Code For Confession
June 4, 2016

I’ve been trying to come up with ideas for a shadow box of wedding things and ways to commemorate our honeymoon. They’re stuff that I want to do and eventually make. Plus I need to put together our wedding album scrapbook thing!

To start with I want to put everything important into a shadowbox to hang in our bedroom. I have a vision of it in my head but sometimes it’s challenging to get what I want out into projects.


My second project is to find ways to showcase our honeymoon. There are a couple ideas I have for this and I may do all of them or just one. It depends on how much time I have and if I absolutely love it. The map ones are kinda similar so I may only do one of those and I love the artwork and the idea of the lettering shadowboxes with all of our receipts and ticket stubs (which I’ve saved) would be awesome also.


May 24, 2016

I can’t believe it’s been a little over a week already! Because we’ve been together for so long (it’s my longest relationship ever) and we’ve lived together for at least half of our relationship so it doesn’t feel too different being married. The first few days I did feel different. I felt like I was on cloud nine and I kept staring at my rings and as we drove around on our honeymoon I kept thinking “that’s MY husband, right there!”

The stress of wedding planning is finally behind me (and my mom, haha!) and we went on our honeymoon. Both to save money and have a fun experience we decided to do a road trip around Wisconsin and Minnesota. It was a pizza in a different city every night tour basically! We went to all the top rated pizzas in the cities we were staying in and tried to find the top one to us. Each place we rated on Google and I on TripAdvisor and we took pictures of all the pizzas.

First Night
Green Bay, Wisconsin

We drove up through the Upper Peninsula and went through my childhood summer vacation spot up in the northern part of Wisconsin prior to landing in Green Bay. First we stopped at Glass Nickel Pizza which wasn’t too bad. The atmosphere left something to be desired and it was really loud. We checked in to the hotel soon after and then it was sleepy time.

Second Night
Wausau, Wisconsin

When we woke up we immediately headed to breakfast at a local hot spot called The Pancake Place. The name speaks for itself, I think. ;) We left to go check out some Magic Card shops for my honey (it’s his main hobby like mine is planner stickers, haha!). Lunch was at the Noodles & Company, which was so good! Neither of us had been to one before and I would definitely go again, as I LOVE pasta. After lunch we headed out to Wausau for the next pizza place Angelo’s Family Pizzeria. Not the best place we’ve eaten but not the worst either. We were so exhausted from all the driving the day prior and getting up early that we went to bed early.

Third Night
Minneapolis, Minnesota

We got up bright and early and hit up the nearby Denny’s for a great breakfast then started driving to Minneapolis. Once we pulled into St Paul we stopped at a Magic Card shop, of course. Admittedly the shops that didn’t have any board games were pretty boring to me, but I knew Andrew was having a good time and he was pretty happy that he got a bunch of new cards so that made it worth it to me. We had Chipotle for lunch which was okay, not the best Chipotle I’ve ever had. We checked into our hotel to drop our bags off before walking to this cute little game shop for more magic cards. We both could have probably hung out there longer cause it was really cool inside. I wish I had taken a picture! Once we got back to the hotel we decided to order our next round of pizza in and watched a marathon of Impractical Jokers instead. Black Sheep Pizza was so good! I loved the coal fire smokey flavor that the pizza had and I would highly recommend it to anyone going through Minneapolis! Before watching the movie we went to the restaurant downstairs of the hotel to get some dessert, which was awesome!

Fourth Night
Rochester, Minnesota

The breakfast this morning was THE BEST that we had all week! Andrew found this little hole-in-the-wall diner called Eggy’s and it was AMAZING. We would both definitely go there again if we were in the area. LOVED it! The food was excellent and the atmosphere was fun, modern, and industrial. Very cool! We drove down to the Mall of America to check it out as it was one of the few things that I really wanted to do on the trip. The experience of walking around it was fun and now we can check it off that we did it on our bucket list. I don’t know if I would ever go back though because I like shopping as much as any girl, but that’s too much shopping for me! After we left the mall we drove down to Rochester to get our next pizza which turned out to be our favorite on the trip. We chose Topper’s pizza and got one cheese and one macaroni and cheese pizza. Both were superb but the mac-n-cheese was our favorite ever! Andrew is still raving about it to our friends here at home! As we were getting ready to go to sleep the movie Jurassic World came on and since neither of us have seen it we decided to watch it. It was pretty good but not as good as the first one.

Fifth Night
Madison, Wisconsin

For breakfast we went to a close by place called Pannekoeken which was not that great. Andrew’s breakfast was tasteless and had flat eggs. Mine was okay. It was a chocolate chip dutch pancake and just seemed like a normal pancake with chocolate chips to me. Nothing really special.  We walked around and took pictures of the Mayo Clinic which was another place I wanted to go to. It is such a huge building with multiple campuses and I was really impressed with the outside of it. I didn’t feel comfortable going inside because it is a medical facility after all. We left Rochester after getting some Starbucks (we basically had at least 4 Starbucks drinks every day all week) and started the 3 hour drive to Madison. Andrew wanted to stop at a couple of card stores on the way there so we did and explored the cute little towns they were located in before we went and got dinner at Pizza Brutta down the road from the hotel. It was pretty good but I was annoyed with all the rowdy kids. Lack of sleep and caffeine made me a little cranky during the trip! After dinner we checked in to the hotel in the afternoon then left to find another card shop a couple of blocks away. The capital is pretty and we could see the capital building from our room. This hotel was our favorite to stay in because I paid extra to get us into the Governor’s Club which gave us our own elevator, a room on the top floor with city views, and access to the suite which had free food throughout the day and a perfect view of the capital building. It was great!

