Sunday, July 31, 2011


On Friday, my best friend from high school (LET) came to visit me just to hang out at my apartment for a couple of hours since she had plans in Raleigh for the weekend. The last time I had seen her was New Year's at Malaprops Bookstore in Asheville (we were both in town for the Avett Brothers concert... I will have to post again later about how obsessed I am with them), and even then I only got to talk to her for a few minutes. *Here is where I give credit to JMC for being the one who found her in the bookstore and brought her to me. But anyway, it had been basically a lifetime since I had seen her last, which is totally unacceptable and totally my fault (sowwy LET).

So as we are just sitting on the couch in my apartment (which she had never even seen... again, unacceptable) and just generally catching up on eachother's lives, she introduced me to Pinterest.

I had sort of been hearing of Pinterest lately, but I didn't have much information on it. Now I'm hooked. Much like StumbleUpon, Pinterest allows you to surf through things that most interest you by category. I'm pretty sure Pinterest will become my new obsession.

So, thanks LET for inviting me to Pinterest. I can't wait to read your blog (Made for this moment.) and follow your pins!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Merritt's Store & Grill

If you like BLTs, Merritt's Store & Grill is probably the best place in the world (okay, I don't know about the world, but definitely in the state of North Carolina), to get one.

I had heard about Merritt's from a number of articles, most of them with a title to the effect of "Best 100 Restaurants in NC." So, naturally, I had always been meaning to go there, especially when I realized that it was a couple blocks from my office. Never in my four years at Carolina did I make it over there, though, which was a HUGE mistake.

It turned out to be the perfect opportunity to go for the first time last week when one of my good friends who is in dental school picked me up to have lunch and suggested we go there. And then I went again on Monday for lunch because it was that good. JMC is upset with me for going twice without him since he has never been before either, so I promised we would go on Saturday when his mom and grandma are in town to visit. So that will be three times for me in 8 days. Obsession.

Merritt's is a perfect Chapel Hill restaurant for a few reasons:
1. Their food is delicious (duh). Their ingredients are always fresh and the quality of their food takes precedence over everything else. And you can get a single, double, or triple BLT on a wide variety of breads. Perfection.
2. They are proud of their history and have kept things the way they were since they opened during the Great Depression. Except for they added a credit/debit card machine (which is awesome).
3. They have a parking lot. Even though it's small, its one of the biggest in Chapel Hill. If you know anything about parking in Chapel Hill, you know that it's the biggest pain in the you-know-what. If you don't know anything about parking in Chapel Hill, don't come here and try to park somewhere if you're not sure you're allowed to. You WILL get towed.
4. The people are ridiculously nice. Everyone is happy to be there and is always willing to give you a warm welcome when you walk in the door.

If you're ever in Chapel Hill, Merritt's is a place you shouldn't pass up. In fact, now I'm craving one of those BLTs... could I make it four times in eight days?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Must-Haves for Basic Jewelry

When it comes to jewelry, I'm not big on bulky pieces. While I love some sparkle or bright color in an accessory, its the most basic pieces that usually draw my eye. Here are a few things that tend to be my staple jewelry items:

Tiffany Pearls. Earrings, bracelet, necklace. Do I really need to say more?

Kate Spade Basic Stud Earrings. They come in round and square, as well as transparent or opaque. The Round ones are called "Gumdrops" and the square ones are "Sweet Nothings." I have these in about eight different colors (mostly thanks to JMC's mom). but my favorite pair might be the round emerald green ones, which happened to be my first pair. They are the best basic earrings that I own, besides my Tiffany pearls of course.

Michael Kors Watches. Before I graduated a couple months ago, there were very few girls that I knew who didn't own a Michael Kors watch. Personally, I have the rose gold one that JMC got me for Valentine's Day (shown at the right). I also have a tortoise shell watch that I love, but its the one made by Fossil. As much as my watch was a fashion statement at first, I have grown addicted to it and have learned to tell time on it without having to stare at the face for 5 minutes (I've had to learn, since its pretty awkward when someone asks you what time it is because you have a watch on and you pull out your cell phone - totally guilty).

Kate Spade Idiom Bangles.
The two that I have are the "A Shining Light" and "A Feather In Your Cap" (both shown at right). These bangles are SOOO cute. Just enough pattern and design to attract the eye, but not too much as to overwhelm an outfit. Plus, they have the cutest sayings inside!

Alexis Bittar Tapered Bangles. I own four of these and have already bought one for one of my best friends (KPB) as a gift for her birthday! I have light blue, silver, black, and a tealish-green (most recent addition to the collection that JMC got me for our anniversary). I bought KPB a blush pink one that I hope she loved. These bangles are the most basic bracelets that go with EVERYTHING. I'm coveting the gold one right now.

A basic statement necklace. This may seem like a contradictory statement, but in all seriousness, every girl needs a necklace that will go with almost anything while still taking an outfit up a notch. My favorite necklace has to be the one that JMC's sister-in-law got me for Christmas from Ann Taylor LOFT. Its a simple medium-length, bronze-colored metal chain with a couple clusters of rhinestones. For those of you who have HandPicked nearby, I have found some great, unique pieces there for very low prices.

What are your basic jewelry staples?

Friday, July 22, 2011


I had the most epic burger for dinner last night.

