Thursday, July 31, 2014

Finding Community

I moved to Asheville in early 2012 after a short stint (or just a very long vacation? you choose) in Tucson.  I grew up in Pennsyltucky but spent a lot of time in the Asheville area while growing up.  My parents are both from the South and I spent a large portion of every summer in a small town next to Asheville.  Asheville is where we would go to dinner or see a movie (most likely an animated one since Mark is the decision maker in the family).

While I am a Dang Yankee at heart, there have been a lot of Southern sensibilities ingrained in me by my older, more proper, and probably wiser family members.  That made the transition to Asheville pretty easy for me.  I moved here because I am never not amazed by the scenery here.  
Yes, it is so amazing it deserves a double negative.

Even though I felt like Asheville was my spot, I believe you have to live with something to truly understand it.  There are endless examples here, but my point is that being a constant tourist of Asheville garnered a sense of place here for me but it did not make me a part of the community.  Two and a half years here and I am finally feeling like I may actually be a community member.  For me, being a part of a community means getting involved and giving back. SO I was super excited when Heather got us tickets to attend the Stir Crazy benefit for Blue Ridge Kitchen Ventures.  You can read all about the organization here, but the gist was that the event was super fun and our money went to a good cause.  The food and drinks were provided by companies who had been a part of BRKV and there was a band, silent auction and raffle.  We have volunteered at some Asheville Downtown events too, so it is nice to know some of the people we see at these type of events!  I hope to become more involved in other beneficial organizations in time.  For now, yummy food and drinks by the river did the trick!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Counting Five on Friday

How are all you fine people today?

I like the idea of recapping my week with the Five on Friday and I thought I would give mine a theme today. Errbody loves a theme, right?

Recently, I keep feeling this nostalgia for how summer felt as a kid.  That innocent feeling that comes with the lack of responsibility kids have during summer break is something I yearn for on a regular basis.  There are some major uncertainties in my life right now surrounding core pieces and I find myself constantly shifting between two mental spaces:

Let go and let it happen.

And yes, the first thought process is definitely capitalized.  The "let it ride" wave is a much more relaxed thought process, and wavering between the two is a constant.

Due to all this craziness I have been making a very concerted effort to try to stay in the present and not take little moments for granted.  So this week I am going to count five things I am GRATEFUL for:

1. Little Adventures:  I am SO grateful to have a partner to take this journey with and to ride this wild wave of life with me.  When the possibilities are literally endless life feels more free.

2. Coffee, DUH!  With the breakneck pace I feel I have been maintaining for the last few weeks, coffee has been playing a leading role in my life.  I have morphed from a one cup a day person to three or four cups a day. Oops!

3. The way Mozey has started to chase her tail.  I can't believe this is a new thing but at 1.5 years young, she is still a puppy.

4. Sunflowers!  It is the time for sunflowers to bloom and each time I come around the corner walking the dog or driving my neighborhood, and see those lanky stalks it brings a smile to my face.

5. Watermelon. Watermelon. Watermelon.
I get great joy from hacking apart a massive juicy melon and eating half of it in one sitting.  Eating watermelon is like eating and drinking water at the time time so I'm killing two birds with one stone.

What are you grateful for today?

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

One Month

A very important anniversary to teenagers the world over.

And to this place...The Everywhere Place

I am going to commemorate this long-term relationship with a foray into the superficial.

I do live in Asheville and I do love dogs, beer, hiking and jorts.

But I also love makeup.  Just call me Sybil.

My love of makeup is shared by my older (only) sister.  We both attribute this affinity for goopy, powdery, shiny pots and pans of makeup to our grandmother.  If Nana was wearing a pink plaid skirt, Nana was also wearing pink clip on earrings, pink espadrilles, a wide pink belt around her tiny little waist and pink beads around her neck.  Nana was classy.  Every summer when we would make the trek from Pennsylvania to Tennessee to visit my dad's parents, Nana would have one of those "gift with purchase" makeup bags full of samples for me and my sister.  And every summer I would dig through her makeup, slapping on pink lipstick and night cream and purple sparkling eyeshadow.  I still have those little nylon bags from Nana stashed in my bathroom.

It's always been fascinating to me how we can change our appearances with makeup.  This has nothing to do with how I feel about my looks, it never actually occurred to me to have negative thoughts about my appearance until college.  Some days I wear zero makeup and some days I wear an inappropriate-for-work smokey eye ala Big Ange.   I just love the chance to manipulate shapes, highlights, shadows and to choose what I want to hide or accentuate.  It can be a powerful tool if you choose to use it that way.

