Thursday, February 24, 2011


the most stressful part of this wedding process has absolutely nothing to do with the actual wedding itself, and everything to do with where in the world we are going to live once we get married.

granted, we have dragged our feet a little bit in this process because we are both in great living situations right now. plus we had a couple irons in the fire that over time we thought we were going to pan out.  however, as of monday, our irons in the fire had officially burned out, and we were left to sorrowfully collect our ashes and move on.   

thus, we have spent the entire week frantically agonizing over the when, where, how, to what extent in the world we can get something that 1) is safe and 2) within a close commute to MUSC and my job that 3) won't break the small bank that we have and 4) compares to where i am now.

i'm not sure what is the most difficult of our 1-4 but i think number 4 may be the most difficult bullet point to strike off. . .  at least for me, personally.

call me a hopeless romantic, idealistic, eternal optimistic, but i have visions of a perfect happily-ever-after, cookie cutter first home complete with an amazing kitchen with stainless steel appliances, 3 bedrooms/ 2 baths, living area + working fire place, charming dining area, small fenced in yard so we can maybe get a four legged friend one day. . . . .  yada yada yada.

tell me i'm living on planet impossible already, ok?

and yes, unfortunately, it is a freaking dog eat dog world in the charleston rental market.

it is an absolutely terrible, terrible pill to swallow.

oy vey.

we need to win the lotto. STAT.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wine and Food Fest

I just purchased our tickets for next weekend with my sister!

We are booked for the Saturday morning Culinary Village and Grand Tasting Tents from 11-2, though I'm sure we will wander throughout for the entire afternoon.  I am so excited!!

Is anyone else going?

If you are still on the fence, think fast because the tickets are almost all sold out!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Farmers Tan

Happy Sunday evening everyone! 

What a great weekend it was!  With the weather in the 70s and the sun shining, Lash and I kicked Saturday morning off with a round of tennis and then headed out to enjoy the afternoon on Sullivan's Island.  

We savored a 2 1/2 hour lunch at Poes, where we split the mahi mahi tacos and a burger, and we each had blue moon . . . or two. :) We had the best time sitting outside and soaking up the gorgeous weather- it made me really excited about summa time!

Saturday night, we attended the MUSC Charity Ball at Memminger Auditorium.  It was fun to get all dressed up, dance, and hang out with Lash's med school buddies.

Unfortunately, our 2 1/2 hour lunch left me with quite the farmers tan.  How funny and embarrassing is that?!?
Oh goodness.

One of the best parts about this weekend is that it is Sunday and the weekend's not yet over yet!!  I've got tomorrow off for Presidents Day, and I have my first wedding dress fitting!  I'm so excited!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Spinach with Sesame and Garlic

Happy Friday readers!  I hope everyone has a fun weekend planned!  We get Monday off for President's Day, and I am so excited about the three day weekend.  Monday I am going for my first fitting for my wedding dress- hooray!

If you are anything like me, I try to eat pretty conversative and healthy during the week, and on the weekends, let loose a little and not worry to much.  So before we all dive into the weekend gluttony, I wanted to share this incredible recipe I discovered last night for spinach- a new love of mine- because this Spinach with Sesame and Garlic is incredible!

Adapted from Mark Bittman's cookbook, the recipe flaunts incredible flavor in a matter of minutes with hardly any effort on behalf of the chef. It would be awesome paired a salmon, flank steak, or especially any Asian fare, though the possibilities are endless!

2 tbsp dark sesame oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 bag spinach
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

The How To:
1- heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  add garlic and saute 30 seconds.  add spinach, cook stirring occasionally until wilted.
2- add sugar and soy, and remove from heat.  serve sprinkled with sesame seeds, and eat in enough quantity to make popeye proud!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I truly heart Publix!!

*Sorry, I am posting from my phone. I have no idea how to rotate the pic, but I saved $52.77! Whoop woo!

100 days!!!

So we have officially 100 days until the wedding!!

Thinking of this milestone, I can't help but think back to our glory days at Wofford College.

When we were seniors, the Alumni Office put on a function to celebrate the 100 days remaining until we ourselves became alumni.  While it was such a fun event to raise a toast to our fellow classmates, we were all a bit nostalgic thinking about our impending graduation and set out to savour our last one hundred days together.

