Monday, August 31, 2015

Weekending {8/31}

Let's all have a moment of silence for the month of August. I cannot believe that it is leaving us. Here in Atlanta, it will stay in the 80s for a while, but it just doesn't feel like summer once August is over.

My Friday started with a busy day at home. I blogged about my schedule this year, which allows me to spend Fridays off, and then I hit the road for a million errands, including returns and a trip to Target.

When AR got home, we went to downtown Decatur for the evening. For those outside of Atlanta, Decatur is a community five miles east of Atlanta, and it has a beautiful downtown with some excellent restaurants. We ate dinner at Chai Pani, an Indian street food place.

After dinner, we walked around for a few hours (and made a stop at the frozen yogurt shop!) before coming home.

I started Saturday with a workout class at West Coast Workouts. Have you tried this? I went last weekend also and it is great! The classes focus on full body movements, rather than isolating muscles. On Saturday I felt like we jumped around holding weights for an hour and I am so sore now.

Saturday afternoon we MET TRISHA YEARWOOD! If you are a country music fan, you know how amazing this was. I grabbed tickets to meet Trisha and receive a signed cookbook from her at the new Williams-Sonoma at Pone City Market.

Sadly, we had to wait in line for over 3 hours. Which gave me time to admire all the gorgeous things inside Williams-Sonoma. And time to sample all their pumpkin treats.

But it was worth it!

We went grocery shopping and made some of Trisha's "unbaked chicken' for dinner, which was excellent.

Sunday was a day of rest, laundry, and studying. Oh, and finishing the Real Housewives of NY finale. #don'tbeuncool #okayscarlettohara


Which author or celebrity would you wait in a 3+ hour line for?
New favorite workout? 

Linking up with Biana & Meghan

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday {8/28}

Let's chat, shall we? I'm sitting here drinking my coffee, trying to summarize the millions of things racing around my mind in 5 on Friday.

So lets just chat.

1. My schedule is a mess.
This is supposed to me my third year of law school. It is supposed to be relaxed and it feels like a train wreck. For example, yesterday I left for class at 7:45am, went to a class, taught a class, ran to work, spent 5 hours straight in meetings (no lunch for me), worked at my desk for a hot second, then raced back to school for another class and a meeting until 11pm. Whew.
Obviously I ate cereal for dinner. At midnight.

The positive? I don't work or go to school on Fridays, which is wonderful. I'm just not convinced that the craziness of the rest of the week is worth the Friday off.

2. Wedding snaps.
AR & I said "I do" two weeks ago! Ahh! Friends have been sending us cellphone snaps from the wedding and it is so much fun. Below are some of my favorites:
right before we were introduced at Mr. & Mrs. Roberts!

Post-wedding walk to grab a night cap. 

law school besties 
3. Unplugging
AR and I completely unplugged the wedding day, and the 6 days after. It was incredible. To be honest, I felt a little anxious the first day because I am so used to checking my instagram feed and emails. By day 3, it felt amazing! We were able to totally focus on being together and being in the moment, rather than running for texts and calls.

Below are two of my favorite memories of unplugging in Charleston:
Long bike ride on the beach. In the rain. And we loved every minute.

Late night s'mores. This was so much fun.
The challenge now? Figuring our how we can unplug more in our everyday life! If you have ideas, please share!

4. Food I'm loving
We made this crock pot dinner this week and it was so yummy with brown rice and roasted vegetables.
I read these guidelines on making a frittata and it turned our great! AR, who hates quiche, loved it. I filled it with a cubed baked potato, bell peppers, green chilies, and cheddar cheese.
This week I want to try these chicken burgers!

5. This weekend
I'm baking bread and meeting a friend for a walk in the park this afternoon.
Tomorrow I am SO excited to meet Trisha Yearwood at the grand opening of William-Sonoma at Ponce City Market (AR says I am not allowed to sign for her lol). I am hoping to convince AR to take me to brunch before hand.
Saturday night we are heading to the movies, which we never do. Any recommendations on what to see or not to see?

How do you unplug during the week or weekend?
What are you doing this weekend?


