Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A bridal shower straight out of a magazine.

Yep, MIA this week. Oops! That's really because my weekend was all about my bridal shower and I didn't want to share that prior to Wedding Wednesday because....well, then what would I share with you today?

Let's get to it.

My bridal shower was absolutely amazing. My MOH went above and beyond to make sure it was the most perfect event. I am so grateful for her always, but especially these days.

Her mom offered up her gorgeous home to host the party and they both went to town on every last detail imaginable.

I won $2 from that lottery ticket. 

Of course, the guests made it over the top amazing as well. I really am such a lucky girl and am reminded of that constantly during this whole wedding planning process.

My Grandma (who rarely smiles for pictures), me & my mom.
JC's mom & my grandma.
My MOH's mom/hostess & one of my dear friends, Pauline.
Julea (bridesmaid - she's next!), my high school friend Emily & Julea's mom, Betsy.
Katie, her mom - Jean, me & my mom. 
Me & my fabulous MOH with more of the gorgeous decor. 
Megan (another bridesmaid & my oldest friend!) and her mom, Sandra.
Melanie (bridesmaid & ultimate BFF/wing woman), me & my college bestie, Michelle (she's gonna be so excited to be pictured on the blog ;)).
JC's aunt, cousin, grandma & mom. I'm so grateful for my future in-laws & so thankful they have accepted me into their family as one of their own. 
Two of my aunts, my cousin & my Great Aunt.
My former roommate, Katie, Ginny (bridesmaid) & my MOH.
All of my best friends that attended my shower. Do I have gorgeous friends or what?!
The gifts were spectacular! I have some very crafty people in my life!

JC's aunt made this wreath and I made sure to put it on our door as soon as I got home. Too soon?
JC's aunt made this sign. Isn't it awesome!?
Seriously, can you all just comment and tell JC's aunt to start an Etsy shop already?! Also, there are plenty more pictures of my presents, but of course, I'm a terrible blogger who was on her computer plenty last night and forgot to add those to this post. #fail

The games were fun too! We played one game I've never played before, where people had to guess how old I was in different pictures. Even I didn't get some of them right. Heck, even my mom who organized the game got one wrong!

Seriously. It was absolutely the best shower ever. It's insane how quickly the day went by. I swear it felt like it lasted all of 5 minutes. I'm not prepared for all of the other events to go by that quickly. I might cry thinking about.

Katie, thank you for EVERYTHING. You are the most amazing MOH a bride could ask for. I am so thankful for our friendship. Love you!

And thank you to everyone else who attended! Don't worry, your thank you cards were done on Sunday morning. Now I just need stamps. #ihategoingtothepostoffice

NC Belle In Boots
Wedding Wednesday

Friday, July 18, 2014

Five Favorites.

So it's Friday, which is obviously my favorite weekday, so why not link up with Juliette, Allie & Faith again considering today's topic is all about favorites! Five of them to be exact.


1. Favorite snack: Kind bars. Seriously y'all. They are my new favorite. At first I thought I was in love with the Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate ones. But then, the store ran out of those, so I opted for the Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt. Yes. Just yes.

2. Favorite new product I'm using: Micro-derm Paste from Rodan + Fields. When my friend Megan first started selling this stuff, I was a bit turned off because of the cost. Then, I tried a mini-facial and became more intrigued. Once I got a full facial at the Waldorf last month, the lady told me I needed a good exfoliation 1-2 times a week. So off to R+F I went. I love this stuff and that's saying something because I'm really bad about doing any sort of beauty regimen that isn't within the shower/part of my normal routine. I mean it's only 30-60 seconds, so I promise you can do it and your soft skin will thank you immensely. Oh, and also - I've been using mine for about a month now and have barely skimmed the top, so I'm quite certain that $70 is going to last me for the rest of my life!

*and no I wasn't asked me to post this or paid to say anything nice.

3. Favorite song on repeat: Another Sunday in the South - Miranda Lambert. You guys, her new album is AWESOME. Ok, maybe not the whole album. Some of it is very twangy and a little too old country for me (like 1970s old country), but the other half of it is SO good. I've had this song on repeat for a good month now and I can't get enough. If you know country and really listen, you'll notice that the majority of the lyrics are actually song titles woven together. So creative!

4. Favorite thing to happen this week: My bridal shower. Obviously it hasn't happened yet, but it will happen tomorrow and I couldn't be more excited for it. JC even went so far as to answer a good 30 questions (that even I had a hard time with) from my MOH with a smile on his face. And after, he said "Katie should get a few laughs out of some of my answers" while cracking up at himself. I followed the rules and didn't look, so I'm very interested to see what he wrote down. 

