Monday, March 12, 2012

Taproom and More Amazing Food

Ok so Hickory isn't my favorite place in the world. It rains all the time (seriously I feel like I am in Settle) and there isn't always exciting things going on.

But there is one thing Hickory does right... FOOD! There are tons of chain restaurants, we just got a Mellow Mushroom!

But there are also wonderful local places that everyone NEEDS to try!

1. The Olde Hickory Tap Room- come to Hickory and eat here. The food is decently priced, the beer is wonderful, atmosphere great, and the service sucks. Yes I said sucks. But everything else about it is so amazing you can look over the bad service. Get the Ruby Lager, best beer ever and I am going to miss it like crazy when we leave. Also get the Martin, Jerk chicken sandwich. So yummy!

2. Da Vinci's- Italian food at it's best. Get the Vodka pasta, it is heaven in your mouth. Also they give you bread when you sit down and I always appreciate free bread. Also there cheesecake is so tasty, especially since the whip cream on it is HOMEMADE. I have never had homemade whip cream before and when I had it I died.

3. Wild Wok- It is an Asian Bistro with some amazing prices and great sushi. You can get the "Bento Box" for $9.99 which includes an entree, rice, either spring/egg roll or salad, and a sushi roll. For ten bucks! Yes please! And on their website they have printable coupons you can use pretty much anytime.

4. China King- ok please don't judge me for this pick. It is pretty much just a chinese take out place. The kind where you can't use a debit/credit card unless you spend over $10.00. But the food is so good and so convenient. China King is where I discovered fried cheese wontons. Sorority sisters introduced me to China King and I haven't eaten there at least once a month since. I love it!

5. Cook-Out- ok this place is not specific to Hickory. It is actually a North Carolina thing. But for anyone who does not have a Cook-Out your waist line probably thanks you but you are sooooo missing out! Cook-Out Trays are the perfect late night snack or in a rush for a meal. You get a "entree" and then 2 sides plus a drink (Sweet Tea in my case, sometimes called Crack Tea) for under 5 bucks. Also their milkshakes are so delicious, 40 flavors! And you can mix flavors. I love to get peanut butter milkshake mixed with Heath bars.

6. Rita's- Again not a specific place to Hickory but it is so amazing. It opened about 3 years ago and they have italian ice and custard. They are so friendly too! And Italian Ice sounds so much more healthy than Ice-cream right?

Any places I am leaving out?
What are your favorite restaurants?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Miracles Do Happen

Ok so as I have said before I have given up shopping for lent. And let me tell you, it has been HARD!! I have been just going online and filling up shopping carts full of everything I want and then closing out the site and breathing a sigh of relief.

There is a few things helping with my shopping withdraws.

Daniel bought me a pair of shoes. The sandals on my wish list from Target! 

For Valentine's Day Daniel ordered me a pair of Toms. Well when I got them they ran a size big, so I had to send them back to exchange them :( But on a happy note I am now waiting for them to come in so it is kind of like shopping but not really.

And the biggest thing getting me through me giving up shopping for lent?? I won Ruche's Enchantment Giveaway. Which means I got a $75 gift card to use at Ruche for a post I did on their new lookbook.

Because I have no self-control I have already spent every penny of my gift card... Here's what I bought!

The Sweet Caroline Curvy Plus Dress and the Hawthorne Curvy Plus Midi Skirt. I will have to post pictures once I get them!! 

Any recent purchases you are excited about?
How is lent going for anyone that it doing it? 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Commercials can Actually be Amazing

You know when you go to the movies and how now in days not only are there previews (which I LOVE) but there are now commercials before the previews?

Yeah I hate that. I do not come to the movies to see commercials. If I wanted commercials I would sit at home on my own couch probably pantless watching tv (what? I like comfort!)

However, the last time I went to the movies there was the most amazing commercial! It was for Chipotle, which I have never eaten at but now vow to do based on their commercial. It actually made me tear up. It is such a great commercial that speaks volumes (without really speaking) about living a sustainable life.

