Monday, September 30, 2013

Window Reflections: Looking Back

Although we've been spending our free weekends working on our new home, there are times where we stop and think what the heck did we get done? Because even the littlest projects seem to take time. I love when someone who's seen this home since the beginning stops by and notices how far it has come. Because living in it, sometimes it's hard to remember where we started. Even though we see it everyday, or maybe because.

We spent our Saturday afternoon filling nail holes, priming, and painting the window trim in our master bedroom. A job I've procrastinated for months. And while we were happy to have it done, it seemed kind of menial and routine. In order to feel a bit more satisfied with our work, I looked back at a few photos of where we started. Umm, I kind of forget how bad it was at first. Shall we take a trip down memory lane?


In Progress


Like I said, looking back, part of me cannot believe what a wreck the bedroom we bought was! But I've really loved being able to make all the decisions, as stressful as it can be at times. And I'm so impressed with J's carpentry skills. Seriously. So thankful. Obviously there's still a lot left to do, like finishing the nightstands...but we'll get there. And I'll keep looking back at the before photos for inspiration to keep going. Somedays it's needed.

Wrote this post, signed onto Pinterest, found this quote.....perfect timing?

How was your weekend? 
Do tell!

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Fun Fact Friday 09.27.13

This year seems to be flying by. I'm pretty sad next week is October. I kept thinking I still had time to go apple picking but that window closes quickly each year! I better go get my mums and pumpkins this weekend, next thing I know it's going to be mid-November!

Here are a few things we've got going on over here lately:

1. I've had my eye out for a new black bag for well over a year now. But either a) I haven't found something I love or b) I have found something I love but haven't wanted to spend that much money. I stumbled upon this bag at Target last weekend on clearance. And, I had a 20% off Mossimo bags in my Target cartwheel app (discussed here). So far, it has held up really well on my daily commute, I absolutely love it. Oh, and as I mentioned on instagram, I finally found a pair of black ankle pants that fit well! Thank you Cynthia Rowley via TJ Maxx. They fit so well I grabbed a pair in burgundy as well. Picture curtesy of a mirror in the doors aisle at Lowes. New homeowners/renovating homeowners issues...

2. While at Lowes, we picked out a toilet for our new bathroom. J's must have, an elongated seat. Mine, a no-slam lid. God, I hate that noise. In case you were curious, we went with thisone. It was the simplest and had the most modern flusher. It's the little things, right?

3. We are having the hardest time staying motivated for this half-marathon. I really didn't consider the combination of colder weather and dark mornings. It's pitch black here in the morning, I would never run by myself right now. But, I am loving our new Garminexcept when it takes too long to find our location. That has happened out here in the woods. This weekend we'll head out for an even longer run...and I've hardly exercised this week. Wish us luck!

4. Our neighbor stopped by the other day. Yes, that's the biggest tractor ever. Although they do have a farm, this tractor is just for fun.

5. Even though September has flown by, J did make sure to get our lawn care started. As you can kinda see from the pictures, we have a lot of clovers as "grass". That and moss. Hopefully by next year we'll have a nice green, grass lawn!

What are you up to this weekend?
We've got a few house projects on the schedule - painting trim (yuck), painting the kitchen (yay!), power washing the exterior. And I've scheduled myself a haircut - oh la la! 

Have a fantastic weekend!

If you like this post please let me know by leaving a comment or liking my Facebook page. You can also follow along on TwitterPinterest, and Instagram. Let's stay in touch!

Linking up with H54F, Friday Favorites, That Friday Blog Hop

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Portugal v. Brazil

For J's birthday this year, I surprised him with tickets to the friendly FIFA match of Portugal v. Brazil. I have to thank one particular friend for the heads up on these tickets, it was perfect timing!

If you couldn't tell, J's part Portuguese (not first generation, but Portuguese ancestors). And if you know our last name, it's a dead giveaway. It's like Smith in Portugal apparently! 

