Monday, October 28, 2013

Two Years of Blogging

I can't believe it's been 2 years since I started Young Love in Normaltown. To think about how different life was just two years ago seems wild! God is leading every step of my journey through marriage and the best career I could ask for. I also want to thank YOU for stopping by and sharing my little corner of the blogosphere. Now that I have a new laptop I am hoping to streamline posts with consistency and more updates on life in Normaltown :)



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Falling Already

The weather was perfectly crisp this weekend and I am really hoping it's not some cruel tease before going back to hot days. I hope everyone had a nice weekend! I am two weeks behind in blogging-catch up, but I'm going to give myself a break considering how wonderfully-wild life and work have been.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Happy Labor Day

I hope everyone has a great holiday! I am thoroughly enjoying a productive morning, filled with cleaning, reading this, and taking Chief on a run. Taylor and I have been talking a lot recently about small ways we could be even healthier and I am looking forward to sharing some of those tips and goals this week!


// Photo via a well traveled woman //

Friday, August 30, 2013

A Formality

As I entered the event planning industry, I underestimated the value of a formal headshot. Not just because it's a potential client's first idea as to what I look like (fun? nice? I hope!), but it provides a cohesive identity through all realms of social media. My sweet friend Hilary Maloney generously offered to take my photos and to say she is talented would be a complete understatement. Her attitude is genuine and her work is impressive.

I am looking forward to seeing more of the photos come back and selecting my formal head shot! Perhaps we will have to take a vote on YLIN for the one to use? Can't wait!

// Photo provided by Hilary Maloney //

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Front Porch Update

One of the items on my 25 by 25 list is to seriously spruce up our front porch and I am proud to say that the project is complete! The total cost of materials ended up being around $70 which feels like a steal considering how it all pieced together with items already owned and some purchased. I wish I had "before" photos to share, but just imagine the space completely empty, with the exception of Taylor's baseball bag and cans of paint laying around.

On a trip to Home Depot I spotted this Hampton Bay outdoor pillow (on sale!) and was instantly inspired by the color palette for the front porch. The red wine base tone seemed like a great fit with our reddish brick porch and from there I knew I would only need to paint the furniture with complimentary colors.

Originally I purchased a purple spray paint for the metal chairs and after one coat I knew I was headed in the wrong direction. I went back to Home Depot and picked out the deep red color instead. I also painted the (formerly white) wicker loveseat and table in a khaki tone and then complemented the seating area with two stools also painted red.

The small table was a Goodwill find and only required one coat of mint spray paint. I love that it has a glass top for easy cleaning. The mismatched plants are all from Ikea and are holding the places of real herbs once they start to grow. Here is the breakdown of the total project:

Materials owned:
-Wicker loveseat and coffee table
- Wooden stools
- Ikea pots and plants
- Metal chairs (on loan while Jenna is in Haiti)

Materials purchased:
- Round table with glass top ($5 at Goodwill)
- Pillows ($27 from Home Depot)
- Outdoor rug ($20 from Target)
- Spray paint ($17.50 from Home Depot)

Extra things to eventually add/make:
- Pads for the metal chairs and extra lighting

I'm so glad Taylor has been enjoying the space too and having his morning cup of coffee out here. With temperatures dropping and fall around the corner I know this porch will be getting a lot more use. Now who wants to come over for some sweet tea and pickled okra?!

P.S. The next item on my 25 by 25 list is our corn hole game set makeover!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

An Evolving Portfolio

It's still crazy to think that 6 months ago I took a leap of faith, left a full time office job, and began wedding planning through Chancey Charm with my very own clients. Now that wedding season is in a lull, it's amazing to look back and see how much I have learned about myself over the past 6 months. I won't get into details but I could seriously laugh at myself thinking of my first couple client consultations... And not that I have it all figured out now, but God has really helped me grow in confidence and being a go-getter! One of the most satisfying aspects of my career is seeing the photos come back and everything looking better than I even remember!

Please check Chancey Charm's blog for my "sneak peek" post about an event last week!

// Photo provided by Morgan Blake //

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Quilted Dreams

Did anyone else go through a phase in their tween years of wanting to change your bedding style every 6 months? I'm pretty sure my mom could open her own Bed, Bath and Beyond with all the quilts, comforters and duvet covers my sisters and I have owned over the last 10 years

Our guest room has only a handful of visits a year (mostly my sisters) and now Chief has thoroughly taken over the room- and the bed! Although I love to cuddle him on the bed I know if I had a nicer bed spread I would be more strict about this bad habit I have encouraged. I've been scouring over sites like One Kings Lane, Ikea, World Market and Target and would love to find a great quilt at a price that won't break the bank.

Here's a short round up of some options (included duvets):

// Image sources: 1. via a note on design, 2. from Ikea, 3. from Ikea, 4. from World Market, 5. from World Market, 6. from Target //

Monday, August 26, 2013

Recovery Mode

Hi friends! Last week was a whirlwind of work and I am so grateful to have a little more time on my hands this week to catch up, blog and focus on fall weddings. Last Thursday was my first full-planning event since joining Chancey Charm and I can't say enough good things about the night. I'll share more on Wednesday, but if you follow my Instagram you got a sneak peek :)

Today I will be typing away to this song that I discovered over the weekend and finishing up some projects around the house.

