Favorite Coffee Cup & Why I Need to Live Somewhere Warm

Anyone have a favorite coffee cup?  I do. I do. I do.  I irrationally love this cup.

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I have two others just like it except the color inside is different and so is the logo on the front of the cup, it has to be the bear (Yukon blend).  It’s the perfect size, perfect texture (matte), great handle… Well made!   I don’t know what it is but when someone else uses my cup I have an inside irrational response of *gasp* “MINE” lol.  Luckily unlike my one and half year old, I don’t scream “Mine Mine” at the person using the cup, but I do practically hug it the next time it is in my hands.

So this morning is a good morning, my computer, Lorde Pandora, and my cup <3

I’ve always been a person who has worked on ways to make myself and the things around me better.  My newest endeavor?  Waking up really early everyday of the week.  My alarm goes off around 4:30 a.m.  problem is, I use the cold as an excuse to cuddle under my covers for the next half hour.  Then when I head to the treadmill it is cold down there!  This weather hates me, and the rest of Chicago.  I literally sit here and day dream about morning runs outside with my early morning companion, Oso:

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I just keep telling myself:  It’s coming. It’s coming.

But, to avoid this crap in the future.  I should just move somewhere warm! :) hehe.

No, on the bright side, I’m crazy blessed and lucky to have the option of running on a tredmill at my gym or in my home.  I just can’t wait until the snow and ice melts so I can run the early morning streets of my neighborhood. (Trust me, Oso can’t wait either!)

Happy Tuesday!

Random Thursday Thoughts

Thursdays.

The day before Friday.  One of the more naturally productive days of the week for me.  I get a sudden burst of energy, and feel like I can take on more things.  Am I the only one?

Also, weather has been cray!  Today I woke up to Thunder, which means rain, which means WARM!  It also means I’m going to have to order a pair of Hunters or something as I’m ruining my riding boots, yo.

Obsessed with my essential oils still:

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Yesterday I had a hard day at work, got home super late, missed yoga and the gym *sad violin* but came home to a new shaker bottle, score! And that awesome manifesto bag that I have heart eyes for and Hector glares at hehe.  Scored an awesome deal on the We Made Too Much Page ;-)

On that note, anyone else tell friends/fam/hubs “it was on SALE! I just had to have it?”  lol  Hector hears this far too often with anything that is workout related.  Next up, snow pants,and ski gear (hat, gloves, matching jacket)!

Why snowpants and more at the *hopefully* end of winter?  Because I want to go skiing for the first time in my life.  Anyone been to devil’s head? There is a Groupon.  Yep never ever hit the slopes.

Finally, I need a vacation.  Somewhere tropical.  I need a plan.

One more thing.  Have a wonderful day. Breathe, eat something to feed your soul and body (add avacado *bliss*), take a yoga/Pilates class and treat yourself to at least 5 minutes of meditation.

Namaste Friends off to Alexander the sh*t out of my day. :-)

Little Man Update – 1.5 Years *GASP*

My how time flies.  I know I say that every time I blog, but NOTHING could be more true.  Honestly before I know it WEEKS have gone by.

When Evan was first born we would count his weeks “Oh he is 5 weeks old” that turned into months “He is 4.5 months” which has now turned to half years “He is one and a half” *sobs*

He has grown so much and continues to blow me away with his knowledge.  He is full on bilingual.  He knows more Spanish and can go back and forth better then Hector can :)  It blows me away!  Typically we ask “More?” and he will say “mas, si” haha or we will say “Say thank you” and he will say “gracias” yesterday he did another phrase and I remember being so blown away because I just am so proud.   I’ve of course forgotten it, but will have to wrack my brain because it was a good one!!  He knows his first swear word in Spanish and I laugh so hard when he says it that I’m sure he will continue to say it more and more. Evan sings the birthday song, old McDonald, and takes stabs at everything else.  He knows all his objects, hats, socks, food, water (agua), toys, car, ipad, tv, shoes, boots (yep knows the difference), bed, bath, oso…. etc really the list is endless.  He knows people!  Points and everything Colie, Gamma (or Debbie!), Abue, Hector, Daddie, Josh (Tio, Tio, Tio), Naci (Nancy), JOE!, Joey, and of course Mama… haha <3  He is perfection.  He speaks in phrases, says everything in context and is just amazing.  Really how did I get so lucky?

