Friday, February 27, 2015

Maple Bourbon Cocktail


Winter can't be over fast enough for me. Even though I live in the South and winter hasn't been as bad here as it has been for my friends up north, I'm still way over it. My friends in Boston and Chicago laughed at me when I sent them a photo of the "snow" we got last week. Well, this week was a different story. We actually got a legit amount of snow. Not enough to call home about (as I type this, it's almost all melted away) but enough to have a day at home, which is always really nice.

I'm one of those people that *usually* switches up my cocktails as the seasons change. In the winter months, I lean more towards warmer liquors like whiskeys and bourbons and summer is dedicated to gins and sometimes a little bubbly. At any rate, I'm on Instagram a few days ago and a blogger that I follow (Local Haven) shared a photo of a cocktail that looked ridiculously delicious and seemed really easy; most of the ingredients I already had in my kitchen! I was a little interested in drinking maple and bourbon together so off I went to recreate this cocktail.

This drink was perfect for being 'snowed in'.


All you need:
1oz (or 2) of bourbon
1/2 of a lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
rosemary

In a cocktail shaker add: ice, bourbon, lemon juice and a rosemary sprig. Local Haven suggests that you spank the rosemary before putting it in the shaker. I've mentioned "spanking" herbs here before. It makes it more aromatic and brings out more flavor.

Shake it up. The shaker should be nice and frosty.

Pour it into a glass and add ice. Add lemon or rosemary as a garnish.

Enjoy! I see another one in my future this weekend!


Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Around the Web


No mention of Giuliana + Zendaya drama over here.


21 of the best places for fried chicken - via Yahoo

[gasp] Pimp My Ride was fake - via Huffington Post Entertainment

Inspiring African-American women in the tech industry - via Brit+Co.

Things you didn't know about Gilmore Girls (best show ever) - via Buzzfeed

What does your favorite fast food restaurant say about out? - via Huffington Post Taste

Do you know how to pronounce Burberry? Hint: it's not a "berry" - via The Everygirl


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Preparing for Marriage


We're close to the finish line. Not quite there but gosh are we really close. As we get ready to begin this little adventure, we asked 4 questions to each other (nothing too serious) but just questions to help us remember why we fell in love and just to take a minute from the wedding planning process and breath.


John's answers:

One trait about your soon-to-be spouse that made you fall in love: 

She's very fun-loving.

Something you've learned about the other person while living together (yes, we're living together currently):

She. Plans. Everything.

How do you think your relationship will change once you're married:

Our focus on planning for retirement will be more intense than it has been.

Our first year of marriage is approaching. What are we doing to celebrate?

A trip overseas!



My turn!

One trait about your soon-to-be spouse that made you fall in love:

He's so kind and has the biggest heart!

Something you've learned about the other person while living together:

Socks can sometimes also be used as tissues. Barf.

How do you think your relationship will change once you're married:

I think we'll travel more and help each other reach our professional goals.

Our first year of marriage is approaching. What are we doing to celebrate?

Drinking a strong, frozen drink somewhere on a beach!


xoxo

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Weekend


The calm before the storm...

By storm, I mean busy...not anything bad, of course. This weekend I had no commitments, no plans, no obligations and it felt amazing; it also shows in this post. I have hardly anything to show for it but I'm OK with that. It was quiet around these parts and I *finally* got a chance to clean! We've been so busy lately that we've pretty much neglected normal chores so it was nice to spend a little time cleaning and organizing our "wedding corner". The wedding corner is the area in the apartment that is to travel with us during wedding weekend. Decor, liquor and other randomness. The wedding corner was becoming out of control so I took it upon myself to get it organized using my favorite: post-it notes. Call me OCD but whatever. Tomorrow, I have an annual fundraiser for work and as soon as that's over, I think I'll be able to breath more easily. This has been probably the busiest time of my life and I'm hoping and praying for calmness today and tomorrow.

FYI: planning a wedding and a fundraiser at the same time actually isn't that much fun.


You've seen this exact same meal for the last 3 weeks on this blog. It is obviously my favorite. It's a pancetta sandwich which a delicious pear jam on it and it was our go-to meal after the movies Saturday evening. We went and saw Still Alice; Julianne Moore was great and the Oscar she won last night was well-deserved.

