Monday, January 31, 2011

Greg and Jessica Visit and Michael's Birthday

We had a wonderful weekend and hope you did too.  Our friends Greg and Jessica were in town so we got to hang with them Saturday afternoon and into the night. 

You may remember their wedding here.  Kevin and Jason were both Greg's best men.  Here are the three guys.  They all worked at Bank of America together. 

Kevin and our friend Ashley.  These two grew up together and we just love her!

Not the best picture but this is Kevin, me, Jessica and Greg.

Jessica and I.  We're excited for them to fully move back to Charlotte SOON!  They've been living in Kansas City since just before their wedding.

Kevin and I with Ashley and her guy Dave.  Dave went to NC State so it was nice to hang with a fellow wolfpacker!

 Ash and I.

On Sunday, we went to dinner at George Brassiere's in Southpark for our friend Michael's birthday.  Michael lives at the Avenue and we've known him since we all moved in. 

He's in the front of the picture sitting down.  These are some of our friends from the Avenue and some of Michael's friends too.  It was a nice treat!

And isn't this chandelier absolutely gorgeous?!  It's also behind us in the picture above.

And Monday always comes around too quickly!!

What did yall do this weekend?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

This Weeks Menu

Thought it'd be fun to share our menu for the week.  This week's goals are to clean out my pantry and fridge!  And since they aren't all the healthiest ever, portion control!

Sunday - we are going out to dinner for a friend's birthday.  And another fun fact -- I just saw April at Trader Joe's!  They have finally moved back to Charlotte, as of this weekend!  :)

Monday - Frat Brat's from the Trader Joe's cookbook.  I may not serve these with the bread.  Definitely will serve with a side salad.
 - 1 package of brats
 - 2 red onions, thinly sliced
 - 1 12 ounce beer
 - 4 focaccia or panini rolls
 - 1/2 cup of TJ's corn and chili tomato-less salsa (Kevin has been dying to use this!)
 - Garnishes - sliced avacado, sliced muenster or havarti cheese, and sliced tomatoes
Preparation -
Place the bratwurst and sliced onions in a medium saute pan and pour the beer over them.  Bring the beer to a boil and simmer the brts for 5 minutes.  Turn sausages over and continue to cook until beer is nearly evaporated and onions begin to soften and deepen in color, about 10 minutes.  Remove onions and set aside.  Cook brats until lightly browned on one side, then turn to brown lightly on the other side.  Remove from pan and cool slightly.  Cut sausages in half lengthwise.  (If they are not cooked enough for your liking, return them to the pan, cut side down, for a few minutes to cook more thoroughly).  Split the focaccia rolls (like hamburger buns) and arrange a brat on the bottom of each roll.  Place some of the onions on top of each and add a dollop of corn salsa.  Garnish as desired.  Serves 4, PrepTime 5 min, CookingTime less than 20 minutes.

Tuesday - General Tso's Chicken from the Trader Joe's cookbook. You're technically supposed to use pork but Kevin is picky (again) and won't eat pork so I'm making it chicken!  ...with a side salad. 

- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 3 cubes frozen crushed garlic from TJ's
- 1 1/2 lb. chicken cubed
- 1/2 cup General Tsao Stir Fry Sauce from TJ's
- 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
- handful of haricots verts (French green beans)
- 1/2 (13.2 ounce) bag TJ's Rice Sticks (Thai pasta)
- 1/2 (10 ounce bag shredded carrots

Preparation -
In a large saute pan, heat the oil and saute the garlic over medium-high heat until aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chicken and saute until it begins to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the general tsao sauce and chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked, 10 to 12 minutes. While the pork cooks, bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add the green beans and rice sticks. Boil until both are tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the noodles and beans, and toss in the shredded carrots. Top the noodles with the chicken and sauce. Serves 4, PrepTime 10 minutes, CookingTime 20 minutes.

