A Sweet Family Wedding

I just have to share a few photos and words about the sweetest family wedding that the hubs and I attended in Nashville last weekend. Jonathan’s aunt Kathy (sister to his mama) got married over the weekend, to a wonderful man and family. It was just about 25 people or so – immediate family – at the newlyweds new gorgeous home in Murfreesboro.

Everything was so perfect! God is good, and it was so clear on Saturday that He brings people together precisely when they need to be put together. It’s a beautiful thing!

Puppy Sleeps

Puppy sleeps are the best sleeps. I swear, our pup Ryman has two modes – hyper crazy and sound alseep. She sleeps A LOT. And my husband informs me that she is currently a “teenager” in dog years which totally makes sense. She would honestly sleep until noon if we let her.

Here she was this morning when my hubster tried to get her up to go outside…

"Are you serious, bro?"

“Are you serious, bro?”

She spends every night under the covers, curled up by our feet or against our chests/backs. And to get her to go out in the morning, we literally have to carry her all the way downstairs and force her out the backdoor, or she would just run back to the bed. The minute she comes in, she runs straight to her bed in her crate rather than even bothering to go back upstairs to the bedroom.

I seriously can’t handle the cuteness, which is why I don’t mind too much.

And don’t think she doesn’t sleep all day or something – most evenings, as we are watching TV or working on our computers, she is curled up asleep in our laps. Bedtime is really just carrying her outside, making her go to the bathroom, and then putting her in bed. Moral of the story here is I LOVE OUR PUPSTER!!

She’s a cuddler forever and ever – and seems to have been made just for us…

Snuggles for life.

The Lady and Sons {a.k.a. find Paula}

Last week, I got to travel to Savannah for work. Having never been there before, I made sure to research and plan out my free time in advance. I knew I wanted some of that good southern cooking, and I really wanted to see all the weeping willows and old buildings and all that good stuff! And what better place to start than Paula Deen’s restaurant, The Lady and Sons?

Honestly, I sort of expected it to be only so-so. I mean, don’t you think that somehwere as hyped up as “Paula Deen’s Restaurant” can’t really live up to expectations? Well, let’s just say my inner southern fat kid was NOT disappointed. I got the buffet (partly because I was indecisive and partly because it was one of the cheapest menu choices, and I’m on a limited per diem over here), which included, among other things, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn bread, greens, green beans, and mac & cheese. First plate was as follows: chicken, greens, a little pork, and a little cornbread. I told myself, “This isn’t SO unhealthy.” And when I finished, I was full. And I sat a little while longer. Thinking about mac and cheese.

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And so I may or may not have gone back to the buffet to make a small “dessert” plate of mac & cheese and sweet potatoes.

At that point, I became uncomfortably full. But whatever, it was worth it.

The restaurant itself was really pretty, and much bigger than it looked. Being a loner, I asked for bar seating which was all the way up on the third floor, down a random hallway, to it’s own little room. It was cozy, however as the photo below implies, I was definitely alone at the bar. Thankfully, with all the traveling I do, I don’t really mind riding solo. It makes me, like, mysterious or something, right?

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ALL of this to say, if you find yourself in Savannah, GA, do not be intimidated by the Paula. Go there! I didn’t get to see Paula herself, but the food definitely lived up to her reputation. Cheers!

 

On Guilty Pleasure Reading

I have pretty vast interests when it comes to my reading style. I LOVE non-fictions, like Wild  and Unbroken. But I also love the suspense of Gone Girl and the intricacies of Game of Thrones. 

But I also love the easy, thoughtless pleasure of reading cheesy love stories and tasteless tales. Most recently, this includes Courtney Robertson’s book, I Didn’t Come Here To Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain.

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Obviously, by admitting that I read this book, I also must admit that I watch the Bachelor/Bachelorette shows. Well, I guess half-watch with my girlfriends while we drink wine and talk over much of it. But still, I most definitely watched Ben’s season, when we all loved to hate Courtney. I cheered for Kacie from Nashville, even though she turned out to be a hot mess in the end, and the whole time I thought Ben was a little, well, boring.

Okay, back to the book. I actually seriously, really enjoyed it. It had a lot of inside looks into what it’s really like to be on a show like this (regardless of if you’re the villain or not), and the aftermath of the show airing. She definitely digs on Ben a bit, but I also felt like she is pretty forthcoming about her errors and flaws along the way too. Gotta give it to the girl – she’s brutally honest. And it really goes to show how much you don’t know about these contestants’ lives BEFORE coming on a show like the bachelor.

All in all, read it if you want something fun and easy. And now that that’s done, it’s time for me to dive into the next Game of Thrones book…

Some People Get To Travel For Work

Have you seen those commercials? The ones that are like “Some people have to travel for work – other people GET to travel for work.” Well, they are advertising for Courtyard Marriotts, which happens to be my work travel hotel of choice, and has been for quite a while. I know it seems kind of random, but let me tell you about my love for the good old Courtyards.

(Here is the commercial if you care.)

Obviously, loyalty = rewards. But I could stay at any Marriott and reap the same rewards. The thing about Courtyards is that they are all laid out the same (they all have a courtyard – duh – and a fitness center and a super casual lobby restaurant area with delicious breakfast and dinner options. They have snacks for sale 24/7. They have balconies. And every room has a sofa and coffee table and tons of space.

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This all probably sounds silly, I know, but I don’t always appreciate these things until I am forced to stay in a different hotel and realize that not everyone has this. Seriously, I feel like I’m in a house at these places. The lobbies are like big living rooms. Here’s a view as I write this blog:

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That’s the lobby. Where I am sitting on a couch in a corner nook with a remote control, watching the crossfit games on ESPN.

And last night I watched TV on my computer in the courtyard while drinking wine.

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Really, as much as traveling for work does get SUPER OLD, it’s really nice to know what to expect at the end of a long day. And I find a lot of comfort in the routine of the Courtyard Marriott.

Are you loyal to a chain or a hotel? Tell me why!

A Soccer Breakfast {Followed By Napping}

Recently, my husband (and I, of course) has decided to become an Everton (a team in EPL soccer) fan. Because these games are played in EUROPE, they are often very early in Eastern time. Well this Sunday was a BIG one – 7:00 a.m. EST vs. Manchester United. So yes – we were up early and making a delicious breakfast for two, including scrambled eggs, bacon, and bagels with lox. I mean, YUM. Needless to say, we had fun but went back to bed…

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Pumpkin Dip

pumpkin dip

Yeah, this is good as it sounds / looks. Serve it with Nilla Wafers, graham crackers, apples, or pears. And it’s SO EASY to make. So do it!!

Pumpkin Dip

Ingredients
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Instructions

Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar together. Then add in pumpkin and seasonings, beating until all the ingredients are completely combined. Chill in the fridge, and voila! Deliciousness.

A little pre-party shot when just the pumpkin dip was ready to go :)

A little pre-party shot when just the pumpkin dip was ready to go :)