Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Five.

Happy Friday, everyone! I had the day off from work yesterday and got to spend some quality time with Emily and Lane. We ate lunch at Olympik deli and browsed around TJMaxx. It was Lane's first time and judging by the picture below, he was obviously very impressed....

I finally decided to find out what all of the hoopla was about with the J.Crew swing sweater. I found a gray linen version, new with tags, on Ebay for $23! It arrived on my doorstep a few days later and I wore it for 2 days straight. It is so roomy and comfortable, that I can definitely see myself picking them up in every color. 
Similar here (on sale) and here
J.Crew card members save 20% with code CARDSONLY
Don't forget to go through Ebates first and earn 6% cash back! 

I have been on a huge blue cheese kick lately so when I spotted these Laughing Cow light blue cheese wedges the other day at World Market, they immediately went into my basket. Each triangle is only 35 calories, and when paired with cucumber slices, you have a super healthy snack! Also very delicious on crackers.

We got a new washing machine yesterday! Isn't it funny the things you get excited about as you get older? The one we had before was probably just as old as I am and would often bounce around the room if there was a large load inside. Needless to say, a new one was definitely needed. 
We got it from Plugs Appliance Center, a locally owned appliance store, where my dad actually works! So if any of you locals are in need of a new appliance (they also sell mattresses!), ask for Chuck! :)

That's my pops on the right.

Right before Emily had Lane, someone told me about a website called Meal Train. It's a website to help organize meals that are brought to parents who just had a baby, someone who is sick, someone who lost a family member, a new neighbor, an elderly person, or really anyone in need of a little help! It's so much easier than emailing a group of people 340584 times and then having to read back through those emails because you forgot what day you signed up for. As the creator of the Meal Train, you list the person's address, what time they usually eat, any allergies or dietary restrictions, etc. 
Here is an example of what the calendar looks like:

Color-drop stemless wine glass in gold from Anthropologie
I can definitely picture these sitting pretty on my bar. 

 Link up with us!

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Food Lion Frugal Cook-Off.

Last week, I participated in the Food Lion Frugal Cook-Off and had a blast doing so! When their representative first approached me, I was a little apprehensive. I've never made up my own recipe before! And I surely wasn't going to be comfortable cooking in front of a crowd. 

Once a few of my questions were answered, I found out that I would not be cooking alone and there would not be an audience. I emailed back and said "sounds fun, sign me up!" I also made sure I was going to know someone there before I committed. 

The event was held at Charleston Cooks, and it was actually the first time I've been there (shocker, being that I'm from Charleston). 

Katie, Shelby, and I met up beforehand for a drink to calm our nerves and chat about the event. 

Once we closed our tabs and made our way to Charleston Cooks, we were greeted by Food Lion representatives and were told to grab a drink and some appetizers. Once all of the participants arrived, we went outside to take a group picture, followed by our team pictures. Luckily, Shelby and I got paired together! 
We were given bright green Food Lion Frugal Cook Off aprons with our names and blog titles embroidered on them. Great touch!

Here were the rules of  the cookoff:
-We did not know what meat we were going to cook with until we chose from 4 covered dishes. The choices were boneless chicken breasts, tilapia, pork chops, and ground turkey. 
-Once we chose our meat, we had 15 minutes to plan and shop, and $15 to shop the (limited) pantry that Food Lion provided. We had to use atleast 2 My Essentials (Food Lion's brand) ingredients in our recipes.
-We had to make a meal of meat and two sides for a family of 4 in 45 minutes (while also answering questions for the camera and figuring out where the heck stuff was). 

Shelby and I were third to choose our meat - chicken and ground turkey were left. I told Shelby I had a great idea for ground turkey and to choose the flatter of the two dishes, because I was thinking that would be it. I was right! Boom. 

Based on our meat and what we found in the pantry, we chose to make:
Greek turkey meatballs with tzatziki sauce
Thinly sliced crispy potatoes
Sauteed spinach with a lemon garlic vinaigrette

Shelby making sure her potatoes don't stick and me cooking up a solo meatball to taste test. 
Our final product:
What we lacked in presentation, we made up for in taste!
In the end, we didn't win (I want a re-match!), but we had a blast participating! Those 45 minutes sure do fly by when you are under pressure and are in unfamiliar territory. 

Speaking of participating, we received a $100 gift card to Food Lion just for playing! They also gave us a another $100 gift card to giveaway! I know y'all will understand, but I decided not to giveaway my giftcard to my readers (sorry!). I decided to give it to a great cause called BackPack Buddies, which takes action against weekend hunger in children in the Lowcountry. Learn more about the program here. The winners of the cook-off walked away with 2 $250 giftcards! 

We also received a goody bag of Food Lion products to take home with us! My bag included olive oil, organic spaghetti sauce, organic walnuts, a chocolate pistachio bar, and tea! 

