Book Rec: Don’t Try to Find Me

Lucky you! So many unsolicited reviews and recommendations on the blog in the past week! Haha. I randomly grabbed this book off the shelf at the library the other day and I loved it. I haven’t cranked through a book this fast in a long time.

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Don’t Try to Find Me is told from the perspective of an14 year old runaway and her mother. You spend the whole book unraveling their secrets and why the daughter ran away. SO GOOD!

#TBT: R&A Style

I was feeling a little sentimental yesterday thinking that Ryan and I only have a few days left of it just being the two of us! In honor of almost 10 years of life together, here’s a little #tbt from early in our relationship.

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Such baby faces! Now we’re ready to see our own baby’s face – anytime you’re ready little guy!

Best Picture

Maybe it’s because it’s awards season, or maybe its because I can’t stand up for long periods of time (haha), but Ryan and I have been hitting up the movies like crazy. We’ve seen all but two movies that are nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and not like our opinions really mean anything, but in case your curious, here’s how we’d rank the ones we’ve seen and a quick 3 word review.

In order of best to worst (in our humble opinion):

1. Whiplash – unique, intense, and funny (in a dark way).

2. Boyhood – real, introspective, and touching

3. The Grand Budapest Hotel – quirky, colorful and fun

4. The Imitation Game – interesting, dramatic, thought-provoking

5. Birdman – almost indescribable, leaves you saying “huh?” (okay more than 3 words)

6. American Sniper – disjointed but likable

The two we haven’t seen yet are Selma and The Theory of Everything. Honestly, out of all of the movies we have seen, we really did enjoy all of them. Obviously I don’t have a career as a movie critic, but there ya go 🙂

Recipe Round-Up: Take Out, Fake Outs

Happy Friday! Weekends are for eating out right? At our house lately, almost every day of the week is for eating out. Not good! The good news is that there are tons of restaurant copycat recipes online that taste just like the real thing that are so much better for you (and cheaper) then eating out all the time! Here are some of my favorites that we’ve tried and loved at our house. In no particular order….

1. If you know me, you know I LOVE cream cheese puffs from LeeAnn Chin. Unfortunately, you can’t find LeeAnn Chin’s outside of the Midwest and other wontons just don’t do it for me. However, I made this easy recipe from Pioneer Woman and got my cream cheese puff fix that tastes just like the real deal from my girl LeeAnn.

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2. Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup – with no “cream of crap” condensed soups!

3. PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps Knock Off – healthy and super delicious! Ryan likes to top these with additional peanut sauce, but I don’t think it’s necessary. Use ground chicken or turkey to keep it lean.

4. Homemade Burrito Bowls – I might have shared this recipe before but it’s worth sharing again! The cilantro lime rice in this recipe is a dead ringer for the Chipotle version.

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5. Another Panera knock-off! This time for the Asian Sesame Chicken Salad that I can’t get enough of.

BONUS – freezer take out, fake outs that our family loves! Both from Trader Joe’s, both are cheap and not loaded in calories! When I worked in an office, I would often take potstickers for lunch. They are so easy to make in the microwave and a serving size is 6 or 7 which is a filling lunch!

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There are so many other Take Out Fake Out recipes that I’ve pinned that I need to try – I’ll let you know if I find any other winners! Have a great weekend!

Book Rec: Big Little Lies

I just finished reading Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (my new favorite author) and I loved it!!

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I was gasping and “OMG-ing” through the whole second half of the book. Thanks mom for the recommendation! Also check out Liane Moriarty’s other two books that I loved, The Husband’s Secret and What Alice Forgot.

Any suggestions for what I should read next?

Weekend Day Trips: Beaufort and Edisto Island

I’m not sure if it was the beautiful warm weather, or the fact that I work from home most of the week, but I was itching to get out of town this weekend. Plus there are so many places around Charleston that we have yet to explore! It is my duty to explore these places in case you come to visit us so I can truly offer you all of the activities the lowcountry possesses 🙂

The girls and I had two options for our Saturday trip – Beaufort or Georgetown, SC. We flipped a coin and Beaufort was the winner. It’s about a hour and a half drive south from Charleston which is perfect for a day trip. Beaufort is a really cute, southern town that is about 40 years older than Charleston. It’s right on the water so you get the beautiful views, Spanish moss, large mansions and southern charm that you get from Charleston, but on a smaller, quieter scale. It was lovely – we absolutely loved it there!

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We spent our day in Beaufort wandering the residential streets, shopping on Bay Street, strolling through the waterfront park, stopping at the Chocolate Tree and eating a delicious lunch at Lowcounty Produce. How cute is the inside of this little restaurant?

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We had an awesome day in Beaufort and would definitely recommend visiting this cute town if you’re ever in the area!

On Sunday, Ryan and I packed up the pups and headed south once again, but this time for Edisto Island. Edisto Island is only 45 minutes or so away from Charleston and the drive through the rural roads is beautiful! I didn’t know much about Edisto, but I had heard that people vacation there for the beach, so I wanted to check it out because it’s relatively close to where we live. We were only there for a short time, but from what we could tell there are some great kayaking spots and the beach is really beautiful! The dogs had the best morning playing in the waves (Sam kept eating the sea foam so he looked like he had a beard) and there was a group of dolphins swimming along side us while we walked the nice, flat beach.

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We know how lucky we are to live down here with 60 degree weather in January and beaches and cute towns to visit only a short time away, but this weekend really solidified it again! We just love it here!

Life at 36

We hit the 36 week mark today!

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I had a great doctor’s appointment this morning and everything with this baby boy is looking good! Definitely more sore, definitely waddling – but for being this far along I’m pretty happy with how things are going. I usually only wake up once a night and can usually fall back asleep pretty quickly so I’m thankful for that. I guess we’re just playing a weird waiting game now…a game where you wait to pee your pants and experience the worst pain of your life. Any positive vibes you can send my way for a quick, easy delivery would be much appreciated!

Besides installing the car seat, we are as ready as we can be for this baby’s arrival. Everything else is set up, hospital bag is packed and we’re ready to go! I had my first true craving today on the way home from the doctor (like “I can’t wait one more second for this”) and it was for a fountain Coke and it was everything I could have hoped it would be. I’m running out of time before I deem 10am Cokes and breakfast brownies unacceptable, so I will give into these cravings any chance they appear for the time being.

The kid changing my oil in my car today said something along the lines of, “I totally give you props. If I was in your position, I wouldn’t be able to move.” Uhhh….thanks? I then went to the bank where they were totally complimentary and overly positive about how I look, in which I thought, “We are never switching banks”.

In non-baby news:

It’s been grey, rainy and chilly here all week. Luckily it looks like it’s going to warm up this weekend to around 60 and we’ll finally get some sunshine! Although these boys love snuggling, I think they are ready for some warmer weather.

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Tonight is our first volunteering night with Chance and hospice patients in South Carolina. I think he’s ready to get back into it – he’s such a love bug! I really hope some day Sammy will be able to volunteer too. Right now he’s still got that chip on his shoulder, but I think he’s starting to grow out of it.

Lastly, it’s one of my favorite times of year for holiday candy! Whoop whoop!

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Now if only I didn’t eat almost half the bag yesterday…oops.