Cue the cute blogging linkup courtesy of Christina of Carolina Charm, Darci of The Good Life, April of A. Liz Adventures, and Natasha of Hello! Happiness
1. Kohls. After getting several gift cards to the store for my birthday (thanks Grandpa, Grandma, and Aunt Judy!), I felt a hole burning in my pocket. With their scratch-off 15/20/30% off coupons, constant sales, and ridiculously marked up original prices, that store really knows how to getcha! However, I love that I can buy nice workout gear on sale and get a crock-pot in the same trip! In fact, that's exactly what I did! I've already gotten great use out of all three pairs of dri-FIT capris (great alternative to the Norts I've been rocking to the gym every day- especially for yoga!). As for the crock-pot, it will certainly get lots of use in a few weeks, when I go back to Clemson. These are just a few of the recipes I've pinned onto my "Actually Make This Food" board. To get to the recipe and the source of the image, just click on the pictures.
Shell noodles plus cheese always equals a win in my book! As soon as it gets a little chilly outside, I'm making this minestrone.
You better believe I'll be making this soon! Irish oats are super yummy, and I feel like a dollop of Cool Whip would transform this from breakfast to dessert!
My mom stumbled upon Jane's Potato Soup in her Paula Deen magazine, and it's been a family favorite ever since. We even had some of this hot, creamy goodness this summer!
2. Christmas in July. On Wednesday, the girls and I celebrated the most wonderful time of the year... Except seven months late (or five months early!). We baked my family's sacred roll-out, cut-out Christmas cookies, watched feel-good Christmas flicks, and drank hot chocolate (with mini marshmallows, of course!) with lunch. The whole day was a lot more work than popping some Pillsbury Break n Bakes on a baking sheet in the oven, but the girls' happiness made it totally worth it (okay, you caught me- the delicious cookies helped, too).
My happy little elves :) Shout-out to my sweet mama for taking this picture and taking the time to get to know my favorite ten year olds!
3. "Blackfish". When John and I went to see "The Way Way Back", I mentioned that we went to an obscure theater. That means the previews we saw weren't for the next Jen Aniston/ Adam Sandler movie (man, I hope that never happens again). My favorite preview was for "Blackfish"- a riveting documentary about orcas, or "killer whales". Tilikum, Sea World's star orca, made the "killer whale" thing quite literal. He's killed three people- something orcas in the wild have never done. The movie explores the death of several Sea World trainers. Although these deaths were first just blamed on trainers' mistakes, the director of "Blackfish" unveils that there may be more to the story. I. Must. See. This. Movie. Which means I'll probably have to come back to Charlotte to see it at the Manor Twin when it comes August 23.
Even the film poster is intimidating and a little creepy!
4. Friend time! If you were a girl scout, or just loved camp fire songs, you may remember the little ditty "Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, and the other's gold." I really lived by this tune this week, seeing close friends for the first time in over a year (!), and spending time with newer friends.
The beginning of this week was jam-packed with reunions for me! Two of my dearest guy-friends growing up, Seth and Luke, and my first college roommate, Madison, came over Tuesday night. It was fun to catch up and hear about their exciting adventures since the last time we'd seen each other. Luke went to Kenya, and Seth and Madison studied abroad in Spain (and still read my blog- they rock!), so we definitely weren't short of conversation topics! If we didn't have work early the next morning, we could have easily chatted the night away!
You know what they say: Friends that plant trees as their senior project together, stay together. Seth, Madison ,and I beautify our town.
The next day, I caught up with fellow Tiger and, again, a good friend growing up, Laura. We had dinner and saw "The Heat", starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, and it was hilarious. There were several doubled-over laughing moments, and if you can handle McCarthy's potty mouth (kind of necessary for her crazy character), I totally recommend it.
Not wanting to forget about the "new friends" part of the song, John and I went out with a couple of his intern friends. When I say couple, I mean an actual dating-couple. Mitch and Alyse both worked with John, and last night, we joined them at Dandelions, a cool tapas bar is Charlotte. I'd never really done rounds of tapas, AKA just a fancy word for foods made in portions meant to share, but it was a neat experience. While I'm not one to eat lamb lollipops or fancy sliders (burgers aren't my thing), I did try a lot of new foods, and it was a unique and refreshing night out.
5. Family time! Last week, my family and I ate dinner all together twice in a row, which may be our summer record! With Corey going fly-fishing in Boone on the weekends, me going to cycling classes after work, and my parents' busy schedule, it's been rare for us to sit down at the table at one time and share a meal.
Let me be the first to say that this image, while not mine, does not do this taco cornbread casserole ANY justice. It's scrumptious, and our whole family liked it, which is probably a bigger feat than actually getting us all at the same table at the same time....