Friday, September 28, 2012

Simple Date Night

I received a text message from Kevin around 4pm on Wednesday that said, "let's go out tonight and we'll have the dinner you planned tomorrow night."
He just knew. 
He knew that a fun night out, only the two of us was necessary.
So that's what we did.  We started at Nix with a pumpkin beer and watched all of our neighbors walk by.  Got to catch up with some of them.
Then we walked through 4th Ward Park over to Alexander Michael's.  We call it Ally Mike's.  It's an awesome little tavern in an old house.  You must go if you're ever in Charlotte. 
It was the perfect night.  Look how blue the sky was in the top of this picture.
We saw quite a few neighborhood friends over there including Tara and her Mama. And the food is always good.  One of those places, ya know?
It was a simple night but a perfect night.  Sometimes those are necessary.  And Kevin just knew it was time.  xoxo.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness

Last Friday I was gifted these hydrangeas by my future Mother in law with the sweetest note.  They are from her hydrangea plant that reblooms for a second time every year.
Aren't they gorgeous?! 
It was touching that she thought to do this.  She knows how much I love hydrangeas.  I plan to keep the note for my scrapbook! ;)
Her thoughtfulness made my weekend!
Go do a random act of kindness for someone today!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Invitations

There are so many options these days for invitations to weddings.  I've seen it all as I'm sure you have too!  Some people pick designs that suit their personality, some choose traditional.  I bet yall can guess the route I took!
Our stationery escapade began at Salutations in south Charlotte.  They are FANTASTIC to work with.  Highly recommend. 
When our sweet 'weekend of' wedding planner saw that line item in my budget, she said whoa that is high!  She suggested I contact Reaves Engraving in Laurinburg, North Carolina.  First she had samples sent to me.  Then I received an invite from my friend Fran who had used Reaves and I was starting to think it was all meant to be.  And it was.  They were so easy to work with and an even better part - they do calligraphy for inner and outer envelopes for $1 each.  Try to find someone that cheap - dare ya!  And the invites - HALF as much as the Crane ones from Salutations.  They look exactly the same to me!
Sooooo, we ordered our invitations last week!  It's similar to this but I can't give away all of the details!
So tell me what yall did for your stationery!  I love how everyone chooses what suits their personality!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Recipe - Easy Crustless Quiche

The past couple of weeks we've really tried to cook at home almost every night.
This was one of the meals.  It is a throw whatever you have in the fridge type meal.  Perfect for the end of a week. 
This is what we did for our quiche:
Half pack of sausage sauted. 
4 cloves of fresh garlic.
Handful of fresh spinach.
1/4 cup of chopped onions.
10 mushrooms chopped.
I sauted all of the above. 
Then mixed 6 eggs and a little milk and cheese together and poured it over sauted mixture in the pie dish.  Baked at 425 degrees for 45 minutes or until the eggs are not runny.
Note:  I did not use a pie crust to save on calories!
An easy dinner that isn't terrible for you. With leftovers for lunch the next day.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Stephen and Melissa's Wedding

We had a wonderful time at Stephen and Melissa's wedding on Saturday night.  The whole thing took place at Dressler's in metropolitan.  The skyline views are amazing.
Kevin, his fake smile and I at Avenue before cabbing to the wedding.  Yes we cab both ways to most events out of uptown because neither of us will leave our cars at bars or restaurants.  Safety first!
Bridesmaids and two junior bridesmaids
The gorgeous bride walking with her older brother by 10 months.
Amazing right?!  It was the most perfect day for a wedding too!
Wendy, Jen, Dar and Kevin.
Cocktail hour with Charlotte's skyline in the background.
Kev and I ;)
First dance!
Cute picture of Jen, Heather and Dar
Kevin and Josh with Kelli Bartik.  She's the sports gal on one of the news channels.  I can only imagine what they (Kevin!) said to her to get their picture taken.  They are nuts. 
Kevin and I with Josh and Wendy.  I think it was go-time at this point...
But the band was still playing some awesome tunes and it was a dance party!
Congratulations you two!  So excited for yall!
And Wendy who is 13 weeks pregnant drove Kevin, me and her hubby home.  I feel badly that she had to deal with us on the ride haha!  We did have a pit stop at Pita Pit which was essential! 
And yesterday we recovered.
In addition to recovering, we bought a mattress for our new home.  Exciting, right?!   It actually was pretty fun.  We are liking this home stuff.  We got a washer/dryer and toilet seat covers (TMI!) on Friday night.  It's the little things!
Last night I was asleep by 8pm. :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Panthers Game versus Giants

Last night we were at our new place getting quotes for cleaning, floors, countertops and running gas for our grill.  We high-tailed it uptown and met a bunch of our friends to tailgate for the Panthers/Giants game!
Tara, Kristen on Kevin's back (haha!) and I
The ladies - Josie, Erin, Lindsey, Me, Kristen, Tara.  It was a gorgeous evening for football!
We scored some free club level seats through some guys at my office.  It's so nice on the club level, we really enjoy it.
At the beginning of the 4th quarter, we went a few sections over and sat with Kevin's parents, his brother and his uncle. 
A picture of Kevin's brother, his uncle and he outside of the stadium! 
As always it was so nice just to walk a few blocks home and not have to sit in traffic.  It wasn't great getting up this morning but at least it's Friday!
And we have a fun wedding to look forward to tomorrow night!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Five Thursday!

