On Marriage & Celebrating 7 Years

Friday, July 13, 2018

I am behind on sharing this, but we celebrated 7 years of marriage on June 25th. My marriage is something that I treasure and am so thankful/grateful/proud to celebrate year after year. It might not always be rainbows and picture perfect moments, but for the most part, it feels like it is. I believe that it takes work to sustain any relationship whether it is a marriage, friendship or relationship with your family. To me, that is what makes it worth it! If it is something you value, you will take care of it, put forth effort and make it work no matter what. With our marriage, we get what we put into it and I couldn't feel more excited to have a partner in life who believes the same thing I do; that we are in this together, we are on the same team, and that our marriage is always worth fighting for. As long as we keep that in mind, things really aren't so bad.
Marking our seven year anniversary together this year held such special meaning. I repeated to strangers on our getaway that we were celebrating our seven year anniversary and that no, I did not have the "itch" and I that still loved him. All joking aside, it's true. I feel like seven years holds this negative connotation with an assumption we are tired of each other and practically an old, married couple, which is definitely not the case. Seven years in and I feel lucky in love and I believe this will our lucky year!

To commemorate this anniversary, I scoured the internet and Pinterest for traditional anniversary gifts and clever ideas to create a memorable gift. I ultimately decided to roll with the lucky 7 in love theme and filled a metal basket with custom koozies to keep his favorite white claws cool, ingredients to whip up a 7 & 7 to sip together on the porch, and then some new fishing apparel he loves and summer gear he was in need of!

One of the traditional themes though is copper and he had the most special and personalized copper ring dish made for me. It was funny because in his card I told him how fitting copper was for this year of marriage. You see, I am a huge fan of copper and in so many ways it is the perfect reflection of where we have come from and what we are today. Copper is a more malleable metal which means it is flexible. Let's be honest, marriage takes flexibility and sometimes compromise. Before it is exposed to the elements, it is shiny and new. Over time, as it weathers different storms, a patina begins to form. This to me is when it is the most beautiful because it's patina tells a story of it's own and shows all that it's been through. Very fitting for how far we have come in our marriage and how each trial we face, and each valley and peak we travel through, has brought us to where we are today and I every time I think I couldn't love him anymore, I do.

Oh my heart...Hopefully this helps give you some inspiration if you're looking for a special way to celebrate your seven years as well. Cheers!

Summer Catchup

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

It's officially summer and in true summer fashion, we've been making sure to take full advantage of the longer days and all of the fun taking place around us!

A few things I am loving this summer:

E  A T : Watermelon with salt! I had seen this idea in my BHG magazine this month and I am just wondering how long I have been missing out on this? It is so, so yummy! Give it a try and let me know what you think.

R E A D : "You are a Badass" - I've been on a mission to start reading more and stumbled across this gem through a recommendation of a gal on IG. I've learned I am not really into novels or fiction and prefer books that I can relate to and take something away from. I highly recommend this! It has been a huge game changer for me and my mindset lately. After I finished that, I started reading "Girl, wash your face!" and am almost finished. What should I read next?

V A C A T I O N : Ryan and I took a quick getaway to Carmel-by-the-Sea to celebrate our 7 year anniversary and had a great time! We really enjoyed the coastal weather, cooler temps, and wining and dining our way through the charming town! Besides the drive, we would love to go back.

F E S T I V I T I E S : We celebrated the 4th of July with our best friends and family at my parents house this year! My mom picked up the cutest Americana decor and we decorated the backyard together. It is one of those holidays that we most enjoy being close to home and BBQ'ing and hanging out lowkey. No fireworks for us either if you can believe it!
 R A N D O M :  I've been frequenting the farmer's market this year and it has been a fun thing to do with Ryan or my In-Laws on the weekend or Thursday nights. I picked up some ingredients and tried my hand at pickling my first dill pickles. I tried them over the weekend and although our friends said they were good, I wasn't impressed and they lacked major crunch, so I will be making another batch again soon. I am determined to nail it! Also, waiting on my pepper plant to produce so I can get to making some hot pepper jelly.

Staying up wayyyy past my bedtime-who am I?! It makes it easier when it stays light out until around 9, but it's so unlike me! We have been loving playing Sequence lately and sitting on our back porch swing.

Oh, I also cut my hair! Bye hair!  It was waaayyyy time for a change, and like they always say, it will grow back!

My parent's got a new dog. Meet Duke! Speaking of farmer's market, it was meant to be that I was there a few weeks back. My Dad had been wanting another German Shorthair after we lost our beloved Reese in May and was having a hard time adopting one or finding any puppies that were available, so we just said the timing wasn't right and moved on.

Fast forward a few weeks later and I was walking around the farmer's market and saw a guy carrying a German Shorthair puppy and instantly ran over to ask him where he got him. He gave me the guys name and number and I immediately called to see if he had any available. He called me back the next day and said YES that he had 1 puppy left and he was a a male. You see, when I got Reese this was the same scenario. It felt so right, especially after talking with him on the phone about our shared love for our dogs. Anyways, we picked him up the next week and he's the absolute sweetest, loving and handsome boy who fits right in with the family. It's like he was always meant to be. I couldn't help but snapping a few pictures of him on the 4th!
I hate saying I'm always "busy" because I think that's a lame excuse really because if you want something bad enough you will make time for it and we all have the same 24 hours in a day and it's up to us what we do with it, but honestly this space of mine has been neglected and I plan on changing that. I sometimes feel like I have a love/hate relationship with sharing things and I think that has a lot to do with the way society has programmed us to want to overshare or feel the need to detail our every move. I find this to be ironic because at the same time most of the posts I read lately have to do with being more present and mindful and to me, these don't exactly don't go hand in hand. With this being said, as much as I enjoy reading blogs and seeing other people's beautiful pictures, I do try to balance it all and have been practicing being in the moment and not worried so much about capturing the perfect picture. Or if I do take pictures, it's more for my enjoyment and I don't even get around to sharing it! Anyways, I guess what I am trying to say is I do want to own my story and share it, but am working on finding a happy medium :) Is this something you struggle with as well? 

