Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Favorites #11

Happy Friday, it must be all the Christmas decorations popping up all over the place, but I could not help begin to create a Christmas wishlist of sorts, along with a few other random finds for this Friday Favorites edition!  Would love to know what all you are crushing on from the intra-webs!

1. 2014 White house ornament ($19):  My Aunt Julia every year gets us these ornaments and I have loved collecting them and seeing what the new one will be this year!  It is a great tradition to start!
2. Travel Wall Calendar ($26):  This calendar has been featured in two blogs I follow as art!  No kidding the pictures are from all over the world and are super vintagey (so a word) and colorful, I am in love with it and it seems to be a good buy for 12 art prints for only $26
3. Gold Accent Table ($70): Love! Love! Love this!
4. Jessica Simpson Ballet Flats ($69): I am also super crushing on these shoes, might need to find a good coupon cause I cannot bring myself to spend that much on shoes though!
5. Chosen Printable (Free):  It is a two-fer deal!  TWO free printables for the price of FREE :)  Enjoy!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A weekend away in the Valley!

So our friend Aubrey was going to marry her love, Graham and us ladies thought if we are going to Harrisonburg anyway for the wedding, let's make a whole weekend out of it and spend some time in the Shenandoah Valley!  So we did just that, we rented a little cottage from VRBO and enjoyed a weekend away from Richmond!  

First things first, priorities people, priorities!  We all left work early and made sure to hit up Bold Rock to taste and tour the cidery!  If you have a love for hard cider and Virginia, you should totally make the trip--this is some of the best in my opinion!  Not too sweet, and just perfect!  So perfect in fact that CJ and I both got cases to take home with us!

We then stopped for dinner at The Depot in Staunton, VA!  One of my favorite restaurants in the area because, get this, the restaurant is inside an old train depot!  Not to mention the food is super yummy and decently priced!  

We were up super early on Saturday to meet my friend Amanda and to tour Luray caverns!  I had been a number of times but wanted some of the girls to experience it as well!  

The caverns were just as beautiful and wonderful as I remember them to be!  It always amazes me at the beauty that is found just in nature alone and these magnificent caverns are a wonderful reminder of that beauty!

Ice cream Cone!

Fried Eggs!

After the caverns, we went to a book sale and then meet back up with Amanda for a quick lunch in Staunton at The Pampered Palate, which was a super cute cafe type restaurant that I would also recommend if you find yourself in the area!  We also stopped by Sunspots right quick to see some glass blowing, but did not have time for much shopping because we had to go back to the house and get ready for the wedding!

It was fun to see friends at the wedding and just to take in the beautiful landscape and setting!  Aubrey and Graham could not have done a better job on the planning!  It suited their personalities just perfectly and it was a joyful celebration with lots of wine, dancing and fun!

Mr. and Mrs. Stoll

The cover to the CD we each got--which by the way has basically been playing non-stop in my car!

Such a beautiful bride!!!

The wedding did have to end eventually but not before we send them off with sparklers!  

After the fun and festivities, we went back to the cabin for some much needed sleep before getting up and packing up the next day!  We were on our way to more adventures, starting with apple picking at Carter Mountain!  We got the obligatory apple cider donut and picked some apples (Kathryn picked a ton of apples, but CJ and I did not get as many!)  

After apple picking we stopped by our favorite sandwich shop in C-ville, called BellAir Market, it is this little gas station with a sandwich shop attached and they crank out some awesome eats, next time you are there, try the Farmington, you will NOT be disappointed!

We then ended the weekend with a stop at Grayhaven Winery to sample some yummy wines and unbeknownst to us at the time to pet some horses!  They have horses just randomly around the vineyard to keep the grass low so we were able to get right up next to a number of them as they grazed the field!  

