Thursday, October 30, 2014

DIY Coasters

Our dog hasn't ruined many of our things during his puppydom (knocking on wood as I type this), but one of the things that he has destroyed is our coasters. Once every single one of them bit the dust, I decided to start looking around for some new ones.  I was shocked at the prices of some of them. $30 for a set of four?  No bueno.

I have tons of upholstery fabric samples that I've ordered for numerous projects over the last few years.  I've been keeping all of these samples just hoping that some project would come up where I'd be able to put them to use.  I also have an obscene amount of burlap leftover from our wedding decor.  Finally a reason to use it!

I was inspired by this post that I found, and used their method to put together a few coasters for our living room.  It was pretty simple, I just cut out 5 inch squares of the burlap and the upholstery fabric, pinned them right sides together, and stitched around each side, leaving a 2" gap.  Flipped the coaster right side out, and whipped the opening on the side shut.  I made three using this method, and for the fourth, I stitched together remnants of all three samples, to give it more of a patchwork look.

The project took me a total of about 15 minutes, and now we've got four cute coasters that didn't cost me a dime.  George better keep his paws off these babies.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Chophouse '47

T and I rarely treat ourselves to a steak dinner, so when we do we make sure to go all out.  A couple of weeks ago, we tried Chophouse '47 for the first time.  I'm very picky when I order a steak at a restaurant.  T and I cook a mean steak at home, if I do say so myself, so it's rare that a restaurant steak can rival what we can do in our own kitchen.  Chophouse's steak blew us out of the water. 

Our sever was extremely knowledgeable and helpful, and recommended the Prime NY Strip.  Going for the USDA Prime cut was a bit more pricey, but it was worth every penny.  The steak was cooked to perfection, had a salty crust on the outside, and didn't have the chewy texture that medium rare steaks can sometimes have. Better than anything that we've ever cooked at home for sure.

For our second entree we ordered the Sea Bass, and went very traditional with the sides: Caesar Salad, Classic Creamed Spinach, and Cheese Mashed Potatoes.  We also ordered the Thick Cut Sizzling Bacon for our appetizer, because who can resist a piece of bacon that's one inch thick?  The bacon was so tender, and surprisingly not too fatty.  All of the sides were executed perfectly.  They were served family style, so there was plenty to take home.  And they make for delicious leftovers, if you were curious.  


While our food at Chophouse was exquisite, the service was just as impressive.  Any time either one of us left the table, someone was there within seconds to re-fold our napkin.  After every course our white tablecloth was wiped clean, and our wine glasses never went empty.

After indulging in such a decadent dinner, I somehow found room for dessert.  T and I shared a slice of the Carnegie Deli Cheesecake, that was out of this world.   We also shared a dessert martini; the perfect way to end our meal. During the month of October, Chophouse '47 is offering a dessert martini, The Pink Kiss, in honor of breast cancer awareness month.  50% of the sales from the drink are donated to the Susan G. Komen Greenville affiliate.

This year a very close family member of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer, and it has rocked our world. This October has been more meaningful to me than any other one that I've had. Only a handful of restaurants in Greenville offer menu items during the month of October where a portion of the proceeds go to Susan G Komen, so I tried to support each of them during the month. If you missed out on the Pink Kiss this year, both Chophouse '47 and California Dreaming will be offering it again next October.  

Chophouse '47 on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Meal Planning For The Week

In hopes to make a dent in my October Goal of making 5 new recipes this month, I'm planning to knock out three new ones this week.  Here's what we've got on the menu at our house for this week:

Sunday- Chinese Five Spice Wings with Roasted Zucchini and steamed edamame

Monday- Chinese Five Spice Wings with Roasted Zucchini and Wasabi Mashed Potatoes

Tuesday- Garlic Shrimp Pizza with carrot sticks & ranch

Wednesday- Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas & romaine salad w/ Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Thursday- Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas & romaine salad w/ Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Friday- Out to eat

Chinese Five Spice Wings

A few months ago I had to buy Chinese five spice for a recipe, so I've been trying to find other recipes that call for it.  I ran across a recipe for Chinese Five Spice Wings on Pinterest recently that sounded simple and didn't call for any ridiculous ingredients, so we had that on Sunday and Monday nights this week.

When I serve a meal multiple times in the week, I usually try to change something the second time around.  Somehow it makes it seem less leftover-y to me. On Sunday we served the wings with roasted zucchini and edamame, and I switched it up a bit on Monday night by making some wasabi mashed potatoes.  I've been making these potatoes since college and they're so tasty- especially when you drizzle a little of the leftover wing sauce over top. 

