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Friday, January 22, 2016

Five on Friday-Cold Edition!

It's that time again. I'm linking up for Five on Friday.

One. Henson gets a little spotlight today because he is the cutest thing ever. I'm allowed to say that! I don't normally buy Henson soft toys because he goes through them so quickly. I'm talking 30 minutes and there is stuffing all over the floor. He has lots of bones, balls and chew toys just not the soft ones but those happen to be his favorite. I randomly decided to buy him this little stuffed duck last week. Not only has he not torn it to shreds he has been toting it around EVERYWHERE he goes. He sleeps with it, plays with it and just carries it around with him. It is adorable. I love that little furry boy!! 




Two. I don't know what has been going on with my cooking this week but it has been on point. I tried several new recipes: Honey Dijon chicken breast, citrus smoked pork chops, southern style black eyed peas and collard greens. What?? I love cooking but don't normally cook like that. I may just have to start though because everything turned out SO good. I blame it on the cold weather making me want all the comfort food! All of the recipes came out of my new cookbook South Your Mouth. She has a ton of recipes on her website for free if your in the mood for some true southern cooking! 




Three. There is snow all over NC!!! ..but not here. We live at the coast on the border of NC and SC which is right about where the winter mix line ended. We did however get enough  freezing rain to cause a two hour delay at school. I'll take it! The two extra hours this morning gave me enough time to sleep in a little bit, cook breakfast and pack lunch for Justin and myself, wash a load of clothes and type up a blog post. I can only imagine what all I could accomplish with two more hours in a day! Side note- while I was typing up this post I was listening to the Happy Hour with Jamey Iivey podcast which I have really been enjoying. I'd love to find some new podcast though.. if you have a favorite send it my way!! 




Four. Let's talk shopping deals for a minute. I've always tended to pay a little more for shoes and jeans. I like good quality for the two... I want my shoes to be comfortable and look good. Same with jeans, I have just always preferred the fit of designer jeans. Well anyway, last weekend I decided I just "had to have" a new pair of black jeans and a pair of black booties. I wanted to go with my favorite tried and true Paige denim brand and a pair of booties from Nordstrom that were not be any means cheap. I just couldn't bring myself to pay that much for the two items this time though. Maybe because I knew in my head it was a slight impulse decision. I decided to try my luck at the Tanger Outlets and was blown away when I found a perfect pair of black jeans (that fit PERFECT... and I'm super picky) at Banana Republic outlet for only $40! I also found an adorable pair of black booties at the Nine West outlet for only $30. I walked out with both items without breaking the bank. Oh happy day! 


Five. I'm not normally this excited about football but oh my word the Panthers have been doing SO GOOD! This Sunday we will find out if they make it to the Super Bowl or not. To make it better the game falls on my brother in laws birthday so I will get to watch with the whole family together celebrating. Fingers crossed for a win! Go Cats! 





Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Wedding Reception: part 1

I'm here today with part one of our wedding reception recap! Every time I type up a wedding  recap post it makes me smile ear to ear to look back on this day! These pictures are priceless to me.  Our wedding reception was in two words: sweet and fun. I truly believe we had one of the most enjoyable (aka, not boring in the least) receptions I've ever been to. I know I'm biased but I'm allowed to think that! (; Seriously though, it was a time to celebrate with our nearest and dearest and that is exactly what we did! 

The reception was held at St Thomas Preservation Hall where the ceremony was also held. Their staff flipped the room after the ceremony during our cocktail hour. We entered the room with an upbeat "sports theme" type announcement which really set the tone in a positive way for the night. We went straight into our first dance and father daughter, mother son dances. Our first dance was to Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran. Justin sang to me the whole time we were dancing and the bridesmaid and groomsmen started singing along too which made it so special! After the dances were over it was time for dinner which was seriously AMAZING. If you are in need of a caterer in the Wilmington area I highly recommend Middle of the Island catering! Some of my favorites on the menu included: marinated chicken, honey baked ham, strawberry spinach salad, squash casserole and collard greens. All of our guest raved about the food as well as Justin and I so I would call that a win! 

After dinner we started the dancing and some other things our DJ had in mind. When I say we danced, I mean it. We danced/our guest danced a lot, like a wholeeee lot. It was absolutely perfect and exactly what we had hoped for! I don't think the dance floor was ever empty. Our DJ had us play the bride/ groom question game. I've seen it several times before so maybe you have too.. I won't take the time to explain. It was fun though! I'm going t let the pictures do the rest of the talking. I'll be back next time with part two to include the cake cutting and more!

















