Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Perfect Cup of Coffee

For as long as I can remember, my father has always been a devout consumer of coffee. The smell was captivating, and in a sense, comforting; a reminder of my paternal guardian.

My first, convincing, taste came in college. I can't recall if it was an act of desperation for academic survival during those late nights or a curiosity as to what this drink was that lured in the rest of campus. 

I tried it. I liked it. I'm hooked. 

Then I married my husband, the connoisseur of tastes. He is always searching for ways to "broaden my tastebud horizon," as he puts it. Since then, I've tried a variety of coffee concoctions:

black coffee (more or less a weight loss technique)
cuban coffee
coffee with "coffee milk"; the European, superior, equivalent to cream
flavored coffee 
clover coffee
drip coffee
percolated coffee
French press
instant coffee 
iced coffee

None of this brings me the same level of enjoyment as my simple drip coffee with a touch of cream brought to me by the Keith kitchen. 

What is your perfect cup of coffee? 

Also, how was your Christmas? I hope it was filled with joy, family, and friends.

Some fun new things I was gifted: 

Some new trinkets for my charm bracelet herehere and here.

New dining room chairs very similar to these.

A new read: The Paris Wife

Anthropologie gift card during my birthday month: yes, please!

Beautiful sweater

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Magic

Do you remember Christmas as a child? These are some of my most cherished memories.

The decorating began when my father took my sister, brother and me to a Christmas tree farm in upstate New York. By that time in December snow usually covered the ground, so we adorned paralyzing snow suits and waddled our way up a hill to hunt down the most geometric Christmas tree. My siblings and I would stand by while our Papa sawed down our prize. Sleds were our vehicle of choice as we descended the hill and Mom would greet us with hot chocolate and fresh clothes upon our return home.

As Christmas drew nearer, the anticipation seemed impossible to contain. I remember peeking through the stair railings with my brother to watch my parents place the presents under the tree. It was around that time we discovered Santa's fictional roots.

Often times Chad and I discuss how different Christmas becomes with every year we "grow up". Sometimes I miss the magical memories. Sometimes. Most times I am excited for the years to come. This Christmas with Chad and Koda. Christmases to come with small feet pattering about. I look forward to watching the magic in others' eyes.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Life Lately

I love savoring this Christmas season with my love. As I type this, childhood carols play in the background while the lighted Christmas tree keeps me company.

Today, Chad and I accomplished some much needed gift shopping. We were even able to score several pretty sizable sales. Of course I couldn't pass on 40% off a pair of mustard Seychelles. 

Meanwhile, here is what I've been up to over the past couple of weeks.

Our good friends, Aaron and Renee, welcomed sweet baby Judson Bauer Strauch into this world. I fell in love at first sight. He is nothing short of precious.

Thanksgiving day was spent among Keith family. That is always a special treat. This year was even more special when I stumbled upon this photo of my father in law. I love his smile!

Emily and Cameron Keith with their baby pug, Satchmo.

Our two boys left early, so CSD advisory lunch at Brickhouse was just us girls. I was okay with that. :)

Koda is already in Christmas spirit.

I conquered the last bit of a fever at Christmas in Davidson. Highlight of the night: petting zoo, complete with this baby goat. I'm a fan.

I spent last night accompanying my sweet friend, Erika, at the NoDa All Arts Market. Erika makes homemade organic soaps, lip balm, hand lotion, and sugar scrubs. You can find her on Etsy: Gwynne Gardens.

Lastly, my Saturday morning began my most favorite way: FaceTime with my nephew Jack. 

Until next time,


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Listen here...

This weekend I began my Christmas shopping. It may only entail a few items thus far, perhaps one for myself too, but it's a start.

The mall, festively decorated in trees, garland and lights, only perpetuated my itching holiday spirit. I wandered into Pottery Barn, marveling at the variety of rustic, bright and shiny ornaments. For a moment I reminisced of Christmas in New York, blanketed with snow, until I heard a woman's southern twang declare, "Heavens to Betsy!" and was reminded I was in the south.

"Heavens to Betsy"- an expression of mild surprise- is just one of the many southern expressions I have become acquainted with since moving to North Carolina over five years ago. Here are a few others.

Cut the lights - A request to either turn off, or on, the lights. It's interchangeability lends to its popularity.

Fix me some dinner - "Fix" can be used to substitute cook, bake, or general make, as in a sandwich.
I'm fixin' to - Here, "fixin" is used to imply that the speaker is about to do something.

Bless your heart - An expression of sympathy or pity; oftentimes an acceptable substitution for whatever you would say that triggers a mother's "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

Get up with - To meet or get together with someone; "I'm getting up with Johnny later."

Appreciate it - Although "appreciate" isn't limited to the south, the preceding expression is used interchangeably-and quite commonly-with "thank you".

hush puppies - Not necessarily a phrase, but a side item of fried cornmeal that comes with food like fries. I'm a fan.

Piddlin' - Similar to "messing", as in "He spent all his time piddlin' about, he didn't finish his homework."

