Wine-o Wednesday

I’ve recently discovered a few new wines that I’m loving and wanted to share in case you’re looking to try something new to serve at Thanksigiving.  Similar to my tendency to funnel through the sames 5-6 recipes every week, I often will buy the same wines over and over again.  Not that there is anything wrong with that but I have recently gotten out of my comfort zone (Chardonnay) to discover some wines I love.

Gen5 Cabernet Sauvignon ($12-14)

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“…offers black currant fruit and licorice with hints of toasted oak… it has a full mouth feel, good balance, round tannins, and a persistent finish.”  It’s sooo smooth and and delish!

Beringer Knights Valley Cab ($25 ish)

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“The 2013 Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has aromas of ripe black fruit, mocha, dried herbs and licorice. Opulent but structured, this versatile wine has supple blue and black fruit notes accented by dark chocolate, roasted coffee and a silky, lingering finish.”

Rombauer Chardonnay ($19-$21)

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“Carneros, Napa, CA- Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay is a rich wine with layers of tropical fruit, peaches and pears. The fruit opens up into creamy textures of apples and pears that glide across the palate. Hints of citrus and light oak tones highlight the wine’s lingering finish.”  This is definitely on the oaky buttery end of the spectrum.

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Being a Mom

 

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While I would love to write about the topic I originally planned to write about today, life got in the way. My little Minnie Mouse, Charlie, got sick and so I am being the best mom I can be and devoting all my time and effort to her. I know it’s the season for sniffly noses and sore throats; but, I always hope that we will get away with a clean bill of health and skirt all the ickys. Anyways, I really had to go into mom mode and take extra good care of my baby seeing as how Donald and I are about to fly off to Miami in a couple days for a look weekend.

After our doctor’s visit yesterday morning and, of course, coming up empty-handed with a “it must be a virus” type of response from the doc, Charlie and I snuggled on my bed and watched Elf. It was the first time she actually watched almost an entire movie with me. Although she was sick, it was still one of those moments as a mom that I will cherish and be so happy to have. Sharing my love for movies with Charlie has been one of those things I have been eagerly awaiting. I have waited very impatiently for my toddler to want to sit down and watch a movie with me and laugh. And, yesterday was that day. I have no doubt that once she is back to her normal, healthy self it will be extremely hard for her to sit still through a movie. But, having that snuggled up moment with my daughter for almost an hour and half was bliss. Fingers crossed she will do it again soon without being sick.

Till next time. Keep it lush y’all!

victoria

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My Meal Plan this Week!

Good Morning!  I hope everyone had a great Halloween!  I know more than just a few of us are glad it’s over 🙂  Now, onto November and my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving!  Today I’m sharing whats on the menu at our house this week.  As you can tell, we’re trying to be Low Carb.  We were eating so healthy leading up to our wedding and then really fell off the bandwagon after so trying to get back to being healthy 90% of the time.  You know there will be some wine and candy mixed in there for the 10% non-healthy!   Please feel free to share any recipes we should try in the comments section!

Monday: Skinny Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps.  This is a go to in our house.  It’s SO easy, healthy and super satisfying.  I sometimes serve it as an app if we’re having people over but for just the two of us, it’s dinner.

Skinny Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps! #healthy and #delicious

Tuesday:  Taco Salads.  Nothing too exciting here, just taco beef over salad topped with tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, salsa, avocado and black beans.

 

Wednesday: Gwyneth Paltrow’s Best Chicken Stir fry via Designer bag and Dirty Diapers.  Looking forward to trying this one!

Gwyneth Paltrow's Best Chicken Stir Fry! via Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers.  Looks amazing!

Thursday: Steve’s Healthy Spaghetti Squash Casserole!

Healthy Spaghetti Squash Casserole!  Gluten Free and Low Fat but so Delish!

Friday: Out!

Have a great Tuesday!!

Annie

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I’m Kinda Tired of Halloween

Well, Halloween is a ton of work. I feel like we have been celebrating this holiday for 3 weeks now. It started with our local Harvest Festival. I ordered Lucy a Wonder Woman costume complete with the wig and she was cute as all get out. She kept calling the wig Wonder Woman, like she was literally wearing Wonder Woman’s hair and the rest of her outfit was just regular clothes.

