Wednesday, November 25, 2015

the easiest pumpkin muffins of all time.

i'm one of those people who get up 10 minutes after the alarm goes off. i would rather chew on broken glass sometimes than get up in the morning. lee, however, can handle it. 

i cannot lie. he gets up every morning with luna; which is around 15-20 minutes earlier than i get up, but i'm still so thankful for that. she's doing better about sleeping a little later, but even so .. as soon as she bops up, he gets up and feeds her. me on the other hand - i'm all groggy and have a death look on my face, i'm sure of it. sometimes lee even makes breakfast sandwiches for himself and one for me to take to work! 

i know - i hit the husband lottery. 

but for all the other times, i like to experiment with muffins for us to grab and go. and these are seriously the easiest 3 ingredient muffins that are ridiculously moist. they do not have egg or oil in case that's something you're trying to avoid.

check out my wine in the background all hiding. you know wine sipping & food making are my favorite things!

so let's be real - the batter is a little lumpy looking. and when you stir this, you think it's soooo thick and will be dry. just trust me. 

these things plop into the muffin pan and come out looking just as how you put them in, so don't be afraid to fill them up. i did about 3/4 of the way full and they rose a tiny bit. 

i honestly do not know what makes these so moist. my mom used applesauce in her cupcakes one and they turned out the exact same way. dare i say these were almost TOO moist? but hey, better than being dry as a brick. 

i'd make these babies again. happy pumpkin-ing. happy thanksgiving tomorrow!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

the day she became mrs. allyson brock.

one of my best friends, allyson, got married 51 days after i did, so we got to experience a lot of the wedding excitement, stress, planning, and craziness together. wasn't she beautiful? i cried. and then i cried. and then when she walked down the aisle, i cried some more. here's a few of her and her groom, chris.

ps: the bottom has a carolina panther's surprise.

aren't those huge balloons awesome?? i was in love with allyson's choice of her unique details for the big day. i'd like to share a few of my absolute favorite photos of her story book wedding - or... i mean her wedding hashtag - #astorybrockwedding.

and then they were married! i know if her ceremony was anything like mine (coming soon!), it flies by. you think you're in there for like 5 minutes and it's truly about 30 minutes or so. i love the way chris is looking at her here - you can tell his love.

the bridesmaids got to choose a gown of their choice in allyson's stunning color of champagne. champagne, ivory, and gold were her main colors - and i get all heart eyed emojis just thinking about that. plain and simple. it gets the job done!

and then we got to enjoy a delicious dinner under the twinkly lights. 

allyson had her guests grab their dinner inside and then were seated at a table outside under the stars. speeches were made, toasts were given. it was a truly a perfect night for them.

so what happens after dinner? party time.

myself plus the bridesmaids danced our butts off for her and chris - but honestly - that's a part of a bridesmaids' job. we danced to backstreet boys, garth brooks, and - of course - the titanic theme song. because when the bride tells you on the dance floor the song she wants to hear next... you make it happen.

it was a fairytale to watch someone who has the kindest heart marry the love of her life. i was so honored to be a part of it and be a tiny part in making things special for her, because i know she sure did for me during my wedding.

allyson - thank you for being my panthers girl, my fellow titanic obesssion, my burger king chicken tender and burger buyer, my taylor swift concert partner, my bff night turns into what happened (???) kinda girl, and everything else that makes you one of my best friends. here's to you and chris.



so now on to the panthers surprise. allyson loves the panthers. anyone who knows her knows that. she keeps up with a panthers twitter handle {@miss_purr} and tweets all her emotions and feelings. it's awesome.

so i wanted to do something special for her. 

i contacted the panthers. originally i wanted to surprise her with sir purr himself, but after talking with the team events person, i found out that he had an event on her wedding day of 10.17.15, so an appearance wasn't possible. 

so i wrote a poem.

ten days out from allyson's wedding i started texting her a mini poem every morning as a day countdown. i did this on purpose - so i was able to read her the poem i wrote to sir purr. it basically went to say that allyson was the biggest panther fan i'd ever known and it would be an honor if he could send me something to give to her on her big day to go along with my own wedding day gift. 

i had the panthers logo wood-burned into a sign for her, as you can see below, and whatever sir purr wanted to come up with would only accompany that.

