Monday, August 31, 2015

Our Weekend- 2nd Annual Tailgate Practice Party

This weekend T and I threw our first party at our new house.  A little aggressive considering we've only had two weekends at home since we moved in.  Fifteen minutes before people arrived I was hunched down in the bathroom drilling the toilet paper holder into the wall.  We cut it that close.

Even though the house isn't 100% where we want it to be, it was a great motivator to do a lot of the initial improvements that we wanted to get done.  We had about 40 friends over for our second annual Tailgate Practice Party.  (See pictures from the first annual here.)  Last year I was able to decorate our house with cute game day decorations, but this year that just wasn't happening.

Everyone came over donning their favorite team colors, we served tailgate food all day, streamed some of last year's biggest games, and even drove our car into our yard to set up a car tailgate.  T clearly wanted the full tailgating experience.  My mom and dad came up for the party, which was great.  They hadn't seen our new house yet since we just moved in a little over a month ago.  T and  I had the best time showing them around our new part of town and neighborhood.

College football season officially starts this week and T is like a kid at Christmas. Poor boy hasn't gotten a full nights sleep in a week.  I hope y'all had a great weekend, too! 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

What's in My Makeup Bag

I get so much of my makeup inspiration from blog reviews these days.  I rarely ever try a product out anymore unless I've read a few reviews on it.  Growing up, my mom was an Avon lady, so the majority of the makeup that I used was either drugstore brand or Avon.   I've branched out a bit since I've gotten older, and I now use some nicer brands of face makeup, but I still love my good ole drugstore stuff.  Here's what's currently in my makeup bag:

For Face: 

If I can really tell a difference, I'm all for spending good money on makeup.  Every year on my birthday I treat myself to a few new pieces of the good stuff, and it usually will last me until the the next birthday.  This March I purchased a Smashbox face powder and a NARS bronzer, and I'm just now half way done with them.  I'm also still working on the same NARS blush that I purchased over two years ago.  

When I was in high school, I also purchased two Chanel makeup brushes, one for blush and one for powder.  I've taken care of them, making sure to wash them frequently, and they feel and work just as good as they did when I got them over 10 years ago. They're definitely not cheap, totally worth it in the long run.

For Eyes: 

For eye makeup I tend to go a little cheaper.  The only thing that I do spend money on is an eye shadow primer, and it's worth every penny.  This primer can make any eye shadow stay on all day long, and one tube of it will last forever.  I use it every single day, and it still takes me over a year to use it up.  I've really been enjoying two E.L.F. eye shadow quads that came from Target, too.  You just can't beat the price.  

And that's what's in my makeup bag!  Nothing earth shattering, I really just stick to the basics.  Do you have any products that you can't live without?  I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Saffron Rice and Black Beans

On Saturday, T and I went to our first neighborhood party since we've moved.   One of the reasons we picked our neighborhood was because we already know several couples that live there.  As dorky as it sounds, I was so excited that we got an invite!  While we do know people there, I wasn't sure if they'd remember to add us to the invite list since we are so new.

The party was Mexican themed, and we were all asked to bring a Mexican side dish.  At first my mind went to the typical Mexican side dishes, Seven Layer Dip, Guacamole, Bean Dip, etc.  But I wanted to bring something that was a little bit different than the usual suspects.  I found a recipe for Saffron Rice and Black Beans that didn't call for too many ingredients, and went together pretty quickly.  T and I were painting ALL DAY Saturday, so I had very little time to prepare something.

Saffron Rice and Black Beans
(serves 4- I doubled the recipe for the party)

1 (5 oz) package saffron rice mix
1 (15 oz) can black beans
1 lime, juiced
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 Tbsp chopped green onions (optional)

Cook rice according to package directions.  Once cooked, reduce heat to medium.

While the rice is cooking, drain beans, reserving 2 Tbsp of the liquid.

Combine beans, reserved liquid, lime juice, chili powder, and cumin in the sauce pan with the cooked rice.

Stir until combined and thoroughly heated.  Add 1 tbsp cilantro.

Garnish with remaining cilantro and green onions.

I've had a few other yellow rice and black bean dishes before, but this one blew them out of the water.  T and I both love lime juice, and this recipe called for a lot of it. In all honesty, I didn't add the cilantro this time, our grocery store just happened to be out of it.  T liked it without, but I can't wait to make it again to see how the cilantro adds to the dish.  I plan for us to have tacos next week and give it another go.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Week at The Beach

Take me back to vacation, now please.  Last week I spent six glorious days on the beaches of North Carolina, and I'd consider selling my soul to be back there right now.  On Saturday, we attended my cousin's wedding in Southport (more on that later) and then spent the rest of the weekend at Oak Island.

It's been years since our whole family rented a beach house together.  We can never get our schedules to line up with everything we've got going on.  Throughout the week people trickled in and out depending on their schedules, and the last two days it was just me, my mom, my sister April, and her daughter Camille.

I know I'm super biased, but seriously my niece is the cutest thing I've ever seen.  She's the first grand baby in the family, so naturally all eyes go to her when she's in a room.   Camille also learned my  name while we were there, and would scream "yaya!" any time I walked in to the room.  Melt my heart.

