Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Home where the heart is. 

Having grown up in a very transient and popular vacation spot sometimes it's interesting to reflect on where we call "home."  We spend our entire childhood learning the ins and outs of our hometown until we're experts on the subject without ever realizing that home is only until... our hearts find another. Essentially, I grew up and left for college and never looked back. I no longer know the best shortcuts, restaurants, best places for coffee. No one recognizes me anymore. I can pretty much blend in like every other tourist who calls our slice of the crystal coast home for the summer. Every time I visit I catch myself telling waitresses, cashiers and locals alike that I grew up there as if it will change the way they look at me. Inside I feel like a fraud for acting like a local sometimes, but no one can take away the sunsets I saw every day after school.

If you told me 10 years ago I would travel back "home" to get married I probably would have laughed. Now, though, there is comfort in the sands I've always known. And there's something special about bringing your family back to where it began. It will be an interesting and nostalgic experiment to bring the past and future together. I can't wait to breathe new life and new memories into a spot that I know is cherished by many. 

Home is definitely where the heart is, and these days that's where Callie and Mr. B are.... until our hearts find another.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Top 10

I figured since I'm new to blogging I should catch everyone up on a few quick facts. I know the 2.5 people that are loyal followers already know all they need to, but when I make it to the cover of some magazine one day this will be very important.

Onward... Top 10 Fast Facts

1. Mr. B and I regularly drive 20 minutes out of our way for coffee. Seems ridiculous, but all is right in the world when I have my cup of joe. 

2. Growing up I had a very weird obsession with flight attendants. 

3. If I were stranded on an island all I would need is a potato. Hash browns, fries, steak fries, baked, mashed, shoestring. Basically I would carb load until my rescue ship came.

4. I'm 30 minutes older than my younger sister  twin. This only matters when you get your driver's license first. You gotta take the wins where you can.

5. If dragged to a karaoke bar I already have a song in my back pocket... Bonnie Raitt - Something to Talk About.

6. In a perfect world I would be schmoozing it up with Andy Cohen and Seth Meyers.

7. Summertime with the windows down. Enough said.

8. Hi, I'm Anna. I'm an obsessive throw pillow fluffer. 

9. I can sing every word from Grease.

10. I misspelled macaroni in the elementary school spelling bee. I never hit the real stage, and I still have to think how to spell it every time. mac-a-ron-i.

On another note, I made this recently and it was delicious!

Source: Skinnytaste

Happy Monday, ya'll!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Five on Friday!


This weekend Mr. B and I are traveling to the beach to visit our wedding venue. I can't wait to see it again. Plus, we'll be meeting with the baker and hopefully trying some cake!

We are officially only 1 episode away from the series finale of Parenthood. I have been a faithful viewer from [almost] the beginning. It is by far, leaps and bounds, one of the best shows on television to date. I love the song in the opening credits, and I wish I was a Braverman.  I'm sure it's already on Netflix, so if you haven't given this show a shot now's your chance!

For Christmas I was gifted Ina Garten's new cookbook, Make It Ahead. So far it has not disappointed! The other night I made the Herbed Pork Tenderloin and it was amazing! I served it with Mashed Garlic Sweet Potatoes and roasted asparagus.  This will definitely be put on the rotation.

Herbed pork tenderloins
Serves: 6 to 8
  • 2 pork tenderloins (2½ to 3 pounds total)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Good olive oil
  • 10 to 12 slices prosciutto
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the tenderloins on a sheet pan and pat them dry with paper towels. Combine the rosemary, thyme, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Rub the tenderloins all over with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle all sides with the herb mixture. If there is a thinner "tail," fold it underneath so the tenderloin is an even thickness throughout. Wrap the tenderloins completely with a single layer of prosciutto. Tie in several places with kitchen string to hold the prosciutto and the "tail" in place. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the middle of the end of the tenderloin reads 140 degrees for medium rare and 145 degrees for medium.* Cover the tenderloins tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice diagonally in thick slices and serve warm with the Apple Chutney.
Note: Pork can be cooked medium rare because there is no longer a concern about trichinosis. Overcooked pork will be dry and flavorless.

MAKE IT AHEAD: Assemble the pork completely, wrap tightly, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Roast before serving.

*I ended up roasting my tenderloin for 30 minutes until it reached 145 degrees.

I have finally joined 2015 and am embarking on the world of curling irons. I know the absolute ridiculousness of this, but this is real people! I figured since I'm diligently trying to grow my hair out for the wedding I should learn to style it when it's long. I bought a 1.5-inch, so if you have any favorite videos or tutorials send them my way!! And on that note, long story short I was given prenatal gummies (for my hair....), and they are seriously like candy! So good, they should probably be tracked in MyFitnessPal for calorie in take....


These girls. The group text started early this morning, and I loved it. This group has been through marriages, babies, moves, late nights (and sadly some short too), lots of laughs, and tons of stories. They are a constant source of inspiration, motivation, and I'm amazed by them over and over again. Everyone needs people like them in their life!

If you want in on the fun, join Christina, April, Darci, and Natasha  every Friday!

until next time... TGIF!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

/ant/ or /änt/

.... Otherwise known as aunt. 

As I reflect back on the last several years in preparation for all I want to accomplish in 2015, I would be remiss not to mention that I became an aunt to 2 little sweet peas. As seen here in all their cuteness. Only 2 years a part, I hope these two will be the best of friends. I never thought being an aunt would truly bring me so much joy, and I hope I've brought that same joy to my own. It's the combination of zero responsibilities and parenthood practice that makes being an aunt 100% the best job. It's having a front row seat to all the joys of having a lil munchkin while still remaining cool, calm and collected. And did I mention well rested?

