Weekend Wrap Up [Valentine’s Day]

I must say, this was one of my most favorite Valentine’s Days EVER. Mostly because we were involved in saving Stella, but also because we had lots of time together. Friday was mostly spent crying over dogs at the shelter but we did have a yummy dinner at a new local restaurant and ran into some of our neighbors (goal this year? Spend time hanging out with the neighbors).

IMG_9698

On Saturday, we started the day with a stack of pink pancakes, a side of eggs, and lots of smiles because I had confirmation that we could bust sweet Stella out of the shelter. Next time, I’ll add more food coloring to the mix. I was going for ombre but it was a little off; although, still delicious.

IMG_9718

My husband got a record player for Christmas, so he’s slowly been building his collection. We don’t usually do Valentine’s Day gifts (just a nice dinner and some quality time together), but I surprised him with two new albums: Bruce Springsteen (Tunnel of Love) and Percy Sledge (When a Man Loves a Woman). The Springsteen album even had a song called “Valentine’s Day” on it. I also got an adorable bottle of wine called “Monogamy”, which seemed fitting for newlyweds.

IMG_9721

After we got Stella out of doggie jail and to her foster’s house, we decided to stop in Ass Clown Brewery in Cornelius. We had a few flights of their super creative beers (I can’t believe how many they have!). Even more so, I can’t believe we ran into my husband’s cousin and his wife who live in Charleston at the brewery. Small world! We had a great time catching up with them and may have indulged in a few more beers while we chatted.

IMG_9716

My pretty pink Lilly Pulitzer “Elsa” top got RIPPED by the crate for Stella before we got to the brewery. Of course, I didn’t notice until we were in a public location and then I wanted to cry. But my hubs made it (somewhat) better when he told me our dinner was at Passion8, which has been one of our favorite restaurants to go to as a couple.

IMG_9719

They had a special menu for Valentine’s Day and only three seatings for the evening. My favorite courses were the soup (it was cold outside) and dessert. I passed on their creative cocktails because of the beer we had earlier in the day. Everything was delicious, as always, but again… that desert. It had NUTELLA. Always a winner for me.

IMG_9715

Like I said, it was a perfect Valentine’s weekend, with my perfect Valentine. I love this Walt Whitman quote (and print by Makewells). Hope your weekend was filled with love and happiness, too!

IMG_9652-2

Be Our Guest (book) GIVEAWAY!

Welcome to 2015’s first giveaway! This item has to go to a special group of people, those who are engaged and I know that’s A LOT of you since most engagement happen between Thanksgiving and Valentines day! (Congratulations – SUCH an exciting time!!). I want to help you knock one thing off of that planning list with this giveaway:

Customized Wedding Guest Book

This hand crafted, personalized guest book by For Love Polka Dots will be created JUST FOR YOU. It will include both of your names, your married last initial and your wedding date, along with 86 (43 front and back) pages to be signed by all of your friends and family on your special day. Gorgeous, right?

So here’s how you enter:

DONATE: Donate $5 or more to the Pretty in Pink Wishes campaign to make bucket list wishes for breast cancer survivors through the Pretty in Pink Foundation come true. For every $5 donated, you get an entry!

COMMENT: Come back here and leave a comment letting me know you donated, what your new last initial will be and your wedding date (it’s okay if you don’t know the date yet, they’ll work with you!).

Giveaway starts now and ends on Tuesday, January 13th at midnight. May the odds be ever in your favor – and high five for doing a good thing for these breast cancer champions!

*Comments are moderated. It may not appear immediately after leaving comment but will once approved. Winner will be chosen at random after giveaway ends. I will do the drawing on video and post an update here. Share with your friends. All of the money raised is for an excellent cause!

Happy Hump Day!

Be kind, choose joy, find your love compass

The Pretty in Pink Bucket list giveaway is still happening! By donating, you’re helping someone mark something off of their bucket list and bringing a smile to the face of someone battling breast cancer. Donate – and then share it with your friends!

plato

There are some awesome prizes available for those who donate, including: Stationary products, Aprons and Dish towels, art prints, and these items for your home that I am swooning over!

