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Congrats to Taylor Y. from KS! You are the winner of the Dunkin Donuts gift card. Please send your mailing info to melanieinthemiddle@gmail.com. Thanks to all for entering!

Chillin’ with Chili

Chili and the KidsI apologize for Chili taking over the blog. I wish there was more to share right now, but he’s pretty much our focus. Trying to house train him and make him a good social pup is eating up the time that used to be devoted to exploring our new state, Maryland.

I’m hoping for a little balance and more exploration as he gets bigger, but for now it’s Chili central over here. Which of course means more pictures to share with you!

We have taken him on a few outings, but even those have to be centered around his needs. We’re becoming well versed in local establishments that are pup friendly. We’ve also discovered that certain towns are more dog friendly than others. Annapolis and Alexandria, VA are lovely places to bring your fur babies. Lots of dining options for parents of pups in those two towns.

ChiliOn the home front we’ve been busy teaching him good puppy behavior, which of course is pottying outside. And I must say, he’s doing a fine job of it. He has few accidents which is pretty impressive for his age. Although I know he’s sorely tempted to christen the new rug in the family room. He keeps sniffing it and looking at me while he does, so I know he’s weighing the consequences in his head. So far, so good.

Chili and MichaelAnd for the first time yesterday, we let him run free in the fenced in area of the backyard. We held off doing that for awhile because there were a few areas that were not fenced properly, but a friend lent us some gates which fixed that problem perfectly.

We’re having all kinds of fun playing soccer with him and watching him romp and dig. It’s the one area of the yard that I don’t mind digging because it’s all mulch. Dig away my little friend!

Chili Chillin'He looks neglected, right? Luckiest pup on the planet. Even though we’re sort of tied to the house right now, it’s fine because he’s fun to hang out with. This pup has tons of personality and energy and makes for good entertainment while sipping a glass of wine on the deck.

So we’re stuck at home for the most part, but it’s the best kind of stuck there is.

And even though my blog posting has been on the slow side, did you know I post daily on Instagram?

Yup, I started an Instagram account for Chili and I have my own. For awhile there I was sharing Chili on my own Instagram feed, but that account is supposed to be for food and travel. Thus I started a separate account for Chili because it seemed to make sense to separate those interests.

So if you want to follow along, feel free to interact with me on Instagram. It’s a lot of fun and I’m on there daily.

That should catch you up! I hope you’re having a fabulous week and enjoying the cooler weather. It certainly feels like Fall now!

This Furry Life

ChiliIt’s been two weeks since Chili has joined the family. He’s immensely loved by all and has brought us together in ways I hadn’t anticipated.

Having a teen and a college student in-house, usually they keep to themselves in their room unless food is being served. Typical behavior for the age. Now that Chili is home, we are spending so much more time together in the family room hanging out with the pup. Chili is the great unifier.

And indeed we enjoy hanging out with him. There’s a beach close by where we take Chili to romp and play. It’s a private beach where we can take his leash off and let him frolic. Unless there’s a hawk nearby. In that case the leash stays on. Have you ever seen this scene in The Proposal? Looks like Chili, right?

ChiliLong before we got Chili, we became friends with other Samoyed owners in the area. One of them, Tamara, is an amateur photographer who takes amazing photos. All the pics in this post are taken by Tam. I’m very lucky to have talented friends.

Meeting other Samoyed owners has been a real blessing. Not only are we learning about the breed, we’re making new friends. Another huge bonus of bringing Chili into our lives.

