Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Venue

You probably notice a little change to the ole blog.  I made the header and wanted to give it a Christmas feel.  Tis the season!
While Mom was here this past weekend, we got a ton of wedding related things accomplished. We visited the venue again, took pictures and will hopefully decide on colors soon.  I ordered some swatches from Lula Kate for bridesmaid's dresses and we'll take them over to the City Club to decide for sure.

I don't want to spoil everything but here are some pictures...they were set up for Thanksgiving dinner.

Ballroom where the dancing will happen!

The Charlotte City Club is on the top two floors of one of the high rise buildings uptown Charlotte.  There are skyline views all around which will be perfect for our out of town guests and even some Charlotteans.  We'll get to see the sun set as the reception begins.

The room above overlooks the Avenue which is where Kevin and I met and live (separately!). 

It simply felt right to have our reception here at City Club.   

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

DIY Fresh Fruit Cone

Today, I'm linking up with Hopsy at Kappa Prep for her DIY Holiday Gift Link Up.  I'm not the most crafty lady in the world but there is nothing better than a good ole classic, especially one inspired by Williamsburg.  You can use this in your own home or give to a friend with instructions.  She would be free to design it how she likes!

First you must purchase the cone that is used as a base. Mine is an old one from my Mom but these things last forever! Click here to see one online. I'd get the cone and base but may want to call to confirm it's what you'll need. I searched high and low and cannot find the wooden studded one that I have.  I bet if you headed to Michael's or another craft store, you could find a cone that would work for much cheaper.  Mine has nails that stick out of the cone so you can stick apples into it. 
As you can see, I topped mine with a pineapple and stuck some fresh boxwood in between the apples to cover the cone. 

Here is a quick read on how some ideas of how to make yours!  They have pictures of some...oh how I love the oranges with the fresh cloves in it!

It's the perfect centerpiece, decoration or gift!  You can change it up and use it differently every year.  And even someone not very crafty like me can handle it! :)

Introducing Kendall Braelyn

Warning:  picture overload!

But yall this baby is too cute not to have lots of photos!
Kevin holding Kendall, Joe (proud Daddy) in background

Welcome to the world, Kendall Braelyn to the proud parents Joe and Brittany. Joe is Kevin's brother, Brittany is obviously his sis-in-law!
Loving on his niece

Born on Saturday, November 26, 2011.
Proud parents...doesn't Brittany look awesome for just having a child?! 8:41am. 

20" long

7 pounds, 11 ounces
L to R - Kevin, Grandpaw, Daddy staring at Kendall!

Kevin is SO excited.  "I'm holding my BROTHER'S BABY!"
 The whole crew!  Proud grandparents, brothers, Brittany and baby Kendall.

Snug as a bug!

Kevin and I with Kendall.  I couldn't get enough of holding her!

Loved every second of it!

Kendall, we're so glad you're here!  Wishing Joe and Brittany lots of sleep as they begin their journey as parents. ;)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend

Hey friends, long time no talk!  Hope you all got to "unplug" a little bit this weekend to enjoy family and/or friends.

My parents came down from Maryland on Wednesday evening.  Kevin came home from work and we had some cocktails and chili to start the weekend!

Thursday morning early, Dad and I went for an 8 mile run...he had to ride Kevin's bike since he claims I hurt his knee this time last year on our jog.  Ha!  But it was still great to get out and about.

We went over to our wedding reception venue to take some pictures so we can decide on colors.  Mid day, we headed down to Kevin's parent's club for Thanksgiving lunch/dinner.  Yes, Brittany still hadn't had their baby (she's on the left)....but keep reading! 

Thursday evening Mom and I got my Christmas decorations out and got to work!

Friday brought an early morning as I picked Mom up at their hotel at 6:45am.  We started our trek around Southpark and went to 17 different stores and shops!

We put up a few more Christmas decorations and hung out at my place.  I made some dinner that night and we discussed some more wedding plans!  Have to take advantage of having my parents in town!

Mom and Kevin being silly!

Saturday morning came early as we had heard around 10pm the night before that Brittany and Joe were headed to the hospital as Brittany was in labor.  I drove down to the hospital around 5am since she had just had her epidural, we knew it was coming soon!  I ended up having to leave about 30 minutes before baby Kendall was born.  Yall, Kendall is beautiful and she deserves her own blog post! Tomorrow!