We were told that the reason they chose MA to hold this friendly match is due to the massive Portuguese population here. I'm really not surprised. There's also a fairly large Brazilian population here too. J was so excited to see his team play. He made sure we got there with plenty of time. And I am so glad he did! My sister sent J this Portugal scarf for his birthday and I got the privilege of wearing the Cristiano Ronaldo jersey I gifted J way back in high school or college....can't remember any more.

These are two of my favorite people. And the reason I knew about the tickets - thanks Denny!

The parking lot was like no other. It was actually my first time at Gillette so I didn't know what to expect. But J assured me it was nothing like the Patriots tailgating. While at a Pats game you hear country music blasting, at a soccer game? Electronic dance music (EDM). And let me tell you, what better way to get pumped up. We couldn't really help but want to dance to the music. I really wish I got a photo of one car in particular parked a few rows over from us- No exaggeration when I tell you he had at least 20 speakers in the bak of his SUV. Insane! And thank god we weren't parked closer. 

Once it was game time we made our way to our seats and watched Portugal score the first goal. GOLLLLLL! Well, it happened to be their only goal. Brazil won 3-1. Boo. But, it really was so fun to watch. These guys are crazy good at soccer.

Go Portugal!

If you like this post please let me know by leaving a comment or liking my Facebook page. You can also follow along on TwitterPinterest, and Instagram. Let's stay in touch!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Wedding Weekend in the Mountains

In equal parts sadness and relief, we have wrapped up our 2013 wedding season. This past weekend we headed up to Maine for our final wedding. It was such a great way to end wedding season! J picked me up at noon Friday at work and we jetted off to Sunday River for the weekend.

Although the ride can be long, like I mentioned Monday, the views once you get off the highway are beautiful. They always make us appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds us. They make me want to get all earthy-crunchy, eat local foods, and hike up a mountain! Not that we had the time to do any of that, but attending Bob & Emma's wedding was a little more important.


And the reason we had to get up there the night before the wedding? J officiated the wedding! So attending the rehearsal was an absolute must. Once I saw where Emma & Bob's ceremony would take place, I was so excited. A covered bridge?!! After everyone was comfortable with their part in Bob & Emma's big day, we headed to the rehearsal dinner at the Bethel Inn. What a great place this was too. So quaint.

After partying a little too hard at G&N's wedding rehearsal last month, and wanting to take advantage of the hotel gym Saturday morning, I behaved myself and headed to bed at a reasonable hour. We haven't been to a gym since we moved out of the city and let me tell you, I am still sore! But it felt great to do something other than run for once.

Due to his officiating duties, J had to be ready a little earlier than I did for this wedding. So I took advantage of the empty room to take a few self-timed outfit photos without feeling like a weirdo. I'll be sharing the rest of this wedding season's outfits in the coming weeks!

The Ceremony

I can't think of a more quintessential Maine, mountains, quaint ceremony than this. It was gorgeous. Not only was there a covered bridge but we all were seated within it! The small details were perfect too, birch candles, wispy flowers, an adorable chalk board.

Maybe I'm bias but J did such a great job officiating this wedding. While he remained professional the entire time, there was one slip up during the ceremony - when a wedding ring may have been dropped on the bridge - where J was able to make the crowd laugh (after the ring was safely recovered). There's the J we all love! It's always nice when the groom's father tells you that not only did your husband do a great job, but he might just have a second calling and a second income! ha. But really....can you get on that J, I have a laundry list of expenses you could help out with (see the investments section here).
Mr. & Mrs. !

The Reception

Ok, this was another wedding where I didn't do all that well documenting....Bob and J used to work together and our table was many of J's former co-workers. I didn't think it would be too appropriate of me to be glued to my camera my first time meeting these people. Especially since J still works with them regularly. But man did we have a great night.
 Absolutely loved the mercury glass vases

 The brothers & the groom / Work friends

Well this is a great photo of the newlyweds, other than the photo bomb...Thanks Dan!

Congratulations Emma & Bobby! We were so happy to be apart of your big day. It was absolutely beautiful and we couldn't be more excited for you. 

xoxo, T

Monday, September 23, 2013


I don't know about you but I am in full Fall mode now. The leaves have started changing here in New England, and it gets me so excited. Every day there are new colors to witness.

