Thursday, July 31, 2014

Things Kids Today Won't Understand

I was born in the 80s but I consider myself a 90's kid (since that's when I was aware enough to notice my surroundings, and became more of a human in society).
There are SO MANY things kids today will never understand from when we were growing up.

1-"Be Kind, Rewind" and Blockbuster
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Kids today will never understand the joy/thrill of going to Blockbuster in general, but also the feeling of utter defeat when the movie you were looking forward to renting has no video cases behind it. They'll never know the feeling of last-minute hope when you go to the front desk to see if someone happened to return that video earlier that day and it just hadn't been put back on the shelf yet. They'll never understand the annoyance when the video you'd rented and started to watch wasn't rewound.

2-Waiting to get on the internet
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Now it's just open up a browser and you're there. Before it was listening to that 
sqweeeeeeeeeee-wa-weeeeeee-ba-boing-boing sound 
of you getting connected to the world.
Or, when you had to get off the internet so someone could use the phone!

3-Lisa Frank stickers (folders, pencils....)
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I was bananas for Lisa Frank stickers. I remember I got a jumbo pack once and I didn't want to use any of my stickers. I'd spend a LOT of time pouring over which ones were my LEAST favorites that I might be willing to use on something, and the ones that I absolutely would never take off of the sheet. Im pretty sure those are still somewhere at my parents' house, completely intact.

4-Pogs
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These were the "thing" back in the day...and caused so much turmoil (when they were lost in a game) that they were banned from schools, at least mine. I remember going to places like Michaels and scouring for the perfect pogs or a cool slammer. 
Ahhh, to have that be your biggest worry again....getting the coolest pogs lol

5-Doodle Bear and Popples
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6-Determining your future based on a Magic 8 Ball
...and then shaking it again if you didn't like the answer
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7-When game "apps" looked like this:
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8-When you took care of your pet, sneakily, during the day, in your pocket
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9-The hard work it took to become a true fashion designer
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10-When your "date" was determined by a board game
...and you always wanted it to be Brad who called you:
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(and the fact that how many years later, you still remember 'Brad'...)

What do you remember from growing up that kids these days won't have a clue about?


On a side note, I want to wish my mother-in-law a VERY happy birthday today! She's one of the absolutely sweetest, and most kind women you'll ever meet. She's treated me as if I was part of the family from the very beginning, and I'm so thankful to her for raising the man I married :) Happy Birthday!!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Bridesmaid Gifts

I had a tough time figuring out just the right gifts for my bridesmaids when planning my wedding.
I wanted them to know how special they all are to me, and how thankful I was that they all were a part of my wedding day (and the festivities leading up to it all). After lots and lots of man hours logged online, I think what I put together was perfect.

I liked doing first name initial monograms, since those names don't change and could be things that they held onto for as long as they wanted.

I got a lot of things from the knot.com including the main bags that I gave the girls, that held their goodies:

 I also got them each a bracelet that had the initial from their first name on it (from the knot.com) and earrings that I scoured the internet for and eventually purchased from etsy:
I didn't require the girls to wear these, but they were options, and I think everyone did end up wearing them
I also got a cute little make-up bag, also personalized with the first initial of each person's name. I packed it full of little possible necessities for the day, along with a cute poem about each item in the bag.

The note said:
This survival kit was made just to say
I'm thrilled you're beside me on my wedding day!
There's chocolate to give you that sugar high,
And a packet of tissues in case you should cry.
Chap stick to help you care for your smile,
If a nail should break, I've included a file.
There's Shout if you should spill on your dress,
and lifesavers to help keep your breath minty fresh.
There's Advil included if it's ill that you feel,
and band-aids to help you tackle high-heels.
I've put everything in this handy pack
so you'll know that this bride has got your back!
This kit was intended so that you can see
how much you mean to the bride-to-be!

I also included a bottle of wine for each of the girls (minus the Jr. Bridesmaid who was only 13), and each was personalized with their name, the same decorative border that I used for our table numbers and escort cards at the wedding, their "title" in the bridal party, and a little message. I picked out a red or white wine based on their wine preferences:

BIG shout out to my blog bestie Shay for helping me with this (and the million other wedding-related stuff you designed for me!)

