Monday, August 4, 2014

Meal Plan - August 4

Hi again! How have you been? I just got back from a much needed girl's trip to the beach. We have had such a mild summer up here that I forgot how hot it can get! We ate delicious seafood, walked on the beach, etc. Swing back by the blog this week because I have lots planned! I will be showing you the before and after of our garage, what's in my makeup bag, and a quick DIY no soliciting sign.

Meal Plan:
Monday - Grilled steaks, grilled veggies, roasted potatoes
Tuesday - Stuffed chicken and broccoli alfredo shells, green beans
Wednesday - Grilled sausage, corn on the cob, roasted broccoli
Thursday - Buffalo turkey burgers, blue cheese slaw, asparagus
Friday - Baseball game with friends
Saturday - Ribfest

Hop on over to OrgJunkie to check out more great weekly meal plans!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Wedding - The Photographer

Planning a wedding can be so overwhelming with all the options out there and picking a photographer is no different. It seems like everywhere you look there are people with a nice camera claiming to be professional photographers. So when I started the search for someone to capture our day, I had to weed through lot of junk to find the perfect person. There are so many things to consider when picking a photographer: experience, price, the look you want, personality, etc.

I narrowed down my options and in the end had two companies I loved. They were similarly priced and both had very natural looking portfolios meaning that they captured the day without it looking forced. So, because I can't make a decision on my own to save my life, I asked my mom, sister, fiancé (duh!), and dad to help me pick. We decided on Woodland Fields Photography. Catherine did not disappoint. Even though we had to move the ceremony inside due to rain, she was able to capture some beautiful moments. We even mastered running outside between showers to get some outdoor shots.

Here are just a few of my favorites from the day:

Even after three months, I love looking back at that wonderful day and I can't get enough of all the great pictures she took. I hear all the time about people who were disappointed in their photographer.  Did you love your photographer??

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Blogmopolitan Quiz

Erin at Two-Thirds Hazel made up this cute quiz, so I am joining her to tell you all about me. I hope you enjoy! If you want to fill it in yourself, check it out here and then link up.

Meal Plan - July 20

I haven't been good about sharing our meal plans lately. Dave was out of town and I lived off leftovers and with it being summer, some nights I decide chips and dip on the deck sounds better than cooking a whole meal in the kitchen. This week I have some yummy stuff planned so I have to share.

Sunday - Spicy roasted veggie macaroni and cheese
Monday - Butternut squash and spinach roll ups
Tuesday - Fish tacos, sweet potato fries
Wednesday - Burrito bowls
Thursday - Spaghetti
Friday - Grilled steaks, grilled asparagus, baked potatoes
Saturday - Out to eat in Detroit before Jimmy Buffett

I am linking up with Organizing Junkie.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Five on Friday

Happy Friday! This week felt LONNNNGGG. Thank goodness it's finally here. We are going to grill out, work around the house, go to a baseball game, the farmer's market, and hit up our favorite bagel shop this weekend. What do you have going on?

1. We picked blueberries last weekend and came home with ten pounds! So what do you do when you have ten pounds of blueberries but do a search for the best blueberry muffin recipe. It did not disappoint.

2. I got a new laptop this week! Who's happy about it?...This girl! I had no idea how terrible my old one was until I got my new one. It even has a fingerprint scanner that I can use instead of having to log into all my accounts on all of my websites all over the web! I feel like I joined the 21st century!

3. I leave for the beach with my mom, sister, and grandmother in 12 days! I am so excited to get to Florida and soak up sun, seafood, and mojitos with my favorite girls!

4. I tried at home gel nails this week. I haven't tried it at the nail salon yet (I usually do my own nails) but though I would give it a try at home. Regular polish tends to come off after one shower but so far they are doing okay. I have had two showers and washed more dishes than I can count and there is just a little dulling on the edges. That sure beats how it would look with just regular polish. I used these:
5. How neat are these DIY placemats! We registered for wicker chargers from Pottery Barn but didn't get them. I think I need to make these instead!

Today I am linking up with The Farmer's Wife and Lauren Elizabeth.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Today I am linking up with Helene to talk about some of my favorites.

Favorite restaurant: If you are local to Birmingham and have never been to 26, you need to try it immediately. It's where I fell in love with ahi tuna. They have wonderful sushi and on Wednesdays they have half price bottles of wine. It's also around the corner from my....

Favorite bar: J. Clyde in Birmingham is a beer lover's paradise. They have anything you can think of with I don't even know how many beers on tap! I love how knowledgeable their bartenders are. I usually just tell them what type of beer I am in the mood for and let them pick. They never steer me wrong.

