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North Shore Thankful

(Thanksgiving 2013, hosted by JoeyWaffles and I)
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it’s all about the love and happy and warmth and most importantly, about family. Maybe your families blended or all over the country (like mine is), maybe you live with them or they’re right down the street, maybe it’s a friendsgiving, but it’s the time of year time to be thankful for the people and things in our lives. Of course, we should be thankful everyday but it doesn’t hurt to have a day to officially celebrate. Plus, the history of Thanksgiving is a bit awful so turning into a day of being grateful, well as Martha Stewart used to say, “now that’s a good thing”. So without further adieu, here is what I am thankful for this year, in no particular order. Obviously it should go without saying that my family, friends, and health are the duh, of course ones.

My job-Getting to love what I do and where I work and who I work with is a blessing. I always quote Charlotte from Sex and The City when she is asked about being happy in her marriage and she says “Not all day, every day but yes, every day”. That is how I feel about work. I love driving there and have never dreaded a Monday. I actually look forward to my job, my boss, my co-workers, and just loving the work. I get to grow and learn and laugh and it can’t get better than that. Work is where you spend most of your time so you might as well make the best of it, enjoy it, and find something that combines a passion with paying the bills. Plus with the PR girls, Alex, Paul, JBeast, Sara, and more, I work with the best, funniest, goofy, most amazing group of people who like to laugh about everything and snort, especially about T-Ruddy Rex ya see.(work joke duh)

My Mom-She is the strongest, funniest, most hardworking, goofy, and kind person I know. She is the definition of selfless and she also can share celebrity gossip with me. The older I get the more I look/act like her and I am proud of it. She is a huge source of health tips, working out, eating well, and just being my biggest cheerleader. My Mom is absolutely without a doubt the person who loves me the most and who would do anything for me. She can make anything better no matter what and she can drive me crazy at times. The older I get the more and more I really get to appreciate her. Plus she loves movies like Booty Call and Wayne’s World and Tommy Boy. She’s a classic.

Heated Car  Seats-I mean seriously, my butt feels so warm and toasty when I drive, especially when it’s so cold out. Every time I get in the car and turn them on, I’m happy. Joey has them in the Mini and the Wrangler so our butts are always warm like our Starbucks. I am lucky to have a car, let alone a wonderful car like Taylor. I pretty much don’t want to own anything but another Land Rover and it’s the North Shore in me but no matter the car, heated seats have become a must.

JoeyWaffles- I don’t always publicly gush about him, I mean I post our photos or some of the sweet things he does or even just how cute he is, because he really really is. The thing is though, he makes me a better person. I love him more than I love being right which is HUGE because I love being right. I am Italian after all. He makes me sharper, smarter, kinder, funnier, think more, he challenges my mind and shows me a whole new way of thinking. He encourages me to be myself and learns from who I am. I love that we both have stayed ourselves as much as we have become a team. When I take a two week vacation every year without, all he wants is for me to have fun while he gets to stay home and hang out with his friends, take care of all the pets and watch comedy central in his boxers. Whatever floats his boat really. Every night I get to fall asleep feeling safe and loved and at peace. Knowing that we bring out the best in each other and not just encourage each others bad habits is something I cherish. You might be thinking “duh Tiffany, that’s what’s supposed to happen” but a lot of people can be in love and not have that. So I am thankful that I do. I am thankful he chooses me and I choose him and that we play Tetris Attack at 2am and watch New Girl together.

Dry Shampoo-Seriously, this is life saver. I use Not Your Mother’s or Bed Head Rockaholic and they are AMAZING. For someone who has thick hair and a lot of it, shampooing my hair everyday is not an option or even every other day. I don’t have the 45min to an hour prep time. This is a great solution and I recommend everyone keep some at work or in their car for an emergency.

My Dad-Hands down, he’s the best guy and I am so lucky Joey has so many of his traits. He is thoughtful, funny, kind, smart, tells corny jokes, and always lets me ramble on. He deserves the best and I am so excited to meet his new bf because I think he finally found a man who deserves him. So I am really thankful for Andre as well because he makes my Dad so happy. I am thankful that they are happy in California and I get to see them in less than a month!!

