Timothy and I are planning to adventure out and start working on our wedding registry today. Eeek! Are there any former brides or brides-to-be out there that have any registry advice? We are headed to Raleigh this afternoon, so there is still plenty of time to send some scanning tips our way. Thanks so much!
Saturday, January 22, 2011
If you follow my blog, you know that my Aunt Martha gave me a new cookbook for Christmas titled, "A Southern Lady Cooks." If you follow my blog, you also know that I vowed to blog about my cooking adventures as I tried different recipes in the book. About two weeks ago I attempted my first recipes from the cookbook, Easy Lasagna Casserole. I think it turned out great! And Timothy said he would love to have it again, which is a huge compliment when it comes to lasagna because it is one of his favorite foods when done well. On a side note, as I cook these recipes I am trying to work in more healthy ingredients than it may call for, because (as you can imagine) a cookbook titled, "A Southern Lady Cooks," is not exactly the healthiest cookbook out there.
This recipe combines egg noodles, ground beef, tomato sauce, evaporated milk and cream cheese.
I used the no-yolk egg noodles to add that healthier spin.
I used ground turkey and spiced it up with a prepackaged dry spaghetti spice mix and then added the tomato sauce as well.
The evaporated milk and cream cheese is combined and warmed on the stove to create a cheese sauce that serves as the ricotta substitute (as compared to a traditional lasagna recipe). I used fat free cream cheese here. Combine the cooked noodles with this pseudo-cheese sauce.
Ensemble a baking dish as follows: noodle mixture; beef mixture; top with mozzarella cheese
(fat free or low fat of course).
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes and Enjoy!
Friday, January 21, 2011
If you have ever traveled on I95 heading towards the North Carolina-South Carolina boarder, you have probably noticed some of the most ridiculous billboards advertising a mysterious place, South of the Boarder. The first time you notice these signs you may ask yourself, what is this place and what do they do/sale/make at this crazy location? There are billboards visible from both the north and south bound lanes throughout most of North and South Carolina. These billboards pop-up approximately every 3 to 5 miles; they are unavoidable.
For many folks living on the east coast, these billboards are a bit of a novelty. They are witty and sometimes even a little risqué. The billboards are also very retro. I always believed that those billboards had been reigning over I95 since at least the 60's. I did a little research and South of the Boarder has actually been around since the 1950's, but I can't find any information about when the signs starting popping up.
During our whirl-wind holiday road trip we ended up on I95 (heading north, back home from Charleston), and to my surprise Pedro (South of the Boarder's No.1 mascot) has some new and improved billboards! The retro boards were still present, but there were definitely some new-shiny-modern boards up as well. At this point in our trip I was pretty much over being in the truck, so I decided to document the boards for my blogging friend to entertain my time. I didn't get a shot of them all, but I think I was able to get a good sample for your entertainment as well…
This one is animated!
Yes, that is a real car on the board.
Kid's Love South of the Boarder too!
So what is South of the Boarder you ask? I've actually never stopped, but use your imagination from the snapshots below. I can tell you it is one-of-a-kind for sure!
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Saturday, January 15, 2011
We decided to conclude our grand-whirl wind Christmas vacation in Charleston, SC, with our friends Natalie and Landon for NYE. We headed down on the 30th, and as we traveled south-east the snow slowly disappeared and the temperatures crept upwards. I think when we left Asheville the temps were in the low 30's and during our time in Charleston they ended up in the 60's and 70's. It was definitely a crazy change! We ate dinner at Andolini's Pizza our first night there, and we had slices of pizza that were the size of our heads! These slices could totally compete with the infamous Jumbo Slice in Adam's Morgan. Not only were the slices huge, but the taste was out of this world! Props to Landon for making the suggestion and I definitely recommend Andolini's for anyone's Charleston adventures.
Landon had to work during the day on NYE and Natalie was recovering from a nasty stomach bug, so Timothy and I explored the city on our own. The Clemson bowl game kicked off at noon, and we decided to find a fun place to watch the game with other TIGER fans. We ended up at King Street Grill and we were lucky enough to snag two bar seats in front of a tv. We enjoyed the atmosphere at the grill, but we were super bummed to see Clemson lose the bowl game.
