Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Working on the Registry

Sunday marked the official 'six months to go' countdown, and I honestly cannot believe how fast our engagement is flying by!

Since we spent Thanksgiving in Georgetown, my mom and I took the opportunity on Friday to go to Myrtle Beach and get started on our wedding registry.  We are going to use local vendors from both of our hometowns, and then a national store or two to appease the out of town guest.

Friday, we met the Springs for lunch and afterwards, Lash's mom and his twin sisters joined us on our journey. .  I can't believe his sisters stuck it out the entire time like they did!  I'm sure they were bored out of their mind looking at china, crystal, and other home knick- knacks, but they were such troopers and it really was so special to have them there.

Though we technically do not have a clue where we will be living, it's fun to start planning and envisioning how our little home will look one day some day.  I'm getting really excited!  {As if I wasn't already, haha!}  We visited a great fine gifts shop as well as an interior design boutique.  My favorite store that was visited- of course- was a kitchen store.  I could have spent hours in there wandering around and looking at various gadgets and gizmos and daydreaming all the while. I loved it.

Now, I'm totally inspired and want to go to Williams- Sonoma, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, or Pottery Barn and use those cool scanning guns.  I feel the experience of the scanner gun will be unduly satisfying and climatic in and of itself.   Is that crazy?

Did you enjoy registering as much as I did?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Recap and Recipes

Can you believe Thanksgiving has come and gone ,and we are now in Advent?  2010 is flying by!

We had a great Thanksgiving at my grandmother's, and it was so nice to get out of town for a few days.  In light of some recent happenings,  I was ready for some TLC and quiet time with the fam.

Unfortunately, my blog has taken a terrible back seat over the holiday hustle and bustle.  My grandmother does have a computer at her home that is installed with the latest and greatest edition of Windows 95 so in order to surf the world wide web, you have to be willing to sit for decades for a page to load. She recently got a wireless hook up but after the techie installed it, she unfortunately forgot the password.   Armed with our laptops in tow, my sister and I unsuccessfully attempted every common and/or logical password to break the code, but alas, we gave into a few days of computer silence.  Sometimes, getting a break from reality is a nice change, though.

Back to the holidays. . .  do you feel like you have been eating for the past five days like I do?  Wow, it was all so great though.  My favorite Thanksgiving dishes are tied between an oyster pie and my mom's balsamic gravy that is out of this world- I need to post these recipes at some point.  And, I admit, I love the canned cranberry sauce.  Yes, canned cranberry sauce.  I know. . .

The biggest come- from- left- field- and- hit- a- home- run recipe with our fam? Paula Dean's Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Bars.  Luci was so excited about making them, she probably talked about it for two weeks.  It was all I could do to say "uh-huh" and "sounds good Luc" when we were talking.  I'm not crazy about pumpkins, much less Ooey Gooey Pumpkin? Gross.com.  Nevertheless, she was right, and they are amazing. You definitely will want to file that recipe away for your Fall 2011 holiday menus. They are awesome.

This week, I really should be sticking to a combo of celery and water, but let's be honest, that's not happening!   Last night before Monday's reality struck, I fixed one more 'comfort food' supper for Lash of the PW's meatloaf and mashed potatoes.  I am not a meatloaf fan, but was tempted by the PW's claim along the lines that "this meatloaf will convert the non-meatloaf lovers."  I didn't hate it, but I also wasn't converted.  Her mashed potatoes {mashed, of course, with butter, cream cheese, and half and half} were, obviously, incredible.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday and an easy Monday transition back into the swing of things.  I hope to be back more often this week with fun recipes and stories to share.  Enjoy then, 'tis the season!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving all!

I'm headed to my grandmother's home on the coast, and I can hardly contain my excitement to get out of town for a few days and be with those I love most.

My dad is affectionately referring to this season as my "last" Thanksgiving and my "last" Christmas. I am constantly reminding him that I am only getting married, not dying as his sad tone suggests. :) 

I guess that's what happen when his first daughter prepares to walk down the aisle and change her last name.

