Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Honeymoon Recap: Our Itinerary

Happy Wanderlust Wednesday y'all! Today I am so excited to share my first installment of my honeymoon recap series. It is hard to believe that this time last year we were sitting at a little Italian cafe sipping cappuccinos....ummm Reid, can we go back?

 I thought the best to start would be with our itinerary so you can get an overall idea of the beautiful places we traveled. With help from our amazing travel agent, Vincent, we embarked on a 13 day ( including travel time) land and sea adventure. We traveled around the boot of Italy hitting major highlights along the way. Reid and I took over 2000 pictures on our trip so I will have to plan a detailed post on each location in the upcoming weeks! 


{day one: Rome}

{day two: Rome}

{day three: Rome and Civitavecchia Port}

{day four: Pompeii and Amalfi Cost}

{day five: Sicily}

{day six: at sea}

{day seven: Dubrovnik, Croatia}

{day eight: Split, Croatia}

{day nine: Koper, Slovenia}

{day ten: Venice}

{day eleven: Murano and Venice} 

{day twelve: Venice and home}

Have a happy and wanderlust filled Wednesday! 



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Quick Fix Tuna Pasta Salad

Happy Tuesday y'all!

Monday nights are crazy in our house...Reid is normally walking in the door as I am heading out. I have ballet downtown at 7:15pm and Reid tends to work late these days since he gets his Cross Fit on in the morning. Thus dinner plans always fall by the wayside for us on Mondays and we are both normally left to fend for ourselves because we just don't have time to make an elaborate meal.

Enter Tuna Pasta Salad....

On Sunday I made a huge batch of this tasty treat to munch on during the week. My mother used to have this dish on hand all the time during the warmer months and is now a staple in our home. (Thank goodness Reid loves tuna fish as much as I do.) This is a great quick fix that is light and perfect for people on the go. I pack it in my lunch or grab it for dinner with sliced tomatos and lettuce (and lots of salt, I love salt!).

{what you'll need}

4 cans of tuna
mayo (I start with only 1/2 a cup and add more if I need it)
relish (dill or sweet - I use sweet)
celery sticks - finely chopped
salt and pepper
1lb of pasta
chopped jalapenos and juice

{what you'll do}

cook pasta according to package to al'dente, drain it and run cool water over it
in a big bowl combine tuna, celery, relish, s&p, mayo and any optional items
add cooled pasta to tuna mixture
stir and chill
(the longer it sits the better I believe it to be)
I always add the mentioned optional items above because it gives the salad something extra, and Reid and I really enjoy the little kick from the jalapenos.

This dish is certainly not fancy but it's simple, easy and normally everything is already in my pantry. AND that in my book is very important. What are some of your quick fixes? I am always on the hunt for an easy meal!


Monday, April 28, 2014

Sunday Recap: Porch, Pups and Pizza

Oh hey Loves! Is it really Monday again..... where did the weekend go? I guess it does not help matters that I had to work this past Saturday and the one before but hey, who's complaining?

 Ok, well maybe me just a little bit.

Since my Saturday was a complete whirlwind, I knew I had to slow things down on Sunday. Reid and I started this glorious day off with breakfast on the back porch. Reid whipped up some eggs, toast, coffee and Bloody Marys. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping and the dogs were actually well behaved - it was like all was right in the world. I took this opportunity to get out my new Meal Planner notebook from May Designs and worked on a plan and a grocery list going for this week.

Y'all, I am just in love with May Designs, their products are just the best and their website is so user friendly. The meal planner notebook is just great for keeping you on track of what is going on that week and how to plan dinners.

Once I felt that I had a pretty good handle on our food needs for this week, I left my post on the porch and bolted upstairs to get ready. Reid and I had plans to meet my bestie Kristen and her little one, Lily, for a yummy lunch outside at Tazza Kitchen in Short Pump. Kristen invited me to tag along with her to the Little English Sale which is currently in town and y'all, this stuff is really cute and really well priced - go check it out for sure! 

I met back up with Reid at Costco and we successfully checked off all of our "to-do's" and even had time to stop by our fav ice-cream shop, Gelati Celesti

Once home and all the groceries were put away, a load of laundry started and Monday's dinner made, I retreated back to the porch for some one on one time with the computer, the pups and my fav wine while Reid prepared dinner.

Reid was the master mind behind dinner  last night and made homemade pizza in honor of our honeymoon. This exact time last year we were sitting in an amazing Italian plaza enjoying the most delish pizza and wine.  While I was at work yesterday, he made homemade pizza dough and gathered all the proper ingredients for perfect pizza. I am so lucky that my husband loves to cook and really knows his way around our kitchen. He set up a make your own pizza bar and even let me snap a few pic of him for the blog! What a sweetie!

His pizza was fabulous and took me right back to our amazing honeymoon. If only he could perfect the perfect cappuccino I would be in complete heaven. 

