Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Matouk Bedding

There's nothing better than a comfortable looking bed.  Don't you agree? 

The second big thing (after a TV) I bought after college was good bedding.  I made sure to do it right so it would last forever and I could possibly pass it down one day. 

Mine is by Matouk and is scalloped but is light blue instead of the above yellow.  I didn't get the large pillow sham's done with the applique because I thought it was a little much.

 They also have their classic chain collection that I think it gorgeous too.

All images from Fine Linens.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend

My parents drove down from Maryland last Wednesday for the Thanksgiving weekend.  I loved having them back down here for the second year in a row.  Wednesday night I popped in a Chicken Oven Roaster done the Pioneer Woman way and we had it over a pasta with mushrooms she suggested.  I served it with a salad.

Thursday morning early, Dad and I went for a 4.5 mile run down the greenway.  It was good to get out there and get some miles in....even though it rained most of the time we were out there. 

His knee hurt the rest of the weekend and he limped around.  You can see him here with green beans on it for a lil cold treatment.  Poor guy.  We did have fun running while it lasted!  Needless to say, I couldn't get him back out there the rest of the weekend.
After our run, we walked downstairs and watched some of the Thanksgiving Day parade.  Evidently it is the 4th largest parade in the country.  Very fun and interesting people watching.

We came upstairs to my condo and tooled around until we went to dinner at 3pm at McCormick and Schmicks.  It was a nice change from all the cooking we did last year and ended up working out really well.  They had a typical Thanksgiving feast and we got a bottle of wine!  Yum!  We were stuffed and had lots of leftovers!

On Friday morning, Mom and I set out early for our usual black Friday shopping.  We aren't crazy and go out at 5am or anything like that.  We went to the mall around 8am.  Brooks Brothers and J. Crew each had an additional 15% and 25% off of the purchase which was good.  Mom got a bunch more of her Christmas shopping done. 

Friday Kevin came home from his parent's house where he had been spending time with them for the holiday.  That night, his parents drove up so we went to dinner with his parents and my parents at Coco Osteria.  It was SO much fun!  I love having all 6 of us together! 

After dinner, we decided to take Kevin's and my parents to Howl at the Moon.  As some of my long time readers may remember, my parents LOVE that place.  Haha!  It is a dueling piano bar and the musicians are very talented.  This is Kevin's Dad getting offered a shot.  He gracefully declined. 

The six of us before Kevin walked his parents back to their car.

My parents stayed a bit longer and Kevin joined back up with us.  Good times as always Mom and Dad!

A great surprise was one of my sorority sisters coming in! Melody! She is so sweet and it was so fun getting to see her and meet her beau, Brian. When we left, we gave she and her friends our table!

Kevin and I stopped by Blue on our way home to listen to some jazz and wind down. 

On Saturday, we layed low and decorated for Christmas while watching NC State lose to Maryland.  Booooo.  I love when Mom helps me decorate for Christmas - I just always feel like it looks better!  She said to wait a weekend for my fresh greenery so I'll do that this coming weekend.

Love getting into the holiday spirit!

Thanks Mom and Dad for coming down and visiting!  We had so much fun!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Scalloped Oysters

This is my second post today...feel free to scroll down for a Thanksgiving post!

Scalloped Oysters**

Preheat oven for 350 degrees.

1 pt. oysters (reserve ¼ cup oyster juice)
2 ¼ c crackers coarsely broken
¼ t worchestershire
¼ t salt (none if you are using saltines)
¾ c milk/cream
½ c butter

Melt l/2 c butter; mix with crackers. Spread 1/3 crumbs on bottom. Put l/2 of the oysters cut up on top of the crumbs. Sprinkle with pepper. Spread another 1/3 crackers. Put in the remaining l/2 cut-up oysters.

Mix ¼ c oyster liquid, ¾ c milk/cream, and ¼ t worchestershire. Pour over the mixture in the pan. Top with the remaining 1/3 crackers over the oysters.

Bake for 40 minutes.

**This is the original recipe. I used 2 pints of oysters and 3 c of saltines coarsely broken and no salt.  Used cream this year.  And I cut up the oysters into bite size.


Hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend with your family!  :)

What are you all most thankful for?  Things that come to my mind - my family, Kevin, friends, my job and my condo.  I feel very lucky to have all that I do and count my lucky stars every day.

Today one year ago, my parents met Kevin's parents.  It was so much fun and I'm glad they've been able to see each other a couple times between then and now.  We are getting together again on Friday night!
My parents are driving down today and I'm looking forward to having them in Charlotte.  Dad and I are going to run, Mom and I are going to shop and we're all going to hang out and have a big time!

What is the dish that is your family's staple at Thanksgiving dinner?  I'm going to post the recipe of ours in a couple of hours!  It includes oysters!  :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Beef with Snow Peas

Okay, so this probably isn't the best picture haha!

Last night I really wanted to make something different and I had read Lauren's Menu on Sunday and decided the Beef with Snow Peas would be tasty!  So thank you Lauren for letting me copy you!  ;)

This recipe is by the Pioneer Woman.  And as you all know, she NEVER disappoints!  If I tell Kevin that whatever I've cooked is from her, he will eat it.  Hilarious from a picky eater!

As you all know, on the PW link above, she gives detailed instructions but here is the recipe...

 - 1-½ pound Flank Steak, Trimmed Of Fat And Sliced Very Thin Against The Grain
 - ½ cups Low Sodium Soy Sauce
 - 3 Tablespoons Sherry Or Cooking Sherry
 - 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
 - 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
 - 1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Ginger
  - 8 ounces, weight Fresh Snow Peas, Ends Trimmed
 - 5 whole Scallions, Cut Into Haf-inch Pieces On The Diagonal
 - Salt As Needed (use Sparingly)
 - 3 Tablespoons Peanut Or Olive Oil (I omited this)
 - Crushed Red Pepper, For Sprinkling
 - Jasmine Or Long Grain Rice, Cooked According To Package

Preparation Instructions
In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, cornstarch, and ginger. Add sliced meat to bowl and toss with hands. Set aside.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet (iron is best) or wok over high heat. Add snow peas and stir for 45 seconds. Remove to a separate plate. Set aside.

Allow pan to get very hot again. With tongs, add half the meat mixture, leaving most of the marinade still in the bowl. Add half the scallions. Spread out meat as you add it to pan, but do not stir for a good minute. (You want the meat to get as brown as possible in as short amount a time as possible.) Turn meat to the other side and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove to a clean plate.

Repeat with other half of meat, allowing pan to get very hot again first. After turning it, add the first plateful of meat, the rest of the marinade, and the snow peas. Stir over high heat for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Check seasonings and add salt only if it needs it. Mixture will thicken as it sits.

Serve immediately over rice. Sprinkle crushed red pepper over the top to give it some spice.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Suz, Kimmy & Jeff

Hello to all of my new followers!  So glad yall are here!  :)

On Friday night, we went to dinner with Kevin's parents at Pacos Tacos for a belated birthday celebration.  They gave me some philosophy shower gel (margarita, mimoso and dacquiri) and a cute NC State platter.  Very sweet of them!  Kev's brother and SIL gave me a gorgeous winter white scarf that will go with anything.  Thank you all!

Saturday I got up and ran (too far because I'm so sore now) and then we had a Thanksgiving feast with our Avenue friends that afternoon.  My friend Suz came in from Raleigh for the weekend to visit her grandparents so she came over that evening.  Kimmy and Jeff also came to hang out.  The three of us were sorority sisters so it was a mini reunion. 

Here are some of us heading to Strike City to watch some football and the guys were interested in some silly fight night thing on TV.  Why do guys like that stuff?!

L to R - Me, Suz, Jen, Melissa, Kimmy, Jeff, Kevin

We talked to all of the Baltimore Ravens fans who were in town to make sure they were having a good time in Charlotte.  These ladies were so sweet and they wanted to jump in the picture with us!

Kevin and Jeff at Strike City...
 Us ladies at Strike. 

Kevin and I with Phillip and his girl Noel.  Phillip and Kevin worked together at the Bank years ago and they hadn't seen each other in awhile.  It was fun meeting them!

