Friday Five

Friday, October 24, 2014

Umm..wow. Blog break, much? Things have been going pretty nonstop for us lately and it just never felt like I had a minute to blog. We finally moved into our fancy new office three weeks ago and things are finally starting to slow down a bit (work wise anyway). Two weekends ago we were in New York, so I really need to get a recap of that up. We had such a great time and it's always great to be in the city in the fall.

1. Lots of exciting things are happening in our house. For starters, the McPhersons are moving! We're still ironing out the details for our next home, but ready or not, we'll be out of our current house by the middle of January. 
In August, Brandon and I started Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover" and are using the envelope system. We did a lot of talking and praying about our next home and have decided to continue renting. Although we would love to own our own home, we have decided that this is the best financial decision for us. I am so proud of my husband for working as hard as he did to realize his lifelong dream of becoming an attorney, but that has left us with a good amount of student loans (private law school. ouch.) that we want to pay off before we buy a house. I'm excited to share more details about our move when they're all ironed out. We both are very happy and confident in this decision and are looking forward to making lots of wonderful memories in a new home.

2. We're not leaving our current house without a bang though! Besides for spending one more holiday season here, we're thrilled to be throwing our dear friends, Ryan and Kirsten, an engagement party in November. I'm going to refrain from posting projects and things before the party on here because I want everything to be a surprise for them, but there will be lots of mini food and pretty displays inspired by Emily Thomas.
photo by Tanja Lippert

3. This past Wednesday I took my first needlepoint class through JLR. I've wanted to learn how to needlepoint for years and was excited to get to push I needed through a league social. My grandmother was an incredible needlepointer. My great aunt would paint designs and patterns onto the canvas and then she would needlepoint them. As a lefty, learning how to needlepoint is a little trickier than I was originally counting on. Everything is the opposite from what the instructor was telling everyone else to do and even looking at the pattern, the way I would start things was completely backwards.  I think a few lessons with a lefty are in order, but I'm looking 
The girl who organized the class is working on this pattern right now for her bar cart. Love it!

4. I'm officially obsessed with my Nest Pumpkin Chai candle. It's making our house smell so festive and fall and they last forever! Now to just decide between the Holiday and Birchwood Pine for the holidays. Decisions, decisions.

5. Last night I finally went into the If It's Paper in Raleigh. I've been meaning to go in for a while now and finally had a good excuse last night. I was very impressed with all the great things they had. Not only do they have lots of paper and colored envelopes, they have products by Rifle and Sugar Paper plus the cutest selection of cocktail napkins. I can't wait to take mom back with me so we can spend longing looking at all the great finds. There's also one in Greensboro. I haven't been to that one in years, but I'm sure it's just as good if that one's closer to you!


Weekend Recap

Monday, September 8, 2014

Friday night we headed downtown to High Cotton to celebrate First Friday and their new fall line with their "Tartans & Tailgates" kickoff party. The owners and mother/son team, Judy and James Hill are some of the nicest people you'll ever meet and we're so lucky to call them friends. It's been so fun watching their business grow and I know that there are even greater things coming up for them and their North Carolina grown company. 

We had our second game of the season on Saturday. Luckily kickoff wasn't until 6:00, so the tailgate lots didn't open until 1:00. Getting to sleep in a bit and fitting in a workout made for a nice start to our long day.  We luckily park under some giant trees in our lot, so with that and our tents, we were pretty covered from the sun. We're also loving our new seats. We're now on the home side and by the time we got into the game at 6, our seats were already shady! 

Food table set up - I've been getting tons of compliments on my new banner!

The mini chicken & waffles didn't last long and are so easy to make

The boys played an epic game of giant jenga. Everyone walking by kept stopping to watch them.

Love this action shot of it falling down that Katie caught.

We have an away game next week before two more home games. Unless it rains, Brandon and I are planning another hike at Umstead. We had such a great time and are looking forward to many more hikes as the weather gets cooler (on away game weeks of course). 

Did y'all do anything fun this weekend? I'd love to hear all about it!


