Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Remember the Social Dress Shop giveaway I hosted a few weeks ago?  Well Sarah was nice enough to help hook me up with this fabulous number.  I had never heard of the brand Annie Griffin before but now its a new favorite of mine.  How fabulous is this dress??  I wore it to two holiday parties last week.  I am obsessed, there are still a few left HERE.

Newest glass obsession, these fabulous etched stemless wine glasses from Anthro.  They make me so happy while sipping my wine.  They are even more gorgeous in person it is hard to see the detail in pictures.

These are my new favorite snack.  These crackers are paper thin and addictive.  They don't have many calories so you snack without the guilt.  I tried the double cheese flavor and loved them.  I found mine at Publix.  They are great with cheese!

J.Crew has done it again, I have found yet another blouse I need for my closet.  I want the Cobalt blue version such a great color on everyone!

I have a real weakness for fabulous smelling candles and these are my new favorites.  I smelled the Blue volcano one burning at the Anthropologie store opening and knew I had to have one.  The Aloha Orchard also smells amazing.  They won't break the bank at $14 and they make such cute gifts.

Ever since reading Erin Gates Best of Beauty List I have convinced myself I need every product on there.  First I want to try this eye shadow palette.  I have used my Naked by Urban Decay Palette (which I love) for so long but I am ready for something new and these colors look perfect.  Great neutrals for anyone.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Weekend Happenings

Can ya'll believe Christmas Eve is two weeks from today?  Pure craziness I tell you. 

Matt's best friend from Charlotte and his fiance stayed with us for the weekend and we had such a great time.   She is a wine rep (hello dream job) so we drank some fabulous wine all weekend.  We started Friday night off with a bottle of Tattinger Champagne and it was amazing.  I may never drink the cheap stuff again.  I have been spoiled, thank you Alice.

Saturday we took Sterling to see Santa at the Yacht Club.  My child does not like Santa.  Check out his face- pretty priceless.  I think it is the beard, he does not like men with beards.  And this Santa's beard was huge and obviously fake.

Here is our picture from last year.  We are starting to build a pretty impressive collection of I hate Santa pictures.

Somehow the past two years I have been roped into to sitting on Santa's lap.  Santa this year was extra frisky.  He was insistent I sit on his lap too and then he proceeded to rub my back.  Akward.....
This is us having a moment.  I should have told him what I really want for Christmas is a Goyard bag.

Saturday night we had a fabulous dinner out at High Cotton.  It had been years since I ate there and it did not disappoint.

 I rocked my Joie Dress again.  Telling you such a perfect LBD.

This is Matt's standard face when he doesn't want to take a picture.  Total cheeseball.

In other news did ya'll see Serena and Lily is having 25% off everything online!!  Just use code SHIPTODAY25

 Thinking it is a sign I need to order these things I have been eyeing.
{Coro Glasses, Nova Napkins,  Throw Pillows,  HA Kids Fish PJs, Bookends}

Have a great Monday.  I am off to the gym for the first time in weeks, seriously it has been awhile since this body got a good workout.  I have been way to busy eating, drinking,  and watching Lifetime Christmas movies to work out:)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Oreo Fudge + Gifts + Randoms

First of all thank you for all the wonderful responses yesterday.  I got a smile reading each one.  Thank you for believing in me and my mothering skills.  Being a mom is the most rewarding job ever but also the hardest.  I love that this is a place where we can all encourage each other and be real and share our fears.  So thank you for letting me know I am not alone and these thoughts are normal.  You guys are like free therapy:)

I am on the ball this year getting my Christmas cards addressed and goodies out to people.  I always like to make a sweet treat for my friends and neighbors this time of year.  Last year you might remember I made the Oreo stuffed brownies- huge hit.  But this year I wanted to do something a little different and decided on Oreo Fudge.  It is only 5 ingredients but knock your socks off good.   It was even easier to make than the brownies and I like it better.   If you are one of my close friends get excited this sweetness is coming your way soon. And for all you other friends that don't live close by here is the recipe:)


•1 can of sweetened condensed milk, portioned in half
•10 Oreos, chopped
•1 cup white chocolate
•2 tablespoon butter
•1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate

1.Split sweetened condensed milk in half and set aside. Chop Oreos and set aside

2.Place white chocolate, one ½ of sweetened condensed milk, 2 tablespoon of butter in a heat proof bowl over simmering water. Stir and mix until melted and combined. Fold in Oreos and stir to combine. Pour mixture into pan.

3.Place semi-sweet chocolate and remaining half sweetened condensed milk in a heat proof bowl over simmering water. Stir and mix until melted and combined. Pour mixture on top of Oreo layer and refrigerate for 1 an hour to set.

