Fam & Food in North Carolina – Pt. 1

Hey hey and happy Monday!! I am typing this on day 5 of 9 of my Charlotte, North Carolina trip ūüôā

My little sister goes to school near Charlotte so myself and almost the entire fam bam (we miss you, Brennan!) traveled south to visit her and watch her be the rockstar she is in tennis. I extended my trip before AND after the weekend with four vacation days and working remotely so I’ll be laptopping from her school’s library later this week! It’s a gooood life.

When I got in on Thursday, Teagan and I roamed around her beautiful campus. I visited her two years ago but it was so nice to see it all again and move after sitting on a plane. ¬†She’s a cutie!

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We met up with my parents for lunch and spent the afternoon on a patio in the sunshine. Followed by naps, of course! We made a last minute decision to go see “I Can Only Imagine“. My dad said it was the best movie he has ever seen. Agreed!! We picked up the little bro from the airport and I snoozed alllll the way back to Teagan’s apartment.

Teagan had a tennis match on Friday so we cheered her on to victory before meeting up with my sister and brother-in-law when they landed. We made another last minute decision to head to downtown Charlotte for two March Madness games!

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We snagged pizza before walking over to the Spectrum Center to see Kansas State vs. Creighton and UMBC vs. Virginia aka we watched history in the making when UMBC won! We listened to “Who let the dogs out” for our entire drive home lol.

As my family expected from me, I did my food research for fun spots to adventure to! That began on St. Patrick’s Day¬†with Reigning Donuts — theee cutest walk-up window serving hot donuts and coffee. We got a variety and I fell in love with the lemon poppy seed. A. MAZE. ING.

Teags had another match so we all cheered her on again! Afterwards, we made our way to SouthBound for a dinner of grapefruit margs, Mexican street corn and fish tacos — my dream meal!¬†We hit up a gas station for snacks and slushies to accompany our card playing to end the night.

 

We said goodbye to my parents and younger bro in the morning before trying out another donut shop – Your Mom’s Donuts. Strawberry for me and cinnamon with cream cheese frosting for Teags! We enjoyed them outside before going to Mass.

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Teagan had homework to do so my older sister and brother-in-law hopped around to 3 breweries. We went to Sugar Creek Brewing, Queen Park Social and The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery (thanks for the recs, guy who sat next to me on the plane!!). Patio weather treated us SO NICE.

 

We met up with Teags afterwards for dinner and ice cream! The dinner move was Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar — a restaurant that does burgers, sushi and burger sushi incredibly well. Teagan and I went before 2 years ago and ordered the same meal (Cheeseburgooshi) because it’s the best thing ever! We followed it up with Golden Cow Creamery for one scoop of Dunkaroos (TBT! We were fangirling and fanboying) and one scoop of peanut butter!

 

We all fell asleep watching UMBC but didn’t bring them the best of luck this time around ūüė¶ Megan, Nick and I grabbed lattes from Mugshots in the morn before they flew back home. I ordered lavender aka one of my favorite flavors to ever ever exist!

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I’m off to go run, eat lunch in the cafeteria like a college student, roam around a botanical garden and then meet up with my college roommate who goes to grad school in North Carolina! Be back in a few days for the week recap with more outdoor exploring, tennis match watching and innovative food finds!!

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Saturday Satisfaction #10

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Why hello there, holiday season!! My past week has been filled with friend lunch dates (tbt to this time last year…not much has changed!),¬†cuddling up with my siblings who are temporarily home and¬†pinning dreamy bathrooms¬†alongside the crackling Netflix fireplace. And a few more things below that have been bringing me satisfaction!

Day trips with my best friend! Ann Arbor is about a hour from my house so I’ve been going with friends a few times a year. This pal of mine made the road trip with me while she performed monologues and we sang Ariana Grande Christmas songs over and over again. I scouted out¬†Sava’s and Lab Cafe¬†on Instagram (that’s my tip – always look to Insta for real people, real-life pics, real experiences – much better than top lists and website searching). We strolled the snowy streets, explored in cozy bookstores, ate mounds of sweet potato fries, sipped on brown sugar sea salt lattes and browsed a record store!

