Friday, July 29, 2016

snapshots from mobile, alabama

back in may, stephen and his tennis team made it to the USTA state tournament down in macon... they ended up losing and being just edged out of the southern sectionals tournament which was planned for july. well two months later, they ended up getting the call to be the wildcard bid in the southern sectionals tournament after all. we headed out to mobile, alabama to represent the state of georgia last weekend in the southern sectionals tournament.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

mexican street corn

last thanksgiving, my mom tried a new recipe for corn. she typically makes creamed corn from dallas' three forks steakhouse, but this year she made a switch to mexican street corn. and boy was it a good switch!

recently we had friends over for burgers and I was trying to come up with a side for our menu. corn is an obvious choice, but here's how I really feel about corn on the cob. first, this is messy and annoying. I have to "dress" it and then use corn holder thingys to eat it. then, after I eat it, there's corn all in my teeth and I'm annoyed again. I know, first world lazy girl problems but still. I decided I'd make the mexican street corn in place of corn on the cob. being that it was the first time I made it, I was pleasantly surprised to find it super easy and yummy. since I'm being so honest today, I will also tell you that these photos are less than stellar. our friends were over and I'd already had a cocktail or two when I realized that the burgers were almost ready and I hadn't started the corn. the ladies all pitched in and we whipped it up in no time, but the photos took a bit of a back seat. I still wanted to share them with you since this recipe is bomb. enjoy!

Monday, July 25, 2016

fine china for the modern bride

a couple weeks ago, we headed on over to macy's to embark on creating our extensive wedding registry. we already registered a few months ago at crate and barrel, but only for a small number of items. we planned an extensive registry at macy's, including our formal china. which brings me to my next point, fine china. most of the recent weddings that I've been to lately have not had fine china included on their registries. some friends have told me they are getting china passed down to them, while others just don't want it and have opted for more casual dining wear.

I have been dreaming about my wedding china since birth I think. there is no other time in your life that people will willingly buy you a 5 piece table setting, so for me, I want it to be fine china. to each their own of course, and I don't have any china being passed down to me (that I'm aware of). so while registering at macy's took the better half of three hours (!!), I had a fun time with stephen laying out all the different pieces from bread plate to salad plate to dinner plate plus flatware and an array of crystal glasses. if you find yourself wanting fine china, but also want a set that you can use more often than just thanksgiving and christmas - here are my suggestions!

I will definitely be using these plates, all of which can be found at, more than twice a year. we registered for a wedgewood vera wang gold pattern 5 piece table setting and then threw in some accent plates from a different collection to spice it up. you can have so much fun mixing and matching with china and I am so excited for the years of entertaining to come. I also happen to have the salad plates from the floral royal albert pattern above and can't wait to mix them in with my wedding china for mother's day, baby showers, or birthdays.

did you register for fine china or do you plan to? for those of you who already have it, how often do you use it?

Friday, July 22, 2016

tomato and feta crostini

my friend emily loves to cook ina garten recipes. for our soup swap earlier this year, she brought ina's tomato orzo soup which rocked my world. recently, when emily and her husband had us over for dinner, she served these to die for tomato and whipped feta crostinis. sure enough, another ina garten recipe. 

first of all, tomatoes and cheese are my love language. second of all, I am mildly obsessed with the gorgeous colorful array of summer tomatoes. so when stephen and I were at costco last weekend and I stumbled across a two pound container of colorful cherry tomatoes, I scooped them up with no second thoughts. it was then that I knew I had to make ina's crostinis! luckily, we had friends coming over so I actually had a use for two pounds of gorgeous tomatoes. while this recipe is a slight labor of love, chopping all those tomatoes, it is so freaking worth it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

my first pilates reformer/tower class

I have done lots of hot yoga over the years, although not too consistently, and I recently tried pure barre which I really enjoyed. last week, I tried my first ever pilates reformer and tower class. I had absolutely zero idea of what to expect, but luckily for me, my friend emily was teaching the class. I knew she wouldn't judge and I knew she would support a well deserved after class margarita. I also wasn't the only newbie in our class, which made me feel better.

first of all, our class at adrenaline pilates only had six spaces which I loved. I felt like I was almost getting a one on one, which was especially helpful given it was my first time. second of all, holy cow I could feel the burn. the reformer is spring loaded so you're working against your own resistance, but  you can also adjust the springs to make it harder or easier. I had to adjust to a lower spring weight several times. we started with a warm up, followed by legs, arms, and abs. my favorite was an arms move that really worked your obliques by pulling the resistance bands completely across your body. I love those little oblique muscles! I was sore for days afterward, which I also love.

