Thursday, March 31

a touch of modern.

First I need to say THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for all of you sweet notes yesterday! It yet again reminded me how awesome the blogging community is and how many wonderful people I've met along the way! 
BIG {VIRTUAL} HUGS TO ALL OF YOU! 

Now on to some decorating biznass ... 

Typically, I would describe my style as shabby chic ... It's a little bit cottage, a little bit coastal and a whole lot of casual

Recently though, I've been really wanting to mix in some random modern/contemporary/whatever you want to call it ... 

Here's some things I saw on CSN that I'm really diggin' right now ... 

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I think that pillows are definitely the easiest way to update the look of a room ... 
Especially since my mama & stepmama 'demanded' that I learn how to sew a pillow. 
{fine, offered to teach}

I love those lamps though and have been searching for a crystal/glass lamp ... Or maybe a mirrored one? 

And then there's the ghost chair ... Oh how I love thee! I really need want one of these! Maybe in the bedroom? Oh my! Dreamy!!

So what do y'all think? What is your decorating style?

Happy Thursday Y'all! 


Wednesday, March 30

a little sap.

{my Daddy & 2 grandfathers ... 3 of the greatest men I've ever known}

I usually don't get all sappy on y'all 
... 
But today 
...
today I am sad. 

Today would have been my grandfather's 84th birthday but after a long and fierce battle with lung cancer ... 
the cancer finally won in August of last year. 

My papa {as we called him} was one of the greatest men I will ever have the pleasure of knowing. He was funny, so smart and gave the best advice. 
I never heard him speak a harsh word to anyone and have never met anyone with a bad thing to say about him. 

I know that today {and everyday} he's looking down on me. 
And I know that he lives in spirit in the hearts of so many people whose lives he touched. 

I miss him everyday, but today ... even moreso. 
I always tried to be the first person to call him on his birthday ... 
If I wasn't he poked fun and told me I must not love him as much as whoever was the first! :) 

So pardon my sap ... And thank you for listening! 
I appreciate you all each and every day! xo


Tuesday, March 29

bridesmaids luncheon.

I'm sure that I've mentioned it before ... I am lucky enough to have what I call 'two mamas'. Typically after I say this I realize that I've confused quite a few people who also hear me always talking about my sweet Daddy. 

To clarify, I have a fabulous stepmom that I'm not sure what I'd do without! I feel so lucky to have been blessed with 4 wonderful and loving parents! 

My second-mama was an enormous help with everything during the wedding planning process even before she offered to host the Bridesmaids Luncheon. 
I'm a Southerner born and bred so I'm not sure if this is a Southern thing or if this is something that everyone does! 
{does everyone do this?}

Basically, the Bridesmaids Luncheon is a time before the wedding to honor all of your lovely bridesmaids. We had ours the day before! And it was gorgeous
{fab and GORG bridesmaids}
We had a delicious lunch in my parents backyard ... 
Butternut squash soup, Fried goat cheese salads with homemade sweet potato rolls. 
{omg. mouth is watering.}
{Sus if you're reading this can we PLEASE recreate this when I'm 40? Or 30? Or in a couple of weeks?}

After lunch I gave each of my bridesmaids a pair of fresh water pearl earrings for them to wear with their dresses on the BIG day! And a tote bag for them to carry all their stuff from the salon to the church and then to the reception! 

Then we had cake ... My second-mama who is big on traditions {which I love} baked the most delicious carrot cake and before icing it placed 'wedding pulls' in it. This is an old Victorian tradition in which each bridesmaid {then called 'ladies in waiting'} pulls a charm out of the bride's cake to predict who will be the next to marry and who is destined to be an old maid. Ours were much more updated than that - some were about traveling, making lots of money, and one was about making lots of BABIES! :) It was so fun to see which charm each girl pulled! 
After the party we got ready for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner ... Which is next for you too, loves! 

Happy Tuesday Y'all! :) 


Monday, March 28

menu monday. {and a CUPCAKE recipe!}

How is it possible that the weekend just went by that fast? I blinked and it was over! 
It was a good one though! Lots of rain ... which meant lots of couch snuggles with hubs & pup! My kind of weekend! 

