Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Rainy Wedding Day: The Bride

I never understood the appeal of bridal portraits. Why do you need a zillion photos of yourself? That's pretty self absorbed...


...now i totally get it. It is kind of fun to have a ton of gorgeous photos of yourself to choose from to share on your blog, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, etc. I even updated my photo on LinkedIn with a bridal shot!

(My dress had pockets... aren't you jealous?)

I bought my wedding dress less than 2 weeks before my wedding. I settled on a vintage looking crocheted dress from Macy's and I am so, so happy with my choice! It looks bridal, but not too over the top for our tiny wedding, it was flattering, it was comfortable, and it looks awesome in the photographs!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

RECIPE: Creamy Chicken Pockets

Cream cheese, chicken and crescent rolls... mmm. Need I say more? Okay, I will. These little guys are perfect: crispy on the outside and warm and gooey on the inside. They're great served alongside a good salad.


CREAMY CHICKEN POCKETS (serves 3-4)
2 T olive oil
2-3 small chicken breasts, cooked & shredded (I used 2)
1/2 c minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1/4 t seasoning salt
2 T butter, divided
3 oz cream cheese, softened
2 T milk
2 pkg refrigerated crescent rolls
1/4 c Italian style breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken, onion, and garlic. Cook until onion is tender. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and 1 T melted butter until smooth. Add chicken mixture. Add salts, pepper, and milk. Mix well.

(Note: I could eat it straight out of the bowl as it is at this point. YUM!)

Separate crescent rolls, pressing two together at a time to create a rectangle. Place a large spoonful of the mixture in the center of each one and fold the corners up to seal completely. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush tops with 1 T melted butter and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake for 11-13 minutes, until golden brown.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Week(end)

Week(end) is my idea to recap my weeks. I had this idea months ago and as you can see, this is the first time I've actually gotten around to posting it. We'll see how often it continues to pop up.

Last week, I started my summer internship at Market America. I'm in the product management department and already have lots of fun projects to work on. Interns are given our own cubicles, which desperately need sprucing. I brought a few items from home but still need to add some more.


1. Dogwood flowers in a mason jar
2. Pic of my hubby
3. Little birdie clips (to hold business cards, photos, post its, etc)
4. Cute post its (in this case... tiny pink & blue bicycle post its from Target)
5. Ok, this one is hidden on the other side of the cubicle... a CANDY JAR to attract visitors :)

I didn't have to work on Friday and yesterday was a holiday, so I enjoyed a FOUR day weekend. Can't complain about that! I spent a lot of time working on this 'lil blog! I am excited to say that I am now sponsoring Through the Eyes of the Mrs., Adventures of Newlyweds, Wake Up, Lovely, and Elise's Pieces for the month of June.

(My ad, as featured on Through the Eyes of the Mrs.)

I also visited the local animal shelter on two separate occasions. I totally have puppy AND kitty fever again. They are all so cute! On my second trip, someone asked me if I was a volunteer. I must look pretty legit.

The dog in the last 3 photos was my favorite... an almost 3 year old pomeranian mix who was always happy and had her tongue sticking out. I hope that somebody sweet adopts her soon.

The long weekend also called for a trip to the pool and heat-appropriate snacks. A slushy from the gas station down the road sufficed. I mixed peachy berry and lemonade flavors.


I was also intrigued by the Lilly Pulitzer special edition animal crackers I found. I'll be honest... I bought them just so I could use them in this pic. I'm not a fan of animal crackers, but Brandon is! (I think!) I should surprise him and slip them into his lunchbox. His co-workers would have plenty of jokes to make, I'm sure.

I do love to dine out and this weekend was no exception. Brandon and I ate delicious wings at East Coast Wings on Sunday night and Jennifer and I dined at Poblano's yesterday.


Last, but not least, we saw What to Expect When You're Expecting on Saturday night. Let me tell you, folks, it was hilarious. I can't remember the last time I laughed that hard in a movie theater! Whether or not you're expecting and whether or not you plan to have children, I consider this movie a must see. 

