Spring 2017 PCB

We were supposed to have a couples beach trip with our dear friends Kelli and Seth, but ½ of the couple got called away to work, but fortunantly Kelli still made the trek down to PCB!

J and I stopped on the way down to PCB to see his parents in Albany. My requests that we be sure to leave by 8 were unheeded and we hit the road to PCB around 9. Y’all. It. Was. The. Most. Exhausting. Drive. Ever. I was driving (because of the two of us, I was the most awake one. And that is as terrifying as you think) and the roads down are long and straight and two-lane highways. J and I were chatting, I was pulling over to run around the car, and I have NEVER been so happy to be to PCB as when we got there. I was insistent on stopping at Wal-Mart on the way in to get coffee and come Friday morning, that was the best decision ever.

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Good morning, beautiful sunrise.

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Good afternoon, clear cold water.

We got the house ready and went to see Grandma before Kelli arrived. Kelli arrived late afternoon (beating us to the house because we were back at Wal-Mart buying more than coffee) and we had fun hanging out before going for oysters! We go to a local place for oysters, and we got there during happy hour. We ordered a round of Shock-tops (HUGE plastic solo cups for $1) and then we also requested some water. When the server went, “Is a bottle okay,” aka, not free, we all turned our noses up and said we’d stick with our beer. The establishments free flowing liquor was further highlighted when the table behind us got happy hour wine and the wine came in the same size solo cups as our beer. We got back to the house and I fell asleep at the table playing a game #typical.

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The next morning was breakfast, beach, lunch, snacky dinner, games, and Moana. Sunday came too soon and we were sad to go home (and even sadder to drive home through a monsoon). It was a great weekend, and we cannot wait for our couple’s trip this fall!

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How else should ice cream get down to the beach?

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My handsome one.

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Drive home!

Easter 2017 Weekend

On Friday night I convinced hubby who was exhausted to take a walk with me around the neighborhood and it ended up being one of our favorite parts of the weekend. While we were dating and engaged, we talked about all the after dinner walks we would take together once we finally lived together and that sadly has not happened as much as we dreamed it would. Anywho, after our walk we made some popcorn and watched Moana (again).

On Saturday morning I slept in till about 8 and then hustled to the farmer’s Market and Walmart. The farmer’s market was a freaking zoo (and I suspect full of lots of newbies…aka, do not leave your cart unattended in that store!) and then met a friend who shared some of her extra plant goodies that she picked up. When I got home I unloaded then started cooking for Easter brunch, cooking and doing laundry, and working on our garden! And in the blink of an eye, 8 hours went by (nice rhyme, eh?) When J got home from his errands (school, oil change, gym) we had dinner al fresco.

Sunday we went to early church and then went home to relax and study before brunch. The brunch menu was: carrot soup, fruit salad, asparagus salad, peach stuffed French toast, and “carrot-patch” brownies. Our friends brought mimosas and we had a fun 3 hours of conversation and food. After brunch J cleaned up, I studied, rested, and then made dinner (veggie bowls).

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Weekend Update | March 31/April 1

On Friday night we braved the traffic to meet up with my bestie and her hubs in the west part of town. We started at Ormsbys, where J got beat at pool and I hit the bullseye in darts. After we each took our turn on The Walking Dead pinball machine we travelled to JCT kitchen for oysters and cocktails, before rounding out our evening at BarTaco for a nightcap taco and cocktail (well, for the girls. The boys stopped well before this). Considering most Friday nights I’m passed out by 9:30, it was a pretty big deal to be out past midnight!

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Saturday morning was painful (see cocktails from night before) but J dragged me out of bed to go to the grocery store before it got too bad. Well, it was plenty bad at 10:00 a.m. and after breakfast at Chick-fil-a (which J prefers. over any breakfast I make, and was necessary for me after the night before), we went to Kroger—the only place we could get too easily. After groceries J exclaimed “honey, let’s stop at Home Depot to look at patio furniture” and an hour later we found ourselves with our patio furniture selection. When we went to load it up in the car we were disappointed to see that the chairs did not fit. Instead of driving J’s car home to get mine, J said “we don’t live too far from here” and then took off carrying the chairs for home.

