Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Weekend Recap

For the first time in 7 years, I was Valentine-less on February 14th. But, I had a fabulous weekend nonetheless! My very best friend, who recently moved from NYC to Florida came to visit me for a long weekend. She got married last June, but her husband had to be out of town this weekend so she decided to fly up for a visit...we had the best time! We meant to document our weekend in pictures, but that was an epic fail.

Let's see...Friday night we went to a wine tasting and then out for a yummy Italian dinner (it snowed here AGAIN on Friday night).

Saturday brought massages in the morning, and a trip into Raleigh to watch the UNC vs. NC State game with some of my friends (thank goodness UNC won!) in the afternoon. Saturday night we saw the movie Valentine's Day - I thought it was cute, but I also was nauseous the whole movie because the theater was SO crowded and stuffy - that wasn't so much fun.

Sunday, we headed to brunch and then did some quality shopping at Home Goods (love that store). We also checked out some open houses on Sunday afternoon, since I'm considering buying! We had a cozy V-day evening (ha) watching movies and eating yummy takeout.

All in all, a great Valentine's day weekend, even if there were no boys involved!

How about you? What did you do for V-day?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Look for me on TV tonight, yo!

I'm super stoked to have 10th row seats tonight to one of the biggest rivalry games in college sports...UNC vs. Duke basketball.  Unfortunately, the Heels aren't having a great season, but I will say...when it comes to this rivalry game, it always has the potential to be a good one, even if one team is having a crappy season.

I miss being able to go to Carolina basketball's something you really take for granted when you're a student!  So, I always jump when I get the chance to go now that I'm all grown up and don't get free student tickets.  (I live in the next town over from Chapel Hill, so it's easy for me to go...when I have tickets.)

And best of all, my baby bro will be going with me!  He's a senior at UNC and was able to get a student ticket, but these will be better seats so he gave up sitting with his friends to sit with his big sis.  Awwwwwwwwww :)

Anyway...ESPN at 9:00 PM EST...check it!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Lemon Chicken Deliciousness

One of my favorite bloggers, Kelly, posted this recipe several months ago when she hosted a blog tour of favorite dinner recipes.  I thought it looked fabulous and I've been wanting to try it - so tonight, I did!  Turns out it not just looks fabulous, but tastes great as well (and, major bonus - is healthy)!  She didn't name it, so I took it upon myself to name it "Lemon Chicken Deliciousness", ha!

Lemon Chicken Deliciousness

6 tablespoons olive oil
2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced, 1 juiced
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
3/4 lb green beans (can use canned, fresh, frozen...whatever you like)
8 small red potatoes, quartered
4 chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 450.  Coat a large baking dish with 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Arrange lemon slices from 1 lemon in a single layer on the bottom of the dish.  In large bowl combine remaining olive oil, lemon juice of 2nd lemon, garlic, salt and pepper.  Add green beans and toss to coat.  Using tongs, remove green beans and arrange them on top of lemon slices.  Add potatoes to same olive oil mixture and coat.  Arrange on inside edge of dish on top of the beans.  If desired, add lemon pepper for extra flavor.  Place chicken in olive oil mixture and coat.  Place chicken in dish.  Roast for 40-50 minutes.  Remove chicken and continue roasting potatoes/beans if necessary.

(Please excuse the gaping hole in the left chicken breast...I have a phobia of under cooking chicken, so I have to poke a thermometer into my meat to assure myself it's cooked through...)


Monday, February 8, 2010

Feeling poopy

I woke up this morning not feeling great, and it's gone downhill from there...I think I'm finally catching the crud that's been going around my office for the past few weeks.  I have to go pick up my brother from the airport in a few minutes (he was in France visiting his girlfriend, who is studying abroad - how cute is that and how jealous am I?), then I'm heading to bed early.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Book Review: Julie and Julia

So, I finally finished up Julie and Julia, by Julie Powell.  I started this book way back in November over the Thanksgiving holiday.  I read about half of it then, but have only read a chapter or two here and there since.  I read the last couple of chapters this weekend and can now file it away on my bookshelf.

Thoughts?  It was ok.  Not great, not my favorite.  In case you've been living under a rock for the past year and have missed the movie promotions, it's about a blogger who cooks her way through Julia Childs' Mastering the Art of French Cooking cookbook in a year.  Kudos to her, don't get me wrong.  That's a heck of a lot of fancy cooking.  But, I just didn't totally dig it.  I did appreciate the honesty with which she wrote and the journey that she traveled while she in a sense reinvented herself.

Maybe it was because it read like a blog, with each chapter a separate entity detailing a different cooking pursuit, as opposed to a novel where there is little distinction between chapters (making you more compelled to continue reading to see where the story goes), but it was easy for me to put it down for days or weeks at a time. 

Julie has a blog that she keeps up (although not the same one from the "Project"), which I think is neat because it's a little blogspot blog just like I have and not some fancy publisher house blog.

