Friday, May 31, 2013

Five on Friday: A Link-up Party!

Hello Friday! I can't believe the weekend I've been patiently waiting for is finally here! Our BBQ party is tomorrow and the weather should be fantastic!
Also, I have to say thank you to all of you who linked up with us last Friday! I was so excited to read everyone's 5 favorite things! 
 
So here we go! My Friday 5:
 
- ONE - I am obsessed with our new patio furniture. We picked up this 4 piece Belize Occasional Furniture Set from World Market on sale {and used a coupon} last weekend.
It's funny how much our {porch} and patio decorating has taken priority over the inside of our house. Now that the weather is nice in the evenings, we love to unwind with a drink in our little sitting area. I also just ordered a cute outdoor trellis rug for this area and can't wait for it to arrive to complete this space.
- TWO - Barefoot just came out with a new sparkling white wine {or maybe it's new to my Teeter} and I am loving how crisp and refreshing it is. Oh, and I should mention it's only $6 a bottle!
- THREE - Homemade Blackberry & Lemon Greek Yogurt Popsicles!
These are ridiculously easy. I picked up the mini Popsicle mold from Target in the dollar aisle. Ready for the recipe? 

Blackberry-Lemon Greek Yogurt Popsicles
Mix the following ingredients together and freeze: 
1 cup Blackberries, mashed
2 cups Lemon Greek Yogurt
1-2 tsp Raw Honey
- FOUR - I have stopped crying over Google reader and am now obsessed with feedly, a new RSS feeder. I have the app on my iPhone and love it more than any other app {excluding Instagram, of course}. If you're looking for a google reader alternative, you need to check feedly out!
- FIVE - McDonald's new Egg White Delight McMuffin is ridiculously amazing. I hadn't eaten from McDonalds in years until I stumbled upon a coupon in my Us Weekly for a free sandwich. The new sandwich is advertised as only 250 calories (50 calories less than the traditional Egg McMuffin). Fresh grilled egg whites, creamy white cheddar, and extra lean Canadian bacon on a whole grain English muffin for $2.69? SOLD!
  
Wanna join in on the Friday fun? You can link-up on any of our four blogs every Friday! All you have to do is...

1.)  Write  your post about five things you're lovin' this week (or any five things you want to share!).
2.)  Share the logo above on your blog and link back.
3.)  Link-up at the bottom of the post so some new readers can check out your five things and say hello!

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Summer Soiree Inspiration

Matt and I are throwing a summer kick-off party on Saturday. As you would expect, I've been planning this party for months now which has required writing and re-writing all kinds of lists. I love lists. So for my party, I've written approximately 6 lists which include: Party Supplies to Buy, Groceries to Purchase, Things to Clean, House To-Do's Before Party, Items to Cook and Items to Bake

And yes, they are all color coded...
Now for my party inspiration board:
and of course the invite...
  Can't wait to partaaaayyy!
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Backyard Dinner Party

As we enter summertime, Matt and I get party fever. We have several parties planned for the summer and I have a feeling there will be many more popping up in between. Last weekend we hosted 6 couples for a dinner party in our backyard. With the help of our good friends down the street we threw this party together in a matter of 6 hours. 
 
Saturday morning we woke up early and frantically headed to the grocery store, Home Depot and back to the grocery store two more times to get everything we needed.
 
Tablescape Details: 6 ft folding tables {Home Depot}, bench {made by hubby}, folding chairs and candelabras {borrowed from friend}, disposable Chinet, linen tablecloths, peonies, candles {Harris Teeter}, table runner made from wrapping paper {Target Dollar Aisle}.
 I was pretty excited with how it turned out.
 The weekend before, Matt and I strung bistro lights in the backyard and they looked awesome as the sun set. We purchased our lights from Target {$12/string}.
We also picked up a cute patio set from World Market on sale a few weekends ago and finally assembled it for the party.
 And of course no party is complete without cornhole...
Matt built beer stands earlier in the weekend for another party we are planning so he was excited to debut them early.
For the wine station, I added a strip of washi tape to a stack of cups so everyone could keep track of their drink. Who doesn't love washi tape and wine?
 Of course Charlie was loving all the attention.
 Lots of marinated chicken!
And the best part - the FRIENDS!
Time to get workin on the next party!
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Friday, May 24, 2013

Five on Friday: A Link-up Party!

Hello friends!
 
