Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

Hope you all had a nice weekend.  Back to the grind today. 

On Friday night it was storming pretty badly but around 9:15pm we decided last minute to walk to the Josh Turner concert.  We were being so indecisive all night about going because it was rainy and we just wanted to stay in and chill.  But I couldn't not go to a free Josh Turner concert 3 blocks from my house.  Let's be honest here haha!

We didn't stay the whole time because we were toast from the week and because of sooo many drunk high schoolers.  Seriously why weren't they at home?  They shouldn't be out galavanting the streets of downtown Charlotte AND drinking nonetheless.  I was not pleased with Charlotte's police crowd for not patrolling the crowd better.  Anyway, J.Turner put on a great show (what we could hear of it!). 

He's sooo cute!  It was held at the Nascar Hall of Fame (same place as Gary Allan last week). 

On Saturday I went to the pool for most of the day and Kevin came down for a bit too.  We got cleaned up and decided to escape downtown and the Speed Street festivities.  We jumped on the train and went out to South End.  We've been wanting to do this awhile so we finally did -- with Dave and Jenn - our great friends from the building.  We went to Big Ben, Tyber Creek (saw my friend Kyle and his girl), The Liberty (best mussels and soft pretzels ever) and ended at Vinnie's.  So much fun and we loved doing something different.

On Sunday we headed out to Southpark for a brunch but the place ended up being closed so we stopped at Mellow Mushroom on Selwyn.  We drove through some neighborhoods on the way back home. 

That afternnoon we cruised out to the Elizabeth area for a block party at Jackalope Jacks, P-Stone and Kennedy's.  It was a really nice day out so it made for a fabulous day to hang out outside and listen to some cool bands.  Yeah so nice that we were there for TEN HOURS!!!!  We got back to Ave after 1am!  We really did have fun with some of Kevin's high school buddies though!

Kevin and I at the last place - Kennedy's.  My hair and appearance has seen better days my friends.  It had been a very long day.
Yesterday I was up and at 'em to make use of my last day off.  I made the Skinny Taste Potato Salad - yummm...then spent the day at the pool.  We grilled out with some neighbors last night and headed up to watch The Bachelorette. 

Great weekend but I needed oneeeee more day to recover!  How about you all?  What was your highlight?

Friday, May 27, 2011

A.Liz and Speed Street

Today is the start of A.Liz's (April's) wedding weekend!

Everyone go wish her a happy weekend full of amazing memories and good times!  She put her wedding inspiration photos up this week so you'll enjoy seeing those too!

Won't she be a gorgeous bride?!

Last night, Tara, Emily and Lauren came over to my house and we grilled some hot dogs on our 10th floor deck.  We hung out and then walked over to Speed Street.  This is the festival that NASCAR/Charlotte throws for when the race is in town.  They have bands lined up and a big street festival.  It lasts for Thursday, Friday and Saturday before the big race on Sunday.

Needless to say, it brings out the classiest folks in the south!  Take for example this tattoo - "I'm magically delicious"  Seriously?!!!!!  Oh my. 
Anyway, we were all ready to hear Pat Green but at the last second (even after sound checks) they canceled it and told everyone to go home immediately.  Evidently a tornado had touched down about 30 minutes west of Charlotte.  We went to Molly's then to my place and had a lil tornado party!  Some others met us at my hosue so we had a big time.

Tonight is the Josh Turner concert and I'm really excited about this one.  I just think Josh is hot.hot.hot.  A good ole country boy!  Don't worry, Kevin knows that he's my other boyfriend! ;)
Hope yall have a fabulous Memorial Day weekend and be safe if you're traveling!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Yum Salad

It's basically already summer in Charlotte.  We've had mid-90's days every day this week.  Brutal my friends.  I don't know about yall but my menu changes based on the weather.  Winter you want more comfort foods, summer you want all cold foods and fresh things.  I live at the Farmer's Market in the summer.  Love it.

Monday night this week, I went to our common area floor (10th) and pretended I knew how to work the grill.  Yall had never even turned this thing on before.  Don't get me wrong - we grill out a ton but Kevin or one of our neighbors turns it on.  Yall - I got the grill on with no help!  Haha!!

I had marinated some chicken the night before (bbq for me, spicy buffalo for Kevin).  Actually let me clarify Kevin's - buffalo rub with tabasco sauce - GROSS!  He likes it soooo spicy.

Anyway, I grilled our chicken and went back up to my condo and fixed the rest of the salad.

I chopped some romaine lettuce (from Trader Joe's of course) and added shredded carrots, sliced almonds, sprouts, grape tomatoes, a little goat cheese and cucumber.  I put some fresh cracked pepper on, added the sliced chicken and of course used our new favorite Ranch dressing from Trader Joe's (it's the good ranch and only 30 calories for 2 tablespoons). 

