Thursday, June 27, 2013

Would You Ever Eat Alone?

Would you ever go out to eat by yourself? As I get older the idea seems almost exciting- taking myself out to a nice lunch, perhaps bringing a book for the wait, and then simply enjoying the food with just my thoughts. The ultimate challenge would be to not constantly check my phone every 5 seconds, but to instead savor the environment in a completely independent way.

If you like to go out to eat alone, how do you push past the awkwardness?? I'd love to hear!

// Photo via Prepaganda //

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Meal Planning Update

Although we still haven't completed an entire week according to my new meal planning schedule, we have experienced some improvement (and improvising).

Last night Taylor was going to grill some salmon, but with a torrential down pour, we were limited to baked the fish in the oven. Did you know you can still use a grilling plank in the oven? I can't say it was the same flavor produced by the grill, but it sure made our house smell woodsy.

I added the most basic sides that we already had on hand for a simple meal to be enjoyed while watching the Yankees game (and drinking my favorite summer beer).

Monday, June 24, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend was a whirlwind to say the least. My body is still trying to recover from the non-stop fun and my feet are in desperate need of a deep tissue massage. Friday night was the intimate wedding ceremony and reception at Madison Oaks Inn! The couple had been together for 16 years so it was such an honor to be a part of their special day. With the help of Candice, the night ran smoothly even though I broke both of my shoes! Now these are on my wish list :)

On Saturday we headed up to Tennessee for an afternoon rafting on the Ocoee River. We rafted the same river a few years back but I was still nervous as heck! We loved our guide who reminded me of Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty. The good conversation with our friends Brianne and Mike on the way there and back was really refreshing. More on that later.

On Sunday we went to Atlanta for a friend's wedding and reception at Roswell Mill. I loved getting to see old roommates and best friends from all over. And of course the dance party was hilarious and sweaty.

I am hoping to catch myself up on a lot of work today and tomorrow for clients. Taylor and I are going back to Marietta tonight for a quick family dinner since my grandpa is in town from Florida.

I hope everyone has a productive Monday!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Happy Weekend

Happy first day of summer! I hope everyone has great plans for their weekend. I have a wedding tonight and I could not be working with a sweeter couple. They are getting married at Madison Oaks Inn, with an intimate Italian dinner taking place outside on the front porch. Fingers crossed for no rain!

Tomorrow Taylor and I head off to go rafting with our friends Brianne and Mike. We've only been one other time and had a blast so I can't wait for this adventure.

Sunday we're off to an Atlanta wedding for a dear friend and old roommate, Carly! I savor these gatherings where I get to see all my best friends (who live all over the country) in one place. It is extremely likely that I will cry all the way home...

Anyways, a song for your weekend if you're taking any long drives.

// Photo via Prepfection //

Make a New Friend

Today I am putting out a challenge and that is to make a new friend this summer! Not an acquaintance or someone who you consistently sit next to in spin class- a true friend that you might actually share your hopes, fears, and dreams with!

With two of my besties moving this summer, my selfish nature wants to be overly dramatic and sink into a deep dark hole of sadness/loneliness/depression/you get the picture. However, I am motivated to defeat that temptation by simply investing in more friendships. I've been making it a conscious effort to initiate time with girls I might not necessarily be close to, whether we are in different stages of life or not. I've come to realize that no matter what chapter of life I am in (college, married, working, stressed, etc) there is always something to relate in with others.

It might seem like a daunting challenge at first, but just grabbing coffee, frozen yogurt or BBQ instantly makes room for conversation. I love how God always provides friendships at the perfect time, in unexpected ways.

Will you accept this challenge?!

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

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Monsoon Season

I might have a terrible memory, but I truly do not remember a summer as rainy as this one in Athens. Sure we have our share of late-night thunderstorms- I just can't believe the torrential downpours that occur in the middle of the day! The rolling thunder makes my house shake and the large swaying oak tree in my front yard makes me feel a little nervous...

Overall, I think I am just missing the calm, rainy days of Paris.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Jill & James

Back in January I had the honor of coordinating a wedding for sweet friends from my church. The wedding took place at Camp Kiwanis, in Danielsville, Georgia, with an intimate ceremony, casual dinner and fun dance party. Today I wanted to share a few of my favorite shots, taken by the talented Candice Holcomb. I hope you enjoy Jill & James' beautiful day!

The bride, Jill, chose a rustic venue with a soft color palette of blush and gray tones. Jill was a natural beauty in her silk chiffon dress and braided hair. Even though the wedding took place in winter, the warmer temperatures and overall theme made you feel like you were in the middle of fall.

The couple used ivory linens, burlap runners, and galvanized cups for table decor. Every seat was set with a natural wood chair and rolled silverware tied with a piece of twine. Sugar cane molds held candle votives to provide ambiance during dinner.

The ceremony was personal and heartfelt. I loved how the couple incorporated hand-fasting into their ceremony and their recessional was a song in honor of their time in India. Guests were encouraged to write items for the couple's "bucket list" which included this humorous suggestion :)

After dinner and toasts, the dance floor was open for a full-on party! James and Jill's love was obviously felt by all the guests. It was such an honor to help with their special day and I hope these photos bring them joy for years to come!

// Photos provided by Candice Holcomb Photography //

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

In Search of a Dress

Last Friday I went to Atlanta (not before grabbing a venti caramel macchiato) for a client's bridal appointment at my favorite boutique - Kelly's Closet. And it's not just my favorite because it happens to be the shop where I bought my wedding dress :) Their collection is abundant, but not overwhelming, and their consultants are so attentive to the style and vision of brides.

