Friday, October 29, 2010

Kimmy's Birthday

Last night I went to Olive Garden for one of my bestest's Kimmy's birthday (she's in the middle in black and green dress).  We had a good time celebrating her!  Her co-workers and her Mom and I attended!  :)
I came home and had to get my act together for my parents to arrive today.  They get in around 1:30pm so I'm really looking forward to having them here for the weekend!

I did convince Kevin to help me finish my pumpkin...

Doesn't it look like the monogram is popping out?  Ha, too funny!

We have a big weekend planned - including Carrie Underwood, a 5k run on the Charlotte airport runway and shopping with Mama!

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


This week has been CRAZY.  Traveled Monday and Tuesday, flew back in Tuesday to three large Pampered Chef boxes!  Love getting fun mail.  I received the entire order for all of my friend's goodies!

I got to separate out everyone's things and put them in bags for all my ladies to pick up!  Look at the chaos in my house!   
Then I traveled again yesterday up to VA for the day.  Kevin and I were supposed to go on a Panther's stadium tour but we decided we were too busy (he had another work thing to do).  I got to play catch up and get things ready for my parent's visit this weekend!

And while at Trader Joe's, I picked up a pumpkin.  Last year we went to the pumpkin patch together and had fun doing that, this year = no time so this will have to do!

In about 30 minutes I cleaned out the inside, saved all the seeds and carved this L.  Now I want to do an "E" and "A" on either side for my monogram.  But, I can't figure out how to do the "A" with the middle part.  Am I just not thinking??  And by the way - I have ZERO artistic case you hadn't noticed!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sweet Mom and Dad

Yall remember a few weeks ago when I talked about Williams-Sonoma and how much I loved this Emile Henry Artisan Loaf Pan?

Wellllll, it arrived randomly in the mail today.  Look at the packing slip and it says "Happy Fall, XXXXOOOOXOXOXOXO." 

How cute are my parents yall?!!!  Okay so Dad probably didn't have much to do with it but we'll thank him anyway!  ;)  Love yall!!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010


Friday night we had friends in town from Dallas - Kim and Jim (Kim is front and center of this picture).  We went out to Jackalope Jacks with them and all their friends.  We had a fun lil reunion with the folks that were at their wedding in June. 
Saturday I got up and went to Asheville, NC to the J. Crew sidewalk sale.  I've always walked right in but this time I had to wait for 3.5 hours in line.  It was a gorgeous day, thankfully and I met some cool girls that I was standing in line with.  Overall it was worth it - I got three cardigans for $8 each and a couple dressy tanks to go under cardigans for $10 each. 

I got back to Charlotte just in time for dinner at Basil to celebrate Jen's birthday!  She is in the center in black.  We had a good time with our Avenue friends, as usual.  After dinner we went to Dandelion for a drink then to Strike City to watch the fight.  I was less than enthused watching two idiots beat up on each other.  Why do guys like that stuff so much???
 Sunday I got up and ran the longest I've ever run - 6 miles.  Ha!  Since it was a Panthers home game, I planned my run out around all the tailgates where there would be people.  I don't like running in deserted places just in case there are sketchy folks around.  It was a perfect morning to run - about 65 and sunny!

It warmed up and we went to the game.  Boss man gave me his tickets on the 20 yard line.  For the 3rd quarter we went and sat with Kevin's parents to visit with them.  We ended up sweating our tails off and got a lil sun!
Today I'm off to Pennsylvania for a couple days for some meetings.  Happy Monday friends!

Friday, October 22, 2010


Last night I hosted a lil Oktoberfest get together.  It started as the 6 of us (you probably remember us hanging with these couples quite a bit).  We get together for dinner at someone's house every couple of months. (Yes, someone put a duck on the sleeping baby!)
But last night we had a few others join.  My bestest Kelly was in town for work from Raleigh and Josh's cousin and his girlfriend were in from Rochester.  And of course this time we had Miss Brooklyn (Josh and Wendy's lil girl)!
We all had a great time catching up, drinking good beer and wine and chowing down on some german food! 

Brett took my decorations and decorated his wife Emily!  He's a nut.  We don't know how Emily puts up with him!
This is a sample of what I made!  Brats (of course) with carmelized onions, hot german potato salad in the crock pot (didn't turn out that great) and sauerkraut.
For dessert we had apples that I cored and come out in a twirl.  Just sprinkled some cinnamon sugar on them and for about 20 minutes.  Served with vanilla ice cream - yum!  

We had a great time and hopefully we can get together again soon! 

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Yesterday I had my lil day trip and it ended up being a lot of fun. 

After our first meeting, we went to downtown Annapolis for lunch at McGarvey's.  HAD to have a crabcake even though I knew it couldn't beat Mom's.  I desperately wanted to stop by The Pink Crab and other cute shops but we didn't have time and I didn't think it was work appropriate!  ;)

We headed out to Bealeton, VA which is southwest of DC.  Needless to say, it wasn't very fun getting back to BWI in rush hour traffic on the beltway.

