And just like that, I’m 26.

Breakfast: Mimosas and a cupcake, naturally.

Breakfast: Mimosas and a cupcake, naturally.

You guys (well, mostly gals), my 26th b-day is oh-ficially oh-ver and I just had to write a post about where I “am” lately. It’s been a while, I know. Remember when I got all introspective a while back about how I had no idea what this site is about or my vision for it? Well, yeah. It’s safe to say that I am still figuring that out. But instead of beating a dead horse, I’ve been doing something different lately — I’ve been letting things happen, and then (creatively) doing what I feel like doing.

It’s not been a totally easy process, especially since I’m all “let’s make a list!” about just about everything I tackle in my life. But taking a break from the blogging/DIY measuring stick/fame-as-a-validator rat race has been awesome. And therapeutic. For the first time I feel like I have been living my life instead of planning it. I still avidly document things on Instagram (my fave social network) and scrapbook, but lately, it’s been more important to me to spend my free time as I want to, instead of creating more chores for myself. Ah, I could tell you so much, but I won’t drone on. The past few months have been great. And mind-blowingly busy. But great.

So. I am 26. And I am having one of those oh-my-god-I-could-have-never-anticipated-I’d-be-HERE-at-age-26 kind of feelings. 25 felt like a milestone. 26 is transitional. I dig it. In celebration of my birthday, here are 26 Random Facts about myself.

1. I like old man drinks. Give me a gin and tonic over a pina colada any freaking day of the week.

2. Playing video games stress me out (even Super Mario Brothers). I prefer to watch. #voyeurism

3. My day job has taught me that I am smart, different, and capable of things I never thought I was.

4. On my concert bucket list: Matchbox 20, Train, Goo Goo Dolls, Adele, Coldplay, The Eagles, and, of course, Backstreet Boys. And Britney.

5. I almost got to cross two bands off that list (Matchbox 20 and Train), but that concert was scheduled for the eve of September 11, 2001, and the concert was postponed indefinitely.

6. When I’m sitting at work responding to email and putting out fires, I find myself daydreaming about being a mom, and having a little boy or girl to come home to at the end of each day.

7. I’ll never stop learning about myself.

8. Things I know for sure: 1) For many years you’ll anticipate your life being derailed by outside forces, but nothing will derail you more than you will. If you survive that, you can survive anything. 2) You can’t change how you feel if it comes from your heart. 3) Being confused and frustrated is better than being numb. Never give up.

9. I believe that everyone is creative. If you tell me that you “aren’t” I will not believe you.

10. I want to drive all the way across the county. North Carolina to California. And stop at every single diner along the way.

11. After (roughly) two decades of capitalizing on my creativity, I have finally learned that being creative makes me feel empowered, and that is a feeling I’m chasing lately.

12. If you don’t want hear me talk endlessly and without pause, don’t ask me this one question: “What’s your favorite TV show?” I literally, won’t shut up.

13. That Google commercial about the kid who’s honing his public speaking skills… makes me cry. So, I can go from “Luke on Modern Family is such a doofus!” to “AHHHHHHHHHHHH I want a nerdy child like NOW to love!!!!!!!” I wish it was a more complicated transition with more steps, but it isn’t.

14. I fantasize about writing a series of books set in East Texas that then become a popular television series with incredible soundtracks.

15. I know I have reached a new level in life when I get my rocks off to decorating.

16. The relationship I am most proud of in my life is my friendship with my childhood BFF, Kelsey. I don’t know if she knows this or not, but, she was the relationship worth fighting for. I think that statement will only make sense to her, and I know she’ll read it, even though I don’t have to tell her to. You really are my best friend, forever.

17. When I was 17, I couldn’t conceive the idea of being 26. When I was 21, just five years ago, I assumed I would have children (plural) by the time I was 26. Being surprised by your own life is the best feeling.

18. My dream house is ranch-style, mid-century modern, open concept, and with a big porch.

19. I learned recently that I really, really, really like sushi. And I eat it all the freaking time now.

20. I’ll never stop sharing my life experiences. This blog (and myself) will evolve, but that simple desire will not. Pinky swear.

21. I don’t know how to say goodbye to Walter White tomorrow. It’s the same feeling I had before finishing Book 7.

22. I think I’d like to work in advertising again, but for a small boutique agency that does all kinds of creative projects.

