Adventures with My Mom

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

This past weekend my mom came to visit for an epic girls weekend.  We had been counting down the days for a month and were anxiously awaiting all the fun that comes with a girls trip: drinks, shopping, laughing planning!

My mom flew in on Friday afternoon and I was lucky enough to get out of work early to surprise her at the airport.  She was thrilled.  She literally jumped in the air and couldn't have hugged me tighter.  It was awesome.  Her gratefulness exceeds all expectations.  

We went to the condo and she played santa pulling out treats for me out of her suitcase (one of many "mom is in town" perks)!  We went to the Milwaukee Public Market (best place ever) anticipating to have a quick lunch and head back to the condo to change and go see the reception venue.  Instead...we ordered large margaritas in take away cups and walked all around the market before going back to the margarita bar for tacos (or a sald...I won't say who had what).  We then decided we had enough time for a little shopping (always) and stopped in Anthropologie to hunt for birthday gifts for Em and to check out possible things to register for.  Instead, we bough a coffee mug with an R on it (I already have the M) and what seemed to be an even greater buzz than what we had when we walked in!  We then called a cab (whoops) because we were going to be late for the venue tour and then checked it out.

Luckily, my mom liked the venue just as much--if not more--than I do!  We then went to visit my friend Emily's open house for her new company PALS, inc.  I highly recommend this organization to anyone with a child who has any sort of social needs!  It is an amazing feeling to see a dear friend be so successful in her passion!  Then we did...more shopping!  And had a wonderful dinner at Pizza Man (another place you should go if you are in town).
Our Saturday was equally packed with fun!  We went to Cranky Al's (also recommend) so my mom could try the donuts we will have at the reception...and also because they are the best donuts and it has the best atmosphere.  Then (and then and then and then) we went to get our nails done AND even though she had promised my dad not to get a matching tattoo with me...this was the moment she told me she felt like that's what we should be doing next...for the record (we tend to have that much fun).   We then picked up some treats at Whole Foods for the ladies night I was hosting that night and popped in to the grocery store for more snacks (my eating habits are too unhealthy and too cheap to do all my shopping at Whole Foods).  

We went to see (and for my mom to meet) my dear friend Hannah (I lived with their family this past year) get ready for homecoming and to meet her boy (Hannah, if you're reading this---#relationshipgoals).  And then we did a LITTLE more shopping (actually birthday shopping for Em!) and had an awesome dinner at AJ Bombers.  (Best burger in MKE)  Then the girls came over and although we had all intentions to go out, we stood around the kitchen drinking and catching up all night.   It was so fun to have my mom join my typical girls' night!  Even though she was up much past her bedtime!

On Sunday, we slept in and went to Gesu for mass (I get giddy everytime I'm there pictures my wedding ceremony...only slightly distracting from mass).  I got the time wrong so we were early enough to walk around the Joan of Arc chapel which is always a must (I feel llike this is turning into a tourism post for Milwaukee...) and then headed straight to Cafe Centraal for an epic brunch where we scored a perfect end-of-the-bar seat.  

To end our weekend, we poked around Bayshore and got some Kopp's (another must, of course) and no mother daughter weekend is complete without...a trip to target before I dropped her off at the airport!

It was the perfect weekend and just what the doctor ordered.  Seriously, the only thing missing was Emily!  Who we wished was there the whole time!  I dream of a day when all the Isom ladies can have an epic girls weekend somewhere fun!!!

I now feel very aware of how much I eat in a weekend :)  and even more how much I love/have fun with my mom!  If you thought this weekend was epic...this weekend Ryan is finally visiting and the next weekend the whole family will be together in Omaha for a baby shower, wedding dress shopping, and the meeting of Ryan and I's parents!



#5Faves: Aunt Life

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Linking up with Call Her Happy this lovely Tuesday to focus on my fairly new aunt status.  My sister posted this epic buzzfeed video on my wall and it is...99% accurate (the 1% is that as soon as Ryan and I are married I am totes ready to hop on the baby train).  And I thought I would fully embrace being totally nephew obsessed and turn it into my weekly #5faves! 