Shannon and Chili

My smiling #samoyed. #akcsamoyed #akc #dogsofinstagram #puppy #puppiesofinstagram @barkbox @buzzfeedanimals #beachboy #beachdog #puppylove #dog #samoyed #atomicsamoyeds #woof #smile #smiley #chilidog

My smiling #samoyed. #akcsamoyed #akc #dogsofinstagram #puppy #puppiesofinstagram @barkbox @buzzfeedanimals #beachboy #beachdog #puppylove #dog #samoyed #atomicsamoyeds #woof #smile #smiley #chilidog


My #dog is either part #pretzel  or a #yoga master. #samoyed #akc #akcsamoyed #chilidog #dogsofinstagram #puppiesofinstagram @buzzfeedanimals #awkward #puppy #beachdog @barkbox

My #dog is either part #pretzel or a #yoga master. #samoyed #akc #akcsamoyed #chilidog #dogsofinstagram #puppiesofinstagram @buzzfeedanimals #awkward #puppy #beachdog @barkbox

Besides loving the beach, Chili is fond of chewing on our socks while they’re still on our feet, pouncing on us when we least expect it and playing in his water bowl instead of drinking out of it. He might be a snow dog, but he acts much more like a beach boy.

House training/breaking is going about as well as can be expected of a ten week old pup. Hit or miss. Luckily his accidents are only of the liquid variety and that just takes time to work out. We go through an incredible amount of Nature’s Miracle .

Yesterday I picked up a doggy stroller so I can continue exercising with Chili in tow. Yes, I know I’ll look like a crazy dog lady pushing my puppy around the neighborhood, but I’d rather do that than not have my wedding dress zip up. So people can gawk away.

Life with Chili has been very Chili centric these past two weeks. I’m looking forward to the weeks to come when he’s a little less labor intensive and I can get some balance back in my life again. Cooking and writing about it has taken a back seat to training Chili. Hopefully that will change in the coming weeks.

So that’s about it over here. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

There’s an affiliate Amazon link in this post. If you are getting a puppy, you need Nature’s Miracle. Trust me.

Chili’s Homecoming

ChiliHe’s here! He’s here! He’s here!!! This is the first time I’ve used multiple exclamation points in my writing, so you’ve got to know I’m over the top excited to share this news with you.

Our little pile of fluff is home and we are all so in LOVE! We brought him home last weekend and have spent the last five days getting him used to his new home. More accurately, I’ve spent the last five days washing the floor where he’s piddled more times than I can count.

But no worries. It’s worth it. All the puppy kisses and cuddles makes it worth it. And our floor is systematically being deep cleaned one inch at a time, so that’s sort of a win.

Let’s start at the beginning…

ChiliHello dirty puppy! We asked our breeder (now friend) to hold off bathing our puppy because we wanted to see how she groomed him in person. Lucky for Chili, our breeder lives on a large piece of land with plenty of romping space for the pups. And as you can see, he got good and dirty the day we arrived.


ChiliLuckily for us, Chili didn’t mind bath time one bit. Actually, he loves the water. Funny story for you…

The other day I had to find a way to take a quick shower and my only option was to bring Chili in the bathroom with me. My shower has no doors and it’s a rather large walk-in space.

I got Chili set up with some toys and thought he was good and distracted. I got into the shower and started getting my hair wet, and the next thing I felt was four little paws splashing along in the water with me. Not the most effective way to bathe.

ChiliAfter his tubby he was blown dry with a turbo sized dog hair dryer. That part he was not fond of. Not one little bit. And let me tell you, this dog’s got some fur.  It took a good long time to thoroughly dry him which is so very important for dogs with thick coats.

ChiliAll clean and happy snuggled up with The Colonel. Chili and The Colonel are already tight. Whenever Chili sees The Colonel, that tail starts wagging furiously.

ChiliAnd of course I love him to bits. I smoosh his face and smother him with kisses on a regular basis. He is a love. The only time he gives me grief is at night as he hates his crate. Or at least he did the first few nights. He’s gotten better in the past two days, but those first few nights were rough going.

Chili is a howler and sounds much like a wolf when he’s unhappy. The first few nights he howled an awful mournful howl that broke our hearts. That first night Michael slept on the floor next to the crate and I was sleeping (or trying to) on the couch constantly telling him that he was ok. Major lack of sleep going on over here.

But still, WORTH IT!
ChiliLook at his paw. I die from the cute. Such a perfect little paw. Soft and pink with cute black splotches.