 I hope everyone has a wonderful, relaxing, and safe holiday with family and friends.

Oh, and Go Cocks!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

DIY: Lima Bean Wreath

Read the title and you probably think I'm crazy.

But, this Saturday I had no plans and sometimes crazy things happened when one has no plans.

That morning, I was checking my Google reader, and was totally inspired by Katie who was inspired by Reed who was inspired by All Things Thrifty.  Don't you just love this??

I did!

And all of a sudden my Saturday with no agenda became a Saturday with an agenda. I was making a Lima Bean Wreath.

The only things needed:
1 Styrofoam Wreath (16" wreath was $8.99 from Michael's)
1- 2 Bags of Lima Beans ($1.24 at Wal-mart)
Spray Paint ($0.97 at Wal-mart)
Hot Glue

And then you just start glueing!  

I don't think I really thought through the fact that this project involves glueing every. single. lima. bean. on the wreath.  One at a time.   

This is when I began to doubt my decision to DIY and had to take a break.  haha.

But I kept going.  And finished hours later- notice it was dark outside when I finished glueing. hehe.

So the wreath got a little spray, tied with a pretty red ribbon, and viola- the finished product!  {However- please note: calling all professional bow tie-ers in the lowcountry.  I need help!!}

My first ever DIY complete.  I'm so glad I stuck with it, and am actually kind of inspired to get a little crafty every now and then.  It will be especially fun to do when Lash and I make a house our home.  :)

P.S. In case you are thinking of attempting this-  if I could do it again, I would a) buy a 10" wreath- not 16" and b) buy a pre-tied ribbon.  But it was so fun. . . and turned out okay!

Friday, November 19, 2010


I left my engagement ring last weekend at Croghan's to get it resized.  The ring has been a tad big since we first got engaged, but let's be honest, I have not wanted to part with the ring for even a minute.  I also didn't ever feel like I was in danger of it falling off, so I ignored it. . . until fall arrived, and the cooler weather came to stay, and I got on my exercise kick.

In addition to the changing seasons, I am very grateful that Anna reminded me of the terrible night in college in which my three roommates literally scoured every inch, trashcan, and vacuum bag on Wofford College's campus for another friend's engagement ring that had fallen off.  Thankfully, they later found the ring, but it certainly left them all scarred with nightmares.

Anyways, it was very difficult to leave the ring at the store.  I did not want to see that thing go and be out of my sight for an entire week.  Misery!  Thankfully, I was babysitting when I dropped it off, and the crazy kids had me cheered up in a matter of minutes. . . or at least I was preoccupied keeping them straight :)

Yesterday, after five lonely days, it was finally ready!  Unfortunately, the store hours were not quite conducive to my work schedule so I begged Lash to go pick it up for me.   However, on his way there, he called, clearly getting a little confused on King Street.  "What's this place called again?" he asks, "Kroger?"

Well, I could hardly keep myself from falling out of my chair laughing.

Haha, no Lash, Kroger is the grocery store.  I'm pretty sure the only rings you can find there are out of the bubble gum machines, but I do so appreciate you running that errand for me.  :)

I feel like a proper woman again!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Just Did It

I finally did it.  I joined a gym!!!

I have been debating this decision since last Christmas, and I am pretty sure it was on the top of my new year's resolutions last year.

Yep, that didn't happen as soon as I thought it would, but hey, I'll check that off the list this week- only 11 months late!  :)

But I guess better late than never. . . given now, I especially gotta work on my bridal bod!  I think I drug my feet the most because I was hoping to avoid the cost of a gym membership, but sometimes I feel like I don't push myself as hard when I'm doing an exercise video, etc.  But with the wedding fastly approaching, no more slack workouts accepted.

