Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fare for the Fourth

Lash and I are heading to Garden City this weekend for the fourth, and I want to take a nibble or two for his family after a fun day on the beach!  

What festive foods are you taking to your Independence Day picnic?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

No small miracle


In one hour.

During my lunch break.

I legally changed my name.

And if that is not big enough news, I changed it at both the Social Security office and the DMV.

In one hour.

No small miracle, no?

I thought so too.

I walked into the SS office and was cheerfully greeted with the ticket below.

Estimated wait: 110 mins? Oh Lord, I was debating how I could swing an extended lunch break while dreading not bringing a book or thank you notes to write.  

However, I was out of there in 35 minutes and decided to haul to the DMV just to try to knock that out as well.  I figured there was no way I'd get out of there in time.

Well, much to my surprise, I did!!  I still cannot believe it.

I am officially a Springs!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer sweet tooth

I have been craving a blueberry- peach cobbler lately (preferably this heavenly one from here), but we cannot be left with an entire cobbler in our house when we are going to be frolicking around the beach in just a few days.

Just in the knick of time, How Sweet It Is reposted her Blueberry Breakfast Cakes that are the perfect portion for two and satisfied my summer sweet tooth!

I am not a baker, but I was so excited to tackle this task and use our new Kitchen Aid for the first time!  This was a great wedding gift.

In my excitement, I clearly filled the ramkins a little too full, but nevertheless, the cakes were fabulous.  The original recipe calls for a blueberry-powdered sugar glaze on top, but we had no powdered sugar.  I made a lemon glaze instead with 1/4 cup sugar and the juice of one lemon.  It was a wonderful zesty accompaniment.

I really want another one. Right now.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thoughts on Thursday

- Concetta  is hosting an incredible giveaway on her blog of Erin McDermott's jewelry.  You should definitely check it out- I had the hardest time picking my favorite, she is so talented!  Her work was recently featured in this month's Real Simple - how cool is that!?

- I am loving the wedding circuit we have on tap for this summer, fall, and even into next spring! What a wonderful time to catch up with old friends and celebrate such happy milestones!  Last Saturday we attended a wedding in Beaufort for a family friend, and the evening was truly stunning!  This was our first wedding to attend after our own- we were very thankful not to be the center of attention that evening and get to relax and visit with other guests!

- We are off to the beach this weekend, and I am ready to put my little toes in the sand! 

- I am praying for a good breeze because it is too dang hot to be doing anything else outside!  If this is what it is already like in June, what is August going to be like??

- Enjoy the rest of your Thursday- we're almost to the weekend!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Super Double

Though I am a loyal Publix shopper tried and true, the Super Doubles deals at Harris Teeter are worth taking a venture on the dark side for... on my run earlier today, I saved 67%!  My favorite steals deals include free Reynolds Wrap alumnium foil, Wheat Thins for $.95 a box, and Cheez- Its for $1.10.  What other great deals have you spotted out there this week?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cinnamon Roll- Ups

These are a must serve for overnight guests or brunch.  The smell of the cinnamon sugar while these bake is drool-worthy, and they will be gone before you realize you ever served them.  I hate that I don't have a picture to post, but trust me on this one, they are amazing.


1 loaf thinly sliced bread, cuts removed (White bread, despite its nutritional set backs, truly works best here)
1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

- Preheat oven to 400'
- Roll bread flat and set aside
- Combine cream cheese, yolk, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons sugar, mixing well.  Spread mixture on bread and roll tightly
- Combine 1 cup sugar and cinnamon, blending well.  Dip bread in butter, then cinnamon mixture
- Arrange on baking sheet and freeze.  Cut into bite-size pieces.  Store in zip-top plastic bags in freezer.   - Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly brown.

Yield: approximately 50 pieces

Monday, June 20, 2011

A day late. . .

But, Happy Father's Day to the most incredible dad a girl could ask for.

Friday, June 17, 2011

May you take time this weekend to enjoy a beautiful sunset or two!

Laurel Spring Plantation
photo courtsey of Keri Donald

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Making Time for Your Marriage

Throughout our marriage counseling, one of the recurrent themes stressed to us each session was the importance of making time for our marriage and having a weekly date night.

It's easy to imagine how life's hustle and bustle can make it easy to disregard time together or put it on the back burner.  Yes, we technically see each other a good bit each day- we sleep next to one another every night and pass each other as we are running out the door in the mornings-

but the essense of this date night is quality time...

when it's really all about you as a couple. . . to take a step back and remind yourself why you married one another.  To catch up.  Do something fun together. And importantly, to have something that you together look forward to each week.

While I envision most of our date nights will be fairly casual affairs such as going on a walk, watching a TV show together, or playing a game, last night we treated ourself to a date at Virginia's.

