February 12, 2015

birthday boy.

This stud has a birthday today...he happens to be my husband...and it's the first time we have ever celebrated his birthday together.  We started off with a big breakfast of sausage, eggs, and biscuits and I already gave him his birthday gift, a SURPRISE trip to the North Carolina Outer Banks.

I'm leaving the rest of the cookin' today to his mamma.  Chocolate pies, steak, and every butter-laden southern vegetable you can think about. Oh...and did I say chocolate pie?

I might make a batch of homemade southern banana pudding, but we're on a diet, or at least trying to cut the sugar out of our lives for a little bit.  BUT, calories don't count on your birthday, or your birthday week, or your birthday month...so let's be real, it will probably happen.

Feel free to wish him happy birthday on any of his social media outlets or in the comments below (especially since he secretly reads this blog). I promise you...the boy would be elated.

instagram- @peytonholland

So... to my husband, best friend, and the man that's not afraid to let a little goofiness bring out a smile in everyone.  Happy Birthday...I love you!

February 9, 2015

valentine's| a toolbox of love

to all of the men-

teach your girls about tools, buy them a basic tool set, and spend time with them fixing simple things around the house. teach them how to change a tire, check oil in their car, and how to pull a trailer. show them how to use socket wrenches and vise grips and how to fix a leaky kitchen faucet...because one day they are going to need to fix those things on their own.  one day they are going to want to buy rocking chairs and tables and put them together for their front porch.  

teach them how to be patient, how to love, and how to not be afraid of solving a problem in their home. teach them to be strong. teach them to be independent. teach them that you're just a phone call away and will always be there to help.

and for those men that are no longer with their girls here on this earth, find someone to take care of her that will teach her about life. life is more than raising babies and keeping house. it's about experiencing, living, and growing and becoming a well-balanced woman in the home. it's about taking pictures in pink tool belts and being proud that you built something with your own hands.  it's about celebrating with ice cream and moments of sitting in those rocking chairs just being thankful for this life you've been given.

so men...just remember that love isn't all about fancy dinners, flowers, or chocolate hearts. love is about being together and sharing memories together.  some days that's out and about but most days it's in the comfort of our homes.  but...wherever it is, show her that you care and teach her that it's okay to do life with pink  polished nails and baseball caps. it's okay to grab a hammer and miss couple of times.  it's okay to try something new and fail...because one time you were like that too. be patient, have fun, and love until it's done. that's when you know you have true love.

happy valentine's day!
(or week)  

January 26, 2015

tuesday thoughts.

Heeeeeyyyy Tuesday pretending to be a Monday...I don't really know how I feel about you.

I've been in a blogging rut lately and can't seem to find my way out...but my mind has been all over the place and is dying to spend some time here.

So today seems like a good day for some Tuesday thoughts.
+ my family had to put down our sweet Obi last week due to an incurable illness that was impacting him daily.  Lots of tears were shed, but he got extra snuggles and cuddles in his last days.

+ well, that first item was a downer...moving on.

+ I'm drinking a grape juice box... just in case you were wondering.

+ I have really been thinking about what my passion in life is.  I've concluded...I don't really know anymore.  It's time to figure that out again.

+ we finally cut the Christmas tree down and took it out of the Holland National Forest house. So sad to see it go, so glad to have that space in the living room again.

+ it was 64 degrees here yesterday and is shaping up to be that way again today.  We got the yard cleaned up which is such a relief!

+ did I mention I was in a blogging rut?

+ my pants are fitting a bit more snug these days and the urge to workout has decreased while my urge to eat has increased.  Houston...we have a problem.

+ I have a special birthday trip planned for Peyton and cannot wait until we can go.  Best part is...he has NO idea where we are going.

+ I am getting a hair cut this week. Hallelujah!

+ I am getting pretty good at frying chicken.  So, that pretty much makes me Paula Dean. If anything, at least I have improved from this time in the kitchen.

+ does anyone else just want to sit around and watch Netflix all day? Or is it just me?

+ we are trying to save some money this month, so there hasn't been much extra spending. in other words, that means fewer trips to Target.

+ I managed to get a flat tire on my father-law's gator this weekend. thankfully I'm family now and he pretty much loves me. so, naturally, we'll just blame it on my husband.

+ maybe I'm not in much of a blogging rut as I thought I was...this is getting to be a pretty long list. 

+ and....my juice box just ran out.

+ on that note, I think that's it. 

Have a great week y'all!

January 9, 2015

the highlights.

2015. Let's get it together.

I don't know what it has been about these past few weeks, but I can't get my life together. Lots of unorganized chaos, Christmas stuff still all over the house, and the never-ending pile of dishes that has become my nemesis every single night.  I'm definitely going through withdrawals of winter break. My current career is on the rocks (due to a company aquisition)...and quite truthfully, I have got no clue as to where life is currently leading me. 

Oh well. I digress.

