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post #8 - F5: Grilled Watermelon, Pilot Pens, Garden, C25K App, & Zonin Prosecco!

31 May 2013

Linking Up - 5 on Friday!

I'm excited this week to be participating in a Link Up! Two blogs that I read and love (A. Liz. Adventures and Carolina Charm) are hosting this fun concept, where various bloggers post about the same thing and link to each other. This allows you to discover new blogs and read other blog posts about the same topics. Since I've been meaning to do a post about some things that I've been loving lately, this  Link Up is the perfect opportunity!

This week, I've been loving on:

Grilled Watermelon with Goat Cheese -

Brace yourself. Grilled watermelon sprinkled with goat cheese. I know this sounds...different, but oh. my. goodness. Heavenly.
(drizzle a few slices of watermelon with extra virgin olive oil, then throw them on the grill. when you take them off, sprinkle them with goat cheese.)

Pilot Gel Pens

I've essentially gone through this pack of pens in one week. But, I've been writing with them all day, every day. Although the subject matter I've been studying is pretty boring, this combo pack's colors make me feel a little happier. (It's the little things, people!)
(found here, or at your local Target :-))

Our Garden

This year, for the first time, Jo and I have attempted a garden! I am very excited to report that we are growing lots of baby vegetables! So far, we have jalapenos, squash, and tomatoes. Our peppers, cucumber, onions, and zucchini are all doing well and we're expecting to see them appearing at any time! We have had so much fun nurturing this garden and watching everything grow.

(the day we planted - mid-april)

(now! lots of budding plants!)

(ready to pick?)

The C25K Running App

Jo and I have started a running plan this week - so far, so good! It's a lot harder for me than it is for him, but I think it's just a guy thing to be able to run with ease. I used the Couch to 5k program a few years ago, which helps you go from not running at all to running a 5k in just 2 months! We have been using an app called C25K(Free) that you can download for your iPhone. I use it along with my Nike+ app (which counts distance and calories burned), but I like C25K because it tells you when to start walking and start jogging - no need to try to time things in your head when you're just trying to make it up a hill! You can learn more about the app here, and can download it from the iTunes store. Happy running! 

Zonin Prosecco

A few weeks ago, I picked a bottle of this prosecco up at Trader Joe's for ABOUT SIX DOLLARS. It did not disappoint, especially with this price tag! This may be my new go-to prosecco for a more "everyday" beverage. 

(i'll have the one on the left, please.)

*cheers to the weekend!*

Have y'all been receiving your May Books? Mine came in yesterday... and I'm in usual. It's an addiction. I hope all of you that ordered are as happy with yours as I am with mine! 

I'd love to read your comments! Thanks for stopping by!


post #7: Jalapeno Corn Casserole

28 May 2013

Jalapeno Corn Casserole - A Memorial Day Weekend Treat!

Happy Tuesday! Today is like an extra rough Monday, since most of us are back to work or school after a sunny three day weekend. We started off our weekend by having dinner, beer, puppy play time, and cornhole with friends on Friday. It was so much fun that we did it again on Sunday. 

Saturday was filled with studying, taco night, and Silver Linings Playbook...a perfect and needed date night in. Monday was a catch-up day, where we took Milly to the river to swim at Saluda Shoals and ran a lot of errands. All in all, a productive and happy weekend!

(testing the waters)

(too cold?)


On Friday, I made a dish to take to dinner that I truly forgot how much I loved. This originated as a Paula Deen recipe (found here) but I made it a little bit healthier and added a kick. It is easy to take this somewhere and pop it in the oven, since it is thick enough to travel well before being cooked. Next time you need an easy and crowd-pleasing side dish, give this melt-in-your-mouth casserole a try!

Jalapeno Corn Casserole
(serves 4-6)

1 can whole kernel corn (drained, 15 oz)
1 can creamed corn (not drained!)
1 package of Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 cup greek yogurt
1/2 stick of butter, melted
1 cup cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded and divided into 1/2 cups
1/4 cup (to taste) pickled jalapenos

Step 1 - Preheat oven to 350 and chop pickled jalapenos into very small pieces.

Step 2 - Combine butter, corn muffin mix, greek yogurt, and jalapenos.

Step 3 - Add all corn and 1/2 cup of cheese.