Friday Five

Friday, September 5, 2014

Even though my girls Caroline and April haven't started back with their Friday Five link up, I figured it would be fun to get back into the swing of things since fall is officially here (even though the weather seems to disagree).

I figured first up I would give a little update on our first month living with the Envelope System. Brandon and I are both really enjoying the tighter budget. We're both very numbers driven people and to see the dollars in our savings account slowly inch higher makes us both super happy and motivated. It also helps us feel like we're finally making progress on that 20% house down payment. 

I bought a coupon organzier off etsy to keep all of our cash in. I like that it has the dividers and the tabs for you to label each section. The coupon organizer was a lot cheaper than the specific envelope system wallets I found on etsy at $13.75 (now only $13.00). Dave Ramsey has a bunch of envelope wallet options on his website, but they're vinyl and more like a real wallet and I didn't want to replace the one I carry all the time. We leave our envelope organizer at home and get cash out whenever we need something specific. The only time we take it with us is when we do our weekly grocery shopping because we might need cash out of our food and household budget. My only complaint about the organizer we have is that the loose change falls out (which makes sense because it's not designed for that), but otherwise I really like it. We also now keep all of our receipts for everything which is something we didn't do before.

We split our "envelopes" into the following categories:
-Auto Care (car washes, inspections, etc)
-Clothing (necessities, not a cute new top)
-Blow Money (we each have our own and we can spend it on whatever we want)
-Gifts (birthdays, weddings, etc.)
-Date Night

Using my "blow money," I bought the cutest top at J.Crew. I'd wanted it for a while and was able to score it on sale plus an additional 40% off! I had a gift card too, so I only ended up spending $18 on it. It's super cute and I'm actually wearing it today! I sized down one size, but could have probably sized down one more.
I'm so excited to have grabbed one of Emily Ley's Simplified Planners! I was sad that I missed the boat last year and made sure to order mine for 2015 as soon as they went on sale. I already received shipping confirmation and it'll be delivered tomorrow! I wish I didn't have to wait until January to start using it!

I'm semi-obsessed with this ring stack by considerthewldflowrs. I especially love the two round rings in the middle. They're rose gold and the band they sit on is yellow gold. Added to the wishlist.

I'm sure everyone by now has seen the Food Babe's post on PSLs. It's pretty upsetting, but more for the fact that it removed me from my blissful state of unawares than actually being surprised. It's definitely going to make me limit my frequency, but to say I'm not going to drink them at all any more would be a total lie. Everything in moderation, right?

We have a home game tomorrow against Old Dominion. Hopefully the team plays a little better than they did last time. It's going to be hot again, but kickoff isn't until 6:00, so we at least won't have the sun beating down on us in the game. Fingers crossed that we don't get the thunderstorms they're predicting! I hope y'all have a wonderful and relaxing weekend!


Labor Day Weekend Recap

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Of course now that we're past Labor Day and officially heading towards fall, I was almost ready for a little more summer. That is of course, until the 90 degree weather this week. Gross. North Carolina is seriously confused. We celebrated the end of summer with our first football game of the season and a spontaneous beach trip. We may have barely scraped by with a win on the football field, but we definitely won the tailgate (and that's what really matters, right?).

I took some pictures of our set up on my real camera, but those of course are still on my camera. I was super happy with how the banner turned out (you can see it behind Brandon and me in the first photo), and might make another one at some point.

Brandon and his twinnie cupcake

I'm pretty sure around this point is when Brandon scraped up his shorts. Boo.

The game was soooo stinkin' hot. Can we not schedule a 12:30 game in August ever again? Normally people leave the stadium because we're terrible, but this time it was because it was so hot that you physically couldn't take the heat. Luckily this week's game isn't until 6:00 and we have tents and tree shade for our tailgate. Doeren also seems to have learned his lesson and didn't complain about the fans leaving the stands during the game.

Sunday we headed down to Atlantic Beach with Peter and another friend as a spur of the moment trip. We had such a great time down there. We hung out on the beach (while the boys consumed lots of alcohol) and had an all around relaxing time. I got a little burned on Sunday, but overall, it was totally worth it. You can't go too wrong with your toes in the sand and your head in a book.