ChiliSuch a sweet boy! A sweet boy who needs to learn how to go potty outside. But to be fair, he’s only nine weeks old and we can’t possibly expect him to be house broken for awhile yet. So for now we lavish him with praise when he does his business outside and clean up after him as needed. Sort of like having a baby all over again!

So that’s Chili! You’ll be seeing a lot more of him in the near future!

I have a question for the dog parents out there. Chili hasn’t been fond of the treats we’ve offered him. Do you have any favorites we should look into? Or perhaps recipes for treats I can make at home? It’s a little odd that he’s not into treats. So maybe I’m just not buying the right types? It’s hard to train a dog who doesn’t like his treats. So any advice is welcome!


Congrats to Charity S. from IL! You’re the winner of the Seattle’s Best giveaway. Please send your mailing info to melanieinthemiddle@gmail.com. Thanks to all for entering!


I’ve spent the past days thinking about whether or not I should continue the blog. As I stated in the last post, I’ve grown weary of the negativity that occasionally comes around when I post something personal.

The Colonel and I have discussed it at great length and I’ve thought long and hard about what I want to do, not what other people want  me to do.

Too much of my life has been spent worrying about what other people think of me and the choices I make.

So I’ve decided to keep on keepin’ on. I enjoy sharing my life with you. No, I can’t share everything about my life because no one needs to know every detail of my existence.

Am I perfect? No. Do I have my own issues? Of course. Is every day rainbows and cupcakes in my world? I wish.

I am just like you. Human. I make mistakes. I screw up regularly. I stress eat. I swear when someone cuts me off. I even yell at my kids when they don’t listen.  I am not perfect.

I know it seems that way when I share things on the blog because I tend to focus on the good stuff. Pictures of smiling kids, happy times and new puppies.

Does that mean I’ve got it all together?

Nope. I sure don’t.

I’ve been told I’m sharing a semi-authentic life with you. And you know what? That’s true! Completely true. Guilty as charged.

What I share on my blog is about 20% of my real life. Another 70% is me wearing yoga pants with no makeup on working and sorting out a new life. And you don’t really need to see that. Trust me. I need the makeup.

The other 10%? That’s the stuff that no one wants or needs to know about. Extended family drama, divorce stress, parenting stress….

I could go on and on. But I won’t.

Because there is no law in blogging that says I have to share every minute of my life with the public.

If I choose to share happy puppy pics, fattening cakes and me looking my very best, I can.

I can because it’s my choice to make.

So here’s the deal…

If you think I’m full of crap, an awful person and that my blog is a fake, don’t read it.

That’s pretty simple. If you don’t like me or what I have to share, go find something else to read.

I mean, think about that for a minute. What does that say about you if you take joy in hating what someone else is doing and sharing? Take that time and do something better for your life. That bitterness you feel when you read what I post is not good for you. There’s got to be a better way to use your time.

I won’t allow you to bully me into silence.

And if you like reading my blog and enjoy the parts of my life I feel comfortable sharing with you? Great! I’m happy to have you. There will be SO many cute puppy pics and happy faces coming your way because that’s what I choose to write about.

Life is tough. For all of us. So know that I want to share the bright spots with you as I encounter them, but at the same time know that I struggle just like you. You just don’t see that part of my life.

Going forward, comments will continue to be moderated so I can delete the hate. I apologize in advance if that seems unfair or that I’m manipulating the comments to look favorably on me. That’s really not my intent, but I can see how you’d feel that way.

That said, that’s the way it’s going to be.

Now if you will kindly excuse me, I’m going to go upload about 3,729 pictures of my new puppy to share with you. Oh, and I might bake a cake too. Because that’s how I roll.

P.S. I wanted to respond to every single comment on the last post, but time got the best of me. I responded to at least half. For those that I couldn’t get to, thank you. Thank you for your support. Thank you for taking the time to read my stories. And most of all, thank you for your kindness. The world needs more of it.

An Announcement

The ColonelSo I’m getting married to The Colonel in October. Yes, it’s not quite been a year since my divorce. Yes, I know it seems fast to you. Yes, I know you think I might have a story beyond what I’ve shared thus far.

