So I have been MIA lately! The past 6 months have been SUPER busy for us. We had our first year anniversary in October and celebrated by visiting Chicago. I have to say that if it wasn't for their terrible winters, I would move in a heartbeat. It is such an interesting city. Matt and I only stayed for 3 nights but that was plenty - we wore ourselves out! We did all the touristy things like Art Institute Museum, John Hancock Building, Wrigley field (just visited), Architectural Boat Tour (my fav), the Skydeck, and of course Gino's pizza which was AMAZING!!! Its crazy how good it was. We had a "fancy" steak dinner (because we heard the steak up there is to die for) and it was simply not true - we should have gone to Gino's twice! We also found this busy local Italian spot that was worth the two hour wait - best Sangria ever!
The infamous BEAN
View from our hotel, The Westin
Wrigley Field BEST pizza! Architectural Boat Tour (a must if you visit!)My favorite painting of all time
After having a spring of bad luck (I was laid off due to this economy situation) I finally got a job!!! I have been unemployed for 7 months so I am totally grateful to wake up with a purpose. During this time off I took 2 summer school classes and applied to 3 nursing schools in the CLT area. I have gotten in to 2 of them and am waiting on the third. It is ironic because this all pretty much happened the same day. It is funny how things have a way of working out. Being unemployed has been the toughest couple of months of my life. People just assume that you can enjoy all this "free" time you have...except you can't....you really can't. I am blessed that my amazing hubby has been so supporitive. So, I will be working and when January rolls around if I like my job still I will just keep at it, and if not then I will start classes. For now I am thoroughly enjoying a paycheck :)!
I am a lonnnng way from becoming a mommy but for some reason don't understand working mothers. I have been working as a part time nanny for most of the summer for a terrific family. They have two kids ages 6 & 7 who attend camps of all sorts in the mornings and I pick them up and entertain them until their parents get off work. I feel like their parents are missing out on all their little victories and accomplishments such as being able to touch the bottom of the deep end pool or their first front flip into the pool. Things that get any child excited about. Granted, they have it pretty good in the fact that they aren't in daycare which I have never comprehended. Why would any mother have a child and then send them off to daycare and miss their first step??? I will never get this. Perhaps to make money? Well buy a smaller house and eat in more. Why even have children if you can't take care of them. I think it is pretty selfish on the parents EXCEPT of course single parents since they have no other option but to utilize daycare. I am talking about 2 parent families. Children whose mothers are their for them are going to be exposed to way more and I think have more friends since their mom can shuffle them to and from play dates. Perhaps Matt and I are biast on this since our mom's were always home when we needed them. I hope when my time comes to be a mother I can stay home and follow what I believe. We will see!
Prom 2002 - I know, I know, what the hell was I thinking with my dress??!!! No you don't have to do a double take - I have on a two piece prom dress....ick. And my hair!! Sheesh!
Freshman Year of College @ a Winthrop party
First Week Junior Year. Got to love Myrtle Beach!
Sadie Hawkins - February 2001 (WTF is up with my hair - but I thought I looked goooood at that moment)
Wow! That was a blast from the past. I have like a hundred photos but these are REALLY old. I mean these are all before I owned a digital camera. Eight years has really flown by and I can't believe our year of marriage will be here before you know it!
I just love Dr. Oz! He is always full of information and makes things easy to understand. He was on Oprah this week to talk about Beauty which I though was very informative. I have been buying nightly wrinkle creams (and I know I am only 25) since high school. I had no idea that there are certain things to look for in each cream. Basically if it doesn't contain vitamins A, C, and E then you are WASTING your money! (Vitamin A comes in retinyl or retinoic acid or retin.) He also said that vitamin A reverses the signs of aging. He also recommends exfoliating your skin which is a no brainer but I guess some people don't do that.
Now if I only I could figure out why he feels the need to wear scrubs on Oprah? I mean is he going to jump into surgery any second??
These are my two favorite pictures from my big sister's bridal. She is stunning and looks so timeless - love it! Her photographer, Olivia Griffin, was amazing the day of her wedding too. When her wedding pics are ready I will post my favorites!
