Lessons I've Learned from House Hunting

1 - It's for the birds!!  Oh my lans....I mentioned last week that this process might very well drive us to certified insanity (ok, mostly me, but then my insanity drive the hubs straight to the loony bin, too!).  All this negotiating and back and forth while knowing that it still might not work out, ughh!!  But we're thinking positively over here!  Can't we all just get along!? :)

2 - I'm the most impatient person you'll ever meet.  I strongly dislike waiting & surprises...just knowing that something is coming around the corner.  It's like waiting to get engaged almost.  You've dreamt about it your whole life, you've talked to your bf (realtor) about it and you know you're on the same page - you want the ring (house), he (the sellers) wants you to have the house - but no one is telling you when exactly you're gonna get it! Yeah, I don't like it.  I want what I want and I want it now!!!  But the Beatles constantly remind me, "You can't always get what you want", I'm just hoping they actually mean "You can't always get what you want {right away, but it will totally work out the way you want}!

3 - I crack under pressure.  I would, without a doubt, be the first to die in a scary movie.  I would never survive any kind of combat training or live to see the end of any kind of mass war time.  I'd be a goner for sure!  This is all a shocker to you, I'm sure!  Brace yourself, I'm also a crier.  Ask my close friends and family, they'll tell ya.  I've only teared up once in this process so I feel that's pretty good.  But the pressure continues to mount and I feel the foundation breaking, people!  I need an agreement!  And soon!  Please?

4 - It sure sucks the fun out of shopping!  I stopped by the mall this afternoon for a little birthday shopping.  I was going to treat myself to a cute new top or outfit to celebrate the big 2-5.  I found SO much cute stuff!!  All the stores have their spring lines out and bright colors, cropped pants and cute dresses were all whispering "buy me!" as I walked by.  But in the back of my head I kept hearing Brandon this voice in my head saying "You're about to make the biggest purchase of your life, you don't need to spend $34 on a top!"  Boo.  So I left empty handed.  This better be worth it!

5 - I'm dramatic.  See exhibits 1-4 above for further proof.  The emotional roller coaster-ness of this only amplifies the drama.  It causes me to write posts in which 3/4 of it comes out as complete and utter sarcasm and the other 1/4 is absolute total ugly truth - so all you future house hunters, be warned!  {Insert whiney voice}  I am ready for it all to end.  Well.  I want it to end well!!  It'll all be worth it, right!?

Right.  I will survive!


Weekend Happenings

Saturday morning we gladly woke up early with lots of anticipation....we were off to house hunt!  All we needed were some cameras and you'd think we were on HGTV ;)

Early morning house hunting requires back up from the pretty mermaid!

It was love at first sight with the first house we visited....so now we play the waiting game and wait with baited breath to see how this will all turn out!!!  Eeeep!!  {Cue internal freaking out, excitement, anticipation, and anxiety!}  We're 0-4 at this so far, so we're breathing none-the-less.

After house hunting we went to the gym for a bit, then came home to relax and watch more Dexter...obviously we're obsessed and have a problem.  You'd think the universe was against us watching Dexter, though!  Every BluRay we've had so far (there are 3 in season 1) has had a crack in it and at some point will mess up or just completely stop playing altogether.

Without fail, 40 minutes into episode 11, it stops playing!  Fabulous.  So we had to send it back and now we have to wait a whole week to finish season 1!  Wahhhh - such a first world pain for all you twitter peeps :)

Saturday night we went to our friend's Ryan & Kelly's new house for family style dinner! Everyone brought some sides, we ate a delish dinner, made a fire in their new fire pit out back, roasted s'mores & played some wagering board game (of which I was terrible at so I forgot the name :)!  Haha....but still a fantastic Saturday night with friends!!

And of course, I didn't take a single picture.  Figures.

Sunday, we slept in and when I finally mustered up enough courage to head to the gym, this happened....

According to B, I've set a new record for myself running so now I have to keep this kind of pace every run....CRAP! :)  Just kidding, I'm pretty proud of myself and now I know I can do it, so I guess I should aim for such a pace each run.  We'll see!

Sunday after the gym, B turned super handy and unclogged our kitchen disposal (that I apparently clogged Saturday night with sweet potato peelings...whoops!) with our bathroom plunger!  We're most certain this is a sign we're ready to be homeowners now!!

That night I made Skinnytaste Fiesta Lime Rice with ground chicken taco meat & it was SO good!  I highly recommend it :)

B left super early this morning to get to a client in Wilmington first thing & I couldn't sleep super well after that, so it was definitely a coffee kind of Monday!  But we didn't have a staff meeting this afternoon and tonight, Benson & I have a Bachelor date at my friend Andrea's with she & Oliver & some take out....so I can't complain!

Hope your weekend shaped up nicely!  Happy Birthday week to me ;)


Confessional Friday

It's Friday y'all, you know the drill!  Time for a little weekly confessing with Leslie... so hold on to your seat cause here we go! :)

1 - Birthday week started early!!  Last night, B surprised me with a present I'd really been wanting!

