Thursday, October 31, 2013

I Did It!

I accomplished my goal of posting every day in October!!  Thirty-one days ago, I set two goals for myself.  First, to post every day, which I have done!  Second, to be more open in my posting and honest with my readers, which I have absolutely done.  I revealed to the world what I believe is probably my biggest personal flaw-- selfishness.  And then I followed up with a post on how God is trying to teach me to love with His perfect love.  And there were other revealing, although not as deep, posts about my fears over turning 30 and my hate for Halloween.

I'm so proud of myself for actually following through on something that I said I'd do.  This blog is full of plans to do things that never got done, but this month is NOT one of those!  Sure, not every post was earth-shattering.  But, it got written and posted!

And, I learned that I'm never going to post every single day for a month ever again.  It's way too much stress.  Plus, I think it sacrifices quality to force yourself to post when you have no inspiration.  Some days when I had no inspiration, I actually pulled out a pretty good post.  Other days, not so much.  I like posting what and when I want to without feeling the pressure.  But, I'm still glad that I did it!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Someday I Will...

The Daily Tay

Someday I will ... get up early in the mornings and love it.

Someday I will ... see the Eiffel Tower in person.

Someday I will ... grow my own herbs.

Someday I will ... run out of gas because I let it get too low before filling up.

Someday I will ... have a baby.  And a puppy.  Although neither are happening today.
Someday I will ... take awesome pictures with my DSLR.

Someday I will ... pre-make lunches for myself so I can eat more than an apple and some cheetos during the week.

Someday I will ... go to the new Yankee Stadium.  And ice skating at Rockefeller Center.
Someday I will ... spend the evenings on the porch swing with my husband as we watch our kids play.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


5 Things I'm Looking Forward To: 
1.  Our anniversary trip to Asheville and the Biltmore House in a few weeks.
2.  Anniversary pictures with our awesome photographers this Friday.
3.  Christmas-- less than two months away.
4.  My birthday.  Even though I am not excited to turn 30, I still love my birthday and birthday cake!
5.  Snow.  I love snow and can't wait to see some this winter.

4 Things You Might Not Know About Me:
1.  I wish I was a morning person.  I love being up in the mornings, but my bed is just so warm and comfy that it's hard to get out of it...
2.  I'm terrified of having a baby.  
3.  I hate mushrooms.  They're slimy and spongy.  Eww.
4. I'm the least organized person alive.  My office, my purse, my house-- total chaos.  I usually can find whatever I need though.  I've tried and tried to be more organized, but I'm just incapable.

3 Shows I Love:
1.  Big Bang Theory-- currently the one and only show that I'm anxious to watch every week.
2.  HGTV-- I've been watching lots of HGTV lately.  Flip or Flop, Property Brothers, Cousins Undercover, you name it!
3.  Grey's Anatomy-- I still like the new episodes, but I'm loving re-watching the old ones on Netflix.

2 Things That Frustrate Me:
1.  Getting stuck at multiple stoplights on one road.
2.  People who ask me for advice then blow it off.

1 of My Favorite Words:
"Onomatopoeia"-- I've loved this word since I first stumbled upon it in middle school English class.  What a fun word to say with all those vowels!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Menu Planning.

I've never been a big advocate of menu planning.  For just two people, it's not hugely necessary.  Plus, who knows what I'll be in the mood for on Thursday when I plan meals on Sunday.  But, I hate going to the grocery store multiple times a week.  So, in an effort to cut down on those trips and to save money, I've decided to give meal planning a whirl.  

Here's what's up this week--

Monday-- Baked Spaghetti.  
I saw this recipe on Amber's blog last week and knew I had to make it soon!

Tuesday-- I have small group at 7pm, so we'll probably be eating leftovers.

Wednesday-- We have dinner out with my grandma and parents on Wednesdays.

It's so easy to do pasta that I sometimes find it difficult NOT to make Italian for every meal.
If you've got good non-pasta recipes, send them my way!

