Vote On My Wedding Table Runners

(click on the picture to enlarge)

Okay ya'll, I need your help!
I'm needing to order some fabric that will be used for the following at our upcoming wedding:
  • Table runners on wedding dinner tables.  We are having 4 rows of long rectangular tables.
  • Throw pillows used in lounge area - white furniture
  • Backing to photobooth?  Waiting to hear from vendor to see if this is an option.
For the tables, the runners will be placed over grey linens.  Just the normal ones.  My planner showed me the fancy ones, but I just want that classic linen look -- especially since we're having a snazzy runner.

The wedding is taking place in an old mill building that is very rustic/urban looking on the inside.  Exposed beams and pipes, super high ceilings, chippy-paint walls.  My wedding will have a somewhat vintage feel to it but with a funky mix (i.e. the lounge area with modern white leather furniture).  So, think ECLECTIC.  What fabric would you choose, or would you do a combo of the two, and how would you map it out?

Please comment with your vote and input -- I could really use a hand here!


How A Southern Girl Lunches

Happy 100th post to me!
Welcome to all of my new followers (last I checked I was barely pushing 50 followers).  If this is the first post of mine you're reading, please be forewarned that I don't always eat this unhealthily.  :)

Last week before I boarded a plane for Rochester NY, I decided I needed one last Southern fix before heading up north.  Our current condo is just a quick walk away from this Charlotte staple - Price's Chicken Coop - so that's where I headed.

Be prepared to stand in line, stop texting or talking on your cell immediately, know your order, and order quickly.  Oh, and honey don't forget, it's cash only.

See the grease polka dots on the box below?  That's how you know it's good.

Fried chicken, coleslaw, a roll, hushpuppies, and these great little tater-tot things ... delish.

And of course I had to accesorize with this below.

I was quite full after this lunch but ready to head up north to Rochester.  No good fried chicken up there!  :)  On your next trip to or through Charlotte, you've got to make this stop -- Price's Chicken Coop is that good.  PS - See what Gourmet has to say about it!


Best Couples Wedding Shower EVER.

Okay okay, I may be biased ... but I think we had the best couples wedding shower of all time this past Saturday night.

It was FUN.  Everyone got along so well.  We laughed, we danced, we made the gift opening the least awkward thing ever (because can't it be just so dang awkward?).  I'll show you how we pulled this off.

Let me start with the basics - our friends had a beautiful cake for us.  Pound cake with fondant.  And I love fondant!

Beautiful flower arrangements were all around the house and on the table was the shower invitation as well as a picture of us that our friend Meg took our first night back in Charlotte.  That awesome Queen City skyline in the background was something we missed terribly while away from Charlotte.

Food-wise, they went all out.  Barbeque, buns, biscuits, mac & cheese, slaw, devilled eggs, fruits & veggies, you name it - we had it.

Our hosts gave a toast and then we toasted them right back for such a lovely party.

The gals below are some of the first friends I made when I moved to Charlotte.  We all lived in the same apartment complex and immediately hit it off.

Here we are with our hosts of the shower.

Then it was gift time.  We snuck to the kitchen to take a Patron shot first.  :)

Obviously we loved it.

Gift time has arrived!  Don't you feel completely on display when you're opening your gifts?  Well, we turned it into a lot of fun....

"Hon can you pass me your pocket knife?"

So the trick is to TOTALLY ham it up and get everyone involved in the hamming-up action.  We had friends with a shower recently and we did the same thing.  Everyone gets in on the fun and never, NEVER have you seen anyone who can celebrate a martini shaker like us!

Aaaaaaaagggghhhh!!!!  It's a jigger!!!!!!

Everyone goes wild, and puppies are hoisted in the air!!!

Dancing around and holding gifts in the air is a must!

$100 gift card to Williams Sonoma?  Ian jumped right into Scotty's arms for that one!

Cheese markers ... someone knows me well.

Never have you seen anyone so excited about margarita mix!!!

And there you have it my friends.  We had people jumping, yelling, dancing with dogs, break dancing on the floor (not kidding).  It was the most fun gift opening you've ever seen!