This time around seeing this graphic, I can't necessarily say I'm nostalgic and/or setting out to savour my last one hundred days as an Ms.  Instead, I can't wait for these next 100 days to fly by!  May 28 is going to be here before we know it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Welcome Home Dinner

Since Valentine's day is four days after my birthday and last weekend was a big one filled lots to celebrate, Lash and I decided that a low key night Monday was just what the doctor ordered.  We cooked in at my apartment, ironed out a couple wedding details, and watched four episodes of Modern Family.  It was so fun!

Earthfare is running this awesome special with a Welcome Home Dinner.  If you have not heard of it, basically, you sign up for their new website and get a meal for four for free!  I redeemed mine Sunday- a free 3lb, whole organic, cage- free, {more healthy adjective} chicken, a pint of mashed potatoes, and a bag of baby carrots.

Did I mention it was free?  Ok, actually, you do have to spend $10 in the store- which you pretty much do as soon as you walk in- so no problemo.

I was a little bit intimidated to cook an entire chicken because I had never done that before, but Lash came to the rescue and graciously stuffed the cavity for me.  And with my mom's Full Moon High Tide cookbook as our guide, we successfully roasted the chicken with herbs and a feta stuffing of celery, apples, bread crumbs, and of course feta.  I wish I had a picture of the finished product but it was so yummy and moist, we could not wait to dive in.

I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I now have realized that, if you have time to do it, roasting your own bird totally trumps the store bought rotisserie.

I served the chicken with a side of pan- sauteed brussel sprouts and the EarthFare mashed potatoes. It was delicious!

Go redeem your meal from Earthfare, and give it a whirl!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bond, James Bond

. . . of wedding registry, that is.

Someone had a little TOO much fun in Belks Sunday. haha!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chicken Divan

I am constantly inspired by the blog world- DIY projects, recipes, decor, fashion, books to read, music to hear, places to go, things to try.  My GoogleReader has exploded as of late with new finds, and a favorite part of my day is taking a minute to catch up with you all.

Given my knack for the kitchen and all things cooking, it should come as no surprise that my favorite blogs are cooking blogs.  However, as a result of an incredible birthday week, and as our wedding countdown ticks closer to closer to 100 days, I am in search {and desperate need} of lighter fare.

In my attempt to diet this week, I spent a great deal of the weekend scouring old Cooking Lights and surfing the web for inspiration.  And you know what's funny? Everyone has been talking about chicken divan lately!!  Christie and Margaret both blogged about it, my mom recently made it, and last week Publix had it as their feature recipe.

It must have been meant to be because I also had all the ingredients on hand so it was time to find out what in the world all the talk was about!  I set off mimicking Gina's Skinny Taste Recipe and served with a side of roasted cherry tomatoes.  It was so delicious, light, and super super easy.  Definitely one for the rotations!!

Since I was determined not to go to the store, I did make a couple changes to the recipe including using frozen broccoli.  I also substituted some mozzarella cheese when I ran out of swiss (oops), and fattened the recipe up a little bit by using Ritz cracker crumbs in addition to bread crumbs.  Cleaning out the freezer, fridge, and pantry in one meal? CHECK.  Also, I made it hours ahead so I could save myself the time and just pop it in the oven for supper. A win, win in my book.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Birthday Decor

So today is my birthday (whoo hoo!), and this is what I saw when I talked into work this morning! 

I am incredibly blessed to work for a great company who makes you feel very special on your big day!  The decorations sure make hanging out in my cube very fun and festive!

Tonight, I'm off to Lucca to celebrate and enjoy a glass of wine or two with my family. Photos and details to come.  Thanks for all the birthday love from calls, my blog, and Facebook. :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Birthday Week ...

. . . started off with a parking ticket. What a bummer, dude!

Apparently, parking over 18" away from the curb in downtown Chucktown will cost you 10 bones these days.  But, you better believe I am paying this bad boy STAT because it goes up to $30 if payment is not received in 30 days. And that, my friends, is ridiculous!

