Monday, November 25, 2013

Productive weekend in pictures

We had a super productive weekend. On Friday, it was one of my coworker's last day (sad) so we celebrated with one last staff meeting at Fourth Ward Bread Co, a new bakery near our office. It was gorgeous inside, and SO delicious! 
 Really, it's HUGE and has a lot of seating.
 I ordered a (ground in-house) sausage, egg & cheese in a croissant. They literally put everything in it! It was a great way to serve it. And ohhhh so yummy.
 When we got back to work, I had my students decorate the board and that put me in quite the holiday spirit!
Later that day, I ended up being in kind of a bad mood. I will really miss my co-worker, but I'm happy she's still close by.

I got home, put on my comfy clothes, drank a little wine, and caught up on Scandal. Connor brought me home some comfort food in the form of Drunken Noodles from Deejai Thai. He knows me so well!
 Since today is our 6-month anniversary, and Mondays are no fun, I decided to surprise Connor with a trip to the place where we got engaged and to get a tree. He proposed at Helms Christmas Tree Farm 2 years ago, and I thought it would be fun to go back this year.

He was hard to surprise, especially when I told him to bring Bowser with us when he thought we were just going to Target! It was a great morning drive to Lincolnton (about an hour from Charlotte).
 We picked out a great tree! They have so many sizes and varieties available to cut your own, and they also have Frasier Firs pre-cut. I love this place!
 Bowser looked adorable on the way back home. My little alien dog

Unbeknownst to me, Connor had already planned on opening a bottle of Dom Perignon that we got as a wedding gift that night. I think we did well in surprising each other! We got the tree set up, set out some cheese and olives, and sipped some yummmmmy champers
 Oh wait, here's Bowser looking cute again. He was wiped!
We decorated the tree and put on some Christmas music, then sat back and enjoyed the view.

We played a few rounds of my favorite card game, Fluxx, and opened another bottle of champagne. This time it was Kirkland from our wedding. Another yummy bottle!

On Sunday, we ended up finally going to Target to get Christmas presents for his family (we celebrate Christmas at Thanksgiving, since we don't generally see them!), and got groceries for our contribution to Thanksgiving. I also dropped our holiday cards in the mail!

I'm bringing a double-batch of the cranberry, raisin, & onion confit that I posted, as well as Ina's Celery Root & Apple Puree. Both are fairly simple to make, and store & travel well! 

We also cleaned our house top-to-bottom, purged our closets for my school's holiday (I mean 4 enormous bags of clothes, shoes, & handbags!), and I made turkey noodle soup from the leftover meat & carcass from Friendsgiving last weekend.

This week is going to be crazy, as we are headed to Virginia on Tuesday night. I hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving with your family and friends!



Need a good recipe for turkey noodle soup? Here's what I did:

1 turkey carcass
Enough water to cover it
Handful of whole veggies (carrots, onion, celery, etc)
Diced carrots, onions, celery, etc.
Leftover turkey meat
1 Bay leaf
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 lb. egg noodles (or whatever pasta you like in your soup)

Put everything in a large stock pot, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for a few hours. Once it turns a nice light brown color, strain the liquid and pick off the meat which should be easy to get off now.

Place the diced veggies in your stock pot, turn on high, throw in your seasoning and turkey, and cook until the veggies are tender.

Throw the pasta in with everything and boil until al dente. Check for seasoning and serve.

Turkey stock has so much flavor, this is a great way to get everything out of that carcass!

Safe travels, y'all!

xoxo,

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday 5

 Another Friday link-up!
 


 I

Our Style Me Pretty feature yesterday!
 
I am over the MOON about it
 

II

 Social Dress Shop Party
I met my friend Mary at JT Posh last night for the anniversary of Social Dress Shop, held at my favorite consignment store J.T. Posh. They had bubbles & sweets, and tons of fabulous items to browse through. I ended up getting a gorgeous pair of black leather pumps which were an absolute STEAL! They are Cole Haan Air and they were only $25. I'm serious.
After shopping, we walked to Fran's Filling Station, one of my favorite restaurants in town. We shared the bacon wrapped tater tots and each got the mussels, and split a side of parmesan garlic fries. It was SO GOOD!

III

 Old Navy's baby clothes
I got some ADORABLE clothes for my niece and nephew. The polka-dot dress will be perfect for Thanksgiving wear (they stay in France over Christmas, so we do presents at Thanksgiving), especially with the ruffle-bottom black leggings & red velveteen shoes (!!!!). I can't wait to see it on her. For our nephew, I got him some practical clothes, and then I saw these awesome PJ's. He LOVES Bowser, and I thought, why not get him some dog-patterned ones? I think he'll love them!



