Tuesday, April 30, 2013

101 Things in 1,001 Days

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 1,001 days (well, really 1,003, but who’s counting) since I started my original 101 Things project!  I have to admit that I didn’t come anywhere close to finishing all the items on the list.  Some just weren’t financially feasible, some weren’t feasible because of time constraints, and some I just changed my mind about.  I decided to start a new list that begins tomorrow, May 1, 2013.  This list will be complete on January 26, 2016.  You’ll see that this list is a little on the short side…however, I fully intend to get to 101 items.  I just want to make sure that I include things that really interest me and not just adding items to get to 101!  If anyone is interested in helping/joining me on any of these, please let me know!  I’m always up for partners-in-crime!
  1. Arrive at work on time everyday for a month.
  2. Exercise 3 times per week for 2 months.
  3. Visit the Hermitage.
  4. Make a "cookbook" with all of my favorite recipes.
  5. Add 3 more states to my "states I have visited" list.
  6. Frame my diplomas and hang in my office.
  7. Frame my CPA certificate and hang in my office.
  8. Find a church in Nashville that I LOVE.
  9. Serve a meal to the homeless.
  10. Go watch a movie at a Drive-In Theater.
  11. Learn to make homemade ice cream from my mother.
  12. Fill up my Pandora bracelet with charms.
  13. Save a pretty hefty down payment for our house.
  14. Either rent or sale Patrick’s house (that we are currently living in).
  15. Buy a new house!
  16. Give up caffeine for a week.
  17. Go on a NashTrash Tour.
  18. Take a 1-week Facebook sabbatical.
  19. Teach Zoey to "Say the Blessing."
  20. Visit Cades Cove again.
  21. Take a hike in the Smoky Mountains.
  22. Move my old college textbooks out of my parent’s basement.
  23. Refinish my Grandmother's cedar chest.
  24. Go horseback riding again.
  25. Visit the Frist.
  26. Have some wedding pictures printed and framed.
  27. Complete the Provisional Year of the Nashville Junior League.
  28. Have a baby.
  29. Buy a new car.
  30. Have my wedding dress preserved.
  31. Make a “yearbook” for our 1st anniversary.
  32. Make a “yearbook” for our 2nd anniversary.
  33. Make a “yearbook” for our 3rd anniversary.
  34. Change my name on all important documents (i.e. bank accounts, credit cards, passport, etc.)
  35. Buy dining room furniture for our house when we buy one.
  36. Get to my goal weight.
  37. Finish decorating our outdoor seating area.
  38. Organize our spare bedroom.
  39. Organize our garage.
  40. Assemble and ride the bike Patrick got me for Christmas 2012.
  41. Create a Home Management Binder to help Patrick and I with organization.
  42. Create an Emergency Binder with all of our important documents.
  43. Create an Owner’s Manual Binder so they are all in one place.
  44. Read The Upper Room devotional every day for a month, without missing a day.
  45. Pay for someone’s meal in a fast food drive-thru.
  46. Complete all long runs in training for a half marathon.
  47. Run another half marathon.
  48. Spend a day not looking at my To Do List!
  49. See Rock City.
  50. Leave the United States again.
  51. Go on a picnic.
  52. Take Patrick back to Rodizio Grill.
  53. Take a Nashville Food Tour.
  54. Take a Grand Ole Opry Backstage Tour.
  55. Visit the new Music City Center.
  56. Volunteer at Second Harvest Foodbank.
  57. Eat dinner at The Sushi Train.
  58. Eat a meal at Bobbie’s Dairy Dip.
  59. Pretend to be in my 20s again and head out to The Stage.
  60. Have our letter from President and Mrs. Obama framed.
  61. Do something cute with all our wedding cards.
  62. Host a Bridesmaids' Reunion to get my girls back together again.
  63. Attend a Justin Timberlake Concert.
  64. Take a girls' trip.
  65. Take a Mother/Daughter trip.
  66. Take a photography course...not a "class" but a "course."
  67. Visit Circle G Ranch in my hometown of Strawberry Plains, TN.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekend Update!

