Creamy Cucumber Soup

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! I loved visiting with my parents and we all had a fabulous 4th!


After spending the day roaming around town with my parents on Friday, we grilled out at home for dinner and then took the boat to get ice cream with Robert’s whole family. On Saturday we had a fantastic cookout on his sister’s new porch and watched the annual neighborhood 4th of July golf cart parade. All the kids in the neighborhood decorate their bikes, scooters golf carts and then caravan around the neighborhood and throw out candy while everyone watches from their lawns. This was my first year experiencing it but I thought it was such a cute tradition!

GC Parade GC Parade 2

It rained Saturday evening which was kind of a bust and delayed a lot of the fireworks, but we did manage to catch a few and enjoyed our time together nonetheless.

Festive Family
My adorably festive Aunt & Mother in Law

On Sunday my parents and I took a day trip to Savannah to celebrate my dad’s birthday in one of his favorite cities. He used to travel to Savannah often for work so he toured us around the city and then we came home and met Robert for a casual dinner out. Happy 61st Dad!

 Dad's Bday

I am missing my parents already but I am happy to do a bit of detoxing after a weekend full of barbeque, birthday margaritas and red white and blue desserts. Fun, delicious and oh so worth it, but it IS nice to get back on track.

Remember those herb pots my mother was bringing down, aren’t they great looking?

 Herb Pots

She had my dad make these cute wine cork labels, which I thought were adorable and will probably be replicating in the future.

 Cork Markers

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Super Spinach Pesto

Happy Wednesday! I’m back in toasty (and I do mean toasty, hello 90 degree heat and sweaty armpits, I did not miss you) South Carolina after our jaunt in the Windy City. We had such a fabulous trip and packed A LOT into our brief stay. I can’t wait to share it with you!


Since we’ve been back I have been catching up on laundry, and Renly cuddles.

Ren 2

Goodness I miss that sweet face when he’s not around.

I’ve also been getting back into my gym routine and buying lots of healthy groceries after an indulgent weekend away. Fancy dinners and deep dish pizza lunches call for zucchini noodle recovery.  Confession…. You know those annoying people who say things like “I would order a cheeseburger but I just LOVE salad” when you go out to eat? I might be one of them. I know.

 Finished Pesto

I actually do love salad, but not because I’m an annoying health nut (or at least I hope not) but rather because I eat salad a lot and I think they taste delicious. I have definitely discovered over the last few years of eating better, that I tend to crave whatever I’m in the habit of eating, be it healthy or less so. Humans are creatures of habit and if you are in a routine of eating whole, good for you things, you want to continue eating whole, good for you things and not just because you know they are good for you, but because they actually start to taste good to you. I think this is why the most successful diets are those that help you cultivate new habits that stick with you longer than the prescribed 21, 30, whatever number of days. Once you start enjoying the good for you stuff, you’re going to want to stick with it.

Now, that isn’t to say you shouldn’t enjoy the moment and indulge when it’s worth it, I certainly enjoyed my deep dish pizza, BUT it is nice to be back home and get back on track. So now we’ll get to the recipe Smile


I adore pesto (and pretty much all things Italian) and have been making it from scratch ever since I realized how simple it was. Store bought pesto can be pricy (thanks pine nuts) and loaded with calories. You can make your own less expensive, equally as delicious and much better for you version at home. All you need is a food processor (or a good blender would probably work too).

 Ingredients plus Lemon

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Creamy Chimi Churri & A Celebrity Encounter

Happy Friday to all! We are completing state wide testing at work this week.… not typically part of my job description but one of my schools is currently short staffed so I am helping out and BOY is it ever stressful! I remember testing at the beginning and end of the school year only when I was this age, but times have changed and our poor kids seem to be testing 5-6 times a year! Helping this week has given me a new appreciation for how trying testing can be from the teachers perspective as well, I think it is harder on them than the students! I think treating myself to a pedicure this afternoon will be the perfect reward after this long week Smile

So remember a few weeks ago when I had Adult Spring Break 2015 (ASB2k15)? Oh how I miss it already in all it’s oat-y, egg-y, smoothie-y breakfast glory? On the final Saturday of my break I drove up to Nashville to retrieve Robert from the airport so that we could attend a wedding that evening. We stayed with our sweet friends Tyler and Meredith who graciously welcomed us into their adorable home. Living at the beach we tend to get a lot of visitors, and I like to think I’m a pretty good hostess but I think Meredith put me to shame. Check out the adorable bedside table set-up in their guest room:


Totally stealing this idea next time I have guests!

