Friday, January 28, 2011

A little late getting into the "new" year, part II

So if you stopped by yesterday, you read my reflection on my 2010 new year resolutions (if you made it all the way to the end...).  Today I am going to pick up where I left off and share with you my resolutions for 2011 and the word that sums them all up.  Again, I decided to leave out the things that I would probably end up doing, resolution or not.  Some examples of those from last year are: learn to sew, get a new sewing machine, visit 3 different states.  These are things that I love and would need no push to do them, so obviously I was struggling with what a good resolution is when I made mine for 2010.  Okay, I'll stop blabbing now and tell you what I've got:

 {"Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” - Matthew 4:4}
1. Be consistent in spending time with the Lord.  A great and practical way to do this is to make sure that I do my BSF studies on a daily basis as opposed to realizing that it's already Sunday and doing 2 a day.  God should get my bests and my firsts - not my lasts.  This should be a priority!

{All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. - 2 Timothy 3:16-17}
2. Memorize scripture on a weekly basis.  This was an important resolution that easily got thrown under the bus from last year - I am determined to not let it slip between the cracks this year.  I have a topical memory verse system that I got when I was living in Lexington and studying the Word with Frankie (one of my favorite people ever - my Bible Study leader and Lexington Mom).  Stephen and I are going to do this together - this will help to hold me more accountable.

{"Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple." - 1 Corinthians 3:16-17}
3. Be healthy.  I'm not going to make lofty plans to become a runner and to be able to run "x" amount of miles each time I go to the gym because I've found that I'm a VERY mental exerciser.  If I make a goal to run "x" amount of miles when I go to the gym, and then I go to the gym and I don't run that amount I feel like a failure and defeated and then I stop going to the gym (look at me: exhibit A).  So I'm just making a resolution to work out 2-3 times a week.  That may be a long walk, that may be a run, that may be an exercise ball in my family room.  I just need to work out.

{"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength." - Philippians 4:11-13}
4. Stephen and I stick to a budget when it comes to our expenses. Two things happen to our money before it even makes it into the budget: we give it back to God (it's really His money) and then we put some away into savings before it hits our budget books.  Even though we have a budget, we like to challenge ourselves to not spend all the money that we've allocated in our budget (all you Dave Ramsey fan out there are judging me right now...).  The only way we can do this is if we actually keep up with putting our receipts into our budget spreadsheet in a timely fashion.  Otherwise, we won't know how much we've spent!  Last year we were in a bad habit of putting our receipts in like a month late and while we didn't overspend, I'm sure we could've saved even more by being aware of how much we were spending when we were spending it.  This year, we are going to put our receipts into our budget on a weekly basis.

So that's that!  Those are my 4 major resolutions for the 2011 year.  The word that sums up all of these resolutions, and that says what I want to be better at this year is disciplined.  I want to be disciplined in doing things that I know are the best for me and will make me a better person.  I want to be disciplined at doing the small things: going to bed at a decent time, not wasting time on the computer or watching television, flossing my teeth, you get the drift.  I also want to be disciplined at doing the more important things like spending time reading the Bible and in prayer.  So, this year, I am working on becoming more disciplined.

 "My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline,
   and do not resent his rebuke,
because the LORD disciplines those he loves,
   as a father the son he delights in."
Proverbs 3:11-13

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A little late getting to the "new" year...

I’m super behind with sharing my resolutions for this year, sorry!  It took me forever to make myself sit down and type them out and as a result, I’m not actually starting them until more like the end of January instead of the beginning of the year.  My bad.  After I reflected on my past year and looked at the New Year ahead of me, I felt so proud of myself for getting that far.  Unfortunately, the most important step – the implementation of these resolutions have been put off.  I’m finally biting the bullet, sitting down and making these resolutions much more official by posting them on my blog for the world to see.  Here ‘ya go world!

