Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Five.

Happy Friday! 
Hopefully the fact that this is my third post this week will mean I'll get back into the swing of things. 

Here are five things that have been making me happy this week..

Capri candle in Volcano
Everyone always raves about this candle, and now I know why. The scent fills up an entire room in no time. 

I took advantage of the Nordstrom Half-Yearly sale and ordered myself a new dress and new gold hoops. The icing on the cake is that Nordstrom always has free shipping and returns. 
BP Scoop Back Skater Dress
Hammered Hoop Earrings

I made Natalie's Tuscan Chicken Cakes over Arugula last night and OMG they were amazing. Cameron said they tasted like they came from a restaurant and I couldn't agree more. They'd be great to serve to a small dinner party not only because they taste great, but because you pre-make the cakes in advance. 

I've been eyeing these pillow covers from West Elm since before Christmas. They finally went on sale last week so I bit the bullet. I'm trying to bring in more color to our nothing but tan and brown living room. I think I want to add an orange lumbar pillow in the middle but am having a hard time deciding on one. 

We're celebrating two 30th birthdays this weekend - Alicia's and Caroline's. Celebrating birthdays in general is always fun, but celebrating milestone birthdays takes it up a notch. Cameron's is less than a month away and his party is going to be awesome! Can't wait! 

Hope you all have a great weekend!!

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend.

I finally got to enjoy a holiday weekend! Working in the hospitality and event industry, that doesn't happen often. But making the schedule for all of the employees does have its perks. 

Here's how it was enjoyed..

On Saturday, we had a couple of friends over to Cameron's parents' pool. 
Thank you, Kathryn, for the picture. :)
Lane's first time in the pool!

After the pool, I went and helped set up for a Sip n See that I co-hosted for Kate and Grant's brand new baby, Taylor! It was so fun celebrating her, especially since she is the only girl in our group of friends' babies! 

The boy mom's. 

Before I knew it, I (voluntarily) had a baby strapped to me! 
Lane hung out like this for about 30 minutes before he fell asleep. 

Top left is the proud daddy of Taylor, Grant.

Spent Sunday out at Morris Island

Monday, it was back to work. 
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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Detox Weekly Menu.

After this past weekend full of naughty food and lots of adult beverages, the scale is not my friend. 
Below is my attempt at some (mostly) healthy meals for the week. 

Monday - Happy hour at Fat Hen with Amanda and Nick
Hey, it was a holiday so it counted as the weekend still.
I ordered the oysters with country ham and mushrooms over grilled bread off of the bar menu. 

Holy amazing.

Wednesday Teriyaki salmon with sriracha cream sauce and asparagus

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Five {Shoe Lust Edition}.

Happy Friday, everyone! 
I had the day off yesterday and due to the crappy weather we had, decided to park it on the couch most of the day. I did get a couple of loads of laundry done, so I wasn't a total sloth. 

Before we get started today with the Friday Five, I wanted to give a shout out to two of the hosts of Friday Five who recently gave birth to two precious little girls! Christina gave birth to Caroline Grace last week, and April had Camille Elizabeth just two days ago! Congratulations y'all!!

For this week's Friday Five, I decided to share with you 5 shoes I'm currently lusting over. 

Sunny by Loeffler Randall

Pamona by Dolce Vita

Brayden by Sam Edelman

Palo by Joie

Floralite by Schutz

All of these shoes can be found at Piperlime, and right now, when you go through Ebates, you can earn 15% cash back! That is like, unheard of, so take advantage! 

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Skirt Steak Fajita Recipe + Weekly Dinner Menu.

I'm not really sure why I haven't attempted to make steak fajitas before...steak is pretty much my favorite food group, after pickles. Not only were these amazing, but they were so colorful, too! 

Skirt Steak Fajitas
Recipe and photo found here

For the marinade:
1/3 c. soy sauce
1/3 c. fresh squeezed lime juice
1/3 c. canola oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 T. brown sugar
1 t. cumin
1 t. chile powder

Other ingredients:
about 2 lb. skirt steak 
2-3 bell peppers, ends trimmed, cored and seeded, cut into a couple large pieces
1 large white onion, peeled and cut into 1/2-3/4-inch slices (keep the slices intact)
18 6-inch flour tortillas
lime wedges 
toppings of your choice such as, cilantro, salsa, cheese, sour cream  & avocados or guacamole

 Get the marinade prepared: Whisk together the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Reserve about 1/3 cup of marinade for the vegetables. Place the steak in a gallon-sized ziplock bag. Add the remaining marinade. Seal the bag, pressing out any excess air, massage the marinade into the meat a bit. Refrigerate anywhere from 3-10 hours. 

 After meat has finished marinating, remove steak from marinade and wipe off excess marinade with paper towel. (I also cut the steak into a couple of more manageable sized pieces, for easier turning on the grill). brush the vegetables with reserved marinade. Heat your grill to high. Scrape the grill grate clean and oil the grate. Add the steak to the super hot grill and grill, covered about 2 1/2 minutes per side (for medium/medium-rare), or until steak reaches desired doneness. Remove steak to a clean plate and cover with foil & let rest for 10-15 minutes. 

