nails of the week: orange is the new black

So, there is a show on Netflix called Orange is the New Black. Maybe you have heard of it. I have been watching it everyday and I can't stop. It is edgy, with layers of dark humor and heartwarming drama in every minute. The characters are deep and complicated and the writing is intensely smart. It has everything I look for in a TV show (hello Breaking Bad). Okay, enough gushing for now. I thought it would be fun to paint my nails in the spirit of OITNB. The color is Pure Ice's Can't Stop (appropriate don't you think) and it is the perfect prison jumper orange. I used a black nail pen to do the razor wire detailing at the tips. 
Have you watched it? I haven't seen the last two episodes yet, so no spoilers please. 

my daughter dresses better than me: baby gray

So, I've decided to start a new series on the blog. It's called My Daughter Dresses Better Than Me. I've noticed that fairly regularly, Alice and I wear versions of the same outfit and hers is always cuter. Maybe I do it subconsciously, maybe I do it just because I pick out her clothes and I dress her how I would dress (and yes, sometimes I do it on purpose). Who knows. Either way, I thought it would be fun to do some fashion type posts documenting these days when we dress alike. 

This is our take on roll-out-of-bed gray and denim, complete with messy ponytails to tame our wild waves. 

mom shirt and jeans: JCP
mom sandals and baby shorts: Target
baby shirt: JCP (gift from PopPop)
baby shoes: Walmart (exact pair no longer available)

NC blogger buzz

Friday night I went to the NC Blogger Buzz meet up. This was my first blogger event and I was kind of nervous. Let me tell you, I had no reason to be. I met so many sweet and genuine North Carolina bloggers. We talked all about the world of blogging and social media. I learned so much and I can't wait for the Fall session. 

The event was hosted by Ashley and Angela. Make sure to check out more pictures here. I too busy mingling to get pictures of everyone. As usual, I did take time to get pictures of the food. 

Hannah of Swirl of Cinnamon made the goodies. The mini pies were amazing! Coconut cream and key lime!

We even received a swag bag full of goodies from sponsors! How about that cute bow from The Little Canary! Make sure to check out Kai's Kookies and Booop too!

choo choo

What is black and white and red all over? This little train from Burlington City Park

It is just so bright and happy. Alice, on the other hand...

Don't worry, she was all smiles by the end. 

I just love this little train. 

a swing and a splash

Oh, we couldn't wait to go back to the amusement park. With my parents in town, we had the perfect excuse. 75 cent carousel ride? Check. Train ride for Alice? Check. Slush Puppies all around? Check and check. It was hot, really hot, but we had a ball. 

We splashed in the fountain,

and Grandma pushed Alice in the swing.

We will!

blog updates

I hope you've noticed, I've been updating my blog design. I was never really happy with the standard blogger options. Byron has helped me so much and we have been fumbling our way through HTML codes to get everything just right. Thank you for bearing with the constant changes, we should have everything settled soon. You can now access this blog at simply Also, please explore the green buttons on the right. I have a new about me page and fixed my bloglovin link. If you have a blog of your own I would love to check it out. Please comment and leave a link. As always, thank you for visiting. 

date night at Maru

Byron took me out to dinner to try some bibimbap. We went to Maru and it was fabulous. I didn't end up ordering bibimbap. The waiter recommended the shrimp pad thai and I am never a girl to turn down a good pad thai. 

We tried a seafood pancake "appetizer" which was about the size of a pizza. It was served in a hot stone bowl as were our entrees.  

It was a relaxed evening of conversation and laughter and really good food. We agreed that all food should be served in hot stoneware. 

So, this is bibimbap. I realized as I'm typing this that I didn't even taste it. We will just have to go back!

Thanks for the lovely evening, Byron. Sorry I made us sit outside in the heat. 

blackberry pie

Since we are buried in berries, (and on our way to pick up more) I have learned to make a proper berry pie. The first time I used blueberries. This time I used blackberries. Here is my recipe. 

two pints blackberries
juice of one lemon
zest of one lemon
pinch of nutmeg
4 tbsp cornstarch
2tbsp flour
1/2 cup sugar
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and mash a bit with a fork. 

I like to use this pre-made pie crust to save time. The box comes with two crusts, use the larger one for the bottom. Lightly grease the pie pan. Roll out the larger crust and press into pan. Fill with berry mixture. Roll out the other crust and use wet hands to moisten the pie facing side of it. Use fingers to join the crusts and crimp around the edge. Cut slits in middle of pie.

Bake at 375 for an hour and a half. Place foil over the edge of the pie around the 30 minute mark if it is browning too quickly. Place foil over the whole pie around the 1 hour mark if it is properly browned. Remove from oven and let the pie set for two hours.

It is best served warm with ice cream. 

self portrait photo challenge 1-3

The girls at A Beautiful Mess have started a Photo Challenge, take a picture of yourself everyday for a month. I rarely take pictures of myself with my good camera so I figured I'd try it. I also just started shooting RAW which makes editing pictures really easy and fun. So pardon me while I post a bunch of pictures of myself this month. I have a lot to learn about my camera and practice is the best way.

one berry, two berry

Have you ever read this book? It's the story of a boy and a bear who become overwhelmed by berries. Well, let me tell you. Byron, Alice and I are living a real life Jamberry. We can't decide whether to call it Berrygeddon or Berrypacolypse, but either way we have soooo many berries! 

We joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). That means every week we receive our share of a farm's produce. We only signed up for the fruit and so far we have received twenty pounds of blueberries and five pints of blackberries. We are three weeks in and it is awesome! Keep up the great work Minka Farm

eleven ways to eat berries 
1. wash and eat plain
2. pie
3. cobbler
4. with yogurt
5. pastry pockets
6. pancakes
7. shortcakes
8. with goat cheese and honey
9. jam
10. mojitos
11. share with friends


A few weeks ago, we took a special trip to the Fort Fisher Aquarium. Alice's Grandma showed her all the fishes, just like she did with Byron, when he was little. It was a visit full of nostalgia and fun. 

I think we all liked the jellyfish the best. 

We took an octopus home with us, for Alice of course. 

nails of the week: accent

The accent nail, my favorite nail painting trend ever. It's so nice, I did it twice. Speaking of accents, or rather, speaking in accents is kind of a habit of mine. My friend recently asked me what my go-to accent is and I honestly don't know. Sometimes Scottish, sometimes Russian, sometimes British. Ah, so many great ones to choose from. Fun fact: the less sleep I have had, the more likely I am to speak in an accent not my own. 

daddy's girl

I remember when Byron and I found out we were having a girl, he had a moment of panic. "What am I going to do with a girl?" He said. More out of surprise at the reality of the whole situation. Certainly not disappointment. "The same things you would do with a boy." I said. This coming from the only child of a football coach who was 'encouraged' to play tennis and golf in the heat of Florida summers. It's wonderful to see Alice and her daddy playing together. Her, with her batman shirt, fearlessly climbing the stairs to the slide.

While watching him push her in this little blue truck I had the thought that not too long from now he will be teaching her to drive and her little hands gripping the wheel won't be so little. But she will have that same look of determination on her face and that ever present attitude of 'I can do it myself.' She gets that from me. But she will still need her daddy. 

Also, in the spirit of daddy/daughter sweetness, you have to watch this short zombie film.