Five on Friday | July 29, 2016

Well hello Friday! Boy, am I happy to see you! This was an incredibly busy work week as I was simultaneously carrying two big projects so I am super glad it is Friday and I can turn down the brain activity for a little bit.

ONE

I am so looking forward to Sunday. We have tickets to see one of my absolute favorite musicians, Matt Nathanson. He is originally from the Boston area so when I was in college I got to see him a lot and he is absolutely amazing live. Since then he has gotten a bit more famous but still keeps his indie feel. This will be concert number 15-ish for me and I am so excited! I have now seen him perform in MA, NY, CT, SC, NC and PA. I even randomly met him once after a concert. My best friend and I saw him perform in Central Park and as we were walking home we bumped in to him! He was awesome and took a photo and it will always be one of my favorite moments. If you don’t know his music you MUST check him out.

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TWO

Before I took my current job in March I was working a job I really didn’t like. And it really didn’t like me either so when we parted ways it was a glorious occasion. However, there were two guys I shared a hallway with that I adored. One of them has also left that job so we now all three work at different places. We still talk often and take turns hosting the others for dinner. Last time we got together I made a strawberry cake for dessert and it didn’t occur to me that I was taking a pink cake to dinner with three guys! Oops! Well this week the hubby and I hosted the guys at our place for taco night! It was so great to see them both, and laugh a lot, like we always do when we are together! I don’t miss that job but I sure do miss seeing them every day.

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THREE

A major part of starting the blog was documenting these newlywed times since I failed to start in time to document our wedding. #LifeHappens. But I am going back and documenting it through Wedding Wednesdays. I started this week with How We Met. Go back and read it. It is a serious reminder we are never in control. And that I am stubborn to a fault. And keep coming back on Wednesdays for more!

FOUR

Have you all given in to the Pokemon craze? Well my husband and I did. It is silly, yes. But it is also fun. And we like playing together and seeing what how the other person is doing. This picture cracks me up.

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FIVE

GILMORE GIRLS HAS A RELEASE DATE! I literally screamed last night when I saw the trailer and release date. It happens to be four days after my birthday so Happy Birthday to me! I can’t wait for the new episodes. Now time to start watching the show from the beginning in preparation. Oy with the poodles already!

I met Lauren Graham once too, outside a Broadway stage door when she performed in Guys and Dolls. Sometimes I really miss the awesomeness of NYC.

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Hope everyone has a super happy weekend. Stay cool out there!

 

Linked at  A. Liz Adventures, Oh Hey Friday, High Five for Friday, A Little Bit of Everything, Friday Five

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Wedding Wednesday: How We Met

A major part of starting this blog is that I was upset with myself for not better documenting our dating, engagement and wedding planning. Since I can’t go back in time and change that I figured I would try and document as much as I can now while it is still fresh in my mind! Wedding Wednesday seems like the absolute perfect way to jump right in and play catch up.

Before we get to the wedding I thought I should back alllll the way up to when and how we met.

In the summer of 2011 I was a totally cliché 20-something female. I was single, had an amazing group of girlfriends, a job I loved and no interest in rocking the boat by dating. I was actively not dating. I had been single for about six months after a three year relationship that just wasn’t the right one and I needed a break. I was spending my days working my tail off and my nights and weekends with my friends, making dinner, watching movies, laying by the pool, drinking all the wine and laughing until our stomachs hurt. I am not exaggerating when I say that my husband gets sick of how many times my girlfriends and I tell the same stories from that year. It was a good one.

Around Memorial Day weekend I was invited to a cookout at a friends house that I had zero intention of attending. I had just gotten back from the beach and had mountains of laundry and desperately needed to go grocery shopping. But naturally I decided to procrastinate and head over to the cookout. Once I got there a friend introduced me to a wonderful woman who worked at the same place I did and I had no clue. She and I immediately hit it off and she invited me to a wine festival the following weekend. Turns out she and I had many mutual friends who were going so I joined in and boy am I glad I did.

 

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Jenn and I at the wine festival

 

 

At this wine festival our little group kept growing and shrinking as people ran in to friends and friends of friends at different tents and restaurants. Turns out a lot of us knew each other or at least knew of each other. We ran in to a guy I worked with and his new girlfriend. She introduced us to a bunch of guys she worked with. This is when Will and I met.