As we decompress from our wedding weekend in Maine, I leave you with a photo of where we stayed. It's so nice to visit the mountains in the fall, and breathe in that fresh, cool, foggy air. From the time we arrived Friday afternoon, to the time we left Sunday morning, J and I couldn't believe the change in the leaves. It happens overnight! And is so beautiful.

What are you looking forward to this Fall?

I'm looking forward to finishing up a few projects around the house, enjoying time with family and friends, and cooking up some new meals. We have a trip to NC on the calendar and a half marathon too (ah!).

If you like this post please let me know by leaving a comment or liking my Facebook page. You can also follow along on TwitterPinterest, and Instagram. Let's stay in touch!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ways we [Try to] Save

It's hard to believe it's been more than three months since we moved out of the city and into our suburban home. While we're still spending extra money these days attempting to turn this house into our home, and having accumulated a few additional bills (hello oil heat, ugh), I've been doing my best to curb our excess spending.

Since I started reading blogs a few years ago, I've always appreciated reading how others find ways to save on the day to day stuff, so I thought I'd share mine. I realize that many of these seem obvious, maybe you'll learn something new, maybe you won't. But if you have a better way to save, I hope you share it in the comments (please).

1. Make your own coffee. This is a no brainer really. It's something we struggle with in the summer when iced coffee is a must but now that the cooler weather has hit, we've made the switch to hot coffee in the mornings. I found our favorite Starbucks coffee on sale for $6.99 recently so I stocked up. One bag typically lasts us 2 weeks. So $7.00 for 2 weeks or $5/morning for 2 coffees..... savings of $43 every two weeks...

2. Bring your lunch. Another easy one. But it is so true. The cheapest lunch spot around my office will still cost me about $8/day. I'm partial to turkey and even if I get 3/4 lb of Boars Head turkey, it's about $6.50 and lasts me the whole week. I typically buy a 1/2 lb of cheese to have in the house too, for about $4. Since we always keep bread and condiments in the fridge, I'm not adding those prices in here. Buying lunch each day will run me $40/week and bringing my own, $10.50/week....weekly savings of $29.50.

3. Shop the sales. This is something I picked up from reading another blog and makes total sense. J and I aren't picky eaters. We don't have any diet restrictions. And frankly, we like to mix things up. So instead of buying the same things each week or planning out every meal, I tend to just write meat, green veggies, fruit, etc on my list and check out what the weekly sales are. I don't know the last time I bought grapes but for $.88/lb this week, they were the fruit of choice. Pork chops were on sale this week too. Two pork chops for less than $5, sounds good to me. Greek yogurt is another one - there is almost always at least one brand on sale 10/$10 (no, you do not need to buy 10).

4. Buy in bulk - and store smartly. Piggy-backing #3, sometimes the sales are for bulk items, especially for meat. So if you can, stock up. When we bought our first place a few years ago, my mom gifted us the Foodsaver (similar). And this kitchen gadget is totally worth the price tag! By buying a family pack of chicken breasts this past week, I saved $11, and now have plenty of individually, vacuum sealed chicken breasts in our freezer to let thaw any day and cook for dinner. I keep these bags on hand, and frozen food will last a whole lot longer than had I used plastic bags. This little trick works well for us lately. We've gone two weeks without a grocery store run often this summer with everything going on. And have still hardly ordered takeout thanks to the extra food in our freezer and pantry, and recipes such as burrito bowls.

5. Coupons. When we changed our address with the USPS, we received a TON of coupons in the mail from various retailers - Lowes, Bed Bath, etc. Almost all expired within 30 days...I kept them anyways. And guess what, people take them! Having worked at a grocery store through high school, trust me on this one, there is always an override button. I picked up a $1 mini-binder at Target that now houses all my coupons. You bet I used a 20% of Benjamin Moore coupon last weekend when painting our dining room. I'm not so good about grocery store coupons but that's next on my list of ways we can save.

