Current Obsession: Living Room Addition

1. Light Fixture: Brittney Pendant from Joss and Main
2. Picture:Brittle Stars Framed Picture from Joss and Main
3. Table: Safavieh Cindy Console Table from Target
4. Plant: Fiddle-Leaf Fig from Lowe's Home Improvement
5. Coffee Table Books: Elements of Style/ Vogue Living/ The Perfectly Imperfect Home from Amazon

What are you currently loving?! 

With as much snow {and ice} that NC has received over the past week, I have been online shopping more than usual but what else is a girl to do when the freezing temperatures keep you snuggled up inside all day {and night}? I hope everyone is staying safe & warm!

Creamy Chicken Pasta Skillet + Chalk Hill Cab

I don't know what it is about Sundays but I wake up in the morning ready to tackle my {very} lengthy to-do list that I seem to create during the week. This Sunday was no exception except that midway through my grocery shopping, I had an intense pasta craving - I {literally} could not think about anything else. For a girl that loves carbs, it was easy for me to find a recipe that would satisfy my craving. I hope you enjoy this simple yet delicious recipe as much as we did!

 8 ounces Fusilli Pasta {we added Tri-Color Bow Tie pasta}
 1.25 pounds boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts {diced}
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 14.5oz can diced Tomatoes {we used Hunt's Basil & Garlic Diced Tomatoes}
1 can condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup of Sweet Corn {you could also use peas if you don't like corn}
1 garlic clove {minced}
6 tablespoons shredded Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Pepper

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt. 
2. In a separate pan, pour 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil; heat over medium - high heat. 
3. Add diced chicken and onion to the Olive Oil and cook for 5 - 7 minutes 
or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center. Stir occasionally.
4. Stir in undrained can of tomatoes, minced garlic and cream of mushroom soup. 
Cook for approximately 5 minutes or until hot. Stir occasionally.
5. Then add corn into the chicken-tomato mixture. Mix well.
6. Drain pasta then add into chicken-tomato mixture. Let simmer for 3-4 minutes.
7. Add Salt & Pepper to taste. Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese

I also picked up a new bottle of Cab that we had not tried from Fresh Market. It was a winner! If you enjoy an earthy, fairly dry, full-bodied red wine then you must try the 2012 Chalk Hill "The Good Lot" Cabernet Sauvignon.  

I hope your coffee was strong and your Monday was short. :) Cheers to your week being as fabulous as YOU!

Five on Friday: Winter Wonderland

Hooray, It's Friday!! It has been a winter wonderland in North Carolina and I am completely okay with it. There is an element of beauty that comes when you see the snow falling and you look outside to find this beautiful blanket of snow covering the ground. I would be lying though if I didn't admit that it does have me dreaming about Spring!

ONE: Enjoying every minute of our snowy view from our kitchen window.

TWO: Tenley and Bo have l-o-v-e-d playing in the snow but you will find Tenley inches away from the heater trying to warm up her little paws once she is back inside.
THREE: There is so much truth in this statement, don't you agree?!

FOUR: I have lived in my Hunter boots with half cardigan boot socksthis ribbed pom-pom hat from J.Crew and these fleece-lined leggings from Anthropologie over the past few days. Can you tell that I don't like being cold? :)

FIVE: There is nothing better than a warm, apple cider on a cold evening. I came across a delicious Bourbon Apple Cider recipe from Set The Table blog. If you haven't visited Rachael's blog, you have to check it out! I love her recipes and stories that she shares with her readers. 
I am linking up with April, Christina, Natasha, and Darci for Five on Friday. I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Hosting & Toasting: Emery's Pink and Grey Baby Shower

"The mother and father-to-be are eager to be three! But before the baby comes, let's celebrate and have some fun!" Thomas and I were so, so, so excited to host a baby shower for our wonderful friends, Kristin and AJ. They are expecting their little girl at the end of February - we are in the final countdown until we meet Baby Emery and we couldn't be happier for them. 

When we started planning the shower, we decided to include their nursery colors into the evening {pink, white and grey} and I thought it turned out great.

