Friday Favorites.

Hello friends! The sunshine is glorious in North Carolina, and I hope it is just the same wherever you are. I’m loving a lot of things this week, so I thought I would share them with you!

First up, Bow and Drape! My friend Carly tagged me in a photo on their Insta this week. It was a sweatshirt that said “Hair on fleek” (I’m not really sure what that means, but apparently it’s what the kids say these days) and had sequined TROLL DOLLS on it. I immediately fell in love. Turns out they customize sweatshirts and clutches. I’m counting down the days until my gray and black “Goal Digger” sweatshirt arrives. 🙂

Second, we have a water bottle by Ashley Brooke Designs. I’ve been coveting her coffee mugs for a while now, but being that I have a coffee mug for every day of the week, I can’t bring myself to buy a new one. However, this sassy water bottle that says “I Like the Way You Work It” is calling out to me.

Third, the fact that Run the Quay is next weekend and I’ve been consistently running 5 days a week. Crazy talk. Here’s to breaking an hour on my time!

Last but not least, Dr. Pepper. My one true love.

dr pepper

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beef jerky & dog treats.

Shane purchased a food dehydrator back before Christmas, and I’ve been itching to get my hands on it. However, with planned family visits, running, and general holiday chaos, I  decided I needed to wait until I had some spare brain power before I went sucking the moisture out of things.

Yesterday, I worked from home and decided to tackle my first batch of beef jerky. It’s amazing the kind of time you have when you don’t have to get ready for work, drive to work, drive home from work, or cook dinner. (Shane had to fend for himself with the leftovers in the fridge).

Our dehydrator is a Sedona Raw Food Dehydrator. It can operate fully with 9 trays, or only use half the machine for 4 trays. I thought that was kind of a nice feature since I was only using 3 trays for my jerky.

I spent a couple of minutes searching Pinterest for jerky recipes, but I couldn’t really find a winner. I decided to make my own marinade, use a flank steak that had been living in the freezer for a month or so, and go from there.

jerky

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. flank steak, cleaned of fat and sliced into thin strips
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • .5 tablespoon honey
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder

After cleaning the meat and slicing it in thin strips, I let it rest in a bowl of the marinade for a couple of hours in the fridge. If I had planned better, I would have soaked it over night. But I really wanted jerky last night, so I rushed it.

From there, I pulled the strips out onto paper towels and patted the meat dry to prevent any dripping in the machine. Then I laid the strips on the trays evenly and inserted them into the machine. I set it at 155*F for 6 hours.

The final product is amazing. So much better than store-bought jerky. I could never get over the weird sweet taste of the prepackaged stuff from convenience stores. I would always make myself eat it for a quick burst of protein after a run, but man, oh man. This homemade stuff if amazing.

Hunter also got a treat. I found this homemade peanut butter pumpkin dog treat recipe from Damn Delicious. Every single recipe I’ve tried from her website has been wonderful. Most of my go-to recipes are Damn Delicious recipes – one-pot garlic parmesan pasta, beef and broccoli, and the crab artichoke dip are my all-time favorites. 

Hunter absolutely loved the homemade treats and they were significantly cheaper than buying a small bag of beggin’ strips or meaty bones. I got about 22 gingerbread men (the only cookie cutter I had on hand) out of one batch of dough. I guessitimated a half of peanut butter pumpkin man is a serving size for him (he’s a 70 pound Husky), so almost 50 treats from about $4 of ingredients. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Happy Friday, y’all. If I get through my 9 mile run tomorrow, I get to go see Wicked! 😛

rabbit, rabbit.

Let me be the first to wish you a very happy November! I love November – it’s warm colors, delicious food, and quality time with family and friends just makes me want to settle in with a blanket and nap for a while. Here’s my favorite things this week:

1. I spent some quality time with my mom shopping yesterday. Well she spent the majority of the time laughing at me while I fought back the urge to twirl in my Beetlejuice dress and orange scarf.

2. This fabulous list from Kate Spade to inspire this holiday season. It’s making me want to create my own little bucket list for December.

3. My Christmas cards! Sorry – I can’t show them to you yet, but I can show you this adorable little sticker that was on the packaging they were mailed in.

