New Apartment Tour

Happy Monday! Now that my new apartment is mostly put together, I thought today would be a great day to give a tour of the place. I’ll preface this tour by saying my roommate and I are not decorators. At all. Most of our walls are still bare because we’re still trying to figure out how to decorate them.

When decorating, I opt for comfort, minimalism, and function. I want clean, open spaces, but I also want something homey. Roomie is very similar to me, and we’ve really been able to bring this to our new home. I’m so happy with our apartment and it really does feel like home to me now.

So, shall we tour?

Apartment - Outside

All my life, I’ve lived in apartments that have outside entrances, so it’s a special treat for me to actually have a hallway and an inside entrance to my apartment. It definitely feels more secure, which is my biggest must-haves when apartment searching.


When you open the door to my apartment, this is the view you will be greeted with. To your left is the kitchen (and my roommate’s room beyond that). In front of you is the living room. And to your right is my room, our washer/dryer, and my bathroom. Let’s start with the living room!


Apartment - living roomIMG_0073

Our living room is small, but we don’t need much room, quite frankly. The couch is wonderfully luxurious and the TV stand makes me weirdly happy every time I see it (adulting much?) Roomie and I have already enjoyed many nights snuggled on the couch watching TV, and it’s every bit as wonderful as one might imagine.

And, of course, Dutch has his own corner for his blankets and pillows. He’s not one bit spoiled. Not at all. Uh-uh.


Apartment - Dining Room

Right off the living room is the dining room, which perfectly fits Roomie’s dining set. We probably need some sort of print on that wall because the room looks a little bare. In due time, yes?


Apartment - BalconyIMG_0071IMG_0069

Right off the dining room, a door leads to the balcony, which is completely empty. Roomie and I are hoping to invest in a table and chairs, and possibly even grow some herbs outside! The view isn’t great (it’s laughably terrible, in fact), but what can you do?




Oh, the kitchen. I love the kitchen. It’s big enough for Roomie and I to move around in together, and we have a ton of cabinet and drawer space. We also have a pantry! It’s so nice to have a pantry, though I’d really like to organize ours better. One of my favorite features of the kitchen is the deep sink. It’s so, so wonderful.



I love my bathroom. It’s at least twice the size of my bathroom at my previous apartment and I have way more counter and cabinet space. It’s really, really wonderful. Also, the tub makes my eyes turn into hearts. Bubble baths are my #1 form of self-care, and a deep, luxurious tub is something I haven’t ever had. This tub is my everything.



Between my bathroom and my bedroom is the washer/dryer. Having an in-unit washer/dryer was one of Roomie and my must-have’s when we were apartment hunting. It just makes life so much easier to not have to deal with a communal laundry. And our washer/dryer is hidden behind a set of doors when not in use, which is also nice.



Lastly, we have my bedroom! My bedroom is a nice size, especially for a guest bedroom, and I’m sure I could easily fit a queen-sized bed (mine is a full) and a bigger dresser in my room without it feeling too cramped. (I have plans to do so, so it’s nice I will be able to!) I’m happy to have a walk-in closet, though I find the shelves to be a little awkwardly placed. I do wish I had more shelving options, but I could always add some if I wanted to.

And there you have it! A tour of my new apartment, a place I am so happy to call my home. There’s still some more decorating to do, but I think we have a solid base and I’m so proud of this little home I’ve created with Roomie.

How would you describe your decorating style in three words?

Monthly Reads // September


I read 6 books in September, which is a pretty low month of reading for me. But it was a busy month and reading fell by the wayside for a bit. This month, the best book I read was Accidents of Marriage, and my least favorite read was Brown Girl Dreaming. Here are my thoughts on what I read:

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge (a collection of poetry): Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (3 stars)
I was meh on this book. I thought the writing was beautiful, but I wasn’t too keen on the poetry style (as in, the way she wrote her poems, not the poetry itself). It took me a while to finish and I was just very glad to move on to other books when I finally finished it. That said, I loved the message behind this book. It follows Woodson’s childhood as an African-American growing up in the sixties and seventies. She talks about some important issues, and it was interesting to hear her perspective.

TLC Book Tours Read: Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers (5 stars)
I reviewed this on my blog earlier this month and you can read my review here.

Others (read for fun!)