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When he passed me in traffic I did what any good wife would do and took PLENTY of pictures of him carrying the chairs down Piedmont. After lunch and chores we cleaned ourselves up and met our friends to see Beauty and the Beast and it was the BEST! It was so visually stunning that I could not tear my eyes away for a moment, less I miss something wonderful. After the movie we grabbed some snacks and then headed home.

Sunday brought with it church, homework, a 2 hour walk, and dinner (Skinny Taste enchiladas!). Lovely weekend with the best of people!

Best weekend.

Early last week the Mr. texted me at work and asked that I take Friday off for a “no-work and no-school day.” I resisted at first (because #dumb) but then wised up and asked for a day off. On Thursday night when I got home we ran out to Kroger and I (literally) jumped with joy when I saw Moana available in the machine. We had ran to Kroger to just pick up a can of biscuits to have with breakfast, but after a turn in the grocery store J left with a suitcase of Terrapin and an additional 6-pack and 2 different types of cheeses.

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Bye work, see ya next week.

We woke up leisurely on Friday and had breakfast. We then rented bikes to bike the Beltline, going first to Krog for snacks and a beer, then doing Freedom Parkway, then going to Victory Sandwich Bar for lunch. We turned our bikes in and stopped to pick up a pizza at Antico’s before relaxing with a movie at home (and bemoaning our aches and pains). On Saturay we did our homework and ran errands together; typical, but nice to be together.

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Melting my slushy for me.

On Sunday after churh we went to Athens to visit some of J’s friends (it was weird to travel to Athens to see his friends, as that is usually “my” spot), where we had fun hanging out and playing some games.

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I lost so badly. As always in (ANY) game with the Mr. 

February 2017 Highlight Reel

Here is our February 2017 highlight reel:

  • We celebrated our second Valentine’s Day as married people! J had class on Valentine’s Day so we used a gift card to Seasons 52 the Friday before, and I gifted J a new back-pack while he gave me roses.
  • Grad school was really, really hard.
  • I introduced some different friends to Your DeKalb Farmer’s Market.
  • J and I met some friends for jazz at the High, and then went to a restaurant that served the biggest pork chop we’ve ever seen (J and I ate on it for multiple meals).
  • I got to hear Jimmy Carter, and it was just as delightful as I thought it would be. Y’all! He and his wifey have been married for over 60 year and they still like each other! Nearly TWO entire diseases have been eradicated from the planet under his direction! He’s still spry at nearly 90! And he attributes everything to his faith. (If you cannot tell, I’m a Jimmy fan).
  • J, his brother, and his dad went to the College Football Hall of Fame while my MIL and I got our nails done and used our gift card to Bed, Bath, and Beyond from Christmas. It was lovely! I also discovered a new one to get your nails done and I’m hooked—it involves powder and no UV lights, strengthens your nails and looks like gel. SOLD.

Ringing in 2017

On New Year’s Eve we went to a GT basketball game with some friends and after a surprising and fun win, we went back to our place for games and eventual snacks.

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After they departed for the evening we realized we were spent, and instead of going to a party we ended up running to the grocery store and renting a movie. For NYE dinner I made us steaks and it turned out so yummy—I followed this guide from North Carolina Charm—except I did not use nearly as much butter. I added about 1 TBSP of EVOO and about 2 TBSP of butter to the pan, melted it down and got it hot, then added a generously salted and peppered steak, flipping after 3 minutes, and then putting it in the oven for 5 minutes. I served it with roasted okra and undercooked baked potatoes. I did not make it to midnight, but J assures me he nudged me awake at midnight for midnight smooch. The next morning I made us a sweet potato hash with Brussels sprouts, turkey bacon, and runny eggs on top.

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Afterwards we played games and went to the gym before making a late supper of the traditional ham/black eyed peas/greens. I stewed together some black eyed peas and kale with onion in chicken broth, and pan sautéed some ham in a skillet, and baked cornbread to go with it all. We had Monday off and after breakfast we went to run some errands—taking some cast offs to Goodwill and making sure I picked out the best pad folio for J’s Christmas gift. After leaving Office Depot J suggested walking around the mall, which turned into me picking out my Christmas gift from him (booties and a blouse). We got home, had leftover Minestrone soup I made last week, and played a couple games before heading to bed. A solid start to 2017!