As much as I loved squishy baby phase, I must say this independent toddler phase is a blast.  He is just so curious and funny and I love watching his personality.  I honestly just stare at him sometimes as if I cannot believe he is real, I cannot imagine my life without him and there is nowhere I’d rather be then with him.  I love how he laughs, and how boyish he is.  He is a little dare devil!  I want to soak up as much of it as I can! He makes me so happy, and proud (did I say that already?).

We had his 18 month checkup and it of course went very well (he needs a haircut, I know but I can’t bring myself to do it):

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27lbs 1oz (90th percentile for weight) 34.5 inches tall (98th percentile for height) – He is perfectly proportioned but definitely a big guy, and very strong.

Must be all the green drinks ;-)

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He is a great eater – not picky at all and has almost all his teeth, definitely a full mouth.

I’ve already started thinking about his 2nd birthday party (when I’ve yet to blog about his first one!  Which I will because it was AMAZING!):DSC_0054

I’m thinking paper airplanes or nautical themed.  We shall see… I went a little crazy last year and hope to scale back haha:

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Scary that I’m opening my brain to that once again.  We should probably just go on vacation instead :) lol.

I am so over the moon with my little guy.  Happy Half Birthday To You:

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(thanks for still cuddling <3 )

 

Visions, Sugarplums and Garland OH MY!

Happy Holidays, friends!  I hope everyone had a very MERRY CHRISTMAS.  I know we did!  Lots of love, cookies, celebrating and wrapping paper – all last minute of course!

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Evan was a BLAST this year for Christmas.  Everything was “Wow” and “eeeee” when he was opening his gifts.  So much different from our sweet itty 6 month old last year:DSC_1006

Both perfection, in their own special way.  I feel so blessed.  – My wonderful husband let me go to a holiday yoga class at our local CorePower studio.  It was the perfect end to an amazing morning.  It was warm, filled with great energy and a great instructor – there isn’t anything else I could have asked for.

We spent the rest of the holiday with lots of family, ate too many cookies and enjoyed my mom’s awesome spread!  Cannolis, shrimpies, crab dip, Polish goodies – the works.

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We also went light hunting.  We LOVE Christmas lights and were able to see some really sweet displays in our neighborhood:

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Finally, we cuddled with our sweet little dude.  He was so amazing, as always.  I am blown away by him, everyday.  The perfect gift to our family <3

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Hope your Christmas was amazing!  Back later with a New Years post! <3

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Twas the Day before Christmas

It is the day before Christmas and all through my house, not a thing is together not even my couch.  The Stockings aren’t hung, although the command hooks are bought. My hope is for St. Nick to put them up.

My child is covered in breakfast cereal, while Oso prances around begging for food; and hector in slippers and I in my lulu had just settled down to discuss what to do.

It is full swing ahead with all we have to do but I thought I’d check in with some things to do:

1.  Make it to a yoga class  to keep me sane.

2. Run around doing last minute shopping!  Every year I tell myself I’ll be better.  Honestly, I don’t know if I will ever be.  Most people are done but there are definately last minute things I must do.  Stopped at whole foods and bought some fun stocking stuffers:

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3. Drive around to see some Christmas lights.  Our neighborhood is always decked out so we like to drive around and see some pretty displays!

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4. Nom nom on some cookies as well as bake a last minute batch or two:

IMG_3375 IMG_33985. Take some Christmas-y family photos – or photos of Evan.

IMG_3405and enjoy some time with my favorite family peeps.

Oh – and go shopping for wrapping paper, tape, and bows!  *Sigh* my collection has gone missing. *sobs*

Happy Christmas Eve to all!  Hope you can get in some sweaty time!

 

 

A very [VERY] late Thanksgiving Update

This year I am thankful for so much – We celebrated in our new home for the first time… We came, we ate, we destroyed – and all were merry.  Please join me on my 20 things I’m thankful for/turkey day recap.  Ready. Go!:

1. Hector, Evan and Oso – My daily dudes.  I’m in a home with a bunch of boys and I love every second of it:

Our best family photo (minus Oso, can you imagine?)

Our best family photo (minus Oso, can you imagine?)

Ah, be still my heart.

Ah, be still my heart.

2. Family – Turkey day was spent with the people we love most!  The Villa’s and the Mattes’ unite! haha – We have such a fun family dynamic, I really am such a lucky girl:

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3. Friends.  I honestly have hit the friend jackpot.  I’ve said it before and I cannot say it enough  – I have the best friends.  I love them, we can not talk for days, weeks but if I need to chat, they are there.  I have a good mix of friends and I’m so lucky for all of them.  I’d like to think they know that!  I’d go to the ends of the earth for them all and this year I added some special work friends.  I’m surrounded by awesome people.  Again, thankful, lucky girl right here.

