Friday, October 28, 2011

we live in a beautiful world (yeah we do, yeah we do.)


It is a gray day in North Carolina. And I friggin love it. I must admit that I wish I were wearing shoes with socks instead of my flats, and I regret not choosing to wear my wool coat, but overall, this weather is RIGHT up my alley and it makes me smile.

PLUS as my amazing friend Courtney pointed out, this gray day makes the trees look that much more amazing. Matt said it made him think of our roadtrip to the Northeast. It's good stuff, people. Good, good stuff.

Thank you, fall, for arriving. I'm going to enjoy some more hot tea now, thanks!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Nearly every morning I have a green smoothie with an english muffin and egg white sandwich. I often add avocado, red onions or both to the sandwich. I always wait for english muffins to go on sale--and I had to look for a while before I found one that was nutritionally good and didn't contain HFCS, which I loathe.

I really want to try making my own though. I was thinking this money, control ingredients..yes, please!

And while I'm at it, I want to make some of my own bread. I LOVE the bread from the farmer's market, but I want to make it myself so I don't feel like we can only have paninis on Sundays and Mondays (before the bread goes stale). I do not have a bread machine (and won't be buying one)--I was thinking I might try this recipe...or does someone have a better one?

Anything else y'all make at your house instead of buying? I'd love recommendations!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

stuff. and things.

lookie, lookie, a picture!

this is our recently-made-over shelf. okay, well I just redecorated the top, but whatever. it was a clutter collector, so this is a huge improvement.

fun things: lacquer boxes holding (randomly) our vitamins which lived on that shelf, other odds and ends. the other box, which is cork (with the pumpkin) has the items that had accumulated there--some bobby pins, a bottle opener, bandaids, I'm not sure what else.

the F was driven allll the way from Augusta. Although the F is my second last name, I am kind of obsessed with it. Matt says no more "F" things in the house any time soon. (I think we are up to four!)

The brass swans will soon be painted. The place where we got married had two swans on the lake on the property. Swans mate for life, y'know, and they are beautiful. They share duties in life (they both take care of building the nest and sitting on eggs) and they work as a team. I'm trying to decide what color they should be (suggestions welcome) but I'm leaning toward yellow. I hope you didn't just faint in surprise. :)

The vase is full of beer bottle caps. We collect them. I think they look pretty, and I've always wanted them to be visible.

The little multicolored thing in front is a solar-powered lantern we got at G@rden Ridge a few months ago. I LOVE it. I'm a sucker for colored glass and a sucker for solar power. Woohoo!

The copper frame is just pretty. I need to print a picture for it. It also pulls in the copper from the item above it (which I recently painted--it originally looked like this) and the copper in my sunflower painting. Basically since this is one huge space I'm trying to pull yellow, green and copper in all over. I also really really want to paint our big piece of furniture copper or a metallic brown and use it for our TV stand. Matt might even go for it!

Oh, and the yellow pitcher is from my sweet sister in law, Tonya. I just love it. And of course that pumpkin? Seasonal. :)

And those bears on a bench are from our honeymoon in Sevierville, TN!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"carbonated water, natural flavor."

I appreciate that those are the only two ingredients listed on the seltzer water I just drank. Sometimes I want a cold, fizzy beverage without the calories, sugar or artificial sweetener. And that fits the bill. :)

I am having one of those days where I feel pulled in eleven directions at once. So. here's-a-what-I'm-a-gonna-do. Let's list it out to make me feel better. Ready? This is probably going to be mostly boring, but maybe you will have insight. And the last one will be fun, I promise.

being responsible:

-make time to get added onto the account matt opened at secu
-make a dinner menu and STICK TO IT (I am good about making it, not so good about sticking to it)
-talk to an accountant in oklahoma and an accountant in nc to figure out the legality of all of the money stuff. post haste.
-find out more about my options for short term d!sability. I am hopeful that I'll have to use that next year and we just got word that work changed it--we now have to take 2 weeks of vacay, not 1, before it kicks in AND we get 60% instead of 66% pay. While I'm thankful to get maternity coverage at all, I still think this is craptastic. Especially doubling the time before it kicks in.


