February 28, 2014

Five on Friday!

It's Friday! I'm excited to link up with April, Christina, Darci and Natasha for another Five on Friday.

It's the last day of February, which also means it is the one year birthday of our sweet little niece, Honora! Happy Birthday, pretty girl! We love you and wish we could be out in California to celebrate with you!
The end of February also means that tomorrow is March 1st. It remains a very special day to us because it is the day we found out that we were parents. I wrote about it here. I will never forget that day and the immeasurable joy brought to our lives by our precious baby boys. Every part of our journey is not as sweet, but that day sure was.
Our friends, Danielle and Brent, sweetly gifted us with this candle and some other goodies from Charlotte when they came to visit. Oh my word--it smells amazing! And, the pottery base can be reused as something else when you burn the candle down. I love how big it is and I've had it burning constantly. If you see one out and about, be sure to pick one up!
I tried a Salmon Niçoise salad at Nordstrom Café when I was back in NC, and I've been dreaming about it ever since. I was so excited to finally make one this week! I adapted a recipe from a few different sources, and omitted the eggs and olives because TJ doesn't care for them.  And honestly, I didn't miss them because the salad was so packed with other goodness! I need to be so much better about taking "during" pictures and not just before and after, but hopefully you'll get the idea and try this easy and delicious salad yourself!
I don't know what happened, but this salmon was the best I've ever made. Salmon is tough and it's hard to get it right. I feel like this was the perfect combination.
*Heat oven to broil
*On a foil lined baking sheet, simply place some real butter, rosemary, salt and pepper on your salmon filets. Drizzle with olive oil.
* Pop it in the oven for 12 minutes, or until it flakes with a fork.

I actually cheated a little and had made the asparagus and potatoes the night before to and ate with a chicken dish, but I did so knowing I wanted to use leftovers for our this salad. Just use what you have. It'll work!
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
For the asparagus, I tried butter, shredded cheese (I used a gruyere/cheddar blend) and salt/pepper.
Drizzle sliced potatoes (I used a medley from Trader Joe's but you could use any type!) with olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary. (Or any herb you prefer/have on hand)

Pop the potatoes in first. Bake for 10 minutes, turn potatoes, and put the asparagus in. Bake for another 8-10 minutes and you're done! (Don't be like me and forget to turn the potatoes, otherwise you might have ones that are a bit too crispy!)
I steamed the string beans for 3 minutes, then drained and rinsed with cold water. Season as you'd like to those.
Meanwhile, I made a simple dressing:
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
extra rosemary that I had from the salmon/potatoes
honey, to taste
salt and pepper
I put it all together and drizzled with the dressing. It was delicious!
(I feel like I'm really wordy with explaining steps taken to make this recipe. I promise it was easy!)

We had the BEST time seeing Wicked on Saturday! We were both very excited because we hadn't seen it before and it felt like a very "New York" date. We began by going to a fancy Mexican restaurant (I could eat guacamole everyday, and sometimes do). We realized it was National Margarita Day (hello--don't have to tell me twice) so of course we had to try some fun margaritas to start off our date.
We had a fun meal that included guacamole (of course) and then we shared a variety of tacos which included lobster, fish and chicken. So good!
We were so impressed by this show. The singing and set and actors were all incredible. Loved it!
Our weekend also consisted of spending as much time as possible outside. I am loving that it's staying light later and that it was warm enough to be outside without a big coat. This weekend, it's a different weather story (please go away, snow) but we're all hoping the warmer weather will come back to stay shortly.

Enjoy your weekend and thank you so much for stopping by!

February 21, 2014

Five on Friday!

Hey, y'all! It's time for another Five on Friday! I am happily linking up with April and friends today. Let's get started!
We are off to see Wicked tomorrow! I'm so excited about this. We've been told it's something you "must see" while in New York, and my hubby planned this as a part of my Christmas present. Dinner and the show are what's on tap for tomorrow night!


Are you guys sad to see the Olympics wrap up this weekend? I've loved watching them as much as possible and find myself so impressed with these athletes. I was thinking how amazing it is that when the figure skaters fall, they immediately get up and don't even skip a beat in their routine. I just can't imagine and the only thing I'd want to do would be curl up in a ball on the ice and cry. Ha--reason #2354 they are out there competing and not me. :) I've loved the scary ski and snowboarding competitions the most, but they are hard to watch and I'm always nervous someone will get hurt. The back stories on the athletes pull at the heart strings and make me love them that much more. I do also love the pride and {good} sportsmanship that is shown throughout the Olympics. Not to mention all the crazy stories that came from Sochi. 'Til next time!
Spring is coming! {I don't know if that's actually true, but I am going to tell myself that until it happens.} So, as you may know, I am a nail polish addict. I'm loving Essie's new spring collection of polishes and I couldn't resist picking up a mini cube to try a few of the colors. Aren't they fun?