4. Music – I LOVE Christmas music and it makes its way into our lives right around turkey day time. I love Pandora, itunes, and the good old fashion car radio… My workouts would never be as amazing they are without it. :D

5. My job.

6. Coffee, green tea (and all my other teas, I’m the tea lady at work)

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7. My yoga mats.  These things save my sanity.
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8. My running shoes that haven’t been used nearly as much as they should.
9. My home – our first Thanksgiving here!
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10.  Fresh flowers, fresh herbs.  Nothing is more homey than fluers and herbs.  I love that I’ve been able to sorta keep my herbs alive and use them in my awesome home cooked meals:

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11.  Food.  I’m thankful that we are able to provide food for our family and teach Evan healthy habits.  Turkey day here was filled with awesome ingredients.  Some indulgent treats and healthy eats.  Many fresh veggies and some awesome pies and fresh whipped cream:

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12.  Grandma’s china and silver.  Hector and I never bought our own china and silver but my grandma gave me her sets and I’m so crazy thankful for these beautiful pieces that made their first appearance at our first thanksgiving here at this house, they were special to her dinners many many years ago and are being well loved and used once again:silver china

13.  Cranberry pomegranate sauce.  I literally made it twice (pictured above in the mason jar).  Soooooooooooooooooooooo yummy!

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fav14.  My Camera.  Even though I’m in the market for a new one, I’m so grateful for the camera and all the memory cards I hoard. I cannot delete them and reuse, once they are full I buy a new one haha.  I’ve been able to capture so much with my camera and love playing with it.  I really should treat myself to a class.

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15.  Our health.  I’m so blessed to have a healthy happy family.  I cannot thank God enough for that.

16.  The Train.  I LOVE never having to deal with traffic.  My train rides to work are short, sweet and awesome I don’t mind them one bit:
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17. Instagram.  What?!  Without it I wouldn’t have the filtered pictures above.

18.  Aden and Anais blankets – This may be something strange to add but Evan loves these things and so do I the Dream blankets (below, but their swaddlers are amazing and he still loves those too!) are the best and will make a great gift.  I will always recommend these products!  They are awesome!!  Evan has been wrapped or has wrapped himself in one of these everyday of his life so far:
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19.  My husband.  I know that I mentioned him above but he means so much to me he deserves a double post.  He is the most genuine, loving, wonderful person I have ever met.  I’m so lucky that I get to share my whole life with him.  He is gentle, kind and thoughtful – charming, my opposite, my balance, my peace.  I love him with all that I have.

babydaddyDid I mention he is the most wonderful father?  Oh yeah, well he is.  Insert “heart eyes emogyi”

20.  Me.  Blogging and forcing myself to get memories down, holding myself accountable for eating clean, working out, being a good mom, employee, wife, daughter, sister and person.  Thanks for following our journey!

 

Winter Prep & a super late Halloween/Oct Recap (pretty much in pictures)

Yep, it has happened.  Chicago’s first snow dusting:

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It is premature in my book, but totally typical of Chicago.  In our city, you cannot even begin to predict what is going to happen weather-wise.  This was taken almost two weeks ago and the following weekend we had 60 degree weather followed by severe thunder storms, go figure ;-)  I feel lucky that we get to experience all the different seasons around here, but I don’t think I’d be too sad if I moved somewhere warm and sunny all the time.  My mood seems tied to the weather… But still – it makes me nuts that we were JUST enjoying warm/fallish weather and now I’m scrambling to get Evan some weather appropriate clothes:

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Anywho, the snow has put me into wintertime mode.  Hot chocolate, throw blankets, and pulling out/buying new Christmas decorations:

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Tar-jey is so dangerous… They had the CUTEST owl/vintage-y ornaments so naturally I had to make Evan his own mini tree above…  But really how cute are these:

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Target also has holiday scents out.  One of my favorite products had “Pine” scent so I snagged those too:

Love the pine scents... seriously obsessed

Love the pine scents… seriously obsessed

 

Time still seems to fly by at hyper speed.  I realized I’ve never blogged about Evan’s first birthday – which I still will.  I put in a TON of work for it and made decor that I’d love to share – so when I find the pictures I’ll blog about it 4 months late.  I’ve also not blogged about Halloween even though it did happen and our mini werewolf (of course the costume we LOVED he hated, so pictures in it were nearly impossible) hung out with his bff Jonathan:

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856857_542981855112_1140881000_o 1378636_542556377772_1334718688_n 1403363_542980921982_578166463_o 1405012_542980951922_586106962_o 1410779_542981465892_1636764769_o 1415462_542981550722_1716105142_o 1425331_542981081662_1617711229_oLife lately really isn’t anything short of amazing.  Evan is awesome, Hector is sweet as always and Oso is the best big bro a mom could ask for.