Favorite (outside the US) vacation spot: This is a tie between Ireland and Costa Rica. They couldn't be two more different places. Ireland is so laid back with the nicest people, yummy food and drinks, and beautiful landscapes. I love getting lost exploring this great country. On the other hand, Costa Rica is a thrill-seeker's dream! You can get your heart racing doing everything from zip lining to white water rafting to waterfall repelling. The rainforest is gorgeous and there are amazing animals to see everywhere you look!

Favorite (inside the US) vacation spot: If you haven't been to the 30A/Destin area of the Florida panhandle, there is no need to check it out.....I kid though... It is an amazing place to vacation and I don't want to spoil it for myself by giving away the secret. Destin is known as The World's Luckiest Fishing Village and it doesn't disappoint. The food especially the seafood is so good and fresh. The beaches are sugar white. Head down 30A to the town of Seaside and you will feel like you just stepped back in time. I have been lucky enough to vacation in this area since I was a baby. I have seen beaches all over the world and there aren't many that compare.

Favorite picture: I love this picture of Dave and I. My sister took it of us last fall when Dave was in school in Norfolk and we met up in DC for the weekend to hang out with my sister and her husband. We were at Point of View having drinks before dinner This place has the most amazing views of DC!

Favorite Disney World ride: Everyone has a favorite Disney World ride right? Mine is definitely Soaring. Sadly I have heard that they are going to close it! If you ask anyone in my family what my favorite ride is though they will say the Carousel of Progress. I am not going to lie, I love that ride. It is so classic Disney. Plus it is a great place to sit down for a bit, cool off from the Orlando heat, and regroup.

Favorite concert: You may not know this about me but I am a Parrothead! :) I love Jimmy Buffett. Dave and I are actually going to see him next weekend in Detroit. I am so excited to introduce Dave to something I love so much. It should be a super fun time!

Favorite team: 43 days until the Crimson Tide kicks off the 2014 season! Roll Tide ya'll!

Favorite day: The day I married him!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Currently Crushing On

How is your week going so far? Things are quiet around here. There isn't much to report on, so how about a little eye candy? Anthropologie does things so right. I just can't get enough.

These gorgeous plates would make a great hostess gift. One of them would look so good sitting next to our kitchen sink to hold sponges, soap, etc.

I need this top in my closet! It would be so effortless with some skinny jeans!

Do you have a wedding to attend this summer? How perfect would this dress be?

I love a fun, unique throw. A comfy blanket laying across the couch can be pretty and useful. I need one of these ASAP.

These pajamas are adorable and so feminine. I am all about pretty nightgowns these days!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Adventures from the Weekend - Red, White, and Blah

I love the 4th of July! I know I have mentioned this. It's just a fun, patriotic, summery day to be spent with family and friends celebrating our wonderful country. Well our 4th of July weekend did not go as planned. We were going to grill out with friends, watch fireworks, then go to the lake all day was going to be glorious.... Instead, I got poison ivy....on my FACE! Ugh. Talk about misery. I have had it now twice in two months and before that I had never had it before in my life!

Friday morning I woke up and my right eye was all swollen and I was a broken out mess. Dave and I went to breakfast at a little "down home" type place near our house while my WONDER MOM did research (all the way from Florida!...seriously what would we do without moms?) on where we could go to find some serious stuff to straighten me out. We ended up at the neatest health food store that had several items to combat poison ivy. I can't wait to check out the store again when I am not a cranky mess!

I ended up getting Burt's Bees poison ivy soap, Boericke & Tafel Oral Ivy, and Jewelweed Lotion. I was diligent about using this stuff but still woke up Saturday morning looking like a train wreck! We decided to put off the lake until Sunday if I was feeling better. So Saturday we spent the whole day at home laying around.

Sunday morning I still wasn't much better. I actually wonder if I would have been worse if I hadn't been using those three things?! I think they slowed down or even stopped it from getting much worse but they weren't getting me better at least not at the speed I wanted them to. So we decided to let the professionals handle it and went to urgent care. I was so excited to get a steroid shot...seriously I have never been so excited to get a steroid shot in all my life! Within four hours the swelling on my face had started to go down! The itching got better and now, nearly 24 hours later, I look almost human again!

Prayers that I make it the rest of the summer without getting another case of poison ivy. I think our dogs may be the problem. They carry it in on them and then I touch them. So, I am going to keep using the poison ivy lotion to wash my hands at the kitch sink and use it in the shower just to stay proactive.

