30 April 2014

Wedding Season: Part 1

I've been sitting in front of my computer screen for awhile trying to figure out what to say about wedding number one this year. To say that wedding season started off with a bang would be a little bit of an understatement.

I'd love to show you a picture of where the ceremony was held in Cleveland, NC because it was such a beautiful setting, but I didn't get around to taking a picture of it.

I'd love to show you a picture of the happy bride & groom, but I didn't get any pictures of them. Seriously. We took a group picture of everyone from work and didn't even bother to get Cory in the picture with us {poor planning? absolutely!}

I'd even settle for a picture of the food because those mashed potatoes were that good. Nope. No picture of the food either.

The wedding was gorgeous. The weather was perfect. The food & drinks were fantastic.

My picture taking?


Most of the pictures will reside safe & sound on my computer {y'all are welcome!} but here's a few that I can actually share...

We clean up pretty well on the weekends!

Confession: I didn't learn how to shag dance until I was 21. I went to a wedding and saw this really cute boy absolutely tearing up the dance floor with his moves. I asked my dad to teach me how to shag dance real quick on the off chance that the boy would ask me to dance {spoiler: he did end up asking so thank goodness I was prepared}

I'm not the greatest at shag dancing though but you better believe that I thought I was awesome this weekend and insisted on teaching Stephen how to do the pretzel move.

Once we had it down, we rocked it. Luckily someone grabbed my camera to take pictures of it!

One down, two to go.

29 April 2014

A Perfect Knight

It was 75 degrees, sunny, and Thirsty Thursday. What else could you want in a weeknight baseball game?
Last Thursday night I went to the new BB&T Ballpark uptown to see the Charlotte Knights take on the Durham Bulls and it was such a great night to go out to a baseball game with my soon-to-be-wed friends Laurel & Steven.

If you haven't been out to the new stadium, it should be on your bucket list of things to do this season. The stadium is pristine and you cannot beat the skyline view of uptown! Not even kidding - the view is half the reason that I wanted to go to the new stadium to see a game.

We didn't have tickets to the game because we didn't want to buy standing room only tickets and figured that we could find someone selling tickets outside of the stadium. Well... there were not that many people selling tickets and we ended up buying standing room only tickets anyway. To be honest, standing room only wasn't a bad deal. They have lots of places around the stadium where you can stand and easily see the game... there are little bars/countertops all around the edge of the stadium for those who don't have actual seats.

On Thirsty Thursdays you can buy a draft beer for $3 {instead of the ridiculous $7.50 they're trying to charge on a regular night}. I didn't try too much of the food but they looked like they had a lot of good options and the fries that I did have were awesome. I'm talking hot, slightly crispy, with just the right amount of salt.

Eventually we found ourselves up in some of the box seats and had this fantastic view:

See? I told you the view was worth it.

& the best part?

The Knights won!

I did miss like half the runs being scored but I did see the final play which was kind of exciting. Maybe I'll get into baseball a little bit more now that I have a close team to go watch?

25 April 2014

A Southern Twenty-Five on Friday!

Happy last Friday of April! I've been waiting for May to roll around for quite some time now because there are a few things I'm looking forward to next month! But... we're not there just yet so let's get to it with the Five on Friday hostesses April, Darci, Natashaand Christina.

First of all, Happy 5th Anniversary to the Kappa Pi chapter of Sigma Kappa!

Is it too soon to start talking about football season? The NFL released 2014 schedules this week and my Seattle Seahawks are coming back to Charlotte! I missed going to their game last year but you can bet I will be there this year... even though it'll mean two football games in one weekend {Clemson plays Syracuse for homecoming the day before}. It's not like haven't done it before but do not expect me to be very productive that following Monday!

I feel like I need to have more things up my sleeve for my new apartment but I only have one project that I'm working on. It's tiny and it involves paint, some hooks, and this board:

I can't wait to see how it turns out but I have to figure out some paint colors first. I also really want to find a way to use this on it but I'm not sure that's going to work out so well.

I might be a little bit obsessed with "Love Runs Out" by OneRepublic.

