Monday, August 29, 2016

Weekend Recap

Another Monday, another start to the week!

This past weekend ended up being pretty low key.  

If you follow me on instagram (emilyanndunham), you saw how my Friday night started - with a yummy cheese spread.  I added some veggies, hummus and olives to my normal mix and it was so good!  I love having all that stuff cut up, too, for some snacking throughout the weekend.

I headed over to my best friend's house for a little catch up Saturday afternoon.  I kept her company while she meal prepped, and attempted to entertain her little baby, too.  By the end of our visit, I think I finally figured out how to keep him happy.  It was definitely a learning experience.  

Finishing my closet clean out was on my to do list this weekend, so I tackled that on Sunday.  I was able to fill another bag of things to go, which always feel like an accomplishment.  I also did a little experimenting in the kitchen with enchiladas.  I just threw together what I already had at home - hopefully they turn out!  If they do, I will definitely share the recipe.

This is a short week for me, because I am taking off Friday, so hopefully it will seem as short as it is!  Happy Monday!

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Linking up with Biana.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday Favorites 8.26.16

Happy Friday!  For some reason Thursday felt a lot like Friday, so this week has been all sorts of confused for me.  I am really glad it is actually Friday today!

1.  New glasses.  I had an eye appointment this week and have been needing new glasses.  I decided to bite the bullet and get a new pair.  Lots of money later - why are glasses sooooo expensive?! - I have a new pair coming my way!  It's been much needed, because the prescription of my current pair is out of date.  It was hard choosing - there were seriously so many options - but I think I found a good pair and can't wait to get them.  They are much lighter than my old ones, which will be really nice, not to mention the lenses will be right so I can see perfectly.

2.  Next week is the start of September which means two things to me right now - 1) fall and 2) the end of my no spend month!  You better believe I have been keeping track of a few key items that have caught my eye this month and plan on making a few purchases once the new month starts. 

3.  This past week I took a little time one day to get my papers at work organized.  I had a bunch of thing stuffed into a little drawer that are now in the appropriate folders.  I also had time to clear out my work email a bit, too.  Still not down to being able to see everything on one screen, but it's a whole lot closer than it was!

4.  Yesterday I didn't want to go to the gym.  I had to do a few things after work and by the time I got home, I just wanted to stay home.  I had printed off this at home workout awhile ago and decided to give it a go.  By the end of it I was sweating and out of breath!  This will definitely be my go-to on those days where I don't want to head to the gym, but still want to get in a quick workout.


Full body workout at home that you can do with only a set of light weights:    

5.  Grandpa's pennies.  My grandpa passed away 4 years ago this past Sunday.  He was such a wonderful man and is very much missed.  After his death, each member of our family began finding pennies in the most random places.  They became our "sign" for him.  Us finding pennies was his way of letting us know that he was still there.  This past weekend at my nephew's birthday party, Jack was opening presents when my sister-in-law found a penny in the pile of presents.  No one put it there, it was just there.  We got a rental car for the trip to Indy and guess what...there was a penny right when you opened the door next to the passenger eat.  The other day I was at the gym, and right in front of my machine was a penny.  I think he knew I needed it at the gym, as it was a hard day back after missing quite a bit the week before.  So to my grandpa - thank you for the pennies.  You always seem to know when we need to little sign. 

Linking up with AndreaAprilKatie and Amanda.    

Thursday, August 25, 2016

16 Questions About Me

When my girl Sarah @ Meet the Shaneyfelts posted this 16 Questions about Me post, I knew I wanted to partake!  As she mentioned, it's always fun to learn more about the person behind the blog!  I have done a few different "about me" posts in the past, but I still love doing them, because you never know - answers from a year ago or even a month ago may have changed!

1.  Are you named after anyone?  My first name, Emily, not really.  It's kind of a funny story.  My great-grandpa's name was Emil and he had a sister named Emiline.  However, my great-grandma wasn't necessarily a fan of her, so when my mom told my great-grandma my name was going to be Emily, she wasn't pleased.  My mom said to just think of it as a nod to Emil.  Not sure if that was sufficient for Grandma BB, but I happen to love my name.  My middle name, Ann, is after my mom - her middle name is Ann, too. 

2.  When was the last time you cried?  Probably Sunday.  I was reading Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand and some parts just really got to me.  Although, I did watch RHONJ Monday and got a little sad when Melania was talking to Joe about him "going to camp."  I used to never cry, but now it happens more and more!

3.  Do you have kids?  No, but hopefully someday! 

4.  Will you ever bungee-jump?  I truly doubt it.  There are times when I think it would be SUCH a neat experience, but that thought lasts only a few seconds til I remember that I am actually kind of scared of heights and thinking of jumping makes my stomach drop.

5.  What's your favorite cereal?  Right now I go between Special K, Honey Nut Cheerios and Honey Nut Chex.  However, I still love my childhood favorites - Frosted Flakes and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.  Yum!

6.  What's the first thing you notice about people?  Probably their shoes.  Not to be judgmental, but just because I always love seeing what other people wear.  Other than that, probably their smile and how friendly they come off.