As you can see we had a nice, normal Sunday filled with the things I love: Our back porch, our pups and my sweet hubby's pizza! 

Hope your weekend was just as wonderful and that today's is a great start to your week! 



Friday, April 25, 2014

Five on Friday

Happy Friday Loves! 
Boy, what a week... My day job has kept me super busy this week finalizing the remodel on our Fredericksburg showroom. We are gearing up for a big event next week and buttoning up all the loose ends is a I am thrilled with the process but exhausted, so I am going to keep this one short and sweet!

Per the usge, I am linking up with the ever so charming ladies who host Five on Fridays; April, Christina, Darci and Natasha

Here are five things that I am just loving this week.

J. Crew Factory Sale

50% off on your entire purchase was just too much for me to handle y'all. I was like a kid in a candy store. I honestly think at one point I had over 20 items in my cart... I wanted everything, in every color and then duplicates. I ended up going through my closet on Monday night to see what I actually needed vs. what I wanted and then placed my order on Tuesday... I would like to pat myself on the back for that move! Anywho, my order arrived on Thursday and I just love my purchases.  These three below were my absolute favorite finds and I cannot wait to style these beauties up!


Derby Days

It's race time in the South! No, not Nascar racing but Horse racing. OH.MY.WORDS. I just love a good horse race. Fox Fields, Strawberry Hill, Carolina Cup or the Kentucky Derby, I adore them all. I love the feel in the air, mint Juleps in hand, seersucker, Lily, hats and bow ties as far as the eye can see and it's deep rooted Southern traditions. Stay posted friends, we are chatting Derby next week and maybe even a Derby inspired giveaway! 

The Mindy Project

This show makes me laugh out loud! I don't know why and my husband isn't a fan BUT I think Mindy is hilarious! The things that come out of her mouth are crazy, I often find myself saying "Did she really just say that?" I would also like to state for the record that if she and Danny don't get back together by the end of the season, I am out!
Anyone with me?

Adult Ballet
Yes, I am taking Adult ballet. No, there is not a recital you can attend. Yes, I wear a leotard and pink tights. No, I am not the oldest one in the class. These are my normal responses when I tell someone I am taking ballet again. It is great to be back in a studio again. This past Monday was my first real class (The last 5 weeks I have been in an intro class).... and it kicked my butt! These folks don't mess around. The teacher is the most energetic, beautiful, tinniest thing I have ever seen and does not slow down. I was tondue-ing and plie-ing all across the floor and loving every moment! But still pray for me on Monday's y'all!

Feeling the Love


Thank you you so much for my most favorite week of blogging yet! I have just had the best time this week reading your sweet comments and chatting with new friends! I am really feeling the love that our blog community shares and cannot wait to see even more followers here on Virginia Sweet! 

 Have a wonderful weekend Loves!



ps...f you are popping over from the link up - Welcome! Grab a coffee and stay a while, I always love to see new followers!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

GNI {girls night in}


Hi ladies! Ashley here, bringing you some GNI entertainment! My husband often travels with his job, and as much as I wish he were at home with me, I get a little feeling inside that screams “You can do whatever you want tonight!” This typically involves me not cooking, cleaning or doing any wifely duties…which is always a plus! 

Trashy TV

Since my husband is traveling today, I thought this would be perfect because I will actually be enjoying this tonight! I usually begin my GNI evening with going straight home from work, stripping my uncomfortable heels and clothes (and bra) off and getting in my pajamas! I don’t know about you, but I am the most comfortable in leggings and an oversized tshirt. After that, I open up a bottle of red wine and pour way too much away. When it's just me at home, I usually don't cook because cooking for one is not easy. So, instead I make a big bowl of cereal or heat up a Trader Joes microwaveable dinner.  Classy, I know. While I’m enjoying my dinner, I usually find myself turning on the TV and flipping straight to Bravo…or E! There is nothing better than coming home and watching trashy tv. I know this makes me sound dumb, but the last thing I want to do after work 10 hours is to think. I think ALL day long and that can truly be exhausting. Cue The Real Housewives of whatever city you like, Southern Charm or Million Dollar Listing. I’m not biased; I’ll pretty much watch whatever is on! I may also have a bowl of Talenti Gelato….hey, no one's judging here!! 

Bubble Bath

Typically, I fill my tub with hot water and bubbles and enjoy sipping on my glass of wine while reading my trashy book. I’m currently reading Drinking and Dating by Brandi Glanville. Y’all, if you haven’t read any of her books, go and buy one!! They are hysterical. It’s the type of book that will make you feel embarrassed if someone were to look over your shoulder and see what you were reading…love it! Notice my love for The Real Housewives continuation? This is always a great time to apply your favorite face mask! I’ll be the first one to admit that I may or may have not scared my husband to death a time or two with these. I don’t usually tell him when I’m going to be putting one on, so it’s always fun to watch his reaction when he sees a green looking monster!  Anyway, I think the number one most important beauty tip is to take care of your skin. You always need a clean canvas for your makeup….plus, I don’t know about you but I’d like to try to prevent as many wrinkles as possible! I typically go for this face mask, but again, any one will do! 

