Friday, July 29, 2011

Sand Off!

Have you heard of this product? If not, and if you live near the coast, lake or sand of any kind (even the sandbox variety), you need to get this. If you're like me, you love going to the beach, but hate the sticky sunscreen-sand feeling. Your problems end here. Sand Off! is a mitt that comes with "magic powder" that magically removes sand with one swipe. Even the wet-sunscreeny sand. We tested it out on my sweet niece, Lucy. As you can see in the video, its easy as pie and painless for kids (the sand doesn't get scratchy).

Here is our Sand Off! commercial,
starring Lucy and her Aunt Blair
*Please ignore my brother who ruined the first take, and almost ruined the second.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Beach Babies

No. I didn't leave you. Well, I did, but only for a little while. I've been on vacation for the last week out on Edisto Island. This was my family's 9th year spending vacation on Edisto together. I will say one thing about my family: we know how to have a good time. This year's Edisto trip was no exception. We ate good food, watched the babies play together, enjoyed the wonderful beach weather, and most of all, enjoyed each other's company.

Here is a little glimpse into our week at Edisto.

The food.
Everyone is responsible for dinner one night of the week. I didn't get a picture of all of the meals, but here is the nightly menu:
Monday: Mexican Lasagna
Tuesday: Hamburgers, Hotdogs, and Bratwursts with pasta salad
Wednesday: Chicken Tettrazini with cucumber and tomato salad
Thursday: Baked Spaghetti with a green salad
Friday: Frogmore Stew (my personal favorite!)
Saturday: Boston Butt, corn & avocado salad, sauteed squash and zuccini, wine marinated strawberries, 
and peach & blackberry cobbler
Sunday: ordered pizza!

My night was the Boston Butt, and although it wasn't planned (it's a long story), it turned out pretty good! The strawberries were my favorite...the recipe came from pioneer woman.

I did get one food picture
Caught Andy sneakin' a skrimp!

Other than the food, I would have to say the highlight of the week was that we saw two baby loggerhead turtles hatch. My mom actually spotted them trying to hatch out of the sand. She is "the turtle lady" after all. I have a video, but blogger won't let me upload it.

Here are some other pictures from the week

a little blurry: Emery and me about to head out to the beach. 
Nate and Brian watching the shrimp boat go by.
Lucy loves her watermelon.
little cousins in matching PJ's. Emery, Nate, and Lucy
sharing is caring.

This is way before kids, one of the first years at Edisto.

Stay tuned for a post about the amazing product Sand Off! 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Momma!

Happy Birthday to one special lady: my momma!

Who was a teenage babe.

A beautiful blushing bride.

A loving mother during the early years...

the teenage years...

and was there for me on my big day.

She's a wonderful preschool teacher.

Loves her Gamecocks and tailgating for the games.

She loves her family with all her heart, and it shows in all that she does.

Of all of her "jobs", grandma (Ra Ra) fits her best.

To celebrate this wonderful lady's day of birth, she and I got pedicures for our beach vacay in our signature color...
O.P.I's My Chihuahua Bites

As weird as it sounds, this nail polish has sentimental value to it. It was her late best friend's favorite, Mrs. Marilyn. Mrs. Marilyn was like a second mom to me, and her daughter, Kelly, was like my sister. When Mrs. Marilyn died, we were all in such shock, and we still haven't quite gotten over it. It's kind of become a tradition for us to get our nails done in this color every summer.
Kelly, Mrs. Marilyn, mom, and me.

Mom's birthday celebration continues tonight with margaritas at Taco Boy!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tasty Tuesday--Chocolate Chip Blondies

I don't know if it's our internet or blogger, but I am having serious issues posting this week! Verrrry frustrating. Which is why my Tasty Tuesday comes on a Wednesday this week.

I had been craving these for so long, so I finally looked up a recipe and made some, with just a few changes. They were delish and calmed my craving. Will definitely make them again. The recipe, found on Foodnetwork, calls these "Fleur de Sel Chocolate Chip Blondies", however, I did not have (and did not want to spend $8 on) fleur de sel, so I just used regular sea salt. Fleur de sel is French sea salt, and I'm sure it tastes better in some way, but my plain old sea salt worked just fine.

Here's what you'll need:
Plus baking soda. Forgot that in the picture.

*2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
*pinch fine sea salt, if desired
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
*1 to 1 1/2 Tablespoons fleur de sel

Preheat to 375. Grease a 9 x 13 in. jelly roll pan. Beat butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugars a little at a time. Cream for about 8 minutes, until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and sea salt (if using). Add eggs one at a time to the butter-sugar mixture. Add vanilla. Turn to low speed and slowly add flour mixture. Add chocolate chips--right about here you're mixer will sound like its really struggling because of all of the chocolate chips. Make sure you let it continue to mix until all of the chips are well distributed. Spread cookie dough onto pan, and evenly sprinkle with fleur de sel. Bake until golden brown and not wobbly in the middle, 30-35 minutes. CHECK IT AROUND 20-25 MINUTES! Mine was ready to come out around that time. Cool in pan on wire rack.

