Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Fancies, New Year's Edition

Wishing you all a wonderful New Year's celebration! I'm off to bring in 2012 in the Holy City (Charleston). Can't wait to hear how you rang in the new year!

Until next year, may your celebrations be full of magnolias, bourbon and one last epic night of 2011!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Unwrapped

Hello, friends! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! If youre as fortunate as me, you're already back at work. Luckily Santa brought a shiny new iPad to keep me entertained (spend hours on Pinterst) the last week of the year. What did Santa bring you? What apps do I NEED? Until next time, may your night be full of magnolias, bourbon and plenty of time to catch up on beauty sleep.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Fancies: Winter White

Happy Friday, y'all! I cannot believe it's the Friday of Christmas weekend! Next week we will be getting ready to ring in a NEW YEAR! Am I the only one who thinks that's crazy? I feel like I just celebrated the start of 2011!

This week, Friday Fancies theme is winter white. Couldn't be more appropriate. Who DOESN'T dream of a white Christmas? I know I do! I'm sticking with my tried and true love to make this white pop: Tory Burch. Sure do love that gal!

What will you be wearing for your Christmas festivities? Please share! I love the inspiration you bring me!

As promised, here are photos from my wrapping extravaganza. I really am the worst wrapper of all time. You might not be able to tell thanks to the lovely ribbon covering up all the mishaps!

Please excuse my fireplace. No tree for me this year!

Wishing you all a safe and wonderful weekend.

Until next time, may your weekend be full of magnolias, bourbon and lots of CHRISTmas cheer!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wrapping Up My Christmas List

I CANNOT believe there are only two (and a half) days until CHRISTmas! How have I gotten SO far behind on my to do list? I am leaving to go home tomorrow after work and I still have to finish wrapping presents, (I need to buy more ribbon first), pick up a few last minute gifts, fold laundry, pack my clothes, paint my nails to show a little holiday cheer AND get through the last day of work!

I have no idea how I'm going to do it. This week has been such a blur. I have had ZERO motivation to do anything. Am I the only one who has mentally checked out until 2012? Yikes! I need to snap out of it! We still have a week and a half left.

I did manage to wrap a few things tonight. My theme this year is packing paper and red ribbon with snowflake glitter tags. It wasn't my original idea, but I couldn't find the tartan ribbon I REALLY wanted to use. Sigh. Maybe next year. Pictures to come after I finish wrapping tomorrow. Until then, here are some of my favorite wrapping ideas via Pinterest:

Absolutely Lovely!!! I need to learn how to make a bow like that ASAP!

Perfect for the music lover!

Love these colors!

I love the touch of greenery! If only I had pine outside my door.

I almost purchased lights to include with my gift tag, in the end, it didn't go with my theme. But this is SUPER cute!
How are you wrapping your gifts this year? I need a lesson from one of the best. I'm horrible, but they are all wrapped with love! Any tips?

Until next time, may your day be full of magnolias, bourbon and enough tape to seal your CHRISTmas packages!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

By Golly, Be Jolly!

It's time! The Big CHRISTMAS card reveal! This was the first year sweet E and I decided to send out cards together. I wanted to make sure our cards weren't too serious and displayed both of our playful personalities. We were scheduled to take pictures while I was in Charleston for Thanksgiving weekend, of course, as I mentioned, we both had the stomach bug. While the pictures weren't our favorite, I think we managed to capture exactly what we were looking for. Without further ado:


I love this phrase! Mixbook was great, but hopefully I'll be able to create our own design. What sites do you use for custom cards?
Until next time, may your day be full of magnolias, bourbon and a jolly good time!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Work "Holiday" Christmas Party!

Saturday evening was my work Holiday, CHRISTmas party! It was the first time I've ever had a big affair to go to, and quite the affair it was! Our party was at the Noah Liff Opera Center in Nashville. The food was great, the drinks were flowing and the music was out of this world. It was nice to see people not always in the office and everyone dressed in their very best. We certainly sang, danced and drank our way into the evening and boy did I feel it the next day.

Sweet E, rockin' the bow tie :o)

Buddy the Elf.

Did you attend a work Christmas gathering? Was it formal or casual?

Two of my co-workers who work across the room from me.

