Sunday, October 23, 2011

3 Weeks To Go!

Hello! Happy Sunday! Andrew and I are currently watching football and relaxing. We had a busy morning finishing up some wedding stuff and getting the rest of Andrew's groom attire ordered. It is still quite chilly, so we are bundled up and enjoying an array of hot drinks. See!

That's my new hat Andrew is sporting. We went to the Concord Mills Mall yesterday, so that Andrew could check out some jean options for the wedding. The mall just so happen to have THE best Burlington Coat Factory, EVER. So I scooped up a cool new winter hat. Although, Andrew may end up wearing it more than me.

I have also been creating some handmade cards. We had a lot of left over card stock from our wedding invitation supply that I have been using for various art projects. Here are some of my finished little cards:

Oh! I have also started making my Mermaid, Queen of the Sea costume. Next weekend I will be attending the Mann's Annual Halloween Bash with my parents and this year's theme is "Kings & Queens". I already knew that I wanted to go as Queen of the Sea and it just so happened that my dear friend, Dawn, sent me this link outta the blue. It's fate!

This is the finished mermaid make-up tutorial product:

When we went to Salisbury last weekend I found some awesome green, stretch material in one of the second hand stores. I am going to use it in combination with other sea foam green material I already had, some burlap-ish material, and part of my sea shell collection. I can't wait! My tail is starting to come together:

Doesn't the pattern on the material kind of resemble scales? I am so happy I stumbled upon this material last weekend. I will keep posting photos as I work on the overall look. I can't wait to create my mermaid face!


Thursday, October 20, 2011


Brrrr. That is the word of the day. Last night a huge cold front blew in and it was the real kind, not the kind that periodically comes through Texas. It dropped below 40 degrees in .2 seconds. This morning not much had changed, so I threw on my ear warmer and a sweater and got to work. I decided to once again make the soup that made me famous. You know the one...corn, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, jalapenos, etc... all in a delicious creamy broth. The only difference is that this time I made a whole lot. Aaaaand once again it was delicious! Seriously my favorite soup, ever. Andrew has a half day on Thursdays, so he was super pumped to come home to a giant bowl of magic soup. Then, to really rule the day, I decided to make hot chocolate from scratch. That's right - no packets, no squeeze bottle of Hershey's, I am talking about legit Hot Cocoa. One might ask, how on earth were you able to accomplish this? Enter my Great Auntie Jane. Not only is the woman the best Great Auntie ever, she is also the best gift giver. She sent Andrew and I the most amazing array of spices and seasonings from around the world. And to top it off, they came in the most amazing raw wooden box. It's like the Narnia of spice boxes! The box is also the "wedding selection", meaning it came with special spices that specifically signify the tradition of marriage. For instance, a whole nutmeg, a star anise, and whole rosemary. Take a look and be jealous:

Uhhh, can you tell I have been using the cocoa...? I have been looking up recipes designed around the spices in the box. There are some really unique flavors and I cannot wait to delve a little deeper.

Now, back to the Hot Cocoa. First I tossed a couple of tablespoons of cocoa, water, and sugar into the saucepan. I kept the temp super low and stirred it until it turned into a delicious chocolate goo. I also added a splash of my new vanilla extract. Then I added a few cups up almond milk and a couple of shakes of cinnamon and continued stirring on a low temp until it was all blended and hot. Take a look at the finished product! YUM!

Needless to say, today was a success in the world of all things delicious. Tomorrow I am going to make a butternut squash, apple, and pear soup. Stay tuned!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunshine is Delicious

The weather has been beautiful. On Saturday Andrew and I ventured out into the sunshine and traveled to Salisbury, NC to check out some of the various stores. We went in search of some thrifty finds, unfortunately, Salisbury is a lot of talk and no action. They claim to have some of the best shopping in North Carolina, but I am going to give them a big ol' SIKE. The goods were average and the prices were high. Lame-O. We still managed to find a few items to bring home (one of the consignment stores had some awesome/cheap fabric to offer) however, I think I will stick to the antique stores in Concord and Albemarle for my treasure hunts.
Here are a few of the items that made the trip home with us:

I found the awesome 70's inspired throw at the last consignment store we visited and couldn't resist for $2. I also found some white material that I am going to use to make the furniture suitcase chair and some stretch/lace/aqua/green material to make my mermaid tail for Halloween. All in all I walked away with everything for around $6. The awesome 70's inspired boho velvet bag I found in another random store earlier in the day. I couldn't resist the color and material combo. Andrew brought to my attention that the purse I carried that very day was made out of the same material. The small purse I carried inside that bag (to serve as my wallet) was also made out of the same material. Andrew's response, "you are like a Russian nesting doll of velvet bags" and I realize this now. Ah well. I have cool velvet-esq bags, shoot me.

On another note, did I mention how beautiful the weather has been? I am currently sitting on the floor, with the doors open. Check out the scenery:

I can't wait to get out there and run later. The leaves are changing and I have witnessed some of the most powerful shades of red. I will try to remember to stop and take a picture later and post them in my next entry.

Go and enjoy the day!


Monday, October 10, 2011

The Soup Whisperer

Hey! Guess what?! I have been cooking good meals! Like, really good meals. I know, I know, it sounds crazy, right? But listen, I think I just needed to find my niche, and boy have I! I am good at making soup. There I said it.

This all started awhile ago when I spotted the most delicious looking corn soup on one of my favorite blogs:

The author specializes in healthy alternatives to some of the most popular dishes and this one caught my eye, because I LOVE CORN. LOVE IT. SO MUCH.

Yesterday Andrew and I were enjoying a day of relaxation and I decided to give it a go. I tweaked the recipe just a little, by adding some sweet potatoes and using jalapenos for my choice of pepper. I also added some brown sugar at the end. And let me tell ya...this was the best dinner I have ever made. Even Andrew said so. The sweetness of the corn mixed with the spice from the jalapenos was magical. All the other veggies were delicious as well and each bite was a burst of fresh, warm, hearty, goodness. And in true soup fashion, it was even better re-heated today. Success! I successfully cooked something other than scrambled eggs! I am like a grown ass woman. Here is a picture of my finished product:

Naturally, after creating a masterpiece, I was jonesin' for another go around. So, tonight I researched and found a soup calling for sweet potatoes and pears. Yum! I even added my own additional ingredients, since last night pumped up my impromptu skills. The original recipe included sweet potatoes, onions, and pears, Cinnamon, salt, and pepper. I also threw in 2 small jalapenos and brown sugar. The best decision I made, however, came after I had been cooking the soup for awhile. I still had a pear left over that I wanted to use, so I googled "brown sugar pears" and found a perfect idea. I basically mixed butter, brown sugar, and some more Cinnamon in a glass until it turned into a syrup type consistency. Then I peeled and cut the pear into large pieces. I threw those into a baking pan and drizzled the "sauce" on top. After baking at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, the pears looked amazing! I then tossed a pear on top after serving the soup. Here is the finished product:

I am kind of a bad-ass! All kidding aside, I am actually really thrilled to have found something I am good at in the kitchen. I love making soup and I can't wait to see what kind of soup adventures I encounter! You can find the original recipe for the sweet potato and pear soup here:

It was a little bland for my taste as is, which is why I added some jalapenos. It's a pretty simple base, so I am sure you could play around with even more ingredients.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Happy Hump Day

Hello, Hello on this lovely Wednesday. I decided to include some more pictures of the house in this post, since some of my favorite nooks/walls have really started to come together. I also love nothing more than re-purposing something I already own...which happened last night! Andrew brought home some flowers for me on Monday night and I realized that we don't have a vase (we ended up putting the flowers in Andrew's Aggie pitcher for the time being). Thankfully I soon I discovered my new favorite place to put flowers. Ever.

