Wednesday, March 7, 2012

WILW

Happy Wednesday Y'all!  I'll be linking up again with Jamie so be sure to go check out her loves this week.



First I'm loving that one our doctors who keeps the audiologists the busiest is in surgery all day today so that means far less patients and a less stressful Wednesday, hopefully.

I'm loving these super cute tops I scored at Old Navy over the weekend.  They are the perfect addition to my Spring wardrobe and I got them both on sale. They will be super cute with a pair of crop pants and sandals.



I'm loving the sleep I am getting this week.  We removed our winter flannel sheets from our bed over the weekend and purchased a set of 600-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets.  I felt like I have been sleeping in a 5-star luxury hotel ever since.  

I'm loving my new kicks.  I am pretty much on my feet and on the go all day at work and my older Nikes just weren't doing the trick.  Plus, I can't wear Toms five days a week.  I purchased a pair of Reebok RealFlex running shoes and they are amazing. They are super lightweight and so cushy on my feet.  I swapped out the bright pink laces for flat gray ones and they are super snazzy now.  

I'm loving that Ben and I have been visiting a church that we really love so far.  It's pretty contemporary which is way different than any other church we've ever gone too, but the preacher has an amazing way of delivering God's word and the music is pretty incredible too. 

I'm loving that the Ole Miss baseball team is now ranked 14th and beat UT-Martin a butt-kicking 20-4 last night.  It supposed to be quite the wet weekend around here so hopefully they can keep the bats swinging with all the rain and get a sweep!

Finally, I'm loving all of my followers.  Thanks for reading this silly thing and all the sweet comments you leave.  I love reading them all.  I have a goal to be a better responder to all your sweet notes.

Happy Wednesday!!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wedding Cake Link-Up

Today, I'm linking up with Britt @ The Magnolia Pair for her wedding cake link-up.  I have just recently discovered Britt's blog and am smitten.  I highly advise you checking out her blog and participating in today's link up!


My wedding cake was one of my favorite things from our wedding day.  I originally thought I wanted to do something with swirls but when browsing through a bridal magazine I saw a photo of a cake that had edible pearls around the top tier.  Pears, how classic I thought and knew thats the "theme" I wanted for my wedding cake.




I knew all along I wanted a classic round cake, however, I wanted a little modern touch so I decided to make the top tier skinnier and taller than the previous tiers.  Also instead of a traditional cake topper, my cake lady, Kipp, did a mound of pearls in various sizes to give the effect that the pearls had fallen down the side of the cake.  

The two portraits on the table are photos of my parents cutting their cake on their wedding day and of Ben's parents cutting their cake on their wedding day.  I got the idea from my friend Anna and they were a complete surprise to both of our parents.  Being a Southerner, I naturally wanted to incorporate our monogram somehow but I didn't want it on my cake.  So, I had a family friend make a table runner with our new monogram using the coppery color that my bridesmaids wore.  That is the little glimmer of copper that you see on the table.



Kipp used over 7,000 pearls on my cake and wow if it wasn't the most stunning wedding cake I'd ever seen.  It was her first time to create a cake such as this and she told me after placing pictures of it in her portfolio she has had several requests for the Piper pearl cake.

Flavors
I can't remember the exact order of the flavors so please forgive me. 

White cake with chunks of real strawberries and strawberry filling was definitely the bottom tier.

Traditional butter cake with buttercream filling was maybe tier 2.

Almond cake with raspberry filling was probably tier 3.

Chocolate cake with chocolate ganache filling was definitely the top tier.

She also made a duplicate top tier for us to take with us for our one year anniversary so we wouldn't have to fuss with boxing up the top tier. That's what you see pictured in that white box on the cake table.






