Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Link Up: Resolutions Revisited

Today I'm linking up with Heather at Port City Prescription and Nina at Flowers in My Hair for their Coast to Coast: Resolutions Revisited link up.  I love this link up because I often forget my resolutions weeks after I make them.  This year I made five resolutions, see my post on them here.

Here's an update on the progress that I've made so far.  It's been a good month!

1.  Learn more about my city- So far, I've done a decent job at exploring new places in Greenville. It's been tough to do this on a budget, seems like everything costs money these days.  I'm looking forward to the warm weather to come so that the free outdoor events can start back up.

2. Make our house a home- Slowly but surely we're making progress here.  There are so many updates that I want to make, but updates cost money, and if you read the next resolution you'll see that I can't be spending too much of that.  We finally have gotten our living room to a point where it's looking good.  There are still several things we want to buy for the room, but those will come with time.

Click here for an update on our living room
3. Save and pay off debt- We have made great progress at paying those stinky student loans down so far.  T's been working his little butt off at work, and we've been able to allocate his commission and spif money towards what we owe.  Not the most fun way to spend that money, but definitely the most practical.  I keep on telling myself "Live like no one else, so that one day we can live like no one else." Gotta love Dave Ramsey.

4. Get a dog-  We've made headway on this!  This week we reached out to The Airedale Rescue Group and started the application process.  I had an interview yesterday and a home visit will be scheduled soon.  Intense I know, I feel like I'm interviewing for a job again. Their process is so rigorous because they want to make sure that this will be the dog's forever home.  Since each dog is a rescue, they haven't had the easiest life so far.  The goal of the organization is to place them with a family that they will live with for the rest of their lives. Fingers crossed that we pass their tests.

5. De-clutter- T and I have both made a valiant effort to de-clutter, but it's tough.  I always feel the need to hold on to things that I don't need, just in case I may end up needing them one day.  Yesterday I was able to donate a lot of our household items to a local family who lost everything in a house fire this weekend.  They are a neighbor of my coworker.  It was much easier for me to part with things knowing that they would be going to someone in need of so much.  (Sidenote: if you live in the Greenville area and have anything to donate to this sweet family please let me know.  I can tell you where they are receiving donations.)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Meal Planning #8

Hope y'all had a wonderful weekend! Here's what's on the menu for this week.


Sunday: French Onion Soup with Green Beans with Almond and Lemon Brown Butter

Monday: French Onion Soup with Green Beans with Almond and Lemon Brown Butter

Tuesday: Barbeque Chicken Pizza with mixed green salads

Wednesday: Traveling for work

Thursday: Traveling for work

Friday, January 24, 2014

House Update: The Living Room

I have finally gotten one of our rooms to the point where I'm ready to share.  It's still a work in progress, but I'm pleased with what we have done so far.  When we moved in, the living room along with almost  every other room in the house was painted a green/grey/brown color.  I wasn't the biggest fan of the color, but it wasn't terrible either.  I think we would like to repaint in the long run, but for now the color will do.

Overall the room had good bones.  The paint is in decent shape, despite how many people have moved in and out of this starter home in the last decade. Hardwood floors throughout, and cornices over each window.  I love the charm that cornices add, plus it makes hanging curtains super easy.  The hardware was already installed inside each box, all we had to do was place the curtain rod inside each cornice.  

Here is a picture of what the room looked like the day after we closed.  The rug you see is ours, we were just to eager to get started on this room.

The biggest purchase we made for this room was the rug.  We chose this one from West Elm. Luckily I already had a lot of the furniture that we used in here.  I used the couch that I had in college, and the chairs came from an estate sale years ago, I just had them recovered in an unbleached linen.  The only things I purchased were the two garden stools from World Market, the mirror from Home Depot, and the coffee table from TJ Maxx. At this point there are no storage pieces in the room, that's the one thing we're trying to figure out.  We currently have our laptops and iPads stacked up on the mantel, but it just looks a little too messy for me.

I've been working on a priority list for each room of the house.  The den needed the least work, so this list isn't too daunting.  Here's what we've got. 