Friday-- My brother owes me a dinner, and we are collecting on Friday night.  So, no cooking again.

So, meal planning actually turned not not to be too difficult.  Of course, it helps when you only have two days to plan for...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I Hate Halloween.

I really, really hate it.  I just don't understand the holiday at all.  Deliberately scaring each other?  Dressing up like a weirdo?  No thanks.

When I was very young, my parents took me trick or treating, but I really don't remember going past age four or five.  And I think that was probably because I just didn't care.  I don't remember ever wanting to dress up and wander around our neighborhood begging for candy.  I could get candy by just asking mom or dad to buy it for me.  Much easier and less humiliating.  It's just never been something I cared for.  But as I've gotten older, my hate has grown.

First and foremost, I hate the costumes.  I've gotten so much crap from my friends over the last few years because I hate dressing up in a costume.  I don't know why, but I do.  Don't ever invite me to your halloween/costume party/"theme" party if you don't want me to come dressed normally.
The last time I wore a costume...
Then there's the scary stuff.  Giant spiders, witches, skulls, and creepy ghosts??  What's fun about this?  I'll take snowmen and red-nosed reindeer, please. 
And finally-- why can't parents buy kids their own candy?  If I want candy, I go buy some.  Don't come begging to me for it.

Just call me Halloween Scrooge.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Oh Saturday, how I love thee. Donny is at a car show today in Charlotte, so I'm relaxing on the couch with full control of the DVR and remote control. I still have a persistent cough, which is annoying, but at least I've been able to sleep at nights.

This week has been incredibly eventful-- our favorite burger place opened a franchise nearby...
We sold Donny's truck...
Bought a new one (and made a profit!)...
Took a trip to the ER for a cluster headache...
And I started a new Michael Connelly book...
Okay, so maybe that last one isn't particularly eventful, but I'm excited!

There wasn't a single night this week that I simply came home from work and relaxed. We were out and about all week!. And as great as the week was, I'm looking forward to a much calmer one coming up. :)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Two Months.

No, not 'til Christmas.  Well yes, it is technically there is two months until Christmas.  But I'm talking about a much bigger countdown-- my birthday!  My thirtieth birthday to be exact.  THIRTY.

It's so weird how as a kid, all you want is to be older than you are.  You dream of being 10, then 16, then 18, then 21.  Sometime your twenties that stops.  You focus on goals-- graduating college, grad school, passing the bar, getting a "real" job, getting married.  The number becomes less important.  Until you start staring milestone numbers in the face.  Now I just want to stay where I am-- here in the good ol' twenties.  For some reason, thirty just sounds terrifying.

There's just something about the number THIRTY that sounds so much more adult than 29.  At thirty, shouldn't you be married with kids and have your life figured out?  I can check one off that list, but some days I still feel like that 21 year old college graduate just starting out.  I can't make my brain remember that I'm actually a grown up now-- I'm a lawyer with a husband and a mortgage.  Obviously I'm a responsible adult.  But I like being silly and weird.  While I know that turning thirty doesn't mean that I can't be fun anymore, it feels like I'm finally crossing over the threshold into adulthood.  I don't feel mature or grown up.  But the numbers don't lie-- I'm about to become a real adult.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thankful Thursday.

Another day, another late blog post.  But, at least I'm posting!  24 days in a row!  I think today is a good day to focus on the positive and what I'm thankful for...

1.  I'm thankful that my husband is sitting here beside me right now.  I'm particularly thankful for that because our day started out like this....
Donny woke me up around 5am with an excruciating headache.  I'd never seen someone in that much pain, and it was terrifying.  So, we went to the ER and spent a fun two hours there.  Fortunately, the pain started to abate, and we came home, where he slept for the rest of the morning.  He's doing so much better now, but it was a scary morning.  I'm very thankful he's here beside me right now.

2.  I'm thankful that my family lives so close.  I knew that if anything happened, my mom and dad could be there within 20 minutes.  I just wish that Donny's family lived closer!