Love!!  Super cute, right?!

2 - You read correctly, I said birthday week.  I'm a firm believer that birthday's are too much fun to just be celebrated for one day.  You gotta spread the celebrating out!!

3 - To celebrate my birthday, I think a lot of, ahem some spring shopping is in order! Brandon doesn't quite feel this is the best way to celebrate...I have some convincing to do.

4 - For being a 'short' week...it sure felt really long.  Even with the 2 teacher workdays at the beginning of the week.  I usually feel like a small mac truck has run me over by Friday nights.  This week is no different, but the couch sure is comfy - I'm sinking into it as we speak :)

5 - Turns out what I thought was a cooking fail, actually turned out to be quite a success!  B loved the granola bars I made!!  And after I got over the peanut-buttery-ness, I really liked 'em too!

I'm going to make some again this weekend - switch up the ingredients a bit.  Not so much peanut butter and adding a little Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter.  They'll still be kinda healthy, right?

6 - Speaking of healthy, I've been craving some good cupcakes lately.  I think I might need to make some for my birthday!  Yes, yes I need to do that!

7 - Surely cupcakes will be good for my calorie counter & my waistline right!?  As I'm sure the Chocolate Peanut Butter Malted Milk Balls I picked up today at Earthfare are!  Oh wait... actually probably not.

8 - I try to not over indulge, but I have to indulge every now in then.  Or else I'd straight up binge!  This week I may have over indulged a wee bit, though.  Darn those teacher workdays and eating lunch out and my chocolate cravings!!  This occurred to me on the treadmill yesterday as I was struggling through a run...

'If you feed your body crap, it will look like crap and perform like crap!!'

You'd think I'd learn this!!  Anytime I go for that piece of chocolate, I'm going to repeat this in my head.  Over and over again!  After tonight and those chocolate peanut butter malted milk balls, that is ;)  And birthdays are an exception right?

9 - House hunting quite possibly might be the death of me!!!  What an emotional roller coaster.  Holy cow!!  It also might be the death of my husband - I could likely drive him to insanity over it :)  Pray for us!  Haha

10 - On an exciting note, we're off to see some houses tomorrow - possibly 4 of 'em!!  Ya never know, we could see 'the one' tomorrow!!!  I have high hopes!

I'm outta confessions and we're puttin' Dexter in!  Happy weakend, y'all!!! :)


Change on the horizon...

First off, no - I am not pregnant ;) although I know someone who is! nor am I making an announcement of any kind - just to clear all that up!

While I'm not making any announcements today - I do see announcements on the horizon. Fun announcements!  Exciting change!!  Announcements like 'we bought a house!' or 'we're having a baby!' - albeit most likely another fur baby far before a human baby ;) but still exciting, fun announcements and big change none the less.

And I've always been one to plan ahead and a little type A and one to look into the future - what's next!?  I can't wait to graduate, I can't wait for college, I can't wait to get a real job, I can't wait to get married, I can't wait.....

So naturally I'm so, so excited for what's on the horizon!  It looks bright over there and like a fun adventure I can't wait to embark on....but while I'm getting pumped up for that journey on the horizon, I'm letting today slip away.

I'm forgetting to enjoy the here and now and getting far to caught up in the future.  A future that is not promised by the way.

I'm obsessing over when and where will we find THE house??  How much will it be??  Will it need a new kitchen, new appliances, new flooring??  When will we get more furniture to fill up a house??  When will we get a pup to add to our little family?

When will I start living for today?

Ughhh...all this planning and constant gazing on the horizon is exhausting!  While I'm getting caught up in the future, I'm missing all the great things going on today!

Sweet time with my husband still living in our first apartment together, living downtown....we won't live downtown for ever!

Nor will we always be DINKs - Duel Income No Kids (or pups!) as my friend from work calls us! Haha - and have the freedom to travel or be spontaneous or sleep in til 11 or pick up and go as we please!

I get so wrapped up and so excited for the next chapter - which is ok and normal I think - but I need to remember that my anticipation and excitement will not bring the future here any faster nor guarantee that it will end up the way I plan or imagine it will - in fact it usually ends up so much better!  As intended.

I can't let the sun set on any more tomorrows before the sun actually sets on today.  I can't let today slip away without being thankful for where I am right now.

I can't be so caught up in tomorrow {because I may not see tomorrow - maybe Jesus will come back!} so today and every today I want to remind myself of these things....

The changes that lie on the horizon will come in due time & I look forward to it!  But 'this is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it!'


Lazy Dayz

After a successful Friday of renewing my license & babysitting adventures (and a fun surprise! for another post), our weekend was pretty lazy!  And that was just fine by me :)

Saturday morning started out rather productive actually!  My friend Lisa has been working out at a CrossFit gym (or box as they call it) and invited me to join.  It was so much fun!! Definitely a good challenge and different than anything I've ever done!  I really liked it & might have to go back soon or join and become a CrossFit trainer one day!  (<----dream job!)