Sticker

4. And last, but not least: The Paris Wife. It’s what I’ve been reading this week & it is phenomenal so far.

Happy weekend, friends!

Friday Favorites

Contrary to popular belief, I haven’t been kidnapped, mauled by tigers, or run away with the circus. I’ve just been busy and using “busy” as an excuse to complain and not be on top of things. Good thing I stumbled upon this little article this morning:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-bartolotta/happiness-tips_b_3956114.html

It is my only Friday favorite today (it’s that relevant). Now I’m off to work a little then go celebrate my sister’s next to last weekend of singledom! Happy Friday, y’all!

Friday Faves: John Mayer edition

Y’all – I love music, but I hate concerts. I hate the crowds. I hate how the artist(s) never sound as good as they do on their albums. I hate the overpriced merchandise. I hate that one couple who ruins the experience for everyone because they cannot keep their hands off each other. I just hate them. So understandably, I was a little apprehensive when I purchased tickets to see John Mayer.  I had the whole hating concerts thing going against me and I was so scared he wasn’t going to be good. With him canceling his last tour due to vocal chord issues and the last two albums not sounding anything like his original stuff, I honestly thought he was making a feeble attempt at staying relevant. Boy – was I wrong.

playlist

I cannot express how much I enjoyed last night. From the opening chords of Queen of California to the closing notes of Gravity, I was in awe of this man’s talent. Of course, I have crushed on him since he put out Room for Squares, but I had no idea how bad I had it. Now I remember getting excited when getting N’SYNC’s “No Strings Attached” came out in 2000, but that was mainly because I wanted to take it with me to dance class to play for everyone. But 2001’s Room for Squares was something entirely different. It was the first album I actually listened to as something more than notes and a beat – and I’m pretty sure I’ve thought “Love Song For No One” was the anthem of my life. From there, I remember memorizing the words to every song from Continuum to Heavier Things and rushing out to buy Battle Studies the day it came out. I remember crying to Gravity when my heart was broken and dancing along to The Age of Worry in my car. So you can see why I was apprehensive. You can see why I didn’t want to go to this concert and be let down by someone I had admired for his music for 12 years.

mayer

Now I can’t believe I was so worried. The man was incredible. You could just tell he was there to play music and not make a name for himself. He just had to get the music out of him at the expense of his beat-up guitar (with monogrammed guitar strap – precious). He played for two hours straight, and I’ve never been so mesmerized. While he didn’t play my favorite song of his, he did perform “Free Fallin'”, which in my opinion is right up there with Tom Petty’s original version and he closed the night with “Gravity”.

I desperately tried to appreciate the moment and not spend it Instagramming and tweeting. He even stopped mid-concert to commend “older” people in the audience for realizing that the world is not always staring at every little thing you do and to “dance like no one is posting”.  What a goofball! I honestly think we could be best friends.

Here’s my John Mayer playlist on Spotify if you want to sing along with me all day.

Friday Favorites.

Hello –

1. The Alexander Square parking deck in Raleigh. The stairwells smell like cinnamon and it’s one block down from my favorite store and two blocks down from my favorite restaurants. Plus it’s the only parking deck I can navigate Raleigh from.

2. Chuck’s – again downtown Raleigh. Get their Big House burger. Delicious.

3. Sam’s Club – did you know you can buy bulk flowers from them?! Holy cow – my life has changed.

4. My mom & dad – they sent me these gorgeous flowers on my first day of my new job:

fleurs

 

Happy weekend, y’all! I hope it’s full of fun adventures!

leah

Roar!

So apparently I’ve become one of those people who only updates on Friday. Life is slowing down a little bit….maybe…I’ll try to do better.

Favorite things this week:

1. The wedding invitations are done! They will be hitting mailboxes very soon.

Invites

2. I got my latest textbook from Chegg (in two days – I’m super impressed with them). I think they were trying to hitting on me or something…

chegg

3. My dad! His birthday was Wednesday and I’m so super excited to see him this weekend. A trip home is much needed!

august 14

4. My designs came to life this week. This fuels me more than you know!

cphs

5. Last, but not least, I am pumped for Katy Perry’s new music. I’ve been singing Roar all week:

It’s Friday!