7.  What is your eye color?  Blue!  My eyes are my favorite feature!

8.  Scary movie or happy endings?  Definitely happy endings.  I actually used to really like scary movies, but then I realized that some of those things can really happen in real life and I get too freaked out now.  It's even to the point where if a scary movie commercial comes on TV, I advert my eyes.  Which is happening more and more - please tell my why Bravo is advertising scary movies?  Does not make sense!

9.  Favorite scents?  Spring/Summer - Endless Weekend from Bath and Body Works, Fall/Winter - Farmers Market and Pumpkin Spice from Yankee Candle, Mistletoe Kisses from 1803 Candles and Smell of Christmas from Aromatique Candles

10.  Summer or winter?  Can I choose fall?  Because that is my favorite.

11.  What's the furthest you've ever been from home?  This is the furthest I have lived away from home, but travel-wise either Hawaii or Punta Cana.

12.  Do you have any special talents?  No!  I wish I did!

13.  Where were you born?  Illinois!

14.  What are you hobbies?  Reading, cooking, shopping, working out, blogging, and of course, spending time with family and friends.

15.  Do you have any pets?  No, but I grew up with cats.  My parents still have one.  She loves my mom, likes my dad, and if I am lucky, when I go home she occasionally will give me a little love, too.  Other times she will hiss at me once, then ignore me.

16.  Favorite movie?  Dirty Dancing!

Thanks for the post idea, Sarah!  If anyone is planning on copying these questions and answering them on your own blog make sure to let me know, I'd love to read and see your answers!

Linking up with Annie.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Jack's First Birthday

Last Wednesday was Jack's first birthday.  To celebrate, my brother and sister in law held a party this past Saturday.  It was mainly family in attendance with a few close friends and SUCH a great time.

My sister in law, Jen, decided to go with a zoo theme for his first birthday.  It was such a cute idea, especially because they frequent the zoo quite often.  My mom took over the decorations, and I have to say, they turned out so cute!  She created a birthday banner, as well as flag banners made from scrapbook paper (plain and zoo-themed) to hang on their bannisters, and around their kitchen.  The balloons didn't come on a weight, so they were tied onto a zebra toy of Jack's which made a cute centerpiece in keeping with the theme.  One of my favorite parts was the food tents.  Everything was zoo-like, with the veggies being bunny food, Cheetos as tiger tails, sandwiches as safari subs and so on.  My sister in law made the cupcakes - how great did they turn out?!  We even had some jungle juice!  Jen got Jack a shirt from the zoo to wear for his party and it was so perfect.  While nothing was over the top, the little touches made the party very festive and fun.  The birthday boy seemed like he had a blast, ripping the wrapping paper open on his presents and digging into the bear cub cupcake.  


















It's hard to believe that little Jack is one - seems like the time has just flown!  I have had so much fun watching him grow and I can't wait to see where he is another year from now!

Linking up with Jenn and Jessi.     

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Road Trippin': St. Louis to Indianapolis

As I mentioned yesterday, I headed to Indy this weekend to celebrate my godson's first birthday!  It's a little over a 4 hour drive from St. Louis, and honestly, it can seem a bit long.  Since we had left late morning, we decided to stop for lunch in Effingham, IL.  Effingham is known for the huge cross that is off the interstate.  I have heard the reasoning behind the large cross is because Effingham is considered the "crossroads of America" because of the interstates.  However, I tend to believe it is more due to Christian reasons, given the ten commandments are surrounding the bottom of the cross in stones.  Either way, Effingham is about half way, so it was the perfect place to stop.  We chose to go with Firefly Grill.  One of my sorority sisters had recommended it, and when I looked on Trip Advisor and Yelp, it was listed as the number one place to go!

We pulled up to the restaurant and it looked so neat from the outside!  Inside was just as great - we were seated on the "porch" area which was enclosed and air conditioned, but had a wall of windows that overlooked a pond with fish.  We were both pretty hungry, so we ordered the hummus app to start and it was so delicious.  The bread was amazing, the hummus had such a good flavor, and I enjoyed topping it all with the mixture of olives and capers.  Yum!  For the main meal, I ordered the steak burger with an egg on top.  To me, adding an egg to a burger just makes it even better.  We were so pleasantly surprised with how delicious our meals were and I can definitely see this becoming a stop when we have extra time.  






Since our lunch took a bit longer than anticipated, we knew our time exploring Indy would be limited / non-existent, so when I saw a road side sign for the World's Largest Rocking Chair, it was pretty much a no brainer to stop.  After getting off at the exit, we realized that not only did this town house the largest rocking chair, but many other "World's Largest" items!  The signage right after the exit wasn't very helpful, but we eventually saw a sign for the World's Largest Golf Tee, so we headed that way.  I am not sure who came up with the idea to make the largest golf tee, but it was pretty large.  We lucked out at the golf course and found a list of all the other items in the town, as well as the locations.  The rocking chair and wind chimes were right across the street from each other, so we decided to check those out.  I don't know what I was expecting with the rocking chair, but holy cow is it huge!  Since we did want to try and get to Indy sooner than later, we ended our tour there, but there were so many other sites to see.  Who knew that Casey, IL would be such a little tourist attraction?








