Stocking Stuffers!

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Here I am again with another edition of my favorite things this year- this time with some stocking-stuffer appropriate gifts.

Screen shot 2013-11-26 at 8.47.25 AM{1} Garden & Gun’s The Southerner’s Handbook:  I died when this became available.  I cannot express just how excited I am when my new issue of G&G arrives every 2 months, so I was swooning over this handbook.  It’s both ridiculous and amazing at the same time.  

{2} Gold Tassel Necklace: BrinaBox has this on major sale.  I would never be able to get it at its original price, but can you beat this sale?  This would be a wonderful addition to my growing collection of necklaces.  And these tassel necklaces just about go with everything.

{3} Leopard Scarf: Again with BrinaBox.  Leopard is my favorite neutral of the season, but surprisingly, I’m still without a scarf in this print.  Granted, I have amassed more scarves over the years than any sane person should, but recently I’ve been trying to scale down and this one would [just like the necklace above] go with so much in my closet!

{4} Annual Christmas PJs:  From my beloved Target, I can’t wait to get cozy in some new Christmas PJs.

{5} Rifle Paper Co TYs: Gold Gold Gold.  It’s always appropriate to write thank yous.  No matter what.  These are super chic and can be used for any occasion.  Rifle Paper Co does it again.  Can you tell I have a stationery obsession?!

{6} Gold Starbucks Sleeve: It’s a special treat these days to enjoy some Starbucks coffee drinks, and this sleeve would make it even more sweet.  I could even use it with my homemade coffee drinks at work just to jazz it up a bit.

{7} Starbucks Gift Card: a duh.

What are some of your ideas for stuffers?  Join us today!  And thanks again to Cheers Y’all and Down with the Dearmore’s for hosting!!

xoxo, heather

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Happy Monday

It was a pretty quiet weekend around these parts; Matt and I both had to work.  We did have time, however, to catch some football games and relax.  We also caught the tail end of the AMAs last night.  I might have fallen asleep at 8:30 [I was exhausted, so it’s okay right?] but I was woken up out of deep sleep by this performance.  Did you see it?  Did you get goosebumps and tears welling up like I did?  I’m a fan.

I was wired and stayed up to see Gaga make a statement [while looking beautiful, I must say; go girl!], Miley being somewhat normal [but still mingling with cats?], and T. Swift taking home artist of the year.  I can jam to her songs and all, but I’d hoped Macklemore or JT would have gotten it.  Oh well..

Here’s to a joyous Monday on this week of Thanksgiving!  Only 2 more work days until I get some much needed r & r.

xoxo, heather

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It’s All About the Food

We spent last Saturday out downtown and the weather couldn’t have been more beautiful.  It was unseasonably warm, but breezy, and it made for the perfect opportunity to eat outside at one of our favorite local restaurants.

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Wayfarer Deli is an adorable, quaint bistro owned by a talented couple, Carey and Ron. Their menu is made from all fresh ingredients and the combinations are always playful and on point.  We began with drinks- I had a delicious red sangria.. I cannot say enough.. and Matt got a cinnamon hard cider.  As for food, [because that’s what we’re really here to talk about] I normally get the Zapp’s chips with my sandwich [waddup, Allison?!], but this time I forced myself to get the s’mac and cheese so I wouldn’t mooch off Matt’s plate.  It didn’t disappoint.  Matt got their famous bison burger, this time made to taste like Thanksgiving dinner on a bun.  AMAZING.  I’m not kidding, I took one bite and had to slow down and remember to breathe.  I don’t know how that boy finished that burger. We walked around, enjoyed some Kilwin’s ice cream and caught some football [thank you, Auburn] before heading to dinner.  

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I was so excited about trying this new restaurant- Matt surprised me with this place last week and I’d since heard wonderful things! We got all fancied up and went to Rx Restaurant & Bar.  I totally nerded out about the name, menu, decor, location, et cetera.  Being a pharmacist, I love when places play on the different themes of my profession; but not only that, the food was all local and had a southern twist.  Thank the Lord for the South, right?  We started with some drinks off the ‘elixir menu’ [love it].  I had the ‘sauced apple’- I was nervous it would be too sweet, but the combination of the bourbon and muddled apples made for a perfectly light taste to compliment my meal.  

