Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wrapping Presents...

...isn't the easiest to do with a ferocious kitten in the middle of it all. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hammock Pack Review: December

This is my third box from Hammock Pack. I decided not to sign up for the October or November boxes because $25 every month feels like a strain on my budget, but December and the holiday season is the best time to treat yourself, and that is what Hammock Pack is all about!

The theme of this month's box was Ski Lodge. Soft white tissue paper wrapping with a beautiful red bow that looks like a cozy sweater was a perfect choice for the wrapping for this box. I tried to tie the ribbon around Skwisgaar to make him a festive kitty, but that didn't work out so well...
The card with this month's box reads, "Skiing is one of our favorite winter activities, but relaxing in the ski lodge is a close second. As the temperature drops, nothing beats curling up next to a crackling fireplace with a steaming cup of cocoa. So cozy up with us by the fire with these wonderful winter treats. As you warm your spirits, we hope you're nice and rested for the next month's doorstep getaway." I have never been skiing, but based on what in this box, I think that I would like it!

This box included a jar of The Balm: Lavender from West 13 Bath & Body, a Minty Pattie Candy Bar from Sweet Lydia's, one Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate on a Stick from Ticket Kitchen, a full size jar of Snowdrift Body Lotion from Firebird Bath & Body, a bag of Dark Chocolate Marshmellows from 240 Sweet, and a pack of two Classic Stroopwafels from The Good Batch.

My #1 favorite item in this box so far is the Snowdrift body lotion. It smells like fresh evergreen tree mixed with vanilla and peppermint, and it was made in Baltimore! Oh yeah, and I am hoarding that hot chocolate on a stick like it is liquid gold.
How do you treat yourself during the holidays?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Celebrating the Light in the Darkness

This past weekend I took a long weekend away from Raleigh and traveled home for my cousin, Ilana's Bat Mitzvah. I flew into BWI on Thursday night, which was nice because I had an evening at home with my parents before the weekend craziness began. 

I slept so well that night that when I woke up on Friday morning, I was so confused and didn't remember where I was! The rest of the day was about relaxing and taking it easy. Mom and I caught up on Glee, had brunch and watched the Sandy Hook coverage on the news until we left for Friday night services and Ilana's Bat Mitzvah dinner in Silver Spring. 

This is the best part - when we got home Dana was waiting for us! 

On Saturday morning we all went back to Silver Spring for Ilana's Bat Mitzvah servcie where she read beautifully from the torah and get a speech about the message of Hanukkah and about bringing light to those in need when times are dark. She did a great job! We are so proud of her!

Later that evening she had her Mermaid themed (!) party in the basement of the synagogue and Dana and I were in charge of the tye-dye t-shirt station where party guest could make shirts that will be donated to a local shelter. We had so much fun! I'm so glad that I got to catch up with family and friends that I don't get to see very often.

On Sunday morning Dana and I made 2 batches of Rum Balls (one of our favorite Christmas cookies) and then we went for a walk around the neighborhood before I flew back to Raleigh to be reunited with Aaron and Skwisgaar! Burt Hummel said it best this week on Glee, "You've got to hold the people you love the most close to you, no matter what." I got to hold most of mine all in one weekend!

Even though we didn't have enough time to do everything that we wanted to get to over the weekend (hot tub, going to see Anna Karenina, watching Brave together, or having lunch at Wegman's) it was a really good weekend. 

Hope you had a good weekend too!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: Wedding Buddies

It has been so long since my last Wedding Wednesday post! Honestly, since we booked our venue a few months ago (seriously? We have been engaged for almost 4 moths already?!) Aaron and I have not crossed anything off of the wedding to-do lists. It's okay, we still have time, but I know that when New Years is over and 2013 arrives, it will be time to get some planning done.

Last night I met up with two of my local friends, Brittany and Kelly, who are also getting married in 2013. All of our fiances had made plans to go out for a guys night to get wings, so we ladies decided to do the same but with BBQ Chicken pizza, wedding magazines, wine, and Bride Wars.