Thank you to our friends for an absolutely lovely wedding shower ... we couldn't have had a better time!


Birthday Wishes & Weekend Recap

Happy 23rd birthday to my youngest sis LAURA!

Laura just recently started her own blog called The Reedy River Recessionista.  For those of you in and around Greenville SC, Laura is going to be posting about great deals to be had in the area.  Shopping, brunching, DIYing, she'll cover it all.  And now this gal is celebrating another birthday - happy bday Yaya!

So how was the weekend for you?  On Friday evening I ran by Trader Joe's on my way home so that Ian and I could whip up a gourmet pizza.  I tried their whole wheat pizza dough (good, but a little thick for our taste - we love thin crust pizza and with my rolling pin in storage, I couldn't get it flat enough!).  We topped this with pesto, mozzerella cheese, onions, capers, black olives, and thin slices of salami.  We watched The Fighter, and in true style, I started dozing off towards the end.  The movie was great, but after a long week I'm just whooped!

Saturday we were super productive -- cleaned the condo, got our honeymoon specifics ironed out, and shopped for (and BOUGHT!) our wedding bands.  Both of our bands suit us quite well.  Ian's is very rugged looking -- it has a hammered matte thick center which is flanked on either side with millgrain detailling.  My band has 3 small horizontal rows of pave diamonds that go halfway around.  Originally I thought I wanted an eternity band, but we'd like to have the rings engraved for each other, and so now we have the option to do so on my ring.

Saturday night our friends hosted for us a couples engagement shower that was SO. MUCH. FUN.  I have tons of pictures ready to share in tomorrow's post!  One sneak peak of us with our wonderful hosts:

And then Sunday I met up with some friends for brunch at Cantina 76 while Ian got together with a buddy at Whiskey Warehouse for lunch.  I spent my afternoon antiquing and then cooked a big pot of beef and vegetable soup for us for dinner last night.  All Ian and I could talk about was what a wonderful weekend we had.

PS - We are officially 2 MONTHS AWAY from getting maaaaarried!  May 28th can't come soon enough.  :)


To All Mommas and Mommas-To-Be

I know I’ve already posted once today but I’m sitting here in the airport with tears in my eyes, and I just feel compelled to write.
It all started when I checked my rental car back in to the Alamo counter.  The conversation went a little something like this:
Miss Mazie: “How was everything with your car?”
April: “Oh, it was fine.  Thank you.”
MM: “So glad to hear it honey.  By the way, I just love your name.”
A: “Why, thank you!  I’ll tell my momma.”
MM: “I have a daughter named Hope.  But if I’d had two more daughters I would have named them Charity and Faith.”
A: “Those are beautiful names.”
MM: “Well I already had six children before I had Hope, so I never had those two other daughters.”
A: “Well, I can see why!  You had a handful!”
And then Miss Mazie got really quiet, and she looked deep into my eyes and said “But you know what?  They’re all grown up now.  And I’m lonely.”
And with that, I felt my eyes well up immediately and I told her that they were lucky to have her as a momma.  And she gave me a big smile and said “Bye bye, Miss Beautiful April.”
I left the Alamo counter feeling two main things: 1) A lot of love for my mom and all moms in general, and 2) A little guilt for not living closer to her.  I’m only about 1h 15mins away, but my recent move from my hometown of Columbia back to my beloved city of Charlotte (where I lived for 6 years after graduating college) was tough on her.  She loved having her babies close by.  I know that it is important for me to be in Charlotte because I’m happiest there.  I feel the most like myself when I am in Charlotte.  And I think that happiness makes me a better daughter, sister, wife-to-be, and friend.  It makes me the best version of myself.  And I know my mom understands this, even though she’d have it differently.
Right when my eyes were starting to dry, I came upon a big board in the airport that had about 20 pictures of children waiting to be adopted.  Their happy, smiling pictures were accompanied by a paragraph’s worth of a description about their personality – but I couldn’t help wondering what sort of tragedies, betrayal, and sadness they’d already experienced in their youth.  What was hiding behind that smile?  Here I am writing about whether or not to splurge on Louboutins for my wedding day, and I can’t help but to feel a little silly about that.  Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m more than just a blog post, but I couldn’t help but to feel like if that is my biggest concern of the moment, then I’m the luckiest gal alive.
I know this is a long post and if you’ve stuck with me up to this point, thanks for letting me unleash this braindump of emotions on you as I sit here in the Rochester airport at gate A10.  All I really want to say is this:  Call your momma.  Hug your momma.  Thank your momma.  Treat your momma to a coffee or afternoon glass of wine or mother/daughter dinner, and spoil her.  I am not always the best daughter, I know this, but sometimes all you need is a moment like mine this morning to snap you right back to reality.  The times I’ve been short on the phone with her, I could kick myself for.  And Mom, if you’re reading this now, I probably won’t be able to tell you about this morning at the wedding dress fitting later today because I don’t want to start crying.  But I love you so very much and am thankful for everything you have done and continue to do for me and our family.