I hope that your week is a calm one, happy Monday!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Favorite Wedding Movies


I couldn't be planning all these wedding shenanigans without thinking of all of my our favorite wedding movies. I mean, it's only natural, right? So I thought about it and I narrowed it down to five wedding movies that I love and adore. Then I thought...let's see what John thinks too, which was interesting trying to narrow his down and explain what I real wedding movie is. Then an argument ensued about Lethal Weapon 4. Anyway, I love wedding movies (well some of them) here are five of my favorites...


The Wedding Date
Sex in the City
The Best Man
Rachel Getting Married
Bridesmaids


John's favorite wedding movies:
The Best Man
The Wood
Bridesmaids
Meet the Parents
The Hangover


What are your favorite wedding movies?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Around the Web


Warm and fuzzy things filled the internet this week.


Hot toddies are the only decent thing about winter - via Huffington Post Taste

Rate everything with this new app - via Brit. & Co.

Things that kids these days will never understand - via Hello Giggles

Have you seen the cute friendship between this little girl and her pig!? - via Hello Giggles

How to store and buy coffee beans - via Tasting Table

How to save when planning your next trip - via The Everygirl


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Traveling to Charleston


In just a few weeks, John and I are headed to Charleston for what we're calling our "mini-moon"; we are so crazy excited. Don't get me wrong, we're definitely looking forward to our wedding and marriage but we are both so ready for a little rest and relaxation. We've been nonstop and it's not slowing down. I have a fundraiser for work next week and we're both trying to finish all the little wedding details that still need our attention.

But enough of that...

We are beyond ready for Charleston and even more excited about doing absolutely nothing. Naturally, we have a few things that are already on our radar that we can't wait to explore:


Food

Charleston has so many food options, I can barely contain myself. We have a reservation at Husk (can't wait...we had a reservation before we even had a hotel booked) but there are so many other places that I'm dying to try like: Poe's Tavern, Hominy Grill and Martha Lou's Kitchen.


Architecture

Charleston has some beautiful buildings and I can't wait to see them and take some photos. I'm dying to see the Pink House because...duh...it's pink. Also it's historical. So there's that.


Drinks

We can't go to Charleston without food and DRINKS. We've already had our eye on The Gin Joint and a friend who has been to The Gin Joint, supports that decision. Also on the list: Proof and The Belmont.


Our hotel

I think we hit the jackpot on this one. One thing we're definitely looking forward to is relaxing in our hotel. We're staying at the French Quarter Inn and I can't wait! Champagne upon arrival (every hotel should do this), wine and cheese reception every night and fresh baked cookies in the evening...SCORE! Oh and there's a gourmet breakfast every morning. So ready.


Not sure how many places we'll actually be able to see but we'd love to hear your recommendations if you have any!

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Weekend + Bridal Shower


Confusing weather reports made for an interesting and crazy weekend. Will it snow, will it sleet? No one knows but on this Monday morning (President's Day) I'm working from home...just in case...and I'm loving it. To be completely honest, I'm way more productive on my work from home days than in the office; does that make sense? At any rate, this was a busy weekend. We're just weeks away from walking down the aisle and I'm very excited but I'm also just making sure we dot every i and cross every t, you know?

Valentine's Day was this weekend and we had a lovely and quiet dinner. It was nice to not talk about wedding planning for 2 seconds. Friday night, we had a little wedding/coffee date and I had a repeat of the same meal I had last weekend...at the same coffee shop. It's so delicious, I wouldn't be mad if I ate it every Friday night. On the afternoon of Valentine's Day, I hung out with my friend Jennifer and took a trip to Sam's Club...how romantic! I've been battling a sore throat since Friday and even though I feel much better, I'm still trying so hard to NOT GET SICK. This is not the time! Sunday, I went to Atlanta for my bridal shower! Such a beautiful afternoon spent with some of my most favorite women.








When my BFF was planning my bridal shower, we decided on a bridal brunch, which was a fantastic decision! The setting was beautiful at Wahoo! Grill in Decatur and the brunch buffet is so good!




Beautiful flowers and my favorite cake (strawberry cake from A Piece of Cake). So ridiculously good! I'm just so thankful that I do not work down the street from them anymore BUT they are also in the Atlanta airport now if you get a hankering before you fly!