 

IV

 Ready for Christmas!
We're done with our holiday cards, and have taken down our fall decorations....now it's time for Christmas! I want to try a few new things this year, specifically making my own wreath. What are you attempting to make this year?

V

Seeing Connor's family in just a few days!
We haven't all been together since our wedding, and I can't wait see them! We will be drinking lots of champagne and eating lots of yummy food next week, this break will be much appreciated!
That's all I've got! Enjoy the weekend!
xoxo,
 
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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Style Me Pretty feature!


LINK
We've been featured! Our fabulous photographer, Jodi Miller Photography, submitted our wedding to Style Me Pretty a little while ago, and I could not be more excited that the day is finally here! 
In case you've missed any of the wedding recaps, click up at the top to The Wedding page, or below:

#CM2013

Jodi + Kurt's post
Stolen Pictures
Girls getting ready
First Look
Ceremony Details 
Ceremony
Family Formals 
Wedding Party Portraits
Reception Details & DIY Projects 
Reception Part 1 
Reception Part 2
Reception Part 3

Hope you enjoy the feature!

xoxo, 
 
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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Friendsgiving weekend

We had a fabulous time this weekend! The turkey came out perfectly cooked with golden & crispy skin, and everyone brought such delicious food.

And now, Friendsgiving 2.0 weekend in pictures:

Lara, Karah, Doran, & Brandon all came to town for the weekend, and our first stop on Friday was to Three Amigos. I mean, they have $5 large house margaritas on Fridays, so what better day to visit?
My usual order: Enchiladas Verdes with lots of Valentina hot sauce poured on
We played many rounds of Cards Against Humanity and then called it a night. Connor and I put the turkey in the brine and then went to sleep.
I had to set my alarm the next morning, because I had something BIG planned for our guests: Homemade Everything Bagels! They ended up taking me just at 2 hours, if you want to attempt them yourself. I don't think you can pre-make the dough or boil them off a day in advance. They are totally worth the effort!



We set up a topping station and devoured these! Smoked salmon, capers, diced red onions...the works!
Connor took Doran, Brandon, & Karah to the UVA vs. Davidson basketball game after breakfast, and Lara and I got to cooking!
I prepped Anne Burrell's Sausage & Cornbread stuffing, and waited to bake it off until the turkey was done. I also made a pumpkin & cream cheese tart from the smitten kitchen cookbook, and let it cool in the fridge until dessert.

My helpers got back from the game and then set up the tables. We ended up having 30 people so I borrowed chairs & 2 tables from our neighbor Kristen. Thank goodness for good friends!

Here is the table in the midst of being set up. It's crazy that we had enough placemats, flatware, and drinking glasses!
My friends know me so well. Mary came with an enormous bottle of Prosecco to help calm my nerves before everyone got there. It helped!
Centerpieces included my large hurricane glasses from C&B, with gourds on the bottom
The table turned out perfectly. I used plastic tablecloths for the smaller tables, for easier clean-up. 
 The bar. Everyone brought beer or wine with them and we pretty much killed it all! I also had a pot of warm mulled wine & spiked cider.
My helpers!

My clean-up crew

And now for the spread! (Thanks to Kristen for using my camera to get great photos! I was doing too many things to step away and take pictures)

Lara put together a delicious cheese board for people to snack on until we served dinner

My turkey. Isn't it gorgeous?
We also ordered a smoked turkey from Midwood Smokehouse. So worth having a back-up plan!
 Money shot! Connor carved my turkey while I got the gravy together, then I jumped in and carved up the smoked turkey.
 



Here's what everyone brought! We had such a great mix of everything. No duplicates!!
 If you're wondering how in the world we fit all that food into one space, we literally used every inch of space in the kitchen. Our breakfast bar held sides...
And so did the appliance/cookbook shelf

Our tall bistro table held the desserts
 And we had an assembly line for the food!
Round 1! I tried to get a little bit of everything on there. Pictured at the top was the BEST hot drink: spiked caramel apple cider. Easy recipe: Put a gallon of apple cider in a crock pot. Pour a bottle of Caramel or Caramel Apple Vodka in. Add a cinnamon stick and heat on HIGH for 2 hours! This is strong, so be careful.
We did some damage, and then kept the party going for a while!

I am so thankful for our friends in Charlotte, and hope to keep this tradition going every year!

xoxo

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