May 31, 2013

Here's to Weekend Adventures

Congratulations, you guys. Someway, somehow we survived what seemed like the world's longest short week ever.

Just me?
A little pathetic, I know.

But, this constantly rainy weather has me dragging! In fact, I am begging for a steady IV drip of caffeine over here to make it through one more productive work day.

Thankfully the weekend starts the second my jeep rolls out of the parking garage at 5 p.m. (or 4:54 p.m. if we're being honest here...), and hopefully my tire squeals don't give away that I am so ready to not be in the office. Haha :)

Looking forward to a glorious few days full of sleeping in and fun. Kicking the weekend off right tonight in artsy fartsy style. Yep, we're hitting up Kansas City's legendary Starlight Theater to catch Spamalot with my in-laws.


Isn't the theater stunning?

It's twice as gorgeous in person and absolutely looks like you're in a castle when you see the 360 degree view from your seat. We went in on season tickets this year, so I am beyond excited to see Catch Me If You Can, Flash Dance, and The Little Mermaid (!!!) to name a few.

Then tomorrow morning we are hitting up two amazing sales with friends, one at the famous Nell Hills store for their annual tent sale. And then off to Boulevard Brewery's massive "garage sale" so hubs can pick up some sweet beer memorabilia and signs for the man cave (plus the money goes to help OK tornado victims, so it's a win-win!).

We're spending the evening on Saturday just chilling with The Lumineers at Buzz Under the Starz concert. Love them, so we are beyond pumped for a great concert. What a fun weekend full of summery plans!

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Stay tuned next week... I have some delicious recipes, Mingle Monday, an awesome sponsor giveaway, and a BIGexciting announcement coming your way!

In the meanwhile, here are a few posts you might have missed....



Happy weekend, loves!

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May 30, 2013

My Spring Cardio Playlist

Now that spring has settled in with blooming flowers and inviting temperatures, I have been craving some nice long outdoor runs. I absolutely love all the trails and pretty scenery in our neighborhood, and I've been itching to lace up my tennies ever since I moved in after the wedding!

But first thing's first...
A killer cardio playlist.

Every active girl knows that good music is a must to make it through a long workout. So, I thought I'd share my current faves with you in case you're looking for some upbeat tunes to help you pound the pavement...



Am I missing any awesome tunes?
Gladly accepting any song suggestions to add to my mix!


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May 28, 2013

Best Weekend Ever {In Photos}

It sure is hard jumping right back into the work week after you've enjoyed days on end of relaxing.
About a month before Memorial Day, Adam and I made a pact. No set plans for this past weekend. We were just going to do what we felt like doing whenever we felt like doing it.

Best decision ever.

The weekend was full of new adventures, hilarious stories, quality time with each other and with some of our favorite people.

// Friday

All of us were shocked to find out that we were getting a surprise half day off work. Amazing. So I spent a solid afternoon deep cleaning our house and doing some chores so that I could be as lazy as I wanted all weekend.

Adam planned an amazing date for us at a local Midwest winery. We packed a picnic blanket and some playing cards and set off for a good time. For only $15 we had a huge catered dinner outside, a wine tasting, and listened to live music as the sun set over the vineyard.

Gorgeous night.


// Saturday

We slept in a bit and then were off on a mission to finalize our new granite counter top selection for our kitchen remodel. Unbeknownst to us (and our contractor) the granite showroom was closed. So we improvised and decided to run a few errands around town... and Adam came across this bumper sticker that he couldn't get enough of...



Our goal that afternoon was to relax, and relax we did! I made a tasty skinny chicken salad (recipe to come this week!) and we lounged around for a few glorious hours.



After receiving a Macy's Memorial Day sale e-mail I decided to swing buy and finally pick up the purse I have been eyeing for a steal of a deal. I may or may not have rescued a second one that was begging for a new home. What can I say? I love helping people (or purses) in need. ;)

That evening, we dined at Seasons 52 on the Plaza where we had the best dinner and live music. The musician was a comedian piano bar player and was cracking us up all night.We caught up with my bro-in-law and sis-in-law for drinks and giggles and may have had an impromptu sleepover...

