Tuesday, September 10, 2013

To Die for Dip

Happy Hump Day Loves! 

Today I am sharing one of my go to apps that is super quick, super yum and really a crowd favorite! 

My coworkers request this dip for every snack day and thankfully for me it could not be easier. I actually whipped up this little delish on Monday at work between appointments. Since many of them always ask me for the recipe, I decided to take pictures while I made it and do a little blog post. 

I must also admit that I def borrowed this dip from my friend Ashley, and she has graciously allowed me to share it! 

2 cups of of shredded Colby Jack cheese
8 ounces of softened cream cheese
1 cup of mayo (I normally don't add the whole cup)
2 packages of real bacon bits
1 1/2 sleeve of Ritz Crackers (we buy the fun pack size at our house!)

Here is what to do: 
preheat the oven to 350 degrees
mix the softened cream cheese, mayo and shredded cheese in a casserole dish. The dish should be no larger than 9"x9
sprinkle the two packets of real bacon bits on top of the mixture and bake for about 15 minutes.
sprinkle a crushed 1/2 sleeve of Ritz over top of the dip and bake for an additional 7-8 minutes.
Take out and devour! 

I normally serve with tortilla chips or whatever crackers I have laying around.

Helpful Trick!
I found this to be the easiest way to crush Ritz Crackers. Leave the crackers in the sleeve and hold in the palm of your hand. Press the ends together and the crackers crush instantly! Pretty neat huh?

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do and I promise, it will be a new "go to" one for sure!

later loves, 


Monday, September 9, 2013

Watch Out, Sharp Turns Ahead!

We're back on the Blogtember bandwagon and today's prompt is to describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.

Today's post is not something that I share often so I am a little nervous! Wish me luck...

I would have to say the very moment I moved to Charlotte my life took a dramatic turn. It was August 1st, 2007 and I was newly engaged, for the first time, and new in Charlotte. I had been out of college for a short 14 months and accepted a promotion with my company, moving me from Charlottesville, VA to Charlotte, NC. I was lucky enough to move in with my brother who actually works for the same company I do and was my boss (heck he still is!). He and a college buddy of mine were the only two people I knew in Charlotte. At the time, the plan was for my then fiancĂ© to join me down there and start our life together. 

But obviously that did not happen. 

I was a young twenty two year old and reality hit me like a brick wall.... I was just not ready to be someone's wife. It is really hard to let the people that you care about down but ultimately you have to do what was best for you.  I called off the wedding about 3 months in and went through one of the most difficult times in my life. My brother soon transferred to Virginia and I, other than my one college buddy and my dear work friends, was alone. 

I truly did not like Charlotte at first. I was homesick. I missed all those backyard bbq's that my college friends were having back in VA. I missed my parents. And I was questioning every decision I had made in the last year. I was a mess but I stayed.

Slowly, but surely, Charlotte became my home and I surrounded myself with a great group of friends, reconnected with a high school friend who became my roommate (we ended up marrying best friends) and eventually met Reid at a bar. Hah thank you Selwyn Pub! Looking back now, I miss it but I love love love Richmond, love my life, love my hubby and see big things in the horizon. 

 I did a lot of growing up in Charlotte. I learned to depend on myself, to pay my own bills, cried a lot and laughed a lot. I am thankful for everyone who was there to support me and so happy I put my big girl panties on and stayed. 

The road to who I am today was definitely bumpy and had some treacherous turns. But aren't those tricky turns the same ones that make life interesting? 

Thanks for letting me share today, till later loves!


Sunday, September 8, 2013

weekend recap!

Hey Loves! 

Hope everyone had a great weekend and took full advantage of the beautiful weather! I was feeling a bit under the weather this weekend but Reid and I still managed to get out on Saturday to South of the James Market.

After hearing that Reid and I had never been to the South of the James Market, my friend Lorin sent me a sweet text message mapping out a route for us to take when we got there. Her recommendations were spot on and we had the best time. Reid, Tuggy and I headed out around 8:30am to see what this farmers market was all about. We are trying to get Tuggy out in public more often so this was the perfect opportunity for her to tag along. 

