28 January 2016

A Snapshot of C+P

Engagement pictures.


 
Completely necessary & absolutely ridiculous.
 
Don't get me wrong - I'm the first person to insist that you need to have engagement pictures and I love looking at other people's when they post them. But I'm also judging them because, c'mon, they're a little bit ridiculous because most of the time they're entirely unrealistic.
 
I don't know about you, but I don't put on a fancy dress and frolic in a field with my fiancĂ© on a regular basis {because hello, snakes}. Nor do we climb up into trees with low branches that swing out over a marshy area with a gorgeous sunset behind us. There are so many things that could go wrong with that scenario that I don't even know where to start.
 
Regardless of all of that, I still believe that engagement pictures are necessary.

 
I wanted to pick something that was completely normal for Patrick and I to do for our pictures so that we could try to capture who we really are rather than a Pinterest-approved version of us. I also wanted absolutely nothing to do with taking pictures in Columbia at the State House/Main Street/River Front Park so getting out of Columbia was a must.

 
Enter: engagement pictures in a taproom at a brewery in Charlotte. Why not, right?



 
& you know what? Not only did we enjoy taking these pictures {yes, Patrick too!} but these pictures look like a little snapshot of our life right now. Some of my very favorites ended up being behind the brewery in front of their "Take a Pitcher It'll Last Longer" sign.









But don't worry, we did venture outside of the brewery to Romare Bearden Park and we took a few photos without the beers.





MAJOR credit to Jessica Roberts of Jessica Roberts Photography for these gorgeous pictures! She did an excellent job dealing with two very awkward-in-front-of-a-camera  people, took a million pictures {which I loved}, and had them ready for us in no time. If you need a photographer, look her up!



Also, special thanks to Sycamore Brewing for allowing us to come in before they opened to take pictures & for the free beers

 
As for my favorite picture from the engagement session? You'll have to wait for the Save the Date reveal next week to see that one!

26 January 2016

Run 2016 + a Give Away

Hey remember that time that I posted about all of my running resolutions for 2016?
26 days in, let's see how well I'm doing with those.


1. Keep Running.
... haven't run since my half on December 12. That's right. A solid six weeks of no running and I'm not going to lie, it's been glorious. There's been a lot more wine, a lot less miles on my calendar lately.
2. Participate in one race a month.
CHECK! I've signed up for a race this coming Saturday so I can mark that goal off for the month of January. Nothing like a little procrastination, right? I can't wait to see how this goes after 42 days of not running.
 
3. Get involved in a running group.
Let's chat again in a week or two about this one. There's an interest meeting for a running group next Thursday... I have it on my calendar, so that means I can halfway check this one off, right?
 
4. Set another PR.
Zero running + zero races = zero PRs.
 
It's safe to say that I'm lacking a lot of motivation in the running department right now. I'm hoping that the race this weekend & running group meeting next week will get me back in the swing of things but we'll have to wait and see!

But what about you?
 
Did you set any fitness goals this year that you need a little motivation in accomplishing? If you do, I've got some motivation for you! I've partnered with a few other bloggers to offer you the chance to win this Resolutions Essentials Give Away.
 




This Give Away will begin Tuesday, January 26th at midnight and will end Monday, February 1st at 11:59pm. Make sure you enter below for your chance to win!
 

25 January 2016

I Survived {a Weekend at Home}

Question of the Weekend: could I survive a weekend at home with no travel involved & nothing planned?


I am happy to report that I survived a weekend at home where there were no day trips anywhere and no football tailgates/games involved. It was nothing but Columbia, a little bit of snow, and two at home date nights.

Our Friday night kind of looked like this:



We split a bottle of red wine, dined on stuffed peppers, hung out in front of the fireplace, and got our save the dates put into envelopes.


Saturday was all about a spin class at the gym, watching the flurries fall, a lunch date at the British Bulldog Pub, and doing a little shopping at the mall.



Saturday night? Taco night + a movie.

We woke up early on Sunday morning and got to our church's early service, got brunch at Di Prato's, and I took an epic 2.5 hour long nap. If naps like that are always a part of a weekend at home, I think I could get totally on board with this concept.


& if you've never had Di Prato's Sharp White Cheddar Pimento Cheese with their fresh, piping hot pita chips... you are missing out on life.


The icing on the cake was watching the Patriots lose to the Broncos {go Peyton!} aaaaaaaaaand watching the Panthers win to GO TO THE SUPER BOWL! So excited to see them make it to SB50 but still a little bitter that they wait until after I move away from Charlotte to do so.


... now we'll just see if I can survive TWO weekends at home in a row. Possible? Maybe! We'll see next Monday!

