Monday, June 16, 2014

BURCHY

My birthday is just around the corner and I am here to give all of you ladies a little tip. I'm not sure if it's because I bought something from them once or just hopped on their mailing list, but each year before my birthday, my good friend Tory Burch sends me an email code for $50 off anything online or in-store. Now, $50 can get you nowhere fast with TB, but I always choose to pick up a cute little something (from the sale section usually) and thanks to Tory's generosity, it usually only costs me about $10-$15 out of pocket.

Last year I "bought" myself this cute little card case, perfect for a pool or beach bag or tossed in a clutch for a night out:

and this year, I picked up this sporty little makeup bag, perfect for holding some odds and ends in my purse.



Happy birthday to me!

Friday, April 04, 2014

LATELY

Things I Am Currently Obsessed With:

Dallas on TNT (SO GOOD I CAN'T STAND IT)
Polish Changes (did this for the first time last week; half the price of a manicure! Can't beat it)
Avocado (Eating healthy again so putting this on a salad is *almost* as good as having cheese)
A-Day (Making big plans to be on the Plains in a few weeks! Anyone else gonna be there?)
Working out in the AM (On a roll! 10 straight workdays!)
Tuesdays at Fresh Market (Have to thank the Bunko ladies for this tip: Fresh Market has a great sale on Tuesdays where a lot of their meat is marked down to 2.99/lb. Their organic chicken is so good I swear I can taste a difference. If you have a Fresh Market near you, sign up for their mailing list to get the deals via email)
George W. Bush and his art (Did you see the story on the Today Show this morning? Adorable)

What's cooking with you all? Any new fun discoveries to share with the class?

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

RE-KINGED

Two years ago, the Cajun in our office ordered an authentic king cake straight from her hometown and had it shipped to work so that we could celebrate Mardi Gras in high style. I was THRILLED that my piece of cake had the baby in it! That king cake baby was good luck: within 12 months, I was promoted, became an aunt, moved into my lovely little condo and starred in a play. It was a fantastic year!

Well the king cake baby has struck again. Last month my piece had the baby in it and what do you know? A days ago, I got promoted! Exciting times. I wonder what else that little king cake baby has up his sleeve! Any guesses?


Thursday, February 13, 2014

YEARY

Guess whose first date was a year ago today? Woohoo! So much has happened in a year, with so much still to come. Cheers to us!

Saturday, February 08, 2014

LINKED

"This is His Plan A for us."

This statement sums up my friend Jamie's attitude toward receiving some news about her baby less than halfway through her second pregnancy. Please visit her blog, Normal As We Know It, and witness their testimony unfold.

Friday, February 07, 2014

PIKOED

Every time I log onto Pinterest, I see that cute little blonde in her cute little outfits from Impressions Boutique in Arkansas and so I click over to their website. But I am leery, leery, leery of ordering clothes off the internet. Especially when you have 7 days to return them for credit, no refunds.

But, right before Christmas, in the middle of “Do Not Spend Any Money On Yourself Right Now” December (anyone else celebrate that holiday?), they put a bunch of their PIKO 1988 shirts on sale. Have you seen these? They look SO comfortable. I had been eyeing them for months, but again – so leery of ordering clothes online when I can't get a refund. But, the sale was enough to make me bite the bullet and so I ordered one.

Well I LOVE it. It was tight in the arms at first (has since stretched out a little) but VERY roomy in the torso, which is kind of the point I guess. No one has asked me if I’m pregnant (Yet! Winning!) so I don’t think it’s TOO blousy, but it’s definitely blousy enough. For braver, shorter souls, it would look great with leggings. Is it Matthew's favorite shirt that I own? Not by a long shot. OH WELL.

My advice if you order one: they are kind of thin, so I am not sure it would work for me in a lighter color. But the dark gray one I got is awesome. I will be watching their sales to order one in black and maybe burnt orange.

Oh look, here’s a super awkward picture of me* and my PIKO shirt with Shaquille O'Neal in Las Vegas! Does he look ridiculous or WHAT? Unfortunately Shaq was far too focused on M’s Auburn hat to notice anything else anyone else was wearing; otherwise, I'm sure he would have said "cool shirt!"

*Please cut me some slack, I had been up since 5 am.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

CALIFORNIAD

I miss California. A month ago today, we were Pasadena-via-Vegas bound. I was SO SMUG that we had missed the worst weather of the winter. Surely it wouldn't get into single digits again! Oh how wrong I was.



