28 December 2016

Magnolia & Main's Top 10 of 2016

Here we are: it's the final week of 2016 and it's time to reveal what your favorite posts were this year.
2016 was a big year on Magnolia and Main. This blog has always been, and still is, a wonderful place for me to document the things going on in my life, the DIY construction projects and recipes that we attempt at home, all of the Clemson games, and our travels. I was able to share all about our wedding and our house... which were two of your favorite topics this year.
{drum roll please}
Out of all 168 posts of 2016, here are the posts that y'all loved and viewed the most:
Confession time... next to our engagement story, this was the most fun post to write, publish, and share with y'all. It was also the one that most "non blog" people talked to me about before and at our wedding.
Y'all like a little drama & suspense as much as I do.
... otherwise known as The Post That Almost Didn't Get Published. Sure glad I hit publish on this one after all!
Who doesn't love a good sneak peek?
Because all of y'all are just as nosy as I am and you love taking a peek into someone else's home. Hands down, my favorite part of house hunting was looking at all of the pictures of the houses for sale... so this doesn't surprise me at all!
Well, didn't see that one coming! This one wasn't even on my radar for cracking the top 10, let alone being the #1 post of 2016.
& there you have it! The Top 10 Magnolia & Main Posts from 2016. Clearly, y'all really liked our house and our wedding. Every single post was about one or the other and if I had gone out to a list of the top 20, that trend would have continued.
Ready for 2017? You probably won't see any more about our wedding but you'll see plenty more about our house. And hopefully some more recipes and a few more DIYs.
Happy Wednesday!

27 December 2016

The First Married Christmas

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Can you believe that Christmas has already come and gone again? We had such a good time with our family this year and I'm sad that it's over and that we're back to reality today.

On Christmas Eve, we met up with my family for a late lunch at Twisted Spur before heading off to Christmas Eve service at our church.

Afterwards, we had church #2 on TV at Patrick's grandmother's house while eating a delicious steak dinner. Mmm!

For the first time ever... I did not wake up at my parent's house on Christmas morning. #marriedlife? Patrick and I woke up in our house and did a little Christmas celebrating before going to do Christmas with our families.

I was up at the crack of dawn too because everyone saves their Christmas cookie baking until the very last second, right? Right.

Next up: Christmas with my family & the traditional stair picture.

Guess who's getting hitched one month from today?

These two!

{see all the bare feet? hello, 71 degrees & Christmas in SC}


After presents and brunch, we were off to Christmas with Patrick's family at the lake.

It was an afternoon full of present opening, a lot of giggling, too many jokes, Christmas Vacation, excellent food and so much fun. But somehow the only picture that I have of the day is of the Christmas tree and the ham:

It was a really good, home cooked ham but still. Next year I'll do better with the pictures!

& just like that, Christmas 2016 was over :(

It was a great first married Christmas, though! There's also only a 3 day work week to look forward to this week... yay, holiday work schedules!

Anyone else excited for New Year's Eve and, more importantly, Clemson's playoff game on Saturday night. Go Tigers! & happy Tuesday!

23 December 2016

'Twas the Two Days Before Christmas & All Through the Blog...

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

Can you believe that Christmas is in only two days? I'm officially off of work for Christmas and this girl is beyond ready to continue the celebrations. There has been so much Christmas cheer over the last couple of weeks...

Christmas in Asheville is the BEST, especially when you get to see a little of the decorations with one of your best friends.

There were some Christmas Funfetti Cupcakes because hey, why not?

Patrick and I went to Riverbanks Lights at the Zoo with a few of our friends for a Friday night date night.

We convinced Amy and Andrew {home from London & Clemson, respectively} to come downtown with us to The Vista for a Beer & Carols event at Liberty Tap Room. Singing Christmas songs in a bar loudly for all to hear? Totally down for that.

There have been so many Christmas cards arriving in our mailbox each day and it might be my favorite part of coming home from work in the afternoons.

We've been finishing up our Christmas shopping & getting all of our presents wrapped.
& last night, we had Patrick's whole family over {for the first time!} for dinner.

Plus, it was Spaghetti Night {which is a close second behind Taco Night in our house}

Since we had today off from work, Patrick and I invited Amy & Andrew to spend the night. We woke up and had a delicious brunch.

If all of that doesn't put you in the Christmas spirit, I'm not sure what would. The Christmas music has been on repeat in our house for the last two weeks, the twinkle lights have multiplied by the day, and the packages from Amazon are still showing up on our front porch {because we like to procrastinate our shopping a little}

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! I hope that you have a fun and amazing time celebrating with your family and friends! See y'all back here on Tuesday morning :)

21 December 2016

Recipe: Chicken Bog

Alright, here it is.
The much anticipated, famous Chicken Bog recipe that Patrick cooks up several times a year for us.
I've mentioned it enough times on this blog to have a few people ask me what in the world a Chicken Bog is to have some requests for the recipe we use. And for the lucky ones who have been at one of or tailgates, NYE parties, or post-Kiawah Half lunches... you've now got the secret to recreating this at home.