My client had pulled about 10 dresses to try and they all fit her beautifully. With her tiny frame, finding a flattering dress was not going to be the problem- it was selecting one that truly spoke to the bride's style and the overall look of the wedding. When the bride had narrowed down her choices to two dresses, her consultant pulled out a wild card of a dress by Claire Pettibone...and turns out it was the one!

If you are on the hunt for a wedding dress, I highly recommend checking out Kelly's Closet right by Chandler Park. You can grab a delicious breakfast next door at The Flying Biscuit, pick out a non-traditional gown, then venture across the street to Fellini's for lunch! It's basically the perfect way to spend your day :)

How did you know your dress was the one? I'd love to hear!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Planning It Out

When Taylor and I both changed jobs in February, I was surprised by how seamless the transition was for us mentally and emotionally. We have been in heaven with more time together in the evenings and on weekends. One aspect of the transition that was surprisingly un-smooth was figuring out a meal planning schedule. While we share a lot of responsibilities like going to the grocery store, cleaning up the house, running errands, etc Taylor has done way more grocery shopping over the past two months.

I can't quite pinpoint why I have been so unmotivated to plan our weekly meals and sometimes I just need to write it all out to get a clear picture of what I am trying to accomplish. Last week I came up with a plan:

Monday - Microwave. We have family group time with couples in our church at 7 p.m. so we are typically grabbing something fast after Taylor finishes with personal training clients. Trader Joe's has some yummy (and quick!) microwaveable meals- like Orange Chicken or Kung Pao Chicken that we mix with rice and steamed broccoli.

Tuesday - Tacos. This is usually the cheapest meal to plan and we can always mix it up week to week between beef or pork. Add the toppings, chips, salsa and a margarita and we've got ourselves a meal that makes me oh-so-happy.

Wednesday - White Meat. The options for chicken are endless so this night will be dedicated to perfecting the staple recipes and getting creative with new ones from this cook book. I could easily add a side of summer pasta like this recipe.

Thursday - Trout. Well not trout every week, but I needed a fish that started with "t" :) We love cooking fish on the grill or in the oven- especially salmon with flavored wood planks. And the sides can be something basic or intricate. I love pairing salmon with cheese grits and asparagus.

Friday - Fast food.Taylor has baseball on Friday nights so that leaves me fending for myself and grabbing something on my way to the field. I have never claimed that this was a healthy food blog, so I might as well be honest and admit my weakness for Chick-fil-A sandwiches. With fries. And a milkshake. Judge me.

Saturday - Sushi. Usually anything goes on weekends, but Taylor and I have been making it a weekly habit to pick up sushi rolls from The Fresh Market and practicing our chopstick skills.

Sunday - Southern. If we're not going to grab a post-church lunch with friends, I plan to whip up BLTs or chicken salad before we take our beloved Sunday naps.

I'll be keeping y'all posted on how this goes...I told Taylor I also wanted to do a better job of consistently having people in our home to eat and nothing motivates me to cook and clean like company!

How do you plan your weekly meals?

// Photo via Coffee in the mountains. //

Friday, June 14, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

I hope every one has a great Father's Day weekend! Taylor and I are heading home tomorrow to celebrate both my dad and my older sister's birthday on the 17th.

Father's Day is always bittersweet, but I am so grateful for the many fathers in my life. I'm thankful for my daddy Paul who gave me life and must have made me feel so loved for me to miss him every day for the past 19 years. I am also thankful for my dad Ron, who chose to marry a single mom and helped raise me into a young, independent woman. And ultimately I am forever indebted to my Heavenly Father, who continues to overwhelm me with His love and blessings.


Design Dreaming

I would scour over Pinterest all day and dream about designs for clients if time allowed, but it's probably good thing that other things in life require more of my attention. I typically get on the site for brief moments during the week to log inspiration for either myself (mainly in the realm of fashion and home decor) or for clients' weddings. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

fresh perspective

I recently got coffee with a good friend who has been a constant mentor in the faith. We caught up on life, how to be better wives and ways to be more faithful in prayer. She has shared her heart with me countless times and last weekend I was encouraged by a scripture we read together.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Guest Post on Chancey Charm

Hi friends! I'm over on Chancey Charm's blog today sharing about a good friend and wedding photographer, Summer Lynn Photography. Head on over there to read more about what inspires her work and enjoy the amazing photos!


// Photo provided by Summer Lynn Photography //

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Girls Trip to San Francisco

It might have been two months ago, but I am happy to finally share some photos from a trip to San Francisco with my mom. Back in November she asked where I would like to take a girls trip and even though the beach options were appealing, I couldn't resist the opportunity to travel out west.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Life as I Know It

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Taylor and I kept our plans pretty simple by taking walks to garage sales and doing some yard work. We are finally getting around to growing some lush grass in the backyard and I am hoping to plant flowers near our front porch. Our across-the-street neighbors have a yard that would make Martha Stewart jealous, so we have some pretty high expectations to live up to.

In the working world, I had my first wedding with Chancey Charm last weekend and it was beautiful! You can see pictures here if you'd like :) I'm also working here part time and have truly enjoyed being back on UGA's campus.

I still can't believe how quickly this year is flying by and I find myself reflecting back on resolutions for this year and making a few new goals. I mainly want to work on my cooking schedule and getting back into the habit of regular, healthy meals (while drinking more water!). Do you have any mid-year goals?

// Image via Bippity Boppity Boo //
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