Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

This week has run away from me and the Christmas mindset of 3 and half days off of work has replaced all rational thought! I still have a few gifts yet to buy - thankfully Amazon Prime has helped out greatly - and it's been crunch time at work in order to finish all my work before those glorious 3 & a half days off. Maybe just maybe I'll get to make a cookie or two before Chritmas eve! I'm looking forward to having a nice little Christmas with my little family.

I'm going to sign off for the rest of week and finally take a much needed break. I work in advertising and it's been non-stop since August. I'm even looking forward to next week where again I will get a little breather with 3 & half more days off. It's exactly what I need to reboot for the new year, which I'm eagerly looking forward to! 2016 is going to be a year of personal growth and wonderful things to come. I can feel it...It's going to happen! 

I hope everyone & their families have a wonderful Holiday Season! 

Merry Christmas 
Love, Melanie aka Toots

I'll see you all next week! =) 


Friday Favorites - The Ultimate Christmas Movie List

Still from The Nightmare Before Christmas

I love movies and this Friday I thought would compile an ultimate list of all the Christmas movie favorites! Yes, I'm finally in the Christmas spirit and actually put up my little tree! I'm listening to the old favorites, but I have yet to see any Christmas movies this year except for Home Alone! My goal this weekend is to change this and jam pack as many as I can! =) My in-laws are having their annual pj Christmas on Saturday, my friends are having  a cookie exchange Saturday night, and Sunday is cookie day with my mom! It's going to be so much fun and I can't wait! 

Now onto the Movies! 

Simple Math for Two Simple Changes

I promise no common core will be discussed here!!! No seriously, not joking.

Lately I've been reflecting on the holidays and the upcoming new year. A lot of changes are going to have to be made in order to move forward and finally take those next few steps. Some changes I've already put into motion and I'm so happy I did! 

Married Life: Starting a New Hobby Together...

 She + Him - Zoey Deschanel + M. Ward
~If you have not checked them out, please's a nice lil treat ~

Sometimes I wish I could sing. Not like crazy amazing Adele singing or Zoey Deschanel or Katy Perry...just carry a little tune in my tone deaf world. Why you ask do I wish for a talent a lot of people are blessed with already? So I could start a band with my husband Craig aka Dill and start a new hobby for just the two of us. He is a bass player, rhythm guitarist, and has a knack for on the other hand...well it's not so simple. I have low tones missing in my ears and the sound I hear coming out of mouth half the time is not what everyone else hears. Unfortunately this dream joint hobby of ours will never come true...but it opens the door for more possibilities!

Stolen Moments Sunday

At a Pop-Up Art Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Earrings: Betsy Johnson Bow Drop Earrings - bought at Macy's - mentioned here

This weekend was full of little adventures and new memories. 

Friday Favorites + Happy Things

Some lil Random Gift Suggestions:
 1. Betsy Johnson Bow Drop Earrings - Macy's in store
2. Mid-Century Cocktail Shaker - West Elm
3. Custom Stamp Gift Set - Paper Source
4. Beck Cheese Board + 3 Copper Cheese Knife Set - Crate & Barrel
5. Oxo Cookie Press w/ Storage Box - Sur La Table

Married Life: Starting a Collection...

This Christmas season has meant a lot more to me than the usual bells, whistles, and the occasional candy cane. It's Craig and I's first Christmas as husband & wife. One of the new ladies at my job found this out and she Ooohed and Awwed. It was nice to tell the story of how Craig and I met, tales from our dating time, and our hopes for the future. Then she proceeded to ask me if I was doing anything new this holiday season because we were married. I went on to describe our traditions and when it was her turn her Christmas' married life holiday traditions lit a light bulb over my head of something I so need to start doing this year!

Randomness: Waiting Patiently...Kind Of...

