Thursday, August 30, 2012

Signing Off

It's been a long couple of weeks and days and today is my last crazy one.  Tomorrow at 9:40am the plane is leaving and I will be on it.  So between now and then, I am only one person and can only do so much. 

We had one of my work dinners last night when I got in from Tennessee.  We ate at Bernardin's uptown Charlotte (where Ratcliff on the Green used to be).  Highly recommend.  Then we went over to the Ritz and had an after dinner drink at Urban Sip on their 15th floor.  It's so quiet and has great views.  Thank you to our architect for taking us out for a big night on the town!

I was up til 1:30am cleaning (possibly under the influence -- I do my best work this way haha!) for the DNC so I could pretend I had a "professional" come clean it.  Evidently that was required but you're joking if I was going to pay for my place to be cleaned only for someone to come dirty up it up and have to do it all over again.  So I cleaned it top to bottom. 

Got up at 5:45am to run.  That was necessary for my sanity and girl catch up time with Tara and Kristen before we all take off on trips.  Kristen is going to Jacksonville, FL.  Tara is going to Costa Rica with Kristen's sister.  I'm going to Maryland to my parents home with Kevin and his parents.  It will be a fun trip!

Hope you all enjoy your long Labor Day weekend.  Here's to wearing white pants every day til next Tuesday!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Shower

I received a very special piece of mail the other day and it made this whole wedding thing seem so real! 
My girls from college/sorority are throwing us a luau type couples shower since we're going to Hawaii!  It's from 8-11pm so they're going to serve dessert and drinks.  I'm SOOOO excited!
(Sorry had to white out all of the sensitive info!)

It was just so crazy to see an invitation with our names on it!  And isn't it super fun?!
Let the wedding festivities begin!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Going crazy this week!

Welcome to Kevin's condo with all of my stuff in it. 
Welcome to what it's like to move out of your condo so it can be "hotel like" for your Democratic National Convention rental.
Welcome to life in limbo for at least two weeks.

So the process began last Thursday after I returned from two VERY long days in the car working.  We drove 1400 miles in two days.  That includes the West Virginia back roads that we're not going 70 mph or even 30 mph.  It was actually fun though and I learned a lot.  We started at 4am on Wednesday and I returned home Wednesday night/Thursday morning at 2am.  When I woke up on Thursday morning, I started packing to move out. 

I don't entirely have to move our persay but I have to take all valuables.  To me that means my whole place, haha.  All of my brass and silver candleholders.  All of my frames.  All of my liquor.  All of my special clothes.  All of my perfume and bath stuff.  Obviously all of my jewelry.  It's actually a lot more stuff than I thought. 

In the mean time, I was gone all last weekend in Charleston.  I was home yesterday so Kevin and I got more packing done last night.  Today and tomorrow I'm in Tennessee.  Thursday I will finish up while packing for Maryland on Friday morning.  My life is in pure chaos right now.

Oh, did I mention it's still on the market so I have to keep it presentable at all times?  ....while moving out for the DNC and while packing/unpacking for the three trips I've been on/going on these couple of weeks? 

And I'm still trying to get over the fact that some random person/couple will be staying in my place.  I'm pretty weirded out by it.  I don't like people touching my stuff.  I'm going to be a cleaning crazy lady when they leave.  And they better not take my stuff I'm leaving behind. 

Okay I'm done complaining.  I just feel like my brain is fried with all of the stuff I'm trying to remember to do in the short time I have to do it.  The number of things on my list is out of control but I am good because I have a list. 

It'll get done.  And don't feel too badly for me.  This whole moving out for the DNC thing is well worth it!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Charleston for Tara's Birthday