24
Fiber and Water

Fiber and Water donated one of their Love Compass pillows (valued at $35). I love the burlap and this classy design. Such a wonderful piece to have in your home, or to gift to a friend, or newlywed couple! They also have some adorable burlap prints in their shop too, you should definitely check it out!

25
Simply Said Stitches

Simply Said Stitches donated this pillow (valued at $35), which I think sends a great message. Everyday we wake up and we can make a choice on how we’re going to tackle the day. By choosing joy, happiness or a positive attitude, you set yourself up for a great day. I think it also speaks to the holiday season which is always full of joy.

ShanC Studio
ShanC Studio

A new addition to the giveaway are these ornaments from ShanC Studio (valued at $28). Since everyone is decorating mode, what better thing to win than a set of these cute doves to hang on your tree?

Stationary Saturday

I want to spend today highlighting some more of the awesome items in the BIG BUCKET LIST GIVEAWAY. I LOVE stationary of all sorts (and love is probably an understatement – ask my husband!). I have drawers full of monogrammed stationary, cards just in case, notepads depending on my mood, meal planning notepads, gold foil notebooks, striped notebooks… you get the point. I obsessively purchase stationary items. And I’m excited to offer a few in this giveaway from from really awesome designers.

Image from EvelynHenson.com
Image from EvelynHenson.com

I started following Evelyn Henson on Instagram after stumbling across her gorgeous paintings. Those flowers could brighten up ANY day! I thought her “Take the bull by the horns” journal was PERFECT for this giveaway. I believe you should give 110% to everything you do and more than that, take charge of your own life, career, path. I’m incredibly frustrated by people who sit back and wait for things to happen, or who ask for help but don’t want to put in any work. So… don’t be those people. Take the bull by the horns and do big things. And check out Evelyn Henson while you’re at it, or enter the giveaway for a shot to win this journal (valued at $29.50).

Image from LHCalligraphy.com
Image from LHCalligraphy.com

I found Laura of LHCalligraphy when I was planning my wedding and was completely smitten with her calligraphy. Isn’t it gorgeous? She not only makes cool things like this journal but also stationary, cards, and adorable mugs. I highly recommend entering to win this journal in the giveaway, but also checking out her other fun goodies (especially if you’re planning a wedding!). Oh and did I mention that addition to this journal, you will also win the stationary from Sugar and Type?

Sugar and Type Stationary
Sugar and Type Stationary

These cards literally made me squeal when I opened the package. They are so cute and creative! Each card retails for $3-4 dollars in Ilana’s shop. So with the journal and stationary combined, you can not only make your own day ridiculously awesome, but someone else’s, too! I totally believe in the power of handwritten notes. People LOVE getting mail. You will be spreading cheer all throughout the year!

Image from MiGoals
Image from MiGoals

This gem of a planner is all the way from Australia! MiGoals generously donated this and it could be yours for donating just $10 to the great cause of helping breast cancer survivors cross items off of their bucket lists. Have you ever thought about how expensive healthcare can be for someone battling cancer? There are lots of things that get pushed aside in those times and that’s why we’re helping out! So grateful for this gorgeous planner (valued at $29.89) being donated and slightly jealous of the person who will get to plan 2015 in it. (GO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY for your shot at it!).

Image from Nude and Loitering Tees
Image from Nude and Loitering Tees

This planner (valued at $18) from Nude and Loitering Tees reminds us to just say “yes.” Did you ever watch the movie Yes Man? While it was a corny movie (sorry, Jim), it was also pretty darn clever. Teaching us to let down our guard and say yes to new adventures. You never know where life will take you if you’re just along for the ride. (I am in no way encouraging you to say yes to everything or yes to quitting your job and hiking around the world, but hey, do whatever floats your boat). This message makes me happy and I think seeing it every day in 2015 can be inspiring to someone. Let that someone be YOU. Give just $10 to put a smile on someone else’s face (a complete stranger!) and be entered to win!

