Monday, December 27, 2010

Ho Ho Ho!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas weekend!  We sure did in our household, enjoying my "last" Christmas as a Laffitte! I just checked my theknot wedding website- only 152 days to go!

Unfortunately, I can only assure you in writing that lots of memories were made because I have NO pictures to share of our fun. Thankfully, Santa Claus must be a blog follwer because he brought me a new camera so watch out, Pioneer Woman- I'm on to you! :) Just kidding.  But I can't wait to take some pictures and post on the ole blog.

South Carolina had a great surprise and wintery treat yesterday- a white Christmas!! I can't think of the last time we had snow in December.  If we are lucky, we typically get one snow a year, and it always comes in late January or February. Remember this snow from last February?  Anyways, it was so much fun, though quite freezing cold!!!

I am working from home today- which is amazing- and then am off Tuesday- Thursday and our office is closed Friday.  . .So this is my last day of work until 2011!  Hot dog! 

I must say I really like working from home. It is SO quiet.  I can't believe how much work I have gotten done!  I am really impressed with myself. I think that probably can be attributed to that fact that my phone has not been ringing too much, and the emails are kind of sporadic. Everyone must still be on vacay!!  And I think I'm also super motivated because this is such a treat, I don't want to screw it up!! :)

We are moving to Laurel Spring tomorrow morning until the New Year. I can't wait to get there, be with my family, have Lash join us, go for many long walks to the gate, play some games, hunt, and relax!  I could not think of a better way to end 2010.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Debut and a Test Run

My beautiful little sister made the last of her debuts Saturday night in Columbia at the Camellia Ball.  Doesn't she look gorgeous?

Knowing we had a fun occasion to get dressed up for, my mom scheduled a hair and make-up "test run" for my wedding day.  What a treat!  We had the best time spending the afternoon in the salon getting beautified. 

I'm not sure if my hair will be long enough to pull all the way back in May for the wedding, but if not, I really like the simplicity and understated elegance of this look below pulled half back.

My mom wanted us to take these pictures to email to the stylist.  They make me laugh because they are so staged but I'm glad we documented the trial run.

Our fam :)  My mom's dress was my favorite.

 Funny story:  The black one shoulder dress I am wearing is the same dress I wore to prom in ninth grade!!  I could not BELIEVE it is such a classic that I can wear legitimately 8 years later + moreover, it still fit.  I was about to do cartwheels when I put it on!

More family.  The girl cousins at the ball, minus one.

Love you debutante! You were stunning!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Little Personal Day :)

I have just given myself a wonderful gift!  I had an extra vacation day to burn or else I would lose it at the end of the year, so I decided to treat myself to a luxury not very often afforded- a day of R&R with absolutely no plans!  I'm also taking off the week after Christmas, but this surprising day off comes highly recommend!!

It's 9:45 am, I am still in my PJs and robe, catching up on all your blogs, drinking my second cup of coffee, and enjoying this absolutely drop dead gorgeous morning in Charleston.  Life is good!!

I am about to dive into my early Christmas present from Lash- the Pioneer Woman's cookbook- and dream about all her delicious recipes!  (I love to spend hours reading a new cookbook).  Then, I'm going to the gym and getting, hopefully, a great run in, grabbing lunch with Lash and his sister, and then heading down King Street to do some last minute shopping.

This is fabulous.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hurry Down The Chimney

Hi friends- I put this on the ole 'Book yesterday, but thought I'd try the next best source of comments and opinions!  

Can anyone recommend the Nikon S80  . . .

or the Sony CyberShot DSC-H55?

I'm not quite ready to take the plunge to the big girl stuff yet (i.e. DSLR), but do want a step up from my Canon Powershot.  Any suggestions or advice?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

On my mind . . .

  • How is it only Tuesday?
  • How is it already December 14?
  • I signed some company Christmas cards yesterday.  Then I realized this is the last Christmas I will sign my name as Mary Loyal Laffitte.
  • We have our office Christmas party Friday night.
  • Last year, Lash got locked in the bathroom for a solid 20 minutes.  Talk about a funny memory involving screw drivers and all!
  • I'm bringing burgundy mushrooms for an appetizer.  The Pioneer Woman did a spread on them here.
  • I want to be her.  Seriously.  I want to take amazing photos and cook amazing food and blog about it all with amazing writing skills.
  • I've asked Santa for a camera for Christmas so maybe I'll start to learn how to take awesome PW pics.
  • Speaking of Santa, I still need to get some last minute gifts. Pushing to the max.
  • Also wildly obsessed with Modern Family.  I've watched 6 episodes in 2 days.  For those of you that know me, I do not watch TV.  # clearly needed some serious downtime and fighting off a cold.
  • This month has been the most stressful month I can remember.
  • However, some people really come through in the clutch when you need them to lift your spirits.
  • He is in control.  
  • The reason for the season

Isaiah 9:6 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

I did not want to spend a lot of money on decorating our quaint little apartment knowing that Lash and I are probably going to be getting some Christmas and holiday decorations with all the wedding fun, and we will most likely be in another apartment post wedding.