(Photo from a trip to Dawg Gone Good BBQ after a sweaty evening at Terrapin)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Weekend Wishes

Wishing everyone one of those weekends where you get done more than you had planned! I've got a little bit of work to pull off this weekend and then enjoying this girl's birthday party. Our outdoor-summer-bash theme might have to be improvised if it stays rainy, but I will just be grateful to be with great friends, enjoying good food. Cheers to that!

Would you go glamping? These yurts look amazing.

I'm experiencing serious beach envy after looking at Jenna's posts this week.

Recent chilly days are getting me excited for fall layers.

We saw this movie the other night. Tay liked it; I was...meh.

A gorgeous home tour.

// Photo via The Yard //

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Work & Play

I had to take a few days this week to get fully caught up with work- especially since 3 out of the last 5 days included time in Atlanta. No complaints here though! I feel like I'm finding my groove in juggling a great event next week, a couple day-of-coordination weddings this fall and getting ready for large full-planning weddings next spring.

Sometimes I can get so caught up in the thrill of design inspiration and loving what I do that I forget to turn around from my desk and take care of the chaos that is my house :) Thankfully Taylor is super patient with me as I figure out the best balance for life and working from home (or a coffee shop). Besides work, I feel so excited by so many new friendships in my life and God filling my time with great girls to reach out to. Even though there are still many aspects to my future that feel so unclear, I am soaking in this time of refreshing when everything just seems to be going really well!


// Image via Prepaganda //

Friday, August 9, 2013

Trust Without Borders

Today's thoughts are bigger than I want to tackle but I've had this quote in my drafts for awhile now, so it's time to share. I have been moody this week (a true treat for my husband) and find myself feeling all kinds of illogical and emotional things. The easy thing to do would be just chalk it up to hormones, but I think God wants me to dig a little deeper and be a little more vulnerable.

I am a very guilty soul mixed with a to-do list mind which makes a lethal combination when I feel guilty about all the things I haven't "done" for God lately. The balance comes when I seek a place of trust (in God, my salvation, the blood of Christ, the list goes on....Proverbs 3:5-6) and acceptance of grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). There are so many scriptures I could share and so much more of God's word that I need to study out, but I will keep it simple with this honestly raw and humbling prayer of David:

"I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard by cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.
Blessed is the [woman] who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!
You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.
In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted, but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required.
Then I said, 'Behold, I have come in the scroll of the book it is written of me: I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.'
I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord.
I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; behold, I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.
As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!
For evils have encompassed me beyond number; my iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me.
Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me!
O Lord, make haste to help me!
Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether who seek to snatch away my life; let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt!
Let those be appalled because of their shame who say to me, 'Aha, Aha!'
But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in your; may those who love your salvation say continually, 'Great is the Lord!'
As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!"
Psalm 40 (emphasis added)

P.S. If you have time, I highly recommend heading over to Beyond Mountains and reading one of Jenna's recent posts on trust and joy through challenges.

// Photo via breathe Him in & breath Him out //

Thursday, August 8, 2013

All Grown Up (Almost)

Yesterday was my baby sister's first day of high school and I'm still trying to figure out when exactly she grew up. The wild part is that I was going into my freshman year when we first moved to Georgia so for life to come full circle like this just feels crazy. I know she will learn so much about herself over these next four years and I know we will only continue to grow closer and become better friends.

I am so proud of the young woman she is and the convictions she is working towards at such a young age. My biggest prayer for her high school years is to embrace God's love and power as her true identity and not let herself be defined by circumstances, comparisons or short-comings.

I love you Lauren! xoxo

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Nautical Bedroom Envy

I love a good home demolition/remodeling/restoration. So much so that when an old decrepit house in Athens finally got redone I wanted to personally meet the person in charge and thank them for bringing life back into the Milledge Avenue home. I'm also obsessed with HGTV and any Before and After on Design*Sponge. Last week D*S featured this gorgeous Ontario home and I couldn't stop drooling over the nautical goodness.

// All photos from Design*Sponge //

Friday, August 2, 2013

Outdoor Plans

On my 25 by 25 list is to create the perfect outdoor space on our front porch. I have collected a few photos offering inspiration for lighting, lounging and entertaining, but the image above really nails it. I want it to feel quirky, comfortable and a little bit Southern.

My front porch list:
- Wicker loveseat and table makeover --> fresh coat of taupe paint and new cushions
- Iron chairs makeover --> I'm thinking of spray painting them mint with accent pillows
- Goodwill side table makeover --> Mint paint and charming table cloth
I love the idea of adding a colorful floor mat and handing some cafe lights. The last necessity will be to add lots of citronella candles.

// Photo from Natalie Creates via Walk Slowly Live Wildly //

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Call Me, Maybe?

