this week

I'm trying to slow down.
Of course, that never works for me.
So the to-do list lives on.
This week.

I decided that I could live on pizza and pizza alone.

I messed around with the grainy-filter in Lightroom.  Still undecided.

I'm determined to make my own hummus.  Does anyone have a full-proof recipe?

I twirled.

I perfected the fishtail braid.  Tutorial to be posted soon.

I've decided to vlog again.  This time to answer the questions I've been asked repeatedly.  Have any more?  Leave em below in your sweet comments.

I made brownies for our new neighbors that were completely inedible.
I blame the mix, the chef was obviously not at fault.

Allergies hit me full-force, so I'm heading indoors for the next few weeks.


some friends for you

You may be thinking you don't need more friends, but you do.
Especially these girls, two of the sweetest bloggers I know.
They're the type of people who inspire me to take better photographs.  Of everything.
Even my food.
But until I can play in their leagues, you can spend hours perusing their work.

First up, Jenni from Story of My Life, a passionate writer who has an amazing flair for photography and design.  Her creations can be found at box o' chocolates photography:

Hi, my name is Jenni!  I blog over at Story of My Life, and I'm the "photographer" behind Box o' Chocolates photography!  I've put "photographer" in quotations not because I don't think I really am one, but because I know I still have a lot to learn in this field!  Right now, my shop is full of photos from my travels and my life, and I'd be completely honored if you find something you'd like in your home!  Thanks for looking! :)

Next up is Sarah from Fairy Tales Are True, the amazing Switzerland-based photographer behind  
Sarah Tucker Travel Photography.  She captures beauty around every corner:

I'm Sarah Tucker; a wife, traveler, photographer, and blogger.  I am inspired by this vast and beautiful world we live in.  Capturing glimpses of that beauty brings my heart a lot of joy.  The content of my little shop is deeply loved photographs from times in my life I will cherish forever.  I am absolutely tickled that some people have chosen my photographs to hang in their precious homes.  It makes my heart happy.  
Sarah has offered Busy Girl readers FREE SHIPPING!  Just use the code: the code is SHIPFREE at checkout.

Be sure to check out these lovelies :)


mother nature, you win.

We live three streets away  from my in-laws.

On purpose.  Kind of.  See the neighborhood I fell in love with happens to be right by their house.

And it doesn't hurt that we can walk over there for dinner. Even if sometimes they won't answer the door.  Note to self: start cooking more, walking less.

We had some major storms the other night.  So major that our trash cans stayed upright, our trees all kept their leaves and the only evidence of a rain was a tiny puddle at the end of our driveway.

Yeah, this is my in-laws house.  Three streets away.  Same storm.  And those aren't weeny trees, those are tall strong oaks.  Just thrown like twigs.

Mother nature is puzzling.  A summer storm on one street and total destruction three streets away.


back to eating healthy

After a few weeks of being away, there really is nothing better than finally getting some fresh food.  We headed to Fitch Farms, a sixth-generation farm that is actually owned by one of our volleyball teammates, so we figured it couldn't hurt to give it a go.  Plus they let you pick your own, which would have been awesome except that we decided to go there during a monsoon.

We always have brilliant ideas like that.

We still cleaned up...with a ridiculous amount of produce for very little money.

And the blackberries...they are the way to my heart.  And stomach.

Adam ended up throwing together a pot of salsa with all the tomatoes and peppers...it was by far the best batch of the year.

Even though it's a bit further than our grocery store, I think it's worth the extra ten minutes to get food this fresh.  Without the grocery store prices.  Unless it's monsooning again...then I'll just send Adam.

nyc recap

You may have heard I went to NYC this weekend.  And saw the most glorious exhibition known to mankind.  Seriously, angels sang as you walked through the door.  Actually, the sorting hat did.  Tomayto tomaaaato.

We spent the day just walking around, showing my nieces Times Square, pondering which building was the tallest.

Oh, and made a stop at the American Girl doll store.  So my niece could get hers.  I had Kirsten (who they apparently have discontinued), she chose Ruthie who looks exactly like her.
And who wears a seatbelt, just like her.  Even in a taxicab.

On Saturday we went to the Style School blogger event hosted by 77kids (American Eagle's new kids line).  My nieces are sportin' the line right here:


[f21 dress and belt, target wedges, geeky nametag courtesy of 77kids]

hm, me, not so much.

I wish I had more photos, but that dang exhibition banned me from bringing in a camera.  What's a girl to do?  Stuck in the city with no camera all day.  Shameful.
I apologize on behalf of them, I'll be a more diligent blogger next time.


try this: the most perfect margarita

Yes, I made these while we were vacationing in OBX.  And yes, they were devoured along with this guacamole.

You'll kick yourself for not making these all summer.

They are divine.

1 can of frozen limeade (I use MinuteMaid)
Tequila Gold (if you have 1800, USE IT!  Best tequila by far)
Triple Sec

Fill your blender with ice.  Add in frozen limeade.  Fill the limeade container 2/3 with Tequila and 1/3 with Triple Sec.  Blend and fill your glasses.  Garnish with limes and salt. 