1. Star Wards - The Force Awakens - IMDB

Here's a little story about my parents...My parents met in 1978 at a wedding. My mother caught the bouquet and my father caught the garter. True Story - I kid you not. They had a magical kiss and they exchanged land-line phone numbers. My dad didn't call. My mom did. After some persuasion, they decided to go out for a real date and luck turned it that a certain movie was still playing in the theaters after months and months. Star Wars - Episode 4 - A New Hope. Yes, my parents first date was actually to see the original Star Wars movie! Needless to say, my fan girl tendencies was born that day. I was destined to be a nerd and a have a deep love for movie folklore. =)

Married Life...Babies!

Baby Boom - Imdb

Life is beautiful.  There are so many wonderful experiences to have and once in a while you get to be a part of something so very special you will remember it forever. As an only child and someone with a very small family there hasn't been many babies born where I got to rush to the hospital and eagerly await meeting a cutie newborn baby. When my little cousin was born, I was three...way too little to remember much, except her infamous baptism I can still recall. When my goddaughter was born there was a sea of people waiting to pick her up and I didn't get to spend as much time with her as a baby as I would have liked. But today was different...

Movie Night: Recent Catches & a Must-See!

Tonight is one of those nights, where we're the week wore Craig & I down, leaving us in a dazed movie night only state. Oh and a mini Jeopardy marathon will of course make an appearance! We used to watch Jeopardy semi regularly when we first moved in together so I'm happy we're trying to bring it back! But onto the Movies!! 

No Spoilers - I promise!

Friday Favorites: Please Come Home for Christmas...

1. Porcelain Cityscape - West Elm
2. Snowman & Friends Mugs - Sur La Table
3. Reindeer Trivet - Crate Barrel
5.  Outdoor Ornament Pine Wreath - Pottery Barn

Holiday Traditions & Activities Favorites - Blog Hop!

I've mentioned some of my holiday traditions here last month but I'd like to delve a little deeper into the new ones I'm starting this year! 

Hello December...

Snippet from my Xmas cupcake class

Hello December!! I'm so excited for December but I wish my cold would go away. I knew it was going to happen, but luckily I'm sick in the beginning of the month because I have so much fun stuff planned!

Weekend Stolen Moments...

This weekend was non-stop go go go...But all the fun kinds of go go go...

Five Blogging Tips from an Avid Blog Reader...

For starters, I love reading blogs! It's a past-time I'm ever so grateful I stumbled upon about 6 years ago. Honestly I had no real idea what a blog was until I saw Julie & Julia. Julie blogged her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking and it pretty much went viral. I had no idea it could be so involved and rewarding. I used to have a live journal growing up and the fall-out from an ex reading it caused me to abandon my writing. Every once in a while I used to write a little post in myspace where the newsfeed used to have surveys or a longer blurb on my profile. But blogging was something new which I happily jumped on the bandwagon. 

From reading 1,000+ blogs in this time I've noticed a few things that have helped me embrace new blogs and make sure I come back to read it again and again.

Friday Favorites: Hello from the Other Side...

Happy Thanksgiving from Melanie & Craig aka Toots + Dill!

Our first Thanksgiving as a married couple went off perfectly! Of course we didn't get to see all the family we would've like to see but some years you have to just stay close to home and enjoy the new memories. My mother-in-law hosted and made an absolutely amazing turkey! It's official that I now like turkey gravy! Well hers for starters! My parents came to her place too and the five of us continued a new tradition. I also got to see my grandmother and hearing her tell me she loved me too was beautiful and precious. 

Toots + Dill: Thankful for Everything

 One of my favorite wedding photos...

This week has been crazy...I've worked long hours and closed the door on my last cupcake class. It's been a long month that zipped by too fast.  I'm so excited to go to my mother-in-laws for Thanksgiving and just reflect & relax. The free turkey has been bought and carted from my fridge to my mother-in-laws. The gravy has been made, the shrimp bought, the apples are ready to go for the pies, the pre-Thanksgiving and the calm before the even more craziness can be felt. 

