Category Archives: Wedding

Whole30 – 2 Weeks Down

Another week of Whole30 in the books!

Picking up where I left off: This week started out with a busy, but nice week – all at home! – and included one of my favorite Whole30 meals to date: Whole30 Hamburgers!

Whole30 Hamburgers | Oysters and Pearls

Said Whole30 Hamburgers garnered a lot of unfair criticism in our house.  That is, before they got eaten.  Wheat was extremely skeptical of my plan to perch a burger, topped with a fried egg, on top of a salad.  He hemmed and hawed and attempted to get me to change the meal plan to hobo pockets instead.  However, I eventually wore him down as I almost always do (he’s doing Whole30 with me, isn’t he? ;) and after a few bites, he declared that they were actually pretty darn delicious.  I concur completely!

The ground beef we picked up from our favorite local butcher, Jones’ Meats, and after Wheat seasoned them with salt and pepper and grilled them, we placed them on top of salad greens, sliced pickling cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, sliced dill pickles, topped them with a fried egg each, and then drizzled sriracha all over the place.  A 100 calorie pack of Wholly Guacamole on top of it all, for me.   So good!

June 11th: for breakfast I inhaled a hard boiled egg with sriracha and 2 juliet tomatoes, along with my usual coffee + coconut oil.  For lunch I had the other half of my hamburger that I couldn’t eat the night before on top of more salad greens, another pickle, and sriracha… all before I hit the road for Atlanta for one of my college besties’ wedding!!

I arrived in Atlanta around 4 and had picked up some roasted, salted cashews and almonds at a gas station pit stop on the way up for snacks.  For dinner, my girlfriend Courtney, her husband Matt and I hit a taco joint for a quick dinner.  I had tacos sans tortillas, which was weird.  And a side of steamed kale.  Not my favorite meal.  Guacamole and salsa help, but it was still weird.  No picture.

June 12th: started this day out with a verse from my devotional (Proverbs 15:23) that I liked so much I copied it down into my food journal:

“A person finds joy in giving an apt reply… and how good is a timely word!”

For breakfast, I had an apple the hotel offered at the front desk on my way to a hot yoga class with Courtney!  We headed to Atlanta Hot Yoga in Buckhead for their 9:30 am Bickram class, based on my fabulous aunt-in-law’s stellar recommendation (check her fashion blog out at Undercover 411 if that’s yo thing).  It was intense but amazing!  A seriously great first hot yoga experience for me.  We left with a yoga high and headed to another one of Aunt Vicki’s Buckhead recs: Cafe Jonah and the Magical Attic.

Whole30 Compliant Meal at Cafe Jonah's in Buckhead, Atlanta | Oysters and Pearls

Here I had fresh pressed juice (hydration flavor – tasty and needed!), a green salad, a salad with mint, green tomatoes, honeydew melon, and cucumbers, smoked salmon with tomatoes and capers, and a side of fruit.  I was starving, it was 100% Whole30 compliant and it was also completely refreshing and delicious!  So glad we stopped in on Friday.  I cleaned my plate and my bowl.

We shopped a bit at Lenox and headed back to Roswell to get ready for evening festivities.  The three of us again left for dinner, this time headed to downtown Roswell (Canton Street) to piddle, eat, and have a couple drinks (not Whole30, I knowwwww) while we waited for the rehearsal activities to be done.  We had an awesome dinner at Salt Factory.  I started off with a salad topped with heart of palm, tomatoes, fresh radishes and herbs.  And I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that I could not resist that goat cheese crostini.  #sorrynotsorry

Whole30 Compliant Salad at Salt Factory, Roswell, Georgia | Oysters and Pearls

 

For my main course, I had the blood orange glazed salmon on top of mashed potatoes.  I’m sure it was somehow not Whole30 compliant per se, but for the most part it checked all the boxes, so I’m going with it.  Plus, it was DELICIOUS.

Blood Orange Glazed Salmon at Salt House, Roswell, Georgia | Oysters and Pearls

 

June 13th: It’s MK and David’s Wedding Day!

I started the day with the hotel’s buffet (which was really, really good by hotel buffet standards). I had lots of bacon, some scrambled eggs, and a mess o’ strawberries.  After breakfast, Courtney and I went on a long (5.5 miles!) walk on a greenway nearby, and picked up cobb salads at Corner Bakery to eat by the pool with our friend Sara.  They were pretty decent – lettuce topped with bacon, avocado, tomatoes and green onions with a vinaigrette dressing.  We skipped the bleu cheese.  After a while by the pool, we got dressed and headed to the chapel to see our friend get hitched!

Our friend Mary Katherine is from Atlanta, but has lived in Shanghai since we graduated from college.  The groom is from LA, but they met in Shanghai.  They’ve travelled all over the world, and their cocktail menu commemorated some of the more special spots.

Globally Inspired Cocktail Menu at MK and David's Atlanta Wedding | Oysters and Pearls

I indulged in the Thailand Tonic, which was as tasty as the flowers were pretty.

