About Me

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I am a happily married new mom who loves exploring, creating new adventures and loving on my sweet daughter. I am a K-2 teacher who is now staying at home with my little one! Welcome as I explore all things a part of my sweet city love!
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Organization Station!

It's true - sometimes the smallest of purchases can make such a big impact.  I was returning a much to red table runner and had all intentions to walk away with the money and not buy anything else.  Whhhhy is it never that easy?? Well, as expected, that all changed when I found an orange scarf.  Ohhh, I've been wanting one ever since seeing this cute scarf on Pinterest:

All these visions of great fall outfits with a pop or orange were fluttering through my mind!

So the orange scarf was a must.  Now I'll just walk to the register....

But - ohhhh, look at all these bright colored planners! 

I've been looking for a planner that will take me into the land of organization.  One that fits nicely into my bag and not only gives me a month at-a-glance but also has a two page spread of each week.  That's not too detailed a wish list, right??   I was looking though these Lilly Pulitzer planners and check, check, check ALL my needs were met.  I was sold.  Plus, look at how cute it is! (I think I should have used the flash...)

It even has a cute page of stickers to add to fun dates.  I've already added a cupcake for C's birthday, a green and red martini for Christmas, and a wedding cake for an upcoming wedding.  LOVE!

Each month is so colorful and has such a creative quote.  October's "Make like a leaf and show your colors!" Ok...I'll be wearing my orange scarf :)

Colorful tabs and great pictures on the month and weekly calendars.  It just all makes me smile!

Yesterday when I was in driving school ALL day (oops...do not speed and "going with the flow of traffic" while smiling doesn't get you out of a ticket), I was able to write down birthdays, weddings and all important school dates.  I used a pretty purple pen and used a few stickers.  I felt like I was a little kid again.  And I loved it.

With all the changes coming up in my life (I'll be able to reveal tomorrow!), I can't wait to use this planner every day to keep track of the millions of little details that will soon become my life.  It was such a small purchase but is already having a big impact.  Not only does it have every detail of a planner I was looking for, the colors and design makes me want to use it and keep it looking great!  

And, in case you were wondering - National Pink Day is June 23 and the Kentucky Derby is May 5.  

Thanks, Lilly :)



Thanks y'all who left the sweetest comments about my big decision coming up.  After talking to family and friends, I have made my decision to accept the challenge :) I think it led to a night of tossing and turning and some slight anxiety, but I am confident in it and so excited! I can't quite divulge about the details of my new adventure yet but will VERY soon!

We had a fabulous weekend at a black tie gala on Friday and got to catch up with some great friends.  A night of wining, dining and dancing led to a very slow Saturday :)  A perfect Saturday in fact to lounge on our back deck with a pumpkin spice latte, our Kindles (The Hunger Games book 3...yes!) and Charlie.
See...doesn't it look so nice??

The only teensy weensy problem is that our backyard is not so pleasant. We have discovered our blood is made of 100% sugar and we seem to attract every single mosquito in Virginia.

Week after week, it goes something like this:
Powering up my kindle, taking in our backyard scenery: "Wow, I love our backyard.  Why don't we come out here more often?"

"And look, I don't see a single mosquito! Maybe they're all gone now.  We should use the firepit tonight!"

Sip, sip of my drink. AHHHHH, oww and WHACK.  First mosquito sighting, first mosquito bite. "it's ok,  I don't see any others."

Whack, whack, whack "That's it! I'm going in!"

This time, we lasted 4 minutes.  It takes about a week until we forget about the mosquitos again and venture back to our deck only to become mosquito food once again.

So then we bought this:

Our very own mosquito net! We unzip it, climb in and watch the mosquitos whack into it as they try to attack.  It's amazing.  Unsightly, ridiculous, impossible to build a firepit inside (for risk of death...),  challenging to crawl inside BUT completely 100% mosquito free.

The really cute, newly purchased teal umbrella, white adirondack chairs and newly built deck do not matter.  The monster net held down my bricks is our only source of backyard survival.  We even ran off Verizon as they came running out from behind our garage slapping at their arms and itching their legs (maybe that's why they let our dog out and left our cable off for 3 weeks post Irene...mosquito revenge!).  Behind the garage appears to be moisture free...so where are these suckers breeding???

I think it's time we called The Mosquito Squad.

Until then, we will be sprinting for the net, hoping to make it in time!



"Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities.  Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning."
- Gloria Steinem

I have a really big decision to make...
by Monday morning.  

Sometimes things come into your life when you least expect them to.  
Do you grab the opportunity or shy away from the challenge?
I'm about to take a leap of imagination, a venture into a whole new world of possibilities.
A turn not completely away from my dream but a sidestep back to a familiar world that I do love because plans have changed a bit 
(don't they always??).  
I'm going with the flow.  Trying to think hard and really trying to listen to my every thought.  
I'm excited and nervous for this decision to be made.  
It won't rock my world completely but it will change my life for the next 10 months.  Am I ready?

I need to decide.


Pillow talk

So excited for some new readers!! I am so glad to have you here at Sweet City Love!