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Christmas 2016 Recap

J and I worked through the 23rd and celebrated Christmas together that evening. We had eggnog, J opened his gifts (I was still deciding on mine), opened gifts from my aunt and uncle, and chatted on the phone with family. The next morning (Christmas Eve) we headed down to Albany after a slightly delayed start (and to J’s dismay, no drive through breakfast biscuit). J drove down and I worked on our annual yearbook, getting 1.5 years of photos and Instagram screen shots organized. J’s parents have recently downsized so it was exciting to see their new house (and allll of the hard work they’ve done). We played games and had dinner, before heading to bed in the old house. On Christmas Day we exchanged gifts together and then went to the farm to be with family. I got to help out in the kitchen and then cuddle some babies, as two of J’s cousins have had little ones in the past year. After lunch we headed back to Albany to hang out, play more games, and relax together. The next day followed suit, save going through some of J’s childhood memories and getting them packed up for Atlanta.

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On Tuesday morning we packed up (a very, very full car) and went to Augusta to celebrate a wedding! We were frequently met with raised eyebrows when sharing that we were going to a wedding on a Tuesday, but it was a blast. It was one of J’s friends from college (who was also a groomsman). The drive from Albany to Augusta was interesting—we were on so many backroads and there were so many little and quick turns—I was glad J was driving. We arrived to Augusta and stayed downtown, and after settling in walked around downtown and sat down for a late lunch. While we were walking we heard someone call “hey Joe!” and it was the bride to be! After a quick visit with her and eating lunch we got ready for the wedding, met up with a friend, and headed over. It was a Catholic wedding—I have not been to one in years. The reception was at a beautiful old home and we had a blast. The next morning was a little painful for yours truly so J drove us home, completing our “A” triangle tour through Georgia (Atlanta-Albany-Augusta-Atlanta).

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J went back to work on Thursday and I went and visited Athens for a while, neglecting the giant pile of boxes and suitcases from Albany that were all over our home. That night we met J’s friends who were in town from Colorado at Brickstore Pub. Earlier that day while in Athens Mary and I went on a post-Christmas Target trip and I left with two baking mix cast offs that she did not want. They ended up being super useful as friends came to our house afterwards for dessert and I was able to whip them up in about 15 minutes. I am a total baking snob and usually will not use a mix, but I had noooo complaints about being able to make something for guests on the quick. On Friday morning I had PT (silly knee), met a friend for brunch (at Bread and Butterfly, which was every bit as lovely as I thought it would be), and then I went home to tackle the boxes and piles and dishes and everything else that has accumulated and by the time J got home from work I was 97% done. He took out the trash mountain, I cleaned the floors, and we were ready for New Years!

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A few December 2016 Highlights

Friendsmas | Both my friend Jamie and I traveled for Thanksgiving, removing the possibility of left overs and entertaining at home, so we decided to host a Friendsmas together! We menu planned and joined forces for a tasty meal. It was so fun to work together for holiday merriment. My responsibilities included pre-dinner cocktails, the turkey, rolls, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and a salad. I made a turkey breast in the crock pot and until we have bigger crowds, J and I will not be going back to roasting turkeys. It was SO SO SO good. I used a recipe from Skinnytaste and because Jamie and her fiance brought gravy (among other amazing tasty items) I used the liquid/vegetables left in the crock pot as a soup base that J and I could not get enough of. Following dinner we went and looked at Christmas lights before calling it a night.
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Girl’s Earring Exchange | I hosted some dear friends from Athens (who almost all now live in Atlanta) for an afternoon of snacks and an earring exchange. I tried my hand at a fancy cheese plate (#roomtogrow) and had cookies, mimosas, and hot cider.
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Cake Contest | An office at work hosts a huge holiday party and they are always kind enough to invite our little office. One element of their party is that there is a dessert competition. I HATE cake decorating but I got a bee in my bonnet about entering the contest with a decorated cake. I did a little pinterest sleuthing and landed on a beauty from Country Living. It took about 2 days of prep work and if you happen to read through the recipe you’ll see at end SEVEN sticks of butter went into this cake between the frosting and cake itself. The frosting was a pain–I had to add a ton of water to make it spreadable, but we got there. It was also my first go round on sprinkling the sides of the cake…again, #roomtogrow.
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However, the cake got made, the trees got created, and I got the cake into work (with the hubby helping me carry it into work). The cake won first place in presentation and my prize was 2 tickets to brunch at The 4 Seasons!
Wreaths, wreaths, and more wreaths | Last year at work I was majorly disappointed with the wreaths that we rented from a company. After they were packed up and went away I told my supervisor that I would like to make them myself for our lobby. The team was on board with that and when November rolled around I rolled into Michael’s for some quality time with picks, ribbon, and wreath bases. I spent about an entire day watching YouTube videos on how to make bows and ended with 3 wreaths, including this one:
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A coworker saw my handiwork and asked if I would be willing to craft a few wreaths for her and her family. Enter more time at Michael’s, a couple of evenings with craft wire, more time on YouTube and ended with these:
Finally, hubby asked, “where is a wreath for us?” leading to this:

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I am hoping hat none of those balls start popping off. I sorely underestimated how heavy the wreath would be and it makes me a little nervous, but hey, we have our own wreath now! And I feel confident to make any wreath for our front door.

Thanksgiving Recap 2016

For Thanksgiving this year hubby and I traveled to Indiana to visit family. When we originally planned the trip we were going to work through Wednesday afternoon and then take off (driving), which necessitated a half-way stop. I have dear friends who live in Nashville and we got a hotel and made plans to see our pals. However, the week before Thanksgiving traffic was being forecast at “hell” on Wednesday, especially at the time we were to leave, so with our supervisor’s blessing we took the full day off and left Wednesday morning. I drove us up to Nashville and we spent some time exploring downtown and enjoying a tasty sammie before being run to our hotel by the rain. J was beginning to feel sickly so this was very necessary. After naps and more meds we enjoyed a fun and tasty visit with the G family, stopping on the way home for some Tennessee beers.
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We hit the road the next morning to go from Nashville to Indianapolis. The time change got the better of us and we ended up being nearly an hour later than our anticipated arrival time…ooops. We had a nice visit with my family, one day visiting downtown Indianapolis and another day visiting an artist community about an hour away. J was sick the entire trip, and the pleasure of driving home fell on yours truly. We laughed that going up to Indy our food stop of choice was Cracker Barell, and coming home we had the same. Our 7 hour trip home took nearly 9, and I was so happy to get out of the car!

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While we were unpacking J asked what we were going to for next year’s Thanksgiving and without missing a beat my first answer and instinct was “something tropical.” Boom and done.

Weekending | 11/21/16

This weekend started off not in our normal routine of pizza-movie-early to bed. Instead, we went to a collegiate basketball game, woo-hoo! I really enjoy watching (LIVE, not televised) college basketball. The players do not tend to be ego-maniacs and actually play together in a fast moving sport (I am glaring at you football) that gets you in and our in around 2 hours (again, glaring at you football).

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On Saturday J wanted to celebrate my bday so we started off with breakfast at The General Muir. I had a bagel platter and while it was tasty, it was over priced (IMO). J was not too impressed with his breakfast, but we were both pleased with the bakery. After breakfast we did a little shopping and errand running. We picked up a Christmas present at  the mall and then ran to the new Kroger to get a few food items for dinner. As mentioned, it is a new Kroger and we could not find anything. I asked where the noodles were and I was directed to instant ramen noodles.

Umm, not quite. We asked another sales clerk who send us to the same section…young people, not all food is instant! Anyways, we grabbed what we needed and then headed home to make our sides to have with dinner with the D family! I made Pioneer Woman’s mac-n-cheese and green beans and we purchased Finding Dory to watch with them. We went out to their home (about 45 minutes away) and we ended up falling asleep and having an impromptu slumber party (where we slumbered hard. J was out almost 11 hours…sorry friends).

On Sunday we (definitely) missed church and our lunch plans cancelled so we had an easy morning at home before I took off to Athens to deliver a birthday prezzie and see a dear friend from Scotland. J started dinner and I finished it up when I got home–chicken noodle soup! While we were driving earlier in the day I was dictating our shopping list,

D, “chicken, new line, noodles”

J, “you know they make those together in a can right?”

Ha, no. Dinner was tasty, I read over a paper for J, and we watched the cutest episode of Duck Dynasty (Phil and Kay’s wedding!) before bed.