Thursday, January 31, 2013

Guide to Raleigh/The Triangle/The South

As I mentioned yesterday, my best friend is moving to Raleigh Saturday (insert jump in the air heel click, please)!

Now, I know Emily from the South. She went to elementary school with me for two years (homegirl stole my crayons - I was not a fan) and moved in eighth grade. She's no stranger to the South, but she spent many of those important formative years (what lip gloss do I wear today? does that boy like me? are you going to the football game tomorrow night?) in Ohio, which I have learned is a completely different world.

Ohio is cold and midwestern-y and just different than Raleigh. Accordingly, I've created a little guide to Raleigh/The Triangle/The South for Emily or any others that find themselves relocated to the Land of the Pines!

  • Apparently people outside of the South don't say "y'all." I don't even think twice about saying it, so you should probably incorporate it in your vocab.
  • Carolina, State or Duke. You have to pick a team. (And pick Carolina). 
  • On a similar note, fall = football season and winter = basketball season. EVERYONE you know will be at their school of choice's football game every Saturday in the fall. (Side note: elaborate tailgates will be planned - mine include hydrangeas, corn hole and gourmet food - and fancy clothes will be worn.) EVERYONE you know will watch their school of choice's basketball games in winter. During March Madness people will call out of work. Those that do go to work will have the games streaming on their computers and that's expected. Children will watch the games on TVs in their classrooms.
  • ITB/OTB. (Inside the Beltline/Outside the Beltline). Opinions on these depend on who you ask and how long they've been in Raleigh. Generally speaking, ITB is more expensive real estate. OTB used to be considered the boonies, but now it's nothing at all and you can get more property/land for your buck. I'll leave it at that. If you know me, you know where my heart lies. :) 
  • Chapel Hill is the most beautiful place on Earth. When God created the world, he shined a special light on that city.  (I'm not biased.)
  • Downtown Raleigh has gone through a huge renaissance in the last few years. It now has incredible restaurants, bars, etc. It's a fun place to be.
  • Emily's favorite thing about the South is Sweetwater Blueberry beer. I'm not a beer person, but if you're moving here, we have this in most bars. I guess that's kind of exciting for y'all?
  • No one here knows what Chili Mac is. I know this from a conversation I had last week in which I was the only person who know about it because of Emily. 
  • We have an awesome greenway system. If you're a runner/walker/biker, you'll love it. 
  • When we say "let's cook out," "let's have a cookout!" or "let's grill out," that would be the your equivalent of "let's bbq" or "let's have a bbq." Down here, BBQ means pulled pork served in a vinegar based sauce. (Check out the Pit!)
  • Snow/ice/any wintery event is a big deal here. On Monday, most of our schools had a three hour delay because there was a tiny chance of freezing rain. There was no precipitation. Like, not a drop. We know we don't drive well in the snow, sorry in advance.
  • Alcohol. We have state run ABC stores here where you can purchase liquor. Generally they are open Monday - Saturday until 9 p.m. They are closed Sunday (as are many things in the South). Beer and  wine are sold at grocery stores and can be bought any day of the week, but only after 12 on Sundays. Similarly, restaurants can only serve alcohol after 12 on Sunday so plan your brunch accordingly.
  • Popular brunch items include grits and biscuits and gravy.
Help me keep this list going. What other pieces of wisdom can you bestow upon Emily and other relocated Yankees/Midwesterners?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Exercise - It's Still Around

I was looking back over the blog and realized that I haven't blogged about exercising much lately. I'm not sure why - I promise, I've still been doing it.

Most of my weeks have consisted of some schedule similar to this:

  • one or two three mile outdoor runs
  • one interval training treadmill run
  • one hot yoga class
  • one or two pilates classes
I've been really loving the variety I have going lately. In the next few weeks I want to get my mileage up slightly (just around 3.5 or so) and increase the speeds on my interval runs. I've been loving hot yoga at a new-to-me studio. I've just stuck to the gentle so far, but I really think I may just be a gentle yoga kind of girl. I love working all of my muscles hard in pilates and then stretching them out in yoga. Also, today I'm starting a new weekly yoga class at church that goes for ten weeks. 

Just wanted to give you a quick update and let you know there is still exercise in my life! What workouts have y'all been doing? I'm always looking for new ones, so share, please!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Charlotte, Train Disasters and Exciting News!

