Weekend in Photos: NLCS Game 1

Last week Jeremy kept hinting around about weekend plans… He told me not to get too comfortable after work on Friday and not to make any plans (except for a hair appointment I had made). Thursday evening he handed me the iPad and told me to pick out what seats I wanted for the Cardinals game on Saturday!!

Another surprise he had planned was to have my brother surprise me at our new house! My brother and I are very close and haven’t seen each other since he went back to school in August. We went out for Chinese and hung around the house watching the Royals game. It was great!

On Saturday afternoon we drove up to St. Louis, checked into our hotel, and headed to Busch. Here are a few photos we snapped…

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IMG_5935Of course, Jeremy got a hot dog!

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IMG_5943Hot chocolate was a NECESSITY.

IMG_5954We slept in Sunday morning and went to an Italian neighborhood, The Hill, for lunch. We were bummed to find that one of our favorite spots was closed, however, there was a parade! We loved seeing the Italian pride among the parade go-ers and followed the crowds to the neighborhood park where they were having a Columbus Day festival. We lucked out and found that one of our favorite restaurants had a booth and was serving their delicious Penne a la Vodka!

IMG_5946A local grocery store drove this shopping cart hot ride. It was BIG.

IMG_5947I loved the teal colored store-front of Amaghettis.

IMG_5948Gorgeous landscaping at the park.

Oh, and here’s a selfie showing off my new hair cut and color (it is actually an extreme amount of low-lights). Change is good, right?

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Thanks for reading – have a great week!

Oh, and Go Cards! And Go Royals!

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Weekend in Photos: Hillary’s Beach Wedding

I’ve been pretty quiet on WordPress lately, mainly because I’ve been busy. I am so excited to share with you my excuse!

Last Thursday, a friend and I packed our bags for Grayton Beach, Florida to witness our beautiful friend Hillary get married. This was a quick trip (we were home by Sunday evening), but was worth every single mile. Mr. and Mrs.  Reid both looked absolutely stunning on the sandy white beaches!! This was definitely a wedding and a trip to remember. Enjoy the photos!

Again, please remember… I’m no professional 🙂

 

IMG_0721The beautiful bride and me before the festivities.

IMG_0725Several of the bride and groom’s friends from Louisiana traveled to Florida for the wedding weekend!

IMG_0731My travel buddy Hannah and Hillary.

IMG_0732The bride’s parents asked my mom to make this cute Pinterest-inspired sign. 

IMG_0737Before the ceremony began. 

IMG_0740The bride’s brother and mother.

IMG_0758Hannah and me!

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IMG_0778The Groom watching his Bride walk down the aisle.

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IMG_0788She is glowing!

IMG_0792Lee giving away his daughter. Love the emotion in this shot.

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IMG_0812Gorgeous!

IMG_0816Mr. & Mrs. Dustin Reid

IMG_0826Proud parents of the bride

IMG_0857The reception was held at the beach house rented by Hillary & Dustin’s Louisianan friends.

IMG_0862Fruit infused water and tea. 

IMG_0870Hannah was a beautiful hand model. The palms wrapped in lights were our project for the morning.

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IMG_0897Love these girls! I am so glad Hannah and I were able to make the quick trip to see Hillary get married!

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IMG_0936Time to cut the cake. Notice the LSU game in the background? Hill & Dustin are true tiger fans.

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IMG_0948My favorite photo. Look at that bling!

IMG_0979The couple’s first dance was to George Strait’s “Run”.

IMG_0985Happy couple!

There were a few snapshots that didn’t make it to my computer – my camera battery died! I hope to add them to this post later.

Congrats Hillary & Dustin! I wish you a lifetime of happiness!

 

Weekend in Photos: Watermelon Festival

We took a weekend getaway to my in-laws in Arkansas to attend their annual Watermelon Festival. The hubby and I headed down south after work and spent a lazy weekend with family. We attended the festival on Saturday evening and took a couple photos at the local spring house. Enjoy!

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IMG_0180Yes, he cupped water into his hands and took a gulp! Not me!

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We had a great weekend and caught up on our rest! I took two naps yesterday – after sleeping in until 10 a.m. – I must have been tired.

