Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Shake that bottle and make it *pop*

With the holidays upon us, it can be tricky to figure out what to serve your guests at your shindig.  I'm no wine connoisseur, but I'm learning so I figured I would share some wines that have been a success for me.


Sonoma Zinfandel
A flavorful, spicy wine that isn't too heavy and light on tannin, which makes it easy for most party guests to enjoy.

I also recommend a cabernet sauvignon.  Merlots are nice, but they are a little heavy and may not be appreciated by all of your guests.


Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling
This is a sweet but not too sweet riesling that's easy to find at any grocery store.

A pinot grigio is a nice choice as well, I also like sauvignon blanc.  I'm not a big fan of chardonnay.


Bugey Cerdon
A delicious pink sparkling wine that's just as delicious as the picture above implies.  People love this wine - don't sleep on it!

Sant'Evasio Brachetto de Acqui & Moscato D'Asti
The brachetto is a beautiful holiday red and it's  not as sweet as it's partner.  The moscato is an amazing wine I promise you all of your holiday guests will enjoy, even if they don't drink wine.  It's sweet and bubbly and fun.  It's dangerously drinkable.  Together they are a perfect pair of flavorful and sweet.

And the only way to open bubbly is to saber

Learn how to here.  

If you don't normally buy wine and are set on bringing a bottle to the party, spend at least $10 - actually make it $12.  Nothing is worst than receiving a cheap bottle of wine from your guests! #firstworldproblems.  Or forgo the wine and bring something fun that you do know about - like truffles, toffee or heck, even a Chick-fil-A nugget tray.

Hopefully this wine list was helpful and inspired you guys!!!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Soul Food

I love my girlfriends.  They are pretty much like chicken soup for my soul.  They make me feel loved and cared for.  I can laugh about pretty much anything with them no matter how dreadful or shameful.  And better than any haircut, pedicure or spa day is a girl's weekend.  Nothing reinvigorates you like time away with your friends. :-)

In mid-October, I was lucky enough to enjoy TWO girl's weekends.  The first was in Charlotte and involved a swanky house party.

 We wanted to have the party on the roof, but it was way too windy, even for pictures!

 Posing in a tornado.  Aren't Robin's shoes to die for?

 Karoke :-)

 <3 these girls

After Charlotte's glamorous time, the next weekend I headed to DC for a girls' weekend with my high school crew.

'LoeDown crew (+Ying lol) 


Cookies so good they make you wanna smack yo' mama



Aaron came to DC separately and tried to spy on us...creep! Jk.

Trying Ethiopian food...pretty good!

 Having friends who love to eat is a blessing.

I know so many amazing women but very few of them actually live in Raleigh.  Us being able to take time out of our busy schedules and have getaways is not only an amazing feat but a necessity!  I love you girls! Can't wait til next time.

Sunday, November 30, 2014


It's not always easy to be thankful.  When I was writing patient progress notes at 1am Friday, I wasn't very thankful for my education and opportunities that allowed me to become a doctor.  When the next day I was grumpy that Aaron was busy hanging with my brother and "leaving me out," I wasn't thankful for an amazing husband that treats my family like his own.  So it can be important to take time and reflect.

Here is a short list of a few things I am thankful for
-I'm thankful for the new friends I've made in 2014 and the old ones I've kept, some have known me for over 20 years
-I am thankful for a house to live in...and decorate!
-I am thankful for family that lives near by, a Dad that fixes my car and a Mom that lets me bring food and toiletries from her house back to mine
-I am thankful for a super sweet selfless husband that inspires me to be a better person
-I am thankful for my patients, for the opportunity to help people and I live for my moments when my patients thank me and tell me I've made a difference in their lives

I am thankful.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Christmas Wishes

Christmas is sooo close!  So why not post a little wish list? :-)

I seriously love these shoes.  They retail for $525 (crazy!), but with sites like Ebay and Tradesy they're easily going for around $200 - the last 2 ebay auctions I followed my size went for around 195 each time.  I don't mind Aaron giving me a gift from one of those sites (or rather, me buying it with Aaron's approval).  I seriously think they could change my life.

I love my AG Legging ankle jeans and I'd love a pair in black.  Sometimes a pair of sleek black jeans really step up the glam factor.  These jeans, a cropped sweater and the booties above?? YES.