Made it home around 10pm.  And.....started working on dinner for tonight.  I'm having several couples over for an Oktoberfest. 

Oh yes, I know - real smart of me planning a dinner party at my house the night after I travel all day!  Ahhhh! 

I'll take some pictures and show you some german recipes I'm fixing.  Hopefully they turn out!  :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day Trip

Today I'm flying up to Maryland and northern Virginia for two meetings.  I'm glad to be coming back tonight to sleep in my own bed!
Going with one other co-worker.  It's for a couple new deals we're trying to get going.  Should be pretty successful!  We'll see!
See yall tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Anyone had a really special piece of jewelry that they treasure? 

This morning I put on a very fall-y outfit and needed just the right gold necklace for it.  And I was tired of wearing the same ole ones.  I pulled my locket out...a necklace I don't wear often enough because I'm nervous something will happen to it.  But what good is jewelery sitting in your jewelry box?!  Wear things!

So today, I'm proudly sporting my locket which my Poppa gave me on 11/17/1984.  Poppa is my Mom's Dad.  On the front are my initials.

And on the back it says, "Love Poppa" with the date. 

There aren't any pictures in it but I want to ask my Mom if I can get a picture of he and Nanny for one side and a picture of my parents for the other.  It is hard because it is such a small space but we'll see. 

Very cool!  Tell me about a sentimental piece of your jewelry collection!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weekend - Movie, Lindsey, Surprise Party, Football

On Friday night, Kevin and I went to see Social Network.  It was a pretty good movie though I got a lil sleepy at the end (as usual) and that's why I hardly watch movies.  Haha!  When we got out they had some red carpet thing going on but noone was at it at the time so Kevin made me get up there.  Clearly I don't have that look....
Here we are at Mez.  It definitely turns really clubby outside of the movie theatre at the bar.  This picture looks really weird with the woman in the background haha.   
Saturday morning I got up and ran 4.5 miles.  Trying to run a lot more and Dad and I are running in a race in 2 weeks.  I need to beat him!!!

On Saturday afternoon I got to meet up with Lindsey and her Mama at Dean and Deluca wine bar.  It was SO great seeing her.  There is just something about old friends that I just love.  They have a great week ahead of them in Asheville getting pampered.  Love it!
Here are Lindsey and I!
Then I had to jet off for a surprise 30th birthday part for Corey at Town Tavern.  His girlfriend Erica had sent him on a scavenger hunt and at each bar was one of his friends waiting.  The last one was a bit group.  Isn't she so creative??? 

Here are the guys.

 And the ladies...
Sunday we spent the day watching football and I completed my Pampered Chef order.  I can't wait to get all the goodies from that!  Hope you all enjoyed your weekend!  Monday always comes too quickly!

And yall - seriously what am I doing wrong on these vertical pictures?  I turn them before I upload them but they still come in wrong!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Social Network

Tonight we're going to see Social Network.  Definitely looking forward to it since I'm minorly obsessed with Facebook.  Actually a lot of facebook drives me nuts (people telling about their whole world on there, updating every five minutes of what they are doing at each second of the day etc...).  But overall I enjoy checking out what people are up to.  Anyone seen the movie?

Tomorrow I get to see my friend Lindsey who is flying in from Dallas.  I haven't seen her in 1.5 years so I'm really looking forward to that (and hopefully meeting her Mama too!)!  After we meet for a glass of wine, Kevin and I are going to a surprise party for one of his friends!  Football during the day tomorrow and all day Sunday!

Should be a fun weekend!

What are you all up to?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pampered Chef

Last night, I hosted a Pampered Chef party.  We had so much fun having a girls night.  Definitely need to do it more often!

We had an apple dip, corn dip and a veggie tray for appetizers.  Then our lady made chicken seasoned with lots of different spices they sell with mashed potatoes and cooked carrots.  With the PC tools, it was a quick and easy meal!  Of course we finished it off with pumpkin cupcakes that I tested out last week with the work crowd!

If you're interested in ordering anything, feel free to click the link here and hit 'shop online' in the top right corner! 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Have yall heard of LUSH?  I was introduced to it in Vegas a couple years back but they have stores all over the county, just not in Charlotte.  So I get excited when I go up north for work and get to check out the store (of course you can order online at the above link too).  The store is one of those that you go in and it puts you in a fun mood!  They carry bath/shower and skin products that are amazing.   

These are a few of my favorites!  Ocean Salt mixed with a lil Lemony Flutter (below) is an amazing and moisterizing foot/hand scrub.  Finish it off with the Dream Cream (below) and your feet/hands are SOFT!