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (4.5 stars)
The first time I heard of this novel was when Jess Lively interviewed the authors on her podcast a couple months ago. It sounded like a book that was right up my alley! Essentially, it is fan fiction about Prince William and Kate Middleton’s romance. I wasn’t someone who has followed the Royal Family too closely, but I do have mad love for Kate herself. I thought this book was impossibly cute and incredibly fun to read. I think it was a little long (464 pages!), but I didn’t mind the length too much. Definitely a wonderful book to read if you’re looking for something light and fun (and don’t mind investing some time in the novel!)

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (3.5 stars)
This book has been getting a ton of buzz this year, and I’ve been on the waiting list on Overdrive for months and months and months. And finally! It came available! I was really excited to sink into this novel and read something gripping and engaging. Perhaps it was due to the fact that I read this book in the middle of my move, but I found it not to be as gripping as I would have liked and easy to set down. That said, I thought the writing was beautiful and the novel almost read like poetry in certain instances. I loved the mystery element and it added so much life to the story. All in all, it’s a book I might not have given a fantastic rating to, but I’d still recommend it, especially if you’re looking for a book to break you out of a reading slump or that is completely different than the books out there nowadays.

Seduce Me at Sunrise by Lisa Kleypas (4 stars)
I downloaded this book because I needed to read something light, fun, and romantic. And this is exactly what Lisa Kleypas delivers, again and again. I don’t have much to say about this novel, other than it was just what I needed to read and I highly recommend her books to historical romance fans!

Flat-Out Celeste by Jessica Park (4 stars)
After Seduce Me at Sunrise, I wanted another fun and light book to read, so I downloaded this one and I am so happy I did! It is the follow-up story to Flat-Out Love (which I read earlier this year) and takes places a few years later. This time, though, the little sister of the first novel (Celeste) is the protagonist. And goodness, this book made me so happy. I love the way Jessica Park writes, especially the way she writes characters. It’s witty and romantic and heartfelt. I’m such a fan of this author.


# of books read: 6
# of pages read: 2,070
quickest read(s): Accidents of Marriage and We Were Liars (4 days)
longest read: The Royal We (9 days)
diverse: 1
formats: ebooks (5), physical books (1)

What was the best book you read in September?

Monthly Goals // October


Oy. September was quite the month for me. The first week was spent packing and planning for my move, my mood excited but also cautious. The last three weeks have been an adjustment period and boy, has it been challenging. I knew it would be, but man, it’s been overwhelming at times. The good news is, how I feel today is better than how I felt two weeks ago and I know it’s only going to get better and better.

This place is slowly starting to feel like home.

This new life is slowly starting to feel comfortable.

The hard stuff always gives way to the good stuff.

September wasn’t only about my move, though. It also included celebrating my brother’s birthday, celebrating my nephew’s seventh (!) birthday, getting some new responsibilities at work, fun girls nights, pool days, and a successful pneumonectomy for my grandma. It was a big month, is what I’m saying.

I planned some goals for September, but I’ll be honest: the only one I accomplished was organizing my photographs. (Which was fun and such an interesting walk down memory lane!)

I did not make a budget for the rest of the year, mostly because it felt very overwhelming and there were certain bills I wouldn’t know the due date nor amount due until the first one came in (which ended up being just a few days ago!) So I’ve been in a waiting game, and that goal just didn’t get accomplished.

Tracking my food and exercising six days a week also did not happen. I was busy and then I was sad, and when I’m busy and sad, healthy living falls to the wayside immediately. That’s just how it is.

Lastly, no Busch Gardens trips or 15-minute morning brain dumps happened because… life.

So, what’s on the docket for October? I decided to set three easy goals:

First, I want to begin exercising again

Exercising has fallen by the wayside big time in my life. Exercising does make me happy (even if I moan and groan all the way to the gym) and I know the endorphins are just what I need to feel more like myself again. Plus, I have an incredibly cool gym at the new place that includes spin bikes! I honestly have zero excuses here.

Second, I want to spent 15 minutes every day working on my fiction novel

It’s just a little bit of time, and it doesn’t matter when I do it, but I want to get back into a daily practice of writing fiction. My story is coming along, but only writing 1,000-1,500 words a week means I’ll be working on my novel for a long, long time if I don’t get serious about writing!

Third, I want to keep a careful budget of everything I spend

This may entail starting a free trial of You Need a Budget (I’ve been really wanting to try this software out, but I worry I won’t use it as much as I should!), or it may simply entail using a spreadsheet and being more mindful of my spending and where my money is going.

