Thursday, October 8, 2015

traveling raining weekend

Wow, what a weekend we have had.  Prayers continue for the residents of Columbia, SC.

Let's rewind to last Thursday.  I was scheduled to make a trip (for fun) to Atlanta.  I briefly considered cancelling due to #hurricaneJoaquin, but after it started trending out to sea I knew I could handle some rain on a drive and visit.

So, I packed up my newly purchased rain boots (I mean, I needed them for quite some time) and Friday morning, I woke up and drove to Atlanta, making it just in time to greet sweet Lottie as she woke up from her nap.

We had the best weekend: playing, shopping, eating, and playing some more.  Sunday, I visited with my friend Hillary, celebrating her sister's birthday, and then helping her pack for an out-of-town doctor's appointment.  I was originally supposed to leave Sunday, but after seeing the flood warnings I decided to stay the night and leave in the morning - at least I would be driving in sunlight!

Well, my goodness, I have never been so thankful to have made this decision, as the waters in Columbia rose, the SC DOT had to close the two main highways I needed to get home! I-20 and I-95 were closed at points that were essential to me getting back to Wilmington.  When looking at the map and trying to reroute myself, I ultimately decided the most clear and safest option was to take I-85 to Charlotte, and then pick up Hwy 74.  It added about an hour and a half to my drive, but I am just thankful to have made it home safely!

Fortunately the rain and flooded streets had pretty much subsided in Wilmington, and our house was just fine while we were both gone over the weekend.  I did a bunch of yard clean up yesterday (and much-needed weeding), then after a necessary shower I put on my slippers and enjoyed a glass of wine in front of our fireplace (sans fire because it just isn't that chilly yet)!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

what happens when it rains

This week has consisted of rain, rain, and more rain, which has led me to cooking, cleaning, and tackling items on our house to-do list.

First up, I finally hung a mirror in a half bath!  I mean, who takes a mirror with them after selling a home, but that's a whole-nother story. The space is special, need a tall, skinny mirror.

I thought this would work when I saw it in the store, but it's unquestionably too small (unless you're Rob and he says it is perfect).  Well, a slight water issue with our master toilet made us have to use the guest bathroom for a couple of days ... I couldn't stand not having a mirror, so this was hung. And then the plumber came and fixed the master toilet, so we're back to usual with a too-small mirror hanging in the guest bath.  It will probably stay there forever.

Between the plumber, hanging the mirror, cleaning out the dining room boxes (other than the boxes of books, which may just get donated here soon since we seem to not need them), and finally scheduling the decorator to come look at our space (today!), the to-do list is slowly dwindling.  Painting the trim is a large looming task that I think I will tackle next week, or maybe if I wait long enough, Rob will just hire a painter so I will stop talking about it!

Second, cooking.

Mmmmmm, bacon.
If you don't know, baking bacon in the oven is my favorite way.  Lay out on a baking sheet (with an edge, for the love of bacon grease), put in an oven set to 350* and wait for about 30 minutes - it will be perfectly crispy. I like to burn it, so I leave it a bit longer - until I just can't wait anymore for all of the bacon.  Yum!

I also made a baked risotto with delicious butternut squash and kale, which upon first taste out of the oven, was perfect crisp risotto.  Then I let it sit with the top on.
Do not let it sit with the top on fresh out of the oven (or cook it way less) because by the time I got to eat it (oh, two hours later) it was complete mush.  Yuck! I mean the flavors were good, but the texture was not something I would force on anyone.  I ate it for dinner, then lunch the next day.  And then no one touched it.

Oh well, you win some and lose some.  This was a loss, but totally cook's error.

And finally, I tackled a spaghetti squash.  I mean, I love it, but it is a beast of a squash to cut.  I hear you can microwave it for 5-6 minutes to soften it to make the cutting in half easier.  I should have tried that, but I didn't.  I suffered through the rocking back and forth of the knife, coming questionably close to an ER visit.

Once brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with salt & pepper (those Costco salt and pepper grinders are the best!), and baked in the oven for almost an hour at 450*, I scraped out the "spaghetti," mixed with garlic butter (saute garlic in a few tablespoons of butter) and peas, topped with Parmesan.  Yum! Note: Rob would never be satisfied with this just for dinner, so I tend to eat it when he is away. 

I suppose three "recipes" is enough for today, but a kind reminder: when making muffins always add the sugar.  While not a total disaster (I top with honey or melted butter & sprinkled sugar), they are much better with said sugar as the original recipe calls.   

With all of that, I am off on this little break in the rainy week to meet with a decorator about the sofa I want, and then go buy rain boots so I can quit ruining shoes, and hopefully survive the potential October hurricane.  Oh what a Wednesday! 

