Current views: December

I, for one, am so glad that my travel season is over. I needed this time at home to heal & recharge. Only eight more work days left until our very extended Christmas break. Because of the way our holiday schedules and PTO worked out, we’re able to take off a full two weeks. Next weekend we’ll be piling in the car with Rufio and making the 12-hour trek up to New York and we can’t wait to see our families & friends. They haven’t met Rufio yet!

I am a little nervous about taking our puppy on a 12-hour car trip (he doesn’t like the car very much) but I discovered these Blue Tranquility treats and I figure they’re worth a try. Anyone else have tips or tricks for surviving a long car ride with pets?

I will say, I don’t miss December in upstate New York. It is GORGEOUS here in Charlotte – the sky is actually blue! I’m wishing for a white Christmas, but after that I’ll be happy to come back home to the south ❤️

Here’s what we’ve been up to this past month:


Celebrating this little mama-to-be at her baby shower in the 518 Continue reading


Tote-ally spoiled

City dog

I never thought I would be one of those girls who carries around her dog in a large purse a la Paris Hilton, but life is full of surprises and here we are. Rufio is not the best walker yet, nor has he gotten all of his vaccines, so I decided to buy this Lands End Canvas Tote Pet Carrier for when we’re walking around town. I also think it will come in handy when we travel home for the holidays.

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Current views: Month 2 of the move

This past month, I drank sweet tea. And I didn’t hate it. I tried grits for the first time, and I wish I could eat them every day. I’m also officially driving around with North Carolina license plates and during a meeting I laughed about how people from the northeast are cold – just like the weather. I apologize to my roots, but it’s honestly true. Even the people at the DMV are warm & friendly.

With all that being said, there are some cultural differences I’m still adjusting to, such as southerners being averse to cursing. In New York, no one bats an eye if someone drops an f-bomb, but while watching a talk from the Cannes Lions, everyone in the room cringed when the speaker said “Jesus-f-ing-Christ.” Then again, maybe it was the context.

I’m not saying I never get homesick. I miss macarons from The Placid Baker and ‘dirty little squealers’ from Slidin’ Dirty. But this past week I went to an NFL game, and I didn’t even need a jacket. (Take that, Buffalo!) I’m happy. And I’m excited to continue down this path.

Here’s a look at our past month:

Aliza Licht audiobook

Finally started Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht.

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CLT: Thirsty Thursday at the Ballpark

It has taken about two months, but MPR & I are finally starting to feel at home down south. We’ve both started new jobs and are getting used to our new schedule where MPR is actually home nights & weekends (finally!), which means that we have more time to go out and explore our new city. To celebrate, I am starting a new series on Charlotte, or CLT as the natives say, to document our adventures.

Although most of our summer was spent unpacking, getting our bearings, and catching up on sleep, we did manage to go out and have some fun, too. One of my favorite things we did this summer was go to a Charlotte Knights baseball game with friends. The Charlotte Knights are the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox and the stadium is nestled right in the middle of uptown, providing amazing views.

BB&T Stadium Charlotte

This photo doesn’t even do it justice!

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Current views: Month 1 of the move

It’s hard to believe we’ve been living in North Carolina for a whole month now. We even had our first DMV experience and got our NC driver’s licenses. It’s definitely strange going from being Caitlin Mooney in NY to Caitlin Ryan in NC in just five short months. I think what I’ll look most forward to is the end of paperwork for change of name and address. I’m ready to dig in.

Between working from home and MPR working nights & weekends at the restaurant, I’ll admit I’ve been a bit of a shut-in. I think it will be better once we’re on the same schedule and I start working in an office again. I’ll also welcome the Fall season with open arms. Right now it’s hard to be outside for more than 15 minutes without jumping in a pool or running back in the A/C. Thankfully, we have a beautiful [maintenance-free] pool to jump in right outside where we also grill dinner and spend most evenings together. This has also been a great month for both of us professionally (more on that soon), which confirms that we made the right choice for the both of us.

We strive to take advantage of every free afternoon/evening we have to explore our new city together. Here are some snapshots of what we’ve been up to this last month.

Kate White book

Reading poolside

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DIY: Gallery wall in 5 easy steps

One interior decorating trend I can totally get behind is the gallery wall. It’s a small task that can make a huge difference in your living space – especially when you’re renting. In our last apartment we had already hung everything on the walls before I started seeing it pop up places like The Everygirl home tours, and at that point I didn’t want to redo everything. But once we moved into our new apartment, I picked out the perfect wall for our very own gallery.

Perfect wall for a gallery wall

The perfect, blank canvas

MPR & I have collected a lot of prints over the years – from tour posters (including the one from our very first date), to graphic lyric illustrations, to local artwork. (Of course we have a pop-punk theme, duh.) So the hardest part, which is collecting artwork for the gallery wall, was already done.

Now that we’re settled in our new space, we decided to finally unpack that last box and make the gallery wall our weekend project. I slowly but surely unwrapped all of our frames from under mounds & mounds of bubble wrap (no casualties in the move!) and dug my heels in for the night. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how we got the job done.
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