Yes, I know you’re craving answers to fill in the blanks. And yes, I understand that because my life has been an open journal for the past eight years, you think I owe you all the intimate details.

So yes, I know you’re assuming whatever it is people assume when people divorce and remarry quickly and nothing I can say will stop the haters from imagining the worst. So I’m not even going to try to defend my impending nuptials.

Over the past year I’ve dealt with lots of hateful comments about my divorce. Some comments I’ve let post to the blog, others I have not. Because while I welcome reasoned discussion, I’m not ok with hate. And if I were to be completely honest, I’ve considered shuttering the blog altogether because life is too short to allow other people to rain on our parade.

I’ll say that again. After eight years of blogging, I’m considering shutting the blog down because of the constant judgement I’m under for my life decisions.

It seems unfair to me to have my life on parade while people who wish me malice watch my new life unfold from the comfort of their sofas, and with just a few keystrokes, leave comments that blacken an otherwise happy time in my life.

And I’m in SUCH a beautiful place right now that I’m fiercely protective of the joy that fills my life. After two decades of instability, I now feel loved and stable. I’m not going to allow anything to disrupt the peace and joy that’s our life right now. Or forever for that matter. I’m walking side by side in unity with The Colonel and we are forging a new purposeful path together.

The Colonel

The ColonelHow about the kids? What do they think? Well, the truth of the matter is that they like him. Actually, it’s hard NOT to like him. He’s a happy guy. Always quick to smile and offer up a joke, The Colonel is a man with a can-do attitude and positive spirit. In his opinion, where there’s a will, there’s a way. And that positive attitude is downright infectious.

So, yes! The kids like him and are SO excited to be part of our wedding.

The kids are onboard, The Colonel and I are onboard. And my friends? They are ready for a party come October.

Mel and The ColonelThat’s my news. We’re getting married. I’m not sure what’s going to happen with the blog. While I’d like to keep sharing my life with you all, I’m growing weary of the negativity that surrounds each personal post I share.

And I’d like to be clear. The comments do NOT decrease my joy. Nor do they cause me to doubt ANY of the decisions I’ve made as of late. It’s just that I am at peace now. Life is going better than I’ve ever imagined it could. And all my childhood dreams of finding a happily ever after are finally coming true.

And nothing is going to burst that bubble.

So I’m not sure what’s going to happen here. All I know is that I’m marrying The Colonel this October and we are getting a puppy in two weeks. The rest? To be continued….

The Old is New Again

Antique CabinetI’ve shared my love for antiques many times before, but living where I lived in New England, antiques were expensive. Certain markets can command higher prices and the dealers in my area knew it.

Now I live in Southern Maryland where farmers are my neighbors. I’m as rural as it gets. And this is a huge advantage as an antiques collector. What was once unaffordable is now a bargain and I’m having SO much fun picking up things here and there.

The cabinet above was found at a local dealer’s shop. It was made around 1900 and I knew it would be perfect for my vintage Pyrex collection. The curved glass is so lovely and it fits perfectly with the rest of the decor in that room. A total score for sure!

Antique Pink CouchThis outrageous pink couch you see above was not supposed to end up in my home. I saw it in the same shop as the cabinet and knew from the start that one of my friends would love it. So I snapped a few pictures in order to share it with her later.

But when I told The Colonel about this crazy pink couch I found, he asked to see it. And when he saw it, he speculated on how lovely it would look in the then empty living room which has purple drapes left by the prior owner.

My poor friend never had a chance and the living room is no longer empty.

Antique ChairThe dealer also had a couple chairs that came from the same estate and were most likely paired with the pink couch. The fabric has shades of pink and purple, so they pair well with the couch. And the wood is mahogany. Such pretty pieces.

I bet you’re wondering how much the chairs and couch went for? $450. Can you believe it? Craziness.

My sons are not fond of these pieces. They call it ghost furniture as they are certain the prior owner died which is entirely plausible. Especially when you factor in that the pieces were built between 1890 and 1900. Odds are good. So that’s one way of keeping them off my fancy furniture. Ha!

