Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Stephanie's Chocolate Chip Cheesecake.

This is my sister's go-to cheesecake recipe that I made for supper club a few weekends ago. Make it. Eat it. Love it.

2  8 oz pkgs cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
3 cups Daisy sour cream
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips (or toffee bits if that's your preference)
Graham cracker pie crust (homemade or store bought)

Pre-heat oven to 375*.

Add first 5 ingredients to large bowl and mix on high until smooth.
Add eggs and beat on low until just combined.
Stir in 3 cups sour cream.

Add chocolate chips and stir until combined.

Bake for 50-55 minutes - knife/toothpick should come out clean!

*This recipe makes two pies.*

Monday, July 30, 2012

Highlights from the Weekend.

We had a great, low key couple of days this past weekend. Did you?

Friday night we cooked dinner at home and went to see the latest Batman movie, "Dark Knight Rises." I loved it! Cameron was surprised that I liked it so much.

Saturday morning I went to sweet little Emilee's 1st birthday party! I can't believe that lil' nugget is already 1! She got a smash cake all to herself and LOVED it. If she could have had her way, she would have eaten the whole thing.

After the party I had to head to work, which was a bummer, but it was such a pretty set-up so I quickly forgot what a bummer it was to be at work on a Saturday.

Yesterday we ate a restaurant on Johns Island called Sunrise Bistro. It does not look like much from the outside, but the food is really good! Our friends Shelby and Trey eat there just about every Sunday morning! I ordered the tomato melt on an everything bagel with a side of fresh fruit, and Cameron got the open faced Med omelet! We will be back!

Breakfast was followed by a little sandbar action and some yummy dinner at the future in-laws' house! :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Weekly Recap.

Friday is finally here!

Here's a recap of this week...

Dinner at Leaf Monday night for Diana's birthday
Chicken pita and fried pickles!
Dinner at Taco Boy Wednesday night & lots of laughs at Theatre 99 for Kate's birthday
Last night - lots of Brady lovin' after he got a bath

Emilee's 1st birthday party tomorrow (already?!?) and a work wedding for the sweeeeetest bride! Can't wait!

I know I shouldn't wish the weekend away but I am just so excited about next week! My first dress fitting and a week from today we'll be in Wrightsville Beach, NC! (An explanation of why I'm going so dang early on my bach party will be told on Wednesday.)

Have a great weekend, friends!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Mini Cucumber Pita Pockets.

Cameron's cousin's wife makes these for every family get together and if you make them, you will see why! They are so tasty and addicting! Not to mention, super simple to make!

Mini Cucumber Pita Pockets

Mini pita pockets (I can only find them at Publix) - cut each one in half
Cucumber - peeled, cut in half lengthwise, and sliced
8 oz Cream cheese
Half packet Hidden Valley dry ranch

Mix cream cheese and dry ranch together. Put about a teaspoon or so of the mix in each pita half. Place cucumber slice in pita pocket. Enjoy!

See, told ya it was super easy!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Weekend: Supper Club, Cousin's 21st Bday, + Lots of Pool Time!

I'm so glad I have the day off of work today although I did do a lot of relaxing by the pool this weekend. Being in the sun all day is tiring!

Friday night we hosted supper club at our house. The menu consisted of things that could be made ahead of time (Cameron's smart thinking, I always try to do things that are too complicated) - pork tenderloin, California cole slaw, Cameron's mom's brown rice recipe and my sister's chocolate chip cheesecake recipe. Oh, and beergarita's for everyone!

