5 on Friday

I love a short work week, don't you? Sure, it throws off my schedule, but it's one more day to enjoy the weekend, and one less day of work.
And voila, hello Friday!

{1}- Birthday Shout Out
One of my besties, Trish, is having a birthday TODAY (and celebrating tomorrow), and I wanted to take my number one spot and wish her the happiest of birthdays! So glad we got randomly placed together as roommates in college and have stayed friends for so long! Love you so so much, gurrrrrrl!! And your soft pillows lol

{2}-Move out/Move in
Saturday is the official move-out date for the tenants in our house (altho they've already moved everything out as of yesterday). Tomorrow is our walk through with them, and the deliveries of our new mattress and washer/dryer. Along with whatever other things we can pack into the car and cart over. Although the official move isn't until next weekend, it's so so so so exciting to be moving into our first place, that we bought together.

{3}-Girls' Night(s)
Last night I went out to dinner with a girlfriend of mine (who used to live around the corner from MG and I, and now lives around the corner from where our new place is), since we haven't gotten together in a little while. Super fun times, as always--so glad she's gonna be close again when we move in a week! And then...tonight is girls' night! I'm getting together for a good old fashioned girls night with two friends and I couldn't be more excited (they're great girls, not to mention it gives me a break from packing and moving haha)! We're doing dinner and drinks, and no boys allowed! It'll be the perfect end to the week and I'm pumped :)

{4}-Home Depot Debacle
Remember how I told you that we bought a grill last weekend? We had them assemble it, and were waiting for them to call us to schedule a delivery date/time. When they asked us at the register if we wanted someone to be home for delivery or if it was ok to leave it "on the curb" we said someone needed to be home.
So imagine our surprise when I get a text Wednesday night from the renters in our house saying that a nice new grill was left OUTSIDE their place that night. Did we ever get a phone call to arrange delivery? Nope! Did we ever get a message saying "we are coming this day/time"? NOPE! Thank goodness our new house is in a safe neighborhood and it wasn't stolen. I'm tempted to call Home Depot and ask them where our grill is, and when it's being delivered...

{5}- Maya Angelou
I was so sad to hear of the passing of Maya Angelou earlier this week. What a truly inspirational, kind, intelligent woman. She provided the world with such a powerful story, along with her heartfelt and strong messages. The world truly lost a beautiful soul this week.

Have a good weekend!!

Book Review: What Alice Forgot

During this past long weekend, I was able to get in some primo reading time, which made it possible for me to finish my latest read, What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
This book was a bit of a "splurge" for me since it was $7.99 on the Kindle (on Amazon), but since I was a fan of other Liane Moriarty books and this one kept popping up in recommendations, or on Pinterest as a "must read" I went for it.
And I'm so glad that I did.

Here's the Amazon summary:
"Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child. 

So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! She HATES the gym) and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids, and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes. Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over…"

I really really loved this book. I loved how it made me think. I often caught myself wondering "what would I do/be like if this happened to me?" It was lengthy, and a little bit mid-way through I was a little antsy for the whole story to unfold, but all of the details and descriptions really made the story make sense when everything totally pieced together. There are also some side stories mixed in with Alice's sister and grandmother, that are told more in the form of letters. It sounds weird, but it works.

What I loved the most about this book was the perspective that the memory loss gave her. So often we get caught up in our own lives and heads, creating habits and things that aren't healthy for us. And sometimes it's hard to take a step back and see how you got to where you are, and what needs to change in order to make your life better and be the best you.

I really enjoyed reading this book, learning about each character, especially Alice, and seeing how it all unfolded and then came together. I highly highly recommend this book. It'd be a great summer read, for sure!

Recipe: Avocado Egg Salad

Instead of a wedding Wednesday post this week, since
I teased you with and promised last week, I'm sharing another recent recipe try (courtesy of Pinterest)

What You Need:

-2 avocados, pitted, peeled and chopped
-2 hard boiled eggs, chopped (with yolks)
-2 hard boiled eggs (without yolks), chopped
-1 Tbsp Greek yogurt
-1 Tbsp lemon juice
-1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
-salt/pepper to taste
-Optional: 2 Tbsp chopped green onion (I omitted this)

*Note: when I originally made this recipe, I misread the extra 2 hard boiled eggs without yolks, so they aren't pictured. I highly recommend using this amount tho as the egg salad I made was too avocado-y, and needed more egg.

