July 26, 2013

5 on Friday

Happy Friday everyone!

I am so so so excited that the weekend is finally in arms reach. Not that this week was bad or anything, but I am ready to spend some much needed time with family! But before I run some errands and prepare for this weekend, I wanted to link-up with the ladies behind 5 on Friday!

ONE- Netflix. I forgot how little there was to watch on TV during the day...or maybe I am just picky.  Since I'm still looking for a new job here in Charlotte, I find myself trying to relax at home with NOTHING to entertain me! That's when I remembered that Will's dad has a Netflix account and boy have I been taking full advantage of it! I have been able to catch up on old favorite TV shows like Gilmore Girls, and watch movies galore.
TWO- This weeks weather. All last week Charlotte was faced with multiple rain storms (per day), along with humidity that FORCED me to wear my hair naturally curly. THIS week however, the weather has seemed to cooperate and has allowed me to get in a few pool days and afternoons spent reading a book or relaxing on the porch with Miller! :)

THREE- Acura TL. Will and I spent last weekend car shopping and with much prayer and getting advice from family members, Will has decided on purchasing a new Acura TL! Let me just say for all those who don't know Will, he doesn't show much emotion when he gets excited. Butttttt when it comes to talking about this car, he lights up like a kid in a candy store! It's so cute! I am so excited for him and can't wait to pick up this newby early next week!

FOUR- Cold Tangerines. I l-o-v-e to read. And I love when people make recommendations to read certain books. That's how I came to find out about Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist. I ordered this book from Amazon on Monday, got it on Wednesday, and I am already on section two; eggs and baskets. Anyone looking for a great read on extraordinary moments hidden in your everyday life; then this is the book for you! If you have read Cold Tangerines, you might also like Bread & Wine, also written by Shauna. This book will be next on my to-read list for sure!
FIVE- Mint Museum Randolph. The Mint Museum Randolph opened its doors way back in 1936 in Charlotte's Eastover neighborhood and was the state's first art museum. Not only can I walk from the condo to this museum, but they also allow you to bring your pets and let them off leash to run and play on the endless acres of land that surrounds them, which also makes for a beautiful park setting.

That's all for today and I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend :)

July 25, 2013

Welcome to Eastover Glen!

Since 2007, I have moved a total of four 1/2 times (not including the two years I lived on-campus at Peace). I think it's safe to say that I have had my fair share of moving and packing/unpacking. But for some reason, this most recent move to Charlotte has been one that has taken much longer then any other move I've made in the past. Maybe it's because I have accumulated more "stuff" over the years, but I think the main reason is because Will and I have decided to settle into THIS condo for a few years...which means, I have the time and ability to really make it ours...and with that comes the endless ideas I have for decorating. I've never really had that option in the past because as soon as I would paint the walls and make things feel like a home, the lease would be over and on to the next place I would go. But because Will and I are calling Eastover Glen ours for a few years, I want to take the time to really showcase who we are through decor :)

So without further hesitation, I want to share a few photos of our new condo with you all! Will and I have invested much of our time into picking out the furniture and are starting to see everything come together (slowly but surly)! Over the next few weeks, check back for more pictures of the other rooms as we gradually get more decorating done!
View of the Living Room from the front door (plus Miller)
Entryway coat closet

Even though the kitchen is tiny...I do love the archways!

Semi-empty fridge

We plan on adding a wall wine rack on one of the wall's behind the dining table
2nd bedroom shared with Will's home office
Still looking for a painting to hang above the bed...

July 24, 2013

Back to Reality (Part 2)

Happy Hump day y'all!

Thanks for baring with me as I have been trying to catch up on my two weeks away from blogging (whew-wee)! So I am going to jump backwards once more and recap last week for you all :) After Noah left last Tuesday, I didn't really have much planned. I used the free time I had to continue unpacking and organizing the Condo, taking Miller on multiple daily walks, and even finished two books! But despite the free time I had, I did do a few fun things that I'd like to share (I'll bullet them out this time to try to make this post shorter then the previous one)!
  • Thursday evening I met up with Savanah who my friend Hannah Watt's told me I should meet once I made the move to Charlotte. This was what I call a "first date" and Savanah had the idea that we should meet at TCBY. I won't lie and say that I wasn't nervous going to meet up with someone I had never met before, but I can see now why Hannah and Savanah are great friends! Savanah just recently got married and moved to Charlotte as well, and so it was easy to talk about our recent transitions and struggle with finding a new church and becoming grounded. I have to say I was SO glad that we met up because I needed that girl time; time to chat, vent, and have christian fellowship with.
  • Saturday morning brunch with Will and Will's sister Ariel have become a tradition and something I look forward to weekly! So last week we went to The Original Pancake House and then Will and I spent the remainder of the afternoon looking at new cars for Will!
  • Sunday Will and I tried out a different church (Myer's Park Presbyterian) and then went home and watched all of the previous episode's of Suites that we had not seen. We are now caught up and ready to watch this Season's episodes together every Tuesday night :)
  • Monday I had my 3rd and final interview with Primary PhysicanCare for the Marketing and Sales Administrative Assistant position. I am so interested in this position and really hope that I get it! There was a total of 3 candidates (including me) for them to decided from, but know that whatever happens is out of my hand's and will work out for God's plan in my life.
  • Yesterday, I spent my morning with Ariel at the Discovery Place! Ariel is the Camp Director for The J and took her kids on a field trip and asked me to join, so of course I said YES! The big kid inside of me came out while running around the museum with all of the middle schoolers, so naturally I was exhausted when I left and went home to take a nice long nap. Will is in New Orleans traveling for work, so I spent the rest of the day with Miller...(insert lonley face).

