Thanksgiving Recap Part 2!

Hey friends!!!  Are yall still hanging in there?  The week after Thanksgiving is tough!  I’m still trying to get back into the swing of things over here.  I did manage to get up all of our Christmas decorations the other day so I will share those soon!  It’s always fun to decorate a new house and figure out where things will go.   

The workers are almost finished with the bathroom demo.  I am so excited this project is underway.  I will be glad when it is done because the dogs do NOT like people in our house. 😉 

We are heading off to Nashville later today for a long weekend at home.  We have a good friend’s wedding on Saturday night, which we are really looking forward to.  I have plans with my momma on Friday to bake Christmas cookies!! I’m so excited!  I was really bummed when I found out we were moving that we wouldn’t be able to have our Christmas cookie baking weekends in December so I am really happy we were able to fit it in this trip!  

We played a lot of games over Thanksgiving, but my favorite was clue.  Did you guys used to play this when you were younger? 

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Callie was not impressed.

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The Thanksgiving spread!! 

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We had turkey, cranberry sauce (homemade and from a can), sweet potato casserole (with a pecan and maple syrup topping with pecans from our backyard!), potato casserole, stuffing, rolls, green beans and almonds dish, corn casserole, and roasted brussels, butternut squash with pecans and goat cheese!  

It was all so so so delicious!!!! We had leftovers for days!

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The whole fam including the pups!! We had a full house!

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My sweet man.  He drives me nuts each and every day, but I’m not sure where I’d be without him. 

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My sweet sister, her boyfriend, Max, and their pups.  

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Daddy and his kiddos! 

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So happy these two came all the way from Nashville to spend Thanksgiving with us.  

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You guys may remember my dad is not really a dog person, but my dogs (especially Riley) love my dad.  Riley wasted no time finding my dad each time he sat down.  

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I got so lucky in the sibling department.  These two are my fav!

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More clue!  Notice Otis asleep on the table.  🙂

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Whenever anyone was eating.. there were always 4 little faces staring until the plate was put away.  

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Catchphrase!

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My sister and Max brought two pies from a local place in Dallas that we all love and we used one as a birthday cake to celebrate my daddy!!!  

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We got him an applewatch for his birthday and he texted us a few days later and said, “well I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong… but then I realized it was just out of battery.”  We laughed so hard… yes, dad, you do have to charge the watch each day. LOL 

Look how sweet my sister is!  She surprised my dad with this game of Dad trivia!  My brother and Jon were on a team and Max and I were on another team.  

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It was SO much fun.  We all learned a lot about my dad and we learned that Jon pays more attention to his stories than any of us. 😉  My dad joked after Jon got a few questions right in a row… “I bet go change my will.”  LOL

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This is how Max typically ended the night.  He just couldn’t hang.  

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I was sitting on the couch one day and all of a sudden I had 4 puppies on me.  This is what my heaven looks like.  Jon, can we get one more PLEASEEEE??

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On Friday my sister and I got our nails done to celebrate her getting sworn in as an attorney.  We are all so stinkin proud of this girl!!  She’s such a smarty pants!

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We took the dogs to the dog park on Saturday to get their energy out!

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On Saturday night (my dad and brother left Friday  because he had a hockey tournament in Nashville that weekend) Jon, my sister, Max, and I went out for sushi!

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Such a fun little date night!  

IMG_0196After dinner we went to a comedy show!  It was really funny and such a fun night out!  

As exhausting as holidays can be, they are so much fun.  I love having traditions with my family and creating new memories each year.  We are really excited for Christmas with Jon’s family this year!!  I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving with your loved ones!

Questions:

  1. What is hard to get back into a routine this week after the holiday?
  2. What are you looking forward to in December?
  3. Did you do any black Friday/cyber Monday shopping?

Thanksgiving Week Recap Part 1!

Hey friends!!! How are you guys doing?  Recovering from the Thanksgiving holiday like me?  We had the best time with my sister, her boyfriend, my dad and little brother last week and I am definitely having some of those post holiday blues this week.  It’s so crazy how much time and preparation goes into Thanksgiving (the meal and festivities) and then it is all over just like that in the blink of an eye.  

