Wednesday, May 25, 2016

moving down memory lane

last week after work, while stephen was at tennis practice, I spent some time packing up the apartment by myself. as I packed up, I was all of the sudden flooded with moving memories from over the years. I packed a few boxes, ate a lean cuisine, and poured myself a glass of wine. it was almost as if I were back in dallas, many years ago, packing myself up as young(er), single, twenty-something. years later, and there's still no shame in my lean cuisine + wine game.

as I gently wrapped my wine glasses, I remembered being so excited to graduate college and move to north dallas. upon graduation, I immediately bought eights sets of black stemmed martini, red wine, white wine, and champagne glasses... because every 21 year old needs enough glasses to host a small dinner party, right? HA.

I remembered the time my mom flew in a couple years later to help me move closer to the city, which included repainting my purple bedroom back to white and filling wall holes with whatever white substance we could find.

just a year later, my dad flew to dallas to help me make the big move to atlanta. I remember driving cross country in a uhaul and sneaking my cat into a hilton for the night somewhere in louisiana en route to atlanta.

time is such a funny thing. I can remember crying to my parents on the phone five years ago, being so miserable in dallas and wanting to leave my job to make a change and pursue my MBA in atlanta. I had survived my college years and a few years afterward in dallas, while my family had moved to atlanta my freshman year. I was ready to be closer to home, willing to move in with my parents and risk a complete career change and time out of the working world for my MBA. I had zero clue where it would all take me.

as I continue to pack up this apartment that I've lived in for almost three years, I can't help but get emotional. happy tears, of course. I have no idea where the last three years have gone, but they have been the best years. not only do I get to live close to my family, I met the man of my dreams and get to keep him for life, my meddlesome cat is still following behind me - ripping tape off boxes I've packed up, and I have a career that I love. while I am absolutely thrilled to move into our first home - I also have a compulsive desire to freeze time, so that nothing can change.

there's a quote from a book called the happiness project by gretchen rubin that I'll never forget (complete with a video that will make you sob)... "the days are long, but the years are short." it couldn't be more true.

Monday, May 23, 2016

georgia roadtrip: macon, the heart of georgia

we made the hour and a half trek down to macon last weekend for stephen's state tennis tournament. I am all about making use of down time and exploring so I did a little research on macon before we left, but we hadn't decided on any plans. we had a few extra hours on saturday and luckily the best of both worlds happened for us: stephen's team won their matches that day and we got to check out an antique market, a historic home, and I made a pit stop at a darling shabby chic market. can't ask for more than winning and exploring in the same weekend!

on saturday morning, we embarked for the shops of macon. stephen found it on his phone and I didn't ask questions. well, of course, we ended up at some chain store strip mall. oooops. fortunately, I spotted a sign for an antique mall just up the road so we were able to make a quick change of plans to stop at yesterday's antique market. this mom and pop market makes their own custom tables and after laying eyes on this baby below, we are considering placing an order for our dining room.

next, we stopped at the #1 rated mexican food restaurant in macon, dos amigos. let's just say the food is definitely authentic. the service was nice and the food was good, the ambiance was very unassuming and they served real mexican coke. stephen was happy!

we still had a few hours to kill before stephen's match so we hopped in the car to check out the historic hay home. with absolutely no idea what to expect, I was pleasantly impressed and surprised by this gorgeous home, pictured above. blog post coming soon... here's a sneak peek...

stephen and the team won their matches and we headed to the rookery in downtown macon for dinner. I ordered a blueberry cobbler milkshake (which is not like me) - but it was very good. we walked around the downtown streets of macon before dinner but nothing was open past 6pm. the rookery was packed and did not disappoint, the onion rings were delish!

I hit the road in the morning and made one more fun pit stop at the french market in locust grove, which turned out to be an adorable little local restaurant and market shop. all in all, our trip to macon was a pleasant weekend spent exploring the state of georgia.

