Happy, happy, happy!

We had a splendid 4th of July yesterday – despite the rain (and by rain, I mean torrential downpours, thunderstorms and clouds all day). We celebrated my cousin’s 10th birthday – and America’s at the same time! We have been doing a lot of celebrating lately – and I apologize that this isn’t really a “wedding post” but I had to share. My ever-so-studious fiance just finished 2 more classes through Northeastern University for his Master’s and earned A’s in both (brag!). And last week, I was offered a BIG promotion with my company, while staying in the Communications arena.

I had to wait to make the announcement – which was tough – especially since I wanted to shout it from the rooftop! I applied for the job on a whim, thinking I really had no shot, it was grades above where I was, I had just earned my Master’s which they wanted but I didn’t have a lot of post-Master’s experience to apply, and I had just been promoted back in December so another jump so soon was not realistic. But alas, I had all of the qualifications and apparently didn’t sound too much like Miss South Carolina in my interviews.

I am so excited for this opportunity and all of the doors that it opens for me, and for my future family. Overwhelmingly, people have been happy for me (lots of screaming, jumping hugs in the elevators at work and tons of text messages), but I did have one person tell me “Don’t expect to be Top 10 again.” We are fortunate at my company to still get bonuses and those are based on your rating for the year. Last year, I was a Top 10 performer for the company and man, it felt good. Disappointing to be told that when I just got a “dream job” and am over-the-moon happy. However, since I’ve been reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandburg, I feel empowered. I feel excited. I feel like I can do anything.

First and foremost, I am going to marry the love of my life and spend 11 spectacular days in Aruba with him. But then, we can focus on our careers and figure out where we want to be before we start a family. I’m not the girl who wants to be a stay-at-home mom (nothing wrong with it!). I enjoy working, and I especially enjoy new challenges and opportunities. My fiance is the same way and while he is knee-deep in his Master’s studies right now, he is well on his way to his next opportunity. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.

The next 43 days hold lots of last minute details, DIY crafts and collecting of RSVPs. Counting down!

Happy weekend!

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!

A Much needed Mini-moon

We planned a mini-getaway back in January, thinking that by April we would be ready for a weekend to relax… and escape our busy lives of grad school, work and wedding planning… and we were RIGHT!
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Last weekend, we made the drive from Charlotte to St. Augustine (with a stop by Amelia Island for lunch!) and we began our 4-day getaway. Although I took my computer, I didn’t take it out of my bag the whole time! We loved exploring this old, historic city. Downtown was fabulous with shops and roads paved with bricks. Of course, we enjoyed lots of delicious food, including some favorites at: Catch 27, The Floridian, Casa Maya, Manatee Cafe, Harry’s, Tini Martini Bar for drinks, and of course, Fudge Buckets for ice cream on those warm Florida days!

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On Saturday, we went to the Rhythm and Ribs Festival to hear JJ Grey & Mofro. The ribs we had there might have been some of the best food we had all weekend. We literally licked our fingers over those! Even though it was in the 70’s during the day, it got chilly at night but we still enjoyed the show!

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We spent our other days exploring all that the city has to offer. Including Anastasia State Park’s beach and nature trail, Castillo de San Marcos, and enjoyed a run downtown around Flagler College and the bay. The weather was perfect, and our whole trip was wonderful.

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The trip helped us relax and re-focus on the upcoming months and all that must be accomplished. Only 3 weeks until I am officially done with grad school and only 4 months and 2 days until our wedding. So crazy how fast everything is happening. It’s surreal and exciting all at the same time. I’m thankful we had the opportunity to get away together.  I highly recommend a last-minute escape for other couples planning a wedding. It’s nice to not think about anything else for a whole weekend and just enjoy time with each other!

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Sunday Funday Bridal Showcase!

