Friday, June 27, 2014

Fourth Of July + Food

We are nearing the end of June which means Fourth of July is right around the corner! The 4th has always been a favorite holiday of mine. I love how laid back it is celebrating with family, friends and a view of the water. I've always been around the lake or beach for this holiday and this year is no different. There are TONS of adorable red white and blue recipes on pinterest, seriously tons. I plan to be out on the beach most of the day/evening this year so convenience is going to be key when deciding what to make. Here are some of my top choices for Fourth of July foods that would be easy to prepare and convenient to enjoy beachside. 

The pasta salad isn't red white and blue but it sounds delicious! Maybe put it in mason jars?

fruit kabobs

Watermelon and blueberry fruit kabobs 

Rice Krispy Treats 

taco dip

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summer "go to" foods

Summer is the perfect time to start eating all the right things- fruits, vegetables, lean meats. Farmers markets and produce stands are everywhere and fruit likes strawberries are at their prime. For me it's always been fairly easy to choose healthy foods in the summer. With the oh so hot air and constant opportunities to put on a bikini eating light just seems natural. I will admit being out of school has been tough to get back into a routine with my meals. I make MUCH better food choices when I plan ahead and have somewhat of a routine to follow. I am finally finding my groove and am constantly resorting to my "go to" meals. These are meals that when in doubt I resort to because they are easy and always yummy! 

Buffalo Chicken Salad 
I try to eat grilled chicken often since it is a lean meat, but sometimes that gets old. Right when I was getting in a boring grilled chicken slump a friend of mine suggested adding buffalo sauce. Since then I have been hooked! Buffalo chicken salad and buffalo chicken lettuce wraps are my favorites. (I just use lettuce, celery, a little bit of chopped onion if I have it on hand, and shredded carrots. Mix that with ranch dressing and add your buffalo chicken on top. I sometimes put rice at the bottom of the salad too.)  

before I baked it 

Roasted Squash and Zucchini 
This is probably the best vegetable combination ever. Summer squash and zucchini just go together like Pb&j. I rarely eat one without the other. I actually am making my second batch for the week right now! Lightly coat your pan with olive oil, lay down your sliced vegetables, lightly spray another coat of oil on top, sprinkle salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. Bake 30-45 minutes and wah lah.. deliciousness! 

Sweet Potatoes and Grilled Chicken 
Self explanatory- add grilled chicken and half a sweet potato to your vegetables and you have a balanced lean meal! I eat this for lunch most days and just swap out the vegetables. 

Tomato sandwich 
This is the meal that screams summer the most to me. I good old tomato sandwich. Top it off with a peach and a landshark- heaven. Normally I just go with simple mayo, tomato and a little salt but I did add turkey to this particular one.

Strawberries and Banana Snacks 
I have been incorporating strawberries or bananas into pretty much all of my snacks. My favorites are vanilla greek yogurt with strawberry slices, vanilla protein shake with strawberry slices, strawberries dipped in peanut butter/chocolate and bananas with peanut butter. All healthy choices and so good! I could honestly eat just the strawberries by their self but everything else adds protein.  

What are some of your favorite summer "go to" meals? I need to branch out and try some new things! 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Emerald Isle Getaway

A few weekends ago my old college roommate invited Justin and I to come stay the weekend with her and her boyfriend at Emerald Isle. Kristi and I are such good friends but don't get to see each other nearly enough living in different cities. It was so nice to be able to relax and catch up! 

On Saturday we started the day popping champagne (an old tradition of ours) before heading out on the boat. The weather ended up being perfect- not too hot but not cold either. Boat rides and mimosas in mason jars go hand in hand right?  ;) 


The crew 

not a cloud in the sky.. seriously such a pretty day!

After the boat ride we headed back to the house for a quick nap and a little relaxing on the porch. That evening we cooked hamburgers and hotdogs and just hung out on the dock overlooking the water. The view was seriously breathtaking. I could have spent the whole day sitting right there. 

With all of my close friends spread out across NC weekends like this mean so much! I can't wait to visit Emerald Isle/Morehead city again. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Home Inspiration

Ever since we went to see our new house I have been dreaming and pinning tons of ideas on how to decorate. (I know I'm jumping the gun since we technically haven't closed yet but everything seems to be right on track!) I want to share some of my ideas so they are somewhere other than just in my head and I don't forget little details! 