I surprised Mom with a wash and blow dry hair appointment on Saturday morning at my salon.  I wanted her to feel special for the first time I tried on wedding dresses.  And as an added bonus, she got to meet the sweet gal that will be doing hers and my wedding hair-do! 

Saturday afternoon we had lunch with Dad and we drove around Charlotte and checked out some houses Kevin and I have been looking at.  It was awesome to get his and mom's opinion.  Mom has expensive taste, but we all already knew that.  She and I always pick out the same things! ;)

Kevin and my Dad went down to Kevin's office for my Dad to help him with some computer things.  Mom and I went to try on wedding gowns!!!!  Yall - it was the most fun wedding thing we've done so far!  I think I may have found it but since we have some extra time, I am going to go try on one other place.  Plus, I want Kevin's Mom to have the opportunity to see some on me too.  She wasn't able to come Saturday since she had become a grandmother that morning! :)

Saturday evening, we went to Aria in uptown Charlotte with Kevin's parents.  We got to sit at the Chef's table which is in the kitchen.  Very cool and I highly recommend!

Kevin with his parents and my parents and I.

Our annual little Christmas tree picture in the Bank of America Corporate Center.
Yesterday, Kevin and I headed down to the hospital after my parents left and spent lots of time with baby Kendall!  So addicting holding her!  Can't get enough!

Okay okay, I must share a some pictures of Kendall, I can't wait until tomorrow!

Melt my heart...

Kendall and I

Lots more pictures tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Perfect Lil Weekend

Today and tomorrow I'm flying up north for work.  Talk about bad timing for a meeting...on the busiest travel day in the country.  Eeps!

So yall know those weekends where you run rampade trying to get a million things done and see everyone you know?  And you feel like you never have time to get things accomplished in your own house?

Ahhh, that's been ours for every weekend since early summer I think.  Until this weekend. 

We didn't go out either night.  I got to go on a long run Saturday morning.  Kevin got some work done while he laid in bed.  I didn't even see him until about noon on Saturday.  We had our Avenue Thanksgiving lunch on the 10th floor so I made a dish for that.  Then I wrapped Christmas gifts that afternoon and did a few loads of laundry.  We went to dinner with his parents then drove around looking at houses.  So nice. 

Sunday I cleaned like a crazy lady and my house is pretty spic and span.  We watched church on TV then lots of football.  We did venture out to Ikea for about 30 minutes and to the Teeter on the way back.  Then I made some Corn Chowder for dinner.  Kevin packed our breakfast and lunch for the next day.

Just an easy Sunday where we got things done and I felt ready for the week ahead. 

It should be like that more often.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Birthday Round Up

Soooo yes, my birthday was last Thursday.  I'm not a big advertiser of my birthday but anyway, yes that's why my girls and I went out last week for wine. :)

Okay be prepared for lots of photos because it was a fun week!

Thursday started with a run, lots of sweet phone calls from friends and family and then a busy day at work.  In fact, Anna Kate called and I completely interrupted the meeting I was in to answer and chat with her.  She asked what kind of birthday party I was having.  Presch.  My co-workers thought it was adorable, thankfully!

I came home and had three envelopes from my parents, one of which had this adorable pink high heeled card with a print out of the Torys I wanted.  Mom had already mailed this when she found out on Monday that Kevin had bought them for me.  Ha, Mom and Kevin are so funny.  Usually they coordinate but they didn't this year.  I'm not complaining :).

All week, Kevin said we were having hot dogs on Thursday night.  In fact, he says it every year then goes all out.  So I walked in and he had dinner "set up" for dogs. 

Then out came some appetizers, clearly not for hot dogs.

Then some of yall saw this lil card he gave me - "Happy Birthday lil Lish!  We can avoid hotdogs if you wish.  Hope the last year of your 20's is the best.  After that, I'll take care of the rest."  The cutest poem everrrrr right?!!  The last sentence is because we're getting married when I'm 30.  I had tears in my eyes.  And he wrapped that gift himself....he tied the bow like normal then taped it and their wrapping!  Hey, I was just grateful for the thought!

Inside were these beauties from Morrison Smith.  We actually stopped in there yesterday to get my ring cleaned and they said these earrings are hand made in this little shop in New England and this same jeweler just got contact by Disney to do a lot of their jewelry. 

But yall, he had already gotten me these!!!  He went WAY overboard.

And then we walked over to Ruth's Chris for an amazing dinner.  Way too much, but I'm so thankful!!!!

