Monday, April 30, 2012

what's in a name?

Monday, Monday, and my mind is all over the place. Not like "distracted, thinking really deep thoughts" but more like "hamster on speed going HAM on a wheel." I'm really not a fan of that term, but I couldn't resist HAM and hamster. Still friends?

So I've been brainstorming alternate blog titles. Not that I'm actually changing this little b-log's name (I have to pay homage to the only literary term I remember from my middle school years), but if I were going to, this is what I would be considering...

Shambles (I think this one is pretty self explanatory, and the most accurate description of the general disarray that is my life.)
Shamble Rambles
Rambles on Shambles
Shamblin Fool (Ok, I'll stop.)
Snack Time? 
Alliteration Station
All I Do is Win Eat.
Sew it Seams (Ok, that's actually the name of an alterations place in town... I just couldn't resist)
Luh jit uh met ly. 

What do you think? Any suggestions? If you're a blogger, how did you come up with your blog title? I really did learn the term "Soliloquy" in middle school & I've loved it ever since. But I certainly use "Shantytown" significantly more in real life... maybe it's time to mix it up! :)
[And a Goofy Gosling photo to lend some legitimacy to this post. Or to more accurately portray how I'm feeling. ]

Friday, April 27, 2012

Guilt-free Friday!

Hi cats & happy Friday! It's a deliciously sunny day here, so this afternoon I'm putting the top down and hitting the road. I'll be spending the weekend in Topsail Beach celebrating another birthday... this time my BBF Rob (click here to see his cake from last year!) Here's hoping the weather stays sunny & that it's beautiful wherever you are. Until Monday... 

Hey! It's ok...

if you cannot put you car in reverse without singing The Cha Cha Slide in your head (Reverse! Reverse! ... Everybody clap your hands.......)

to frantically start untangling your headphones when you see someone approaching you. And to pretend your iPod is actually alive when they try start a conversation. "Oh hey... good to see you too... what? huh? I can't.. my music.. yeah okay, buhbye..."

if you have started your morning by playing "Call Me Maybe" 4 out of 5 days this week. I hated it at first, but I've gotten to the point where I can't even wait for the song to end before I restart it. #problem 
(with lyrics so you can learn all the words too)
(aaand classic)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

easy, indulgent

It's no secret that I'm a breakfast aficionado. Connoisseur, junkie... call it what you want. I love a long, leisurely breakfast with a bottomless cup of coffee or a laughing, chatting mimosa brunch with friends just as much as the next girl. But let's be real... that can't happen everyday. (I'm still trying to figure out the explanation as to why it can't, but people tell me it has something to do with "the real world" and "responsibilities" or something like that.)

Anyways, on mornings when I can't make Quinoa Huevos Rancheros or Blueberry Muffins from scratch, I usually opt for cereal (a blend at least two varietals) or a simple breakfast sandwich (whole wheat toast, cheddar cheese, egg beaters. Always.) Last week, on a whim, I swapped the cheddar for brie and added some raspberry preserves.


So good. And so simple! Seriously, start to finish in under 5 minutes. If that's not fast and easy, I don't know what is. It was such a simple "upgrade" from my typical  go-to, but the brie made it feel indulgent and special. I love the addition of fruit to otherwise savory dishes (like salads and sandwiches) and the raspberry preserves were the perfect accompaniment to the brie. 

Side note: this thing has under 300 calories. And still manages to pack over 10 grams of protein. Breakfast of champions, baby. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Listening to...

I'm a loyal friend. Seriously. You mess with my girls, you mess with me. When Kanye interrupted T*Swift, it was game over. And when John Mayer broke her heart? I could have flipped tables RHONJ style. And when Chris Brown got physical with Rihanna? Awl hail no. But lately, though, my ladies seem to be making amends with these bad boys (see here and here.) And if they can forgive and forget? I might be able to move on too. 

Now I'm not going to speculate on whether John's new song is an apology to Taylor Swift, but I will say that I'll be playing it on repeat until the new album drops on May 22, 2012. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Shameless Saturday

Hi hii my sweets and happy Saturday! I hope your weekend is off to a lovely start. I had a rather busy night at work yesterday, so this morning I am ever grateful for some time to sit back, sip coffee, and catch my breath. On this weekend's agenda? Fresh mahi mahi tacos, church with my sweet family, and a sweet girl's 21st birthday celebration! I hope you have a fun weekend too! Until we meet again...