On Sunday, I road-tripped it to Chapel Hill to hang out with the best MOH a girl could ask for – and to attend the Carolina Inn’s 18th Annual Bridal Showcase! A special “Thank You” to Jenna at Southern Bride & Groom magazine for the tickets to the show. To say we were underprepared for what awaited us, would be an understatement. I’m still trying to figure out how many calories I took in at all of those cake tasting booths! IMG_3956We had a day full of paper products, flowers, cake and petit fours … and champagne. How can I forget the never-ending flow of champagne? Sarah was giddy over the supply of macaroons that were on-hand – and as a bride who is loving the idea of “mini-desserts”, I loved seeing all the options available. What talented caterers the triangle area has!
bs1One of my FAVORITE cakes was from husband and wife duo Ashley & Co in Raleigh. This burlap delight made my heart skip a beat. And since I met my beau at work and we still work together, I love that they do too!

Ashley & Co burlap beauty!
Ashley & Co burlap beauty!

We hit up the hors d’ouevres pretty early on since neither of us had eaten lunch. Lots of deliciousness going on in that tent – and of course, we were smitten with the Carolina Inn ice sculpture!
IMG_3922Since my wedding is being held in South Carolina, I really just used this event to gain some ideas and not so much vendors. We did meet LOTS of vendors – and we adored the goodies that they were giving away. Check out this ADORABLE cooler bag from Erin McLean Events! I have been back and forth on whether or not to hire a planner/coordinator to make sure things go off without a hitch – and I loved the idea of just a “day-of” coordinator. Plus, I’ve only heard good things about Erin. And Martha Manning took the cake with her giveaway… Krispy Kreme? Who can say no to Krispy Kreme doughnuts? While I’ve already chosen my photographer, Martha was able to give some recommendations on videographers which was much appreciated. IMG_3952Next on my “to-do” list is to secure a florist for our big day. I want simple flowers (I really want the hydrangeas from my late-grandmother’s bush back home in VA, but that’s a little far-fetched). And since green is our accent color, I was hoping for green flowers – but the fiance insists on them being naturally green and not dyed. So, we checked out some booths at the event and got to actually hold some bouquets (it’s AMAZING how big some of them are!). I like the idea of adding something fragrant to the bouqet – like freesia or mint! IMG_3953We got to see a fashion show while we were there – and I immediately recognized the Southern style of Lula Kate in this dress – and also saw Christy, the owner of Bella Bridesmaid in Raleigh. She sold us our stylish dresses for my friend’s wedding this past August. We somehow missed the bridal part of the runway show, but we did catch the grooms and groomsmen and they sure did look dapper!
IMG_3935I had several totebags full of information and goodies as I left, including wedding magazines and honeymoon magazines. We definitely have some reading to do (and decision making on the honeymoon front!)! IMG_3954I LOVED the experience of the bridal show, especially sharing the fun with Sarah. I have to point out one vendor that I was head-over-heels for before we went to the show and I’m so glad I got to see their stuff in real life. I am even more in love now… if that’s possible. Pressed Cotton has some of the CUTEST things I’ve ever seen – and not just for gatherings but for your household. If anyone is interested in a special offer on their items, leave a comment and I’ll be sure to share the deal!

I want to say thank you to all of my readers! Almost to 1500 views (in less than 3 months!). Stay tuned for a very exciting announcement that has to do with ME, this blog, and you reading it!

Birthday Blog

As promised, here is an update on my FABULOUS birthday weekend. Many thanks to all those who texted, emailed, called, tweeted or Facebooked to wish me a wonderful day!
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I woke up to my beau making me breakfast, complete with hot apple cider (best Keurig K-cup yet!). I had to have a birthday workout, so he informed me that when I returned we should get ready to keep up with all the plans he had for our day. But when I returned, I walked into present heaven! I got a new pearl necklace, bracelet and a fancy jewelry box to keep them in. I can say this about him, he’s always listening when I say I want something. He got the exact strand of pearls I was wishing for!
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We went to the Mint Museum uptown to explore their wood work collection… but not before stopping by Halcyon for a light lunch. Halcyon has creative meals and drinks, that they try to create with all local products. It truly is a gem to have here in Charlotte. We greatly enjoy their drinks and the food has been good the few times I’ve actually eaten there. We shared a cheese plate and some chicken & collards soup on Saturday, since we were preparing for a delicious, surprise dinner.
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We explored the Mint for a few hours before popping in Aquavina for a pre-dinner drink. And then my surprise dinner… at Bernardin’s! This place is special to us because it used to be Ratcliffe on the Green. We had a very special and romantic 6-month anniversary dinner there and we really fell in love with the place, the atmosphere and our waiter, Asa. Bernardin’s is slightly different but still delicious. We very much enjoyed every aspect of our meals. The butternut squash soup was delicious!
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A very wonderful birthday weekend… and my sweet in-laws (soon-to-be) sent me these gorgeous roses that I am still getting to look at every day! How was YOUR weekend?
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Honeymooners