// Sunday

After majorly sleeping in, we all went to brunch at one of our favorite KC staples and then took the pups to the doggie park. It was so fun to get some fresh air and wear those doggies out!

Later in the day, we came home and did some cooking/baking. I made Joy the Baker's delicious Brown Butter Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies for Monday's cookout, and my chief quality control sampler definitely approved - haha!


That evening we ordered a quick pizza to nosh on while we tackled our latest culinary adventure... ice cream making! Our first recipe was quite the process but oh-so-good! This Bi-Rite Creamery recipe book brought me back to my days living in San Francisco.

And although unplanned, it was the perfect compliment to the incredible Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Pie my sister-in-law made for Monday's party! Major yum!



Later, we met up with my parentals to catch my cousin's soccer game and grab a post-game treat, before heading home for a movie nightcap. If you haven't seen The Promised Land with Matt Damon, you need to rent it! So good.

// Monday

It's hard to choose a favorite moment out of such a great long weekend, but I think Monday morning takes the cake. We woke up late to discover dark skies and thunderstorms let us snooze late. I put on my favorite oversized hoody and fuzzy slippers, which were perfect for making a leisurely waffle breakfast.

We sipped coffee all snuggled up on the couch and watched the rain pour out our back window. A perfect morning for crazy bedhead hair, my favorite tropical candle and silly movies.



The sun finally peeked through the clouds mid-afternoon, so we were excited to sit on the porch and sip sangria at my in-laws house. The whole evening was full of family and friends catching up, enjoying a tasty spread of delicacies, and giggling as we talked smack while playing board games.


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My mind is clear and relaxed, my heart is happy and full of the people I enjoy most, and I'm even more in love with my hubs than I was on our wedding day. Is this real life?

Blessed beyond measure to have made such fantastic memories and gone on some ridiculous adventures these past few days!


How did you all spend your weekend?
What's your favorite highlight?


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May 23, 2013

Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Muffins

So glad you popped by for a little recipe action! This one is a doozy!

Back in high school, my friend's mom would make these every single time we had a sleepover. We finally begged her to share her recipe, and I've added a few touches to make them extra irresistible.

Let me first preface this by saying that when you bake these every single one of these muffins will be gone in record time, and there will be a line of friends and family begging for the recipe.

I mean who doesn't love gooey warm chocolate and a splash of coffee? These muffins are perfect to whip up quickly for out of town visitors, to serve at a fun baby shower, or to simply treat yourself on a lazy weekend.


{ Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Muffins }


Ingredients:

- 2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons instant coffee or instant espresso (stronger flavor)
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips


Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2) Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl, and set aside.

3) Mix milk and instant coffee until dissolved. Add butter, vanilla and egg until combined.

4) Slowly add dry ingredient mixture to wet ingredient bowl until combined (don't over mix!).

5) Grease muffin pan and fill each muffin cup 2/3 full. Bake 17 - 19 minutes or until muffins are golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.

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These muffins are perfect when served warm with a large cup of coffee and side of fruit - yuummm!

I definitely recommend heating up leftover muffins in the microwave for 10 second, or until chocolate chips begin to slightly melt (approx. 10 - 15 seconds).



Bon Appetit!

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May 20, 2013

Mingle Monday Blog Hop + Giveaway Winner!

Thanks for joining me today to kick your week off the right way! So thrilled that you stopped by for some Mingle Monday networking action. May it bring you lots of fun new visitors and great blogs to read!

First thing's first, I need to announce the winner of last week's $25 Sephora sponsor giveaway. So drum roll please.... the winner is....

Bridget Heiple Reich!

**Bridget, I sent you an e-mail with instructions on how to claim your prize. Congrats!! **


 
    

HOW TO MINGLE

 
1) Must be a Life of Meg follower to participate.
 
2) Click on the link below to enter your blog.
 
3) Go visit other blogs saying hello from Mingle Monday!
 
4) Answer the weekly question in the comments section below...
 
 
**  Were do you get your blog inspiration from? ** 



____________________________________________________________________________________________


Want to know how you can get you blog highlighted during Mingle Monday?

