Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy Valentime's Day!

Justin: Our first date was on Feb.21 2009 which also happened to be the day we decided to celebrate Valentine's Day since we missed it. AND that was the year of the AMC Best Picture Showcase...more on that extravaganza next week.

So ever since then, we've celebrated Valentine's Day on the 21st of February each year.  Our anniversary is March 14th so we don't get presents for each other, just cards.  So with that, I always try to rock a sweet card.  We decided to go Chuck's Southern Comfort Cafe...ohhh man EAT HERE.  It's so good.  Best mac n' cheese in the world.

Anyways, before the feast we exchanged cards: 

So this image of a heart dressed in a sweater is our way of saying, I Love You.  When we first started dating Nic and I would talk on the phone sometimes and I remember she blurted, I Love Youuuuur Sweater.  It just cracked us up. 

On to the food!

We had the bruschetta as an appetizer. Nic had the BBQ Pork Nachos and I had the Crab Cake dinner.  YUMMMMMMMMM!  Go here...seriously.

 Did you have a good Valentime's Day?

Nicole:  Justin is right in that we started saying I love your sweater to mean I love you when we had begun feeling those feelings, but the actual saying originated from something else.  It was actually a dream that I had when we first started dating.  I remember telling Justin my dream and being very nervous to tell him because it was such an interesting dream that I had to tell him, but I didn't want to freak him out with the "L" word too early in our relationship and no, I don't mean lesbians!)  I was walking to the train to work in the morning when I called Justin to tell him about my dream.  The gist of it was that I had wanted to tell him "I love you" but I got nervous so it came out "I love you...rrr sweater"  It may have been my subconscious talking to me, but at the time I wasn't ready to say that out loud. I just can't say it enough.  Sweater my Love.

Happy Valentimes Day!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Girls Weekend 2011

Well this weekend was something....wonderful!  It was Girls Weekend 2011!

While it is called Girls weekend, hubbies/boyfriends are allowed to attend.  We all take turns hosting and this time it was my friend Kristie's turn.  We all got there in time to head to bed and get some sleep for a fun filled weekend!

Saturday we headed out to the park nearby and had some fun monkeying around.


Later that evening we all got ready for a murder mystery game that I brought complete with costumes and accents.

I made my first attempt at cupcakes made completely from scratch.  They were guinness cupcakes with chocolate baileys ganache and baileys frosting.  They were good!


Sunday was a chillax day with chatting and movies and then we all headed home in the evening.  I was sad to leave my friends, but we are determined to have a Girls Weekend 2011 2.0 sometime in the second half of the year.

Lets do this Girls!

Justin:  Yes, yes Girls Weekend was upon us again and it was quite fantastic if you ask me.  One thing I'd like to point out that was kind of a highlight for us was that Nicole lost her ring.  Now that's not the highlight but the fact that we found it was the highlight.  As Nicole mentioned we were monkeying around in the playground and Nicole was on one of those hang upside down kind of bars and she was sure that she zipped her pockets up with ring inside.  However, after we had left and went to eat, she noticed it was missing in her pocket.  I could tell it was bugging her admist the crazy murder mystery game and other festivities but she played it cool.  It was only til that night when she shed a few tears for her lost piece of jewelry.  Because of the fact that it was the first piece of jewelry we bought together, it has a sentimental value to us.  On Sunday afternoon I decided to lay down for a bit and Nicole came in telling us it was time to go.  I was assuming she was sad because we were leaving her great friends but she said she was sad because it's the last day and she knows her ring is lost forever.  I told her it wasn't and that we can check before we leave and that her friends wouldn't mind one bit.

I think part of her hesitated at going to the park to look for it because it could very well be gone for good and a disappointed trip to the park would solidify that statement.  However as we made our way to the car I said to get your camera ready because I wanted to take a photo of the expression on her face when we find it.

Sure enough....I forgot to take the photo.  BUUUUT we did find her ring thanks to a very nice man who picked it up and placed it on one of the tables rather than in his pocket.  She was super happy and I was super happy for her.  We were all out there like worker ants looking for that thing and it's a testament to the kind of friendships we've made that mean so much.

I'm proud to say I was 100% positive we were going to find it.  You can't end a great Girls Weekend with a bummer moment.  But thanks to that nice man and the bond of positively strong friendships the ring was waiting for her when we got there.

Nicole speaks highly of her college friends as their are not just her college friends but her extended family.  I respect that quite a bit and always look forward to meeting up with the people that took care of her back in the day...still do now too.  You pick up a lot of traits from your friends in college, at least I'd like to think so. And Nicole's friends are really bonded together and just all around warm, kind, and funny people.  When you are around this particular group you can feel how closely connected they are.  My first Girls Weekend I was quite nervous but we seemed to get a long quite splendidly.  I think you'd think I was a part of the group for years with how we've interacted and bonded over the few great times we've hung out together.  I'm so happy that they are such a big part of Nicole's life and I'm proud to call them my friends as well.  Thanks for helping find her ring and for being such positive influences in our lives as a couple.

Bud Wizer out.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Black Swan gets her Punk'd on!

