Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday Five. {Rocksbox, Garden Update, Emily McDowell Studio, and More!}

Happy Friday and happy Memorial Day weekend! Cannot stop looking at the clock, counting down the hours until this extended weekend kicks off for good! 

I'm on my third Rocksbox now and I am not planning on stopping anytime soon! I'm sure you have seen bloggers all over talk about Rocksbox, but if you haven't, here's the deal: Sign up for website and complete your style profile, pay $19 a month to have 3 pieces of jewelry sent to you to wear for as long as you'd like! Most sets are worth $200 in value, and you can return your boxes for new ones as many times as you'd like in that month! Still not convinced? If you like any of the jewelry so much that you can't live without it, you receive $10 a month to spend on the already discounted (usually 20% off) piece! Want to try your first month for free: use code MEGANBFF551 at checkout! 

Here are some examples of pieces I've received so far:

Whitney Necklace by Perry Street
Retail Price: $75, Rocksbox Price: $60

Kendra Scott Tessa Stud Earrings in Iridescent Drusy
Retail Price: $65, Rocksbox Price: $52
 Sierra necklace in Crystal by Urban Gem
Retail Price: $90, Rocksbox Price: $72

Our garden is growing like crazy and I am so excited that I will soon be able to walk outside, pick veggies off the vine, and plan a dinner or a snack around what's ripe! I've already been using romaine and herbs, and am deciding on what to do with the two jalapenos that I picked on Wednesday. Now that I think of it, I have two tomatoes that are about to go bad, so I'm thinking homemade salsa is in our future! 

A sorority sister of mine posted on Facebook earlier this week about a friend of her's who designs cards. Not those typical mushy cards, but cards that say exactly what's on your mind, as well as cards that say the perfect thing when you're put in a situation where you don't have a clue what to say. Then, I saw her on Good Morning, America yesterday! I really wish I would have known about these when my bud, Tim, was sick so that I could have sent him some to make him laugh. And when he passed away from that nasty disease cancer, I wish I would have know about these cards to send his wife and my friend, Jenny. She hated when people told her those cliche phrases like "he's finally healed" (pretty sure I told her that), "everything happens for a reason," and "he is an angel with God now." 

Here are some favorites from Emily McDowell Studio:

At the gym a couple of weeks ago, I noticed a watch that Megan was wearing. I overheard her telling Ryan that it tracked steps, number of calories burned, and monitors your sleep. What I was most surprised about though, was how stylish it was! See ya, unattractive Fitbit!

That's all I've got for today. Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Asian Cucumber Noodle Salad.

Yesterday, as I was brainstorming what I was going to make for dinner, I remembered this recipe that I had recently pinned. It seemed to be a perfect balance of healthy and flavorful, and it sure was! I paired it with grilled shrimp that were marinated in Ken's Lite Asian Sesame dressing. 

Asian Cucumber Noodle Salad

For the Dressing:
1/4 cup lite soy sauce or tamari sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and black pepper, to taste
For the Salad:
1 large seedless (English) cucumber, spiralized
1 cup cooked edamame
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 large carrots, julienned
1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

First, make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce or tamari, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, water, green onions, cilantro, sesame seeds, ginger, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine cucumber noodles, edamame, peppers, carrots, cabbage, and cilantro. Toss to combine. When ready to serve, drizzle dressing over salad and serve immediately.
Note-don't dress the salad until you are ready to eat or the cucumber noodles will turn slightly brown.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Fun Weekend with Great Friends!

Morning! Let's get right to a (day late) weekend recap. 

There were two special guests in town on Thursday so we decided to get together at Katie and Henry's house for a cookout/get together. Savannah was in town for a wedding on Saturday, and Jenny came to town a day early before a weekend at the beach with her supper club friends. It's rare that we can all see each other at the same time, especially since there are no more weddings to bring us together, so it was a special mid-week treat! 