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Anyway, after about 15 minutes on her head, that thing looked like a squirrels nest, so in the trash it went. The Harvest Festival was fun. Lucy enjoyed the giant flower decor, and eating her candy as soon as she received it. The whole “put it in the bag and save it” idea was never going to happen.

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I look totally delirious in that picture….because I was.

So here we are now, the night before actual Halloween (finally). I can’t find Tucker’s skeleton costume for school tomorrow, the cookies I was supposed to make for Lucy’s class had the tiniest puncture in the package. After much internal debate, I decided I can’t serve those to all those kids on the off chance someone inserted poison. So, tomorrow morning I’ll be running to the local bakery to pick some up.

Fingers crossed she is in the mood for her costume, that I magically trip on Tucker’s skeleton outfit sometime tonight, and that there is time to make a stiff cocktail before hitting the streets to trick-or-treat tomorrow evening. #prayersup

Remember when the biggest halloween stress was if you’ll be too cold walking to the bar in your super sexy costume?

Maggie

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Friday Five!

Woowoooo!  It’s Friday!  For the first time in a while we are going to be home this weekend without any major plans.  To say I’m excited would be an understatement.  We’re planning on staying in tonight, making dinner and watching a movie.  Saturday I’m going to a Blast workout class in the am and have dinner plans with my mom and sister.  Steve is going to the Phish concert with some friends (so glad I get to skip this one!).   I hope you have a fun/relaxing/crazy/wild/productive weekend!

Now, on to my Friday Five!

ONE || Has anyone else had the issue of Squirrels eating their pumpkins?? I have never heard of this issue but we are now on our third pumpkin that has been nibbled on by the squirrels.  I put up a snapchat about it earlier this week and a few people commented that squirrels hate the smell of chili powder and mint so I’ve sprayed my newest pumpkin with a mix of water and chili powder and am hopeful that those little rodents (with cuter outfits SATC reference) stay away from my pumpkins!

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Ok ok, this isn’t our actual pumpkin but this picture made me laugh via

TWO || Ponchos.  I’m poncho obsessed right now!  I just wish it would get colder so I don’t look so ridiculous in my long sleeve shirt, poncho, jeans and booties.    Here are a few under $100 that I either own or have my eye on.

THREE || Tradsey.  I might be late to the party on this one but have yall heard of Tradsey? or the RealReal?  They are consignment boutiques online where you can find amazing deals on new and lightly used items.  I’m on the prowl for a new purse for Fall/Winter and refuse to pay the insane price tags for the brands I like which is where these sites come in!  I have already purchased a pair of Brand new with tags driving mocks from the now defunct C. Wonder for $20!  and I loveeee them.

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I’ve also got my eye on this Tory bag..

Multi Season Tory Burch Tote from Tradesy!

FOUR || Something to look forward to!  Two of my best friends are amazing planners and when we all used to live in Charleston I got to benefit from that.  I pretty much always had at least one fun plan during the week and weekend plans made for me because they were so good about thinking ahead and getting everyone together.  Now that we’ve all moved away from Charleston and I don’t benefit from their planning as much, I’m working on becoming more of a planner.  This is mainly because I love to have fun activities to look forward to.  I think at least half the fun of travel is the pre-travel anticipation.  From the shopping for outfits to wear to the research on what to see, eat and drink while you’re there it makes me so happy to think about all the fun we’re going to have.  SO, all of that is to say, I have 2 fun trips booked for the coming months and I’m so excited about it!  We’re going out to Colorado with some friends to Ski for a long weekend in January and then Steve and I are taking our big Honeymoon trip to Paris and Italy in April!  Any and all recommendations welcome!  We are thinking about going to Venice, Tuscany/Florence and Rome 🙂

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Picture from our Ski Trip to Deer Valley Utah 2 years ago

FIVE ||  Our Pizza Stone!  We received a pizza stone from one of my best friends for our wedding and finally go around to using it a couple of weeks ago and let me just say, WOW.  I never really thought twice about a pizza stone because I always liked the pizza we made at home on a regular cookie sheet.  But I was so wrong.   To use it you put it in your oven and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Make the pizza and then transfer it to the stone in the oven and let it do its thing.  Because the stone is hot when you put the pizza on it you get this amazing crunchy crust that makes you feel like you’re eating pizza at one of those places with a wood fire pizza oven.   Seriously everyone needs one of these things!   This is the one we have.

