31 January 2014

A Southern Twenty-Five on Friday!

Yeah, it may be Friday, but the bigger issue is that it is already the last day of January. Uh. What? Where the heck did January go?

Anyway. Five on Friday time.

{one}
GO HAWKS!
Super Bowl 2014 XLVIII Seahawks Sherman vs Broncos Manning
{via}
I am so ready to watch my team play in the Super Bowl and WIN! Hopefully. Maybe. Keeping my fingers crossed!

In case you want to know something about the Seahawks before Sunday night, check out these 12 important things.

{two}
Speaking of the Super Bowl... I'm sure that you're going to a party and that you might need a last minute recipe idea for that party.
This Sausage Dip is addictive and always the first thing to go and it's pretty much amazing {just go ahead and make it!}
Black Bean & Corn Salsa is also pretty addictive and probably a whole lot healthier than the Sausage Dip, if you'd rather go the healthy route.

{three}
So I finalllllly got my snow.

Now I want my 95 degree, sunny, perfect beach weather. I want to lay on the beach with a good book and a cold drink. C'mon summer!

{four}
Speaking of summer...
Is it too early to be day dreaming about farmers markets, fireworks, time at the beach, family time, wedding season, 5Ks, amazing food...? I'm in big trouble if so.

{five}
Add this to the list of life decisions that I'm probably going to regret. But at least Hannah & I will suffer together.


Go check out the hosts of Five On Friday {April, Darci, Natashaand Christina} and join in on the fun!

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

30 January 2014

Post #100

First of all...


Wow! Post #100!

I probably would have lost interest a long time ago if other people didn't show interest in A Southern Twenty-Five so thank you so much for reading!

Seriously though. I expected a few people to read my blog but I had no idea how many of y'all {new & old friends} would end up sticking with it. I find it really entertaining when I come across new people who read my blog, especially when it's unexpected people.

This conversation actually happened while sitting at a bar watching a Seattle game recently...

Guy {who won't be named, you're welcome!}: why are your nails painted black with one gold nail?
Me: the gold nail is a party nail but why? what's wrong with them?
Guy: those are the Saints' colors and the Seahawks are currently playing the Saints and you're cheering for the Seahawks.
Me: it's not really black... it's actually a really dark bl-
Guy: I know, I know, it's actually a really dark blue shut up yes i read your blog but just for the recipes! back to the black nails though.

So yes. Thank you all for whatever reason you choose to read!

& it is only appropriate that my 100th post coincides with my wish finally coming true!
All I wanted to do was wear my Bean Boots in the snow...

I got to spend the day stalking the weather & annoying the receptionist at work by calling every 10 min asking if it was snowing yet.

I got to see my car in the snow & drive home in the snow {successfully, and in less time than normal?}

 I looked ridiculous wearing my boots ALL day at work but at least it snowed & made me look {a little} less ridiculous for wearing them.

I got to take the typical balcony snow picture...

 & then I got to drive on ice to get to work on Wednesday thanks to below freezing temps. Suddenly, all I wanted was this:


So... who's ready for some beach weather?! :)

28 January 2014

Pimento Cheese + Bacon = Awesomeness at Henry's

I figured that after my third trip to Henry's it was about time to introduce y'all to one of my new favorite restaurants in Columbia.

Every time that I go to Henry's, I have the hardest time trying to decide what I want to order for my meal. Seriously. I can narrow my list down to about three things and then I can't pick because they all look so dang good. For a restaurant that mainly serves only sandwiches, they know how to offer quite a selection...





I'm a sucker for all things "Carolina" though especially when they involve pimento cheese... so if you take a trip to Henry's, be sure to try either the Carolina Burger or the Carolina Chicken Sandwich. I mean, c'mon. Pimento cheese burgers are the best and you can't go wrong when you add bacon to the party.

Patrick's Philly Chicken is on the left & my Carolina Chicken Sandwich is on the right.

{in case you were wondering, yes, the fries are amazing}

Conveniently enough, Henry's is also a great place for a little day drinking. They have a few TVs around so if you're in the mood for a long lunch, a little collegiate football/basketball/baseball, and a couple of beers, that's one place to keep in mind.

I think we got out of there for around $30 and that included two lunches & four beers. Not too bad!

P.S. - they have brunch on Sunday's. I bet you can't guess what I get there... WAFFLES! Didn't see that one coming did you?

24 January 2014

A Southern Twenty-Five on Friday!

