Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - My Dress

Guess what?!!

My dress came in yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Looks just like this one. 

Hahaha.  ;)

By the way, this is what comes up when you google "terrible wedding dress."  Poor gal.

No but really, mine did arrive at the shop here in Charlotte.  I'm going to go try it on in the next few weeks just to be sure it's not defective (they basically make you to do this) then fittings are closer to the big day and when my Mom is in town. 

Yay!  I'm excited!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend - Wedding and Low Key

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.  My mom went HOME yesterday (even the docs thought her progress was unreal).  Kevin's Uncle is also doing better (we got to visit with him on Sunday). 

I flew back in from being up north on Saturday morning.  Basically went straight to get my hair cut (I always plan these on the days I have a special event - why not right?!). 

Kevin and I regrouped that afternoon and went to a wedding that evening.  I work with Amy and this was just so great to see her happy and getting married to Reid.  She's such a sweet gal. 

Kevin and I with Charlotte's skyline in the background.  The wedding was at Roof With a View. 

Sunday morning I had a showing and then we did a whole lot of this...and I went to the pool.  That night I made us a good dinner and we watched TV. 

Yesterday, we took a long walk on the greenway and I went to the pool with Tara while Kevin got some work done.   

In the afternoon I finished up some side dishes and we headed south to Kevin's parents for a cookout.  On the way, we looked at some houses and found one we really like.  It's bank owned and there are two other bids.  We are still not sure if we are going to put an offer in but at least (after an entire year of looking) we found something we like.  Now if we could get a 50% discount on it, we'd close on it tomorrow!  Ha!

I made Skinny Taste's Southwestern Black Bean Salad and Baby Red Potato Salad.  Both were delicious if I do say so myself, ha.  His Mom made shrimp, chicken and beef skewers with grilled veggies - all yum.  I also took corn down and Brittany made an apple dip for dessert.  Delish summer meal!

Hope you all enjoyed your long weekend.  Today we are in town, tomorrow off to Miami for a work trip for Kevin.  Any must see or do things in Miami?!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Jo Jo Loves You

I received the sweetest email earlier this week asking if I would do a post to tell y'all about the JoJo Loves You Annual Bling Sale!  It runs from Today! through Monday, May 28th and is only available on their web store -

Check out the deals...and free shipping on orders over $100!

It's funny that they emailed me because I've always wanted a pair of their bling earrings.  I just think they are all so versatile and really pep up an outfit!
They even told me they'd send me a pair for posting about their sale.  Super nice right?!  Now I have a decision to make that will be so difficult.  I dream about the outfits with each pair.  Hmmm....

The above would jazz up a work outfit or you could pair them with a cocktail dress for a night out on the town or for a wedding. 

The best part, all of their bling is super reasonable!

Check out their website for their big sale and happy shopping friends!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

No Bueno

I really try to talk about fun and spunky things on here but it's been a heckuva week. 

My Mom had a major surgery at Hopkins yesterday and I couldn't be there because I had to travel for work.  Luckily I think I'm going to be able to make it down (I'm in PA right now) to Baltimore tomorrow for a couple of days because my Friday meeting in VA Beach got canceled.  That'll be a relief to see her and hang/entertain Dad.  I know he had a long day yesterday and it's tough on him. 

It was a planned surgery and is a long story.  They think it was successful but recovery will be rough.  I'm going to try to make it back to Maryland again in a couple of weeks to help when she gets home.  Can only go up from here!  She's a tough cookie! 

Kevin's Uncle fell last weekend and hit his head.  He isn't doing well.  This is his Uncle that lives across the street from his parents and is his Dad's brother.  He's in ICU as well but in Charlotte. 

Happy thoughts and prayers.  Thank you friends.  Means more than you know. 

Tomorrow...back to scheduled posts.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Tuxes

Initially I wanted to check around at least a couple of places for a traditional tux rental.  So of course I headed to Men's Warehouse (where I received terrible service) and then to Jos A Bank (where I received good service). 

Jos A Bank even had less expensive tux when you compared apples to apples.  I don't think a lot of people would think that, but they did for what we wanted!

So I'm sure you all are shocked that we're going with a traditional tux.  Ha!  Our guys won't have a hankerchief though but otherwise, standard. 