We got there right around 8:45 and it was already packed and parking was kinda nuts. After Tuggy almost got hit by a car because she is an amazing escape artist, we found our way to the market. We decided to walk the permitter first and see all that there was to offer! 

The first item on our list was to go to the bagel stand in the far right corner and order one with the works. We did as we were told and ordered one, minus the onions of course and it was delicious! So fresh and so yummy! While I was waiting on the bagel, Reid grabbed some coffee and we were all set! We tried to keep Tuggy in check, but she is a hot mess and wanted to play with every dog she saw. 

After the bagel, the next item Lorin had on our list was the Amish donut stand in the far left corner. We found their set up without any trouble and ate this little piece of heaven without a carb care in the world. 

We finished our trip by selecting some awesome looking veggies to get us through the week and some all natural dog treats for the pups! 

We had to boogie since I was due at my friend Anna's bridal shower at noon but on the way home we were already planning our next trip back. We will definatly buy all of our produce and meats first because they go fast! 

The rest of the weekend went by too fast as most do. We had a treat on Saturday night and took my oldest brother to Kuba Kuba for dinner. He is in visiting from California for a few weeks and I am so glad we got to spend some time with him. I pretty much spent the whole day Sunday on the couch as my poor hubby did yard work. I did manage to get 2 loads of laundry done...that's a start right? Hopefully Monday will be more productive. Wish me luck!

Ok, that is all for now! 

Have a great Monday Loves, 


Friday, September 6, 2013

Southern Send-off, Meet Blogtember

Most of my fabulous followers know that I end each week with a Southern Send-off. Just a little something southern to get you on your way to a great weekend. And since I am taking part in the Blogtember challange, why not combine the two?

So today's prompt for Blogtember is to write a "a story about a time you were very afraid."

Well, I was very afraid when Darius Rucker released Wagon Wheel.... I know this is not a real tragedy or life altering event to most people but it sorta really made me afraid.... This is a classic, southern song, right up there with Family Tradition or Dixie Land Delight.Why mess with that?
Truthfully, the real reason this whole thing makes me afraid is because this song has a very special place in my heart.  Believe it or not this was our wedding song. That's right folks, we danced our first dance as man and wife to Wagon Wheel!

Reid and I love this song. Way back when we had just started dating, I was living in Charlotte and we would frequent all too often a local bar, Ed's Tavern and this song was on its play list. It just hit home for us, we were in a long distance relationship and one of us was always "heading down" the road to one of the Carolina's to see their "baby tonight". 

I was actually upset when I heard that Darius Rucker had bought the rights to Wagon Wheel. My friends sent me text messages saying they heard it on the radio.... I thought "oh no!!" this song is so special and should be kept as is!
Ok come on.....I mean, doesn't it make you just a little sad to think that most people believe that Darius Rucker wrote Wagon Wheel? This whole younger generation is now singing along to this "new" hit. Living in the south, I know that the true Wagon Wheel is preformed by a crazy bunch called Old Crow Medicine Show and you must give a listen here!
  Now, I am not saying that I do not enjoy Hootie, I think he is wonderful, loves his country and a proud southerner! Other than be being a HUGE South Carolina fan, I think the man is fabalous! In fact last night Reid and I, along with another couple Lorin and Jeremy, braved the Richmond country music scene to see Darius Rucker preform at Snagajob Pavilion. 
It was awesome weather and even better company. It feels so good to get out and take in all that Richmond has to offer. We even caught a glimpse of a beautiful hot air balloon dropping low for peek.

 And the crowd! It was so diverse and so Richmond. I was shocked that the mood was so somber in the begining when Darius was just singing country but the second he pulled an old Hootie & the Blowfish song out the crowd went wild. There is the Richmond I know!  He, of course, ended the night with Wagon Wheel and Purple Rain - DUH!

Also, congrats to Darius for being the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry, you can't get more southern than that!

Even though I am not in love with Hootie's version of Wagon Wheel, we all had a great time!  Maybe I should take a lesson from my post yesterday and be nice, and not be afraid of change.... I should embrace it and be happy that our song is out in the world. (I still think the original is better and always will!)
What do you think?
Have a grand weekend loves!
Ps. Do y'all want to know a secrect? Hahah can't believe I am telling you this. I actually wrote this post on my phone while standing in line at the porta potty.  Eeek! Sorry I am not sorry!  xoxo

Thursday, September 5, 2013

be nice Caroline!