23. I am all about Katy Perry these days. I am so ready for her album to come out in October!

24. Shelton got me a Silhouette Cameo for my birthday and now I want to vinyl our whole life. I am so not kidding right now.

25. I love living in a state that actually has seasons.

26. I am so very happy.

 

There ya have it! Here’s to another wonder journey around the Sun :)

Sarah

Make It: Monthly Checklist

monthly checklist | sweetandsavorylife.com

Every month, multiple times a month, Shelton and I have the same conversation. It goes like this:

“Has AT&T pulled yet?”

“Did we set aside money for next month’s rent?”

“How much did you put to your credit card?”

“How much money have we saved?”

We are so busy, that sometimes keeping track of our monthly expenses feels like a chore. I am a lover of checklists, especially ones that can be used over and over. So, I created a simple monthly checklist so that we can see what has been paid, what is coming up and how much money we have saved. You can make one, too!

All you need is:

* Old frame (Any size will do! I used an 8×10.)

* List of your monthly bills (We break up our expenses in two parts: the first half of the month and then the second.)

* Dry erase marker

Jot down your expenses  (or type them up and print them out) and place them in the frame. Display the frame somewhere you can glance at it often — ours is on our kitchen counter — and as things get paid throughout the month, check them off! When the month is over, wipe off and repeat.

Now, wasn’t that easy?

You are welcome.

xo – Sarah

Currently… 08.11.13

currently 08.11.13

Current obsessions/thoughts/feelings/happenings.

What is it about a Sharpie that is almost dry? They are my favorite.

I wish you could buy them already like that.

What are you feeling? Wishing? Dreaming about?

Scrapbooking: “Yo, April, What Up???”

You probably don’t know this about me, but I say “yo.” A lot. Probably too much. When I was laying out everything for the April layout, and reminiscing about all the AWESOME THINGS that happened in April I knew I had to throw a Yo in there. We did so much in April. Hiked in Raven Rock State Park, I was learning so much at my new job (ahem, still am), and we took a last minute weekend trip to Virginia Beach! April was a very, very good month indeed.

memory keeping | sweetandsavorylife.com

About this layout — there were definitely more pictures to work with this month simply because more happened. I don’t know why, but somewhere between March and April Instagram really became a huge part of my life. I am deep into it now and use my iPhone constantly as a camera. I think I have almost 2,500 pictures on it? And I’ve only had it since last September. Yeah… so I like to capture everything, pretty much. But I love that I can get great pictures with my phone, and I upload them weekly to Shutterfly. I make orders frequently. It’s so cheap!

Also, this was the first layout where I got to use the Project Life Photo Pocket Pages! I felt like a pro.

memory keeping | sweetandsavorylife.com

April Happenings

* Drunk night out on the town (we drank something called Pixie Dust?)

* Raven Rock!

* Adventures in Virginia Beach ($2 mimosas… need I say more?)

memory keeping | sweetandsavorylife.com

Supplies Used

* Fragments from everyday life

Project Life Kraft Core Kit

* Project Life Photo Pocket Pages – Big Variety Pack 1

May will definitely be an interesting layout to put together, because so much changed for us that month! I think the awesome part about actively scrapbooking life is that you get to tell your story… which is always changing. I am ready to catch all the way up and scrapbook things as they are happening!

xo – Sarah

Scrapbooking: March Memories

I am slowly (but steadily) making my way through 2013! Last week I wrapped up March and today I completed April (will share a little later on in the week). I must say — I am so happy that I am scrapbooking again. Life is just too precious, and moves too quickly. Scrapbooking has been a great outlet for me lately, because when I do it, I feel so fulfilled. I mean, how can I NOT feel fulfilled when I am staring at our smiling faces? #impossible

For this layout I had a lot of Instagrams to work with, and still being on a circle kick, I used a kitchen bowl to make four very different images work together cohesively (on the left). I LOVE how this turned out! I also used an insert in between the two spreads (hard to differentiate it in this picture — makes more sense in the next image) just so I could fit in all the exciting things that happened in March.

march layout | sweetandsavorylife.com

March Happenings

* We saw Oz and hated it

* Game of Thrones returned

* Shelton turned 27

* Shelton got a new job

* I got the job at Suddenlink (!)

* We played a lot of Arkham Horror

* We discovered some new things about Greenville

march layout | sweetandsavorylife.com

Supplies Used

* Fragments from everyday life

* Hey Y’all Postcard by Megan McCrary (cute stuff — check out her Etsy shop!)

