Can I Leave Our Christmas Tree Up Until Easter?

Our Christmas Tree is a BEAUTY this year my friends!

First, I would like to say to all you real tree enthusiasts that I am sorry! When we get a real tree, Dilly eats it, it sheds needles all over my home and then you have to throw it out in the street and it literally feels like you are murdering Christmas. And so, this year I got us a fake tree that we will have for years and years and years (I hope? How long do these lights last?).

I like to think that I can leave our tree up until Valentine's day because it kind of gives off a pink light and also I don't want to put it back in its box.

Dilly and Mim especially love to sit on our ottoman and stare up at the lights. I think I might want two trees next year, but is that excessive? Can I put one in my kitchen? I need advice now you guys, because I think Christmas trees are on sale NOW. Advice please and GO!

Two Year Blogoversary!

Today marks two years since I've been writing in this space!

Time is such a crazy thing, isn't it? In October I realized that the anniversary was approaching and it felt like December was never going to get here...and now, here it is!

Writing this blog is one of the greatest lights in my life and its made even brighter when I hear from you! I love seeing people I haven't seen in a while and having them say to me "I read your blog every day!". I love it even more when I get emails or comments from those of you who I have never met!

If you're new to this Ummm Now What, welcome! If you've been here a while, thank you from the bottom of my heart and the ends of my blog typing fingers!

To commemorate this exciting day (hehe), here's some of my favorite posts from this year!

That time John and I swung on giant swings on the Upper East Side
Mim's Adoption Day
When John proved he knows me better than anyone in the world
When Holly and Alyssa moved to a Brooklyn for a week
A post on being grateful 
When I remembered Pop
When I cut of all my hair

See you on the flip side! 

Sidesgiving Prep & Giving Your Cat a Bath

The weekend of November 9th is usually when John and I host Sidesgiving. This year though, we were getting married and so since last Sidesgiving everyone has been talking about when we would be hosting it this year. Maybe our reception should be Sidesgiving themed, people suggested! Perhaps we could do it the next day! Could we have it the weekend before?

No, friends. Our reception will not have cranberry sauce, I was exhausted the day after the wedding and the weekend before we were celebrating Aunt Lau's birthday. SO this weekend, John and I are hosting a revised version of Sidesgiving, Sidesmas!

Sidesmas prep has been fairly extensive this week with cleaning and list making and tonight, Stephanie is coming over to do some crafts with glitter paper (my favorite!). In addition to cleaning the house, on Tuesday night John and I gave Mim a bath in the bathroom sink (to make sure she is ready to see guests!). We usually do it in the bathtub, but she gets so upset when the water hits her, so instead we tried the sink. It was a h-u-g-e success. John held her, I sudsed her up with some Johnson's baby shampoo and in less than ten minutes, she was like a new kitty cat girl. We typically go as fast as possible when giving Mim a bath, but I had to take a picture of this face! Oh Mim!

Also for those of you who have been asking, Mim's diagnosis is not as terrible as we thought it might be. For now, she is on steroids and antibiotics for a little longer and John and I do physical therapy with her every day. She says thank you so much for all your thoughts, she loves you for loving her!

Photo Booths are My Favorite!

Let's talk about how much I love homemade photo booths, shall we? My house was expertly decorated for my Bachelorette Party, but perhaps my very, very favorite part of the decorations was the photo booth that the girls made on the sliding doors to our deck.

Apparently, Michael's sells entire rolls of sparkle paper in dozens of colors. Obviously they chose pink for the event an they hung streamers and it was just perfect!

And so I present to you: very many pictures from my Bachelorette photo booth!

Please note that props are essential!

And also there is some sort of iPhone App that takes four pictures at once. It is essential that whoever is taking the pictures yells when they are changing!

I have total drunk eyes in the second picture and am not sure why as this was taken on Sunday morning pre-Mimosas.

Photobooth post OVER!

Family Trip to Atlantic City

For my Aunt Lau's 50th Birthday, our entire family (minus Nanny) went to Atlantic City to celebrate. Before I continue with this incredible picture heavy post, a few words about my Aunt Lau (but brief words because she's going to not even like that this is being posted on the internet).

My Aunt Lau is the greatest. Like the greatest, greatest. When I was little, she took me to Disney world like three times AND took me to see the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center in the middle of the NIGHT and took me to see the balloons get blown up before the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Basically things no one wants to do with children, she did with me numerous times! Now that I am no longer little, we Facetime...sometimes when she is cooking, sometimes when I am holding Mim or when Dilly climbs on me, sometimes after I come home from Happy Hour on Fridays and I lay in bed. Sometimes we go out to dinner and sometimes we sit at her kitchen table in Connecticut and drink Shocktop and color. She is the best and I love her.