Leaving Rochester & My "A-Z" Survey

Today I fly back from Rochester!  It's been a very cold and snowy trip -- I'll be so happy to return to my warmer southern climates.  I saw that snow was predicted but I didn't pack sensibly and ended up trudging through the snow in the worst possible shoes:

Yep, gold loafers from Banana Republic.  And with the 4+" of snow we got here, I continually stepped in snow piles that spilled right over the top of my feet and into my shoes.  (These were my post-work shoes; don't worry, earlier I made the smart choice of walking thru the snow in gold/black kitten heeled pumps and black slacks that got soaked on the bottoms.)

You can see from my hotel room window the amount of snow that was starting to cover the ground.  It was coming down in droves.

Leaving my client's office, the traffic was creeping due to the crazy conditions! 

For dinner I stopped in at a fabulous restaurant, Tapas 177, where I had spring rolls with fresh veggies and avocado served alongside a warm coconut peanut dipping sauce and a second dish of figs stuffed with almonds and gorgonzola, wrapped in prosciutto.  And a glass (okay, two, gah!) of Malbec.

And now, a little "A-Z" quiz about me -- please fill this out too and leave a comment with your blog post link!

A. Age: 29

B. Bed size: Queen

C. Chore you dislike: Hand-washing dishes - ask my mom or fiance.  They always get stuck with the dirty work!

D. Dogs: An 11-yr. old husky/malamut mix named Drake (see him here).

E. Essential start to your day: Picking up the BlackBerry and checking emails that came in during the night - I know, straight obsessssssssed.

F. Favorite color: YELLOW!

G. Gold or silver: Gold, all the way.

H. Height: 5'3"

I. Instruments you play(ed): I took piano for a summer or two - wish I would have stuck with the lessons!

J. Job title:  You really want to know my day job??

K. Kids: Just that fur baby listed under "D" above!

L. Live: Charlotte, NC, and dang proud of it!

M. Mom’s name: Chris, but I call her "Mom"

N. Nicknames: "A" and various versions of my funny last name.  Ian also has some really funny and crazy nicknames for me but it'd take an entire blog post to list them all.

O. Overnight hospital stays: None so far!

P. Pet peeves: Forks with bent tines, selfish/unaware/oblivious drivers, people who don't hold the door open for the folks behind them, chipped nail polish (on me), smacking chewing gum, spitting or burping out loud (ew), people who jaywalk verrrry slowly in front of your car.

Q. Quote from a movie: "Makes me goosepimply all over!"

R. Righty or lefty: Righty

S. Siblings: 2 beautiful younger sisters both talented in their own ways

T. Time you wake up: 6:45/7am on weekdays (7am if I had 2 glasses of wine and/or don't care about putting hot rollers in my hair and/or don't have to take Drake outside).  Preferably 8/8:30 on weekends, if I'm lucky!

U. Underwear: Yes, I am a fan of them most days.  And that is all I will divulge.

V. Vegetables you don’t like: I'm not too crazy about raw tomatoes or raw mushrooms, but that's about it.

W.What makes you run late:  Wardrobe crises and bad hair days

X. X-rays you’ve had: Teeth only, thank goodness.

Y. Yummy food you make:  I love to cook and can make a mean chess pie.

Z. Zoo animal favorites:  Flamingos

Happy Thursday!


