life as of late.

Explanations for the recent lack of blogging:

My desk.

Our dining room.

My belly.

To say that things have been crazy around here is a bit of an understatement, but I have been so thankful for how God has lavished His grace upon us in the process.

For example, I have not had a complete mental and emotional breakdown.

Seriously people, this is nothing short of a miracle. We are so thankful for all the exciting things that the Lord is doing in our lives and for the peace that passes understanding that He is giving us in the midst of some major life transitions, not to mention the amazing love and support He’s given us in the form of sweet friends. Details to come!

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blue and white stripes

So, I realize that about two weeks ago I said that I would be back with more blue and white striped fun, and I actually wrote the post and everything, but little did I know that January 2012 would soon become one of the busiest (strike that, the absolute busiest) time in my life. Fantastically, wonderfully busy (details soon to come), but so crazy that I apparently can’t even be trusted to hit “Publish” on a post I’ve already written.
So finally, I’m back with a roundup of one of my favorite patterns as it appears pretty much all over my dream house (and by that I mean the one I’ve created on Pinterest). Actually, I created this post before Christmas, then forgot about it completely. Such is life right now.
First up, the bedroom. I love bold, wide stripes on the duvet in this first room. Basic, unfussy, and enough to make the room feel boyish without going overboard.

Via Abodelove

The rug in this Fieldstone Hill design board is the same one we have in the kitchen, so I’m obviously a fan. I’ll also take the curtains, pillows, throws, annnd everything else.

Via Fieldstone Hill

I believe the phrase, “I want to go to there,” is pretty much all I need to say about this next one. Ticking stripe bed and crisp white sheets? Yes, please.

Via Bryn Alexandra

I would love a day of shopping with the wonderful Tommy Smythe. He is welcome to come design a room in our house anytime, even if it means just duplicating this living room.

Via Brynalexandra

Another lovely moodboard that would be a great jumping off point for the future…

Via The Handmade Home

Fresh, lovely striped drapes from Pottery Barn. This little corner is such a breath of fresh air.

Image Via potterybarn.com

I love the classic, versatile nature of this pattern. It’s easy to incorporate into any room, and adds a  graphic yet casual element that’s really nice. Bring on the blue and white!

….Except, of course, when we’re talking about sports. In that case, blue and white is for sissies. (I may or may not have deleted the phrase “And cheaters” from the end of that sentence after some deliberation. Trying to take the high road over here. :) )

cha-ching

When I was telling you about my Christmas presents the other day, I failed to mention my big gift from Zach.

Partly inspired by one of my favorite places to get an after school treat, an old cash register has been on my wish list for quite some time. The only problem is, those things cost a pretty penny.

A few months ago, Zach and I were at an estate sale, when I spotted one in the basement. Much like others we’ve seen, the price was nowhere near anything we’d be filling to pay- a whopping $375.

Thankfully, I was happy to discover that the particular sale we were at was accepting silent bids, and any item not sold would go to the highest bidder. We figured it was worth a short, so we wrote a total lowball offer on an index card and hoped for the best.

A few hours later, we got a call that said we were the proud new owners of a super cool vintage cash register. Zach went and picked it up (since it was my Christmas present), and it’s been hanging out in our living room since then.

 I love the quirky, industrial look, and the warm wood tones inside the drawers. It’s fun to watch people play store (it’s like Fisher Price for grown-ups) when they come over, and we like alternating the numbers based on the day or our mood. I had the “No Sale” sign up for a while just because it made me laugh, but we decided the “$.1” might be better for showings.

 

It might not be diamonds, but it’s just the kind og bling I like. Way to go, Husband, for such a fun gift!

do this. like today.

With the general hecticness of life right now, we didn’t make any major plans for Christmas break, but one plan we did make was going to check out a place that was recently featured on our local news.

Some of you know that I am pretty much a hot chocolate aficionado. I’m not a big coffee drinker (except when it tastes like dessert- think Frappuccinos and Pumpkin Spice lattes), and I’ve only recently begun getting into hot tea. Hot chocolate, on the other hand, I’m an expert on. It’s pretty much my go-to beverage when I need a little boost.

As a result, imagine my giddy, nerdy excitement when we saw this little feature on WRAL news.  (Side note: does anyone else love the way Dr. Allen Mask says his name? We crack up almost every time.)

I was super pumped about the possibility of sampling some truly gourmet hot chocolate, especially in such a neat setting (I had been wanting to check out the Umstead for a while, and let’s just say the chances of us getting a room there are less than slim). Also, can you think of a more fun Christmas break weekday activity to do with your husband? I think not.

We decided to eat in the bar/lounge area, and asked our waiter right away for some of the world-famous hot chocolate we had been hearing about. Unfortunately, he told us that it was a seasonal drink (or something like that), and they didn’t have any prepared.

Womp. womp.

Serious bummer. Thankfully, my knight in shining armor mentioned that we had seen it featured on the news and we had been really excited to try it. He also may or may not have mentioned something about his pregnant wife having a serious craving for it. Sympathy votes, people.

