Weekend Recap

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Friday nights we normally take it easy because we're both worn out after a long week. This past Friday we rented Divergent from Redbox (love a cheap movie rental!). I actually liked it even more than I thought I would and am looking forward to the next installment. It was really well made and the actors were fantastic.

Brandon and I have talked about hiking at Umstead for years now and we finally went this past Saturday. It was so fun and we're already planning another trip for our next free Saturday. We did the 5.8 mile trail this time, but Brandon wants to try out the 7.2 mile one next time. 

Glad we didn't go tubing down this river!

We had some money left over from our weekly food budget, so we ate at Burger Fi after our hike. We love their food and the fact that they use all natural ingredients with no hormones or antibiotics. Their prices are also really reasonable compared to a lot of other restaurants (especially the ones that use good, fresh ingredients!). 

This past Sunday was the last sermon in our summer long series, "Press Pause." They closed with "Press Pause and Bless." Lisa was back from a few weeks of vacation and you could tell she was feeling revitalized. This week's sermon could have also been "Press Pause and Laugh" because she had all of us laughing along with her. She has such an amazing presence and has truly found her calling. I still can't get over how amazing all of our minsters are. It's a true blessing to get to hear Ned, Will, Justin, and Lisa preach every Sunday. I can't wait to see what the next sermon series is going to be because this one was the best yet. If you want to hear any of the past sermons, just go here.

I hope everyone has had a great week so far! We had a new assistant start at work this week and it's been great having another person on our marketing/broker assistant team! Now we're all just waiting for our move to the new office (T-minus 37 days - *hopefully*).


Weekend Recap

Monday, August 18, 2014

Goodness gracious, y'all. I feel like I've been going nonstop for the past four days. Even this morning at work has been insane. I guess everyone's finally realizing that summer is almost over and they're getting back into the swing of things. 

Friday was a super long day at work, and I'd been craving a donut ever since Furbish + The Everygirl posted a picture of them on insta two weeks ago. I called Brandon on both his office and cell phone to leave a message telling him to not come home without {sprinkle} donuts. I happily ate two on Friday and one on Saturday and I regret noooothing. They were so good. 

On Thursday and Friday nights and Saturday morning/afternoon, Brandon and I took the NC Hunter Education course. We're now able to get our hunting licenses in North Carolina. It was actually a very interesting and informative class and the guy who taught it (Leonard Rex) did a great job. I'm pretty sure that everyone in that class was looking at me and wondering what I was doing there, but whatever. 

Brandon will probably end up doing a lot more types of hunting then I'm planning on. I'm going to stick with upland hunting (dove, quail, pheasant) - plus, the accessories are way cuter and less camo. ;) 

After we finished our course we headed to Durham to visit my grandma. It's always so nice getting to visit with her. Mama and Papa watched me a lot when I was younger when we still lived in Durham and I have some of the best/happiest memories with them. I love getting to go through all of the photo albums she has. Papa loved taking photos and they have so many great pictures of when we were all growing up.

I also went through her recipe box and took photos of some of my favorite recipes that she makes. Ryan and I still need her to give us a lesson on how to make her biscuits and chicken pie. Both those things are just in her head. I would love to have some of the original copies of her recipes to frame in our kitchen.

On Sunday we went to the Gathering and then had brunch at Capital Club 16. I've been wanted to eat there for a while now. I got the roasted turkey sandwich with brie and granny smith apples and it did not disappoint. Downtown Raleigh has some amazing restaurants and they're all so unique. We're very fortunate to live in a city that values the small business owner! I can't wait to go back and try it for dinner.

We're less than two weeks away from football season and even though we're still getting our tickets and parking pass figured out, I'm so ready for it to be here! We went to Jo-Ann's yesterday after our grocery shopping and got the supplies to make the pennant banner I put on my August Goals list. I got a good way through the project yesterday and I'm loving how it's turning out! It's been a pretty easy process so far and cost less than $10 (and we have a bunch of burlap left over)!


Wishlist Wednesday

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Today's wishlist consists of a few things that are going to find their way onto my Christmas list this year (I know I'm super ahead of the game - in my head, it's October) + a few great staples for fall. I'm trying to be much more realistic with my "wants" and really get things that will last a long time and that I'll get good use out of.

