Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Perfect Easter Basket

Note: This post could also be called “Dear TG…”

I love the Easter season for the obvious reasons (acknowledging the sacrifice He made for us, Spring weather, and cute dresses), however, this year I’m especially excited. Because I will be enjoying a whole bag these.

(My absolute favorite Easter candy. I look forward to it starting at Christmas.)

You see, I gave up candy for Lent. I don’t know what I was thinking. I never imagined it would be this hard. While it has been challenging to say the least, it has also opened my eyes to the sugar addict that I have become. More on that in another post.

I love shopping for different odds and ends to go in TG’s stocking and Easter basket. It’s fun to have lots of little prizes.

My perfect Easter basket would include items like this:

(And yes, I know the real meaning of Easter, and that it has nothing to do with baskets. But Baskets are fun. So there.)

What do you typically get in your Easter basket?

My mom usually does candy and a couple small things that I may have mentioned like a book a movie, or pair of earrings.

images via 1|2

*Shasta Anne is having an awesome giveaway---$100 gift card to Forever 21 + $100 Gas card.. So head on over to her fabulous blog and enter yo' self! *

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I'm loving my new yoga mat and spring form pan came in the mail from CSN.
I won CCG's CSN Giveaway so I got both items--fo' free!!

I've needed a spring form pan for a while (You know, to make cheesecakes and such).

I also won Jessie’s giveaway for the exact same thing ($35 more dollars to CSN!)

How lucky can one gal be?

I let TG pick what we ordered with the 2nd giveaway win. He chose a cast iron skillet. He now has another piece of cookware to cook my meals with : )

I also purchased the Body by Bethenny workout DVD on Sunday.

Now all I need is some "light weights" to keep at my apartment and I will be getting a body like Bethenny.

(yoga mat + DVD + 5 lb. weights = hot bod).

I wanted to have a little at home workout to do on the days when I don’t feel like can’t go to the gym.

I’m also loving my new organizer. I got this little file folder thing from Target the other day. I went through all of my miscellaneous papers/warranties/important documents and filed them away in the little compartments (which I labeled). It’s nice to have everything in one place.

I’m loving that one of my college friends is getting married at the end of April. It will be such a nice little reunion with the girls.

I’m loving that my sister is coming to visit me in April. SO excited. Lots of sisterly activities in store!!

I’m loving that by next week I will have a new blog design. I have enjoyed this one very much but change is good : )

What are you loving this week?

Are you close with your siblings?

images via 1|2|3

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Garden & Gun

If you follow me on twitter, then you already know that I was in an absolute panic a little upset when my Southern Living hadn’t come in the mail last week. I kept seeing twitter updates and it seemed like everyone else had gotten their April issue. Well, now you can rest easy, my magazine came on Saturday. And I let out a little squeal at my mailbox.


I love having subscriptions to magazines. I look forward to each new issue (obviously). TG recently subscribed to Garden & Gun magazine but our first issue hasn’t come yet. I’ve picked up Garden & Gun in the grocery store before and I love it almost as much as my Southern Living. Like Southern Living, its focus is the South and all it’s glory. You can check it out here.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Shoe Lust

Dear Shoe Fairy,
If these shoes magically appeared at my door, I would not be upset.
In a 7 1/2, please.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Carolina Cup & LaRoque

As we near the end of March, I can't help but think of the upcoming Carolina Cup.
I attended three years in a row while I was in college.
Ah, glory days.

In case you've never been, Carolina Cup is a horse race. Also known as a huge, all-day tailgating event filled more Lilly, Vineyard Vines, Southern Proper, and LaRoque than you can shake a stick at.

At my last Carolina Cup, I noticed lots of similar (darling!) dresses made out of fabrics that I hadn't seen before. Several of them had monogrammed sashes. I asked one of these girls and she told me that her dress was made by Annabelle LaRoque. I even typed it into my Blackberry so I would remember to look it up when I got home. I decided then and there that I would have to have one for the next year's Cup.

Sadly, that was my last Carolina Cup. I never got to order one of these dresses. However, I will definitely be heading to Columbia to get my own LaRoque original to wear for my wedding rehearsal dinner. In a few years. Just sayin'.

Annabelle has a variety of fabrics and will work with you to create your own one-of-a-kind dress. In addition to Carolina Cup dresses and other everyday skirts, she also makes bridal gowns and bow ties--which are equally adorable.

Here are some of my favorites:

The girl is clearly talented.

LaRoque is located at:

2700 Devine Street
Columbia, SC

or on Facebook

If you live nearby or within a few hours, it's definitely worth the trip to visit her shop.
images via

Monday, March 21, 2011

Weekend Update

*Warning: This post is photo-heavy!

