Blog Sale!

It's time for me to part with some pieces from my closet to make room for fall clothes!

I've got a big Goodwill bag going, but here are two really cute pieces that are in great condition.  Plus, even though both are sleeveless, the colors of them can easily work well into fall if you want to pair them with a pashmina or blazer.

If you'd like to purchase an item, please email me at [email protected] with the item and your email address that is tied to your Paypal account.  I'll then send you a Paypal invoice.  Shipping will be $3/item unless you want both and then it will be a combined total of $4.

Single Silk Blouse - SOLD
Size: XS
Purchased from Monkee's boutique here in Charlotte
100% silk; dry clean only
Neck tie is cheetah print chiffon
Long side ties can be tied in back or wrapped around the front and tied
Very low back; best paired with a stick-on bra
Worn once

Fire Chiffon Overlay Dress - $15
Size: M (fits me well and I usually wear an XS/S)
Hand wash, lay flat to dry
Multicolored with hues of fuschia, teal, chartreuse, black, white, orange
Elastic at waist
Worn twice

Saturday Sip & Shop V

It's almost that time of year when our basil plants go kaput.
May as well send them out in style!


Source: via April on Pinterest

Tory Burch Resin Band Bangle
I've found myself loving orange more and more.
Combined with the wood texture, this orange resin bangle is perfection.
On sale for $101.50 through the above link.


Three Ingredient Appetizers

Last night I hosted Supper Club at my house. 
Hosting for a group can be a lot of work, but I absolutely love it!
Planning the menu, buying the groceries, and having it all come together.

I knew I was going to be tight on prep time yesterday after getting home from work, so I kept the meal pretty simple.  We are an appetizer-lovin' group, and here is what I put together for us to nibble on before our meal.

Dried Apricots with Blue Cheese and Honey
With this appetizer, the dried apricot acts as your cracker.  Just top each with some crumbled blue cheese and drizzle on local honey.  They are equally delicious if you sprinkle on some crushed pistachios, too.

Mulitgrain Crackers with Pepperjack Cheese and Fig Preserves
This was definitely a hit. The pepperjack cheese had a bit of kick, and the fig preserves were a good sweet balance.  And because it is such a simple appetizer, when we ran out, it was easy and quick to put more together.

And for true ease, my third little nibble just consisted of some nice olives.  Can't beat that simplicity!

What are some of your go-to (simple!) appetizers?


Playing Dress Up, iPhone Style

I'm a fairly practical person.  If I have something that works for me and isn't falling apart at the seams, I'll keep it.

Don't even make me show you the aqua knit top from Express that I still wear and get compliments on to this day ... that I also wore for my senior portraits in high school, taken in 2000.  I know -- it's a little crazy.  But I'm not ashamed.

I've had the same iPhone case since I first got it about a year ago.  I like it because it's a two-part case -- a soft silicone-type casing for protection and then a hard, decorative shell that snaps on the outside.

I wasn't necessarily in the market for a new one, but I saw something the other day that had me stop dead in my tracks.

Come. To. Mama.
Immediately, and without hesitation, I snagged it.  It goes against my nature to buy a new iPhone case when I already have one ... especially one that is not so practical and protective as my former case.  This thing is flamboyant, bulky, and it offers basically zero protection if the phone were to be dropped.

But still.
It had to be mine.


Come on, you know you love it.
Even the most mundane hotel self portrait is a lot cuter with my new addition.

And the best part is that it didn't even come close to breaking the bank.
I think their price sticker sums it up best: "fabulous find."
Get thee to your closest Stein Mart!

So, I have to know -- do you like it?


Pumpkin Wardrobe + A 20-Calorie Pumpkin Drink

Layers. Layers. Layers.
That's the key to dressing this time of year!

When I let Drake outdoors in the morning, it is so incredibly chilly.  But during the middle of the day, it is h-a-w-t!

This weekend, along with decorating our home for fall (and more importantly, Halloween!) I'll also be doing the switch out from warm weather clothes to cool weather clothes.

I've already started pulling some of the brightly-colored Lilly off of the hangers and folding them up.  I'm already favoring autumn-colored hues.  This pumpkin color is a favorite of mine.  Why stop at a Pumpkin Spice Latte?  It's equally as pleasing in the form of a blouse or pair of cords.    