We were graciously given two club chairs that are slipcovered in a white damask with a pink braided rope trim. I do think at one time the pink trim was red but thankfully sun fade worked in our favor!  They fit perfectly in our den and we really like their size.  One day I'll probably replace the entire slipcover, but for now I am just looking to spruce them up with new pillow covers!  

Here are the chairs (grainy iPad photo...sorry!):

Pillows can be so expensive!! I tend to flock to Pottery Barn for pillows because I love their colors and they tend to work really well with the colors in our house.  Plus, I can try them without having to pay for shipping and then return them if I don't love.  

However, I'm not looking to pay $40 each for a pillow slipcover this time around.  I can't sew so I set off looking for someone who can :) I found this great Etsy shop called The Lacey Placey and she sells pillow covers in fabrics I love!  

To set the stage, our den is a soft blueish color and is connected to our living room that is a shade of buttercream.

Here are my ideas:

I'm leaning towards the navy but also think the black would look great.  The pink and the chair trim might be a little too much...but I LOVE the chevron!

After perusing Lacey Placey for awhile, I now want new pillow slipcovers for our sofa as well!! It's a quick $15 makeover and might be nice to have a new palate for Fall.  I'm loving the grey and yellow! Thoughts on the colors?? 
Ohh, maybe I can work the chevron in on my sofa...yes!

Some inspiration:

Design makes me nervous! Following "trends" makes me even more nervous.  I tend to get incredibly indecisive when it comes to making a final design decision! I must get a second opinion, then I typically walk away, hem and haw and then only buy what I love and hope it works.  French country, soft colors, simplicity. I think that's my style...but is it ok to not really know?!

Keeping it really simple: I want my home to be inviting, to feel lived in and loved.  

Now it's time to choose a few new pillows...


What I'm Loving Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday!! I love linking up with Jaime at This Kind of Love
It makes Wednesday oh so sweet :)

1. I'm loving all my favorite fall shows are coming back on this week!! Most specifically...

Modern Family and Survivor!!  I am a recent convert back to Survivor...it's simply the best.  The competition, the design of the events, the interaction between the survivors....muah :)

2. I'm loving these striped rugs I found this week on Ballard Designs.  I want to buy one so badly for our house but just have no where to put it. sigh.  

3. I'm loving that I got to pick up my pottery today from a local pottery studio.  Painting pottery is no child's play...this craft is hard work! No pictures of it but I love my ring holder and jack-o-lantern votive holder :)

4. I'm loving that Charlie is being so super snuggly today.  I think he senses the rain coming in!

5. I'm loving my Pinterest finds this week!

My newest love...I'm in search for an animal print rug in our dining room!

6. I'm loving that our first shipment of Napa Valley wine is coming this week!! We joined a wine club while in Napa this summer and are SO excited for our first two bottles to arrive.

7. I'm loving that I entered my first giveaway! I love these earrings and Ashley's cute blog :)

Happy Wednesday!!


Coffee & Enchiladas!

I did it!!! This weekend I had not one but TWO pumpkin spice lattes (skinny, no whip...wow I sound like a professional).  I never drink coffee.  I don't like the bitter taste while drinking, the strong aftertaste that lingers nor do I really enjoy the smell.  The odd thing about it all is that I want to like coffee.  I want to wake up, brew a cup, snuggle with the iPad paper, and sip my way into a great day.  C loves coffee...black and strong.  We even special order his favorite coffee from a local company in California (I mean when you find something you love, why not?!).  He offers me a cup every single morning.  I always smile and say "nah, not today."  He keeps asking because he knows one day I'll say yes.

Well, I did say yes this weekend. I found a drink that I enjoyed!! It wasn't the smoothest going down, I didn't gulp the latte and lick my lips for more, but I kind of liked it.  It tasted and smelled like fall and that feeling I loved.  The sprinkle of cinnamon on top made it a stand out winner! I'm still far from being a coffee drinker but I made a small step for man and one giant leap for me...all while in a Starbucks this weekend :)

My weekend of treats continues...

As a welcome home dinner for C yesterday, I made the most delicious Chicken Enchiladas.  I am no whiz in the kitchen and compared to my mom and sister I'm just a cooking toddler, but I can basically follow a recipe.  Courtesy of the cooking blog Annie's Eats I made these:

Not even joking, they actually looked like this when they came out of the oven.  Incredibly, they also tasted amazing!! The only thing I changed about her recipe is that I used rotisserie chicken (skin off) instead of cooking the chicken in the sauce.  Also, out of nervousness, I used 1 1/2 jalepenos instead of 2.  It still had a little kick but was definitely not too spicy.

I am SO glad I made these last night.  We both l-o-v-e mexican and could alternate it with pizza most nights of our lives and be perfectly happy.  They reminded us of restaurant enchiladas and had an incredibly flavorful sauce. We have a bunch leftover, too, so these enchiladas will keep on giving :) Check out Annie's blog - I can't wait to try more recipes!