House update: The Realtor text me on Friday evening while we were traveling to tell me that he spoke with the owner and if there is no contract on the house by this Friday, he would be happy to rent it to us. Happy dance!!! Since there are no offers on the house right now we are feeling pretty confident that everything will go smoothly. We can’t wait for this house to be our home! We talked this morning about how the picture window in the living room is the perfect place for our Christmas tree. I’m also thinking about renovations if we decided to buy the house down the road. House love is real, folks.

Other stuff: Today is our second anniversary! It seems like much longer and much shorter than two years. Isn’t it weird how that works? We spent over half of our second year of marriage living apart while J was on rotations. So crazy and really tough! But, we made it and our relationship is much stronger. We are planning to have dinner (and a stroll around the mall – hubby knows how to make me happy 🙂 ) tomorrow. This whole weight loss/exercise thing has taken over my life so much that J knew that we should wait and have our date tomorrow because tonight is Zumba. How funny! (Plus, we need to spend this evening catching up on laundry, etc. after being gone all weekend.)

I ate ridiculously bad this weekend – I’m talking chips and dip, cheesecake, biscuits and gravy… and need to make up for it with healthy eating this week. Here’s to another week and embarking on our third year of marriage. Cheers!

Day-by-Day Vacation Recap (and lots of photos)

Good morning to you! I’m back at work and dreaming of the 6 consecutive days that I slept in. It was GLORIOUS. I’ve been thinking about the best way to blog about our trip, and I think the chronological path is the way to go. With that being said, let’s dive in…

(Please keep in mind that I am no photographer, and you’re getting a mix of iPhone and camera images. It may take time for all photos to load.)

TUESDAY
We began our trip to Charlotte, NC on Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. My goal was to be on the road by 4, but of course things never go as planned. And, since it was a trip designed for relaxation I tried to not let it bother me. There was a good reason for our delayed departure (hopefully I can post those details later), but regardless, we were so excited to start our trip!

We stopped for gas and a bite to eat for the hubby and set off toward Charlotte. Our goal was to drive as far as we could on Tuesday. Once we crossed into Kentucky we were feeling sleepy. We passed through Paducah on accident and I knew there were nearby exits so it was NBD. Wrong! It was a big deal. We drove two more hours because all the decent hotels were booked. Ridiculous!

We ended up staying the night in Clarksville, TN and were back on the road just before lunch on Wednesday.

WEDNESDAY
Wednesday was a beautiful driving day. We had patches of sun, clouds, rain, rainbows… we had it all! The Smoky Mountains were gorgeously green and the rivers and lakes we passed over were beautiful. We crossed over into Asheville, NC and started looking for a dinner spot.

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Because I am obsessed with On The Border, we had made a point to get Mexican at least once on our trip. We found a OTB restaurant in northern Charlotte and grabbed dinner. Then we headed to our hotel for the night.

We stayed at the Charlotte Center City Hotel Wednesday-Friday nights. Here’s where it gets interesting… Center City is basically Sheridan. There was no Center City sign or any signage inside for that matter. Also, they are building an adjoining hotel, Le Meridan, next to the Sheridan. It was all very confusing. It didn’t matter though! This was the most gorgeous hotel that I’ve ever stayed in. Fancy, fancy, fancy! The staff was polite and friendly, the modern decor was on point, and the view of downtown Charlotte was priceless.


Photo courtesy of Google Images

IMG_0114This was our view from the room. To die for!

 

THURSDAY
Jeremy attended the APTA NEXT Conference during the day and I chilled by the pool. The hotel had four cute cabanas with padded seating and little chandelliers inside! I wanted to work on my tan so I opted for a padded “bed” near the pool. The sun peeked out from the clouds here and there, but all in all it was a super relaxing day.

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I picked up Jeremy from the convention center and we headed to dinner. I spent (what seemed like) hours laying by the pool reading restaurant reviews on Yelp (check out my profile here). Jeremy left the decision to me. I chose Mama Ricotta for it’s pasta, fresh salad, and wine.