First of all, Sandwhich is a pretty well-established restaurant in Chapel Hill. For those of you who know the area, it used to be located in The Courtyard behind Penang, but it somewhat recently relocated to the small building right next to McDonalds on Franklin Street. Their gourmet sandwich selection is to die for!

Its funny, because usually when I go to Sandwhich, I get the Outrageous BLT (roasted jalapenos, avocado, bacon, L, T, etc), and I didn't actually know that the restaurant had burgers. I guess I should have paid more attention to the neon sign that says "hamburgers" in the window?

Boy was I missing out. Last night, I ordered Sandwhich to be delivered to my house by Tar Heel Takeout. I never ordered from Tar Heel Takeout ONCE when I was in college (mostly because there is a $5 delivery fee), but as I sat here on my couch watching Bones and not wanting to leave until I found out who at Dr. Brennan's class reunion murdered two girls from their graduating class, I finally decided that I was lazy busy enough to pay someone extra money to bring my food to me.

So I was looking at the menu and I didn't want to order the same old thing that I usually do... and then I saw they had burgers. AND THEN I saw they had an Outrageous Burger... AKA my favorite sandwich in BURGER form. I can only imagine the geniuses in their kitchen conspiring: "How can we make this delicious sandwich even better?" and the only logical answer was "add hand-formed, all-natural hormone & antibiotic free beef, cooked medium." On top of all that deliciousness, they add this stuff they call 'whichsauce... which I cannot even begin to describe (maybe because I ate the burger too fast).

Long story short, you should totally get a burger at Sandwhich. Even if you don't like jalapenos and avocado and all that stuff, they have other burgers too that have to be just as delicious.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Meat House

If I could dream up the most perfect, amazing grocery store, I'm pretty sure it would come out looking exactly like The Meat House. Walking into this store puts me in a good mood, no matter how the rest of my day has been (ask JMC... sure, its kind of weird that I love a grocery store this much). If you have never been to The Meat House, you need to find the one closest to you and go there as soon as possible. If there is no Meat House near you, I am deeply and terribly sorry.

JMC and I both grew up in Charlotte (our parents live 3 minutes from each other), and the first time I ventured into food heaven was at the Blakeney location of the Meat House with my mom. Between the free samples and the OTT (over-the-top) selections of salsas, cheeses, breads and craft beers, I was hooked for good.

Luckily, when we got back to Chapel Hill, JMC and I saw that they were opening a location right near our favorite Mexican restaurant, Cinco de Mayo!

The Meat House is "your neighborhood butcher," except its a chain. Only its not your average, mediocre chain store. They carry the freshest meats that are soaked in marinades that will make your mouth water the minute you walk in the door. They don't just carry meat, either. You can basically do all of your grocery shopping there. They sell spices, breads, locally-grown produce, cheeses, salsas, dips, and a great selection of craft beer. They really try to cater their selection to the community they are in. For instance, they carry Maple View Farm's milk and ice cream at the Chapel Hill location, which is a dairy farm in nearby Hillsborough.

So anyway, where else but our favorite place ever would we stumble across only the most legendary man in UNC history? We met Dean Smith.

Now if you know anything about college basketball AT ALL, you should know who Dean Smith is. He is amazing and is easily in the top 5 people I would want to meet EVER. And, he told JMC I was pretty :).

Anyway, here are some suggestions on things to buy from there:

Steak Tips in just about any marinade (Meat House marinade is probably the best, but others are delicious too!)
GARLIC BREAD. I put this in all caps because it's THAT good.
At least try their balsamic/olive oil on bread. They have samples and it is literally the best balsamic I've ever had.

So, in summation, The Meat House is the best place ever.

Starting Off

I've been a huge fan of reading blogs for a while and have finally gotten around to starting one myself. Currently, I'm living and working in Chapel Hill after graduating from UNC in May. Much like many recent alums, I'm sure, I still have not quite figured out what I want to do with my life, so for right now I'm just trying to explore the things I really enjoy. In a basic sense, I want this blog to follow the adventures of my early-twenties while I explore "being a real person."

I plan on writing on many different subjects, mostly including two of my favorite things: shopping and food. Every once in a while I may throw in something out of the ordinary, it just depends on where life is taking me at that moment!

I like to think of myself as a pretty savvy shopper (although the b-friend will tell you differently, I'm sure). I don't particularly like to buy things that aren't on sale, unless they are staple items that aren't discounted very often (Jack Rogers are my weakness... I have 8 pairs of Navaho sandals). But anyway, there's not much I love more than a good sale, so I'll be sure to post when I find something worthwhile.

I love to cook and try out new recipes as much as possible. I'm currently working through a couple of cookbooks:

The New American Heart Association Cookbook, 7th Edition 


Cook Yourself Thin: Skinny Meals You Can Make in Minutes 


The Big Book of Potluck 

When I'm too lazy or tired to go to the grocery store/throw something together, my boyfriend (from here on referred to as JMC) and I like to explore restaurants in the Chapel Hill/Durham/Raleigh area. We try to go to new places as much as possible (although a lot of the time we end up at the same few places... we're creatures of habit). I'll be sure to post recipes and meals that stand out.

Stay tuned for a few posts that are already in progress!