Monday morning? Listened to it on repeat at the gym. For an hour & 15 minutes.
Monday during the day? Listened to it all day long at work.
Tuesday? Listened to it on repeat as I ran on the treadmill. Usually I need variety, but nope.
... & that pattern continued for the rest of the week.

OneRepublic and I are getting along great lately, first with Counting Stars & now with this song. Love it.

Oh hey, wedding season, haven't seen you in a while! Unless March weddings count? Wedding season this year, for me, is exceptionally short but jam packed. Between now and May 18th, I'll attend two rehearsal dinners {without being a part of either wedding party or a family member 'cause that's how I roll} and three weddings. Weddings, dancing, good friends, partying, delicious food, a million pictures, long weekends, road trips... bring it on, I can't wait!

Happy Friday!

24 April 2014

Fresh From the Farmer's Market: Roasted Spaghetti Squash

I don't know about you, but the idea of roasting a spaghetti squash terrified me. I was nervous about having to cut the thing open and I really had no clue what I was doing. I also had no idea if I was even going to like spaghetti squash. This picky eater had never tried to before but I was determined to buy one, roast it, and enjoy every bite of it.

Bought it.

Got intimidated by it again.

Eventually got around to roasting it.


Roasted Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash
Olive oil
Garlic powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2. Cut the spaghetti squash in half across the middle & then in half again.
3. Scoop out the seeds
4. Drizzle olive oil across the inside parts of the spaghetti squash.
5. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
6. Place each piece face down {skin side up} on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 45 minutes.
7. After 45 min, pull the spaghetti squash out, let it cool, and then shred with a fork.

Roasting a spaghetti squash is the first basic thing you need to learn how to do with it {Side note: I hear you can microwave them but I like the way the roasting turns out so much that I don't even want to try microwaving!} Once you have it shredded you can do pretty much whatever you want to do. Personally, I take my squash and saute it with olive oil, pressed garlic, & green onions and then add in red pepper flakes, fresh parmesan cheese, & chicken.

Spaghetti squash might be my new go to meal on the nights that I have enough time to cook everything. Let's be honest. This isn't the quickest thing to cook but it's easy and well worth it!

Want some more deliciousness from the Farmer's Market? Check out some other recipes here.

22 April 2014

I am a Runner.

Well that took a little while, didn't it?

I am a runner.

At this point in time last year I had registered for a 5K and was running a mile or so on the treadmill every once in awhile. If I was feeling super ambitious then I was running one entire lap around my apartment complex.

I had no idea that I was about to set out to complete ten 5Ks and one 10K over the next 11 months.

I had no idea I was going to register for a half marathon this coming December.

I had no idea that there would be some days that I'd actually want to run.

I had no idea there would be some days that I'd actually need to run.

I had no idea what running would bring to my life or how it would change it.

Last year, I had no idea that the Boston Marathon was being run until the news reports started flowing in about the bombing. That Monday had been just like every other day up until that point. Even in the days and weeks afterwards, as the coverage continued, it was just another national news event to me in a town that I've never been to and about people I had never known.

Thank you, 118th Boston Marathon, for making me finally feel like a runner yesterday.

Don't get me wrong, I have no idea what it feels like to run a marathon. But I do know what it feels like to run a 5K and a 10K. I know the butterflies you get before the race begins. I know the moments that your body says to quit running but your head and heart are telling you otherwise. I know the feeling you get when you turn the corner and you see the finish line. I know how it feels when there are people at the finish line {and anywhere else on the course} cheering you on as you run. I know how it feels to be a part of the running community.

After watching the marathon yesterday? Well, there's really no way that I can claim to still not be a runner. That's a community I want to be a part of and that I am a part of.

I am a runner!

21 April 2014

Easter Lovin'

High five y'all, high five.

A grand total of three group pictures were taken and we managed to get a perfect one!

Everyone is looking at the camera, there is very little squint action, the wind was behaving, & everyone looked good in their Easter attire.

This weekend, like the picture, was pretty fantastic.

Braved the cold, nasty rain and went out to a delicious dinner at The Liberty.

Did some quick shopping Saturday morning & managed to scoop up a dress perfect for a beach wedding I'm attending in May.

Celebrated some friends who are getting married in eleven days!

Caught up with one of my oldest friends & his family.