Once a week we typically have some sort of pizza, it's just so easy to throw whatever you've got on some pizza dough, top it with cheese, and it bakes up in less than 20 minutes.  This week we're having one of our favorites, shrimp, basil, and feta with a garlic olive oil base.  We had a pizza similar to this one in a restaurant years ago, and I've been making the copy-cat version ever since.  I'm making it really simple on myself this time by just serving some raw carrots alongside it.  No need to dirty up another pot or pan cooking a side dish.

This evening, T and I are bringing dinner to two of our friends who just had a baby.  To keep myself from making two separate dinners, I'm going to make the same thing for us.  I haven't ever made this recipe before, but Skinny Taste never disappoints!

Hope y'all are having a great week, and happy hump day! 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Weekend Recap

T and I went to our first Fall For Greenville this weekend.  Fall For Greenville is a weekend festival that takes place in downtown Greenville every year.  They shut down about 8 blocks of downtown, have four different stages for concerts, and offer food from 41 different local restaurants.  This is one of Greenville's biggest events every year, so I can't believe it's taken us this long to attend.  T and I have had something to do that weekend for every year up until now, so we were determined to make it this year.  We ate great food, drank tasty beers, and had an amazing time with our friends.  Already looking forward to next year!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Welcome to Greenville, Vom Fass!

I recently visited Vom Fass, cute new shop in Greenville.  German for "from the cask" Vom Fass sells a unique selection of oils, vinegars, spirits, and liqueurs. When I arrived, I was immediately drawn to the spirits side of the store.  All of the beautiful bottles with variegating colors of scotch, whiskey, and bourbon just drew me in.

The other side of the store houses their oils and vinegars, the true reason for my visit.  I've been to a few other oil and vinegar shops around the area, but the selection at Vom Fass was unbeatable.  They had the ordinary suspects; herby olive oils and fruity vinegars, but they also had several oils and vinegars that I've never heard of.  The Calamansi Vinegar, Beer Solera Vinegar (actually made from beer!), Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Basil Extra Virgin Olive Oil were my favorites.  

Each oil and vinegar is housed in its own dispenser with a card by it that explains exactly what it is and has a recipe suggestion on the back.  They are all priced per 100 ml, so you just choose the size of bottle you need (which is priced separately) and then fill it up.  I love the look of all of the bottles that they sell, they'd be perfect for a gift.  BUT the cheapskate in me had to ask,  and yes, you can bring your own vessel for them to fill up.  I have about 30 mason jars varying in size at our house, so the next time I return I'll be coming with an empty jar.

While I was there, I picked up a sampler of eight different oils and vinegars.  I wanted to be able to try several of them in different recipes, so this was the best option for me.  Once I find a few of my favorites, I'll return to the store to get my jars filled.  You can tell that I've already gotten into the Calamansi Vinegar,  I just couldn't resist.  I can't wait to play around with these and see what tasty concoctions I can come up with!

If you're interested in Vom Fass, you can find them in the Point Shopping Center on Woodruff Road, close to Whole Foods.  Vom Fass is still relatively new to Greenville, so check out their Facebook page here for updates, event information, and cooking class schedules.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Weekend Recap + Ja-vie Giveaway Winner

Happy Monday! This is the first weekend where our temperatures have been cool enough to actually feel like fall, and we had the best weekend filled with fall activities.  My parents arrived on Friday evening and the four of us went and had a beer at Greenville's Oktoberfest, listened to the oompah band play, and watched a beer stein holding contest. We then walked down Main Street for a Belgian-themed dinner at the Trappe Door.   I just love the international influence that Greenville's businesses have had on its restaurants.  Sometimes nights out in Greenville feel more like we're in Europe than in South Carolina.

While our Friday night felt very European, Saturday was 100% America with a day full of light beer, corn hole, and college football.  My dad is a NC State grad, so we always try to have them up for the Clemson vs. NC State game.  Unfortunately for him, the Wolfpack got stomped.   I was hoping for a Clemson win, but felt so sorry for him that his team lost so badly.  Regardless of the score, we had a blast tailgating together. 

Every year my girlfriends all plan to get together at one tailgate, and it just so happened to be this weekend, too.  I just loved that the two weekends coincided with each other.  Having all of my friends and my family in one place made me one happy girl.

