Tuesday, December 31, 2013

christmas day 2013.

we pulled into the drive of the walkers around 3pm on christmas day to start the day off with lee’s family. first off, the walkers know how to party. this was their set up.


{colorful ice cubes that I loved!}


the bar ranged from beer, wine, and liquor {which i stayed away from because my tolerance can sometimes be that of a 15 year old} and we toasted to celebrating together. laurie had prepared turkey, ham, spinach, biscuits and the most delicious deviled eggs. drew had prepared the mac & cheese and i’ve never been more thankful for that.


their next tradition was to head into the den area and open up the stockings hanging on the fireplace. my family doesn’t do stockings so this was my first one! it about made me tear up i was so touched they made one for me too. i’m a girl – what can i say.

there were a ton of goodies ranging from lotions, gum, coffee mugs, candy, deodorant, candles, and chapstick. one of these days when i have children, i’ll definitely steal this idea!


{stocking goodies}

lee was showing off his new blanket too!

then it was time to head into the family room and unwrap the gifts under the tree. the walkers were too sweet to me! necklaces that are just my style, a pretty scarf and my favorite scent – marc jacobs daisy - was what i unwrapped. lee got the wire tv series, other grownup man presents, a new bed topper and some handmade nc state cornhole boards that drew made! yes he handpainted these and made his own stencils. impressive. although i rep tarheels all day every day, these were some sweet boards.


{walker men} 

finally it was time for us to unwrap our gifts to each other. lee’s final gift was apple tv and i opened the most gorgeous michael kors watch. it was absolutely perfect.

{christmas day 2013}

later that night, a couple friends of the walker’s came over and we played a game called “boulder dash.” .......... i think. to be honest i have no flippin idea what the name of this game is but it’s something that sounds like “boulder dash.” or maybe not. honestly i can't remember, but it was hilarious. 

basically you grab a dictionary and each person takes turn being the “judge.” you pick an odd sounding word that no one knows the real definition of. each person writes down what you think the word can mean. it can be silly or the most convincing meaning if you want. however, the goal is when it’s time for the judge to read them out to everyone, you want your made-up definition to be the one people chose the most. in return, you are also voting for a definition and your goal is to guess the actual correct dictionary definition. it was a ton of fun hearing some of the made-up craziness people came up with.

{my fake definition for formicary. i can't remember what the real definition is but isn't this convincing?!}

{lance and reggie working hard}

{drew being a good judge}

the rest of the night we spent out in the shop with drinks and a cozy fire.

{our fire builder, lance}

i even got a ride in the hudson hornet with lee's dad the next morning!

hope your christmas was as lovely as mine.


Monday, December 30, 2013

christmas eve 2013.

i feel like if i start this post off with "i love christmas" that would be way too cliche. so i won't. i'll start from the beginning.

however, if you don't want a mini play-by-play, stop reading here. 

lee's christmas started early. the other week when we went to cajun queen and had those bells two hearted ales, i spilled the beans that i had gotten him panthers vs. saints tickets as a part of his christmas. damn those 7% beers! regardless, it was a good thing so we could prep for sunday. 

...except we ended up not prepping at all. both of us forgot the "you can't buy beer before sunday at noon" rule and neither of us brought a poncho even though the weather was screaming RAIN at us from our iphones. luckily our pals had enough pregaming material to hold us over. oh and we all chipped in on tailgating food including the below:

{thank goodness for packed coolers.}

{guacamole salsa}

{tacos & food spread}

the stadium was roaring. a lot was riding on this game and this panthers win was one we needed. however, panther nation was there to bring the boom-boom-boom-boom. 

{cloudy sunday}


{there are no bad seats in the bank of america stadium. these were ours.} 

around halftime is when the bottom let out. luckily that's the time lee and i took a mini football break to go meet up with two of my friends, corey & her fiance, adam. we spent a majority of the monsoon under the panthers upper deck catching up on their upcoming wedding festivities and life the past couple of months. 

however, i couldn't stay away from football for long so we headed back out. although the rain never did let up, it wasn't half as bad from when we escaped it. the panthers clenched the win near the end of the game and the stadium 
e x p l o d e d. 
it was phenomenal. we were happy.

{the crew}


{allyson; chris; me; lee}

a few short days later was christmas eve. i headed home for the night to roxboro with lee after work and my mom helped me craft together another present i decided to do for him. one side, nc state and the other side green bay packers, i combined together his two favorites for a nine foot blanket. YOU READ RIGHT. nine feet. the thing is massive and he loved it. here's how i did it: 

{3 yards of state fleece and 3 yards of packers fleece lined up together.}

{cut one inch slits into both pieces of fabric all around the blanket. ps: this will take forever.}

{two separate pieces that you tie together - double knotted}

{like so. do this around the perimeter of the blanket. the corners are tricky!}

{finished! it was too big to get in one picture.}

the rest of the presents were opened and ended up with a sea of wrapping paper and awesome gifts. 

my parents gave me an ipad, a new north face, some infinity scarves {i picked out}, money and a few other odds and ends. lee opened up a self cleaning razor, money and a sweet breaking bad t shirt. my parents racked up jewelry and things for the house and my brother raked in some sweet carhart overalls, cologne and other dude stuff. 

we were so blessed this christmas with fellowship and food. 

speaking of food.....

