Happy Saturday!!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

My heart soared today when my eyes fell upon a haystack covered with all sizes of the orangest pumpkins. It may have even skipped a beat... oh, fall, how I delight in you! Have a wonderful weekend, I hope it's speckled with fall accents all around!!
P.s. Enjoy the start of college football season! (Go Hokies!) 

Outer Banks: Part II

Friday, August 30, 2013
^^Who would have guessed we would find one whole conch, much less two^^

^^Look at the steam coming off of those lovely crabs! Nothing like hot fresh crabs at the beach!!^^

Outer Banks Part I

Thursday, August 29, 2013
^^Can I please have this house??^^
 Early morning walk to the pier...you know, a casual two miles.
There's just a special way the sun shines on everything at the beach. 
The sunrises and the sunsets seem to kiss the world with a soft glow.  
The seafood is a must and you can't find it fresher.
The critters found are always a delight.
And the memories made linger until the next trip.
Oh, beach life you make my heart happy.

Wedding Wednesday: Making It All Legal

Wednesday, August 28, 2013
On Monday, Pete and I ventured to my sleepy little hometown's courthouse to apply for our marriage license. If you know anything about obtaining said license, you know it means you are required to get married within the next 60 days. Monday made forty (40!!!) days until our wedding. I want to skip all over the place and hum a never-ending tune! Every step in this journey of ours has been a first for both of us, and sharing that just for ourselves is a feeling I'll treasure always. And similar to the other wedding to-do's this particular task really brought the reality of how close our wedding day is. It was another moment of, "This is really happening. Holy cow! How lucky are we?!". Such comments have not been in any shortage for the past ten months (almost 11)!

Needless to say, strolling across the front lawn into the double doors of the aged brick building felt surreal. I haven't been inside this courthouse since I got a license of another kind, my driver's license; and that's been seven years ago (wow!). Luckily, we had no trouble finding the clerk's office right off the bat, not that we were super excited to vocalize our agenda or anything. And upon asking to apply for our marriage license, the lady behind the old wooden counter asked if we wanted to get married that day. As tempting as it was to take the bait on that offer, we know how much we want to share our vowels and commitment to one another in front of our family and friends. So, after a few seconds of hesitation and realizing we had no witness, we said no ;)

But, we did walk out of that courthouse with all needed documents in hand, beaming grins, and the guarantee that in a little over a month we will be bound to one another not only in God's eyes, but also in the state's. That's right, we're about to become legally tied to one another for a lifetime and I can't wait :)

Outer Banks, We Shorely Miss You

Monday, August 26, 2013
(Pun Intended.) It's only been a day and an hour since returning from the beach. And although I am glad to be out of the sticky air and through with sand being absolutely everywhere, I do miss the sound of the ocean and the hot sun on my skin. I'm grateful for the week of relaxation with fiancé and family. It was a nice escape from reality...well what I could keep my mind from thinking about. Silly, reality, it just creeps in sometimes, you know?
More pictures to come! 

The BEST Dip You'll Ever Eat

Friday, August 23, 2013
Being at the beach turns me into a very snacky person. Just something about relaxing, hot sunshine on my skin, and the unlimited treats packed for the trip turns me into an all-day eater. In honor of this snacky week of mine, I want to share with you one of my favorite snack-happy foods and I have a feeling it will be one of your favorites too!

Spinach. I feel like you either love it or you hate it. Well, I'm one of those people that absolutely loves it. Give it to me in a salad, cooked, sprinkled in an omelet, or best of all in a dip of sorts. If you can imagine, whenever I see a warm, cheesy spinach dip (whether with bacon or artichokes) I just have to get it. Well, I don't have to, I just want to. That means fiancé knows exactly what I'm eyeing on the appetizer menu at restaurants or to which dish I am be-lining to at a gathering.

So to my delight, at a Christmas party in 2011, the hostess had made a delectable hot spinach and bacon dip. Paired with tortilla chips, my taste buds fell in love and I knew I was going to need to ask for the recipe. Since then, this dip has made an appearance at birthdays and other festivities, only lasting for the briefest of moments. Need a hit to serve at your next shindig?? This is it. Your guests will devour. Make sure to make enough, because it's going to a be a show stopper (seriously), and quite possibly a new staple in your home. I'm telling you, it's that good. 

*Recipe is not mine, and was published in a magazine. This is a photocopy of said publication. 
The way mine turned out! 
If you can't read any part of the recipe, please send me an email at {talesoftwohills@gmail.com} or leave a comment so that I can give you the information you need! 

