Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Perciatelli with Peppery Cheese and Asparagus

 Have you ever heard of perciatelli pasta before?  I sure hadn't!  This past weekend, our friends made us pasta that was hallowed out in the middle...it was superb!  The pasta absorbs the flavor better than your standard spaghetti...I'm officially obsessed!

We prepped the pasta with our standard olive oil, garlic, and butter.  What made it much more special was the addition of Romano Pecorino, basil and asparagus!  It had a great peppery bite and yet the basil added a sweet finish!

Ingredients:
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 TB butter
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 pound pasta
  • Romano Pecorino cheese, to taste
  • 12 large basil leaves
  • Bundle of Asparagus
Melt the butter over medium heat and add olive oil.  Saute the garlic until aromatic.  Meanwhile, boil the pasta according to directions.  Add pasta to sauce and toss.   We cooked our asparagus in the oven at 400 degrees...you can choose to do this how you wish, but we toss with olive oil and salt & pepper before baking.  Bake for about 12 minutes.  Plate the pasta and add basil, cheese and asparagus.


This dish makes a flavorful meal that's great for mid-week or date night.  I imagine a glass of chardonnay would pair wonderfully!

Hope you enjoy!  Bon Appetit!

xo natasha

Linked to: Tasty Tuesdays

PS...I'm talking about my love for mint over at Henning Love today!  Be sure to stop by and check it out!

Monday, January 30, 2012

19 Weeks...It's a BOY!



How far along? 19 weeks...almost halfway there!
Baby Size: Baby is the size of a mango...the u/s tech said he weighs about 10 ounces!
Total weight gain/loss: 8+ lbs and counting
Maternity clothes? Yes!  I purchased a pair of Citizen for Humanity maternity jeans over the weekend!  They're so amazing!  Super comfy and still stylish...score!  :)
Stretch marks? Not yet!
Sleep: Sleeping well...but rolling around is getting progressively harder!
Best moment this week: Hands down...finding out we're having a boy!!!
Miss Anything? Nothing at the moment!
Movement: Feeling more and more...can't wait for Ryan to feel Baby Boy
Food cravings: Salty & Sweet...I have a serious craving for shrimp tacos from a local restaurant and I have a new craving for cuties--thanks to my friend in SD!  PB&Js still sound good too!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Just those darn raw red onions.  Nothing else though!
Have you started to show yet: I think it's safe to say that I've officially popped!
Gender: BOY!!!
Labor Signs: No
Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On...though we went for a hike this past weekend and my fingers got MAJORLY bloated!  Eek! 
Mood? Ecstatic!
Looking forward to:  Getting all the plans in place for the nursery and thinking about names!  

SO as many of you know, we had our anatomy scan last Wednesday!  Our appointment was 9:30am and we were so excited and nervous about finding out the gender!  I really hoped that Baby would cooperate...I've heard that the umbilical cord can often get in the way and make it difficult to get a good shot.  The u/s revealed that baby was head down, legs up and luckily enough the tech was able to get a clear shot RIGHT away!  I guess this should have been our first hint that it was a boy since she was able to tell so easily!  :)  We asked her to keep the gender a secret and write it down on a card so we could find out that night with family.  She was super good about keeping it a secret...I worried she might slip and say "he"!  Anyway...we got to see how much Baby had progressed over the last several weeks.  He has a healthy spine and we could see the stomach, kidneys, heart, brain, and more!  It was amazing!  

After the appointment, we went straight to Sugar Pine Bakery to hand off the gender card!  We picked up the cake after work...it was SUPER cute!



I love the cute bunting!  :)

Then we headed over to Ryan's grandmother's house {she's going to be a great-grandmother!} and decided there was NO way we could wait until after dinner to cut the cake.  So we dove right in...

 Anxiously waiting to cut the cake!  Ryan's little cousins can hardly stand the suspense!

 What's it going to be...pink or blue??

 It's a BOY!!  Ryan is just beaming and I am so excited!! 