Lots of yummy goodness on our menu this week! 
But before I get to that ... Can I just say, it has become less & less of a chore and more & more fun to plan these menus and to challenge myself to spend less & less at the grocery! If I've never mentioned before ... I am extremely competitive ... don't worry, it's just with myself! 
I always push myself to do more and better than before. In grad school, this competitiveness allowed me to graduate with a 4.0 .... Now it's allowing me to save more dough at the sto'. 
{omg. I'm a dork but that rhyme just made me die laughing}

So here's what on our menu board this week: 

~ Monday: sushi date night with a GF {so fun!}
~ Tuesday: chicken fried rice
~ Wednesday: pork tacos with yellow rice
~ Thursday: roasted cauliflower pasta 
{we're doing ours without ham}
~ Friday: egg & potato samis
~ Saturday: FIL's bday! 
~ Sunday: spicy grits with chorizo
I think I'm most excited about the pork tacos! I love 'different' kinds of tacos! 

Ok so now the moment all you fellow cupcake lovers have been waiting for ... {drum roll please}

BANANA CUPCAKES WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING 
{and the best part: they're from COOKING LIGHT!} 

{Amazing, I know.}

                                                                                  Ingredients

  • Cupcakes:
  • 3/4  cup  granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2  cup  mashed ripe banana
  • 1/4  cup  butter or stick margarine, softened
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1/2  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground nutmeg
  • 1/4  cup  plain fat-free yogurt
  • Frosting:
  • 1 3/4  cups  powdered sugar
  • 1/2  cup  (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, chilled
  • 1/2  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 2  tablespoons  finely chopped walnuts, toasted

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare cupcakes, combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar and banana; set aside. Beat 1/2 cup granulated sugar, butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 3 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana mixture to sugar mixture, beating well. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition.
Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups lined with paper liners. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
To prepare the frosting, beat the powdered sugar, chilled cream cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla at medium speed of a mixer just until blended (do not overbeat). Spread frosting over cupcakes, and sprinkle with toasted walnuts.

Now y'all these things are amazing!
They taste like you could eat them for breakfast {which I may or may not have done!}
So try them this week! And tell me how they were! 

Ok, gotta finish my cupcake coffee! Happy Monday Y'all!

*linking to


Sunday, March 27

tag! you're it!

A couple of my fave bloggers have tagged me recently in some fun things!

This rainy rainy Sunday seemed like the perfect day to do them!

First Lindsay at Vineyard Love Knots tagged me in the Handwriting Tag ... How Fun?! 
Are y'all ready for my messy handwriting? Don't poke fun!
Questions...
1. Your name and name of your blog
2. Your blog address
3. Your favorite quote
4. Favorite Songs
5. Write this!
6. Tag 3 People
7. Anything else!
{you like how I did that Jeopardy style ... answers first, questions second!}

Then Jen at From A to Z ... My Life as D tagged me in 20 Things! 
And since I know y'all are dying to learn more about me ... here goes! 

1 ~ Food - pizza or mexican or chickfila {was I supposed to only name 1?!}
2 ~ Color - red, pink, navy, yellow {totally depends on the day}
3 ~ Animal - PUPPIES!!! {and even the grown up ones too ... you know ... DOGS!}
4 ~ Sports Team - East Carolina Pirates or Carolina Panthers {what can I say I'm a Carolina girl born & raised}
5 ~ Dessert - if I HAD to decide it'd be cupcakes! But I LOVE LOVE LOVE all things sweet! 
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6 ~ Artist/Singer/Band - Thompson Square, Michael Franti, Lil Wayne, Sugarland, and so many other random eclectic artists! 
7 ~ Pair of Shoes - TB Revas {any color!} 
8 ~ Outfit - skinnies, cute silk top and a blazer if it's chilly! 
9 ~ Skinny Jeans - only thing I wear! Though I'm dying for a pair of wide-leg jeans!!
10 ~ Brand - oh my! right now I'm loving GAP, Loft, and ALWAYS loving Anthro!
11 ~ Perfume - Marc Jacobs 
12 ~ Accessory - my MK watch
13 ~ City - Charleston, SC
14 ~ Hobby - BLOGGING! running, playing with my pup
15 ~ Beauty Product - Bumble & Bumble 
16 ~ Snack - avocado 
17 ~ Holiday - Christmas! is there another holiday?! :) 
18 ~ Movie - Jerry McGuire, PS I Love You, The Hangover
19 ~ Song - That's How Strong My Love Is - Otis Redding {wedding song!}
20 ~ Guilty Pleasure - day-long marathons of Law & Order and couchin' it ALL.DAY.LONG.


So there you have it! My messy handwriting and 20 random things about MOI!!! 

