Thursday, January 31, 2013

Happy Birthday!

Today is a very special person's birthday--Mama Rhew! I have been blessed with a wonderful mother who cares so deeply for her family and friends. She has a gentle spirit and a servant's heart. I have learned so much from her over the years and continue to look to her for guidance. We are truly so thankful for her and all she means to Will and me. 

I am sad to be away from her on her birthday, but thankful for technology (and snail mail) so that she can hopefully feel loved from afar. Praying that one day I can be the same kind of mama she has been to my brother and me. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Things I'm learning lately.

I've been learning a few things recently.

1. Be thankful for quality time. Will has been working a weird schedule the past few weeks which involves working Saturdays, so our time has been limited. I am learning to appreciate every little moment- whether it be just a few minutes of catching up or a whole day with him. Also, pretty thankful for days that end with this.

2. I like thin mint girl scout cookies? You may wonder why there is a question mark on that statement. I have never liked chocolate. I grew up despising it. I know, I know... its "un-american." I've heard that a million times. I still don't really like hershey bars or chocolate cake, but hey, I like thin mints! They are delicious & even better after sitting in the freezer. I've been missing out all these years!

3. Go-with-the-flow really is the best motto for life. Even at a young age, I claimed that statement & attempted to apply it to all areas. For some odd reason, people think that adults should have it all together. Weird, right? Welp, I don't and neither do you. I'm learning its best to just be open to opportunities and don't get so caught up in your "plan." Let's just go with the flow and enjoy the ride.

4. Krispy Kreme can bring a lot of joy to a film crew working on a Saturday night. I brought some glazed doughnuts to Will and his coworkers this past weekend and I think they may have made filming in the freezing cold a little bit less miserable.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Date night

Since most weeks Will works an average of 75 hours or so, we cherish the weekends and really just any time together. Sometimes I need motivation when the week seems long & we're missing each other. Will is great at texting me half way through the week with a fun idea for the weekend. Last week he suggested a date night to Southport on Saturday night. I was thrilled and had truly been looking forward to it all week.

Late Saturday afternoon, we headed down to Fort Fisher to catch the ferry over to Southport. We got there a little early and spent some time enjoying the sunset.

The sunset was gorgeous and made the ferry ride so fun. We hopped out of our car and stood at the front of the boat the whole time. It was a little bit chilly, but totally worth it.

We had a great dinner at The Pharmacy- my favorite part was the butternut squash bisque that quickly warmed me up.  If you've never been to Southport, you should go. Its a cute little town that seems like something out of a movie (they have actually filmed quite a few movies here). When its warmer out, its fun to pack up our bikes and spend the day exploring and admiring all the historic homes. 

Oh and I wore my new red jeans! I was pretty pumped about this Old Navy find. Might have to go back and get another fun color :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Winter Fruit Pie

A few days ago, we had dinner plans with family & I was to bring the dessert. I asked Will what he would like and he quickly responded with "a pie!" He then began questioning me about what fruits were in season for a winter pie. I named a few fruits and that sparked my interest so I began researching winter fruit pies. 

As I have mentioned before, I have a horrible habit of trying new recipes on other people at a party or special dinner... and yet again, I went for it. Fortunately, it was fabulous! The pears and apples give it more of the traditional taste, but the cranberries and figs really bring in a wintery feel. AND there is a crumb topping. Could it get any better? 


Pie crust (or make your own)

1 c. dried figs
2 apples (peeled & sliced thin)
3 pears (peeled & sliced thin)
1 c. cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 c. sugar
2 T. corn starch
1 c. orange juice

Crumb Topping:
1/2 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. all purpose flour
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
3/4 c. pecans, chopped coarsely 
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt (I used sea salt)
6 T. unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375.

Crumb topping: Combine all ingredients, then add melted butter. It is easier to use your hands at this point-- combine everything until it is a crumbly mixture. Place in fridge while you are preparing fruit filling.

Begin by chopping off the stems on the figs, the putting them in 1 c. orange juice & bring to a boil. Let this boil for 5 min. Then, drain and let stand. Once they are cool enough to handle, cut each fig into 4-5 pieces.

In a large bowl, combine sliced apples, pears, figs & cranberries. In a separate smaller bowl, combine sugar and corn starch. Then, put the sugar mixture over the fruit and combine.

Pour the fruit filling into the pie crust, then add the crumb topping. Simple enough, right?

Cook for 60-75 min depending on your oven. Make sure to cover with foil if the crust is getting too dark.