Linking up with

April & the Five on Friday girls 

The Farmer's Wife for some Oh Hey Friday! 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Southern Classics: Grits

I am obsessed with classic southern foods. Well, sort-of. I don't eat pork or red meat, so I actually don't eat many southern-classics. But other than that, I am a fan: shrimp & grits; collard greens; homemade chocolate cake; pimento cheese; grits.

Oh grits. I didn't know the glory of grits until I moved to Texas in 2011. AR introduced me to grits at a small little breakfast joint in Houston. Having previously only enjoyed sweet porridges, salty, buttery, savory grits was not what I expected. And I loved it.

Then, when I visted AR's mother in Louisiana, I realized that every self-respecting southern woman makes grits. Of course I had to learn. I turned to the one southern recipe source that I know: Paula Dean. Her recipe calls for milk and water, which is not how AR's mom cooks them. I tried following her recipe once, but the grits got lumpy because the milk thickened so fast.

Then I switched to using all water, like A's mom does. These were good, but not as creamy as I like. So the struggle continued. Finally, 4 years later, I am a grits pro.

I use old fashion grits and milk. Milk makes the grits extra creamy, and the old fashion grits cook slow enough to prevent any lumps from forming. Be patient and take your time with these beauties. The longer you let them cook, the creamier they will turn out.

Serve your grits with butter, salt, pepper, and cheddar cheese. Go big and add a little garlic or a spoon full of pimento cheese, goat cheese, or crumbled bacon. If you are feeling really crazy, top them with an over-easy egg or roasted mushrooms. The possibilities are endless.

serves 3

1 1/2 c. water
2 c. milk  - 2% or whole is best
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. old fashion white corn grits
1 T. butter
1/4 t. pepper

In a medium sauce pan, bring water, milk, and salt to a gentle boil. Turn the heat down to low and slowly stir in the grits. Continue to stir for several minutes to fully incorporate and prevent any sticking (I like to stir with a rubber spatula). Cover and cook on low for 20-30 minutes, stirring often. The grits are done when they have a creamy consistency and the liquid is fully absorbed. If necessary, add more liquid. Stir in the butter and pepper; serve.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Meet the Mrs.

I am back! And married! 

The last three weeks have been a complete whirl-wind as AR and I celebrated with friends and family. Our guests began arriving for the wedding the Tuesday before, so we had an entire week of celebrations. 

mother-daughter moment before the wedding.

The wedding went off without a hitch. I cannot say enough wonderful things about my amazing bridesmaids, friends, and family. And don't get me started on my EXCELLENT wedding coordinator who completely made the day. I'll blog more about our vendors later, share photos, and provide tips for any future brides. 

For now, I am searching for our ring boxes (which I think the best man lost) and our cake topper (no idea where it went)

This weekend AR and I tackled thank you notes and wedding presents. We sorted everything, cleaned all the new dishes and cooking tools, and organized the kitchen. It was a six hour project, but our kitchen looks beautiful and I love our new Pottery Barn dishes. I've made a list of recipes to try on the new stand-up mixes (hello ice cream making attachment!). 

Slowly but surely our home is getting back in order. I am back at school, AR is back to work. We are thrilled to be back in a routine, even if that just means weekend trips to Whole Foods and the farmers market. 

How long did it take you to finish post-wedding thank you notes?
Have you busted out any fall clothes now that school is back in session?


Friday, August 7, 2015

Fri-yay {8/7}

Friday. Yay.

- Today's my Mom's birthday. Happy Birthday Mom!

- AR and I's wedding is in 7 days. SEVEN! Yesterday we did our final counseling session with the pastor and I got a little teary listening to AR talk about our future. He is the best.

- I've been going non-stop all week, so yesterday afternoon I decided to take a t.v. break. I set down to watch DCC: Making the Team (this show is everything)....and the power went out. So I promptly went to bed and napped for an hour before yoga.

- At yoga last night, I did my first head stand!!! Ahhh!!! My yoga instructor is amazing and I've had so many "firsts" in her class. She is really good about correcting form. I love how relaxed her classes are :) Check her out at Wide Angle Yoga.

- Hives: Did I blog about breaking out in hives? I've been covered in hives on and off for like three weeks. My dermatologist thinks it is stress. But just in case, I am avoiding chocolate, dairy, citrus, tomatoes, and TEA. It is so terrible. I thought the chocolate part would be the worst, but really it is the tea. All I want is a cup of tea :(

- We picked up our marriage license on Monday. Eeeek!

