Wednesday, January 18, 2017

29

It's been a little while since my birthday but I don't want to forget how I spent the day so it's going up on the ol' blog!

We happened to be visiting Chapel Hill, North Carolina on the big day. The trip (full recap here!) was actually for Mike's 30th birthday which was a few weeks prior but the way the dates worked out, my birthday happened to be during the actual trip. I love the idea of going somewhere special to celebrate instead of just staying home.

We started off the day by -- of course -- going to Starbucks so that I could get my free birthday drink! Is it really a birthday if you don't get a freebee from coffee heaven? Well, no coffee for me this year but the pink drink was a very great substitute!


To keep the pink theme going, I took a little me time to get my nails done. I was actually so sick of wearing red for the holidays, I just wanted something lighter and softer.


Next on my list was to find a couple geocaches I had scoured in the area. I love to go geocaching any opportunity I get and I managed to find two this time! Mike isn't a huge fan but totally let me have my fun on my birthday!

As for a cake, I specifically did not want one this year. Not only would the two of us struggle to finish a cake while on vacation (where there are so many local goodies to try!), but I'm just not that crazy about cake in general. Instead, I asked that we get a few french macaroons. They are such a special treat that I don't indulge in as often as I would like. We drove over to Miel Bon Bons in Durham to pick out some delicious flavours.



Probably my favourite part of my birthday celebrations was a little excursion to a nearby subdivision. I really love exploring residential areas whenever we travel and seeing the different architecture and how people live. I could literally drive around looking at houses all day long. We drove just south of Chapel hill to a community called Briar Chapel. The houses looked fairly recently built but had so much gorgeous southern charm to them. Most of them had gorgeous huge porches with rocking chairs and so much pretty character. This one in the photo below is my absolute favourite! I love colonial-style homes and I would move into this one in a heartbeat!


For dinner we wanted a nice casual place that we hadn't tried before. Mike made a list of restaurants to try during this trip and one of them was Sup Dogs right near the UNC campus. It's your typical, inexpensive, delicious college hangout. I'm so happy that we went there!



After dinner, Mike and I were hoping to find some local bar trivia but since we were in a college town during the Christmas break, a bunch of businesses were closed. Fun fact: our trivia team name (and celeb couple nickname, you know, just in case we get famous one day) is Michelina :)

Overall it was a great day celebrating my champagne birthday! Next year will not only be a decade milestone but it'll be my first as a mommy which makes me more excited than words can describe!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

FH Travels: Chapel Hill, NC (December 2016)

Don't mind me, just STILL recapping the holidays.

Right after Christmas, we planned a road trip to North Carolina. We left on Boxing Day and were gone for 6 days. We have made the trip down a bunch of times but have always taken the same route. This time, we went a different way and I was so excited about it! We passed through Washington DC and Richmond on the way to Chapel Hill. Despite not having an opportunity to stop and walk around, I was pumped to see the Capital and all its fanciness.






We made this trip in honour of Mike's 30th birthday which was just a few weeks prior. It was his wish to celebrate it by going to his favourite place and seeing a basketball game. UNC played Monmouth and we managed to score really good seats right behind the player bench. It was fun to watch a replay of the game when we got home and see ourselves on TV!





Because of our timing, everything was still decorated for Christmas and it was lovely. We stayed at my favourite hotel ever, the Carolina Inn on campus. I've gushed about it before but it's just the prettiest quintessential Southern hotel and it's even more gorgeous during the holidays.




This time around, Mike and I tried a bunch of new food places around Chapel Hill. Among them was Sup Dogs, The Pig, Rise, and my favourite - Elmo's, where we spotted one of the Carolina players on a date!

Of course, we strolled around campus and enjoyed the awesome warm weather. One day was even warm enough for short sleeves! It was heaven. And we even saw flowers blooming in December! Not a reality in Canada.





The Sun Bowl was on the 30th so we watched at a bar near campus with a ton of other Tar Heel fans. Unfortunately, Mike and I were both sad to see UNC end their football season in a loss but they played a great game.


And finally, we couldn't leave without picking up a couple Tar Heel things for Baby. Mike was excited to pick out the perfect stuffed animal of Ramses which he insists will be the baby's favourite. It was hard to not buy a lot more but we did a good job restraining ourselves. It's crazy to think that likely the next time we visit, we will go as a family of three!


Friday, January 6, 2017

Christmas Card 2016

In my last post, I mentioned that we did something different for our Christmas cards this year. I really wanted this to be the occasion where people hear our big news. We obviously told our close friends and family that we are expecting in person, but it was so fun to get the calls and texts when everyone else found out from our card!

In the past, I would just buy boxed cards and write a personal message in each one. But I have always loved the tradition of taking a family photo and seeing how things change every year. It felt silly to send a photo of just me and Mike before and that has now officially changed! I can't wait until next year where we are holding our son or daughter, instead of a grainy ultrasound photo!
I wanted the image to focus on the ultrasound with us blurry in the background. We got my mom to take our photo behind a plaza where the wall was pretty neutral and there wasn't a lot of people. Poor Mike was so cold in just his dress shirt but he handled it like a champ. We may have to incorporate some coats next year because... Canada. I think next year things will be much more difficult with a 6 month old to wrangle in the photo!

We ordered them from Vista Print because they had the best prices and quickest delivery. I was originally dead-set on Minted (especially the gold-foil!) but once I compared them to Vista Print, I was convinced that these would be perfect. (This isn't sponsored! Just my own experience!) They had a ton of great options and various effects you could add to the card itself. I chose to get the thicker card stock and ended up paying just over $30 for 40 cards.

My favourite part was being able to completely personalize the back of the card. Because I knew some of these would get sent out to Poland, I wanted them to be bilingual. Ordering 30 English and 10 Polish would make things so much more expensive so everyone got both languages.


I got the vibe from my Polish people that photo Christmas cards aren't a very popular thing there. Or maybe photo pregnancy announcements? I got a lot of comments about what a great and original idea our card was! I couldn't lie and told them that it's pretty common here and this definitely wasn't my genius idea. Either way, everyone loved it! And I'm so happy with how our cards turned out!