Saturday Story Time {Vol. 6}

Hey y'all,

A few weeks ago I started a new series call Saturday Story Time. Essentially, each Saturday I am going to pose a question and I would love for it to be interactive and have you answer the same question in the comments. I have loved getting to know my readers through these posts and you can catch up with the previous questions here.

What beauty product or service do you gladly splurge on?


My only big services are haircuts so I would say that I gladly splurge on high end mascara (I think I am sensitive to a lot of the drugstore mascaras) and my hair straightener. My favorite high end mascaras have come from Benefit. I love Badgal Lash and They're Real! I have naturally long lashes but when I want some impact I reach for one of those. As for my straightener, I have a ghd, that I purchased on sale back when I was in college and it was an investment but I love that thing. Since I have naturally curly hair, this thing works wonders.
S.storytime



What do you splurge on?


Best,
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Five on Friday {June 23rd}

Hey y'all,

I can't believe it but it is Friday again! I felt like this week flew by. It is officially summer now, and NC has been very hot and humid but I am thankful we are not in the line of Cindy's path. For all of you dealing with the tropical storm I hope that you stay safe this weekend!

one. Barre3 Anywhere.

I know I blogged about it before but my favorite barre studio, Barre3 is opening another location in the Triangle in Chapel Hill. I have been loving taking the pop-up classes and I can't wait for the studio to open up in August/September. In the meantime, B3 just announced their summer challenge of #B3Anywhere, a 28 day challenge focused on movement and healthy eating. You can sign up for the free challenge here. I will be doing a mix of B3 online, DVDs and pop-up classes for my three class a week goal. I am also excited for all the yummy meals they have planned out. If you want to try Barre3 out, they have released five 10-minute workouts that are perfect for traveling here.

two.

I am still holding on to the no spend six months and I will share my progress with you next week but that doesn't mean I still don't window shop on occasion. I have been loving the new arrivals at LOFT especially this skirt, this dress, this skirt, this dress, and this top. Also, I think everyone needs this swing dress.
Primary Image of Mixed Stripe Sleeveless Swing Dress

three. Cultivate.

If you are not a fan of Southern Weddings Magazine, you probably have not heard of Lara Casey. Lara is the founder of the mag and the creator of Power Sheets and the Write the Word journal through the company, Cultivate What Matters. On Tuesday, Lara's second book, Cultivate, launches and I am excited to read the story. I am even attending the book launch this Saturday, here in the Triangle with Traci
Image result for cultivate lara casey

four. Desk Free Lunches.

The last two weeks I have really been attempting to break away during lunch and not eat at my desk. With the heat and humidity it has been hard but it has made me take the whole hour and enjoy fresh air away from my emails. In this time I have been able to listen to an audio book and get half-way though another book. I also come back to work feeling more refreshed.
This was Wednesday's lunch view.

five. Wedding Sneak Peaks.

This week I saw a few photos from my bestie's wedding and I can't believe it has already been four weeks since she walked down the aisle. I also realized that I haven't shared anything about the wedding yet! I promise that once the professional pictures come in I will share all the gorgeous details.  In the meantime, here is a picture of me and the bride during the reception!


Link up with April, Christina, and Natasha.  
Also linking up with Tif, Becky, and Katie.
And Erika

What have you been loving this week?

Best,

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Thyme for Thursday {Brixx Wood Fired Pizza}

Hey y'all,

Last week I was generously given a complimentary night at Brixx Wood Fired Pizza in Cary's Parkside Town Commons. My friend Meghan and I met up for a lovely night of pizza and celebrating the end of the school year for her. She is a teacher at a school in Wake county and hysterically enough, our server and a woman at the table next to us were all teachers so they all chatted about the end of the school year and Meghan's transition from first to second grade in the Fall.

Anyway, enough about teaching and more about delicious food!

We decided to start off with the Brixx stixx (garlic parmesan bread sticks with honey mustard & marinara dips), as recommended by our server. It was a tough decision as their hummus trio and bruschetta are also amazing starters.

 Now was the tough decision, pizza or one of their sandwiches, salads or pastas? Even though the dinners around us who ordered pasta and salads meals looked amazing, Meghan and I went for the pizza.


I ordered the Rosemary Chicken and Mushroom pizza. It's wood-roasted chicken with Mozzarella, rosemary, wild mushrooms, caramelized onions & four-cheese blend with an olive oil base. I would say though if you do not like rosemary, you might want to make another selection.

Meghan ordered the Chicken Florentine pizza. Meghan loves feta and this pizza didn't disappoint.Her pizza had wood-roasted chicken, crumbled bacon, Roma tomatoes, spinach, feta & Mozzarella on an olive oil base.

