Pass the Merlot … Mel is 3-0!

It’s hard to imagine that anything could top my 21st birthday – opening and closing Northgate in College Station then crying when the bars closed because I was having so much fun and didn’t want my birthday to be over yet. Turning 30 however was even better.

As much as I loved college, my life is mostly in a better place (exceptions: going to work every day, bills, wrinkles), and I am totally excited to start a new decade in my life! It also helped that the weekend was full of fun, packed with surprises and made complete with several special visitors. Continue reading

Where does the time go?

It has been two months since I’ve written a post. Well, actually two months since I posted. I began a couple of posts here and there, but nothing was coming out right so I ended up deleting the drafts. As much as I love writing – and love hearing from you! – I needed a break. Even though I felt motivated and wanted to write, there were a million other things to do for work, around the house and in preparation for the holidays. Now I am getting my feet back under me and can’t wait to share all that has been going on! Here is just a quick recap, mostly in pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Thanksgiving
We had a wonderful Turkey Day complete with family, friends and Mama Merin’s mashed potato casserole! The holiday started off in the best way possible – with a last-minute notice from the boss man that we would have Wednesday off. Dave and I celebrated in true American fashion … with dinner in Chinatown!

Starting off the #thanksgiving holiday right – with Chinese food!

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Wednesday we picked up Dave’s mom from Union Station, which was decked out for the holidays. So pretty despite the rain!

I made up a turkey brine with lots of herbs and then Dave took it from there for his second annual beer-can turkey. It really makes it super juicy!

Boiling the brine – sage, rosemary and thyme! #thanksgiving #turkey

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beer can #turkey in the oven!

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^^ We were surprised it fit in the oven! ^^

Our good friends Josh and Olivia came over and we had a potluck style meal that included Dave’s beer-can turkey, Josh’s deep fried turkey, mashed potato casserole, brussels sprouts, spicy mac and cheese and MORE.

#thanksgiving dinner = wonderful day with family, friends, good food and #wine!

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Daisy spent the day like the princess she is, perched in front of the door just watching the world go by.

Daisy is #thankful for her squirrel watching spot by the front door!

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Christmas (aka the MOST wonderful time of the year!)
Hands down, Christmas is my favorite holiday and truly the most wonderful time of the year. Even though we had fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, this year I felt even more full of the spirit. One of my favorite places in town at this time is the Willard. They really deck the halls and all who enter are greeted nightly by carolers in the lobby.

One of #thistown's prettiest spots at #Christmas #tistheseason

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Happy holidays caroling from The Willard Hotel #tistheseason

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Back in Texas for a week, I got to spend a lot of time with family and friends.

Playtime with this cutie!! #myshadow today #lovelovelove

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^^ my shadow Silvia ^^

Visiting with my favorite little family @carinasby

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^^ my favorite little family – meeting Leo for the first time ^^

Real Christmas lights – Texas style!! #merrychristmas #tistheseason

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^^ Christmas lights (Texas style!) with mom ^^

^^ Lola got so many toys from Grandma, she didn’t know which to play with! ^^

Ringing in the New Year
Dave and I originally wanted to go to Europe for New Year’s, but decided it wasn’t the most responsible decision after everything with the house. So instead we spent the evening at our new home with some old friends! It turned out to be very eventful as my Aggies pulled off a great comeback in the Chick-fil-A Bowl Game, and then just after our midnight kiss and toast, Justin proposed to Matthew!!

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First #selfie of 2014! 🎉💋 Happy New Year!!

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^^ the proposal happened as this happened – our first selfie of 2014 ^^

In other news it’s been very cold here! Daisy doesn’t particularly like it, but at least she looks cute in her coat :)

Ready to brave the #polarvortex – she just needs booties and a scarf!

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Here’s a look at my instagram highlights from the past year…

A little late with this, but …

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And my calendar for the year ahead! I have always loved calendars, like since I was young it has been a tradition. Every Christmas I would get one, often picking it out myself at those little pop up kiosks in the mall. The past few years my favorite has been by Curly Girl Design. She has the best, BEST quotes and cute graphics.

I love the start of a new year! It’s full of reflection on memories past and hope for the future. Lately I’ve been thinking that the world might be a better place if we treated the start of each month as we do the start of the new year. I don’t mean we need to go out and party like it’s 1999 before the first of each month, but if we had the same resolve monthly as we do annually, there might be a bit more of that joie de vivre going around!

How were your holidays?
What’s your favorite thing about the New Year?
Do you think we should celebrate each new month in a similar way?

tuesday things – five fall faves

Fall is 100% without a doubt my favorite time of year!  We’ve been lucky here in D.C. to have some early fall-like weather (despite the 90’s we’re supposed to reach this week) and the Pumpkin Spice latte came out early, so I am a happy girl! Here’s just a quick post to list some of my favorite things about the greatest season…

1. The start of football I love my Aggies and my Cowboys … especially when they both win, like this past weekend.

#gameday pup #btho Sam Houston #gigem #aggies #WHOOP #daisyisthecutest @tamu

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^^ Daisy loves the Aggies too! ^^

2. PSL – I already mentioned that I was happy the Pumpkin Spice latte came early. It is one my my favorite treats for fall! (I rarely let myself buy from Starbucks – or any coffee shop – since we have free coffee in my office.) Hard to believe she’s already ten – they grow so fast! #PSL10

3. Foliage – One of the biggest pros to living up here are the bursts of crimson, burgundy, pumpkin, mustard and bronze that come out during fall in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Last night I picked up some lovely fall-colored flowers at the grocery store to start the season early in our apartment :)

4. Holidays – Fall has the best holiday line up by far (Halloween, my birthday, Thanksgiving) and they all lead to Christmas which is my number one fave holiday! Speaking of Halloween, anyone have good costume ideas??

Siblings on Christmas :) #InstaEffectFX

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^^ my brother and me at Christmas last year ^^

5. Fall food and drink – Think soups and stews, anything pumpkin, apple baked goodies, and warm drinks like cider, hot cocoa and mulled wine. Yum!! I had my first pumpkin beer of the season on Sunday night while Dave and I discussed the houses we’d seen that day – Of House and Home update coming later this week!

pumpkin beer from real pumpkin puree

pumpkin beer from real pumpkin puree

Pie is finished, time for bed. Merry Christmas!!

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^^ my homemade pumpkin pie from last year’s Thanksgiving ^^

What do you love about fall?
Or do you have a different favorite season?