Wednesday, January 30, 2013

wednesday loving

I'm linking up with Jamie for What I'm Loving Wednesday to share a few of my current random loves.

1. Nutella Muffins with Cream Cheese Icing

I've made these delicious muffins the last couple of weekends and we are hooked! Here's the how-to if anyone is interested.
  • 1 can Pillsbury Grand Biscuits
  • 1 small jar Nutella
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 oz. cream cheese softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Roll each of the 8 Pillsbury Grand Biscuits out into a flat circle with rolling pin. Coat with sugar on both sides.
- Spread a couple Tbsp. of Nutella onto each rolled out dough.
- Roll up each dough.
- Cut each rolled up dough into 3 equal pieces.
- Place 3 pieces, with the cut side up, into each muffin tin slot.
- Bake at 350 F for about 15 minutes. Once cooked, let cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, then remove and let finish cooling (or if you are like me and like them warm, then you won't have to wait long :) )
- For Icing, beat softened cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar together until smooth. Top Each Nutella Roll with Icing.
 Recipe via Chef In Training
2. Carrie Diaries

It's no SATC, but you take what you can get. And I think this new series about high-school-age Carrie Brashaw is a fresh, pleasant surprise. Check it out!  

3. SAG Awards
I thought the SAG fashion was a bit of snooze-fest this year, but I did see a couple of looks that I loved.

Jennifer Garner

Amanda Seyfreid

Katrina Bowden
All SAG images via Yahoo

4. THE Kiss

Nick and Jess FINALLY locked lips last night on New Girl. On a side note, if anyone knows where Jess got that super cute ruffle robe, please tell Mr. M that yours truly would like one for Valentine's Day.

Have a good Hump Day!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

christmas in the city: day four

Here it is folks- the final post on our December NYC trip. All of this re-living the fun has only made me want to go back. Who's with me??
Sadly, my picture taking dwindled as the days went on, so I have very few pictures from our last day. So here it goes, the final recap. 

Saturday, December 8

  • We woke up Saturday morning, got ready, and headed to Paradou for "drunk brunch". What is drunk brunch you might ask? Apparently this is the term for the ever-popular meal between breakfast and lunch in which various NYC restaurants serve you all the champagne cocktails you can drink as you eat. SO MUCH FUN! And the food was delicious. This was easily the guys' favorite part of the trip.


  • Since Saturday was our last full day in the city, we did not really make out an agenda for this day and decided to play it by ear. As we were leaving brunch, we noticed a cool little bar down the street called the Brass Monkey. Because there's a bar near our hometown with the same name, we decided we had to check it out. We had some fun conversation with a few locals in here and enjoyed our leisurely stay.
The Monkey

  • After spending the day out and about we headed to the hotel to freshen up. Then it was off to Eatlay. I could have wandered around this food hall forever. So many interesting places! We got a table at Birreria to enjoy some craft beers and a cheese plate. I loved the atmosphere here!

  • Finally it was off to our dinner reservation at Gramercy Tavern. This restaurant was gorgeous and the food was mouth-watering- the perfect way to end our trip! We somehow discovered that our server was originally from Alabama, and when she found out that we were too, she brought out her manager who was also an Alabama native. Before leaving for New York, he had worked at some of my favorite Birmingham restaurants- Highlands Bar & Grill and Hot & Hot Fish Club. Small world. The hometown connection made for a very fun meal! And as I said before, the food was out of this world good!
Yes, I'm the crazy person who takes a picture of the resaurant's front door. It was so beautiful!

The trip was truly a whirlwind of good food, good friends, and great memories! Sunday we headed back to Alabama thoroughly satisfied and thoroughly exhausted. I already can't wait to go back!

Friday, January 25, 2013


Please excuse the "Christmas Story" reference above. Couldn't resist! The very sweet Laura Ellen over at Living Like LaLa nominated me for the Liebster Award and I'm very appreciative (even though I'm a little belated getting this post out). The award is given to new or up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers, and it was very thoughtful of LE to include me. Everyone should go check out her blog- lots of wedding planning excitement going on over there!

