Friday Favorites

How is it that Christmas is 9 days away?  After a busy, busy week I’m excited for a busy, busy weekend.  I will be spending most of today prepping for a holiday get-together we’re hosting tomorrow at our house for Big Guy’s mom’s side of the family.  I’m excited to show off our home renovations and spend time with family.  We actually decided to host a “brunch/lunch” instead of dinner and I have a fun menu planned.  I’m hoping to squeeze in a little relaxation tonight and perhaps even a Christmas movie.  I hope you all have a wonderful, festive weekend!


Favorite Sugary Sweet:  Gingerbread House Tea Party.  How fun would this be for a little girl?  Totally stealing this idea for when BG is a little older.


Favorite Brunch:  Gooey Caramel Monkey Bread.  Monkey bread is a staple on Christmas morning at my parents house.  And it’s honestly the only time of year I eat monkey bread.  But I might have to make an exception to try this variation of a sweet brunch favorite.


Favorite Obsessed:  Mai Tai Stud Earrings.  These would totally be on my Christmas list if I had seen them before this week.  How fun are these earrings?!?!


Favorite Decadent:  Fresh Mint White Hot Chocolate.  One of my favorite combos in life is chocolate + mint.  I am totally game for drinking my dessert with this sweet treat.


Favorite Splurge:  Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer.  While incredibly expensive, I’ve heard this hair dryer is life changing.  I swear I waste hours of my life drying my hair so it might be worth the investment one day.


Favorite Holiday Dinner:  Herb and Butter Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish and Caramelized Onions.  Another meal option for Big Guy’s birthday that I’m sure he wouldn’t turn down.


Favorite “Appy” Hour:  Roasted Lemon Spinach and Artichoke Dip.  ‘Tis the season for appetizers!  Spinach and artichoke dip is always a party favorite but this one is elevated with Meyer lemon, jalapeño and fontina cheese.  Delicious.


Favorite Spiked:  Bourbon Delight Bars.  A classic holiday treat turned into a bar.  And I love her idea of switching up the alcohol used to make different variations.  I would love to try it with amaretto.  But don’t let the kiddos get their hands on these!


Favorite Merry, Merry:  Honey Roasted Pear Sparking Cocktails & Mocktails.  I love pears and think that roasting them for a cocktail is genius.  And bubbles make any drink more fun.



Friday Favorites

I feel like I haven’t done a “Friday Favorites” in forever!  I hope you all have had the most wonderful week and have some festive weekend plans.  Crazy to think that Christmas is 2 1/2 weeks away.  (Sorry if I just gave you a panic attack.)  Christmas is coming whether we’re ready or not.  I’m excited to have fun weekend plans with Big Guy – it’s been awhile.  I’m hoping that he’ll get in a more “jolly” mood.  We also need to check a few gifts off our list and then on Sunday it’s all about getting things done around the house.  They are SO close to being finished inside and they’ve given us a firm date of next Wednesday as their last day of work inside.  You wanna know what I’m most excited about – getting rid of all the dust.


Favorite Treat:  Gingerbread Millionaire Bars.   Gingerbread is something I love but rarely enjoy.  However, the chocolate + caramel + gingerbread makes me want to indulge in gingerbread very soon.


Favorite Special Occassion:  Roasted Beef Tenderloin with French Onion Au Jus.  I can almost promise you that Big Guy is going to want to make this for dinner on Christmas night or for his birthday.


Favorite Baby Girl Watson:  Ladylike Laws – Tips for Putting Together the Perfect Baby Announcement.  It’s crazy to think that we’ll be needing to send these out in about two months.  Might as well go ahead and know the etiquette!


Favorite Addictive:  Cashew Crunch.  This stuff sounds dangerous.  In the most delicious way.  And it honestly couldn’t be more simple to make.  A great holiday treat to give away.


Favorite All-Inclusive:  Gift Guide 2017.  There are so many gift guides swirling around the world wide web but this is a one-stop-shop.  I’m pretty sure I could find something for everyone in this round-up…if only they were all in my price range.