So, my personal reasons why being an aunt is awesome as depicted in photos of the cutest nephew to exist! (Look at me! Being such a cliché....)





Have you ever seen a cuter baby?

You haven't!

Get ready world, nephew number 2 is due in just a few months and then this nephew-obsessed aunt will be multiplied by 2!

LOVE! Happy Tuesday!!! #happyauntlife


PS this link sums it up pretty well too!

#5FAVES: Trader Joe's Goodies

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Linking up with Call Her Happy today to favorite errand.

Today I went to Trader Joe's (which I don't usually do---because holy treat overload)!  If I could eat anything I wanted without feeling horrible...I would have bought almost the entire store.  I came away, my favorite pasta, arriabatta sauce, my favorite yogurt, and a new succulent.  BUT my very FAVORITE past purchases....

1. cookie butter cheesecake bites---buy these!
2. cookie butter sandwich cookies---I can no longer buy these because the last time I did...Ryan had one and I had the rest of the box (in two days)
3.the flowers---seriously.  ALWAYS. Their flowers are gorgeous and affordable and have the best selection.  You can't go wrong.

4. The only yogurt I love as much as Chobani flip

5. And last but not very favorite pasta!

Hungry yet?

Happy Tuesday!

Adventures in DC: Part Two: First Visit

Monday, September 21, 2015

Okay...back to hard moments to put into words (because of their amazingness)...

Last Friday, I flew to DC to visit Ryan. I was so excited/nervous/anxious and a 4AM airport pick up time didn't help the anxiety!

Friday: Ryan's Aunt Val picked me up at the airport and we headed to National Harbor.  It was a great distraction waiting for Ryan to get back from class to get to know my new aunt-in-law (is that a thing?)!  National Harbor was gorgeous.  Every couple of minutes I kept remembering, I could go here all the time soon!  It is WEIRD to be on a vacation to a place you will soon be moving too.  See, hard to describe and I definitely do not sound like a word smith.  We met Ryan at the Gaylord Hotel (hello, gorgeous) and we ate at a great Mexican restaurant.  We were laughing with his aunt the whole time and it felt like the past month apart never happened, we picked up right where we left off. 
We then spent an embarrassingly long amount of time in the Peeps store!  (who knew that was a thing?  mike and ike's and peeps? HEAVEN).  I bought some socks (duh) and enough candy that we earned ourself a free peeps frame...something everyone needs, of course. 
Then we headed to the townhome that Ryan is currently living in with his friend Willie.  They will both be my roomies come January!  The townhome is beautiful and right at the end of the "green line on the metro" (I have to work on my soon to be city life lingo).  This weekend the owner of the townhome and her sister were visiting so it was a full house.  We then headed (on the metro...I'm already such a city chick) down to Chinatown where Ryan always gets off for school.  We walked around and ate dinner at...Chipotle!  We are so cultured.  We grabbed some cupcakes at Red Velvet Cupcakery, which were delicious!  We walked our cupcakes down half the length of the National Mall...Ryan was not happy with my request to walk the whole thing!
We ended up eating our cupcakes at the base of the Washington Monument.  It was a breathtaking experience.  We decided right then that we would, yearly, no matter what, always eat cupcakes once at the base of the Washington Monument (we can dream).  We headed home and started planning our next day!
Saturday: On Saturday, we woke up and took the metro to Chinatown again to go to Georgetown Law School so Ryan could study and I could...mostly pretend to study.  The school was phenomenal and it was such a great experience to finally see where Ryan is every day!  After the library, we went to Grand Central Station.  I am not ashamed to admit that this was one of the COOLEST places we went the whole weekend.  I was amazed.  The fact that you can take the Amtrak (or Metro) into the city and buy make up, food, JAMBA JUICE, and a new outfit all in one place (yea, I realize I just described a mall, I don't care).  I was thrilled.  A lot of that probably had to do with the shake shack we had just eaten. 
We then went back to change/get ready and headed back into Georgetown to eat at Founding Farmers.  It was as amazing as the recommendations we had received.  We started with a pot of fresh kettlecorn and a skillet of corn jealous.  We then had amazing entrées and for once all weekend...passed on dessert. 
Sunday: My absolute favorite day of the weekend.  Ryan and I went to Target to do his grocery shopping and then to Krispy Kreme.  Is there anything better than that combo? 
All I wanted was to have a normal Sunday with my fiancé!  We ran our errands and I kept thinking, oh my gosh, this is going to be MY target!  We went home and hung out with everyone at the townhome and I got some great leads on a job opportunity for when I move--which couldn't have made me feel any better!  We then went to Old Town Alexandria.  This is the point where I struggle to find the words to truly capture how wonderful it was.  On top of the gorgeous scenery, nothing beats a perfect Sunday afternoon after a wonderful weekend with my favorite person in the world.  We walked around the town from perfect cupcakes (The Lavender Moon) to a perfect dinner.
The dinner was...the BEST meal I have ever had.  Truly.  It wasn't even just the atmosphere and the company.  I fully intend on making Ryan go there with me at least once a month once I move.  Faccia Luna was amazing...I had pasta had to be delicious! 