Customized Wedding Guest Book
Customized Wedding Guest Book

Last but not least, this GORGEOUS customized guest book was generously donated by ForLovePolkaDots and will be designed for the winner. How appropriate since my blog started out as a wedding blog?! This will surely be classic for years to come and will preserve the memories from your special day forever. Have I told you how much I love monogrammed items? Because I LOVE monogrammed items. We did a fingerprint tree at our wedding, but if we had done something else, I’m guessing it would have been along the lines of this book (valued at $40). Know someone getting married in 2015? Tell them to go enter or go check out the shop to order their own!

So many AMAZING items to give away and so many more smiles to bring to the faces of the ladies who modeled at the Pretty in Pink Foundation‘s Fashion Walk and Gala. Thank you for being a part of this amazing cause and thank you again to the amazing people who donated their incredible items (you are all so talented!).

Wednesday Wish List

Can you believe Christmas is right around the corner? 43 days away, to be exact! While I’m not sharing a “Christmas” list, I am going to share some things that I’m loving right now. Since we’re still in our first year in our new house, we’re still figuring out some things we want/need and where they’ll go once we have them. One thing we can definitely agree on is a firepit.
1firepit

I am smitten with this dormat from Lulu and Georgia that says “You & Me,” and is the song we danced to at our wedding. I would love to put it out on our screened in porch. Isn’t it darling?

1youandme

While we’re on the topic of Lulu and Georgia, I LOVE this book shelf. It’s so different from traditional book shelves and would look great separating our dining room and living room.

1bookshelf

I have also been swooning over bar carts but haven’t made a purchase yet. Society Social has a great one, but is definitely high-end.

1barcart

This vintage-chic one that I found on Etsy is also quite charming:

1etsybarcart

Target also has a couple, one which is very simple but I do love that price!

1barcarttarget
The other is gold bamboo which is unique, plus it has places for your wine glasses:

1goldbamboo

We still want bikes so we can ride around our adorable neighborhood, but with winter quickly approaching (Friday’s “low” is 25 degrees! Brrr!), I doubt we’ll be riding bikes ANYWHERE in the near future. I’m not much of a jewelry person but occasionally I will find items that I love (mostly staples). I sent my husband this Kate Spade watch recently. I have a watch that I wear almost every day to work, but I think this one could be more of an every day and night kind of watch!

1ksnywatch

I also love this simple gold bar necklace. I saw a similar one in Monkee’s when shopping with my BFF Amy. This one is less than half the price (I know, I know, you get what you pay for!), but it’s just as cute!

1barnecklace

I rarely splurge on high-ticket items for myself, so this baby will have to wait but I am definitely in need of a David Yurman Pearl ring. I have looked at this for years and just can’t ever seem to suck it up and buy it. Maybe for a push present when we have a baby (don’t get excited moms, Baby E and Baby L are still a long ways off!).

1davidyurman

These vegan Tieks are amazing. I have said over and over again that my Tieks were the best shoe purchase I’ve ever made. I love my gold ones, and after two years, they are finally starting to show wear. I would definitely by the same ones again, but if I were going to switch it up, these would be a close second.

1tieks

I’ve been eyeing GiGi clutches for a while now and this eggplant color is all the rage this season. Plus? I love anything monogrammed!

1gigiclutchMost of these things are just nice-to haves. I always have such a hard time coming up with lists of things I actually want for birthdays and Christmas. What are some things you’re loving lately? Would love to hear what’s on your wish-list this year!

Gifts for the Groomsmen

My groom was very helpful in planning our wedding, always adding input, picking up things, researching when needed. He was also very independent in the things he wanted for himself (ie: suit, bowtie, shoes, groomsmen gifts, etc). This article from Emmaline Bride made me think of the awesome groomsmen gifts he purchased.

