Makes Me Happy VI

Happy Monday!  The weather in Charlotte went from gorgeous on Saturday to flooding and chilly the past two days.  Gotta love that crazy spring weather 😛  For today, I am going to share things that make me smile even when it is dreary outside!


Binge watching new-to-me TV shows:

My husband and I have very similar tastes when it comes to the majority of televisions shows and movies.  While I will watch pretty much anything, my husband doesn’t like anything horror/scary, lots of blood etc. so some of the programs I want to watch, he refuses to, lol.  After lots of hinting, Kyle finally agreed to start watching Game of Thrones with me.  He loves that fantasy realm a la Lord of the Rings so he figured that this would outweigh the violence and gore and so far we are hooked!  I have watched several random episodes when staying with friends and family over the past few years so it has been great to start from the beginning.


How GREEN everything gets:

I inherited the gardening gene from my dad.  I love planting herbs, fruits, and vegetables and watching them grow and using them in recipes.  I knew we were in for some heavy, heavy rain so I wanted to make sure that I got the last of my plants transferred from indoors to out so they could settle before the weather came.  One of the most interesting things living in our new home is seeing random plants pop up from time to time.  While we were away for Easter, we came home to beautiful amaryllis flowers in what looked to be a long-abandoned flower bed 🙂  I have lost count of the number of text messages to my dad asking what the plants growing around our yard are and if they were weeds, lol.  When the rain comes in spring, the grass, plants, and trees all look beautifully green and healthy.  Green is my absolute favorite color and being able to look out my window and see my yard and planters overflowing with the color make me so happy.


Getting creative with pantry and freezer staples:

When the weather gets nasty, something happens to my husband and I (and I would guess most people) that makes us not want to leave the house for anything.  I had some items in the refrigerator pegged for specific meals, but would have needed other ingredients from the store to complete them.  Instead, I looked to the pantry and freezer and got creative.  Chicken breasts combined with condensed cream soup and rice in the crock pot became a hearty, comfort food perfect for dreary weather. I marinated a pork tenderloin in condiments and herbs and paired it with potatoes and grilled vegetables from cooking out for a yummy meal with the taste of sunnier weather thanks to the veggies.   Tonight will include pasta, homemade sauce and meatballs from the freezer.  Tomorrow looks to be the last of the nasty weather so I will be making BBQ turkey meatloaf with potatoes to stretch out grocery shopping an extra day!


What do you like to do when the weather prevents you from going out? Any binge-watchers out there?

What’s your favorite color? 

What kind of meals do you like to cook from your pantry or freezer?


Spring Break

How is it that no matter how great a vacation, 1.  You never want it to end and 2.  You need a week to recover 😛

A week ago, Kyle, Bentley, and I packed up the car and headed to my parents’ house in sunny south Florida.  We had a day with my parents before my brother and his girlfriend arrived in time for dinner on Easter.  Bentley has a very adverse reaction whenever he sees us packing in any form (the move was the WORST) and absolutely nuts at home. He normally is great for long car rides, but he seemed to be in rare form for the 9 hour drive.

We arrived very early Saturday morning (like 4 AM) and enjoyed sleeping in, swimming in the pool, and going out to dinner to celebrate my birthday early (less than a month until the big 3-1).

Sunday, the plan was to meet up with a couple members of the bridal party in West Palm, but we discovered that there was a baseball game at the local Single A stadium.  We got bogo tickets and enjoyed the beautiful breezy Florida day with our friends.  They joined us back at the house as well for Easter dinner which was a wonderful time spent with family and friends!

Monday was our last real day in Florida so naturally we wanted to spend it in the pool 🙂  Bentley and Darcy are best buddies so they had plenty of playtime and stealing each other’s toys and beds lol. 
Later that day/night, my parents had some family friends over for appetizers, drinks and conversation.  Many of the guests were also guests at our wedding so it was nice to see them again.

Tuesday, sadly, we left to come home to Charlotte.  On the way home, we naturally had to stop at WaWa twice to gas up and get hoagies and other northern goodies that aren’t available in NC (Herr’s chips = <3).  Bentley was night and day better on the way home and the perfect road trip companion.

The past couple of days have included work for Kyle, an orthodontist visit for me (which they are hinting may come off sooner rather than later, woo!), and cleaning/laundry/grocery shopping… what exciting lives we lead 😛


Anyone do anything fun for Easter/Spring Break?

What regional foods do you love that you can’t get where you live?

Do you have pets?  How do they do on road trips?


Makes Me Happy Mondays V

Hi all!  I took an unexpected break last week due to illness, starting my new job, doctor visits, and time spent recovering from a biopsy.  I will go into more detail in a future post, but I will say for now- wear sunscreen and get an annual skin check!

Now, time for some things that make me happy!

Trader Joes

I have always had a soft spot for the grocery store Trader Joes.  I now live relatively close to one and OMG I can’t stop going, lol.  My husband teases me relentlessly about my obsession and the fact that I haven’t stopped talking since rediscovering it 😝  I was blown away by how reasonable their prices are, especially on pantry staples and dry goods.  Needless to say, I have been doing 85% of my grocery shopping there to save money, visitng Harris Teeter or Publix for most meat and produce.

Made a tasty paleo dinner (inspired from eMeals) with pecans, ghee, raw honey, parsley, lemon and asparagus from TJs!

Chicken with Parsley Pecan Sauce and Roasted Lemon-Garlic Asparagus

Spring Baking Championship

I have been spending a good amount of time taking it easy this past week and catching up on a few shows on the DVR.  I have a minor obsession with Food Network, especially baking shows.  I finally got a chance to watch this season!  While my favorite didn’t win, I definitely enjoyed this season and thought each of the finalists deserved it (though I missed Bobby Dean 😔 hoping he’ll be back for Holiday Baking Champtionship!).

Spring Weather-

Save a couple days, the past month has been amazing weather-wise in North Carolina.  My husband and I have been hard at work getting things together in our new-ish home (though we still have a garage full of STUFF to go through), including a new grill and lawnmower.  While not the most “fun” it’s been great to be able to do this outside in the lovely weather.  I am holding out and waiting for a couple garden things to go on sale before I really go crazy gardening 🌞


Bentley Boy sunning himself in the beautiful Charlotte weather!

What is making you happy today?