I've beens super sore today - in an "Ahhh what a good workout!" kinda way!  For more CrossFit info and info on the particular "box" I visited, follow the link - its hard to explain, especially for me since I've only tried it once so far.

After our workout, Brandon and I had an impromptu little day date - Men's Warehouse to get him some new dress pants, a little froyo action, and then the grocery store!  Super romantic right?

Some Girl Scouts were all set up selling cookies outside the grocery store, so we couldn't help but buy a box of Samoa's - only the best girl scout cookie of all!  Yeah, that box is already gone!  Whoops, sorry that we're not sorry - just sorry we didn't buy more than one box!  Ha

We had a yummy dinner at home, complete with some amazeballs Sweet Potato Fries from Skinnytaste - try these ASAP if you have not!!  We were planning to go bowling for a friend's birthday, but Brandon's knee was killing him & he was just feeling achy in general.

So we spent the evening on the couch, watched a few movies, and went to bed early!  Oh what exciting lives we lead ;)  But sometimes a little R&R is needed!  B seems to have slept off whatever was plaguing him last night, so that's good!

Today, we got a good run in, which I was very pleased with since I haven't been running as much lately doing my P90X.  We did a little cleaning, a little laundry...you know the typical Sunday stuff!

Tonight, though, there are no Sunday night blues for this gal!!  Which is not typical!  Of course I'm sad B leaves for the work week tomorrow, but Monday & Tuesday are teacher workdays so it feels like a short work week & I get to sleep in a whole hour later!

I'll take it!!  It's the little things, y'all!


Friday Tidbits

Alright friends, it's Friday....and well....

So here are some tee tiny tid bits to start off the weekend...

Joy of all joys...I got to go to the DMV this morning to renew my license!  Yay! (insert sarcasm)  Oh the joy of turning 25.

I was in and out in under 20 minutes, though - I'm pretty sure that has to be a record!  I mean, my latte was still hot when I got back in the car - for real - and I passed my signs test with flying colors!  I consider this a big fat success!!

I am now a licensed driver for another 8 years :)  Phew.

I think my mind is still in Valentine's mode....all I can this of is chocolate and cupcakes! This is bad.  One of my students gave me these for Valentine's day and they are little tiny pieces of heaven in your mouth.

I die

The box is still half full ;) but those chocolate covered strawberries are gone!  They didn't stand a chance against the fat girl in me.

We're babysitting my niece and nephews tonight :)  I'm sure there will be much playing, book reading and hopefully Basil take out for the adults!!

We started the Dexter series last weekend which also means tonight will consist watching more Dexter while sitting on my bro & SIL's couch (once the little ones are in bed of course) and quite possibly drinking a glass of wine or 3.

Happy Friday y'all!!


The Story of Us

I've seen a lot of bloggers participating in "The Story of Us" link up from Mrs. to Mama and I couldn't resist joining! I've loved reading everyone's posts & what better way to celebrate Valentine's Day while my Valentine is traveling than sharing how I met and fell for him!

So here it is...

The Story of Us

1. How long have you and your significant other been together?  This March (March 21st to be exact) will mark 3 years since we met!

2. How did you meet? {What's your "love" story?}  I would just like to preface, Brandon & I are the exception to the rule for sure!  (If you've seen "He's Just Not That Into You", you know what I mean.  If not, ask and I'll explain!)  In true classy form, Brandon and I met at a bar in Charlotte - The Attic, which is now a bar called Prohibition.  I was out with some girlfriends & he, reluctantly, was out with his guys - he hadn't planned on going out that night, but after some arm twisting they convinced him.  Brandon approached me as I appeared to be double fisting (holding my beer as well as my friend's beer while she was outside making a phone call).  He introduced himself and asked my name.  "Hey, I'm Brandon.  What's your name?" "Michelle." "Rachelle?" "Yeah."  It was loud.  All night he thought my name was Rachelle and I had thought he said Michelle so I didn't even know to correct him.  He didn't find out my actual name until he went to put my number in his phone...."So it's R-a-c-h..?" "No, no, no, M-i-c-h.." "Ohh!  Omg!" "Haha, it's ok, it's pretty loud!" :)  And the rest is history....he followed through, called when he said he was going to and woo'd me all the way to the alter!

Not long after we started dating - May 2009 at a Knights game

Of course we needed an engagement picture outside of The Attic :)

3. If married, how long have you been married?  We got married November 20th, 2010 and have now been married for almost 16 months.

4. If you are married, where did you get married? Big or small wedding?  We were married at Grace on Brevard in Downtown Charlotte and our reception was at The Big Chill just outside of downtown.  We had about 110 people at our wedding - so medium sized I'd say?

Best & most fun day of our life!!

Our full wedding, reception & rehearsal dinner posts can be found here and here.

