Fun Friends and Food

Like I said on Monday, our friends Jaque and Chris came over for dinner on Friday night for a little relaxation and dinner before we get completely bogged down with all things wedding for the next 3 weeks (BECAUSE ITS SO CLOSE NOW!!!! AHHHHH!!!!) It was nice to do something to keep my mind from wandering into wedding never land for a bit thinking a schedules, and organizing, and how were going to get what where, etc etc. We were also very excited to have the chance to break out some of our fun new serving pieces we have gotten from showers and to use our fun little rolling island we got from ikea a while back! Well David was excited about the island, I was excited about the serving pieces, to set the record straight. But I just love entertaining and setting everything up, I think its just so fun!

I picked up some small bouquets of assorted flowers at the local grocery store and used a small little vase I acquired from someone dropping off some treats at work (I love fab freebies!) I always joke that I should have gone into flowers because I love fresh flowers so much. I just think they add so much to a room and really soften the space. Not the fanciest thing ever, but I appreciate the touch of class!

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So to add to the set up we wheeled out our awesome butcher block ikea island and set up a little appetizer area for our guests featuring dipping bread and a tasty red wine sangria (which probably would have been better if I had more time to let it rest and mix all the flavors together!). But it was a great set up and kept everyone from congregating around the food prep space on the counters and opened up the counter space by giving us a little bit of extra room to set things, which we also appreciated!

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The great thing about this cart is that it has shelves underneath so for a big gathering you could keep plates/cups/etc underneath and place all the food or drinks on top AND because it has wheels we can just roll it outside and BAM more serving space for out there. Im really starting to like it and not resent buying it just to store it in our closet under the stairs! And then, when it was time for dinner… BAM Change over and we were serving the main course here which made it so easy to feed everyone through the kitchen to prep their plates etc.

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David grilled up some BBQ chicken quarters and fresh squash with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and some brown rice! super tasty! I love all the fresh veggies that are available in the sumer and I especially love that David is so into grilling. It alleviates some of the stress in the kitchen! Such a great night with great friends, and if you’re dying for that sangria recipe, here it is for ya!

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  • 1 Large bottle of red wine – chilled ( I used Pinot Noir)
  • 1 large orange sliced and placed in the bottom of the pitcher
  • 1/2 large orange juiced into the pitcher, slice the other half for garnish
  • 1 lemon sliced (half for garnish)
  • 1 -1 1/2 cups of a dark juice (I used cranberry pomegranate, but you can personalize the recipe here or leave this part out)
  • Add orange liquor to taste. I added enough to cover the fruit in the bottom of the pitcher.

Combine all the ingredients into a pitcher Fruit slices first then orange liquor, then red wine, then juice to mellow things out a bit, if needed. Then stir everything out and let chill for at least 3o minutes before serving. Then pour into glasses and garnish with freshly sliced fruit! Bottoms up!

Ho Hey- Lion King Style

Ok, I typically am not the biggest fan of cover songs, but I know sometimes you can find really cool diamonds in the rough, which is why I was pretty excited about the challenge of looking for cover songs for our wedding video (to avoid copyright issues) Well I found this little gem last night and it might be one of my favorite cover songs ever. Typically I like cover songs of traditionally more… hiphop-esque music set to acoustic guitar or piano because I find the juxtaposition of the original and the cover to be unbelievably awesome. And I think its interesting how the tune and tone can have a HUGE effect on the way the song comes across. But anywho, this version of this song is just top notch and it made me really happy so I wanted to share it with you, so you can share it with other people and brighten their day!

 

The Royal Wedding Shower

This past weekend I got to pretend I was a little kid again, and spend the afternoon playing dress up and having a tea party, and it was so much fun!

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Since the bridal showers are starting to wind down and were getting into serious wedding season where my to-do list keeps growing and growing and my stress levels are bound to start rising, it was great to have a fun themed shower!

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This one was with all my family from Augusta and then my friends my age. David’s mom and Bridget (my future sister-in-law) also came. I like to think I inspired lots of craft projects, since a majority of the fascinators people wore for the shower were DIY. Which was fun! Here is a close up of my fascinator, after I finished making it!
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We also had a legitimate tea party with scones, finger sandwiches, petitfores, and a variety of teas! It was tasty, and like I keep saying, so much fun! It was a little more intimate than all my other showers and I really enjoyed being able to have a legitimate conversation with everyone that was there as opposed to “Hi, bye, thanks for the gift”

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Everyone looked so cute in their tea attire, and my favorite part was watching everyone come in the door and show off their fascinator for the first time. So comical. Although, I have to admit, watching everyone try to fasten them to their heads when we were getting ready was also funny. Everyone was walking around with their heads cocked partially sideways because they were afraid the fascinators might fall off. BUT! Fear not, I had the gift of learning to bobby pin in dance class, so I had those head pieces on LOCK! And of all the fascinators I fastened only 1 fell out. Snaps to me!

