Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Local restaurant - Nefetari's

Nefetari's Restaurant was the location for my friends Birthday dinner. Her husband called ahead and reserved the Queens table (more on that below). Per Nefetari's website:
 "Nefetari’s Fine Cuisine & Spirits is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream to provide Tallahassee with an extraordinary dining and entertainment experience. We are committed to improving the health of our guests and the planet by serving fresh, organic, farm-to-table culinary creations. Our international dishes, stellar service and live entertainment ensure that every guest receives a royal experience, every visit.Just as Queen Nefetari and King Ramesses enjoyed many royal experiences during their reign, it is our desire to ensure that you always have a royal experience at Nefetari’s Fine Cuisine & Spirits."

When you enter the website, it has unique and interesting decor.... They were quick to take our coat, confirm our reservation and show us to our table. 
As I mentioned above, the Queens table had been reserved for us. It is complete with two thrones at each in. Both are intricate in detail, and the table is set for a feast. Also at the table were welcoming drinks, candles, flowers, etc. It was truly an experience.

We started out with appetizers. Seen below are Samosas - Two Indian pastries filled with potatoes and peas, served with chutneys.We also had Chef Steven’s zesty Mediterranean hummus served with crisp, organic vegan tortilla chips or naan chips. which was also delightful.
For dinner we had
Athena's Nachos - Our specialty nachos made with seasoned ground lamb or jerk chicken, tomatoes, scallions, crumbled feta cheese, Kalamata olives, Greek yogurt and our secret blend of spices, served on naan chips.
The Ethiopian Stew  was a favorite with 3 at our table ordering. (1 with Lamb, 1 with tofu and  another with Chicken) Traditional stew with finely chopped vegetables and organic lentils, seasoned with berbere spice, served on injera with your choice of two sides. This dish was also an experience, as they provided wet cloths to cleanse your hands prior to eating.
After dinner we had an amazing lemon coconut cake created by the pastry chef.
The cake was a hit at the table.Being that I am not a big fan of coconut, I opt'd for the vanilla ice cream. It was the perfect way to end the amazing dinner.

Not pictured C tried their homemade cheesecake, and it was truly amazing
And the best part the chef and owner came out to introduce herself, and wish JSBH a Happy bday!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Local restaurant - Mayuri

My good friend Amy Z opt'd to go to Mayuri Indian Restaurant for her Birthday. 
I must admit I was a bid skeptical at first, but let me say it is important not to judge a book by its cover. 
The restaurant itself is very quaint, and no frills in its appearance, but the service and food were amazing
The staff was also very attentive, and did not seem put off by the zillions of questions from the rookies at our table. In fact they offered suggestions, and brought out a few things for us to try.

As a table we tried a variety of things from various naan breads to imported beers
 Spicy dishes, to non spicy dishes. The table of 8 was all very happy with their choices.
The dishes were well seasoned, and came out in a timely manner.
I would 100% go back to this restaurant.

Simply Southern Girl Tallahassee restaurants

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Yorkshire Pie..

I've blogged about this before, but am re-posting, as several friends have asked for the recipe in recent days.. Truly it is a very simple recipe and one that always receives rave reviews for both presentation, and taste.

1 pound hamburger 
Half to three quarter of cup of cooked vegetables 
1cup gravy (I made my own, but you can use store bought) 
1 Tablespoon of worcheshire sauce
1 Tablespoon of butter
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
2 eggs
Pepper &/ or seasoning of your choice
Preheat over to 425, brown meat and onions. Drain, add veggies, quarter cup of gravy and Worcestershire sauce.
Put butter in 10 in quiche or pie pan and put into over for butter to melt and cover pan 
In bowl mix- eggs, milk, flour and seasonings. Beat until smooth. Take pan out of oven and pour mixture into pan. Ensuring it is well covered. Then spoon meat mixture over keeping it about a half in to inch from the side. 
Place back in over to bake for 30 min. Serve with remaining gravy if gravy is your thing....

Monday, January 6, 2014

Italy dreaming....

No matter what form of social media I log onto I see Seminole friends/sisters traveling to Pasadena for the big game tonight. I must admit at first thought, I am a bit envious, and for a split second , I second guess our decision.

Why are the mister and I not traveling to the big game? Well becuase, we made a commitment to put family first in 2014, and for us this means choosing to attend a family wedding in Italy...

One day we will win the lottery & be able to travel as much as we'd like, but until then we will make choices. Choices that will be made together, and made based on our shared set up principals, goals, dreams and commitments..
photo from here
And in all honestly, after that split second of envy, I am refocused. Focused on what lies ahead.  I look forward to the adventure.. a new country, a new sister-in-law, time with family, and maybe even time to catch up with a friend who is currently living in Naples. I look forward to the planning, the research, and constant weighing of options as we work to plan our trip.

