Cheers to a New Year!

It’s always exciting to look back and reflect on our year as it comes to a close. 2014 followed one of our most exciting years, the one where we got married. This year was full of travel (both work and pleasure), weddings for dear friends, new challenges, exciting moments (buying a house), my husband finishing grad school and of course, our first year of marriage. Tomorrow we’ll go through our “Good Things jar” and reminisce on the year and our best times! Here’s a quick recap:

Year in Review 2014-2

A few things not mentioned:

  • I wrote three articles that were published in Charlotte Happenings, a local magazine through the Charlotte Regional Visitor’s Authority (CRVA)
  • My husband finished his Master’s degree through Northeastern University (we’ll be heading to Boston to celebrate in 2015)
  • I was offered a teaching job at a community college for Communication courses (due to work travel I couldn’t swing it this year, but maybe in the future)
  • I only ran two races this year, but spent almost all of my Wednesday nights this summer at NoDa Brewing’s run club with my (new) girlfriends
  • I started a book club with some really awesome girls that I look forward to seeing each month
  • We saw some really awesome concerts
  • We watched the Hokies beat UNC and Duke
  • We grew a really awesome garden with tomatoes, zucchini, squash, cucumbers and herbs (AND A LEMON TREE!)

Some of our favorite trips were to Ponte Vedra Beach, Ocean Isle, Annapolis, St. Martin and Chicago. We also loved our trips to Boston but we were too busy frolicking around and eating that I apparently forgot to document us being there!

We fostered some really awesome dogs this year (and only fell in love with one of them!). I also began managing the Twitter feed for a local rescue group and have grown our following. Fostering saves lives like the ones above. It’s a great way to help out if you’re not sure you want to adopt. If you can’t foster, helping out at adoption events on the weekends or transporting dogs are both great ways to help out.

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I’m beyond grateful for our sweet friend, Sarah, who took our anniversary photos for us. And I’m even more grateful for this guy and everything he did to make this year amazing. 2014 was another wonderful year and I’m looking forward to all that 2015 brings. Off to ring it in with some fun friends and my favorite husband! Wishing you a happy and healthy 2015!

My Best Friend’s Wedding(s)

This is definitely the year of weddings for us. We have been invited to 7 and have already attended 3. At this point, I would consider us professional wedding guests/party members.

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Two of the three weddings this year were for my best friends from high school. I’m lucky to be able to still call these girls friends and that we have maintained our friendship over the years. Amy had a blissful beach wedding in Ocean Isle and Brittney had a rustic chic farm wedding just outside of Blacksburg, VA. Both of them were stunning and amazing and absolutely perfect.

Amy’s gorgeous beach details were simple yet classy. I love the DIY touches of painted wood and chalkboards everywhere. She even had a signature cocktail served during the cocktail hour. My favorite part was her lace dress. It was absolutely exquisite and was clearly made for her.

I couldn’t be happier for Clay and Amy as they sealed the deal 10 years after meeting. Their day was truly a decade in the making and absolutely perfect.

Brittney’s wedding was also perfect, but the complete opposite of the beachy setting Amy had. Brittney got married at Sinkland Farms in Virginia. Hilariously enough, we used to go to parties there when we were in high school. There are several spots at the farm to get married, and Brittney chose up on the hill with the mountains in the background.

10441149_10100879461768673_7720758303346916939_nChalkboards are still in style for weddings, obviously, and what great decorations they make. Brittney gave us the most darling robes for being her bridesmaids, which we donned as we had our hair and make up done.

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We each picked our own style of dress from J Crew’s silk chiffon collection in ‘Bright Coral.’

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The flower girl was Brittney’s 22-month old daughter who is just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

The barn is already so well decorated, it’s an easy choice for the reception. My favorite piece is the mason jar chandelier! Brittney used coral roses and sparkly white table cloths on the tables, and whisky barrels outside also held mason jars full of roses.

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A local country band performed at the reception and guests danced the night away. I must say, early summer weddings have had perfect weather. These two couldn’t have asked for a better day to say their vows outside.

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And to top off the evening, my Hokie-loving husband and I snagged a picture with non-other than Frank Beamer. Such a special evening for special friends.

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So happy for both of my sweet friends and grateful to have been a part of their celebrations. From 15 to forever!

Oh my stars!