Etsy
Etsy

For his groomsmen, he got monogrammed beer bottle openers with lid catches that he ordered from Etsy. These can be mounted on a wall or have a large (strong) magnet on the back so they can go on a fridge! We’ve visited several groomsmen since the wedding and these have been proudly displayed on the fridge with at least a few beer caps in the catch. I thought this was a great, practical gift but also personalized since he had them monogrammed (or “had initials put on them” as he called it).

We loved Etsy while planning our wedding and got not only some gifts from sellers on the site, but decorations and our wedding programs. Our groomsmen also got to keep their darling navy gingham J. Crew bowties, although I think the beer bottle opener will get more use.

DSC_6114

Would love to hear about other groomsmen gifts that you’ve given, received or heard of! I know folks are always looking for new and creative ideas!

Special congrats to my sweet friend, Courtney, who got engaged last weekend while cruising with her now fiance. So excited for these two lovebirds and cannot wait to celebrate with them while they plan their big, special day!

Feel the love

It’s no secret around my house that I love stationary. I love picking up cards (that I might send to someone, someday), I love sweet “thank you” notes, I love monogrammed stationary, I love magnetic stationary that can hang on my fridge and serve the purpose of a quick note to my husband to find when he wakes up or gets home from work, and the list goes on! I love stationary so much that I’m having a GIVEAWAY with some of these adorable mini love notes I purchased on Etsy. Follow me (@ashleighwnc) on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram and then leave a comment on the blog that you’ve done so and you are entered to win the love notes and a print from Southern Weddings (all rules are posted on the original blog post!).
Screen Shot 2013-09-08 at 10.24.32 AMThis week, in addition to the darling love notes, I also ordered some notepads from The Fine Line Market for all those little notes we leave each other in the house. After all, little notes are how my engagement weekend started! I got myself some monogrammed ones, and some that say “The Whites” for us both to use. Great deal at only $20 a piece – and the monogrammed one came in multiple colors!
monogrammed notepadI also ordered these cute menu planners. Now that I am not planning a wedding or in grad school, I have time to cook dinners with more than 5 ingredients and more than 3 steps, and I can try some of my Pinterest recipes! I thought these would be helpful as we prepare for the week (and before I go to the grocery store).
dinner
I’ve also been eyeing these “Brilliant Ideas” pads from Ashley Brooke Designs but I think I prefer monogrammed notepads.

Ashley Brooke Designs
Ashley Brooke Designs

And now that I’m married (and starting the name-changing process) I could use some new monogrammed cards from Emily Ley, but I can’t decide which design I like best! Below is what I had before, but I think new name = new design.

Emily Ley shop
Emily Ley shop

For now, I think I’ve got enough to get me through at least a couple months. Especially since our wedding photos should arrive this week and we’ll be getting started on designing a “thank you” note with those. What are your favorite stationary shops? I am always up for new & creative designs!

Weekend Wrap Up

How is it Monday already? I feel like the days and weekends are flying by and we are now one week and two months away from walking down the aisle. Holy mackeral! Friday, I met with our coordinator, who certainly helped put my mind at ease! I already appreciate that we have her and know that appreciation will only grow on the day-of. We also received our perfect wedding invitations! We are SO excited to work on getting these babies out and can’t wait to start receiving our post card RSVPs!

The rest of our weekend was fun-filled including breakfast with Cory, a VT friend, and his fiance, Inna from Ukraine. After breakfast, we jetted off to our nephew’s 1st birthday party and spent some quality time with the family.

1-weekend2After the party, we checked out VBGB at the Music Factory for dinner before seeing Matrimony and Langhorne Slim live! Both bands are excellent. We hope when Matrimony hits the big time that they still come back to their local hub for shows!

1-weekendWe also received these darling glasses that we had registered for on Honeyfund.com from our sweet, sweet friend, Brandy. I am completely and totally smitten with them! I had to put them away so I won’t be tempted to use them before the day that we are officially Mr. & Mrs.!
1-weekend3On today’s agenda is booking a cake tasting/dessert tasting so we can book our final “big thing” for the wedding. I will be so happy to have all of these things on our list checked-off so we can relax up until the big day. Ha, who am I kidding? We are going to be so busy but I know we’ll love every second of it. For more things that are going on with the wedding planning, check out my Carolina Bride Blog!

