What I’m Loving Wednesday: Last Minute Foodie Gifts

I was out picking up some stocking stuffers Monday and saw so many gifts and stocking stuffers that I would LOVE to have! So, if you’re still in need of last minute gifts for the foodie in your life, hopefully little list this will help!

I love olive oils, I love Trader Joe’s, and I love these pretty bottles. I would be super excited to find this set of Sicilian olive oils from TJ’s under my tree! And at $13.99 for the box, it’s a pretty great deal! And if you want to take it one step further, gift it with a pretty olive oil bottle. (I loooooove the Rachael Ray bottles.)

2014-12-15 10.49.10

Rosemary trees! These smell amazing, and would be not only a really great foodie gift, but also a great hostess gift as well. I’ve seen these at multiple grocery stores, ranging from $9-$14.

unnamed

 

These little tins of Fleur de Sel are so cute! And they’re only $3.99 each! I’d love to find one of these in my stocking on Christmas morning!

2014-12-15 10.49.36

If you have anyone in your life who loves mason jars as much as I do, they would LOVE this top. “Shake, pour, and store, reCAP turns the classic Mason Jar into a spill-proof water bottle, salad dressing dispenser, cereal container, candy jar, and more.”

9aee8f2a79746d6238645fa505570f56

This tasting of ten teas for $12.99 (also from Trader Joe’s) would be so perfect to give, especially with a cute mug, or maybe even an inexpensive teapot. I saw a really pretty white teapot at TJ Maxx yesterday that I would loooooooove to get.

2014-12-15 10.50.41

I received a set of these Kuhn Rikon paring knives at my wedding shower back in 2011. I hadn’t registered for them, but a cousin bought them for me and said that these were her favorite knives ever. They’re now my favorite too. They stay really sharp for a long time, I love the bright colors, and I really, really love the case that slides over the blade. I carry one with me when I bring an apple to work, since I hate biting into apples, and I never have to worry about accidentally stabbing myself. This set of three is around $25, but they sell single versions also (they have them at Kohls, Bed Bath & Beyond, and I’ve also seen them at TJ Maxx/Homegoods).

d01a048be36ea47f52982dbc60bcf0b8

 

In my personal opinion, you can never, ever have too many rubber “spoonulas”, and my favorite are these from Kohl’s. I have several, in multiple colors and I absolutely LOVE them! They’ve held up really great to daily use and still look brand new. They’re a little on the pricey side, in my opinion (does anyone else think Kohl’s is ridiculously overpriced), but they are totally worth it!

2014-12-16 19.42.56

This pickle wine bottle stopper is one of my favorite things ever. It would make a GREAT stocking stuffer, or a fun add-on with a bottle of wine for a pretty cool gift.

81Lz-XfiXJL._SL1500_

 

 

DIY: Easy Clay Gift Tags

Clay Gift Tags 16 - Bake. Create. Love.

A few weeks ago I was wrapping gifts and had a thought. I had driven to every TJ Maxx and Homegoods in two states looking for a specific rolls of wrapping paper. I spend tons of money on ribbon to make real bows. And yet, I use cheap stick on labels. I decided to change that this year. I was scrolling through Pinterest, and found tons of name tags & ornaments made from polymer clay. So, I headed to Michael’s, bought the clay, ordered a stamp set from Amazon and got to work. These were stupid easy to make. I had all of my tags cut out & stamped in less than 30 minutes, and sat back while they baked and hardened.

So. Here’s what you’ll need:Clay Gift Tags - Bake. Create. Love

A clean work surface (a sheet of parchment or wax paper works perfectly), polymer clay, a knife, cookie cutters, a small screwdriver (or any tool to make the hole for the ribbon), and the stamp set. There are LOADS of stamp sets out there. I bought a super cheap one from Amazon, but maybe next year I’ll work my way up to a fancier set with a prettier font.

