Mary’s Spring Wish List {Guest Post}

Today I’m super excited to have one of my fave bloggers guest posting on this space. In fact, this is the very FIRST guest post appearing on Notes from a Newlywed! Woohoo! So without further ado, I give you Mary’s spring wish list. Enjoy!

Take it away, Mary!

Hey y’all!  I’m Mary, the girl behind the blog, Eat Drink & Be Mary.  I get my kicks spending time with family, laughing & clogging.  I’m a warm weather loving girl stuck in the mountains, who blogs just about everything that pops into my head, but I can’t be the only one right?  Now that it’s officially Spring mother nature better be ready to deliver some warmer, spring weather. Amiright?  So in the name all things new, blooming, & springy I bring you…

Del Mar Maxi Dress – White Plum Boutique || Peekaboo Top – Fireweed Boutique || Those Summer Nights Dress – Flourish Boutique || Koozie – Pink House Press || Essie Fiji || Nude Heels || Triple Delight Necklace – Our World Boutique || Aztec Plazzo Pants – Love Mel Rose

+ Loving that koozie?  You can enter to win one (in several states) over at my blog, Eat Drink & Be Mary..but hurry on over today’s the last day.

+ Clearly there’s a trend in my wish list this year: pastel.  I’m loving all things pastel currently.  I haven’t been one for pastels in the past, but I’m totally digging it this year (I’m blaming blogland).  Unfortunately, that means I have barely any in my closet.  Time for a shopping spree?  I’m down.

+ I’m loving all the Essie colors for this Spring, and was considering buying some until I saw the price tag.  Holy jeez, NINE BUCKS for a .5oz bottle of nail polish, when other brands are less than half the price?!  But this is a wish list after all, and I wouldn’t be upset if this ended up in my Easter basket (hint hint Easter bunny).

+ Is anyone else loving these “plazzo” pants?  They’re basically a flowy-dressier version of our beloved yoga pants.  As in super comfy & cute enough to wear in public–yes please.  Someone tell me I’m not alone!

+ For some more “fashion” and a lot of laughs head on over to my blog today, I’m sharing some of my most recent bloopers.

+ Looking to sponsor a blog and get your name out there more, but don’t wanna break the bank? Check out my advertise page.

What’s on your Spring Wish List this year?  What is your favorite item in my list?  I hope y’all will pop on over to Eat Drink & Be Mary and say hello, I’d love to meet your smiling faces! 🙂

Let’s have a round of applause for Mary, huh?! I’m so loving her spring list. If you’d like to guest post on my blog too, contact me and let’s set something up!

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Liquid Ice (Plus an Appearance from the Hubs!)

You guys, I’ve been exhausted lately. The last half week of work was really tough for me to stay focused and alert. I stayed up far too late putzing around the house and getting sucked into TV or Pinterest. Bad me. Gone are the days in high school when I could easily stay up till 3 a.m. watching hours of Blind Date with Roger Lodge (anyone else remember that show?) and still get up at 7 for school with no problem. Now, I can’t stay up past 11 or I’m a zombie come the next day.

Now, I haven’t gone a single day without my morning coffee since college. Around sophomore year of college I developed my dependency on coffee to get me through all-nighters studying, then to keep me awake in class, then so I could go to work after classes, and the habit just stuck. If I haven’t had my morning coffee yet, don’t even talk to me. It’s kind of like this:

cranky cat

Anyway (and down the rabbit hole I went)! This week I relied on coffee as always to get me through the day, and for the first time since I can remember, I felt failed by coffee. It just didn’t do the trick. I drank two mugfuls and I still was super sleepy and couldn’t stop yawning. By Friday, I knew I’d have a big problem. I was fortunate enough to have some Liquid Ice in my fridge to grab this morning when I knew I’d need the extra boost.

Now, I typically don’t drink energy drinks. I save them for dire circumstances. In fact the only other time I can recall going out of my way to get an energy drink was in jr. high when I went to a church retreat and my best friend and I pounded Amps when we would sneak out of the cabins at night and run around. Well, and there’s always those jag bombs, but we don’t need to talk about that:) The few other times I’d sip someone else’s energy drink, I thought they tasted gross. Kind of like that weird aftertaste that protein bars have. Blech.

My husband, on the other hand, considers himself an energy drink connoisseur. Seriously, he told me that. So we both decided to try a Liquid Ice in place of our usual drinks (mine coffee; his a different energy drink). Here’s our thoughts:

I am pleased to report that I’m a fan. OK, for one, it actually tastes good. Like, really good. No gross aftertaste, and it’s sweet and kind of tropically/fruity. Two, it did the trick. It kept me awake, without making me want to bounce off the walls, a la my Amp experience. Three, it actually has cool ingredients like CoQ10!

