Monday, October 31, 2011


Whew, he did it!  He got through the monster test and we had a great weekend relaxing and enjoying each other's company.... It was so nice to be home for a change!!

I met Lash for a celebratory cocktail right after work Friday and came home to cook the best supper.  Sweet and Spicy Honey Grilled Shrimp with Coconut Rice and Asian Roasted Broccolli.  We ate on our little patio out back, and it was amazing.
via our best bites

We then ventured downtown to the Macintosh for a few cocktails, and a nightcap at Fish with Anna and Chett.  The Macintosh is such a neat little spot- I walked in and felt like I was back in DC with Luci or in New York.  Very fun!

Saturday, it was fabulous to be lazy all morning.  Inspired by the Charleston Crepe concoction, we had a breakfast for croissants with nutella and strawberries.  You must try this one morning!

We tried to go to the Tattooed Moose for lunch, but it was closed for a taping with Diners, Drive - Ins, and Dives!  I was so disappointed, but what a cool reason to be closed!  Apparently, Guy Fieri also went to Fuel, the Early Bird Diner, Glass Onion, and Perfectly Franks in town earlier this week too.  Lash and I love that show, and now I want to go even more!

We spent the majority of the day having a fun football filled day and cheering on the Gamecocks to victory over Tennessee.  None of our victories this year have been pretty but I am thankful we are managing to pull out the W.   It at least makes for a happy husband :)

Sunday, we went to church and I'm so excited I got to finally meet Lindsay after lots of commenting and emailing back and forth.  I spent the afternoon happily working away in the kitchen gearing up for a brunch, office Halloween party, and Junior League event.  

This week is lining up to be a busy one with the league, supper club, and most of all gearing up for Concetta and Will coming into town and Anna's engagement party!!  I'm already counting down... Bring on Friday!!!!


This excerpt was taken from today's reading in my daily Jesus Calling devotion, and could not have hit the nail more on the head for what I needed to hear.

Learn to listen to Me even while you are listening to other people.    As they open their souls to your scrutiny, you are on holy ground.  You need the help of My Spirit to respond appropriately. Ask Him to think through you, live through you, love through you. . .

When the Spirit empowers your listening and speaking, My streams of living water flow through you to other people.  Be a channel of My Love, Joy, and Peace by listening to Me as you listen to others.

Wow.  I need to enlarge this and tape this to my desk asap.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What's Cooking

Despite Lash's med school schedule and my work + extracurriculars, we always try to meet for dinner at home.  It's our time to catch up on each other's days, take a break from the hustle and bustle, and reconnect.

Test week is always different though, and Lash leaves in the morning with his lunch and dinner packed away.  I've still been in the kitchen this week, but mostly I've cooked so I can send a hearty meal with him the next day.

While it's been fun cooking, I'm learning that I enjoy sharing what I cook with people I love almost as much as cooking it.  A wonderful evening for me is sitting around the dinner table for hours savoring a good meal and great company.

Saturday: Honey Lime Enchiladas

I think I was actually in the mood for more for an authentic Mexican meal and wish I would have gone with my typical go - to, Tyler Florence's enchiladas.  They were still really flavorful, just different.  Didn't hate, didn't love.

Sunday: Jambalaya

Courtesy of my dear momma in Beaufort. No recipe or pictures to post, but homecooked goodness.

Monday: Chicken Divan

If you have not tried this Skinny Taste dish, you must!  You will not believe it is healthy it tastes so good.  I thought I didn't "do" chicken divan, but boy was I wrong!  I used white wine instead of sherry and topped with panko instead of bread crumbs.  For someone who typically isn't crazy about leftovers, I couldn't wait to eat them the next day.

Tuesday: Wild Rice and Shrimp 
via food network

On the menu plan specifically with my man in mind, this is a take of his grandmother's classic.  Creamy, hearty, and a comfort "keep studying, you can do it" push.

Wednesday: Date Night Pasta

My dinner plans fell through, but I was so fine to stay home and make this dish. It's delicious!  I used fresh pasta from the farmer's market and I swear that makes all the difference in the world.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I know I technically cannot say this anymore since we've gotten married and we have to officially start our countdown over, but....

Happy six years together to my main squeeze!

Lash and I met at Wofford College, when I was a freshman and he was a sophomore on Orientation Staff.  We were introduced literally within my first five minutes on campus when Lash helped unpacked my car.  I can distinctly remember telling my mom and dad, "he's cute!!!"  I'm sure my dad rolled his eyes, but two months later, we started dating, five years later we got engaged, and May 28th, we tied the knot (123, 4, 5)!

