Monday, March 28, 2011

Asheville Goodness #2

Over the past couple of years, J and I have taken fun trips during Spring Break. Our first trip was to Washington DC with our friend Amy. Last year we trekked down to Atlanta. This year we wanted to get away from Nashville for awhile and just relax. We settled on Asheville, NC, a city I truly love.

While I have always dreamed of owning a Bed and Breakfast, I had never actually stayed at one until Spring Break. Because relaxing was the main focus of this trip, staying at a B&B was imperative for me. (Plus, it gave me time to do a little research!) After searching online, I came across North Lodge on Oakland.

I cannot tell you how perfect North Lodge was for me! The location and price were the first things that popped out on me, but then everything else worked out so that it was as if God was smiling on me. Greg, the innkeeper was very willing to talk and share advice with me about how to run a B&B. He even gave us a little "backstage" tour of the kitchen! We stayed in the Library Room which had shelves full of books that fit perfectly. We even found 4 books on B&B operations! I spent a lot of time in the clawfoot tub which was a mini dream come true. And breakfast... Bless. Baked pears, granola and fruit with yogurt, biscuits, eggs, stuffed french toast, pistachio bread. Yum, yum, yum. My favorite was Greg's Egg and Cheese Puff. Coffee served all day. Happy, happy Beth.

After my stay, I can that this is something I really want to pursue. It might be several years before my little dream becomes a reality, but I am happy just even thinking about it.

North Lodge on Oakland just another bit of Asheville goodness...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Asheville Goodness #1

Spring Break flew by! Our trip to Asheville was fabulous, but for now just a preview of one of the delightful things about the trip.

On Friday, J and I found ourselves heading into Biltmore Village for lunch. I had a place picked out, but after reviewing the menu we opted for Gianni Panini which we had walked by earlier. It was a good decision.

I ordered the Greek Chicken panini and when paired with a Peach Izze made my mouth happy. However, that did not compare to the potato salad. The potato salad I had was literally the best I have ever put in my mouth. I savored each bite which is something I rarely do. Secret ingredient? Feta Cheese. (Of course there might be more, but that is the one the server told me about.) Why I have never thought of that before?

When I got home I looked for a recipe that would be close to the yumminess I had on the trip. I plan on making this real soon!

Feta Potato Salad
(Recipe adapted from Southern Living)

3 pounds small new potatoes, diced
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes, until tender. Drain and place in a large bowl.
Whisk together oil and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over potatoes and add green onions, parsley and feta. Toss gently to coat. Cover and chill.

Yield: 8-10 side dish servings

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sunday Evening with OneRepublic

After the family left on Sunday afternoon, I spent some time napping and reading. I just happened to get on Facebook just a couple minutes after some friends in Colorado posted they were in need of a place to stay while I am in Asheville. Place for them, free house sitting for me. Check. I also saw that the lovely Ashley Jordan's status inquired if anyone liked the band OneRepublic. I responded and a few minutes later I held two free tickets to the show at the Ryman. Yea Facebook!

Because J dragged his feet getting home from Arkansas was spending time with his family, I called my friend Amanda who I was supposed to meet up with anyways. We snagged cheap parking at the main library and entered the Ryman excited. Our excitement grew when the usher ushered us to our front row seats. You heard me.

Opening band, Jared Evans was not so impressive. Next band, the Daylights was impressive. (Bought their album!) OneRepublic was super impressive and loads of fun. The whole time though I felt a little guilty that Ashley was not there. She will recieve a star in her crown, I'm sure.

What topped the evening off though was the girls sitting right beside us. Think 17 year old pregnant Miley Cyrus who thought she was witnessing the return of Christ. You think I jest, but oh no my friends. Hands lifted up, Amen-ing away. Calling upon the Lord. One word... Bless.

Great Sunday evening.

Sunday Afternoon.

Yesterday would have been the perfect beginning to Spring Break except for the fact that Spring Break begins on Tuesday this year.

My family came to my house for lunch. 10 people. I was happy though. I had invited them all to come on Saturday, but then yesterday morning Grandpa fell and had to go to the hospital. Dad and Mama scurried around all morning taking care of things, so it worked out quite nicely that they did have to worry about cooking for all the kiddos. It was nice for us all to be together even if it was only for a short time. (Grandpa did get sent home in the evening and is recovering.)

Another sight that did my heart good was my niece wearing jeans and the tutu I made her, carrying a dinosaur, holding Aunt LiLi's hand. So adorable. She had everything she wanted and so did I.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

7 Days!

I booked my B&B for Asheville next week! Paper-chain countdown coming soon. :)

(I didn't kick A or take names today. Boo. Left work at 9:30pm and still have one more thing to do before bed.... BUT "I am going to Asheville, I am going to Asheville.")