Here are the 11 random questions that LE posed to me:

1. Where is the most exciting place you have ever been?

To me it doesn’t get more exciting than NYC. No matter how many times you go, the energy in that city can’t compare to anywhere else. Exciting in terms of distance from home? London.

2. Did you make any new years resolutions? If so what were they?

Honestly, I didn’t really make any resolutions this year. Normally I do and fail miserably, so this year I didn’t really bother. Sure there are definitely areas of my life where I could improve and things I’d like to accomplish, but I’m just focusing on being present in each moment. Time is flying by so quickly (have I really been out of college almost SIX YEARS?), and I am fortunate to be blessed with such wonderful family and friends. Instead of creating a checklist for myself in the form of resolutions, I just want to focus on enjoying those many blessings and living in the moment. Like many others, I am guilty of getting sidetracked by our technology-driven world and maybe not enjoying every moment to its fullest. Things like habitually checking the cell phone when together with family/friends, worrying too much about capturing the perfect picture at an event rather than focusing on the event itself, stressing about insignificant details like your house not being perfectly clean before company arrives, bringing home a bad attitude after a long day at work, etc. I want to do less of that stuff. So maybe that is my resolution after all- being happy and grateful for each fun memory as I’m blessed with it. In a nutshell, being present.

3. What is your favorite Sports team?

The Alabama Crimson Tide, who else?

4. What song do you sing to the top of your lungs when it comes on the radio?

Currently, Britney Spears’ “Scream and Shout”, all of Taylor Swift’s new album, and JT’s “Suit and Tie”.

5. Who is your role model?

I have several for different reasons: my mother, my grandmother, my MIL, my grandmother-in-law, my “fairy godmother”, and Meryl Streep

6. Where do you want to be with your life in 5 years?

Motherhood. We’ve been in no rush on that front, but in 5 years I know that both Mr. M and I hope we are lucky enough to be enjoying adventures with (at least) our first little one.

7.If you could make 3 wishes what would they be?

A. To spend one last day with my dad hanging out, watching football, and eating all the desserts our sweet-teeth could handle

B. To buy a gorgeous home and vineyard in France

C. To buy my own private jet for traveling to said vineyard in France as well as various other places (Italy, Ireland, and anywhere tropical)

8.What is your favorite Quote?

Tough because I love SOOO many quotes. I’ll just pick a few of my favorites that I’ve seen recently.

“Say what you will about the South. But nobody retires and moves up North.” – anonymous.

“I don’t know how people get so anti-something. Mind your own business, take care of your own affairs, and don’t worry about other people so much.” – the wise Betty White

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.” – Irish proverb

9. If you could only pick one nail polish color to use for the rest of your life what would it be?

OPI’s Bubble Bath

10. Favorite healthy snack?

Fresh pineapple or homemade guacamole

11. Current Favorite TV show?

Yikes. I couldn’t possibly pick ONE favorite. Revenge, Nashville, Scandal, Hart of Dixie.

The rules require that I make up 11 more random questions and tag other bloggers (with fewer than 200 followers) to answer my questions, make up 11 more, and tag more bloggers. Get it? Here goes!

My 11 random questions:
1. What’s the very first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

2. What beauty product can you not live without?
3. What do you like least/most about the upcoming holiday- Valentine’s Day?
4. What’s your absolute favorite recipe?
5. What concert are you dying to attend?
6. When you think about your taste/style, what three words come to mind first?
7. What tv show do you never miss?
8. What’s your biggest pet peeve?
9. What’s your favorite children’s book?
10. What’s your dream honeymoon/anniversary trip?
11. Where do you see yourself in 5 years (personally, professionally, etc.)?

I tag:
Jane @ Life on the Farris Wheel
Ashley @ The Process of Learning
Stephanie @ Steph's Sweet Life
Calley @ Life as the Ondocsins
Shelley @ Insert Clever Phrase Here
Natalie @ Charles and We

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

christmas in the city: day three

I've been slacking this week with the holiday on Monday and various things going on, but I did manage to crank out the next NYC recap post. Enjoy!

