Not The Fresh Start I Was Hoping For

Sometimes days, or weeks in my case, don’t go as planned.

Last Sunday I was sad to see my 3 day weekend coming to an end, but I was looking forward to the fresh start that the new week and the new month of March were sure to bring. I was so ready to write out my goals for March, start a new yoga challenge, and get creative in the kitchen with my meal prepping.

Well, Monday morning I woke up feeling off balance and a little sick. Not sick with a cold or the flu, just kind of meh. I thought about calling off work, but it was too close to when my shift would start, so I went into work hoping I’d feel better as the day went on. I should have known that since I didn’t even feel like having my morning cup of coffee that things were not going to get better. Work was a struggle for me, but I struggled all the way through my shift. And then Brendan told me that he wasn’t feeling well either. And that night it hit us – food poisoning.

After a weekend of eating out to celebrate Brendan’s birthday with his parents, it’s no surprise that something made me sick. I always feel terrible if I eat out several times a week, let alone a couple of times in one day. My body just does not thrive on that kind of food. We think the cause of the food poisoning were the French fries we had on Sunday night. So, I guess I’ve learned my lesson about eating out too often. This was the very first time Brendan and I have gotten sick at the same time since we’ve known each other and the first time we have been sick since we’ve gotten married. I guess I’m thankful it wasn’t the flu though because literally everyone has been getting that. We both decided to call off work on Tuesday because we both felt terrible. We literally just laid around on the couch all day.

Brendan seems to have recovered more quickly than me. He also didn’t eat as many fries as I did, so maybe that’s why he wasn’t as sick. But I have been sick on and off again all week and I can’t remember the last time I have felt so bad. Since Sunday, I have lost 8 lbs, been able to eat very little, and haven’t really had any coffee this week (I have several cups of coffee every single day, so that’s a huge deal for me). The bottom line, food poisoning is no joke.

Thankfully, I am feeling much better today. I have the weekend off from work, my man is back in town after being gone for work, and I have the time to catch up on all of the things I had planned for earlier this week. Through all of this I have definitely learned not to take my health for granted. This is why I strive day in and day out to nourish my body by feeding it the clean, healthy options it needs and also why I try to move and get outside every single day. Since taking my health more seriously, I rarely get sick. But when something like food poisoning happens, I am reminded that taking care of myself is of the utmost importance and that the choices I make have consequences. I definitely won’t be getting French fries for quite some time.

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On a different note, here are some pictures from last weekends adventures with Brendan’s parents when they were in town visiting us. 🙂

Ms. Judy and Mr. Dan at the Taubman Museum of Art in downtown Roanoke.  

First thunder storm of the year rolling in. Taken on the balcony of the Taubman Museum of Art.



Lunch at The Village Grille in Grandin (not the fries that made me sick). 

Brendan and me and Black Dog Salvage. 

Since this cow picture at Black Dog Salvage is way more than I can afford, I took a picture of it, featuring my almond milk latte.

Almond milk latte from Cups in Grandin.



Look at these gorgeous blooms in downtown Roanoke. 

I’m looking forward to this month and the warmer days that are on the way. Happy Saturday everyone!

Saturday – Breathe Easy

Today was exactly the type of day I needed. It’s Saturday, and it’s the first Saturday I’ve had off since I started my new job. After a hectic week dealing with Valentine’s Day in the world of retail, I needed a day to unwind, start fresh, spend time out in nature, and simply let go.

This morning I slept in until 9 a.m., I had some homemade vegan vanilla chai pancakes, read a little bit of Make Your Own Rules Diet by Tara Stiles (loving it so far), showered, and then got ready to go on a long walk on the Greenway with Brendan. It was 70 degrees today and it felt more like mid-March instead of February.

I’ve been on a few walks through the park downtown recently, but it was so nice to get away from downtown and be more submerged in nature. Granted, there were more people around than I would have preferred, so it wasn’t as peaceful of a walk as it could have been. But it was still nice to get outside, soak up some rays from the sun, sip some homemade green juice, and just forget about all of the stress of everyday life.

