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August Life Recap + Hurricane Harvey Relief

August Life Recap + Hurricane Harvey Relief

[ Written by Abby and Austin ]

This summer has flown by! I can't believe we are entering September already! I personally love the end of summer. The weather is cooling off and even though I'm not in school anymore, it feels like a fresh start going into fall- my favorite season! The summer is a crazy time for us with Austin in camp season, so he was traveling so much for work and now just starting to get into an actual routine. Before we know it- it'll be the holidays (which I can't wait for, because we are getting another niece!!) August brought a lot of changes for us and September is a big month for Austin (big birthday!), so we are looking forward to a slower pace and some celebrating next month!

The BIG 3-0, yikes! Man, there's no escaping it now, I will be an adult, no ifs ands or buts about it. I suppose I'll need to make some changes, like wearing a watch or taking vitamins regularly. Whatever it may be, change is afoot, a new chapter, a new path, yada yada yada!

Here's a little recap of our month...


Austin and I moved around the 15th to a new house. We have loved living at Jane's (our friend's mom) and have been so lucky and blessed to have had such an easy and pleasant transition to life in Durham. We never expected to live with her for a year, but clearly we were really happy and didn't feel rushed! We are now renting a duplex very close to downtown and so far so good! We love having the extra space and the location is pretty great. We can walk to the farmer's market and some of our favorite spots and have a bike trail nearby! We are getting reacquainted with all of our stuff that has been in storage for the past year and subsequently getting rid of SO much that we've lived without and now realize we don't need. We weren't planning on becoming minimalists, but with how often we move we are learning and loving to live with less. 


Well now that we have moved in, the fun of decorating begins! I know I just said we were living with less, but we are making some swaps and opting for fewer nicer things. We are still living in a small home so clutter is not an option. We need to update some throw pillows and some art and need some window treatments and maybe a new chair for our bedroom. We did get a new bed (after our boxsprings would not fit up the stairs #oldhouseproblems) and are loving it! It wasn't a purchase we planned on making, but we are really happy with it.

Yes we got a new bed, but somehow still haven't managed to upgrade to a king size yet, AHH! I think we can both agree this will be a long time coming when it finally happens someday. I suppose we are sounding like that old married couple now that we are desperate for space over cuddling. Got to own it though!

We also got a new couch! And configuring our living room was quite the stressor, but I think we figured out the best plan to keep everything we want to keep, while still having plenty of room. 

Our new living room. Pre- move in! There is a lot of character (aka charm AND old house problems), but we like it (and don't have to fix anything because we rent)!

Our new living room. Pre- move in! There is a lot of character (aka charm AND old house problems), but we like it (and don't have to fix anything because we rent)!


A memorable meal that comes to mind this month is our double date to the Whiskey Kitchen in Raleigh. The restaurant was beautiful and their food was impressive without being stuffy! Ashley and Chris both got the Lamb Burger and raved about them! I got a special which was bourbon- barbecue chicken and wedge fries and it was delicious. I can't wait to go back and try some other options! 

Definitely some great cocktails as well! Make it a long evening and try a couple different ones (The Lemonati and The Ziggy Stardust to start.)

We also had lunch at Merritt's in Chapel Hill, which makes the BEST BLTs! There is nothing better in the summer than a BLT on a hot day. 

And step up your game here to the Big Leagues and ADD pimento cheese and avocado to yours.

Cherry coke and BLTs at Merritts! YUM

Cherry coke and BLTs at Merritts! YUM


 With moving comes a lot of unpacking and frustrations and while most of that is behind us, I always dread the next time we have to do this! Haha. I have to live in the present and be content and happy with where we are and trust wherever God takes us next. 


Not going to lie, I'm loving that Taylor Swift is back! I literally have vivid memories of listening to each of her albums at specific points in my life! 1989 came out during my last 6 months of living in NYC ("Welcome to New York!") and I would listen to it while walking to work everyday (and also Serial!). I'm also loving all the secret and mysterious shade she's throwing in her new music video for "Look What You Made Me Do". 

Austin and I have also been loving "How I Built This" podcast about the founders of big companies and how they started their businesses. It's so impressive and so many people started later in life which is really inspiring and uplifting.  I love the idea of people reinventing themselves and how the beginning of one's life or career doesn't have to be the middle or the end. These people never give up and are so steadfast in their determination and desire to see their ideas come to fruition.   

Whiskey Kitchen double date!

Whiskey Kitchen double date!


