Happy Blogiversary to Me!

A year ago I started this blog, right after I quit my job, and I was just looking for somewhere to spend some “productive” time online when I was too sick of applying for job after job after job. This time around, I have a second part-time job, the bf has two wonderful jobs, and I knew exactly what to expect when I walked out of those corporate life-sucking doors. I knew that it wasn’t always going to be easy, especially when you’re used to living your own lifestyle, but things change and I was SO READY to ride those changes for the better. No more hating myself for being fake to the worst person on the planet (my old boss, voooomit), no more coming home 5 days a week and bitching/complaining/crying to Michael about how terrible my day was and how much hate was growing inside me for that woman (slowly turned into the whole place in general). I hated who I was becoming. I am not a miserable, negative person. I am actually known to be quite the opposite, with TOO much energy, TOO much cheerfulness, too many smiles. I wanted to be myself again, and since it was clear that I was working in a toxic environment and this woman was going to make it as hard as possible to stay positive, I knew I had to leave. What other choice would I have? Thanks to the second casual job and Michael’s two jobs, I am so thankful to God that he let me escape that corporate prison. No more bullshit, it’s just me now and I’m free to live happily, just the way He intended : )

ANYWAY, to make a long story short, it’s been a crazy wild ride of a year, and I’ve learned SO MUCH from the various issues that were thrown my way. I’m looking forward to this next year in the blog world to be filled with even more memories, pictures, and amazing experiences. I’m proud of myself for sticking to something for over a year (there were some periods of time where I fell off the blogging map, but I always came back!!!) and I’m so happy that it became a favorite hobby of mine!

I don’t want to take a look back at my entire year, because honestly that’s just boring and you could do the same thing with more details by just clicking through the pages… This will just be a look back at the THE BEST WEEK EVER, aka the Week That I Was Brave Enough To Stand Up To The Antichrist We Called Our Boss! AND IT FEELS SO FREAKIN GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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* My lil bubbas helping me with my nail polish project, Dexter making a fantastic day trip with me, the amazingly thoughtful Valentine’s day gifts from Jordan, the kittys again being curious while opening the Popsugar box, valentines day pic I made with my Beautiful Mess app, been playing an outrageous amount of Flappy Birds until it was taken down and I accidentally deleted mine… but no worries.. there is now FLOPPY FISH!, painting my nails new colors again, & the kittys got a brand new awesome water fountain *

As far as my delicious meals I’ve been eating this month…. Here’s what I’ve been obsessed with lately!

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Annie’s mac & cheese = amazeballz, yes that is taco bell SMOTHERED BURRITO and it was only $2.99 and I had to try one!, sushi at work, amazingly delicious and healthy chili from Protein Bar, chips & salsa, kitty bites aka pigs in a blanket (with cheese and our own special concoction), Freshii’s my favorite noodle bowl on earth!!!, homemade mac & cheese with jalapeños, mushrooms & corn, some french toast the bf made me on valentines day, and of course, a Whopper craving was necessary.

Soooooooooooooo here’s to another wonderful week free of stress & full of laughter, smiles, and organization!!!!! : )

all love & smiles,


New Year, New Me

Happy New Year & a very Merry Christmas to everyone!!!!

I was on a slight vacay from the blog during the last 2 crazy busy weeks with Christmas,
New Years, errands, dinners, parties…. and now (at least here in Chicago), all this crazy snow!!!
I’m not complaining at all because I sure do love all the pretty whiteness everywhere, but it is slightly harder
to get around, which makes little tasks like running to the drug store or even taking out the trash
a much bigger deal. Oh well, I love it! It’s been absolutely FREEZING here (Monday’s high is -8),
YES, you read that right, NEGATIVE EIGHT. But I’m just gonna pretend like it’s
not gonna happen, because then that way it’s less scary! haha

I have so many fun projects and ideas that I want to conquer this year of 2014, and
I am trying to start fresh and new from the beginning! I will be posting about this later,
but I am starting Project Life, organizing/finally decorating all
the lovely spaces I have in our home (with some intense before
and after shots!!!), really trying to be conscious about documenting my meals, using more
of my extensive wardrobe & accessories, taking more pictures of everyday life,
cooking more meals at home, staying crazy organized and NOT forgetful with my new Erin Condren Life Planner,
and I guess the list can go on and on, but I am honestly excited
about it all and can’t wait to start documenting my whole year
RIGHT HERE!!!! : )

…… Starting with the end of good ol’ 2013,
+ into the first couple days of the New Year.