Good mornin y'all! I have decided to link up with Jenni over at Story of my Life and join in the fun with her Blogtember challenge! She will be suggesting a topic to blog about each weekday in September, hence the name Blogtember. The topic today is "Pass on some useful advice or information you learned and always remembered".

My mother always told me to be nice.

Growing up, I remember times when I would be upset at a friend or boyfriend and go vent to my mother. She would always respond with the same thing "Caroline, be nice" UGH Be nice? Fine Mom, I will BE nice. And the really annoying thing is that she was always right! Mom's have a way of being that way. 

It sounds so simple doesn't it? But being nice is actually really hard to do. After all, we are girls aren't we? Often times, we get the urge to give another girl the stink eye because they are in a really cute outfit and all of the sudden what you have on looks like poo! ugh

be nice Caroline!

 Being nice really does cross all sections of life and is generally the southern thing to do. I try to live by this simple piece of advice every day, whether it be at work or at home. Now I am not saying that I am nice everyday but sometimes you just have to be the bigger person, step up and be nice, even if it almost kills ya.

So next time you are stuck in a sticky situation, take the high road and kill em with kindness. You will be happy you did! And being nice has all sorts or advantages! One of my manages pulled me into his office today to say thank you for being nice! See, you never know who is looking! 

make sure you check out my other post today here

Later loves!


ps..... thanks mom!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Dinner Anyone?

It was a Saturday night, I had just worked 10-5 and Reid and I were long over due for dinner and a movie. We decided at 6pm that we were going to shoot for the 7:50 showing of We're the Millers, which is laugh out loud, clap your hands, snort kind of funny. 

But where to eat? Reid and I are always in this predicament! 

Since Richmond is known for their diverse food culture, we try really hard to not choose a chain restaurant. But with so many cool places to choose from we usually PANIC and end up at the same old stand bys because Reid is now starving and I am so indecisive. 

That night we actually ended up at a great new restaurant in the ever thriving Scott's Addition area called En Su Boca. Don't worry, I have a post coming soon with our rave review! Even Reid is getting used to this blogging thing and now asks if I need to take a pic before he can eat. What a sweet hubby! 

Our indecisiveness got us thinking....Why don't we compile a list of places that we want to try, try them and then let Virginia Sweet in on the juicy details? 

Here is what we have thus far in no particular order: 
En Su Boca
The Roosevelt
New American Tap House 
Pearls Raw Bar 
The daily Bar
Blue Goat (new menu)
Curry Craft
Café Rustica
Black Sheep

We are defiantly taking suggestions of other places to add to our list - any ideas? 

See y'all tomorrow for another southern send-off! 

Till then Loves, 


ps...make sure you check out my Blogtember post here

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

game day and tailgate reveal: Clemson vs UGA

Did I already mention that we just had the best time at the game this past weekend? Being in Clemson is a home coming for my husband and seeing him there, happy and with his best buddies is one of my favorite things! Clemson is also a true southern university, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, surrounded by lakes and cowfields this university is a must see!

outside Death Valley
 I don't know how to explain it, the energy in Death Valley on Saturday night was electric. Now, I must confess, I was sorta bored for the first half ....Clemson would score, Georgia would score, Clemson would give it a go and Georgia would return the favor and so on and so fourth.... Exhaustion was also setting in (we had been up since early in the am and I did not sit down all day!) so I was more than happy to trudge back through the massive crowd to our tailgate for half time. (YES Clemson does let you leave the stadium and re-enter during the game... they even stamp your hand. How very efficient????) I also must admit that the thought did cross my mind to not re-enter the game. Y'all, I.was.spent. and it was already passed 10:30pm BUT I put my big girl panties on and headed back in to watch the rest of the game. I am so glad I did!!! When Georgia missed that field goal during the 3rd quarter our Clemson Clan knew that we had a shot. The crowd began reacting to Clemson's every move and cheered our Tigers on to a glorious victory!! What a feeling to be a part of such joy and excitement!