All the evidence!  :)

We've been on cloud nine ever since we found out...trips have already been made to Baby Gap, Old Navy and Anthro to pick out some cute things!  I love that we can envision who we are going to meet in June!  It really makes it all so much more real!  :)

Thanks for letting me indulge...I loved reading all your comments about how boys bond with their mamas!  My heart is just swelling with joy!!
xo natasha

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Fancies::Bridesmaids

Bridesmaids
First...thank you SO much for all the loving comments and congratulations on our news yesterday!  I am just overwhelmed by all of your sweet comments, tweets, emails, and texts!  Seriously...you make me all feel so loved and I'm still reeling from the news!!  :)
But today, I want to change gears!  I'm flying down to San Diego this weekend to get in wedding mode!  One of my very best friends is getting married this fall and we're going to look at wedding dresses, pick out bridesmaids dresses, see the venue, have dinner with the wedding party...among many other fun festivities!  Cannot wait!  

The colors for my bestie's wedding are a combination of latte, taupe, and rose gold.  All of the bridesmaids get to pick out their own dress, which I think is really cool!  I put together the above board as inspiration....what do you think?  I'm loving the colors!

Hope you all have a great weekend!!

xo natasha

Thursday, January 26, 2012

It's Official!!!


We're having a bouncing baby BOY!!!

To say we're over the moon is an understatement!  Ryan is beaming from ear to ear and I am just thrilled!  Let the planning begin!!

More details to come on Monday!  :)

xo natasha

P.S. Speaking of babies...I put together a nursery board over at a la mode!  Turns out-it would work pretty well for a boy!  Check it out!  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Our Little Family


Our little family is quickly growing come this June, but I thought I would share some photos from our Christmas shoot.  I was actually pregnant here but no one knew yet!  Sneaky!  So I guess you could call this our first "official" family shoot!


The talented Jamie from Rose Street Studio was our photographer!  She did an amazing job for us...Wilson was totally at ease {he's really a big ham at heart!} and I thought she captured us perfectly!  :)

So by now...we will have had our ultrasound {happened this morning!} and we're waiting to find out tonight with Ryan's family.  The cake has been ordered and I simply cannot wait to find out what the gender is!!  Here are some fun predictions:

Chinese Gender Chart: Boy
Heart Rate 140 and above: Girl
Craving Sweets: Girl
No Face Swelling: Boy
Your predictions!  Girl


I promise I'll share with you tomorrow {and will likely tweet about it tonight!}!!!

xo natasha

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Banana Chunk Bread

 Have I mentioned that I have a sweet tooth lately?  Well I do!  And this hit the spot.  I'd like to think the banana made it a teensy bit healthy, but who am I kidding?  It was pure deliciousness and I loved every bite of it!

My secret is to not completely mash the bananas.  I like a little chunk of banana thrown into the mix and you can see the texture in the picture above.  

Banana Chunk Bread
{via}
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups mashed overripe bananas {about 4 bananas}.  I leave it more chunky.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.


I serve mine with some butter and cinnamon...super yummy!

What are you craving these days?

xo natasha

Linked to: Tasty Tuesdays

Monday, January 23, 2012

18 Weeks...Gender Reveal this Week!


How far along? 18 Weeks
Total weight gain/loss: So as it turns out, I've really put on 7-8 lbs!  The doctor had me documented at a lower initial weight than I had at home, so I'm tracking right along!
Baby Size: A bell pepper!
Maternity clothes? Bought some maternity leggings at Target yesterday.  Also loving the Liz Lange tanks...super comfy and long.
Stretch marks? Not yet!
Sleep: Sleeping well, though I'm worried our mattress top might be too soft!  Starting to get those aches and pains I've been reading about.
Best moment this week: FINALLY seeing the doctor this past Monday!  Baby Schue is healthy and we could hear all kinds of kicks during the heart monitor check.  We also get to find out the gender THIS Wednesday!!  Woo hoo!!
Miss Anything? Not missing too much other than the obvious glass of wine. 
Movement: I know he or she is bouncing around in there...but I'm just feeling the occasional flutters and kicks.  Ready for it to be more consistent and enough for Ryan to feel!
Food cravings: PB&J sandwiches and chocolate oatmeal cookies.  All the healthy stuff!  ;)
Anything making you queasy or sick: I don't think I'll ever look at a raw onion again...other than that...nope!
Have you started to show yet: Definitely rocking more of a pronounced belly. 
Gender: We find out Wednesday!!  Last chance to vote on the sidebar...looks like the majority is girl right now!  :)
Labor Signs: No
Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Mood? Much happier this week now that I know everything is on track!
Looking forward to: FINDING OUT THE GENDER!!  Haha, can you tell I'm excited?!  I'll make the announcement on Thursday!  :)

