Monday, February 28, 2011

What A Wonderful World...or Weekend

Yes, it was a splendid time spent with a number of my absolute favorite people... let's recap:
Friday night, Jeff treated me to an uber: romantic dinner at Virago... they recently packed up and moved to the Gulch and I cant believe the transformation--Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore. They definitely updated the scenery and vibe and you feel as though you're in New York or LA...LOVE!! Though we promised ourselves we wouldn't over indulge, we definitely downed 3 rolls and the hot stone filet!! Afterwards, we went to Sweet CeCe's for some yogurt {yes glutteny at its best} and then called it a night...
Saturday, I jumped out of bed to hit the gym and then met up with BFF Meg for some shopping..I found 2 more adorable frocks for the honeymoon and snatched them up! Then Jeff and I headed downtown to meet up with the fam for my uncle's surprise birthday party at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville...SO much fun!! I can't wait for summer as I have a feeling many days/nights will be spent there singing and eating some cheeseburgers in paradise!
Me with my Gran and Papa
Only the world's cutest parents
I love that boy!
Me and Mom
Us gals at Big Bang
and the men... with Uncle Robert who just turned the big 50!
Afterwards, we thought it would be a great idea to take my parents and my aunt and uncle to Big Bang to listen to the dualing piano men--that explains why my voice is so hoarse even today...singing at the top of your lungs for a few hours will do that to you. Once we sent the parents home, we met up with friends at Losers to finish up the night...and yes, acted like young 21 year olds again ;).
Sunday was spent catching up on laundry, stocking up on groceries, working on a big proposal for work, and then we cooked dinner {Jeff's favorite ham and poppyseed rolls} and watched the Oscars--which I am sad to say were less than exciting to watch...however, the fashion was another thing... the ladies looked incredible and Mila Kunis, that lavender number was my favorite look of the night--perfect 10 for your my dear!
Alright, there went my 10 minutes of freedom today...back to the slave machine at work to crank out all these proposals and meet my unrealistic deadlines--sheesh, when will it go back to normal around here?? Until tomorrow my dears...

Friday, February 25, 2011

She's A Maniac

I am typing at warp speed today as I have a huge proposal review going out the door this afternoon... at this moment, I wish I could stop time like Mr. Zack Morris and get everything accomplished before I wrap up my final day at work this week--oh well, we all know that's never going to happen so let's move on.
First of all, I had a few comments asking about our Book Club--last night was our first real meeting and I am happy to report it went extremely well.. we all had lots to discuss on what we took away from the first few chapters and I know this is going to start a change in all of us--for the better!
Tonight, Jeff is taking me to one of my favorite restaurants for dinner... Virago! I haven't been since they moved to the Gulch so he wanted to wine and dine me a bit--a night on the town...I do believe that sounds like an official date and I am taking advantage of the kindness ;)
Tomorrow, I'll be spending the day with BFF Meg running around town shopping and such...lots to get accomplished and she is always one of my favorite shopping partners! Saturday night, we're headed downtown to celebrate my uncle's 50th birthday--he doesn't know we're all coming so he's in for quite a surprise...and yes, Mr. Robert is a mucho parrothead at heart. Afterwards, we'll be meeting friends at Broadway Brewhouse for some quality "group" time...can't wait and I am promising the camera will be my accomplice as I have been horrid at picture taking as of late.
Sunday, it's off to church, cleaning the house and organizing, crafty time {yes I am attempting some DIY things for the wedding!}, and then spending time at the gym and cooking dinner for the boy. Have a lovely weekend darlings!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

It's Raining, It's Pouring...

and yes, I do believe I was snoring. When we jumped drug ourselves out of bed this morning to head to the gym, Jeff said "can you believe that thunderstorm last night?" to which he laughed as he realized I had no recollection of this whatsoever--hehe... and yes, it is nice to sleep like a log. It's a dreary, but not so dreadful day here in the grand old south--at least it's warmer, right?
I have not one single topic to write about today so I'll throw a hunk of randomness in the pot and stir it up for good measure...
1. I found this article at Runner's World discussing when fruits and vegetables are in season... helpful for what to stock up onin the produce section at your local grocery

2. I am on the hunt for the perfect banana nut bread recipe--random, yes, but I have had a craving and want it now! if you have a recipe or know of someone who does, please send ;)

3. Have you checked out Rhiannon's {Hey Gorgeous' author/creator} wedding series yet? So far, we've seen the first look, details, balloon release, and a few others--yall, she is incredible and one of the most humble people I have met through blogging. I love our random emails and I think her wedding was FABULOUS!

