My 26th year was my most pivotal yet. And not in the way that people say that each year was more than the last, but in the way that it was the most pivotal ever, by a long shot.

My relationships have vastly changed since last August. I went from being in a very serious 7 year relationship to being single. It’s been an adventure, but I’ve learned more about myself that I thought possible. And I’ve never felt stronger than when I made that decision to choose my happiness, not what was easiest. Unfortunately, a distance has come between my two best friends and myself, which is something I’ve struggled with the last few months. We’re at different places in our lives, with different priorities, but it’s still been very difficult. Thankfully, at the same time, I’ve rekindled old friendships and started new ones  with some awesome ladies who are constantly reminding me not to sell myself short in any type of relationship, and share a lot of the same values as me.


I spent a lot of time focusing on those closest to me, my family, and made trips all across the country to spend time with them, and was fortunate to have many visitors as well. I’ll never be able to understand how I was blessed with so many amazing people to call my fam.


I also learned a great deal about making tough decisions and dealing with the consequences. Saying goodbye to Lily was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I picked her up at 8 weeks, took her out to the bathroom in the middle of the night (multiple times per night), got Pepto BIsmal pink all over myself, her and the kitchen floor when she was sick, took her to the vet and loved her with all my heart. All of these were parts of puppy ownership that I struggled through, at times by myself. I still miss her every day, but am proud of how I’ve not dwelled on the unfairness of it all.


I’ve learned something about my own level of self respect, and what I will and won’t take from another person. Knowing when to say enough is enough is important and something that will help me in many situations in the years to come.

For my future, I also made some big decisions. I bought an awesome house that will be a great spot for entertaining and living the next few years of my life. I also committed to working 3 nights at my second job, ensuring that I can live the lifestyle I want to live, despite my public school salary. And I’ve embraced the belief that experiences are more important than possessions and made an effort to focus my time on seeing and doing as much as possible.

Armed with this year’s experiences and lessons, I see myself being even stronger and more secure as I turn 27. And I’m excited to celebrate today how much I’ve grown up.


The Last, Oh, 4 Months?

Someone has been a bit behind on the whole blogging front, but a lot has been happening, so here is a handy lil catch up on things around here.

IMG_1072Christmas was nice as usual, and included visits from family and friends, a fun night out downtown and all of our traditions that make the season so special.


New Year’s Eve was spent with good friends at a hotel party in Denver. And reiterated my belief that getting ready with the girls is usually more fun than the actual event.



In mid-January my mom and I went to Vegas for her surprise Christmas gift. Our main event was seeing the Rod Stewart concert at Caesar’s, which was amazing, but we also fit in shopping and a lot of chatting over food and drinks. It was too cold to do our usual Vegas activity, the pool, but it just means we’ll have to go back soon!



In February my cousin Mary and I went on our annual trip to visit our cousin Dan. We had a great time in Winston-Salem, NC and got to see Wake win and spend a lot of time together.



Over President’s Day weekend I went back to LA for a sorority sister’s wedding and to see some friends. It was a great trip. I got to catch up with a lot of people I haven’t seen recently, ate at most of my favorite restaurants and even got to have a little beach time.




In March Megan came for a visit and we spent the weekend in Steamboat Springs. Great skiing and a really fun town.

Minimalist Centerpieces

I’m a total wedding fanatic, though I don’t think I’ve posted much on the subject in the past. I don’t believe there is one aspect of a wedding (cake, food, DJ, decor, etc.) that makes a wedding, but floral design is definitely very important. And with flowers I’ve always believed more is more.

Until I went to a wedding in May.

This wedding was at one of the most beautiful venues I’ve been to, the Sanctuary. With sweeping mountain views, greenery everywhere and distant city lights after dark, it’s an absolutely stunning location. It took until I was sitting at the table during dinner and I was able to see the guests across from me that I realized the centerpieces were a single rose in a basic glass vase. And it was beautiful! And smart. Rather than putting giant, elaborate centerpieces up, the couple let the venue and it’s huge windows speak for itself.

Unfortunately I didn’t think to snap a pic of the centerpieces at this wedding, but here are some other similar looks that will let the view shine.

Images via: dighomedesignAllen Woodsdelisheasy wedding centerpieces


Well hello there! How have you been?

I apologize for my little 2 week blogging hiatus. I didn’t plan it, but it happened anyway. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

North Carolina trip

The weekend of July 20th I ventured to North Carolina for the wedding of one of my best childhood friends. Her family lived a few streets over from mine for a few years during elementary school, and our whole families were close with one another. After they moved to the east coast, I visited a few times and they came back to Colorado a few times, but I hadn’t seen them since 2007. I was obviously excited about the weekend, but didn’t have much time to think about it or my expectations. Sometimes, I find that’s for the best, because the weekend ended up being absolutely amazing. I was able to catch up with the bride at the rehearsal dinner (usually unheard of during a wedding weekend), spend time with my bff Kevin (the bride’s brother) and meet a bunch of fun new people.