On another note, Ryan and I went to Barnes and Noble yesterday and started collecting books for baby.  We bought, Love You Forever, Jamberry, Each Peach Pear Plum, The Giving Tree, and The Runaway Bunny!  There is something to be said about browsing a bookstore.  Half the books I bought were childhood favorites that I forgot about, but instantly remembered upon seeing the cover.  You just can't experience that online!  I'm so excited to collect books for our little one...Ryan is going to start reading each night so baby can bond with him too!  Do you have a favorite childhood book?  I would LOVE to hear!

xo natasha

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Friday Fancies::Go To Outfit

Airport Attire

Scarf // Tank // Sweater // Jeans // Bag // Sunglasses // Flats

 The outfit to the right pretty much embodies my ideal outfit.  Scarf...check!  Flats...check!  Boyfriend jeans...check!  Check check check!  It's the perfect outfit for the weekends or traveling...heck, throw a pair of heels on and it's date night ready too!

This week, I wanted to recreate this outfit my way!  While I tend to lean more towards neutrals with my staple wardrobe items, I love to add a punch of color in accessories.  The hot pink scarf and cobalt blue flats are ideal for any outfit.  Of course a great pattern always adds a nice touch to an otherwise muted color palette.

What is your "go-to" outfit?

xo natasha


Schue Travel::Charleston

 Hi Friends!

I am super excited to bring back Travel Schue, which is a series that gives us a peek into the perfect travel guide to a fabulous city!  This week, the beautiful and stylish Natalie from Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers is here to dish on Charleston!


Have you ever visited her blog?  If not, you're definitely missing out!  She has an amazing fashion sense, food palette, and an adorable family!  I know we would be besties if {and when!} we are ever to meet!  And I think I could easily plan a trip to Charleston to make it happen...it sounds like such a charming town and Natalie's guide below definitely makes me want to book a ticket today!  So without further adieu...here is the ultimate guide to Charleston!

***

I was beyond excited when Natasha asked me to guest post for her travel series. I am not a native Charlestonian but I have lived here 5 years and traveled and worked this area for 3 years before that, so I know the area pretty well and consider it home. If you have never been to Charleston trust me you need to visit. It is a gorgeous little city with so much historic charm. Here are a few my favorite things in the city (and it was hard to narrow down because they are so many great places to see here!):

 EAT
Charleston is filled with so many amazing restaurants so it is hard to narrow it down but here are a few of my favorites.

CAROLINA'S RESTAURANT
10 Exchange Street
This restaurant is tucked down a side street downtown. I love the vibe and the decor. They have the most amazing truffled fries and burgers here.


CYPRESS
167 East Bay Street
One of my all time favorite nice restaurants in town. The Wasabi Crusted Tuna is off the charts as is the Lavender Martini!


THE GLASS ONION
1219 Savannah Highway
This is more casual restaurant not actually downtown but it is worth the drive to it! They use all local ingredients and switch their menu daily. I love their Bibb Salad with pickled veggies and homemade Buttermilk Ranch.



DRINK

HUSK
76 Queen Street
The bar at Husk is one of my favorite bars to grab a drink. Husk was voted best restaurant in America this year so the food is pretty amazing too. The bar has such a cool vibe to it and they have tons of delish signature drinks


BIN 152
152 King Street
I am kind of obsessed with this wine bar. Not just for their extensive wine selection but for their Charcuterie plates. They will pick a selection of meats and cheeses that pair well with your wine choice. I seriously dream about that meat and cheese plate!



SHOP
 I am lady that loves to shop!