so the poem below is a copy of what i sent in and i read it to allyson on her wedding day. her reaction was amazing. i was shaking as i read it to her. i have no idea why i was so nervous! i seriously read it to lee like at least 6 times the week of her wedding to make sure it sounded right. i was just excited to give her what i had kept a secret for a while. 

i suck at exciting secrets :)

sir purr and team mailed me a signed mini posted saying "congrats and best whiskers!" - and signed sir purr style. it truly made our bride happy and that was my #1 goal. thank you to sir purr and the panthers for making this special for her.

 all photos by julia of amore vita photography

and now, as previously mentioned earlier this week, our panthers are 10-0. i'd like to think it's only fitting that our #1 fan got married during this season.
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Monday, November 23, 2015

panthers, luna, and food. basically my life these days + an awesome coincidence.

ladies and gentlemen, our PANTHERS ARE 10-0!!!!!!!!! it's been an incredible season and although i didn't go to the game yesterday, i was still this ecstatic at home in my pajamas. i'm so ready for the boys to take on dallas for thanksgiving!!! 

so we didn't do anything this weekend. i had been sick all last week, so cozy weekend in was in store. drew brought over a horror themed video game - until dawn for ps4 - and we played that all friday night. i love videogames, and this game was a "butterfly effect" adventure game where every decision you make affects the future of the game. i need it buy it now. if lee ever bought me a ps4, we would probably never leave the house again between this game and grand theft auto. i've turned into a homebody like no other. 

and that mainly is due to this face. every time we think to go somewhere i'm all "hmm, but do we really need to leave luna?" i'm insane. but then i remember that when you're married and 27 - staying in is totally acceptable and i love it. lee's hoodie is way more comfortable that some dress anyway.
i saw this funny e-card the other day that said "everyone is over there having babies and i'm just over here like 'hey, here's 500 pictures of my dog.'"

yep. all my facebook & instagram friends know that all too well, but i'm 100% okay with that. so is luna. she's the baby of the house. and she knows it. just look at that winking face.

in other news, we did make our zucchini boats this past week except this time with ground beef. we sauteed some shaved brussels sprouts & peppers.... with bacon. ladies, if you want your man to eat brussels, just add bacon. 

i'm getting to the point where cooking is my therapy. if lee is like baby, let's just make grilled hot dogs tonight, i'm all omg! that's so boring!! have i mentioned i watch too much food network before? i think i have. ;)

and now for a coincidence. the photo at the top is from my wedding; the photo at the bottom is from allyson's wedding. 

allyson (blonde top left in my photo) was in my wedding and i was in hers. both of us did a first look with our bridesmaids and both were equally as emotional. but after reviewing these two first look photos, please check out taylor's reaction to seeing me and my reaction to seeing allyson. i'd say taylor and i are pretty in sync with how we react to emotional situatoins.

mind you - allyson's wedding & my wedding were 51 days apart.

ahhh weddings. emotional little suckers, aren't they? 

happy thanksgiving week!
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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

08.29.15 - the first look.

i could end the post right here and that would be enough. lee's face alone here speaks more about our first look than i could ever put into words. 

but before all that, let's get back to the story. after getting ready with the girls, we actually were running a little bit behind schedule. our first look was supposed to be around 1pm in fourth ward park in uptown charlotte. we were still in our suite when i looked at my phone which was screaming 1:20pm. 

let's go! let's go! let's go! those next ten minutes were kind of a blur. did i have my shoes on? where was my bouquet? is my flower crown pinned down right? did we have the guys boutonnieres? i had no clue. we ran down the hallway, and found out the guys had been waiting for 20+ minutes. as the elevator dinged, my maid of honor's sister and her husband stepped off onto our floor. 

morgan & caleb were the first ones to see me, other than the immediate bridal party & my mom. i actually still can see morgan's face when she saw me, to this day. it was one of those smile/sweet sad omg there you are/gonna tear up kind of faces. how lucky was i to have seen so many of those that day. we quickly hugged and jumped into the elevator while grabbing the nearest bellman to help us. 

i have no clue why all this was so stressful looking back on it all. i think that it was anticipation that lee was about to see me for the first time in t-minus 5 minutes or less. allyson some how made valet move out of the way so she could drive into the courtyard to pick me up. 