This is actually one of many lanterns like this that I own and most of them are intended to be used at the wedding. I brought this one with me to North Carolina though, since the metal does not actually let light shine through. It still looks really cool hanging up and I though I would just leave it at that. However, upon further examination (and reluctance to leave my beautiful flowers in an Aggie beer pitcher) I realized that this would make a really beautiful hanging vase. And Voila! It holds a good amount of water and everything! I love how it turned out.

Our Art Wall in the living room is also coming along nicely and we can't wait to add some more interesting prints, paintings, and objects. And just FYI, we added some really awesome art from Etsy onto our registry! Check out how it's coming along.

I think one of my favorite spots in the house is the little reading nook we created. We put shelves up using pieces of wood we found out behind our barn and a few supplies we picked up from Home Depot.

Aaand finally, we added some more decoration to our bathroom. Even though it is small, it's starting to feel a lot more peaceful and comfortable with the addition of another mirror and some art.

Those are all of the house updates I have for you today!

On another note, I am craving corn like crazy. There are few things I love more in this world than corn on the cob. With that being said, here is an awesome recipe that I found for a healthy version of corn chowder. I am going to try it out this weekend!


1 small onion, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, diced
8 sprigs thyme
salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cups veggie stock
2 ears yellow corn, kernels removed
5 ounces small fingerling potatoes, chopped
1 small chili, chopped (use bell pepper if you don’t like the heat)
1/2 cup coconut cream (half/half will also work)
2 tbs olive oil


1) add onions, celery, thyme, and salt and pepper to stockpot; cook over medium-low heat until translucent, about 8 minutes. add stock and bring to a boil.
2) reduce heat to medium and add corn, potatoes, and chile; cook until potatoes are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. remove and discard thyme. add coconut creamer, and simmer until soup is hot.

Yum! I will let you know how it goes! xoxo

Saturday, October 1, 2011

"Man's Heart Away From Nature Becomes Hard"

Today was the best day. Andrew and I ventured to Morrow Mountain State Park outside of Albemarle to hike and scope out the surrounding lakes and rivers. It is definitely one of the most beautiful state parks I have ever visited. The park road leads up the mountain, winding and winding, surrounding you with vivid scenes of raw nature. When you are finally spit out at the top, you're overlooking a valley of wonder. Andrew and I enjoyed a little lunch before we hit the trails and took a moment to enjoy the view. Once we started out on our hike we were quickly led into an amazing forest consisting of all different types of trees and growth. Some of the trees appeared to be young and blossoming, while others looked filled with ancient history. I especially loved how all the trees seemed to be perfectly spaced out. It looked like a illustration. After we finished our hike we got back in the car and drove down to the waterfront and fishing areas. This is when we stumbled upon the most enchanting forest I have ever seen. It looked like something out of a magical storybook. I swear I was waiting for a forest nymph/hobbit/faun to appear in the path. Words cannot describe how green and alive everything looked. There were also the most interesting vines growing around the trees and covering the path. I wanted to live there forever.

After we left the enchanted forest we headed back towards Albemarle and found a flea market called "One Man's Junk..." taking place near town. Of course I made Andrew pull over "just to look" :) What can I say, Round Top is happening this weekend and I was feeling a little left out. Needless to say, this flea market was AWESOME! Inside the building they had a booth system set up and I think most of that stuff stays there all the time. Outside, however, is where the magic was taking place. There was more of a yard sale vibe happening and the prices were ridiculous. A gold ornate mirror immediately caught my eye, since I have been wanting one to hang in our newly painted bathroom. Our bathroom is quite small, so I thought a really cool decorative mirror (in addition to the regular one) would open up the space a bit. Well, I found the perfect addition. I asked the guy next to the mirror how much he wanted and he said "uugghhh like 5 bucks?" I'll take it! Woohoo. The same guy also had an amazing collection of vintage luggage, i.e. YUM. I have also been keeping my eye out for the perfect vintage suitcase to turn into a little chair for my vanity. He sold it to me for $3! Heaven! Here are some pics of the mirror, the suitcase, and a finished suitcase chair:

Like I said, it was the best day! xoxo