I’ll start by saying that I loved this place. The service, decor & atmosphere, prices, portions, and flavors were spot on! We each had wine, the goat cheese and mascarpone with marinara app, the family portion of the rigatoni bolognese, and the family size Mama’s salad. It was delicioso! The appetizer was different, cheesy and tomato-y. The salad was incredibly fresh and packed full of veggies and olives. We had the house dressing which was a sweet, creamy vinaigrette. The entree was a huge portion of wide rigatoni covered in their homemade bolognese. So yummy! We had it topped with two healthy dollops of hand-packed ricotta for an extra charge (totally worth it). There definitely was not room for dessert!

IMG_0113Sorry about the photo. I didn’t want to get glares for using flash photography in the restaurant!

We grabbed a glass of wine from the hotel bar and went up to our room to enjoy Game 4 of the NBA Finals. It was the perfect evening!

FRIDAY
Another pool day for me! I also spent a large amount of the day watching TV. No shame!

When Jeremy finished at the conference we met up with two of his classmates from college for a local brewery tour and dinner. Here’s a photo of Jeremy and the Meyer’s presenting their research at the conference.

presentationThe Meyers, and Jeremy presenting their research.

IMG_0115He’s not a fan of selfies.

NoDa is a local brewery in the North Davidson district of Charlotte. The tap room at the brewery was bustling with people of all ages, and dogs. Several dogs. Weird. We each grabbed a beer, met up with the Meyers, and lined up for the tour. I had high hopes for the tour that were cut short by expansion construction. We literally stood in the same spot in a smoking hot room learning about how beer is made. I appreciated learning about the process but DAMN, it was hot! When we returned to the tap room I started asking the locals for restaurant recommendations. We were hungry for a burger and heard that Cow Bell was the place to go.

Photo courtesy of Google Images.

This downtown eatery had funky interior decor that I could have stared at during our entire meal. I snapped a photo because we would be eating out on the patio since we didn’t have reservations. I ordered a turkey burger with avocado, yummy garlic aioli, bacon, and more! Jeremy went with a spicy meat burger and loved his meal just as much as I loved mine.

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After dinner, we went back to the hotel to relax and experiment with some of the therapy tools Jeremy purchased at the conference. (I suffer from headaches that are sourced from my neck and shoulders. Jeremy picked up two CranioCradles that should be helpful when he is not home to do manual therapy on my neck.)

SATURDAY
Jeremy spent the final day of the conference learning about dry needling (ew!) and I went out on the town since we needed to be out of the hotel by noon. I spent some time researching nail salons and picked Modern Nails for a fresh Shellac manicure and pedi. There was no wait for my services and the ladies were friendly and happy to serve me! Not to mention, they were speed demons. I was trying to burn 4 hours waiting on Jeremy to finish, but these girls did not waste a second getting me in and out. They did a great job nonetheless! Lynn, my manicurist, recommended that I go shop at Southpark Mall and I did just that.

I browsed several stores and limited my purchases to a new workout outfit (motivation to get back on track) and a headband. Not too shabby since I had all that time to kill!

I picked up Jeremy from the convention center and we headed out of town, toward Charleston. The three hour drive seemed short! We decided to eat a Shem Creek Bar & Grill in Mt. Pleasant, SC (just outside of Charleston). We had a little bit of a wait for a table, but we didn’t mind. The restaurant had a dock bar and plenty of birds and boats to watch as the time passed. Not to mention, Chardonnay. It will get you through anything 🙂

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At Shem Creek, we ordered the spinach artichoke dip appetizer with bacon. It was nothing special, but it came out of the kitchen in no time, which eased our growling stomaches. I had been craving a steak, so I ordered the filet mignon. Jeremy is a seafood lover and decided on the snow crab legs boil. He was a happy camper cracking away at his legs!

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We left Shem Creek and headed to our hotel in Mt. Pleasant for a night of relaxation. We were upgraded to a King Suite and took advantage of the huge jacuzzi tub!

SUNDAY
Beach day – finally! We ate a delicious and entertaining breakfast at the hotel before heading out to the sand and surf. The ladies working the breakfast bar were comical and truly loved serving the guests. I would compare one of the ladies to a very soulful and boisterous Aunt Jemima!

We drove to Isle of Palms, SC and found a public beach. We parked and trekked out to the water. The beach was busy, but not too packed. We set up our towels and began soaking up the sun. We adventured into the water several times to cool off. The water was warm and refreshing each time we took a dip. The sand was light colored, but not white, and was perfectly fine and almost powdery. Not rough at all! One thing I did appreciate about this beach was the lack of seashells. Those boogers can be sharp on your feet!

