Friday, October 24, 2014

B Lane

Our house is officially under contract!! I went from fretting about showings and keeping a clean house to now being somewhat sentimental about the whole thing. This is Tyler and I's first home together as husband and wife. When I leave for work in the morning I now smile, looking at our cute home, and I have to say the memories we made will be missed!! 

None the less, it is a blessing and exactly what we have prayer for. The day after my last post, mentioning my discouragement about our lack of showings, we actually got an offer and had a signed contract the following day. Tyler is constantly reminding me of how blessed we are and I have to agree - God is good!!

If you're curious where we will be moving to... well we are too!! No plans yet but thankfully my parents and my mother-in-law have both offered us beds if need be. We are actively searching and looking so only time will tell.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Five on Friday

What are the chances?! Just when I come back after a mini-break for summer, my favorite link-up also returns. 
Happy Five on Friday via Christina at Carolina Charm!! Here's the latest and greatest...

One | Tyler and I had our first wedding anniversary last month!! So with that and the upcoming holiday season I've been thinking about getting some pictures made! It's been one year since our wedding and over two years since our anniversary photos so I don't think they would still be appropriate for a christmas card. Time to start brainstorming.


Two | Tyler and I decided to take the plunge and purchase my first car!! It happened somewhat sooner than planned but I'm enjoying the change. My prior, grandma of a car started slowly falling apart. After one too many bills from the shop we decided to kick Betty to the curb. Best part of welcoming Bella to the family... heated seats!!
Three |  Our house is on the market, as previously mentioned. It's only been 3 weeks but we've had a decent amount of showings. It seems like a good thing, but then when nobody bites it can easily be a discouraging thing. 

Four | "She knew she loved him when 'home' went from being a place to being a person." - E. Leventhal
Aside from homes, cars, anniversaries and announcements I need to say how thankful I am for my husband. With so much change going on in our lives I am so lucky to have him as my steadfast. 

Five | Prayers for the week to come...
From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. | Luke 12:48 b
For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. | 1 Timothy 6:7-8

Monday, September 29, 2014

Charleston Honeymoon


Our belated honeymoon was spent in Charleston, one of my favorite southern cities!! We stayed four nights at a condo/apartment we found through homeaway.com - it had loads of historic charm!! Unfortunately the few pictures I did snap definitely don't do it justice; think old wooden floors, original brick masonry with messy coastal mortar, white linens and a huge master tub. Our rental was right above Sticky Fingers, corner of Meeting and Hassel, so our hallways constantly smelled like smoked pork and bacon which I was not mad about!!


We were pretty centrally located so walking everywhere was easy, aside from The Battery which was still worth the hike.
Our trip consisted of sightseeing, walking, eating, sleeping - rinse and repeat!!

Now, for anyone who has been to Charleston before you know that I can't not mention the food!! We ate our way through Charleston at least three times a day if not more. My favorite meal of the entire trip was at T Bonz Gill & Grill; their Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwich with Sweet Potato Fries was simple but so so good!! It was actually my first time ever trying Pimento Cheese (the look of it always freaked me out as a kid) so I may not be the best judge, but with thick cut tomato, melted cheddar and homemade pimento cheese I was in love!!

One of my favorite parts of the trip was actually driving up and down the coast seeing all the different vacation homes and beach communities. Since I have been to Charleston once before in the winter time, this was something new and different from my last visit. We parked at Folly Beach for a couple hours to soak up some rays and left with a parking ticket in hand!! Oops... Tyler was thrilled because of course I assured him prior to parking there that there was no way we would get a ticket!!