& so begins the meat hangover courtesy of Chima Brazilian Steakhouse. You would think that after 4 Queen's Feast trips to that place I'd learn my lesson. Nope. Not the case. Their food is delicious and I always, always end up eating more than I should.

{one}
I have been talking for years about buying a football jersey of either a player on the Panthers or a player on the Seahawks. With both teams doing so well this year, the deal I made with myself {& mistakenly shared with a friend} was that I would finally buy a jersey from either team if either one of them made it to the Super Bowl.
Sigh. Peer pressure. & yes, I'm wearing it to work today because I'm that excited about it.

{two}
Expect more on this next week but holy cow bells... Chima never disappoints.


{three}
I know I am so late to the game with this but I finally gave in and started watching House of Cards.
House of Cards (2013) Poster
{via}

It is fairly safe to say that I'm intrigued by the show. I'm only about halfway through Season 1 and it's... interesting? I can't stop watching it though! Thank goodness the next season will be released on Netflix in 2 weeks.

{four}
I can get on board with this whole cold thing if it would snow but nothing. Zip. But once again, the only thing that makes the cold weather better: flannel sheets!!

If you're curious, those are supposed to be "winter animals" but the bear looks way more like a hippo than a bear if you ask me.

{five}
Y'all already know I'm a huge football fan. The obsession extends to college basketball, too {& college baseball while we're at it}. Can I just point out that Clemson was predicted to finish 14th {out of 15!} in the ACC and they are currently sitting pretty at #5? I refuse to get excited about them unless they beat UNC at Chapel Hill Sunday night. I'm sorry. How do you never win at Chapel Hill? C'mon. This is a down year for UNC and a surprisingly good year for Clemson. This has got to be the year. Right?

Go check out the hosts of Five On Friday {April, Darci, Natashaand Christina} and join in on the fun!

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

23 January 2014

Food Truck Stalking

I've been to a Food Truck Friday before. That's easy. All the food trucks go to the same place, Friday after Friday, and there's no searching around to find what you're looking for.

It's a whole different ballgame on a Saturday.

Patrick's one request for his visit to the QC this past weekend was for grilled cheese & tomato soup. I don't know about y'all but I don't ever have a loaf of bread hanging out in my kitchen. Mainly because I'll eat like six slices out of it before it expires and it's a huge waste. But... I knew the best place to order a grilled cheese & tomato soup from.

Papi Queso!

We found them at Sleepy Poet Antique Mall on South Blvd Saturday afternoon. We showed up right around the same time that they did so, while they were getting everything set up & warmed up, we wandered into Sleepy Poet to look around.

I think I could have been entertained in there for hours.

Especially by this little piece...

Huh. Looks just like something I bought the day after Christmas from Pier 1... I'm intrigued by how something like that ended up in an antique store.
Hmm...

Eventually, we made it back outside for some lunch. Papi Queso did not disappoint. Patrick understood after lunch why I was so insistent on driving all the way out to find this food truck and why I wasn't deterred by having to wait for them to get set up/warmed up.


Their Big Cheesy grilled cheese is hands down the best grilled cheese that I have ever had. So freaking good.

21 January 2014

Queen's Feast: Rocky River Grille

I've only been to the Embassy Suites in Concord twice, so you cannot blame me for the fact that I was unaware there was a restaurant called Rocky River Grille located on the main level. I had never even heard of it until some friends of mine suggested it for Restaurant Week.


I'm really, really glad they did!

If you're unfamiliar with Restaurant Week, here's the scoop:

There are two weeks a year {one in January & one in July} where Charlotte area restaurants set up prix fixe menu that typically includes an appetizer, soup/salad, main course, and/or dessert. Each restaurant varies a little bit but basically stick to that format.

Prior to this weekend, I had only ever been to Chima, so this was a new restaurant & adventure for me.

Appetizer - Seared Ahi Tuna

Soup/Salad - Smoked Turkey Chili {not pictured} & River Ceasar Salad

Main Course - 12oz Prime Rib

Dessert - Lemon Curd Tart & Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cake

So... I didn't eat the Seared Ahi Tuna or either dessert {Patrick gave them all thumbs up}, but what I did have was amazing. I ate every bit of my salad and my prime rib was all but gone when they took my plate from the table. Plus the glass of house wine included in the $30 meal price didn't hurt!

Next up for Queen's Feast: CHIMA!