As promised from yesterday's post, here is a snap shot of our day:
packed and ready to be loaded
boys were supposed to be packing the car! 
we drove past ESPN College Game Day on Bowman Field

it's all in the details!
custom Clemson logo for our Clan! Thank you Kate and Terri for the cookies and cups!
Pimento Cheese!

candid corn hole shots
just some random fun pics! Love that industrial fan we had! 

poor Georgia fans! 
Clemson Wins! 
Well folks, other than an interesting stop off at McDonalds at 1:15am, that about sums up our day! What did you think?? Phew, I am really tired just thinking about it but so thankful we made the trip! 

Later Loves!


Monday, September 2, 2013

and we're back!

Well,  we are finally home and I am exhausted from a wonderful Labor Day weekend full of tailgating, friends and family, lots of time on highway 85 and a BIG win for Clemson! 

Clemson fans rushing the field after a victory over UGA
The football gods were defiantly in our favor as the Tigers beat the Dawgs but I can not say as much for the weather gods....it was a typical South Carolina day - hot, sticky, a little sunny, a little rainy and humid.  

But we did it! Thanks to Ashley and the other Clemson wives, we put on a fabulous tailgate, clad with silver trays, picture frames, burlap bunting, chalkboards, a custom banner and cups, and personalized tailgate cookies thanks to Kate! (see if you can spot Virginia Sweet on her blog!) 

This is just a sneak peek of tomorrow's post as I promise to reveal our Clemson inspired tablescape and unique touches that you will for sure want to steel! 

As for the rest of the weekend, Reid and I had such a great time visiting with our friends and his family in Greenville, Sc! We are so lucky to have our own room at Ashley and Andrew's house in Greenville when we visit and they are just the perfect southern hosts. And as a special treat, Reid's parents drove up from Columbia on Sunday to brunch and spend some time with us and the rest of the gang!  I must say that if you have never visited Greenville, South Carolina, check out this charming little southern town! 

So as we start this Tuesday back at work, or first day of school for all you VA people, I know I am thankful for many things: good college football, great friends, Labor Day sales at the Gaffney outlets and the return of the pumpkin spiced latte, which will, for sure, be getting me through the day! 

Check back in this week for my tailgate revel, adventures in Greenville, details on a much needed date night and a classic southern send-off

till then loves,


ps.... Virginia Sweet just hit a big number of page visits today! So if you are out there, leave some love or follow me! 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Southern Send-Off: Pimento Cheese

Well we did it, we made it to Friday folks! Tomorrow is the big day - the kick off to the 2013 college football season! AND I AM SO EXCITED! Go Clemson Tigers!
photo via
Now that I am finished with that pity party I threw myself yesterday, I am on to bigger and better things starting with my brother's recipe for pimento cheese. This recipe is a must have for any southern gal because it is quick, easy and oh so southernly delicious!

here is a list of what you will need:
1 lb of grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 lb of grated pepper jack
1 4oz can of diced pimentos
1/2 teaspoon of granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon of granulated onion
1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated black pepper
pinch of cayenne
1/2 tablespoon of green pepper sauce
1 cup mayo
1 hot pepper optional

side note: I buy the big blocks of cheese and put them into a food processor because I don't like to eat the shredded stuff you buy in the grocery store - there is a reason why the prepackaged cheese doesn't stick together! Think about it... ok I am off my soap box now! 

here is the really hard recipe:
Put all ingredients into a big bowl and mix together well! Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and then enjoy!

We are taking this delicious snack with us to our Clemson Tailgate. It travels super well in a cold cooler and can defiantly be made a couple nights in advance. I plan on serving with carrots and celery sticks but pita or pretzel chips would be delish too! 

I also wanted to give you a sneak peek of the amazing cookies I had made for the tailgate this weekend. My new obsession Kate over at Kooking in Kate's Kitchen, is a cookie mastermind and also a BIG Penn State fan. Even with her love for Penn State she put a lot of love and attention in to these cuties! Thanks Kate and def check her out!

Needless to say, Reid and I are packed and ready to roll out when the clock hits 5:00 this afternoon. Wish us luck as we take on 95 South and a 6 hour car drive! I cannot wait to fill you in on all the tailgate details next week!