This Grass shower gel is one of their new products.  Last time I was at the store, they gave me a sample to it! 
The infamous Lemony Flutter.  This can be used as described above or you can even use it as lip balm.  You can use it by itself on your hands too.
 Dream Cream!  No better hand cream around!
Happy Hippy Shower gel.  Santa brought this to me last year and I'm mildly obsessed.  I still have about 1/2 the bottle because I only use it on special days! 
Hope you get to your nearest Lush store soon!

PS - sorry for the terrible quality of these photos...they don't copy off their website very well!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


In my book, a handwritten thank you note or a note to say hello goes a long way.  You can never go wrong with sending one!  Plus Mama always taught us to write a thank you note for receiving anything!

Mostly all of my stationery comes from American Stationery.  I've always had a great experience with them and they get a lot of business from Mom and I!  :)  

I have the brown and yellow correspondence cards below... 
I also like these and I think they are a lil more professional looking for sending a note after an interview or a more formal note.
Do you girls use gift enclosure cards?  I use them all.the.time.  They are perfect for a wedding gift, baby shower or a house warming treat. 
Go get some pretty stationery and write away!  :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Date Night, Wedding and Panthers Game

Blogger is driving me nuts!  I upload a few pictures at once, they come in to the post not rotated and in the wrong order!  AHH!

Anyway, we had a great weekend and I hope yall did too!

Friday night, Kevin and I went to Capital Grille for appetizers and a drink because he had a gift certificate from American Express (he gets one annually - so awesome!).  Then we went to a friends house for a "break in my new blender" party.  Note to careful going to these next time...those drinks can get after you pretty quickly!  :)

On Saturday we went to a wedding reception in Waxhaw which is about 45 minutes south of Charlotte.  It was for Rob and Lindsay.  Kevin went to high school with Rob.  They were such a cute couple!  This is when Kevin and Rob's brother were the only single guys there.  Rob's brother caught the garter....yall know Kevin would have nothing to do with that!!!  It was all we could do to get him up there!

This is at the reception.  They had a last minute change of venue due to renovations at the Women's Club.  Can you imagine finding out 3 weeks prior to your wedding that you can't have it at the original location?  Chaos!! 
After the wedding, we went to Phillips Place to watch the Wall Street movie.  It was good but I didn't understand all of it because of all the financial terms and I hadn't seen the first but Kevin LOVED it.  It is right up his alley!

Sunday, we had Kimmy and Jeff over to watch the Panthers game.  We made some dips and had some beverages.  We love hanging out with them.  You know those couples where both guys and both girls are good friends.....hard to find!  Look how cute they are...

We went to Molly's after the game for a quick bite.  Always love hanging out with you guys!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Every Friday at our office there is a group of us that participates in Fructose Friday.  Basically it is who can bring the sweetest breakfast to share....okay I'll admit - I'm the only girl included.  We rotate weeks and this week was mine sooooo I thought I should do something for Fall.  Since the rest of them are total guys....picking something up at Dunkin or Panera....sometimes I think I should be a lady and domestic.  ;)

I made pumpkin cupcakes from Bun and Borough's blog and they turned out perfectly.  I also made a loaf of pumpkin bread.

I don't think I've ever made cupcakes before these...I'm typically not the baker type and I've screwed so many cakes up over the years, I was intimidated.  These were so easy that even I could do it.  Okay enough's the recipe!
Pumpkin Cupcakes

makes 24 cupcakes

*a la Real Simple

1 18.5-oz box yellow cake mix (plus ingredients called for in package directions)
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
2 8-oz bars cream cheese, at room temp
2 cups confectioners' sugar
24 pieces candy corn

1) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper lines.
2) Prepare the cake mix as directed, but with the following change: Add the pumpkin pie spice and substitute the can of pumpkin puree for the water called for in the package directions.

3) Divide the batter among the muffin tins and bake 18-22 mins or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool.

4) While cupcakes are baking, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Spread on each cupcake and top with a piece of candy corn.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bad Neighbor

Does anyone have a bad neighbor?!!!

AHHH I'm so incredibly sick of the guy that lives next door to my condo - he is so loud.  And the problem is, Kevin lives below him so we can't get away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've called our concierge at least 6 or 7 times in the past few months and he gets a violation and fine every time from our homeowner's board.

I mean who throws chaotic parties on Tuesday or Wednesday nights UNTIL 4:45 in the morning????  Who lets their door slam about 800 times a day?  Who stomps on their balcony at the crack of dawn? 

Umm hello, some of us have to work!

Sorry, just complaining to the world!!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pioneer Woman's Stuffed Shells

It took me two dishes including one 9x13 to make this!
Last night, I really didn't have an idea of what to make which is a rarity since I typically meal plan on Sundays.  I definitely wanted to run after work so I needed something pretty easy to do for dinner.  When The Pioneer Woman put this recipe on her blog yesterday, I knew that was it.  Plus it would make enough for lunches the rest of the week. 

