Friday, February 27, 2015

the snow was for real this time. sorta.

well in case any one was concerned, north carolina did get some significant snow this time. hence why i didn't feel like doing a weekend recap of last weekend, even though it was a fun one. we headed up to raleigh to stay with taylor & dustin. took on some craft beers on saturday, some games at the restaurant, and made an awesome rice cilantro ground turkey bowls for dinner - which i'm going to try & recreate soon. 

we went out on the town saturday in raleigh and didn't take one decent picture. oops. 

told ya we had some snow! although this picture makes it look like i could sip my smoothie all day and watch the snow, it was actually too dang cold to stand out there! but it made a great picture. my smoothie lately has been 1/2 cup of strawberries, 1/2 cup of blueberries (or blackberries), 1 spoonful of greek yogurt, almond milk & ice. it's so good & there's no added sugar. subbing half of a banana for some of the fruit is a good idea too.

did y'all catch my spicy black bean soup earlier in the week? if not, click that handy little link right there & go blend away in your nearest blender. i've eaten it for dinner the other night, lunch yesterday, and probably will again today for lunch. judge me. but it's that good.

oh - and add red pepper flakes. totally forgot that on the blog post. maybe i should go update...

i love our breakfast nook area. i actually scored this high top dark wood table from craigslist of all places! the tray is from target & i love the contrast of the dark table with the light floors & tray. 

we're making progress on the house, but there soooo much more to do. i finally did order a new rug (at 75% off!) from rugs usa. pictures coming soon.

anyway, like north carolina does, it's supposed to be in the 60's early next week, so i think we're headed straight into spring mode. i am so ready! i'm excited to take on wedding dress shopping number 2 with allyson tomorrow - hoping she says yes to the dress! 

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

spicy black bean soup.

i've made a lot of things in the ninja so far, but this one is probably the best. who knew you could make soup in a blender? i mean it you really stop and think about it, it's pretty obvious right? right. 

when i started putting together all the veggies, lee was like mmm, that smells good! is it almost done? i said nope, needs to go in the blender. 

the blender?? he said.

see. i'm not the only one. it's so filling by itself too. i made it and had a bowl & could barely eat the rest of dinner. you have got to try this!

what you'll need:
two cans of black beans
1 medium carrot; chopped
1 whole onion; chopped
1 can of rotel
chicken broth
garlic powder
smoked paprika
olive olil
red pepper flakes

what you'll do:
start by cooking the onions and carrots in a little olive oil until tender. add in your black beans (drained), rotel (drained), and enough chicken broth to make sure it can come to a boil.

i know it's not specific. sorry, but that's pretty much what i did. 

bring to a boil for about ten minutes. throw in your spices and cilantro about halfway through. 

take the your ninja & ninja it to death.

boom! spicy black bean soup topped with a small spoonful of greek yogurt & a sprinkle of cheese. trust me on the greek yogurt thing. when mixed with this, it resembles sour cream except way less calories. i hope you love it as much as i do. 

ever since i got this as a valentine's day present, i've used it ever since. another favorite? breakfast smoothies with fruit & spinach. i've recently learned to love almond milk and a spoonful of greek yogurt to make a it a little more creamy. 

what do you make in your ninja?
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Friday, February 20, 2015

i honestly still don't know how this story happened.

there are no pretty pictures on this post. and you'll eventually find out why. 

today's friday five are all bundled up into one story because there a 5 plus 800 more reasons i am so thankful that we don't have any more snow. are you ready for this one?

so when it snows in charlotte, the city is a ghost town. so because of that, i was working at home on wednesday as we were projected to get snow flakes in the afternoon. so as the snow began to fall around 3:45pm, i grabbed my coat to place over my super chill outfit for the day (aka sweatpants) and went out on our back deck. the previous few days we had mostly gotten ice, so it was nice to see the snow. 

or so i thought.

a big gust of wind came barrelling down and slammed shut my back patio door. i walked back over to the door, shook the knob, and .... locked. no wait, i just came OUT of this door, how is it locked?! my mind starts racing about someone being in my house, but then i realize the door handle was locked - not the deadbolt. 


meanwhile it's still snowing, our gate on the back deck is frozen shut, the front door to the house is locked as well. the only other solution was using our passcode to get into the garage because the door from the garage into the house we usually don't lock because...of the garage. obviously.

i get the garage door open & run towards the side door. wiggle the handle. freakin' locked. are you kidding me! then my mind flashed to that morning when i kissed lee goodbye as he exited out of the garage door and i shut the door, and swiped the lock out of habit. 

