So Long Summer

The weather temperature feels a little cooler each morning and night. The tourist traffic has slowed down and the restaurants around Ocean Isle Beach are moving to “Off Season” hours. I’ve been in denial about summer ending for the past few weeks and have avoided all things pumpkin. I’m still not used to summer ending so quickly in North Carolina. In Florida, I expect 90 degree weather until December…or even February. While I love fall, it will be hard to say goodbye to this particular summer. It was the best summer of my life as a newlywed and I loved every adventure and moment with my husband. To say my official goodbye, I’m sharing my favorite moments of the summer.

1. Summer Date at the Beach

Not bad for a picnic first-timer!

Earlier this summer I shared a blog post of how to put together a “Date Night in a Basket.”  Friday nights this summer were usually nights in as we would try new recipes and then select Netflix documentaries to watch. One night we decided to take our meal to the beach and it was one of the best date’s we’ve experienced. I prepared a cheese board and it was surprisingly easy to pack and eat at the beach. You can’t beat the scenery of the beach in the evening as the sun sets. We will go out this fall to the beach with blankets and I’ll think of a warm meal to pack.

2. Carolina Country Music Festival

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My wedding gift to my husband was tickets to the three-day Carolina Country Music Festival in Myrtle Beach. My husband is a huge Eric Church fan and he was headlining the second night of the festival. Eric Church holds a special place in our hearts as we realized at an Eric Church concert (how classy) that we were both head over heels for each other. Can you guess who our first wedding dance was to? The concert lineup was pretty impressive and we spent the whole weekend in Myrtle Beach. Our favorites were Cole Swindell, Kellie Pickler, Colt Ford, Corey Smith and Rascal Flatts. My husband also had a little fun one night and decided to get a henna tattoo of our boxer Vita on his back. It’s the culturally appropriate thing to do in Myrtle Beach.

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3. July 4th

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We had lots of visitors over the summer and one of my favorite weekends was the Fourth of July. We had three couples (two of my bridesmaids and their husbands and one of Chad’s groomsmen and his wife)  visit us and it was a blast. The boys played golf one morning and I took the ladies to Wilmington for a shopping trip. We also visited Ocean Isle Beach staples including the Silver Coast Winery, Pelican’s Perch and Pogie’s. On the actual 4th of July, we did a big beach day and cookout. The best part was having both our closest friends together for a weekend. We are taking reservations for next year! Everyone is welcome!

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4. Orlando Trip

Earlier this summer I wrote about my first baby shower experience, when I visited my girlfriends for a weekend in Orlando. It was a fun weekend of reconnecting with my best girlfriends as we celebrated our expecting friend. It’s always nice to go back to my old home and relive the Orlando glory days with my girls at our favorite restaurants and bars.

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5. Family Boat Days

IMG_6633Even with all the exciting trips we took and events we attended, my favorites moments from this summer were days on the boat with my husband and pups. Every weekend we were in town, we did a boat day. We’d cruise up and down the Intracoastal Waterway enjoying the sun and blue water. Some days we’d pull our boat into the Inlet and park for the day at the beach areas. We also saw porpoises swimming along our boat. I’ve never been that close to a porpoise in the wild and it was incredible. The pups were very curious about these creatures.

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I’m very thankful to live at Ocean Isle Beach and that my husband and I spent our first newlywed summer by the water. I’m sad to see summer go, but I look forward to our next round of adventures this fall.

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Cannoli and Vita love their boat rides!

What will you miss most about summertime?

10 Crazy Things I’ve Said When Asked The Baby Question

I recently wrote about the five signs of knowing you’re newlywed. One of my points was the ever obtrusive question newlyweds receive about when you plan on popping out kids like Skittles. I feel this is a very personal decision that is between a husband and wife. Disclaimer: in no way am I trying to be disrespectful to all the mommies and daddies who have popped out those sweet angels. I’ve heard it’s the best decision and changes your life for the better. However, I don’t feel the need to discuss when my husband and I will be having kids with the whole world. So to get people to stop asking me the baby making question I’ve responded with absurd comments to make the conversation incredibly awkward and weird them out so they will never want to ask me the question again. I really enjoy saying off the wall comments to people in general and my close friends and family have come to expect this type of behavior from me. However, strangers and acquaintances don’t always know how to respond to me and I delight in their reactions. I don’t do it to be mean spirited and I don’t  mean any of these comments, except for number 10, but life is too short not to have fun with people every once in awhile. Below are my top 10 craziest responses that I’ve used in real life to respond to the baby making question:

  1. “Yeah it would be great to have kids but I don’t think I could go nine months without having a cocktail. I use alcohol to cope with all my life problems so carrying a baby would really interfere with my number one coping mechanism.”

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2. “I starved myself to get a ring on my finger so I don’t want my husband to leave me if I get fat. I did too much work shedding for the wedding to sacrifice it for a baby.”

3. “I heard you lose all your friends when you have kids. I love my girlfriends and don’t want them to abandon me. I think I’ll pass on babies in the spirit of sisterhood.”

4. “My husband would rather travel around the world than have a family. We are living the vagabond lifestyle”

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5. “Have you ever watched Children of the Corn? Number one reason for us not to reproduce in this world.”

6. “The Millennial generation is already so messed up. Can you imagine what our children will be like? We don’t want to contribute to the problem.”

7. “I’m a really selfish person and I don’t want to put another human being’s needs before my own.”

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8. “I need to find a nanny first who will be willing to raise my child for the next 18 years…”

9. “I’m not worried about my biological clock ticking. I froze my eggs at 22.”

10. “The puppies are our lives! I don’t know how we could ever love a child as much as we love Cannoli and Vita.”

Only babies we need for now

Only babies we need for now

Have you ever felt annoyed by the baby questions? If so, please feel free to use my responses at your own risk.

5 Signs You’re A Newlywed

It’s been a little over three months  since Chad and I said the big “I do’s” and we’ve had the best summer as newlyweds enjoying our little beach town.  Along the way, we’ve had several moments of realization that, “we are so married right now.” The transition from “dating” to “engaged” to “married” is not always smooth, so my preferred way of dealing with life changes is to keep the humor. In honor of Chad and I being “so married” I’d like to share my “5 Signs You’re a Newlywed.”

1. Friday Nights are Netflix Nights

There was a time I’d rarely stayed in Friday night. I’d anxiously watch the office clock so I’d could bolt out the door for happy hour or to get home to start the pregame for a night on the town. Now that I’m a keep piece of a sweet old married duo, our Friday night dilemma is deciding who gets to pick the Netflix series or movie. We cook dinner, down a bottle or two of wine (that’s me), and curl up with the puppies on the couch. Currently, we are in the middle of Bloodline and it’s one of the best shows we’ve watched on Netflix, besides House of Cards and Breaking Bad. I highly recommend it to all the married couples who need a new show for their Friday night date nights. For the rest of the young crowd, keep doing your thing out on the town. Netflix will still be around when you get married.

Friday Night Netflix Night

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2. The “Marriage 15” Appears

First comes the ring, then comes starvation. Second comes marriage, then comes the “marriage 15.” According to the Urban Dictionary, the “marriage 15” is when a newly-married person (usually female) gains 15 lbs soon after the wedding–often not working out and eating too much. Typically before the big day, brides will go to extreme lengths to reach their weight loss goals. I was intense for a time period right before the wedding and then I became lazy a few weeks before and hooked up a Chardonnay IV to my arm to provide the necessary nutrients. Now that we live in married bliss, Chad and I realized the scale was tipping in the wrong direction. The “marriage 15” is not a myth and it sneaks up if you aren’t watching. Chad and I are fighting the battle of the bulge — well, more me than him anyways. Oh well, he is stuck with me now…

Marriage 15

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3. The Baby Question

“So…..when are you having kids?” Every newlywed deals with this question as soon as you slip on the ring. We’ve gotten the question a few times, but in all honestly it hasn’t been too bad probably because my friends and family know that I’m not exactly the most maternal female on the planet. We still get the question now and then and I’ve been practicing really crazy responses to say to people. Chad is mortified when I do this, but I enjoy getting a rise out of people when they ask me silly questions. I might share some of the weird responses I’ve said to people in a future blog post. Chad and I want to have babies some day, but our sweet puppies are all we can handle right now.