3.  I know this is going to sound trivial after #1, but I'm thankful for new office supplies!  And for a job that gives me what I need, be it the fancy highlighters that I ask for or the flexibility to work from home to watch over my husband.  Certainly, my job is not perfect.  But, the positives FAR outweigh any issues that exist.
4.  And I'm thankful for new friends.  We have a double date tonight at our new favorite burger place-- twice in one week!  I'm excited for another delicious turkey burger.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Katie Lately.

-- We finished The Office this weekend. As in the tradition of most final seasons of tv shows, it wasn't great. Michael was gone, Andy was gone most of the time, and they made Toby weird and gave him more airtime. Thank goodness that Dwight was still there because it many times saved the show from the horrible storyline they put Jim and Pam through. Although perhaps the worst part of the final season was Nellie. Oh my gosh, I don't know if I've ever disliked a fictional character as much as her. She was SO bad. One blog I read put it this way-- "This, I suppose, is how they’re replacing Mindy Kaling, which is kind of like replacing a bag of M&Ms with a bag of chocolate covered dead baby fingers."  
I cried like a baby at the final few episodes through-- first at Andy's goodbye singing Sarah McLachlan's "I Will Remember You," which was phenomenal.  Then again when Michael appeared at Dwight's wedding.  I wished he had been in so much more of that episode, but his lines, few as they were, were perfect. 

-- Monday night, one of our all-time favorite places finally opened their franchise here in our town!  Bad Daddy's Burger Bar has THE best burgers I've ever eaten.  We've been to the one in Charlotte multiple times.  They've been teasing the opening of the franchise here for months, but now it's finally open!  We went on opening night and will be going again tomorrow with some friends who used to live in Charlotte and love it as much as we do.  My mouth is watering just remembering how delicious my turkey burger was...

-- Donny sold his truck within 24 hours of listing it on craiglist.  It was about to need some major work done that would cost more than it was worth.  So, we sold it.  He got a pretty darn good price for it considering how much work is going to probably have to go into it soon. 
Thank goodness that my grandmother and her husband have a third vehicle that they don't use very often that they let us borrow until we buy a replacement.  That's the one downside of your vehicle selling so quickly-- you have to scramble to make other arrangements for transportation.  We are so blessed that she could and did help us out.  Their Ford Ranger fits in our garage WAY better than the F-150 had!  We can actually walk around the passenger side of the truck in the garage!
-- I'm stuck in this book that I actually find very interesting, but there's something about it that is just not grabbing my attention.  I'm almost 200 pages in, but feel like I have to force myself to pick it up.  I am determined to finish it, though.  Hopefully I'll get it done by this weekend so I can move on to the next Michael Connelly book that I have from the library!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Favorite Fall Recipes.

Fall is wonderful for so many things, but one of them is definitely the food.  I love home-cooked, comfort food.  It's not easy to curl up with a bowl of chili when it's 90 degrees out.  But now that it's staying in the 50s and 60s, it's perfect!  Here are a few of my favorite recipes to pull out when the weather gets cool.

Spicy Sausage Dip-- I've made this for Christmas and Super Bowl parties, and it's been a hit every time.  Super easy to make and to customize as you like.  I like it with homemade tortilla chips, but tostidos work great too.  Or fritos or crackers or whatever you want to dip with!
Chili con Carne and White Chicken Chili-- There's really no more perfect fall food than chili.  I love both regular and white chili.  It's totally customizable to what you like.  For example my husband hates onions, so I leave them out.  Want it spicier?  Add another jalapeno, some hot sauce, or some crushed red pepper.  I hardly ever follow a recipe exactly, but these two are good places to start!
Pumpkin Bread and Pumpkin Pancakes-- I know some people are tired of the pumpkin craze, but I am not one of them.  I love the pumpkin flavor, and while it's in season, I want it in as much stuff as I can get!
Slow Cooker Spiced Cider and DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte-- Let's not forget all the delicious beverages that the season brings!  Spiced cider and pumpkin spice latte are two of my favorite things.  This spiced cider is so easy-- just toss everything in the crock pot to warm.  And the starbucks PSL has gotten crazy expensive, so I'm trying to develop a recipe that I love at home.  This one is where I started.