Favorite Christmas Morning:  Sausage Cheese Balls.  My family has always had sausage balls for brunch on Christmas morning.  Dare I say they are the most popular item.  Here’s an updated recipe – with green onions and a little nutmeg.  I might need to get it a try.


Favorite From Scratch:  Homemade Manicotti.  And it’s a “light” recipe.  I can’t wait to try my hand at manicotti shells which are basically light crepes.  Bonus:  they are make ahead AND freezer-friendly.  Say what?


Favorite Comfy-Cozy:  UGG Button Poncho.  Now this is my kind of postpartum top.  Perfect for “lounging” around the house but also appropriate to wear outside the house.


Favorite Craving:  Slow Cooker Shredded Beef White Enchiladas.  I need these in my life.  That cheese!!!!


Favorite Cocktail (or mocktail!):  Ginger Pomegranate Paloma. Palomas are one of my favorite cocktails because they’re typically not too sweet.  I love the addition of spicy ginger beer.  Totally going on the cocktail list for post-baby!



Friday Favorites

Well, well, well, this week sure did fly by!  Our house felt like there was a revolving door with all that was going on with our renovations/house updates.  I’m thrilled to say that floors have been installed in the downstairs, the {new} guest bedroom, the guest bathroom, the nursery and the hallways have all been painted and the {new} office is ready for dry wall on Saturday morning.  SO excited for all that’s going on.  This weekend will be all about pulling together the guest bedroom so that it’s ready for my Momma in a couple of weekends, cleaning this house because #dust, and hopefully we’ll sneak in some fun and relaxation along the way.  I hope you have a lovely weekend!  I can’t believe Thanksgiving is less than a week away.


Favorite Thanksgiving Side:  Brussels Sprouts, Bacon and Cornbread Panzanella Salad.  If you’re in need of a side dish to take to Thanksgiving, may I recommend this salad that includes carbs and bacon.


Favorite Bite:  Mini Salted Caramel Cheesecakes.  These look delightful.  And you won’t feel bad if you eat an entire cheesecake by yourself.  Wink Wink.


Favorite Dinner:  Roasted Cranberry Brown Sugar Pork Chops.  YUM!  These would be perfect for any occasion over the coming months.


Favorite Sorry, I’m Not Sorry:  9 Southern Elf on the Shelf Ideas.  Buddy will be making his debut in a little over a week…


Favorite Presentation:  Bejeweled Rice. I can’t get over how pretty this all-in-one side is. And I adore the mix of flavors and textures.


Favorite Snack:  Homemade Fig Newtons.  I’m having a moment with dried figs, dates and prunes.  And I remember loving Fig Newtons (as did my Dad) growing up and I can only imagine how delicious homemade ones are.


Favorite Obsessed:  Cheers Jacquard Tailored Ankle Pant.  Y’all.  Talbots has been KILLING it this year.  I am so disappointed I can’t rock these pants this year.  I’m tempted to buy a pair and save them for next year because they are SO me.


Favorite Meatless Monday:  Pecan Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash with Goat Cheese Crema.  I loved this dinner so much that I can’t wait to make more stuffed acorn squash.


Favorite Spiralized:  Sweet Potato Noodles with Chai-Spiced Cream Sauce.  I have two large buckets of sweet potatoes straight from our garden calling my name!


Favorite Festive:  Cranberry Thyme Spritz.  What a pretty cocktail!  And I love the addition of elderflower to any cocktail.  I’ll be jealous if you make one of these over the holidays.


Friday Favorites

This has been one crazy, busy week!  Home renovations are in full swing and I can’t even be mad about the hammering and nailing and random men using our bathroom (hah!).  I’m glad that Big Guy is around after being gone all week and tonight we have an unexpected date night that I’m pretty excited about.  The rest of the weekend includes cheering on the Pirates and just straight up relaxing.  Relaxing = more Hallmark movies and catching up on “our shows.”  I hope you have a wonderful weekend and I’ll see you Monday with a little pregnancy update.


Favorite Friendsgiving:  Apple Baked Brie and Crostini Bar.  I could turn this appetizer spread into my dinner.