My sweet stud

After our beach-capade we visited with my brother and his wife who live just north of Charleston. We ate at Sesame, which was probably the most interesting burger menu I have ever seen!! I had the Napa Valley burger which was topped with fig & bacon jam, bleu cheese, and red wine reduction. There was so many good things on the menu, we will definitely be back to try more!! ps. they also have adult milkshakes!!

via | Build your own: choose from beef, black beak, chicken, or turkey...
After finishing some burgers at Sesame, we went down to one of the local bars on the water. My brother is in the Navy so it was good catching up on their turf before his pending orders this fall. My brother was coming off a 12 hour shift on his 5th day straight!! So we relaxed for a bit watching the boaters and kayakers before he had to hit the sack. Sadly we did not take advantage of the dockside photo op...

On one of our last nights we did the Haunted Jail Ghost Tour which was alright. I have been on a walking tour through Charleston before and liked that much better. I was expecting to see more inside the jail when in reality we just walked through some stuffy, empty rooms. I didn't realize it had been used as several different things since it's original purpose - such as a police station and day care center, creepy...



After checking out at 10 a.m. we revisited our favorite breakfast spot of the trip, Toast. We love love love breakfast and this place was awesome!! I got The Eggs Meeting Street which is a fried green tomato, topped with crab cake, poached egg and remoulade sauce - heaven on a plate. Tyler's favorite was the Philly Breakfast Sandwich on a homemade biscuit. The only thing I regret was not doing the bottomless mimosas!!

Our belated honeymoon was an absolute success!! It was the perfect adventure for us to end our first year as newlyweds!! I've always loved vacationing with our family and friends but after this trip I can't wait to plan our next private getaway as a couple!! I can not add enough !! !! !!  Tyler is my favorite person and best friend, who better to explore with.

If you have any weekend trip recommendations please share!! 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Summer Highlights

Summer has blown by this year, as always. Not to say that I'm upset about this - I've already started fall shopping and enjoying my fair share of pumpkin spice lattes. I'm determined to have a decent wardrobe this fall/winter.
If you ask any of my friends I tend to avoid long sleeves and jackets, even when it is clearly too cold to be without. Time to grow up and don what you people call sleeves...

Anyways, back to the past couple months that are totally absent from my little blog.
Here's the highlights from a summer I haven't yet documented in any way...

May | Tyler and I went on a day trip to the mountains to witness the marriage of my lovely friend Sara and her now hubby Kyle. Their day was absolutely beautiful and purely Christ centered!! It was so sweet and spiritual, loved being a small part of that day!!




June | I had my first shooting lesson with my man!! He's still encouraging me to get my concealed but haven't found the time or motivation to do it just yet. At least I've now gained the confidence to shoot a 45 without wincing first!

July | Our belated honeymoon finally happened. We went to Myrtle Beach for a few days with our friends then slipped on down to Charleston to spend the rest of the week solo. Lots of eating, walking, and sleeping - just what we needed!!


Murrell's Inlet

Charleston


August | I stopped spreading myself too thin working 48+ hour / 6 day work weeks. Leading up to this was an internal struggle with turing down the extra income but it was for the best. I ended one of my fill-in jobs and with it a bit of unwanted strain/stress on my schedule.

September | We decided to put our house on the market!! I think this is the cleanest our house has been and stayed since we moved in almost two years ago. Time flies but we are ready to find a better fit for our wants and needs in a home.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Snowcation



Is anyone else still trying to recoup from all the snow we've had in North Carolina?! After a nice little snowcation from work I was spoiled rotten which made this week long and hard!! Only 3 more hours of work and I can enjoy my 'weekend' with my handsome man!! Hopefully I'll trade my snowy pictures from some sunny ones...NC weather is straight up crazy!! Happy Saturday everyone!! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

I'll Be



1 John 4:19 | We love because He first loved us


Swinging by to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day!!

Since I have yet another snow day on my hands, I've finally decided to paint our purple master bedroom to a much more appropriate gray!! Wish me luck, I'll be kept company by Edwin McCain, Dave Barns, Brett Dennen, and Joshua Radin on repeat - what else do you expect, after all it is Valentine's Day...

Friday, February 7, 2014

Five Screenshots on Friday

Time for my go to link up, Five on Friday, with Christina from Carolina Charm!!

