South Carolina Snoozin’

Last Tuesday started my latest and most relaxing adventure. Jay and I drove to Aiken, SC to relax and spend some time together outside of the city.

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We arrived at the cutest Air B&B cottage house at the Happy Earth Farm. The cottage is located on a working farm near Augusta, GA. The sky was so clear at night that we were able to sit on the porch and look at the stars. We cooked all of our meals in the tiny kitchen and simply enjoy each other’s company. It was a perfect 36 hours sleeping, walking around the farm, and spending time together.

Wednesday evening, we drove into the 20 minutes into Augusta to see one of our favorite bands, JohnnySwim. The concert was quite possibly the best I’ve ever been to. The venue was small and intimate. We were so close that we could feel the energy from the musicians and the crowd. It was an amazing show and I’m so glad that I got to experience it.

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The short trip was relaxing and so much fun. I cannot recommend this small cottage enough to anyone who needs a few days away to refresh themselves.

We drove back Thursday and had a busy weekend in Atlanta. We cleaned our new apartment and started moving in a few books and dishes, I worked, and got my monthly allergy shots, boo. Saturday, we celebrated a big day… which I will blog about later ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sunday, we went tubing on the Chattahoochee River, locals call it “Shooting the Hooch.” It was such a fun summer day enjoying the water, sunshine, and friends. Here is a picture of me and my friend, Charyse, on the river:

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Next week is another long adventure that I cannot wait for! I will be a bridesmaid in one of my best friend’s weddings! I’m so excited to share in this day with her and her (future) husband!

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Perhaps to hate concerts. Perhaps you love farms. You do you, boo.

Best,

michelle.

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The Texas Diary pt. 2

Last Friday started my latest adventure back to Texas.

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This time I went to Houston to spend time with my oldest friend from childhood, Amanda. Amanda and I met in 6th grade when we were in the same youth group at church. We were pretty much inseparable all the way through high school. Since then we’ve celebrated holidays, graduations, weddings, and overall just grown up together.

She is a wonderful friend so when she invited me to her baby shower in Houston on Saturday, I could not say no. The celebration was full of delicious food, lots of “oh cute”, and bunches of love. I am so fortunate to have had such a kind, generous, and intelligent friend to grow up with. Even though I’m a few stages behind her in life (not married, not pregnant) I still feel as if she and I never run out of things to talk and laugh about. Thank you for the invite and letting me stay with you all weekend, Amanda!

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Sunday was another day full of fun when Amanda’s brother-in-law (VP of Marketing for the Astros) invited us to use his seats and attend an Astros baseball game. It was a total blast from the past. I haven’t been to an Astros game since my dad took us to opening day (back when it was Enron Field). Fun Fact: My dad was a project manager on the original construction of the stadium so we got the first looks when it was brand new… a long time ago. Anyway, Amanda’s BIL surprised us by bringing his World Series ring from 2017. It was huge and surprisingly heavy!

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Sunday evening we watched the live action version of The Jungle Book (better than expected) and ate sausage and brisket Amanda’s dad prepared. It was DELICIOUS!!! (Thank you Mr. Willie!!) Monday morning rolled around and I boarded my flight back to Atlanta with a long layover in DFW.

Not so fun adventure: Last week when I was in Colorado my phone battery was having issues charging and the battery kept dying. I thought it was user error or the charging cord shorting out. Well… I was incorrect. My phone was taking its last breaths of life. It officially died and decided it would no longer turn on after Friday evening (super convenient). *palm to face* Anyway, it’s been replaced but I’m sorry to people whom I had plans with in Houston and was not able to contact you! Next time!

Perhaps you love baby showers. Perhaps you hate them. You do you, boo.

Best,

michelle.

 

 

 

California Dreamin’

This blog is long overdue. I was in California the first week of June to attend Jay’s cousin’s wedding in LA.