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We then enjoyed the oyster appetizer coming from our local Topsail beach.  The raw oysters were deliciously briny, and the chef topped them with a jalapeno- apple mignonette and muscadine sorbet.  Hello, heaven.  It didn’t take long before everything on the plate had vanished and we were ready to tackle our entrees.  

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Matt chose the NY strip with turnips, radish, shiitake mushrooms and kale.  That strip was oh so tender and perfectly medium-rare.  What a beautiful pink color!  I stepped out of my comfort zone and picked the duck paired with hoppin’ john, charred green onion and sour apple mostarda.  I had to stop myself from licking the plate.  Everything was so delightful and came with generous portion sizes.  

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We were able to split a dessert and went for the ‘sinful’ chocolate brownie covered in hot fudge and their homemade ice cream.  I even had a cup of coffee to add a nice exclamation point to the whole experience.

It was enough the food was decadent, but our waitress was so nice and equally knowledgable about the menu, how each item was cooked, and from which vendor they came.  Needless to say, we are thrilled to find another local place to frequent and props to my sweet husband for knowing me so well!

xoxo, heather

A Few of my Favorite Things

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I know it’s pretty late, but this girl just finished a 12 hour shift and a trip to the gym with my man crush.  

Tonight I’m joining Cheers Y’all and Down with the Dearmore’s to feature our wishlists.  So without further ado, these are a few of my favorite things!

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<1> KJP. I’m always a fan of American-made and these bracelets are stylish, too.  Made in New England, Kiel James Patrick’s pieces are both creative and charming and there are a variety from which to choose.

<2> Rifle Paper Co.  Need I say more?  I love all things paper and this company has the most amazing designs.  I have some of their notecards framed around our house, I love them so much.

<3> These boots!!  Their on huge sale right now at Macy’s, plus go through Ebates and get cash back- cha-ching!  I’ve gone without black boots for a couple years now and I think it’s about time I add to these to my closet.

<4> Love Does.  I’ve heard so much about this book and am about ready to dive into reading again in my spare time.  I’m ready to find out just what love does.  Join me?

 <5> Blue House Paperie. I cannot rave enough about this new etsy shop.  One of my sweet college friends is showing off her artsy abilities.  She can do custom orders based off pictures of your own home or make cute notecards and prints.  Don’t waste any time getting your order in before the holidays!

<6> Mia 2.  I guess maybe I’m late to jump on this train, but I’m so wishing for one of these.  The thing I like about the concept of this beauty product is it’s not about putting something else on to cover up what’s there, but rather about getting down to the bare look; taking care of what you’ve got.  Yes, please.

<7> Brittany Fuson Planner.  I love fashion.  I love art.  I love planning.  I’m OCD.  Can I get an amen?  Stocking Stuffer, please, babe?!  Enough said!

Sorry for being so late with this one, join us next week for another edition!  Anything you’re hoping to get this year?

xoxo, heather

Weekend Recap

Shoot.  It’s Monday already.  I feel like I’ve been off work for so long- it’ll be hard to make myself go in this afternoon.

This weekend was spectacular.  I had 3 days off work, Friday to myself and Saturday/ Sunday with Matt.  We decided to revisit the local high school crowd at their football game on Friday night.  We always have so much fun going and reminiscing about when we were there [almost 9 years ago!!].  This time we were cheering for the home team whose colors are black and orange.  Those of you who know me, know that my dad would murder me if he found anything orange in my closet.  I was sure I didn’t have anything.