And there you have it. Three simple, easy to achieve goals for October. I don’t have much planned for this month and that feels good. I need slow and simple and easy. I’m hoping to carve a pumpkin, see some movies, spend some time at the pool, and leave the rest of it up in the air.

What’s one thing you’d like to accomplish in October?

Currently, the September Edition

Feeling… little bouts of anxiety here and there. I’m still not fully myself, but I’m getting there. Little by little, this new life will start feeling less scary.

Reading… Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. At 477 pages, this one is going to take me a while.

Happy… that my grandma is recovering well from her surgery on Thursday. I was so glad to see her on Saturday and am hoping that her tests today go well and she can finally start eating actual food. (Because she lost a lung, there’s a chance she could aspirate when swallowing, so she’s been on an NPO diet (i.e., she cannot eat or drink anything orally). She’s been getting potassium and sugar through an IV, but can’t even have a sip of water! Poor lady.

Listening to… some new podcasts, including Magic Lessons, Real Talk Radio, and Hidden Brain.

Anticipating… my hair appointment on Friday. Hair appointments make me so happy. They are relaxing and I always leave with cute hair. Yay!

Watching… all of my favorite TV shows! I love premiere season. Some new ones I’m trying: Life in Pieces, Quantico, Scream Queens, The Grinder, and Code Black.

Planning… some goals to accomplish in the last quarter of 2015. I can’t believe we’re nearing the end of this year! I have enjoyed this year, but I want to end it with a bang – so I’m setting some big goals to accomplish.

Wondering… if my stuffy nose has anything to do with my acid reflux. I was on 40 mg’s of generic Prilosec for 30 days, and after 30 days, I bumped down to 20 mg’s (per doctor’s orders). But then I wound up with a stuffy nose. It feels suspiciously how I felt when I had a sore throat for a month (no symptoms, hurt the most when I woke up, etc.) I couldn’t find much information on my theory, but I bumped myself back up to 40 mg’s yesterday and… no stuffy nose. Coincidence? I don’t know, but I’m going to continue and see what happens.

Waiting… for my new iPhone to arrive! I’ve been hemming and hawing over getting a new phone, but finally decided to bite the bullet and do it. I’ve had this current phone for over two years now and for something I use as much as I use my phone, a new one is just a good idea. I can’t wait for it to arrive!

Frustrated… by my lack of motivation when it comes to healthy eating and exercise. I know part of it is due to feeling sad and dealing with anxiety and panic attacks, and I’ve just been trying to take it easy and get lots of sleep. But I also know that eating better and exercising will only help my anxiety and get me on the path to feeling better. Must try harder!

Loving… kind people checking in on me, Dr. Pepper, a new beautiful pool to enjoy, Football Sundays, and salted caramel mochas.

What are you currently reading, anticipating, and frustrated by?

TGIF (v. 18)


The high of my week was my grandma’s successful surgery. A few weeks ago, my grandma had a PET scan and found out the chemotherapy she’d been on for the past months and months had not been working. (Her tumor had not shrunk at all.) Her options were surgery or a more aggressive form of chemo (which, with the way the less aggressive chemo she had been on had affected her wasn’t really a viable option). So, she opted for surgery, which was yesterday. Her tumor was wrapped around her pulmonary artery, so it was very likely that the surgeon would go in and find out he couldn’t remove the tumor. Thankfully, though, the surgeon was able to remove all of the tumor, but he had to do so by removing her entire left lung. So that’s a little scary, but it was the best option and hopefully, once the recovery process is complete, my grandma is back to her old self!

The low of my week was dealing with a stuffy nose every morning! I don’t know what’s going on, but every single morning this week I have woken up with a completely stuffed-up nose. I even bought some nasal decongestant spray because it’s been so bad. Just a few sprays completely clears me up… until the next morning. I don’t know what’s going on because I don’t have a cold… I’m not sure if it’s just the new place and getting used to new air? (Is that even a thing?!) I hope it clears up (ha) soon because it’s very annoying to deal with.

I’m currently reading Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. I’m reading it for the poetry category for the Book Riot reading challenge, but I’m not really enjoying it. It’s beautifully written, but I’m just not a poetry person, I guess.

An article I really enjoyed was this story about a man who has built a train for his rescue dogs. I mean, really. Could this story be any cuter? The video slayed me.