Green juice: Kale, Spinach, Parsley, Cilantro, Celery, Grapefruit, Lemon, Ginger. 

We ended up walking to Black Dog Salvage in Grandin and looking around there for a little while. It was our first time going and there was so much to look at.

I want to have an area in my house like this! 
And like this – I need this space for my yoga practice. So peaceful. 


We ended up walking a little over 3 miles and it felt amazing. Even though I didn’t really work my body very hard, it felt like it was such a better workout than going to the gym. I was able to breathe in the fresh air, and listen to the sounds of nature instead of having music blasting through my ear buds. I need all of the fresh air, vitamin D, and green juice I can get these days since it seems like literally everyone is sick with either the flu or the norovirus. Why? Why do people always get so sick this time of year and just accept the fact that sickness will occur? I fight it with everything I have in me – that’s why I try to nourish my body with everything it needs to fight off any cold, flu, or virus that may come my way. But I’m getting off topic. I could go on and on about this, but I won’t (not on this post anyway).

Sculpture in the park on the Greenway. 

I felt so relaxed and rejuvenated when we got back home. I decided to do some hooping and then yoga while I was feeling all the positive vibes. The fresh air gave me an appetite for something homemade and healthy, so I had some of my left over vegan butternut squash curry and jasmine rice for dinner. Perfection.

Vegan Butternut Squash Curry.

I plan on spending the rest of this beautiful evening doing a few chores and watching a movie with my man. Four years ago today is the day Brendan told me he loved me for the first time (I said “I love you too”). I remember feeling such a rush of butterflies and excitement that night, and I just couldn’t focus on my schoolwork. He was the first guy to tell me he loved me, and I’m so thankful that I got to marry him. ❤

My love. 

Looking forward to another beautiful day off work tomorrow! Happy Saturday everyone!

The Greatest Adventure is What Lies Ahead

Happy Tuesday!

My goal for my blog this year is to post once a week, and so far I’ve missed the mark.

One of the reasons I haven’t posted on here in a while is because I’ve been busy trying to accomplish some of my new year’s goals I set for myself – two of those being getting a job and getting involved in the local community.

Within the past couple of weeks God has so graciously blessed me with a part-time job, an offer to write an article for a local magazine, and an opportunity to volunteer in my local community. How amazing is that?

Brendan and I moved to Roanoke in June last year and it has been quite the struggle looking for a job. First of all, I was a little nervous about moving to a new city and looking for a job. I wasn’t at all familiar with the area, and I knew that jobs in my field were scarce. I looked for some local writing jobs, but could never find much. I did apply for a few retail/food service jobs, but if I’m being honest, I really, REALLY didn’t want to work somewhere like that.

I tried not to be close minded, but I just genuinely didn’t feel ready to get a job and start working. Brendan was so sweet and never rushed me, or made me feel like I needed to get a job right away (I was so thankful for his full-time job and that we were able to live off of one income). But there was this part of me that felt guilty for not wanting to get a job just yet. I felt guilty for staying home and doing everyday chores like dishes, laundry, sweeping, grocery shopping, and cooking. I felt like I wasn’t doing enough to help out. And I hated when people would ask me (or ask Brendan) what I was doing and if I had a job yet.

“Yet” – I hated hearing that word. It was as if these people were thinking “What is this girl doing with her time if she doesn’t have a job?”. It made me feel belittled and useless and there were times that I cried because of it. Believe it or not, I am rarely bored, even if I’m just at home by myself – I know how to occupy my time and I don’t feel the need to constantly be planning outings with friends just to fill the void. I’m not afraid of alone time, in fact I need alone time to recharge.

But back to the whole job thing. I felt like I needed to get a job because I didn’t want people asking me about it anymore. Which is really a terrible reason to get a job. I know it may sound kind of hippie, but I just wasn’t getting the feeling that any of the jobs I applied for were the right ones for me. I wanted to trust that God had the right job out there for me, and I would just know it when I saw it. I knew some people would roll their eyes at that – I didn’t want to use that as an excuse to not get a job, but that’s honestly how I felt deep down.

