Thursday, March 28, 2013

Liebster Award!

You guys, I am not having a good week. 

I have gotten way too much bad news, and it's gotten me a little down. So imagine my surprise and delight to find out that Allison over at Time Out has nominated me for the Liebster Award! I'm so excited!



The Liebster Award is basically a fun way to discover new blogs. For the award, you give 11 facts about yourself, answer the 11 questions you were given by your nominator, and then ask your nominees 11 questions!

ABOUT ME

1. I was born in Germany (army brat). My birth certificate is in German, which is always fun when I have to go to the DMV.

2. I am constantly thinking about the most efficient way to do things. It's seriously a crazy train of thought in my head... "Okay, if I take the butter and milk out of the fridge at the same time, then boil the pasta, that will be the most efficient way and I'll only have to open the fridge once", or "If I go to Wal-mart, then the bank, then the library, then swing back around to Target, I'll never have to double back and it will be the quickest". Sometimes I think it's a little excessive, but seriously, I have like ten extra minutes at the end of the day because of this habit. Ha.

3.  I've worn contacts since I was 6 years old. I am blind as a bat. My biggest fear is I will be in an epic plane crash onto a deserted island, Castaway style, and my glasses will be broken and I will lose my contacts and I will be eaten by a lion immediately because I can't see.

4. I exaggerate. A lot. Like, a million times a day.

5. I get really excited about checking the mail. Or my e-mail. It always ends in disappointment.

6. I have an unhealthy obsession with stripes, navy, and all things nautical. 

7. Diet Coke is my arch nemesis. I can't have it in the house, or I will drink an entire 2-liter in, like, an hour. (That is not an exaggeration)

8. My family is completely spread out all over the country- my parents in Montana, my brother in Alabama, my grandparents, aunts and uncles in Kentucky, my in-laws in Virginia, and my husband and I in North Carolina. Sometimes it can be a real drag.

9. My number one goal in life is to learn how to sail. And own a sailboat. I'll probably hate it, as I've heard it's a ridiculous amount of work, but I want it (whiny voice).

10. I am blissfully married, with an amazing son and my ideal life, but I am still angry at my high school boyfriend for being such a jackass, and wish I could punch him in the face just one time. It'd make me feel so much better, and bring closure to the horrendous years that were high school. 

11. I have a slight obsession with all things monogrammed. Maybe it's the southern girl in me, but if it's got my initials on it, I'm going to have it.  

And here are my answers to Allison's questions for me!

1. How do you find inspiration for your blog?

Honestly, I just sit down at the computer each morning and hope something falls out of my head.

2. What is your favorite movie of all time? (You can seriously only pick one!)

Moulin Rouge... if you haven't seen it, do so. Immediately.

3. What are your current addictions?

Toms, skinny jeans, blue gatorade and baby shoes

4. Why did you start blogging?

As a new stay at home mom, my creative outlets were few and far between. Blogging gives me a forum to use my creativity, share my thoughts and feelings, and connect with a community.

5. What are somethings that you absolutely love about yourself?

I am an epic small-talker. There are no awkward silences when I'm around.

6. What would you do with a million dollars?

Sailboat. Beach House. Charity. Pay off bills.

7. What is your biggest fear?

Plane crash. See above. Or possibly being buried alive. Eesh.

8. What is your favorite memory from your childhood?

A random day where my whole family was home, it was sunny and warm, and we were all outside. I was riding around in my Barbie Jeep, my brother was about 2 years old in the passenger seat, and my mom and dad were sitting on lawn chairs, just chatting. It was such a relaxing, perfect moment. 

9. Would you rather vacation on a beach somewhere or in a log cabin deep in the mountains?

Ooh that's a toughie. I'd say I'd rather vacation at a log cabin in the mountains, because I want to live my life at the beach :)

10. Have you ever moved away from home? If so, how far away?

Ohhhh yes. Multiple times, multiple places. I don't even really have a home, per say. The old saying, "Home is where the heart is?" Totally true. Home is wherever my boys are.