Now before you think it was love at first sight or anything let me tell you this is real life and not the movies. We shook hands, nice to meet you and then he walked away. And I talked to his best friend for the next 20 minutes. Seriously. I still adore his best friend, he was in our wedding and I can’t wait for his wedding in a few months. His fiancé is amazing. But yeah, Will and I said about 10 words to each other and went on our happy way.

I left that wine festival with little memory of meeting Will and definitely no plan to ever speak to him again.

Thank goodness for our friends. The lovely woman he worked with, who was dating my friend is Jenn. Jenn got to thinking a few days later about how Will and I were perfect for each other and texted me about this. Cue me rolling my eyes. I loved being single remember. But Jenn persisted and gave Will my number anyway. I was sitting at a baseball game, enjoying summer and my friends, when Jenn sent me a text that I was going on a date with Will whether I liked it or not because she KNEW we would be a great couple. One of my friends with me at the game said “what is the worst that can happen, you get free dinner.” And this is how I was convinced to go on a date with my husband.

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The Charlotte Knights baseball game when Jenn texted me

 

My only question to Jenn before I agreed to this was “how tall is he.” Yup, at 5-9 I can’t be dating any short dudes. When she answered 6-5 I knew I didn’t have a choice.

Will started texting me and we talked a little, mostly enough to schedule a first date. On the day of I tried to bail. I really didn’t want to go. But my roommate threatened to kick my ass if I passed up a date with a tall, smart (he went to Wake Forest I found out) and employed guy. So she promptly pushed me out the front door of our apartment and locked the door with the promise to send an SOS text in one hour if I needed it.

Will found me standing on the curb, and many months later would ask me why I was out there and the true story of me being locked out by my roommate would become one of the running jokes of our relationship.

We went to a beautiful dinner, drank a great bottle of wine and talked for hours. I ignored the SOS text from my roommate and we closed down the restaurant. We had the best time and the conversation was really easy. We had a ton in common, mainly our love of all sports and our careers in college athletics.

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Green Valley Grill, site of our first date

 

He dropped me off after dinner and promised to call me soon for a second date. I was leaving the next day for a week in Connecticut with family so I told him I would talk to him when I got back. That night he friended me on Facebook (welcome to dating in 2011). We did text a little while I was gone but we had dinner the very day I returned home and never looked back.

When I was single I hated when people said that as soon as you stop looking you will find someone. That drove me crazy. But in my case it was totally true. It was also true that my very stubborn nature almost got in my own way and I am very lucky to have some equally pushy friends.

Now you know how Will and I met but we have a long way to go from first date to married! Can’t wait to share more of our love story!

How did you meet your significant other?

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Hello Monday

Happy Monday! It was a quiet weekend for us. We have been busy, busy, busy and decided to take the weekend to relax, clean up the house and take it easy.

I mentioned last week we had both been short, our tanks were empty and we were both generally exhausted. Well, the reason for my general misery became painfully clear on Friday. Despite going to bed super early all last week I couldn’t get myself to feel rested. On Friday while we were out running errands I was feeling fatigued and shaky in a bad way when I realized what the problem was. My iron was dangerously low. I have been anemic my entire life but have been so good about managing it, and recognizing when it is low that my husband has never seen me have a real attack in five years. Well oops. I didn’t pay attention to my body and was in rough shape. I spent the rest of the weekend eating red meat (which I don’t really like) and peanut butter (which I love) and sleeping. Thankfully, I feel a lot better! It has been almost 10 years since I had an attack like that. So I am going back on the supplements, even though they upset my stomach, until I get back on track.

Dinner of Friday was a big help. We went to one of our favorite restaurants in town, McCoul’s Irish Pub, and got the Irish Spring Rolls stuffed with corned beef and cabbage and the shepherds pie. Both delicious! This has long been one of our favorite restaurants but we hadn’t been in a while and it was nice to see it was still delicious.

Saturday we hit up the Farmer’s Market for tons of fresh fruits and veggies and a big bouquet of beautiful flowers. I also stop at the same flower stand and I love knowing I am buying flowers from the same women who did the flowers for my wedding. Plus beautiful, fresh flowers in my house for $10 is right in my budget! We spent the remainder of the day either resting or straightening up the house. I am happy to say we officially have all wedding gifts put away!

