Lets Talk Soup

Hey y'all and welcome to another WHW! Today I'm talking operation make you hungry before 9am (well, if you like seafood..) I promised myself I'd dive into meal planning and cooking once our kitchen was completed and I'm sure y'all read that multiple times! Well, I kept that promise and I've stuck to the 4 week meal plan I made and so far so good - Basically, I found a template that provided a grocery list, weekly meal plan and then spot for the actual recipe. The grocery list covers everything you need to make 6 meals and each week it gets cheaper because you'll end up having most of the items already from previous weeks.  I filled in 4 weeks worth which meant that a meal wouldn't be repeated for at least a month. (this isn't new to pro-meal-planners) Its really been great and sometimes the weeks are a TAD stretched because we'll have leftovers.

Anyway, I need to share A LOT of recipes but seriously most of them have been so good that I've forgotten to document. The Shrimp and Crab Bisque from two nights ago however was totally worth documenting! (Well...I saved my Instastory and I hope that is sufficient) Y'all, it was SO good and we finished every last drop! Also, the best part is that it is super simple and has a super simple cleanup! So, I hope my fellow seafood lovers enjoy and feel free to share your favorite (easy) weeknight recipes!

Slow-Cooker Shrimp & Crab Bisque
Yield: 8 servings
For the Bisque:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 leeks, washed well and sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups seafood or fish stock
2 cups water
1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup dry sherry (or brandy, cognac, dry white wine)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
1 lb peeled/deveined shrimp
1 cup fresh jumbo lump crab
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Toasted bread or croutons, for serving
For the Crab Topping:
Juice of ½ a lemon
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup fresh jumbo lump crab
Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Bisque:
Heat a skillet** over medium heat and add the oil and butter. Add the leeks and garlic, along with a pinch of salt and the red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the leek mixture to the bottom of your slow cooker pot.
Add in the tomato paste, stock, water, tomatoes, Old Bay seasoning, and sugar, stirring well to combine.
In a mixing cup, whisk together the brandy/sherry and flour until smooth. Stir into the stock mixture. Add in the salt and pepper and cook in the slow cooker on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours.
Taste the bisque base for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Stir in the shrimp, cream, fresh crab, and parsley and continue cooking for another 15 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. Keep warm until you are ready to serve.
For the Crab Topping:
While your bisque is cooking, make the crab topping by combining the lemon juice, mayo, mustards, and parsley in a mixing bowl. Gently fold in the crab meat, being careful to not break it up too much. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper, Keep chilled until you are ready to serve.
To Serve:

Ladle the bisque into serving bowls and top with some of the cold crab salad. Garnish with additional parsley, if desired, and serve while warm with toasted bread of croutons.

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Friday 5

Hey y'all and happy Friday! Cheers to the weekend! We have a birthday party to attend that is princess themed and then an adult day on Sunday to visit some wineries and breweries with another couple so bring it on! I"m linking up today with the usual gang so you should too - Happy weekend! 

1. The head of my high school has invited me to serve on a committee to plan the upcoming 25th anniversary celebration of the school. As an alum, I'm super excited to be apart of this and can't wait to see what they have in mind. (the school has been around a lot longer but faced major integration issues and was renamed and transformed in 1992 in hopes of leaving behind the tensions and struggles it faced for decades)

2. y'all, Society Social shared this on their IG page and I was literally swooning. I need a sun room one day that can have pink furniture and nothing but Lilly accents! Also, if you haven't heard, they have a pilot coming to HGTV and its TOMORROW at 2pm so tune in - its called Carolina Reno.

3. I shared on IG last week that despite our ongoing sectional sofa issues, there are some details in my living room that are slowly coming together and making it my favorite space!

4. And speaking of living room, if you remember awhile back, I posted about yard sale frames being converted and made over - well I scored some more! These frames were originally white with 1990's floral portraits in them. I repainted the frames gold, removed the backing and painted a coat of white over original portrait, added ginger jars to blue matting and voila! I love how they turned out!

5. I have to share a miss Andi pic! This was Miss A on our date at Sweet Frogs - were celebrating another day in "big girl undies" and needless to say Sweet Frogs was a huge hit!

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Hey y'all! I'm just popping in today to say how thankful I am - God is good. Andi and I experienced a car accident last Friday that resulted in my car being totaled. I haven't had an accident since I was in high school and let me tell you that it is a total game changer when there is a child involved. We slid on the ice and lost control and the car swerved off the road into the woods. It was literally like moving in slow motion until a giant stump brought us to a halt. Luckily the car stopped 2 feet from a head on collision with a tree and the driver side took the most of the hits. All of the side airbags deployed and despite some soreness bruising and Andi biting her tongue, we were both ok. You've never seen a Mama get out of an airbag and seat belt and snatch her toddler as fast as I did.

Just remember to always drive safely in bad weather conditions, never underestimate slush and ice and be thankful for every blessing from above. We definitely had a guardian angel. (the picture of the guardian angel pin is something my Mama gave me and I've had it ever since my bad wreck in high school)

I'll report back next week with new home reno pics because we have FINISHED the laundry room, mudroom and office. We've ordered the tile for the kitchen backsplash and that should be in hopefully next week. We also picked up a gorgeous new piece for the dining room that I need to share and updated some things in the living room!

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WHW: Kitchen Almost Finished!

Hey y'all and happy WHW! Remember to link up with Jenn or myself and share what's currently hap-'pinning' in your life! 