Fun fact: Jessica, one of my bridesmaid's caught the bouquet and Daniel which was her boyfriend caught the garter. A few weeks ago they got engaged! Just 4 months after our wedding! I'd say the bouquet/garter toss tradition rang true for them!! 

If you missed the prior post you check them out here:


Monday, January 18, 2016

Living Room updates

Justin and I moved into our house almost a year and a half ago. Since then we have worked on decorating and filling it a little bit at a time. It is crazy to think just how far we have come in such a short amount of time! Our house is no where near finished as far as decorating. There really isn't one room I would say is "finished". That's part of the fun though.. always adding and changing to finally see it start to come together! Today I am going to show you our living room which like I said is not finished but has come a long way. It's definitely not "pinterest perfect" but I like to be able to look back and see how things have changed! You can see our living room a year ago here


Since I last posted a picture of our living room we added two mirrors and four prints to the wall. This was such a large wall space and I was at a loss on how to fill it! I think I like how it turned out though!



Two of my favorite accessories in this room. My mom found that blue and white lamp for us that I LOVE and Justin gifted me the Labrador pillow for Christmas which makes my heart smile every time I read it. 


This rug is also new. Believe it or not Justin picked it out ALL by himself. Love! Next up on the list is a new couch. So there you have it friends.. our living room! Where lots of blogging, Netflix and Bachelor watching occurs. Speaking of.. whose watching tonight?! I can't wait! 


Monday, January 11, 2016

Weekending: Oysters and Bloody Marrys

I had a a perfect low key weekend with family this weekend until I started to get sick Saturday night which led to a doctor visit and day off work resting. Boo for the last part so let's focus on the fun! Justin and I spent the weekend visiting his parents. The motivation behind our trip was to meet the newest family member... Charlie! A PRECIOUS 6 week old tiny Shih Tzu. (He belongs to J's parents, not us). I was excited to see how Henson was going to react to him. Henson is almost 70 lbs and I'd be surprised if Charlie has even reached 2 lbs. Surprisingly, Henson was scared of him at first. By Saturday he would stare at him.. I think trying to figure out exactly what this little creature was, and by Sunday he would, kind of, initiate play. I think he will come around. (; 


 On Saturday more family came over and we enjoyed oysters, corn chowder, to die for broccoli cornbread (seriously amazing, sharing the recipe soon) and bloody marrys! It was so nice to have the whole day to enjoy each others company with good food and yummy drinks. We used zing zang for the drinks.. If you have an awesome bloody marry recipe I'd love the hear what you use! I had high hopes of winning the lottery Saturday night but obviously that didn't happen. Oh well...

I've got to figure out how to get my blanket scarf under control! That thing takes over! ha



Look how tiny Charlie is next to Henson! I think Henson truly believes he is a tenny tiny lap dog. Charlie on the other hand showed no fear! These pictures were taken Saturday night when they had warmed up to each other some. Friday night Henson wasn't getting anywhere close to baby Charlie. 




Sunday and all day today I have spent the day resting and doing everything in my power to start feeling better. Sleep, water, doctor visit, more sleep, juice, medicine medicine medicine.. you name it. I'm determined to be at work tomorrow! Tonight brings the Bachelor AND the Clemson/Alabama game... what are you watching/ who are you pulling for?! I have family members that go to Clemson and live in Alabama and have always liked both teams so I can't wait to watch!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Oh hey, Friday!

Whew, this has been one long week. Coming back to work after having two weeks off has made this week seem longer and has left me just exhausted. That is okay though because this weekend I have nothing on the agenda except food, family and rest! Moving on to today's five...

One. Fitbit
I got a Fitbit for Christmas and have really gotten into it. I thought getting my 10,000 steps in every day would be easy but I definitely have to put in a little extra effort! I think Henson is benefiting from it as well since he is getting much longer walks now. (; If you have one and want to be friends let me know! I think that is part of the fun and adds to the competition part! I think you can search for friends by email, mine is gilmorea08@gmail.com. Look me up! 






Two. Date night
Justin and I made a resolution to go on two date nights a month and had our first one last night. It was kind of fun to plan it for a week night and gave me something to look forward to!  We went to dinner and to see Sisters at the theater. That movie is downright hilarious.. (and just a tad bit inappropriate) I have a sister so it was funny to see the two different personalities the sisters in the movie had. 

Three. Food and Family 
Justin and I are heading to his parents for the weekend to meet their new puppy, Charlie. We are welcoming him in with a family oyster roast. Any reason to celebrate right?! My devotional this week has talked about the importance of cherishing every moment and what a blessing it really is to sit around the table with family and break bread (or oysters...). These are the kind of moments I do not want to take for granted! 




