Wednesday, November 27, 2013

On The Road

I've always wanted, or planned on writing about podcasts and books on tape but never had the right opportunity. Well here it is! I know many people might already be on the road, be safe out there! But for those who are still getting in those last few tasks, here is another thing to tack onto your list of things to do! I first came across audio books when I scanned a company's entirely paper-based filing system into PDF form. (awesome) After listening to music started to make me feel like my brain was going to leak out my ears my mom suggested audio books. Ummm, perfection. First one? Gossip Girl, Christina Ricci narrates awesomely, I still remember, this was in like 2006, I used an original iPod mini. Sa-weet. Then I discovered my library would let me stream audio books for free! I remember I listened to The Kite Runner and several other books narrated by the author and I fell in love. Chris and I listened to audio books on long trips for a longtime. Then I branched out to podcasts. I still listen to these way more than audio books.
These are some of my favorites:
Stuff Mom Never Told You: I have loved this one for a long time, it's all about women, and womanly things and women in history. A lot of it can be applied to the world in general but I love the hosts, past and present and the topics are super interesting.

NPR: Pop Culture Happy Hour: This is a newer one I really like. It's all about different kind of pop culture and the hosts are awesome and hilarious and so well informed. They are usually around 30-45 minutes and the topics are always up to date but I still like to listen to the really really old ones too!

Aisha Tyler: Girl on Guy: I LOVE this one. Aisha Tyler is not only hilarious but she is super freaking smart, she has kick ass people on her show and it's just awesome. If you have kids in the car it may not be totally appropriate since she and her guests curse, but it doesn't bother me. I HIGHLY recommend this one, they can be quite long, usually an hour and a half to two hours. But entertaining the whole time!

NPR: Ask me Another: This is perfect for car rides! It's basically a recorded quiz show. I love to answer along, and since its through NPR you know it's good. I'll definitely be putting this on my phone before we leave!

Conversations with Maria Menounos: This is the newest one of the bunch, I think she only has about 3 interviews but so far they have been good. I wish her sound quality was a little better but other than that i have no complaints.

Go subscribe and happy driving! If any of these get boring you had better put on your crazy dancy running mix! We don't want ANY accidents this year!! Stay safe!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Friendsgiving

Well we attended another Friendsgiving this year and what a success! I made this pie again and it was a big hit! Can you tell my oven is uneven? One side seems slightly more cooked than the other...that's what you get with a thirty year old oven!
I also made these potatoes because I love leeks and who doesn't like bacon? Can I tell you, when I went to buy leeks I only found GIANT organic ones. Seriously, I've never seen a leek so huge. They were definitely abut as round as a regular 16.9 oz water bottle. I am so excited for my family's Thanksgivings! Hopefully my Granny will get out of the snow storm in Texas and will get to NC safety! This will probably be my last post this week. In the mean time have a safe and happy holiday!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Birthday Weekend

Like I said on Thursday it was also my birthday weekend! I've had much discussion on the matter of fall birthday's versus summer birthdays. Many, many of my birthdays it has rained. 2 years ago in Baltimore it was like a spring day! I always had to go to school and now work, it's cold, its right in between Halloween and Thanksgiving, there's a lot to complain about. My sister on the other hand has a summer birthday July 4th to be exact. That sounds like an AWESOME birthday to me, but she always finds things to complain about. In school no one was around because it's kind of a family holiday, people never got her cupcakes because it wasn't during the school year. Umm I'm sure she has other reasons but on the upside, she will NEVER have to work on her birthday and she will ALWAYS have fireworks. Seriously? The only time that will happen for me is...umm never? In my dreams? But on the upside I plan my Christmas list early and whatever I don't get on my birthday I just ask for again for Christmas. Here are a few things that will no longer be on the Christmas list...





My favorite thing might be the perfume, it smells just like my wedding leis and my mom is getting the bottle engraved with our wedding date, which I thought was such a sweet added touch! Anything on here you are going to add to your Christmas wish list?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Reunion Weekend

This weekend I had the pleasure of reuniting with some of the most favorite women I know. We were missing a few, but the show must go on! I drove down to Charlotte on Friday afternoon after having a leisurely breakfast with little Kona.
Of course as with any driving trip I packed way more than necessary. Does anyone else do that? I made it there before anyone else and caught up with Noelle and my parents and then the fun began! Since we had two ladies come in after long, long road trips we took it easy with some dinner and wine and catching up.
On Saturday we had a late brunch and then headed up to the National White Water Center. I've been several times to raft and climb but this time we took to the trails! It was so nice to enjoy the beautiful weather and chat while getting in a bit of exercise. We ate a delicious lunch there and then went home to get ready for our night out.
We ate at one of my favorites, Cajun Queen and met up with a friend from high school. Then headed to Whiskey Warehouse where we enjoyed the Charlotte Skyline and couple pitchers before heading to a late night trip to Amelie's. All in all it was a great trip and so good to see some of my favorite women. It always feels good to come home to Mr. Chris and little Kon though.
Do you have anyone you try to catch up with every year or so?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Happy Birthday!

