I Cried Over That English Ivy

The rain held off this weekend and I thought "awesome, another day to work in the yard!" So Saturday morning I was up and at Lowe's before 10am (who. am. i.) buying the remainder of the rose bushes I want to put in front of the house. I have this very specific picture in my imagination of what I want the yard to look like. I came home ready to knock it all out and that's where the day took a turn.
I decided to use the lawnmower to clean up the leaves in the yard, because raking took way too much time and effort. Of course, I forgot how much of a pain in the butt my lawnmower is. It was free, so I can't complain, but I'm going to anyways. It's not actually propelled. That part of the lawnmower doesn't work, I have to physically push it. Guys. I fell down trying to push the lawnmower. 

Once I finished with the leaves, I moved on to clearing the spot for one more of my rose bushes. I know I talked about the ivy last week, I could write a book on trying to get rid of that stuff. I *thought* that it was being held at bay, that it wasn't growing back where the pine straw was. Then I pulled a vine and it pulled up all of the pine straw up to the driveway. I was so frustrated, I really did start crying. 

I keep telling myself that this yard thing is a work in progress, that it will be better the more I work at it, that all of the hard work is building to something. It's just very frustrating to spend six hours working in the yard and for it to honestly be at that stage where it's a bigger mess before it gets clean. I'm going to keep on truckin' mostly because I don't want it to stay in the state of disaster it is in right now. Do you have any yard suggestions? 

Five For Friday!

WE MADE IT GUYS. This week was a long one, I really wasn't sure we would make it to Friday. It was one of those weeks when Tuesday felt like Thursday and you just couldn't catch up. I wish that today was Saturday though, because it's supposed to be sunny and 80 degrees today, but rain tomorrow. Can I just get a sunny Saturday please? 
1// Hot. Yoga. Y'all. yesterday I took a FIVE THIRTY AM hot yoga class at be yoga. It kicked my butt, but it was awesome at the same time. My core is still sore today. Remember that time I did 30 days at the barre?! I don't think I could do 30 straight days of this, but I think I might stick to once a week or something...

2// We're getting SO CLOSE to Beauty and the Beast. I'm seriously considering buying this shirt to wear to the premiere. I need everyone's input please. It looks so soft and comfy! But also I'm allegedly an adult, so does that make it a frivolous purchase?

3//Wanderlust. I subscribe to all of those travel deal e-mails and it's killing me. I want to buy one of the trips that are on flash sale and just jump on a plane. I confess, I enter all of the sweepstakes that they tease me with too. I know the odds of winning are about the same as winning the actual lottery, but you can't win if you don't play, right? Turns out heavy planning for Ireland & Scotland next summer isn't tiding me over. Have you been anywhere exciting lately? Can I go with you next time?

4// House of pups. I've been dog sitting this week, so there are more dogs in the house than humans. I mean, there's just Albus & Little Bear, but still. Albus was so stressed out about a dog being in his house while he was in his crate, that I've been letting him stay outside of the crate. We're 2 for 2 on days out of the crate without destroying anything, so hopefully we make it a perfect three for three today.
A post shared by Albus Decker (@albusdpup) on

5// Kroger. Flowers. I bought the manager's special daisies on Super Bowl Sunday, they're STILL pretty in their little vases all around the house. I don't know if we've ever talked about my obsession with daisies, but they're my absolute favorite flower ever. They just make a room so happy and bright and I just love them. Not that I'm too picky about any flowers that are beautiful, but feel free to make it a drinking game every time my instagram features them. I think this one yesterday makes at least three since I brought them home...
What were the highlights of your week? Do you have your Beauty & the Beast tickets yet? 

HAPPY National Margarita Day!

Let's start this out by saying I certainly don't need a day to drink margaritas, but I'm definitely using it as an excuse to talk about them today! I consider myself a bit of a connoisseur of margaritas, so I thought we'd talk about some of my favorite places to get a margarita. 

