Thursday, June 30

thread cravings. - stripes.

ok first y'all I need to apologize for being MIA this week ... blogger has been really frustrating me and I haven't had much patience. blogger seems to be cooperating now ... let's hope it keeps up! 

now onto those wonderful threads that I'm currently craving ... STRIPES. y'all I just love them! and what a perfect time of the year to be wearing them ... july 4th weekend! 

here's some that I'm loving right now ... 
{I just realized these are all blue ... clearly I'm thinking of outfits for the weekend! :)}

what about you? do you love stripes? what's your favorite way to wear them?
xo, L.

Monday, June 27

monday munchies. - July 4th edition.

I'm so excited about the 4th y'all! It's definitely one of my favorite holidays of the year and this year we'll be at the beach with friends and family! Sounds pretty perfect, right?! 

There will definitely be some all American cookout action happening ... now the decision is ... burgers? chicken? or ribs? 

And what would a cookout be without some July 4th themed sweets?!

Or without some super cute red, white & blue decor?!

What are your plans for the 4th? What's your favorite way to celebrate Independence Day?! 
xo, L.

Friday, June 24

friday fancying. - birthday edition.

The BIG 2-8! 
I'm excited to see what this year has in store for me! 

And I'm REAL excited about this weekend! 

Tonight it's a casual dinner on the patio of my fave Mexican restaurant in town! 

But tomorrow we're heading to Chef & the Farmer
And if I happened to win the lotto for my bday, THIS is what I'd be wearing! :) 
Happy Friday Y'all!
Hope your weekend is SPECTACULAR! 
xo, L. 

{av's} doing something a little different than usual ... each week there's a friendly competition between all the ladies that link up ... so go over and like my Friday's Fancies!?! :) 
{puhpuhpuhplease? it is my bday after all! ;)}

**linking up with**

Thursday, June 23

thread cravings. - bday dress.

OK y'all, first things first ... CHECK OUT MY ROCKIN' NEW BLOG DESIGN! Jessica over at Creative Index {and my new blogland bestie} created it for me and it ROCKS MY SOCKS OFF. We're still working out some kinks but I do hope you love it as much as I do!!!

Next question ...
Are y'all SO OVER my birthday?! I promise it's almost over! ALMOST

We're going to this farm-to-table restaurant on Saturday night with a bunch of friends to celebrate and I am most excited! I've heard AWESOME things about Chef & The Farmer but have yet to experience all of the yumminess of their menu myself! 

And don't y'all think that a new dress would just make the experience THAT much better?!! :) 

Here's just a few that I'm loving ... 

So what do y'all think?!
Do you love getting bday dresses?
Or is it just me?! :) 
xo, L.

Wednesday, June 22

wednesday loves.

lots of loves on this birthday week of mine. 

~ first, that I've been celebrating my birthday ALL week! :) 

~ this fab farm to table restaurant where we'll be celebrating the beginning of my 28th year of life on Saturday night! 

~ our DELISH CSA deliveries! Last week was our first week and I'm TOO excited for the rest of the summer! :) 

~ and finally that my SWEET hubs has surprised me with a sweet treat every night this week! 
{cupcakes mostly!}

Happy Humpday Y'all! 
**linking up with Jamie!**

Tuesday, June 21

a wedding story. - keep calm & carry on.

Oh y'all I'm TOO excited about our guest blogger today!!! This girl and I have really hit it off through blogland and I just ADORE her! 
And her wedding? WOWZA. 

Hello lovelies! My name is Katie and I blog over at Keep Calm and Carry On. I've guest posted for Lauren before and am so happy she has decided to have me back {or is she crazy?! ;)} I'm really excited to show you little portions of my wedding day with Lauren's wedding series! She's so creative, isn't she?
Billy and I were married on August 28, 2010. We have been dating for almost 7 years {married almost 1..woo-hoo!} and met my freshman year in college. After college, he moved from his hometown in Cleveland, Ohio to where I grew up in Columbus, Ohio. We got married in a beautiful church and had the reception at a nice country club in the same town. The country club was just recently renovated and so everything was really new and modern.
We had a *LOVEBIRD* theme for our wedding, which you will get a glimpse of in these pictures! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! :)
I'm in love with the color red so I knew I had to wear some bright red heels!
Leading up to our ceremony and reception, we spent the day at the country club where they had seperate men and ladies locker rooms. The locker rooms were stocked with beer, appetizers, flat screen tv's, and a pool table for the boys to play while hanging around! My girls and I enjoyed mimosas and fresh fruit while getting our hair and make up done. I remember watching my florist start to set up the dining room with our flowers and vintage birdcages and getting so excited!

Here is a look at our florals & our lovebird theme. As you can see, we had vintage birdcages hung from the ceiling with flowers pouring out of them! For the name card table, my florist made rustic branches with flowers sitting in them and the name cards sat below the "trees". The room where we had our reception has a panoramic view of a waterfall and of the 18th hole on the golf course can see some of the huge windows in the picture with our centerpieces.