I also like that this company is prominent in the Midwest. At my former job for an area nightclub/bar/concert facility, we frequently discussed Liquid Ice, there’s promotions for them all over town, and they’re just a fun, relatable company. The product is made in the good ol’ U.S. of A, too. Oh, and the can is blue. Even more points.

liquid ice energy drink

I asked my husband to write a short synopsis of what he thought, and he turned around with a full review. So, I present to you, for the first time, straight from his mouth…writing from the hubs!:

“Coming from someone who averaged two energy drinks a day with a couple cups of coffee Mon – Fri for five years, I know what a good energy drink is. I’ve had everything from Amp, Monster, NOS and Rockstar, all which are good on the flavor side. But it’s more than just getting the flavor; there needs to be a boost.

I always went back and forth from Amp and Rockstar (16oz) but I never really fell in love with any of these. The flavor was good, but I always needed to get another to keep the energy level up. We got the Liquid Ice pack at home and I saw the little can (8.3oz) and I thought this would not work. Without reading the back for ingredients, I just went for it. I was at work for about two hours before I opened it up, I took a huge swig and quickly realized that there is a lot packed into this little can. I had half of it gone in the first half hour. Being that it was something new, I didn’t want to pound it all in three minutes and end up running around the office for a few hours.

I finished the can in an hour and I was already feeling the rush. It was a good kind of rush, no shakes or jitters. I was ready to run laps around the office, but I remained focused and hammered out a lot of work.

Pros

Look/Feel – small can, doesn’t make you look like a caffeine whore

Can – 8.3 oz can makes it easy to pound it in a few drinks, not recommended.

Energy – 30 minutes after finishing half of the can, I already felt the energy boost

Energy Length – I had the can finished at 11 A.M. and the energy boost lasted until 4 P.M. I did have a slight crash, but nothing major.

Caffeine Amount – Same amount of caffeine per 8 ounces as a Rockstar Recovery (Orange) Energy Drink, so you’re not drinking as much.

Secondary Caffeine – I only had the Liquid Ice and I drank a lot of water so I did not need a secondary source of caffeine.

Cons

Taste – Flavor is a 6.5/10, nothing to brag about just your typical energy drink. Similar to AMP Energy Boost (Original).”

Pretty good for his first time on this blog, eh?! Although I disagree on his taste rating. I give it a 9.5 out of 10! It’s a for sure winner in my book.

Have you ever tried Liquid Ice before? What’s your fave beverage when you need a boost?

I received Liquid Ice items for free in exchange for this review; however, all opinions are 100% my own.

My Favorite Wedding Planning Books

When I was planning my wedding, I overresearched everything. I subscribed to tons of websites and wedding newsletters, got tons of magazines and books and scoured message boards. What I found was that most actually weren’t that helpful. None of the bridal magazines taught me anything, and much of the information everywhere was either common sense, or the same tips regurgitated over and over.

However, there were a few that actually were useful. Ones that I bookmarked, dog-eared and referred to several times. These are my highly recommended wedding reads!

book-3

Of course, The Knot website is well known, but I also found it the most comprehensive website out there for all my needs. I also used its virtual checklist to keep track of my to-dos, made my wedding website there, researched vendors and read tips lists, but I most loved their wedding shop. Their prices rivaled other websites and stores, and I bought about half of my decorations and ceremony/reception items from them. They also always had great sales and coupons, so I saved a good amount of money by ordering there too.

Real Simple Weddings. This book was given to me as a gift from a sweet co-worker who told me her sister found it super helpful in planning her wedding. It had chapters for all the big things to plan for in your wedding. It overviewed the different types of dress shapes, flower types for your bouquets, and had the most comprehensive checklist of any source I found. This was the first book I had that really helped me get a handle on planning.

The Knot Book of Wedding Lists. It’s no secret. I love lists. For everything I do in my life. This book had a list for every possible thing to consider in planning, and I found many of them incredibly helpful. Questions to ask your vendors. Order of events for the ceremony and reception. Items to put in guests’ welcome bags. Things to consider for the rehearsal dinner. Duties for the wedding party. Types of stationery to consider. Sample invitation wording. List of shots for the photographer. Dress types for you and bridesmaids. Items to have in your day-of bag. Top reception songs. Items to put on your registry. Organizing your honeymoon. Loved this book.

