Thursday, March 29, 2012

Quick Centerpiece Ideas and a trip to my favorite city!

 If you're like me, sometimes you get the sudden urge to entertain and need to put together a quick table asap! When I came across this Real Simple (LOVE this mag) article about easy centerpieces, I knew I had to scroll through and check out their ideas. As always, Real Simple didn't disappoint! Here are a few of their super easy and quick centerpiece ideas that will instantly add style to your impromptu gatherings!

If you're hosting an outdoor gathering, try putting your flower centerpiece in terra cotta pots. Beautiful! 

 Use citrus to anchor your flowers in the vase; it makes the whole centerpiece so bright and colorful!

Using fresh fruit displayed at different levels of water is simple and beautiful. You could any fruit depending on your color scheme; pomegranates would be gorgeous!

 This simple table runner is made with wheat grass and daisies and is perfect for spring!

Now for this weekend... I'm heading to .....

NYC! I'm taking a trip with Mr. Fo to visit with  my dad and brother. I'll get to see my cousins - YAY!, my good friend Leighton - and also shop with Dad (fun) and see my first opera. Let me tell you how excited Mr. Fo is about being drug to the opera....(sense the sarcasm here). We leave Friday and I have about a million things to do before I leave...isn't it always like that? 

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend wherever you are!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Cocktails!

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I had a working weekend but it was great! My wedding went smoothly and was a success, despite a little rain! Here are a few preview pics from the wedding, I can't wait to show you all more in a few weeks when they're ready!

Following my recent spring appetizers post, I thought I'd continue on the spring theme with spring cocktails! I don't know about you, but this spring weather makes me want to sit outside on my patio and drink an ice cold cocktail! Don't mind if I do... Check out these spring cocktails that will have you yearning for some 
"patio time!"

Limencello cocktails that are part of a fabulous citrusy brunch!

This bright table is so beautiful! I love the white with the pops of yellow flowers.

All of these spring cocktails from Epicurious look fab-u-lous.

 Bored of the usual Orange Juice mimosas? How about a Pear Mimosa?

How about Martha's Vodka-Thyme lemonade? This is almost too pretty to drink ...I'd like to see that at my neighborhood lemonade stand.

Staying on the lemonade and herb theme, how about lavender lemonade? This would be perfect for a girly spring brunch or bridal shower! Or just hanging out in a lavender meadow like this person is...

To sum it up, use your imagination and make your cocktails light and pretty for a true toast to spring!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring Appetizers!

In case you hadn't heard, spring has officially arrived! Here in Charlotte, the weather has been so mild it's been basically spring all "winter," which has been lovely! Although I like a little snow - maybe next year? Anyways, this week has been crazy with me with a big work event (went great, yay!) and a wedding this Saturday. I featured the bride and groom last week HERE. I'm so excited to see how everything turns out! 

But I wanted to celebrate the arrival of spring with a plethora of spring appetizers for your next entertaining gig. When I think of spring appetizers, I think of bright colors, light food and asparagus! I hope you enjoy these yummy recipes!

Artichoke and Parmesan Crostini

Israeli Couscous Salad:
a creative alternative to pasta salad!

Proscuitto Wrapped Mangoes

Tortellini Skewers

Proscuitto Wrapped Spring Asparagus

Spring Garden Appetizer Array:
How pretty is this!

I think these appetizers are all perfect for spring and celebrating the great weather and opening of farmers markets. Plus they are all easy to assemble and involve no real "cooking!" Pair these with a crisp white wine or spring cocktail and you'll be instantly happy :) 

I'm off to wedding madness - wish me luck!! Have a great rest of the week and weekend, I'll be back next week!

Friday, March 16, 2012

St. Patty's Day treat!

Want to know how to make these? 

Go here! Happy St. Patrick's Day- have a green beer...or 7 :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March Bride & Groom Engagement Photos!

I'm so excited to show you a few engagement photos of my March bride and groom, Malone and Rafe. (Side note - don't you love the name Malone??? I'm obsessed) All photos were taken by my good friend and a fabulous Charlotte photographer, Michael Flanagan. Check him out HERE! I love his artistic work.

Malone and Rafe outside uptown Charlotte (love this pic!!)

They're huge Panther they are outside the stadium, praying for a win! they are chillin' on their porch with their pup, Harrison. I think this photo sums them up perfectly - super laid back, chill and adorable!

So excited for their wedding one week from Saturday, and of course, I'll share all the details on the blog! 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Easy Shamrock Garland

Hello and I hope everyone had a nice Monday. Well, an okay Monday... or maybe, just a Monday. Ugh...Monday. 

With St. Patty's Day coming up, I thought I'd share a super easy DIY project that would be fun for a St. Patty's day celebration. To hear my general thoughts on St. Patrick's Day, check out my post from 2 years ago where I miserably failed at making Irish Soda Bread (damn you caraway seeds) and had to give it a re-do. It's a hoot, I must admit, and there is a great recipe for not-so-Irish Soda Bread that is awesome and has an utter lack of caraway seeds.