5. Favorite new workout: T25. Yes, you read that right. I hopped back on the workout train a little over a week ago and it's going FANTASTIC. My MOH recently bought T25 and once she finished the Alpha level, she passed along her DVDs to me. I'm happy to report, in just a week I've lost 5.5 inches overall and 5 pounds! Who would have thought only 25 minutes a day could do that?!? I've also made sure to eat extremely clean and guess what!? I'm NOT counting calories. I don't even look at the calorie count anymore. I highly recommend these workouts to anyone - and I mean anyone, there's a modified version of every workout, so really ANYONE can do it. #andnowIsoundlikeasalesperson

What are your favorites this week?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

73 days.

It's time for another listicle Wedding Wednesday. And just a heads up - I think I'm going to start being a little less open about the details. Well, kind of - I doubt I'll be showing any pictures of things I have up my sleeve in the coming months, as I want to be able to show you them when they are incorporated into the actual wedding. I know, so rude. Anyways.....

I had my hair trial this past Sunday. I absolutely love the girl who's doing our hair on the big day! Also, I was happy with the outcome which isn't typical when it comes to me and up-dos. I tend to not say how I really feel because I feel bad wasting anymore of the person's time, so I just suck it up and deal. I promised myself this time that I wouldn't do that and if I wanted to edit, I would say something. And I did. A couple edits later and we had the winning do! Of course, I can't show you a picture. Trust me. It's hurts me just as much as it hurts you.

Passports. We have officially applied!! JC was randomly off last Wednesday and although I had 2 appointments for us yesterday, I called around and found a post office where they had a cancellation that day, so JC was able to go. This way, we didn't have to worry if he didn't have yesterday off - which he didn't. And I got mine done in approximately 5.3 minutes yesterday. Wahoooo!

Flights. I'm pretty dang excited about this one. I've been playing with 2 one-way flights for a few weeks - flying out of Richmond to the Bahamas, since it's closer to Charlottesville and then flying back home into DC (non-stop). Well, for some reason I randomly logged onto my credit card site to look at my rewards options - not having any clue that I can use my points for flights. Well, guess what! I can! With the points I already have between my 2 CCs, I can save us about $300. And it's safe to say, I immediately starting putting any upcoming bills on my CC, so I can pay that instead of paying the bill direct. Anybody got anything I can buy them? Repayment required. Duh.

Bridal Shower. EEEEEK. My bridal shower is SATURDAY!! To say this is coming at the most perfect time would be the understatement of the century. I desperately need this to look forward to and couldn't be happier to have some extended time with my family and best girlfriends. See also: I cannot wait to see what my fabulous MOH has been planning for all these months!!

RSVPs. This has been something I've been equally excited about and dreading all at the same time. Getting RSVPs in the mail is fun! Well, if they are yes', no's aren't that fun. But regardless, it means I'm getting them back. We've officially received over half the RSVPs and they were only just sent 3 weeks ago! We have gotten a couple no's, but all from people I expected to say no - so no biggie there. We've also gotten a couple yes' that I wasn't expecting, so that will be interesting, considering I keep saying "we've invited 140, so I only expect about 115ish". The more the merrier says me, but not our budget.

Favors. One of the favors has been ordered! Another is in the works. This is where I'm going to be super secretive and not show you a picture. 

First fitting. I had that last Thursday! I can honestly say I wasn't AS happy on Thursday as I was the day I chose the dress. I initially had a bunch of details here on why I wasn't super happy, but then I realized I'm basically giving JC information on how my dress looks, so we're going to go ahead and cut that from the record. But let me just say - I'm confident I'll be happy in the end because this lady altering my dress is amazing and I'm really excited to try it on again in mid-August!

Songs. I need to start working on the song list for the reception. What are songs that you absolutely must have played at any wedding you attend? Mine is most definitely Footloose and you better believe there's a note on the sheet that says "play this song when the bride is obviously available to dance". They WILL play it again if that is not the case. I can guarantee you that one. What's your go to request?

Bridesmaid jewelry. Purchased! I may not have found anything for myself on Saturday when I was shopping, but I did check this one off the list and I'm pretty excited about it. Now what the heck will I wear? Need to find at least 2 options before my next fitting, so I can try them on with my dress. Ughhhhh. Why is this so hard?

