I would normally like to but Liam and I went to Washington DC for my training. I visited Cape Cod before my friend J left for Boston and visited Nashville for the first time.

We started renovating a house and I learned all about construction, renovation, decorating, and so much more that I never thought I would learn. HGTV is our favorite channel. Fixer Upper is my #couplegoals.

I took Liam to his first college football game. Rutgers is terrible but it never stopped me from visiting and going to as many games as I could manage. 

My family was together for Thanksgiving and Liam was able to meet tons of my family. We went to Atlantic City and my dad taught him how to play poker, it was the cutest thing ever- he was so excited to play and win.

We cut down our first Christmas tree and I took my first couples Christmas photo.

This year has been a whirlwind of emotions, new friends, moving in with a boyfriend, renovations, and so many memories. Although this year has been crazy in the world of politics and celebrities, for me it's been pretty great. Last year I ended the year in Seattle with a different boyfriend, we both knew we were splitting up but we decided to go on vacation. When I ended that relationship I whole heartedly intended to spend the year focusing on work and laying low on the dating scale. Liam walked into my life like a whirlwind and we have been enjoying this crazy ride we call us since then.

Cheers to 2016, and a toast to 2017 being an even better one.

Merry Christmas 2016

Dec 25, 2016

Our first Christmas card together and if you ask me, it turned out pretty darn good.
It's unfortunate that you can see the photo clicker in my hand but think it depicted the dogs perfectly. Sebastian is smiling like the goofy dog he is trying to stare at us. Fifa is staring at Sebastian thinking why are you here? Do you know realize we're trying to take a family photo? You shouldn't even be here. She's kind of evil in that way but we love her.

We wish you a very Merry Christmas this year and we're hoping you are spending it with those you love.

Happy holidays from our family to yours!


things that make me happy | 03

Dec 22, 2016

Less then one week until Christmas! Tis' the season to be jolly and gift giving. Giving gifts is my favorite and I am super excited for some of Liam's family's gifts. The photo above is one of the photos we printed and framed for his mom. I love sentimental gifts like these!

Short work week. Only two days and now we're off for the rest of the year to work on finishing up the house!

The end of the work year has been amazing. It feels good to get a big project signed into the books to begin next year. Accomplishments! This rotation has been much better than expected and I can't wait to see what the new year brings.

Liam is getting his wisdom teeth out today, that doesn't make him happy but it makes me happy because he's taking care of it. He will be out of commission for the next few days so no working on the house.

Speaking of the house, we put our second coat of waterlox on the counters and laid almost all of the flooring down. By the end of the year we will be putting our kitchen together!! This also means we can bring Sebastian back upstairs with us and I can't wait for that.

We're looking at new cars, white Subaru Forester to be exact, who knows if we will really get it but we can dream.

Target gift wrap. Seriously the cutest stuff ever. It will consume all of money after Christmas when everything is on sale.

Have a happy week everyone!

7 Planners for 2017

Dec 20, 2016

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 

Do you still use a real planner? What kind of planner do you like using?

When I finally graduated my last Masters degree I thought a planner was no longer needed. We have smart phones, tablets, and Google, to organize everything for us online but apart of me will never let go of writing things down and physically crossing them off of my list. It was about a year after school ended when I realized I loved writinga things down in a physical planner and went out and bought one. I won't lie, there are times I write things on my list that has already been done just so it can be checked off. Please tell me I'm not the only one in this boat. If I could use all of these planners at once, my life would be complete, each one has a little something different that makes it so awesome to use. The current one I am using is from Target because I'm a sucker for paper and Target. It goes from 6/2016 - 6/2017 and I am more of a fan of the full year instead of academic year so it is time for a new planner.

I chose this pretty little thing for next year:

This past year, for at least six months, I used one from Target (#7) and a few years ago I used #2 for about three years. The second planner I found on a trip to Thailand with my parents and it was awesome, but I think the spiral bound will be much easier for me this time around.

Is it weird to be excited for 2017 so I can use my planner? Oh well!

happy birthday fifa

Dec 16, 2016

Eight years old today.
I have had her since she was three months old and have loved her since the day I saw her awkward little face in her pen. It was March of 2009 when, on a whim my college boyfriend and I decided to "look at the dogs" just for fun. Word of advice, it's never just for fun. We walked in and unfortunately, it was a a puppy mill but I don't regret getting her. Next time it will be a shelter or adoption.

We muddled over her name, the guys in his house suggested, and eventually, it came to me like a light bulb! FIFA. I said to them, you guys play FIFA 09 all of the time, we should name her FIFA! And the room was unanimous with a yes because it was super awesome.

She has been with me through all of my late night study sessions, boyfriends, work-and-study life, and so much more. My life would not be the same without her in it and the idea as unconditional love is totally with her. This girl is my favorite ever.

