Monday, July 29, 2013

Elizabeth Lately

Doesn't it seem that Mondays always come too quickly? I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. I've been a little MIA in blogland for the last week or so since I was able to get started working in my classroom and preparing for my 5th grade littles.

Anyway, here's a few snapshots at what I've been up to lately.
Corey and I tried out Carpe Diem for restaurant week here in Charlotte. I had a roasted grape salad which was delicious and I tried the famous fried chicken, which I have to admit was pretty good (and I usually don't like fried chicken). All in all, we liked the restaurant but didn't love it.

I've been crafting. I made this wreath for my classroom a couple weeks ago. It took 200 crayons and one very serious hot glue gun burn.

Look at this dog - what a little piglet. He even goes crazy when dog food commercials come on. Ha! I promise we feed him and shower him with treats. I've enjoyed spending a little extra time with this nugget of preciousness this summer. 

Corey and I have been doing some house/townhouse hunting. There is more to come on this soon but can you believe this closet?! I almost died when I saw it and wanted to put in an offer right then and there. 
On a more serious note, I have a project for my new class on Donor's Choose. My school is a Title 1 school (high poverty) and we are hoping to fulfill a grant for Writer's Workshop mentor texts. That's probably a bunch of teacher gibberish for those of you in other professions but if any of you work for companies looking to donate, please pass along our class's project. Donations can be made in any amount and its a great tax write-off for individuals and organizations. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hitched: The Reception Part 1

Its safe to say I've been a little neglectful in my wedding recaps. My last recap was ummm....five months ago! With our first anniversary just two weeks away, I'm feeling inspired to be more on top of these things. I may even order my wedding album next week. In my last Hitched post, I shared our reception decor. Today, I want to share some photos of our reception.
First look at the ballroom. I'm in awe of how gorgeous it is. Corey is seeing dollar signs. 

Miss Mia and her coloring book.

My parents' intro

Corey's parents

We had the best bridal party.

Our first dance was to Ben Harper's Forever

My dad gave the welcome and shared a blessing

Our salad was spinach, toasted pecans, cornbread croutons, and the most delicious bourbon peach vinaigrette. 

Head table

Mr. and Mrs.!

Love is Sweet

Sweet, sweet moment. We had the best photographers ever. 

Best wedding food ever, although I might be biased.

My mom, grandmother, two aunts, and uncle.

Cutting the cake gave me such anxiety. Ha! It was just so pretty. 

We had a marble layer, a pink red velvet cake layer, and a vanilla layer with fresh strawberry filling. Unfortunately, the anniversary tier fell victim to Hurricane Sandy. 

Cortenay. The most amazing wedding planner who kept me sane and organized and who truly made the day perfect. Charlotte brides-to-be - hire her!!

It really was a perfect day. I love looking at pictures and it never gets old. I can't believe this was almost a year ago - I love my husband more and more every day. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Seersucker & Monograms

I cannot believe I have waited until this point in the summer to share a fabulous Etsy seller with you all. A few months ago, this gorgeous seersucker monogrammed clutch joined my closet. I love it to pieces and I look for any excuse to wear it. Luckily, I wear a lot a pink. ;)

This beauty hails from Southern Beaus and was made in my home state of South Carolina. Southern Beaus is an Etsy store that is run by a University of South Carolina grad and it has the cutest items, from monogrammed clutches like mine to adorable bow ties. 

Here are a few of my favorite items.

It saddens me that seersucker season will be coming to a close so soon, but I will definitely be taking advantage of every opportunity I can to carry this fabulous bag. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

5 on Friday

Happy Friday, friends. I'm joining in on the fun and linking up with four fabulous ladies to share five things I'm loving today.

I'm loving that Charlotte Restaurant Week begins today. Corey and I have reservations tonight at Carpe Diem and are excited to try this restaurant out for the first time.

I'm loving my HUGE new classroom. I have lots of work to do in it, as you can tell by the fact its completely bare, but I am so excited to get started next week.

I'm loving this meal I prepared last night. Corey and I have been missing the wonderful Italian food from Hoboken. Its been totally bumming me out not to have an Italian deli and grocer on every corner. I mean, fresh mozzarella from the grocery store is just not the same as Italian deli fresh mozzarella. Enter Pasta & Provisions in Charlotte. This little Italian grocery is right around the corner from my Barre studio so I stopped in yesterday and picked up some mozzarella and pomodoro sauce. Last night, we had pasta pomodoro with a caprese salad (fresh basil from my little herb garden), and freshly baked (in my own kitchen) rosemary bread. Yum! 

I'm loving the fact that we've had a couple sunny days in Charlotte this week. I even squeezed in some pool time with our sweet neighbor. Unfortunately, rain is pretty much dominating the long-range forecast for the weekend and next week.