Tyler and Meredith were not attending the wedding so the four of us decided to catch up over lunch before it was time to get ready for the wedding. They took us to Burger Up, a trendy restaurant serving you guessed it! Burgers and beer! I have a feeling they chose this restaurant with Robert in mind since cheeseburgers are his absolute favorite. I’m not normally a burger girl but a kale salad didn’t seem like a substantial enough choice for a wedding that was sure to include drinking later that evening, so I went with the mushroom and swiss burger with truffle mayo. Wow. I haven’t yet mastered the art of photographing my food in public when anyone other than Robert is around, so there’s no photo, but I’m pretty sure this is the most delicious burger I’ve ever had in my entire life. EVER. If you are in Nashville I highly recommend this place (and the truffle mayo…nom). Not only was our food delicious, but Burger Up also supplied me with my first ever real life celebrity sighting!


In case you can’t tell who that tall, blurry person is (don’t quit your day job to become a paparazzo Robert) it’s Vince Vaughn!

 Vince Close Up

We were seated right next to the hostess stand at Burger Up and I literally looked up from my delicious lunch to find he and his beautiful wife and friends standing 3 feet from our table, waiting to be seated. I have always wondered how I would react to meeting a celebrity and unfortunately, I now know just how uncool I will play it. I just stared at him with my mouth wide open, completely star struck and unable to even get a hello out…womp womp. He was extremely tall and much thinner than I would have thought, and when he saw us staring awkwardly at him notice him he walked the few feet over to our table and said hello and shook hands with Robert and Tyler. He  seemed very nice and took pictures with anyone who asked while he waited to be seated. Very gracious of him but man, can you imagine being hounded for pictures every time you step out your door, even just to get a burger? No thanks. We chose to play it cool (finally) and sneak our picture from across the restaurant as he was making his way to his seat.

fish salad 2
Mmmm… all the green things

The rest of our stay in Nashville, as well as the wedding we attended was absolutely lovely. We spent all of Sunday in the car and arrived back home semi ready to re-enter the real world. Since the end of ASB2k15 was a little indulgent, Robert and I both wanted to get back on track with lighter, healthier meals this week.  Since I promised to share my creamy chimi churri sauce recipe during Easter I decided to whip up a batch to go with our weekly meals.

 ingredients 2

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Slow Saturday Breakfast: Smoked Salmon & Sweet Potato Hash

Happy Saturday! This might be the first time in a while that I’ve posted a “Slow Saturday Breakfast” on an actual Saturday. ASB2k15 allows you to be on the ball like that.

ASB2k15? Adult Spring Break 2015 (Hey-O)! You may be wondering how adult spring break differs from that experienced during your younger years. There is significantly less drinking, A LOT more sleeping and  since the weather has been positively terrible in Tennessee this week, a lot less sunburn. After a weekend in Hilton Head with my mom, we both packed up and headed back to Chattanooga on Monday. Since we’ve been back it has rained non-stop which means instead of playing outside with Renly, walking/shopping downtown and laying out like I planned to do, I have been napping, reading and playing lots of indoor tug-of-war with Mr. Ren and his favorite toys. I miss the sun but napping in my childhood bed like I used to do after a tough day of high school (hah) is not a bad alternative. File this spring break under ‘lazy’ ‘relaxing’.

Spring Break Renly
           Spring Break Renly

Another thing I have been doing a lot of this week is eating breakfast foods for as many meals as possible. It’s only fitting since I’ve spent the majority of this week in my pajamas (I know, I am SO fun and exciting, right?!?). If I didn’t have my darling husband to cook for, I could easily eat breakfast for all three meals a day. Robert doesn’t mind the occasional pancake dinner but he’s more of a traditionalist when it comes to mealtimes. Unfortunately for him, ASB2k15 is not one of the perks of his job. He’s been stuck home working all week while I’ve been binging on oatmeal and egg sandwiches. That of course means he’s probably been binging on all the unhealthy stuff I try to limit when I’m around, so he might actually be enjoying this ASB2k15 almost as much as me Smile

