Bring It, 2013

I’m excited to ring in the new year, friends – hope you are too. However, it’s a little bittersweet. 2012 has pretty much been a banner year. Let’s see:

–I finally sold my dang townhouse. For the love of everything holy – it was on the market three years to the DAY. Can you believe that? I can. I lived every aching moment of that horrible process. June 27 – damn you and bless you.
It wasn’t without more heartache, tears, cursing and courtrooms that I finally became free of it, but it was so worth it. Some days, now six months later, it still hits me that I’m free of that physical and emotional burden and I almost float off my feet. What a blessing. (Frank J. Miles, realtor extraordinaire and friend, I’m forever indebted to you).

–I used that newfound freedom from my mortgage payment to send my 11 year old Eclipse on to her next stage in life. I got a new car! Well, new to me. I am loving my little Mazda 6. She is a good one and I hope to have a long, happy 10 or so more years with her. It’s what me and cars do. The peace of mind I have now when I hop in the car to go somewhere, or go get in my car after work, is so nice. No more “will it start?” or “Oh it’s supposed to rain? Great – bring on the flooded floorboard and mold.” Blessing, again.
–I got a new, fabulous job. Y’all. This is the kind of job I pictured myself in when I majored in PR. You know, you sit in class and picture yourself in some fast-paced corporate environment, looking snazzy and professional in a suit and actually using your degree to do something cool. I’m doing that. And it’s like, corporate. I’m loving this place and my coworkers. I am so thankful for every previous job that prepared me to do this one, but I look around and think “so, this is what it can be like.” People get.stuff.done. And take care of their employees. Corporate America – I love you.

–The Wades renewed our family vacation tradition in Destin. Wow – what a trip. It was so fun and just what the doctor ordered. We are already looking forward to 2013’s Wade family extravaganza and have added Aunt B, this time! YES!
–Rog and I renewed our lease on our fun West End flat, and our landlord changed for the better. Whoop! On the topic of Rog – we’re just great. 2012 has been a good year and we just keep on doing life really well, together. It’s just easy and fun and we are on the same page about 99.9% of the time. We just do life well, that’s what we say.

If 2013 I’d half as good as 2012, I’ll feel super blessed. Cheers!



Pedaling Off My Turkey

I hope you little turkeys had a lovely holiday weekend! Callie and I spent it in East TN with my family and it was so nice to be home with so many people (and fur people) I love in one room.

Callie made herself right at home in Mom and Dad’s house. Obviously.


We ate well. I had leftovers for two days that were plates just full of carbs. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, cheese grits, stuffing, etc. It was all so good.



Of course, as any holiday does, it turned into a Wade family pickin’ and singin’ party.


Also, any time in Roane Co. that we can, we always catch Drivin’ Blind – my sis-in-law’s Dad’s rock band. Yes – that’s how we roll. Scott and the boys always entertain and we were super impressed with the new lead singer. 🙂


We headed back to Nashville on Saturday afternoon so we could have whole day to recover from the family fun before heading back to work on Monday.

Sunday morning started with this family snuggle fest on the couch. Callie was such a good traveler, but so glad to be back in her own house! She always has to be a little extra on guard when she’s at her grandparents’ house – in case I try to abandon her there. So, she totally sacked out for about 24 hours straight when we got home – which meant I could sneak in cuddles while she was in a cat coma.

So, little back story. I’ve been sort of interested in buying a bike ever since watching my brother and Dad dominate in triathlons. I have no plans to dominate anything, except staying upright on both wheels, but I’d been sort of interested in maybe doing a Tri Sprint next year. I looked at one bike shop here in Nashville and got bike snobbed (“titanium this, carbon that, Trek schmeck), so I waited until I was home and had my resident experts take me to a couple shops so I could ride some.

Then, I surfed Craigslist and found a really nice Giant Avail that had been posted mere hours before. It was just my size, nearly brand new (for half off) and was colored “Tangerine.” Big Orange, y’all!

So, Kyle (the owner who was selling it for his Momma) and I met up this afternoon. After a quick spin or two around the parking lot and after running all the deets by my little brother, I put ol’ Tangerine in my back seat and headed for home. I looooove it!


I’ve been over at Centennial Park cruising around on this beautiful day, figuring out shifting and what not. So, who wants to go for a ride!? 🙂

Also, since I work a mere .4 of a mile from my house now, I will soon be one of those dorks riding her bike to work.

Have a great week, little turkeys.


Beach Me

The beach trip with the family was ah-mazing. A whole week of togetherness, relaxation, fun and good times. And we didn’t even get tired of each other – I don’t think. 🙂

We stayed in a house in Miramar Beach (just east of Destin and before Sandestin). It’s in a neighborhood called Frangista Beach. We used to drive by it when Josh and I were little and we’d stare at the big houses and think “that must be where the rich people stay.” Ha. While we are certainly not, our foursome was a sixsome this trip and we needed more room! The “Happy Go Lucky” was perfect and I want to live there forever.


