Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Fourth Anniversary Photo

Every year, Mike and I take a photo of ourselves on our anniversary. Of course, the idea was totally stolen from Pinterest. I thought it was a cute little tradition and a good way to look back over the years. We put the photo up on the wall which we endearingly call the "anniversary wall" and always comment on how we have changed from year to year. ICYMI, here's last year's pic!


The wall is definitely getting pretty crowded so I think next year we might have to change it up. Maybe smaller photos? Maybe a new wall? Maybe a new house? Just kidding. Not really.


The first one is one of my favourite wedding photos and the rest are from our anniversaries. Since we prefer to travel instead of exchanging gifts every year, each photo is taken in a different city. Year one was Niagara Falls, two was in Cleveland, and three was in Cincinnati. This year, we went to Toronto for a nice lake-front dinner and a romantic sunset walk. (I recapped the day in this post.) Right before heading out on the town, we took a couple selfies to commemorate the occasion. And here was the winning shot!


Look! We switched sides this year! And not even on purpose lol.

I love hearing other people's anniversary traditions! What are yours?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Mike Drop - August

Ya'll are familiar with Guys Behind The Blog, right? I missed it last month because we were travelling. But now that things are getting back to a normal schedule, I went to the hosts to check out August's questions and I found out that the link-up DIED.

Cue the sad tears! I loved that link-up! Mike always killed it with his answers and I loved what he had to say each month. So what's a girl to do?

I created my own version! Appropriately named, The Mike Drop. Each month, I will have Mike answer 5 questions and post them on the ol' bloggity blog for you guys to read.
So without further ado, here's the first ever Mike Drop!

Q: How did you spend your summers as a kid?
A: I would spend most of my days in the summer hanging out with my friends who lived across the street. We'd do any number of things like have home run derbies at the local park to riding bikes or playing soccer. My evenings were mostly tied up with my own baseball games or soccer games and watching my older brother play baseball. 

My favourite summer was the summer of 1997. That summer my brother played on a travel baseball team that played most weekends in Michigan. The closest border crossing was about 3 hours away, so these were all pretty good road trips. The guys on his team were always really nice to me and would include me in their group and play catch with me, even though they were about 7 years older than I was. It made them feel pretty old years later when I eventually played on the same team as them or against them! I've always loved to travel and summer road trips are definitely my favourite part of summer.

Q: What was your favourite part about summer 2016?
A: My favourite part of 2016 was definitely our vacation to Poland. I love seeing Evelina's family and experiencing the different lifestyle in Europe. There are certainly difficulties like not understanding the language, not having a car to drive, or being too far ahead time wise to watch baseball, but it's always a fun and memorable time creating memories with family.

Q: You're a teacher, summer is ending. Describe.
A: It's exactly the way you remember it as a kid. The fun and games are over. No more sleeping in, no more hanging out in the clothes you slept in all day, and it's back to reality. Well, it's not exactly the way you remember it as a kid because now going back to school means a return to regular deposits into our bank account, and I don't have to do homework assignments like the students, so it's not all that bad!

Q: How did you fill your days off?
A: One summer, many years ago, we visited my late grandfather, who at the time was recently retired and we asked what he'd been doing this summer. He stretched his legs out and rested them on his coffee table, placed both of his hands behind his head, smiled and said "Nothing!" Now that's not to say I did *nothing* but I certainly took advantage of these two months to recharge my batteries and catch up on some rest. My favourite activity was watching the simulcast Dan LeBatard Show on ESPN. (Shameless plug: even if you don't like sports, the Dan LeBatard show is awesome, and so is his show Highly Questionable. Even Evelina, who hates almost all sports media likes it!)

Q: What are you looking forward to most about going back to work?
A: I'm looking forward to being back in a routine. All things considered, my job isn't too stressful. I enjoy grabbing my morning coffee on the way to work and interacting with my students. I'm excited to have a new group of students to get to know and of course, I'm looking forward to the return of getting paid!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Books N Bloggers

Fall is around the corner and with it come sweaters, scarves, and mugs of pumpkin spice lattes. And cozy corners curled up with a good book. And my cat. #grandmalife


So naturally, I'm so excited to be participating in Books N Bloggers this year! This is a swap party where bloggers send each other books to enjoy. It's hosted by Chaotic Goddess Swaps and apparently it's a semi-annual event!

The idea is that you send a book you love, a book you recommend, and a book they asked for. And your blogger partners sends you the same thing back! So fun. I have a couple ideas for what I plan to send as my recommendations.

I was paired with a blogger from Australia (!), Holly at Ramblings of a Fake Redhead. The link up goes live on September 7th and I'm so excited to see what everyone ends up getting! Stay tuned!


Monday, August 22, 2016

Winner, Winner!

Hi guys!! Happy Monday!

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway last week. I am blown away by the response! I really love the Rodan + Fields sunless tanner and even if you didn't win, I definitely encourage you to pick it up because it works so well! I have been using it non-stop this summer.


So without further ado, the winner is Elizabeth B! Congratulations!


Friday, August 12, 2016

Tan, Baby, Tan (Giveaway!)

For some, summer = laying out on the beach for hours.

That's not me. I am super pale, freckly, and burn to a crisp almost instantly. "Wear sunscreen!" people will tell me. I do. I still burn. I think my fair complexion it comes from my Polish genetics. And to be honest, I'm really scared of skin cancer so I try to avoid too many rays. But that doesn't mean I love I don't love golden bronzed skin in the warmer months so I have no other choice but to fake it til I make it. 