Favorite YAY or NAY:  Our “Rainy Day” Closet.  I can’t decide if I love this idea.  To sum it up, your kids get to pick three gifts that they keep at Christmas and the remaining gifts (except clothes) go into a closet.  And when you’re stuck inside, or your child deserves a reward or it’s just a random day, the child gets to pick a gift from the closet.  Thoughts?


Favorite Comfort Food:  One-Pot Greek Biscuits and Gravy Cobbler. How unique is this dish?  I love any and all Greek food and this looks perfect now that the cooler weather is here to stay (I think).


Favorite Combination:  Brownie Pecan Pie.  I know I’ve already picked a Thanksgiving dessert to bring to the table (literally) but I’m drooling over this brownie + pecan pie combo.


Favorite Reveal:  Oprah’s Favorite Things.  I used to LOVE watching Oprah every afternoon at 4pm.  And I really used to love her episode when “you get a car, you get car….” happened (aka she gave all the audience members her favorite things).  Not only did I love it, I dreamed of being there.  Anyways, she has some fun stuff on the list this year.  And if you don’t want to look through it all, here are the “best picks.”


Favorite Thanksgiving:  Fall Farmers Market Salad.  I usually bring a salad to Thanksgiving, along with a dessert and sangria, and I think this one might be in the running.


Favorite Gameday:  Spinach Queso with Crispy Jalapeños.  Yes, please.


Favorite Inspiration:  Favorite In-Rooms of the Month of October.  I’m loving the leopard + pink + navy room.  And that picture – take me to Italy.


Favorite Flavors:  Butternut Squash and Sun-Dried Tomato White Lasagna.  This dish screams fall.  I love that you can assemble in advance and then bake when you’re ready to eat.


Favorite Instead of Wine:  Maple Pumpkin Gingersnap Tiramisu Trifle.  If I can’t have wine, I’ll have dessert.  And I love making trifles.



Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  How was your week?  Mine went by rather quickly and now I’m staring at the weekend ahead of me.  Our plans are, once again, low-key:  absolutely nothing planned this evening, I’m teaching Saturday AM, lunch with family for Big Guy’s grandmother’s 80th, and then a simple Sunday.  Renovations started this week which is super exciting and I can’t wait to show y’all the final product in a month or so (fingers crossed).  Here are my favorites from the week:


Favorite Wake-Up:  Cinnamon Bun Bundt Cake.  This little number would be perfect for a holiday brunch over the coming months.


Favorite Side Dish:  Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Red Onion and Avocado.  This could possibly change the minds of any “brussels haters” out there.


Favorite Slice:  Coconut Double Chocolate Pumpkin Bread.  You don’t have to feel guilty eating a piece of this chocolate-filled bread (it’s packed with good-for-you stuff).


Favorite Baby Related:  What’s in my Diaper Bag?  A good list of what to make we have on hand at all times.


Favorite Fall Dinner:  Butternut, Apple and Goat Cheese Stuffed Pork Tenderloin. Yes, please.  Must make this fall-filled main dish ASAP.


Favorite No-Bake:  Dark Chocolate-Amaretto Cake Bites.  For that after-dinner “I need a sweet bite” craving.


Favorite Sunday:  Meat-Lovers Pizza Bake.  A twist on our usual pizza but looks so delicious.  Like a biscuit crust.  And I love biscuits.


Favorite Holiday Cheer:  Ten Cookie Recipes to Make for the Holidays.  Whether you like it or not, the holiday season is fast approaching.  I’ve got my eye on these cookies and having a baking-thon on an upcoming Sunday.







Friday Favorites

What are you filling your last weekend of October with?  After two weekends of being on-the-go and traveling around NC, I’m happy to report we’re staying close to home.  In fact, I’m fairly certain that Friday night will consist of watching ALL the DVRed shows and whatever we don’t finish watching will be saved until Sunday.  I teach on Saturday AM and I’m hoping for a delicious dinner Saturday night.  Sunday we’re actually joining a church here in town so we’ll be busy most of the morning.  Renovations are supposed to start next week so I’m sure I’ll be helping as much as I can will moving a few things to the attic.  Like I said, low-key weekend.  I hope you have a lovely fall weekend and I’ll see you next week!