Anything exciting happen in your life last week?

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Rainy Wedding Day: Stationary

Ever since my friend Meghan got married in 2010 and designed her own invitations, I knew that someday I wanted to do the same. Not only is designing your own wedding stationary a fun way to be creative, it is also economical! I bought a big pack of card stock from Amazon for less than $15 and used it for everything (save the dates, invites, announcements, thanks you notes, menus, etc.) and I used one colored ink cartridge for everything as well. My splurge was on really nice envelopes from Paper Presentation.

I don't have any fancy software (aka: Adobe Creative Suite), so believe it or not, all of our wedding stationary was done using Microsoft Word! It is possible! Our colors were grey and yellow and I really wanted to incorporate my latest style inspiration: chevron.

SAVE THE DATES
I found a save the date design that I liked on Pinterest and pinned it to one of my boards months ago. I pulled it up again in January and designed our save the dates around it. Here's a good time to point out the obvious: for a wedding with less than 20 guests you really don't NEED save the dates and invitations. But I wanted to make them, so nobody tried to stop me. :)


INVITATIONS
The invites continued the grey/yellow color scheme and added the chevron detail. The fonts I used, by the way, were Adele and Volutes (both available free from dafont.com).


This photo makes me laugh because we ultimately did not get married in the Salem Square and did not have dinner at Salem Tavern. Oh well.

I read on another blog that you can send a wedding invitation to the President and receive a response. Brandon and I were curious, so we sent one to Barack and Michelle. Sure enough... when we came home from the honeymoon we had a note from them in our mailbox!


I think if I were the president I'd pick one random wedding to attend each year. Wouldn't that be fun to shock everybody?

ANNOUNCEMENTS
I checked theknot.com for advice about small weddings and decided that it was appropriate to send wedding announcements to some of my extended family and friends. They looked very similar to the invitations and the two different versions included lyrics from two of our favorite bands: The Avett Brothers and Mumford & Sons.



THANK YOU NOTES
The thank you notes I designed are small and simple. The part that is not simple is writing them all!

Check my next rainy day wedding post for a glimpse at my bridal portraits!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Rainy Wedding day: The Accident

Yes, it's true. I ripped my wedding dress. On the day of my wedding. Before the ceremony. I should have known something like this would happen, considering that the last important dress I nearly destroyed was my prom dress. (I tumbled down my staircase, ripping beads off of my prom dress when I was 16.) Here's how it happened:

As established in my last rainy wedding day post, it was raining cats and dogs on my wedding day. We were hoping that the storm would pass quickly, but rain fell very hard for a little over an hour. Then it continued to sprinkle, rain a tiny bit, rain normally, then sprinkle again on and off for the entire rest of the day.

The photographer and I had arranged to do some bridal portraits before the ceremony. When we were finished, she'd do some shots of just Brandon when he arrived. Old Salem is a gorgeous place for portraits, but the rain meant that we needed a covered place to take the photos. I quickly thought of Cedarhurst, a beautiful, stone building just up the street from my dad's office. 


I alternated between wearing my rain boots and wearing my yellow dress shoes for the photos. After the above shot was taken, I suggested climbing into the tall open window/archway to get a few more shots. I love the results!


What happened was pretty simple: as I stepped down out of the window, my heel caught in my crocheted dress and ripped it near the hem. Even better, it actually caused me to fall and land on one knee. It was a very graceful process! Haha. 

I stayed very calm and laughed a bit. I asked the photographer if she could fix it for me and she sweetly obliged. I remember telling her that it would make an awesome story to tell later. I called Dad to see if he had a safety pin at his office and he didn't! Then I remembered that I had a wishbone pin on my bouquet...


