Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dining Out For Life!

Dining Out For Life is an international dining fundraiser event that aims to raise money and awareness for AIDS service organizations. Restaurants in certain cities have teamed up with DOFL and have decided which percentage of proceeds they would like to donate... then people choose which restaurant they'd like to go to and BOOM, they've contributed to a great cause!

I wish every meal or happy hour I went to raised money for a good cause. The amount I spend on eating and drinking could save a third world country.

Restaurant: Miel
Cuisine: French
Wine: Umm, we brought our own. Picked some up from La Frugal de MacDoogal.
Guests: Ali, Lisa, Ethan and Leigh

 The Menu that was created just for this event!
 Ethan and Ali!
 Me and Lisa :)
 Duck Confit Salad - my first time with duck! SO GOOD!
 I have two pictures of this but I wish I had more.. I wish you could taste it through my blog...  
 ...Maine Diver Scallops, pan-seared with Miel Bacon and Apple Gastrique. YUM :)
 Everyone was wearing the Dining Out For Life stickers!
 Ali and I got the Risotto...
 ... and Lisa got the Wild Alaskan Cod.. both meals were so great! Forgot to get a picture of Ethan's steak but you get it, it was steak. 
Dessert platter :) I was stuffed by this point... it didn't stop me from eating all of it though.
We weren't given the tiny spoons but our neighbors were! Apparently, the spoons have honey and bee pollen on them? Interesting....

This is my second year of participating in Dining Out For Life and I highly recommend it. A great way to make a contribution to a great charity and side note: you'll get an amazing dinner and great drinks out of it!

Nashville's was last night but there are still cities that are participating on different nights for the rest of the week! Check out the site and see if there's a city near you that's contributing - Dining Out For Life!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy Music!

Trista Mabry is not just my former roommate (holla holla Hillmeade) but she's also an amazing singer/songwriter/kick-ass broad. We moved to Nashville in August 2008 and I had the pleasure of watching Trista find inspiration for some of her amazing songs. It's so cool know exactly where a song came from. Her song "Keeping Him Around" was literally about a guy that she kept around because she liked the way he sang but he was a mooch. He had no money and ate all of her food and drank all of her beer.... and that's exactly what the song is about and it's hilarious.

I've been to tons of her shows and I've watched her transform into such an amazing performer. Tonight, she played at 8 off 8th at Mercy Lounge and she was the perfect performance to kick off the night - so incredibly proud of you Trista!

Short Clip of "Too Nice"

Short Clip of "Stolen Souls"

I had a full version of Mangos in the Morning but it will not upload. Let me tell you though that it was my favorite version of that song!

 Jammin' with her new band!
 Musical Friends: Kendra, Trista and Rebecca
Woooo!!! Trista, you're a rockstar :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Fantastic Nashville Weekend!

What a weekend in Nashville! My roommate and I had some upsetting news on Monday. Our beautiful, gorgeous, FANTASTIC condo is no more. Our landlord emailed us Monday afternoon and told us that we had until May 22nd to be here. Well, Ali found us a great place on Thursday so we were able to relax and enjoy our weekend! Shanny Springbreak made her way back home on Friday so we had a much needed girls night. I don't know if men truly understand how important girls nights are... They are imperative to my happiness!
 Teaching us how to dougie...
 So glad Shannon came back home!!
 Love you girls :)

 The Rooster had a busted foot just like Dan!

We all woke up in pretty rough shape. Surprisingly though, Ali and I pulled ourselves together and decided to head out for lunch. Noodles and Company was having a grand opening in Green Hills so we checked it out. When we got there, we saw a sign that said "Open in 2 days" but there were people sitting outside eating. We found out that they were having a VIP event that you had to be invited to. It's probably because we're so attractive but we got the invite and had lunch for free! And it was amaaaazing [and not just because it was free].

 Can't remember what Ali got but it was yum. 
I got the veggie med and the tomato bisque... to die.

Next, we tried out a new nail spa place that had just opened [secretly hoping to have free pedicures due to the opening... no such luck]. Either way, it was fun and super relaxing :)

After our pedis, we ventured out to the mall and did some damage. Ali and I really wanted to see Water for Elephants so we had a couple of hours to kill before it started. Soooo we went shopping and had our second lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. No judgement pleeease, our first lunch was free and our second lunch was just a shared salad... 

and an appetizer... 


Water for Elephants was SOOOO GOOOD!!! I wish I would have read the book.. well, I take that back. I might have been disappointed if read the book and I was not disappointed. Rob seriously needs to ditch the Edward look and stay tan forever. YUM, add him to my list! And I could just put Reese Witherspoon in my pocket. Love her!

We rounded out the night by running to Kroger and grabbing snacks, wine and movies. Ali and I do this thing every so often where we stay in, drink wine and watching the MOST depressing movies. You should have seen us after a big bottle of wine and Nights in Rodanthe. It was a mess. 

We must be CRAZY to watch Rabbit Hole. I literally cried throughout the ENTIRE movie. It's about a couple whose 4 year old son dies in an accident and they're trying to cope. Great movie but do yourself a favor and have kleenexes close by. Oh and if you've lost a great friend, family member, etc in the past 2 or so years, do not watch. Maybe don't watch ever, now that I think about it. It was rough. Beautiful, but rough.
We watched Salt immediately after, just to erase the memory of Rabbit Hole. So great and a fun movie to round out our fun Saturday Day Date!