{family; mom was taking the pic}

my mom went all out with ham, turkey, spaghetti casserole, brown sugar bacon wrapped hotdogs, pigs in a blanket, cheese biscuits, mac and cheese, pepper jelly and homemade tomato basil soup. 

after dinner, we participated in one of our family traditions since the past couple of years: my dad's envelope game {sorry there's not a cooler title}

this year he had seven envelopes - one for how many people were present {daddy, mama, me, lee, andy, alli and grandaddy}. out of the seven - four had $1 bills, a $5, a $10, and the big money - a $20. every year he comes up with mini games for us to compete to see who gets to pic the first envelope. we played this "left right" game for three rounds which was dependent on luck only. alli won the first, my dad the second and i won the third. since there were four people left, sorry! it was. lee, andy, my mom and granddaddy battled it out and picked their respective envelopes at random. granddaddy lost and picked the final envelope. 

{please note our ghetto purple and green pieces because we lost them as a kid}

{dolla dolla bills, y'all}

ohhhh cool! all four kids randomly happened to win the $1.00 bills. my mom won the $5 & daddy won the $10. granddaddy won the $20!!! the one man who needed it the least. we all had a great laugh that he came in the absolute last place of all the mini games but ended up getting the big winner envelope. 

{so sweet. opening his $20}

the winner got to wear this god awful wig my dad has. no idea why he has it and i'm not even sure i wanna know. 

ps: my 83 year old granddaddy is awesome. 

check out the next post for the walker family traditions on christmas day! 


Friday, December 20, 2013

how tuesday nights should be done.

i’ve been searching forever for blogs that are charlotte specific that review restaurants because man i love some food. honestly i’m not sure why i’m not the size of texas by this point. after awesome successes at places i read up on, i decided i wanted to give cajun queen a shot {and the fact that laurie surprised us with a $40.00 groupon. that totally helped}.
as of earlier this week, i wasn’t that fond of cajun food. i think it was because i just hadn't tried it that much nor knew anything about it. but after eating at cajun queen, i believe i have had a change of heart. i’m not saying i want to straight up move to new orleans or anything, but it was something i’m glad i tried.
first of all, restaurants that are located in a house fascinate me. like do you have this huge underground kitchen where all this is made? it’s just something so different about that experience because it’s much more intimate. you get a comfort feeling of dining your own home because of the cozy decor, but someone else has to deal with the dirty pots and pans.
to start, we got dinner beers. can you even have dinner out without having a dinner beer? nahhhh. bud light for lee, and one of my favorites, bells two hearted ale, for me. have i mentioned before that bells two hearted ale is 7%? people make fun of me all the time for looking into what percentage of alcohol beer/wine is, but the way i see it is, you get more bang for your buck.
i ordered the shrimp and grits! the grits were creamy and the shrimp, blackened. the red sauce was somewhat tomato-y but offset the cream in the grits. there was also a surprise of blackened sausage!
lee ordered the shrimp, chicken, sausage, and crawfish diane.  i’m still not even sure what or why it’s called “diane,” but i did snag a bite and it was scrumptious with a combo of meat and spices spread over a bed of white rice. hindsight, i probably would’ve ordered that instead to get a more cajun like experience.
we dined and had a few more beers for about two hours. halfway through dinner, cajun queen had a live band perform. we sat upstairs and were about 15 feet away from the band. and although i’m a huge live music lover, it was a tad bit loud & we could barely hear each other. thankfully it wasn’t our first date. my suggestion is to dine downstairs because you definitely can still hear the music.
after our bellies were full, we decided to go check out mcadenville’s christmas lights. i’ve been to tanglewood near winston-salem before and loved it. however, mcadenville is called christmastown, usa. i mean, that’s pretty impressive. the traffic was literally backed up for about a mile and this was a random Tuesday so i can’t imagine what it would be like on a weekend night.
the best shot of the traffic i could get was as follows. and even that doesn’t do it justice.
so this town has to go through DAYS of work to put this together. through hearsay, over 600,000 people travel to mcadenville to see these lights every year. see below for what you could be missing out on if you dont go – keeping in mind, although pictures are nice, nothing compares to the real deal.

{welcome to christmastown, usa}
these trees with red, green, and white lights were everywhere in the neighborhood. i'm usually not a fan of colored lights, but these were done right.

this house emphasized "christ" in christmas. i loved that.
across the pond were lit up trees and a fountain that changed from white to red to green!

i literally don't know how they hung these lights. these trees were the biggest christmas trees i've ever seen!
for real this time as i don’t believe i’ll blog again until after next wednesday – so merry christmas!