5. Do you have any nick-names that you call one another? Do share!  Brandon often calls me "Cuff", "Cuffies", "Cuffles" or just "Acuff" which is my maiden name.  At first I wasn't sure I liked it, now I'm a Shuck!  But it's really grown on me and I love it :)  I call Brandon "B" a lot on the blog just because it's easy, but in real life I mostly just call him "babe".

6. Name 3 things you love most about your honey.  Brandon is so disciplined in many areas of his life and I really admire that!  I love that he makes me laugh and that he takes me just as I am :)

7. Tell us how he proposed?  Brandon proposed on the first night of our vacation in Puerto Rico on April 3, 2010!  We were getting ready for dinner and Brandon was hanging out on our ocean view balcony while I finished up.  He wanted to open the champagne we got earlier that day (hindsight's 20/20 - while at the grocery store I was thinking "why are we getting champagne?") so we both had a glass of that and cheered to our vacation.  He was being so sweet and saying such sweet things.  I showed him my new David Furman (fake David Yurman) ring and he mentioned "I think we need to get you a ring for the other hand." I slapped him on the shoulder & said "why don't you get on that!!"  And about that time he pulled the ring out of his pocket!  I was shocked!!!

We followed up with dinner at Ruth's Chris which was connected to our hotel.  The tears hit on the elevator ride down :)  Getting engaged on vacation was awesome!  We made phone calls and told every one of course, but we had a few days to spend just us before the rush of seeing friends and family and planning began.  We had a date picked out and everything by the time we got back!  Some of our engagement details are here.

8. Is he a flowers and teddy bear kind of guy for v-day, or strawberrieschampagne, and rose petals?  Thankfully, he is not a teddy bear kinda guy.  Haha, I'm not really a stuffed animal kinda girl so this works out!  He's a flowers, strawberries, & champagne kinda guy!

He surprised me with these delicious treats today at school!!

Brandon's definitely a romancer & I love that about him.  I think that's a love language, or should be.  He always knows how to make me feel special, whether there's a reason or just because!

9. Are you a sunset, dinner on the beach kind of girl, or pop a movie in and relax on the couch kind of girl?  I honestly can't pick - I choose both!!  Ha, obviously the whole watching a movie on the couch thing happens way more often because, well, we don't live near the beach!  But each comes with it's own greatness and I just can't choose!

10. Tell us one thing you'd like to do with your significant other one day. If you could do anything? Go anywhere?  Definitely travel.  We have Bora Bora on our Bucket list as well as Europe/a Mediterranean cruise!  Also, Brandon's never been to NYC and I think California would be really fun!  I've only every been to San Fran.

11. Tell us what you plan on doing on this Valentine's Day.  The life of a traveling salesman's wife - oh so glamourous!  NOT!  Haha, B is on the road tonight so it's just me & sweet Benson.  Have no fear, he gives really great snuggles in B's absence.  We celebrated a little early this past weekend with dinner & dessert at Crave!

Fondue was UH.maz.ING!!!  I highly recommend it :) 

My love (and a rando girl in the background!)

12. Are you asking for anything this Valentine's day?  Brandon & I have been wanting some Toms, so we bought each other some for Valentine's!


Some classics for the Mr & some ballet flats for the Mrs :)

Sadly, I ordered the wrong size so they're currently being exchanged!  But B's are here!

13. Give us one piece of advice of keeping a relationship strong and full of love.  I'm not sure if we're still newlyweds technically since we're past the 1 year mark, but either way, we're definitely still learning!  Some advice we've heeded and things we've learned so far are - always give 100%!  It's not 50/50, it's 100/100!  Don't keep things bottled in, listen and always say I love you!

14.  Show us a picture of what love means to you.

Our Honeymoon in Jamaica Nov. 2010

Taking the plunge, a leap of faith, the trust fall, all hand in hand :)

I hope you all felt loved today - whether it was from a spouse, significant other, family, friends or a fur baby!  Happy Valentine's Day friends!!


Cooking Fails

I am no chef.  Let's clear that up right away!  But I do know my way around the kitchen pretty well (with occasional phone calls to my mom, aunt, or grandmother for questions :)

I've been married now for almost 16 months and cooking for longer than that & while I've had some dry chicken here and there or some less than perfect kitchen flow (i.e. the sides are done early or not done yet, etc.), I've yet to have a terrible, no good, all out cooking fail.  Until this weekend that is.

Friday night we took the night off from working out and were planning to carb up for our 5K in the morning.  You know, cause you really need to carb up for 3.1 miles!  Obviously, an excuse to eat carbs important!  I'd been planning all week to make stuffed manicotti shells & we were looking forward to it!!  Mmmm!


I'd only made them once before so I kind of reviewed the recipe with my mom the day before & Friday night I got down to assembly!  Oh we were hungry...they were gonna be GUD. After the stuffing of the shells, and the smearing of the sauce on top, I popped 'em in the oven & prepared the yummy bread to go along with it.

After 25 long minutes, the timer went off, I pulled them out of the oven and tried a little sample.  Well, actually I tried to try a little sample....except the noodles were still hard. Huh!?  What!?!  They'd been in the oven for 25 minutes alrea......oh my gosh!!!  I forgot to boil the noodles!

