Friday, June 29, 2012

Out of Office: On Vacation

Vacation? What's that? Oh, where you take time off of work and get to relax? Now, I remember! Last night began a 6-day vacation from the normal working life we lead. We drove up to Massachusetts after work and leave for Maine this afternoon.
Fires will be made!
I'll be going off the grid for a few days, even though there's now cell phone service in the boonies. So if you don't hear from me, it's because I'm too busy sunbathing, sipping on cocktails, playing in the lake, and enjoying the company of some people I love so much. 

Drinks will be  had for sure!
I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! I'll attempt to blog from my phone to give you all a preview of our weekend when we're back in the Boston area on Sunday! 
Lots of love from New England!
Photobucket

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Real Life

Today, I'm getting real with you all. Yes, I'm a super optimistic, grateful girl who loves my boyfriend, family, friends, and puppy, but I'm not always sunshine and rainbows.

In real life, I don't always have a smile on my face.

In real life, I've been struggling to balance everything and haven't been putting myself first.

In real life, I haven't worked out in almost a month, except for running a road race two weeks ago and doing one boot camp. This makes me sad.

In real life, I'm eating way more take out and fast food than I normally would like. (Yes, we had McDonald's twice last week.)

In real life, the apartment isn't fully unpacked yet nor "homey". This drives me nuts.

In real life, I snap at M sometimes or take out my frustrations on him. It's not right or fair to him, but I try to apologize when I realize I'm doing it. Seriously, I need to go for a run.

In real life, I have gray hairs. It's not just one here or there, but many. I bought my root touch-up two weeks ago and finally dyed it on Friday.

In real life, my gray hairs are something I'm extremely insecure and self conscious about.

In real life, I'm still trying to figure out how to make time for me now that Louie is part of our lives.

In real life, I appreciate the simple things, like puppy kisses, dinner with family because they live so close, M's romantic side and sense of humor, and a full-time job.

In real life, I'm the person that you get to know on my blog and more.

What are you like in real life that you don't always share on your blog?
Photobucket

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fairytale

I'm under the weather...but hopefully I can get a ton done this morning to go home early and sleep. So instead of a regularly scheduled post, I leave you with this...
source
And even when I'm sick, I still feel like my life is a fairytale. Happy hump day friends!
Photobucket

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sometimes & Always: Vacay Time

3rd of July 2011
Happy Tuesday friends! It's a short work week for me this week (and next) because M and I are going on vacation! Woohoo! I'm linking up with Megan for Sometimes & Always!

Sometimes: I wish that I could have more vacation days.
Always: I'm grateful for the PTO that I have.

Sometimes: I wish that M and I could go on a month long beach vacation.
Always: I know that we would miss the creature comforts of home.

Sometimes: I love eating great food and drinking a lot.
Always: At the end of the trip, I'm ready for regular life again.

Sometimes: I wish we could go to Maine every weekend.
Always: 7 hours in the car would drive us nuts. No pun intended.

What are you saying sometimes and always about?

Photobucket

Monday, June 25, 2012

'Ello Monday

'Ello there! Happy Monday? I'm in a surprisingly good mood even though I've barely drank half my coffee. M and I accomplished a lot of things this weekend, and we have a great week to look forward to.

1. M finished putting together the new TV stand. See those tupper ware boxes? Yea, those were formerly serving as our TV stand. I'll show you the final product later this week or next.

2. I took random photos of Louie when he really just wanted to sleep on Friday evening.

3. I celebrated National Pink Day (which is also Mom's birthday) by eating a pink strawberry frosted doughnut and sporting my pink Fleet Feet tee that Christin gave me. 

3. M bought a TV, and we got a new mattress and box spring for an AMAZING deal. Tomorrow is going to be like Christmas because both arrive!

4. We relaxed before going on a hike (and sort of swim) in a local reserve. Louie is a cuddler.

5. We had dinner with my family to celebrate Mom's birthday before going into NYC to celebrate J's birthday.
And we can't forget the photographer (M) and I...

6. Sunday was spent relaxing in the morning, then making some major progress on our old-turned-new headboard before heading to the pool for some sun and swimming. Then we had dinner again with my family.

