Friday, November 27, 2015

Happy, Happy Birthday!

As my new in-laws like to sing...
Happy, Happy Birthday, it's your special day!
Happy, Happy Birthday, enjoy it in every way, hey!

Happiest of birthday's to my twinning is winning partner for life. I am blessed more today than ever that we've been given this incredible gift for 30 years!

First day of kindergarten!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving Favorites!

I don't know about ya'll, but I spent many years turning my nose up to some of our Thanksgiving dinner staples. I'm not really sure why! I think I was too young. Since then I've finally given them a try, and let me tell you! I have such a heavy heart that I spent so many years not eating these dishes made by their original cooks! I can't believe I was missing out on what are now my all time favorite Thanksgiving dishes. So, I'm here to share them with you because I'm sure you're looking for juuust one more dish to add to your already full menu.

Grandma's Cranberry Sauce
will need to be doubled or tripled because it's amazing and will go quick!

1 can 15oz whole cranberry sauce
1/4 cup red onion, minced (and by minced I mean small like you can barely see it)
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
dash fresh nutmeg
1 can 11oz mandarin oranges

Mix everything together, and enjoy! Great or even better the next day.

Pop's Red Cabbage

3-4 lbs red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 granny smith apple, chopped
4 T butter
1 T brown sugar
1 cup onion, minced
6 T red wine vinegar
1 cup chicken/beef stock or water
1 t salt
1/2 cup red currant jelly

Melt butter in dutch oven. Add in sugar, apple and onion. Cover and cook on low heat for 4-5 mins. Stir in cabbage and vinegar. Cover and braise for 10 mins. Add stock/water and salt. Cook covered for 2 hours on low heat. Stir occasionally. Stir in jelly before serving. Enjoy!

What are your favorite Thanksgiving dishes? Have you just discovered a family favorite?

Happy Tuesday, ya'll!

Monday, November 23, 2015

My 20 year old self...

As 30 is becoming more of a reality it's hard not to think about where you are, where you've been, and the thoughts you had over your 20's. Some thoughts were true, some ridiculous and some were flat out wrong. If I had to tell my 20 year old self the most important things I've learned to date, here's what I'd say...

one | The most obvious.... you are beautiful! Stop hating yourself. Stop scrutinizing every little thing. Stop obsessing over the scale. It doesn't get much better than now. And for the love of god, please stop comparing yourself. You will learn one day that comparison is the thief of all joys, and it's true.


two | 21 isn't as cracked up as it's made out to be. Don't get me wrong, I'm not hating on every seasonal beer I've drank and every bottle of red wine I've finished. But, if I knew that 20 pounds would come along with finally being able to order a dirty martini I would have entered 21 with less abandonment. 

three | Just because you graduate from an accredited university does not mean you will find or receive the perfect job. For a while. It will take several ridiculous loops and turns before you finally land on something that makes your heart tick. And at 30, you may still be searching for that something special. On that note, take an internship or go somewhere. Just because spending a summer making money and waiting tables seems like a great idea, an experience in life will get you much farther.

four | Stop chasing that boy. He will never be your husband or anyone that will love you like you want or need to be. Spend more time loving yourself and investing in your well being.

five | Stop spending money on worthless, meaningless junk. Take that money and learn something. Learn to garden. Learn to cook. If you want trendy clothes, learn to make them! Spend money on a hobby. Find a friend and go somewhere. Most of all, stop filling up your closet or thimble size apartment with things that mean nothing.

six | Do not be afraid to speak up. Especially at the hair salon! It will save you several weeks of dreadful hair styling. Joking aside, be confident in who you are and what you believe.  

seven | Stop looking to the future because time will pass you by while everyone else is living in the moment. Have fun, enjoy your time, live for where you are. Take pictures, make memories. Stop planning ahead or trying to achieve "what should be" by a certain time. Your time will happen when God decides it's time. 

eight | One day you will learn that being burnt as a lobster isn't cool or fun. Wear sunscreen. Being pale and white is much hotter than being a miserable, scaly, peeling burnt mess. And I'm talking 30 SPF+. I know you think you'll need 15 because you're young and cute, but you're wrong.

nine | Every cliche you've ever heard from your parents is absolutely 100% true. Whether you want to believe it or not. You will not be an anomaly. Trust me. As much as you try and fight the cliche, it will always win!

ten | Stop biting your nails. Keep them polished. Invest in a quality hair brush. Learn how to give yourself a good blow out. Stop wearing clothes that are ill fitting. Invest in good shoes. Find a skincare regimen. And finally, love yourself and live your life unapologetically.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bridesmaids Gifts + More Wedding Love!