HAPPY 8th BIRTHDAY FIFA. Here's to many more for us.

things that make me happy | 02

Dec 15, 2016

Let's talk about happy things this week in the world of OHS.

Holiday parties galore!
My work holiday party with one group I am with was the best holiday party, ever. Liam went with me and it was great for him to meet all of them and they were excited since they have been following along with our home renovation. Yankee swap gifts included a Potty Piano, 'I shit in the woods' hand sanitizer, alcohol, board games, and a handful of other eclectic items. Great time, great food. Two more parties on Friday.

Cabinets are up as I said last time, but now you can kind of see it. Countertop coming soon and flooring!

Monday morning when I walked to my desk I had this awesome gift basket at my desk saying, do you want to build a... sundae? Our coordinator made one for each of us and it was full of ice cream toppings, cones, bowls, syrups, and scoops! It was the cutest thing ever and a great surprise for a Monday morning.

It's official, Project Life is going to happen in 2017. I bought new 9x12 albums from Studio Calico with their BOGO sale and I'm ready to attempt this through our messy renovation.

We have been out every night this week, it's like we're normal again.

Last full week of work for the rest of the year *YES*

things that make me happy | 01

Dec 11, 2016

Let's talk about happy things this week in the world of OHS.

We have heat in the apartment, finally! Temperatures getting to 20° it is much needed.

Cabinets are in! THIS IS THE BEST NEWS EVER. Not fully functioning yet, but we're on our way!

Receiving Christmas cards from friends all over the country and Save the Dates! Adulting may suck sometimes but it's really not all that bad.

Watching the dogs in the snow together. They were actually playing with each other.

We went Christmas tree shopping with Liam's family this weekend and it was cold and snowy but it felt like Christmas. Except for the snowy roads we couldn't get up, everything was really fun.

I'm pretty sure I decided to scrapbook again in 2017 and that makes my heart happy. It has been a long time since I did it but I would like to go for a small less stressful system when I finally get all of my things out of storage.

Enjoy one of the last few weeks of 2016!

a bit about the seriesIn previous blog world, I would do snippets that would capture snippets of my life in photography. As time has gone by, I realize my photo taking isn't nearly as often as it used to be and when I found Kelsey, Especially's series on this, it fit my life so much better. An update on life without needing a photo to fill it all.

our first christmas

Dec 9, 2016

This year is our first Christmas together!
We met last year around this time when I was running a holiday gift drive for a family in need in our local community. Liam came to my office to pick up a gift tag and we started to chat. We met a few months earlier at a Happy Hour but this time was when he asked for my phone number. So this is our first official Christmas together, hooray.

It's hard to believe it has been a year, but what an exciting year it has been for us both.
The Sunday after Thanksgiving we went to pick out our Christmas tree. It was a cold cold day but it didn't take us too long to pick it out, probably due to the cold we decided not to be too picky. This is my third real Christmas tree, my parents have always had a fake one and when I finally left for good, I decided a real tree was going to be my thing.

We named her Beatrice, or Beaty for short. She's tall, round, and full of life. She also has an antenna because I haven't found a star or topper that has caught my eye. Picking out and cutting down trees is so fun, maybe not for the person who has to lay on the ground and actually cut the tree but for me it's fun! Sorry Liam. Our decorations in the house are at a minimum considering the house is a little disorganized and not done but at least we have a tree!

16 days until Christmas!

moving along: kitchen

Dec 5, 2016

It has been almost a month since we last updated about how we were doing on the kitchen and it has been a steady progression. Those fixer upper shows never show you how difficult it is to plan and get over those hurdles. I understand now why people outsource and hire contractors to mud and sand drywall- it's the worst.

We decided this past weekend we would take the time to really prep and get a lot done. And guess what? We did! Liam was putting mud on the walls all last week to prep for sanding, which by the way is THE WORST. Like really the worst part about renovating is the sanding and how much dust it creates. We were smart and responsible this time, we had respirators so we wouldn't be breathing in the dust and put Fifa downstairs with his dad so she wouldn't be exposed. The masks were on point! I could breathe! Liam still needs goggles, but he's stubborn.

Thanks orbital sander for helping us out. Friday night we started around 9pm and finished around 3am, exhausted. I followed him around vacuuming with the ShopVac to try and save us from some of the dust.

Saturday, we primed the walls. Sunday we did a second coat in the morning and then painted! The ceiling and the walls! You can notice the wall has a different shade of white, we decided not to paint behind the cabinets because it was more work and more paint so we stopped where the cabinets would be. It is SO bright here! The lights bounce light off of these walls and I'm so excited for it to come together. The color we used was Distant Gray by Benjamin Moore but we color matched it with Home Depot's BEHR.