11. What is your favorite material item that you own?

My "D" initial necklace from Tiffany that my husband gave me the day our son was born.




And my questions for my nominees, which are....

Nadine from Back East Blonde

and

Lacey from Sunny + Turquoise

Both of these ladies are super fun, and they have great blogs! Check them out!!

So ladies, tell us...

1. What is your favorite place in the world?

2. Pick one outfit you will wear everyday for the rest of your life, what would it be?

3. If I hit play on your iPod or the CD player in your car right now, what would be playing?

4. What is the last book you read?

5. Dogs or Cats?

6. Would you rather party all night or relax all day?

7. What is your favorite meal?

8. What is your favorite thing about blogging?

9. Snow or sand?

10. What was your absolute favorite toy or item from childhood?

11. If you could pick the actress who would play you in the film adaption of your life, who would it be?



This was super fun, thanks for nominating me, Allison!!



I'm pretty excited, because tomorrow we are heading up to Virginia to spend Easter weekend with the in-laws! Baby D is getting to meet his cousins for the first time, and see his grandparents for the first time since he was 2 days old!! I'm really looking forward to getting away and spending some time with the family :) 

But, alas, it means you will not be hearing from me until we get back on Monday!! Try to last the weekend without me. I know you can do it :)


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

review - warm bodies



Book: Warm Bodies
Author: Isaac Marion
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
Series: None
Pages: 238



By now you've probably caught on to the fact that I really enjoy post-apocalyptic fiction. I have no idea why. I was so terrified that the world was actually going to end on 12/21/12 that I forbid my husband from mentioning it at all for months beforehand (luckily, when the date rolled around, I had a 1 week old newborn, and therefore it never entered my mind, else I would have sat around all day and waited for a zombie to get me). There's just something about reading about the world that comes after all this that appeals to me. Imagine your life without the internet, without your job, without the ease of going to the grocery store or ordering pizza. 

How much would your priorities shift when money has no value, and you must spend your days protecting your family and finding food? 

I imagine that Michael Kors watch or Coach bag would quickly lose it's appeal.


This book was so surprising to me. I was expecting something more in line with Zombieland, and while it had it's gory moments, it was actually much more philosophical and intellectual than I expected. The story is told from the perspective of a zombie, which is a totally new and refreshing take on the whole "zombie apocalypse" theme. 

R is Dead. He cannot remember his name, only that it started with R. He cannot remember his life before, or how he died, or when. All he knows is the hunger that overtakes him every few days that drives him to venture into the city with the other zombies, and find a Living brain to devour. By eating the brain of a Living person, the Dead can experience their life, even for just a short time. 

R is quite a bit different from the other Dead. He collects things left over from humanity, like vinyl records and vintage cars. He has a rich interior life, but cannot even form a two-word sentence. 

When he feels the hunger, he again ventures into the city. But this time, everything is different. He devours the brain of a boy named Perry, and gets to re-live Perry's memories. It's in those memories that R is introduced to Julie, Perry's girlfriend, and feels the emotions Perry has for her. When R finds that Julie is in the room with all of the carnage of the zombies feeding, he decides to take her back to his home and protect her.

What follows is a really inspirational story about the human condition, resurrection, hope and love. There are many philosophical questions posed by R in this story, things that apply to everyone and really make you think. Here is an excerpt from the story, where R ruminates on his inability to speak effectually.



"In my mind I am eloquent; I can climb intricate scaffolds of words to reach the highest cathedral ceilings and paint my thoughts. But when I open my mouth, it all collapses. So far my personal record is four rolling syllables before some . . . thing . . . jams. And I may be the most loquacious zombie in this airport. 

I don't know why we don't speak. I can't explain the suffocating silence that hangs over our world, cutting us off from each other like prison-visit Plexiglass. Prepositions are painful, articles are arduous, adjectives are wild over-achievements  Is this muteness a real physical handicap? One of the many symptoms of being Dead? 

Or do we just have nothing left to say?"




