30 September 2013

College Football: Week 5

This is such unfamiliar territory for Clemson.

4-0?

#3 in the country?

Ok, who am I kidding? We've been here {without as high of a ranking} before. Who remembers 2011? Yeah, about that...

I will absolutely take it though! I love how the first third of the season has gone by. I'm totally ok if this is how Clemson wants to play out the rest of the season. I'm also totally ok if UGA keeps racking up wins over top 10 teams and continues to make our win over them look really, really good. Call me a bandwagon fan if you want, but I'm going to have to be a Georgia fan for the remainder of the season.

This week was Clemson's Homecoming {more on that later this week} and my mom and I decided that we wanted to make a Girls' Weekend out of it {read: the guys decided watching Clemson beat up on little ol' Wake wasn't worth the trip}.

{How gorgeous are those flowers?}

As per usual, we got in trouble downtown Clemson... and we bought this little table after seeing our tailgate neighbors whip one out of the car. It is perfect for tailgating! It's light, easy to haul around, easy to set up, and is a lot sturdier than it looks. The table top part is not flimsy at all.

{hint: you can find the table for less $ at Mr. Knickerbocker's in downtown Clemson}

Ok, sorry, got side tracked. My mom and I were happy about our cute little table.

One thing I've done a lot of this season that I haven't in seasons past is listen to football games on the radio. I can catch pretty much whatever game I want to on SiriusXM radio. We listened to the 2nd half of the Georgia/LSU game on the way home from Clemson {GO DAWGS!} and on the way back to Charlotte today I caught the end of the Seattle/Houston game. 

Pet Peeve: as soon as I get close to uptown Charlotte, my satellite reception gets pretty sketchy. Um, not good when Seattle is down 20-3 and getting close to scoring a touchdown late in the 4th quarter.

REALLY not good when you hear "pick six!" and you have no idea what team just scored 6 points and you're driving around Charlotte trying to find a good reception location that isn't too far from your farmers market pit-stop destination.

Really, really, REALLY not good when you hear that the game is in overtime and Seattle is in scoring position.

Thank goodness for a dad that watches the same football games as me & can give a good description of what's going on in the game :)

So, all in all, a good football weekend! USC got a little bit of a scare {good thing they play Kentucky next week!}, Clemson improved to 4-0, and Seattle is 4-0.

Clemson travels to Syracuse next week for Syracuse's first ever ACC game... who's nervous about that one?! I'll be at the USC/Kentucky game that day so here's to more radio listening for this girl!

P.S. - found these at Target on Saturday on our way home from Clemson & it took some serious self restraint not to get them. C'mon. Halloween is perfect to find all the not-supposed-to-be-Clemson Clemson things.


27 September 2013

Photo Lovin' Friday: Seattle

I miss Seattle.

When I say that I miss Seattle, I mean that I really miss Seattle.

It is so easy to fall in love with that city, especially if you make it out there during the perfect day kind of weather. You know what I'm talking about. That mid-70s, cloud free, awesome kind of day where being anywhere but outside is out of the question.

Seattle needs to be on your bucket list of places that you want to visit.
And when you visit Seattle, both of these places should be on your bucket list of things to do while you're in town.

If I lived in Seattle, I would probably go to Pike Place Market every chance that I could, even if I had no intention of buying anything. It's just neat to go here for the people watching and to see what everyone has brought to sell at the market. I wish that we had spent more time here or at least gone back last year... this place fascinates me.


One day, I'll do an entire post about the Space Needle. I'll share some stories then about this Space Needle {like how long it took my mom & I to convince ourselves to actually go to the top} but for now we'll stick with my favorite picture.

I have a LOT of Space Needle pictures. Pictures from standing below it, pictures from inside of it, pictures from the bay of it, pictures from my brother's rooftop... a lot of pictures. This one was a hurried picture. It was our last night in Seattle on our second trip and an episode of The Bachelorette was on that we were trying to get back to see the end of. I think she was about to narrow it down to the final 2 guys? I won't bother telling you who in my family was hurrying us along to get back but I did stop in the middle of the street and turn around to get this picture.

Worth it.

Happy Homecoming Solid Orange Friday!

Have you missed any Photo Lovin' Fridays? Check here for all of the others!

26 September 2013

Pot Roast

It's heavenly when you can walk into your apartment after a day of work and smell supper cooking, especially when it took you two minutes to get it going earlier in the day.

I love living so close to where I work because it's easy to pop back over to my apartment during lunch and eat lunch there, do some things around my apartment, and occasionally, get something going in the crock pot.