I had an extra present for my Maid of Honor (that I didn't take a picture of), but it was a gold bar necklace that said 'you're my person'....which is special to us.

Each girl got a note from me, telling them each how much I love them and how much they mean to me.

Tears were shed and it was all a success! :)

Wedding Wednesday
NC Belle in Boots 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Recipe Files: One Pan Mexican Quinoa

Like I told you all last time I posted a recipe, I've been looking for some healthier meal options for dinners and my gal at damndelicious has not failed me yet. I made another dish of hers (that I'm going to share with you later) and figured I couldn't lose by trying another one. Enter, One Pan Mexican Quinoa!
Yes, I said ONE PAN, and HEALTHY....

If you're like me, when you hear "healthy" you think "no flavor" but that's not the case with this dish. It's packed with flavor. And SO easy to make.
What You Need:
-1 cup uncooked quinoa
-1 cup vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
-1 can fire roasted, diced tomatoes
-1 cup corn (I used a little bit more than a cup)
-1 can black beans (we did reduced sodium)
-1 tsp chili powder
-1/2 tsp cumin
-2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tsp from jar)
-1 jalapeño, minced (I used about 15-20 slices from jar)
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-salt and pepper to taste (I used sea salt)
-1 avocado, diced
-juice of one lime
-2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (if you're inclined to skip this, don't! It's SO good in here!)


What You Do:
1. In a pan (that has a lid), heat up the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the minced garlic and jalapeño until fragrant (about a minute). Make sure to move these around while heating.
2. Add in the quinoa, vegetable broth, cumin, chili powder, tomatoes, beans, and corn and season with salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.
Bring everything to a boil, then cover your pan and reduce the heat. Simmer until the quinoa is cooked through (about 20 minutes).

3. Once the quinoa is done, turn off the heat and add in the avocado, lime juice an cilantro. Stir to combine.
(omg, my mouth is watering just looking at this and remembering how yummy it was)

4. Serve immediately. I added a sprinkle of cheese and sour cream before eating and I highly recommend it!
It is SO good, filling, and healthy for you! I am definitely going to be making this regularly now.
MG, my meat-loving husband even enjoyed this one. He told me "I want seconds, but I'm so full I can't do it"....that never happens. 
Try it. You'll love it.
And the clean up is a breeze!

Check out some of the other recipes I've tried out in my Recipes Tab at the top of the page!
Happy (and healthy) eating!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Weekend Highlights

My weekend highlights included:

-finally deciding on a color for the kitchen walls....and another trip to Home Depot (along with several texts between my friends and I for opinions! Thanks Genna, Emily, Shay, and Lynn!!!)
(now do you see why I know pretty much every person who works in the paint department??)
-Friday date night to our favorite pizza spot near our old place

-picking up some delicious cheeses at Cheesetique (young manchego, get in my belly!)

-sanding, cleaning and painting the walls of the kitchen
Still need to do the cabinets, so you can't see that part yet :)
-finishing the deck staining/painting 

-Double date dinner: Mussel Bar; yummy dinners, a bottle of wine, french fries to share, outdoor seating....perfection
-Sunday errands

-buying a new chandelier/light fixture for our dining room (pics on that to come!)

-getting lots of compliments on my new handbag

-4 year old birthday party at the couple's new place who rented our house before we moved in
look how cute the back of her invitation is!
-Noodles and Co dinner with friends who are renting our condo from us now and...

-finally checking out the movie theater by our new place (really nice!), seeing Wish I Was Here with our friends (good movie, more emotional than I expected it to be)

-puppy cuddle time!

What were your highlights from the weekend?

Linking up with these ladies:
Mingle 240

Friday, July 25, 2014

Hey, Friday!

Oh Heyyyyyy, Friday! How you doin'?


{1}-Home Home Home
We are FINALLY going to be home this weekend. No long car trips, no living out of a suitcase....also, no beaches or hanging with friends ON a beach, but that's ok (we already have plans to hang out with a couple friend of ours tonight).
We get to take advantage of a FULL weekend to get work done on the house. I think we're gonna try and finish the last coat on the deck and hopefully tackle painting the kitchen. Which means I need to seriously figure out what color paint to use!
Speaking of paint colors....

