Monday, February 27, 2012

Monogram Monday

Go Play in the Backyard!

Now if I could only find a monogrammed hammock I'll be all set!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Knock Knock on the Door

A random love of mine is pretty doors. I know it’s a little odd but after reading a wonderful blog post about a yellow door over at Exploits of a Military Mama and watching a travel show about Dublin, Ireland, I thought I would share my small obsession.

(Random fact: Dublin, Ireland is famous for their colorful doors. The story behind them is supposedly one night a drunken man wondered into the wrong home because all the doors were painted black. He crawled into the incorrect bed with someone else’s wife and was shot dead when the actual proprietor came home. The next day all the wives went out and painted their doors different colors so their good-for-nothing husbands would know which house was theirs. ;)

Here are some of my absolute favorites:
One day I will go to Greek and see the blue doors.

Dublin, Ireland 

How pretty!

I used to have these posters, I should try to find them again.

This is me in front of a pretty blue door in London, England. 
Please excuse the lack of makeup but this was our first day there and I was still overcoming jet lag. 

One of our favorite engagement pictures. Charleston, SC definitely knows great doors. Big thanks to Evan Laettner!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Baked Penne

It’s been a little while since I’ve done a food post and boy did I pick a good one to document tonight. I found this recipe on one of my favorite food blogs, Plain Chicken, and knew I had to try it. I’ve been meaning to try the Philadelphia Cooking Crème but just hadn’t gotten around to it yet. Well I can tell you that it will be a product I stock my fridge with from now on. It was crazy easy to use, melted like a dream, and added huge flavor. Plus, while I couldn’t find it in my grocery store, it comes in 1/3 less fat too!

I was destined to make this dish, because when I was picking up the ingredients I found a coupon for the Philadelphia cooking crème on the super lean ground beef and the exact same recipe printed on the other side of the coupon. Crazy, huh? This was a really easy dish to make and was super good. I will definitely be making it again.

Baked Penne
1/2 lb. extra-lean ground beef or Italian Sausage
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup green peppers (I left this out b/c I don't like green peppers)
1 jar(24 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 tub(10 oz.) Philadelphia Italian Cheese and Herb Cooking Creme, divided (I used reduced fat)
1 cup Kraft Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
3 cups cooked penne pasta

HEAT oven to 350°F. COOK pasta. I am a big fan of a tip I saw on Pinterest. If you place a wooden spoon over a boiling pot of water it won't boil over. It works!
BROWN meat with vegetables in large nonstick skillet. Stir in spaghetti sauce.
Add 3/4 cup cooking creme and 1/2 cup mozzarella; cook and stir 2 to 3 min. or until mozzarella is melted. Add pasta; mix lightly.

SPOON into 2-qt. casserole; top with remaining cooking creme and mozzarella. Cover.
BAKE 20 min. or until heated through, uncovering after 15 min.
This was so great! Make it soon. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monogram Monday

Hang It Up!
I don't think I could ever get tired of looking at monogrammed stuff so why not decorate with it.

 Buttons make cute artwork!

I wish I had some artist talent so I could make this.

You could dress this up for every season.

Simple but so classy!


Friday, February 17, 2012

Who's ready for some Gamecock Baseball

Today is the opening day of the University of South Carolina Baseball season. That’s the same team that has won the NCAA Championships not once, but TWICE in a row! I’m immensely proud of my team and I can’t wait to get to the ballpark. We are Gamecock fans through and though in our household.

Speaking of our household loyalties, Andy grew up in Maryland and is beyond excited that Cal Ripken Jr.’s son has committed to becoming a Gamecock in 2012!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentine's Day Recap

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Honestly I feel very weird about Valentine’s Day overall. If you are single you hate it, if you have someone special people either go way too lovey-dovey or you dismiss it. I’m somewhere in between. I don’t support the over the top gifts, plans, gestures, but I think people can get stuck in the everyday grind and it’s nice to remind each other how much you appreciate and love your partner. Plus date night, whether it’s reservations at a restaurant or cooking together at home, is always a great thing.

