Jan 262016

One would have thought I’d be jumping at the chance to decorate the new house for Christmas however, that wasn’t exactly the case this year.  I couldn’t find my motivation, but I think I couldn’t find motivation because I couldn’t find my vision!  I had no clue what to do with the new house this year.  I knew I wanted candles in the windows and wreaths on the windows.

After Thanksgiving, I ran to Michael’s and picked up some garland for the porch.  I really wanted to use spot lights for the outside of the house but due to the elevation, we couldn’t get them to look right. So we ended up outside one night just putting white lights on the garland.  As it turned out, it looked good.

The house Christmas Eve. The neighborhood did luminaries.


The white tree.


The white tree topper. I found the gold topper and added a bow.

As the outside was coming together, inside was slowly getting started.  I think the tree was up for a week without any decorations, whoops.  Slowly I started to make my way around the house.  I purchased a 6ft white tree from Amazon in November that I planned to put in the dining room.  I bought a bag full of pink ornaments at our neighborhood garage sale back in the summer, so I needed a tree. 😉  Matt was not happy about the white tree, hehe.  I also had my dad build a rustic box for the dining room table.  I filled it with leftover ornaments, and it may still be sitting on the table because I love it!


Rustic box.

The stairs got some light garland I found at Kirkland’s on sale and the fireplace ended up with some greenery picks from Hobby Lobby.  The tree was put in the back corner of the living room and was slowly decorated.  It wasn’t my favorite tree so I’ll have to try harder next year.  My nutcrackers filled the tops of the built-in’s beside the fireplace.  Then I have to figure out what to do with my newly acquired buffet.  Mom gave it to me a few months ago and I still need to paint it but it’s currently on the back wall in the living room.  I added some wooden frames above it and put leftover wreaths in the middle.  This might have been my favorite decorating idea!  The frames will also be painted and I will put some pics from our last trip to London in them at some point.

The buffet with the framed wreaths!

Fireplace with greenery.


I didn’t take a ton of pics this year.


Feb 262015

In the past 2 weeks we’ve had like 3-4 days of snow!?!?  This is absolutely crazy for NC.  Normally we’ll get a day of snow here or there but these past few weeks it’s been a lot!  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good snow day but this is starting to get ridiculous.  The city basically shuts down because we aren’t equipped to deal with snow.  Not to mention people already drive like idiots so adding snow is a disaster!

As promised I did go out and take some pics today.  They were predicting 8+ inches for the Triangle last night and it seems most of Raleigh got more than we got at the new house.  Booo!  The townhouse probably got around 5″ while we only got 2″ at the new house.  The official total at the airport was 5″.  Anyway, here are some pics of the new hood.  I didn’t venture very far since the roads were pretty slushy.





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Jul 172014

House hunting is in full swing for the new Casa de E.  Matt is finally on-board with buying a new house but he is insistent we put down 20%.  Ya’ll that’s  A LOT of money!  Lucky for us our current financial obligations aren’t terrible and we are able to save a good bit of money each month.  We currently have almost 10% saved.  Only 10% more to go!  We talked the other day and have decided to save as much as possible over the next 6 months.  This should put us pretty close to our goal when you add in what we will get for our current house.  Knowing we have a plan, and a timeframe make me happy.

Along with the house hunt comes a list of items we need to upgrade or fix in our current home.   A few items on the list include:

  • Redoing our deck
  • Replacing the back door that goes out to the deck
  • Replacing the flooring in the kitchen and both upstairs bathrooms
  • Painting both upstairs bathrooms

There are quite a few smaller items that need to be addressed too but these are the big ones.  Over the past couple of years we have painted the house and replaced the carpet.  Though I am currently very unhappy with Empire!  Our carpet is barely 2 years old and we’ve already had to call  them once to come and restretch several areas.  I’ve been playing phone tag with a customer service rep since last week to fix the carpet again.  I guess we got what we paid for because I feel like they did a pretty crappy job!  I’ve never had issues with carpet until now.  I will not use them again if and when we need to replace carpeting!

For now, I will continue my daily house hunt even though we aren’t quite ready yet.