The only thing they'll have to have on wedding day other than their rental are black socks.  And you know I will have a couple extra pairs...just in case! :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

J. Crew Clearance Stores - Lynchburg, VA

Last week when I was in Virginia for work and I had to go through Lynchburg, I was able to stop by the two clearance stores there.  As you know, J. Crew ships from the warehouse here and I knew there had to be good stuff!

To find the exact addresses, I did a simple google on my phone and found information on this blog.  As you may know, these clearance stores are pretty top secret. Also please note, these are not factory stores.  These are the clothes that are in the real J. Crew stores.  I personally have not had the best quality items come from the factory stores...and they usually aren't even that great of deals to be honest.  You can get better quality from getting things at the regular J. Crew on sale.  Yes I'm crazy about J. Crew. 


I got to the first one at 6:15pm which is connected to the warehouse.  The address is 25 Millrace Drive, Lynchburg, VA.  It's in an industrial area just like the one south of Asheville, North Carolina. 

This store is pretty large and had men's and women's.  Not everything is perfect, you do have to check for any flaws or spots but I'd say a majority is in brand spankin' new shape.  Just some pricing...the shoes were $70 which I didn't think was a good deal (but let's be honest, J. Crew shoes are outrageous for what they are), jeans were $20 or $30 including matchstick which I just bought full price, Minnie pants were $20, bathing suit pieces were $15 each, scarves were $15... 

Everything was by item and then by size.  The cotton pencil skirts were $30.  Yes, if I coulda, I woulda picked one up in every color.  You'll see at the end of this post that I did get one. 

They had current things that are in the catalog right now. 

In the below picture, that's all cashmere and on the rack behind are the dressy tanks.  I wear these all the time under Jackie cardigans for work.

Then I headed over to the next one which they just recently opened because they had run out of room.  The address of this one is 101-A Northwynd Circle, Lynchburg, VA.  It's in more of a strip of shops type area like you'd usually see retail stores in.  I personally liked this store better - maybe it was just that it seemed like they had a better selection of what I liked.

Any color Jackie cardigan you want!  $30

Check the shoes.  I looked for wedding shoes but didn't find any in my size. 

It's a really nice store and one of the ladies in there was super helpful!  She even told me where to go for dinner that night ha!

Colored jeans, dresses in the way back, pencil skirts on the right side.  At this store, they had a lot of Madewell if you're into that and they had Crew Cuts (super cute!). 

So at the first store I did get the pencil skirt but looking back I probably wouldn't have spent the money on it.  Don't get me wrong, I love it (it's navy with ivory polka dots) and I'm wearing it today with a bright coral top but I just probably should have saved the mulah. 

I also picked up a super cheap white bathing suit.  My mom says it was uncalled for because it will look ridiculous on me but hopefully I get tan and can wear it the last day of our honeymoon.  April gave me the idea to put my new monogram on it and wear on our big trip.  So fun!  And maybe I can lose 100 pounds between now and then and look decent Mama!  Ha.

But my big bargain was a suit jacket that I've needed for over a year desperately.  I had told myself that if they had exactly what I wanted, I'd splurge for it.  Yall, they had one jacket - it just happened to be my size, the same material to match my suit pants and a cute style.  Ummm $60.  SIXTY!  Down from $230.  Mission accomplished.

I highly recommend that you stop by if you're in the area!  I could have done major damage but remember, we're on wedding and new house budget!  ;)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Suz, Weekend in Review & New Sandwiches

My friend Suz is currently in labor with her twins.  She had Zachary at 3am this morning and Lucy should be arriving any time!  We are so glad Zach is doing well and can't wait to meet Lucy too!

Friday night, Kevin and I layed low and we had filets, baked potato and a salad for dinner.  Normally we don't eat such fancy meals but hey why not treat ourselves every now and then.  Still cheaper than going out.

Saturday I did errands and went to the Farmer's Market early.  I ended up falling asleep that afternoon but then got up and we met Fran and Matt over at Aria.  We talked wedding the whole time (they're getting married August 18th) so we took a picture of us with our rings ha!  The boys thought we were crazy...but they love us anyway.

I love the wine bottles in the background...always the best pictures.

Then we headed out to meet a couple of Kevin's buddies at Whiskey Warehouse and Thomas Street Tavern.  He asked Brad and Rob to be groomsmen!  They love cutting up with each other.  These boys are very old friends!

