11 Years!

It’s hard to believe that we have been married eleven years! When we talk about our early years of marriage it’s such a different life than what we have now.

It’s funny because we’ve been talking to the kids more about some of our travels we did before they were born. Parker was asking about the Eiffel tower and if I had ever been.  Then we got on the subject of scuba diving, and we talked about submarines and helicopter rides that we did in Hawaii many moons ago. Things have changed over the years for sure!

We’ve definitely had some adventures, but have had some hardships as well. One thing remains true. Dan makes me a better person, and I love him more every year that we’re together.

One way we love to connect is travel. We love our kids, and we really enjoy going on trips with them, but there’s something about getting away without the kids that brings us right back to where we were early in our marriage. A time when we were more intentional with our time together, without the interruption of little ones needing our time and attention. This is what we did when we decided to go to Blue Ridge to stay for a few nights.

It was such a great getaway! Dan found this cute little log cabin (another reason why my husband is amazing) that was just perfect. Honestly, if you’re looking for a nice, affordable place to stay near downtown Blue Ridge, this is such a great place. It is a two bedroom overlooking a valley with a view (in the early spring at least), quiet and peaceful, with a great outdoor hot tub.  We were really impressed with the town of Blue Ridge. I had not been there in years, but the shopping was great there. We were very disappointed with downtown Helen last year, even though the place we stayed (Lucille’s Mountain Top Inn and Spa) was nice, the town itself left more to be desired. It was also nice not to have to rush in the morning to get to breakfast. We’ve felt the need to do this at previous B&B’s so we didn’t miss out on the food. With this cabin, we didn’t rush at all. We woke up slow and got to sleep in and it was heavenly! We’d definitely stay there again!

We found a fun trail on our way to Blue Ridge just outside the falls called Fall Creek Falls. It was absolutely beautiful and it had a rocky, mossy enchanted forest feel heading up to the falls. One nice bonus, the path was super quick and easy for a hiker of any skill level. We didn’t want a super long trail because we wanted to get to the cabin and clean up and head to town.

In town, we ate at several Restaurants. All of them were delicious!  My favorite was Harvest on Main. We got a table on their front porch during the day on Saturday for lunch, and they had great food! They menu was different without being too weird. I like weird, but Dan likes familiar! We actually ran into some good friends of ours as we were leaving the restaurant.  It was so fun to be in the exact same place at the same time so far from home! We welcomed the hello from them, and then enjoyed some nice shopping after.  I found myself some super comfortable italian leather shoes from a company called FLEXX and Dan found  a knife store, and git a survival-type collection that had been discontinued, so we were both happy campers. We really enjoyed each other’s company the entire day. It brought me back to being a newlywed!

 We also ate at Blue Ridge Brewery which was also nice, but we didn’t drink their beer, so we can’t really give a full review, although the food we got was tasty. Dan loved their pretzel. I got a blackened trout that was D-lish! We ate breakfast twice at Serenity Garden Cafe. Their food was good, but never had any fresh fruit, which I found pretty odd. I was doing the whole 30 at the time, and really wanted a fruit option. Their food wasn’t bad, the atmosphere could’ve been better, but not bad for a breakfast place.

For our Anniversary evening, we went to Cucina Rustica. It was a little outside of town, but a very nice upscale Italian Restaurant.  How we came to eat at this restaurant is kind-of a neat story. We met an elderly  couple on the streets of downtown Blue Ridge.  They were coming out of a restaurant and we were asking them about good places to eat around the area. We got to talking and come to find out he was Tom Ledford, the town’s county commissioner, and the person who helped get alcohol into the restaurants in Blue Ridge. It was a dry town for a long time! I had no idea that even existed, I mean, sure everywhere was dry back in the day, but this was recently, like within the last ten years. They said you were allowed to “brown bag” wine and bring into restaurants, but the restaurants couldn’t sell it.  So, he recommended his buddy’s place who helped him get elected to the board, and they were ultimately able to pass beer and wine.  I’m glad they recommended the place too, because it was very nice and the food was delicious. I got an appetizer of bacon wrapped lamb and a salad, Dan got a ravioli dish.  I indulged in wine and dessert since it was our anniversary and it was heavenly after over two and a half weeks of being good on the Whole 30! Dan also gave me the sweetest necklace for our anniversary. No hints at all, he picked this out on his own. I will certainly treasure it all the days!