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I hope everyone has a great weekend! xoxox,

Annie

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Couponing

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Hey everyone. Do any of you coupon? I never have really. I tried once a few years ago and then I got annoyed and thought it was stupid to try and save a buck here and there. Then one day a couple weeks ago I was perusing Pinterest and I scrolled past a pin about how to make couponing easy. So, I clicked on it and read a bit and then kinda brushed it off and went to bed. Then a few days ago I got my weekly Harris Teeter savings email and it said they were accepting double coupons for a few days. This basically means any coupon with a value up to $2 would be doubled. So, a potential savings of $4. Not too shabby. So, I woke up early the other morning because I couldn’t sleep and thought I would take a crack at it. I first Googled “Harris Teeter coupon matchups” which populated a number of websites including this one. In about 15 minutes I was able to identify some really awesome deals (ie: items less than a $1 after coupons). Since I have never couponed before I had to rely on finding coupons online (coupons.com). So, I went there next and printed off a bunch that I knew would get me some really discounted items that I either need or will need very soon.

Here’s what I never really caught onto previously that really made a HUGE difference, you can use multiple coupons on the same item. For example, I printed out a coupon for $1 off 1 airwick plugin. Then I printed off another coupon for a $1 off an airwick candle. Then, I printed off a third coupon for $2 off any 2 airwick items. So, I bought the airwick plugin and an airwick candle and got $8 off since Harris Teeter was doubling coupons (($1+$1+$2) x 2). See what I mean? img_1174

Anyways, I guess what I am trying to say is that this whole process took me about an hour. I did about 30 minutes of research on coupon matchups for the week and then printed out the coupons from coupons.com. In the end, I paid $101.81 out of pocket and saved $132.82 by using coupons. Obviously shopping during a double coupon promo helped. But, I think that’s pretty good considering I saved more than I spent. And I am a serious rookie. I know a lot of women do this and end up walking away from the store with more money than when they walked in. That is genius but takes a lot of planning. For us super duper busy, working moms I am just happy to know that I saved a bit during a regular grocery trip.

Do you coupon? I would love to hear tricks of the trade.

Keep it lush y’all!

victoria

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On this week’s menu!

Hi and Happy Tuesday!  I’ve recently been trying to be better about planning our menu for the week ahead of time.   We have a tendency to fly by the seat of our pants each night for dinner which means the inevitable back and fourth about what we’re in the mood for, last minute trips to the grocery store and eating out way more than we should.   So I thought this week it would be fun to share what I have on the menu because I am trying some new and different recipes.  Hope you enjoy!

Monday: (Leftover) Turkey Chili.  I made this recipe this weekend to have with some friends on Saturday night before we all went to my 10 year High School reunion!  It’s a recipe my sister found and I recently tried and fell in love with.  Its a little different than your standard turkey chili and is amazing!  I followed the recipe to a T and only added a can of Kidney beans.

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Tuesday: Easy Beef and Broccoli from Damn Delicious because a week doesn’t pass without making some sort of Asian inspired dish.  Served over Cauli Rice from TJs.  Trying to step out of my usual Skinny Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Peanut Chicken.

Damn Delicious Beef and Broccoli

Wednesday: Out, we’re going to a concert with some friends so we are planning to go out to dinner all together before

Thursday: Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats from Pinch of Yum. Planning on leaving out the Turkey and having a vegetarian meal.

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Friday: Grilled Chicken Breasts and Brussels Sprout Gratin + Big Salad.  I told my mom I’d bring this Gratin for Thanksgiving so I want to make sure to try it before serving it to everyone on Thanksgiving.

Brussels Sprout Gratin!

Saturday: Out!

 

We usually eat leftovers for lunch since we both work from home 🙂

Question: What recipes are on your normal weekly meal rotations?? I’m trying to get out of my rut of cooking the same 10 things so I’d love some ideas!  You can see our other recipes/meal ideas here.

Have a great day!!!

