Tuesday, December 31, 2019

My Favorite Date of the Year

Austin and I tend to eat out pretty often in this stage of life, and—this might surprise you—we're not big movie-goers. A lot of our date nights are pretty simple, with a dinner we'd enjoy, or a little time downtown. Since we both work downtown, too, there isn't always a huge difference between our "date" nights and our day-to-day. For an anniversary or special occasion, we may do something a little larger, but for the most part we're pretty predictable. We like sharing cubicles at J.O.B. or a cheese board at Scotch & Soda.

But, there is one day of the year that we make an exception to our basic date, and I look forward to it more than anything else. Since Austin and I have been married, we've started a New Year's Eve tradition of setting goals together and making a date out of it.


We'll call it the "let's do this" date, because we like writing our goals on this notepad in particular. Cherry Picker is another favorite of ours, and that's where we like going for this date. It's the best place in town to focus on contentment, cherishing the past, and considering what we want for the future. And I really can't explain why, but the vibe is there. We like taking it slow on this day with our tasty drinks and aspirations for the next year.



If you want to try your own "let's do this" date, here are some things we like to focus in on.
  • We both write out individual goals on our own papers—we take some time to consider where we're interested in improving on our own first.
  • Then, we trade papers and see what each other wrote. This is one of my favorite parts of our little tradition because it's a special way to connect, and I think it's extra important to share your goals with people who can root you on.
  • Some of our goals are bigger, and some are small. For example, I wrote "bake a loaf of bread" on my list this year. That, theoretically, could just take a day, but it's something I know I want to do in 2020, so it went on the list.
  • Finally, we sync up and write a list together. Some of the items are copied from one or both of our lists, but the focus here is that we both have individual goals, and then we have our goals as a couple.

The most important part of goal-setting is mindset. I try to never set goals from a place of negativity or beating myself up for things I haven't done yet. I love to think of a new year as full of potential, with endless possibility, especially as I go into it welcoming expansion. Wishing you all a 2020 full of both growth + peace. ❤️

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

6 Months in Our First Home — An Update!

Remember 6 months ago when I said we bought a house, and I'd be back to share all of the exciting renovation updates?? Turns out updating a home while you, like, have a job and stuff doesn't go so quickly. 😆


We've been making progress, but Austin's had a pretty busy work schedule with his company (including a trip to Africa), and we've taken some weekends off of housework since we want to live a little, too. The good news is, even with our house not even close to being finished, it already feels like home. This makes updating it even more exciting because it can only get better!


I wanted to take a little record of what's been done over the last 6 months, in case you're trying to do some house projects while you live a little, too. Real life isn't an hourlong episode of Fixer Upper, and that's totally OK! The photo above was literally taken the day we moved in, and it hasn't changed much since. Ha! We're planning to update some of our living room furniture, and I'm excited to share this space when it feels "done"—but here it is now. This is still pretty much the only room that's totally settled, which I'm weirdly OK with as long as I have *one* space that feels really homey. 🙂 This is also the room that we tore wood paneling out of, and I'm SO glad we did.


This photo above is from the first spot that I styled, and if you look close, you'll notice we still need to replace the old trim. This is in the same part of the house as the photo of me and my dad from my last house post!


Austin and I are considering this "phase 1" of our renovation project, and we're lucky to be saving some money by doing a lot of it ourselves—and with help from Austin's dad! To finalize this phase, we need to finish laying our wood floors (we're inches away!), replace the trim, and update some old doors. Once we're finished with phase 1, phase 2 (plus phase 3, 4, 5? We've only named phase 1 😂) will include updating the two bathrooms in the house and the kitchen. Eventually we want to do some landscaping and paint the outside of the house, but we're currently focusing on what's inside the house because that more directly affects us. (Sorry, neighbors!)

Here's another process shot of Austin prepping to hang a mirror. Just need to finish the trim here + get a new door, and the entryway will be DONE! Feels good to check things off the list.

Anyway, that's what's been going on in our neck of the woods! Looking forward to spending the holidays at home this year—maybe even with a new fireplace mantle to hang our stockings on. ❤️

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Queen City Gems, Vol. 11

Happy Tuesday! Here's a quick update on some things I'm loving lately in the Queen City.

1. Team Taco is OPEN (yaaaaay! 🌮🎉)



Austin and I checked out Team Taco last week during their soft open, and I am happy to say it exceeded all of my expectations — and then some! I'm not too hard to please when it comes to tacos, but even if you are, I have a feeling you'll like it here. The guys behind Team Taco REALLY know their stuff when it comes to food & flavor; I saw this firsthand when I interviewed them a handful of times for Feast. I've tried a handful of these tacos by now, and the Groundskeeper is my favorite. All veggies and so delightful!! Branding + design are also on point. 

2. Brian and Jenna Bulger Release Dreamy New Tunes ✨


Late to the party on this (as evidenced by the EP's title "July" and this post being written in "August"), but I love seeing these two collaborate and hope to see more from them in the future. Got to hear them serenade a packed-out Cherry Picker a couple weeks ago, and it was a sweet summer evening I won't forget soon.

3. Say "Aloe" to Hickory Lane Plants 🌿


Spotted this lil cutie on Instagram and had to go check it out in person at the C-Street farmer's market. If you've checked out the Ozark Mtn. Flower Truck (which I talked about way back in volume 1 of this series!), this is like the same idea — but for plants! I enjoyed checking it out & snagged a succulent for our sunroom. It's fun for the experience (and definitely good for a last minute gift)! You can find their schedule on Instagram. 💕

That's all for now! xo.