one thing i've learned during this wedding process is when you're the bride, no rules apply to you. no one is going to say no to a girl in a white gown.

we finally arrived in the fourth ward park and i walked up behind lee. i remember trembling as i walked up the brick path - seeing his back about 50 feet in front of me. my hands and my heart were shaking. i had dreamed of this moment for so long and here it was - happening right in front of me. i remember my voice, shaking, saying "hey lee. i'm here. are you ready to see your bride?" 

tears building behind my eyes as i can play this moment over and over in my head. "yes" he said as i heard him breathe out before he turned around. the tears hit him as they hit me. it was such an emotional moment. 

if you remember back when i was blogging over the summer, i had went back and forth on the first look. i went as far to write a post about why we were not doing a first look. i honestly don't remember if i posted it or not. regardless, my heart was torn. lee was so against it from the moment i initially mentioned it in conversation. 

no, a groom sees the bride for the first time as she comes down the aisle, he said. 

but for some reason, i couldn't shake the fact that a first look was something i thought would be good for us. 

looking back on it, i would NEVER change doing a first look for anything. the day after the wedding, lee looked at me and said "thank you for being so adamant about the first look. i am so glad we got to do that and have that moment together."  

and it also chilled us both out. so much anticipation was there awaiting to see each other for the first time, so it got those jitters out of the way. i can be way emotional at times and i did not want to ugly cry walking down the aisle. 

after seeing him, i was a different bride. i was ready to do the damn thing! i was ready to walk down the aisle and say i do. we then left uptown and headed over to our wedding venue to take a few more photos on site before the ceremony began. here are a few.

 coming soon: our formal wedding party photos. there may or may not be nerf guns present because we're cool like that.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

was it my birthday or his?

honestly, it started all his. i had asked a few of lee's closest friends to meet us out at the wooden robot for a few birthday drinks on saturday. this was our first time at this brewery and it really impressed me. they had a beer called "good morning vietnam" which was brewed with a coffee flavor. i love craft beers more than the average person, so this was something that caught my attention. 

we decided to do something during the day because we knew we both wanted to tailgate for the panthers/packers game the following morning. there were bets going on from both sides of the table. us panther fans were on a high from being 7-0 at the time so confidence was at an all time high. 

so much for only being out "during the day." you only turn 28 once right, lee? that became our mentality quickly as we ended up singing karaoke for most of the night. what did i sing you ask? that's a great question. "a thousand miles" by vanessa carlton was my choice of the night and it was quite the hit. my voice - not so much. however, when the whole bar is singing with you - you know you picked a good one. 

let's just say ... sunday morning came early.

but we were ready. i am also a huge packer fan, due to my husbands devotion to the team. he also owns a part of the team! it's like 1/10000000000 but still, that's pretty cool. his official ownership certificate hangs in his office if you don't believe me. 

this was hard. i've admittedly cried over a packers loss before. but like i said, i loved the panthers before i loved lee, so i had to go with my heart. he was dressed in an aaron rodgers college jersey and i was decked head to toe in panthers. 

we were enemies.

whenever the panthers scored, i went crazy. jumping up and down, yelling, holding onto my cat ears.... you name it. and then i remembered lee wanted that feeling for the other team. i didn't taunt as that was unfair, and i didn't cheer in his face. we both respected the fact that we were cheering for two different teams and that's how it was.

see? we love each other. 

there was a balloon release at half time and i swear i was 5 years old again.

the panthers ended up winning, as you all know by now, and went up 8-0. 8-0 BABY!!!! i was stoked. and if you don't live under a rock, you probably know they beat the titans this past sunday to go up 9-0!!! NINE - OH! a panther fan's dream. we're finally there boys. let's keep pounding.

so poor lee was sad and then i felt (kinda) sad because he was sad. we went to get some dinner and took it out over burgers and all was right in the world again. 

plus we got to see this face so...

this face could cure anything. isn't she beautiful?

and as of yesterday, lee and i have been together for two and a half years. i've always been that person who keeps track of anniversaries - even those that are monthly. we started dating on may 16, 2013, so november 16, 2015 marked that exact milestone. 

panthers or packers, rain or shine, high or low, birthday or no birthday, win or lose - i am ever so happy that i have gotten to hold his hand for this long and for so many more years to come.

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