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Real life, if you’re looking for a different theme for a shower, I highly recommend this one! It was great, and I am sure my aunts would love to share some tips on how to plan the perfect afternoon tea. We are all already looking for a reason to wear our fascinators to our next family get together (unless that happens to be my wedding, then, I hope they leave them at home!!)

 

Work Weekend Update

This past weekend we had off from traveling for wedding and family affairs, but no rest for the weary!!! We had lots of work to get done around the house, our first house guest, our college friend Matt, came so he and David could go to the Wells Fargo Championship on Sunday, and David parent’s came up for a day trip on Saturday to help our with some painting, to take some unruly hostas off our hands, and to get some wedding/rehearsal dinner things crossed off our to-do list! So, things were pretty jam packed. While David and his Dad put in a little elbow grease at the house, his mom and I were off to the Metrolina Expo for the monthly marketplace event, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite things, and I WILL get David out there with me one day, because I think it would be fuuuuun, but he has a different opinion, haha!

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There weren’t as many people there as last month when they had the big “semi annual extravaganza” but that doesn’t upset me, it wasn’t as stressful and I felt like we could take our time and just kind of wander, last time I felt like I was so overwhelmed with stuff I could barely function. We found lots of good stuff, David’s mom tons of jars and vases for the rehearsal dinner, which is what she was on the hunt for all day, and I got a card basket for the reception, as well as a galvanized tub we have to have with sand in it for the sparklers at the reception (fire marshall rules!!!) and then a some cute little mercury glass vases for our bedroom for like $6 a piece, holler! And then an orange scarf because I couldn’t resist and some metal letters for an upcoming craft project (but more on that later, ya know, after i complete it!)
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While David’s mom and I were making our design dreams a reality, David was dealing with what has become known as the “hosta situation” around our house. One weekend we went home to visit my parents before we left there were no plants or shrubs around the deck, and we came back the beginnings of a JUNGLE had sprouted out of the ground, and in just a few short weeks, the hostas have grown half way up the deck railing, this picture isnt even the most recent.

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they are probably like over two feet tall now, its absurd. People think we are joking about how many there are and how HUGE they are but its RIDICULOUS. they are planted way too close together, way too close to the deck and there are just… way too many! Even David’s parents we’re kind of shocked. So, needless to say after David spent several hours digging them up yesterday and bagging them up for his mom to take home, we still have over half of them left. We might transplant them to the edge of our yard where there is a big drop off, as kind of an edge. But once we got them all in David’s parent’s car, we weren’t at all sad to say “hosta luego” to them!
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While David played Mr. Landscaper, his dad was finishing the baseboards and edging in the master and guest bedroom, Im so glad we have had him to help with all the painting because if it were up to David and I, we might have had paint all over the floors and ceilings, for sure! In addition to David’s parents being here Saturday his friend Matt came into town, and we cooked a little Cinco De Mayo dinner and made some delicious margaritas per my Dad’s highly sought after recipe! Still not spilling the beans!!!

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It was so great to have a weekend and home and not have to run up and down the interstate all over the two-state. And I loved being able to catch up on blogging, clean a little, and get some laundry and grocery shopping done, house-wife statuuuuus! Next weekend its back on the road for me, for my second bridal shower, and David will be entertaining some more house guests (his brother, nephew, and maybe my Dad!)

 

Golden Anniversary

This past weekend we spent time with my grandparents celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary!!! I feel like this is an awesome accomplishment, especially this day in time, and an amazing testament to their love and loyalty. I feel like David and I have been really fortunate to witness their relationship, and their celebration of 50 years together.

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They started dating when they were 16, so they said their marriage has been a testament that young love lasts, but I think its more than that. They are both extremely understanding, caring, honest, and loyal. All things that I think are key in any relationship, but especially a marriage. This weekend she told David and I her little pearl of wisdom to share with us before our wedding, while relatively simple and a little cliche, was to never go to bed angry. The underlying context being to not hold grudges, be good at communicating, and to not let the little things get you down, and of course, don’t take life to seriously. The party was so great and a wonderful opportunity for them to celebrate with family and friends! And, of course another fun event for us to plan! The guys were in charge of making all the bar-b-que, the cooked a whole hog and several chickens for the 60+ guests, and the ladies were in charge of all the coordinating and decorating, you know all the fun stuff!

