Tag Archives: holidays

last-minute valentine's day gifts

Truly Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Gifts

Although you may no longer have the time to wait for a package in the mail, you can still deliver these thoughtful last-minute Valentine’s Day gifts for the holiday.

Hey guys!  How was your weekend?  Adam and I laid low on Saturday but tried stand-up paddle boarding for the first time yesterday.  We didn’t have a hard time keeping our balance – the boards are much sturdier than than surfboards, which is how I imagined them – but the going is slower than on a kayak.

We don’t have big plans for Valentine’s Day, although I did put the Jet’s ad for their Perfect Couple Combo on our fridge when it arrived, folded and warm, in our Super Bowl order last week.  Can’t wait for our heart-shaped pizza and cheesy bread.

It took me about 50 years to eventually think of a small present for Adam, which is why I put together this ‘truly last-minute’ Valentine’s Day gift guide.  At this point, you may not have time to visit a specialty store or wait for a package in the mail, but you can still have a thoughtful gift ready for your significant other or friend.  Read on for a list of ideas – many of them will work for either gender! Continue reading

Life Lately: Holiday Recap & 2017 Blog Plans

Good morning and happy New Year!  Are you making the most of 2017 so far? 😉  For the first couple of months I’m planning to focus on mapping out my career, as well as this blog, even though I’ve generally lacked the focus and drive to make new year’s resolutions in the past.  Quitting my job without a plan was a great first step, right?

Let’s continue to put that off, though.  Follow the jump for a few photos from the holidays…

suttons bay rental house

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Weekend Recap (MI + 4th of July)

Hello and happy Fourth of July!  I hope you had a fun holiday.  Adam and I spent the long weekend in Michigan with his sister and brother-in-law, who recently moved to a small town about an hour north of where we grew up in the southeast part of the state.  It was low-key and just what I needed after a long week.  Follow the jump for a few photos…

goodrich 2

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Memorial Day Trip to The Carolinas

Growing up, I complained endlessly to my parents about our family vacations (quite the grateful child, I know).  Instead of posting up at Disney World for a week, we would always fly into some random airport – not necessarily in a warm climate – and pick up a rental car.  My dad, who drives like a crazed bat out of hell, would proceed to transport us along whatever route he and my mom had agreed to, hitting many attractions and rarely staying in the same hotel more than two nights in a row.

I informed them that every vacation I took after moving out would involve a tropical resort and little to no educational activity (for some reason, I despise walking through museums more than anything.  It’s like a phobia that’s manifested in hatred instead of fear), but my long-distance relationship already incorporates plenty of time at the beach – Adam lives in southwest Florida.

Saturday at the beach

So, one Memorial Day, we went back on my promise and hit parts of both North and South Carolina in one weekend.  It was fun and inexpensive and the weather was beautiful.  Read on for some highlights in case you live near the East coast and want to plan your own trip…

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Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Gifts

Valentine’s Day makes me cringe.  I don’t think Adam and I have ever spent one together, since our entire relationship has been long-distance – if we have, I probably don’t remember it because we ordered pizza and watched Netflix, which is not exactly a deviation from our normal routine.  But my frivolous nature and love of buying gifts just barely edges out my ambivalence toward the holiday, so I’m still mailing something to Adam.  Follow the jump to see what I picked for him, as well as three more easy gift ideas that work for either gender. Continue reading

Home for the Holidays + WildLights

Highlights and Zoo Lights

Five seconds after walking in the door
Mom: Do you have a washer and dryer at your place?
Me: No. Why?
Mom: Okay, we’ll get that coat cleaned up while you’re home.

Christmas Eve
Poem from my grandmother to my cousin Meredith:
I shall never forget how much you meant to me when you were five,
You made me feel so young and alive.
Now you are mature and have many teenage friends,
Please see me more often before my life ends.

Dad: When I lived in Mexico, any rain would just evaporate before it got halfway to the ground. There are 380 days of sun each year in Mexico.

Cousin Fred: I remember the last time we went to Mass! It was when Super Mario Galaxy came out, which was in 2007.

Last dinner together, Sunday night
Fuzzy gloves and large chip clips were pawned off on the grandkids as stocking stuffers.


Finally, I stopped at the actual zoo for a break on my drive back to Columbus today (it’s located north of the city).  I saw exactly 1 of the 600 species there, but the lights were pretty.

Wildlights 1

Wildlights 2

Wildlights 3

I’m Back!

Well, seems I haven’t made much time to blog over the past month.  The weeks leading up to Black Friday got busy at work, and the holiday season and all that comes with it started right after.

I’ve always struggled to find a balance between having fun and doing serious work, whether it’s related to my day job or writing.  By that I mean I’m kind of uptight and have held myself back from going out with friends or trying something new in order to stay in my room and study or just wait for the next day to come so I could start over.

I didn’t think much about how I missed out until I graduated from Michigan and started working.  There was no epiphany or single event that brought it on; maybe just the realization that I wouldn’t live in the same neighborhood as the people I’d shared the college experience with and come to care about anymore.

Over the last couple years I’ve tried to swing to a healthier balance (okay, I’ve tried most of the time — I’m a textbook introvert!).  In November and December that’s resulted in the neglect of my blog and being one of the only people doing tequila shots at the company holiday party, but ’tis the season, I guess.  I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving, and here are some pictures from the past few weeks:


Girls weekend in Pittsburgh


Detroit the night before Thanksgiving


Bruce J. Whitefoot

Big Bang

Hollister holiday party at The Big Bang

New Years Group Dinner

Christmas dinner with family friends