Thursday, December 26, 2019

how much did we spend $$ on Christmas?

I love the holidays and tend to be one of those people that go completely overboard. Over the top with decorating and excessive gift giving. That being said, I still have a Christmas budget that I stick to because at the end of the day, I want to enjoy the holidays and not have to stress about money. 
what we spent on Christmas 2019
We normally save up for Christmas well in advance, but found ourselves cash-flowing the entire thing this year instead. I always base our budget on the year before, but somehow it keeps increasing. Ha! Here's what we spent on Christmas 2019...

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

they're here!

Thanks to a bit of a mix up, our holiday cards were delayed this year. I was beyond worried that these wouldn't arrive on time, but they came in just a few days ago and I rushed to get them out. We hand delivered quite a few, but all the ones we mailed arrived right on Christmas.  
I will forever be sending out holiday cards. And right now for this season of life, I especially love that we send out our cards with a real photo that represents the year, as opposed to staging and posing for a photo just for the sake of the card. 

Thursday, December 12, 2019

money diaries vol 1: holiday edition

Money has always been such a taboo subject, but ironically, it is also one of the most important factors in our day to day lives. Yet, no one wants to talk about it. I love that my generation is stepping away from this faux pas and is being more honest and upfront with series like CNBC's Millennial Money and Refinery 29's Money Diaries. 
And while I've always shared our travel budgets, I'm hoping to talk money more in this space in the coming year, and I thought doing my own version of a money diary series could be a fun way to do that. With the holidays in full swing, I feel like we are definitely indulging and spending more than usual. Juggling between trying to enjoy the holidays while not jeopardizing our financial goals has been quite the balancing act, so I thought  this would be a good time to share my first money diary. Here is everything that the Husband and I spent money on last week. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg

When we moved to the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area a little over a year ago, I immediately made a list of things to do and try. And a day trip to Colonial Williamsburg has been at the top of that list. The timing just never quite worked out until now, which turned out to be a good thing, because visiting during the holiday season was extra magical. Every year the city has a wreath decorating contest. And it is beyond intense. 
If you live in the area, you are required to put up a wreath for the contest and there is an entire published manual on rules and regulations for what can and cannot be used in the wreath. Basically, it has to be all natural items, similar to colonial times. A community where tasteful holiday decorations are required, is definitely my kind of place. And while, it's a little crazy to think about, it makes for the best holiday visit to tour the wreaths with all the neighbors competing for the blue ribbon and bragging rights for the year. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

holiday cards from christmas past

I know the idea of holiday cards may be an outdated one, but it's a tradition that I love. I think that it honestly comes from fond memories of helping my mother address cards every year. And once, I had my own little family, I couldn't wait to do the same. 

Monday, December 9, 2019

where have I been?

So I disappeared again. But you already knew that didn't you? I barely visited this space all summer because well...I was living my best life while visiting all the countries during not one, but two separate backpacking trips through Europe. After all that traveling, I totally had the best intentions to focus on documenting all of those experiences in this space. And then, the most unexpected thing license to practice dentistry showed up much earlier than I was expecting. 
Apparently graduating from an accredited dental school isn't enough, you have to go through this whole arduous process to get legal permission to work. And I survived it. Within days of receiving my license, I applied to jobs and immediately landed interviews, received job offers, and signed a contract within just a week's time. So off to work I went. It's honestly taken some time for me to get acclimated to this whole working adult thing, but I'm finally settling in and getting back to my everyday life-including this space.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

15 cities. 6 countries. 23 days.

What an incredible whirlwind! 
It has always been the plan to take a BIG trip after finishing up with grad school. And I've been planning and saving for this graduation trip for years, all without even knowing where we were headed. 
We had a unique opportunity with having the time to travel this summer (that we will probably never have again) and we wanted to take advantage of it. We were torn between Asia, Northern Europe, and South America initially with no idea of which direction to take. The logistics of Asia just weren't working out though and at the end of the day, we opted for the activities in Europe over South America.  I mean, how can you beat spending your days touring castles, walking cobblestone streets, and soaking in the most amazing history? 
I have so much to share from this amazing adventure of a lifetime and literally thousands of photos. I've honestly been a bit overwhelmed with where to even start. I've decided to kick things off with an overall overview of our entire trip itinerary below. Then I will do recaps on each country/city, including our travel budget per country, followed by our overall budget for the entire trip. Sound like a plan? Ok, let's jump in. 

