Thursday, March 31, 2011

Working Remotely, Keys Style

My dear boss is a rockstar for allowing me to work remotely one day while we were in the Keys. My vacation days are, umm, limited with the wedding and all, so this was a great treat to be able to get away!  

Work hardly felt like work with this view today:

And at 5:30, a fresh homemade mojito was delivered as soon as I hit the 'shut down' button.  I think my adoring, doting parents felt sorry for me having to work. I wasn't complaining!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Keys 2011: Day 1- 4

We have had a fabulous family trip so far in Marathon.

My sister, mom, dad, and I piled into our family suburban and left Beaufort at 5:45 am Saturday morning.  In years past, I have thoroughly enjoyed sleeping the majority of the drive, but this year, I found myself too excited to fall back asleep as we traveled through SC, GA, and ultimately into Florida.

After a pretty uneventful trip, we arrived in the Keys midafternoon, just in time to throw on our suits and head out for a late afternoon cocktail cruise.

While on the water, we picked up the most delicious sushi from the Keys Fishery.  I'm sure having fish swimming mere hours before we ate them had something to do with it, but y'all, this was the best sushi I have ever had.  We decided we have to go back again before we leave and I am already dreaming about the green dragon roll from the top right hand corner.  Amazing.

We devoured our supper while we watched God's perfect creation unfold before us.  It was a stunning sight, the perfect start to our vacation.

Sunday, we had a pretty leisurely morning as there is certainly no need to rush around here.  My mom and I went for a run, and afterwards, my dad and I headed out on the water, in pursuit of bringing home some mahi mahi.  Unfortunately, 3-5 foot seas and winds blowing 15- 20 knots had other plans for our day. We got the mud beaten out of us and after a few hours of not even a nibble, we headed in for greener pastures.

We got back just in time to change the oil, and pick up my mom and sister for our nightly sunset cocktail cruise.  I'm pretty sure sunsets in the Keys cannot be beat.  It is my favorite part of the day!!

After another gorgeous night on the water, we came back to a feast of stone crab claws, baked potatoes, and a salad.  YUM!

Monday, we did it all over again, heading back on the water to look for some mahi mahi.  We are unfortunately quite early in the fishing season and did not have great luck, but nevertheless had an incredible time just being in the ocean.  A day in the sun is quite draining so after another fabulous supper of filets and more crab claws, the night ended fairly early and uneventful for us.  

Today, the seas have grown again, and it was not a fish day.  We had a family walk/ run on the seven mile bridge, and came back and spent the entire day by the pool.  I have my bridal portrait next Friday so tan lines cannot be in my immediate future.

Nevertheless, I started and finished the Pioneer Woman's Black Heels to Tractor Wheels.  A recount of her love story with Malboro Man, it is a very cute book.  I would highly recommend it for a beach read, as I just adore her and her writing style.  Her infectious personality shines through every page, and I found myself laughing out loud several times.

We broke the cocktail cruise ritual tonight in favor of an early dinner of grouper with mango salsa, grilled asparagus, and asian slaw as we watched the sunset from our condo.  Again, I find myself drained from the sun, but eager to do it all again tomorrow.  

I wish we could just stay forever!

We picked the BEST week...

to go out of town.

There have been record lows in SC, rain, and even some reports of hail!

I'll do a Keys update soon.  We're off this morning to walk the 7 mile bridge, and enjoy this beautiful setting this afternoon.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thoughts on Thursday

For recaps of our weekend in Myrtle Beach, see Anna, Concetta, and Mary's cute blogs.  We had so much fun!  It has taken me allllllll week to recover!  At each party, the company, setting, flowers, food,  it was so incredible.  It is hard to believe that the next time we will all be together will be at our wedding.  Just about two months to go!

I hate to be superficial, but one of the most fun parts of this wedding season has been picking out all of my outfits for our parties!  My mom and sister have been so sweet helping me get my "trousseau" complete! Friday night, I wore Nanette Lapore's Latin Lover dress, and Saturday night Kate Spade's Damask Faye.  I am obsessed with both of them and can't wait to get lots of miles from them in the years to come.

I have a lot of other pictures I should post but that will be some other time.  Right now, I'm too excited about our trip to the KEYS tomorrow!!  I cannot wait to get there!!  This week of R&R and family bonding could not come at a better time!

I did want to share this recipe - earlier this week, I made the PW's Baked Lemon Pasta with sauteed shrimp.  Cleaning out the fridge, I also added asparagus and peas for an extra spring veggie kick and I am so glad I did.  This recipe was great! The refreshing lemony flavors fused so well with the veggies and the shrimp.  I was a very happy camper.

