Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Moving Preparations.

We've been starting to prepare for our move to Tennessee!

Last Thursday we made the long drive from Muncie to Chattanooga.  We picked up my sister-in-law, Micah, on the way and THANK GOODNESS that we did!  Caleb was completely exhausted from working a golf outing earlier that day and he slept in the backseat for most of the trip.  Micah and I stayed awake by chatting and blaring a mixed CD of Disney tunes.  In our state of delirium we attempted to memorize the words to the Street Rat song from Aladdin.  Ugh.

We met up with our realtor to look at houses.  Its all so exciting and I am so ready to purchase a home that I can make my own.  I have been scouring Pottery Barn, Ikea, and Pinterest for weeks looking at home decor ideas.  We ended up making an offer on house and are just waiting for the inspection next week.  If all goes well we will be on our way to home ownership!  Caleb says if I give too many details about the home we are hoping to buy I might jinx us, so my lips are sealed for now! 

We spent some time exploring the campus of University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where Caleb will be working and checked out some of the local restaurants.  We even fit in a baseball game!  It was an exhausting day, but well worth the trip.

All the excitement even energized me enough to start a little bit of packing.  I am determined not to wait until the last minute.  There is nothing worse!

Thanks to everyone who gave me moving advice!  It was all helpful and I'm sure that it will make my moving experience much more smooth.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Farewell Cookout with a Collection of Friends.

What a weekend we had!  It was a whirlwind of activity, but absolutely amazing.  Thursday night Caleb, his sister Micah, and I drove to Chattanooga to do some house hunting (details to come!!), Saturday we returned to Muncie for a cookout, and Sunday we drove to Caleb's parent's house for another cookout before spending time with his parent, my mom, and her fiance on Monday!  Phew!

We find ourselves trying to fit in everything that we possibly can because there are so many people that we are going to miss and be unable to see as often once we move to Tennessee.  We have a wonderful group of friends in Muncie that I will be sad to leave behind... not to mention the fact that we will be further away from family and friends that we have had for years.  

Saturday, our friends Art and Alice threw us a going away cookout.  They definitely know how to have a good time and it was just what we needed after our quick trip to Chattanooga to look at houses.

Art grilled out and Alice had some amazing potato salad and side dishes to complete our meal.

Their condo sits on a lake where Art and Liz fished.  The scenery was beautiful and relaxing.

This is Liz.  Such a funny girl!  Love her.

Check out my new hat!  A going away present from Art and Alice.  Perfect for moving to the South!!!  My only regret is that I didn't get a photo of the whole group... Thanks to everyone who came and made it a special night.  We will certainly miss you all (and can't wait for visitors...)!!!

Something that I am beginning to learn is that there are amazing people everywhere.  Sometimes I think that moving often stinks, but I am beginning to accumulate a whole collection of friends from all over.  Friends that compost, friends that have been on great adventures like living in NYC, friends who love the same shows as me and understand my love of blogs and fancy things, friends that love travel who are caring and help kids.  I have friends who love wine like me, who went to college with me, who are 22 and 66.  I have friends that I have absolutely nothing in common with, but love more than anything.  Its a nice thought to know that you all are out there and that saying goodbye isn't the end of a friendship, but that you are all part of my journey.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Quick and Easy Recipe: Glazed Angel Food Cake.

I had my friend Lauren over for dessert, wine, and the finale of Revenge last night.  Does anyone else watch that show?  LOVE IT!  I needed something quick and easy to make for dessert so I decided to try a recipe that I saw on Pinterest.  You can find the recipe here.

Although it only required a few ingredients, I have to say that it was a bit pricey due to the purchase of the Triple Sec which is not something I typically keep on hand.

I liked that it used a store bought angel food cake which was definitely a time-saver and poking the holes and adding the orange liqueur/orange juice mix was a nice touch!  Next time I'm going to add double the amount because I think it would have made it even better.

My only real critique, aside from the cost, was the thickness of the chocolate ganache.  Hindsight is 20/20 and next time I will thin it down a little more with the cream.  

All in all, the recipe was quick, easy, and delicious.  Now that I have the orange liqueur I will definitely make this again.  Caleb loved the ganache and was eating it out of the pan!

Sometimes the simple things are the best things.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Little Organization: Moving to Tennessee

As I mentioned in my last post, we are moving to Chattanooga!  Home of Ruby Falls, Lookout Mountain, and the Moon Pie.  Oh, and Teen Mom's Macy Bookout!  It all sounds so totally fabulous that I have been in denial of the fact that moving also entails packing and packing means going through all my crap and decided what is and isn't going to make the cut.  

Its the ultimate test of organization.  The grand daddy of all organizational projects.  While I admit that it does feel nice to move into a new home with freshly unpacked boxes and everything perfectly organized, its the steps before the bliss that are so dreaded.  Ugh!

I think I need a plan.  Should I take it one room at a time?  Should I pack the easiest items first?  The thinks I use the least?  How soon should I get started?  Aaaaahhhh!

I took the first step last night by dragging Caleb to Lowe's where we bought some moving boxes.  Apparently chivalry is not dead because he insisted on carrying all the boxes out to the car himself which created a fun little scenario (we had about 15 boxes...).  He would pick them up, drop them, pick them up, then decided to carry them all on his head.

Caleb also thought we needed this thing (for lack of a better word).  A tape gun ?  It loks more complicated than your regular role of tape.  It will either make my life easy when packing or a living nightmare...

