Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Hi pretties! I didn't mean to be M.I.A. for the rest of the week/weekend, but it looks like that's going to be happening, mainly because of this email I received from TripIt:

I was on a committee for a firm event we hosted yesterday, so I was mostly running around from noon-10 pm last night trying to make sure everything was running smoothly while also entertaining clients, but I'm not really complaining when the event required me to attend a baseball game at 2 pm on a Tuesday....

Rough life, right?

And apparently coworkers who work together a lot apparently start to dress alike too....

Yes. Sarah and I are wearing the exact same sweater from J.Crew. It started to get embarrassing when at least 5 people commented on the fact that we were matching.

I'm also trying to work 40 hours by Thursday at 5:30 so we can hit the road and I don't have to take PTO for Friday!

I hope everyone has a fabulous hump day and I can't wait to tell you about all of our adventures in New Orleans!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Day in Asheville

On Sunday, Ryan and I headed to Asheville to frolic around for the day.

First stop: Tupelo Honey Cafe

Hot damn, that restaurant is delicious. I'm counting down the days until they open in Greenville, just so I can get my hands on those biscuits again.

Next Stop: The Biltmore Estate

Ryan had never been before, but we decided to forego the house tour so we can go back and see it decorated at Christmas! We wandered around outside the house for a bit, but I really wanted to see the gardens!

Every spring, they plant tons of tulips in the garden and I was freaking out over how pretty it was.

I probably would've just laid down in the field of tulips and taken a nap if they would've let me!

Next stop: Biltmore Winery

A free tasting was included in our ticket, and we took full advantage by tasting all 20 wines they had available. Ryan and I were both surprised to find we liked one of their Chardonnays the best (it's our least favorite wine), so we purchased a bottle and a cheese plate and soaked up the sunshine on the winery's patio.

Next stop: Downtown Asheville

Drinks at Thirsty Monk and dinner at The Southern (both are places we had visited back in July)

Final Stop: The Sky Bar

My coworker, Whitney, used to live in Asheville and told me this place had the best view of Asheville (I'd have to agree with her)! The bar is a little secretive in that you enter through the old Flatiron building and ring a doorbell for the elevator attendant. He then takes you up to the 8th floor in the hand-operated elevator, and you step outside into the "bar," which is basically just 3 levels of fire escapes. They had a fire brewing on the middle level, so Ryan and I huddled there to watch the sunset.

A perfect ending to a perfect day in Asheville!

Helene in Between

Monday, April 22, 2013

Weekend Update

Weekends rock my socks off.

Ryan and I got back from Asheville late last night, so I'll have to post about our trip tomorrow! Instead, I have some snapshots from Saturday (and one from Friday). We managed to pack in a lot of fun activities in 24 hours!

{1.} The rainy view from Ryan's apartment window on Friday afternoon.

{2}. I finally cashed in a gift certificate for a massage that Ryan had given me for my birthday. The masseuse spent about 30 minutes trying to work out the knots in my shoulders. I guess that's what happens when you sit at a computer for 12 hours a day!

{3-4}. Ryan met me downtown for brunch at Nose Dive, complete with mimosas and an all-you-can-eat grits bar. Heaven? I think so.

{5-7}. We rented bikes for the afternoon and rode around town. How awesome are the roots on this tree in Falls Park? I'm obsessed. Also, it hurts to sit now.

{8.} We rewarded ourselves after our 3 hour bike ride with some gelato from Luna Rosa. I went with my favorite flavor, Caramel Latte Crunch, but really, I wanted to eat them all!

I hope everyone had an equally fantastic weekend! Usually I dread Mondays, but I just have 4 short days of work this week and then we're off to New Orleans for Jazz Fest! Productivity is expected to be at an all-time low..

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Instagram Recap

Sorry for the radio silence around here. Work ( + everything happening in Boston) was making me super grumpy this week and my mom always said, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

But it's the weekend and that makes me very happy! 

I did get to have a little fun on Monday of this week (<-- officially the end of busy season, booya!)

Our office has 8 tickets to the Greenville Drive games and they give them away to all the employees in a lottery. Sarah happened to win tickets for Monday night, so she and I, plus our roomies, made a night of it by stopping by Liberty Tap Room for dinner beforehand.

I don't hate Monday nights that involve soft pretzels and queso, Goose Island 312 brews, front row seats (first baseball game of the year!), free popcorn, and best friends.

If I could just repeat every Monday night, life would be golden!

Linking up with Sara Elizabeth

Pearls and Curls

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pray for Boston

My morning post was already scheduled last weekend, but I couldn't let today pass without saying a few words about the tragedy in Boston.

Boston. I love that city.

