Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Digs for Not Too Shabby

Well this is a little late coming, but Not Too Shabby has a new location! I (crazily) decided to have a baby and move the store all in the same month. Not sure what I was thinking, but we did it! With a lot of help from Danny and his Father, who did all the looks amazing, exactly how I envisioned it. We re-opened in November and are looking forward to our new adventure. Take a peek inside...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sophie Bella Britson

She's 3-weeks-old already! Introducing Sophie Bella. Born on October 27, 2009, at 12:49 pm. She weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces and measured 19 1/2". She's perfect in every way and we are so thrilled she is finally here. She has a ton of black hair like I did as a baby, but that's where the similarities stop with Mommy...think this little one may be all Daddy! Drew loves his sister and kisses her all the time; in fact, he calls her Miss Kissy.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Turkey Bacon Club Wrap

Finally I'm posting a somewhat healthy recipe! It could have something to do with my "size" at 35 weeks into my pregnancy.

These are so tasty! If cut into small sections, they would be fabulous for parties as well. I used the tortillas in the recipe, but there are now a big variety of different tortilla flavors that sound amazing...I also picked up some Jalapeno Cheddar ones. So good!

via Winterwheat

1 Sun Dried Tomato Tortilla Wrap
1-2 Tbl Whipped Cream Cheese
1 Tbl Diced Red Bell Pepper
1-2 Tbl of Crumbled Bacon
A Couple Shakes of Italian seasoning
5 Slices of Roma Tomato, Thin
Baby Spinach Leaves
Iceberg or Romaine Lettuce Leaves
Thin Slices of Baby Swiss Cheese
Thinly Sliced Turkey Breast to Cover Filling

Place the tortilla on a piece of wax paper. Assemble ingredients in the order they are listed. Roll the wrap as tightly as you can; roll the whole wrap in the wax paper and fold the ends. Refrigerate about 30 minutes and the unroll and slice in half.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Our baby turned 5-years-old on August 26th and to celebrate we let him choose five things he wanted to do for his birthday. So here is a little recap of his activities.
1. Putt putt of course! "Thankfully" we live in the putt putt capital of the world (or at least that's what they tell us) so this was no problem.

2. Jetskiing with Daddy on the Intracoastal Waterway and out at Bird Island.

3. His favorite indoor playground at Jungle Rapids in Wilmington, NC. This place is kiddie heaven.

4. A little ice cream before hitting the wonderful Hugh McRae park in Wilmington, NC.

5. And we ran out of time due to Kindergarten beginning, so we did not make it to a Pelican's game. Instead, Nanny and Grandad took him to play a few games of bowling.
So my little Sugar Booger, hope you have a great year being 5! We love you, love you, love you!!

Monday, August 24, 2009


I know all Parents knows what "this" day feels like, so I won't elaborate. Being pregnant and hormonal didn't help the emotions, but I think I did pretty well. Drew, on the other hand, was raring to go! Best of luck to you my baby in this new phase of your life...I know you'll do great.

Monday, July 27, 2009


It's obvious at this point that I should have done a food blog! I'm sure after the baby is here, I won't have time to make all these wonderful treats, so maybe I'm overcompensating for that? Kind of like nesting (which I've never done by the way), but baking instead? I've been on the hunt for brownies that Danny will approve of. He prefers the box mix brownies...gasp. I make wonderful brownies by the way, but he claims my favorite recipe for brownies tastes more like cake (and they do, but I love them!). So really I just made these for him. Right.


photo and recipe via Cooking On the Side

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
*1 1/4 cups Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch pan.

In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the heat (or microwave) briefly, just till it’s hot, but not bubbling; it’ll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating the butter and sugar a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.

Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder and vanilla. Add the eggs, beating till smooth; then add the flour and chips, beating till well combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the brownies for 28 to 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out dry (though it may have a few crumbs clinging to it). The brownies should feel set both on the edges, and in the center. Remove them from the oven, and after 5 minutes loosen the edges with a table knife; this helps prevent the brownies from sinking in the center as they cool. Cool completely before cutting and serving.

