Monday, January 31, 2011

Weekend Update

This weekend the annual Gasparilla celebrations were held in Tampa. Gasparilla is a huge deal in the Bay Area. The Gasparilla festivities have been tradition since 1904. It's basically Mardi Gras in Tampa. Gasparilla has two parades (a children's parade and a more wild one), a pirate invasion with tons of boats swarming into Tampa, and a huge festival. Festival go-ers dress up as pirates and it's just overall craziness.

Since this will be the only year we will be in Tampa, we decided to take full advantage the Gasparilla fun.

We enjoyed delicious pitas/gyros. TG got lamb. I stuck with chicken. (And asked him several times while we were eating "how does Mary's little lamb taste?").

Here are a few other pictures I snapped (minus that last one). I didn't take that many pictures due to the fact that I was carrying a HUGE dog stuffed animal that I somehow ended up with when TG played some game with darts. (And accidentally spent $80 dollars on said dart game in the first 5 minutes we were at the festival. Live and learn, I suppose.)

I had intentions of going to church Sunday but overslept/turned off my alarm in my sleep. I did school work all day Sunday and then took Chip and Barkley on a walk with TG. After wearing the dogs out on a 3 mile walk, I had to have some frozen yogurt. (Even though I may or may not have had some Saturday afternoon too). So, we tried a new yogurt shop, Yogurtology. This is hands down the best frozen yogurt place I've ever been to. I've never seen so many toppings in my life. Of course, getting frozen yogurt so close to dinner spoiled my appetite. I didn't care.

In my mix:
NY Cheesecake Yogurt, Red Velvet Cake Yogurt, chocolate covered sunflower seeds, cheesecake bites, Butterfinger chunks, gummy bears, fresh strawberries and blackberries.
Holy Yum.

Here is TG's bowl. I don't know what's in his exactly, but there were fruity pebbles! I was too busy chowing down on my own to notice.

Super Bowl Goodies

A big thank you to Christina from Summer Year Round for guest posting on my little blog. If you aren't already reading her blog--Shame on you! Head on over there for musings on food, fashion, and life in the big apple.

Hi Everyone! My name is Christina and I am the blogger behind Summer Year Round. I'd like to thank Hannah for letting me share one of my favorite topics with you today - food! Food, like fashion, should be two things - colorful and fun. With Superbowl parties coming up, what better way to whip up some fun food for the party you may be hosting or attending.

One of my favorite recipes for guests is simple yet delicious. It is one of my go-to recipes for last minute get togethers. What is this recipe you may ask? Well it's a Garden Vegetable Dip Recipe!

Garden Vegetable Dip Recipe

1 cup plain yogurt (I prefer Chobani greek yogurt)

2 tablespoons finely chopped cucumber

2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion

1 tablespoon snipped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon chili sauce

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

dash of hot pepper sauce

1. Blend all ingredients in a medium bowl until blended. Refrigerate an hour prior to serving

2. Serve dip with vegetables, crackers or chips

Want something else to sip on while watching the game?

Nothing is more fun than some funky cocktails!

Orange Rum Punch

2 cups fresh orange juice

2/3 cup light rum

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

4 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoons bitters

orange zest for garnish

1. Blend all ingredients in a serving bowl. Serve over ice and garnish

I hope you enjoyed my post on some Super Bowl goodies.

Let me know how anything you make comes out and enjoy the game!

xoxo, Christina

photos - 1,2,3

recipes - 1,2

Friday, January 28, 2011

Favorite Finds Friday

One of my favorite bloggers, Carolina City Girl is hosting a new series: Favorite Finds Friday.

The other day I found the OneGarnetGirl's shop on Etsy. I'm loving these gorgeous rings. She makes a variety of styles and can do custom orders. Shop here. Here are a few of my favorites.