4. I am ready for another Justin Timberlake CD--I still listen to Future/Sex/Love/Sounds all the time... dear Mr. Micky Mouse Club/NSYNC band man, please do us a favor and sing some more already!

5. Tonight is our book club meeting... we are supposed to have read the first 2 chapters of Crazy Love and I can't wait to talk all about it--great read so far!

6. And I found this cute little fortune cookie quote and just had to share... I know a lot of us can appreciate ;)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wedding Wednesday...The Early Bird Gets the Worm!

This week, I am knocking things out left and right... I am out buying odds and ends to make our wedding celebration unique and I am stumbling upon some fabulous finds! Through blogs, sites, and such, I have found that the most inspiring and original weddings are those when the couple takes time to make it "their own" and really show off their personalities...which is exactly what Jeff and I are attempting to do... here is some of my favorite inspiration:
As for me and my planning, I am happy to report that I don't have too terribly many "to-do's" this week, just smaller items here and there including:
  • Completing our "homework" for our pre-marital counseling and scheduling our next meeting
  • Meeting with the event planner at our rehearsal dinner venue--Mere Bulles--to finalize our menu, plan dinner festivities, and work on the event design
  • Shopping for hostess gifts for my March shower hosted by my aunt and cousin
  • And this weekend, Meg and I are headed out on a shopping adventure...she's going to help me add to my shower/wedding/honeymoon wardrobe and hopefully find some PERFECT and feminine frilly dresses and attire!
Finally, I wanted to mention on snafoo we had last week... I went to pick up our personalized stationery to only notice they had misspelled our street name AND had gotten our house number wrong as well--not sure as to why or how this accident happened, but my favorite paper store apologized profusely and is expediting my order to me. So the lesson is this: if at all possible, order things as early as possible! So glad I did this way in advance so I am not freaking out last minute about not having thank-you cards--make your list, check it twice, and cross things off whenever you get a free moment! You can thank me later ;)

Happy Wednesday to each and every one of you... lots to get accomplished at work through the rest of the week, not to mention everything else we have going on--meetings, book club rendezvous, and then Jeff is planning date night for he and I Friday--yippee!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I've had some of you emailing me asking for recipes I have been cooking up lately... I don't want to disappoint, so I thought I would make one post with anything and everything I have been whipping up for the girls and boys--enjoy!

Teriyaki Porkchops
4 boneless porkchops
1 bottle teriyaki glaze sauce (made by Kikkoman)
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tasp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 and put chops in 9 x 9 baking dish
Pour 1/2 bottle over porckchops and top with S&P, minced garlic, and powder
Bake for 20 minutes and then take out of oven; flip sides and then coat other side of chops with sauce
Bake for another 20 minutes and serve (we usually eat w/salad and long grain wild rice)

Chilean Sea Bass with Mango Salsa
Fish: 1 3/4 lb chilean sea bass; olive oil for brushing fish; sea salt and ground black pepper
Salsa: 4 mangoes; 2 diced red peppers; 4 chopped green onions; 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped; 2 tsp EVOO; juice of 2 limes; 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Preheat grill. Slice each mango on either side of pit for 2 thick slices. Scoop mango in one piece from skin. Repeat with all slices. Season with S&P. Place mango slices cut side down and grill for 3 minutes. Flip mango slices and grill 3 minutes longer. Set aside to cool. Combine red pepper, green onion, jalapeño, and olive oil in bowl. When mango slices have cooled, dice them. Add mango to bowl with lime juice, cilantro and S&P. Toss to combine.
Brush fish on both sides with EVOO and season with S&P. Grill fish 5 minutes per side, until just opaque in the center. Garnish fish with mango salsa and serve immediately.
And, just because I am working on adding some new items to our repertoire of recipes, here is a few I am planning on trying in the next week or two:

Breakfast Rounds {via All Recipes}
1/2 cup peanut butter
4 english muffins, split and toasted
1 apple, cored and peeled
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp margarine
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Spread 1 tbsp of PB onto each muffin and top with a few apple slices; in microwave, melt brown sugar, margarine, and cinnamon; drizzle mixture over apple slices and enjoy