& Pot Roast is my favorite thing to cook in the crock pot.

Pot Roast
{sorry, no creative/fun name for this!}

Ingredients:
- Angus Beef Round
- Beef Stock (24oz)
- Beef Broth (32oz)
- Pepper
- Garlic Powder
- Lawry's Seasoning Salt
- Minced Onion
- Worchestershire Sauce

1. Season both sides of the beef round with the garlic powder, pepper, and Lawry's seasoning salt.
2. Place beef round in the crock pot.
3. Measure out & add 3 cups of beef stock & 2 cups of beef broth. I always make sure that the beef round is completely covered by the stock/broth combination... so if it isn't, you might want to add a little more of each to it.
4. Measure out & add 1 tablespoon of Worchestershire sauce.
5. Measure out & add 2 teaspoons of the minced onion.
6. Turn crock pot on to low & cook for 6-7 hours.
7. ENJOY!

This was the first time that I had made pot roast in my new crock pot and it ended up not needing the full 6.5 hours that I set the timer for. I checked on it after about 5.5 hours and it was done. You'll need to keep an eye on your crock pot to make sure it's not going to over cook it... you'll know it's done when you can stick a fork in it and easily pull meat away.

I wanted something quick to fix as a side with this, so I ended up making the beef flavored Rice-A-Roni. I know. Rice-A-Roni? Judge away all you want but it was great with the pot roast, especially since instead of putting 2.5 cups of water in, I substituted half a cup of broth from the crockpot and 2 cups water.

I would have much rather had homemade mashed potatoes {might be the best thing I know how to cook} but... that was going to take too much effort and I already had the rice in my pantry.

The next time I cook this I'm probably going to try throwing in some baby red potatoes, carrots, and maybe green beans to cook with the pot roast throughout the day. I've never tried it before and yesterday I was going with convenience - if I didn't already have it in the freezer or the pantry, it wasn't an option.

The leftovers are also pretty amazing. They make for a great lunch to eat while you're blogging about the recipe ;)

Don't forget to check out other recipes here!

25 September 2013

Fall Bucket List


It doesn't get much better than relaxing on my couch while blogging & watching football, with my porch door open to let in the cool night air. Mmm. Fall. Can you believe that fall is here already?

Fall equals some pretty great things.

Football.
Scarves.
Puffy vests.
Pea coats.
Leaves.
Potato soup.
More football.
Boots.
Corduroy.
New fall shows on TV.
Fun socks.
Pumpkins.
Black Friday Shopping.
Cool nights.
Pig Pickins.
Did I mention football?
Corn Mazes.
Oyster Roasts.

I don't know what it is about fall that makes me feel like I have a million things that I want to do and makes me feel like I need to stay busy every second of every day. Whatever it is, staying busy always makes fall fly by which is sad because it's such a great season. 

Regardless, fall is finally here & I have an ever growing list of things that I want to do, that I want to explore, and that I want to try. Some of them are things I've done before and definitely want to do again while some are brand new things to me.

- Bike the Virginia Creeper Trail
- Visit a pumpkin patch & pick out pumpkins
- Drive up to the mountains to check out the fall foliage 
- Spend a weekend in the mountains
- Go to another USC football game
- Find new tailgating recipes
- Run in 3 more 5Ks
- Finish a 5K in under 30 minutes
- Go to the SC State Fair
- Go to the Renaissance Fair
- Spend an afternoon uptown with my camera
- Visit the Kings Drive Farmers Market in October
- Visit the Soda City Market in Columbia
- Visit the Mint Museum {it's free on Wednesday nights - why not?}
- Spend a sunrise & a sunset on the Kiawah River Bridge
- Try more beers
- Go to a concert
- Tailgate for a Panthers game
- Watch a Panthers game at a bar uptown
- Go to a Charlotte Checkers game
- Plant some pots for my porch & keep the plants alive {much harder than it should be}
- Go to the ACC Championship game {& cheer on Clemson to another title!}
- Try a new restaurant in Charlotte

Who knows how much of that list I'll actually accomplish? Who knows what else there is that I'll want to do that I haven't realized yet? Anyone have any other suggestions that I can add to my list?

I am just so glad that it is finally fall & that there are so many different things that I can spend my fall doing!

Happy Fall!

24 September 2013

Soda City Market

I've had my eye on the Soda City Market for awhile now. It's a little market on Main St in Columbia that is open every Saturday from 9am - 1pm. I'm a {recent} huge fan of farmers markets and neighborhood markets so this one seemed like one that would be worth trying out.

