Tuesday, September 30, 2014

New Living Room

As we were trying to figure out our car situation we were also trying to figure out how we were going to get our new chair delivered to our house. Thankfully we have some awesome friends who were willing to be at our house so the chair could be delivered. We still don't know where exactly we want this guy to live but here's a start. 

I love how it is all coming together, hopefully everything will transition into a real house when we finally grow up! 

Ugh that kitchen though. There are a few more little projects I would like to complete over there. I guess this is all a never ending project but I still like it!

What about you guys? Do you have something you always work on? Do you have any suggestions for the kitchen?! I would LOVE to hear them in the comments!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Weekend Update!

I can't believe it! What a whirlwind weekend! I got home a tiny bit early on Friday and walked the dog and was settling in to figure out what we were going to do that night when Chris comes home and says "You want to go to Charlotte tonight?". What? Why? He found the car we had been looking for in our price range! But they want to sell it NOW! So as I'm running around grabbing stuff to wear for the next day I call my mom to make sure it's okay for us to stay with them for the night because we might be getting a car! (Of course it was okay!) So we packed up the dog and headed out for our last trip in our Snowball!
We signed the papers on Friday night and after what felt like eternity we got our car! She's a 2013 Jeep Wrangler and we couldn't be more excited! Of course we had to show our family, who doesn't love to drive a new car? We are so excited and so thankful that we found what we were looking for and don't have to stretch our budget. 
We didn't get too much done on Sunday since we were so excited to be home with our new car and just ready to go on adventures! I hope everyone else had a great weekend!

Friday, September 26, 2014

High Five for Friday!

Woohoo!! It's almost the weekend!! This dreary week needs to end!

1. Our Pennie Chair comes in on Saturday! I am VERY excited! I'll try and take some pics of our living room after we get it! Can you tell I'm excited!?!?! Now we just need to find a pillow for the back...
2. Saturday is also free museum day for Smithsonian Affiliates! I got a ticket to the Nasher and hopefully I can convince Mr. Chris to come with me! You can see if there are any participating museums near you here. One ticket permits 2 people. You only get one ticket per household so if you are bringing any kiddos you'll have to see what your museums policy is.

3. I think I'm going to try to tackle my closet this weekend and try to get some inspiration from what I already have and get excited for fall! 

4. I'm getting pumped to see my sister soon! She has been cranking out some serious jewelry and I can't wait to see what I can pick out!! Check her out on instagram

5. Car shopping, guys, I really can't tell you how excited we are to look for a new car! However I am so over car shopping! Mr. Chris seems to really know what he wants and I only have a couple requirements. I'm hoping we find something soon so we can be finally done with it! There are only so many detail I can pay attention to and am willing to pay for! Ah! 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Roasted Garlic and Artichoke Dip

I know I have spoken about this dip at least once before. But I don't think I gave it enough cred for how good it is! I found Spoon Fork Bacon right when it first started and I made a lot of their first recipes and they have just gotten better and better over the years! But I come back to this dip a lot because it is SO irresistible! I think  I was the only person yesterday to come home with a clean bowl! We had a potluck lunch yesterday at work and sometimes I really dread coming up with something to make but this is so easy and totally worth it that it has become a go-to when I can't think of anything else to make! I usually just serve it with either pita chips or toasted crustinis. 
Artichoke and Roasted Garlic Dip

1 head garlic, top sliced off
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 c light mayonnaise
½ cup part-skim mozzarella, shredded
¼ cup parmesan, grated
2 tablespoons hot sauce
2 teaspoon dry mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon parmesan, grated
1 ½ tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the head of garlic onto a small piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with olive and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Loosely wrap the foil around the garlic and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes or until the garlic cloves have softened completely and slightly browned. While the garlic is roasting combine all other ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix your topping ingredients in a separate, small bowl. Once the garlic is ready squeeze the clove into your serving bowl and discard the peel. Be careful, it will be VERY hot! But it should separate really easily. Mash the cloves into a paste and stir in the remaining dip ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Stir the mixture until fully incorporated. Sprinkle topping ingredients on top of your mixture in your ramekin and bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving with your dipping vehicle of choice!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Beauty Test Drive: Elizabeth and James Nirvana

I have had the lucky opportunity to be able to try both the black and white versions of this perfume. They were just samples but I think those little glass samplers are so great, especially if you want to try something new or just switch things up for a bit. 