Lash was in country- cooking heaven.  I'm a little bit embarassed to post our entrees because they were soooo unhealthy, but whatver... you know this is not my typical fare.  Lash had the fried chicken with collards and mac'n cheese, and I had the apple brined pork chop with hoppin johns and collards.  Not exactly a place I would go and order a salad, but the food was pretty good!

I definitely felt like I had a ton of bricks in my stomach last night from the heavy fare, but it was so fun to celebrate and treat ourselves to a night on the town.

We were blessed with a generous and thoughtful gift certificate to Virginia's as a wedding present. So with that gift, coupled with a gift certificate, we indulged in an appetizer, 2 beers, a bottle of Pinot Grigio, and two entrees- for {drum roll please} $14.

(Disclaimer so I don't completely sound like a wino: they have half priced bottles of wine during the week and it was cheaper for me to order the bottle than 2 glasses. I did not drink the entire bottle at dinner, thank you.)

It was amazing!

P.S.  Will be posting wedding pictures when we get them back from the photographer-- which should be soon!  If you want to see the videographer's short web video, let me know!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Menu Sunday

As promised, here is a recap of our fun dining week last week!!  As wonderful as it was, we ate like we were still on our honeymoon so this week's menu is going to feature significantly lighter fare. :)

Saturday:  Ranch Panko Chicken with PW Summer Stir Fry

This supper was the ultimate comfort meal the night after we got home from our honeymoon.  I have cited the chicken "recipe" from Christie's blog, though I agree with her, it is more a method than a recipe.  I will have to say though, this has been my go-to dinner on many occassions-- it is so easy and so flavorful... everyone loves it!!  Also, as you know, I kind of want to be the Pioneer Woman, and this recipe of hers celebrates all the fabulous things that summer has to offer- fresh corn, zucchini, tomatoes, and basil.  It is the perfect, perfect side dish with just the veggies or light meal with the shrimp.

Sunday: Beth's Favorite Potstickers with Asian Slaw

I love Beth's blog, and oh my, we love her potstickers.  They are a messy labor of love, but so worth it when you have ample time, great company, and a cold cocktail.  Put this recipe on your to do list!!  We served with a dipping sauce of chili sauce, soy, and sriacha- yummmm!

Monday:  Med Bistro

We had such a fun recap of the wedding weekend over a wonderful meal out with my parents.  I like Med Bistro, its a quaint, local(ish) spot that is typically pretty quiet for mid-week dining.  I had the seared scallops over butternut squash risotto and Lash had a man meal- ribeye with mashed potatoes.

Tuesday:  Grilled Pork Chops with Blueberry Compote, Rice Pilaf and Roasted Broccoli

I found this recipe in Rachel Ray's "Everyday" magazine that I picked up in the airport in Mexico on the way back from our honeymoon.  I was so intrigued by the unique combinations and dog-earred the page.  When blueberries were $1.99 at Publix last week, I decided to go for it.  Final answer? Really good!!  Both Lash and I loved switching up our palates with the blueberry reduction- it was a great compliment to the pork.  The only sub I did was adding ginger to the mix for complexity and balance.  I am quite pleased with this and definitely would make this again.

Wednesday: Fish tacos

These were amazing!  Feeling adventurous, we tried both fried and grilled tacos, and served with more roasted broccoli and cherry tomatoes.  No chips, gauc, or salsa?  So many dietary bonus points and negative calories, right? lol.  Our tacos were comprised of grilled or fried mahi mahi, a lightly dressed slaw, and a take on "bang bang" sauce from Bonefish grill-- something around 1/4 c mayo, 2 T chili sauce, 1 t sriacha, a dash of soy and a squeeze of lime.  Seriously, this was my favorite meal from the week.


I was a little bit disappointed with this meal as it truly was nothing remarkable.   I mean it was good, but not "I can't wait to share this recipe or blog about it." The inspiration is from an Apron's meal at Publix that we sampled when we were grocery shopping last week.  At that time, we thought it was out of this world... but we also went to the grocery store hungry so it was probably our own stomachs tricking us.  I would make the edamame stir from again sans the rice, but not the chicken and the whole she-bang...

What have you been cooking with lately?  I need some new ideas and inspiration!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thoughts on Thursday

I had big plans of blogging this week but I'm sorry, I've been too busy settling into married life and having fun!

For my random thoughts of this June Thursday:

- Getting a new planner to me is equilivant to getting a favorite birthday and Christmas present.  My refill just arrived and I realize I totally sound like a loser, but I cannot wait to use it.

- Speaking of loserville, Lash and I were eating supper Tuesday night, and we got ding- dong -ditched! I assumed it was someone playing a "welcome home from your honeymoon" prank on us, but when we ran to the door to see who it was, no one was there, and no surprise was left!   It was hysterical!

- We have been cooking a lot together this week, and let me tell you, we have eaten well our first week as Mr. and Mrs. How I missed being in the kitchen over the wedding craziness! I will post a recap of our feasts sometime this weekend so check back.