Here we are stuffed after dinner!  We met our friend David out for a drink at Dandelion afterwards but we were all too stuffed to even drink water! 

On Friday, I took the day off which is super rare that I get to take a day off for something I want to do!  Kevin and I did a lil wine tour in the Yadkin Valley area of North Carolina.


We got a recommendation to go to Twenty One and Main in downtown Elkin, NC.  Delish.  If you're ever in the area, we highly recommend.  Burger with pimento cheese and green tomato.  Turkey sandwich with brie and orange marmalade.

We came back into Charlotte Friday evening and visited with Kim, Jeff and Jack for pizza. 

On Saturday night, we went to Firebirds with Kevin's parents and sis-in-law Brittney for my birthday.  Unfortunately Kevin's brother Joe couldn't make it.  Brittney's due date was on Friday so she is anxious to have baby Kendall, but doesn't she look great for being 40 weeks pregnant?!

Sorry for the long post, just had lots going on and been super thankful for all my friends and family for celebrating my birthday!  Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Yall know I'm not very open to shopping at new stores.  Because let's be honest, I'm terrible at putting outfits together unless someone at J. Crew or Lilly tells me how to do it.  I never shop at Forever 21 or any of those places because I don't have the patience to find diamonds in the rough and usually it isn't my style. 

When I received an email from Maurice's offering a Splurge party, I was a little anxious because I had never heard of the place.  I did some research online, opened my mind and replied back.

They were so sweet and even sent me a big ole gift card so I would come in and see what they were all about.  I drove up to Concord one Sunday morning and the sweet manager showed me the ropes.  She was super sweet and knew her store front to back. 

I ended up trying on lots of things....things I knew wouldn't work on me, things I didn't love on a hanger and good ole basics.  I came away with some great things. 

I was glad I gave it a chance and checked it out.  Their prices are easy on the wallet and you can't beat some classic long sleeve shirts or tanks.  I also got the ivory ruffle cardigan above.
I recommend you stop by there to give them a chance too!  They have over 800 retail stores nationwide, mostly in the midwest so I bet some of you all have heard of them.  They are relatively new here in the southeast. 

As I mentioned, they did give me the gift card to try it out, but these opinions are mine. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rainy Run and Cheesy Potato Casserole

Tara and I started the day off right with a good run.  It wasn't rainy when we first began but the leaves on the sidewalk were really wet and slippery.  We were careful though.  Then when we were almost home, it started getting super windy and then it was all out downpour.  We got home just in time!  There aren't too many mornings left when you can wear short sleeve shirts and shorts so we're taking advantage of them!

Last night I made a casserole for a Thanksgiving Pot Luck that we're having at work today.  It isn't very Thanksgiving-ish because everyone else was already making that stuff but I thought everyone would like this.  I've made it twice before and it's been a hit every time.  Pretty easy too!

Cheesy Potato Casserole  - by my 'home home' next door neighbor!

7 medium potatoes (2 lbs)
1/4 c. butter melted
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 - 8oz. sour cream
1 - 10 3/4 oz. can of cream of chicken soup undiluted
2 c (8oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
3 T butter
1 1/2 c herb seasoned stuffing mix

Cook potatoes in boiling water to cover 30 minutes or until tender.  Drain - let cool to touch.  Peel and cut into 1/4" strips.  Set aside.  Combine 1/4c butter melted and next 5 ingredients in large bowl; gently stir in potatoes and cheese.  Spoon into lightly greased 9x13 baking dish.  Combine 3T of butter and stuffing mix.  Sprinkle over potato mixture.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated.  8 servings.

Since we don't have an oven here at work, I just cooked it last night and today I'll heat it in the microwave for a long time.  It's hard to mess up potatoes and cheese, ha!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wooden Vine with the Ladies

Last night I went out with some of my best girlfriends to Wooden Vine.

Blogger isn't cooperating so turn your head to the right and you'll see some amazing cupcakes Tara brought for us.  Red velvet, buck eye, choc on choc, apple crumb.  Ah-mazing.  From Polka Dot Bakery here in Charlotte.

Okay turn your head to the right again.  We did a wine tasting and that was very fun....especially when the guy told us about what we were drinking, ha! 
 It was such a fun night discussing alllll kinds of topics and having some wine with tasty apps on a "school night."  Sometimes you need something fun to break up the week, right?! 

Thanks ladies! ;)