What are your favorite fall recipes??
Linking up with Jenn

Monday, October 21, 2013

A to Z Books.

I saw this on Micah, Heather, and Katie's blog and knew I had to participate!

Author You’ve Read the Most Books From:
This is a close contest between Michael Connelly (21) and David Baldacci (22) with John Grisham coming in third (16).

Best Sequel Ever:
The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson.  This whole Millennium trilogy was so good, but the second book was my favorite of all three.  And one of the few sequels that I enjoyed more than the original book. 
Currently Reading:
The Company You Keep by Neil Gordon

Drink of Choice While Reading:
I rarely drink anything while engrossed in a good book.  But I do love to settle in on Saturdays with a big cup of McDonald's sweet tea and my book.

E-reader or Physical Book?
A real book for sure.  Yes, our Kindle is convenient, and I do use it sometimes.  But nothing beats a real book for me.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:
Ethan from Something Borrowed and Something Blue.  Kind of nerdy, but funny and sweet.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:
The Hunger Games trilogy.  I generally will refuse to pick up books like this with huge followings (i.e. Harry Potter and Twilight).  But I'm so glad I gave in and read these-- they were so good!

Hidden Gem Book:
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon-- I have no idea how I stumbled upon this book.  I think I seriously just picked it up off a table at Barnes and Noble one night and bought it on impulse because it sounded interesting.  It's nothing at all like I ordinarily would have picked out, but I loved it.
Important Moment in your Reading Life:
The day that I re-discovered the library as an adult.  Free books?  Yes please!

Just Finished:
A Time to Kill by John Grisham.

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:
Anything with zombies, werewolves, or vampires.  Or Sci Fi.

Longest Book You’ve Read:
11/22/63 by Stephen King, coming in at 849 pages.
Major Book Hangover Because of:
11/22/63-- I could list this book for so many of these categories, but I'll try to limit my usage of it.  For some reason, this book has just stuck with me.  I finished it over a year ago, and I still think about it all the time.  I need to read it again soon.

Number of Bookcases You Own:
Five, but not all of them are full of books.  And not all of those books are mine.  I tend not to hoard books as much as I used to now that I've discovered the joy borrowing books for free from the library. 

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:
The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly.  
Preferred Place To Read:
In the corner of our sectional sofa or in bed.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:
"How can you love ignorant, brutish people whom you don't even know? Can anyone love filth and squalor? Or lice and rats? Who can love aching weariness, and carry on working in spite of it? One cannot love these things. One can only love God, and through His grace come to love His people."-- The Midwife by Jennifer Worth
Reading Regret:
Either Atonement or The Lovely Bones-- both books were huge hits that I only read because they were so popular.  And both I immediately hated but somehow managed to finish.  I think I only skimmed most of Atonement because it drove me so crazy.
Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):
I can't think of anything that falls into this category.  The series that I'm reading now are the Harry Bosch and Michael Connelly series by Michael Connelly.  I have a few books that I need to read to catch up to his current publication, but all of the books are not out yet.

Three of Your All-Time Favorite Books:
11/22/63 by Stephen King (duh)
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Sammy's Hill by Kristin Gore

Unapologetic Fangirl For:
Michael Connelly, obviously.  All 21 of his books I've read (and three of those, I've now read twice) have been in the last two years.  I think it's safe to say that I'm obsessed.

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:
The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly-- December 2!!
Worst Bookish Habit:
Getting sucked into one author and not reading any other type of book for months at a time.

X Marks The Spot (Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book):
Paul: A Man of Grace and Grit by Charles Swindoll

Your latest book purchase:
Since I use the library so much, I don't buy books very often.  But I found a paperback version of The Drop by Michael Connelly on sale, so I couldn't help myself.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  I literally could not put this book down.