Tuesday, May 27, 2014
I love long weekends, but they certainly make me anxious over how quickly a week can go by! I have a wedding this coming weekend so instead of getting nervous or stressed, I am going to focus on the fun that was had this past weekend.
Taylor and I got to our hotel early Friday evning, did a little exploring and quickly got ready so we could pick up tickets to the show at Station Inn. Being the newbies that we were, we had no idea most people stay at the venue once they buy tickets because seats are hard to come by and it gets very crowded quickly. We cancelled our dinner reservation and just grabbed pizza and beer from the bar while waiting for the show to start. The Steeldrivers were amazing and it's a true testament to an artist when they sound just as good (or better) live than on an album. I am already dying to see them again in August at Terminal West!
After the show we went back to our hotel to grab a drink and food at Bar Lines. A band was performing and the amount of women on the dance floor made me feel like I was back at a wedding reception. Taylor could not be convinced to get out and dance, which was probably for the best...
The next morning we got breakfast at the in-house restaurant, Kitchen Notes, and were stuffed to our heart's content with coffee and southern fixins. We strolled through the Music City Walk of Fame (to work off our breakfast) and then went out to the rooftop pool for a little sun and relaxation.
After checking out of the hotel, we did some window shopping at Two Old Hippies, then lunch at Cantina Laredo. The margaritas were refreshing and the table side guacamole was nothing short of perfection. If that combo doesn't get you ready for summer I don't know what does.
Next we drove to our friend's house where we would be spending Saturday night and headed out for a 7 mile canoe ride down the Harpeth River. We rewarded ourselves with dinner at The Loveless Cafe and I consumed more buttered biscuits than I dare to share.
Once we were back at Casey & Brittany's home to unwind, we watched Field of Dreams - a classic baseball movie I had never seen (which if you know my husband is quite shocking). Although the movie isn't a new favorite, I'm sure I would have a greater appreciation if I were a boy who grew up playing catch. Sunday morning we had breakfast together before T and I got on the road, and took some photos with our friend's huge Newfoundland- Norman! Isn't his facial expression hilarious?!
All in all, it was an incredible anniversary weekend filled with the people I love, good food, drinks and lots of laughs. Can't wait to go back to Nashville in August!
Monday, May 26, 2014
Friday, May 23, 2014
Happy weekend! Before we head out of town for our anniversary, I wanted to share what I was grateful for this week and some much needed link love!
The morning started off with coffee and a life talk with a friend, work and then a trip to Atlanta for meetings and to visit with sweet Sarah before she has her first baby. I got dinner with a couple getting married next May at Brick Store Pub and the fish & chips were uh-mazing. I was grateful for time with co-workers, clients and a potential bride who actually just booked yesterday! 2015 is already shaping up to be one heck of a year.
A final walk through at Foxhall Resort for a summer wedding had me in my car for about 4 hours...but I was so grateful to be on the road listening to my favorite music and trying to memorize as many songs by The SteelDrivers until the concert tonight.
Our three year anniversary was a day of simplicity. The outpouring love from friends and family, near and far, was incredibly encouraging and I felt grateful for the support system we have around us, helping us build the strongest marriage possible.
My third trip in a week to Atlanta left me pretty exhausted - but it was still filled with fun. I met a client at Jeni's to discuss Maggie's mad calligraphy skills over ice cream, took a visit to Amy Osaba's new studio at King Plow and then, made the quickest visit to Ikea in the history of Ikea just to pick up a rug for the home office. Ultimately, I was grateful to not sit in traffic for 2+ hours!
Somehow I overslept this morning which has already thrown my day off. Instead of feeling flustered, I am going to focus on the good - we are leaving for Nashville this afternoon and I am so grateful for our much-anticipated getaway. I hope everyone has a great weekend in store and I look forward to catching up next week.
A song for your weekend.
Sweet pup that reminds me of my Kola.
Let's have a tea towel party!
Emily keeps it real.
Our house (and my life) could really use a portable record player.
Elegant look for summer nights.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
For our first real anniversary trip we are heading out to Nashville for the weekend! We leave tomorrow afternoon and I am just dying to get away. When we first get into town we will check into our hotel, get cleaned up, then head to dinner at Cantina Laredo where they have 10 different kinds of margaritas!
After dinner we will see one of my favorite bluegrass bands - The Steeldrivers - at The Station Inn. Fingers crossed they play "Where Rainbows Never Die" and "Heaven Sent."
Saturday morning will consist of grabbing breakfast at Omni's Kitchen Notes, strolling through the Country Music Hall of Fame and Music City Walk of Fame Park and then some shopping at The Gulch. On my shopping wishlist are some bracelets to stack as a summer accessory. Lunch plans are somewhat up in the air - our friends recommended Sambuca, but I might want to try Pub5 or The Southern. After lunch we will meet up with friends and go canoeing on Harpeth River.