What else is left? Timeline, buying a garter (or 2 - is that how many you buy? I don't know.), finalizing the ceremony, deciding if I want to go traditional with the music I walk down the aisle to (leaning towards yes at this point), buy mason jars, put together escort tags for mason jars, finish the rest of the crafts, buy one more bridesmaid gift, find shoes, socks & flasks for the groomsmen, have final walk through (August 18th), finish the rest of the printed material (programs, menus, Do Not Disturb hangers) I missing anything!?

NC Belle In Boots
Wedding Wednesday

Monday, July 14, 2014

Finish this.

It's Monday, yada, yada, yada. This weekend was fantastic....albeit super busy.

Friday night I took advantage of being home alone and made a super yummy and healthy meal, while catching up with my DVR. And Dateline. Nothing says Friday night like a Dateline episode and fish.

Saturday I spent the majority of the day shopping with my MOH and Charlotte. It was exhausting. We spent hours on end in the mall and I found not one thing I came there for (bachelorette & rehearsal dresses). I did find something I've been looking for, for my bridesmaids, so at least there's one check mark there. Then, I proceeded to come home and purchase every dress I even remotely liked online, so I can try some options on and return what I don't want. Fingers crossed.

Sunday was devoted to going back down to Charlottesville with my mom & Grandma for my hair trial. Success. But I can't show you any pictures because I don't want JC to see. Oh, the tease!

And I'm thinking this week will go by at a snail's pace since my bridal shower is Saturday (!!!!!!) - so please be nice to me this week ;)

Instead of doing the usual extra long weekend recap, I'm linking up with some fabulous ladies - Juliette, Allie & Faith! There's no chance I could ever blog for 30 days straight, so I'm picking and choosing and this one was too fun to pass up!


When I open the fridge, I always hope I find anything. Honestly, anything other than butter, old leftovers and ketchup. And this hope leads me to open the fridge approximately 73 times before I convince myself nothing is going to magically appear in there that will fulfill my craving.

My favorite article of clothing is my bright blue Under Armour running pants. But I prefer to wear them when I'm not running and laying on the couch because that's way more comfortable.

Last week I was really pissed when I couldn't figure out anything to finish this sentence with...since I wrote this on Friday. Last week was pretty great!

One thing nobody understands about me is my love for mushrooms.

One thing I don't understand is why people don't like mushrooms.

The world would be a better place if everyone was a little bit nicer.

If I had a million dollars I'd pay off my bills, give JC & my parents some and then go on the tropicalist vacations of all vacations. See also, I'd make up words.

If I could change one thing about myself, it would be to love more vegetables and less fried goodness.

Something that can always make me happy is The People's Couch. Bravo, Bravo! #seewhatididthere

Something I'll never blog about is that stuff that no one should blog about or much less put anywhere on the internet for anyone ever to see.

If I could go anywhere I would go to Hawaii because why wouldn't I want to frolic in blue water, drink fruity drinks and get a tan all for free because we have a hotel there where this is an option! But I would go after our wedding so I can have tan lines and then everyone can ask me "where'd you get those tan lines?". Now if only I could get JC on the plane to Hawaii.....

If I were an animal I would be a puppy!

A job I've always wanted is a wedding planning. Ok, maybe not always, but my desire to be a paid wedding planner these days makes it feel like I've wanted it forever.

My idea of a perfect day is sleep until 9, meet up with friends and family, go out on the boat, drink a little drink, smoke a little smoke, and then have a cookout which ended with Reese's Cup S'mores.

Well that was fun. It was like a MySpace survey and lord knows I used to LOVE MySpace surveys.

How would finish these sentences? Link up!

Friday, July 11, 2014

365 days. 12 months. 1 year.

Tomorrow marks the anniversary of a pretty spectacular day. It's safe to say, the best day of my life.

JC & I were in Boston.

The day started with a ladybug in our hotel room.

First on the agenda for the day was a tour of the Sam Adams Brewery.

Followed by a tour of the Harpoon Brewery (someone needed some liquid courage).

We got lost on the T.

We walked around Fenway Park 3 times trying to locate our tickets to the Jason Aldean/Miranda Lambert concert.

We ended up at Bleacher Bar after we did finally get our tickets in hand.

Then, we got engaged.

It seriously feels like yesterday that this all happened. I cannot even begin to comprehend how it's been one whole year since JC got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. 

Even crazier, we have less than 3 months until September 27, 2014. A day that seemed like it was 10 years away on July 12, 2013. 

Sure, everyone tells you that time will fly. It's no secret. But you cannot possibly understand how true that statement is until you're planning a wedding. The last 12 months have gone by in a complete blur. Have I enjoyed every second of the last 365 days? Well surely not. Life's not perfect - even when you're blissfully engaged. Life still happens.