I have to start this by saying that I promise come 2016 I will stop with the wedding posts! But, I hope that this post in particular helps someone out there! When I first started thinking about what I would gift my bridesmaids I hit a road block. For one, all of my bridesmaids had been in several weddings already including their own. So, they had already given or received a lot of bridesmaids gifts. I wanted to do something different, but not totally out of the box. I searched and searched. After a lot of thought I'm really happy with how they came out!

one | The Turkish Towel
I'm sort of obsessed with the towels from Turkish-T. I gifted everyone their Beach Candy towel which can be a towel, scarf, sarong, blanket. The list really never ends! They come in a ton of fun colors and are great for so many occasions. I got one for myself, and it was the perfect piece to travel with for our honeymoon!

two | Earrings
I wanted to give the girls something to wear on the day of obviously. I decided on earrings similar to these from Bauble Bar which went perfectly with their bridesmaids dresses.

Picture courtesy of Five Copper Creative

three | Monogrammed Handkerchief
I loved the idea of gifting a handkerchief to the girls. I really loved this because all of the girls are married, and the monogrammed handkerchief would really stand the test of time. I decided on Bumblebee Linens as my source, and they came out amazing. Especially love the tone on tone monogram! I held onto mine the entire ceremony - with my new initials!

Picture courtesy of Five Copper Creative

What have you given or received as a bridesmaids gift?

Last Friday I mentioned Mr. B and I would be featured on Tidewater and Tulle - a blog centered around Southeastern VA and the Outer Banks. The post came out yesterday - Classic Fall Outer Banks Wedding, and it was such a fun surprise!! Especially when you find yourself on the explore page of Instagram! I love this and I love that our vendors are getting a shout out for their awesome work!

I can't end today's post without at least acknowledging that Mr. B and I have made it 1 month as a married couple! It's every adjective in the dictionary, and more! And I wouldn't want to be featured in a blog post with anyone else, wink wink!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Happy Friday!

We've made it another week, so here's another installment of Five on Friday!

one | Blog Love - Wedding Edition
Mr. B and I got a sweet surprise last week when our photographer, Five Copper Creative, posted a blog about our wedding. It was so fun to relive, and I love to see which pictures they chose to put up on their site. Especially since we're in the middle of creating our wedding album, I like to see what the professionals saw as their best work. Well, the surprises didn't stop there! Five Copper Creative notified us this week that our wedding will be featured on Tidewater and Tulle! It's a blog focused on Southeastern VA and the Outer Banks. So excited! 

two | Hello, Pizza
I have to give you a follow up to my last blog about morphing meals. I said we'd be making a pizza with Mr. B's leftover BBQ, and let me tell you! This did not disappoint at all. A definite repeat item! It consisted of: Sweet Baby Ray's Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce, pepper jack cheese, caramelized jalapenos and onions, Mr. B's BBQ and to top it off Mr. B's eastern style BBQ sauce and cilantro. Hello, amazing!

three | Adult Life
I could talk about so many things here, but what I'm specifically referring to is the fact that we finally have a second nightstand. I know, I know. Mr. B was a package deal, and he only had one nightstand when we met. Little did he know I'd be the lucky one who would be using it all this time. Well, last night he finally got to fall asleep next to a real deal adult nightstand, and not his makeshift one that will go unnamed. So, cheers to that!

four | 3-0 WHAAT?!
2 weeks from turning thirty. That age clearly deserves the full word. THIRTY. Can we talk about that for a minute? This deserves its very own post. It's really crazy to actually think about. I'm married and turning thirty within a month of each, and to be honest I wouldn't have changed that timeline for anything in the world. 

five | The Fun Stuff
Let's get to what really keeps us up at night...

Enjoy your Friday!

If you want in on the fun, join ChristinaAprilDarci and Natasha every Friday!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Well, it's official and surreal - I have a new name! After 1.5 hours at the social security office, my number was called and it took 2 minutes to make the official change. Nothing ceremonious about it. It felt like a "no soup for you" kinda transaction (Seinfeld... get it...?). I'm sure it will continue to feel even crazier once I start seeing it in print! I'm mostly excited about potentially getting a new driver's license picture - new name, new picture right?!