Monday, July 18, 2016

meatless monday: sweet and spicy tofu

I'm so excited to tell you that I finally finally FINALLY cooked tofu for the first time. #vegetariangoals coming to life over here. so first I should say that I am a fair weathered tofu fan, I love it on this one salad from fresh to order but then had it somewhere else in a taco and hated it. evidently, it's all about how you season it. so I set out to season it right and honey sriracha sounded like I couldn't go wrong.

I love when you decide to make a recipe and discover that you already have most of the ingredients, it's such a nice surprise that really makes you feel like you have your life together. rice vinegar and sesame oil? why, yes I do have those items in the pantry. albeit, they were unopened, but I did already have them. a couple years ago, my mom gave me an amazing electric wok so stephen and I went to the asian market and stocked up on tons of asian goodies like rice vinegar, sesame oil, and much more. you can usually find these items at your local grocery store, so don't fret if you don't already have random asian items in your pantry like I did. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

5 tips to prepare for engagement photos

we had our engagement photo session a few weeks ago and I found myself completely relaxed about it up until the week before our shoot. if you've never had photos of yourself taken, it can be a pretty nerve wracking experience since you may not know what to expect. we are still waiting to get our photos back and I am still nervous. HAHA. I know, I need to take a chill pill.

one thing I did feel really good about was the preparing that I did prior to our session. pretty shortly after we got engaged, I went to the dermatologist for a general consultation. this way, I was able to use prescriptions for months before our photos which gave me enough time for noticeable results. I am pretty low maintenance and the rest of my steps are easy to follow. while some people may want to get their teeth professionally whitened, I am okay with using crest white strips and knowing the photographer will probably work her magic. if you find yourself preparing for a photo session, here my top five tips.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

what I read in june

today I'm linking up with jana and steph for show us your books, what I read in june. the title of the link up has 'books' plural; however, sadly in the month of june, I was only able to finish one book. hey, it's better than nothing and will make for a short post for you to read. if you're like me, you end up buying a lot of books from these linkups so if anything, I'm helping to narrow it down for you.

drumroll... the one book I managed to read in june was...

what she knew by gilly macmillan
in a heartbeat, everything changes…
rachel is walking with her eight-year-old son, ben, when he asks if he can run ahead. it’s an ordinary request on an ordinary sunday afternoon, and rachel has no reason to worry—until ben vanishes. police are called, search parties go out, and rachel, already insecure after her recent divorce, feels herself coming undone. as hours and then days pass without a sign of ben, everyone who knew him is called into question. as she desperately pieces together the threadbare clues, rachel realizes that nothing is quite as she imagined it to be, not even her own judgment. and the greatest dangers may lie not in the anonymous strangers of every parent’s nightmares, but behind the familiar smiles of those she trusts the most. {}
my take: A-
this book definitely struck a chord that had me asking "what would I do?" in this situation as a mother. and by as a mother I mean as a cat mother, since I don't actually have kids yet. when seemingly all odds are against you, do you take matters into your own hands and risk looking like a crazy person or do you trust in the system to solve the case? as females, we must trust our instincts because they rarely lead us astray and this book is a subtle reminder of that. what she knew was an easy read that will keep you guessing.

so that's it for june. you're welcome for keeping it short this month :) happy reading, everyone!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

weekly reading, volume 10

a lot of my posts are written in advance, given that I work a full time job, am crazy busy, and like to keep a regular posting schedule. I'd love to be able to write every day, but that's just not the case. these posts are so nice because as I've said before, they feel spur of the moment and spontaneous. 

unfortunately, this was an extremely rough week with pervasive violence and sadness. this is the first time I've had a chance to write about it here and I feel a little late on the topic. the night of the falcon heights shooting, I tossed and turned. I had dreams of violence. I awoke with so much sadness and held back tears throughout the day. I always joke that my eye holes are too small because I cry pretty easily, like there's not enough room to hold them in. if you find yourself in a similar situation, one of my friends posted this article on how to cope in times of trauma. 

