Monday, April 25, 2011

Take the High Road


I have learned a lot being in a service industry.

It goes without saying that people don't call you to tell you how great of a job you are doing or just to check in...  most call because they are confused or upset.  In the high net worth space, things can be especially ratcheted up a notch. There are high needs and high stakes.

Everyday, I am thankful for this exposure. It is character building.  I am learning how to handle difficult situations.  To take a deep breath and maintain my composure.

Jesus said, "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." Luke 6:27-28

As hard as it is, it's always better to take the high road.


Source: None via Shilpa on Pinterest

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Introducing our first home!!


It was terrible, terrible weather when I went to snap these pictures today, but not even hail, lightning, and thundering rain could contain my excitement!  We are renting the duplex on the right.  The one on the left is available if anyone wants to be our hiddy-ho neighbor.

I am a little bit embarrassed to post my super, super fancy drawing of our home lay out, but in favor of visual learners such as myself, here we go.  Small disclaimer: SOOO not to scale.

First floor:


Second Floor:


Now that you can get your bearings, let's begin the grand tour!

Living room from front door.

Dining room from living room and vice versa. I love the character of the built- ins!

Modern-ish kitchen {swoon} looking into mudroom. 

No pics of patio/ backyard, weather was terrible. I also didn't get the half bath downstairs. Next time...

Master BR

Guest BR/ Lash's study

Bath. I oddly kind of like this purplish- gray. Very much not me, but certainly interesting.

I can't wait to move in and make it feel like our own home!

Thoughts on Thursday

- TGI(A)F!  I am looking forward to spending time with my family this weekend for Easter. 

- This week has been long, long, long.... but each week night has gone by so fast.  An interesting contradiction.  A whirlwind of work, exercising, writing thank you notes, cooking dinner, and packing that bears of striking resemblance to lather, rinse, repeat.

- Though I should be trying to empty my pantry prior to moving, I could not pass up the couponing deals this week at Publix.  Highlights: 67c kraft shredded cheese, 75c bertolli marinara sauce, 15c planters cashews, free organic girl spinach (with an Earthfare coupon), and $1.99 blackberries (with a Food Lion coupon).  I spent $19.27, saved $39.02. Woo hoo!

- I'm headed over to our new house tonight to snap some pictures.  I can't wait to share our progress with you!!!

- Crazy to think in the next month, I'll have a new address and new last name.

- I think I'm going to keep up with the new trend here and give my blog a little update.  Do you have any recommendation for blog designers?  I want something classic, yet sophisticated and elegant.

- I'm so excited to see some new followers! This little blog is a true passion for me, and I am thrilled you are here for my journey.  Thanks for stopping by and letting me know who you are! :)

Enjoy your Thursday!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Lemon Ricotta Blackberry Muffins 


Just because its Tuesday... and just because today was a long, unremarkable day... I decided to bake.

I'm so glad I did!  The moisture from the ricotta, zing from the lemon, and sweetness of the sugar and blackberries come together in perfect harmony in this recipe.  They were wonderful!  You can find the recipe here by Two Peas and Their Pod

Feeling spontaneous, I surprised Lash with this little sercy and a glass of milk at the MUSC library tonight.  We sat in the car, chatting about our days and indulging... It was a great way to end the day.  A fun memory that already makes me smile.

Here's to tomorrow being Wednesday-- we're halfway there!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Planning the Move

I am getting so excited about moving into our first home!   I officially get the keys Friday afternoon, and though my big moving day won't be until the following Saturday, I do plan on being over there a lot next week to clean, snap some photos, and explore.  I can't wait to share the process with y'all!

Can I tell you how much I love Young House Love??  I am dying to have a gallery wall like theirs.  Unfortunately, I don't think our wall space will really work for one, especially one of that magnitude but  I am drooling.  Isn't is beautiful?? I love the personality and memories of all the photos, the white frames against the grayish blue walls, even the contrast against the dark heavy table.

This weekend, my awesome dad and future father in law tackled the DIY project of recovering eight dining room chairs for us my mom picked up at a consignment store.  I wish I had taken a photo of the chairs before. It's amazing what a new swatch of fabric and a coat of oil can do.


I love the fabric!!

My vision and inspiration for the dining room revolved around this favorite piece of mine. I love the odd color and textured look.  Unfortunately, the only picture I have is when it was decorated two years ago for Christmas, but you can get the idea.

We're still finalizing the details of the living room and master bedroom. The guest bedroom is all set, and sure to be a favorite of the house. I will certainly share pictures when we get it all put together!  It has been so much fun to plan our first house!

But, let me tell you, working out the transfer of services, utilities, and cable is the biggest pain in the rear.  Riddle me this--- why in the world it is cheaper for me to create a new account with Comcast than it is to transfer my current service to a new address? What happened to customer loyalty??