So, in light of all that mess, I have found plenty of time for some fun things. Let's chat about it for a second.
one| my college girlfriend Lakean got married to her sweet boy James Michael. It poured the entire day, but the inside of the barn at their venue (The Farm at Brusharbor in Concord, NC) was absolutely beautiful. It was good to catch up with old college friends and spend a little bit of time on the dance floor with my love.

two| I wasn't feeling that well this week, so on a unexpected warm rainy day, I opened up the doors to our master bedroom and listened to the rain fall on the tin roof. Living in a log home is seriously the best and I have no plans of ever leaving this beautiful place we built together. It's kind of like staying in a mountain retreat...except, I still have to do the dishes.

three| peyton has been dying to see the World's Largest Dinosaurs exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, so we took some time to check out the dinosaurs and eat some lunch.  We chose Beasley's Chicken + Honey and fell in love with the twist on some of their classic southern dishes.

four| we don't have any kids, but our house is full of both old (or vintage, as peyton would say) and new ninja turtle toys.  Oh well...marriage is about compromise...right?

five| hope your week went well! anybody else ready for the weekend?!

January 1, 2015

2014: a married christmas

It's January 1...I know.

but we are feeling a bit remorseful due to the fact that our twelve foot Christmas tree has pretty much stopped drinking water and will have to come down in the next week or so. In other words, we are still celebrating Christmas and the "Hollanddays" at our home. We have spent entirely too much time in front of the TV just to enjoy our tree, the lights, the ornaments, and the memories of spending our first EVER Christmas together.  In the spirit of Christmas, I spent lots of time creating our first married Christmas card and somehow had it sent out relatively early. We have loved it so much, we decided to frame it and put it on our mantle for our Christmas season and years to come.
Oh...and for all of you that have wanted to see the grand finale...the decorated tree...check her out. She turned out to be a real beauty and we have enjoyed our first Christmas tree so so much. I hope y'all have had a Merry Christmas and are ready for a Happy New Year!

December 8, 2014

recipe: nutella hot chocolate

I think my husband is on to something.  He has had some serious cravings for a good glass of hot chocolate (I do too...but I think that chocolate is a constant craving), so I decided to go on the hunt for the PERFECT hot chocolate recipe.  The packets just don't do it for us...so please let me introduce you to the best hot chocolate recipe I have found to date.

Nutella Hot Chocolate

You heard me. Nutella. The hazelnut chocolatey goodness from sweet heaven above.  
As I was scrolling through one of my favorite blogs (A Beautiful Mess), I stumbled upon their recipe for Nutella Hot Chocolate and decided that it was definitely worth spending my evening cooking over the stovetop in my cute little apron. Some may say I was looking like a southern domesticated housewife, others may disagree with that statement. It's almost Christmas...so just use your imagination and pretend with me for a second.

I started using this recipe and determined that it definitely wasn't enough for the two of us, so I doubled it.  Below is the original recipe:

1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup Nutella
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
dash of sea salt
whipped cream

Warm milk on stove-top (don't let it boil, just warm slowly). Once warm, add your Nutella and whisk it in until completely dissolved. Add cinnamon and salt, garnish with LOTS of whipped cream. Enjoy!

A big thank-you goes out to A Beautiful Mess for an awesome recipe that makes for a very happy husband.  I am finally starting to get a hang of this cooking thing. Read about my other successes and failures in the kitchen here.

December 5, 2014

the tale of a 12' christmas tree.

Marriage can be an interesting thing...especially when it comes to the holiday season.  Who goes where, who does what...it can be a hot sticky mess.  Thankfully, our biggest disagreement this season was which type of live Christmas tree was the best. Peyton thought it was a white pine, but I quickly reminded him that a fresh North Carolina Fraser Fir was the ONLY way to go. After all, my friend Olivia has a great choose-and-cut Christmas tree farm that I have visited for the past three years.  It only made sense that we get a Fraser Fir!

So Peyton kindly obliged (with the bribery of endless cheese curds from Ashe County Cheese) and we started our trek up the North Carolina mountains. We saw some snow, stopped at a few local destinations, got the holy cheese curds, then started our way to Olivia's farm.
After chit-chatting, catching up with her family, and wandering around the farms looking for the best tree possible...we finally settled on this beauty.

A 13ft. tall x 9ft wide tree.  (pardon the blurry photo...it was cold. it was getting dark. and oh crap. we forgot the nice camera, let's take some quick pictures on our phone.) After the photograph of the year was taken, we quickly gathered the Twin Pines Nursery crew of five and began cutting this thirty year old tree. The chainsaw went through halfway...then stopped. Dear Lord... help us all. 
So we went to the opposite side and began sawing again. It finally came crashing to the ground and at that point I realized that tree was ours.

We were going to have to take that tree home and put it up in our house. 
Yep. That's what my face looked like the entire four hour ride home. I wanted a tall tree, Peyton wanted a fat tree. We both got what we wanted. We compromised...that's what we are supposed to do in a marriage...right?

At the sacrifice of getting a 12ft North Carolina Fraser Fir Christmas tree...ABSOLUTELY.

I digress. 

After some trimming and sticking the trunk in a washtub full of water until we figured out what we were going to do, we managed to get our tree in the house with just three people. Surprisingly, it stood on it's own and was a sturdy little Christmas tree. We have yet to decorate it with our ornaments, but here it is for now.  Such a sweet little beauty.

P.S. Does anyone else struggle taking great pictures of their Christmas tree?!?