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My mom, aunts, sister and I tagged teamed to make these cute centerpieces happen. We hit up an awesome fabric shop in Huntersville on weekend to get the burlap. And then my aunt got the cute little lanterns and candles on sale somewhere, Rachel and I went on a fun little adventure to collect lots of greenery and flowers and we managed to pull it together. Buuuut what I really want to focus on is my little adventure with my sister. The flowers and leaves weren’t originally part of the decor but we decided the tables looked a little bare and my aunt had these magnolia trees in her yard so we went and collected some free greenery and purchased the flowers. However, nothing related to yard work has ever been simple with my sister and me, so… since words won’t do it justice, I will just let you watch what happened.

Yeah, struggles. So once we got those leaves all taken care of we were also able to set up all the cute little centerpieces and these centerpieces on the head table!
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I also loved all the little things that they had, like old pictures of my grandparents, their wedding album, love letters they had written to each other while my grandmother was in college, and some other fun little pieces my aunt was able to find on our last adventure at the metrolina! (ps. I have another one of those coming up with David’s mom this weekend to hunt for things for the rehearsal dinner, so stay tuned!)
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My favorite piece was the fact that my grandmother pulled out her wedding dress and we were actually able to display it at the party! I thought that was such a cool dress, and I couldn’t believe how well it held up considering it wasn’t all “preserved” and such. But it was still really cool to be able to see it and touch it and look at it!

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And, of course we had to have the cake, and my mom and her brother and sister got them a nice little serving set, just like a wedding! Woot! So we got to watch them all cut the cake, but unfortunately there was not cake stuffing… but no promises for following that model behavior in august ūüėČ

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It was a great weekend, and so wonderful to be able to commemorate such an awesome event in my grandparents lives with them! You could tell they were so excited to be surrounded by all their family and friends to celebrate and I felt like it was such an awesome reminder about what marriage is all about only a few months before David and I say “I-do”. We have actually been extremely fortunate to be able to celebrate a few big anniversaries in our family around our wedding, this 50th with my grandparents, my parents 25th last summer, and David’s parents 30th! All such awesome inspirations for us as we begin our lives together. We are so lucky to have all of them!

The Mickey Mouse Birthday Bash

This past weekend, David and I spent some much needed time with my extended family at my grandma’s house to celebrate LOTS of February birthdays. Both my little cousins were born in February as were my Dad and my Grandma (they were actually born on the same day), so we had a busy weekend of family time, birthday parties, and cake… lots and lots of cake, or maybe just food in general. My family is big into southern cookin’ so every meal was a production, which was awesome for my tastebuds and less than awesome for my pre-wedding waistline.Although, I have to admit, I don’t regret a single bite!!!
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We even caught a  little glimpse of the winter weather, I actually got up Saturday morning to a light dusting on the ground and the snow falling ALL DAY! I thought it was going to ruin all the big plans, but we managed to man up and make it to the birthday party, SO enough about the snow, lets talk about the big event for the weekend, which was the SUPER CUTE and so well themed: The Mickey Mouse Birthday Party!!!

My two little cousins are currently OBSESSED with Mickey Mouse, and primarily Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, so the mouse was out in full force for the party! There were SO many cute homemade decorations and crafts, so naturally I loved it, and David and I even helped out by making some Mickey Mouse cake pops, they got kind of melty and squished in the car, but more on that in tomorrows post! Lets get back to the super par-tay!

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First, there was this cute little birthday sign, all Mickey Mouse-d out! I love the ears on the letters and the banners, and the shorts and the buttons, everything! Like I said, so perfectly themed!!

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Then we move on to the tables, which were also so great! The mickey heads in the pots had balloons attached to them, as no good birthday party is complete with out balloons, and I think the use of the styrofoam balls was perfect for making the centerpieces! Also, she even went as far as to make her own PLACEMATS!!! Which were also Mickey heads!

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See, soooo cute! She literally went all out! This is another reason David and I can never have children because I will spend and obscene amout of time making things for children’s birthday parties, which is probably no healthy!

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They also had this super cute and delicious mickey cake made, because, of course, the cake makes the party! So, this one was perfect for the occasion!