6. Double Up. For a while, I'd buy almond milk or coconut milk for protein smoothies and regular milk for general use and coffee. And hardly ever finished both cartons before one went bad. So now I just buy one, typically regular milk because I don't love the taste of almond milk in my coffee. It doesn't go so well with the occassional mac n cheese I consume either...Another great one - plain greek yogurt. First of all, it takes a long time to go bad. Second it's great in smoothies, as a sour cream substitute (trust me, you won't be able to tell a difference), or mix in some cinnamon, honey, granola, and fruit for a breakfast option.

7. Live on Less. I think this one sounds harder than it really is, for most people. We've been doing this since I first started working so it's much easier for us now, but you have to start somewhere. Every one of my paychecks has a percentage that goes straight to savings. Over the years I've moved that percentage up when we can, or even down when we planned our wedding. Even if you start with $10 a week, it adds up. $10 might mean skipping a few coffees a week (#1), or one less dinner out (that's usually more than $10). So think about it, and save what you can. I think you'll be happier with a bigger savings account than with eating out on the regular. Maybe? Like I mentioned above, we've been spending a whole lot on this new home. But it's reassuring to know that we've still managed to save a few dollars each month because we don't even factor them into our budget.

These are the ways we've tried saving a few dollars lately.

What about you? Any great tips you can share?
We have a long list of updates to make to this new house so squirreling away money is a must!

If you like this post please let me know by leaving a comment or liking my Facebook page. You can also follow along on TwitterPinterest, and Instagram. Let's stay in touch!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

An "Island" Escape: P&P Tie the Knot

Last weekend, J and I had the privilege of attending the wedding of a former co-worker of mine, Priya. We met at our first jobs out of college, in public accounting. The friends I made during this time in my life are so dear to me. They saw the best and worst in me for sure. Passing my CPA & getting engaged and then married, as well as cracking after 80+ hour weeks, showing up a few Saturdays hungover after trying to enjoy life (a little too much), eating horrible takeout night after night at our desks, the list goes on. They were there. They were there for the late afternoon coffee sessions, the late nights, the end of busy season parties, and the everyday madness encountered working 6 days a week for about 20 weeks of the year.

It was so nice to see so many former co-workers in a non-work setting. Who said accountants can't have fun?! (Don't answer that.)

Priya and Pete got married at Ocean Edge Resort. I had never been there before and I'll tell you one thing, I cannot wait to go back. J and I decided to make the most of the day and get to the Cape early. The weather was perfect and we planned to grab drinks and an appetizer on the water somewhere once we got off the highway. We soon realized that our best bet was to visit the bar right at the resort, Ocean Terrace. We both kept saying how we didn't feel like we were in MA. Beyond the nearly perfect weather, the view and ambience felt more like the Caribbean.

I'll take another one of those drinks!

When it was time to check-in, we made our way into the mansion got our room keys and headed off to the Villages to check out our villa. I had no idea what I was booking way back when I booked under the wedding block so I was pleasantly surprised by the rooms! 
Love the oversized matted frames

The room was so comfortable. We've stayed in so many hotel rooms this summer with all of the weddings that all I expected was a standard king size bed, one big room. I would love to spend a weekend here in one of these villas.

Another sweet surprise, these welcome pails. Priya and Pete put so much thought into their wedding! There were little details everywhere. And I certainly appreciated having the water and Cape Cod chips later that night. :)

Once we were ready to go, we headed back to the main resort for the ceremony and reception. Although Ocean Edge hosts several weddings each weekend, Priya and Pete totally got the best the venue had to offer. Beach ceremony! This was our first beach ceremony, and it was picture perfect. 

An amazing ceremony detail: steel drums. Like I mentioned above, it was easy to forget we were in MA. The music was awesome. I just loved the island feel the steel drums gave the ceremony.

Like I said, picture perfect!

I have to admit, from here on out I was a really bad blogger. These are friends I hardly see these days and it was just so nice to relax and catch up. The cocktail hour was held on the outdoor terrace at Ocean Terrace. And the reception in the main ballroom. Like I said, these two seriously got the very best this venue has to offer! I loved everything about it.

So smart!

Some details I did capture

The beautiful bride! And my handsome date. ;)

 Congratulations Priya and Pete!

We had so much fun at your BEAUTIFUL wedding and couldn't be happier for you! 

xoxo, T

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