Just a swingin’

Y’all, I have been obsessing over a chair from Pier 1 for quite some time now. I first saw it online in passing and admired it as one of those things that I didn’t have room for. Then I decided to move and thought it would fit perfectly on my porch. I mean I had the perfect view and all I needed was the perfect chair. However, my practical side thought otherwise. It convinced me that I didn’t need a $500 chair and stand no matter how much I said I would use it. So I put the want to rest and went on with my life.

Enter my grandmother. She came to visit this weekend with my mom to check out my new digs and we happened to wander into Pier 1 after an obligatory trip to Target. I saw the chair and immediately ran over to sit in it. I noticed it was on sale and was convincing myself that I was okay with spending the money. I picked out a cushion and pillow (hello, the perfect chair needs perfect accessories) and walked over to the counter to pay for it when my Meme swooped in saying, “I’m going to get this for you.” WHAT?! “No way!” I protested and told her I just got a raise and I didn’t mind making the investment. Then she brushed me off and told the sales lady to add one of those tables with the feet that slide under the couch in, too. Two hours later, we were taking turns swinging on my porch.

chair!

And now, where am I blogging from tonight? The wonderful swingasan chair on my porch! It’s raining and we’re finally getting a break from the heat that was scorching today. Life couldn’t be better.

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i’m a big kid now!

Oh, Crop!

I thought it was important to share with you this little gem I whipped up in Photoshop for my new office. Why do I have a new office, you ask? What does it have to do with design? Oh, nothing really…just that my new title is Director of Communications. That’s right – I somehow convinced my boss (and his boss) that I know how to write, edit, and design well enough to do it for the College. Fake it til ya make it. 🙂

Gotta get down on Friday

Good morning! Happy Friday! I cannot believe it’s the last Friday of June. I swear it feels like it just started. Here’s some of my favorite things that I stumbled upon this week:

1. Wednesday I decided I needed white converse to match my outfit, so that was the first thing I did that day. Best decision ever.

Chucks

2. After hanging out with Abby for her belated birthday and picking out her monogram necklace for the reception, I decided I needed a bracelet to match my necklace. Apparently I just wanted to spend money this week.

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3. I have a new found appreciation for coffee (as long as it’s over ice). Lucky for me, they make “brew over ice” k-cups for Keurigs. Hello happiness in a glass:

yum

4. MONSTERS UNIVERSITY! I went to see it on Wednesday. It was wonderful. End of story.

5. Last but not least, this little guy had me laughing for quite some time this week. If I had to flirt and my life depended on it, this is what I would look like:

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And for any of you who are wondering…yes, I am feeling the aftermath of my fall yesterday. Holy soreness, Batman. Where’s the Aleve?

Grace-face.

Getting dressed this morning, I decided to wear a new dress I bought from Old Navy. It’s a simple, black sleeveless dress with a collar that I ultimately bought to wear with chuck taylors. Being that it’s a Thursday and Thursdays are work days, I picked out a pair of dressy sandals and out the door I went. Fast forward to about 11:45 a.m. The phone rings and it’s someone on the phone for my boss’s boss. I quickly race out of my office to make sure he’s around. On the way back into my office, my sandals slip on the mock-wood floor and the rest was a blur. My feet flew out from under me, I’m pretty sure I was suspended in air for a nanosecond and then I came crashing down onto the floor. Thankfully, no one was in the seating area to witness my graceless fall; however, my boss did poke his head out of his office to say, “You know for such a little person, you sure do make a lot of noise when you fall.”  Just one more reason they should allow converse at the workplace.

I heart food.

I like food. I really like food. So much so that that’s all I’m going to talk about today.

I spent this past Saturday morning at Aldi, where I bought two of everything for my one person household. In hindsight, I should have gone to the Farmer’s Market in Raleigh, but it was raining and super muggy. I bought  two bags of grapes, two containers of strawberries, two different kinds of bread and even two packages of mini Babybel cheeses. This probably had a lot to do with the fact I hadn’t had breakfast. Never shop when you’re hungry.

Anyway, I decided to try the fruit cleaning trick I’ve been seeing floating around on Pinterest and Facebook. 1 bowl (or sink in my case) of water, 1 cup of white vinegar, and 15 minutes to soak.

fruits!

I should have taken a picture of the “after” water. It was gross and grimy, but my fruit now sparkles and shines. I would definitely recommend doing this. I used it on my veggies as well. It also forces you to store everything properly instead of just leaving the plastic strawberry boxes half-opened in the fridge.

After a much-needed nap, I decided to make some parmesan garlic knots for dinner. I took a can of Pillsbury breadstick dough and balled each individual stick of dough into a ball. (Frozen dinner rolls – thawed – would work well, too). I melted half a stick of butter in the microwave with a half teaspoon of onion powder and teaspoon of garlic salt. From there, I dipped the balls of dough into the butter mixture and plopped them into a disposable aluminum foil baking pan. I added a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and tossed it into the oven for about 25 minutes. Yum!

noms

Now that I’ve thoroughly made myself hungry, I’m going to go watch the clock until it’s time for lunch at the Taco Trailer. Happy Taco Tuesday, everyone!

Flat cakes!

I thought that my porch would be my favorite thing about the new apartment, but my kitchen takes the cake! It has so much room and I don’t feel boxed in. I have space to leave Kevin the Kitchen-Aid out all of the time; and finally, every little utensil has found a home. Needless to say, I jump at any opportunity to spend time in there.