It's the start of a great week, friends and I hope you're enjoying!

Nashville Recap! (Part One)

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

I just returned from a fabulous girl's getaway to Nashville! If it's a place you'd like to see someday too, you really should! I would love to go back because, although we were there for a full 4 days and we got to see and experience a lot, we didn't even begin to see everything!

So Nashville...we ended up taking this trip because my Aunt wanted to go for her birthday and it worked out perfect because her and my Mom's birthday are days apart so we all celebrated together while we were there. I'm so glad she had the great idea to go and that it worked out for us all to getaway together! We took the red eye flight on Thursday morning so we arrived in Nashville at about 9 am local time. We stayed in East Nashville at the cutest Airbnb and our hosts so graciously allowed us to check in early so we were able to drop our luggage then head out to explore right away. It was the perfect location for us to easily get downtown and it was also right around the corner from two popular eating spots-Mas Tacos and The Pharmacy Burger Parlor!
By this point it was about lunchtime and we were starving so we hit up Mas Tacos. It was even better than I expected and this picture of course doesn't do it any justice! I got the fried avocado and pulled pork taco and I'm still upset we only got to eat here once (and also because I don't know how I'll possibly be able to recreate them at home!)

Next we wanted to go to The American Pickers antique store called Antique Archaeology, but we never actually made it to that store because we were so fascinated by all the other stores we came across in the process of trying to find it! Luckily too, it turned out to be the perfect Nashville photo opportunity that we stumbled into by total mistake. I am glad we were able to get a picture by it because honestly, the rest of the popular murals and artwork you see along the streets were packed...literally, people were waiting in lines around the block to snap a photo. We had no time for that!
After a little shopping, we picked up my Aunt's friend from the airport, returned home to freshen up then headed downtown to Broadway to check out the Honky Tonks for the first time! I must say half the fun of this trip was getting ready with my Sis, doing each others hair and makeup, and just getting to all be together because we really aren't that often.
My friend Sarah used to live in Nashville and she had some great recs for us so we kicked things off at Robert's Western World, a popular place for locals with great music and fried bologna sandwiches. We were lucky enough to snag a table upstairs and enjoy the band for awhile. After this, we strolled down Broadway a few bars down and walked into Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row because of the lively band that was playing. They were an absolute blast to dance to and the perfect way to start our trip! Most of the bands play covers to songs and not a whole lot of their own original music, although we did hear some. Another thing she told me that was helpful was that if you're facing the Cumberland River, that the bars on the left are non-smoking and the one's on the right are smoking.
The next morning, we all slept in as we attempted  to catch up on our lost sleep from the day before. Our Uber driver the night before recommended The Diner for a hip breakfast spot and it was close to downtown again so we headed there. The decor and atmosphere were so trendy and would definitely make JoJo proud. The black and white hex tile, marble top tables, and chic chandeliers were so fun! I had the waffle sliders and smoked Gouda grits (which were amazing!). The service was good, and the decor super cute, but the food was just okay.
Travel tip: Speaking of drivers, although we had a rental car, we used Uber and Lyft to visit downtown and nearby attractions. We found Lyft to be cheaper, plus our hosts provided us with some promo codes that helped. But use your driver's expertise and ask them about places they like. They were a great resource and told us about Nashville Guru which was an amazing website!
Also, when in Nashville, you have to try a Bushwhacker! It's basically a boozy chocolate frosty!
From here, we walked and checked out the pedestrian bridge which overlooks the Cumberland River and gives the best view of the Nashville city skyline. Perfect photo backdrop as well! Down the street is the Johnny Cash Museum (which was closed for touring unfortunately this day) & the Patsy Cline Museum, not to mention a ton of cute boot shops. The FGL House is next door as well although we didn't go here. We were determined to get boots on this trip so we shopped a bunch of stores, but didn't find any that we loved! Along Broadway, we jammed to more music and enjoyed drinks on the rooftop at The Valentine and then headed around the corner to The Ryman Auditorium, which is the original Grand Ole Opry. I had no idea they still did shows or I would have loved to have seen one there too. Instead, we took the self guided tour before they closed for the day.
The displays of American flags everywhere made me so proud! There's just something about Americana decor that gets me...
Travel tip: Some of the local attractions will give you a discount. For example, if you plan on going to the Grand Ole Opry (WHICH YOU SHOULD!) then you'll get a discount to get into The Johnny Cash Museum, then the Ryman Auditorium gives you a discount to get in if you've been to The Johnny Cash museum, so you'll save yourself a few bucks each place by going in that order.

When we finished our tour of the Ryman, we wanted to get a quick snack and see some more live music and we ended up around the corner at Layla's. They were in between shows, but it worked out perfect. We took a shot off the gun, enjoyed some fried goodness, and then got to enjoy the full show that kicked off soon after.
 One thing that you can expect is to pay a lot for drinks. Funny story because it's not exactly where I pictured ending up in Nashville, but Coyote Ugly had $2 beers and my little Sis wanted to go so we did. It actually turned out to be such a dive, but we practically had the place to ourselves and we had too much fun dancing away! I'll spare you the ridiculous videos or pictures...haha! When we got home and most of the gals had headed to bed, I hung a few birthday decorations, because yes, I am that person that travels with festive decor!
And that wraps up our first two days in Nashville! Come back to see what we did the rest of the time there. And as always, feel free to email me or comment if you have more questions!