20 January 2014

Hawks!

I have never watched a Super Bowl that had one of my teams playing... until this year. 

I. Am. PUMPED.


Sea!!! HAWKS!!!

Except for Richard Sherman. Don't give him a microphone after a big play like that ever again.

& to completely change topics...

I've got a question for y'all. A friend and I were discussing this topic last night and disagreed with each other's view points. However. I'm convinced that my view point is right while he's convinced that his is right.

First date on Valentine's Day. Good or bad idea? Let me know what you think! I'm curious.

Happy Monday! Check back later this week for some food truck stalking action, some Queen's Feast reviews, and {if you're lucky} another Pinterest Recipe Test. 

17 January 2014

A Southern Twenty-Five on Friday

Friday! Woo hoo! Yay! Party! Ok... work first, party later.

You know the drill: linking up again this week with April, Darci, Natashaand Christina for some Five on Friday fun!

{one}
Happy Seattle Blue Friday! Not quite the same {or as good as} Solid Orange Friday but whatever. Seattle is in the playoffs and Clemson football is over for the year. Blue Friday it is!

Here's to the Seahawks beating those pesky 49ers {especially after they beat the Panthers} and moving on to the SUPER BOWL!

{two}
Charlotte Restaurant Week kicks off today - do you have your reservations made? Hope so! I'm going to be trying out a new restaurant {Rocky River Grille} with some new friends and going back to my Queen's Feast favorite {Chima} with some old friends. This will be our little group's third time going and I. Can't. Wait. Love that place.


{three}
I know that it's only January but I'm itching to be back out on the Greenways riding my bike! I've talked to a few people who bike at work over the last few days and I am beyond ready for it to warm back up and the days to get longer. There are some fantastic Greenways nearby that are so much fun to explore and I want to take advantage of them again soon! I would still like my snow first though... then it can warm up.


{four}
Ok, ok, I know that I travel constantly. I'm always on the move. It's a rarity for me to be in the same place two weekends in a row. But I'm always traveling to the exact same places.

Luckily, the last couple of weeks have involved making travel plans to places I normally don't go to or haven't ever been to like Edisto, Mt. Pleasant, and Savannah. I'm pretty sure I have a 3 day weekend planned every week in May and I'm excited about some new adventures.

Is it time to hit the road yet?!

{five}
I don't believe in New Years resolutions but I did a little revamping lately with how I'm saving money. I've seen a lot of people talking about the 52 Week Money Challenge but let's be real. I don't ever have cash on me nor do I have random amounts like $7. So instead, I decided to transfer $5 for every time I hit up Harris Teeter and $10 for each Target trip {because we all know I go there way too much anyway.

Y'all.

It's been 17 days.

I'm embarrassed how much money I've actually saved by that little saving method. It's real bad to have a grocery store right across the street from my apartment complex. I think I need to learn how to better plan my meals out & make grocery lists...

Happy Friday, y'all!

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

16 January 2014

Pinterest Recipe Test: Fiesta Chicken

I've decided that instead of just pinning all the recipes that look simple and delicious that I need to start actually cooking some of these for dinner. I owed my friend Stephen a dinner for helping me out when my car battery died the other week so I figured that I'd pick any easy crock pot recipe. First up?

Fiesta Chicken


Ingredients
1 pkg of Chicken Breasts (3)*
1 jar of salsa
Chicken Stock
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 8oz pkg of cream cheese

*I used a whole pack of 3 chicken breasts, so if you're using just 2, you might want to stick with the original recipe as far as measurements

Directions
1. Add 1 cup of chicken stock, 2/3 a jar of salsa, and 1 packet of taco seasoning to crock pot & mix well.
2. Place chicken in the crock pot.
3. Cut up 6oz of cream cheese into little cubes & add to the crock pot.
4. Cover & cook on low for 5-6 hours.
5. Coarsely shred the chicken with a fork & add back to the crock pot, mixing well to get the melted cream cheese combined in.
6. Cook on low for an additional 30 min.
7. Enjoy!



Like the original blogger, I served mine over rice.

Let me tell you what... once I put everything on my plate to eat, it was a hot mess. I didn't take a picture of it because the original post has a much better picture of the final product.

This recipe is going to be one that I make a LOT. It's easy, requires ingredients that I normally have on hand {you can even throw the chicken in frozen}, and it was awesome! We both had seconds and were stuffed afterwards. I absolutely recommend this recipe!