Overall, it was such a nice time of bonding with my sweetie. I truly value our marriage, and I am so glad that God brought us together. He makes me so happy.

Stitch Fix

So, one of my good friends, Danielle over at Bitter Me Lovely inspired me to try  Stitch Fix out for the first time.  If you don’t know what Stitch fix is, this is basically what happens:

  • You go online to stitchfix.com and you create a style profile (You can even link to clothes you’ve pinned and styles that you have on pinterest!)
  • You are charged a $25. styling fee that will go towards whatever you decide to purchase
  • You’re sent a box of clothes. I got two tops, a cardigan, a bracelet and a pair of jeans
  • You decide within three days what you want to keep, and send the rest back in pre-addressed envelop free of charge
  • If you decide to keep everything that was sent you get 20% off
  • If you refer a friend that does a stitch fix, then you get $25. off your next purchase (hence the link BELOW…help a sista out!)

So, if you’re wondering what the style profile is like, they’ll ask  you what your opinion is on several groups of clothing.  Just for a reference, out of the different groupings, this is what I said I LOVED. The others were either not my style AT ALL or just a little meh..

style2 Stylegroup1

 

They also will of course ask what your size, weight, and height is. They also ask you how you like to wear your clothes. For instance, do you like to have your tops fitted, or more loose, do you like to show your arms, show cleavage, show legs, or keep covered, etc. They’re very specific, which I love! In addition to all those questions, they also ask you how much you like to spend on clothes, whether or not you are looking for clothes to be more casual, for date nights or professional. The questions are great. 

 So, without further adieu, this is what was shipped to me.  The packaging was very professional and pretty!

The first thing I opened was this cute cuff. I loved it but I already own something similar to it and it was $38. so I decided to return it.

This cardigan is cute and edgy and good in theory.  However, when I tried it on, it did nothing for my figure and was way too big. Maybe in a smaller size, and possibly a different cut. It definitely has the boho tribal vibe, which I love.

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Okay, for the pants, I got a pair of denim jeans.  I really wasn’t too excited about these, and the price was over 70, which is pretty pricey. I tried them on and again, I wasn’t overly impressed.  Then when I was about to pack it up to send back, I realized that they had a style card in there and they were supposed to be ROLLED UP. They were called boyfriend jeans. Man am I out of the loop!  I just started getting into skinny jeans, and now I need rolled up boyfriend jeans?  But you know what? When I tried them on again rolled up, I loved them. I’m still perfecting the skinny tight roll (It doesn’t look quite right in the picture) but I’ll get it eventually. They’re not too tight and fitted, they’re super comfy, and honestly they’re my new favorite pair of jeans!

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In the box was also this comfy knit shirt, but the fit was all wrong. I have a long torso and the shirt was super fitted right around the chubbiest part of my stomach, when it should’ve sat closer to my belt line.  It is a pretty color (my favorite) but the fit just wasn’t right. It was also super tight around the elbows with it being more loose in the shoulder… giving you the batman wing-ed arms… not really my thing.

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I love this top! The colors are certainly my colors and I love the style. It’s perfect for the spring and I love the cute triangle cut-out details in the back of the top too.  I feel like I need a long silver casual necklace to jazz this up a bit, so I’ll be on the lookout for an inexpensive piece that I think will help complete the look more. This top is a keeper along with the jeans.  I love them both!

It was overall a great experience for me.  You should definitely check it out.  If you have already and you’d like to share what you got, comment with a link to your blog post!