I felt bad for skipping church on Sunday but I just couldn’t get the energy to get out of bed. Instead, I slept way later than I have in years and then laid in bed and watched House Hunters. Sometimes your body is just telling you to stop. So I listened for a change.

Later that afternoon I busted out my brand new KitchenAid stand mixer for the first time since I got it for the wedding. We also got the ice cream attachment and it seemed like the perfect time to test it out with some of the fresh peaches we got at the Farmer’s Market. Will’s parents came over for dinner, watermelon sangria and peach ice cream and it was a great way to close out the weekend.

I am still dragging a little bit this morning but I can feel my iron levels coming back and I am ready to get back on track this week! Hope everyone had a fun weekend!

Linked at B Loved Boston, The Sirois Family, Hello Monday, Let it Shine, MIMM

#SpreadLoveMailSwap

If you haven’t found your way to Rachel Tenny‘s little corner of the internet you are seriously missing out. I drool over her watercolor prints constantly but her custom work is my absolute favorite. Last year I went to visit my friend and she had one of Rachel’s bouquet prints hanging in her living room. All she had to do was send Rachel a photo of her wedding bouquet and she painted it and now is hangs beautifully in her living room.

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Via

 

I was already engaged at that point and knew right away I would be getting one done after the wedding. I am waiting on those wedding photos to get the ball rolling! I can’t wait to have this beautiful forever piece of art work of my bouquet. True story, my bouquet came from the local farmer’s market. Along with my maid of honor and one bridesmaid we got up super early that morning and headed down to the farmer’s market. We picked out our flowers that day for a fraction of the price of the florist. I loved the wildflower look and feel of our bouquets. This really only worked because there are so many options for flowers in May in North Carolina. But if you have this option I highly suggest it!

 

One other thing Rachel does that I love is the #SpreadLoveMailSwap. The idea is to send a little happy present to someone else and you get one in return. I have seen her do these but always just missed participating for some reason. But this time I saw and signed up immediately! I got this great bracelet and notepad from Stephanie and a box that absolutely exploded confetti! There is still a confetti trail from the mailbox to the front door! If you are out there Stephanie, thank you and I hope you enjoyed your package as well!

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Five on Friday | July 22, 2016

And we’re back to Friday! Is it just me or is this summer absolutely flying by! Slow down summer! I am not ready for fall just yet (although once it is here I am all about football and scarves and boots and pumpkin everything)!

ONE
I think I spent all week recovering from our amazing two-day whirlwind in Virginia. If you missed any of the recap catch up with Day 1 and Day 2. Let’s face it, I am not as young as I used to be and two days spent touring wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries wore me out! It was worth it but I am definitely looking forward to the NOTHING we have planned this weekend. Just some cleaning, laundry, sleeping in and relaxing.

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TWO

Newlywed life isn’t all sunshine and roses people. This was a tough week. Will and I got in to arguments multiple nights and just seemed to annoy each other all week. He ate my leftovers without asking. I asked too many questions about an event he didn’t have answers to. Nothing earth shattering here, we just were short. I will probably blame a good bit of that on our tanks being low. We have been busy, busy, busy here lately and I think we just need to slow down for a few days. But then I look at this wedding photo and I am all good.

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THREE

After posting my favorite Pinterest recipes this week I have been craving those lemon cookies. I think I’ll have to whip some up this weekend. What favorite Pinterest recipes do you all have?

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FOUR

We are less than two months out from the wedding and last night we finished our thank you cards! Phew! What a relief to have those done!

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FIVE

There is a new smoothie shop opening in our town this weekend and last night they did a soft launch. They opened for two hours last night and gave out FREE smoothies. Good thing I am old school and still read the newspaper which is the only place they advertised! I got a very tropical flavored one and Will got a peanut butter based one. We each ate half and then switched. What a great weeknight treat!

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Linked at  A. Liz Adventures, Oh Hey Friday, High Five for Friday, A Little Bit of Everything,

 

When Things Got Pinterest-ing

Yesterday I stumbled on this great post from Lauren at Oh Hey! I Like That! about recipes from Pinterest that she actually made and has been successful at. I loved the concept. I see tons of stuff on Pinterest fails, and I have had plenty of those too, including this one time a lemon cake exploded in my oven. But rarely have I seen a post on how many successful recipes there are. Some have to work or we wouldn’t keep going back! So here are a few that have become regulars in the Powell house!

