Friday, April 29, 2016

brunch + bubbly

the weekend of our engagement party was also the perfect weekend to ask my bridesmaids since both stephen's younger sister and my younger sister were in town for the party! I reserved the private, secluded table on the side patio of horseradish grill which is right near chastain park. it was a beautiful, hot day and we had full run of the patio to be as silly and outspoken as we wanted. we started the brunch with warm biscuits and jam and mimosas and then the ladies opened their bridesmaid boxes before we chowed down.

luckily they're all family and had to say yes :) in all seriousness, I'm so happy to be surrounded by such strong, smart, and fun women. the next year of wedding planning is definitely going to be an adventurous ride and I can't wait to experience all the exciting occasions to come with these ladies by my side.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

our engagement party

time flies! we've been engaged now for about six weeks and we have made so much progress in wedding planning. it's coming along nicely, and we've booked all the major pieces already. no stress here, at least not on the wedding planning front. don't worry, there's lots of stress in other parts of our lives like oh you know, home buying and work.

this past weekend, stephen's mom hosted an engagement party for us to celebrate the happy occasion with family and friends. it was a beautiful night and the party was perfect! there was so much food, including my favorite macaroni and cheese, and an amazing cake. we only invited our local friends and family, so as not to pressure people to travel but a few of stephen's long distance relatives made the trip which was so nice. stephen and I practiced cutting the cake, and it's a good thing because stephen fed himself instead of me.

Friday, April 22, 2016

fashion friday: the little white dress

this is a somewhat embarrassing confession: I have been shopping for the perfect white dress for our engagement party for over a month. I started with plenty of time so I ordered from but things started to get real when none of my options were working out and the clock was ticking. one dress was adorable, but too frilly. I'm keeping it for a shower somewhere down the line. the next option was way too expensive (but I did it anyway) and it fit terribly... somewhere between a mexican fiesta meets bridal marshmellow.

white dresses show a myriad of potential concerns: wrinkled fabric, food/drink mishaps, colored undergarments, and more. it goes without saying to make sure you've got the right foundations going on underneath. check out if you don't know what I'm referring to. even though I'd pick black over white for apparel eight days a week, let's just say I now have a lot of experience in of-the-moment white dresses. here are my top picks, by sleeve length, starting with long sleeves, to short sleeves, and tank style. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

watersound wanderings

 the two weekends we spent at the beach in march included torrential downpours, gray skies, and deep puddles. even though the sky never quite cleared up, I felt compelled to make use of any moments without rain. one weekend, we walked to alys beach to eat charlie's donuts which was also a decent work out. the following weekend, I spent some time with my sister exploring the watersound neighborhood. 

watersound is a beach community off of 30a which embodies beach ideals to me - it's understated, relaxed, simplistic luxury. while many other communities along 30a are bustling with people, cars, kids, bikers, dogs, etc... watersound remains private and pretty quiet, because the community is both gated and doesn't offer a ton of touristy options like restaurants or shops. private parks, greens, and pools dot the neighborhoods, along with a mini putting green, and gorgeous trails that lead to the beach. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

meatless monday: my sister's slightly sinful fettuccine alfredo

sometimes you just need a comfort meal. you deserve it. 

stephen and I went on our first trip to look at houses with our realtor recently. we found a house that we loved online and long story short, it was a wreck inside once we were able to see it in person. not to mention, it was buzzing with other potential buyers when we arrived which also annoyed me. I think we could've put $100K into renovations on this house and ended up with an amazing home but it was just discouraging and too extensive. we were okay with the prospect of renovating the bathrooms and redoing the landscaping but when the already renovated kitchen needed additional renovating, I mentally threw in the towel.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

weekly reading, volume 7

well, friends, it was a long week! over the past seven days, we have looked at six different houses. this has been a bit of a struggle for me because I'm not very patient and I like to get things done. going to look at a home on my lunch break to find out that what they've listed as a third bedroom actually has no door, is not a fun experience. especially since the lack of patience leads to anxiety, the I-have-to-have-it-now feeling that then ends in a letdown. to make matters worse, the few homes that we've seen online that look like a perfect fit have sold in less than a day. which I still can't wrap my head around. I get it, this is home buying. the saga continues...

meanwhile, it's been crazy at work while we are in the homestretch of a five month training project that is about to launch. we incorporated virtual reality into this project and I got the first draft last week, which was fun and exciting to experience! if you haven't heard of google cardboard, check it out.

this past week, stephen and I frantically registered at our first place since we heard that people were already looking to get us gifts. we didn't really have time to plan ahead since we hit up crate and barrel on a monday night after work and my yoga class. stephen suggested we have a few drinks prior to registering and I was happy to comply. my favorite item on the registry? this sweet bedside carafe which I have been wanting for ages for a guest room. 