I forgot to boil the noodles!!!  Noooooo!  I'm so hungry!  How did this happen?  Omg I feel like a moron!  Oh honey, I'm so sorry!!  Oh nooooooooo.  Ughh.  I was really looking forward to those noodles!!

Well crap.  I ruined dinner.  Cooking fail!  Much laughter ensued from Brandon, myself, and my mother!!  :)

I found some whole wheat spiral noodles in the cabinet so we tried to salvage the meal, ha. We put the spirals on to boil (this is a really important step y'all!), scraped all the sauce off, smushed the filling out of the hard noodles and made a hodgepodge pasta.  It was eh.  I ended up eating cereal.  :)

I guess cooking fails are bound to happen sooner or later right!?  But 2 in one weekend? Really??

I found a homemade granola bar recipe on Pinterest and we love some granola bars in this house.  So I thought it would be a great idea to make our own....that way you know exactly what's in it and this recipe had only 4 ingredients.  Even better!


Well turns out I didn't quite have a half cup of honey as needed.  So I just upped the amount of peanut butter.  No big deal, PB is sticky, too.  It's gonna be good!

I also threw in a cup of craisins & about 3/4 of a cup of mini chocolate chips.  Yum!

Actually fail.  You see that upped my ratio of non sticky material to sticky material.  I patted the dryish mixture into the 9x13 dish and baked them as suggested.  Unfortunately, upon cutting into them, each piece fell apart like regular ol granola.  There was no bar about it!

Sunday, I tried to salvage them.  I bought some more honey, remixed, repatted into the 9x13 & put them in the fridge.  This time they're definitely bars!!

But very peanut buttery.  Don't get me wrong I love me some PB, but with the extra PB I added and the peanuts in the mix, it's a little too much.  These aren't a complete fail - but they need to good redo for perfecting in my opinion!

My weekend in the kitchen was less than successful!  Sugar - I think I just need to stay out of there for a while (hello take out!)....they say things happen in threes anyway :/  I feel really sorry for Brandon (and myself) to find out what fail 3 might be!?

Here's hoping my bad luck stops at 2!!


Cupid's Cup 5K

This morning we ran in the 2012 Cupid's Cup 5K!


This was my 5th year to run, Brandon & my friend Andrea's 2nd year to run, and my friend Courtney's 1st year to run!  After 5 years, I feel like its tradition and I think I have to keep running it forever, now.

I first ran it in 2008 when I lived with my brother.  His company was one of the sponsors so we signed up & the rest is history :)

Of course the morning we're running a 5K outside it decides to be winter in North Carolina. It was a crisp 36 degrees when we woke up!  Brrr!

My goal every year is pretty much just to do better than last year.  I've consistently brought my time down each year I've run, starting at about a 10 minute mile.  Today I ran at an 8:49 pace for a finish time of 27:14!!  I shaved 10 seconds off last years pace and achieved a personal best - so I'm pretty pleased with myself!  (Even if it is just a measly 5K :)

Brandon, me & Andrea afterwards

Brandon & Andrea are beasts and ran the thing in just over 21 minutes!  Andrea has those long legs and ostrich like strides & B's just fast!  We forgot to take a pic at the race so Courtney wasn't in the pic :(  I may or may not be standing on my tip toes.

I made a new 5K playlist to pump me up for the run & that it did!  I was jammin' and singin' the whole time!!  These are the perfect songs to get you pumped up for a good run or workout :)

My 5K Get-Your-Rear-In-Gear-Run-Faster Playlist
(I play on shuffle!)
Angel - Akon
Turn Me On - David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj
Club Can't Handle Me - Flo Rida feat. David Guetta (<----This is the song we were 
announced to at our wedding!  Always gets me going :)
Good Feeling - Flo Rida
Tonight Tonight - Hot Chelle Rae
I Like It Like That - Hot Chelle Rae feat. New Boyz
Domino - Jessie J
Better Than Her - Matisse feat. Akon
Drive By - Train

Hope your Saturday is shapin' up nicely!  Happy running & happy weekend friends!


The Random 11

So I've never really done one of these "Tag, you're it!" posts before, but one of my new favorite bloggers (new to me that is, because I recently found her site :) not new to the blog world), Danica over at Chic Runner tagged me & I can't resist a good rando blog post :)  So here goes....
The Random Eleven
The Rules:
  • Post these rules
  • Post 11 random things about yourself
  • Answer the questions set for you in their post
  • Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer
  • Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them
  • No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people!

11 Random Facts About Me:

1 - I am slightly obsessed with having painted nails.  Like all the time.  I feel like I look sloppy or undone or something with plain nails.  I know that's not true, but I just feel that way!  Can't help it.

2 - After 8 seasons, I am still a loyal Grey's Anatomy watcher!  It's probably my favorite show on TV and I look forward to Thursday nights a little too much.  They almost lost me there a few seasons ago, but they drew me back in.  And so I will watch until the end of Grey's.

