Monday, August 30, 2010

Early Bird Gets the Worm

Okay ladies, the fall collection is in and I'm offering the deal of the season! Be the first person to respond to this email, book a trunk show and get your choice of one of the new pieces from our fabulous, new fall collection featured above. You can book it anytime for September 8th to December 22nd.

Can't decide? Just remember, the jewelry is adorable. You and your friends will have a blast trying on the jewels and socializing. Our average hostess gets $250 in free jewelry and you only need about 10 girlfriends to come to have a good show. Keep it simple. No chocolate fountains! The best shows have a cheese tray, drinks and are kept in 1 room. You want you friends trying on jewelry - not eating! I handle your invites. We can post cards, evites and/or both! Who will be the winner?

[Offer][Early Bird]

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Constant Gardener

I love to visit the garden when I am at the mountain house. It is bordered with tress and sits off to the side of the house. The garden has a one way entrance and was full of butterflies last weekend!

The pebble path guides you along the outside with a stone path that navigates you through the center.

The above is what you first see when you walk in.

The butterflies love the lavender.

The front yard is so lush in the spring and summer.

I adore these kinds of fences.

The christmas tree farm across the street leaves the best smell in the air!

This is the view on the back porch. I love the tree in the middle.

To date this is my favorite side table I have ever seen.

The newly added back porch furniture is elegant and now we can comfortably enjoy the scenery!
[NC][Secret Garden]

Hodge Podge Pasta

We had a lovely meal Saturday night and this is a favorite. This is my own recipe and every time I make it I adjust different components so I am attempting to write it down. I eyeball everything and rarely measure so my recipe how to's reflect that. I suggest cooking this way, tasting your dish as you go.

You will need:
Cherry tomatoes
Baby bella mushrooms
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Skinless, boneless chicken breast
Fresh grated parmesan

The above picture is for step one.
1. Pour some olive oil in a large skillet. Go ahead and slice up your zucchini, squash, bella baby mushrooms, shallots, artichokes and olives and combine in skillet. Put your cherry tomatoes in there whole and however much garlic and cayenne pepper you prefer. We like the meal with a kick to it. Turn your skillet on low to medium heat occasionally giving it a good stir.

2. Cover the chicken with sea salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Cook on the skillet for 8-12 minutes on medium heat.

3. Cut up, cover and set aside.

4. Begin to boil pasta. Strain pasta. Pour Alfredo sauce over and mix. Add your veggie mix on top.

5. Sprinkle with some fresh cilantro.

6. Don't forget to top with fresh grated parmesan.

We enjoyed our meal with asparagus, garlic bread, a small side salad and bottle of wine.

[NC][Pasta Dish]

Objects of Affection

Being a detailed oriented personality; it's the small things in life that I tend to appreciate. Scattered throughout the mountain house are modest novelties that I adore and make the home what it is to me...

I start with the above sign, perfectly placed by the front entrance as if the house was constructed around the soul purpose to hang this very sign here. I believe that brevity is the soul of wit and here is a sound example. Sinequanon, according to Wikipedia, "was originally a Latin legal term for '(a condition) without which it can not be' or 'but for...' or 'without which (there is) nothing.' It refers to an indispensable and essential action, condition or ingredient." Such a simplistic message speaks volumes to how I feel and how the Cartledge family feels about their home.

You know how people name their properties or boats? I think that the mountain house is well deserving of such a complimentary title, Sinequanon. (And so I don't have to keep referring to it as "the mountain house").

I've never seen candles burn this way. All I know, is I want some.

This painting catches my eye every time I pass by.

An antique that is intricate, wooden and eclectic...therefore I LOVE.

One word - SMORES!

Something about this turtle shell...I'm not sure what it is.

What a conversation piece. I have to own some one day.

The Cartledge's love wine.

I have a thing for dining tables. I look at them and imagine it full of friends and family. A good home cooked meal has just been prepared, the wine is flowing, good conversation, and everyone is joyous to be in such an intimate, lovely setting. To me, it's a similar representation of when you look at a Christmas tree before Christmas morning. You imagine even if only for a split second what it will be like on Christmas morning and for that split second you get the feeling that you only get on Christmas morning. The warm and fuzzy one. That's what happens to me when I look at dining tables.

Pottery is another weakness/obsession of mine. I drink coffee when I'm at the mountain house even when I don't really want it because I love these mugs so much.

Today the inside, tomorrow the outside...

[NC][Mountain House]

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Special Delivery...A Slice of Highlands

The very instant a date is set to visit the mountains, I begin to crave pizza. In fact, just thinking about the mountain house initiates my craving. Not just any pizza. The divine and best I have ever put in my mouth pizza. There is a small, picturesque town we pass through prior to Cashiers called Highlands, NC. It has become a ritual to stop at the Pizza Place of Highlands on Main Street and grab dinner. I order the White Pizza every time without hesitation. One that is not an advocate of red sauce, I gravitate towards white pizzas on any menu and mamma mia, this eatery dominates!

My obsession is clear, so I did some research as to why. What I discovered was shocking!

A little background. A couple of years ago we ate at a very nice Italian restaurant called Paoletti's of HIghlands with another couple, Hugh and Morgan. I could ramble for days regarding our astonishing experience and savory meal but this post is dedicated to the Pizza Place. So I press on...