I really wanted cookies instead of a cake for their shower so I decided to try Sweet Memories Bakery in Apex, NC. They created baby feet, bottles, onesies and baby carriages in pink, white and grey. I loved the way that they turned out...and they were delicious too!
Etsy has become my go-to for any party favor recently. It is easy, convenient, {typically} a good price point and {most importantly} I don't have to go looking all over town for an item that I could have easily delivered to my doorstep. This Etsy experience was no exception - I wanted a diaper wreath to put on our front door and Tower Door Decor did an amazing job!

The custom Diaper Wreath was perfect on our front door as Guests arrived.
I also wanted a variety of personalized paper products so I browsed multiple shops on Etsy and came across Two Girls Paper Design. I instantly fell in love with her work and purchased the baby banner, set of 12 food labels, set of 12 cupcake toppers and set of 3 vase decor sticks. All of the items were customized - I was able to select the colors, design and animal(s).
I loved the additional detail that these items provided to the Shower.

I adore this dear friend and soon-to-be mommy! Emery is already one lucky girl - she has the most loving, caring and selfless parents. I am thankful each and every day for their friendship.
Doesn't she look fabulous?!
Emery, we already love you more than words can describe! We can't wait to meet you so we can snuggle and spoil you all day and night.

Five On Friday

It's Friday & I have a 3 day weekend...hello relaxation! I am linking up with April, Christina, Natasha, and Darci for Five on Friday.

ONE: It was a good mail day today! I received this beautiful print from Lindsay Letters and I can't wait to find the perfect frame this weekend so it can find its way on our gallery wall in our bedroom. I am excited to see her Spring & Summer collection which will debut before Easter.

TWO: I was in Cameron Village last weekend doing a little shopping for a few upcoming events and came across an amazing deal that was supporting a cause close to my HEART. February is American Heart Month so from February 1st through February 14th, you could take your same-day receipts totaling $250 or more to Parlor Dry Bar, Hayley's Boutique or Bailey's Fine Jewelry to receive a gift plus a certificate for a free total and HDL cholesterol test and blood pressure check at WakeMed Hospital. I opted for the gift at Parlor Dry Bar and got to enjoy a bit of relaxation, a glass of champagne and a gorgeous new 'do {for free}.

THREE: My sister's Bridal Shower last weekend was gorgeous, stunning, and absolutely fabulous. She was so happy to be in Chapel Hill {she graduated from UNC so she likes that Carolina Blue color, I prefer Red} surrounded by family and her closest girlfriends from all chapters of her life. It was amazing to see her so happy - she was truly smiling from ear to ear. Wishing she was here again this weekend.

FOUR: I snagged this beauty for a steal during the Kate Spade Surprise Sale this week. Hurry up, UPS! This is one of my favorite sales each year because the discounts are unbeatable. Did anyone else participate?

FIVE: How perfect is this? YES to all of the below. I need this somewhere in my house!

I hope everyone has a special Valentine's Day weekend!

Weekend Menu Ideas

I have been traveling for work this week which always means that I eat out more than usual and I am typically eating at random times based on my schedule. This week has been no exception so I am craving a warm, home-cooked meal with my Valentine. I haven't decided yet which of these recipes will be the winner but I don't think I'll be disappointed - they all look delicious!

Flank Steak and Cucumber Salad
Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Strawberries
Greek Quinoa Salad
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Garlic and Shallots
Happy Wednesday, Ya'll!

Our Story: Meeting TMC

It may have been 9 years ago when we first met but "you had me from hello!" I am incredibly thankful to have spent the past 4 years with the man that loves me unconditionally, encourages me to pursue my dreams {even if it means working long days}, embraces my flaws and challenges me to not take life too seriously {this isn't the easiest thing for me to do}.

Today, Thomas and I celebrate our {dating} anniversary so I thought I would share a chapter of our story - How I met my adorable Husband.

Thomas and I met in 2006 during our Freshman year at NC State. We both grew up in small towns, Pinehurst, NC & Morehead City, NC, so attending NC State was an adjustment for both of us. We went from knowing everyone in our town to knowing a hand full of people plus Raleigh seemed like a large city that was spread out which would make it hard to meet people {little did I know that Raleigh is a big city yet seems so small now after living here for 9 years, I am always running into people that I know}.

