Sunday, July 31, 2011

my happy place.

i've decided that orange beach, al (or gulf shores area... same diff) is my HAPPY PLACE. 
{dinner at the oyster house}

{the beach view from alice's balcony}

 my grandparents have lived there since i can remember and i have lotssss of good childhood memories like:

  •  watching nickelodeon back in the day with my brother, derek. (we didn't have cable when i was a little tyke, so this was a BIG deal)
  • derek and i getting caught in the undertow, scared for our lives and unsuccessfully trying to grip the sand with our toes and swim back to shore. (okay, maybe thats not such a good memory)... but as my momma pointed out- my daddy came to save the day.
  • swimming in the pool at thanksgiving... yes, it was freezing.
  • going to the driving range with my daddy.
  • shopping to pick out my bookbag EVERY summer at tanger outlets.
  • my bestie going down with us for just about every spring break and summer always provided some good laughs (my grandaddy couldn't say erin and called her "erwin"- something we STILL joke about today.
i also have some equally good adult memories like:
  • the whole family going down while mandy was pregnant with sophia
  • my sweet toddler niece playing with her aunt "lolly" in the pool- she couldn't say my name quite yet
  • greg proposing to me on the docks... this one probably takes the cake ;) 
    {the docks where greg proposed two years ago!}
greg and i just got back from visiting my alice again... this trip was a welcomed break from reality. we slept in, lounged at the pool (each managing to get a little sunburnt- oops!), went shopping and ate some really good seafood... while i managed to not eat FRIED seafood, i did indulge in breads and sweets (hey, its vacation!)

{before eating a yummy seafood dinner}

{reading by the pool- book review to come soon}

hanging out on the upper pool deck
it was a great week :) 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

awkward & awesome

AWKWARD:
  • getting stuck in your sports bra when you're all sweaty after working out.
  • having a rash. on my face. (from getting a facial) that no amount of make up is helping disguise. darn you, sensitive skin.
  • how this scene plays out at dinner: greg drops a hot wing on his lap and makes a ridiculous face of disappointment/disbelief. i laugh out loud, with my mouth open and a small piece of pre-chewed food flies onto gregs plate. i know, gross... too much? sorry.
  • walking outside only to have my glasses fog up from the heat/humidity.
  • the leg of my spanx sticking out the bottom of my skirt when i sit.

AWESOME:
  • five realxing days at the beach with my hubby.
  • our sweet fur-baby is super excited to have us home. he is so cuddly :)
  • the longest braves game in history... that ended with quite possibly the worst call ever...but in favor of the braves, so im okay with that! (i think the ump was just tired after 19 innings and wanted to go home!) - watch the video if you don't know what i'm talking about.
  • getting a manicure that actually lasted more than 4 days- and at the beach nonetheless! and im LOVING the color!!! 
  • 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

what im loving wednesday {pinterest edition}

the hubby and i have returned from a fabulous, relaxing and fun week at the beach... (more to come on that later)... since it's wednesday and i need to get caught back up with my blogging, i decided to link up with this kind of love for what im loving wednesday.

I'm LOVING...

THESE FASHION STATEMENTS:
...white skinnies

{via}
 ... striped top with a bright colored pencil skirt

{via}
...white top, khaki blazer and dark skinnies.
{via}
THESE LOVELIES FOR THE HOME:
...striped shower curtain (or window curtains... or bedspread... or striped anything, really)
{via}
... these neutral, gorgeous pillows
{via}
...a filing TRUNK! so much cuter than a metal filing cabinet!
{via}
THESE DIY PROJECTS:

...a sweet 'i love you' reminder... i would use a cute, chunky frame though!
{via}
...a dry erase board with fun fabric!
{via}
... this craft closet made out of a tv cabinet

... a chalkboard menu for the week
{via}

all of these were found on pinterest aka my favorite website :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

vacation.

the hubbster and i decided last week that we needed to get away for a short vacation...
ASAP.
luckilly, my alice (thats my grandmother) lives at the beach and is so kind to host us (at such late notice, too!).
orange beach is one of my favorite places ever.
we're leaving tomorrow around lunch.
im soooo excited to lay out and read a good book, float in the lazy river, eat some yummy seafood and spend quality time with my hubby and my alice!

have a good weekend guys.

we'll be back to reality on wednesday...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

what i wore wednesday

today i only have one picture for you... so, so sorry. my goal with this outfit was to play along at everybody, everywear. i just recently discovered this website while scanning through a fashion blogger's page... and thought it was a fun concept. each month they pick a theme and all who wish to participate link up with their outfits wearing the style/color of the month. July's theme was YELLOW. 

silly me didn't realize that they close the submissions 48 hours after they open it... which is on the 2nd tuesday of the month. anyways, i thought i'd still share my outfit with my blog buddies because i kinda like it.
leopard top: tjmaxx
yellow cardigan: gap outlet
belt: target
pencil skirt:
heels: BCBG via belk

the next theme is thrifted items... i have not participated in the thrift store craze so i am not likely to be linking up for that party. i need someone to teach me the art of thrifting... some of these blogger chics be looking right classy in their $3 goodwill finds.
pleated poppy