Um, it was absolutely worth it!

We went out there a little after 9 this past Saturday. The weather was perfect {yay, fall!} and we got there early enough to beat the crowds. Conveniently enough, if you bank with Wells Fargo, there's an ATM right by the entrance on the State House side of the market. I took cash with me so I'm not sure if any of the vendors accept cards or not, but it's probably easiest for every one if you bring along some cash if you plan on shopping.


They block off one block of Main St and dozens of vendors set up tents and tables and fabulous goodies for purchase.

You can buy...
- Paintings
- Cornhole boards
- Pimento Cheese
- Fresh lemonade
- Mimosas
- Coffee
- Meat
- Bread
- Produce {although there is not a huge selection}
- Homemade ice pops
- Jewelry
- a plate of BBQ
- Pastries
- Purses
- Flowers
- Photography
- food from Pawley's food truck




You can also...
- Catch up with friends
- Listen to good music
- Enjoy being outside
- People watch {guilty}
- See the artsy side of Columbia



Just outside of the market, while walking back to the truck, we found this little gem...



 Props to all the people who come up with a more creative, inspiring way to cover up construction mess in a city.
& major props to Columbia for all of the new bike racks that have popped up around the city recently. Might have to hop on my bike and go exploring sometime soon before it gets too cold to do so.

So what did I end up coming home with from the market?

 {Sourdough Bread}
{A Clemson palmetto tree & crescent moon painted on wood with a wire on the back for hanging}

I have no idea where I'm going to hang my new little palmetto tree but hey, it was a combination of two of my favorite things {Clemson & the palmetto tree/crescent moon} and it was only $5. Plus, it's always good to SHOP LOCAL!

Moral of the story: if you haven't been to the Soda City market... you need to go. It's cute. It's cheap. It's something to do. It's a way to explore the artsy side of Columbia & to SHOP LOCAL!

23 September 2013

College Football: Week 4

I sometimes forget that there is another side to watching a football game than being in the stadium for a game. I forget that you can have a lot of fun watching it at home with your friends and some really, really, really good food. I suppose it also helps when your team wins, too, especially when you have a fan of the opposing team watching with you...
 {Pigs in a Blanket}
 {Hannah's Rotel Cups}
 {Jessie's Black Bean & Corn Salsa}
 {Michele's Ham & Cheese Roll Ups}
{Corbett's Potato Skins} 
 {Sugar Cookies}
 {Stephen's Sausage & Cheese Dip}
 {So much delicious food puts some people into a food coma}

{Well, that's one way to carry home your crock pot!}

At least Clemson played a meaningful game this week {1-0 in the ACC, woo!} because there were barely any other games worth watching this weekend. Thank goodness that most teams are done playing all of their blowout games and most games from here on out will actually be good & important ones.

It's also finally time to go back to Death Valley! Clemson plays Wake Forest at home this weekend for Homecoming and it's the first game I'll be going to since the Clemson/Georgia game. I can't wait to see the floats and to see Clemson rack up win number four for the season.

Now to figure out what to take to tailgate with this week... Pigs in a Blanket aren't the best thing to make when you have you make them two nights in advance!

20 September 2013

Photo Lovin' Friday: Happy Birthday!

Fridays are pretty sweet when you know that you get to see some Clemson football the next day. They're even better when you've watch Clemson play their way to a victory the night before.

GO TIGERS!

Sorry, NC State. Just wasn't your night.

But back to Photo Lovin' Friday.

It's a special Photo Lovin' Friday.

My brother is 28 today! Happy Birthday!!!


Meet Benjamin, my brother. He lives in Seattle and works for Amazon and I'm not entirely sure what he actually does for Amazon {my explanation changes every time I try to explain it} ... but he gets to live in Seattle, so that's pretty cool. I'd have to say this is probably my favorite picture that I've ever taken of my brother. This picture was from 2011 on our first family trip out to Seattle when we went out on a cruise on Elliot Bay on the last day of our trip to take in the city from a different point of view. Please note the pretty blue skies & lack of rain.

Also from the same trip {and both of these were taken on the same day on the same trip}...


We didn't take too many family trips once my brother and I started hitting high school and college. I think this was our first true vacation as a family in a long time so it was really, really nice. 

I can't decide which of the above pictures is my favorite of my parents with my brother. I love both pictures a lot and I love that they are in front of iconic places in Seattle. But like I said, I can't decide which is my favorite. Can someone help??