Pumpkin Galore

Speaking of pumpkins and the beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte ... while we all know how good this Starbucks treat is, it's no shocker that it may not be the best for the waistline when consumed on a daily basis.  I'm not even going to post the calories -- I'll let you research that if you truly want to.  But, Ian and I have a sneaky way of getting around this.

1 cup coffee (0 calories) + 1 tablespoon sugar free Torani vanilla syrup (0 calories) + 2 tablespoons fat free half and half (20 calories) + a few shakes of pumpkin pie spice (0 calories) = a yummy "pumpkinny" 20 calorie caffeine boost!

So tell me pumpkins, how are you adding this flavor, scent, or color into your life this fall?


Black Bean Cake Recipe

Our college dining hall at Furman, fondly referred to as the "DH," put out a few well-known specialties.

Chicken Finger Tuesday, Quesadilla Thursday, and oh my gracious, those black bean cakes!

The black bean cakes had a cult following.  And recently I asked my friends on Facebook how they might go about recreating the sauce that accompanied said black bean cakes.

Thirty-two comments later from college girlfriends, I was just about ready to give it a try.  Combined with a basic recipe outline from Natalie at Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers, here's what I came up with.

Black Bean Cakes
1 can black beans, rinsed
1/4 cup diced white onion
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1 Tbsp. taco seasoning

Add all ingredients in a bowl, smashing black beans with a fork and mixing until combined.  When mixed together completely, shape into balls and then flatten.  Put on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 20 minutes.

Warm a grill pan on medium heat, and cook each side until it gets firm and warmed through.

Black Bean Cake Sauce
1 part sour cream
1 part red salsa
Taco seasoning to taste

Make at least 20 minutes in advance to let flavors combine together.

I thought that grilled avocados (which I just broiled this evening) would be the perfect accompaniment.  I poked the avocado half with a fork, squeezed on lime juice, topped with a few shakes of Texas Pete, and then covered with Mexican cheese and a little Parmesan cheese too. 

It was a beautiful plate!

Next time I will make these changes:
*Add garlic to the black bean patties
*If I've eaten healthy recently, try pan-frying them in a little olive oil rather than just using the grill pan and a little non-stick spray
*Lessen the amount of taco seasoning in the sauce -- it was a little too spicy for me
*Add lime juice to the sauce for an extra little zing

All in all, my recreation of the DH's black bean cakes was a success!  I love eating a vegetarian meal when I can, and this one definitely tasted like a treat.


Weekend Highlights

So yes, it is indeed Monday, but the great news is, another weekend begins in just five days!
I had a really great weekend.  While I do love having plans, sometimes it's so refreshing to have a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants sort of weekend.  It's a true departure from the scheduled predictibility of the workweek.
Our weekend highlights:
After-work run with the husband around the neighborhood and then a walk with Drake
Pizza date night at a local joint.  The pizza was just okay, but we scored a seat on the patio overlooking a below patio with live music. Definitely the highlight of the dinner!
Quite a yummy sauv blanc!
Morning trip together to the gym
Tree shopping at a local nursery
Stuffing three gorgeous new trees into Ian's car
Catching the ECU Pirates game at Braswells, then relocating at halftime to our house
Wings with Ian at our favorite local dive bar


The lone wine drinker :)

Breakfast prepared by Ian
Finished Season 1 of Dexter (o.m.g. we can't wait to start Season 2)
Planted all 3 new trees
Fall mani + pedi
Laundry galore
Meal planning for the week
Ian watched the Raiders dominate
I treated myself to a farewell-to-the-weekend cocktail
Dinner highlight: Ian said I "cook enchiladas like a rockstar"

Our gorgeous new coral bark Japanese maple (still waiting for some grass seed to take!)

Grey Goose, lime sparkling water, homemade basil-mint simple syrup

So ... let the next weekend countdown begin!
What were some of the highlights of your weekend?


Saturday Sip & Shop IV


 Happy first day of fall!  My classic autumn favorite, the Honeycrisp Apple Sangria


You just can't beat a good pair of good Frye boots.


Friday Five

Ahh, we made it to the end of the week!

The past two weeks for me have been incredibly busy with lots of travel.  And really crazy hours.  I have decided that people who wake up at 5:30am on a regular basis are really just better than me.  I cannot do it.  I surrender!  You are amazing, I am lazy.  A 6:45 alarm is about as early as I want to go in the mornings.