I fell in love with the white one when I got it. It is nice and soft and feminine. It's a tiny bit sweet and floral and clean. I feel like this subtle enough to be an everyday perfume and would compliment anyone looking for a grown up floral scent. It's like the big sister or fall time version of Flowerbomb. I liked it so much I have been thinking about getting the rollerball for my purse. I have a ton of samples I would like to get through before I get anymore! But I had heard good things about the black one as well so I chose it as one of my free samples from Sephora...

I just don't like this one as much. It has a much stronger, muskier and more masculine scent. It's very sharp and woody. This one lasts much longer than the white one and softens over time yet tempers out to a more feminine softer scent. It's definitely darker more autumnal scent. I felt like it was a little overwhelming, it kind of reminded me of Spicebomb. I like it but it just isn't my scent style. The spiciest I like is Chanel Chance

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Showing Some Restraint

With a big purchase in our future I feel the need to pull back the reigns a bit more on my personal spending. Ugh. With the seasons changing I have the itch to fill my closet with new fall clothes! Of course there is now a chill in the air which cannot be ignored! I've been wearing my trusty trench to work and shedding it in the afternoon as it warms up. Hopefully this restraint will force me to be more creative with my outfits. Lately I haven't been feeling very inspired by what my closet lays out. 
Last night I was discussing with my bible study the brave people that are able to 30x30 challenge. Which is when you choose 30 items in your closet and you remix them for 30 days. Sometimes I feel like that would make life so much easier! Or would that make it harder? Would you be more creative or less creative? How would I even choose only 30 items? This includes work and play!? AH! 

I'll let you all know if I ever decide to board that plane which is bound to crash and burn. You will all have front row seat either to cheer or jeer. Have any of you ever done this? Link any blogs that have below! I would love to check them out!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Weekend Update

Whew! What a weekend! We kicked it off by having dinner with friends at Harvest 18. I had the  Heritage Farms Pork Shank with Guilford-Ashe Co. cheddar grits, asparagus, watermelon-poblano jelly. It was fall off the bone good! We tried to call it a night early but you get to talking and you just don't stop! 

We tried to get up early and head out to the lake with my family but we slept in about an hour! Oops! Luckily no one was waiting for us and we were able to bring a couple things they forgot! We made it and headed out on the lake! Chris got to wakeboard and we got to slalom together! I've just about got it! Of course we had to get a group ski in and did a mass girl ski and a boy ski. For the boys we got about 1,100 pounds dragging behind the boat! We got a barefooter and two slaloms up too and they did a couple switch overs!

We had dinner and called it a day. Chris and Kona and I drove back home and promptly passed out!

On Sunday we were invited to go to Wilmington for the day but we just couldn't bear to get out of bed so early! After a nice hardy breakfast Mr. Chris and I went out to find a new car. Our poor snowball has been acting very cranky and it would be really awful for one of us to be stuck on the side of the road! So we've been going over our options and luckily I have some savings from living at home so we might be able to get what we want! We'll just have to see! But it's all very exciting! :)

Finally we ended the day with some long boarding to wear the little Kona out! I have to say I think I'm usually a  good multitasker but filming and riding are kind of hard!

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, September 19, 2014

High Five For Friday!

This has been a very trying week for me. Chris's grandma passed on Sunday night and we have been trying to help out the family as best we can. Hopefully the weekend will bring some peace and comfort to us.

1. Ahh!! With fall comes so many awesome things to be excited about! I know everyone pees their pants over PSL but personally I like a hazelnut mocha or the salted caramel mocha! YUM!!

2. Kony, I swear he won't be featured every week but this little guy has gotten me out of the house and on long walks more than anything else. It just makes me happy to see him happy, and walks definitely make him happy!!

3. Along with new Starbucks drinks I am seeing so much new makeup and clothes! I am seriously looking at this and this and thisthisthis, and this!!! The list goes on! What I really need to be hunting for is work skirts. My current selection is looking a little careworn and could use an update. Where do you guys like to shop for work clothes?