After dinner and a few rounds of Catchphrase, we got a wild hair and wanted to go bowling. Got to the bowling alley, the bar was already closed and the lanes closed in 30 minutes. Bummer! We didn't want to go home yet, so we decided to go out in the Avondale area for a bit. First stop was The Roost but it was pretty low key and we were all about to fall asleep. So we decided to walk across the street to Voodoo, where they always have good music playing. Let's just say good times were had by all. :)
Tip: (clean) socks can be used in the absence of koozies. :)
First thing Saturday, I met my sister, mom, Cameron's SIL and his nieces at the bridal shop so that my sister could get measured for her bridesmaid dress and Kaylin (junior bridesmand) could find a dress! More on that later! After lunch with the SIL and nieces, we headed to the pool with Christina & Justin and some...others. That night Cameron and I went to Summerville to celebrate my cousin's 21st birthday! It consisted of hijacking my aunt's FB statuses, lots of laughs, and a poll to determine if the dog's feet smelled like Dorito's or a vacuum cleaner. And if any of you are friends with me on FB and saw a disturbing post from me - sorry, that was my aunt trying to get back at me. :)
Birthday girl!

funny story behind this pic, but we'll have to save that for another day

my seester & i
On Sunday, we went back out to the pool with Emily, David, Caroline & Andy. Followed by the usual Sunday summer dinner at Maria's. :)

After Caroline and I spent the morning looking for the perfect bachelorette shoes and lunch at Olympik, I am finally home and relaxing on the couch..in between loads of laundry. We're also eating dinner at Leaf tonight for a friend's birthday and I am super pumped! I've heard it's really good!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

DIY Baby Shower Gift

Cameron calls me a stage 1 hoarder. I don't see it as hoarding at all, I see it as saving something you're going to use later! And I don't do it with everything, mainly gift bags, furniture I can re-do and decorations. :)

When it was time to think of a present for Alyssa & Chris's Baby-Q, I didn't want to just purchase something off of their registry. That would be too easy and I like to put some thought into presents. (As a side note, while I was tackling this project, Cameron told me that I was a thoughtful gift-giver, which made me smile. :) ) For some reason, this little wooden Lipton carrier, that I received as part of a review, popped into my mind! I thought it would be fun to paint in and then fill it with goodies!

Owen's (the baby) nursery is safari themed so I painted zebra print on both of the ends...(I just Googled "zebra print" and based the painting off of a picture.)
 And giraffe print on the front and back! I'm not a big fan of how his name turned out, but whatev...(I left the other side blank just incase she wasn't a big fan of how his name turned out either.)
 I filled the carrier with Orajel teething gel, Desitin diaper rash ointment, Johnson's bedtime bath wash, Johnson's safety swabs, Johnson's lotion, and Boogie Wipes.
 Alyssa sent me a picture that night of the carrier already set up in the nursery! I'm so glad she liked it! :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: Recent Pins + Updated Checklist.

It's my favorite (blog) day of the week! Wedding Wednesday! Today I'm showing you some of my favorite recent Pinterest finds.
Find me on Pinterest here.

How gorgeous is this sequin linen? It would be perfect for the cake table, but for $85 to rent, it's not looking like it's going to happen. :)
Hopefully you'll have someone to set up your reception space for you, rather than doing it yourself. An easy and great way to make sure things are set up as you'd like them to be is to take a picture of how you want it set up, tape it to the top of a clear bin, and place your items inside the bin. Voila! There should (hopefully) be no questions. :)
Love love love this bouquet.
Take a few minutes to do this daily.