We got to celebrate our first holiday in our new house in San Antonio, which was super fun.  Our new house is one story (compared to our 4 story house in Nashville), which is much more conducive to entertaining and hosting guests because everyone is always nearby at all times.  It made the week even that much more fun.  Speaking of the new house, the master bathroom renovation project is underway!  The workers started Monday morning… and I am already ready for them to be finished. 🙂  Those of you that have lived through major renovations (our is just a bathroom), I don’t know how you did it.  If the builder gets all the drawings approved by the city, they should be starting our new carport next week!  I’m excited to get these projects moving so we can enjoy them.  

Back to last week.  Relieving these fun moments makes the post holiday blues worth it.  We really did have the best week with my family. 

My dad and brother arrived to San Antonio late Tuesday night so I picked them up from the airport.  Another great thing about our new house location in San Antonio is that we are only 7 minutes from the airport.  7!!! It is amazing … for us and guests!  Riley went straight to Jacob and my dad when they arrived.  My doggies definitely recognized them and ran right up to them both.  

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My sister and her boyfriend (and their two pups) actually arrived from Dallas (they drove) late Tuesday night too!  My husband, sister, and her bf all had to do some work Wednesday so my dad, brother, and I decided to go to the Alamo.  I had just driven past it previously.  

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There are audio and guided tours available, but the neat thing about the Alamo is that it is completely free to tour.  We had fun walking around the old church, watching a short film, and seeing a few different reenactments.   

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After touring the Alamo, we walked over to see the River Walk before it started raining and we headed back home.  

Wednesday night we had plans to go out to dinner and then go to the Spurs game. 

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We had dinner at a little local Italian restaurant before the game.  It was so delicious!

It was such a great game that came down to the last second.  Unfortunately, the Spurs lost, but it was still a really fun evening.  

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Cheering!

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My sweet Jonny!

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I’ve got the best siblings around! 

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The whole gang at the game!

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My sister’s boyfriend’s parents sent us this yummy package to enjoy!!! 

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Thursday morning started off bright and early with the San Antonio Turkey Trot!  My husband I have made this an annual tradition each Thanksgiving no matter if we are in Nashville, Indianapolis, or even San Antonio!!  Starting Thanksgiving on an active note is my favorite.  Especially since the proceeds of each race entry went to feeding a family in need a Thanksgiving dinner.  That alone is reason to run! 

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This year, our fury friends were allowed to tags along so you know we brought the whole crew (all 4 dogs!).  They were all very curious in the car. 

My dad and little brother walked the race and since Riley can’t run too far anymore Jacob walked with them.  

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My dad carried walked Otis too since he has bad knees.  

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My sister, her bf, Jonny, and me ran the course with Callie and Murphy. 

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The race was just a 5k, which was the perfect distance for a morning run.  It was a little chilly at the start, but we all ended up a little hot by the end.  I am not hating this warm weather one bit. 🙂

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I gave my husband one job this Thanksgiving and that was the turkey.  I love cooking and have made a Thanksgiving meal myself a couple times over the years, but this year I really wanted to enjoy the day and not spend the entire time in the kitchen.  I prepped a lot of the side dishes ahead of time and I didn’t end up really starting to cook until about 2pm (we ate at 6pm).  

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When we moved into our new house last month, my husband told me our old grill didn’t survive the move and that we needed to get a new one.  This is his department so he decided to buy a wood pellet Traeger Grill.  He told me he was going to cook the turkey on the grill this year… I was a LITTLE skeptical, but hey, I don’t even eat turkey so if that turns out badly, at least my sides will be good.  This grill actually smokes meat and I have been told that the turkey was the star of the show this year.  I mean my casseroles were really good so…. 🙂 Magically our old grill just started working the other day…aka I’m pretty sure it was never broken and my husband just wanted an excuse to buy a new grill.  Men and their toys. 😉 

My husband’s coworker that is originally from Puerto Rico stopped by for a drink in the afternoon and brought us some homemade Coquito, a popular holiday drink from Puerto Rico.  This isn’t the exact recipe she used, but it was similar.  We eat had a couple sips and wow, it was strong!  It honestly tasted like a pina colada and now I want to go to the beach. 🙂

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I’m going to save the rest for tomorrow!  I’ll be back soon with the second half of my Thanksgiving recap!!! I would love to hear all about yours too!!

