Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween {2012}

Just stopping by for a quick hello and to say Happy Halloween!
This year I have tried to make more of an effort to decorate our home and get into this spooky holiday.
My mother-in-law is particularly fond of Halloween as her birthday is the day before. We decided to have a small birthday get together for her tonight along with Joe (my father-in-law) and Adam's bother Daniel to celebrate Barbara.

 Yesterday I went to JoAnn’s to pick up some last minute decorations and today our living room has cheesecloth hanging from the corners of mirrors, draped across a lampshade, strewn atop our china cabinet and even whittled into a few nooks and crannies. It’s a happy spooky home without being creepy or gross. I’m not a fan of literal finger foods or eyeball-esque deserts. Don’t even get me started on fake blood...

Back to the point! I’m so excited to have some fun and greet our neighborhood kids with candy. Did I mention we bought a 5lb bag of tootsie rolls? Yeah…well…they take up a lot of space in a bowl for little money and I won’t be overly tempted to snack on them the whole night. I say it’s a win-win!
Have a happy Halloween everyone!

xoxo bd

Monday, October 29, 2012


I am back from a long weekend filled with family, friends and celebrations! My best girlfriend got married in our hometown of Mobile, AL and I was a lucky bridesmaid. 
Well, it was more like Daphne, AL...but let's not get too technical. 
Here's a mini back story (or not so mini) on our friendship. 
 Holli and I met in 3rd grade and as a class project had to write a story about one another. She now notes her love for me developed when I threw up on the most popular/mean girl in our class. Lunch was a bologna sandwich with a pickle and juice. 'Nuff said.
We quickly became friends and did what 9 year old's do best; we soured the woods behind my house, had sleepovers, listened to Hanson, swam...and then I moved. At the end of 3rd grade my family moved to North Carolina and we didn't see each other until 7th grade. Cue childhood tears and heartbreak over leaving a new found bff-for-eva! (This was 1997 people, think broken heart friendship necklaces from Limited Too) 
We kept in touch by writing letters to each other, a practice I'm still surprised we did as kids, and talking on the phone. I have a photo locked away of us meeting back up for the first time to see a movie together. Horrible bangs for both of us, just insert ill fitting clothes and we were 12 year old gems!
Whenever my family would visit  Mobile I always made it a point to see Holli. As we got older and were able to drive we made more trips to catch up. By this time my family had made another move to Nashville and by our senior year she expressed her love for music city. In 2009 she made her move to Tennessee. We shared a bed for a couple of months and shared some of the most life changing moments with each other. Tears over cupcakes, first boyfriends, crazy employers; I think you get the picture.
Sadly, by the end of the summer I would be moving away, again, as Adam and I moved to Memphis after our wedding. (Not the wedding or Adam, of course.)
I must add that that girl was nothing short of amazing in helping me plan, laugh and get over wedding drama and jitters. I can't really put into a small blog what that girl means to me. She has been with me through what seems like everything.
We later moved back to the area and were reunited as co-workers. We dredged through cleaning toilets and even vacuuming sheets together.
Last year around this time she had gone through a breakup and  the feelings of, "Will I ever meet the one? When will I be done with this dating crap?" She was heartbroken and darn tired of things not working out. Little did she know she was a couple of months away from meeting her husband. 
As the first week of January was coming to a close, she met Justin. By March they were engaged and as of Saturday night they were married. A whirlwind romance! 
If ever there were a match for Holli, its Justin. He treats her like a queen. He showers her with love and affection she so greatly deserves and had been without for so long. I do approve of her choice, he is an amazing guy!
In Holli I have found a true friend...even after totaling her car. I feel so lucky to know her and to call her my friend. My best friend. In the past year I have seen her blossom into such a beautiful and classy woman. Seeing that she is not one to enjoy being the center of attention, it was so fitting to see her and Justin celebrated. Everyone at the wedding must have felt like it was their best friend up there getting married. That is what is so special about Holli, she treats you as though you are her closest confident.
I love that girl and always will. 
Here's to you Mrs. Laffer!
xoxo bd

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Great Outdoors

It’s that time of year again when I get the itch to go into the mountains. After living in Western North Carolina (near Asheville) for 4 years, my heart had grown to love the scenic surroundings and misses them often.  Since moving we would visit at least once a year to spend time with my grandfather but now he is living with my parents and our “vacation home” is no longer. This is what happens as the leaves change, the air becomes crisp and the days grow colder; I want to be in the mountains.