There were porches for sitting and catching up and drinking coffee and I miss the “Happy Go Lucky” house already.


Here is a photo overload for you – and all of my iPhone photos can be seen here:


My sweet parents – about to smooch.


We celebrated my birthday a little early while we were all together. Donut Hole doughnuts – way better than cake!



We had my birthday dinner in Baytowne Wharf at Acme Oyster House.


And topped it with a Fat Tuesday daiquiri.


Dewey Destin – so tiny and such a great hole in the wall dive seafood joint. We watched a mama dolphin and baby dolphin frolic after dinner.


Check out the rain wall moving in. So cool.



Our view when we stepped on the boardwalk to head down to the beach. I miss it!


And some courtesy of my awesome photog sis-in-law. 🙂
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Rinsing the sand off or doing the “Stanky Leg” – who knows.

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I’ve been doing that for years – apparently.


My supermodel brother and sister-in-law.

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Me and my main squeeze – and my birthday dress from my Mom and Dad! Mom had some help from her personal shopper, Ashley. 🙂

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My little familia.

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And then we had a thirsty Thursday. Things happened – like this.


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I had to go undercover for a while.

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I love this brother of mine.

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We may not be right, but they’re my family and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.


Can’t wait for the next Wade beach vacay! Family is a blessing –and it’s even a bigger blessing when you actually enjoy being around them. Mine is the best. Truth.


I’m Beached

I’ve been at the beach all week, so you’ll have to forgive the lack of blogging. Here are a few little tid bits to hold you over until I return and give you the full recap.

My Dad and Brother did a Half Ironman Triathlon before I got down here to the beach. They are basically amazing and I’m in awe of their dedication. They put the rest of us Wades to shame and we just ride their fitness coattails. You can read my Dad’s recap here and see some sexy photos of them in their wetsuits. Yes – my Dad is a blogger too!

Photo recaps of beach fun: (all of these courtesy of my amazing photog sis-in-law, Ashley Wade Photography):






See ya back on the mainland.


Helloooooo 2012

I’ve been thinking it was 2012 for a while now, so this transition should be pretty easy. I’ve been accidentally writing 2012 on checks (yes, I still use the occasional check) and on paperwork at work since probably September, for some reason. So, let’s make this official.

I have had the best, most relaxing past week or so. The best gift I gave myself was a couple of extra days off, as I mentioned in my last post. I feel totally recharged and ready to tackle the new year – but I sure have missed my Rog! He rang in the new year in NYC, but was working. Booooo.

I considered reflecting on 2011 and doing one of those resolution posts that everyone else is doing, but ultimately, I just want this year to be better than the last. Not that 2011 was bad, at all, but isn’t that always the goal? To make the next year even better?

More specifically, I want to sell my friggin’ townhouse this year, buy a (more) reliable car, enjoy my friends and family and excel in my career. So there – that didn’t require an entire post.

Here are a few visual nuggets of loveliness for you.

My sorority sisters, Jess and Melissa, and I at Tavern for dinner. Melissa came in from Ohio to spend New Year’s in Nashville and I was so glad when they invited me to join them and their beaus for dinner. Love these two – we always can pick right up where we left off.


The only picture from New Year’s Eve worth posting. Sparkles!


Did you eat your blackeye peas and greens? I ate as much as I could stomach – because I love luck and money. I would like to combine my helping of luck and money in 2012 and win the lottery. Thanks.


I saw my first snowflakes in Nashville this winter, tonight. The cold is here! This is how Callie is currently next to me on the couch. She loves to make biscuits and then burrow down when it gets cold. She did that all by herself. 🙂


I hope you all have a great 2012. I look forward to continuing to love on this blog in 2012 and post regularly. I hope you’ll keep reading and have so enjoyed getting to know you through your comments and feedback. 🙂 Onward and upward, bloggies.


Making Fire

I’ve been a little MIA lately, because I’m in a new relationship and it’s pretty hot and heavy. We spend pretty much every waking moment together – we play games, we read, we surf social networks, catch up on the news and are pretty much BFFs.

I got a Kindle Fire on Christmas and had NO idea it was coming! Was a total surprise from my sweet parents who know what I need better than I do, apparently. Because I NEEDED this little toy. It’s so much fun. 🙂

So, until I can tear myself away (all it lacks is a blogging app, then I’d really never have to leave it), here are some photos from the holiday.

I hope my sis-in-law got some better ones, because I didn’t even get a photo of me with any of my kin, or with my Rog!