Sunday night I had to whip up a cake for a work social. I picked out a recipe, pulled on my apron and got to work! I sent this to Sarah since we bought matching aprons in NYC – she told me to make sure the pages weren’t stuck together in the cookbook. I love friends who love Friends as much as I do!

Central Perk

I decided to make a devil food’s cake with oreo and cream cheese filling. I whipped up the cake batter and decided to try a trick I read about on Pinterest. It said that if you wrapped your cake pans in wet towels while in the oven, your cakes wouldn’t dome/would be perfectly flat. Being that the domed cake is my arch-nemesis, I decided to give it a shot. I cut up an old (clean!) dish rag and soaked it for a few minutes. Then I wrung the strips I had cut out and wrapped them around the two cake pans I had. I secured the towels with safety pins. From there, I put the round cake pans onto cookie sheets just to prevent the towels from sticking to the oven rack. See below for details.

Photo Jun 16, 7 13 42 PM

Thirty minutes later, I pulled out my cakes and it worked! I had two beautiful and perfect cakes. I plopped them onto a cooling rack and mixed up the cream cheese and oreo filling (14 oreos, 1 8-oz cream cheese bar, 2 cups of cool whip, and 1/2 cup sugar). I was so proud of my flat cakes that I think I snapchatted and texted everyone I knew who would care.

Photo Jun 16, 7 53 48 PM (1)

The cake got rave reviews. I’m still hearing about it today. One person referred to it as the “chocolate wonder of death” and someone else said they would have paid big time to have the same cake in a restaurant. You’ve got to celebrate life’s little successes every now and then. 🙂

Photo Jun 16, 8 11 22 PM

Smooth operator

It’s official, I’ve found my calling. If this whole MBA business doesn’t work out, I can definitely open a smoothie shop. That’s how good the smoothie I created this morning was. Holy smokes, it was incredible.

Photo Jun 18, 7 52 24 AM

Sorry there isn’t a better picture of it – it was that good. I couldn’t wait to snap an artsy photo.

Strawberry Lemonade Oatmeal Smoothie

1 frozen banana – sliced (thanks for the tip, BKAlderson!)
1 cup of strawberries (I used half frozen/half fresh)
2 Tablespoons non-fat plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup quick oats
1 packet Crystal Light Lemonade to Go
1/2 Tablespoon of chia seeds

Blend in all of the ingredients and viola! One perfect, tangy yet sweet smoothie that keeps you full for hours. That’s why I added the chia seeds. Being a desk-worker and a snack-lover can be a deadly combination and I’ve been looking for foods that keep me fuller longer so I don’t reach for empty calories. This hit the spot! Enjoy!

RDU Baton

This past Thursday I had the pleasure of carrying the RDU Baton. What’s the RDU Baton, you ask? It’s an interactive photo relay that passes from person to person in the Triangle. You can read more about it here. To put it simply, I got to log into the RDU Baton instagram account on Thursday and post pictures throughout my day. Here are a few of the photos I posted:

Photo Jun 13, 7 40 41 AM

My first shot of my hydrangeas and new pool view!

Photo Jun 13, 8 51 57 AM

Crossing “ride the camel” off my bucketlist.
Photo Jun 13, 1 18 54 PM

My absolute most favorite view of Raleigh. It still takes my breath away.

Photo Jun 13, 3 31 38 PMSoaking up some vitamin D and enjoying a Cook Out milkshake.

Photo Jun 13, 5 40 07 PMScary little storm that rolled through the area.

It was so much fun finding cool pictures to take and interacting with the followers of the account. If you’re in the area and you’re an instagram addict, I definitely suggest signing up for a turn.

 

 

 

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, y’all! Today has been a whirlwind. First off, I’m car-less. The moozda is currently getting new brake pads, ball bearings, and fresh oil, so I’ve spent the day being shuffled from my mom’s car to my friend, Deb’s car back to my mom’s car. I feel like a freshman in high school all over again. Another tiny annoyance was having to go to the dentist. I absolutely hate the dentist, but I adore my dental hygienist. She’s a gem. While sitting in the chair this morning, I was reminded of how I used to think the dentist only came in to count your teeth. Honest to God, I thought he would come it and make sure you had enough and leave. I’m starting to wonder what they meant by calling me “gifted” all of those years. Anyway, I’m off to cook dinner for my father. I’ll let you know how that goes. Here’s what’s making me smile this week:

1. Nothing says ‘Merica like this stars & stripes bikini

2. This new polish that was in my Birchbox this month!

nails

3. This precious Camel sugar dish!

4. And last but not least,  Si Robertson everybody. 🙂

sneeze

Food truckin’

First and foremost, I’ve found my new favorite blogging spot. Hello little piece of paradise:

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Now back to the important things! Christopher came down to the land of the pine and accompanied me to a food truck rodeo in Downtown Raleigh. Apparently everything I wanted to do this weekend revolved around Downtown. Good thing my new apartment is only 20 minutes away. We waited 30 minutes for Mexicano from Captain Poncho’s (yum!) and I got my first locopop of the season!

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I learned that you only fit in downtown if you have wayfarers or aviator sunglasses, some sort of ironic t-shirt or tank, and converse or Toms. Clearly, it’s my kinda place.

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Well I’m off to enjoy this weather and read for a bit before I attempt to make quinoa for the first time. Unfortunately, my ombré dyed pillowcases did not work out. Hopefully, my quinoa will be a success! Happy Sunday!