On New Year’s Eve I took off work so we could finish some chores around the
house. We ran out to Target for kleenex, dish soap, + milk…. and ended up
with all these goodies, plus some excellent comfy-lazy onsies to lounge around
the house in… oh! and Michael gave me my Christmas surprise: a 3DS! May
sound weird at first, but this lil gameboy thingie is so much fun haha.
Suffice to say, the rest of the day consisted of laying around in onsies
playing games & finally relaxing for a day.

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First picture of all 3 kittys in the new year, first meal…BACON haha,
crazy amounts of snow that looked like it was piling up on our 2nd
floor!!!.., and then new year’s day, when all we did was spend the
day in jamies and relax AGAIN, it was marvelous… only time
we left was to a delicious lunch with the family.

IMG_4361 IMG_4364 IMG_4365 IMG_4382IMG_4396IMG_4376IMG_4379As far as food the past couple days, it’s been pretty great, with
my new pan fried pepperjack chicken experiment that
was so delicious, cheap buffet sushi from inside my building
that I find to be delicious (and yes, I was playing games on
lunch break hahah), along with some yummy turkey
wiener pigs in blankets.

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all those cups? yuuuup, water + apple juice + hot chocolate + milk + coffee…
like i said, it was a lazy day.

anywayyyyyy, I’m gonna go off and play with my new planner : )

all love & smiles,


Good Eats.

Last weekend, while my friend was visiting, we of course had to eat at some amazing places to show off some gems in Chicago. On Friday night when she got in, we went to Connie’s for dinner and it was absolutely delicious. I love the decor of the original Connie’s (which is right in Bridgeport where I live), and it was packed and bustling with people, so it was certainly a great atmosphere. We devoured our bread and oil and cheese, along with our mozz sticks and salad for starters. Michael & Jordan both like sausage and that’s one food (sausage pizza) that I just don’t particularly care for…. therefore, I got myself a wonderful veggie stuffed za with jalapenos, spinach, onions, and mushrooms. It was SO DIVINE! Even re-heated for lunch the next week at work it was STILL absolutely delicious. I loveeee me some Connie’s pizza, and I’m so glad I got to show Jordan a great Chicago style pizza place : )

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The restaurant that I planned on taking Jordan to when she came in was Howells & Hood. It is a great sports bar meets fancy meets casual meets amazing atmosphere. There are linen napkins, however there are TV’s playing sports all over the walls… so it’s certainly a great mix, where you can never feel too dressed up or dressed down. The food, the drinks, the service, the atmosphere of this place… I just LOVE IT ALL! We both had some fun drinks, a got a seasonal IPA, “Pumpking”, for appetizers we got these AMAZING bologna sammies and also the best mac & cheese ever. like, ever. It looks so original and awesome and had some little baconish breadcrumbs on there and it was just overall SO CHEESY AND ORIGINAL and MELT IN YOUR MOUTH GOODNESS. We didn’t realize the portions were going to fill us up so fast, but we also got our own main courses; Jordan went with their signature burger and got the lobster roll. SO SO SO SO GOOD. This place is like my #1 recommendation, just LOVE it : )

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all love & smiles,


Boo at the Zoo – Brookfield Zoo Adventures

Last weekend we took a little trip to the zoo when my friend was in from out of town. We hadn’t been to the zoo in a while (and for me and michael “a while” not being to the zoo is like 4-8 weeks haha) and also it was the first day of Brookfield’s Zoo “Boo at the Zoo”. All the kids that were there were dressed up adorably, we almost felt kind weird for not being in costume. Everything in the zoo was decorated all Halloweeny and it was such a great time!

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Now yessss that’s right, we got to see a little kitten snow leopard! He was playing with this momma all adorably just like my kittys play. hahaha it was absolutely amazing to see because I was looking forward to being able to see the cub : ) … oh, and that whole huge group of foxes… they were all dressed up completely different but still kinda creepy to us.. and finally, thanks babe, for taking this lovely picture of me with my eyes closed and not taking another! ; ) haha love ya you impatient picture taker you.

Also, that morning, we finally used our lovely little mini waffle stick maker. It was so much fun making a delicious batch of sticks… we ended up making like, a ton of sticks, but we found that putting them in a baggie in the fridge ends up making them a great little snack for anytime throughout the day, so nothing went to waste. We had a great little breakfast to start off our wonderful day at the zoo!