Finally, on to the grooms cake.  Ben is not a big fan of sweets so doing a fun grooms cake didn't seem appropriate.  However, the boy is a sucker for some Krispy Kreme doughnuts.  He will risk lives moving across 3 lanes of traffic if he sees that hot and ready sign lit.  So I decided to pay homage to Ben's hometown of Atlanta, the birthplace of Krispy Kreme and give Ben a doughnut tower if you will.  Ben grew up a Georgia Bulldogs fan and obviously became an Ole Miss fan once he became a student.  Kipp and I decided to do red and blue sprinkles on one side of dougnut tower and black and red sprinkles on the other side to represent both schools.  It was too cute and a perfect fit for Benjamin.



Such a fun day to look back on.  Looking forward to seeing all the other beautiful cakes in Britt's link up.  Now, if I could just find me some wedding cake...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

WILW



Happy Wednesday Y'all!  I'll be linking up with Jamie again this week so be sure to go check out what she's loving. 

I'm loving the weather we are experiencing this week.  There's not a high temperature on the 10-day forecast below 54 degrees and only a couple of chances of rain.  I realize we have not had a true winter yet but the warmer temps are gladly welcomed by me and have me just itching for Spring.



I'm loving this sweet, sweet pillow that my lifelong friend, Jessica (better known as Bird) made for us.  I know y'all have seen these state pillows at gift shops and boutiques but have y'all seen one as awesome as this?  First for her to stitch all that detail and then to make it so personal.  It is definitely one of my favorite things. Ever.



our little yellow house in Hattiesburg


where we met. 


I'm loving that I only have a 4-day work week this week.  It's not a real 4-day work week in that I have a day off but I'm attending a Speech Language/Audiology conference on Friday that t,\he University of Memphis is having.  While I'll still be "working.]," I will certainly enjoy my day away from clinic and my patients.

I'm loving that my friend Nathan has become an overnight celebrity thanks to his YouTube video.  He and Anna took Lucy Kate to the Memphis Zoo last Thursday for LK's birthday and encountered a very territorial male ape while dining at the cafe.  They shot a video and posted it later that day and in just a few short days it had over 1 million views on YouTube, not to mention front page appearances on numerous websites, mentions on national news programs, and radio shows.  In case you've missed the video, I'm proudly sharing below.  




I'm loving that the Ole Miss baseball team started off the 2012 season with a road victory against #15 ranked TCU.  The Rebels are currently ranked #20 and are 2-1.  Hotty Toddy!


Finally, I'm loving all of my followers.  I know I'm not the funnest or most consistent blogger out there but I love doing it and y'all reading and leaving sweet comments make it that more enjoyable for me.  Thanks for all the love y'all!

Happy Wednesday Y'all!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Vodka Cream Pasta

We are suckers for pasta dishes, especially super easy pasta dishes and are always looking for new ones to try out.  We really like vegetarian pasta dishes since it makes an already easy dish that much easier and cheaper.  Ben made this recipe tonight and it was our second time to give it a go.  We added some crushed red pepper flakes to give it a little kick since we thought it was lacking something our first go-round.  And of course I found this Rachel Ray recipe on Pinterest but the direct link is here.   Rachel says this recipe serves 4 but I feel it could easily serve 6. 

Vodka Cream Pasta

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, once around the pan in a slow stream
1 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 cup vodka
1 cup chicken stock
1 32 oz can crushed tomatoes
Coarse salt and pepper
16 oz pasta, such as penne rigate
1/2 cup heavy cream
20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn

Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add the extra virgin olive oil, butter, garlic and shallots. Gently saut̩ the shallots for 3-5 minutes to develop their sweetness. Add the vodka to the pan Рthree turns around the pan in a steady stream will equal about 1 cup. Reduce the vodka by half, about 2 or 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and the tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

While the sauce simmers, cook the pasta in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente (with a bite to it). While the pasta cooks, prepare your salad or other side dishes.

Stir the cream into the sauce. When the sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from the heat. Drain the pasta. Toss the hot pasta with the sauce and the basil leaves. 


Hope y'all enjoy!  It's also super yummy leftover!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WILW


Happy Wednesday Y'all!!  I'm linking up with Jamie so be sure to check her blog out.

