Thursday, December 22, 2011


I'm most likely signing off until 2012.  The day aheads are filled with family, friends, fun, and some much needed R&R. 

I want to take this time to unplug and just be.

Be grateful for my Savior's birth... My loving husband... My adoring, loyal family... My wonderful friends... My inspiring and challenging job... The beautiful world in which we live... The fruits of the spirit... Freedom... Grace...

I'm hoping you will continue to join me and follow along through the new year.  Thank you for the sweet encouragement and support over 2011.  What a year it has been!!  

I wish you and your families the merriest Christmas and the happiest holidays.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:11

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Time to Celebrate

Last Thursday night, Lash finished up his fall semester of medical school and boy is that cause for a celebration!  We popped some bubbly, and got all dressed up (in a sequin mini!) for a night out.

We had originally planned to go to 82 Queen, but FIG had a last minute cancellation and we jumped at the opportunity to dine!  I'm so glad we did...  It was fabulous!  I had the mangrove snapper and Lash had the beef waygu, and I would seriously go back again in a heart beat.

That Friday we had a ugly Christmas sweater day at work.  I was exhausted from a little too much celebrating the night before but that didn't hinder my creativity in grabbing our Christmas tree skirt to flaunt as my decor.  

That night Lash and I met some med school friends for more celebrating and a fun Pearlz treat, oyster shooters!

Saturday Blanche came down for a girls night and we celebrated Anna and Chett's engagement at an oyster roast on Wadmalaw.  It was a blast!!  Anna has a great recap and tons more pictures on her blog.

After a brunch at Triangle, I had a productive day around the house and Anna and I shopped a little on King. 

Speaking of shopping... I work out on Sam Rittenberg and Orleans Road, one block from the Citadel Mall. This has been the traffic from the mall.  It is ridiculous. So ridiculous.  I'm not leaving anymore during lunch because the traffic is so bad, I couldn't even make it anywhere within my hour if I tried.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Card 2011

Wishing you peace, love, and joy this season!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

About Me

Today I am linking up with Style Me Swanky with today's post.  Hi to all you new subscribers and followers- thanks for following along Oh, The Places We'll Go!!

1. What time did you get up this morning? 
I usually am up around 7.  Seeing that clock at 7am seems so much more tolerable than 6am.

2. How do you like your steak?
I don't cook a lot of red meat, but I do love a good steak every now and then.  I like mine medium- rare to medium.

3. What was the last movie you saw in the theater?
The Help, and I cried my way through it.  A good cry.  Before that, the last movie I saw was the Blind Side. I don't make it to the theaters very often, and am not a big movie person.

4. What is your favorite TV show(s)?
Modern Family and Next Iron Chef.  Speaking of (!!), Geoffrey Zakarian and Michael Symon totally tweeted me back earlier this week! I tweeted something cheesy about how much fun it was to watch NIC with the camaradie and respect amongst all of the competitors and I can't believe they responded. #swoon #starstruck .  Here's Zarakians!

5. What did you have for breakfast?
I eat the same thing every morning for breakfast... Kashi Go Lean with berries and a cup of coffee. Boring, but easy.  I'm typically not very hungry in the morning.

6. Do you wear glasses or contacts?
Neither!  Though I think I've starting noticing my depth perception is horrible and I may need to take the glass plunge soon.

7. Where is your favorite place to eat?
Um, anywhere in Charleston.  I love Cypress and Trattoria Lucca for special occasions.   We are going to 82 Queen tonight to celebrate the end of the semester and I'm excited to try it.  FIG is next on my bucket list.

8. What kind of vehicle do you drive?
I actually just got some new wheels earlier this fall! I laid my beloved Jeep Grand Cherokee to rest after 10 years and 190,000 miles and have upgraded to a Volvo XC90!

9. What are your favorite clothes this season?
Very, very much into blouses. This was an early Christmas present when we were in NY and I am obsessed.

10. Where would you want to retire?
Anywhere coastal South Carolina. Our families are here and I just love the Lowcountry.

11. What is your desktop photo?
A wedding photo, of course.

12. What is your favorite sport to watch?
Gamecock Football!

13. How many siblings?
One fabulous little sister.. We are 2 1/2 years apart and very close.  And I guess technically I now have twin sister-in-laws, too :)

14. Favorite pastime/ hobby?
Being with friends and family, cooking, blogging, and of course playing games

15. Are you a morning or night person?
Morning 100%.  The wheel falls of the wagon and Cinderella turns into a pumpkin about 9:30.

16. Do you have any pets?
Not yet..... BUT we are scheduled to have the "dog talk" soon.  I think a puppy for my 25 birthday this February sounds like a perfect gift to me. I would love a golden cocker retriever, but they come with quite a hefty price tag.
17. What is your favorite color?
Blue blue blue blue blue. Love it.

