31 December 2016

Time Passes, Years End [2016 Edition]

I'm such a sucker for end of the year recaps. You can check out the one I did for last year, here.
2015 was a lot different than this year. During the first part of twenty-fifteen I was dealing with a lot of change. I learned how to accept certain things and, as a result, grow as a person.
Honestly, 2015 would have been a complete bullshit year if it wasn't for Alex.

But this year.... This year was all magic, rainbows and unicorns. Alex & I moved in together. We got engaged in March. We went on our first vacation to Savannah together (you can see the video here). My best friend got married too - which is really awesome! And Alex & I had our first real christmas in our own place. Yes, this year has been filled with a lot of happiness, love, and a lot less stress.

As for our sweet, little bunny Olive, her evolving personality has morphed her into a super cuddly creature. It still warms my heart when she bounds into bed next to me just to cuddle for what seems like forever. Or when she puts her little paws on the back of Alex's back and sniffs into his ear. I honestly feel as though she has fully accepted us as her family. I know she feels safe and loved, and it makes me so happy knowing that we can provide that for her.

Aside from all the amazing things that happened this year, my feelings for twenty-sixteen are quite mixed. A lot of heroes passed. Politics took a nose dive and I'm honestly frightened about what twenty-seventeen will hold in terms of that.

But here I am, writing and wanting to focus on all the good things that have happened, on all of the good things to come. Like marrying the man of my dreams.

As for last year's goals, I was pretty successful in achieving them. The goals were: less sugar - more activity, less anxiety - more creativity, less sadness - more love, more acceptance.
This year I'm sticking with one thing: I want to read more. Like I used to. I'd like to read at least 12 books in twenty-seventeen and I'm hoping for even more. We'll see what happens though!

I hope everyone has a happy (and safe) new year! Thanks for joining me on my journey.

What was your favourite thing that happened in 2016? Do you have any goals for 2017?
Let me know in the comments below, so we can discuss!
23 December 2016

Our Christmas Decor 2016 - Vlog Style Video

I have a new vlog, just in time for Christmas!
22 December 2016

Our Christmas Tree [at night]

It was lovely decorating our very own christmas tree this year. There's truly something magical about seeing warm lights on a tree (even if the tree is faux). Lights strung through the branches, special ornaments hung on the limbs. The stockings hung, the christmas bunting, candy canes and presents nestled under the tree. It's something that I cannot seem to get enough of; no matter how many christmases I've experienced.

Every morning I turn on the christmas lights until I leave for work and every evening they remain lit until we go to bed. I love turning the corner and seeing our living room decked in holiday cheer. Honestly, I'm going to be a little heartbroken once christmas is over. Though, you better believe that I'm leaving everything up until after the new year.

If I have time before christmas, I'll post some photos of our tree during the day. That way you can get a better look at the ornaments we have.

Until then, I'll be sitting over here enjoying every second of the holiday spirit that I can. There's only a few more days until christmas and I'm really excited. What about you??
21 December 2016

Backdrop Party

A little over a month... forty five days to be exact. Forty five days until I marry the man of my dreams. I still can't believe it. These past few months have been blurry. Between my sister moving out of the apartment earlier this month, the hustle and bustle of the holidays, and Alex & I settling in to the fact that we finally have our own place together. It's all been one magical blur.

Last Saturday my soon-to-be mother in law asked some of her friends over to help Megan, Jessie, my mom & me make the backdrop for the wedding ceremony. The backdrop consists of dry wax parchment paper circle, cut in half and turned into cones. Which are then strung in a delicate chaos onto yarn.

We had over 2,000 circles and successfully strung all of them. But we need about 1,000 more to completely finish the backdrop. It was a little frustrating to not finish it, but luckily I still have time to. Even if a part of me is starting to get *slightly* stressed. 

But yes, forty five more days and Alex & I will be married. I seriously cannot wait!
20 December 2016

Our Must-Watch Christmas Movies

It's funny, every holiday season (both Halloween and Christmas) I turn into a movie-o-holic. Last week Alex & I watched our first Christmas movie together. A Muppet Christmas Carol... Don't ask me why we chose that one first, but we did. And honestly, I'll always adore that movie. Since then we've watched Home Alone, White Christmas and Scrooged, which are my all-time favourite Christmas movies.

We still have a few more movies on our list to check of:
Christmas Vacation (which we'll probably watch Christmas day with my family)
It's Always Sunny's A Very Sunny Christmas (seriously, the most ridiculous christmas movie ever)
and Krampus (which we haven't seen yet and are hoping that it's amazing)

What are some of your favourite Christmas movies? Let me know in the comments below so we can discuss!
19 December 2016

Our First Annual Gingerbread Competition

Last night Megan & Justin came over for dinner and to partake in a friendly gingerbread competition with Alex & I. It was really fun too. Alex & I actually started at a disadvantage because when we opened our gingerbread house bo we noticed that pieces were broken and somebody had actually bought it, iced pieces of it and returned the damned thing to Target. We were the lucky SECOND owners. I was pretty bummed when we realized this. Either way, Alex & I decided to make the best damn gingerbread house in all the land.
And I think we did pretty good too. I mean, when was the last time you saw a gingerbread house with a drawbridge? ;)
I think next year the four of us or just going to get pre-built ones so we can focus on just decorating. Luckily, Megan brought some extra candy for us to decorate with. That made it even more fun!

After we finished our gingerbread houses, we watched Christmas episodes of Family Guy and played Cards Against Humanity. All in all, it was a very good night filled with friends and holiday festivities.