i feel my jacket and i had my phone! totally forgot i had my phone. i call lee immediately telling him he's gotta come home because i'm freezing and still have work to do inside for my own job... only to find out he's like over an hour away from the house on a call & still has two more appointments for the afternoon. lee's brother offered to come get me however, but i knew i needed to get inside asap to attend to my emails. my phone then dies, as it was on 5% when i made the call, so i was stranded. i couldn't even take pictures of the pretty snow falling, but at that point that was the least of my worries.

have you ever heard the phrase s-o-l? i was s-o-l to the 3rd power. so i went to the front porch, sat on the rocking chair and watched the snow fall. three little boys across the street were playing in their driveway taking off their coat saying it's not even that cold! i rolled my eyes. then they started joking about getting completely undressed to prove that it "wasn't that cold" until they spotted me. no we can't! there's a person watching us, the freaked out and said. i'm just locked out!  i screamed. but the 8 year olds took off running behind their house like i was some crazy person. 

at the time i felt like i was. 

so i went back to my car and started digging around in the glove compartment. i found a flashlight, a paper clip, and an old VIP pass to a j cole concert from like a year ago. holla for not cleaning out my console! so i went to the back deck door & used the flashlight to peep into the lock, twisted up the paperclip and slammed it into the lock hole and tried to use the VIP pass to pop the lock.

no such luck after 15 minutes of trying. it wasn't even moving.

at this point, i'm frustrated. i'm freezing. and i'm practically crying because i know i am probably building up 80 emails per minute for work. 

i go to back to my car and look in my glove compartment. i find an old iphone charger that i didn't even know existed! thank you Lord for that one. i plug my phone in and i was determined to get in that house. 

i look in another compartment in my car and find an old gift card for a wine store i had used months ago which was less flimsy as the VIP pass. i take it back to the door, shove the paperclip into the lock and jolt the card down and .... 'i'm telling you the angels started singing. 

the lock pops open, i walk inside to the heat, and i swear everything turned fuzzy like i was imagining this. but no, i had broken into my own house. 

i called lee, told him the story, and after over an hour of being stuck outside, i finally was in. 

and now just realized that we totally need a new lock for the back door.
 because if i can do it.....
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linking up with:
Meet @ The Barre: Friday Favorites
The Diary of a Real Housewife: Friday Favorites
A Liz AdventuresHello HappinessCarolina Charm and The Good Life: Five on Friday
xoxo Rebecca: That Friday Blog Hop
September F A R M and The Farmer's Wife: Oh hey, Friday

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

we had an ice day.

so basically this is why the north looks at us and chuckles. 

but regardless, i was happy with finally having my snow... or ice? basically our entire driveway and walkway was one big skating rink. it took me like ten minutes to walk from our front porch, down the icy stairs, and out into the road avoiding slipping up like 5 times to get these pictures.

what dedication right? but as quick as it came, it's now leaving us - until 3 or 4 today in which we're supposed to get more. but i'm thinking that's a joke. 

the city of charlotte shut down yesterday. schools; businesses; etc. i worked from home and lee was off completely! see what happens when you get 2 or so inches of snow/ice in the south? but i'll take it!

now that we've gotten a snow in, i'm ready for spring. bring on the warmer temps & pretty clothes please.
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Monday, February 16, 2015

lover's day 2015.

a very happy valentine's day to my forever valentine. we had a such an amazing valentine's day together with sweatpants and no make up (on me, obviously). last year, we had a crazy busy valentine's day weekend with seeing eric church and going to dinner. so this year, we figured we would stay in, cook, and enjoy some wine on the couch.

we made lobster tails for the very first time about a year and a half ago - so when lee pulled these out of the fridge, i was excited to do it again. i totally squealed like a little girl cutting into these things though.

the lobster only took about 8-10 minutes under the broiler while getting hit with homemade cilantro butter sauce. i sauteed some mushrooms and added in tortellini alfredo for a side. 

it was delish! 

it seems my blog has transformed into a food blog, right? we just love to cook and try new things. 

sunday, lee had a guys night with some of his friends at a concert, so i decided to turn on some country music, dance around my kitchen, sip a little wine (since i'm off work today) and go to town on making food. 

i'd never cooked my own steak before. weird, right? i've always let the men handle that. all that changed once i seared the outsides and popped it in to the oven like i heard to do from amanda. added in my own sweet potato fries and we had a meal.

i attempted the roasted chickpeas again - let them dry waaaay longer and roasted for an additional ten minutes and they were great! not so great kept overnight however.

i attempted the banana oat muffins. eeehh. however, all that's about to change thanks to my fiance who got me the coolest valentine's day present ever. 
my ninja! i can finally cut down the size of those oats to smaller pieces and i think these muffins will work great. have any good smoothie recipes for breakfast? tell me; tell me; tell me! 