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Jay and I arrived to LAX late on Tuesday evening. We took a Lyft to the cutest rental home in Redondo Beach. Redondo Beach is a good 45 minutes from downtown LA but it was the perfect place to stay since the wedding reception took place there. Soon after arriving I realized that I’d left my phone in the Lyft…oops. Luckily, Find My iPhone helped me to identify where it was and the Lyft driver was kind enough to return it to me the next day.

Wednesday morning we woke up early and headed to Disneyland! We spent the entire day riding rides, eating, and watching the shows. It was truly magical. Unfortunately, I didn’t take many photos since my phone hadn’t been returned to me yet but we did get one in front of the castle!

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Thursday, we drove with some of Jay’s extended family to Temecula, CA. We went wine tasting at the cutest place called Wilson Creek Winery & Vineyard.ย Jay and I got lucky because a member of the winery gave us free tickets for tasting. (Thank you, stranger!) The afternoon was beautiful and the wine was great. I loved walking through the vineyard and spending time in the sunshine.

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Thursday evening Jay and I took a trip to Griffith Observatory in LA. I love space and science. I’ve been obsessed with the stars for as long as I can remember. At Griffith, we looked through their telescope to see Venus and 4 of its moons. Afterward we walked around the museum and explored the exhibits.

Afterward we drove to House of Pies which is a famous restaurant where greats like The Beatles went to eat while in LA. We got 4 different kinds of pies. No lie, the pecan pie was the best pie I’ve ever eaten in my entire life and I’ve eaten a lot of pie. Friday morning we went paddle boarding before the rehearsal dinner. I got super sunburnt cause I didn’t reapply sunscreen, oops. Note: I’ll do a blog on kinds of reef safe sunscreen soon ๐Ÿ˜‰

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The rehearsal dinner was in San Pedro, CA at Neil’s Pasta & Seafood Grill.ย It was delicious and such a fun evening. We ate, drank, and cut up. Here is a pic of Jay and I at the dinner.ย IMG_7866.JPG

The wedding was Saturday afternoon in San Pedro, CA at Mary Star of The Sea Catholic Church. It was a beautiful church and a sweet intimate ceremony. Afterward the wedding party and families went The Portofino Hotel and Marina to take pictures and attend the reception. We ate, drank, and danced. And danced. And danced. It was a fantastic evening full of love and fun. I am so incredibly grateful to Adam & Alex for inviting me to their wedding and festivities. I had the best time.

Sunday, we flew back home to Atlanta exhausted, sunburnt, and happy.

Perhaps you hate California, perhaps you don’t. You do you, boo.

Best,

michelle.

Colorado’s Calling

Last Saturday I flew to Colorado to celebrate the life of my late Grandfather.

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My grandpa George was my superhero growing up and his death has been extremely hard to handle. Fortunately, I have a wonderful and loving family whom I was able to mourn with over the past week. Here is a picture of some of us hanging out and visiting at my aunt and uncle’s home in Glenwood Springs, CO.

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The ceremony-of-life took place on Sunday. The funeral was full of joy and sorrow. Each of my aunts, my cousins, my mother, and myself stud up individually and told stories and memories from the life of our father/grandfather. Here is a picture of me while I shared.

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Lastly, my cousins and I sang Lean On Me together. We are a crazy musical family. All of us either played an instrument in band and/or sung in choir while in school. Many years of piano and voice lessons paid off when the six of us threw together Lean On Me (the day of) to sing for the ceremony. This musical number reminded me of my eldest cousin’s wedding a few years ago. The DJ was super surprised when my entire family hit the dance floor within seconds of the first song starting. He remarked that he had never seen anyone do that at a reception, typically it takes a few songs for people to “warm up” to the dance floor. Not this family! We love music and we love to dance. Here is a picture of us singing. I would post a video but…

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All in all, the funeral was a great way to remember my grandfather. The ceremony lasted the whole day and left us all emotionally and physically exhausted. The next morning, Monday, we woke up early to bury his and my grandmother’s ashes in Basalt, CO. Everyone said a few words, prayers, and last goodbyes. I’m so glad we got a beautiful morning to do this. God truly blessed us with good weather to say goodbye for a final time. A few days after this, wildfires tore threw the town.