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Hot yoga with Joe! I had two weeks off of work for the holidays (mhmm, I am blessed to work for a business that values family/friend time and rest) so I wanted to experiment with a new fitness class. I spotted a hot yoga studio with a two week special so I signed on up! It’s me with roughly six 40-50 years olds. It’s been a wonderful two weeks.

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Petal Lane letter line! I snagged this letter line for a great deal on Cyber Monday. I like the personalization of these sort of signs but got sick of seeing the black letter boards with white letters plastered all over the Internet. When I saw this gray version, I was like yessss, please and thank you!

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Evolved coconut butter cups! I grabbed this at the checkout for some movie theater snacking…and then I forgot it in my car…and then it was the best surprise ever when I found it in my car three weeks later. Coconut + dark chocolate = bliss.

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Cheese party! Every six months, I coordinate an¬†unofficial high school reunion with friends who now live all over the country and one in a different country. The theme (themes are very important) was “Oh Holey Night” aka cheese and wine annnd remarkable¬†company. Above are the ladies I am lucky to call my friends and below¬†was the spread before four more dishes arrived.

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Five getting ready songs! Sometimes, I just turn off the radio and play these tunes on repeat.

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Happy New Years Eve tomorrow!! My NYE plans = having takeout with my grandma and making this simple cocktail!

Best Tuesday Ever!!

Every time I saw a past coworker of mine, I would say, “having the best Tuesday (or whatever day it may have been) ever?!” He proceeded to reply, “Kerigan, I have never had a good Tuesday. Who has good Tuesdays?”

Woooah, excuse me? I was literally saddened for him because he didn’t know the extraordinariness that each day holds. He waited for the weekend to have his “best day ever”. I suppose many do that but no, not I. Never ever I.

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Maybe it’s because of Yelp-dates that made me fall in love with using weekdays to go on adventures with friends. I’m thinking so. In addition to a not-your-typical definition of health, that internship has given me one of my favorite little delights that now transforms my weeks into continual bliss: weekday plans.

For roughly eight months, I’ve made it a priority to not wait around for the weekend to make good memories.¬†I’m naturally a planner so when I have an open slot in my schedule, I aim to use spend that time with as many friends or fam members as I can. It was initially an internship obligation but now, I can’t imagine my life without Tuesday night plans.

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Weekday fun allows me to stay connected with so many different friends and especially, that one on one time that I value so much. It gives me a concrete thing to look forward to and my weeks no longer seem to lag. Although absolutely nothing is wrong with it, I am thankful that watching tv is not appealing to me. Give me allllll the face time after a full day of work, please!

Last week was happy hour, youth group, ice cream and a volunteer function. This week, it’s dinner, bible study, a speaker event and seeing my little cousin steal the show in a musical. This isn’t including my weekends where I saw and am going to see endless more beautiful faces. Good golly, I love the weekdays. Bonus points if I’m on heelys. Duhhhh.

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I¬†easily say “best Tuesday ever” just as much as “best Saturday ever”. I hope you do too.¬†Oh and that former coworker ended up being the one to initiate “best Tuesday ever!” in no time. It’s contagious, I suppose!

Saturday Satisfaction #9

Last night, I was at a concert of sorts. A tribute band for The Rolling Stones ended the parking lot party night with “Satisfaction”. That caused flashbacks to my first Saturday Satisfaction post 27 months ago hahahHA.

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So here’s a roundup of current satisfaction in my life! Thank you most dearly,¬†Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, and Ian Stewart. And last night’s cover band.

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EMPLOYMENT! I’ve been working since I was 15 but this is my first post-grad gig that is getting my career rolling. Two days after my most recent post where I was in the ‘what’s coming next for me because I’m clueless and life is changing a mile a minute’ mindset, I accepted a job! I’m working for a public relations agency that specializes in the food, beverage and restaurant scene so it’s theeee most perfect fit for my skills and interests. I practically dropped my phone yesterday when I received emails from very well known national publications that I now work with. CRAZINESS.

