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Showing posts from 2016

New England is for Christmas: My Favorite Traditions

Christmas is my favorite holiday. I celebrate as long as I can possibly get away with and look forward to it for the rest of the year. Since we moved into our new home just a few weeks before Christmas, and it would be many weeks after that before we had furniture and paint on the walls, I had to keep my Christmas decorating to a minimum this year. Nevertheless, my Christmas cheer came in full capacity!




I was so excited to experience my first holiday as a New England Belle, but I was most excited that for the first time in our entire relationship, Shane and I would be waking up in our own home on Christmas morning. There really was nothing like it.

Because of this, Shane and I vowed to have a quiet Christmas morning together with no alarm clock. We soaked it all in by stayed in our pajamas, opening our stockings, and enjoying an easy breakfast.


We spent the rest of the day opening gifts, spending time with family, and staying true to a few of our favorite Christmas traditions. There i…

New England is for Making Snow Angels Out of Snow Storms

My husband and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary on May 1. When a dream Ireland trip fell through, we still wanted to go somewhere we've never been to celebrate in style. Since Colorado has always been on my bucket list and we have good friends who used to live there and were gracious with suggestions, we flew into Denver and then spent a few beautiful days in Vail.

 When we arrived and picked up our rental car, I noticed a strange object on the front seat.

I picked up the long black item curiously, studying it for it's intended purpose. I thought the previous car renters may have left their beloved what's-it behind.

Shane caught sight of my confused expression, looked down at what I was holding, and burst into laughter.

"You've never seen one of those before, have you?" he asked me. "Oh, you are in for a treat if we ever move to the North."

My friends, it was a snow scraper/brush and it is true that this southern belle had never before s…

New England is for Home Owners

When my husband and I moved to Rhode Island, we sold the home where our marriage began in Southern Alabama and drove miles and miles to a whole new world in the Northeast. Since his new job covers a fairly large area, we decided it would be wise to rent for a while in Rhode Island while we explored the area and decided where it would be best to settle down.

That time came sooner rather than later and we are excited to now be two weeks in our lovely new abode. One caveat: we bought a house in...wait for it... Massachusetts!

(Hence the blog name change! This Southern Belle's road continued on a few miles over state lines.)


We are so excited to settle into this beautiful home and create many wonderful memories over the next several years.

Naturally, we traded our southern chalet for a beautifully classic New England Colonial and we couldn't feel more blessed and right at home!



It wasn't the easiest journey getting here but everything fell into place perfectly in the end. Whil…

New England is for Runners

Last year, I uncharacteristically decided to sign up for a half marathon through Team in Training to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I had previously never run more than 2 or 3 miles and hadn't a clue how to enjoy it- let alone not die from 13.1 miles of it- but the idea of doing it for an amazing cause and having people invested in my progress was the push I needed. My best friend Mallory has a very personal tie to LLS and has worked for them for many years so with her help and encouragement, I signed up for the Rock n Roll half marathon in New Orleans, which was just four months away at the time.

After I crossed that finish line with my fellow purple-wearing teammates, I vowed to let my legs have a little break but I would definitely be signing up for another race.

There is just something so liberating and joyous about pushing yourself through each mile, some feeling euphoric and some feeling laborious, but finally crossing the finish line VICTORIOUS! (It soun…

Rhode Island is for [Ice Cream] Lovers

If you've known Shane and me for any amount of time, you know that we both nurse a pretty gnarly sweet tooth. We will make any excuse for desert or a treat any day of the week- especially when we are out of our normal routine on vacation or with visitors- or, in this case- moving from Alabama to Rhode Island and wanting to do as the locals do!

Before we moved to Tiverton, I scoured Yelp for local hot spots and local's favorite restaurants
(bonus for those with an expansive gluten free selection!). One common thread on reviews around Tiverton was ice cream. Being that I recently traded my dairy-free lifestyle for a gluten-free one (among 19 other things that my body despises. Long story for another post if you're really interested), I was excited to be in a position to try out all this famous ice cream touted by Tivertonians (I may have just made that up).

One thing was evident: people in Tiverton had very strong alliances to either Gray's or Helger's ice cream. On…

Seeing 4th of July History in Bristol, Rhode Island

Before moving to Rhode Island, I scoured the internet for every list and blog that spelled out what local Rhode Islanders did for fun, ate as staples, and went for coffee (Dunkin, obviously, but there are other great choices too! Coming soon to the blog.)

One of the  events I kept seeing pop up on lists about how great Rhode Island is was the Bristol 4th of July Celebration.


Now that I live in one of the 13 original colonies, I am surrounded by so much amazing American history! The very first 4th of July parade strolled down the streets of Bristol, Rhode Island in 1785! That's 231 years of patriotic parading... I just knew I had to be there.

Shane and I arrived in Bristol an hour or so before the parade was to start. As soon as we pulled off the highway, streets were covered in parked cars and peppered with pedestrians donning their red, white, and blue.

After a little walk, we found a great spectating spot near the water and passed the time until the parade was to start with our f…

The Literal Road to Rhode Island

If you didn't yet read how we came to move to Rhode Island, check out my previous post here!

Wednesday June 15 came quickly. We previously sold quite a few belongings and packed up a moving truck that was on the smaller side and a real gamble as to whether or not all of our stuff would fit. We cleaned our home, ready for the next family who would make precious memories there, and shed a few tears. Okay that's a lie, we shed a LOT of tears.

So, on that Wednesday, with all too fitting weather (torrential downpour for days), we put our last few things in the back of the truck, drove one car up the trailer behind the moving truck, and got our furbabies settled in the SUV. That's right- Shane drove one vehicle and I drove another. We would be embarking on this 23 hour drive as a caravan. This would be interesting!



I experienced quite a flood of miscombulated emotions. I wept for the home that I now saw in the rear-view mirror but glowed at the life that was still before us. I a…

The Pre-Road to Rhode Island

I remember my third date with Shane. I lived in Fairhope, Alabama at the time and he had recently moved to Pensacola, Florida so we met in the middle at a Mellow Mushroom in Foley, Alabama to continue the budding romance we found after the dining, piano bar-going, and kayaking we did on our first two dates.

We knew we liked each other. We knew this was different than anything we had previously experienced and we found ourselves talking about things most probably wouldn't on a third date.

We talked about traveling together and where we hoped to end up living one day. We shared our love for North Carolina, the epic road trips we could take together, and then he mentioned having me spend Thanksgiving with him in New England (this was in May). "There's nothing like a New England Thanksgiving," he said. He grew up in Massachusetts and always talked of home with stars in his eyes.

Fast forward six months and I was able to experience that Thanksgiving; he was right- I had n…