Official Nashville Hipsters

Hipsters — such an overused word. But still, as I approach my mid-thirties (gulp), I think I aspire to be one. #noshame

Since moving to the Nations, Justin and I have totally embraced being city mice — riding our bicycles as much as possible. Blazing new greenways. Tying the bikes up at the local watering hole, having a craft beer and cruising home. This weekend and its phenomenal weather set the scene just perfectly for another Nashville Hipster weekend. Bring your beard.

Friday night when Justin got home around 5 or 5:30, we tore straight out the door for the 12 South neighborhood. We had a Nashville Originals gift card from my amazing realtor, Frank J. Miles, and it was burning a hole in our pockets! We started with Happy Hour at Bartaco (best margarita in town – no joke) and then headed to Urban Grub for dinner.

Urban Grub. We sat right there by the fireplace. It was perfection.

Y’all — that dinner. We hadn’t been to Urban Grub! It’s rare to find a place that neither of us have been, so this was a treat. They fly their seafood and Oysters in FRESH, like that day, and dry age and butcher their meat in house. Justin had the most massive NY Strip I’ve ever seen. The menu says it’s 16 oz, but I’m not sure how that is possible. It appeared to be about 55 oz if I had to guess. I had the Lobster Casarecce (pasta), add truffle oil. YEP. Oh yeah, and throw in some grits with house-made bacon on top as our side. If you haven’t been to Urban Grub, I highly, highly recommend it. Just wear your stretchy pants and go for it.

Saturday morning, after sleeping off our food coma, we hopped on our bikes about 10 a.m. Justin needed a haircut — so first stop was Scout’s Barbershop in Sylvan Park, which is about 2 miles away. This place is dreamy, y’all. Justin got an old fashioned barbershop trim and a rinse for $15. YEP.

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Scout’s Barbershop

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Scout’s

Next up we cruised over to McCabe Pub right as they opened the doors for a quick lunch. McCabe’s is a staple in Sylvan Park and oh so good. I had the Chef Salad – Justin had the spicy chicken sandwich.

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McCabe Pub

My main priority this day was to get new tires on my bike. They were worn down (I purchased this baby off Craigslist about 4 years ago but it’s mostly been sitting in storage. Still, the tires were ready for a change. I’d already had one flat tube). ALSO, because I own a cougar cub masquerading as a kitten, my handlebar tape looks like this. WHAT did that tape ever do to you, Fiona!? I can’t be driving around looking like that.

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Fiona strikes again

So we left McCabe’s and headed to West End (a short 3-4 miles) to Cumberland Transit. I used to live almost right above Cumberland Transit and these guys are a staple in the Nashville outdoor arena. Fishing, biking, running, camping…they’ve got everything you need.

The guy was like “WOW…dog?” No, cat. He was impressed.

He was like “well, let’s pick out some tape — we have lots of colors.” I said “eh, probably just white again. The bike is orange so I’m not sure anything else will look good.” He said “well, you haven’t seen all the colors we have.” Boy was he right…SEAFOAM!! Seafoam and orange obviously go together.

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Seafoam!

While we waited on the bike (which really needs a name, I think), we went next door to Three Brothers Coffee. This really upped our hipster status. I mean, while we were sipping our lattes a guy came in chewing on a deer antler. Just, you know, chewing on a deer antler like it was a piece of hay or something. I think those are for dogs, but whatever dude. Maybe I should get a deer antler…

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Three Brothers Coffee

Most weekends we head South and see the McCombs family — Justin usually gets involved in some sort of brief manual labor with his Dad. This weekend was moving the grill, which we promptly broke in on the new deck.

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Sunday we finally went back to Crosspoint! We love Crosspoint Church so much. Now that wedding and moving craziness is behind us we can’t wait to get more involved and regular.

After some errands and a workout at Planet Fitness, we’d earned dinner  — so we hopped on the bikes and headed to the other side of the neighborhood for 51st Kitchen and Bar. Y’all. I love this place so much. And this Sunday was particularly special. They were having a neighborhood picnic/pop-up dinner with a guest chef and for $35/head it was all-you-can-eat gourmet picnic food. Like, the best mac n’ cheese I may have ever had. Grilled chicken wings with chimichurri. Homemade slaw with shrimp. I mean, it just went on and on. Delicious. Oh and $5 craft cocktails. YEP!

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Don’t try this at home

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51st Kitchen – Blood Orange Mule and a Malbec

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All you can eat? Yes please.

We finished the weekend on our back porch with the babies. Right where we should be. They cannot get enough of the back porch and watching the birds and eating bugs (OK, mostly Fiona. Dixie prefers eating mulch). We are loving life and loving Nashville so much. Don’t even deserve this beautiful life — but thanking God for every moment we get it.

