Friday, October 31

Happy Halloween

What a fabulous day! After work tonight, we handed out candy, made pizza just like any regular Friday night. Since we've been married we've sort of established a Pizza Night on Fridays...always homemade pizza too! After the trick or treaters Ben suggested since we didn't have any real Halloween plans, we go to Tyler's for a Pumpkin Beer. While at Tyler's we ran into our friends Tara and Rick...fellow beer snobs. We ended up closing down the Tyler's with them for the rest of the evening.

Friday's Gratitude List:

~Fridays: There is something magical about Friday evenings. You have the entire weekend ahead of you and you know you can sleep in the morning. Ben and I also love our Friday night tradition.

~Pizza: Especially homemade.

~Tyler's Taproom: It has by far the best beer menu in Raleigh and it's great that its our backyard pub just right down the road.

And today was just one big lazy day...after a little cleaning, Ben and I set out for downtown Raleigh for a date night. This summer we had purchased several discounted gift certificates to a few restaurants from Tonight we had dinner at was so nice to order drinks, appetizers, sushi, entrees and dessert! We definitely spoiled ourselves. The total bill was $109 and our gift certificate was worth $100...which we bought for $12! Can't beat that!

Sono was delicious...great atmosphere and located near the Fayetteville Street Mall area downtown. We shared Firecracker Shrimp with Sweet & Sour Sauce, a sushi roll that had crab, avocado, cream cheese & jalapenos, then fried. For entrees I got the Pan-seared Sea Bass with aspargus and rice. Ben had an amazing ribeye steak with wasabi mashed potatoes. And for dessert I had a cappuccino ganache dessert and Ben's was a White Chocolate Raspberry mousse. Everything was delicious and we'll probably go back.

We're relaxing for the rest of the evening...setting our clocks back and getting an extra hour of sleep. Tomorrow must be a productive day which includes a long run!

Today I'm grateful for:

~Dinner out: Everything tastes better when it's gourmet and someone else cooked it.

~Turkish Towels: I put out my favorite chocolate colored towels today that we received for a wedding gift. I love these towels...they are so big and fluffy!

~Lazy Saturdays: The past few weeks have been pretty busy. It was so nice to sleep in and lazily drink coffee on the couch this morning. We had no where to go and nothing else planned other than dinner tonight.

Thursday, October 30

Slow Day...

It was a just a regular today...a good day nonetheless! Work was great and I rushed home to get my 3 mile run today out of the way before it was dark. I got back home just in time. And I decided to wait until Sat. to clean the entire house at once. I love having an entire clean house...even if it is only for a few hours. After a quick dinner I'm relaxing on our most comfy sofa watching funny Thursday night TV! And I'm incredibly happy tomorrow is not only Friday, but Halloween. Ben and I can't wait to pass out candy to our neighbor's kids in their cute costumes.

Today I'm grateful for:

~Funny TV: Specifically The Office. I love love love this show and it's always the highlight of my Thursdays.

~Fall Scents: I love my new Yankee Candle tarts for fall...such delicious scents.

~Ginger Ale: The last few weeks I've become addicted to this stuff. I have at least one every day. It's almost like I get a little mocktail at work some days...a sophisticated soft drink.

Happy Friday tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 29


After work today I went to vote early! I'm so glad I went...the wait was only 15 minutes and the line moved quickly. Now if I can endure the last 6 days of election ads.

Today I am grateful for:

~The right to Vote: This is the 3rd election I've been able to vote in and probably the only one where I felt my vote will count.

~Cereal: I've been in a cooking rut and just haven't made an effort to get organized. I love cereal and it's so quick and easy...very filling too.

~Lysol: Ben is sick and I'm trying desperately to keep the house as clean as possible and keep the germs away. Next week is NOT a good time for me to get sick again during my busiest week at work.

Tuesday, October 28

Plentiful Gratitude!!

Throughout the day I keep thinking of the things I'm grateful for...which proves a point that by keeping a journal you can become happier. I'm constantly thinking and making mental notes. But, then when I sit down to write my 3 things, I have too to choose my top 3 for day is so hard! Who knew I'd be in this dilemma of too many things I'm grateful for!

After a week without any running, I came home, threw on warm clothes and set out immediately for a 3 mile run. It was a nice relaxing run dispite the chilly temps. Hard to believe just last weekend I was running in shorts and tank top.

Since today's run was so great, my grateful list will be mostly about running:

~My body: I can't believe God created such an amazing thing...I started running again one year ago and never thought I could train my body to so efficient and run 6.2 miles. My muscles, lungs and heart work together to get me through 3 miles so effortlessly...because of this I can truly say I love running.

