I Bleed Maize and Blue

Kick Off Week

One of my new favorite bloggers, Stephanie over at Newlyweds:North is hosting a link up party today in honor of college football kickoff week!

As a Michigan grad, I am obsessed with college football and look forward to football season all year round. I am so excited for Fall and having tailgate and watch parties every Saturday, but first – I am so excited because we’re going to Ann Arbor this weekend for the kickoff game!

They’re playing Central Michigan so it’s not like it’s a huge rivalry game, but we have tickets for box seats (wooo thanks Kristen!) and will be reliving our college days and eating at all of my favorite Ann Arbor restaurants – Zingerman’s, No Thai and Colliders from Rod’s Diner to name a few. Sean is one of those poor souls that went to college at a school without a football team and beyond that – ZERO school spirit. I know, I feel bad for him too.

But back to the link up – I wanted to share a few ideas for how to still look cute when you go to school in the arctic. Starting in October at most Big Ten schools, the temperatures drop and it gets uncomfortable to be outside for 5 hours in the tundra, no matter how good your team is. Having a few drinks and a nice buzz helps, but here are a few more tips for looking your best in below-zero temps…

1. Invest in a a cute hat or earmuffs to keep you warm. They look cute, and if your head is warm you’re less likely to be miserable if it starts to sleet/snow (it happens.

UGG Double ‘U’ Shearling Earmuffs

UGG® Australia Double 'U' Shearling Earmuffs

2. Get creative with layers. For the Michigan vs. Iowa game (new home vs. old home, very tough on me emotionally but that’s another story), I wore extra-thick leggings from American Apparel and then Michigan striped long socks, and then topped it off with another pair of normal socks. Sounds like overkill, but I am a b*tch when my feet are cold. There are probably 3 layers of t-shirts under my sweatshirt too.

Heathered Fleece Zip-Up Hoodie

Heathered fleece zip-up hoodie

J.Crew Striped Vest

Excursion quilted vest in stripe

3. Don’t forget your ginorous North Face style long down jacket – and ignore the fact that you look like you might weigh 300 pounds and just own it. I like fur collars too.

ASOS Fur Hooded Detachable Lined Parka

Image 1 of ASOS Fur Hooded Detachable Lined Parka

Here are some pics of me listening to my own advice (kind of)! I think it was single digits in Iowa City for this game my senior year of college.

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In the kitchen: chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookie bars

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On Sunday I was in the mood to bake. I ate decently well all weekend (cocktails don’t count, right?) and felt like I deserved something sweet, which led me to Pinterest.

I found this recipe for Idiot Proof Healthy Dark Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookie Bars on Half Baked Harvest, an amazing food blog whose pictures put mine to shame. I mean, she has a recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookie cereal – I know this will not be the first recipe i make from this blog.

These cookie bars are “healthy” because of the oatmeal, dark chocolate and coconut oil instead of butter. I’ll take it. Plus I added peanut butter to the recipe, which is always a good thing. They really were idiot proof and only took me about 15 minutes to throw everything together. You can find the full recipe here.

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Lovely Weekend

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This was one of the first weekends that one or both of us weren’t traveling, so it was nice to lay low and spend time together. On Friday we had dinner at a new restaurant, The Cavalier, which is run by the same people as Park Tavern (one of my all-time faves).

I didn’t take any pictures unfortunately but I love the ambiance – it’s decorated like a British hunting lodge, think lots of animal heads and leather. We had a round of cocktails and split oysters and their famous Scotch egg. So delicious! For my entree, I had the wild mushroom pie which was outstanding. Sean had the burger with beef dripping fries – YUM.

We opted to drink our dessert – a glass of Mirabelle brut rose for me and a beer for Sean. Afterwards we met up with friends at a bar in Nopa and continued the fun.

Saturday was relaxing – we caught up with stuff around the house, did laundry, etc. and then I met up with my friend Kaitlyn to enjoy the sunny weather and have a glass of wine outside.

Then we cooked a feast! Sean was in charge of making braised short ribs with figs in the crock pot and I made a salad with grilled peaches, plums and this amazing honey-goat cheese dressing from Skinny Taste. Love her recipes. I also grilled brussel sprouts on our grill pan – pretty good for an indoor grilling experience! Also Sean is quite the bartender. I am lucky to live with a fully-stocked bar cart and a husband who can make my favorite cocktails. Sidecars, cucumber gimlets, mezcal margaritas….all of the above!


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The whole meal was excellent and so decadent – figs + short ribs are so rich! Luckily we have tons of leftovers. I’m thinking short rib sandwiches are in our future.

On Sunday we went on a long walk to take advantage of the sunny weather. We wandered all the way over to the Inner Richmond almost to Golden Gate Park and then turned around and Uber-ed back ;) Looking forward to a busy week (VMworld = yikes) and then Ann Arbor this weekend – can’t wait!

Apartment upgrades

Thanks to all of our generous wedding guests, we’ve really upgraded our apartment. Since the rental market in SF is insane now, we decided to make our current place cute and homey instead of moving to a bigger place. Our apartment is a small one bedroom, so we had to get creative to fit everything in and keep it organized.