I'm going to post her recipe below but as you all know, she does step by step pictures and instructions (hence the reason I pretend I can cook) so here is that link.  I used everything light/part skim, plus I think this makes more than 8 servings.  Not the healthiest meal but okay if portion sizes are limited and we served with a salad instead of her recommendation of bread (gosh I love the PW!).

Recipe: Three Cheese-Stuffed Shells with Meaty Tomato Sauce

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour30 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 8

■8 ounces, weight Jumbo Pasta Shells
■30 ounces, weight Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
■8 ounces, weight Parmesan Cheese, Grated, Divided
■½ cups Grated Romano Cheese
■1 whole Egg
■12 leaves Basil, Chiffonade
■2 Tablespoons Minced Parsley
■Salt And Pepper, to taste
■2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
■½ whole Medium Onion, Chopped
■5 cloves Garlic, Minced
■½ pounds Italian Sausage (I used hamburger meat since I already had it and she said that was ok)
■½ cups Red Wine
■1 whole 28 Ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
■1 whole 15-ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
■2 Tablespoons Sugar
■½ teaspoons Salt
■2 Tablespoons Minced Parsley

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta shells for half the cooking time; make sure not to overcook. Drain and rinse in cool water. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for a minute or two. Add Italian sausage and brown, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks. Pour in red wine and let it cook for a minute or two.

Pour in cans of crushed tomatoes and stir. Add sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check for seasonings; can add crushed red peppers if you like a little heat.

In a separate bowl, mix ricotta, half the Parmesan, Romano, egg, salt and pepper, basil, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Stir until combined.

To assemble, coat the bottom of a baking dish with sauce. Fill each half-cooked shell with the cheese mixture. Place face down on the sauce. Repeat with shells until cheese mixture is gone. Top shells with remaining sauce. Sprinkle on extra Parmesan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Serve with crusty French bread.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Williams Sonoma

Have you all been in Williams Sonoma recently?  I went yesterday at lunch to get away from work for a bit and every time I go in there, it makes me want to be this amazing cook, haha!  I have a long way to go.  But it does really inspire you to get all these gorgeous dishes to cook this Emile Henry Artisan Loaf Pan. 

This may be a good gift for one of your girlfriends that loves to cook.  I like the red as it can used in the fall and for Christmas parties.  At $36 it is a good price point.
What about this fall icon cakelet pan?  I don't think this is something you just go buy for yourself so it would be a treat to someone!
 How cute would this be for a child to do?  A haunted house!
 My Mom actually gave me these fall piecrust cutters last year and I used them when I made an apple pie for Thanksgiving.  They are a neat treat too!
On Friday, it is my turn to bring breakfast into the office.  They always like sweet things so I'm going to do a batch of Pumpkin Bread and Pumpkin cupcakes.  Yum! 

What is your favorite fall recipe?  Could be for dinner or sweets!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Weekend and Anna Kate's Fiesta!

So these pictures are VERY out of order but I have no time and Blogger is making me frustrated!  Haha!

I had a blast in Pawleys Island this past weekend at Anna Kate's 3rd birthday!  She was so cute (of course!) and it was great to see everyone!

Here is Anna Kate reading to her new baby in the cul-de-sac!  No better time than the present is what she was thinking about plopping down in the middle of the road!
 Emily and Clay had her birthday party at their yacht club called The Reserve.  It is gorgeous!  Emily planned lots of events including a lil scavenger hunt...

This is Anna Kate and her boyfriend Fisher.  He lives next door.  Their marriage has been arranged ;)!
 Everyone got lil sombreros!
 Dora pinata was a big hit!
 Yesterday before I left, Anna Kate tried on the "nastics" leotard I gave her and then got on her swing set with Nannie!
So cute!
 Then we went out to lunch at True Blue Plantation.  From left to right - my mom, my brother, me, my dad, Anna Kate, Emily and Emily's parents.  Very fun!
 Nannie and Poppa with Anna Kate!
 Granddaddy and Magee with Anna Kate!
 The "kids."
 My girl!!!!
 Yeah remember what I was telling you about out of order pictures?!!  This is when I first got there on Saturday morning.  She opened what I gave her right away.  I also gave her a mini piglet and goofy stuffed animals that were mine as a child.  Those were the highlights, not the leotard!
 Strolling her new baby in her new stroller that the grandparents conveniently did on purpose!  This made one happy lil girl! 
 Strolling and strolling and strolling....
I came back yesterday and Kevin wanted to go out to dinner to celebrate 1.5 years!  :)  We went downstairs to Dandelion and had a few small plates.  It was fun for something different especially on a Sunday night when we typically cook at home. 
I think he may be feeling a bit better since his cold he got late last week.  He didn't go to Pawleys because of it which I was sad but I got over haha!

Happy Monday.  What did you all do this past weekend?