Will comes back tonight and I can.not.wait!!! I was use to being in a LDR for such a long time, but now that we are living together, two days felt like a lifetime apart. I plan on lounging at the pool and then hitting up Trader Joe's later today so that I can make something yummy for a welcome back dinner for Will and I to enjoy. So in the meantime, please keep your fingers and toes crossed for me on this potential job opportunity and enjoy the rest of your dayyyy!

July 23, 2013

Back to Reality (Part 1)

Hi everyone!

I am back from my (unplanned) two weeks away from Social Media. I have never really stepped away from my daily use of Facebook, Pinterest and everything else, but it was VERY MUCH needed and something I plan to do more often. I started my time away by preparing for Noah's (Will's youngest brother) visit! I absolutely love Noah and was so excited to have him visit us for a week :)

As soon as Noah arrived on Friday (the 12th), I let him bring his bags inside, and while he did just that, I thought it would be fun if we hit the road to explore! We did just that. We ended up heading to Mooresville, NC to check out Lazy 5 Ranch. Lazy 5 Ranch is a drive through animal park in which you have the luxury of staying in your own car while driving through the 3.5 mile tour. Noah and I saw a number of familiar animals such as Llamas, Scotch Highland Cattle, Watusi, Texas Longhorns, Jersey Cows, Zebras, a variety of Goats and Sheep, Deer and Elks, Giraffes, and Pot-Bellied Pigs! On the tour were also Rhinos and Kangaroos but unfortunately we didn't see them, but hopefully next time! After our fun trip, we headed back to Charlotte to get ready for dinner with Will at Mad Daddy's and then called it a day.

The next day we did not waste any time sleeping in...instead we got ready and headed to Carowinds! This was Noah's first time and Will and I were equally excited to ride roller coasters and enjoy a day full of adrenaline rush!

After a day full of walking, overcast and hot weather, we were all ready for a good meal...and what better way to fill up then by going to Maverick Taco's! This has got to be my favorite Mexican restaurant that I have been to in Charlotte so far (mainly because of the queso dip) so I was a very happy girl!

After two days full of non-stop going, we decided that Sunday would be pretty chill. We started the day by going to Elevation Church, then went to Mac's Speed Shop for lunch and then back to the condo for much needed R&R for the rest of the day.

If you haven't been able to tell thus far, we love checking out new local favorites to visit and eat at (I mean, we are NEW to the Queen City!) and because Noah was in town, we found it was only the perfect occasion to eat out every.single.night. But because the first few days for us were "scheduled" and busy, we thought that the remainder of Noah's time here should be one that is not exactly planned. And so the next few days while Will was at work, Noah and I went to Ikea and built another bookshelf, toured UNCC, checked out more restaurants such as Dean and Deluca's and really just enjoyed each others company and our time together.
Will and I were so sad that Noah had to leave after a fun week with us, but knew he would be coming back to visit us again soon. Being the only child, I look at Noah as a brother and get along with him so well. All of the adventures we went on, places we explored and time making fun of each other are things that I will never take for granted...