Annie

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Friday Five

Holy Lord. Thank God it’s Friday. The last week has been a whirlwind and it’s going to stay crazy in my household until next weekend. For those of you that have absolutely nothing going on right now, I envy you. Enjoy your quiet time. Enjoy your lazy morning and drinking beer on the couch while watching football. That sounds amazing. Anyways, today I bring you five things I am loving lately.

1| Sleep – Seriously though…can this be one of my favorites right now? I have had a really hard time sleeping the last couple weeks. I go through bouts of sleeplessness every so often and I am in one right now. I have no problem falling asleep but then I wake up between 3-5am and can’t fall back asleep. This has happened to me before…quite a few times to be honest. It’s usually stress induced. My brain just won’t shut off. So, to help with this I do a couple things:

a) Acupuncture – This really helps reduce stress and calm the mind

b) Time-Release Melatonin – Just discovered that they make a time release version of Melatonin. Definitely trying this one.

c) This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray – I just got this in my most recent Birchbox. I used it last night and I did sleep better. Heck if your desperate like I am, why not try it?

d) Exercise – If nothing else, this tires me out to the point that I have no other choice than to sleep.

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2| Narcos – We are close to the end of Season 2 of this show on Netflix and it is such an intense and great show. If you haven’t watched it yet be prepared for a show that requires you to put down the phone and actually pay attention. The majority of it is subtitled.

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3| Shopbop Sale – This is one of their biggest sales of the year. 25% off ordered under $500 and 20% off orders over $500. I have quite a few things in my cart like these wedge booties and these jeans and these jeans in my cart.

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4| Sephora Holiday Collections – There are soooo many new holiday value sets out at sephora. I am doing my best till I get my VIB Rouge 20% off discount in November. But, patiently awaiting my purchase are this lipgloss set, this highlighting palette and this brush set.

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5| Two Cumberland – This is a local boutique that just opened a bigger store in Mt. Pleasant in the Nordstrom Rack shopping center. They have an awesome selection of jewelry and women’s clothing as well as some local flair like the popular CHS hats everyone has been wearing as of late. I bought myself one if grey and my hubs bought me a beautiful, gold lariat necklace with three burnt orange stone and a black druzy stone ring that is awesome. They also have a great selection of hostess gifts. I will definitely be shopping here for Christmas gifts! For those of you that don’t live close by you can shop online here.

That’s it for today y’all! I hope you all have a wonderful, relaxing weekend.

Keep it lush y’all!
victoria

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On My Mind…

Hey there! Today’s post is a brain dump of all the things that are on my mind lately.

First, we are still dealing with this post hurricane Matthew mess. Our crawl space filled up with water so we have to have it cleaned, duct work removed and new put back in, and have our AC unit replaced. We won’t have AC for another week. It really isn’t too bad though. The house is staying pretty cool. Paying our flood deductible on the other hand, makes me want to throw up. Definitley not the way I wanted to end my last couple of weeks on maternity leave.

Speaking of that, I go back to work in a week and a half. It’s bitter sweet. I am excited to get into a normal routine and have some independent time. On the other hand, I will be sad to leave this little guy. I can already tell he is a mammas boy and I hope he isn’t sad all day when he is in daycare. Also, I feel a little guilty about going back to work. For me, it is easier to go to work then to stay at home with the kids. So I wonder, is that why I am a working mom? I tell myself it’s the financial aspect, but maybe it’s more for selfish reasons? Mom guilt is a powerful thing!

Tucker has been so fussy the past few days. In particular between the hours of 5:00 and 9:00 pm. I had him on a great schedule, but since the hurricane evacuation, he is totally unpredictable. Sometimes he will only eat 2 ounces, sometimes he wants 7, sometimes he will sleep for 15 minutes and sometimes for 3 hours. I feel like I just don’t know what he wants. I even took him to the doctor thinking he was sick, but he isn’t. I feel bad for Matt too because Tucker has basically been crying every second Matt is at home in the evenings.