Hope y'all are enjoying this festive time of year! Stay tuned tomorrow! I plan to share my Christmas cards with everyone!

Thriller, maybe? Who cares--too much fun!!!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Wreck of a Weekend

This weekend was literally a wreck. Yesterday, Sweet E and I were on our way to meet my parents at Loveless Cafe for breakfast when our plans were halted due to this:

Thank goodness, we weren't hurt, but we are both a little sore from the jolt. My sweet Callie the Cobalt was towed away and we are still waiting to see if she's going to make it. Not exactly what we hoped for during the holidays, but we are safe and sound and I am lucky to have E stay around an extra day. (He was planning to leave today).

If you are out on the roads this Christmas season, please be careful and pay close attention to what is going on around you.

Until next time, may your day be full of magnolias, bourbon and safe travels.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Merry & Bright! Friday Fancies!

With holiday parties in full force, this week's Friday Fancies theme is overly appropriate: Sparkle and Shine! I didn't have to think twice about my collection this week. I've been lusting over this dress for DAYS-wishing I could wear it to my holiday party with these same EXACT accessories. Silver and red scream Christmas! I MUST get this dress. MUST. MUST. MUST. It has a definite vintage/Mad Men feel (which is, of course, my FAVORITE show.)

What will you be wearing to your holiday party/ parties this year? Don't you just LOVE an unexpected "pop" of color?!
Merry and Bright!

Until next time, may your weekend be full of magnolias, bourbon and VERY MERRY & BRIGHT!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Up until this year, I've never been a big "cosmetics" or "skin" girl. I hate to admit it, but I rarely washed my makeup off at night. While I didn't have horrible skin problems, I knew I needed to take better measures to prepare my skin for age. Horrible as it is, last year I made a new years resolution to wash my makeup off  every, most nights, and adopt a skincare routine I could take comfort in for the future.

I'm still tweaking the products I use, but am proud to say that my 2011 resolution has lived. I've done AMAZINGLY well taking care of my face and neck (an often forgotten skin area) and have even noticed a difference in the texture of my skin.

Earlier this year, sweet E's Mom introduced me to SkinCeuticals. SkinCeuticals does exactly what it claims: improves skin's health. For me, it has done just that. This line, once a strictly dermatological only product, was developed at Duke University to prevent skin problems, protect from skin damage and correct existing skin problems.

I visited E's mother's esthetician while in Charleston and was given a consultation as to what was best for my skin type. Because I have a bit of natural redness, it was recommended that I use the (green) Phyto-Corrective Gel to aide in giving me a more natural color. Along with this, I use the Micro-Exfoliating Scrub and Hydrating B5 Gel.

The scrub was recommended for a twice daily face wash, but I found that with the hard water in Brentwood, it is easier on my skin for once a day. The  B5 Gel is my absolute favorite! Whether my skin is having a moment of dryness or a tad too oily, this gel evens me out and makes me feel very refreshed.

Even though this line is a tad pricey for my low budget, I would recommend this line to anyone wanting a skin routine to weather the years. I fully believe that because of the positive effects of SkinCeuticals my skin will continue to stay healthy and remain looking young.

Check out your local SkinCeuticals location. If anything, take pride in your face and learn what is best for YOU.

Until next time, may your day be full of magnolias, bourbon and a proactive skin routine.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dear Santa, I've Been VERY Good!

It's hard to believe Christmas is 10 short days away! I have to admit, I haven't even started shopping. This actually makes me sad because I LOVE wrapping presents (now that I've mastered my skill). No worries. I have everyone figured out and just need to pick things up.

This year was quite challenging. I had to dig deep to figure out what gifts suited people best. I even had a difficult time figure out what to put on MY gift list. While their are MANY things I want, their are not many things I need. Because of that, I composed my list of things I wouldn't buy for myself.

Today though, I thought it would be fun to share with you my dream list. What I like to call: Santa, I've been VERY good this year!

Macbook Pro. No explanation needed. I NEED it. 

A spa weekend at the Grove Park Inn. The most incredibly relaxing place ever!

Burberry Satchel. Drool.

A national championship for my Cats, please. We are WAY overdue.

A clear path to my passion in life. Not love. Personal passion.