{2} -Picking paint colors sucks
It's fun, yes, but I can't "see" how it all works on the wall sometimes. Sample paint colors have definitely been my friend (or foe, depending how you look at it), but even on the wall I can't fully visualize how it's gonna look totally painted. I don't wanna make a wrong decision and have to re-do it all!
I've already gone through several different ideas for the kitchen (and the whole main floor)...I think I know what I want to do now....I'd better get the paint on the wall before I change my mind again! ;)

{3}-Two Dots
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It's an app/game. Have you heard of it? I can't even remember where I saw it, but it's a challenging little game that I'm addicted to, and have been since the beginning of June. If you need a new 'thing' to kill some time, get this one (and you don't have to bug your friends to be friends or do stuff like with some other apps). You can't kill TOO much time all at once on this one since you only have 5 lives at a time. And some levels, those go quickly. It's tricky and fun!

{4}-4 year old birthday (yes I purposely saved #4 for this haha)
MG and I are going to the birthday party for the cutest little 4 year old girl this weekend. She's the daughter of the people who were renting the house we moved into, and we've become friends with. Looking forward to celebrating the cutie and spending time with her parents :)

{5}-Thursday
Yesterday started gloomy and humid but by the evening it was so nice out....MG and I met up with our friends who live around the corner from us to play some Top Golf. As always, these two are so fun to hang out with, and to top that off, we even got a really pretty, cotton candy, sunset:

(It got more cotton candy-like as the sun kept on setting).
I think today is supposed to be nice as well which is just how I want to start the weekend!

Hope your weekend is as fun/relaxing/productive as you want it to be!
Catch ya later, gators!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Recipe Files: Chili Lime Tilapia

It's been a bit since I shared a new recipe with you all  (and I actually just realized there was one I made over a month ago that I never shared, either).

Since getting back from vacation, I've been trying to get my body back into a healthy groove so I went in search of more healthy recipes, and came across this one for chili lime tilapia:
This one is really easy and can be done on the grill, in a crock pot, or the oven!

What You Need:
-1 lb tilapia filets (I used frozen ones and thawed them)
-1 bag baby spinach
-1 lime
-1 Tbsp chili powder
-1Tbsp garlic powder
-1 Tbsp minced shallot
-sea salt/black pepper to taste
-olive oil
*tilapia filets not pictured here but you definitely need them :)

What You Do:
1. Rinse each filet and pat dry. Put salt and pepper on both sides of your filets.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the lime juice from your lime, chili powder and garlic powder. You may need to add in a little more lime juice to make it easier to spread (I used the concentrate kind since I'd already squeezed out all my lime). Spread a thin layer on both sides of the filets.

3. Spread out tin foil for each filet that you have (mine were smaller, so I had 7). Put a handful of spinach leaves on each piece of tin foil. Add a bit of olive oil to each spinach bunch (about 1/4 tsp).
4. Put your filets with their seasoning on top of each spinach bunch. Top each filet with some of your minced shallot. Add another squeeze of lime juice on top of each filet (or a slice of lime if you want--I didn't do that). 
(There are two filets pictured on one foil--don't do this. Each filet should have it's own piece of foil)

5. Fold each piece of foil into an airtight packet. Grill each piece for about 3-4 minutes on each side (original recipe said 5 minutes total, but our filets were thin and we still needed to add them back on the grill for another 2 minutes).
If you do this in the oven, cook them, in the packets, at 350 for 15-20 minutes.
In the crock pot, cook the packets on LOW for 2-3 hours.

Serve up and enjoy! The baby spinach tastes SO good because it gets all soft and absorbs the extra flavor from the fish seasoning. YUM!
Clean up is a breeze, too, since it's mainly the foil, and you just throw that into the recycle bin!

I've got another healthy and CRAZY tasty dish coming up (plus the other one I forgot to share with you all a month or so ago). Stay tuned, you're gonna wanna try ALL of these!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I love....

I LOVE....

.....hearing the creativity/thought process of a 4 year old mind

.......friends who will dog-sit for you last minute. And having a dog that so easily adjusts to new people and places. #welladjustedpup
......books on tape during a road trip. It makes the ride SO much better, faster, easier (thanks for the recommendations, Trish!)