Rog, excited about his fancy tea! Thanks Josh and Ashley. 🙂


Ozzy Wade – who can resist that snaggle tooth?


Mom and Dad stay busier in their retirement than ever before – so they need a planner to write it all down. I made them a new 2012 planner using Blurb and each page has photos of our lovely family on it. I think it was a hit.



My handsome brother.


Bailey Wade.


Dad and Josh killed a Christmas goose.


Oswald hoped Dad would drop a piece of the Christmas goose.



Rog is in NYC for work now, which is LAME only because I’m still in Nashville. I dropped him at the airport yesterday morning and took the rest of the day AND today off. It was the best Christmas gift I could have given myself and I’ll probably cry when I have to go back to work tomorrow. I’ll miss the Jenn-shaped dent in the couch that I’ve perfected.

Tonight for example — wine, Kindle Fire and Cooking Light Magazine – Kindle version, of course. Because paper is for losers.




Thank goodness I have Monday off to recover from my two-day work week that starts tomorrow.


Cranberry Pecan Cheese Wafers

Oh em gee. These little babies are so delicious. I saw this recipe in the December Southern Living and being a cheese lover, whipped some up this weekend. I already had 90% of the ingredients, too, which was nice. You probably do too!

These taste like a fancy Cheez-It, which is one of my favorite snacks ever. Pretty much anything with cheese is my friend, let’s be honest.

I made some of these and put them in a little Christmas box because I’m visiting my best Wendy and her family later today. These will be the perfect savory treat for everyone to enjoy.

Note – the below recipe from Southern Living makes enough to feed a small army – about 8 dozen. I halved the recipe and it still made about 60 wafers. Although, I think I’ll be making the other half to take home for Christmas! 🙂

So, this is the full recipe, but adjust accordingly. I’ve heard in baking (I don’t bake much) that doubling recipes will mess it up, but halving this one seemed to work fine!

Southern Living Cranberry Pecan Cheese Wafers:

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped sweetened dried cranberries
  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 4 cups (16 oz.) freshly shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground red pepper
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Parchment paper

Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool completely (about 15 minutes).

Meanwhile, soak cranberries in boiling water to cover 15 minutes; drain and pat dry with paper towels.

Beat butter and next 3 ingredients at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until blended. Gradually add flour, beating just until combined. Stir in cranberries and pecans. Shape dough into 4 (12-inch-long) logs; wrap each log in plastic wrap. Chill 8 hours to 3 days.

Or, wrap in aluminum foil if you’re out of plastic wrap, like me. It works.


Preheat oven to 350°. Cut each log into 1/4-inch-thick slices (use a serrated knife and it’ll be so much easier) ; place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. (Note – this actually took about 17 minutes for mine. Just keep an eye on the bottoms of your wafers, because they brown quicker than the tops).

Remove from baking sheets to wire racks, and cool completely (about 20 minutes).

1/4 inch slices, read to go in the oven.


Cooling on the counter.


Nom nom.


All dressed up and ready to go!


Seriously – run to the kitchen and make these! They are so salty, sweet, nutty, cheesy – delicious.


Signs of the Season

Here are a few snapshots of my holiday season for you.

Here’s my great bird hunter. Isn’t she beautiful? She loves to sit there and chatter at the birds outside on the wire.



And, she helps unload the shopping bags. Santa’s little helper.


My handsome reindeer.


Callie loves to lay under the tree. She puts her prized and most favorite toys under there. I like to imagine it’s because she wants to gift them to us. So sweet. 🙂



At work, our VP bought everyone in our department a little tree for our cubes. Mine is purple/pink and so cute.


USB powered Christmas lights – coolest thing ever.


Our beautiful decorating for the building-wide contest. We did not win. Boo.


Natalie’s amazeballs paper snowflakes/stars. Depends on your perspective. 🙂 I love them so much I’m making some to hang in our big window facing West End  Ave. at the Flat.


My cozy little cube. I love it. I’m so blessed to work in such a great place with such fun people. This week has been so great and a good reminder of how lucky it is if we can actually enjoy our jobs – and the people we work with! Sometimes work is just work – but actually being able to enjoy it is such a blessing.


Now that I’ve gotten all grateful and sappy, Merry Christmas, little reindeer.


Bright City Lights

We made it back to the big city from the most amazing Destin beach vacation. The 7 hour drive was depressing and I didn’t want to leave.

I’m going to sulk now and will be back with some beachy photos soon.

I’m being a little dramatic – it’s good to be home, actually, and we feel super lucky to have jobs that allow us vacation time and the means by which to take a vacation and enjoy it. I just really could have used about 2-3 more days. 🙂

See happiness below.

(I had a bathing suit on, I swear.)