And I was right. The new year was right around the corner and I had this new surge of motivation and inspiration. I was determined to find a job and get to work. Little did I know I would find that job within the first week of the year. And I knew I should pursue it because it just felt right and I wasn’t dreading it.

So, within the past couple of weeks I started a new part-time retail job at a chocolate shop (kind of ironic because I don’t really like chocolate and most all of the chocolates they sell are not vegan), I have been writing a magazine article, and I also met with a lady in charge of the community gardens in the Roanoke area and talked about areas that I can get involved in and volunteer at the gardens.

My planner went from empty to filled almost overnight, and I’m totally okay with that. I want to get involved and make a difference in community.

To be honest (I’m trying to be very honest about my feelings in this post), there was this part of me that was still holding onto the city of Lynchburg. Over the course of my 4 1/2 years of college, I came to really love the city of Lynchburg. I loved the people, the local businesses, and the familiarity of it all. But that was the problem, it had become too familiar and I was stuck in my comfort zone. When I first moved to Lynchburg I hated living there. It wasn’t until I invested myself into the community that I really grew to love and appreciate the little Lynchburg bubble. And even though I tried to deny it, I knew it was time to break free of that bubble and have a fresh start in a new city.

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Downtown Lynchburg – home to some of the cutest shops and cafes. This city will always hold a special place in my heart. 

So even though I’ve been living in Roanoke since June last year, I’m just now allowing myself to let go of Lynchburg an immerse myself in this place they call the Star City. I don’t know why I tend to resist change (sometimes unknowingly), but I’m working on not dwelling on the past. From here on, I want to really put my energy into the present and and learn to be at peace with where I’m at instead of looking back to the past. J.R.R. Tolkien once said “The greatest adventure is what lies ahead”, and I’m learning to believe that.

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Downtown Roanoke – My new home. 
Sorry for rambling on, I just had a lot of thoughts I wanted to get out and share. Have a great day! 🙂

Year in Review: 2016

This year has been a whirlwind of milestones – graduation, getting married, moving to a new city, my husband’s new job, getting a kitten, and going vegan to name a few. While these were all joyous moments for me, I had my fair share of stress and suffering. But don’t we all?

Before I go any further with my year in review, I want to say that I am so tired of hearing people say that 2016 has been a terrible year. I’ve been hearing people say they are ready to put this year in the past and never mention it again. Really? While there have been some devastatingly heartbreaking events this year, the year itself is N O T bad. I would encourage you to focus on all of the good that happened in 2016 rather than dwell on the bad. A negative attitude will get you no where and accomplish nothing in life. Don’t be fooled into thinking that things will instantly get better in the new year. Just like losing weight and getting in shape, it takes hard work and dedication to make a change. So let’s learn from the mistakes of 2016 and move forward to a more positive and uplifting 2017.

In order of events, here are some of my highlights from 2016:

