1 Cakes & Louie: December 2013

Friday, December 27, 2013


Hello friends! I have officially been sick for my entire week off, so that was kind of a bummer, but I did my best to not let it hold me down. How was your Christmas? Ours was honestly mediocre, but there were plenty of great moments to make up for the not so great. The best part? The hubs and I decided to have Christmas morning at home, just the 2 of us, for the first time in our entire relationship, and it was FANTASTIC. We slept late (well, I did), opened presents in our Christmas pajamas while we drank tea out of reindeer mugs, ate breakfast together and relished what was potentially our last Christmas in this little first house of ours.

In other fantastic news, my brother and sister-in-law made it to town with my adorable baby nephew in tow, and I hogged him as much as possible and was totally in heaven when he took a nap laying on my chest. Babies are SO WARM - I loved it. The quote of the week would have to be from my mom, who said at one point when I was changing Jax' diaper, "He's been wearing that outfit for a couple hours now right? We should go ahead and put a new one on him!" The poor kid probably cycled through a solid dozen Christmas outfits in a matter of 2 days, but he looked insanely cute in each and every one of them so it worked out.

We have lots of cleaning to do around the house today to prep for the painting crew that will be here bright and early tomorrow morning to make this place look all spiffy for upcoming showings, so I'll leave you with my very own bit of holiday cheer - this year's Christmas card! I thought for sure this year I would do something a little more serious (considering we had professional photos taken in November!), but then I remembered that this picture from Bridget and Aris' wedding got more love on facebook than pretty much anything else I've ever posted, and I figured I just had to use it. Dan wasn't the biggest fan, but he earned major hubby points when he said "you can do whatever you want for Christmas cards as long as you promise you won't stress out about it"... and that was that. We mailed out nearly 75 of these bad boys with time to spare, and I hope we were able to give a few people a good laugh in the midst of holiday madness. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Week

What a week. Monday morning, my car wouldn't start. The hubs was already gone for the morning, but he was able to come home and jump it eventually. I went on my way to work, and then realized the radio wouldn't turn on and the gas gauge was on E when I knew it should be full. So I pulled over and turned the car off thinking things were probably just wonky because it was jumped... and then it wouldn't start again. So Dan came and jumped it again. After work, a coworker had to jump it for a third time. And Tuesday morning when it obviously didn't start again, we figured we probably needed a new battery. Tuesday after work we jumped the car for the 4th time and went to have the battery replaced. $120 down.

Wednesday the car started just fine in the morning and I happily went on my way to the office. After work itstarted just fine again, and all was well until something hit the windshield and within seconds a crack spanned nearly from edge to edge with slight curves at the ends making it look ironically like a smile. I was not amused. Another $260 down.

Not surprisingly, I insisted that the hubs and I carpool Thursday and again today, since I am absolutely convinced I am cursed this week and bad things usually happen in threes which means I've got one more surprise coming my way. Oh, AND it's Friday the 13th. I'm not typically superstitious, but this week has kind of taken it's toll on me and left me feeling a little extra anxious.

Thankfully, it's almost the weekend, and I'm hoping my luck is changing since I get to spend 95% of the next two days with my favorite guy. Happy weekend friends!

Monday, December 9, 2013

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

Happy Monday friends! We had our first real snow in Chicago this weekend and considering my car won't start this morning I am a teensy bit less than thrilled about it, but at least it's pretty outside. And thanks to my trusty iPhone, I can be on email for work until the hubs gets home to jump the car.

In other news, I had the best weekend ever. Friends in town, a really really REALLY fun wedding, breakfast at one of our favorite spots and my favorite girly afternoon of the year - The Favorite Things Party: Beauty Edition, hosted for the 3rd year in a row by the bestie.

Here's a little recap of this super fun event, which can sort of act as a guide to throw your own Favorite Things Party if you wish!

First up, of course, drinks! Bridget had an assortment of wine and I brought a couple bottles of San Pellegrino, but the real hit were these two holiday drinks she made. The one in the foreground here involved cranberry juice and Prosecco, and the lighter colored one behind it had cinnamon in it. Both were delicious, and I am nominating Bridget to send me recipes for both so I can post them here!

I always love going to Bridget's because she has delicious snack foods. These garlic toasts with tomato, mozzarella, basil and balsamic were not surprisingly my favorite finger food of the afternoon.

Obsessed with this little cheeseboard -

Another exciting snack of the day was decorated sugar cookies, which I WON (!!!) from local business Caroline's Kitchen Table! Caroline recently relaunched her business and branding, and to celebrate she hosted a giveaway for a dozen of her delicious decorated cookies, otherwise known as Sweet Caroline's. I was randomly picked as the winner by her adorable daughter, and knew that the favorite things party would be the perfect spot to showcase Caroline's cookies! Aren't they adorable?!

I told Caroline about the party and she created these little tags for us, which I thought were perfect for the party theme. If you need personalized cookies for a party or hostess gift, I cannot recommend Sweet Caroline's enough. You can view pricing and further details for ordering HERE.

After hours of girl talk, we finally settled in for the main event. So here's how it goes -
- Each girl picks what her favorite beauty product is that costs $10. If your favorite product only costs $6, you buy another product for $4 so it still adds up to $10. If your favorite product costs $25, you try to find a mini size of it for people to try!
- You buy one of your $10 product for each guest at the party. Because this can end up being a little pricey, Bridget always sends out the invite several weeks early so we can all plan for the cost, and she also keeps the guest list small so it doesn't totally break the bank. Usually, we end up with 8 or so girls, which means you spend $80 if you buy one of your products for each guest plus yourself.
- Everyone takes turns telling the group about their favorite product - how to use it, where to buy it, why they love it.
- As the host, Bridget always gets everyone a cute little holiday bag or bin to stash all of their goodies in, which is nice so you don't end up with a big pile of stuff to try and shove in your purse to take home!