To make your easy-peasy Shamrock Garland, you'll need foam shamrock shapes (found at Michaels), a hole punch and some string. Ta-da! That's it - told you it was easy :) 

Directions: Punch a hole on both sides of the shamrock and start stringing them along! Find a nice place to hang in your home, or over a dessert table if you're having a party, and BAM - you've got yourself a one of a kind garland that cost literally $5 and 5 minutes of your time. Plus you can do it while drinking green beer and watching traditional Irish movies like.... are there any traditional Irish movies? 
Maybe that scary one, Leprechaun, with a pre-Friends Jen Aniston.

Many of you have asked how my 5K went, since my last post was a slightly psychotic rant concerning my fears about running 3.1 miles. Wellllllllllllllllllll.............

That was me the morning of my race after I completed my goal of running the entire time :) I was super pumped and I have to say I worried for zero reason (as is the case with most of my worries). The event was super charged with thousands of people, music blasting at 7:30 a.m., and in general, a fabulous way to start a Saturday morning. I'm signing up for another one in April - I might be hooked!

On the Debbie Downer side, I think the run in the 30 degree slightly windy weather gave me a cold/allergy attack so now I'm under the weather and can't run without wheezing. It looks like I'll be taking a few days off from pounding the pavement, which believe it or not makes me sad. Who am I?

Hope everyone has a happy week :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Moderation: An Update

I hope everyone had a fabulous week. I'm hanging out on a Friday night, with plans to have zero wine and go to bed early. Why is my Friday night so lackluster, you ask? EEEK my 5K is tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. I'm nervous but also excited. Would you like some insight into my fears and anxieties about the race? This will give you some real perspective on what it's like to be me on a daily basis:

1) What if a mob of people tramples me?
2) What if I finish dead last? Like dead last, like everyone who is working the race has to wait for me to finish before they can pack it up for the day. 
3) What if I oversleep, like that guy did in Seinfeld? On that note, why is it so early...could they not have made it at 10 a.m. which is a much more reasonable hour.
4) What if I can't finish? (This is probably my largest, most reasonable fear.) But I will freaking crawl to the finish line if I have to! 

In all honesty, while I am nervous, I'm also excited to get this first race under my belt, and also to complete this goal. I've enjoyed running and the training process so much more than I thought I would, and I plan to keep doing it and signing up for more 5Ks. Will I ever a marathon runner? Doubtful. But who knows, the world is my oyster. And the running has jump started my exercise and eating-in-moderation lifestyle change, and I'm on the right track getting to a better place weight wise. In fact, I'd say I'm well on my way! And I'm not going into anymore detail than that, because this is NOT, and will never become, a weight loss blog. (Ew.)

So think of me tomorrow morning when you're having your coffee or doing other relaxing Saturday morning things. I'll be super red-faced and sweaty and look something like this...

Ok, ok, not that bad...I look a little better than Homer :)

After the race I'm heading to a fabulous brunch where I will eat my face off in celebration. Thanks to my friends for planning a celebratory brunch for me; you're all seriously the best. And thanks to Mr. Fo for getting up early and watching me (hopefully) cross the finish line. And thanks to my marathon running sister in law for answering my incessant running questions. Seriously, she might disown me as a sister-in-law out of pure annoyance. 

Enough of this run talk and healthy eating nonsense. Here's what I plan on indulging in for brunch tomorrow; the absolute greatest brunch food in all of the land:

Eggs Benedict

Happy Weekend All!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Creative Wedding Reply Cards

My May bride Lauren showed me her reply cards for her invitations, and I thought they were so clever. In my time of wedding attending and wedding planning I've never seen this before! Check it addition the usual "Yes/No," there are some other boxes to check ;)

 It made me wonder if there were other creative reply cards out there...and of course I found some in this fabulous Internet age we live in...

I LOVE this idea... I always write notes on reply cards, and this gives me plenty of room to be my silly self :)

 Mad Libs style reply cards - LOVE this! And you can display the funny responses at the wedding so all your guests can read them!

These picture reply cards are hilarious and a great way to personalize the invites:

I hope you got a kick out of these! Hope you all have a great week!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Cinnammon Toast Crunch Treats

Have you every had rice krispy treats? (That was a rhetorical question....of course everyone's had rice krispy treats.) Have you ever had Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal? (Rhetorical question again...of course you've had the delicious Cinnamon breakfast treat. Even though I wasn't allowed to have sugary cereal as a kid, but believe me, I've had plenty. Sorry Mom!) 

Given my affinity for all things Rice Krispy Treats and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, I jumped at the chance to make Cinnamon Toast Crunch Treats for Tablespoon. You make them the same way you make Rice Krispy Treats except use Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Melt down the marshmallows and add in the cereal like so.

It's a sticky process, but so worth it! 

Spread the sticky mixture into a greased baking pan and let it cool. Cut out the treats into circles and pipe on swirls of cream cheese frosting. It's like a Cinnamon Roll!

Perfect with your morning coffee!

For the full recipe, click over to my Tablespoon post. And make these this weekend! They'd be perfect for a casual brunch or for a sweet treat anytime! Happy Friday!