Currently {July 26}

Hey y'all,

I cannot believe that it is already Thursday and the end of July! I felt like last few weeks flew by as I have been packing up my place. My roommate moved out on Saturday so it has been a few days of cleaning and packing without a couch to sit on so I have made due with a yoga mat and my euro sham pillows.
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Wearing
My office is often cold so I have been wearing this cardigan I grabbed from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I have also been loving this top and these pants a lot for work.

Reading
I am currently finishing up my book club's selection for July, Long Way Down.
       
Listening to
I have been on a podcast kick at work. I have been loving Annie F. Down's That Sounds Fun and How I Built This with Guy Raz.

Watching
I finished up Young and Hungry and I started Riverdale as my packing binge show. I am excited that next Thursday means that DCC: Making the Team returns!

 Eating
I have had a lot of random meals as I have been trying to clean out my fridge before my move. I have been loving cinnamon pita chips with fruit salsa a lot.

Anticipating
My move! I handed over a check on Tuesday night and I receive my keys Saturday!

Loving
Decluttering. Packing is very helpful in analyzing what I really need and so I have been making weekly trips to Goodwill and the Recycling Center.
I am also loving checking out Pinterest for apartment decor inspiration.

What are you currently loving?

Best,
 

What I'm Reading Wednesday {June Reads}

Hey y'all,

Typically summers have always meant lots of reading. I think it comes down to the fact that I loved the summer reading challenges at the library growing up and then in college, I only allowed myself to read "fun" novels during holidays as I had so much reading during the semester. However, this summer I have not been reading as much over the last few weeks. I think a lot of changes have distracting me from wanting to crack open a novel at the end of the night rather than watching Netflix's The Staircase or Queer Eye.

Here are the three books I read in June:

A Long Way Home

A Long Way HomeWhen Saroo Brierley used Google Earth to find his long-lost home town half a world away, he made global headlines.
Saroo had become lost on a train in India at the age of five. Not knowing the name of his family or where he was from, he survived for weeks on the streets of Kolkata, before being taken into an orphanage and adopted by a couple in Australia.
Despite being happy in his new family, Saroo always wondered about his origins. He spent hours staring at the map of India on his bedroom wall. When he was a young man the advent of Google Earth led him to pore over satellite images of the country for landmarks he recognized. And one day, after years of searching, he miraculously found what he was looking for.
Then he set off on a journey to find his mother.
 

My book club's selection for June, this is the memoir that the movie, Lion, is based off of. The book is a quick read and very emotional as it goes through Saroo's life story of being lost, adopted and moving from India to Australia, and searching for his family.

Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians, #1)When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn't know is that Nick's family home happens to look like a palace, that she'll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia's most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick's formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should--and should not--marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider's look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.

 This is my book club's selection for August. Actually, my sorority big, Shannon, reccomended the book to me over a year ago and I started it but only got a few chapters in. I think the book is a little slow at the beginning but I enjoy all the family drama that eventually gets involved. I am interested in reading the rest of the series.

What a Difference a Duke Makes

What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes, #1)Edgar Rochester, Duke of Banksford, is one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in England, but when it comes to raising twins alone, he knows he needs help. The only problem is the children have chased away half the governesses in London. Until the clever, bold, and far-too-enticing Miss Mari Perkins arrives.
Mari knows how to wrap even the most rebellious children around her finger. But their demanding, wickedly handsome father? He won't be quite so easy to control. And there's something else she can't seem to command. Her heart. The foolish thing beats so wildly every time the duke is near.
As his employee, Mari is strictly off-limits. But what if she's the one breaking all his rules? In the game of governess versus duke, how can Edgar maintain his defenses when the only thing he wants to do is let the tempting beauty win?

This was a cute and quick romance. I'm interested to read more from the series.


What are you currently reading?

