Five on Friday

Happy Friday friends!

Good week?

It was a tough start to the week for me--- I had meetings after school both Tuesday and Wednesday and didn't get home from school until 7:45 Tuesday night! The last two days have been snow days, though, and they have been my saving grace!

All that being said, I still can't believe I haven't posted in a whole week! I have 3 posts lined up for next week, though, and I am hoping to get back into the swing of things!

Today I thought I'd do a random post, linking up with the sweet ladies, April, Christina, Natasha & Darci, for Five on Friday.

Here goes!

In addition to school demands lately, I have also been working to plan a baby shower for Erin of the blog Attention to Darling. I am hosting with 5 other ladies, but kind of took the lead, and can't believe that the shower weekend is finally here! I love party planning and can't wait to see how everything turns out tomorrow. We are going with a baby chic theme, decorating with golds and corals. We pulled the colors from Erin's nursery...you can see her fabulous inspiration board for it here

I designed and ordered the invites through Paperless Post and had a great experience!
Lilly Magnets were a must, of course, for posting the invite on our fridge...

Here is a sneak peek of a banner I made for the shower!

Remember my "Camo?" post!? Well since, posting that a few weeks ago, I have discovered the cutest camo jeans at Loft and they are on sale right now! They come in both modern and curvy fits and I am thinking I need to head to the mall so I can try them on!

Last night I came up with these chicken cordon bleu roll-ups and they were so so good! They made for a pretty light meal paired with caesar salad and I have a feeling they might become a part of our normal rotation. I am planning to post the recipe next week!

I picked up these little bunny place card holders at Target last night and am in love! They are very Antrho-esque, are they not? Easter decor is my absolute fave...all the pastels just  make me happy and I have loved bunnies since I was a little girl. We will likely be having Easter brunch at my parents' again, and I am thinking they will be perfect to put labels next to all the foods, as we typically don't do arranged seating. I might even have to go back to get a few more! They also had adorable salt and pepper shakers, a candy dish, and a cookie jar

I am loving this pin! Y'all know I love a bold, bright print and that blue color is so cheery! You can see the whole sitting room space here and can follow me on Pinterest here...I have 13 different Home Inspiration boards full of even more eye candy like this!

So there you have it...5 random snippets from my life lately!

What's been going on in your life lately?

Have a great weekend!


Chicken Alfredo w/Braised Fennel, Asparagus, & Prosciutto

Happy Friday readers!

Today I am so excited to share the recipe for our Valentine's Day meal with you! I shared in this post last week that my alfredo was pretty much a non-negotiable for Bryce and that I also was hoping to somehow incorporate fennel and prosciutto into the meal. I put my thinking cap on and came up with a meal that met both of our needs: Chicken Alfredo w/Braised Fennel, Asparagus, & Prosciutto.

For the alfredo (adapted from this recipe):
4 servings of angel hair pasta (this is our favorite and I love this tool to cook it)
1 and a half cups of heavy cream
2 cloves minced garlic
5 tbs unsalted butter
1 and a half cups grated parmesan
salt and pepper
4 tbs chopped, fresh parsley
For the braised fennel: 
2 large fennel bulbs
3 tbs salted butter
3 tbs olive oil
6 oz white wine (we used a mini bottle of dry Chardonnay)
For the other additions:
2 chicken breasts or 3 chicken thighs (your preference)
1/4 pound of prosciutto, sliced medium
1 bunch of asparagus tips (~50 tips)
olive oil
minced garlic
salt and pepper