Alright, that's enough about Benjamin {but happy birthday!}, let's get back to Kiawah.

As promised yesterday, here is one shot I captured {somehow} of CJ.


It takes such little effort for gators to swim. All of the ripples in the water are caused by the breeze that came through right before I took the picture. Everyone that I showed the picture to after I took it kept asking "Wow, what did you do?"

I waited. And waited. And waited until CJ hit the right part of the water where you couldn't see anything but the reflection of the trees. It was luck that a breeze came through and rippled the water when it did.

Now for my favorite picture from the Kiawah Triathlon...


Have I mentioned that I adore sunrises on the beach? Even more so after capturing this moment.

Happy Friday, y'all!

19 September 2013

In the Lagoon

You know by now that I am obsessed with alligators, especially the one in the lagoon in our backyard on Kiawah. He's got a name {CJ} and I want to see him out of the water already! He's a devious one that likes to sneak around but I guess that's to be expected with gators.

Well, well, well...

Look who showed up again this weekend!



Wait for it...



Yeah! Someone decided to do a little swimming and parading around for me and my camera.

How much swimming & parading around you ask?

Enough to get this shot!



So now I'm just waiting for the day he decides to come out in the sunny spot on the bank of the lagoon in our backyard. I'm fairly certain that I will never set foot in my backyard again once I see him out of the water. It's not going to happen.

If you're not tired of my obsession with alligators yet, I got one sweet picture of CJ as he was swimming further down the lagoon that'll be in the Photo Lovin' Friday post tomorrow. Come back & check it out!

That Time I Stalked a Triathlon

I've heard that triathlons are not the most fun thing to watch.

I beg to differ.

At least I beg to differ about the Kiawah Triathlon.

Saturday afternoon, we biked out to Night Heron Park to check out the festivities and things being set up for Sunday. Triathletes were checking in, picking up their race packets, and setting up their bikes in the transition area while a band was up on stage performing and volunteers were trying to persuade people into buying merchandise.

{It's not that hard to persuade me to buy something... helloooo new hat!}

I scoped out the scene, studied the course map, figured out which bike paths would be off limits on Sunday, and made sure that my camera was charged and ready to go. I was ready to go watch/stalk my first Triathlon.

Here's the fun thing about the Kiawah Triathlon: Kiawah is a spectacular place with a lot of different scenery, and the Triathlon did a really good job of making sure that all aspects of the island were covered. You had the beach, the bike pathways, the streets, marshland areas, everything.

Sunday morning, my mom and I woke up at some insane hour in the morning and biked to the beach to watch the triathlon begin. It was dark and overcast but those are the kinds of days that lead to the best sunrises.

The triathletes were broken up into waves based on age, gender, and triathlon experience. We were able to watch about 6 waves get in before we walked down the beach to see the first person scramble out of the water and head to the transition area.




Here's where we made our mistake: our bikes were way down at our boardwalk, about 3/4s of a mile from where the swimmers were coming out of the water. We didn't go watch the transitions or much of the biking, instead we spent most of the time getting back to our bikes and then deciding that breakfast at Southern Kitchen was a good idea.

My mom and I swung by the house to get my dad and we all biked to Southern Kitchen. Their pancakes are delicious! We left Southern Kitchen and were biking back down Eugenia to catch up with the Triathlon and this guy comes running up one of the boardwalks from the beach and runs down the street.

Oh. No.

I wanted to see the first person finish!

I stopped and asked one of the volunteers if that was the first guy. He said yup, he was the first one, and here comes the 2nd one, they're about to finish!

Seriously? 

People can complete a triathlon that fast?

I peddled my bike as fast as I could trying to find the quickest route back to Night Heron Park. Hint: don't go down Eugenia. There is a direct path to the park from there but it was closed off for runners only.

Sigh.

I did miss the first person crossing the finish line but I did get to see the first female finish & the first relay team finish. 

{I love how excited she gets not just because she's at the finish line, but because they had brought out the ribbon for her to run through since she was the first female}


And I did get to see some of the cycling {the ones finishing up} and some of the runners {right as they were starting and some on the beach}.



Next year, I'd love to volunteer for this. I'm not crazy enough to run it but I love how all of the volunteers stationed throughout the course were not there just to provide direction, but they were all there cheering people on. That might have been one of my favorite parts... these people are swimming. They are biking. They are running. They deserved some cheering & they got a lot of it!

But I'm not that patient.

I might sign up to volunteer for the Kiawah Marathon in December :) 
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