Home Stretch
Back to Michigan

We got up early the last morning of our trip and had decided to take the ferry back across Lake Michigan to avoid the crazy traffic around Chicago and to take a break from driving for a bit. The ride from Manitowoc to Ludington was kinda boring but I had a little fun playing bingo and watching us take off and dock. I don’t think we’ll ride the ferry again any time soon but it was an experience. We enjoyed a leisurely drive home and were so happy to finally just be in our own house and in our own bed that night.

It was a great trip and my need to travel has been satisfied for a while. :)

May 7, 2016

wedding plans

We are 1 week out, guys! I can not BELIEVE it’s here already! In just 7 days I’ll be changing my name to

Mrs. Kristen O’Brien

Woohoo!! I remember back to when we first got engaged and I immediately started planning a summer 2015 wedding. I wanted it to happen within the year and I had this vision of a beautiful fall wedding cause fall is my favorite season. However the timing wasn’t right with my family (my grandfather was passing away) and in the midst of gathering quotes and researching venues we decided to push the date back to spring 2016.

As the summer came and went and August passed by Andrew and I couldn’t help but think about how “we could have been married already”, especially as the planning got more complex and the stress levels elevated. We haven’t really gotten in any heavy arguments that we couldn’t talk it out, but for some odd reason I’ve been feeling the need to pick small fights about stupid stuff. Probably because it would be an outlet for my stress. Quitting smoking and slacking at the gym has made my stress levels go up and I need to find something else. I’m so ready for the wedding to be here and to be married. I’ve probably said that a hundred times to people either online or in person and I always get the same advice.

enjoy every moment “Enjoy every moment. It goes by fast.”

The last few weeks I’ve been meeting with the various vendors and after each one I’m left with a feeling of contentment. Every thing is falling into place and despite every one who talks to me about anything wedding related asking me if I’m nervous, my answer is still the same. I’m not really nervous for the wedding itself because I’m sure it’s gonna be the best day of my life to date, but I am nervous (less so after the final vendor meeting today) about all the details of everything we’ve been planning for 18 months coming together. In my mind I know that everything will be fine and awesome but I can’t help think these things in the back of my head. :)
one week until wedding

March 22, 2016

Holy moly the time is flying so fast!! I can’t believe that there is only 53 days left until the wedding! P.S. I’m totally counting down to it. The stress is mounting and I feel like there are some tensions between myself and some of those close to me, but I know that in the end it will all work out. I just cannot wait for it to be here so that Andrew and I can be married and all this planning stuff will be done. I’m sure I’m not the only bride to feel that way and I definitely won’t be the last.

There are only small details left, like cake table decor, linens for the gift table, signs for the cards, menu, seating, etc. I definitely thought the decisions would be so much easier than they have been but I’m usually torn between a few items and I can’t make up my mind.

I just keep telling myself that everything will work out.

Everything will work out.

December 7, 2015

life quoteBetter late than never, right? For years I’ve been wanting to get into shape but have never had the right motivation. And let’s be honest, I’m a big food lover. I love food. I love to try new appetizers, meals, or desserts. I eat when I’m happy, I eat when I’m bored, and I eat when I’m sad. Food is basically central in my life and that is a problem. It is an area that I need to pay special attention to as I work on getting healthier.

Many people didn’t know (some did) that I smoked cigarettes for some time. I’ve finally kicked that habit with the help of a nicotine patch and I feel 1000% better. With feeling healthier I’ve decided to get my act together and get into shape (finally). I’m very motivated to fit into my wedding dress and feel good about my self-image. I’ve never been depressed by what I see in the mirror, but it does make me sad sometimes that I’ve let myself go cause I know I’m better than that. I want my outside to reflect my inside and right now it doesn’t. I’m going to fix that and stop making excuses.

Today I had a doctor’s appointment and we discussed some recent lab work that I had drawn. The last time I had my cholesterol levels checked (a lipid panel) was 2 years ago and my triglyceride levels have since tripled. I was shocked. Why only that level and not the others? I did a little research and found that birth control medication can actually raise your triglyceride levels because of the estrogen increases in the body (WebMD, 2014). The elevated estrogen apparently triggers the body to release more triglyceride in the blood stream. Perhaps simulating pregnancy? I’m not sure. Either way, it doesn’t help that I’ve gained about 50 pounds and started said birth control in the last 2 years. I also have a family history of high cholesterol. Bad news bears.

Why am I telling you all this?

My hope is that when I have my follow-up lab draw in 6 months (2 weeks before the wedding – yikes that seems so much closer now!) I will have lost quite a few pounds (at least 20 would be nice but I’ll take what I can get) and that my levels will be back down to normal. If it’s not then we’ll know that the birth control meds are causing a false high and I’ll have to start taking fish oil pills. Yuck! They’re big and smell nasty if they split. I’ve had to pop those before for patients that couldn’t swallow meds whole. Very gross smelling and feeling.

The Point

These current issues are motivating me further to get that number down (both the lab and the scale) and I just joined a gym yesterday. I’m very excited to begin working towards my fitness goals and I think that joining a gym can help me get there.


I originally wrote this post on Halloween and never got around to posting it. Life is moving at lightening speed right now! Since the beginning of this motivational post I’ve joined the gym (Anytime Fitness) with Andrew and we’ve both been going twice a week since.

My feelings on it are mixed because I feel like I’ve lost some weight but I haven’t at all. I’m exactly where I was a month ago. I try to eat healthy but it’s hard since we’re both super busy. I’m really worried that I won’t look good in my wedding dress and need some new motivation.

I’m gonna start a binder of my work out routine (which I’m just coming up with), my meal plan (courtesy of my fit cousin, Isila), and a picture of my wedding dress. I feel like seeing it every day will make it more real and I’ll have a tangible motivation, cause I’m going to look awesome! :)

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