50 before 30

I am a goal-setter through and through. I love making lists, I love checking things off my list, and I’m a big believer in little by little progress that adds up.

That being said – this list seems a bit inevitable.



Wedding Wednesday #1

Today I’m going to share one of my first “big” wedding events we did – wedding dress shopping! We went in December, and I can’t believe it’s been a almost a year since I picked my dress.

I was so lucky to have all my bridesmaids, my mom, and my step mom all at my bridal appointment. I know the first rule of wedding dress shopping is “don’t bring a posse,” but I knew they would all be supportive and it wouldn’t be an overwhelming experience!

Side note: I can’t believe how long my hair was when I tried my dresses on!


Our “mini-moon” trip

First of all – We’re married!

I can’t believe after a year and a half of planning the day has come and gone. I have a million thoughts about my big day (seriously, it was perfect) but to sum it up: being married is the best. 

We got our wedding photos yesterday – they are amazing and I’m sure I will post a ton, once I am done swooning over them 🙂

Here’s a few pictures from our “mini-moon.” Omar’s a teacher and is right smack-dab in the middle of his school year, so going on a big trip was out of the question. Instead we took a small trip to Tennessee for a few days. In February, he has a week off and we are going on our official honeymoon, which is a cruise. All-in-all I think it will work out for the best – we were so exhausted for a few days after the wedding, so I’m glad we were able to take that time and relax without the pressure of being out of the country.


On the way to Tennessee, at the NC/TN border!


We ended up running to a Kroger when we got into town to cook. The cabin we stayed in had a full kitchen, so we decided to cook as much as possible, that way we could a) relax as much as we want and b) wouldn’t have to spend as much money. This is from our dinner the first night on the patio of the cabin.


Monday we woke up and spend the morning lounging. Then we went to Gatlinburg. Our first stop was Smokey Mountain Brewery, where we sampled beers and got an awesome cheese and sausage platter.


After that, we played mini-golf (which neither one of us have done since we were kids! It was so fun!), and walked around the shops. We also stopped for some ice cream 🙂


Monday night we ate dinner at the Melting Pot. It was our one big outing and it was SO good.


Tuesday, I started coming down with what I’m calling the cold of the century (seriously, it’s been two weeks and I am still sick) so we decided to take it easy. Originally, we were going to go hiking in the national park, but we decided to drive around instead. We stopped at one of the visitors centers, which had a museum and movie you could watch, and then drove around and stopped at some of the overlooks.

We had such a good time, even though I was getting sick. Omar and I, in the past, haven’t really been able to travel just the two of us. Even though we were only able to sneak away for a few days, it was the best!

life lately

I have been so bad about updating this blog! We are 15 days away from the wedding, and with finalizing a million details, I’ve just not had the time.

But! A lot of stuff has been going on.

I had the most amazing bridal shower brunch last weekend. My maid of honor and bridesmaids did so amazing and everyone made me feel so loved. I have a million photos, but here’s some of the decorations from the big day:


Seriously, it was beautiful! And my maid of honor and one of my bridesmaids made almost all of that food (except the chicken minis). I was seriously blown away.

My dress was from Rent the Runway and I LOVED it. I seriously wanted to buy it after wearing it haha.

As far as wedding planning goes, we are so close to being done and the date is almost here. I can’t believe it.

Here’s what we have left:

  • pay our florist (we can’t do that until September 28)
  • write our vows
  • one DIY project (and the only one we are doing haha)
  • buy a few last minute decorations
  • buy alcohol

And that’s it! We’ve already got our wedding license, so once this list is done, we just have to show up 🙂

I also recently volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House in Durham with my company. I’m so lucky to work with a company that actually pays us to volunteer. If you are in the Raleigh/Durham area, the RMH has so many volunteer opportunities for groups and individuals.

We ended up spending the afternoon baking cookies and brownies for the residents, and it was so fun! We even had a kid sneak in for a taste-test. Here’s our final product:


We had such a good time!


Happy Friday!

final wedding checklist

We are around 40 days until the wedding! I can’t believe how fast the time has gone by. I still feel like there’s a millions things to do though.


(this was us getting our marriage license a few weeks ago! i actually cried of excitement)

Here’s the running list of the final wedding plans we have to coordinate:

Send rehearsal dinner invites: they are ordered and on the way to us, but we still need to send them. We also need to finalize the menu for the rehearsal dinner.

Order alcohol:  We are able to purchase our own alcohol, but we still haven’t bought any. One of Omar’s coworker’s husband makes beer and he is making us this amazing lavender beer, so we will have that. But we still need to buy wine, champagne and other beer options

Finalize buying decorations: We’ve got a plan for this worked out with the venue, but some things still have to be purchased.

Order Omar’s gift: Same with this, I know what I’m going to get, I just actually have to order it.  

Write vows: We are writing our own vows! We also wrote our ceremony. The ceremony is complete and sent to the venue, but we still need to write our vows.