15 January 2014

I am a Deprived Child of the South

Let's be real: when you spend most of your childhood in Columbia, SC, you don't really get a whole lot of snow days. I always felt so deprived of snow when I lived there.

Snow is a pretty rare thing for me to see and experience so I get pretty excited when it does show up. I mean... really excited. It's like Christmas Day for me when it snows.

Even though I really dislike being cold, I can put up with the cold if it means there is going to be snow!


Don't get me wrong though. Snow and I have had some moments where I've wanted to go on a Lorelei rant {like the two Valentine's Day weekends it has postponed recently or that Christmas tree sledding incident} but for the most part we've had a good relationship.


Here's what usually happens when there's snow in the forecast:
1. Check Accuweather every five minutes. Don't like the forecast? Check The Weather Channel. Whew. Ok. Snow still predicted, no need to be disappointed yet.
2. Peek outside every other minute to see if it has started snowing yet. No snow to be seen? Ok. Find something to distract me for like 10 minutes. Maybe it'll start snowing when I'm not looking.
3. Oh! A FLURRY!
4. FaceTime my parents and have the following conversation:
Me - LOOK! LOOK! SNOW!
Parents - We can't really see anything.
Me - I promise. It's snowing. Can you see the snow falling by the streetlight?
Parents - Uh, no.
5. Hang up, throw on some sort of shoes and a coat, and run downstairs to take pictures of snow on cars as proof that it is actually snowing. Send pictures to everyone I know.
6. Run back upstairs and proceed to take pictures of the snow from my balcony.

I've so perfected the art of taking a picture of snow from my balcony/deck. All of these are over the course of 5 years, three cities, three apartments, and one house.


C'mon, Charlotte. I've seen flurries like 5 times this season but nothing has stuck yet. I obviously need some more balcony snow pictures so let's get some snow in the forecast, please!

{via}

13 January 2014

4 Years = Time for a Change

You can break my life up into chunks of four years...

1998 - 2002: lived in Winston-Salem & at the end of four years, moved to Columbia.
2002 - 2006: lived in Columbia {the high school years} and then graduated and moved to Clemson.
2006 - 2010: lived in Clemson {the college years} and then graduated and moved to Charlotte.
2010 - ?

I've been in Charlotte for almost four years now and I'm getting restless. Especially since I've been in the same apartment this entire time with very little changes. Sure, I've updated my sheets/pillows/curtains in my bedroom and I put up a new shower curtain in my bathroom but I haven't done much else outside of that.

I am hopefully moving to a new apartment {fingers crossed!!} late summer/early fall. Until then, here are four things I want to update around my apartment to ease some of this desire to make some major changes:

{one}

I bought this dresser & mirror from Ikea when I first moved to Charlotte. The lamp was a college graduation present and the acrylic boxes were Christmas presents one year. I had an old, crappy, never used TV that I've already hauled off to Goodwill & a table runner that used to go across the top that's gone too. But now it just looks empty and lonely and I need something else up here!

{two}

I have a random hallway {if you would even call it that} outside of my bathroom/bedroom. I hung up three collage picture frames with pictures from college and haven't thought about it since.

Well. All of those frames are down now with the hopes of a single frame filling up that space soon. Remember this black & white boat picture from a few months ago? I ordered an 11x14 of that print from CVS and it'll be filling the frame below {from Hobby Lobby} as soon as it is printed.

{three}

Y'all. I finally bought an end table! I saw it in Target the other week and it ended up in my buggy. I didn't even go into Target looking for it but once I saw it I knew that it would fit in with the other furniture in my living room and I was in the shopping mood.

I gave my grandmother that exact picture frame with that exact picture of my brother and me for Christmas, and I loved how it looked, so I went out and got the same frame {also from Hobby Lobby} for this table. There are some cute Kiawah coasters out at Freshfields Village that I want to get the next time I head down that way to add to the end table.

{four}

Like I said before... I can't stand the pillows that are currently on my couch. I am so ready to update them! Here's a close up for you:



I can't believe I'm showing off these pillows. Ugh. I used to like them so much but now they make me cringe. I am forever searching for some pillows to buy and update my couch with but I haven't had any luck so far...

Enough of the areas of my apartment that I'm not completely satisfied with. I love my bookcase & all the things on top of it, especially my reindeer/moose guy from Pier 1 {thank you, 50% off after Christmas sale!}




Happy Monday!

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