Hash 3

Before you start worrying about me actually turning into a pancake, I have made it out of the house a bit this week. On Wednesday my mother, sister and I drove down to Atlanta for some girl time. We shopped at some cute boutiques in the Virginia Highlands area and then made our way to the Westsides Provisions District for a little more shopping and some lunch. We ate at Star Provisions, which is more or less a deli counter/bakery in the front of Bacchanalia, one of Atlanta’s most beloved restaurants. We each ordered a sandwich, Reuben for mom, Muffaletta for my sister and I got the Banh Mi, my first. Holy wow, I wish I had stopped to take a picture of our lovely sandwiches but we were so hungry that they were gone before I even considered it. My mom declared her reuben the best she’s ever had and my banh mi was outstanding. We all liked the muffaletta the least and agreed it would have been better toasted. If you’re in Atlanta and into sandwiches (who isn’t into sandwiches?) I highly recommend Star Provisions. They also have some gorgeous kitchen wares and linens to peruse while you wait for your food, and last but not least, a Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams across the street. Ice cream is my favorite indulgence and I have been itching to try Jeni’s. I took advantage after our meal and followed up my lunch with two scoops: brown butter toffee crumble and brambleberry crisp. Delicious. It was the perfect ending to a lovely mother daughter day. It also fueled us for our final stop, Ikea. If you’ve never visited an Ikea, I can best sum it up by saying that it’s an experience. A very large, somewhat overwhelming, maze like experience. I’ll leave it at that.

Egg Lid On

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Easter Weekend & Artichoke Salsa

I meant to get this post written Sunday/Monday but you know…life. It happens.

Per usual, it’s been hectic around these parts. Next week is my spring break and my job always seems to gear up and get even more crazy busy than usual before a break. I am definitely looking forward to the time off, as I plan to spend it in Tennessee with my family. My mom is actually flying in this weekend so we can attend the funeral of a good friend’s grandmother. Not the best circumstances for a visit, but I am excited to see her and happy to have someone to make the drive home with! Not that Renly isn’t good company, but he tends to sleep a lot in the car and doesn’t really talk back much.


I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend! My friend Caite got into town late Thursday night and we enjoyed a breakfast date (my favorite!) Friday morning followed by an afternoon spent in our bathing suits on a dock. It was just warm enough to be laying out and just windy enough not to be too hot, heavenly. We followed up our day in the sun with dinner at home and a late night visit to Hilton Head Ice Cream. Ice Cream is my weakness and if you are ever in HHI I suggest you give this place a try. All their flavors are homemade and chocked full of add-ins. Robert considers himself a cookies and cream connoisseur and he has deemed their Oreo ice cream “the best”. Believe it.

Oreo Cake
The birthday cake of a true Oreo lover…

Robert left us Saturday to head to his aunt’s home in Charleston. I was sad to see him go but a girls night with your best friend is certainly not something that happens every day so I didn’t stay blue for long. We took Renly on a long walk around one of my favorite neighborhoods on the water and then took ourselves shopping. That night we tried out a new restaurant in town that’s been on my to-do list, Poseidon. The food was underwhelming but the drinks were good and it was a fun excuse to get dressed up!

Green Renly
Instead of dying eggs, Renly dyed his head green with a roll in the grass

Caite left early Sunday and I had a few hours to get the house back in order before Robert got home and we headed to a late Easter dinner to celebrate my brother in law’s 40th birthday. The kids had a great time hunting eggs and it was nice to catch up with my family since I had missed them over the weekend. As Caite was leaving Sunday we discovered an Easter surprise on the front porch….

Easter Delivery Easter Delivery 2

Such a thoughtful husband I have, surprising me with wine and chocolate even when he is out of town Smile Love that man.

 Easter Basket 2

Since I knew Caite and I would be indulging this weekend I tried to make our Friday dinner at home a healthy one. I found this delicious looking recipe a few weeks ago on one of my favorite food blogs and was instantly inspired. I am not yet a grill master (summertime goal) so Robert grilled up the chicken while I made the sides, ham wrapped asparagus (the only way I like asparagus, I’ll share the non-recipe soon) and roasted carrots (yep, can’t stop, won’t stop). Grilled chicken is pretty ho hum on its own,  but a topping/sauce can make it sing. In typical indecisive fashion, I couldn’t decide between trying Kristin’s artichoke salsa or making my favorite creamy chimi churri sauce, so I went with both. They don’t call me the condiment queen for nothing! *Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I just gave myself that nickname, like right now as I was typing, but I do really love sauces so lets just go with it.

 Grilled Chicken with Artichoke Salsa

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