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Monday afternoon my parents, sister, and I drove to Frisco, CO to have lunch with my dad’s sister, aunt Lynn. It was so great to catch up with her and spend time hearing about her business, Harmony Interiors. Monday evening all the cousins spent time at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park riding rides and laughing together. Even though I’ve visited the park many times, each year they add a new ride or attraction so its been fun to see the park grow over the years. Here is a, not so flattering, picture of my cousin Chandler and me on a ride being blown by the wind.

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On Tuesday my uncle Ken made me breakfast (THANK YOU UNCLE KEN!!), we said our goodbyes, and I flew back to Atlanta. The next day, Wednesday, was the 4th of July which I spent working out, working, and celebrating American independence with my ATL besties. Thursday was spent working out, working, and signing a lease on a new apartment! Over the next month I’ll be transitioning and moving slowly into a new complex. I will blog about the new apartment later. I need lots of advise on decoration and furniture deals. ๐Ÿ˜‰

For now, the adventure continues. Today, Friday, I am about to head back to Texas to attend the baby shower of one of my oldest and dearest friends, Amanda. For those of you asking, the job hunt also continues. I had an interview last week that I’m still waiting to hear from. *fingers crossed*

Thanks for following my adventures, or not. You do you, boo.

Best,

michelle.

 

Tennessee Time

I arrived home from Texas for a week of “regular” life in Atlanta. I threw a pool party where 18 people showed up, attended two going away parties, went dancing with girlfriends, got allergy shots, played Risk for hours, worked out, and worked 8 hour shifts at Dick’s each day. Needless to say, it was a busy 9 days but sleeping in my own bed each night was fantastic.

This week’s itinerary consisted of a trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. On Tuesday morning, Jay and I left for the four hour road trip. We drove through north Georgia, western North Carolina, and through the Great Smokey Mountains National Forest.ย If you have never driven through these mountains, do it. It is beautiful!

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The house we stayed in was a HUGE cabin in the woods. It had 10 bedrooms, 18 queen beds, 4 full baths, and 2 half baths. It also had a full size video/arcade games, two decks, a hot tub, movie theatre room, and a pool table. There are pictures in the hyperlink above, it was a very neat place. It also was big enough to fit the 25 people who called it home this week. Being with family daily was so fun. We ate dinner together each night at long cafeteria tables then sat on the porch drinking and chatting till late in the evening. Each night at 9:30 we watched the fireworks atย Dollywood from the deck. Yes, it was as dreamy as it sounds. I didn’t take many pictures during our time in Tennessee because I was trying to be as present as possible. However, on Thursday Jay and I went hiking through the National Park to Laurel Falls.

 

Friday we drove back and attended the Lea Michele and Darren Criss concert in Atlanta. It was a great show, if you have a chance to attend, I highly recommended it! Today, I fly to Denver to spend a few days with my family to celebrate the life of my grandfather and put him and my grandmother to rest.

Signing off but… you do you, boo.

Best,

michelle.

The Texas Diary

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Life post graduation has been quite busy. I’ve been doing a lot of traveling and job hunting. Last week I went to California to attend my boyfriend’s cousin’s wedding. I was so much fun! It was also jam packed so I’ll try to blog about that trip in the future.

This week I went home to visit my family and friends in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. I arrived late Thursday night and was thrilled to see my parents. Friday morning rolled around and I did what I always do when I visit my parents, I do my bible study and eat breakfast on the outdoor couch by the pool. Heaven right?!

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The rest of the day was spent in the pool swimming, reading, and listening to podcasts. I even managed to get my daily workouts in using the bands and balls I pack when I travel. Additionally, my mom has a legit elliptical that I took advantage of each day I was home. Every day was similar to this one: swim, read, workout, rinse and repeat.

