Monday, April 25, 2011

I Finally Made It to Blackberry

     Ever since I discovered the existence of Blackberry Farms, it has been my dream to visit. Blackberry Farms is a 4,200 acre, 5 star resort in Walland, TN. I was not confident that I would ever get the chance to visit this idyllic place unless I stumbled upon some large sums of money. However, I was blessed to get to nanny at Blackberry for the little girl I normally keep while her Mom taught a photography class there. 

Here are a couple of my Blackberry "loves"...  

The property of Blackberry is ridiculously beautiful. It is located at the foothills of the Smoky Mountains which makes for some unbelievable scenery. 

The Farmstead
                                                                                 The Boat House.

This is a pavilion where you can go build a fire and relax in some rocking chairs.  This would go nicely in my backyard:)

Outside fire pit

We played mostly in the grass:)


One of my very favorite things has always been room service. Never again will I have room service like I did at Blackberry. This truly trumps all experiences. I felt like I was looking at a Food and Wine magazine, 
except this time, it was sitting on the dining room table staring 
Fine Dining with Iris:)
at me.

Exploring Blackberry Farms was very wonderful indeed. I now want to live on a farm just so I can sit in a rocking chair with my coffee every morning and watch the sheep and chickens mosey around. Granted, my daydream doesn't really take into account the hard work to obtain such bliss. But i'll let it slide.  

Blackberry has a quaint garden where you get to see where a lot of your food  is grown! No wonder that salad was amazing.

The Gardener's Hut.

Iris and the Master Gardener. He couldn't get her to smile, so he joined her instead. 

exploring the garden



Monday, April 18, 2011

Thrift Store Transformation #2

So, I had so much fun with my first thrift store challenge that I couldn't wait to get started on another one! 

 I was very excited when I found this dress on my last thrift store run. I can only imagine how some nice teased bangs and complementary blue pumps would have just made all the other church ladies jealous. But, since I don't live in the 80's, I guess I'm out of luck with that one.  Better make some changes!

Apologies for the blurry picture, but you get the idea. It was quite cathartic to cut that dress up. I took off the top and the extra length at the bottom in order to utilize the middle part of the dress for a skirt!

Since I cut the dress in half, I obviously cut the zipper in half. So, the zipper was of no use anymore. Therefore, I just decided to completely cut it out and sew the two sides together. Thankfully, there was enough elastic to go without a zipper because I have yet to develop the skills to put another one in.

I went through and hemmed both the top and the bottom parts of my soon-to-be skirt. 

Next, I added four buttons to give the middle section of the skirt some character. 

However, I wasn't quite happy with it. So, then I added fun accent buttons to give it a bit more of a unique look.


Between the dress and a few sewing supplies, I spent under $6! Makes me HAPPY.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Most Wonderful Discovery

It all started when my roommate Missy and I decided to hike the two miles out of our neighborhood to the local wine store. It was such a beautiful day and walking to the store to buy some wine for our dinner sounded like a lovely addition to our evening. However, forgetting that we live in  Tennessee, we arrived at the wine shop only to remember that it was indeed Sunday and definitely not open. So, what seemed to be such a grand idea was not quite going to play out as planned.  

In order to make our trip worthwhile, we headed another block down to Fresh Market. To me, Fresh Market is not just a grocery store, it is therapy. After a stressful day, to walk into a place playing soothing classical music, greeted by a wonderful flower display, and filled with aisles of coffee, chocolate, and other happiness is bliss. Yes, to say the least their marketing design is brilliant for people like me. ANYWAYS, alls to say, our change in plans led me to discover that Fresh Market carries a most delightful  "Happy": Justin's Hazelnut Butter. 

If you love Nutella, you might just fall over after tasting this goodness. Not only does is have a more natural and authentic hazelnut/chocolate flavor, but it's quite a bit healthier than Nutella (if you would rather avoid those hydrogenated oils). 

 It might cost you a pretty a penny, but it's all about perspective, RIGHT? 
I like to think of it as a cheap gift to myself rather than an expensive addition to my grocery list. Then everyone is happy:) 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Scrumptiouslyumptious Goodness

Yes, this cookie will change your life. Not only is it the EASIEST cookie to make from scratch, but it is oh so yummy! My friend Katelyn shared this with me one Sunday afternoon...and what a blissful day that was.  
Ok, if you just want to make a plain peanut butter cookie, THIS IS ALL YOU NEED. Peanut butter, sugar, and an egg.  BUT........
...Who wouldn't want to throw in a whole bag of chocolate chips?

OK, Here's what you'll need:

1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 bag of chocolate chips
(I use a whole bag of chocolate chips.  Some would call it overkill.  I call it perfection. )

Mix the egg, sugar, and peanut butter...Then add the chips! DONE.  Super easy.

Bake on 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. 
Missy once again modeling for my blog. I think we might make this a tradition?

Lovely right? One thing to note is that they will not spread out  as  much as regular cookies. SO, although they may still look like clumps of dough after 10 minutes of cooking, they are more than likely just right!
See, I really do kill it with the chips:) 
Milk is always better in a mug.  

AND There you have it! An unbelievable peanut butter chocolate chip cookie that is so easy to make. I mean, half of the ingredients are just in the name! Sweet!