It's Friday and the start to a long cocktail and BBQ filled weekend! So to celebrate, Darci of The Good Life, April of A. Liz Adventures, Natasha of Hello! Happiness and I are hosting a party - a link-up party to be exact!
  And of course, you are invited! All you have to do is bring your 5 favorite things to the virtual party, like so...
- ONE - Matt and I love to often surprise each other with small gifts - usually a nice six pack of beer, a CD/DVD, a tie, etc. for him, and flowers, candles, bath soap, etc. for me. Just little reminders that we're thinking about each other. So when Matt said he had a surprise for me as I was about to walk out the door for work on Friday, I was excited! He handed me a small box and I was stunned when I opened it to find a Michael Kors toroise chain link watch I had {pinned} months ago. I couldn't believe he remembered me mentioning it as a future birthday/Christmas gift. I hadn't even talked about it since that day. He's good. Like, really good! 
- TWO - Cork board Squares: I recently added two squares of cork board to the inside of my pantry door. It was supposed to help get rid of some of my counter top clutter, but now I love it so much I don't want to ruin it by tacking up bills, receipts, coupons etc.!
  I got the cork from Walmart. A pack of 4 squares was less than $5 and comes with double-sided sticky stuff to hang it.
  - THREE - Matt's 2 year anniversary of his law firm! I can't believe how quickly the time has gone! To surprise him, I coordinated with his paralegal to sneak into his office early and leave his favorite bourbon and a letter on his desk.
- FOUR - Bruce's Sweet Potato Pancake Mix: This has actually been a long time favorite of mine. Matt introduced me to sweet potato pancakes a few years ago and I've been obsessed since. Sorry for holding out on you for so long!
- FIVE - Friday's work commute always requires windows down and the music up. Today I am rapping to Macklemore's awesome new CD.
 
Wanna join in on the Friday fun? You can link-up on any of our four blogs every Friday! All you have to do is...

1.)  Write  your post about five things you're lovin' this week (or any five things you want to share!).
2.)  Share the logo above on your blog and link back.
3.)  Link-up at the bottom of the post so some new readers can check out your five things and say hello!
 
Happy Friday {and Memorial Day Weekend} Y'all! 

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Very Berry Vodka Spritzer

Even though it already feels like summer, the first official day of summer is June 21. You know what that means? It's time to start thinking about what drinks you'll be sipping on by the pool, beach or patio this hot season! While wandering the seasonal produce aisle I had a moment of sheer genius when I found strawberries and blueberries on sale, buy one, get one free - Very Berry Vodka Spritzers!
Oh my goodness! They are so delightfully refreshing!
Very Berry Vodka Spritzer Ingredients
 1.5 - 2 oz Three Olives Berry Vodka
1 can Lemon Lime Soda or Soda Water
Blueberries & diced Strawberries
 Lime Juice

In a large glass full of ice, pour in vodka and soda. Squeeze in lime juice and top with berries. 

Note: This cocktail if very berry, hence the name. For a less sweet version, try with soda water. 
PS - Everyone is invited to my house for happy hour!
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Planty Projects: DIY Bright Summer Pots

You already know how much I love succulents. What you didn't know is that for months I patiently searched Charlotte for my latest succulent obsession - Burro's Tail! I originally spotted this plant in a Ballard Designs catalog and thought it was so unique and pretty. I finally found a pot of Burro's Tail a few weeks ago for $10 at Home Depot and had been admiring it in my kitchen while I've hunted for the perfect pot!

After stumbling across the striped pots by Hi Sugarplum! I knew I had to make them ASAP! So back to Home Depot I went to grab a can of yellow spray paint and then to IKEA for a few pots.
 I love how they turned out.
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Easy Seared Scallops in Saffron Sauce

OH MY GOODNESS! That's what I said when I tasted my latest recipe, Seared Scallops in Saffron Sauce.
Easy Seared Scallops in Saffron Sauce
Adapted from Women's Health and bell'alimento

Ingredients:
   
    6 large sea scallops - patted dry
    1 (14 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained 
    4 cups baby spinach
   2 strips bacon, chopped into small pieces
     1/2 red onion, minced
6 tablespoons unsalted butter 
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 cup dry white wine
    2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
    pinch of saffron threads

    1 clove garlic, minced
    Salt and pepper to taste
    juice of 1 lemon
 


Directions:

 
Heat a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook the bacon until it has begun to crisp. Add the onion and garlic; saute until the onion is soft and translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the white beans and spinach and simmer until the beans are hot and the spinach is wilted. Keep warm.

    Blot the scallops dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper on both sides.  Into a nonstick pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter and olive oil.  Add scallops and sear for 2-3 minutes per side, careful to turn only once. Remove scallops from pan and keep warm.

    Add wine to hot pan and r
educe temperature to medium - low to allow wine to reduce by half. Add cream, remaining butter and allow to combine. Once butter has combined, add saffron threads. Stir well to combine.

Add the lemon juice to the beans. Season with salt and pepper.
Return scallops to pan. Turn to coat. Divide the beans among bowls or plates and top with scallops. Serve on top of beans.
Note: Spanish Saffron is not inexpensive. I found a bottle for $7 at Trader Joes.

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