Kevin and Jeff breaking it down in the middle of the sidewalk!
We always have a big time with our friends and feel so lucky to have them in our lives!  Yesterday we went out and met up with some Avenue friends at the bottom of our building for lunch and to watch the Panthers game. 

Thank goodness it's a short week!

Friday, November 19, 2010


Friends, I've missed you!  This week has been nuts!  Here's a recap:

So on Tuesday, I flew up north and spent all day getting to my meeting and blah blah blah.  I got there and I looked at the agenda - we were tabled and the seller didn't tell me.  AKA, I went up there for nothing. 

I zipped back into my rental car at 7pm and called US Air.  There was one more flight leaving at 9:45 that night.  I high-tailed it back to NYC in the rain and dark.  I called Hilton and they allowed me to not pay a fee for canceling my room.  I called Hertz and told them I wouldn't have time to ride the bus and to see if someone could drive me to the terminal.  I got to Laguardia at 9pm and it all worked out. 

I walked up to the ticket counter and said I needed to buy a ticket to Charlotte and 20 minutes later, I was on the plane.  The flight ended up being delayed and I got to my house at 1am.  No big deal though, totally would rather sleep in my own bed then a hotel!

Wednesday I slept in, worked and Kevin said we had plans that afternoon.  He wisked me away at 2:30 and little did I know, he had set up massages for both of us...just what we needed!  He had also given me the new Rascal Flatts and Jason Aldean CD's that morning - love them! 

We came home from the massages and he said we had dinner plans.  He kept telling me all day we were going to the Teeter to get hot dogs.  Every year he tells me that.  I should know better by now!  He had been asking me for two weeks where I wanted to go and I mentioned this new mexican place in Southpark called Pacos Tacos.  Of course I was freaking out about what to wear because I honestly had no clue where we were going....he was naming all sorts of places.  While I was getting ready, he gave me a new pair of rainbows....which were long overdue.  I needed them like 3 years ago haha!

We started going toward Southpark and we ended up at The Palm.  WHOA.  I was shocked.  We had an amazing dinner.  We both got the surf and turf - filet and shrimp scampi for him and filet and lobster for me.  YUM.  Of course we had a ton of leftovers that I'm excited to enjoy today!
We came home and I was talking to my friend Kelly and Kevin slipped me another box.  What in the world?!  He had done too much as it was!!!  A brown box means Morrison Smith (amazing jewelry store) so whatever it is will be gorgeous.  Of course he picked out the neatest pair of earrings. 
They are opal and have gold prongs and backs.  I love them - they are something different other than pearls and go with everything - dressy or jeans! 

Thank you to my family, friends and Kevin for making my day SO special.

On to yesterday (Thursday)...  I flew back up north to Baltimore for a quick afternoon meeting in Easton, MD.  My parents live only about an hour from there so Mom came and met me.  We had a wonderful time having lunch at Mason's in downtown Easton.  She even came to my meeting with me haha! 

My parents just HAD to have me open something since it was the day after my birthday and they surprised me with Twirl...the new Kate Spade perfume.  I'm obsessed with it.  Dad even picked out the free samples from Sephora...hilarious!  He did well though!  They had given me a new camera when they visited over Halloween....it takes really great pictures compared to the one that I took almost 20,000 pictures with in the three years I had it! 

Afterward the meeting, we of course did some Christmas shopping in St. Michaels and got quite a few things knocked off her list.  We went back to Panera where we had left my rental car and had a hot chocolate and a pumpkin muffin top.  Around 5pm, I headed back to the airport and came home.  Mom, thanks for coming to see me - I had the best time!!!

Looking forward to hopefully laying low this weekend...but probably not until Sunday...busy until then!  :)

Happy Friday!!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Creature of Habit

As I sit here in the airport, it got me thinking about how much I'm a creature of habit with this place.  Every time I come here which lately is about 3-4 times a month, I do the same thing....  Park on the 4th floor of the deck, ride the bus, print my boarding pass from the same station, get in the priority security line (putting my things in the bin in the same order each time) and head straight to the us air club.  Once I get in the club, I eat the same thing for breakfast and about 5 minutes before boarding time, I head towards the gate.  

