Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thoughts on Thursday

Time for Thoughts on Thursday.
I don't do this every week but I probably should.
Here's my brain dump.

*Last night's brussels sprouts recipe was a huge hit! Brad said it was one of the best things I've cooked in a while.  I personally thought it was tasty too but I think he liked it more because it was something out of our normal rotation of chicken, turkey burgers, grilled shrimp and an occasional casserole.

*We're taking niece and nephew, Reed and Paige, on their very first trip to the zoo!
We're trekking down to the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC this weekend!
I can't wait!
The weather is suppose to be in the 60's and I love zoos!

*I'm counting down the days until next weekend when I travel up to Williamsburg, Virginia to spend the weekend with blog bestie, I Do Declare!
Who says you can't make friends from blogging?  I'm hoping to see some Fall color!
After that, I drive up to DC to spend the rest of the weekend with my parents as my Dad has won a big award and is being honored by the Secretary of the Army. 
More on that, in another post.

*Our renters are moving out of my condo near Uptown, so back to Craigslist we go.  Sure hope people aren't opposed to moving during the holidays.

*I'm presenting in front of a large group tonight for the Junior League of Charlotte and need to make notes for myself.
I'm sort of nervous but then I'm not.
I keep reminding myself that I was a Speech minor in college and think back to my days doing pageants and speech competitions.
I'll be fine! Right?

Well, that's all I have for today!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thoughts on Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts.
 I know what many of you are thinking.
This is not a veggie that I can ever recall my Mom cooking in our house, because my Dad is not much of a veggie guy, and I don't remember them growing in South Louisiana?
Anyway, it's only been in the past 12-years that I discovered just how tasty they are.
And, guess what?
Brad likes them now too!
I like to typically roast them in the oven with a little olive and sea salt.
Fifteen minutes, shaking the pan to rotate them every five.
This allows them to get nice and crispy.
Brad likes to call them, little salty, yummy cabbages.
It's one of our favorites.
The reason for this random post tonight?
I saw this recipe on my favorite cooking website, Gina's Skinny Taste.
Sounds like a tasty Wednesday meal for us and a perfect way to eat sprouts, yet again!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Alicia's Weekend Visit and LSU is #1

What a weekend!
Great time with an old friend and the LSU Tigers beat West Virginia and kicked Oklahoma out of the top ranking!
We're #1!!
I wonder if we could go for a 4th National Championship??
Moving on...
Alicia arrived Friday night and we stayed up late talking.
The next day we woke up, went to the Farmer's market and shopped around town a bit.
Later in the afternoon we went over to our friends, Josh and Katie's house to watch the Arkansas vs. Alabama game.
On the outside deck, Josh placed out an LSU hat just for me.
Nice or what!?
He also grilled up some tasty turkey burger sliders!
I need to try this!
I love how he cooks on foil too. 
Avoids a mess on the grill.
Brad was thrilled with taking yet another picture.
Can't you tell?
After the Arkansas game, we headed Uptown to watch the LSU game with the Charlotte Alumni Group.
Always a good time.
Great group.
Purple and gold baby!!
Alicia's jacket was a deep purple.
And, of course we stayed until the very end of the game!
Everyone was cheering and clapping.
The fight song was blaring.
Awesome time peeps! Only many more to come.
 Another big win on Saturday night?
My cousin Alayna got engaged!!!!!
I was so excited I started crying.
I'm a cheeseball but Alayna is much like a sister to me.
We can't wait to travel back to Arkansas for the Spring or Summer nuptials.
Congrats again Alayna and Sean!
How was your weekend?
I have a crazy, busy week.
More to come!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Home is Where the Heart Is...

This was our first weekend home in several weeks and let me tell you -- it's nice to be home.
As much as I love to 'go and blow', I love staying put too.
As I mentioned last week, my old friend Alicia decided to visit this weekend.
I'll have all the deets on that tomorrow but today I thought I would share a few pictures of the house as I was getting it ready for her visit.