I'm suddenly feeling so overhwhelmed!  Anyone have any moving advice?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

This Midwestern Girl is Moving South!

As you may have guessed from the title of this post, Caleb and I are about to begin a new adventure!  We're moving to the South.

Home of sweet tea, country music, ham biscuits, and southern belle's.  More specifically, the home of the Moon Pie and Ruby Falls... Chattanooga, Tennessee!   

There are many exciting things in store for us.  Buying our first home, new jobs, and exploring a city that is brand new and has much to offer.  I'd be telling a lie if I didn't admit that, yes, I am a little nervous.  New places also mean leaving behind precious friends, a job I am comfortable with and love, and the comfort of familiar streets and routine.

Luckily I have my better half to accompany me on the journey.  :)

We are going house hunting this weekend!  Stay tuned!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012


It's been a good weekend.  I knew it was going to be a good weekend because at lunch on Friday my friend Kristy and I got free pieces of strawberry pie.  It could be said that once one is given a free piece of surprise strawberry pie, a wonderful weekend is sure to follow.

After the fortunate incident of free strawberry pie I spent the afternoon with my friend Dianna.  We walked the mall, got our eyebrows threaded (OUCH!), and proceeded to get pedicures.  All before finishing the evening with dinner at Scotty's Brewhouse.

Actually, we finished the evening with Berry Winkle ice cream.  A fantastic finale to Friday.

If you add in a trip to the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning...

coffee and a muffin...

and a lovely wedding with a photo booth and carrot cake you can rest assured that our weekend has been lovely.

Sometimes the simple things are the best things.

And its not over yet.  Off to a winery with friends!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Afternoon Tea and Kelle Hampton.

On vacation we stayed in an amazing bed and breakfast called The Ballastone Inn.  It was one of the most fabulous places I have ever stayed.  Hands down.  Every corner was decked out with ornate decoration, orchids, and small touches that made you feel like you were a Southern Bell getting ready to sit on the front porch with a glass of sweet tea.  It was absolutely beautiful and I love beautiful things. 

So anyway, everyday at the Ballastone we had afternoon tea complete with tea sandwiches and tiny little scones.  The china convinced me that I made a mortal mistake not registering for my own complete set on my wedding registry.  I talked myself down by telling myself that it would probably get dusty in some corner cabinet with all the other things that I don't use on a daily basis... nonetheless it was a wonderful dream... I actually had visions of Caleb and me sipping tea from our china while eating little tea cookies...

And on second thought, why shouldn't everyone have a tea set, eat baby scones, and drink tea on Sunday afternoons?  

As the end of my week of sipping tea and practicing the art of doing nothing neared an end, the anticipation of the grand finale of my vacation grew greater and greater.  I had an even better tea party in the making.  The highlight of my Monday, Wednesday, and Friday is often reading Enjoying the Small Things, the blog written by life lover Kelle Hampton.  In a previous post I shared the link to the site for her new book Bloom in which she beautifully shares the birth of her second daughter Nella and her journey in "finding beauty in the unexpected."  After recruiting a group of ten ladies to pre-order copies of her book, I was given the pre-order incentive of a Skype session with Kelle.

Meeting Kelle through Skype definitely stirred up more nerves and emotions than meeting Paula Deen on my vacation earlier in the week.  You see, Kelle's blog provides me with balance.  Working as a therapist in mental health can be difficult, and it is easy to forget that, no matter what, there are beautiful, wonderful, and amazing things surrounding us even in the "small things."  You just have to look.

Thanks to my mother-in-law, Kim, we had the most wonderful tea party at my dear friend Jessica's home where we held the session.  Kim's friend, Donna, graciously allowed us to borrow her mother's fine china (much like the set I drooled over earlier in the week) to make our evening special.

I keep trying to think of all the words that I could use to describe how special it was for me to Skype with Kelle.  She has really changed my perspective.  Chatting with her for 30 minutes reminded me why I love reading her words so much.  She was lovely, inspiring, and ever so insightful about this thing we live called life.  

This last picture is a little dark, but still fabulous due to the amazing faces that we are making:

It was an amazing end to an amazing vacation that left me looking forward to the adventures in which Caleb and I will soon embark!  Details to come!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Savannah and Charleston: Walking and Sitting.

People keep asking me what I did on vacation.  My most immediate response is, "We went to Savannah and Charleston!"  But then my response is followed by another question... They want to know, "But what did you do?"  And then I think for a minute.

My response usual ends up sounding something like this:

Well, we ate breakfast and Caleb would read (I had a book too, but usually I just stared at it).  Then we would sit.

I assure you this is Cranberry juice... I don't make a habit of having wine at breakfast... although
that might not be sooo bad on some days... ;)

I stood in front of things that I though were pretty and begged Caleb to take my picture.  He hates picture taking.

And then we would walk.

Followed by some more sitting.

And looking at more beautiful things.

Ans then if that got to be too much... there was always some more sitting to break up the looking beautiful things... however, I must warn you that the sitting also happened in beautiful places.

Now, I can sense what you are thinking... this walking and sitting is not for everyone.  But what if you were walking and sitting at places like this?

Oh.  I guess I shouldn't leave the part out about us flying a kite.  We flew a kite.  At the ocean.

With the addition of taking a few tours, eating at fabulous restaurants, and meeting Paula Deen... this is pretty much what we did.  How lucky am I?  I think that being able to do nothing but enjoying the beauty of a peaceful place with someone you love can be the best vacation of all.

More on my vacation later!

Sometimes the simple things are the best things.