Happy Monday, y'all. We had some snow and ice at the end of last week and I was out of town for the weekend, so here are some updates.

1. I made this awesome creamy quinoa with sauteed veggies and andoiulle chicken sausage last week. I'm already planning on making it again this week.

2. My mom stumbled across this picture of my sweet baby boy, Tucker, as a baby. Try not to say "aww!"

3. Thursday was for hot yoga. My hair looks super cool after.

4. This weekend I headed to Charlotte to visit MG. I took the train which was fine on the way there. We'll get to the way back. Anyway, I was super proud that I fit a weekend's necessities into this bag.

5. Saturday before the Carolina vs. State game that I'm now pretending didn't happen, I found myself eating cheese and drinking wine. I am such a Carolina fan stereotype.

6. Post-game. The boys have this ridiculous group message (I swear, they text more than ANY girl I know) and they were all sending pictures after the game. They are all State fans. They all suck. We sent them this one in return.

7. The train ride home. Oh goodness. We left on time at 5:15 and were scheduled to get into Raleigh at 8:20. The train stopped at about 5:34. Not a scheduled stop. We eventually found out we hit a person and killed him. The police came and the power went out and it was all really unsettling. We made it to Raleigh at about 12:30. This was where we were for three plus hours.

And here is my face.

And here is the news article.

8. My best friend Emily was in town for an interview (more on that in a minute) and was scheduled to pick me up at 8:20. She toughed it out and picked me up at 12:30. Best friends are the best.

9. Emily's interview went so well and she was OFFERED THE JOB. She starts in exactly ONE WEEK! I can't believe that my best friend is finally moving South again. This is good for my soul and probably bad for our wine consumption/the city of Raleigh. Love you, Em!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Photo Catch Up

Love this glass! (Although I feel like people in Texas probably say "y'all" too.

Mountain weekend! We arrived to a crazy snow covered driveway that none of the cars could get up, so the boys got to shoveling!

Who needs a cooler?

MG ready to snowboard.

Mexican night at the mountains.

Joe sneak attacked this picture. I really think I am explaining the difference between stuffing and dressing here. It gets me really worked up because apparently I'm the only person on the planet who says "dressing." 

Thursday, January 17, 2013


I finally got my hair cut! I've been going back and forth about it for a solid two months. I really like it long, but the ends were gross. I also ended up getting highlights, so I spent way more money than I intended to, but as my mom says, "You wear your hair every day!"

Before. That face was for the gross ends. 

And after. With supermodel curls that I will never be able to recreate. 

More of the color. 

And today straight. How it will be worn most days (when it's not in a ponytail, ha!) because homegirl has no hair skillz whatsoever.

 Do y'all think it's too light? Wait, scratch that. Lie to me if you do. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My 'Hood

I'm sort of obsessed with my neighborhood.

It's this weird combination of young professionals/hipsters/redone bungalows that now sell for $500,000+/families/older chatty people at the church nearby/you name it, we have it. In a word, it's perfect.

(I jest, but there really are a lot of hipsters. And now I eat kale. I fear what hipster tendencies I will have acquired in another year.)

I'm in an older bungalow (not one of the ones that is redone and would sell for $500,000+ ha!) and I love to sit on the front porch and people watch. People are constantly out walking, running, grilling, playing and biking. We have a little area with great coffee shops, a delish pizza place, a yummy brunch spot and cute antique shops all within a few minutes walk.

This morning I was taking my Christmas tree to the street (yeah, I'm a little late, I know) and a woman who was power-walking stopped to tell me, "killer shoes, girlfriend!" It made me smile as I got in my car for work.

On the way to work, I started thinking about how much my neighborhood reminds me of a microcosm of my favorite place on earth, Chapel Hill. (Side note: I'm not sure if anything can be a microcosm of such an already small place, but you get my drift). Both have amazing things in walking distance, everyone is always playing outside and both have the most random, eclectic, friendly group of people you've ever seen.

I'm such a lucky girl to have both places hold such big parts of my heart.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Photo Bomb

LOVING my new print. It's a map of Chapel Hill!

Dress that I got for NYE, ,but did not wear.

Enjoying Charlotte with wine and MG's thumbs up!

