Monthly Archives: December 2016

Friday Favorites: Best of 2016

Happy final Friday of 2016! Today, I’m talking about my favorite books, movies, and TV moments of the year!

Favorite Books

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult


In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware


Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik


Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling


Favorite Movie

Finding Dory


Favorite TV Moments

WARNING: There will be some spoilers here!

Sansa Stark getting revenge of Ramsey Bolton on Game of Thrones.


Uncle Jack’s enormous hands on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia


The Season 12 Finale of Grey’s Anatomy


The Life and Death Brigade coming to Rory’s rescue on Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life


What were your favorites of 2016? Linking up with Amanda!



2016: A Year in Review

Can you believe that it’s almost 2017?! I feel like this year has just flown by. It’s been the greatest year of my life, and I think 2017 has a lot to live up to! Here’s how 2016 looked in the life of Lauren:


C and I joined my parents in Alligator Point, Florida for a visit to the beach.

There was a CRAZY blizzard!


My niece and I spent a day in Philly, eating the world’s most delicious donuts at Federal Donuts and seeing adorable animals at the Philadelphia Zoo.

C and I spent Valentine’s Day eating Mexican food and seeing Zoolander 2.

We had a game/stir-fry night with a group of our friends (something we seriously need to do again).


I saw She Loves Me on Broadway!

We celebrated the wedding of my friends Jared and Karen!

I got to hug a baby goat!!!!


C and I got engaged!!!


My Mom and I visited my brother in New York for Mother’s Day!

My engagement ring arrived!


My parents’ new dog Salty joined our family!

One of my bridesmaids threw an engagement brunch for the bridal party!

We celebrated the wedding of Carson and Sveta (and took this lovely picture with my relatives-to-be)!


Mom and I visited Chicago!


My mom and my bridesmaids threw me the most amazing bridal shower!


I turned 36! (oy!)

We attended two beautiful weddings!


My bridesmaids threw me an awesome bachelorette sleepover!


We went on our honeymoon in Asheville, North Carolina!


We celebrated Thanksgiving with our families!


Mom and I headed to Chicago again for a beautiful wedding reception!

And we celebrated the holidays with our friends and family!

What were some of the perks of your 2016?



Wedding Wednesday: Getting Ready with Mom

Today’s post is going to be photo-heavy, but these are some of my favorite pictures from the wedding. My mom helped me get dressed for the wedding, and it was the first moment of the day when I started to feel completely at peace. It was almost as if my body NEEDED to be in that dress. Once it was on, however, I felt a surge of joy and never felt more beautiful in my life. In fact, when C and I reached the hotel that night, I looked at myself in the mirror and said sadly, “I don’t want to take this off!”

Enjoy these pictures of my mom and me, preparing for the big day.



Christmas Recap

Happy Tuesday one and all! Sorry about the lack of posts from the last week. As you can imagine, the holidays were crazy busy, but today I’ll give you a Christmas recap!

Friday Night: Birthday Celebrations

My adorable flower girl’s (whose pictures you’ll see in upcoming Wedding Wednesday posts) birthday is December 23rd, so every year, C’s extended family gathers together to celebrate her birthday. It’s also the unofficial start to all of the holiday celebrations. We got her the HedBanz game, and I think that we’ll probably all play it on New Year’s Eve 🙂

Saturday: Christmas Eve

Being that this was our first Christmas as a married couple, C and I didn’t want to do any of the events separately, so we had to split them up. While we might change things up for next year, this year, we decided to join his parents for their Christmas Eve party. It’s always a good time, filled with great food and games. There’s a White Elephant gift exchange, and I came away with this beauty:

C and I decided to exchange our presents that night because we knew we’d be so busy the next day. He got me a few different things, but I was most excited about an under-the-desk elliptical machine! Watch out Fitbit Challenge–I’m going to start dominating!

Sunday: Christmas Day

We got up bright and early and headed over to my parents’ house for Christmas morning. We opted to try the present formula of Something You Want, Something You Need, Something to Wear and Something to Read. While I was worried about finding things for each category at first, I ended up feeling so satisfied with the presents that C and I chose. One highlight was that C and my brother both got each other bourbon for “Something You Need.” But the biggest highlight of all…is that I’m going to see Hamilton on Broadway next week!!!!!!

After brunch and a walk, C and I went back up 95 and returned to his parents’ house for more food and more gifts. We were so touched that C’s siblings pooled together and got us an amazing grill! Come on, summertime!!!