This morning I pondered the idea of driving back to Asheville for a weekend getaway. I start totaling up the cost of gas, hotel, food, Starbucks of course…and well…it got a little steep. So I figured we may start planning a trip closer to home but in the smoky mountains. We are thinking of camping in Cades Cove; some place serene and beautiful. We don’t own a single camping item so we will have to round up things here and there…if all else fails, I would like to rent a bare bones cabin with a wood burning stove. Think flannel blankets, board games, hot chocolate, warm fire....

If ever there was a time of year for camping, it’s now. Though most might count me out as a rustic gal, I sure do love sleeping under the stars and cooking breakfast over an open fire. {Read: Once in a while}

I hope this is keeping you cozy and possibly fueling a fire to go camping yourself.
Talk to you soon...
xoxo bd

{Photo Credits: This Rustic Life}

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Style Crush: Lauren Conrad

Lets talk Style Crush: Lauren Conrad
I have never done a Style Crush segment but thought Lauren Conrad would be the perfect person to start with.
Ever since her days as LC on Laguna Beach I have had a love affair with her wardrobe and hair. I envied her bold move to LA to intern for Teen Vogue while going to fashion school and living with roommates and staying up late and painting nails and going out and….well let’s just say, when I was younger I wanted to be just like her. I made sure my Tivo was set for every episode of The Hills until its very last episode. 
As I type this I feel slightly stalker-ish but I know most girls my age were the exact same way. We all gossiped about the show over the weekends from Jason to Brody.
 Now as an adult I love to browse Pinterest for her latest outfit and have tried my mightiest to conquer that ever popular cat-eye with my eyeliner.  Did I mention when I walk into Kohl’s I walk to her clothing racks first? Yeah…now I just sound obsessed.  I better move on…

What I’m getting at is no matter my age, be it 14 or 24, I still have a total style crush on Lauren Conrad.
When I saw a tweet at the beginning of the year that her newest book, “Beauty”, would be out in October I got so very excited and couldn’t wait to read it. Lo-and-behold I ordered my very own copy today for a steal at only $14. Thank you Amazon!

Also, next Sunday the newest issue of Allure with Ms. Conrad as the cover girl will be on the stands. Check out that amazing Dior skirt! Christmas, please??

 I hope you have a beautiful and stylish day :) Talk to you soon..
xoxo bd

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sunday Date Day

Holy moly, it is officially the middle of October!  This month is flying by and it feels like Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I would really love to slow things down a bit and enjoy my days more but when you are in a building for 8 hours in a day and the sun begins to go down as you leave, the time only seems to speed up. May I also mention that these weekends feel like a flash in the pan?
We have a weekend routine that begins with dinner at Adam’s parents’ home and ends on Sunday with lunch with my family. We usually take Saturday as our date/errand/cleaning day but this Saturday my brother, sister-in-law Amber and our new niece, Charlotte came for their first visit to the grandparents’ home. My dad grilled out, my mom made a cake and we all took turns holding little Charlotte. She’s a hard one to put down; all you want to do is cuddle with her!  We ooh’d and ahhh’d at everything she did from a simple sneeze to her sleeping. We are in the palm of her teensy hands…wrapped around those precious fingers!
So… being that we spent all of Saturday soaking up sweet family time, we knew by Sunday morning that we needed some “us” time.  Sunday date day it was!
After talking about where to eat for lunch, Adam mentioned a craving for burgers and thus our decision was made, Burger Up!
And here we are...being all..."taking pictures in a restaurant...cause this will go up on a blog later"

Their stance is, the more local, humanely treated and grass fed, the better. Everything from their cheese to their sauces are either homegrown local or freshly made in store. Yep. It’s good stuff.

