Friday, July 30, 2010

My Planner

I have always had a day planner. I am a product of an engineer father and super-organized mother. Growing up my parents created calendar cupboards lined up with their four children's activities. Each child had the inside of a kitchen cabinet door. If you opened it up to get a bowl or a plate you may find my cheerleading and soccer schedule. Oh, you want a coffee cup? You will also find Thomas' karate, cross country, and boy scout agenda's taped to the inside of the next door.
I was given my first planner when I turned 16. It was an olive green sport planner from Franklin Covey. I suppose my dad figured with me driving 45 minutes to school and such a busy schedule that I would need to keep track of my own stuff. Maybe he was hoping to lighten his own load, but it certainly worked for me...
because I have owned one ever since.
I am going to call out "nerd alert" because I love writing in my planner. (And yes, I sometimes will write things I have already done, just to cross it off and feel accomplished.) I love ordering new inserts every year and getting to pick out which ones will get me motivated for the upcoming calendar year. I get super excited when they come in the mail and getting to write everything out fresh. New birthdays in their appropriate months, updating the addresses, adding football schedules, trips planned, etc. New inserts sort of feels like a new start. It's a clean slate full of possibilities perhaps?
I am on my second binder, which is still from Franklin Covey. (The first one was so great, why mess up a good thing?) This one is the same "classic" size, but is red and looks like crocodile skin. It's pretty big and houses way more than I'd like to admit. I do not have the day-by day inserts, but have traded it out to a week at a glance... found here.

I suppose we all have our quirks and things that keep us put together. I even think a person who seems unorganized probably has a way of managing their mess, which I like to refer to as "controlled chaos". You know those people who have everything thrown about and if you move one thing it actually messes up their way of being "organized"? Hahaha I guess organization is in the eye of the beholder. What is your quirk and how do you stay organized?

It will be a relaxing weekend at home and a possible laundry room makeover! Have a wonderful sunny weekend everyone!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Color me blue and give me some pie

Hey there! I had a great weekend, because Jonathan and I hosted a birthday surprise party for one of our friends. I didn't take any pictures, which is because I was running around my house getting drinks, cleaning up, visiting with friends, and serving tons of food. We had about 25 guests and it goes without saying we had a truckload of food (21 lbs of meat to be exact). I would like to point out that this would happen when you send two men in their late 20's to buy food for the party. Their (cute) way of thinking was averaging how many pounds of meat could be eaten per person? Seriously, I did not make this up...

On that note I would like for you to have a sweet Tuesday and check out this blueberry pie recipe. My mother-in-law makes this pie and I LOVE it!! It is a great summer pie because it is served cold and blueberries are in season.
~German Blueberry Pie~
2/3 cup sugar
1 pkg pecan sandies (minus 5 cookies for hungry husband)
1 stick butter (real)
1- 8oz cream cheese softened (full fat... sorry ladies)
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 pint fresh blueberries

In a large mixing bowl crumble pecan sandies & blend with enough melted butter to hold together (you may not use the entire stick because you still want a little bit of a crumble to the mixture).
Press into large pie pan. Add cream cheese and sugar into bowl and then add eggs one @ a time, mixing well. Next, add vanilla.
Pour into pie shell. Sprinkle blueberries over top & allow to sink into custard. Please note you will probably not use all the custard.
Bake 350* x 25 minutes until set. (I have to bake longer) Cool, chill several hours or overnight.

Say hello to helper number 1
Helper number 2 (right at my feet and he is hoping I will drop some food)
And voila! A pie perfect for summer! I hope you will love eating it and it's a great dish to serve for friends or family after a weekend dinner.

Until next time,

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Fiesta Birthday

Greetings sweet readers! I am very excited about this post because it is a few inspirations for a Fiesta Birthday. My fun friends at work threw a party for a member of the posse, Malinda. When you get to work with such creative people you can imagine the party would be done to a "T". :)

I was unable to make the soiree, because I was on my way to Charleston, however, these party animals sent me the images to let me know how much I missed.

I think the star at the top is a PiƱata and I am sure a bunch of twenty-something girls had fun beating the stew out of it... especially after a drink or two! {I know I would have}. Hate I missed it and we better have a get together soon!

On that note; these ladies will be starting a blog soon. You see the girls who attended are writers, photographers, test kitchen professionals, stylists, graphic artists, etc etc. Since they are all from the South and have a keen eye for unique things; what better than to start a blog! Most of them have one of their own and once they come up with a name I will pass it along. I am so jealous of all their talents, but I know y'all will love them as much as I do... {maybe they will bring me in for some sort or comedic relief or DYI projects gone bad!} kidding :)

