Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Turkey Day

Who knew you could cover 110 miles in one day and gain 10 lbs? That's what Turkey Day 2011 did for me. This was my first holiday as a married woman and the first Thanksgiving I've missed with my mom's side of the family. I wish I could have been in two places at once, but my grandma made me some dressing on that Sunday so all was right in the world. 

Whitney and I had lunch with his family in Tabor City first. Our nieces Mary-Gregg and Maggie are getting so big and are so much fun to play with at Sylbie's (what they call Whitney's mom, Mrs. Sylvia). Mary-Gregg likes to use my camera and take tons of pictures which typically turn out better than some of mine... when her subjects cooperate!

Case in point - Whitney wouldn't cooperate.

She snapped this one of me and Maggie. It takes her a minute to get warmed up to the boys. But, Whitney's persistence paid off and by the end of the day she was wrapped up in his lap. 

Miss cuteness with a smile on her face. 

Miss cuteness #2 and the future family photographer. If it's an electronic she knows how to operate it. Where do kids learn this stuff? Kindergarten must be more advanced now. 

After lunch we took the girls outside to play corn hole so we wouldn't fall asleep in a turkey coma on the couch. It turned into a game of hit Whitney with the bean bag.

I had to remind Whitney you can't use kids as bean bags. 

Proof - a few minutes of attention will win over most women. 

And then we were off to Mt. Olive for dinner with my family.

This is one of the only pictures I took but most representative picture of what Thanksgiving is all about at our house. My dad has decided to bbq turkey the same way most people do pork and it was a hit!

 And this was my seat... with all of the desserts! It was so nice to be at home with my dad's family. My grandmother wasn't with us this year because she's in the hospital. We're all saying a prayer that she'll be home soon!

Overall our first Thanksgiving was a great day. I am so thankful for having a husband who loves me (it was our 2 month anniversary on Thanksgiving), a family who has been so good and supportive of everything I've been up to this year and more true friends than anyone deserves.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Crock-Pot Brunswick Stew

When I was younger one of my favorite things to eat was Mrs. Fearnow's Brunswick Stew in the yellow can.

My dad used to take me to the Outer Banks fishing and this was our dinner on the beach. I didn't think any other brunswick stew came close, but Smithfield's Chicken and BBQ's is pretty close.

In an effort to actually pretend to know how this wife thing works, I've attempted to cook dinner most every night. And, thanks to my crock-pot, I've been successful. I found a Pillsbury Slow Cooker cook book at the grocery store one night and it's been a hit. Everything I've cooked has been a hit so far.

I googled the recipe that has been our favorite so far - ah, the power of Google - of course, it's available online. And since I've been promising I'd send it to my mom and I can't seem to remember to do that, I figured I'd send it to everyone that reads this blog. All 8 of you. :)


     2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
     2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
     1 1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
     1/8 teaspoon pepper
     6 bone-in chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 lb), skin removed
     2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 lb), cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
     1/2 cup chopped onion
     1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
     1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
     1 box (9 oz) frozen baby lima beans, thawed
     1 box (9 oz) frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
     Salt and pepper, if desired

In large resealable food-storage plastic bag, mix flour, bouillon, poultry seasoning and pepper. Add chicken thighs, potatoes and onion; seal bag and shake to coat. In 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker, place chicken and vegetables.

In small bowl, mix tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over chicken and vegetables; stir gently.
Cover; cook on Low heat setting 6 to 8 hours.

Stir lima beans and corn into stew. Cover; cook about 30 minutes longer or until beans and corn are tender.
With slotted spoon, remove chicken from slow cooker. Remove chicken from bones; discard bones. Cut chicken into pieces; return chicken to stew. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Drop Cloth Drapes

When I moved in with Whitney he made me a promise that he's been fairly good about sticking with. I could decorate and/or paint his house however I wanted he only had 2 rules.

1 - His beloved leather, overstuffed, huge and somewhat worn couch couldn't go anywhere. This is his most favorite item in the house and I wasn't allowed to buy a new "pretty" couch that wasn't comfortable to lay on. We've stuck to this so far but I plan to revisit this rule after the 1 year anniversary. I think that's fair, right?


2 - I could put the TV on something else, it's just not allowed to be hidden behind doors - meaning, I'm not allowed to buy an awesome armoire so that he has to open and close doors before he can watch TV. I can handle this simple request and do have plans to rid us of that standard black and silver TV stand every guy in America is issued in college and continues to use until they live with a girl. I just haven't found anything I like yet and so we're still going strong with the black TV stand.

Other than these two items, the rest of the house was fair game. Of course, we started with the paint... He loved his blue and green walls, but honestly they were a little too bold. We muted everything a bit and settled on a blue/grey color that I love and he's even admitted that he loves too.

Next up were the vertical blinds we were rocking in the living room. I get their practicality, but I'm just not a fan of vertical blinds. And, since installing french doors to the back deck isn't really an option at this point, I needed something that would work with our sliding glass door.

Enter Remodalholic. I love her work and what she does so well and affordably to her own home. She posted about updating her vertical blinds and I was hooked. I've also seen every other blogger use drop cloths as drapes and so I figured it may be the easy and cheap fix I was looking for.

I picked up a $19 drop cloth from Lowe's and followed her tutorial. I didn't take any pictures while I was putting them together because I didn't even break out my sewing machine. 

Here's the before picture... (before the paint, before the new fabric on the cornice board, and before the removal of the blinds)

There are so many things to say about that blue, but I won't. He loved it and I love him. Now we both love the grey. Winning. 

