Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 In Review

2013 was both fantastic and difficult and one of the most memorable years yet. We have so many fabulous memories and soaring highs mixed in with a few lows and a whole lifestyle change. So many of our dreams came true in 2013 and it's incredible to look back at what this year has brought us. 

The end of 2012 brought with it our wedding, shortly followed by my dreams coming true in another way and the adventure in San Diego coming to a close

February brought with it my 24th birthday, J and my 6th Valentine's Day together and days spent at the beach with the O-dog.

March was filled with anticipation of the months to come and lots and lots of crafts

In April we house hunted in CO, went on our honeymoon to Ireland and prepped for our big move.

In May we celebrated J's 27th birthday and said goodbye to San Diego.

June brought the end to J's thesis, lots and lots of packing and finally the move to CO.

July was spent having fun with friends, finally getting our things from the movers and making some home improvement updates to the house.

August was some last minute fun-time, more projects and the start of school meaning the end of my free-time. 

September was a blur with school with a few fun moments of quality time with my husband thrown in.

October was part hell-month part awesome with amazing new friends and lots of fun memories.

In November we welcomed snow, celebrated Thanksgiving, went on a few dates and smoked 80+ lbs of meat on the smoker. 

And in December we hosted our first Christmas, decorated our new house and celebrated our one year anniversary! 

There's so much to be thankful for in the past year. And I can bet 2014 will bring us just as much joy. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Card 2013


Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to you and yours. 
Love The Hollands


And here's a peak back at the last two years


Monday, December 23, 2013

Thankful v5

Lately I've been thankful… 
[+] for holiday beers and quick but wonderful dinners with family

 [+] for the end of my first semester and a few short days of vacation
[+] for Christmas countdowns, presents under the tree and the chance to surprise my husband

[+] for meal planning and hosting Christmas in our new house
[+] for a home that is ours in a festively decorated neighborhood

[+] for the people I get to call my family, blood related or not
[+] for morning belly-rubs after we wipe the sleep from our eyes

[+] for almost one year of marriage to the man of my dreams

What are you thankful for lately?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

#DecemberPhotoADay

It's been quite sometime since I've taken part in Fat Mum Slim's Photo-A-Day Challenge
And for some reason I thought December would be a good month to pick. 
Maybe because I'm getting sick of school. Maybe it's because I love the holiday season. Maybe because I'll actually have some free time this month. 

But regardless of the reason, I've been happily snapping a picture each day. 
Here's the first half of December and seriously, how is December already half over!
red // where i stood // silver
tiny // in the cupboard // shadow
6 o'clock // i shop here // this is the weather today
r is for // green // joy is…
composition // drink // lights

I always try to instagram my photos but sometimes that just doesn't happen the same day. 
In case you're curious though, and to see all other pics, follow me on Instagram here!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Five on Friday v2

Today I'm linking up with Christina from Carolina Charm for "Five on Friday" 
Check out the link up below.

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

[one] I've been obsessed with drinking tea at night for the last few weeks. I think it all started when the state of CO was absolutely frozen (as in -15 degrees) recently and I was thirsty but wasn't about to drink anything cold. I've always liked lemon and mint teas but my newest favorite is Bigelow Orange Spice. Wrap me up in a blanket, give me a toasty mug of tea and I'm much more content spending my evenings in the cold office studying.

[two] With my first semester of medical school so close to being done it just seems fitting that this morning's exam was the worst one yet, doesn't it? And even worse is that I studied my bum off for this one. I would be much less worried about it if I knew I didn't put in the work that I should have but that's not the case today. Fingers crossed that scores are released soon and it's not as bad as I'm thinking. 

[three] At the last minute Christmas cards seemed to be a good idea. After receiving our first few from friends I was feeling a bit bummed that we weren't sending them this year. So instead of just chalking it up to being busier this year, I quickly make a custom design with a year-in-review update on my computer. I had them printed through Walgreens since I didn't have time to wait for them to be shipped and I'm very happy with how they turned out given the last minute nature of them. Here's a sneak peak!

[four] We are hosing a White Elephant party tomorrow night for some of my favorite med school ladies and their significant others. Only the girls are participating in the gift exchange since we knew we wanted decent gifts and shopping for gender neutral items is hard. There will be spiked apple cider, possibly some holiday themed games and lots of tasty treats. 

[five] Speaking of tasty treats, my contribution for tomorrow's party are these Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies. They're perfect for a holiday party, covered with festive sprinkles and dipped in white chocolate. Can you get much better than that?! Hopefully everyone enjoys them!
 Happy Friday and happy weekend!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend Recap

Time off from med school is hard to come by so this last weekend was spent soaking in as much time with my husband, relaxing, seeing our families, and getting things ready for Christmas. 




Following a lovely exam on Wednesday morning and brunch with my favorite soon-to-be-doc ladies it was Christmas-galore at our house. Outside the lights were hung, inside the tree was trimmed and even Ollie joined in on the festivities. Later in the evening J and I even went on a date and saw Catching Fire in the theaters (movies never happen around these parts). We spent Thanksgiving up north with J's mom's side of the family complete with so much laughing, maybe a bit too much wine and some fantastic conversation. A little bit of Black Friday shopping (without any fighting) followed by a Nuggets game (and win) and Friday turned out fantastic as well. Med school always seems to poke it's pesky head up and my exam on Monday was calling which meant some good study time was in order before the weekend was up. Throw in a bunch of holiday coffees, a bit of Netflix watching and some holiday crafting too. End with a birthday celebration downtown at a Brazilian steakhouse and more meat than you could possibly shove down and I'd chalk up Thanksgiving weekend to be pretty dang wonderful.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Case of the Green Drinks