Thursday afternoon I had to drop Barkley and Chip off at the vet to board for the weekend. I always hate leaving them. Neither one of them is a big fan of sleep away camp. (Read: Chip ran between my legs and Barkley tried to make a run for the door as I was leaving.)

But there were snuggles all around before we left the house.

Chip knew I was up to no good.

TG and I hopped on a plane to Chicago early Friday morning. We like to take early flights in order to maximize our long weekend : )

When we got to Chicago we headed out to the Patagonia store (I've needed a new fleece for some time now). We were starving so we decided to have lunch at the nearby Goose Island Brewery . I tried a Goose Island Wheat Ale. TG got some sort of dark beer that tasted a lot like mulch to me. Or rather it tasted how mulch smells.

Not my favorite but, when in Rome...

Friday afternoon was spent leisurely wandering around.

Then hung out with these guys...

Friday night, we celebrated TG's dad's birthday. His stepmom gave a dinner party which was so fun and filled with way too many delicious foods. TG's stepmom is an excellent cook. We had skirt steak, an amazing salad, creamed spinach, and baked potatoes with all the toppings. Not to mention homemade potato chips with black truffle salt. For dessert, we had fresh strawberries in a balsamic vinegar/sugar sauce which I could eat at every meal. And a bonus, one couple brought Sweet Mandy B's red velvet and carrot cake cupcakes.

Yes, a lot of exercise will take place this week.

Saturday we walked around for a while before ultimately deciding to have lunch at one of our favorite Chicago lunch spots, Bistro 110. I think we eat at Bistro 110 every time we're in Chicago.

To start, TG and I shared the escargots en croute. They also bring you bread with a whole head of roasted garlic. (One of the main reasons why we love this place). This time I got the endive salad with goat cheese and french onion soup. They have the best french onion soup-EVER.

For dessert, we shared the creme brulee--which was voted best in the city.

We won't argue otherwise.

Although we've been to the bean many times, I wanted to stop by.

I swear TG doesn't have a butt cut. It was just windy.

We grabbed coffee and walked around a little more.

Saturday night, we ate dinner with Tyler's dad at a restaurant in Old Town.

After dinner, we headed over to the Peninsula hotel bar for a couple of drinks.
One of TG's drinks had a huge perfectly rounded ball of ice in it. There was a special machine that made the ice like this.

Sunday, we had brunch at Wishbone before heading back home.

Quite the busy weekend but we had a great time.

(I'm still learning how to use this camera. I've heard that having a different lens makes a huge difference. What lens do you suggest? I have a Canon Rebel)

*P.S. I'm holding out on my giveaway until I reach 100 followers. I've started collecting things though : )

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Running Rut

I'm in what I've decided to call a running rut.

I'm sick of almost every song on my ipod.

I'm sick of my running routine.

I even feel like I could use some new running clothes to mix things up.

How you you get out of running ruts?

I'm going to download a ton of new songs tomorrow.

What are your favorite work out jams?

I would appreciate work-out/running music suggestions.

*I will be participating in the blogging day of silence for Japan tomorrow. You should, too!*

For Japan With Love.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bachelor Recap

This post is all over the place. I couldn't seem to get my thoughts organized after the emotional roller coaster that was the season finale.

First things first.

Brad's twin brother is a good 3 times better looking than Brad.

I had tears rolling down my face during the proposal.

These tears turned to ugly crying when Train's "Marry Me" played. A sweet song gets me every time.

(TG yelled from the other room: Are you crying?
Me: *clinching paper towel in one hand*: No, don't be silly. )

For about ten minutes, I thought maybe they were really in love and maybe it would really work out for them.

I pulled it together.

Then watching Chantal cry on the After the Final Rose broke my heart.

Sidenote: Emily's ring is absolutely beautiful. I thought her hair looked so pretty on ATFR.

Kudos to Emily for being so real. She wasn't making false promises. She acknowledged that they have been living in a fantasy world and now she wants to see if they work in real life.

I, too, would have a hard time believing that I was "the one" for Brad after seeing him make-out/fantasy suite it and say all the same things that he said to me to other women.

Apparently Brad needs to continue his "intensive therapy" since Emily says he has a bad temper and they have "knock-down-drag-outs" via telephone.

I've read on several blogs that Little Ricki's paternal grandparents are a huge part of why Emily won't move to Austin. Apparently they have millions and will do whatever it takes to make Emily stay near Charlotte.

Honestly, I would be really surprised if it works out between these two.

Ashley Hebert is the new Bachelorette. I was kind of surprised by this. Usually if they use someone from a previous season, it's someone that has a big fan base. I didn't feel like that many people were rooting for her...but maybe I'm wrong.

Ali and Roberto remain my favorite Bachelor/Bachelorette Couple. Ali really is adorable.

What did you think of last night's finale?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Coming clean.

A few days ago I read my devotional for the day and it really hit home.