Evil Raccoon

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4. There is No “I” in Team

There are several marriage steps following the nuptials including the name change, combining finances, building budgets together, major life decisions, etc. It’s an adjustment learning to tackle life as a team but it’s the best way to do it. You realize it’s no longer “I”, its “we”, “us”, “our.”  When talking with friends, I catch myself saying “we feel this way” or “let me talk to my husband about it.” Also, as a newlywed I now have a partner in preparation for the zombie apocalypse. When choosing a partner, it should be one of the key qualifications. I unfortunately failed my zombie survival quiz.  However, Chad has good survival instincts so combined, I predict we’d last at least a month…

Zombie Life Partner

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5. It’s the Best of Times

I thought I’d have post-wedding blues during the first couple months of newlywed life. But I’m loving every minute of it. Chad’s my BFF and I’m very proud to be his wifey. Even though we both have stressful jobs, our team motto is to live everyday like a vacation. We try to make mundane daily activities fun whether its a trip to the grocery store, a night on the couch with the pups or cleaning the house. Not everyday is perfect, but our goal is to keep the newlywed bliss going strong for the next fifty years. Or at least until the zombie apocalypse…

Newlyweds!

How do you keep the newlywed feeling going?

Monday Musings

Another weekend has come and gone and I’m fighting the Monday blues. We had another great weekend and for the first time in months, we did not go on the boat or go to the beach… Gasp!

Friday night we decided to be old married folks and grill out and watch Netflix. I did my best attempt to set the table nicely with fresh flower arrangements. I’ll be honest, I’m not very good at this stuff but at least I’m trying.

Rookie attempt to create a Pinterest worthy setting

Rookie attempt at creating a Pinterest worthy setting

Even though we did dinner at home, we decided we couldn’t pass up the chance to go to our favorite Italian restaurant, Roberto’s, for a glass of Prosecco and their homemade key lime pie cheesecake. It’s incredible and we crave it 2-3 times a week but usually resist the urge to add the extra pounds to our already growing waistlines.  To finish off the night we watched Penguins of Madagascar on Netflix and it was pretty cute.

Saturday we had tickets to the Corey Smith concert at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach. I discovered Corey Smith in college and my sorority sisters and I still love listening to his music as his lyrics bring back memories of our wilder days. My husband is now a big fan after hearing him play at the Country Music Festival in Myrtle Beach this June.  Before we attended the concert, we explored Barefoot Landing. It’s a cute shopping and dining area in North Myrtle Beach.  We enjoyed dinner and did a wine tasting at the Carolina Vineyards Winery tasting room. You can taste seven wines for $3. Our favorite wine was Barefoot Blush and we purchased a bottle. The concert itself was a blast and Corey Smith never disappoints.

Wishing we were 21...

Wishing we were 21…

On Sunday, we were as lazy as can be and slept in for the first time in forever. We did a little cleaning around the house but finally decided to get out of the house for a movie. We saw Trainwreck, which in my opinion is one of the funniest movies of the year. I laughed hysterically the entire time and Chad enjoyed all of the scenes with John Cena and Lebron James. Another relaxing and fun weekend with the husband and we tried to soak it in as we will be busy the next couple of weekends traveling and with friends coming into town.

Are you still feeling the Monday blues?

Date Night in a Basket

Since we moved to the beach, it’s been my dream to have a date night picnic on the beach.  We’ve lived at the beach almost a year and there has been no romantic picnic, until now. After spending hours on Pinterest looking at dream picnics, I finally put my foot down and decided to get my picnic on.

At first, my husband was a little skeptical of how we could pull off a picnic at the beach as he saw me pack meat, cheese and sushi into a little bag. However, once I had it all laid out on a big blue blanket with the ocean as our view, he was pretty impressed with the date night set-up. He even shared it was one of his all time favorite date nights.

Not bad for a picnic first-timer!

Not bad for a picnic first-timer!