Wednesday - Mexican night at a friend's house.  Going to make a Sopapilla Cheesecake.  One of my girls from work made this and it was really good but then I saw the number of calories in it.  Needless to say, I may have ONE bite on Wednesday night and not tell anyone else the # of calories in it! ;)

Thursday - Shrimp and Grits from Christin at A Classy, Southern Wife
 - 1/2 cup chopped Canadian bacon (optional)
 - 1 cup red bell pepper strips
 - 1 cup green bell pepper strips
 - 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chilis, drained
 - 1 1/2 lbs. medium shrip, peeled and deveined
 - 1/2 cup chopped green onions
 - 1 2/3 cups fat free milk
 - 1 (16 ounce) can fat free, less sodium chicken broth
 - 1 cup uncooked quick cooking grits
 - 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese

Preparation -
Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat 3 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently.   Add bell peppers; cook 10 minutes, stirring occationally.  Add tomatoes; cook 5 minutes.  Add shrimp; cook 3 minutes.  Stir in green onions, keep warm.

Combine milk and broth in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and stir in grits.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally.  Stir in cheese.  Serve shrimp mixture over grits.

Friday - Chicken Enchilada Ring from Kelly's Korner - but I may make it beef.  We'll see.

Have a great week ladies!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Clean Jewelry

After work yesterday, Kevin and I met for dinner at a mexican place instead of eating in.  We just felt like doing something different. 

When we got home, I had a few extra minutes so decided to clean a few pieces of my jewelry.  A jeweler from home gave me this cleaning solution and it works wonders.  Basically you throw the jewelry in and agitate it a little bit and let it sit for a few minutes.  Take it out and rinse with warm water.

The card in the background is a Valentine that Anna Kate made for Kevin! ;)
Then your jewelry looks like new again after it dries on a paper towel!

So today I feel like I'm wearing new pieces! 

Do you ever clean your jewelry?  What do you use?


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Grandover Resort and Girl's Night

Last night I had another girl's night with some ladies I don't know as well.  Well you see, I know Lizzy from our building (she also dates a Kevin) and I know Molly through Lizzy.  The three of us have hung out numerous times but I didn't know their friends.  They invited me to their "book club" that they have with their girls from college at Queens University in Charlotte.

At first I was a bit aprehensive about BOOK club because I don't read books.  I can read blogs and Coastal Living with the best of them though!  ;)

They promised they hardly even talk about the book so I went.  Seriously yall, I had the best time.  It was SO fun meeting some new girls.  They were all so sweet and welcoming!  Three of them turned out to be Chi O's which was so fun to talk to them about!  We just went on and on about life while everyone drank wine and had snacks.  I could have talked to them forever!  Anyway, I'm looking forward to the next book club in February!  :)

On Kevin's and my way back to Charlotte on Sunday (from Raleigh) we were so tired, we could hardly keep our eyes open.  I've always wanted to stop at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro and Kevin kept raving about how nice it was.  So we did!   
We sat over in the chairs beside the fireplace for about 20 minutes and I took a few minute snooze.  How warm and cozy is that?!

The lobby was so pretty!

I lvoed this bamboo plant.  If you look closely you can see that it is all intertwined together.  Very cool!

What is your favorite fancy schmancy hotel or resort (whether you've stayed there or not)?  I'd have to say mine is either the Peabody in Memphis (we went to Cristin's wedding there in May 2009!) or the Waldorf in NYC.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dinner last night

So yall are probably thinking, "we don't care what you all had for dinner last night."

Well I tried some new things so I thought I'd share!
We picked up some white ruffy at Trader Joes a couple weeks ago (it was frozen) so I decided to make that last night.  I love how you can get fish frozen from there but it is still good AND they tell you how to defrost and cook it on the package!  These days our plans change so often, it is nice to just pull it out of the freezer and have a decent meal.

I decided to sprinkle some salt, pepper and dill and put spray butter and lemon juice on it.  You stick it in the oven at 375 for 20 minutes and it's done! 
Kevin loves him some slaw!  So I got a package of that and made it how it says to on the back (easy peasy).  Instead of the 1/4 cup of sugar, I used Splenda (and didn't tell him!).  He didn't mention that it tasted differently and I didn't think so either.  I told him about the Splenda after dinner and he was surprised and glad we saved the calories!

