Tuesday, May 31, 2011

the weekend rundown - river, Rocky Top & relaxation

We got the weekend started right with some early dinner at Trick Dog Friday night, followed by a cocktail cruise on the BOAT!

*again, pictures aren't fantastic. stupid camera. 
no worries, that's changing very soon : )  * 

It was our first time taking the boat out and and it was a gorgeous night to welcome back the boating season!

 Saturday we stopped by the Kilmarnock Farmer's Market in the morning, then spent the remainder of the day hanging out at Cross Tides - Anthony's grandparents' beautiful river home- lounging by the pool, playing games with the cousins and riding around in the boat. 

We had a great group skype date with Ant's brother Ben 
who is in Thailand 

Later that evening, Ant and I grilled some steaks, poured some wine and dined pool side under the stars. 

Sunday morning we were back on the boat, taking a morning ride with coffees, then got in some family and pool time before showering up and heading to Virginia Beach to celebrate the wedding of our friends Sara and Travis. 

Years ago (haha) Anthony, Brett and Travis drove out to Breckenridge, Colorado and lived together out there for a while  (that's where Travis met Sara, or Seaton, as we call her, even though she's a JMU and VA Beach girl, small world!) 

Then when I moved to the Outer Banks to be with Anthony, Travis and Seaton headed back East and we all lived together at the beach. 

We can't believe it'd been FOUR years since we've seen them and it was SO WONDERFUL to be there celebrating with them! 

The wedding was at a yacht and golf club on the water 
and it was just gorgeous. 


Trav and Seaton are such fun loving people and like them, their rowdy wedding crowd was ready to party!

Brett dancing with his mom

Brett, who recently moved out to California, was a groomsman 
(in this wedding and in ours!) and Anthony was really excited to spend some time with him as well!

 Here he is with his cute girlfriend (and reason he moved out to Cali), Kelsie.

Kelsie, Brett, us

Trav and Ant
 Travis is from Tennessee (where the couple is now living) and is a University of Tennessee alumni. You can't have lived with a Vol without knowing all the words to Rocky Top 
(football season was a blast at our house when we all lived together!!)
 and that crowd went NUTS when the band played their song!

  It was so awesome to be able to celebrate with them!
 Congrats to the new Mr. and Mrs. Jeffers!

After a late night drive home from the wedding, we managed to get it together for one more day of living the life and packed up snacks and coolers (and pitchers of mojitos : ) ha!) and headed out for another boat outing to celebrate Memorial Day, this time joined by some Trick Dog friends, Gwen, Nate, Courtney and a few friends they had in town. 

Courtney, me, Gwen

We cruised over to the Tiki Bar and enjoyed some beverages, corn hole and a swim in the river, then picnicked on the boat before heading back to the river for some more pool time. 

friends at Tiki
Jayson, Ant, Jake
Ant, Uncle Mike, Jake, Jayson
We ended the weekend with a late dinner at Pizza Hut 
with Gwen and Ant's cousin Jayson. 
(none of us could remember the last time we actually ate IN a Pizza Hut and didn't just pick up HA!)

The busy fun filled weekend has left us sunburned and tired from too much relaxing : ) and we're grateful for the short work week so we can do it again in a few days!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Patriotic Planter

With Memorial Day Weekend fast approaching, I wanted to give our newly redone deck space a little patriotic touch. 

I picked up this metal planter at a local thrift shop. 

It was originally marked $3, but they're running a 50% off special on items that have been there longer than 1 month. 

I found a February tag on it so it ended up being only $1.50.

Some primer, white spray paint, a few drill holes through the bottom for drainage, finishing spray and a quick stop by the garden store

and I have a little patriotic planter for the porch! 

 Dusty Miller, Impatients and Pinchushion flowers

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend everyone!!

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Crock Pot Cherry Coke BBQ

Last year we discovered how easy it was to make our own delicious homemade bbq in our crock pot.

*to clarify for those Northern friends of ours, pulled pork!
as if bbq would mean anything else, weirdos... : ) *

not a great picture, kind of looks like a coleslaw sandwich, huh?
I usually cook a Boston Butt for our bbq, however this week I saw
a Pork Picnic on sale 
(it was NINE pounds, we'll be freezing some leftovers!)

We season up the bottom and top with chili powder, garlic powder,
salt /pepper, worcestershire, brown sugar

and the special ingredient.. 

we pour cherry coke in the crock pot!

I know lots of people who use Coke/Diet Coke in cooking bbq and that's what we intended to do, but the first time we were making this we realized that as we're not soda drinkers
(other than our beloved Northern Neck Ginger Ale of course),
all we had in the house was one can of Cherry Coke. 

So we used it. 

And our BBQ was awesome, so we've kept using Cherry Coke ever since!