This is a wonderfully written novel, surprisingly inspirational, and a story like none I've read before. It's a short read, and you can probably finish it fairly quickly. It was recently made into a movie, but I haven't seen it. I was so impressed by the book, however, that I really want to see the movie, just to see if it does the book justice. 

I'd highly recommend this book!!
You can buy it here.


P.S. Another awesome book that was recently made into a movie is Stephenie Meyer's The Host. Don't discount this book just because she wrote Twilight... it's a completely different story, written more for the adult crowd. An excellent book! Read it before you see the movie!!




Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ninety. Needle. Sticks.

*Disclaimer: I'm going to share some pictures that you might think are gross. Sorry, but I think they're necessary for the story. Hopefully you aren't too grossed out!! This is fair warning :)

You may remember this post where I told you all about the random, but aggressive allergic reaction I kept having. Hives, itching, trouble breathing, and feeling like my throat was closing up.... it was super fun. There's nothing quite like waking up at 3 am feeling like you're suffocating to death.

I'll keep this picture small, since it is fairly gross. I was covered, head to toe, in these for about 2 weeks straight, along with wheezing, trouble breathing, and feeling like my throat was closing up.

So cute. Really. It's a good look for me.

After several trips to Urgent Care, steroid shots, medications, and a gazillion milligrams of Benadryl, I was finally referred to an allergist. No one could figure out what was triggering the reactions, as I hadn't changed any products or detergents, and couldn't pinpoint a single thing that was starting it. 

So, yesterday, I headed to the allergist. I did not have a choice in the appointment date or time, so of course, I had to take D with me. I was obviously given the wrong address, so I got lost and ended up getting there 30 minutes late. Starting things out on a positive note.

I'm thrilled to be here. No really.


The nurse explained how the allergy test was going to work, and what our next steps would be. Then she cleaned my back and arms, and proceeded to STICK ME WITH A NEEDLE NINETY TIMES!

 Literally. Ninety. Times.

If you don't absolutely need an allergy test, I would highly recommend you steer clear. It ain't fun.

Basically, they insert 90 different allergens under the skin with a needle, and wait to see if you have a reaction. It looks like this:

Again, small photo. It's unpleasant looking.



I had to wait 25 minutes for the results, so the doctor came in to talk to me during that time. He was a rude old man, let me tell you.

He made snide comments about me bringing D to the appointment!!! 

I'm sorry, Mr. Fancy Allergy Doctor, but I was not given a choice in this appointment, and since it was fairly important that I get it done SO I DON'T CHOKE TO DEATH DURING ANAPHYLACTIC SHOCK, I didn't reschedule for a day I could get a babysitter. I thought you'd be okay with having a tiny little well-behaved human in your exam room, but apparently not.


The kid was an angel. Obviously Mr. Fancy Allergy Doctor is a heartless old codger who doesn't like babies.

But I digress.

So, he explains the results of the test to me. Out of ninety environmental triggers, I'm only allergic to two of them!! Dust mites and fire ants. Weird.

But apparently, my allergy to fire ants is extremely significant, and he suggested that I start immunotherapy, which basically means I'd have to get shots twice a week for 5 years.

So. Not. Happening.

I think I can steer clear of the fire ants, thank you very much. So he gave me an epi-pen in case I get bitten, so I won't die. Fun.

But, the kicker is, he doesn't think that's what caused the reaction. I have to go back next week to have another ninety sticks done, this time for food allergies. He thinks I have developed some kind of severe food allergy that caused the reactions.

If it's to chocolate, I quit life.









Monday, March 25, 2013

confessions

I could eat chips and salsa for every meal, with every meal, and after every meal. I could probably bathe in salsa, if it really came down to it. In fact, I am eating chips and salsa as we speak. 


This is what blogging looks like to me. Baby monitor, caffeine, and who needs a bowl for chips? Not this girl. 




I bought a tripod, so I could be a real blogger and take awkward photos of myself without subjecting my husband to the horror of being my photographer. It makes me feel like a big fat phony. I am not fashionable, and I can't see why anyone would want to copy my style, but it's what we bloggers do. Jeans, t-shirt, flats. Done.