Clay Gift Tags 2 - Bake. Create. Love

Slice off a piece of the polymer clay, about a 1/4″ thick. Cut out your shape with one of your cookie cutters and place on a baking sheet.
Clay Gift Tags 3 - Bake. Create. Love. Clay Gift Tags 4  Bake. Create. Love.

I hate waste, so when I had cut out a good bit of the shapes I needed, I rolled out my scraps and cut more shapes out of the remnants.
Clay Gift Tags 5 - Bake. Create. Love.

Heat your oven to 275 degrees. When all of your shapes have been cut out, start stamping them. Press down gently, or otherwise you’ll have a circle around your letter.
Clay Gift Tags 6 - Bake. Create. Love. Clay Gift Tags 7 - Bake. Create. Love.

Take your screw driver, or other hole making tool, and make a small hole for the ribbon on each one. When you’ve finished, bake them for 20-25 minutes.
Clay Gift Tags 8 - Bake. Create. Love

After they’ve baked, and are a little less delicate, I like to clear out the hole a little bit more, to make it easier to get the ribbon through. (An exacto knife works reallllllly well for this part.)
Clay Gift Tags 12 - Bake. Create. Love.

Put the ribbon through however you prefer. The first method just has you putting the ribbon through the hole and tying the two loose ends together.
Clay Gift Tags 9 - Bake. Create. Love.

For the secon method, just bend the ribbon in half, put through the hole, put the two loose ends through the loop & tie to your packages.
Clay Gift Tags 10 - Bake. Create. Love.

Clay Gift Tags 11 - Bake. Create. Love.

Clay Gift Tags 13 - Bake. Create. Love.

Clay Gift Tags 14 - Bake. Create. Love.

 

 

 

(I’m linking up with Celebrate Southern this week! Head on over and check out what everyone else is up to!)

Recipe: Apple Cranberry Biscotti (2014 #fbcookieswap)

Apple Cranberry Biscotti - Bake. Create. Love. 5
One of the highlights of the holiday season, for me, is the Annual Food Blogger Cookie Swap. The premise of this is simple: sign up, make a small donation to Cookies for Kids Cancer, receive the names & addresses of three other bloggers, send them some cookies, and check the mailbox every.single.day. waiting for cookies in return (from three different bloggers). It’s such a fun way to meet new people, and try things you would have never thought of.

Apple Cranberry Biscotti - Bake. Create. Love
One of the requirements of the swap is that you’re not allowed to use a recipe that you’ve already posted on your blog. So, those amazing chocolate chip cookies I made earlier this year? I couldn’t send those. The carmelitas I actually received the first year I did the swap? Can’t send those either. I sent chocolate dipped caramel biscotti last year, and I was really pleased with how they turned out. Biscotti is perfect for something like this, because they ship really, really well. It’s nice not worrying about the people you’re sending them to receiving a box of broken cookie pieces. They also have a really long shelf life. My test batch lasted for over a week in an airtight container, before I finally made Graham take them to work with him, so I would stop eating them!

Apple Cranberry Biscotti - Bake. Create. Love. 4
Last year one of the cookies I received was an apple cider cookie stuffed with a caramel, and they were delicious. I never would have thought of using apple cider mix in a cookie, but it gives it such a strong, delicious apple flavor! I knew I wanted to do another biscotti recipe this year, so I decided to use the apple cider to make an apple cranberry biscotti. And they turned out really, really well. My first test batch included a finely diced fuji apple, as well as the apple cider mix. The apple didn’t add much to the cookie, and just made the dough really wet, so I nixed that for the final batch. Graham didn’t think the apple flavor was strong enough, so I also added a little more apple cider, and reduced the sugar a bit.