This was a tasty salad.  It was a quick weeknight meal, I made an extra chicken breast so we each had lunch tomorrow and it was healthy!  Can't beat all that!

Remember back in March when I asked you all to share your favorite salads?  You may want to look back because lots of yall wrote about yours.  There are some great ones for sure!  Please add some more on this post!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Randoms and Date Night

I have a question - why do people hang clothes in their car on the back right hook?  Do they not realize it prohibits them from checking their blind spot?  Put them on your back left side instead and you won't have a problem!  I've noticed so many people doing it lately and it is driving me nuts!

Today at lunch I'm going over to Marshall's to see if I can find any gems in a haystack!  Love bargain hunting.  Kevin needs some new khaki's and khaki shorts.  Hopefully I can find some for him!

Last night I came home and Kevin had dinner already made.  Hello amazing.  I love when he works from home and has extra time.  It makes coming home from work so easy when I don't have to run in the kitchen and cook.

He decided we'd have a impromptu date night!  We had a glass of wine on the balcony/with dinner.  Then we headed to a new place called Prohibition and sat out on their patio overlooking 5th and Tryon.  We enjoyed checking out a new place.  We're really trying to take advantage of living downtown where we can walk to a ton of places.

Then we headed to Ri Ra's and sat on their rooftop patio.  If you look really closely, you can see a clover on top of the beer.  I've never been served a Guinness like this so it was really cool!
Fun fact - on the way to Ri Ra, we saw Dee's hubby walking to meet her.  He had been at Ri Ra too.

It was fun to get out a little and break up the week!  Do you all ever do stuff like this?   

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

VANELi Shoes

I've been preaching to my girlfriends about VANELi shoes for months now so it's about time I share them with you!

Awhile ago I was in a local boutique called Monkees and they were having a killer sale.  I tried these on and they were simply perfect for work.  Classic, not too high and comfortable. 

Of course I ended up buying them - they were almost 75% off!  Yall - right out of the box, I wore them all day long. 
I've mostly seen these at small boutiques but Zappos has them on their website

When you see these next, be sure to try them on!  You won't regret!

What are your favorite kind of classic work heels?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Beach Weekend

So who's excited for the premiere of The Bachelorette tonight???????  I've been counting down since Brad gave Emily the rose!  Afterall, following the bachelor/bachelorette folks is the initial reason I joined twitter!  :)  I know, I'm crazy!

And PS - J. Crew is having a great sale today - 30% off sale items plus free shipping over $100.  I always order over $100 and take back what I don't want to the store.  Just confirm it isn't final sale! 

We had a wonderful time at North Myrtle Beach, SC with Kevin's family this past weekend.  Kevin and I drove down early Friday morning and joined them.  We hung out on the beach for a little while that afternoon and then got ready for dinner at Abuelo's.  It was a pretty good mexican place but ladies - these portions were enormous!!!  Look at Kevin's!

Needless to say, we needed to do some walking at the mall!  Brittany and I...

After walking around the mall - here are all of us!  L to R - Brittany, Joe, me, Kevin, Mr. G. and Mrs. G.

On Saturday Anna Kate and Emily were sweet enough to drive up from Pawley's Island.  It was SO much fun getting to hang out with them all day.  Here's my girl.  She's definitely from our family - sticks her tongue out when concentrating!  Kevin often laughs at me while I do that in the kitchen trying to figure out a recipe. 

She is simply a gem.  I love being an Aunt!

This is bathing suit #3 of the day.  Unfortunately I didn't capture #1 but it was pink and had a tutu on it! ;)

Seriously can she get any cuter?

Kevin walked his Mom up to the room and came back with a shower cap to give to Anna Kate to play with at the pool.  I have no clue where he came up with that but she loved it.

This was when we were heading out.  She had her swim cover up on...totally in style.

Thank you to Emily for yall coming up to visit us.  It made my day!  Wish we could have seen my brother too but he was selling a boat.  He said someone had to work for their family!!  ;)

We had so much fun!  I just want to see her every day.  I hate living so far away!

That night, we got cleaned up and headed to dinner and the Carolina Opry.  We had front and center tickets and boy it was a show!  They played lots of country and gospel music and had amazing talent, both singers and dancers!

Kevin's brother and SIL.

The six of us outside the show!
Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. G. for a special weekend at the beach!  We had the best time!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Travel and Stressed? Here's my advice...