3 - I've been wanting to dye my hair darker.  Like black.  My hair's pretty dark as it is, but I want more darkness!  I've always said I won't start dying it until I go gray because once you start, you can't stop.  But I really want to go ahead and start...I'm just not going gray fast enough :)  We'll just have to see how long I can hold out!

4 - I am awful about folding laundry!  I don't mind folding laundry, I just never seem to do it right away.  My dry clothes tend to stay in the dryer and wrinkle up for days on end before I feel the need to get them out and fold them. Or until Brandon gives me a hard time about! He usually does most of the folding if we're being honest ;)

5 - Out of pure necessity, I learned how to put air in my tires this week!!  I am really impressed with myself, I might add!  I no longer live with my father (or mother) or my brother and while I do live with a man, he's gone about 4 days out of the week.  Tire was low and there was no choice, it had to be done & I did it all by myself!!

6 - I tend to be a planner and I like to plan ahead for what I'm going to cook on Thursday & Friday nights when B gets home.  This means that its usually Monday and I say, "Hey babe, what should I cook on Thursday?" to which he replies "Ha I don't know, it's Monday!"  Or it might be Saturday morning while we're eating breakfast and I'll say, "What should we do for dinner tonight?" and he'll say, "I don't know, what do you want for dinner next Friday?" Grrr...it's aggravating and funny all in one!

7 - We watch a lot of movies in our house.  A LOT!  Brandon's had the Blockbuster version of Netflix since before I met him which will send us 3 movies at a time.  Sometimes we watch all 3 movies in one weekend!

8 - I tend to count things.  For instance the number of steps I take, stairs, syllables in words, the list goes on.  Don't get my wrong, I'm not OCD or anything, swear!  I don't recount if my counting gets off or have to start over or anything.  It's more like just a way to pass the time.... Ok well maybe I'm just weird ;)

9 - I really wish I read more.  I love to read, but during the school year when I'm waking up at oh' dark hundred every day, reading at night is like opening a text book.  Puts me to sleep right away!  So unfortunately, I pretty much only ever read during the summer.  Unless it's a blog!

10 - I have a huge fear of heights, but yet I have managed to jump off a bridge (in high school) as well as a cliff in Jamaica.  I don't like to stand near the edge of really tall places, hold my hand, cell phone, camera, etc over the edge, or even have people I kinda like stand near the edge.  Creeps me out!  But I can handle flying, roller coasters, and a ski lift - without looking down.

11 - I can't stand lipstick.  I have tried, oh how I have tried.  Unless it's Carmex Cherry or a good lip gloss, I just can't do it.

11 Questions from Chic Runner
  • What’s your favorite article of clothing?  It's hard to pick just one, but I think my gray boyfriend cardigan.  Does this make me 80?  Haha, I actually wore it today.

It's so versatile & goes with anything!  If loving it makes me 80 then I'm ok with being old.
  • Morning person or night owl?  I think I'm a little of both.  But I am for sure not a 530am morning person which is unfortunately what I have to be during the school year and causes me to fall asleep the exact second that my head hits the pillow!
  • How many glasses of water do you drink a day?  I *try* to drink 8 like a good girl.  But it's probably more like 4 to 6.  I carry my water bottle around with me at school all day and usually leave it about 4 places along the way.
  • What is your biggest fear?  Superficially, probably something involving heights (as noted above).  Seriously, probably something terrible happening to someone I love.
  • Starbucks or Coffee Bean? Starbucks fo' sho' - there aren't too many Coffee Beans on the East Coast.  In fact, I don't think I've ever been to one.
  • What was the best gift you’ve ever gotten? Probably my engagement ring!  Not trying to be materialistic, but it's extra special to me because Brandon never once took me to look at rings and picked it out all by himself while thinking of me!  I love him and it and couldn't have picked a more perfect ring!!
  • What is your favorite color?  I'm an earth tones kinda gal.
  • Would you rather get a phone call every hour from a stranger or not have a cell phone for a year?  This might be the hardest question ever because my cell phone is my 5th limb, so I guess I have to go with a phone call every hour from a stranger, although it might drive me insane.  I could just ignore them though, right!? :)
  • MLB or NBA?  MLB, hands down.  In fact, I wouldn't care if they cancelled the NBA altogether.  But I love me some baseball in the summer time!!
  • Do you use a daily planner?  Yes, actually, several.  I have my EC planner which is a combo of school & personal life, the calendar on my phone which is typically just personal stuff & birthdays, and then I have a work "to-do" list, a to do list for each day of the week on my phone, as well as other phone lists - such as songs to download, wants, restaurants to try, bills, grocery store, target.... Ok, wow, maybe I am OCD?  I just know that if I don't write it down it won't get done - and I just like lists a lot :)
  • What’s one thing on your ‘bucket list?’  To take a Mediterranean cruise!  One day!

