Tag Archives: Capital Ale House

Positively Productive


Boy, do I have a lot to share with you! This weekend was absolutely, positively, perfectly productive! So, let’s start at the beginning.

[Bear with me — this is gonna be a long one.]

Friday afternoon, Ian’s parents came into town from Roanoke to do a little rehearsal dinner venue-shopping with us. Because Bonnie has two sons and won’t get to do the fun girly stuff involved in wedding-planning and because she lives three hours away, Ian and I are making as concerted an effort as possible for her to feel included in the decision-making and the planning. Due to extensive research, sight-seeing, visiting, and Q & A, we had narrowed our choices down to three locations… which Ian planned for us to see all in one evening. (Insert obligatory and overly dramatic groan here.)

I won’t deny that I was exhausted, hangry, and irritable. Nevertheless, we set out for our first destination across town. Even Ian hadn’t seen the space, so I was excited when he and Bonnie and Jimmy liked it!


Quickly, we were on to our next destination. Ian had seen our second location, but I was thrilled when he and his parents were smitten. We still went to our third destination, but our minds were already made up. Before we set out, I had thought I would’ve been happy with any of the three, but after having seen them all in succession I realized that my mind was made up before we ever left 😉

(In the spirit of full disclosure and because I am loving planning this wedding, I will share with you honestly the locations we chose for everything and our opinions of our experiences post-shindig.)

We dined deliciously at Capital Ale House, which has become Ian’s and my favorite Friday night destination for beer and burgers. Their lamb burger, orange chive vinaigrette mixed greens, and Rauchbier cheese dip are to die for.

We dropped Bonnie and Jimmy off at their hotel and turned in early at my house. As much as we would have loved to sleep in…

…we were up bright and early Saturday morning. My mom, my sister, Bonnie and I had a 10:00 bridal fitting appointment at my fifth — yes, fifth — bridal gown shoppe. I may have found The Dress. I said this before, and the dress turned out not to be The Dress. I have a different feeling about this one, though… I keep looking at the pictures on my phone, complete with veil and bouquet, and thinking, I sure would love for Ian to see me walking down the aisle in this!

I tried on dress after dress after dress (which I desperately wish I could share with you!!) until Caroline and I declared we were starving and required sustenance before we wasted away to nothing. Hey, when you have hypoglycemia, you can be as dramatic about food as you want 😉

We met Ian and his dad at Olive Garden, my “alma mater.” Man, have I gotten some strange looks when I jokingly tell people that…

We left in a bit of a food coma, but the jolliness of the weekend was perfectly fitting for the lazy evening that followed. We finally got to relax, so relax we did. Caroline and Ian and I gathered a random assortment of beer and settled in for 21 and Over. Despite its abysmal approval rating, we found it to be absolutely hilarious — the perfect movie to cap off such a great day!

We hit the hay early again, which I don’t hate. [I’m starting to realize at two years post-undergrad just how elderly my tendencies are.]

After church this afternoon, we wandered around in Carytown for the annual Watermelon Festival. Well, first there was brunch at Baker’s Crust, which involved mimosas…



…and literally the best frittata I have ever had!


After brunch, we browsed the vendors’ booths for a few hours. I even picked up a couple of really unique jewelry pieces! I love festivals like this with local businesses and all kinds of live entertainment. I hadn’t been in several years, partially because the festival always seems to fall on the hottest weekend of the entire year. It was great to be back, even though it rained a bit and then got incredibly steamy and humid.

I capped off my perfect weekend with a cheesecake milkshake, awkward photo courtesy of Ian:


Unfortunately, this evening was full of back-to-the-real-world activities in preparation for my last week of work, and the start of my third year of graduate school in just 11 days. No matter: it was a perfectly productive weekend with my one and only, my family, and my future in-laws! 🙂


In other news, Ian and I issued for ourselves a Zero Negativity Challenge beginning August 5th. We have recognized that in our relationship, negativity exists in the form of sarcasm, making fun, little jabs, silly name-calling, etc. As our wedding date approaches, we are doing everything we can to improve upon our relationship in preparation. As we have chosen not to live together until after we are married, I am referring to this time as “the things after the rings.”

Our Zero Negativity Challenge has caused me to realize just how often we poke fun at each other and use just a little too much sarcasm. When I told Ian about several occasions I had marked on my calender as days with “negativity,” he was like, “When?!” I told him that I’m erring on the side of caution in keeping track on my calender; as such, I am becoming enlightened.

I think this challenge is going to be good for us on so many levels: awareness, change, preparation, compassion, empathy, and kindness, to name but a few. On or around September 5th, I’ll update you about how our challenge went.

Thanks for bearing with me through yet another lengthy post! I hope y’all had a wonderful weekend!


Surrendering: Part 2


This weekend was both busy and relaxing. If that’s even a thing.

Friday, I blew into town, powered by Dayquil, Halls, Ibuprofen, and sheer willpower. I wasn’t crazy about the idea of pizza for lunch because I feel like I’ve eaten far too much of it lately. But, Ian had a gift card that was about to expire for this great little joint across the street from his apartment building, so we had lunch with our friend Mark before he hit the road for Easter weekend. Thankfully, I had time to sneak in a nap!

I was determined that Ian and I were going to conduct our wedding business and then enjoy a nice dinner with my parents at — where else? — Capital Ale House. I literally felt as though someone had stuffed my ears full of cotton, and then was trying to put so much pressure on my head that it would implode. Nevertheless, we had an incredible dinner, and we even popped in at a friend’s birthday party before finally hitting the hay.