But that doesn't mean that I haven't thoroughly enjoyed this past year. That doesn't mean that I'm not going to be sad when the planning is through. That doesn't mean that it all hasn't been worth every single second.

JC, I'm so thankful that you got down on one knee a year ago. I'm even more thankful to be able to call you my husband in just 78 short days. This life without you wouldn't be half as enjoyable. I am so happy that we sat down beside each other on September 5, 2009 and started a whirlwind of a relationship. Things haven't always been peachy and we've definitely had our ups and downs, but I can honestly say there's no one else I'd rather spend my ups and downs with. You are my best friend and the best partner I could ever hope for. I love you.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I am loved.

Here we are. Less than 3 months to go until the wedding and I'm learning something pretty major. Maybe learn is the wrong word because it's definitely something I knew already, but it's becoming even more evident these days.

I am loved.

When JC and I got engaged and I dove head first into this wedding planning gig, there were definitely times I was concerned. Was I asking too much? Would people think I'm crazy? Will everyone support us regardless of the decisions we make?

You see, I tend to over-think things. I decide I like something, I still need 10 different people to vote on said decision so I know it's the right decision. I choose particular dresses or bachelorette location - will people tell me I'm asking too much from them?

I'm a people pleaser to no end. That's probably one of the hardest traits to get past when it comes to planning your own wedding. It's JC and my day - not anyone else's. Why should I care what anyone else thinks? I shouldn't, but I do.

With every decision I've made over these last 11 plus months (1 year on Saturday - HOLY CRAP!), I am so happy to report that just about every single time - someone's had my back. Someone's been there to tell me to do what I (we) want to do - if I like something, choose it. If I want to be selfish - this is the time to do it. If I want to go to Nashville - GO. If I want the majority of my bridal party to be in Nashville - most of them will do every last thing possible to make it happen.

It has all become so blatantly obvious during this time that I have the best people in my life. I couldn't be more grateful.

In the last couple of weeks, two major things have happened in this wedding planning adventure.

First, invites have gone out. I need more than 2 hands to count how many times someone has told me how much they love our invitations. To say that makes me feel amazing is the understatement of the century. I put A LOT of work into those and I asked very few opinions from anyone else (besides that fiancé of mine). And it means the world to me that people take the time to send me a text, FB message or email to let me know what they think because we all know they don't actually have to do that.

Secondly, bachelorette party travel plans are being made. My absolutely fantastic MOH has been planning my bachelorette for quite a few months now. I'd be more than happy to lend her to anyone who needs an MOH (after September ;)). She's amazing. I couldn't have made a better pick when I chose her to stand by my side and help me plan this thing along the way.

There was a point in time where I wasn't quite sure Nashville was going to happen. I even thought about changing the location to something more local because it seemed as though the majority of my bridesmaids which are all of my best friends (aka the people I absolutely wanted there) weren't going to be able to swing the trip. I was told by more than a few people, if Nashville was my dream bachelorette location, Nashville should be where I'm at to celebrate.

Thankfully I listened. And even more, only 2 of my bridesmaids will be missing out on the trip of a lifetime. I'll miss them, but I'm so incredibly appreciative that the other 4 bridesmaids, plus 4 other amazing women are making sure that I have the best bachelorette party there ever was.

And last, but certainly not least - throughout this whole time, my wonderful fiance has had my back more than ever. Sure, some decisions haven't come without an argument or two. Does JC want glitter all over? He sure doesn't, but JC knows that I've been putting all of my heart into planning this wedding and in the end, I'm pretty sure he knows - it's just glitter and if Samantha wants to be covered from head to toe in it when crafting, then by all means she can be. More importantly, he's been there when things have been less than fun and more stressful than ever. He's always there to tell me when I'm doing the right thing and that if people don't like it, they aren't worth my time. Easier said than done, but he's right and I'm so grateful to have him by my side now and for the rest of our lives.

As you can see, there have been times during this planning process that have left me in tears or just about ready to pull my hair out (but I need it to look decent on 9/27/14). It certainly hasn't been all roses and sunshine over here. But I can honestly say that the people I've surrounded myself with have made it so much more enjoyable than stressful. So long story short, what I'm trying to say is - if you're planning your wedding or even just dealing with some major life changes and the people around you aren't supporting you - maybe you should find some new people to surround yourself with. That's just my 7.9 cents on this fine Wedding Wednesday.

NC Belle In Boots

Wedding Wednesday