Yesterday me and my mom went to Greensboro to check out World Market and a few furniture consignment stores. I'm already in love with World Market. They have so many adorable things for the home!! 

please excuse the random selfie ..

I only made 1 purchase because until we get in and get measurements it's hard to know exactly what we need. My first purchase for our home was this framed chalkboard from World Market. I just love it!! I already know exactly where I want to put it. Can you tell I was a little excited? 

That small wall between the kitchen and hall way where the black arrows are, is where I plan to hang the chalkboard. I think it will fit that wall perfect. If not, there are plenty of other places a chalkboard would work. 

I also want to have our couch turned to separate the living room and dining room. Placed at the back of the couch and to the right when you first walk in I want to put this Everett Foyer Table from World Market. I love everything about this table and have pretty much already bought it in my mind. I'm just waiting for them to have a sale and it's mine! It's very long and thing which would be perfect for our living room.

My next idea is I would LOVE to put a white mantel under the TV in the living room. I'm not sure yet if we will keep the TV where it is or move it to another wall but either way I think a white mantel would add a lot to the room. Now I'm on the hunt for the perfect inexpensive white wood mantel. Any suggestions on where to look?

I know it will take time to get our home just the way we want it but I plan to enjoy every minute of the process! 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Hello Summer

Well hello summer! Nice to see you. I am officially out of school for summer break and am already loving every minute. I have two post typed up from last week that I started and never had a chance to finish or post them. Between the end of the school year, saying goodbye to friends and coworkers and moving out of my classroom and house, last week was crazy busy. 

On the first grade hall there are 3 teachers including myself that have taken a position in another grade level or at another school. We met at a restaurant one night last week to have a goodbye dinner. I was completely surprised when they showered us with balloons, cake and a basket full of goodies. Everything in the basket was blue and read "We will be so blue without you". It was just adorable! 

On the very last day of school a bunch of the K-2 teachers got together to celebrate. To say we had fun was an understatement. We spent about 5 hours at the table talking and laughing. These girls have found a special place in my heart. I already miss them so much! 

first grade girls 

Can you tell we love each other? 

The whole group

I will forever be thankful for the opportunity to spend two years working with such a fabulous group of girls! They taught me so much about teaching and about life in general. They have became some of my best friends. They will forever hold a special place in my heart. While the last day was full of smiles it was also full of tears as I told everyone goodbye. The whole process of moving has definitely been bittersweet. I am SO excited to start this new chapter but it's still sad closing the old one. 

This past weekend I headed down to see Justin and to attend the wedding of one of his friends. We have been to 4 weddings this spring. Whew, that's a lot of weekends and outfit planning! We get a break now though as this one was the last until they start back up in the fall. 

 Happy Monday friends! I'm spending mine at my parents house sleeping in and drinking coffee slow. (;  

Monday, June 9, 2014

We Found a House!

That's right! We had TONS of success house hunting this weekend!! Saturday morning Justin, his parents and I went out with a realtor to look at some houses. We were open to renting or buying at the right price. We also had our minds set on a townhouse style. Little did we know that our realtor had a few actual houses within our price range to show us. We went to the first house and immediately fell in love. We all knew it was the one right away. There was absolutely no question about it. We were ready to put an offer in almost immediately. We did look at another house after that but it really just didn't hold a candle to the previous one. After a little talking it over we quickly decided to head back to the realtor's office and put in an offer. We just knew we had found our first home. 

Justin and I put our offer in on Saturday but didn't expect to hear back until Monday. To our surprise the family got back with us the very next day! After a little negotiation we settled on a price. Within the blink of an eye we became homeowners! We of course still have paper work, inspections, bank stuff, etc, etc to work out but the process has officially started! It will be the end of July before we get in most likely but that hasn't stopped me from already decorating away in my mind and on Pinterest. 

I'm going to go ahead and apologize for the picture overload. I'm too excited not to share every detail of our future home! The current family is still living in the house so this if of course all of their furniture. You can get the gist though of how the house looks! The pictures aren't the best quality. Some were quickly taken from my I phone and the others I snagged from the online listing.

Front door 

view of the living room, dining room and part of the kitchen 

living room

one more panoramic view of the living room and dining room

hallway to the bedrooms 

kitchen- includes stainless steal appliances and the security system

close up of the counter tops 

 master bedroom 

master bath

walk in closet 

 guest bedroom #1

guest bedroom # 2



back patio

 2 car garage 

I'm so thankful Justin and I have this opportunity to start our life in this home. Now, let the decorating and planning begin!