The Nest Newlywed Handbook. Another book from the folks from The Knot. This one was what I read on our honeymoon. It had great tips for starting your married life together. Tips for combining finances, dealing with new insurance choices, buying your first home, decorating as a couple, throwing parties, having date nights, combining families and dealing with in-laws, starting your family and having children, communicating as a couple, and your futures together. But what I liked most about this book was its list of questions at the end of each chapter. They were questions to ask your spouse and discuss together to get to know eachother and expectations better. One night on our honeymoon we went over most of them, and it was really nice to have those questions to prompt our discussions. Some of the questions included: What aspect of your parents’ relationship do you most admire? Say I get a surprise bonus…do we splurge on something big or save it for a rainy day? What belonging of mine would you throw out first? Who are the five friends you most hope to still have in ten years? What will happen when our parents get old?

The other book pictured that I didn’t write about is one that my husband read. It had very thoughtful ideas on marriage and comes very highly recommended. It’s on my to-read list when I get caught up.

For any newlyweds or future brides, I hope you find these as helpful as I did! For any married ladies, what other resources did you find most helpful in planning your wedding?

J’Adore Voxbox Reveal + Other Freebies

You know some days when you get the mail and it’s just full of crap – bills, credit card offers, fliers about the apocalypse, etc. The other day though, when I got my mail, it was full of awesomeness. I got my Voxbox, Birchbox and my freebie coffee sleeve all in the same day! Win!

Let’s start with Birchbox because Little Girl made an appearance in the photo.

february birchbox

My February Birchbox featured two teas, a nail polish top coat, eye cream and shampoo and conditioner. I really am not a fan of tea at all, but I tried one of the two varieties for the sake of reviewing them (the other went to my tea-loving friend). I tried the vanilla and grapefruit, and it actually wasn’t bad! For a tea anyway, it’s the best I probably have ever tried. The SOS eye cream was … OK. I’m not sure it really did much or is any better than my regular face cream I use already. Meh. I keep forgetting to try the nail polish so can’t review that. My favorite is definitely the shampoo and conditioner. It’s a really nice size sample, and it smells AMAZING. Plus, it has no parabens, so I feel better about using it. I like how it made my hair feel and smell and I would totally use it again.

This next item I got for free in a blog giveaway from Kari at Life by Kari.

dress up your cup coffee sleeve

Kari has her own Etsy shop, Dress Up Your Cup, where she makes her own coffee sleeves, often with cute designs, embellishments or charms. I ordered four total with my winnings – three as gifts (so I can’t show you them so they can remain a surprise to the recipients!) and one for me. I think it’s super cute and I love it. She was even kind enough to include a nice little note, business cards and coupons for future orders.

On to Voxbox! So for those that don’t know, a Voxbox is a box of free goodies from Influenster for testing and review purposes. You earn boxes by signing up at Influenster and taking quizzes, reviewing products and earning badges. I had only been a member for about a month before I earned my first box, so I’m proof that it’s easy and awesome. I had seen some other bloggers do this before but never really believed them when they talked about how easy it is. They weren’t lying! It really was easy! I definitely recommend all of you sign up because it takes very little time to start earning free stuff. I can send you an invite if you let me know! So, on to my first box: The J’Adore VoxBox.

jadore voxbox influenster

I knew from checking the shipping confirmation that I’d be receiving some Hershey’s Kisses, but I figured it’d be a few in a small bag. Nope, I got a big ol’ bag! I was so surprised, and my husband was stoked to have a bunch of free chocolate. I let him have about a quarter of the bag, then I brought the rest in to work to share because I’m just not a big fan of chocolate in the first place. No offense, chocolate.

voxbox kisses

Next, a clay mask mask. I had high hopes for this guy, but was a little disappointed. First of all, when I opened it, I was taken aback by how liquidy and runny it was. Maybe shipping in the extreme cold ruined it, but if all are like this, that’s really too bad. A clay mask should NOT be super runny. Anyway, after accidentally spilling half of it into my sink because it just poured out as I tried to squeeze some in my hands, I applied it to half my face to give it a real test. It did go on fairly nicely and hardened up as it should. After I rinsed it off, my face did feel pretty nice, though awfully tight (more so than I think it should have been), but I could tell a difference in my skin being softer on the side that got the mask. So, at least it worked! Can’t say it lasted though, but with regular use maybe.