I look forward to visiting a new country, and destinations that will expand my knowledge of different cultures & ways of life. 
I look forward to a vacation that will allow up to fill our hearts with love, celebrating family and future.
I look forward to visiting the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, and maybe if we are lucky catching the Pope.
I look forward to a vacation that will leave us rested, and ready to return to work for the holiday season.
I look forward to Chianti, fresh fruit, Italian food, and for the Mister Gelato (not my favorite)

Have you visited Italy?
Do you have any suggestions on things we have to be sure to see/do?
As of now we are looking into Rome, Pisa, Almafi Coast, Naples, and Pompeii

We know we will have to make it back to visit Cirque de Terre, Venice, and Florence..

Friday, January 3, 2014

FSU football fan.... a look back at 1999 vs 2013

2013 was an exceptional year for Florida State Athletics.

Monday, the Football will play for the  National Championship, the first time since 1999.
& since everyone is comparing the two seasons, I began thinking while the Football seasons are so similar, life in 1999 seems like worlds away...


1999 was my freshman year of college, and truly an amazing one to be a 'Nole!
I lived in Broward Hall.  I was a new member in Alpha Chi Omega.
In '99, tickets were included in our tuition, we picked up the seasons tickets at the beginning of the year, and we turned in tickets a week ahead of time, for fraternities to camp out for the best "block."
I attended fraternity tailgates prior to the game, sat in the student section in the "block"
I was a Lady Spirithunter, and worked to "paint faces" of fans prior to the game.
We celebrated wins, with trips to Tennessee strip, and the Sweetshop.
My weekdays were consumed with class, evenings with socials, pomping parties, & mystagouge reveals.
My non-football weekends, were filled with new member retreat, initiation, & trips home.. 

The Seminoles went wire to wire.. and went to the national championship held in my home state of Louisiana at the Sugar Bowl. I traveled with sorority sisters to the game, we crammed 8 people in a hotel room , spent nights on Burbon street, days on Magazine/Jackson Square, and celebrated a 46-29 win over Virginia Tech, and headed back to attend spring classes

 Fast forward to 2013.... the Noles did it again! They went wire to wire, and are headed to the BCS Championship in Pasadena..

Chris and I opt'd not to purchase season tickets this year as we would be unable to attend all games.
We spent much of our PTO in the spring with our wedding and honeymoon..
Come fall, we spent our weekdays, and some weekends at work... we did make it to two home games!
I spent some days/evenings at the Alpha Chi house, but this time as an advisor, attending chapter, standards, or executive board meetings.
Ee spent free time wedding planning, making improvements on the house, or attending baby/wedding showers of friends and family....
We traveled to Clemson, and make a vacation out of it, staying in Cashiers for some R&R.
I was able to attend the spear lighting ceremony, which close friends Aggie and Don were asked to light the spear prior to the FSU vs UF game.. 

Yes life has changed since 1999, but I am still cheering on my Noles!!
This year, I will be cheering the Noles on from Tallahassee, as the Mister and I are saving to attend his brothers wedding later this year in Italy (any suggestions for Naples, Almafi coast, Rome, etc welcome) ..

I am proud to have attended and graduated from The Florida State University. And win or loose I will continue to support my Noles.

Looking for inspiration for what to serve during the game watching party be sure to check out my Pinterest, and my favorite appetizers!

2013 Reflections

2013 was a big year!!! I have so much to be thankful for.

If you received our Christmas card, you received our annual newsletter!

Overall, 2013 was a memorable year. Chris and I celebrated our first full year in our home, and worked to make improvements and updates to make the house, our home. We spend a lot of time planning, our wonderful March wedding, and feel blessed to have celebrated surrounded by so many friends and close family! We were intentional with our travels.. .and traveled both domestically and abroad.

We celebrated new jobs, & promotions, celebrated weddings of close friends, and deaths of loved ones. We attempted to train our puppy Georgia. I tried new recipes, planned parties and hosted giveaways.

We look forward to all that 2013 holds, but also want to take the time to reflect upon an TRULY AMAZING 2013!!!!! 

It was our first full year in our  new home!

It was the year I became a Mrs. 

It was a year of travel!
We traveled both domestically & internationally

I became a Godparent...
I celebrated FSU football wins!
Traveled to the Clemson game, 
and celebrated the first Undefeated season since my freshman year of college.
1999 & 2013 - both great seasons!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 Intentions

I have never been one for new years resolutions, in fact I have rarely made them.

When reflecting on 2013, and looking ahead something felt different. So this year I want to try something new! I want to be intentional with goals, and resolutions. I want to focus on things that are important to me: My health, my family, my job, and my dreams.

I want to set myself and my family up for success with my intentions, and make them something we can achieve through the support or each other. I want them to be something that brings us closer, and something that will never be seen as a burden, or something I/we "have to" do.

After a lot of thought, and reflection my 2014 intentions.

Happiness and Health & Prosperity
This is a broad intention, but done so purposely.

