My First Baby Shower

It’s a little surprising that at the ripe old age of 28, I’m now transitioning from the wedding shower stage to baby shower stage of life. There must be something in the water because everywhere I turn I see babies, babies, babies and bellies, bellies, bellies. Thankfully, the baby boom for Chad and I is still far away in a galaxy millions of miles away. We have two puppies who are barely potty trained (both are over a year and like to have accidents all over the house to spite us.)

High maintenance babies

High maintenance babies

Anyways, this past weekend I traveled down to Orlando to celebrate my friend Sam’s baby shower. She is one of the first in our group to take the baby plunge and we are so excited to meet her little girl. She is naming her baby Hadley Ann, which is too precious. We are so excited to welcome the newest addition to our group and she is going to have some crazy aunties. My other besties, Megan and Ali, hosted the shower and they did a fabulous job .Years of bridal shower planning has prepared this group of friends for throwing the ultimate baby showers. No small detail was missed and I spent the majority of my time alternating between the snack table and mimosa bar. Most importantly, there was plenty of love in the room for our friend Sam and her sweet baby girl. 

Baby Mama!

Baby Mama!

My favorite parts of the shower included the delicious cupcakes from Gigi’s, the duck sorbet punch (which I had three helpings of when no one was looking) and watching Sam open all the precious little girl outfits. Hadley has a better wardrobe than me, which means it’s time for me to go shopping! All in all it was a wonderful weekend and I loved spending time with my best friends and celebrating Sam and sweet Hadley.

Advertisements

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

[Via]

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

[Via]

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

[Via]

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

[Via]

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?

TGIF: Telecommuting Humor

Happy Friday! It’s been a crazy work week and to soothe my pain, I love finding Internet memes that apply to my life and make me laugh. Since I’ve recently blogged about the perks and myths of remote working, I thought I’d share my top 10 favorite memes about remote workers. Enjoy!

[Via]

[Via]

[Via]


[Via]

[Via]

[Via]

[Via]

[Via]

[Via]

And drumroll please…my favorite working remote meme (because I often feel like this guy.)

[Via]

Which is your favorite meme?

Debunking my own telecomuting myths

wood-coffee-iphone-notebook-largeWhen I received the approval to telecommute with my company, I read all the telecommuting blogs and spoke with several people who were in the same shoes. I felt completely prepared. I also had illusions of what I thought the experience would be like. Last week, I shared my favorite perks of telecommuting,and this week I want to share the many misconceptions I had about my own telecommuting experience. Eighteen months after making the transition, I’ve debunked a few of my own telecommuting myths. 1. Lean Mean Machine My first thought that popped in my head when I received approval was “I’m going to have so much time to work out and I’m going to look like Jessica Alba.” Wrong, I was very wrong. I was actually in better shape when I worked in an office because I had a set routine of going to the gym after my workday. Since I’d been at the office all day, I had no problem checking out at 6 PM to make it to my 6:30 Turbo Kick class. Of note, just because you work from home does not mean you have extra time during the day. It’s actually harder to break away from my computer at home and leave my house to run to the gym, even though I’m already dressed in gym clothes. It’s even challenging popping in a workout DVD in living room because I can’t make myself leave my desk. Telecommuters can fall into a dangerous trap of becoming vampires and once you get into that mode, any glimpse of sunshine will burn you alive. Hence, my struggle of making it to the gym or going for a run on the beautiful beach that’s at my doorstep. 2. Super Puppy Mom We got our first pup, Cannoli, to keep me company when I first started telecommuting. I was thrilled she didn’t have to be in a crate all day and I could do lots of puppy training. I assumed we would have no puppy accidents we’d get lots of exercise outside with long walks and trips to dog park, and she would be the best behaved dog in the world. All hopes of mine for sweet Cannoli, did not exactly pan out. Again, I’m glued to the computer 10-12 hours a day because of the hundreds of deadlines, juggling clients and long conference calls. I remember the horrible guilt I felt when I didn’t have the time to take Cannoli out for a bathroom break before I hopped on a long conference call and she had a bunch of accidents all over the house. I bawled my eyes out and considered hiring a puppy walker. I did eventually get a grip on reality, and even thought we had a puppy walker consultation, it did not fit into our budget. The parental guilt is real people, even for parents of puppies. Oh, and did I mention that Cannoli turned out to be one of the worst behaved dogs on the planet, but she is too darn cute!