What did you think? 
Did it move you as much as it did me or am I just a baby?
And what about Willie Nelson's version of The Scientist? AMAZING (in my opinion)

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Best Decision of My College Career

So I have talked about my time as a Teaching Fellow at LR and songs from my time in college. I guess it is time to talk about one of the best decisions I made during my time in college... joining Sigma Kappa.

Ok so I think some people are surprised that I would say that is my best decision and not marrying Daniel. But without Sigma Kappa I really don't think I would have ever even met Daniel or had the confidence to talk to him.

See, for me Sigma Kappa was more that a sorority, more than partying and amazingly supportive sisters. It really transformed me from a insecure and unsure 18 year old girl to a confident and happy 22 year old woman. Get ready for picture EXPLOSION!!

Here is the beginning of my Sigma Kappa journey.
Left- my bid day! There were 13 in my pledge class (my college is small and chapter total can only be 45)
Center- After pledge pinning (so glad I never have to wear those whites again!)
Right- my door after I accepted my bid!

This is my Little! She is the best! Along with our amazing family the Purple Penguins. I wanted her so bad as my Little Sister when she joined EK but I didn't want to bug her. Luckily she put me as her number one choice for her big. She was even one of my bridesmaids. She is amazing and one of the reasons Sigma Kappa was one of the best decisions.

And there was always a chance to get dressed up crazy and have a great time! From recruitment parties, to mixers, philanthropies.

One of my favorite memories was my sisters at my wedding and them singing to me. It really meant a lot and showed Sigma Kappa last beyond just the confines of college.

There has been so many great memories with so many great girls. Laughing, crying, fighting, and many other things we might not be able to remember. I loved my time in Sigma Kappa and really am appreciative for all the experiences I had during my time in Sigma Kappa.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Crazy things I do

I gave up shopping for lent. So from February 21st to April 8th I will not be shopping for clothes, accessories, or shoes.

This is HUGE!! For me! I am a shopaholic. I also try to make myself feel better by mentioning how I buy most things on sale or at a super bargain price. But my shopping has gotten out of hand.

I am not only giving up shopping for lent because it will help my bank account but also because I need to learn to be filled from God, not material things. I am trying to focus on the non-materialistic blessings God gives me and be more thankful for what I have.

However, with this being said I have been lusting over so many different clothing items online. In order to curb my shopping I have decided on Fridays I am going to post my wish lists.


Apparently not only am I dying to shop but I am particularly obsessed with coral/salmon color. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I read this quote earlier today and it perfectly sums up my goal for life. 

It's a Dog Eat Dog World

Daniel and I made the plunge! We got a dog puppy! We went the Humane Society of Catawba County (check out their website, they have so adorable dogs and cats for adoption!).

We went into it saying we wanted a full grown dog so we didn't have to worry about house training/training in general. We had looked at the website some but really thought seeing the dogs in person would help us make our decision.

After looking around we decided on our little Rin (they named her and we kept the name). She is 4 months old but they said she might be a couple of months older. She is a part boxer part lab mix.

Daniel is so very happy! He is the one that really wanted a dog. I am a huge animal lover but I had some reservations because I knew I would be the one home with her the most and it is added responsibility. However, now that we got her home I am in love! She is such a sweetie and has only barked a couple of times.

She is a lazy girl but every day she gets a little more active. A couple of days ago she got out of her harness and nearly gave Daniel and I a heart attack. Since then she has been deathly afraid of outside but we are working on it. 

I love her so much and cannot wait for her to get even more comfortable with us. I am so glad we have added to our little Deal Family! 

Any tips or suggestions on getting her used to outside?
Dog training or house training tips? She prefers pooping in the kitchen to outdoors, we prefer outdoors. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Playlist of My Life- Songs of College

Music has always been such a major part of my life. It has defined so much of my life and particularly college. Many many songs bring back certain memories and moments. Below is some of my top songs from college with their memories and pictures.