Friday Favorites: Movie Night - Ladies Night!

Finally it's Friday!!!! This week was a rough one for me, but the weekend will definitely be a good one. I'm going to a Ladies Night on Saturday so I thought it would be fitting to do a Ladies Night - Movie Night. Some Forgotten favorites, Some New Favorites, and some Oldies but Goodies.

Toots + Dill...Life Lately

Happy Thursday Everyone! Well, I'm going to try and make it a happy one...In South Eastern New York it's a little dreary today. Our first sprinkle of snow is peeking around the corner and a rainstorm is ready get started. But it's a good day rainy day to get things done.

Confessions of a Professional Wedding Guest: A New Engagement!

For every wedding journey there is a beginning. Ultimately your guests will wind up at the table photos and amazing group shots like below, but it's a long road to get there.

Writing...A Fresh Start


Last Friday, I made a bold statement admitting things I'd like to embrace & attempt in the next few months. Read such daring post here. One of the things was finish a novel.  
*Take a deep breath*

Traditions...Old & New...

The Nightmare before Christmas

Halloween, Thanksgiving, then Christmas marks my time of year! The costumes, the turkey, the shopping, the cookies, the get-togethers, the hugs, the special moments, and the memories everlasting. It's funny though how times have changed since I've met my husband and the few years before. There are new traditions I now have to do or else it doesn't feel right. New traditions I'm eagerly awaiting this year!

Friday Favorites: 10 Favorite Things I'd Like to Try!

Happy Friday! Lately, I feel like all I've been doing is work, sleep, & repeat. It's quite boring. Time is racing by and I feel like I'm missing some opportunities to put the pedal to the metal sort a speak.

Cupcake Class: Owl Day - A Fall Classic...

My Owl Cupcakes from Cupcake Class!

Monday Motivation - Check-In 2.5

Starting Weight 11/2/15: 214.2 lbs
Check-In #3 11/16/15: T.B.D.

Happy Monday! I promised myself I would not weigh myself until 2 weeks have passed but I was so motivated today I had to give a half update.

Sunday Stolen Moments...

 My friend Dawn laughing, me in aqua smiling, and my friend Debra with the curls at her Sweet 16...

This weekend brought some much needed friend recap time! The picture above was taken over 14 years ago and all three of us girls are still friends. Of course we don't see each other as often as we'd like, but the friendship is still there and going strong. 

Randomness: Mini Fall Wishlist

My Mini Fall Sur La Table Wishlist - All Items Under $12

Fall & the Upcoming Holidays are my favorite times of the year. I may groan over the stress, but deep inside I love the hustle & bustle. This is Craig and I's first holiday season as a married couple and I'm hoping to make it a special one!! 

I might be starting a little early with the lil reindeer cutie tealight holder but I know the mass frenzy for Xmas decorations will start soon!

Married Life: The Newlywed Questions...

Like any newlywed couple we are getting the questions....

"How's Married Life"
"When are you going to move?"
"When are you going to have kids?"
"Are you sharing health insurance?"
"Do you have one bank account now?"
"Did you change your name yet?"

Melanie a.k.a. Toots: 20 Things About Me!

 Me at my 30th Birthday breakfast!

Hi Everyone! I realized I sorta popped into the blogging world without really saying hello and telling you all a little bit about me. =)

Starting Over - Weight Loss Check-In #2

Check-In #2 - November 2nd, 2015
Starting Weight: 214.2 lbs
 ~ Guilty of underestimating my starting weight two weeks ago ~ 

Stolen Moments Sunday

My November Agenda...Ready to be filled!

Hello November! Like the rest of the blogging community I'm shocked that it's November. Even though I got to go to two Halloween parties I'm still am in shock Halloween is over, Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and Christmas *gasp* is approaching fast. But there is two months to set it all right. 

Saturday Favorites...

Yes, there is a figure on the bridge on stilts...I didn't know it at the time when I took the picture!