Apple Cranberry Biscotti - Bake. Create. Love. 7
I was thrilled with the next batch. So thrilled, I went ahead and packaged them up and sent them out to two of my matches then & there! There are chopped up Craisins in the cookies themselves, and then I added a little more to the top, for a pop of color. It kind of looks like bacon in some of these pictures, but it’s cranberry, I promise =)

Apple Cranberry Biscotti - Bake. Create. Love. 3Apple Cranberry Biscotti
(Recipe adapted from this one.)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter; room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 large eggs; room temperature
  • 1 t. of vanilla extract
  • 2 & 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup of Craisins, finely chopped (plus extra for garnish)
  • 6 packets of Apple Cider Mix
  • 4 ounces of white chocolate

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375º.
  2. Beat butter in large bowl with a mixer for about 30 seconds then add sugar, baking powder, salt & beat until thoroughly combined.  Add eggs and vanilla extract & beat until just combined.
  3. Whisk together the flour and the apple cider mix, and fold that into the wet ingredients. Beat until just mixed, and then fold in the cranberries.
  4. Divide dough into half (or thirds). On a lightly floured surface, with floured hands shape the dough into two logs about 10″ x 3″ (or three logs that are about 10″ x 2″) .  Place dough 2-3″ apart onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.  Cool pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. (It’s important to let it cool otherwise it will crumble and break if you try to cut it while hot)
  6. Reduce oven temperature to 300º.  Using a serrated knife, cut each roll diagonally into ½ inch thick slices.
  7. Place slices cut side up on the cookie sheet about ½ inches apart and bake for 12- 15 minutes on each side. Cool biscotti on wire racks.
  8. When cookies have cooled, melt the chocolate by your method of choice (for white chocolate, the microwave method works better for me than the double boiler method), and then dip each cookie in the chocolate. Sprinkle with the extra cranberries (and gently press them into the chocolate a tiny bit) and let sit until the chocolate has hardened. Once the chocolate has hardened, store in an air tight container.

Apple Cranberry Biscotti - Bake. Create. Love. 2
And while making cookies is fun, receiving them is even more fun. This year I received cookies from Meghan from Spoonful of Flour. She sent me dark chocolate cashew cookies that we devoured. They were so, so good and my husband and I couldn’t stop eating them! The 12 she sent were gone in 2-3 days… #sorrynotsorry. Definitely check out her blog for the recipe, and for her beautiful food photography.

2014-12-04 04.39.30

I also received cookies from Nichi at the Mandatory Mooch. She sent me chocolate covered Oreos, and these were almost too pretty to eat! Don’t they remind you of Wedgewood ornaments? I can’t wait till she shares the recipe so I can see how she made them!

2014-12-08 05.23.16 2014-12-08 05.22.11

The 10 Best Things I’ve Ever Eaten.

A few weeks ago G and I were heading back from the beach and we made our obligatory stop by Whole Foods for hot bar mac and cheese. After savoring every last bite, I made the declaration that the mac and cheese was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. That started a conversation (that made me really, really hungry) about the best meals/foods I’ve ever had. So after a lot of thinking, I’ve managed to narrow it down to a top ten.

What really surprised me when I started thinking about this is how simple most of these foods are. No fussy sauces or delicate souffles… just quality food. Food like this is why I love food so much, and why I love to eat local (Whole Foods is the only chain on this list). You will never, ever have the best meal of your life at Chili’s or Outback.

And unfortunately, a couple of these meals happened before I started obsessively taking pictures of everything I eat, but oh well. It is what it is.

10. House Made Tots from Venture Kitchen & Bar in Hampton, VA.

2014-10-17-12-26-10

Tater tots. Something I am absolutely powerless to resist. Especially when they are THIS. DAMNED. GOOD. These are made in-house and are the best potato dish you’ll ever have in your life! The insides are soft and fluffy, the outside is crispy, and they are perfectly seasoned. Basically, they’re deep-fried cubes of heaven.

9. Hot Bar Mac & Cheese from Whole Foods

7e3ca-2014-02-0811-57-02-2

It may not look like much, but this macaroni and cheese is the best macaroni and cheese I have ever had. Ever. First of all, as you can obviously tell, it’s super creamy. I loathe baked macaroni and cheese. I’m not sure why people bake it. It’s supposed to be creamy and cheesy, not dry and crumbly. This stuff… oh, this stuff. It’s super rich, so you can’t eat much of it (G and I usually share a portion this size), super cheesy, has the hint of onion in it and just melts in your mouth. I could eat this every single day, and be so, so happy. They’re opening a Whole Foods down the street from my apartment this spring, so there is a possibility that could happen. So, if I gain about 50 lbs. next year, you’ll know why.

