October 30, 2014

a southern mamma's cookin'.

Let me fill y'all in on a little secret.

I married a southern boy that loves his southern mamma's cookin'.

Okay, maybe that wasn't a very big secret, but let me continue. You see, I was not raised by a southern mamma, I was raised by a northern mamma, and she really doesn't love to cook. Let me preface this by saying...I love my momma. She's the best and I ate everything she cooked, but she doesn't love the kitchen. So, growing up we had cereal and lots of leftovers. For example, she made chili, we ate chili, for at least a week.  She made spaghetti, we ate spaghetti, for at least a week.  My family is full of people that like to snack, so big meals were never a priority and seeing my mom spend hours in the kitchen wasn't much of a reality.  

Then I met Peyton...and then his mamma. 
Bless my half northern/half southern heart. 

Because y'all, my only fear of marriage was how I was going to feed this man I married. 

Before Peyton and I reconnected, he was building our log home with his future wife in mind. He built her a beautiful kitchen with the latest appliances and tons of counter space for cooking and entertaining. He had visions of deep fried chicken and pyrex dishes of banana pudding being pulled out of the oven.  He saw fresh garden green beans simmered in bacon for supper and country ham biscuits at the breakfast table. He had big dreams and aspirations for his wife and her kitchen. Well y'all, low and behold, I happened to be that future wife.
But before we continue, just bless my heart one more time, because let me tell you, I cannot cook like his mamma. My mother in law is an amazing woman...her ribs are to die for as well as her BBQ.  Her cobblers melt in your mouth and her sweet tea is nectar from the good Lord above. Who in their right mind wants to follow a true southern mamma.  Not I.  My college education was good for something and southern cookin' wasn't it.

So, for my birthday, I asked for only one thing.  His mamma's recipe book.  I have yet to sit down and gather her famous recipes, but I have had my own share of successes and failures in the kitchen.

Like...those fried pork chops. fail.

Like...those biscuits. fail.

My hope of becoming the next Paula Deen and southern domesticated woman was on the quick and rapid descent for you know where until Britt from The Fisk Files saved our marriage with a recipe of pecan pie muffins. And honest to goodness...they were the best. My southern husband LOVED them. After dancing in my apron and saying a prayer to the good Lord Jesus, I had some confidence.

And this weekend...

The Pioneer Woman came in and saved the day with her hamburger soup. Another win for me and another meal for him.

Thankfully, I have a husband that will eat just about anything. Hallelujah and pass the biscuits.

Anyone else ever wondered how they were going to survive in the kitchen?

October 29, 2014

picnics in the orchard + and windblown hair.

When people say that time starts flying when you get older...it's true.  Just believe them because I kind of want to put the brakes on life for just 2 seconds. Is that too much to ask?  I was curious to see the last time I posted to this little space...and saw it was October 14. Only two weeks ago...pssshh. that's nothing. I'm good, we've kinda moved, and life is a little crazy, but I guess it's about time I tell you what's going on before we gotta shake the dust off this little blog.

Let's just begin by saying how incredibly proud of my husband.  Peyton was nominated and accepted as a fellow in the William C. Friday Fellowship for Human Relations. I had never heard of the fellowship until I started proof-reading some of his application (scary... considering grammar sometimes is and isn't a priority on this blog) and realized that it is quite an honor to be part of. I could tell you their mission statement and all...but, in my eyes it is:

a group of leaders that love to engage and solve North Carolina's most pressing issues.

There you have it. Smart people doing smart things...solving tough problems.  Anyways, they had a retreat this weekend in the mountains of North Carolina and I was lucky enough to attend a banquet they had for families.  Once again...smart people talking about smart things at dinner...and man was I lost. But, alas, dinner was fantastic,we had fun, and I got to spend the night in Charlotte. 

Then...I had to leave him with the smart people to go to the mountains with no cell service and no Internet...an already long weekend turned into an even longer weekend. But, let's remember, it's for the betterment of North Carolina and it's people. It was good and he had fun...and that's all that matters. Moving on...

In the midst of his travels, I planned a special time for he and I on Sunday.  I had our beloved picnic basket in the front seat of the car with a sweet note detailing our afternoon.  I packed and planned a surprise picnic in the orchard at the Orchard at Altapass to celebrate 3 months of being married.

Gag. I know that's what you are thinking. But, I love this boy. There's your answer to that.
After not seeing or talking to this boy for about 4 days, it was so nice to sit on a blanket in the orchard, eat lunch, listen to music, and overlook the beautiful mountains. We laughed and enjoyed our time together, something we so desperately needed. It was the last open day of the orchard before they closed for the season and they went all out!  There was live music, sweet people dancing, and hot apple pie with ice cream.  It was a wonderful way to make it finally feel like fall here in North Carolina.
Oh, and apparently we have a new nickname for my husband...let me introduce "King Luscious".
I digress.

We did some leaf-lookin on the Blue Ridge Parkway and decided to stop at Grandfather Mountain to cross the bridge.  Peyton crossed it as a small child and I have always wanted to...so we decided to take the chance and do it together. It was super windy that day (if you can't tell by my hair!!), so I was nervous to cross the mile high bridge. Alright people...it wasn't bad at all!  Apparently, the bridge once had wooden boards and rope...but now its metal and feels much safer.  Even though I didn't get the "true and original" experience, it was still fun.
So. The long weekend that turned into an even longer weekend wasn't too terrible after all. Leaving "King Luscious" with the smart people talking about smart things, and solving tough problems wasn't the best for me, but he enjoyed himself immensely and started forming great relationships with his fellows group.  We ate good food, spent time together and loved on each other every chance we got.  That's what life is about, so go love on someone today.