  1. Getting to live with my Maw for the first half of the year – Growing up I always thought it would be fun to live with my grandmother. And it just so happened that I needed a place to live while I worked in Lynchburg and my Maw so graciously let me live with her for a year. God really blessed me during that year and I will always treasure the time I had living with Maw.15801304_1291306717575341_47967898_n
  2. Working as Editorial Assistant for Lynchburg Living and Lynchburg Business Magazines – Right at the start of the year I had the opportunity to work part-time as the Editorial Assistant for two local magazines while the Managing Editor was on maternity leave. It was a wonderful two month experience and just the right amount of work while I was also juggling wedding planning.
  3. Furthering my yoga practice – During the course of the year I completed three yoga challenges and even won a prize for the first challenge I did! These challenges helped get me into a routine and encouraged me to do yoga on the daily.
  4. Premarital counseling – Brendan and I did premarital counseling from February-May this year through Thomas Road Baptist Church. I was a little skeptical about it at first and thought it would be a bunch of mushy gushy stuff, but it turned out to be an awesome experience for the both of us. Not only did we lay it all out on the table and learn more about one another, we learned what marriage is really about that it takes a lot of faith and hard work to make a marriage great. So thankful for Pastor Jay and the time he invested into us.
  5. Bridal shower – On April 23 my Aunt Sarah threw me a wonderful Bridal shower and her new house. It was such a sweet time with friends and family and totally helped ease some of the wedding planning stress. 15820778_1291307190908627_387934203_o
  6. Bachelorette Party – My maid of honor Krista planned the sweetest and most thoughtful Bachelorette party for me on May 7. Since I’m not into the party-scene and alcohol drinking, we spent the afternoon at the cutest Irish tea shop where we had tea, finger sandwiches, and desserts. Then we went to do some pottery painting and ended the evening with dinner at Isabella’s Italian restaurant. So thankful to have that time with my girls. 15820555_1291307377575275_2008136560_o
  7. Graduation – I technically graduated from Liberty University in December 2015, but on May 14th this year I was able to attend my commencement ceremony. And the best part? I was able to be with Brendan who was also graduating. Both of our families were there and we were all able to celebrate together. It really made those 4 1/2 years of studying worth it. 15800964_1291307520908594_1669025728_n
  8. My Wedding Day ❤ – On May 21 I got to marry the love of my life and have my dream wedding! Yes there were a couple of hiccups here and there, but I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day. Even though it was calling for rain, we had some blue skies and were able to have the ceremony outside in the garden of Oak Ridge Estate, just as I had envisioned. It was a beautiful, God honoring day filled with friends and family to help us celebrate. Truly the best day of my life. 15801169_1291307894241890_1048087388_n
  9. Honeymoon in New York City – Brendan and I spent 5 glorious days in my very favorite city for our honeymoon! I’ve always known that I didn’t want to spend my honeymoon at the beach or on a cruise, and we both love cities so much that New York City just made sense. I couldn’t think of a more romantic place to spend with my love. We were able to go to the top of the Empire State Building, see The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, go to the top of the One World Trade Center, spend an afternoon in Central Park, walk the Brooklyn Bridge, etc. The only downside was that I got food poisoning on our last full day in the city and I spend the day in bed. But hey, I’m focusing on the positive here. I survived and Brendan took good care of me. What a wonderful husband. ❤ 15820129_1291307777575235_1810800617_n
  10. Moving to a new city and into our very first apartment together – On June 1st Brendan and I moved to a new city and into our very first apartment together in Roanoke. I got the downtown apartment I had been dreaming about and we had fun exploring the city this summer.15785554_1291308680908478_692262730_o
  11. Birthday Getaway to Richmond – For my birthday this year Brendan took me to Richmond for the weekend on a little getaway. While our time there was short, it was honestly one of the best birthdays I’ve had in years.
  12. Adopting Cheetah – Mom and Dad always have a lot of kittens at their house, and this summer there was a very special little orange tabby that I had my eye on. Brendan and I debated whether we should wait to get a kitten, but once we saw Cheetah I knew that we needed to bring him to live with us. Adopting Cheetah has taken a lot of adjustment, sometimes he’s downright annoying, but we are so thankful to have this little fur ball in our lives.15857231_1291309717575041_748629662_o
  13. Going Vegan – I’ve been vegetarian for 5 years now and have been feeling the pull towards veganism for quite some time now. On November 1st, World Vegan Day, I decided to go vegan for a week to see if I could do it and how my body would react. It’s now the end of December and I’m still vegan. While I’m not perfect, I want to try my very best to stay on a plant based diet and adopt an overall plant based lifestyle. Right now I’m going strong and don’t want to turn back!
  14. Traveling to Georgia – In mid November Brendan and I had the opportunity to travel to Georgia (my first time) to visit our friends Brady and Lora. Brady and Lora got married just a few days after we did and moved to Georgie in May. Brady is now the youth pastor of church in Georgia and we were able to see his ordination when we visited. What a blessing these friends are and I am so proud of everything they are doing for the Lord. 15824602_1291309580908388_645042082_o
  15. First Christmas together – And last but not least, Brendan and I were finally able to be together on Christmas as we celebrated our first Christmas as a married couple with Brendan’s family n Delaware. We had a wonderful few days spent with his family, and we were even able to bring Cheetah along with us! 15820736_1291310160908330_1489587202_o

