Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekend in Pawleys

We had a wonderful time in Pawleys Island, SC this weekend with my brother, SIL and niece Anna Kate.  We got there around lunch time on Saturday and Fin (pooch) got some good licks in with Kevin.  Fin is an adorable golden retriever!

Then Anna Kate woke up from a nap and we twirled around and around and upside down!  She couldn't stop giggling!

Then we went to a carnival at Quigly's and had a blast.  They are smart - games for the kids, beers for the adults, a band for both.  There were tons of people there.  Anna Kate jumped and jumped!

 Here she is with her friends.  Those lil boys just idolized her.  It was precious.

Girlfriend loves her some cotton candy.  She tried to get us all to get her another bag. 

The five of us!

And must feed the fish by the pond too!  She has her lil tongue out just like our family does when we concentrate.  Love it!

She kept running down this ramp and loved how Kevin caught her and threw her up in the air.   Over and over and over!!

We got home and my brother grilled up some steaks then it was bed time for our queen.  But first she had to feed her baby and wear Aunt A's shoes. 

My SIL, Kevin and I went out to the PIT (Pawleys Island Tavern) then to the Islander.  It was so much fun!  We love the hole in the wall places like this!

Yes, Emily and the ranch is TOTALLY blog-worthy!  Mama likes her ranch!

Kevin and I in front of the PIT.

We headed over to the Islander with Allison and her sister's bachelorette party! 
Then we decided to call it a night! 

Yesterday we watched Anna Kate ride her bike (yes she is only 3.5 years old and can ride a bike!  :)) and we rode her scooters.  She played on her swing set that Poppa made her for a long time.  After lunch, Kevin and I headed back to Charlotte. 

Thanks to you all for having us!!!  We had the best time, as usual!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Francesca Joy Palm Beach Wristlet

Remember I told yall last week how I had won the Francesca Joy Palm Beach giveaway on Preppy Little Dresses blog?

Wellllll, the package arrived last night!  Look how adorable everything is!  A lil handwritten note, a postcard and a little advertisement came with the adorable wristlet!

Isn't it super cute?!!  I can't wait to use it all summer with Lilly or to brighten up an outfit!
Thanks so much ladies!  I'm thrilled with my new wristlet and hope others will check out PLD's blog and Francesca Joy Palm Beach's website!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

30 Day Shred

A couple weeks ago, I started doing the 30 day shred by Jillian Michaels.  Have any of you done it?  She says you can lose 20 pounds in 30 days but let's be honest - that ain't gonna happen!

I consider myself somewhat athletic (played lacrosse in school) and still run about 8-9 months out of the year to stay in shape.  But yall - this thing got me!  I was sore the first couple of days (maybe it had to do with doing the video in bare feet?!) and I think it's from using muscles that you don't use running!

The way the video is set up is there are three circuits in each 20 minute workout.  Each circuit has 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio and 1 minute of abs.  She says this is the quickest way to burn fat.  There are also three levels.  I'm still on Level 1 because I'm mixing this with running a few days a week too. 

Do you all have any workout videos that work for you?  I like doing something during the winter when I'm hibernating from running in 20 degree temps (and I don't do treadmills)!  It has been above 70 about 6 out of the last 7 days so it's been great being outside! 

Is it Friday yet?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rent the Runway

Have yall heard of Rent the Runway?!  You can rent dresses for an event for as low as $40!  And you don't even have to dry clean them before you mail them back!  Easy peasy!

This morning I was reading Maryland Pink and Green and she mentioned they have Lilly Pulitzer now!  WHOA!  I had to check it out!

I'm obsessed with this Adelson shift in navy.  Perfect for a luncheon or shower!

This Go Go Girl dress is super cute and I've heard the Lilly stores are having trouble keeping it in!

The other thing I like about Rent the Runway is that they give you two sizes and you can pre order to be sure you get the dress you want for the correct date!  How cool is that?!
There are lots of great designers on the website!  Sign up for Rent the Runway here!  I promise they don't overload your inbox with pointless emails!

Also, keep reading down, I posted about my pink swap today! :)

Pink Swap

Just before Valentine's Day, Hopsy hosted her annual pink swap!  This is the first time I've ever participated but I remember she doing it in years past!

I got paired with the sweetest girl named Allie.  She doesn't have a blog but let's all encourage her to start writing.  She works for a design firm and is super'll see one of the gifts and know!

She got me the cutest tote bag for groceries and hauling things back and forth to my car, socks, carribean hand sanitizer (it's like she knew I was a germ freak!) and pink gum!

Emory boards and heart tissues!

Pink sheer lip gloss!

