Friday, April 26, 2013

Back that Azz Up Friday


Today I'm linking up with Whitney to close out the week with some good music vibes.

I came across this link up and Whitney's awesome blog recently and I need to set aside a time to go through all the previous weeks and update my gym playlist.
There's nothing like a little Vanilla Ice or Qtip to spice up a workout and keep you on that elliptical machine a few extra minutes right before bikini season!

Fun fact about me: I know every. single. word. in Wild Wild West.
This was achieved during the 2 hour ride from our house to the beach when my brother and I were kids and he had an obsession with his Will Smith cassette.
Enter our Fisher Price tape player.

You know, this guy.


The entire 2 hours of that trip was spent with the insert that listed the lyrics, rapping over the attached microphone and rewinding each section over and over until we had it mastered.

Nothing screams 90s and an awesome childhood quite like that. 
Our poor parents. 



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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Chapel Hill Wedding Weekend

This past weekend we ventured to Chapel Hill to see my cousin get married at the Carolina Inn.
After some scary storms on Friday night the rest of the weekend was beautiful and it was a great weekend to spend in Chapel Hill.

Of all the time I've spent in Chapel Hill I'd never been to the Carolina Inn and I was so impressed.  It's decorated so beautifully and every room is different.  We had so much fun going to see everyone's rooms as well as wandering around the inn checking out the photos on all of the walls and the little lounge areas on each floors.  




Friday night we attended the rehearsal dinner at Fearrington Village in a beautiful barn decorated with Christmas lights.  We enjoyed amazing fried green tomatoes, balsamic watermelon, green bean salad, corn bread and southern BBQ while being entertained by the sweet sounds of a fiddle and banjo.


Saturday Dan, my brother and I ate a great lunch at Spanky's and wandered around campus for a little while before meeting my parents and some of their friends in the bar at the Carolina Inn for a little while before getting ready for the wedding.



Fran looked beautiful as she walked down the aisle to the sounds of a guitar and violin playing.  
The ceremony was so sweet and at one point Fran was visibly shivering (since when is North Carolina cold in April??) and Kevin seemed to notice and put his arm around her back to warm her up.  I don't know if that was on purpose or if I was reading into it too much, but he should take credit if it wasn't :-)

After the ceremony we enjoyed delicious food and danced the night away before taking donuts from the Wilson Donut shop up to our rooms.


  

At one point a song my mom liked came on and she literally dropped her purse and shoes on the floor and ran out to the dance floor, grabbing the father of the groom on her way. 



A good time was had by all, because that's how we roll.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Fitness Friday: Color Run 5K

I've seen pictures from people doing the Color Run all over blog and twitter land recently so when a Groupon for the Color Run in Raleigh popped up a few months back I snatched that sucker up right away.  

The event was originally going to be in Cary but so many people signed up it was moved to Alltel Pavillion (although that's not what it's called anymore--Time Warner maybe?).
The only bad part about that was part of the race was on gravel and a lot of it was very uneven--my hips were super sore the next day!



I'm not much of a runner-in that I despise running.
I once started a blog for a class (the assignment was pick a culture you're not a part of and join it) called "trying this new fad...it's called jogging or yogging-it might be a soft j"
Apparently you just run for an extended period of time.
(quick-name that movie!)
I posted maybe 5 times because that's about how many times I actually ran.

I also may or may not have dropped out of a 5K in San Francisco 50 yards after the starting line.
{read about that fiasco here}

Needless to say, this was a big deal for me.
Apparently I just need color thrown on me every kilometer or so and I'm distracted enough to forget how much I despise running.

Dan asked if we should get a picture afterwards.
Silly, that's the whole reason we signed up for this shindig in the first place.


A little tip if you're thinking of doing this-someone told me she just washed the shirt inside out and the colors stayed like they were, so that's what we did...along with the towels we'd taken with us that day.
We now have a ton of light pink stuff. 


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Thursday, April 11, 2013

SPD: Grilled Bang Bang Shrimp

for Saw It, Pinned It, Did It!


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Seeing as how one my my 13 in 2013 goals was to do 1 pinterest project a week, it's about time I got around to that.
To be fair, I've done a couple I just never get around to actually writing a post.

Dan absolutely loves the Bang Bang shrimp at Bonefish-as in will order 2 and make a meal out of it.
However, our waistlines and our wallets aren't the biggest fans.
So, when I saw a {somewhat} lighter make at home version floating around pinterest I had to give it a try.


These were incredibly simple to make.
The shrimp we just seasoned a little with pepper, popped on skewers and threw on the grill.

The sauce is:

-2 1/2 tbsp light mayonnaise
-2 tbsp scallions, chopped fine
-1 1/2 tbsp Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
-1/2 tsp Sriracha



We used just a tad extra Thai Sweet Chili Sauce and I think if we make it again we'll add a little Sriracha for more of a kick.
We also didn't brush them with the sauce but just stirred it all together in a bowl.

The problem we ran into was the shrimp get cold very quickly and you're pouring cold sauce on them. 
We popped them in the oven for just a few minutes and they were much better heated up.

We really enjoyed these, but I do think I'll experiment with this recipe a little in the future--maybe not grill the shrimp but cook them in a pan or bake them...maybe dusted with a little seafood batter?

We also paired them with a favorite grilling item of ours-sausage and feta stuffed peppadews.
These are super easy to make-you just take the peppadews, stuff them with whatever you want and place them on nonstick tin foil face down on the grill for awhile.

We usually do a combination of sausage, feta and sausage + feta because we just can't decide what our favorite is.  



I'm so happy grilling seasoned has arrived!!