What You Do:
1 (and only step). In a medium bowl, mix the chopped eggs, avocado, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, green onion (if you're using it--I didn't) and mustard. Mashing it with a fork helps to even out the lumps and bumps of the avocado.
Season with salt and pepper

The original recipe suggested serving immediately. I made this the night before and had it for lunch the next day. I stored the egg salad in a small tupperware container and then put it on the bread at lunchtime (along with a tomato slice). It will be a little brown on the top where it got exposed to air, but just mix it all up and it will be fine. Trust me. (Although I did ask my friend Shay if I was gonna get the runs if I ate the brown stuff. She assured me I wouldn't. And I didn't--in case you were wondering).
As the original site suggests, you can eat this on a sandwich, with crackers, in a wrap, with veggies....you name it. It was really good and I felt like it was a healthier option than a regular egg salad with mayo, etc.

I'll be back later with the recipe for the Panko crusted, ricotta stuffed chicken, and my Lemon Cake-Mix Cookies, so stay tuned!

MDW recap

Boy do I loooooove long weekends! I feel fully recharged and accomplished after this MDW.

Friday night MG and I went out to dinner and tried out a local restaurant nearby that we'd seen but hadn't been to yet. Unfortunately, it was a total letdown as the food wasn't very good (how do you mess up a Ceasar salad??), despite the good service.

After our disappointing dinner we spent the night in, watched a movie and relaxed.

Saturday we went out to hit all of the Memorial Day sales and get things for the new house. We purchased a washer/dryer from Best Buy, a new mattress (along with the most comfy pillows ever) from Sleepys, and MG bought a grill from Home Depot. Now, when we officially move in, we'll have everything that we need, and a place for guests to sleep! After our massive shopping spree, we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and went to play tennis together at the courts by our condo. It was fun getting back into the swing of tennis (pun not intended, but it totally works haha), and getting in a little exercise while we were at it. Around mid afternoon we headed to MG's work cookout. It was really nice to finally put some faces with the names that I've heard about since MG moved offices back in January. Not to mention the house that we went to was INSANELY nice. 

Sunday we did a huge load of packing, cleaning, etc around the condo. We had plans to go to the pool, but we got so in the groove of everything that by the time we'd considered going, it was time to get ready to head to dinner with my parents.
We drove to Maryland and had dinner at Clyde's with my parents--my dad looked really good (even MG commented on it), so that made me happy. The food was good, we talked about the upcoming move, etc and just had a nice little family dinner together :)

That night we met up with another couple and had drinks in Arlington. 
We first stopped by this rooftop bar, since the weather was insane, but quickly realized that we were too old, and not drunk enough to be there (since the rooftop had been open since noon, and it appeared that by 8pm, everyone had been there since it opened). We stopped by Cava (where we had our first date, and then took a couple of wedding pics) where I tried their new-ish spicy mango drink. It was tasty but wooooo-weee it was spicy! And then we made our way to Circa where we were able to sit outside, talk with our friends (and actually hear them) and enjoy the night.

Monday I made lemon cake-mix cookies to bring to the current renters who are in our house and moving out this week. We were coming by to drop off a few boxes (and the deck chairs) and since the husband is in the air force, and they have two super sweet girls, I thought it would be nice to bring them a treat this weekend. The lemon cake-mix cookies were SO yummy (and pretty easy to make). Recipe will be coming at you soon!

The family is definitely in the throws of packing and preparing for their move, but it's making us both that much more excited that come this weekend, the new things we bought will be delivered, and the house will be ours!

Our renters are seriously SO sweet. Not only did the husband help us carry in some boxes (despite us telling him he really didn't have to), they invited us out on the deck for a little bit, so we spent time hanging with them and the sweet girls (who were VERY big fans of the lemon cookies haha).

After that, we made our way back home, and FINALLY hit the pool for a little bit. It felt good to soak up the sunshine, read my Kindle (I finished another book) and relax. 
After making dinner together (which was delicious), we relaxed on the couch.
It was honestly the best weekend with a mix of productivity, fun stuff, relaxation and excitement :)

I hope your Memorial Day Weekend was great, too!

I know I said it on Friday, but I'll say it again. Thank you to all of our veterans and service men and women who risk their lives on a daily basis in order to protect our rights and freedoms! 