Drink and make second batch while drinking the first because one batch of margaritas just isn't enough :)

muggles in the city

I went somewhere this weekend.
Here's a hint.

[sorry, photo via cell phone device]

Oh yes, the big city.  New York that is.  To see the Harry Potter Exhibition (among other things).
But really, HP was the selling point.
Those are my nieces with me by the way.  They didn't really understand why Melissa and I were literally jumping up and down in front of the sorting hat.
Muggles.  They just don't get it.

I'm sure you think I'm nuts, but I was approximately 16 INCHES from Hermione's Yule Ball gown.  As in the one Emma Watson actually wore.  She is crazy tiny by the way.
And she wore flats.  Probably because everyone is this dang movie is so short.

And I got to sit in Hagrid's chair.  A feat I have no proof of because they don't allow cameras inside.  What?  Don't they know I have a blog and must provide proof to the internets that I was completely smitten with the holes in Ron Weasley's sweater?

Okay, I do sound nuts.
But don't lie.  You wish you could've gone too.


day date

Even though a family vacation means quality family time, it's fun to sneak away just the two of us.  Even if it's just for a morning of window-shopping at a local spot.
And hand-holding.  Because you can do that when you're not in stores like Home Depot.
Those be 'manly' stores.

[dress - express, shoes - target, sunglasses - rayban]

Even though most of the stores houses the typical 'tourist' finds, we did stumble across Eclectic Treasures, a small store filled with handcrafted items from various artists.  Like this jellyfish lamp created by Joel David Bloomber.

Which I would totally want.
If I wasn't so dang afraid of jellyfish.

Don't worry, we ended our day date with lunch.
So I could nurse my fear with a bowl of shrimp chowder.

I swear I ate nothing but seafood based soups on this trip.
Not complaining.


wordless wednesday: cannonball!

blog swap: meet sarah

Hi fellow bloggers of Nicole!  I'm Sarah from over HERE.
Today I am taking over Nicole's blog because today is 20 Something Bloggers Blog Swap #9!

I can't believe this summer is almost over!  As always, it goes by way too fast!  This summer has been a fun one though.  I actually got to go on vacation and spend a lot of time at the pool.
Going on vacation for a week was so nice and relaxing!  I haven't been on vacation in about two or three years!  Either I didn't have the time to take off or the money to actually go.  However, this summer was different.  My amazing boyfriend works at a hockey rink and coaches a few teams - one being a travel team.  And every summer there is a huge tournament called nARCH.  This year it was planned to be in Florida, so we figured after he was done coaching, we'd do a mini-vaca down to Miami Beach.
You can read about my vacation HERE, but I'll do a quick run through for you with some fun pictures...

We arrived in Florida on a Friday night, the tournament started on Saturday morning, and ended on Tuesday.
they won first place in their division!
Tuesday, my birthday, we drove to Miami Beach, found our hotel, and hit the beach.
my birthday present from my amazing boyfriend
(real diamonds!)
We ate a lot of delicious, expensive food and drank drinks that were bigger than our heads!
We left on Thursday, sad that our vacation was over, but glad to be going back home and away from the extreme insane heat and humidity.

Here are a few more pictures from things I did this summer...
amazing boyfriend's sister's 21st birthday dinner
Mother's Day Dinner @ Spaghetti Factory
July 4th with amazing boyfriend's parents
birthday celebration at amazing boyfriend's grandparent's house 

And one last thing.
A little something else I found on summer...
I link up every Friday with Lauren @ The Little Things We Do
for Fill in the Blank Friday.
Here's one that was all about SUMMER.

Thanks so much Nicole for letting me take over your blog for the day!
Hope you enjoyed it.

Have a great day friends :)


outer banks

So you may have heard.  I went to the beach last week.  The beach in Corolla, NC to be exact, or the Outer Banks as it's known to some.

I love this place.  With a passion.  It's the epitome of relaxation.  The company doesn't hurt it either.  We went down with Adam's family and our family friends.  Who, by the way are the most hysterical people I've ever met in my life.  And they like to wear hats, which makes me love them more.

Obligatory ocean photo.  See, it's still there.  I checked.

At night it gets a little scary.  The baby crabbies come out and run away from your flashlight.  Sometimes right into the water.  But that didn't stop us from dipping our feet in.
And a humid lens didn't stop me from taking photos.  I just left them as they are.

 And then ran away to the safety of home.  Cause those crabbies move fast.


Humid lens ::shakes head::  you're alright.

But during the day, the beach is full of life.  Particularly sting rays this year.  So I stayed close to the shore.

Squinty closeup.

 I love this guy.

He wasn't afraid of no stinkin' stingrays.

But I was, so I spent a lot of time at our pool.  Lounging, reading and practicing my cannonballs.  It's a required skill in the Outer Banks.

My nephew was a hoot and a half.

 He's also a ham.

This girl is my favorite.  Thought you should know.

Okay, one more baby giggle.

And back to the real world.  How about you, every been to the Banks?  Or do you practice your cannonballs elsewhere?
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