Friday, January 30, 2015

Five on Friday / Super Bowl Menu

This weekend we will be celebrating the Super Bowl in full force. The distance and midnight start time here in Poland will not stop us! Football, good food and funny commercials? Yes, please! It will be like I am back home...a great taste of America.

One of my favorite parts is all the fun food that goes along with the game. Here are a few recipes I found on Pinterest that look perfect...still trying to decide which ones I will make!

O N E / Nacho Bar
 I love the idea of a nacho bar and we are in serious need of some Tex Mex around here! It would be so simple and so yummy.

T W O / The Perfect Dip
Bacon and cheese in a dip? Sounds pretty amazing to me. I have been wanting to try this out for a while, so maybe this weekend is it!

T H R E E / Cheese Platter
Roberto and I love a good cheese, cracker and salami snack. It is nothing fancy but put it in the shape of a football? So festive!

F O U R / Pretzel Bites
Lisa shared this delicious soft pretzel recipe this week! And I think it will be a must for us on Sunday...the perfect Super Bowl snack.

F I V E / Veggie Sticks
Having guests over? Add in this healthy snack served in a very cute way. These individual servings of vegetables are the perfect addition to your football spread.

What are you serving this Sunday? I would love more ideas!

Want to see more of what I am pinning? Follow me here!

Linking up with Oh Hey Friday, Meet at the Barre, Five on Friday, Lauren and Jennie.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Girls Trip / London: Three Musts

Let's continue with our Girl's Trip, shall we??

These three London "musts", in my opinion, were some of our favorite times during our trip. Planning a trip to this marvelous city anytime soon?? Read on!

One afternoon, we enjoyed Afternoon Tea at The Orangery in Kensington Gardens. It sounded like such a fun (and delicious) British tradition so we knew we had to try it. And we were so glad we did, it was such a lovely time! The finger foods were fabulous and the tea was out of this world. Plenty of teas to choose from, finger sandwiches, biscuits, little was all so very good. There are many amazing places to get tea in London and the Orangery is no exception. We got lost on the way there and lost on the way out, so it isn't the easiest to find (since it is inside the gardens) but it was well worth it and we passed our walking time jamming out to a little 1D and TSwift ;)

After tea we then hopped in a taxi and made our way to a highly anticipated show...Wicked! This was probably what I was most excited for and it certainly did not disappoint, but exceeded our expectations. It is a must to enjoy a West End show while you are in London and I would highly suggest Wicked. It was incredible. Afternoon tea followed by a show was the perfect opportunity to get dressed up and enjoy a different and lovely side of London. It made for one fabulous night!

I did not read the Harry Potter books or see any of the movies until I was in college. But as soon as I started reading I was hooked. So what do three Harry Potter loving girls do when they got to London? Visit Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio of course! You have to be dedicated because the studios are about an hour outside of London and the tour is not quick...but it is so neat and so worth it! You are completely immersed into Harry Potter world and it is pretty dang cool. Let yourself be a kid and soak in all the wonder this studio has to offer. This place is where much of the movie was filmed and it truly is very magical. We took a bus with this tour and it included the roundtrip ride and admission ticket, which is all you need.

Also, once back in London, make sure to stop by Platform 9 3/4! It is located at Kings Cross Station.

These stops were all London highlights for us. Of course, you cannot miss the main sites but please treat yourself! Explore another side of London while enjoying one of these three London musts. I know we did!

Linking up with Shanna and Morgan 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Favorite Purchases of 2014

I know January is almost over BUT I have to share these purchases with you guys! These are my favorite purchases from this past year and I think any of these would make great gifts or the perfect little pick me up for yourself. We all need to treat ourselves every once in a while right?!

CLARASONIC / I cannot say enough good things about this gem. I had been on the fence for the past year...should I purchase?? Well I finally bit the bullet and it has definitely changed my skin for the better. Less breakouts, smaller pores, cleaner skin...and that is just with a month use! I love this baby! For reference, I have the Mia 2.