While I was plating, I asked Lash to grab the camera so I could blog about the recipe, and he unknowingly got this winner of me post work out.  I cannot wait to get out of this 1970 inspired kitchen and into our updated one in our new house!  The wall paper and countertops are terrible.

Speaking of the PW, I think I read somewhere that she just came out with a new book. That woman can do no wrong in my book and I cannot wait to get my hands on her latest!

Signed, Sealed, Delivered... I'm (Almost) Yours!

All we have to do is get three signatures the day of!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

life as a bride to be...

involves many, many thank you notes with a little splash 'o vino.

Monday, March 21, 2011

misc. mon. and some recipes

Why is my to-do list ever increasing????  I feel like I haven't had time to sit down and write a thoughtful, meaningful post in almost a month.  My apologies to you dear readers. 

As I'm sure it is with everyone, this season of life for me is so busy.  And this blog has unfortunately taken a backseat- which I hate to admit!! This is one of my most favorite hobbies- it is relaxing, therapeutic, and so entertaining!

My nights these days are filled with wedding details, getting organized to move, finalizing moving plans, work, Junior League, marriage counseling, and trying to find time to exercise as now our wedding is almost 2 months away!!

However, we are leaving for the KEYS Friday! Hallejulah! I can't wait for our trip.  This is a great family tradition that we do every year- one week in Marathon, just us fam, fishing, walking the bridge, eating tons of just caught seafood, and hanging out in the sun.  I didn't think I was going to be able to go this year with all the vacation time I am taking for the wedding- but I work for an incredible company and will have enough PTO to go.  I just cannot get sick in the latter half of 2011.  haha!!

I haven't post a recipe in a while, but I do want to admit that the crockpot has been a life saver in the past few weeks- Lash and I loved Cooking Light's Char Sui Pork, this Mongolian beef, these easy meatballs {great for apps or parties}, Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches, tonight I'm making enchiladas {no recipe to share- more of a method: I have the chicken cooking in the crockpot right now with some salsa and taco seasoning. When I get home, I'll shred it, assemble the enchiladas, and a bake.}  I'm telling you- crock on! It is a lifesaver... and budget friendly too!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

MB Fun

We had an amazing weekend in Myrtle Beach celebrating our engagement with Lash's hometown crowd.  Many thanks to all of our families and friends for making the time so special.

Lash's mom took most of the pictures so until I can get a copy of those, I'm afraid I don't have much to show for the weekend!  I did borrow the below photos from Facebook, though.

Saturday morning, my bridal party, plus my mom and Lash's mom, had a cooking demonstration and shower at Kitchen Kapers. As you know from this blog, I just love love love to cook and the shower was right up my alley!!  For all you bride-to-bes or bridesmaids looking for a shower idea, keep this in mind. It was so much fun!  

Our menu was tapas themed-- pan- fried onion dip with homemade potato chips, herb roasted shrimp with cajun cocktail sauce, sauted beef tenderloin tips with bernaise sauce, petit creme brule, and chocolate pots de creme.  So delicious!!

I am a little bit wiped out from the fun, and when I got home this afternoon, I decided it was time to purge my closet of the winter drab and pull out the spring fun.  ?! What was I thinking?!  That has also worsened the exhausted :)

I'll post more when I get the pictures and have more details---  what special memories were made!  

Monday, March 14, 2011

Messy desk... proof that it is Monday

  • Is your bracket filled out? 
  • I really hope the Terriers pull off the big upset again BYU. I'm loving the school spirit that's floating around the world wide web these days!
  • I bawled watching Secret Millioniare last night. 
  • I'd like to blame it on the 5 hours of sleep I'd gotten the night before, but I did think the show was so moving and inspiring! Tune in next Sunday and see for yourself.
  • We have an office Happy Hour tonight.
  • Generally, I'd be escastic for free drinks and apps... but on a Monday? That's my day to recover from the weekend debauchery, go to the gym, eat healthy, and not drink.
  • Ov vey. . .
  • It's looking like this week is going to be another doozy with plans every night of the week except one.
  • T-minus 11 days until I'm in the Keys for a week.
  • Rest and relaxation. :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Homeless No Mo'

We have finally, finally, finally found a place to live. It is adorable, and I am so excited!!  Lash and I have our first home!

It is a charming two story place in Byrnes Down area of West Ashley- 2 beds, 1.5 bath, large updated kitchen with stainless steel appliances, dining room, and quaint living room.  Both floors boast hardwood floors, tons of windows that offer great natural lighting, in addition to tons of closet and storage space.  There is also a great fenced in courtyard out back where I cannot wait to host a party this summer and possibly start a garden.

I will be sure to post many details and pictures when we begin the moving and settling in process.  Now I have to think about finding cardboard boxes and getting everything ready for my April move.