* Project Life Kraft Core Kit

* K&CompanySMASH Grab Bag

* me & my BIG ideas Pocket Pages

Bam! Just like that, March has been documented. When I finish a layout, I feel like bursting out into song? Does that ever happen to you? I hope so.

x0 – Sarah

Food Story: Coffee Granita

Last Sunday Shelton said he had a surprise for me, but said that I’d have to wait for it. We went along our normal Sunday routine, him puttering around in the kitchen and me on the living room floor scrapbooking. He said I would not be able to guess what he was making, so I didn’t even try. I just waited patiently, and oh my, was I rewarded.

Being the food geeks that we are, we absolutely love Alton Brown, and watch re-runs of Good Eats like it’s Homeland. On a recent episode that Shelton had watched sans me, Alton focused on frozen treats. He recommended saving leftover coffee to make a granita instead of throwing it out, and Shelton pounced on that idea (with great vigor, I might add).

This is the story of the Coffee Granita.

coffee granita | sweetandsavorylife.com coffee granita | sweetandsavorylife.com coffee granita | sweetandsavorylife.com coffee granita | sweetandsavorylife.com coffee granita | sweetandsavorylife.com coffee granita | sweetandsavorylife.com coffee granita | sweetandsavorylife.com coffee granita | sweetandsavorylife.com coffee granita | sweetandsavorylife.com coffee granita | sweetandsavorylife.com coffee granita | sweetandsavorylife.com coffee granita | sweetandsavorylife.com coffee granita | sweetandsavorylife.com coffee granita | sweetandsavorylife.com coffee granita | sweetandsavorylife.com coffee granita | sweetandsavorylife.com coffee granita | sweetandsavorylife.com coffee granita | sweetandsavorylife.com coffee granita | sweetandsavorylife.com

Everything I love about iced coffee and honestly, coffee in general, was represented in every single spoonful of icy awesomeness. There was no bitterness, just the creamy essence of an incredible cup of coffee. The Kahlua helped add richness and a sweet edge with no sting of alcohol whatsoever. The whipped cream was fresh, and complimented the sweetness of the coffee perfectly.

Perfect. Everything about this Coffee Granita was exactly that.

Best. Surprise. Ever.

The End.

Reference Materials

Alton Brown’s Coffee Granita Recipe
* Mexican Vanilla is the true vanilla
* Kahlua is not necessary, but definitely amps up the flavor
* This recipe makes a LOT – would be perfect for dessert shooters as a night cap
* Pin it, make it, love it

365 Days in North Carolina

I have no idea where to start with this post. All I know is that I woke up this morning next to Shelton, saw him off to work as I stayed curled up in bed, drank two cups of coffee while blasting my Dixie Chicks Pandora station, cleaned the apartment, and then sat down for a moment to update our Ongoing Calendar. I sat on the couch, and felt an overwhelming sense of joy. “This is my life,” I thought to myself. “I love this space so much.”

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As I noted fun memories we’ve made over the past month, I was reminded of 2012 memories from this time last year, when things were still very much up in the air. And I couldn’t ignore the supreme sense of pride that I felt–am feeling. To say that I have come far over the past year, is so much of an understatement that it almost makes me laugh.

Distance. Sometimes the ground we cover is geographical, sometimes it’s purely mental. When I think of the distance I have traveled over the past year, I know that for me, it’s both. And my heart swells, and my eyes burn, and I feel a knot in my throat, because I am so completely immersed in the joy that I am experiencing that I am literally drowning in it. Everything I love about this life, I gave to myself. The level of gratitude that I feel is so deep, I can hardly comprehend it. I just feel it. Every single day.

On August 7, 2012, when I decided to move to North Carolina to be with Shelton, I altered my path in the biggest way to date. From the moment Shelton and I became partners in this life, I inherently knew that we were building something–something bigger than ourselves, something I didn’t yet understand. But when he got in that U-haul on August 1, 2012, I knew that life would be on hold until we were together again.

DSC_0070 copy

I can’t explain to you how much I love him. How much my soul feels 100% in line with his. How when I look at him, I see myself. How I never thought I deserved this level of happiness, but now that I have found it, it’s the most important thing in my world. This connection we share makes everything in life sparkle. And what’s really crazy, is that it just gets stronger every single day. I don’t know how that is possible, but it is.