For the alfredo:
-Warm cream and garlic in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, until steaming.
-Chop butter into 5 tablespoon-sized slices and whisk into cream sauce until melted.
-Add in parmesan, salt, pepper, and parsley.
-Increase heat to medium and simmer approximately 10 minutes, until reduced to 1 cup.
-In the meantime, cook pasta to your liking (I am personally not a fan of al dente, so I cook a little bit past that. If you opt for the angel hair we use, it cooks very fast! Usually only takes about 5 min!)
-Combine angel hair and sauce
For the braised fennel:
-Cut green stalks off of the fennel bulbs and slice them, leaving the tough core. Chop to desired size.
-Melt butter in pan and immediately add chopped fennel.
-Drizzle with olive oil and stir.
-Braise on medium heat for about 5 min, until fennel develops a caramelized appearance and becomes slightly translucent.
-Stir often to avoid burning. If fennel starts getting brown or black on the edges, reduce heat.
-Add wine and cover (Bryce cracked the lid) and cook on low-medium heat for about 5 minutes.
-Uncover and cook for about 5 more minutes to reduce wine. (It will thicken a bit and make a tasty sauce to dip bread in).
-Optional: add a hard cheese like grated parmesan right at end. This can be served on its own as a side or appetizer, however, we did not do this, because it was going into the alfredo).
For the additions:
-Marinade chicken with olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper
-Grill chicken and chop into slices
-Cover with foil and set aside
-Marinade asparagus with olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper
-Sautee in pan, until slightly browned and crunchy, approximately 10 minutes (I love this skinny grill for sauteing)
-Slice prosciutto into small pieces
Add chicken, asparagus, fennel and prosciutto to angel hair alfredo and stir.

Have you ever cooked with fennel?

What are your favorite romantic recipes?

Have a great day!


Heart Day Recap

Happy Hump Day readers!

I hope that wherever you are, you are staying warm! We got more than 6 inches of snow on Monday night and have not been to school since. I am definitely enjoying some time to recharge my batteries.

Today I am excited to finally recap our Valentine's Day weekend with you! I had planned to get this post up sooner, but the excitement of snow days had me doing other things (see Instagram...).

This year was Bryce's and my 4th Valentine's Day together and the first one that fell on a weekend, making it that much more fun. Here's a look at what we did!

Valentine's morning, Bryce surprised me with breakfast in bed, a great start to the weekend!

That morning, I also gave him his cheesy Valentine:

After breakfast, we lounged around a bit and then ran some errands (including grocery shopping for our dinner that evening).

(for just $14.99 from the girls' section, no less!) 
were perfect for the occasion!

After our errands, we made some cocktails and got cooking!

For appetizers we had mozzarella sticks with balsamic drizzle and clams!

I need a little more practice to make these pretty, 
but they sure were delicious!

My favorite!

After enjoying our apps, I went about setting the table. As mentioned last week, I had not decorated this year at all and quickly pulled out my heart confetti for our table!

Nothing too fancy, but I did like that my lilies and roses
 from Bryce took center stage!

And for our meal, I came up with an angel hair alfredo with braised fennel, asparagus, chicken and prosciutto!  It was a joint effort. Bryce fixed the chicken and fennel outside on the grill while I worked on the alfredo, asparagus, and prosciutto inside.

The meal turned out to be amazing and I will be
posting the recipe tomorrow!

All evening, the wind had been whipping like crazy and toward the end of our meal the power went out, giving new meaning to the term "candlelight dinner." I was relieved that we had opted for a store bought fudge pie over a homemade dessert, since it probably would have been baking in the oven at that point. From that point on we kept the fire blazing and I made a nest for us on the floor in front of it.

We considered heading to my parents' for the night since they had power, but the wind was even blowing down the chimney. We were worried about it blowing an ember into the house, so we braved it by the fire under lots of blankets!

The next morning, we got up early and headed to my parents for hot showers (and my dad's yummy egg sandwiches). Bryce had surprised me with a cellar tour of RdV Vineyards and we needed to hit the road. The vineyard was over the top amazing and I will be posting a full recap Friday, however, until then I will give you a brief peek at our day:

And you might notice, I got the cape I've been wanting forever!

Did you have a nice Valentine's Day?

What did you do to celebrate?

Have a great day!


V-Day Reminiscing...

Happy Hump Day readers!

I feel like a broken record, but school has just been a lot lately. I didn't get home last night until nearly 6:00 and then did more work until 8:30 pm. This constant devotion to school and countless meetings has been going on for weeks now and it's taken its toll.

It has even caused me to be quite the Valentine's Day slacker this year! I've pulled out no decorations, aside from just throwing our heart wreath on the door this past weekend and haven't done anything creative for Bryce in these weeks leading up to heart day.

It has me majorly reminiscing to Valentine's Days of the past where I had the energy and time to do more...

Let's reminisce a bit!

Last year I hosted a Valentine's Making Party (full post here) with all my girlfriends. It was so fun and I had hoped to make it an annual tradition. Maybe I can bring it back next year...