WOODWICK CANDLES / I brought this all the way to Poland from the is that good. My favorite scent is Fireside and as soon as you light it up, it sounds like you are snuggled up by the cozy fire. The wick burns while making a crackling noise and putting off the best smell.

PLAID SCARF / I have worn this scarf almost everyday this winter. Thanks to the colors, it stands out with my black winter jacket and it goes with so much of wardrobe. Not to mention it keeps the chill away, I stay so very warm when wearing this. There are many different sellers out there, but I got mine from good ole' Target.

EYE-FI MEMORY CARD / This memory card for your camera is genius. I got it right as the year was coming to an end and it might just be my favorite purchase.Take pictures on your camera and then through wifi it is downloaded right to your phone. So then you are able to share higher quality pictures through social media, instead of phone pics. I can't wait to put this more to use...especially on our next trip!

ALEX AND ANI BANGLES / I actually got a few of these bracelets as gifts from my mother-in-law and man she hit the jackpot! I wear these almost every day...well on the days I actually get ready ;) They come in gold and silver and with many different charm options. They are the perfect accessory.

What are some of you favorite purchases from last year? I would love to hear!

{Thank Katie and Hello Happiness for this post idea!}

Friday, January 23, 2015

Five on Friday / 1.23.15

Happy Friday, friends! Let's get right to it...

The husband and I went on a fun date last weekend! It didn't go exactly as planned but it still turned out to be a great time. We ate Italian food, toasted to my loans being paid off and enjoyed a movie. We saw the Imitation Game and really liked it. One Oscar nominee down, a bazillion to go...

Yesterday, I talked about my word for the year. This year is all about being intentional...check out all my babbling here;) One of my favorite bloggers, Mix and Match Mama posted this on her blog the other day and I really like it as well. Just a good set of goals to focus on throughout the year...

Thanks to Lisa, I tried out this Bangin Good Chicken Salad recipe. And oh my good!! Roberto and I scarfed it down.

I also want to try this dip ASAP. It looks delicious...

I shared the beginning of our Girl's Trip earlier this week. First up London and all of her main sites! There is lots more to come and also some of our tips and tricks, so stay tuned! Check out my first recap here.

Here is to a wonderful weekend! Roberto has a basketball game tonight, we are having some friends over tomorrow night for dinner and then plan to watch movies and explore a little the rest of the weekend.  The perfect mixture of fun and relaxation.

Linking up with Oh Hey Friday, Meet at the Barre, Five on Friday, Lauren and Jennie.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Word for the Year

I decided to pick a "word for the year". A word that I can remind myself of daily...a word that encourages me. So, after thinking/praying long and hard, I landed on this...


The definition of intentional goes a little like this...done on purpose; deliberate. That is how I want to live every aspect of my life, with purpose.

I want to meet life with intentionality. I don't want to sit back and let life happen but LIVE the fullest! I want to treat each day as the gift that it is and enjoy every moment no matter how big or small. 

"...I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." 
John 10:10

I want to love myself and others deliberately. I want to extend love, grace, patience and compassion to myself, my husband and all those around me at all times...I want to purposefully and mindfully extend these qualities. I want to be intentional about the way I love. 

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." Ephesians 4:2

Which brings me to the most important and the only way I can accomplish any of this...I want to be more intentional with my relationship with Christ. I do not want to do any of this on my own, try to "fix" myself or accomplish any of this by is impossible. I have to and want to walk with Him and be intentional in that daily walk with my Savior. I want to soak in all He has to teach me. I have a lot more learning and growing to do. I have to be purposeful about my relationship with Him, I want to be deliberate about spending time in His Word and in prayer, that way He can work in me and use me to the fullest.

"Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." Psalm 25:5

I want to LIVE with purpose (every inch of it), I want to be intentional.

Will I be perfect?? Of course not. I am sure I will screw up many, many times :) What I wrote above can seem daunting and hard to accomplish, I get it. But I know with God and his guidance, I can improve and grow in so many ways.