July 9, 2013

Worry & Stress Less

It's Monday...so far so good. A start to a new week. But let me step back for a minute and express two emotions I have been battling heavily over these past few days. WORRY & STRESS. What's causing me to worry and stress you might ask? I think it's a combination of being unemployed, missing my family, being away from my Community Group and the church I felt so accepted at and the overall fact that I am still 'new' to Charlotte. I haven't been able to make a lot of new friends yet and still have so much to do around the Condo, but thankfully I have a boyfriend who is very supportive and constantly reminds me to lean back on God for support. Just yesterday, Will sent me a text message to check out Hebrews 10:35 which states that one should not throw away their confidence because it will be richly rewarded. Thinking back on that verse today has helped maintain some of the emotions I am currently struggling with. Today, I am going to do my best to rely on God to control my emotions, and as I do so, I wanted to also share a list of stress tips by **Gaynor McTigue that that I have used in the past (and will in the future) that I keep in my nightstand to look at from time to time. Enjoy :)

Know the right time to bring up an issue
Timing is everything, especially when it comes to broaching subjects that are not dear to anther's heart, or asking someone to do something for you. Knowing the right moment can save a lot of unnecessary friction and will help you more easily accomplish your goal. For example, don't clobber someone with your problems the minute they walk through the door. Learn to judge a person's mood before bringing up a sensitive subject. It takes practice, but try putting yourself in the other person's position and imagine the best time YOU would want someone to bring up an issue.

Don't dwell on discomforts
This one I struggle with more then others. Yes, the shower may be too cold, your home not as clean as you want it to be, your family unable to be reached by phone/email...but rather than keep reminding yourself of how unpleasant you feel, try enveloping yourself in an 'imaginary buffer'. The irritant may still be there, you're still aware of these discomforts, but it's not penetrating the mental barrier you've constructed. Your thoughts are elsewhere; positive and optimistic. The more you are able to practice "zoning out", the more you'll be able to pass off even the most persistent annoyances you are faced with.

Don't stress over what to say
We often reproach ourselves for not finding the right words at the right time. We deplore awkward pauses and fumbled utterances. We get frustrated that we're not as coherent, quick-witted, eloquent and incisive as others. But that's reality! I have had to realize this especially when it comes to praying out-loud with a group of people. Life is full of clumsy dialog. You can't articulate eloquently every moment of the day. So accept it. Get over it. And move on.

Learn to live with daily "stresslets"
"Stresslets" are those momentary little delays, disruptions or setback that cause a pin prick of aggravation dozens, even hundreds of times a day.
Examples: a Web page taking a few extra seconds to load, a jarring phone interruption, a misplaced pen. Stresslets are a product of our high-tech, fast-paced expectations...a growing intolerance to glitches of any kind. They can shorten your breath, heighten tension, promote irritability...and lumped together, add up to major stress. You simply have to factor them in as a given in life, roll with them, and weigh their insignificance against the enormous gains in productivity and convenience you enjoy today. 

Work before play
Leisure is better enjoyed when it follows a period of good hard work. But putting off work to have your fun first is another story. Rather than relieving stress, it can be a source of it. Because now you made a conscious decision to fall behind. And the prospect of neglected work to make up can erode your fun. In the work/play cycle the effort should always come first, before the reward.

Don't deny yourself occasional "sprawl" time
Sprawl time is that unplanned, spontaneous time when you almost involuntarily disengage from an arduous task to flip through a magazine, browse a website, lapse into a conversation, putter around aimlessly, or drift off into a reverie. Don't chide yourself on such occasions. Don't feel guilty you've put time to worthwhile purpose. Quite the contrary. Look at these interludes as circuit breakers, telling you to ease up and rest a bit or you'll burn yourself out, become irritable, frustrated, overstressed. Rather than resist, let your mind and body welcome these relaxing breaks from the unrelenting grind.

**These stress tips are based from the book Why Make Yourself Crazy?: 300 Strategies for a Stress-Free Life.

July 5, 2013

4th of July & First iMovie

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July! Will and I had planned on going to the Whitewater Center to listen to music and watch the fireworks later in the day, but the weather turned out to be very unpredictable and we didn't want to risk getting there and having to leave, so we decided to switch it up and make new plans!

Will had to go into work earlier in the morning, so I used that time to catch up on Live with Kelly & Michael and playing with Miller. When Will got off work we headed to Ikea (this made it my 2nd trip in the last 2 days) to pick up the desk I got for him as a "new home" present! I know we are going to have a bunch of work cut out for us putting this desk together, but it will be worth it because hopefully this will allow Will to work from home some nights!!

After going to Ikea, we went by Bestbuy and got Season 1 of Homeland and then went to Target to get hotdogs, hamburgers and other 4th of July classics to make for dinner. Here is where we didn't plan ahead because there were ZERO hotdog buns left in the store (oh well, we made due)! We wanted to get home sooner than later so we could unload the boxes containing the desk and to take Miller for a nice long walk, so we didn't worry about going anywhere else...which we were both okay with.

After getting home, we put on our tennis shoes and headed for a long walk with the pup. I had my cell phone with me and thought that the walk would be a perfect opportunity for me to try making my first iMovie! So being the sport that he is, Will went along with me taking mini videos throughout the remainder of our day as long as I didn't use social media anymore that day (I agreed!)