8. Tuna Poke from Union Bistro in Little Rock, AR.

63ca2-imag0205

First, to anyone who thinks a Droid is as good as an iPhone, no. Just no. This picture is terrible, and was taken with a Droid. Second, sadly no one else will ever be able to enjoy this (or take a better photo of it), since the restaurant is now closed. But this tuna was life changing. I hadn’t been eating sushi or raw/rare fish very long when we went here for the first time and we ordered this to be adventurous. The tuna was served with caviar, wasabi aioli, sliced avocado and sriracha. When you put each component together, you got the best flavor explosion ever in your mouth. Every time we went to Union Bistro, we tried to order at least one or two different items, but we ordered this every single time.

7. Apple Crisp Ice Cream & Goat Cheese Honey & Fig Ice Cream from Rococo Artisan Ice Cream in Kennebunkport, ME.

68606-2013-10-1117-29-55

We stopped at Rococo Artisan Ice Cream on our way back to our hotel in Boston, and we were blown away. It was a small shop, and didn’t look like anything special. They had some pretty exotic flavors and a few normal flavors, but it was all amazing. Graham had goat cheese with honey, whiskey & figs. I went the more traditional route and ordered apple crisp. Both were phenomenal. The apple crisp had HUGE chunks of apple and pastry throughout. And even though all of the flavors going on in G’s made me raise my eyebrows, I had a bite, and it was so, so delicious. I would happily eat one of these ice cream cones every day for the rest of my life.

6. King Salmon from Fahrenheit in Charlotte, NC.

2014-05-17-19-35-19-1

I love salmon. LOVE it. It’s typically my go-to entrée when we go out to dinner, and this salmon was probably the best I’ve ever had. This salmon was served  with wasabi mashed potatoes, blood orange saikyo miso and pickled cucumbers and carrots. This was AMAZING. The salmon was huge and perfectly cooked. It had an excellent crust, but was perfectly cooked inside. The potatoes had just a hint of wasabi, but not enough to be overwhelming. I gave Graham a bite, and all the flavors together reminded him of a sushi roll. This was one of those dinner where you ate really slowly, and savored every bite, because you just didn’t want it to end.

5. Hot Dogs from JJ’s Red Hots in Charlotte, NC (Specifically the Breaking Batter & the Big Cheesy).

JJsRedHots

It may make me a bad foodie, but I don’t care. I love hot dogs. LOVE them. I could eat them probably every single day if I weren’t somewhat concerned with my weight (not as concerned as I should be, but that’s a post for another day). And the hot dogs at JJ’s are as good as it gets. It’s always really hard for me to narrow down to just one favorite between these two. If I’m being completely honest, the more delicious one is probably the Breaking Batter. But the Big Cheesy is the first hot dog I had at JJ’s and made me realize I DO like pimento cheese, despite a lifetime of believing I didn’t.

4. Pizza from Lou Malnati’s in Chicago, IL.

219491_10100506372557497_1667517426_o

When we went to Chicago back in 2012, I had a huge list of potential places to get authentic, Chicago style pizza at. Lou Malnati’s got the most votes, so we ended up getting a pizza one night. The smell tortured us on the drive back to the hotel. When we opened the box, it was kind of a “meh” moment. The pizza was thick, but didn’t look very big. It looked like a smaller, thicker crusted version of the pepperoni & sausage pizza we got at a local chain in Arkansas. That “meh” moment flew out the window the second we had that first bite. Holy. Mother. Of. God. There were layers of cheese and sausage beneath the top layer of cheese and toppings. The sauce was excellent, the toppings were good, and we happily ended the night lying in bed, comatose from too much pizza. And when we have a house again, and have space for a deep freezer, it will be filled with frozen Lou Malnati’s.