18. Any pet peeves?
Ha.  I have a tendency to be quite neuratic so yes, I do have some pet peeves.

19. Favorite flower?
Hydragenas or tulips.  Hint, hint, honey!

20. How many times did you fail your driving test?
This is embarassing. I failed the written portion the first time I took it on my 15th birthday.  Who knew that a flashing red light meant you had to stop?!?  I was so embarassed I had a breakdown in the DMV.  My parents took pity on me and let me tell all my friends that I couldn't get my license because I forgot to take my social security card. I went back the next day ("with my card"/ after studying all night) and passed.  Haha!!

Tell me about you!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What's Cooking

I got off my lazy bones and actually used my camera instead of my phone.  What a difference it makes!!  Here's what's been cooking in our neck of the woods lately.

Barbeque Pizza

Packaged baboli crust + Trader Joe's Pulled Pork + quickly sauted onions and mushrooms + pre- shredded cheese = easy week night meal!  I assembled the cast of characters, and baked at 425 for probably 15 minutes until the cheese was bubbly.  This was a fun change of pace from our average pizza.  For that reason, I liked it, but it wouldn't be my go-to every pizza night.  I'm on a white pizza with arugula kick these days!

Ranch Panko Chicken

Same old song, but it's a fail safe.  Have I told you about the roasted tomatoes?  Even if so, they are worth repeating.  They are a hit every time!

Roasted Tomatoes:
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 (approx) T EVOO
1 (approx) T balsamic
dash of sugar (if out of season)
salt and pepper

Roast 425 for 15 minutes until the tomatoes start to caramelize and burst.  

When I was getting the panko out of the pantry, I knocked over my brand new bottle of truffle oil onto our tile kitchen floor and the top shattered, spewing the beloved contents alllll over the floor.   What an expensive mistake!! :( As you can see, Lash was a good spot helping me clean up but I had to mop twice to get the truffle oil smell out.

Butternut Squash Risotto with Roasted Green Beans

Y'all.  This deserves a post on its own.  I was home alone (duh, its test week), and wanted a comforting classic. This was so good I was literally saying OMG out loud ... to myself.  Please, try this.  And don't skimp on the lemon and lemon zest, it makes it.

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto:
2 pieces bacon, chopped
1 shallot, diced
1/2 c arborio rice
1/2 c white wine
3-4 cups chicken stock, simmering
1/2 c parmesan, parmesan reggiano, or pecorino cheese
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
roasted butternut squash*

 In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon until crisp and remove with a shallotted spoon.  Add the shallots to the pan and saute until translucent about a minute or two.    Add the rice and stir, cooking a few minutes until it barely is toasted and glossy. 

Pour in the wine and stir of medium to medium low heat until the wine is nearly all absorbed.  Add about a cup of the stir and stir continously until the stock is almost absorbed.  Add another cup of broth, continuing the process, until the rice is tender and creamy, about 25 minutes.  Stir in the squash, lemon zest, cheese.  Top with crumbled bacon.

*To roast the butternut squash, peel, seed, and dice into 1 inch chucnks.  Roast on a sheet pan with 3 tablespoons EVOO, 1 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and a pinch of thyme (optional) at 400 for 25-30 minutes until the squash is tender, turning once.

*Deal with the squash first, and start the risotto once its in the oven.  They will finish around the same time.  I put about half of the roasted butternut squash in the risotto and left half in my fridge for another use.

Look at this beauty after several hours in the oven, and you better believe our house smelled divine!! I love doing this kind of slow and low cooking on Sundays.  It makes the week so easy.  Lash has been taking this to the library for dinner over cilantro lime rice with corn salsa, and I plan on making tacos with avocado, sour cream, and salsa.  I cooked a 3 lb boston butt, and we'll eat what we can and freeze the rest for a rainy day.

What's been cooking in your kitchen lately?  Anything special I need to try?? I'm always looking for fun things!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday Rigor and Weekending

So another entire week has gone by and no blog post from me.  It has got to be a sign of the holiday rigor.

I'm working off of day 7 straight with evening plans... and with the exception of tomorrow night, the fun (insanity?) continues for 4 more.  I do have to stop and be thankful though for the full calendar. Lash is in the midst of test week... and thankfully, the final test week until February 2012.

On Thursday, we will reunite for many celebrations- surviving the first semester of med school married, 6 months of wedded bliss, a three week break for him, an upcoming Caribbean vacation, and of course, the Christmas spirit.  To say I am excited is an understatement.  Thursday night has a big red circle on my calendar.

While he's been in the library, I've been trying to avoid being a desperate housewife- meeting up with girlfriends, wrapping Christmas presents, and decorating!  Friday night, I joined some college friends for dinner and a white elephant gift exchange

but I called it an early night so I could jet up to Murrells Inlet again to hang out with sweet baby Elle, her parents, and Concetta!

I love this baby!

And this adorable little family!