Thursday, August 1, 2019

living my best life

Oh, Hello There! 
And happy August. I managed to disappear from this space once again with not blogging during the past month. You will have to please just excuse me as I was out and about living my best life!
The Amalfi Coast: Positano Italy

Thursday, June 20, 2019

friday favorites 06.21.19

Happy Friday Friends! 
Just checking in since it's been a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, I greatly overestimated my ability to post here during our month long backpacking trip through Europe. I've been just a little bit busy. This week alone, we have been to 4 different countries that included 3 plane rides, 3 bike rides, 1 funicular, 2 museum tours, 3 palaces, a 16 hour ferry, and the list goes on and on. 
St. Issac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg Russia 

I have managed to share on my Instagram stories in real time, but I'm happy to stop in here to share a few thoughts from this week. 

Friday, June 7, 2019

friday favorites 06.07.19

Happy Friday Friends! 
I'm sleepily popping in for a quick share, but I'm not complaining. In fact, I'm not sure how my day could possibly get any better because today, we are headed off for a month long backpacking trip through Europe! Also, tomorrow is my 30th birthday! 
Before I get to ahead of myself, here are some highlights from earlier in the week. 

Thursday, June 6, 2019

May 2019//

It feels so good to be back to sharing monthly recaps and looking back on May warms my heart. It was the busiest and best packed month with lots of life changes to include becoming a grad school grad with earning my doctorate in dental medicine
making restorations blog may 2019 recap 1May was filled with lots of events, kayaking, biking, city strolls, and road-tripping.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Power Couple

Introducing Doctor and Doctor Schneider!
Ok yes, I realize that may sound all kinds of obnoxious. I don't mean for it to be, I'm just proud because the only thing more difficult than earning a doctorate degree is...earning a doctorate degree while your spouse is ALSO earning a doctorate degree-hundreds of miles away in another state. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Congaree National Park

On our way home from Florida, we decided to break up the drive with a stop in South Carolina to visit Congaree National Park. 
Touring through the swamplands of the South may not be at the top of everyone's must see list, but we loved seeing the bald cypress and swamp tupelos. And bonus points that we spotted an 8 foot alligator and some wild boar while hiking through the park. 

Monday, June 3, 2019

Gators in Gainesville

Back from Gainesville Florida with a trip to visit my little sister. This was the most impromptu and spontaneous road trip and I love that I had the option to do this.
While I was in grad school, I missed out on so many special family moments...birthdays, anniversaries, holidays. But something that I really hate having missed was moving my little sister into college. I remember giving this girl baths and reading her stories, and it hurt my heart that I couldn't be there to see her get started off in college. Since I have quite a bit more free time these days, I made it a point to head down for a visit. On a whim, Tom and I packed up the car, grabbed the pup, and made the 10+ hour drive down to Florida all in one day. 

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Manatee Kayaking in Crystal River Florida

Hello from Florida! 
We are here on a quick impromptu Southern Road Trip to visit my little sister. Today, we had the most memorable and amazing experience with kayaking in Crystal River Florida along the Three Sisters Spring. 
crystal river manatee kayak 1
 I don't even remember how I stumbled upon this hidden gem of Crystal River, but it 100% deserves it's namesake. Since it's only about an hour away from my sister in Gainesville, I knew that we had to go. We loaded up the car right around 6AM this morning and headed towards Crystal River so that we could get on the water right at sunrise. We did a kayaking tour and it worked out that the other kayakers in the group cancelled, so we had a guide all to ourselves. We ended up being the first ones on the water today, which gave us a chance to kayak alongside manatees and alligators, as well as seeing so many species of turtles and birds. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

cooking tajine in Fes Morocco

There is nothing like dinner with a view and it's even better when you prepare the food for yourself. 
Throughout traveling Morocco, the food was amazing so one our last evening there, I knew that we had to do a cooking class to learn how to make some of these dishes for ourselves.
I found a family owned Moroccan restaurant that also offered cooking classes. We were invited right into the restaurant's kitchen and taught 3 different dishes...that we then enjoyed on the roof. This was the perfect last meal in Morocco and now we can recreated this authentic meal and experience for ourselves. 

Friday, May 17, 2019

friday favorites 05.17.19

What a week this has been and it feels so good to be back to sharing favorites after taking such a long blogging break

Thursday, May 16, 2019


One last graduation post, sharing the actual day because is was a hectic hazy whirlwind. I had two separate graduation ceremonies (yes 2!) to attend all in one day, so it felt a little rushed to get everyone and everything organized. But we did it. 
making restorations blog graduation day 1

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

grad school grad!

 I am so incredibly grateful for the overwhelming support from my family and friends throughout this long journey of achieving my childhood dream. I'm also grateful for the amazing teachers and dentists and staff and mentors and patients that encouraged me along the way. And believe it or not, I'm also grateful to all of you. Yes, you, the person reading this post right now.
I struggled and stumbled along this path more than once, but always found the resilience to keep going, and that is in major part thanks to everyone who supported me, including this online community. It sounds silly, but over the years of blogging, I have made some true friends that are also complete strangers. So to anyone who has been kind enough to read my rants, leave encouraging comments, and even reach out to me directly, thank you for your support. 