Living Room:
Buy Rug
Recover Chairs
Find Coffee Table
Hang Pictures on either side of large window
Buy table for entryway near front door
Add to the wall with the sunburst mirror
Gas logs installed in fire place

Now I need y'alls help on the wall with the sunburst mirror.  It just looks a little lonely up there. Any ideas on how I could fill that wall up?  I would love to hear your suggestions.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Weekend Recap

This weekend T was out of town on a work trip, so my mom came up to spend the weekend with me.  I love having my mom come up. We always have so much fun together, and we always eat so well.  I had the best time planning where we would have each meal.  Greenville has so many great restaurants, and it was hard to choose just three.

We started with dinner on Friday night at Passerelle Bistro

We shared two appetizers, the Charcuterie (salami, proscuitto, duck pate, pickled shallots, mustard, truffle honey and grilled bread)  and the Mussels Pernod (with mushrooms, prosciutto, garlic, shallots, and parsley).  We also requested that they throw a few cornichons, those little french pickles, on our Charcuterie plate, too.

Both appetizers were awesome.  Honestly, we could have probably stopped eating there.  For appetizers, the portions were pretty large.

But we didn't stop there.  We then split an entree, the Seasonal Cassoulet which consisted of white beans, aromatic vegetables, lamb neck, andouille sausage, braised veal osso bucco, and wilted chard. The chef was kind enough to split our two smaller portions onto separate plates. The Cassoulet was awesome; so much flavor packed into one little dish. 

For lunch the next day we went to one of my favorite places, Mekong Vietnamese Restaurant.  It's a complete hole in the wall, but mom and I both love a diamond in the rough.  The owner and chef is a native of Vietnam and has lived in Greenville for over two decades. He cooks his mother's recipes and grows most of his own herbs out in the back of the restaurant.

We started with a Pork Meatball Banh Mi.  All of their sandwiches have this wonderful crusty french bread and they are topped with cucumbers, cilantro, and pickled daikon and carrots.  Each of these sandwiches are under $4.00 so it's quite a deal.

Next we ordered a Steamed Duck Bun. I think the picture below says enough.  YUM.  And at $2.99 we should have ordered two. 

This was mom's first Vietnamese meal, so we had to try a bowl of pho as well.  Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup commonly served with beef or chicken.  At our waiter's recommendation we ordered the London Broil and Brisket Pho.

The pho also comes with a large plate of lime wedges, jalapeno slices, Thai basil, and lots of bean sprouts to add into your bowl. In an effort to get the full pho experience, I loaded my bowl with bean sprouts.  These bean sprouts are a little different than the ones I've had in the past.  They are thicker, and are called mung bean sprouts.  While they were very tasty, my body didn't quite agree with them.  A couple hours later I found myself at the doctor getting a shot of epinephrine and Benadryl to stop my allergic reaction. No more bean sprouts for me!

After a semi-traumatic Saturday afternoon, we decided to spend the evening at home with a bottle of wine and a homemade pasta dish free of anything that might induce hives.

Sunday morning came and we were ready for another restaurant. For brunch we headed to Southern Culture, one of my favorite brunch spots.  

We ordered the Poutine and the Fried Green Tomato Stack.  The Poutine was definitely the winner of the meal.  Something about the combination of home fries, a fried egg, goat cheese, bacon, and gravy just did it for me.

We both gave Fried Green Tomato Stack a "B" on our grading scale.  The grits were good, nice and creamy and the tomatoes were perfectly seasoned, breaded, and fried.  The one thing that we weren't too keen on was the combination of hot tomatoes and grits with cold slices of mozzarella in between.  I just can't do cold and hot at the same time.

All in all we had an awesome time eating our way around Greenville. Can't wait for her to come up again soon, I'm already making my list for the next places we need to try together.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Sunday Meal Planning #7

Happy Monday!   I had the day off, so I've treated today as my second Sunday.   That's why I'm a day late in getting this post out, but better late than never.  Here's what we've got on the menu for the remainder of this week. 


Monday Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

Tuesday: Coconut Shrimp with Parmesan Roasted Edamame

Wednesday: Cincinnati Chili with tossed salad

Thursday: Cincinnati Chili with tossed salad

Friday, January 17, 2014

Five on Friday

Linking up with April, Natasha, Christina, and Darci for today's Five on Friday Post.