On that note... later gator

Monday, July 19, 2010

Another Southern City

I am sure you were a little curious about my absence. {I know I missed writing while I was away!} Last night I returned from a four day trip to Charleston, SC. My mother and sister-in-law made plans to pick my up and Thursday morning we headed to Low-Country.
I have never been to Charleston and loved that we were able to sight-see, wine and dine, and visit with one another. There is so much history in this coastal city which makes me greatful that I had an opportunity to explore it. The image above is from the Palmetto Tours where we went on our first day to get a tour of the city and historic homes.
Our view from the carriage down market street. This is where you can buy local crafts and sweetwater baskets. Those baskets are a dying artform because this trade is not being passed down to the younger generations. Our guide said many of those who make these baskets cannot pass this along to the youth because they are not interested in this tedious craft. (You can pay a pretty penny for these bad boys too)
The homes and architecture we saw on our tour was probably my favorite part! I loved it that single families moved into these beautiful homes and restored them to their original beauty. I picked up a realestate listing to show Jonathan {you know, just for fun and giggles!}
A shot of the porch is on the side of this home. Before air conditioning people used to pull their beds onto the porches to catch a breeze from the Atlantic. The things we do for a good night's sleep!
Wrought iron... I think this is my most favorite shot. I took this when we were entering an old cemetery. Beautiful pieces and detailed works of art are found all over Charleston.
This is the Nathaniel Russell House and was one of the homes we toured on Friday after our carriage ride. I wish I had photos to share from the inside of the home. We were not allowed to take any photos while inside the houses. {shheeeesh I would have kept the flash off, haha}
Above is Rainbow Row and the image shows exactly why. All the homes on this street are painted a variety of colors. At this point we have been walking through the city for hours. We were ready for a break and it's one of those moments when an ice cold beer is exactly what I need!
We had a hard time picking beers from Southbend Brewery so we ordered the sampler. {Smart idea!} I loved getting to smell and sip all the different brews. On the bottom right is their Scarlet Ale and probably my favorite of them all and I never thought I would enjoy a darker beer.
All the images above are from the Middleton Platation on Ashley River. This plantation was absolutely stunning and so much of our country's history lies in the buidlings, land, and water. The grounds were beautiful and extremely hot. The heat index on Saturday was 105 degrees!! I am not joking that I probably took three showers each day I was in Charleston. One when I got up, one before dinner, and one before bed. I was not looking like a clean Southern girl during this trip, but hey it's the summertime!
I had a great trip and appreciate my mother-in-law for getting our girls weekend together. I hope y'all had a wonderful weekend too and I will be posting a blueberry pie recipe this week! Get excited!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Empress Stationery

Greetings Bloggers! I wanted to give a little attention to a great blog and talented friend of mine at Empress Stationery.

Jessica and I have known eachother since our college days at Auburn. We met through mutual friends and this past year have been reunited at the publishing company where we both work. On the side, Jessica designs and creates the most gorgeous stationery! She makes labels, invitations, save the dates, thank you cards, etc. I am pumped to show you some of her work and I know many of you will appreciate the color palettes and use of design. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

For the Love of Chairs

I have an obsession with chairs. When Jonathan and I ever go look at furniture I seem to be drawn to chairs. I love all types or chairs and don't discriminate against any. I love tall, short, long, wide, leather, upholstered... you name it I love it.

The bottom images are from a resale shop in Alabama. I get so excited thinking about new fabrics and where I could put these babies in my house. {Jonathan says we have enough chairs, but what's a few more?}
I am excited to begin a hunt for a few chairs to put in the basement. I don't mind if they are different, but I would love to get coordinating upholstery to make them flow with the rest of the space. Eventually I will post pictures of the basement, but it's a HUGE work in progress and we are trying to make it Jonathan's "man cave." {Please tell me other husbands have these!} It's hard not to get too involved, but maybe a few of my chairs will end up down there one of these days!
{chairs pictured above from Pottery Barn, Lands End, West Elm, Sears}

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Farmer's Affair

Greetings! I am excited about this post because last weekend Jonathan and I went to our first farmer's market. Every Saturday from 7 am until noon downtown has an area called Pepper Place that is host to local farmers, crafters, and visitors from all over North Alabama.
We woke up and got there at 7:30. It was perfect, because the crowds had not arrived, parking was wonderful, a lovely breeze was blowing, and we were able to walk freely and talk to the local farmers. I wish we would have brought Dax, but we did not know if they allowed pets. He would have loved it!

There was too much food to choose from. We bought rosemary focaccia bread, squash, zucchini, blueberries, honey, pickles, boiled peanuts, and homemade dog treats. I have used all the produce and even made two homemade blueberry pies. I will need to take pictures of the pie and post the recipe, because this blueberry treat won't last long! {especially in my house}
Can't you tell he enjoyed all the samples?

I wish I could have rode off in this bike turned flower pot. Isn't is cute?

{This is proof to show I was there.} Is it me or does the food taste better when it is grown locally? I plan to attend every weekend I am home.I drank my mocha and while walking around I made big plans to start an herb garden. We went by one vendor who was selling starter herb gardens, small shrubs, trees, and flowers. I didn't purchase anything, because I think this is something I can handle from scratch. I wish I had the time to have my own garden with fruits and veggies. An herb garden will be a better place for me to start.  Any tips for growing herbs?