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ANDDD! Tadaaaaaa, these are our cake pops! Sorry, the picture is kind of blurry, you will have plenty of time to oogle them tomorrow…. pre-melt! Like I said, they did NOT travel well. And last but not least, here is our favorite part of the party:

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There was a HUGE mickey balloon for all the kids to take pictures with, so, after the crowd started to thin, David and I decided we would take a few fun pictures… and by we… I mostly mean David…

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Who wanted to pose like the Walt Disney statue at the entrance to Disney World, and I commend him for his efforts! But my favorite picture is this one of David taking a little stroll with Mickey through the birthday party. My little gentle giant!
IMG_2828Clearly they are besties! It was definitely a great weekend filled with lots of fun and excitement and eating, and family togetherness, especially with all the snow that kept us all inside all day, dreading the frozen tundra that existed outside!

10 Park Lanes

This past Friday, David and I decided we were going to give up our lives of bumming around on the weekends and take the first step toward making the best of all that Charlotte has to offer, as we mentioned at the beginning of the year.

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So we decided to do a little double dating with my friend Jaque and her boyfriend and check out 10 Park Lanes in Montford.

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I know what you’re thinking. “Wow, Kristin, grandmas sat us for sure, bowling on a Friday night?” but this bowling ally was just renovated, its like this bar, and full service restaurant…

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I mean we had to wait an hour and a half to get a lane. You let me know the last time you did that at your local bowling ally? UMM never!

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But it was so much fun and totally worth the wait, just to get out and do something outside of our routine, and I was really excited to go with Jaque and Chris

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because I feel like they are our first Charlotte couple friends that we dont know from some other stage in our lives, which is really exciting, because I love meeting new people!

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I have to admit none of us are any good at bowling… after two games… the highest score between all four of us was a 107…. which David got. Salt in the wound, of course David was the best one. And I am pretty freaking terrible at bowling. I always think eeeh Im not THAT bad… but I am.. really, its kind of shameful.¬†
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I mean, I dont understand how we cant all be amazing at bowling, look at what exquisite form we all have. We should be fixtures atop the worlds most honored bowling trophies. Thats how legit we are. Although, everyone had lots of pointers for my technique because apparently I just kind of toss the ball down the lane, but its whatever, I still had fun! 
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We really had a lot of fun considering we were bowling next to a guy that was just there to practice for his bowling league and he was shaming all of us with this 250+ bowling score. DEPRESSING. But I was really excited to learn that they have this awesome deal on Sunday nights where its all you can bowl and your shoe rental for $14 which is an awesome deal because we paid a little over $15 a piece to bowl two sets and rent our shoes. I think we will definitely have to hit that up one Sunday because we all know how much I love a deal!

 

 

 

 

 

Snapshots of my Future Life.

Its no secret that my life goal is to reach some sort of social standing as a southern “socialite” at least in my own mind, ¬†living in a cute lithe southern house,¬†having dinner parties, making sweet tea and mint juleps, while David spends his time fly fishing and playing with that dog he thinks I am going to allow him to have in our home (somewhat unlikely, but the jury is still out on this debate). Well, all of this aside, I think that our life in separate apartments in charlotte has not come close to representing our desired lifestyle, but right now we are settling for living vicariously through the bible of southern living, Garden & Gun. If you love anything and everything southern, you need to be reading this magazine. Let me make it simple for you…. It has EVERYTHING in it! Don’t believe me, see for yourself!

Ok, if the covers and the style of this magazine doesn’t draw you in immediately, we might have less in common than you originally thought when you began reading my blog. I am drawn to this magazine on the racks at the bookstores, (as with interior design magazines, and wedding magazines, neither of which are applicable to my life right now) and I refuse to subscribe because I want them to be in pristine condition as I read them, not all rolled up and folded from the stupid mailbox and post office, who can’t take care of your mail to save their lives. Anywho, even from the cover of this magazine I can hear the South Carolina low country calling my name, begging me to come live out my true lifes purpose as a southern belle with my wrap around porch, hydrangeas, and little boat (oh, sorry, am I describing The Notebook, well that would be an acceptable life path as well). Ok, so I am sure you are wondering what could possibly be between the front and back covers of this magazine that makes me so obsessed, well heres your sneak peak.

First of all, a little something for myself. One issue of the magazine featured a piece on how to be the perfect southern lady, how to tame yourself of your wild child ways and mature into that wonderful young adult your mother always dreamed of during your etiquette classes and cotillion club dances. Or, maybe this isn’t your idea of the perfect southern lifestyle, well lets switch gears, I am sure we can find SOMETHING for you here!

Maybe you are more like me than you think, and like to imagine your first home as a cute little southern row house on a lazy side street where you can walk to dinners and markets everyday. You know the kind that would be the perfect backdrop for your first family dinner or holiday meal, and all those great weekend get togethers with your new friends and neighbors (a far cray from the strange little apartment I am in right now!) But if I could pick the perfect first place, it might be something kind of like this, another feature from Garden & Gun!
::siiigh:: a girl can dream, right, because I know I dream about this one all the time! Not, big on house hunting? Well maybe garden & gun can help you step up your fashion game.