This past weekend Mr. B spent some time getting used to his new toy - The Big Green Egg. I know I've mentioned before that he loves to grill, and making eastern NC style BBQ is his favorite! He goes all the way making his own secret rub and sauce. If you try realllly hard he may just give up his recipes, but we'll see. His BBQ never disappoints, and on a perfect fall day the smell is quite intoxicating.

It's always easier to cook more BBQ than we need, and I'm usually stuck trying to morph it into something else wonderful. Over the years, we have most definitely succeeded at doing this. We always make it a competition at who can come up with the best moprh. Last night's was basically southern comfort food. I call this my cornbread, BBQ, extra sauce hash-y type thing. It's a very official name. And it's A-mazing!

We also love putting his leftover BBQ into a taco with a quick crunchy slaw and avocado. A household favorite! This would probably be awesome with an egg on it too. Later this week we're getting crazy and putting BBQ on pizza (probably with an egg, duh!). 

We're approaching the world's biggest morph meal holiday. Do you have any great go-to morph meals? 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Guest Blogger - Inaugural Edition

Happy Monday! I'm passing today's post over to my sister. She's giving you her top favorite spots in Buffalo, NY, and I can't wait to check them all out while we're there for Thanksgiving/Birthday festivities!



As Mrs. B has mentioned, her twinsie, (ME!) has moved to Buffalo, NY for my husband to begin a a residency program and new chapter of life! She asked me to give you the rundown of all things Buffalo that have become my favorite and filled the hole of NC. 

So here it goes:

One of our first memories of Buffalo was the most amazing meal at a small Italian restaurant called Trattoria Aroma.  We went there based on a recommendation over the interview weekend and were blown away.  I kept thinking “If we ever live here, Mrs. B would LOVE this place!” Little did I know! With homemade pasta dishes and the most amazing Bloody Mary list for brunch, it definitely is a must!

Having grown up in North Carolina, and especially Raleigh with so many great greenways, I knew I had to find a place for long walks and runs.  My husband and I found the Delaware Park and fell in love from day one.  With a great paved path for long runs that will take you 5 miles and beyond (still working on that!), the park offers great scenery and people watching.  There is a golf course, soccer fields, tennis courts, playgrounds, basketball courts, and a baseball field all within the paved path! During the gorgeous summer months, we were able to see all those sports being played, and more! We love seeing all the activity! One of the best parts is it backs up against the Buffalo Zoo and you are able to see the bison sunbathing!  And if you get thirsty, stop in at Ashker’s for a yummy smoothie – Berry Booster is my favorite!

We decided to venture down to the Canalside to see what all the hype was about and it did not disappoint! At the Erie Canal Harbor, the revitalized Canalside offers music concerts and yoga in the park during the summer months and ice skating during the winter!  The water comes alive with sailboats and boat tours happening throughout the day and is so much fun to experience!

Top restaurant for us to grab a great burger and beer is the Allen Burger Venture.  I am obsessed with the Tuna Tataki burger with a wasabi yuzu dipping sauce! Amazing! But they have plenty of options for everyone’s taste buds!!

Blue Monk covers it all: brunch, afternoon drinks, creative menu, great people watching. What more can we ask for! When it’s warm, definitely sit outside and enjoy the hustle and bustle of Elmwood Avenue.  The menu has so many great options, but my favorite has been the Duck Confit Reuben!! Delicious!

To say that I am coffee obsessed is a bit of an understatement.  When I learned about moving to Buffalo, my immediate thought was to start finding those cute little hole in the wall coffee shops.  Took me some time, but I now have several places that make up for not being able to grab Cup a Joe in Raleigh whenever I want to.  First up: Sweet_ness 7 Café.  The best made-from-scratch breakfast options (shout out to the huevos rancheros!) and Vietnamese iced coffee!! If you haven’t tried sweetened condensed milk in your iced coffee yet, you need to start now!  If you are looking for a nitro pour iced coffee like I was (did I mention that I’m coffee obsessed?!), Public Espresso + Coffee is your spot.

I somehow came across this bakery that makes everything from local farms down to the wheat that goes in the bread.  I loved the idea and knew I had to seek it out.  My first time at Five Points Bakery and Toast Café had me sending pictures to my husband, and telling him that he has to join me next time!  I had the Power Bread with goat cheese and peach/apricot preserves.  The food is so simple, served on cute mismatched plates and dishes, and the taste is AMAZING!  (side note: BEWARE – they go old school with no WIFI. Read a newspaper.)