Monday, September 21, 2015

weekend living is easy

We had a relatively low-key, but productively fun weekend at home!

After Rob returned from the golf course, we headed downtown to enjoy a burger at the Fork N Cork, followed by a stroll along the river with one of the most beautiful sunsets to date.

We ended up meeting some friends down on the beach for the day, which was nice once the wind died down and the water covered the fine sand :) We grilled out at home, and I was fast asleep despite the football that was on TV! 

We went to church, then grabbed a ladder from my parents - I needed to try to climb up on our roof and sweep/rake the pinestraw off.  I was unsuccessful in my attempts, but I tried so I feel okay paying someone to do it ... as soon as I can find someone to hire! 

My youngest brother popped over to scout out our cable situation.  We needed it moved from where the cable company installed it, run under the house to where we wanted our TV positioned.  Apparently the cable company does not go under houses ?!? He created a plan for what we all needed, so we all met my parents for lunch (at the Fork N Cork - it's becoming a family favorite) then grabbed the supplies from Lowe's.  

Y'all ... my brother successfully disconnected our current line, reconnected it with one that we ran under the house, as well as removing all of the unnecessary cables that the previous homeowner left us! I was so impressed and grateful (though I had offered to pay him, so there was reward for him), and Rob is so happy the TV is on the right wall - now he just needs/wants a bigger TV!   

The TV used to sit in the left corner where that little round side table is. And the current "media stand" is an old bookcase that I fixed up.  I'm hoping it won't house the TV long, and we can use it in one of the guest rooms, but for now it works! We ended the weekend at the driving range - Rob is in a golf tournament (of friends, but it's so serious it's crazy) in two weeks, so he has been practicing a lot on the course and at the range.  I tag along occassionally to help film him so he can try to see what needs correcting!

Inspired by his work, I kicked off this Monday with patching up the holes that were left behind (inside and out), after an early morning workout, meal planning session, and grocery store run! 

I whipped up some banana bread to use up some really really ripe bananas before I cleaned the house for the week. 
It's really tasty, but a bit odd texture/density - probably because I didn't have any baking powder or baking soda to help it "fluff" up.  Oh well - I'll enjoy my pecan, chocolate chip, banana bread.  

Happy Monday! Hope your week is off to a great start! 

Friday, September 18, 2015

::five on friday::

It's ::five on friday:: and so I'm linking up to share life things as of late.  And I finally have a temporary space (above) to do so, in my favorite room in our house!


Jimmy, my brother, came home the beginning of the week, and thus we went out on the boat - me, Jimmy, and mom.  It has been beautiful, fall-like weather, and the water was so calm.  It was great.  Also, the boat is finally working - you know, in time for our summer adventures to slow down.  Fall is one of my favorite times on a boat though - just bundle up and the water is pretty open!


With extra time in the evenings, we're trying to do more exciting date nights than just dinner.  Wednesday, we went to the driving Range.  I took a beach chair and watched Rob test out his new hybrid.  I declined the offer to test it too, but think maybe I should start.  Golf has never been something I enjoy, but I could handle hitting a few balls at the range ... I think!? 


Rob had a conference at the Marriott Grand Dunes in Myrtle Beach last weekend, so I joined him.  Saturday was a bust weather wise for the beach, but provided ample opportunity to hit the outlets.  Sunday, I enjoyed this read (Pretty Baby) and my new favorite LaCroix curate (cantelope & grapefruit) poolside until Rob was finished with his meetings midday.  


I was hesitant to start enjoying pumpkin beers so early, but as my favorite Copper Penny bar tender shared ... by the time it gets cold enough to truly enjoy a fall beer, they're done producing and have moved on to winter beers.  So, I am starting to stock up and enjoy every now and then since the weather has been early fall-like! Pumking is a favorite, but boy is it expensive! 


I shared above that I finally have space to blog from, and this is it.  It will eventually serve as a mudroom/sunroom area, but for now I'm using it as my office or creative space to paint/blog/facebook rather than the couch or our dining table.  

The previous owners left this desk - it's a kid's desk, but after I saltwashed it grey and white, and pulled up my cane back chair (so thankful for furniture as birthday gifts when I was younger).  It works for now, using what we have, and a pretty nice view ... if I could only get the backyard weeds under control :) 

link up with AprilDarciChristina & Natasha for ::five on friday::

Friday, September 11, 2015

::five on friday::

Y'all, where did this week go? I had a lot on my to-do list and barely accomplished half of it ... why is it so hard for me to call and get quotes?!? I'll do it next week, definitely, next week.