Here is what we walked into after our wedding! Holy Crate&Barrel (THANK YOU to everyone – we really do have the most generous friends and family in the world).

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After a few weeks of living like this…

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It looks like this! We also just put up curtains but I haven’t taken a pic of them yet. Side note: why do vertical blinds still exist? They are heinous.

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We aren’t handy (for people that know us, this is an understatement) so we hired a Taskrabbit to come and install this wall-hanging pot rack for us. Frees up TONS of space for new appliances and baking dishes in our cart thing.

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We had to get creative with the new Le Creuset (LOVE THIS) and it’s home is now the stovetop. We also put all of our new platters, trifle dish and pitcher above the fridge (lots of weddings coming up – wowza!). Not the most perfect storage system but it works.  For a tiny city kitchen, making these small tweaks had made a huge difference!

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Wedding Wednesday: Welcome Bags

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After we decided to have our wedding in California instead of Iowa, I knew that 80% of our guests would be traveling to the wedding. This influenced our venue decision too – we wanted a hotel where everyone could stay and just stumble home at the end of the night instead of having to mess with transportation or drunk driving. I did just find out that one of our guests who couldn’t get a room (June in Napa, ’nuff said) had to sleep in his car! Our friends like to party, what can we say!

Anyway, as soon as we decided on the hotel/country club wedding at Silverado, my mom and I got to work brainstorming what to put in our welcome bags for hotel guests (AKA everyone attending the wedding). We knew we wanted to have a few items that were really nice instead of a bajillion cheap crappy stuff that said Jordan and Sean on it (sorry if that’s your thing). Here’s what we did…

1. Packaging

I was VERY particular about the actual bag – I didn’t want to spend a ton on something that people would probably leave in their rooms and I didn’t want just a paper bag. I was a little crazy about this (sorry, Mom) and I ordered at least 5 different boxes/trays to test out before deciding on the end product: the XL Black Market Tray from Nashville Wraps. I loved it because it showed off the contents of the basket – the best part! It was also more affordable than other similar options and they had great customer service. I bought the shredded paper and cellophane bags from this company too.

2. Vino

Next up we knew we wanted to include wine or champagne of some sort. I mean we got married in wine country, I think people kind of expect it! When I started looking at those cute mini champs bottles, I realized they cost nearly as much as a whole bottle of white wine. We’re no dummies and knew our guests would much prefer a full bottle. We selected Uppercut sauvignon blanc – it got rave reviews!

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3. Booze

Aren’t these the cutest little bottles? Sometimes in Napa people get wine-ed out. Seriously, it happens. Mini Maker’s to the rescue!

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4. Chocolates

After a long day of travel, there’s nothing I want more than something sweet. OK that’s all the time, but anyway, I knew that our guests would appreciate some high-quality chocolate waiting in their hotel room when they arrived in Napa. We decided on 6 piece boxes from Anette’s Chocolate – a local Napa chocolate factory. Chocolatier? Sean and I made a huge deal of it and taste tested a bunch of kinds to narrow it down to six. Wedding planning was so hard sometimes ;)

5. Pistachios

We knew we needed something salty – critical after a day of wine tasting. These pistachios had cute packaging with a wine country vibe, done and done!

6. Bottled water

Bought in bulk at Costco. Not very interesting (or photogenic) but a nice touch.

7. Google pens

Sean works at Google and gets discounts on the swag. We figured pens would be something that people could take home and use again.

8. Preiser Key

This is the Bible for Napa Valley wineries and restaurants – every single one is listed in this magazine. Better yet, they are free! The magazine, not the wineries. We know, we know, every has a smartphone and can figure it out themselves, but we figured this was still good to include for our parent’s friends and anyone who wanted something tangible to use as a reference.

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9. Welcome booklet

We decided to include a little “welcome to our wedding” booklet from Minted.  We included a few pictures, a welcome note, restaurant/winery/activity recommendations and then information on the wedding weekend itself. It was nice for information like shuttle locations, pickup times, etc.

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That’s it! We were really happy with how these turned out and I think our guests were too. It was quite the scene in the house for awhile after we packed everything up.  Thankfully my engineer husband knows how to run an assembly line, so the actual work didn’t take too long.

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If you’re on the fence about doing welcome bags for your wedding – I say think about it carefully. If you really want to and have time to start collecting everything early, then go for it. Otherwise it’s not worth the stress. This is one of those wedding things that are completely unnecessary – a nice to have, not a must-have- even if Pinterest tells you otherwise. With that said, this was one of the most fun parts of the planning (except the actual bag part – I was a psycho bridezilla about that) and I think the extra touches really made our guests happy – especially after flying halfway across the country for our wedding!

Fresh start

New husband, new job, new blog! Hopefully I can find time to blog between work, writing thank you notes (why don’t they write themselves?) and attempting to organize our apartment. I’m hoping it will be a nice creative outlet for me since I love writing. And let’s be honest, I really want to recap the wedding and wedding planning process so I remember every little detail.

This is my third week at the new job (although last week barely counts because of the Fourth) I’m trying to keep calm and remember that it is possible to work full-time, eat healthy, work out, enjoy time with my new husband and have a social life. I’m hoping the wedding high keeps me going for quite a bit longer, there really is nothing like it.

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