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We spent a few hours on the beach before we decided to grab an ice cream cone and head to Charleston. I wanted to see a few of the sights and grab a quick dinner before we started our trek back to Missouri.

Pizza sounded good to both of us. Trusty Google pointed us in the direction of D’Allesandro’s Pizza (or simply D’Als Pizza) in Charleston. We walked into a loud, eclectic pizza restaurant with a college vibe. We ordered two 10-inch pizzas with salads and were totally pleased with the unique menu and choices. We recommend the Get Gnarly and Public Educator. Yum yum!

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IMG_0128The Public Educator: Red Sauce, Cheeses, Roasted Red Pepper, Goat Cheese, Sausage.

IMG_0129Get Gnarly: A take on a white pizza, with garlic base, cheeses, spinach, balsamic chicken, etc.

We drove the coastal road and up and down a few of the streets in Battery Park so I could see the sights. I was dying to take a carriage tour, but we just did not have time.

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The open road was calling our name again. We set a goal to make it to Atlanta and that’ s just what we did. We stayed in Douglasville, GA for the night and dined on some Popeyes fried chicken in our hotel room. We were both exhausted from our day in the sun and fell asleep super fast.

IMG_0130Eating fried chicken in bed, check that off the bucket list!

MONDAY
We had a big day of driving ahead and started at 8:30 a.m. (even though we planned to be on the road by 7 a.m., oops!).

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Our drive seemed to go by rather quickly and we looked forward to stopping in Memphis for a BBQ lunch. I did a little research and picked out a Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives spot near Graceland for our lunch. Marlowe’s was decked out in Elvis memorabilia, including records on the walls, photos galore, Viva Las Vegas playing on the wall-mounted TVs, and Elvis music blaring from the speakers. It was a true Memphis experience!

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We ordered our food and were served full plates of BBQ in no time. I had the BBQ pork sandwich, with beans and fried okra. Jeremy ordered beef brisket and pork ribs with sides of fries and okra. This food was good. Really good. The best thing I ate were Jeremy’s ribs. They were easily the best tasting ribs I have ever had! The meat was perfectly smokey and the combo of the rub and sauce were just enough, not too much. We would definitely recommend Marlowe’s to anyone passing through or visiting Memphis. They even offer free shuttle service to local hotels in their pink Cadillacs! How cool is that?

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The rest of our drive went fairly quickly and we made it home by 8 p.m. We managed to keep our luggage, snacks, and bags pretty organized so unpacking the car was a breeze.

It is crazy to think that we have traveled so much in our second year of marriage – mostly due to Jeremy’s clinical rotations – but we are so lucky to have the experiences. We are already talking about when and where we can take our next adventure.

If you’ve made it this far down in the post, congratulations! I know it’s a long one. Thanks for sticking with me! Feel free to comment below and give us some ideas on where to travel next!

 

Weekend in Photos: Arkansas Trip

It’s Wednesday night and I’m just now getting to my Weekend in Photos post… eeek! I took Monday off work so that we would have some extra time to celebrate our youngest sister’s high school graduation in Arkansas. We drove to my in-laws on Friday evening after work and came home around lunch time on Monday. Morgan’s graduation from Cave City High School was the highlight of our trip.

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Morgan will be attending UACCB this fall, with plans to become a teacher!

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IMG_0347Congratulations Class of 2014!

IMG_0359Morgan and her big brother

IMG_0369Proud brother and sister

IMG_0367Our Arkansas Family!

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IMG_0379Loved the long weekend with my hubby!

Jeremy’s parents raise several different breeds of dogs and we always meet a new litter of puppies each time we visit. Meet the newest Graddy: Walter. Isn’t he precious? If I remember correctly, he is a black and tan hound.

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I also took a photo of the nearest horse. This little guy is unnamed. I don’t think they’ve had him for long.

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I loved taking photos of the animals and trying different settings on my new camera. Animals can be fantastic subjects. Walter was like a puppy model. He sat perfectly still for me!

On our way home Monday afternoon we stopped at Mammoth Spring State Park to stretch our legs and take a few photos.