Now I just have to figure out how to clean this stuff. If you have any thoughts on that, please comment on this post. I’d love to hear from anyone who has experience in cleaning antique upholstery!

Antique TVWhile the antique shops in my area offer very fair prices, the auction house is an outright steal. We visited last Friday night with kids in tow. That was an experience. I thought the kids would find it fascinating. They did not. So we didn’t get to stay for very long, which was better for my bank account, but we did find a few gems.

See that tv? How much fun is that? No, we didn’t bid on it, but I thought it was so cool! We left before it went up for auction which is a shame as I would’ve loved to have seen how much it went for.

Carnival GlassI was the high bidder on the pieces you see above. I was thrilled to find purple carnival glass for my purple living room. There were six pieces of carnival glass in the lot and the high bidder could choose which pieces they wanted. My high bid of $25 snagged me the two pieces you see above. Aren’t they fantastic?

The table was what drew me to the auction on the website preview. A mahogany base with a solid marble top. So perfect for a formal living room. I had a feeling this would go high and there was a ton of bidding action when the auction started. But after a few minutes the bidding calmed down and I was the high bidder at $80. I still can’t believe it.

The lamp? I wasn’t quite as lucky with that one. Bidding was fierce and I was pretty committed because of the purple flowers in the lamp. Not to mention, the lamp was being displayed on my table, so I figured it was only right to keep them together. $150 later it was mine. Ouch.

Still a good price when you compare it to retail, so I shouldn’t complain.

So the living room is coming along nicely. All I need now is a rug and we are good to go!

How about you? Do you love antiques? Are you an auction lover too? Let’s talk antiques!

6 Reasons to Visit Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Winston Salem TavernIn all my travels I’ve never visited North Carolina. Sure, I’ve driven through the state many a time, but I’ve never actually explored it until recently. Last month my girlfriend Susan and I went on an epic six day action packed tour of the state which included Winston-Salem, Charlotte and Pittsboro.

It was a trip filled with history, gorgeous scenery and a tremendous amount of delicious bites. Each town different than the last and filled with activities for all. Today I’m going to share with you my finds in Winston-Salem. A town I found captivating. So much so that I’m actually planning a family trip back there in the very near future.

Here are 6 not to miss experiences in Winston-Salem…

1. Old Salem Museum & Gardens

WinstonSalemOld Salem Museum and Gardens is located in the historic town of Old Salem. It’s a fully restored Moravian congregation town dating back to 1766. It consists of historically accurate buildings, gardens and reenactors who educate visitors by giving them a glimpse into the past.

This is the perfect place to bring a family as there are activities for both kids and adults alike.

Adults will delight in learning all about heirloom plant varieties in the historically accurate gardens where you can watch planting, harvesting and even cooking in the kitchen of a period home.

Architecture buffs will marvel at how the homes and businesses were preserved and renovated. Be sure to visit the Single Brothers’ house to see good examples of Moravian half timber construction. It’s no wonder the buildings stood the test of time. They were solidly built. The expression they don’t make it like that anymore is highly applicable here.

All ages will find God’s Acre fascinating. A Moravian graveyard, God’s Acre is a beautiful but simple resting place of the Moravian people that inhabited Old Salem. What’s fascinating about the Moravian burial tradition is that all graves are exactly the same.

From the highest stature Moravian down to the poorest, all Moravians are memorialized with a simple white slab stone marker flush with the earth. Be sure to visit God’s Acre while you’re in Old Salem as it’s a visually stunning and moving experience which reflects the Moravian peoples’ humility and devotion to their faith.

Winston Salem VillageAll ages will thoroughly enjoy the Winkler Bakery which was established in 1800. This still working bakery is a must visit as it’s not only educational, but delicious. Guests can watch the famous Moravian Sugar Cake being made amongst other breads, cookies and treats. Be sure to head to the collocated bakery store where you can purchase all the baked goods which are baked in their wood fired domed oven just one room over. The smell of fresh baked goods is completely irresistible.

