25 July 2013

Checking In

Greetings from 66 degrees-in-July Vermont!  I didn't mean to go so long without blogging, but every time I sit down to post, I just kind of stare at the screen with nothing to write.  I figure this is one of those get back in the saddle things, so I'm just going to get this first post over with and hope that inspiration follows.

So far, we are absolutely loving it here.  Minus the nonstop rain our first week here and the less-than-ideal conditions of our temporary rental, everything has been wonderful.  We've met wonderful new friends, started a running list of restaurants to try and checked several off the list, and enjoyed our unbelievably beautiful new city's weather.

I'm still searching for a job and I'm about to hit my breaking point. I have my third interview today with one company and a phone interview with a different company today.  I have every possible extremity crossed in the hopes that one of these will pan out and I can actually make some money.  I quickly learned I am not cut out for the ladies who lunch lifestyle.  The first week of not having to work was pretty fun.  Sleeping in, baking cookies, running errands whenever it suited me...all very enjoyable.  But not I'm just bored.

The dogs are settling in nicely.  Honestly, they're doing better than we expected. Ozzie is still...Ozzie, but his anxiety attacks haven't been anywhere as severe as I had prepared myself for. Jake is a champ...he's fine as long as he has his bed and food dish.

I'm hoping to ease back in to some regular posting if I can get my act together. As crappy as our temporary living arragements have been, our neighborhood is a dream come true and I'd love to share some pictures of the adorable houses that we drool over on our nightly walks.  That said, M has to have outpatient surgery on Monday, so I will be playing nurse most of next week.

I promise I'm still here and still reading.  Stick with me!

24 June 2013


Hola! It's been awhile since I checked in.  Things are absolutely bonkers around here right now.  Today begins my last day of work at my current job. Which is mild-moderately terrifying since I'm still searching for employment in Vermont. {If you have any connections in Burlington, feel free to send them my way.}  One week from today I will be waking up in a different state where we LIVE. Crazy talk.

We have lined up two places to live. Because we really love drama, we are moving into a temporary home on July 1 and then again on August 15 into our permanent residence. Which means for 6 weeks, we'll be living out of like 3 boxes. Very exciting. I love our permanent place...at least, what I've seen of it in pictures since I haven't actually been.  It looks like the neighborhood and location will be a great fit for us and it's a similar layout to our current house.  Now if we can just find someone to rent our current place so we can get out of our lease...
I've been such an emotional basketcase the past few weeks that I'm wondering if this is what pregnancy hormones will be like.  I'm all over the place. Really hyperactive and happy and packing and dreaming of nesting one minute, overwhelmed, stressed, and crying hysterically the next.  Last Monday I have a cry session the likes of which haven't been seen since my toddler days. And I'm an ugly crier. No bueno.  I really am tickled to bits about our move, but heaven forbid I mention that there's anything I'm stressed/scared/worried about and everyone I know is like, "But you wanted this!"  Yes...yes, I did. And I'm thrilled that it's happening. And I know it's all going to be worth it in the end. But just because we pursued this doesn't make a 600-mile move in 3 weeks any less stressful.  So please everyone...just let me have my pity party cake and cry over it too.  K?
Mainly I'm just getting emotional at leaving Virginia. I have never left. Ever. All of my life is here. My family has been here for generations. We're talking back to George Washington's time. Virginia is in my blood.  I grew up here, I've experienced all of my joys and losses here.  All of my firsts and lasts have been here. I graduated from high school and college here. I had my first "grown-up" apartment here and I adopted both of my sweet dogs here. I met, fell in love with, and married my husband here and we started our life together here.  My entire being, who I am and everything that has shaped me, is inextricably linked to Virginia. I know we'll be back. And it's not as though we're moving that far away; we're in the same timezone and just a quick flight home.  And I have never thought of myself as someone who was afraid to be far some home. I'm still not afraid...I'm just sad. I feel like I'm leaving a large part of myself behind.  It truly is the closing of a chapter of my life, in a way that feels more tangible and permanent and defined than any other chapters.
But with all of that said, I can't wait. We are so excited to just go somewhere as us and, in a way, start our life together all over again.  Away from where we grew up and met and had all of these experiences. It's a chance to redefine our marriage, our careers, and ourselves. What an adventure that will be.  
I don't plan to post again until we've made the move. I want to enjoy every last second in Virginia and then there's that business of never-ending packing.  Enjoy your week and see you in Vermont!