I'm loving that bunco is this weekend and it's my month to host.  The 20th is National Margarita Day and we are going to celebrate a couple of days early with a  fiesta!  We give prizes for the most big buncos, most wins, and the most losses and I am pretty excited about the prizes I bought for the girls.

I'm loving that sweet Lucy Kate turns one on Friday! I can't believe how fast the first year has gone.  We are celebrating Saturday with a fun party with a Sweets Shop theme.



I'm loving that my dear friend Hannah found out that she got admitted into the veterinary program at Mississippi State.  I am so so proud of her and I know she is going to be an amazing vet.  I'm pretty sure her Westies, Lucy and Liza are treated better than most children I know.  While I am so happy, I'm also kinda sad that she has to move away.  Love her!!~


I'm loving that when I got home from work yesterday Ben had surprised me with a platter full of cupcakes from a local cupcake shop and a sweet bouquet of flowers.  We are totally NOT valentines people (we don't even give each other cards) so I was quite shocked when I got home.  


I'm loving that it's opening weekend for Ole Miss baseball.  Are You Ready??


Happy Wednesday Y'all!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WILW


I'm linking up with Jamie. Be sure to check her out!

I'm still loving that the NY Giants won the Super Bowl!  I have to be completely honest with y'all in that I just knew that the Patriots were going to destroy them.  I thought they were going to be seeking some major revenge since the Giants handed them a loss in the 2007 Super Bowl.  It was such a great game and it was the icing on the cake that Eli won the MVP. Way to go G-Men!!



I'm loving that tomorrow is my beautiful and dear friend Anna's birthday.  She is an amazing friend, strong Christian woman, and an amazing mommy to Lucy Kate.  I hope she has a super wonderful day and gets to eat Ann Olivia's cupcakes and Gracie Blue frozen yogurt  :)


I'm loving that we got our baseball tickets in the mail last weekend.  Ben and I love spending our spring weekends in Oxford and we haven't been able to attend Ole Miss baseball games consistently since we were students there.  We have 31 home games that await us!



I'm loving that Ben and I completed a semi-major house project this weekend.  When we bought the house we had professionals paint the entire downstairs minus the bedrooms, bathrooms, and a small hallway that leads to our bathroom.  We hired professionals to do the rest because the ceilings are ridiculously tall and quite frankly we would still be painting.  We had our bedroom and the half bath painted before we moved in and have gotten one of the bedrooms and guest bath painted.  The only rooms downstairs we wanted to get painted were the other bedroom and that hallway to our bedroom.  The hallway we knew we wanted to paint the same "main" color of the rest of the house and we finally got it done on Saturday.  I really shouldn't  say we since Ben did 95% of the work but I am so happy to have that checked of the list and what a difference it makes!


It was a dark green.  A majority of the house was this dark color!

Before


After

Hooray!

Finally, I'm loving Origins Make a Difference moisturizer.  I have been using it since the temperatures have dropped and my skin is loving it.  I don't remember my skin being so dry but this stuff has been wonderful for my face.  And seriously, Origins has some amazing skincare.



Happy Wednesday Y'all!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI

Happy Super Bowl Sunday Y'all!!


We're busy getting last minute things done.  Hope everyone has a wonderful time and is super safe tonight.  


While there are 2 former Rebels starting in tonight's championship.



Eli Manning

vs.


Ben Jarvis Green Ellis

The Pipers are for the Giants all the way!  Here's to a fantastic game!

HOTTY TODDY!!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Super Bowl Food

Happy Groundhog's Day.  