Cocktail Meatballs
1 lb ground beef
1 egg
2 tbsp water
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
3 tbsp minced onion
1 8 oz can jellied cranberry sauce
3/4 cup chili sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350; in a large bowl mix togerher ground beef, egg, water, breadcrumbs, and minced onion--roll into meatballs; bake for 20 to 25 minutes
In slow cooker over low heat, mix cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, and lemon juice; add meatballs and let simmer for 1 hour before serving

Shrimp and Mushroom Linguine
1 8 oz package linguini pasta
2 tbsp margarine
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup margarine
2 cloves minced garlic
3 oz reduced fat cream cheese
2 tbsp chopped parsley
3/4 tsp dried basil
2/3 cup boiling water
1/2 lb cooked shrimp
Bring pot of water to boil and add linguini; cook until tender and drain
Heat 2 tbsp margarine in skillet over medium heat and add mushrooms--transfer to plate
In same pan, melt 1/2 cup margarine w/minced garlic and stir in cream cheese; stir in parsley and basil; simmer for 5 minutes; mix in boiling water until sauce is smooth
Stir in cooked shrimp and mushrooms and heat through; toss linguini with shrimp/sauce and serve!

Top 2 Tuesday... What I've Learned

Even as we mature, we are constantly learning things... learning about the world around us, learning about our friends and family, and most importantly, learning about ourselves--that is why I absolutely love Taylor's topic this week...
The Top 2 Things My Parents/Grandparents
Have Taught Me
1. If you fall, pick yourself back up and try again! Winners never quit and I am certainly not a quitter... from multiple setbacks throughout my childhood, adolescence, and even now as an adult, I've realized you're surely going to not succeed at every single thing you attempt, yet you need to try again... "can't" is not a word within my vocabulary
2. Do unto others as you would have done to you... cardinal rule, right? We're taught this at an early age, yet some still cannot grasp this simple value--if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all--wish well for others and do not yearn for someone else's have no idea what their journey is all about and things aren't always as they seem  

Other important things my family has taught me are that southern girls don't sweat--we glisten, a little mascara and lipgloss goes a long way, the man is always supposed to take out the trash, a handwritten thank-you note is still a necessity, to always remember it's better to give than to receive, that if you really love a man you want to hit him in the head with a frying pan at least once a day {advice from both Mom and Gran}, and that if you give your life to God and thank Him for all his blessings, your life will continue to be blessed beyond measure... =)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Rise and Shine!

Hello lovelies! This quote says exactly how I am feeling about today:
I trust you all had a great weekend, as did I. I'll try not to bore you with too many details, just hitting the high points...Friday afternoon--dress fitting went perfectly so Mom and I headed to Taco Mamacita and then spent the night catching up with Jeff's bro-in-law Brian.
Saturday morning, we started the day by running errands all over town--I finally gave in to the iPhone phenom thanks to Verizon, and am in LOVE already! Then we picked up Jeff's wedding ring, bought baby gifts, and grilled out blue cheese hamburgers and sweet potato fries with Brian and Jeff's cousin Eddie. A fun night spent catching up with my soon-to-be fam! And they were so sweet to let me watch "Kennedy Home Movies". Has anyone else seen this?? FANTASTIC documentary about America's most beloved family. I also received our Couple's Shower invitation in the mail which made me EVER SO HAPPY!!! This is a picture of what the invitation looks like... adorable and I am so excited--it's on April 9th in Knoxville and is being hosted by my 2 bestest friends and their husbands, as well as Meg's parents--YIPPEE!
Sunday, we went to church {and of course received another awe-inspiring message}, headed to Home Depot to pick-up everything we need to get our yard ready for spring planting, did the weekly grocery shopping, worked for a few hours, and then met Lauren and Andy to see "The Fighter"---and yes, another wonderful must-see movie! Christian Bale is so going to win the Oscar, and deservably so. Finally, we finished out our night by making chicken of our favorite and ever-so-simple meals!
So as we start another Monday, I feel rested and rejuvenated and ready to tackle whatever this week throws at me. I finally broke out my new Asics this morning and took in 3.5 miles which felt GREAT! Ahhh...nothing like a new pair of tennis shoes I am telling you... small things really do make all the difference! Tonight is MY FAV night of The Bachelor--the hometown dates!! I know you're all chomping at the bit just as I am. Have a great Monday friends! ;)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Weekend Wonderfuls