Hey! It's ok...

... to hide your iPod's screen so the guy on the treadmill next to you can't see that you're rocking out to "Shake Ya Tailfeather" [depressing fact: that song is almost 10 years old.]

... to be a little irritated when someone prances into kickboxing 10 minutes  late and inches you out of your space like the Trail of Tears. (and to maybe use their face as a mental target for your jabs)

... if you don't want to add 2 cup sizes. That's just weird! Sorry pushy bra sales girl, it's not happening. You can stop tossing those overpriced unmentionables over my dressing room door.

... to get major birthday envy. And to have a running countdown until your own (134 days baby)
[I'm not going to disclose whether I plan on using this wine glass tomorrow night. Shameless.]

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Worth Repeating...

"She was a woman confident in her taste and unafraid to do things differently." 

As I flipped through the latest Matchbook Mag over coffee yesterday morning, I found myself scrambling for a pencil when I read this statement. In the article, Katie Armour is speaking of Nancy Lancaster, but I thought this quote was a remarkable tribute and can be a true inspiration to women everywhere.  

I've tried to write more, to expand, to share, but my words are failing me on this quiet morning. The backspace key seems to be my best friend and the anthem, "You just do you, and I’mma do me..."* is playing on repeat in my brain. So maybe sometime, someday, something more astute, but for now, a few images & quotes I've had saved on my desktop for quite some time now, but they just seem to fit so perfectly. 

[Images 1-4 via prettystuff, 5-6 pinned here]

*Sorry if I just got "Teach Me How to Dougie" stuck in your head... Cali Swag District gets me every single time... Still friends?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


We have always been the kind of family who gathers around the table, not the television, so it's only logical that one of the things I look forward to most about summertime is evening dinners on the back porch. When you live at the beach, you have no shortage of visitors during the warmer months. We like to take full advantage of the balmy breezes, the longer days, and the carefree attitude only summertime can bring. It's all about mismatched linens, flickering tea-lights, and the warm honey color the sky turns as the sun begs to stay and play for just a few more minutes. 

Of course it's a beautiful sight to see, but all the other senses get wrapped up in the experience too. It's the smell saltwater, jasmine, and beef tenderloin sizzling away on the grill. It's the thumping sound of beanbags hitting the cornhole boards in the side yard, and the music that plays softly in the background is only half as sweet as the sound of laughter that rings out from the kitchen. It's the sting of fresh sun on your shoulders and the old, familiar rub of sand between your toes. From the first bite of crusty, French bread to the last sip of wine that still dances on your tongue, it is magical, it is heavenly, it is home. More than anything, though, it's the lingering after the meal has ended. All the plates have been cleared, but nobody is ready to leave. The warmth that you feel has nothing to do with sunburn or wine: it's love.

Monday, April 16, 2012


My plans of a low-key weekend were hijacked, and I couldn't have been happier. After a lazy Saturday morning, as I was making my way to the gym, a friend phoned with an invitation to a swanky Azalea Festival Event. Never one to pass up an opportunity to play dress-up, and in desperate need of some girl time, I wholeheartedly accepted. 5 miles, several hours, and a mani/pedi later, I was headed down 17 South. Life is funny like that. 

Here's to spur-of-the-moment plans, impromptu dinner parties, unforeseen surprises, and chance encounters. Because we never truly know what is waiting just around the corner...
Addendum: Here's to being prepared, too. Just in case. Every girl should have a fabulous evening gown tucked away in her closet, should an occasion arise. Black is classic, but this fun little number by Leifsdottir has me wishing the dress code for life were Black Tie. Long and flowy with a dramatic slit up the front, it was perfect for dancing the night away. I paired it with black, strappy Madden Girl heels and my favorite Kate Spade bag. Since the dress is such a statement, I kept makeup and jewelry simple and stuck with my favorite color for both: gold. 
Thank you Carrie for inviting me, I had a ball!
And thanks Taylor for being the best chauffeur around!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Guilt-free Friday!

Hi my sweets! It's been far too long since we've done one of these, hasn't it? What are you getting into this weekend? After a lot of running around lately, I'm looking forward to taking it easy, slowing down, and enjoying this beautiful place I call home. 