Following the pizza, the storms in Cary were crazy so we decided to splurge for dessert. We tried the new salted caramel crunch cookie pie. It's a giant cookie with white chocolate chunks, the buttery crunch of toffee and the salty finish of mini pretzels served straight out of the wood burning oven. Yum! It isn't something we would normally pick but we both throught it sounded good. Meghan and I would reccomend though, asking for a scoop of vanilla ice cream to add to the top! That would have been out of this world.

After the storms finally lifted, we departed after a fun night of pizza and cookies (with leftovers in hand).
Brixx has some great daily specials, including all bottles of wine half-priced Sundays and $2.50 craft drafts Mondays. Brixx has two locations in Cary, one in Parkside Town Commons and one in Bradford Shops. They are open late-Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m so no matter the time you can have delicious pizza. The Parkside Town location opened up in the last few years and is right by the Frank Theather's Cinebowl so it's perfect for a dinner or lunch before hitting the movies or bowling. We also saw a lot of families out enjoying pizza and with Brixx's gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan options, it's a great choice for anyone with dietary needs.

Find your local Brixx Wood fired pizza at http://brixxpizza.com/

Thanks again to Brixx Parkside Town Commons for hosting Meghan and I for dinner!
What's your favorite type of pizza?

Best,
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First Day of Summer {Summer Bucket List}

Hey y'all,

We have officially made it to the first day of summer! I must say summer has looked very different over the last five years now that I work full time and tend to vacation in the Fall or Spring. I think often times summer goes by so quickly so I decided to make a bucket list of adventures for this summer.

summer bucket list


I luck out that the Triangle is only about two hours from the beach and there are always fun events happening during the summer. I am actually working on a post for fun summer events here in NC so watch out for that next week. 

What's on your summer bucket list?

Best,
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Weekending {June 19th}

Hey y'all,

I hope that you are having a great start to your work week, I have been working on contracts this morning at work which is very hectic as the fiscal year begins in less than two weeks! Can we get back to the weekend already? Joking, I actually enjoy my day job but sometimes, you want to ease into the work week.

This past weekend I did exactly as planned, pretty much nothing and it was glorious. I debated about even sharing my weekend as I know I didn't do much but these are some of my favorite posts and let's be real, we all have some weekends where we spend way to much time on the couch. I'm linking up with Biana of B.Loved Boston to share and I would love to know your highlights of the weekend.

Friday.

Friday started out with work of course and then I headed over to the Brixx Woodfire Pizza at Parkside Town Commons in Cary to meet up with Meghan for a yummy dinner to celebrate the end of the school year for her and to catch up on life.
 Of course, it started to crazy storm when we were finishing up dinner so we decided to wait it out with a little dessert. After it was safe, we headed home.
 
I ended up finishing up some of my laundry and getting ready for Lindsey to come over for the premiere of the Great British Baking Show. It ended up that there were two episodes so we made some tea, ate banana bread, and watched the bakers take on cake week and biscuit (cookie) week.

Saturday.

Saturday I let myself sleep in until 8:30am before getting ready for the day and heading to church. I am going to be a rotation team leader at our Kids Week (Vacation Bible School) in a few weeks so I headed over for leader training. I met with my other leader and a few of my team members as we brainstormed about our outfits, decorating our space and how we are going to serve and love on the kids coming to learn about how much God loves them.

I finished up at church around 11:30am and headed home for some lunch and quiet time. Around 3pm it was back to church to get ready to serve. I regularly serve as a PreK leader during one of our Saturday services. It was a busy week with our kids but I love the story of the prodigal son that we were teaching. The rest of the evening was filled with attending church, eating leftover pizza for dinner, watching Rizzoli and Isles, and Max Cat antics.

Sunday.

Well, Sunday I let myself sleep in again and ended up calling my Dad around 9am to wish him a happy father's day! The rest of the day consisted of meal prep (I made all of my breakfasts and lunches this week), lots of Rizzoli and Isles, folding and putting away laundry (my least favorite chore), and lots of dishes after all that meal prep. Glamorous day I know but it was exactly what I needed to get ready for the week.

What is your favorite show to binge watch currently?

Best,


Five on Friday {June 16th}

Hey y'all,

We made it to Friday! I am excited for dinner plans at Brixx with my friend Meghan tonight, followed by the premiere of the Great British Baking Show Season 4 on PBS at 9pm. The rest of my weekend is pretty empty and I am going to enjoy relaxing. As always, I am sharing five things this Friday and linking up with wonderful bloggers.

one. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.

I don't know about you but my family grew up watching all things muppet. Seriously, the Labyrinth is quoted a lot when I am with my family and I am sure I will always picture David Bowie as the Goblin King. So, when I heard that Dark Crystal is getting a prequel series on Netflix I of course texted my little sister. I'm just excited to learn the release date so we can binge on another Henson Creature Shop creation.

two. The Body Book.