The wishbone pin originally belonged to my great grandmother. It was my "something borrowed" for the wedding. My mom wore it on her wedding day and had asked me to use it on mine. It was pinned to the ribbon wrapping my bouquet. I took it off, along with a straight pin that the florist had attached. Leah used the two pins to piece together the torn pieces of fabric and hold them in place. It ended up looking like this:


You could barely tell that it was ripped at all! The rather large tear was concealed perfectly and nobody noticed the pin near the bottom of my dress until I shared the story at dinner later in the evening.

Here's my advice: something might go wrong on your wedding day. Anticipate it and embrace it when it happens. Whether small or large, take it all in stride. At the end of the day, all you're going to care about is that you're married. The rest just makes up some good memories to recall later.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Things I Love: Target

When I moved from Boone (population: 17,000) to Greensboro (population: 270,000), I was most excited about living in a town with a TARGET. Greensboro actually has three Target stores and one of them is about a mile away from our apartment. I could walk there if I was really crazy!

In my eyes, Target is to Wal-Mart as Gap is to Old Navy. Like my comparison? Target is the big brother, the fancier version of Wal-Mart. I'll go to either store for certain items (home improvement products, groceries), but Target has the best clothes + accessories, hands down. I've been in the store several times this week and I want to buy everything I see. Luckily for Brandon, I haven't gone on a shopping spree. Here's what I love/want/need someone else to buy me:

Merona pink large satchel ($29.99)
*I also want this in navy blue

Mossimo juniors' racerback dress ($18.00)
*I totally thought that was a swimsuit coverup
**my bad

Mossimo coral band straw fedora ($12.99)

The Webster at Target nautical print cap toe flat ($39.99)
*The Webster's logo is a flamingo. Perfect!

Mossimo color block skirt ($19.99, on clearance for $13.99 in-store)
*Where was this pre-wedding? It's my colors!

Mossimo ebony print skirt with belt ($22.99)

These are just a very small sampling of everything I am obsessed with purchasing from Target. I didn't even dip my toe into the pool of home decor: bedding, throw pillows, picture frames, and other things that I love. Oh my!

{Here, I will point out that my birthday is in exactly two weeks and one day... just sayin'.}

Now that I have all of that out of my system, here's the real reason I wanted to write this post in the beginning: the Target Dollar Stop! It's not actually called the dollar stop anymore because Target was sneaky and started pricing their bargain items up to $2.50. Boo. Anyway, Target is very clever to position their bargain section as soon as you step in the doors. I can't get enough!

Do you love Target, too? 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Rainy Wedding Day: Goodbye, Cell Phone

Happy Thursday! It was a dreary, rainy morning in Greensboro today, which reminds me very much of the morning of our wedding. We received a photo cd in the mail from our photographer yesterday and I am so happy with how everything turned out! Look for "a rainy wedding day" feature posts continuing this weekend. I'll also be blogging for Romance in a Glance readers again very soon.

For now, I'll leave you with another sneak peek and a funny story:


It was dark and overcast all morning on May 9th. We had already made the decision to move our wedding ceremony inside, to a little chapel at Home Moravian Church. By the time my mom and I left the hair salon around 2 pm, it was pouring torrential rain. I had a short drive to Old Salem, where we planned to get ready at my dad's office. The rain was coming down so hard that I could barely see to drive.

When I was finally able to park by the curb outside my dad's office, I faced quite a dilemma. I obviously needed to hold my umbrella (to protect that wedding up-do, you know!). But I also needed to carry in my dress, my mom's dress, my rain boots, my tote bag, my chalkboard, and my purse. I thought I'd be smart and carry it all at once so that I wouldn't have to make a second trip outside in the storm. Bad idea.

I took my cell phone out of the cup holder and stuck it in the top of my tote (which does not zip). I grabbed my umbrella and and did that awkward thing where you try to open your umbrella at the same time you open your car door. As I bent over to get out of the car, out goes my cell phone right into the stream of water flowing down the sidewalk. I think I may have yelled something that is entirely inappropriate for a pretty bride to say. I once again jumped out of the car and began running down the sidewalk, trying to catch my phone as it floated ahead of me. [Remember, at this point it isn't just raining. It is pouring sheets of rain and it is also blowing sideways.] I finally stopped it, scooped it up, and ran inside, leaving everything else in the car.