When it is hot in Buffalo (and it does get hot minus the humidity!!), Squeeze Juicery in Williamsville is always busy pushing out tasty smoothies and juices.  The smoothies are the real deal with over a dozen different types to choose from.  I usually go with the Sweet Jane: spinach, kale, avocado, banana, coconut, lemon, almond milk, chia, and flax.  Whoa!!

Now, this next place is on the list because I have yet to find a great replacement for Neomonde in Raleigh, but have come close.  Pita Gourmet: family owned, Mediterranean options, and ALWAYS busy.  I’m a bit obsessed with their dill sauce with chicken souvlaki.

Lastly, a quick rundown of a few random places: loved going to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, joined the Buffalo Museum of Science, an obvious Niagara Falls is worth the trip either on the US or Canadian side, and we are dying for a second trip to Pausa Art House to listen to some jazz music! 

Buffalo has definitely started to grow on me, and I'm excited to keep exploring this new city!! 

Hope to talk to ya'll again soon!

signing off,
the other twin!


Thanks for stopping by everyone! Have a great day!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Five on Friday!

Happy Friday everyone! TGIF! Just working for the weekend over here. We are sticking around Raleigh this weekend which will be very nice after our travels last month. Mr. B is looking forward to grilling and football on Saturday (go pack!), and I'll be off celebrating a special friend at her baby shower.  For now though, let's get to what's important... Five on Friday!

I have to call out a sweet friend of mine. Friend = sorority little sister. I specifically remember when we had our Big/Lil Sister Reveal. Back then each little sister had to dress up in something provided by her secret big sister. I remember waiting to the last minute and the only costume thing I could find was a full zip up dog onesie. The only problem was it was suited for a child. Oops! Anyway, fast forward, she's started her own family and blog - J.Glo Mom-life. She has dedicated her blog to the learning's of teaching her sweet daughter Spanish in an English world and all things fitness, family and fun. I know she's going to do great things with her blog, so jump over and visit her site regularly!

I finished Elin Hilderbrand's The Rumor right before our wedding. I highly recommend it for your next quick read. I also just downloaded her book Winter StreetSo far so good! Winter Street is the first book in her winter series. She just released the sequel Winter Stroll. Can't wait to start that one as well!

Your next Pinterest dinner... 

Oven Roasted Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin with Maple-Ginger Glaze

Baked Tomatoes with Basil and Butter

Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler your mouth watering yet?

Earlier this week I was looking through Instagram and came across this picture. My horoscope! I wonder if this is a foreshadowing? If Dorinda from RHONY and I were friends I would have called her up in disbelief. I think someone has tapped my phone.

 I love to listen to podcast's while I'm at work because it's a great way to pass the time! You may remember me mentioning my guilty pleasure of Straight Talk with Ross Mathews. I recently listened to WTF with Marc Maron's podcast with James Taylor. It's a great listen! Several years ago I had the chance to see James Taylor in concert, and it was exactly what I hoped it would be. He came out in a long blue grandfather looking sweater and was nothing short of amazing! Do you listen to podcasts, and if so which are your favorites?

Alright folks! Until next time...

If you want in on the fun, join ChristinaAprilDarci and Natasha every Friday!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Short and sweet

Finally got a haircut after growing my hair out for over a year! 
It took me 2.5 seconds to do it this morning. I'm not sure who's more excited - me or Mr. B! 

Hair and Sweater love

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A hotel bag & a salad for the win

Blogging two days in a row is a record around here, so thank you again for stopping by! Now that we're officially in November we can start a whole new countdown... 24 days until my (our - gotta include the twinsie) 30th birthday! Mr. B and I will be traveling to Buffalo, NY for Thanksgiving and birthday celebrations. I couldn't stand the thought of starting my 30's without my partner in crime, and I'm so excited to make the trip. I'm secretly hoping for a white, snowy birthday! Let the countdown begin!