First let’s start by reviewing my resolutions for 2010…we’re going to start backwards and work our way up…
8. Visit at least 3 different states besides Illinois and Kentucky. 
-I succeeded with this resolution by visiting Tennessee, New York, Virginia, Alaska, Washington, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania – shoo!
7. Fix my sewing machine/get a new one.
-I succeeded with this resolution when my wonderful husband supported my purchase of my *new Brother sewing machine.
6. Learn to sew.
-Check.  I took a sewing class at JoAnns and since then, I’ve been a sewing fanatic.  I can’t seem to get it off my mind and I’m constantly looking for and coming up with new projects that I can try my hand at.
5.  Maintain a 3.0 GPA in grad school.
-This resolution was kept, and at the time it seemed like a really ambitious resolution as I hadn’t started school yet and I didn’t know what to expect.  Getting good grades has simply meant that I stay on top of my work and give my best effort.
4. Complete at least 25 hours of grad school.
-In the year 2010 I got 27 hours of grad classes under my belt, soundly securing my 25 goal.
3. Train to run; 5 miles regularly (2-3 times a week)
-Big. Fat. Fail.  If you’ve perused my “Work-out Diaries” page you can see that I started the year out by really making an effort to become a runner.  I was going strong until about March-April and then I fell off the wagon and haven’t seemed to be able to get back on. Ouch.
2. Memorize Scripture on a weekly basis.
-This one hurts even more to admit that I also failed at this.  I don’t even think I made it to April in trying to keep this resolution; I just flat-out failed it from early on and then continued to live life without even thinking about it.  It’s incredibly embarrassing/humbling for me to even type that out.
1. Be in the Word daily.
-I would be lying if I told you that every single day, 365 days in 2010 I was in the Word reflecting on God’s truth.  Again, I fell incredibly short at living out this resolution.

What have I learned by going through these resolutions from 2010?  That I was really good at keeping the unimportant, of this world type of resolutions and I fell flat on my face when it came to keeping the resolutions that actually matter in my life.  As a result, my resolutions for 2011 look a bit different than they did for 2010.  I steered clear of making resolutions around things that would be considered fun for me to do (and that I’d probably do with or without a resolution) and I stuck with making resolutions that were much more relevant to my relationship with Christ and my relationship with my husband.  My small group decided to come up with a word to share with each other that summed up what we wanted to work on in this “new” year.  I came up with a word after looking through my resolutions and realizing that they all had a theme.

If you’ve actually read this far, I’m impressed and am blessed that you care so much J.  I’m also sorry to tell you that I’m going to hold off sharing my resolutions until tomorrow as I realize that this post developed a mind of its own somewhere along the way and it’s way out of control now!
To be continued…

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Magnificent Mondays: Magnificent Blogs 48

There are so many different projects going on at Pleasant Home that I can barely stand to figure out which one I want to replicate first!  I wouldn't mind trying my hand at quilting and if I were to ever decide to do it, this blog has some great {smaller} quilting projects to try!

I LOVE this quilted table runner and wouldn't mind testing the waters of quilting with a project like this!

Looking for a cutsie small gift to give to friends for Valentines Day?  Look no further!

I love looking at other people's craft rooms as inspiration and excitement for my craft room to come in the future.  Check out this awesome, creative space!

Go check out Pleasant Home and let me know how it inspires you!
Happy Blogging!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Helping me get through winter...

I was hanging out over at Leigh Ashley's blog earlier today and she inspired me to share with you some of the things that I'm loving right now.  I was sitting here trying to think of what I use the most of and what I'm really enjoying at this moment and I couldn't help but keep the fact that it's wintertime here in the Windy City and tomorrow's high is 10 degrees - yes, 10 degrees!!!  So, keep that in the forefront of your mind when you're checking out a few of my favorite things!

{1} Tim Keller's book: The Reason for God in which he discusses and looks at in depth different ideas and doubts that people have surrounding religion.  It's a great book, although it might make your brain hurt a little bit (maybe I'm showing too much of my ignorance with that statement) :).

{2} White Citrus lotion from Bath and Bodyworks...mmmmmmmmmmmm!!!  I got this lotion unintentionally when I had a coupon that enabled me to get a free signature item of my choice.  If you know me, you might already know that I have somewhat of a lotion collection and I really don't need anymore.  However, I was in BBW purchasing some smell goods for our apartment and I couldn't let this coupon go to waste so I picked a lotion based on the fact that I love the way the room freshener smells like in this scent.  Let me tell you, I've almost used half the bottle already because I love the way it smells - so clean and so fresh!

{3} Can I get a "WOO-WOO" for some menthol action happening on my chapped lips?!  A big shout-out goes to my boys at Blistex for helping keep my lips healthy even though it's so dang cold outside!

{4} Did you forget that it's cold where I live?  How could I survive without the warmth of my North Face?  This is a staple - I wear it daily.  

What about you?  What are some things that you're loving right now???