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all love & smiles,


Life Lately…..

I’ve been eating…

RA Sushi with the fam for my birthday :] Had the most amazing green beans, sushi, and salmon…. SOOOOO DELICIOUS!

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Tons of bread and butter and jam and sammies…. and more sushi…

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I’ve been very grateful for all the goodies I’ve gotten for my birthday…

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This card couldn’t have been more perfect for me :]


My kittys have been absolutely adorable…

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And when we went to the zoo we got a super sweet free shirt… meowwww




I’ve had a great time this past birthday “week” of mine, I am so happy and grateful for everything I got and all the fun I had! :] I have an interview tomorrow and hope that some of my good luck/happiness continues on through this week!!

all love & smiles :]

mary elyse

That Day We Randomly Decided To Bike 14 Miles

What A Wonderful Day It’s Been…

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We went on a fabulous 14 mile bike ride down to the beach and around the lake…. such a great workout and had such a great time! (Although now I am so sore I can barely move…. hahaha)

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When we got to Navy Pier, we locked our bikes up and walked all the way around the pier…. then, we accidently stopped for lunch at Margaritaville! It was soooo yummy and hit the spot! I got an amazing shrimp, crab, and lobster salad, and Michael went with a good ol’ Cheeseburger in Paradise. We had such a fabulous day :]

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Michael said this was a special early birthday lunch…. and seeing as though we’re going to the zoo tomorrow for another early birthday funness, this might just be a whole week of awesome for my birthday (on the 18th!!!) Yayyy!

all love & smiles :]

mary elyse

The Post That Makes Me Happy :)

I have been playing the waiting game this week. After a pretty great interview (if I do say so myself!) I have been waiting to hear back to find out if I will be employed in the near future or not! All day I have been stressing about this, so I thought this was the perfect time to look back on the fantastic week I had filled with our first White Sox game, yummy food, good friends, and basically everything and anything else that makes me happy!

It’s already almost the end of the work day, and I haven’t heard anything, so instead of going crazy and stressing out, I will just look back on this fabulous week of pictures and smile :]

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Some Easter goodness I didn’t post the other day… I made the lamb cake this year and we had to bake it like 4 times because it kept coming out like a jello jiggler…ended up perfect & delicious though, and I especially loved the  creepy face with the moving googly eyes I added on him! Also, my mom said the Easter Bunny will continue to visit me forever, which makes me very happy :] I see no reason why he can’t continue bringing me excellent baskets of goodies every year!

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 Food that I just can’t seem to get enough of: butter & jelly on toast (I go through my addictive phases of loving this breakfast/snack), and of course our favorite Mexican joint over here, Mexico Steak House. We get it all the time, and I never get sick of it because I love my staples there, but I also have never been disappointed with anything new I’ve tried! As a matter of fact, Michael’s mom is meeting us for dinner there tonight! Yummmmooo!


 We did some Spring Cleaning over here and Michael was in charge of the bedroom… He made the bed fabulously and this is how I found it… I meeeaaaaannnn that’s not even a quarter of my Build A Bear collection! hahah (and Nemo is his!) Yes, it’s like we’re 8, but I love it :]

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 We went to our first Sox game together, which was great because now that we live right here in Bridgeport, it was my first Sox game I got to walk right on over to! We live so close! It was a bit chilly, but as soon as the shade draped over our section (Row 8, Seat #8, because Michael is adorable like that!!!) we would just go mosey on over to another section, which was awesome because I got to sit in places I never have before! It was a really great time! I HAVE AN OBSESSION WITH THE CORN AT THE WHITE SOX GAMES! If you have never tried the amazingness that is corn right off the cob, mixed with all those delicious ingredients, you are MISSING OUT! We also got nachos and pretzels and cheese and a hot dog and beers and beers…… What can I say, we’re huuuuge suckers for concession stands.


 Even after all the food and beer at the game, I still came home and made myself a mini DiGiorno’s pizza…. mmmmmmm. Couldn’t resist.

