April 23, 2015

Dining Room Reveal

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about my dining room inspiration. I know that I promised I was going to write THIS post shortly after, but my to-do got longer then I could keep up with and I had to take a few steps back and slow down...trying to focus more of my attention on wedding planning! That's an okay excuse though right? Better later then never!

One of the things I love most about our new home is the kitchen and dining area. The kitchen is much bigger then anything we've shared together in the past and is one of the most important rooms to us. So I think we both agree that we lucked up!
As an engaged couple we've registered for a handful of kitchen items and have started to receive quite a few that we're really excited about. For instance, our knife set, toaster oven, spice rack and flatware have all been put to good use already. But because I've never had this much counter space, I have no idea how I want to arrange things on it. Do you guys have any ideas that you'd be willing to share with me? Of course I have some inspiration but sometimes accomplishing those "looks" yourself seems kind of impossible. Can you relate?
Of course I had to throw in a random photo of Miller enjoying the sunshine. These past few days in Charlotte have been filled with nothing but clouds and rain and it's been pretty depressing. I'm so ready for more consistent summer weather and I think Miller is too! 

April 21, 2015

My Bridal Shower

Growing up, I was lucky to have been thrown quite a few birthday parties. Half of them I even helped plan most of the decorations, the food, and everything in-between. They were all great and I have so many memories from each and every one of them. But nothing compares to the bridal shower that was thrown for me this past weekend by one of my dearest friends and bridesmaids Amanda and her mother Sonja, or SoSo as I like to call her.
To be honest, it's kind of hard for me to even begin to describe my bridal shower because it was all so wonderful and I loved everything about it. But then again you would think that would make it easy right? But here's a fact...I'm not really one who is fond of surprises, and I was hardly a part of any of the planning that went into this shower! So it was easy and kind of natural for me to have been a little nervous going into things. But that leads me to my first piece of advice for all of you future bride's! ENJOY these sweet and special moments. Sit back, RELAX and let others shower you. Everything will pass by so quickly that only afterwards will you realize that they are truly gone.

Before I offer anymore advice though, let me get back to talking about the bridal shower! Amanda and SoSo took the time to think through all of the details that made the day feel more like a party rather then just another social gathering. From the beautiful flowers (that smelled heavenly), to the mint and gold (our wedding colors) that they incorporated, all the way down to the mimosa bar and food and drink labels that they created, everything was planned and coordinated perfectly. They even had little plants wrapped in burlap for each guest to take home as party favors. Southern hospitality at it's finest y'all.
Every lady (minus a few) that holds an important piece of my heart was also in attendance. From my photos you might notice that I'm one who would rather have ten near and dear friendships that I invest everything into rather then having twenty plus friendships that are just mediocre. And that's just the way I like it.

A portion of the shower was dedicated to present opening. Everyone was unbelievably thoughtful and kind to bring presents for me and I feel very blessed. But that wasn't what made me fall head-over-heels in love with this special day even though it's so much fun to be gifted with beautiful things! What meant more to me were the people that were there who love me in good times and bad, who support me when I feel all alone and all the details that Amanda and SoSo put into my bridal shower.
Y'all, I will say though, if there is one thing that I remember vividly for my bridal shower, it would have to be all of the delicious food that was prepared. I mean look at the menu! They knew exactly the type of foods that I like, and all of it was homemade! I even took some of the Mint French Macarons with the Minty White Chocolate Filling home with me for Will to try and we've caught ourselves more then once thinking about how amazing they were. And the Creamy Cheesy Grits...to die for.
And so, I want to step back and offer a few additional pieces of advice for all you future brides (I think anyone can relate to what I have to say though). The first one is TRUST. Trust others. If someone wants to throw you a shower, let them and only give them feedback when asked! You've already put so much time and energy into lot's of other planning, and you need to remember that the showers that are thrown aren't as important as your marriage that you are about to invest in.

Secondly, make sure someone is there to document and take pictures. As good of a memory that you might have, so much is going on that you are most likely going to forget a chunk of what goes on. Sure you might take a few photos on your phone, but nothing compares to the candid shots that someone else take. And again, trust someone else to take over this task! You'll be glad that you weren't the one behind the camera and were actually a part of these captured moments. My friend, and Amanda's sister took on this role for me at my shower without me even having to ask and I couldn't say thank you enough!
And lastly, make sure you do your best to show your appreciation. Especially to the hosts. And remember it doesn't have to be extravagant! I got both Amanda and her mom a Mini Capri Blue Iridescent Candle and the ever so popular Homegrown Monogram Mug from Anthropolgie. It's the little things in life that often mean the most.

April 17, 2015

5 on Friday

Will and I discovered this TV show called Impractical Jokers that we've become obsessed with! truTV sums up the show pretty well, "Four comedians and lifelong friends compete to embarrass each other amongst the general public with a series of hilarious and outrageous dares. When Sal, Joe, Q, and Murr challenge each other to say or do something, they have to do it. And if they refuse, they lose. At the end of every episode, the biggest loser must endure a punishment of epic proportions." We've only been watching it for a few weeks but can't seem to get enough. Y'all, I've honestly never seen Will laugh so hard, which in turn makes me laugh until my stomach hurts. So if you are in need of something to cheer you up on the spot, then this show is worth checking out.