Best,
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Five on Friday {July 6}

Hey y'all, It's Friday! After a second Monday yesterday, I am excited for a weekend without any major plans. I have some goals of getting some more packing completed in prep for my move in 22 days! Other than that, a night of babysitting tonight, teaching my Pre-K kids at church, and Barre3 classes are the only things in my planner. As usual, I am taking some time this Friday to share some of my favorites from the week:

one. Young and Hungry.

I stumbled upon this show on Netflix as a recommendation. I love a cutesy comedy and this one has been nice as background while I pack. It's one where you don't have to be laser focused on like my typical crime shows. The episodes are fairly short at only 25 minutes and I am already on season 2 (there is only 10 episodes in the first season).
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two. Lowes Moving Boxes.

Random favorite but I grabbed 10 small packing boxes on Sunday to being my packing this month and I have successfully filled them already. I love the Lowe's packing boxes since everything stays consistent in shape for easy stacking in the moving trailer. Now all my bookshelves are packed and I have some more packing to get to this weekend.

three. Standing Desk.

My new office is very kind in allowing us to select our our office furniture. I decided to order a standing desk and it arrived this week. About an hour later and I had put my desk together. I love it!

four. Air Conditioning.

On Sunday night our air conditioning went out. With temperatures in the high 90s this was not okay especially for little, Max Cat. It took them two days to fix so we had a windo unit one night but it was a reminder of the luxury of having air conditioning.

five. Dutch Tulips by OPI

This fun red color has been my nail and toe color this week in honor of the 4th of July. I had taken a break from having my nails painted for the last few weeks and I am loving the pop of color.

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

What's on your radar for this weekend?

Best,
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Thyme for Thursday {PW Queso}

Hey y'all,

I talked a bit about it in this post but I am trying to challenge myself to actually utilize the cookbooks I have (I completed a major purge this spring) rather than have them collect dust on my shelf and eat the same 4 meals.

The first one I tried was the Merc's Queso from the Pioneer Woman's Come and Get it Book (pg. 88). Due to a lack of chorizo in my supermarket and making the recipe for two separate parties I did make some modifications so here is my version of the recipe and it has been requested to show up at parties again.

1 16oz package of Velveeta
1 cup shredded cheddar
3/4 cup milk (I used 1% and whole before so whatever you have is fine)
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies-Mild
1 lb ground chicken-ground turkey or beef would also work
1 small/medium onion, diced (the amount is up to your preference for onion)
1 cloves of garlic
Taco seasoning  (I used the taco seasoning from Against All Grain's Meals Made Simple book. I used about 1.5 tbs for 1lb of meat.)

The original recipe makes 6 cups of queso so I ended up halving the recipe and brought home left overs each night in my bowl so unless you are hosting a large crowd (30+) I would suggest halving as well. My measurements are for half the original recipe.

 1. Brown the ground chicken. Drain if it has a lot of liquid. Then add the taco seasoning.
2. Add the onion and garlic to the meat mixture and sautee on medium high heat for a few minutes until the onions have softened.
3. Cut up the velveeta into small cubes. If using a crockpot, add them to the base of the dish. If using the stovetop, place them in the bottom of the pan and begin to melt the velveeta.
4. Over the velveeta, add in the meat mixture, milk, can of diced tomatoes, and shredded cheddar.
5. If using a crockpot let heat on high for 45 minutes. If using a stove top, let everything melt and let simmer for 30 minutes (stirring occasionally).
6. Stir the crockpot, turn to low and heat for 20 more minutes.
7. Enjoy with chips!



Best,

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10 on Tuesday {Summer Bucketlist}

Hey y'all,

It is officially summer since June 21st rolled around. Now, summer is not my favorite season. Here in the South it is oppressively hot for my tastes and I am waiting for Fall to get here (although, that doesn't technically start until September 22nd). In order to savor my season a bit, I decided to create a summer bucket list. These are all pretty simple ideas as I do not want to overwhelm my calendar as I tend to get a break from a lot of commitments in the summer and I get to relax more. Here we go:
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artwork by Evelyn Henson

one. beach trip.

