Friday, December 19, 2014

Around the Web


Lots of good stuff on the internet this week!


{clockwise}

10 ways to de-stress your day - via Into Mind

Carry-on cocktail kits (ahhhh!) - via Carry On Cocktail Kit

Ways to teach children how to cook - via Bon Appetit

Some pretty unbelievable dishes only found in New Orleans - via BuzzFeed
(old article but I thought it was rather appropriate since I'm leaving for New Orleans in 2 weeks!)

Did you know Instagram had new filters (if you use them) - via Brit. & Co. 

51 Foodie Resolutions to do in 2015 - via PopSugar


I'm so excited to participate in PopSugar's resolution challenge - I'll definitely be writing about my progress! 

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Orange Olive Oil Cake


I feel like I preach all the time about how much I DON'T bake, which by the looks of the above photo, makes me seem like a liar.  It's not that I don't enjoy baked goods - I do.  In fact, baked deliciousness is starting to become the bane of my existence since my newly embraced "healthy-ish" eating choices.  Listen, I eat lots of foods; some are good for me and some are not so good.  What can I say? I love to eat and snack.  I've always been very aware of what foods I put in my body and tried not to overdo it.  However, now that wedding bells are ringing so close in my ear, I'm starting to be even more aware of what's happening with my diet since I'm trying to "tone up".  

What does that even mean?

I say all of that to say: I baked. 

I baked an orange olive oil cake that I found on Leite's Culinaria.  Simple ingredients, easy instructions and it just looked lovely.  There's also a blood orange version that just looks and sounds amazing - I love blood oranges!  I didn't change the recipe at all - so head over to Leite's Culinaria for the full recipe.  With Christmas just days away, this could be an easy, stress-free dessert for your holiday table!






Bon appetit!

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Weekend: Top 5 Edition


So long to another weekend.

This was a good weekend.  The ending could have gone another way but that's not important.  The important thing is that I made it through the weekend and even accomplished a few items on the to do list.  I went antiquing with two of my girlfriends Sunday, which definitely proved to be successful - I found an item that I've been desperately looking for as part of the decor for our wedding (see second to last picture in this post).  I ate some delicious foods, laughed and tried to get a handle on the week to come.  

John and I went to see the movie Top Five. Have you seen it?  It's pretty funny and has tons of guest stars in it like Whoopi Goldberg, Jerry Seinfeld and Adam Sandler.  Since that movie is still fresh on the brain, I thought that this week's weekend post would be broken down into my top 5 events from the weekend.  The movie is also surrounded around some of the characters' top 5 rappers (dead or alive) and in my opinion, finding out who someone's favorite music artist is, is always such an interesting conversation starter.  So in this post, I'm including just that...my top 5 rappers along John's and our friend David's top 5. 

Back to my top 5 for the weekend:

1.  Had afternoon cocktails with friends Friday at one of my favorite places (see above photo).


2.  Had a great dinner (and glass of Rose) with John.





3.  Finally went to the Bitter Alibi - great sandwiches.




4.  Had brunch Sunday morning 




5.  Found this awesome glass window pane thingy for the wedding! Yay!




Now for the good part...here's our top 5 (everyone is allowed a '6th man' in case you're wondering why 6 names are there.




One thing we all have in common: Lauryn Hill.

Happy Monday!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Wedding Watch: Decor Inspiration


We're getting down to the wire with our wedding quickly approaching - I can't believe it! It feels like just yesterday we were just engaged!  As our wedding date draws near, all of the small details are starting to sneak to the top of the to-do lists.  The details that seemed so tiny in the beginning stages of planning this wedding are now showing their true colors by demanding all of my attention. Though event planning is my 'thing', planning this wedding is just something different...obviously.  

We're at the stage now where we're buying, discussing, collecting (hoarding), things for the decor.  A simple, rustic and romantic theme is what we're going for - nothing too grandiose and over the top.  Naturally, I've turned to Pinterest for wedding ideas (duh). Here's a little peek into whats caught my eye in the wedding decor world.



Greenery, butcher paper and sparse flowers are a common theme among my wedding decor Pinterest board.



Candles, lots of mismatched jars and vases is the look I'm going for. We've been collecting vintage books, which works out lovely since John works for a book company - score!