Here is Annie's Recipe:

1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 jalepenos, seeded and chopped fine
1 tsp. canola oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. sugar
1 (15oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
Salt and Pepper
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup shredded shark white cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese, divided
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
12 (6-inch) soft corn tortillas
Cooking Spray


Combine the onion, jalapeno and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin and sugar, and cook just until fragrant, less than 30 seconds. Mix in the tomato sauce, water, and chopped tomato. Bring the sauce to a simmer, lower the heat and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the chicken is completely cooked through (160˚ F on an instant-read thermometer), about 12-20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside to cool.

Strain the sauce through a large mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing down on the onions and tomatoes to extract as much liquid as possible. Transfer the reserved solids to a large bowl and set aside. Season the sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Shred the chicken into bite size pieces and add to the bowl with the onion mixture. Add in ¼ cup of the enchilada sauce, ½ cup of each of the shredded cheeses, and the cilantro. Stir to combine.

Preheat the oven to 425˚ F. Oil a 9 x 13″ baking dish with cooking spray. Stack the tortillas on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for 40-60 seconds, until warm and pliable. Spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of a tortilla. Roll up the tortilla around the filling tightly, and place in the prepared baking dish, seam-side down. Repeat with the remaining filling and tortillas.

Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with cooking spray. Place in the oven, uncovered, for 7 minutes or until the tortillas start to brown slightly.

Reduce the oven temperature to 400˚ F. Remove the enchiladas from the oven and pour the sauce oven the top. Sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove the foil and bake for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is browned. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.



Morning Yoga

Have y'all ever bought a Living Social Adventure deal? I was skeptical but recently jumped on the bandwagon and bought an outdoor yoga class and catered Whole Foods lunch.  I went this morning with a friend and was happily surprised by the quality of everything. We were greeted with bottles of water, friendly staff, sunglasses for a sunny day (planned for a sunny day...not this chilly, overcast morning), and a large grassy area overlooking the James River.

The yoga instructor catered to everyone's personal yoga needs - helping those who were brand new and giving challenges to those with more experience (I fall somewhere in the middle. I can do most things but still have just the worst balance!).  There were 80 or so people spread out on the lawn and yet it felt like you were in a small studio. Who would have thought Living Social was so good!? After the yoga class, they had set out coffee, muffins, hummus, fruit, cheese and pastries for us to enjoy on our yoga mats :)

I went with a friend whom I haven't seen in awhile. She is one of those friends that just makes my heart smile when we are together.  We've been friends forever and have seen each other through so much.  Even when we go a long time without seeing one another, we can easily pick right back up without missing a beat.

This cold and damp day hasn't been so dreary after all :)

I also just signed up (I seem to be doing a lot of "signing up" lately...it's fun!) for a blogging workshop.  I am trying to get more involved with my blog...did you notice the face lift?! I enjoy connecting with other people through their blogs and love writing on my own. Small Notebook is a great blog that is hosting a Simple Blogging Workshop.  Hopefully I'll learn a little bit more about how this fun blogging world works...

Have a fabulous Saturday! Off to try one of these Pumpkin Spice drinks I keep hearing everyone rave about :)


Your spot is reserved...

I'm SO excited about my newest online adventure.  I've teamed up with one of my favorite women (you know, I am one of her million closest friends) to help learn a little bit more about me.  I want to live my best life and I want to work on being best me I can be.  I *think* I can work on this goal by being conscious about the decisions I make, the people I interact with, the way I approach a problem and the way I feel about happiness; however, why not get a little nudge from the woman who does it so well?

I have signed up for Oprah's Lifeclass.  Yes, it's true and I'm not afraid to say it loud and clear! I will be following the online part only since my cable provider (who just restored our cable/internet after 3 weeks with no service....) doesn't give us the pleasure of OWN.   Here is the plan in her words: "It's my goal in life to keep raising the bar, fulfilling my highest, truest expression as a human being.  I believe it's what we're all ultimately searching for..."

Yes!! I really can't say what it is I've been "searching" for this past year or so.  My heart and mind is telling me that I have a purpose, something to give and that I need to learn more about myself in order to give more of myself.  It's not about Oprah, it's not about being hokey, it's about my desire to live my best life and learn to express my thoughts, goals and ideas a little bit better.

Happy Weekend!! 

I'm going to an outdoor yoga class, spending time with friends, visiting the Armenian food festival (for the 2nd night in a row...it's so good!), taking Charlie to a fundraiser with the organization where we adopted him (I thought they'd have fun seeing how much he's grown!), and then greeting my man on Sunday when he gets back from his golfing weekend!


Happy Birthday!

Happy Wednesday!!

Today is a VERY special Wednesday because it is my sister's birthday!! She is turning a quarter of a century today - what an old lady ;)

We had a delightful day together going out to lunch, painting pottery and are now getting ready for dinner at a new farm to table restaurant in the area.  

Love this girl and all that she stands for. I love the convictions she has, love the independence in her soul, love the passion she searches for and love the confidence she carries.   

And I am especially loving that she is now home - we missed her so much!

Happy Birthday, Kel! You are definitely What I Love This Wednesday!!