Friday Five

Friday, August 7, 2015

This was my first full week at work in two weeks and it was much easier to get back into the swing of things than I thought it would. Tonight we're going to Death & Taxes with my family for my brother's birthday. I can't believe he'll be 23 on Monday! It just doesn't seem possible. We also have a wedding of a high school friend this weekend and I can't wait to celebrate with everyone. We always have the best time together!

1.  A small group from our missional community decided to do a bible study over the summer while our MC was on break. We just completed Tim Keller's "The Gospel in Life" this past Monday and I can't sing it's praises enough. The study applies the Gospel to our daily lives, asking us to live lives worth imitating, building community, and sharing the Good Word and God's grace with our neighbors. It's was so great to really dig deeper into His word and do a study that truly reflects the mission of our church.

2.  After years (literally) of discussing getting our club chairs recovered, Brandon and I are finally making steps towards making this happen. We already have the fabric that we're going to use (that mom got for free -- fingers crossed we have enough!!) and now we're just looking for an upholsterer. Any and all recommendations in the Durham/Wake/Johnston County areas would be appreciated. We're not afraid to drive for a good deal! We used ABZ Upholstery when we had our headboard made and while they did a fantastic job, they quoted us at much higher than we want to pay to recover these. 

This is our current chair situation. My parents bought these chairs when they moved into the first house I ever lived in (in 1988). They had them recovered in 1999 and they've been this fabric ever since. Needless to say, it's time for a change. I can't imagine how dirty the fabric actually is.
Current chair situation 

Super dark, but the fabric really doesn't go with the rest of our stuff.
Ideally, I'd move the chairs so that they're beside each other and then get two more chairs for across from them.

3. This bowl. I originally found it on One Kings Lane and almost bought it from there, but I really did not want to pay the $7.95 shipping. After a little googling, I found the exact same bowl on Amazon (which means free shipping!). I think it will be a great staple serving piece for years to come. 
4. I've been feeling overly tired lately plus a few other symptoms and I think I might have a gluten intolerance. I'm experimenting with not eating gluten for a few weeks to see if that helps any. Any recipes or tips you feel like sharing would be much appreciated! My hardest meal right now is breakfast because I normally eat some kind of granola or breakfast sandwich.

5. A puppy update. Brandon and I keep getting questions on when we're getting our dog, etc. so I thought it would be nice to address it all in one place. We've been on the wait list for this specific litter since January. The momma (Presley) was supposed to go into heat in May but is a little behind. This has happened once before and the breeder isn't concerned. They/we obviously want her to do everything in her own time so that she is as healthy as possible. At this point, if she were to get pregnant in August, we'd bring home a puppy for Christmas. 

We have most definitely gotten antsy and frustrated over the past few months, but we know that in His timing, everything is perfect. We really like the breeder that we have chosen and Presley & Damien makes incredible puppies. I know there are a lot of other options out there, but we are happy with this decision. We can't wait to share the news that Presley is expecting and other updates along the way, but until then, we're practicing our patience!
Presley with her last litter in 2014 (Brandon's boss' dog, Ellie is one of these pups!)


Peach and Bacon "Salad"

Thursday, July 30, 2015

So this definitely isn't the best picture, but this dish Brandon and I threw together on Tuesday night was so good. When Brandon deemed it "good enough to make for other people," I knew we had a winner.

3-4 white peaches, sliced and halved 
6-8 strips of bacon
Feta, crumbled (we did approximately 1/3 cup)
Basil, fresh and julienned
1/2 red onion, sliced
Olive oil

1. Cook the bacon. We like to cook it in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes. We lay it out on wax paper (parchment paper would actually be better) on a cookie sheet and it keeps it from drawing up. Our silpat would actually be really good for this too.
2. While the bacon is cooking, saute your onions with a little bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Cook until slightly translucent. Let cool.
3. Once it is cooked and cooled, crumble the bacon
4. Combine the sliced peaches, crumbled bacon, onions, feta, and basil in a bowl and toss.

*I didn't think it needed extra olive oil after sauteeing the onions, but feel free to add a little more if you think it needs it. 
*If you don't let it cool, the feta will melt and I find melted feta to be a weird consistency.


Our Painted Front Door

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Y'all might remember this post, where I talked about wanting to paint our front door a different color. Even though I posted about it over a month and a half ago, I only waited about a week -- when we got a slight reprieve in the weather -- to complete this project. It was surprisingly a quick and easy project that I happily completed while Brandon had to run into work one Saturday. 