Wedding programs: This has been a bit of a torn in the side for me, I can’t find one I like!

Track missing RSVPs:  Our RSVPs were due yesterday, and we are still missing about 30, so we have to track those down. I have a list of who I am missing, so I’m hoping to divide that up among family and conquer it.

Finalize venue packet and send to venue: Our venue gave us this huge packet to go through to get our preferences on everything (which has been SO helpful!). But it’s due by August 30, and we are still working on it.


Those are all the big things left! We have smaller things, like payments due, etc., but for the most part, we are so close to being done!


Asheville Bachelorette Weekend

This past weekend was my bachelorette party and I had the best time.

Everything (other than the fact we were going to Asheville) was a surprise for me. I had no idea what to expect, by my expectations were completely exceeded!

We got to Asheville late Thursday night. That’s when I also found out the theme of the weekend: Beyonce.

One thing I wish I did was get more photos of the decorations – they were the BEST.


We stayed in the cutest Airbnb right outside of Asheville. Thursday night we hung out at the house, soaked in the jacuzzi and had a few drinks. We also did the lingerie shower Thursday night.

Friday morning we woke up and went to Another Broken Egg Cafe. It’s one of my favorite breakfast places in Raleigh, so I was excited to see they had one in Asheville with a minimum wait (we were a party of 6, so I was expecting to wait a while everywhere we went – we had luck on our side because the wait was not long at all!)

After that, we went back to the Airbnb. We got ready and headed into Asheville.

Friday night, we started at the Asheville Retrocade. It’s pretty much an arcade with a bar – it was a ton of fun! For a cover fee, you can play all of the games for free, which I loved. We have a similar concept in Raleigh, but you have to pay per game.


After the Retrocade, we went to one of my favorite restaurants in Asheville – Papas and Beer. 

Then we had a scavenger hunt in downtown. We broke into two teams and had to get photos doing various things (photos with another bride, photos with someone who looked like the groom, etc.) It was a ton of fun! We went out dancing for a bit, but it was getting late and so we headed back home.

Saturday, we woke up and cooked breakfast (well, Julie and Alura did). We got ready and headed downtown. We were about to go on the Pubcycle, but realized that we were all kind of hungry, so we made a quick decision to stop in at the City Bakery. It was so good! None of us had ever eaten there or knew anything about it, so we definitely lucked out. I got the Avogoddess sandwich and it was amazing.

After we stopped in to eat, we ran quickly over to Wicked Weed to grab growlers for the Pubcycle. We took the 40 minute Pubcycle tour through downtown, which was a ton of fun!


After the Pubcycle, we walked back over to Wicked Weed. 


After being at Wicked Weed for a while, we were hungry again (we love to eat). We were going to stop at a restaurant near Wicked Weed, but as we were walking in, someone stopped us and told us we were better off going to White Duck Tacos. We listened, and it ended up being a great idea. The tacos were amazing! I got a Steak and Cheese taco. We also got the chips and queso and the salsa trio. They were all delicious!

Then we stopped into French Broad Chocolate Lounge quickly to sample some chocolates (I got the liquid dark chocolate!), and headed over to Well Played.

We weren’t originally planning on going to Well Played, but our tour guide on the Pubcycle mentioned it and we decided to check it out. They have a ton of games you can play, as well as food and drinks. It was so much fun! We played Cards Against Humanity, and a new game we had never hear of: Funemployed. It was recommended to us by an employee at Well Played and it was so much fun!

After that we headed back to the Airbnb for the night to hang out, and then Sunday came and it was time to go home. Here’s some random photos from the weekend:


We all had so much fun, we are hoping to make a girls trip a yearly tradition!

I was so blown away by how much thought and work my bridesmaids (and bridesman!) put into my bachelorette party. I almost cried a few times about it over the weekend.

Our go-to favorite meals

weeknight meals

It’s no secret that Omar and I love to cook. We cook pretty much every night (for a multitude of reasons – it’s cheaper, it’s fun for us, and it’s way healthier).

Here’s some of our go-to meals recently. We both like meals that are somewhat simple, and are easy to make, but still taste great, so those are big requirements for us. We also only eat meat with dinner a couple of nights a week, so that’s why quite a few of these are meat-free!

Also, we take leftovers as lunch for the next day, so all of these recipes make plenty for two meals for two people!

  1. Healthy Tuscan Soup Vegetable Soup  – this is a great soup even in the summer! We make it all the time.
  2. Gnocchi with Bacon and Brussel Sprouts – you really can’t go wrong with any of the Trader Joe recipes, but this one is our favorite so far. We use regular bacon instead of turkey bacon.
  3. Easy Lemon Garlic Pasta – I recently made this for the first time, and Omar and I both loved it! It will definitely be a repeat meal.
  4. Garden Veggie Tortellini Pasta Salad – almost every time we’ve grilled this summer, we’ve made this pasta salad. It is SO good.


What are some of your favorite recipes?