Monday, July 18, 2011

lifestyle changes


{via}
so you may have noticed (er, read?) that i have lost 20 pounds!! i' ve been trying to lose weight since early this year and the weight is coming off SLOWLY. but SURELY.i have tried to keep my focus on making LIFESTYLE CHANGES. 
{via}
by establishing healthy habits with what i eat and and working out and just simply being active. you will hear me say that 'i am on a diet'... but im not. if i crave something, i still eat it. i just try to have a better substitute and a smaller portion (weight watchers ice cream bars and popsicles have been my savior)

BUT i gotta tell you... it has been HARD. and (at times) very DISCOURAGING.
 like the days that i bust my butt in our at home gym, pass up the sweets and eat low-cal healthy meals and then GAIN a pound?! yeah... talk about wanting to throw in the towel. (and yes, i do weigh myself nearly every day... it helps keep me focused).

{via}

this past couple of weeks have been ESPECIALLY challenging. im losing motivation... while i've kept the 20 lbs off, its been really hard to get much past that... i will lose a pound, then gain two, then lose and gain again.
and it's SO frustrating. i've been feeling down because im not seeing results come quickly.

{via}

but you know what? it has also been SO rewarding... with the 20 lbs, my self confidence has increased so much. i have realized i am carrying myself better.
and people react to that.

i take more chances with my wardrobe because i am COMFORTABLE in my clothes.

i am able to wear the pencil skirts i have lusted over forever. (anddd i got compliments!)
my former too-small-clothes that hung in the back of the closet FIT now.

i've had to retire some pants... beause they are literally falling off my hips.

... and it feels so, SO good.

and while i am not completely happy with where i am now, i like the direction i'm headed. and while it may take longer than i'd like, i know i can do it.

i WILL do it.

{via}

and i have inspired myself with this blog post, if nothing else.

{via}

mission accomplished.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

sweet potato crusted tilapia with cilantro lime vinaigrette

i recently came across this recipe and knew i had to try it! we've been eating a lot more fish lately, so i've been trying to find new ways to cook it so that it tastes different each time... and i must say, this recipe is fabulous. it is from kristina @ my life as a mrs.
 
ingredients:
for fish:
  • 1 lb flaky fish- we used tilapia
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and shredded
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup flour- seasoned with a little salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil (or any light oil)
  • 2 tbsp. butter
for vinaigrette:
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 2 limes juiced- about 1/4 cup
  • 1./2 extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. light mayo (i used the reduced fat with olive oil)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • pinch of sugar (i used splenda)

directions:
  • combine vinaigrette ingredients in a food processor, mini chopper or blender. pulse until well combined and refridgerate until ready to serve.
  • add flour to a dish with sides and season with salt and pepper. in another dish, whisk egg whites together.
  • heat a large skillet (one with lid) over medium to medium high heat. add 1 tbsp. of butter plus 1 tbsp. of oil- or enough to coat the bottom of the pan. allow this to hear up.
  • shape a handful of sweet potatoes to the shape/size of the piece of fish. and add to pan.
  • quickly dip the fish into the flour then the egg whites and set atop the sweet potatoes.repeat with each piece of fish
  • top each piece with an additional handful of potatoes
  • cover the pan and cook for 7-8 mins, (check after about 5 mins to make sure the bottom isn't browning too much.)when bottom has browned, they are ready to flip. use a spatula to gently remove the fish and place on a plate for a minute while you cover the pan with more butter/oil. then flip the fish, uncooked side down. cover and cook another 7-8 mins.

be careful when flipping the fish so they don't fall apart... when both sides are browned, the fish is ready to be served.

i lightly drizzled the vinaigrette over the fish and made a spinach salad topped with raisins, goat cheese, almonds, pine nuts and balsamic to go with... DELISH!! i will be checking out my life as a mrs. for more recipe ideas!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

what i wore wednesday

happy hump day, ya'll!

i actually took a couple pictures this week (yayy)... well, actually the hubbster took some pictures. anyways, im linking up to the pleated poppy. (these look SOOO much better than the mirror pictures, right?!)

friday: work and double dinner/movie date
cardigan: belk
lace tank: LOFT
black skinnies: old navy
purple sandals: LOFT outlet

tuesday: work and massage/facial appointment :)
green dress: calvin klein via tjmaxx
belt: j.crew outlet
nude wedges: dsw
gold watch: new york & co
aviators: american eagle

thanks for cheking out my outfits. have a good day!! :)

pleated poppy

Sunday, July 10, 2011

weekend lovin'.

my bestie and her boyfriend came to visit us this weekend!!!
friday night we went to eat at the brick
and went to see horrible bosses. we all liked it. super funny movie
.saturday we hung out at the pool until it started raining... then we just hung around and went to jacksons for a yummy dinner.


then we went bowling... i normally am not an outstanding bowler (unless we're playing the wii) but this was UNUSUALLY bad. we all were AWFUL the first game.
 yeah. RIDICULOUS, i know. 
family picture :)

thanks for visiting, erin and chris! we had such a fun weekend.