Us at Thomas Street.  There were some bands out there and it was a good time.  Definitely a nice change of scenery from uptown but there were odd birds out and about.  Culture ha!

Sunday morning I made a quick dinner for a family that just had a baby and went to deliver that.  Then I came home and we made lunch.... proscuitto, arugula, goat cheese, oil and balsamic on sourdough.  Delish.  Oh Saturday we had tomato, mozzarella, basil sandwiches.  Yum. 

Last night we grilled out with some friends from our building then walked over to Yoforia.  We all loving our weekend doing this together!

Did yall have a nice weekend?

Friday, May 18, 2012


Last Wednesday through Saturday, Mom was in Charlotte and we did wedding stuff every second.  Kevin was in Vegas Tuesday through Friday of the same week.

Sunday and Monday I was in Atlanta for my cousin's graduation.

Tuesday I was in Charlotte.

Wednesday of this week, I've been up and down I-81 in the Harrisonburg, VA area.  Very cool - got to run on JMU's campus.

Yesterday I started in Harrisonburg, went to small towns all around, drove through Charlottesville, went to J. Crew Clearance Centers in Lynchburg.  Then I ended up last night in Danville.

Today (Friday!) I'm going to get back down to Charlotte at some point.

I'm in Charlotte this weekend with a bunch of things to do.  Next Wednesday - Saturday I'm in PA and MD. 

Sunday - Tuesday in Chicago. 

Wednesday - Sunday in Miami.

(yes back to back to back trips!)

In Charlotte Monday and Tuesday (June 4 and 5 if you're keeping up).

PA June 6-7

MD possibly June 8-10

CHARLOTTE for ALL of summer....sike

I LOVE it!!!  What better time than the present to travel?!  Hey, ya only live once!  I'm thankful for the opportunities.

PS - who says sike any more?!  I guess I do.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fun Night Out

On Saturday night when Mom was in town, we were asked on a hot date by Kevin who had just returned the night before from Vegas.  :) 

He took us to Basil which is his and my special spot and we simply love it.  Certainly helps that it's at the bottom of our building and we smell it coming into our parking deck each night.  It also makes you run faster when you go by it, in case you were wondering!

Saturday was the perfect opportunity to sit on the patio in the fantastic weather and for Mom's first Thai food....EVER! 

The above picture is hilarious to's my Mom lecturing Kevin about how he shouldn't be paying.  Haha!  Of course he was going to, he wouldn't have it any other way.  Keeper!

She was pleasantly surprised that it was so good! We're cultural here in Charlotte! ;) She probably tried the best Thai in Charlotte....well in my opinion at least!

Thanks for visiting us Mama!!!!!!  I LOVED having you here for your company, opinions on wedding things and just because everything is better when Mama is included!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Getting Things Done!

Mom was here this past week (since last Wednesday) and we got a ton of things done.  And we simply had the best time doing it all!

1.  She visited all of our registries (Belk, Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma) and we switched a couple of things around and perfected them. 

2.  We went to a few shops and have almost finalized her Mother of the Bride dress.  She has two really great options.  She'll revisit this in the early Fall so it can be ordered in time but in an accurate size. 

3.  We finalized tuxes so the guys can go to Jos A Bank and order them right now if they wanted to!

4.  Bridesmaids dresses (Lula Kate Chandler) and flower girl dresses (US Angels) were set up with J. Majors and the ladies can also go ahead and order their size at their leisure.  I sent out the email with the whole scoop on dress, jewelry and shoes to wear.

5.  We figured out that I'm going to wear my cousin's veil with my dress.  I tried it all on together and it was simply perfect.  And I'm soooo excited to wear something that has meaning from my family.

6.  We shoe shopped for me and I may end up going with a nude patent heel.  I want something that I can definitely wear again, a shoe that is classic and in 30 years I don't look back and say what in the world was I thinking. 

7.   We met with Lisa at Paper Twist who is fantastic to work with.  She is making the tags for our hotel gift bags and ordering the ribbon to tie them on with too.  She's also putting together the weekend itinerary along with attractions, restaurants and bars on the back for the gift bags.  And she'll tie in the ceremony program in with the other paper products as well.  I felt SOOOO relieved when we left here.  Those crafts were worrying me and she is doing them SUPER reasonably.  Like cheaper than I can do them.  So nice.

