Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Traditions

The only New Year's tradition I've managed to adhere to is drinking excessively and nursing a hangover the following morning.  Since this is a pretty sad tradition, I decided to research some new traditions* from around the globe to incorporate into our festivities this year.

Eating 12 Grapes at Midnight

As midnight strikes, it is tradition in Spain for people to eat twelve grapes for luck throughout the twelve months.  Some articles suggest that each grape represents a wish for the new year, but that seems like a lot of wishes.  Either way, I spent way too much money on grapes, so we are going to make this happen.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Review of 2012

I am more than excited to see 2012 end.  This hasn't been my favorite year--actually, parts of it rather sucked.  I'm not usually one to buy into the whole 'new year, new beginnings' philosophy, but I am embracing it fully this new year.  Instead of wallowing in my own self pity over the last year, I am going to take a minute to focus on the wonderful things I experienced in twenty twelve.


We rang in the new year with friends, old and new.  I drank a lot of wine that night and woke up with a terrible hangover to start the year.  Here's to hoping I learned my lesson within the last year and can start 2013 hangover free.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

To everyone celebrating the holiday, Merry Christmas!  I hope your day is filled with all the things that make this time of year special.

Much love, Jess

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Our Holiday Display

I've been noticing a lot of people sharing their beautiful, fun, and festive holiday displays around the blogosphere as of late, so I thought I would share ours.  Except our display is kind of...lacking.

For starters, our tree.  My aunt was getting rid of a couple of trees last year right before we moved out here, so we graciously accepted her four foot pre-lit option.  Sadly, when we put it up last year, the lights didn't work.  I don't know if you've ever tried to remove the lights off of a pre-lit tree, but it's a pain.  We didn't even put lights on it last year, we were so fed up.  At least this year we stepped it up with some LED lights.

Our blurry tree.  

Monday, December 17, 2012

Guest Post on Everyday Adventures

I'm guest posting today over at Everyday Adventures, the home of the beautiful Allie (also Mrs. Hyena of Weddingbee fame).

She is doing an entire series on Christmas memories, and today is my silly little story.  Check it out!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

DIY Colored Skinnies

A few weeks ago, I talked about how I was loving these green jeans that have been all over pinterest lately.

Well, I couldn't get them out of my mind.  I needed green skinny jeans.  Yes, I am aware of how ridiculous that statement sounds, but sometimes things stick in my brain and just won't leave until I have them.  Like when I really want a doughnut (right. now.).

I couldn't find a pair I liked in my very meager budget, so I decided to to find a way to make my own.  I love a good DIY project and after looking at a few tutorials online, I was confident I could finally get some green skinny jeans I convinced myself I must have.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Happy 12/12/12!

As I'm sure everyone is already aware, today is 12/12/12.  This marks the last day in this millennia that the date will feature repeating numbers (there will be one more sequential date next year on 11-12-13).  

Many people are commemorating this once-in-a-lifetime date by getting married (including a co-worker of Brian's), buying lottery tickets, or, my personal favorite, getting a free dozen doughnuts (if only I knew of a Krispy Kreme around here).

Brian and I especially love these fun dates because our wedding anniversary is a fun sequential date.  We would probably celebrate in some small way if I had thought about it before today (*cough*doughnuts*cough*), but we'll just have to wait until next year.

Anyone doing anything to commemorate 12/12/12 today?  Please tell me someone got themselves (or, your office, whatever) two dozen doughnuts!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Favorites, Greece Addition

I've decided to dedicate this Friday Favorites post to my favorite things we used while traveling in Greece to wrap up my recaps of our trip.

Fodor's Greece

We actually bought this book several years ago when the now-defunct Borders was going bankrupt and selling it's inventory at marginally discounted prices.  We used it to plan our trip and referred to it several times while we were in Greece as well.

Language Survival Guide

Luckily, most everyone we encountered in Greece spoke some English, but we didn't want to assume that this would be the case.  We tried to address people in Greek not only because it was fun, but because we want to show respect for the culture and language of a country when we visit by using the native language.  I bought this book from Goodwill for fifty cents early on in our planning process and it proved very helpful as a quick language and cultural guidebook.  Our Fodor's book provided a great deal on Greek culture as well, but this book was much easier (ie: thinner) to carry with us.

Travel journal

I blurred out the words to avoid any potentially embarrassing things being on here

In researching our trip, I read that Mrs. Star kept a travel journal during her honeymoon in Greece and thought that it sounded like a great idea.  Every day, I wrote notes about where we went, what we ate, and everything we did while in Greece.  Some days it was tedious, but I can't tell you how happy I am that I kept this journal.  There are so many small details that would have been forgotten already (even with all the pictures we took) if I hadn't made this effort.  I plan to keep this journal and add to it as we take more trips in the future.


Brian and I both bought Toms for our trip.  We wanted lightweight shoes that were comfortable given all the exploring we were planning on doing and Toms seemed to fit that need.  We really tested the limits of our Toms on the hikes we went on (see: the tearing at the seams of my right shoe), but they were perfect for our trip and I wear them all the time now.


Brian insisted that I pack light for this trip.  Actually, his exact phrase was, "I am not carrying any of your shit."  Such a gentleman, I know.  Well, he had a valid reason for making this statement.  When they traveled to Italy a few years back, Brian's mom brought a huge, heavy suitcase that she had to cart through the uneven streets of Europe, which left an impression on him.  To prove I didn't need anyone else to carry my things, I declared I would pack everything in a backpack.  And I did.  Take that, doubtful husband.

I packed 5 dresses, 3 shirts, 2 tank tops, 3 pairs of shorts, one pair of sandals, one pair of jeans, 3 sweaters, undergarments, my travel journal, a magazine, makeup and other toiletries, and a beach bag in this backpack.  We didn't have to check any bags, saving us time and money.  And, Brian can never complain about my packing again.  Win-win-win.

Camera friendly purse

After seeing how many pictures we took while in Greece, it should come as no surprise that I carried my camera everywhere.  As a general rule, I don't like to wear my camera around my neck.  Not only does it scream tourist, but it hurts my neck.  I've been wanting to get a stylish bag to carry my camera around, like one of these, but I'm cheap and couldn't justify the cost of one of those lovely bags.  My solution: make my own.

I found a bag on clearance at American Eagle and decided to add an insert to protect my camera and additional lens I planned to take with me.  I really liked this tutorial from How Joyful, but I am lazy in addition to being cheap, and I couldn't find any foam.  I used quilt batting and fabric I had lying around to create a nice little holder for my camera.  It's definitely not the prettiest or most protective insert, but it served it's purpose and I use it all the time now.

What are your must haves for long trips?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Greece: Athens

We spent our last day in Greece in Athens.  We wanted to get up early to get to the Acropolis bright and early before the crowds, but we got into Athens so late the night before, we didn't get out of bed until far later than we intended.

Luckily, our hotel was within walking distance to the ancient sites, so it didn't take long to get to our destination.

Arch of Hadrian-on the outskirts of the Acropolis

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