However,  I love Christmas and could not bear the thought of not putting up any decorations!  Thankfully, my mom came to the rescue with her leftover decorations, and Santa's little elf was quite busy around our apartment during her brief stay.

Our place is so cheery!  I love how it turned out!

You may remember my DIY lima bean wreath.  Still calling all bow tiers.  haha.

Our entry table and mirror is adorned with garland and a pretty ornament.

It is really awkward taking a photo of a mirror!  I just got back from the gym- can you tell?

Our little tree!  

The dining room chest.  This is my favorite piece of furniture. I love the green.
P.S. Lash got me that wine cooler last year for Christmas and it has been a GREAT gift. Highly recommended!

Our dining room table is set with festive place mats and an advent wreath.

I love adding little understated touches around the house like adding balls in vases, etc.

I bought this festive tray from Walmart for $10.  I am obsessed!

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Only 17 days to go. Can you believe it?

Monday, December 6, 2010


I joined a gym at a good time in my life.  Today, I banged out 5 miles of stress and daily grind on the treadmill. . . and it felt so good.  

I find myself facing many situations right now where I have no control over the outcome.  And, I am convinced that the worse part about not having any control is absolutely not having any control.  :)  For the type A, grab the bull by the horns person I am, this does not sit particularly well with me.

I am trying to keep my focus on the cross.  To pray without ceasing.  To lay it down.  To be patience.  To trust.

God teaches you lessons in funny ways, no?

Yet, I am thankful for the learning experience.

Phillippians 4:6 tells us, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

I think the most interesting and powerful phrase in that verse is "with thanksgiving."

This sentiment is also similarly expressed in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, "be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

While it may not be the easiest for me to give thanks in these gray situations, I am ever thankful that my God has significant plans for me, and that one day, I will see how they unfold.

Until then, I am clinging to the cross.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Roasted Broccoli

My five and six year old self would be horrified to think years later I'd devote an entire blog post to broccoli.

But let me tell you- this is my favorite way to cook broccoli.  Ever.

Beware, the below is not mind-blogging regarding technique or ingredients used. It is a simple, everyday go to way to deliciously get some greens on your plate.  The basic premise involves roasting the florets at a high temperature until they caramelize.

This inspiration of this recipe comes from one of my foodie favs- Ina Garten.  In all of her dishes, I think Mrs. Barefoot Contessa manages to capture the perfect combination of the simple yet the sophisticated, and maximize flavors in a way that are both ingenuous and incredibly replicable.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

Roasted Broccoli

Ingredients: EVOO, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, salt

Preheat oven to 425.  Drizzle a light touch of EVOO on broccoli, a splash of lemon juice, and a shake of both red pepper flakes and salt.

Roast in the oven 20 to 25 minutes until crisp- tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.  I always shake the pan around a bit as it cooks, but I'm not sure if that is necessary or not.

After 20- 25 minutes, you can either eat it at that point as I most often do, or fancy it up a little bit by zesting a lemon over the broccoli, adding some freshly graduated parmesan cheese, and/ or toasted pine nuts, and putting back in the oven for a few.

You will go ga-ga over this broccoli.  I promise.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Laundry Laments. . .


I've been having a terrible time with my laundry lately.  I'm not sure WHAT my problem is.

First of all, I've washed two loads in the past few weeks without detergent.  Two loads. . . aka I've made the mistake on two separate occasions.  ADD, anyone?  I'm pretty sure that is getting me absolutely no where.  No to mention, nothing frustrates me more than having to rewash them (with soap), and waste more water.  I'm sure my roommate also feels the same!

Then, I swear my dryer is eating my socks because right now, I count six little fellas that are missing their match.  Six.  How does that happen?!?

And lastly, the now green washcloth pictured below was the color of the yellow towel before I washed it, by mistake I might add, with my brand new Forever 21 jeggings. . .  I guess that's the price you pay when you buy jeans for $17.50.

Here's to growing pains!