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Well I’m not sure where I got it, but I had one orange sweater- perfect for wearing that night.  Don’t judge me, it’s totally burnt orange. This was also the first time I’ve ever left a sporting event before it ended- the home team was up 33-0 at the half.  No thanks, those weren’t my Gamecocks and it was cold 😉

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Matt and I celebrated our anniversary on Saturday beginning with him surprising me with a gift.  I screamed and jumped when I discovered beautiful china on our dinner table.  I never registered for china when we got married; we wanted to make sure we got our essentials.  I know, a typical southern girl didn’t consider china… gasp. Honestly, I’ve been a little sad about it since but I found out I’d be getting a set from my mom… just as soon as we had somewhere to safely keep it.  Then a couple of months ago Matt and I were at one of our local consignment stores in Wilmington. The Ivy Cottage is a massive, three building store that has some of the most amazing finds.  We were browsing the selection when I came across a beautiful set of china for a ridiculously reasonable price.  Matt so sweetly took note and actually went back that same day and bought it.  He’s had it ever since! Y’all, I was in tears when he gave it to me.

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I had already taken him to pick out his gift a couple of weeks ago.  I knew I wanted to get him a fishing pole [or two] so we could start taking advantage of the local waterways, but I felt like he would enjoy picking them out, too.  Boy was I right?  We went on our day trip to Myrtle Beach a while back and he picked out 2 rod & reels, a sweet Bass Pro hat [totally necessary, of course] and some other goodies to fish in style.  He’s already taken Leroy to the beach to try them out!

We also got to see his mom and friend that morning when they brought us some sweet treats from one of our favorites, The Confectionary.  Mom also spoiled us with some beautiful ornaments marking our anniversary and new house to add to our growing collection for our Christmas tree.  These are becoming so special to take out each year and place on the tree.  

I wish we could still be relaxing during the weekend, but alas, it’s time to put my big girl pants on and jump back into the work grind.  Join me later this week when I highlight the food we enjoyed over the weekend.  That’s right, it deserves a post of its own!

xoxo, heather

FIVE on Friday- Anniversary Edition

Coming at you today with another edition of Five on Friday, this one an anniversary special/ thankful Friday!

O N E

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You can’t properly celebrate a wedding anniversary without talking about your better half.  My sweet husband has taught me more about myself in a matter of a year than I could have imagined.  -Don’t get me wrong, our parents did their part to encourage our individual identities and teach us how to relate to others.  But their ways of interacting with each other won’t always work for us.  That’s a hard pill to swallow- that there can be multiple right ways to work things out.-  I digress.

He encourages me to be a better me, to love others richly, to live in the moment while also investing in our future.  He pulls the best out of me while seeing the worst and loving me still.  He makes me belly laugh, appreciates my nerdy-ness, and apologizes profusely even when he’s not at fault. He sticks to his convictions, challenges me daily, and he’s [in my honest opinion] the most handsome man I’ve ever laid eyes on.  I could go on… really. I’ll spare y’all any further gushiness.  I just love him.  

T W O

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Speaking of the last year: we couldn’t have been more blessed and I constantly have to remind myself of this when the bad times come.  We bought our first home, establishing our roots in a new place.  We have [slowly, but surely] made some dear new friends who are, no doubt, gifts straight from God.  We both have steady jobs and thoroughly enjoy our coworkers/ roles at work.  Matt has received a grant to continue/ jumpstart his photography career.  We’ve been able to spend lots of time with our families despite the distance.  I don’t mean to brag- I know these things are only possible because the good Lord loves us more than we deserve.  There have been times where we’ve been discouraged and sad about circumstances, but God keeps his promises and this last year has been nothing but evidence to support that.

T H R E E

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Blessings… that brings me to today’s number 3.  Our friends and family, though scattered all across the country, are amazing.  It’s been so sweet to see our lives progress separately, but still being able to come together by the world wide web or in person to rejoice in life’s victories [small or large].  It can be difficult to make friends in a new environment when we’ve formed such strong bonds with others for years- but this has been a learning experience and gets easier as time goes on.  I could never take these relationships for granted!  

F O U R

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This one is a no-brainer.  I am pumped for tomorrow.  Our anniversary is actually on Sunday, but Matt and I will spend all Saturday on a date- I don’t know what all the day will bring.  That just simply doesn’t matter all too much; I’ll get to be with my sweetie.  And there most certainly will be food involved.  I do know we’re going to a new local restaurant for dinner, Rx Restaurant.  How appropriate!