I'm so excited to tell you about our girl's trip to Charleston to celebrate our friend Tara's 30th!  Lots of pictures but they tell a good story!
Kristen organized everything and found us a house to stay in.  It was super cute!  And had a front porch of course. 
My friend Jenn helped me make this banner for Tara using her Cricut.  It's kinda funny because Tara's sells Cricut's so I knew she would be impressed that I sorta made one.  Okay let's be honest, Jenn did it all but I "helped!"  I wish I had a better picture of it. 
When everyone got there we gave Tara her gift from all 8 of us.  Diamond earrings.  Kristen's parents have a jewelry store so you should see how gorgeous they are!
Then we just walked a block and grabbed a quick bite at Lana for dinner at 9:30pm haha!
The next morning Brianna and Auburn made everyone a crustless quiche, some potatoes and raisin bread.  So good. 
And of course mimosas were essential to kick off the day.  You can see we also had koozies made for the occasion.  Tara is the Koozie Queen so it was only right!
We packed up for the beach and waited for our driver to take us.
Meet Keith.  He didn't know I was taking his picture.  Obviously.
 We hung on the beach all day.  Those Clemson girls!
Some of us walked up to the beach bar and hung out.
Emily F, Me, Tara, Brianna, Auburn and Kristen
 Reggae band.
For some reason we got our picture taken with him.
Did this really happen?  She walked by and noone could believe it!
Group picture on the beach!
Gorgeous shot.
We all got ready and headed downtown to Rue de Jean for a drink.  Tara treated us!
Emily F, Brianna, Emily, Tara
The whole crowd
Then we walked over to Coast for dinner.  Tara and I shared this amazing salad.  Heirloom tomatoes, basil, goat cheese sprinkled with olive oil.  I will be attempting to replicate this.
I got Tuna for dinner and it was good.  Everyone else pretty much got fish as well.  So tasty!
Then we headed to some bars and hung out.  This was the Vendue Inn rooftop.
Brianna, Kim, Me, Emily.  Kim emailed us all a couple days before and asked if there was room for one more in the house.  Yes, she's pregnant!  So exciting!!!!
Then we went a couple of other places and ended up at Brick.  The band there was awesome.
We called it a night about 2am and headed in for late night snacking.  You're supposed to do that on girl's weekends right?! 
Lauren and I rode together and left around 10:30 Sunday morning.  A couple girls left before us and some after us.  A few stayed until today. 
We loved celebrating Tara!  Thank you to Kristen for all of her hard work in planning and for her 6 page itinerary to keep us all straight! ;)
Today is officially Tara's 30th so HAPPY BIRTHDAY TARA!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Southern Nest/Charming Little Nest

I always enjoy searching for the perfect wedding gift.  Most times I try to get people things off their registry just because you know that people want those things if they register for them.  But other times, I like to get creative if I know the bride/groom would enjoy something different.

In this case, I knew Fran would like this "prep large" monogram of their married initials from Southern Nest.

Courtney is right here in Huntersville and I met her to pick it up.  She was SO sweet and a joy to work with.  Highly recommend!

Anyway when I gave it to Fran, I thought she was going to flip she was so excited.  She was just imagining all she could do with it.  Hang it over their bed, put it on their mantel....

I'm so glad she loved it!

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Our Meals Lately

Farmer's Market Delight Meal
Fresh corn, fresh okra (best grilled but I sauted - just put some olive oil and season with salt/pepper and grill) and stuffed peppers.  For the stuffed peppers, I combined a can of drained diced tomatoes, can of black beans drained and rinsed, small can of green chiles, (supposed to do corn but since I was serving it on the side, I didn't), salt/pepper, garlic powder, a little enchilada sauce.  All of this goes into the peppers, top with mexi cheese and bake at 350 for 50 minutes.  I used to boil the peppers for 2 minutes first and I didn't do that this time but I recommend it, then cut back on the baking time. 

Also, Kevin likes meat in his meals and I probably should have added a little sausage to this.  It would have made it a lot better.  Also some italian breadcrumbs may have given it a lil more zip. 

Clean Out Your Fridge Salad
I know yall are loving my meal titles haha! 

This salad has lots of goodies in it.  Spinach, butter lettuce, artichokes, garbanzo beans, avocado, celery, carrots, fresh tomatoes, cracked pepper and topped with Brianna's Artichoke Dressing.  My friend Elena told me about the dressing and it's SO good.  Plus the avocado and beans make this salad super filling.

Lasagna Roll Ups
This was a complete Sunday night splurge meal but it was so tasty and was great for leftovers.  I'm sure you all have seen it on Pinterest.  Here is the link.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Determining Our Date

There is a lot that goes into determining a date for a wedding and until I did it myself, I never knew to not question anyone that is setting a date.  You never know why it is 2 years later or why it is 6 months later.  Just don't ask or judge.  There is a lot that goes into it like......

Kevin and I got engaged in July 2011.  Mom and I immediately got to work on figuring out a church and venue.  We were looking in Maryland where I grew up but there weren't many venues that could handle our size group.  We were also looking in Charlotte and getting last choice on vendors for a May 2012 wedding.  If we are spending this kind of money, I am not getting last choice!