My top 5 pieces of advice on how to not get stressed when you travel for work during the week and for fun on the weekends or just a lot of travel in general:

1.  Plan ahead with regard to cards, gifts and errands.  Make sure you get all of those done the month or two prior to when you know you're going to be traveling a lot.  I use my lunch time to run lots of errands.  One tip my Mom does is she fills out all of her cards to mail that month and puts the date on the top right corner of the envelope then when it's ready to mail she puts a stamp over the date and out it goes.  I order all of my gifts months in advance so there is plenty of time for them to get here and I have time to get them to the person. 

2.  Don't pack until the day of for work.  It makes me feel like I'm not leaving until right before I drive to the airport.  If I pack the night before, it makes me feel like I'm leaving then and the trip has already started.  Also, when you get home...unpack right away.  That way nothing is lingering around your home and you already feel back to normal.   

3.  Keep all of your liquids packed in a quart sized bag all the time.  Since I fly most every week and sometimes twice a week, I keep everything mostly packed.  I take the usual stuff everywhere then when we travel for fun, I add in some things.  Keep things like a toothbrush, lint roller and deo in your suitcase so it's always there and you don't have to remember to pack it. 

4.  Pack all black or all brown outfits.  Bring things that all match so you don't have to bring 10 pairs of shoes.  I also bring a standard black or brown and white cardigan wherever I go.  They are great to thrown on when necessary and always complete an outfit.

J. Crew Jackie Cardigan - essential to life.

5.  Pack certain outfits for each thing you're doing while on your trip.  That way, it is easy peasy when you're out of town to figure out what to wear that day.  The hard part is already over, you've already decided when you packed.  Also, it eliminates bringing way too many things.  Of course don't forget to pack extra underwear and I typically always bring an extra shirt that is versatile (AKA, can dress up or down).
J. Crew Silk Casbah Blouse

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Gary Allan Concert

Last night Kevin and I walked over to the Nascar Hall of Fame because they were putting on a free concert in uptown Charlotte.  It was a gorgeous Carolina evening - not too warm, not too cold. 

And helloooooo Gary Allan.

Gary played for about an hour and a half after Josh Kelley.  We didn't get to see Josh because by the time we got home from work, had dinner and walked over there, it was close to 8:45pm which is when Gary started. 

Gary hasn't had an easy life - he and his wife (between them) had 6 children and his wife ended up commiting suicide.  So sad. 

He performed an outstanding concert last night and hope he enjoyed Charlotte.  It was hilarious, he was literally taking shots of Jack Daniels straight out of the bottle.  Then he'd pass it around his band.  They all seemed like great guys and just out to have a laid back, good time. 

And yall - on his last couple songs, his dog came out on stage.  How cool is that?!  You can see him up on the platform under the E. 

Kevin and I met some great folks down there and one of the guys is a singer/songwriter and invited us out to Nashville for the music fest in early June.  Kevin explained to him that he's always wanted to take me (woohoo, I didn't know that til last night!) because I love Nashville, country and live music.  So maybe we'll go this year?  If not, definitely next year! 
Anyway, we had a great time hanging out and listening to some good ole country music!

Tomorrow we're heading to the beach so I'm going to hopefully put up my travel tips.  ;)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cute Pic and Healthy Recipe - Zesty Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad

Isn't this picture of my niece Anna Kate so adorable?  Nothing like posing on the back of Daddy's pick-up truck!  This girl is going to break some hearts one day!!!

Past couple nights I've tried some new, healthy recipes and I just had to share this one.  It's amazing.  This is my picture but I'm going to put the one from Gina's Skinny Taste too because hers looks so much better.  I made some alterations to the recipe so I'll note those below too.  If you haven't used Gina's Skinny Recipes website yet, you're missing out!

Zesty Lime Shrimp and Avocado SaladGina's Weight Watcher Recipes Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 7/8 cup • Old Points: 4 pt • Points+: 5 pt
Calories: 210.4 • Fat: 9.2 g • Protein: 25.1 g • Carb: 7.8 g • Fiber: 3.6 g • Sugar: 0.6

Sodium without salt: 260.8 mg

  • 1 lb jumbo cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, chopped*
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 hass avocado, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced fine (I eliminated this)
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 limes, juice of
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • I added 3 fresh cloves of garlic
In a small bowl combine red onion, lime juice, garlic, olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper. Let them marinate at least 5 minutes to mellow the flavor of the onion.

In a large bowl combine chopped shrimp, avocado, tomato, jalapeƱo. Combine all the ingredients together, add cilantro and gently toss. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 3 1/2 cups

Super easy for a weeknight meal and healthy too!  Kevin wanted a lil something extra (umm yes - I should have done a side with this) so he added some of this to a whole wheat wrap.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

In the Pink - Boston's Lilly shop!