My Steps:
1. Pick up your paint! I went with the Benjamin Aura outdoor paint in Wythe Blue (HC-143)
2. Remove the letter mail slot 
3. Sand down the front door. I used a fine grain sandpaper that the guy at Benjamin Moore recommended.
4.  Wipe down the door to get rid of excess dirt and sand debris.
5. Paint your first coat! There are lots of great tutorials online, but since our door is a different pattern, I did the creases on each row and then painted over that row before moving on to the next row of diamonds. I used a small, slightly angled brush.
6. I let the first coat dry for approximately 3 hours before I did the next one.

Tip: It's best to have at least 3 hours between coats, but the longer the better. I probably could have waited another hour or so. It's also great to be able to keep your door open for as long as possible to let it dry. If you close the door too soon, your paint won't fully dry and you'll get that stick every time you try to open it.

Our door before -- it definitely needed some help!
After the first coat

After the second coat

All done!

MUCH better! Now we just need to get a bench for the right side of the door.



Monday, July 27, 2015

We just had the most wonderful week visiting my grandparents in Cooperstown, NY. This small village with its one stop light is so quaint but there is so much to do and see. It's claim to fame as the "birthplace of baseball" and home of the Baseball Hall of Fame make it a pretty big tourist attraction in the summer, but as baseball isn't really our thing, we're happy to partake in everything else this wonderful place has to offer.

We had a very relaxing week filled with tennis, boat rides, and great food. Otsego Lake provides a gorgeous backdrop and I'll even take the pretty cold water (it is glacier fed, after all) for the mid-70s highs and zero humidity. Just don't forget your jeans and sweater for evening cocktails on the porch!

We also ate some great meals while we were there. The new chef at Cooperstown Country Club is wonderful and that was probably the best meal we had. Other great meals included dinners at the Hawkeye Bar & Grill and The Blue Mingo Grill. We also ate in one night and not to be biased, but the chef (who is my handsome husband) made a fantastic pork loin. We had dinner at Cantina del Salsa one night were the food was decent, but the service was not. Formerly Alex & Ika's before the real Alex & Ika split which is a shame because it was great before. Lunch sandwiches at Danny's and Stagecoach Coffee (also great coffee) are always great and if you head out to Ommegang, make sure to eat at their restaurant because it's delicious. 
Not a shabby view for our morning workouts

The "Wigwam" -- the house where we stayed our first year here -- in 1999!

Can't get over these gorgeous views

One of our favorite spots to visit is the Farmer's Museum. It is one of the oldest "rural life" museums in the country with historically accurate buildings from the 1800s. They have a working blacksmith, loom, wallpaper maker, and more, but our favorite is all the animals. They do everything as they would in the 1800s except for with the animals. They use all of today's medicine to make sure they are taken care of properly.
Hand-dyed yarn

Hat/storage boxes made of wallpaper

This wallpaper was found under the stairs of my grandparents house when they were doing their historic rehab! They donated it to the Farmer's Museum to showcase in one of the buildings.

The road to Ommegang

Now that everyone's legal, we had to go back to the Ommegang Brewery. It's crazy how much larger it is than the first time we toured! There are also many more rules this time. You stay in a box during the tour in the main building and no open toed shoes or tank tops (or you get to wear some really lovely crocks and a bowling shirt).

Happy boys at the end of their tasting

Grandpa in his favorite spot. Reading the WSJ in the sun

Skipping rocks

Brandon and I drove separately this year in an effort to keep him from being cramped in the back of the Tahoe for hours on end. It was a great decision and we loved getting to spend such quality time in the car together. We made it home in 10 1/2 hours which I really think is a record for us. With only 3 stops in 648 miles and barely over a tank of gas, we'll take it!

It really was just the best week and we can't wait for our next trip. We used to go up for Christmas every few years and I'd love to figure out how to get Brandon up there to see all that snow, but there really isn't any beating the perfect summer weather. 



Monday, July 13, 2015

This weekend was one for the books. On Friday we met up with Justin and Grace for some bowling and gelato. They are all waaaay better bowlers than I am, but it was still a great time. 

 On Saturday we went out to the Eno Rock Quarry with some friends and had the best time. It's about a mile hike to the actual quarry and was so worth it. I didn't realized how much I missed the water until I got to swim around in it so carefree. With all the shark attacks this summer, I was very hesitant about swimming in the ocean and even when you're out on the lake you have to worry about boats. The water was very clean and clear on top of being the perfect temperature. 

It was also crazy to realize how close it was to the house we lived in when we were in Durham and it was even closer to my grandma's house! We will definitely be going back. 