Add the peppers and onions to the grill and grill, turning occasionally until cooked, peppers should take about 5 minutes and onions will take about 10. Remove from grill. Briefly add the tortillas to the grill, a couple at a time and grill until warmed and lightly charred around the edges. Wrap the tortillas in foil to keep warm.

 Thinly slice the steak, against the grain. Slice the onions in half and separate the rings. Slice the peppers. Serve with the tortillas, lime wedges and toppings of your choice.

Detailed step by step on how to select and trim skirt steak here


On the menu for this week....

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day Brunch Menu + Some Pics.

Our Second Annual Mother's Day Brunch was another success! Hooray! Last year's menu was so well received, I decided to do the exact same thing. If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it. For the first time, maybe ever, Cameron and I were ready to receive guests about 30 minutes before they arrived. Usually, we're scrambling to finish cleaning or cooking, even after guests arrive! 

The bar set-up

Fur-moms need love, too!

My beautiful, sweet, and giving momma. 

The Mr. and I

Hope all of you moms, soon-to-moms, and fur-moms had a wonderful Mother's Day!
Now April, we're ready to meet your babe!!

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday Five.

For this week's Five on Friday, I thought I'd talk about 5 money-saving websites/apps that some people STILL do not know about. I was at a baby shower last weekend and I overheard one girl saying that she just discovered the Target Cartwheel app, and the girl that she was talking to had no idea what it was, and that's what prompted this post. I feel like being a blogger, we hear about new products or services a lot faster than people who do not have/read blogs. Guess that's why there are so many reviews/giveaways out there! 

Anyway, let's get started...

The Cartwheel by Target app is an app where you scroll through the list of categories, which range from groceries to clothing to toys and more, then you select the item you plan on buying. It saves the item to your cart (you can save up to 18 items) and when you are done shopping, the cashier scans the barcode in your app and your discounts are applied! Discounts range from 5% to 25%. Pair it with your Target Debit or Credit card, and you'll get an additional 5% off of your entire purchase! My last trip, between both the Cartwheel app and my Target Debit card, I saved almost $10. It may not sound like a lot, but all of those little amounts every trip really add up!

This is probably my favorite website/app that I love telling people about. Not only can you find coupon codes for almost any website out there, but you get CASH BACK when you shop online. Free money, people! New users get a free gift card just for signing up! Each store has it's own % that you get back. For example, J.Crew gives you 2% cash back, but some stores are offering double cash back for Mother's Day (Nordstrom 6%, Macy's 6%, Sephora 8%). Even websites like Living Social and Groupon offer cash back! Payouts are every 3 months and you can choose for them to send you a physical check in the mail, or have your money deposited into your Paypal account. 
Sign up here

Etsy is the website that most people have probably heard of by now. It is a shopping website mostly made up of handmade or vintage items. Products range from art, craft supplies, food, jewelry, clothing, knick-knacks, etc. This website is great for finding unique gifts for the person that has everything. A great way to save money using Etsy is if you are in the market for inexpensive invitations. Some sellers will personalize your invitation for you and email you the PDF so you can print it out at home or at a printing store like Kinko's. 

I had always heard about the Mint website/app, but didn't really get into using it until I was determined to pay off my credit cards. Opening up the app on my phone and seeing that bottom line number of my balance get lower and lower was super rewarding. The app also helps manage budgets and tracks your spending by linking up to your bank accounts. It will also alert you if your accounts gets low on funds (whoops), a large purchase has been made (for security purposes), and when you have a payment due soon (thank you). 

Back in 2010, Cameron and I were invited to 15 weddings! Between being a bridesmaid in a couple, and one day being invited to 3 different weddings which obviously we could not make it to all of them, we probably attended 10 of them. Being a girl, you know we like to wear a new outfit to everything, but for some it is just not financially possible to go out and buy a $200 dress for every occasion. Enter Rent the Runway. This website rents designer dresses, jewelry, and handbags, for a fraction of their retail price! Rental prices range from $30 up to $200+. If you are not sure how specific designers' clothes run in size, you can talk live to a stylist, or you can read reviews and even see pictures of "real" people wearing the piece. RTR will also send you two different sizes of the same dress, in case the size you thought you would be doesn't fit. Rentals last for 4 days, and on the last day, you pop the dress in the pre-paid envelope back in the mail. Easy as that!
Now, if you are like I was with the 10-15 weddings in a year, or plan on renting more than just two dresses in a year, RTR now has a service called PRO to save you even more money. You pay just $29.95 for the service and you'll receive free shipping and insurance for the rest of the year! They'll even throw in a free rental dress for your birthday! 

Hope you discovered something new and helpful today that will save you money in the end! 
Now go out and have a fantastic Mother's Day weekend!

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