Make sure to budget at least one full day to touring Old Salem. Honestly, my next trip I’m blocking off two full days of touring as I feel like you need that much time to fully see all this historic town has to offer. There were all kinds of shops lining the streets that I would’ve loved to visit.

And if you’re looking for a family friendly place to dine, The Tavern in Old Salem is the perfect spot. The food sticks with a historical focus and offers hearty but family friendly fare. Susan ordered a chicken pot pie which was one of the very best pot pies I’ve ever tasted. The food is substantial and reasonably priced.

For more information on visiting Old Salem, visit their website which is a treasure trove of information. Some of the attractions and events require tickets, so be sure to look at hours, pricing and upcoming events.

2. Reynolda House

ReynoldaWhen I first heard that we were to visit R.J. Reynold’s family estate, Reynolda House, I thought perhaps this was going to be an in depth look into the tobacco industry. Because let’s face it, when you hear the name R.J. Reynolds, we all think tobacco. At least that was my case.

And while that is true, Reynolda house is so very much more than that. The family estate is an exquisite glimpse into a life that most can only dream of. The house itself is beautifully furnished with antiques and art. Every room holds a new treasure.

You can quite literally lose yourself in the past here. Don’t miss the lower level that holds a bowling alley, arcade, indoor swimming pool and even a bar where some fabulous parties were surely held.

Also watch for the American artwork which is prominently displayed throughout the home. American art was very important to the Reynolds family and their collection is vast. Exhibitions are held throughout the year which will delight the art lovers who visit.

The sprawling gardens are another must see and a lovely way to relax. You will see people lounging on blankets and munching on picnics as the gardens are a local favorite place to unwind.

For more information on hours and admission, check out the Reynolda House website. Children under 18, students with valid ID, and military with ID enjoy free admission.

3. Graylyn

Graylyn EstatesOur accommodations in Winston-Salem was the opulent Graylyn Estates. As we approached the property up the winding drive, we were bowled over by the majestic main house. The brick and stone structure is sure to impress anyone who makes their way through Graylyn’s gates.

Built in 1932 by Bowman and Nathalie Gray, Graylyn consists of 86 one of a kind guest rooms on 55 scenic acres. The rooms are appointed with fine furnishings, antiques and fine artwork which was clearly a love of the Grays.

Graylyn EstatesArchitectural details are sure to delight as the house is full of intricate iron work, imported Italian marble and other materials imported from around the world.

Susan and I each stayed in a suite located in The Mews which used to be the stables. Both rooms were breathtaking and lush. High thread count linens which felt like butter to the touch were fitted over mattresses that felt like they were made for royalty. If you’re looking for a romantic place to visit in Winston-Salem, Graylyn is the clear choice.

Graylyn EstatesWe also appreciated the little things Graylyn offered that made our stay there all the more memorable. Twenty-four hour access to complimentary ice cream treats made Susan and I feel a little giddy. Ice cream at 3am? Yes please!

The mini bar in our room was stocked with complimentary beverages and when I was craving a glass of prosecco, the neighboring twenty-four hour guest shop came to the rescue with my favorite La Marca prosecco available for purchase, all chilled and ready to be popped open.

It’s all about the little things, don’t you think?

Graylyn also offers an outdoor pool with tennis court, fitness facility, walking trails and dining options as well. For more information on this property, be sure to visit the Graylyn website.

4. Mrs. Hanes’ Moravian Cookies

Mrs.HanesCookiesOne of the highlights of our trip was a visit to Mrs. Hane’s Moravian Cookie Factory. This is a stop you don’t want to miss if you are a cookie lover.

Seventy-five years ago Bertha Crouch Foltz baked the Moravian cookies to help supplement the family farm income. She hand rolled and cut the delicate shapes and sold them to locals.

Her cookies were so well received the business blossomed and today they produce ten million cookies per year, by hand. Let that sink in for a moment. No fancy cutting machines for Mrs. Hanes’ cookies. Every single cookie is hand rolled, cut and packaged. Incredible!

