31 May 2017

Keep Pounding

Alright, y'all.

This cool kid and I need your help this weekend!

I know that I've written about Parker a few times on this blog before, but in case you need a refresher...

Parker is a crazy awesome 8 year old who has been fighting cancer since November 2015. His family and mine go back somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 years, and they're some of our favorite people.

Over the last few months, Parker and his family have started a non-profit called "Pounding for Parker" and their first big fundraising event is this weekend in Charlotte! So yes, Charlotte friends, I am absolutely looking at y'all with this request!

Come out this Sunday, from 4:30 to 8pm, to the Pound Out Cancer Community Event & Silent Auction in Cornelius at the Oak Street Mill. There will be a silent auction, local food trucks, brews from Eleven Lakes Brewery, a corn hole tournament, King of Pops, fire trucks, and more! All proceeds will support Pounding for Parker Foundation in their fight against pediatric cancer.

It is the first official event for Pounding for Parker and it sounds like it's going to be a blast. Patrick and I will be heading up to North Carolina this weekend for this event and we hope to see y'all there!

30 May 2017

Work Hard, Play Harder

I need more three day weekends in my life, please.

{& more pretty blue hydrangeas in the front yard!}

#summeroffun y'all, #summerof fun.

I've spent four of the last five weekends at the beach or on the lake. We'll be landlocked this coming weekend but then we enter in a stretch of seven straight weekends by the water. Bonus? Four of those weekends are long weekends just like this one! Works for me, y'all, works for me.

We packed all of the fun and all of the work that we possibly could into our weekend.

Friday night, we met up with two friends for dinner at Henry's in Cayce. Chicken fingers might not look like branching out to you, but in all of my years of dining at Henry's, I'd never tried them.

Surprise: they're delicious, just like everything else on the Henry's menu.

We hit the water on Saturday for a day out on Lake Murray. The lake was crowded but we still had a great time hanging out with our friends in Hurricane Cove.

Oh, Hurricane Cove: you always provide some good memories & a great boat ride back to the house!

Lake Murray sunsets are the best!

Sunday started out looking stormy, so we packed everything up to head back home. Guess what happened as soon as we were ready to go? The sun came back out! After a super quick debate, we decided to go cruise on the lake again.

Back at home, Patrick and I tested out the new grill with some bacon wrapped filets from Ole Timey Meat Market. In my mind, you can never go wrong with a filet. We snagged our sweet new grill last week as soon as the Memorial Day sales went up at Lowes - SO glad that we did!

Sunday... we made a trip out to Home Depot and then we WORKED. And worked, and worked, and worked some more. Sweeping, dusting, laundry, moving some of my things out of my parents house, going through boxes at our house, building a new parking area on the side of our house, cutting the grass, even more cleaning... whew.

Most of our missions accomplished for the weekend, we're ready to dive into this week. No time for slowing down though! It's a new week and there are new adventures to be had.

Here's to a great {short!} week, y'all!

24 May 2017

Life Lately

Life lately has been different, but oh so good.

I'm pretty sure that I've told everyone I've talked to in the last week that making a career change was such a perfectly timed, perfect-for-me decision. It's always scary when you jump but it's extremely relieving when you realize the jump was 110% worth it. Doesn't mean I don't miss my old coworkers and the close proximity to River Rat for happy hours...

... good thing River Rat is still only a short drive away!

Want to know what else is only a short drive away? Kiawah, especially if you're making that drive at 7am on a Saturday morning and you don't have any of the Charleston traffic to deal with on the way down.

This past weekend was a gorgeous weekend to be down at the beach. It was sunny, hot, and we didn't see any Portuguese Man o' Wars, thankfully. We definitely watched this guy wash up on shore right after we had come out of the water though which was a little bothersome.

Jellyfish aside, I was able to catch a glimpse of my favorite animal on the island. It's been TWO YEARS since I've seen a big gator in our lagoon. Between a little road maintenance that disrupted lagoon life, the 1,000 year flood, and Hurricane Matthew, the alligators have been a little mixed up around the island.