Despite being exhausted and having no energy, this turned out to be a really great weekend!  Friday night Patrick and I just hung out at home and had take out.  I had to get to bed early because on Saturday, I was up EARLY to volunteer at the Mile 10 water station of the Country Music Marathon.  As I left the house that morning, it was pouring rain, and I’ll be honest, it didn’t really let up the ENTIRE time.  Fortunately for us, we were under a bridge most of the time.  I felt so bad for the runners; by the time they waited in the rain for 30 minutes or more for the race to start, and then ran 10 miles, they were soooooo drenched.  However, despite how wet and tired each of these runners had to have been, I was amazed at how many thanked us for coming out and volunteering.  How nice is that? 

Kat and Me before the runners started keeping us busy:

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All the water stacked up and ready to hand out:

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This guy was the leader at the time he came through Mile 10…so fast!

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After I finished volunteering, I took my cold, tired self home to thaw out…it was perfect weather for just laying around and watching TV.  Later that afternoon, Patrick and I ran to the grocery store, then out to dinner for Amber’s birthday!  I tried to take some pics at dinner but my camera died, and I only got one:


On Sunday, Patrick made me breakfast, then I went to see The Big Wedding with Alysia.  We had a fun time!  After running a few other errands, I headed home to cook dinner.  We also put together our new patio furniture!  I am so excited to have a nice area on our deck to relax at the end of the day.  I’m not showing the space until it’s completely finished, but here is what we bought!  I love World Market!


That was it for my weekend…guess it’s back to work I go this morning…only 5 more days until we start it all over again!  Have a great week ladies!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

OOTD–Charleston Style

So, I see bloggers doing OOTD (Outfit of the Day) posts all the time.  And since I am really working on doing more mixing and matching in my wardrobe (especially this time of year when the weather is so weird), I decided to post all of my “outfits” during our Charleston trip.  Here goes nothing…

Thursday Evening -- Dinner, Drinks, and General Sight Seeing in Downtown Charleston

  • Colorblock Dress and black ballet flats – White House Black Market
  • Purse – Coach (circa 2007)
  • Sunglasses – Ralph by Ralph LaurenDSCN4988

Friday Daytime – General sightseeing in downtown Charleston/Sullivan’s Island/Isle of Palms

  • Split-Neck Sleeveless Dress – Old Navy
  • Braided Strap Sandal – Merona via Target
  • Sunglasses -- Ralph by Ralph Lauren


Friday Evening – Dinner in Downtown Charleston

  • Sloane Colorblock Tank Dress – THML via Stitch Fix (more to come on this at a later date)
  • Braided Strap Sandal – Merona via Target
  • Purse – Coach (circa 2007)


Saturday Morning – General Sightseeing in Downtown Charelston (cold and rainy) – By dinner that night, I was able to take off the tights and rainboots and switch over to black ballet flats.  This was my least favorite outfit of the weekend, but I needed to stay warm and dry during our Photography Tour.

  • Chambray Dress – Old Navy
  • Scarf – Random boutique in Notting Hill, London
  • Black Tights – Random/Old
  • Rainboots – Dizzy via GroopDealz


There you have it!  My attempts and mixing and matching and TRYING not to overpack…

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Charleston Part III

Saturday morning was our last day in Charleston.  After getting another yummy breakfast at the restaurant in our Inn, we headed back downtown one last time for our Picture Perfect Charleston History Tour.  The premise is that our tour guide takes you on a walking tour around Charleston and during that time, she shows the best way to get great photographs of the landmarks she tells us about.  Lucky for Patrick and me, the rain and cold weather scared away everyone else on our tour and therefore, we were the only 2 people who showed up.  This, of course, made the tour extremely personalized. 

Here are a few of the landmarks/pictures she told us about.  We took many, many pictures during this tour, but I decided not to bore you with every last one.  Instead, here are my favorites.

This first pictures is one of my absolute favs!  The steeple is from St. Phillips Episcopal church.


Next up, is the Huegunot Church.


Another one of my favorites, the building on the left is call the Pink House.  Being built in 1692, it is the oldest house in all of Charleston.  It is currently for sale for $1 million, and does not have running water or electricity…yes, there is an outhouse in the backyard!  And, yes, I said ONE MILLION DOLLARS!  Let that sink in…


This building is the German Fire Station on the left and Ryan’s Slave Mart on the right.