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken Chili from Plain Chicken

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Via

No question this is number one on this list. It was one of the first things I made after I joined Pinterest and it has become something I am known for. It is requested often by friends and family and my husband can’t get enough of it. It isn’t the healthiest chili so I try and reserve it for special treats but when I do make it the leftovers don’t last!

 

Lemon Burst Cake Mix Cookies from Tidy Mom

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The Powell men love all things lemon and lime so I knew I had to try these as soon as I saw them. They have become a staple of tailgates and holidays. I have used other cake mix flavors as well but we always come back to the lemon. They are incredibly easy to make, although a little messy, but they are a favorite in our family.

 

Easy & Fast Pizza Rolls from Honey Bear Lane

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Via

 

These pizza rolls have become a staple for watching football on Sundays in the fall. They couldn’t be easier to make and since I almost always have all the ingredients in the fridge, and sauce in the freezer, they are perfect when you husband invites people over to watch the game and forgets to let you know. We mix up the ingredients and I love mine with mushrooms and olives.

 

Lemon Chicken Tortellini Soup from Sweet C’s Designs

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Via

This is a great soup to make on Sunday and then eat for lunch all week. That is what I typically do and it is warm and hearty while still very good for you. It gets better every time in my opinion.

Do you have any Pinterest recipes that have made it in the regular rotation?

Linked at Wednesday ShowcaseWonderful Wednesday,

Meet Virginia – Day 2

Hope everyone enjoyed day one of our weekend in Virginia and if you missed it catch up before I jump in to day two! It was nice that we went to bed at a decent hour on Saturday night and everyone felt pretty rested and ready for Sunday’s adventures.

Our first stop of the day was Barboursville Winery. This was one of the best tastings I have ever done. First, it was a huge tasting at a really good price. There were five stations with approximately four wines at each stop. Each person really knew their stuff and the wines were very good. The grounds are gorgeous and we had a fun time exploring the ruins of an old house that was designed by Thomas Jefferson but partially burned down. We bought a few bottles at this stop because we enjoyed it so much and they don’t distribute in our area. Our favorites were the Sauvignon Blanc Reserve, Philéo, Barbera Reserve and Brut Rosé Cuvée 1814.

On our way to the next winery we saw a sign for a cider place we hadn’t heard of but we made a u-turn and decided to give it a try. I am so glad we did because Castle Hill ended up being one of Will’s favorite stops of the trip. I had to make him cut back on his purchases he liked it so much. We brought home the Black Twig and 1764 but it could have easily been a lot more!

We got back on the road and were pretty hungry so we went to Trump Winery and decided to have lunch before our tasting. This stop was weird for us. The couple we traveled with had been there multiple times and had great tastings and really enjoyed themselves. We started with lunch and the food was really great. Will got the BLT and I got the crab cakes. Both were phenomenal, some of the best crab cakes we’ve ever had. The view from their outdoor seating area is also stunning and we were really enjoying ourselves. When we went inside for a tasting things took a turn for the worse. Then young man doing our tasting barely talked to us, was very short when we asked questions, and poured barely enough to taste. None of the wines were that good and his poor service and attitude certainly didn’t help. It also ended up being the most expensive tasting we did all weekend, with the fewest wines. We all left there in a very sour mood and had to work to get back to our happy tasting selves before the next stop.

The next stop was one I had been looking forward to since we started planning the weekend. Blenheim is owned by Dave Matthews and I love his music and his wine equally. Dave Matthews does some of the bottle artwork himself and the staff here was so friendly and helpful. Most of what you find in stores is from his California winery so it was fun to try these local Virginia ones. They had two wines on tap that came in a fun growler, and I really liked the idea of serving wine like a beer. So naturally we got one that came in the growler but we liked the rose a lot, we just had already purchased so much!

We thought we were done for the day but on the way home we saw one more cidery that we decided to pop in. Albemarle was a really cute little barn with pretty tasty ciders. We didn’t like it as much as Bold Rock or Castle Hill but we still finished our entire tasting!

After that we officially hit the road home. The ladies napped in the back seat while the guys handled the driving. In total we hit 5 wineries, 5 cideries, 1 distillery and 1 brewery. We had a great weekend and came home with tons of things to enjoy and remember the trip by.

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Have any of you done a winery tour of Virginia? Do you have any favorite spots we missed?

Linked at TuTu Tuesday,