We had a busy, but fun weekend! This week: tonight we need to finish priming the headboard. Tomorrow the new TV and bed come. Wednesday brings puppy school and packing. Thursday night we leave for vacation! Lots to do before we leave, but I'm excited. What did everyone else do this weekend? Any big plans this week?

Photobucket

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom!


Dear Mom,

Happy Birthday! I can't believe another year has come and gone already! But with each year that I mature, we become closer and closer. Thanks for having put up with me through my teenage years. Hopefully it was worth it for how you're one of my best friends now. I hope you know that I look forward to talking to you every day after work on my drive home. I have to admit that my shorter commute has cut down on our chatting time though, unfortunately. You really are the best mom that anyone could ask for; that's only slightly biased since you're my mom. We (Dad, Ali, and I) are truly blessed that you're in our lives, and one day, I hope to be an amazing mom like you. So happy birthday! Even though we started the celebrations last night, I'm hoping that you feel extra special today. 

Love you always,
Amanda

Photobucket

Friday, June 22, 2012

Pinkalicious

Taken in Madrid
Did you know that tomorrow is National Pink Day?!? No? Well I'm a firm believer that the world would be a better place if everything was pink! Why you ask? Head on over to HooplaHa to find out! Hope you all have a fantastic and pinkalicious Saturday!

Taken in Madrid

No-Bake Cake Batter Truffles


Trust me, they do! My portions for the almond bark were off, hence the clumpy look, but they still taste amazeballs. (Yes, I ate way too many in the span of 24 hours.)

Easy, No-Bake Cake Batter Truffles:
1 box Fufetti cake mix
1 stick of butter, melted
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1 bag of color burst Candy Melts

1. Pour cake mix into bowl, scoop out 2 to 3 tablespoons of cake mix and set aside for later.
2. Melt butter completely and stir into cake mix. Add vegetable oil and mix. The consistency should be similar to cookie dough.
3. Form into small balls and place on baking sheet.
4. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
5. Melt Candy Melts in microwave in 30 second intervals until completely melted.
6. Stir in the tablespoons of cake mix from earlier.
7. Dip balls one at a time into candy melt mixture, ensuring that they're completely coated.
8. Place on baking sheet.
9. Once all of them are coated, refrigerate over night.
10. Enjoy!!!
Photobucket

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Perfect First Blate

@ Baked by Melissa (Photo credit:  Ruthie )
We don't know who found each other's blog first, but we became fast friends. Both petite, outgoing brunettes with an extremely positive outlook on life, we bonded. So many months ago when we found out that Ruthie would be coming to Manhattan for work, I put the dates in my phone and made sure that there would be time for the two of us.

Originally, we had hoped Jon (her hubby) could make it so that we could double date, but the girl time ended up being perfect!

We met in Grand Central, and I spotted her easily. Yes, she's actually even tinier than she looks, but doesn't have as thick of a Texas accent as I expected. From the get-go, we chatted a mile a minute. Big hugs and no awkward moments. Like she said, it was as if we hadn't seen each other in years and picked up where we left off, but really it was our first time together.

Unfortunately, the restaurant we had hoped to eat at was closed, so I Googled some other Italian places and found Fagiolini. Phones out of site, we didn't have time to take pictures of the delicious, freshly made fried calamari, our tasty mixed green salads, and massive pasta dishes. Time flew by as we talked about love, blogging, being furmoms, and more! Almost 2.5 hours at the restaurant, we decided it was time for dessert.

We passed Baked by Melissa on our way to the restaurant, so we headed back that way and ended up with a dozen mini cupcakes. I mean look at all the flavor choices!
Excited about our mini cupcakes! (Photo credit:  Ruthie )   
After choosing our flavors, we decided to go find a place to sit in Grand Central and chat while eating all the flavors and continue with our chatting. 
We couldn't get over how tiny they are! (Photo credit:  Ruthie )
Another half hour or so passed, and it was almost time for my train. We took one more picture in Grand Central before I walked Ruthie to her cab, squeezed her goodbye, and headed home.
(Photo credit:  Ruthie )
I have to say that it was really bittersweet leaving Ruthie. I was on such a high of getting some quality girl time and feeling so lucky that our friendship will continue to grow, but really sad to say "see you again!" This blog world has me feeling extremely blessed lately. Building strong relationships with females hasn't always been my strong suit, but I definitely have grown and bonded with some bloggers, especially you Ruthie!

