Saturday, March 16, 2013

What Do I Even Title a Fashion Post?

Several months ago I was contacted by eShakti to review one of their products. I don't typically (read: ever) talk about clothes + fashion on my blog, but there's a first for everything right? eShakti sent me a skirt to review and here's the true story of my experiences:

When I checked out eShakti for the first time I saw tons and tons of gorgeous clothes. Seriously, they have a huge selection! They offer sizes 0-36w and have a great service for custom sizing as well. Because I had never ordered from them before, I decided to request a custom size. I selected a red and white skirt that looked like fun:

eShakti recommends having your measurements taken by someone else and let me stress the point: please do that. I attempted to do my measurements myself and ended up telling them my waist is 5 inches larger than it is. As a consequence, my skirt was much too large and fell off of me as I stood in my living room. It looked somewhat similar to a circus tent.

I emailed eShakti to inform them that I was an idiot who can't measure herself. I received a prompt response letting me know that they didn't have any more of my skirts in stock (but they do now!!) but that they'd be happy to send me a replacement item to review.

I loved the skirt so much that I was determined to make it work for me. A local alternations place helped me to make it fit and also shortened it a bit. If I'd had foresight, eShakti also offers special customizations such as lengthening/shortening, removal of pockets, and addition of sleeves for tops + dresses.

I wore my new skirt on a trip to Childress Vineyards last weekend and no sooner had we sat down to lunch in the bistro did the waitress comment on how cute my skirt was. It also got the stamp of approval from my husband, which is always good. :)

Because eShakti is awesome, they sent me a second piece that matched my official measurements... I'll be sharing that one with you soon! Ultimately my first experience with eShakti was a positive one. If you want to see for yourself, place an order through the 20th of this month and save 20% with promo code FLMNGSNRNC.

What kinds of clothes are you stocking up on for spring and summer?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

RECIPE: Sweetheart Punch

It's been a month since Valentine's Day and I'm still reminiscing about the yummy dinner I made for Brandon and myself. I don't usually make drinks to go with my meals. If we're being "fancy," it's usually sparkling grape juice for me and wine for him. But this time I decided to go all-out and add a drink to our menu. What is it, you're wondering?

SWEETHEART PUNCH (makes 9ish cups)
5 c orange juice
2 c sprite
1.5 c pomegranate vodka
1 c cherry juice
1/4 c lemon juice

Stir together all ingredients and serve over ice!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Honeymoon (part 6)

My mother called me the other day for the sole purpose of telling me that she had just enjoyed reading my series of honeymoon posts on the blog. This alerted me to two things:

1. Wow my mom doesn't read my blog very often (I already knew that).

The past weekend marked 10 months since our wedding and it's been almost 6 months since my last honeymoon post. Oops. I know there are a lot of new followers on my blog since I first started sharing my honeymoon adventures, so you may want to recap before you read on.

Honeymoon part 1/2/3/4/5


Our last day at Disney World: So sad! We decided to drop by the Magic Kingdom for a couple of hours in the morning to ride some of our favorite rides again and (of course) to get some Dole whip. It was sad to leave, but we'll be back in 2014!

I had decided early on in our planning that it's already depressing enough coming back from an amazing vacation and a 12 hour drive in one day would make it even worse. We booked a room at The Marshall House in Savannah, GA for the last night of our honeymoon so that we could "ease" back in to non-Disney life.

The hotel was gorgeous, the oldest one in the city in fact! We arrived just in time for the complimentary afternoon wine (or in my case- pink lemonade) and cheese reception. 

Because our dinner reservation was late, we had some time to walk around and explore the city. It was my first time visiting and I had heard lots of wonderful things about Savannah. It was beautiful, for sure, but it was so hot and muggy!

I was determined to splurge on a "fancy" dinner for our last night and splurge we did- at The Olde Pink House. If you're in town, I highly recommend it. I ate the best scallops of my entire life at dinner that night.