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This music video. And that song.¬†I still make CDs for my car about once a month. People make fun of me for not adapting to newer technology but there’s just something so charming about hearing a CD load in my car! In addition to Thomas Rhett, Demi Lovato and Rend Collective, I’ve been listening to (and watching) alllll the Johnnyswim.¬†They’re one crazy talented married couple and it’s a tough task to not smile while watching them interact.

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Pumpkin Almond Butter Bars.¬†If you make one pumpkin recipe this fall season, let it be this!! But don’t limit yourself because I’ve been getting a second pumpkin serving from¬†these muffins and they’re straight from heaven. Whenever I bite into the PAB bars during the months of September/ October/November, I think, ‘whyyyohwhy do I not make these year-round?’.

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This podcast episode.¬†(Apologies to everyone I’ve ever been in a Bible study with because I know I talk about Father Mike too too much hehe). This recorded homily will renew all sorts of vibrancy within you and change your outlook on how you see every single human being you encounter…scouts honor!!…I think that means, “I promise”? I listened to it while getting ready yesterday morning and literally quoted him when I was at a bar last night. His messages and the ease of application to daily life are flawless!!

 

 

Friends.¬†I just love ’em and am undeserving of so many amazing people in my life. My favorite part about moving (and now, staying!!) home is undoubtedly reconnecting with faces I haven’t seen since Merry Slabmas. Aka the holiday I made up in order to have a bunch of high school friends over during the Christmas season. Tip 1: invent your own holidays. Tip 2: invite people and watch their excitement reach new heights. Works like a charm!¬†

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This camo jacket.¬†I’ve been crushing hard on this. And that only intensified when I spotted Amanda from Jonnyswim wearing a similar one in the pic above. Swoooon.

I hope this Saturday is the best Saturday of your life!! xoxo

180.

My life has taken a 180.

In the past week, I had plenty o’ life chats, a phone call with my college advisor, updated my uncle in the grocery store checkout line, filled in my best friend’s parents in the light fixture aisle of a hardware store and had a past internship supervisor laughing at my unpredictable life (see the convo below). Accompanied by scrolling through job postings, browsing apartment rates in another city if I were to move and interviewing with a PR agency on Friday when I was sitting in chemistry class four days prior.

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The plan was in place for me to pursue dietetics in graduate school and I was on track. But that plan is crumbled up and drop kicked into the past. Byyyye! My textbooks and goggles are on a shelf I can’t reach in my closet. Any takers? They’re all yours!

There were many factors in changing up my career goals. To sum it up concisely, I was not following my natural skills, the social and financial sacrifices of five more years of school were no bueno, I don’t want to talk about food all day every day and¬†my intuition was telling me to run back into the arms of public relations. So that’s what I did. That’s what I’m doing. And I thank God that I have a degree in this field.

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Nutrition (including perfectly balanced macronutrient charcuterie boards with this girl!)¬†is very much so still an interest of mine.¬†As excited as I was to potentially have my own private practice to counsel people, I’m a-OK that this is no longer a possibility.¬†I¬†don’t foresee my philosophy on food as I shared in this,¬†this¬†and this post changing. Neither do I plan to stop¬†reading blogs, books and¬†research to gain more knowledge, listening to insightful podcasts from credentialed folks and volunteering in this space.

However, this interest is just a single item on my list of not nutrition hyper-focused hobbies. Like taking walks with friends, third wheeling with my favorite couple at a baseball game, reading about living creatively (this book is PHENOMENAL!!), jumping on the trampoline with the kids I babysit and editing my cousin’s business plan…entrepreneurship gets me all kinds of excited! Far more than honeycrisp apples that are back in season and any other anti-inflammatory foods that are merely a means to get you living your best life.

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The past year that I spent preparing myself for dietetics was a grand one! I’m content that I gave that field a shot so that I don’t regret neglecting to attempt it for the rest of my life. I am also grateful to now know a whole lotttt more about the human body in response to how it is treated. Not just so I can take care of myself better but so that I can approach others’ shared remarks, pasts and current struggles with compassion.

I don’t know what position I’ll be adding to my LinkedIn next. Nor do I know where I’ll geographically be in three months. I am absolutely loving this unknown because God has been planning it all along. Ha. Times 180.