Santa, even if you can't bring these things this year, I'll be even better next year.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

I finally have a reason to follow in Fried Green Pickles footsteps and post a "Tasty Tuesday" recipe. This weekend I was lucky enough to stumble upon two delicious recipes from Pinterest.  Saturday evening I made Spinach Artichoke Pasta, courtesy of budget bytes. Not only was this delicious and easy, but it called for nearly everything I had on hand. If you like spinach dip, this dish is for you. My only suggestion is to cut the red pepper flakes and hot sauce in half (if you don't like spicy foods). Otherwise, eat cook on!

After this delicious meal, I  cleaned up the kitchen and made another Pinterest inspired recipe, Nutella cupcakes. I recently tried Nutella for the first time and instantly fell in love with this delicious Hazelnut treat. If you haven't tried it I HIGHLY recommend it. If you find that you like Nutella, this recipe is a way to wow guests. The cupcakes took about ten minutes to prep and 25 to bake and are well worth every minute of your time.

If you are looking for on the prowl for easy, delicious recipes I recommend scouring Pinterest. Their are many wonderful recipes that are sure to give your weekly supper routine a much needed twist!

Spinach Artichoke Pasta

Prep time: 5 min. Cook time: 25 min. Total: 30 min.

2 Tbspolive oil$0.20
4 clovesgarlic$0.22
4 oz.neufchatel cheese$0.85
1/2 cupsour cream$0.45
1/4 cupwhite wine$0.45
1/2 cupmilk$0.12
1/2 cupgrated parmesan$0.47
1 can (14 oz)quartered artichoke hearts$1.99
1 pkg (10 oz)chopped spinach, thawed$1.00
1 Tbsphot sauce$0.05
1 tspred pepper flakes (optional)$0.05
to tastesalt and pepper$0.05
12 oz.pasta (any shape)$1.39

STEP 1: Put a large pot of water on to boil with a lid. When it comes to a boil, cook the pasta according to package directions (boil for about 10 minutes or until al dente). Drain the pasta in a colander.

STEP 2: While you are cooking the pasta, start making the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Mince the garlic and cook it in the oil until it is slightly tender (1-2 minutes).

STEP 3: Add the neufchatel (cream cheese), sour cream and white wine. Stir until everything is evenly incorporated. Reduce the heat to medium/low.

STEP 4: Add the milk and Parmesan cheese. Stir it in until the Parmesan has melted in and is evenly incorporated. Stir in the hot sauce and thawed/drained spinach.

STEP 5: Drain the can of artichoke hearts. Roughly chop them and add to the sauce. Taste the sauce and season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes if desired.

STEP 6: Add the cooked and drained pasta and stir to coat. Serve warm.

Self-frosting Nutella Cupcakes

1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup canola or mild vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4-1/2 cup Nutella, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 325F.

In a medium bowl, beat the butter, oil and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.

In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt; add to the butter mixture and beat on low speed just until combined. The batter will be thick. It needs to be in order to swirl in the Nutella!

Divide the batter between 12 paper-lined muffin cups. Drop a spoonful of Nutella on top of each, and swirl through the batter with the tip of a bamboo skewer, knife or other pointy object. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until springy to the touch. Tilt them in the pan to help them cool. Makes a dozen cupcakes.

Until next time, may your day be full of magnolias, bourbon and delicious homemade meals!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Stage has Been Set...

Another year of hard work, dedication, sweat, blood, tears, wins, losses and many great tailgates is coming to an end. In one short month, we'll all be gearing up to put on our black and mourn the loss of our beloved college football season. While eight months, short of a small, spring inter-squad scrimmage, feels like eternity without our favorite college heroes tossing the pigskin, I know the end of another great year only means we are a few short months away from enjoying my two most favorite times of year: NCAA March Madness and Summer. Until then, I am excited and anxious about the bowl games to come. Some of the match-ups I'll be watching closely are:

Florida State vs Notre Dame in the Champs Sports Bowl

South Carolina vs Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl

Clemson vs West Virginia in the Orange Bowl




BAMA vs LSeww in the SEC West National Championship

Who are you looking forward to watching? How do you plan to go eight months without college football?

Until next time, may your day be full of magnolias, bourbon and a great final college football month!