I am on part seven of seven listening to the Body Book by Cameron Diaz and I have been loving it. This is not a celebrity sharing their latest diet craze but rather a book about overall wellness and health. Often in the nutrition section I was reminded of the health classes we took in high school but it was a great refresher and reminder why we eat healthy foods and need to move daily. I am thinking of listening to The Wellness Project or Whole next as I enjoy learning more about nutrition and wellness.
 The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body

three. Traci.

If y'all don't read Traci's blog, Choosing Better, I would highly recommend you check it out. Traci and I met during recruitment our freshman year at UNC and I am so glad that worked out. She is one of the sweetest people and we still get together monthly for dinners to chat about life, our blogs, health, and stay accountable. Seriously, she's one of the best. This week we had our monthly dinner at my place and we enjoyed great food, watched ANTM (all the old seasons are on Hulu) and caught up on how our yearly goals are going, how we are doing, and what's to come over the month. We are even planning to go to the Cultivate Book Launch next weekend together.

four.  Sleep.

I know this is a weird favorite but this week I have challenged myself to get more sleep. Sleep is so important to our overall health and over the last two weeks I have let myself stay up too late and get inadequate sleep. This week I have been trying to be in bed by 10pm every night so even after reading a bit (you can see my current and recent reads in yesterday's post) I can get over seven hours of sleep. Last night, according to my fitbit I almost got eight hours and I felt so refreshed this morning.

five.  The Great British Baking Show.

The new season of the Great British Baking Show premieres tonight on PBS. I am having a few friends over to watch the show and I am excited for another season of the tent. Seriously, if you love cooking shows, check this one out.

Link up with April, Christina, and Natasha.  
Also linking up with Tif and Katie.
And Erika

What have you been loving this week?

Best,

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What I'm Reading Wednesday {Current and Recent Reads}

Hey y'all,

We are one week away from the official start to summer and that means summer reading. I don't know about you but ever since I was little I was signed up for the summer reading program at my local library and loved the end of school since that meant I could stay up late into the night reading. Seriously, I would stay up past 1am reading the latest Harry Potter book every summer.

Well, on that note, I thought I would share the books that I have recently finished along with what I am currently reading today. I am back on the reading train after a slow few months, and after a trip to Barnes and Nobles this past weekend with friends I have added another 10 more books to my to-read list. I am hoping to have a few friends also guest post throughout the summer with their summer reads to add to your lists as well.

Current Reads

The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing BodyThe Body Book: The Law of Hunger, The Science of Strength and Other Ways to Love your Amazing Body. Cameron Diaz.

I just started this as an audiobook this week and I have really been enjoying it during my lunch hour. The book is focused on nutrition, movement, awareness, and discipline. I am still on the nutrition section and while it is heavy on the science behind foods (things we all learned in health class) it has been great to review and really focus on what foods are the best fuel for our bodies.


WonderWonder. R.J. Palacio.

Wonder is the July pick for my book club and focuses on Auggie Pullman and his first year in a traditional school. Auggie suffers from a facial deformity that has caused him to undergo more than twenty surgeries already.Middle school is tough as it is but going through it where kids create a game called the plague to prevent touching you and learning the dynamics of the lunch table are hard.
I am almost done with the book and I can't wait for the movie this Fall.

 

My American DuchessMy American Duchess. Eloisa James.

I recently started this book but it follows Merry Pelford, an American heiress, who has infamously jilted two fiances and is now betrothed to Cedric, the Duke of Trent's brother. However, after an encounter with Merry on the balcony of a ball, Trent now desires her for his wife. I'm intrigued to see how all the family dynamics play out in this quick read.

 


Recent Reads


 Born of Legend (The League, #9)Born of Legend. Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Okay, so Sherriyln Kenyon is one of my favorite authors. Her characters are always so fascinating and I love the worlds she builds. Born of Legend is the ninth book in the League series (science fiction romance). I purchased this book last summer when it came out but then the transition of a new job and lots of life events made me put it back on my shelf, well, last week I started and finished Jullien's story. Jullien seems to be the villain in a lot of the League novels (an Andarian prince who appears to be the pet of the crazy Grandma in power) so it was great to hear his backstory and catch up on events to present day. I don't want to give too much away but if you enjoy romance novels as well as science fiction/fantasy, I highly recommend the League.

One for the Money (Stephanie Plum, #1)One For the Money. Janet Evanovich.

The first in the Stephanie Plum series, One For the Money follows Stephanie as she transitions from a lingerie buyer to a bounty hunter after being laid off. Her first big case is attempting to bring in Joe Morelli, a cop turned bail jumper. However, this case becomes personal as Benito Ramirez, a prize fighter, was involved with the woman Joe Morelli was planning to meet when Ziggy was shot and killed, takes an interest in Stephanie.
It was a great audiobook and a fun mystery in finding out the whole case involving Morelli.