I also decked the house out and was so happy by the pink/red/heart explosion throughout the house (full post here)! 

For Bryce, I did 14 days of memories, adding a new memory on a heart to our sunburst mirror each day in February...

Two years ago I was sick, but still managed to make Bryce a pretty fancy valentine and also surprised him with a camping night in that weekend, complete with fireside s'mores...

And on our very first Valentine's Day together, I was really crafty and made "52 Things I Love About You" with a deck of cards (full post here).

This year, I have a semi-creative gift for Bryce on order and am sure I will pull out some of the decorations to set a pretty table Saturday night, but, as I've said before-- it's the year of doing my thing!

What have you done for Valentine's Days past?

Any creative plans up your sleeve for this year?

Have a great day!


Valentine's Day Meal Planning

Happy Monday readers!

Good weekend?

Another lazy one over here! Bryce went out of town for part of the weekend and I spent most of that time curled up with a book. I have become quite the weekend bookworm and am loving it.

Today I bring you what was meant to be Friday's post. As you know, Bryce and I always spend Valentine's Day at home. We try to put extra care into a homemade meal and just enjoy time together.

As I consider a menu, I can share one thing...I will likely be making alfredo. It's Bryce's favorite thing that I make, so whatever we eat will ultimately have to complement angel hair alfredo (no fettucine for my man...).

That being said, I am hoping we can be a bit more creative when it comes to appetizers or the rest of the entree. I am scheming to come up with a prosciutto & fennel appetizer! Our favorite Richmond restaurant, Edo's Squid has an amazing braised fennel appetizer that Bryce has come close to recreating. I have recently thinking that prosiutto would complement it well and am trying to come up with a recipe, stay tuned...

Aside from that, here is what's catching my eye...

I'm wondering if I could tweak this to work with my alfredo sauce.

Baked Brie is one of my faves, along with Kahlua, so this has me thinking I could make a Valentine's meal out of cheese and wine alone...

Scallops just might be my all time favorite food and we both love, love, love pesto!
I am drooling.

This has me thinking I might need to tell Bryce to forget the alfredo...

I'm thinking these could double as an appetizer or the main dish beside some alfredo!

And now...you can't think I forgot about dessert!

I've been considering one of my go-tos, this delicious chocolate chess pie!

But any of these recipes are also sure to please...

With a large scoop of vanilla ice cream, of course!

We both go gaga for yummy lemon desserts!

Pondering how I could adjust this recipe to serve just two...

This looks melt in your mouth good!

What's your Valentine's Day style? 

Eat in or out?

If eating in, have you decided on your menu yet?

Have a great day!



Happy Hump Day readers!

I had hoped to get back on the Mon/Wed/Fri & Tues/Thurs blog schedule that I maintained for most of 2014, however it just hasn't happened. I've discovered that "The Year of Doing My Thing" (see here), really is all about doing my thing...

Monday night rolled around and rather than blogging I chose to make these babies, stuff my face, and fall asleep on the couch around 8 pm. It was glorious!

That being said, my post is coming to you a day late! Hopefully sooner or later I'll get back to my normal schedule!

Today I am asking your opinion about a semi-recent trend: camo.

Those that have been reading for a while, know that it takes me a while to warm up to new trends (case in point here). Sometimes I flat out don't like a trend, and then a few seasons later (when it's still around), I find myself gravitating towards it.

Camouflage, obviously, has been around forever (I even had a blue camouflage bikini when I was in 5th grade).  I hadn't seen it much on the fashion scene (since 5th grade), however until sometime around last fall. I initially really disliked it. Sure, I like it fine on Bryce when he's headed to the marsh, but on a girl? Or in home decor? No thanks...

Recently, however, I've been rethinking my initial distaste.

In fact, it's this tray that has me singing a different tune.

I really kinda dig it!

Since seeing the tray, just a few days ago, a new Mark & Graham catalogue has arrived as well...with none other than camo donning the cover!

I mean, how cute is this tote!?

...and this pouch!

I also think these jeans would be perfect for a casual Saturday!

And if you want to be a bit more subtle, these jeans are also a great option:

This camo sweater is just lovely...

And this belt is oh so chic, if you ask me!

So friends...what are your thoughts on this trend?  Love it or leave it?

What recent trends have been catching your eye?

Have a great day!