Today I'm sharing a little teaser of our kitchen and I'm so over the moon excited about the way it is all coming together. I say 'teaser' only because I still need to stage a few things, add a few things here and there and finish the back splash but for the most part it is complete! I went to Home Depot out of town over the weekend because they have the back splash we want and of course it was not in stock in the store. We're torn between waiting for it to ship or heading into another tile place later in the week to pick some up. Its a smaller, beveled subway tile and I just love it. You'll see in the below comparison picture that we only need to back splash the portions on either side of the stove so it won't take long at all compared to our last home!

Before & After - still need backsplash
via Home Depot here

Also, while Mama, Andi and I were at the bay house for the long weekend, Hubs kicked major you know what on the laundry room/office/mudroom. (he has to work unfortunately) We randomly decided to go super dark on the back cabinetry and leave the uppers white. We also switched out the counter-top to a lighter version that works perfectly between the two! I'm so in love! I'll take more pictures once its acclimated and placed in!

Before & After so far

And a few snaps from our bay weekend! Hope y'all have a great rest of the week!

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WHW: Page Turners

Hey y'all and welcome to another WHW where you can link up with us and let us know what's on your mind this week. We've been doing this for quite some time now and I just want to say thanks to y'all again for always coming back for more! Today I want to share some of my current bedside table reads and also currently whats on deck. My MIL gifts us a new book each Christmas and its always tailored to our specific reading tastes which makes it so much fun. This year she went out of my usual murder/thriller/psycho/mystery genre (yea I know, I like scary or sad... Jenn knows this haha) and gave me the new one from the Bush sisters and I'm thrilled to start it once I finish The Husband's Secret!  

via Amazon
I think she was onto something too and must have sensed a change in taste because all of a sudden y'all...I'm knee deep obsessed with anything...ready for it? NICHOLAS SPARKS. Oh my goodness this is so weird for me but I went on a binge over Christmas break and watched all of the movies I hadn't seen by him. Well, after about the 4th one, I realized how much I loved them and wondered why I hadn't just read one of his books. I quickly researched which ones are not movies yet and made a list. I've ordered 3 and I'm so ready to power through them. I think they will be quick reads which makes them appealing and I've just been on such a romance kick. Plus, they usually draw a few tears so it covers my sadness craving. I watched The Choice, Nights in Rodanthe, The Lucky One, Safe Haven and The Best of Me over break and I am now the proud owner of The Choice! (and Safe Haven) Ha! So SO good y'all! (I'm also currently looking at real estate in every little NC waterfront town but that's neither here nor there)

Here's what I just ordered - let me know your favorites!

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Friday 5

Hey y'all and happy Friday! Its been awhile since I've linked up with the Friday 5 gang and I'm excited to join in on the fun. We got snow last night (as did most of the South) and even though it was absolutely beautiful, it just wasn't enough. I'm all Lorelai Gilmore when it comes to snow - I could see it every day so bring it on! Anyway, y'all have a good weekend and I'll check back next week since our counter tops are being installed Monday. (woot woot!) I'm hoping to have the kitchen photo ready by Wednesday's post but we'll see how it goes!

Here are 5 things that have been on my radar:

1. I ordered this brass bamboo cocktail napkin holder from Emily McCarthy and it is absolutely b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l! Once I pick a napkin, it'll be the prettiest little addition to our barcart!

2. This piece of furniture is SO close to coming home with me. I think we're going to go ahead and pick it up next week! Its the perfect petite size for our dining room but still offers storage and it matches the color of the barcart that will also be in the dining room.

3. Ok y'all, I am DYING to get my hands on a fiddle fig tree (and a mini potted one too) for our living room and/or entryway. I was set on an artificial one but the more I look at them, I think I want a real one. HELP! I have no idea where to get one, how hard they are to care for, etc. Help a sista out y'all!

4. I shared in wednesday's post about this dress but I have to share again just in case there are any left on sale! Tuckernuck is doing their end of the year sale and this dress was marked down to 60 bucks y'all! You can't beat that! Between that and the Lilly Pulitzer sale - I am officially broke!


5. Although I've been having MAJOR issues with my sectional purchase through Joss & Main, I think I'm going to have to make this blue and white umbrella holder my next purchase. (my other purchases from them have been wonderful but lord have mercy on this sectional) the reviews say its way bigger and it would look fab in our entryway!

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WHW: Updates

HEY Y'ALL! Long time no see huh? Sometimes blogging breaks are needed but man do break fly by! I've had two full weeks off from work and now today we're back. Our Christmas was fantastic and I sure hope yours was as well. Christmas through my child's eyes was simply magical and I know it'll be even better next year. (and she's in a big girl bed now!) We spent so much time with both sets of families, had friends in town to celebrate the new year and we have everything done in our kitchen minus the countertops. The countertops are scheduled to be installed by next week I believe and I am SO pumped! I'll update via photos by next Monday!

Oh and guess what? The couch was delivered....and it was wrong...AGAIN! I maintained a decent Christian, Southern-Lady standard attitude but by God Almighty is was hard y'all. So, third time's a charm right? The next one is supposed to be delivered on or before February 3rd and so help me it better be the right sofa. I know I should probably find one and take it home on site but every one I've looked at has been too big and I just love the look of this one that we ordered. Ahhhh whyyyyy!?

This is WRONG! Should be two cushions then middle not 3 cushions then middle!
This is a monster! Nooooo!

Anyway before I leave y'all with a big ole photo dump, I also need to give y'all a PSA: The Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale starts TODAY and Tuckernuck has their big end of the year sale going on as well. I'm talking gorgeous black evening gown - scored it for $60! So, if you have a hankering for some shopping then you're welcome.

This Dress! $67! 

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