I have a love/ hate relationship with running. I love to do it and how you feel so acomplished after BUT I hate how it makes my body physique so muscular. I have activley been running for 7 years. My Dad has been a big influence on this since he has been running since I was alive. I remember as a kid riding my bike as my Dad ran next to me. He amazes me how early he will get up to do this and not to mention he puts in more weekly miles than I ever have. He loves to run in new areas - like if he is visiting somewhere, he uses running as a device to explore. I am way more technical at it. I use www.mapmyrun.com to track my runs. I like to know how far and my split. So far I have done 2 half marathons and my Dad has done 3 (I was getting engaged the weekend of this 3rd one). Out of the two we have done together, he won the first and I beat him on the second. We have talked about running a full marathon. Its a nice thought but if I am going to do a marathon it has to be completed under 4 hours - I would stive for 3 hrs and 45 min. I refuse to run this if I know I really can't do it and complete it in 5 hours - I may as well walk it. Do it right or don't do it at all. The other problem is that these distance runs make my legs super thick and I hate that. So we will see what the future holds. For now, I have been enjoying shorter runs with my husband. :)
One of the best things about summer is grilling out. Matt and I grill out almost 4 nights a week - its just so convenient! I have to say that I just love BBQ chicken and our FAVORITE BBQ sauce is Uncle Pete's. It is headquartered in Simpsonville, SC (our hometown) and is just the perfect balance of flavor - not too sweet, not too spicy. It is now available for order it online.
Friday night was such a blast with the girls! We had Thai dinner at Lemongrass and then drinks at Lazy Goat and dancing at 221. We ended up staying up till 4am just chatting and eating - what a good night!
Saturday morning Amanda held a "Thank You" brunch for everyone who has helped with her big day. This is the first time I have heard this and it was just the sweetest idea. She held it at the Piedmont Club in Spartanburg and we feasted on their AMAZING brunch! So excited her big day is 3 weeks away!
With wedding season here, and my sister's wedding only weeks away, I couldn't help but think of my own wedding, as well as my parents. I even watched my ceremony DVD last night....I know pathetic but I just LOVE weddings! Below are pictures of my parents on their big day. Doesn't it just scream 70's! They look so happy!
My Mom's veil has this beautiful handmade lace. It is so unique and so my big sis will be wearing it . I love that she is wearing it because veil's are not made like this anymore. Trust me, I had to meet with a veil designer for mine and her and my mom were going on and on about this thing! And yes, when you get married you have a veil designer. I thought is was ridiculous too but this lady really knew what she was talking about and there are about 1,000 options when it comes to your veil.
I also am curious when did reception departure outfits fade out? She looks so happy in her little suit and corsage.
This past Thursday a group of us attended the Kings of Leon concert in Charlotte. Hillary went to the one in Boston and said that they don't play long and boy was she correct. Even though it was a short concert we still had a excellent time!
Casey and me at the concert.
Scott, Jonathan, Casey, Nick, and Matt after the concert.
He soo wanted to ride a bull that night! Hilarious!
I am so excited to be heading home this weekend, not only for Mother's Day and wedding related activities for my bride-to-be sister, but I get to hang out with some of my home town girlfriends. We have all been friends since high school. Here are some pictures of last time I went home in February.
Lauren, Caroline, Jclo, and me.
JClo is moving to Vermont for the summer so this will be a fun visit before she leaves! So excited!
My girlfriend Hillary and I are always talking about food. Mostly about how to make it healthier because we are both the kind of girls who are going to eat sweets regardless, but if we can shave off some calories then hallelujah! Well Hillary has been talking about this book for weeks now - Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious - and I finally decided to try it. I made her Peanut Butter Banana Muffins and they were AMAZING! I just went out and bought the book because these were such a success. They make 12 large muffins and are 178 calories each.
nonstick cooking spray 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar 1/2 cup natural-style peanut butter 1/2 cup pureed carrot or pureed cauliflower (I used carrot) 1/2 cup mashed banana 1 large egg white 1 cup whole wheat flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray muffin tins with nonstick spray. 2. Combine 1/2 cup brown sugar, peanut butter, vegetable puree, banana, and egg in a large mixing bowl. Jessica says use a large wooden spoon. 3. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. I'd put it in bowl and combine with a whisk, but Jessica suggests putting them in a ziplock bag and shake. 4. Fold the dry mix into the wet mix and combine until just lumpy. Don't over mix, these are muffins. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar and stir once or twice. Jessica says this puts a crust on the top of the muffins. 5. Divide the batter between the muffins. Cook until lightly brown and a toothpick comes out clean. 15 to 20 minutes. 6. Store at room temp for up to two days, or freeze for up to a month.