Questions:

  1. How was your Thanksgiving holiday?
  2. What is one Thanksgiving tradition you do each year?
  3. What is your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?

I’ve Been Baking All The Things!

Hey yall!!  How’s it going?  We have had a busy couple of days over here with appointments, meetings, and getting ready for our visitors and Thanksgiving!  All good things so no complaining here.  We have been running around getting all the supplies for our bathroom renovation that will start in a few days so that is exciting.  

I showed you guys my new stand up mixer that my parents got me for my birthday, and you guys, it is changing my life.  I also have a little extra time on my hands right now so I have been taking full advantage of that and have been baking and cooking up a storm.  My mixer is making all my baking dreams come true.  I didn’t realize how much it would change my baking experience not having to mix everything by hand.  It’s amazing.  

First up on my list was banana bread! 

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I made small loaves/big muffins and individually wrapped them for my husband’s coworkers and our new neighbors.  I used this recipe and it got some rave reviews!  I made extra for my husband and he has been eating it up! 

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We brought some of my mom and stepdad’s honey from Tennessee so we could give them a little gift of homemade banana bread and honey.  

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I had some gluten free flour in the pantry so decided to make a gluten free loaf for when my family is in town this week.  My sister is sensitive to gluten like me and we both feel much better when we avoid it.  

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I used this recipe and then frozen the loaf to keep it fresh (and away from my husband) until my family arrives. 🙂 

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My husband was craving homemade chocolate chip cookies one night and I needed an excuse to use my new mixer so I whipped up a batch for him.  I used this recipe when I realized I didn’t have any brown sugar on hand (I also added in white chocolate chips) and my husband loved them!! I made extra dough and froze it to pull out this week when my family is here.  I’m all about spending the least amount of time in the kitchen when family is around so prepping ahead is key for me.  

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I also whipped up a few batches of my favorite butternut squash soup to have on hand for easy lunches this week (I froze it in batches).  

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I have been using this recipe for butternut squash soup for years now and it is by far my favorite.  

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I think the secret ingredient is the curry powder.  I promise it does not taste like curry.  But it gives the soup SO much flavor.  It is just so so so good.  I sent my husband to work with a bowl of it for lunch the other day and he has been asking for more ever since. 🙂

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I sent my husband to Costco the other day for a few things and he came home with a huge back of frozen riced cauliflower.  Does this happen to anyone else?  I do 90% of our grocery shopping because my husband never sticks to the list.  Well this time his impulse buy turned out to be a great choice.  We decided to make homemade cauliflower crust pizzas.  

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I have no idea what recipe my husband used, but it was pretty basic with Parmesan and mozzarella cheese, spices, maybe some herbs, and eggs.  I topped my pizza with artichokes, pesto, mushrooms, shaved brussels, and I feel like there was one more ingredient, but now I can’t remember!  My husband hand onions, mushrooms, and pepperoni.    

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I mean is there anything better than bubbly crispy cheese?? 

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Don’t yall worry, I still have been having lots of salads with salmon.  Can’t kick my salads.  

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My mother-in-law sent me a new cookbook and all these different types of dried beans for my birthday (we discuss our mutual love for beans often) so we decided to try out a black bean chowder recipe one night.  

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I topped mine with avocado.  It was amazing.  I’m usually a canned bean kind of girl (hey, I’m a little lazy and dried beans take a long time to cook), but these beans were definitely much better than canned beans.  They had a lot more texture and flavor.  

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Well that’s all I’ve got for today!!  Off to get working on my to-do list!!  I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family!! 🙂 

Questions:

  1. Do you like to bake? 
  2. What is the last thing your made from scratch?
  3. What is your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?