As if she needed to do more - she made me stationery!  Yes girls - stationery!  It has a pink rose in the bottom right and my (real) name across the top.  The envelopes have my return address on the back with another little rose.  They are SOOOO pretty and I can't wait to use them for special occasions.  I'm pretty picky with stationery and love to have lots on hand so she just knew about this too!!!!
Thanks Allie for being a great pink swap partner!  :) 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chicken and Peppers in Creme Sauce

This is a Trader Joe's cookbook specialty and it is SO easy for a weeknight meal.  AND it is gluten free for those that are interested!  It's also reasonably healthy.  Instead of the creme fraiche/cream, I use light sour cream.  Enjoy!  Oh...and the reason it doesn't look very colorful - I let the peppers hang a little too long before I used them so the red ones in the batch weren't looking too hot so I skipped them.  You can red, orange and yellow peppers if you don't have TJ's nearby...I'd guess about one to two peppers total would equal all the little ones.
Chicken and Peppers in Creme Sauce

1 pound chicken tenders, or breasts cut into strips
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pint Trader Joe’s Minisweet Bell Peppers, sliced into strips
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3/4 cup water
1 tube Trader Joe’s chicken Savory Broth concentrate
2 tablespoons crème fraîche (or cream)

Season chicken tenders with salt and pepper. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté the tenders until they are no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the mini pepper strips and sauté 3 to 4 minutes more, until peppers are softened. Remove chicken and peppers to a serving platter. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, gently loosening the browned bits of food with a wooden spoon or spatula, and simmer 2 to 3 minutes, until wine is reduced to about a tablespoon. Add the mustard, water, and chicken broth concentrate, and simmer 2 to 3 minutes, until the liquid is slightly reduced. Add the crème fraîche and simmer a moment to warm. Return the chicken and peppers to the pan and simmer until warm and cooked through. Adjust seasonings to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves 4

Monday, February 21, 2011

Birthday, Boat Show, Triple Date, Mall and Shred

Hope yall had a great weekend!  We were busy but it was a good time!

On Friday afternoon, it was in the upper 70's so I got a good run in, showered up and headed down to Kevin's hometown.

Since we were in California for his birthday, his parents wanted to have a little get together!  We stayed down there until almost 11pm.  Always good times!

Saturday morning we worked at the boat show for Allstate.  Kevin and I make a good team on stuff like this because I'll walk up to talk to anyone and he is really thorough in his knowledge and also able to talk to any body.  Hopefully some of his new leads pan out!

Saturday night we had dinner with two other couples at Firebirds in Southpark.  L to R - Jackie, Benny, me, Kevin, Jenny and Brad.  Random how we all know each other but Benny and I were in civil engineering together at NC State and he's one of my "country boys" (as I call them).  Jenny and I were sorority sisters at school.  Brad and Benny are also roommates.  We had been talking about getting together so we're glad we finally did it.  After dinner we went to Pacos Tacos to watch the NBA dunk contest!

On Sunday, Kevin and I went to the mall to walk around and get a few things.  Afterwards we came back and Fran came over.  We had a lil cocktail hour then we ended up doing the 30 day shred!  It was too funny!  Fran had gotten the Robinson tote from Tory Burch and wanted to see what I thought about it for a tote bag.  It is absolutely adorable!
Oh and Fran was out and about in Charlotte on Friday night and saw Emily Maynard from the Bachelor at the bar.  She told her how proud everyone in Charlotte is of her.  Fran said she was absolutely stunning in person as well! 

Hope you all have a fabulous week!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Pier One, Tulips

Happy Birthday to the best Sister-in-Law a girl could have!  Hope you have an amazing 30th birthday! 

I know yall will have a blast celebrating in Miami this weekend!

Cheers to this being your best year yet, Mama Duck!

Yesterday at lunch, I stopped by Pier One to see if they had fake limes.  BTW, try finding fake limes - so hard.  Everyone has green apples but not limes!  Ha!  I've found five at a lil shop in Virginia, but need a few more.  Supposively Crate and Barrel will have them in a week or two.

ANYWAY, I saw these adorable coasters and for $3.50 each, a set of four is a great lil hostess gift.  Super fun for a porch too.

On my way home, I stopped at Trader Joe's to pick up a couple things and had been lusting over the tulips.  I decided, hey what the heck, I'm going to pick some up today as a treat for the weekend. 

Wellllllll Kevin evidently had the same idea.  I got home and had these waiting on me with some ceviche he made and a bottle of wine with a cute note.  He always knows when to do the right hadn't been the best day.

But I had also gotten tulips and the funny thing was that I wanted the pink ones that he had gotten but the two packages left of them didn't look the best so I went with red.  So now we have lots of tulips to enjoy! 
It's seriously almost a joke at this point about flowers.  I rarely buy them but whenever I do, he has bought them that same day.  It's like we just know haha. 

It's been mid to upper 60's all week in Charlotte and suppose to be 75 here today.  Needless to say, I'll be working from the Avenue pool deck! ;)

We are going down to Kevin's home town tonight to have a late birthday celebration with his parents.  Tomorrow we are working at the boat show for his Allstate business.  Dinner with two other couples is on tap tomorrow night along with the Chairman of the Board concert with some other friends.  Looking forward to a great and busy weekend. 