Obviously, my favorite place for margaritas is going to be my back porch. Maybe tied with poolside somewhere. Here's my go to margarita recipe. Simple, straightforward, nothing fancy. NOW let's talk fancy though. 
This. This margarita is from Chantico Burrito on the Marietta Square. This place is awesome. This was their summer margarita that hung over into fall a little bit. It was a peach puree and some spicy salt and oh my goodness was it delicious. They make all of their margarita stuff fresh, nothing leftover or mass produced. Even their house margaritas are all made fresh, no big batch sitting up on the back of the bar. 
Los Magueys is up in Paulding county by my dad's house. It's your typical little neighborhood Mexican restaurant, which is why it's delicious. They also have a pretty heavy pour when it comes to the tequila, which really is the way to my heart, if we're being honest. Plus. They have this dish called the Maguey Special which is rice drowning in cheese dip with shrimp and chicken or pork. YUM.
Last, but not least, we have El Taco in the Virginia Highlands. El Taco is a fun little place, they have a salsa bar, tasty food, and a fun little giveaway where everyone gets tokens and they spin a wheel at the top of the hour for prizes like free queso. They do make their house margaritas in a large batch, but the pitchers are super affordable and delicious

What are your favorite margaritas? Any favorites in the Atlanta area that I missed? Anyone craving a margarita at 8:30 am now? 

A Work In Progress

If I have learned one thing owning a house, it's that nothing is ever finished. There's alway something that needs to be done. For example, I don't have anything on the walls in the master bedroom. I have a painting sitting on the ground that has been waiting to be put up since I moved in. We won't talk about the cloffice that is currently the room for things with no home yet. Right now, we're going to talk about the yard. 

First of all, yard work is not for the weak of heart.  The girl who lived in the house before me is a florist, so I thought awesome, I bet there are lots of great plants and after whatever she takes with her, the beds will have great bones for me to build on. I. Was. Wrong. The whole front bed was full of English Ivy. I don't know if you have any experience getting rid of that, but if so I feel all of your pain. 
I MEAN LOOK AT THAT. When I first moved in, I spent an entire day pulling that shit up. We took a CHAINSAW. We hooked it to my step-dad's truck with chain and pulled it away. It was awful. We managed to get most of it, discovering potted plants and decorative step stones and all sorts of treasures. Also, please note the Rose of Sharon back there taking the life out of that hemlock tree. 
After an entire day of pulling and chainsawing we managed to get it to look like this. I'll have you know, that no matter how concentrated the Roundup was, it didn't do anything. I still have nightmares about that stuff growing into my house and trapping me forever. Anyways, over the summer I put out about a million bales of pinestraw, hoping that would at least cover a little bit of it. 
Then, if we're being honest, I completely pretended the problem didn't exist for about six months. This past weekend I decided I wanted to get the yard under control before the spring really got rockin' and rolling. Of course I had to pull all of the leaves and nonsense out of this bed and the one on the other side of the house (ps. if raking leaves doesn't give me Victoria Secret model abs, nothing will) I pulled some more of the ivy up, planted a rose bush, some bulbs, and made plans for a few more rose bushes the next time I go to Lowes or Home Depot. That took a WHOLE DAY. You know why? Because there was more`ivy to be pulled. I cannot. 
I know in a few weeks this will be full of color, so I just have to hold on for a little while longer. Do you have any gardening tips for me? A cure for English Ivy perhaps?

Albus: 8 Month Pupdate

So, yesterday, Albus turned EIGHT MONTHS OLD. It's crazy because he was born the day before I closed on my house, which means today I've officially been a homeowner for 8 months. When we hit July 17th, this will officially be the longest time I've lived in the same place since I moved out for college. Just putting that one out there. 
ANYWAYS. So Albus is eight months old now. He's currently in a phase where he wants to attack any and all fluff. His favorite activity is fetch, but we've discovered the hard way that the ball will go through the fence if you throw it just right. So we're waiting on more balls from Amazon. (ps. if you're a chuckit person, definitely get the balls from Amazon. They're easily half price of anywhere I've seen them in stores.) In the meantime, he's on a mission to cover the house in fluff. Mean mom that I am, I stopped buying toys with fluff in them. Now he's defluffed his bed. 
We're slowly working on him being home alone outside of the crate, but usually when I let him stay out of the crate, I find him in the crate anyways. You know, it's his safe space. He's a digger though, so I don't know if we'll ever get to the point where I leave him the option of the backyard. 
He's also, finally, found a brand of food that he likes that's available more places than Tractor Supply. It's a little more expensive than the tractor supply food, but I can have it delivered fo'free with Amazon or pick it up at PetSmart which is NOT forty five minutes away. Now, if we could just master the loose leash walking we would be golden! 
Do you have any pup training tricks? Anything fun planned for this weekend? I'll be spending the entire weekend in the yard trying to make it look like the cover of a Southern Living magazine....