2014 is the year that the Mister and I are going to focus on us as individuals, and on our family. To some that may sound selfish, and maybe it is, but it is not meant that way. 

But truly The Mister jokes that I have a "helium hand," meaning if someone asks for a volunteer my hand just rises ready to take on the role. This year, I plan to reflect on my volunteer roles, and work to take some commitments off my plate. Not only will this allow more time for myself & my family. I will allow me to be more focused on the roles I keep on my plate.

The year of our health..being playful with our meals, our fitness routine, and our me/us time. Life can be busy, but with proper planning and commitments we can work to ensure we enter 2014 healthier in mind, body and spirit.

2014 will also be our first full year as the Riley's. Taking time to discuss our goals, and future plans, and a developing a financial plan that will allow us to achieve those goals thru budgeting and saving!

Live Simply and Surrounded yourself with those you love
I am not naive to notice that God removed some individuals from my life in 2013. I was naive to at first to chase after them. In self reflecting, I know that individuals are removed from your life for a reason, and it is up to you to continue to the direction of your dreams... Both confidently, and with those you love by your side.

My goal in 2014 is to ensure that I carve time out to truly spent time with family & friends. To intentionally plan dinners, trips & get togethers that will allow us to embrace the time we have together, and create wonderful memories.

My goal is to embrace the simple joys in life... the handwritten card, the moments spent snuggling in bed, or wrapped up in a favorite book. To embrace the moments and the memories they create, and to reflect upon past moments, and ensure they are documented to share with future generations and loved ones.

To pursue my passions & those the mister I share 
Travel, something the mister and I are both passionate about.

One of the sayings I heard this year, and have repeated often is:
"travel is the only thing one can spend money on that will make you richer" 
- Author unknown
As one travels their eyes are opened to various cultures, & all that it entails... history, food, people, and ways of life. One would be naive to think that travel does not expand your mind, and allow you to think differently. In fact, I fully believe I am the person I am today in part due to all of the travel I have done.

2013, was an amazing year for travel, and allowed the Mister and I to visit new destinations both domestically and abroad. With a planful approach, we look forward to new destinations in 2014.

I love my job, and in 2014 will celebrate 15 years with the company. It will also be my first full year in a new role. I set personal and professional goals... more on this in an upcoming post.

The blog... Blogging has become a creative outlet for me. I enjoy chronicling my life, and the life the mister and have created together.
 In 2013, we celebrated our wedding, and worked to create our home. In 2014, I  look forward to chronicling our adventures... from new recipes, to party planning; traveling to decorating, and all of the fun along the way.

This year, I am looking forward to being more intentional with my blogging.....
I look forward to capturing the moments we have created together, and sharing opportunities for my readers to do the same.

I look forward to reaching out to fellow bloggers to gain insight and partnerships.

 I look forward to continued work with partnerships with vendors, and creating new partnerships.

As I read over my 2014 intentions, I am excited to start the year with a plan and a focus. But also excited it is not a to do list, that will add additional stress or workload. I am excited to embark upon another year, and do so with amazing friends, family, and my mister by my side.

Do you have 2014 goals, dreams, or intentions? How to you approach new years resolutions?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas cards are coming..

With just 19 days until Christmas, the holiday cards are staring to arrive in our mailbox. I must say that Holiday cards are one of my favorite Christmas Traditions! I am the girl who has works on our holiday letter to accompany our Christmas card in throughout the year. This year, I worked to address our cards on our trip to North Carolina (what else is a girl going to do in the car for 8 hours) and have been pouring over card ideas since we got our wedding photos back in March wondering if I could incorporate it in our 2013 card..

While our cards our done, and already in the mail, (Yes I am crazy) I still find myself visiting some of my favorite stationery sites...I must say that this year Minted has truly outdone themselves with their Christmas cards,  

Some of my favorites are below.. 
Hand-Painted Branches
Hand-Painted Branches
Calm-ish + Bright
Calm-ish + Bright
This one is truly adorable &  would be perfect for some of my friends with young kids!
Glittering Joy
Glittering Joy
I enjoy the simple touch of gold.. 
Merry and Married
Merry and Married   
 I have to share that while our cards our in the mail, running across the gem above, makes me question our design. This one is TOO cute, and Georgia Anne and Henry would look adorable. In fact I might just have to send a second card to a select few! Maybe closer to the actual day.... (thinking about how I can justify this)
I look forward to receiving cards from friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc and displaying them on my holiday shutter, a DYI from 2012 Christmas. Each card and the design picked truly showcases the personalities of my friends and family.. their children & pets! And honestly if the Christmas cards at Minted this year are this cute, then I am DYING to see their Valentines cards..
and for those who are looking to work on their Christmas Cards this weekend, Minted is running a deal that  Ends Monday: 15% off + free shipping on holiday cards. Code: SLED15FS. Buy now, Upload your photo later.
Happy Shopping, & can't wait to see what your cards look like..