Jun 122014

When I met Matt I was on my 7th car, he was on his 2nd.  I’d never had brand new cars though.  I just don’t keep cars more than a few years.  Maybe it has to do with buying used cars with 50k+ miles.  They would always be good for a year or 2 but at the first sign of problems I would trade them in.

Two years ago Matt and I decided we needed another SUV.  I had traded in my old crappy Trailblazer for a cute little new Jetta right before we got engaged.  At the time, gas was almost $4.00 a gallon for regular and I couldn’t continue paying almost $80.00 every week and a half to fill up my tank.  The better solution seemed to be the VW sign and drive deal so that’s what I did.  I got a basic little Jetta and LOVED it!  It was my first brand new car.  It was almost way more economical and the payment wasn’t much more than my crappy old Trailblazer.

When we started looking for SUVs we looked high and low.  The deal was, Matt would trade in his current Audi A4 (which I didn’t care for) for a SUV and I would get said SUV when the Jetta lease was up.  You can read more about that experience here and here.  Anyway we decided on an Audi Q5 which I’ve been driving since about 6 months after we got it.  You can read about how that happened here.

A couple of weeks ago, we realized the Audi lease would be up in a few months and we started talking about new cars.  I really wanted a Ford Escape (foot liftgate, hell yes!) but Matt said they were too small.  He liked the Explorers but I was leaning more towards the Edge.  When it came down to it, they were both around the same price but not the same size, which just didn’t make sense.  Then one day he mentioned someone in his parking lot had a new Jeep and he thought they looked pretty nice.  I grew up with Jeeps since that’s all mom has had since I was 14.  I knew a Jeep would be a great option.  We started looking and found they were in our target price range with a more room, which we also wanted.

Last week we found a Grand Cherokee Limited Diesel with all the options I wanted (the diesel was a bonus).  I ran to the dealership at lunch to take it for a spin and took Matt back on Saturday to buy my new car.  After spending a decent amount of time at the dealership, we realized they weren’t in the mood to make a deal so we walked away.  Matt proceeded to blast emails to several other Jeep dealers in the area in hopes of finding someone to work with us.  On Sunday he received an email back from another local dealer.  The girl emailed him with details and told him she would make sure the car we wanted was on the lot on Monday and let him know.  Throughout the course of the day on Monday, she and Matt worked out the pricing so we headed over there after work.  The car had literally been pulled off the trunk that morning and rushed to get ready for us to see that night.  I immediately loved the car!  I’d been waivering over 2 colors and only that morning decided I really wanted the Granite color.  As soon as I saw it, I knew I’d made the right decision.  It had all the options we wanted plus a ton more!  An hour and half later we were signing the papers and walking out the door with a brand new Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland.  YAY!!!!!

I would also like to mention the salesperson we worked with was AMAZING!  Clearly, I’ve had my fair share of car buying experiences and this was by FAR the best!  The girl was amazing!  I felt like I was dealing with a friend and not a stranger.  She was so personable and friendly.  She also made the experience totally painless.  Honestly, I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to a lot looking for a deal.  This is our 2nd time buying a car from an internet salesperson and I think it’s they way to go.  There seems to be less BS and they probably have to work a little harder to get your business since you aren’t dealing with them face to face.





May 162014

This year’s anniversary wasn’t quite as fancy as years 1 and 2.  For our 1 year anniversary, Matt and I went to NYC for a long weekend and celebrated with dinner at Scarpetta.  It was pretty amazing!  You can read about that trip here.   Last year we went to Jamaica for a long weekend and were able to have a candlelight dinner on the beach for our anniversary.  As you can see, the bar was set pretty high.

Tuesday, after Matt and I got home from work, we just lounged around until it was time to get ready for dinner.  He bought me flowers and I bought him a leather shaving bag along with some funky socks.  We don’t normally exchange gifts but I felt like I should get him a little something since we weren’t going anywhere.  We had a 7:30 dinner reservation at Margaux’s.  It was supposed to be a nice, upscale restaurant pretty close to our house.  Matt had been several years ago but I had never been.  There were only a few people dining when we arrived but the restaurant itself was nice.  We were seated and ordered our starters.  We also received some crab cake tapas while we were waiting.  Since Matt can’t eat shellfish, I got to eat them. They were quite yummy.  Matt ordered a Caesar salad to start with and I ordered the Ahi Tuna.  For our main dishes, Matt had the Panko Crusted Chicken Breast and I had the Braised Short Ribs.  After dinner Matt ordered the Profiteroles and I had the Sorbet.  All in all, dinner was really good but not really as exotic as years past.