We spent the walk back to the car talking about buying a house in this neighborhood and where we would live and when we got home we participated in our favorite coping mechanism for sadness...parks and rec marathon.

 Sunday was the perfect way to end a perfect weekend.  If this snapshot is even a fraction of how happy our marriage will be, I know that I am the luckiest girl.

If you read all of this, I hope you don't feel like you were just reading a boring diary entry!  This was so much longer than I had anticipated!  I hope that all your thinking is, I am totally visiting Meg and Ryan after the New Year!

Happy Tuesday!


Adventures in DC: Part One

First, why DC?  Around January of last year, Ryan was feeling particularly down about his current LLM (essentially a masters in law) program and I encouraged him to apply to his only other LLM option, Georgetown.  I had no idea what was in store.  About four months later, he got the letter in the mail.  He had gotten in.  He was over the moon...I was excited..for him!  I was immediately overwhelmed with the possibility of moving so far away from a life I have been building in Milwaukee.  But, over time, as things started to come together, I came around to the idea (the engagement didn't hurt).  The program is only a year and Ryan left in August.  I decided to join him in January even though it would only be for six months.  I am graduating from grad school in December and can't start my career until the next fall so after a lot of encouragement from family we decided I would join him after Christmas until the next adventure!

So, as of right now, I will join him soon (not soon enough) and we will live there until graduation unless he takes a job there.  Or...he could take a job ANYwhere.  Essentially, a year from right now we could be anywhere and I am only slightly terrified by that idea!

This was supposed to be about my trip...

That will come next!

Happy Monday!  YAY for new tv!

Adventures in Milwaukee

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Every summer, I make a bucket list for Ryan and I.  It typically goes almost completely ignored.  However, each May I am convinced that that summer will be different.  The list is even often filled with things I don't even really want to do...but that I feel like I SHOULD do.  Typical FOMO.

So, when we found out we would be moving and that this could possibly be our last summer in Milwaukee (I can't even stomach the thought), I was determined to make it the best most Milwaukee-y summer possible.  I started out with making a cute bucket list print to frame for DC.

The bucket list was edited and re-edited so much after that initial list that we can just pretend we did everything on there.  It ended up looking like this.

We had a blast.  The highlights were definitely...everything.  We ended up with two doughnut places on there---one of which will be present at our wedding.  We had about...4 different pizza places on there, too!  We are definitely food people. 

The top 3 were definitely:

1. Piccolo Pizzeria: if you are ever in MKE GO there, especially if it's warm.  The outdoor seating is adorable and it is the perfect place for a date night or a family night out.  There are lights strung, picnic tables, live music, amazing pizza, and red wine for days.