My small group is actually headed to the beach in August but due to my move I am going to have to miss the trip. I am hoping to head down to the beach one weekend even if it's just a day trip.

two. durham bulls game.

I love taking a night to go watch the Bulls play. The stadium is always a fun trip with friends and sometimes you can score by going on the $1 concession nights.

three. host a dinner party

I love to entertain and while I will not be entertaining during July as I have already broke out the moving boxes, I hope to have people over in late August/early September to have a housewarming gathering.

four. decorate my new space.

I think decorating is the most fun part of a move. I have been in the same space for four years so it is going to be fun to reenvision my items. Plus, I have fun friends who I know are excited to come and help and a new Hobby Lobby just 15 minutes away.

five. Send a care package to my best friend for the International Day of Friendship-July 30th

My best friend moved from Chicago to California this summer so now she is even further away, but only 30 minutes from my mom's side of the family. I'm excited to put together a little bestie box for her to celebrate the International Day of Friendship and her birthday at the start of August.
six. Eat homemade ice cream.

seven. Go to an outdoor movie.

If you are in the Triangle area there are so many options for outdoor movies. From Southern Village, NCMA, Koka Booth, to even a drive-in about an hour away there are a lot of options. I am hoping to get a group together for a picnic and movie soon.

eight. Spend a Sunday by the pool.

I grew up always spending summers at the pool with swim lessons and then swim team. My parent's even have a pool so a lot of the summer during high school was spent floating in the backyard. I want to set aside one Sunday to put off all the to-dos and spend a few hours in the pool.

nine. Enjoy a new fun cocktail.

I love to mix up my favorite cocktail drinks especially during the summer. A few years ago, my roommate and I made a wine cocktail with rose, grapefruit, and lime juice and it was the perfect combination for the hot weather. Send me your favorite fruity drinks!

ten. Celebrate National Read a Book Day-September 4th.

Of course I had to have a reading goal. I love that there is a national read a book day and of course I will be celebrating by reading on that day. I might even share some of my favorite summer reads in a post that day to celebrate.

What's on your summer bucket list?


Best,

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TBB Asks {July-Vacation}

Hey y'all,

I can't believe it but we are halfway through 2018! Since it is July, it's time to link up with the Blended Blog for their monthly questions. This post is specifically all about vacation!

1. Will you go on a a summer vacation this year?
Nope. Between trips to California in March and October I have no summer vacations planned. It actually worked out as I transitioned to a new job and I am packing up my apartment for a move at the end of the month.

2. Do nothing but relax or a pack it all in vacation?
Relax! I like a schedule so I can pack properly but I like a good mix of relaxing with some sightseeing/activities. I read 4 books on my last vacation, watched a few Hallmark movies, but also attended a family wedding, went to Universal Studios, and Legoland.

3. What month do you like to vacation?
I tend to vacation in October. This mainly happened as it was a calm time in the academic calendar when I was working for UNC.

4. Cruise: YES or NO?
I have never been on a cruise.

5. Favorite vacation tradition?
I don't have a vacation tradition.

6. Most memorable vacation? 
I would say a lot of our Europe trips are the most memorable. Living in Germany for three years meant lots of fun vacations to London, Venice, Paris, Ireland, etc.

7. Pack light or Pack it all?
I'm a big overpacker. I try to pack lightly but I always end up with some outfits I didn't wear, books I didn't get to, and some extra snacks.

8. Hotel, Condo or House? 
I tend to stay at friends or family's homes but I don't mind a hotel.

9. Favorite thing(s) to eat on vacation? 
Ice Cream! I also love to eat something local/only found in that area, like In-N-Out whenever I make a trip to the West Coast.

10. Warm or Cold Destinations.
Warm! I love a good beach day. However, the last few years my vacations have been visiting friends mostly and they tended to be in colder climates. 

Where was your favorite vacation?

Best,
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