Marcel Proust said, "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." Looking around today, the trees seem a little greener, the ocean a deeper shade of blue, and the birds are chirping a few octaves higher. Maybe it's new eyes, maybe it's just April, or maybe absence made this little heart grow fonder. Whenever I return from a trip, I am even more acutely aware that there's always a vacation waiting for me in own backyard. I can't help but feel a little jubilant as I walk through the arrivals gate. This is home. Kick up your feet and soak up the beauty that surrounds you. Until next time...

Hey! It's ok...

... to bypass the hot tea, honey, and lemon and stick with your go-to latte whenever your throat is feeling sore. Calcium >Vitamin C.

... to seriously laugh out loud at nearly every #whatshouldwecallme. 

... to sleep on the way to and from the bar. Not like "drunken stupor, passed out" sleep, but "it's past 10:30, why am I still awake, just resting my eyes" kind of thing.

... if you are fully capable of doing your own taxes, keeping up with car maintenance, etc... but to relegate such tasks to your main man. After all, that's what dad's are for! :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Texas... giddy up

After a few days in Florida, Taylor and I were off to Texas! Not necessarily you're typical spring break destination, but my bro-zin* is in grad school at Texas A&M and we have been dying to visit him. We convinced Rob to tag along too (the three of them used to be roommates) and we had an absolute blast! 

We flew into Austin, had to dinner in Taylor (much to Taylor's delight,) went back to Austin for drinks with this little lady, then spent the next few days in College Station and Bryan. Here are a few of the best...
 The first restaurant we went to was featured on "Man vs. Food." (Side note: Throughout the course of our trip I managed to eat at 3 different restaurants that have made appearances on "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives." I can feel my arteries clogging.)
 We had fun exploring the Capitol, and then wandered into the Driskill (and decided to stay for drinks)
 Next stop... Taylor!
 ...i.e. one big photo op
Oh and some barbecue...
  The cashier wrongly accused me of being a vegetarian and I'm still trying to figure out how to take it. My only guess is that when I ordered peach cobbler she couldn't understand how I would eat all that meat and then this on top... Oh ye of little faith. Btdubs... it was delish. And Blue Bell ice cream on top? Honey hush. 
Despite bad weather in the area, we managed to dodge the rain and hail. By the time we returned to Austin it was the perfect kind of weather for a rooftop bar
 The next day Reid showed us around campus and told us all about A&M traditions (!)
That night we somehow found ourselves at a rooftop bar again (I'm going to blame the perfect weather,) but this time with $5 spicy chicken sandwiches (not bar food, frozen, nasty chicken sandwiches, but delicious grilled chicken breast with cajun seasoning and spicy buffalo sauce, homemade fries... etc.) and half-priced Maker's Mark and Jack Daniels.
 Add this gorgeous view? Priceless. 
Thursday night was my favorite...
 We started with dinner from Reid's favorite food truck... which just so happens to be America's favorite food truck and will be appearing on the next season of "The Great Food Truck Race."
 Did I mention it was parked in front of the Benjamin Knox Art Gallery and Wine Depot? Yep. So we got to do some wine sippin', art perusing, and live music listenin' before eating our delicious shrimp tacos, Kobe beef burgers, truffled mac and cheese topped with pulled pork, and strawberry salad alfresco! Perfection.
 THEN we went to this cool little vintage shop that does live music and cough*openbar*cough one night each month. 
 Finished the night with some good, old-fashioned Texas two-stepping. Reid taught me how. I'm a terrible dancer. 
We spent our last day and night in Bryan. Side note: I have a thing for Confederate Jasmine. It just smells so heavenly.
That night was "First Friday" so everywhere had live music, drink specials, and cool things going on. 
We started at Downtown Uncorked, a neat little wine bar right in the heart of things. 
 I wore my vintage cowboy boots. But you can't see them. (bummer)
We had a delicious dinner at Casa Rod. They had fried avocado (!)
and a mariachi band. I told you everywhere had stuff going on for First Friday! My margarita was delicious... but it was the size of my head. Fortunately, Taylor helped me. He's a gentleman like that. 
We had so much fun in Texas, but we are ready for our little cowboy Aggie to come home for the summer so the fun can continue! Reid, thanks for a wonderful time. You were the best host ever!

*bro-zin: brother/cousin. He's technically my cousin, but really he's like my brother. 

p.s. longest post ever. things will be back to normal after this, mark my word!


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