Here's to sixty more together!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


It's hard to believe it's Tuesday and we've back in the grind, again!

Since Lash was locked away in the library in preparation for that dreaded test week, I kept myself busy as possible as possible this weekend.  I joined my sweet sister in law Candice and a friend for dinner and drinks Friday night, and Saturday had a million errands to run.  I'm thrilled I was able to have such a productive day because I literally travelled all over town- downtown, Town Center, and West Ashley... and though it took me three hours, it feels so good to be caught up!

Sunday, Lash and I finally made it back to St. Michaels.  We've been on the g.o. so much lately we probably haven't been since early September.  The service was amazing and it was so wonderful to get reconnected and refocused.  I'm very thankful we are going to be in town the next three weekends. With the ridiculous amount of travel we've done this fall, that seems like a miracle, and I've missed the church home we have found there.

I went to Beaufort Sunday night for a brief visit with my parents.  I love that Beaufort is so close I can scoot down there for an evening.  My 6 am wake up call to come back to Charleston came a little early, but I do love that time in the morning to enjoy a cup of coffee, watch the sunrise, and just be.

The rest of the week looks promising.  A walk with a dear friend, dinner with another, Thursday .. and finally Friday, the test week will be over!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Married to a Med Student

We're entering that dreaded week again... test week.

Now before you kindly remind me to count my blessing, I want you to know I am not complaining.  I am thankful for this life style.  Lash is happy, he loves med school, and I'm happy he's so happy.

If I have to deal with one rough week every six weeks, so be it.

I just gotta get mentally ready.

For me, the hardest part of the week is losing a companion... but also a lot falls on my plate in these times.

I feel like I need to make sure my life is together so I can help Lash keep his life together during the week.

I know this pressure is something I put completely on myself.   No one is telling me I have to be perfect.

But his life is so crazy during test week, I want our marriage and our home to be peaceful... a safe haven in the midst of the test week storm.

Any breakdowns? I will find another outlet.  Any problems? I will find a solution.  Anything I can't deal with?  I will wait to after the test to resolve.

My West Elm curtains- they're up, which is awesome (!)- but they are ghetto rigged with dental floss- true story- and we'll deal with it and hang them correctly it- you guessed it- after test week.  Budget discussion? Upcoming plans?  Next week.

Other than handling things myself or if I can't, pushing them off, I am trying to be creative and think of other projects to tackle.  The previous test week desperate housewife's activities included organizing a closet, hosting a girl's dinner party, rearranging furniture, and tubing out in front of the TV.  Our house was spotless by Wednesday.

In preparation for this go- round,   I've been scouring pinterest for crafty DIYs, and I think a trip to Michaels is in store over the weekend.   Also, if anyone in Charleston wants to meet for drinks or a walk, I am so available.  Let me know!

Friday, October 21, 2011

What's Cooking

This was a fun week!

Sunday:  Blackberry Pinot Noir Glazed Tenderloin with Brussel Sprouts and Rutabagas

I've posted this recipe before, but it is worth repeating. The pork is fabulous. The blackberry- pinot noir reduction with lemon and rosemary has tons of flavor and really pops.  Also, veggies, veggies, veggies... can't get enough.  This was my favorite meal this week.

Monday: Trader Joe's Lemon Pappardelle Pasta with Shrimp and Roasted Broccolli

After sauting the shrimp, I deglazed the pan with white wine and lemon juice and rounded it out with a little bit of butter.  This pasta has so much flavor, it was a really nice change of pace. I wish I had doubled the sauce because the noodles really absorbed more than I expected but it was a nice meal.

Tuesday: Basil

I participated in the Life Management Center spelling bee with some co-workers and we went out for a late supper afterwards.  We didn't get there until 9, and we were all starving so we split the tom kha gai soup, and passed around a green curry, pad thai, and veggie delight.  I'd never ordered the tom kha gai before and it was amazing.  It was a very fun evening, even if I did feel like I had a thai baby in my belly the next day from the late night bingeing.

Wednesday: Left Over Basil

Thai baby part duex.  Worth it.

Thursday: Panko Snapper with Grits and a salad

This recipe is a variation of Christie's panko chicken, but with snapper.  I can't tell you how many people I have shared this recipe with.  So perfect for week nights, and it delivers every time.  My grits secret?  Cream cheese.  Homey, hearty, stick to your ribs good.