Awkward outfit photo. 



I make at least one parenting decision every day that I swore to myself I would never do. For instance, while in the grocery store or some other public forum, if D makes the slightest little peep, I shove that binky in his mouth faster than you can say bribery. I swore I would not bribe my child with a pacifier, but hey. Anything that keeps him quiet long enough for me to get to the car is a-ok by me. 





Whst the heck, mom? You've failed as a parent.




I enjoy the company of my dog more than that of 99.9% of the human population. The fact that he has a serious slobber problem and insists on drinking water out of the faucet is irrelevant. If you can't handle dog hair, slobber, and getting jumped up on, then we can't be friends.



He's a champion.




I am an extremely low maintenance chick. Just ask my husband. I like understated jewelry (no huge diamonds here, thanks), I think flowers are a waste of money, and when I say don't get me anything for Valentine's Day, I truly mean it. All I need in a relationship is for you to spend time with me, make me laugh, and pay our bills, cause if that's my job, we're gonna be broke.







In my heart, I am a gypsy. A year in one place, two years in another, and then the open road is calling my name. I'm a serial mover. I'm trying to reform, because I really want to raise my kids in one town, where they know everyone and everyone knows them, and they have the same friends from kindergarten to high school. My parents are moving to Montana in a few months, so obviously, there's a little voice in my head going, "Montana could be cool...." But NO! I will stand firm. I hope.



I cut about 2 feet of hair off a couple of weeks before I went into labor, and I have regretted it every. single. day. For one thing, no one should ever make permanent hair decisions at 9 months pregnant and 30 pounds heavier than usual. For another, short hair is not easier to maintain, or faster to style. At least not for me. I spend just as much time trying to get this stupid hair straight now as I did when it was super long. And so, the growing-out process begins again.



 
WHAT was I thinking?!?


Nothing makes me feel more like a rockstar than the fact that when I sing, D stops crying and looks at me like I'm the best thing since sliced bread. Even though it's probably not that great, he loves it, and it makes me feel like Adele :)

My feet are always cold, but I hate wearing socks. I think I own maybe 2 pairs.

I don't understand Twitter. I just don't grasp the concept. I try, but it just seems pointless. Like Instagram, but without cool pictures? Lame sauce.





I like to eat cookies when I feel fat. Makes sense.



And now that you know all my deepest, darkest secrets, we can be best friends. 






Friday, March 22, 2013

High Five for Friday!

1. My brilliant, adorable, smart, strong, cute little boy is ROLLING OVER!! He figured it out this morning and does it every single time now... he's probably going to be crawling soon. Crap. 

video




2. Breakfast in bed with the whole family is, like, my favorite thing ever. Also crescent rolls.







3. Getting this dog toys is a pretty useless endeavor. But it makes him SO HAPPY for like, 5 minutes.








4. Starting a little furniture painting DIY project. My husband hated this bookshelf in our hallway, so I'm painting it for D's room!








5. I got sucked into Downton Abbey. I tried to hold out for as long as possible, but I was feeling puny one day and needed to spend it on the couch, where of course I found Downton on Netflix. Can you believe that Mary? And Matthew. Sigh. Beautiful man.





How was your week?


Linking up with Lauren @ From My Grey Desk


 photo H54Fbutton-triangle_zps678b65ba.jpg

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

useful, pretty, inspiring

I woke up in the middle of the night and decided to sell all of my possessions.

Wait, wait.

I'm getting ahead of myself.


Since becoming a stay-at-home mom, I... well, I stay at home a lot more. Imagine. Which leads me to stare at our home furnishings a lot more.
This brings trouble for the hubs, as he gets really tired of hearing me say, "You know what we need? New curtains!"

I have been blessed in my life to have received a TON of free furniture and home decor. Every time my parents move, they let me load up with pretty much whatever I want, which has been great. I literally have never bought a couch, table, bed, mattress, or dresser. Ever. 

