Life Update in Louisville: New Job, New House

Hugo

A lot happened for the Nelson family this summer!  First up, I'd like to introduce you to our little fur ball of love.

Meet Hugo!  This little guy has brought us so much joy since we brought him home in June.  A true southern gentleman with an affinity for smoked ham and teddy bears that squeak, he's stolen our affections and I'm quite okay with it.  We adopted him from Louie's Animal Rescue in Cincinnati, Ohio.  He's a 6 year old corgi mix (we think he's mixed with german shepherd).  He's very low key, with cuddles at top priority (we call him our little cuddle beast).  But if you start "sqeaking" his mini teddy bear toy, he'll become your new best friend and play with you for hours.

I've wanted a dog since I was a little girl, so adopting Hugo is a lifelong dream come true.  And I can confidently say he was well worth the wait!  Welcome home, Hugo. 

New Job, New House

Shortly after bringing Hugo home, I ended up landing a new job!  The only drawback is not being able to work from home and be with Hugo all day, but I'm grateful to do something I enjoy with people who make me laugh every day.

Just in case a new furry friend and job isn't enough change at once, we decided to buy a house!  Our search only lasted around a month, but I was definitely ready to settle down and get things moving by the time we found the house we ultimately closed on.  

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It takes me a little while to really adjust and feel familiar in a new home.  No surprise, but walking through our apartment all empty was kind of sad for me.  I saw the outlines of where our furniture was just a few days earlier, when things felt pretty normal and in sync.  

I'm so grateful for our new home and it's a good change.  It's just that walking through it empty brought back a lot of good memories, like sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag the night we drove up to Louisville from Florida with everything we owned.  We had our first wedding anniversary there, Christmas days, our first experience living in snow, first classes of Seminary, new jobs, new friendships, new careers even.  And lots of yummy meals of course, with either Gilmore Girls, The Office, or Parks and Recreation playing in the background on a regular basis.  That cozy apartment with the red door was a blessing.

Here are some photos of the most "done" room in the house so far - our dining room.  We bought this antique armoire to help store some of our kitchen appliances and I think it adds to the space in that "Joanna Gaines found this at a treasure trove antique market" kind of way.

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The fact that it can be locked with a key makes me feel like it's an heirloom from the Beauty and the Beast set or something.  It's easily become my favorite piece of furniture in the house.  

Now it's time to focus on learning our new home.  It's quirks, charm, potential.  My Pinterest boards are bursting with ideas and inspiration.  I'm excited to take my time, room by room.  Make it ours.  

Skinny Potato Salad

With July 4th coming up, this is the perfect light transition from a summer classic: potato salad.  Although you can buy ready-made potato salad at the grocery store, I love the taste of fresh ingredients sprinkled with some convenience (enter: ranch packet!).  We tend to keep recipes lower in fat if they're high in carbohydrates, but even if you don't follow those guidelines, this is a great side dish regardless! 

This recipe was adapted from Train for Her magazine.

Step-by-step:

1. Cube potatoes (skin on) and place into pan with boiling water.

2. Boil potatoes until done (when you can easily pierce with fork). Let cool.

3. In medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients.

4. Add cooled potatoes, salt to taste, stirring gently. Serve chilled.

Final step: sanitize screen and lick accordingly ;)  

Summer Check-List

For me, the aroma of summer smells like BBQ.  Burgers grilling and buns toasting!  We kicked off our first summer in Louisville with a little cookout to celebrate the great weather.  We played with traditional potato salad by using sour cream and greek yogurt with a ranch dressing packet and boom - so good!  This picture depicts my happiness over said cookout and the fact that I haven't killed the herb kits I got at Target.  Success.

These pictures of burgers and potato salad are from our kick-off cookout last year, for the effect ;)

I've decided I'd like to make a Summer Check List of sorts, to try out fun activities to see if we'd like to make them traditions.  That's one of my favorite parts about being married - deciding on family traditions.  

The point of this post is to ask for your help! What are some of your favorite summer activities and traditions?  Let me know in the comments.  I'd love to add them to our list!