I've put off seeing the movie until I finished reading the book, so I do plan to pay a visit to the RedBox soon to check it out.  I've heard it was cute.

I'm not sure what my next read will be, but I better get on it because I want to meet my goal of getting through two books this month and February is a shorty month!  For tonight though, it's Super Bowl festivities...I'm heading out to a Super Bowl party - I'm bringing my yummy spinach and artichoke dip.  I'm going to cheer for the Saints, but really all I care about is the commercials (shhhhhhhhh!) and of course, all the food :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My first blog award!

About two months ago, my sweet blogger friend Bernie gave me my very first blog award!  I had to go to google translator to figure out what the award translates's Portuguese for "This blog is super cute"!  I'm so happy to get an award, and am excited to pass it on to these great bloggers:

Tasha @ Biology Gal
Brittney @ Running in High Heels
Danica @ Chic Runner

Congratulations ladies - I love each of your blogs!  Pass it on to your favorite bloggers!

Please be sure to visit Bernie's blog - she is such a talented photographer and I love dropping in and seeing her pictures.  Bernie, I'm so sorry I didn't pass this on sooner - I obviously have been a bad blogger all around the past couple of months!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dumpster Diving - Fab Find

On Monday, I was leaving my apartment to head into work when I swung by the dumpster to drop off a bag of trash.  As I was driving up, I saw a girl walking that way with a big glass vase in her hand.  When I got closer, I saw that she had set three big glass vases and one tall wooden vase beside the dumpster.  Hello DIY project!  I loitered around until she left so she wouldn't think I was a nutso, then I swooped in and picked those puppies up.  I'm not a fan of the color / design of them (they just wouldn't go with my decor), but I like the shape of the vases - with a little DIY upgrade, I think I can make them into something great!

Here's my loot:

I'm pretty sure they're all Pier 1, because one of them has a Pier 1 price tag on the bottom ($45!) and they all match (except for the random wood one).  Score one for me on the dumpster dive!

I have no shame that I pulled these from beside a dumpster.  It's not that bad if I saw the person actually put them there, right?

Stay tuned for what I decide to do with them!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Salsa Turkey Burgers

In an effort to make a healthy dinner one night last week, I went in search of finding a turkey burger recipe that actually tasted good.  I found a nice base recipe then added my own little twist!

Salsa Turkey Burgers

1 lb ground turkey breast
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
6 tbsp salsa (use chunky if you want bits of veggies in your burger)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl until well mixed.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Divide into 4 patties.

Cook either in a frying pan (spray with non-stick cooking spray and cook approximately 10 minutes, flipping once), or on an indoor or outdoor grill.  (I did mine on a George Foreman type grill indoors, and topped it with a slice of provolone cheese - delish!)

Makes 4-5 burgers.

I have to be honest, I was skeptical of the turkey burger, because when I think burger, I think RED MEAT...huzzuh!  But, there were really good.  I ate one for dinner and one for lunch the next day, then I froze the other two patties for eating later.

Try it, even if you are a turkey burger skeptic - I promise it's yummy!

Monday, February 1, 2010

To buy or not to buy?

To buy or not to buy...that is the question.  For the past few months, I've been seriously turning over the idea of buying a house.  I've lived in my current (one-bedroom) apartment for almost three years, and while I absolutely love it, I'm starting to feel a little cramped and I'm getting the itch to own.

The lease on my apartment is up at the end of May, so I need to make a decision in the next couple of months on what I want to do.  Obviously, the real estate market is shaky at best right now.  But, if I were to find a place before the end of April, I would qualify for the $8,000 first-time home buyer credit, which would be a nice plus.

Let me back it up a bit...I've always kind of had it in my head that life would work out like this: graduate from college, get married, buy a house, have kids.  That's just what happens, right?  Well...I'm learning that life doesn't always work out like you planned (and that's ok).  I haven't really blogged about it, but I got out of a (very) long-term relationship about 7 months ago.  I'm in a really good place right now, and happier than I've been in a long time.  But, I'm nowhere near getting married.  So, at 25 with the likelihood being that I won't get married for another several years at a MINIMUM, I hate to think about throwing away money on rent for who knows how long while I wait for my perfect marriage-then-house scenario to come along.  The thought of buying a place alone is scary, but if it's something I can do financially, then I think it might be the wise choice.  And, if I should end up getting married and needing to move in with a hubby in the next several years (trust me, I'll pulling for this scenario!), then it's smarter to go ahead and buy now so I can maximize my time in the house and have the best chance of recouping my costs, rather than wait another year or two to buy, and then have to sell a year later because I'm getting hitched.

At this point, I'm thinking townhome over single-family home, becasue a) they're cheaper b) I wouldn't have to maintain the outside lawn, etc., and c) as a single female, I think I'd feel a little safer in a townhome than in a single-family home.  I'm still wrapping my head around everything and keep going back and forth on what I want to's a really big decision.

Any advice on buying a first home??