But, I will be 26 years in old in a few short weeks, and I've decided that my home should be a reflection of me (well, us, I guess), and what I've got going on right now just ain't cuttin' it. I need to grow up and get a cohesive thing going on in the home department. I mean, that is where we all spend like, 99% of our off time, right? Why shouldn't you put the most work and effort into the place you spend most of your life? 

(I should note: Hubby disagrees completely. He would live totally Spartan-like, with just a mattress, for the rest of his life. He wants to spend money on traveling and experiences, which I agree with, to an extent. But I also feel like we should be building a home for our family!)

Which brings me to my sudden, and entirely terrifying, decision. We are going to sell every piece of furniture, home decor item, lamp, dresser, everything in this house that can't be refinished or doesn't work with the look I'm going for, and start over. 

Yikes.

That is a terrifying prospect. But also kind of exciting. Don't you sometimes wish you could just send your whole house up in flames and start over? Well, that's exactly what I'm doing. Minus the flames.

So, my plan is to go through each room of the house with the following three questions on my mind:

Is it USEFUL?

If the item in question has not been touched in 6 months, or is a duplicate, or just unnecessary, it goes.
The mini cupcake maker I've used one time in 2 years? Gone.
The ridiculously large, ugly and energy inefficient microwave? Buh-bye.
The lamp I got for $5 at Walmart that is sort of broken and skewed to one side? See ya!!!!


Is it PRETTY?

Sometimes, you just need to be surrounded by beautiful things. A flower arrangement isn't necessary, per say, but it brightens up your home and brings in some happy, so it can stay. If it's functional but ugly, I'll consider if I can DIY it into something pretty. If not, see ya!!

Is it INSPIRING?

I tend to be pretty un-sentimental when it comes to things. I can throw out things from my childhood like nobody's business. But I do believe that some sentimental things have a place in the home. I read some good advice once; that you should decorate your home with your memories. A picture on the wall, or a shelf filled with items that invokes a happy memory is much more necessary in the home than that blah picture of nothing from Kirkland's. So, if it doesn't make me happy, or hold a memory, or inspire me to have a better day, it goes.


I have a feeling that this is going to be so liberating. 

And I am SO excited to start collecting pieces in the style that I love, rather than the style I've just collected over the years. 

I should mention that my husband is still asleep, as this idea came to be at about 4 am, and has not heard about it yet, so hopefully he's on board :)

Another plus to this fabulous idea is that it's insta-spring cleaning. Going through every room, cabinet, and drawer and getting rid of anything that doesn't fit the above criteria will make for a more organized and neater home, which will make this mommy very happy.

So, this is the vision I've got going on. You don't notice a pattern at all, do you?



All image sources can be found via my Pinterest board here.


Am I crazy for wanting an all white bedroom? Possibly. But that's where I sleep, and it should be about ME, dang-it, not the dog or the kids! Things are washable. That's what I'll keep telling myself.

A coastal themed home just fits with our style. We live by the coast (duh), but more than that, it represents a lifestyle that we want to adopt, of a calmer, more peaceful way of life.

Doesn't it all just look so calm and relaxing? And shouldn't that be what our home is all about??


What do you guys think? Am I crazy? 

Is this something you would do?




Tuesday, March 19, 2013

inception

I'm fairly certain someone is trying to use inception on me.




Have you seen the movie? Basically, the idea is that someone can hijack your dreams to plant an idea, and you never know they are there.


via





For the past week, I've been having the most ridiculous dreams. They always start out like normal, happy go lucky dreams. For instance, last night I was working out with Justin Timberlake (he was spotting me on my deadlifts... totally normal).





But then.

I realized I was dreaming. And I was in this factory, and I couldn't figure out how to get out. Not just out of the factory, because I couldn't find the door, but out of the dream! I just could not wake up! It wasn't a scary dream or anything, just kind of nothing-ness in a factory-ish setting, but I've had the same dream for like a week now. I realize I'm dreaming, and I just can't get out. And it sucks so bad.


So who's doing it?

I know it's you.



In other news.
When it rains, it freaking pours. Let me tell you what happened just yesterday.