F I V E

This one comes completely out of left field but deserves a mention today.  I cannot get enough of JT’s 20/20 Experience.  Matt must have left the cd in my car the other day and I have listened to it nonstop during the week, jamming to work and back.  I especially like these two.  Have a listen!

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What are your 5 things that deserve a mention this Friday?  Do I have anymore anniversary celebrations out there this weekend?  

xoxo, heather

Our Anniversary

Y’all.  This Sunday marks our 1st anniversary.  Time has flown.  I never would have thought there was still so much more to learn- both about Matt and about myself.  In honor of this exciting weekend ahead, some of the posts this week might include highlights of the wedding and our marriage so far.  It’s already been fun to reflect on that joyful time a year ago.

So obviously, the most important part of the wedding day is getting married.  No matter what planning occurred leading up to that day, I ended November 17th, 2012 forever betrothed to my sweetheart.  That doesn’t change the fact a lot of preparations and money and stress go into making a ceremony and reception happen.  The most difficult part was deciding what was our next priority. 

With Matt being a photographer and me always swooning over pictures from weddings, it wasn’t long before we knew.  [And let’s be honest, all my friends know I’d practically lived on some local photographers’ websites throughout college.  That’s healthy, right?]  We chose our wedding photographers pretty early in the planning process and were never disappointed.  

Candice and Daniel Lanning of The Beautiful Mess were a dream to work with.  They did both our engagement session and the wedding day.  Seriously, amazing.  I could go on and on about their work, their help leading up to the day [because let’s face it, we’d never done this before 😉 and they had!], and their professionalism while still blending with our family beautifully.

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They made us feel so comfortable every time we were in front of the camera.  With a couple of nerds like us, things could have gotten awkward real fast!

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We felt like they really captured our goofy sides while also pulling out our occasional serious looks.

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I’m so serious though, if you’re getting married and have yet to choose a photographer, check them out.  They’re based out of Charlotte, NC but came to SC for us.  WIN.  

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On a completely unrelated note- I am dying to start decorating for Christmas.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved the cute pumpkin/ harvest decorations I’ve amassed over the last 2 years.  But… well look for yourself.

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Matt and I have decided on a metallic palette with some natural colors mixed in.  No worries for you holiday sticklers, he’s holding me off until after Thanksgiving.  It’s not like decorating for Christmas makes me any less thankful.  I promise!

Anyone else indulging in the holiday decor yet?  What are your color choices this year?  

xoxo, heather

The Quiet in the Storm

Sometimes when this world breaks your heart, there’s nothing like a good, ugly cry and a silent dinner with your sweetheart by your side.  

Our family received some heart-wrenching news on Tuesday night.  I don’t wish to go into the details, but your prayers for peace, comfort, and renewed hope are coveted.  After processing our thoughts for a bit Matt and I ate a quick dinner in silence.  It was just what this girl’s soul needed.  My mind was racing, anxiety building, and I felt the word-vomit would turn dark in this initial phase of grief.  

Of the little I know, I know this to be true:  the Lord’s plan is far greater than our own and it’s completely out of our control.  We must cling to His truth and He will keep His promises.

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Matt and I were fortunate to have yesterday off together so we made a day-long date of it capped off by fun at the local fair.  Now this fair doesn’t begin to compare to the State Fair in SC, but Matt knows I love some fair food so he obliged.

It was pretty rainy the whole time and we didn’t ride any rides but we enjoyed looking at the sweet animals.

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This Old McNally’s Derby was pretty cute and hilarious

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Then, of course, we had to get an elephant ear!

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…it was also somewhat soggy from the rain.

We made the best of the night and had a good time.  It’s certainly been a tough few days around here but sometimes these mid-week adventures are just what the doctor ordered to keep us going.

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Learning to Budget (and like it)

That ick-word in the title- it’s slowly but surely becoming my new best friend.  