 - Thanks for all of your sweet comments on yesterdays post.  We just can't get over the fact that we FINALLY found what we've been looking for.  All always works out, sometimes just takes time.  We about pulled the trigger on a couple other houses and thankfully we didn't make a rush decision. 
 - Last night I walked with my friend Fran after work.  To me, there is no better way to catch up with a girlfriend than exercising.  We aren't eating junk, drinking calories or spending money.  Instead we're girl chatting and getting exercise in.  Highly recommend!  Love ya Fran!!!
 - Kevin has made dinner every night this week.  I've just been working a lot and had stuff going on (like walking with Fran ha!). 
 - We did deem this week - "clean out fridge/freezer/pantry" week and I didn't go to the store.  Needless to say, we're eating things that haven't been our favorite or healthiest but we're cleaning out and watching portion sizes. 
 - I got two frames at Michael's yesterday to put an 8x10 picture of my parents and Kevin's parents on their wedding days in.  Those will sit on the cake table at our reception.  Other than that, I'm not doing any other pictures.  People already know what Kevin and I look like haha!
Going to the Panthers game tonight!  Looking forward to the amazing weather and of course a lil competition on the field!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Living Together Before?

So today since we are in the thick of buying a home, I thought it'd be fun to discuss living together before married, or not.
And as always, this is definitely my opinion only and to each their own.  If we didn't have different opinions, the world wouldn't be nearly as fun.  Right?!
We did get good news on the house - we won the bidding war!  Here it is!
We are SOOOO excited.  Like we can't quit talking about it excited. 
It took us 1.5 years to find a home that we both really liked and felt right for us.  It is in our dream know the one where all the mom's are in the cul-de-sac on Friday afternoons having a drink while all the kids are playing.  The one where the schools are excellent.  The one that isn't too flashy but seems homey.  The one that doesn't look like it was built in a field.  The one that you can't see into your neighbors bathroom window from yours!  The one that has a swim team.  The one with a pool and clubhouse that we can easily walk to from our home.  The one that is closer to Kevin's office and still in decent range to mine and the airport.  The neighborhood we fell in love with from day one of looking that we didn't know if we could make happen.
We feel SO fortunate to have found all of this in a house (which happened to be priorities to us!) and be able to purchase it.  We count our lucky stars daily.  We have our family to thank for always supporting our decisions and ourselves for working hard all of our life to be able to do this.  We've both always saved for this.  A home to have a family.
When the seller's realtor gave the 91 year old lady our offer and told her about us, she took it right away (didn't even counter!) and said I hope they have just as many wonderful memories in that home and my husband and I did.  How precious is that?  I can just imagine this sweet older lady in her southern twang saying that.  
Back to the topic at hand!  We aren't living together until we get married. 
I need to sell my condo (majorly!), then I will move one floor down to Kevin's condo which we plan to keep to just have.  Then after the wedding, I'll move down officially to our home!  Of course I'll take a lot of my stuff down now because I'm busting at the seems in my place but we want something to change when we get married. 
My friends tease me because we only live one floor apart and have for 5 years now but we don't know what it's like to share a bathroom or chores in one house or agree on what TV package to get or choosing whose cooking utensils to keep.  Yes we have a pretty darn good idea we can live together but we've never done it.  And assuming all goes as planned, we won't until April 7, 2013!
That's my story and I'm sticking to it friends!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Recipe - Garlicky Baked Shrimp

Been on the road today so late post! 
Yall wanna talk about a SUPER easy meal for a weeknight after work?  Serve with a salad and wa-la!
Garlicky Baked Shrimp.  Found here and Pinterest!
Garlicky Baked Shrimp(Adapted from Real Simple)
  • 1 lb. raw shrimp, deveined and peeled
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. white wine
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp.) melted butter
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh Italian-leaf parsley, chopped (I used dried because that's all I had)
  • half of a lemon (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
In a bowl, combine the shrimp, garlic, and white wine. Stir to combine, then pour into a baking dish. Spread out evenly, and then season with salt and pepper.
In another bowl, use a fork to mix melted butter, Panko, and parsley until well combined. With your fingers, sprinkle the mixture evenly in the baking dish over the shrimp.
Transfer dish to oven and bake until the shrimp are pink and opaque, about 15-18 minutes.