Have you ever had poison ivy? (My husband doesn't get it...I am so jealous!) How was your 4th? Did you do anything fun? Stop by tomorrow so I can show you the before and after on our garage!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

5 Things I Am Good At...

I was blog hopping the other day and ran across a great post...5 things I am good at! The next week she did 5 things she is bad at. :) I thought this was a great idea so I am "borrowing" it!

1. Cleaning - My husband will be the first to say that I am slightly OCD when it comes to cleaning. I am constantly cleaning our house. However, he has discovered that I have this thing called ADCD....Attention Deficit Cleaning Disorder. Basically I'll strike out to clean our kitchen and next thing you know I have wiped out all the cabinets, cleaned on top of the cabinets, and taken the range apart. A little ten minute project can turn into half the day! What can I say, I like a clean house!

2. Cooking - I am not all that creative at inventing new recipes but I can follow any recipe and love trying new meals! I haven't heard Dave complain about a meal yet! I'll try any meal once but if I discover it takes more than about an hour to make, it won't be a repeat in our house. I love cooking flavorful, simple, unique meals.

3. List Making - I get more accomplished when I have a list and plan for my day. Working from home, it could be so easy to get distracted with silly things (ex. spending a whole day looking at recipes on Pinterest!) and let my whole slip away. So I find that if I make a list for my day the night before when we are watching TV, I am better at getting things done.

4. Shopping - I can find a deal, coupon, special, etc. for most things. I don't enjoy digging through bins of chaos at a local store but I love watching for online ads and then striking out to scoop up a good deal. I can't remember the last time I paid more than $20 for a pair of jeans and I am always finding freebies at the grocery. I will splurge on something though if it is really flattering or I know it will get lots of use!

5.Traveling - I love to travel! From a day trip to Lake Michigan to a two week exploration of Europe and everything in between. If you are looking for a travel buddy, I am your girl. I get so excited planning our next great adventure and love to have a trip to look forward to on my calendar. Usually before I go anywhere I have scouted out the best deals on any place we might potentially want to check out (museums, shows, etc.) and have read yelp reviews for the best restaurants in town. I have made lists (see #3 above) and I am prepared for anything we might want to get into. I absolutely love to travel!

What are you good at? Do you love to travel or a desire to get a great deal shopping? Are you a slightly OCD, list making, cleaning fanatic like me?

Monday, June 30, 2014

Hopes and Plans - June 30th

I love the idea of setting some goals for the week but I have to say that I dropped the ball last week. Let's recap:

One. Take some clothes to the consignment shop. I cleaned out my closet a while back but now I have got to get all the stuff I don't want out of the house!
Two. Make strawberry cupcakes. I have had all the ingredients and I just keep putting off making them.
Three. Make front door decor for the 4th of July. I am loving the above idea!
Four. Straighten up the basement. It has been a mess from projects so I need to get some order to it.
Five. Read a couple chapters in my book.

Wow! Epic fail this past week. I only got one item done! Well at least it involved cupcakes and from what I hear, Dave's work love them.

So on to this week:

One. Clothes to the consignment shop. Seriously, I am taking it all on Tuesday!

Two. 4th of July door decoration. If I don't make it this week then it won't get done before the holiday.

Three. Pedicure. We all have to treat ourselves every once in a while right? Plus, I can read a couple chapters in my book while I am at it.

Four. Paint the steps and the door trim in the garage. That will make the project complete!

I can only come up with four goals for the week but there is no sense trying to take on more than I can possibly get done. Do you have any goals for the week?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Meal Plan - June 29th

Happy Sunday yall! We had such a productive weekend! We had a sick puppy on Friday so instead of our normal date night, we stayed in and grilled out. Saturday we painted our garage and made spaghetti. Then today we finished up the garage by painting the floor with that speckled stuff (I have no idea what it is called). There will be an awesome before and after on that some time this week. We moved out date night to tonight and went out for some awesome sushi and frozen yogurt! 

So for this week's meal plan:

Sunday - Date Night
Monday - Steaks, grilled veggies, baked potatoes
Tuesday - Kale and mushroom roll ups, brussel sprouts
Wednesday - Mushroom risotto, asparagus
Thursday - Chicken tacos, black beans, spanish rice
Friday - Grilling out with friends (Happy 4th!)
Saturday - Date Night (3 month anniversary!)

I am linking up with I'm An Organizing Junkie. Drop by to check out other wonderfully delicious weekly meal plans!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Five on Friday - 4th of July Ideas

The Fourth of July is next Friday! It is my third favorite holiday (after Christmas and Thanksgiving) so I am excited that it falls on a Friday this year. Here are five great ideas to make for a wonderful holiday:

1. These votives candleholders are an inexpensive, easy, and unique. What a great centerpiece for an Independence Day BBQ.