It's Called Vicious Trollop

Okay so I didn't have anything clever to title this post and I'm watching Gilmore Girls, so there you go. I have a DVR that's about 65% full and instead I just watch reruns of Gilmore Girls on a channel where they edit out "damn" and "hell." SPEAKING OF, is it too late to do a recap of all of my feelings on the revival? It's probably coming soon. Anyways 

Since I'm still working on , I thought I'd go through some of my recent DSLR shots and share those instead! I'm still working on the whole teach yourself to be a great photographer with youtube videos adventure. So here are some fun snaps I've taken lately. 
For my birthday I had a bonfire complete with a S'mores bar, that I was very proud of if we're being for real for real. I mulled apple cider and sausage balls and didn't burn the house down. It came close a couple of times though... Obviously we were having too much fun roasting marshmallows (ps, those telescoping things are probably meant for hot dogs, but they were so clutch for marshmallows too!) that I didn't get many pictures after that. 
Now I really want s'mores. I'm toting my camera all of the places these days, so there might be more posts like this in the future.... What have you been capturing lately? 

To My Fellow Atlanta Fans

It took me an entire day to process Sunday night's game. I honestly think I was heartsick. I preemptively took Monday off, which was a very solid decision because I wouldn't have been any good at work. Side note: why is the Monday after the Super Bowl not a holiday? Or why not have the Super Bowl on a Saturday? 
I started Sunday full of hope and nerves. This team has been different this year, no one thought they could do it, and they were out to make a statement. Then Matt Ryan won the MVP and it all started to feel real. This could really be our year. Our chance to escape, if just for a few moments, the "most miserable sports city in America" title being the only one we manage to win.

This was going to be the year we weren't one and done if we actually made the playoffs. The year we could maybe forget about the infield fly in deep left field. just kidding, we'll never get over that one. It was our year to prove people wrong about our level of fandom and support for our teams. It was about so much more than the Lombardi trophy to us. 

I think that's what really makes it hurt all the way down to my toes. The first half of that game held so much promise, then we were going to get the ball back after halftime. It was really happening. All we had to do was maintain a 19 point lead. That's it. As a lifelong Atlanta and UGA fan, blowing the second half the way we did was nothing new. I wish it was something surprising and out of character. Maybe that would have dulled the pain. 

I'm sure we will be back, maybe sooner rather than later, but it doesn't make this loss sting any less. I definitely don't want to hear it from people who come from winning cities. People expect us to blow it, they talk down at us as a fan base. We're hard to get pumped to play against. No one ever thinks that we're good enough to make it to the big game. We just wanted to prove the world wrong.

So we close out the 2016 NFL season with our mantra of there's always next year. I think that maybe those were my first words. There's always next year. Maybe that's the year we get it together and hold on to that lead. But pitchers & catchers report in 6 days, so maybe this will be the year for the Braves instead. 

Atlanta, we love you. We always will. 

Five Things That Changed With a Puppy

Listen, before I piss of any moms out there, I realize that a puppy is not the same thing as a baby. HOWEVER, I have noticed a lot of similarities between this little monster and the hilarious stories people tell about their toddlers. So I think it makes complete sense that people get puppies before they decide to have babies. Albus has so much freaking personality, sometimes I can't handle it.

1. Everything is a chew toy. I subscribe the little monster to BarkBox but his favorite things to chew on are: my hair, empty water bottles, bras, the ChuckIt, the buttons on our throw pillows, my comforter, really just anything he's not supposed to play with, he wants to play with it.

2. Priorities change. I don't know if this is going to be true for everyone, but man I feel some kind of guilt if I do something after work that the pup can't come to. If I know I'm going to have to work late or have to go somewhere he's not allowed to go, I take him to daycare. You read that right, he goes to doggy daycare.

3. Sleeping in? Dream on. I keep waiting for Albus to adopt mom's sleep schedule, but here we are, 6 months in, and he still wants to get up at 5:30 am every morning. He lets me know it's time to get up by jumping up on the bed & laying directly on my head. It's a great tactic, because it's really hard to go back to sleep when you can't breathe..

4. Hair. Everywhere. First of all, as a human, I shed constantly. Like, every shower I think "yep. this is it, this is the day I go bald." COMBINE that with tiny little dog hair everywhere? I am constantly covered in dog hair. I already have lint rollers everywhere, but it's a constant battle.

5. Coming home is the best. Y'all. It doesn't matter if I have been gone for five minutes or four hours, he is SO EXCITED to see me. Like OMG MOM YOU HAVE BEEN GONE FOREVER I THOUGHT YOU WOULD NEVER BE BACK! It's a really fantastic feeling.

Do you have a little monster? I promise that's a term of endearment, most of the time.