We were thrilled when a girl returned to tell us that while they didn’t have any on hand, the chef would be happy to make us some if we were willing to wait about 25 minutes. Ummm YES. Have you ever had a chef make something special just for you? Very exciting experience.

While we waited, we enjoyed amazing appetizers of fried pickles and homemade chips (can you tell we’re on a health kick?), and just generally soaked in the über posh atmosphere.

And then. It arrived.

The most delectable tray of deliciousness I have ever laid eyes on. You thought we would be getting some hot chocolate in a mug, didn’t you?

Instead, this little miracle magically appeared before us:

A teapot of the smoothest, most creamy hot chocolate I have ever tasted, homemade marshmallows that were so fresh they were basically melting, and homemade whipped cream with a hint of Bailey’s cream (don’t worry, our waitress assured me it was the teensiest bit).

 

The next half hour or so was spent with me squealing various things about it being the most amazing thing I’ve ever tried, and trying to ward of the impending sugar coma for as long as possible. It. was. so. good.

After we finished, we enjoyed a little stroll around the first floor of the hotel. We loved looking at the beautiful artwork and marveling at the swanky little details (like real towels in the bathroom!).

Overall, it was one of the most fun dates we’ve been on in a while. While it was a little pricey (the hot chocolate was $8, though it did make several cups), we chalked up the extra expense to ambiance and the fact that it was a special treat.

Especially with these crazy chilly temperatures that have recently set in, I’m going to go ahead and say this is a pretty perfect winter afternoon date!

2011 is so last year

2012 is off to a fantastic start in the Angle household. There are several exciting things in the works over here, and we can’t wait to see what God does in our lives in the upcoming year. He has taught us so much about Himself over the course of the past year, and we’re looking forward to drawing closer to Him over the next 12 months.

As much as we’re looking forward to this year, I can’t move forward without backing up a little bit and doing a little recap of the last few weeks of 2011.

Because we exchanged presents with my dad on Christmas Eve, had nursery duty Christmas morning, and headed to Boone for Christmas Part II later that day, this was our very first Christmas morning with just the two of us. I was a little unsure of how things would pan out without the fanfare of celebrating with family, but I was so thankful to get to spend a quiet Christmas morning with my favorite person in the world- particularly because this will likely be our last Christmas as a family of two!

I wanted to cook an extravagant breakfast for our Christmas morning celebration, but since we were leaving town later that day, my plans were thwarted by a desire to not leave leftovers festering in the fridge. Instead, I opted for these based on the recommendation of a friend (thanks, Robin!). (Side note about Robin: she is hands-down one of the best cooks I have ever met. Seriously, there hasn’t been a time that I’ve been to her house when she hasn’t filled my belly with some ridiculously amazing concoction of yumminess. Thus, why I trusted her with something as important as my very first Christmas breakfast. :))

The french toast definitely did not disappoint- highly recommend it!

Since we decided to limit our Christmas decoration to poinsettias this year (showings have been a pretty regular occurrence and we didn’t want to clutter things up), we didn’t have a tree to open presents by. Thankfully, at the last minute I remembered that my sweet sister-in-law had given us this little guy as a thank you when she stayed at our house a few weeks ago. Combined with a cozy fire, it was perfect:

As far as gifts go, there was a definite theme happening among the gifts we have each other. Simply put: Trader Joe’s.

Since I really didn’t have a Christmas list this year, I was super excited to discover that my husband had done some Pinterest stalking and had gotten me this hilarious Etsy print , an adorable book on all things domestic, and the amazing Pioneer Woman cookbook.

The cookbook came with an offer to cook me anything I picked out. (I know, right? He’s amazing.) Even so, I wanted to try something out myself before handing over my gift, so I gave Zach a few options and he (not surprisingly) chose the Cowboy Calzones for New Year’s Eve. Thankfully, P-Dub is living up to the hype.

Zach’s gifts were pretty boyish, including an air tool kit, Quantum of Solace, and a set of CDs of one of his favorite musicians. His favorite, however, was an outfit. Yes, unbelievable. But this wasn’t just any outfit, this little number is now ready for next football season:

When we first found out I was pregnant, Zach told me he wanted outfits for the baby for all of his favorite teams. We already have a couple of NC State onesies, there are Hurricanes and Indians outfits on our registry, and we now have the Panthers covered. Baby Angle is basically set! (But if you see Golden State Warriors, Fulham Football Club, or Columbus Crew baby things anywhere, I’m still on the hunt for those…yes, we support a few super random teams in the Angle household.) We are looking forward to some fun Sunday afternoons of cheering with dad!

Sadly, I don’t have any pictures of our Christmas in Blowing Rock, but we had a great time catching up with family and playing with my nephews and niece who are absolutely some of the most adorable children alive. My sweet mother-in-law surprised us with a Flip HD camera, which we’re so excited to use to catch some fun moments with the baby.

It was a very merry Christmas- I hope it was for all of you, too!