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Our backyard oasis

XOXO,

Jenn

See ya, Summer

Tell your friend Fall to hurry on over.

We’ve been enjoying the last days of Summer but craving Fall so much.

Here are some of our end of summer happenings.

I recently went to Atlanta for my friend Crystal’s bachelorette party. She is a sweet friend and Phi Mu sister from UT. I can NOT WAIT for her wedding in Austin in a few weeks! We had a blast in Atlanta. The crew was about half friends from college and half friends from her post-college days in Atlanta. So that was really fun. We all got along so well and had a blast – duh, Crystal picked us all as friends, so we’re clearly all awesome. 🙂 It was so much fun.

We spent Saturday “shooting the Hooch,” or tubing down the Chattahoochee River. So nice! It was like redneck tanning. Just laying in a tube, getting some sun and drinking from your floating beer cooler next to you. Yes indeed.

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Then, it was bachelorette time. On the right is Edgin and I – my freshman year roomie!

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There was a serious game of Jenga. Each piece had a question about the bride and groom on it or had a “drink three drinks” or “never have I ever” kind of phrase on it. It was hilarious.

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Me and the bride!

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OMG – dinner at Two Urban Licks. I had scallops over gouda grits. GOUDA! I love you.

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Jen Hester and I have a mutual friend back in Nashville – like, besides the ones who know Crystal. Small world.

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Beginning of night – end of night. 8:30 vs. 3:31. Wow.

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Back in Nashpatch, we went to Bartender Bash. Just as fun as I remember! But the drinks were not as yummy as last year. There were only a couple that blew my mind. The rest were just, eh, so so. But when you’re in good company, it doesn’t really matter.

Stud!

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Alice and I, and Samantha and I. Samantha, our month-long roomie, has moved back to GA since her rotation, and we miss her so! Hopefully she’ll do her residency at Vandy. 🙂

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Beautiful Union Station Hotel where Bartender Bash was held.

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End of the night – sorry so blurry, but things were…well, blurry.

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Also while Samantha was here, there was a Food Truck contest in Centennial Park across the street from our place. We headed over because Samantha won a spot as a judge! She got to try like 20 food trucks on her last day in Nashville. Jealous.

I ordered lunch from Riff’s Fine Street Food, my favorite food truck that I’ve tried.

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I had the shrimp and grits (OMG) and the salt cod fritters, which was their “tasting” portion available for the event. Y’all. I could eat those one more time, top it off with their cucumber basil (I think that’s what it was) lemonade and die happy.

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Look at Samantha and all her loot! Fortunately, she left a lot of it in our fridge when she drove back to GA the next day. Muhahahah. I ate it. All.

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Come on, Fall! I’m tired of sweating every.where.I.go.

XOXO,
Jenn

Weekend Recap — the (not so) Wild Weekend

Rog has been in North Carolina helping his Mom repaint her house, so Callie and I have had quite a wild and crazy girls’ weekend. It went something like this:

Saturday, I worked out at the Delta – Body Sculpt with Stephanie, which never disappoints. I’m always sore, every Sunday. She rocks my face and there’s always just 5-7 of us ladies in the class, so it’s really like one on one training.

I came home and Callie and I organized the guest bedroom. We’ve still had furniture on top of furniture since my townhouse sold. I put the guest bed together and rearranged the guest room. It’s quite precious. Callie’s helping consisted of her being exactly where I needed her not to – like sitting on the box springs while I was trying to put the mattress down and refusing to move until I almost squished her. So helpful.

I skipped lunch while working and was starved at 4:30. I got takeout from Chuy’s and watched Kardashian reruns. Then, I finally bathed after my workout 8 hours prior. I spent the rest of the evening reading and was in bed by 8:30. CRAZY times, I tell ya.

Here are some other recent snapshots from the week/weekend.

For the 4th of July earlier in the week, we went to my friend Sally’s house. She hosted a cookout and there were red, white and blue mudslides and a slip n’ slide. Enough said.

Rog manned the grill – he’s my grillmaster.

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This is Lulu – I am basically in love with her. She is the sweetest doggy.

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We have a family of opossums living under our stairs outside. They frolic late at night and drive Callie crazy! They are cute and I have to remind myself that they are nasty, germ spreading little suckers, or else I’d invite them in and make them dangle off my hand by their curly little tails. Look at that little gymnast!

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Excuse my dorky “I’m Callie’s Momma” voice.