I am already considering making another pie; you should make one too.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Chicken pot pie has always been one of my favorite meals. It reminds me of being gathered around the dinner table with my family. I still to this day will not order chicken pot pie at a restaurant because I'm convinced  no one can make it like my mom. I decided to give it a try myself since I can't just stop by my parents house for a chicken pie. 

Mini pies are even better than a regular one because you get lots of crust which is my favorite part.

Heres what you'll need:
1 box refrigerated crust
1/3 c. butter
1/3 c. onion
1/3 all purpose flour
1 3/4 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. milk
2 1/2 c. cooked chicken
2 c. frozen mixed veggies, thawed
salt & pepper

1. Feel free to use this same recipe to make one regular size pie or be tempted by these cute mini pies and go for it. If you're making mini pies, cut dough into large circles and lay bottom crust down.

2. Melt butter over medium heat, then add onion & cook for 2 min (until tender). Stir in flour, salt & pepper. 

3. Gradually stir in milk and chicken broth. Let this cook and bubble until it thickens. It takes  a little while, but don't give up. It will be clear once its a thick, gooey concoction. 

4. Add veggies & chicken. Remove from heat. Spoon mixture into each little pie.

5. Finally, cut large circles for the top crust making sure to cut slits to let steam out.

6. Bake at 400 for 25 (ish) minutes. I didn't set a timer but just stayed close by and watched until it was getting golden brown. Towards the end, I covered the pie pan with foil to prevent excessive browning.

It will be incredibly difficult to eat just one, I'll go ahead and warn you. It was hard for me to save some for Will; he should feel very loved that I left him plenty. 

Its back to long hours for my sweet guy. He woke up at 4:45 am for work this morning. Heres to hoping he'll be home by 10pm tonight!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Home is wherever I'm with you.

We have been on what seems to be the longest journey ever to buy a house. I'm sure every home owner felt the exact same way when they were looking. Its exciting, exhausting and pretty much an emotional roller coaster. We have gotten so excited and envisioned ourselves living in about a dozen different houses, only to later realize they weren't quite right.

Over Christmas, we thought we had found the right house. An offer was made, then counter-offer and so on until we reached a meeting point and they accepted our offer. Until yesterday, we were pretty sure this house was OURS & we're beyond excited to begin moving. After reviewing the inspection results and talking with a few experts in the field we slowly, to our dislike, came to realize that this house has some major structural and electrical issues that we did not know of in the beginning. We are trying so hard to make the best financial decisions to protect ourselves, our marriage and our future children; and based on that report this wouldn't be the best decision financially.

Even though my heart so desires to have a sweet home where we can entertain and host, I think I'm realizing that I have put too much emphasis on a worldly item. Will sweetly reminded me of this truth by singing one of our favorite songs- "home is wherever I'm with you." As cheesy as it sounds, the song has it right.

We are trusting in the Lord and his timing. We're singing that song & reminding ourselves that items don't bring you happiness, but rather relationships. So whether are friends are crammed into our little apartment or a more spacious home, who cares? We're just thankful for wonderful friends & family.

Home, let me come home; home is wherever I'm with you.
 (Home by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros)

You should probably listen to this song. I promise it will bring you a little bit of joy this morning & soon you'll be singing along too.

Hello, 2013!

So I've been really slack about posting. You know why? Will has been OFF!! Its seriously been the best thing ever and clearly I have chosen time with my favorite person over blogging.

We had a wonderful Christmas & a friend-filled New Years. Our first Christmas together was a blast & my favorite part was cooking and hosting for family and friends.

Here's a very brief recap via pictures:

we made a quick trip through chapel hill & visited all of our favorite spots, including Cafe Driade for coffee/tea

we cooked (and cleaned) our first turkey- it was successful!

hello yummy peanut-butter apple pie:

we had family and friends over for brunch:

even patty had a good Christmas:

cast iron skillets can give 2nd degree burns, as i learned on Christmas Eve

a visit to Charlotte to see my family & continue the poppers tradition (she's just the cutest):

reunited with sweet friends:

bowling with my family where my dad whipped out his old bowling team skills:

gingerbread tradition lives on again, cottage style this year :

will enjoyed time off & scaring me with this duck:

ringing in the new year with my love:

and lots of wonderful friends:

and Will continues his outdoor adventures:

We were blessed with a wonderful Christmas and so enjoyed quality time with all of the people we love the most. Looking forward to 2013 and all that it brings!