A notification of fraudulent activity on our debit card.
A $300 electric bill (why?!?!!)
Student Loan shenanigans (need I say more... life ruiners)
A sick baby
A sick husband

I'm over it. I'll take a nice dream now, please.

Monday, March 18, 2013

review - prayers for rain


Book: Prayers for Rain
Author: Dennis Lehane
Genre: Mystery, Crime Drama
Series: Kenzie and Gennaro (but the book stands alone if you haven't read the others)
Pages: 375

This book was loaned to me by one of my husband's co-workers, and I have to say, I enjoyed it! It's one of those fast paced, twisty-turny mysteries that suck me in and keep me reading for hours, forgetting to eat, shower, show signs of life... not really. But close.

Patrick Kenzie is a tough but tender-hearted private investigator in Boston who has connections with many of Boston's scummiest, and uses his play with these people as back up for the investigations that sometimes prove to be a little more than he bargained for.

Karen Nichols, a spunky, preppy, and by all accounts, a happy woman, comes to him with a problem. A stalker, threatening her and vandalizing her car. She just wants him to prove the vandalism so that the insurance company will pay up. This is a problem he considers easy-peasy... done in one day, he says. He takes care of it, scares the hell out of the stalker, Karen is thrilled, he never hears from her again (except for that one phone call, the one he was just too busy to return.....)

Six months later, Patrick learns that Karen  has jumped head-first off a 26 story building, in the nude, committing suicide for the world to see. This doesn't jive with Patrick's impression of this woman, and he feels pretty guilty for ignoring her phone call, thinking maybe she had been calling him for help that he hadn't given. He takes it upon himself to find out what would make such a woman so desperate. What he finds is a disturbing, twisted, and sick story of years of mistrust, lies, and psychological torture.

I gotta tell you guys, this book is a little graphic. If you aren't comfortable reading about some really kind of disturbing things, then I would steer clear. But I have always loved a good crime drama. For a long time I wanted to be a criminal profiler, that is, until I realized that I really did not care what made these psychos tick, I just wanted them gone - scratch that career path!

Usually books like this are extremely predictable, and I've got the bad guy figured out by Chapter 4. It's basically just fluff entertainment at that point. This story actually kept me guessing for a good while, however, and threw a couple of curve balls that I didn't see coming.

It's a quick read, but if you're into murder and mystery, then it might just be your thang!

(By the way, this is the same author that wrote Mystic River, which was made into a really popular movie that I've never seen, but maybe you've heard of?) 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

little D is 3 months old!

My little guy is a whopping THREE MONTHS OLD today! How did that happen? He's practically in college already!! 

Jeez, what am I going to do?


No, seriously. Does that whole, "put a rock on your head to stop you from growing" thing actually work? I'm not above trying it.


He has become the most amazing little person over the past three months. He's gone from being a cute, floppy, kind of wrinkly poop machine to a full fledged human with a personality!!
 (It's so weird how that happens.)



So, a few stats for the little shamrock:

  • He sleeps from about 10 pm to 4 am, has a bottle, then goes back to sleep until about 7 am. I consider that sleeping through the night, for which I am eternally grateful!


  • He smiles all. the. time. He's seriously the happiest baby I've ever seen. He rarely cries, and if he does, it's because there's a problem that needs fixing. As soon as he's fed, or changed, or loved on, he goes right back to that smiling happy face.


  • He's started cooing. You guys. I cannot even tell you what your heart will do when this starts happening. He literally sounds like he's saying things like "oh no" and "mom" in an adorable, high pitched voice, and I melt. Into a puddle. A useless, dopey, obsessed-with-her-child mom. My Facebook friends are probably ready to murder me, or unfriend me at the very least, for all the baby pictures I post. He is just so darn cute.

  • He is holding his head up and steady like a champ.

  • He can push up on his arms while on his tummy, and look around. He's so close to rolling over, and it makes him so mad that he can't.  (Side note: he actually did roll over, twice, when he was 29 days old. It was astounding. But he hasn't done it again, so maybe it was a fluke? I got in on video though, so there's proof!)