I measured the top seam to determine the placement for my rivets. I had 24 vertical blind holders to insert the rivets into. 

The rivets I used were almost too big, but they worked. It was a bit of a challenge to get them to slide into the clips that held the blinds. 

But, overall I was super happy with the results. I can handle a "drape" over that large window/sliding glass door better than I can plastic strips that swing when the air turns on. 

And yes, that is Monday night football on our TV. Look closely and you'll see Whitney laying on his beloved couch. That chair and ottoman are the baby brother to the couch. 

We rarely closed the blinds and we haven't pulled the drapes since they went up, but in case we don't want the boaters to be able to see inside, they are there if we need them.

I'll even confess that I didn't even hem the bottom of them. I simply turned them up and pinned them on the back. Maybe one day when I knock the dust off of my sewing machine I'll finish them off. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Getting Back on the Horse

I've fallen off the horse and haven't been doing a very good job at being a faithful blogger. True story.

What's worse is that I start getting antsy when Young House Love hasn't posted by 10:00am, or when Darby hasn't posted in 2-3 days or even when The Pioneer Woman only posts once or twice instead of 2-3 times a day. What gives me the right to question their blogging skills when I've barely posted once a month?

The dog ate it doesn't necessarily work in this situation, does it? 

Well here's my list of excuses:
1- I moved to a new town 10 months ago
2- I started a new job 9 months ago
3- I was planning a wedding for the better half of a year
4- With that wedding comes a lot of parties and out of town events
5- I got married and went on a honeymoon
6- We've been working on getting the house together
7- Pinterest has consumed most of my free time
8- None of these are really good excuses and would have all made for good blog material
9- I've just not sat my butt down and started typing

And so, here we are. I should just start with all of the fun and excitement of the wedding but I'm going to hold that post off until I get my pictures back and when I have a full Saturday afternoon to just sit and recap all of the excitement and fun of that day.

Until then, here's a little snip of a few things that have been going on in the past few months...compliments of the iPhone camera (so don't judge the lack photography skills, please)

Way back for the 4th of July we went and watched the fireworks on the beach. I took a quilt and an individual serving of Mrs. Edwards' lemon meringue pie. I think this might be what people think about when pondering what the American dream looks like... 

Uncle John came for a brief visit in July. We managed to fit in dinner and drinks on the water after we did a quick practice of the wedding music. We met up in Shallotte and had dinner at Inlet View Bar and Grill

Whitney and I enjoyed some trips out on the boat with Cleve and Jenna this summer. We went out to dinner in Ocean Isle and over to Tubbs Inlet in Sunset Beach on numerous occasions... not nearly as much as we would have liked, but we plan to make up for it next summer!

There were wedding showers galore! It's amazing how good it is to have family and friends that love you. We got so many nice gifts and new things for our home. Now, just trying to find a place to put it all is the hard part! And I've got more thank you notes to write and I don't know where to begin. If you're reading this and haven't received a thank you note, please know that it is coming! 

The Foundation Ball was on August 20 at the Hilton Myrtle Beach. It was an amazing night that I am so proud to have been a part of. We had a great group of ladies who worked so hard all summer long pulling together such a great event. I couldn't have done any of it without them and I am ready to get back started on next year's ball - mainly because I get to hang out with some awesome women who work so hard in our community! 

Most of the month of September was spent in Whitney's parent's yard getting ready for the big day. The set-up was a huge undertaking but it was so much fun. We are both so blessed with family and friends who loved us enough to drive from all over to help us paint, string lights, build a stage, cut limbs, paint fences, make homemade jam, assemble programs...and the list goes on and on. It was definitely a group effort to pull it all together! 

And this was my saving grace for most of the summer! My grandmother has me hooked on this frozen yogurt and it pairs well with a glass of chardonnay. 

My favorite group of girls took me away to the Wild Dunes at Isle of Palms, SC for my bachelorette party. We had a great time just relaxing at the beach, running our mouths about nothing at all, finding out someone in our group is having a baby (yay, Holly!) and realizing that none of us are 22 anymore. But it was a great weekend and one I will always remember! 

I had to throw this picture in the mix. This is the update I got from the Weather Channel the week before our wedding. Guess what? They were wrong! But we'll save that one for another post. Let's just say I'm a very happily married woman right now and a little rain couldn't even stop that!

And because I'm married, I've had to change my last name! Who knew how much paperwork and time that requires? Ouch. 

I did have fun painting this little pumpkin for our first Halloween together. Whitney was questioning me when he saw me whip out the white paint for the pumpkin. Our next door neighbor also politely pointed out this is the first time she's seen Whitney's house decorated for fall. It's amazing what having a girl roommate can do for the neighborhood. :)

I just recently started on this little big project that has already consumed more of my free weekend time than I originally thought. I'll save the details for this one for another post, but I'm so excited with how it's turning out and can't wait to see the finished product. 

And now we're officially caught up to Halloween - the end of October and the beginning of November! We went to a Halloween party last night and had a great time. We dressed up as Whitney's favorite character from YouTube who is a recovering addict from the 70's. I was supposed to be his addiction specialist. He thought the black eye would really step the costume up a notch. It's a hard one to explain but for those who know Whitney and his sense of humor it was a hit.

And that's life for us in a nut shell. It's been a wild and crazy summer but it was a great one! I'm officially Kelly Hughes and the real fun can begin - our life together! Who knows what will happen next?