-I will be working furiously to finish up all of my outstanding photography work. I have two weddings to finish, plus multiple sessions. And I have more coming up. Must. Make. Time.
-I will also be working on some photography blogs. My goal is to get at least six completed at then prepare them to be posted on a schedule. We'll see how this goes.
-Update ye olde website. This keeps getting back-burner-ed.


-For the love of all that is holy, I MUST put some clothes away. My overflowing laundry basket of clean clothes is ridiculous.
-there's a long list here, for sure, but another priority for me is getting the living room finalized. I think we are about 70% of the way there. I'm having a heck of a time trying to slipcover the chairs (I may resort to the staple gun on the underneath of the back of the chair and just hope no one notices--but now I've told you my secret!). I just made the top of our shelf all pretty on Saturday, and I'm working on it.


-confession--Matt and I are still working on a budget. We are actively spending less, saving more and paying down debt, but stupid walk-all-over-ya and the merger and all made things messy. hence the getting on the account he opened thing. we are working on it.

And I know that plenty of people love D@ve R@msey, but I gotta be honest--we are still reeling from that stupid book of his where it took us a zillion pages to get to anything remotely resembling instruction only to find out we had already done the first step. And, what I really want, in this age of digital awesome, is for someone to say--here you go, Carrie--here's an easy-to-follow, comprehensive spreadsheet that will help you and Matt assess your income, expenses and see how nicely your amount of debt is lowering each month, and when you will hit the point of zero debt. I want to plug in some numbers and run with it. We have a spreadsheet but I find it clumsy and complicated.

anyway, moving on.

-also, a few of my clients have paid me in cash recently (thank you!) and instead of depositing that, we are playing the see-how-long-it-can-stretch game.


-crafts are fun, right? This weekend's goal is a fall wreath! I love love LOVE the one from Renee last year but since it hung on our front door for like eight months, I feel like I need something else for now. :) I have some burlap and some yarn and I want to get some felt too.

I have some inspiration here.

-it's halloween weekend! Matt and I have our costumes all figured out, but I have to make them. hint: it involves, amongst other things, freezer paper stenciling and a trip to the liquor store. :)

-figuring out what to wear for work's halloween party on monday

-and going to the KD Initiati0n at Bet@Ch! will be fun too. Or, um, I hope so. Mostly that has been want-to-pull-out-my-hair-feeling-inducing, but oh well!

and the rest? well, it can wait. for now. :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

buon compleanno. or "...and I'm a big fan of bartering!"

I now write to you as a thirty-one year old. :)

this birthday weekend was pretty wonderful, I must say. despite the universe seeing fit to give me a sinus infection for my birthday, and although I am not super happy with my hair color--my birthday was still a success. YAY!

thursday: food truck k!ng in raleigh. DISASTER-ish. The premise was amazing (food truck sales benefitting meals on wheels? awesome!) but the execution was sorely lasting. We bought the special get-a-taste-from-all-trucks-and-two-beers tickets, but their crowd control was terrible and we only got to taste food from 5 trucks. Bummer. Plus, my fave place only got second!

friday: I stayed home. I planned on sleeping in. Instead I went to my ENT and ended up with two prescriptions. Stupid sinus infection. BUT I am feeling much better, so I can only complain a little. Then I went to get my hair cut and colored and then took birthday nap #1. We had dinner at the fabulous N@ntucket Grill, I enjoyed some carrot cake, we ran a few errands and came home to hang out. Loved it!

saturday: farmer's market followed by Bruegger's and a trip to 0x and R@bbit to get a malt, because it made me happy. I also got a cool Durham mug (I will add in pictures later!) and some post cards. We came home and Matt gave me my birthday present early so I could enjoy them--I got some gold T0ms! Then Matt went to soccer while I went to the mall. I got some birthday goodies (and local folks, if you like scarves L!festyles in S0uthp0int has some cute inexpensive ones!), came home and got ready for Courtney and Derek's party.