// Click HERE //


** ALSO **

Personal blog shout outs and RTs for your blog on Twitter all day for everyone who tweets about Mingle Monday! I'm always happy to send extra traffic your way for being so kind!! :)


Want to keep up with me on the go?
Go check out my social media buttons on the right sidebar to stay in the loop!



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May 15, 2013

Dream A Little Dream

Do you know those little daydreams about what you'd love to be doing or where in life you'd like to be going? You know, the ones that seem like such a perfect idea and you wonder why you haven't pushed harder to make that dream a reality?

I have those too.

There are so many things that I think I would enjoy and actually think I could be really good at. Usually I wonder if a change in career path would take too much work, or stifle my passion for other things.I get lost wondering  where I would even start.

And then after entertaining different thought for a while, the self-doubt starts to creep in, keeping my vision at bay. Why is that?
  

 What is it about this dream-chasing business that is so intimidating?

After thinking about it for a while, I've come to realize that chasing a lofty dream takes insane amounts of courage. It means opening yourself up to vulnerability, potential rejection, and really putting yourself out there. I think too few people talk about how scary taking a leap of faith can be.

But here's where we miss the big picture.

Call me an eternal optimist... but what if actually taking that leap of faith lead to something bigger? Something beautiful. To think I would've completely missed an opportunity due to my own self-consciousness gives me knots in my stomach.

I want to reach that place where it feels so right to be there. Where I feel like not only am I good at it, but I sincerely love what I am doing. So here I am, reevaluating passions and building up the courage to take that massive leap into the unknown.

Anyone else in the same boat with me?

Maybe it's work, a hobby, a relationship. Whatever it is, you are absolutely capable or reaching it! Take heart my friends, with a little patience, determination and grace we CAN get there.

____________________________________________________________________________

"Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is
greater than any obstacle."

- Christian D. Larson
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PS - Don't forget to check out the $25 Sephora gift card giveawy (open until Sunday!)

PPS - Head on over to link-up with the WEEK-LONG  Mingle Monday Blog Hop! A great place to network, get blog exposure, and snag new readers!


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May 14, 2013

$25 Sephora Gift Card Giveaway!

Calling all girly girls...

There is a $25 Sephora gift card up for grabs today and YOU could be the lucky gal to take it home. That's right, thanks to lovely Mary from Little Bit of Class Little Bit of Sass, someone is going to be stocking up on some spring pampering supplies!



Miss Mary's blog is such a fun place! From her CrossFit adventures to gallivanting around Chicago, she keeps it classy and sassy! I think it's the perfect balance and example of a lifestyle blog done right, and did I mention she is absolutely gorgeous?

Please go say hi and thank her for offering such a fantastic sponsor giveaway, and don't forget to enter via Rafflecopter below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Giveaway open until Sunday, and your chance to win is high! Spread the word and may the odds be ever in your favor!!

(Any fellow Hunger Games nerds out there?)


PS - Don't forget to link-up and gain new readers ALL WEEK with my Mingle Monday Blog Hop link-up!


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May 9, 2013

I'm Alive + Life Lately in Photos

Did you think I completely forgot about you?

Who moi?
No way, Jose.

Life has just been a tiny bit busy as of late! Work has been absolutely nuts and I've been traveling a ton this week... phew. I thought I'd fill you in on what's made life awesome as of late...


//Laughing

Sister completely had me rolling when we walked into my parents house for a Cinco de Mayo bash on Sunday. Full blown sombrero and everything. And then we decided to have a little fun with Bella Beast. Muchas cervezas...



//Eating

So we live within a mile of a Dairy Queen... heaven help our waistlines.
Sunny spring weather just gives me dipped cone cravings, I can't help myself! Thankfully it's not too big of a hit to the calorie bank. Maybe we should actually try walking there sometime to pre-burn those calories... sheesh.



//Loving

Everything is in full bloom at the Evans household, and I've got green thumb fever! I especially love these happy irises that bloom around our mailbox. So pretty!

Looking forward to buying a hibiscus tree to put on our deck. I also can't wait to plant some pretty blooms in the adorable Crate and Barrel planters we got for a wedding gift. Our front porch will look so precious!



//Buying

I called my parents this morning on the way to the office from an early cancer board meeting. Those two cute kids were bee boppin' around Kansas City garage sale-ing and asked if they should keep their eyes out for anything for me. I told them that I would love more patio furniture for our deck...

