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

Month: September 2014

A Weekend of Surprises

This weekend has been an absolute whirlwind of surprises.

Richard left on Friday for his bachelor weekend in Asheville with “the boys” — and it seems that he’s having a blast, from all of the Facebook brewery check-ins! I half-assumed that my weekend would be spent at the gym, starting a new Netflix series (one that I know Richard would not be interested in), and just working on things around the house (in other words, being a hobbit).

However, on Friday night, I decided that I would go out and explore Raleigh a little on my own.

I don’t do a lot of “going out” by myself, but I ventured out with an open mind, never expecting to actually meet some cool people. I swung by the North Carolina Museum of Art for a beer and some live music at Iris, the museum restaurant. I prayed that the “Singles Meet-Up Group” was not calling Iris their meet-up spot THIS time around… Whew, there was no sign of them. Oddly enough, I ran into a foreign exchange student with her host family that I had helped at Athleta the day before. Small world, huh?

Beer at Iris

After the museum, I ventured to Five Points, one of the many “historic” districts in our beautiful downtown Raleigh. My plan was to see the 9:15pm showing of The Skeleton Twins at The Rialto, but I was fairly early. I decided to grab a drink and kill time at Churchill’s, a bar next-door to the theatre.

Let me just say this: having worked in a bar before, going to a bar alone does not bother me in the way it bothers some people. However, I DO get slightly nervous about stepping into a bar solo that I’VE never been to before. It puts me a bit out of my comfort zone.

As soon as I walked in, though, I was greeted by the friendly bartender and even by the woman sitting a seat down from me.

Whew, the place is not pretentious.

Kelly (the patron sitting near me) and I began talking immediately about everything from my wedding plans to vegetarianism to future school and career plans. We somehow just hit it off and became instant friends.

THAT is something that doesn’t happen every day. I find it so difficult to find really great girl friends, so I was happy to make a new friend in the most unexpected place. By the way, I missed my movie because we were having too much fun chatting the evening away!

The weekend fun continued yesterday when I met up with my Grandmother and her blog-friend turned real-friend Vanessa of Dreaming Shabby at SuzAnna’s Antiques in North Raleigh.

Pumpkin bread gifts

I brought small gifts of homemade pumpkin bread, and my Grandmother offered us some no-longer-wanted cookbooks that were collecting dust at her home. OMG, Vanessa is so sweet! We were somehow dressed almost like twins, too! My Grandmother Mary of A Breath of Fresh Air just knew that Vanessa and I would get along perfectly, and it truly felt like we’d been friends for years! I wish that Vanessa did not live as far as Charlotte, but perhaps I’ll have to make a trip down there soon.


Myself, my cousin Jasmin (who works at SuzAnna’s), Vanessa, and Susan (owner of SuzAnna’s)!


Vanessa and I at Starbucks in North Hills.

Fall colors

Myself, my Grandmother, and Vanessa outside my Grandparents’ cottage home in North Raleigh.

Don’t you just love when you meet someone for the VERY first time, yet it somehow feels like you’ve known that person forever? To me, those moments just provide something so genuine and comforting to the soul.

xo Cassie

Welcoming Fall

So, I finally have a free moment to write a blog post, woo!

I’ve spent this rainy Wednesday doing some interior fall decorating. Our windows have been open for a few days now, and it’s actually gotten CHILLY inside! The kitties are starting to find warm places to curl up around the living room — blankets on the couch and fuzzy spots on their little cat trees.

It’s so cute.

I’m sure they wish we’d go ahead and close the windows, but I’ve been waiting a long time for this cool weather!

Here’s a quick photo-story of today’s decorating accomplishments.

Mini pumpkins and gourds

I love placing pumpkins and playing with my silk flower arrangements (yeah, we can’t really *DO* real flowers in our kitty-friendly home).

Top shelf

Speaking of cats, check out the little kitties on this shelf. An old cat-shaped wine bottle shares the top shelf with a beautiful, hand-painted ceramic kitty (it’s a coin bank!) that we picked up in Cozumel last month.

Pumpkin spice everything

Not the best tea, but the tin will make for a great fall decoration for years to come!

Mini pumpkins


By the door

Lovely “fairytale” pumpkins from Trader Joe’s… And likely the last time I’ll see my flip flops this year.


My favorite spot to decorate is most certainly our buffet table.

Festive arrangement

We’re throwing a Halloween / Birthday party in late October, so I’ll be adding more and more Halloween-esque decor as the weeks go on. I can’t wait — Richard’s birthday is shortly before Halloween and mine is the week after!

What is your favorite thing about early fall?

And no, I haven’t had a Pumpkin Spice Latte yet!

xo Cassie

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