I know for some 2016 has been a very trying year. I had my ups and down as well, but through it all God has been so good to me and my family. We have had great health and so many blessings to celebrate. My prayer for 2017 is that we would all show love and kindness to one another, treat others as we would want to be treated, and focus on all of the good and positive things in our lives. Don’t fall into a pessimistic attitude where all you can focus on is the bad and the negative in this world. Remember, we live on a fallen planet full of sinners and that’s why we all so desperately need Jesus. He is the Light of the world. Right from the start, I want to place 2017 into God’s hands and have Him strengthen me and guide me.

I will be posting my goals and intentions for the new year on the blog later this week. I would love to hear what some of your New Year’s resolutions are! 🙂

Goodbye 2016, you’ve been grand!

Until next year my lovelies ❤

Exploring the Star City and Other Things

Happy August! I have been so excited and eager to get the computer to write my weekly blog post! Brendan and I had a great weekend spent with his family who were in Virginia for a visit and I am still on a weekend high haha! Since we were hanging out with Brendan’s family on Monday, yesterday felt like the start of the week to me. I made sure I sat down yesterday to write a list of goals and healthy habits that I want to incorporate into my life this month. I’ve got a couple blog posts that are in the making and I hope to have them posted soon in addition to my weekly recaps. And speaking of recaps, let me sum up what I’ve been up to this past week. 

Wednesday July 27 – Last Wednesday I opted out of going to the gym because I had some things to get done around the apartment. I decided that an in-home workout would have to do, so I did hula hooping for cardio (yes, hooping is a thing. Look it up!) and did various leg workouts on my yoga mat. It was actually a nice change of pace to workout at home instead of at the gym. I cranked up the music and hooped my heart out 🙂 I was also able to do some meal prepping for the week and I made my homemade Cajun-spiced sweet potato veggie burgers. 

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Thursday July 28 and Friday July 29 – Besides going to the gym on Thursday and Friday, I really don’t remember what else I did on those days haha. Sometimes I feel like my days revolve around going to the gym and working out. I really worked hard this week at the gym because I knew Brendan’s family was planning on coming for a visit and I knew we would be eating out. So after I finished my workout on Friday I felt so beat and warn out. And I don’t usually get like that. I’m starting to see results though, so the exhaustion I felt this past week was worth it!

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Saturday July 30 – On Saturday morning, Brendan and I woke up early to go on a budget meeting breakfast date! Since August was right around the corner, Brendan thought it would be a good idea if we sat down together and discussed our spending this past month and look ahead and figure out what we should be spending the coming month. Brendan is great with money and budgeting (he is an accountant after all) and has really helped me understand how to handle money better. We are using the free app Every Dollar to help us keep track of our spending and to know exactly where every penny is going. Brendan is really into listening to the Dave Ramsey show and has now got me reading his book Total Money Makeover! While money can be stressful at times, Brendan and I seem to agree with how we want to spend and give our money, which is a total blessing considering money seems to be one of the biggest things couples argue about. Maybe in the future I’ll do some blog posts on how to do healthy grocery shopping on a budget. 🙂 

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Brendan had a coupon for a free Chickfila breakfast and I had a reward for a free coffee from Panera, so we decided to use our rewards and enjoy them during our meeting. I think I could get used to this being a once a month thing. 🙂 