I had my last iPhone for over two years, she had been dropped time and time again yet always toughed it out - until Christmas Eve (of all nights) when I dropped her from my husband's lifted truck and I instantly knew it was bad news bears!! I was being lazy about using my upgrade for a new phone until this past weekend... when I dropped her again... but for the very last time... into my toilet...

Goodbye nasty broken toilet phone, hello new iPhone!! I've spent the last couple days trying to reorganize and re-download everything to my phone so I can feel somewhat normal. This Friday I'll be sharing my five via screenshots !! 


One | Special thanks to Marquis for my new background!! Check out her blog at Simply Clarke if you want the free download!! 


Two | I organized my speed dial!! Is it weird that my favorites all have "matching" photos?! Ha ha, once I started I just couldn't stop...


Three | I joined bloglovin' this week!! I will say it's definitely easier to read through my newsfeed this way!!


Four | This definitely happened yesterday!! What an amazing pick me up, to come back from my lunch break to a vanilla latte and chocolate pastry!! 


Five | Now it's time for date night!! Thank to Cherish, the hubby and I will be checking out Bad Daddy's!! All she had to do was talk about her turkey burger with brie and apples, plus the drool worthy photos, and I was totally game!! 

Happy weekend to all, only seven more days til Valentines!! Does anyone have plans made yet?!





Wednesday, February 5, 2014

B Lovin'

I guess it's time for me to join the tides, and bloglovin' - I do like to catch up on reading a post or two during my lunch break and it seems to be the way to go for mobile reading...

Therefore it's time to link my accounts; which honestly took me a good 45 minutes to figure out!! I'm sure Marquis (who installed/designed my blog) would be shaking her head right now. Apparently I'm no good at "code" or getting links to show up how I want them?!

So finally here's the finished product of all my time and efforts...

Follow my blog with Bloglovin 

Ta da!! So short and seemingly simple, ha ha!! I hope everyone has a happy humpday, the weekend is almost here!!
 

Monday, February 3, 2014

My Special Someone

Today I'm linking up with Brianna at Endlessly Beloved via Taylor Rae at Taylored and Turquoise. 

What better topic for February than that special someone, my husband!! Here's my ten favorite things about my stud in plaid.


One | He loves me. It is my favorite thing about our relationship, he loves me and I love him. A simple truth that keeps our life together alive and strong. 

Two | He loves my body. It might seem weird to put this in writing but I am thankful for his desire for me. I never realized how important this is to my marriage until recently. He compliments me, encourages me, and silences my insecurities. He loves and desires my body and only my body. I am blessed and thankful for this.

Three | He protects me. Aside from the fact that he is southern raise and basically owns an artillery - I have always felt safe in his arms. He always stand up for me and is never far from my corner. 

Four | He is generous. This is something I've always been impressed with. He gives freely and doesn't think twice. He is much more of a free spirit in this sense but it makes me a better person to look through his eyes. 

Five | He is driven. Since knowing him in high school he has always had focused career goals. He doesn't settle for okay, he always strives to be best of the best in his field. I believe in him and know he can accomplish anything he sets his mind to. 

Six | He is a good friend. He is a brother to his friends and family alike. He is loyal and never fails to be there when someone needs him. 

Seven | He loves our home. We can sit on the couch and watch movies for hours or lay next to each other while reading into the early hours of the morning. He loves spending time with me and doesn't need a list of activities to occupy his day. 

Eight | He makes me laugh. He has a crazy sense of humor that is uniquely his own. He always knows what to say to make me laugh and keep me smiling. 

Nine | He challenges me. He doesn't let me complain or have self pity, which I am sometimes guilty of. He always has my back and pushes me to be the best version of myself.  

Ten | He is a man of God. Even during our early years of dating he always impressed me with his faith. He prays daily, and constantly challenges me by example. He is the spiritual leader of our family and I love him for that. 

Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy Friday

Five things I'm loving this Friday...


One | Valentines day is right around the corner and I'm super excited!! Tyler and I started dating exactly one week after Valentines day and this year marks 6 years of being together!! I know it's not a true anniversary anymore since we've gotten hitched but I still think it's still something worth celebrating. Plus it's the perfect excuse to avoid sharing a date night with the rest of charlotte - we usually do a belated valentines day and "anniversary" date all in one!! 

Two | I hope everyone enjoyed the snow fall this week!! It was fun to watch Smoke (our german shepherd) tromp around in the snow, however besides that I do try and stay as clam-like as possible. Thankfully our office did close due to numerous patient cancellations. Something about North Carolina drivers and snow just does not mix, me being included in that infamous group. Driving to work the following day I was still in driving miss daisy mode with my chin pressed to the steering wheel and all!!  

Three | I finally bought my first big girl watch!! I've been eyeing this boyfriend watch from fossil since Christmas but couldn't quite pull the trigger on this $125 purchase. Last week I was browsing TJ Maxx and found this at a steal of a deal - 60% off, hootie hooo!! Hello my new rose gold beauty!!


Four | Our kitchen is getting a makeover!! Since moving in our ugly blue countertops have been, well ugly and I am so ready for an updated look. Tyler and I are almost done picking out what we want so stay tuned for all the details!! 

Five | This week I expanded my cookbook with two new recipes!! This might not be much of an accomplishment for some but to find meals that Tyler and I can both agree on is tough work!! I don't wanna say my husband is a picky eater, but sadly he is just that. I say sadly because I do love to cook and experiment with new recipes. Thankfully he loved the new menu items!! Couldn't have done it without Des from Life's Ambrosia. Check out her awesome recipes, I'm sure you'll find something delicious!! OUR favorite was the shrimp tacos with cilantro-lime sour cream, sooo good with a big wedge of avocado!! 

Thanks for the link-up Christina, as always!! I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and enjoys the rising temperatures to come!!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Goodmorning Jack


Can anyone else agree with me that it's a zillion times harder to get up in the morning when its cold outside?! It seems like I hit snooze twice as often when freezing temps are right outside my window. It's a habit I definitely want to break because that goes hand in hand with no makeup and crazy hair for work. 

Not only do I end up looking like a grizzly but it leaves me with little to no time for my morning devotional. I'm super excited to start my new devo but more often than not I end up reading with a distracted mind during my lunch break - not exactly the "quiet" time I had imagined for my daily walk.

I will admit that setting time aside for Him is a new effort for me. I'm not completely blind to the concept but I never realized the gravity behind starting each day with Him. I recently heard someone speak to the importance of daily reflection, "one's morals and values can be easily defined in how they spend their time, talents, and wealth." It was a simple statement, yet so convicting!! 

Proverbs 8:34 | Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my door, waiting at my doorway.

So far I've come up with a few ideas to help motivate me, aka the hibernating bear...

Coffee, naturally this should come up first when brainstorming because that's how I start every morning. Though, I think I need to tweak my delivery method and probably start using a brewing timer. Then... if I hit snooze one too many times and I'll have cold coffee waiting for me downstairs.

I'm also thinking that a good robe and slipper combo are going to be the key to a smooth transition from cozy bed to what's waiting on the other side. So besides that and a candy trail of chocolate leading to a hot shower every morning I'm out of ideas... Oh wait not true, big girl panties, I could always try and put those on ha ha!! 

But in all seriousness this is a commitment I want to make to Him. My heart has been pulling me towards this no matter how much I try and ignore it. I've realized there will always be an excuse, "I don't have a devotional, I don't know where to start on finding a good one, it's too early, I stayed up too late last night..." but those are all thoughts encouraged by satan, who I've realized I just need to shush!! 
So wish me luck and say a little prayer for me!! 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Crouching Tiger Hidden Photog

I've been wanting to do some wedding posts for awhile now and I think it's finally time...