My Questions for you:
  • What is your favorite vacation spot?
  • What are the 5 items you cannot live without?
  • What are your top 3 favorite movies?
  • Chocolate or Flowers?
  • What are you most proud of so far in your life?
  • What is favorite cocktail/drink of choice?
  • Do you prefer the beach or the mountains?
  • What's your guilty pleasure?
  • What is your dream job?
  • Ballet flats, boots, or heels?
  • Would you rather run outside or on the treadmill?

Who I'm taggin':
(Please, under no circumstances, should you feel pressure to participate! Just for fun/if you want to :) And I don't even have 11 people to tag, so I'm just picking a few!)


Good Eats & Accessories

I mentioned Monday that we tried out some new recipes from Pinterest this weekend & as it turns out...they were pretty good!  They're on my keepers list for sure so I though I'd share the good eats with the blog world :)

Brandon suggested a bunch of dinner options Saturday for us to eat....going out, take out, picking something up at the store....& I just couldn't pick, so I checked out my Pinterest All That is Delicious board & settled on....


*pictures are not mine....from the sources!*

I will never say no to a taco or to anything buffalo!  

This recipe calls for cornstarch, which I did not have, so I just left it out.  We also switched up our toppings a bit which is a beautiful thing about tacos!  We topped ours with a little ranch dressing, blue cheese crumbles, shredded lettuce, avocado, & a little salsa.  Yum!!

There was just enough left over for my dinner last night....happy belly :)

I love, love, love ice cream so I was a big fan of our homemade frosty!  

This bad boy comes in at only 113 calories, y'all.  You can't beat that!  The website says to put it in the freezer for 4-5 minutes before eating, but in my humble opinion, that's a big fat lie.  It needs a good 45 mins to an hour minimum or else it's really just some delicious chocolate milk :) Brandon's definitely more of a cake kinda guy, so he thought it was just ok, but I fell in love <3

Speaking of love, my sweet blogger friend April over at A. Liz Adventures is hosting a gorgeous giveaway on her blog!!  Noble House Designs has paired up with April to offer up some Irresistible Accessories for a lucky winner & I'm hoping it is moi!!


This Red & Pink Vintage Necklace II is calling my name & would look great around my neck for a Valentine's date :)  So go check out the goodies on her page!

Hope your week is turing out blessed, friends!



This is my 100th blog post y'all!!!

Can you believe it!?  I definitely can't...where has the time gone??  All these posts sure have added up quickly & it's been a fun ride so far!  Before you know it, it'll be my 1 year blogaversary!

Today was also the 100th day of school!  100 down, 80 to go :)  Bring on Spring Break & Summer.  Amen.

We had a great weekend including new recipes, birthday parties, family time, and a little football watching!

Saturday morning we got our workout in, and then it was birthday time!  My family came into town to celebrate the birthday of this sweet little 6 year old!

My niece, Roen James

She told her daddy she really wanted some flowers for her birthday, so my Memaw had me stop to get her some from her since she couldn't be there.  She loved them!!

How can this precious girl already be 6!?  Wasn't it just yesterday that she was this cute little thang!?!

We had lots of fun at Roen's birthday party and she got a lot of sweet loot!  We got her a new book & some face pencils for lots of dress up fun :)

They went ahead and broke out the face pencils & Uncle Brandon and I attempted a little face art :)  We're not artists, that's for sure, haha.

Jude wanted to be Spiderman...all over his face!  Somehow we got him to settle for just the cheek & orange and brown since we didn't have red and black.  Roen wanted a swirly, wirly design & Uncle B did pretty good I think :)

And just for fun, I can't leave out this funny guy!!  He steals the show a lot!

Wells is so trendy, obviously!

Saturday afternoon we took naps of pure perfection with the gloomy weather we had outside! Then after some hemming & hawing I decided on some Pinterest recipes to try out that night, which I'll post later this week.  They were definitely keepers!

Sunday, we met the fam at my bro & SIL's church, Warehouse 242.  I'm so blessed every time I go there.  I think I'd like to go back a little more often.  After church, we had lunch at Pike's Soda Shop - always a winner!!

Then we needed to run off Pike's so we could indulge that night for some game time treats! Brandon made his world famous (ok maybe just family famous) Turkey burgers and I took care of the roasted veggies...yum!!  I was definitely rootin' for the Giants because I strongly dislike Mr. Brady & his Patriots!!  

I still have a bad taste in my mouth from when they beat us in Super Bowl 38.  YUCK!  I may be a little bitter....but at least now we have Super Cam :)


Starting last night, The Voice is back!!  Oh my word, I love!  And it's on again tonight!  It's a bright spot in my Monday.  I love the banter between the judges & the eye candy (ahem...Adam Levine & Blake Shelton) & the downright talent on this show!!  It brings out the choir nerd in me.  Way better than American Idol!  Yep...I just said it!

I hope there was a bright spot in your Monday - however superficial or teeny tiny or dim it may have been! And here's to 100 more blog posts!!! :)


Friday Confessional

Well it's about that time again....time for some Friday evening confessions, y'all :)  I'm linking up with Leslie at A Blonde Ambition for her Friday confessions as well!