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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Nashville Part 3

Our last day in Nashville we started by attending Easter Sunday service at the Brentwood Baptist Church.
This is the church Brad Paisley attends and the choir accompanies him (and performed with him) in the song Southern Comfort Zone.
This was such a huge and beautiful church, but the best part really was the music.
They had 175 choir members along with an 80 piece orchestra and it sounded amazing.


After church we drove around Brentwood for awhile to look at the pretty houses and ran across a few turkeys trotting around a neighborhood.


Most of Sunday it was pouring rain, so we hid from the rain for awhile in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
It was neat, but I wouldn't say it lived up to all the hype.
I did think the actual hall of fame rotunda was pretty though, and they had a musician playing there as well.


When the rain let up we walked around the Music Row area, including Owen Bradley park.  
The statue of Owen Bradley (a songwriter) was really impressive-there were such amazing details on him, the piano and even the sheet music.



We had dinner at Whiskey Kitchen while watching the end of the Louisville-Duke game (in pain watching the Kevin Wear injury) before heading downtown.
We'd heard so much about Nashville's night life that we had to see it for ourselves, but we'd been doing other things the first 2 nights we were there.
The fact that it was a Sunday night didn't seem to be slowing anything down, and we had a great time.
All of the bars had live music and we hopped from one to the next but ended up loving the band at The Stage the best and returning there to end the night.
The band was Savannah Jack and the lead singer was really engaging and hilarious.
We looked up their tour schedule but they seem mostly to play around the Nashville and Ohio area-so if you live there check them out!


The last thing we did before leaving Monday morning was drive around Vanderbuilt's campus.
Whenever we're in a new town we make sure to check out any nearby college campus and Vanderbuilt's was really pretty, but much smaller than we were expecting.



We had such a great trip to celebrate {almost} 1 year of marriage and kept saying we couldn't believe last year's spring break was spent preparing for our wedding.
(or that we were wearing coats and boots instead of bathing suits-spring sure has been late the the party this year!)



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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Nashville Part 2

Our second day in Nashville we started by touring the Ryman Auditorium. 
This is where the Grand Ole Opry was held before they opened the location it's at now in 1974.
When it moved to the new location a circular part of the stage was cut out and put in the new stage so performers now still stand where the legends of the early days stood at the Ryman.  
The circle was almost ruined during a flood in 2010, but they managed to salvage it and Brad Paisley and Little Jimmy Dickens opened the first show after the flood with "Will the Circle be Unbroken".



It was originally built as a tabernacle and still has the feel of a church, with wooden pews and stained glass.  
Now the Ryman offers tours during the day (which we took) and still holds concerts there at night.  
During part of the year when the Rockette's are performing their Christmas special the Opry is still held there, but during the rest of the year all sorts of bands come to play there because of the great acoustics of the building. 


After the Ryman we had the best nachos ever at Bar Louie before doing a tour of Yazoo Brewing Company.
This was a neat little place and for just $7 you toured the brewery and got 3 samples in a glass that you got to keep.  
Unfortunately, they don't distribute in North Carolina yet-but the rumor is that's the next state on the list.
The owner's wife does all the artwork for the labels and stuff and they were really neat.
My favorite was Dos Perros, one that they made and named after their 2 black labs.

Saturday night we went to the famous Bluebird Cafe.
There are only 120 seats-28 of which are pew or bar seats that are first come, first served.
I'd tried to get tickets the morning they went on sale-I was waiting for them when they became available, immediately selected a table and hit submit and by the time it'd gone through they were sold out.
So, we got there at about 4:10 for the 6:30 show since they open at 5:30 and got in line.
We were the very last 2 people to get seats at the bar.

One songwriter (who has written songs for Alabama, Tim McGraw and Luke Bryant among others) was the leader and had 3 other songwriters with him.
They sat in the middle in a circle and went around explaining what led them to write the song and the story behind it before playing each song.
They had conversations going on between them and occasionally one joined in on another's song.
It was such a neat experience and worth the wait in line.


One more day left!



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Monday, April 8, 2013

How-deeee!

This past week was my Spring Break (b/c working for the public schools does have it's perks).
I spent most of the week cleaning the house, doing laundry and mostly napping, but the first weekend we went to Nashville.

After a minor incident with our flights (minor in that they were booked for Thursday and we thought it was Friday and therefore missed it) we rented a car and drove.
Driving ended up being a much better plan anyway because then we had a car to get around Nashville.  

Our first night there we had tickets to the Grand Ole Opry, which ended up being our favorite part of the weekend.
We knew very little about the Opry prior to this weekend but learned a lot about the history during our trip.



For example, it turns out the Opry is the longest running live radio broadcast.
There was a radio announcer that throughout the show made announcements and did advertisements during the commercial breaks.  

Every show opens up with Minnie Pearl, a fictional guy crazy character from a small town that tells jokes and warms up the audience. 
This started when Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon started the routine then carried on opening the Opry with her signature greeting, "How-deeeee, I'm just so proud to be here!" for over 50 years.  



When we bought the tickets we didn't know who we'd end up seeing because everyone hadn't been announced yet.
Each member of the Opry is required to perform a certain number of times a year and since most of them live nearby they'll just call up and say they're coming in and get put on the schedule.  
Each artist performs about 2 songs and each time block has a host that announces the acts and keeps the audience engaged in between performances. 

We ended up seeing a lot of older stars we didn't really know about (but later saw all over the place throughout the weekend), like Little Jimmy Dickens and also some of our favorites like Old Crow Medicine Show and Craig Morgan.  
The groups we didn't know we still really enjoyed, especially The Black Lillies.

{clockwise: Little Jimmy Dickens, Old Crow Medicine Show, Craig Morgan, The Black Lillies}

Stay tuned for the rest of the trip! 
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