Since dinner plans are not set in stone I am open to suggestions! Our other Nashville trips haven't included as much exploring so I am super excited to try new things, and maybe convince our group to dine at Husk. Either way, it's sure to be a fabulous mini-vacation filled with yummy food and hopefully good weather! Have you been to Nashville? Any recommendations or must-sees?
Currently the biggest question for me is what to pack...
P.S. For a great round-up of Nashville picks, check out this city guide by Pennyweight's Elise Joseph!
// Top image by Sionnie LaFollette via Design*Sponge //
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Today Taylor and I get to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary! We went to Ike & Jane for breakfast since we couldn't make dinner plans tonight (he has baseball) and swapped gifts and cards this afternoon. Our wedding day was incredible and I carry that love of weddings through my work, but bigger than that is my passion for marriage and making it strong.
Cheers to many more years, my love!
// Photo by Matt Miller //
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
This past Saturday was our church's annual yard sale where all the money goes towards our missions contribution. I haven't participated in years past because the timing just hasn't worked out but I was happy to finally be a part of the festivities and get rid of lots of stuff.
I was especially excited to clean out our guest room (if you can even call it that anymore) by donating the full size bed, green leather arm chair and purging about half my closet. Now that the room is cleared out, I am making room for the desk that currently sits in our living room for Taylor's studying/work space. The trick to truly using the room for studying or work will be to disguise the dog creates. I have searched for ideas on Pinterest, Google, Apartment Therapy and HGTV and although most ideas are cute or relatively practical, most are for small dogs and our crates are huge.
For inspiration, I loved sifting through Apartment Therapy's ideas on small work spaces (transformed from closets!!) and this room transformation in particular caught my eye. My plan is to be as thrify as possible, using items we already have around the house. Since some purchases were necessary I picked up a table top with adjustable legs and a shelving unit yesterday at IKEA. Wish me luck as I attempt to assemble everything without losing my sanity!
// Image sources: 1. Apartment Therapy, 2. Apartment Therapy, 3. Apartment Therapy //
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Earlier this week I went to my local Goodwill to treat myself after a long day of work. I found a simple, red button-down sleeveless shirt and sent a picture to a friend for approval to which she responded, "How do you do that?!" I've had other friends share their frustrations with trying to shop at the thrift store so I thought it might be helpful to give my 5 tips on successful thrift store shopping:
1. Go early in the week.
Most people have the time to make donations over the weekend so a great number of new items are on the floor on Mondays and Tuesdays. If you have the flexibility in your schedule to go in the morning or early afternoon, I highly recommend using that time since it's not as crowded.
2. Take each section at a time.
I like to start at the back, where all the furniture and homegoods are located, and then work my way up to the clothing since there tends to be much more to sift through. Keep your eyes open for basic serving pieces like trays, drink dispensers or pitchers and vases- there's usually a good selection that simply needs to be run through the dishwasher. In regards to furniture, unless a piece is a steal, really consider if it's made with quality material (i.e., real wood) before purchasing. And if it needs some TLC, honestly consider if you have the time and extra resources to give the piece a make over. A perk is that most stores will help you load large pieces into your vehicle!
3. Shop for staple items.
Athens is filled with vintage shops so I don't really consider the thrift store a great resource for true vintage pieces, especially since the quality can be sub-par. Instead, I look for staple wardrobe pieces that you read "every woman should have" but don't want to pay full retail on- like white button downs, lightweight jackets, dress skirts, and blouses. Staying somewhat specific is key in not getting overwhelmed. You can see I have a growing sleeveless button-down collection :)
4. Look for name brands.
Perhaps it's because I live in a college town, but my local Goodwill has a plethora of J.Crew, Gap, Loft and other top brands on a pretty consistent basis. Some of the local boutiques even donate their "left over" merchandise so it's easy to find pieces in mint condition. If I take the time to sift through an entire rack, I only pull an item to check the size if it's a name brand I love and can trust the quality. I mean, these are used clothes we're talking about! Just this week when going through the jeans section (one. by. one.) I walked away with two pairs of designer jeans - one by 7 for All Mankind and one by J.Crew. It might feel time consuming, but the extra 10 minutes are certainly worth the couple hundred dollars saved.
5. Find out the color of the day.
Thrift stores, like traditional stores, are trying to turn over product quickly and to keep items moving out, they offer half price discounts on certain tag colors. Once you know the color of the day, double check your items to see if any apply. Become familiar with pricing as every thrift store varies and just because it's used does not mean it's dirt cheap. At least the money is going toward something good!
Some Goodwill trips end up with me walking out empty handed, and that's OK too. I hope I have convinced any of you who don't thrift to give it a try, and if you do thrift but never seem to have success, I hope these tips offer fresh perspective to give it another go!
Do you thrift or shop at consignment stores? I'd love to hear any of your tips or suggestions!
Monday, May 12, 2014
In moments where the unplanned or unexpected happens there are two choices - to give up or to keep going. My heart feels heavy in light of some recent life events and my initial response is to get angry. Thankfully, last night while I was trying to regain focus and understanding, God led me to Psalm 27:
"The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock...I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."