I'm looking forward to seeing how everything will eventually come together.  Happy Friday!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Favorite Holiday Movies



'Tis the season for holiday movies.  For the second year in a row, John and I have set some time aside in December to make sure we watch our favorite holiday movies...well, holiday movies in general.  We typically watch the ones that we absolutely love and if time permits, we'll add a few wild cards or ones we've never seen. Though Christmas isn't my favorite holiday, this little tradition has made me look forward to the day a little bit more; it sort of helps me get into the spirit of things. 

I'm always interested to know what other movies people enjoy watching during the holidays and so I recently posed the question on Facebook: What are your favorite movies to watch during the holidays?  Though most people's answers didn't surprise me too much - John's answers weren't really holiday movies that I would necessarily think of. Our holiday movies choices are definitely...um, different.


A few of the responses I heard via social media:


Friday
The Preacher's Wife
Love Actually
A Christmas Story
It's a Wonderful Life


John's favorite holiday movies:
Scrooged - image via

Die Hard
Lethal Weapon
Trading Places
Scrooged
Home Alone



My favorite holiday movies:
The Family Stone - image via


Four Christmases
The Family Stone
The Holiday
The Best Man Holiday
Elf


We just watched Four Christmases earlier this week and I still love it every time!  
What are you favorite holiday movies?

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Weekend


love these shoes!


I had a "long" weekend, I guess.  Meaning, I didn't have to work on Friday but I spent the day running wedding errands with John and though we accomplished a lot, it made me so tired.  As of Saturday, we're 13 weeks away and even though everyone tells me we've made great strides I don't feel like I have! Ahhh!  Enough about that...

Saturday night, we frolicked around with friends and ended the night with the most delicious chocolate cake (ever!) from Alleia.  I love it so much.  The bartender remembered that I came in a few weeks ago and ordered it to-go - not sure if that's a good ting or not. It was a good weekend but I'm a little tired and quite honestly, not really ready to dive into the upcoming week. Not sure why but I feel like I just need one more day...don't we all?  I'm going to start this week with a happy attitude and try to be ready for everything it brings.  

Here goes nothing.











I finally started a little organization for my blog.  I have a feeling that 2015 will be busy (in a good way) and I need to get a handle on it as early as possible - feels good to get a little organized.  We visited our wedding florist and while we were there, we purchased two of the cutest plates! Can't wait to use them in some photos.  I ended Sunday with tacos, nachos and some new sweaters.  Obviously I love pink and polka dots.

Hope you had a great weekend - happy Monday!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Around the Web


Another roundup of randomness found on the internet this week!

[clockwise]

Techy gifts & gadgets for foodies - via Brit+Co.

Awesome 75ft. shot made my GMU's basketball team (my college!) - via ESPN

The debate continues: can you or can't you refreeze thawed meat - via PopSugar

Things Oliva Pope does that a little odd if we do it - via Buzzfeed

Edible gift ideas - via PopSugar

The non Victoria's Secret lingerie - via Brit & Co.



Happy Friday!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Pimm's Lemon Mojito


Just because it's winter (well, not yet), doesn't mean you still can't enjoy a refreshing cocktail; one that you'd normally enjoy on a warm summer day.  A friend of mine gave me a beautiful bottle of Pimm's recently and I couldn't wait to use it.  Not sure if I should be embarrassed to say this or not but I've never had Pimm's on my bar before.  In fact, I'd never tried it until sometime last year! I have to admit, I wasn't too impressed with the Pimm's Cup but it didn't deter me from wanting to try it again...in my own way. 

The bottle I received wasn't just the Pimm's No. 1 original that we mostly see.  This was Pimm's blackberry & elderflower; even better! I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my new addition to my bar so I began my search, which didn't last very long.  I found a Pimm's lemon mojito recipe on Serious Eats that I thought would be the perfect recipe for my blackberry and elderflower Pimm's. It didn't disappoint either - it was delicious.  If you're not a fan of lemons, I could easily see substituting the lemons for oranges or clementines.  



What you'll need:
1 lemon half
Mint leaves (from about 3 sprigs)
1 tablespoon sugar
3oz Pimm's Blackberry & Elderflower
Chilled club soda
Additional mint leaves & lemon slice for garnishing


Place your lemon slice in the bottom of a cocktail shaker along with the sugar; muddle. Add the mint leaves and gently (emphasis on gently) muddle the mint leaves along with the lemon juice. 