As if we didn't eat enough during the day... at least it was semi-healthy food :)

We woke up and headed to church this morning and ran into a few people we haven't seen in a while - one of them being Trista! We caught up and then made our way to brunch at Bosco's. 

What a fantastic weekend! Nashville, I love you :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

All about FOOD!

My friend Shayla has told me a few times that she really enjoys the food portions of my blog, so hopefully she'll really appreciate this one!

I'm not in Nashville a lot but when I am, I like to try new restaurants I've never been to before. Gregg was in town this weekend and he really likes Thai food so I thought we'd try the new restaurant on 8th called The Smiling Elephant. I wanted to cater to my boyfriend's appetite for driving 7 hours to see me... but I also saw that it was a restaurant that Nicole and Keith frequent so I thought I'd take him along for some healthy celeb stalking. Sadly, we did not see The Urban's but we did eat some delicious Thai food.

 Pad Thai (not spicy enough for Princess Greggy - but he still cleaned his plate so I think it was okay)
We ordered dumplings for an appetizer but of course we devoured them before I thought of taking a picture. 
Gai Jee -- Of course I butchered the pronunciation of that name... Hi, can I get the Gaaaay Jeeeee. Basically just chicken and rice. Either way, I ate it up and loved it.

Overall: Two big enthusiastic thumbs up Smiling Elephant, fine holiday fun. Yeah, I just quoted the stoner from Clueless.

I love my job... however, there are a few downfalls with the job and one of them happens to be that I am never home. Never being home means I NEVER get to cook in my kitchen. While I'm not the best cook, I really enjoy learning new recipes and experimenting. That's one thing I am really looking forward to in my future when I'm not traveling as much (wow, I'm a loser).

I decided to take it easy tonight and make something fairly simple so I made Shrimp Fettucini Alfredo with a Goat Cheese Salad. It sounds easy and it WAS! And I even made the alfredo sauce myself! If I can do this, anyone can ;)

1 pound fettucini pasta
1 tbs. butter
1 pound cooked shrimp - peeled and deveined
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup half and half
6 tbs. Parmesan cheese
1 tbs. chopped Parsley (I used Basil)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
2. In a large skillet, saute shrimp and garlic in the butter for about one minute. Pour in half and half; stir. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese in one tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly. After all Parmesan is added, mix in parsley and salt. Stir frequently making sure it does not boil. Sauce will take a while to thicken.
3. When sauce has thickened, combine with cooked pasta noodles; serve hot.

 Mmm, making the alfredo sauce :)
 Chopping basil...
 ... peeled and deveined shrimp...
 The final product! 
An affordable dinner that was YUMM-O! I'm definitely making this for Gregg so he'll keep thinking I kind of know what I'm doing in the kitchen. :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

April Showers Bring June Weddings!!!

The time has come people... it is officially wedding season! With that being said, I've had two fantastic showers for two FABULOUS broads this month and it's only April 11th! Cheeeck it out!

In one of my older posts, I showed a display of cocktails that I was considering for KC's shower. I asked my followers to vote and I got an overwhelming vote (ha 5 people, including my dad) for the Pear and Cranberry Bellini! I went in that direction but it wasn't exactly that drink...

I went with a standard Bellini and I added fresh raspberries - it was a hit!
I also had Riesling and Pinot Grigio for the ladies who were feeling wiiiiiine. 
Ali took care of the food and it was amazing! She had shrimp cocktail with boiled shrimp AND sauteed shrimp, chicken salad croissants, yummy fruit salad, homemade cupcakes, chocolate covered strawberries and an AMAZING goat cheese salad. 

Also, it has to be said that Ali prepared for MONTHS to get the apartment looking amazing. The walls, decor, curtains... and the list goes on.... I tried to get a picture of all of that, plus, KC looking very happy at her shower ;)
KC's shower was such a hit! We had a great time playing fun games, catching up and obviously drinking a LOT of the alcohol I provided for everyone. :)
We slowly transitioned from classy shower broads to crazy Real Housewife Bachelorettes! I've never been to an all day shower-spa day-bachelorette party and I'll have to admit, I was wondering how that would transpire.... Honestly, it went better than I could have imagined! I had a blast and I can only hope that KC loved it too! Love you, so happy for you and I'm pumped to see you as a beautiful bride on June 18th!

Jill's shower was this past Saturday and it was freakin' HOT outside! It's April... but daaaang homie it felt like the dead of summer! Besides the heat and overhearing almost every classy lady at the shower talking about their back sweat (yeah.. I'm talking to you Danielle) it was such a fun and cute shower! I showed pictures to the girls here in Athens and they agree that the scenery looks super swanky.

I stole Ali's chicken salad croissants and just added grapes and it was soooo yum! Amber made this delicious pesto pasta and there were all kinds of other yummy treats!
 This is the swanky setting for Jill's shower! Love this place!
 Such a beautiful view! Don't take a look at the construction in the background... not so cute.
 The beautiful bride opening her gifts from the girls!
Love you Jilly! So happy to be apart of your special day!! June 4th, bring it! P.S. I'll just leave out the story about my dress mishap... happy thoughts, happy thoughts!