I thought today’s post would be about food, especially since we were both starving after talking about food with our caterer. Y’all get ready, our wedding food is going to be DELISH! But today… I’m going to talk about our honeymoon.

We have been ALL over the place with where we want to go… I started with a hut in Bora Bora which was countered by Europe/Greece from my sweet Fiance. Then, I compromised with 2 islands in Hawaii (Maui & Kauai) so that we could do the exploring that he wanted, along with the butt-in-the-sand time that I wanted, and was countered with several options in the Caribbean. With it being August, I’m hesitant to visit ANYWHERE in the Caribbean, even though my favorite co-worker tells me Aruba is far enough out of the hurricane belt that I shouldn’t have to worry about anything. We both LOVE the idea of the Galapagos Islands (flora + fauna + GREAT WHITES, oh my!) but it appears to be next to impossible to find lodging there.

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We have ruled out Jamaica, Bahamas and anywhere in Mexico since we’ve traveled there before. Although each of them have their pretty and near perfect spots, we don’t feel the need to revisit any of them.
37423_640368798943_6875587_nLuckily, we still have time to make this decision. A timeline in Carolina Bride magazine recommends booking 4-6 months in advance. Our countdown is at 6.5 months and I’m not feeling TOO much pressure on this issue. Now that we’ve knocked out the catering, our next task is the flowers. And your next task is to vote for us to win this trip to the Caribbean from Wedding Paper Divas + Sandals. If we win, you will have helped select our honeymoon destination – but we need your help to win! All you have to do is click here, “like” Wedding Paper Divas on Facebook, and then click “vote” once a day for the rest of the week. Got it? Ok, go! (and thank you in advance!)

 

Meet the Fockers

I spent this weekend with my soon-to-be in-laws. My fiance’s sweet parents and his brilliant sister who graduated from UNC-W this weekend with her Masters! Every time we are with them it is just delightful. Whether we are playing Apples-to-Apples, watching Bad Santa, hanging out with Will Ferrell or picking up sand dollars on the beach, it is always a wonderfully enjoyable time. (Not to mention his parents love food in the same way I do… so we eat, a lot!).

546787_10100298185530913_673317564_nI’ve heard so many horror stories about in-laws and especially the mother-in-law not getting along with the girl who is spending forever with her son, but that is in no way the case! I love, love, LOVE my soon-to-be mother-in-law. She is a wonderful woman, very admirable and sweet and perfectly Southern! I honestly could not have hand-picked a better woman to be my mother-in-law. Landon’s dad is also amazing, he’s incredibly smart, can always make me laugh and always makes a point to ask about my family, which makes me smile inside. Quite possibly the best part of this is that I also get a new sister (I already have one sister-in-law  in my brother’s wife).

Today, my newest soon-to-be sister-in-law and I had a private warm vinyasa yoga class in Wilmington. Seriously, we get along great. I can’t imagine him having a sister that was any more perfect! We love the same things, can share clothes, ran our first half marathon together and somehow always kick-ass when we’re on the same game team. I love her and I feel very lucky to be joining her family.

I love my family. I’m very passionate and protective of them (even though more than 48 hours with them usually results some sort of “I’m adopted” rant). I can’t wait to see them in just 9 days and hug my little cousins, spend yet another Christmas with the sweetest and best grandfather anyone could ever have and spend our first Christmas with my adorable nephew. I love that even after all these years, and after we’ve all grown up, we all still make our way back to our small town and have a huge Christmas breakfast together with 30+ people. I’m also very happy that just a few days after that, we’ll be spending Christmas in Fearrington with my fiance’s family for our very first engaged Christmas. yay!