Over the weekend we met up with Morgan & Candice for dinner and to catch up on life. Candice and I also exchanged "just because" gifts and she surprised me with something beautiful- a silver Kate Spade business card case! Naturally I filled it with my Chancey Charm business cards and have since loved keeping my cards in a safe, sleek place.

Thank you Candice for such a thoughtful gift!

Here are 4 more Kate Spade items I would love to get my hands on: 1. Cheeky iPad sleeve, 2. Fancy way to keep the time, 3. Gold crossbody bag, and 4. Dainty little wallet.

What accessories do you rely on to stay organized?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Five Years

It was five years ago that Taylor asked me to be his girlfriend, which seems crazy because it literally feels like yesterday. I can so clearly remember earlier that day helping him move into a new place for his junior year and then him taking me on a blind-folded drive to a special spot. We arrived at Harris Shoals where he surprised me with a bear, flowers and a simple question, "Will you be my girlfriend?" to which I responded, "Yes?"

I love how Taylor plans things (dates, a proposal, weekend getaways, etc) thoughtfully, but simply. Never over the top, always sincere and to the point- which is what makes him such a wonderful husband, best friend, and life partner. I decided to pull out the scrapbooks I made during the 2 years prior to our engagement and had the greatest time reliving all the special memories in the cheesiest way possible!


P.S. Looks like I really need to work on books for years 3, 4 and 5 :)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Date Night Attire

Like pretty much every girl, I will take any excuse to dress up- especially for an evening out with the hubs. While at the beach (I promise this is my last vacation post!) we enjoyed a date night at The Gulf, complete with cocktails and cuddling.

Earlier that day Taylor, my little sister, and I ventured to the outlets which was where I scored an entire J.Crew Factory ensemble for less than $85. For this date I sported the new top and necklace, pairing it with basic black shorts and neutral wedges.

Since we were outside the entire time, I was glad to be in comfortable and lightweight material. What are your go-to items for a date night?

// Shirt: J.Crew (similar), Shorts: Old Navy (similar), Shoes: Aerosoles, Necklace: J. Crew, Purse: Coach (Vintage) //

P.S. Check out more summer nights outfit inspiration here.

Monday, July 29, 2013

5 Things I Learned on Vacation

Taylor and I still have withdrawals from the beach, so much that yesterday we went to Marker 7 Coastal Grill for lunch and then I made a linguini & clams dish for dinner. Instead of giving a play-by-play of our week on the Gulf, I thought I would just share the five simple lessons I learned while away.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Weekend Wishes

I'm so sad to say goodbye to my family and the beach today, but it will be great to sleep in our own bed and be reunited with our pup! This weekend will include lots of laundry and hitting the ground running to catch up on work. Prayers would be greatly appreciated! Wishing everyone a safe and fun weekend!

This charming photo shoot has me wanting to plan a similar summer bash!

A look I really want to try

So inspiring to read about a player who never gave up on his dream.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

My Mom Makes a Mean Margarita

In honor of my Mom's birthday today, I thought I would share her killer margarita recipe that we have been enjoying this week while at the beach.

Mel's Top Shelf Margarita (for one)
- 1/2 oz Cointreau Orange Liqueur
- 1/2 oz Grand Marnier Orange Liqueur
- 2 1/2 oz Sweet & Sour Mix
- 1 oz Lime Juice
- 1 1/2 oz 1800 Tequilla (or Patron Silver 100% Agave Tequila)

Fill mixing glass with ice. Pour in all ingredients. Shake well. Pour into salt rimmed glass and add lime wedge or wheel. If you prefer your margarita blended, add 2 cups of ice into the blender. You can also freeze the mixture in a plastic cup and take it with you to the beach :)


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Staying Cool, Looking Hot

I'm not one to attempt to look "hot". Actually I would prefer to look "pretty" or "girly" or "mature". But, when tempatures rise in Georgia the only way to not look like a hot mess is to plan outfits that keep you cool while still looking put together. I think the key is bright colors, delicate jewelry and practical shoes.

But Really...

This really made me laugh, especially in light of life's future uncertain circumstances :)

// Photo via happy 2 b sad //

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Antiques, Yes Please!

Last week while my mother-in-law was in town, we took a trip to Bishop to do some antiquing. I love any excuse to sift through haphazard buildings full of old treasures and to share that with someone just as passionate about it as me was a thrill!

We first went to Reed's Odds & Ends where I found a copper mug in mint condition and perfect for making a Moscow Mule. I also picked up a charming seaside painting (that I will be giving to my mom for her birthday this week) and two delicate glass bottles (one of which I will be giving to a friend).

We drove around to a few more shops and then grabbed an express lunch at Trappeze Pub. We couldn't leave downtown without a trip into Agora- my Athens favorite even before I came to college. Many of the booths had summer sales and I snagged this vintage Coach purse for $11!

Even if I go home empty handed from antique shopping, I always love the time spent digging through history and wondering who it all belonged to at one time.


Classy Canning

I know it's easy to feel like mason jars are so overdone, but these luxe jars are glamorous enough to keep the trend going strong!

// Photo from Jayson Home via Design*Sponge //
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