4. I mentioned it a little bit yesterday but I really like watching the Hollywood Reporters Roundtables. They have been keeping me company while I clean and iron and be lazy after my long walks! I find the women centered ones much more interesting than the male ones.

5. Thankfully I have started craving more healthy foods. My go-to has been pineapple! I can't get enough of it! It might be because Chris and I have been listening to the sixth Harry Potter book and Professor Slughorn always brings up his love for candied pineapple. But I've just been loving it and thankfully Costco still stocks them! We've gotten about three!

I hope everyone has a restful weekend! TGIF!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Current Crush: Emmy Rossum

I've been watching a lot of The Hollywood Reporters Roundtable videos and this one made me just fall back in love with Emmy Rossum. I first fell for her in An American Rhapsody where Scarlett Johannson is the main character and Emmy has just a small part but she enraptured me. It became one of my favorite movies not only for the story and Scarlett Johanssons character but also for Emmy Rossum and her amazing eyeliner! I swear that is one of the things that really stood out to me! 

Her looks have always been classic with and edge. Looks that I am so drawn to! I am obsessed with her look in the interview and just seeing her be really herself is really refreshing. She really reminds me of one of my friends and maybe that is why I enjoy her so much. I might have to try a thick eyeliner this weekend with a brown smoky eye. Also that curly hair that I covet so much! And ummm she styles herself! So cool. Emmy can you be my friend? Because you're just so cool. 
Yep, I'm just going to nerd out and be inspired by this awesome chic. Do you guys have anyone you're crushing on? What inspires you? Who inspires you? Let me know in the comments!
{1, 2, 3. 4}

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Back in Black

I don't know about you guys but with the coming Autumn I am overly inspired by all black outfits. This happens every year! White in the summer, black in the winter. I'm just drawn to them! As much as I want to try to wear color I'm just always attracted to the sleekness of black and white! 

{1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6}
Also, for how much I hate pants I love how they look on other people! 

What about you guys? What are you drawn to? What are some molds you try to break out of?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Book Club: The Poison Tree By: Erin Kelly

This book has been going around my book club for months and I haven't been able to get my hands on it until now! I loved and hated this book. Really I hated how mad it mad me and how I just wanted to shake the characters! But that's why it was so good too!

This book is another back and forth story that takes place in 1997 and 2007. We meet Karen, a linguistic scholar finishing up her last year of university when she meets Biba, an aspiring actress who leads a bohemian life with her brother Rex in a mansion which is where most of our story is set. Jump to 2007 and we learn Rex is out of jail and Karen has a daughter names Alice and Karen is trying to figure out her new life with Rex and Alice.

There were several very unexpected twists in this book. Which is odd since I was even TOLD there were twists but I really just didn't see them! What bothered me most was how there were so many 'out of character' things Karen did. As a Type A person myself I couldn't see myself falling into the 'romantic' lifestyle so easily and without really any repercussions. Her life becomes a tangle once she falls into the lifestyle and i just didn't fall in love with Biba and Rex like Karen did. Honestly she seemed kind of dumb for having that be 'her last summer'. Honestly Karen you should have gotten better friends at University and not stay with some lame dude you mat you first month of school you didn't even like! At this point it sounds like I don't like the book but I really did! I like to get frustrated by characters! That indicated it doesn't get tied up in a pretty bow at the end and the characters challenge my own thoughts on character development.

Not everything was what it seemed, we are lied to and we are fools in our assumptions. I loved this.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Weekend Update: The Clean out

Whew! This actually felt like a long weekend! I really needed it too! Chris and I took it easy on Friday and I worked all day Saturday cleaning our kitchen. Obviously I took a lot of breaks because we have a teeny tiny kitchen but it is exhausting! I feel like it looks at least a little bit better than it was. I mostly did deep cleaning so nothing too obvious. I have been trying to come up with creative ways to make it all look a little bit better. I'm thinking I may have to order some movable wallpaper decals to cover the hideous faux finish we have. Maybe this guy?
The really bad part is our cabinets. They are terrible. But there is no way we would do anything to those since we only plan on being here a couple more years. But I will say one of those wood stain pens made all the difference on some of my pulls. Thanks Mom!