I was more excited than I should have been about seeing this gator. Not the greatest picture, but I wasn't going to chance scaring him under the water by opening the door to grab my real camera.

There was rosé at sunset on our boardwalk.

There was quality time with the 1st Harry Potter book for the hundredth time.

& there was even a little Sunday Funday River Rat beer on the beach because River Rat is always a good idea. Most of the time.

I'd definitely say that life lately has been different, but oh so good.

It's about to be hold-on-to-your-hats, buckle-your-seatbelts busy summer. That's ok. That's how I like things to go!

21 May 2017

Meal Planning #5

It's been a couple of weeks since one of these, hasn't it?

I blame that on all of the beach weekends that I've had lately! Out of the last four weekends, I've spent three of them at the beach, and I have zero complaints about it. Spending my days biking and beaching is exactly how I like my weekends to go.

Enough about the weekend - here's what we've got on tap for supper this week!

Sunday  - Brined & Baked Chicken, green beans, & little red potatoes
Monday - Roasted Spaghetti Squash w/ chicken & broccoli
Wednesday - Baked Chicken Fingers & corn on the cob 
Thursday - Breakfast for Dinner (including these biscuits!)
Friday - salad & pizza takeout from a local Greek restaurant
Saturday - burgers & hotdogs at the lake

... can you tell that we're on a mission to do some light, healthy eating this week as we head into Memorial Day Weekend? There's a lot of chicken on the menu this week but nothing on the grill since it's that time of year again for pop up thunderstorms every afternoon.

Well, that, and because we definitely need a new grill. Hello, Memorial Day Weekend sales at Lowes ;)

Have a great rest of the weekend, y'all!

17 May 2017

Date Night at The War Mouth

Two years.

I've been living in Columbia for two years now. This is the first time since moving back that:

1. We're not house hunting / trying to do all of the things to the house / trying to move into the house.
2. We're not planning a wedding.
3. We're not studying for any type of test.
4. It's not tax season.


It's officially #summeroffun over here and we've been counting down to this day for who knows how long. Patrick and I decided to celebrate that last night with a date night out in Cottontown at The War Mouth.

War Mouth is located in an old fire station just off of North Main Street in downtown Columbia. Technically, it's in the Cottontown area.

Their dinner menu is small and exceptionally southern, but with a twist. My picky-eating self was able to find a few things to try out! Their drinks menu? Excellent. I opted for a Savannah beer - the Scattered Sun Wheat from Southbound Brewing.

For our appetizer, we couldn't decide. I wanted the cheese straws and Patrick wanted the crispy pork belly... so why choose? We got both!

Don't mind me. I'm still over here dreaming of the cheese straws - they were so good. They had the right amount of spiciness to them that you usually don't find in homemade cheese straws. I'm now on a mission to not only learn how to make a good cheese straw, but learn how to make one like these!

I'm assuming the crispy pork belly was good, too. I had a couple of bites but I couldn't get enough of the cheese straws.

For dinner, Patrick went with the pulled pork plate. I didn't try any of his meal but since the plate was clean, I'm going to go with that it was delicious.

I decided that I wanted to get the ribs on the menu {something I have never actually eaten outside of a backyard BBQ before} and someone convinced me that I needed a half rack of ribs.

... I don't think I needed a half rack of ribs!

But that someone really wanted me to get more than I could possibly eat so that he could steal a taste or two. It worked. I knocked out four ribs but needed help on the other two. Next time? Definitely going to go with the single order of 3 ribs.

& yes, there will absolutely be a next time at The War Mouth! It was a fun, delicious date night for us. Better yet? Located right next door is the future home of Cottontown Brew Lab. Local, excellent restaurant? Check. New, local brewery? Double check.

15 May 2017

Mid-May Weekending

Some of y'all may have noticed something on my Instagram on Friday afternoon.