After I get out of the bath, I like to moisturize my body with Hempz. I grab my blanket and laptop and plop myself on the couch.  I go to one of my favorite websites, which is actually how I know/love so much about beauty. YouTube. I truly got into watching some of my favorite beauty gurus about three years ago. I can relate to a lot of them out there (minus all of the years of their experience), but what I enjoy the most about them is their honesty and vulnerability. It is so refreshing to learn tips from girls who are giving their view and thoughts on products. Some of these videos include tutorials, favorites and hauls. I really enjoy watching Beauty Favorites of the Month because this gives me an idea of what products to look for the next time I’m in Target, Ulta, Sephora, etc. to try out. Some of my favorite gurus include cult favorites such as MakeupbyTiffanyD,  Jaclyn Hill, Glamlifeguru, Missglamorazzi, TalkBeckyTalk, ShadesofKassie, Amelia Liana, and Essie Button.  If you are into beauty products, you should definitely check them out! 

Pamper yo’self 

Manicured and polished nails are a must! After shutting down my computer (still watching trashy tv), I pull out my nail polish collection. Whether it be pulling out my LED gel kit or just OPI/Essie, I enjoy taking the time to pamper myself. After my nails and toes are done, I slip into my cozy warm bed, and shut the lights off to catch some zzz’s. 

Y’all, I know there is nothing fancy about my girls night in, but sometimes those lazy nights in, where nothing is planned, are the best! I hope y’all take time for yourselves because you deserve it!


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Lake Lure Love

It's Wednesday and that means we are talking travel here on the blog. I have so travel much to catch y'all up on SO every week I will take you on a trip with my Wanderlust Wednesday posts. Today I am taking you to the quaint little mountain town of  Lake Lure, NC.

This past January, Reid and I spent our last weekend at his family's cabin in Lake Lure. This little cabin has hosted our crazy group of friends for the past several New Years and I am heart broken that it has officially been sold. Next year we will have to find another place to explore...any ideas?

We took full advantage of our last weekend at the cabin and hosted two fun loving couples; Ashley & Andrew and Anna & Jeremy. Our first order of business was to pile into my parents mini van, that we borrowed just for the weekend, and head to the grocery store. On the way down the mountain, we passed a family of wild turkeys...promising the men they could go play outside (aka go on a turkey hunt) when we got back was the only way were able to press on. Shopping was a success but the men insisted we make one last stop to the local hardware store to pick up a forgotten item - the axe. It proved to be a very handy tool to bring groceries in...

While the men were out doing manly things the women were left to put groceries away, make snacks and drink.  Once the men felt we had a sufficient supply of fire wood and successfully scared the turkeys away we all sat down for our obligatory game of Skip Reid, oh I mean Phase 10. This game is seriously the and we all get so mad while playing it and threaten to quit the entire time but for some reason we love it! 

Ashley, our resident "mom", made our traditional cabin supper that evening of spaghetti, Texas Toast and salad...this plate below was my husbands. Cleary he does not mess around when it comes to spaghetti - the man is a human garbage disposal.

 The night ended with more Phase 10, the boys sitting outside smoking cigars while the girls passed out watching Sex in the City - sounds about right! 

The next day, we decided to venture into the Biltmore Village, a little town right outside of Ashville, NC. Along the very windy back roads we managed to see signs for a winery and since the girls were just about to be car sick, we decided to make a pit stop. We landed at Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards and y'all, this place is pretty cool. This little winery is rich in history and charm - not to mention the wines were delish! Our little stop turned into a wine tasting, photo opp, play time with the resident dog and each couple walked away with a few great bottles. 

We finally made it to the Biltmore Village just in time for a late lunch. We scarfed down yummy food at the Corner Kitchen, the women got in a little shopping and the men got in a little bar time. We all piled back into the mini van and I drove back to the cabin while the rest of my little children got in a good nap. Lucky me. 

I feel truly grateful to Reid's parents for always letting us use this little piece of heaven. Lake Lure, you have been so good to Reid and I over the last 5 years and we will miss you dearly! Thanks for all the memories and very happy New Year's Eves! (I am sure the neighbors won't miss us!)

Check back next Wednesday as I take you on a trip across the ocean as I begin to recap our Italian honeymoon! 

Much love!


{for lovers of chic flicks out there}
Did you know that part of Dirty Dancing was filmed in Lake Lure? In fact every year there is a festival to celebrate...Check it out here.

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