He was my "Friend of Honor"

I'll Stand By You (either Glee or Carrie Underwood version)

See I have this best friend and when he was going through a lot it was a song that truly spoke how I felt about him and the situation. "Nothing you confess, could make me love you less... I'll stand by you" No truer words have been spoken.

Oh so many mixers with sisters

Shots by LMFAO

A know what a typical song choice for a college kid. But there were so many memorable nights and also nights that weren't remembered that started with that song and many many shots. No matter what it will always remind me of some crazy good times and also just being young and carefree.

Weightless by All Time Low

This song has gotten me through some rough days, weeks and even months. My "first" senior year the first semester was incredibly difficult for me. I just felt like I couldn't make anyone happy. However, whenever I listened to Weightless I remembered "Maybe its not my weekend but its going to be my year".

By Your Side by Tenth Avenue North
College has been a time of growth and change for me. Part of that growth and change has been my spiritual life. I wouldn't say my relationship with God is as strong as it was before I started college. However, I feel like it is more real, raw and relevant. This song has helped remind me that no matter what the situation or how I might be feeling that God is always there. Also Daniel, Chase, and I went and saw them sing after a Hickory Crawdad's game. It was raining but they played in the parking lot under a shelter and it was just amazing to see God's power and glory even if the situation wasn't ideal.
"Why are you looking for love? Why are you still searching as if I'm not enough?" Those lines really ring true for not only my time in college but also before.

Wagon Wheel by Old Crowe Medicine Show
I know this song has been out a while but I never heard it until I came to college. I have heard it over and over again at so many different events. From Relay for Life when one of the Mr. Relay contestants sang it, to random nights driving around town. One time that sticks out the most was when I went to Germany with TF. We were in the basement of the college of Stendal listening to some of the German students singing. We had just finished a wonderful dinner and were enjoying some beers. Us American students decided to sing for the Germans and the only song we could think that just represented North Carolina the best was Wagon Wheel. It was just an amazing time. "I'm headed down south to the land of the pine. Thumbing my way into North Caroline..."

These are just a few of my favorite songs from my time in college... the list is so much longer!
What songs hold special memories for you?

Monday, February 27, 2012


Ok so I have a tendency to hide some of my favorite stores because I do not want people to either a. fall in love and wear all the cute things I do or b. buy up the things I want before I can get them.

But I just can't hide my love of Ruche! Their clothes are affordable and adorable! Another bonus because they have a curvy plus line which caters to us girls that have a little more to love. :)

They just released their newest lookbook Enchantment. Please take a look, you will fall in love with all the clothes and the styling. Great for inspiration when you are in a style rut.

One of my favorite looks from the collection is this one:

The bike! The socks! The lace! What's not to love?? I want to replicate this outfit as soon as possible. Especially the loose waves. I truly am Enchanted with Ruche's lookbook:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Almost 5 years later...

In 80 days I will be graduating from college, which is absolutely crazy in my mind! I have been in college for 5 years- that is longer than anytime I have spent at one school except elementary school!!

Naturally as the time comes closer and closer I keep thinking back to the time I have had at Lenoir-Rhyne. And let me tell you- it has been a wild ride! I have changed as a person, my goals for life has changed, my friendships have changed and pretty much nothing as turned out the way I thought it would.

So over these last few months at Lenoir-Rhyne I am going to post some different reflections about my time in college.

Today I am starting with what brought me to Lenoir-Rhyne, Teaching Fellows.

I came to LR because I wanted to be a high school history teacher and had received the Teaching Fellows scholarship. My first senior year I quit the program because I finally admitted what I had always known... I didn't want to be a teacher.

With that being said I have had some great memories through out my time in Teaching Fellows and made some amazing friends! Below are some of the experiences that stick out in my mind.

My first set of suitemates. This was from our freshmen retreat before school even started. We look so young!

Alternative Spring Break my sophomore year will forever be one of the best experiences I ever had in college. We went to Clay County Florida (right near St. Augustine) and worked with Habitat for Humanity. It really bonded the group and who doesn't feel better after helping someone? 