Some of the highlights from the week were dinner out at the Provision Company in Southport, family time on the beach, lunch at Shagger Jacks, and an unnecessary amount of baby photoshoots.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Favorite Kitchen Gadgets

Over the last couple of weeks a few of my favorite bloggers have featured their favorite kitchen gadgets.  I've loved reading these posts because I like to know what other people find helpful in the kitchen. If I can buy a cheap gadget that will make dinner prep a little bit easier, I'm all for it.

My first favorite is a citrus squeezer.  Until I owned one I thought it was completely unnecessary. I received on in my Christmas stocking a few years ago, and now I couldn't imagine not having one. This takes all the work out of squeezing lemons and limes, and I find that I get so much more juice out of the fruit when I use this.  Plus the little holes are small enough to catch the seeds, a major plus in my book.  Find it on Amazon here.

I think most people probably already have a garlic press, but the key is to have a good quality one.  I like the heft of this one and that it has stainless steel handles.  The stainless steel can actually help with getting that awful garlic small off of your hands. It's dishwasher safe, and comes with a garlic peeler.  Find it on Amazon here.

I hate to waste, and small spatulas are perfect for getting the last drops of spaghetti sauce or mayo out of the jar.  Plus with the Le Cruset brand, you know it's going to last.  We received a few for wedding gifts 3 years ago and they still look brand new.  Find it on Amazon here.

This Oxo Kitchen Scale was another wedding gift we received.  I figured it was something we'd use only on occasion, but I find myself pulling this out weekly.  I weigh leftovers to make sure they're equally portioned and measure butter while baking since it's more accurate than the measurements on the stick. Find it on Amazon here.

Everything Oxo makes is such great quality, and this salad spinner is no exception.  It has rubber feet on the bottom that keep it from shifting, and it can easily come apart for cleaning.  I used to use a colander for cleaning lettuce, but this little guy  makes the task so much quicker.  Find it on Amazon here.

An avocado cuber does sound super unnecessary, but it is amazing how much time it will save you while making guacamole.  Once you cut the avocado in half and remove the pit, you press this down into the half and give it a little twist.  You're left with avocado cubes that can be dumped into a bowl and mashed for guac.  Seriously, so simple. Find it at Williams Sonoma here.

Do you have any favorite kitchen gadgets?  I'd love to get some more recommendations!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Living Room- Far From Complete

With our last house I rarely posted any updates, because I never thought the house was completely finished.  I've come to realize that no room will ever be finished in my mind, so it makes more sense to post small updates along the way.  Last month we moved from a tiny 50's bungalow to a three bedroom house in the burbs, and we now have a lot of square footage to fill.   Since we're nearly finished with our kitchen updates, I'm starting to pay more attention to the living room. 

This room started out as a fully carpeted room, so we've already made a huge update with replacing the floors with hardwoods.  Once the floors were down, I soon realized that the rug I currently had was the wrong color and way too small.  I was so hoping it would work because I hate rug shopping.  For one, they're entirely too expensive, and secondly you never really know what it's going to look like until you get it home and lay it down in your space.  Not to mention there are thousands upon thousands of options to choose from, which is way too overwhelming.
Before we moved in
Our old rug
I decided to take a giant risk and purchase a final sale rug from Pottery Barn.  The rug gods must have been looking down on me that day, because it is perfection.  I needed a 9x12, so I was already going into the search knowing I'd be paying a pretty penny.  I scoured the Rugs USA website to find something during their 70% off sale but came up empty handed.  I figured I'd pop over to the PB website to at least get some inspiration for rugs, knowing they'd all be too expensive.  And then, I spotted this gem, marked down from $1000 to $270, and I knew I had to have it.  We put it down last night, and I'm already in love. The size is what we needed, the colors are neutral enough to go with anything I put in there, (except our current couch which was going to get recovered anyway) and it's surprisingly soft for a natural fiber rug. 

Now all we have to do is get everything else in the room updated to compliment the rug.  If only that was as easy as it sounded.  I know it will be a process just like every other room, but at least we've got one more thing checked off!

And just because I'm a habitual list maker, here's the rundown of what all we plan to do to this room:

Living Room

Hardwoods Installed
Buy new rug
Paint walls SW Agreeable Gray
Paint accent wall darker gray (color TBD)
Whitewash fireplace
Custom slipcover for couch
Purchase piece of furniture for TV to go on
Artwork above mantle
Window treatments

Monday, August 3, 2015

Weekend Recap

This weekend T and I had a wedding in Columbia, so we spent Friday and Saturday nights with my parents at their lake house.  We absolutely love going to the lake.  It's one of the only places that I can go and completely relax.  It's laid back, showers are optional, and we barely get any cell phone service.

On Saturday afternoon, we headed out for a pontoon cruise.  My mom and I have the same bathing suit, so we thought it would be fun to match for the day.  Ten years ago I would have been humiliated to match my mom out in public, but now I think it's the greatest thing ever.  We stopped at  our favorite service station/ burger place for lunch and headed a sandbar afterward to cool off in the water.  George was tall enough to stand on his hind legs and prop his arms up on T's shoulders so we could wade with him. He looked so human-like, it was hilarious.

That evening we headed to the wedding of one of my good high school friends. I managed to take no pictures what-so-ever because I spent the whole night catching up with some of my best hometown friends who I hadn't seen in years.

I hope y'all had a great weekend! 

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