Celebrated Easter with my family & friends.

The sun finally came back out & the warm weather is making an appearance again.

17 April 2014

Easter's Memory Lane

Easter is a pretty big deal to me for a lot of reasons. It's one of my favorite Sunday's at church & some of my favorite hymns are Easter ones. Superficially, it's a big deal because it usually means a new dress & fun/hilarious pictures out in front of the church. I'm usually the one rounding everyone from the old youth group up and getting a picture taken.

Everyone is usually irritated with me.

The sun is always in our eyes {even when it's cloudy?}

Some years, the wind likes to swoosh by right when the shutter snaps.

We can get maybe one picture where everyone is looking at the right camera, there are no squinty eyes, and the wind is nonexistent.

{Side Note: I've just realized that I'm turning into my mother. I treat the Easter pictures the exact same way she treats the Christmas morning pictures}

They sure are fun to look back on though...

I almost skipped past this year and started with 2009. But... I like real life on this blog so here's real life: my freshman & sophomore year of college eating/exercise habits were the worst. Whatever.

For the record, Jayson, Kayla {now married! woo!} & I have been the only ones in the pictures every year the last six years.

First Easter together. Look at that squint action!

By far my favorite picture because we got everyone in it before we all graduated from college and moved away

which includes my brother, as this was his last Easter before moving to Seattle

Gorgeous Sunday!

First dress from Anthropologie. I didn't think it was "Easter-y" enough at the time and now it's one of my favorite dresses.

Favorite family Easter picture, ever

Don't be fooled by the clouds. It was bright outside & squinting was necessary.

Can't wait to see how the pictures turn out this year!

16 April 2014

Fresh From the Farmer's Market: Grilled Zucchini

If you haven't noticed yet, I'm a fan of all things grilled which I think has a lot to do with the fact that I do not have easy access to a grill, so I always want grilled food when I can get it.

Here's another super easy recipe for you this week with another find at the farmer's market

Grilled Zucchini

Soy Sauce

1. Cut the zucchini lengthwise, and then in thirds (or halves depending on the size of the zucchini)
2. Pour soy sauce across zucchini
3. Season with salt and pepper
4. Let everything soak in for about 15 minutes
5. Grill for about 15 minutes or until done

Told you it was easy! Patrick taught me this recipe sometime last year and I love to throw it on a grill before the main course. It makes for a great appetizer round and if you're at my house, we don't even bother with plates. These are gone so fast that a plate isn't necessary.

15 April 2014

Post Bohicket 10K

What was I thinking? Why in the world did I think that it was going to be a good idea to sign up for a 10K when I have never actually run more than 4 consecutive miles in my entire life?

It all came down to the fact that the weather looked great for running, I knew the course was going to be completely flat, and it was pretty much now or never. It was just running two 5Ks back to back, right? How hard could that be?

"Your mind gives up before your legs do." #running #motivation #truth So true.  So many times i have quit because mentally I said I can't do it.  When I realize my legs are in control, I go so much further.

I spent the majority of the race convincing myself I could run to my next "goal".

You've been running 2.5 miles at the gym this week - you can at least make it to 2.5 miles.
You've successfully run a 5K without stopping before - you can make it to the 3.1 mile mark.
You ran 4 miles back in November without stopping - you can make it to the 4 mile mark.
You made it to the 4 mile mark? Dude. That's pretty much 3/4 of the race! You can do it!
Note to self: don't do math while running. There's 1/3 of the race left, not 1/4.
Hey! Mile marker #5! ONE MILE LEFT! One mile is nothing!
Ugh, seriously, don't do math while running. 1.2 miles left.

But wanna know what really convinced me to keep running and not stop to walk?

I'm too competitive for my own good, even when I'm only competing with myself. I had made it that far in the race without stopping... I wasn't going to stop to walk with less than half a mile to go. There was no way I was giving up at that point.

I completely understand now what people mean when they say that running is just as much mental as it is physical.
running is an argument

& now I can say that not only did I compete in a 10K, but I ran the whole thing from start to finish.

I was also extremely happy with my time.

Wanna know the best part?

I placed 3rd in my age group!

Now... what to sign up for next?

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