NOW her birthday weekend started out by me needing to retrieve these balloons from the lobby. This is what they looked like before I carried them.

This is what they looked like while I was carrying them. I would like to tell you that they got to the hotel room totally untangled but that would be a big fat lie.

We had drinks and snacks in Aunt Lau and Aunt Lyd's hotel room and I took this adorable picture of John and Jonathan. Seriously, I think my husband is the cutest man on the planet when it comes to babies (side note this is the first time I've said "my husband" on the blog and I think I'm totally freaked out about it).

We also took a million pictures in front of the photo booth that me and Alyssa put up! We are photo booth pros since my Bachelorette (don't worry those pictures are coming soon).

Then we went out to dinner where we were met by our crazy waitress. I think she maybe wanted to be part of our family? Or she was hitting on the men as she rubbed John, my Uncle Zinny AND my Dad's shoulders. TOO MUCH, Crystal the waitress, please walk away!

Guys, I don't even usually like cake. Aunt Lau's Birthday cake was literally the most delicious cake in the history of cakes. We all looked at each other and basically screamed "QUICK MORE CAKE!"

After dinner, John and I told the grown ups that we would take the kids back to the hotel room so that they could gamble. "I am great with babies and my cousins love John AND we brought board games," I thought to myself. Mickey and Jack wanted to change in their hotel rooms, so obviously John and Alexander waited for them to come out and fart on them. I wish I could say this was Alexander's idea, but it was definitely John's.

Jonathan was sleeping in the stroller when we got in the elevator, but then these two loud drunk women got on with us and started screaming and woke him up. I literally gave them the middle finger when they got off, I was so annoyed. John took the big boys into the room to play games and I wandered around the floor with Jonathan praying he would fall asleep. He would not and he was less than thrilled. Moral of this story: I am not ready to have a baby.

The grown ups finally arrived back and gave Jonathan the bunch of balloons which I assumed that babies shouldn't play with? But he loved them and ran around forever!

And then the next morning we ate breakfast and sat at our table for three hours. It was the loveliest weekend ever. Happy Birthday, Aunt Lau!

In Which My Home Looked Liked a Fairy Lived There

After the painting class, we all took the subway back to my home. Alyssa and I ran to CVS to get false eyelashes for that night (because obviously) while the girls ran back to the house to finish some things up. When I got to my front door, I was blindfolded AGAIN and Alyssa led me in the house. I stood in the hallway, Alyssa took off the blindfold and I promptly burst into tears. It was the most perfect decorating job in the history of the world.

Guys those are personalized mason jars for each of us. I know that once when I was in college I said that I hated people who drank out of jars. I would like to publicly apologize for that but would like to say that I am only apologizing for judging people who drink out of MASON JARS (i.e. ME). If you drink out of a jam jar, I will judge you.

 Let's talk about this sign for a minute. The girls told me that everyone had a Bachelorette task and that Bridget was supposed to make this sign. She told me that originally she was nervous because she thought she was going to have to cut the letters out of sparkle paper individually. BUT she found glitter letter stickers at Michael's. Quote: "I felt so bad because my thing was so easy!" Lesson: DIBS I am making the glitter signs for everyone else's Bachelorette's, OK?

After I stopped crying and walking around my house yelling "YOU GUYS!"we played silly games and had snacks and about a million too many drinks.

I had to pick who bought me each piece! It took me longer than it should have but I blame the gallons of mimosas and punch I had already consumed. Stephanie and Becca has also asked John a lot of silly questions and I had to guess his answers. My favorite one?

Question: "John how do you feel about Kate's love of pink"
My Answer: "He doesn't love it"
John's Answer: "Not everything has to be pink, Kate Jesus Christ!"

And yes we did play Pin the Penis on the not very attractive man! I would also like to be in charge of picking the man we do this on at the next Bachelorette. Naked Man and Glitter Sign.

After the games and drinks and snacks, I got in my bed in all of my clothes (and penis whistle) got under the blanket and promptly fell asleep. And not like a light nap. A full on REM cycle, I was gone to the world.

I was woken up by shakes and laughter coming from the bathroom and told to "wash your face, re-do your make up and let Kinzie put on your false eye lashes." Then Abbie brought me a mug of coffee with I used to chase shots upon going downstairs. I am the classiest (notice the purple penis straw behind the mug of coffee).

Stay tuned for Part III of Bachelorette Festivities...I told you there were going to be a lot of wedding related posts. 