I cannot wait to get our first little home set up!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Bacon and Wild Mushroom Risotto with Baby Spinach

I have a lot on my mind I am dying to post, but until I actually have time to sit down and write, I have to leave you with this recipe I made last night.

{Please excuse the terrible lighting and photo quality, it was taken from my phone.}

It was absolutely delicious.  Mushrooms are fairly new friends of mine, so making a recipe that showcases exotic mushrooms was a little bit of a stretch for me.  I'm so glad I did it!

The recipe calls for cremini, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms, but Publix {how I love thee} had pre-cut, pre-sliced wild bunch on sale for $2.50 that caught my heart.  I can't remember right now, but I think the bunch just had shiitake and oyster, and maybe baby bella too.  Close enough in my book.  Other than that, I pretty much followed the recipe to a T with the exception of using Swanson chicken stock and adding frozen peas in at the very end.

This is restaurant quality risotto with so much flavor. Great for company, great for date night, or great for those 'just because' nights.  Enjoy!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Wined and Dined

Luci and I had the best girls weekend in Charleston.  I'm so glad she got to come down!  Ever since when we lived together last summer, I have missed her being my roomate!  She is my best friend and I love being able to spend special time together.

Friday night once she got into town, we walked to Happy Hour at Social and a casual dinner at Fast and French on Broad.  We wanted to make sure we were well rested for Saturday's Wine and Food activities!

Here we are Saturday morning at 10:45 am, about to start our trek to Marion Square.  It was so awesome to be able to walk from my apartment downtown and not have to worry about parking.  There were so many people in town for the weekend!

We had tickets to the Culinary Village Grand Tasting Tents where there were over 80 vendors set up with tastes of their fabulous food and wine.

So we ate and drank. . .
and ate and drank some more. . .
and even watched a Top Chef demo.
Luci needed a shot of coffee to get through the afternoon!

After our tickets expired for the tents, we toured the Culinary Village, with more vendors and more wine to try.

... where we stumbled across the local SC certificied station.... which is hysterical because one of our engagement parties in Myrtle Beach in a few weeks has a "certified SC grown" theme to it! 
 How cute is that?

It was such a great weekend, though we were both a little 'distended' today after the glutony. However, we have already decided that we are definitely going back next year... and I can't wait!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thoughts on Thursday

- This week has been miz. Sometimes growing up is not that much fun.  TGI(Almost)F.

- My sister Luci is coming to visit tomorrow for the weekend!!!! I cannot wait for her to get here and to experience Charleston's Wine + Food Fest! Given everything that is going on, this bonding is exactly what the doctor ordered.

- The Pioneer Woman posted some of her favorite cooking blogs today.  I am now following every one of them.  Hopping on the band wagon, I know.

- Also obsessed with Young House Love.  As Lash and I have been looking for our first place to call home, I want to be thrifty and crafty and DIY-y.  Love them.

-  Speaking of thrifty, in February, I saved over 57% on my grocery bill using coupons.  Can I get an amen?!?  I am so addicted.

- I unfortunately discovered the adorable clothing store Boden.  This discovery has totally outweighed any coupon 'savings' from above... but everything in moderation, right?  Ok, plus, I got these adorable tops for 20% off + free shipping!

- I 100% should be writing thank you notes from the linen shower last weekend, not blogging.  

- Happy almost Friday!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I've never been a big Craigslister but as of late, I've been living on the site trying to find us a place to live.  I've also been scouring ole Craig for some good deals on furniture just to see what's all out there.  I was just perusing and clicked on this ad, titled "moving sale!!!" Below are some items up for grabs:

I took a screen shot to protect the individual's, ahem, privacy.  In case you would like to purchase a porta pottie or nice pictures that are not from family dollar, I will happily pass on the link!!!

How funny is that?!

Busy Bee

It's been a busy few days around here!  I do not feel like I have had a moment to relax since last Wednesday. 

I was in Beaufort over the weekend for a lovely linen shower and full weekend of wedding planning. Between Saturday afternoon and Sunday mid-day, we met with the florist, music director, and church day-of coordinater. Sunday afternoon, my mom and I sat at our kitchen table and ironed out so many details on our own.  I really want to do a wedding update post, but I am torn over how much information to share. I do want some elements to be a surprise, but some things I am so excited about I will not be able to keep quiet!

To say we are entering crunch time is a complete understatement.  I can't believe it is March 1st today-- before we know it, May is going to be knocking on our doors!

We are still "homeless", but thank you for your kind words of encouragement.  We looked at 2 places yesterday, and will look at 2 more tonight.  Certainly, we have options, but nothing has blown us away as "the one."  I am hopeful we will have it figured out soon.

Until then, I don't expect to be blogging this week very much because of the tremendous pile of thank you notes I have to write in addition to apartment searching.  Hope everyone is doing okay!