I got chills when I took this picture of the marathon finish line in Boston last fall.

Yesterday, a sorority sister of mine was running the Boston Marathon. About halfway through the day, I remembered her sister had posted her bib number to track her during the race. Curious, I went the marathon website and typed in her number, only to find she was doing fantastic! At the time I was tracking her (around 2:15 pm), she only had 5 miles left of the race and I knew she was going to break 4 hours (unreal). I was so pumped for her when she crossed the finish line at 2:43 pm in 3 hours and 58 minutes. YOU GO SAM!

And then I was g-chatting with my sister when she told me there had been an explosion at the finish line, at approximately 2:45 pm.

I kind of definitely freaked out. I checked all forms of social media incessantly for 30 minutes until Sam posted on Facebook that she and her family were safe. Thank God.

My heart breaks for everyone involved in this tragedy, on what should have been a huge accomplishment for so many people. It makes me angry.

I will be praying for Boston, and its people.

Paleo Challenge Recap

Well folks, if you can do the math, it has not in fact been 30 days since I started the Paleo Challenge, but I've already failed so I might as well jump ahead to the recap.

If you remember correctly, this challenge allowed me to eat nothing. Just meat, vegetables, fruit, eggs, and nuts. That's it.

I'm here to say that is near impossible for me for 30 days. Maybe I just don't have any willpower, but a life without cheese, bread, popcorn or anything that actually tastes good is not one I want to live.

But I'll give you the run-down on my thoughts of the challenge (in completely random order):
  1. My stomach honestly does feel better (which was the whole point in the first place). I haven't had beer or pasta since I started the challenge and I can tell a difference. I did have to cheat and eat bread - it's incredibly hard to eat quick, semi-healthy lunches while eliminating sandwiches completely. My coworkers and I had lunch at Panera one day and I had a sandwich and salad. Oh well.
  2. I hated how my coworkers had to narrow down lunch options because of my diet. The only way I even had a chance of surviving the challenge was to tell my coworkers what I could and couldn't eat. So every day when it came time to decide where we were eating lunch, they were constantly saying, "Oh, how about this place?" "Oh yeah, you can't eat there." And my poor coworker is several months pregnant and super sick, so the fact that she was worried about what I could eat instead of what she could stomach, really bothered me.
  3. I actually like drinking my coffee black! This is shocking to me, as I always put a splash of cream and sugar in my coffee every morning. But once I got used to drinking it black, I don't even think about it now.
  4. Having such a restrictive diet is completely impossible to maintain long-term. Especially since this was voluntary on my part. I wasn't getting a single ounce of calcium from anything I was eating, which I know isn't a good thing.
  5. I missed my old breakfast of a whole grain waffle topped with peanut butter and bananas. It's one of my favorites and immediately went back into the rotation after I gave up on the challenge.
  6. Almond butter is absolutely not a substitute for peanut butter. That is all I have to say about that.
  7. Eating is one of my favorite activites of all time (go ahead and judge me) and this challenge made me hate meal time. Since I couldn't eat anything I actually wanted, I dreaded having to decide what to order in restaurants at lunch and for dinner during the weekends. It made me cranky. Some nights I just skipped dinner all together because nothing sounded appetizing. I also stopped trying new recipes completely because every recipe I want to try doesn't fit the "paleo" rules.
  8. I'm glad I did this challenge (at least for 15 days), so I know I should probably limit the amount of grains in my diet and I don't think dairy is the culprit.
  9. I do still plan on at least considering the things I order when I'm eating out so I can avoid the tummy aches later!
So while I may have totally failed at the challenge, I'm perfectly content with a dinner of chips and salsa.

So worth it.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Weekend Update

Happy Monday! It's a rainy one here in Greenville, but as long as it's not 50 degrees anymore, I don't mind one bit!

This weekend was full of so many great things! Because my coworker and I didn't get home until 9:30 pm on Thursday night from our client in Charlotte, I only had to work 3 hours Friday morning in the office and then I headed to the pool!

Friday night, my coworker and I met downtown at the new rooftop wine bar, Sip, which I'm kind of in love with. I've been saying Greenville needed a rooftop bar for so long, and this one has the coolest atmosphere! Since it was opening day, they were still working out some kinks, but the line to get inside was 30 people deep! We'll be sure to go back on a less-crowded evening!

Then we met the guys at Grill Marks for dinner and devoured burgers and fries. I had a really hard time not ordering an alcoholic milkshake..

The snapshots from my Saturday and Sunday look like this:

We made the trek to Clemson for the spring game, and my life was complete with a little football and tailgating. We stopped at Clemson's most famous bar, The Esso Club, for drinks and dinner after the game, and we got to pretend like we were still in college at least for a little bit. Man I miss it.