So please enjoy my first attempt at creating an iMovie of Will, Miller and I's relaxing and quaint 4th!!

July 3, 2013

Mom's Visit

Happy Hump Day everyone :) 

The past three days have been so good...MOM CAME TO CHARLOTTE TO VISIT! Mom decided to take a few days of vacation time to come visit me in Charlotte, which worked out perfect because I am still looking for a new job and needed someone to keep me company during the day! Not only that, but Mother/Daughter time was way overdue and very much needed.

Monday around 3:00PM, I pulled up to the train station and waited for the train Mom took to arrive from Greensboro. While I waited in the car, (with Miller, of course) I made a list of all the places I wanted to take her while she was in town. I was anxious for her to arrive so that we could explore the Queen city together and was crossing my fingers that she wouldn't be too tired to venture out...which thankfully she wasn't!

When the train finally pulled in, I greeted Mom, helped her get her suitcase into my car, and we were off to head to the Condo (let me just add that Mom and I didn't waste any of the 49 hours that she was here)! Mom had yet to see the Condo and I was excited to show her all the hard work Will and I have put into it so far. After showing Mom the Condo it was time for us to get back on the road and make our first stop at The Container Store. I am obsessed with this place because I am OCD when it comes to being organized, so I was a kid in a candy store and within minutes, had already filled a cart to its rim--ha!

Mom @ The Container Store
 After clearing out half the shelves at The Container Store, it was time for us to finally eat dinner! I wanted Mom to see the NC Music Factory (which has a handful of venues, bars and restaurants) so I told Mom we were going to have some of the best burgers I have ever had from a place called Mattie's Diner. Plans had to change when we pulled up and noticed the sign on the door said they closed at 3:00PM on Mondays...which was okay because we headed right over to Amelie's! Boy...Mom had no idea what she was getting into; not only was this French Bakery full of funk and awesome decor, but they have a variety of items on the menu to choose from. When it comes to having a sweet tooth, both Mom and I are hands down GUILTY.

For those food lovers, Mom and I ended up getting the following to sample: Cream Cheese and Chocolate Croissants, Raspberry and Lemon Almond Tea Cakes, a Cream Puff and a Opera Torte (not pictured).
After looking over the vast menu, we picked out a number of sweet treats to-go, headed by Panera Bread to get some "real dinner", enjoyed a peaceful meal together at my condo and called it a night! We were two very happy and overly-full girls by the time we got into our pj's and headed to bed.

On Tuesday, we started the day bright and early as I told my Mom to make sure she had comfortable shoes on because I had planned a day trip to Ikea (which by the way, she had surprisingly never heard of). I told her it was a huge store, with showcase like rooms and was just a experience I couldn't really explain. As soon as we walked in and she saw that you could drop your kids off while you shopped, she knew this was a store unlike any other!

After about an hour or two of wondering around every single square inch of Ikea, we took a break and enjoyed lunch at the restaurant upstairs. Mom and I dined on the Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes, cream sauce and lingonberries. I am pretty sure that Mom was surprised at how delicious and filling her food was because she didn't even stop to break and talk between bites!

After lunch we finished up shopping and headed out with a Borgsjo Bookcase that we put together (as a surprise for Will) before picking him up from work and headed to dinner uptown at Rooster's. We enjoyed each others company, chatted about the day and just took in all we had to be thankful for.

The bookcase Mom and I put together!

After dinner, Mom and I went back to the condo while Will went back to work. We decided we still had a little bit of energy left in us and decided to unpack some of the boxes Will and I had yet to unpack and organized the whole kitchen (typical). Shortly after, our energy diminished and Mom disappeared to bed and called it a night :)

After sleeping in until 9AM, I decided that I wanted to treat Mom to yet ANOTHER meal at The Original Pancake House. We enjoyed french toast and talked about what we enjoyed most from the past two days and left, yet again, with overly full belly's.

I didn't want to drop Mom off at the train station overly exhausted, so I decided we should just head back to the condo to R&R some together. The hours went by quickly as we lounged on the couch, napped and watched TV. 4:30PM came before we knew it, so we got in the car and headed back to where our time together began; the train station. I love the feeling of seeing (and in my case, picking up) someone you adore...but dread the emotions I get when having to say goodbye. I HATE GOODBYES. I know today was not the last day that I would get to see my Mom, but the time we had together went so well that I wasn't ready for it all to end.

So if you can't already tell, the last 49 hours were awesome. I wouldn't trade them for anything and am so thankful that God has blessed me with this woman as my Mom and someone who I am continually growing closer to day by day. Our next visit can't come soon enough... :)

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