Honestly it is ridiculous.  I've basically convinced myself that I'd forget where I parked if I didn't park in the same spot, forget my computer at the checkpoint or do something else careless.  Therefore, I can now do my entire routine in my sleep.  Ahhh!

Off to Laguardia today and driving out to Pennsylvania for a 7pm public meeting tonight.  Then driving back to NJ to stay at a Hilton just outside the City.  Waking up in a hotel tomorrow morning on my birthday...nothing better...ughhh!  Oh well!

Please tell me when you're a creature of habit! 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Emily and Anna Kate!

We LOVED having Anna Kate and Emily here with us this weekend.  They came in on Friday afternoon and stopped by my office.  She saw the picture of she and Kevin on my picture board and sat at my desk and admired him.  She loves him so much and couldn't wait to see him later!

She answered my phone and typed up some emails!  :)
That evening when Kevin got home from work, we went to Molly MacPherson's for dinner.  Here are Kevin and Anna Kate coloring...

We had a party to go to at one of our friend's places in Avenue on the 21st floor.  Anna Kate LOVED seeing the city and all the lights and "towas!" 

Anna Kate with the tallest building in North and South Carolina! 

The four of us!  We missed you Clay (my brother had to "work!")

When we got back down to my place, we had some silly time!

Saturday we got up and went to Kevin's parent's home down in Waxhaw for his family reunion.  Emily watching one of her friend's babies while Anna Kate came with us.  We had a blast hanging out with her and of course showing her off to Kevin's fam.  Everyone just kept talking about how gorgeous and beautiful she was.  All I could think was, "I know!"  ...but of course this proud Aunt didn't say that out loud!

Playing with Kevin!

We took her over to the elementary school and let her play on the playground!  This thing was her favorite because Kevin shown her how to do it and she giggled soooo hard!

We pushed her on the tire a lil bit too!

When she came back, she was hot so she changed clothes and immediately went and played in the leaves.

Then she met a friend named Abbie...one of Kevin's distant cousins who is 5.
When she came back inside for some quiet time, Kevin's mama brought something out very special for her to see that was "a secret" that only Anna Kate could see!  Kevin's baby photos!  Anna Kate kept saying, "I want to see that one again..."  SO adorable.  Of course I was melting!

We got to visit with Aunt Kate is who is also very special.  She is Kevin's great Aunt and one of the most special people.  You all probably remember me talking about her back in July.  What a gem.  This photo is a keeper.  Kevin's Mom, Aunt Kate, Anna Kate and I. 

Cowgirl Dora was very entertaining!

Originally we were going to go to some gym with an inflatable jump thing but Miss Anna Kate was sooo tired!  She fell asleep before we got out of Waxhaw!

Popcorn was definitely in order after her four scoops of raspberry sherbert!  Anything goes at her Aunt's house!!!  We read Hello Mr. Wuf together which was really fun!

Then she hopped in my bed and was so giggly!  Adorable.  We read a couple more Dr. Seuss books and she was fast asleep!

Emily, Kevin and I stayed up WAY too late chatting.  It was fun to catch up with her and chit chat!

Definitely learned what it was like to have a child for a day.  Whew - they can wear you out but it is so worth it.  We had such a good time playing and running around....it was awesome!!! 

Miss you all already!!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Visitor and Girl's Night!

Anna Kate is coming to visit this weekend with Emily!!!  I can hardly wait! 

Isn't she cute in her Thanksgiving dress?!!

Last night Fran, Jen and I went to Basil for dinner for a lil girl's night.  We had the best time catching up and having lots of girl talk!  Nothing better!

I came back in to Avenue and saw a few neighbors and we all decided to go over to Suite because they were having an "Avenue night."  ...which was basically open bar for an hour.  We went and had a cocktail or two and then walked back home. 

A nice convenience of living uptown - can walk everywhere or go somehwere spur of the moment.  Remind me of this when I complain about not having any space in my place for storage!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lands End

I got the Lands End catalog the other day and had a few minutes so I looked through it.  They have some pretty cute basics and fun things for the fall.  And the thing I like about Lands End - they have endless colors of everything! 