And then Sunday was one of the most super productive days I've had in awhile. Since I crashed the night before after we got back from Clemson (before 10 pm, oops), I was wide awake at 6 am!

I drank my coffee (and enjoyed my new lilac gel mani!) and lounged around for a few hours before I was ready to tackle the day my closet.

I've been meaning to get in my closet for a giving away spree and a little spring cleaning, and I managed to donate two trash bags full of clothes and shoes! I took my donation to Goodwill and plopped myself on the couch for the rest afternoon to watch The Masters! Ryan had tickets to go with our friend Chase on Sunday, and he sweetly brought me back a Tervis tumbler last night! I was literally screaming at the TV during the playoff yesterday. I could just spread Adam Scott on a cracker - what a cutie! So happy he won! However, I'm a little ticked off that Ryan didn't bring Adam home instead, but whatever.

It's looking like I'll be out of town traveling for the next 4 weekends, so I was quite excited to spend this one lounging around and having some fun!

Hope y'all had a great weekend as well!

Friday, April 12, 2013

{Recipe} ~ Hashbrown Casserole

Maybe it's because the weekend is coming (yay Friday!!), but I'm in the mood for brunch. Ryan and I are slowly checking out every brunch place in Greenville, but sometimes the best breakfast/brunch comes right from your own kitchen!

This dish is a family favorite for Christmas morning or New Year's Day, but could serve as a side dish for Thanksgiving, too! And as a bonus, it doesn't include "cream of" anything soup!

Hashbrown Casserole
from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (8 ounces)
  • 26-ounce bag frozen shredded hash browns
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 3 cups cornflakes, lightly crushed
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until the onion is softened and translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about a minute. Combine the chicken broth and milk in a liquid measure and slowly whisk in the mixture. Add the salt, pepper and thyme. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Take the pot off the heat and stir in the cheese until smooth. Mix in the frozen hash browns, lifting and folding the mixture until well combined. Finally, stir in the sour cream.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss the lightly crushed cornflakes with the butter until evenly combined. Scoop out the potato mixture into a 9X13-inch baking dish and top with the buttered cornflakes. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, until hot and bubbly around the edges.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What's in my Makeup Bag?

Maybe I'm just super nosy, but for some reason, these types of posts are my absolute favorite! I love seeing what other people carry around in their purse, their beach bag, makeup bag, or their travel totes. Is that weird? Whatever, I'm cool with it.

Here's the contents of my makeup bag and the products I use almost daily!

All images via Sephora

1. Clinique Moisture Surge - I can't live without this moisturizer. If I ever forget to bring it with me on a trip, I instantly freak out. It's the lightest moisturizer I've ever used, but certainly holds up to my dry skin!

2. Benefit Boi-ing Concealer - I usually don't stick with the same product once I run out, but I've consistently re-stocked this concealer over the years. I use it under my eyes and to cover any blemishes.

3. Bare Minerals Ready Foundation SPF 20 - I had never used Bare Minerals before because one of my friends constantly complained about the mess the powder foundation made. But when they came out with a pressed version, I thought I'd give it a try! I like the coverage and the fact that it has SPF.

4. NARS Blush in Orgasm - While it seems everyone has this blush, I really do think it's the perfect color for everyone! It gives you a nice little glow year-round.

5. Bare Minerals Ready Bronzer - I never used bronzer until the girl at Sephora suggested it, and since it was the dead of winter and I was desperately pale, I decided to give it a try. I love it now, and my face feels kind of naked without it.

6. Bare Minerals Eye Shadow Palette in The Truth - It seems like Bare Minerals is my go-to for all makeup products! But I like having this palette so I don't have to carry a million eye shadows when I travel. I tend to stick to the basic browns/creams for every day!

7. Tarte Mascara - I got this mascara as a sample on one of my trips to Sephora, and I'm really liking it. Good mascara is hard to find! I plan on purchasing the full size one soon!

8. Stila Liquid Eyeliner - Can we just discuss for a second how freakin' hard it is to find a good eyeliner? I'm constantly buying new ones to try out, but they usually let me down. I like this one, but don't always get the straightest line since it's liquid.

9. Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner - This was one of those purchases that I kind of wish I hadn't made. In my hunt for the greatest eyeliner, the Sephora girl swore to me that this would last all day. I bought a few colors (dark purple, black, and grey) and the black one is the only one that's visible. The grey and purple are so light, they don't even show up on my eyes. I still use the black occasionally, but I was definitely disappointed.


Please share with me what great products you use everyday!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Weekend Update ~ No more work!