I went there for about an hour, then we had sushi with Christy and her son Jack (who has been at all of my bdays since he was a baby in the belly!) and then went to Fullste@m. The fabulous Kl@usie's Pizza was there, and I got free birthday pizza. :) I also gave them some of my cupcakes, and I think I might be taking their baby pictures once their little girl arrives (they just found out the gender last week!). I gave them my card and they said they'll be calling me, but I don't like to count my chickens before they hatch! Matt teased me because when I gave my card I said "...and I'm a big fan of bartering!" Ha.

I also LOVED giving out the cupcakes. There was the singing and the blowing out of candles, and then when my friends had gotten their cupcakes I went to the food truck, the bartenders and then to some of the people in the bar sharing my cupcakes. I enjoyed it, for sure. And some people were SUPER happy to have gotten cupcakes. :)

It was WONDERFUL to have so many friends with me, phone calls, text messages and facebook posts on my wall on Saturday and Sunday. I felt very loved!!

sunday: church, brunch at Tyler's, a birthday nap and then I went to do a photoshoot. I normally wouldn't do a session on my birthday, BUT these folks are from Denver, their two-year-old son and I share the same birthday, and they were in town for a wedding on Saturday, so it was truly the only chance. I am SO glad I did it though. And I brought the little boy a birthday present--a small green plush dinosaur--and he LOVED it. It was super cute, and the parents were thrilled, too. Yay for birthday-sharing!

for dinner we went to PF Ch@ngs. Well, back up--we were going to go to one of the R0cky T0p restaurants because they give free dinners for birthday-folk on their actual bday. But, the closest one is 25 minutes away, so I nixed that idea. We were going to get PF Ch@ngs to go--but when we called at 7:25 they told us our food would be ready at 9:10. SERIOUSLY. It turns out they were doing some amazing to-go special, but whoa. Crazy.

so...after not finding a suitable substitute we decide to call and see what the wait was--and it was zero minutes. We ended up eating there, got an upgraded dessert for my birthday and were back home before 9pm. It worked out wonderfully, and now we know how to find out about the to-go specials (and call in our order early enough that we won't eat at 930!)

I do have some pictures--and I'm hoping to add them later. Just wanted to chronicle my birthday festivities! And I am excited because they aren't even over yet--I have more friends with whom to celebrate! I think my Aunt Candi hit the nail on the head--it's like the older I get the longer my birthday lasts, because I have more friends and family to celebrate with every year. Which makes me super lucky indeed. :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

oh, oh, oh, for the longest time

~billy joel

yesterday I had 3400 unread emails in my inbox. THIRTY-FOUR-HUNDRED. seriously.

it's my gmail I use for all sorts of things--I still get some photography emails there, personal stuff, logins for amazon and jcrew and everything else. you name it, I probably get it there (or used to, anyway!)

so, yesterday I cleaned that puppy out. turns out the oldest unread message was from EARLY JULY. Are you kidding me? It had been more than a HUNDRED DAYS.


so. tomorrow I am taking the day off. despite trying to limit my PTO usage, I have declared tomorrow a "Carrie Day." I think I'm going to get my hair did, get allergy drop refills and try to get caught up on some aspects of my life that have been ignored. (laundry. cat litter. sewing projects. etc.) While this may not sound super-refreshing, I can guarantee that having a more put-together reality will TOTALLY help.

am I right?


today I am also leaving work early to go to F00d Truck K!ng. It should be fun. Pictures forthcoming, I am sure!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

i heart fall.

the time of the fair. and sweaters. and hot drinks and cool nights. of wearing socks and changing leaves and lots of orange and yellow and purple. gloves and coats, open windows, heavier blankets, apples!, pumpkins, butternut squash (now a fave. last year I had NO idea how delicious it was. mmm mmm mmm.)

it's my favorite.

and this year, while my family stuff is dragging me down, that's what I'm trying to remind myself of--that it's FALL. It's my favorite time of year. I should grab my not-pregnant self a delicious fall beer (Shipy@rd Pumpk!nhead is AMAZINGLY amazing), throw on my favorite pair of T0Ms and enjoy it.

so it's what I'm doing.

on the agenda...

-go the the FAIR! this Saturday!