What's been cooking in your kitchen lately?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sauteed Brussel Sprouts

I don't get why brussel sprouts get a bad name.  They may be my favorite vegetable... 

Well, wait, that's not true, lately, any vegetable has tasted incredible to me... brussel sprouts, squash, broccoli, onions, peppers, even rutabagas... I can eat four portions in one sitting... but other things I won't touch with a ten foot pole.  Yogurt.  Eggs.  Deli Meat.  Everything about deli meat- smell, taste, texture- makes me want to vom.  (And no, I don't have any announcement to make).  I'm going through a weird palate phase.

Anywho, regardless of your palate, when prepared correctly, I think anyone can love brussel sprouts.   Whether roasted

steamed, or sauteed as below... Give them a try!!

This is one of my favorite ways to do them.  It takes a little bit of prep time (read: I would not recommend doing this for a crowd unless you do it the day ahead), but I swear the effort is absolutely worth it.  Trust me!

Take your BS and chop off the bottom stems and slice in half.

Slice a "V" in the bottom section to remove the hard white core.  
You can then chop that up and use in the saute, but removing this section makes it easy to peel.

Once the section is removed, peel back the various layers in the sprouts so you are essentially left with a BS salad of sorts.  (My description is so technical, ha!)

Saute a shallot or diced onion in EVOO over medium high heat until translucent, and then add BS.  They will shrink down (like spinach!) to nothing so be prepared.  Be sure to stir every now and then so that the heat is evenly distributed. The cooking time is approximately 10 minutes total. Be sure to season well with salt and pepper.

You won't believe you just devoured... and loved... the whole pan!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

DC Fashion Finds

I mentioned in my DC post that Luci and I had a ton of luck shopping.  Not only did we find great pieces, we also found some great bargains too.  Here's a little peak at our selection.

The store opened the day before we shopped, so there were tons of pieces in the sale section. I could have done a lot more damage but thankfully held off!
Helen, Luci, and I all walked away with this jacket, 
though they opted for the cream and I chose the gold.
A perfect transition for fall and spring, or when a light jacket is needed.
Love the pop of color, especially layered.

This photo doesn't do the sweater justice.  There is an intricate, almost lacey pattern in the stitching that is stunning, and it is incredibly soft and comfortable.
It's a perfect weight for these awkward, seasonal and transitional temperatures.
And I love the fall color!

I hesitated to buy this since its about to be too cold to wear it,
 but I'm so glad Luci and Helen talked me into it.  
This shirt is so me.
Love the stripes and beaded detail.  I think I will live in this next summer.

I haven't done much shopping at LOFT, but after our success there, I definitely think I will venture in there more.  Great pieces for work and play, and very affordable prices.  I really like a lot in the store, but decided to spring for the two I really loved.

A fun twist on a classic piece.

Dressed up or down, belted or free flowing, with leggings or skinny jeans. 
I think I will seriously live in this.  
I'm so mad I didn't buy it in more colors. 
I want to go to Town Center this weekend and see if they have more in stock.

Have you found any fun pieces lately?

Making it

I have had the most difficult time getting out of bed this week!  The snooze button and I usually aren't friends but this week we are BFF.

It is pitch black dark in the morning, and our bed is cozy I never want to leave.

I think I'm exhausted still from the weekend (here's Anna's cute recap of the wedding) and other extracurricular activities this week.. including that dreaded spelling bee (don't worry, we didn't win, nor did we come close... damn ambidextrous and resuscitation).

Anywho,  at least it's Wednesday right?

We're making it over the hump.

Be back after work with some recipes and finally a picture of our curtains... yay!

Friday, October 14, 2011

What's Cooking

Monday: Chinese Take Out

My flight from DC got in late, and the last thing I was going to do was cook.  And true story, I have a weakness for anything and everything Asian.

Yum!!!!  This was the home run this week.  I saw the asparagus, tomato, and steak salad on Elefantitas Alegres and knew that I had to recreate it asap.  It was so easy and so delicious.  My only modifications- I used goat cheese instead of gorgonzola and left out the walnuts.  I will make this again, like next week.

The corn pie is my grandmother's old, old recipe.  Typically, I just bake it in a pyrex dish (without the pie crust), but I have one in my freezer than I needed to use, so I thought what the heck.  The corn pie is:

1 can of creamed corn
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels or one ear fresh corn (optional)

Combine all ingredients.  Bake 350' 30-40 minutes until golden brown and set.

Though I know corn doesn't offer much nutritional value, I love it.  We had this recipe all the time growing up, and it is a great comfort for me.

