On a Whim…

I typically don’t live the lifestyle of the Crazy and Spontaneous. I’m a firstborn planner through and through. For me, the actual planning ahead is a wonderful part of the whole experience. I adore the delight of counting days, the rehearsing of the details in my mind, and the sheer upward arc of anticipation!

But last week, I took a rather huge leap off the cliff of spontaneity. And I have to say…I kind of loved it.

I just got home from spending a few days down in Florida with Jenni on a “blacation” (anybody coined that word yet? Ha!), where we visited Hogwarts together for the first time! There were tears, butterflies, goosebumps, and thrills – and that was just with the first glimpse of the castle spires ;-).

Of course meeting Jenni was fabulous too, but we already knew each other so well, it didn’t really feel like a first time meeting to me at all. This week just felt like spending time with family – sisters separated at birth. No need for impressing, putting up a good front, or getting nervously excited (public mode) like you do when meeting someone you only know and admire from arms length.

Those are the best kind of friends. You can talk a mile a minute, not really care about what you look like, solve all the worlds problems, bask in the golden glow of silence, methodically sip coffee while your brain starts slowly kicking into gear for the day, and enjoy all of those sweet moments together equally.

I’ll have lots more photos and details next week, as will she, I’m sure – but for today, while I laze about trying to recover from my excessive lack of sleep, here’s a little peek at the amazing castle for you (it was all I’d ever dreamed it would be!):

What was the last spontaneous thing you’ve done?

Crockpot Bourbon Chicken

I LOVE this easy, delicious recipe! Please note that this is not “Bourbon Street” chicken, this stuff really does have bourbon in it. I’ve served it over rice, as well as in a bun – and it’s equally yum both ways! For the sandwiches pictured below, I sprinkled one thinly sliced onion over the chicken and sauce mixture before turning the crock pot on.

Bourbon Chicken

1 tbsp. ground ginger
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 c. (scant) sucanot or brown sugar
2 nip-sized bottles of bourbon (also known as sample or airplane-sized)
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts

Whisk together the first six ingredients. Place chicken in the bottom of the crockpot and pour sauce over top. Cook on low for 5-7 hours or on high for 4-6.

Memorial Day Weekend

 

One of the highlights of our Memorial Day Weekend, is going to our friend’s home in Floyd for a grand picnic every year! In true country style: the live music is bluegrass, the main dish is BBQ, we drink out of mason jars, the napkins are tied with shreds of bandanas, and the fireworks are spectacular!

But pictures tell the story better than words can:


It was a wonderfully relaxing evening under the sky.

How did you spend Memorial Day Weekend?

 

Mail Call

I was slightly in love with this beauty last week...

Dear Dance Teacher,
You sure whipped my tail this weekend (and my shoulders, thighs, and core too). Thanks for the pain – I’ve never had so much fun incurring it! But the whole “prowling lioness” bit was a tad…um…awkward.
Sincerely,
Achy

Dear JCrew Sample Sale Staff,
I feel as if it should be entirely my prerogative to change my mind about purchasing something I’ve placed into my shopping bag – not yours. And by-the-by, we really do need to try things on before we make a final decision. It’s not a luxury. We’re women. C’mon. And I’m an “unusual body type” woman – 7/8ths of the fashion world just does not look good on me. Oh, and if I were you, I’d just give up on trying to re-fold things entirely until the sale is over!
Yours,
A member of the stampede

Dear Little Red BBQ Truck,
Your delectable morsels were music to my highly developed BBQ taste buds. It was quite possibly the best smoked pork I’ve ever had. Thank you for such a satisfying lunch, and the delightful service with a smile.
Fondly,
Stuffed like a pig

Dear Traveling Buddy,
I cannot wait to jump on a jet plane, and visit Hogwarts with you!!! I really hope I like pumpkin juice…I feel that if I don’t, it will invalidate my existence somehow… Anyway, I look forward to the fun, adventure, and hangout time that awaits us!
Excited,
Much.

Dear Blog,
Although I don’t want either of us to get a big head, I really like your new makeover. Fresh and fun – vintage and sweet. It took us a while to get here, but I hope you’ll stick around! Thanks for being so obliging with all the changes I’ve put you through this past week! Nearly had an identity crises meltdown. I know.
Devotedly,
Your creator

Dear Neighbors-Who-Own-Dogs,
I appreciate that you give a safe, loving home to a dependent canine. But would you please, for-the-love-of-all-that’s-Holy, keep your dog in your yard to relieve him/herself?? I’m rather tired of finding little deposits from your pooches in MY dog’s pooping grounds. And so are they, incidentally. Might I recommend a leash/fence/supervision? It’s the new friendly.
Regards,
She who holds the scooper

Dear Summer,
You know I love your winsome days, and lingering lightening-bug-filled-nights… However, I’m not a big fan of excessive heat, or worse, high humidity. So if you would please keep my frizzy hair and overactive sweat glands in mind when filling your temperature datebook this year, I’d appreciate it more than you know…
Already,
Hot

 

Sandwich Week

While looking around for menu inspiration, I thought it would be fun to have a week of sandwiches for dinner.~ Not the usual PB&J or turkey and cheese, but the kind of yummy sandwiches that we never really take the time to make mid-week for lunch. The challenge then became: what to have at lunchtime those 5 days that wasn’t a sandwich? Ha! Harder than you might think…

Here are some visual aids to make you hungry, and I’ll post our full menu at the bottom:


Monday: Grown-up Grilled Cheese, Salad, and Smoky Sweet Potato Soup
Tuesday: Grape/Almond Chicken Salad Croissants, Carrots and Hummus
Wednesday: Monte Cristos, Bacon, Fruit Smoothies
Thursday: Shredded Bourbon Chicken and Onion Buns w/ Slaw, Wasabi Almonds, Corn on the Cob
Friday: Reubens w/ Londonport, Sweet Potato Oven Fries, Raspberry Dip

Do you have a favorite sandwich?

 

In the Shade – an Outfit Post

Green silk bird shirt: JCrew, Jeans: Mossimo Target, Sandals: Italian Shoemakers, Toe Polish: Real Red-AVON

Some days are full of warm, delicious sunlight. The kind that soaks into your very soul and heals you from the inside out. Funny how some days, that same sun can also be oppressive, blinding, and harmful, isn’t it? Kind of makes me think about the importance of keeping things within their proper boundaries in our lives. Too much of anything can be, well, too much.

Food, wine, the internet, cleaning(!), shopping, sleep, micro-managing, games, tv, reading, exercise, etc., etc., etc.: all good things, and some absolutely necessary – but in excess: harmful.

Living with intentionality requires us to continually be taking stock of our lives, and then making the hard decisions we need to make, in order to consciously keep everything within a healthy balance.

Just some thoughts to mull…