Saturday morning, I met up with Shelby, Jillian, and Ally for brunch at Kitchen 208. It's located on lower, lower King Street, almost to Broad, and has a really nice (shaded) outdoor seating area. My turkey wrap was light and tasty, just what I was looking for. Bonus: it was topped with a pickled okra. 

Saturday afternoon, we went to probably one of the sweetest weddings I've been to. Both the ceremony and reception were held at Pepper Plantation. My sorority sister, Courtney Jo, and Jake, wrote their own vows and there were many tears shed by both the bride and the groom, and the guests. 

A quick snapshot with my handsome date before the ceremony

A little selfie action during the reception

Our fellas

On Sunday, we made the drive out to Seabrook for a fun day in the sun! These days of lounging on the beach with my friends are some of my favorite days! The spot that we go to is never crowded and the waves are so calm. Perfect area for all of the little bebes! Note to self for next weekend: don't just reapply sunscreen to your legs, your chest and shoulders need it to! #ouch

Looking forward to this upcoming weekend, as it will be my first in about 5 years where I have the entire long weekend off from work!!!! 

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day + Landscape Updates.

Oh, hello. Is there anyone still out there reading? I've been slack lately, but honestly, it's been kind of nice to step away from the blog for about a month. I was thinking about giving the blog up completely, but just this morning decided against it. I probably won't be posting as frequently as I used to, but hey, something is better than nothing, right? Right. On to Mother's Day...

This was our third year in a row hosting a Mother's Day brunch at our house (2014 / 2013). We love hosting get-togethers at our house. It lights a fire under our you-know-what to get projects done and we get to hang out with people we love! A winning combination. 

I decided to go a little fancier this year and broke out our special china. I used cloth napkins and our gold silverware, which were both given to us as wedding presents. Peonies were ridiculously inexpensive (3 stems for $4!) at Harris Teeter over the weekend so I scattered them around the house. All beverages and glassware were set up on the bar, which I failed to snap a photo of. 

On the menu:
Fresh Fruit
Bloody Mary's
Cucumber + Mint Infused Water

I'm definitely framing this pic.

Everyone left around 4:30pm and I immediately changed into my comfy clothes. Exhausted doesn't even begin to describe it after a weekend of non-stop activity. I poured myself another mimosa, plopped on the couch, painted my nails, caught up on my tv, and didn't move until bed time. 

Going back to house projects, this year prior to our brunch we focused on our landscaping. Cameron is pretty obsessed with our yard (there could be much worse things for him to be obsessed with!), even to the point where he looks up #yardwork on Instagram. He's going to kill me for saying that, but I think it's cute. 

The first thing we did was rake all of the old pinestraw out of the beds. In the backyard (first picture below), we installed gardenias, hydrangeas, geraniums, and impatiens. The two tall skinny trees (crepe myrtles) were already there. 

Up front we installed boxwoods, "purple pixie" loropetalum, white lantana, and plumbago. It will look really awesome once they start to grow!

Now I'm banning any kind of yard work for atleast a month. You hear that, Cameron??

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Asparagus Egg and Bacon Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette.

Staying on trend with my Skinnytaste recipe love, I made this light, yet tasty, recipe on Sunday. My parents had us over for smoked brisket and I thought this would be a great dish to accompany that. 
What my picture lacks in presentation, the taste makes up for!

Recipe found here from Skinnytaste. 

1 large hard boiled egg, peeled and sliced
1 2/3 cups chopped asparagus
2 slices cooked and crumbled center cut bacon
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
pinch salt and pepper, to taste

Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the asparagus and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until tender yet firm. Drain and run under cold water to stop it from cooking further. Set aside.

In a small bowl mix the Dijon, oil, vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Arrange the asparagus on a plate, top with egg and bacon and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Our Easter Weekend.

What a wonderful Easter weekend it was! The weather could not have been better, we got a lot accomplished, we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and spent it with our loved ones! 

Luckily, I had Good Friday off, and indeed it was a Good Friday! I spent it with Emily and Lane - we had lunch at Park Cafe and walked up and down King Street. 