Dead as a doornail. I had to use my mom's ancient flip phone to call Brandon and tell him what was going on.


Of everything that stresses brides out on their wedding day, killing my cell phone was my #1 issue. This is really surprising, considering that I ripped my wedding dress moments after the above photo was taken. But that's a story for another post. :)

Helloooooo iPhone 4S.


Now, Siri and I are becoming good buddies, thanks to a little wedding day mishap. More stories to come soon!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bonus Music: We'll Dance Real Slow

Dear readers: Lucky you, you have two music posts this Monday! My best friend sent me this song literally 14 minutes ago and I HAVE to post it immediately. It is so, so beautiful! I have already commanded Brandon to learn it and perform it for me asap.

Have you heard it before? I had not. It is the most perfect first dance song for a wedding. (I know, I know. I've said that about a bunch of songs!) Listen to it! Right now!

THIS LIFE (Ryan Huston)

This is that Fresh Feeling

Today was a new beginning for me, in a lot of ways. I'm a new wife. I started a new job. It's the beginning of a new week. I bought a pair of new pants. Okay, so maybe it's only a beginning in a few ways. Anyway, new beginnings make me want to listen to this song... preferably with the windows down, driving under a sunny sky.

I would also be ok listening to this song while sitting on a beach towel by the sea, looking out at the ocean. If you watch the YouTube video I've posted, you'll have the opportunity to do just that. Kind of.

FRESH FEELING (Eels)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mrs.

I'm baaaaaaack! Our wedding was beautiful (though it poured rain) and the honeymoon was lots of fun and I can't wait to post pictures from both. Here's the only sneak peek our photographer has released from the day of the wedding. I am very anxious to see the rest!


I see that I have a few new followers since the last time I accessed my account before the wedding. Welcome! I'm looking forward to getting to know you all. :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

RECIPE: Marinated Greek Chicken

I've started loving Greek food lately. This is a far cry from the many, many years that I did not love it at all. I still hate olives and I'm not sure how I feel about lamb, but I am starting to appreciate lots of Greek recipes. I found a simple recipe online for marinated Greek chicken and I foresee it popping back up in my recipe rotation many times this summer.

MARINATED GREEK CHICKEN (serves 2-3)
8 oz fat-free plain greek yogurt
1/3 c crumbled feta with basil & sun dried tomatoes
2 T lemon juice
2 t dried oregano
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t dried rosemary
1 lb chicken breast tenders

This is it, plain and simple: mix ingredients together and marinate chicken for a few hours (I did 3... more would be better). Grill until cooked through!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Disney Love Songs

I'm at Disney World on my honeymoon right now. Jealous? We've already established that I'm not ACTUALLY blogging on my honeymoon. Nope, I'm writing this in advance. What music is more perfect to share this week than some good old fashioned Disney love songs?

I found an awesome compilation of four of the best: Kiss the Girl (The Little Mermaid), A Whole New World (Aladdin), Can You Feel the Love Tonight (The Lion King), and Beauty and the Best (Beauty and the Beast). Enjoy!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mothers

Today is the day to celebrate mothers! I'd like to take this time to say an extra special thanks to my mom, Cheryl, and my new mother-in-law, Shawna. I love all three of you!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Things I Love: Ice Cream

I LOVE ice cream. Any time of day, any season, any type, any flavor (within reason). I LOVE IT. My first job was at an ice cream shop. I blame Maggie Moo's! You know that scene in Forrest Gump where Bubba talks about all of the different kinds of shrimp? I could totally do that with ice cream.

There's milkshakes, ice cream on a sugar cone, ice cream on a waffle cone, ice cream in a bowl, ice cream in a waffle bowl, ice cream sundaes, ice cream sandwiches, chocolate ice cream, neapolitan ice cream, pistachio ice cream, dippin' dots ice cream, ice cream cakes, ice cream on a stick......