voxbox mask

We’ve all probably seen or used Frizz Ease before, but I never had because my hair is pretty straight to begin with. I used it anyway hoping it’d help with flyaways and provide some heat protection, and I think it did a little bit, but not with enough difference to make me buy more of it.

voxbox frizz ease

I also got some more teas, and I honestly didn’t try any because none sounded good and I really don’t like tea anyway so it in no way appealed to me. Sorry, tea. It was donated again to aforementioned tea-loving friend.

voxbox tea

Last, some false eyelashes. I haven’t used these yet, because I only wear falsies on special occasions, so I’ll give them a whirl at some upcoming wedding events this summer. They do feel nice though, so hopefully they look good too.

voxbox lashes

This is not a sponsored post, but I did I receive all the Voxbox products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

My Favorite Things About Home

Linking up with Brianna today for her 10 Favorite Things linkup!

Today’s prompt is your 10 favorite things about home–whatever place you consider home. I’ve been a Fargoan for close to 10 years now, but I lived in Indiana for 18 years before that, and since it’s where I grew up and my old stomping grounds, it’s truly where I consider “home.” Plus I love being nostalgic. So here’s my favorite things about good ol’ South Bend area, Indiana. #HoosiersRepresent

1. My friends there! All of my best friends from high school still live in the area, so every time we come home we just have a ball catching up and telling old stories and inside jokes. (And if any of you are reading this: “Katie wash hand.”)

indiana 4H

With some of my 4-H friends for my last 4-H parade during my senior year.

2. My family there. My parents still live in the house I grew up in which is probably what makes it still feel like home to me. I love going back to visit and be in the house I have so many memories in.

3. Hacienda. The greatest fake Mexican restaurant ever. Not even kidding, I LOVE me some Hacienda. Every single time I come home I make it a point to go there. Every. single. time. It’s also the spot where many of my birthday parties were held as a teenager because you got a free sombrero. I wish I could find one of the photos from there to share with ya’ll, but sadly I think it’s at my parent’s house.

4. South Bend Chocolate Factory. We have some of the best chocolates! I even used some as favors for my wedding. They also have a store downtown that sells ice cream, has a fireplace and a chocolate fountain. Another place I love to go.

5. The walk along the river. The St. Joe River runs right through South Bend, and in the downtoan area they have a lovely boardwalk, trails and a gazebo along it. Great place to take a stroll, and it’s where we took pictures for my junior prom!

6. Being so close to so many other places. There’s a reason they call Indiana the crossroads of America! We’re super close to Chicago, Michigan, Ohio. I took tons of road trips to Indy and Merrilville with my best friend for shopping with her mom and had so much fun.

mexico indiana

On a road trip to IU to see a friend, we stopped in Mexico, Indiana, because it was funny.

7. The now-defunct Scottsdale mall. It was this rinky dink local mall with random stores, but it was the coolest place to hang out. I spent tons of time there with my friends in high school. And then while I was in college, they demolished it and turned it into an outdoor strip mall. Sad.

8. How crazy the town gets for Notre Dame games. I’m really not into sports at all, but being so close to such a big team and seeing the town get so into it is pretty cool.

9. Corn. Indiana is the land of corn. Forget Iowa. Cornfields are everywhere, especially out in the country where our house was. I played in them growing up with friends. It was never creepy at all … until I saw Children of the Corn. Oops. Also side note, speaking of movies related to Indiana, my computer science teacher from high school was totally in the movie Rudy.

10. It’s where I grew up. There’s something a little bit magical about anywhere you spent your childhood, I think. That alone makes it special to me.

Sephora Gift Card Giveaway

I’m super stoked to be participating in my very first blog giveaway! I’ve teamed up with Brooklyn from A Little Too Jolley and some other lovely ladies to giveaway a gift card to Sephora! Because who doesn’t want free stuff from there?! Enter to win below!

(I can’t get the widget to display, so for now, just click on the Rafflecopter link below, or just enter on Brooklyn’s page. Sorry!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What would you buy at Sephora if you win?

Good luck!

The Celebrity I Most Want to Have Lunch With Is …

Linking up with The Albrechts and A Beautiful Exchange today for The Girl Between the Lines!

The question is: If you could have lunch with any blogger, celebrity, or public figure, who would you choose? Why?

My answer is: The Mowry sisters!

If you know me well, you know I’m a little obsessed with these girls. Sister Sister was great in itself, but these girls just keep getting better and I stalk admire them SO much. I absolutely loved their reality show Tia & Tamera, and when I watch it, I feel like I’m hanging out with my girlfriends. They make me laugh and cry and smile. They make me so happy.