"Stop judging and evaluating yourself, for this is not your role. Above all, stop comparing yourself with other people. This produces feelings of pride or inferiority; sometimes, a mixture of both. I lead each of My children along a path that is uniquely tailor-made for him or her. Comparing is not only wrong; it is also meaningless."

(taken from Jesus Calling).

I feel like I battle this constantly. I tend to focus on how I measure up to other people. And I’ve decided to be conscious about this and actively avoid making these comparisons in my mind. My journey is unique. I cannot compare it to Jane, Sally, Sue or Mary’s journey. I am beyond lucky.

I’m learning that even though some people may seem to have the perfect life or relationship or job or family…everyone has imperfections.

I get so flustered when things rain on my perfect parade. How silly is that? Like, I’m stomping my feet on the inside. Riding around the neighborhood on my Huffy bike.

I’m learning that no one mistake or argument or bad day has to define who we are. It seems that what matters most is how we recover from our mistakes. Or apologize for our hurtful words…and move forward.

Starting to sound a litttttle like the last 2 minutes of every Grey’s Anatomy episode.

But seriously, then I turn on the news and can’t help but count my blessings. Is anyone else guilty of comparing their lives with other people?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Weekend Update + Good news

We had a great time with TG's friends this weekend.
College friends + Florida Sunshine + Margaritas + Pretending we're still college students
= Success!

We caught a bit of Saturday Night Live last night. Zach Galifianakis was hosting.
Seriously. Hilarious.

Good News #1:
TG found out that he has Friday off of work.
He originally thought he couldn't get the day off but unexpectedly did!
So Friday morning we will be up and at 'em bright and early to head to...
Good old Chi-town!

We are so excited to spend some time with TG's parents. And celebrate his Dad's birthday.

Good News #2:
One of my sweet sisters' friends who was diagnosed with cancer last year found out she is in REMISSION!
God is good. All the time.

Good News #3:
The Season Finale of the Bachelor comes on tomorrow night! 3 whole hours (including After the Final Rose) of trash television tomorrow. Whoop Whoop.
I'm pulling for my NC girl, Emily.

But mostly, just ready for the next season. Brad is getting annoying. And overuses the word "please".
P.S. Did you know Vienna (from Jake's season) is now dating Kasey (from Ali's season). You know the one. I suppose he is "guarding and protecting" Vienna's heart now.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Happy Friday!

I'm so glad it's Friday! Two of TG's college roommates are down in FL visiting us this weekend. These two guys have become like brothers to me and I'm very thankful that TG has such sweet friends. We've got some fun stuff planned that will likely include enjoying this FL sunshine and some margaritas.

Last night as I was waiting for Jersey Shore to start, I was doing some deleting on my DVR. I came across a Saturday Night Live episode that I hadn't ever gotten around to watching. I don't know how I neglected it because one of my favorite funny guys was hosting--Russell Brand.

I used to think he was really strange, but the more I see of him, the more I love his silly English self. He is hilarious. And oddly charming. A few months ago I saw him on Regis and Kelly promoting his new book..somewhat of a memoir. The book is about all of his past shenanigans being a wild partyin' man. (He's now been sober for 9 years). The book is dedicated to his new wife Katy Perry and the first page says "This is my past. You are my future". How cute is that?

I tweeted about how much I liked Mr. Brand and got several responses from others saying they did too. Do you love Russell as well?

Happy Weekend!
What are you doing this weekend? Do you like your boyfriend/husband/significant other's friends?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Over at CCG!

I'm blogging about Summer Time Essentials over at Carolina City Girl today!

Please stop by her cute blog and say hello!

(And if you don't already follower her, you should!)

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Guest Posting by Meet Virginia

I'm so excited to have Laura from Meet Virginia. posting for me today! Once you visit her blog once, you will become a regular visitor. It's one of my favorite daily reads! Thank you Laura for being such a great blog buddy and posting for me!

Top 10 Tips For New Runners

Hi everyone! My name is Laura and I write the blog Meet Virginia. I love Jesus, drawing, hummus, Africa, antique shopping, babies, running, blogs, John Mayer, and frozen yogurt. I’ve been known to ramble on about arts and crafts, baking, running, photography, my cute boyfriend, becoming a vegetarian, and everything in between.

I'm so excited to be blogging for Hannah today! I love her blog, and although we've never met, I'm pretty sure we would be best friends in real life.

As a once non-runner turned half-marathoner, one of the most frequent questions I receive is, "How do I start running?" Today I wanted to share my Top Ten Tips for new runners!

1. Start Slow. When I first decided that I wanted to start running, I could not run a lap around the group fitness studio with out stopping. Be patient with yourself. If you can only run a few minutes before stopping to walk, it's okay! Alternate between walking and running, but don't give up! Over time, you will build up your endurance and you will be running multiple miles in no time!