For those of you that would like to try Stitch Fix, please help me out by using my referral link: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/4771062

GNO & the morning after

Thursday night I had a great time hanging out with Melissa, Julie and Julie’s neighbor Myra.  We had a delicious dinner at Pure Taqueria where we got our mexican fix, and then it was off to see Sheryl Crow.   I really love the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.  It’s so close to home, it’s clean, new, easy to park…and the best part was, we paid for lawn seats and we ended up with REAL seats!  As we entered and had our tickets scanned, a uniformed employee approached us and asked us if we’d like to have real seats instead of lawn.  Yay!  Colbie Caillat opened for the pop star, and she was really good.  I have to admit that one of her popular songs is a little too bubbly for my taste, but she was much more chill live than she is on the radio.  Not bad for someone who got their start on myspace, of all places.  Sheryl put on a great show.  She had all of her classic hits that we all know and love, plus her bluesie new songs that definitely have a 70’s disco vibe.  There was one song that I really liked called Eye to Eye, that has a beach reggae beat to it (shocker right?).  So, that’ll be the next addition to my iTunes list for sure.  The crowd was a bit interesting.  I was the DD, so maybe I just noticed how funny the ladies were dancing because of my less than intoxicated mental state and I wasn’t tipsy enough to join in, but I’m pretty sure that fist pumping isn’t considered a formal Sheryl Crow fan dance move.  We had fun laughing at them for sure.  We didn’t see many men there, but I did smell the stench of cigar smell that permeated the air.  Well, that’s a different smell than the smoke I used to smell at the old concerts I would go to.  So, either I’m getting old, or I used to go to some crazy concerts back in the day…  I think, it’s a little of both.

The morning after I went to my favorite bi-annual consignment sale.  All 4 kids always has some incredibly reduced price merchandise.  With that in mind, I wiped the sleep out of my eyes and woke up bright and early after the late night out with the girls, slipped on my running shoes, packed my water, two hamper bags, and grabbed my purse and ran out the door barely looking presentable.  I got to Marietta (about a 40 minute drive) around 8:05, proud of how early I was since there were only two people in line, and proceeded to grab my stuff and head for the entrance.  Then I had a freak out session.  I looked through my purse to grab my wallet and it wasn’t there.  Cursing myself for all of the receipts, toys, baby shoes, and lip gloss I had scattered among my purse/diaper/life luggage/baggage bag I found a lonesome debit card.  Yes! Yes!!  I remembered that I took my debit card out of my wallet the night before because I considered not taking my purse into the concert, but decided to just take my purse…but in a rush, I didn’t put it back in my wallet.  Thank you Lord! So, I rushed up to the bank to withdraw some cash (in case they would ask for ID, which I didn’t have) and came back just in time for the sale at 8:15.  A little bummed because there were about 20 people ahead of me in line, but I was still able to score some awesome deals.  I got about 30 outfits for the fall in 12-18 month sizes, toys and books.  I love that I can buy someone else’s used toys and clothes that appear to be brand new for less than half the price.  It meets both my passions…recycling and thriftiness!

Go Girl

Dan and I were walking through the mall the other night on one of our date nights and stopped in Mori Luggage to look around and just LOOK what we came across!

Exactly what I was looking for! Something I can use to pee like a Man! Woohoo! Are you kidding me?! What the #*$(^!!

One Piece!?!

I’ve always loved bikini’s ever since my Dad threatened to ground me if I wore one. However, times have changed. I’m a Mom now. Should I ditch the bikinis and go with the…*shhhh* don’t want to say this too loud…ONE PIECE? I found this super cute suit at Macy’s this weekend and it reminds me of the old retro suites with a little Katie Perry vibe. The one I got is navy striped. I like it so far, but I can’t help but feel old in it. Does being a Mom mean you should wear a one piece?

Isn’t that the “DO NOT BUY” Car?

We decided on the perfect SUV for me and the fam. I got a 2007 Lexus GX470, white with beige interior, fully loaded with dvd entertainment system, nav, third row, the whole shabang. I know what your thinking with all the news out lately…”Isn’t that the DO NOT BUY car?” No, it’s not…Thank God! It fact, it won J.D. Power for “Most Dependable Midsize Premium Multi Activity Vehicle” “Highest Ranked Midsize Premium MAV in Initial Quality” “Most Appealing Midsize Premium MAV in a Tie” for that particular model and that year!

Bling factor aside, I wanted to make sure my new ride was safe and would last a long time.  That was the most important thing to us.  Of course, I wanted all the creature features since we were planning on “driving it until the wheels fell off”, but  within a reasonable financial boundary.  We had two other potential buys (Honda Pilot and the Mercedes GL450 SUV) but they just didn’t come close to the Lexus.