Weekend Recap X 2!

Hey friends!! I hope you all had a nice weekend!!  We sure did.  It was a nice mix of fun and productivity and relaxing at home.  I’m combining the last two weekend recaps into one because well… I am behind and truthfully, they looked quite similar. 

We have been taking lots of walks in our new neighborhood.  The weather has been pretty funny… 70 one day then freezing the next.   

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But we will take all the good weather we can get!  We even explored a new park last weekend with the pups! I love my crew. 🙂

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There has been a LOT going on over here between getting settled, job hunting, interviewing, renovations, etc.  I have a few posts planned that will fill you in a bit more very soon!  One of my aunts sent me this amazing Harry & David’s snack box for my birthday and we have been eating it up!! Such a fun and delicious gift!

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We went to a nearby Mexican restaurant with some new friends last weekend and it was delicious!!  

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We’ve been working hard to get our house all organized and set up (pics to come!) so anytime to lounge on the couch with these three is right up my alley.  They pups are really adjusting well to the new house so that makes me so happy.  They are also super spoiled right now because I am home all day with them. 🙂

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And the pecans keep on coming!  I’ve been shelling lots of pecans from our backyard for our Thanksgiving meal this week!! So fun!!  My sister, her boyfriend, my dad, and little brother are all coming into town this week so we are really excited for our visitors!!

I spent some time this weekend organizing my pantry.  I am going to have Jon build me some shelves that pull out (it is so hard to see everything with a deep pantry), but until then, putting things into see-through containers with labels make it easier to find things and not have so many bags and boxes in the pantry.  

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Whether I am applying to jobs, blogging, or reading, these two are always right next to me.  PS I finally finished Lisa Gardner’s, The Other Daughter, and it was really good.  It took me a long time to read because of the move, but I am already excited to start the next one.  I am determined to read all of her books this year.  She definitely my favorite other right now.  

Lord help me… after a few weeks of figure out our carport and bathroom remodel plans, we have officially hired a two different guys for the two projects.  We have been searching around for flooring, new cabinets, and tile for the shower and we finally made a couple decisions this weekend.  I am never building a house from the ground up… too many decisions.  I was overwhelmed when just redoing ONE bathroom.  Ugh!  I’m really excited for it to be started… and finished.  The bathroom remodel and laundry room floor project will begin right after Thanksgiving!! Yay!!  The carport requires quite a lot of approving where we live so we are waiting for the builder to hear back from the city on our permit.  

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That’s all I’ve got for today!!  Off to do a little more shopping and some errands before my family starts arriving tomorrow.  So excited!!! 

Questions:

  1. Highlight of your weekend?
  2. Have you ever built/designed/remodeled a house or even just a room?
  3. Are you traveling for Thanksgiving? 

The Best & Worst Parts About Moving

So you may know that my husband and I have moved 5 times in the last 9 years for his job.  I actually transferred colleges (We met at Miami of Ohio) to Westminster College out in Salt Lake City for my last two years of undergrad studies.  Jon is two years old than me.  We started dating when I was a freshman at the ripe age of 19 and he was a junior and 21, the age we wanted our boyfriends to be so they could buy us beer. 😉

During Jon’s senior year, he got an offer for a position with the same company he works for now and the position was either in Salt Lake City, UT or Minneapolis… both of which we knew nothing about.  We both like the West so decided Salt Lake City was the best spot for us.  We packed up our cars, moms, and my grandma and headed west to our first apartment – a small one bedroom.  Thankfully we have only gone up from there.