Callie hates opossums

I went to the library Friday after work, killing time before picking Rog up from the airport. I was isolated in a nice comfy chair upstairs and heard this CRAZY yelling that sounded like a foreign language. Turns out, it was jibberish. It was one of the many homeless people absolutely losing his shit about who knows what. I mean, he was yelling at the top of his lungs and we were the only two people around. He spotted me as he was trotting down the aisles and back-tracked, then lingered for a good long look. I thought, “well, this is it. I’m going to have to taze this dude in the f’ing library!” What the heck. Why are 50% of the people in the downtown library, at any given moment, homeless? I guess I can’t blame them wanting to escape the heat, and cardholders don’t pay anything to be in there so we’re all just as entitled, but DANG. That’s not the first time I did not feel safe in there because of the riff raff. I’ll never go back and tuck myself into a cozy little corner like that, and that sucks to feel that way about utilizing such a great space.

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I bought this great futon a mere four weeks ago and now we don’t need it since my house sold and we’re furniture rich. Want it? Come and get it.

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Saturday nail art.

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I did a little car browsing this morning, before CarMax opened, so I wouldn’t be bothered. I just want to look, not talk to anyone about it, yet. Every time I look I feel like I’m cheating on my Eclipse. I mean, we’ve been together and she’s been faithful for 11 years! But the ol’ girl just can’t keep up much longer. And who really wants to be debt free in America, anyways? I’ve unloaded the house, so bring on the next thing! 🙂

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Oh man – McKay’s book store. I can’t quit you. Every time I go in there it’s like some kind of competition to see how many books I can find on my Good Reads list – and I like to win, so just get out th’ way.

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All Callie said she wanted was my grocery bag.

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I rounded out this rowdy weekend with a trip to Costco. Watch out people – you can’t handle this wild child.

XOXO,
Jenn

‘Merica — TCB

Happy 4th of July!

Hey y’all. Sorry for the hiatus, but lawd, I’ve been TCB! Taking care of business. You may have gathered from my previous couple of posts that I FINALLY sold my dang townhouse. It sold three years to the day that I put it on the market and I couldn’t be more relieved. It was weighing on me like I didn’t even realize, until it was gone. But all that to say, I hope to be back on the regular blogging scene now that I have my head back in a good, normal space!

In the meantime, let’s do a photo recap of what else has been going on.

I went to Kingston and watched two of my favorite Wade men do a triathlon. They basically kicked tail.

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Mom and Dad visited Nashville for Father’s Day. We had a joint Mother’s Day/Father’s Day outing to Arrington Vineyards and had a picnic. It was so fun and they both really enjoyed it. Of course, there was wine.

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We had dinner at Ted’s Montana Grill and lunch at Germantown Café the next day.

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Mom has always wanted to tour the Hermitage, Andrew Jackson’s home, so we did. It was really interesting and I loved the self-guided tour with headphones. You just punched in a code from a sign based on what you were looking at. I thought that was nicer than some period-costumed lady walking you around the entire time.

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Kim took me down to the Farmer’s Market to try Bella Nashville’s pizza. OMG. It’s like Bella Napoli, and its ah-mazing. I die. I think about it daily.

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I went to the courthouse one morning and TCB’d. Isn’t Nashville beautiful from the park?

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The month of June I worked out 4-5 days a week at FIT Nashville’s bootcamp at Centennial. It was beautiful and we never got rained out. Thanks, drought! Fabulous way to watch the sun come up and start my day!

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And in case you haven’t heard yet – I sold my townhouse! Ha.
So empty!

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If you need a realtor, call that guy on the sign. Frank J will TCB.

Then, I celebrated the move.

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And celebrated the sale. A lot of celebrating.

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Rog took us to J Alexander’s for dinner. All I wanted was mac and cheese (it’s to die for), but had some steak tacos too. He had the steak.

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In other news, I’m still obsessed with our McKay’s bookstore. I love it. Here are some of the latest finds.

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Are you bored with the randomness of this post yet? Hope not – because here’s an update on my hair! 🙂 It’s getting looong, and I love my bangs longer, now. I can curl them back a little and keep the little turds out of my face.

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Last Saturday Rog and I got all dressed up and went to Junior Chamber gala. It was so fun. We topped it off with a trip downtown to Robert’s Western World and then acted refined and had a nightcap at the Patterson House.

My handsome date.

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Phi Mu ladies!

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Mal pal.

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Two of my favorite Nashville friends – Rach and Linds.

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And two of my new friends thanks to NJC – Elisabeth and Evelina. I don’t befriend ugly people, clearly. 🙂

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Lastly – I ate half a sticker off my apple yesterday. That was awesome. Then, I checked my mortgage account and saw my outstanding balance. YES sir! Ha. Ok, I’ll quit talking about it, I swear.

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And, I finished this book today and HOLY moly. It scared the poop out of me! And had so many twists and turns. It would make a fabulous movie. But OMG – y’all. Read this book. I read it in three days and had nightmares. Ha.

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How’s that for a random brain dump? Now that we’re all caught up, I’ll try to keep it that way.