How was your Christmas? What was your favorite gift?


Five on Friday: Almost Christmas Edition

Happy Friday everyone! Did anyone else TOTALLY need today to be Friday???

Anyhoo, here’s 5 things going on in my world this week, as I link up for:

1. Date Night

Well, technically, it’ll be group date night. C and I are going to the movies with some of our friends tonight to see Rogue One. I’m pretty excited because we’ve haven’t had a movie date since Valentine’s Day, when we saw Zoolander 2 (clearly, we’re all about the romantic movies lol).

2. Falling Behind on Movies


Speaking of movies, I have yet to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. I’m pretty sure that I can’t allow myself to open presents on Christmas morning if I haven’t watched that movie.

3. Westworld anyone?


Is anyone else watching Westworld? My friends recommended it to me, and I’m hooked after the first two episodes. Unfortunately (or fortunately) it’s one of those shows that I have to watch really closely, so I don’t miss important things, which means that it’s not the type of show that I can watch while accomplishing other tasks.

4. Drunk History


And now speaking of television, do yourself a favor and watch the episode of Drunk History that features Lin-Manuel Miranda telling the story of Hamilton. I’ve watched it twice already because I love it so much. Also, if you are a fan of Parks and Rec and/or Arrested Development, then you’ll love the cameos!

5. Wrapping It Up!

I can’t tell you how excited I am to wrap gifts this weekend! I’m going to clear off my big ole desk and turn it into my gift-wrapping station. Christmas music will play, hot chocolate will be consumed, and if I’m lucky, the pups will not get into the scraps of paper too much.


National Cupcake Day Recipes!

Happy National Cupcake Day! Oy, I was just starting to eat better and then this dang holiday comes around. Oh well, if you can’t beat em, join em! Today I scoured the web to find some great cupcake recipes for you to try out today. And if you want to bring me samples, I won’t be upset 😉

Gingerbread Cupcakes from Suger Spun Run

These cupcakes are just perfect for this time of year! As you gaze longingly at gingerbread houses and wish you could dig in, just bake up a batch of these cupcakes instead.

Salted Caramel Pretzel Cupcakes from Chocolate with Grace

I’m a huge fan of the salty-sweet combination, so these cupcakes are right up my alley. Plus, there’s the crunch factor of the pretzels, which really makes these cupcakes a home run in my book!

Gooey Chocolate S’mores Cupcakes from Baking Mischief

Although I’ve loved s’mores for my whole life, I’m recently become re-obsessed with them. Because of this, I am dying to try out this recipe. I think it can only provide happiness for my heart and stomach.

Do you have a favorite cupcake recipe?


Wedding Wednesday: Touches of Autumn

Happy Wedding Wednesday! When C and I decided to have our wedding in the fall, we really wanted to make sure to include the colors and feeling of the season in many elements of the wedding. Today, I’m going to show you a few of the ways that we added a touch of autumn to our big day.

The Invitations

C and I were lucky enough to have C’s uncle make our wedding invitations as a gift. We told him that we wanted to make sure to include fall colors and leaves if possible. When I saw the pop of the colors of the leaves on the invitations, I was thrilled!

The Programs

Again, I wanted to incorporate leaves into the wedding, so I found a few different designs on Etsy and had C pick from them. He chose this design, and our version ended up being just as beautiful.

The Flowers

My in-laws got us the most gorgeous chrysanthemums from Pennsylvania, driving up there twice two days before the wedding to make sure that we had enough.

Our florist did a fantastic job with decorating our arbor and the tabletops with fall flowers in the perfect colors.

The Dresses

Someone told me that other day that she was skeptical when she heard that my bridesmaid dresses would be maroon, but once she saw them, she thought they were just perfect. I totally agree! I think burgundy/maroon perfectly represents fall, and my gals looked gorgeous!

The Drinks

Our signature drink was two different versions of apple cider. As I’m not much of a drinker, but I’m obsessed with hot apple cider, that was my signature drink. C’s signature drink was apple cider…with a dash of Fireball 😉 Either way, the apple cider portion continues in the autumn theme.

Linking up with Nikki and Alex for Wedding Wednesday!