Duh-Apparently I am trying to bring this back or it never really left my vocabulary but I am thankful this word is still fairly relevant and fun to use. It’s nice then a swear word and really gets the snark of course without offending everyone. Try it out. Feels like a guilty pleasure right? Just go with it, trust me and now I sound like a sleazy guy at a bar. Hmm.

My animals-Bella, Dante, Winston, and Pteri are the silliest, goofiest, sweetest, goofiest little pack of furbabies. Winston is at the vet and has been, battling a urinary blockage and infection and $1500 we know he;s worth every penny we’ve spent and will continue to spend. He’s the sweetest little grey jerk ever and while it’s nice not to be woken up at 6am by a hungry cat, I can’t wait til he comes home. Pteri is the cutest most unladylike cat ever and got me to like cats after years of indifference. Bella is my babygirl, babychubs, fat little loyal sausage who loves Joey better but knows I will always protect her from anything and then there’s Dante. My sweet sweet baby boy who has the biggest heart, the best personality; he would protect me from anything and curls up next to me with his big brown eyes and sweet face and I melt. He makes the funniest noises and has the worst breathe sometimes but he’s my little guy.

What are you thankful for? What makes Thanksgiving for you? Are you shopping on Black Friday? Whatever you’re doing, have a safe, happy, and wonderful Thanksgiving.

bbq, book club, family, grillin, joey waffles, mom

North Shore Grillin’

So I am pretty much obsessed with grilling. A perk of living in the suburbs (of which there are many IF you legit live a mile or two away from Chicago) is that we have a nice sized backyard and can really enjoy grilling. We didn’t have a grill so after a few Home Depot and Lowe’s trips…on the weekends…driving the Land Rover with Starbucks in hand…we purchased a new grill which fits us perfectly. First how #noshopo were those trips? At least we weren’t matching or wearing khakis or plaid or anything. But still.

So we picked a grill that was the right size for us, went with our vintage house aesthetics, and did NOT looks shiny and new and have to many lights and gadgets. We both have really simple needs and liked the same one and voila! A Char-Griller that has two cute smoke stacks, nothing flashy,and looks awesome in our backyard. Plus being my thrifty #noshopo self, i went to the Salvation Army and picked up some pretty much new grilling veggie baskets and definitely new cedar planks and some other cute things…and more books of course. New and old, got to mix it up.

So obviously I needed to use the grill right away and we cooked up a storm last Sunday night (the one before Mother’s Day). By we, I mean Joey. I’m the prep cook. We grilled: BBQ chicken breasts, Lime chicken thighs, Bison Burgers with garlic, Chicken and Steak shish kabobs, Steak filets, a mixed peppers and onion medley, grilled asparagus and my favorite: jalapenos stuffed with garlic/onion chorizo and wrapped in bacon. Those were so good we made them for Mother’s Day…HUGE hit. My boo is a damn good griller and the fish he made later in the week, hell yeah.

Oh and Mothers Day was awesome. Love my crazy Italian Family. My brother and sis-in-law (who live in St. Louis) came over to see our house for the first time on Saturday and it was great spending time with them. Dinner went great on Sunday because everyone loves Joey, which has never been said about any of my previous boyfriends. My step-dad and he even bonded over motorcycles and went outside to look at his Harley (Joey has a Suzuki).  We got to eat, relax, and just have a nice time. Low key in Lake Forest. My Mom’s house is simply stunning with a beautiful lawn, everything perfect but not in the uptight way. I love going over there and just having everything be familiar and comforting and Mom-like. As you can see, I get my personality from my Mom and also really needs to get a haircut, hello shaggy dog bangs. Seriously my Mom is so darn cute!

Book Club was last Friday night and all I can say isMy book club can drink more than your book club.  (Article - 5 Tips for a Successful Book Club)