Moving to North Carolina was a huge risk for us both, a choice that we knew would affect us individually and as a couple. The hard decisions didn’t stop once I arrived in Greenville. Life continued to test us. There have been hard lessons, days where we were pushed to our limits, and many moments where we had to take a step (or three) back and regroup. It has not all been easy. When I look back  at  everything we have accomplished in the past year though, I am so thankful for all those moments of growth. Because every single time we came out on top, together.

I tell everyone that I could not do this without Shelton by my side, and when I say “do this” I mean The Everyday. I am a strong person, I have no doubt about that. Shelton is incredibly strong, too. I do not question our ability to withstand difficult things. We are good at that. But operating through the daily trials and tribulations of life with strength and also being able to continually experience joy and practice gratitude are not things that are easy to do simultaneously. Having someone in your life on a daily basis who loves you unconditionally, who supports your journey with enthusiasm and admiration, makes it easy. The love that Shelton and I share is the most liberating thing I have ever experienced. It doesn’t matter where we are, what our jobs are, how nice our apartment is, how much money we have, none of that matters. Waking up next to him every day is just like winning the lottery over and over again.

celebration

I love our story. I revel in it daily. We have written some pretty interesting chapters. The birthplace of our union was more of a battlefield than the cookie cutter “boy meets girl” scenario and from early on, we have had an unspoken understanding of how we wanted to experience life and that is to the fullest. That has been and continues to be the ultimate goal.

We live fully by taking on obstacles headfirst, as a team.

We celebrate often, and with great vigor.

We vocalize our appreciation for one another, our feelings, our goals, our whole selves on a daily basis.

When we need strength, we turn to each other. We do not build walls or wear armor, deflect or neglect.

That’s our creed. It’s how we live, and it’s how we have done everything we have and how we will do everything moving forward. We are deep into what I like to call “The North Carolina Chapter” and though I have no idea how it will end, I know that everything in the middle will be spectacular.

In honor of Year 1 in North Carolina, here are some of my favorite posts that have been published over the past year. The early ones are fun to go back and read, mostly because I feel like a completely different person now. I love how much I have grown.

The Past Three DaysI talk about what it was like the day that Shelton left Texas. Spoiler: It’s sad.

Jump Like You Mean ItOne of my all time favorite posts. The moment I decided to move to North Carolina.

What I Love About GreenvilleNothing compares to those first few weeks of discovery.

Hello, RaleighOur first day trip to the Capitol.

A Perfect NightWritten by Shelton! He recounts a night we spent at a local coffee shop.

Turning Twenty-FabulousShelton surprises me in a HUGE way for my 25th birthday.

Pitt County FairSpoiler: It involves one very sinister funnel cake.

Birds On A Wire: Thanksgiving 2012Mom and Janie come visit! Incredible memories are made.

Saturday AdventuresWe explore Downtown Greenville and find metal livestock.

Raven Rocking & RollingWe venture to Raven Rock State Park and hike, hike, hike!

In Which a BBQ Sandwich Changes My LifeNorth Carolina Pulled Pork at its finest.

I hope the next year is just as mind blowingly awesome and eye opening.

xo, Sarah

Scrapbooking: Circle Layout + Paint Samples

I have recently been inspired to start scrapbooking more often. I’m a big fan of Elise’s Project Life albums and wanted to be more proactive in my memory saving, since it’s something that is very important to me. Over the past couple of weeks I have scrapbooked January and February of this year and hope to catch all the way up to July sooner rather than later, so that I can make note of things in the moment instead of trying to think back so much.

I will go ahead and get this out there: I am not a fan of spending tons of money on supplies. In this sense, I’m kind of a rebel scrapbooker, though I like to think of it as “sustainable scrapbooking.” The photos and memories should stick out — not the embellishments. I routinely save real bits and pieces from our day-to-day adventures, and to me that is what makes a layout special. If you find yourself feeling the same way, and need a little inspiration to get you going, I highly recommend this layout. It was fun, fast, and FREE!

circular scrapbook layout | sweetandsavorylife.com

I spotted these Pantone paint samples at Lowe’s over the weekend and helped myself to my favorite colors. So many beautiful hues!

circular scrapbook layout | sweetandsavorylife.com

Spuds was a big help, like always.

circular scrapbook layout | sweetandsavorylife.com

Using a biscuit cutter, I traced circles on all the paint samples and Instagrams. (I had these printed through FoxGram!)

circular scrapbook layout | sweetandsavorylife.com

Then, cuttin’ time. I love to cut paper, it’s so soothing for me.

circular scrapbook layout | sweetandsavorylife.com

circular scrapbook layout | sweetandsavorylife.com

My sheets are 12×12 knock-off Project Life photo holders. You can size this project and your circles however you like though! I also added in some index cards so that I’d have areas to jot down notes.

circular scrapbook layout | sweetandsavorylife.com

For the background, I chose a neutral brown kraft wrapping paper I had on hand. I love how it really makes the colors POP!