To me! Yep, wishing it on myself, that's why I've been so lazy this week because I'm old...Let's celebrate my survival!! WOOHOO!!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day

Thank you to all who have served our country. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale: Shoes

The final installation of the NHYS. But where are all the pretty shoes? I don't know, I got tired of looking once the prices reached close to $100. I'm trying to keep things realistic here people! But I have been looking into getting new trainers since I've been doing more classes and I don't want to wear out my running shoes when I'm not running.
Does anyone else feel like their feet look huge when they workout? I need thinner shoes or I need to work this weird complex out...

Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale: Coats and Jackets

My oh my! Are there jackets galore! Let's get right into it because these are actually pretty affordable and beautiful! And I just realized all but one of these are Guess? They're doing right by coats for me!
Clearly I'm trying to get out of the plain black or gray coats that I already own! What are your coat preferences? I prefer a button to a zip and I always want that waist cinched!

Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale: Dresses

Ah dresses, one of my favorite and most coveted clothing items. Nothing can beat a good dress. When you slip into something that fits like it was meant just for you, there are few better feelings. Also, a dress? It one thing, just find some fantastic shoes and you're done! But we'll get to that later! ;) These are all more formal dresses but could probably be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
Ok I do already own the French Connection one but what can I say? It's awesome, I love it, it's super comfy and French Connection has been hitting it out of the park lately for me!
I mean, I love this dress! Also that guy, how cute is he? Now that I think about it, some of my favorite memories are in dresses. Formals, my proposal, wedding (duh!) Who doesn't like fancy dress?

Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale: Accessories

Break time! Time for some accessories! I love a good watch and Michael Kors does it right!
I'm not huge on jewelry lately but I do like these Kate Spade studs.
I think I'm not huge on jewelry in the fall/winter because I would just cover it up with a scarf! I love a good scarf, with my black monotone ensembles a pop of color or interest with a scarf is so easy, with the added bonus of warmth!
Finally I would love to top it off with some awesome sunnies!
I think these are so cool with the half gold half tortoise! What are your winter must have accessories? 

Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale: Bottoms

For bottoms I'm more of a skirt girl at work, these are the only two I would be interested in since they are both classic shapes and both fully lined.  
For pants I've been on the hunt for comfy leggings. There aren't a lot of choices in the sale but here are a few I would want to try on.
If you can stretch it I would go for these Paige Denim Jeans, I love mine that I was able to score at Marshall's. Love 'em! Always looking for a deal! Does anyone else hate how work pants look on them? Is it a short thing? Or a big legs thing? Let me know your thoughts!

Nordstorm Half Yearly Sale: Underpinnings

Girl if you're going to be buying new clothes you need to start at the beginning; like buildings and make up you have to start with good foundations! I think anything with a lace waist is great, no lines are the way to go! (Or Victoria's Secret is having there 7 for $26 on now too!)
{BP}
My favorite everyday bras are definitely Calvin Klein with Natori and Chantelle close behind. Please take this time to get fitted! It only takes a minute and the people there are always very helpful, it really makes a huge difference when your bra fits! It will make you feel better, stand up straighter, and it really will make your clothes look better on you!
I also like tights in the winter and I've found that I really like the DKNY ones since they have a nice smooth control top without it cutting into my sides and don't suffocate. These tights are also opaque so they are hard to 'run' and easy to wash a wear!
{DKNY}
Good luck and stay tuned for more installations for the NHYS throughout the day!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Week Long Meals

I have to admit I feel like I have been really on top of my dinner making game. For the past few weeks Mr. Chris and I have eaten really solid meals with little to no preparation. We've both made large meals that will last us all week. I love a good leftover! On Sunday I started one of my favorite fall meals, Chicken Pot Pie with an Herb Crust. Ughh this is to die! I love this so much! It takes forever to make but it's totally worth it. Do I have a picture you ask? No, because I was too hungry to stop and take a dimly lite, grainy picture  on my sweet sweet laminate counter, of my unglamorous Chicken Pot Pit so here is a placeholder...