Monday, September 17, 2012

House, Dee's Shower, Out, Lowes

Friday night we went to visit what will hopefully be our new house!  Thanks to your crossed fingers and lots of luck, we won the bidding war on the home!  FINALLY!  Finding a home had been 1.5 years in the making.  Now we are working on lending and selling my condo.  Please keep your fingers and toes crossed for us!
We went to dinner with Kevin's parents that evening and spent the night at their house.  After a yum breakfast that his Mama made, we washed our cars with his Dad then I headed to a baby shower for Dee.  It was at her SIL Robyn's home and was simply gorgeous!

Lots of LSU gear for Shelby!

Blog ladies - Lulu, Me, Dee, April, Sara!
I zipped home that afternoon as Kevin had planned a cookout for us.  Our friends Kim and Jeff came over and brought their cute lil boy Jack.  This is after he had changed into his PJs that evening...adorable!
I think this picture is so cute of Jeff holding Jack on one side of the glass then Kevin with his arm around Kimmy making faces on the other side of the door. 
And Emily and Jay came over and brought George!  Auntie Tara holding him. 
Dave and Jenn also grilled out with us - burgers, dogs, slaw, baked beans, chips.  The usual!
That evening we went to Dillingers and Prohibition (somehow Kevin got us all in free).  Corner Pub was essential or actually not so much but we went anyway.  Haha!

Yesterday we recovered and I did wedding stuff.  That evening after dinner we went to Lowes to see what was in store for us to buy for a house.  Whew - a lot!  Evidently it never ends!  We don't have anything.  Keep in mind we're moving a one bedroom condo into a 4 bedroom house!  Lawn Mower, beds, washer and dryer are some essentials.  The rest we'll get as we go. 
But it was really fun to look at house stuff and the best part - Kevin and I choose the exact same sink and the same tile for a floor and the same washer and dryer.  We agreed on everything.  I was excited about that.  I think for now that our only disagreement is that we will not have a TV over the mantle.  He thinks that is where it should be.  Thoughts ladies?!
We did go look at TV's at Best Buy after our Lowes stop.  Kevin also thinks it's essential to have a 70" TV.  Umm no!  Gotta love boys and their priorities!  

Friday, September 14, 2012

Wedding First and Emily's 30th

The other day we received our very first gift from my friend Cheryl and her hubby!  They won't be able to make the shower because she'll be 36 weeks pregnant with Conner!  It was so thoughtful of them to send something!  :)
Kevin asked if I wanted him to open it so I told him to go for it (I secretly thought it was super cute that he wanted to!).  Of course I get my camera out and he says, "are we going to take pictures for every gift from now til April 6?" 
Maybe!  It's just SO fun! :)
Last night when I got back into town, Tara picked Kevin and I up and we went to Bird Song Brewery in NoDa to celebrate Emily's 30th birthday! 
no, I'm not 6 months pregnant or preg at all, thank you T.Turk dress ugh!
Then we went to Revolution Pizza for dinner.  I think there were 20 people!  Everyone loves Emily!
We had fun celebrating her.  Maybe a lil too much fun! ;)
Tara and I still got up at the crack of dawn and ran this morning.  It was good for the soul!
Happy Weekend friends!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Formal Dress Help!

I've been lucky enough to be invited to a very formal and special event in November and I have to find a dress.  Don't know about you guys but I haven't worn a long dress since sorority formals in college!  Even Kevin's work trip gala's, I've worn a knee length dress.
When I was home home a couple of weeks ago, I tried on my prom dress and surprisingly it still fit mostly but was a lil too tight in the toosh.  It is super fun though and I would have totally worn it if I weighed about 10 lbs. less.  But I don't so I need to find a new dress. 
So where do you look for a new dress?  I found the above one on Nordstrom's website.  I've thought about Rent the Runway but I'll be traveling for the event and that whole thing makes me nervous when I'm not in a place to get something new shall the RTR not work out.  Plus, it isn't like I own a back up long dress so that option is out. 
Neiman Marcus' dresses are gorgeous but way too expensive for this.  I wonder if there are any other boutiques in Charlotte I haven't thought of that are reasonable.  Any online shops? 
Help!  And thank y'all in advance!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Hotel Gift Bags

Let's talk hotel gift bags!

We all love getting these when we go to out of town weddings, don't we?