Our sweet friends, Brent and Danielle came for a visit from Charlotte over the long weekend! Aside from getting delayed due to weather, we had such a fun weekend. The weather was not the best, but it didn't stop us from exploring the city, including walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. As usual, we didn't take nearly as many pictures as we would have liked, but here are a few. Can't wait to see you guys again soon!


I was also thrilled to see some sweet teachers from my former school in Charlotte who happened to be in town this week for a training! We met for Mexican and margaritas and I loved catching up with them! It was such a treat in the middle of the week and wonderful to see some familiar faces in the city.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and thank you so much for stopping by!

February 14, 2014

Five on Friday!

Happy Valentine's Day! Joining April and friends for another Five on Friday!

The girls hosting the link-up asked us joining in to help spread the word about sweet Teddy. Teddy is a beautiful, smiling seven-month old baby who was diagnosed with a terminal syndrome called Menkes. Menkes Syndrome affects approximately 1 in 450,000 male babies. There are currently only a handful of documented cases in the entire United States. There is not a cure for Menkes, and Teddy's parents, Mary and Alex Fish, are hoping to spread the word about this terrible disease and hopefully lead to a cure in the future. They also hope to encourage parents to trust their gut about their children when something doesn't seem quite right. Mary has created a caring bridge page to document their journey and share information about ways to help the family. My heart breaks for them. Please keep this precious child and his family in your prayers and help spread the word about #teamteddy.
Enough already with the snow! I am sure 99% of you are feeling the same thing, but while we have it, we might as well appreciate it. It's pretty until it piles up in the streets and you have to basically swim through it to get from one side to the other.  Okay, it's not that bad. Just when I think I'm tired of all the snow, I go to Central Park and can't get over how serene and beautiful it is while surrounded by the bustling city. I love it. With that said, hurry up, spring!

We have made some yummy things this week in our tiny kitchen!
Homemade Pad Thai: Not as intimidating as I would have thought!
rice noodles
2 cups bean sprouts
 2 cups shredded carrots
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
sesame oil
1 tsp honey
2 tbs soy sauce (or pad thai sauce if you have it)
1/2 tsp chili paste
garlic clove
1/2 tsp fish sauce
Cook chicken through in sesame oil in a wok. Add the cooked noodles and sauce. Then, add bean sprouts, scallions, carrots and peanuts. Mix it all up and that's it! Delicious!
This green smoothie has been my go-to lately:
2 cups (or handfuls) power greens (a mix of kale, spinach, chard, or any other greens you choose!)
juice of one lemon
2 tbs coconut oil
cup of water
2 tbs chia seeds
Blend it all up! The coconut oil is a recent addition and it definitely gives it a little tropical flair, if you're into that, which for this week, I am. :)

We made a "fancy" meal last night as a pre-valentine's dinner. Chicken Paprikash Topped Potatoes did not disappoint!

To go along with our little celebration, TJ surprised me with this beautiful necklace! I have to say, I really thought we were not exchanging gifts so he definitely caught me off guard. I love it and him. :)

We celebrated a little early because we are celebrating tonight and this weekend with our sweet friends, Brent and Danielle, who are coming in from Charlotte for a visit! We are soo excited and only hope they make it here without any snow delays from their end or ours! We have such a fun weekend planned filled with lots of good food, a broadway show, and spending time exploring the city with our friends.

And, because it's Valentine's Day...
Hope you have a wonderful weekend! Thanks so much for stopping by!

February 7, 2014

Five on Friday: Pretties

Happy Friday! Today I'm going to keep it light and share some pretty things I've had my eye on lately, and a few that I've had my hands on, too. I am ready for spring and since that pesky groundhog indicated that we'll have another six weeks of winter, I'm hoping wishful thinking will prove he's wrong and warmer weather is on its way! Linking up with April, Christina, Darci, and Natasha for Five on Friday!

This is my new favorite lip color. I really like this line, and have a couple other colors that I feel are more limited. This one is a pretty pink that is buildable for more color and can also be worn everyday. It's called  Pink in Paris.

This lip stain is great. It's really more of a gloss and it can be worn alone or sometimes I wear it with the color above! via

I just love this watch. The pop of pink is so pretty and if my mister happens to be reading...ahem.


These earrings are a happy find! I love wearing them and they work well anytime of day, adding a bit of sparkle and fun to any outfit.


And, how pretty is this dress for spring?
What are some of your favorite pretties out right now?
Thank you so much for stopping by! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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