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Wondering What’s in My Bag?

Ever wonder what a professional photographer carries in their bag?  Hmm, no, really?  I thought everyone loved photo gear as much as I do!;-) Believe it or not, I do occasionally get asked what kind of gear I use so I thought it would be fun to post a list here on my site for easy reference.  If you’re a technological dork like me you’ll love this list, and if you’re not, then this might be a good page to bookmark for the next time you’re wrestling with insomnia.;-) Click here to check out What’s in My Bag….

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Top 10 on the 10th – FOOD!

I can’t lie, we are obsessed with good food.  I love finding an awesome restaurant or a new recipe that makes my heart sing, so I thought it’d be fun to share some of our food love this month on the 10th!;-) And of course, we’re ALWAYS on the lookout for a new great place to eat or new recipe to try, so please let me know your favorites!

10. Bento boxed lunches – Since I work from home I don’t usually take the time to prepare my lunches and I found myself eating WAY too much.  Prepping my lunches on Sunday for the entire week has really helped me manage portion sizes and it saves time during the day!  This site has given me some great ideas but typically I try to have something high in protein (usually Quinoa) and fruit for dessert.

9. Chicken Biscuit Pie – We have made this dozens of times and each time we end up changing it slightly and loving it even more.  Our latest version came from Paula Deen – we substituted the cream of soup with milk and cream cheese to cut out all of that processed sodium nastiness, but the rest we kept as is. Comfort food at it’s best.

8. Spaghetti Squash – We discovered spaghetti squash about a year ago and when it’s in season we have it at least twice a month.  This is our favorite recipe and it’s crazy how good this stuff is.

7. Stack’s Kitchen – When we’re looking for breakfast or lunch on the weekends we always head to Stack’s.  I can’t possibly do it justice in a description, so just go and thank me later.

6. Breakfast for Dinner – I found a new blog recently that I’m in love with and he has some great breakfast recipes that we’ve been enjoying for dinner.  Hearty enough for dinner and oh, so comforting on a Sunday night.  This recipe for Grilled Sausage with Pimento Cheese Grits totally rocked our world.

5. Baked Goods – I’ve never really considered myself a baker, so I give all of the credit of my success in this area to my girl Annie’s-Eats because she does a fantastic job walking you through the process of making Pizza Dough & Hamburger Buns.  Do it.  I promise it will change your perception of bread making forever.

4. Bahn Thai – If I told you we’ve been to Bahn Thai every Friday night for the last month you might think we’re stuck in a date-night rut.  But I promise you, it’s just that good.  We’ve had sushi, thai food and indian food and not only is the food great, but it’s reasonably priced and yummy with great service.

3. Quinoa – I fell in love with Quinoa a little over a year ago but rediscovered it just a few months ago when I started my Bento box lunches.  Packed with protein and lots of healthy stuff it’s the perfect lunch that tastes good too!  I’m currently obsessed with this Quinoa Chipotle Pilaf and this Quinoa Enchilada Casserole. And I know the question that you’re all thinking – YES, Chris likes it too!;-)He actually asked to have the Quinoa Chipotle Pilaf on the menu for this week!

2. Grill Night! – During the winter months we had a regular Soup Night on the weekly menu that we both LOVED, so now that it’s warming up we decided to schedule a weekly Grill Night to spice things up a bit and it’s quickly becoming my favorite night of the week.  So far we’ve grilled peaches, bananas, pizzas, pork chops and veggie burgers and they’ve all been a huge success.

1.  Maxwell’s Tavern in Waxhaw – In addition to going to Bahn Thai every Friday night for the last month, we’ve also gone to Maxwell’s Tavern every Sunday after church for the last 6 weeks.  Seriously y’all – don’t judge, these restaurants are good so why should we have the constant “where do you want to go?” discussion?  We love the salads at Maxwell’s, but we’ve also had their potato skins, burgers and greek veggie pita and we’ve never been disappointed.  Go, I promise you’ll love it!

Here’s a photo from last week’s grill night – Thai Veggie Burgers on homemade hamburger buns.  YUM!!!

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Summer Inspiration

I don’t know about you, but at our house we have been dreaming of summer for weeks!  This winter has been brutal and I’m ready to trade in this cold, rainy weather for something sunny and covered in sand.  As I was thinking through my blogs for this week I came across a great quote that really spoke to me as I found myself wishing this season away…

“Wherever you are, be there.  Lifestyle is not something we do; it is something we experience.  And until we learn to be there, we will never master the art of living well.”
- Jim Rohn

When I first read this quote I thought about iphones, ipads, televisions and every other possible electronic device that keeps us from being present in the moment.  I hate seeing couples staring at their phones in a restaurant and it drives me bonkers to be sitting on the couch next to my husband and have one or both of us on a phone or tablet while the TV is on.  Somedays I feel like we try so hard to be connected to the entire world by social media that we forget to connect to those closest to us.  But today, as I watch the rain fall and the temperatures drop, this quote says so much more than just “look at your husband, not your phone.”  It reminds me to be wherever I am – tomorrow will have enough worries of it’s own.  Focus on today, enjoy today and experience life, don’t wish it away.

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