Later that day, Cameron and I went on a boat ride with some friends, which ended with dinner at Mex 1 at 10pm. 

Saturday was warm but pretty overcast all day, which was perfect for our planned day of yard work. We headed to Lowe's and stocked up on which seemed like every herb and veggie imaginable. Everyone else must have had the same plans as us, as it was packed! Also bought a few shrubs, rose bushes, and a bird feeder!!
While I was tending to my garden, Cameron was in the front yard replacing the mailbox and mailbox post that we're pretty sure is original with the house, which was built in 1959. Getting the mailbox post out of the ground literally look him an hour to remove. And here's why.....
From his hand below, that is how much of the pole was in the ground!
You can also see all of the rust...which is why we replaced it....after 4.5 years of living with it.
That evening, we enjoyed a well deserved delicious meal of NY strips, gorgonzola gnocchi (via Trader Joe's), caprese salad, and moscow mules.

Easter Sunday we went to church with Cameron's parents, ate a late lunch at my Grandmother's house, then ate dinner at Cameron's parents house. It wouldn't be a normal holiday if we weren't driving back and forth over Charleston, and eating way too much!

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend, too! 
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Friday, April 3, 2015

Friday Five {What I've Been Up To}.

Two weekends ago my Grandma Anna turned the ripe young age of 80! Not trying to brag, but I seriously have some good genes on both sides of my family. We celebrated at my Aunt & Uncle's house in Summerville. We had an awesome dinner prepared a little bit by everyone and afterwards, we sat around the table while Grandma Anna opened up her gifts and cards.  The best gift was from my mom, uncle, and aunt. They snuck into my grandma's old photos without her knowing and put together a photo book of memories. It was so neat to listen to a story about each picture.

Grandma with her granddaughters

Picture from the photo book - Grandma Anna was and still is a looker

Uncle Jerry & Aunt Debbie who drove from Iowa!

I posted a few weeks ago my weekly meal plan based around Skinnytaste cookbook recipes. I'm happy to say that none of the recipes disappointed and I would definitely make them all again!
Here are a few photos that I took, which look nothing like the cookbook's. ;)

Skillet Lemon Sole with Tomatoes and Capers
(I made with tilapia because that's what I had)

Chicken Pasta Caprese

Last weekend we celebrated our 2 year anniversary with dinner at Cypress, followed by coffee with Bailey's at a local coffee/dessert shop in Avondale, and ended with some nightcaps at The Roost with friends. 

I hadn't been to Cypress since prom my senior year of high school. It was amazing then and now, including the service! They started us off with two glasses of champagne and we ordered the cucumber tuna rolls to go along with it. I ordered the butter lettuce salad and Cameron ordered the Ceasar salad. He definitely had food envy after having a bite of my salad! For our entrees I ordered the filet topped with Boursin cheese and Cameron ordered one of their specials - veal with a soft shelled crab. We decided to forego dessert because they did not have bread pudding and well, we were stuffed! If you ever go to Cypress, even for their bar upstairs, you must order the lavender martini! So refreshing and delicious. Even Cameron liked it! 

I'm hoping my hair doesn't look this red in person. Someone please tell me if it does!

My yummy butter lettuce salad with bacon jam, buttermilk blue cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, basil, and chives. SO GOOD.

Filet topped with Boursin cheese accompanied by asparagus, leeks, roasted garlic, crispy potatoes, and Madeira sauce.

Last weekend we also spent a lot of time in the yard getting it ready for Spring. I focused on my garden area, but did not plant anything due to the cold snap we had. Maybe I can plant my herbs and veggies today since I have the day off! I also picked up some peony bulbs at Costco last weekend. Who know's if they'll grow here in the scorching hot summer. Here's a good old fashioned before and after photo. Don't mind the pink ribbon - we're getting quotes to take down a few trees in the yard. 

I paid my car off this week!!  

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