After the game we checked out the shops on King Street, and spent almost 45 minutes at the Apple store playing games on the iPad. I have noticed that many of my FB friends are obsessed with the game Angry Birds (via their status updates), but I have to say that Fruit Ninja kicks Angry Bird's butt. I think I want an iPad just so I can download Fruit Ninja; second thought, I'm sure I can think of a few other reasons to want an iPad. Maybe an iPad will be in our future post-wedding expenses.
We were so excited that Natalie was feeling better and that she suggested Japanese food for a NYE-double date dinner. Our Charleston Japanese experience was much better than our Marion dinner, although we were disappointed at the lack of tater-tots on the menu (see previous post for reference). After dinner we headed over to a friend of Natalie/Landon's for a low-key house party. We really enjoyed the laid back feel and getting to hang out with the Vereen-Davises. We celebrated with drinks, desserts, sparklers and a fire pit.
There were cigars too; but contrary to this picture there was no caroling.
(as Landon's expression may suggest)Before we left town on Saturday we grabbed lunch with Landon, and it was so nice that were able to eat outside and let the pups hang out too. We really enjoyed spending time with Natalie and Landon and only wish we could find time to see them more often. I think Landon may have convinced me to run the Cooper River Bridge Run in April, so hopefully we'll be seeing them again soon.
So Welcome 2011! Here's wishing everyone luck and love this year.
Wow! I just received my very first blogger award! Thanks to Natalie over at
The Adventures of the Vereen-Davises, as she awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award. THANK YOU so much! Here's how it works…Rules
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award
2. Answer 10 questions
3. Pass it along to 7 blogs you've recently discovered and enjoy
4. Leave your recipients a note, telling them about the award
1. Why did you create this blog?
The 10 Questions (and my answers, of course!)
The 10 Questions (and my answers, of course!)
I've attempted to start blogging a couple of times over the last couple of years, but each time my blogs have fizzled before they even really got started. Recently more and more of my friends are starting blogs and I really enjoy reading them; I decided maybe I should give it another shot. I also have recently become interested in crafty-DIY projects and I get a lot of my ideas from others bloggers. I decided that if I'm going to stalk other crafty blogs, the least I could do was share some of my own projects and ideas too. So here I am with my most successful blog to date.
2. What kinds of blogs do you follow?
First, I follow my friends' blogs and then I often peruse any blogs they've linked. I also love a good craft-DIY blog, and I really enjoy a food/recipe/healthy cooking blog as well.
3. Favorite make-up brand?
I've never been big into make-up. I use to have a small make-up bag that had the following staples: Cover Girl foundation, Cover Girl blush, Maybelline mascara, and some no-name two-shade eye shadow. I also use to have a small collection of eye shadow and lip stick samples that my grandmother put in my stocking each year. I would break these products out approximately 4 times a year (Christmas parties, picture day, weddings and random date nights). I have never felt very confident in applying makeup and often felt like my face looked worse after my attempt than before. However…Tim and I recently had engagement photos taken and before the photos I went to the Clinique counter and had my make-up done. I told the make-up artist that I really wanted to learn how to do my own make-up; she did a great job explaining the basics! And of course she did a great job at selling me a few products too. I now rely on Clinique foundation, my same Cover Girl blush, Maybelline mascara and my no-name two-shade eye shadow, but now I know how to use these products effectively and use them more often. If I wake up early enough I even wear make-up to work.
4. Favorite clothing brand?
I am not loyal to any particular brand, but I do like to shop at the following stores: Target, Gap, Old Navy and Ann Taylor Loft (when I can afford it or when they are having a baller sale).
5. Indispensable makeup product?
If you refer to question number 3 you will realize I am still in the infant stages of becoming attached to any one make-up product, so I will defer to medicated chap stick.
6. Favorite color?
This is a tough one. As of late I have really been on a green kick, but I do love some Maryland Red and the girly-girl in me loves some pink (despite my lack of make-up experience I do have my girly moments).