It all started back in November when a friend gifted us Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover for our marriage.  My husband who typically dislikes reading picked it up one night.  

He never put it down.  

Within a couple of days he was drafting a budget for us to discuss.  Obviously, I wasn’t about to consider one before the wedding and Christmas (I’m terrible, I know).  January soon followed and thus began our budgeting.  We aren’t taking a Dave Ramsey course, but we’ve adapted many of his ideas to fit our needs/desires.  

This budget thing really wasn’t a maybe-one-day sort of thing for us.  Let’s get real, pharmacy school wasn’t cheap and I didn’t live frugally in college.  When we exchanged vows in November 2012, my husband inherited a load of school loan debt.  While he fully takes advantage of picking on me for it, he has never been anything but gracious.

We HAD to make a budget.  We HAD to get control of our money instead of the other way around.  We wanted to live like no one today so we could live like no one tomorrow.  And now, we’re living off of less than half our bring-home and are on course to pay off my loans in 5-6 years instead of the 25 year life of the loan.  We’ve become Dave Ramsey groupies and we cannot wait to call in and do our “debt-free scream”.  

Our ultimate goal is to be able to do it before 30.  Then we’ll throw one heck of a party.  On a budget, of course 😉

Y’all- I get so excited when we make our loan payment each month.  I think Matt gets extra enjoyment from watching my childlike wonder and amazement at the total going lower and lower.  It’s like magic- except it’s not.  

I will say, one of things we’ve struggled with initially has been finding a “good” time to talk budget.  I so despise having to stop something to “talk really quick” or feeling blindsided by a money conversation.  Recently we started getting out of the house on Sunday nights; going somewhere, be it a coffee shop or to get froyo.  I know this involves spending money, but it’s minimal and it makes it more fun.  Although, we’ve run into some barriers with our local shop closing early or lack of wifi so we’re still working out the kinks.  But we know Sunday is the day, it gives us something to look forward to and allows us to start the week off with a plan.

THIS guy goofing off during our Sunday night budget time

THIS guy goofing off during our Sunday night budget time

What about you?  Any budgeting tips that have worked for you?  Anyone else listen to Dave Ramsey radio religiously??

Five on Friday

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So I’ve followed along with most of these posts regularly- it’s helped me focus on some of my favorite things each week.  I’m getting a late start today, but I’ve been busy packing for the weekend!

O N E

Today began my weekend off and there are so many things I’m anticipating!  For starters, my baby brother turns EIGHTEEN on Sunday and Matt and I are headed to Columbia to celebrate with our family.  I can hardly believe he’s so grown- a senior in high school, committed to a college for baseball, and such a stud.  I’m just so proud of this guy!!

T W O

Not only are we spending time with family, but also we’re returning to Williams-Brice Stadium for USC’s Homecoming!  Ya’ll it’s been TWO years since I’ve been here.. and if you know me, you know this is devastating.  I am a huge Gamecock and my Alma Mater means the world to me.  After last weeks crazy game, I can’t wait to cheer on my team in person tomorrow!  I’m already getting chills.

Copyright 2011 Travis Bell/Sideline Carolina.

T H R E E

Speaking of time off- I’ve made a habit of being in the city on my off days.  This means I get the chance to meet my sweetie for lunch.  I sometimes get sad that we work so far apart, but these times make our schedules feel more normal.  Plus, who wouldn’t want to walk around with that stud all dressed up for work?!

F O U R

So I know this is more of a flashback but last night was the first time I’ve been able to hand out candy from my own home to precious trick-or-treaters.  My word… the local munchkins were nothing short of adorable.  I may have promoted bad behavior by letting them choose their own candy from our bowl, but I remember wasting half my candy because it wasn’t something I would have chosen.  Oh well 🙂  

Oh, and I did a little dressing up of my own at work yesterday.  Not bad, huh?

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F I V E

I love stumbling upon great fashion finds, especially when they’re a steal.  I got the shoes below at Marshall’s this week for next to nothing.  This is one of my favorite trends of the season, and I can’t wait to sport these all fall long.

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happy weekend, y’all!

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