Halloween came to a close, and now we return to another semi-normal week. Last week, I discovered on Tuesday that I had 6 days to write a 15 page paper that somehow slipped through the cracks. And Wednesday night a large group of us went to Beats Antique and Shpongle in Nashville for a hump day show. By the time Friday arrived, my focus become the Halloween party: Food to make, last minute decorations and winging my makeup at the very last minute. All in all, I would deem the party a major success. 2 bands and 2 djs played the basement with a whopping 60+ guests scattered between the upstairs, downstairs, and the backyard equipped with a cozy bonfire, spooky graveyard and creepy haunted house. And luckily, no one residing on our dead end road called the cops.

My former manager ties the knot with my other previous boss next month, so we ate at Buca Di Beppo to celebrate. It’s been awhile since I’ve enjoyed authentic Italian Food. Coco’s Italian Market filled a void several years ago, but when I popped in last year, I left feeling sorely disappointed. Buca on the other hand left a memorable impact on my tastebuds. The family-style servings led me to try several new things I may have otherwise shied away from.

And speaking of food, my boyfriend and I vowed to try a different type of “cultural” food with each anniversary dinner. First we tried Ethiopian, then last year we booked it to Gerst Haus. As our third year anniversary quickly approaches, I wonder where we might land this time?

So despite the crazy party and working myself to the bone on Sunday typing frantically with only hours to spare before submitting the last-minute assignment, a few moments of clarity struck me and my boyfriend over the weekend. We came to the realization that if we plan to move, we really need to save more money. And although I had banked on a trip to Pigeon Forge for my birthday, I’d much rather save for our South Dakota Christmas vacation and the move next year. (And come to think of it, I’ve traveled to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg 4 times in the last 5 years. The same tourist-y scenery gets old) I’m ready for new adventures and a change of pace. All I really want is to get out of the south.

There’s no telling what 2015 holds in store for us. But I have a strong feeling good things are coming. In the meantime, I look forward to switching health insurances in January, gaining a new health coach and traveling to my campus in Martin, Tennessee.

In retrospect, this year has been absolutely amazing so far. First we got Buddy. Then our move to Nashville worked out perfectly with such a cheap house which includes everything I hoped for: Wood floors, spacious backyard, hardly any neighbors, a nice deck and central heat and A/C. Neither of us commute, and landing a new job has made all the difference in my mood. Then to throw graduate school in the mix…..I just can’t even explain how lucky I feel to lead such a responsible, purpose-driven life mixed with a flourishing network of support. It’s weird how your circle of friends can sometimes shrink and expand; a few particular friends of mine resurfaced after years of little to no contact, and it’s been great reconnecting with them. All in all, I enjoy sleepy, cozy November. It’s a time for rest and recovery, reflection and relaxation. We intend to take it easy, try new recipes and read more books. Example: Tonight we’re making smoked salmon bagels topped with garlic and herb cream cheese and capers, with a side of shrimp scampi.

Scroll below for random pics and musical digs.

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My latest obsession: Courtney Barnett