7. Favorite perfume?
There may be a trend here, as these questions are making me realize I'm not dedicated to many cosmetic products. In college I was strictly a Romance by Ralph Lauren girl. I then discovered Bath & Body Works brown sugar and fig perfume (yes, the perfume not the body spray) and I was stoked because it was considerably less than the Ralph Lauren. Then B&B discontinued the brown sugar and fig scent! Currently I'm holding onto a bottle of body spray (the perfume was completely gone) that I found last year at a Bath and Bodyworks closeout sale. However, a college roommate use to wear Donna Karan's Cashmere and I loved it on her. I'm thinking if I can ever bring myself to pay the price, I would like Cashmere.
8. Favorite film?
Hands down (in no particular order): Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971 version), High Fidelity, Garden State and Closer.
9. What country would you like to visit and why?
I have seen a lot of our own country, but I have not traveled much outside of the USA (not really at all if you don't count Canada or the Caribbean). So that being said, I have a ton of places I would like to see: Europe (I want to see landmarks that pre-date the Americas). Africa (I want to see animals native to Africa in their true environment as opposed to the zoo). Australia/New Zealand, the Mediterranean, the most northern parts of Russia…the list goes on; however, if you someone gave me 5 minutes to make a decision and would in return give me a free trip anywhere in the world I would choose Israel. I feel like Israel would be like nothing I've ever experienced before and would be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
10. Would you rather forget to put mascara on one eye or forget blush on one side of your face?
Again, I'm not sure this question speaks to me but, as of late, I've been fairly dedicated to the mascara.
That was definitely fun and great distraction from a little house cleaning!
Now, for the seven new winners!
Lindsay at Randy, Lindsay and Aubrey
Jen at TaterTots and Jello
Randi at A Modern Day Fairy Tale
Dr. Dan at 101 Cooking for Two
Char at Crap I've Made
Mika at Mika's Pantry
Lisa at The Nourishing Homemaker
Sunday, January 2, 2011
We were excited to finally arrive in Asheville and to spend some time with Timothy's family. When we got there, Tim's Gran and her husband Jim were both in Asheville as well. Although it was still snowing some, we all decide to go out and explore the after-Christmas sales. Cindy, Gran and I all found some great Christmas serveware that will most definitely get used at next year's cookie exchange. It was definitely a successful trip back out in the snow.
After a dinner out, we exchanged gifts and celebrated Christmas together. Timothy and I couldn't be more blessed. Tim's Gran gave us a beautiful nativity set, which is an important Christmas decoration that we've been missing. I am looking forward to finding a place to display it next year. My personal favorite was of course the Mudd family stocking, but you'll have to scroll down a few posts to read more about the stockings. Again, thanks to the wonders of technology, we were able to Skype with Kimberly, Chad, Aiden and Jezzie. Aiden was too cute showing us all of his big trucks and new toys.
We stayed a few days in Asheville enjoying the snow and spending some quality time with Cindy & Mark. If you know Timothy at all, you know that he loves BBQ but not just any BBQ…Tim loves Western Carolina BBQ (which is ketchup based, as opposed to the vinegar based of Eastern Carolina BBQ). We cannot find good Western barbeque here in Rocky Mount. His favorite BBQ place in Asheville was a restaurant called Fat Buddies, but that particular location is no longer open. His 2nd favorite BBQ joint is 12 Bones, which just happens to be closed this time of year. So we had to look for a new favorite barbeque restaurant. We ended up eating at Luella's, and we all agreed that it is pretty awesome and a good substitute for 12 Bones & Fat Buddies. To Tim's delight, we actually drove out to another Fat Buddies location (still open and about 30 miles away) for dinner our last night in Asheville. Timothy definitely got his bbq fix in during this visit.
Image from Luella's
Image from BBQ Blog
Image from Fat Buddies
We always enjoy a stay in Asheville and spending time with Timothy's parents. We played cards, Wii and watched some not-so-interesting bowl games. Other highlights include: Tim getting to watch one of his former players play college basketball (WCU vs. UNC-A), Mark making us some awesome homemade doughnuts, and enjoying Cindy's Christmas dinner leftovers. It was a great Christmas part two.