Since I woke up earlier than normal, I was able to get a few things done around the apartment before heading to the gym. I’ve been really into children’s books and teen novels recently! Don’t ask me why, because I’m still trying to figure that out haha. Here I am, a married woman, reading the Gossip Girl series and Coraline. Maybe that’s just my way of reminiscing about my years as a teenager now that I’m an adult. Anyway, I finished reading Coraline before lunch time. I ordered the book from Amazon last October so I could read it around Halloween time. But alas, school and work got in the way and I never finished it. My brother and I loved the movie Coraline before we knew it was a book, so once I discovered there was a book I just had to read it. Overall, I’d say it was a good, creepy book with all the October vibes. 🙂 

After my workout I was completely exhausted but I still had a lot on my to-do list. So I fixed myself a nourishing dinner and rested for a bit while watching some TV before pushing forward. I ended up baking some Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread and cleaning the apartment until late that night. After all of my chores were done I was so ready for bed, but I felt satisfied and accomplished. 

Sunday July 31 – I was still tired Sunday morning when Brendan and I went to church, but I managed to make it through the morning with just one cup of coffee haha! Brendan’s mom and brother were supposed to be arriving in Roanoke around dinner time, so I thought it would be a good idea to squeeze in a quick ab workout and some cardio after lunch. 

We picked up some pizzas for dinner and then brought it back to the apartment. This was Brendan’s family’s first time visiting us since we moved to Roanoke, so it was fun getting to show them our home. 🙂 

Monday August 1 – What a great way to start the month of August! We spent all day Monday hanging out with Brendan’s mom (Ms. Judy) and his brother Kevin and exploring Downtown Roanoke. We started our day at the Virginia Museum of Transportation. Brendan has always been really into trains and was so excited when he found out we would be living near the museum. Transportation isn’t really something I’m interested in, but I do like history and seeing Brendan get excited about all of the trains was worth it to me. 🙂 I love all of the history there is in Virginia and there is still so many historical land marks and museums I haven’t visited yet! 

It was about lunch time after we finished up at the museum, so we headed to a little local burger joint called the Texas Tavern. It’s one of those little hole in the wall restaurants (when I say little, I mean it seats 10 people) that looks kind of dirty and sketchy but everybody loves. It’s like an old fashioned diner where you sit on bar stools at the counter and get to watch the cooks fix your food. This place was definitely not for me. As soon as I walked in I got slapped in the face with the stench of grease and burgers, which just turned my stomach.

When we sat down at the counter and the cook took our order, he got to me and asked what I wanted and I politely told him that I wasn’t getting anything. When he asked why, Brendan told him that I was a vegetarian. The cook said that he could fix me an egg if I didn’t eat meat (he also offered me Raisin Bran and oyster crackers), but I told him that I really didn’t eat eggs and that I was trying to incorporate more vegan foods into my diet and avoid eggs and dairy when I can. The cook stopped and stared at me and then said he felt sorry for me and told me that I should “come back” to meat eating. Really? I find it funny that people “feel sorry” for vegans and vegetarians, like I’m missing out on life or something. Um, quite the opposite. I feel bad for people that don’t know how to take care of their bodies (or don’t care to) by eating healthy. I am the healthiest I have ever been and I feel great! I actually love it when people ask me about being vegetarian and why I choose to eat the way I do though, because those questions open up the opportunity to teach others about how they can take care of their bodies.

Sorry for babbling on and on about this. Perhaps I should write a whole post on this subject! Anyway, after a little while, the cook went into the kitchen and came back out and handed me a huge white peach! I thought that was really nice of him. 🙂 Even though I didn’t like the restaurant the people were nice and Brendan and his family said the food was good.

After lunch we headed up to the Butterfly Deck which is located on top of Center in the Square in Downtown Roanoke. Brendan and I had been up there a couple weeks ago, but we wanted to show his family. The view of Roanoke from the deck is gorgeous, and there are also some cute rooftop gardens and even a small fish pond up there as well. 

We then decided to stroll the streets and visit some of the little local shops. Brendan and I have been living in Roanoke for two months now and we still haven’t really visited any of the downtown shops or local restaurants, so having his family in town was a good excuse for all of us to be tourists for the day. We visited several shops, but to be honest I really wasn’t impressed with any of them. There was one shop called Chocolatepaper that we all enjoyed. They have the neatest assortment of stationary, chocolates and little gifts for all occasions. I think I know where I’ll be doing some of my Christmas shopping this year! 

