Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Greatest Show on Earth

Sawyer isn't getting a birthday party this year, even though I have planned it and re-planned it a million times on Pinterest and in my head...

Because instead, he is going to the circus!
two tickets to paraddiiiseee (okay, really three, and not to paradise, to the circus but you know...)
also, if you have no idea what this means, watch this video
That's right! The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is coming to Raleigh the weekend of Sawyer's birthday so on Saturday, Feb. 9 we're taking him to the big show!

Sawyer is more than a little obsessed with animals and stuff, so I can hardly wait to see him enjoy the circus. We of course can't have a birthday go by without cake and ice cream, so we'll have to invite some family over to celebrate after church that Sunday (his actual birthday), but his big gift is going to be the show.

I admit that I am also pretty excited about going, I am a litttttllle scared of clowns and I haven't been to the circus since I was in kindergarten, so it'll be fun for me too!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Josh's Surprise Weekend: Part 2 - THE FOOD

(read part 1 here)

We woke up Sunday morning with a little predicament.

We needed to check out by 10am, but the Food Truck Rodeo didn't start until 12:30pm. We couldn't go to a restaurant and wait because we were starving, and wanted to stay that way so we could be gluttonous at the park. We didn't want to go walk around a mall or anything. So, we decided to visit Chapel Hill.

We've been to Chapel Hill a few times for work things and conferences, a football game and some basketball games but never really ridden through Franklin Street in the daylight. So we decided that with time to kill, Sunday would be a good day to do so.

I, of course, gawked at the beautiful homes on E. Franklin, admiring the southern mansions and beautiful fraternity and sorority houses, my favorite being the Alpha Tau Omega place, check it out:

I love the downtown feel of Chapel Hill, families walking to church, students grabbing coffee and breakfast at the restaurants and yes a few students doing the dreaded walk of shame.
Then, my husband decided we needed to go to the Dean Dome, because after all it would be bad luck if we visited campus without seeing the Dean Smith Center (#sarcasm #myhusbandissuperstitious). There, at the Dean Dome is where my husband turned into a stalker. We had already had a very "basketball moment" on Saturday when we saw Duke University basketball player Seth Curry on the street, but then Josh saw Hubert Davis's (the assistant basketball coach at UNC) wife and kids crossing the street in front of the gym on campus and went berserk. So then we had to sit in the parking lot and straight up stalk the building waiting to see if Coach Davis was going to exit the building too. Luckily he didn't (I was legit scared Josh was going to pee his pants if he had).
Joshua felt the need to take yet another picture of the Dean Smith Center.
We made a quick stop at the most ghetto Toys R Us I've ever seen...

...and headed to Durham Central Park for the Food Truck Rodeo.

My first stop was to Parlez-Vous Crepe, I haven't had a good crepe since we came back from Paris, and let me tell you - these were on point. I got nutella and banana on mine and it was delish.

Josh's first choice was Porchetta where he got the Mediterranean sandwich with pulled pork, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and all kinds of things.


the oil was literally dripping from the paper (makes it even tastier).
My next stop was at Mama Duke's where I got the coconut curried chicken with fresh vegetables and sweet potato fries.

It was crazy spicy, which leads me to a major point (and a bit of advice). BRING YOUR OWN DRINKS TO A FOOD TRUCK RODEO. There was beer there and a few coolers with water and stuff at the food trucks, but if you want a soft drink, bring your own. Thank goodness, I had a Coke in the car.... that I made Josh walk and get since parking wasn't super close (thanks hubs).

Our next gastric adventure was at Gussy's, a Greek food truck where Joshua got a chicken pita sandwich, by this point I was still trying to hold a crepe in my pocket (seriously) and a basket of sweet potato fries in my hands, so no pics of that yummy thing. 
here's a picture of what Josh ate from their website though!
We then waited in line for about 10 minutes for what was promised to be the best dumplings ever at Chirba Chirba Dumplings

We got the "Juicy Juicy Pork" dumplings and they were absolutely delicious. They were my favorite thing I hate!

obviously my hands were too full to push my sunglasses up off the end of my nose...
they weren't lying about the "juicy, juicy" part...
Our final stop was at Sweet Traditions by LeAne, a cupcake truck!

I got a simple Red Velvet Cupcake while Josh got the Peanut Butter Cookie Cupcake... and I got icing everywhere so no photos were taken.