If you take the tour of the factory, you are greeted at each educational station with one of their cookie varieties for tasting. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Mrs. Hanes’ Moravian Cookies come in six delicious flavors including ginger, sugar, chocolate, butterscotch, lemon and black walnut. I tried every single one and they were all delicious. Luckily they offer gift packs of the different varieties. I’d suggest trying them all!

For more information on Mrs. Hanes’ Moravian Cookies, you can visit their website.

5. Mozelle’s
mozellesAfter a long day of touring, we were so looking forward to dinner at a restaurant that’s rather popular with the locals, Mozelle’s. Known as a Southern bistro, Mozelle’s focuses on fresh seasonal foods with a decidedly Southern flare.

Trying to keep things light, I ordered a flavorful roasted beet salad with gorgonzola cheese. My dining partner Susan chose the fried chicken. While my salad was exactly what I had hoped it would be, I would be lying if I told you I didn’t want to swipe Susan’s dinner away from her. It looked that good.

And all hopes of keeping it light went out the window when I heard they had a bourbon pecan bread pudding. The diet could wait another day or so. Oh, and yes. It was worth every single calorie.

6. Mary’s Gourmet Diner

Mary's Gourmet DinerOn our last morning in Winston-Salem, we went to breakfast at Mary’s Gourmet Diner. Known for their breakfast and lunch menu, Mary’s Gourmet Diner dishes out hearty portions of Southern classics like biscuits and gravy, grits served up several different ways and tons of other breakfast and lunch fare including pancakes, French toast, sandwiches, soups and salads. All made with locally sourced foods and all cooked from scratch. Southern comfort food for sure.

Mary's Gorumet DinerI chose to forgo calorie counting for this meal when I saw they offered biscuits and gravy. I have a hard time finding good biscuits and gravy where I live and as they say, when in Rome you eat the biscuits and gravy. The Romans didn’t say that? They should’ve.

I give two thumbs up and a dozen forks to Mary’s Gourmet Diner. It was a winner. For hours and directions, be sure to visit Mary’s website.

Our time in Winston-Salem was all too brief. My next visit will be for an entire week because there’s just so much to do. I especially think this is a fine place to bring a family because not only is Winston-Salem historically rich, it’s got a lot to offer the kiddos too. Museums, family friendly dining and lots of green space to explore, Winston-Salem is a family travel destination in its own right.

If you’re looking for a  fun family getaway, Winston-Salem is a good contender. Also, for people looking for a romantic spot for a long weekend, this is a fine place to explore hand in hand. You’ll be charmed.


VisitNC.com hosted Susan and I on our trip. Thank you to all the businesses we visited, we thoroughly enjoyed your products and services. While this visit was complimentary, it was not compensated and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

A Beautiful Day

Samoyed PuppiesThis past weekend was spectacular for a couple of reasons. First, all my kids came home. It was a long five weeks apart, but we are finally back together. I am SO very happy they had a great time with their Dad and I’m thankful that we have a month left before school vacation ends to spend time and have fun together. Life is so very very good.

And the other reason it was a fabulous weekend was because we got to spend time with our puppy! We are completely in love with him and are so looking forward to bringing him home next month.

Samoyed Puppy

Samoyed PuppySo much cute going on here. Right now Chili is only four weeks old. He needs four more weeks with his mama so he can grow a bit more. And while he’s busy doing that, we are busy getting ready for him.

It’s sort of like preparing for a baby. A fuzzy baby, but a baby nonetheless. We’re busy looking for a crate, preparing to baby proof the house, stocking up on treats and toys and also stocking up on lint rollers. Hello white fur everywhere!

Adult SamoyedSee this guy above? This is one of Chili’s relatives. His name is Earl. Isn’t he fabulous? Lots of fur in our future. I need to add white clothing to my shopping list because my black pants days might be over.

Samoyed Puppy

ChiliNow that the kids are home, it’s time to get back into a regular posting routine. And with Chili’s arrival on the rather near horizon, our travel is going to be completely limited to trips to the grocery store and Petco, but we wouldn’t have it any other way!