Here the updated checklist..items in red are what I've done since the last checklist post.
Set a date
Book venue
Book photographer
Book band
Ask bridal party to be in wedding
Book caterer & bar
Create wedding website
Book florist
Shop for wedding dress
Book ceremony musician
Book rentals
Take engagement pictures
Select bridesmaid dresses
Select groom & groomsmen attire
Find veil
Book cake baker
Hire coordinator
Buy cake knife & server
Order save the dates
Send save the dates
Book officiant
Pre-marital counseling
Order guest book
Finalize guest list
Find a reasonably priced videographer
Hotel room blocks
Calligraphy - pay or learn?
Engagement announcement in Post & Courier
MOB & MOG dress shopping
Find wedding shoes
Find wedding jewelry
Find garter
Book makeup artist & hair stylist
Menu tasting
Take bridal portraits / hair & make up trial – Scheduled for October 24th
1st dress fitting – Scheduled for August 2nd
2nd (final?) dress fitting
Make ceremony programs – JCB doing as a gift
Buy bud vases!
Buy a "M" and "C" and paint gold
Figure out where we want to do first look
Figure out where I'm getting ready & where Cameron is getting ready
Who will set up ceremony chairs?
Order invitations
Address invitations
Mail invitations
Book rehearsal dinner venue
Book RD caterer
Book RD rentals
Book RD music
Buy RD dress
Order pom poms for send off
Order koozies
Buy bridal party gifts
Bachelorette party
Buy gifts for parents
Bridal shower
Purchase wedding bands
Create wedding day timeline
Put together picture list for photographer
DIY drink stirrers
DIY signs for River Rd and venue
DIY signs for reserved seating & seat yourself
Hankies for ceremony?
DIY moss letters for bar?
Get marriage license
Book transportation from reception to hotel
Book honeymoon
RD invitations
RD groom's cake
Final vendor payments
Music selections to band and ceremony artist
Book wedding night hotel room
Order thank you notes
Wedding announcement in Post & Courier
Walk down the aisle & say I do!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tasty Tuesday - Refrigerator Pickles!

Refrigerator Pickles
Recipe from Ted Allen at Food Network Magazine
Found on Our Best Bites

10 cloves garlic, peeled (and lightly smashed, if desired)
2 cups white vinegar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
several sprigs fresh dill (She ended up using about a loose cup, unchopped, stems attached)
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon black or pink peppercorns (or a mixture of both)
Desired vegetables (She used all cucumbers, but you could also pickle young spring carrots, scallions, green beans, asparagus, cauliflower, hot chilies, etc.)

In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups water to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and add the garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and salt, raise the heat, and bring to a boil, stirring until the salt dissolves. Remove from heat.

Evenly divide the dill among 2 1-quart canning jars. Divide the seeds and peppercorns between the jars. Using tongs, remove the garlic from the brine and place 5 cloves in each jar. Pack each jar with desired vegetables (She ended up using about a pound of cucumbers, but it will really vary depending on what veggies you use) until each jar is tightly stuffed.

Bring the brine back to a boil and pour it over the veggies to cover completely. Allow to cool, then place the lids on the jars and refrigerate. You can eat them in a few hours, but they’ll be better and more pickle-y in a few days.

Keep these in the fridge for up to 3 months.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Fishing, Baby Showers & House Update.

Saturday morning we woke up bright & early to head to the boat to go fishing on the last day of the Megadock tournament. The boys caught 3 sailfish, which is good, but not enough to win the tournament. :( I was the camera lady and was in charge of taking pics of the fish when they pulled them up to the boat.

Sunday, we had not one, but two baby shower/parties to attend! One for our friends, Alyssa & Chris, who are having a little boy (Owen) in September, and the other was for Davis who turned 1 last week!
Sneak peak of Owen's present
After being all babied out, we went shopping for some curtains and a rug for Cameron's office.

So happy with the results! The last thing we want to do is buy a bench for in front of the window and then the office will be complete!

Double rod - Bed Bath & Beyond
Sheer curtains - Target
Blue curtains - World Market
Grass rug - Marshall's

What did you do this weekend??

Friday, July 13, 2012

"Sharing the Romance" Wedding Giveaway

No, no, I'm not asking you to vote for Cameron & I. I'm asking you to vote for some friends of ours, Kristen & Adam! Kristen & Adam live a few houses down from our good friends, Katie & Henry, and Adam recently surprised Kristen with a trip to New York Paris and surprised her again with a marriage proposal!

Please click HERE to see their story and vote! They are the last video on the page. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: Mom's Wedding Dress & China.

A few weeks ago, while Cameron and I were at my parents' house, I decided it would be fun to try on my mom's wedding dress! I was also nervous that it wouldn't come past my thighs because of how tiny she was when she got married (Mom - you're still tiny, but you know what I'm saying..).  Well, I got it on, but it's definitely not zipped in the back. :)

While I don't plan on using her dress in my wedding day, I do plan on using part of her lace veil. Maybe wrapped around my bouquet?