Good luck to all your teams out there! I hope everyone has a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!

till later loves!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Can of Crazy!

Hey Loves! I am going to keep this post short and sweet since I have been neglecting my wifely house keeping duties annnnnnnd my parents are coming to stay tomorrow to watch our dogs! Oops! Guess I should change the sheets in the guest bedroom!
Tuggy is not helping to clean up - clown!
Why is it when you are about to head out of town a can of crazy opens up and you now have a million and one things on your already too long "to do" list? Ugh and of course Wednesday was one of those days at work...just cra cra nuts!  I had a whole fun tailgate post planned for today but by the time I sat down to collect my thoughts and put the finishing touches on it last night,  I found this post escaping through my fingers! I think I just needed a moment alone to vent! Hello blog! Where have you been all my life! 

Reid and I were also super busy last night preparing for our rode trip to South Carolina. He and I lugged all our tailgating gear out to the kitchen to await the final inspection of what goes and what stays. Man, we really have a lot of stuff! But I did get a chance to organize and re-pack everything so now it is officially ready to go!
this is before I pulled everything out and re-packed it
I also attempted to get through my mountain of laundry but that did not happen. I can receive half a gold star on my chore chart because I got through 3 of the 5 loads! That's right, 5 loads! 

All of this happened after a late night work meeting followed by a 6:30 Junior League meeting...  at 9:36pm I rewarded myself with a big bowl of Lucky Charms and sat down to work on Virginia Sweet. Phew! Thank goodness today is a brand new day!

So don't loose faith in me my sweet readers - I promise to reward you tomorrow with my brothers pimento cheese recipe! It really is the perfect tailgate treat and OH so southern. It travels well and it is a grand shade of ORANGE! 

xoxo Loves! 


tailgate with a touch of southern class!

Happy Wednesday Loves!

Today Virginia Sweet is linking up with Newlyweds:North for a Kick Off Week Celebration! Stephanie over at N:N is actually a member of our Clemson Family and we will be seeing each other in 3 short days along with the rest of our crazy bunch! She and her husband are on a big adventure up North but still share the same passion for all things Southern.

Ashley, another member of the Clemson Family, and I have been hard at work this summer planning, plotting and pinning ideas to make this year's first game the best tailgate yet. Just the other day we were tossing around ideas of how to add a touch of southern class to our tailgate. With her blessing, I thought I would share some of our favs here with you! 

not everything has to be Clemson...
Oh lord, all you Clemson fans don't kill me but not everything has to have a tiger paw on it - right? 
A little tiger paw goes a long way! You can pull in your school's colors in other ways. Like really fun fabric for your tailgating table or a monogrammed tablecloth! Simple touches and moderation will keep your table and tailgate looking classy and refined!

make your self at home
Since you really do spend more time at the tailgate than actually at the game it is important to add some touches of home. Any good southern host wants their guest to be comfy, don't they?
Throw some color coordinated pillows into your tailgating chairs - not only does it add a great pop of color but also makes a great little spot for an afternoon nap if you have had too much gin! Who me??? NEVER! But really - don't you think that looks inviting??
Add some fun frames to the table in your school's colors! These cuties are in my living room and I did not feel like changing out the pictures but wouldn't it be cute to put pics from previous tailgates in them??

be a little formal, it's ok, we're all adults here!
 Dust off some of those wedding presents that never get used and bring them along!
Adding little touches of silver will bring an instant feel of southern hospitality and class! I love the idea of using the bar tool set for drinks and the silver drink tub to house our never ending supply of champagne! After all, you are having about 20 of your closest friends over for bunch SO why not break out the good stuff?

I really do owe Ashley a big shout out as she has been my partner in crime all summer and I cannot wait for all of our hard work to pay off on Saturday! Thanks also to Andrew (her hubby) and Reid (mine) for putting up with the two of us this summer going crazy about tailgating!! 
this is from the a LONG time ago but a fav of mine!
Reid, Caroline, Ashley and Andrew
Go Tigers!!! 
Later Loves, 

ps... If you popped over from Newlyweds: North be sure to check out my other Tailgating posts! It's really great to have y'all here!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...