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linking up with:
B Loved Boston and Champagne and Suburbs for weekending
Bella and the City for weekend  recap
A Cute Angle for monday madness

Friday, February 13, 2015

the time i blogged 5 days in a row.

well whoa, look who it is blogging every day this week. i know, i don't recognize her either. maybe i just have a lot to talk about or extra time on my hands  ha.. no. that's never the case. 

i do have some friday love for y'all and one of them is an epic fail turned into a decent happening turned into i need to try again to make it better

every season i like to load up at h&m. for some reason they have the coolest patterns for seriously good prices. for some reason, i haven't always been the biggest floral pattern kinda girl, but i'm coming around. however this patterned top is kinda more abstract floral than anything, and um, hi - it's $17 - so it had to be mine.

and when i went to link this shirt i saw about three more things that i loved. now to get lee not to notice the shipments coming to the house....

so on a scale of 1-10, how tired are you of hearing about me talk about zoodles? i know, i am so sorry. but i'm not trying to be dramatic, but this has saved my diet. i would get so angry not having pasta and this satisfies that 100%. 

the other night i threw some onions, garlic, diced tomatoes, and basil into a pan and made my own "sauce." cooked ground turkey in a different pan. topped some zucchini noodles with the goodness and it's my best recipe to date. 

i also ate chicken "alfredo" zoodles for dinner last night.

oh, and i'm having them for lunch today.

it's a problem.

a good one.

okay, this is a HUGE one. our microwave is FINALLY working in the house. we've been here since november, but when we moved in something was wrong with whatever in the world combines with the magnets in microwaves to produce heat. we didn't want to replace the microwave, since it matched everything else in the kitchen, so we made our first homeowners insurance call. 

look at us all grown up and junk. 

lee finally had popcorn two nights ago. that's all he's been talking about. take a microwave from a man and his popcorn and it ain't a pretty sight.

i promised you a fail and a fail you will get. i was SO pumped about being all healthy and junk while making roasted garlic chickpeas & no flour, no sugar banana & oat muffins.

it turns out there is a strong difference in the recipe when you don't use baking powder. and your muffins will kinda do this bubbly-up thing and go completely flat and burn. it was a sad moment as i was about to pull my awesome, fluffy muffins out only to see them look as sad as a deflated tire. 

so i threw in more oats to the next batch, hoping that helped, and it did! they rose (a little) but have made for a decent breakfast this week. 

the chickpeas were stupid and didn't roast right. don't even get me started. i'm still kind of bitter. anybody know how to roast these things so they're at least semi crunchy? mine were a big ball of mush.

and finally, i am caught up on pretty little liars! i started binge watching this on netflix about two months ago. since then i've burned through all 4 streaming seasons netflix offered. i was bummed when i found out abc family wasn't offering online episodes from season 5 part one. luckily lee knows of a site - coke & popcorn - which is super sketchy (seriously. trust me), but somehow i got it to mirror on our big tv using apple tv and i'm finally caught up. 

i can't wait to watch live next week! 

oh, and my theory... hanna is A. has to be. no other way around it. when you find out i'm right, don't say i didn't tell you....

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linking up with:
Meet @ The Barre: Friday Favorites
The Diary of a Real Housewife: Friday Favorites
A Liz AdventuresHello HappinessCarolina Charm and The Good Life: Five on Friday
xoxo Rebecca: That Friday Blog Hop
September F A R M and The Farmer's Wife: Oh hey, Friday

Thursday, February 12, 2015

bridesmaid dresses are finalized

lavender. no, pink. champagne? no, i like gray. ugh, i like em all! 

those were just normal thoughts when i started brainstorming bridesmaid dresses. and now, i'm taking a huge sign of relief because i've finalized them. as in the message is sent to my 4 girls to order at their leisure before april -with their specific color noted beside their name. 

one of my bridesmaids, taylor, used weddington way for her dresses a couple years ago, and i had the best experience - then a bridesmaid for her. 

i had always envisioned going to a bridesmaid store with all my girls and watching them try on dress... ya know, the whole nine yards. but then i realized out of the 4, only 1 of them is local to charlotte. so i'm putting my faith in the online wedding gods to make this happen for me. 

...of course after ordering swatches of the colors. 

blush, taupe, rose, palomino - left to right. even though in in real life... these swatches look darker on the computer screen than looking at them. so just squint a little bit and you have it.

i love the idea of varying bridesmaid colors and it works with my ever-changing mind. after ordering the swatches, i then decided which bridesmaid would wear which color and then wanted to celebrate hard that i could check off one more thing in my wedding book.

seriously, you don't know how good checking off something that small feels. one more thing down. one more thing i don't have to over-analyze. and trust me, i'm an over-analyzer. 

so here are the dresses.

i am melting into my computer chair as i type this. i love all the soft colors. and i love even more that the swatches are slightly different.... in a good way! i can only hope this vision comes to life when the dresses come in, because you can never really tell something online. 

can you cross your fingers for me? 