Our wedding party consisted of 7 bridesmaids, 7 groomsmen, 2 flower girls, and 1 ring bearer :) We felt so blessed to have all of our best friends & family be a big part of our special day.
Well, I have really enjoyed recreating my wedding day with all of you! It was a magical day for both of us. I hope you liked looking at our pictures and don't forget to come say HI to me over on my blog! A big thank you to Lauren for allowing me to share my wedding with her friends! :)

A 'lovebirds theme'?!!? TOO stinkin' cute! Just like Miss Katie! 
Thanks again for sharing your wedding with us girly! You were absolutely STUNNING! 

Happy Tuesday Y'all! 

Saturday, June 18

birthday wishes.

Well y'all, it's official ... 
In less than 1 week this girl will be the big 2-8 ... 
One year closer to 30 
{which I'm surprisingly excited about?}

So every gal's got to have a birthday wishlist, right? Thought I'd share mine you know just in case you were stressing about what to get me! 
{or in case hubs decides he MUST read my blog to figure out what to get me!}

Happy Saturday Y'all! 

Friday, June 17

friday fancying.

Y'all I know that I say it EVERY WEEK but this week absolutely FLEW BY for us! Maybe it's because every evening was spent working on some INTENSE cornhole boards for our Daddy's but it I can't believe it's already Friday! 

That being said ... I'm excited it is! I start dreaming up my Friday's Fancies EARLY in the week {like right after I post on Friday} and I'm excited for the outfit I've come up with this week! 

Every Father's Day we spend the day at our family lake house .. hanging out with family, taking a cruise on the boat, and of course LOTS of eating! 

And this is what I'd be wearing if that money tree would EVER start growing in my yard! :) Or of course if I could pick the right PowerBall numbers! 
I just love how the dress is a perfect cover-up but also totally acceptable for a casual outdoor BBQ when just a bikini wouldn't do! 

So what's on your plate for this weekend?! Are you doing something special for your Daddy?!

Thursday, June 16

thread cravings. - maxi skirts.

I know that I've mentioned it 10281208 a few times but I'm LOVING maxi skirts!
And I really didn't think this would be a trend that I'd get into. 

I wasn't sure this was a look I'd be able to pull off ... But y'all after my first try-on I was HOOKED. These long, flowing accoutrements are to die for ... So easy to wear with a tee, a tank, even a chambray button-down looks amazing! 

Here's some of my faves ... 
So what do y'all think about the maxi skirt? Do you have one? What's your favorite way to style it? 

Wednesday, June 15

bucket list.

Today I'm doing something a little different ... Instead of sharing what I'm currently loving, I'm linking up with Jillian over at Cornflake Dreams and sharing my Summer Bucket List. 

I think this is just the BEST idea ... After all, don't we all think that summer moves MUCH too quickly?! I know I do! 

So B and I made a Bucket List of sorts for all the things that we REALLY want to be sure to do this summer ... It's a good reminder to focus less on the ho-hum of everyday of life - bills, groceries, cleaning, etc - and to focus more on doing fun things that are just for us! :) 

Our Bucket List: 

~ read more: this one's actually all mine ... B hates to read! But I love too and really want to try to read as much as possible this summer ... less flipping channels and more flipping pages! 

~ visit Charleston: as much as we are loving our new home, we definitely both miss Charleston {I swear the city steals your heart} and we are so ready to visit again! 

~ book a vacation: we're hoping to take a vacation with some of our friends this Fall, but it seems that 'life' keeps getting in the way! I'm hoping that since it's on our Bucket List that we'll be sure to book ASAP! 

~ eat local: there's no better time to buy local veggies than the summer! and I plan to buy/cook/eat as many local products as possible this summer! 

~ start training: again, all me! I have been saying for a couple of years that I want to run a 1/2 marathon and I'm determined to start training and complete one THIS YEAR! 

So that's ours! What's on YOUR Bucket List?!

Happy Humpday Y'all! 

Tuesday, June 14

a wedding story. - from a to z.

Are y'all loving the guest posts from all these FAB ladies on their BEAUTIFUL weddings?! I know I am! I feel so lucky that everyone has been so excited to share their stories with us! 

Today Jen from From A to Z is sharing her GORGEOUS wedding with us! She was one of the first bloggers that I became friends with when we both started blogging! And she's the SWEETEST

Hey ladies!  This is Jen at From A to Z.  I have really been loving Lauren's new blog series and I'm thrilled to be a part of it!  I hope you all enjoy our wedding story and I will definitely enjoy reliving it.  Here is our wedding story in pictures.

Gabe and I were married on July 17, 2010 in a beautiful Catholic Church that is in the neighborhood we both grew up in (yes, we grew up on the same street :) ).  We had over 400 (we both have huge Italian families) of our closest family and friends there to celebrate with us.  Along with 11 bridesmaids, 11 groomsmen, 2 jr. bridesmaids, a ring bearer, and a flower girl.  We had a FULL house!
My Dad walking me down the aisle.
A few of my favorites from the ceremony.
All my ladies
 Crazy guys!
I wanted pictures at the park I used to play at but it was not really a good idea in 90 degree weather!