Since I print a LOT of Instagrams, I imagine I will recreate this layout to give the pictures more shape and add an unexpected element. I like how the pictures don’t conform to the sections. They stand out in a fun, new way and really draw in the eye.

Sarah’s Recommendation: Grab more paint samples than you need!

xo

Homemade Chicken Nugget Goodness

Reason #931 why Shelton is amazing: He makes the most incredible chicken nuggets.

homemade chicken nuggets | sweetandsavorylife.com

His secret? Coat the chicken twice. In between coatings, dip in milk.

homemade chicken nuggets | sweetandsavorylife.com

My favorite moments in the kitchen are spent sipping on something and talking with Shelton.

homemade chicken nuggets | sweetandsavorylife.com

The ever-eager canine, hoping for a dropped morsel.

homemade chicken nuggets | sweetandsavorylife.com

Fried, golden perfection.

homemade chicken nuggets | sweetandsavorylife.com

French fries? A requirement.

homemade chicken nuggets | sweetandsavorylife.com

And if you really want to amp up your nugget experience, toss them in some buffalo sauce.

Sorry the picture is so blurry! I was more excited about stuffing my face than capturing the perfect shot.

Funny story: the next day at work I mentioned that Shelton had made chicken nuggets for us the night before. I was then asked, “How do you make chicken nuggets?” And I didn’t know how to respond, because, well, you just make chicken as you normally would except cut it into bite size pieces first. Unless you’re Shelton, because then you also make it achingly delicious.

Men of the world — learn to cook something that will make a girl weak in the knees.

That’s just my two cents!

xo

Currently… 07.23.13

currently... 07.23.13 | sweetandsavorylife.com

Currently, this is what I’m thinking/reading/doing/seeing/loving/obsessing over.

What about you?

Since I’ve Been Gone

So, I haven’t posted in a while. I have come to accept that it’s okay that I don’t know what the true vision I have for this site is. I’ve worked really hard to figure out lots of things in my life, but have learned that the things we inherently know don’t take any work to figure out. And I am not sure if I inherently know anything about blogging, except that sometimes it feels more like work than fun, and I am trying to focus on things that feel natural. It’s been an interesting process, to say the least.

If you want to learn more about yourself, strip away the things that distract you. For me, that means not working on anything. I use my creativity to distract myself from a lot of things, and in a way it had begun to feel like I was using my powers for evil instead of good. So, I am cleansing my palette and seeing what I come up with. I’m hoping that what I discover feels so natural that I wonder how I never thought about it before.

In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been up to:

- Journaling

- Doodling

- Bowling (we joined a league for the summer!)

- Watching Girls on HBOGO (just started Season 2; I am now on the Lena Dunham bandwagon.)

- Collecting paper/trinkets for a scrapbooking project I might embark on

- Counting down the days to our Destin trip

- Participating in a six week NerdFitness challenge

- Killing it at work

- Planning mine and Shelton’s wedding on Pinterest (except we’re not engaged – oops)

- Still trying to accept the outcome of The Red Wedding

- Embracing summer – it’s finally here!

- Unpacking (still)

- Couponing

- Loving Shelton every single day (truth nugget)

- Gearing up for the Zac Brown Band concert next weekend! (I like my chicken fried)

- Daydreaming a little bit less, living in the moment a lot more

 

What have you been up to? Sometimes just making a little list like this one every now and then is a good reminder of just all the things you’ve accomplished!

Rave on,

Sarah

In Which a BBQ Sandwich Changes My Life

I thought that you deserved a proverbial feast for your eyes today. Just because.

delicious | sweetandsavorylife.com

Sushi @ Japan Inn | Shelton’s Homemade Nuggets | Chicken Parm @ Starlight Cafe

drinks | sweetandsavorylife.com

Iced Hazelnut Macchiato | Fresh Watermelon Margaritas | Maharaja Chai Oolong Tea

north carolina bbq | sweetandsavorylife.com

The absolute BEST pulled pork barbecue sandwich I have ever tasted, from B’s Barbecue.