After a brief interruption the next morning, we drove out to Tybee Island for a little while and returned to have lunch at the famous Leopold's Ice Cream. Then it was back on the road to NC. This was our view almost the entire drive home:

All of the rain seemed appropriate, considering how the weather was on the day we left for the honeymoon. ;) 

We arrived safe & sound in Greensboro on Thursday evening, Brandon went back to work on Friday, and I started my summer job on Monday. We haven't slowed down since then! Now that I'm almost a year late finishing up my honeymoon recap, we're only 9 weeks away from our first anniversary trip. Perhaps I'll be more efficient about recapping our cruise.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Greatest Hits: An Introduction

I mentioned recently that I found a really cool way to incorporate a project for school into my blog. Now's the time to share it with you all! This semester, I'm taking a course called Social Identity & Pop Culture. It's one of the most intriguing classes I've taken in my graduate studies, for sure. For my final project I wanted to think of a way to relate the influences of mass media and pop culture to my own life experiences. How have I been changed by the world around me?

I was pondering this question when I remembered LOST. Were you a fan of LOST? This will jog your memory if you were:

I love this series and am anxiously awaiting a time in my life when I'm not too busy to sit down and re-watch every single episode. One episode, in particular, stands out in my mind as one of my favorites: season 3, episode 21, Greatest Hits. A beloved character, Charlie (pictured above), counts down his life's greatest hits in a beautifully written episode.

Here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to count down my life's greatest hits over the next few weeks, in a series of 10 blog posts. I'll be noting how these monumental events were shaped by society.

Here's what you are going to do: Comment! It's simple. Leave a comment. This project won't work without audience feedback! Tell me what you're thinking. Tell me what you like and don't like. Tell me your greatest hits. I want to hear from you. If you'd prefer to leave anonymous comments, that's fine too. Just let me know that you're listening and that you care.

I'll be counting down my top 10 greatest hits, so stay tuned... the first post will be appearing very soon!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

RECIPE: Filet Bourguignonne

It's been nearly two months since I posted a recipe... the longest hiatus in my blog's history! So let me assure you that I picked an absolutely incredible recipe for my triumphant return. I pulled this from Cooking Light magazine and decided to try it on Saturday evening. Schmidt, my only company at the time, was very impressed. :) I'm positive that it's one of the best things to ever come out of my kitchen.

1 c frozen pearl onions
1 lb filet mignon, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
2 T butter
2 slices bacon, chopped
1 8 oz. pkg mushrooms (i used baby bella slices)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 t chopped fresh thyme
1/2 t sugar
2 t tomato paste
1/2 c pinot noir
1 c low-sodium beef broth
2 T water
2 t flour

Place onions in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with a paper towel. Microwave on high for 4 minutes. Finely chop one of the cubes of beef and set aside. Pat dry remaining beef cubes with a paper towel and sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Melt 1 T butter in the pan. Add beef cubes and saute for 3 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove from pan. Add the finely chopped beef and bacon to the man and saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms and continue to cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add garlic, chopped thyme, and sugar. Saute for one minute, stirring constantly. Add tomato paste and continue to cook. Add wine and allow to boil until liquid is reduced by about a half. Add onions and broth and cook for a few more minutes. Whisk together 2 T water with flour and add to the skillet. Return beef cubes to the skillet and cook for a few minutes until they've heated through and are the appropriate degree of doneness.

Serve over mashed potatoes with sprinkled thyme on top.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Things have been crazy around here.


I don't even know where to begin because I feel like I've been "gone" for so long. I think the madness really started at the beginning of this semester. I went back to school and was getting ready for a work trip to Miami. We also added Schmidt to our family. Upon my return from Miami I received a promotion at work (yay!) which has kept me just as busy as I expected. It has been nearly impossible to balance work with school over the last several weeks. I haven't been able to make much progress on my graduate capstone project (aka thesis), and whenever I do have some free time all i want to do is sleep. Anybody else know the feeling?

I've been really off track lately and I can't promise that I'm going to be back to regular posting until the summer, but I sure am going to try! What I can promise is a neat new feature on the blog starting soon! I found a brilliant way to combine one of my projects for school this semester with my blog and I'm excited to share it with you!

In the meantime, I leave you with this photo I snapped when I walked in from class the other night:

Is anyone else depressed that their cell phone (in my case iPhone 4s) takes better photos than their regular camera?