Step 4 - Spread in baking dish (I recommend 8x8 or 9x9) and cover with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.

Step 5 - Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until top is browned.

Step 6 - Enjoy!

Hope your Memorial Day weekends were relaxing and fun, and that you are successfully getting back to the weekday grind! 


post #6: Maxing Out

21 May 2013

Maxing Out

I'm a little late jumping on this train, but lately I've been loving maxi skirts. Due to studying for the bar exam, my legs will be lacking the hint of tan that they usually have in the summer time. This is sure to look amazing in photos with my sun kissed friends. I've decided that the solution to this problem is wear maxi skirts - nonstop. There are lots floating around out there that I loved when shopping... but some were a little a lot out of budget. Here are some of my favorites - can you tell which ones made me shop or drop?

Maxi Skirts

1) Tibi Pleated Maxi Skirt (found here) ($395) 
2) Milly Luca Dot Print Maxi Skirt (found here) ($525, on sale for $315) 
3) BCBGMaxazria Dillon Pleated Maxi Skirt (found here) ($295, on sale for $150) 
4) Forever 21 Satin Maxi Skirt (found here) ($25) 
5) LOFT Textured Maxi Skirt (found here) ($69.50, on sale for $55)

Are YOU loving Maxis right now? What are your favorite summer looks?

post #5: Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes

20 May 2013

Strawberry Margaritas - In a Cupcake!

Happy Monday! After a weekend full of friend time, my heart is full. I spent Friday with my college girlfriends and their significant others - playing games, eating, drinking, and laughing. Saturday was spent with Jo's college group of friends celebrating a two sweet lovebirds who are getting married in August. We got to hang out with so many people who we don't see as often as we'd like, and it was nothing short of fantastic!

In lieu of weekend activities, I decided to bake a treat. I found a recipe here for Strawberry Margarita cupcakes. We have lots of fresh & frozen strawberries, so I thought this would be the perfect festive dessert. I changed a few things from the recipe I found, and was really happy with the results. Boy oh boy - these were awesome! 

If you need a summer treat, do yourself a favor and whip these up. Fairly minimal effort was involved, and it is a unique dessert to bring to any type of gathering. Fresh strawberry chunks and hints of lime made the cupcakes finger licking good. The icing is even better than the cupcakes - I could probably spread this on anything. Like a spoon. Or my finger. I might even double this recipe the next time I make the cupcakes. I did run out of icing with about 6 cupcakes left, and tried to use fairly minimal amounts since I had to sample so many times to get it just right.

I hope you'll try making these too - let me know what you think!

Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes
Yields 24-28 cupcakes, depending on size

Ingredients (Cake)
1 Box White Cake Mix
1 cup Vegetable Oil
4 Eggs
1 Package of Strawberry Jello (3 oz)
2/3 cup thawed frozen margarita mix (Bacardi)
About 1 cup of pureed strawberries (see below) (to taste)

Instructions (Cake):
1) Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin tins.
2) Using a mixer, combine cake mix, vegetable oil, and eggs. Mix in the Jello, margarita mix, and strawberries until completely combined, about 2 minutes.
3) Fill muffin tins (about 2/3 of the way full) and bake for about 15 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

(what you need)

Pre-Instructions - I blended about 2 1/2 cups of sliced strawberries, along with about 2 1/2 tablespoons of sugar, in our trusty Magic Bullet. Remember that a cup of strawberries ≠ a cup of pureed strawberries!


 (cake mix, eggs, and oil)

 (+ strawberry jello, margarita mix, and strawberries)

(finished cake batter - yum!)

(I recommend doing 1.5x or double the frosting recipe, in order to ice all of the cupcakes with a large amount of icing. And, of course, so that you can try some to make sure it is delicious. And is still delicious a few minutes later!)

Ingredients (Frosting)
1/3 cup Strawberry Puree
1 cup softened butter
1/4 c thawed frozen margarita concentrate (Bacardi)
4 cups powdered sugar

1) Beat butter and strawberries on low speed until smooth.
2) Add in powdered sugar, slowly! (I recommend that you use your bowl shield to avoid spraying powder everywhere. Oops!)
3) Add margarita mix and continue beating until frosting is light and fluffy!

Note - wait until the cupcakes are completely cool to frost. I know. It's hard. But will be worth it!