IMG_0396Jeremy’s standing in front of the basin of the natural spring. It is 70 feet deep at its deepest point. I was curious about the crystal blue water. Jeremy said the color may be because it is so cold. Signage reminded us that just because the water appears pure and clear does not mean that it should be consumed! Water picks up harmful chemicals and toxins as it settles into the Earth.

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IMG_0411We learned that it is much more difficult to take a selfie with a heavy DSLR camera compared to an iPhone. I had to get a photo of us in front of these teal shutters. Loving everything teal/turquoise/aqua right now!

That’s it folks. On the docket for apartment136 this week, I’ll have my Weight Watchers update post on Friday (we’ll see how I fared after eating ridiculously unhealthy in AR). Next week I’ll have lots of photos to share from Jeremy’s graduation and graduation party on Saturday.

Thanks for reading!

Weekend in Photos: WW & W

Happy Sunday! I just returned from my 2nd trip to Wichita, unpacked, and am settling down for the night. I thought I would type up a quick post about our weekend highlights.

As you may have guessed, one of the W’s in the title of this post represents Wichita. Jeremy finished his first week at his new rotation and I drove out west after work on Friday to visit.

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Don’t travel west unless you have a great pair of sunglasses. The sun is killer!

The other set of W’s stands for Weight Watchers. I started Weight Watchers online with Sydney on Friday. I am so excited about this new adventure and am hopeful that it will bring some serious changes. I plan on doing some weekly updates and will share tasty recipes. More on this later…

Jeremy and I were ridiculously happy to see each other on Friday! Being together all the time for a couple months had spoiled us big time and to be honest, this first week apart was hard. When I got to Wichita Friday evening we made dinner in his hotel room and enjoyed TV and laughs! I made a 12 pointsplus dinner: Chicken breast, brown rice, and seasoned frozen veggies. Yum! We both loved it.

On Saturday, we slept in and had a late brunch. I had fresh fruit because it’s 0 points! Whoop whoop! Jeremy studied for a few hours while I caught up on Project Runway and some of my favorite YouTube beauty channels. We headed out for dinner at Olive Garden. You’re probably thinking that I’m crazy for going to carb-heaven one day after starting a new eating plan. That’s where the Weight Watchers app comes in to play. It’s loaded with restaurant menu listing with points values. Super helpful and helped guide my meal. I had Lasagna primavera, with salad and a couple breadsticks! I was ridiculously full. We spent the evening catching up and watching episode after episode of Modern Family.

We made a trip to Starbucks to start our Sunday. I had a tall Skinny Caramel Macchiato and it was delicious and totally worth 3 points! I don’t think I’ll ever go back to just have a regular caramel macchiato because I liked the skinny version so much better. We took a trip to Wichita State, where we happened upon the Original Pizza Hut! How cool is that?

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It was a super windy day, hence the hood!

We finished this weekend’s Wichita adventure at On The Border, a chain Tex-Mex joint. I hadn’t been to one in years and holy moly it was just as tasty as I remember! Again, the WW app had all the info I needed to order a points-friendly meal. I chose the lunch portion of the grilled chicken fajitas, but didn’t use tortillas. There was one problem, I did indulge in chips and salsa… for a whopping 11 points! Yikes! I planned the rest of my meals accordingly and it was totally worth it! Jeremy had never been to OTB and he really enjoyed his meal!

It was another tearful Sunday afternoon goodbye as I left for Missouri. Next weekend, my husband will come to me! However, he’s leaving for Brazil on Saturday. More details on that later!

Random Thoughts/The Week Ahead:

  • Let me know if you’re interested in hearing even more about WW. I don’t want to over-post about it! This evening I’m going to pour through the app and add items to the built in grocery list. I’m heading to the store tomorrow to pick out the ammo I need to kill it this week 🙂
  • Our friends Kelsey and Andrew welcomed little Bryson into the world last week. For her shower gift, I told Kelsey I would paint a sign with Bryson’s birth stats to hang in his nursery. I’m going to start that project this week. Look for a tutorial post later.
  • I ended up ordering 9 more Coastal Scents eyeshadows when they were on sale for 99 cents a piece! I’m dying for those to be shipped. I can’t remember what colors I ordered, so it will be a surprise opening the package. Look for a swatches post. Can’t wait!

As always, thanks for reading!