4.Remove from refrigerator and peel away foil once set. For ease of cutting make sure to clean knife between cuts to prevent sticking.

I packaged the fudge in these adorable containers I found at Target in the dollar section.  I layered parchment paper between each layer to keep from sticking.  I found the tags at TJMaxx.

I also got a few gifts wrapped this week.  I love having presents under the tree to enjoy.  I found this gorgeous paper set at TJMaxx!

In other news I was shopping at Lowes yesterday and saw this fabulous light fixture.  I was contemplating it for Sterling's room til my mom convinced me it was too girly:(   If you have a little girl this light fixture is adorable and such a steal it is only $29!!  I also think it could be cute in a powder room.  Who knew Lowes had cute lights?

Tibi remains one of my all time favorite brands.  This dress is a new favorite.  I wore it to church Sunday and just adore it.  It is the perfect wine color for Winter.  I plan on rocking it to a holiday party next week too and jazzing it up with a sparkly necklace.

I found the most delicious soap at Williams Sonoma, Fleur de Sel  Pick some up you won't stop washing and smelling your hands.

Alright I am off to clean house we have house guests this weekend!  Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Parenting the Heavy Stuff

Sometimes I sit around and my mind wonders and I think about weird things.  I do, seriously like, plane crashes, natural disasters, the world ending,  and hooking up with LL Cool J (weird but true I had a dream about him two weeks ago and it keeps haunting me). 

 Lately, however I have been thinking alot about the enormity of being a parent.  It is such a huge responsibility and I have to wonder am I doing the best job I can to raise Sterling right?  I feel like the decisions I am making now are going to affect how he turns out as an adult and that stresses me out.  Lately he has been bad, like real bad,  bratty bad.   He is that kid you see out in stores and judge the mom for not parenting better.  Throwing stuff at me,  screaming if he doesn't get his way,  waving his finger in my face, pushing me away, not listening,  talking back,  and majorly stressing me out.  It is making me think hard,  is he acting this way because of me as a parent?  Am I not tough enough?  Should I punish him more?   What am I doing wrong?  I am guilty of giving in- handing him chocolate or buying him a treat just to buy myself  5 minutes of silence.  I know this wrong but I do it anyways, it keeps me sane.  Nobody ever warned me how hard being a parent would be.

This is the biggest job of my life and I want to do it right. 

 A few things that I think about all the time....

I want Sterling to grow up and be well mannered always saying yes, please, and thank you.  I want him to be appreciative of the life he has.  We have it good compared to so may others.

I want Sterling to be man of God,  attend church regularly,  pray, and be a good Christian.   I take Sterling to church. because I want to instill him the value of a higher power and the fact that there is more to this life.  This one is tough in our house because I always take Sterling to church alone, Matt never goes with us.  That is his choice and I don't push him too but I know when Sterling is older he will say why does Daddy get to stay home and I have to go to church?   That worries me. 

I want him to be appreciative of things and not spoiled but I am fearful we are already in the spoiled category.  It is hard not to buy that sweet face treats.  I bribe him often just to get a few moments of silence.    I feel like he already has more than he needs.  It is hard to not want your child to have everything. 

I want him to grow up and be a hard worker and love his job and not complain about it everyday.  I want him to feel passionate about whatever he decides to do.

I want him to take time to help others.  This is something I need to be better at showing him.  Before he was born I volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House once a week and now I don't volunteer at all.  I want to do that and bring him with me to see that we are so fortunate compared to others.

I want him to be a gentleman to the ladies and treat them with love and respect.  This is something I think all boys learn from their dads and how they treat their moms.  That is why I think is important to kiss and be affectionate in front of your children so they feel the love between their parents.

I want him to want to spend time with Matt and I when we are older.  This one I think about alot because boys usually never call their parents once they leave the house.  That makes me sad.  I on the other hand always talk to my parents and choose to hang out with them.  I love spending time with them and I want Sterling to feel the same way about Matt and I.  Sometimes I look forward to spending time with my parents more than my friends- sad but true.  I want Sterling to feel the same way.

I want Sterling to feel comfortable talking to me about anything (well maybe lets save the sex talk for dad).  But I want him to trust me and feel comfortable enough to tell me if kids are bullying him, or encouraging him to do bad things. 

I want him to be healthy and make healthy food and exercise choices.  Before Sterling was born I swore I would make all his food and only feed him organic things.  Well guess what?  If you opened my pantry today you would find it filled with Lucky Charms, Little Debbie Cakes, Oreos, and lots of juice (non-organic juice and full sugar).  I think the children that are restricted what they are allowed to eat over indulge more.  I allow Sterling to eat what he wants (in moderation of course).  My parents raised me the same way and I don't even bat an eye about sweets being in our house- I don't feel the need to eat them.  I want Sterling to have restraint and take care of his body.