Right before starting my junior year I volunteered at Camp Freespirit for a week. It is a horse camp for children with disabilities. The lady was kind of crazy that owned the camp but the TFs from other schools were awesome and we had a blast. I also slept in a tent for a week which was a new experience for me!

One of the last things I did with TF was our trip to Europe after my junior year. We flew into Amsterdam and went to the Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank's house. It was such a surreal experience going to the Anne Frank home. To see the bookcase that hide where she was and her family. To walk through and think about what she went through.

We then took a bus ride into Germany and first went to Cologne. It was a beautiful city and we even went to the chocolate museum! We then went to Stendal which is a small college town that was so quaint and adorable. We stayed with German students in their lofts which was a great experience. From Stendal we went to Berlin which naturally was fascinating. Seeing the remnants of the Berlin Wall and taking pictures with it was amazing!

It was a great trip and something that would have never happened in my life if it had not been for the TF program!

Overall, the most vivid memories I have from TF is the friendships I have made and the random fun times. From Karaoke at the Christmas party to the blanket game to crazy times during seminar. It really helped to make my college experience more worthwhile!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dorky Couple Traditions

Daniel and I are sometimes that sickeningly cute couple. We try to avoid it around people (for real sitting on separate couches and not touching around others) but when it is just us to we are way vomit inducing cute.

(Please ignore my shiny face that also looks like I'm drunk- I wasn't)

One of our traditions is watching Walking Dead on Sunday Nights. I know romantic right?? For our Valentine's we spent the Sunday before V-Day watching a Walking Dead Marathon. It was amazing! We even splurged and had pizza delivered to the apartment so we could stay in our pjs all day.

Another one of our dorky traditions is every night when we get in bed and are ready to go to sleep we have a little routine. It goes something like this:

Me: "Sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite- handsome pantsome [made up word I use because it rhymes]
Daniel: "Only you, cutie booty [we really like rhyming]. Sleep well and sweet dream my dear."
Me: "Thanks sweetie. I love you more than the ocean loves the rain."
Daniel: "I love you more than the fire loves the air. Forever and always."
Me: "Without a doubt."
Daniel: "You better believe it."
Me: "I do and you should too."
Daniel: "I do!"

Feel free to gag multiple times but it is something we have done every night since we have been married. Even the one and only night we have spent apart we skyped and said it that way. 

There is also our monthly or every other month weekend trip. We have gone to Hilton Head Island, Washington DC, Boone, Greenville SC and a lot of random little day trips around the area. We definitely want to take as many trips as we can because this is a time when we don't have commitments. 

Anyway, those are some of traditions and little couplely things we do! Feel free to share anything you and your significant other might do! I love ideas!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Best Place on Earth

WASHINGTON DC!! You thought I was going to say Disney World, right? BAZINGA!

Ok so true life I forget to take pictures of important things and even when I do I forget to ever do anything with them. So 4 months later but are some pictures from of our DC adventure back in October!

I have ridden the subway in Europe when I went a couple of summers ago but I had never ridden it in the good ole' US of A. It was crazy how deep down it went. Daniel is kind of scared of heights and it freaked him out a little. No biggie.

Archie Bunkers Chair from the Museum of American History! There were so many cool pop culture items that blew my mind!

There were also really awesome political items that I was fascinated with. I thought these street signs were pretty ballin and the picture turned out nice.

We had a blast at the museums. American History was my favorite but Daniel's was definitely the Museum of Natural History. He loves animals even if it is the bones of them or dead ones stuffed.

We also enjoy posing with dead stuffed animals. Yeah we're cool like that.

So Daniel could continue his love affair with animals (I will let him have that affair, no worries) We went to the Smithsonian. Unfortunately our camera died so we didn't get a ton of pictures. But I did get one with a Panda statue. The real pandas were ADORABLE!!

DC is one of my favorite places to visit and I really hope that I end up getting into George Washington University for Graduate School so we can live there!!