In honor of all the love I’ve been feeling lately, I’m having a giveaway for a darling print straight from the Southern Weddings shop.

Screen Shot 2013-09-08 at 10.28.28 AMThis print would look fabulous displayed in a frame at your wedding. Or perhaps on spouse’s nightstand?  Or maybe hanging in your daughter’s room? Or given as a gift to show someone how much you love them!

PLUS, a set of 6 “love notes” from CardSong for the love of your life. These sweet cards would be great reminders of your love placed in a lunch box, suitcase (for the traveling spouse) or on the kitchen counter to get the day started with a smile and warm heart.
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*Card sayings: “never underestimate the power of 2”, “I’m a fan of you”, (2) “Olive You”, “I freakin’ love you”, “Love Note.” 

Rules of the giveaway:
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You get one entry PER social media platform that you follow (total of 3 entries).

1. Follow me on Twitter: @ashleighwNC
2. Follow me on Instagram: @ashleighwNC
3. Follow me on Pinterest: @ashleighwNC

Bonus entries for:  

  • subscribing to follow this blog! (You’ll get an email each time I post – and therefore be the first to know about upcoming giveaways!).
  • re-pinning any of my pins from the BrideBabyBride board
  • Tweeting about this giveaway (be sure to include a link to the blog)

Once you’ve done the above steps, leave a comment on this blog post letting me know that you’ve entered (be sure to include your social media handles!). If you’re already following me on these platforms, just leave a comment and let me know – no need to unfollow & re-follow! The winner will be selected randomly on Thursday, 9/12. 

*Giveaway only available to U.S. participants. Will not ship to P.O. Box or APO/FPO. 

Ready, set, LOVE!

Countdown to Wedding: 3 days!

Y’all… it’s almost here. I can hardly sleep from all the excitement. It’s like Christmas, but better. I get to marry my best friend, my favorite guy, and the love of my life in 3 teeny-tiny days. EEEEP!

This past week has been a whirlwind. I am officially off work now and signed off too (occasionally “off work” still means checking email). Last weekend, I made a quick trip to the mountains of Blacksburg, VA for a birthday party for one of my favorite little girls – who happens to belong to one of my favorite bridesmaids and favorite best friends.
photoI also spent one evening exploring a gorgeous undiscovered park in Blacksburg with my mom and a photographer for bridal portraits. Shhh! These were a last minute decision. My groom will surely be surprised.
photo-4My favorite part of being home was spending quality time with the best Paw Paw a girl could have. Sharing little moments with him means so much. We enjoyed a homemade eclair that I brought safely in a cooler with me all the way from Charlotte. We took a walk to look at his fields and the mountains all the way in Blacksburg. We talked about life, the wedding, and my new job. And before I left we spent some time sitting on the front porch. My heart still breaks to think about not having him here with us on this earth but my heart was full of happiness for getting to spend some uninterrupted time with him and steal a bunch of hugs while I was at it.
photo-2After Hollins’ birthday party, I had to scoot back to Charlotte to celebrate the graduation of one of our dear friends from grad school! We have both worked closely with Courtney in the past and are proud of her success. She definitely has the “favorite coworker” award from me!
photo-1And after a wonderful brunch with our awesome friend Jeff who is providing the DJ service for our wedding, we spent the evening watching The Lion King! Such an awesome production – and so fun to reminisce on our childhoods. This was our last major event as an engaged couple and our next big event is THE big one!
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This girl cannot wait!
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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!

Lucky in Love

Sometimes I have to stop and pinch myself and wonder how we got so lucky! I know I keep saying it, but we really are blessed to be surrounded by so many caring people in this time and to be showered with so much love!

I’d really like to thank our friends and family for being so incredibly wonderful and constantly volunteering to help or sending us sweet ideas. We are definitely lucky!

Happy Friday!

Congratulations amy!

My sweet BFF from high school (one of my BMs) is engaged to her long-time love (7+ years!), Clay! I am SO incredibly excited for the two of them to start their engagement journey and experience this exciting time in life. I don’t think I’ve stopped smiling for them and I’m sure the bride-to-be hasn’t either! Take a second to leave a comment & wish the sweet couple congratulations!

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Stolen from Amy’s Facebook*

 

Also – Merry Christmas Eve! I’m excited to celebrate my first (and last) Christmas as an engaged woman! ❤