food, travel, lifestyle, and a hearty serving of motherhood

Month: July 2014

Summertime Hiking

Just a quick little post to share a handful of today’s early-morning photos from my hike with Richard around Bond Lake in Cary — as well as a few that I snapped on my own while at Apex Community Park.





I hope that you, too, were able to enjoy some of the cool weather that today so graciously offered.

IT’S JULY, people!

And we’ve got our WINDOWS open.

And let me tell you — the cats are loving every minute of it.

xo Cassie

Propagating Basil

Aaaaah summertime food.

Olive oil, heirloom tomatoes, oregano, baguettes, balsamic glaze, rosemary, mozzarella, basil… ((singing)) These are a few of my favorite things!

But today is all about basil!


After an overflowing (and delicious) homemade caffè latte, I ventured outside to tend to the patio plants before the 93° heat rolls in.

Yeah, yuck.

While in DC, my brother showed me some tiny basil cuttings that he had snipped from a larger plant and was “propagating” to grow new plants. I had never tried propagating anything, so I decided to give it a whirl at home… since we’ve got basil galore to snip from!

The process couldn’t be simpler.

Cut basil from the top, keeping 1-2 pairs of leaf nodes. Give yourself enough of a “stem”, so that the leaves can help suspend the cutting over water. These photos show two different cups because I started my cuttings in espresso cups (so cute!), but quickly realized that the clear plastic “World Beer Festival” tasting cups that we had lying around were the perfect size — AND we were able to watch the root progress without having to pull the cuttings out of the water.


Okay, obviously these pictures do not show what happens “overnight”, but the roots appeared and grew about 1.5 inches in just about 3 weeks.

Basil cutting 1

Basil cutting 2

Basil cutting 3

Since the roots seemed strong and plentiful, I decided that today was the day that these new “baby basils” were ready to venture out into the REAL WORLD.

In other words, it was time for them to meet soil.

Planting basil

I also did some new cuttings and harvested more basil (likely, for pesto) before heading inside to beat the heat.

Harvesting basil 1

Harvesting basil 2

Washing basil

Drying basil

Seriously, is too much basil even a thing?

Didn’t think so.

Already have a basil plant?

Try propagating it, so simple and fun — it’s like a science project!

xo Cassie

Wedding: More Details

Countdown to “I do.” – 157 days!

It pretty amazing how much planning goes into a modern-day wedding.

The dress, the flowers, the cake, the bridal party attire, the music, the honeymoon… Sure, all of these things come to mind right away.


I’m currently in the process of finalizing the bridal party attire (dresses have been picked out, now we’re onto shoes!), though Richard and I have yet to look at menswear for the guys. We will likely visit Men’s Wearhouse in the next couple of weeks to begin narrowing down colors and styles. I’m imagining grey suits and vests, black ties, and black shoes — there will likely be a post ALL about formal menswear when those decisions need to be made.

On top of bridesmaids clothing, I am compiling our wedding invitations!

The suite was designed by Ellie Snow, the stationery mastermind behind Hello Tenfold out of Durham, NC.

And no, you will NOT get a sneak-peek of the invitations. The guests need to see for themselves!

So far, putting together these gorgeous invitations has been my absolute favorite part of wedding-planning. Like, more fun than I had picking out my dress.

Is that weird?

Meh, oh well.

Maggi Bridal

Speaking of dress, it’s arrived! It will need some pretty major alterations, which will begin late August or early September. My bridal portrait shoot has been booked for November 10th, so as long as I have my perfect-fitting dress by then!


Anyways, back to the invitations. We purchased some stunning vintage stamps from Sam at Pack and Post and the invitations will likely be mailed out before the end of the month!


In other news, we’re headed to an engagement party on Saturday for our friends Ivy and Steve! Can’t wait to celebrate with them.

Here’s hoping the bad weather goes away before the weekend!

xo Cassie

4th of July in D.C.

When deciding what to do for the 4th of July this year, Richard and I decided against Topsail Island with my parents and sister (come on, we just got back from an epic vacation with them). We also decided against drinking IPAs poolside with my friend Rachel (yep, did exactly that for the last two years in a row).

We made plans to head up to DC to spend the long holiday weekend with my brother, Patrick.

And we had a BLAST.

In roughly 80 hours, we…

…ate/drank at approximately 11 bars and restaurants…

Scorpion Bowl

Birch & Barley

Farmers, Fishers, Bakers

Old Ebbitt

…watched the 4th of July parade (and got a tad sunburned)…


…got a little touristy around the White House and National Mall and went inside the Washington Monument, which Patrick and I hadn’t done in 6 years…

White House

White House 2


…went on a moonlight boat cruise…


…watched the DC fireworks show (see title photo)…

…and spent Sunday evening at Busch Gardens where we were able to watch ANOTHER fireworks show! Unfortunately, I didn’t snap any Busch Gardens pictures. I leave my phone in the car, as I’m always paranoid about it slipping out of my pocket on a coaster.

I loved getting spending time in DC with my brother. Richard and I are slowly learning our way around, too!

Bro Sis

Thanks for a fantastic weekend, Patrick! (See you in Busch Gardens soon!)

xo Cassie

Family Trip to St. John, USVI

It’s been SUCH an adjustment coming back North Carolina after a wonderful vacation in St. John with Richard and my family. When your daily itinerary consists of “what beach should we go to today?” and your only worry is “whose turn is it to use the snorkel gear?” — that’s how you know that it’s a good vacation.

Here’s a short photo recap of the trip, with the full album being visible on my personal Facebook page…

View from deck

Skinny Legs

Yeah, I could live here.


Family at lunch

Sea turtle

Richard and I MAY have enjoyed this Caribbean getaway so much that we booked ourselves a short, 4-night cruise to Cozumel for Labor Day weekend! We sail out of Fort Lauderdale, the same port as our honeymoon in January 2015. Can’t WAIT!

We’re headed to D.C. on Thursday evening to celebrate the 4th with Patrick — I’ll be sure to document all of the delicious food and drink, as well as the fireworks show (my expectations are high!)

Have a safe and tasty holiday weekend!

xo Cassie

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