1. First and foremost, hallelujah, good glory, bless......Friday took forever to get here this week!!!  I've never been so excited for Friday!  (Ok that's probably a lie, I'm pretty much always excited for Friday, but ya know....a little extra this week.)

I think I practically sprinted out the building today!

2. I discovered something rather unfortunate last night.... as it turns out, the KitchenAid mixer Brandon got me this past Christmas came with the burnished accessories (not the unfortunate part).  Which means that when I put the flat beater in the dishwasher the first time after using it, it stripped all the polish off (<---the unfortunate part!).

Which ultimately means, when I went to go make some amazeballs meatballs last night (which we ate tonight, yum!), I realized my flat beater was in fact ruined!  I was very, very disappointed.

Good news, though - I used the dough hook to mix the meatballs and it got the job done.  Also, a new flat beater is only $14.99 if you ever need to know :)

3. Toms shoes debuted their ballet flats this week!!!

I need want.  Between Valentine's day & my birthday, I think there's lots of great reasons for me to get these babies!

4. I'd also really like one of these for my birthday...


I'm a sucker for a good monogram & this website has so many cute cases!!  I don't even know if I can pick a favorite!

5. Speaking of my approaching birthday - I'm turning the big 2 - 5 this year!  All this really means (besides an impending quarter life crisis!) is that my license will be expiring.  Joy!  This means one day soon, I'll be hanging out with all the pleasantries at the DMV until my number gets called.

I tried getting an appointment - called 4 different DMVs!  But they're all booked til the middle of March, which will leave me expired :(  Boo.

6. Hubs is finally home!!  We're watching New Girl & I'm laughing out loud!

I heart this show!  

7. But, I really heart my husband being home!!  And our Friday nights on the couch :)  And Confession Friday of course!!

8. Happy, happy weekend friends!!!!


Change Up

I'm sure you've heard this quote before - and if you hadn't, well now you have and I'm glad to have shared it with you!  I've been thinking about this quote a lot lately and it's been resonating in my brain when it came to my workouts.  

If you read this post last week, I shared that I felt like I was in a big ol' running funk.  They were feeling super hard and my workouts were just stale.  So, so.  Same ol' same ol'.  

And while I wasn't gaining any weight, I certainly wasn't losing any or looking any more toned for that matter.  My enthusiasm for working out was running low & Brandon could see my frustration with my mediocre sessions as the gym.  So Sunday night, he suggested I change it up!  As soon as he suggested a change up, the above quote came to mind.

I go to the gym and do the same runs and the same weight routines week after week.  So obviously I'm insane, because I was baffled as to why I wasn't seeing different results!!  A change up is just what I need!

So Monday, I started P90X.....again!!

That's correct, I'm doing P90X again!  Ha...I've done P90X once before. I started back in April 2010 when I lived with my old roommate, Lisa.  She and I did the workouts together each night and we lasted about 10 out of the 12 weeks of the full program.  We took before pictures and were super pumped!  But we didn't implement with exact fidelity and we didn't really change our diet.

This round I won't exactly be implementing with complete fidelity, either.  Whoops!  I just can't unfortunately.  I want and need to keep my running up & don't want to abandon it.  I'm an extrovert and that goes for my workouts, too. I tend to be extrinsically motivated with my workouts, also.  Aka - if I'm running at the gym and stop everyone can see me, but if I fast forward through a work out I don't like at home, no one knows!!  :)

Haha, so I have to keep going to the gym some and I have to keep running!  Plus, I can't STAND yoga!  I've tried, I've reeeally tried to like yoga, but I just can't.  And the P90X yoga workout is 90 minutes!!  No thanks!

I do the lean version of P90X, so the way I'm implementing this time around - 3 days a week are more cardio heavy workouts so I won't plan to run those days.  2 days a week are weight workout days so I'll plan to run before hand.  What would be yoga day will be my off day and I'll still do a longer run once a week.

The big difference this time around is my diet.  I haven't exactly changed my diet a whole lot, but I'm back to tracking my calories using an app on my iPhone!  I first started using it when I got my iPhone, but then stopped after a while.

I feel so much better when I'm using it, though!  It basically keeps me from unnecessary amounts of mindless eating throughout the day!  When I'm journaling everything I eat, I know if it goes in my mouth, it's going in the calorie tracker.  And let's be honest, I could snack all day long - but it is not fun to watch my calorie count go up!!

This time, I'm going for results!  I'm only 4 days in and I'm looking forward to my workouts again!  I can definitely tell that I'm stronger this time around than the last round (which at least means my old workouts weren't in vain!!  Just stale as of late I guess.).  I even bought some 10 lb today weights to add to my 5 & 8 pounders that I already have, I could tell yesterday they were just to easy and weren't gonna cut it.  My little home gym is growing :)  

So February's here & I'm changing it up y'all!!  Here goes round 2!