I have tried so many different options to get the tanned look through out the years. Tanning beds still pose the risk of cancer and expose your skin to premature aging. And spray tans are messy and expensive. So lately I find myself reaching for self-tanners. If you think they all make you orange and stinky, I'm very happy to say that you are mistaken! They have gotten so much better than they used to be! 


When Traci from Rodan +Fields contacted me about trying their self tanner I was so very excited! Rodan + Fields are the same people that make Proactiv, which I swore by when I was dealing with annoying teenage acne. The formula is a foam spray which makes it really easy to apply, just make sure to exfoliate first for even application. And I really enjoy the way it smells, even after a few hours after putting it on. The foam absorbs very quickly and I haven't had an issue with product transfer onto my all-white sheets or my clothes. 


I have been using it for a couple weeks now and I saw a difference right after my first application but the colour was nice and gradual so there's almost no chance of patchiness. The bottle is supposed to last 2-6 months which is perfect for getting me through the end of summer and then some! It's no wonder that it came in as the top self tanning product by TotalBeauty!

Other than the sunless tanner, R+F has various other skincare lines which target the most common skincare concerns. They have products for sensitivity (my #1 issue!), acne, sun damage, and wrinkles.   Here's a fun tool to help determine your ideal skincare routine. The regimens last an average of 2-3 months and preferred customers get 10% off and free shipping.  Rodan + Fields also offers a 60 day money back guarantee if you're not happy and there's a discount (woo!) if you choose to be a consultant yourself. 

As promised, I have a giveaway for you guys to try out the sunless tanner. Traci is also throwing in a mini facial for my readers because y'all are simply the best. Enter in the Rafflecopter window below!



This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents. Winners will be selected by random draw and will be notified by email. 
Contest ends August 19th at midnight. 

This is a sponsored collaboration post with Rodan + Fields independent consultant
You can email Traci at traci909@gmail.com. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

4th Anniversary Celebrations

Last week we celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary.

Instead of buying each other gifts, we prefer to travel every year to celebrate. We tried to make a little trip to Washington DC work but it'll have to wait until it makes more sense. And since we just got back from a three week vacation in Poland, another trip immediately after just wasn't in the budget. Not to mention I have no vacation time left until September! Last year, we took a little road trip to Louisville and Cincinnati and had a great time.

This year our anniversary fell on a Thursday and I had to work so we didn't have a lot of wiggle room. Mike drove me to work in the morning then met me for lunch and we had a cute picnic at a park near my office. It was so nice to see him those bonus extra times throughout the day.


For dinner, we drove over to downtown Toronto and ate on a gorgeous lakefront patio. I had read that the patio at the Amsterdam Brewhouse is the best in the city and I definitely think it is! The restaurant is located right on Lake Ontario with a beautiful view of the Toronto islands. It's also sandwiched between two pretty marinas right near the CN Tower so every where you look it looks like a postcard!  Parts of the patio had adirondack chairs set up for those that just want to have a couple drinks and enjoy the view. I definitely recommend this spot if you're ever in Toronto!










Since this was a brewery, we couldn't not try some of their craft beer. We got a flight of the lightest beers and we both really liked them! Our beer tastes aren't super refined but I would definitely buy them again. Our food was delicious and we were both too stuffed to order dessert.




We were able to catch the start of the sunset while we were eating and saw the rest as we were walking on the nearby boardwalk. I couldn't walk too much because I have a sprained foot, but nothing was going to stop me from enjoying the gorgeous setting and special occasion.










I'm so glad that Mike and I got to have a special evening out together. A nice dinner and a sunset walk on a gorgeous night was the perfect way to celebrate.

Here's to many many more years!

Oh, and I'll be back another day to chat about our annual wedding photo!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Four Years

Four years ago I put on a white dress.
Four years ago I looked into your eyes as I walked towards you.
Four years ago I slid a ring on your finger.
Four years ago I made the best decision of my life.
Four years ago I married my soul mate.

Happy anniversary to us! Each day is better than the last and I can't wait to see what the future holds for us. I will forever be by your side and I couldn't imagine a better person to spend the rest of my life with.

I love you!





Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Oh, Hello (Again)

Hey guys, remember me? Is anyone still there?

I've been gone for a while from this little site of mine. In case you missed my explanation for my radio silence, I was on vacation for a few weeks.  Mike and I flew to Poland to visit my family and had the greatest time. To be honest, I am still heartbroken from having to say goodbye to my family again (it's always so, so hard) but I have been forcing myself to get back into my regular schedule. We got back just over a week ago and I was quite the hot mess when we got home. Family means so much to me and I hate how rarely I get to see everyone. But I'm trying to count my blessings and be so grateful for the time that I was able to spend with them. We also got to explore a little bit more of Poland and even crossed the (nonexistent) border into Germany. 




Now I'm back to work, back to chores, and back to watching Big Brother. Mike is off on his summer vacation (#teacherlife) but we just finished enjoying a long weekend so I'm good. Next on the agenda, go through the 2000+ photos from our trip. Yikes!

I'm hoping to slowly work my way back into a regular blogging schedule and catch up on all the posts I missed from my bloggy friends (I saw some pregnancy announcements out there! So exciting!!) 

Thank you to all the ladies that helped me out with guest posts and to everyone who checked in from time to time while I was away! 
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