5 on Friday

Another Friday means another 5....ready?
{1}-One Year Ago...
On Sunday, it will be a year since MG and I went away for the weekend, spent the day in Philadelphia, and ended the day as an engaged couple. I can't believe it was only a year ago, and now we're married, about to move into our first house that we bought as a married couple...They say "what a difference a year can make" but I wouldn't say my life is that different, it's just getting better :)

{2}-Back to Cookin'
Ok, I never actually stopped cooking, but there's been a period now that I haven't been making anything NEW. That changed this week with a new dinner meal (spinach and ricotta stuffed chicken breast)  and a new lunch option (avocado egg salad). Recipes comin' at ya soon!

{3}-Michael Jackson XM Station
This week I discovered that there's an entire station on XM radio dedicated to Michael Jackson songs and I couldn't be happier. Whenever I'm getting tired of the songs they play every day, and need something old school, or something to put me in a good mood, I flip over to the station (XM50, if you're interested) and jam out to some MJ songs. It's the best! I've definitely been that girl this week, bopping and car-dancing....if you see me, just wave :)

{4}-Sweet Gift
On Wednesday this week at work, I went into the office after a morning meeting and checked my mailbox like any other day. And there was a nice little gift bag and card waiting for me. So I opened it and found that my incredibly kind coworker (who we went out with last Friday and is moving into our condo soon), had left me a super sweet card about how she's happy to be getting to know MG and I, and is excited that my new office is closer to her in the building. She also included some chocolates and a Starbucks gift card! It literally made my day--so sweet and thoughtful of her, and I'm really glad to be making another good friend at work. It's definitely true--it's the small things that make your days brighter. I'll have to return the nice favor soon :)

{5}-Memorial Day
At long last, it's a long weekend that will be filled with pool time (woohoo!), BBQ's, and family and friend time (and some packing...boo).
But, in between all of those fun activities, don't forget to take a moment and give some thanks to those who have given their lives for our freedom. My dad, uncle and grandfather were/are all veterans and I have the utmost of respect for anyone who signs up to serve our country so that we can have the freedoms that we do.
Thank you, veterans and families, for your sacrifice!

And I need to give a HAPPY BIRTHDAY shout out to my girl, Bree, on Sunday!!! Love you!!

Happy Friday, loves!

Thoughtful Thursday

As so many things have been changing in my life in the last few months (getting married, getting ready to move), as well as some recent passings of people (not directly in my circle, but close enough to hit home), it's given me many opportunities to take a step back, think and re-evaluate a lot of things. During my random Pinterest searches, I've found a lot of really great quotes lately that have resonated with me, as well.

We'll dub today's post "Thoughtful Thursday"
As hard as it may be sometimes...
I'm putting this up in my office at school
My besties :)

There are a lot more than you probably even realize
For us worriers:

Hope that gives you some inspiration to make it through your day, and the rest of the week!
Happy Thursday, lovies :)

Wedding Wednesday: The Ceremony

I've been slowly but surely making my way through the wedding photos, trying to draft some posts that aren't TOO photo-heavy, but also highlight the wedding day (it's not easy!)

Wedding Wednesday
NC Belle in Boots

Today I put together some of the pictures from the wedding ceremony...despite my best efforts, it's still picture-heavy so I apologize in advance!
The church, outside
The church, inside
 We didn't have any flowers or other decorations, but I didn't feel like we really needed them. The purple Lenten colors worked out perfectly for our purple wedding, and the church was small and had such great decor.
Our programs, thanks to my wonderful blog bestie, Shay
MG's parents...
My mom and MG's brother-in-law
My bridesmaids
Our candle bearer/singer, ring bearer, and flower girls
And all of a sudden it was time to take my dad's arm...(love this photo)
The handsome man I saw waiting for me at the end of the aisle
The walk I've always dreamed of, with my dad by my side :)

Our friends Alex and Bree read for us
and our niece Amanda sang "My Wish"...she got choked up part way through and needed a bit of encouragement :)
MG's second cousin, who is a former nun, did the Prayer of the Faithful
We exchanged our rings... 
Had our blessing of the rings...
And had our first kiss as man and wife :)
We made our way to the back of the church, where we were hidden away for a bit, just the two of us, while everyone left the church. It was nice to have a few minutes to ourselves, to revel in everything.
We left the church to bubbles, and lots of family and friends...

And next up was all of the formal shots in the church!
I hope you enjoyed that (and aren't TOO inundated with pics). I tried to keep it at a minimum but there are SO MANY good ones :)