Y’all – I know I need to apologize for NEVER updating, but the truth of the matter is I know I won’t correct my ways. Let’s just learn to live with it.

Happy Friday! The reason for my absence has a lot to do with the fact I’m juggling three jobs at the moment and wrapping up my last summer class. I’m so busy that my weekend plans are writing two articles for work, writing a ten page paper for class, and creating a guestbook for the Awkward’s wedding in October. I know you are extremely jealous.

Here’s the wrap up of my favorite things this week:

1. This needs no description – and I need to let the Starbucks I frequent know how friendly the barista was this morning.  Also, it’s common knowledge that you feel better when you do things for people (and I know it negates the whole purpose of a random act of kindness if you tell people about it, but…) and I happily bought the car behind me some caffeine. Happy Friday to them!

starbucks

2. Basically any skit by The Devil on Weekend Update – SNL. I needed a pick me up yesterday and I could watch Jason Sudeikis all day, every day.

3. When friends send you cards with Lisa Frank stickers plastered all over the envelope. That’s the sign of a true friendship, people. There was even a sticker of a cat with the caption “Jasmine – if she was a Lisa Frank creation”.

4. We’re only three weeks away from college football season! Plus the likelihood of seeing my Virginia Tech-in-law the weekend of the Chickfila Bowl is extremely high. It’s going to be fun. 🙂

bama

5. This lovely little song. I cannot stop singing it!

Have a fantastic weekend! I’ll be in the corner, writing until my fingers fall off if you need me.

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, folks! I have two favorite things I must share with you today.

First:The Civil Wars. Yep, they’re releasing their second album next week and it is being streamed on iTunes at the moment. Check it out: smarturl.it/tcwstream

This duo’s music has gotten me through boring car rides and long nights. I’ve never heard anything so hauntingly beautiful in my life.  I haven’t actually bought an album in months (maybe years), but I do believe I will be buying a hard copy of this one. This is the first single off the album:

Second: The Bloggess. Holy cow, I’m four chapters into her book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, and I’ve never laughed so hard in my life. I was sitting on my balcony last night reading it and I’m pretty sure my neighbors now think I’m that weird girl who laughs by herself. Also, let’s hope I don’t get sued for this picture:

Photo Aug 01, 9 18 20 PM

 

These are a few of my favorite things…

I usually have a hard time with picking out the obvious and “reading the signs”, but I’m guessing when two people (related and non-related) mention your blog and how it hasn’t been updated in a while – you should probably write something. So hi…sorry I’ve been a hermit.

I know I missed a Friday favorites and finds; however I was on a road trip for work which involved being in the car for 12 hours, seeing 20 of our alumni, purchasing 9 dozen doughnuts, and laughing until we cried. By the time I got home on Friday night, I was pretty much a shell of a  person. Literally, I walked into my house, took off my pants, ate some Nutter Butters and went to bed. If you think I don’t know how to party, you are mistaken, my friend. Anyway, I figured I would do favorite things tonight.

1. Warm Bodies – I know, I know…I was skeptical at first, too. I was all like, “Zombies? Romance? I outgrew my Hot Topic phase seven years ago. No, thank you!” But it was adorable and heart-warming.

2. White Mocha Skinny Iced Coffee from Creek Coffee – seriously, it’s the one reason I look forward to going to class on Monday nights.

3. Moon & Lola and seeing my sister’s soon-to-be monogram for the first time! Oh, and of course I had to order something for myself when I went to pick it up. Doesn’t this look like me? I couldn’t resist.

AWC

4. The One With All The Resolutions – This love is threefold: 1. It’s currently on right now. 2. Ross’s leather pants. 3. It always reminds me of Kara saying “No divorces in ’99!” on New Year’s Eve.

5. The new pop-up ice cream shop Downtown. Mainly because it’s located across from the only parking deck I know how to navigate the city from.

icecream

6. Christmas is 5 months and 10 days away. Start making your lists!

Let’s start this week off with a bang!