And now for the Ja-vie giveaway winner...congratulations to Pam on winning a free pair of Ja-vies!  Please reach out to April or me about how to receive them.  We'll put you in contact with Ja-vie so you can let them know what style and size you'd like.

Pam said...
Would love to see a plaid pair for the Fall! Love that they are washable & comfortable!

Have a great week!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Five on Friday

I'm so happy that the Five On Friday linkup is back! Thank you April, Darci, Natasha, and Christina for hosting this great linkup.  Here are my five faves for this week:

One.  Earlier this week I was feeling crafty, so I went to a thrift store down the street for some inspiration.  They were having a 50% off sale of all of their frames and prints, so I picked up an ugly dated print in a gold frame for $5.00.   A few strips of painters tape and some chalkboard spray paint later we now have chalkboard for our kitchen! I just taped around the edges and spray painted over the glass.  It was super simple, and it looks great on our wall.

Two. Greenville had a new restaurant to open this week, Yard House.   It's a national chain, and they just opened up their first South Carolina restaurant in Greenville this week.  T and I stopped by on Wednesday night.  We tried samples of several of their menu items, and had a couple of beers.  We were both very impressed with the quality of food they offered, it's not your typical bar food. They also offer over 100 beers on tap and change them out daily.  T was like a kid in a candy store. Finally, a sports bar with good beer and good food.

Three.  These boots,  mind=blown.  They're sold out on MYHABIT, but I've been added to the wait list for three different sizes.  Fingers crossed someone returns a pair.  How awesome are they?  I could definitely justify buying a pair of boots if they can be worn as booties too, right?

Kate Spade Saturday Two For One Boot

Four. It's not too late to enter the giveaway for a pair of Ja-vie flats! My sister April of A. Liz Adventures and I are hosting a giveaway for a free pair of Ja-vies.  These shoes are awesome,  I'm wearing mine today to keep my feet dry on this rainy Friday in Greenville.  Read more about the giveaway here

Five. My mom and dad are coming into town this weekend to stay with us.  It's the first time in over six months that they'll be visiting our house, and I'm so excited!  We've got big plans.  Dinner and drinks out tonight followed by the Clemson vs. N.C. State game tomorrow.  Dad is a NCSU grad, so we've got a little friendly rivalry going on.  Go Tigers!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

October Goals

Lately I've been feeling like life is passing by so quickly, and I'm not taking advantage of the time I have.  I work, eat, sleep, find a few days each week for a glass of wine and a workout, and that's about it.   I've neglected so many things on my-do list for too long.  So, in hopes of holding myself a wee bit more accountable, I want to share my October goals with you.

Sharing all of the details of my Whole 30 challenge last month really helped me stay on track, and kept me more accountable for all of my slip-ups along the way. So without further ado, here's what I hope to accomplish this month.

Throw away/donate/consign 15 articles of clothing-  Its about time to switch out summer clothing for my fall and winter wardrobe.  Every season there are things hanging in my closet that I never wear, and I need to suck it up and get rid of them. 

Fix the wall in our kitchen...again- George ate a hole in our kitchen wall, for the second time.  We fixed this a few months ago in hopes that he was out of that stage, but it looks like he wasn't quite done. It's time once again to get out the bucket of plaster and patch that baby up.

Make our yard and front stoop more inviting-  I've neglected the outside of our house for too long.  We were lucky that the previous owner had a landscaper do a cleanup before we moved in, but it's high time to give the outside some love.  We've been in the house for almost a year now, and just mowing the grass isn't cutting it.  It's time to put some real work into the yard and our front stoop.  T and I both loathe yard work, so this is the most daunting item on my list.

Try 5 new recipes- Out of convenience and lack of time, I've been falling back to the recipes that I've been making for years.  It's time to throw a few new recipes into the mix. I've got a growing list of recipes I've been wanting to try on my Pinterest boards, so I need to start going through them. 

Do something with the box of crap in our guest room- When we moved in to our house I started filling a box with items that didn't have a place to live.  Well, 10 months later that box still lives in our guestroom, and has been growing.  It's time that I finally go through everything in there and either find a place for it or give it away.

And that's it.  There are hundreds of other things I'd love to accomplish this month, but I'm keeping it simple and within reach.  I should be posting some updates along the way, given that I'm successful in crossing off everything on my list.  Wish me luck!

Do you have any goals for this month?  I'd love to hear what's on your list!

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