12 hours on low in the crock pot

Potato roll buns (a must in our house), topped with some coleslaw (optional, but that's how I like it!), 

some yummy Smokin' Joe's BBQ Sauce 
(too bad for you if that's not an option : ) hah) 

and dinner is served!
(and then some!)

Monday, May 23, 2011

the weekend rundown - speeches, Sterling's and showers

One down, two to go!

This was the first of our consecutive wedding weekends and it's going to be a hard one to top! 

Friday night we attended the rehearsal and dinner for our 
friends Dawn and Evan
The dinner was held at Sandpiper Reef and was a great 
kickoff to the weekend's festivities

I was nervous about giving a little speech but I think I did ok!

It was a great evening, complete with an adorable slideshow, some sweet toasts and a giddy bride and groom, just counting down the minutes til they could walk down the aisle!

There's something so emotional about watching a childhood friend get married. I think back to the silly little girl plans we made over the years about our expectations for our future husbands and wedding days and it's so beautiful to watch these things come true for your friends (although thankfully, it seems we've all upgraded our taste in both style and men since making these childhood plans all those years ago! HA!)

Their wedding day was the most beautiful and weather-perfect day

Dawn was a GORGEOUS bride
the significance of the above picture is that it was taken in the exact spot where Dawn and I have taken countless pre-prom/pre-dance pictures on her parents' porch over the years!

the decorations, food, atmosphere- it was all fabulous!

very cool favors: Dawn's favorite strawberry jam, homemade by her grandmother, and Evan's favorite hot sauce

my parents were just too cute! I had to sneak them in here : ) 
We danced, ate fantastic food, strolled on the docks 
and just had a blast!

Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Sterling! 
We love you and couldn't be happier for you!

(I do apologize for my lack of great pictures at the wedding, my camera is acting up AND my memory card was full after just a few : ( 
hopefully I can steal some good ones once others start posting!)

Despite the inevitable exhaustion following such big events, Sunday I took a little road trip to attend the bridal shower for one of my 
lovely college roommates, Lorie.

She's been living in South Carolina the last few years (but moved back this week!!) so it was wonderful to see and spend some time with her!
 It was a great afternoon full of fun and laughter (and great food!) and she got lots of nice gifts to help her start out her married life!

 Looking forward to the wedding in just two short weeks!! 

me, Lorie and our friend Katie

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Check out the sweet shout out on the Friday Favorites 

She featured my Grad Cap Cupcakes!

Thanks Chiara!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Mini Fruit Tarts

My dear friend Dawn is getting MARRIED tomorrow! 
I'm so excited for her and so honored to be a bridesmaid and participate in her special day!

My Mom and I wanted to do something sweet and helpful for Dawn and her mom on their busy busy day, so we're providing the lunch spread for the bride, bridesmaids and ladies who will be together getting hair done and getting all prettied up for the celebration.

We've prepared the usuals: chicken salad (my mom makes the BEST- seriously, anyone will tell you), veggies, fruit, cheese, etc. but I wanted to add a little something special and sweet to the prelude to her big day!

I feel safe posting about this little surprise today because the bride is super busy doing last minute things and I don't worry about her having time to read my blog anytime soon : )

but just in case, Dawnie, if you're being an anxious insomniac tonight and playing on the internet- stop reading and go tie bows on some programs missy! 

I love mini fruit tarts, they just always look so fresh and colorful! 
I knew these sweet and dainty treats would be perfect for tomorrow's pre-festivities lunch!

As is my usual cooking habit when I'm copy cat'ing something, I researched several recipes and methods, deciding how I wanted to go about creating these. 

The popular filling options appeared to be cream cheese, or lemon curd. I was totally leaning toward the cream cheese as it looked MUCH more simple than taking on the first timer task of making lemon curd

(yea I know you can buy lemon curd, that's not how I roll)

but despite all the complicated instructions I was reading involving double boilers and curdling egg yolks (ugh), I did take into consideration that my bride-to-be really likes lemon curd, in fact she requested it in her shower cupcakes a few weeks ago, so I knew I had to give it a go.

I finally came across THIS recipe for easy breezy lemon curd that was seriously osoooo simple and came out perfectly, I'm really glad I went with the lemon filling!

(I used the above lemon curd recipe, the rest of the recipe I stole from HERE!)

So lemon curd... check!

Heavy whipping cream appropriately whipped... check!
No picture but the next move was to fold the curd into the whipped cream to make lemon curd mousse (check!)

The tart shells were NOT my favorite part. As you can see, they're by no means visually perfect (these suckers were HARD to get out of the muffin tin! my suggestion: FREEZE!)

But they're delicious. So we'll get over it. 
Next, fill tarts with lemon curd mousse
aannnddd decorate with some pretty brightly colored fruits!

Can't wait for all of the weekend celebrations- I know it's going to be as wonderful and special as she is!

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

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