After spending two great (and very eye opening) years and graduating College in Salt Lake City, Jon got a promotion in Cincinnati, OH so off we went on another across the county road trip.  We lived in Cincinnati the longest (3 years) because Jon was actually able to get another promotion while in that office.  Cincinnati was also the place where we bought our first house together and where we lived when we got engaged) and we had our sweet Parker puppy pass away followed by my grandma two weeks later.  After those events, I was more than ready to get the heck out of there.  I needed a new fresh start.  Well about a month later we got a call for Jon to get another promotion to Dallas, TX.  We were excited!! Especially because I would finally get to live near my sister again!  We spent two hot years in Dallas, but thankfully our boat made the heat very bearable.  We loved our house there because it was right next to restaurants and bars and Trader Joes!!  I can still remember the day Jon got the call about a new job in Nashville, TN.  There was not much discussion needed… we were going.  But only under one circumstance… and it was that if the right opportunity came about to move again that I would be open to it.  Jon has always known my dream is to be close to family and friends in Nashville so he knows how hard leaving that would be for me.  As hard as it was to admit, I agreed because I also made a commitment to our family that we would always do what is best for us.  It’s not easy leaving family, but in order for our little family (Jon, me and our pups) to have the life we want and to reach our goals, we sometimes have to take leaps of faith and trust that everything will work out.  And here we are now.  We loved our short time in Nashville, but know that San Antonio is going to be amazing as well.  We also know that it will not be the end of our road.

Today I want to share some of my favorite things about moving and some of the worst parts about moving.

While moving is always stressful and hard at times, moving across the county (and state lines) brings a WHOLE new level of stress to the mix.

  1. New driver’s license. I hate the DMV.
  2. New car registration, tags, and plates. DMV and $$$
  3. We have had to switch banks numerous times because they aren’t located in our new city, which is just always such a process.
  4. Changing addresses on delivery services (Amazon, Rodan & Fields, credit card bills, etc.) and getting mail forwarded (I’m convinced only about half of it ever makes it to the new address.
  5. Setting up new accounts for electricity, gas, water, internet… you know, all the stuff we need.  This comes with hours of being on hold and trying to figure out which payment option is best and what day they can come (usually like 3 or 4 weeks out).
  6. Packing.  Now I can’t complain about this one because our relocation package is very good and includes packers who package up every last item in the house (they will not let you help).  But this kind of stresses me out because I am OCD and like to know where everything is going and I have to make sure I have everything I need to keep in a location they can’t find and accidentally package up.
  7. Moving day.  Okay, this day is actually not stressful for me at all because our relocation company has movers come and take all the boxes so we don’t have to do any lifting.  We just have to make sure they don’t break anything, destroy and railings or walls and that they can actually get some of the bigger items out the door. LOL

 

I like to end on a positive note so here are my favorite parts about moving!

  1. Exploring a new city.
  2. Making new friends.
  3. Trying new restaurants.
  4. Finding fun, derivable weekend trips.
  5. Finding a new walking route with the pups!  In each city we have lived in, we have “our route” that is out go-to when walking the pups.  We also love exploring new parks and hiking trails too!
  6. New jobs.  As stressful as this can be (my company was only in Nashville so I am currently on the hunt for a new job… I have had a few promising leads so I’ll be sure to share more when something gets finalized), I like learning a new job, a new office, new coworkers and new responsibilities.  I don’t love the application process, but I don’t mind starting a new job!

That is all I can think of for now!!!  

Questions:

  1. If you work, how long have you been in your current role?
  2. What is the best part of moving to a new place/city?
  3. What is the most stressful part of moving for you?

Weekend Recap 11.4.18 Date Night, and Road Trip to Austin…. Just a Week Late :)

Hi!!! Yall, I have plans to post a few times per week and I am slacking big time.  I swear when I cross off one thing on my to-do list, 10 more things get added to it.  It is seriously out of control.  Thankfully I am home right now and have more time to complete all these tasks, but it just seems never ending right now.  

This weekend was really great, but very busy per usual.  I try to save my “paperwork” stuff like emails, job apps, and blog posts for the week while my husband is at work so I can soak up the weekend with him.  But we still had a packed weekend.  And I will soon get to that recap, but this weekend recap is from the previous weekend… because I am that behind.  Eeek.  The A type personality in me is having a small panic attack thinking how behind I am on everything, not just the blog.  It will all get done so really, I’m just doing my best and making a schedule to tackle all this fun stuff.  

For my birthday dinner all I wanted was seafood so we settled on Bourbon Street Seafood Kitchen.  