So all of this is to tell you that I do love makeup.  I love talking about it, sharing tips and playing drag queen when I am bored.  There is a thing that I learned called Face of the Day (#FOTD).  I honestly can't believe I typed that but I will admit that my guilty pleasure is watching Tanya Burr on YouTube.  I promise this #FOTD will not include any duck faced selfies.  There are those who are quite good at that like Laura, but I am not one of them.

So here is where I tell you about all the crap I put on my face today.  Here is a visual:

Links to products

Impressed, horrified?  Can't decide?  Me either.

We will leave it that.

Happy (very important) Anniversary to The Everywhere Place!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Five on Friday!

1. I finally have a legit blog design!!  Thanks to Erin for working with me and doing a fabulous job!

2. I put our garden to good use and made pesto for the first time.
  We have an insane amount of basil growing in our garden and in multiple pots that live on the to our garden.  (We are fancy like that.) I went around and snipped the tops (the oldest growth) off of all nine of our plants and had an arm load.  After stripping off the stems, this armload amounted to only half of what I needed.  I normally don't measure anything when I cook, but I figured it could be smart to do that here.  I didn't measure the second round of basil, but it looked equal to the first so..that works, right?  

3. I have been in a purging mood lately.  I sorted through both of our bathrooms' drawers and have created a delicious candy jar of makeup, nail polish, hair products and random crap that I don't need.  Then when ever anyone comes over I force them to take something.  I'm like the food-pusher grandma but with makeup.

4. Yoga while watching the rain this morning was divine.  Normally I practice on the back deck but I was very happy to watch and listen to the rain from just inside the door today.

5.  This book.  Is crazy.  
I just started it but I have started walking around with it while I brush my teeth and drink coffee (in that order, duh) and run into furniture.  Also, this is the first Steven King novel I have read...even though he churns out books like Michele Duggar churns our kids in ankle length denim skirts.  No disrespect, I am honestly fascinated by the Duggar family.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Follow me !

All of my tabs are now live!  
Click the icons under my profile picture to follow me on:


New Design!

Hey Y'all!

Look how fancy!

Thanks to Erin @ Love Fun and Football for my new layout and design!  
And thanks to Betsy at Always a Jersey Girl at Heart for the recommendation.  
Betsy is one of my sister's best friends and I have known her since she went to Bucknell and I still lived there as a townie ... by which I mean I was a high school student. Erin was so kind and didn't seem to be annoyed by my extremely indecisive requests as we exchanged about 30 emails back and forth to get this thang going. 

Go check out Erin and Betsy... Now!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Flying Cloud Farm

While driving on a beautiful country road recently Heather and I drove by a farm stand.  She had seen this particular one before but I had not. There are tons of farm stands, farmer's markets and opportunities to buy local produce where we live but this one was special. 
There was no one at the stand so I assumed it was closed for the day.  
Oh how wrong I was!  

How insanely cute is this?!? 
It was a self-serve farm stand where you take what you need and leave the money in the jar.  I was literally overcome by excitement when I realized what was going on.  
I freaking love this.  
 It is clear that this has to be run by amazing, awesome and (no doubt) happy people! Maybe I should not have been surprised by this since there does seem to be a high population of happy people here in Western NC. 

It was so beautiful. It makes perfect sense, how could you not be happy with this as your view.  Rows of veggies with the mountains in the background!

 The whole concept of trust and the beauty of the setting coupled with the fresh produce and flowers were too much.  Flying Cloud Farm gave me such gushy warm feelings about life.  The trust the farm has for its clients made me feel like I was that person they expected me to be.  And that anyone else who could buy produce there is also a stand up human.

Since buying a house in December of last year, Heather and I have encountered a plethora of dishonest people who have no care for the people that earn them their salaries.  It has been a lot of work and stress to trudge through these issues and it can be very overwhelming at times.  So, finding this little gem on the side of the road after a hard day restored a bit of my sanity.

It is the little beauties in this life that are meaningful.
  Ya feel me?

Friday, July 11, 2014

High Five it's Friday!

1. It has been raining a lot here in Asheville...and I love it!  Whenever it rains I feel like it's a free pass to just relax and be a bit lazy.  I love opening up all our windows and listening to the rain beat on our metal roof.  All that rain also means I don't have to water the garden as often.  Boom.

2. Speaking of our garden: It is growing!  I will do a full post on the process soon.  
This is my first garden ever! I helped my parents as a little kid, but that mainly meant tossing beans into a paper grocery bag. 

It is so exciting to see things grow, and SO sad when they don't!  We have already eaten some greens and arugula and I am dying to try one of our tomatoes.  There are about 30 little tiny purple guys about to pop!  We also have butter lettuce and cucumbers coming along nicely.  Our squash and spinach look pretty pathetic and all but one of our kale plants is officially dead.