and here is the original recipe! My alterations are below...
Chicken Pot Pie
Ingredients
1 rotisserie chicken
6 cups canned chicken broth
3 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound potatoes, (~5 medium) peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup frozen peas
3 stalks of celery, cubed
¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter
3 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), sliced
2 large shallots, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup whipping cream
Directions
Butter 4-quart baking dish.  Shred chicken in colander.  Bring broth to boil in large pot, add carrots, potatoes, peas and celery to pot. Simmer uncovered until vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes. Place colander in large bowl and pour veggies and broth into colander/bowl.  Remove colander with veggies and chicken to drain. Reserve the remaining broth.
Melt butter in pot over medium heat. Add leeks, shallots and thyme. Sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add flour and stir 2 minutes. Stir in remaining broth and white wine. Increase heat to high and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Add cream and boil until sauce thickens enough to coat spoon, whisking frequently, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour gravy into bowl with veggies and chicken, stir to blend. Transfer mixture to baking dish.  (You can do all of this in the baking dish I just find it easier to mix in a bowl rather than a shallow dish.) Cool 45 minutes. (Filling can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Position 1 rack in top third of oven and place baking sheet on bottom rack in oven; preheat to 400F. Roll out crust dough on non-stick foil to 15x10 1/2-inch rectangle. Using foil as aid, turn dough over onto filling. Trim dough overhang; tuck dough edge inside dish. Roll out dough scraps to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out leaf shapes. Brush bottom of cutouts with water and place on crust; cut slits in crust to allow steam to escape.
Place pot pie on top rack and bake until crust is golden and gravy is bubbling, about 50 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Herb Crust
Ingredients
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, (Crisco) cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 1/2 tablespoons (about) ice water
Directions
Blend first 5 ingredients in mixer until herbs are very finely chopped. Add butter and shortening. Blend until mixture resembles coarse meal. Using fork, or pastry cutter mix enough ice water into flour mixture to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; flatten into rectangle. Cover and chill 30 minutes, the longer you cool, the easier it is to transfer. (Can be made 2 days ahead, keep chilled. Let dough soften slightly before rolling out.)

Make this a day ahead, let the crust cool properly on non-stick foil in the shape of your pan so you can simply plop it on top of your cooled filling and rip the foil off so easily. Seriously, I've made this a bunch of times and this is the easiest way to do it. Don't try and use regular foil instead, it won't be as easy or pretty. Crust will get everywhere but on your pie. Then go to your bible study and text your husband to put it in the oven before you leave so it will be ready when you get home. Wait, that's only me? Ok cool. Enjoy! x

Friday, November 1, 2013

Rabbit Rabbit; Friday Favorites

Happy first of the month! I hope you all got more trick or treaters than we did...ZERO! :( So sad, but we have A LOT of candy to drown our sorrows in. We made Bloody Mary's while we waited, apropos no? Then we went to Franklin Street to see what all the fuss was about, kind of like a parade to show off your costume. We didn't venture into any bars, what's with covers man?! But we got a lot of pictures taken of us, did we take any of ourselves? Well, one...
Back to the point, here are some items I'll be lusting after all weekend...




That copper hammered Starbucks cup? Adorable. I love it. Need to add it to the birthday list!
  La Mer, how insanely overpriced you are but how lovely. I got a sample of it a few months ago and I love it as my under eye night cream. It smells faintly of roses and absorbs so nicely into my skin. I'm not sure if it actually makes a huge difference in my delicate skin but it sure feels nice! 
Nuits de Noho, I have been lusting after this since college. (Also insanely overpriced) I got a chance to finally smell it in like 5 years and it's still as warm and feminine as I remember. It smells like a warm summer night. 
I've loved over sized watches for a while, I've had this one (similar) for 3 years and it's time to get a new battery for this poor guy but an upgrade wouldn't hurt either! ;) 
I've had a love of skulls for several years. I didn't even realize it until I was browsing through my pin boards and there were skulls of all varieties scattered about. I really like this Etsy Shop because they aren't actually real skulls so there's no questioning the humanity. I would LOVE this guy in our house! Also they have really great pin boards if you want to follow! 
Finally these sunnies, I love gold, can you tell? Call me a magpie, but I've wanted/needed a new pair for a while that don't skim my cheeks or rise above my eyeballs when I smile. Does anyone else have that issue? Happy weekend everyone! 
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