Monday, February 28, 2011

"This is going to be great"

"This is going to be great"

I think this was the perfect way for Dr. Richardson to end his toast at Anna and Steven's engagement party this past weekend. The home, hosts, food, company, and couple were all wonderful. As made evident by the photos to follow we spent a good deal of time in the "Man Cave" at the hosts' house ( Note: the decor & animals on the wall):
The beautiful/delicious cake. I am taking my cake tasting duties very seriously
Blair, Sarah, and Whitner 
Dr. Richardson's sweet toast to Anna and Steven
Girls in the "Man Cave" (Wood paneling, hunting panting, etc.)
The mysterious animal that no one could correctly identify is behind Blair and I in this picture. Any ideas!?
It was a beautiful party and it was so exciting to see everyone in celebration of Anna and Steven. Can't wait for the festivities to continue, thanks for reading!


Friday, February 25, 2011

She Said "Yes"!

As a part of the "blogging world' (which I love, don't get me wrong), part of what I have learned is that it can get a little creepy. Allow me to explain...

Several of my friends and I will be celebrating Anna and Steven's engagement this weekend and I have been trying to come up with the perfect pre-engagement party blog post for you all (you're welcome). So, as I was "following" another blog, I stumbled across this gem. An engagement photo shoot. That's right, this planner extraordinaire of a fiance arranged for a professional photographer to follow him and his unsuspecting girlfriend and capture every moment on film. You can read about it on the photographer's blog but here is my favorite:

So, keep in mind that I have NO idea who these people are, that does not however, stop me from oooh-ing and awww-ing over how great these photos are of this couple. Me=Creepy. Anyway, in the spirit of celebrating Anna and Steven I thought that this would be a sweet start to your weekend, thanks for reading!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Let there be Cake

I have mentioned before that I love to bake. My skills however cannot even begin to compete with those of my friends Katy and Meagan. As semi-professional bakers, Katy and Meagan have offered to make the cakes for my friends Ashley and Anna's weddings (getting confused yet?).

This is good news for the rest of the Columbia girls because it means that every birthday between now and Ashley and Anna's weddings in August and October (respectively) is a cake trial-run. Yup, that's right, practice cakes galore.

Last night was our first "practice cake" meeting for Valerie's birthday and I would judge it as a complete success. Sadly, I left my camera at home so could not capture the deliciousness that was the chocolate velvet/homemade cream cheese icing but lets just say I ate more than my share and probably looked a little something like this:

It was that good.
So, maybe I should be embarrassed/slightly ill from my cake-eating experience last night; but I am not, not even a little bit, in fact, I am thrilled. I am thrilled because sweet Martha's birthday is only a few short days away! Let there be cake!

Thanks for reading!


Monday, February 21, 2011

A Rocky Top Time

A picture narration of the Knoxville weekend, enjoy!
Thursday night we went to a DuMol wine tasting at Chez Liberty with Blair's parents; it was delicious and so much fun. My favorites of the whites were the Russian River Chardonnay and the Isobel Chardonnay (also a favorite of the vineyard owner, way to go me!).
The reds. So. Many. Glasses. Too. Scared. To. Move.
Friday: Ok so in this picture Blair is maybe less than super thrilled that I am taking his picture while he is trying on his penguin suit. Oh well.
Friday night dinner at the Reath house, equally, if not more delicious than our Thursday night dinner. Here Blair and his dad are posted up at the grill cooking lamb, sooo good!
Lisa, Aunt Sara, and Blair causing chaos in the kitchen
Blair's cousin Jackson and his trains. I think Thomas and Henry were the two that joined us for dinner on Friday. Thomas is the color "boo" and Henry is "siver". A-dor-able.
Before the Knoxville Mens' Cotillion...aka Prom 2K11
Kevin, Evan, Blair, and John. Some of his best friends from high school and fellow penguins.
Kevin, Bugs, me, Penguin (This photo was taken pre-dancefloor takeover. Literally, we took over. Sorry fellow cotillion attendees!)
Hope you all had a great weekend as well, thanks for reading!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Orange You Glad?

Yep. I own this much orange.
When I was applying to colleges I distinctly remember my father saying "Mary, you just can't go anywhere orange" (Auburn, Tennessee, Florida, Clemson...I think that's all the orange that Bulldog fans hate). Anyway, when Blair and I started dating my dad was then asking the normal dad/interrogator questions and I was just waiting for it:

Dad: Well, where is he from?
Me: Knoxville.
Dad: Ohhh...Is he, you know, a Tennessee fan?
Me: Yep.
Dad: Well, everyone has their flaws.