These next two are White Topaz. They look kind of like diamonds. Kind of.

all images via

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bachelor Recap and Jersey Shore in Italy

Last week was super busy so I watched the Bachelor in pieces and never got around to processing that episode. Laura, forgive me. (I'll buy you a cupcake next time I'm in Raleigh).

This week, you can bet I wasted yet another 2 hours of my life watching bad television.

First things first.
-I'm pretty certain that Michelle gave herself that black eye. She seems to be that special kind of crazy that would do that just to get attention.

-I can't believe Michelle is someone's mother. How about Brad asking to meet her daughter? If his intensive therapy taught him anything, I don't think he would be asking to meet someone's daughter when he is dating 12 (?) other women.

-Can we get a count on the number of times the words amazing and journey are used per episode?

-It seems that some people stutter, say "umm", or giggle when they don't know what to say. Not Brad. Instead, he says "Can you just come here to me" and starts making out.

-Dentist Ashley may want to lay off the sauce.

-How about the previews for next week? They showed clips of Emily crying at the race track. Seriously? ABC producers are down-right sadistic.

I must say I kind of lost faith in this show after Jillian and Ed broke up. Ed was my favorite from the start. Side note: I hope Jillian finds someone nice. She's adorable.

The reason so many of these Bachelor/Bachelorette relationships fail is because the experience they have on the show isn't real life. I mean, of course, TG took me on helicopter rides and building-scaling in the beginning. But that was courtship. ha! These couples get back to real life and they have dirty dishes in the sink. Brad is going to leave his towel on the floor. Someone is going to use the last of the toilet paper and not replace it. It's not pretty, people.

I'm no expert by any means. But it seems to me that the best you can do is find someone who you don't only love but like. It's also important to find someone who will be your partner. And if you're really lucky, someone who gets you the paper and coffee every Sunday morning so you can clip coupons : )

In other news...

Just when I think bad TV can't get any better. The Jersey Shore will be filming Season 4 in Italy. Did you know The Situation made over 10 million dollars last year? How crazy is that?

Will you watch Jersey Shore in Italy?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Valentine's Day: For Him

Valentine's Day is right around the corner. I never seem to know what to get TG for Valentine's Day. I always wait until the last minute and end up getting something he suggests. One year I gave him new Clark's shoes. Bor-ing. I figured a lot of girls probably struggle to find something for their guy on Valentine's Day. Most people think Valentine's Day is a holiday just for girls {or a stupid holiday made up by greeting card companies to make oodles of money}. However, I think V-day makes for a good excuse to remind people that you love them. {And eat Valentine candy}

I'm stepping up my game this year.

Some suggestions:

1) Cute lounge pants from Vineyard Vines

2) Fun Bow-tie from Southern Proper

How cute is this print?

3) Engraved glasses
4) Needlepoint Belt like this one from Tucker Blair
5) Some stores like The Fresh Market and Whole Foods have a wide selection of individual beer bottles you can mix and match in a 6 pack. I've never met a guy that didn't like beer.
6) One of my favorite things to do is fill a cooler with a variety of fun goodies. I painted TG a cooler a while back (for Carolina Cup). But you could fill a cooler or tote with their favorite snacks, coozies, a shirt or hat, their favorite beer, magazines, itunes/Starbucks gift cards, etc.

The best gifts I've received are ones that show the most thought. And after all, it's the thought that counts : )

What are you getting your special someone? Or what have you gotten them in past years?


When I first considered getting my own dog I wondered how Chip would react. I knew that Chip and the new dog would end up spending a lot of time together--either at my house or TG's house. Would Chip love a new puppy? Would he be interested in playing with him? Would Chip be aggressive or jealous?

First Meeting. Barkley loved him from the start, but it wasn't exactly mutual.
{Please excuse the ghetto gross mini-blinds. This was at TG's college house. TG and his college buddies had interesting interior design visions. Be thankful you can't see the fishing poles hanging on the walls.}

As you can tell, Chip was a little hesitant at first.

Those worries seem sorta silly now.