Immortal Nights. Lynsay Sands.

Immortal Nights (Argeneau, #24) The newest Argeneau novel, This book picks up with the kidnapping of Tomasso Notte and Abigail Forsythe's attempt to help a stranger drugged and cagged in the back of the cargo plane her best friend was hired to fly. Abby and Tomasso end up on an island after jumping from the plane and are dealing with discovering they are life mates along with attempting to run from the kidnappers.
I felt that this book was harder to get into than some of the other Argeneau immortal books. The story was fine but I didn't feel as connected to the characters.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, #1)Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Benjamin Alire Saenz

This was my book club's May selection. The book focuses on Aristotle who is an angry teen when he meets Dante at the swimming pool one summer. They form a fast friendship and the book revolves around their friendship and growing up as teenagers.
It was a quick read (I actually grabbed the audio book read by Lin-Manuel Miranda) and enjoyed it. The ending I felt was a little forced but overall fine.


Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel, #1) Wicked Appetite. Janet Evanovich.

The first in the Lizzy & Diesel series, this novel follows Lizzy, a pastry chef in Salem, Massachusetts. Together they are attempting to find a collection of priceless relics that represent the Seven Deadly Sins.
I ended up with the audio book and loved all the crazy characters in this book especially the assistant in the bakery who thinks she can do magic but ends up causing all sorts of problems.

What to Do with a Duke (Spinster House, #1)What to Do with a Duke. Sally Mackenzie.

The first book in the Spinster House series. This book follows the daughter of the vicar, Cat, who is attempting to capture the honor of the Spinster house in Loves Bridge so she can spend her life writing away from her nine siblings. Of course, when the Duke arrives from London to settle the Spinster house, things take a turn. The Duke of Hart is not looking to marry thanks to a curse upon his family that no duke shall live to see his heir's birth. 
I felt it was a fun lighthearted novel and perfect for a summer afternoon read.

How to Manage a Marquess. Sally Mackenzie.


This is the second in the Spinster House series about the women of Loves Bridge who are vying for the Spinster House. This book follows Anne Davenport, attempting to gain the spinster house to get away from her Father's new wife (who is her age), and Nate, the Marquess of Haywood, cousin to the Duke of Hart.
I ended up loving Nate and Anne's story and now I am awaiting the third book in the series, When to Engage and Earl, which was published at the end of May.

What are you currently reading?

Best,
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Weekending & Tony Award Red Carpet

Hey y'all,

I hope y'all had a wonderful and restful weekend. I am linking up with Biana from B. Loved Boston to share what my weekend was like along with some of my favorite Tony Award fashion choices.

Friday.

After my workday, I drove to Raleigh to meet up with Sam and Sarah for a lovely dinner of pasta. Following dinner, we walked over to Barnes and Nobles to check out notebooks (to replace the Moleskine that was destroyed by water in my bag) and some new books. We topped the night off with some Dairy Queen and then I went home to finish reading my latest book, Born of Legend.

Saturday.

Saturday morning started with a trip to the Toyota dealer for my 60,000 mile check up. It ended up being a longer and more expensive appointment than planned when my brakes needed to be replaced. I filled my time with working on blog ideas for the rest of the year.

Saturday was also, little Max Cat's 5th birthday. To celebrate, the little guy got some extra treats and lots of cuddles.

After the appointment, I ran to the grocery store, had lunch, got ready for church and then headed over to teach my 4-year old class. After a wonderful sermon on Psalm 51, I headed home to get ready for a summer soiree at my friend Ginger's house. Ginger was one of my bible study leaders and then spent two years living in Kenya! She is back state side and it was wonderful catching up with everyone especially over delicious margaritas.

Sunday.

Sunday morning I had a lazy morning and worked on the blog for a bit before getting ready to head to a Barre3 Chapel Hill Pop-Up class at Southpoint Mall. I love taking Barre3 classes and even won a giveaway for a Barre3 hat.


After Barre3, I came home and had lunch before getting started on some meal prep. This week I prepped some sweet potatoes for roasted sweet potatoes with lettuce wrapped burger, made a cucumber and tomato salad, made jumbalya for work lunches, and carrots with hummus for snacks.
The rest of the afternoon I worked on blog posts while watching the Great British Baking Show before getting ready for my work summer potluck.
After the potluck, I made it home just in time to turn on the Tony awards! Here are some of my favorite gowns of the night (you can read my Tony Award Fashion post here).
Cobie Smulders in Schiaparelli 
Olivia Wilde in Michael Kors Collection

Best,