HAMPDEN CLOTHING
314 King Street
This is probably my favorite clothing boutique in Charleston. They have a great range of brands from Rebecca Taylor to Opening Ceremony. There are always gorgeous frocks to be found here!

ANTIQUES OF SOUTH WINDERMERE
22 Windermere Blvd
I love antique/consignment shopping and this place is always filled unique vintage things. They always have great Lucite stuff and lamps!

GWYNNS
916 Houston NorthCutt Blvd
This is the mack daddy of stores in Mt Pleasant. They have make-up, home decor, baby stuff and great clothes and shoes. A real one stop shop! They also run great sales, I always buy all my Tory Burch shoes here on sale!

PLAY

RAINBOW ROW/THE BATTERY
If you visit Charleston you must take a stroll down Rainbow Row and the Battery. Beautiful Historic homes line the streets on the water downtown.


SC AQUARIUM
If you have kids the Charleston Aquarium is pretty sweet. I take my little man there all the time and he loves it! Even if you don't have kids it is pretty fun to look at the sea life!

ART GALLERIES
Charleston has some of the best art galleries around. Once a month they do an art walk here were you can stop in the galleries have a glass of wine and view the art. I highly recommend this!

You can check out two of my favorite local artists, Sally King Benedict and Kate Long Stevenson while you are looking!


Ventura by Sally King Benedict

XI.I by Kate Long Stevenson 

Happy Travels and I hope this guide helps! xoxo

***

Ok, do you want to eat and shop your way through Charleston now?  That wine bar looks amazing and so does Gwynn's for the sales!  :)  Thanks to Natalie for being here today!

Your can check out the other "Schue Travel" features below:

New York
Chicago

xo natasha

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Working Wednesday: OOTD

I haven't done an OOTD in a while, so I thought I'd share a recent outfit!


Blouse: Patterson J. Kincaid {similar here}
Leggings: Express
Boots: Steven
Sweater: Forever 21

And here's my hair on the second day after curling.  I  re-curled the front, but it stay put for the most part which is SO unlike my hair.  Definitely worth looking into this curling wand.

And here's a little bump shot...for good measure!  :)

Last, I want to announce the winner of the Silver Lining Decor necklace giveaway!


Haley of A Dash of Kennedy!  Congratulations!!!

xo natasha

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cheese Tortellini Soup


I can't think of anything better than a warm hearty soup on a cold winter's night!  This soup is the perfect blend of everything I love about dinner: Pasta...cheese...and veggies.  It's a great alternative to pasta night...this tortellini goes a long way!  And I love that the spinach adds a nice healthy aspect too.

Cheese Tortellini Soup {from Annie's Eats}
Yield: 3-4 servings 

Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
  • 9 oz. tortellini, any variety (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach, loosely packed
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated Parmesan, for serving
Directions:
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onions to the pan and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.  Add in the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, just until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Mix in the oregano and diced tomatoes.  Add the broth to the pot.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Add the tortellini to the pot and cook according to the package directions.  One minute before the tortellini is fully cooked, stir in the spinach.  Remove from the heat.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve warm with grated Parmesan as desired.

And it's super easy too...perfect for a weeknight dinner!  :)
Hope you enjoy!  Bon Appetit!

xo natasha

Linked to: Tasty Tuesdays

**Last day to enter this necklace giveaway!  Winner announced tomorrow!**

Monday, January 16, 2012

Going on 17...Bump Update!