When planning our wedding my first priority was to find the perfect photographer. I've heard of so many horror stories from friends and family about unprofessional photographer mishaps. I knew from the get go that this was something I wanted to invest in. It's what I would be showing my children and grandchildren. Unfortunately our memories do fade, but photography is what can bring us back in time.


I will preface this by saying I’m no expert on finding a wedding photographer, but as a recent bride here are some things I’ve learned throughout the whole process…

My search began by browsing through the interwebs to find photographers in and around my area. It seems everyone has a website so searching through google was simple and easy. There are also TONS of wedding websites with suggestions of local photographers so finding someone usually isn't the issue. Before sending out a zillion emails to get prices from everyone I wanted to decide whose work I liked the best. My advice is not to get hung up on the details. On most websites you will see images sampled from a lifetime of work, their best photos carefully selected to catch your eye. My advice – go straight to their company blog.  I wanted to gage their work from a collection of photos vs. their winning needle in a haystack of photos. Photography blogs are awesome for this because they are updated with real couples wedding and engagement photos, rather than a randomized reel of “I dos”

Narrowing down a list of bookmarked websites can be challenging. There were certain things I was looking for in a photographer and certain things I realized were important after the fact - let me break it down for you...

What I wanted in a wedding photographer...

Beauty | I think this is self-explanatory. I wanted beautiful, quality photos to capture the day how I remembered it.

Passion | I wanted someone who loves photography and has a commitment to their passion. For me that meant finding someone who chose photography as their profession and career. Not to say that 'weekend warriors' can't provide you with some beautiful images, but I find that most brides who were unhappy with their photos or photog experience used a friend, relative, hobbyist, or second income shooter. I just think there is a lot of value and security in investing in a professional wedding photographer.

Variety | There are so many things that happen during a wedding so I felt a second photographer/assistant was a necessity. Unless you are having a very small and intimate wedding I would always try to find a photog who works with a second shooter or assistant. For example, when 'Uncle Bob' jumps up from his seat to try and snap a photo during the ceremony, it might be nice to have a back up photog hidden around the corner with a second angle on the I dos.


What I also got in a wedding photographer...

Personality | I was so so happy to find a photographer that was outgoing and full of personality. I got a photog was able to make my camera shy husband feel comfortable in front of a camera all day. Someone who was able to remember my parents' names as well as people in my bridal party. Someone who helped me fix stray curls and fly aways on my windy day. The person you choose as your photographer is going to be involved in some intimate moments during your wedding day, you want to find someone you feel comfortable with.

Presence | My photog had some gumption. You may not see the importance until you are part of a wedding party yourself but trust me on this one. Being able to direct and organize 10-30 people in a photo takes skill, and being able to do it proficiently takes presence. She was nothing but professional and able to arrange beautiful compositions quickly and effectively. On our wedding day we were short on time with quickly approaching rain clouds and inpatient groomsmen - our photog worked her magic and captured all the images we wanted, sending us to the festivities right on time.


From behind the scenes to final product...


Planning a wedding can be a little overwhelming at times, but at the end of the day if you are married to the one your heart loves then it was a total success. I love love love my wedding photographer and I hope you all have such luck in your searches.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Five on Friday

Another week is coming to a close and I feel like I haven't accomplished much. It's the first full week I had back at work since the holidays so I can't say I did much else. Let's see if I can muster up my five for Friday, hosted by the lovely Christina!!


One | I bought my first devotional today. I've been scouring the book store on my lunch breaks and just couldn't find anything that peaked my interest. My indecisive nature definitely doesn't help the situation and I was leery to purchase anything without a recommendation. So of course I have someone to thank for this find, shout out to Chelsea at The Kebs!! I was tempted to buy the kindle version for instant gratification though I have always liked having a real book to hold, turn over page corners, and highlight my way through it. So amazon shipping please hurry!!