2. Red Lion: we had the best date day there.  It turned into a drunken evening there as well...

3. Brewers/Pirates game: I got Ryan tickets for his birthday and had planned a big tailgate with his friends...little did he know his brother (yay--now my future brother-in-law) was coming to surprise him as part of his gift!  It was the first (and possibly last) time I was ever able to pull off a big surprise for him!

Happy Thursday!...I'm off to pack for my trip to DC tomorrow!


#5Faves: Random Assortment

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

On this lovely Tuesday, I am linking up with Call Her Happy to bring you my top five favorite things.  This is pretty much just an abridged version of my quick takes from last week, but grad school and overwhelming stress is currently keeping me from writing a nice sassy post for you.  SO here goes...

1. Diet Cherry Coke
Seriously, I used to be a Diet Coke addict and now it has transformed into cherry goodness and I can't control it.  Today got a little hand and I had more diet coke than anything else (water or food).  Luckily, tomorrow is a new day.

2. Mindy Kaling
Oh, sheesh.  This woman is my absolute favorite.  And in honor of the new season premiering on Hulu today and her book being released, I had to give her a shout out (hi, Mindy)! I am obsessed with her show, her adorableness, and her total sass.  I can't wait for my book to arrive tomorrow in the mail.  And I am still not over the fact that she will be in DC for a book signing the DAY before I get there.  Life is unfair.

3. FaceTime
Thank goodness for facetime today (it's getting another shout out).  Because it makes long distance slightly easier.

4. Honey Crisp Apples
There are no words.

5. 4AM Airport pick-ups
This Friday that is when I will be officially on my way to DC.  And after 8 hours of traveling, I will finally be with Ryan again!

YAY! Now back to copious amounts of homework...


Adventures in Handiwork: My Toilet Won't Stop Running Edition

Friday, September 11, 2015

If you don't want to read a boring story about fixing a toilet (and women empowerment) you can move along to another post right now!

Really?  Okay.  Here you go.

A week ago my toilet suddenly stopped flushing regularly (yay) and wouldn't stop running.  I ignored because I live alone and sometimes I am gross.  But, after a few days I mentioned it to my dad and he immediately said he would be able to figure it out and it would be cheap (essentially the whole reason I was putting it off...I would much rather buy these new boots than fix a toilet). 

So today, after putting it off, I facetimed my dad and showed him the toilet.  With some finagling of the phone and "jimmying" everything around (does that actually work for anyone?)  the diagnosis was: I needed a new toilet fill valve.  Luckily, my dad is an ol' pro because I had no idea what that was.  I was promised it would cost me "$10--or maybe $20?"  So I high tailed it to Menards before work at crossed my fingers.

Side Note: Why hasn't anyone told me how amazing Menards is?  You know what you can buy in one trip?  Levi's.  New shoes.  Chips and a diet coke (I definitely did that--also best chip selection ever). Laundry detergent.  Storage tubs (on sale!).  AND what you need for the toilet.

I nonchalantly facetimed my dad in the aisle and we found the part (only $6 major score).  I was riding a major high at this point.  Apparently the root of my self-esteem is my ability to fix things or even prepare to do it.
When I got home from work, I worked with my trusty assistant (again my dad on facetime) and it was frustrating.  And annoying.  And I was getting irritated. AND THEN!
(Check out that full tank!)

We did it.  We got the thing flushing and working and it was beautiful.  And I'm not going to lie...I haven't felt that proud of myself in a long time!  It was definitely luck...from my inspiring tshirt and my dad's continuing commentary about my knack for handiwork and how I should start a youtube that may be coming :)
my lucky productivity shirt--thanks, mom!

IF you read this whole thing, wow! And if you aren't my parents or my sister than DOUBLE WOW. 

Good luck with all your upcoming toilet adventures!

7QT: Current Favorites

Linking up with Kelly today to share my seven favorite things from this summer.