Friday was my last day at the job I was at for the first two years that I was back in Columbia. It was a hard decision to leave that job & the friends I made there behind, but I am super excited to start my new job today!

Saturday was all about a wedding.

One that we might have crashed.

The short story is that I got to help out behind the scenes with my favorite Columbia photographer {who was also our wedding photographer}. The mother of the bride & my mom go way back and once she and her daughter heard I was helping out with the photographer, they insisted that Patrick and I come to the reception.

Who are we to say no to a fun night of celebrating and dancing?

Added bonus: they had hired the same band from our reception to play at their reception!

We loved seeing our band again and getting to dance to them. I think that I was on the dance floor the entire night with either my mom or Patrick. There's probably a slew of pictures on Jessica's camera now that I can add to my "Reasons I Shouldn't Dance in Public" collection, but whatever. We had a ball. Best part? The band remembered us and made sure to say hey.

It was a gorgeous reception, and the bride, Marian Bryce, was absolutely stunning!

Also: cheers to this mom!

Not that I ever need an excuse to post a wedding picture {or 5} but Mother's Day seems like a good reason to me ;)

Happy Monday, y'all!

12 May 2017

Five on Friday

Cheers to the weekend!

While I won't be gallivanting off to the beach for the third weekend in a row, I do have a weekend full of things to keep me busy around Columbia before we take back off on our summer adventures. Weekends at home are good every once in awhile, right? Right.
Can you believe that we've been homeowners for exactly a year tomorrow? Yeah. I can't believe that it has been a year either.

I might have to play "Welcome to My House" on repeat this weekend in honor of the occasion!

Although I find it hard to believe that it has already been a year since we bought our house, I find it harder to believe that it has only been two years since I moved back to Columbia. It seems like it has been so much longer than just two years!

This picture is from the very first week that I was back in Columbia. The concept of seeing Patrick on a weeknight was the coolest thing ever that week. It was the first time in our relationship that we lived in the same city rather than 2 hours away from one another. Two years later and that "coolest thing ever" feeling hasn't disappeared. It's still so fun that I get to see him every single day instead of just on the weekends!
Monday nights are for baseball games with Camlin.

They're also for Tim Tebow ;)

& Wednesday nights are for after work drinks at River Rat with two of your favorite coworkers to celebrate big life events.

Happy Mother's Day to the best mom!

We're spending some quality time together tomorrow morning... meaning that I'm hoping she'll help me pick out some new plants to put in the pots on our front porch & plant them for me. That's what moms are for, right? :)
& Happy Mother's Day to my absolutely awesome mother-in-law!

Happy Friday, y'all. I hope that you've got plans to hang out with your moms this weekend and plans to get outside and take advantage this amazing weather before it gets entirely too hot/humid to enjoy.

09 May 2017

Edible: Chicken Enchilada Dip

One thing is for sure: everyone loves Chicken Enchilada Dip.

My sister-in-law Amy taught Patrick and I how to make this one a few years ago. It was the one thing we'd always request that she make and bring to the lake house on boat days. We knew we had to know how to make it ourselves and it has become a staple at our parties ever since.
When it came time to decide on something to take to our Kiawah friends' Kentucky Derby Party this past Saturday, I knew that it had to be this Chicken Enchilada Dip.
Chicken Enchilada Dip

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
1 can of Rotel
1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup of mayo
1 8oz pkg of shredded Mexican cheddar cheese
4oz can diced green chile peppers
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced

1. Preheat oven to 350. 
2. Place shredded chicken in a medium sized bowl and mix in Rotel, cream cheese, mayo, cheese {set some to the side for topping}, green chile peppers, and the jalapeno. Transfer mixture to a 9 x 12 baking dish.
3. Add remaining cheese to the top of mixture and bake uncovered in the oven for 30 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
4. Serve with tortilla chips & enjoy!

It was absolutely devoured at the Kentucky Derby party! And I wasn't the only one chowing down on it but I definitely was the one hovering around the dish for the majority of the evening. What can I say? It's delicious!

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