Because of God's love I won't give up - especially on other people - but I will wait on God, trust in Him and be confident in his will.
// Image via Pinterest //
Sunday, May 11, 2014
There is something so weird about the week after working a wedding. I tend to fool myself into thinking I will stick to the strictest routine and structure, but really I am lucky to function just enough to wake up each morning and write coherent e-mails. In all seriousness, I am in constant awe of the joy I find in my job and making other people happy on their wedding day! This was a great week and here are all the things I felt grateful for:
Allergies got the best of me so I left my shift early and headed to Atlanta with Maggie in tow to return linens from the weekend wedding. We made the most of the trip by grabbing lunch at West Egg and now my pimento cheese addiction is out of control. I'm grateful for spontaneous friends willing to come along for the ride and try new things!
After a trip to Mattie's studio to pick up darling recipe cards for a bridal shower, I buckled down outside of the Jittery Joe's in Watkinsville with one of their Mango Freezers in hand. It was so refreshing and made me grateful that despite the heat, there are fun ways to cool down.
This day was a whirlwind! After foraging wildflowers for a campus ministry event, I toured a few offices for potential space to set up shop (more on that later!) and then got to arranging all the centerpieces. With a mix of ranunculus from 3 Porch Farm, wildflowers from the side of the Loop 10 and green filler from my backyard, Maggie and I created over 30 arrangements and some sweet bud arrangements too. I was so grateful for the creative outlet to do something that I love, but don't always have the opportunity to do!
With a page-long to-do list I set out on what matters most first - getting caught up on my quiet times and Daily Bible. After being almost 2 weeks behind in reading, it was refreshing to get back on track. Psalms that I had read numerous times before struck a new cord and left me in greater awe of God's power and glory.
My in-laws arrived in town for my bother-in-law, Jon's, graduation festivities and we had a wonderful time celebrating graduation at Sanford Stadium. The time brought back so many great memories of when my roommates and I enjoyed all the anticipation of stepping out into the real working world. Cheers to all the graduates and best wishes as you embark on a new chapter of life!
This has been a great weekend with friends and family. I hope everyone enjoys their evening and had a great Mother's Day too :)
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
How is it only Wednesday? I had convinced myself today was definitely Thursday since about 8 am and although I'm ok with an extra day to get things done, I certainly want the weekend to be here. You know those weeks when you get your inbox to 10 and voicemail to 0 and then in 2 hours time you're back to 60 e-mails and 5 voice mails? And you have everything ironed and put away for the afternoon and then evening rolls around and suddenly 12 more shirts have emerged from the dryer and need to be ironed? Yes, that is this week and I have 2 more days to get caught up before I let it all go.
If you're feeling the same, hang in there friends!
// Image from Floral Mountains //
Monday, May 5, 2014
I love me some Mexican food any day of the week so today I will be indulging to the max. Do you like margaritas? I wasn't fond of them until one spring break and now the rest is history. Not that I should, but I'm pretty sure I could enjoy one with breakfast.
You can check out my mom's recipe here or grab one from Taqueria del Sol and Five Bar (my personal favorite). Hope your day is extra spicy!
// Image from Waiting on Martha by Rustic White //
Friday, May 2, 2014
After meeting with a sweet bride and florist to discuss her September wedding at Foxhall I stayed at Starbucks for another 5 hours to be sure I was caught up after taking 4 days off. I was grateful for Green Tea, forgetting about my phone, and deep focus.
It was a bit more bitter than sweet to be back at my part time job after a month off but I can choose to be grateful for extra income and all my weekends off approved.
While a major storm rolled in trees went down all over Athens, including right on campus and in our neighborhood. We even had a cat stuck in a tree right outside our house, that was eventually rescued by it's owners :) Feeling grateful for safety
A meeting with a 2015 bride brought Sarah and I to Yeah! Burger for lunch and then over to La Raine's so the bride could pick out her wedding dress- which is nothing short of stunning. Seriously grateful that girls entrust us with such a huge day as their wedding, and let us join them for the special memories of picking out their wedding gown.
Today is install and rehearsal day for my sweet bride Kim, getting married at a private farm in Alpharetta. The weather is supposed to be nothing short of gorgeous and I can't wait to see her walk down the aisle to this song. Have a great weekend!
A song for your weekend!
Stone. Cold. FOX.
One of my sweet brides was Southern Weddings' April Bride of the Month!
This video makes my heart happy for 10 million reasons.
The most gorgeous cookies.
Am I officially old and weird for wanting one?
Madewell's blog is my new favorite.
Perfect spring make up tips.
Get more productive!
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Owner and chef Mimi Maumus is a true artist of divine southern food. After working for and studying under renowned chef Hugh Acheson at 5 & 10 she decided to find her own food identity and created home.made. Everything is fresh, local, seasonal and delicious. Their BLT with fried green tomatoes will make your heart sign and the pimento cheese straws are heaven in a bite. Seriously.
// All images from home.made //