A house guest is the best excuse to pick up fresh flowers.
I love the added peppers.
It makes it more Fall-like.
 Remember when I asked for your opinion about pillows?
Well, they arrived just in time for our house-guest.
I was able to find the down pillow forms at Pottery Barn.
You can see some of my other Fall-decor too.
 I'm going to add a few solid color pillows too.
 A house guest is another excuse to make Fall muffins.
My plan was to make these pumpkin muffins Hopsy posted on her blog last week but I too had major problems finding canned pumpkin.
After 3 stores I gave up and my Mom suggested using applesauce.
They were super yummy and easy!
Three ingredients: yellow cake mix, applesauce and pecans.
Bake for 20-minutes at 350
They were very moist, you simply have to try them!
 Even Buddy liked them!
We also made homemade pizzas Friday night too for her visit and they were tasty as usual but I didn't take any pictures.
That's all I have for today, it's rained a majority of this weekend and I'm not ready to go back to work.
More tomorrow!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Turbo Coming to Town!

Turbo aka Alicia aka Bestie is coming to Charlotte this weekend!
I know...I know..
You're probably wondering what in the heck a 'Turbo' is?
Most people do.
The word 'Turbo' came about during my tenure at LSU.
One of my sorority sisters started calling people 'Turbos' when they were acting dorky or just being goofy.
All of us girls in our group started jokingly calling each others 'turbos' when we felt like it.
It's a funny term that has stuck even 14-years after college.
Alicia was/is the Queen of using the term.
She coined: Turbolicious, Turbonator, Turbomeister, and the list goes on.

Alicia lives in Atlanta and we use to get together a lot but life happened and she got married, I got married, the Recession happened and it's been a while since we've spent a weekend together.
(Aside from my wedding)
So, she called me yesterday and wondered if we were actually going to be in town this weekend since we're gone all the time.
I said YES!
And, she has our address and will be here tomorrow night.

Alicia and I go way back.
We met when pledging Delta Gamma at LSU our freshman year.
But, even after college our friendship grew.
I moved out West and Alicia was one of the only friends that came to visit me wherever I lived.
When visiting Reno we partied our way through Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Napa(that's a story).

Then, when I moved to Vegas she came and stayed for 2-weeks.
That was trouble with a capital T and no, not for Turbo.
We partied in Vegas, NewPort Beach, Palm Springs and Temecula.
The trip from Temecula to Palm Springs is one we still laugh about.
After 'tasting' wines and drinking a bottle of champagne we were told to take the scenic route over the mountain.
One word: WOWZERS!
Here's a picture from that infamous day --- before we hit up 3 or 4 wineries.
Soon after I left Vegas and moved to Charlotte, Alicia moved to Atlanta.
Since my parents were living over there I use to go and visit all the time.
We spent one or more nights tearing up MidTown, BuckHead and more.
Then Alicia met Chris and they got married.
I was honored to be part of their special day.
She was part of my special day too, when Brad and I got married.
Pretty cool when you have friends for 18-years and you're still getting together.
Don't you think?
This weekend I plan on us catching up, drinking wine and watching football(LSU of course) with Alicia.
And, as Brad would say, who knows what else we'll get into?

Do you have any 'old school friends' that you still keep up with?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Goodbye Summer 2011

Summer is over and Fall is here.
I'm sad and glad all at the same time.
Other than it getting dark early, Fall is my favorite season.
The leaves, pumpkins, weather, football and much more.

But, in honor of our very busy summer I thought I would make a Shutterfly photo book recapping our good times in pictures.
I still print hard copies out here and there but I find this is the best way to compile everything into one book.
Check it out by clicking here.

Are you sad to see Summer go?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Catching Up

Taking a week off for vacation puts you behind!
It was the longest extent of time Brad and I have been off since our honeymoon.
If you haven't noticed we're more weekend trip kind of people.
So, getting home has involved a lot of laundry, meal planning, grocery shopping, organizing.
Through it all I managed to get most of my Fall decorations up though.