~Under Armour: My new compression shirt I bought at the outlets this weekend wicked away the sweat and keep me toasty warm. Hopefully, I won't dread those long 4-10 mile runs this Jan. when I start training for the half marathon.

~Magazines: I love reading them before favorite, Cooking Light, just came yesterday. The plan for the rest of the night is to snuggle up on the couch with some ice cream and my magazine!

Monday, October 27

Happy Birthday Laura!

Today is my little sister Laura's birthday! She's turning 8 and it's quite hard to believe she's not a baby anymore. It seems like we just brought her home from China last year. She started her birthday celebrations on Friday with a sleepover and seeing High School Musical 3. Tonight Ben and I are going over for Chinese...her favorite...cake and presents with our family.

Happy Birthday Presents!

Pretty new dress from us!

I'm feeling fantastic in today's outfit...a little chilly since I didn't realize my new shirt dress from Banana is only 3/4 length sleeves. I threw on a dressy jean bolero I bought over a year ago from Ann Taylor Loft and have barely worn. It's nice to finally get use out of something I bought on sale because it was a good deal. The outfit wasn't complete without tall black boots and my new long necklace and earrings.

The 3 things I'm grateful for today:

~Laura: I can't imagine our family without her. She's incredibly smart and has the funniest sense of humor that is way too mature for her age.

~Tall boots: On cooloer fall days they keep my legs warm and still let me wear skirts and dresses.

~Ben's home improvements: He called me at work to tell me he repaired the walls we messed up while moving furniture around. One thing I can cross off my to-do this for this weekend!

Sunday, October 26

The Shopping Extravaganza!!

I just got back from our Girl's Shopping weekend in Williamsburg. So much fun! It went by way to quickly, but I'm glad to be back home and relaxing a little before the week starts.

Friday we arrived in Williamsburg and hit the Pottery Outlets. It's pretty old and run down, mostly filled with junk, but somewhere in there I picked up some curly branches for a vase for our bedroom, a flatware chest and some goodies from the Pepperidge Farm store. We finished the evening off with dinner at the Stoegbauer's. It was great to see them even if Steph is all the way across the country in Seattle. She called just as we finished dinner...delicious London broil, mushrooms, asparagus and salad.

Saturday we spent shopping all day...and when I say all day, I mean ALL DAY! We left the hotel at 930am and did not return until after 10pm! We did stop for a picnic lunch in the parking lot of the outlets and dinner at Outback.

Sunday we packed up our loot, made a few last minute stops for a few things we missed on the first pass through. Then, met for lunch at TGI Fridays and said our goodbyes until next year...

Shopping wise...I did awesome. I've been saving for this weekend for months now. I pretty much stuck to my list of things I've been meaning to buy and looking for, as well as bought several early birthday and Christmas gifts. Here's the total list!

~Flatware Chest
~Curly branches
~Pepperidge Farm goodies
~Orange Banana Republic Shirt Dress
~Purple Banana Jeweled sweater
~Royal Purple Cowl neck sweater from Banana
~Button funnel neck sweatshirt from Banana (sooo comfy)
~4 new camisoles
~ Gold earrings and long matching necklace
~Beach hat from Columbia
~Fleece headband for running this winter
~Under Armour compression shirt for running
~Metal welcome snowman for the lawn
~Chunky green throw for our new sofas
~Beer Mug Christmas ornament for Ben
~White t-shirts for Ben
~3 new outfits for Laura and Lillie...Christmas and Birthday gifts
~Yankee Candle tarts
~A few other Christmas gifts that I can't say!!

Since I was out of town and left the laptop at home, here's my list of things I'm grateful for for Saturday:

~Text messages: Ben went out to a friend's house and was driving home late a night with a cell phone that was temporiarly out of commission. I went to bed and he texted me at 1am to let me know he was home. I slept so good after that knowing he was home safe and sound.

~Clarks: the most comfortable shoes I own. I knew Sat. would be a long shopping day and these are so comfortable.

~Picnics: Until this year there hasn't been any food places at the Williamsburg outlets. We decided to do a picnic this year. How fun...we had a huge smorgesboard of dips, chips, fruit, sandwiches, crackers, cookies, etc... Perfect fuel for a long shopping day.

Now that I'm's today's Gratitude list:

~The sun for finally coming out behind the clouds again

~MY memory foam pillow: I forgot it this weekend and I really missed it. The hotel pillows were feathery and mushy with no support.

~My FOM pillow from Brookstone: Ben gave me this purple heart shaped pillow almost 4 years ago and I love it. I sleep with it every night and travel with it every where. It's perfect for naps in the car!

Friday, October 24

On my way to Williamsburg

This is really quick as I'm late already. Ben decided to seed, put hay and water the lawn this morning as soon as he got home from work. I skipped my morning run to help him. And now I'm on my way out the door to Williamsburg.