The boy and I had a great Valentine’s Day. We didn’t go crazy but we did some special things for each other. Andy planned dinner and dropped off some beautiful flowers and chocolate cover peanut butter filled pretzels. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do for him since you can’t really send guys flowers at the office. So I heard somewhere, I can’t remember if it was the radio or saw it on pinterest, about sending guys food. So I talked to a local pizza place and got them to make a heart shaped pizza which I dropped off to him for lunch. Andy was probably crazy embarrassed but he said the office thought it was pretty clever and lots of people benefitted from it since it was so big.
Villa Francesca in Charlotte is awesome!

I hope everyone felted very loved and happy this Valentine’s Day!

What I'm Loving Thursday (sorry I'm a day late)

So I meant to post this yesterday but I got a little caught up with stuff so I'm a little late.

1. I’m loving….The Hunger Games trilogy. My mom, who is a librarian and is always ahead of the game on what books are awesome, has been telling me to read these books for a while now. Then I heard they were making a movie I put them at the top of my list because I always like reading the books before seeing the movie. Well Andy beat me to it and read the whole series over what felt like a weekend and highly recommended them. So I started the first one and wasn’t sure about them since I’m not a huge survival book fan. (I think it's from reading to many books like Hatchet in school.) But I got hooked and now I’m on the last book and can’t wait for the movie to come out in March. They are extremely fast reads, even for a slow reader like me, and I would recommend reading at least the first book since I have a feeling lots of details will be left out of the movie.

2. I’m loving… the new show Smash. It’s about how musicals are created. You follow the writers, director, producer, and cast members through the process and it’s awesome. There’s song, there’s dance, there’s drama, there’s Debra Messing and Anjelica Huston, and it’s all about Marilyn Monroe, what’s not to love? Add it to your Monday night lineup for sure!

3. I’m loving… my new Bride and Groom Cookbook from William-Sonoma. I got it as a gift at one of my showers and I love it. Not only does it have great recipes but it helps you plan meals for entertaining, how to time meals so everything is done at one time, and basic tips and tricks for the kitchen. It is a must have in my opinion for wedding registries.

4. I’m loving….Mochi ice cream from Trader Joe’s. I was tipped on to these by a friend and just had to try them. They are Japanese ice cream balls and are covered in a rice sponge cake. They take a little bit of getting used to, Andy isn’t a fan, but once I did I was hooked. They are like little portion controlled desserts. We tried the chocolate ones, but I hear the strawberry ones are good too. Has anyone else tried them?

5. I’m not sure if I’m loving….my ESSIE nail polish in Mezmerised. I’m not used to wearing colored nail polish on my hands. So I’m not sure if it looks weird to me because it’s not clear or because it actually looks weird. Should I add silver sparkles, white polka dots, a pearl coat? Thoughts? 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Our Love Story

Today I am linking up with some of my favorite blogs: Minor Details, Blue Eyed Bride, and From Mrs. To Mama. I have truly enjoyed reading about everyone’s Love Stories. It’s neat to see how people meet and what they cherish in their relationships. I thought I would add Andy and I’s story to the mix, half for blog readers, and half for posterity. We are literally on the brink of combining our lives and I want to remember how it feels. So here goes!

1. How long have you and your significant other been together?
We have been together almost 4 years and then we were friends for 4 years before we started dating. Sometimes it feels like we started dating yesterday and sometimes it feels like we have been together way longer.

2. How did you meet? {What’s your “love” story?}
We met our freshman year at Carolina. We lived down the hall from each other in the dorm and then really got to know each other because we were both Sport and Entertainment Management majors. We were friends all through college but didn’t start dating until we both graduated. We figured it was about time when friends started introducing us as “This is Sarah and Andy, they are involved, they just don’t know it yet.”  Needless to say everyone else seemed to know we were distended for each other before we figured it out.

Andy was living in Charleston and I lived in Columbia so we made it work by spending the weekends together. I think we single handedly kept the gas stations in business with all the back and forth we did. Charleston will always be the city where we fell in love. After about a year Andy came back to Columbia for grad school, which was awesome, and then a horrible five month stint where Andy lived in Maryland, brought us to the present where we both finally live in the same great city of Charlotte. So much long distance was not the perfect situation but it taught us to do a lot of talking because that’s all we could do during the week. We also know what life is like without each other and with each other and we much prefer the second option.

