2015 New Year Resolutions!

New year, new list! Here is the official list of goals/ resolutions for 2015 May it be a fabulous year!

New Year’s Resolutions 2015
Read more books
Get my first real job
Graduate with a 4.0
Eat out less
Travel to another country
Lose weight & love my body
Make a cauliflower crust pizza
Blog more consistently
Connect with those around me
Master making that perfect cup of coffee at home
Plant an herb garden
Build/rehab a peice of furniture
Heal my knee!!!!
Spend more time outside
Organize all my important documents
Improve my photography
Compliment people more

Charlotte, NC and the Black Keys

CharlotteThis last weekend away was amazing! My husband took me to Charlotte, NC to see the Black Keys for my birthday and it couldn’t have been better. It was one last trip before my surgery and weeks of lying in bed. Also, check out my birthday bling from my lovely hubby.

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On Thursday, I took my last two finals (killed them!) before heading North to Charlotte. We got there around 6 and checked into the hotel, which was right in the heart of the city. I got all dolled up, bundled up in a scarf and hat and headed to 5Church with the hubby for my birthday dinner. It was only a few blocks away from the hotel and I had scoped it out as one of the best restaurants in downtown Charlotte.

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5Church did not disappoint! The decor was amazing and it had a hip, upscale and sexy vibe (also, we decided that you must have to be gorgeous to work there). Waaay too much money later, we were full of calamari, the best crab cakes I’ve ever had, the perfect crisp brussel sprouts, and the most delicious and intricate chocolate pretzel dessert you’ve ever seen (not to mention house lychee cocktails). Dinner was followed by live music at RiRa Irish Pub and enjoying the city.

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On Friday, T-minus 10 hours before the Black Keys, we had brunch at my favorite restaurant, the Tupelo Honey Cafe. I’d been to the location in Asheville, so I was looking forward to it. The food was fabulous as expected, I had the homemade chicken and biscuits. The rest of the morning and afternoon we just got to know the city. We checked out the parks downtown and walked up and down the streets, which are impressively immaculate. It’s truly the cleanest and most well kept city I’ve ever visited.

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Charlotte7I was widely impressed with the 7th Street Public Market. It’s a little market downtown that promotes local food and culture. You can get anything from fresh squeezed juice to wine to meats. It had a laid back and fun atmosphere. Also, it was the location of Charlotte’s famous Not Just Coffee. I’ve been super interested into coffee and the science of brewing the perfect cup (nerdy I know), and it was fascinating watching the talented baristas at Not Just Coffee. They truly know the art, not just science, of pulling the perfect shot of espresso and crafting a delicious beverage. The barista sold me on the special right away. It was called a Foggy London Town, and was espresso, house-made mocha, vanilla, steamed milk infused with earl grey and topped with a lavender dusting. I loved it so much that I went back the following morning for another. My husband ordered the house-made caramel latte, which was also fabulous.

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Charlotte3In the evening we ventured northeast of Charlotte to the popular NoDa art district. There was definitely a hipster vibe and you could tell that it’s a real up-and-coming neighborhood. We hit up Amelie’s French Bakery, which was super eclectic and delicious (though sadly, the macarons just didn’t compare to LaDuree in downtown Paris). After that we hit up the NoDa Brewing Company. They had a taproom that was open to the public from 4 to 9. We sat there and shared some pints and laughs until the concert. We also got a tour of the brewery which was interesting.IMG_5263

CONCERT TIME
The arena was less than a mile from the hotel, so we headed there around 8 when the concert started (we weren’t too interested in the opening act, St. Vincent). We did catch her show and her music isn’t my style, but she definitely did her thing. Our seats were great and we had a blast. The Black Keys are absolutely amazing in concert, even better live than recorded. Their fans are so diverse; everyone from teens to middle-aged parents love the music. We jammed out all night before heading back to the hotel and ordering pizza for dinner at 1 am. Needless to say I’ve been bitten by the concert bug and started looking up other shows for next year.
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Charlotte, you were so wonderful and have a great place in my memories.

Finals Week

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Dreaded finals week is here, and I’m not really dreading them. They stand between me and my last semester, not to mention my birthday trip to Charlotte to see the Black Keys in concert on Friday!

My birthday is this Thursday, which means free coffee (birthday rewards at both Starbucks and DDs!) and feelings of getting old. I know I’m not old, I’m still in my 20s, but I’m ready to close this in-between chapter in my life and get on with my career and focus on longterm goals.

Best x.

Thanksgiving Break

I’ve finally made it to Thanksgiving break! I’m only 1 presentation and 4 finals away from my last semester of my (second) undergrad degree!

Besides being an excellent student, I’ve been trying to get out with the dogs as much of possible and enjoy this beautiful weather. In the South, it goes from air conditioning to heating in one week, so we’ve got to soak up the good weather while it lasts.

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Upcoming plans:

Today: I’m going to the outlet mall with my sister and I WILL finish Christmas shopping. I’m getting it out of the way early this year! No Black Friday shopping for this girl.