I know I spent all of that time going over inspiration for what I would wear to the shower but I ended up going with a simple, blue shift dress from...Forever 21 - shocker! I paired the dress with what are quickly becoming my favorite pink, Jessica Simpson pumps. No clear pic of the shoes...sorry. Shop the dress if you're interested...







Fantastic weekend and it ended beautifully! Now I'm ready to party!


Friday, February 13, 2015

Bonefish Grill

 

I was recently asked to try Bonefish Grill's new bar menu and so John and I frolicked to the closest Bonefish Grill to for some tasty treats.  We've gone to Bonefish Grill before; his parents love it and are huge fans of the bang-bang shrimp. Naturally when we got there we ordered the bang-bang shrimp. You can't go to Bonefish and not order it. So good.  Upon arrival the place was busy! The bar was packed and the dining room was buzzing too - pretty impressive for a Wednesday evening.  As soon as we were seated, we immediately started pondering our order.  One thing we were sure about (even John) is that we'd have a cocktail while we perused the menu.



I did something different and tried one of their popular winter Cosmopolitans.  I'm not a Cosmo girl but I figured...when in Rome, I'd try whatever was popular.  Good and strong is how I would describe my Cosmo.  John tried the Mule which was great. If you're into something a little more sweet and gingery, try this one.

While we waited for our food, we were served the most delicious bread and pesto and even though we're on a "wedding diet" (I use that term loosely), I did indulge in a piece...or two.



For food, we ordered items from the In + On Bites menu.  Here's what we ordered:




We also tried a lobster taco that is not pictured. Very good.

For dessert, we tried the In the Dough: Doughnuts. Fried dough, tossed in cinnamon and sugar. Then you inject them yourself with hot fudge or sea salt caramel. I love an interactive dining experience!



From the staff to the food, we definitely enjoyed ourselves on a Wednesday evening. Usually we're at the gym on Wednesdays (lame) but it was nice to have a 'cheat day' and have a little fun.

Be sure to check out Bonefish Grill's website to find the closest one to you and while you're there, try a few bites (and cocktails) from the new bar menu. Share your experience on social media using the hashtag #IncredibleIs!

Happy Friday!


*Disclaimer: I am participating in a promotional campaign for Bonefish Grill and received compensation. However, all opinions expressed here are my own. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Around the Web: Valentine's Edition


It's almost my half birthday...or Valentine's Day as it's sometimes called.


Cool Valentine's art prints - via Brit+Co.

Falling in love again and again - via Jay Miranda

Things to do in Paris - via The Tourist Life

Valentine's Day cocktails - via Huffington Post Taste

Valentine's breakfast ideas - via Brit+Co.

Reasons why your best friend is really your soul mate - via PopSugar

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

How To: Cut a Pineapple


I heart pineapple. I've always thought that I've had a slight allergy to it (though not officially diagnosed) because it always makes my mouth feel weird but I eat it anyway.  Pineapples remind me of warm weather, tropical drinks and just an all around good time. On my New Year's resolution list, there is a task to learn how to correctly cut a pineapple, which I now believe to be a very important task to know how to do. Sure you can buy canned pineapples already cut (why?) or fresh ones that are prepared for you but that takes all the fun out of it, don't you think? I'm not sure why I've never attempted to cut my own fresh pineapple...I guess it seemed a bit daunting and I was afraid to try. But now that I've tried my hand at it, I can definitely see myself just picking up a pineapple and chopping it up on my own.

This particular pineapple that I bought was just so ridiculously good. It was sweet, fragrant and I had so many chunks that I used them for cocktails and a dessert...plus enjoyed some for myself. Despite my self-diagnosed allergy, I enjoyed munching on freshly cut pineapples and I'm so happy I finally tried to do it myself.

Now it's your turn!


Step 1: Remove the top, fun part of the pineapple.



Step 2: Remove the bottom of the pineapple.  This will create a flat surface, which allows you to stand the pineapple up without it falling over.



Step 3: Carefully cut off the pineapple skin. Be careful not to cut off too much of the actual pineapple.



Step 4: If necessary...you'll need to remove the pineapple 'eyes'. Those little brown, hole things...you don't want those. I used a vegetable peeler to easily remove them. If you're a master with the knife, you might be able to skip this step.



