Wednesday, August 31, 2011

guest post {little miss holls}.

i have a special little treat for you all today! holly from little miss holls is guest posting and i am SO EXCITED!! i started following holly right before i began blogging and i just think she is the loveliest. she takes amazing pictures and i love reading about her adventures in the northwest. she just moved to portland and it's one of the cities i've been dying to visit!

thanks, holly!


Hello "a pocket full of chuckles" readers! My name is Holly & I blog over at Little Miss Holls (Holls is my nickname & what all my friends call me ;) I wanted to give a special thanks to Erica for having me, she is such a sweetheart to have invited me here today :)

I wanted to share with you all a little piece of why I love living in the pacific northwest. We have our own wine country! It's true, when most people think of wine out on the west coast, Napa quickly pops into their heads, & while I've never been, I'm sure it doesn't disappoint... Up here in our little corner of the United States we have a few regions (Willamette Valley & Columbia Valley) that crank out some of my favorite wines! So if you're every at the grocery store to pick up a few bottles of vino, check out the selections from Oregon & Washington - I promise we're legit :)

Here are some snapshots of my last visit wine tasting. It was the first time that I took my (beer drinking) boyfriend & I'm beyond excited that he had a great time, loved the wines & wants to go back in the future! :)

{The Chateau Ste. Michelle // Such a gorgeous winery}

{Wine tasting = heaven}
{I swear we're at a winery // not the zoo...}
{ice wine // if you haven't tried it - you're missing out}

{nothing better than relaxing with a bottle of wine 
& a truffle oil flatbread in-between wineries}
A great way to end the day!

Thanks again for having me, Erica :)


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

boyfriend's birthday - part 3.

i almost forgot about the final part in this oh-so-awesome series. so here it goes. the last day of boyfriend's spectacular birthday extravaganza!


boyfriend's birthday was on a wednesday so once we got home from work i gave him his awesome birthday present (!) and we then headed to a rooftop happy hour. 

boyfriend wearing his bday present :)

after a few drinks i surprised him with dinner at me jana, a lebanese restaurant that he's been dying to try and it just happens to be right next to our apartment (can't you tell i like surprises!). i'm not huge into lebanese food, but this restaurant was fantastic! the service was top-notch, the patio was the perfect size, and the food was superb. we ordered a variety of cold and hot appetizers and then split the lamb chop entree. YUM-O!

and what's a birthday without some cake? after dinner we headed back home where we shared a delicious mini cake from tivoli.

this picture is actually from the friday after his bday. even though it's not from wednesday, it's bday related. so there you go. 

aren't birthday's just fabulous?!

if you are just joining, you can find part 1 here and part 2 here.

Monday, August 29, 2011

my instagram weekend {3}.

how to survive during a hurricane:

bring in all outdoor plants

chain up patio furniture

keep a stocked bar

read a good book

have all necessary, power-outage gear ready - candles, flashlights, bottled water, banana nut muffins, and 1/2 dozen dunkin donuts

keep a stack of games nearby

cook some pasta fagioli

mother nature has not been a happy camper. first we get an earthquake. then a gigantic hurricane. boy oh boy. i was telling boyfriend that we have been through a lot of nasty weather these last 2 years - several blizzards, an earthquake, and now a hurricane. all we need now is a tornado and forrest fire under our belt (kidding!) but on a serious note, we had to evacuate after the earthquake hit last tueseday but everything pretty much stayed intact. it's never a good feeling when your building sways back and forth for 15 seconds. i was quite shakin up.

then we get to this hurricane. it passed DC on saturday and trailed off on sunday morning. somehow we did not lose power or have any sort of damage - our building is a beast! although, some people weren't so lucky. my poor home state of nj was hit today and everything is under water. i'm hoping everyone is safe. if you were/are in irene's path, i hope you are keeping safe and dry.

p.s. head on over to a {little} dash of ash and join in on all the instagram fun!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

a wannabe bbq.

we're not allowed to have a grill (which is a huge bummer!), but when 4th of july rolled around we were adamant for a bbq. it didn't matter how we were going to get our bbq chicken, but we were up to the challenge.

we chopped up some ceasar salad, corn chesapeake, and bbq chicken (with homemade sauce!). and i've got to say, without a grill - it was sooooooo delicious. until we move out and are able to have a nice big yard with a grill, we need to invest in a cast-iron skillet. but in the meantime, we will be broiling.  so, if you are in the same boat as us, here's a simple recipe on how to get bbq chicken without a grill:

what you'll need:
2 chicken breasts
apple cider vinegar
brown sugar

1. mix ketchup, vinegar, pepper and brown sugar for the bbq suace
2. rub salt and pepper on raw chicken breasts
3. broil chicken for 10 minutes
4. rub bbq sauce on chicken
5. broil for additional 6 minutes
6. top chicken with additional bbq sauce
7. chow down!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

destination wedding.

i'm linking up with jillian from cornflake dreams in the destination wedding blog crawl! even though i'm not planning a wedding - or even engaged - a girl can still dream, right? and what's better than dreaming about a wedding, on the beach, in...bali!

i can only dream about a destination wedding in bali and the joys of soaking in bali's tranquil surroundings - from its luxurious beaches, to sacred culture, to beautiful landscapes.