Do yall have fun plans?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Valentine's Day

As I mentioned in the post before, we didn't do much for Valentines Day.  It was more of a travel day since we lost three hours coming back to the East Coast.  We did at least get to be together instead of us both working, so that was nice. 

We got home from the airport a bit after 8pm and I'm that annoying person that has to unpack everything immediately and get things in the washer (Kevin is too so it works well!).  So he went to his condo and did the same.

And yall know that the Bachelor was on so that was top priority.  While finishing things up, we popped popcorn, sat on the couch and watched The Bachelor.  During a commercial break, I gave him a card that had a gift certificate for a good haircut and a lil man pampering (aka a beer and shoe shine) at a local men's spa place.  Surprisingly he was pretty excited about it.  He deserves it!

A few commercial breaks later, he pulls out a box (larger than the usual) and a card - I was so surprised.  The card was super cute (I'll spare you the details) and I opened the box...which may I add - he had lovingly wrapped all by himself with my wrapping paper!  :) 

In it was another brown box (the usual jewelry shop one).  He had totally asked them for a bigger box so I wouldn't know what it was right away.

I freaked because we don't do big gifts like this for Valentines!!! 
And in it - these gorgeous gold earrings with a drop stone.  They look pretty amber here but they are also grayish so I can wear them with brown and black.  He is SO good at picking out jewelry!  My goodness!

Thanks Kev for making it an extra special day and for the fun surprise!

Another couple sweet surprises were some other things I received in the mail!  A box and card from Mom and Dad that includes some super fun treats!!!  :)

AND, a Valentine from my girl Anna Kate.  In it were some new photos of her that my sis-in-law and brother had done.  They are presch and proudly hanging in my office and at home!

I felt very loved this Valentine's and hope yall did too! 

California - Last Day - LA

Last California post - I promise!!!  And yes, this one has lots of pictures but shows a ton of cool things we saw!  ....including something from my favorite TV show!

The next morning we had to check out where the big event had been held!  This is also where the Golden Globes are!  This is the room, it's pretty large!  You can see the stage on the back right.

Call me crazy but I had to see the ladies room!  Think of how many famous ladies have been in here!  This is the entrance - all mirrored!

It is all this coral marble - so pretty.  This is the lounge area.

While I was checking that out, Kevin went backstage and saw this!  It was the lineup of who played the night before!  WHOA!

Amazing right?!

Then we headed out to see the LA sites.

Downtown LA.

Then we headed to Malibu and drove up into the mountains to find......The Bachelor house!  Yall I was freaking out I was so excited! 

The front gates were closed off so we couldn't go down in there to see the front entrance but this was a good shot of it from down the road.  It's kinda in a valley and there is a big horse farm down the way.  There were dumpsters out front so they are probably renovating it....I think it's for sale too.  So cool and Kevin was so sweet to go with me to see that!

Then we headed to Paradise Cove which is where Baywatch was filmed (or so we heard).

And of course we had to see the Hollywood sign...this picture isn't in order...sorry!

Never had In-N-Out before so that was essential.  So bad for you yet so tasty. 

Santa Monica was gorgeous!

Could have done without Venice Beach.  Maybe we just didn't see the nice areas or something.

The neighborhoods in Beverly Hills were awesome.  We drove through a lot of them. 

Had to see Tory Burch right off of Beverly Boulevard even though there is one right across the street from my work haha!

Then Kevin saw these cars that were awesome in his terms.  We came about The Ivy in the background which is a popular restaurant to see stars.  Paparazzi was across the street taking pictures of someone. 

The view of the hotel from our balcony.

The sunset from there was pretty neat!

Then we went out to dinner at Rock Sugar....a pan asian bistro.  This was kinda our last hurrah and we pretended it was our Valentines dinner too.  Kevin got the Princess Shrimp and I got Caramel Chicken.  Seriously this was an amazing meal.  They said the owners are part of Cheesecake Factory but this is the only Rock Sugar so far.  They are looking at lucky ducks!

Kevin just had to take this picture and send it to my Dad with the caption, "if this isn't high maintenance, I don't know what is."  He is soooo funny....or thinks he is!  ;)  More on the brown bag later....

There was this adorable Sperry advertisement in the Century City shopping development.  And yall know how much I love goldens.

The Beverly Hilton has a "house car" which is a mercedes suv.  Umm, no we don't mind if you take us to the restaurant.  Thank you!  Haha!

Back at the hotel.  Cute story about Kevin - we browsed through Bloomingdales before dinner and while I was looking at shoes, he went and asked the lady if he could have a few bags because his girl liked them so much.  Too cute.  So now I have every size of the brown bags.  ;)
We flew out Valentines morning back to the East Coast.  It didn't really feel like Valentines to us because we traveled most of the day but we did exchange a lil somethin somethin when we got home.  I'll have to tell yall about that later today!  :)

Thank you guys for reading my looooong posts about California.  I'm excited to have my blog as a scrapbook of our trip!  Let me know if you'd like to see the other 400 pictures and I can send you a link!

Happy Thursday!