---

Linking up with Biana for another Weekending!

21 January 2016

A Major Case of Snow Envy

I adore snow.
 
It's kind of a prerequisite when you grow up in the South. You have to love it. It doesn't come around enough to be a nuisance and it rarely sticks around for more than a day or two. So when it comes, you better be ready to enjoy it.
 
When we were in Charlottesville this past weekend, I woke up on Sunday morning and decided to check the forecast for the day. I knew it was going to be cold but I was curious as to just how cold it was outside so that I could decide what to wear. This is what the forecast said:


  
Uh... I checked the weather 100 times before our weekend trip and nobody said anything about SNOW! But sure enough, it was snowing outside.
 


So y'all, I got my first {unexpected!} snow of the year this past weekend and I loved it. It was just enough to be pretty but not enough to wreak havoc on our drive back to South Carolina.


 
It snowed on us as we walked up and down The Mall in Charlottesville looking for somewhere to eat. While we were sitting at our table inside of The Nook eating breakfast, I could see the snow still coming down outside. It was super cozy... sitting in an old school diner, eating a delicious breakfast, and watching the snow fall.


 
We got to see even more on our drive home through the mountains!


 
But it was gone before we knew it. By the time we were out of the mountains of Virginia, there was nothing left but sunshine and damp roads. I was totally content with our little snow encounter until I get this text message on Tuesday from my friend Lindsey {who we had just been visiting in Charlottesville}


 
Cue the snow envy.
 
Dear Columbia... do me a favor, give me a little snow this year? Please? This snow deprived child of the south would like to see a little bit this winter. Those of you lucky enough to be getting some snow this weekend, post lots of pictures so that I may live vicariously through you!

19 January 2016

Wine-ing at the Vineyard

One thing that I've noticed about our road trips to new cities recently is this:
we love to drink our way around a new place.
 
Whether it's a really cool rooftop bar in Charleston, distilleries in Louisville, or breweries in Asheville, our goal is usually to find a good local watering hole to explore.
 
So naturally, when we went to visit Charlottesville, we had to add a little local drinking to our list of things to do. We were able to visit one brewery {Starr Hill} and one winery {King Family Vineyards} both located in Crozet, VA, just outside of Charlottesville.
 
 
Our first stop was to King Family Vineyards which is a gorgeous, small vineyard that has an excellent wine tasting.
 
For $10, you get to try six different wines. They rotate in and out based on availability but the ones that we were able to try were:
Viognier 2014
Chardonnay 2014
Cabernet Franc 2014
Meritage 2013
Petit Verdot 2013
Seven 2013
 
 
I loved this wine tasting because it was small & personal, had a good variety of wine to try, and because it allowed me to try small tiny glasses of red wine. I've been a white wine fan for years but I've hadn't really branched out to red until this tasting. Turns out... I really like red wine!
 
 
My favorites were: the Viognier, the Meritage, and the Petit Verdot.
 
Everyone else? They all loved the Seven... mainly because it was aged for two years in a Kentucky bourbon barrel {specifically, in a Woodford Reserve barrel}. Since we all know that I am not a bourbon fan, it shouldn't be a surprise that I immediately handed that glass over to Patrick after one sip.
 
 
 
We ended up purchasing a bottle of the Petit Verdot to split while we sat around and chatted in their tasting room.
 
 
Afterwards, we drove on to Starr Hill Brewery. I really wanted to check this one out because the Starr Hill Love is one of my all time favorite beers. I was pretty excited to find out that their brewery was close to Charlottesville and that we'd be able to visit it while in town.
 
 
My favorite beer? Delicious. But they didn't have any other beers there that struck my fancy and the guys weren't too high on the ones that they picked out to drink. It was worth it to stop by at least once but it probably isn't a place that we'd go back to again.
 
 
The winery though? Totally different story. We'd love to go back to another one! It's unfortunate that there really isn't one to go to around Columbia... guess we'll need to make another trip up to Virigina soon!
 



18 January 2016

Weekending in Virginia

True story: I like to do all of the things.

ALL of the things.

I like to travel and to road trip and to do as many activities in one weekend as I possibly can. Remember this weekend of winning {or exhaustion, if you're my fiancé} in Charlotte last month? Yeah. I like to do ALL of the things.


This past weekend, Patrick & I traveled up to Charlottesville, Virginia to see two of our friends. We didn't leave until after work on Friday {which meant arriving there around midnight} and got back late yesterday evening. We spent a quick 36 hours there in which we tried to do everything possible.


Worth it? Absolutely, and not just because I learned to drink red wine & got to see snow!