I just finished "All The Light We Cannot See" for my book club and really enjoyed it. If you haven't read it yet, it's a must read in my opinion. It's not perfect, but it shows completely different sides and lives of teenagers during WWII in Germany and France.

I'm about to dive into my recently acquired Ernest Hemingway anthology. Toughest part is which novel to read first? I'm thinking "A Farewell to Arms."

Also, I'm LOVING "The Bold Type" on Freeform/Hulu! It's my new favorite show. Three 20 something girls working for a women's magazine in NYC who have an AMAZING boss and are going for their goals and dreams while supporting each other. The show does a great job of showing real female friendships that are empowering and supportive, while also touching on so many social justice and real workplace issues. I can't get enough. I just want to be the 4th friend of Kat, Sutton and Jane!

We are also both finally getting around to watching the most recent season of "House of Cards." Dark for sure but certainly intriguing throughout. Kevin Spacey is a legend!


Staying busy at work on a new-to-me show and I'm really enjoying it. I am also keeping busy working on our house and decorating it.

Youth soccer is in full swing and currently I am coaching 11 year old boys and girls. Fun filled for sure. Such an exciting and creative age. They keep me young, ha! Also, I've been doing more and more writing for some soccer websites that I work for as well. This certainly challenges me on a new level, which I love. 

Austin posing before he devours his BLT.

Austin posing before he devours his BLT.


Last weekend, Austin and I explored some parts of Raleigh that we hadn't ventured to yet (only lived here a year- whoops! Better late than never...). We checked out Brewery Bhavana which was really cool (a brewery, dim sum restaurant, flower shop, and book store all in one!), Beasley's Chicken + Honey (which honestly was a letdown, but I'd still try it again. Mac & Cheese is the best feature), Yellow Dog Bakery and the Mordecai neighborhood (we really liked!). It was nice to get some bearings in downtown Raleigh and find places that we'd like to go back to. 

Walking around the Mordecai neighborhood in Raleigh

Walking around the Mordecai neighborhood in Raleigh


I'm reminiscing about Paris and London. Austin and I have got the travel itch again and we are really aching for another trip. We are hoping to take off around Christmas, so we'll see if we can swing it!

I've been thinking of South America. They say Buenos Aires is the "Paris of South America," hmm.


I bought some desperately needed new black jeans for fall when Madewell had a rare sale and I'm loving them! I have trouble with black jeans fading and I just need to not wash them as often, which is what you're supposed to do anyway. But these supposedly have been especially dyed to stay black longer than the average pair.  I'm also eyeing this quilted field jacket. I bought one 4 years ago and have worn it religiously every fall and spring since and it's a little faded now and needs an update!

No room for hats in the closet? Going up on the wall!

No room for hats in the closet? Going up on the wall!


This month my trips consisted of a couple of quick work trips to Atlanta. Nothing exciting! I'm really excited about a trip we are taking at the end of September- read more below!


My parents are coming into town and I'm so excited!! It's been a while since they visited and I'm excited to show them our new place and show them around Durham again. I hope we have better weather than is forecasted, but it looks like we are going get some rain from our own tropical storm. Bummer. 

Farmer's Market Haul. I can walk to the market from our new house!

Farmer's Market Haul. I can walk to the market from our new house!


Austin is turning 30! I'm way more excited than he is, but I know we are going to have a fun month of celebrating. We are going to Palm Beach for his birthday weekend and it is going to be a blast living our best "old" lives! Lots of beach time, lazy bike rides, shopping, and eating at nice restaurants. Even though we live so close to the beach now, we have only been one time all summer!  I'm really looking forward to some quality getaway time together. 

I really am excited, trust me. Not about the birthday, but about the trip. It may be a peek into our aging selves. Polyester and shuffleboard here we come! 

Also, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, there are so many displaced Texans that need our help right now and in the coming months/years!


- The Red Cross by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to Disaster Relief or purchase items for those in need through their Amazon Wishlist.

Donor's Choose donations go directly to help rebuild classrooms that have been affected by Harvey.

4 Paws Farm is aiding and rescuing pets and animals.

- All purchases of the Magnolia Market "Texas Forever T-Shirt" will be donated to disaster relief efforts.  

-  Texas Diaper Bank in San Antonio is asking for diapers and wipes, which can be dropped off in person or mailed to 5415 Bandera Road, Suite 504, San Antonio, Tex., 78238. Cash donations also accepted online. 

- Donations to the Salvation Army can be made online, by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769) or texting STORM to 51555.

God Bless, stay safe out there!

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