Like I said, with winter on the way we are scrambling to get out decor and set up our casa with holiday cheer the first holiday season we are spending here.

Thanks for taking the ride with us!

 

Journey – Home Edition

The other day Evan and I went for a very long walk.  The weather was perfection and the fall leaves were breathtaking:

DSC_0878We walked to our favorite coffee house for a lunch date with my dear sister and on the way we walked past this house:

DSC_0748The house that started our house hunting journey.  Believe it or not it is in better shape than when we originally found it.  It was around the block from my mom’s house (an ideal location) and it needed so much TLC but it was priced so low that we felt like we could make it work!  It was the jump start we needed, that little push that put wheels in motion to buying our first home. I could not help but take pictures of it on our walk because we have come so far from the day we first looked at this home – a short sale late September 2012 just one short year ago.  I still remember sitting in the car with Evan while Hector ran around trying to peak in the windows (which have been replaced) and the excitement on his face that we might start this journey.

DSC_0743We ended up not even looking at the interior of our house because our Realtor looked at us and said many wise words,  “you have a 3 month old baby, you never know when this sale will go all the way through and the financing will be different if you need to put money into a home- that house needs a lot of work I’d hate for you to have unfinished projects as it is as is, lets look around.”  The house was a little too small too only two bed one bath and an unfinished basement.  She said she’d show us the house anyway but had a hard time scheduling the showing.  The rest is history, we only looked at houses ONE day. The day before I was done with maternity leave.  I swear it was just meant to be this house, we looked at a total of 3 houses that day and put our offer in same day and two days later we were under contract.

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(the day Hector handed in our earnest money… Look how LITTLE my baby was!!)

Buying our home was a crazy wonderful experience and it is neat to look back and see how lucky we were with the whole process.  We had an amazing crew backing us up and it really was as seamless as it could have been.  My suggestion?  Hire a broker, attorney and Realtor it is so worth it.  Seriously.

I’m excited that someone has bought the house that started it all and started giving it some TLC.  I’m glad it is in the neighborhood I live in and I can watch the progress, funny how you tie memories to objects.  The day Evan and I went for that walk I seriously walked with him for 5 miles taking in just how blessed we are to be where we are.  How blessed I am to have a loving/kind/wonderful/handsome/etc. partner in Hector, the family I have, the son I have, the job I have and the home we share.   Here are some pictures of the literal little journey we took that day:

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I look forward to updating you on our recent things… I have a feeling I might play catch up this weekend (four days long!).

Happy Saturday.  The sun is shining…

Run Intentions and Fails

Happy Sunday!  Yesterday flew by!  I was up and at it pretty early [I always am] but missed my morning run and said to myself “no worries I have a day full of running around, Sunday will be better”.  So yesterday we had walk time, pool time, shop time and cuddle time:

IMG_1776Well that wasn’t in order but I love cuddle time with Evan.  It is not the rarest thing, I have such a lovey baby but it really never gets old and I love that he still finds such comfort in my arms.

But it was swim day two with my nugget.  He skipped his morning nap, fell asleep on the way to the gym and I was quiet frightened that he might be a bit unhappy about pool time; but, alas he was happy as a clam… How did I get so lucky?

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I took his swim shirt this week because I remember him with purple lips last week, but his lips were just as purple this week if not faster than last week.  He still is so fun; but I’m not sure I love the instructor I really liked the “sub” last week.

Hector, Evan and I also went on a short walk to our favorite nearby mom and pop owned health food store, Larabee Herbs:

IMG_1756 IMG_1758 IMG_1754 IMG_1753We browsed the aisles like we always do.  I love the herby (word?) smell of the place I almost feel healthier just stepping through the threshold.  The owners are almost always there, they are so friendly and so knowledgeable.  I just popped in for a Kombucha this time around but I always feel like I want to roll out my yoga mat and do some flows or meditate when I walk in there.  Funny thing?  I bet it would be welcomed! haha.  My family has been a frequenter of the store for many many years and I love chatting with the people there they have one mission: to make people healthier and happier. <3

We also made a trip to Costco and picked up a few things including adorable alien organic cotton pjs for Evan. Evan isn’t a fan of carts but still loves his Ergo and Moby; so yesterday I stuck him in the Ergo as we happily browsed Costco:

IMG_1781 IMG_1779By the time I got home after Costco, it was time for dinner and sleepy time!  The weather was amazing and I wanted to take Evan for a walk but he was done with the Ergo and I discovered a flat on the BOB *Sigh* so we snuggled and watched terrible television.