"A Bowl Full Of Pea-ness"-A Recipe for Pea Soup

My Mom has been making pea soup for as long as I can remember. And for as long as I can remember, my sister has refused to eat it. Once when she was in high school, she exclaimed "I don't want to eat that...Its a bowl full of PEA-NESS". My Mom and I nearly died of laughter and I think my Dad nearly passed out. A bowl full of penis. HA!

Today I'm sharing my favorite soup reciepe (really, its my Mom's) in the hope that real winter is actually coming and we will soon need a reason for warm soup!

Here's what you'll need:
-2 carrots (I used 5 because they were little)
-4 stalks of celery (really only 2, but seriously I love celery)
-Bag of peas found next to the lentils in your grocery store
-1 can of tomato sauce
-1 whole yellow onion
-1 clove garlic
-Olive Oil
-Ham of some sort (ham steak, pork butt, bacon...pork)
-An immersion blender
-The cookbook your Mom lovingly put together for you for your Bridal Shower

Here's what you do:
-Chop celery, carrots, onions and clove or garlic. Coat the bottom of your pot with olive oil and throw your veggies in

-While your veggies are cooking, put your peas in a strainer and rinse them off. You should pay particular attention in case there are rocks in your bag of peas (which my Mom says sometimes happens!)

-Throw in your meat of choice into the pot on top of the vegetables

-Cook the vegetables until the onions are transparent. Once they are, put 8 cups of water or chicken/vegetable broth into the pot.
-Put peas in the pot and bring everything to a boil. Once its boiling, cover the pot, lower the heat and let simmer for 60 minutes.

-After 60 minutes, turn off the stove and take your meat out
-Use your brand new immersion blender and blend everything together
-Chop up meat, but back in the soup and stir

My iPhone Says "Kate You Take Too Many Pictures"

We took Mim to a fancy-schmancey cat neurologist near the Barclay's Center on Wednesday. We got some news that wasn't particularly encouraging, and now we're waiting on the results of the tests they ran. For now, she's her regular happy Mimsy self, and she's rocking a hot pink ace bandage around her front right leg (like mother like daughter). We would really, really appreciate any good thoughts you would be willing to send our kitty girl's way.

In an attempt not to smother you with my nervous cat mama feelings, here are some pictures from my iPhone recently!

John bought us the ancient Chinese game of Go from Amazon last week. This is the small board and we are loving it! We've got a tally going on our chalkboard (we're currently at two wins a piece) and I think we're finally starting to get the hang of it. He also bought us a 19 inch x 19 inch board...we will need to reserve an entire day just to play one game on that thing!

I love, love, love this beadboard counter and sign in our bagel place!

Jared brought us back that most beautiful Hamsa from his trip to Israel. We finally hung it this weekend and its now the first thing you see when you enter our house. We love it so much!

We had our first at home dinner last weekend since the wedding. We were able to use all of our new stuff, we were so excited. AND dinner was delicious AND John made most of it. I did the dishes...that was significantly less exciting.

There's a new tea place right near my office and it is fantastically wonderful. I highly recommend the hot Taro milk tea (NO bubbles because hot bubbles sound like too much to me). It is delicious and a perfect afternoon pick me up...especially if you're reading your book and accidentally get on the wrong train home. One day, I will pass for a real New Yorker. Last night was not that day.

I love this bag! I see the girl almost every day while we wait for the N train at Atlantic and she is a pretty big grouch...that makes me love the bag even more.

Happy weekend to you!!!

No Flesh Colored Penis Straws, Please!

When my sister asked me what I wanted for my Bachelorette party I told her I didn't want anything too trashy, I didn't want to go to a club (strip or dancing) and I didn't want any, any, ANY flesh colored penis straws. I also told her that I wanted absolutely everything to be a surprise (suddenly I love surprises, I don't know who I've turned into).

On the morning of my Bachelorette party, I woke up at 9:30AM and walked in the hallway upstairs. No sooner had I stepped out of our bedroom than everyone (who had apparently arrived while I was asleep and were let in by Alyssa who came the night before) downstairs screamed "DO NOT LOOK DOWN HERE". I listened (fearing for my life, as they sounded very serious) and proceeded to take a shower and then lay in my bed to watch Parks and Rec on my computer (I finally finished all of the seasons and oh my goodness, I love that show!).

Before we proceed with this story, I'd like to highlight this photo. This is Alyssa's best friend Kinzie who came with Alyssa to my house the night before. She is hilarious and encourages me to drink more than I should and reminds me that I am 26 and not 80...seriously. Also she is a really good sport. Evidence: Alyssa put Mim in bed with her.