Me, Kicking A and Taking Names

So stinkin close to putting in my resignation yesterday. This has been a heck of a week at work. 7:30am-9:00pm days does not make for a rested or happy Beth especially when she gets to work another hour or two when she gets home. Today will be another one of those days. However, tomorrow...

3:15pm out the door.

Rest of the evening... nothing.

Promising not to make plans and going to enjoy being lazy.

This morning, I am putting on some "kick A" music because that is what I aim to do today. "I will kick A and take names. I will kick A and take names. I will kick A and take names."

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Donald Miller

Donald Miller's blog is one of my favorites. Not familiar? Check out the video below and then check out his blog.

Are you living a great story with your life? from Donald Miller on Vimeo.

Book Club and American Tiramisu

On Friday night, it was my turn to host our book club meeting. Normally, we eat dinner, talk about the book, and the play Nertz. This night was no exception. We are currently reading The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingslover which is one of my favorites. The girls brought salad, bread, and wine (Blackberry Merlot...delish!). I fixed lasagna and American Tiramisu.

This is the second time I have made American Tiramisu and I love it. Quick dessert that looks like it took some time. It also can be made the night before saving you time to frantically clean your house before guests come. Why American? Because there is no cinnamon or ladyfingers involved.

American Tiramisu
1 thawed pound cake (I use Sara Lee.)
2/3 cup of brewed coffee (Save a little from what you make in the morning.)
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup chocolate syrup (I use a little more for the drizzle on top.)
1 package of cream cheese
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 of a hazelnut chocolate bar (I use Ritter's.)

Slice pound cake and place in the bottom of a 9x13 dish. (You could also use a trifle bowl.) Pour coffee over cake. In a mixing bowl, beat sugar, chocolate syrup, and cream cheese until smooth. Add whipping cream. Beat until fluffy. Spread the mixture over the cake. Drizzle chocolate over the top. Chop up chocolate bar and scatter on top. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

The evening was a success if I do say so myself. I guess that had something to do with me winning Nertz for the first time ever. (Honestly, it was the first time I even had a score that wasn't in the negative!)

Looking forward to April's book club already.

I linked up at

Valentine's Day (part 2)

So I know you have been patiently waiting on the edge of your seat to see what J gave me for Valentine's Day (ha.)...

Meet Baxter.

Baxter is a Betta who spends his days hanging out in a hand-me-down fish cave in a big Mason jar.

I love this little fish.

I love that J took me to Petsmart to pick out Bax.

It makes me happy thinking about it.

(sorry, the picture is way blurry. still have not mastered the whole glass reflection photography thing.)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Twas' the night before...

Twas' the night before Christmas...

Okay, it's not the night before Christmas, but it feels a little like it because tomorrow is a big day.

In the morning, I will be dressing up as a book character. We are having a reading parade to celebrate Read Across America week. It is my favorite event at our school. Beyond precious!

I will be undergoing my final radiation treatment. While I am beyond nervous, I am so pleased to know that I am not going to have to go through this treatment again. We will have a party or I will have a new rack. Something will be celebrated when I after my scan in a few weeks.

I am having my book club over tomorrow night. I adore these girls. We eat, we "mention" the book we read, and we play cards. Did I mention we laugh because that is what we do most!

I am so stinkin' excited about my Friday, but Lord knows I will be in my bed all day on Saturday. ;)

Please, please, please say prayers, send good vibes, cross your fingers, or just wish me luck with the prognosis. I am still saying my sun-still prayer.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Little Late...

Happy (belated) Birthday to my Nana!

I wish everyone had the pleasure of knowing my grandmother.

She is strong in her faith -always supporting my grandfather the preacher, praying for others, and sharing Scripture.

She is a constant student - taking classes still at Lipscomb, and always sharing something she found or read.

She is an adventurer - traveling with someone or trying something new.

She is a woman that has helped me stay on the right path because I could have turned out much worse.

Thank you Nana for your influence and devotion. I hope you can celebrate many more birthdays!

(I would be amiss if I did not also say Happy Birthday to my dear Aunt Sue as well! )

He's Still Working On Me

On Saturday, I had lunch with a friend who mentioned a childhood song that had become her mantra.

"He's still working on me
To make me what I need to be
It took him just a week to make the moon and stars
The sun and the Earth and Jupiter and Mars
How loving and patient he must be
Cause he's still working on me."

This song has popped into my head at least a dozen time since our lunch. Interesting at how this applies at age 5 and 27 and I imagine will still ring true at age 80.

Thanks ER for sharing!