Favorite Stock the Freezer:  Healthy Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies.   I don’t plan on going crazy with stocking the freezer before BGW arrives but I think it would be nice to have some easy breakfast and lunch items on hand for Big Guy.  Carrot cake is his favorite so I’m guessing he’d love these as a start to his day.


Favorite Weeknight Dinner:  Turkey Chili Stuffed Acorn Squash.  How fun are these edible stuffed bowls?  And so perfect for fall.


Favorite Wanderlust:  How to Plan a 10-Day Italian Vacation.  One day…


Favorite Sinful:  Southern Caramel Cake.  I’m literally drooling.


Favorite Remix:  Avocado Kale Caesar.  A twist on a classic salad.  I think I’d love this version more than the original.


Favorite Obsessed:  The Little Market Baby Rattles.  I can’t even handle the cuteness.  The donut, the avocado, the cupcake and the mint chocolate ice-cream cone are just precious.


Favorite From Scratch:  Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Rosemary Parmesan Cream Sauce.  We’ll be harvesting our sweet potatoes soon and I know just the place to use a few of those tators.


Favorite Fashion:  J.Crew Faux Leopard Fur Vest.  My love for leopard is going no where.


Favorite Seasonal:  Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread.  Halloween is just around the corner and this is probably as festive as I’ll get this year.


Favorite Sip:  Maple Honeycrisp Margaritas.  I’ll have to save this recipe for next fall because it looks incredible.



Friday Favorites

Hi friends!  Popping in before I head to Charlotte for the weekend to celebrate my sister-in-law, brother and their baby boy that will be arriving in December.  I’m excited to see the family but sad to leave Big Guy behind.  But for a good reason – he’s going to work on getting some things done around the house so that the home reno can start in a matter of weeks.  AHHHH.  It’s getting so real.  That and the fact that his office is currently filled with boxes of baby nursery “stuff.”  I promise I’ll give you a pregnancy post next week but I’m trying to not overload you on stuff that’s really not all that exciting – I’m such a boring pregnant person.  But I’m totally not complaining about being boring.  Back to my favorites from the week and I hope you have the BEST weekend.


Favorite Date Night:  Two Ingredient Pumpkin Pasta with Balsamic Sage Brown Butter Sauce.  I fall twist on pasta night.


Favorite Round-Up:  Leopard Love.  I’m telling you, my leopard obsession is REAL.  I think my favorite is the clutch (for less!) but I’m still on the hunt for leopard driving shoes.


Favorite Intrigued:  16 Outrageous Ice Cream Toppings.  I’m totally on board with bacon + maple syrup but I’m not sure I could do honey mustard pretzels.


Favorite One Pan Meal:  Cinnamon Chipotle Pork Chops.   I adore cinnamon on pork especially in the fall and these would be fantastic for a quick weeknight dinner.


Favorite To-Do:  A Birth Doula Shares Her Hospital Packing List.  We’re not ready to pack our bags yet but I think this is a great list that I’ll revisit in a couple of months.


Favorite Bite:  Parmesan Puffs.  Despite the lack of wine in my life, I still love “appy” hour on Saturday evenings.  These remind me of addictive cheese straws.  YUM.


Favorite Cliff Notes:  How I Got My Baby to Sleep Through the Night.  I’ve been following Julia for a few years and I’ve loved her recent baby posts.  Her and I share views on sleep and schedules and I think she summarized a lot of what I hope to put into practice with this post, including what I learned in “Happiest Baby On the Block” and “BabyWise.”  (And yes, I know that all babies are different and I have no idea what I’m going to get BUT this is my plan.)


Favorite Fall:  Brussel Sprout, Pecan and Blue Cheese Pull Apart Pizza.  This sounds incredible.  I’d probably go light on the blue cheese and add in some goat cheese for a little tang.


Favorite Mocktail:  Pomegranate Cider Punch.  A little something fancy and festive for the upcoming holidays.