My favorite bags have waters, advil (ha!) and snacks in it.

via google
So that's exactly what we are going to do for our out of town guests. 
I can't spill all the details of ours but they'll include a snack from both Maryland (where I grew up) and North Carolina (where Kevin grew up).  I'm getting little tags made to hang from them and also I'm working on an itinerary which will have all of the events for the weekend with a map on one side and the other side will have a list of Kevin's and my favorite uptown places - drinks, food, great views etc. 
Tell me your favorite gift bag item so we can all get new, good ideas!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Recipe - Heirloom Tomato Salad

When we went to Charleston for Tara's birthday, she and I shared a local heirloom salad that was on the specials menu at Coast.  It was SO good so I just knew I had to recreate at home. 
I made mine last night and this morning I looked at the picture I took from Coast and mine is not nearly as pretty but it was really tasty.  I'm fine with the fact that I'm not a chef in Charleston, SC.  But I am a pretend chef in my house and I guess that's what matters.  Ha!
Saturday morning I picked up "the" tomato from the Farmer's Market.  So I used a ginormous one for the two of us and I have leftovers for today.  Let's count it as 3 servings.
Slice your tomatoes.  I used two teaspoons of goat cheese.   A few leaves of fresh basil.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil over top.  Wa-la!  (I'm so great at giving measurements aren't I?!)
Now here is how Coast did it!  I forgot they had done the grape tomatoes and shallots.  They make it look prettier for sure!
See?  Definitely prettier than mine.  But both were tasty!
Getcha some heirloom tomatoes and make this before Fall really begins!!! 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Low Key Weekend

Friday night we headed to the pool right after work with our neighbors -- always the perfect end of week chill out.  That led to an impromptu evening out in Southend.  We took the train and went to Vinny's, Liberty and World of Beer. 
Saturday I got up, meal planned and ran to the Farmer's Market and Teeter.  My favorite Saturday morning activities.  I just like getting it done on Saturday morning then I have the rest of the weekend. 
I cleaned a lot more on Saturday and moved some things back up to my condo.  Kevin put an offer in on a house for us and I recruited some guy in the lobby to look at my place.  He was in the building seeing other one bedrooms so yall know I went up to him and told him he should be looking at mine.  Haha, he and his realtor did come up and I told him all about Avenue. 
Saturday night Kevin and I walked over to Queen City Q for some bbq.  I worked on sorting some house design stuff from my magazines after that.  Big night!
Sunday morning I prepped things for our grilling out dinner and then went to the pool with our neighbors.  It was really fun except when I got stung by a bee.  I hadn't been stung by a bee since I was like 5 years old and my Mom put a pack of peas on it in the grocery store parking lot!  Anyway, it didn't feel really great but oh well.  Itches a lot now.
We grilled out last night - I did Caprese Chicken, grilled okra and grilled avocados.  We all shared sides - Jenn made a potato thing and coleslaw.  Michael did grilled pineapple.  It was the perfect summer meal and a great way to end the weekend!
Happy Monday!  So excited for these cooler temperatures!

Friday, September 7, 2012

What is Scrapple?

I had some comments earlier this week that wanted to know what scrapple was so here it goes!
Not healthy.  You probably don't want to know what it consists of.  Began in Delaware.
Here is a good link that explains exactly what is in it.  But trust me, it's SO good.  Basically you slice it in 1/4 inch sections like you would sausage patties and put them on a griddle and let it cook.  I love waking up to the smell of it.  Reminds me of home home. 
I can't find Rapa scrapple in Charlotte.  Not a lot of places in the south have it.  I suppose most people would say it's like livermush but I think it's better.
I won't gross you all out at how many pieces I had of this when I was home last week.  Just know, it was way too many and I've run for it this week.  :)
Happy Weekend.  The DNC is over, now these cats need to get out of my condo!  I'm going to pick up a couple of things of bleach today at lunch in preparation!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Crabs and St. Michaels

Last Sunday in Maryland, we went to church so Kevin's parents could see the church I grew up in.  They liked it I think although it's very different from Southern Baptist.  I'm glad they got to visit Asbury.
That afternoon I showed them the Country Club I grew up going to and I dealt with property management stuff for my condo being rented out.  That's a different story.
That evening we headed to Old Mill to pick crabs.  Oh boy, that was an experience for them to see!  We had fun and they were good sports to deal with us crazy Marylanders picking crabs!
Monday we drove over to Oxford, MD and hopped on the Bellevue-Oxford ferry over to St. Michaels. 
Two of my very favorite guys in the whole world. 
Kevin's Dad crossing the red line on the ferry!
My Pops and I. 
We had all 4 parents go put their heads in these silly things! 
After lunch, we walked around some shops in St. Michaels.  Kevin and I took some bags to the car and we were across the street from our parents.  We said to each other how cool it was that both his parents and my parents were hanging out.  We feel fortunate for their friendships with each other.
That evening we went back to my parents and grilled out for Labor Day.  Hamburgers, hot dogs, broccoli salad, pasta salad and pretzel salad.  Finished it all off with peanut butter Smith Island cake.  Yum!  One of our family friends also came over to hang out with us which was great!
We had a really busy long weekend and were doing something every minute but we had the best time!  Kevin and I cherished every minute with our parents and are so thankful for the memories.