Once 4 p.m. rolled around, my feet were tired from walking around and I was in the need for a caffeine fix, so we headed to Starbucks to get a pick me up. I had been saving a Gold Card reward for a free drink, so I treated myself to a free venti iced coconut milk mocha macchiato and it was perfection. We hung out at Ms. Judy and Kevin’s hotel room while we decided on where we should eat dinner. Since it was still a bit early for dinner, Brendan suggested that we walk the Rail-Walk and also take a look at the Hotel Roanoke before going to dinner. It really was the perfect evening for a walk.

We decided to have dinner at Alejandro’s Mexican Grill in Downtown Roanoke. I got the taco salad without any meat and it was just okay. While I thought their salsa bar was pretty cool, it just didn’t compare with La Carreta in Lynchburg. After dinner we drove up to the Roanoke Star to show Ms. Judy and Kevin the beautiful view of the Star City and the surrounding mountains. 

To wrap up our day, we all went back to Brendan and my apartment to play card games. We really had a wonderful time having Brendan’s family over and showing them around our city. There are still a lot of things we want to do with Brendan’s family in the area, so we are talking about doing this again in the fall, which is actually just around the corner! 

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Tuesday August 2 – Tuesday was catch up day for me! Brendan and I did some grocery shopping before he went to work. I felt like we were almost out of everything! I stocked up on some more fruits, veggies and of course Clif Bars (which are on sale at Kroger, by the way). 🙂 Brendan also surprised me by taking me to Barnes and Noble to buy the new Harry Potter and the Cursed Child book! I was just a little excited 😀 Brendan definitely got some brownie points for that. 

And after my two days absence from the gym, it was time to get back into my normal workout routine. I guess I was still a little tired from all of the excitement over the weekend, because I didn’t feel as productive as I usually do at the gym. But hey, at least I got my workout in! 

I spent the rest of the evening watching the Olympic trials and reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. 

Wednesday August 3 – Today I decided to stay home from the gym and workout at home. It’s been such a cozy, rainy day and I’ve absolutely enjoyed it. ❤  I fixed myself an egg, toast, avocado and coffee for dinner because there’s just something about rainy evenings that make me crave breakfast food! Since I had the time, I also made a pot of vegan corn chowder for tomorrow and the rest of the week. 

And to wrap up this cozy rainy night, I’m going to watch the new episode of My Big Fat Fabulous Life, read some more of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and maybe do a bit of journaling. Have a lovely night everyone! 

 

Week in Review

This week has been good for the mind, body and spirit. I have really needed some motivation and rejuvenation, and I think I found both.

On Monday (July 11) Brendan and I went to the gym! We signed up for a gym membership last Saturday so that we could start working out together. I’ve gained a little weight since we moved and I’ve lost the muscles I had been working on before my wedding, so I really felt like I needed a fresh start for my workouts. While I actually prefer doing my own at-home workouts a lot of the times, I just wasn’t getting the results that I was looking for. For me, I’m more likely to workout if it means getting out of my apartment for a change of scenery and also because I know we are paying for our membership! I’ve been to the gym everyday this week besides Friday, and I feel great.

Friday morning (July 15) I woke up feeling super happy and I had the best nights sleep I’ve had since moving to Roanoke! Brendan took off work Friday so that we could spend the day with our friends Brady and Lora who were visiting from Georgia. Brendan and Brady have been best friends for years now and they were roommates for two years. Brady and Lora got married right after Brendan and me and then they moved to Georgia, so it’s been hard being so far away from them. But it’s so exciting to see how God is working in their lives down in Georgia.