Justin:  So this movie "night" actually took place Sunday afternoon.  The ACTUAL movie night on Friday we were watching Better Luck know, that ASIAN mtv misfits movie.  It's not that good enough for me to hit you up with a link to a trailer or anything.  For some reason I though that movie was so bad ass...back in the day  Watching it now. HOLY CRAP does it suck.

So instead of talking about that film we're going to talk about a film we actually liked: No Strings Attached.

Here's a synopsis from IMDB:

A guy and girl try to keep their relationship strictly physical, but it's not long before they learn that they want something more. 

I think a lot of romantic comedies have been successful lately when they push for the R rating.  Let's face it, strong pervasive language and sexual content make everything funnier.  If this movie was a PG-13, I don't think it would have got the laughs it was looking for.  With all that being said, the performances are great (yes even Kutcher) and the supporting cast is surprisingly good.  They try and avoid cliches in its third act but by the film's end, girl falls in love with boy.  I think the build-up before that works completely and it had Nicole and I laughing out loud, quite a bit.

This would actually make a pretty good Valentine's Day flick.  So grab your "other" and get to the theater.

Nicole:  All I can say is, Better Luck Tomorrow...Yikes! I wanted to like it, but just couldn't, it was so awful.

No Strings Attached on the other hand...I loved!  I agree that its a good date movie and it's not quite the typical love story.  It isn't completely predictable and gets some good laughs in at the same time.  I think it was great as a R rated movie and wouldn't want to see it toned down at all.  Best of all, watching it added to the good mood the weekend was already providing me and kept the good vibes coming.

A weekend away helps the love stay...

Justin:  This past Saturday, my good friend asked me to help him with his Youth Group's Art Jam for his Church out in Geneva, IL.  More on that here.

Afterwards, we all went to this pub called, The Claddagh.  And if you know me, you know I dig pubs.  The atmosphere, the food, the car bombs, I am a big fan.  It was already in the plan to hang out after the Art Jam but it became more of a necessity when I found out my good friend, Eric, is getting married in June!  Say whaaaaaa!?  Now if you know me and my crew, then you know Eric goes by the name of Sinister E.  Not the one I would have picked to get married first from our lil squad of friends.

Not a lantern ring!

Anyways the night was just what Nicole and I needed.  A mixture of good times formulated by alcohol, food, and reminiscing.  Nic and I have gotten into some spats lately mostly because of how stressed I get at work.  So a change of scenery and step away from our usual "comfort places" really helped relieve some of that stress and made us completely forget about the stupid he said, she said bs fights that come and go ever so often in a relationship.

Captain Morgan Apple Cider!

Car Bombs!

One last photo to call it a night

 It was that kind of night that really made the rest of the weekend great.  On Sunday we had breakfast at Blueberry and caught a movie.  Then we had dinner with Nicole's family at Buca di Beppo. Talk about Italian sunday dinner.  Yum.  [sorry no pictures of the feast] I finished off the night working on some art whilst Nic dug into her latest kindle book.  I fell asleep watching RED on Blu-Ray and Nic snored happily to sleep.

I say weekend away because we definitely kept away from the bullshit stress that was getting to us (me) these past few days.  Also these past weekends have been filled with family get togethers or events/meetings planned months prior.  So even though I had a scheduled thing this weekend, it was different from what we have been doing these past two months.  It really helped us forget about everything that was really stressful and the best part is having it stay forgotten.  No need to relive the whys of everything and just start from this point.  A point of feeling great and happy not just as a couple, but individually.  You got to love yourself before you can learn to love another.  It's that kind of growth that keeps the love...where it should be.

Thoughts my dear?....

 Nicole: I agree, this weekend was just what we needed.  It put our minds at ease, gave us some laughs, lots of smiles, and some shared and individual new experiences.

We both got some "me" time Saturday during the day and went off doing our own thing.  Sometimes I feel like by spending time away from each other, we are actually growing closer.  It gives each of us time to sort through our thoughts, enjoy our own company and space and when we come back together, the love is magnified.

The Art Jam on Saturday night was awesome!  If nothing else, it provided lots of laughs.  I participated in the Jam and as I told Justin, who had never seen my drawing, I can't even draw a stick person very well. I realized that I couldn't draw when I was in second grade so I stopped.  The drawings on Saturday look like I started right back up where I left off!  They look hilarious!  My drawings were all quite embarrassing, but I still had a great time doing them and I think I got my creative juices flowing again.

Justin: errr I have to interrupt you here my love and show everyone the masterpiece you did known as, "Tea Party".

I love it!

Now I love this because of the fact that she participated and she tried...I LOVE that about her.  It was great.  So is this drawing.  It makes me smile. I think I'm going to frame it when we move into our first place together.  Now back to you my love....

Nicole:  After the Jam we headed to the Pub, as Justin said, and the good times just kept flowing.  It's amazing what a little away time from the usual routine can do.  It was full of laughs, stories, and just living in the moment.  No planning.  Now if you know me, you know that I love to plan.  I have things scheduled in my planner all the way through to December.  Yes, seriously.  But sometimes, you just gotta go with the flow.  No plans, just enjoying.  Sometimes a little risk or "who knows" is even more fun!  I'm thinking we should have a few more of those moments in the coming year :o)