Thailand Tonic Cocktail at MK and David's Wedding | Oysters and Pearls

It was the MOST gorgeous wedding.  The ceremony was held at Roswell Presbyterian, which was  beautiful and home for the Bride.  The reception was held across the street at an historic home.  It was simply stunning, just like the couple.  The toasts were so sweet, so heartfelt, that we all teared up.  Even the bartenders were crying!  MK and David are such a special, sweet couple.  I love you both very much!  So happy I got to be a part of their day.

MK and David Get Hitched | Oysters and Pearls

And while everyone was lookin’ pretty, I unleashed my inner nerd and was catching fire flies to show the gals what one looked like up close.  Because I’m cool like that.

Catching Fire Flies | Oysters and Pearls

The food was just as amazing, and I’ll admit, I cheated a bit and indulged in a small serving of the ravioli… along with a ton of veggies, baked chicken, fried green tomatoes, pesto chicken skewers, and hummus on pita (only one little sliver!).  Oh… and some late night pizza back at the hotel.  That one, I am sorry about.  I paid for it all day on Sunday!  But not sorry about staying up late playing Heads Up in the hotel bar with some of my best friends. :)

June 14th: The next morning, MK and David treated everyone who could make it to a fantastic brunch at Public House in Roswell.  I jumped back on the bandwagon with black coffee, an omelette with spinach, bacon, and sundried tomatoes topped with a side of guacamole, plus some fruit.

Whole30 Compliant Omelett at Public House, Roswell, Georgia | Oysters and Pearls

After lingering for far too many cups of coffee, we all finally said our goodbyes and hit the road. I miss them all so much already!  Luckily, we have a couple more reunions already on the books for 2015 – and I’m already counting down the days until we reunite again!  There really is nothing like time spent with college girlfriends.

I took the opportunity of being in a real city to make pit stops at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods for some items we can’t get back in Bainbridge.  And once back in Bainbridge, Wheat and I reconvened over this very tasty, Whole30 approved meal.

Whole30 Squoodles with Shrimp, Sweet Peppers, and Tomatoes | Oysters and Pearls

Squoodles (squash noodles via Spiralizer) sauteed in ghee and minced garlic, along with sweet peppers and halved juliet tomatoes.  (Steps: warm ghee; add garlic, then peppers and tomatoes, then shrimp, then squoodles, then serve.)  Light, healthy, totally delicious, and no guilt whatsoever.

June 15th: Which brings me to Monday, Monday.  I picked up some gluten-free rolled oats at Trader Joe’s, and following the directions, I made some oatmeal (water, pinch of salt, plus some pecans, cinnamon and blueberries).  Not bad!  A little bland, though.  I want to puree some fruits and freeze them in ice cube trays to thaw and swirl into things like oatmeal and chia pudding in place of a sweetener.  Not pictured: I also had a scrambled egg with guac.  EDIT: I had a late night realization that although gluten-free, oats=grass/grain and are not Whole30 kosher.  Oops. Guess I cheated again. 

Whole30 Compliant Oatmeal | Oysters and Pearls

 

For lunch yesterday I had some vegan egg white salad I picked up at Trader Joe’s on the recommendation of my favorite yogi and yoga instructor and health nut and bestie, Ashley.  It was pretty good!  Upon closer inspection, it contains soy, so it wasn’t 100% Whole30 approved, though, so I probably won’t get it again.  We were out of salad greens, so I had it was random veggie plate.  The highlight was the pickled green beans from my sister, Anna Jo, and her husband, Marc!

Whole30 Lunch Ideas | Oysters and Pearls

 

And I’ll pick up next week after that!

Current thoughts on Whole30:

Well currently, Wheat is hangry.  Mostly because I had late night pizza and he didn’t (he stayed behind in Bainbridge to attend another good friends’ wedding!).  We are really missing some foods, but if the late night pizza did anything, it made me realize just what pizza does to me.  I was bloated and ill all the next day, and yesterday morning I woke up with what felt like a hangover – foggy and not sleeping well at all.  I feel so much better today after a full day of getting back on track, even though relatively speaking, let’s be real: it was the healthiest I’ve probably ever been at a wedding!

Anyone got any good Whole30 recipes or tips to share this week?

 

Until Next Time

From Cold Mountain to St. Joe Beach

Welp, I’ve been MIA, but it’s because so many wonderful things have been going on!  And for the first time in a couple years, I’m not going to let blogging stop me from living. ;) But I’m happy to be able to finally share some pictures from the wedding of a very special set of friends!

At the end of February, Wheat and I headed to Cold Mountain, just outside of Asheville, NC, for our friends Zach and Michelle’s wedding.  (Or if you follow me on Instagram, you may know them better as #bigdaddyandtrudywed.)  It was a super small, gorgeous winter affair.  Michelle wanted us to wait to share pictures until they had their big party/reception back at home, so that’s what I did, despite the temptation.  This past week Wheat and I headed to the beach to celebrate 1) our 3 year wedding anniversary on Wednesday (TIME FLIES!) and then celebrate Zach and Michelle all weekend!