For now, I'm joining in the five on friday link up with five things going on around this house:


We made a pretty big purchase decision last Thursday, encouraged by the large discount for Labor Day sales ... a new dishwasher.  I've been handwashing dishes since we moved in and discovered our dishwasher was not working (and in fact, leaking despite it being "fixed" prior to closing, ugh).  
It is in the same line as our new refrigerator that my parents gifted us as a move-in/welcome/graduation from residency gift :) That side of the kitchen is looking quite swanky - I will spare you the picture of our bisque, coil oven on the other side.  It look horrible, but works quite well - we'll be scouting out the Thanksgiving sales in november ;) 


I framed some prints from an old Lulie Wallace calendar that I bought and used last year.  I think I may paint the frames, but for now it is working to spice up our breakfast nook/creative space command center.  We have yet to eat dinner here, but I'm doing lots of crafting here ... I need to relocate, but haven't found a desk I like, problems.  


I know I shared this picture already, but I am hoping to recreate this image on canvas next week ...  I thought putting it here would make me do it, rather than doubt myself. I won't know until I try, so I'll be trying next week.  


In other creative projects around here, I decided we needed some sort of wreath for our front door.  I made these burlap wreaths that need some extra adornments, but I figured they are a good base for the holidays/whatever bows I end of making - currently I only have burlap ribbon, I see a craft store visit in my future.  Until then, plain burlap wreaths will greet you from our front door (if you so choose to use it). 


Around Labor Day and all of the sales, I made some online purchases.  Well, in efforts to get the free shipping I added items to each order that could be returned if I didn't like them.  Lo and behold, I forgot about this top and jeans until they arrived.  I love them both! They're perfect for the Friday blues I'm having over here on 9/11, and will be great transition to fall pieces (and Carolina football games).  I've never owned Old Navy jeans (jean snob over here), but am up for trying anything these days since I can't seem to find the right pair .. I don't know how they'll fit after I wear a long time or wash, but so far so good (several hours and outings in). 

Enjoy the weekend friends! 

link up with AprilDarciChristina & Natasha for ::five on friday::

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

unofficial end to summer

Labor day weekend marks the unofficial end to summer. Three day weekends are just the best.

The water was absolutely beautiful on Friday - crystal clear and calm! 
After a beach day with my mom, I met Rob for drinks downtown at Husk, and dinner at a new favorite spot, The Fork n Cork.  
Y'all - if you're visiting Wilmington, you must try it! This burger-rito was a special of the day, but those Brussels sprouts are always around.  I'm not one to take the up-charge on sides much, but these are worth it! I mean, anything cooked in duck fat is going to be delicious, right?!? 

Saturday was a fabulous beach day! Sunday I went to a baby shower, then we joined my parents and brother on the drive to Oak Island to visit my grandmama, aunt & uncle, and cousins for dinner.  I forget how pretty the marsh is behind the beach house! (and fyi - that dress is a recent sale purchase from loft, and I pretty much could live in it since it is a light, cotton dress with pockets ... just ignore all of the mascara that found it's way underneath my eyes #ineverwearmascaraallday).  
I don't think summer is quite over around here - we have a lot of beach weekends in our future, and so the drink of the summer will continue: Sea Breeze.  We use the Harris Teeter fresh grapefruit juice, Tito's vodka, and lime.  I skip the cranberry (which means it is probably now called something else, but sometimes add some la croix).  It's so tart and refreshing. Glad my dad introduced us to this - it's his golf buddies weekend drink ;) 

Hope y'all had a great, long weekend.  I was sad to see it end, but at least it is a short work week!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

currently ..

Currently ...

reading: The Undertaker's Daughter.  I checked it out from the library a few weeks ago, and am only reading a few pages each night before I fall asleep!

making: I've been feeling a bit creative lately, and so have been making this jewelry dishes inspired by A Beautiful Mess tutorial.  It's pretty fun and I'm enjoying mixing colors ... I guess y'all know what everyone is getting for Christmas, ha ;)

pinning: recipes and furniture. When I'm not creating marbled ring dishes, I'm cooking or shopping for furniture.

anticipating: tomorrow night's first football game of the season! If you didn't know, football season is so close.  UNC plays the "other" Carolina (USC) tomorrow night in Charlotte.  Sadly, we won't be making the drive to Charlotte, but we will be cheering loudly from our house!

loving: that it is September! I mean, it still feels like summer, but the crowds are dwindling at the beach, football season is here, and before we know it, I'll be embracing jeans and sweaters.  I mean I even bought a mercury glass-esque pumpkin for our kitchen table yesterday :) But until fall, I'll enjoy the quiet beach days and warm evening bike rides!

 photo currently-hosts2_zpstvdgzpyh.png