.......taking my husband's last name officially (even tho it's an annoying process to make it legit, but hopefully by next week!!!)

.....looking at our wedding and honeymoon photos and video and remembering what an amazing time it all was :)
......hearing people's true thoughts and opinions on someone once they aren't part of your life anymore. It's amazing how much others are better able to see true colors in someone else before you can sometimes 

......buying presents for babies my friends are having #babyspoiling

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....that I know how to say "I'm sorry," and how to take responsibility for wrongs that I've done. I don't need to pretend that I'm perfect, especially if I've hurt someone else without intending to. It's definitely not easy, but I admit my mistakes so that I can make myself a better me. My friend Trish told me the other day "the beauty in people is their imperfections" and I loved that thought

.......celebrating different milestones and accomplishments in my friends' lives--there's never too much to celebrate!

....Ariana Grande's song 'Problem'....especially the part where he whispers "I've got one less problem without ya!"
(you can catch me singing this one in my car on a regular basis lately)
.....making healthier choices for myself, in all aspects of my life. Healthy foods, more water, working out more/better, getting rid of "dead weight" relationships, maintaining a positive outlook. It's an overall life-cleanse! :)
(yummy chili-lime tilapia recipe coming at ya soon, but for now, here's a pic to torture you):

.....having so much wine that it doesn't all fit into our wine fridge
#somuchwinesolittletime
......that my husband's family loves me unconditionally (and I them), as if we were related by blood (thankfully, we're not, though or this whole "marriage" thing would be odd/illegal haha). I love that my husband gets along with my parents just as well. I know how lucky we both are to have that.

.....making our house feel more and more like home, step by step :)

What are YOU loving?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

South Carolina Recap (Part 2)

Our first full day on Kiawah Island started off with pouring rain. We were told to try out the Sunday brunch at The Sanctuary, so we'd made reservations and went. The food was SO good, and the view was really nice. Luckily the weather let up a bit as the day went on, too.
After stuffing ourselves silly with yummy food and endless mimosas, we went for a walk around the grounds and took pics:




Since the weather cleared up, we went down to the beach for a couple hours before heading home and making dinner.

The next day was beautiful so we got up, had breakfast, packed lunches and made our way to the beach early. We spent the whole day there and ended our afternoon with some bevies on the beach :)

We made our way back to the cottage, showered, and MG made grilled chicken for dinner while we watched for gators...and eventually spotted one! We went out to the water's edge to see it, and the gator turned around and swam back our way. As it got close, we all turned and ran:
The next morning all 4 of us were up and at 'em early to play tennis. It was hotter than hot out and the courts were in the sun which made for an extra strenuous tennis game, but fun nonetheless.
After that, we made our way down to the beach for the entire day, ending with beers on the beach before heading back to our cottage to shower, cook and hang on the deck.

We ate together, had some wine, and then decided to go for a bike ride to get ice cream cones.
Once we got back, it was getting dark and the guys wanted to go for another bike ride in the dark...Jac and I passed and let them have their fun while we hung out on the deck and chatted it up. It was nice to have girl time :) And the guys didn't get eaten by gators, thankfully.


The next day was just a day at the beach....more of the same from the previous day. At night, though, we decided to take bikes on a ride around and see the HUMONGOUS houses on the other part of the island. As sunset got closer, we decided to ride our bikes back on the beach....which would have been a great idea if we hadn't been riding right into the wind lol. Needless to say, we got another workout in for the day, but the scenery was well worth it!

The next morning, MG and I went for a drive to get supplies since our friends Kev and Michelle were coming into town for the wedding on Friday, but came a day early to hang with us at the house.
Our views on our drives were always SO beautiful:
Errands aren't so bad with a view like that!

Our friends arrived and we made our way to grab lunch and then hit up the beach for the day where we telexed, played games and just had fun:

Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the cottage and get ready for dinner. We ate out at a restaurant nearby that had an incredible view for the sunset:


Nothing beats beautiful weather, view and friends:
After dinner, we went back to the cottage, made some bevies and played games.

It was the perfect way to wrap up our week in Kiawah, before going to our friends' wedding the next evening (which I already recapped last week).
That's my week in SC! We had SO much fun--I love looking back at all the pics we took and the fun we had.
 
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