So then there was Summer 2012.  I'm not a fan of million degree weddings and just knew I couldn't get married in the summer.  No offense to anyone that has, we have loved attending but I was not walking around uptown in 100 degree heat in a big ole wedding dress.  Just not what I wanted to do.

Then there is this little event called the Democratic National Convention here in Charlotte in two weeks.  Basically nothing is happening in Charlotte other than this for the next month. 

Fall 2012?  Football season, no thanks.  We are having a couples shower and there was only one Saturday in the entire Fall that would work for our wedding party.  Basically it had to be when NC State or Clemson didn't have a home game.  We have a lot of diehard football fans!

December 2012 - February 2012 - winter weather is hard for folks traveling down from MD.  And I'm not willing to risk people not making it to our wedding because of weather.

March 2013?  Oh no, our church wouldn't let us get married six weeks prior to Easter.  Easter is March 31st. 

So when are we getting married?  The Saturday after Easter - April 6, 2013!!!!  It also happens to be the day before my Dad's birthday.  Happy Birthday Dad, you get rid of me haha!  :)  Joking.  He keeps saying he's not attending our wedding.  It's funny at this point!  He loves Kevin, he just says he'll never give me away.

April 6 is also the same week that Kevin and I started dating in 2009.  So it'll be exactly 4 years which is pretty cool too!  And I always wanted to get married in the Spring. 

Anyway, April 6, 2013 it is!!!  Charlotte determined our wedding date, not us. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Out in NoDa

On Saturday night after Fran's wedding, we went out to Brad's house and then to NoDa for a birthday party.  Busy day!

Here are some of Kevin's oldest friends, all of which are in our wedding!
Kevin, Dan, Brad and Rob
At Soltisce in NoDa.  I loved checking out a new area of town.  We are getting better about leaving uptown, getting out of our bubble and going out elsewhere which has been a really great change!

This is Kevin's business partner Dan, whose birthday it was.  They buy and sell houses together.  He's so funny!

It had been a long day so we cruised back uptown around 11pm and hit the sack. 

Today I got up at 4:30am, got a rental car and I'm heading north for some work.  Checking out some new states with a client this week.  I'm excited about a fresh area to travel to.  Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia.  I've been to both WV and KY but never to Ohio.  Should be fun.  We'll end up in Pittsburgh and fly back on Thursday.  Friday I leave for Charleston for the weekend. 

I'm slighly overwhelmed at my next three weeks.  I'll be in Charlotte for a total of 3 whole days and in the middle of the three weeks I have to basically move out of my condo for it to be rented for the DNC.  I'm going crazy!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fran and Matt's Wedding Weekend

Fran's wedding weekend was an absolute blast and for the most part, I'll let the pictures do the talking.  But there were lots of fun touches that I also must point out!

After their rehearsal dinner at Vivace, they invited most everyone there for a drink afterwards.  It was really nice to see everyone before the actual wedding day and spend time with Fran and Matt!  I think it cut down on the pressure for them to see everyone the next day.  Plus for the out of towners, they got to spend more than 2 hours with her after traveling from far away.  Hmmmm, I really like this idea for our wedding!

The happy couple - Fran and Matt!

Kev and I.

With Jennifer and Erica.  Jen and I went to college together and then I worked with them both right after school too!

Now onto the wedding day!  They had an 11am ceremony then a brunch afterwards at a fancy place in Charlotte called Halcyon.  Fran and Matt met playing tennis, hence the tennis rackets on top of the cake!

They got escorted over by a trumpet from the band!

They are seriously the most adorable couple!

With her Dad -

The gorgeous bride and I!

Kevin and the groom!

Big ole basket of fried chicken!

Almost read to cut the cake!

They brought cookies from Knoxville where Matt grew up.  These things literally melted in your mouth!

Jen and Corey - they live in San Diego now.

Kevin and I out on the patio.  Don't worry Mom, he had his jacket on almost the entire day but it was almost 90 degrees at this point!

How cute are the Tennessee fingers to send them off with?  They were personalized with their last name and date.  He went there, hence all the TN touches.

They stayed the night at the Ritz before leaving for Mexico Sunday morning!

Cheers to you all!  We're so happy you found each other and I just love seeing Fran so happy!