Friday, December 7

  • We headed out of the hotel bound for FAO Schwartz. Our plan was to hit it up early before the massive crowds gathered. Good idea in theory but massive crowds nonetheless.
  • Even big kids love a huge toy store!
  • All those kids and fun toys can make you hungry. Next it was time for lunch at Burger Joint, a cool dive restaurant in the Parker Le Meridian hotel. So yummy!

  • During Christmas the Parker Le Meridian also has showcases gingerbread houses constructed by local bakeries in the lobby. Very cool thing to see. 
  • Lincoln was our fave gingerbread creation!
  • We bounced over to Bloomies next. A lot of you know that I try to collect an ornament from each of our trips, and this one was no different. After browsing all of the ornament displays, I settled on the Radko NYC ornament (shown in this post).
  • Bloomies!
  • Tea has become a must-do for me whenever I'm in the city. It's so fun to get dressed up and enjoy a formal tea service with a girlfriend. All of the hustle and bustle from the street outside just fades away as you sit down to the white table linens, fine china, polished silver, and beautiful tray of finger sandwiches and scones. After Bloomingdales, Kat and I had reservations at the St. Regis for afternoon tea. Astor Court does a wonderful tea service that I highly recommend for any of you fellow girly-girls. Meanwhile, the boys headed to Park Avenue Tavern for something a little more manly (aka beer via self-serve taps).  

  • After our tea reservation, we met up with the guys at Park Avenue Tavern then headed to Grand Central. I did not think it was possible for this landmark to be any more gorgeous but Christmas at Grand Central certainly proved me wrong. We wandered around taking in the beauty and browsed some of the holiday market shops (noticing a pattern?) before heading back to the hotel to freshen up.

  • Next we hoppped on the subway bound for Brooklyn. We had dinner reservations at Peter Luger and the guys had been looking forward to this meal the entire trip. You see, Peter Luger has consistently been voted best steak in NYC and our guys love their red meat. If you are planning to visit NYC with a man, go ahead and put this place on your to-do list and be sure to order the following- Appetizer: Bacon, Shrimp, Tomato, and Onion chopped and mixed together. Entree: Porterhouse for 4 with spinach and potatoes. We got advice from a local on what to order and hit the jackpot. Our meal was D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S! The steak was wonderful, but I have to admit that I fell in love with the spinach most of all. 
    The aftermath
    Post-Peter Luger = Happy Husby
  • After dinner, we were ready for some fun so we headed to a flip-cup bar. While I can't remember the name of this bar, it is known for hosting flip cup and beer pong tournaments. It was a bit of a dive, but lots of fun.

  • We had met up with some other NYC friends of Katharine's at the flip cup bar who insisted that we should check out a "country bar". So off to Johnny Utah’s we went. Country bar it was NOT. The presence of a mechanical bull and the occasional country song played by the DJ does not equal a true country bar. It was, however, very fun and entertaining. We had a blast here and even coaxed one of our party to give the bull a shot.

  • Fun night complete, it was off to hotel and the bed for us!

Day Four (the final recap post) to follow soon!

Friday, January 18, 2013

christmas in the city: day two

Hope you all had a good week and are ready for the weekend! Another day, another NYC recap!

Thursday, December 6

  • We kicked off the day with an early lunch at the famous Carnegie Deli. Nothing like a monster sandwich to engerize you for a busy day in NYC.
  • Next we set out for Bryant Park – hello ice skating and holiday market shopping!
Beautiful Bryant Park
More Bryant Park

  • Of course the boys wanted to visit Wall Street, so that was next on the agenda...
No trip is complete without a picture with the bull

...or the back-end of the bull

  • We didn't want to spend a huge chunk of the day going to see the Statue of Liberty, so while we were near Wall Street we headed over to Battery Park. From there the guys could at least get a good view Lady Liberty.
Lady Liberty

  • We had reservations at Ground Zero and the 9/11 Memorial next. While most of the trip was filled with fun and laughter, we all very much enjoyed this time of reflection. Such a moving experience.
South Memorial Pool
One of the new WTC buildings

