January 15, 2017

Sautéed Shredded Brussel Sprouts from Barefoot Contessa Cooking for Jeffrey

This weekend was spent taking everything off of the walls and packing boxes that I don't want the movers to pack and move.  We have to be out of the apartment on Tuesday, so it was also 'fridge clean out weekend and getting clever with meals!

DIY Card Holder  |  Boxwood Wreath  |  Ribbon (Michael's)  |  Oversized Clock (Magnolia Market)

While clearing the shelves in my bookcase, I pulled Cooking for Jeffrey off and began thumbing through all of the recipes I had flagged previously.  I came across Sautéed Shredded Brussel Sprouts (page 160) and knew this recipe was how I was going to use up the brussel sprouts in the refrigerator. It was very simple and fast to prepare.  Believe it or not, I don't own a food processor, so I roughly chopped the brussel sprouts.

I accompanied the brussel sprouts with a roasted sweet potato.  A quick and healthy vegetarian lunch for the win!
Ok, now back to packing...

January 7, 2017

We're Moving!

At the beginning of September, Mike's job temporarily transferred him from north Jersey to Albany.  We were back to being long distance again- indefinitely.  [For my new readers, we had been dating in Richmond for five months when he took a new position with his company and was training in Atlanta, Albany and NJ over the course of eight months before we moved to NJ in April 2015.]  With Mike living 2.5 hours north, life got crazy, as you probably noticed with my lack of posts.  Weekends this past fall were spent marathon training, trips to the Albany area house hunting, visiting Mike's parents (further west of Albany), and a quick trip home to Richmond for my nephew's birth (oh and a half marathon 6 days after the NYC marathon!)  And if that wasn't enough, I took on a seasonal position with Williams Sonoma so my weeknights wouldn't be spent home alone in a town where we only know two people.

After four months, it is no longer temporary.  He accepted the relocation offer in November and we're under contract on our first house!  House hunting was a lot more stressful than either of us expected.  Right away, we found the perfect little home for us- a cape style with a stone fireplace and great architectural details.  It offered so much potential (cue our inner Chip and Joanna.)  We viewed it with our realtor, made an offer and got outbid.  That hit hard as I had already moved in in my head- removing a few walls, gutting the bathroom and had a gorgeous renovation plan for the kitchen.

Four offers (and 2 months) later, we now will have a place to make our home if all goes well.  Comparing this house to the ones we didn't get, it was worth the wait and heartbreak.  The floor plan, property and backyard are our favorites, but we did compromise on location- it's further from Mike's job.  Once we close, I will share pictures :)

I can't wait to document our renovation journey.  I will absolutely be writing a home renovation series and sharing before and afters!  We're eager to begin the updates and can't wait to see the end results.

We have to be out of our apartment next week and will be in limbo for 3 weeks until we can move into the house.  New Jersey will always have a special place in my heart.  This is where Mike and I shared our first home (pictures below); where we were a 40 minute train ride into NYC; where we ran our first race together; where I trained for the NYC Marathon and met new runner friends; where I advanced my career (which thankfully I will be able to keep after we move); and where we made memories with family and friends who visited.

Cranford, NJ with our apartment complex in the background.

Moving in day, April 7, 2015 after a 5 hour drive from Richmond, VA

The day our couches arrived! (PB Comfort Roll Arm)

Spring 2015

Our bedroom set up on move in day.  I didn't do any decorating in here but we did eventually get nightstands.

I plan to do the same subway tile shower surround in our new bathrooms but without the mosaic tiles.

I'll close with some fun little things I noted during our time in New Jersey :)

What you need to know about New Jersey, from a Southerner's perspective:
  • Delis - The BEST sandwiches I've had here are the ones from the delis.  Good old NJ/NY deli sandwiches.
  • Pizza - You're committing a sin if you order from a chain pizza place.
  • Traffic - Merging is a nightmare, blinkers are optional, and the speed limit may as well not even exist.
  • There are diners in every town and they are AMAZING.
  • Tolls. You better have an EZ-Pass!
  • Paying to go on the beach. Seriously. But I have to say, NJ has some of the cleanest beaches I've been to.
  • Pork Roll vs. Taylor Ham