Things I'm Grateful For:
~Instant Oatmeal:
It's so quick, delicious and filling
~My mom: who loves girl's shopping weekends
~Pumpkins!: I love all things pumpkin...eating pumpkin sweets, carving pumpkins, etc.

Thursday, October 23

5 Weeks to Turkey Day

There are exactly 5 weeks until Thanksgiving, which means I'll have over 100 things I'm grateful for by the end of my quest.

Today I'm grateful for:
~My puppy Freddie: he likes to snuggle in bed with me when Ben is working
~A job that challenges me
~Thursdays, that are like Fridays (tomorrow is a vacation day)!

Tomorrow my mom and I are off to Williamsburg for a Girl's Shopping weekend. I'm pretty sure this is like the 15th annual trip for the crowd we go with. We're also having dinner with my college roommates parents, who moved to Williamsburg almost 2 years ago. I can't wait to catch up with the Stoegbauer's and hear about Steph's wedding plans.

Wednesday, October 22

Sharing Gratitude

I was inspired to make this post on Monday when I received my newest Real Simple magazine in the mail which had a featured article about Sharing Gratitude. Several Real Simple staff members kept a journal for 30 days of what they were grateful for. Additionally the article mentioned how thinking about things you are grateful for or make you happy can improve you mood.

Since the holiday season is coming up I figured it'd be a good time to think about gratitude with all the negative things going on in the world. Instead of a written journal I thought I'd add a post to the blog of the things I'm grateful for and/or make me happy. About 10 years ago I purchased the book, "10,000 Things to Be Happy About". It simple a book of lists and I would go through and highlight things I also loved. Now, I'll be making my own list.

I'm going to try to post everyday until Thanksgiving 3 things that make me happy and that I am grateful for. (I might have to double up on some days if I'm too busy to post.) Feel free to add your own comments of things you are grateful for as well!

I am grateful for:
~soft Egyptian cotton sheets
~Ben making me coffee EVERY morning

~the beautiful colors of fall

Monday, October 20

A Frosty Fall Weekend!

Our weekends are always jam-packed and this weekend was no different! We definitely could have used an extra day to fit it all in and catch up on our sleep. Friday it finally turned chilly. I snuck away from work a few hours early...Ben fixed homemade pizza with sun-dried tomato chicken sausage, bell peppers and onions. We enjoyed pizza in front of the fire...our gas logs quickly heated up the downstairs so it was nice and cozy.

I was actually delighted to start Saturday morning's run being cold. It was a very nice break from the sweat-drenched runs for the past few months. I'm sure I'll be hating it in a few weeks. My run was fantastic...not my fastest, but a nice relaxed 5.16 miles at a 10:00 pace!

Saturday also included finally picking up our coffee table and end tables. We rushed home and unpacked them before heading to Kim & Jeff's wedding. It was a beautiful wedding in North Raleigh and we couldn't be happier for them. After an unfortunate event of losing their reception site one week before the wedding, they found a wonderful site in Wake Forest. Despite being a little chilly, we had a fabulous time. Dinner and the cake was amazing...the cake barely looked like cake!

Sunday we continued our hectic weekend heading to Charlotte for the Panther's game. It was me and the boys this time as we celebrated Shane's birthday. What a great game...we were so excited to see Jake and Company pull out an awesome win. With this crowd...good beer is always plenty. Fun fact: Carolina Beer introduced the Red, Wheat and Blue beer this year at the Panther's game and they haven't lost a home game yet. You know we helped continue that tradition at the game!

Sunday, October 5

Happy Fall Ya'll

This past few days have a been a perfect fall weekend...minus my nasty cold! I hate being sick on the weekends, but I guess it's better than suffering at work. And taking a few days off right now is not an option! I just wish I could have enjoyed the beautiful weekend more...there was no running this weekend.

Before I started feeling so bad, my mom and I enjoyed an evening being serenade'd by Michael Buble. I had no idea how funny and charming he was! She spent the night with us and after a few cups of coffee to get us going, we headed out to Lowe's. She offered to help me paint our new adirondack chairs from Kim & Stephen. We decided on "Piano Brown" for the color and the paint went on pretty fast. I'm so pleased with the color and how it complements the front porch.

While we were busy painting, Ben aerated the lawn and applied some weed and feed. Hopefully this will get our lack of a yard off in the right direction.

Since I was a little under the weather, we spent the rest of the weekend being lazy and watching football in between mulitple naps. Late Sunday afternoon I was itching to get off the couch, so we ran a few errands (mainly to get more cold medicine and Shower Soothers) and picked out our pumpkins. Ben wants to carve them, but I'd love to keep them as our front porch decor through Thanksgiving. We'll probably end up carving them and buying more!