It was a great trip... and yes I may have had to change from jeans into yoga pants for the ride home so that I could breathe... but so worth it. Thanks again to Laura @ Life of Lu for posting about the Food Truck Rodeo when she went and giving me the idea!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Josh's Surprise Weekend: Part 1

Good morning everyone! I am going to break Josh's "surprise" weekend down into two posts since I have about 985.5 pictures from the actual Food Truck Rodeo, so here goes part one!

We left Friday afternoon at 1 p.m to head to Durham, in attempts to beat the nasty sleet and snow that was set to head our way.... we should have left earlier. The usual 1.5 hour trip took us 3.5 hours. Traffic on the highway was at a stand still and saw so many wrecks we quit counting.

Every bit of ice that fell hit my windshield and froze, so we had the heat on full blast but the windows partially down since it was so hot from the heat.  I was an absolute nervous wreck just watching Josh drive.

Because of the nasty weather, Revolution, the restaurant we had reservations for, decided to close early and called to ask us to come in earlier - however we were so terrified of getting back out we just canceled. I was very disappointed, but just too scared to think about getting back on the highway in the dark.

Once we finally got to the hotel, we slid into a park and checked in before walking to dinner at Tripp's since it was right in the hotel parking lot.
the hotel skating rink parking lot
Josh's mom sent us a great picture of Sawyer's first "snow/ice" experience while we were waiting for our food, here he is eating some ice (he told his Mimi, "too cold to my tongue").

After dinner, we watched Ted (not impressed) and I painted my nails (so exciting).
I don't think this the usage the hotel had in mind when they put lap desks in your room..
Luckily, the ice had melted a bit by Saturday morning so we ventured to the nice mall in Durham, Streets at Southpoint to find a few things for Sawyer's birthday and see Gangster Squad.  We had plans to go to Watt's Grocery, but those changed too since the movie times were a little weird Saturday and it made no sense to drive downtown for lunch before driving back uptown for the movie. 

This is seriously the only picture we took together all weekend. And it's blurry. Story of my life.
heading out
The poor little children statues in the fountain at Southpoint were covered in ice, check out homegirl's little ice dress:

I loved Gangster Squad! It had great writing and some major tear-jerker parts. Not to mention staring at Ryan Gosling busting people up is always nice. 

We traveled downtown to the Tobacco District in Durham and looked around for a bit after the movie before grabbing some dinner at Mellow Mushroom. We figured a lighter dinner would be better since we'd be eating all day long on Sunday.

The buildings are so cool in the district, offices there range from corporate relations for Duke University to PR firms and there are several restaurants throughout the buildings. It is also where the Burt's Bees headquarters is!

the courtyard at the Lucky Strike Building
the Lucky Strike water tower
The only thing I really enjoyed at Mellow Mushroom? My awesome Mushroom Tea. Can't go wrong with Firefly my friends.

Tomorrow: pictures of my husband stalking UNC players.... and the Food Truck. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

so full, can't even type

I ate so much over this weekend between the Food Truck Rodeo and just eating out for every meal that I can barely type. We had a great time despite canceled reservations, freezing temps and horrible ice and I promise to upload all the pics tonight for a post tomorrow!

Meanwhile, here are a few things I wish I'd asked for this Christmas, because I am just now realizing I need them. #randompost #frozenbrain

Patagonia Snap-T Pullover
I didn't like these at first and when my sister got one I was like "okkkay, why?" but they've grown on me and they look so comfy. 

Compare & Contrast Chevron Dress from Frock Candy
dying over this dress and the low $39 pricetag, sadly sold out of my size.

A plain long, white tank top 
I really just need a loose-fitting, long white tank, F21 to the rescue at only $5.80!

Red Dress Boutique's "Creme De La Creme" necklace
I have a pair of mint jeans I never even wore last spring because I could never find a mint necklace I liked, problem solved... now just to make husband gift it to me...

Friday, January 25, 2013

weekend excitement.

Finally! The weekend for Josh’s “surprise” trip to the Food Truck Rodeo in Durham is here… you know,that one he ruined? But no matter, we will still be having a glorious time having a little weekend away, even if “away” is only 2 hours down the road.

However, it is supposed to ice/snow pretty bad in the area this weekend so I have been busy planning ways to be comfortable, warm and chic all at the same time.