Someone in this photo (not me) has watched the SEC championship game 6 times (5 on TV, once in person). A month later and neither of us have been able to watch the BCS game again.

I'm glad that I went, though. I swore up and down after Glendale that when the next one rolled around, I would not miss it if at all humanly possible. Plus, with the changes to the system taking place next year, getting into the title game will be a mad, expensive dash.

The loss stung but all in all, we had a fun trip! War Eagle!

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

RENEWED

Well. I just paid $12 to to renew this blog for another year. Where should we start?

Monday, October 14, 2013

WITNESSED

Around the same time I started this blog, my mom began dating. Since I had just graduated from college and moved back into her house, I was front and center for it. It was hard to watch and harder to process.

On Saturday, once again I was front and center, this time to watch her get married. She was a beautiful bride and her marriage is a beautiful reminder that our lives are in His hands.

Congratulations, Mama! I love you!


Saturday, August 24, 2013

SUMMERED

It has been a busy summer!

I turned 30 on 30-A with my family all there to celebrate. It was a fun trip and one I hope will become a tradition.



Kathryn came to visit. I won't say who supplied what, but this pretty much sums up our day at the pool:


I checked a HUGE box on the bucket list and saw Queen Bey in concert. Best show ever, obviously. I was mesmerized to put it mildly.












But the summer wasn't all about the girls. This lad and I took a quick trip to Chattanooga, where the weather was perfect!


The Waldrons, Evan and I took our annual trip to Smith Lake but this year, invited two new "pledges": our good friend Sarah and Matthew. The pledges fit right in.



And speaking of Evan, we had not one,


not two,


but THREE going away dinners before he moved to DC. Look out, Uncle Sam!

There was also supper club, bunko, double dates, new restaurants, new babies and new friends. Good times for all!

Between football, a wedding and the most challenging season I've ever faced in my career, fall is looking to be even busier!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

DUCKED

One my new favorite pastimes if not obsessions is the show Duck Dynasty. Am I the last one on earth to discover this show? We love it and have spent a lot of time this summer catching up on old episodes.

Here is maybe my favorite moment I have seen yet. Si is such a hoot.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

PEACHED

On Sunday, three bunko friends and I threw a baby shower for Julia, who is expecting her first born this fall! The shower was a hit, but the sweetest part of all came home with us hostesses: Julia made us gift baskets with peach jam and a sack of six delicious, ripe, sweet Georgia peaches from the Peach Truck!

So, we have been putting them to use this week. On Monday we had grilled peaches and ice cream:


and last night, we made a peach pizza! Publix whole wheat pizza dough, two peaches thinly-sliced, some crumbled goat cheese and balsamic glaze that I picked up from Trader Joe's. The whole thing was topped with fresh basil from Matthew's little garden.



Not gonna lie; that pizza was delicious. Any peach dishes I need to keep on file for next time?

Monday, July 15, 2013

SPROUTED

I will crawl, walk, run my way back into blogging. I waver between stopping altogether, and keeping it going for posterity's sake. Until I decide what to do, let's start with something easy: a recipe.

Brussels sprouts get a bad rap. Today, I am going to tell you how to make them so well that you will want to eat them all the time. We saw this recipe on America’s Test Kitchen and sometimes I find myself craving Brussels sprouts like a regular herbivore. Who’d have thought? The geniuses at America’s Test Kitchen, that’s who.

First, get your hands on about 1 lb (ish) of sprouts. Wash them (some leaves will fall off; that’s okay), cut the root off, and cut them in half. Inspect each half: little brown holes usually led to some bigger bad spots a leaf or two down. Don’t be afraid to get in there.

Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of water into the bowl. Toss the sprouts and season with some good chunky salt and a little pepper.

Next, preheat your oven to 500 degrees. It sounds too high but it works, trust me.

Here’s the catch: place the sprouts CUT SIDE DOWN on a rimmed baking sheet and cover it tightly WITH FOIL. Roast them in the oven for 10 minutes, then take the tin foil off. Leave them in for another 10 to 12 minutes (they will be charred if you go the full 12 minutes but that’s my favorite way to eat them). Thanks to America’s Test Kitchen, I learned that adding water to the sprouts basically steams them in the little tin foil incubator, cooking them all the way through. Then, you take the foil off and char the suckers and viola! It’s like eating candy.