We had a great night sharing planning details and watching Kate Hudson get attacked by Anne Hathaway. All of my bridesmaids live out-of-state, and even though they are only a phone call or Google+ Hangout away, it's so nice to have these two to get together and share wedding giddiness.

We all have tickets to go to the upcoming Forever Bridal Show in January at the NC State Fair Grounds. It is supposed to be a HUGE event with vendors from all over the state, which is good since I haven't booked any!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Favorite Hanukkah Decor & Party Ideas

I was hard at work over the weekend searching the corners of the Internet, reading archived articles from the Jew and the Carrot, and stretching my imagination to think of every possible way to decorate with gelt to put together a fresh collection of ideas for my Hanukkah Pinterest board, which has now doubled in size from last year (over 140 pins!). 
If you need some ideas for your abode or next party, this Pinboard will be your new favorite Festival of Lights resource. 

Do you feel inspired!? I do. I am saving up all of these wonderful ideas for the future when we have a bigger home to decorate and host parties in. 
Be sure to check out my currated Hanukkah board on Pinterest for even more beautiful home decor and party inspiration!
Happy Hanukkah!

Monday, December 10, 2012

'Twas the Night Before Christmas Shuffle!

Most people call it a bar crawl or a pub crawl, but if you went to OU, you know it's really called a shuffle. This weekend we celebrated our dear friend Cassie's birthday on a DTR shuffle and everyone wore pajamas! 

Aaron and I decided to be awesome/cute so we bought matching Adventure Time footie pajamas from Spencers. Aaron wore the Finn set and I wore the Jake set. They were so cozy! Most comfortable night out attire! 

We started at our friend Summer's house for pizza and pregaming then caught a free ride on the Trivia Taxi (we answered all of the questions right!) to our downtown destination. We started our shuffle at Woody’s, and then continued on to Tir Na Nog, Landmark Tavern, London Bridge Pub, The Architect, The Raleigh Times, and finally The Busy Bee Cafe.

Since we had such a large group we got some really strange looks from the non-pajama wearing regular Saturday night bar crowd, but as the night went on most people laughed and were giving us high fives.

Even though Aaron and I got split up from the rest of the group by the end of the night, we had so much fun celebrating Cassie's birthday and discovering bars that we hadn't been to yet. 

Hope you had a fun weekend too!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fresh Market

I never knew that The Fresh Market existed until I moved to North Carolina in 2010.  Since discovering the Greensboro location, it has become one of my favorite specialty food stores.

Since it is a specialty food store, it is out of our budget for our regular every week food shopping, but for a treat it's one of the best. It's definitely a store that I like to take my time strolling though, while sipping on a sample cup of coffee and looking at all of the beautiful seasonal displays. 

Here are a few photos from The Fresh Market off of Falls of Neuse from last week. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hanukkah Card Round-Up

December, how did you get here so quickly?

I have seen so many blog posts already written by bloggers who are excited for Christmas. My Bloglovin' feed is filled with posts about advent calendars, Christmas wreaths, and lists of Christmas traditions. 

Don't get me wrong - I love Christmas, but where are all of the crafty, lifestyle bloggers who get excited to make their own beeswax Hanukkah candles, whip up a batch of cake pop dreidels, or pop their DIY menorah on the mantle?

Even though Hanukkah is not really a major holiday, it is still nice to spend a little time setting the mood. I have created a list of beautiful Hanukkah cards that I found on Etsy that represent the annual traditions that we share during the festival of lights.. 

I especially like the mid-century design of card #2, it is very Jonathan Adler

2. Happy Hanukkah Letterpress Card // 1537 from Anemone Letterpress
4. 6 Pack Letterpress Hanukkah Card from Concrete Lace

Sunday, December 2, 2012

fun. at The Ritz

This past Thursday Aaron and I went to see fun. at The Ritz! We have been waiting for this show since we bought the tickets at the beginning of the summer. 

