Monday, January 19, 2015

Weekend Recap

Friday night, Ashley came over to help me pack. We talked about making dinner but figured that would take away from our packing time so we decided on Panera instead. I wanted to try their new broth bowls and ordered the Soba Noodle Bowl with Edamame and the Lentil Quinoa Bowl with Chicken for us to share. I was impressed with both of them. 

We caught up over a glass of wine before tackling the kitchen. We made quick work of things especially when you consider how much kitchen stuff I have.
Saturday, we headed to Greenville to run some errands. It is rare that I get to downtown Greenville early in the day but I could not believe how empty the streets were. Our first stop was Anthropologie. I was intrigued by their display of ribbons. I will keep this in mind for when mom dismantles my wall of fame in my bedroom at home. 
Anthro was having a great sale and I picked up these glasses for my bar. I am obsessed with them! 
We also hit up Bed Bath and Beyond and Target before going to Zoe's for lunch. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy Zoe's food/miss working there. I wish we had one in Spartanburg. Who knows, maybe one day I will open one. 

Our last stop of the day was Trader Joe's. I can't go to Greenville without stopping there. Once we were back in Spartanburg, I ran a few more errands before heading home for the day. The evening was filled with popcorn for dinner, a Hallmark movie (judge away), and some crafting. I will share what I made later this week.
Sunday morning, I tried Grace Presbyterian and really liked it. I look forward to going back. After a run outside, it was back to the packing. Do you think I have an excessive amount of books? Amy got the gold star for dusting them all before putting them in boxes. 
Sunday night, we had a dinner on campus in honor of MLK Day. We still had to work today but instead of heading straight to the office, we spent the morning volunteering at Camp Mary Elizabeth.
It was a busy weekend but I am glad that I was able to get some much accomplished. T-minus four days until I move into my own place! 

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Friday Five

1. Reading:
From Amazon: A profoundly moving story of family, history, and the meaning of home, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, exploring the divisions between cultures and the rifts within a family, and uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.

2. Eating:
Gophers from Savannah's Candy Kitchen.  I snagged the last white chocolate one from our office candy bowl and let's just say that I am thankful they are all gone. These things are delicious - like a grown up turtle but even better.

3. Listening to:
"Blank Space" and "Style" mash up by Louisa Wendorff

4. Recipe I'm pinning:
This 20-Minute Spicy Sriracha Shrimp and Zucchini Lo Mein. I hope to make it this weekend. 

5. Designs I'm loving:
I'm moving into a new apartment next weekend and have enjoyed looking on Pinterest for inspiration. 
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Weekend Recap

On Friday morning I headed to New York to join Mary Loyal and mom for the weekend. They both had to work up there during the week so we decided to tack on a girls' weekend at the end. I was very thankful to make it since my first flight was cancelled and my second flight kept getting pushed back. Fortunately we didn't have any plans until dinner. Once I got settled in, we bundled up before heading out. Note to self: New York in January is freezing. 
The original plan was to eat at Fig and Olive but we decided to change our reservation to Brasserie. We got there pretty early and while the bar was packed we had our pick of the seats. We decided to share a few plates and our waiter staged our dinner so that we started with the frisee salad followed by the mussels and frites and then the lobster risotto and sea scallops. Every dish was just as good as the previous one and we left with full bellies.
Our next stop for the evening was Broadway to see Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. We grew up listening to her songs but I could not get over how many other famous songs she and her husband wrote. We laughed, cried, and sang along. I would definitely recommend going to see it if you get the chance.
Saturday morning we piled on the layers and hit the streets. After shopping at the Etcetera outlet, we headed to the Flat Iron District for lunch. We ate at the Grey Dog Cafe the last time we were there and made a point to go back. It's a neighborhood gem and the wait is worth it. I had the Prawn and Jalapeno Popper tacos. They did not disappoint.
After lunch, we walked back to the hotel stopping in a few stores along the way. Before we knew it, it was time to head out for dinner. ML and I dressed in our new purchases from the Etcetera Outlet. For dinner, we went to ABC Kitchen and had another phenomenal meal. If you go, make sure to order one of the pizzas. I never knew that brussels sprouts on a pizza could be so good.
After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to regroup before walking across the street to The National. We each ordered coffee and split the dark chocolate creme brulee. I wish I could recreate this dish at home.
Sunday morning we grabbed a quick breakfast before heading to the airport. It was a short trip but I feel like we packed everything in!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