Kids are hard on a relationship for sure! I don’t just love Matt, I am really really IN LOVE with Matt. I think he is the absolute best, but man, kids will try to turn you against each other. When you are frustrated at the kids, you can’t take it out on them, so you take it out on your spouse. I have also decided that kids bring out the absolute worst in you sometimes. They take the small flaws you had before and magnify them. With all that, I feel so lucky to have a spouse that understands me and really loves me to the core…no matter how tough life can get.

Totally random, but growing up I was obsessed with the X-Files. OBSESSED. In my bedroom I had an antenna on my TV so only got a few channels. At night the X-Files would come on one of them and I got hooked. This was about the time my parents were going through their divorce, so I was probably a little more suseptible to anything that kept my mind busy. Well, as some of you may know, they just had a 10th season, years after the 9th aired and I recorded it to save for maternity leave. I just finished watching all the episodes and am SOOOOOO bummed it’s over. It was so good and brought back so many nostalgic feels for me. Amazing something so creepy can make me feel so secure/at-home. As soon as that intro music comes on, I think my blood pressure lowers a few points. If you watched it, what the heck was that ending??? I NEED TO KNOW!

That’s all I will make you read today. My mind seems to be occupied all the time laltely, so it’s nice to write some of it down and get it out of there.

Maggie

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Tips for shopping on eBay

My Ebay Shopping tips!Happy Tuesday friends!  I hope everyone has had a great start to their weeks!  Steve and I are working from the office in Charleston this week and staying through the weekend for an engagement party.  We’re really hoping hurricane Matthew doesn’t come this way… fingers crossed!

Today I wanted to share some tips for shopping on eBay like a boss.  eBay can be very overwhelming if you don’t know what to look for so I thought I’d share some of my go to tricks for getting a great deal!

Shopping

  • Search for exactly what you’re looking for.  There is SO much on ebay that it is really hard to just casually browse for a Black dress or something generic.  Ebay is really best for something specific of a specific brand.  For example search “Tory Burch Amanda Cross body” not “Tory Burch Purse”. This will help you narrow down the millions of listings into a few hundred that fit what you’re looking for
  • Use the filters on the left.   Just like on Amazon or other sites, these filters help you really narrow down what you’re looking for.search1
  • Look into the seller.  There are lots of fakes on ebay, you have to be careful who you buy from.  What to look for:
    • Feedback- both the number of feedback (aka reviews) they have and the % positive.  In the example below you can see she only has 39 reviews (meaning she’s probably bought or sold 39 items) but her positive % is 100%.  This to me is a good sign because she isn’t a “career” ebayer.  More likely someone like me to sells items I no longer use.  ebay4
    • Click on the sellers name to get more information about the feedback they’ve received.
    • Item location.  I typically only buy from the US and am especially wary of items from Asia as they tend to have a higher likelihood of being a fake (from my experience at least).
    • Photos.  Look closely and feel free to ask for more.
  • Pay attention to the description of the item. If they sellers says there are defects, make sure you look closely at the pictures. Usually they include the defects but don’t hesitate to ask the seller questions or for additional information.  You want to be as informed as possible when making a purchase on ebay because often times you cannot returnTips for shopping on ebay!.

 

  • Add to your watch list.  This enables you to keep track of an item without bidding on it.  ebay will notify you when the auction is about to end so you can bid if you still want the item.
  • Pay attention to buying options.  In this example there is an auction and a buy it now option.  Buy it now is similar to purchasing something on any other retail site.  An Auction is a little different and can be tricky.
  • Auction Tips:
    • Determine your top number and stick to your guns.  It is so easy to get caught up in the moment during an auction. your competitive nature kicks in an you just want to win but try your best to stick to your top number, if you don’t win this auction I bet (no pun intended) there will be another purse/pair of sunglasses/dress on ebay.
    • With ebay’s automatic bidding, you can put in your top bid and ebay will actually raise your bid up to that point during the auction.  So for example lets say the starting bid is $95 and you tell ebay your top bid is $120, ebay will make you the high bidder at $96.  Then if someone else bids $110 it will automatically put you as the top bidder at $111 until it gets to your top bid of $120.
    • If the Buy it now price is within your range of what you’d like to pay and you really want the item, going with the Buy It Now option will ensure you get the item.

There is so much to cover but I think those are the most important points!  Please let me know if you have any questions!

Happy Shopping! XOXO

Annie

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