I also did the rice/couscous above.  I'm not a big "serve pasta as a side" type person but I thought this would complement the meal well.  On the back of the box there are a couple variations to of which you can add a cup of diced tomatoes (which I had in my pantry) and a half cup of diced onions (which I also already had).  I ended up doing that and it was delish.  It made it heartier so we ate less of the rice and each have big leftovers for lunch today.

So here are a couple few ideas for you in your meal planning!  It's fun to try new things! 

Do you all have any secrets of how you making regular dishes more spunky?!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Replacements, Ltd. in Greensboro, NC and Girls Night

Last night I met up with Lauren and Shannon for a lil girl's night at Nikko's for sushi.  We've been trying for SO long to get up with Shannon - we hadn't seen her in almost a year - unacceptable!  She has gotten engaged in that time so we got to hear all about her wedding plans!  Always fun to hang out with you girls!

So one of the places we stopped at on our way back from Raleigh on Sunday was Replacements Ltd. in Greensboro, NC.  Yes, Kevin was a major sport and hung with me while I checked it out.  I actually think he may have had a lil fun pointing out things his Mama has! 

Check out this tree with the gorgeous blue and white ornaments.  Erin, I thought of you!

Have you all ever ordered anything from them?  Basically you have an account online and you put in your china patterns and they'll email you when they have your pattern.  I've done it once and got a few new dinner plates that had either cracked or chipped.

The store only has about 2% of their inventory on the floor, the rest is back in the warehouse.  They can pull up your account though and bring anything out that you'd like to see.  Check out the gorgeous silver.  It ranged from $1,000 to $50,000....and that's just what we saw!  WHOA! 
If you ever drive by on I-85, you should check it out.  It's at Exit 132! 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Weekend in Raleigh

On Friday night, Kevin and I went to dinner with his parents at their club.  We had a great time, as usual.  Our dinners with them always last a few hours because we just talk and talk! 

Early Saturday morning we headed to Raleigh for a quick trip.  It just so happened that my sister in law (Emily) and my niece (Anna Kate) were going to be at Emily's parents for the weekend!  

And yall know I take every opportunity to hang out with this cutie!!! 

A special moment I want to remember: we were in the kitchen and I leaned down and talking to Anna Kate for a few minutes.  I told her I missed her and she said, "I miss you too."  Precious.

She and Kevin take the most adorable pictures.  She just LOVES him!  In fact, she made him a lil Valentine and gave it to him.  He claims that is going on his desk right when he gets to work! 

We visited with them for a few hours on Saturday afternoon before I had to go to a baby shower for my friend Beth.  This is Emily and I in our matching Christmas sweaters haha (thanks Mama!).

The baby shower was at 4 so we quickly went to my friend Kelly's house to change and I left Kevin there with her husband, Brett.  They ended up hearing that some of the other guys (whose girls were at the shower) were hanging out so they went and did that. 

The shower was wonderful!  I got to see my roommate, Lara (who I have always called "Rooms") and I hadn't seen her in almost 5 years.  Hello way too long.  She is the one on the left with the necklace in the blow picture.  Katie is on the right.  Another one of our sorority sisters!

Susan, Beth (the lady of the day!) and Lindsey!

Beth's twin sister Kate put together a hilarious slide show.  She is on the far right of this picture.

All the Chi O's!  L to R:  me, Katie, Cheryl, Suz, Beth, Lara, Kelly, Kara, Rhiannon

Cheryl and I.  Fun fact about her!  She and her hubby just got their pilots licenses!  How fun is that?

After the shower, we met up with the guys and went to an old favorite in Raleigh called El Rodeo. We went there all the time in school so it just fit!

Sunday morning we got up and went to church at Edenton Street United Methodist in downtown Raleigh.  This church is special because it's where my brother and Emily got married and it's also where Kelly and Brett got married.
Thanks Blogger for not allowing the picture to be posted correctly!