Happy Monday!

Friday Favorite Finds!

Lots of people have asked me where I’ve found things over the past few months that I plan to use for the wedding or post wedding (such as my new monogrammed necklace!). Mostly, I can attribute my finds to searches on Etsy that started out of boredom and happened into wonderfulness. Pinterest has also had some good finds, but they typically lead me back to Etsy.

First of all, I found this amazing window-pane chalkboard a while back. We plan to use it at the bar to list out drinks/mixers for the wedding. It came from Splash of Lime, a blog created by a mother/daughter team who finds items that we all want and fixes them up and re-sells them at half the cost of which you could find elsewhere. (Special thanks to my most-specialist MOH who picked it up for me!).   chalkboardI also snatched up the sign in front of it from GroopDealz which offers items at low-cost for a short period of time (hence the “snatching”).  LW is not a huge fan of the sign, so we’ll see if it actually gets used but either way, I consider it a good find!

My next most favorite find, were hangers for my super-sweet bridesmaids. An early thank you for all the time and work they have already put in. I seriously have the most thoughtful group of girls that will be standing by my side very soon! They came from DeLovely Details (an Etsy seller) and were a hit!
hanger
One of my next favorite finds, this this simple needlepoint framed cross-stitch. It’s message makes me smile. I do think that I’ll end up changing out the frame or at least painting it. It was also an Etsy find, and although it was one of a kind, the shop has some other items that are worth taking a peek at.
Frame

Last week, I found a tree-stump cake holder which will proudly display our mini Bride & Groom cake (don’t worry, we’ll have delicious desserts for the guests, as well). I was shocked to find it at Michael’s and for only $14.99 when somewhere else was trying to charge almost 3 times that to RENT one. If you have the time, and ability to be crafty, it can certainly save you a pretty penny in wedding planning. I have a fear that I’m just going to end up with really full craft drawers, and have all of these pretty ideas for years to come. (Any volunteers to come do crafts?!).

cakeMy last, and most favorite find, is my new monogrammed necklace with my brand-spankin’ new initials as of 8-17-13. I am dying to wear this beauty. I had looked at more costly versions (Moon & Lola) in the past but never splurged. Thank goodness! I found this gem on Etsy for a steal!
necklace
Happy Friday – and happy LONG weekend!

FRIDAY FAVORITES

1. Etsy
Anyone who is engaged should stay far away from Etsy. Oh my bank account! I would tell you all the things I’ve purchased but then you wouldn’t be surprised when they appear at the wedding. But in all honesty, you can find EVERYTHING on here – and you have lots of different options because there are crafty people all over that can create all the things your heart desires!

2. Shop Sweet Lulu
Our straws arrived and they are PERFECT. I can’t wait to see them sticking out of mason jars all over The Dairy Barn.

3. Southern Weddings Prints
 I’ve been collecting prints and vintage frames for our wedding decor. Southern Weddings magazine has some of the cutest prints you’ll find. They just added more this week so check ’em out. Great for around the house or office too!

4. Pressed Cotton
I was obsessing over their adorable pillows and burlap perfection before I saw them at a Bridal Show but now, I’m just DYING to order something. It’s only a matter of time. Doesn’t get much more Southern than this!

5. J. Crew
It would be a shame for me to leave J. Crew off of this list. My wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, best woman dress and our incredibly handsome bowties have all come from J. Crew. I am completely smitten with their entire wedding line (obviously) – and it’s perfectly fitting that our wedding party will be decked out in J. Crew since at least half of our closet bears the brand.

I’m sure I’ll have a much longer list of these favorites by the time the wedding gets here, but that’s enough for today. Need to rest up for my half marathon tomorrow… still working on that wedding body!