Strange Addictions

Ummm...have you guys seen this show on TLC?  Stephen left on Tuesday for New York and so I've been home alone since then.  Whenever he's not here I tend to watch more television at night than I would normally, mostly for noise but also because there's no one here to hang out with or eat dinner with (do you feel sorry for me yet?).  I've seen previews for TLC's new show, "Strange Addictions" before but I had never actually seen an episode...not until tonight.  Tonight I watched an episode where a girl was addicted to wearing an animal costume (commonly known as Furry Fandom - apparently it's a real thing and if you google it you'll be able to read all about it) and a woman who is addicted to eating the cushions in her couch.  I was so perplexed by these addictions that I caught myself waiting to watch the following episode on the lady who is addicted to eating a "household cleanser" (looked like Comet to me) and the girl who is addicted to tanning (she goes to 3 different tanning salons a day for 20 minutes each for a grand total of 60 minutes 7 days a week).  I did see the preview for next week's episode on the man who calls his Real Doll (apparently this is a real thing also) his "partner"...I'm just curious as to where TLC finds such strange addictions (hence the name of the show)???
Obviously these people have real issues that have led them to their addictions such as abuse or family deaths, but still, it blows my mind that anyone would ever even think to eat the cushions of their couches or the bathtub cleaner.

After watching this show I was trying to think of some "addictions" that I had and while mine are nothing as intriguing as what TLC is looking for, they are random.  I wouldn't necessarily say that I'm "addicted" to this, but I do have an issue with my shoes and socks.  For some reason, once I've put my socks and shoes on for the day, I do not like taking them off and putting them back on, and I especially dislike walking around in my socked feet and then putting my shoes back on.  There's something about the stretched out fabric all bunching in my shoes that I can't stand.  I like putting on clean, new socks because they form to my feet perfectly without any bunches (WEIRD-O!) Because of this, I tend to keep my shoes on all the time, which is especially annoying in the wintertime when my shoes are constantly wet (making me have to take them off every time I come in the apartment).  When I was in college, I would take naps with my shoes on and my feet hanging off the bed.  I know this is no "I'm addicted to climbing in my fireplace" (I don't know, I was trying to think of something random that TLC might be looking for), but it is somewhat odd.  Now, I know I'm not the only person with some *strange* habit or dislike; what about you?  Anything weird that you can tell me about yourself to help keep me entertained until Stephen returns and I don't have to rely on TLC to see random addictions?

In other news, the low tomorrow is 1 degree.  You just read that right, I said 1 degree and I'm talking Fahrenheit, not celsius!  I'll let Dwight use his eloquent language to tell you what might happen due to the cold temperatures outside (even though in this clip he's referring to hiding in a snowman, but I couldn't resist)...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Magnificent Mondays: Magnificent Blogs 47

(Let's all pretend like today is Monday just for the sake of my blog post - good thing it's not really Monday, instead you can have a case of the Tuesdays, but not a case of the Mondays! ugggh - shut me up!)

Jen is super duper duper uber organized and her organizational skills are TO-DIE-FOR!  I figured that with a new year usually comes the resolution (of some sort) to get organized and clean up around your house.  If this was one of your new years resolutions, you should head over to i heart organizing to get tips, learn some tricks and very simply be inspired by Jen's awesome organizational skills!

When you have an organized plan for your refrigerator, you know that you've got organizational skills down pat!

Check out Jen's favorite projects from 2010 - seriously, they're amazing!

Looking for some multi-functional storage solutions - Jen's got your answer!  Also, be sure to check out her AWESOME closet office just like the one in Country Living that I blogged about in this post ***SWOON!***

Okay, your turn!  Go find some of the bajillion things at i heart organizing that inspire you and have fun while doing it!

Happy Blogging!
p.s. even though my life was c-R-a-Z-y last week and I missed blogland, I intend on making up for that this week so expect to be seeing more of this crazy lady!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

An Exciting Weekend

Stephen and I ventured back home to Louisville this weekend for exciting and memorable celebrations!  My sister, Melissa got hitched!  She married her looooooooong time :) boyfriend, whom we've kinda already thought of as family, David.  It was really funny whenever Stephen and I would tell people that my sister was getting married they would make comments and ask about it as if it were a traditional, every day kinda wedding - "Are you going to be able to make it to the Rehearsal Dinner?" "Are you a bridesmaid?" "Where's the reception?"  These are normal questions and I don't blame people for asking them, but they obviously don't know my sister.  We always knew she'd get married and we always knew that it would be her type of wedding - "no big deal".  Well, guess what Melissa?  It WAS a big deal and there's nothing you can do about that!  HA! ;).  They had a very short and small (14 others in attendance) wedding performed by my father, the are some pictures of the fun filled day!