I realized how lame groundhog's day is this morning.  I had no idea that it was a legit ceremony that actually took place. I honestly thought it was just a random meteorologist that flipped a coin every year and that determined if the groundhog saw his shadow.  Well this morning I was getting ready for work and like every morning I had the local news on.  At about 6:30 they went live to Knobbler's Creek, PA or something like that to watch the groundhog.  I swear the whole town was at this ceremony.  Do people in Knobbler's Creek not have jobs?  Anyways, I suppose the important people of the town were the ones on stage wearing Charles Dickens-esque clothing and all of a sudden they pull a groundhog name Phil out of cage, set him on top and just stare at him.  They then pull a scroll out of one man's pocket to read a poem.  To my shock, they declared that Phil had seen his shadow and there would be six more weeks of winter.  I don't know what shadow Phil saw since there was no shadow to be seen since it was dusk and he apparently Phil hasn't heard how awesome and spring-like our temperatures have been here in the Memphis area.  Anyways, this is my rant and I"ll never waste 5 minutes of my life again watching a groundhog again.

The Super Bowl is just a few days away now and I have a sweet treat to share tonight.  This one is slightly more labor intensive that the previous recipes I've shared but so worth it and your guests will be in awe that you made it.

Cinnamon Sugar Pull Apart Bread
courtesy of iheartfoodandsocanyou.com

Dough:

2 3/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp. flour
1/4 c. sugar1 packet active dry yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. butter
1/3 c. whole milk
1/4 c. water
2 eggs (set out at room temperature)
1 tsp. vanilla extract


Filling

1 c. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmet
4 Tbsp. melted butter until browned.

In a large mixing bowl,  mix 2 cups of flour, sugar, yeast, and salt;  Put aside. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and milk. Once the butter is completely melted take off the burner and add the water and vanilla. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes. Pour the milk mixture into the large bowl with the dry ingredients and mix well. Whisk together the eggs and add to the batter. Keep mixing. Add 3/4 c of flour and mix well. The mixture will be very sticky which means it's perfect.  Place the dough in a medium greased bowl. Cover with wrap and let it sit in a warm place to rise for about 30-45 minutes. Once the dough has doubled its size, knead in 2 Tbls of flour. Cover the dough again for another 5-10 minutes. 

While the dough is rising you can start on the filling. Mix together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl. Set aside.  rown the butter in a small saucepan. Should take about 5-8 minutes. Once browned, take off heat and set aside.  Once the dough is ready, roll it out on a floured surface. Brush the butter on the the dough and add the sugar mixture. Make sure everything is covered.  Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into six equal strips.  Stack the strips onto of each other and cut six equal squares.  Place squares side by side in a bread pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover the dough for another 10-15 minutes to rise. Bake in the oven for 30-35
minutes. The outside of the bread will be a dark golden brown.  


By the way, I have no idea why some of the ingredients and instructions have white behind them. Could not get this fixed. Sorry!

Hope y'all enjoy!!



Wednesday, February 1, 2012

WILW and Super Bowl Food




Happy Wednesday Y'all!

I'm loving that Dunkin Doughnuts now has K-cups!  Dunkin Doughnuts has amazing coffee and now I can enjoy it every morning. The only negative is that they only sell it at DD stores so that means less $5 gift cards to Target since they give you one every time you purchase 2 boxes of K-cups.

Speaking of coffee, I'm loving that my sister works at Starbucks and over the weekend she gave us 2 bags of Starbucks coffee that we can use in our regular coffee maker.  Who couldn't be happy about free coffee?

I'm loving that I finally signed up for a Target Red card over the weekend.  My friend Anna told me about the card a few weeks ago but I had forgotten about it until Sunday when the cashier asked if I wanted to get one.  For those that don't know about the Red card, it's just like a debit card.  It drafts from your checking account and there are no sign up fees or charges.  You get 5% off every purchase and free shipping from Target.com.  

I'm loving that Tom's shoes finally released their ballet flats today.  I can't wait to order my first pair.  It's going to be so hard to choose which pair to purchase first.  Here are a few of my favorites







Finally, I'm loving that the Super Bowl is this Sunday!  I just love everything about the super bowl; parties, food, football, and of course the commercials.  I of course will be cheering for the Giants!  I have spotted this billboard in Memphis and I just love it! 