I looked up the venue before the show and saw that it received a few bad reviews on Yelp, so we we a little unsure about how it was going to be, but we were able to find a fantastic spot in the front row.

They performed every song on their new album, Some Nights, a few from their first record, Aim and Ignite, and they also played a few covers. 

Before this concert, I think the last show I went to was Flogging Molly two years ago! That is if you don't count the U2 cover band that we saw in Virginia the night before Kristin's wedding... I can't believe it had been so long! I hope that more of our favorite bands come and play local shows. 

Hey bands! Come to Raleigh so we can rock out!!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Break

Is it seriously Monday already? 

My Thanksgiving 4 day weekend in Raleigh was so relaxing! We enjoyed out Honey Baked Ham turkey and fixin's on Thursday and the leftover carried us through the entire weekend.

On Thursday we decided to go see an early afternoon screening of Argo at our local theater. There were maybe 10 cars there and our showing was sparsely populated (that's how we like it!). The movie was good, but it wasn't really the feel good holiday movie that I wanted to see. 

On Friday morning Aaron went into work so I got up and walked around Lake Lynn. It was a brisk 30 degrees outside, but my walk/jog kept me warm. I saw mallard ducks, white ducks, Canadian geese, and a blue heron on my way. They like hanging out in the shallows by the boardwalks on the North side of the lake. 

On Saturday morning we ventured out to Best Buy and Costco. At Best Buy we found the sound bar that Aaron has been eyeing for months marked down at half price. We set it up right away when we got home and it sounds amazing! I spent the rest of the day reading Mindy Kaling's book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

On Sunday morning we slept late then went to brunch at Brigs on Creedmoor. They have amazing eggs Benedict plates. The rest of the day was for laundry, reading, and watching movies that we had saved to the DVR from the weekend. 

Hope you enjoyed your holiday weekend!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Take the Yelp Shops Local Pledge!

Yelp has teamed up with the Etsy NC Triangle Street Team to support locally based online shops filled with amazing art, handmade accessories, vintage housewares, and more!

I have signed up for my Etsy shop, Three Ponds Vintage, to be part of Yelp's Cyber Specials Etsy Week (Dec. 3 - Dec. 9). Even though I haven't had much time to spend working on my shop and adding new merch, I still think it's important and I was honored to be asked to be part in this.

My offer is 10% off purchase, plus combined shipping on more than one item, with the code: TPVlovesYELP

Happy shopping!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Gobble Gobble!

Today I’m thankful for…

Being engaged to my best friend.

My sister - she is totally amazing.

My family who I feel close to, even though we are celebrating a few states away.

Our kitten, Skwisgaar, who always has love to give.

The friends we have all over the country.

All of the new friends that we have made since we have moved.

My awesome job and team!

Having an awesome family cruise to look forward to!

Health and happiness in this season of joy. 

Aaron and I went to a Friendsgiving last Sunday at our friend Cassie's house to celebrate before our friends went out of town. We are staying in Raleigh and celebrating our first Thanksgiving on our own. We are starting new traditions and honoring standing ones. 

We ordered our Thanksgiving meal online from Honey Baked Ham. When I went to the store to pick it up yesterday there were cops stationed out front to make sure no one would run off with a free turkey, crazy! 

We are going to enjoy free movie channels, go see a movie, video chat with friends & family, give Skwisgaar his first taste of turkey, and enjoy a festive meal in our new home.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Weekend, In Snapshots

On Friday Aaron was at a training seminar with his coworkers at their downtown office so he came to my office for the first time to check it out. I showed him around and then we walked over to the Hiberian Pub where we me one of Aaron's coworkers and her boyfriend for pints and dinner. 