Reminding myself each day to be intentional, to live life with a purpose...will be a continued encouragement for me this year and I hope for many years to come.   

What are some of your hopes this year? How can I encourage you?? 

 Linking up with Annie, Natalie and Joey.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Girl's Trip / London: The Main Sites

At the beginning of this month, I had the privilege to meet two of my best friends on the other side of Europe. Our girls trip started with 4 nights in London and ended with 4 nights in Paris. And it was wonderful. We were able to explore these 2 amazing cities and have plenty of girl time...a perfect trip in our book! 

Prepare yourself for way too may pictures and way too many details. But, this is like my journal and I want to be able to come here and remember each moment. Hopefully, it will help those of you too who might be planning a trip in the future as well!

Our first full day in London was packed full but in the absolute best way. We started our morning off with the hotel breakfast and then made our way down to Buckingham Palace for the Changing of the Guards. This was a really neat and crazy experience. There are people everywhere, and I mean everywhere. There is a lot of pushing and shoving going is a little insane. Even though we only arrived 45 minutes beforehand we were able to get a decent spot and see parts of the ceremony. It is a very big ordeal as you can imagine and it was worth the time and crowds you have to endure. And Buckingham Palace? Well, it is just beautiful.

Meet my travel buddies and incredible friends, the beautiful Lauren and Holli...

Afterwards we made our way to Big Ben, the House of Parliament and Westminster Abbey (my fav!). It is so nice that these are all right next each other and it is such a beautiful area! Before our first stop, we of course had to take a picture in the traditional phone booth....

And the whole time I couldn't get the Parent Trap out of my mind, well really the whole trip. Anyone else?? I associate that movie with London and since I was a little girl have dreamed of visiting. So to actually be was a pinch me moment, for sure.

After admiring Big Ben, we then made our way into Westminster and oh my goodness it was spectacular! So, so beautiful and intricate. We did a little audio guide tour through the Abbey and really learned a lot. One of my favorites was walking where Kate walked when she married Will! I know I should say the history and beauty was my favorite part (and it was incredible) but I would be lying if I said seeing where Kate and Will got married was not pretty darn cool.

Once we finished admiring Westminster...we made our way to lunch. We went to a pub (you have to eat pub food in London!) recommended by a friend and had amazing "pies" (think savory deliciousness) and mash. It was so good and just what we needed after a long morning of site seeing!

The rest of our afternoon was spent walking around incredible neighborhoods like Soho, Covent Garden and Piccadilly Circus. And we happened to stumble onto Oxford Street which is so fun and filled with the best shops.

It was New Years Eve so that night we made our way to a pub and then club to ring in the New Year!

Thanks to a new friend, at the stroke of midnight we were out in the streets of London to watch the fireworks...they sure put on an amazing show.

Whew! Day 1 was a long one and definitely our most busy...but oh so good!

Along with the rest of our trip, later in the week I will be sharing my tips and tricks for London as well. Our favorite restaurants, neighborhoods, where we stayed and so on. So stay tuned!

Linking up with Bonnie.


Friday, January 16, 2015

My Routine, Good Reads and GREAT News.

Happy Friday! I did not mean to take a break from this little space but I did and now I have so many fun things I need to share! Our girl's London/Paris Trip, some fun ideas and some New Year "goals". So stay week I will be back in action!

For today, let's play a little catch up...

O N E | A Routine
This week, Rob and I have been slightly lazy. Well, more so me. Rob practices twice a day so I don't think that counts as lazy. I on the other hand, have been relaxing quite a bit. My routine for the day...wake up, go workout (so that's something!), come home, eat breakfast/lunch, catch up on shows, nap, cook dinner, read and do devotional and then maybe a movie or more shows. Ridiculous, right? As I have mentioned before, this is a very rare time in life. Here in Poland, I have no job and really no responsibilities right now...which sometimes I feel guilty for but then I remind myself to soak this in. I know, this rare time will quickly be gone. And I get to spend loads of time with this guy...which is just the best.