2. Rice crispy treat sparklers are a fun dessert for everyone and would be easy to bring on a picnic or to a party.

3. This top is adorable and so comfy looking. It would be perfect for an evening with friends.

4. An American Flag pillow would be a great accessory for indoors or outdoors this summer. An easy was to add a touch of patriotism to your home especially for the holiday weekend. PS: It's on sale!

5. White Wine Berry Sangria looks like a patriotic and delicious beverage to serve at your 4th of July get-together.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Michigan...The Good and Bad...

I am a Southern girl born and raised. I spent the first 27 years of my life in The Heart of Dixie....Alabama. So when Dave told me his next assignment (after Montgomery, AL) was Battle Creek, Michigan and asked if I would move with him, I had no idea what I was in for! We moved July 31 which was quite deceiving....summers in Michigan look a lot like summers in Alabama. All was good until that first snow hit on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving!).  Then the second snow. Then the third. I was freaking out and the locals kept saying that it was nothing....just a dusting. A dusting?!?! looked like more than a dusting to me! Boy was I wrong! Like I said, I didn't know what I was in for. All this to say, Michigan has had its ups and downs...its pros and cons. Let me share some with you....

The Good:
1. We are 45 minutes from Lake Michigan and all the adorable towns that line the coast. I love that we can hop in the car on Saturday morning and spend the day laying out by the lake (no sharks!), grabbing an ice cream and wondering through the shops in all the small towns. Some of my favorite are: South Haven, St. Joseph, and Saugatuck.

2. People here are so nice. I can't remember the last time I went into the grocery, Old Navy, Home Depot, etc. and didn't spend several minutes just chatting it up with the cashier.

3. Summers up here are like a spring day in Alabama. I grew up where the summers are so hot, if you are outside you better be in a swimming pool. I love that we can sit outside in the summers here and enjoy the sunshine and mild weather. The evenings can even get cool enough to need a light jacket!

4. Our house is so cute! Maybe I am biased but I just love our house. It is perfect for us and has been such a great first home for us. It is a great size and was in wonderful condition when we bought it. Most of the changes we have made consist of painting. I will miss it most of all when the day finally comes to leave. 

5. Michigan has some of the country's best beer! I love a good craft beer and we have so many options. There are 29 breweries within 50 miles of our house including Bell's, Arcadia, Dark Horse, Founders, and New Holland.

The Bad:
1. The winters! I have never in my life seen so much snow! This past winter we had over 100" and I saw it get to -11 degrees. It was one of the worst winters on record in recent history. We even had to resort to buying a snow blower (which I haven't used and hope to get through another winter without having to!) for Dave! There was just too much to get by with only a shovel! When we got home from Christmas we had 16" just sitting in our driveway! Winters are the worst and some days I feel like I am being buried alive by the never-ending snowfall.

2. Once the winter is over the potholes are so huge they might swallow your car. The snow plows do a number on our roads all winter so it takes half the summer for them to be patched just for the damage to be done all over again the following winter.

3. We are 11 hours by car from my family. Before moving up here, the farthest I had ever lived from home was an hour away when I was in college. I hate that I can't just hop in the car when they need me and that they can't dash up here when I am missing them.

4. Can recycling is nasty business. In Michigan, every time you purchase a beverage in a can or bottle you are charged a $.10 deposit. You get it back when you return the bottle/can. The recycle room at the grocery store smells like a frat house that had a party last weekend and has yet to clean up! Yuck! Needless to say, Dave handles all the recycling (what a man!).

5.We are not actually based near any kind of military base. We are considered remote and there are some days that word feels so true...remote. It is so hard to find any kind of community here. Most people that live in the area grew up here with family and friends nearby. So while they might be nice they have a hard time reaching out to new people especially people like us who will only be here for three years.

While Michigan has its ups and downs, we really have loved calling it home for the last two years. With one year left until the Air Force decides our next home, we plan to make the most of it by exploring the area and finding new adventures. Where do you live? What do you love about where you live? What can't you stand?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday - June 25th

This week's meals are pretty normal. I am trying to get back to healthy eating which hasn't been happening much lately. We have been so busy that instead of taking the time to come up with healthy, nutritious meals, we are eating out too much.

