Friday, November 30, 2012

The Friday Five

I'm going back to the Friday Five today. My head is in such a fog from this terrible cold, that I am not sure my fun facts would make sense. So, here you go:

1. What I'm Reading:
From Amazon: Harry de Leyer first saw the horse he would name Snowman on a truck bound for the slaughterhouse. The recent Dutch immigrant recognized the spark in the eye of the beaten-up nag and bought him for eighty dollars. On Harry’s modest farm on Long Island, he ultimately taught Snowman how to fly. Here is the dramatic and inspiring rise to stardom of an unlikely duo. One show at a time, against extraordinary odds and some of the most expensive thoroughbreds alive, the pair climbed to the very top of the sport of show jumping. Their story captured the heart of Cold War–era America—a story of unstoppable hope, inconceivable dreams, and the chance to have it all. They were the longest of all longshots—and their win was the stuff of legend.

It reminds me of my own 80 dollar champion. 

2. What I'm Eating:
My new favorite TJ's soup. 

3. What I'm Listening to:

I know I am a little late jumping on this bandwagon. 

4. What Recipe I'm Bookmarking:

5. What Pins I'm Loving:
I'm pretty sure this is how my roommate would describe me.
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

DIY Lima Bean Wreath

Because who doesn't love a do it yourself project. 

You will need: a foam wreath, a package of lima beans, spray paint, ribbon, and lots of hot glue. 
The steps are pretty simple. Just start gluing and placing the lima beans on the wreath. 
Can you tell I'm a little OCD?
When the wreath is completely covered, spray paint and hang with a fun ribbon.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving Recap

I was fortunate enough to spend five full days in the low country with my dad's family for Thanksgiving. We had the best time telling stories, playing games, and laughing. Here are some pictures to recap the last week:
Multiple turkey trots/gobble wobbles to the gate
Back in the saddle
Family quail hunting
A great time with the cousins
19 Laffittes watching the Clemson/Carolina game
Beautiful sunsets
It really was a great week. Now, it's back to reality.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thankful Part 2

Today, I am thankful for:

My faith.
My friends. New and old. Near and far.
My roommates.
Clearly, we need to take a new picture.
My job and my coworkers.
My extended family.
See you all in just a few hours!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Weekend Recap

On Saturday, I worked two volunteer shifts for the Junior League. This weekend was their annual Holiday Shops, a four-day shopping event featuring a variety of merchants with all the proceeds going to the League's literacy efforts.
My first shift was during the general shopping hours and we were pretty busy most of the afternoon. Our table was upstairs and I enjoyed being able to people watch. My second shift was that night for the Libations for Literacy Charity Auction. I loved seeing everyone decked out in there holiday wear. It made me excited for Christmas parties and holiday festivities. 
Sunday, I was in charge of the hospitality table at church. I was going to make a coffee cake from scratch but ran out of time so I ended up picking up a box mix at the store. Not only did it make our house smell incredible while it was baking, it also tasted pretty delicious. There wasn't a crumb left in the pan. 
While it was a busy weekend, I enjoyed doing something valuable with my time and lending a hand. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fun Facts Friday

1) I saw Steve Moakler in concert last night. It was incredible. I've always loved his songs but seeing him live made me love him even more. I kind of want to marry him. And no, I am not kidding. #noshame
Thanks for the picture, Corby.
2) Speaking of marriage, so many people have gotten engaged in the past two weeks including: a good friend from college, a girl I used to ride against, and one of my favorite bloggers. Congrats, everyone!

3) I love this new song by Ben Rector. It is so sweet. He is putting it on his next album.
4) I am not sure why all of these facts are revolving around love and music. Changing the subject...

5) Thanksgiving is so soon! I cannot wait. It is by far my favorite holiday. 

6) I am so excited to go home on Tuesday. Well not home as in my house, but home as in South Carolina. I haven't been to my house in Beaufort since June. Isn't that crazy? I've seen my family plenty and flown to SC a number of times but rarely do I actually make it to Beaufort. 