Always Al



Show Us Your Books: November to December

It’s time for another edition of Show Us Your Books! I’m pretty impressed by the amount of reading I got done in the past month. I tell ya, books on Overdrive and on CD are your friends, folks. Linking up with Jana and Steph for:

Life According to Steph


Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (5 Stars)


This may be one of my favorite books by Ms. Picoult. The characters are powerful, the story is compelling, and I never found myself getting bored. Also, as I listened via audiobook, I got to hear the amazing voice of Audra McDonald. The topic is certainly one that is difficult, but unfortunately it is very real and needs to be more out in the open. Definitely give this one a read.

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware (5 Stars)


This book was so good that as soon as I finished it, I gave it to a coworker. I said, “I don’t know what kind of books you like, but you need to read this.” I was constantly trying to figure out the answers to the mysteries of the book and was completely satisfied with the ending. READ IT!!!

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer (Did Not Finish)


Yes, I think Amy Schumer is typically quite funny, but from the first page, I just knew that this book’s content was going to be all about “shock value.” Not for me.

I Don’t Know What You Know Me From by Judy Greer (3 1/2 out of 5 Stars)


Since Schumer’s book was a bust, I turned to another comedienne. You know who Judy Greer is. Seriously, you know her and have seen her in tons of things, but since she’s the queen of the sidekick characters, you may not know her by name. This book is both funny and endearing. I especially love the chapters on how awesome the behind-the-scenes movie folks are (although, I may be biased, as my brother is one of those folks) and her chapter on good advice (“If you wake up in the middle of  the night and wonder if you have to go to the bathroom, just get up and go”).

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (3 1/2 out of 5 Stars)


This book would have received a higher rating if it had ended sooner. Much like In a Dark, Dark Wood, the story is compelling, and the climactic twist is fantastic…but then the journey to the finale just takes too long. Still, it’s a great story and worth the read (after In a Dark, Dark Wood though).

Do you have anything to recommend? Did you read any of these books?


Havre de Grace Candlelight Tour

Happy Monday folks! On Saturday, the ladies on my husband’s side of the family and I enjoyed our annual candlelight tour of the Christmas decorations of Havre de Grace. This year’s homes were some of the best ever, and I have the pictures to prove it!

The Lock House

The first stop was the Lock House, which housed a holiday boutique featuring crafts, food and jewelry. It was VERY difficult not to buy an adorable quilted bib for one of my friends, but I managed to keep my wallet in my purse. I could hear carolers as I walked in the door, and I was so excited to see them in traditional dress!

The Gray Lady

The home named The Gray Lady was absolutely stunning. They had just recently doing a remodel, and I was in love with their kitchen. My mother-in-law said that she wanted to move in!

Their Christmas decorations were just as lovely as their home decor!

The Christmas-y Condo

One of our stops featured two condos that were merged into one. They certainly did Christmas right!

Unfortunately, my phone died, and I didn’t get to take pictures of the house with toy versions of all of the characters from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (including the cowboy who rides an ostrich) or the new Havre de Grace Library, which is exquisite. But I had a wonderful time and am now even more in the Christmas spirit!

Linking up with Biana for Weekending!


Five on Friday: Top 5 Scrubs Episodes

Happy Friday everyone! Since the holidays are coming up, I’m going to try to avoid stress by watching some episodes of my favorite shows. Today, I’ll write about some of my favorite episodes of one of the greatest shows of all time: Scrubs. Linking up with some great ladies for Five on Friday!

“My Half-Acre”


This is by far my favorite episode. First of all, Turk, Ted, and the Janitor are in an “air band” together. Why on EARTH would four grown men form an air band? It doesn’t matter because it’s AMAZING. Also, this is the first of two episodes with Mandy Moore, and there’s just something so lovable about her. Oh, and you find out that JD has Les Mis trading cards.

My Best Friend’s Baby’s Baby


I love this episode. Carla and Turk are having their baby, and JD and Kim are deciding what to do about her pregnancy, and Dr. Cox and Jordan’s son has no filter, which is phenomenal.

My Way Home


The first time this episode aired, I missed it because I was on the phone. The next day, my friend yelled at me for missing it because he said it was one of the best episodes ever. He was right. It has the perfect mix of magic and heart…and a Wizard of Oz theme.

My Musical


I was really skeptical of this episode at first, as I am when any mainstream television show decides to do a musical episode. But it was awesome. I still sing the “You’re Going to Be Okay” song in my head from time to time.

My Unicorn


You know how my most favorite show of all time is Friends? Well when a guest star on Scrubs was Chandler’s from Friends, it made the episode SO much better!

Do you watch Scrubs? Do you have a favorite episode?