Don't grind the mint leaves.

Add the Pimm's, top with ice and shake, shake, shake.



Pour into your glass of choice, top with club soda and garnish with extra leaves and another lemon slice, if you like.  

For optimal cocktail-making, you must have a decent cocktail shaker and muddler.  I can't tell you how many times I've used these tools. If you're in need of either one of these items, see the end of this post for an easy way to purchase one or both items!




Tell me you'll make this mojito.  It's pretty tasty.


Here are those two products I promised - hover over for retail & price details:

         

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Holiday Weekend


I love long weekends.

Even though I feel like I spent most of my holiday weekend in a car, I still enjoyed doing absolutely nothing. It was nice. I'm looking forward to having more of those this month. John and I will usually head to Virginia at some point during the holiday and we decided to do that for Thanksgiving and though it was nice to get home, see family and do nothing, the car portion of it wasn't all that it's cracked up to be.  Traveling there was good...traveling back, not so much.  At any rate, we made it through!  We traveled back to Tennessee on Saturday so that we could both have one day to relax before heading back to the madness of the work week and I'm so glad we made that decision.  The next time we're in the car for longer than a couple of hours will be in January when we hit the road to New Orleans!  Can't wait.

Looking forward to a short week this week - I'm heading to Atlanta Friday to do some wedding tasks.  Fingers crossed I can just make it to Thursday...










We made a stop in Charlotte on Wednesday and ate at a really interesting bar...not sure how to sum that part up. Just because it was Thanksgiving, we didn't get a break from working out. I took John to my high school's track to run - it was so cold.  Probably not the best idea I've had but I felt good about it. 

After returning home, we went to brunch Sunday afternoon (duh), picked out some Christmas movies to watch, went to the movies and watched the Soul Train Awards with one of our friends.  Overall: good weekend.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

5 Tips for Having a Successful Thanksgiving

image via Bon Appetit
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and though I'm not cooking this year, it's still my favorite holiday.  I'm hoping that in the near future, I'll pick up where I left off and start preparing Thanksgiving dinner again.  At any rate, for all of you who are frantically prepping for dinner tomorrow, I thought I'd share a few tips that will hopefully help you have disaster free dinner.  Even if you're just a guest at Thanksgiving, hopefully these tips will help you be an even better guest.

I've shared my love for Bon Appetit magazine and in the November issue, they shared lots of useful tips and suggestions for a successful Thanksgiving.  The list is amazing and includes both cooking and etiquette tips. I've sifted through the entire list and found a few highlights that I believe will be most useful for your day tomorrow.  Here we go.


Invite at least one non-family member.  This ensures that everyone is on their best behavior...hopefully.

Guests should be prompt but never early.  Bon Appetit sums it up perfectly: the unexpected early guest is a pest.

Argument is not conversation and rudeness is never wit.  I love this. Trying to be witty doesn't give you or your dinner guests the right to be rude.

The kitchen is a no-fly zone.  Stay out of it unless you're asked to help.

No scented candles.  The food cooking will be enough of an aroma sifting through the house.


Read the entire list here.


Happy Thanksgiving - I'll be back with new posts on Monday!


Monday, November 24, 2014

The Weekend


Last weekend before Thanksgiving!  John and I are headed to Virginia in a couple of days and I'm just ready to get through the week!  The last weekend before a holiday is never too exciting for me simply because I'm trying to wrap my head around all that I have to do before heading out of town.  I was starting to feel a little under the weather Friday and Saturday, which CANNOT happen. So I quickly overdosed on fresh juice from Whole Foods then on Saturday finally frolicked to a somewhat new juice shop here, Local Juice. Nice staff, good juice and great location.  Not sure how well the raw juices works but I'm feeling better and I hope to keep it that way!





I had a hankering for flourless chocolate cake from a local restaurant so John obliged and took me to pick up a slice (it's so good!).  We ended the weekend with Friendsgiving at a friend's house and nothing says Thanksgiving like a Bud Light Applerita, right?  I'll let you try it for yourself and decide how it tastes...

Happy Monday!


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