Wedding Shoes: Splurge or Go Sensible?

I am torn with what do do about my wedding shoes.

I have a beautiful long wedding dress (and that's all I can describe to you now).  It wasn't cheap; in fact, I probably pushed the budget a little on it.

But now, I'm plagued by blogs that have me coveting images such as this one:

The mecca of wedding shoes ... Louboutins.  Which also would be coming right out of my own checking account, and this would simply make Ian shudder.  I wouldn't have an easy time justifying these over a new piece of furniture.  But on the other hand - when else can you splurge on yourself but your wedding day?

So I did what any gal would do, I ordered 3 pairs of Nina shoes from Zappos.  I like them all (one pair is similar to the below pair) but I wouldn't say any of them are extraordinarily gorgeous.  On the other hand, however, all are around $70-75 ... much more wallet-friendly.  And not to sound like a grandmother, but the heels on all 3 pairs are a lot more sensible for a long day and night of standing around and dancing.

Then there's the "neither-here-nor-there" shoes that I am absolutely in love with.  I give them this title because they're not $600-700 like Louboutins, but they are $310 from the BHLDN line.  Gorgeously stunning, but still tough to justify the spending.  

So what did you do?  Did you splurge on hot heels or did you go with a more reasonible/sensible pair?  Did you regret making either choice, and why? 


Saturday's St. Patty's Day Festival in Columbia

On Saturday I hit the road early for Columbia, SC -- my hometown!  The Five Points area of Columbia really does it big for St. Patty's Day.  A green fountain, beer, live bands, bagpipers, beer, dancing, debauchery, and oh, did I mention beer?  There's a lot of it.  Ian couldn't join because he was at a friend's bachelor weekind in Charleston, SC, so I enjoyed the festival with my family.

Mom & me
{yes we are aware that those beer cans are HUGE but my economical father found the place with the cheapest price for the most ounces.  The rest of the day we asked him to get us "little beers"}

Me, Mom, youngest sis Laura

My sweet Columbia friend Allie

Los Padres

Lots of healthy food choices


Charleston friends (and way cute couple) Catherine & Patrick

It was a fantastic way to spend a beautiful 80-degree Saturday afternoon!  Now, let me grab my huge coat as I prepare to hop a flight to Rochester, NY......  Ciao!


Do You Rue? (How To Earn CREDITS!)

Rue La La ....

How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways....

(scroll all the way down to find out how you can shop for free)

1) Le Creuset Petite Stoneware Casserole Dish - currently on sale for $15.90

2) Judith Leiber "Full Bead" Crystal Coin Purse - currently on sale for $599.90
(okay, so it's a bit more of a splurge piece)

3) L.A.M.B. "Penny" Suede Platform Sandal - currently on sale for $99.90

4) Alexia Admor Appletini Silk Bow Front Dress - currently on sale for $79.90

And right now on Rue La La, you can earn a $1 credit for every friend who joins between now and March 27th.  So, if you haven't already joined it, click here to get started, and then you'll get your own invitation link that you can pass on to your friends via your blog, Twitter, Facebook, you name it!  Start earning credits, including $10 credits when a friend makes their 1st Rue purchase.  Just think ... get 16 of your friends to join, and you've got that way-cute Le Creuset petite casserole dish coming your way for freeeeeeeeeee!

By joining, you'll get daily email notifications with that day's amazing sales ... trust me, you'll be hooked.  Happy shopping ladies.


My Thursday In Pictures

Yesterday morning I woke at 4:30am (SO not normal) and got into my car to see this ...

... had a minor freakout moment until I realized it was in Celsius, but it's still cold as sin!

And then I drove here to do some work ...

Betcha can't guess what it is?

And then I happily packed my bags and hopped in my way-cool upgraded rental car...

... and I made it to the airport early enough to catch an earlier flight that took me out of snow-covered Vermont ...

... and back to my lovely warm city of Charlotte early enough to enjoy one of these on a patio with the boy ...

.... and then end the night with a perfect view off our balcony of our sweet downtown skyline lit up for St. Patty's Day.

So very happy to be back home and gearing up for the weekend.

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