Turning 29 + our dirty martini tradition

We recently got our wedding pictures from our amazing photographers, and I couldn't be happier. I was totally prepared to wait months to receive our pictures like so many people do. I was so surprised to receive them in the time that we did! They really captured the love and caught every little detail. One of the details from our wedding that they captured and one that I really enjoyed planning was the hotel bag. I don't know why!? You know when you show up to an out of town wedding excited and ready to party, and you get hit in the face with a bag full of old Costco crackers? Not exactly my cup of tea. I really wanted our guests to arrive after traveling to something at least fun and appetizing. There is a hole in the wedding industry for curating good, appetizing, fun and unique hotel bags. Not saying this is the prototype for what is my imaginary swag bag business, but I loved how they turned out! We included champagne (of course!), sparkling water, personalized cups, chocolate covered pretzels, Ginny O Cheese Straws, and Jack'snak

Now that Mr. B and I are back and I no longer have an excuse for not making dinner I've been in the kitchen whipping up some pretty good recipes. One of the best so far is very simple, but will become a staple. My version of a classic Italian restaurant style salad.  Crisp and delicious! 

Mrs. B's Italian Salad
Serves 2-4
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 cucumber, sliced then cut in half
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered
8-10 pepperoncini, sliced 
feta cheese
italian seasoning
red wine vinegar
dressing of choice (Italian, olive oil, balsamic)

Chop iceberg lettuce and place in bowl. Layer cucumbers, red onion, tomatoes, pepperoncinis, and feta cheese. Sprinkle layer with good amount of Italian seasoning and several dashes of red wine vinegar. Repeat layer. When ready to serve toss together. Dress with favorite Italian dressing, olive oil or balsamic vinegar or eat as is!

Until next time, happy Tuesday everyone!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Monday's are for MRS

Well, hello! How are you? I feel like I need to reintroduce myself to this sweet little blog of mine. Mr. B and I are finally back to reality after a whirlwind [much needed] 2 week vacation. We obviously have to address the elephant in the room ( the computer?) ... Monday's are for MRS. That's right people. It's finally official! After 14 months of planning, hemming and hawing, stressing, sleepless nights, many toasts and many more bottles of champagne, Mr. B and I are married. Husband and wife. Officially united as one.

To say that everything we planned and everything I ever dreamed about came true is a total understatement. Everything exceeded our expectations fully! From the moment we drove onto our little sliver of sweet island land that we would call ours for the week to the very last sunset in St. Lucia. We have been blessed with so many amazing memories. There are so many highlights from the last 2 weeks, but the one that sticks out immediately is the weather. Now, don't think I'm crazy, there are sooo many other memories that come to my mind first, but we wouldn't have had the day we had without the absolutely stunningly perfect fall day we experienced on Oct 17th. I'm that person that is superstitious over weather. The more I looked at the forecast the better it got! Mid-high 60's, full sun, and a slight breeze. Every bride knows that picking a date out of the blue and praying the weather is exactly what you hope for is a total crap shoot. But we got it. All I wanted was that perfect coastal fall North Carolina day that people fall in love with. And we got it. 

A gift from God just shy of 7am on Oct 17th. I knew at this moment the day would be memorable.

One of the things that I love most about our weekend is that it was truly Mr. B and I. Everything from starting Friday with yoga on the beach with my girls to the boys playing basketball at the church before the ceremony, and even the grill inspired groom's cake at the rehearsal was perfectly us. To me it was real, true, and honest. Which I think is partly why I was completely calm and zen before our ceremony. At that point nothing mattered anymore, and my only tasks were to get to Mr. B and stay present in the moment. I've never been so locked into something more than I was during our ceremony. I don't think we took our eyes off of each other!

People always say that everything changes after you get married. I believed them, but at the same time I always thought how much can it really change? We already live together. We practically act like we're married already. What will be the difference? Clearly that was naive and out of lack of experience. Both Mr. B and I immediately felt a shift. Protective and responsible for each other. An instant feeling of wanting to do good by the other. We both know that life isn't going to be as perfect and serene as Oct 17th was. And we're both aware that actively loving one another and actively sheltering our love are the keys to keeping our marriage pristine like it was that day. There's so much ahead for Mr. B and I, and we have a lot of thoughts and dreams about what this life together will be like. It's exciting, scary, and exhilarating, and there isn't another man on this planet I'd rather walk this journey with. 

I hope this has been a good welcome back, and I hope now that things are slowing down (until my 30th birthday!) I can keep up a better schedule of blogging for the 3 people that visit this page! Until next time, here's a little treat...

All pictures courtesy of the amazingly talented 
Five Copper Creative that Mr. B and I are blessed to call friends!

Happy Monday!