Tis the season!

Wrapping up one year and looking forward to the next. What an interesting process. I remember many years where I couldn’t wait for the fresh start that a new year would bring. Funny how optimistic I always am at this time of year considering I live in Wisconsin and the new year just means 4 more months of cold weather. 

This year however I am just truly thankful and blessed to have experienced all the days in this year so far. I’ve experienced so much growth in so many areas. 

This year marked 5 years of togetherness with my husband and 2 years of marriage. It has seriously flown by.  I’m so thankful for us and hope we continue to share many more trips around the sun together. 

I attended a life and business coaching group for 9 months out of the year that totally changed my perspective on many areas of my life. It’s helped me declutter, repriorotize, rediscover and challenge my thoughts and beliefs. 

I enjoyed my 2nd full year of consulting on my own. It’s been such a rewarding experience and opportunity to work on different projects with different people. Definitely a different kind of education. I’ve really started to appreciate and acknowledge what I can add to a team and project. Being my own cheerleader has been such a blessing. 

My step-son turned 14 and watching him grow and discover himself is something I’m thankful to be a part of every day. He’s such a blessing and gives me perspective and many learning experiences. 

We spent the year focusing on our finances and now find ourselves debt free (except for our home). This is such a freeing accomplishment and it takes so much pressure of our career choices and really allows us to enjoy our 9-5’s more since we don’t feel trapped by them. 

I was diagnosed with Ménière’s disease in August. An inner ear disorder that causes ear ringing, vertigo and nausea. By cutting out caffeine and sodium I’ve managed to control the symptoms (and my anxiety around the sparadic nature of the episodes). So, yay. 

I traveled to Napa (CA), Orlando (FL), Mexico, Lake Placid (NY), Door County (WI), Rockville (MD) and of course Cleveland and Cincinnati for work. I enjoyed every trip and was lucky enough to spend time with great people and make wonderful memories at each location. Not to mention some good food too. 

We took down a wall (thanks HGTV for the words “open concept”, repainted most of the main level, filled a dumpster of crap to declutter the house, and put in new vinyl wood planks instead of the old carpet. 

I started and cancelled a wine club. I started and cancelled a fitness subscription. I gave up giving up Nutella. 

And so many other wonderful things… with wonderful people. 

With only two weeks left in this year, I have nothing but gratitude and love for 2016 and can only imagine what 2017 will bring… and I look forward to finding out. 

Snapshots of Summer 2013


Combination of Hungry and Angry. Two that go together often for me.  Hangry.

Sources of hangry:

  • Left lane = fast lane.  Not slow lane, texting lane, twirling hair lane, in-my-way lane.  Move over butter!
  • Dishonesty.
  • Geography that keeps me from some of my family members.
  • Wine = chocolate = I like big butts and I cannot lie = MORE zumba.
  • Wedding expenses…. are expensive!

Things I am NOT hangry about lately:

  • Seeing real progress in my invisalign braces!
  • Being less than 1 year away from being a wife, having a husband and a step child and a new last name!
  • Volleyball games!
  • Good (warm) weather!
  • Loving my job (that I’m working very long and hard hours at)!
  • Getting things done around the house slowly but surely!
  • Feeling closer to my family by following them on facebook!
  • Having enough time to slowly and carefully plan for my wedding!
  • Whole hearted, honest and nourishing friendships!
  • Feeling more confident in my 30’s than ever before (well I’ll be damned we DO get better with age!)
  • Our adorable wedding website: hagaandciano.ourwedding.com



I know I’m getting older when…

I say I don’t want/need anything for my birthday and I mean it.  I am truly able of getting most of the stuff I want and no longer need to wait until birthdays or christmas to ask for those things.  Unless it’s cash.  If you want to give me cash, that’s great.  Or scarves, funny socks, canvases or wood with sayings on them (obsessed) or something handmade.  So, okay maybe I only 76% mean it when I say I don’t need anything, however I am truly happy just spending time with family and friends on my birthday…. and eating cake.  Maybe this wasn’t a good starting point for this post.

I went to bed at 8:30 the other night.  Eight… thirty.  And I was happy about it. 

I despise being hung over.  Is till like a good few glasses of wine though, which sometimes leads to a hangover.  Quite the pickle I find myself in some days.  Generally speaking after 1 glass of wine I remember that I don’t want to be hung over.  After 3 glasses I think I’m rich, can shake my hips like Elvis and am immune to hangovers.  Yup, only 3 glasses… O.L.D.

I invited my friends over recently to drink wine and learn to crochet.  Enough said. — Except that I had an immense amount of fun.

I often say to myself, “My parents were right…”

Time is starting to go faster, whether I’m having fun or not.  Where did April go? 

I find myself truly enjoying my time with my family because I understand that it is limited and precious.  Every day I am thankful to be here, be healthy and to have my family in the same condition.

The “oldies” station is starting to play songs that my parents don’t know because they are too “new”. 

All these things mark the passing of time… I am however still a big fan of Oreos, naps, giggling, stringing together adjectives that make sailors blush and randomly adding tattoos to my body (that Dad and God gave me and I chose to alter — I’ll save Dad the speech and put it here) and I fart… more than a lady should… but it’s scientifically proven that if I don’t fart… I’ll blow up.

Me... I still look like this when I get excited... many moons later.

Me… I still look like this when I get excited… many moons later.

Asking our Bridal Party…

I wanted our Bridal Party to feel as special as we think they are.  I wanted them to giggle and swoon over being asked (well, I don’t think guys swoon… but the girls for sure).  So, I went about putting together a gift bag that would make them all feel a little special while still asking the big question… Will you be my bridesmaid/groomsman?

I’m so excited the engagement party has come and gone.  It was a huge success and I got to give out these presents that I haven’t been able to talk to anyone about… because I wanted it to be a surprise.  I mean, I told random strangers I met on the street… because well I just couldn’t contain all my excitement.  Those people seemed to be really excited about the idea, so I knew that it had to be a decent one… or they were hungry for M&M’s.  Either way.

So here is a little photo montage of the assembly of the goodie bags!  ** The only thing that isn’t included in these pictures is the mini wine bottles that I added for the ladies.  I had 2 extra… but then I drank them.  So there is no photographic evidence of them.

Custom "will you be my bridesmaid" M&M's.

Custom “will you be my bridesmaid” M&M’s.


The assembly room…


My supervisor


Jars we got at Hobby Lobby for about $1.50 each and gold letter stickers we found at Hobby Lobby also.


Close up of the custom M&M’s… love them.


Small bouquet I included so the girls would know the colors I was leaning towards for the wedding…


Some of the ladies bags being assembled


My friend Sarah and I used some glue, sprinkles and wine to make these awesome sparkly clothes pins. Wine was just for inspiration. I love these curly girl design cards and used them as part of the “asking”.


Groomsmen M&M’s… I ordered them all together and then had to separate them. Don’t worry, I washed my hands.


Groomsmen and Bridesmaid bags all coming together.


We gave each of the groomsmen & ushers a bottle opener they could screw to their favorite counter, wall, fridge, car door… whatever, we don’t judge. Another Hobby Lobby find for about $2 each.


The Usher bags… they were given fancy bows… for fancy guys!