8.  We might have also designed the cocktail napkins and koozies.  Haha!  These aren't a positive...need to see how things shake out.  Certainly not a priority.

9.  We finalized the wording on the invitations and reception, reply and accomodations cards at Salutations.  Love Jessica - she made life so easy.  We'll order when Crane does their semi-annual "sale" in September. 

10.  Mom approved of all the gifts I already have bought for our wedding party and we selected certain things for each person.  I love having her opinion. 

Now, I get to spend time with my family and friends and really enjoy the last 10 months of our engagement.  They are putting on parties and things and they deserve my undivided attention, right?!  Right! 

So there you have it!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Laura's Graduation

On Friday night my cousins came and made a pit stop at my condo on their way from Richmond to Atlanta.  Laura was on her way to graduate from Emory with her Doctorate!

My Dad flew down to meet up with Mom and I on Sunday.  She and I left Charlotte at an early hour on Sunday and got down to Atlanta just in time to grab him from the airport and check into the hotel.  Then we headed over to Laura and Carl's hotel and her parents (Uncle Mac and Aunt Susan) had just gotten there from Florida.  Uncle Mac is my Mom's'll see in the below pictures....

We had cocktail hour at their hotel and got to catch up....including time with a flying monkey toy that Amelia just loved.  Aunt Susan had gotten the idea of the toy from her recent trip to London.
Uncle Mac and Amelia
 Then we all headed to Maggiano's for dinner.  Group picture!

My Mom and Amelia!

Monday morning started bright and early. 
 It did rain at the start but eventually stopped thankfully. 

We attended 5 different events for her graduation.  She was at the beginning of all of them because she was becoming a Doctor!

Laura, Carl and Amelia.  Soooo proud of Mommy!

I told you my Mom and Uncle Mac look just alike!

One of the events was a dedication of this exhibit from the past CEO of Coca Cola's wife in memory of her husband.  What a neat thing that was. 

And had to have another group photo with the graduate.  We are SO proud of her!  She's a smart cookie to say the least!

Of course she has already gotten a job at a college in Virginia as a professor!

Any school is lucky to have Laura!  And we're the lucky ones that get to call her family!

Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your special weekend Cuzzzzzz!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mama/Daughter Date

On Wednesday night, we took our Mama's out for an early Mother's Day dinner and to have them all meet.  Both Tara and Lauren's Mom live in Charlotte but obviously mine doesn't.  So when I knew my Mom was going to be here, we planned a triple date! 

Aria it was and of course we were able to sit at the Chef's table.  They always throw in extra treats when we sit in here, not to mention watching them cook is so fun!

We all look just like our Mom's so I'm sure you can figure it out pretty easily but from left to right - Tara's, mine, Lauren's.  So cute!

And isn't it funny that us daughters posed in the same order as our Moms?  Hmmm!!  Tara, Me, Lauren.

We've already planned our next outing for when Mom comes back in the Fall!  :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Charity Volleyball

Today our company is participating in a charity volleyball tournament here in Charlotte.  It's all of the commercial developers in town that come together to benefit a different organization each year.  This year it's a group that assists homeless children and provides meals and a mentor to them.  We are hopefully going to all be donating around $30,000 to them.  Some folks are also donating their time to go sit with these children at lunch and be a positive influence.  Others are making snack packs to deliver to the children. 

What a great organization right?  Would you believe there are over 4,000 homeless CHILDREN in Charlotte? 

I think it's neat that all of our companies get together for an afternoon of competitiveness and fun. 

Here's to a great day of raising money for a great organization and having a good time with our work competition while doing it!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Details

Mama is flying down to Charlotte today to do lots of fun wedding things all weekend.  I'm excited!

I've been working on details details details the past few weeks.  It is less than 11 months away and I want to get all the special things out of the way so I'm not up every night the week before folding things and tying ribbons.  I don't work well in that position. 

Soooo I've scoped out ribbon for the programs, I've found cardstock to get them printed on, I've made a sheet that has bars and restaurants on it for the welcome bags (actually Miss Crafty April made it and is kindly lending me hers, I just changed the places and monogram), I know what is going in the welcome bags, the actual bags arrived this week and I'm working on a must be taken photo list this week.  Oh, I designed the cocktail napkins and am finalizing koozies too.  And I bought flower girl and bridesmaid gifts last fun!