They have fashion for men and women. And its not just clothes, handbags, shoes, jewelry, annnnd of course bow ties, as no southern boys wardrobe is complete without one. Even David has his fair share (and like any southern girl, they tend to make me weak at the knees!) Don’t consider yourself a fashionista, no problem… we’ll take this one right to the belly!

The magazine features articles on great dives, and restaurants all throughout the south, as well as recipes for how to step up your game in the kitchen, ya know, if you’re struggling.
Of course our favorite, Southern BBQ, takes center stage in one of Garden & Gun’s summer issues, but they feature southern treats and delicacies seasonally, so fear not food lovers, there is always something new for you to check out!

Or maybe you just want to party with the best of them, well the good ole folks and G&G know that no southern get together is complete with out libations, so they make sure to let you know which ones have made the cut as the best of the best, and how to serve them to your guest in a unique way!

Or, if you are David, you love that Garden & Gun frequently talks about three of his favorite things : Food, moonshine, and fly fishing. But, of the three they actually glorify fly fishing in the same manor that he does, so it really helps us in becoming one step closer to the ideal Garden & Gun lifestyle because he has already invested a majority of his life earnings to developing his skill as an avid fly fisherman, so we have that going for us!

And, if all of this wasn’t enough, you can expand your Garden & Gun experience from the pages of the magazine to their online blog, where you can be updated more frequently on the southern happenings> OR maybe you are like us and want to embrace this lifestyle, well great you can just join the Garden & Gun club, something I would like to think we will do one day…. I will keep you posted on that one, but it sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me!

So, take the plunge, subscribe, OR go to your local bookstore and pick up one of the new pristine and pressed magazines from the rack, oooor take it slow and follow the blog so you can find which portions of the magazine are to your liking. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you are using it to make your life more awesome!

Steeple Chasin’

This past Saturday was the Queens Cup Steeple Chase in Charlotte, not quite the outrageous event that Carolina Cup has become, but it was just the laid back, fun outing I needed to relax from the stresses of turning my new apartment into the perfect dwelling space in record time. Though the event was a little more low key than I was expecting, our table, and tailgate group or “steeple people” as my aunt and her friends call themselves, certainly were not. We had a themed table which was suppose to dictate our dishes and the types of food we brought, buuuut I have never been a rule follower so my organic and fresh dishes were just adaptations of things that have been hits previously. For example, my “no lettuce salad” became a “steamed edamame and corn salad with fresh squeezed citrus juice” and my boyfriends pimento cheese was appropriately named “roasted red pepper pimento cheese” …annnd my sugar cookies…. well, the floral shape had to suffice for the natural-ness, because none of the ingredients in my homemade sugar cookies were necessarily fresh. Anyways, here is a glimpse of our table, which was be-a-utiful! I take no credit for it, my aunts friend, and the ring leader Marcy pulled it all together, although we did not win first prize for our tablescape, we were a total hit with all the tailgaters around us, who were mostly outfitted with plastic table clothes and chips and dip. We totally looked legit and professional, such an air of class!

We also looked fab, because any good, high class activity requires a high class wardrobe… I mean I wasn’t about to drop $400 on a new lilly dress, but I tried my best to dress the part of the southern high class lady with my monogrammed sun hat and seer sucker dress. Comical story, there were only two guys in our group, my boyfriend and someone else’s husband annnnd they were pretty much wearing the same outfit, which was comical when they first met.

We also actually got to see horses and watch all the races right up agains the rail in the infield. We were so close… people around us were getting mud on them as the horses ran by, it was pretty legit and we did a little betting, my lack of knowledge on the subject was made apparent because I won NO money and was only picking based on the names I found to be most intriguing, which was not the best approach. Although, I did pick a horse for my aunt once and she ended up winning $45…I think i should get a share of the winnings, since she can attribute her decision to my…impeccable choice.

Anywho, all in all it was a great day and a great chance to get away and do something fun in the new place I am calling home these days! I can’t wait to see what the next few months have in store!

“Color Changes Everything”

I am officially obsessed with this Target commercial. I love the colors, and the song, the choreography, and of course the products. Sorry for geeking out on you and talking about advertisements, but today is rainy and grey and I just saw this on TV and it cheered me up and made me exciting for spring, so I thought I would share the sunshine! Hope you all have a great weekend!