So how in the world did I pull off this magical evening that looks like it came straight out of a Martha Stewart blog? Well, let me share a few tips on how to create your own picnic delight. And if my tips don’t work, go to the real expert, Martha, who has page dedicated to picnics.

1. It’s all about the bag baby

We received a beautiful Summer Oasis Picnic Bag at our engagement party and finally, a year later we got to use it! It’s the perfect size for the two of us with good storage space. There are a million fancy picnic bags and baskets out there, but I recommend keeping it simple and light to carry. Bag requirements must include insulation and a few compartments for plates, silverware and glasses. I personally love how our bag came with little wine glasses because no picnic is complete without a bottle of vino. I don’t think our bag can be ordered online anymore but Bed Bath and Beyond has a great selection of picnic bags at a variety of prices. There are elaborate bags available so I again, recommend keeping it simple with your bag selection.

Keep it simple but insulation is a must

Keep it simple, but insulation is a must

2. Keep it cool & pack like a pro

It’s hot out there and you don’t want your food to melt along with you. Purchase the right accessories to keep your picnic meal cool. The insulated picnic bag will help, but I recommend purchasing re-freezable ice packs from your local grocery store or Target. I lined the bottom of our bag and along the sides with the ice packs and it kept everything pretty cool. The items that I wanted to keep the coldest, I packed right under or next to the freezer packs. While at Target, grab snack containers. The containers make it easy to package and transport the food. You can also eat directly out of the containers, which cuts down on the mess and food storage stress.  Cutting boards are a good idea as well if you want to do a meat and cheese set-up. I also brought along my handy-dandy freaker to keep my wine bottle cold. Now, I know you are wondering what is a freaker? It’s one of the greatest inventions since the koozie. It’s a one size fits all beverage insulator and it was established in Wilmington, so it’s pretty fabulous. Lastly, you need a big blanket and a few beach chairs if you don’t want to be low to the ground. The bigger the blanket the better. If you’re a picnic enthusiast, there are picnic blankets that roll up with a handle, but if you’re a newbie like me, an old blanket works perfectly fine.

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3. The menu & vino

Once you have all the accessories, it’s time to plan the menu. Keep in mind it’s hot and you don’t want the food to spoil so it’s better to prepare small food portions. Once again, think simple with the menu. Cold cut sandwiches along with veggies and fruit are good options, but for our date night, I prepared a meat, cheese and fruit tray. We also picked up a roll of sushi because I wanted to feel like Stephen and Kristen from Laguna Beach (if you are a fan of the show you know exactly what I’m talking about.) Our picnic dinner consisted of two meats, three cheeses, a baguette, crackers, grapes and a homemade bread dipping sauce. For beverages, I enjoyed one of my favorite chardonnays, Chateau Ste Michelle and my husband enjoyed Bud Light Lime (I packed him an extra mini cooler of beer.)

Close up shot of our picnic meal

Close-up shot of our picnic meal

To wrap up this post, I encourage everyone to get out of the house this summer and enjoy snacks under the sun or stars with that special someone or just yourself. Happy picnicking everyone and never, ever, forget to pack the vino!

Welcome to the Beach Life

If you told me a few years ago that I’d be living in a small North Carolina beach town, working from home and married to man with a thicker southern accent than Forrest Gump, I’d tell you that doesn’t sound very much like the Danielle I know. It actually sounds like the set-up of a Nicholas Sparks novel, which I’d likely read but would never imagine living. But here I am, a former city girl whose main priorities were trying to climb the corporate ladder and deciding where my daily happy hour spot would be downtown.  But God had greater plans for me including my wonderful husband, a life by the water and two silly puppies. Now my job and happy hour are still big priorities, but I’ve realized there is so much more to life. View More: http://rmphotographync.pass.us/danielle--chad

My goal with this blog is to document the fun of being a newlywed, my remote working experiences and adventures in our town, Ocean Isle Beach. People say this is the best time in our lives or as my coworkers call it – DINK (Double Income No Kids). Guess my hubby and I better enjoy it now and this blog will be something to capture our memories. Hope you enjoy!