And just to keep it real, no matter how good your roasted Brussels sprouts are, they will never, ever be as good as an individual ramekin of homemade mac and cheese.

Friday, June 14, 2013

DOOMED

When I was little, one of my favorite books was There's a Monster at the End of This Book. Grover didn't want you to turn another page in the book because after the last page, there was a monster. Every page was one step closer to immediate doom.

Grover, I now know how you feel. This is what is waiting me the next time I flip my calendar:



While the beach is quite an exciting idea, I would by lying if I didn't admit to still being torn up about turning 30. Life is pretty great right now, yes; but still. It's THIRTY.

*Another great childhood book: the Ernie & Bert book, where Bert can't find anything because Ernie moved it. I imagine I will be relating to that one before too long, what with my old age and all.

Monday, June 03, 2013

OCCASIONED

I really did not intend to go the entire month of May without even a tiny update but oh well. It has been a month full of occasions.

Mother's Day was a big occasion in that Matthew and I hosted both our Moms at my house for an amazing meal. No group pic, just the meal:



We celebrated Jay finally getting his plate on the wall at the Flying Saucer (technically this was the after party):




My favorite set of twins turned 29:




Little occasions are nice too. In this case, dressing up for a date (also, no beard):



But back to the big occasions. Looks like there will be a really grand occasion coming up later this fall:


And in between all of those fun times: sunshine, sunshine, sunshine.



Monday, April 29, 2013

MANGIA

Last month at Supper Club, we decided to do something very different for April: meet on a Saturday and bring our boys.

The reason being: we decided to try Mangia.

Mangia is a "pop up" restaurant that "pops up" every Friday and Saturday at a lunch-only establishment in Franklin. Legend has it that the owner/chef came up with the idea on New Year's Eve at a friend's house and opened the restaurant a month later. It's a prix fixe, $45 per person, 13-course Italian meal. The menu changes quarterly, is served family style, and if it's not the best meal of your life, then congratulations on being a boss. Me, on the other hand? I feel like my entire life had been leading up to that meal.

We had a party of eight for this past Saturday's seating. The chef himself greeted us and showed us to our table, where there was warm focaccia bread and dipping oil aiting on us. Two TVs playing the Godfather 1 & 2 were on mute to allow for the occasionally Italian, always festive music. The rest of our group made their way in and finally, our server started bringing food. Here is the menu we were served:


Initially, some of our group was confused and thought that we were to choose one item from each course. Oh, no no no. They bring each dish en masse and everyone serves him/herself.

From the appetizer round, the southern-style deviled eggs were insanely delicious, but the lemon risotto cakes were hands-down the winner. If you've ever watched Top Chef, then you know Risotto is SO hard to make perfectly... and they nailed it. Then deep fried it. And fed it to me.


The salad course was yummy as well. I love a caesar salad of course, but was a little nervous about the orange salad, not liking oranges and all. Turns out, it was delicious: just orange-y enough, not overpowering at all.


The pasta course. OH the pasta course. First up was the beef bolognese served on shell pasta. Holy cow. The meat was so tender. I had several helpings. Let's leave it at that.

I was also a big, big fan of the second pasta course with the toasted pecan basil pesto cream sauce which begs the question: what WOULDN'T I eat, if it was doused in toasted basil pesto cream sauce? Only time will tell.


I could have stopped right there and felt that I had my money's and stomach's worth but no. It was time to dance! All the ladies were rounded up into a congo line and then it was mambo en masse. No complaints here; I was happy to be up moving after two hours of eating.

Next up: entrees. Lemon and rosemary roasted chicken quarters preceded a simple roasted broccolini. Both were delicious. The real star of the night though was the final entree: a porcini mushroom dusted beef tenderloin. EVERYONE at the table was raving about this dish. No one used a knife: it was like cutting butter. The dish was perfectly executed. I even ate mushrooms!


Dessert was a light but certainly not simple "semifreddo," which is Italian for "half frozen." Not quite ice cream but not quite a mouse, it was the perfect little treat after so much rich food. Light and tasty and perfect. The second dessert of homemade "zeppole" (Italian donuts!) arrived in a paper bag, one for each person. What a great little takeaway.

The food was delicious, but it was the experience that set the evening apart. Laughter, dancing and conversation, all intertwined with some of the best food I have ever eaten. It was exactly the way a meal should be.

We will definitely be back to Mangia! Hope to see you there!

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