See what I mean? They even make their own ketchup….those fancy pants people!
I ordered the Turkey Burger with Avocado and the Mr ordered the Woodstock. 

We both became pretty quiet once the plates arrived. I mean, hello warm, juicy burger-ness! But, just in case you woud like to eat there but would rather not eat meat, they have a quinoa and black bean burger, salmon burger and lots of other veggie options. 
You should definitely check them out if you are in the Cool Springs or Nashville area!
The rest of our day was just as nice but flew by way too quickly.
I absolutely love spending time with that man! When our weeks are full of work, house stuff and extra work followed by busy weekends, I cherish what I can get with just the two of us. I’ll end the mushy paragraph here and will sign off for now.
I hope you had a lovely weekend and are having a great start to your week.
Talk to you soon!
Xoxo bd

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Dinnertime: Tried and True Chicken

I hope you enjoy my messy dinnertime photo. I am no food network chef and my space doesn't always look camera ready, so I thought I’d share with you the real world of my kitchen at dinnertime.

Today I wanted to share a recipe that I like to make when I can’t think of much else to prepare; a tried and true, easy-peasy cheap-o meal.
1 lb. Chicken Thighs
3 tablespoons Mrs. Dash seasoning
1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup Red Cooking Wine
1/4 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic 
2 teapoons unsalted butter
3 large pinches of flour

Ready to get started? Here we go!

The chicken was seasoned with 3 tablespoons of Mrs. Dash Tomato and Basil seasoning. If you are watching your salt but love good flavor, she’s the way to go!
In the meantime I sautéed chopped onion and minced garlic in 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil.

Once the onions looked translucent I placed the chicken in the pan with the cooking wine and let simmer.

As a heads up, I am far from precise when it comes to cooking. For me it’s a little here, sprinkle there and taste to just make sure  -all of my measurements are purely guestimations-   yes, guestimations…I made that word up.

It is now time to take the chicken out of the pan to make a roux with the juices and onion-garlic bits that have already been cooked and left in the pan.
A roux {pronounced Roo} is a thickening agent which can be used to thicken soups or sauces. As long as you use your basic ingredients you can make a many different tasty options.  
Key ingredients for a roux: Fat + Flour + Liquid.
Try using one of the following in each category:
Fat: butter,oil, shortening, bacon fat, etc  
Flour: wheat, white or any you prefer 
Liquid: chicken, veggie, or beef stock

As you add in your fat and flour and mix, they will form a paste like consistency. This is when you want to add in your liquid of choice to thin it out and make more of a sauce.
 Though I tend to use stock, in this case I used more of the cooking wine for added flavor. You could obviously use regular wine as well or a milk/cream if you would like it to be extra creamy.
Over medium heat, use a whisk to combine all of the items you just added.  Once the mixture begins to bubble, add the chicken back in to finish cooking.
 I like to do this part before the meat has cooked all of the way through because the chicken will absorb more flavors and stay moist. Turn the burner to low and let simmer for 5 -7 minutes with a lid or cover. 