People ’round these parts claim it’s the best barbecue in the state, and I believe them. North Carolina style barbecue is incredibly different than what I was used to in Texas, but wow, I’m serious. This sandwich pretty much changed my life. I literally want to take everyone here that claims Texas barbecue is the best, because I’m willing to bet I could make a believer out of you.

And plus, who doesn’t want to drive to the middle of nowhere, stand in line in a shack with no air conditioning, order from a menu with five things on it and then pay with cash only? Bonus: there are picnic tables outside and the place is packed. Daily. They cook one pig a day and when the pig is gone, they close. It’s so homegrown – I love it.

north carolina bbq | sweetandsavorylife.com

In case you didn’t know, North Carolina is known for it’s vinegar-based sauces, as opposed to in Texas (and other states) where it’s all about the tomato-based sauces. DO NOT GET ME WRONG: I love me some fresh, thick, rich, tomato-y Texas sauces. Which is why I was shocked when I instantly fell in love with the vinegar-based sauces here in North Carolina. The taste feels impossible to explain. The flavors are sharp, spicy, clean, and make my mouth salivate in a whole new way. I guess because there is no heavy flavor (like tomato), the other ingredients REALLY come through.

When I took a bite of that sandwich, sitting at that old picnic table in the shade, literally on the side of the road, with a sweet tea within reach and the sun shining, I knew I was experiencing a moment I’ll never have anywhere else on this Earth. It was specific to Greenville, specific to North Carolina, specific to this journey I am on. I’ll will remember it for years to come and think, “Damn that was good. All of it.

north carolina bbq | sweetandsavorylife.com

I feel like I should totally be a guest on The Best Thing I Ever Ate: BBQ Edition.

What’s the best thing YOU’VE ever ate?

Rave on,

Sarah

Shelton’s Watermelon Margaritas in 7 Steps

watermelon margaritas | sweetandsavorylife.com

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and claim that this is the perfect summer drink. Super easy to make and definitely a crowd-pleaser. Also – I love the fact that since the watermelon is frozen, there is no ice and thus your margarita is never diluted. It’s like magic, pretty much.

You’ll need:

Watermelon (sliced+frozen) | 1/2 can Limeade Concentrate | Tequila* | 1/3 c. Sugar | Limes+Salt

*Shelton recommends 1/2 cup – 1 cup. “Depends on how loose you wanna feel.” His words.

We wanted to feel pretty loose this night, I think.

watermelon margaritas | sweetandsavorylife.com watermelon margaritas | sweetandsavorylife.com watermelon margaritas | sweetandsavorylife.com watermelon margaritas | sweetandsavorylife.com watermelon margaritas | sweetandsavorylife.com watermelon margaritas | sweetandsavorylife.comwatermelon margaritas | sweetandsavorylife.com

As you blend, taste and adjust the mixture as necessary. This recipe makes about four drinks. If you save the watermelon and concentrate you don’t use, you can make a second round another time!

Rave on,

Sarah

Breaking Down + Breaking Free

Do you ever feel like you’re just starting from scratch?

purple field | sweetandsavorylife.com

That’s totally where I am these days.

I’m big on awakenings – many I have shared here with you – and though I am so fortunate for my moments of clarity, lately I am reminded of just how fleeting those awakenings can be. We learn things, we forget, we revert, we learn again. Life is a cycle. And as I am circling back through some emotions I haven’t felt in a while, I am reminding myself that it’s okay to struggle.

It’s okay to still be wrestling with thoughts, feelings and compulsions that (most of the time) are out of my control. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to loosen my white-knuckle grip I am so good at and *attempt* to relax. It’s okay to second guess things I’ve thought about myself for my whole life. It’s okay to admit that sometimes, I’m just not as emotionally stable as I think I should be.

I had a breakdown last week. It was eye-opening and a bit core-shaking in a way. I haven’t felt the same since, and in a weird way, things feel different. Different in a good way, because I feel like I am truly starting a new chapter in my life. The breakdown was largely stress induced.

