pop quiz and crispy kale

Good Morning.  To start things off today, I have a little pop quiz for you.  Leave your answer (and/or suggested story) in the comments.  Best answer just might win a prize!

How did Josh wind up in the Emergency Room last night looking so drugged?

the powers of percocet and good friends who work at the hospital at work
A. He broke his arm wrestling a giant fish from the retaining pond in our neighborhood.

B. He broke his arm when he stopped a speeding car by giving it the "Heisman."

C. He broke his arm when he carried a four little old ladies from a burning building.

D. Annie is too wonderful a wife to tell how he actually broke his arm, but she is glad he's OK and glad we got to cross a visit to the UNC Hospital ER off our bucket list before me move!

I'm sure you will all have fabulous answers to the quiz and I can't wait to hear them.  I do have to say that we have the most amazing friends in the world here in Chapel Hill.  Within an hour of Josh getting hurt, Dr. Edward came to our house to give him the once over.  Within a few minutes we were on the way to the ER with an X-ray already ordered.  At the ER we were met by our other good friend, Dr. James who got Josh right through the system, medicated, drained, and back home within 2.5 hours- a record in the world of Emergency Rooms.  Thank you to both of our favorite orthopedic docs in North Carolina.  Y'all are amazing doctors and even better friends.  

In other news, I have a recipe for crispy kale for you today that is delicious.  You have probably been hearing/reading/seeing people talk about how wonderful kale is for a long time.  If you are like me though, you have been avoiding it because of the weird texture, because you didn't know what to do with kale, or because you thought everyone who was making it was a health nut and didn't care about taste.  Well my friends, Josh and I bit the bullet a few weeks ago and bought some kale.  We experimented with a few different ways of using it (sauteed, in a smoothie, or crispy roasted in the oven) and now we are hooked.  

If you are new to kale and a little uncertain, try this recipe.  The kale comes out lightly browned and crispy and it is absolutely delicious sprinkled with a touch of sea salt.   I have served it as a side with black beans and rice and pork, instead of spinach with my chicken piccata, or just on it's own for a quick healthy snack.  

Crispy Kale

  • 1 large bunch of kale, leaves removed from stems
  • Olive oil 
  • 1 tsp. garlic, chopped (I use the pre-chopped kind from the grocery store)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. After washing and drying, place the kale leaves in a large bowl.
  3. Drizzle enough olive oil to lightly coat the leaves.  (Too much olive oil will make them burn- really, start with just a little olive oil and add more if you need it.) Add chopped garlic and toss to combine.
  4. Spread kale onto a lined baking sheet and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes.  When the kale comes out of the oven, sprinkle very lightly with additional salt if desired.  (Ours is usually so flavorful from the garlic, olive oil, and the little bit of salt and pepper pre-baking that we don't use more salt, so add more sparingly.)


a weekend away

Hello!  First of all, thank you for bearing with me during my week of radio silence.  Exams are over, and now only one more paper stands between me and graduation.  CRAZY!

Remember a few weeks ago when I posted that I was dreaming of vacation?  Well, that very same day, Josh and I got a phone call offering us a weekend get-away in Charlottesville, Virginia.  While the timing didn't seem ideal (it was the weekend before my two exams), it turned out to be the perfect pre-exams treat. The weekend was a mix of relaxation and activity, and I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful trip.  As fair warning, there are LOTS of pictures in this post...the weekend had so many highlights and our hotel grounds were absolutely beautiful... I just couldn't help myself!
keswick hall
view from our room
rainy day by the pool

molton brown toiletries...my favorite!
Friday evening, Josh and I attended a dinner and program at Monticello.  This was the primary reason for our last minute trip, and it was an incredible experience.  After cocktails and dinner, with Monticello as our backdrop, we heard from John Meacham, the author of "The Art of Power," a new book about Thomas Jefferson.  It was a beautiful evening and an experience that neither of us will soon forget.
monticello in the rain 
 in front of monticello in the rain...we were the ONLY people taking pictures, so I think the fact that we stood in the rain in black tie for a picture earned us a few raised eyebrows and chuckles. 
tent on the lawn