(butter & strawberries)
(finished icing)

(finished products)

(cupcakes - yum! more - and prettier - icing next time!)

post #4: MayBooks {Product Review}

16 May 2013

May Obsession - May Books! (ON SALE!)

Many of you that have seen me recently have heard a little something about a product that I've been loving on. I heard of May Books a few years ago and thought the idea was cute, but never made the purchase. A few months ago, I came across them again and knew that I had to have one. (Or 2). 

May Designs makes the cutest customizable notebooks. They are small enough to fit in a purse, and you can customize from TONS of colors, patterns, and writing types or monograms. There are lots of styles - they make planners, regular notebooks and graph or "dot grid" notebooks (which I prefer over lines). They also make specialized notebooks, such as meal planners, pregnancy diaries, and work out diaries. They offer flat rate shipping of $6, which is great if you accidentally may want to order more than one. (Oops!)

I patiently waited for my first book to arrive, and the day that it did was glorious. My to-do list was finally 1) not on a post-it note, and 2) getting done! After all, when I completed a task, I got to open my cute book and check it off. 

(my first monogram dot-grid notebook)

I also ordered two planners, one for myself and one for my sister-in-law. Unfortunately, these don't officially start until August, since I opted for the scholastic version. Not to worry, though - I've already added lots of birthdays and, of course, Clemson football games. 

(my planner)

(my sister-in-law's planner)

In the middle of my super exciting 4 hour video about evidence this morning, I got some very exciting news. May Books are 50% off - today only! Naturally, I had to order more. I had some trouble choosing, but settled on the following:

Y'all. This is a STEAL. If you have ever considered buying a May Book, today is the time! You won't regret it. You'll be getting things done left and right, and I can guarantee you'll love it. The planner is much less bulky than other planners that I've had, and I might only agree to write things on dot grids for the rest of my life. 

Do any of you already have May Books? What are your favorite designs?
To order yours (or to just play around with the designs), click here!

post #3: Mint Lemonade & Onions

12 May 2013

Mint Lemonade & Onions?

I know it's been a long time since my last blog post. My goal was to do at least 2 per week, and week 1 was a miserable fail. In my defense, over the past week I: graduated from law school, went to several dinners & parties, drank a lot of wine (too much wine? debatable.) and hosted my parents for the weekend. I'll post about these things eventually, but it won't be for a while. I'm still digesting this whole graduation thing. I'm already missing friends and know that things will never be the same, now that everyone is scattered in so many different places. So, for now, I'll ignore the past week and post about it when the emotions have worn off.

After brunch with my mom and dad this morning before they headed home to WV, Jo and I decided to do a little work on our garden. For the most part, it's doing surprisingly well. We even have a (tiny) tomato! My dad brought us some WV63 tomato plants, which we decided to plant on our porch since the herbs planted there are doing so well. Cross your fingers that they'll bring us some yummy tomatoes!


(helping or hindering? you be the judge of that)

The biggest problem in our garden was the okra. It was really struggling, and taking up a lot of precious space. We ventured to Lowe's and ended up coming home with onions and asparagus. Our hopes are not very high for these little guys, but they were on sale and we figured it was worth a shot. We replanted the okra in a sunnier spot, but at this point, it is probably a lost cause. Oh well - can't win 'em all. 

(rows of baby onions)

(finished product)
(crossing our fingers that our little okra makes it!)

We finished off the afternoon with some mint lemonade, using our own mint. We are lucky to have such an abundance of this herb! The lemonade is pretty easy, especially when you do the easiest version with pre-made lemonade. (Simply Lemonade, anyone?) Just muddle the mint with a little splash of lemonade, divide it into the cups, and pour lemonade over it. Give it a good stir, and you're good to go.

(step 1 - collect mint)

(step 2 - muddle)

(step 3 - combine + enjoy!)

Tomorrow starts the next chapter for me - bar study. This is exactly as gross as it sounds. Every weekday (and lots of weekends) for the next 2.5ish months will be spent trying to prepare for this brutal test. Luckily, a few of my friends are sticking around for the summer, so I'll have people to share the misery with.