Five minutes later they came across these adorable, colorful, 2-year-old Adirondack chairs (originally $140/each from World Market). I told them I wanted them if they were at a decent price... and for $40 for all, I walked away with a steal of a deal! Thanks Marlo and Juju!

I can't wait to turn our awesome backyard deck into a beautiful patio oasis. Garden lights. Fire pit. Pretty plants. Colorfull prints. S'mores. Brewskis. Yup, spring/summer is well on it's way to being awesome.




//Listening

Cannot get enough Of Monsters and Men or Alpha Rev. We have this song on repeat at su casa...





//Celebrating

I can't believe it's been two months from our wedding today. Best 60 days ever.




Life is crazy. And beautiful.
It's all about the simple things, my friends.

There is so much joy to be experienced, you just have to be looking in the right places...

xo

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May 6, 2013

Mingle Monday Blog Hop!

My goodness... Monday already? Where did the weekend go?
Hubs and I were a sight for sore eyes the past few days. We pretty much just laid around in our jammies sipping NyQuil and going through boxes of tissue like it was going out of style.

Yowza. Luckily, I am feeling much better today, but poor Adam is home resting.

Anywho, I hope you all are happy, healthy and ready to mingle! So glad you're here and hope you are able to make some great new blog connections. Happy Monday!


 
    

HOW TO MINGLE

 
1) Must be a Life of Meg follower to participate.
 
2) Click on the link below to enter your blog.
 
3) Go visit other blogs saying hello from Mingle Monday!
 
4) Answer the weekly question in the comments section below...
 
 
**  What's your favorite outdoorsy activity? ** 



____________________________________________________________________________________________


Want to know how you can get you blog highlighted during Mingle Monday?

// Click HERE //


** ALSO **

Personal blog shout outs and RTs for your blog on Twitter all day for everyone who tweets about Mingle Monday! I'm always happy to send extra traffic your way for being so kind!! :)


Want to keep up with me on the go?
Go check out my social media buttons on the right sidebar to stay in the loop!



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May 3, 2013

Under the Weather + Weekend Wishes

{via}

I'm all curled up at home with a citrus colored polka dot mug full of green tea and tissues nearby. Yup, this is sick day #2. Despite my head feeling like a 10 lb. helium balloon, my cozy puppy and catching up on blogs in between NyQuil-laden naps have been my redeeming grace.

The rain falling outside the living room window, fluffy soft blankets, and HGTV haven't been too terrible either despite the circumstances.

Unfortunately hubby just called to say he's starting to feel pretty crummy too. What a bunch of ninnies in the Evans house! And good thing we're hosting a baby shower BBQ at our house tomorrow (not the sarcasm)... *sigh*

Must. Find. Energy.

Anyway, just wanted to wish you all a lovely weekend. Unlike this week's scant blog posts, I have lots for you next week... including a fun giveaway! Stay tuned!

PS- Just in cased you missed it, check out my Wedding Photo Mega Post!!


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May 1, 2013

Our Wedding in Photos

I've been dying to get another huge sneak peek of our wedding photos, so when our photographer, Sharaya Mauck, sent some over yesterday, I about died. She did such a great job capturing happy memories of an amazing day.

Most of these are pre-ceremony, which means there will be more coming your way in the next few weeks!

Here's your peek so far...



My most favorite day.

Which photos are your faves?
I can't decide!!

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Our wedding featured in Brides Magazine

Photographer: Sharaya Mauck Photography || Ceremony/Reception Venue: Hawthorne House 
Day of Wedding Coordinator: Lindsay Howe of Simple Elegance|| Gown: Enzoani Diana 
Shoes: J.Crew || Hair: Par Exsalonce || Makeup: Mandy McKenna || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Nordstrom || Rings: Shane Co. || Groom and Groomsmen's Attire: Tip Top Tux || Invitations & Paper Goods: Amber Travis || Florist: Found in Nature || Ceremony Music: Sheree Peterson Lutz and Allison Peterson of Uptown Violins || Reception Music: Howe Weddings and Events || Cake: Iced Art 

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