Thirty minutes before we were scheduled to leave, I was brought a bagel with cream cheese, a hot pink sash, a penis whistle (seriously) and I think a gallon sized mimosa. I was then instructed that I would be blindfolded and led out of my home in half an hour and that I should get out of bed and maybe put some make up on.

Those of you who have been to my home know how challenging my stairs are to walk down not blindfolded. For those of you who haven't been to my home first of all you should come over. Second, imagine a twisty kind of crooked stairwell with a not terribly helpful banister. Also, Dilly's favorite activity is to run in front of you while you are walking down the stairs. She is the worst and I swear is not so secretly trying to kill me. 

We successfully made it out of the house and proceeded to start our journey to an unknown destination. I started to get a little nervous on the subway about where we were headed and none of the girls were particularly helpful in calming me down. "We are going to a class where you will get something to take home!" giggle, giggle, giggle, they kept saying. We got off the subway at 23rd Street and started walking east.

Suddenly we were in front of the Museum of Sex Shop. I nearly DIED as we waiting across the street for the light. "We're here!" everyone started yelling.

Thankfully we kept right on walking and arrived at an Art Studio called Paint NYC! Which was literally exactly what I wanted! There was more drinking and snacks that the girls brought and general silliness.

Here's the two best things about this class:
1. It was idiot proof. See my painting? I can't even draw a puppy for the little girl I babysit (she's always a really good sport about it) but I made that vase full of flowers AND the vase that it is sitting on!
2. We weren't the only ones there. There was a woman dressed for the gym in her early thirties and a couple who I'm pretty sure were either on a first or second (awkward) date. And then us, a group of 9 slightly drunk girls laughing girls.

Look! you can see the awkward couple! I'm almost positive they hated us.

Perhaps the most entertaining part about this entire event was that I drank out of this riducously sized cup. Seriously it was as big as my head. The teacher, who is an actual art teacher in a school, did not even blink when she saw it. In fact, I'm nearly positive she asked me if I needed more wine when she gave me more pink paint.

Take aways from our day time Bachelorette activity:
1. I highly recommend it
2. Wine makes everything more funny
3. My sister and friends plan literally the best Bachelorette parties ever and this was only the day time! Stay tuned!

After You Get Married, I Recommend That You...

Cut all of your hair off.

Being engaged for 500 years meant no drastic hair moves. I grew out my bangs about a year after we got engaged (a process that took very much longer than I thought it would) and that was that. 

Until Saturday morning when and I high tailed it to Becca's neighborhood and we both got all of our hairs cut!

After more hours on Pinterest than I'd like to admit to you, I decided to not to go the route of Anne Hathway post Les Miserables. Instead I went a little longer, kind of Kelly Ripa-esque. 

Becca and I both decided that we need to be wearing substantially more make-up than we currently are, so this week I'm going to attempt to wear eyeliner and eye shadow to work every day. And I'm going to try to keep lip gloss and/or stick on my mouth for the entirety of one day. Do we think that's possible? I shall keep you posted! 

Wives of the world who have recently gotten married I say to you: CUT OFF ALL OF YOUR HAIR. It will be the most liberating thing you do (after deleting your Wedding Idea Pinterest board which I also highly recommend). 

...Annnnnd We're Back!

What can I even say?

The entire time we were planning our wedding, I couldn't see it in my head. Even though I had picked out most of the details individually, I couldn't imagine what everything would look like all smooshed together.

I had no idea about the amount of love you could physically feel in a room until last week. About what the smiles and the tears and the shouts of joy of literally everyone you love in the world feel like when they are directed at YOU. When people have flown from California and Ohio and Germany and driven from New York and Washington DC to be with you.

And now, we're married!

We still have no groceries in our house and we haven't yet unpacked our bags but we're back to work and getting ourselves back into a routine again (who am I kidding? I've mostly been snuggling with the cats and on Wednesday night I was asleep at 8:15).

Every morning when I kiss John goodbye and see his left hand I nearly explode with happiness. And I can't tell you how many times this week I've caught him just staring and his new shiny ring and looking at me. On Sunday night he asked me how long it took me to stop staring at my engagement ring and I was forced to confess that sometimes I still catch myself staring at it while I'm typing at work.

All of this rambling is basically to say I'm back! Many more posts to come...some of them wedding related and some of them not (Sidesgiving has morphed into Sidesmas this year you guys and the prep-work will be legendary).

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your well-wishes, whether they were in person or over the inter-webs. John and I feel so incredibly lucky to have all of you in our lives.

Love times one million kittens,
Mrs. Kate Legnetti-Olsen