Wednesday afternoon, I found out that I no longer needed to spend that night out due to an event cancellation Thursday, so I cancelled my hotel room for the night and hightailed it back to Charlotte quicker than you can say "homesick."  It's great to be home.

Tonight we'll try out a new-to-us pizza joint in our neighborhood and just relax.  We're doing some landscaping planning around our yard Saturday morning and will join friends out at a favorite bar patio for the Pirates game that afternoon.

So cheers to the weekend, and here are five things I've been loving lately!

{1} Blog Friends = The Best
I mean, really.  Between fun times together like a recent girls night with Christina and Laura, and of course seeing some fun ladies recently at Dee's baby shower, and really just the sweet emails that I get during the day from bloggie friends that put a smile on my face ... I'm kinda in love with all of this. 

{2} Dexter, My Main Man.
Hook, line, and sinker ... Ian and I are totally in.  We've been making our way through the first season of Dexter thanks to Netflix -- and we can't get enough.  Anyone else?!

{3} Pinterest Makes Me Crave Fall
Really, everything about it.  Obviously there are the caramel apple bites, the mulling spices, the carved pumpkins, the layered clothing idea boards -- but what I'm also getting excited for is switching out our spring/summer planters for fall foliage.  Ornamental kale, you have my heart.  Thanks, Pinterest, for all of the inspiration and wallet damage.

{4} A Mascara Junkie's Fave
I'm crazy about mascara.  I've professed my love before for L'Oreal Extra Volume Collagen, but their recent addition to the line trumps it.  This mascara is so amazing and -- most importantly -- under $10.  It goes on smoothly, stays on all day, and comes off with my face cleanser and water.

Source: via April on Pinterest

{5} Fall Football
It's begun ... and we welcome it with open arms.  Last weekend our group of friends got together to cheer on the ECU Pirates.  Burgers, dogs, beer, and lots of great sides -- I could spend every single afternoon like this.

So happy weekending to you and yours, and hallelujah for the first official day of autumn on Saturday! 


Guest Post: Megan from Fried Green Pickles

Happy Wednesday, all!  I've been working some wild hours both this week and last, and found this to be the perfect opportunity for me to wave my little white flag for at least one of those days.  I decided that I wanted, no -- NEEDED, to hand over the reigns to a bloggie friend who I've been wanting to ask to guest post for a long while now.  And since I'm certifiably obsessed with all things wedding, I was so happy that she would consider posting about her own wedding planning.  So, sit back and enjoy, and Megan, thanks for helping me to keep my sanity, wink!


Hello A.Liz Adventures readers! I'm Megan from Fried Green Pickles taking over for the day so April can have a break from her super crazy work schedule (that you wouldn't even know she's had because she's posted every day!). 

If you took a peek at my blog, you'd find five major topics: my sweet pup Brady, yummy recipes, the South Carolina Gamecocks, and my smokin' hot fiance along with my our wedding planning!

So today, in honor of Wedding Wednesday, April thought it would be fun for me to re-cap what my favorite parts of wedding planning has been so far! We've been engaged now for close to 9 months and only have less than 7 months left to go! Can't wait for March 30, 2013!

First up, is getting engaged, of course! 
After 3 years of dating, sweet Cameron proposed to me on December 24, 2011 in our very own home.

Next, I had the man I was going to marry, so I needed to ask my bridesmaids to stand next to me!

Finding my dress was so exciting! 
What girl wouldn't want to try on multiple gorgeous white dresses and find the one that was perfect for her??

The engagement pictures were super fun...once we figured out where we were going to have them taken, and once we got past that awkward feeling of having our picture taken 235348504385 times. :) The little bit of stress was SO worth it.

Even though we had 8 months to go until the wedding, I decided to have my bachelorette party last month! You see, having lived in South Carolina my whole life, I'm not much of a cold weather girl so the beach is where I wanted to celebrate and August was the last hot month until the wedding, which is in March! It was definitely the most fun weekend of my life!

And finally, last weekend, Cameron and I took our wedding party on a booze cruise so that people who didn't know each other could meet and just to celebrate, really!
Here's a pic of Cameron and I with our parents.

I hope you enjoyed hearing my favorite parts of wedding planning thus far and hope you'll stop by Fried Green Pickles to say hello soon! 
If you're a bride who is also planning your upcoming wedding, I'd especially love to hear from you so I can follow along with you, as well!

Thanks for having me, April!
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