I hope all of you had as great of a week and weekend as I did. Stay tuned for another post later this week! 

post #2 - Charleston Trip {Restaurant Reviews - 82 Queen, Magnolias, Husk}

06 May 2013

Indulging in All the Things - an Adventure in Charleston Food

A few weeks ago, I was invited to a girls night in Charleston, SC. As a reward for finishing law school, we decided to treat ourselves to a nice dinner and spend some quality time together before we went our separate ways.

We left Columbia on Saturday morning, equipped with Starbucks and a full trunk. Did we pack enough for one night? (In our defense, the weather was very questionable all weekend!)

I've been to Charleston many times, but have never dined at any of the places that we went this weekend, so the meals were extra exciting! Madison's family lives in Charleston, so she was familiar with some of the best places to eat. 


Magnolia's was such a cute restaurant - when we arrived around 1:00, it was slammed! We were so hungry that I (almost) forgot to take pictures of our food. I'm still new at this blogging thing! 

(charleston crab cake sandwich with green tomato-caper tartar sauce + sweet potato fries) 

I chose the Charleston Crab Cake sandwich. It was served on a brioche bun and was very crabby - just the way I like it. The sweet potato fries were crispy and the service was great. Another friend got the Blue Crab Bisque and the Wadmalaw Field Greens Salad, while someone else got the Fried Green Tomato BLT (with corn & jalapeno bread, melted pimento cheese, and smoked bacon - oh my!) 


Once we finally had food (and rosé) for sustenance, we shopped along King Street then went back to get ready for dinner. 

(girls before dinner)

Once we were ready (and after some yummy appetizers + cocktails from Madison's parents!), we finally ventured down to Husk, which certainly did not disappoint as our main event for the weekend. 

Starting with the drink menu, I had such a hard time deciding between the many unique options that Husk had to offer. I finally settled on the School House on the Rock. This was definitely one of the craziest tasting cocktails I've ever tried, and while it took awhile to get used to, I ended up really enjoying it.
(school house on the rock - aperol, cruzan white rum, orange, lime, & palm sugar, topped with bleinham old #3 ginger ale and unsweetened whipped cream)

For dinner, I chose two appetizers. I decided to be adventurous and go with the Soft Shell Crab & the Pig Ear Lettuce Wraps. Both were phenomenal!

(tempura fried soft shell crap + english peas and spring onions, lemon yogurt, shaved fennel, & radish salad)
("kentuckyaki" glazed pig ear lettuce wraps + sweet vinegar marinated cucumber)

Other orders at our table included:

(wadmalaw spring lettuces, fried chicken skins, marinated husk mozzarella + tomatoes, radish, onion, spicy buttermilk) (pork ribs, slow smoked + pecan shells, charred scallion-citrus glaze, ky soy & spiced peanuts, & cilantro)

(kegan-filion chicken + carolina gold rise risotto, smoky tomatoes, leeks, & english pea pesto)

(champagne la)

We ended the night with drinks and lots of laughs at a few Charleston bars and, as to be expected, some silly behavior. 
(madison goofing)

We jumped (slowly) out of bed in the morning to go to our last stop - 82 Queen. We sat outside in a covered area, despite the disgusting less than ideal weather. 

(biscuits + peach preserves. ate them all, oops!)

Lauren and I both tried a bowl of their famous she-crab soup, then split the Grilled Prosciutto & Egg Sandwich. (P.S. - Do you think I enjoy crab, judging by my meal choices over the weekend?)

(she-crab soup + sherry)
(grilled prosciutto & egg with fried green tomato & pepper jack cheese on a toasted english muffin + home fries)

Madison tried the Peppered Ribeye Sandwich.
(grilled ribeye, arugula, merlot reduction, herb monray, olive oil baguette, fried egg + house-made chips)

After brunch, we rolled ourselves out of the restaurant and traveled back to rainy Columbia, where I spent the rest of the day lounging with the husband and pup and catching up on DVR'ed shows.

The weekend was too much fun and I am so sad that these sweet friends are leaving! Luckily, we have tons of fun activities planned for our graduation week before everyone moves away, and this was certainly not the end of our celebrations. More to come!

What are your favorite Charleston spots? I'd love to read your comments!

(the door stop in rachel's room at madison's house - purrrr) 

Magnolias on Urbanspoon Husk on Urbanspoon 82 Queen on Urbanspoon