11 June 2013

Third Time's A Charm

Yes, that's right, we're moving again! For the third time since our engagement. {The fourth time if you count the fact that we moved in together 2 weeks before M proposed.}

I haven't made it much of a secret that we've been pretty unhappy with our living situation for the past 2 years. We knew that if an opportunity presented itself this summer, we had to jump on it and go. As it happens, just such an opportunity presented itself a few days ago in the form of an incredible job offer for M.  So in a little less than 4 weeks, we'll be driving our dogs and all of our worldly possessions to Vermont.  I'm becoming a Yankee!  After our somewhat nomadic lifestyle over the past couple of years {4 moves in 2.5 years}, we are looking forward to putting down roots in New England.

I am a bundle of nerves right now. I'm excited and scared and stressed and happy and stressed and nervous and stressed.  Did I mention stressed? Coordinating a 600-mile move on 3 weeks' notice to a place I've never set foot in is causing me to consume a lot of Tums. It will absolutely all be worth it and we're lucky to have friends and family connections in the area, but woof. Throw in the 100+ pounds of neurotic coonhounds who will be moving with us and I am a bonafide mess.

Things I Am Excited About:
*Christmas in Vermont {Hello..."White Christmas" is only one of my all-time FAVORITE movies.}
*Fall in Vermont. Duh.
*Summer in Vermont. Goodbye Southern heat and humidity. Won't miss you at all.  Except in months November-May.
*Proximity to Canada. No, seriously. I have never been. And we will be 90 minutes from Montreal. So basically 90 minutes from France Lite. Just go with it.
*Proximity to Boston. 3 hours from many dear friends and one of my favorite cities. Yay!
*Proximity to seriously amazing skiing. Can't wait to hit the slopes.
*J. Crew, Trader Joe's, Williams-Sonoma, and TONS of adorable little locally-owned shops and restaurants. {I realize I've probably just committed a major Vermont sin by listing large corporations as a reason I'm excited to move there.}
*Being the most conservative person in political conversations for once.
*Finally justification for my obsession with coats.
*Living in a fun city with lots to do and lots of people our age. I am going to go on a friend binge. I can't wait.

Things I Am Nervous About:
*I have never lived outside of the state of Virginia, let alone outside of the South.
*I have never lived more than 3 hours away from my parents.
*Winter in Vermont. I am terrified.
*Our heating bill. See above.
*Lack of Duke's mayonnaise.
*Lack of "y'all" in the vocabulary.
*Moving somewhere I have never been and renting a house I have never seen. All the makings of a potential disaster, or at the very least, an interesting living situation for the next year.
*Finding gainful employment. Vermont has a rather small economy and people hold on to full-time jobs with both hands.
*Money. As if I wasn't already nervous about that, we're moving to a place with a higher cost of living.
*ALL THE CHEESE. {I don't do moderation very well.}

The positives far outweigh the negatives and we are both over-the-moon excited. I've promised the dogs that Mummy will buy them some snow boots and jackets and they're not so sure about the whole thing, but I promised them there would also be dog treats, so they're on board. This will be an exciting adventure for us and a place to start over after a challenging couple of years.

Native New Englanders, any advice on what cold-weather gear I should start stockpiling now?

07 June 2013

Friday Favorites Lite

It's been light on the blogging around here lately. We've entered the home stretch in our fiscal year at work and things are crazy. Add in M's crazy schedule this time of year and I'm lucky to stay on top of the laundry.  In lieu of anything more substantial {or as substantial as my usual FF posts about clothes and decadent food treats are}, here is my current favorite commercial. I dare you not to smile.

Happy weekend, everyone!