The best money I spent this week was $12 on a hook rail to hang up keys and Dutch’s harness/leash. My roommate and I needed something to keep that stuff in one convenient location, so I’m very happy with the purchase. Bonus: it’s super cute!

My plans this weekend include a pedicure and dinner date tonight with my roommate and her friend that is coming into town this afternoon. Tomorrow, I want to spend some time at the pool, finish decorating the apartment, visit my grandma, and have dinner with my mom and stepdad. And then Sunday, I’m meeting up with my friend to write and spending the rest of the day watching football with my brother. Happy Friday!

What was the highlight of your week?

Lessen Your Moving Stress with Hybrid Moving

I am thrilled to bring this blog post to you guys today! As part of a decision I made when I started this blog, I do not do many sponsored posts. There are many reasons as to why, and one of the main reasons is that I rarely come across an opportunity that piques my interest enough to accept. But a few weeks before my move, I was contacted by to use their services in exchange for a review on my blog. I really wanted to accept, but I didn’t feel as if I could give an accurate review as I only needed a few big furniture items moved (my bed and my dresser). Instead, I asked if my roommate could use the service (since she was bringing the big furniture items into the new apartment) and write a guest post for my blog. And they accepted! So, for today, I am handing my blog over to my wonderful Roomie to talk about and her experience with the company.


IMG_0009Hey stephanywrites readers! I’m Briana (or Bri, as many like Steph call me) and you may have already learned who I am – the work bestie, the real-life bestie, and the new roomie. But honestly, we’ve connected pretty deeply in terms of our friendship. I feel comfortable telling Stephany anything and everything, and for that reason (and many others) I knew that if I was going to return to a roommate situation, she was the girl to do it with. And so, here we are. Roommates at last!

However, I can’t lie to you or to myself: I was excited to move in with Stephany…but moving sucks. It’s a lot of purging, organizing, packing, labeling, manual labor, planning, and, of course, it’s generally expensive. Full-service moving companies charge a lot of money for their services! The end result of a move rocks, but the process and expense? I could do without.

While you can’t avoid most of the above moving tasks, it is possible to mitigate some of the expense.

Option one is 100% DIY. You pack, you do all the heavy lifting, and you rent and drive your own truck. But that’s exhausting, and you have to have some help from friends and/or family if you need to carry heavy furniture (like I have) up and down stairs (which I also had at both the new and old place).

Option two is what I did: a hybrid move. With a hybrid move, most of the work and equipment is still DIY except for the lifting, loading, and/or unloading labor. It is a much most cost-effective option than full-service moving packages. It sounded like a good option for me.


Enter: HireAHelper is a unique online service that connects users to moving companies in their area that might be willing to provide labor on the specified moving day. They offered me a solution I couldn’t refuse: strong arms.

Before the Move

HireAHelper’s website is incredibly straightforward, aesthetically pleasing, and very user friendly. It’s really a no-fuss start. You type in your moving date and zip code, and you’re instantly connected to a list of moving companies that provide moving labor. You can customize the specs of your move, including the number of movers you want, the number of hours you want them for, and the number of flights of stairs to get accurate quotes instantly. You can compare prices from different moving companies on the spot, as well as view ratings and reviews from past customers – something that I value greatly. On this page, you can select your company of choice.

I selected a company and immediately got confirmation via e-mail. Good, quick communication. You earned brownie points, HireAHelper!


However, about a day later, I got another e-mail telling me that the moving company I picked declined my move, and that I would have to select a new company. As you might imagine, I was not particularly happy about it. But not even 15 minutes later, HireAHelper actually called me to help me pick a new company. That phone call from HireAHelper was arguably some of the best customer service I’ve ever had. 

Two days before my moving date, the moving company I selected gave me a call to confirm the appointment, and HireAHelper sent me another e-mail to remind me to complete my inventory list. With everything packed and ready to go, I just had to wait for the day to arrive.

Moving Day


Moving day! I picked up my U-Haul at 9 a.m., because I scheduled the movers to arrive between 10 and 11. I got a text message from HireAHelper, instructing me to send them a text when the job was completed – the movers would not get paid until I did so. I kind of appreciated that, because it’s almost like insurance that your movers will show up.

IMG_0011At 10 a.m. my movers called to let me know they were on their way, as the moving company is located about 40 minutes from my old apartment. But by 11 they still hadn’t shown. And then 12 came. Still no word. At 12:30 they called and told me they were 5 minutes out. At 12:45 they parked and met me at my U-Haul.

