Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Summer salads are my thing. On a hot day, a nice cool salad hits the spot. My most recent salad creation is comprised of some of my favorite protein packed ingredients - chick peas, edamame, corn and more. 

This meal also keeps well in the fridge for days so I've been making large portions of this salad on Sunday night and packing a little bit for lunch each day.
Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing
Adapted from Betty Crocker

Salad Ingredients:
1 cup uncooked quinoa
15 oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
3 roma tomatoes, diced
cups corn {I used canned corn}
2 cups shelled, ready to eat edamame
4 green onions, chopped
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp thyme {optional}
⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper
dash of cayenne 

Dressing Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. fresh basil

Directions
Rinse quinoa, and cook according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, and basil. Set aside. When quinoa is done cooking, let cool. Then place all salad ingredients in a large bowl.Pour dressing over top and mix well to combine. Can eat immediately or chill before serving. 

You can eat this hot or cold, substitute other veggies, try different spices, etc.
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Monday, July 29, 2013

An Unforgettable Mountain Wedding

Last weekend our dear friends, Tim and Kristen, tied the knot at the foot of Grandfather Mountain in Linville, North Carolina. To say this wedding was a true fairy tale would be a huge understatement. This bride dreamed big and went all out for her big day. From custom stir sticks and church pews to hanging lanterns and 900 lavender peonies, Kristen knew exactly what she wanted and with the help of her rock star wedding planner, Katrina from come+together, the wedding day was flawless. I should also mention the ridiculously talented florist, Lynette from Bloom Room{who did my wedding too}, really outdid herself on this one!
 
The wedding ceremony was insanely beautiful. Held in a rustic and gorgeous pavilion, guests sat in church pews and were spoiled with unbelievable views of the mountains all around.
Guests even enjoyed a Linville Lemonade {lemonade, peach schnapps, vodka & gingerale} as they arrived and were seated in front of the most stunning peony monogrammed "S" for the bride's new last initial.
All of the signage {food stations, bar, thank you send off, etc.} throughout the entire wedding was etched glass.
 
 
The bride added tons and tons of flowy sheer drapes to her ceremony venue.
The altar - tons of candles, white peonies, greenery and more.
 {my bestie, Brynn}
During cocktail hour guests picked up their table assignment from a mantel dripping with peonies...
and walked along a candlelit peony-filled pathway to the reception. It was hard to really capture this experience with my iPhone.
The gorgeous bride with her best friends. Check out those Jimmy Choo's {and Hermes bracelet} she gave each of her maids. Now that is one heck of a bridesmaid gift!
As if guests weren't already blown away by the ceremony, the tented reception was the most stunning wedding venue I've ever seen in my life.
The head table was filled with flowers, lavender candles and so many more details. Above the head table was custom built lattice covered in live greenery with hanging lanterns filled with candles and more flowers.
{a night shot of this same table}
{two of my best girlfriends}
Other tables from the reception:
Check out that ceiling!!!! AH-MAZING, right?!
Floating candles and lanterns above the tables - I about died when I saw these.
A piece of lavender was at each setting - the bride truly carried her theme throughout the night!
The cake was over 5 feet tall. It was so pretty I was sad to see them cut it. But I quickly got over that once I polished off a huge piece of red velvet cake!
I am so glad I snapped this picture right when I entered the reception because this was the only time the dance floor wasn't completely packed out. The band was crazy good and everyone partied on the dance floor until 11 pm. It was definitely the best wedding dance party I'd ever been part of!
{first dance}
Including the honeymoon the bride has visited 70 countries. She absolutely loves to travel. So for her wedding meal she had 4 stations of food: Italy, Southern Favorite, Spain and Greece inspired! All of the food was delicious but my favorite was Italy and Matt's favorite was Southern!
{the southern favorite's station}
 Kristen gave delicious Norma Love chocolates to guests as her wedding favors.
 For the sendoff, guests were given a match and Japanese lanterns to float off into the sky.
 The sky looked beautiful.
 {Brynn - the lantern pro}
{the sign before it was attached to the car}
What a memorable night celebrating two of our good friends! We love you Tim & Kristen. Have so much fun in Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora!
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Friday, July 26, 2013

Five on Friday: A Link-up!

Hello Friday! Boy am I excited to see you! You know what else I'm excited about? My FIVE..!

- ONE -  Recently I've become obsessed with lemonade - rosemary lemonade to be more specific. As soon as I bring home a new bottle of Simply Lemonade or a gallon of Chick-fil-A lemonade, I pop in a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and let it marinade for a few hours. 
I promise this is the best combination of the summer. In fact, I guarantee it. 
And on Friday's I jazz up my cocktail with a splash of Firefly Sweet Tea vodka. 
- TWO - With all the rain we've had lately, I've decided to revert back to my naturally wavy hair. I recently order a bottle of Mop Top, a gel specially made for dry, frizzy hair at the recommendation of a friend. Her hair is always perfectly wavy so I had to try it. Thumbs up!
- THREE - Our Shark arrived last night! Being lab parents, we are forced to vacuum our house daily, sometimes even twice a day. So when our cheapo vacuum bit the dust we spent an entire afternoon reading vacuum reviews and finally decided on the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe! I've never been more excited to vacuum! By the way, I officially feel old {and lame} for being excited about a vacuum.
- FOUR - I know, you are all so shocked that I am blogging about coffee - again! But this time it's even more serious. After recognizing how much we splurge on coffee daily, Matt and I decided to pay for the bottomless mug at Bruegger's. So for the rest of the year we have access to unlimited coffee/tea/soda. Every afternoon I've been grabbing a cup of Iced Coconut Coffee. I'm addicted and it's unlimited so I don't sleep at night anymore.
- FIVE - Matt and I are heading to mountains this afternoon to celebrate the wedding weekend of our dear friends, Tim and Kristen. We are beyond excited to see these two tie the knot and the wedding is going to be insanely beautiful. Pictures to come!
Wanna join  Darci, April, Natasha and I 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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