These past three months have seriously been the best in my life, but also the hardest. The first two months were super tough, with getting used to a new relationship with my husband, dealing with the ridiculousness that is a post-baby body, hormones, lack of sleep, you name it.
But this last month, I feel like I've totally got this mom thing on lock down. We've got a good schedule going, and even though I definitely make mistakes, D rolls with it, and the most important thing is that he is happy, healthy, and loved.


I'm seriously the happiest girl in the world.


Now, take in the adorable-ness that is this little guy.





Baby toes. Omg.


And a Happy St. Patrick's day to ya! (insert an Irish brogue here)

We will probably keep up with our tradition of watching Boondock Saints, and being absolutely boring :)




Saturday, March 16, 2013

my life, as written by nicholas sparks

I have a confession to make.

I am completely, ridiculously, one hundred percent a sucker for Nicholas Sparks books.

I know, I know. Travesty. They are formulaic and predictable, and 
THEY. GET. ME. EVERY. TIME.

Tell me you haven't read one and not been bawling like a child at the end, full of all kinds of conflicting emotions? I rest my case.

Anyway, it's this love of Nicholas Sparks, and all things OBX and North Carolina, that prompted my husband and I to move to New Bern (home of Nicholas Sparks, and setting for several of his books, if you didn't know.)

Our goal was always to live by the coast, and one day, we just made it happen. My husband got a job over the phone (he's skilled that way), we found an apartment over the phone, and we jumped in a moving truck and drove 11 hours from Alabama to our new home, without ever stepping foot in the town. Hindsight being what it is, we probably should have done a bit more preparing. For instance, when we arrived after our treacherous 11 hour drive in a moving truck, we found that the apartment was 1. in the ghetto and 2. disgusting. It was slightly discouraging.

But, we got out of that situation quickly, thankfully, and now live in a wonderful neighborhood, in a nice home, that we are comfortable raising our son in.

Sometimes, though, I am reminded just how blessed I am to live here. New Bern is a very cool place, in my opinion. It sits on the Neuse River, about 40 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean, and has one of the quaintest, most eclectic downtown areas I've ever seen. The arts community is alive and well here, and people actively support local businesses, which I love.

All of this was displayed in full force this weekend, when we have a beautiful, 80 degrees and sunny day, and I decided to take little D on an adventure. Daddy had to work, and we were getting out of this house, dang-it!

First, we hit up the Farmer's Market. It's a small market, with only a few vendors, but everything is hand-crafted or grown, and it is an amazing sampling of the flavors of New Bern. Baby D, of course, was a huge hit with the older crowd, and flirted his cute little baby booty off with the old ladies. I came across an older lady selling beautiful handmade baby toys, and knew D had to have one immediately. I am in love with this little guy... he is super soft, extremely well crafted and the perfect size for D's chubby little fingers. He held on to him all day, feeling the material. It was the cutest thing ever.

 

After the Farmer's Market, we browsed some of the neat little shops downtown. We went to Nauti Paws, a  pet store that specializes in gourmet dog treats, so you know I had to get Bruno a little something :) This place is adorable, and has a great selection of treats, clothes, leashes... you name it, you can find it for your pet here. And Bruno died over the treats when we got home. He's not usually a fan of the crunchy treats, but he freaked out over these, so I'm assuming they're good. (I did not taste test. I was tempted, but refrained.)

Don't they look delish? Dog treats, people. They're dog treats.

Oh yeah. He was pleased.


When D got hungry, I sat outside at a little raw bar downtown called MJ's Raw Bar & Grill, and had me some fish and chips while I fed him. Yum. Excellent service, excellent food, great atmosphere. 


After lunch, we perused downtown a little bit more, visiting the quaint boutiques and shops, and taking in the local flair.










Basically, my day was completely idyllic, in a total Nicholas Sparks novel way. Without the drama. Or the crying.

But you get the point. If you ever need a vacation destination, or just want to visit somewhere cute for a day, New Bern is the place to go!


*None of these establishments know who I am, nor was I compensated in any way for my opinions. They are just that, only my opinions!*