So I'm tagging EVERYBODY
It's fun y'all! Join in! :) 

Hope everyone has a WONDERFUL Sunday! 

Saturday, March 26

Charleston Trip {wrap up}.

I feel like I'm still coming down off all the happiness that was my Charleston trip ... What an beautiful place with amazing friends and of course a fabulous fashion show! 

I stopped in Augusta, Georgia "on my way" to Charleston and stayed with this amazing and incredibly hospitable family! 

Kelly and I met in Charleston while in grad school at The Citadel ... she and her husband are so much fun and their baby girl {my 'niece'} is beautiful and hysterical! 

We drove down to Charleston on Tuesday morning on the backroads of the Lowcountry and it may have been one of the most beautiful, scenic drives I've ever taken! 

Tuesday there was lunch at Fleet Landing, fashion show prep and happy hour at Taco Boy! 

Then there was the amazing CFW Fashion Show! 
It was so much fun looking at everyone's outfits and sitting as close as possible to the runway! 

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Dinner after the show was at Rue de Jean! YUMMMMM! :) 

It was definitely a whirlwind trip but was unbelievable! I'm now counting down until the next time we can go back and visit! :)


Friday, March 25

friday fancying.

I'm back y'all! What a great trip I had but I'm so so happy to be home! 

This weekend is going to be pretty low-key around here ... Just spending lots of time with the hubs, who've I've missed oh-so-much! 

Tonight we're going to rent "The Switch" and I think I'm going to make those DELISH looking pizza rolls!

Linking up with the lovely miss {av} for Friday's Fancies! 

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What are y'all up to this weekend? 
Is anyone else so sad that Spring seems to have disappeared for this weekend? Gosh knows I am! 

Thank y'all so much for giving my FAB guest bloggers so much love! 
And thanks again so so much to my girls Lindsay, KT, Natasha, and Katie
Y'all are TOO WONDERFUL! 

Happy Friday Y'all! Can't wait to catch up on all my blogs! 

Thursday, March 24

{guest post} Keep Calm & Carry On

Well, I must admit 
... 
I'm a little sad to be wrapping up my guest posts for this week ... 
It's been TOO much fun! 

Today I'd love to introduce the ADORABLE Katie from Keep Calm & Carry On
She's the cutest ... I love reading her blog everyday and am OH SO EXCITED that she's sharing all her Spring faves with us today! 

It's all yours Katie ... 


Hey ladies! Katie here, from Keep Calm and Carry On. I feel honored that Lauren asked me to guest blog for her while she's off traveling making all of us jealous. With Spring right around the corner, she couldn't have picked a better topic - Spring Must Haves! Coming from a girl who can't stand winter and loves all things spring and summer time, it may be hard to narrow this list down :) 
Here's my spring must-haves...


1. Fresh flowers - at your house, apartment, work desk, boyfriends place...wherever you reside. I like to place them in my kitchen and on our kitchen table. They instantly brighten up the space and give you that spring feeling inside for when you can't be outside! Anybody else feel this way? Daisies and tullips are my favorites.
2. Light pink nail polish. I'm currently loving Essie's - Fiji worn by Emily on the Bachelor. I traveled to just about all our local Target's in my city to score a bottle of it! The color just screams spring to me.
3. A trendy lightweight raincoat. I love to have an excuse to wear a cute raincoat. I live in Ohio and the weather is extremely unpredictable (to put it lightly) so I really wanted to find a raincoat I could wear for all the unexpected rain showers we are certain to get this spring. I found this really afforable raincoat at Charlotte Russe. It's extremely versatile and I love the lace detail on the sleeves. 
4. Chiffon is huge right now and is perfect for spring time. Express has so many different options right now for fun, bright shirts that you can wear to work but also dress up for a night out.
5. A striped or colorful, comfortable blazer. Girls, I love wearing blazers. You could say that they are 'my thing'. I got the coral blazer pictured above for $35.00 and I wear it all the time. They always add extra umph (love that word) to an outfit. But I especially love them for those spring nights when it's a little chilly to be wearing a tank top or short sleeve shirt and you can just throw them on.
6. Tory Burch Revas. No other words. Comfort and cute all in one and perfect with skinny jeans! I personally am loving the silver and gold ones.
7. How could I leave out Easter candy? They are most definitely a spring must have. From Peeps and Reese Cups to Starburst Jellybeans (clearly this girl doesn't discriminate with candy), I just can't escape the aisles of them at the grocery store. It's like they are yelling at me "you know you want to...you know you want to" so then I...cave into the sugar love/misery.
Well...those are my spring must haves. What are yours? I would love to hear them! I hope you enjoyed reading and make sure to stop on over at my blog and say Hi!
Katie


THANKS KATIE! 
I too love TB Revas ... Perfect with any outfit! And Easter candy ... 
Oh my! I cannot EVER resist a Reeses Easter Egg!! E.V.E.R!!!