Drinks at the Arendell Room


Weekend Recap

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Friday nights we normally take it easy because we're both worn out after a long week. This past Friday we rented Divergent from Redbox (love a cheap movie rental!). I actually liked it even more than I thought I would and am looking forward to the next installment. It was really well made and the actors were fantastic.

Brandon and I have talked about hiking at Umstead for years now and we finally went this past Saturday. It was so fun and we're already planning another trip for our next free Saturday. We did the 5.8 mile trail this time, but Brandon wants to try out the 7.2 mile one next time. 

Glad we didn't go tubing down this river!

We had some money left over from our weekly food budget, so we ate at Burger Fi after our hike. We love their food and the fact that they use all natural ingredients with no hormones or antibiotics. Their prices are also really reasonable compared to a lot of other restaurants (especially the ones that use good, fresh ingredients!). 

This past Sunday was the last sermon in our summer long series, "Press Pause." They closed with "Press Pause and Bless." Lisa was back from a few weeks of vacation and you could tell she was feeling revitalized. This week's sermon could have also been "Press Pause and Laugh" because she had all of us laughing along with her. She has such an amazing presence and has truly found her calling. I still can't get over how amazing all of our minsters are. It's a true blessing to get to hear Ned, Will, Justin, and Lisa preach every Sunday. I can't wait to see what the next sermon series is going to be because this one was the best yet. If you want to hear any of the past sermons, just go here.

I hope everyone has had a great week so far! We had a new assistant start at work this week and it's been great having another person on our marketing/broker assistant team! Now we're all just waiting for our move to the new office (T-minus 37 days - *hopefully*).


Weekend Recap

Monday, August 18, 2014

Goodness gracious, y'all. I feel like I've been going nonstop for the past four days. Even this morning at work has been insane. I guess everyone's finally realizing that summer is almost over and they're getting back into the swing of things. 

Friday was a super long day at work, and I'd been craving a donut ever since Furbish + The Everygirl posted a picture of them on insta two weeks ago. I called Brandon on both his office and cell phone to leave a message telling him to not come home without {sprinkle} donuts. I happily ate two on Friday and one on Saturday and I regret noooothing. They were so good. 

On Thursday and Friday nights and Saturday morning/afternoon, Brandon and I took the NC Hunter Education course. We're now able to get our hunting licenses in North Carolina. It was actually a very interesting and informative class and the guy who taught it (Leonard Rex) did a great job. I'm pretty sure that everyone in that class was looking at me and wondering what I was doing there, but whatever. 

Brandon will probably end up doing a lot more types of hunting then I'm planning on. I'm going to stick with upland hunting (dove, quail, pheasant) - plus, the accessories are way cuter and less camo. ;) 

After we finished our course we headed to Durham to visit my grandma. It's always so nice getting to visit with her. Mama and Papa watched me a lot when I was younger when we still lived in Durham and I have some of the best/happiest memories with them. I love getting to go through all of the photo albums she has. Papa loved taking photos and they have so many great pictures of when we were all growing up.

I also went through her recipe box and took photos of some of my favorite recipes that she makes. Ryan and I still need her to give us a lesson on how to make her biscuits and chicken pie. Both those things are just in her head. I would love to have some of the original copies of her recipes to frame in our kitchen.

On Sunday we went to the Gathering and then had brunch at Capital Club 16. I've been wanted to eat there for a while now. I got the roasted turkey sandwich with brie and granny smith apples and it did not disappoint. Downtown Raleigh has some amazing restaurants and they're all so unique. We're very fortunate to live in a city that values the small business owner! I can't wait to go back and try it for dinner.

We're less than two weeks away from football season and even though we're still getting our tickets and parking pass figured out, I'm so ready for it to be here! We went to Jo-Ann's yesterday after our grocery shopping and got the supplies to make the pennant banner I put on my August Goals list. I got a good way through the project yesterday and I'm loving how it's turning out! It's been a pretty easy process so far and cost less than $10 (and we have a bunch of burlap left over)!

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