I'm loving Panera's frozen mochas. I splurged on one after barre class last Friday and I'd forgotten how good they were. Way better than Starbuck's fraps. I say when you're going to splurge, do it right. 

Happy weekend, friends! What are you loving today?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pinterest Recipe Successes

Happy Wednesday, friends. As I was preparing dinner last night, I was thinking that about a third of the  new recipes I make are things I've found on Pinterest. I seriously love how Pinterest has an endless database of new recipes to try and some of my pins have now become favorites in our household. Here are some recent Pinterest recipe successes:

The dressing is what made this salad and it was delicious. A nice, fresh variation from the way I usually prepare taco salads, which are a staple in our household in the summer.

This recipe was even better than I thought it would be. Total restaurant quality (just use a good wine.) It'll definitely be a contender the next time we have friends or family over for dinner.

Spaghetti squash are a winter squash so they can be more difficult/expensive to find this time of year but this recipe makes it worth the hunt. My husband loves spaghetti but we really try to only do pasta once every two or three weeks. He was thoroughly impressed with these spaghetti squash boats and I've already made them several times.

Another Skinnytaste recipe - really Gina can do no wrong. This was the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. The sauce is incredible. I served it with a side of broccoli. 

Prepared in the crockpot, this recipe is easy and delicious and smells incredible while cooking. I always feel a little guilty for making Riley smell it cooking all day while I'm at work. This is flavorful and so tender.

This is one of our favorite soups. Easy to prepare and delicious in the cooler months or year around. 

What are your favorite Pinterest inspired recipes?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Weekend In Review

Happy Monday, girls. I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. As per the usual lately, it was a gray, rainy weekend in Charlotte but we still had a lot of fun. On Friday night, Corey and I had a late Chinese dinner. I have been craving Chinese food so badly since we got here. Maybe because I don't have endless delivery options at my fingertips anymore?

On Saturday, we had a massage followed by breakfast at the cutest little local restaurant. It was nothing fancy but just plain good! I love little family-owned places like that, where the owner who's worked there forever takes the time to stop by every table. The massage was heavenly, too, after four days of barre last week.

When we got home, Corey headed to the driving range for an hour and I prepped some strawberry shortcake skewers for the Charlotte Blogger Barbecue. Of course I made the whipped cream from scratch. These are such an easy, perfect-for-summer dessert. All you need to do is purchase an angel food cake and cut it up into little squares. Then, slice some fresh strawberries.  Alternate strawberries and shortcake on a skewer. I'd seen a pin recently where the whipped cream was actually on the skewer, as well, but I opted not to do that since it was so hot outside. I used a second bowl of ice under the whipped cream to keep it nice and cool. I drizzled half of the skewers with magic shell chocolate, which was totally delicious.
To make the fresh whipped cream, just add 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, 3 Tbsp. sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract, and 1 tsp. fresh lemon zest to a mixer and mix on high for 1-2 minutes until high peaks start to form. Easy peasy. 

The Charlotte Blogger Barbecue was hosted by Dee's Adventures and Classic Annie, who was sweet enough to open up her home to us for the afternoon. All the food was delicious and it was so much fun to spend time with everyone in "real life."

Both of these photos were hi-jacked from Dee because once there was a cocktail in hand I totally abandoned all of my efforts to take photos. 

This was such a fun event and I really can't thank Dee and Beth enough for hosting it. The Charlotte blogging community is really spectacular and it has really helped me get adjusted after our move. 

I heard the party went way into the night but Corey and I had evening plans with friends that involved wine and lots of laughter. 

On Sunday, we took Riley to Freedom Park for a walk and checked out the Little Sugar Creek greenway. It was a beautiful, sunny day for the first time in ages and Riley just loved being outside.  Then, we further took advantage of the beautiful weather to grill a delicious cilantro lime seasoned steak to use for steak tacos, which turned out to be the best tacos we've ever made. I feel awful for not photographing them to share the recipe but rest assured we will be making them again!

Have a great Monday, friends!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Five on Friday

Happy Friday, friends! I hope your Friday is off to a great start. Here are five things I am loving today:

one. I'm loving the Pure Barre classes I started this week. I'm not loving them nearly as much as my beloved vBarre at New York Sports Club but they are a close second. And my abs are in serious pain after going four days this week.

two. I'm loving that I get to see my new classroom at my new school next week. Its hard to believe that I'll get to meet my new students in a little over a month. 

three. Speaking of next month, I'm loving that it is almost mine and Corey's first wedding anniversary. This year has totally flown by. I guess I should get to work on finishing my recaps, hmmm?

four. I'm totally drooling over this watermelon and feta salad from Pinterest. I haven't tried it yet but you better believe it is on my list. Yum!

five. I'm loving this little nugget of cuteness. Of course I'm totally biased, but I think he's been especially adorable lately. He brought his ball to bed earlier this week - always ready to play. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Lust List

What's on your lust list right now?