3. Anniversary dinner at Zaytinya in Washington, DC.

PicMonkey Collage

This may be cheating, to pick an entire meal, but we ate everything in one sitting, so I say it counts. Since we had two weddings, we get two anniversary dinners. For our December anniversary in 2013, we spent the night in DC and had dinner at Zaytinya. Zaytinya serves a HUGE menu of Greek/Mediterranean style tapas, and after much consideration, we were able to narrow it down to six items. And everything we picked was a winner. However, Graham and I walked away that night with differing opinions on which was the absolute best. I argued it was the scallops served in a harissa-carrot puree, orange sections & radishes. Graham thought it was the octopus Santorini (grilled Mediterranean octopus, marinated onions, capers, & yellow split pea puree). The grilled hangar steak with arugula tabbouleh, roasted hazelnuts & pomegrante seeds was pretty spectactular as well. See why I have to narrow it down to the whole meal, instead of just one dish?

2. THE Buffalo Chicken Pizza to end all Buffalo Chicken Pizzas from Tavern on the Square in Salem, MA.

photo11

I have this pizza on such a pedestal, it’s borderline insane, and unfortunately, it’s pretty much the one food I’ve loved that I didn’t take a photo of. Over five years ago, my mom & I roadtripped up to Boston for the week. We had such a wonderful time seeing historic sites and visiting so many beautiful places. But by far, one of my favorite parts of the trip was eating a buffalo chicken pizza in Salem. It was a place called Tavern on the Square and our lunch was delicious. Well, mine was. My mom had momentarily lost her mind and was on a low carb diet. Who goes on a low carb diet on vacation? So, while I was indulging in amazing fried pickle spears and the best pizza of my life, she was eating salads and mashed turnips. That pizza though… it was divine. It came out with the cheese perfectly browned and bubbly, the crust was good, and the flavor was amazing. The pizza was spicy, but not too spicy. It was also huge, so I took the leftovers with me and snacked on them throughout the rest of the trip.

When Graham and I were in New England this fall, I debated over whether or not to go back to the restaurant and order the same pizza. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I seriously gave this way more thought than a logical person ever should. But I have this pizza on such a pedestal, I was terrified that I would order it again and be disappointed. So, we’re in Salem and I finally decide to go for it. We get to the restaurant, and I’m sure the waitress thinks I’m crazy as I start gushing about a pizza I had four years ago. She tells me she hasn’t been there very long and tracks someone else down to see if the recipe had been changed.

It had been. My heart broke a little, and at the same time I was a little relieved. The pizza that I had in 2009 would remain the perfect pizza, and I wouldn’t have to worry about what I ordered living up to it’s memory. Graham ordered the “new” buffalo chicken flatbread. It was very mediocre. It had corn on it. Who puts corn on a buffalo chicken pizza? It seriously didn’t work. At all.

Not to be melodramatic or anything, but I’m going to quote Titanic right now (only change the him/he to it):  “I don’t even have a picture of him. He exists now… only in my memory.”

And finally…

1. Seared Scallops & Squid Ink Linguine from So! in Little Rock, AR.

02f84-2013-04-2020-12-22

People don’t give Arkansas enough credit. When I first moved there, I didn’t give it enough credit. But I grew to love it, and throughout my two and a half years of living there, I had some amazing meals. We had so many wonderful dinners there, but So! was our go-t0 restaurant for our special meals. Birthdays? Yes. Anniversaries? Heck yes. Deployment homecomings? Yes x1000 (when Graham returned from that first deployment of our relationship, we actually had dinner there the night before we got engaged).  And almost every time we ate there, I ordered the same thing: the seared scallops & fennel with squid ink linguine. I know the pasta looks a little scary, but don’t be intimidated by it. It’s salty, garlicky and absolutely delicious. The very last time we went was the only time I ordered something else, which made Graham very happy. He refuses to order the same thing as me when we go out, so he finally ordered this dish for himself. I loved this dinner so much, and when we eventually make it back to Arkansas (one of these days…), I’m going to stop by Crye-Leike first to visit with the people I miss oh so much, and then we’re heading to So!