My poor sister had to put up with my asking a million questions to make sure I do this right so I hope it pays off and she can go back to not having to answer so many silly questions.

1. Lux and Trip

I randomly stumbled across this etsy shop one day and BOY am I glad I did.  I could seriously go on and on.  The creator of the shop is the sweetest.  With each personalized order I have placed she has gone above and beyond in working with me.  She is patient and has the inate ability to read my mind when I can't put into words exactly what I am looking for.  I have ordered a number of her cards, a custom couple portrait (no big deal but on the etsy shop Ryan and I are the portrait displayed when placing the order).  And on top of all that, she was able to create a custom listing for me to create beautiful personalized cards to ask my best ladies to be bridesmaids!  I can't say enough about how much I love her/her shop! I know I will be placing a Christmas card order soon!


2. These amazing jeans

I am not one for distressed jeans or even for buying any jeans other than the same pair that I have bought from American Eagle for years.  I don't even shop at Express.  But, last weekend a friend of mine was in town and we were there to hit up the Labor Day sale.  I randomly grabbed these jeans to try on with a shirt and BOOM.  Fireworks.  I had found my new magic jean.  I know we all have that moment.  I hadn't had a magic jean moment since three years ago when I bought the AE jeans I still wear.  And let me tell you, I feel GOOD in these jeans.  I typically feel very blah in jeans.  I am always pulling them up and worried about the fit.  But for the past week I have felt insanely confident in them.  And I've worn them for about 6/7 past few days.  Taking a quick break to wash them.  They were on sale when I bought them and I will probably only every buy them on sale (the full price is a little outside my budget) but I couldn't be happier with the purchase.

3. Scrubs

I am a full on binge TV show watcher.  Name the show, I've probably watched it all.  And for some reason I had just never gotten into Scrubs other than the random episode here and there on TV.  When Ryan left, all my date nights were suddenly solo nights and I had nothing to do.  (I actually had plenty to do, but nothing I wanted to do).  So, I thought I would watch one of Ryan's favorite shows and maybe that would help.  And it has!  It gives us something fun to talk about too when we are getting sad, mopey, or having rough days!  And I ship Turk and JD like nobodies business.  #friendshipgoals

4. Chobani Flip

Yea, I haven't gotten over that obsession.  I'm currently eating one right now as I blog.  They are seriously SO good.  And it is finally nice to have a food addiction that won't cause me to gain ten pounds.  (When Ryan was in Germany the first summer we dated I began my obsession with hot Cheetos...). 

5.  JoJo Moyes

I have always been a big reader.  These books have been AMAZING to read this summer.  I was reading about a book a day throughout the work week this summer and these were so fun to get through.  They are definitely some of my favorites.  I am a BIG chic-lit reader.  I can't help it.  I love it and it's such a fun interest to share with my mom.  JoJo Moyes was right up our alley and now Emily is reading them too!  I can't even just recommend one.  If you haven't read them, read them all!  I am so glad I live a block away from the biggest library in Milwaukee!

6. Beach by Bobbi Brown

I am OBSESSED with this perfume.  I am not typically a perfume person, I haven't had a signature scent since the end of high school/beginning of college.  This, however, has been a game changer.  I only purchased the roller ball in hopes that it would smell as good as the description and now I am debating buying a bottle.  If you want to smell like sunscreen and a day at the beach, this should be your new go to as well.  I don't know how strong the scent is--I don't get any comments on it, but I constantly am smelling my own wrists and that's all I need to be pleased!

7. My family text thread

I am seriously blessed to have the family that I do.  We are all wonderfully different and make up the best family.  And I promise I'm not even biased :) We have a text thread going all the time.  Unless its 7am and I am trying to sleep, I love it.  It helps us all stay up to date on everyone's life which can be hard with a new baby, a baby on the way, and an engagement!  And it will only get more hectic from there!

Happy Friday!  I hope you got some enjoyment out of my first crack at 7QT!


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