Although our visit was brief, it was so wonderful and I just can't wait to watch sweet Elle grow up!  How cute is this stork?  And momma Tippins looks amazing!!

Once I made it back to Charleston (by the way, Mt Pleasant construction and traffic is miz), I did a really quick turn around to get ready for a holiday party with Anna.  We all had a great time getting fancy and ringing in the season.

I got a lot of grief that night because Lash was in the library at MUSC so when he finished for the night, he came by (2 blocks over) and picked me up at 10:30.  Yes, I was the married loser who went home pretty early, but I'm okay with it ... I got a good night's sleep :) made it to church in the morning and had a super productive Sunday.

What's been going on in your world lately? Are you involved with a ton of fun holiday events? Even though I've been a little MIA myself, I'm still keeping up with you :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

What's Cooking

This "What's Cooking" is actually from last week but I never got around to posting it.  After two weeks of travel and chaos, I was a happy girl being back in the kitchen!  These were some serious hits this week... Lash told me that my report card was an "A."  I'll take it!

Note to self:  I have got to stop being lazy and taking crappy camera phone pictures.  This week seals the deal.

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Duck with Corn Pie and Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms

Lash manned the grill on this one but he marinated the duck in a teriyaki marinade, stuffed it with apricot jam, a slice of a jalapeno and a sliver of monterrey jack cheese, wrapped in bacon, and grilled it. Random combination, I know, but it is good... even for someone who hasn't eaten a lot of duck in her life (me)!  The corn pie is a comfort at its finest for me (notice I did not use the pie crust from my linked recipe), and the roasted green beans are phenomenal.  Try them!

Beef with Broccolli and Pineapple

This is chinese take out flavor from home!  I can't wait to try this with chicken.  Sometimes I don't like to color in the lines so I obviously subbed asparagus and onions for the broccoli.  We were trying to cut back this week and thus, didn't eat it over rice, but I was happy to have the sweet pineapple to cut the saltiness of the sauce.  Next time, I will definitely use low- sodium soy.

Skinny Chicken Parmesan with Sauteed Zucchini

Yum!!!  I have a hard time picking a favorite from this week but if I had to walk the plank, I think this was it.  The chicken is butterflied, dipped in butter, and dredged in breadcrumbs, parmesan, and italian seasonings, baked, and topped with marinara and mozzarella.  Coming together in about 30 minutes, this is an easy throw together after coming in from the gym or extracurriculars.  You will not believe it is "skinny!"

Spicy Shrimp Bake with Roasted Cauliflower and a Baguette

So we threw the "cut back the carbs at night" stance out the window with the baguette with this meal, but the broth in the spicy shrimp bake beckons to be dipped in.  It has so much flavor and again is such an easy week night meal.  The blog I got it from raves that this is her favorite way of cooking shrimp. I can't say that, but it was very tasty!

What's been cooking in your kitchen?

P.S. Follow me on Pinterest for my latest culinary inspiration!

Big Shrimpin' and Weekending

Friday night, we had our office Christmas party.  You are probably thinking of a fancy steakhouse dinner, blue blazers, stilettos and a maybe a festive sequin or two, right?

Nope, not us.

We had our party on a shrimp boat!!

A real shrimp boat...  Not a P Diddy yacht with tuxedos and champagne.  
I had never been on a shrimp boat before, and though it was a little chilly, we had a great time!

The crew fixed us a lowcountry special, frogmore stew, and we rode all about the harbor, downtown, and under the bridge!  It was GORGEOUS.

Saturday, Lash and I headed to Laurel Spring for an afternoon quail hunt.  As cold as it was Friday night, it was a beautiful, perfect afternoon Saturday and we both we thrilled to spend the afternoon outdoors.  

Sunday, we played hookie from church and went to Myrtle Beach to see the Springs and meet baby Elle!!  It was such a great visit and just filled my heart to see family and friends.  I can't believe Tippins has a baby.  It seems just yesterday we were in New Orleans for her wedding!!

On our way through Mount Pleasant, we stopped at Tropical Sushi to use our Groupon.  The gyoza, soup, and salad were nothing special at all but the sushi was pretty good.  I think my favorite sushi spot in Charleston is still at Zen in West Ashley.  Charlestonians, where is your favorite sushi spot?

To end the weekend, we are curled up watching a favorite, Next Iron Chef.  I can't get enough of this show!!!

How was your weekend?  Do anything fun?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot

like Christmas!

Our first tree :)
What charm and cheer this adds to our little home!

Baby Elle

Wishing a happiest birthday to baby Eloise ("Elle") Tippins Gandy, born yesterday at 8:00 pm weighing 5 pounds, 13 ounces, and 19 inches long!!

Lash and I drove to Myrtle Beach this afternoon to meet her, and momma, daddy, and baby are doing excellent!!

What a tremendous blessing and gift of life!  We love her already, Wilson and Tippins, and are thrilled for your new addition!