New Job + Moving + Creative Restlessness + Realization of New Goals = Exhaustion

you're famous to someone | sweetandsavorylife.com

Put quite simply, I feel as if I have truly reached a new level in this life. I am 25. I have a good job. I have a great relationship. We are building a life together. There is money in our savings account. I care about new things. My priorities have shifted. And my life is completely here in North Carolina – not in Texas. All of these amazing things Shelton and I share on a daily basis, but I don’t get to share them with my Texas Tribe. It’s safe to say I’ve been living on Texas Time up until I started working at Suddenlink. When I worked at home,  it was so easy to focus on Texas and everyone I love there because 1) I had more time and 2) I didn’t show up to North Carolina and instantly attain new BFFs.

But that’s changing now. Through work I’ve met so many amazing people – people that invite me over to craft and drink tea (Nikki, I love you), people that invite us to parties, people that invites us out on sushi dates… We’re making connections here and settling here, and I don’t think I had accepted that until just recently. On one hand, it is so great to know that if I told Shelton tonight that I wanted to move back to Texas, he’d be on board 100%. But, I feel it in my bones – it’s not time. There’s too much left to do, I whisper to myself. Secrets left to figure out.

I want to look back on The North Carolina Years and feel so much joy that I get choked up. It’s like Andy said last week on The Office Series Finale: “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”

 

Whoa. If a quote could stab me in the heart (in a good way) that’s the one that would do it.

And here’s the thing: I am in the good old days. For the rest of my life, I’ll cherish these years, this place, the choice I made last August to come here. Why not make the absolute most of it? So, I have decided to collectively take a step back from a few things.

1. This blog, and blogging in general. I already have a full-time job, and it’s not running this site. I need to break out of the mindset of thinking in blog posts, positioning my life around DIY projects, and endless hours in front of this screen.

2. Crafting and creating. This is a touchy subject for me, because since I was a little girl I have always fallen back on my creativity. But I need to learn the difference between hobbies that bring me pure joy from the ones that suck the life out of me. And that means not distracting myself with project after project. I need to focus on me. Also, I need to be okay with not working on anything “extracurricular” before I dive into any new activity. I need to wipe my mental slate clean.

3. Thinking too much about my Texas connections. I can miss them, I can shoot them a text to let them know they’re on my mind, but then I need to go back to my North Carolina life. Just as I am on my own path, they are on theirs. And I am so happy for all my loved ones that my heart could burst, but feeling melancholic about playing phone tag does me no good at all.

Letting go can be so hard, but once I am able to, I always feel rejuvenated in a way.

pb&j

So, prepare for some sporadic + awesome posts in the future. I’m on no one’s timeline but my own, and goodness gracious, that’s an incredible feeling.

Rave on,

Sarah

On the Move

Guess what? We have moved. Again. The past two weeks have been very stressful and busy (like on a whole new level, y’all), but we have made it to the end. We will make one more load from the old apartment today, turn in our keys, and happily close that chapter of our lives. It was good times, but there are better times ahead, I am sure of it.

Below are some snapshots from our moving experience. Expect to see much more pictures as we get our new apartment set up–Shelton and I are having so much fun picking out furniture and defining our style in new ways. It’s a process that is never “done,” but a fun one at that!

happiness_

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Monogram Letter found @ TJMaxx for $6.99 | My Sauce Boss | Shelton’s Scratch Biscuits

sectional

Furniture Shopping Tip #1:

Always, always, always negotiate. I thought this sectional was WAY too much until we were able to talk them down 65% off the retail price. Also, everything in the store was half-off that day–shop savvy, y’all! We are in love with this sectional… These days, if something looks like it belongs on the set of Mad Men, I feel like I must have it. Mid-century modern all the way!

stools and dresser

Furniture Shopping Tip #2:

If you can purchase something already put together, do it. We saw the same exact bar stools at Target (for the same price) except they came in boxes.

Furniture Shopping Tip #3:

Always check the back room! Most big furniture stores will have a back room that houses discounted floor models and lightly damaged pieces. Case in point: our new dresser. Again, I loved the sleekness of it and knew it’d be perfect for our bedroom. There was a small dent on the top, but it’s barely visible!

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First Night in the New Apartment | Shelton picked out my key | Welcome Home!

drinks at varsity club

Furniture Shopping/General Moving Tip #4:

Take as many breaks as necessary.

~

And that’s our little moving update! Stay tuned. Things are about to get real domestic up in here.

Rave on,

Sarah