I'm trying to soak in these april weekends because may is coming in with a whirlwind of plans. stephen has an out of town tennis tournament, we have a wedding in alabama, a graduation, mother's day... not to mention I have travel plans taking me to texas, florida, and new jersey. then we wrap it up with another trip for memorial day. is may crazy busy for you too? I think it's totally a may thing. have a relaxing rest of your weekend! xx

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

my first pure barre class

you may know that my sister opened a pure barre studio at the end of last year. I helped a little bit before it opened and also played party planner with my sister for the grand opening party. however, I still hadn't taken a class many months later. this past weekend, a few of us girls threw on our yoga pants, hopped in the car, and drove down to kennesaw to take our inaugural class. 

my sister gave me a pure barre bride-to-be tank a few weeks ago, which was perfect for my first class! other than attire, I had zero preconceived notions of what to expect. I was happily surprised and blown away by how much I enjoyed the class!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

weekly reading, volume 6

happy weekend, everyone! I'm so happy to have a second weekend in a row at home with not too many crazy plans. this weekend, I'm attending my first ever pure barre class so more to come on that next week! we also have a meeting with our realtor, which I'm definitely excited about. and on top of all this, my photography 2 class has started back up!

the big news lately is that we booked our wedding ceremony and reception site and our photographer. if you find yourself with down time and want to swoon over some gorgeous portraiture, dear wesleyann has got you covered. thrilled is an understatement.

in other news, I recently caught up with my old college roommate in hotlanta. I haven't seen her in probably 5 years... and she's moving from austin to atlanta for 4 weeks this summer. how exciting right? I love living in atlanta... the best big city of the south. after I moved here in 2011, two of my sorority sisters followed me. okay, they totally didn't follow me and it's a complete coincident but it's awesome.

how gorgeous are these christian louboutin 7 shades of nude flats?

also, if you've ever wondered what burns more calories - outdoor workouts vs indoors workouts, this is an interesting read.

have a fabulous rest of your weekend, friends! xx

Friday, April 8, 2016

perfecting your cheese plate

in my humble opinion, every social gathering should include a cheese plate. it's the polite thing to do and it really helps bring people together, fighting over their cheeses of choice. in all seriousness, mastering an awesome cheese plate is pretty much an adult requirement. 

there are a few things to know in order to make the most of your cheese plate. first, you need a cheese plate and servers. this doesn't have to be super fancy or expensive but it's important to have a large enough surface to be able to spread out all your goodies. my cheese plate is a slate lazy susan and I randomly found it at costco. it also came with little markers that you can write on with chalk, I find those to be annoying to manage so I don't use them.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

house hunting: advice?

in a few days, stephen and I are meeting with a realtor to kick off the process of house hunting! this will be our first home together, but also the first property that either of us has ever purchased. I really like our realtor, I found her by chance but after we started texting back and forth about a specific property (rather than trying to fit phone calls into busy work days), I knew she was the one.

for our first meeting, we're drafting a house wish list. basically a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves. I can't wait to look back at this list and see how we stack up in the end since I'm positive we won't end up with everything we want. wishful thinking!

1. hard wood living room
2. formal dining room (wainscoting a plus)
3. 3+ bedrooms and 2.5+ bathrooms
4. office space
5. green space for walks/runs in the neighborhood (nearby park a plus)
6. good school district
7. well landscaped yard with grass and trees
8. close to a few decent restaurants
9. close to the highway for commute purposes
9. swim and tennis community

1. gated community
2. outdoor entertaining space (deck, covered patio, etc)

OK, seriously looking for advice here...
do you own a home, am I missing anything? have any home buying advice for us? we're all ears!

PS. aren't these homes beautiful? more gorgeous coastal homes coming to the blog next week.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

weekly reading, volume 5

after missing a few of these weekly posts due to travel, getting engaged and easter with the family - I'm back!

don't cry over spilt beer. as stephen and I were unpacking from his CPA party a few weeks ago, we surprisingly had a lot of alcohol left (anyone want to come over?). for some reason, he was transporting some bottles in a trash bag and wouldn't you know it, the bag broke and all the bottles shattered in our apartment hallway. funny enough, our neighbors were right behind us. they even helped us clean up the mess! we've always talked about getting together but with stephen's study schedule, we never had time. after running into them during our beer bottle catastrophe, we finally got together at top golf. yay for having free time to make new friends!

last weekend, I came home from the beach to tons of mail, including an overload of vintage wedding stamp orders (yes, I am planning extremely far in advance) and the april issue of southern living. can't wait to make this spinach and vidalia onion dip.

image via southern living

Friday, April 1, 2016

brews for books

you may know that I have a soft spot for children's literacy in low income elementary schools and I volunteer with everybody wins! atlanta. this week, ew!a hosted its 8th annual brews for books event at monday night brewing. this is one of my favorite philanthropy events because it supports a great cause, it's only $35, and you get to drink beer and hang out with other professionals in a relaxed setting.

this year, the weather was perfect and we sat outside just soaking it in between beer runs and conversations with friends. for $35, you get eight beer tastings, a souvenir glass, and light bites. another fun part of brews for books is the raffle for reading that runs in conjunction with the event. the prizes are always fantastic, this year's prizes included round trip airfare, a flight simulator experience, a weekend at the ritz (sign me up!), and more.