The next couple of pics are from my most favorite landmark in Charleston…Rainbow Row.  In fact, I love it so much that my mother did a ginormous cross-stitch project of it and even had it framed for me one year for Christmas.


I’m not sure what building this one is…however, the tour guide told us that John Wesley (the founder of the Methodist Church) stayed here when he came to visit.  Being the good Methodist girl that I am, I had to take a picture to show my parents.  =)


This is nothing more than a picture of roses, but I think it’s really pretty, so I had to share.


After the tour was over, it was time to tell Charleston goodbye!  We were off to Spartanburg to visit my sister.  We arrived around 5:00, and visited with her and her boyfriend, Kevin for awhile before they took us to dinner at The Back Porch.  This was a much better dining experience than The Beacon was on our first trip through Spartanburg.  Patrick and I both got a burger, but Patrick had his with 2 pieces of meat.  Wow!  I had to get a picture of such a big feat!


We had a great time hanging out with Laura and Kevin, but after a long, long weekend, we were both exhausted.  Not long after dinner, we headed back to Laura’s apartment to get some much needed shut-eye.

On Sunday, Laura made us a very yummy homemade breakfast and then it was time to head back home.  Before we could head all the way back to Nashville though, we had to stop by my parents to pick up our sweet, sweet doggy!  She was so happy to see us and even happier that we were taking her home with us.  While visiting with my parents in their front yard, I decided to do a mini-photo session with Zoey and Peppermint.  Tell me they aren’t both adorable!


It was an amazing trip and we both agreed that Charleston is a wonderful place!  However, there is nothing better than crawling into your own bed and relaxing at the end of a long day!  It was a lot of fun, but we were both glad to be home!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Charleston Continued…

Friday was our only full day in Charleston, and you can rest assured that we did our best to fit everything in!  After eating breakfast, we headed into Charleston, found a parking spot and took a few hours to walk around and check out the city.  We first went to the Historic Charleston City Market.  This is a must see for anyone who visits Charleston, and even though I’ve been more times than I can count, it’s still fun to check out and see if there’s anything worth spending my money on!


Next up, we strolled through the Charleston Place Mall and then down King Street.  At 2:00, we had scheduled a Culinary Tour.  We started the tour at HoM Restaurant where we enjoyed the Calamari, the Dixie Flatbread, and the Green Gobble’N Turkey Burgers.  The Dixie Flatbread was delicious, but all the food was really good.  Here are a few pics:


The next stop on the tour was Sugar Bakeshop.  Here we each had a small red velvet cupcake.  It was good, but no better than The Cupcake Collection in Nashville which continues to be my favorite!  =)


After a very LOOOOONG walk to our 3rd restaurant, we ended up at Rue de Jean, a French café.  Unfortunately, I failed to take any pics at this location, but we enjoyed mussels in a garlic wine sauce and the Pommes Frites.  They were both very yummy.


The final stop on the tour was at an Italian restaurant called Osteria la Bottiglia.  This restaurant had the neatest atmosphere, in my opinion.  The food we enjoyed here was a smaller version of their braised short rib with potatoes.



Overall, the tour was very fun!  However, Patrick and I both agreed that we would have done a lot of it much differently.  For instance, we would have had dessert at the end of the tour instead of the middle.  Also, there was A LOT of walking…and while walking is usually completely fine for me, I do think it’s a bit unfortunate that we walked for probably 1 hour of a 2 and a half hour tour.  On the whole though, the food was good, and it was fun chatting with people from all over the US.

After the tour, we drove out to Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms just to take a look at the beach.  It was way too windy that day to spend a lot of time there, so instead, we decided to head back to our room to relax for a bit.  Later that evening, we decided to head back downtown to The Noisy Oyster for a late night dinner.  All I wanted during the entire trip were crab legs and boy did I get them here!  These were the best crab legs I’ve had in a long time! 


While we were eating, a huge amount of rainfall fell and actually flooded the street outside our restaurant.  In fact, we weren’t able to get into the parking lot where we parked our car because we would have had to wade in about 2 feet of water.  Thank goodness for our parking attendant because we were able to toss him our car keys and he drove the car out for us.