Anyways, I'm really enthusiastic about my decision! I got up a little early this morning so I could swing by and sign up and then I went back this afternoon to work out after I knocked off.  I found a parking space right away, did not have to wait for a treadmill, ran 3.5 miles, and got home before 6:30.  I'd say it was a success!

Plus, I will get an unbelievable discount when Lash and I get married. He is coming over shortly for dinner so I'm going to propose eloping to get this discount ASAP.

Kidding, Mom!!!

Anyways, here's to good health before the holiday binge eating begins!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Skinny Jeans

I recently tried to put on skinny jeans right after putting on lotion, and I immediately thought of the Friends episode when Ross was wearing the leather pants. LOL!

I have tried to embed the clip above. If it does not work, click this link for a good laugh.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Date Night Pasta

So, last week kicked my fanny.  This past Friday night all I wanted was some TLC and a relaxing date night with Lash.  Once we decided to cook-in, I knew I just had to make this recipe. It is one of our favorites.

The inspiration for this dish came from a recipe I saw in Real Simple magazine, but I've certainly adapted it from their original. Their's called for sage and did not include bacon or shallots.  I don't particularly care for sage so I leave it out.  Also, since I'm trying to please my south gentleman, I do like to add the bacon and a shallot to give the dish some heartiness and complexity.  It is such a hit around our table, I hope your house will enjoy it as much as we do.

Date Night Pasta with Asparagus, Bacon, and Peas

Begin by cooking three slices of bacon.

While the bacon is sizzling away, take advantage of the time and prep everything else you need!  Chop a pound of thick asparagus into 1" pieces, dice a shallot (or onion if you prefer), and cook your pasta according to package directions.  I use fettucini noodles, but any will do!

Assemble the additional cast of characters required.  See, nothing too funky or crazy!  This is a great meal that you may be able to just throw together out of your pantry {and is not very expensive to make}!

Once your bacon is finished, set aside to cool and let it drain on a lovely bed of paper towels.  Crumble it into little pieces to throw on top of your plate for presentation.  

In the left-over bacon grease {note: remove some of the grease if there is a lot in the pan, you need probably a tablespoon or two}, saute the asparagus, shallot, and garlic for three minutes over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally.  Don't worry about cooking the asparagus all the way because you will do so in the proceeding step.

Add 2 cups of chicken stock to the pan and boil over high heat until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.  {You are essentially blanching the asparagus now}

Add 1 cup of frozen peas {I forgot to take a picture of the peas. Poor peas.} and 1/4 cup heavy cream to the skillet.  I substitute half and half, because it's what I had in the fridge.  And I'm making a more conscious health decision. . . right? . . .

Boil until the sauce has thickened, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the fettucini to heat through.  Remove from heat and add 2 tablespoon of butter, 1/2 cup grated parmigiana-reggiano cheese, and seasonings to taste.

I also sauteed some chicken to please the carnivore in our relationship. This dish would also be great with sauteed shrimp or even better, scallops!

Viola!  Supper is served!   And look how beautiful it looks in the pan.  Are you drooling?

Indeed, this delicious supper and relaxing Friday night totally made up for my absolutely killer week last week.  I love a night in!  

Before my handsome date arrived, I had the best time dancing around the house, cleaning up, setting the table, snapping pictures, and getting ready.  

After we ate, we sat around the table until almost 10:00, catching up on our days and enjoying being together.

We tasted the wine that is going to be served at our rehearsal dinner. 

. . . and then watched three episodes of Modern Family in sweat pants.



Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veteran's Day!

I have weddings on the brain, but in honor of Veteran's day, check out this adorable proposal!!

To all those who have courageously fought and will fight for our great nation, thank you.  Our freedom does not come free.  May God bless you and bring you home safely! 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday Bluesday

HOW is it only Tuesday??

My dad told me today that I am dramatic, but y'all, this is already feeling like the longest week ever. .  . This has been the busiest fall of my life, and looking ahead at my 2011 planner, I am eagerly anticipating even busier months ahead.

I think I have too much going on.