What I’m Loving Wednesday

I know I’ve been a little quiet this week… Sorry about that. Things have been busy, withe the back to back trips to Charlotte. I love my city, but it’s so nice to be in Virginia for the next couple of weeks.

Anyways. I’m trying to get back in the swing of things, so I figure a WILW is as good a way as any.
2014-11-25 18.33.45-1

And these amazing Trader Joe’s cookies are the perfect way to start. Right now they have all kinds of delectable treats at the registers (including my favorite English toffee & chocolate covered caramels), but these called out to me. All of the flavors are delicious but the ginger one (dipped in white chocolate) is out of this world!
22364fd7fa99cbcbbf874c04b9e86ee8How cool is this? I saw this wine bottle candelabra saw at Paper Skyscraper over the weekend, and even though I love supporting local businesses, it’s cheaper on Amazon. We saved one wine bottle from our (formal) wedding, and I think this would be a really cool way to put it to use.

e9f8f3e834ccaed45a6d9b7a605512e4

The ergoErgo seat from the Container Store is super cool too. It’s fairly comfortable, good for your posture and looks incredibly cool! It’s not cheap (it’s $100), but it’s something I’d love to have at work. I feel like my posture has gotten worse since I’ve started working in offices, and I’ve never had great posture to begin with. bbb2457c5f990e7fe290b4d01fd01fbb

This turquoise steel bookcase is so much fun! I had a turquoise guest room at our old house, and I honestly hated it. But I’m obsessed with turquoise accessories lately…542330d42be6841f6d7831e00eaeeaee

… like this guy here. I LOVE this cow coat hook! It’s made from aluminum, and has two friends that coordinate with it. One of these days I’m going to have a giant walk in closet, and this little guy is going to hang on the wall right next to my Young House Love teal octopus (that is currently holding my necklaces), and hold… well, something. 8a310e341c2d63f98ffb923d3e784a7c

It’s a nut case! How freaking cool is this?!?! It’s made of porcelain and it a pretty good size. I ordered it as a gift for someone, and I like it even more in person than I did on the website. But seriously. How cute will this be filled with some type of nut? I hope the recipient loves it!

A Memorable Thanksgiving

We spent the weekend in Charlotte for Thanksgiving. Honestly, it wasn’t the greatest weekend of my life, but I’m not going to get into that. Let’s focus on what was good about the weekend.

Like the food. We ate really, really well. We had two Thanksgiving meals, one with my family and one with Graham’s. Both were delicious overall. I did learn a valuable lesson though. If a plug-in air freshener ever spills on a cutting board, that cutting board is no longer usable. Ever. No matter how many times you wash it, it will always taste the way a plug-in smells. That flavor is soaked up by food you put on the cutting board. And when you slice a turkey on that cutting board it leads to really horrible things. Luckily, we realized this before the rest of the turkey was sliced on it.
2014-11-27 12.59.12

Since we have two Thanksgiving dinners on Thursday, I don’t eat leftovers on Friday. Instead, we went to Miguel’s for dinner. Oh Miguel’s… Y’all, this place is attached to a creepy looking motel and doesn’t look like a place you’d want to eat at, but it is the best Mexican food ever.

Graham had the chorizo enchiladas, which were incredible.

2014-11-28 18.24.15

I had the nacho cheese burritos with chicken. I have never ordered anything besides the burritos in the 14 years I have been eating there. The amount of chicken stuffed in these things is ridiculous, and the cheese and sauce these are served with is just ridiculously good.

2014-11-28 18.24.28 2014-11-28 18.26.15

Saturday was Small Business Saturday, so I checked out a few of my favorite places in Charlotte. Paper Skyscraper is one of my favorite places ever. It’s a local shop with so many fun things, lots of local things, and some pretty risqué things (I’ll never forget the naked man lamp… guess which part of the anatomy turned the light on & off…)

I thought these Charlotte mugs were adorable.