After a very busy day, we gladly headed back to our room to get some much needed rest.  All-in-all, it was a fun day with my favorite travel partner.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Blog Lovin’

Better late than never…I finally made the switch to Blog Lovin’. Follow me here:

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Charleston Weekend!

Hi Friends!  Patrick and I are safely back from our road trip weekend to Charleston, and other than the fact that we are exhausted, it’s nice to be home and sleeping in our own bed.  As you will see in the details below, we ate better (and more unhealthy) food than we have in a long time, and it’s back on the Weigh Watchers/workout train starting TODAY!  Here’s a litte info on the first couple of days of the trip.

Wednesday – After Patrick got off work for the week (and I got my car back from some minor maintenance that needed attention before the journey) we were off to Knoxville to visit with my parents and Sweet Zoey, who has been vacationing with my parents for the last week or so.  We stopped in Cookeville at Blue Coast Burrito (my fav “build your own burrito place”) for dinner.  Nothing too exciting here…just some good visiting with the fam. 

Thursday – After leaving Knoxville a little later than we planned, we were finally on our way to Charleston.  Our first stop for lunch, though, was in Spartanburg at a famous burger joint, the Beacon Drive In.  I’ll be honest with you…neither of us were very impressed.  The burger was just okay, and even though there were more fries and onion rings than the 2 of us could even pretend to eat, it was really just too greasy.  Also, as I told Patrick, I don’t mind eating in whole-in-the-wall run-down restaurants; however, I expect the food to be delicious at these establishments!  At this place, the food was just okay…and the place was extremely run down!  Moral of the story, it was good for Patrick to get to eat at a famous burger joint…however, next time you are driving through Spartanburg, feel free to skip this place!  We did however, get a couple of good pics!


After arriving in Charleston, we went straight to our hotel to check in.  We stayed at The Inn at I’on, a Bed and Breakfast in Mt. Pleasant (a suburb of Charleston).  If you are traveling to Charleston for a weekend, I highly recommend this B&B.  Not only was our room quaint and exactly what you would expect out of a B&B, but the included breakfast was at an amazing world renowned restaurant, the drive into downtown Charleston only took about 10 minutes, and the price was about half of the places we looked at in Charleston that weren’t nearly as nice.  Here are a few pics:


We also had a cute courtyard right outside our room:


After getting checked into our room, it was time to head downtown for some fun.  Our first stop was at Pearlz Oyster Bar for happy hour, where we enjoyed their special happy hour menu of really delicious (and reasonably priced) oysters on the half shell and homemade blue cheese chips.  Yummy!  They also had some excellent drink specials including the oyster shooters seen below.  I also had some habanero type martini drink that was really delicious, too!



Here’s a pic of my beau and I enjoying the people watching and relaxation while patiently waiting on our oysters to arrive.


Next up, we decided to take a walk over to Waterfront Park.  If you ever visit Charleston, this is a must see!  It’s so beautiful and peaceful here.  There are huge swings to relax in and the water is gorgeous!  The weather was beautiful on Thursday afternoon and even though the sun was setting when we were there, it really wasn’t even cold!

DSCN5002DSCN5005DSCN5026Panorama 1

Our next stop was to The Gin Joint, which was another happy hour place that my beau picked out.  If you haven’t noticed, he does some serious research when we take trips…This place was sort of similar to a few places here in Nashville.  However, it was still nice to sit out on the patio and have a drink.  I got my stand-by, which is a dirty martini, extra dirty.


To round out the evening, Patrick had made us reservations at a local restaurant called Cru Café.  It was such a nice dinner.  We sat out on the patio, which was beautiful, and the food was delicious.  I got the grilled shrimp and angel hair pasta with fresh mozzarella and spicy marinara, which was really yummy, and Patrick got the Thai seafood risotto with coconut milk, soy, sriracha, basil and carnaroli rice.  I dare say it, but his was even better than mine.  We rounded out the evening with their famous bread pudding, which was To. Die. For.


That rounds out days 1 and 2.  Stay tuned tomorrow for our Friday in Charleston!