I think this draped cardigan is cute and only $29.50!  Can't beat it.

This ruffle sweater coat is cute too!
And yes, I live in these slippers at nights and on the weekends.  So comfy and warm.
Check out Lands End if you get a few minutes!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Black Jeans

Yall know I'm not the most fashionable girl in the land.  I typically go towards standard, classic clothes.

Mom is the pro when it comes to suggesting that I try something different.

This time she chose Matchstick black jeans.  And Rebecca at J. Crew agreed....she has the best sense of style and claimed she had a pair and wears them with a black 'forever cardigan.' 

Please tell me what yall think!  And be honest!  What would you wear them with?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Brie Appetizer

My talented and lovely sister in law sent me this recipe a couple of years ago and every time I've made it for a bridal shower, baby shower, New Years Eve or just having friends over....everyone loves it!  Super easy my friends!

Chunk of Brie (like a pie slice)
1 package of crescent rolls
Raspberry jam
Crushed walnuts (as many as you like)
Spray butter
Wheat thins

1.  Unroll the crescent rolls
2.  Pam an oven safe serving dish
3.  Place each crescent roll section in the dish in a circle
4.  Set the brie on top and fold the crescent roll up and over the brie, covering it
5.  Spray with butter
6.  Cook on 350 for about 15-20 minutes (until crescent roll has turned a golden color)
7.  When you take it out of the oven, spread the jam all over (as much as you like) and then sprinkle the walnuts on. 
8.  Serve (I use wheat thins with it) in the same dish (much easier than trying to get it out!)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weekend and NC State Game

On Friday, I got to meet up with Lauren from Adventures of a Southern Newlywed.  We met at the mall, of course, and had lunch then visited the Lilly department.  She is just so darling and sweet...what a treat it was to meet her!  I also follow her Mom and sister so it was fun chatting about how great they are as well! 

Definitely a small world, we have a mutual friend and we even work right across the street from one another.  Once things calm down, we're going to get a girls night together or maybe go out with the boys.  So great meeting you Lauren!!!  To everyone - if you get the chance to meet a blog friend in person - please take the opportunity and do it!  :)

Saturday morning, Kevin and I left Charlotte bright and early and headed to Clemson for the NC State game.

We had to sit in quite a bit of traffic but once we got there, it was worth the wait!  First we met up with one of Kevin's buddies from Allstate and at halftime I got to see Fran!

Kevin with Fran and I.  :)

Kevin and I...

And also met up with Tara.  Both she and Fran went to Clemson, poor things!  Red is a much prettier color ladies, duhhh!

Kevin and I in our seats.  They were great - at the 30 yard line in the lower level.  One of my guys from work had a hunting buddy that couldn't go so he offered them to an NC State fan - how nice of him right?!

After the game, we walked over to the Ridge where Tara and her Clemson ladies tailgate.  All these girls live in Charlotte so we hang out occasionally.  L to R - Emily, me, Tara, Kelly and Kristen.  So sweet of yall to host us!

It was Kristen's birthday so Tara made her a pinata (filled with mini bottles)!  It was too funny watching her get after it!

Then we hiked it back across campus to where we parked and Kevin drove back to Charlotte.  ;)

We decided to stop in Greenville for dinner at Smoke on the Water.  If you get the chance, stop there for dinner - AH-mazing.  Neither of us finished our dinner so we had lots of leftovers for Sunday afternoon!
All was well in the world yesterday until Kevin decided we needed a salad with dinner that HAD to include cucumbers.  We wanted to try out my new Pampered Chef mandoline.  Wellllll, we ended up at the ER and he is missing the tip top of his right index finger. 

Doc said it should heel back but let's just say it wasn't very fun.  Kevin has a very high pain tolerance and I thought he was going to go through the roof of my car as I ran redlights to get to the hospital!  Eeks!  So this should be an eventful week of me typing his work emails for him at nights and changing bandages etc..  I've told him before to leave the cooking to me...now maybe he will ;).  Bless his heart for being sweet and trying to help though!!!