I think about this conversation every time that I travel to Knoxville, a city that I have been more than pleasantly surprised by. Blair and I are traveling there this weekend as he is being presented as a part of the Knoxville Mens' Cotillion (Laura calls this Blair's "Coming out party") and I am sure Blair and I will fall back into our normal Knoxville routine, this includes:

1. Lunch at Soccer Taco. In addition to being a fried pickle, ice cream, grilled cheese, and baked goods connoisseur, I LOVE Mexican food and Soccer Taco never disappoints. They know Blair at this restaurant and it is always fun to visit/roll myself out the door when we are finished eating.
You really can't go wrong here.
2. Hopefully (but not always) after we are feeling uncomfortably full from our lunch, Blair and I go for a walk around Northshore Park. It is beautiful and there are always families, dogs, serious runners [over-achievers] out and about.

View from the top of one of the many ginormous average hills...

3. Typically following a delicious home-cooked meal at the Reath house, Blair and I travel down to "the strip" to meet up with his friends from high school. This is a group of about 10 guys or so and when they reunite it is bound to be entertaining...and maybe a lot of trouble...
The Old College Inn, the usual stomping grounds
I know Blair is really excited about this weekend and I sure it will not disappoint. And I promise to pack a very moderate amount of orange. Can't wait to report back and thanks for reading!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Love, Actually

I hope everyone had a very loving Valentine's Day! Here are few snapshots of the Yellow House's Valentine's Day party...

The Yellow House

Valentine, me, Stevens, Meredith ("Grown-Up Fall House" alum)


Valentine, 5 years running

Can gives Valentines Day a thumbs up!
Blair and I celebrated Valentine's Day on Saturday by going out to dinner but since we live in different cities I spent the actual day feeling the love with flowers from Mom, cards from Mom & Dad, leftovers from Valerie's birthday party and watching "The Bachelor" with Anna. A pretty sweet day if I do say so myself.

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

"My name is Thomas"

My dad told me this story Thursday night and I could not wait to share. Thomas, a sophomore at the local high school was on a ski trip with his Boy Scout Troop in Asheville, N.C.. Not skiing very fast, Thomas was on the "bunny slope" and for no apparent reason, fell into the snow and was unable to move. He was rushed to a local hospital where it was discovered that Thomas had suffered a massive brain trauma; all of the nerves in the back of Thomas' brain had "sheared".

Thomas was then transported to the trauma unit at Grady Hospital in Atlanta, GA. My dad explained to me that for the past few days Thomas has been breathing from a ventilator, eyes closed, and unresponsive. Following a very powerful (and crowded, according to my father) prayer meeting at the church, there has been a continuous outpouring of love, prayer, and support from the community as Thomas' family was clinging to any and all positive news from his doctors.

For no obvious reason [miracle], Thomas' eyes opened and he began to respond to the doctors' commands, "stick out your tongue", "blink your eyes", etc.. Thomas' doctors then asked him, "Do you know your name?", he responded "My name is Thomas".

Amazing. Amazing for Thomas, his family, his doctors, the church, and a spectacular example of the power of prayer and hope. His name is Thomas.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, February 11, 2011


This is just an example of the kinds of things that happen in my office...

This morning I walked into the break room to prepare my daily cup of coffee. As I opened the cabinet where the creamer is kept I noticed a sort of "sign up sheet" that was posted by our office "Wellness Committee" where employees can write in their health/fitness concerns. The first request went something like this...
  1. Please suggest some healthy late night snacks that will satisfy my hunger cravings but won't pack on the pounds. I have set this as a goal for myself for years and have never managed to achieve it. Any and all suggestions are welcome.
(This is obviously someone's legitimate concern and they are reaching out for help, bravo! The second request read exactly like this...)

    2.    How to grow more hair on my back.

Just your average inner-office antics. TGIF. Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Just "Husk" It

I often read The New York Times "Dining & Wine" section feeling quite sad as I don't think I will ever eat at half of the restaurants they are discussing, however, this morning I practically jumped out of my chair as there is an article about "Husk" (Charleston, SC) on the front page, woop woop!