*I substituted Dutch-Process Cocoa with Nestle's Sweetened Cocoa using the following formula:
--3 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder plus a pinch (1/8 teaspoon) baking soda. Eliminate the baking powder when making this substitution.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Okay, I had some ripe bananas to use up, so I had a decision to make. I had two new recipes I wanted to try out (sick of banana bread): Banana Bundt Cake or Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting! Which one do you think won out? Knowing I was making a bad decision, I asked Danny for a second opinion...didn't take long for him to decide either. Banana Cake it was! Excellent choice taste wise, bad choice for my already expanding behind! I was doing so well too. I had made it through half my pregnancy without baking sweets, and now...I've caved. But at least I'm making sweets that involve fruit right? Well here it is, truly scrumptious!BANANA CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
via evilshenanigans

1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 9″ cake pans with non-stick spray.

Peel your ripe bananas and mash then with a fork until they are mostly mush. Pour the buttermilk into the bananas and mix well; set aside. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter and sugar until well mixed and lighter in color. Add the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla. Mix well. Add the dry ingredients and the banana mixture in three installments, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.

Divide the batter between the two prepared pans. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Allow the cakes to cool for ten minutes in the pans, then turn out to cool completely on racks.

While the cake cools, prepare the frosting by creaming the cream cheese with the butter, then add powdered sugar and vanilla. Fill and coat the cake; chill for one hour before slicing. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Here is a great summer meal. This was so simple to make, had very few ingredients, and tasted so good! This is a definite make-again meal. I halved this recipe and it was just enough for the three of us.

from "Everyday Food"

Makes 4 - 6 servings

Grilled tomatoes (recipe follows)
1 pound linguine
Coarse salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving (we used fresh Romano)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 pound linguine. Cook according to package directions. Drain; return to pot.

Add oil, Parmesan, and grilled tomatoes. Divide among bowls, and serve immediately with more Parmesan.


3 pounds plum (Roma) tomatoes, cored and halved
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat grill to high. In a bowl, toss tomatoes, olive oil and thyme. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Starting with cut sides down, grill tomatoes until soft and charred, 8 to 12 minutes per side.

Return tomatoes to bowl; cut into rough pieces.

Monday, July 13, 2009


If I lived in Missouri, I would buy it! My cousin Nicole has her house up for sale and she's done such a great job with it, I wanted to share...if anyone is interested, feel free to make an offer (maybe I can get a small percentage Nicole?). Here you can see more photos and check out all the specifics.
Great curb appeal and sweeping front porch - complete with porch swing and vintage craftsman-style front door!
Enter the large, open living and dining rooms to find original unpainted millwork, arched doorways, vintage hardware, gleaming refinished oak hardwood floors and newer lighting!
The renovated kitchen features a large open pass-thru to the dining room, maple cabinets, newer counters, stainless steel appliances and large pantry.
Photos and information from Circa Properties.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


It's fairly amazing that I don't weigh 500 pounds, but I don't. So I'm going to keep on cooking and baking to my heart's content! And of course exercising...ugh. This recipe would not be good for those with say, high cholesterol or dieters, but for those of us living dangerously...go for it! It satisfies all my pregnancy cravings in one shebang!
Recipe from The Pioneer Woman
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded (for ease buy a Rostisserie chicken)
2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup green pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
1 (4 oz) jar diced pimentos, drained
3 cups dry spaghetti, broken in half
2 cups reserved chicken broth from pot
1 tsp Lawry's Seasoned Salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup additional shredded sharp cheddar

Cook 1 fryer and pick out the meat to make 2 cups. Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. DO NOT OVERCOOK. When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients, except the additional cup of cheese. Place mixture in casserole dish and cover with additional cheddar. Bake immediately at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until bubbly.

Number of Servings: 12

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Baked Red Potato Chips

This is my favorite go-to side dish when I need something fast and easy, that requires very few ingredients. I have made it about 10 times since finding it a few months ago. Love them!

Homemade Baked Red Potato Chips
Adapted Recipe from Aggie's Kitchen

6 to 8 medium red potatoes, sliced thin (3-4 for 3 people)
1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and pepper (I use pepper and Season All)
Fresh dill

In a medium bowl, gently toss potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper (or preferred seasonings). Place potato slices on baking/cooling rack placed into a cookie sheet**. Bake in 425 degree oven for approximately 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Sprinkle with fresh dill (and more pepper) and serve with my personal favorite...ketchup!