My go-to ice cream is Haagan Daz's Caramel Cone. My new favorite ice cream is Front Porch's Nana's Banana Pudding ice cream. 


If you're not located in NC, you're a tad bit out of luck. This ice cream comes straight out of Mooresville and is available at Lowes Foods and Food Lion grocery stores across the state. I want to try their Sweetie Tea ice cream, but I find myself not being able to pry my fingers off of the banana pudding flavor long enough to try anything else. On my latest shopping trip I received a coupon for $1 off of two pints. Oh the temptation. Maybe next time I'll pick up the Sweetie Tea. Or the Scarlett Red Velvet. Or the Lemony Sunshine...

What's your favorite flavor of ice cream? Do you have a favorite way to eat your ice cream? And most importantly... do you group ice cream and frozen yogurt together? If not, then get excited to hear about my completely different frozen yogurt obsession in a future post.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

RECIPE: Melting Pot's Gorgonzola Port

I LOVE The Melting Pot. I LOVE fondue. Because The Melting Pot is an expensive chain, I only get to visit on special occasions. Far more often, Brandon and I make cheese fondue at the apartment in the fondue pot my brother got me for my college graduation.

When we do fondue at home, I am always saddened to miss out on the delicious sauces that The Melting Pot serves alongside its entrees. Six sauces pair perfectly with meat and veggies: curry, green goddess, teriyaki glaze, ginger plum, cocktail, and gorgonzola port. The latter, of course, is my favorite. I re-created it at home a couple of weeks ago and though it wasn't quite like the restaurant's, it was still pretty delicious!


MELTING POT'S GORGONZOLA PORT (yields 1 cup)
1/8 c mayonnaise 
1/4 - 1/3 c sour cream
4-5 oz crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1/8 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 t garlic, minced
1 T port wine

Whisk all ingredients together, then refrigerate. I think this is delicious on everything, but I'm biased. The Melting Pot recommends it on steak and veggies. I also put it on chicken and potatoes.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Only a Day Away


I AM GETTING MARRIED TOMORROW!!! I feel like it has been a very long journey leading up to this day, even though it's only been three and a half months since the proposal! I can't wait to become Brandon's wife. 

I wonder how brides feel in the days leading up to their weddings. Last night, I felt productive! I worked on some last minute touches, including gifts for the preacher & photographer, place cards for dinner, and menus. It was totally unnecessary, but I even made personalized menus for the 2 children attending... even though neither of them can read!
My only concern for the wedding is that it is going to be raining tomorrow. Luckily, we have a rain location prepared. I have my floral print rain boots on stand by in case I have the opportunity to get a cute photo in them. Rain on your wedding day is lucky, right?

Brandon and I will be honeymooning for a little over a week, but of course I've pre-written some blog posts for while we're gone. Don't miss 'em! I'll be back on the 18th to begin writing again. Lots of exciting things are in store for Flamingos in Raincoats this summer. :)

nothing worth sharing


love this song

Monday, May 7, 2012

shake it out, shake it out

i'm a pretty big fan of glee. are you? i'm not a 'gleek' by any means, but i do enjoy tuning in each week to see what songs they're going to cover. love them or hate them, most of the cast can sing! remember when they covered 'we are young' months before it got popular? i certainly like some song choices better than others. there have been some awesome covers this season and this is my latest favorite. it made me tear up a bit. so beautiful.

SHAKE IT OUT (florence + the machine cover)


what's your favorite glee performance? i also really loved darren criss singing young the giant's cough syrup on the mid-season finale. he's my current celebrity crush (sorry, adam young, we had a good run).

Saturday, May 5, 2012

chef #59: taco stuffed shells

happy cinco de mayo! in honor of this holiday and also in honor of my utter obsession with mexican food, i give you a recipe for taco stuffed shells (same idea as my stuffed shells from a few weeks ago). yum!