When was the last time you built a gingerbread house? Was it from scratch, from the store or pre-built? Let me know in the comments below so we can discuss!
14 December 2016

Thirty Two - A Birthday Recap

My birthday this year was pretty awesome. Aside from Alex spoiling me with all my gifts last Thursday, last Friday Alex took me out for dinner at the Ravenous Pig in Winter Park. He also took us to go see the Fixx at the Social in downtown Orlando. They were incredible and fulfilled my 80's music loving heart. On Sunday, my Mom threw me an awesome birthday dinner with my family where we had delicious food and watched Home Alone.
On Monday, I spent the whole day with my two best friends (Megan & Alex). I had lunch complete with a free slice of cherry pie. We also went to an antique store, since I really wanted to find Alex & I a coffee table. Find one we did... We found a 1950's mid-century, wood Lane coffee table for $40!! Now all my furniture dreams have come true. There were also petite fours involved... which is a prerequisite to any good birthday.
10 December 2016

The Pre-Birthday Gift Opening of 2016

Since last year, my family has no protocols when it comes to the rules of gift giving. It's all fast and loose over here... gifts given before birthdays and all of the christmas presents opened on christmas eve. No rules whatsoever. Who would have known that Alex would have fit right in.

Well, as you might know (from my last post) my birthday isn't until next week. Initially there was talk of him letting me open all my gifts on Thursday and not on my actual birthday and I obliged. Even though I'm pretty hard lined when it comes to the rules of gift giving. You open it the day of and that's that. No exceptions!

But on Thursday Alex was SO ANXIOUS to give me my gifts. While I was on the phone with him after work, he told me that he wanted me to open one gift and the rest the next day. I obliged. I opened the gift and next thing I know he had me opening two more.... then by the end of the night all five gifts were opened and I was high from all the excitement.

Needless to say, Alex is the best gift giver ever. He makes me feel so lame when it comes to presents. And my favourite one, is the aqua Chantal teakettle. What's even more cool is the fact that I have been wanting to buy that exact one for myself for the past three weeks and didn't. But here's the kicker - I didn't even tell Alex that I wanted it or was thinking about getting it. He just knew.

Usually I don't like sharing the gifts I get, because the whole materialistic game is not my jam, but I want to remember. So here it goes...

Nosferatu w/ music by Type O Negative DVD
Which is great because I had the VHS of this when I was 18 and it was stolen. Alex remembered me talking about it this past Halloween and found me an updated version.

We saw this cooler version of Jenga when we were in Target a few months ago and I told him how much I loved Jenga.

A Very She & Him Christmas on vinyl
We've been talking nonstop about starting a christmas vinyl collection. The first one of my list was this album because it's incredible.

The Classic Christmas '80s on vinyl
He knows my love of 80's music and christmas, so this is the perfect addition to our christmas vinyl collection.

Aqua Chantal Teakettle
I still can't believe he knew that I wanted this damn kettle. <3

He also gave me the sweetest card. Last year we made the decision that instead of birthday cards, we'd do hand written notes. This year he gave me a beautiful Papyrus card with a pretty stack of paper macarons on the front. Inside was a sweet, handwritten note that made me cry while I was reading it.
02 December 2016

The Lifelong Desire To Be Thirty-Two and Knowing That Yours Stars Have Finally Aligned

I'm sitting in our living room as I write this. Our christmas tree is aglow and the smell of holiday scented candles are filling the air. Alex is putting the finishing touches on his artwork for his first art festival; which is tomorrow. I'm sitting here content, calm and incredibly happy. Because in ten days I'll be thirty-two years old.

When I was younger my dad used to ask me what age I wanted to be. I always said thirty-two. He'd ask me why and my response was that by the time I turned thirty-two everything in my life would fall into place. And here I am, ten days away from turning thirty-two... that elusive, perfect age that I've always wanted to be. Things are truly falling into place too. My life is full. I'm engaged to Alex, the love of my life, we have Olive and our own place. In February we will be married and officially starting our life together.
And I'll be thirty-two... It's a little weird to think back on that twelve year old Danielle and think about how much I wanted to be thirty-two. I had no idea how amazing my life would be in regards to that lifelong desire. It's weird to know that it's all coming to fruition. And along with that, comes an interesting feeling in knowing that all your stars have finally aligned.
01 December 2016

Our "First" Christmas

This isn't really our first christmas together. It was actually our first christmas last year, but this is our first christmas engaged and living on our own. So, in honor of all that awesomeness, we knew that this year we had to go all out as far as decorating. We needed a lot of decorations though...
We needed ornaments, a star, a tree skirt and most importantly a tree. So we went out and found some cool ornaments. Matte red ones and iridescent clear ones that I plan on one day filling with random things that remind me of us. We found two iridescent feather ornaments to symbolize our engagement, since we have feathers on our wedding invitations. We even found a wooden rabbit ornament for Olive! But I think Alex's favourite ornaments are his kawaii Marvel ones. ;)
At first I had my heart set on a real tree - and honestly we had planned for one - but when it came down to it, we decided that an artificial tree was the way to go. Especially because the way our living room is set up it doesn't really allow for the big tree I wanted.
We started decorating the day after Thanksgiving, because if I can squeeze out more of christmas I can and will. We listened to She & Him and had such a lovely time decorating the tree and putting the finishing holiday touches all throughout our space. Since we don't have a fireplace we attached a branch to our wall and hung our stockings from it. The dark brown for Alex, the grey for me, and the white for Olive. I really love how it turned out too!

And it was really sweet, after it was all set up. Alex grabbed me in his arms, kissed me and said, "Look! It's our first christmas tree together. It's perfect." And he is right. It IS perfect.

If you're looking for some gift ideas you can checkout the small gift guide I did last year.

When do you start decorating for christmas? What is your favourite ornament? Let me know in the comments below.