Obviously, I was REALLY not happy at how late my movers were. The reviews they had were all really positive, so I was disappointed. But, I understand life happens – turns out that one of their trucks had been broken into and equipment was stolen, so they had to file a police report. A phone call would have been nice though.

The actual move went off without a hitch. I thought I needed them for four hours, between all of my flights of stairs and all the furniture I had. However, these guys worked really efficiently. About two and a half hour later, I had every bit of furniture in my new apartment, with not a single dent or scratch to speak of. Which, apparently, is hard to come by.

I sent my text off to HireAHelper, at which time I was prompted through three text message questions to ensure that the movers were paid and that the job was done within the scheduled time limit and didn’t run over. I got a follow-up e-mail to review how my move went.

Overall Feelings

I started off on the wrong foot with the moving company I selected because of the delay. But the actual service I got from them was awesome, so I can see why they were so well rated on HireAHelper and why they were the company that the HireAHelper representative set me up with. Overall, I would grade the experience on my moving day a “B” for the unnecessary stress from my movers.

For my experience with, I would give a grade of an “A.” Between all the e-mails I got, the phone call when things seemed to go south, and the ease of use, it gets my vote. I would say to do your homework though – just because they have reviews on their site doesn’t mean you don’t have to research movers on your own. Also, there’s still some responsibility on your end. I’m not sure what HireAHelper communicates to the movers you choose in terms of job specs, but you need to clarify everything with your movers on the phone, well in advance. Nobody (you or your movers) likes surprises on moving day.

Would I use again? Yes. Yes I would. But after I do more of my own research and homework.



This post is sponsored by They provided a credit toward the cost of their moving service in exchange for an honest review. All words, thoughts, and opinions – unless otherwise stated – belong to me or my guest poster, Briana.


Have you ever attempted a hybrid move? If not, would you ever?

Book Review: Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers

Accidents of Marriage coverThere’s something about a Randy Susan Meyers novel. Her novels lure me in immediately with vulnerable characters and realistic plots. They are tough and gritty at times, yet soft and yielding at others. They make me feel something – hatred, happiness, hope, sadness, grief. They are novels about real life, about the triumphs and the tragedies. They are about characters who are not totally likable, but are so real and authentic that you can’t help but get drawn in to their stories. Randy Susan Meyers has a fan in me.

Accidents of Marriage is a story of family, of forgiveness, of the trials and tribulations of marriage. It follows Maddy and Ben, a married couple who have three children. They have been married for years, but recently, Ben’s temper has been out of control. He lashes out over the smallest things, leaving Maddy and the kids feeling like they have to walk on eggshells around him. One rainy morning, while Ben and Maddy are in the car together, his anger gets the better of him, resulting in a car accident and Maddy in the hospital, fighting for her life.

This novel is told in three parts – Maddy, Ben, and their 14-year-old daughter Emma – and it felt very natural and easy to follow along. Each voice is distinct and each pulled at my heartstrings. Yes, even Ben’s story.

What I loved most about this story was the heart behind it. It’s a tough story to read at times, but there’s something so hopeful and inspiring about this family. They are an average family that has gone through a tragedy, and it’s inspiring to watch them pick up the pieces.

All in all, this was a book I could barely put down and I gave it a full 5 stars. Highly recommend!

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Accidents of Marriage explores a topic rarely shown in fiction: the destruction left in the wake of spouse’s verbal fury. Ben never meant to hurt Maddy. He never imagined his recklessness would lead to tragedy.

Maddy is a social worker trying to balance her career and three children. Years ago, she fell in love with Ben, a public defender, drawn to his fiery passion, but now he’s lashing out at her during his periodic verbal furies. She vacillates between tiptoeing around him and asserting herself for the sake of their kids – which works to keep a fragile peace – until the rainy day when they’re together in the car and Ben’s volatile temper gets the best of him, leaving Maddy in the hospital fighting for her life.

Randy Susan Meyers takes us inside the hearts and minds of her characters, alternating among the perspectives of Maddy, Ben, and their fourteen-year-old daughter. Accidents of Marriage is a provocative and stunning novel that will resonate deeply with women from all walks of life, ultimately revealing the challenges of family, faith, and forgiveness.

Accidents of Marriage explores a topic rarely shown in fiction: the damaging effects of a spouse’s emotional abuse.