We met Brady and Lora for lunch at La Carreta in Lynchburg. La Carreta was one of our favorite places to eat together when we were all in school, so it was kind of like old times eating there together again. 🙂

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After lunch, Brendan and I decided to head to Liberty University to walk around campus to get some vitamin D and to burn off some of the calories we consumed during lunch! It was our first time being back at Liberty (the place we met) since we got married. As we walked through the Jerry Falwell Library, where we spent countless hours studying and writing papers, I couldn’t help but think back to last fall and my very last semester of college. Under the pressure of work and school, I kept thinking how wonderful and easy things would be if I could just finish school and then get married – sometimes it felt like that time would never come. But here we were, college alumni and husband and wife walking around our college campus. It felt surreal. I never thought I’d say it, but I kind of miss Liberty and college classes! A lot of good memories were made on that campus and I wouldn’t trade those 4 1/2 years of college for anything.

We ended up getting a good walk in and sweating in the heat of the day. We kept having to take detours around all of the construction that was going on on campus (when is there NOT construction going on Liberty’s campus?). At 2:30 p.m., we met up with Brady and Lora and their friend Shannon at a local bookshop called Bookshop on the Avenue. This bookshop is one of my very favorites! The shop is basically an old house with used books from top to bottom. Definitely a haven for bibliophiles.

After we shopped for books, we went downtown to peruse the streets and cool off with some sweet treats. I got an iced coffee from The White Hart Cafe and Lora and Shannon got gelato from CAO Artisans Chocolates. We enjoyed our treats while shopping around at an antique shop and a pawn shop. The thing that I love about downtown Lynchburg is that it seems to be a thriving hub for creatives. There are so many new crafty shops and every time I turn around I feel like there is a trendy cafe or restaurant. I love the creative energy and everyone’s desire to shop local. I’m still getting to know the Roanoke area, but I feel like Roanoke is more for business people. I definitely miss Lynchburg’s talent and writing for the local magazines there.

At 4 p.m., Brendan and I met my brother Jon after he got off work. The three of us hung out for a while before grabbing a bite to eat and then heading over to the mall to meet back up with Brady and Lora. After we shopped around at the mall we all went to see Ghostbusters. The movie was actually really good – I haven’t laughed that much in a movie in a long time. 🙂 We had to say our goodbyes with Brady and Lora after the movie. 😦 They headed back to Georgia today because Brady has to be back at work on Sunday. It was bittersweet to watch them go, but Brendan and I are excited to start planning a trip to Georgia to visit them before too long.

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Jon came back to Roanoke with us to spend the night! We picked up some Talenti gelato and rented a movie from Red Box on our way back home. But before we settled in to watch a movie, we hit the streets of downtown Roanoke to take a walk (I think Brendan and Jon just wanted an excuse to keep playing Pokemon Go haha). The nightlife in downtown Roanoke is always in full swing on the weekends, and the amount of people playing Pokemon Go keeps growing with each passing day. After we all changed into our comfy clothes and pulled the sofa bed out, we fixed some gelato and watched 10 Cloverfield Lane.

This morning (July 16) we all slept in until around 10 a.m., had some breakfast and coffee and then headed out to go on a hike. Brendan and I have been wanting to hike up to the Roanoke Star since we moved here, so we figured that today would be the perfect day for it. It was also a great way to get some exercise in. Did you know that the Roanoke Star is the largest man-made star in the world?! I had no idea. I guess you learn something new everyday.

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The trail took us about an hour or so to hike – not bad at all. I really enjoyed being outdoors surrounded by the lush greenery. And I think Jon and Brendan had a blast playing Pokemon Go as we hiked. Ha!

Since I was sweaty from hiking and already in my gym clothes, I figured I might as well go to the gym to work out for an hour or so. Since I got my cardio in from our hike earlier in the day, I decided to focus on working my abs, legs and arms. I think tomorrow will be my day of rest.

I spent the rest of the evening doing some chores and just chilling. I’m currently watching Maid in Manhattan while I finish this post up. I might fix myself a bit of gelato here in a bit and do some reading for the rest of the night. I really hope this coming week will be as awesome as this past one! 🙂