My changes:
*I didn't have unsalted butter, so I just didn't add the pinch of sea salt to the batter.
*As I said before, I used regular sea salt instead of the pricy fleur de sel. Also, I didn't measure it. I just lightly and evenly sprinkled it to the top--definitely not the ful 1 1/2 Tablespoons.

I didn't have baking soda either, but here is a handy way to substitute:

1/2 teaspoon baking soda = 2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder

Friday, July 8, 2011

Five Song Friday--the sixth.

Five songs that I'm loving.

1. Hard Livin'--Railroad Earth

2.  Into the Mystic--Van Morrison
(my all time favorite Van song)

3. You Really Got a Hold on Me--She & Him

4. Holdin' on to Black Metal--My Morning Jacket
The lyrics sound a little scary, but I think they're talking about people who still listen to black metal (gothic music), and need to move on. That's just my interpretation!

5. Little by Little--Susan Tedeschi

Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend! Any big plans out there?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

blueberry pie.

This is the recipe for the blueberry pie that I made on the 4th. It was sooo good. I used good ole Pilsbury refrigerated pie crusts, so this is just the recipe for the filling. However, you surely can use your own favorite homemade piecrust recipe if you feel so inclined.

3/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup water
3 cup blueberries
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat to 475.
Combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and water. Add to a saucepan and heat rapidly until thickened. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, add the berries and lemon juice. 
Pour filling into the dough lined pan. Cover with top crust, cut vents. Sprinkle with sugar. 
Place pie on a baking sheet, bake for 20 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350 and back for 20-25 minutes more.

*After the first 20 minutes, I covered the outer crust to avoid burning. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July Weekend Fun


Supper Club at Emily and David's. Don't have any pictures from the night, but Emily made all of this delicious food:

grilled pork chops
grilled corn
mashed potatoes
homemade applesauce
strawberry dump cake

and we played some beer pong. It was another fun one!


Super fun engagement party on Sullivan's Island for this wonderful couple.
And, yes, this is the hilarious picture that was on the invitations! 

Here is a late night picture of me, Sarah, and Lauren (the soon to be bride) after the party out on Sullivan's. I apologize for the blurriness!


Family day at the beach. Andy, Birdie, and me went out to Kiawah. Surprisingly, it wasn't too crowded. Kiawah has an area where you can let your dog off the leash. Birdie had a blast!

The minute we got home from the tired pup.


The family came over to our house for the day, and Birdie greeted everyone
 in her Patriotic Bling.

We went to the pool, where niece Lucy enjoyed watermelon. 
 reallllly enjoyed watermelon.

and guacamole with Uncle Andy.

Then, we grilled out a smorgasbord of meat. Three different types of hotdogs, bratwursts, and hamburgers. That's what happens when you let the boys decide on the meal.
For dessert, I made a very patriotic blueberry pie.
and Ellen's parents brought over homemade banana ice cream which went perfectly with the pie.

After everyone left, this is where I found a very tired Birdie.
on my pillow, under the covers. 

I hope everyone had as good a holiday weekend as we did!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Feeling a little cocky.

If you've read my blog, then you know that I am a USC grad and looooove my gamecocks.

Also, I'm a "sports girl". I played sports in highschool, and enjoy watching almost all sports on TV. However, baseball is my all-time favorite. Favorite to play (I played softball in high school), favorite to watch, love all of it. 

So, I was thrilled last year when our GAMECOCKS won the 2010 CWS National Championship! Andy and I probably woke up the neighbors whooping it up over here when Merrifield RBI'd the winning run last year.

2010 Champs

At the Championship Celebration last year with my brother (who is a gamecock fan like me x100), and "Gamecock Jesus"....he's kinda famous.

Winning last year was perfect. Enough for me. I was happy.

But then, the gamecocks went and did it again!

I could write all about it, but it's much more exciting to watch it happen in this video.

Starts with the super-regionals against UCONN, up to defeating UVA to play in the championship game. 

Mom and I went to Columbia again this year to welcome home our 2 time National Champs.

On our way inside!
 bad lighting.
 The team up on stage with all the coaches and their families.
I even found this picture on Gamecock Central! We're famous!
Here are a few others from that website.

 He played with a broken wrist! 

It's been a great week, well YEAR, really, to be a gamecock!

How many days until football season?