-do some awesome fall photo sessions (I've given away three sessions recently--I must be crazy--but I'm SO excited)

-take some pictures of leaves. I LOVE that I can see some beautiful ones outside from my cube at work. I think I'm going to have to talk Matt into driving down the Blue Ridge Parkway (and maybe hiking) one day later this month or in November.

-celebrate my birthday. only twelve more days! :)

-enjoy more fall beer.

then? repeat. :)

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

I don't wanna.

I don't wanna hear that such-and-such and I could maybe be pregnant at the same time because they're thinking of trying in three-six-nine-twelve months.

I don't wanna hear (from faceb00k, no less) that my brother (who got married in july, who announced his engagement via faceb00k without a call/text/etc to me or TO MY MOM beforehand) thinks that if we don't hurry up, I might just be an auntie before I'm a mommie.

And I really don't want to hear "just relax." Or "it'll happen when the time is right."

It's not that I don't appreciate the support.
It's not that I don't looooove babies. ('cause I love 'em. a lot. they are cute and cuddly and wonderfully made)
And it's not that I don't want to talk about it.

It's just that right now what I really want to hear isn't positive or uplifting. This is difficult. It's thought-consuming. It's frustrating and I have zero control. And trying to get pregnant? Not a cakewalk. Especially when you're always hearing someone comment in one way or another. It's like hearing a constant "better luck next time!" A well-meaning, from-someone-I-love statement that is like rubbing salt in a wound.

Anyhoodle. Just on my mind. If you're reading this and wondering if you should just not talk to me about it--don't worry, you can. Just please don't come with lots of sunshine and daisies, or Imagonna have to rain on your parade a little. :)

next up, something WAY more positive, I swear!

a little crazy.

this year Matt and I have done some things that are a little crazy.

in June we drove up to DC to see little Lily, my good friend Mary Alise's newborn girl. We drove up on a Sunday (~4.5 hours of driving), hung out for 4 hours, ate dinner with them and then drove back! This was not our intention--we were going to get a hotel and they even offered us a room--but this meant that Matt could get back to school, so we did. I blogged about it earlier this year.

in, what was it, June? July? I drove to Asheville for the afternoon. There was TORRENTIAL rain, I got soaked while at a gas station (seriously I couldn't even get to the handle for the gas that was already IN MY CAR because of the rain, it was crazy) and I had my kindle read me book 2 of the hunger games series to keep me entertained. I went there to visit Renee before she moved back to OK from Atlanta. (it makes me sad that she's no longer in driving distance). We met up, hung out, walked around to the shops, ate dinner and then got on the road. I drove nearly 8 hours that day. Exhausting but totally worth it.

and then this weekend we went to Ohio. Well, let me back up. Wednesday little Caroline was born. I am her Aunt Carrie (not in the by-blood-or-marriage way, in the friends are the family your choose for yourself kind of way). Thursday I worked late, ran errands and made soup. Friday I spent 4 hours photographing a rehearsal dinner. Saturday AM I was supposed to have a newborn session that got postponed, I brought soup to the family anyway and I spent 8 hours photographing a wedding. I got home at 1130pm, backed up the photos, packed up newborn props, camera stuff and snacks and went to bed around 1am.

At 4:30 my alarm went off. We got up, finished packing, did the last minute things, loaded the car and got on the road at 6:30. Where were we going? Dayton, Ohio, that's where.

We got there around 3 am then the real fun began. I took like 800 pictures of Caroline. We had yummy Mexican food. I held her. And held her. And had fun with Jessica's parents. I met Cody's mom for the first time, I think, (I think I'd met his dad before, maybe) and then I took even more pictures. We slept at Jessica & Cody's friend's house, got up early, visited DLM for some "k!ller brownies" and groceries, went back to their house, made soup, took more pictures and then got on the road.

We drove for 17+ hours and were in Dayton for ~24, only ~15 of which were actually at their house. But it meant I got to take pics like this, so I'm not complaining. :)

And I got to see my little niece when she was just five days old. She is SO adorable, has a head full of hair and is going to be so much fun, I can tell. I love her so much! I actually got a little teary last night while editing more of her photos because I wish I could just drive to Jessica's house and cuddle little Caroline some more. :)
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