 Look at that good-lookin' family!  Someone tell my dad to smile!

oh the stories we could tell....

Do you see that smile on my mom's face?  I don't think anyone was happier - maybe not even Melissa - than my mom! :)

Congratulations Melissa and David!  We couldn't be happier for you! :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The cutest thing I've seen in a long time

My friend Shea sent this to me and it is darn cute!!!

Homemade Holidays 2010, Part 2

Good Morning!  Today is an eaaaaarrrrrly morning for me as I start my first day of spring semester today and I gotta get those hours in on my assistantship so that I can hopefully keep from having to go in to work on Friday...we'll see how that goes!

This Christmas was the year of pillows!  I made pillow galore!  I made pillows for sisters and friends - lots and lots of pillows!  Actually, it was a total of 7 pillows - shew!  Luckily for me, my sweet friend, Amanda came over one day to help me show those pillows who was boss!!!
(please forgive the next few photos as they were taken on my phone...)
I made a lot of these fun pillows that had a flannel front with 3 flannel flowers sewn along the side...

And then you might remember when I blogged about these button monogram pillows that I made for my in-laws.  The pillows were a BIG hit!  Too bad I can't make pillows every year!


I first saw a tutorial for salt-dough ornaments here and I loved them.  And then Darby blogged about them and so I knew I was onto something good :).  I decided to make the snowmen head salt-dough ornaments and use them as gift tags on our gifts this year.

Here are some pictures to show their production progression:

Super easy and a big hit among all recipients - they probably didn't want to hurt my feelings ;).

Monday, January 10, 2011

Magnificent Mondays: Magnificent Blogs 46

If you've been checking out my Magnificent Monday blogs for some time now, you might remember week 18 when I featured Infarrantly Creative as a Magnificent Blog.  I stumbled upon that blog and got lost in all the ideas that were there to be found and imitated.  Once the creator of Infarrantly Creative, Beckie, just recently started her second blog, which is AWESOME!!!: Knock Off Decor.
This amazing blog is a place where "imitation is the best form of flattery" and you can find projects that were inspired from the high dollar designs: Pottery Barn, Ballard Designs, Anthropologie, etc.  This blog is a collection of these great imitation pieces that will inspire you to create your own top dollar design on a much smaller budget.

Check out this great lampshade project that was inspired by PB Teen.

Be inspired by this cafe shelving that is imitating Ballard Designs.

Talk about one amazing pillow that is a total knock-off of a PB embroidered pillow.

Interested in finding some great projects to bring top design in your house?  Head to Knock Off Decor.  Interested in sharing YOUR great project to help others bring top dollar design to their house? Then head to Knock Off Decor.

Happy Blogging!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Homemade Holidays 2010, Part 1

I have a lot of different projects that I want to share with you, and the best way I know how to do this is to split them up a bit as to not overwhelm either you or myself.  The next couple of posts will highlight some of the projects that I have been feverishly working on for this past Christmas.

If you remember from October, I shared with you that I was super excited to find Italian fabric for Stephen's Sicilian Noni.  I decided to make her a reversible apron for Christmas out of this fabric and it turned out great (obviously my mom helped me!)!  I used a Simplicity pattern, number 2091 - you can more than likely find this pattern at any craft store that sells fabric.
 Here she is translating her apron into English for us :). Even Stephen's dad enjoyed reading the words on the fabric.
 Proud of her Italian heritage and happy with her new apron!
And here is the other side of her reversible apron - she loved it!


The next project that I tackled was one that I found in September.  I had to plan for weeks before Christmas to start on it as it involved growing time.  I decided to plant paperwhites as a gift for Stephen's Nana (his other Grandma) and for some friends.  I was inspired by this post at Young House Love and I followed their tutorial on how to do it.  I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased the glass holders and rocks/marbles (the holders were 50% off and I used a coupon for the rocks/marbles). I ordered my paperwhites from this seller on amazon.  I started planting 2 out of 3 of my pots the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.  I started them straight up, just as the tutorial told me to.  I gave them as gifts the 3rd week in December and they were just getting ready to bloom, as you can see from the pictures.
Paperwhites get really tall, and because of this they take a long time to bloom as they spend most of their early growth time gaining height.  I planted the 3rd pot (for Stephen's Nana) a little late and I decided to try and stunt it's growth.  I had read on the post from Young House Love that this was possible using alcohol (I used rubbing alcohol) and because I started the bulbs for her late, I knew I needed to speed up the process of the bloom.  I figured that if I stunted their growth, they'd bloom faster - it worked.  I followed this tutorial to properly keep Nana's paperwhites from growing really tall.