  • By this point, we needed a little pick-me-up, so we made the trek to Union Square to enjoy some delicious hot chocolate while we browsed more holiday market shops.
Union Square Holiday Market

  • Before our reservation, we had time for a pre-dinner toddy. Since we loved Death and Company so much the first night, we popped in JBird Cocktails (same owner and trust me, the guy knows how to craft a cocktail). We munched on some of their savory popcorn and enjoyed a couple of drinks. I'm pretty sure Clint won the prize for best selection with his pineapple shell creation.

    happy boy

  • After JBird's we made out way to Felidia for our dinner reservation. It's a shame that you can't take pictures in nice restaurants because these Italian dishes were true works of art. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their meal, and while I can't remember everyone's dish, I had the Biancorneri Alla Trapanese (a black and white bavette pasta with calamari and trapanese pesto). HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

  • For dessert, we decided a trip to Dylan’s was in order. A bar in a candy shop, y'all. Heaven. Of course we had a blast exploring all the candy in the store, but the true treat was heading up to the bar on the top floor. The decor and cocktail menu is all candy-themed, and it's impossible not to be happy in such a fun place. While everything we tried was pretty tasty, I think everyone was in agreement that the Pink Cotton Candy drink was definitely the best!
Cotton Candy Cocktails
Sitting in a cupcake. I should live here.
Kat and Matt
Me and Mr. M

  • After "dessert", we had a little late night fun out and about in the city and then trekked back to the hotel to get ready for Day 3.

I'll be back with Day 3 as soon as possible. Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

thumbs up thursday

Today I'm giving a big Thumbs Up to AJ McCarron.

Because even though I think she's a famewhore (Exhibit A; Exhibit B), it could be worse.

She could be nonexistent.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

christmas in the city: arrival day

You might have noticed from a previous post that I mentioned getting an ornament during a December trip to NYC.  I was fortunate enough to travel back to my favorite city for a second time in 2012. That said, I hate to recap anything Christmas-related in the middle of January, but it would be a disservice to my virtual scrapbook not to document such a fun-filled trip. This was my first Christmas experience in the city, and Mr. M's first trip to the city period. Our good friend Matt was also along for the journey, and of course, we met up with our favorite city girl Katharine while we were in town.

We had an absolutely wonderful time! We did and saw SO much, and per usual, we ate and drank exceptionally well! In an attempt to not leave anything out, I thought a list format would be easiest. Here goes!

Wednesday, December 5

Morning airport pic- thank goodness for Starbucks!

  •  Arrived in NYC at approximately 2:30 p.m.
  • Checked in at hotel, freshened up, and headed out to explore the city.

  • First stop- Rockefeller Center to see what else? THE tree!

    Simply stunning - I was in love.
  • Of course we also had to check out some of the windows and decorations along 5th Avenue.
Bergdorf Goodman
Harry Winston

  • Finally it was time to meet up with Katharine at Cartier.
  • Cartier at Christmas

  • We grabbed Kat and it was off to Top of the Rock just in time for nightfall and all of the city lights to be on. Breathtaking! But oh-so-chilly!
NYC skyline

Amazing view with some amazing friends

  • After freezing our butts off high above the city, it was time to pop in a few low-key places (i.e. Standings Sports Bar) to grab a beer and warm up

  • Next, we headed over to Death and Company. This cozy speakeasy environment was the perfect way to kick off our first night. We ordered several yummy appetizers to share for dinner. While the food was good, the hand-crafted cocktails were really out of this world. My personal favorite was the Slap N' Pickle. AMAZING!
  • Loved this menu quote at Death and Company
  • After a lengthy stay at Death and Company (it's hard to leave those cozy booths and stop sipping those masterpiece cocktails), we had our cab drop us off in Times Square so the boys could experience the lights.

By this point it was late and we were worn out from travel. After a quick nightcap at the hotel bar, we all hit the sack to get some rest for the next day.

Day Two of the trip coming soon to a computer near you!