So I got to see Anna Kate again and we sat with her at church.  She was so cute....we held hands walking up the aisle.

After church we briefly drove around NC State so I could show Kevin my old stomping grounds.  Of course I couldn't leave out a visit to show him our Chi O house! 
We quickly left Raleigh because we had a ton of things to do last night and wanted to make a few stops on the way home.  Those ended up being really fun and I'll post about those this week! 

And it's Monday....! 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Special Chi Omega Event

On Wednesday night I felt very lucky to be able to attend a very special Chi Omega event.  It was called Chi Omega Today.  Basically some folks from Nationals (in Memphis) came and gave us an update on where our sorority is to date and what is in the future.
We got to meet lots of new Chi O's and spend some time together!

They had a little cocktail hour beforehand then they had the presentation!  Of course a picture followed then we sung Shades all together (picture below).

This is my friend Kelly and I with a Sister named Kate.  She is on the National Board of the sorority and was one of our advisors when we were in the chapter at NC State.  What an amazing lady!  We loved getting to see her in Charlotte!

Does your sorority do these events?  Were you in one in school?!  And where?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Show Us Your Life - Fran

I'd love to introduce you all to Fran!  She is one of my favorite friends and would be such a catch for a southern gentleman!
She is a Carolina gal and a huge Clemson fan!  Here are some things she enjoys:
Playing tennis
Drinking wine

Fran has a wonderful career and knows what she wants in life!  She comes from an amazing family and has good morals and values! 
As you can tell, she is very well-rounded and a ton of fun!  Fran is in her mid 20's and would love to meet that special someone!  If you know a guy that sounds like he'll be a match for her, please email me at and I'd love to play matchmaker!!!

**This post is part of Kelly's Korner - Show Us Your Life Singles.  Visit her blog to see others!

How real are you?

I've been thinking about this for a long time. 

How real are you on your blog? 

Are you yourself?
I type how I talk.  I'm the first to admit, I'm not a good writer. 
But I'm not sure it's all about that for me.  I'm more interested in journaling my life with family and friends.  I like finding good deals and sharing them.  I enjoy meeting new friends from blogging and getting new ideas.

 I found the picture below on my computer.  It's my Mom and I when I was 4.
I'm not scared to show this.  Honestly I think it's hilarious especially since I eventually became a civil engineer.  But at the same time I love Lilly and lots of other very girly things.  Too funny, right?

So how real are you on your blog?  Are you like you are in real life?  Or do you use your blog as a different kind of outlet?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Night out

Last Saturday night, Kevin and I went out to dinner with a couple (Jen and David) from our building!  We tried a new place downtown called Caffe Sienna.  Well, it was new to us.  It was really good, we were surprised! 

We stopped by Ri Ra and I got to see Lauren from Adventures of a Southern Newlywed.  She's so sweet!
Here are Jen and David.  They are just the nicest people....we love hanging out with them! 

We headed to Molly's and Michael from our building also met us out.  Wendy eventually joined as well for a couple drinks! 

Kevin and I.  He's so cute (not that I'm biased or anything!).

Last night I attended a very special event and my bestest from Raleigh came down for it as well.  I'll tell you about it tomorrow and of course show you pictures!  :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

G & M Restaurant - Baltimore, MD

So as yall know, I had to be up in Philly yesterday for a couple meetings and to see some new sites for commercial development.  Well, we flew in and out of Baltimore because it was much cheaper.

The weather wasn't looking so hot up there so we decided to head back to Baltimore early (aka last night instead of today).  So we cut our trip short and will finish things up in the next few weeks.  Will fly back to Charlotte sometime this morning when we can get on a flight.

One of my co-workers knew about this place called G&M Restaurant near the airport in Baltimore...he said it was a cool hole in the wall spot for an amazing crab cake.  He wasn't kidding yall!

Okay so my Mom's crab cakes are the best ones out there.  It's just the way it is! 

But these are now my second favorite.  Because let's be honest, nothing is ever as good as Mama's!