Tonight we have reservations at “Revolution” a nice restaurant in downtown Durham...
isn't it swanky looking? I am turning a kinda summery dress that I wore for Hope’s bachelorette party (read about that adventure here, here, and here) into a winter dress with tights and a cardigan (and of course a giant coat since it's freezing).
tonight's attire:

Then  Saturday we’re just going to eat some lunch at Watt’s Grocery...

...and go see Gangster Squad before eating a VERY light dinner (we'll need an appetite for Sunday) while watching DVD’s we got for Christmas (since we’ll finally have time to do so).
saturday's outfit
(that's a purple infinity scarf by the way)

Sunday is the Food Truck Rodeo (Josh’s “surprise”) and we’ll be dealing with temps around 37 degrees, so most of my outfit will be hidden by my North Face, but just because I’m stuffing my face with forty different kind of yumminess, doesn't mean I have to look sloppy.

sunday's outfit (plus a coat):

Here’s hoping the weather isn’t truly horrible, and a big, ginormous thanks to my sister’s boyfriend John John for house/dog sitting for us! Don’t know what we’d do without him!
(this is John John)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

smell it.

I have always heard that smells evoke memories more than any of the other five senses, and I full-heartily believe it. 

Smells don't just remind me of things that have occurred, they practically catapult me back in time. Some of the smells are standard, like perfumes & colognes that remind me of those who used to wear them, but other smells that always trigger my memories and nostalgia are pretty weird...

Inhalant medicines like Albuterol 
Mema, me and Papa after my high school graduation.
My Mema Kay has horrible COPD and emphysema then later lung cancer and took inhalers like Albuterol all the time in order to breathe. Now, every time I smell it I feel like she is right there with me.   

Freshly-cut grass, gasoline and dandelions

Remind me of soccer season and the fun I had playing on the field and riding home in the back of the bus, singing (with our cell phones as microphones) and living it up even though we lost every game.

Herbal Essence non-aerosol hairspray and baby powder

I am thrown back to 2005 and my freshman year of college. My roommate and I had just been taught the baby powder in the hair to hide oiliness trick so we used it A LOT. Lindsey also had the thickest head of hair I've ever seen and was all about spraying it down with non-aerosol spray. Just smelling those two smells takes me back to getting ready together in our little dorm room and running back and forth to our suite bathroom to check our hair and makeup.

Hibachi Express & Captain Morgan 

Ugh, remind me of my first Halloween in Greenville when Josh got so sick we didn't even make it to downtown even though I'd come all the way from UNC-Wilmington for the occasion. And yes, I seriously dressed up as Strawberry Shortcake.

But the smell that stands out the most to me is the smell of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls.
My family used to eat cinnamon rolls every Sunday morning before church as long as I can remember. It was such a huge tradition in our house and I always think about being little with curlers in my hair leaning on the arm of our old couch eating them off a TV tray and watching Big Mark iron his dress shirts and the Wendy wearing two different shoes and asking me which looked better.

Do you have any smells that trigger memories?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

a dream is a wish your heart makes...

In light of Monday's holiday and Martin Luther King's famous speech, I decided I needed to post an update on a little dream of my own. Granted, my dream is nowhere near as amazing and selfless as his for equality, but important to me nonetheless. 

A long time ago (and by a long time ago, I mean last July) I posted about my dream of running my own event/reception hall designed to look like a rustic barn. We have nothing like this in our area and really the closest reception/event places are a good 20 minutes away.

I want to make THIS happen in our area:
Well... a church is for sale right down the street from my home down a path, behind a neighborhood.
Does it look like I want my reception hall to look? Absolutely not, but all I could think when I saw the big "For Sale" sign go up was, that could be where my dream happens. It is a rectangle building with good bones and a parking lot and isn't right on top of other buildings. Yes, it is a dated brick and has a steeple, but I am enthralled by all the potential. 

However, it is for sale for $350,000. That is money I can't even dream about having.

I want it with every fiber of my being. I cannot even explain how my heart squeezes when I go by it. But, there is no cure for this feeling, at least not right now. I am in no position to quit a steady job to chase a dream that is too far from my current reality. So, I am just doing sketchy drive-by's and dreaming of how I could turn it into something beautiful... while praying for an amazing sponsor who wants to be a silent partner and offer me tons of money. One day though, it will happen.

Do you have a dream?