3. If married, how long have you been married?
We are not married yet but we are 74 days away! We CANNOT wait!

4. If you are married, where did you get married? Big or small wedding?
We are getting married at my family church which is Shandon United Methodist Church in Columbia, SC and our reception will take place at The Millstone at Adam’s Pond. I went to a reception there years ago and knew it was the perfect spot for us.

5. Do you have any nick-names that you call one another? Do share!
We don’t have really any interesting nicknames for each other. Sorry we’re boring.

6. Name 3 things you love most about your honey.
I love his go with the flow way of life, honorable work ethic, and the way he makes me laugh constantly.

7. Tell us how he proposed?
I know I’m slightly bias but I think Andy’s proposed was the best thing I’ve ever heard. It was perfect and was beyond anything I could have ever thought of. Here is our story straight from our wedding website:
My aunt and cousin were in Columbia, SC visiting and Andy came into town because he had never met them before. Not knowing anything I suggested we all go to brunch, which played perfectly into their whole plan. Unknown to me, Andy had talked to my mom earlier in the week and planned the next event. When we were finishing up brunch I asked what we should do next. My mom suggested we visit the University of South Carolina’s campus. After my father passed away the department he worked for at USC planted a tree right off the Horseshoe in his honor. Neither my aunt, cousin, or Andy had ever seen it so we decided to meet there. We were all standing around, chatting innocently, and Andy leans over and asked if I thought my dad would have approved of him. Andy only meet my dad briefly during college, which was way before we ever started dating. I said I thought my dad would have loved him, which is totally true. He said, “I’m glad to hear that because it makes what I’m about to do much easier”. Then Andy got down on one knee and said he loved me and asked me to marry him. Or at least that is what people told me he said. As soon as I saw him get down on one knee everything went fuzzy. I said yes, through an embarrassing amount of tears and hugs, and Andy somehow got the beautiful ring on my finger. It was a perfect moment and I had no idea it was coming!
8. Is he a flowers and teddy bear kind of guy for v-day, or strawberries, champagne, and rose petals?
Andy isn’t really either of these, he is more of a spend time together kind of guy. Since the basketball season takes up a lot of nights and weekends I really appreciate just doing stuff together. As I said before, date night is my favorite!

9. Are you a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl, or pop a movie in and relax on the couch?
I would love a dinner on the beach once in a while but I love movie night on the couch.

10. Tell us one thing you’d like to do with your significant other one day. If you could do anything? Go anywhere?
Something Andy and I have talked a lot about is traveling together. We both have a long list of places we want to go, now we just need to find the time! We are so excited about our Jamaican honeymoon since neither of us have ever been there. Europe is high on the list along with Australia (with New Zealand and Fiji) so I can show him where I spent three months in college. 
11. Tell us what you plan on doing on this Valentine’s Day.
This is one of the first Valentine’s Days where we will be in the same city so I’m not sure what’s on the agenda. I’ll have to get back to you on that.

12. Are you asking for anything this Valentine’s day?
Nope. Just spending some time together would be good.

13. Give us one piece of advice of keeping a relationship strong and full of love.
Talk to each other! My answer is very much like everyone else’s but it’s still true. Talk about your feelings (good or bad), talk about your likes and dislikes, talk about your day, talk about your goals and beliefs, talk about everything. Make the lines of communication open and easy. That way if something tricky comes along, which it will, it’ll be easy to talk about it. 

14. Show us a picture of what love means to you.

*All pictures are either off my camera or taken by our fabulous wedding photographer Evan Laettner. Check him out!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Monogram Mondays

Raise Your Glasses
Sorry I was a bad blogger and didn't post anything for a week. My lame excuse is that I've been sick and just haven't felt very creative. To make up for my laziness I will leave you with some eye candy. Enjoy!

Monogrammed Tervis, nothing could be finer! 

Prevent people from stealing your seersucker koozies

Acrylic stemware with a monogram, perfect for an outdoor dinner

Monday, February 6, 2012

Monogram Monday

Monogrammed Clothes!!!!
Fleece + Monogram = Love!


My thought is I might like running better if I have these shorts. 

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