Brandon, Me, Zack, Marion, Katherine, Doug, and Peter

After we all had our fill of the water, we headed into Durham for some drinks and food. The boys were excited to try out Fullsteam. Marion and Zack tried out this flight. I love that they served it on  North Carolina board.

Since I'm not a beer drinker, everyone kindly relocated to Bull City Burger & Brewery. They grind their own meat daily and practically everything is made in house -- including their buns. Brandon and I shared the pimento cheese burger and the dirty fries. It was so good and we definitely plan on going back. We love that they are dog friendly too!

There's nothing like finishing up a day on the water like a bowl (or cone) of ice cream. We were so excited to have spotted The Parlour while we were driving to get our burgers. We are big ice cream lovers in our family so this was a must stop.

Maple Blackberry and Cookies & Cream

I love that our water adventure turned into a mini food tour of Durham. There are so many great restaurants and things to do in Durham and it's such an easy day trip. I can't wait to have more fun day adventures with our friends!

Sunday we rounded out our wonderful and full weekend with church and tennis. I can't think of anything else I would have rather done. I hope your weekend was just a great!


Three Years

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Where you go I'll go. And where you stay I'll stay.
Ruth 1:16

Cheers to a relaxing beach getaway and to our most exciting year yet!


60 before 30

Thursday, June 25, 2015

For my 27th birthday, I wanted to do a refresh of my 101 in 1,001 list even though the timeline for that one won't be completed until September. I've reevaluated priorities and I wanted to create a list that reflects where I am right now. I think that these are all realistic and obtainable, but also a great list of things that will keep me accountable.

1.    Start a bible study with a small group from our Missional Community (June 2015!)
2.    Train a lovable and obedient puppy (can't wait for Finley Hunt to join our family this fall!)
3.    Pay off Volvo
4.    Buy Brandon a new car
5.    Save for a house of our own
6.    Continue to work towards paying off Brandon's student loans
7.    Stick to the envelope system to keep our spending in check
8.    Continue to workout 3-4 times a week
9.    Follow the 80/20 Eating Principle
10.  Find and purchase a dining room table and chairs
11.  Create a warm/welcoming entrance to our current home
12.  Make purposeful purchases on quality items that will last
13.  Celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary.
14.  ...and our 4th!
15.  ...and our 5th!
16.  Increase our giving to church every year
17.  Have a baby (!)
18.  Host a themed party -- planning on the 2016 Summer Olympics
19.  Support a friend in something they're doing
20.  Have the club chairs recovered
21.  Adopt a family for Christmas in 2015
22.  ...and in 2016
23.  ...and in 2017
24.  Run in Ella's Race
25.  Go to Scotland with Brandon
26.  Wake up earlier. Establish a morning routine that works for me
27.  Read for 30 minutes every night for one month
28.  Spend more time in purposeful prayer with Brandon
29.  Invest in a quality wedding album (leaning towards the cream photo album from Milk Books)
30.  Have a "date night" with Brandon once a week -- even if it's grabbing coffee before work
31.  Go on a weekend trip with friends (at least once a year)
32.  Read 12 books a year (At least one from each of these categories: Spirituality, Finances, Career,          Marriage + Family, Social, Personal + Intellectual Development, Health, Rest/Enjoyment)
33.  Go to Kentucky and tour some of Brandon's favorite bourbon distilleries 
34.  Get rid of the bamboo forest in our current backyard
35.  Make our screened in porch a comfortable place to gather
36.  Learn to French braid
37.  Have our Christmas stockings my grandmother needlepointed finished
38.  Make a will
39.  Send my mom flowers out of the blue
40.  Send my mama flowers out of the blue
41.  Go on another river tubing adventure with friends
42.  Plant a vegetable and herb garden
43.  Cultivate a collection of old family photos
44.  Host a "friendsgiving"
45.  Write out all of our favorite family recipes
46.  Read every Jane Austen novel
47.  Kayak in the Intracoastal
48.  Read 5 auto/biographies
49.  Help host a baby or bridal shower
50.  Visit a friend in another state
51.  Go berry picking (strawberries, blueberries or raspberries -- I'm not picky!)
52.  Get a timeless and well made rolling suitcase
53.  Take a Photoshop class
54.  Learn how to make my mama's chicken pie and biscuits
55.  Travel to 5 new cities
56.  Watch an outdoor movie at the NC Museum of Art
57.  Go antiquing in Cooperstown
58.  Have a spa day with mom
59.  Learn how to give my hair soft waves
60.  Send out Christmas cards with a modern newsletter

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