I relate more to Tamera personally, but I adore them both. I watch every darn TV show and made-for-TV movie I can catch them on and always love every minute of it.

My love for these girls goes beyond a creepy celeb obsession or girl crush though. I TRULY admire them as women. They have so many qualities I think are so important. They’re great moms (as I mentioned in my post here). They’re stylish. They’re classy. They’re funny. They’re goofy. They’re professional. They’re relatable. They’re kind. They’re the kind of role models in Hollywood we don’t see much of anymore.

So yes, without a doubt, I’d lunch with them if I had the chance to of all celebs or public figures. Just don’t make me choose which twin.

Girl Between the Lines Link up
P.S. I’m featured on Amberly’s blog today! Go over and check it out! Also I’d love it if you’d hop over to Charlene’s blog and see my guest post on being a compassionate spouse!

Refrigerator Oatmeal: A Recipe!

If it weren’t for Katie at A Beautiful Little Adventure, I still would have no clue about refrigerator oatmeal. But thankfully I saw her post about it, followed by a Pinterest and Google search and was amazed by this fantastic breakfast. Apparantly it’s been a “thing” for quite awhile, but once again I’m late to the party. Oh well. I HAD to give it a try.

We love oatmeal in our house, but we are also incredibly lazy, especially in the morning. I’m lucky if I even have time to open the cupboard to grab a granola bar on the way out, let alone make a real breakfast. So I’m always looking for super easy and quick ways to have a better breakfast. Now that I work for a company that distributes health foods, I took it up a notch and ordered Bob’s Red Mill oatmeal and chia seeds as well instead of regular grocery store varieties that have more “crap” in them than they should. After you make the recipe, it “cooks” overnight in the fridge. So easy!

For my first go, I followed this recipe to the T, minus the maple syrup. The next time, I started experimenting and used less yogurt and more fruit and thought it was better. The next time, I cut out the yogurt entirely and used a ton of strawberries instead, and added a little sugar. Better still! Several rounds later, that’s the formula I stick with because it’s been the tastiest to me. I found that using yogurt gave it a nicer texture, but a bizarre flavor and feeling in my mouth, and I much prefer it without. Some recipes also called for flax seeds, but it seems to be that chia seeds are better for you AND keep longer, so that’s what I used.

I made some versions with blueberries, strawberries, bananas and apples and cinnamon. My favorites were blueberry and strawberry. The banana got a little mushy for my tastes. Here’s the recipe I’m using now:

Refrigerator Oatmeal

refrigerator oatmeal


  • 1/2 cup uncooked old fashioned rolled oats (not instant!)
  • 2/3 cup milk (ish. eventually I stopped measuring and poured enough in to cover the oats, and then some)
  • 1-2 teaspoons dried chia seeds
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh fruit (depending on the ratio you like most. I like mine loaded with fruit)
  • 1 tablespoon or so of sugar it to sweeten it up more
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt (optional but not recommended by this gal)

-Pour your oats, chia seeds and sugar in a jar that can be closed (Mason jars or Magic Bullet jars work great).
-Pour milk on top of dry ingredients (and add your yogurt here too if you so choose). Close lid and shake it up.
-Add fruit on top and shake again or just stir it up.
-Refrigerate overnight and take and go in the morning!

overnight oats ingredients

dry ingredients for overnight oats

Add dry ingredients to jar

cut up fruit for oatmeal

cut up your desired fruit

apple banana oatmeal

add to jar

apple cinnamon oatmeal recipe

ready for fridge

shake it up and stick it in the fridge

There you have it! It’s literally so easy and yummy. I highly recommend for any oatmeal lovers that are also too busy/lazy in the mornings to prepare a proper meal. Bonus: It’s super healthy and very filling. I don’t even snack in between breakfast and lunch when I eat it!

It’s especially easy if you use blueberries or raspberries and don’t actually have to cut up any fruit! When you eat it at work (or school!) the next day, it tastes great cold or warmed up. I’ve made this several times a week for our breakfasts and plan to keep it in rotation. Even the husband liked it!

Eat Drink & Be Mary

My Favorite Pins EVER!

Linking up with The Albrechts and A Beautiful Exchange today for The Girl Between the Lines!

A post about my all-time favorite pins EVER has been on my list for awhile, so considering the topic of this linkup, it seemed perfect to finally pick my fave pins. Without further ado, here are the pins that have been the most successful, most delicious, most helpful or most inspiring to me.