A few ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your home and about 20 minutes of time, make for a wonderful meal. I served this chicken with mixed vegetables and homemade garlic bread. 
I hope this Thursday finds you well and that you're counting down til the weekend just like me.
I'll talk to you soon....
xoxo bd

Friday, October 5, 2012

Clean Freak

Do you ever have those days when, for some strange reason, you have the urge to conquer the world?  By conquer the world I mean clean your home from top to bottom? Here's where it all got started:
Yesterday while at work I got a call from Adam that he would be working late on a case. The "hrrumph" set in for a minute as I love spending as much time with him as I can but then I realized.... I can clean! 
Not shop. Not watch guilty pleasure shows for 3 hours straight. Not take a bubble bath. 
No...just clean.
What happens in the time between when I get home from work and when he does is that I tend to get a lot of housework done but when he steps in the door I just want to hang out. I guess that's a good thing for the relationship but it tends to leave a load of laundry in the wash overnight. 
Okay so maybe we'll just call that lazy. I call it quality time with the hubs.
So when I had the chance to buckle down, I went for it. My neighbors must have thought I was on drugs for how quickly I was in and out of our house from cleaning our windows to trimming the mums to taking out the trash....ahhh 
Are you bored yet? Yeah...sorry, I'll get started. 
The first task I'll share with you is the refrigerator. It all started with my loading the dishwasher and I thought I'll take some of the tupperware containers out of the fridge and toss them in as well. Dun dun dun...
10. Did you see that number? 10. There were 10 freaking random tupperware containers left in the fridge (probably since about 1993) with everything from moldy strawberries to last weeks pot roast. Yeah, I'll spare you the rest of the stinky details. I decided it was high time to clean out the fridge. 
Once I took the tupperware out I felt like our fridge was empty. For shame on me. 

You see that nastiness? I'm not sure what it was to be honest. That bottom area is where we keep the fruits and veggies so it's not from raw meat or juice. Gross, right?
Sort of looks like an upside down Florida, doesn't it? That's besides the point...
Time to lay thine crap on the counter. That was only half of it by the way.
See that spray? That's parsley plus and it is my absolute favorite cleaner. Whether you are into being "green" or just like a more friendly smelling spray, this is the best in my book.
You can purchase it HERE.
 Hello pretty! Oh, did you notice the zombie sun drop? 
Still a bunch of condiments in the door but much more organized.

I'm sure you enjoyed your time touring the underworld of where we keep our food but it has been a while since I talked about my weird love of cleaning.

I  have a long weekend ahead of me which I am oh-so grateful for!
Thank goodness it's friday :)
I'll talk to you soon....
xoxo bd

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Date Night: Fall Edition

If I were to give advice to anyone that is married or in a relationship in general, would be to do your best to get to know your partner and encourage what they love. If you can have any part, big or small, in their interests then take part! But believe me, I’m no saint, I’m still working on that whole golf thing my husband loves.
If you can’t already tell, I am a huge fan of fall and Adam is as well. We spoke with each other for the first time on Halloween night and truly met for the first time in November. It’s just our happy season…literally and figuratively.
I have had a plan for a while to have a full on date night full of goodies, our favorite Halloween movie, cozy blankets and warm candles. When October 1st arrived, I knew my plan was ready to fall in place. Operation fall date night surprise was going to be in full effect. 

I purchased beans and filled vases that had candles in them throughout

With an assortment of out favorite movie candy, bowls of chili and get this, Zombie Sun Drop, we had a pretty great date night in watching Hocus Pocus. If you were a 90's kid, I'm sure you understand our fascination with fall and Hocus Pocus...they just go hand in hand.

I hope you have a great start to October like we had.
I'll talk to you soon...xoxo bd

Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy October

Happy October!
It has been a few days since I've posted and lots of things have happened in my personal life from babies being born to family members being rushed to the emergency room. You never know what life will throw at you but I'm trying my best to go with the flow and not stress over things. Can we do an extended weekend? I could really use some extra sleep and my laundry basket is overflowing. Literally.
Oh I will share a couple of photos soon of my new niece who was born on Thursday. We spent all afternoon and evening yesterday with my family {and baby Norah} and it was wonderful! Anyway I just wanted to stop in and say hello. 
Tonight I have a fun at home date planned for me and the hubs which I will share in the next couple of days!
I hope you have a great start to your work week, I'll talk to you soon!
xoxo bd 

{Photo Credit: Original photo of pumpkins, Unknown. Overlays and wording, Betsy Davis}