06 June 2013

Budget Bride


I've come to the decision to sell my wedding dress.  I've gone back and forth about whether or not I want to keep it for sentimental reasons, but it just seems like a pain in the ass to have to move it with us wherever we go in life on the off chance that a} we have a daughter{s} and b} said daughter{s} would even want to wear my dress.  If we do have a daughter who wants to wear a family dress, we still have my mom's dress, which is beautiful.  So that solves that problem.

So if you know a bride-to-be who's in the market for a wedding dress for less than $1k, please share, tweet, email this info!  The link to the Once Wed posting can be found here, but here are some additional pictures and information:

Designer: Manuel Mota for Pronovias
Purchased at Betsy Robinson Bridal in Baltimore, MD
Purchase price: $1910 + alterations
Asking price: $975 + S/H
PayPal Only
The dress came with optional straps, which I used and had sewn in, but they can be removed to make the dress strapless.
Dress size is 8, altered to fit a street size 2/4.  I am 5'2"; it was hemmed to fit 5'6" with heels. 
The dress has been professionally dry cleaned.  There is some faint staining along the bottom of the dress and underside of the train, but it is only noticeable upon close inspection.  

Please send this on to anyone you think may be interested. 

29 May 2013

Road Trip Diet Busters

road trip tunes

Last weekend we packed up the whip {again} and headed off to North Carolina {again} for a long weekend at Topsail Island with my parents and my sister.

We're big on squeezing every last minute of fun out of any trip, even one as short as this one, so we elected to make a stop at Wilber's Barbecue in Goldsboro on the way to the beach.
 One thing you should know about us: we are really into BBQ. And I mean real BBQ. M doesn't really discriminate, but I am strictly a Carolina BBQ girl. I prefer Eastern-style, but I'll settle for Lexington-style or South Carolina if need be.  And Wilbur's is the gold standard for Eastern.

The food was, of course, AMAAAZING, but the real gem was spotting this guy...
In case you can't tell from the blurry picture, his shirt says, "Gas costs so much I can't afford to fart."

We were at the beach for exactly 48 hours, which was enough time to read both of these...
To get my mom hopelessly addicted to Candy Crush...
 To drink plenty of these...
And to enjoy this absolutely beautiful view...
We continued the tour o' delicious with a pilgrimage to Bojangles on the drive home.

Bojangles is strictly a Southern thing.  So Southern, in fact, that it {wisely} does not darken the doorstep of our locale waaaaay up in northern Virginia. So when we see a Bojangles, we pull over.  There were cajun filet sandwiches and seasoned fries had by all.  The only thing preventing Bojangles from achieving fast food nirvana is the fact that they carry Pepsi products. Disgusting. We are Coke people.

Needless to say, we arrived home late Monday night, exhausted and full of sodium,  but happy and relaxed.

How was your Memorial Day weekend?

28 May 2013

Menu Tuesday

Only two new recipes from last week.  Our other dinners were leftover BBQ from my sister's graduation party and cleaning out the fridge/freezer/pantry of leftovers and random ingredients before we left for our long weekend at the beach.  Enjoy!

ZOMGGGGG SO GOOOOOOOD. I didn't change a thing, although it may be worth noting that I used our favorite whole wheat tortillas and it was still AMAZZZZZING. I am a cheese freak and didn't miss the dairy in these at all. Can't wait to make them again!

Mushroom and Maple-Smoked Cheddar Quiche {made up by moi, inspired by Elefantitas Alegres and Jenny Steffens Hobick}
I took Jenny's idea of a mushroom and cheddar quiche and used Kate's formula of a Wholly Wholesome whole wheat pie crust, 3 whole eggs + 2 egg whites, 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, and cheese measurements. Et voila! I used Cabot Seriously Sharp cheddar in the quiche, along with a package of sliced cremini mushrooms and a handful of chopped scallions.  I topped it with some maple-smoked cheddar.  One thing I should have done was sauté the mushrooms first. When they cooked in the oven, they gave off a lot of water and make the crust kind of mushy. Still tasty! 

Bon appétit