On Sunday Chris went to the Wakeboard Park and I took Kona on a very long walk, ran a bunch of errands and picked up our ottoman!
Chris is very excited to finally have something I'll allow him to put his feet on. I'm sorry but I just can't bear having feet on my beautiful table! 

So I took advantage of the 15% Upholstery Sale and got this guy for our living room. 
We may have to get two just for added 'seating' and storage. 

Now that I'm older I'm finally finding it fun to shop for a home. I know we'll only be here a few years but everything we get now will go into our future 'grownup' home. My, how times change!

We ended the weekend with probably one of my favorite pizza's. Which, ummm, I have never posted about? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME!?!?! Well, next time I'll have to remember to document because I love this pizza! And it must be shared!

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, September 12, 2014

High Five for Friday

This Friday couldn't come soon enough! I need a weekend to get my life together! Anyone else feel that way?

1. I got a chance to go to Fab'rik yesterday with one of my friends who was invited to a party where everyone got 20% off the entire store! I actually didn't get anything although I was very tempted to get Spanx pants! Who knew Spanx made jeans!? They were awesome but since I had just bought a pair of my beloved Paige jeans I decided I didn't need more. 

2. Fall, man I am ready for fall! It is still stifling in NC! I tried to wear a leather jacket the other day and it was totally sticking to my skin! I'm ready for some sweater weather!!

3. Athleta, I need you to give me the motivation I need to get moving again. I swear I could just lay around and read for the rest of my life if I could. So I'm using my love of shopping to get me motivated and back in the gym. I might also help if I actually renew my gym membership some time right? I might have to go to Under Armour too, I love the new campaign

4. Kona. This little dog brings me so much joy. I look forward to seeing him when I get home and love letting him out of his crate to greet me in the morning. 

5. I am so thankful for our freedom. I know I didn't post about it yesterday but 9/11 always gets to me. One of my sorority sisters and I were talking about it a few weeks ago and I told her my story and I still get teary eyed. I looked at that entry and there is so much more to that day that I can't put into words. 

I hope everyone had a great week and has a beautiful weekend!!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Rabbit Holes

Have you guys seen any good movies lately? I recently fell down the rabbit hole of watching a million movie trailers on YouTube and now have a list about a mile long of movies I want to watch. Now with TIFF going on there are quite a few more I'd like to add to that list.

Still Alice looks amazing. Chris' family has a history with late in life Alzheimers and it's heartbreaking, however this movie tells the story of a younger woman and her journey with the disease. 

The Imitation Game looks so interesting to me. I love the time period, and the whole pretense. It looks like the pacing will be very important since it mixes relationships and WWII. Sometimes these kinds of movies can really drag on trying to get all the details in. (See: Pearl Harbor) 

 I think I've seen a trailer for Infinitely Polar Bear and it looked much more lighthearted than the description shows. 

Laggies looks like it could be very hit or miss, it sounds very much like something Lena Dunham would have directed. I think I could be swayed with a good trailer. 

There are a ton more! Check them out here. What are your favorite kinds of movies? Does anything look good to you?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Book Club: Banana Nutella Oat Muffins

Last night for book club we had a breakfast theme so I brought Banana Nutella Oat Muffins. I had never made them before but they were a huge hit! 

I followed this recipe but I added an extra banana but I think I would add one more still since it didn't have that hardy banana flavor I like in pretty much any banana recipe. 

2 cups flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
¼ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
½ cup milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, white sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir until ingredients are well combined.
In a large bowl, beat egg. Add milk, oil, vanilla and mashed bananas. Sir to mix ingredients until well combined.
Add flour mixture to the banana mixture and stir until ingredients are incorporated, do no over stir.
Line a 12 muffin pan with 12 muffin tins or spray muffin tin generously with cooking spray.
Divide batter evenly among the 12 muffin tins. (with four bananas this will make about 18-20 muffins)
Add a teaspoon of Nutella to the top of each muffin and gently cut Nutella into batter with a knife or toothpick to produce pretty swirls.
Bake at 375 degrees for 17-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

What is your favorite thing for breakfast? What would you have brought last night? Are you also a sucker for anything with Nutella? What food blogs do you follow?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Skirts vs. Pants