Friday, July 8, 2011

crispy tilapia in a tomato-cream sauce & zucchini muffins

another score for lori in the kitchen last week... i think the hubby thinks he married paula dean. minus the white hair and strong southern accent. (okay, maybe thats a little extreme...) but i gotta give credit where credit is due. i found both recipes on pinterest, again. (have i mentioned i am LOVING that website?!) it has me so INSPIRED. and the hubby sure isn't complaining.


(via)
 crispy tilapia in a tomato-cream sauce (source)
1 1/3 cups favorite spaghetti sauce (i just a prego light smart traditional sauce to save some calories. its new. and it tasted the same to me !ill be buying it from now on.)
1 garlic clove, minced (as always, i used the canned, pre-chopped kind. i wouldn't know what to do with a real garlic clove. ha)
3 tablespoons half & half
four 4-5 ounce tilapia fillets
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 egg, beaten (i used eggwhites again)
1 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon salt-free italian seasoning
freshly grated parmesan

in a medium sauce pan, over medium-low heat, bring the sauce + garlic to a simmer. stirring occasionally, allow to cook until reduced by half. the sauce will become dark red and thick. stir in the cream and heat through. keep warm.

rince and dry the tilapia fillets and set aside.

in three shallow dishes, place the flour + salt and pepper in one, the beaten egg in another, and the crumbs + seasoning in the third. coat each fillet with the flour mixture, dip in the egg and then press on the crumbs.

heat a frying pan on medium to med-high heat. add a little olive oil and fry the fish for 3-4 mins. on each side until crispy-golden and fish flakes easily with a fork. move to a platter and spoon the sauce over. garnish with parmesan.

makes 4 servings. calories: 300


i made zucchini muffins to go with the tilapia ... they have more of a quiche like consistency than a traditional muffin. super moist and good flavor.

(via)
 zucchini muffins (source)
(this makes about 12 normal size muffins or 24 minis)
5 or so normal sized zucchinis, grated
1 carrot, grated
1 medium onion peeled and diced
about 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup self-rising flour
1/4 cup canola oil
salt and pepper
4-5 eggs (i used the eqivalent in eggwhites)

preheat oven to 350 degrees.

drain your grated zucchini by placing them in a paper towel and squeezing out as much moisture as you can.

put in a large bowl. drain and add the carrot, onion, cheese, flour and canola oil. stir together and add plenty of salt and pepper.

add in 4 eggs and stir the mixture thoroughly. it should be moist but not runny. if it looks dry, add the remaining egg.

bake in greased muffin pan for 20-25 mins or 15-20 mins if you're making mini muffins.

i forgot to add the parsley myself and didn't have an onion (maybe that had something to do with the consistency?) but the muffins were really tastey!

i also had just picked up some juicy red tomatoes from the farmers market so i decided to make baken parmesan tomatoes too. i've blogged the recipe before here. last time they turned out mushy. i paid better attention this time and didn't overcook them (plus, the hubby helped.... so of course they were fabulous).

as always, let me know if you give it a whirl. happy cooking!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

awkward & awesome thursday!

AWKWARD:
  • carrying your ponytail around in your purse before having a chance to go to the post office and mail it to locks of love
  • when you forget people's names that you definitely KNOW... (heyyyy... YOU. how YOU doing?)
  • while shopping, going to the register and realizing everything you're buying is the same color (navy) and striped.
  • the fact that my hubby is at white water right now... with 4 of his male best buddies... probably riding double tubes. hahah.
AWESOME:
  • going to the apple store, fully expecting to pay $200 to replace my cracked screen...and having the NICEST salesman ever hook us up with a brand new phone for FREE.
  • i have a massage and facial booked for next week. and i am super excited about it.
  • my bestie and her boy are coming to visit this weekend!!
check out sydney's blog, the daybook for more awkward & awesomeness.

Monday, July 4, 2011

fourth of july weekend.

on friday night the hubbster and i headed up to gainesville for a fun filled holiday weekend at the lake with the cousins. (+ erik and jon).

friday night we went out to eat at longhorn and played scene it squabble. if you haven't heard of this, its a good party game boys against girls style. (and for the record it was katie, lauren and i against ALL 5 of the guys... and the LADIES WON!!!)

saturday we lounged around and then floated in the lake a little ...
me and cousin matt.
erik and greg.
then we rode the jet ski and went out on the boat. 
greg's cousins, lauren and katie.
me and jon
we went tubbing a little bit...
me and the hubbster on the tube.
it had been several years since i had been tubbing... lets just say that today, muscles i didn't even know existed are hurting me.

later we went for a relaxing boat ride on the pontoon before dinner time.
gregs cousins, matt and alex
then we cooked out burgers and hot dogs for dinner.
my hubbster and erik, the honorary cousin for the weekend.
we missed greg's other cousin, drew and his wife, sarah. they live in baton rouge and weren't able to make it up for the weekend. drew and sarah: hope to see you guys soon, and happy anniversary!

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