TACO STUFFED SHELLS (serves 4)
16-18 jumbo pasta shells
2 T olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1/2 t salt
1.5 t chili powder
1/4 t garlic powder
1 t cumin
1/2 t paprika
1/2 t oregano
1 c corn
1 c prepared pasta sauce (maybe a tad bit less)
2 oz goat cheese
1/2 c panko bread crumbs
1 T butter, melted
1/4 shredded cheddar cheese
hot sauce to taste

optional: green onions, sour cream

preheat oven to 350 degrees. cook pasta shells as directed. drain shells and keep in a big bowl of ice water until time to stuff them. add oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. add ground beef and season with salt. add remaining spices and cook until brown.

add corn and pasta sauce and heat through, about 2 minutes. stir in goat cheese. add hot sauce to taste (i used about 5 shakes). use a spoon to fill each shell and place them in a glass baking dish. mix butter and bread crumbs and sprinkle over the top. then, sprinkle entire dish with shredded cheese. bake for 25 minutes or until tips of shells begin to crisp and brown. i topped mine with green onions and served the shells with a side of sour cream.


Friday, May 4, 2012

DIY: chalkboard


i've been experiencing some serious problems with chalkboards, mostly because i can't find one. ANYWHERE. nobody sells real slate chalkboards anymore! coming from a family that loves antiques so much, you'd think we would have one stashed away somewhere. nope! not a one to be found!

i conceded and decided to order one from etsy. actually, i thought i was getting a real slate chalkboard, but i was wrong. it was flimsy, almost cardboard-like material and the frame was broken. regular chalk wouldn't write on it and a chalk pen wouldn't erase. 

so i conceded, again, and decided to try my hand at making a chalkboard on my own. why do i want a chalkboard so desperately, you may ask? i have this brilliant idea to take a photo of brandon and myself each year on our anniversary holding said chalkboard. on our wedding day, it will say "i do." on our one year anniversary it will say "one" and so on and so forth. get it?

so, i set out to michaels in search of supplies i had seen on a chalkboard tutorial. you'll need: a board (i chose a slice of wood for a rustic feel)... really any shape/size wood will do. many other types of board would work as well. you'll also need a can of chalkboard spray paint (it comes in black or green) and a roll of painter's tape. oh, and chalk (duh!).


dust off the board and line the edges with small strips of painter's tape. lay it flat on a surface that can be spray painted.


follow directions on the can and spray board with an even coat. allow to dry for one hour, then spray a second coat.


allow the board to dry for 24 hours so that the paint has time to set. rub it down with a piece of chalk to prepare the board for writing.


remove the tape, wipe off the board, and you're ready to go! i couldn't be more pleased with the results. what will you use your handmade chalkboard for?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

something new

i am absolutely thrilled to be guest blogging on a wonderful wedding blog today! romance in a glance features tons of cool posts about style, etiquette, love, and marriage. i especially love the posts about wedding color combos and something blue. i still haven't decided what my 'something blue' is going to be and i've gotten lots of great tips from this blog!


so check me out! then, enjoy getting sucked into reading this blog for an hour+ like i did on my first visit. :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

RECIPE: Banana Ice

I don't eat enough fruit. Really, I don't. I buy fresh fruit with the best of intentions, but it usually spoils before I can remember to eat it. Sometimes I'll buy canned fruit and it will sit in my pantry for... years. One nice thing about the summertime heat is that it encourages me to eat some cool, juicy fruit. I found this recipe on Martha Stewart's website and am now completely obsessed with it.


BANANA ICE (serves 4-6)
1/2 c sugar
1.5 c water
3 oranges
3 lemons
8 oz crushed pineapple
3 bananas, cut into small pieces & mashed just a bit

Juice oranges and lemons. In a small saucepan, bring sugar + water to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Transfer to an 8 inch glass dish and mix with all other ingredients. Freeze for at least 3 hours. Remove from freezer about 20 minutes before serving.