These days, their Bromance is in full-force.

{Excuse the crappy Blackberry photos}

Life partners

I sent this picture to TG a few minutes ago
His response: Wow, talk about taking it up a notch.

If you have pets, do they act like this?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Show Us Your Life: Singles Edition

I'm excited to be linking up over at Kelly's Korner today for her Show Us Your Life: Show Us Your Singles. Several couples have actually been matched through Kelly's Korner and gotten engaged! I decided to include one of my very best friends, Amy.
Amy is almost 24. She attended NC State University in Raleigh, NC and just moved back to Raleigh last week. Amy loves NC State football and basketball. She has a Golden Retriever named Jack. She's from a fun, great family whom she is very close to. Amy goes out of her way to do nice things for others. In fact, I had trouble getting to school on time in high school so instead of driving myself in my own car, Amy picked me up every morning. This girl has the biggest heart. I couldn't ask for a better friend.

If you are interested or know someone you think would be a good match, please leave me a comment with your e-mail address.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Today I feel...thankful.

I think about gratitude an awful lot lately. There's something to be said about enjoying the little things about each day. For some reason...just lately...I don't feel productive lately unless I'm running around like a chicken without a head. Isn't that silly? It's as if I've started to think that being stressed and busy is the mark of a fulfilled life. Does anyone else feel like this? No? Just me? haha

I feel thankful for the Pioneer Woman Cookbook I got from Santa. Without it, I couldn't have made her delicious lasagna. The step-by-step pictures are very helpful for the domestically challenged (read: me).

I feel thankful for a sweet boy that brings me flowers home.

I feel thankful for Barkley. Seriously. This dog makes me laugh all day long. Watching him chase his tail, lay on his back with all four legs in the air, and fall asleep with his head in the window sill is hilarious. I always think to myself, he gets it. He knows that the simple things in life are the best things in life (read: ice cubes and a good stick).

I am thankful that there is a chance Mark Consuelos may replace Regis. Or Anderson Cooper. Fun fact: Mark Consuelos is an ordained minister. I read that on his IMDB profile. A man of God and ridiculously good looking. Win and Win!

What are you thankful for?

(On a completely different note-Did you know that Barney Butter costs 10.99 at Publix?! I have heard so many people rave about this nut butter. What in the world? Barney Butter buyers: Do you do without cable and/or electricity in order to maintain your Barney Butter addiction? I need a coupon. Or something.)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Feeling the love

Since I missed What I'm Loving Wednesday, I figured I would post a couple of things I'm loving right now.

1) My acrylic tumbler. This cup makes it so easy to drink my recommended 8 glasses of water per day.

2) New songs on my ipod

3) Seeing a woman in a clothing boutique pushing her dog in a stroller. She even took him into the dressing room with her and said to him "we better try these things on first".

4) Kashi Go Lean! Toasted Berry Crumble cereal. It is yummy.

5) My new favorite snack. It's not really new, but I re-discovered my love for it again the other day. Give it a try. You can thank me later.

Saltine Cracker with Peanut butter on top. Then sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Next, gobble it up. Then repeat.

Did I mention it's not really groundbreaking? But delicious!

6) Key Lime Pie gum. I was intrigued when I saw the commercials for this. I impulsively grabbed a pack at the gas station yesterday. It really does taste just like key lime pie. Win!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bloggie Award

Thanks to Annie for the Stylish Blogger Award! (Although I don't really consider wearing pants of the legging/yoga/stretch variety 5 days out of the week stylish... but I'll take it!)

1. link to the blogger(s) who gave the award
2. share 7 facts about yourself
3. pass the award on to 15 ladies

7 Facts about myself

1) I have an addiction to candy. My favorites are: gummi bears, Lindt Lindor Chocolates, pretzel m&ms, and twizzlers.

2) I am the oldest of four children.

3) My middle name is Grace.

4) I'm obsessed with my dogs.