{Sweater-Free People}

How far along? 17 Weeks, 3 Days {6 days today}
Baby Size: An onion...5 lbs and 5 oz
Total weight gain/loss: 4-5 pounds...I'm noticing that the scale is slowing making its way up!
Maternity clothes? Still enjoying my leggings...thinking about buying some maternity leggings soon.
Stretch marks? No...thankfully!
Sleep: Sleeping well still!
Best moment this week: Feeling good and telling more people I work with!  It's like Christmas Morning every time!  :)
Miss Anything? Honestly...I miss enjoying food the way I used to.  It's so hit or miss on what sounds good, which is pretty sad.  I'll tell hubby that baked potatoes sound awesome for dinner only to realize, I'm really craving chicken nuggets.  I'm all over the place!  Good thing I have a husband who's super patient with me!
Movement: Actually no.  Maybe last week was a false alarm?  I haven't feel anything as significant as what I thought I felt last week! 
Food cravings: This week...soy chai lattes sound yummy!  Still loving PB&J sandwiches too.
Have you started to show yet: I'm definitely getting rounder, though I can conceal it pretty well.  Still fitting in my pencil skirts at the moment {which is probably hard to believe from my photo!}
Gender: Hoping to find out soon!
Labor Signs: No
Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: I think this week I was a little more moody than usual...see below:
Looking forward to:  So I am looking forward to my doctor appointment today because it got cancelled last week...much to my chagrin.  I haven't seen my doctor since Thanksgiving, though I did get my health scan at 11 weeks...so it's been a little while.  I'm just SO ready to finally check in and hear how I'm progressing!  Fingers crossed for us today!

OH and so many of you asked to see my hair with my new curling wand {last mentioned here}...so here it is!  I'll report back later this week with a "second day" hairstyle so you can see how well it holds.  

xo natasha


PS Schue Love was featured as "Best of the Web" this week on Pocketchange!  Check it out here!


PPS...only two more days to enter my giveaway!  Enter here!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Fancies::Nudes & Neons

Nude & Neon

Happy Friday!

If you've been reading the blogs, perusing Pinterest, or flipping through magazines, then you know as well as I do how big neon is right now!  It just keeps popping up, so I am doing an obligatory post in honor of this sensation.

Neon reminds me of the 90's...anyone else?  But of course, it's so much more sophisticated now.  I am craving a neon yellow skirt right now...which is unfortunate since I have an ever-growing belly!  :(  This skirt is just lovely...it will transition well into spring.  I think it's important to pair neon with a neutral and this sweater does this trick.  It's got interesting sleeves which makes a statement piece on its own.

Neon accessories are super hot right now...I love the painted crystal with natural crystal..so chic!  And how adorable is this clutch?  Of course the flats are one of a kind!

Last, have you heard of Bobbi Brown's latest line, Nudes & Neutrals?  I love the pops of color and honestly can't believe Bobbi put a edgy line out like this one.  But I have to say, I love it!  And it really compliments the trend right now too!

What do you think of neon?

Hope you have a great weekend!

xo natasha

Pssst!  Don't forget to enter to win this necklace!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Online Shopping Confessions


I know...I know...Christmas just passed, so what the heck am I doing buying stuff already?  Well the truth is, I get inspired!  By traveling down south, seeing ideas on your blogs...and taking advantage of the sales!  :)  And I always love seeing what you all are loving in the retail world, so I'm sharing the love.

I am seriously obsessed with the Enzo Milano curling wand!  My hair NEVER holds curl...so I rarely bother even trying, but this product is a dream come true.  Not only does my hair hold curl all day long, but it's super easy and fast to use.  I'll post some pictures of my hair soon!

I bought this cute chevron calendar for my desk at work.  I ordered it in all green and love it!

So I actually didn't buy this online, it was a birthday present, but I adore this lululemon bag {no longer available, similar bags found here}.  I think it will work well as a baby bag actually...what do you think?

Speaking of baby...we've started looking at cribs!  Here are the two that are topping the list:

This is the Babyletto Modo 3 in 1 Crib.  Super chic and modern...and Walmart carries a similar crib for less!  I've heard this crib is quite low though...measuring at only 35 inches high.  Since neither Ryan or I are considered "short" I worry this might not be a feasible option!

This is the Pottery Barn Larkin Fixed 4-in-1 Crib!  Much more traditional and classic.  I also love that this can be converted into full size bed.  And how cute is this bedding?  Kind of in love!  :)

Which do you prefer?  Any other suggestions?

I also ordered a super cute cable knit cardigan from Forever 21, but in true fashion, it's already disappeared from their website!  I'll have to take a picture...it hits at my knee so it's super long and comfy!

Ok that's all for this edition of Online Shopping confessions!  Hope you all have a great day!

xo natasha

PS...don't forget to enter to win my Silver Lining Decor necklace here!
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