The room is so bright!
I can't wait until we can see some of the cabinetry. We still need to figure out what to do with those beams and what/how to wrap them, also what type of wood and where to get it for our shelves. I need to order the drawer pulls and a shade for the window, with all the big things happening I keep forgetting about all of the finishing touches.

Next weekend we start assembling and mounting the cabinets! I can't wait!! We almost have a kitchen guys and I can't wait to finally cook in it. No more bagels and cereal for dinner! But thanks to all of our friends who feed us and let us use their kitchens as our own :)

photo shoot

Nov 14, 2016

We decided this weekend was the perfect weekend to take some photos for a potential Christmas card. I have been doing cards for the last two years with Fifa and have loved the reaction I have gotten from friends. This year is a potential to add a boyfriend to the mix, risky risky! It has been a running joke with friends that you shouldn't add significant others until engagement or marriage. I guess you will have to wait and see if Liam made the cut!

If you did not receive a card the last two years (sorry, let me know about this year and we can try to squeeze you in) here they are:



These were some outtakes from our photoshoot, we had a ton of fun.
We laughed, a lot. It brought him to tears. The dogs were barely cooperative, more interested in rolling in the grass or peeing on something on the trail. It's so difficult for me to choose a card when I'm on Tiny Prints but their cards are my favorite!

If anyone has thought about doing a Christmas card but felt like it was only for people with families- it's not! I think anyone can send them, it's not only for couples with children because I love getting cards from friends with or without kids. I love pets, I love friends, and I love snail mail.

warming up the kitchen

Nov 12, 2016

It's hard to believe we're almost there! Almost there meaning we almost have walls up in the kitchen, not having a fully functioning kitchen; don't get too excited everyone. Liam keeps reassuring me that it's going to look beautiful, I know it will but sometimes it gets hard living without a kitchen! Two and a half months with only a microwave and a toaster oven, I can't wait. Can you say cereal and pizza rolls for dinner? We will not be going out to eat for a long time when this is all completed.

We put up insulation in the floor, walls, and ceiling to keep us warm and cozy in this fluctuating Fall. Seventy degrees one day, 27 the next.

See that beam? It's for looks, no real structural need for it. If you look below, we have another one that actually is helping to hold up some of the floor joists. It was not a load bearing wall but we did it as an extra for peace of mind, so then we mirrored it on the other side. We will wrap that in some nice wood and stain it. It should look like these awesome wood beams!

We insulated by the bathroom wall here and closed off that window where it used to be apart of the bathroom. Lots and lots of insulation in order to keep that heat in during these crazy New York winters, I am hoping my second NY winter is as easy as my first. I don't think I will get that lucky again.

Now, the stairs!
It's so open! We are deciding on stair rails for the space and yes, it can lead to heating the downstairs and upstairs but it is so much more open. It looks so much better than before when it was an awkward door leading who knows where. We have made it more practical and better on the eyes!

This is what it was before:

We are in the process of putting up the drywall right now, by the end of the weekend we should have mud up! It will take time to dry so during the week the mudding and sanding process can begin! We are moving along quite nicely with a timeline of December. The next two weekends we will be in NJ for a Rutgers vs. Penn State game and Thanksgiving! YAY!

planning the kitchen

Oct 30, 2016

I felt like Joanna Gaines when we were planning the layouts of our house, except I didn't have the fancy 3D layouts she did. I had Excel, of course not to scale but that's not the point. Above shows the layout of our bathroom and kitchen before we started demo in September. It was a small kitchen that was engulfed in metal cabinets and the bathroom was bigger than what we needed.

Most of the planning has been on our toes planning. We tear down a wall and think "hey! we should do this instead! We planned made the bathroom smaller so the kitchen could be wider, we removed the hallway closet that was never used, and tore down the wall to the third floor to create a more open space. The bathroom off of the kitchen isn't the ideal but with what we have right now, it works and it's so pretty!

Now this showcases what we have planned for our kitchen:
It's a little bit bigger AND it has a place for us to eat at the IKEA island that I have wanted for so long! We will be using the bar stools I bought for my old apartment, which is great because it will be able to slide underneath when we're not using it. I bought two hanging globes to sit over it for extra lighting and we added five recessed lights around the ceiling. One sconce will sit over the farm house double-bay sink. All of the cabinets are pull drawers so that we are able to see everything inside them.

The fridge will be new and we moved the stove to the opposite wall. The microwave is recessed into a cabinet next to the fridge, hopefully it will also be white but clean looking! In order to save money we opted out of upper cabinets and decided to do all open shelving. It keeps it more open and clean, as well as allowing for less clutter.