Yall, it was phenomenal.  Like so so so good.  We can’t wait to go back. 

Afterwards we walked to the rooftop bar across the street called Paramour.  

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It has a really cool vibe, but be ready to shell out some cash for a couple cocktails. 🙂

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Such a great night out on the town with my man! 

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Saturday night we had plans to meet our friend for dinner in Austin (he was there for work).  Austin is just over an hour away from our house so it was a super easy drive.  

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We got a table for dinner outside at Stella!

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We had fun catching up with our friend and listening to some live music before heading back to San Antonio.  

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This was such a relaxing and fun weekend!  A lot more so than this last one, which I will share with you very soon!! I hope you guys had a great weekend and are having a great week so far! 

 

New House, Painting, Cleaning, and Moving In!

Hey friends!!! Hope you week is going well.  Mine has been pretty good… just full of cleaning, organizing, applying to jobs, and trying to figure out who we are going to use for our couple renovations we are doing to the house.  

I’m sure everyone thinks I am crazy for trying to do these upgrades to our house so soon after we moved in, but my thought is that we tend to move every few years and if I am going to upgrade something, I would rather do it sooner than later so that we actually get to enjoy the renovation.  And it helps that I am funemployed right now so I am available to meet contractors/designers etc.  🙂  I took pictures this week of the things we want to change in the house so I am working on a post to show you guys.  I need help yall.. designing is not my calling.  

Forgive me if I have shown you guys these two pictures before, I don’t even know what day it is.  When you are working it is hard to keep track of the days… they all just start to blend together.  Anyway… before we left Nashville, we were staying at my dad’s house once we moved out of our Nashville house.  My husband came home to find me napping and Riley just hanging out on my head.  

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He literally has no care in the world and thinks it is completely acceptable to just lounge on my head.  Clearly I was not bothered by this either so maybe we are both weird. 😉 

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My mom and I drove to San Antonio (from Dallas) on a Thursday morning bright and early (she woke me up at 4 am to leave…) and got started painting the whole house… well everything but the bedrooms which had already been painted almost the same grey not too long ago (I will probably repaint them eventually…).  I put the blue tape on the trim and my momma started working on the top trim.  We had Thursday and Friday to paint the house before the movers arrived with our stuff on Saturday morning.  

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This is the color grey we decided to use.  I think it is in my dad’s house and that’s why I had it.  It is actually a contractor mix, but they were able to recreate it without any issues.  

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Little Riley loves being able to see out the window at our new house.  He barks and growls at everyone that walks or drives by. 🙂

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As my mother reminded me 50 times, I should have packed a dog bed in the car with us.  They dogs couldn’t lay on the carpet in the bedrooms because we were getting new carpet installed so they both ended up on the curtains that we had taken down while we were painting.  

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At different times, ofcourse.  Our two pups are not exactly friends…. they don’t fight or anything, but they do not play or lay next to each other often. 

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Our new house does not have a garage… the one thing both Jon and I said was a must.  It’s funny how things work out.  The new house does have outdoor closets but it took a while to get them organized so in the meantime, our backyard looked like this… It wasn’t pretty, but Riley didn’t seem to mind.  He loves lounging in the sun.  

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On Thursday and Friday (before our furniture arrived), we stayed at a hotel… and snuck the dogs in.  Shhhhh…. I thought my husband was just taking a picture of the dogs and I… when I went to upload the photos I saw that Callie was holding the beer. 🙂

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We made lots of salads in our new house.  I even brought a butternut squash I hadn’t used yet from Nashville and roasted it for our salads. 🙂  

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We did go out to dinner one night for Mexican.  Our new house is very walkable so we just walked down the road which was fun! My two favorites!

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I got veggie fajitas and they were sooo good!

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My bestie, Rachael, sent me flowers for my birthday!  

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And they messed up the order somehow so I got two!! I just love fresh flowers!  

Have a great day, friends!! Ill be back soon! xoxo

Questions:

  1. What is your go-to order at a Mexican restaurant? 
  2. What is your favorite type of flower?
  3. Tell me something that is going on in your world this week!