DIY Wednesday

I got really into do-it-yourself projects while I was home over the break. The first project I tackled was painting a bedside table and mirror for my new apartment. I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Duck Egg Blue. I've never really painted furniture, other than spray painting some wicker porch furniture, so I was thankful for the instructions that came with it. This paint is really user friendly in that you don't have to sand or prime the surface before you start painting. I simply wiped the dust off with a paper towel and got to work. The table required three coats while I only did two on the mirror. I finished both the mirror and table with a light wax coat. Annie Sloan offers both light and dark wax and different application tips for various end results. I love the way they turned out and can't wait to see how they look in my apartment.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2015 Goals

It is hard to believe that it is already January 6th. I feel like the days are flying by. I'm not one for new year's resolutions but I do have some goals for the year. I hope to do a recap every few months to hold myself accountable.
Find a church home. I am embarrassed to say that after a year and a half of living in Spartanburg, I have yet to commit to a church.

Continue with our small group Bible study. I have so enjoyed the friendship and fellowship.

Grow in my faith and walk with Christ and share his love with others.

Read at least one book a month. And on that note, read more intellectual challenging books, not just Nicholas Sparks.

I want to be better about visiting more places this year. Potential cities include: NYC, DC, Asheville, Nashville, and possibly Austin.

I want to get back into pilates. I really enjoyed the program I did last year.

To participate in the Twilight Run 8K in March. It's been 7 years since I was in running shape. Here goes nothing.

Experiment with new recipes and actually use one of the many cookbooks that I have.

Continue blogging on a regular basis. I loved looking back at past posts for my 2014 in Pictures post.

Here's to a great year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 in Pictures

It is hard to believe that 2014 is coming to a close. It was a big year filled with lots of ups and downs. Before we welcome 2015, here are a few of my favorite memories from this past year:

January - the Hiberian with some of my best friends from Wofford 
February - celebrating Mary Loyal's birthday in Charleston and making brownie truffles
March - cheering on Wofford at work
April - just another day at the office and President Samhat's inauguration
May - the bike race and Lash's graduation
June - our trip to Chicago and celebrating my birthday at the beach
July - Party on the Moon and the Fourth of July Parade
August - Costco runs with Ashley and accepting a new position at work
September - our annual trip to Litchfield for Labor Day and going on a blind date
October - making Gooey Pumpkin Bars, going to a conference with my office, Homecoming, and Halloween
November - celebrating Sara's birthday, a 7 am basketball game
December - Junior Leaguing, an encounter with Olaf, Christmas with the fam

Monday, December 29, 2014

What I Baked on Sunday

Another Cookie Recipe

As soon as your Christmas food coma passes, make these! You will not be disappointed. Self restraint is required since the batter is just as good as the final product. (This e-card sums up my thoughts on eating cookie dough fairly well). Note to the baker, read the whole recipe before starting. I had my oven preheated and ready to go when I realized that the batter needed to sit for two hours. My afternoon project turned into a late night in the kitchen.

Truffles Cookies

4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

  • Melt unsweetened chocolate, butter, and 1 cup chocolate chips in a 1-quart heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Cool.
  • Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
  • Beat together sugar, eggs, and vanilla with an electric mixer until pale and frothy, about two minutes. Mix in melted chocolate mixture and then flour mixture at low speed until combined well. Stir in remaining cup of chocolate chips. 
  • Chill covered, until firm, about 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Roll heaping teaspoons of dough into 1-inch balls with dampened hands and arrange 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake in batches in middle of oven until puffed and set, about 10 minutes (cookies will be soft in the center). Transfer to racks to cool. 
Yield: Approximately 6 dozen cookies.