Breakfast: Oatmeal with peanut butter and banana

Lunch: Ultimate salad: Spinach, lettuce, tomato, artichokes, mushrooms, roasted brussel sprouts (leftover from the night before), celery, blue cheese, cottage cheese, avocado, and pomegranate balsamic (yum!)

Dinner: Veggie paninis with roasted sweet potato "fries" (I almost forgot to take a picture. That's why there is so little left!)

Snacks: Strawberry cupcakes (I used this recipe)

What have you been eating this week? I need some new breakfast ideas before I turn into oatmeal!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Wedding - The Dress

Before I ever went to look at wedding dresses and I think even before I was engaged, I had a couple wedding dresses pinned to my "Wedding" pinterest board. So when the day finally came to go shopping, I looked up those dresses to see if any stores in my area carried that did. It happened to be the last of three stores that we were going to. I didn't know if I would like them in person or not but I at least wanted to see what the store had. So at the first store I tried on several pretty dresses one of which stood out as a contender but it was over my budget. I am all about a budget so it was hard to imagine spending that kind of money on a dress but it was gorgeous. I left it there though and moved on to the second store to see what they had. Again, one dress stood out from the pack. It was beautiful, in my price range, and had the look I was definitely going for. It quickly became my favorite dress and I thought it would be the one I would get. We were done shopping for the day and waited until the next day to shop at the third store.

So the next day again with my mom and sister in tow and adding my grandmother to the group we struck out for the third store. We pulled dresses off the racks including two by the designer I loved. I tried on them all saving the two for the end. When I put on THE DRESS, that was it...there was no other dress even in the running. It was perfect. It was the best price of any dress that I liked and had everything I wanted in a dress!

What a fun and exciting experience! I worried that I wouldn't still love the dress nine months later at the wedding. Tastes change and what if by the day of I wish I had gone with something else? That was not the case! I felt like the dress perfectly suited me and our day.'s the dress: Mori Lee 1906!

 I spent a lot of time looking for accessories too. The veil goes with the dress. I has beautiful beading along the edge that matches the beading in the dress. I wore these earrings from Nordstrom and these shoes.

Read about our wedding invitations and guestbook too!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Hopes and Plans

Today I am going to share with you a few plans I have for my week. Sometimes I tend to push things off that aren't required and that I don't enjoy doing, so maybe this will help hold me accountable for getting a few things done!

One. Take some clothes to the consignment shop. I cleaned out my closet a while back but now I have got to get all the stuff I don't want out of the house!

Two. Make strawberry cupcakes. I have had all the ingredients and I just keep putting off making them.

Three. Make front door decor for the 4th of July. I am loving the above idea!

Four. Straighten up the basement. It has been a mess from projects so I need to get some order to it.

Five. Read a couple chapters in my book.

I am joining Amanda's link up over at Marry-Mint!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Meal Plan - June 20th

How was your weekend? I had a garage sale with a friend, painted the garage (before and after pictures to come soon!), did some chores around the house and chilled. It was just a nice weekend with tons of productivity. I dropped the ball on our meal plan for last week. We ate out A LOT so several meals are rolling over to this week. But, I feel like life is going to calm down and get back to normal this week so I am excited to cook some yummy stuff! Also, our patio furniture arrives this week so I will be living outside for the rest of the summer...which means even more GRILLING!

Sunday - Jalapeno poppers, Sweet potato fries (we never got around to them last week)
Monday - Pork chops, Brussel sprouts, Wild rice
Tuesday - Veggie stir fry, Brown rice
Wednesday - Chicken pot pie
Thursday - Veggie paninis, Sweet potato chips
Friday - Date Night!
Saturday - Steaks, Veggies, Pasta salad

What are you cooking this week?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Five on Friday - Summer Must Haves

Summer is in full swing up here in Michigan so, I thought I would write about five of my favorite things to make for a wonderful summer!

1. Floppy hat:  When I get out in the sun I always bring a hat but a big floppy hat is so much more fun and fashionable then a baseball cap! Throw it on with a bathing suit for a day at the lake or with a maxi dress for a BBQ with friends.

2. Oversize tote: This tote is great to use for a weekend getaway, the beach, or even a trip to the farmer's market. I got one with my new married monogram and find myself using it all the time!

3. Grill: We cook most of our meals on the grill in the summer because who wants to be stuck inside when the weather is this nice?!

4. Summer scarf: Even when its warm outside, I like to keep a scarf in my purse. Car rides, planes, and movie theaters can get chilly in the air conditioning so it's nice to have something to throw over your shoulders.

5. Fun drinks: From mojitos to margaritas we love to sit on the patio and enjoy an adult beverage while the dogs play in the yard.