Pretty much since I started working in the professional world I have stuck mainly to skirts. I have only like three pairs of work pants which I avoid wearing at all costs. What do you prefer to wear? I think my main issue is fit, I have short, muscular legs with a butt. This mean pretty much no pair of pants will fit me. They fit fine in the waist but are either so loose they make me look about 5 inched shorter or they are so skin tight on my legs that I might as well just wear tights. Any other short girls have this problem? I wish I could wear pants but I just can't fins any for my short and stubby legs! 
 {1, 2, 3}
{1, 2, 3}
So tell me what do you prefer? 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Weekend Update

Ahh it feels good to be back! That hiatus was a bit longer than I would have wanted initially but it was worth it to be my brain together after my extremely long weekend that held no relaxation! This past weekend however was very relaxing!

Chris and I went home to Charlotte so Dr. Chris could help out with the free dental clinic at the Charlotte Convention Center. His shift was 6a-6p so I didn't get to see too much of him! But that gave me an opportunity to hang out with my mom one on one. We took advantage of the Bank of America Museums on Us weekend. If you hold a Bank of America card and go to certain museums you get in free! We went to the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and the Mint Uptown. I hadn't been in the Bechtler since it opened or the Uptown Mint since it moved and got to see the Chihuly installation be assembled. I'm glad we got to go for free since the main floor for the Bechtler was closed due to changing the installations! There were only about 20 pieces to look at! Thankfully the Mint is right next to it and we just walked on over and enjoyed a lot of really wonderful art. My mom and I had some really deep and great conversations about different kinds of art and how it makes you feel and what makes you love a piece. There were several we had to just laugh at because the execution seemed so poor that it looked like it had been restored by the lady that did the Ecce Homo

A couple of my favorite pieces were Being By Agnes Pelton and Turquoise Inside Yellow by Eric Freeman. 
 Don't worry, I was allowed to take these pictures, just with no flash which is why they aren't as pretty as they are in real life. 
It kind of a shame how it just doesn't translate through a computer screen. I guess you'll just have to go look at them in person! 

We both loved Robert Henri's Mary Agnes
We also loved Danny Lane's Threshold installation. 
We were both ready to take it home! I'm actually really sad these have absolutely no translation to my screen. Even Mary Agnes, however interesting and pretty she is is nothing compared to what she is like in person. Looking at these now they look cheesy and cheap. Heartbreaking. 

Well, I'm glad to be back and I hope you all had a great weekend!

Monday, September 1, 2014

August Purchase History

August brought along a couple large purchases. I got a purse I have been wanting for so long and Mr. Chris got a new suit! Banana was having a 50% off full priced items and Chris has been wanting a new suit for a while and we have a couple weddings coming up where it will probably be used. 

Noelle and I went out to the new outlets in Charlotte and stopped into the Saks Off 5th and I found this awesome Rebecca Minkoff Bag! I have been wanting a Mini Mac for a couple years but I haven't wanted to pull the trigger on one because even though they are the little purses they are still pretty expensive. Since it was opening weekend they had an extra 20% off everything in the store! I also snagged a pair of Paige jeans. These are the only ones that I really love and work with my body type. 
{jeans, purse}
Then of course what's a month without an online order from Forever 21? I actually am not keeping these first two. I think I would size up on the cardigan, it just wasn't as loose as I would have wanted but it was very good quality and comfy! The tank fit me a little oddly and I wish the beading went all the way to the back. I think it would look better on a more straight body type. 
{cardi, tank}
 I really like these next 2 they are both very soft and comfy. I got the long sleeved shirt as a layering item and the dolphin top as a comfy top, and seriously, it is so soft! Really good buys!

This blazer is really awesome! It fits really nicely, it's a little boyfriend-y and I love the shoulder details. The leopard scarf is really nice, long and nice and fluffy. This purse looks really nice and is really high quality for being only 30 bucks!

Finally I really needed some Beauty Blender Cleanser and a couple other things...

I'll let you guys know what I think of the Summer Crushes! I love the blender cleanser, it's so easy to use and the brush is great as well!

So did you guys score any deals this month? Let me know in the comments!
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