Two | Taco Tuesday girls night is official!! My two best friends and I have a new tradition, and I am pumped for some quality time with my favorite ladies. We've been friends since high school and with us "growing up" and getting big girl jobs there just doesn't seem to be as much time as there used to be. Moral of the story, we have started going to Taco Tuesdays at On The Border!! I work right across the street from one so it is super convenient to pop on over after work and meet up with the ladies for a drink and some tacos!!

Three | I'm almost out of coffee. This may seem more like a debbie downer than I highlight but I promise the news is good!! I'm about to finish off the last of my Macadamia Cookie k-cups which were good but not great. I'm on the hunt for my next flavor and I think Hot Buttered Rum from Archer Farms is going to be the winning ticket!! One of the girls in my office brought some to work and you can literally smell the yummy goodness from a good 6 feet away.

Four | Smoke got groomed this week. He is officially a pampered lap dog, all 75 pounds of him!! I didn't think he would come back looking that different but those Petsmart ladies definitely worked their magic!! He smell wonderful and the amount of hair they combed out of his undercoat is unbelievable. It may even cut my vacuuming time in half.

Five | It's time for our 2nd annual Gatlinburg trip!! Last winter the whole gang got together for a weekend away in the mountains and I'm so excited for round two!! It's not quite time for the festivities but definitely time to start looking for a cabin. We had a nice private spot in the mountain side last year though I think a closer driver to the shopping/restaurants might be the way to go this year. Wish us luck in the search for a cabin!!


Monday, January 6, 2014

Rewind

A new year has begun and I am STILL trying to adjust to this whole 2014 thing... I must say January 3rd was the worst. You have no idea how many times I wrote 1/4/13 instead of 1/3/14 - Geez louise, I didn't even realize my flaw until one of my patient's at work pointed it out!! So before I can officially shut the door on 2013 and open the next, I feel a rewind post is in order!! 


In no particular order, drum roll please... 

I have claimed the title, college graduate!! After four long years of higher education, I am happy to say that I've found a profession that I love. After being accepted to a dental hygiene program I successfully made it out the other side with only two emotional break downs - and trust me that is definitely a win!! I love all my hygiene girls; we bonded like sisters through a grueling program. There was much learning, studying, laughing, crying, stressing, and venting (most likely in that order). I dare say we learned more about ourselves in those two years than we could have ever imagined.


Soon after graduation I passed my national boards and state boards, and the infamous clinical exam. Thank goodness I had an amazing patient that traveled all the way to Raleigh with me. After 22 years of not having his teeth cleaned he was able to trust me, a complete stranger and student, to clean his teeth a whole 2 hours away from home.

I definitely couldn't have made it to licensure without the support of my friends, family, and now husband - which leads me to my next marquee of the year...

I have a new last name!! My man and I finally said "I do" on September 1st, 2013. The day was beautiful and I couldn't have asked for a better man to share my heart with. Newlywed life has been amazing and I am continually reminded of how blessed I am.



He is my best friend, partner in crime, and stealer of ALL the covers. He is my everything and always. I can't wait to see what our future holds and the plans He has for our marriage.

This past year we also took on the adventure of homeownership!! Making a house into a home has been quite a process, but I'm hoping the new year will bring several check marks to our decorating/renovating list.


One of my favorite things about our little nest is all the privacy we have from our back porch despite being in a neighborhood with fairly small lot sizes. Since this picture, we've fenced in a good portion of the yard for Smoke (our german shepherd). We quickly learned his favorite part of the house - after several B lines to the creek running behind our house it wasn't hard to figure out. Tyler thinks this qualifies as giving Smoke a bath, though I am still less than convinced!!

And last but not least, 28 days before the year came to a close, I finally landed a full time job as a dental hygienist!! As previously mentioned this was quite a journey that left me with a valuable lesson on trusting His timing.

I'm sure there were more small victories throughout the year but these are definitely some of my favorite. I think in the life this 22 year old, two thousand and thirteen has been one for the history books!!