Inspired by a med-school friend of mine, I've been getting in on the green-smoothie trend and actually really enjoying it. The first one I made was not very good, I admit. But after a few different rounds, adjusting the ingredients to my likings and acquiring my taste buds I've found what works for me and am loving the idea of getting in so many servings of fruits and vegetables before the day's even half over!
The Green Drink
Consistent Ingredients
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 to 1 cup baby kale
  • 1/4 to 1/2 medium sized cucumber, pealed and cubed
  • 1 to 2 T ground chia seeds
  • 1 medium size apple, cubed
  • ~1/2 cup water, to desired consistency
Variable Ingredients
  • 1 medium sized banana, sliced
  • 1 medium sized pear, cubed
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh berries
  • 1 cup pineapple, cubed
  • Other dark greens like chard, etc
  • Fresh ginger, parsley or cilantro to taste


The best thing about these smoothies is the variability of what to include based on the seasonal fruits. When I first started making these, summer berries were just at their end so my first few had strawberries/blueberries galore. Now that it's fall and the pears are heavenly, they've been making an appearance almost every day. 

My only suggestion is to blend the water and "greens" alone in the blender until really smooth. My first attempt ended up being chunky due to the fact that I just threw it all together at once. After the greens are blended feel free to add in anything and everything that you enjoy. The flavor combinations are endless. I typically make mine the night before, store it in an empty jar and place it in the fridge over night. This makes it super cold for when I enjoy it for breakfast but using frozen fruit or even ice cubes instead of water will have the same effect if you make one to drink right away. 

I also guarantee that if you have a silly vegetarian pup like I do that this will consistently be the scene when you turn around from chopping fruits and veggies on the counter. Sometimes I indulge him with his own mini-smoothie in his belly with bites of my produce. 
These drinks might appear gross (as I've had J and classmates comment that they look like pesto, algae and pond water) but I assure you that they are quite delicious. Plus, they're packed full of nutrients and help you right along your way to the recommended 4 1/2 cups of fruits and veggies each day!

Have you every tried green smoothies? 
What's your secret ingredient if you have?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thankful v4

Lately I've been thankful....
 [+] for these two goof-balls who fill my evenings with smiles, tug-of-wars and kisses.

[+] for home cooked meals that I don't have to make
[+] for a fabulous group of girls who fill up my friend-tank on a daily basis & make this journey more bearable. 

[+] for actually enjoying every single topic I'm learning about in school for once. 
[+] for the opportunity to learn, despite the stress, lack of sleep and funny lab smells.

[+] for new fall colored nail polish and my Sunday afternoon ritual of using it.
[+] for fleece-lined leggings when getting dressed is too much work and it's cold outside. 

 [+] for my mom and how amazing it is to have her less than 5 miles away after so many miles before.
[+] for the first signs of festivities and my upcoming favorite holiday.

[+] for sore muscles after finally getting back into the gym this month. 
[+] for over 300+ days of married life and a quickly approaching anniversary. 

What are you thankful for lately?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fall Sangria

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Sangria so when it was decided that my med school friends and I were going to have an early Halloween party this past weekend I knew I wanted to create a delicious beverage for us to enjoy as we let off some steam. 

While the summer Sangria was a huge hit, the fruit for it isn't in season anymore so I needed to change things up. Enter this Fall Honeycrisp Sangria!
It would have been wonderful for me to have taken a picture of the final product but that was just asking too much. I'm just happy I was able to pull something tasty together as well as a DIY costume after a morning full of exams. Trust me when I say the drink looks very festive with all the fruit as the final product.
______________________________________________________________________________

Honeycrisp Apple Sangria
Recipe from here (with a few changes)
Prep Time: 15 min || Cook Time: 4 hours (or overnight)

  • 5 honeycrips apples, cored and cubed
  • 1 orange, quartered 
  • 2 lemons, sliced into rounds
  • 1 lime, sliced into rounds
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/3 cup orange blossom honey
  • a pinch of ground nutmeg & ginger
  • 1 cup peach schnapps
  • 2 750 ml bottles of Chardonnay 
  • 2 L club soda
  • Ice
Cut up fruit and place in large container with wine, peach schnapps, honey, spices and cinnamon sticks. Stir and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours. Add in club soda right before you're ready to start drinking. Serve in sugar rimmed glasses over ice. 
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In keeping with my drink of choice, it seems like I'm going to have to find a winter Sangria for the holidays now. I'm thinking something with cranberries and pomegranate? Maybe using champagne to give it a bit of bubbly? 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hello & Goodbye October

October lived up to what I thought it would be. My left eye has never twitched more in my entire life and I was faced with some lovely middle-school like acne that was just oh, so fun. Ahh the benefits of excess stress. 

Thankfully there have been a few moments that were worth documenting although every single one of them was taken with my iPhone because let's be honest, the real camera isn't coming out much lately. I'm just thankful I captured more than just white board, mind-map, nerves & arteries images because really, school kicked my rear over the last 30 days. 
The Great Pumpkin (aka my mom) made a festive visit // sweet puppy cuddles // my two loves // post-exam Angry Orchard
the first REAL snow of the season // adult bevis in buckets // new, extra healthy green smoothie breakfast
 breaking the rules and studying in bed // the worlds most complicated Bucks order // naps and more naps (he just follows me around as I study)
 study break with chocolate chips // J's newest obsession and a tasty machine // caffeine!!! // an empty, dark locker room because I was at school way too early
my favorite office buddy // yep, more caffeine // scenes from our very first Halloween party on my first free weekend all month 

Here's to the end of hell-month October and getting into a new groove in November. 

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