Here is the video again, in case you missed it:

Would love to do something like this again if given the opportunity and I suggest you do it, too, if invited!
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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today is my Daddy's birthday. Yes, I am 30 years old and still call him Daddy. 
Growing up, there was a framed photo in my parents room that read "Anyone can be a Father, but it takes someone special to be a Daddy." And he is a pretty special guy, so that's why I still call him Daddy. :)

The song that reminded me of him the first time I heard it just happens to be by my favorite singer, Will Hoge. 

He's a twenty year straight get to work on time
He's a love one woman for all his life
He's a shirt off his back, give you his last dime
He's strong

He's a need to move something you can use my truck
He's an overtime worker when the bills pile up
Everybody knows he ain't just tough
He's strong


He'll pick you up and won't let you down
Rock solid inside out
Somebody you can trust
Steady as the sun
Ain't nothing gonna knock him off the road he's rollin' on
He's strong

It ain't what he can carry what he can lift
It's a dirt road lesson talkin' to his kids
Bout how to hold your ground and how to live

He's strong

He'll pick you up and won't let you down
Rock solid inside out
Somebody you can trust
Steady as the sun
Ain't nothing gonna knock him off the road he's rollin' on
He's strong

Like the river rollin'
Gonna keep on going
When the road runs out
They gonna keep on talkin' about

How he was strong

He'll pick you up and won't let you down
Rock solid inside out
Somebody you can trust
Steady as the sun
Ain't nothing gonna knock him off the road he's rollin' on
He's strong

Everybody knows he ain't just tough
He's strong 


Previous birthday shout outs

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Cauliflower Fried Rice + Weekly Dinner Menu.

So this week, we're cheating a little bit on our low carb dinners during the week. Tonight we're bringing a chicken and rice dish to Cameron's grandmother and her husband, and Thursday night we're bringing quesadillas to Emily and David. It's ok to cheat every now and then. :)

Last night, I made this cauliflower fried rice recipe that I came across last week. Maybe I pulsed my cauliflower in the food processor one too many times, but the consistency was more like couscous to us than rice. Don't get me wrong, it was tasty, and a great substitute for the naughty version, but it did not taste like rice to us. Just a heads up about that!

Let me know if you've tried it before and what you thought!

Cauliflower Fried Rice
Recipe and photo found here.

3 cups of raw grated cauliflower (use a cheese grater or food processor) 
 ½ cup frozen peas (I used shelled edamame instead)
 ½ cup carrots, thinly sliced 
 3-4 garlic cloves, minced 
 ½ cup onion, diced 
 ½ TBSP olive oil 
 2 eggs (or 4 egg whites), scrambled 
 3 TBSP soy sauce

In a large pan, saute garlic and onions in olive oil on a medium/high heat, until onions become soft and transparent. (about 2-3 minutes)

Next add in peas, and carrots and cook until carrots begin to soften and peas are heated through. (about 3-4 minutes)

Next stir in scrambled eggs , cauliflower and soy sauce. Cook stirring frequently for about 5-7 more minutes.

Enjoy adding in your favorite protein and veg. Possible add-ins: baby corn, broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, water chestnuts, chicken, tofu, and shrimp!


Tuesday - Angel chicken with brown rice (with Rara and Bill)

Thursday - BBQ Chicken and avocado quesadillas with rice for Emily & David

Saturday - Megan working

Sunday - Emily, Dad, Uncle Jay's bday celebrations
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Monday, February 24, 2014

Sunday Not-So-FunDay.

Saturday night everyone was talking about and getting pumped up for the first Sandbar Sunday of 2014. Come Sunday around noon and the skies are super overcast, and it's not as warm as we all expected. On to plan B. House work. Yay. Just playing, I actually enjoy a low key day of housework every now and then. Feels so good when everything you set out to do is complete. 

We started out by taking the hallway doors off of their hinges so that we could paint them. After making a Lowe's list and eating lunch (French dips - yum!), Cameron went to go grab a quick shower. Well, that didn't happen because there was no hot water. Awesome.  So he goes to investigate and I go work on my hallway bathroom grout project that desperately needs to get finished.
I finished and can't wait to show you the final result!
 While I'm in there, I notice that I hear the sound of running water. Is the dishwasher running? No. Is there a load of laundry in the washing machine? No. So I mention it to Cameron. He doesn't really think much of it. He winds up calling plumber #1 to come take a look at our hot water heater. Plumber says heating element is fine and leaves. I mention to Cameron that the running water sound is still going on so he investigates. Thinks we may have a busted pipe. Awesome.  Calls another plumber to come out because our hot water heater still isn't working, and if we have a busted pipe, that would suck. 

Well guess what? We have a busted pipe under the office.

So that was our Sunday! 

But, the fact that we spent it together and this homemade pizza for dinner made it all better!

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Five.

My friend, Kathryn, has opened an Etsy shop called Love Raleigh Creative that y'all should check out! She currently has downloadable prints, but will soon have monogrammable items for sale, too. 

