i went snowboarding!

chester and i joined a few of our friends in michigan this past weekend to go snowboarding. chester has snowboarded for several years, but this was my very first time. luckily i wasn't the only beginner in our group. i will say that it was a lot harder than i had anticipated, and i knew going in that it would be pretty tough. i'm not going to lie, my first run down the bunny hill... i hated it. haha! but chester was so incredibly patient with me, and by my last run i started to get the hang of it :) kind of, haha. it was fun, and i do look forward to going again sometime soon. once my muscles stop aching :P

the rest of the trip was such a blast. we listened to the hawks game on the radio while playing spoons and various other drinking games. man did it feel like a college flashback! i love these weekend getaways with great friends. hopefully we can plan another one soon.

i am...

well hello there! i feel like i've been starting my more recent posts with an apology/reason for not blogging much over the last month or so, and i guess this one isn't much different. lol. it feels weird to not post as much as i used to, but i have been seriously busy lately (like every other person, right?). now i'm caught up on crochet orders, and i started working out in the mornings before work (ok, only twice last week, but i plan on picking it up again next week), which will free up my weeknights a ton! meaning: more reading time, more crafting time, and more blogging time :)

alrighty, now onto the "i am...." part of the post:

 half acre brewery tour this past weekend for my sister's birthday.

i am...

... seriously liking the whole "working out in the mornings" gig. i will say that when my alarm goes off, i do sit and look at my phone, debating on whether to get up or not for about 2 minutes. every. single. time. but then i drag myself out of my bed, and it's not so bad when i get moving. i give myself more than enough time to get ready there, and it feels good to take my time with my makeup and hair. my gym is super close to my work, so i never have to worry about being late.

... still happy that i got to spend a whole day with my family downtown last weekend. chester and i met up with my parents, sarah, and her bf for a brewery tour at half acre, which then turned into a day drinking adventure... haha. we followed that up with dinner at this amazing columbian place "las tablas", and shuffle board at wellingtons bar. THEN chester and i met up with some friends for a late dinner at "the girl and the goat". wow. that place was crazy good! i want to go back so bad!

... the proud new owner of an iphone 5 :) yes i know, they aren't super new, but it was a welcomed upgrade from my iphone 4.

... finally reading summer of night by dan simmons. i bought the book back in october or november of last year, and was just too busy to start it. i read the first chapter through ibooks (that's what i do with all new books, just to see if the first chapter grabs me enough to buy it), but finally got past that first part earlier this week. so far so good, i'm interested to see where the story will go.

... really enjoying 2013 so far.

... looking forward to getting some tax money back soon. i usually get a little chunk back, and i would gladly welcome any extra income right now.

... excited to plan and book our family trip to italy this may! we are taking about 10 days at the end of may/beginning of june to check out rome, cortona (where my sister studied abroad one summer in college), and other to-be-determined locations. it'll come up fast, and i cannot wait to explore another country!

... looking forward to a low key weekend.

this post was inspired by the lovely natalie.

influenster holiday voxbox '12

i'm sure some of you have heard of influenster, whether you have checked out the site yourself or have seen a few bloggers post about it. influenster is (from their about page):

"a free-to-join community of invited trendsetters who live to give opinions of products and experiences. Influenster creates links between brands and members to reward participation and influence future products... Basically, Influenster is a place for culture junkies to come together and share their unique opinions of products and experiences. Active members of Influenster get exclusive access to deals, promotions, and swag from brands that thrive off the input (the good, the bad, and the ugly -- they just want to know what's up)."

it sounded pretty cool, so a couple months ago i signed up. i filled out the profile, and over the next couple weeks, i had some what forgotten about it. unfortunate but true :/ so i was pretty dang excited to see the holiday voxbox show up at my door right before the holidays!

here is a more detailed look at what i received:

1. goody quikstyle paddle brush - i was really excited to see this in my voxbox! i really like the idea of the microfibers in between the bristles soaking up water from my hair post shower. however, i don't think it really followed through at much as i had hoped. i didn't notice much of a difference when using it straight out of the shower. the microfibers did feel a little moist to the touch, so i'm sure it soaked up some water, but not enough to make a huge difference. i will still continue to use this brush though because i like detangling with a big paddle brush.

2. NYC new york liquid color lipshine in "nude york city" - i usually always lean towards bold lip colors, but this is a really pretty nude shade. i was afraid that it would be really sticky, since most of these kinds of lip glosses are, but it wasn't at all! it's perfect for work or pairing with a smokey eye.

3. kiss nail dress - i actually haven't tried these yet b/c i'm not a big fan of the pattern i received. i tend to keep my nail color pretty basic.

4. montagne jeunesse face mask in "crushed raspberry" - i just used this mask last night and i did like how my skin felt after rinsing it off. it wasn't overly drying, which is a concern for me during the winter. i would probably purchase this mask if it came in different packaging - these little packs are a bit of a pain, lol.

5. quaker real medleys cherry pistachio oatmeal + - these instant oatmeals are perfect to make at work in the morning, and i like that with this version i don't have to dirty a dish to make it. haha. the flavor was just ok... not bad but not outstanding. i do plan on trying the other flavors quaker offers :)

6. eboost in pink lemonade - i tried an eboost that i received in my first birchbox, so i knew i would like this one. the pink lemonade flavor is great.

* sole society coupon - i also received a coupon off my first pair of sole society shoes. not sure if i will actually use it, but i guess a girl can never have too many shoes ;)

pretty sweet, right? if this seems like something that you'd like to participate in, be sure to visit influenster and check them out! it's a pretty good deal.

hope you're all having a good week! it's my first full work week since before the holidays, yikes! but so far so good ;)

shine bright like a diamond.

hello! i just wanted to share some photos from our NYE party earlier this week. we decided to go a bit bigger this year and attended vertigo sky lounge's NYE white party in chicago. (i couldn't find a white dress that i liked, so i was one of the few girls there that opted for silver.) it was a lot of fun! vertigo is a favorite spot of mine (i had my 27th birthday party there in 2011), and i really liked staying at the dana hotel

good times with great friends, ringing in what i hope will be another fabulous year! hope you all had a great NYE, too!