This layered spaghetti casserole is great twist to a classic spaghetti dinner.  I find myself making it often, as we'll freeze half and eat half.  The original recipe calls for ground beef, but I often use ground turkey or ground chicken to lighten it up. Its a great crowd pleaser.  I use the recipe from my mom's cookbook, but this one is very similar.

Thursday: Leftover's

I spent the evening packing for my college rommate's wedding this weekend and trying to organize our messy house, so LO's it was.  Million dollar spaghetti reheats like a champ :)

What's been cooking in your house this week?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday Things

-I volunteered to participant in a corporate spelling bee next week at a charity event benefiting the literacy program for the Life Management Center.  I jokingly hesitated to participate, because the spelling bee is not a fond memory from my childhood! I went three times in middle school and got out each year in the first round. I was so nervous! I guess here's my opportunity to redeem myself... My co-workers and I have been "practicing" hard... haha!

-When Luci and I were shopping in DC, I found myself drooling over all of these colorful bowls from Anthropologie.  I wanted to take all of the home.  Fortunately for my wallet, I realized that carrying glass bowls in my carry on would be 1) too heavy and 2) a royal pain... but look at this beauties!

-We are back in the office this week after our renovations, and I am so happy.  I loved working from home, but I honestly found the four walls of our study/ guest bedroom creeping in on me and I had a serious case of cabin fever.  It's been fun to go back and see my co-workers and enjoy our new desks, chairs, and layout.  We went from huge, segregated desk previously designed for architects to a much more airy, open, corporate look. Obviously we're all missing a little teeny section of our new cubes on the left, but apparently they are coming soon! haha!

-I don't know what's gotten into me this week but I have been a TV junkie.  Kim Kardashian's wedding recap part 1 and 2, Modern Family, Chopped, Kate + Pippa on E.... I used to hardly ever watch TV, but being married to a med student, I find myself just keeping busy at night and happy for the distraction.

Off to TV land again...  Enjoy your night!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Home Sweet Home: In Progress: Living Room

It's been a while since I did an update on our humble abode, and we've made some significant strides at making our little house a home, especially in the living room!

This is where we started two weeks after I moved in.

Then we got a couch, and remember, I found a nearly perfect condition seagrass rug on the side of the road, and made Lash bring it home. :)

Well a few months later, here we are!!  I love the shape it is taking!

The guest bedroom and the dining room (once we get the West Elm curtains up from here!) are the next on the updates!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Washington DC, Part 2

After a very touristy and full day in DC the day before, we enjoyed a somewhat lazy morning at Luci's quaint house in Arlington.  Our poor legs were exhausted, and we struggled to pull ourselves out of her cozy bed.  But we had places to go and things to see, and adventure beckoned in Georgetown.

I've had my eyes set on these West Elm curtains ever since Hanna suggested them to me, and I'm so excited I was able to see them in the store!  I wish Charleston had a West Elm, what a neat store! They unfortunately didn't have enough panels for me to walk away with so I'm anxiously awaiting UPS any day now.  In hindsight I'm grateful they did not have them so I didn't have to shove them in my already stuffed suitcase!

While wandering, we noticed that this is the line for DC Cupcakes at 11am on a Sunday.  Are you serious?  My sister said that she doesn't even think they are the best cupcakes in DC.

As we walked up and down M Street, we detoured to the Washington Harbour to check out the waterfront view,

And savoured a delicious lunch at Bangkok Joes.  This was both Luci and my favorite meal in all of DC that weekend.  A dumpling bar, Bangkok Joe's has a cool, modern, and fun atmosphere.  Per our servers recommendation, we split an order of dumplings, wontons, and vegetable pad thai.

This it was an intensely caloric lunch, but we knew we'd be walking a good bit more in the afternoon.. and I'm glad we justified our splurge, because it was . . .  The pad thai was better than Basil, and dare I say it, better than Lime Leaf. (gasp!)

We continued to tour and tool around until we could literally tour and tool around no longer, and headed back to Arlington to rest.  After such a heavy lunch, we could not imagine going out to a big dinner and settled for a light dinner of cheese and crackers while completely vegging out in front of HGTV and the krazy Kardashians.  

Oh, and a cupcake, because there are a thousand adorable cupcake spots in DC and I couldn't come home without trying at least one.

One of the best things about sisters is that there is no pressure to do anything.  I was just as happy sitting in front of her TV in sweatpants as I was tearing up the streets like a mad woman.  It was just so awesome to be together and hang out!