Speaking of the Super Bowl, I totally didn't share a recipe with y'all last night.  Whoops.  I'm terrible at keeping but goals, but never fear. I am going to share 2 recipes in this post to semi make up for it. Both are super delicious and super easy.

Pepperoni Roll-Ups
found this on Pinterest originally and adapted it to make it mine.  This is enough to make 2 roll-ups.

2 cans refrigerated pizza crusts
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 pkg. pepperoni (if you want to splurge, you can get the deli to slice fresh pepperoni for you)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Italian seasoning
Crushed red pepper flakes
your favorite marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 350.  Roll out your pizza crusts and use a rolling pin to spread crusts until there about 1/4 inch thick.  Brush each crust with olive oil.  Top with pepperoni slices from edge to edge leaving a little room around the edges and top each crust with 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese.  Sprinkle Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Here comes the tricky part, rolling.  Gently start rolling and roll tight and be sure to watch the ends and pat any loose ingredients as you roll.  Place on baking sheet and brush with olive oil.  Bake 15-20 minutes or until a golden brown.  Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before slicing into rolls.  Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

Cheesy Red Pepper Dip

7oz jar roasted red peppers (about 1C diced) 
4 C grated pepper jack cheese(3/4 lb)
8oz cream cheese (I use low-fat) 
3/4 C mayonnaise

2 T minced onion 
3 cloves garlic, minced
 
1 T Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 350.   Remove peppers from jar and blot excess water with paper towels. You want to make sure they are dry so they don’t up add moisture to the dip then chop peppers.  In a bowl, soften cream cheese in microwave so it will be easier to stir. Add in mayo, onion, garlic, and dijon. Stir to combine and then add in grated cheese and the diced peppers. Place in an 8×8-ish dish. At this point you can pop it in the fridge if you’re going to cook it later and you can even make it a couple of days ahead of time. Place in the oven and cook for 30-45 minutes. Baking time depends on the dish. It will start to bubble and brown on the outside edge, and you want it to be bubbly all the way through to the center. It will be nice and golden brown on top, especially around the edges. Mine usually takes 40-45min.  Don't remove from oven until your party has started and guests are ready to eat.  The cheese makes a lot of greasy fat that will gather at the top as it sits so this is why you want to keep the dip warm.  I like to serve with crusty baguette slices, you can usually find them already sliced in the bakery section of your grocery store.


Happy Wednesday Y'all!


Monday, January 30, 2012

Super Bowl Food

Hope everyone survived Monday!!  Can y'all believe that the super bowl is this weekend?  We are about to embark on a long 7 months with no football, do y'all think y'all can handle it?  We can get through it together!  Anyways, I have a goal to post easy and yummy recipes everyday this week that would be perfect for a super bowl Sunday.  I have personally taste-tested each and every one of these treats and they're all winners (no pun intended, ha).  I thought I would start off easy since its Monday and my brain is gone for the day.   Today's recipe is Spicy Pretzels.  Megan introduced me to these while we were living in Birmingham and they have pretty much been a staple at the Grove and at our get togethers ever since.  There's no cooking whatsoever and you probably have almost all the ingredients sitting in your pantry.  

Spicy Pretzels

1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp. lemon pepper
1 1/2 tsp. garlic salt (I just use garlic powder)
1 pkg. dry Ranch dressing mix
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 15 oz. pkg of pretzels (I like pretzel sticks)

In a small bowl, mix together cayenne pepper, lemon pepper, garlic powder, ranch dressing mix, and oil.  Place pretzels in a large, sealable plastic bag.  Pour in mixture from bowl and shake well.  Allow pretzels to marinate for at least 2 hours before serving giving the bag a good shake every once now and then.  

The original recipe calls for 3/4 cup of vegetable oil but I think they are much better with less oil and are far less sticky.  Also, this is a great recipe to throw together early in the week because the longer they sit the better all the flavors will be meshed together.  When I'd make these for the Grove, I'd always throw them together on Wednesday or Thursday so they'd be super marinated by Saturday and it's one less thing to do the day of.  