{one.}  We've been working on setting up our dining room for the past couple of weeks, I have been looking at bar carts to go in there.  Earlier this week,  a coworker asked if I would like an older wooden tea cart that he was trying to get rid of.  I gladly accepted.  I've been looking at bar carts for while, but haven't found the right one at the right price. I am so excited to get that thing sanded and painted.  I'm using the picture below for inspiration.  Don't you just love it?

{two.} Greenville has recently had a surge of local breweries opening around town, and Brewery 85 is the newest one that's coming to the area.  Last night they had their market release at The Community Tap.  T and I loved the two beers that they offered, and we had a great time talking to one of the owners.  He told us that they've got a 2,000 square foot green space in the back of the building that they plan on converting to a Beer Garden.  I'm so excited for spring to come so we can spend a few evenings out there.

{three.} One of the things that T and I have enjoyed most about living in a 60 year old house are the treasures that we find on occasion.  T found this old crumpled newspaper from 1966 under the house earlier this week.  We had such fun going through the paper reading about what was going on in the US and specifically in Greenville at that time.

{four.} South Carolina Restaurant week is coming to a close this Sunday, and I'm squeezing one more dinner out of it tonight.  We have reservations at Passerelle Bistro tonight, and I'm so excited.  I've been dreaming about rosé, crusty bread, and cornichons for days.

{five.}  The thing that I am most excited about is that my mom comes into town this weekend!  I cannot wait to spend the next few days with her.  We've got lots on the agenda, and most of it includes wine and shopping. 

Hope y'all have a wonderful long weekend!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Garlic Shrimp Pizza Revisited

Last night I made a marvelous pizza, if I do say so myself.  This spring I posted this recipe for a Garlic Basil Shrimp Pizza.  I think I forgot how tasty this actually was until we made it again last night.  I buy my pizza dough pre-made from the grocery store, and its less than $2.00.  We can get two meals out of it, so it's a pretty cheap dinner. If you didn't catch my previous post with the recipe for this pizza, I have added it below.


Garlic Basil Shrimp Pizza

1 ball of pre-made pizza dough
6 cloves of garlic
1/4 C. plus 1 tsp. EVOO
1 handful of basil, chiffonade
About 24 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2- 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella

Let your dough sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to get to room temperature. Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease a round cookie sheet or pizza stone.  Roll out your dough with a rolling pin to cover the entire pizza stone.  If the dough is sticking, lightly coat the rolling pin with flour. Mince the garlic and spread evenly over the crust.   Pour the EVOO on top and spread it around the dough using the back end of the spoon.  Meanwhile saute the shrimp with salt and pepper and a teaspoon of EVOO over medium high heat until just opaque.  Place them evenly over the pizza, top with basil, feta, and mozzarella.  Bake for 18-20 minutes on the bottom rack of the oven.  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Weekend Recap

Why must the weekends always fly by?

T and I had an action-packed weekend full of house projects and good food.  I mentioned in my 5 on Friday post that the big project for the weekend was building our dining room table. I think I was a little overzealous when I thought that we could knock it out in two days.

Saturday morning we spent several hours of in Lowe's trying to get everything we needed for the table, including 15 2x4's that were so long that they had to ride home stretching onto the center console of my SUV.  This was my view as we brought the lumber back to the house.

So after hours upon hours of cutting, planing, and sanding, we were finally able to see what the top of the table will look like.  Progress!  We're thinking it will take one more weekend to assemble it, and then another weekend for staining and finishing. 

To reward ourselves for our hard work (let's get real, T's hard work), we treated ourselves to dinner at one of our favorite places, High Cotton.  This was the first weekend of SC Restaurant Week, so we each took advantage of one of their 3 for $30 deals.  It's been quite a while since we've treated ourselves to a nice dinner out and we enjoyed every minute of it.   I really like how High Cotton does Restaurant Week- they switch their 3 for $30 menu up every day so you can come back multiple times and not have to see the same food.  Restaurant Week runs through this coming weekend and it's mighty tempting to see what they're offering for Friday and Saturday.  I may just have to return!