For the first time as husband and wife...
You can sneak a peak at my yellow shoes.
Card box, Monogram Door Hangers, Flowers (Lillies and Billy Balls), Seating Arrangements, Favors ( we also gave the traditional 5 almonds), and LOTS of cookies!
Our "fake cake" and cupcakes.  Only the top layer was real.  We made the cupcake picks.
Father-Daughter Dance
First Dance
Here are a few of my favorites from the day!
A Pre-Wedding Snack!

A little nervous before walking down the aisle!
The "D's"
They lived happily ever after - except when Mr. D doesn't put his clothes down the laundry chute!
Thanks Lauren for letting me share our Wedding story!

Ummm, LOVING those yellow shoes girly!! :) How fun! 
And those monogrammed door hangers! Too cute! 
Thanks for sharing with us Jen! 
Now y'all be sure to check out Jen's blog ... and the D's newest edition to the fam ... GUS! Cutest thing ever! 
Happy Tuesday Y'all! 

Monday, June 13

monday munchies. - burgers.

Just as soon as the weather warms up here in NC, B & I do A LOT of grilling 
{though I have been known to have him out there in the dead of winter}. 

There are few things I love more than a juicy burger off the grill ... Even when I had cut out red meat, we came close to perfecting the turkey burger. 

Now I love the standard lettuce, tomato, ketchup burger as much as anyone else but I am queen of trying to create a 'different' burger ... After all, they are the perfect blank slate to add LOADS of yummy toppings! 

Here's 3 recipes I found that I'm dying to try! And with beef, turkey & bean ... there's something for everyone! :) 

Blue-rugula Burgers

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Splash water
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
2 cloves garlic, grated
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
A handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 pound Cambazola blue cheese, thinly sliced
4 crusty rolls, split, lightly toasted
2 handfuls arugula leaves, coarsely chopped

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add onions, season with salt and pepper and cook until caramelized and sweet, about 20 minutes. Stir sugar and water into onions then add mustard, combine and turn off heat.
Combine meat with garlic, Worcestershire, parsley, salt and pepper, form 4 patties thinner at the center and thicker at the edges for even cooking. Also, the burgers will bulge as they cook, this will give the cooked burgers an even thickness. Cook patties 8 minutes turning once for medium doneness, 1 to 2 minutes less for rare patties, 1 to 2 minutes more for burgers that are medium well. In the last minute of cooking time, top burgers with a few slices of Cambozola blue.
Place burgers on bun bottoms and top with some arugula and mustard glazed onions, set tops in place.{via}

Turkey Bacon Double Cheeseburger

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling plus 1 tablespoon
8 slices turkey bacon
2 1/2 pounds ground turkey breast
2 green onions, finely chopped
A handful cilantro, leaves finely chopped
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons zest and the juice of 2 limes
1 red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, lightly drained
2 rounded tablespoon grainy mustard
8 slices pepper jack cheese, from the deli counter
4 large sandwich size English muffins, lightly toasted

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add the turkey bacon. Cook until crisp, 3 minutes on each side, remove to plate.
While the bacon cooks, combine the turkey breast, green onions, cilantro, chipotle, paprika, salt and pepper, lime zest and juice. Mix the turkey breast with seasonings and form 4 sections, from each, 2 patties. Place the first 4 patties in the pan; cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove from the skillet and place onto a plate and loosely cover with foil to keep warm
While the first batch of burgers cook heat 1 tablespoon oil in a sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and soften 3 to 4 minutes, season with salt and pepper and then add Worcestershire, brown sugar, tomatoes, and mustard. Let the sauce cook on low.
Add the second batch of burgers to the skillet and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Top with a slice of cheese and 2 pieces bacon. Tent skillet with foil and cook on low to moderate heat to melt cheese, about 1 minute.
Place burgers on muffin bottoms. Top with bacon double cheese burgers, fire roasted tomato sauce and English muffin top.{via}

Bean Burgers with Guac

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup quinoa, rinsed (see Note)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans, well drained (see Tip)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground toasted cumin seeds (see Tip)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons cornmeal, plus 1/3 cup for coating burgers
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
6 whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted
6 lettuce leaves
6 tomato slices                       
Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer, cover and cook until the water has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Uncover and let stand.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add beans, paprika and ground cumin and mash the beans to a smooth paste with a potato masher or fork. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let cool slightly. Add the quinoa, 3 tablespoons cilantro, 3 tablespoons cornmeal, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper; stir to combine.
Form the bean mash into 6 patties. Coat them evenly with the remaining 1/3 cup cornmeal and transfer to a baking sheet. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
To prepare guacamole: Mash avocado with a potato masher or fork. Stir in 2 tablespoons cilantro, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons onion, garlic, cayenne and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
Preheat oven to 200°F.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large cast-iron (or similar heavy) skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook 3 burgers until heated through and brown and crisp on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to the oven to keep warm. Cook the remaining 3 burgers with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, reducing the heat as necessary to prevent overbrowning. Serve the burgers on buns with lettuce, tomato and the guacamole. {via}

Don't they ALL look delish?! So glad we're having burgers for dinner tonight ... Because it's ALL I'm thinking about now! :) 

Happy Monday Y'all!