Monday: The husband and I will be journeying north to the mountain cabin we rented for a couple of nights. We’re going to do some hiking and relaxing in the hot tub! Plus my little sis and her boyfriend are joining us the second night for some shenanigans.

My birthday is approaching and we are going to see the Black Keys in concert! We have a classy hotel room in downtown Charlotte booked and I can’t wait. Did I mention my birthday is the last day of finals??! Drinks all around!

Also, I still have a big trip in the works. Maybe I’ll announce it in the New Year?

Best x.

Wonderful Wednesdays

My youngest sister visited last weekend for her 21st birthday, yay! …but her birthday isn’t until later in the month, boo! We still celebrated with the fam and went out for a fabulous dinner at Public Kitchen (highly recommended). I owe her a chocolate martini when she actually turns 21!

I forgot to take pictures-all I have is this blurry one of us at dinner.

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Today was Wednesday: my favorite day. I have no class and the husband has no work, so we get to sleep in and get brunch and catch up. We ate outside at J Christophers for breakfast and slowly strolled the streets of Savannah in this perfect 70 degree “fall” weather with hazelnut lattes in hand. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, but I got a few snaps on my iPhone.

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We’ve made some health goals together and I’m pretty excited about them. I’ve been slowly strengthening my knee by doing my PT exercises and riding a stationary bike that I bought on Amazon. My husband is getting back into running and having our chubby husky join him (she’s such a trooper!).

Also, I’ve got some exciting travel plans in the works. It’s going to be big! Stay tuned!

Best x.

Day 2 & 3 and Breakfast

Day 2– 31 Days to a Better Photo: Read the manual
Sure I’ve flipped through the manual before…but who actually reads every page? So I sat down and read it.

  1. How to change the mode of your camera – auto / program, aperture priority, shutter priority. 
  2. What do the icons on your camera mean? The flower, the running man, a face, mountains, stars, etc. What does each symbol represent? 
  3. Which wheel controls shutter speed, which wheel controls aperture? ✓
  4. How to find the white balance menu, and change it. ✓
  5. How to change ISO ✓

Here’s a practice shot of breakfast: avocado, turkey bacon and an egg on a whole wheat english muffin + strawberries.DSC_0896

Day 3– 31 Days to a Better Photo: Shooting fast vs. Shooting slow

I practiced shutter speed by taking shots in shutter priority mode and manual. Of course, the puppies are my favorite subject. For these pics I kept the ISO and aperture the same and changed the shutter speed. I like visuals and seeing the numbers on the pictures helps me understand how shutter speed changes the photo.

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Best x.

The Collins Quarter- Savannah, GA

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Since getting home from Europe I’ve had a problem. Coffee just isn’t the same anymore. Nothing can compare to a cappuccino or cafe au lait in Paris. I’ve been spoiled! That’s why I was excited to learn that a new café bar was opening in downtown Savannah. The Collins Quarter is on the corner of Bull and Oglethorpe and is styled after Melbourne’s trendy Collins Street. My husband and I decided to go for lunch today. I was immediately impressed when I walked in. The decor was gorgeous and the atmosphere was laid back.

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After looking over the espresso menu we ordered some lattes. Our waiter told us that the baristas and owners have a true passion for crafting specialty drinks and we could tell! They were delicious! The closest I’ve had to the cappuccinos in Paris!

CQ Collage 3Everything (almost everything) on the menu sounded super healthy and delicious. I decided on the smashed avocado because I’m an avocado enthusiast and it came with feta (extra points for cheese!). It was fabulous! The dish was simple, but so fresh and had so much flavor.

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We will definitely hit them up next time for breakfast, or breakkie as they call it!

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…and we were off into another rainy summer afternoon.

Best x

Ladies Weekend: Fun & Food

This past weekend I drove the 4 hours up to my old college town to connect with my 2 best girlfriends. It was really relaxed. We chatted, drank wine and had an all around good time together. My friend served a variety of delicious cheeses and made us some giant bratwurst for dinner to get the party started.

IMG_2903Also, I spent some much needed time with my doggy nephew Hercules. I love this little man!

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Saturday involved hangover breakfast, a coffee date, boutique shopping, afternoon antiquing and going out for drinks and burgers. Responsible over 25’s still take selfies right? PS. Love you guys!

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Can Jean make me hangover breakfast every morning?

Can Jean make me hangover breakfast every morning?

Check out this beaut! I found it while antiquing for quite the deal!

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And now, after a fun weekend, I’m ready to detox both my liver and eating habits and get on the Super Shred eating plan! I’ve got my grocery list and meal plan ready! Here’s to the next 4 weeks!

 

Uneventful Wednesday

Just another Wednesday. One day I’ll be done with school, then what will I spend my time doing?IMG_2870

I brought bananas to school so I wouldn’t be tempted to buy food there (I see you over there Chick-fil-a). Also, caffeine fix for the day= iced coffee unsweetened with a bit of half and half and a dash of cinnamon.

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What is this you ask? If you guessed seaweed then you’re right!