I guess you can tell by the title of this post that I'm no longer required to work on the weekends! See ya busy season; it's been real (<-- but really, you suck, so don't hurry back)!

This weekend was off to a bumpy start. My 95-year-old grandfather is in the hospital again after a series of falls and health concerns - prayers greatly appreciated! I was really just in the mood for a low-key weekend involving a whole lot of laying around and enjoying the sunshine.

Here are some snapshots:

{L to R, Top to Bottom}: Brunch on the patio at Local Taco on Saturday morning | Breakfast downtown at a delish new bagel place, Sully's Steamers, on Sunday | Afternoon naps by the pool | Pork and veggie kebabs for dinner Sunday | Wine + Rangers | Packing for my week in Charlotte for work

{Not pictured}: Cocktails at Roost and dinner at The Cazbah Friday night, and an afternoon run on Saturday with Ryan

I'm glad to be getting a change of scenery this week by working in Charlotte. It's always fun to sleep in a big king size bed all by yourself for a few days!

Did everyone else have a nice, relaxing, warm weekend?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Intervention Needed

Y'all. I need help.

I can't stop shopping!

Apparently I think I'm going on vacation, like tomorrow, because I keep buying things I don't really need quite yet.

Case in point:

My new bag from Jon Hart Design. It's called the Daytripper and I'm obsessed. The bags are handmade in San Antonio, so Ryan's whole family has pieces from the luggage collection. I didn't really think much about his square duffle that he carries everywhere, but his sister Laurel had this style bag in a different color when she came to visit, and I knew I just had to order one.

I almost never have a carry-on when I fly. I always just carry my regular purse and my suitcase. But when we go to Texas this year, I think I'm going to need to figure out how to bring just a carry-on for 10 days and 4 cities (San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, and Cabo, whew)! This bag will be a perfect tote to fit all my stuff!

Ryan wanted to buy it for me for my birthday, but I told him I just couldn't wait that long! It's just waiting patiently under my bed to be taken on an adventure! Hurry up, New Orleans!

Some other things I've recently purchased:

New beach cover-ups from Loft. I've worn the same cover-up since college and it's just a solid black dress from Victoria's Secret, so I figured it was time to spruce up my collection! I really hope they fit!

I had to replace my pair of grey Tom's because I've worn them so much they had a hole in the toe! I went with this cute lighter grey pair and think they'll be perfect for summer.

Then somehow, these wedges made it into my shopping cart, too. Oops.

One last vacation item I purchased at Target:

Can y'all tell I'm just really excited for Spring/Summer and to take a vacation??

Have you bought anything cute for Spring recently? As if I need any more ideas!

GFC Lovin

Monday, April 1, 2013

Weekend Update ~ Easter

We're just going to pretend that the weekend starts on Thursday (like it did back in college, sigh) because I finally did something fun on a weeknight instead of work so it's worth mentioning!


Anthropologie opened its doors on Friday here in Greenville, and I got invited to the pre-grand opening! The store was open for 2 hours Thursday night to Anthro card members so I invited my roomie to come along! We had dinner at The Lazy Goat beforehand and I cheated just a little because we ordered their amazing fried goat cheese.

Sorry I'm not sorry.
I may or may not have bought a few things at Anthro (I just had to) and had a great time enjoying appetizers while shopping in my favorite store! Seriously, I'm so excited that Greenville is becoming such a fun little city to live in! Next mission: convince Ryan we shouldn't move.
I worked a half day on Friday (it was a holiday after all!) and then met my mom at Whole Foods for lunch + Easter lunch shopping. I finally told her to just cook whatever she wanted, since this challenge allows me to eat nothing. I may have cheated (again) and had a mimosa and some ham biscuits!
My mom and I went back to Anthro so I could buy more stuff exchange a dress I bought the night before for a smaller size.
I was back at my apartment by 4 pm and got some serious cleaning/laundry done before Ryan came over for dinner. I made a simple meal of grilled chicken and roasted veggies for our date night!

I then proceeded to fall asleep on the couch at 9 pm while watching basketball. Oops.

I woke up at 7 am after a refreshing 10 hours of sleep and begrudgingly got to work. I finally crossed a few things off my to do list and was super glad to do so. And then Ryan crushed my dreams by telling me it "wasn't realistic" to quit my job and travel the world. Not cool.

I spent the rest of the day doing things I never have time for (working out! reading a book! finding new blogs to follow!) and then parked my booty on the couch for the rest of the day/night. So much laziness and it was fantastic.

Sunday, we celebrated Easter in Anderson with my parents with church and brunch!

Overall, a fantastic weekend! I'm so ready for spring weather to get here - since it's April 1st, I'd say it's about time!

I'm linking up with Sami today!