I’m hoping we will be able to take a few long weekend vacations over the summer since we don’t have any big vacations planned for this year.






May 132014

Three years ago today, Matt and I were standing on the lawn at the Sandals La Toc in St Lucia overlooking the ocean, promising our lives to one another.  You can read all about our wedding here.

I would have to say the last 3 years have been pretty good! Sure, Matt and I have had our ups and downs but for the most part, things have been really good. We’ve had our share of hard times, but there is no one else in this world I would rather face those times with.  He is my rock when I need someone to lean on, he is always there to hold my hand or give me a hug.  He’s wiped more than his share of tears from my face.  He is my everything!  I can’t imagine spending my life with someone else.   What started with friendship has turned into a beautiful love.

It’s hard for me to imagine my life without him, bed burritoing and all. 😉 (And if you know me, you know I am a bed FREAK!  haha)  I LOVE YOU, MATTE!


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Mar 252014

Equals 35.  Sigh!

Saturday was my birthday and I decided I wanted to go out and have fun.  Normally birthdays in our household are celebrated with gifts, cake (sometimes decent looking 😉 ), and a nice dinner out.  Matt and I have never done much in the way of parties for birthdays, aside from his 30th birthday.  I took him out and his friends got him WASTED!  And I got him to dance! 😮  I didn’t want a party for my bday but I thought having a few friends join us for dinner and dancing would be nice.  I asked my friend K and her husband M along with one of Matt’s friends and his new girlfriend.

After being unable to get reservations at a new restaurant called Stanbury in downtown, I decided on a new place called Mandolin for dinner. {Funny little side note but the space that Mandolin currently occupies was once a place called EVOO.  This was mine and Matt’s first official date spot. It’s since changed hands several times but I’m hoping Mandolin is here to stay for a while.}  I was able to get an 8:30 reservation for Saturday night.  I knew K&M would be waiting since she said they were going to go to the bar and get drinks first but I was surprised to see J&A sitting at their table when Matt and I walked in around 8:20.  About 10 mins later the host came and told us it would be a few more minutes as our table was eating dessert.  About 10 minutes after that, we were told they were paying the tab, and a little after 9 we were finally seated.  Matt bought me a birthday cake so I brought it with us to the restaurant to share.  I didn’t even think about the fact that they would charge a cake cutting fee.  Anyway, they politely waived our fee since we’d had to wait.  How sweet!  *insert slight eye roll here*  I must say though, Mandolin was great!  The atmosphere was really nice and the food was delicious.  Definitely a place Matt and I will go again.

Thankfully once we were seated, our orders were taken, and our food arrived pretty quickly.  I must say the food was DELICIOUS!  I had the Foie Gras appetizer and then the Chicken and Dumplings for dinner.  SO. YUMMY!  Everyone really enjoyed their food.  After we ate cake, we all headed downtown.  The suggested bar was a new spot called Coglins but the line out the door was a huge turn off.  I mean, come on, it was my birthday. Who wants to stand in line?  Not me!  We headed a block over to The Hive.  It was busy but not stand in line busy.  Drinks were consumed and some dancing was done.  In the end J&A and Matt and I stayed till almost 1 before heading home.  AHHH!  Overall, it was a great night and I had a lot of fun!  I’m so glad our friends joined us!


PS. I bought a new outfit for my birthday.  I got a shirt, necklace and jacket (not pictured).  I’ve had the shoes for a while and they are still fantastic!


Mar 212014

OMG!  It’s been exactly 4 years to the day that Matte proposed! EEEKKK!  I feel sure I published this last year too but oh well here we go again!