Movie Night - The Ultimate Halloween Movie List

I love all types of movies BUT my favorite genre is Horror movies. I've seen scary ones, sad ones, remakes, gory ones, slasher movies, gross beyond repair movies and foreign ones too! It's my drug of choice. I'm definitely not an expert, though I love a good list of great horror movie choices to watch. I watch them all year round, especially now on the eve of the eve of Halloween. 

Married Life: The Morning Bathroom Battles

 Adam + Hannah | Girls

First things first...Let me supply you with the facts:

1. Craig & I both start our jobs at 8:30am
2. I work 30-35 minutes away. 
3. Craig works 15-20 minutes away. 
4. Craig wakes up at 6am everyday.
5. I wake up at 7am everyday. 

Let the Battle Begin...

Cupcake Class - Ribbon Roses

My Cupcake Class Photos - Ribbon Rose Day!

Tuesdays have been super special for me the past few weeks because I've been teaching 4 amazing ladies cupcake decorating!! Cupcake decorating had always been my mom's thing for as long as I can remember...But a few years ago her life changed and only one person was left to take the reins...Me! 

My Fibroid Story - A Breast Health Awareness Post

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, I thought I would share my story of how being mindful of my breasts helped me to find the courage to go to the doctor and say the words I was too scared to say, "Doc, I two lumps in my right breast.

Stolen Moments Sunday!

Another Sunday, another busy weekend and another awesome Stolen Moments Sunday. This weekend was full of Halloween fun, gossiping In-laws, and seriously needed reunion between close friends. Definitely one for the memory books!

Friday Favorites!

Happy Friday everyone! This week I will be joining Krysten@ Why are Girls Weird and Lindsay@ The Flynnigans for an great Friday Favorites List! =) I'm so excited to join in on the fun!

This week flew by faster than I hoped. I think staying up watching the NY Mets vs the Chicago Cubs earlier in the week had something to do with it! But on to the weekend! I have a Halloween party to go to on Saturady night and I can't wait! =)

1.) Ban.Do Sticker Book & Ban.Do I am Very Busy Agenda. 
(I seriously can't leave the house with that agenda!
2.) American Horror Story Hotel
3.) Pumpkin Spice Coffee
4.) Kitty snuggles from my cats Angel & Gabby
5.) Rice Crispy Treats
6.)Ladies Night Tonight w/ my In-Laws
 7.)My husband smiling at the Band T-Shirts I bought him
8.)My amazing Cupcake Decorating Students! 
(Loving the current group!)
 9.) The Mets are in the World Series!!! =)
10.) The Hunt for my Halloween Costume Pieces!
(Craig & I are being Scott Pilgrim & Ramona Flowers!)


The Confessions of a Professional Wedding Guest - Part I

Some of my Wedding adventures...

I thought I would put a new spin on all the Wednesday Wedding Posts...

Another new blog series will be "The Confessions of a Professional Wedding Guest" 
~ Brought to you by a wedding guest/bridesmaid/bride ready to tell the truth.

My Weight Loss Journey...Check-In #1

Starting Weight: 212 lbs
Height: 5' 6"

Stolen Moments Sunday

Welcome to Stolen Moments Sunday!!! Once upon a time I found a rose wine and the name of it was "Stolen Moments". It struck me as something special and something to strive for every week - Having some special moments that I never want to forget...

Movie Night Series - Cooking Galore!

"When you talk it's like a movie and you're making me crazy..."
- "Gods & Monsters" Lana Del Rey

Hi everyone and welcome to my new Friday series - Movie Night! 

Hello & Welcome!

"Please come with me...See what I see..."
- "Ordinary Day" Vanessa Carlton

Hello and Welcome everyone to Toots & Dill! My name is Melanie aka "Toots" and this is my world with my husband Craig aka "Dill". This little space is where I will share my life and the randomness that sneaks in. I've been putting off this fresh, new start for way too long and I'm so excited to see where this blogging journey takes me!