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linking up with:
Hodges Podges for Stuff & Things
Home of Malones and East Coast Chic for Thoughts for Thursday
Knit By God's Hand for Thankful Thursday

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

chicken carbonera with zoodles

i'm just going to go ahead and throw it out there - this is not the prettiest dish. or maybe it is and i just can't seem to figure out how to fry an egg perfectly. 

does anyone else struggle with egg frying? i can barely flip the thing and am terrified of breaking the yolk! if you do, you better practice up because that fried egg is the best part about this.

i remember my first time eating chicken carbonera. it was at olive garden which of course equals the fact that it was probably well over 1000 calories for the one dish. they had this noodle that was hollow in the center and claimed it could "hold" more of the yummy sauce. this just fascinated me. and there was bacon! 

so when i got word that you can create the same taste of carbonera with a runny egg yolk & parmesean cheese, i had to try it with some zoodles instead. 

one thing i have totally learned about zoodles is they cook down. i can spiralize over half a zucchini and feel like i'm cooking too much; only to cook my zucchini and it look like barely enough! 

when you break the egg yolk and all the yummy-ness combines with all these other flavors, it's heaven. and this is probably one of my favorite zoodle recipes i've made to date. 

chicken carbonera with zoodles

1 zucchini; spiralized
1 piece of bacon; chopped
chopped onion to your liking
chopped garlic to your liking
1/4 cup parmesean cheese (or more if you're like me)
4 oz of chopped chicken breast 
1 fried egg

start out by browning the chopped chicken breast bite size pieces in olive oil over medium heat. when it's halfway done, throw in the onions, garlic, and bacon until bacon is crispy & chicken is done. 

in a separate pan, heat some oil over medium heat to fry your egg. toss in the egg to start cooking and toss in your zucchini noodles to cook in with the chicken/bacon/onion. toss with tongs occasionally while adding in your parmesean cheese. 

i didn't flip my egg, but i also like a runny yolk. zucchini noodles only need about 1-2 minutes in the pan before they are done. plate the zucchini & chicken. sprinkle with a little more parmesean cheese and top with a fried egg. 

break the yolk & go to town!
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linking up with:
 because shanna said so for random wednesday 
midweek muse
Making melissa for confessions

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

time to put my face on.

i know some people who will buy any makeup, regardless of price, just to see if "it works." and for y'all i am thankful because you let me know if it's worth it or not. every since i bought the $40 foundation from sephora and absolutely hated it because it made me look like an oompa loompa, i'm not so eager to shell out cash on a maybe product.

so just in case there's some of you out there who are like me, i'm going to tell you all my beauty products. and yes, most are from sephora and ulta, but some are at target. 


covergirl foundation olay tone rehab cc cream // tarte matte bronzer in park ave princesss // buxon true hue blush in shimmering raspberry // urban decay eye shadow primer potion // urban decay naked 3 palette // urban decay eye liner in black //  buxom lash mascara bar // urban decay naked lip gloss in walk of shame 

i'm going to be real with you all. when i started this post, i was like i should pull up the target website because most of what i use is a drug store/everyday store brand. and after really linking these all, i realized i spend more on beauty products than i realized.

thank you blog for keeping me in check.

anyway, i do use other drugstore brands of mascara and the revlon color crayon lipstick stuff, but these are my tried and true favorites.

this foundation is the creamiest, most smooth foundation i can find. and it takes very little to cover my face. tarte bronzer & buxom blush are my favorites - they stay on all day and again - i only have to use very little. 

i will broadcast my love for urban decay's primer potion forever. i used to think products like this were stupid and pointless...until i got it in my ipsy box. then i was hooked. nothing makes your eyeshadow last longer than this puppy. and of course, the naked palette. i have all three of them, but naked 3 is by far my favorite. it's rosy hues and darker blends are my favorite. i use the left side for an everyday look and the right side when it's time to take on the town. the naked lip gloss is also top stuff.

urban decay eyeliner is the most long-lasting i can find. can you tell i like the stuff that stays on the longest? i cant stand being the kid of girl reapplying makeup in the workplace bathroom mirror. how awkward. 

i recently invested in buxom lash bar - where you can personalize your brush with their mascara and got the "long and bushy" effect. honestly, that's probably the only time that's going to be used to describe something cool. just sayin.

what are your beauty faves? any product out there worth it that i'm missing out on?
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