michigan vacay: part two

pre-gaming on the rooftop of cheli's chili bar.  best view in detroit!
  the tigers and their fans take baseball very seriously!

our old roomie, brian, happened to be in town at the same time. . . we of course had to see him before his big move to san francisco (as if goodbyes aren't hard enough, second goodbyes are even worse!)  we eased the pain a little bit with help from a large "city wing thing" pizza from supino pizzeria (featured on diners, drive-ins, and dives)

 although i'm sure it's considered an eyesore to the residents of the detroit area, there's something about all the old abandoned buildings covered in grafiti that's so mysterious and fascinating to me.  i love to imagine how grand and extravagantly beautiful these buildings must have been in their hay day. 

we wrapped up our trip with a visit to the city of grand rapids.  cory's lovely sister took us on a tour of the area, which included the sandy shores of lake michigan.  

we had a wonderful time, and can't wait for our next visit!


michigan vacay: part one

a few weeks ago, we vacationed in michigan with cory's family.  we had such a great time catching up with everyone (especially since we haven't seen them since thanksgiving!! one of the many pitfalls of living away from family.)  here's a bit of what went down:

we kicked the vacation off with a long-awaited visit to pizza papalis in downtown detroit.  it was my first time having authentic chicago-style deep dish pizza (and it might as well be my last, because i don't think i'll ever find pizza that will top this!)  copykat recipe coming soon!

filling up on pizza didn't stop us from visiting astoria pastry shop, a getting a to-go slice of cookie and cream cheesecake to share for dessert later that night.

 cory and his adorable grandma!

 lake st. clair is so charming.  the fishflies, however, are not.  :)

i have been begging cory to take me to the detroit institute of art, and we finally had a chance to fit it in!  they have an amazing collection of impressionist art, including a few from my favorites. . . matisse, c├ęzanne, and seurat.
did you know that arrangements of stockpots and medicine balls is considered art?  modern art is so silly.


weekly roundup

how is it sunday already?  all in favor of adding another day (or two) to the weekend, say "i". . . 

cory and i have the cutest mama bird who has set up shop for her and her baby birds right underneath our front porch.  it's so sweet to see her working all day long to bring tiny morsels back to her babies, so they can grow and eventually "fly the coop".

we had our first (and probably our last since it was so darn good) tasting for a potential wedding caterer at backyard bistro in raleigh.  it was such a fun experience. . . and needless to say, we both left with very happy bellies.

i got to work all week with this lady^^^ (what's better than getting paid?  getting paid to work with one of your bff's!) and celebrate her new title of "homeowner" over the weekend!  i'm so proud of her.  congrats katie!

the bff persuaded me to step out of my comfort zone and attend the summer blogger buzz meeting.  at first i felt a little awkward (being slightly new to the whole blog scene and all), but everybody was so sweet and welcoming that i forgot how nervous i was about five minutes after i walked in the door.  not only did i get the opportunity to meet a lot of awesome local bloggers, but i picked up so many tips on how to improve my blog via social media.  oh, and don't even get me started on the yummy treats provided by hannah from swirl of cinnamon!  all i have to say is. . . key lime tartlets.

check out my goods from the sweet swag bag i got for attending: a nautical cookie, a super cute hair clip, and a colorful notepad!

i hope you all had a wonderful week too!


five on friday

here's my five on friday, y'all.

1.  when i first read about the 19 year old german shepherd, schoep, and his owner. . . my heart instantly melted.  leave it to a story about a man and his dog to get my eyes to well up with tears.  gets me everytime.  sometimes, words can't even describe the connection between people and their best animal friends.

 2.  if you've known me for more than five minutes, you are probably aware of my obsession with cute dishtowels.  i picked these three up this week (ON SALE) at sur la table.  i seriously can't get over how cute the macaron towel is!

  3.  in an attempt to acquire things for our wedding way ahead of schedule (i'm excited.  can't help it), i put in a bid on ebay for 47 antique handkerchiefs. . . and won!  i was in awe when i received the package in the mail.  some of them still were in their original packaging, and have come from places all across the world, like japan, france, and ireland.  i pulled out a few of my favorites (^^above).  i'm already suffering from separation anxiety at the thought of giving these away as favors.

4.  i love when i order things from sephora, and they send me really great free samples in really cute packaging.  thanks sephora!