It was a fantastic weekend with some wonderful friends and I enjoyed every minute of it!  Have you ever turned an out of town wedding into a fun weekend away?  What did you do--I'd love to know!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Folk Feast

Fall in Richmond undoubtedly means the Folk Festival is coming to town and although we were not going to be able to make the actual Folk Festival because of Aubery's wedding weekend, I was still able to join Kathryn and her family for Folk Feast before hand.  We got to enjoy some yummy (sometimes interesting) dishes and listen to some great music.  Many of the local Richmond restaurants offer up some of their famous dishes in a small plate format for tasting, but with over 20 restaurants there, we were able to make way more than a meal out of the small plates.

Just some of our plates for the evening

Whatcha looking at Lincoln?

It was a fun evening with a sweet family and I am only sad we did not get to make it over the weekend to hear any of the music and acts!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall is in the air..

A few weeks ago, I took the first of what would be TWO trips to the Pumpkin Patch.  Kathryn, CJ and I decided to take an extra hour or so I had on Sunday to make the trip and quickly pick out a pumpkin.  This patch was a little strange in that, it almost seemed as though some pumpkins were brought in and placed in the field, but we still managed to have a great time.

Then after paying for our pumpkins and heading back to church, I got dropped off to help the youth with CARITAS, a Richmond based organization that helps provide stability to homeless men, women and families in the area by partnering with local churches to provide housing and meals for the week they stay there.  So while we were setting up, I got to hang out with these two goof-balls and was able to serve our local community at the same time:

Carly doing her interpretive dance!

What fall activities have you been doing?  Stay tuned for some more fall fun, coming in the form of apple picking, cider tasting and more pumpkin patch fun....

Monday, October 20, 2014

BBQ Chicken Pizza

It has been awhile since I have updated with some recipes, but that does not mean I have not been cooking, in fact, I have been cooking lots lately!  But this past week, I had my bible study over on Wednesday night for study and for dinner!  I made a personal favorite, BBQ chicken pizza.  This is a combination of a lot of my favorite pizzas but check out below for ingredients and instructions!  And of course, report back if you try this yourself, let me know what you think!

First things first, I never make pizza crust (like I think I have once in my whole life), why would I?  You can just go to Trader Joe's and pick up a bag of it for $2, or if you are feeling even more lazy (as I was this week), you can go with another good staple:  Pillsbury Classic Pizza Crust!  This stuff comes in a can like biscuits and rolls out (it is literally that easy).  You should note you do have to stretch it and push it a bit to get it to the size of a pan, but rest assured it will get there!

Next obviously is the toppings!  You can mix it up to what you like but I have found these are my favorites: BBQ sauce, red onion, chicken, fresh pineapple, Gouda cheese, and.....

Then I top it off with cilantro, I put this on before the whole thing goes in the oven and it works fine, but if you are picking you can pull it out a few minutes before it is done to add the cilantro (but as we decided earlier, I am being lazy--I want it all done at once).  Plus, realistically, I would probably forget to add it later and would be upset!

As you can see in the finished product, the cilantro cooks up--it is totally cool there is still at least one tasty bit in almost every bite so we are all good:

And now for the recipe:

BBQ Chicken Pizza:
* 1 can of Pillsbury Classic Pizza Dough
* 8 oz of fresh Gouda cheese
* 1/2 of a fresh pineapple
* 1 small red onion
* Honey barbecue sauce
* 8-12 ounces of skinless/boneless chicken breasts/tenderloins
* bunch of cilantro

1. Cook chicken in honey barbecue sauce until done and slice into thin pieces (this can be done the day  before)
2. Preheat oven to the temperature on the pizza dough (I think it was 400 degrees Fahrenheit)
3. Unroll pizza dough on grease cookie sheet and stretch to fit.
4. Cook pizza dough for 8 minutes, during this time feel free to peel and slice the onion and pineapple and shred the cheese.
5, After crust has cooked a little spread with barbecue sauce and layer on toppings, I liked to put the onions on first, then the pinepple then the chicken.
6. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over all the toppings (this helps to keep them on the pizza and keeps them from falling off
7. After cheese is on top, take the cilantro (wash and rinse first) and take just the leaves to sprinkle over the cheese.
8. Cook for another 10-12 minutes until cheese is just starting to brown and cut and serve.

Yields: 6-8 servings, maybe less if people are really hungry!