Ya'll - A phrase I've grown accustomed to using as it is much shorter than "you guys".

Hankerin' - Meaning a desire, as in "I have a hankerin' for apple pie."

Good night! - My favorite expression of surprise used by my father-in-law. This phrase was validated when Scotty from American Idol used it on stage (more than once).

It's over yonder - It's over there

What are some southern phrases you know and love?

Sunday, November 11, 2012


This week was jam packed with activity, and I loved it. I'm extremely thankful for the family, friends, and life I live. I am truly blessed.

(My apologies to instagram followers for the repetition.)

I hope you exercised your right to vote. This was pre-vote, but I thought I'd sport some patriotism until my sticker was earned. Thank a veteran today for the freedom to vote.

Lauren, one of my AP students, with her HeLA cell inspired nature piece. I love a girl who enjoys literature.

This cake belongs to Courtney who conquered baking (and styling) for an assignment that forced her to go beyond her comfort zone. Isn't this thing owlsome? 

My midweek pick-me-up was a dinner and (free) show with friend Erika. We enjoyed chicken and dumplings at Dish in Plaza Midwood and then traveled uptown to Blumenthal Performing Arts Center to enjoy the first show in the Broadway Lights Series: Jekyll and Hyde the musical.

The week wrapped up...
Thursday: with a invigorating Bible study with friends Michaela and Luke
Friday: breakfast for dinner and board games with friends-what's better than some good old fashioned board game competition?
Saturday: antiquing and date night with Chad

Wishing you a great start to your coming week. Another full week coming up. I'll be sure to take more pictures and keep you posted on the happenings.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


So a month has gone by since my last post. Yikes! Here's a bit of what I've been up to.

A fabulous rustic and romantic fall wedding. Best wishes to Rachel and Joey

Falling in love with my new job.

Sunday morning fun with the kids of Splash at River Church Charlotte

A surprise trip home to New York to savor autumn in the north, good food, kitten love, family and their relics.

Busy, busy October has flown by, and it's hard to believe November is already here. Although I haven't yet broken out the decor, I am looking forward to all things holidays.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Hey guys. Thanks for staying faithful and checking in. Pardon the appearance as I work to make the blog more visually inviting for, hopefully, a long time to come. 

Much love...


Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy Monday, Sailors!

Here is to a great, full week of fun happenings! Some highlights:

Amelie's for some baby shower planning. Sneak preview below

Charlotte One to hear some of the greatest musicians around 

Breathe, eat dinner with my love.

Some more sweatin' it up AND
small group with some of my favorite people on the planet


Renee's baby shower!

What are your plans for the week?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Speed check

I had coffee with a friend today. Actually, it was an iced chai latte with skim milk (see previous post), but you get the point. Chai was sipped, sun was soaked up (until it got too warm and we surrendered to AC), and conversation was shared. Honestly, it was one of the most relaxing, yet rewarding, things I've done in a while.

I think God is urging me to slow down and appreciate where I am, what I am doing, and who I am with. In doing so, life seems a bit sweeter.

Slow down and buy a friend some coffee.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"...and step..."

Step aerobics, kickboxing, kickboxing with weights, squats, lunges, abs, planks, and other unidentified, yet organized forms of punishment conducted in a high school gym is what I have recently been spending our disposable income on. Yes, I have been working out. The tenth grade history teacher, by day, happens to be the owner, manager, and enforcer of Sandy's House of Torture, by Tuesday and Thursday afternoon.

It's been a long time-junior year in college, to be exact-since I've committed to a regular workout routine. Admittedly, my body does not look like it did during the days when I dreaded soccer two-a-days during the worst of August. For this reason, and the fact that I am terrified of post-baby body some day in the not-so-near future, I am now happily active.

What motivates you to get, or stay, active?

photo from

Monday, September 17, 2012

They're here!

 It didn't take long to get me excited! I have been compulsively tracking my package of Warby Parker samples since last week and am so glad they arrived today; in a sleek black box no less. As promised, here are the glasses on. Feedback much appreciated (and enjoy the bathroom tour).


*My favorite so far, I think.

They messed up my request and forgot the Sims (sigh). These were the "mistakes"

*These look nearly identical to my chewed pair. I want the Sims ;(


*Gve me your thoughts, too boxy?


*I think these accentuate my already loooong oval head...and not in a good way.


*I feel a bit librarian meets cat woman...?


Sunday, September 16, 2012

One Hope

It has been such a blessing to watch the talents of River Church's worship band come together to bring praise to our Lord. I may be a little biased, but they're pretty awesome; especially that electric guitar player (my hubby). 

On Tuesday, you will be able to take this band's talents with you wherever you are! Deep Water Worship is releasing their inaugural album, One Hope, (a live one to boot) on iTunes. Here's a little sampling of what you can expect.

Autumn's Approaching

My fall wreath is up, folks! I'm ready for Autumn, apple picking, pumpkin carving, thick scarves, cozy sweaters, and hot tea on cold nights.

wreath made by my sister-in-law Emily Keith