Thanks for yall's sweet comments on my Lilly Adelson shift for the wedding!  It was SO comfortable and I can wash it at home, instead of paying $15 to get it dry cleaned like I do most dresses I wear to weddings....woohoo!!

While we were in Boston on Newbury Street, it was essential to stop by "In the Pink" to check out some Lilly goodies!

Let me tell yall - those ladies were the sweetest ever and were so kind to even look up a pair of jeans I ordered from their big sale in March that I never got.  They completely went out of their way for me.

Best part of shopping in Massachusetts -- no sales tax!  Hello 8.25% savings!

I left with the Heather Tank in Worth Blue, Callahan Shorts in Poplin Printed, Lana Top Slub in Ginger Orange (peachy) and the Savana Shawl Cotton in White.

Lilly's tanks and tees are the most comfortable and flattering tees I own.  The shorts are going to be so fun for this summer.  I love the Lana top because it is a little different and has some pizazz on the sleeve. 

The cotton shawl is going to be great for the summer too because I don't know about yall but I go through some white cardigans.  And best part about this shawl is that it's cotton so I can wash it!  As you can tell, I'm all about things that don't have to be taken to the dry cleaners!  The price point is just right too.

I'm so excited to come away with these fabulous pieces and the ladies at In the Pink were so sweet.  Now I'll always remember I got these things on our trip to Boston.  So fun!  Don't yall love getting things on a trip and then you'll always remember when you got them?!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Long Weekend in Boston

We flew up to chilly Boston on Thursday afternoon with Kevin's parents for his cousin's wedding.  What a wonderful trip we had!

That afternoon we walked around the Quincy Market and over to the Long Wharf.  We had a late lunch/early dinner at Legal Seafood.  Afterwards we walked around the water (we were freezing and trying to stand in the sun the whole time!).

 Kevin's cute parents!

Thursday night Kevin's Aunt and Uncle (Sue and Jeff) flew in from Phoenix so we joined them at their hotel for dessert. 

Friday we walked around, had lunch, went to the Back Bay area and walked around then headed back to the hotel around 3ish to get ready for the Rehearsal dinner.  It was at Kevin's other uncle's home in West Newton, MA. 

Here we are with one of Kevin's cousins Brittany and her boy.  We had so much fun hanging out with Brittany and her sister Michaela.  They are so super sweet.  You'll see Michaela in some pictures below.

Kevin and I at the rehearsal dinner.  Their home was absolutely stunning - older, white home with a large yard, lots of history and an amazing back deck.  I was in love.

With Kevin's Aunt and Uncle from Phoenix and his parents.

Kevin's Mom, her sister Sue and her brother Larry who is the father of the bride!

I found out on Friday night that my best friend from being 5 years old was in town from Philly with her boyfriend Vlad.  They were visiting their friend Vinny in the Cambridge area.  So on Saturday Kevin and I went to Back Bay to meet them.  We had a wonderful lunch at Joe's.  We tried to go to Stephanies on the corner across the street but there was a long wait.  It was just nice to all be together and for Lindsay and Kevin to meet.  Loved having the two of them together and getting to spend more time with Vlad too!

After a stop at the Lilly store on Newbury Street (In the Pink) which I'll tell you all about in another post (fabulous!), we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the wedding.  Here are Kevin and I waiting for the ceremony to begin.  The whole event took place at a really neat art museum in Boston.

Kevin's parents, Brittany, Kevin, Michaela.  I think this is a wonderful picture!!

This is Kevin and I with Brittany and Michaela (bride's sisters).  They are both in school and are smart ladies!  Michaela got a big scholarship to GW in DC and Brittany is an amazing musician at Berklee in Boston.  Talented right?!  And they are both reading my blog - hey yall!

The stunning bride with her groom....cutting their Boston Creme Pie.  It was so tasty!

Below is Kevin and I with his parents!  Mr. Godfrey asked me to dance which was super cute! 

Let me tell yall - the wedding was done to perfection.  In fact, the entire weekend was.  It was all gorgeous and simply perfect! 

Kevin and I with the bride and groom.  What a lovely couple and cheers to many, many years of happiness!
Yesterday we were invited to brunch at the Langham Hotel in Boston before we headed out.  Let me tell yall - it was the most amazing brunch.  They had oysters on the half shell, calamari, shrimp, tuna, sushi, clam chowda, you name it plus the usual brunch items.  I say usual brunch items but these were not usual.  Everything was done to a tee and it was all presented wonderfully.  You name it, they had it at this brunch!

We flew back yesterday afternoon and did our laundry and got our acts together for the week.  It was difficult to wake up this morning but we had such a great time!  I love wedding weekends away - they are just a blast! 

Thank you to Kevin and his parents for including me on your family's wedding weekend!  :)  I loved meeting everyone!