- Living with a boy is SO different.  The biggest difference I have immediately noticed is the amount of food that we have gone through... good grief!  I used to buy a loaf of bread and a half gallon of organic milk and it would last me at least 2-3 weeks.  We've already gone through that in less than 1 week!!  Thank goodness for couponing!

- Two days back into reality, the air conditioning in my dear ole Jeep broke.  A nice "welcome home" and "welcome to marriage", huh?  Thankfully my parents came to the rescue to let me borrow a car, even though my dad called it a "Springs problem" haha. It has been so hot this week!

- I have to give Lash major props for all of his help getting organized and situated this week.  It has been so much fun coming home to him each night after work.  I am practically itching for the clock to him 5:30 so I can get home and hang out.  He gets the summer off from medical school so we are truly trying to savour every precious moment together before he heads back in the library late August. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Back to Reality

Well, we are back to reality after the most amazing two weeks of my life.  I cannot wait to share the details with you all, but I must first settle back into this new reality prior to blogging.  The 6 am alarm clock this morning was an unfortunate remainder that our honeymoon is, in fact, over.

When we landed back in the USA late Friday night, I had more than 180 unread blog post on my google reader.  Overwhelming, yes, but how I missed reading about you and hearing about your lives!  From kitchen overhauls, new recipes, summer sashays, I can't wait to catch up!

I am unfortunately experiencing problems both commenting on other blogs and uploading on my own photos, but soon I hope we will be back to the regularly scheduled program.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wedding Weekend

Written by Concetta from Simply Extravagant.

As a close friend and fellow blogger, Mary Loyal asked if I would submit a guest post recapping her wedding.  Of course, I was honored to gush about the weekend's festivities to ML's followers.  As much as she enjoys blogging weekly, Mary Loyal is taking a brief hiatus from the blogging world while on her Honeymoon in Mexico.  It is safe to say that this has been the happiest week of Mary Loyal and Lash's lives.  They became man and wife this past weekend and are now most likely lounging on the beach hand-in-hand, grinning ear-to-ear.

The wedding weekend began on Friday with a luncheon for the bridal party at Mary Loyal's home.  Mary Loyal's aunts hosted the event and prepared a delicious meal for everyone.  After lunch guests nibbled on monogrammed petit fours and sipped on Mimosas.  Mary Loyal's sister, Luci, presented the bride-to-be with a scrapbook of the engaged couple's relationship through the years.  Bridesmaids opened their gifts (personalized silver jewelry trays) and sang a Grammy-worthy rendition of "Going To the Chapel".  We brought down the house with our melodious voices and detailed choreography and were promptly shown the door.

Next, the wedding party headed to St. Helena's to rehearse our more important roles as bridesmaids and groomsmen.  After a few run-throughs, it was off to Rehearsal Dinner at Breakwater Restaurant.  After a delicious meal of tenderloin and crabcakes, close friends and family shared toasts with the bride and groom.  The speeches were heartfelt and supportive.  After the toasts finished, guests left the restaurant with full bellies, fond memories and happy hearts.  Time for dancing!


The Dessert and Dancing portion of the evening took place on the water at Marshlands in historic downtown Beaufort.  Party-goers enjoyed an assortment of tasty treats and danced the night away.  Staying true to tradition, Mary Loyal's extended family surprised the couple by singing an original song and handing out aprons depicting the couple as grinning bride and groom crabs.  It was a wonderful way to kick up our heels and catch up with old friends.  


Saturday morning came quickly for everyone.  Due to her sheer excitement, Mary Loyal barely slept.  However, no one would have ever guessed.  She looked stunning!  I can only imagine what a nervous basket case I will be on my wedding day, but Mary Loyal was, in the words of George Banks, "as calm and cool as I had ever seen her".  


We headed to the church, and the bride remained hidden behind the enormous church organ.  The music played and all eyes were on the bride and groom.  The Reverend aptly noted, however, Mary Loyal and Lash's eyes were locked on one another. 

After the ceremony, guests headed to Laurel Spring for the reception.  Thanks to an afternoon rainstorm, the temperature was just right.  A gospel choir surprised the bride and groom with a song as they arrived at the party.  The setting sun and green fields provided the perfect backdrop for post-wedding pictures.  



Guests shagged to beach music and feasted on tasty hors d'oeuvres.  Mary Loyal and her father shared their first dance to "The Way You Look Tonight", and the newly pronounced husband and wife danced to "What a Wonderful World".   


It was a spectacular night, and I was honored to be a part of the celebration.  Mary Loyal and Lash's love for one another is pure, genuine and inspiring.  Their union is proof that good things do happen to good people.  They deserve all the happiness in the world, and I am positive that their life together will be one filled with love and laughter.  Congrats to the new Mr. and Mrs.!!!!!!