Friday, April 15, 2011

TGIF

Happy Friday, everyone!  I hope everyone has a fun weekend planned!! It feels like this week has creeeeeeped by.

Tonight, Lash and I are heading to the Charleston Riverdogs' opening night with Anna and Chett.  The company I work for is a corporate sponsor of the team, and we get amazing seats on the first row behind homeplate!  The games are always a lot of fun, and I'm really looking forward to it!


Saturday, we are heading to Beaufort for a small engagement party in our honor...  In addition to celebrating, it's going to be great to have our parents together to finalize some last minute wedding details and get everything situated for our big move. 

I can't believe in the next week or so I will move into our first house, and then in the next month or so, we will be Mr. and Mrs.!  This engagement has FLOWN by.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

F21 Cuties!

Considering my post yesterday was almost entirely about my hair {insert yawn}, let's switch it up a little bit....

Look at these steals I just ordered from Forever 21!!

Erica Ruffle Dress, $14.80

Bali Print Skirt, $15.80

I can't wait for them to get here!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bridal Portait

I had my bridal portrait on Friday at Laurel Spring Plantation, where we will be having our reception.  I had my eye on snagging a picturesque moment with the natural beauty of the Lowcountry, aside from traditional studio shots.  Thankfully, the Lord blessed up with a beautiful day and delightful temperature... and it was a perfect day to conquer the task at hand.


I cannot say enough good things about my photographer, John Wrightenberry of Columbia. He is so talented!!  We've used him often with debutante balls and other family weddings, and I have to say using a photographer you are familiar with offers incredible advantages- they know you, what you like, and you know them, how they work, and what to expect.  Our shoot was effortless, and the photos he showed me from his LCD screen were amazing.  I cannot wait to see his work on a full screen and edited.

What a surreal feeling to have the dress and veil on with full hair and make up!  A true trial run and preview for the day!  I wish to death I could post pictures and previews of it, but I just cannot spoil the surprise.  Lash knows nothing of how my dress looks and I fully intend to keep it that way.

Speaking of hair, when we got engaged, my hair was this length:

Above is the longest my hair has been in 4 years, and in a moment of absolute insanity panic, I freaked out and chopped it all off.  Long hair isn't me.  I love, love, love short hair.  Everyone encouraged me against it, including my beloved hair dresser who was furious when I told her my decision.  I had to bribe her to cut it and only then did she grudgingly agreed.... How short did I want it?  SHORT.


I just figured it would either grow before the wedding or I'd wear it short.

Days later when we picked the wedding date of May 28... REGRET.COM.  May 28? In South Carolina? Humidity central.... asking for a disaster.

Nine months later, thanks be and praise be for the little engine that could! The short bob is no mo'!

My hair dresser gave me a high five Friday morning after she pull this off:


Now granted, this is my hair 12+ hours after the do was originally done, but I am so excited I can pull it all back!

Brides to be: don't do what I did.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Some of my favorite blogs do a weekly post on what's cooking in their kitchen.  After several weeks or reading, I want to join in on the fun!  Here's what being thrown down in my kitchen this week.

Sunday:  Honey Teriyaki Grilled Chicken marinaded in this favorite, parmesan green beans, and corn pie

After the gluttony of the bachelorette weekend, I was dying for some grilled chicken and a lighter fare.... I think grilled chicken with veggies is my go-to recovery meal.  And let me tell you, you have to try the Jack Daniel's marinade.  Throw the meat and veggies in, let it soak, and then throw the bag away when you are through.  Plus the flavor is incredible!  I will post the green beans and corn pie recipes at a later date- they are on my rotations!

Monday:  Skinny Taste Chicken Divan with roasted cherry tomatoes

I've posted this recipe before.  I love it!  I made it this time with white wine instead of sherry, and it really made a tremendous difference.  I think the sherry is a little too overwhelming in the dish so I would recommend that substitution... and I also used a touch of heavy cream I had leftover in my fridge. Skinny taste, oops.... As for the tomatoes, roast a pint of them drizzled with EVOO, balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of sugar at 400' for about 15 minutes until they caramalize and begin to burst.  Another weekly favorite veggie.



Tuesday:  Homemade Ravioli with zucchini

Lash and I made potstickers last week {so yummy but another post in itself} and I had enough wonton wrappers left over for one night of creativity.  Thanks to one of my new favorite cooking blogs, Beth's Journal, I discovered you can also use the wrappers for raviolis!  I adopted Beth's recipe to what I had on hand- i.e. left out spinach and adjusted the cheeses to what was in the fridge- and it was pretty good.  A pretty quick and filling treat on a Tuesday night after coming home from the gym!  The zucchini is just sauted in EVOO. True confession: I ate an entire zucchini tonight. Woof.