Yet, I'm so glad to be busy.

  • I do not distract my dr2b from la biblioteca.
  • The weeks are flying by until the big day.
  • It's almost time for Christmas!!!
  • I've spent a lot of time lately with my dear, dear girlfriends.
  • I have a tremendous sense of purpose and fulfillment with my involvement at work, church, and in the community.
  • I crash sleep at night.

Today, I got up, exercised, did two loads of laundry, and paid the bills before work at 8:30 am.  I am burning the candle at both ends.

I need our Thanksgiving "vacation."

Or use my remaining vacation days for a "stay-cation" and tell everyone I am going away.

My mom is coming to visit tomorrow night.

Mom makes everything better.

We are going to go for a walk, cook-in, plan plan plan, drink a glass of wine, eat some wedding cake, and relax.  I need it.

Life is good.

This is the day that the Lord has made- Let us REJOICE and be glad in HIM.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pauli's Girls

I just had the most amazing weekend in Raleigh honoring Concetta and her family.  

In short, Pauli's Girls dominated! Our team won first place overall for fundraising, raising over $14,000!  Concetta was the top individual fundraiser with over $7,000 donated, and the entire event raised almost $90,000 for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network!  It truly is humbling and inspiring to see what success a dedicated group of individuals can do!

Be sure to check out Anna's blog for a recap and great photos.  {Check out our cute t-shirts designed by Hanna and out night out} It truly was so much fun.

I'm also thrilled to report that I ran the entire thing and I am super encouraged to keep up my running.  I think I'm hooked! :)

Unfortunately, this post is short and sweet, because my week this week is consumed with Junior League commitments and I'm off to a meeting.  Thank you all for the incredible love and support you showed us as Pauli's Girls.  We are already counting down until next year!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wedding Update

Wedding planning is absolutely full steam ahead.

As I mentioned yesterday, I went home to my parents' house for the weekend with hopes to get a bunch of planning done.  All my girlfriends were at Wofford Homecoming, and I just could not swing it to make it to Spartanburg for the weekend +  Lash has his second medical school test Thursday and spent the weekend library so it was a good weekend for me to disappear.

Our main objective was to get the list {as we have affectionately come to call it} done and save the dates addressed before the holiday mail traffic picks up.  Speaking of the list, I think my future mother in law said it best- it is truly a labor of love!

Nevertheless, we got everything done we wanted to and more. . . my mom is a wedding planning machine!

Save The Dates

My dear friend Hanna Nation was so kind to design our save the dates!  I've blogged about Hanna here, and have just always loved her work with Gadabout and POST.  {Shameless yet very sincere plug- her stationary would be great Christmas gifts}

I am so thrilled with how these turned out- they are beautiful, elegant, and everything I could have wished they would be!

Don't you just love them??  That is my favorite shade of blue.  The photo doesn't really do it justice.  The bridesmaid dresses are an evening/navy blue, and I truly believe this color will be a great accent to their dresses!  Also, the gate below mimics the gate at my family's plantation where our reception will be held. I just adore the personal touch!

This is what my parents' breakfast room table looked like Saturday morning as we began sorting through the list and addressing envelopes.

{Cheez- Its- breakfast of champions.}


I have picked our china!  This is a such big sigh of relief for me as far as getting our registry started.  Let me tell you, though, this was a little bit of an eye-opening experience. I had never really looked at china before {why would I?} and struggled a little bit with how to pick out one that I would still love in 30 years.  I am very thankful for a mother with the same tastes as me who was able to offer great guidance!  I'm thrilled with the ones I selected!

Our formal china will be Herend's Princess Victoria.

For our everyday, I've decided to go with Wedgewood's Nantucket Basketweave.

We've sampled a lot of cakes from several bakers around Charleston, but finally found our favorite right in Beaufort at SuZara's kitchen!  We got three samples Saturday morning, and lined them up with forks in hand.