Wheat and I laid low Wednesday, went for a long walk on old 98, then went for drinks at the Thirsty Goat and my favorite dinner at Provisions: Angel Hair Ahi Tuna.  It’s maybe one of my top 10 favorite dishes.

Third Anniversary Celebration at the Thirsty Goat, Port St. Joe, Florida  | Oysters & Pearls Provisions Angel Hair Ahi Tuna in Port St. Joe, Florida | Oysters & Pearls

Then Thursday we beached it some, and Michelle and I did some beach deck yoga, and waited for friends to arrive for the weekend of celebrating!  Harold is my fave beach bum. :)

PS That’s Wheat out there on our paddle board.

St. Joe Beach, Florida | Oysters & Pearls

Michelle doing some Beach Rural Yoga | Oysters & Pearls Some Beach Rural Yoga | Oysters & Pearls

Friday we headed back to Provisions for bruschetta (my favorite appetizer and favorite bruschetta ever) and drinks (at lunch, I know!) to wait for another couple/friend to arrive.  We ended up staying for lunch.

Bruschetta at Provisions in Port St. Joe, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

After lunch we beached it some more and then had everyone over for supper.  Saturday we beached it yet again (all day long this time) until everyone had to get ready for Zach and Michelle’s wedding party.  It was phenomenal!  They had Paul Gant doing BBQ, which is always amazing, along with a low country boil, boiled fresh shrimp, and freshly shucked oysters (raw and baked).  It was ridiculous and fabulous and so much fun celebrating our beach besties.

Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

The next picture deserves a story: the Friend Ship was at our wedding, too!  In 7th grade, my dad helped a friend and me re-finish it, and we dubbed it the Friend Ship.  Since then, it’s made more appearances as a boat-load-of-beer than it has as a sailing vessel.  We were glad it could be a friend-ship-full-of-beer for our dear friends!

The Friend Ship Boat-load of Beer, Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

Low Country Boil Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

So without much further ado, here are some pictures I took back in February of the wonderful wedding before the party!  It was on this beautiful terrace on the mountain side.  Oh, and I made my debut as florist at this wedding, thanks to Trader Joe’s, climbing a eucalyptus tree in a friend in Bainbridge’s yard (Thanks, Lauren!), and mutilating my succulent.  It was such a drop dead gorgeous, sweet and simple wedding.  I’m so glad I got to be a part of their big day!

Zach and Michelle's Mountain Wedding | Oysters & Pearls

Zach and Michelle's Mountain Wedding | Oysters & Pearls

Zach and Michelle's Mountain Wedding | Oysters & Pearls

Zach and Michelle's Mountain Wedding | Oysters & Pearls

Zach & Michelle's Mountain Wedding | Oysters & Pearls

Zach’s sister, April, baked the delicious cheesecake (Michelle’s favorite), which they cut the next morning for breakfast wedding cake. :)

Wedding Cheesecake by April Wisdom, Zach and Michelle's Mountain Wedding | Oysters & Pearls

Cutting the Cake: Zach & Michelle's Mountain Wedding | Oysters & Pearls

Congrats Zach and Michelle (and Big Daddy and Trudy)! We love y’all!

Until Next Time

Lemonade Party Punch

Punch has made a come back, yes? Lemonade Party Punch Pin It - Oysters & Pearls

I was lucky enough to be gifted this insanely gorgeous punch bowl from my Aunt ‘Trell (thank you again and again, if you’re reading this!), and I try to use it every chance I get.  This lemonade party punch recipe is a real winner that I fully intend to use for years to come at all sorts of parties.  It just especially fit in with our color scheme for a little bridal shower some friends and I threw for our friend Rebecca a couple weekends ago.  I’m so glad, because it was delicious! Here are a few more shots from the pretty little shower we threw at the Firehouse Art Gallery (we rented the Kirbo room).

I picked up the cupcakes from Smallcakes in Thomasville.  Jessica and her sweet friend Michael did the balloons and tassels, which were adorable!  We had a delicious spread of brunch nibbles.

Bridal Shower Brunch - Oysters & Pearls

And what brunch celebration is complete without mimosas?

Have a Mimosa! - Oysters & Pearls

Lemonade Party Punch Recipe
adapted via Savor Home

ingredients

– 3 cups water
– 1/4 cup sugar
– 1 package frozen concentrated lemonade (thawed)
– 1 package  frozen concentrated orange juice (thawed)
– 2 cups cranberry juice
– 2 liters lemon-lime soda, chilled
– Freshly sliced lemons
– Ice

instructions

In a large pitcher, add sugar to warm water and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Add the lemonade, orange juice, and cranberry juice.  Cover and chill the mixture for at least a couple of hours.  When you’re ready to serve the punch, pour the mixture into a punch bowl, add the lemon-lime soda, ice, and sliced lemons.  Stir and enjoy!

Best Ever Party Punch - Oysters & Pearls

Might I add that this was delicious with a float of champagne on top?  Yes, I might.

Until Next Time