But now we're recovering & are both 100% looking forward to staying in town this weekend. After traveling 8 of the last 9 weeks {Kiawah, Charlotte, Kiawah, Asheville, Whiteville, Charleston, Kiawah, & Charlottesville}... I am so ready to not pack a suitcase this week.

See y'all tomorrow!

---

Linking up with Biana for another edition of Weekending.

15 January 2016

A Southern Twenty-Five on Friday!

What a week, y'all. It started out on Monday with the complete inability to concentrate on anything other than the National Championship game and it's ending with a trip to visit one of our bridesmaids & one of our groomsmen up in Charlottesville. My kind of week y'all, my kind of week.

Linking up for another Five on Friday with April.

{one}
Clemson played in the National Championship game on Monday night against Alabama and they walked away with the moral victory {& the #1 preseason ranking} instead of the 15-0 season. It was an amazing game and it was awesome to see Clemson go toe-to-toe with such a dominant team. But you know what? Bama had to pull out all the stops and all the tricks to beat my team. Clemson fought until the very end even though they were down by 12 with less than a minute to go.


Aaaaaand Deshaun is only a sophomore. He's coming back next year. We'll CUinTampa next January!

{two}
I'm going to Charlottesville this weekend to see two of my favorite people! I've never been to Charlottesville {& haven't been to Viriginia since 2009 sometime} so I'm excited to get up there and explore. My two requests? A running tour of University of Virginia's campus and a trip to Starr Hill Brewery. Plus lots of catching up time with Lindsey!


{three}
Rocksbox.


I'm on the fence about this service... mainly because I am terrible about remembering to send the jewelry back for a new box and partly because I wasn't a huge fan of the pieces in my first box. Second box though? Much better! We'll see how this goes after a few more boxes to see if I want to keep up with it or not.

{four}
Guess what showed up on my front porch last night?

 
Save the Dates! I'm excited to not only get these out the door to our guests, but also to finally be able to share the rest of our engagement pictures with everyone.

{five}
Now that college football is officially over for the year, it's time to put all of your focus on the NFL and the playoffs. Specifically, it's time to focus on one game in particular:

{via}
That's right. The two teams that I cheer for {Panthers & Seahawks} are playing this weekend in the playoffs. How did I ever get so lucky? Ugh. I hate when this happens but I know where my heart lies this weekend.


Seahawks, I love you, but it's definitely time for the Panthers to have a good season and a chance at the Super Bowl! GO PANTHERS!

---

Happy Friday, y'all! Hope that you have a great weekend!

14 January 2016

Recipe: Potato Soup

Potato soup, hands down, is my favorite soup of all time. But not just any potato soup. THIS potato soup.

This is a recipe that was handed down to my mom which she taught me how to make several  years ago. I think that I followed the actual recipe twice {the time she taught me how to make it and the first time that I made it by myself} and haven't bothered with the recipe since. It's one of those "you know when it's right" type of recipes and luckily, it's a recipe that you can easily modify on the fly to suit your preferences.

Fair warning: this takes a little bit of time but the effort is so worth it for a gigantic pot of delicious potato soup!


Ingredients
1 bag of yukon gold potatoes, peeled & diced
4 stalks of celery, diced
3 medium carrots, peeled
1/2 of a yellow onion, diced*
4 garlic cloves, pressed
3 tbsp. butter
5 tbsp. chicken granules
2 cups milk
1.5 cups sharp cheddar cheese
salt & pepper to taste

*I always substitute minced onion from the spice department since I'm not a huge fan of onion

Directions
1. Add butter, diced celery, diced onion, and peeled carrots to a pot on the stove. Simmer on low for about 5 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Stir frequently.
2. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
3. Drop potatoes into the pot and then add water until the potatoes are almost covered up. This is usually 2-2.5 cups of water.
4. Add in the chicken granules, salt, and pepper.
5. Bring pot to a boil and then turn back down to a simmer. Let the soup simmer on the stove for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
6. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes until the large pieces are gone.
7. Pour in milk slowly and stir frequently. You can use more or less milk  here, just depends on the consistency you like for your potato soup.
8. Add in cheese and stir until melted.
9. Enjoy!



So here's where you can get creative and modify this recipe to suit your tastes. You can add more or less of any of these: celery, carrots, onion, garlic, milk, cheese, salt, or pepper.

See what I mean? All of those ingredients are totally adjustable which is why this recipe was so difficult to write down. I think I make it different almost every single time.

Either way you make it, it's so good and makes a gigantic batch. I think we got 9 bowls of soup out of this recipe when we made it earlier this week. When I lived by myself? That was lunch & dinner for almost a whole week for me... which was entirely too much. Luckily, this recipe also freezes really, really well.

Try it out sometime!

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