Cake 1: almond with amaretto buttercream. Cake 2: vanilla with vanilla buttercream. Cake 3: lemon with raspberry buttercream.

How adorable are those portions!


The line up.  Washed down with an incredible glass of chardonnay :)

I'm visioning a round, four-tiered cake with a lacey, delicate design and some greenery and flowers around the base.  Like this. 

Or like this.

I am obsessed with this cupcake cake, and hoping to do something like this for the after-rehearsal dinner party of desserts and dancing.


Rant: There is no where in Charleston to find traditional wedding shoes.  Though I think it is so cute in pictures and for other brides, the funky colorful shoes trend is not my style.  My dress is very traditional and makes a statement all in its own so I also didn't really want blue shoes.

I finally found a pair from My Glass Slipper.  For any brides to be out there, they have a good selection! I got Something Bleu's Charisma.  I debated putting this picture up, because it does not really do the shoes justice. They look great in person!

Whew- I'm tired recapping all of this.  I'll do the bridesmaids dresses later. That's a whole new post in itself.  Only 207 days to go!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Manic Monday

It's been a manic Monday. . .

1- I am wearing the same clothes I wore Friday, Saturday, and now today.

Black skinny jeans
Black turtle neck
Colorful accessory

It isn't as bad as it sounds. . .  {I have showered} . . . but I am about ready for a wardrobe change.  After work Friday in the above attire, I drove home to Beaufort to my parents' house for a weekend of wedding planning galore.

Saturday, with rehearsal dinner spot officially decided at Breakwater- hooray!!- we just had to go sample everything and enjoy the night on the town :) But, the only problem with deciding to go out was that I didn't really bring any clothes since I thought we'd just be relaxing around the house. So the solution- repeat outfit, changing the flats in for boots, and just roll with it.

Small sidenote- I'm so glad it worked out that we got to go- our evening was incredible!  We are having a very traditional southern wedding, so I think Breakwater will be a great modern flare for the rehearsal dinner {not to mention also the inside venue- our only one for the weekend, start praying for good weather!}. I cannot wait. The food was amazing, the staff super friendly, and it really is a neat atmosphere.  It will be perfect!!  Thank you Springs! :)

Yesterday, we got so.much.wedding.stuff.done, and I just could not bring myself to leave beautiful Beaufort and head back to Charleston. We planned until our eyes were crossed eyed, and I woke up bright and early this morning to come home.  Since I had not planned to stay- you guessed it- put on the same black jeans and turtleneck, switching out the scarf and flats again. Haha. I will be so happy to change it up tomorrow!  I am sick of all black.

2- I left Beaufort at 6:45 am, worked, had a Junior League meeting, and got home at 8:45 pm. I am exhausted.  Hence the post set up.

3- So.much.wedding.stuff.done.so.much.more.to.do.  I just downloaded some pics and hope to update tomorrow on everything!  I'm so excited how it is all coming together.

4- ML Water Filled XL Tervis Tumbler 1, Blackberry 0.  Not good.

I heard rumors one day about saving a wet cell phone with rice.  Apparently, the rice has a high affinity for water and can help draw out any remaining moisture. Has anyone tried this???   As we know, patience is not my greatest virtue, but I am really trying hard not to turn it on.

Come on rice, work your magic, and save me the misery of going to TMobile and shelling out dollas!!

In the interim, I tried to pull out these deadbeats, but alas, no luck.  The taped-together track ball probably has something to do with its un-functionality, and the razor, well, it just brings back such memories. :)

5- Tomorrow for supper I am making this.

Listed under Cooking Light's All-Time Best Recipes, this Beef Daube Provencal clearly has gotten awesome reviews. I can't wait to crock on and come home to dinner ready. I'll be sure to let you know if it is a keeper!  I've already browned my meat and chopped the veggies so tomorrow I just can set it and forget it!

Note to self: Do a better job packing so you can change your outfits, don't drop H20 on your mobile device, plan a great supper, and sleep!!