3. My mom was in town this week!  We basically relaxed on the couch every night with take out and beer and it was glorious. AND I get to see her, my dad, my sister and Louisa again at the end of this month.  I love living where they vacation.  Pretty convenient.

4. While Ads (my mom) was here I decided to tag along to the 60th reunion of the summer camp we both attended as kiddos.  Holy nostalgia.  I spent 2 weeks there every summer growing up and loved it. I also spotted myself in the 40th reunion photo in their museum. 
See if you can find me!

4. I finally FaceTimed with Louisa! I am not sure why this isn't a regular thang because...look:

So cute!

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Lake Lure

A few weeks ago Heather and I took a little jaunt up to Lake Lure.  

 If ya don't know the greatest movie of all time was filmed at Lake Lure.  The movie I made my best friend Abbey watch every weekend of 8th grade.  The soundtrack that played constantly in my boombox for all of middle school. 

Need a hint?

The most perfect slack-jawed Baby:

and the ultimate Lover Boy:

On our way home we decided to go rock hopping! I don't know about you, but I spent a large portion of my summers as a kid making my way down the Montreat, NC creek in my nifty velcro Teva sandals. 

For some reason I still enjoy a dipping myself in icy cold water and then sunning myself on a rock like an amphibian.  And you better believe that mountain water is ICY. 

 Since we had Mozey with us it was the perfect time to implement Project Water Dog: 
Mozey is part Chihuahua and therefore doesn't enjoy any contact with water. 
Since Mozey is a rescue pup we will never actually know what magical combination of breeds she is, but she hates water and is constantly burrowing towards her Mexican homeland like a Chi-hoo-uh-hoo-uh!

Alas, Heather and I are fishes and are pretty set on forcing our little 12 pound child to like water, too.  I guess you are not supposed to force such things on your "children" but..seems like a health and safety issue, right?    

 We started off lowering her over the water to see if her instincts would set in and she would start paddling.  Nope.  She splayed her legs straight out to the sides like a road kill frog.  No bueno. So I tossed her in... and she survived. 
Apparently that wasn't a very nice way to begin swimming lessons.  Oh well. 

After that, we started luring her into the water with pieces of a taco.  Wouldn't that make you swim?  We had minimal success.  
Maybe she knows you aren't supposed to eat 30 minutes before swimming.  Such a practical doggie. 

I didn't capture any photos of the swimming lesson, but you can see Mozey planting her feet at shore while Heather tries to tempt her into the water. 


Poor, poor Mozey. Maybe one day she will enjoy it.   

Friday, July 4, 2014

High Five for Friday!

Happy Friday! Shall we?

1. I wanna eat this perfume.
There is something about perfume in airports.  I snagged this at the not-so-swanky Duty Free in the Charlotte airport.  (Although that bottle was Dooty Plus because I was on a domestic flight.)

I spray the crap out of this perfume every morning for fear that I won't smell it ALL day.
It is so yummy.  Yep, I wanna eat it.

2. Baby Louisa turned one month old on July 2nd.  
Can't wait to see how she has changed when my sister visits at the end of this month!
Here she is when I met her at one week:

Oh my god, naptime.
'Nuff said.

4. I am trying to up my game so I have been assisting a local photographer.  She's a badass.
(I appropriately took this one with my phone.  Coolio.)

5. I spent one night and one morning at Montreat with my momma.  That spot is relaxing.
Nothing like a little porch sitting, listening to the creek, drinking some coffee in the morning.
I wish I could stay forever!!

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Apparently I should feel a terrible, horrible shame that I have never seen The Goonies.

 Since attaining "adulthood" I seem to constantly shock people with this fact.  I have been in countless conversations where people reference the movie and they realize I have no clue what they are talking about.  This person then stares at me and yells

Well, last night I rectified this "situation" in the best way possible:

A FREE screening of The Goonies at The Orange Peel!  The Orange Peel is actually a fairly famous music venue so it's pretty cool to see something there for free!  Well...we got beer and popcorn, but that's mandatory, right?

Can you see the situation from this stellar I-phone picture? No? Weird.

Here is what it looks like during a show:

Anyway, I am pretty grateful that I can now say I have seen The Goonies, and stop horrifying the people I hang out with.  My favorite part of the movie was when the kiddos are in the attic and have just found the treasure map.  The sole male teenager in the crew tells the kids they are crazy to believe there is glorious treasure to be found and Mikey goes:

"What if? JUST, what if?!?!"

Think about it:  Just...what if?!

This is going to be my new mantra.