centerpieces at dinner
beautiful water colored program cover 
a quick shot inside monticello after dinner...little did we know there was an entire bus of people 40 years our senior waiting for us while we explored the house...oops!
Saturday, the rain storm passed, and Josh and I spent the day relaxing and exploring our hotel.  Keswick Hall is an old manor home that has been converted into a hotel and club.  The hotel keeps bikes for guests to use while exploring the hotel, and we made good use of this amenity.  After a quick breakfast, Josh and I grabbed some bikes and went on what the hotel dubbed the "Ultimate Scenic Tour."  While it was a little more strenuous than we anticipated (hello hills of Central Virginia), it was the perfect way to enjoy an absolutely beautiful morning.
view of keswick hall with momma duck and ducklings in the foreground
sampling of the beautiful flowers that were blooming EVERYWHERE
stopping for a quick rest 
After our bike tour, we headed into Charlottesville to grab sandwiches at Josh's favorite...Bellaire Market.  We ran into multiple friends (very randomly) while we were there so we felt like we had found the local "hot spot."  We ate a very light lunch because as soon as we got back to the hotel, Josh humored me with afternoon tea.  One of my very FAVORITE things about traveling in Europe is the tradition of having tea.  When I found out Keswick Hall served an afternoon tea on Saturdays, we signed up immediately. 

tea snacks

devonshire cream, jam, lemon curd for our tea snacks

tea time

josh REALLY humoring me here...tea time and photographic evidence!
After recovering from our food coma, we headed into downtown Charlottesville for dinner.  Charlottesville has an area downtown called the Pedestrian Mall, and it was packed with people enjoying the relatively warm night, a concert, and a market of local artisans.  We found a small restaurant called Bizou and completed our day of eating, eating and eating.

shrimp and grits
Sunday morning we met up with Josh's fraternity brother D.G. and his wife Chelsea.  We grabbed bagels at Bodo's and enjoyed the chance to catch up.  We hit the road early since I had finals looming, AND, I really wanted time to stop by the J Crew Clearance store in Lynchburg.  I had only heard rumors of the store until last Sunday, and I am so glad we stopped to confirm them!  The J Crew Clearance store is not a factory or an outlet store.  It is one of a few places in the country that J Crew sends actual items and sells them at a deep discount.  I'm talking skinny jeans for $35 plus an additional 35% off for the spring sale, and an extra 15% off with my student discount.  If you are ever near Lynchburg, it is well worth the few minute drive off the highway to check this place out. 

we found kelsey and edward there as well...AND, this picture should actually be titled 3L year- kelsey had an exam the next morning and mine was 36 hours later...our 1L selves would be so proud.  
my loot...3 shirts, 2 colored denim pants, jewelry and 1 pair of blue suede shoes
While I must admit I was a little nervous to take this impromptu trip, being on the "other side" of those finals I can say I am so glad we did.  We have lots of change and transitions coming up, along with lots more studying for the bar this summer, and this weekend away was the perfect re-charge.  

Thanks for bearing with me through a long post and lots of catch ups.  I hope you all had a wonderful week and a relaxing weekend!


exam time

Happy Monday.  The time has finally come for my two exams within 36 hours.  SO... I'm taking a short break from the blogging until later this week so I can make sure I have my head on straight.  I promise to be back with a recap of an amazing weekend away (hence the extra need to study now.)  Have a wonderful week loves!  



friday finds: maxi dresses

Happy Friday!  I have officially completed my LAST day of school...ever!  What a crazy feeling.  Just a quick collage of our unofficial last day celebrations.  Mimosas and petit fours with wonderful friends. MUCH more celebrating to come!
LOVE to you all: Whitney, Virginia, KK, Kelsey and Heather and Lauren (not pictured, but we will remedy that later!)
The end of school always makes me dream of summertime, pools, cold drinks, and clothes that keep me from melting in the Florida humidity.  Enter the maxi dress.  While I can't claim to own too many maxi dresses, I'm thinking some of these just might need to be mine.  Now the trouble is in picking just one...