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 Last night me and the lady friends went out for dinner and drinks at Gilhooley’s, a super nice and delicious little pub right down the street from my girlfriend’s apartment. They must have just revamped their menu because I’ve been there PLENTY of times and have never been this satisfied with it before! It was sooooo yummy! That chili I got was absolutely to die for, and they gave me so much cheese and green onions on the side, I couldn’t have asked to make it any better! SO GOOD! Then we also had a plethora of other goodies, not even pictured were my favorite onion stringys and some atomic boneless wings we ordered. All super delicious! Not to mention the bottles were only $1.50, so it was cheap…. and they even served me my Rolling Rock in a big pitcher of ice because apparently no one ever orders them so they had no cold ones. Thanks Gilhooley’s! :]


 Now Aria’s laying on my lap being super adorable and precious, as always. Awwwww.

Meow off to the Mexico Steak House for some amazing soup and veggie ‘dillas! NOM NOM NOM :]

all love & smiles :]

mary elyse

Bread + Oil + Cheese

beer bread & delicious dip from my mama

beer bread & delicious dip from my mama

best pizza on the planet, seriously in love with DiGiorno's!!!

best pizza on the planet, seriously in love with DiGiorno’s!!!

at Connie's nom nom nom

at Connie’s nom nom nom

more bread with oil

more bread with oil

seriously have been living on this all week

seriously have been living on this all week

michael makin me some grilled cheese mmmm

michael makin me some grilled cheese mmmm

This is ALL I have been eating. I might have a heart attack soon so I should probably cool it with all the bread and pizza and oil and cheese and macaroni & cheese and grilled cheese, etc. I can’t help it, this is all I’ve been craving, but it’s starting to clog up my veins. I can just feel it! But it is just SO GOOD.

It’s currently hailing/raining/freezing here in Chicago, it’s so ugly outside and I am just SO SICK of winter!!!!
To take my mind off the gross freezingness outside, I decided to look on happier times, which was this summer in Louisiana with my baby cousins :]

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obsessed with gators. I was so happy here!!!

obsessed with gators. I was so happy here!!!


all love & smiles :]

mary elyse

My Oh So Classy Lil Life

Soooooooooo this past week I have been battling some insane insomnia. Not sleeping at all. I finally decided to do something about it, and what else came to mind but… wine night. With some instant mac & cheese. Why not? I am just THAT. CLASSY. Yuuuuuuuuuup.

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Since I have been organizing my butt off, I get excited for little things like pretty piles of colored paper…..

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anddddddddd my the best lil kitty Aria helping me organize all my shiz-nit….. and playing with adorable lil balls of yarn… how stereotypical of my kitty….

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and finally on a completely different side-note, I have just created the best sandwich possible. Thank you, Target, for your wonderfully cheap, delicious, and unique meat section that makes me oh so happy :]


that right there is perfection. nom nom nom.

all love & smiles :]

mary elyse

Been Oh So Busy Lately



Lately, things have been kind of hectic around here. I’m actually sticking to my organizing/cleaning extravaganza so I have been busy busy busy cleaning out our walk in closet, scrubbing down the kitchen, doing millions of loads of laundry, organizing all my little samples I have from months and months of boxes, getting random things straightened out, and meow I’m finally onto the office/crafting room., which is going to be the most difficult, but also what I’m very excited about doing, because I love re-discovering all the awesome supplies I have! (That was the longest run-on sentence ever, oh well.)

I’ve been having to take care of my poor little Aria, who is now recovered from her surgery, she even removed the stitches all by herself (much to much concern, of course I freaked out but everything ended up being okay). I painted my nails for the first time in legit 6 months. I used to paint my nails a different color every other day and I got good at nail art and everything…… and I’m happy to say I haven’t lost my touch. haha. The kitty’s of course are always being adorable (and always distracting me and getting in my way when I’m sopposed to be working!), we’ve been making some yummy meals, and I accidentally spent about 4 straight days of my life watching Downton Abbey. The show just blew me away. I cannot WAIT for season 4!!!!

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Yes, I realize these are mostly kitty pictures, buuuuuut they are just so adorable and I love that Aria was proudly showing off her creepy shaved scarred underside.

CURRENTLYYYYYYYYYYYY I am slowly removing the piles of crap from the office room and ORGANIZING the shiznit out of it all. It looks like a big mess on the living room floor right meow, it’s hard and annoying and hurting my legs to keep sitting and standing and kneeling and crouching and separating and such, BUT it will be SO WORTH IT in the end :]




ps: this is only 1 box and 2 bags of stuff. I haven’t even really gotten STARTED yet with all my supplies.


all love & smiles :]

mary elyse