Four. Random
Random iPhone pictures that never made it to the blog but are still worth sharing! 


I know I'm  biased but he is seriously the cutest pup ever!

date night back in December... love this man of mine!

how cute are these plates?!

Five. There is no five this week because it's the week back to work after two weeks off and my brain is fried... coffee, please. more coffee! Have a great weekend friends!




Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Currently

Switching things up a little today to share some current favorites.

Currently reading- I am LOVING my new devotional Savor. If you are in search of one I recommend it! It reads one page a day, starting with Jan 1st so it would be super easy to catch up. I'm also reading another book by the same author called Cold Tangerines that I really like so far! I'm not too far into either but so far so good!



Recent favorite food

I have a recipe to share that is pure pasta comfort food DELICIOUSNESS. It's definitely one to save or just try out immediately. It will be a staple in this house from here on out for sure. It is very simple since you can purchase frozen ravioli and a jar of Alfredo sauce. It would be nice to make your own pasta or Alfredo sauce but for real- after an exhausting day of work who has time for that?! 




Ravioli with Tomato- Basil Cream Sauce

1 package frozen cheese ravioli 
1 jar sun-dried tomato Alfredo sauce (other Alfredo sauce varieties are okay also) 
2 tbsp white wine 
1 can petite diced tomatoes 
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil 
shredded Parmesan cheese for garnish 

Prepare ravioli according to package directions. In a large skillet, combine Alfredo sauce, wine, tomatoes and bail. Cook over medium-low 5 minutes or until heated. Serve pasta with sauce, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. 

-- You can also easily change this up so many ways. When I made it last I doubled the sauce, wine and ravioli so that we would have plenty of leftovers. I also added crumbled bacon but think it would also be delicious with ham, shrimp or chicken. Pasta is one of my favorite comfort foods and this is one of my top choices! Let me know if you try it! 



Currently Watching- Bachelor and The Killing on Netflix which is super addictive!! I hear Making a Murderer is pretty good also so that one is next on my list. ... and on a less morbid note I just finished all 11 seasons of Grey's Anatomy that are on Netflix and oh my goodness... DEREK?! That's all I will say for those that haven't seen it yet. 


Currently Loving- my new Eucalyptus tea, Stress Relief lotion from Bath and Body Works that I got for Christmas. It smells and feels amazinnnnggg.


Happy Wednesday friends! We are halfway through the work week!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Best Day Ever- Our Wedding Ceremony

I've slowly been getting a wedding recap on the blog. (The wedding was on August 8th, 2015) If you missed the prior post you can see getting ready here, rehearsal dinner here, and the bridesmaid brunch here. Love is in the air though seeing as the Bachelor is back on! It's only fitting I go back to share a piece of our love story. (; This is where it gets super special though.. the ceremony! Our ceremony and reception took place at St Thomas Preservation Hall in Wilmington. It took lots of searching to find the perfect place because there are so many options but we for sure chose the absolute perfect place for us. The building is a former catholic church in the heart of historic downtown Wilmington. I immediately fell in love with the brick walls and large stained glass windows! 

The whole day of the wedding I was a ball of emotions. I was unbelievably excited but also a little nervous and overwhelmed with all of the attention. The girls got ready in the downstairs area of St Thomas so it was VERY hard to not sneak upstairs and help set things up and check on how things were going. I actually did spend the first hour or so upstairs that morning helping with things until I finally realized I needed to be downstairs with the girls relaxing and laughing! 

When it was time for the ceremony to start I was nervous to walk down the aisle but as soon as the doors opened and I saw Justin I knew it was all going to be okay. The whole time our preacher Dr Lundy was speaking I remember just thinking "I can't believe this is happening" over and over. I don't remember a lot of what was said so I am SO happy we have a video of the ceremony to look back at! Were any of you like that on your wedding day? I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking! 


Justin's parents entering the ceremony


I love this picture of Justin when he first saw me! 




I love this picture because I can see both of our parents as well as other family members praying to bless our marriage. SO special!! 

Our pastor was amazing! He was Justin's pastor growing up. He was serious but funny and always knew just what to say!


The kiss! We're married!

haha, this is my WE DID IT!! moment. There was a whole lot of anticipation and planning leading up to this moment. 

I'm pretty sure we practically ran down the aisle and out of the church, Justin giving a high five to all of his favorites on the way. 

my sister and Justin's brother

That was the best feeling in the world. Knowing all of the hard work had paid off and I was now MARRIED to my best friend. I love thinking back to that feeling. Next up is the reception recap coming soon!