It has been a major blessing to be home. On Friday, my dad, sister, and I spent the evening watching the NASCAR truck races at Texas Motor Speedway. Saturday morning I got my nails done, bought my Texas Starbucks BEEN THERE SERIES Mug and celebrated my dad’s birthday and Father’s Day by having lunch, opening presents, and eating cake poolside. That night, my dad and I returned to the track to watch the Indy Car races. It was a perfect weekend, even though I got a wicked sunburn.

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Each night this week I have been able to visit friends who live in the North Texas area. I am so fortunate to have such loving, smart, beautiful, and successful women in my life. Thank you: Yumna, Sarah, Jennifer, Mesa, and Taylor. I love each of you with all my heart and I’m blessed to have gotten to meet your babies, see your new homes, share meals, and catch up with each of you.

I can not explain how much love, laugher, and sunshine I have received this week. Tomorrow it’s back to Atlanta. Back to applying for jobs. Back to trying to find a new place to live come August.

Peace out. You do you, boo.

Best,

michelle.

 

 

 

 

What to replace?

Hello friends, sorry this post is WAY overdue but past month and a half have been insane. I finally: defended my thesis, finished all my classes, finished up my work at CDC, interviewed for jobs, continued working my side-hustle at Dick’s Sporting Goods, and graduated. It’s been crazy but I’m back! I’ll try to recap a bit of my last few weeks of school at another time but for now, I’m still recovering. ๐Ÿ™‚

Since finishing school I’ve been catching up on life things and “spring” cleaning. I’ve been replacing a lot of things in my home that I tend to forget about. I compiled a list of these things just in case you too need a reminder to replace them:

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  1. Your toothbrush.

According to the American Dental Association you should switch out your toothbrush every three months. I used to only switch mine out every six months after a teeth cleaning, oops.

  1. Your shower curtain liner.

There is no hard and fast rule on this but generally if you have a plastic one, you should replace it when it looks cloudy. If you have a cloth one, it is recommended that you wash it once a month. Not going to lie, the one I had in my bathroom had been there for two years, ew.

  1. Your loofa.

I found one person that said you should replace your loofa everyone to two months. I have gotten around this by running my loofa through a wash cycle on the upper rack of my dishwasher every few weeks. However, after a few washes, it tends to melt and fall apart.

  1. Your hairbrush.

I had the same hairbrush for about 8 years. Yes, 8 years. I never stopped to think about how much bacteria must be sitting in that brush waiting to be returned to my scalp… Advice for the long-haired folks out there, replace it.

  1. Your razor head.

This is an easy one. As soon as it gets dull, you get a new one. Unfortunately, this is expensive but necessary. To all the ladies (and gents) on the “shave your face” train, I’m right there with you. I’ll post about it one day (no it does not promote hair growth) but for now, I advise you to use a different razor on your face then the rest of your body. Just think about all of the bacteria that gathers on your razor… you want that on your face? No, no thank you.

  1. Kitchen sponge.

One source said that kitchen sponges should be replaced every few days! I get around this by also putting them on the top rack of the dishwasher and running them through a cycle.

Funny story, my grandfather once saw that you can kill bacteria on your sponges by putting them in the microwave. He had a metal sponge… you can only imagine how that turned out. Moral of the story: yes, the microwave can kill bacteria but please don’t put metal in your microwave.ย 

  1. Your air filters.

Read the filter directions, they need to be replaced every 3 to 6 months according to the brand and kind. Mine was WAY overdue.

  1. Your mattress and pillows.

I personally have not replaced my pillows or mattress recently because it is a bit expensive but FYI if you have a cheap polyester pillow, like me, you should be replacing them every 6 to 8 months. If you have nicer foam or structured pillows they can last up to 3 years. Your mattress should be replaced every 10 years. I have a good 8 years on this one, thank goodness.

Let me know if you have any other ideas!

Perhaps you love bacteria? Perhaps you don’t care? You do you, boo.

Best,

michelle.