Lastly, on the budget friendly side of things, I really want some books!  This is a basically a snapshot of my Amazon wishlist.  I would like to have a really impressive bookshelf someday and many of these books are inspirational must-haves.   Maus is an amazing story of the author's father's experience as a Jew during the Holocaust.  Full Catastrophe Living is a book that serves an introduction to mindfulness.  The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was written by the editor-in-chief of Elle after he experienced a stroke that left him with locked-in syndrome.  Yes, you read that right.  He authored this book after he was locked-in.  He communicated by blinking only his left eye for 4 hours a day for 10 months to narrate this.  So, there is a fair preview of my book list and why I think they're amazing books that I would love to have in library. 

What's on your Christmas list??

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Phil & Amanda Get Hitched

Last month our friends Philip & Amanda got married!!! Is Amanda's dress not to die for???

The Merrimon-Wynne House, a new wedding venue in Downtown Raleigh

Yes, that is a paper plane flying in front of Amanda & Phil

 Friends...Emily (on the left) sang at my wedding!

Just as delicious as it was stunning

Aaron & I took some photos but none I liked enough to share!  I find that as you become a budding photographer (ha) you become really critical of photos people take on your camera.  Like I will tell my subjects to stand straight or fix their hair, or the lighting is bad etc.  Other people won't do that for you with your own camera!  Oh well :-)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Girl Crush

You guys, I feel like I've been around the world and back.  Since my last post, I've been to Charlotte, to DC and to my alma mater Hampton for their homecoming. It's been amaaazing. But right now the last thing I feel like doing is uploading pics!  So instead, let's talk fashion. :-)

Do you have a girl crush?  You know a girl whose style is effortless, she could make a paper bag look flawless?  For me that girl is Gala Gonzalez.  We go back.  I've been reading her blog,  Amlul, for about 6 years.  She's a socialite, DJ, Vogue reporter, blogger.  And she's perfect.  Let's let the photos speak for themselves.

She has a best friend, Miranda Marakoff.

She's clearly awesome, just in general.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pie Hard

2 Fridays ago, my good friend Libby came back to visit.

Libby lived in Raleigh, but now is getting her masters in science at App State, because she's smart like that.  She comes and visits her friends in Raleigh every so often, because she's nice like that. We all went out to Sono followed by dessert and champagne at Bittersweet.

Nick & Amanda came :-)

and Debs!

Bittwersweet is a new downtown bar that specializes in drinks and desserts.  It's pretty cool. 
We all shared the pumpkin pie, bacon apple streusel and a cookie platter.

And then took some group pics. I'm showing much more leg than everyone else.
No pictures of Aaron and Libby's bf but they were there too!

Good times.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cooking Lessons

I love to cook, but lately I've been having some mishaps in the kitchen.

But these mussels were a sandy, gritty fail.  They looked pretty though!

Kitchen Lessons I've Learned

-Purchase an oven liner to avoid a feast of dinners past from accumulating on the bottom of your oven.  Don't use aluminum foil or parchment paper. Also, put your oven liner on the bottom rack, not the floor of the oven.
-to avoid grit, only buy PEI Mussels.  Optional - soak your mussels in cool water with some cornmeal at the bottom before preparation.  Lastly, remove the beards from your mussels.
-Find a cookie sheet brand you like and can trust. Use this brand to bake all your cookies for consistency. I like Chicago Metallic and it's cheap.  Also, use your silpat.
-Let the cookies cool before removing them from the cookie sheet.  It doesn't matter if this is the only cookie sheet/silpat you own :-/
-Be ridiculously generous with butter and marshmallows when making rice krispies.  Like 1.5x the recommended amount :-)

And what I'm still learning...
I love steak and have successfully cooked a steak before.  However last Thursday I found myself setting off the fire alarm 4 times and coming to close to having a heart attack over fear the sprinkler system would be next.  The kitchen was just so smoky!  I've been reading about the smoke points of oil and trying to figure out how to avoid this problem in the future.  My phone is the galaxy s5 and it often stalks my google searches and suggests I check out things (usually the NC state score on game days).  After my mishap, it recommended I read  No Grill, No Vent, No Problem.  Great, so my phone knows I've been struggling in the kitchen too!

I've had a lot of good days in the kitchen so of course I was due for some bad days.  Practice makes perfect!

Chicken Sauteed in Brown Butter and Sage with Parmesan Spinach Orzo.  
This was a success. Well kinda. :-)  Always room for improvement!