March 21, 2010

As my birthday quickly approached, I wondered what exactly the day would have in store.  I told M that a nice dinner would be fine, no gift necessary.  Years of birthday disappoints, break-ups, etc had left me a “Birthday Scrooge”, as a friend would say.  It’s hard to be disappointed with a nice romantic dinner out.

I finally decided on a nice Italian restaurant with outdoor seating and M made the reservation for Sunday night.  We both decided to take Monday, my actual birthday off.  As Sunday rolled around so did the clouds.  Over the weekend I received  a few birthday cards containing monetary gifts.  With money in hand I decided I needed a new dress for the occasion.  Well as luck would have it, there was not a cute dress to be found.  A last ditch trip to Target ended the dress hunt without a dress but with new shoes.  Oh well :)

When we got home we realized there would be no outdoor dining as the clouds were looking quite ominous.  We dressed, complete with new shoes and headed to dinner.  While at dinner M told me he had a “silly” gift for me to open that night.  I didn’t think much of this as I figured he had found some sort of Auburn memorabilia at a local sports store.  After dinner we decided to head to The Cheesecake Factory for dessert.  As we were waiting for a drink and cheesecake, I told M that friend of ours had asked me if I thought he would propose.  I told her that if he did, he would give me a ring pop first.  I explained this was a running joke with M and I.  He just chuckled and asked if they still made those.  With cheesecake in hand we headed back to the house.  Once we were changed and back downstairs M asked if I was ready for my gift.  I said sure.  I grabbed the box from the coffee table and began to unwrap it.  Having no idea what the box might contain, I was quite shocked to see a ring pop right there in front of my eyes.  I looked at M and as I turned he pulled a ring out of his pocket.  He told me that he wanted me to be his wife and “will you marry me?”  I immediately began to cry just looking at him.  I finally managed to say “I think I’m supposed to say Maaaaybee.”  “HAHA yes!!!”  And kissed him.  He put the ring on my finger and I noticed he was shaking.  Awww how sweet considering he had known my answer for months.

Now a few days have passed and the weight of the ring has become a familiar feeling.  With that feeling comes the knowledge that soon enough I will be M’s wife.

~ and just as a side note M did get me an actual gift for my birthday, a cute pink Ipod shuffle :)

Feb 212014

Okay so I couldn’t post  that I went sledding and there is video and not upload the video! Enjoy!

Happy Friday!


Feb 202014

Work has been crazy busy the last week or so and I haven’t had a chance to write about the snowstorm that hit Raleigh last week.  Predictions were 4-8″ and I would say we definitely got 4″ plus a little more.

The snow was due to start around lunch on Wed so Matt decided to ride in to work with me and work from the Hunt Library on campus.  It is about 2 blocks from my office and he hadn’t been there yet.  A little before noon he walked back to my office and waited for me to get out of a meeting.  I didn’t really take the snow seriously and about 12:15 he texted me and told me we had to leave that the snow had started.  At this point my meeting was running long anyway so I grabbed my things and left.

By the time we got out the door the snow was already starting to stick to the ground.  We hopped in the car and headed home.  We got to Western Blvd and sat through the light a few times before I encouraged Matt to hop the curb and go a different way.  Traffic was already starting to suck and the snow was sticking more and more.  Within 15 mins or so of the start the roads were covered.  We finally got off campus only to get stuck about 8 miles from the house.  A drive that normally takes me about 5 minutes took us almost 45!  Not to mention I was starving at this point.  We finally got past all traffic but the roads were getting worse.  About an hour and a half after we left the office, we finally got home.  We only had one instance of sliding, like really sliding while trying to stop.

The snow continued into the night before turning to sleet and freezing rain and by the time we went to bed we had about 4″ of snow with ice piling on top.  Clearly we worked from home on Thursday and Friday.  I even managed to go sledding Thursday afternoon.  Matt was a snow humbug and wouldn’t sled but he did take a few videos of me sledding. 🙂  It was fun!

By Saturday the roads were back to normal and I made Matt get me out of the house.  At this point I am DONE praying for snow!  😉  I’ve gotten my “several inches” and I am ready for spring.

Now for the photo overload!  Enjoy!

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Happy Thursday!