This print she customized and blew up for Emily's nursery!

She has also started blogging again. Go here to follow her!

Wednesday evening, I, along with 7 other local bloggers, participated in the Food Lion Frugal Cook Off! I will be doing a full post about it soon, but here's a short video to give you a nice little tease. 


My beloved tassel keychain went MIA a few weekends ago so I hopped on Etsy and found this monogram keychain that was a perfect replacement. I ordered the small geometric size in green marble. 

The Spring issue of Charleston Weddings Magazine came out this week and one of our pictures was featured in their dancing section! The guys in the picture are Cameron's best friend and my best friend's husband. They were both hilarious all night long trying to out dance one another. So glad our awesome photographer, Juliet Elizabeth, caught them on camera. Our announcement is also featured in the back of the magazine. :)

Last night, Cameron and I, had an impromptu date night at The Bar at Husk. It is one of our favorite spots to grab a delicious burger and a drink (beer for me, bourbon for Cameron). Definitely one of our favorite burgers in Charleston, and without the hefty Husk pricetag. :)

Off to get my hair done then on to work! 
Happy Friday!

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

5 Under $50: Studs

5 Under $50: Studs

  one / two / three / four / five

In college, I was all about the fancy schmancy dangly earrings. Hand Picked was my jam.  Now, you will rarely see me wearing danglies. I'm more of a stud, sometimes hoop, girl. I'd rather wear a really bright or big obnoxious necklace and wear simple studs. 

These are some of my favorite studs under $50 that are out right now. 

The first pair, my super stylish co-worker, Leah, wears frequently and I'm always admiring them. Simple, yet edgy. 

The second pair, I like because I always go back to gold. You could wear those with anything.

The last pair, come in almost every color under the sun and resemble an old pair of earrings I bought from Express that I wear almost every day in a light taupe color. 

What are your favorite pair of studs that you own? 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Andes Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies + Weekly Dinner Menu.

Our friends, Jen and Joe, came over Friday night to grill out and Jen brought these cookies as an after dinner treat. They were a hit! I ate two that night even though I was stuffed and another one for breakfast yesterday morning. She said they were super easy, too, and the only ingredient you'll probably have to go out and buy are the Andes mints! Enjoy and share with your friends/co-workers because this recipe makes a lot!

Andes Crème de Menthe Chunk Cookies
Recipe and photo found here.Servings: 4 Dozen
 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
 1 teaspoon baking soda
 1 teaspoon baking powder
 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
 2 eggs
1 package (10 oz) Andes® Creme de Menthe Baking Chips or Andes® After Dinner Mints, coarsely chopped
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350*
Blend butter, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla and eggs until mixed.
Stir in baking chips or chopped candy and then flour.
Chill at least one hour in refrigerator.

Measure out approximately 1 ounce of dough.
Raise oven rack one level above middle and baking on non-stick cookie sheets.
Bake at 350-degrees for approximately 8-10 minutes.
Cool on pans for two minutes before removing.

Apparently I'm on a Designer Bags & Dirty Diapers recipe kick this week. :)

Monday Mozzarella stuffed chicken meatballs  and spinach salad

Wednesday - Megan at special event {details to come!}

Thursday - Roasted chicken legs with corn and edamame

Friday - Megan working event

Saturday - Emily's birthday

Sunday - Homemade pizza {whole wheat crust, olive oil, garlic, artichokes, pine nuts, prosciutto, and fresh mozzarella}

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Crossing a Chore off of the House Checklist! (+TB Revas for Sale!)

We slept in until about 10am on Saturday, but once we were up, we immediately got to work cleaning out the junk room. With it being on our to-do list always (we'll clean it out and then it will magically accumulate more junk) + us being given a barely slept on bed, made it time to clean it out completely. 

This is what we started with..
(Keepin' it real, people.)

Then a little progress was made and you could finally see the floor!
This is the Goodwill pile..

FYI - Goodwill does not take tv's any longer because, according to one of their employees, a woman bought a 40 something inch flatscreen for $15, used it for 9 months before it stopped working, and then she wanted her money back! They, for a good reason, refused to take the tv back and give her a refund, so she took it to corporate and made a big stink about it. 
That big tv in the picture above was taken to the dump (which is even more disgusting than I imagined), but a smaller tv that still worked, we put on the street in front of our house and it was picked up by someone the next morning. Easy peasy. 

So after our trip to Goodwill and the dump (ick), we picked up the bed and turned the junk room into guest room #2!

Yes, we've got a long way to go with it, but we already had a complete bedding set that will work for now and I got to keep my chaise lounge! I refuse to get rid of it.  Will post more pictures of the room once I get the last few remaining random items stored under the bed. 

On a random note, I've listed my Tory Burch Revas on Ebay if anyone is interested in them! They are used, and the price reflects that.
You can view them here.
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