This year, I brought 2 products, since the first didn't cost quite $10. I recently discovered Jenna Hipp nail and hand cream at Costco, and admittedly bought it for the packaging. I am also obsessed with lotion and carry at least one with me everywhere I go, so these hand creams were perfect for me. After reading about Jenna Hipp - green nail stylist of the stars! - I was totally sold on this product and quickly went back to Costco to stock up for the party.

The second little goodie I brought were little tiny tins (from the $1 bins at Michael's) with scoops of the rice flour "dry shampoo" I've been using obsessively. I'm telling you people - this stuff is life changing.

I always think about Oprah when we're handing out the goodies - You get a lip gloss! And YOU get a lip gloss!! You get a hand cream! And YOU get a hand cream!! I also love discovering new products that I likely wouldn't typically purchase for myself. Bridget handed out a lavender undereye makeup base that I'm already hooked on - a tiny little bit of this stuff brightens tired eyes like you wouldn't believe! Other goodies this year included the perfect purpley-gray Essie polish, a fancy deodorant, a REALLY great dry shampoo (used it this morning, loved not washing my hair on a Monday!), a face moisturizer I've been wanting to try for ages, lip glosses, and a hair product that I never knew I needed but am certain I'm going to love. Best way ever to round out a weekend if I do say so myself :).

Friday, December 6, 2013


Pave link bracelets have been taking my precious blogosphere by storm in the last year or so, and surprise, surprise, I really wanted to get my hands on one. But, uh, I didn't really have $72 for a bracelet. I've seen knockoffs for less, but still at $50 or more, which is still way out of the budget.

And then the ever-awesome Target struck again, coming out with a perfect knockoff of the knockoffs for a measly $20, and I was sold.

So let's play a little game, shall we? It's called Find the Knockoff! For real though, can you tell which one is from Target?

Yeah. Me either!

Spoiler alert - it's #3, and you can buy it online or find it in store right HERE. I snagged mine yesterday at the location by work and am extra excited to wear it to a good friend's wedding tomorrow night.

Happy Friday! May your weekend be as unforgettable as I'm planning on mine being.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


While major static would likely ensue, tell me this doesn't look like the BEST idea EVER.

I'm incredibly grateful that it's Wednesday already. I've been having a bit of a rough week thanks to dreary weather, a too-clear-for-comfort nightmare that woke me in a panic, an extra crazy project at work and what feels like another bout with sickness coming on. I just need to stay healthy until Sunday - we have a fun-filled weekend coming up that I've been looking forward to for weeks!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving for the Win

Wow. The long Thanksgiving weekend could not have been any more fantastic for me, and I hope that you are able to say the same!

After (accidentally) waking me up at the crack of dawn (literally) on Thursday, the hubs went out to get the newspapers for me so I could sleep a little more and wake up to a fresh stack of Black Friday ads - #whataguy. I brought them with to South Bend for Thanksgiving dinner and chatted it up with one of Dan's cousins most of the afternoon while going through everything and making my list. Now I know a lot of people had major issues with stores opening so early this year, and truth be told I was kinda bummed myself simply because shopping in the middle of the night with Dan and my sister while we blast Christmas music and wait for McDonald's breakfast to start is one of my favorite yearly traditions. I figure if other people don't want to shop on Thanksgiving/Black Friday then they don't have to... but earlier hours or not, I absolutely love it, and this year was no exception. We actually started a bit earlier than we originally planned by stopping by Best Buy in South Bend to try and get the hubs a doorbuster laptop for work. I was SHOCKED at how calm, orderly and nice the people were out there! We were in and out in no time, got exactly what we needed, didn't wait in ridiculous lines and most importantly - didn't practically get trampled heading into the store. Chicago area Best Buy's could really learn something from their counterparts in Indiana if you ask me.

When we got back to Chicago we picked up my sister, mom and aunt, bundled up and headed to Target at 8pm and then the outlet mall at 9. Outside of an obnoxious and overly peppy Kate Spade Outlet employee, the mall was a success and we were home around 1am for bed. Manda and I got in a power nap and headed back out the door a little after 5am starting with Sephora's $10 doorbusters (worth it EVERY year). After 2 malls and breakfast Dan met us out for some manly stores and Old Navy (worst line of the whole day, as usual). By 1pm I was about 97% DONE with all of my Christmas shopping, and I thought the day couldn't get any better until we got to Home Depot and I spied an adorable little 5ft REAL Christmas tree for a whopping $17... and then Dan said "yeah go ahead, let's try it" AND I GOT MY FIRST REAL CHRISTMAS TREE in about a decade!!! I was genuinely glowing and smiling so much that the guy who trimmed it up for me congratulated me on my tree (and probably thought I was crazy, but I'm ok with that). It's the cutest little thing you ever did see and I cannot wait to put lights on it tonight so we can hang up our favorite ornaments!

Friday night proved to be just as exciting as the rest of the day since I had dinner plans with a college friend I haven't seen in ages. He showed up with my favorite Starbucks drink in hand and we spent the next 3 hours storytelling, reminiscing and eating burgers until Dan and some of our friends showed up and the fun continued well into the night. It honestly could not have been a better evening.

After all of that I'm sure it's no surprise that I slept most of Saturday away, but thankfully I managed to get myself out of bed in time to spend the evening with our nieces and FIL. Sunday included some much overdue house cleaning, a stager coming by for a consultation thanks to our realtors and grocery shopping that resulted in us stocking up our deep freezer with enough meat for half the winter.

Needless to say, I am exhausted this morning even thinking about heading to work, but looking forward to the next few weeks leading up to Christmas and New Years! Happy Monday all.