You can connect with Randy Susan Meyers on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads. Her book is available to buy from Amazon, IndieBound, and Barnes & Noble

Click here to add this book to Goodreads!

I received this book for free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. All words and opinions, unless otherwise stated, are my own.

No affiliate links were used in this post.

TGIF (v. 17)


The high of my week was Dutch adjusting easily to his new home. I’ve had a few people ask me how he is doing and I’m happy to report he is handling this change much, much easier than me. I was worried he was going to spend his days crying in my apartment and annoy the neighbors, but he’s been on his best behavior! He’s bonding with my Roomie and it lessens my anxiety tremendously that he has taken this change in stride.

The low of my week was dealing with this adjustment period of living with a roommate. My roommate herself is amazing and I love her to death. She’s been very accepting of my anxiety and given me a lot more grace and kindness than I’ve been giving myself. Still, this week has been a very tough one and there have been many, many tears. This is a big life change for me, and change is my #1 anxiety trigger, so I should have expected this to be a lot harder than I anticipated. But there’s just something about being in the anxiety and living through it that feels so discouraging. I am doing better today than I was on Sunday/Monday, so I can only pray this new life situation starts to feel more normal and less terrifying as the days and weeks go on.

I’m currently reading Flat-Out Celeste by Jessica Park. I was reading Stiff by Mary Roach to fulfill the microhistory category for the Book Riot reading challenge, but it wasn’t grabbing my attention and was just putting me in a downer mood. That’s when I realized that what I really need right now when it comes to my reading life is books that are fun to read and light-hearted. AKA, all of the romance and YA I can get my hands on. This book is exactly what I need.

A blog post I enjoyed was 7 Ways to Calm Unemployment Anxiety by my friend Linda. This post was perfect timing for me (you could honestly retitle this “7 Ways to Calm New Living Situation Anxiety” and it would just about work perfectly). This post was so insightful and it has helped me take a step back and reevaluate things.

The best money I spent this week was $3 on my new favorite mug (pictured above)! Isn’t it perfect?

My plans this weekend include spending Friday afternoon with some of my favorite coworkers to celebrate two birthday girls, writing with my friend on Friday evening, unpacking and reorganizing all day Saturday, going to my nephew’s birthday party on Sunday afternoon, and taking my roommate out for dinner to celebrate her birthday on Sunday evening. Whew! It shall be a busy weekend indeed.

What was the highlight of your week?

A Weekend in Pictures: The Moving Edition


Right after work on Friday afternoon, my roommate and I drove to our new apartment to pick up our keys! We were very excited, as evidenced in the above photo. We moved in a few of our boxes, and then took a trip to the happiest place on earth – IKEA – so Roomie could buy a TV shelf and coffee table for our new place. It was quite the interesting experience trying to fit two super long boxes and one square-shaped box into her Jetta. With the use of a bungee cord and me using skills I didn’t know I had to shove a box in the back of her car, we made it work. And drove s-l-o-w-l-y back home. Then, I did a quick shopping trip at my new Publix so I’d have food for next week (and won’t have to shop during the week, which I hate). By that time, it was nearly 6 p.m., and I still had packing to do (!), so I high-tailed back to my side of town.


It was time to get serious about packing on Friday night. I had packed up most of my stuff the weekend before, but still had to pack up things I had left for the last minute – like clothes, bathroom items, etc. My first night in the new apartment would be Sunday, so I still had to keep a few items unpacked, but packed up about 95% of my stuff!


Saturday morning, I was up early because it was moving day! My brother and my mom pitched in to help me move all my big items (namely: my dresser and bed, as my roommate would be supplying the couch and dining room table). It was a super smooth move (even with a bit of rain while loading and unloading) and within 3 hours, we had finished our move! After that, we headed back to St. Pete to drop off the U-Haul, have lunch, and complete a few errands.


In the afternoon, I ventured back to my new apartment with Dutch in tow (so he could get used to the new place before coming back for good the next night!), where I spent a few hours unpacking boxes and taking slow walks with Dutch outside. I managed to unpack my kitchen boxes, got my bathroom put together, and unpacked a few things in my bedroom – making my bed and unpacking my clothes, mostly.


After a few hours at the new place, Dutch and I went back to St. Pete for the night. And I soaked my feet in a foot massaging bath and it. was. the. best. I needed it so much – my feet were killing me – and it really helped.