Oh, and try the windblown hair look. It's the best. 

October 14, 2014

a trip to remember

I love writing because writing helps me remember.  I keep a small daily diary through my bullet journal and I spend a considerable amount of time reminiscing on this little space of mine. But last week something happened that I'm not really sure I want to remember...I really have mixed feelings about it because it was such a special time in my life that got messed up by something unfortunate.

Last weekend, our truck was broken into and everything was taken.
Let me start from the beginning. I was given the task at work to pick up a truck from a former sales manager (located in Memphis, TN) and drive it down to a current sales manager (located in Austin, TX).  Peyton wasn't comfortable with me driving alone, so he decided to get on a plane and make the trip with me.  This was our first time flying and traveling out of North Carolina together, so we were extremely excited.  We had planned a few stops along the way to look at some famous sights...one of them being Sun Studio, the birthplace of Rock n' Roll. After picking up the truck, we decided to stop by, take a quick tour, get a milkshake, and begin our drive to Texas.  

The tour was amazing and I am so glad that we got the opportunity to stand where famous rock n' roll artists started their careers.  Elvis and Johnny Cash are just a couple of our favorites and Peyton loved getting to share this piece of history with me.
After our tour, we walked out to the truck just to find that our window had been broken and our belongings taken. Everything was in the truck...clothing, computers, work phones...they took it all, even down to the dental floss.  BUT, they did leave a book Peyton was reading for his Friday Fellowship Program.
Ironic? Yeah...we think so too.
After calling the police, filing a report, and having the Crime Scene unit come out and fingerprint our truck, we found a safe hotel and settled in for the evening.  Thankfully we had our wallets, personal phones, and cameras, but the fear of something occurring with our personal information was still on our minds.  So, we spent some time on the phone and started looking for someone that could replace our window on Sunday morning.

Well, if you are looking for the million dollar business...that's it.  Repairing windows on Sundays.  We ended up driving around town with a broken window, went shopping for new clothes, went on a date to the Germantown Commisary (the best part of our trip!) and waited until Monday morning to get a new window.

We hit the road on Monday and took some time to visit Graceland. Peyton and I are HUGE Elvis fans, so it was a must see destination.  We don't plan on going back to Memphis any time soon...so we decided to take the time to see it all.  I fell in love with the house, the property, and all of Elvis' story.  It felt even more special to us since our favorite song is "Can't Help Falling in Love". 
We hit the road again, made a pit stop for the evening, then drove our way into Lousiana and Fort Worth, Texas. Peyton has never been to Louisiana and it has always been on my bucket list to see the Fort Worth Stockyards, so we stopped and ate lunch there.  I really wasn't impressed, but I'm glad I took the time to see it. (side note: our big joke is that Peyton's head always gets in the way of the sign...but don't worry...he was sure to get the full sign this time...but just half of my head!)
Peyton and I made a goal to start crossing off states together, so this trip helped us cross off our first 4 states!  We didn't get pictures with all of the signs, but we did get some!


I lied earlier in saying that the Germantown Commisary was the best part of our trip. We had almost reached Austin, Texas when we stumbled upon this little nugget. It definitely made our day! Have you ever found a town named after you? If so...isn't it the best thing EVER?!?
We finally arrived at our destination, dropped off the truck, ate some good Texas BBQ, and got ready for our flight the next morning. 

Even though we are still feeling lost, shocked, and some anger towards whoever took our belongings, we are so happy that we have each other and that we are safe. After we arrived in North Carolina, we had the wonderful opportunity to close on our home.  After signing our life away and promising the bank lots of money...we celebrated! It definitely was a happy ending to our rough week!

October 1, 2014

sweet scents.

I have never been one to buy perfumes or wear them regularly.  I wish I did...but I am just really bad at remembering to put them on. Heck, some mornings I forget to put in my contacts or put deodorant on. (I write about real life here...and that stuff happens more than I care to mention. Anyone else with me?) So, when it comes time to remember to put perfume on...forget about it. It's not a priority for me. Plus, I never feel like they last the entire day on me, so what's the point? 

Anyways--

Before I got married, I remembered reading a post on The Small Things Blog about scent being closely tied to memory. If you didn't take the chance to go read her post, let me given you a quick synopsis of what it was about.  She ended up buying a new perfume, wearing it on her wedding day, the honeymoon, and for a few weeks after, then stopped wearing it. Now, she pulls it out on special date nights, etc. to remind her of those sweet moments in her life.  I really liked the idea and was in the market for a new perfume, so I decided to take a chance...and I immediately jumped into the search for a new scent.  

I'm not one to drop a hundred bucks on something that I probably won't ever wear to begin with...so I looked for something under fifty dollars.  After many trips to Ulta and Sephora...I finally settled on Vera Wang's Pink Princess.
Here lately, I have really enjoyed floral scents. I have always loved fresh flowers, so Pink Princess had fragrances of Pink Hibiscus creamy honeysuckle to help fill that joy in my life. It was strong enough to last through my entire day...but light enough to provide a little freshness to my big day. I haven't used it in about a month, but I can't wait to pull it out for some special date nights and holidays this fall. 

Do you have a perfume that you absolutely love?  If so, I would love to know what it is!

Another 101 in 1001 goal completed:

10. Find a perfume that represents me  DONE! (7/26/14)

Pictures by Tiffani Evans Photo