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

WIAW: Eating Out {7/15}

Hey all! It is What I Ate Wednesday. Rather than share all my meal's for the day, I am sharing a snapshot of several meals from last week. 

I started a new job this summer, and all we do is eat out it seems. We take coffee trips to the bakery. We go out to lunch. We go out for happy hour. We go to dinner. It is a lot of restaurant food, which can mean large portions, high calories, and lots of fat.

But it doesn't have to mean that! Here are some of my tips for eating out healthy - from meals this week!

1. Think fiber and veggies, not calories. 
This week, we went to Bartaco for lunch. While it was easy to be overwhelmed by the fried fish tacos, chips, queso, and guacamole, I took a step back. I focused on getting veggie servings and chose a portobello mushroom bowl (which I cannot wait to recreate at home!)

This had brown rice, roasted peppers, and portobello mushrooms. It was SO yummy and so filling. I had half a fish taco and some guacamole too.

2. Walk away from the bakery case.
I LOVE cookies/pastries/etc. But the pastry habit can become addictive before you know it. I love an afternoon trip to the coffee shop, but I select a plain almond milk latte/ cafe au lait instead of a sugary drink. And I say no to the bakery case :)

3. Don't feel glued to salads. 
Salads are great, but ordering a salad for every meal is sad after a while. And some restaurant salads are not healthy (limp lettuce with cheese, croutons, fried chicken, and dressing? Not the best). This week at lunch, I ordered a side of steam broccoli, a side of braised collards, and a small soup. I got more nutrition from my veggie sides than I would have from the salad. Don't feel glued to the salad.

4. Seek balance with your other meals. 
I knew I had a lunch and dinner out on Monday, so I grabbed a protein shake in the morning. Vega or Nutrition 53 are both great options. I add in extra veggies and fruit, for a filling and nutrition-rich breakfast.

Balance your meal choices for the day. If you are going Italian for lunch, think low-carb for breakfast. If you are having pizza for dinner (like we did!), stock up on lunch veggies.

Do you pack lunch at work, or go out?
What kinds of things do you always look for on menus?


Monday, August 3, 2015

Weekending {8/3}

It is Monday. And I am not at work. I am off for two whole weeks before the wedding. *hallelujah*

So excited to finally link up with Biana and Meghan to share my weekend! Its been a bit since I regularly participated, so I am happy to be back.

Friday was my last full day of work. I was crazy/busy the last two weeks. I spent one week working from Chicago, and another weekend sitting in my office. But I got everything off my desk and done!

The bluebook = lawyer's rulebook
I left work early after saying good-byes and headed to the nail salon for some mani-pedi time. AR was working late, so I knew I have a couple hours. FYI, there is no line at the salon at 5pm on a Friday.

Saturday we woke up for an 8 mile run. I've had some rough runs lately... with wedding planning stress, Atlanta heat and humidity, and less cardio during the week (I've become a strength training queen), my runs have been tough. But the weather was beautiful and we enjoyed 8 sweaty miles together.

I showered quickly and went to what I thought was my last fitting. My sweet bridesmaid and bestie went with me to learn to bustle the gown and hold my hand. Seriously, so lucky to have this lady with me through this process. Sadly, this was not my last dress fitting. I had lost a bit of weight, so I needed the waist taken in some more and I wanted to make a change to the top. Thankfully, my alterations lady is incredible and so accommodating. If you are planning a wedding near Atlanta, let me give you her information!

That afternoon, we did AR's final tux fitting (he looks sooooo good. But I might be bias ;)). Then we headed off to Cirque du Soleil! We had tickets to their new production, Varekai. To be honest, I am not so sure AR loved it. The talent was incredible but he felt he needed more of a story line. We followed the show with dinner at Gypsy Kitchen and coffees at Corso in the streets of Buckhead.

Sunday was church, brunch, and lots of errands. AR's groomsmen gifts are complete and mine are just waiting on a few things to arrive in the mail!

Are you a post-dinner dessert or coffee person?
Have you been to Cirque du Soleil? Thoughts?