I am, however, making out better than the unfortunate individual parked on our street who has a big fat boot on their driver side front tire.  This dear Four Runner has been parked in the same spot on Rutledge for as long as I can remember, and they must have ended up on the wrong side of my dear neighbors' wrath, because the boot is on and the gig is up!  I really wish the owner would just come claim their coche, but at this point, it's not quite like they can get their car and move on.

Anywho- back to a more fun topic- it is birthday week!

Like I mentioned yesterday, Lash is in the midst of test week and locked in the prison known as the MUSC library.  Subsequently, we are celebrating this weekend, but my sly little fiance has hinted he has something up his sleeves.  Curiosity kills this cat, and I can't wait to figure out what is up.

Until then, I am very thankful my wonderful family is coming to keep me company as my internal clock strikes 24.  Wednesday night, my mom is coming to visit, and I hear we are all set to talk business (aka wedding).  We are entering a little bit of crunch time!

Thursday, my dad is joining us in town, and we are celebrating!  We have big plans to start the evening at Enoteca for some vino and then move down the block to Trattoria Lucca!  I am so excited.  I've only eaten at Lucca once, but it tops my Food Network list of "the best thing I've ever eaten." I can't wait to go back.

Unfortunately, Luci can't join us but she will be in Spartanburg celebrating her own exciting occasion- having officially 100 days until she graduates from college- go goose! :)  We will miss you!

Pictures and details to follow. Maybe a little wedding update, too! Hope everyone is having a great start to February thus far!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sup(p)er Bowl

Lash and I did not have any plans for the Super Bowl this year as he actually is in the midst of hell test week.  Knowing he would spend the majority of the night in the library, I really wanted to make sure he felt loved and included in the fun!   My love language must be cooking because I happily spent the afternoon in the kitchen whipping up some football fare for him.  I love the idea of appetizers for supper so a Super Bowl fiesta is right up my alley!

I meant to post this earlier, but woe is me, and time sure got away from me.  Last year, I made these Roasted Asian Chicken Wings by Emeril Lasage for a party we went to and they were a huge hit!  Save this for your next season's football fete!

This year, Santa so graciously gifted Lash with a deep dryer for Christmas, and it has been calling our name to get in trouble with!  So, in keeping with the sacred wings and football tradition, I set off Sunday to fry that chicken.  I am brand new behind the fryer, but I think they turned out pretty good!  This go-round we went for the lemon pepper variety.

I also made some Pioneer Woman Jalapeno Poppers because I love them and I love her.  And I wrapped them in bacon.  Because I needed to get rid of it.  Or that's at least what I've been telling myself.

Don't worry, I did NOT get on the scale this morning nor did I sleep a wink last night because of the total crap I put into my body last night.  Super Bowl fair is not conducive to wedding weight.  I'm trying to convince myself that because I ran three miles yesterday before the caloric overload, it had to negate each other. Ha.

I am glad the Super Bowl only comes once a year!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Extreme Couponing

Luci recently told me about a show TLC called Extreme Couponing.

After seeing these clips and struggling to pick my jaw up off the floor, I have got to figure out when this show comes on.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Thank YOU

I want to thank you all for your kind words regarding my Jeremiah 29:11 post.

You know, the funny thing about blogging is that sometimes it is terribly one sided.

I write and write and really have no idea who reads and reads. . .  which doesn't bother me terribly- but I do love hearing from you with your sweet comments and seeing you follow me.   :)

This blogging train has been an incredible ride, and I have found something that I truly enjoy and look forward to doing on a daily basis.  I just wanted to take a quick second and say thank you for reading!

Photo Opt

I just realized that I never posted any of our 'engagement photos.'  I use that term loosely, because we:
1. didn't use a profesional photographer (but our friend photographer was great!)
2. didn't want any professional 'staged' photos, just us being us in a natural setting
3. just wanted to get a good picture to send to the newspaper for our announcements
4. the night before the 'shoot' I drove to Bluffton after work, then to Laurel Spring, stayed up drinking wine and laughing with my family until midnight, and got up at 5:00 am to duck hunt, made it back to Charleston just in time to shower and then drive to Myrtle Beach to take the photos.   Needless to say, I was really tired and crossing my fingers I did not ruin the photo opt.

Ok now that you are about to vom from the l.o.v.e. . . There are plenty of these out-takes that make me laugh.

I'm so glad we took these photos and will have them to cherish!