The Easy Life

Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Vacation, one of the loveliest times of the year. And I happen to find myself at the Outer Banks with fiancé and family. For the next handful of days I will be revelling in salty ocean air, fresh seafood, tan lines, and relaxation time. It sure does feel good to have my toes in the sand :)

Hoping you had a beautiful Tuesday!

A Quick Dinner Recipe

Monday, August 19, 2013
I have often found myself excited to cook up an amazing dinner, and by the time it actually comes around for me to get in the kitchen and put it all together, I have lost interest. Well, I have come up with a perfect dinner that will be sure to impress, but calls for 20 minutes in the kitchen tops! Complete win/win! Not to mention, it tastes wonderful, provides delicious leftovers for lunch the next day, and involves minimal clean up!

Quick 'n' Easy Pitas
  • nWhat You'll Need:
    • Turkey burger
    • 1 large green pepper
    • 1 large onion
    • 1 large can of mushrooms
    • 5-pack of whole wheat, round flatbread (you can find them near the deli)
    • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
    • Garlic Salt
    • Olive Oil
    • Butter, I prefer spreadable butter for this
    • Aluminum foil
  • What You'll Do:
    • Preheat the oven to 450. 
    • Cook the turkey burger in its own skillet, sprinkling with garlic salt while it cooks through. Add as much as you like. 
    • In a separate skillet cook the onion and green pepper with a drizzle of olive oil and garlic salt. Cook until they are soft, then add the mushrooms and more garlic salt. 
    • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the flatbread on the pan (you may need more than one pan) and lightly spread butter. Put those in the oven until the butter has melted. Right before you are ready to top them with the meat and veggies, turn the oven to broil. YOU MUST WATCH THEM CAREFULLY OR THEY WILL BURN IN SECONDS! Let the edges crisp, then pull them out. Turn the oven off at this point
    • First layer the turkey burger on the flatbread, followed by the veggies, and topped off with cheese. Put back in the oven just long enough for the cheese to melt. Using a spatula, scoop each one onto a plate and then serve!

Revamping Pillows & Grandmom Time

Friday, August 16, 2013
I am home décor obsessed! And I find particular love for taking something I already own and giving it a facelift. Over the years I have collected my share of decorative pillows, all of which I have eventually outgrown as far as appearance. With some spare fabric tucked away, I opted to recover them instead of investing in brand new pillows. Because sure enough my taste will change and I will no long love these particular pillows quite like I do now. 

This isn't my first pillow rodeo. The summer of 2010, I made five pillows to bring some color and life to my bed. Who did I turn to for guidance and expertise? None other then my grandmother. That woman is a sewing wizard and has been her entire life. She has made me countless clothing, every Halloween costume I ever wore, and taught me a lot about the skill all while sharing life with me. It's one of my greatest blessings having her in my life and having the incredible relationship we have. With a lot of time spent away from my hometown this year, spending time with Grandmom while I am here is one of my priorities. 

So add two and two together, and you see why re-covering pillows with Grandmom is the only way to go. Several hours, multiple seam-ripping moments, and a handful of attempts at threading that darn bobbin later, my less than attractive pillows have been refreshed. And all the while Grandmom and I were goofing off and stacking up quality time together! 

My future home will host these lovely pillows on the family room couches. Without a doubt, every time I look at/use one I will think of my sweet Grandmom :) 

 From my instagram account; join me there

Hill Camping

Thursday, August 15, 2013
This past July (I can't believe it's already gone and August is here!) the Hills all gathered for the annual camping trip. Fiancé and I were pretty stoked for this year's adventures, especially so because of our new hotel...um I mean tent, we recently added to our camping gear. We were so excited to put it to good use and to hang out with family, that the weekend came and went much too fast! But, the couple of days we got to spend with one another were a delight. We had lots of good talks around the night fire (aren't those the best?!), endless card games, time in the river, and a million laughs (thanks moths for all those midnight attacks!). And another a perk of the trip, were the actual bathrooms and bath houses located in the park. For those of you that have camped without these conveniences, you know how grateful I was to have had them! I'm already looking forward to next year's trip. These Hills sure do know how to camp, and although, not technically a Hill yet, next camping trip I will be! So world watch out!!

If only you could see how far back the tent really went...

Campfires during the day, might be one of my favorite things! 

What's a camping trip without s'mores?!?