Monday, we woke up and went on a walk around Arlington, showered, and explored Clarendon.  Though we'd done some very successful shopping previously in Anthropologie, we poked our heads into LOFT. Unfortunately for my wallet, we had great success again, and I walked out with the cutest blouses.

I haven't made it down King Street since Steve Job's passing, but this was the scene at the Apple Store in Clarendon. Thousands of post it notes listed the windows, and apples with one bite gone in the corner lined the streets.  It was very touching to read people's remarks.

We treated ourselves for a final hoorah of frozen yogurt (seriously DC has more frozen yogurt and cupcakes places than I have ever seen), 

before starting the trek back to Luci's.

There is an urgent care facility one block from Luci's apartment that we had walked by all weekend, advertising $15 flu shots.  I was completely hoping she'd forget about our 'agreement' to get one, but to no avail, I found myself sleeve rolled up, trying not to cry, and squeezing the life out of Luci's hand one hour before I hopped on the plane.  I hate shots..... but I guess I am thankful she made me get one ;-)

I am never one to not want to leave somewhere.  I have my grandmother's direct gene, and when it is time to go home, it is time to go home.  When traveling, that is usually first thing in the morning the day of departure.  I don't like to wait around.  That afternoon though, something strange happened... while I couldn't wait to get home to Lash, I had no desire to leave my sweet sister.  It was the most fun weekend I've had in the longest time.

Washington DC, Part 1

I write to you back in Charleston and happy to be home, but a little bit homesick for DC.  I think Luci said it best, "DC has this energy, this vibe that completely engulfs you and you don't want to leave."  It's true. I didn't want to leave.  Even though I was only there for four days, I already found myself confident with my surroundings.  I love Charleston, but maybe a part of me likes the idea of a big city too.  Not permanently, but maybe for a year or two... like a temporary fix.

I arrived Friday night after seemingly the longest day of work ever, in which I found myself looking at the clock every 10 minutes.  Luci immediately greeted me with the biggest bear hug, and we ventured out in Arlington for a late dinner.

The joy of being reunited and the cool fall air carried us to a quaint wine and tapas bar, Circa in Clarendon.  While we waited to be seated outside, we ordered a Malbec and enjoyed the vivid nightlight and scenery.

We split a trio of seafood small plates- sashimi tuna, rock shrimp, and PEI mussells- favorites of us Lowcountry girls, and enjoyed the incredibly perfect fall weather.

Saturday we awoke relatively early and explored the Eastern Market.  I just adore the Charleston Farmer's Market, but this one put Charleston to shame.  All sorts of vendors sprawled over five blocks, and found ourselves surrounded by plethora of local foods, flowers, furniture, artists, and accessories.  It was such a sight to see!

Luci and I bargained for pashminas, and walked away with 5 adorable prints for $36.  It was a steal!  We also picked up some really cute earrings.

I introduced Luci to crepes after having one from the Charleston Crepe Company recently.  I cannot get over the combination of nutella and strawberries.

If you haven't tried one, you must!

Luci also picked up this adorable window pane- turned- mirror.  I love its rustic charm and character, and it is perfect in her bedroom.  {P.S. It's really awkward to take a picture of a mirror!}

Our cousin Helen joined us that afternoon for the remainder of the day.  We had a neat lunch at the bustling Northside Social, where we then planned out the rest of day.  After a quick haircut for Helen (haha!),

we took the metro to Chinatown.  (Wait- metro- may be the thing that keeps me from being a city girl.)

Luci's friend had told us about an Anthropologie that had just opened the day before on F street and that no one had known about it... translation: great sale items available in small sizes!!  All three of us had incredible success.  I walked away with two sweaters, a fun top, and a jacket each at 60% off.

After our good fortune, we did the touristy thing and walked to the W hotel for a cocktail overlooking Capital Hill. 

The foot rest and libation was much needed after our earlier adventures...

And check out this gorgeous view!

Our dinner plans were in Georgetown, but Helen had never seen DC in daylight so we quickly got our act together and toured the White House grounds,

and all the monuments as dusk approached.

I am paraphrasing our sightseeing adventures, but according to MapMyRun, we covered an insane amount of terrority that afternoon... almost three miles! 

After all that walking, no doubt our blood sugar was a little low and we were starving!  We had an amazing sushi dinner at Chopsticks, a cozy atmosphere in a small rowhouse on Wisconsin Avenue...

Followed by a nightcap at the historic Martins.

One nightcap and our active day did us in, and we all hit the hay pretty hard.  A recap of the remaining days to follow soon!