Chicken Bog
1 whole chicken
1 lb smoked sausage, sliced into 1/2" pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1 stick of butter
2 teaspoons seasoned salt {Lawry's}
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground red pepper
8 cups of chicken broth*
3 cups uncooked white rice
*chicken broth can be made while cooking the chicken or you can use store bought
1. Place chicken in a stock pot and add water until the chicken is just covered. Boil & cook until chicken is done. Let chicken cool before shredding. Save chicken broth from the pot to use.
2. In a separate stock pot, combine the shredded chicken, sausage, rice, onion, butter, and seasonings with the homemade chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
3. Boil for 10 minutes before covering and simmering until rice is done. Add additional chicken broth as necessary to prevent rice from drying out.
4. Serve & enjoy!
Does it take a little bit of prep work and time to make a chicken bog? You bet it does. You could always take the short way out and use pre-cooked chicken {like a rotisserie chicken}, but Patrick has found that the homemade chicken broth that comes from cooking your own chicken is the secret ingredient.
All of the work is totally worth it though. And I say that usually having done none of the work outside of the grocery shopping and the taste testing of the rice to determine when it's cooked. Patrick gets all the credit for this one.
Throw some Cheddar Garlic & Black Pepper Biscuits with it and you've got one heck of a meal.
What are y'all waiting for? Go make some Chicken Bog!

19 December 2016

The Great Long Weekend

Good morning & happy Monday!
Can we just talk about how great this past weekend was? I had a few vacation days that needed to be used up before the end of the year, so it went from a two day weekend to a three and a half day weekend and it was the best. It was definitely a weekend of all the things.
One of my maids of honor, who lives about an 11.5 hour car drive away from me, was passing through North Carolina this weekend. We picked a city {Asheville} and planned for a quick overnight trip there to hang out and to take a million selfies.
We caught a gorgeous sunset at Grove Park Inn.

Inside GPI, we somehow snagged two rocking chairs directly in front of the fireplace Like, saw these from across the room and raced over to grab them before anyone else spotted them.

It was so cold while we were there. 25 degrees + a windchill? This is why I live in Columbia.

We parted ways Friday morning after a delicious breakfast at Tupelo Honey, but since I had the whole day off on a week day with nothing to do... I continued my North Carolina road trip and headed to Charlotte to visit my old job & coworkers.

I hightailed it back home from Charlotte to meet up with a few other couples to visit my favorite Christmas tradition: Riverbanks Lights at the Zoo!

On Saturday, Patrick and I had every intention of being productive and getting a lot of Christmas present shopping knocked out. Well. We bought a grand total of 5 things after 5 hours of shopping: two presents for family members, a bar cart for us, some fun lights to go on the bar cart, and a new piece of furniture for our dining room.

New bar cart:

{similar bar cart found here}

New glass cabinet from my favorite furniture shop, Carolina Imports:

Now we can finally unpack all of our wedding china & our fancy presents because they've got a place to go! Can't say that Patrick is excited about that, but he's excited to get rid of a couple dozen boxes out of our basement.

On Sunday, we had brunch with two of our friends and then spent the unseasonably warm {80 degrees!} afternoon at Swamp Cabbage Brewery which was hosting the Bierkeller Columbia Pop Up Brewery this month.

We ended the weekend with a drive around a neighboring town looking at all of the Christmas lights and dinner with Patrick's family... including Amy, who is finally home for Christmas :)

Anybody else need a weekend to recover from their weekend, or is it just me? 

16 December 2016

Five on Friday

Greetings from North Carolina!

With a few extra vacation days in my pocket this year {when has that ever happened to me?!} and a best friend within 2 hours of me {instead of 10}, a road trip up to Asheville was absolutely necessary.

Obviously, seeing this girl.

The fact that we were able to see each other THREE times in the last 6 months is crazy. We're usually lucky if we get to see each other once a year. Plus, getting to hang out with her in one of the best cities ever?
Even. Better.

Any time that I get to make a stop at Wicked Weed, it's a good day.

Add in a visit out to the Grove Park Inn where you snag two rocking chairs in front of the fireplace? It's an awesome day.

Funfetti Cupcakes.

Specifically, Christmas Funfetti cupcakes made with the help of the best Kitchen Aid Mixer around. I'm visiting some old friends later today and I couldn't show up empty handed.

Patrick and I definitely amped up the Christmas cheer at our house this week.

... by a lot. There are actual wrapped presents under the tree, we mailed out our Christmas cards, and the twinkle lights have multiplied around the house on a daily basis. Every time I look up, there are more somewhere else around {or outside of} the house!

Speaking of Christmas, what are some of your favorite Christmas traditions to do in the days leading up to Christmas? We've got Lights at the Zoo on tap next week as well as a Beer & Carols night downtown but we're looking for some other things to add in as well. Whatcha got for us?

Happy Friday! & happy 9 more days until Christmas!

15 December 2016

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas: Our 2016 Christmas Card

Confession: there are a lot of things that I've been looking forward to this Christmas.

- going to a tree farm & chopping down our first Christmas tree
- putting up our Christmas tree next to our fireplace & decorating it
- hanging up stockings on our mantel in our new house
- decorating the inside of our home
& finally: sending out our Christmas cards!

The cards arrived last week from Minted and I spent last Sunday night writing little messages on them to our family and friends & sealing them up in their envelopes to drop in the mailbox the next morning.

I love, love, love how these turned out!

The fabulous Jessica of Jessica Roberts Photography took our pictures back in October on the South Carolina State House grounds. It was a quick & painless 15 minute mini session and we walked away with some great non-wedding-related pictures.

Here's our 2016 Christmas card:

So why didn't we use a wedding picture for our Christmas card? Easy. I didn't want to! I wanted some new, non-wedding-related pictures that I haven't shared with everyone a dozen times over.

In the meantime, I'll be hanging out by our Christmas tree admiring all the fun ornaments and lights on our tree while opening up Christmas cards from some of our favorite people as they arrive in our mailbox.

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