Monday, May 13, 2019

Doctorate of Dental Medicine

Let's just take a moment and talk about this for a second because you guys, I have a doctorate degree! 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

first paddle

This weekend we went out on our first paddle of the season and it felt like the official kick off to what will hopefully be an amazing summer!  
We dock onto the Elizabeth River that comes off the Chesapeake Bay. It was so nice to drop in and since the conditions were so flat, we kayaked further than we have before in this inlet.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Bikes, Boats, & Brunch

Reminiscing about a rare perfect weekend that we had during these hectic past few months. It had been weeks of studying. We were in desperate need of an outing, no matter how brief so we decided to bike to brunch after an early morning study session. 
There is something completely magical about living in a harbor town with boats coming and going. 

Saturday, May 4, 2019

life lately: I'm back!

Hi there! Yes, I'm still alive over here. I know that it's been a little sleepy around the blog as I inadvertently took a 3 month blogging break. Since I started this little space back in 2014, I've never taken a break. So what happened? Truthfully, I was overwhelmed. Finishing up my last term of dental school has been a challenge as I've been commuting anywhere from 2 to 4 hours daily, while studying 3-4 hours a day on top of putting in 8 hours a day in clinic. This left literally no time for anything else. But it was so worth it! 
I'll be catching up with blogging over the next few weeks, but here are some major highlights of the last 3 months with a few photos below... 

Monday, January 28, 2019


I've been having a hard time saying goodbye to 2018. With each new year, I put on the pressure to make this one better than the next. But I don't see how I could possibly top 2018! I hiked and camped and baked and biked. I visited exotic places like Morocco and Cuba. I volunteered and helped improve so many lives. And I made leaps and bounds in my career field. Through the horrible moments and some of the best days of my life, I don't want to let 2018 go. 
So I'm sharing a summary of the year to have to look back on. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Is Morrocco Safe?

It took us a little over 24 hours to travel to Morocco. And during the majority of that time, our phones were off the grid. But as soon as we landed and settled in, I connected my phone only to be flooded with panicky and terrified messages from loved ones asking if we were alright. 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

december 2018//

december lived up to every expectation and more to be the busiest month of the year. we crossed continents, celebrated the holidays with family, and I traveled all through and across the state during my away rotation. 

Monday, January 14, 2019

a long layover in Lisbon

With traveling to Morocco in Africa, we had to take several flights from the states. On the way home, we were passing though Lisbon Portugal-a place that has always been on the top of my bucket list because who could resist this colorful city? So I decided to have us stop here on a long layover. 
Not only did stopping in Lisbon give us a chance to experience a new country together, it also broke things up so that we didn't have a crazy 24hour+ travel day. It was an easy decision and the best choice to make. Here's what we did with one day in Lisbon...
Like most major cities, Lisbon is broken down in several major neighbors. We split our day between the most picturesque of them all...Amalfa, the Barrio Alto, and our unexpected favorite...Belem.
We started our morning in Belem, stopping into Pasteis de Belem to pick up the classic pasties de nata that Lisbon in famous for. We also grabbed some Starbucks and just had the most relaxing morning stroll through the park eating our pastries and sipping on lattes. 

Friday, January 11, 2019

friday favorites: 01.11.19 dental edition

Did you ever have a really good work week? Like a great perfect wonderful week. Yea, me either. But this one was pretty darn close. I've been feeling so overwhelmed with life lately so I needed this.
 Being 4 hours away from home makes it pretty difficult to organize my life and my time right now. And checking off all the boxes to get all the things done before graduation in May is terrifying. I can't even. While I've been behind on my favorite hobby, who am I kidding, my only hobby of blogging, I'm making some time to share this incredible week I've had. I still have lots to share from December + the holidays + life, oh and that time we went to Morocco. But for now, here are my favorites from the week. 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

a day in the life of a dental student: 1st rotation

I am settled right on into my second set of dental rotations, but tomorrow I'm headed back to my first rotation clinic to finish up a case. So can I just talk about my very 1st dental rotation for a minute? Because it was an amazing milestone in this crazy process that is dental school? 

Friday, January 4, 2019

friday favorites 01.04.19

Happy first Friday of the New Year! This week alone has already shown me what I'm in store for in 2019. Here are some major highlights...

Thursday, January 3, 2019

a NEW year & the LAST term of dental school

happy new year!
 I've had an exhausting 2019 already. We made it back from our trip through Europe & Africa just in time to ring in 2019.