In all seriousness, there is something special about seeing the members of your family transform into another level of themselves. Mothers, fathers, grandparents and even great grandparents.  You start to see layers of your family that you never knew existed. Strength, abundant love, parental instinct. Seeing your closest beings care for their own children is truly amazing. 

As time moves along, I've always been someone to step back and acknowledge when chapters start and end in your book of life. There's a part of me that likes to recognize and reflect when special things are happening around me.  The images of seeing my grandmother hold her first great grandchild will forever be carved into my memory. Sometimes we forget that our life and our family story is happening right now as we speak. The memories, the stories, the changes... it's all happening. Now.

So, I have 3 wishes for my littlest friends... all the love, enthusiasm, and happiness that life has to offer. Plus, I hope and wish my niece will not inherit her mother's love for spaghetti (she'll thank us later).

Until next time...

Monday, January 19, 2015

Books for the win

The other night Mr. B and I had an impromptu date night. We went for dinner and instead of coming home to our favorite TV shows we made a pit stop at Barnes & Noble. Now, I don't know about you, but I love a book store. The idea of a new book is so fun to me, and something about Barnes & Noble makes me feel like I can take a seat right on the floor.

I picked up Lara Casey's new book Make It Happen. So far, this is really good and I'm looking forward to getting more into the book's content. Plus, it doesn't hurt that she lives right down the road in Chapel Hill, NC. If you want to learn more about Lara Casey's story jump over to The Lively Show with Jess Lively. 

Source: Amazon
I also picked up Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. I have to say I was totally sold just by reading the back of the book. Who would have thought! I can't wait to start this, and it looks like a great read.

Source: Amazon

Have you read any good books lately?

Friday, January 16, 2015

why not you?

Well, the scary part is over. The first blog post was published and I'm still here to talk about it. In my head writing for the interweb seems like it's only a place for mega bloggers who can easily whip together a crafts project over their lunch break with ease while still looking effortless and pulled together. I on the other hand sit here still trying to figure out Blogger, still in my very unfashionable oversized uggs, and still without a stitch of make up on (unless you count yesterdays mascara). As I'm still geeking out and coming down off my blogging high I was reminded about a saying I've been hearing a lot... 

why not you?

It's so overly simple, but packs a big punch. If you know me, I've never been the overly enthused athlete. I've never crossed a finish line... not even participated in a Turkey Trot. My athletic career peaked in high school as the captain of the cheerleading squad which I'm still arguing that yes, it is a real sport! I've always struggled to find the one activity I really like. This summer is when all of that changed. I happened to stumble into an amazing class called M'bala. It's described as combining the physical stamina of strength and cardio with the power of hot yoga. It's amazing to say the least and completely addicting! 

Each class is structured the same, but what you bring to the mat that day is the challenge. Why not you is the class tagline and I love that. Why not you? The instructor is a constant source of inspiration for me. Her words and delivery really speak to me. She begins each class with asking us to set our intention for the hour. What are you here to accomplish? I've never felt stronger and more engaged in a workout, and it feels invigorating! As I prepare for today's class I'm going back to the basics and setting my intention as why not be your best self. For now, for the year, for the future. 

So, why not you? Why not this year? Why not now? Why not just start doing? So simple, but so clear. 

I'm going to leave you with my favorite song that's been on the current M'bala playlist.

Until next time... Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

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Living with intention in 2015

After several years of being an active blog reader, I'm finally taking the plunge into being an actual blogger. For some reason I finally feel the time is right to embark on this journey. 2015 has a pretty good ring to it, and living with intention this year could not be more fitting. 

For one, I'll be turning 30 this year. It seems like a scary thing to leave behind my 20's. They (and I mean the ever changing "20's") have certainly been a full blown learning experience in life, work, and relationships. I've been reflecting a lot on how I want to end my 20's, and it dawned on me that I've been sort of floating through my 20's. You know how that goes, right? Days pass, routines set in, and before you know it you're just haphazardly crossing things off your list without ever touching the ground. I want to spend my last year before I turn 30 with intention. With my feet on the ground. Stopping to reflect. Learning who I am today, not who I was yesterday. Who will I be in my 30's? Where am I going? What do I want out of this life? Those are all very elusive I'm aware, but I'm ready to tackle these questions that have been lingering around in my 20's!

Another reason that I'm looking forward to living with intention in 2015 is because I'm getting married! It's crazy to think that this time next year I'll be a wife. As cliche as it sounds I met the man of my dreams 2 years ago. Sometimes when your prayers are answered it's hard to comprehend that they've actually been heard, and God really delivered this time. I could not have hand picked a better man to spend my life with, and I'm truly excited to exchange vows on Oct 17th. I want to be present this year and remember all of these details and celebrations that will be coming our way. 

I'm sure some of you are thinking what does between the oaks really mean. Well, I live in the City of Oaks and between the chaos I'm here somewhere in between. I'm looking forward to using this blog as a creative outlet from everyday life. I want to use this space as a continuous reminder that I should be living intentionally and with purpose.

If you're still reading, thank you! But I know what you're really thinking.... where are the pictures! Me too! So, I'll leave you with a few of my favorite things.

My favorite fall pastime - NC State football
The most beautiful sunset the day after Mr. B proposed
Being an aunt to my tiniest favorite people
Until next time...