2014-11-29 12.28.47

One of these Ella B. Pure Soy candles are on my wish list for Christmas. They’re made locally and they smell absolutely amazing!

2014-11-29 12.30.13

Knit Your Own Cat. How freaking cool is this???

2014-11-29 12.31.24

One of my favorite things about Paper Skyscraper is their selection of gift wrap. The sheets are pricey, but they are all so pretty. I bought a sheet and used it as a mat for a Christmas print that I ordered, and I love it!

2014-11-29 12.35.45

Claude is now on my Christmas wish list too. In red. I’m in need of a kitchen helper, and I kind of love him.

2014-11-29 12.38.51

Saturday night was a lot of fun. We had dinner with good friends and all brought appetizers and things to snack on, instead of having a huge meal. Stephen made Swedish meatballs, buffalo chicken meatballs, and an Asian style meatball. I made little ham and cheese sandwiches and olive & sundried tomato tapenade. Melanie & Randy brought sausage balls and sausage balls. Heather & Stephen also served cream cheese with homemade pepper jelly, which is pretty much one of the best things ever.

2014-11-29 19.27.46

Stephen also made homemade marshmallows for us to make s’mores with. These were so crazy good. They gave us some to bring back with us, and I can’t wait to have hot chocolate with them.

2014-11-29 21.55.59-1

Every year when we get together for our Friendsgiving, we also celebrate Hermione’s birthday. I get Hermione a cake from the Canine Cafe and she spends the night playing with the other dogs.

2014-11-29 12.19.13-1

And how precious is this dog? In that second picture it looks like she’s saying “can I please have my cake now?” Love her.

hermione 3rd birthdaySo, there are the highlights from Thanksgiving weekend. Hopefully Christmas will be better.

The Four Survey

We were driving back from Charlotte yesterday and this survey was in my Feedly reader a couple of times. I enjoyed reading Jen’s & Christina’s answers, so I figured what the heck. And if you don’t care about surveys, you should still check out Jen’s blog. She has a new puppy and I am seriously dying!

Four names that people call me other than my real name:

  1. Nabers (Way too many Heather’s in my senior class)
  2. Heather Lynn (My middle name, which I HATE. Graham calls me that just to annoy me).
  3. (And obviously I’ve never been big on nicknames.)

Four jobs I’ve had:

  1. Office Manager (current)
  2. Office assistant
  3. Retail assistant manager
  4. Research assistant

Four movies I’ve watched more than once:

  1. Titanic (18 times in theaters…)
  2. Love Actually
  3. Speed
  4. Dial M for Murder

Four books I’d recommend:

  1. Year of Wonders
  2. The Heretic’s Daughter
  3. You Can Get Arrested for That
  4. The Best Day of Someone Elses Life

Four places I’ve lived

  1. Newport News, VA (2013 – Current)
  2. Jacksonville, AR (2011 – 2013)
  3. Charlotte, NC (Birth – 2011)
  4. Acton, MA

Four places I’ve visited:

  1. Boston, MA
  2. Kennebunkport, ME
  3. Dallas, TX
  4. Nassau, Bahamas

Four places I’d rather be right now:

  1. Salem, MA
  2. Santorini, Greece
  3. St. Petersburg, Russia
  4. Paris, France

Four things I prefer not to eat:

  1. Mayonnaise
  2. Eggs with runny yolks
  3. Hamburger helper
  4. Raw onions

Four of my favorite foods:

  1. Olives
  2. sashimi grade yellow tail tuna
  3. Fuji apples
  4. Avocados

Four TV shows I watch:

  1. Frasier
  2. How I Met Your Mother
  3. The X-Files
  4. Currently binge watching Parenthood

Four things I’m looking forward to this year:

  1. Christmas!
  2. New Years Eve
  3. Our “anniversary” get away to Charleston
  4. Hopefully a trip to Arkansas to visit with friends.

Four things I’m always saying:

  1. Leave it, Hermione.
  2. WTF.
  3. Hmph.
  4. He/She sucks.