Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sorority Girls

Looking for a new TV show to watch? Tune in to the premier of Sorority Girls TONIGHT at 9/8c on TLC

When my bestie {May} called to tell me that her sister {Amelia} was selected to play the President of “Sigma Gamma” in Sorority Girls, I was over-the-moon excited. In addition to being a past president of our sorority {Kappa Delta}, Amelia is absolutely gorgeous, ridiculously stylish, super sweet and tons of FUN! It only made complete sense for her to accept the offer to film the show last summer in England! 

About the Show:
Sorority Girls follows five American sorority girls as they pack up their suitcases and head to Leeds to bring their traditions of exclusivity and glamor to the UK.

Over eight weeks, the girls will recruit eager candidates who'll battle it out to earn one of five coveted spots in the sorority. Gaining membership into this ultra-private organization won't be easy, though; the candidates will be monitored 24/7 and they'll participate in all aspects of pledging, like rush week, door chants, secret handshakes, and preference night rituals.

In the end, the initiated Sigma Gamma sisters will be responsible for continuing the duties and standards of the sorority after the Americans ladies have packed up and gone home.

{CLICK HERE} to meet the sisters!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Blowing Rock Cabin Weekend

This past weekend, Matt, Charlie, and I spent 3 days in a cozy little cabin in Blowing Rock, NC.  Matt actually booked this weekend a long time ago as part one of my Christmas gifts, so I was SO excited for the weekend to finally arrive! 
 The view from our deck
Our cozy little cabin for the weekend
 Charlie was so excited to roam the property all weekend 
Our backyard
I surprised Matt with Blowing Rock IPA. He thought it was clever.
We spent one afternoon in downtown Blowing Rock, {which just so happened to be Winterfest}, window shopped, and ate lunch at Mellow Mushroom!
We popped in at The Barking Rock Pet Boutique & Bakery to get a little snack for Charlie. 
Dessert time!
The gorgeous morning we woke up to
coffee by the fireplace
Fiesta Casserole & Mimosas for breakfast
 Boots? Check. Ball? Check. Jacket? Check.
Lunch: guacamole grilled cheese {recipe}, zucchini chips {recipe} and butternut squash soup {recipe}
Prepping the spaghetti sauce to simmer all day...
and enjoying the rest of the wine!
A little Jenga...
Matt - basking in his Jenga win. 
Spaghetti dinner {recipe}
Redbox-a-thon night
Our last gorgeous day in the mountains
Lattes and cinnamon rolls for our last vacation breakfast
Can't leave Blowing Rock without a spoiled rotten trip to the Tanger Outlets!
Bye-bye Blowing Rock. We'll be back!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Valentine Breakfast Treats

What better way to start off your Valentine's Day, than with a fun breakfast in bed? Here are 10 amazing breakfast ideas that say "I LOVE YOU!"
 Latte with whipped cream, peppermint flakes and a cookie!
 French toast with strawberry butter {recipe}

Heart-shaped cinnamon rolls {recipe}
 Heart egg in toast
 Heart muffins
Chocolate pancakes with heart confetti
Heart bacon
Heart donuts from Krispy Kreme
Heart pancakes
Hot chocolate with frozen heart cool whip

What sweet breakfast treats are you making your Valentine?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hearty Butternut Squash and Quinoa Stew

This hearty stew has quickly become a wintertime favorite in my home. A low calorie, low fat, vegan option, this stew is the perfect solution to comfort food cravings. 
Need another reason to try this stew? Butternut squash is high in Vitamins A and C, as well as fiber!
You Will Need:
{1 ½} lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded & chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
{3 ½} cups chicken broth
{1} tbsp olive oil
{1} medium yellow onion, finely chopped
{½} tsp kosher salt
{4} cloves garlic, minced
{1 ½} tsp dried oregano
{1} can (14 oz) petite diced tomatoes
{2/3} cup uncooked quinoa
{3/4} cup pitted and quartered kalamata olives
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
{1/4} cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Steam the butternut squash until barely tender, about 10 minutes. 
Remove half of the squash pieces and set aside. Steam the remaining squash until very tender, an additional 4 to 6 minutes. 
Mash this squash with the back of a fork or potato masher. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat to medium and add olive oil. Add onion and garlic, cook stirring occasionally, until onion is starting to turn brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add oregano. Cook, stirring, for 1 additional minute. 
To the saucepan, add tomatoes, butternut squash pieces, and mashed butternut squash. Stir to combine.
Stir in chicken broth and quinoa. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa turns translucent, about 15 minutes. 
Stir the olives, salt and pepper into the stew and simmer, uncovered, to heat, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and serve.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Hitched: The Reception

Our reception was everything I had dreamed of. Everything came together perfectly and everyone had such a blast!
Before entering our reception, Matt and I snuck downstairs of our venue where we had a quick private dinner. Not only did this give us the opportunity to eat our delicious food, but we were able escape the chaos and really enjoy our first few moments together as husband and wife!
Our table centerpieces consisted of white and pink shades of flowers {peonies, ranunculus, garden roses, hydrangeas, tulips, and more}, lots of mercury glass, mason jars, and of course BURLAP!
 A few details, including our sweet fur baby Charlie, koozies, and our DIY burlap monogram found {HERE}...
Our first dance was to Forever and Ever, Amen by Randy Travis
Dad and I danced to My Girl by The Temptations
Matt and his mom danced to half of What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong and he danced the second half with his Grandma!
My favorite cake layer - Vanilla pound cake with chocolate chips + raspberry filling. The top layer is sitting in our freezer for our first anniversary!
The bouquet toss was hilariously aggressive. I tossed the bouquet to Going to the Chapel by The Dixie Cups.
lots of dancing!
The Common Clay Band was unbelievable and kept the party going all night!
A Kappa Delta tradition, my sorority sisters and I had a special candlelight ceremony.
 and more dancing...
 The bridesmaids snuck out of the reception to decorate the getaway car
At the end of the night, guests picked up sparklers for the sendoff...
and DONUTS for a late night snack!
  Sparkler sendoff!

Best day of my life.
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