I am terrified of when he goes to college.  I am scared the other boys will haze him and make him drink too much or do drugs.  I want him to be man enough to know his limits and say no.

I hope he doesn't grow up being anxious and nervous.  I am such a worry rat.  Always worrying about something and I don't want him to be like that.

Most of all I want Sterling to be happy.  No matter what he does I want him to find joy in life and be happy.  Life is too short not to follow your dreams and I hope he does.

Am I the only freak that thinks these heavy thoughts??  I question my parenting skills everyday.  I guess I will just cross my fingers and hope he turns out ok because I did (thanks to my wonderful parents).

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Butternut Squash and Broccoli Rabe Lasagna + Sausage

I have always wanted to make a butternut squash lasagna but lets be real all lasagnas are time consuming to make.  That steered me away from trying this recipe for awhile but Monday I had some time so I got down to cooking during nap time.

Let me start by saying this is supposed to be a vegetarian lasagna.  But you see my man doesn't like vegetarian meals.  Thinks its weird for no meat to be involved in a dinner, so I added in some Italian Sausage to keep him happy.  It turned out to be a genius idea.  I am officially adding sausage to the ingredient list because it worked magically with the sweetness of the butternut squash and bitterness of the broccoli rabe.  It provided the perfect slightly spicy accent to the lasagna along with great texture.

The recipe is for one large lasagna (serves 10-12) so if you are entertaining definitely make the large one but I made it into two smaller lasagnas easily.  I saved one for us and took one to my friend who just had the sweetest baby boy.  You could easily freeze the other one as well.  The smaller dish lasts forever we are eating it again tonight for the third night in a row.
I really, really enjoyed this lasagna it was a fun spin on a classic dish. Takes a little time to whip together but totally worth the effort!

**A few notes on changes I made to the recipe:
.  Instead of slicing the butternut squash into strips I bought the pre-cut chunks.  I roasted them and then mashed them up to thick consistency.  Then I spread that over the noodles.  I also used fresh mozzarella (the ball kind) to slice and put over the top before baking.  I added in the pre-ground Mild Italian Sausage (brown it first)  and layered it on top of the broccoli rabe layer.  By pure accident I bought the no-cook lasagna noodles, I had never used them before and it freaked me out but Sterling was asleep so I had no choice but to proceed with them and they worked great.  Saved one big step of boiling the noodles and I thought they tasted the same**

Adapted from Bon Appetit

•2 2-lb. butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices

•3 tablespoons olive oil plus more

•Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

•2 pounds broccoli rabe (rapini), tough stems removed

•Crushed red pepper flakes

•1 pound fresh mozzarella, coarsely grated

•1 pound whole-milk ricotta

•1 cup finely grated Parmesan

•1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

•2 teaspoons minced fresh sage

•1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

Béchamel and Assembly

•1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

•1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

•5 cups (or more) half-and-half

•1/8 teaspoon (or more) freshly grated nutmeg

•1 bay leaf

•Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

•1 pound lasagna noodles

•3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan



•Preheat oven to 400°. Place squash and 3 tablespoons oil in a large bowl; season generously with salt and pepper and toss to evenly coat squash. Transfer to 2 rimmed baking sheets, spreading out in a single layer, overlapping slightly. Roast until tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes. Let cool.

•Quickly blanch broccoli rabe in a large pot of boiling salted water just until it wilts, 1–2 minutes. Drain; briefly cool under running water. Squeeze out excess water; coarsely chop and transfer to a large bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes; drizzle with oil and toss to coat.

•Mix mozzarella and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Squash, broccoli rabe, and cheese mixture can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and chill.

Béchamel and Assembly

•Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; stir until slightly thickened (do not allow mixture to turn brown), 2–3 minutes. Increase heat slightly; slowly whisk in 5 cups half-and-half, 1/2-cupful at a time, allowing béchamel to thicken between additions (adding half-and-half gradually will help to prevent lumps from forming). Add 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and bay leaf.

•Reduce heat to low and cook, thinning with more half-and-half if too thick, until sauce is a milk shake–like consistency, about 10 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium metal bowl. Set bowl over a large saucepan of gently simmering water. Cover and keep warm.

•Cook lasagna noodles in a pot of well-salted boiling water until still quite al dente, 8–9 minutes. Transfer immediately to a large bowl of ice water to cool. Drain; spread out noodles on a kitchen towel or baking sheets lined with parchment paper, placing a kitchen towel or parchment between layers.