5) Sometimes I wish I lived on a farm like the pioneer woman. Enjoying the simple things in life.

6) I have never been to Disney World. (And my mother feels like she failed me terribly by not taking me. We were just always at the beach in NC during the summer.)

7) I think Mark Consuelos is the hottest man I've ever laid eyes on. (Except for you, of course, TG)
I love it when he co-hosts with Kelly when Regis is away. And yes, if I were married to him I'd probably tattoo his name on my wrist too.
I'm tagging:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Today's date is so neat. I've been writing it all day.

I finally had time to watch the Bachelor tonight. Just a couple of thoughts on that.

-I didn't time it but I would estimate that Melissa (blonde in the red dress) cried 90% of her air time.

-There was a crazy Michelle on Jake's Season and now there is one on Brad's. Of course, ABC does that on purpose. I agree, it is highly entertaining. And in case you didn't know: It was her 30th Birthday. Don't know if you caught that or not.

P.S. I'd be willing to bet that most Americans have turkey, water, and eggs in their fridge. This does not a soul-mate make.

-Rachel (the one fighting with Melissa). Holy boobs, girlfriend.

-Keltie. I felt so bad for her when she said she had tried every kind of dating. And then I felt even worse for her when she named all the types she had tried. She's a pretty girl but saying all of that on national television might not help her cause. Just sayin'.

-Fangs. Why is she still there?

-Emily. I may or may not have cried a little when she talked to her little girl on the phone.

Enough about that.

Yesterday I reached one of my first running goals. 3.1 miles! I've run 3 miles before but never without stopping and walking a little here and there. I realize this is not that big of an accomplishment but for this girl, it's big. I never thought I could be a runner...but what do ya know, I'm starting to be one. I can't wait to reach more distance goals. I'm considering training for the Chicago Rock n Roll half marathon (It's in August). Has anyone run a half marathon before? And is training in 7 months feasible for an someone like me?

I love lamp.

No, really, I do. I love lamps.

We are hopeful that there is a big city move in store for us in 2011.

Either way, I've already started decorating our next living room.

I'm loving all of these lamps for the living room.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pay it Forward

I started reading Kelle Hampton's blog, Enjoying the Small Things a year or so ago. I started reading just about the time her little girl, Nella, was born. If you're not a reader already--skip on over to her blog. You probably want to click the "start reading here if you're new" tab.

Click here to read about Pay it Forward.

In honor of Nella turning 1, she is helping raise money and promote Down Syndrome awareness. Her goal is to raise $30,000 for the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS). The NDSS seeks to create a culture that fully accepts and includes individuals with Down Syndrome.

Every little bit helps. And believe me, I wish I were able to contribute more.
But I will be making a donation, and you should too if you are able! Donate here.
TG will be donating as well, I just haven't told him about it yet ; )

Ocean Prime

TG's Dad and Stepmom are visiting us this weekend. I'm sure they were glad to get a break from the brutal Chicago winter. We are celebrating Christmas/New Years/playing catch-up with them.

Friday night we went to Ocean Prime for dinner. There is a chain of Ocean Prime restaurants in several big cities including Detroit, Miami, Orlando, Dallas, Tampa, and Atlanta.

Ya'll. It was delish.

We shared:
- Tuna Tartar. (one of my favorites)

The sides are "supper club" style which is like family style. We enjoyed:
-Creamed Spinach
-Truffle Fries
-Black Truffle Macaroni and Cheese

I've never met a truffle I didn't love.

TG and I both ordered the filet mignon-oscar style. Except I got the petite : )

Everything was really good. Definitely worth a visit. Their menu is here.

And an added bonus: they have Cake bread wine. My absolute favorite. Definitely a special treat that I only enjoy occasionally.
images via, via, via,

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Craving Chevron

Lucky for me--these came in the mail yesterday. Courtesy of TG.
Order yours here. She has a variety of fabrics. Love!