After a looong run around the Battery on the morning of New Year's Eve, my Aunt Susan and I had a busy day visiting the Charleston Museum (my old stomping grounds as an intern one summer in college) and the Aiken-Rhett House. I suppose at this point you can probably tell that my infatuation for all things history-related is genetic. Anyway, at about 2:00 we were famished. We had reservations for a late lunch and I was so hungry I wanted to run up the stairs, past our hostess to get to our table. It would have been moritifying for Aunt Susan worth it...

We had the:
  • Fried Bread & Butter Pickles with Tarragon Cream (I am a fried pickle connoisseur and these were A-maz-ing)
  • HUSK Cheeseburger, Chipped Fries (This is what I ordered for a meal, I was desperately craving a cheeseburger and this did not disappoint, maybe the best cheeseburger I have ever had and that is saying alot)
  • VA Lamb BBQ Sandwich, Vinegar Sauce, Joseph Fields Cabbage and Carrot Slaw, Chipped Fries (This is what Aunt Susan ordered and I had extreme order envy)
And yes, in case you were wondering, I did search their menu archives in order to provide you all with a complete, and accurate description of our meal that day. You're welcome.

All of "Husk"'s ingredients a fresh, and Southern grown. It is truly a "farm-to-table" sort of place, which I love. Their wine list is also divided up by the sort of soil that the grapes are grown in, sort of a fun feature. Also, their menu changes everyday depending on the market so I am dying to go back and try something else. The decor, conversation, and experience we fantastic so I highly recommend it. Um, and they serve brunch on Sundays, what is not to like!?!

Thanks for reading & happy eating!


Monday, February 7, 2011

Coffee Coma

I think I accidentally drank from the decaf pot this morning (I also may or may not have stayed up after the Super Bowl to watch the new "Glee" episode). Anyway, I feel like this...
Thanks Monday.
Hope you all a great weekend and are feeling more awake than I am; thanks for reading!


Friday, February 4, 2011

Say It Ain't So!

Friday Night Lights will air its series finale next Friday. Attention to readers in the Columbia area, if you have DirectTV I will be waiting on your doorstep, popcorn/box of tissues in hand. If you have never watched this show, you are seriously missing out.

"Texas Forever"
I have never been to Texas, my high school did not have a football team, I am not attractive enough to be on this television show but man oh man, when I get my hands on some DVDs of this I am out of commission for hours [days]. Something about it is addicting and I will be sad to see it go. Alas, the final season will air again on NBC this Spring and come out of DVD (hint hint). Until then, "Clear heads, full hearts, can't lose!" (The phrase Coach Taylor/team say prior to leaving the locker room before every game...sigh). Have a great weekend and thanks for reading!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Is it the Ponytail!?!

Ok, this has happened to me twice now; I have mentioned before that I like to run. However, apparently after I run I am completely unrecognizable to people from my office...

Incident #1: I am staring aimlessly at the milk/yogurt section of my neighborhood Piggly Wiggly (post-gym: hair up, shorts, tennis shoes, etc.) I sense that someone else is now equally as lost in the dairy section and turn around to discover that the person standing behind me is one of the men from my office...

Me: HEY! (I say it this enthusiastically because I recognize this person)
Co-Worker: Hey...? (They say it this way because I am now the crazy girl greeting people in the grocery store)
Me: [It has now dawned on me that this person, for at least a second, didn't know who I was, self-esteem is now plummeting...] How are ya?
Co-Worker: I need fat free half and half.
(They grab this off the shelf)
Me: Check!
Co-Worker: What?
Me: You know, "check", like you are checking it off the list? (I make the motion of a check with my hand, in hindsight, this was too much)...[Bye dignity]
Co-Worker: Oh yea...Ha. [Walking away]
Me: Bye! See you tomorrow!
Co-Worker: [Already in the check-out line...]


Incident #2: Waiting in the line for the water fountain at the gym sandwiched between two body builders. Gulp down some water because I know people are waiting in line behind me, turn around smack into another co-worker...

Me: Hey there!
Co-Worker:...[Long pause] Hey...whats up?
Me: ("Whats up?" by the way, is clearly what you say when you have no idea who someone is) Oh nothing, just waiting on my roommate to get done with her workout class.
Co-Worker: Cool [Walks off]

I didn't even have time to make a weird, uncomfortable joke. My roommates insist my "co-workers" don't recognize me because I wear my hair up when I run and I wear it down to work everyday. I have a hard time believing that it is just the ponytail that makes my co-workers, people I see 5 days a week, multiple times a day, look at me like I just landed from another planet. Oh well, thanks for reading!