My friend Jenn solved my tag issue that I was fretting over last week.  She has a Cricut and I went up to their condo the other day and she had already made like 4 or 5 different options (talk about a good friend!!).  It is going to be perfect.  Thanks Jenn!  :)

Some things Mama and I are doing this week and weekend:
 - finalizing (AKA getting her approval) on the tuxes and bridesmaid dresses and setting up the ordering information
 - looking for a dress for her that doesn't look too Mother of the Bride or like she's 80 years old
 - looking for shoes for both of us and taking mine to try on with my dress
 - figuring out the veil situation
 - doing all the wording on the stationery so when Crane has it's "sale" in the Fall, we'll just simply call and order

I'm excited to get this party started!  I've loveddddd all the planning so far and can't wait for more.  I've just had the best time putting it all together!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Recipe: Cheesy Jalapeno Popper Baked Stuffed Chicken

I had seen this on Skinny Taste and then again on Dee's Adventures.  I knew I had to try it because it looked right up Kevin's alley.  And boy was I right.  "This is how I like chicken."  "I'd even eat this for leftovers."  "You can make this again any time."  were some of the quotes last night. 

Cheesy Jalapeño Popper Baked Stuffed Chicken
Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 2 stuffed breasts • Old Points: 9 pt • Points+: 9 pts
Calories: 371 • Fat: 17.5 g • Protein: 42.7 g • Carb: 11 g • Fiber: 1.5 g • Sugar: 0.6 g
Sodium: 355.8 mg (without salt)


 - 2 slices center cut bacon, cooked and crumbled

 - 3 jalapeños, chopped (remove seeds for milder) (I only used two small ones because I'm whimpy)
 - 3 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
 - 4 oz reduced fat shredded cheddar jack (Sargento)
 - 2 tbsp chopped scallions
 - 8 thin sliced skinless chicken breast cutlets, 3 oz each (I used 3 chicken breasts and flattened them so my recipe made 3)
 - 1/2 cup Italian seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
 - 1 1/2 juicy limes, juice of
 - 1 tbsp olive oil
 - salt and fresh pepper
 - olive oil non-stick spray


Wash and dry chicken cutlets, season with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 450°. Lightly spray a baking dish with non-stick spray.

Combine cream cheese, cheddar, scallions, jalapeño and bacon crumbles in a medium bowl.

Lay chicken cutlets on a working surface and spread 2 tbsp of cream cheese mixture on each cutlet. Loosely roll each one, secure the ends with toothpicks to prevent the cheese from oozing out.

Place breadcrumbs in a bowl; in a second bowl combine olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper.

Dip chicken in lime-oil mixture, then in breadcrumbs and place seam side down on a baking dish. Repeat with the remaining chicken. When finished, lightly spray the top of the chicken with oil spray.

Bake 22-25 minutes, serve immediately.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Cinco de Mayo Weekend

Yes, I wish I was telling yall the truth that this is Keith Urban, but it isn't.  I tricked a few of you on Twitter Friday night.  Haha!  This is our neighbor Mike....doesn't he look so similar to Keith?  Mike's wife is also blonde like Nicole Kidman.

After an Avenue party at Stools, we headed to Dandelion.  Saw Mimi, one of my Chi O gals that I "advised!"  So fun!

Saturday morning I headed out to the Farmer's market and grocery store.  We looked at houses that afternoon then eventually ended up over in the Elizabeth area at Jacks and PStone with a bunch of Kevin's friends.  Chaos...

Kinda weird pic of Kevin and I.  Note to self: shirt is not flattering.

Kevin and all of his boys.  Some of his oldest friends!

Sunday morning I went to the free Pottery Barn decorating class with Lauren.  This is one of the set ups they did.  We didn't buy a thing but we did learn a lot.  I recommend going to one of these if you are near a Pottery Barn!

I through some of these on the grill last night for dinner along with some shrimp kabobs.  Pretty tasty Sunday night meal. 

Last night Bushy was in town for work today so we went to Yoforia for yogurt and talked for two hours, ha!  We could have sat there for another two!
Today it's back to the grind.  Busy week.  Kevin's off to Vegas for work and my Mama is coming to town Wednesday!  Atlanta this weekend.  Looking forward to it all!