Pic of Cannoli after she climbed up on my desk #remoteworkerproblems

Cannoli after she climbed up on my desk #remoteworkerproblems

3. Spick-and-Span House Now I try my hardest with this conquering this myth because if my house is messy, I have a really hard time focusing on my job during the day. I feel  cloudy and lose my train of thought if clothes are everywhere and dirty dishes are in the sink. However, I envisioned that my house would be clean as a whistle because I’d be home all day and I’d have time to run the dishwasher while on a conference call, fold laundry while I had my lunch break and I could wipe down counters in between reports. Wrong again! I always slack on making the bed and if I do run the laundry, I’ll get distracted and forget about it. Wet clothes will sit in the washer for a week. My first fight with my husband when we moved into together was about how I left fresh clothes from the dryer in the hamper. I forgot to fold them because I got swept up in the workday and they became wrinkly. Now my husband is no Mr. Clean, but one of his pet peeves is wrinkled clothes. I was so upset I forgot to fold the clothes that I took out all my anger on my poor husband who simply asked me to leave clothes in the dryer if I don’t have time to fold right away. He now stays away from me when I’m in the laundry room out of terror. Overall, telecommuting is a great set-up and despite my deflated dreams listed above, it’s been really beneficial for me in my personal and professional life. However, I was definitely thrown for a loop on when I discovered my own remote working reality.  I’m still figuring it out every day and I’m almost at the two-year mark so I’ll leave you with a meme to sum it all up. P.S. Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I've got this!

I’ve got this!

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.

shopping (2)shopping77071039413GA-1-georgiapeachshopping (1)

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!

A few of my favorite telecommuting things

hands-woman-legs-laptopI’ve been a remote worker for about a year and a half and I have to remind myself sometimes that I no longer work in a physical office space. I’m considered part of the telecommuting minority at my company as the majority of the employees work in a physical office. However, I was
fortunate my company was open to the idea and agreed to my remote worker transition as I made the move to North Carolina to be with my husband.

Overall, the option to work remotely in the U.S. is on the rise according to The New York Times. The author of the article shared statistics from the American Community Survey showing that telecommuting has risen 79 percent between 2005 and 2012 and now makes up 2.6 percent of the American work force, or 3.2 million workers. I’m proud to be part of that statistic and there a many perks to telecommuting, as well as many challenges. But I’ll discuss the challenges in another blog. For now, I want to focus on the positives by sharing my top five perks of telecommuting.

1. Dress code is my code.

My company is pretty casual and jeans are the norm unless you have a client meeting. But as a telecommuter, my wardrobe consists of yoga pants, tank tops and sports bras. Real bras are lame. Some telecommuters recommend wearing jeans everyday and dressing up to feel more professional but I don’t agree that is right for everyone. I enjoy being comfy while I work long hours and if I need to run errands I’m still in acceptable to clothing to leave the house. My workout attire is not the snappiest, but one day I hope to invest in super fly attire. If you want recommendations, my good friend Lauren has tips on snagging workout wardrobe deals at The Thrifty Mermaid. 

2. 9-5 is bye-bye.

My job requires me to work odd hours and I’ve had to start days in the office at 4:30 AM while other days I’ve left the parking lot at 11 PM. Because my office is my home I can manage my schedule so that if I have to be online in the wee hours of the morning, I can end my day early. When I worked in the office and started early, I felt I had to remain at the office until 6 PM because my coworkers were diligently working. Now, I can obtain better work/life balance when I’m required work odd and long hours.

3. Weekly lunch dates with the hubby.

My husband works from home 1-2 times a week and we try to take lunch breaks together. I cherish this time because we get to unplug for an hour and reconnect during the middle of the day.We also make each other get out of house and grab lunch at one of our favorite Ocean Isle Beach spots.

4. Puppies, puppies, puppies.

We have two lively puppies, Cannoli and Vita. One of the best parts of remote working is I get to be home with the girls everyday. I sound like a mommy blogger right now, but I love being home with the girls. They don’t have to be in a crate all day (we can’t let them run free in the house) and being home while we were potty training, was another perk. Also, when I have a bad day, there are two cuddle bugs who make me feel better. Cannoli still likes to spite us with accidents around the house and being home does not mean they are well-behaved dogs, but its comforting to have them at my feet during the workday.

Who wouldn't want to be home with these sweet babies all day?

Who wouldn’t want to be home with these sweet babies all day?

5. Beach is right down the street.

There are days that can be overwhelming and I feel like the world is crashing down on me. When I worked in an office and the pressure got to me, I used to take walks around the block in downtown Orlando. I’ve loved taking these walks with a 7Eleven fountain drink, but now when I need to take a mental break, I have this view…

My view when I need to recharge from the workday

My view when I need to recharge from the workday

Life as a remote worker isn’t so bad…