Early birthday gift

I received my first birthday gift earlier this week from my parents, a DSLR camera. I’ve been wanting one for a few months now, mostly to take better travel pictures and upgrade the blog a bit. I got the Rebel T3i and an extra lens, which will be a good start according to a photographer friend I consulted when making my wish list. I tested it out this weekend at my friend’s family’s ranch, which has lots of beautiful scenery. I definitely need to take a class or spend some time working on my shots but it was a lot of fun.


I don’t think I’ve written much about my job, which I got back in May , but I am still loving it. One of the best perks about it are the summer hours, which include 1/2 day Fridays, Mondays off and the week of the 4th of July off, all in addition to regular PTO. Well, our ‘busy season’ started on August 1, so it’s really ramping up!  It will be weird to get back to a 40 hour work week (I haven’t worked one since February of 2011), but I’m not dreading it, which I feel blessed about.

Cake Ball Secrets

Cake balls are one of my favorite desserts. Ever since I sampled them at a party a few years ago, I’ve been on a quest for the perfect recipe and the best way to make them. Mine usually taste delicious but their presentation leaves something to be desired. Below are what I wish my cake balls looked like. These were made by Luke’s sister Katy, who is basically a professional baker, for her son Ove’s birthday.


I decided to give them another try for Mother’s Day, and I’m happy to say that I found my cake ball sweet spot: I finally worked out all of the kinks. Here are a few tips:

– Bake them in stages. This time, I made them over the course of two days, I baked the cake, mixed the frosting in and put them in the fridge to chill on Saturday, and on Sunday I dipped and decorated them.

– Add a teaspoon of Crisco to the melting chocolate. This makes the consistency much more manageable.

– Use kebab skewers to dip, gently push on to wax paper, and drizzle chocolate over the hole left by the skewer.


Above are some of mine from this weekend! They’re still a work in progress, but look much better in my opinion.

It’s Been Four Years Since…

Four years ago today I graduated from college. I’ve said that to myself a few times in the past few hours, and I still can’t believe it. The time has literally flown by, with lots of great times and exciting events along the way. Here’s a peek at some of the highlights I’ve experienced since graduating!

L to R from top: Trip to Australia, learned to water ski, first 40-hour per week job, visiting Boston (x3), new car, trip to Hawaii, moving (x3)– including half way across the country, Vegas with girlfriends (x2), teaching English in South Korea, seeing good friends get married, political internship, getting a puppy, Caribbean Cruise, moving in with Luke, visiting Mexico (x3), visits from great friends

5 Weekend Highlights

Luke’s mom has been in town visiting us, and we’ve had a great time taking her to our favorite local restaurants and showing her around. On Saturday night I cooked this risotto recipe for the two of them. This is one of the only times I’ve cooked for someone other than Luke and me, so it was fun to get another person’s perspective.

I bought Easter egg colored candles for the candle holder to replace the usual red ones. Loving the look of our place decorated for Easter.

My parents hosted a brunch for my brother’s birthday on Sunday. My mom cooked an unbelievable amount of food and it was delicious. This was his cake.

The weather was absolutely beautiful this weekend, which led to the last two highlights. One was the nice walk I went on with my mom and Luke’s mom along the Highline Canal. The other was sitting on our front patio with cocktails on Friday afternoon.

What St. Patrick’s Day Means to Me

My grandfather was born on March 17, 1920. With those close to me who have passed away, it seems that a day always emerges where they are on my mind the most and where my family celebrates them. My Aunt Jo, for example, who was so full of love, died on Valentine’s Day, which is so fitting because of the kind of woman she was, so we celebrate her on that day.

For my grandfather, this day is his birthday, St. Patrick’s Day. Though his ancestry is German, a little Scotch and a little English, and it was his wife (my grandmother) who was Irish, he one day became convinced he was Irish and lived the lifestyle more fully than I’ve ever seen. A friend of his visited Ireland, and on a walk through a cemetery found a number of headstones with the name “Bury,” his last name, on them. After hearing this and seeing the pictures, my grandfather became the most patriotic Irishmen you’ve ever met. He read countless books by Irish authors and about Irish history, drank Tullamore Dew and even visited Ireland on a two-week trip, despite needing his cane and his declining health.

My grandfather was the sweetest man I’ve ever met, and I miss him every day, but especially today.

Five Weekend Highlights

This was a great weekend filled with relaxation and time with friends.

On Friday, my best friend threw a surprise party for her mom. I was able to connect with some of my friends’ parents and enjoy some fun party games, like pin the tail on the donkey.

On Saturday Luke and I went to lunch at Earl’s, a fun and hip restaurant with delicious sandwiches.

That night, we had the chili I made last weekend and froze, and I made the Sprinkles cupcake mix that Luke’s mom gave us for Valentine’s Day.

Sunday morning I lounged in bed and spent some time reading and reorganizing the blog– which I think looks pretty good.

Last night I had cocktails with the BFF and helped her pack up her closet.

And now the countdown has begun for next weekend to arrive…