Photobucket

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tasty Pins

Hump day's here! And I'm hungry. So obviously let's list out some recipes I want to try! Linking up with the beautiful Michelle for "Oh How Pinteresting!" Wednesday!

Baked brown sugar wings with roasted red pepper cream dipping sauce
Source: Damn Delicious via Pinterest
Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps, a healthier version of M's favorite
Source: Skinny Taste via Pinterest
Broccoli Parmesan Fritters
Source: Smitten Kitchen via Pinterest
Zucchini Galettes with Chipotle Creme Fraiche
Source: Lisa is Cooking via Pinterest
Cinnamon and Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
Source: Food Snots via Pinterest
Circus Animal Cookie Truffles
Source: The Domestic Rebel via Pinterest
You can follow me on Pinterest here: http://pinterest.com/aromaniello
Photobucket

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sweet Louie Love

Basically life revolves around my two boys lately. I sure am sweet on them. But my latest trick for when Louie gets to be a little wilder and puppy-like than I would prefer is the kong.
And another sweet note, did you know that June is National Candy Month? No? Me neither! But head on over to HooplaHa to read a little bit about the history behind my sweet tooth and a little about my family too! 
Photobucket

Monday, June 18, 2012

Love and Sangria

What a weekend! M and I were so exhausted last night that we were in bed by 10PM. It would have been sooner, but we were celebrating Father's Day by watching his gift for the holiday that Louie got him... 101 Dalmatians (the original). Now be prepared for lots of photos, even though I didn't take nearly as many as I would have liked.

Friday night we headed up to a gorgeous restaurant for my aunt's retirement party. It was a beautiful night and lots of celebrating the 42 years my aunt (who is also my godmother) worked at her company.
M & I
Little sister and I
The whole family...if only Dad was looking at the camera
Saturday, I got up early for boot camp, ran some errands, showered, and we were off to the Cape. Only 3.5 hours later we decided on Wendy's for a pre-wedding snack (and for me to put on my dress and makeup). The ceremony was super short, which I loved, and the bride and groom were picture perfect.
Bride and groom - they were speed walking, so it came out super blurry
M and I headed to our motel to check-in before we were off to the reception. The venue was absolutely stunning, but again, I didn't really take that many pictures.
What we looked out on
Best friends enjoying the view before the bar opened
M and I 
"Doing something romantic" - he picked me up
Standard sillyness - dress from Ann Taylor circa 2004 (my sweet 16 dress)
We drank, we ate, we danced. It was an absolutely beautiful and fun wedding! Next year, we'll be going to three, which I'm sure will be just as fun!

Sunday we got up pretty early to shower and head to M's parents' house to wish his dad a happy Father's day! Then we were on the road again for another 3.5 hours or so. Both of us were definitely overtired, but we needed to get back to our pup and to have dinner with my parents and sister for Father's day.

I hope you all had a great weekend! We certainly did!
Photobucket

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Eat Your Veggies Day!

source
M and I are in recovery mode from last night's wedding right now, but I just thought I would wish you all "Happy Eat Your Veggies Day!" Head on over to HooplaHa for some delicious veggie recipes that I've taste-tested and approved! Also, wish your loved ones a very happy father's day! Enjoy the rest of your weekend, friends!

Photobucket

Friday, June 15, 2012

Dear Closet


Dad and Mom - Paris 2011
Dear closet, if you could magically fill with tons of dresses, shoes, and purses right now that would be great! We're going to a wedding tomorrow, and I'm not quite sure what to wear. Dear summer hours, you rock my socks! Leaving at 3PM on Fridays makes me happy, but still jealous of M's 12:30PM release. Dear Louie, I love your cute little face, except you're growing so fast already! Dear Maine weekend, another week closer to you and your crazyness. I can't wait! Dear M, you complete me. Dear blog friends, it makes me so happy to have you in my life. Dear dad, Happy early Father's Day! Looking forward to giving you your gifts, grilling, and celebrating YOU on Sunday! If only we could be back in Paris to celebrate...enjoying Floc and cloufatis (spelling??).
Photobucket