Sunday morning – after helping me move! – my mom ran a 5k. She did awesome! She’s been working super hard with her running pace and it’s been really showing. (She finished about 6 minutes faster than she did at our Savannah 5k in March!) Yay, Mom!


We celebrated my brother’s birthday on Sunday afternoon! We watched some football and ate some good food, like the above delicious cookie cake. I’m typically not a huge cookie cake fan, but this one (from Publix!) might have changed my mind. Soooo good!


And then, on Sunday evening, Dutch and I spent our first night in our new home. I’m struggling big time right now with this change, and I knew I would, but it just feels so much bigger and so much harder. I’m being reminded of my time in college a lot right now, which just makes me feel sick to my stomach. I thought I was past this, you know? Sunday night was tears, tears, tears. It’s hard when home doesn’t feel like home. I know it will soon and I just need to get past this, but I’m trying to be okay with not being okay right now. Feeling very grateful to have my buddy Dutch along for the ride, though. This would be a million times harder without him.

How was your weekend? Anybody else feel completely off-kilter when a big change – even good change! – happens? How do you deal?

5 Reasons Why I’ll Miss Living with My Mom


This is it. Moving weekend!

I feel like I’m entering this new phase of my life in the best way possible because I’m moving away from one best friend and moving in with another best friend. I’m really happy I opted for having a roommate rather than living by myself because I think it’s going to make this transition a lot easier.

Still, I’m very sad to be leaving my mom. It’s just been the two of us since my brother moved out when he finished high school. So, that’s 10 years. Minus one year of living on campus and that’s nine years of us living together. For most people, living with their parents past college is a nightmare, but for me it has been a dream. It helps that my mom is my favorite person in the world and she treats me like an adult, not a child. And we just have a super wonderful relationship. It’s really awesome to have your mom be your best friend.

Today, in honor of leaving her to finally be on my own, here are five reasons why I’m going to really miss living with my mom.

  1. Watching our TV shows together. My mom and I love some TV time and we watch a lot of shows together. Some of our favorites: Big Brother, Scandal, American Ninja Warrior, Modern Family, and The Blacklist. It’s always fun to relax on the couch together after a long day and turn on our favorite shows, laughing together or discussing them together. I’m going to miss those nights.
  2. Having my life be so closely connected with my mom. My mom and I spend a lot of time together. This is good and bad. Good because it’s nice to always have someone around to do stuff with, but bad because it meant I spent a lot of time not trying harder to foster connections with other people. It has only been in recent years that I’ve been working towards building my own life, separate from hers. Even though I make plans with my friends often, my mom and I still have a closely interconnected life. (We’re honestly like an old married couple.) Though I’ll only be a short, 20-minute drive away, and I know I’ll be visiting often, it’s going to be different to not know what my mom is up to all the time anymore.
  3. Having someone to share dog duties with. Taking care of a dog is a lot of work. I think one of the biggest challenges is the fact that you can’t leave dogs alone for very long. (Or, at least, a senior dog who has had bladder issues in the past.) My mom works five minutes from our apartment, so it’s easy for her to come home at lunch to let him out. Now, I’ll have to use my lunch break to let him out. My mom sets up his vet and grooming appointments – that will now be in my hands. And it’s been really nice to have someone around to be there if I decide to go out after work and spend a weekend away from home.
  4. Saving money. Though I did not live rent-free with my mom, we didn’t have a full 50/50 split with our household bills. This has allowed me to save money and pay down debts. My budget is going to go through a radical shift with this move. It’s necessary and I’ll be living within my means, but I’m still a little nerve-wracked about it.
  5. Having so much one-on-one time with my mom. I know I am really lucky to have such a close relationship with my mom. Not everyone has this, and it’s a credit to both of us that we’ve worked hard to maintain a wonderful relationship. It’s been so nice to be able to hang out with her whenever I want, to relax on the couch after long days at work and chat about our days. I will miss those chats.

I don’t want to make it seem that I’m not excited about my upcoming move. I really am! I am looking forward to this new change in my life. I know I’m going to struggle with the transition because I always struggle with transitions. (It took me forever to feel comfortable at my current job.) But I also know I am going to thrive in this new environment. I cannot wait for the new adventures that await me.

Today, my roommate and I will fill out the final paperwork, get our keys, and start the move-in process for real. This has been something we’ve been envisioning since we made the decision to move in together earlier this year. I can’t believe the day has finally come. The next time I write, I’ll be writing from my new apartment! Wahoo!

Post idea inspired by Kate