Fact...Miller LOVES when he receives packages in the mail. I mean he literally knows when a box has arrived just for him and it's the cutest thing I ever did see. The way he lights up when a box from Chewy.com comes is the cherry on top of it all because without even opening the box, I already know that we both will like (more so approve) what's include. This month he received A Kong Knots bear toy that his absolute favorite thing at the moment. Anytime we get ready to play he always brings me this one first. Miller also received Merrick Power Bite treats. So far he really likes them. They are little treats and the perfect size to give on a more regular basis.

I recently ordered The Nest Newlywed Handbook: An Owner's Manual for Modern Married Life and so far it's been really good. Of course, a lot of the content may seem pointless for some but for me, it's been very insightful especially on topics such as having joint or separate accounts, filing taxes, and buying your first home. I'm really interested in getting into the further chapters that go over celebrating holidays together and one's career vs. couplehood.
Tomorrow one of my dearest friends Amanda and her amazing mom are throwing me a bridal shower and I'm so so excited to celebrate and to have all of my favorite women all together. Pretty much everything has been planned as a surprise (which I usually don't like), so I can't wait to see what all they've been up to these past few months! Sorry I don't have many details to share but one thing I know is that everything is going to be just perfect and I truly feel so beyond loved and one lucky girl to have such amazing friends and people in my life. Stay tuned and I'll share more once the shower has come and gone.

And finally, you've heard of the band Echosmith right? I first learned of them when their song 'Cool Kids' came out and was played on the radio all the time. But there's a new song that's caught my attention and I've had on repeat for days now. It's called 'Bright' and once you take a listen, try to tell me you don't have those lyrics stuck in your head all day or catch yourself singing it out loud!

April 10, 2015

Starter Stories with Compass

When I think back to Will and I's first "starter" home, I can't help but smile. It was a 2 bed/2 bath condo located right across the street from the Mint Museum on Randolph Road. Charlotte is known for it's mini-neighborhoods, and The Villages of Eastover Glen, where we lived, was right in the heart of Elizabeth. For us, the location was perfect. We were within walking distance to two different hospitals, as well as a number of shops and restaurants (Pure Barre, Starbucks and Panera Bread being a few).
Our unit was situated on the third floor and featured a nice and open floor plan. One of my favorite touches were the large windows and plantation shutters. Oh how I loved all the of natural light that would beam into our humble abode throughout the day. Miller, our furbaby enjoyed the sunshine probably more then us and would lay by the window that let in the most sunlight and would fall asleep in the warmth each and every day. 
At night, we would try to take advantage of the track lighting that had been installed in the living room. Will and I especially loved the track lighting when we would have date nights at home. It made the mood all the more cozy and was perfect when watching movies.
To the left of our kitchen there was a sliding door that led to a covered balcony...big enough for a few chairs and even a table. This balcony was the biggest one that either of us have ever had (besides were our parent's live) and I can't tell you how many afternoons and nights that I would go out to this space to curl up with a book or relax listening to the rain fall heavily on those summer nights. We were right up close and personal to a pretty big tree that provided just the right amount of shade that I miss terribly!
And let me tell you about our kitchen. It was a love/hate relationship from the start.And the smallest kitchen I ever did see! Okay...that's an exaggeration BUT it was so tiny that Will and I could hardly ever maneuver inside of it at the same time...which made cooking meals together a little tricky. If you can't tell from the pictures, you could extend both of your arms out and touch a side of both counter tops at the same time. That's how enclosed this space was. But it worked and we used it a lot. But thank goodness we have a much larger kitchen now that has double the room and storage!!  

To the right of the kitchen was the hall bathroom where the washer and dryer were also found. Next door to that bathroom was our guest bedroom, that we also used as Will's home office.
The master bedroom was right past the kitchen and had a large walk-in closet that I used, a bathroom and a second sliding glass door that went out to the balcony.

Can I step back for a second to say that with every home, there are a handful of quirks and fixer-uppers? If you've never lived in a space with either of these consider yourself lucky. Now don't get me wrong, we were so thankfully to call this space "ours". It's also very near and dear to my heart since it's also the first place that Will and I lived together. And it had a lot of things that we loved like the hardwood floors and a fireplace in the Living Room, stainless steel appliances, a storage closet on the balcony, a dishwasher and garbage disposal (yes...Will's apartment in Chapel Hill did not have these!), crown molding, vaulted ceilings and a washer and dryer that were included. 

But there were quirks that we learned to love deal with like the crazy artwork that the previous owners had painted on the kitchen cabinet doors that we hid behind kitchen towels. The sliding door to the balcony that always came off the track or would get stuck, making you have to squeeze through the opening to get in and out. The washer that would shake uncontrollably when in it's last spin cycle. The horrid sliding blinds in the master bedroom that I had to always move out of the way when vacuuming the room. I hated those things. And the bathroom in the master bedroom that was pretty much out in the open. There was nothing like watching Will brush his teeth from bed haha.

But despite all of the quirks, The Villages of Eastover Glen is where we called home for a good year and a half. Our time there was sweet indeed. That place was OUR home. It provided us safety and community. We made friends with our neighbors and took advantage of the pool and small gym weekly. It allowed us to dream of future homes and helped me imagine all the possibilities for interior decorating. Now that Will and I have moved on and have found a new place to call home in Dilworth, we have many times thought back on our little ole' condo and have a lot to be thankful for. Those memories will be with us forever.

I wanted to give a special thank you to Compass who asked me to participate in this project they are running called Start Stories! Compass is a new real estate service in NYC that helps people find the perfect neighborhood to call home. Their focus is identifying the best matches based on your interest and personality, using their own personally platform that you can check out here
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