If you're ever in the area, make it your stop for dinner.  They also ship all over the country....see the link here

Mmmmm and with a Sam Adams Winter Lager after a long work day - DELISH!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Rue La La Lilly Sale!

100 followers!!!  WHOA!  Had no idea when I started this thing that I'd make so many great friends and people would want to know what goes on in my little world every day!  :)

Hope yall had a fab weekend!  We did and I'll probably recap that fact, there was a highlight - Kevin and I had been out to dinner with some Avenue friends and went to get a drink at Ri Ra...first person I see when I walk in - Lauren!  We took a picture this time which I'll share this week for sure!

Today I'm flying up to Philly for a work meeting.  Not sure if I'm coming back to Charlotte tonight or tomorrow...depends on meetings!  Eeks!

So Lilly being on Rue La La was a big treat yesterday!  I've never bought anything off there before because I just hadn't seen anything I HAD to have.  This dress sparked my interest so I got it to try on.  I have a feeling it'll need to be taken in to not look like a bag around my waist.  It is called the Alice Wild Orchid Dress.  Would be super cute to dress up for a wedding!
I love the Lilly sweaters and this one was a steal! 

Worth shift in Carson's Grandstand I thought would be nice for a day of errands or a bridal shower.

Who knows if I'll end up keeping any of this.  Fortunately Rue La La has a return policy so I can return for merchandise credit or full refund if I pay for the shipping back.  (I often get buyers remorse!)

Happy Monday friends!!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tervis Tumblers

Last night, we went to a co-worker's home for dinner.  She just outdid herself on the amazing mexican themed dinner.  Grilled veggies, grilled skirt steak, amazing avocado salad, tortilla soup to start.  Whew!  It was four couples from work and we had the best time!

Tervis tumblers are essential.  Specifically the 16oz. cups!  They fit just enough liquid (hot or cold) and always fit in car cup holders. 
They're perfect for an afternoon on the boat or at the pool.  I love putting different color tops on them too!

In fact, I've also been to the large warehouse of these in Venice, Florida.  Talk about any thing you want on them.  Whew!  It's also nice that they have a lifetime warranty - can't beat that!

I've had the above monogrammed ones for a couple years now (gift from Santa) and recently received two NC State ones for Christmas.

Love them!  Which is your favorite?

Cheers to the weekend!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Within the past couple of days, I was lucky enough to receive this award by two of my blogger friends! 

Thank you to Ally from Medical Prepster and mFw at Prissy and Preppy Flamingo!  Go visit them and they'll be your friends before you know it!

This is the scoop:
1. link to the blogger(s) who gave the award
2. share 7 facts about yourself
3. pass the award on to 15 ladies

Here are my 7 facts:
1.  I HATE the sounds of people eating.  Like hate.  Music or TV is always on in the background at home.  Breakfast is the worst.  I know, I'm terrible.

2.  Major bargain shopper right here.  Why pay full price when things always go on sale?

3.  Love real estate and finding good deals.  Not that I ever act on them but I like imagining.

4.  Obsessed with only one TV show - The Bachelor/Bachelorette.  Otherwise, I don't watch movies or TV.  Hate movies....many better things to do in my opinion.

5.  I have always run - in fact my Dad and I used to run them when I was probably 10 years old.  Then I played sports in high school and club lacrosse in college and of course ran to keep in shape.  Now I run for fun again and would love to run a half marathon one day.  We'll legs are pretty strugs from too many sports.

6.  Growing up, we never really ate different foods like Mexican, Thai or Sushi. Now I love it all. Haven't tried Indian yet though - does anyone have any easy recipes to try?

7.  Secretly wish I could be a gymnast but yall know I don't have a body for that.  It just amazes me what gymnasts can do!

I'm passing this award on to:
Lexilooo at Tea and Crumpets
Mrs. Wade at The New Mrs. Wade
Jenna at This is Love

It's always hard to come up with only 15 because I appreciate each of you and think you're very stylish so if I didn't put you on this list, consider yourself tagged!  :)