Barbour Better Fleece Interactive Liner:   As soon as Nowells' gets in theirs in (they sell out super fast!) I got the Barbour Beadnell last year, but didn't end up getting the liner. Brandon, mom, and my brother all have the liners and it makes the jacket exponentially warmer. I was kicking myself all winter for not getting it when I got the jacket.

Emily Ley's Simplified Planner: Another thing I wish I had gotten as soon as it went on sale. The Simplified Planner is the ultimate organizer for your personal life and work. I love all the pages and features she includes. It's the little things that make this planner special. They go on sale September 3rd at 10:00 am (EST)

Rag & Bone Newbury Bootie in Nubuck:  These have been on my wishlist for well over a year now and are the top item on my Christmas list. I've heard nothing by amazing things about them, they have a great heel height, and are super cute. Definitely won't be ordering them until the Shopbop Friends & Family sale though.

Ivanka Trump Leopard Flats:  I've had a pair of leopard flats since my freshmen year of college and each pair has been worn until the "hair" has rubbed off and there's nothing left of the soles. They're such a great staple 

Gold Bar Necklace, Set of 3: I love a layered necklace look and you can't beat the price of this one! It's $86 for all 3 shown and you can have whatever you want stamped on the middle bar. I love that I could also wear my sideways cross necklace with this too!


Meal Planning

Monday, August 11, 2014

I can't remember the last time we had such a nice and relaxing weekend. The rain on Saturday made us incredibly unmotivated and it was perfect. Friday we had a few friends come over to hang out. Saturday we stayed in bed all day watching movies until it was time to go to dinner to celebrate my brother's birthday at Second Empire. It was my brother, mom, and Dale's first time eating there and it was so good. The atmosphere there is fantastic and everyone loved that it was in a historic house. Sunday we went to the Gathering and a guy played/sang Great is Thy Faithfulness on an acoustic guitar. It was absolutely incredible. I wish I had a recording of it so I could listen to it on repeat. We rounded out the day with a family brunch at Joule and then Brandon and I got our groceries for the week. All in all, a fantastic weekend.

Now onto our meals...
Brandon and I are really enjoying going grocery shopping together on the weekend. It helps us both get on the same page for the week and we're always really excited to see how little money we can spend and still have great meals.

**We cook our bacon in the oven and it turns out great! 


Black Bean Burger & Peach Avocado Salsa

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Y'all, I cannot even begin to tell you how good this was for dinner last night. Brandon and I both inhaled it. We have black beans burgers every once in a while, but we'll be having them much more often now. I love the black bean burgers at Bad Daddy's and was lucky enough to find their recipe!

I cut the recipe into thirds since there's only two of us. I also tweaked things slightly to work with what we already had in our kitchen and our taste preferences. The original recipe is here.

Black Bean Burgers
1 (15-ounce) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp Sriracha
1 tsp chives, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup roasted corn (or defrosted frozen corn)
1/3 cup red bell pepper, medium diced 
1/3 cup yellow pepper, medium diced
1/2 cup yellow onion, medium diced
1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp Greek yogurt (we love Fage 0% plain)
1/3 cup panko crumbs
Oil for pan frying (we used Sunflower Oil, but any "High Heat" oil will work)

-Empty the can of black beans into a large bowl. Mash the beans so they're more of a paste than whole beans (I used an avocado masher for this).
-Add the rest of the ingredients to the beans and mix well.
-Form the black bean patties. We made two large ones, but you could make about 6 small sliders.
-Heat a small amount of oil (enough to lightly cover pan) over medium heat.
-Cooking one patty at a time, brown burger on either side for 3 minutes until outside is slightly crispy.

Peach Avocado Salsa
1 Avocado, cubed
1 medium-large Peach, cubed
Handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/2 lime, juiced
Salt & pepper to taste
Pinch of cayenne

-Combine all ingredients in small bowl.

Serve the salsa on top of burgers and enjoy!


Meal Planning

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I've definitely dropped the ball with my meal planning posts, but I've still been planning our meals every week. Now that we're living on a much stricter budget, meal planning is more important than ever. I'm not willing to sacrifice eating healthy or [mostly] organic to save money, so I have to be a little more creative with our meals and where we shop. We joined Costco which has a surprising amount of organic products and I also switched out shopping at my beloved Whole Foods for Trader Joe's. So far so good, and I'm actually feeling really accomplished at sticking to our budget. 

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