::  SOLIDS  :: 
I love these solid options!  These would be great to grab with your favorite flats and simple jewelry for day, or a more bold necklace for night. 

 one / two / three

::  PATTERNS  ::
I am swooning over these options...literally no words.  If you twisted my arm and made me choose, I think it would be the first "watercolor" option.  BUT, the Mara Hoffman pattern (middle) is so chic and bold that I can hardly stand it.

one / two / three

::  STRIPES  :: 
You all know I love a good stripe and how GREAT are these options?!  I am loving the short sleeve green and the cute backs on the ella moss and black and white stripes.  I have at least 10 striped shirts in my life so it seems perfectly reasonable that all three of these dresses should be in my life as well, no?!

one / two / three
This Jenni Kayne dress is not necessarily one to wear with sandals poolside (at least not on my budget), but I do love it and I had to share it here.  Pink on pink and perfectly tailored!

jenni kayne

Do you have a favorite maxi dress for the spring/summer?


dinner with sheri castle

In my weekend recap on Monday, I mentioned we had an amazing "adults" birthday dinner for Cotton and Josh last week.  Well, today I am so excited to tell you more about it!

My sister in law, May, called me a few weeks ago to say she had a surprise planned for dinner.  While I wasn't sure what the surprise would entail, I knew we had a date, time, and location- our kitchen!  A few days later she unveiled the surprise...Sheri Castle was coming to give us a cooking lesson and make dinner.
our menu for the evening
Some of you may know Sheri from her recipes and expert opinions that have been featured in the USA Today, the Washington Post, or Garden and Gun.  Others may recognize her as one of the chefs from the cooking school at Southern Season in Chapel Hill or as the author of "The New Southern Garden" cookbook.  I, however, know her from her recipes in Southern Living.  The woman is a cooking genius and to say I was star struck wouldn't be an understatement.  
Sheri with an warm antipasti appetizer
When Sheri arrived she was so sweet, and in true southern style, she began chatting like we had known each other forever right away.  She got to work unloading and setting up all of her own supplies in our tiny, tiny, tiny, kitchen.  While she asked us about our upcoming move, Sheri prepped a pork loin wrapped in pancetta and a warm appetizer for us to enjoy.  Cotton and May arrived shortly after and the real cooking lesson began.
diligently learning about our meal
food prep
One thing that continuously impressed me about Sheri was her knowledge of food, chemistry, and ingredients.  She truly has a gift for combining flavors and understanding how different textures, tastes, and smells will complement one another.  She was also amazingly helpful with little things- like where to buy everyday use olive oil and where to buy very good (like only use a tsp. at a time) balsamic vinegar.
spinach and roasted red pepper salad with hot olive oil vinaigrette
pork loin wrapped in pancetta
Dinner was a wonderful experience made even better because we saw first hand how thoughtfully it was prepared.  Check out Sheri's website here and look for her recipe for tomato pie in next month's issue of Southern Living.
pork loin drizzled with balsalmic
delicious dinner...this is the only picture of the herbed cannellini beans I seem to have.  although they are out of focus, they were delicious...and even better the next day!
Thank you to Sheri for helping us celebrate, and thank you to May for arranging such a wonderful evening!  It will be one that Josh and I cherish for a long time to come.  

As a quick "PS," I am about the head to my last day of school ever.  It's been a wonderful three years (tempered with, as my friend Virginia says, some not so wonderful times ) and I'm so thankful for the friends I have made.  While Gator blue will always be my first love, Carolina blue definitely holds a special place in my heart now as well.


dreaming of vacation

Good Morning!  I'm taking a quick break from the wedding registry posts today, but not to worry- I should be back next week with more tips.  In the meantime, I am studying away with one week left until my finals are over (hence the "should be" back next week- my last final is a week from today.)

While I have been sitting here reviewing all matters legal, I would be lying if I said I didn't occasionally slip into a daydream about taking a vacation.  Lately, my dreams have focused on vacations of the beach variety.  Tropical, European, or Caribbean...I'm not picky.  Anywhere in particular you have been dreaming of visiting?





All images via