It's Friday, it's Friday, and I am doing my happy dance!I am MORE than ready to have 2 days off from work and all it's chaoticness--can I get a hallelujah? We're in town this weekend and going to make the most of this spring-like weather that has taken over Music City... so many fun things going on that I want to take mucho advantage!
This afternoon, Mom and I are headed back to the dress salon for my 2nd fitting... then I am thinking I just might be able to twist her arm into Taco Mamacita for some skinny margaritas and guacamole. We've got Jeff's Brother-in-Law coming in town this weekend to stay with us and I know he's excited for some "guy time". Then it's out with one of my favorite couples, Lauren and Andy, to watch their friends' band play some live music on Broadway--I feel like I haven't been out in AGES so this will be a fun excuse to play weekend dress up.
Tomorrow morning, I plan to make it an early day and get in a run around the neighborhood. Living so close to Centennial Park definitely has its benefits, not to mention we have a golf course/walkway right down the street so I just may take our darling Chloe for a quick morning jog. Then, I'm headed to run all sorts of errands around town, and make the most of my day. Jeff's taking a few of his groomsmen to get measured for their tuxedos, so they will happily be preoccupied on an outdoor bar patio if I had to guess. Then, we're having a low-key night at our house grilling out---ahhhh!
Sunday morning means church and then taking in an afternoon matinee movie with Lauren and Andy--we've all been itchnig to see The Fighter so we gave in and let the boys have their way...though we should've tricked them and made them think we were going to see Mr. Justin Beiber instead--hehe.
Happy weekend darlings!! Back on Monday ;)

Fashionable Friday...Ballet Pink

Ever since I saw Black Swan a few weeks ago, I have been eyeing everything online and in my favorite stores in this feminine color... nails, tops, dresses, shoes--it screams the essence of feminine to me and I am on the hunt to add loads of it into my closet collection...
I found this darling Loft sweater a few weeks ago on sale and
snatched it up and am sporting it today:
Not to mention a few other favorites I have stumbled upon recently...
Flower Skipping Dress via ModCloth
Lucy Love Cameron Linen Dress via Lulus
Petal and Punk Top via ModCloth
Romantic Rosettes Dress via ShopRuche
Skinny Belt via JCrew Factory
Friday Night Fever Bag via ModCloth
Pastel Perfection Bangle via ShopRuche
Tissue Garland Tank via JCrew Factory
Jessica Simpson Ely Pumps via Piperlime
Chino Short via JCrew Factory
Loads of stores are offering fun President's Day sales this weekend so make
sure to take advantage of these great deals!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's A Great Day...

The birds are chirping, the temps are warmer--going into the 70s today, and the sunglasses were on/sunroof wide open this morning for my commute to work... ahhh, thank you Thursday for greeting me with open arms.
To start off my day, I received a much-needed discount email from DSW {$15 off a $49 purchase}--the shopping Gods are looking out for me apparently!! Check out these shoes, though--ahhh swoon...I must find a reason to buy these darlings
I've got a new, less winter-like shade of nail polish on with peep toe pumps--I know, it doesn't take much to make me happy these days. Check out this Essie color Mink Muffs... it's fantastic!
This afternoon, we're heading to taste potential cake flavors... and yes, checking the clock every minute it seems because I am bursting with excitement!!

I have rediscovered just how much I love Trader Joes... no we can't have the infamous Two Buck Chuck wine in our store here due to liquor licensing/laws {no fun I tell you}, but I am taking Jeff on a field trip so I can show him what a savvy shopper I have become at the grocery store... they have the best Red Pepper Spread which Leslie introduced me to, their entertaining crackers are delish, not to mention aisles and aisles of all kinds of other goodies!!
And finally, of the most utter importance, tonight on MTV at 9:55PM, Britney's new video debuts for "Hold It Against Me"... yes my girlfriends are making fun of me right now because they know I will forever love Ms. Spears no matter how crazy she is--I will be tuned in and basking in every second--woo hoo!!!
Happy Thursday friends!! I hope you have a wonderful day
and savor every moment!
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