I am overwhelmed by notions of racism or oppression, I just cannot understand hatred and unfairness toward people for no reason other than skin color, sex, gender, wealth, etc. it is wrong and it is disgusting. I mourn for the families affected by baton rouge, falcon heights, and dallas. I am so saddened for these people who all, so unfairly, were robbed of their lives. dallas is my city and I can't imagine the pain they are feeling right now. there is too much collateral damage. 

you can and should be both #blacklivesmatter and #backtheblue. we are already too divided as a society, this is a time where we need to come together. because I cannot solve these worldly problems, I have simply taken to reflecting on my own actions. I can be kinder, I can be less quick to judge, I can be more patient with people, I can be more giving, I can be more forgiving. what can you be? 
comments turned off on this one.

Friday, July 8, 2016

tried and true breakfast casserole

a couple weekends ago, we had stephen's family stay at our house for the weekend and we cooked up a storm! I made cheesy beef enchiladas, guacamole, strawberry rhubarb pie, and this tried and true sausage and egg breakfast casserole. I shared this recipe over a year ago, around easter time last year. back then, I was still using my iPhone to take pictures so the post had some room for improvement. 

you guys. I make this casserole all the time. bachelorette party weekends, couples trips, family holidays - any time there is a group together for breakfast, you can bet I'll be making this casserole. it is so easy to make and it's really impressive to pull a hot breakfast out of the oven for the crowd. not to mention, it takes all of 10 minutes to prepare and you have to make it ahead of time which basically forces you to be a better prepared hostess with the mostess. I scooped up some banana bread from fresh market, sliced it up and plated it along with some fresh fruit and breakfast is served!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

eating my way through charleston

I rarely take photos of my food, for a couple of reasons. honestly, it makes me feel self conscious, which I know is silly but it's true. I know I should do what I want but pulling out my huge camera to photograph my food just makes me feel uncomfortable. more importantly, I usually want to eat said food asap. playing with angles to get the right shot while my food gets cold, no thanks. however... in charleston, I decided to document all the amazing southern foods we ate. it just felt right, like everything we ate was photo-worthy!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

diy card display

I have an easy diy for you today, that requires less than $10 and less than 5 minutes! we've had a lot of occasions to celebrate over the past few months and have racked up some gorgeous greeting cards lately. I like to hold on to cards for a few months, but I don't like them to make a mess. I searched around on etsy and other blogs for a cute hanging card display, but much to my dismay, I could not find one. I did find an adorable diy card holder that was made from a mini wooden shutter. I don't have any shutters and definitely didn't want to paint, so that was out of the question.

one afternoon we were at bed, bath, and beyond [spending all of our money] and I saw a decorative iron hook in the decor section. I just knew I could make that work for a card display! all you need to make this at home is a decorative hook of your choice, burlap ribbon, and clothes pins. I happened to have burlap ribbon from the dollar section at target on hand already, my ribbon was a more substantial weight with a layer of backing. this made it really easy to just cut a tiny slit toward the top of the ribbon to hang on the hook. I added neutral clothes pins that I also already had on hand and voila! diy card display for less than $10. what do you think? how do you organize your cards?

Friday, July 1, 2016

holy guacamole!

y'all know I'm from texas and basically live for margaritas, queso, and guacamole. I can honestly say I'd be at least eight pounds thinner if these things didn't exist... but I'm so thankful they do! guacamole is one of the easier dips you can make and I love how absolutely fresh it is. there's something about tableside guacamole, made right in front of you, that gets my mouth watering. it's the perfect dish for a long holiday weekend like fourth of july, gather the group around a pitcher of margaritas and a bowl of homemade guacamole poolside. it doesn't get much better than that!

last weekend, we had company over and planned a mexican menu with margaritas, chips, salsa, queso, guacamole, rice, and enchiladas for friday night. whipping up this guacamole was one of my favorite things to make, once you chop all the onion and tomatoes - it just all comes together so easily and bursts with smooth texture and flavor. not to mention, avocados are loaded with fiber, good fat, potassium, and more. so go ahead, have an extra scoop.