NYE Eve manicure.

Best part of NYE? Late night 90's party. MG is so into whatever song we were singing and I look like the happiest girl in the world.

This is the January cover page in my planner. Anorexia much? 

Adore my new Tortoise Shell glasses.

This week's weather forecast. 70s in January? I'm definitely on board.

New Year's Resolutions

I had a pretty serious internal debate about posting my New Year's Resolutions on here. Part of me thinks it's a great idea - hello accountability - but the other part of me thinks some things are personal and I want to work on them without the whole world knowing about them (and because, as I mentioned earlier, some are weird and I don't want y'all to judge me super hard). In the end, I've decided on a compromise. I'm sharing most of them here with you, but will keep a few to myself.

  1. Stop coughing. Ok. I know that sounds so weird. But somewhere along the line, I've picked up this weird habit of coughing for no reason. I do it at specific times/places throughout the day. As soon as I mentioned this to MG and Lauren, they both immediately cited instances they've seen me do this. So if you see me coughing, tell me to stop! 
  2. Learn guitar. A long, long (long) time ago, I got an acoustic guitar for my birthday. I took a few lessons, but never really dedicated myself or practiced. Fourteen years later, said guitar is in the back of my closet. Thankfully, I have this really cool little brother who has been taking guitar (and drum, and piano -  yeah he's basically superkid!) lessons for over two years. Last night Nicholas P gave me my first guitar lesson! While there were lots of laughs at his rhythmically-challenged big sister, we had the best time. He printed out tabs and worksheets for me and I can now (sort of) play Ode to Joy. Can't wait to bust that one out at a party.
  3. Run. Self-explanatory.
  4. Be brave. There are so many little baby things that I get myself all worked up into an anxious little tizzy about that don't deserve that much of my time and energy. This year I want to be confident, brave and bold in my decisions.
  5. Worship more. I touched on this before and while my private spiritual time is one of my favorite times ever (hello, peace! nice to see you), I am looking forward to finding a community to worship with as well.
  6. Judge less. Self-explanatory. And totally necessary.
  7. Make new friends. When you've lived in the same city your whole life (minus my jaunt in heaven aka Chapel Hill only 30 minutes away), it's easy to get stuck. I am so blessed to have an amazing group of friends, many of whom I've had close to my whole life. Sometimes though, I know that because of that I don't make the effort I should to make new friends, especially girlfriends. That is one of my big goals this year. (So call me and let's plan a friend date!!)
What is your #1 resolution for this year? 

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Before I post my goals/resolutions for 2013 (get excited, some of them are super weird - confirmed by my friend Caroline), I'd like to take a minute to say all that I'm thankful for in 2012.
  • My relationship with God. It continues to grow and He continues to provide me with peace, even when it must pass understanding. I'm looking forward to finding a new church home in 2013! I love the church that I grew up in and know I will still attend, but I think there may be smaller churches that are a better fit for me.
  • My blood family. My parents are my rocks and incredible supportive. My mom- my running partner, my pilates partner, my dance around the room to Dolly Parton partner and my dad - my sports watching buddy and tailgating companion. My "little" (he's 2 inches shorter than me and 5 lbs lighter now, y'all) brother makes me proud every day. Po, my crazy aunts, uncles, cousins... I love you all .
  • My chosen family. My bests: Marcus, for giving me belly laughs that are so good for my soul and building me up daily, and Lauren, who knows every single crazy thought that comes through my head and still loves me any way. Both of you know my heart and soul like no other and that is the best feeling ever. And my favorite girls and boys in the world. I have incredible friends and I don't know what I'd do without you.
  • A job. I know I say it all the time but I love public relations and doing it for amazing clients and an incredible boss is insane. I pinch myself all the time.
  • My sweet baby house. 
  • Running. I never ever ever thought I'd say this. Ever.
  • My bed.
  • Carolina. The school, the sports, the people. That place owns my heart.
  • Wine.
  • Clinton Kelly.
  • Food. All of it.
  • Clothes.
  • Sunshine. If we ever get any again. Raleigh has been super dreary this week. 
  • 2013! I am one of those people who seriously buys in to resolutions/hope/a fresh start. Call me an idealist. I eat it up.
What are y'all thankful for today?