•Ladle about 1/4 cup béchamel into a 13x9x2-inch baking dish; spread evenly over bottom. Line dish with a single layer of noodles, cutting as needed to fit (use large scraps in subsequent layers). Layer 1/3 of squash over. Scatter 1/3 of broccoli rabe over. Dollop 1/3 of ricotta mixture randomly over greens. Drizzle 1/2 cup béchamel evenly over ricotta mixture. Repeat process 2 more times for a Total of 3 layers, finishing with a layer of noodles. Spread remaining béchamel over; top with Parmesan. DO AHEAD Lasagna can be assembled 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Return to room temperature before continuing.

•Preheat oven to 375°. Bake lasagna uncovered until bubbly and starting to brown, about 45 minutes. Turn oven to broil. Cook until browned and golden, 4–7 minutes. Let rest for 20–30 minutes before serving

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Decking The Halls at the Mason House

I am finally fisnished decoarting my house for Christmas and I couldn't be happier.  I always start the day after Thanksgiving because I like to enjoy the decorations for as long as I can!   I usually stick to a pallete of silvers, golds, and greens but this year I added in some red on the tree and I am loving it.   I love seeing how others decorate their houses so here is a sneak peek of a few things decked out in the Mason Household.

These little guys are my newest addition this year.  I love how sparkly they are.  I used to make so much fun of my mom for having nutcrackers and of course now I have them.  I will say things change when you have kids,  you want a few fun decorations they will love.  Sterling absolutely adores this pair and I do too.  My blinged out Nutcrackers:)

Here is the overall view of our bar table with our new friends.

  I love to hang wreaths on mirrors and windows inside.  I bought the wreath above the bar and this one at a fabulous store in Charlotte called Traditions.  They are super light weight so you easily hang them anywhere.

This is our first Christmas with our new Hutch and I had a ball decorating it.
Still have yet to paint it,  that is now a project for 2013!

My mom gave me these star pillows and I love the fun accent they add for the holidays.

And you might remember our tree I posted last week.

 Here is one of my all time favorite ornaments:  Jonathan Adler Seahorse.  I love all Jonathan's ornaments- they make great gifts too.

 I snagged this little wreath at a garage sale for $1, it the perfect piece to store my cards.   The Christmas cards are already rolling in and it makes me so happy.  I look forward to checking the mail everyday this time of year!

And of course I always have my eye on several things I want for the next Christmas.  Here is what I am hoping to score for 2013!  You have to buy a few new things each year right??

Monday, December 3, 2012

Weekend Happenings + Social Dress Shop Winner!!

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend.  Ours was very low key and involved me eating- ALOT.  My sister was in town and she loves to eat as much as I do so we went to town grubbing it up.  Something about the Holidays makes me so uninspired to workout and eat healthy.

Friday night started off with some homemade stuffed jalapenos.  This is one of Matt and I's favorite apps.  There are so many ways to make this but I do it super easy.  Jalapenos seeded and cut in half, then stuff with light veggie cream cheese and cover with shredded white sharp cheddar cheese.  Bake and enjoy!

  Saturday morning involved a breakfast of fresh Croissants my sister and I picked up from Baguette Magic on Folly Road.  It was out first time there and we loved it!  I sampled the almond, chocolate, raspberry filled croissants.  All amazing but almond was my favorite- hence why it is not the picture I scarfed it down.

Then Saturday for lunch we hit up Butcher and Bee one of my all time favorites.  I had the Brie, Tomato, and Broccoli grilled cheese with Tomato Bacon soup- amazing!!

Ok have you seen enough food??  On to more important topics Comfy clothes.  If you are on an eating binge like me you need comfortable clothes to wear. I am obsessed with my Gap Studio Sweater.  I think I have finally mastered lounge wear.  This sweater paired with my Lululemon Run Bright at Night Crop pants is my daily uniform. 
You can get 25% off at Gap today with code GAPGIFT if you want the sweater!

My little man is so ready for Christmas.  We have been wearing this reindeer outfit alot.  This is our last year in smocked outfits (sniff, sniff).  There is just something so wrong about a potty trained kid in a one piece outfit.  We are starting potty training after the holidays,  so off go all the smocked outfits!

And I kid you not I walked in on this scene the other day.  Sterling decorating our tree in the buff.  Priceless.

I hit up Target yesterday day and found a favorite new favorite snack.  I have a weird obsession with olives and I love jalapenos so the two paired together= match made in heaven.  Now I have yet to put in a martini (but I plan to soon) but they are such a tasty snack.

I came across this quote on Pinterest and loved it.  I am going to remember this even when I am rocking my lounge clothes out and about.  Attitude is everything.

Now on to the best part the Social Dress Shop winner is:
Chrissy W. !!!!!

Chrissy said:
The Alfred side pleat silk dress in hot pink is gorgeous!!!
Congrats Chrissy! We will be in touch with details!!