The trip to Indy turned out to be really fun with our impromptu stops!

Linking up with Laura.  

Monday, August 22, 2016

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday!  This weekend was a whirlwind and I feel like I need an extra day to recoup.  What is it about traveling that just wears you out?

My weekend actually started Thursday night since I took Friday off.  We had an early dinner at home, then headed to the movies to see War Dogs.  There was only one other person in the movie, so it was fun to have the theater almost all to ourselves.  I really enjoyed that movie.  I thought it was going to be a comedy, but it really wasn't at all.  Most of the funny parts were shown in the trailer.  However, the story was really good, especially it was based on a true story - something I did not know going in.  It's amazing what these guys did and honestly, how easily they got off in in the end.  Overall a very enjoyable movie with what I thought was an eye-opening message about military contracts.

Friday started off a little later than anticipated, because I wanted to paint my nails - priorities.  We headed to Indy late Friday morning.  The plan was to get to the city, hang out for a little bit, then meet my brother and sister in law for drinks.  We decided to stop at a sit down place for lunch on our way down, and that kind of threw our schedule off, but it turned out being really fun.  Lunch was wonderful and we also stopped at a few roadside attractions.  More on those later this week!  We finally got to Indy, which was hopping, and shortly after getting in we headed out for dinner in Broad Ripple - my brother and sister in law's old stomping grounds from when they were in college.  Dinner was at Union Jack's which was so, so good.  When Matt and Jen got there, we had more drinks and enjoyed watching some of the Olympics together.  We don't often get one-on-one time with each other out, so it was really nice to be able to do that!

Jack's birthday party was Saturday, so after a quick breakfast, we got ready to head to the house.  We arrived shortly after my parents and between everyone there, we got the decorations up and ready to go.  Everything turned out so cute and came together so well.  In order to not make this post massive, the details on that, too, will be shared later this week!  The party was relatively small, with the guests being mostly family, and very close friends.  Jack was a little weary of all the people, but after he really woke up from his nap and had a full belly, he was loving it all!  He even went to town on his chocolate cupcake.  And, I have to say the mower we got him was a huge hit - he was totally into it!  The party pretty much ended when Jack went down for a nap.  The trek back to St. Louis was a little hairy in the beginning with some crazy downpours with limited visibility, but we made it back in one piece, thankfully.





I made a super great treat for breakfast on Sunday, Bacon-Cheddar Straws.  They were SO delicious, and relatively easy to make!  I used spicy mustard on half, and then just plain olive oil on the other - I wasn't real sure how I would like the mustard, but both were equally delicious!  There were quite a few left over, which I am already looking forward to heating up for breakfast this week.  The rest of the day was spent catching up on laundry, making a dent in my DVR, and blogging.  Has anyone else watched Hallmark's new series, Chesapeake Shores?  I watched the first episode and really liked it.  Just another one to add to my ever growing watch list!  It was so nice outside, I was able to sit on my balcony and knock out a few blog posts for the week.  Definitely a productive afternoon!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Linking up with Biana.
   

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday Favorites: Football Edition

TGIF!  This Friday is even sweeter for me, as I have the day off.  Today's favorites are going to be a bit different, because Erin (Love, Fun and Football) is hosting her annual Football link up in preparation of football season!  No sooner did she make the announcement, did I just happen to see a bunch of football party ideas pop up on Pinterest.  With the Rams leaving St. Louis and going to a college with no official football team, I am not real sure who I am going to be rooting for this year.  However, I still love the idea of having a football watching party with friends.  I found a bunch of super cute decoration ideas on Pinterest - now I am itching to have a party!  Below are a few of my favorites.


Cute & simple way to serve snacks at a football party:


Game Time Football Themed Birthday Party + Free Printables via Kara's Party Ideas KarasPartyIdeas.com Cake, recipes, printables, banners, desserts, favors, games and more! #homebowlherocontest #homebowlhero:


DIY Football Party Astroturf Yardline Bunting // Superbowl Party Decor Idea:


Super Bowl Football Party: loe use of the easter grass and little trophy cups for nuts:


Make sure guests don’t forget to hydrate by providing a big cooler of water decorated with a stenciled “water break” sign.:


How cute are all those decorations?  Most of them seem so simple, too!  For tailgating, I highly suggestion checking out both Chesson (Magnolia & Main) and Christina's (Christina Lea Loves) blogs.  During college football season, those girls have the best tailgates.  Since I have never gone tailgating before, it's super fun to read their posts and experience it through them.  Maybe this year I will find myself a new team and do a little tailgating myself.  For a yummy football (or anytime) dip, last year during Erin's link up, I shared my favorite nacho dip -  you can see that here.




Hope you all have the best weekend!


Linking up with AndreaAprilKatie and Amanda.