{from our trip to Warsaw}

T W O | Productivity
There are a few things I do every day (well most) to be somewhat productive...workout, read and do my devotional. These things are very important to me. So during this season of life when I have an abundant amount of time, I am trying to form good habits and do these things daily. That way, I am building a good foundation and will be able to continue to do them when life gets busier and crazier. Which brings me to a couple of books I am currently reading. First, The Gifts of Imperfection...

It came highly recommended by a friend and I see why. It is very good and honestly life changing. I will fill you all in more when I am finished. The second book, is my devotional that I just started this week. I am in the very beginning stages but I am already hooked. It is called Devotions for a Healthier You and is by Katie at Dashing Dish. I am huge fan of her and her blog, so when her devotional came out I knew I had to try it.

T H R E E | Inspiration
A favorite blogger of mine, Mint Arrow, posted this on her instagram the other day and I found it to be so true and so inspirational...

F O U R | Movies to See
This week, the Academy Award Nominations were announced. Last year, Rob and I saw every (but one) Best Picture nomination before the awards. And this year? We have seen none, zero, zilch. But we are hoping to change that and watch a few this weekend. Which nominations have you seen? Any recommendations?

F I V E | The Great News
Now the best for GREAT NEWS! Drum roll please...we finished paying off my student loans!!!! We submitted our final payment yesterday and it feels SO GOOD. I graduated 1 year and 8 months ago (seems like so much longer) and our plan all along was to pay them off as quickly as possible while still  making sure we saved money to travel as well. It feels so great to have stuck to our plan and accomplished both. I know this is not the most "fun" news in the world...but for us, we are ecstatic and fully plan to celebrate this weekend!

I am so grateful you stopped by, today. I hope you all have a fabulous weekend! I will "see" you  next week!


Friday, January 9, 2015

Five on Friday / 1.9.15

Happy Friday, friends! I returned home from my girl's trip late Wednesday night after having the best time. I was so sad to leave beautiful Paris, London and my friends, but also so glad to be home and reunited with Roberto!

As you probably have heard...there was a shooting on Wednesday in Paris. Thankfully, my friends and I left that morning before the shooting occurred. What a horrific and very sad situation...saying many prayers for those who lost a loved one and the city of Paris.

On a lighter note...let's get a little Five on Friday started.

London and Paris were both unbelievable. Best friends, 8 days, two incredible cities? It was pretty perfect. I have missed my best friends so much and a girl's trip is just good for the soul! I am so very grateful for this trip with them! Stay week I will start recapping our adventure.

Last year for Rob's birthday, I got him this One Line A Day book. And with the new year starting, I wanted to share this with you all!

 Last year, before we started to fill it out.

It would be a perfect way to start your new year. On a single page there are spaces to write what you did/inspiration from that day, there are enough spaces to do that for 5 years. So we have one full year filled and have started the second year. It is so fun to see what we did on the same day of the previous year. And to think at year five we will be able to read little snippets from the past four years...that just makes me giddy! We love this book. It is so fun to remember little moments and always brings a smile to our face. It is such a fun way to document your day to day to life!

Earlier this week, I shared a little interview I did with the husband. And it turned out pretty darn fun! So if you are interested in getting to know Mr. Lew Party of Two or just need a good laugh...check it out here.

I think one of the highlights of our girl's trip was the night in London we went to afternoon tea and then to see Wicked. I was so excited to do both and they most definitely did not disappoint. Tea was just so cute and everything you would imagine it to be and Wicked (really my first real show) was ah-mazing. Headed to London soon or in the future? These two events are a must...I will share more details next week!

Have you heard this mash-up?? Oh good!! Do yourself a favor and listen to it ASAP. {If video below doesn't work, click here to watch!}

So glad you stopped by today. I hope you all have a fabulous and fun weekend! We have a very relaxing one planned...which is the epitome of fun in our book :)

Happy Friday!