Saturday morning, we slept in for the first time in awhile, and it was blissful. We did absolutely nothing the entire day, and it was exactly what I needed to recuperate. Mom made a phenomenal Easter dinner of spiral honey-glazed ham, corn pudding, green bean casserole, biscuits, mashed sweet potatoes, salad, and cream cheese pie for dessert! (I’ve been amazed that through all this cold/allergy business, I haven’t lost my sense of taste.)

We took off about 8:00 to hit this little wine and beer place Ian can’t get enough of, Once Upon a Vine. They carry the Fox Barrel pear cider I like so much at Cap Ale, so I satisfied my craving 😉 We took our libations to our good friends’ new apartment for their housewarming party. It’s always so much fun to reunite college friends and old and new friends. It was a pretty late night, but well worth the journey down to “the Fan.”

Sunday, of course, was Easter! We dressed up in our finery for church, which is one of my favorite services of the year. I love all the bright colors and the decorations. Afterward, we had lunch at the Tobacco Company, a Richmond landmark and one hell of a restaurant. It has a lot of character, but it also has really great food. Sunday, I was back to feeling pretty crappy, and combined with the rainy weather, it was the perfect day for a nice long siesta. Because I don’t have Practicum this week, I was fortunate enough to be able to stay at home one more night.

Despite feeling like utter shit pretty awful most of the weekend, it was a wonderful weekend full of food, family, and the perfect amount of R&R.

Now, on to the real subject of today’s post…

I feel that I would be remiss if I didn’t follow up about my foray into the personal counseling world. To be quite honest, I still have not sought counseling, either at my campus’s counseling center or elsewhere. I know that my counseling experience (or lack thereof, as the case may be) is nobody else’s business, but I believe in an honest and direct approach to blogging. The reason I have not sought counseling is simply because I have been too lazy to do anything about it. I’m not going to make the excuse that I’ve been too busy or tell you that all my stressors have melted away. I fell into the trap that so many adults fall victim to, thus perpetuating the cycle that never ends (at a counselor’s office). If that isn’t firsthand experience of what my future clients will experience, I don’t know what is. I’ve been learning a valuable lesson about the premium people put on their health when they push problems aside instead of dealing with them, and I recognize that I am by no means setting a positive example for those considering seeking counseling.

I still absolutely have every intention of seeking personal counseling, as well as couples counseling prior to Ian’s and my wedding. It’s all part of my journey toward deepening my awareness of myself and areas where I need to focus as I become a counselor. I just wanted to “come clean,” so to speak, and not mislead you in any way. Honesty is the best policy, after all.

P.S. If you’re still reading, thanks for sticking around. If you’re new to SwaSoV, welcome!

A Hodgepodge of My Thoughts


In my mind, the best kind of learning is unanticipated or unplanned lessons. I got a healthy dose of such knowledge this weekend. Warning: The following is a collection of my scattered, slightly overwhelmed thoughts.

I mentioned recently that I had a bit of a meltdown related to wedding planning… So naturally, I took a week or so off from the planning agenda and focused on me, myself, and I. I exercised mindfully and got myself more centered. I ate well and tried to stay away from the booze. I scheduled a physical and discussed diet and exercise with my doctor. And perhaps most importantly, I put a lot of effort into ensuring that I got enough quality sleep. All of that helped a lot, and when I was finally ready to think about wedding business again, I was actually excited about it.

Maybe some most people live(d) to plan their wedding and soak(ed) up every minute of planning bliss, but I am not one such bride. Don’t get me wrong — I’m loving exploring color schemes, floral arrangement possibilities, menu options, and dress styles; I’m just not so gung-ho about the pressure surrounding it all. It literally feels as though if you get engaged today, you should have had the reception venue and the photographer booked yesterday.

Okay, enough of my rant.

This weekend has been a busy and planning-heavy one. Ian and I had a venue tour scheduled for 4:30 yesterday, a belated Valentine’s Day double date with my parents at 6:30, a cupcake tasting at 1:00 this afternoon,


and a plantation tour at 4:00. Whew! Needless to say, I am on information (and junk indulgent food) overload right now!

I don’t think I did myself any favors by indulging in (a savory but insanely unhealthy) Mickey D’s breakfast this morning… But on the other hand, it’s nice to know that my body has grown used to wholesome, nutritious foods, and that that’s what it craves. It pretty much rejected hashbrowns and McGriddles, which is fine by me. I don’t need more than one warning that grease and trans fat are no match for my Kashi with banana slices or my Chobani with chia seeds and granola 😉

Ian and I planned a more health-conscious dinner of grilled chicken Caesar salads and fresh mango and Granny Smith apple. Between the cupcake samplings and the multiple ciders at Cap Ale Friday night, I’m pretty sure I’ll be on workout double-duty next week in preparation for Operation Spring Break Cruise (T-minus 22 days!). My plan isn’t of the stereotypical cleanse-or-fast-until-I’m-bikini-ready variety; more so, I’m trying to tone up and do as much cardio as possible in preparation for a week of fantastic food and fun in the sun. I’m also attempting (attempting being the keyword) to train for a 10k at the end of April.

This weekend has been absolutely fabulous, especially seeing Ian so animated and involved in asking questions and touring venues. I am beyond ready to kick back with my salad, put my feet up, and watch some mindless TV.

[Yet again, my apologies for the photo-light post. I’ve been way too busy, and honestly, way too uninspired recently to write much of substance. I’ll have more for you when I’m not feeling like such a cottonheaded ninnymuggins. Thanks for checking in!]

Hope you are having a phenomenal Saturday, blends!