Y'all be sure to stop by Keep Calm & Carry On and tell Katie 'HEY!'!!! :)  

I hope you ladies have had a PHENOM week! Can't wait to catch up when I get back! xo! 

Wednesday, March 23

charleston loves.

I decided I'd give my guest bloggers a break today and post about all things that I adore in Charleston! 
{ok, not even close to ALL of them but a few of my faves!}

First things first, let's talk food {y'all know I love it!}

Fleet Landing has GOT to be my favorite restaurant in Charleston ... And was from my very first visit! It's on the water, has incredible food, and you'll ALWAYS have great service! 

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And then there's Taco Boy ... Another one of my favs ... 
both locations - Downtown & Folly! 
From their amazing margs to the guac you can't beat this place for a low-key happy hour!!! 
{or all night!}


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And the beach ... Y'all the beaches are so beautiful 
{or maybe I'm biased because I'm SUCH  coastal gal!}
My personal FAVE is Folly ... I lived so close the entire time we were in Charleston and it was unbelievable to be able to drive 15 min and be sitting on the beach, cold drink in hand! :) 
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I know I've told y'all about Battery Park in our wedding story ... But it truly is a beautiful place! I love going to walk around {or run} the Battery! 
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Though I may sometimes complain while running over the Cooper River Bridge, it's gorgeous! And once you're at the top the view is unbelievable! You can almost always see dolphins jumping in the water, boats coming and/or going, and of course all of downtown Charleston! 
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I know I missed so many things, but those are the first things that popped into my head! 
For now, I'm LOVING the gorgeous Charleston weather and cannot wait to fill y'all in on Charleston Fashion Week! 

We have one more guest blogger tomorrow! Be sure to stop by! 

Happy Humpday Y'all! 

Tuesday, March 22

{guest post} Schue Love

Ahhh! I'm LOVING all my fab guest bloggers this week! 
{thanks for helping me out ladies!}

And I'm so excited to introduce Natasha from Schue Love ... I am SO SO happy to have met this lovely lady! 
She's the sweetest and always has the most incredible recipes, house pics, and clothing must-haves to share! 

I won't make y'all wait any longer!
 ... 
Take it away Natasha! 

I can't tell you how excited and honored I am to be guest posting for Lauren today!  She is such a lovely little lady and I always look forward to reading her blog and seeing what she's up to!  And readers, how fabulous is her wedding story??  *Love!*
  Lauren asked me to post on spring which officially started this week and I hope the weather quickly follows (at least in the Tahoe area!).  In the meantime, here are all the things I'm flinging over for spring:

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Nothing says spring to me like bright and sunny daffodils!  They epitomize the season and I can't get enough of them!

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I'm a huge fan of pinks and corals in the spring!  It just seems appropriate to bust out the bright colors...though the grays and browns definitely help to anchor an outfit.

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Ok, really?  I cannot get enough of these cute little chick pops!  They are adorable...too cute to eat!

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I cannot wait for the day I can start my garden up again!  I am always envious of those who have gardens all year long...there is something so enchanting about them.

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I just die over this design...all the bright yellows and greens...contrasted of course with the stark crisp white furniture.  Totally in love!

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What's better than spring flowers and cupcakes?  AND jellybeans!  Done and done...these are sure to be a show-stopper for any spring party this season.

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I think this sums up spring nicely...and definitely inspires me to want to garden.

Thanks for having me Lauren!  I'm now officially looking forward to the arrival of Spring!

xo natasha



{all images via Pinterest}


Thanks Natasha! I'm so glad you came over to visit today! :) 

And can I please have those chick pops?! And of course the cupcakes! 

Ok! EVERYTHING on this page!! :) 

Happy Tuesday Y'all! Be sure to pop over to say 'HEY!' to Natasha!


*** Oh! I'm going to Charleston Fashion Week tonight and could not be more excited! Hopefully I'll be able to snap some Twitter acceptable pics! ***