After dinner we came back to the apartment to relax and I played a little hide-and-seek with Mr. Skwisgaar.  We have been leaving him out in the apartment during the day since he is a little bigger now. He has been doing a great job, nothing chewed to bits or turned over. We had once day when he tried to run out the front door when he came home, but I think he got really scared and hasn't tried it since.

On Saturday Aaron and I went downtown because we heard about an annual Handmade Market at Cobblestone Hall (which was one of our potential venue options). First we stopped at the Morning Times for coffee (first visit!) and of course it was delicious.

As we walked through the market we saw beautiful pottery, unique jewelry, and homemade cookies that were the size of my face! 

Outside of the market there were more tables set up and we met Jenny, the owner of Slingshot Coffee and we tried a taste of her cold brew seasonal coffee that she was passing out.

A selection of beautiful enamel necklaces at the Handmade market.

After we left Cobblestone Hall we walked around town for a bit and went to a few shops that I had on my Yelp bookmarked list. We walked through the art galleries in the City Market area then went to Deco and finally to Kindred.

On Sunday I woke up early and went to Starbucks to pick up an Eggnog Latte (for me) and a Chai Latte (for Aaron). I have been working my way through the Starbucks holiday offerings. Conclusion - the Eggnog Latte is not for me. 

I made brunch when I got home then we decided to drive over to out local Bed, Bath & Beyond to start our wedding registry. We got there around 11am and didn't leave until 3! 

We met with the registry consultant and then walked around the entire store with the scanner. We talked about things we will need in the near future for our apartment as well as the distant future for a house and future tiny Manassas (that is what the tiny box grater is for, obviously).

Hope you had a good weekend!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Simply Saturday

Friday, November 2, 2012

Moving Forward

Happy November! I went to vote at our local community center after work this past Wednesday. It was the first time that I have ever gone to vote in person (not absentee) since I actually now live in the same state where I am registered to vote.

Since I have been well decided on my Presidential candidate since 2008 I wanted to vote early to avoid waiting in any lines. Well guess what I found when I arrived at the polling place - a line! The coordinating volunteer told us that there has been a steady line every day since early voting opened up. 

So far over 2 Million registered North Carolinian's have cast their votes and I suspect even more will go tomorrow before early voting closes.

As we are moving forward into the end of the year (whhhaaat!?) I have been thinking about some of my favorite parts of November and this season.

Looking Forward to in November

1. Our first designated relaxing weekend since we moved to Raleigh.
2. Family dinners with our friends.
3. Putting together our 3rd bookshelf for the guest room.
4. Baking pumpkin bread. 
5. Wearing my new boots.
6. Seeing Fun in concert!
7. Researching a wedding photographer.
8. Planning our December Engagement dinner in Tampa
9. Getting cozy on the couch and watching our favorite Fall shows
10. Listening to Christmas music on the radio.
11. Having a few days off for Thanksgiving.
12. Celebrating with Aaron. 
13. Video chatting with our families.
14. Taking Elsie's Blog (Design) Love E-course
15. Decorating our apartment for the holidays.

What are you looking forward to in November?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Boogeyman 2012

Halloween isn't officially until this Wednesday, but we celebrated All Hallows Eve this past weekend with our friend Dana who came to visit and stay with us until Hurricane Sandy started to threaten the East Coast and she had to fly out early. We went on the Boogeyman Bar Crawl with 400 other I dressed up as Hispter Ariel, "I Wanna Be Where The PBR" sign and all. Aaron went as a skeleton, Dana went as Katniss Everdeen, Brittany was a pink loofa and Andrew went as soap.  

We started the pub crawl at Mirage then went to the Downtown Sports Bar and Grill, the 606 Lounge, Still Life, and finally back to Mirage until we couldn't dance anymore. The night included dancing, hearing "Party Rock" 5 times at every bar, many glow-in-the-dark accessories, Halloween themed drinks, a club wide sing-a-long to Bohemian Rhapsody, and a Foxy Lady dance presentation by the guy dressed up as Garth from Waynes World

Happy Halloween!