**Using a baking/cooling rack placed into a cookie sheet is important for air baking and keeping both sides of potato slices crisp**

Hard Work U

We are just getting back from a little family vacation to Branson, Missouri. A place I had been several times growing up, but was able to look at it with fresh eyes as an adult. Upon our arrival, my Parents took us to an intriguing place for lunch at College of the Ozarks. This unique college is situated on a 1,000 acre campus overlooking Lake Taneycomo in Point Lookout, MO. College of the Ozarks has an extremely unique concept among American colleges and universities. Here, not one student pays for their education, rather they work for it. All students--totalling around 1,400--work 15 hours a week at campus jobs at one of the 80 plus work areas on campus (including culinary staff, agriculture, office staff, etc.).

We ate lunch at The Keeter Center, which was by far the most impressive building on campus. This rustic lodge is made up of 30 decorated suites, the William R. Dobyns Dining Room, and several conference and meeting rooms. The thought put into every little detail here was simply amazing! And the food was fantastic...I had the Signature Ham and Cheese with melted cheddar, grilled onions, hickory-smoked bacon and spicy apricot mustard on a soft pretzel roll for $8.95! Delicious!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Wow...we are having a little girl! Just amazing. After thinking we wouldn't have another baby, she is truly a surprise and a gift. Everything looks great at 20 weeks and we are counting down the days until she is here safely and healthy in our arms. Can't wait to see you little one...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I have jokingly begged Drew not to change as he gets older; I've asked him to please not cause me any anguish, heartache or grief, to please always be my angel baby. He is truly perfection, in our eyes at least, and wow does he bring us such incredible happiness. It's impossible to be sad around him, when all he brings is joy.

He has helped ease the pain of losing our first baby boy, Liam, which looking back I never would have thought possible. We need look no further than a child to see what this world should be about: innocence, happiness, love, caring and playfulness. I wish we didn't lose so much of the "good stuff" as we grow older. If I want to skip down the street singing at the top of my lungs, I should be able to right? I honestly think adults would be a lot happier if we could bring "recesses" back into our lives! Long live childhood...


We have a new shipment of GurglePots coming in this week in a variety of wonderful colors! These colorful fish pitchers produce a "gurgle" sound when you pour your drink out. If you want to hear what they sound like, go to GurglePot and see why these have been such a huge hit at Not Too Shabby.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Alright, gourmet this recipe is not. But fun to make with the kids, yes. I could easily post a recipe every day, but I will try to not make this a cooking / baking blog. Enjoy!

1 roll refrigerated thin crust pizza dough
Mozzarella cheese
Pizza toppings (ie: pepperoni, green peppers and mushrooms)
1 T olive oil or melted butter
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried Italian Seasoning
2 T grated Parmesan cheese
Marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unroll pizza dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat the dough until it's about 8" x 12". Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 24 equal pieces. Place cheese and desired toppings on each square.

Carefully wrap the dough around toppings; pinch to make sure each ball is sealed. Place seam-side down in a lightly sprayed pie plate. Brush the tops of the balls with olive oil or butter. Sprinkle with seasonings and top with Parmesan cheese.

Cook at 400 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes until tops are a light golden brown. Serve with warm marinara on the side.

{Photos and recipe from Our Best Bites.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Since moving to South Carolina in 1999, I've had the opportunity to see a lot of stunningly beautiful places, but I really fell in love with the gardens at Magnolia Plantation in Charleston. Magnolia Plantation was founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, but based on the fact that I can't find any photos of the home, I'm guessing that I found the gardens much more impressive than the home.

The gardens at Magnolia Plantation have been open to the public since the early 1870's. Many parts of the gardens are even older, some sections more than 325 years old, making them the oldest unrestored gardens in America.


If only I had the talent, the money, and the time, I would throw parties like this every month! These are a few of the amazing party themed creations from Amy Atlas Events. Check out her portfolio for even more table decorating ideas.

}Photo by Karen Mordechai. Via one of my favorite party hosting blogs: Hostess With the Mostess.


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