During the first few weeks of college, we both gravitated towards our hometown friends and thankfully we did because that is how we met each other. I was sitting in my dorm room with my roommate - we had graduated together, played a variety of high school sports together, and had seen each other grow up over the years. So naturally, we were reminiscing about high school but also comforting each other since we were really homesick. During our conversation, someone knocked on our door and it was one of my roommate's girl friends that she had met from Morehead City during the first few days on campus. I quickly noticed that a cute, blonde-haired guy was standing in her shadow. I instantly told myself, "Stephanie, you need to get to know him...He is a cutie!"

I followed my thoughts {and heart} and didn't waste any time. Throughout freshmen year, Thomas and I attended classes together, spent many late nights studying in DH Hill Library, dressed in Red and White to tailgate at Carter Finley, cheered loud and proud for the Pack, celebrated birthdays together and much more. We both went home for the summer but still remained in touch.
The first of many NC State tailgates
For the next 3 years, our friendship grew and became something very special. Let me tell ya, it wasn't an easy task though because Thomas played hard to get but I was a determined little lady. In 2010, we celebrated New Year's Eve together with a group of friends in Wilmington, NC. The night was perfect and I knew that I had found someone special. A few months later, we decided to "officially" start dating. And as we all know, the rest is history! :)
Our 1st New Year's Eve: 2010
I hope you had a wonderful weekend and the week is ahead is nothing less than AMAZING!

Thoughts For Thursday

Just one more day until the weekend, hooray!

I am counting down the minutes until I see my sweet sister tomorrow! She will be in Raleigh all weekend for her Bridal Shower on Saturday. I can't wait to wrap my arms around her when she gets off the airplane.

My beautiful bridal party was featured on Amsale Bridesmaids yesterday! It was such a wonderful surprise. Don't they all look beautiful?!

Last weekend, we hosted a Couple's Baby Shower for our dear friends, Kristin and AJ. I am still indulging in these delicious cookies from Sweet Memories Bakery in Apex. I'll be sharing all the details this weekend so stop back by.

I just ordered this dress from Pipelime that I featured on yesterday's post for a Wedding Shower in Nashville for my sister and her fiance next month. Speaking of Nashville, do you have any restaurant recommendations? I would love to hear them!

Linking up with Annie and Natalie for Thoughts For Thursday. I hope everyone has a great day!
Thoughts for Thursday

Valentine's Day Outfit + Lindsay Letters Print

10 days until Valentine's Day, is anyone else as excited as I am?! This is my excuse to do a little online shopping to find the perfect {and festive} outfit for a special evening with my Husband.

If you can't tell, I am loving anything and everything that is blush or neutral right now. But I did come across a classic, black jumpsuit that I would love to dress up with a fun pair of heels.
1. Tahari A-Line Dress in Blush from Nordstrom
2. Drapey Jumpsuit from Banana Republic
3. Diane von Furstenberg Leelou Dress from ShopBop
4. Small Tassel Earrings from J.Crew
5. Vince Camuto Carlotte Pointy Toe Pump from Nordstrom
6. Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac from Piperlime
7. Keepsake Dress from Piperlime (currently on sale)
8. Kate Spade Licorice Heals from Piperlime
9. Savannah Studs in Sparkling Clear from Mollybeads

That Kind Of Love Print from Lindsay Letters
What do you currently have your eye on for Valentine's Day?

Motivation Monday: Discover

Time is flying and I wish it would slow down for a split second. How is it already February?! 

I have made a promise to myself to aim to Explore, Dream and Discover in 2015. Explore the world. Dream Big {you can read more here}. Continue to Discover the passion that guides my soul. 

Today's Motivation Monday is focused on the power of positive thinking. I strive to always have a positive attitude because I truly believe it is a contagious behavior. I will continue to discover my passions and in doing so, I want to remember that "in discovering your passion and choosing to go for it, it is important to disregard the negative voices from your own head that tell you that it is too risky to change direction or to try something new. The mind will always try to convince you to play safe. Your spirit will always strive for freedom and expansion." 

Oh, I almost forgot...I have recently ordered this book and can't wait to begin reading it!

Happy Monday, I hope you have a wonderful week! :)