1.Financing: Lexus was offering 1.9% financing for 36 months.  Honda and Mecedes’ rates were in the sixes.  1.9 is an excellent rate for a pre-owned.  I love that its only three years.  Loans that stretch out past 36 months are a pain.  You start resenting the fact that you’re STILL paying for your 3+ year old “new”car.  That’s just me though.

2. Warranty: We got a six year warranty on the Lexus…everything from transmission to navigation is covered for six years.  Honda only has a three year powertrain warranty and Mercedes (we looked at one on the Carmax lot) only had one year left of manufacturer warranty before we would have to buy an extended one.  Since it wasn’t a certified pre-owned Mercedes, the only option was to buy an independent extended warranty, which could be hit or miss.

3. Price:  The 2010 Honda pilot was about the same price as the Lexus, but the  Lexus is way superior of a product, and I had no problem choosing this one even though it’s older, especially since Honda’s financing rate are such crap.   The Mercedes was about 5k more, and if you wanted to add an extended warranty for fear that you would have to shell out lots and lots of dough if something breaks, then that would be another few grand.  We all know how expensive it is to fix a Mercedes if something goes bad.   AND, since we were buying a Lexus, they offered a second pre-owned car (for Dan) for an incredible price.  So incredible in fact, that we were able to pay cash for his ’08 Honda Accord.  SAweeeeeeet!

4. Salesman:  If someone thinks that the salesman doesn’t make a difference when you’re looking for a car, they’re SO wrong.  It totally does.  When we were at Honda, the salesman was such a bone head.  We told him that we didn’t have a lot of time because we had a sitter at home with the baby, but that didn’t seem to matter at all.   It took FOREVA to test drive and look at the vehicle and talk numbers/rates etc.  Also, before we got to drive the car he asked for our insurance (we test drove at three previous places, and they didn’t ask) and Dan said “isn’t the driver covered under the dealer’s insurance?”  He said no, but then after Dan went to get the insurance card, the sales person copied both that and the license, then he later returned only to say that the insurance was not in fact needed for the test drive.  Geesh…  So, basically…the guy was full of bologna.   The Carmax guy who was showing us the Mercedes was really nice.  We would’ve totally bought a car from him if it was the right one.  The Lexus salesperson was SUPER nice too.  His name was Warren, and I almost wanted to call him Warren G by the time it was all said and done, that’s how cool he is.  He showed me everything about the car, and thoroughly answered all of our questions, and gave us a great price on the two cars.  You can’t beat that.

We decided to buy two pre-owned cars this time.  This was in an effort to prevent the mass depreciation that you get when you buy a brand new car.  Our last two cars were leases, and we realized later on that it was probably not the best financial decision.  SO…  we saved money, put a considerable amount down on the Lexus, and paid for the Honda outright.  Dan has purchased over 25 cars  (this is NOT an exaggeration), but this is the very first title that Dan has ever owned.  Yay!  See what good influence I am?  This however, hasn’t affected his credit one bit.  In fact, he has the highest credit score I’ve ever seen.  Yesterday when they ran his credit, his score was 824!  Yowzers!

The Hunt

We’re on the hunt for the perfect car. Dan and I both have our BMW’s coming off lease in May. My X3 is great, but I need more room. Dan’s 335i is nice, but impractical for just a once a week commute to the airport. So, the plan is to get one nice “family” car and one inexpensive car that Dan will use. This past weekend we looked at several dealerships, and did a lot of research on the internet, and here is our top three (today). AND just for the record, I know that SUV’s don’t get the best gas mileage, but considering the fact that I don’t commute 30mins each day to work, and this will be used mainly on the weekends for family outings, I think that prevents any hatin’ from the eco-friendly peeps out there.

1. 2007 LEXUS GX 470 SUV- white, beige interior, moon roof, dvd player, nav, third row, 33k miles, +/-40k
3 year warranty and certified pre-owned


2. 2007 Mercedes GL450 SUV- silver, gray interior, double moon roof, third row, dvd player, nav, 31k miles, +/-44k
1 year warranty



3. 2010 Honda Pilot- White, black inteiror, dvd player, nav, third row, moon roof, leather, 38k 3 year warranty

Which of the three do you like best?