1. Through a Rapist’s Eyes: Tips for Women. One of my biggest fears is getting murdered/attacked/raped/something else awful, so articles like these make me feel better about my chances of possibly surviving something like that. Call me paranoid, but I call it prepared.

through a rapist's eyes tips for women

2. Spa in a Jar. I made my own slightly altered version for some friends and family for Christmas, and they loved it. I made my own bath salts too, which made it more special. I’m totally doing more things like this in the future.

spa in a jar project great for gifts

3. Upcycling old candles. We have tons of old candles laying around that I didn’t have the heart to throw away, so this was a perfect project for me. I used the old wax from several to make one new candle! You can even read about the result of my doing this pin one weekend!

upcycle old candles

4. Leo and Harry with a dog and a cat. No real reason for this one besides great for looking at when you need to smile.

leo and harry with a cat and dog

5. I simply cannot pick just one recipe pin. So here’s a few of the recipes I’ve actually made from Pinterest and loved so much that they now are in frequent rotation in our household’s meal plan.

Baked Spinach Eggs. Love this for breakfast on the weekends.

baked spinach eggs

Cheesy Chicken Tacquitos. So easy and delicious! Make extra and freeze for leftovers too!

cheesy chicken tacquitos

Potato Corn Chowder. Best soup I’ve ever made at home. Yum!

potato corn chowder

Chicken with Pesto and Asparagus. Shameless self promo, this is my own take on a pin that I loved so much I made my own pin and blog post about it.

pesto chicken asparagus

P.S. I wouldn’t be upset if you followed me on Pin Land:)

P.P.S. YOU GUYS. I made it into the top 3 in my category for best new blog in My So Called Chaos’ Best of Blog Awards! This is HUGE for me and I am so friggin’ stoked. Please go vote for me and let’s see if I can win this thing. I will love you forever! Every vote counts so I need you! Vote here.

P.P.P.S. I wrote my first-ever guest post on how to be a compassionate spouse for Charlene at From Bisons to Buckeyes and Beyond. Watch her blog on Saturday as I’ll be there! Whee!

Girl Between the Lines Link up

10 Favorite Things About My Husband

Linking up with the lovely Brianna today for 10 Favorite Things! In honor of Valentine’s Day coming up soon, and our 9-year dating anniversary in about a week (I know the dating anniversary doesn’t matter anymore, but I want to keep celebrating it till we hit 10 years), it was a perfect topic.

10 Favorite Things About That Special Someone

1. I love my husband’s sense of humor. It’s cliche, but so true for us. He is the funniest person I know and we laugh together a lot.

2. I love that we have lots of things in common, but are very different in many ways. He rounds me out:)

3. I love that while 99% of the time he’s a big tough man, I get to see some occasional moments of weakness and deep down emotions.

4. I love that for the most part, he’s tidy. For some bizarre reason, he loves vaccuming and doing the dishes. And I’m forgetful and get distracted easily, so he often has to pick up after me.

5. I love that he very rarely complains about my shortcomings. I know I have a lot, but he never points them out, though I can be a nagging wife and point his out. Which is unfair, and I need to change that.

6. I love that every time I get groceries, he helps me carry them in without a single complaint. And he always takes the heavy bags so I can have the light ones.

7. I love that he makes voices and personalities for our pets and has conversations as them.

8. I love that he lets me deck out our apartment like a crazy cat lady. I have cat pictures, figurines and trinkets all over the place. I know if it was entirely up to him, none of that would be there, but he lets me create the surroundings that I like without complaint.

9. He is truly a really nice guy. He likes to put on a show when he’s in a crowd and tell jokes and be the center of attention, which can make him come off as loud or inconsiderate to some who don’t know him, but I’ve seen another, very caring and considerate side. When it comes to defending his friends or his family, he will do it to the death, and he cares about the people he loves so much.

10. He is going to make a great father one day. He grew up in a large family with lots of kids, so maybe that’s why it comes natural to him, but I am the total opposite. Knowing that he will be there to help me through parenthood makes me feel really good.

And now, just because, a bunch of photos of us!

Quite possibly our first photo together, circa 2005, in the college dorms

Quite possibly our first photo together, circa 2005, in the college dorms

Before we went to our first concert (and road trip!) together

Before we went to our first concert (and road trip!) together

At my best friend's wedding. Our first wedding together!

At my best friend’s wedding. Our first wedding together!

and then we got engaged!

and then we got engaged!

and then we got married!

and then we got married!

and then we honeymooned in New Orleans!

and then we honeymooned in New Orleans!