Step 5: Slice and dice. Slice your beautiful fruit and cut it into chunks and enjoy!




It's a like a bowl of sunshine.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Wedding Watch: Planning Update


During the day, I help plan and manage events for a nonprofit...nothing compared to trying to plan a wedding.  I'm typically a very organized person. I love lists, post-its and crossing things off gives me some sort of sense of accomplishment.  Not to say that this process has been all hard because it hasn't. I've enjoyed it and I have some amazing friends both near and far who have helped me with many things and have talked me through this process (especially the RSVP drama). The actual planning has been pretty easy compared to trying to wrangle 100+ people to return their response cards and/or tell us if they're coming or not.  Again, I work in events so I understand the drama behind figuring out if someone is coming to your fundraising dinner or not but this is on another level because you're dealing with family and friends.  Nevertheless, we're down to the wire and as far as planning goes: we're almost done!

All of the major items were pretty much taken care of last year and now we're just gathering all of the little things, which is fun but tiring.  I'm looking forward to walking down the aisle soon and seeing John's cute little face at the end of it.

This is the last Wedding Watch post until the wedding. Though this wasn't much of an update of any sorts, I think this served as a reminder to me that it's almost time! Yay! After the wedding, I'm putting together a week's worth of posts that will outline our special day and the actual planning process I'll be highlighting our vendors and other tips to help anyone else in the planning stages!

xoxo

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Weekend

 

I woke up this morning thinking if iced, fancy lattes have the same effect on your teeth (if you're whitening them) as a hot, black coffee? Anyone...anyone? Not sure why this is the first thing on my mind but it was. Well, actually, I do know why. I'm in the process of whitening my teeth (gotta have those wedding pics looking good!) so there's that. I'm going to be sharing some of my favorite bridal beauty products soon...there may even be some unisex items for the groom too, which would probably be most useful for some. Anyway, as I sit here obnoxiously drinking coffee through a straw, I can't help but realize this weekend went by too quick - this isn't a new thought for me though. This upcoming weekend is Valentine's Day or my half-birthday...however you want to look at it AND it's my bridal shower.

Remember last week when I shared a few of my favorite options for my bridal shower dress? The funny thing is that I've ordered multiple dresses; not all made the cut but the main one that I'd actually like to wear...is not even in my possession yet!! It's been ordered but it's taking it's precious time to get here and I'm stressing out. So, it's time to think of a plan B. I ordered the dress in January and I'm livid. Moving on...hoping for a stress-free week!







I ate at the same place two days in a row this weekend...not sure if that's a good or a bad thing but it happened. We watched the Grammy's and were severely underwhelmed. I'm sure John is wishing he would have watched The Walking Dead instead.

Also cupcakes in bed are great especially if you've declared it cheat day/weekend. What? Anyway, Happy Monday!

Friday, February 6, 2015

10 Jewelry Gift Ideas under $100


Valentine's Day is right around the corner and it's an important holiday for me because it's also my half birthday! Ha! How obnoxious is that?  Anyway, John and I don't really make a huge deal out of Valentine's Day especially this year with the wedding day lurking around the corner. Don't get me wrong, we've had some sweet Valentine Days but for the most part they're pretty low key and an extension of our normal lives, quite honestly.

At any rate, for those of you that rally for gifts on V-Day or if you're looking for a gift to give a friend or something, I've rounded up 10 of my favorite pieces of casual-ish jewelry that can be gifted to your special someone or someone who's not quite a special someone in your life...yet.  I love the variety and prices of these pieces (some of them I own) and they can be kept casual or dressed up for a Valentines Day date, perhaps.

Feel free to send any of these my way too.


1.  Heart studs from Kate Spade - $48

2.  Crystal necklace from J.Crew - $98

3.  Gold Nixon watch with green background - $80 (LOVE this watch!)

4.  Gold map necklace, ModCloth - $20

5.  Gold glitter Kate Spade studs - $38 (great price!)

6.  Sarah Chloe round letter ring, find it at Neiman Marcus - $89

7.  Kate Spade Valentine's bracelet - $58

8.  Kendra Scott studs (I have these in 'chalcedony' - I LOVE them!) - $55

9.  Another Nixon watch - $95

10. Moon & Lola hashtag necklace (have this one in turquoise, another favorite) - $42


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