 Here are the paperwhites that I planted for friends.  They were taller than Nana's and they continued to grow even taller after they bloomed.  The picture on the right shows the start of a bloom.

 Here are Nana's paperwhites.  The stunting technique worked like a charm.  These paperwhites didn't grow as tall and they started to bloom much sooner because of it!  Another thing I noticed with the stunted bulbs is that more growth grew evenly out of each bulb (if that makes any sense).
  This was an EASY and neat gift to give to anyone.  It was inexpensive and different, although it did involve planning time (starting the bulbs in time for them to be close to blooming by the time they are given).  When I do these as a gift again, I am definitely going to stunt their growth as I loved the way the stunted paperwhites looked.

Another thing that I love about paperwhites both to grow and to give as a gift is that they're very low maintenance.  All you have to do is keep their water level (I used a mixture of water and alcohol for the stunted ones) at the very bottom of the bulbs - that's it.  Because they don't require a lot of water, you really only need to give them attention every 3-4 days - ANYONE can grow and care for them!

I hope I've somewhat inspired you to start thinking about what you can make for Christmas, 2011!  More ideas and inspirations to come!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Very Full Christmas!

I returned from New York City eaaarrrrrly Tuesday morning.  Stephen made his arrival on Wednesday evening.  He continued to go into his last day of work for 2010 on Thursday.  He had gotten the week after Christmas off so on Friday we headed on our marathon adventure...
This is the overview of our entire trip - it gets a little detailed in KY but I'll share that later...
Chicago-->Pittsburgh-->Columbus-->Louisville-->Bowling Green-->Louisville-->Lexington
On Friday morning (Christmas Eve) we loaded up our car with TONS of stuff (all our Christmas gifts - ALL of them, laundry and enough clothes to last us 10 days as that is about how many days we'd need to be clothed) and headed to Pittsburgh to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with Stephen's extended family.  We scored with great weather and empty roads on our 9 hour drive to Pittsburgh.
This is us on Christmas Day with Stephen's Nana, sister and her husband.  Unfortunately, this is the only picture I got of us in Pittsburgh.  
On Christmas Day we participated in the 38th annual Corsi Family Christmas Progressive Dinner.  From 3pm-10pm we traveled to 4 different houses to enjoy tons of appetizers, salads, main dishes and desserts as well as quality time with everyone you could imagine in Stephen's extended family.

On Sunday, December 26th we packed up the car, stopped by the Rehabilitation center to visit Nana and then headed off to Columbus, OH to stop and enjoy lunch with Stephen's Aunt Cathy and her husband, Jerry.  This was a 4 hour drive - we're keeping track - we're up to 13 hours so far in the car.  After a wonderful lunch and time with family, we got back in the car and made the 3ish hour drive to Louisville to enjoy Christmas with my family.  Now we're up to 16 hours.

In Louisville we proceeded to torture our dogs with horrible Christmas canine attire...

Here is Rosie the Elf and Patty the Reindeer...

Don't they look just SO happy to be sporting their Christmas Costumes!?!?!

and here is Moses, my sister's Santa.  Unfortunately, Santa doesn't get along with the Elf and the Reindeer as he likes to play and the smaller two snarl at him the entire time so a picture with all three sitting side-by-side will have to be left up to your imagination.  Let me tell you how fun this activity was - we were all belly laughing.  Especially when Moses' head got stuck inside his Santa hat and he proceeded to try and back out of it, only to be unsuccessful because it was actually stuck on his face.  He continued to try and back out of it until he backed into furniture - tears and silent laughs were being enjoyed by all!
Unfortunately, these are the only pictures I have from my family as we seem to struggle with taking pictures together - this has got to change!
We also celebrated Christmas with Stephen's immediate family as Stephen's older brother, Nathan and his family were sick on Christmas and couldn't enjoy Christmas with us in Pittsburgh:

Check out all those gifts under that tree - we had A LOT of fun opening them :)

Here are all the grandchildren (and great grandkids) with Noni.

Once we got to Kentucky, here's what our time looked like:
On Tuesday we traveled 2.5 hours to Bowling Green to visit my Grandma, Aunt and Uncle since we missed out on Christmas with my family when they went on Sunday.  Total time for this trip was 5 hours (to and from).  Add that to our 16 hours so far and we've hit 21 hours we spent in the car. 
On Wednesday, we traveled a little closer to Lexington to spend time with all my friends for the evening.  We enjoyed YUMMY Cheddar's cuisine and then enjoyed time at my old house, the home of my bestie, Doni.  The total time for this trip (to and from) is 2 hours - add that to our 21 and then we're up to 23 hours.  