Pizza Place of Highlands is owned by a gentleman who has worked in fine dining since he was a teen and his passion is Italian cuisine. He once worked as a cook for Paoletti's of Highlands, sound familiar? Eventually, he took that experience and expertise literally across the street to the Pizza Place! He comments about the business, "I take great pride in the quality of my food. I hope that one day I can share one of these great pies with your family."
[NC][Pizza Place]

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ain't No Mountain High Enough

I love red doors.

This is the front of the house when you pull in.

I love this inviting sitting area right when you arrive.

My boyfriend's family proudly calls this beautiful retreat from the world tucked up in Cashiers, NC their mountain home. Words can not describe how incredible this place is and how much I enjoy the privilege of going. We were up there this past weekend and may I just say how nice it is to escape from reality every now and then. No traffic, tall buildings, rude people, to do lists...just serenity. Without sounding cliche, a sense of peace just overcomes me when I am here. I have no worries or troubles temporarily. The occasional reminder that I let myself get too anxious over silly things throughout my day to day life is rejuvenating.

I love the mountain house so much that my blog posts this entire week will be about Cashiers so stay tuned! Happy Monday!

[NC][Cashiers NC]

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fresh Meat

My brother left for college today. The parents would be official empty nesters but I live with them again and I officially feel old. I bet they never thought I would circle back home after college and I sure never thought I would feel even a twinge of old age at 24!

When I think back on my college experience there are things that I wish I would have done differently. My top 5 are:

1. Go to class more
(I'm sure this is a lot of graduates top re do)

2. Seize every moment, soak it all in, not taking one thing for granted

3. Study abroad

4. Stayed single more often

5. Give back more
(College is a very selfish time of your life and I wish I would have made more of a conscious effort to lessen that)

So Ben,
Ben Diesel,
Ben the porcelain potty boy,
Benny wenny has a penny,
I love you. I miss you already. Don't be stupid. And just have fun. Try new things. Stay open minded. This is going to be the best time of your life.

[College][Fresh Meat]

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Marley!

Yes, I did it. This is the invite I made for my dog's birthday party and I'm not even ashamed. There will be cake, presents and dog companions. She will be sporting her new birthday girl outfit and party hat. Don't worry, I will post pictures of the affair next week sometime. I know you can hardly wait. Shout out to Mar Mar - Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Check Out Line

Wal Mart, grocery stores, gas stations, Target, retail stores, anywhere really where a purchase transpires.

Does anyone else struggle with the check out process?

Yes, this is a bit of a rant but I feel that others experience and can empathize.

1. Part one: efficiency or lack there of
I try to be super efficient in the check out line.
You will never catch me on my cell phone! That's an entirely different post in itself.
I also have all my items on the counter before it is even my turn for the cashier's attention.
Lastly, I already have the type of payment selected and ready for my purchase.
When others have a lack there of, needless to say, I hate being behind you in line.

2. Part two: the rush to usher you out of the way thus provoking my anxiety
How am I supposed to swipe my card, select no cash back, sign, grab my belongings, put my receipt in it's preselected designated spot and put my card back in my wallet by the time the cashier is ready for the next customer?
If you have perfected this, please do share. I will send you a present.
Some cashiers are courteous of this daunting task.
I'm already frazzled from the intense puzzle game in your parking lot 10 minutes prior to entering the store.

Maybe I need I hate going to Wal Mart and I hate even more that I have to go there anonymous.

[Wal Mart][Wal Mart]

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dazzling Little Number

I heard the familiar sound of fall when school busses made their routine route early this morning in my neighborhood. It's fair to say I get antsy for fall prematurely. I start to take a mental inventory of coats, scarves, boots, leggings, dark fingernail polish and turtlenecks that I have stowed away and mandatory upcoming purchases.
After blissfully pondering fall basics, I for some reason phase into hypervenalation mode over a new years eve dress. Don't ask. I recognize that this is bazarre.
Lucky for me, this dazzling little number was sitting in my email just waiting to ease my nerves. I lust for this dress and will keep it in mind as a possible candidate for the night we welcome 2011! I'm thinking black tights, fun shoes, flashy silver accessories with a cute up do of some sort. However, not the "bump it" kind.
If you spot any cute dresses, send them my way!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love

I saw Eat, Pray, Love today and the movie is beautiful and has such an inspirational message. Whether you are single, married, divorced, happy, or still soul searching, anyone can relate to this movie. I feel incredibly strong about knowing and loving yourself entirely before adding a man to your life. Eat, Pray, Love did a fantastic job at conveying this simple but easy to forget life lesson that I believe most women of all ages need to be reminded of.

The eclectic style that is featured in the film is my style. I found some items that remind me of the movie. Of course I had to throw in there Stella & Dot pieces that have the movie's motif.

[Movie][Eat Pray Love Movie]

Friday, August 13, 2010

Straight or Curly?

Can you believe I'm just now investing in a ceramic flat iron? I'm almost too embarrassed to say it out loud. However, when I learned of it's hidden talents, I sucked it up.

I never, ever even make eye contact with those kiosk people. Something about this lady at the Galleria drew me in and worked her magic. I purchased the above straightener after learning that it can straighten OR curl my hair.

Although I'm still learning, I must toot my own horn here. I'm officially dysfunctional when trying to style my own hair. Let's not even get started with the back of my head. But this curl trick, I can do! If I can do it, you can.

Now I'm not going to try to break down a step by step tutorial for you because I'm just not that talented. I YouTubed "how to curl your hair with a straightener" and there are plenty of quick and easy tutorials that will show you how. I will say I use the technique where you wrap a strand of hair around your straightener, turn it towards you one full time and then pull down. Let me know how it goes.

[Straightener][Hair Straightener]