(i better put this computer away before boyfriend comes home and finds this. i wouldn't want him to think i was actually planning something...)





Tuesday, August 23, 2011

just call me martha.

martha stewart that is.

for the longest time i've been swooning over this floating vase made by the utterly gorgeous, emily over at cupcakes and cashmere. earlier in the month  boyfriend and i started thinking of pieces to hang on the bare walls in our apartment (nothing like decorating some 8 months later...) and this was the FIRST thing that came to my mind! i was a tiny bit hesitant to show boyfriend as i thought it would be too "girly" for his liking, but he loved it! (probably because it involved nailing and drilling and all that manly stuff).

this is such an easy and lovely DIY project. we picked up all the materials at home depot (we already had the mason jars, obviously) and grabbed some deep purple lillies from whole foods. i've got to say that this tiny little vase completely transformed the corner in the apartment. i especially love how we'll be able to change the flowers with each season!

make sure to head on over to cupcakes and cashmere and check out the simple step-by-step instructions!

Monday, August 22, 2011

my instagram weekend {2}.

i'm linking up with a {little} dash of ash again to give you a fancy glimpse of my weekend through instagram. i'm so glad she made this a weekly link-up! partyyyyy time!

these pictures are actually a continuation from last weekend. it was so jam-packed that i thought i would split it up between two posts.

after a busy saturday, we woke up to drive to baltimore to drop things off for a work conference. since we were getting into town around noon we figured we would grab lunch and make a day out of it. the weather was absolutely dreadful during our drive and for the first 2 hours we were there. but as soon as we ventured to the inner harbor, the sun started poking through the clouds and the weather did a complete 180! we strolled along the water, went shopping, and met up with a friend in fells point for drinks. believe it or not this was my first time walking around the city and it was quite fun!

(i know the last picture isn't in instagram, but i  felt like i had to add it since it's the only picture of the harbor. plus, i love my rain boots :D ) 

Friday, August 19, 2011

it's nights like these.

two weeks ago the heat wave subsided and we decided to enjoy the beautiful night down by the waterfront in old town, alexandria. i forgot how much i love old town - from the quaint little shops, to the brick streets - everything about the town screams lovely.

we took a walk by the water, grabbed appetizers at chadwicks, and finished off the night at bilboa baggins - where we indulged in beers from all over the world. i love trying new things with boyfriend - even if it's a silly glass of beer. it's nights like these that i love.

hope you all have a fabulous weekend.
it's supposed to rain all weekend here, so tonight we're heading over to a friends' house for game night, tomorrow we're babysitting my beautiful niece and sunday we are hanging low. sometimes i just love rainy weekends!

have any fun plans?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

homemade salsa.

what you'll need:

4 tomatoes
2 jalepenos
1 red onion
1/2 cup of cilantro
2 cloves of garlic
juice of 2 limes
salt & pepper

chop ingredients and chow down with your favorite tortilla chips!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

boyfriend's birthday - part 2.

thanks for all the tips in last week's post. i'm glad to know i'm not the only one who feels this way and i'm definitely going to start finding ways to separate my work from my home. you guys are the best!


to continue from part 1 of boyfriend's birthday, we spent about 2 hours at swedenburg vineyards which was plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful landscape, sip the delicious wine, and completely relax our minds.

the next stop on the tour was to three foxes vineyards. this place is nestled out in the countryside of delaplane, virginia and carries the motto, la dolce vita. the vineyard specializes in tuscany wines which i was super excited to find out (italy represent!). not only were the wines my favorite, but the landscape was absolutely breathtaking. i was in love.

from the quaint little cottage tastin room, to the wide-open fields, to the private tables in the grape vines - this place did not disappoint. let me shut-up and i'll let the pictures do the talkin'.

holy picture overload. sorry about that, but we just had a fantabulous time that i had to share everything with you. it was so magical sitting at our very own private table right smack in the middle of the vineyard. it was so romantic. and also, how cute are the wine bottles! the picture of the westie is the owner's dog!
if you're ever in the area i would highly recommend this winery. the staff was fantastic and the wines were superb. it was a fantastic way to celebrate a few days early with boyfriend.

boyfriend's birthday celebration isn't over just yet! stay tuned for part III where i share what we did on his ACTUAL birthday :)


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