And then on Monday, while I'm reading through the usual blogs, I see that Megan tried on her mom's dress, too, and was surprised at how similar they looked! Go to her post to see!

Before we got engaged, Cameron and I went over to his grandmother's (Rara) house to help her move some furniture. When we were done, she took us over to her china cabinet saying that she wanting to show us something. There was a stack of the most beautiful gold & ivory china. She reached inside one of the cups and took out a small piece of paper. On it read, "Cameron wants this"  and the date that she wrote the note -- he was like 10! I got butterflies in my stomach thinking that maybe one day, we'd be owning that beautiful china as a married couple! My man has great taste! :)

Then, the evening of Cameron's birthday, we went over to his parent's house for dinner. When his mom brought dessert out, guess what the peach cobbler was served on!!
Isn't it gorgeous?!? This china is atleast 100 years old and I am honored that the next family it will be in is ours! Rara didn't have any of the large dinner size plates so we'll have to find and register for some of those that will look good paired with these. Suggestions?
Did you incorporate your mother's wedding dress or veil in your wedding? If so, how?
What china pattern did you register for?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Broiled Avocado with Melted Cheese & Hot Sauce.

These are on the menu for dinner tonight (along with grilled balsamic bruschetta chicken) and I cannot wait!! Avocados are already one of my favorite foods, but then you add melted cheese + hot sauce? WHAT!?!

Broiled Avocado with Melted Cheese & Hot Sauce
Recipe and photo found here.

1 avocado
1 tablespoon chipotle sauce (Tabasco)
1 tablespoon lime juice
¼ cup parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Slice the avocado in half and remove the stone. Prick all over with a fork, or cut criss-cross patterns with a knife. This allows the sauce to penetrate the flesh.

Pour the sauce over each half, then top with lime juice and salt and pepper.

In the cavity where the stone has been, put ¼ of the cheese on each avocado half. Place under the hot broiler for 2 minutes. 

 Top with remaining cheese and broil for another 2 minutes until completely melted and avocado warmed through.

Eat hot with a wedge of lime and chipotle sauce on the side!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Scenes from the Weekend.

What a long, fun and tiring weekend!

Friday night, Cameron and I layed low, knowing that Saturday was going to be a big day on the boat. Tried out a new restaurant (not really good enough to tell you about), then came back home and watched a movie. Well, Cameron watched and I fell asleep.

Saturday, Cameron's friend, James, came into town from Savannah and we got to meet his girlfriend for the first time! James got almost all the way to Charleston and realized he left his wallet at home. Oops. 2 trips to Charleston later, we were all finally on the boat together!

Christina shared her pickles with me and I shared my Cherry Beergarita! It was yummy! 
After some Maria's and a shower, we all made our way downtown. I honestly don't know how we all made it. I know I was super tired. BUT! I'm glad I did because I got to see my lil' sis and a group of sorority sisters!

Needless to say, Sunday was a relax and detox kind of day. Got lunch at Groucho's, Cameron watched a movie, and I worked on a project!
Even Brady was tired.

What did you do this weekend??

Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday Five.

TGIF! And I'm off all weekend! Woohoo!

#1 - Matthew McConaughey announced on July 4th that he and his wife, Camila Alves, are expecting baby #3! He's all ripped and learned all of these stripper moves for Magic Mike. Talk about coincidental timing! ;)
#2 - Yesterday I didn't have to be at work until 3pm, so Emily and I took a trip downtown to find myself a dress for my bachelorette party (which is only a month away!!). I didn't really want to spend a ton of money on a dress I'd most likely only wear once, so I wound up finding it at Forever 21!

#3 - Also picked up a few other things that I could wear to work and play!

#4 - The plan for tomorrow is boating, of course! Thinking of switching up our normal beergaritas for cherry beergaritas!

#5 - Cameron and I have been trying to decide on a rug to go under our dining room table for quite a while now and we finally agreed on one from Ballard Designs. Some of the items from BD is pricey, but we got this rug for a steal! Plus free shipping & 10% off!
We went with the one third from the top.

Enjoy your weekend, friends!