Wednesday: Wasabi and Panko Encrusted Pork with Quinoa and Edamame

This is one of my favorite all time Cooking Light recipes.  I've been making it consistently since I've been in Charleston.  The flavor truly is outstanding, and light... which is shocking!  I'm going to cook the quinoa in chicken stock and saute the edamame quickly in ginger and maybe a splash of orange or lemon juice.  TBA.


Thursday: Skinny Taste Crock Pot Sante Fe Chicken

Chicken breasts have been on sale at Publix this week for an unbeatable $1.99/ lb so I'm surely going to OD on chicken soon.  But I stumbled upon this recipe, and maybe I'm already excited about cinco de drinko but the Mexican palate has caught my eye lately.  The reviews have been pretty encouraging, so I'm looking forward to trying this recipe.  I mean, it is one of the most popular ones from the blog, so it's got to be good, right??


Anyways, that's all folks.

What's going on in your kitchen this week??

Girls Weekend at DeBordieu

We had the BEST weekend at DeBordieu, filled with as much joy and laughter as I have ever experienced in my entire life. 

I'm not kidding when I tell you we laughed the entire weekend.  The giddy, grab your stomach because its cramping, ouch your cheeks are hurting, and a steady stream of tears rolling down your face kind of laughter.  Though we certainly didn't get much sleep over the weekend, I can back more rested and rejuvented than I have been all spring after a weekend with my best friends.  My heart is happy.



Anna, our resident photographer, posted a little tidbit about the weekend here, in addition to a link to her online photo album. 

Saturday afternoon, while we sat on the deck of my grandfather's house bundled in towels and blankets because it was freezing, I looked around the circle and realized I could not be more content. 

I am blessed with the best set of girlfriends one could ask for.

Each of them has made such an incredible impact on my life, and I could not imagine standing up at the altar of the church without them.  I cherish the memories we've made, and look forward to the memories we will continue to make for the rest of our lives. It was a special weekend I will never forget.


I have some photos of my camera I have yet to upload.  It's on the agenda... along with thank you notes, packing, moving, wedding plans, details, junior league, the gym.... the list goes on and on.  Be back soon when I come up for air!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cheers!



We're off to DeBordieu for a girly weekend filled with lots of fun, laughters, and love.

May you have a wonderful weekend also!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Things that are exciting . . .

4/5/11

- I just bought milk that expires AFTER we get back from our wedding and honeymoon bliss.
  • Hooray for the proximity of May 28!!! 
  • Milk is the only thing I am a nazi about buying organic... I can't drink enough 'regular' milk before it goes bad.
- I am taking off this Friday for my bridal portrait, and then heading to DeBordieu for my bachelorette weekend!!
  • Employee of the year, here . . . 
  • Taking off 13 of my 16 annual vacation days....... prior to June 3.
  • Hey, you only get married once, right ???
  • Importantly, if you are sick after June 3, don't call, don't text, don't write. I can't afford your germs.
- I just had my final dress fitting in preparation for the portrait. The dress is more perfect that I ever could have imagined.
  • I can't wait to see Lash's face when the church doors open, and he sees me for the first time!!
  • 53 days to go!!

Rainy Day Blues

It was nearly impossible to get out of bed this morning with this current forecast outside:


Today would be the perfect day to bundle up in sweats on the couch, and just read and watch movies....  I'll be dreaming :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Keys 2011: The Last Lap

We are wrapping up a fabulous vacation.

My mom and sister left today, but my dad and I were not quite ready to go.  I had one more bronzing session left before resigning myself back to the office cubicle and dad had one more fish to catch.  We called it even and spent the day appeasing our own desires.


To recap the other adventures of our vacay, the mornings began leisurely with coffee on the porch followed by conquering the 7 mile bridge (it is no longer 7 miles, just 4.4), and our afternoons spent poolside.  The winds have been blowing pretty consistently and the seas rough so we have no fish stories to report.

On Wednesday night, we took the boat over to Lazy Days for a sunset dinner. 



If you are ever in Islamorada or Marathon, Lazy Days is a must!  They have a restaurant in both locations.  Their yellow tail served lazy days style is my absolute favorite- it is snapper encrusted with panko crumbs pan sauteed and served with diced tomatoes, sliced scallions, shredded parmensan and their famous Key Lime butter sauce.  Amazing.  I am dying to figure out how to recreate it at home.

Thursday night, we headed back on the boat to the Keys Fishery to snag some more of their dynamite sushi.  I have yet to find a fabulous sushi restaurant in Charleston so I was certainly happy to go back again.





Sorry for rubbing the sunshine and R&R in, but at this season of life, it was much needed.  

The calm before the storm.