I hope y'all had wonderful weekends, too!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday Meal Planning #6

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  Here's what's on the menu for this week.


 Sunday: Ale and Cheddar Soup

Monday: Left overs

Tuesday: Garlic Basil Shrimp Pizza with mixed green salads

Wednesday: Pioneer Woman's Chicken Parmigiana

Thursday: Left Overs

Friday, January 10, 2014

Five on Friday

Friday is finally here!  I cannot wait for another weekend chock-full of home projects.  It's been so much fun working on our new house.  Today I'm linking up with April, Darci, Natasha, and Christina to share the top five things that getting me through this Friday afternoon. 

{one.} This weekend's big project is making our dining room table.  We've been wanting a farm table for our dining room, and thought we would buy one from a guy we found on Craigslist.  His prices were decent, about $500 for the table and two benches. I recently ran across Christina's post about making their own table, and T and I are going to attempt making ours this weekend.  If all goes as planned we will be spending under $150. Wish us luck!

Christina's Table

{two.} I finally got a DSLR for Christmas this year and I have really been enjoying it, but I've been scared that I'm going to lose the lens cap cover.  I just bought a lens cap keeper that should protect it from getting lost. Can't wait to test it out.

{three.} I've been on a pretty serious clothes buying hiatus recently since there have been so many things to buy for the house.  I was in TJ Maxx recently and found these Elliott Lucca cuties in the clearance section.  Coral leather, snake print, and tassels?  Done.  (please excuse the fugly office carpet in the background)

{four.} Our bedside tables finally came in last night!  I've been loving these mirrored bedside tables from Target for years, and I finally had a reason to purchase them.  Our new bedroom is much smaller than our apartment bedroom was, so we're having to get rid of some of our bigger furniture and trade it out for smaller stuff.   These are 14" wide which is the perfect size for the space. They look so good flanking each side of the bed.

{five.} It's Restaurant Week in South Carolina!  I love restaurant week because it gives T and I the opportunity to check out some of the places that are typically not in our budget.  We'll be visiting one or maybe even two restaurants this weekend. Check out my Intsagram @thereedyreview to see where we end up.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Coffee Cup Brownies

I try not to keep too many sweets around our house, just so I won't be tempted to eat them. I'm all about the out of sight out of mind theory.  Last night after dinner I was craving something sweet, and I just couldn't shake it.  I scoured through our cabinets to find something...anything.  I remembered that I've been seeing a few recipes lately for coffee cup brownies, so I looked up a recipe on Pinterest.  I found this recipe, and surprisingly had all of the ingredients.  They are so simple, and cook in 90 seconds.  I topped each brownie with some Heath Bits that I had in the pantry for a little extra crunch.

While they weren't as tasty as the real deal, they definitely did the trick.  They were warm, chocolatey, and had a cakey consistency.  I think they'd be even better topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Who am I kidding, what dessert isn't better when its served a la mode?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The New York Butcher Shoppe

Although T and I have neglected using our kitchen recently, we have been getting a lot of use out of our grill. Living in a third floor apartment, we rarely grilled out.  Now that we have the opportunity to, we've taken advantage of it a lot- even if it is freezing outside.

This Saturday T and I picked up two steaks from the New York Butcher Shoppe on Augusta Road.   At $17.99/lb our rib eyes weren't cheap, but boy were they tasty.  We had them seasoned with their house Montreal seasoning, and that's all they needed.   Check out these beauties in all their marbleized goodness.

We grilled them up and served them with my favorite wedge salads, find the recipe for them here.  I love these salads because they have a balsamic glaze in addition to the creamy dressing on top.  We popped open a bottle of Bordeaux that we bought on our second anniversary of dating.   T and I have been buying bottles of wine for our anniversary gifts since we started dating, and now that we're married we open one each year.  We waited until we got in our new house to open this year's bottle, because we knew it would be even more special. It was a perfect Saturday night meal!

There are two locations in Greenville for the New York Butcher Shoppe, and I suggest you check them out,  2222 Augusta Road and 2131 Woodruff Road.   We will be back for sure!

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