7) This week has been a doozy with work and fun activities but I wouldn't want it any other way. 

8) The busyness is going to continue throughout the weekend. I am working two volunteer shifts tomorrow for Junior League and am the team leader for hospitality at church on Sunday. 

9) I cannot wait to be home tonight without any plans. I am hoping to go to bed early. We will see how that goes. 

10) Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Beaujolais Nouveau

Yesterday was just one of those days. All I really wanted to do was go straight home from work but I'd told my roommate I would go to a happy hour with her and I didn't want to let her down. We'd agreed that I would drive her car home and drop her off at some dinner/celebration she was going to. That way, her car would be back in Georgetown and I wouldn't have to worry about finding a way home. 

We get to the restaurant, Bistrot Du Coin, and instead of dropping her off, I somehow end up inside where a table has been reserved for the Beaujolais Nouveau Party.

A little background: The Beaujolais region of France is home to the Gamay grape and is known for several wines including the Beaujolais Nouveau. This wine is fermented and bottled just six to eight weeks after the grapes are harvested. Each season's bottles are kept off the shelves around the world until a coordinated release on the third Thursday of November. 

So, we sat down for a delicious dinner filled with lots of bread, wine, mussels, and good friends. At 11:30 the DJ started playing, the lights were dimmed, the strobe lights turned on, and all the tables were pushed to the side for a major throw down. The countdown was on for the release of the wine at midnight. It reminded me of New Years but instead of a champagne toast to ring in the new year, they started passing out bottles of wine as the clock struck 12.
What I thought was going to be a low key evening turned into quite the night on the town. 
My thoughts exactly.
Because you only live once and what else was I going to do on a random Wednesday night.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Creamy Shrimp Risotto

I actually made this recipe a few weeks ago but forgot to share it. Even though it is pretty hands-on, it is not complicated. Don't be afraid to make it.

Creamy Shrimp Risotto from Full Moon, High Tide

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
1 ¼ cup Arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup frozen peas
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and Freshly ground pepper
  • Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat and sauté onion until tender. Stir in rice, coating with oil.
  • Increase heat to high. Add wine and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until liquid is reduced.
  • Stir in 1 cup broth and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of broth and bring to a boil. Cover and cook 10 minutes. Stir in 1 cup broth, shrimp, peas and lemon zest. Cook uncovered, stirring constantly, until rice is tender and creamy. Shrimp should be cooked thoroughly.
  • Add broth as needed to keep rice creamy. Stir in lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve.
Yields: 4 servings (unless made in the Laffitte household)

For the leftovers, I spread a thin layer on a prepared baking sheet, pat with a paper towel to remove excess moisture, and top with parmesan cheese. Broil in the oven until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown. So good. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Weekend Recap in Photos

Friday: A house warming party at a friend's with this fun cocktail.
Saturday: A trip to Potomac Mills and a new pair of gloves.

Sunday: Lunch with the roomies at LPQ. A five mile walk over the bridge and through Virginia. A special edition showing of The Notebook complete with new scenes. 
Monday: A hearty breakfast before tackling my to do list. A gingerbread latte and Jesus. Preparing for the crazy week ahead. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fun Facts Friday

1) TGIF. It has been such a long week. I thought today would never come.

2) I am having a hard time adjusting to the time change. My internal clock has been out of whack this week - staying up late, waking up early, hungry/eating at random hours. So strange.

3) I think it is time to reconsider walking home from work at night. It's just too dark outside. I guess I will have to make more of an effort to get to the gym now.

4) Baby, it's cold outside. They were even calling for snow on Wednesday but it passed us by. Time to pull out the gloves, ear warmers, and puffy coat. I also really like this printable. I need to find a frame to put it in.
5) I have been on a butternut squash kick this week. I'm thinking about making either mac and cheese or gnocchi with it this weekend. How delicious does this look?
6) Have you made the butternut squash and kale recipe I shared earlier this week? My mom made it and raved about it and ML put it on her meal plan for the week.