Don't get too excited, I'm not as crafty as most of you ladies but I try.
I only took a few pictures.
 My Mom gave me these baskets when we were at their house.
We are not hosting Thanksgiving this year so I'm not going all out like in years past but I'm using the items I already have.
 While at the beach there was a lot of Tervis Tumbler talk.
I'm going to admit that for some reason I don't have a ton of these like everyone else.
I'm not sure why?
The one I do have is busted.
I was telling my MIL about it and she said they have a lifetime guarantee and that I can send it back and they'll replace it?
 Has anyone else done this?
Let me know.
No worries -- I  bought a new 24oz one at the beach with a top and everything!

 Also new for me is a brand new pair of slippers.
Am I the only one that is weird about walking around the house barefoot?
I always have some sort of shoe on when my feet touch the floor.
I think this comes from when I was a kid.
My Mom wasn't big on us being barefoot.
That's all I have for today.
I'll be catching up on your blogs as soon as I can!

Friday, September 16, 2011

And...That's a Wrap

Are you over all the family pictures I've posted in the past week?
There have been a ton but I thought I would leave you with one last one.
The Stephens/Waller/Grubb families.
Of course, there are several family members who didn't make it this year.
I recruited a neighbor to come over and take the picture.
I think it turned out pretty good.
Most of us are leaving tomorrow to head home and it turned off cold and rainy here today so it's been a low-key kind of day.
A group of us went back into Beaufort to shop and I'm getting ready to nap.
A perfect way to end a week.
So, all in all.. this is the last beach post I'll make you scroll through.
I hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Stephens Family Beach Trip Days 4 and 5

I am sitting here right now suffering from heartburn and feeling like crap.
Despite working out and being active every day that I've been here, going to bed early, waking early...I need to stop with the eating.
Enchiladas, mac-n-cheese, just too much.
At least I have my Tigers to cheer on as Brad and I lay around by ourselves.
Let's hope they win.
Not looking too great right now.
We shall see.
Moving On...
Pictures from the past few days.
Uncle Dennis and Aunt Barbara were on point with dinner Wednesday night.
Yummy enchiladas but I'm paying for it now.
 Game night.
 This morning a group of us ladies went kayaking.
So fun!
 We stopped at an island.
 Afterwards we headed back to the house.
Here's a front shot of it.
 Then, the beach.
 Later, another family photo shoot.
Trying to get a good picture with the kids in the wind is always a challenge.
Take #1
 Take #2
 Take #3
Now off to see watch the rest of the game and get some rest.
Until tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Stephens Family Beach Trip Days Two and Three

We're enjoying ourselves here at the beach.
Yesterday the rest of the crew arrived and now the party has really started.
I thought I would share a few of the pictures from the past few days.

We've enjoyed time on the beach.
Walking, reading, talking, you name it.

 Oh.. and finding cool shells too.
 Dinner each night is always fun.
Again, every couple has a night.
 Our house has an elevator too and the kids are obsessed.
 The house is three stories with a big garage with a BIG grill.
That's where a lot of us hang out while the cooking is taking place.
 Sunday was lasagna, Monday was steak, last night was chicken fajitas, I'm not sure what tonight is.
Tomorrow we're teamed up with Sarah and Wade and we're making pork tenderloin.
 On Tuesday Brad and I woke up and ventured out on our own to a nearby town called Beaufort.
There's a Beaufort in South Carolina and North Carolina.
They're pronounced different though.
This one we visited in NC -- is "Bo-Furt"
 Cute little town and the 3rd oldest in NC.
 We ate lunch at the Dock House right on the waterfront.

 I think all the ladies are going back on Friday.
Can't wait to shop a little more.
That's not Brad's thing.
 Afterwards we headed back to house and enjoyed time at the pool.
 Wade and Sarah arrived yesterday afternoon.
 Then, Uncle Dennis and Aunt Barbara.
 Then, time for dinner again.
 I decided to get a few more family photos.
I love this one.
 And, I REALLY.REALLY love this one.
Christmas card if you ask me.
 Aunt Becky arrived yesterday as well.
She's a bit under the weather so we weren't sure she would make it or not but we're glad she did!
 Family DINNER!
 Then we celebrated another birthday.
Cousin Katie's 24th!
 No, worries.. Reed stayed in the other room and watched movies while this celebration went down.
We didn't need another meltdown.
Hope you all are doing well!
I'll be checking your blogs when I can!!