As for the end of this weekend, we ripped up the remaining subfloor and put some new stuff down. Liam wired all of the recessed lighting and I was so excited! I made sure to FaceTime my mom to show her, that's how excited I was to see it! This kitchen is going to be beautiful and I can't wait to show it all to you! Have a good Sunday night everyone, I will be plopped in front of the TV watching my Cowboys!

kitchen mood board

Oct 21, 2016

Painted Post Kitchen

We have been on a short break from getting the kitchen redone, six weeks to do the bathroom and move took a lot of energy from us both, but since it was critical to us living there, we pushed ourselves. Now, as much as I love cooking and a great kitchen, we both needed a break. So the past couple of nights Liam has been catching up on school, we've gotten to sit down and watch TV on the couch together, and go to sleep between the normal hours of 10pm-12am.

The past few nights we have been trying to figure out what we want in the kitchen and what we don't want. We, of course, have a differing of opinions but I let him have his bronze everything in the bathroom so now it's my turn (although there were bronze drawer pulls at Lowe's I liked, oops). We created a mood board for the bathroom, so we had to do one for the kitchen! All of the kitchen cabinets, countertop, sink, and faucet have been picked up from IKEA, Sheila helped us with that trip and all of those boxes have been patiently waiting in the storage unit. This gives you an idea of the direction we plan on going towards.

The kitchen isn't huge, we gained some space by moving the bathroom wall over to make the kitchen large, something that worked in my favor! We are going with a very bright white kitchen, a lot of what is on my Pinterest board. I love the modern look of open wood shelves, white cabinets, and butcher block counter tops. It has been my dream kitchen to do butcher block with a subway tile backsplash. Liam has some experience with laying the LVT so this will be another experience! We made sure last night that I had the ability to reach the cabinets, but we are still disagreeing on the where and type of some of the shelving. Most of our appliances are white, if we could have gotten them stainless, I would have but it was not in the budget and we already had white appliances.

Decent sized kitchen island with stool so we have somewhere to eat and Liam can still do homework while I cook us up something nice! Hanging globe lights with recessed lighting and hopefully a chalkboard menu so I can see what we want for the week :) Let's hope this kitchen looks as good as it does in my head!

Have a great weekend everyone!

we built a bathroom

Oct 10, 2016

Guys! I know you have been waiting for this moment for a long time because guess what? I have been waiting a longer more painful time for it to come together. Are we finished? Not quite yet, but we have a working toilet, bathtub, lights!

Our appliances arrived on Friday, unfortunately (but actually fortunate) there was no stacking kit for the washer-dryer so we could not bring it upstairs. This turned out to be okay since we were not really ready for it yet with no floor trim and no caulk on the tile. I was really hoping for a completed bathroom but I will take the working toilet, we can wake up in the middle of the night and not have to walk outside to his dad's apartment to use the bathroom. Also, if I had to go, it meant he had to wake up because I was not going downstairs alone at 2am! He loves me.

Now the walls, the walls [enter heart emoji face].
Liam was a bit skeptical on my color choice since it sounded dark. Black Pepper, but I was pretty confident that it would look great... and it does! It's so crisp and beautiful, we have beautiful walls in our new bathroom. Look at it, see how pretty they look.

Okay, so there's the walls, let's move on to the floors [enter double heart emoji face].
It is sooooooo pretty! You know it's pretty when someone mistakes it for real ceramic marble tile. Liam's stepdad came to check out everything when we were about to install the tile he said we could not use the hole saw because it would crack the tile! Surprised? It's luxury vinyl tile! It's grout-able and so so nice looking. We are stoked with how it came out and could not be happier with the choice we made.

Can you guys believe how much we have accomplished in five weeks? This makes me so happy! It almost makes up for how terrible Rutgers did this past weekend, it definitely makes it worth me not driving home to see us get demolished. Well, we're close and we're so happy. Liam installed LVT and a door for the first time this weekend so he's patting himself on the back. I built our TV stand and we now have cable so I can go back to watching football and my dream induced HGTV.

As you can see below, we are almost at our finished product. The empty space by the window is where the washer and dryer will go and we have to think about some storage next to the window for various laundry-bathroom items. How pretty does that floor look with grout in it? SO PRETTY. Oh yes, funny story: that hole for the dryer vent? Liam had updated it yesterday because I told him I was hearing noises in the bathroom (I was scared to go in there) and he thought I was crazy (still does). But when I heard it again he went into the bathroom and a bird as trying to get into the house! So he changed the vent trap, now it won't happen, phew!

I showered at my own place this morning! HOORAY! We need to hang the mirror, add a wall heater, update the light fixture, and reconfigure the plumbing to the vanity. We can't use the vanity yet, but that isn't as critical as the toilet and shower. The Project Manager last night wanted nothing to do with helping out.

Have a great week everyone!

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