Fast forward to today!  I was up early prepping for my run.  It was quarter to 6 and I heard the little man stirring.  Hector went out last night to watch the fight so he got home late and I knew he would sleep through Evan’s cries so I grabbed my little morning ninja, brewed some coffee and tried to get my hubs to cuddle with Evan or get up and play so I could go on my run.  45 minutes later Evan was finally happy and content with sleepy daddy and BOOM I let out the dog and downpour… So here I sit waiting for  the rain to end so I can go on my run and all my boys are sleeping in a triangle pattern around me as I sit and type this blog.  We have ventured into the living room and I have Oso on his pillow to my left, Hector in the love-seat to my right and Evan smack in my arms all sleeping peacefully…  The sounds around me are the rain hitting the grass/pavement outside, Evan and Hector’s breathing and Oso’s puppy dreams.

One thing you learn to do as a parent is live on other people’s time tables.  So yes, I am behind and didn’t get my run in BUT I did get a blog in and some more camera research.  I also have been able to enjoy my loaded coffee (it is leaded, so strong!).

Meanwhile, I’m off to make some lists to email to myself because this day has not started off as productive as I would have liked, but that is ok the day is still fairly young. <3

One more post swim picture from yesterday with Mr. Purple Lips himself.

One more post swim picture from yesterday with Mr. Purple Lips himself.

What are your Sunday plans?!

 

 

 

Saturday Loves

Hello, friends.  Happy Saturday!

The weather in Chicago went from summertime to full fall in 3 seconds:

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So we grabbed some hearty mums to mark the occasion that look beautiful now but my mom reports the flowers will die and they will be big green blobs haha. Ah well I’ll remember them like the above.

Last Saturday we enjoyed coffee on the deck with amazing warm air and someone only needed to be half dressed:

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Today we are inside frantically closing windows with long sleeves, pants and socks on! My how things can change in a week.

Evan has officially started swim lessons.  He is an Aqua Baby!  We have lessons every Saturday and he LOVES it so far.  He is a little charmer who likes to kick and splash and wants to stay in the water even when his teeth are chattering and his lips are a funny shade of purple.

I’ve gotten way better about taking my own time; going to the gym, going for a short run or walk and visiting one of my favorite places on earth the yoga studio:

IMG_1704[1]Needless to say I’m more grounded and centered and happy.  Yoga is blissful.

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Also… It’s back!  Pumpkin spice lattes!  I have an SBux in my building at work… Talk about danger zone.  The way to have it is a grande nonfat 1 pump no whip extra foam… one of my favorite things about fall.  It is clearly only a treat but reminds me fall is in the air <3  (My go-to at Starbucks is a Venti Zen, just ask Susie).  My sister posted those amazingly appropriate photo to my page:

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(if you know the source let me know for credits!!)

A few more random things about the end of summer… HOT BEVERAGES – My hubs and I are still obsessed with Blue Max:

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Mocha for him, green tea for me (how awesome is that lil teapot!?)… A scone to share.  I get the lean scramble (um yum) and share my sweet potatoes and fruit with Evan while Hector enjoys his chorizo eggs Benedict (Huevous Benedictos).  They just posted to their facebook page that they have a pumpkin spiced latte… guess who will be trying that tomorrow morning?!<<<<<<<<<this girl! (I’ll have to sneak in an AM run and treat myself)

My plants have survived the summer including these crazy herbs.  Next year I’ll have to learn how to “harvest” them – the lemon balm took over and I need to look up ways to use it:

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Can you believe the last time I updated you I thought they were outta control and they looked like this:

DSC_0674Next year I’ll know to skip the lemon balm or put it in a smaller pot.  They look well manicured above. <3

I’m also still deciding on switching out my camera or updating the lens, any ideas?  I have the Nikon D3000 – and am really unsure if I want to just switch it out for a Canon.

Well today is packed!  Off to Costco, some cleaning/organizing, Target, swim, gym, yoga (free C1!) and a wine night with a very special lady.

What things are you loving about the change of season?  I’m feeling extra energized!  It is that or the opc3 and my b vitamins! haha