XOXO,
Jenn

Weekend Love

This weekend was just lovely – even though we lost an hour of sleep. But as I write this, it’s well past 6:30 and it’s still light out – so I can deal with it.

Friday night Rog and I RedBoxed Hugo. We had zero interest in seeing it until it got all of those Oscar nominations – then we wondered if we were missing something. It was really cute and we definitely got caught up in the childlike fantasy of it all. But it was almost like it was written just for the “Academy.” It was all about movies, making movies, what’s great about movies, etc. But definitely worth a watch and the characters were so cute.

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Saturday I went to our brand new McKay’s bookstore. They moved from their other location to a bigger one. They closed for a week to move and reopened yesterday – so yes, I went on opening day like a crazy person. It.was.packed. I had some trade-ins and stood in line quite a while, but I totally racked up so it was worth it.

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Two stories of fun.

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My loot. I printed my “to-read” list off of Good Reads and took it with me – it was so easy! I got lots from my list and started the Hunger Games first, so I can see it in the theater, soon. It’s SO good! I also got a couple classics – to Kill a Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye – never read either. Can’t wait to be all cultured, and what not. All of this cost me $1.31. Love a trade-in.

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Next, I went to Target. I ordered a swimsuit off the World Wide Interwebs and I guess Medium is the new Small, because that thing pinched me in places that only God needs to know about.

But, props to Target, because you can return online items to the store and get refunded right there. Super convenient.

While I was there, I spotted this little gem of an outfit. Really, girl? Really. People can see you. And I don’t care how much of a hipster you are – white, fringed, short cowboy boots are never ok.

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Hopefully I fared a little better with these babies.

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Callie thinks so.

That sleep shirt on the right, by the way, is SO comfortable. Go fetch yourself one, ladies.

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I finished up the errands with some grocery shopping. Check out this “uniq” fruit at Publix. Uniq indeed.

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And, I must have been thirsty, because I just had to have this chocolate milk. It was divine.

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I came home to this stuck in the front door. He’s a keeper.

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See my previous post about my culinary delights that I wrapped up Saturday evening with – Kale Chips! Delish.

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Today has been full of house cleaning, relaxing and general doing nothingness.

Callie is terrified of the vacuum cleaner, so cleaning day is not fun for her. She hides under the bed or in the kitchen depending on where the cleaning is happening at the moment. If you get too close to her hiding place, she blasts by you, leaping over the vacuum cleaner like an Olympic long-jumper and scurries to a different hiding place. It’s just pitiful.

But selfishly, I like it when we clean, because she is SO lovey dovey when “the monster” gets put away. (She knows the word “monster”). It’s like she thinks you’ve rescued her from it, so she wants to stay real close to you and thank you for it. She has cuddled on the couch with me all afternoon and made biscuits on my legs.

Love her.

In other Callie news, today she was on the couch looking out the window and a pigeon landed RIGHT on the windowsill. I thought she was going to jump through the glass. They faced off for a while. It was hilarious and the highlight of her week, I’m sure. She’s never wanted something so badly.

Callie vs. Pigeon

Hope your weekend was as lovely as you are, friends!

XOXO,
Jenn

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.

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

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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.

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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. 🙂

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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.

XOXO,
Jenn

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.

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

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My handsome reindeer.

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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. 🙂

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

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USB powered Christmas lights – coolest thing ever.

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

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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.

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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.

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

XOXO,
Jenn

Weekend in Pictures

What to do when you get fed up and cut Comcast, and have to wait a week for DirectTV to be hooked up? HULU! Thankful for a laptop with a HDMI hookup.

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Thanks to Bobby Flay (on HULU) – soaking corn before putting it on the grill. It steams and grills at the same time. Best corn we’ve ever had – from Trader Joe’s.

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Callie – people watching.

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Our waving flag.

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Our swinging bird-feeder. Have I mentioned the deck is my favorite room of the Flat?

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She loves him so much. She crawls up on him and just cuddles. Look at her paw across him. That’s a paw hug.

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We cleaned for several hours Sunday. Callie is SO scared of a vacuum cleaner. Since we cleaned during her afternoon naptime, she absolutely crashed when she realized the coast was clear and the mean monster wouldn’t get her.

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A two-mile run nearly killed me, today. 99 degree heat-index and 61% humidity. That’s a cold, wet-paper towel necklace – and the best thing I’d ever felt when I got home. The editing of this picture somewhat masks just how disgusting I was.

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Girls can grill too! (Note poor little stitched up arm).

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Chicken drummies from Trader Joe’s. I made a rub with equal parts garlic powder, onion powder and half as much of both seasoning salt and chili powder. Indirect heat for about 20-25 minutes – delish.

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What did you grill this weekend? Besides yourselves. Dang it was hot!

Have a good week, little nubbins.

XOXO,
Jenn