My Aunt Shirley and Uncle Gene came to Louisville to celebrate Christmas and New Years so this sums up what we did our last couple of days in KY.  We then traveled our 5 hours back to Chicago giving us a grand total of 28 hours of driving.  SERIOUSLY - we drove an entire day and a good nap.  That is NUTS!  But, it was TOTALLY worth it and I'd do it all over if I had the chance!  I loved being able to see so many people in our family and some great friends - I look forward to all our visits with them again soon!

I'm playing "catch-up" with my posts so my New Years Resolutions are soon to come as well as some posts involving handmade Christmas gifts from 2010.  I hope you guys are having a great beginning to your 2011!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

An Adventure to the REALLY Big City!

Stephen was sent to New York City 2 different times in 2010 for a week plus for training and I decided to make the most of it.  His last trip to NYC was for about a week and a half right before Christmas.  Last year, when he was sent, I went with him for a short weekend but found myself a little overwhelmed and lonely as he had to work a lot.  This year, I decided to bring some trouble along with me, and so I invited 3 of my best friends and only 2 could join me (dang it, Donielle!).  So, December 16-20th, Katie, Laura and myself ventured to the Big Apple and we packed a lot of fun into a few days!  It was so fun to be there with them and to see the city all decked out for Christmas.  Below you'll find a chronological list of all the fun we embarked upon as well as some pictures to please your eyes :).

We arrived on Thursday evening and took a cab to our hotel in downtown Manhattan.  There's nothing like walking outside your door and seeing the Statue of Liberty!  We walked around to get food with Stephen because he had not yet eaten dinner.

On Friday morning we were up and at 'em venturing to Central Park, 5th Avenue, and all the streets of shopping that surround that area.  Our good friends Matt and Mandy were also enjoying a trip to NYC so we met up with them for lunch:

After lunch we stuck around that part of the city and hung out at Tiffanys, checked out Dylan's Candy bar as well as went into every ALDO (basically one on every street corner) looking for a pair of brown boots on clearance for me :).  We also made sure we were incredible tourists by checking out the Plaza, Bloomingdales, Saks 5th Avenue and any other well known building in that part of the city.  We hit up St. Patrick's Cathedral, Rockefeller Center to see the tree, went to Times Square and saw Mr. 2011 and then went to Little Italy (which I LOVED) to enjoy a wonderful pasta dinner at La Nonna's.  It was a fun filled day!

Saturday started out with Stephen and I venturing to Chinatown to enjoy some Dim Sum with his manager while Katie and Laura frolicked on their own.  We then met up with them in Soho, walked around that area of town and tried our hands at some bargaining in Chinatown.  After scoring tons of scarves, pashminas, perfumes and coach wallets, we headed over to the Village to enjoy dinner at Jon's Pizzeria per a recommendation from my friend, Jenn.  Unfortunately the line was going out the door at Jon's and so we walked to another restaurant and enjoyed a great dinner and good company.  After dinner we headed over to Magnolia's and enjoyed some cupcakes and banana pudding....YUM!

Sunday came and we started the day off by heading over to Macy's to meet up with my friend from high school and college, Liz.  It was great seeing her; we never get to see each other except for when Stephen's job sends him (and I get to tag along) to NYC but when we're together, it feels as if no time has passed!  We braved the crowd that seems to live at Macys, walked down to Grand Central Station and then enjoyed Rockefeller Center again.  We were able to enjoy church at Redeemer on Sunday night hearing a great Christmas message from Tim Keller.  Needless to say, we were WIPED out by the end of Sunday.

By Monday, we were dragging!  But, that didn't stop us from heading to the Today Show, over to Chelsea to enjoy some yummy New York bagels.  We then caught the subway back to Central Park to see more of the wonderful scenery at the Park as well as the Drake which was the home of John Lennon and the site where he was killed.  We ended our time in New York with a trip back to Chinatown for some more bargaining purchases!

We headed out of town on Monday night.  Unfortunately, Katie and Laura were heading back to Lexington and I was headed to Chicago so we weren't in the same terminals at the airport.  My flight got delayed and I didn't make it home until 2am - fun times!  No matter what time I got home, the trip was completely worth it and TONS of fun!  I am looking forward to the next time I get to go on another Big Apple adventure!!!  And now that I've finished typing out what we did on our trip, I need to go and take a nap! :)