Friday, May 20, 2016

moving announcements

I would like to dedicate this post to my fiancé. while we rarely disagree, this topic has been contentious. what's the hot topic might you ask? none other than... moving announcements.

I mentioned a few days ago that we are closing on our first home in a few short weeks. I've been so excited to pick our moving announcements and mail them to our family and friends, aka ensure a steady flow of christmas cards this holiday season. stephen, on the other hand, subtly suggested that I could just text our new address to our friends. ok, is this functional? yes. is this fun? no. so I went on my merry way and ordered announcements from tinyprints. stephen, if you are reading, I used a 20% off coupon. 

do you guys send moving announcements? ...any occasion for a printed card or stationery, sign me up, I love it. in case you find yourself moving on up - here are my favorite moving announcements, all of these can be found on and

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

the monogrammed dish towel

it's a great day for a sneak peek!! I've mentioned it briefly a few times lately... we are in the process of buying a home and we close on june 1st. we are nearly overwhelmed with the amount of craziness that has passed and the craziness that is still to come, from packing to moving to buying new furniture. did I mention that I have a girls' trip planned in the middle of all this? genius move on my part since it means stephen will be doing lots of moving for us by himself. don't worry, I am definitely pulling my weight with the packing.

I just so happened to receive the cutest monogrammed dish towels from marleylilly and just had to show them off in my new kitchen, even though we haven't officially moved in! hehehe... sneaky, right. for any etiquette sticklers out there, I know, I know... rules dictate not to use your married monogram until you are married. but I just couldn't bear to order these pretty towels without my new monogram. I'll take my chances :)

Monday, May 16, 2016

meatless monday: portobello tacos

a few weeks ago, I met some old coworkers at bartaco and was super impressed by the vegetarian taco lineup. typically, I order a fish taco but there were too many exciting veggie options to go with my old standby. I couldn't choose between the cauliflower and the portobello, but ultimately went with the portobello. it was impressively good and of course, I wanted to recreate the portobello taco at home!

this recipe is a mix between that bartaco portobello taco and skillet fajitas. I always used to make chicken skillet fajitas before I went vegetarian, oddly enough, I would usually only eat the vegetables anyway - the addition of portobello mushroom strips just takes it one step further. the cojita cheese (crumbly mexican cheese) is the icing on the cake! it's interesting that I've never cooked with cojita before... I can't wait to top my next batch of guacamole with a healthy dose of cojita, yummy and pretty.

Friday, May 13, 2016

a day at the dallas arboretum

spring is synonymous with brightly colored blooms. it's the time of the year that gardeners wait for year-round. one of the best places to take in the sights of spring is a botanical garden or arboretum. I'm a huge fan of the atlanta botanical garden and was thrilled to check out the dallas arboretum last weekend to shoot some engagement photos.

I went to high school in north dallas and lived in the city after college, but those days, I wasn't exactly hanging out at the gardens on the weekends. I'd been a couple times over the years but was really excited to check it out again as it's been over five years since I moved from dallas. what really struck me about the dallas arboretum was how communal the space was. everywhere I looked, there were people having picnics on the lawns of the garden. nearly half of the people were dressed up for a special occasion. tons of photography sessions were taking place. you could just feel the buzz of spring all around.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

top 10 travel toiletries

this is my first week of being home after two weeks of straight travel, from jacksonville to dallas to newark. the easiest thing about packing for me is my travel toiletry bag. I leave my clear TSA-friendly bag under my sink all ready to go at any moment and over the years of both domestic and international travel, its contents have become tried and true.

and to be honest, this post is brought to you by an extremely loud elevator at a radisson inn in freehold, new jersey.

of course, there are the practical requirements such as a spare pair of contacts and antiperspirant, which are must-haves. BUT... the number one most-used item in my travel bag is earplugs. I find myself sleeping with earplugs in most hotels because, although I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat, the sound of hotel air conditioning definitely wakes me up. and seriously, in my last hotel, the constant sound of the elevator was not unlike a steady freight train. I mean who can sleep through that? not me. so, let's get to it.