7) I currently have a possible trip to Richmond, a long weekend, a fun concert, three volunteer shifts, and five days of work separating me from Thanksgiving break. Come on next Tuesday!

8) In case you can't tell, I cannot wait to be home for Thanksgiving. I haven't been home since Labor Day, which was way too long ago.

9) Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thankful Part 1

 Today, I am thankful for my family.
For my mom, for being my best friend. For our multiple daily phone calls. For always knowing just what to say and having that mother's intuition.

For my dad, for being the best papa-razzi in the world. For setting the bar high. For his listening ear and helpful words.

For ML, for our close relationship. For our g-chat conversations and thoughts emails. For always being there no matter what time it is.

For Lash, for being the brother I always wanted. For laughing at my stories and giving me boy advice. For being a part of my family.

Who all are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

When in Doubt, Add Butter

That's the title of the last book I read - which I highly recommend by the way. I was laughing out loud while reading it.

It was also the theme of last night's election party dinner.

Our girls' Bible study merged with the boys' for a potluck dinner at Liz and Mark's house. We had quite the feast. On the menu: sausage dip, coconut chicken with honey mustard sauce, sautéed brussels sprouts, mixed green salad, sweet potato casserole, chocolate chip cookies, and pumpkin bars. Here are a few of the recipes:

Sausage Dip
This has been a staple in our family for as long as I can remember.

  • 1 package sausage (we like hot)
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 package cream cheese 
Brown sausage in skillet, drain. In a clean skillet, mix sausage with tomatoes and cream cheese. You can either serve straight from the stove or place in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Serve with Tostitos or Fritos. 

Pioneer Woman's Soul Sweet 'Taters
I have yet to try a recipe from the Pioneer Woman that I did not like. Liz made her sweet potato casserole and it was incredible. It could have been dessert with the sugary, pecan topping.

My roommate introduced me to this recipe during our sophomore year of college and I have made them every year since. Think pumpkin pie meets cake. So good. 

So even though we don't know what the next four years hold, at least we can always add butter!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I did. It took 2 hours but was worth it.
Then treat yourself to Starbucks in an attempt to warm up and regain feeling in your toes. And get a free bracelet for wearing your I Voted sticker. #Winning

Monday, November 5, 2012

What I Baked on Sunday

Getting Fancy
Well, not really. I wouldn't call flank steak fancy, it's just not something I eat very often. My protein usually comes from chicken/chicken sausage or I go without. Saturday, I was in the mood to cook and try some new recipes, so I decided to treat myself to a semi-gourmet meal.

I picked up a flank steak and a Jack Daniel's marinade in a bag from the grocery store.
Talk about making it easy. 
While the meat was marinading, I made Roasted Butternut Squash with Kale from Oh She Glows. I ran across this recipe the other day and immediately knew I wanted to make it. Roasted squash, kale, and a nutty topping - you can't go wrong. I already told my mom we should add it to the Thanksgiving menu.

You could cut down on a lot of prep by using pre-cut squash. I substituted rosemary for the parsley since I had some on hand. Angela tops her recipe with an Almond Pecan Parmesan "cheese" using nutritional yeast instead of the real thing. I changed it up by using walnuts, pecans, parmesan, sea salt, and olive oil. It did not disappoint.
Her picture looks a lot better than mine.
I rounded out the meal with some red wine and a cheesecake square from Ally & Eloise. If you are ever in the Columbia, South Carolina area, you need to go by this bakeshop. Before opening the storefront, Aleka used to make things from her kitchen. Mom would always order her cheesecake squares for various dinner parties/luncheons. You know they are good when Mom brings some all the way to DC. (Side note: I kind of want to be her.)

So whether you are cooking for a special occasion or just for yourself, I highly recommend this meal in its entirety. So good.