food, travel, lifestyle, and a hearty serving of motherhood

Month: June 2013

Mental Note: A Happy Heart


As you may remember, I have been working on quite a few “self-improvement” things lately. Aside from amping up my workouts in preparation for half-marathon training (our official training plan begins on July 16th), I have also been working on turning my brain off and learning to relax.

Yep, I realize these are two completely opposite things. Do you see why I am struggling?!

Aside from this, though, I am working on better appreciating (and not taking for granted) one of the most important people in my life.


When I met Richard, I was working at a local tavern. I had just finished my shift and was enjoying some quiet time at the bar with a beer to calm my nerves before (let’s be honest, probably having another) heading home. He sat ONE seat away from me. The entire bar was empty, and he chose to sit just one seat away. I mean, seriously?

Initially, I was a bit annoyed. Great, this guy is going to start talking to me and then I am going to feel obligated to chat back, because I can’t be rude since it’s pretty obvious that I’m an employee…

He did speak to me. And within minutes, we had initiated a witty banter of sorts, that we were both enjoying. Minutes later, the restaurant became unexpectedly busy and I was asked to help out on the floor again. I apologized to Richard and went back to work. Every so often, I glanced in his direction, just to see if he was (just maybe!) waiting for me.

Eventually, he left.

I wasn’t surprised. I barely knew the guy. I was disappointed, though. Somehow, in that moment, I felt like I had just met someone very important to me. I worried that I may never see him again.

Luckily, he did return to the bar a couple more times. On one of those occasions, he built up the courage to ask me for my phone number. As much as I liked chatting with many of my regulars, I had never given my number out to any of them. This felt different, though. It wasn’t creepy or overly-flirty or pushy, like some bar-goers. I gave him my number and awaited a call or text. A few days later, he called while I was a work, and I played his voicemail over and over, giggling at how nervous he sounded. I texted him back (like I said, I was working!), and the rest is history.


I want to always remember the story of how we met… How special that moment felt to me, that giddy rush that came from quirky and witty conversation, and how important his presence in my life quickly became.


I know, it’s a bit random for a Sunday afternoon post, but I just thought I would share! Hope you enjoyed your weekend — can’t wait for Thursday off and (hopefully, if the weather holds out!) 4th of July festivities!

A Weekend Escape (or two!)

I am happy to announce that I have been much better at taking time to simply kick back and relax. This may be evident, as I haven’t posted in a little while (eek!) — sorry! My mind has just been elsewhere lately. Work is picking up, and I’ve been doing my best to get plenty of gym-time and running in before half-marathon training really kicks in next month. On Saturday, myself, Richard, and two of my girlfriends ran in the local “Color My Run 5K” — that somehow ended up only being about 2 miles…? Not going to lie, this did NOT disappoint my tired 9am legs, ha! We had a blast!





I am SUPER thrilled to announce that I won this, so Rich and I get to stay here thanks to ALL of the friends and family (and complete strangers!) that voted for my Beltie pic! Not sure when we’ll stay yet, have to check our calendars! Expect a blog post FULL of Fearrington pics following our stay, though!



Speaking of getaways, we’re headed to Topsail Island for a weekend away from all things work, house-chores, and being woken up by these little beasts at 4:42 every morning (don’t ask).

I’m looking forward to plenty of this all weekend long…




Cheers, ya’ll!

Ew, did I just say ya’ll…

Weekend Wrap-Up: Patrick’s Birthday!


Yep. I know, it’s a bit LATE for a weekend wrap-up (seriously, tomorrow is Friday…) I’ve been busy running like crazy (go me!), so at least I haven’t been lazy AND unproductive.

Over the weekend, we celebrated my brother’s 27th birthday a tad early (he came down from DC) with plenty of good food (“corn balls”, anyone?), Arrested Development episodes (I was completely lost, but happy to see Will Arnett), and a few craft brews (obviously). I made Patrick the Carrot Cake Cheesecake from Seeded at the Table. OHMYGOD his two favorite kinds of cake COMBINED into one amazingly decadent creation! Definitely a go-to dessert recipe for any occasion!

To celebrate my brother’s birthday (which was actually yesterday), I thought I’d share a small collection of my fave photos of us!









Yep, I’m definitely holding a baby opossum (ha, such a funny word) in that one photo.

Happy birthday, big brudder! I love you!

Get Fit: An Ambitious Goal

Let me preface this by saying that I do not INTEND on this blog becoming a fitness/health blog. That being said, whatever happens… happens.


My friends and family know that I am a pretty health-concious person. I work out regularly, I am kind of obsessed with nutrition labels and good-for-you foods, Whole Foods Market is on my list of previous employers, I am a pescetarian, etc etc.

You get the idea.

That being said, I am running my third 5K tomorrow (Sat) morning — the Susan G. Komen “Race for the Cure” to support breast cancer awareness. I’ve lately been feeling that I should aim for an even bigger accomplishment. If I can go from despising running to running a 5K (baby steps, right?) — what else am I capable of?

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Which brings me to my new goal.

Half-marathon – Downtown Raleigh, NC – November 3rd, 2013.

Fellow fitness fanatics, let me know what I’m getting myself into. I want your input, tips, advice. Link me to your favorite training plan. Fill me in on your most-valued mantras. Call me crazy. Refuse to read another post ever again because you’ve dubbed me insane. (Okay, not that last one.)

Enjoy your weekend and please please please be safe on those wet/flooded roads!

Top image via Heidi Klum on AOL

Weekend Wrap-Up: Mini Grilled Pizzas


My goal is to begin writing “Weekend Wrap-Up” posts as a way to share some tidbits from my (hopefully) eventful weekends (hey, some weekends are best spent doing absolutely NOTHING). Perhaps a recipe, info on a great restaurant or bar find, a small contribution to the ever-growing collection of cat pictures that this blog has quite possibly become.

Wait, what?

Oh right, cats.

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Richard and I (and Gretchen– I mean, look at her) slept in A LOT.

Like, until noon.


We’ve been getting up to walk/run every weekday morning (I know, psychotic), so the weekend called for ridiculous amounts of sleep. We did some gardening, too. Replanted some lilies. They look much more cohesive, and not just scattered all over the front yard — I don’t quite know what I was thinking when I said to Rich, “How about one here… one here… and one over here!” It looked crazy. Our basil plants are flourishing, so I’ve been making even MORE pesto, which thrills me to pieces.

We used fresh basil on the pizzas that we grilled on Sunday, too! I threw together mini pizzas with some cute little country rolls split in half. For the first variety, I used sliced mozzarella, halved grape tomatoes, plenty of fresh basil, and Blaze balsamic glaze.

The second pizza was topped with MorningStar Buffalo Chik patties, crumbled blue cheese, and Frank’s RedHot. DELISH. The perfect buffalo “chicken” fix for us non-meat-eaters.


As the sun began to set, the humid NC June air cooled off a bit, and we were able to enjoy our pizza party al fresco!




Also, I have a thing for brussels sprouts. These were cooked in a foil packet on the grill along with a little olive oil, chopped walnuts, blue cheese, salt, and pepper. Mmmm…


Seriously, though. Pizza. On the grill. Without all the dough-kneading. Do it. Yum!


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