Until tomorrow!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weekend and Pictures!

Happy Sunday Y'all!


We are just lounging around with the SAG awards playing in the background as we enjoy this lazy night.  We had a fun and productive weekend with lots of rest too.  Friday, we headed to watch our friends basketball team win another nail biter game.  This game was much much more exciting and fun compared to last week because the student sections were brutal and quite creative shouting things to one another.  Saturday, we both had appointments at our favorite salon, Bloom in Southaven.  I was due for cut and color and decided to go a little wild and get Megan to cut some side bangs.  Talk about being edgy, hah.  After Ben had his haircut, he got to be pampered for an hour with a massage.  I was a little jealous until I got to the shampoo and style. Gosh, it really is the small things in life.  I have super super fine and thin hair and it's always so dull and blah and I always loved how volumous my hair would look and feel after leaving the salon so one day I decided to purchase the shampoo and conditioner that Megan always used on my hair and I haven't looked back since. The brand is LiQwid and not only does it work wonders for my hair but it smells so delicious.  I usually have to purchase new bottles every other visit so Megan offered to buy me liters from their dealer since I love it so much and they'd had been delivered that week.  Score! I was like a kid leaving an ice cream shop when we finished up.  After the salon, we ran a few errands around town.  We picked up some planters for our front porch.  They are really giant urns but Ben said since we aren't using them to store any dead relatives they needed a different name so planters it is. We purchased a pair that were an aged ivory but took them back today to swap them out for the darker color because we thought the darker ones would show up better against our house.  We also picked up a bedside table for our bedroom at a local antique store that we had never shopped before.  We are still searching for one more because the one that we have been using since we moved in is being borrowed from another room, whoops.  I have big plans to paint the table we bought to give our room a pop of color it needs although the piece is in remarkable shape.  We had plans to hang out with our good friends Jene and Hannah but while we were watching the Ole Miss basketball game, I developed a terrible headache that took forever to shake so we just decided to stay in and watch terrible television.


Today was like most other Sundays.  We went to church, grabbed lunch, and picked up our weekly groceries.  We also did some laundry and cleaned the house.  I also tried a couple of pins from Pinterest.  We had everything to make the Self-Frosting Nutella Cupcakes so I decided to throw those together when my mom called to say that they were going to stop by.  Well, I must I was definitely disappointed.  Mine were not as pretty as the ones on the blog nor did they rise like the ones in the picture.  I thought ok ok, I can get past the look as long as it tastes delicious.  Another disappointment.  They were super dry and that I have no explanation for that because I followed the recipe exactly.  After the cupcake fail, I decided to take a stab at another pin.  I have been meaning to make a wreath for our door that leads to the backyard since I took the Christmas wreath down and had found several I loved on Pinterest.  I decided to go with the Bubble Burlap wreath since I have a slight obsession with burlap right now and I had plenty of it lying around.  After getting the squares cut, the rest of the assembly was a breeze.  I plan on making another for our mud room door once I'm ready to cut 90 + squares.  


Another successful weekend in the books. 


I'll conclude this post with pictures from some of the stuff I've mentioned in this post and my Birmingham post.  Yes, I finally took pictures of some of the treasures I found there.



Ignore the feathers, they're gone now.  Our awesome antique store find.


Lighter planters


Darker.  Now we just need to fill them with pretty plants.


We bought Layla a stuffing-less raccoon and she LOVED it.  She was apparently worn out from her "busy" weekend.  I'm loving not having to pick up stuffing from around the house.


Those awesome pillar candles we found in Birmingham.  Found the perfect spot for them, beside our dresser in our room.


Both Birmingham purchases.  These tall candlesticks are the perfect centerpiece for our DR table.  The very top mirror on the wall was the perfect addition to this mirror gallery.  


Burlap Bubble Wreath!!  Isn't it precious??  All I had was tulle laying around so the bow kind of blends in but I think I like it that way.


Here's to a wonderful week!!