2. Make The Investment. Dedicating yourself to running is going to require time and money. It is important to make training your priority, and that means that you are going to have to invest your time. It is also crucial to invest in good running shoes. Don't skimp - poor quality shoes could result in injury. Spending the extra money is worth it to take care of your body!

3. Set a Goal: You may feel burned out quickly if you are just running aimlessly. Having a goal in mind helps to prevent burn out and gives you something to look forward to. This could be a time goal or an upcoming race.

4. Follow a Schedule. It doesn't matter if you are setting out to run a 5k, a 10k, a half-marathon, or a marathon. Whatever your goal may be, there is a training plan for it! Following a schedule helps you to get the best and most efficient work out. I am personally a fan of the Couch to 5k program and all of Hal Higdon's training program - just Google them!

5. Run With A Buddy. One of my best friends trained for and ran my first half-marathon with me. Having a buddy makes running more enjoyable, and keeps you accountable!

6. Make A Power Playlist. Make a playlist of your favorite songs to keep you upbeat and motivated while you run. Singing along is optional, but strongly recommended. ;)

7. Switch Up Your Route. Running the same route over and over again can become boring quickly! Keep things interesting by switching up your route frequently. Don't consider a vacation a time to skip your runs. - take advantage of the new setting by exploring while you run.

8. Don't Be Too Hard On Yourself. There will be days when you have a bad run. It happens to everyone. Don't get down on yourself if you don't run as fast as you would like or if your legs feel like lead. It happens! Also, don't forget to live your life! If you need to skip a run to celebrate a friend's birthday, it's okay! Life comes first.

9. Fuel Properly. Make sure to feed your body well in order to fuel your runs. Most people recommend cards for energy before a long run, and some people like to bring quick sources of sugar (jelly beans, Swedish Fish, Gu packs, etc...) with them to give them energy during their runs. You may have to do a bit of experimenting to see what works best for you.

10. Have fun! The most important tip I can give you is to have fun! Don't get too caught up in speed, times, distance, etc... Do what feels right to you and have FUN while doing it! :D

Feel free you stop by Meet Virginia and say hi!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Long time, No see!

It feels like forever since I've blogged...even though in actuality it's been more like a weekend.

My dear friend Tess came to Tampa to visit me this weekend. We rushed and pledged ADPi together. After both having less than ideal roommate situations in our freshman dorms, we decide to be dorm roomies. In October, Tess' roommate actually moved out to an apartment and I scooted on in. We had some good times in Fletcher residence hall that usually included fun nights of getting ready together before going out and countless late night dance parties. And even several noise warnings from our RA. After living in the dorm our freshman year, we moved into the attic of the ADPi house and again slept 4 feet away from each other in twin beds. More good times were had. We also ended up being roomies our senior year when we lived in an off campus house. Needless to say, she has become one of my best friends over the years.

After picking her up at the airport Friday morning, we lounged by the pool all afternoon and caught up. Then we went for frozen yogurt trip #1.

Friday night, TG took us out to dinner at Cassis American Brasserie in downtown St. Petersburg. (Sugardaddy, right?) We had a great dinner sitting outside. However, it was unexpectedly windy (like hurricane weather) so we did get kind of cold. We usually go to Cassis for lunch and sit outside. It's right by the water and all of the sailboats so it's a fun atmosphere. If you're ever in the area, it's a great place to grab lunch while exploring downtown St. Pete.

Saturday we lounged by the pool again. I'm happy to say I am turning into a little brown butter bean early this year!

For lunch we went back to downtown St. Pete and ate at Red Mesa Cantina. We loved this place and will definitely be our new weekend lunch spot. I ordered a Mahi Mahi taco and an Ahi Tuna taco which were both delicious. The Ahi Tuna taco had an amazing wasabi aioli on top as well as cabbage and tomatoes. Fresh and healthy, yet so very tasty. The three of us shared a pitcher of margaritas and some ceviche. The ceviche was SO good. Red Mesa has an awesome outdoor area with several big fountains.

Saturday afternoon, we took Tess to see the gators. Obviously. We certainly do love going to visit our pet gators. I snapped a couple of pictures.

Sunday guessed it, lounged by the pool. Hey, it's 80 degrees in March, can you blame me?

I was sad to see my friend go but we've already started planning our next trip together.

As for tonight...I am looking forward to catching up on all of your blogs tonight (And watching Bethenny Ever After, of course).

I'm still learning how to use my new camera, but I snapped a few pictures of Barkley and Chip playing outside the other day. I think they're pretty handsome.

Tomorrow, my blog BFF buddy, Laura will be guest posting at A Big Little Life. She blogs about running, living healthy, and adventures as a twenty-something! Pretty much all around amazing : )