5.  finally, (yes, the video is kinda weird) but  how awesome is this song?

happy friday everybody!



farmers market

last weekend, i woke up early and visited the raleigh farmers market with my good friend katie.  we stocked up on lots of delicious summer produce at amazing prices!  in my opinion, there's nothing better than being surrounded by the smell of fresh peaches, bouquets of flowers, and fresh baked breads and pastries. 
 we met up with our friend wendy, who showed us the "ins and outs" of the farmers market.  she's lived in the triangle for a while, and is a seasoned veteran of the raleigh farmers market.  she knew which stands had the best produce at the best prices.  thanks, wendy!
and, can i just say. . . this white chocolate baguette from la farm bakery, has changed my life.


hometown vacay

allow me to catch you up on all the fun we have been having this summer.  last month, we spent a few days with my parents in my hometown of gainesville, florida.  i love going home. . . it's one of the few places where i feel like i can lay back, relax, and truly be crazy, goofy, lazy self  :)

immediately upon arrival, i had to catch up on lots of overdue kisses from this little guy!

the highlight of our vacation was definitely the fishing excursion my dad and his friend took us on in the gulf.  as you can tell, it was a pretty successful day!

and finally, more bentley love.  man, i love these people.  thanks for a great weekend, mom and dad!


weekly roundup

we have had some crazy weather this week, with rain pretty much every afternoon.  which leads me to my next pic. . . .

this is what my commute home looked like every day this week.  everyday.

i have a slight obsession with these burrito bowls i get for lunch from our cafe at work from time to time.  i made my own version for dinner this week.  it's relatively healthy, easy to make, and delicious!  you can't go wrong with this one.

i spent a lovely saturday morning at the farmers market with a few friends.

 . . . and here's a little preview of our sunday night supper.  review to follow (fyi, it did not disappoint!)

i hope you all had a wonderful week!


five on friday

i'm back. . . and it's time for five on friday!!

1.  long days and warm nights are reason enough for me to nominate summer as my favorite season!  running on the treadmill doesn't even compare to running outside in nature.  i'm thankful that the summer season allows me to fit this activity into my schedule, rather than slaving away in the gym everyday (and by everyday. . . i mean several times a month, hah).

2.  gotta love impromptu barbeques with good friends!

3.  ^^this dress i ordered from ruche this week.  although it's straight out of the box and could use a little assistance from a garment steamer. . . i'm in love with this adorable, vintagesque cockatoo print.  it's so different!

4.  i really like this diy song lyric painting from a beautiful mess.  i will definitely be making a few of these for around the house.  now. . . if i can just narrow down the endless arsenal of my favorite song lyrics of all time.

5.  finally, i really enjoy stumbling on old photos from my childhood.  i miss those days more than words can express.  see. . . i even loved summertime when i was a kiddo!  also, check out my sweet shades.


short film: michigan vacay

here's a little video i put together from our vacay to michigan last week.  we had a really wonderful time (so wonderful in fact, i forgot was unable to capture it on film.  whoops.).  if i had to use three words to describe the trip. . . i'd say sunshine, lakes, and fish flies.


 just for fun, here's a pic of us at lake michigan.  as a floridian, i've always been told to stay out of lakes if you cherish life (too many poisonous creatures and man-killing reptiles).  but, the great lakes are completely different and so beautiful!  i can see why people really love summertime in michigan.


vacation, all I ever wanted

we are on our way to the great state of michigan for a whole week! i can't wait to share all of the trottier family fun and excitement (and maybe a culinary adventure, or two, or ten) when we return! I hope everyone had a safe and fun fourth!  yay for summer vacations!  


lobster pizza

ever since we returned from jamaica last month, i have been trying to recreate different recipes i fell in love with over there, one of which was the lobster pizza!

here is my copycat attempt:


pizza sauce (homemade or store bought)
shredded mozzarella cheese (i like sargento "off the block" mozzarella)
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
about 12 oz steamed and seasoned lobster meat (~ three lobster tails)
a few pinches of oregano

preheat the oven to 450.  coat your pizza pan with a small amount of nonstick spray.  press out the dough.  top with your favorite pizza sauce.  place a thin layer of cheese on top of the sauce.  next, layer the green pepper, onion, and lobster meat evenly.  finish with a final layer of cheese and a few pinches of oregano.  bake until the bottom of the crust is golden brown, and the cheese is nice and bubbly (anywhere from 10-20 minutes depending on your oven). 

*this is the best pizza dough recipe i have found.  i don't have one of those fancy counter top mixers, so i just mix and knead everything by hand.  oh, and do yourselves a favor and use bread flour people!!  it's life changing (as far as homemade pizza dough is concerned).  i also add just a few pinches of sugar in the mix too for just a hint of sweetness.

*another disclaimer. . . we probably would not have been able to afford to make this pizza if the lobster tail wasn't half off at lowes grocery (the price of three lobster tails adds up pretty quickly).  if you're not lucky enough to catch a deal like that, shrimp would be a more affordable yet delicious alternative.  

C'est Magnifique!