June 29, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: What Everyone Else Wore

I apologize, again, for the lack of posting! I've missed Wedding Wednesday for two weeks in a row! Last time I talked about finding The Dress. This week I'll talk about what everyone else wore!

The Bridesmaids + Flower Girls

Purple has been my favorite color for as long as I remember. In fact, my room at my parents' house is still painted purple! So it was clear what color my wedding party would be wearing!

I wanted to steer clear of any super-pale lilac or pansy color. I found European Lilac from Bill Levkoff to be the perfect shade. It was dark enough to not be pastel, but still light enough for an afternoon spring wedding.

I picked out the color, fabric (Euro Satin) and length(cocktail) and then my bridesmaids were free to choose any style dress that met that criteria. They had about a dozen to choose from and could pick whatever dress
they liked. Out of six women, three chose the same dress and 3 chose different ones!
I asked that they just wear silver shoes, flats or heels--I didn't care. My matron of honor is more comfortable in flats, while my sister chose what can only be explained as "hooker heels"(she's the super tan one on the end)!

I originally picked out silver/gray chiffon dresses with satin lilac rosettes on the neckline and waist for my two flower girls(no picture available). We ordered them in February....they did not arrive at the store until the Tuesday before the wedding. When they did? They were both size 2. That size fit the three year-old, but the six year-old? no dice. Their cousin ended up going out to Belk's to buy ivory Easter dresses. I ended up loving them more than the originals.

The Guys

I originally wanted the guys to wear light gray suits. I love that look and something about a light gray suit screams Spring to me. However, due to logistics, we used Men's Wearhouse for the tuxes and I did not like their gray suits. We went with a classic black tux with ivory shirts--we avoided white since my dress was ivory. J wore an ivory vest + tie and the other guys wore a purple printed one.
The ring bearer wore a mini version of J's tux. Our dad's wore black tuxes with black vests and ties.

His mom wore a lovely taupe skirt + jacket, while my mom wore an eggplant halter dress. Here's our whole family!

And here's the whole wedding party! The two girls in the teal and coral are my cousins who were program attendants.

All pictures done by William Massey Photography.
Next week: The Ceremony

June 27, 2011

Menu Monday

Last week was a total meal planning FAIL! We didn't stick to our plan at all. I had high hopes we'd get back on track this week, but J is working on a friend's jeep, so he had pizza and I had a smoothie. But I've adjusted our schedule and you can see it below! Not too many recipes to link to this time.

Tuesday(originally tonight's meal): seared scallops, spicy sauteed green beans and this new quinoa blend I first heard about on elefantitas alegres and finally found at Whole Foods!

Wednesday: Mama Pea's Yukon Golf White Bean Basil Burgers and sweet potato fries.

Thursday: Either omelets or sausage pasta( chicken sausage with pasta and sauteed bell peppers and onions, a favorite from college)

That's all I planned for this week! I fly out Friday afternoon for 4 days in Georgia so J is on his own. I foresee lots of Totino's party pizzas and Tyson chicken wings.

What are you eating this week?

June 24, 2011

Friday Favorites

It is finally Friday! Has this week felt long to anyone else?

Today I thought I'd share a few of my favorites...favorite what? Oh, anything that comes to mind...

1) Recent Target Purchases(both pictures from Target.com)

I dropped $50 at Target yesterday. Because that's what Target does to me.

I bought this running tank after seeing it on Meals and Miles:

I really like the look of the tank, but not so sure about running in it(support-wise). I'll for sure wear it for walking and weights.

I also bought this dress:

I bought one similar to it last summer and wear it ALL the time. I wear it in the fall with cropped leggings & flats! It isn't as short on me as it is on the model. In fact, I'm wearing it today at work with my $13.99 Jack Rogers knock-offs I found on the Target clearance rack last spring! It is a great dress for casual Fridays, grabbing drinks, throwing on over a bathing suit, etc. And it only costs $20! I'm already thinking of buying one in purple or blue!

2) Blake Shelton & Miranda Lambert's Wedding Video

I just think they are so down-to-earth and adorable. And I just love "Honey Bee."

Secrets Resorts Jamaican Smile Recipe

The resort we went to for our honeymoon posted the recipe for their Jamaican Smile drink on their blog.

No joke, I probably drank 4 of those a day. It was like strawberry-banana smoothie...with rum.

4) We're getting a dog!

At least, we're pretty sure we are. We're hanging out with the potential pup tomorrow. I'll keep you updated :)

5) Beer & Wine Cart at Work

The interns are bringing around the beer & wine cart in an hour or so. Happy Friday!

So there's your random post for Friday. What are your favorites today?

June 22, 2011

Wedding Thursday: The Dress + The Look

Sorry for the lack of posting this week! No worries, I'll have a full recap of NKOTBSB soon :)

Immediately after J proposed, we went out to Bonefish to celebrate. We killed time at Barnes & Noble where I bought my first wedding magazine!

I didn't shop for a dress until July, but I had a general idea of what I wanted...lace, antique-looking, not poofy. I did not want to go to David's Bridal because of some bad experience there, but I also set a budget for myself(that included alterations). I researched brands that fell within my budget and found a local store that carried these brands.

My sister came to visit Memphis in late July and went with me on my first shopping trip. I went to the store that I ended up ordering bridesmaids dresses from(and had the most horrible customer service experience ever) and told them it was my first time shopping. They let me pull as many as I wanted. One thing I loved is that the price was right on the front of the bag, so I could automatically skip any that were over my budget, thus preventing me from falling in love with one I couldn't afford. I didn't find THE ONE that day, but I tried on quite a few.

After that trip, I could tell I had a favorite--strapless, sweetheart neckline with lace and just slightly full. I found a small shop in Nashville, TN who's entire inventory was within my budget and made an appointment there. My mom and maid of honor met me in Nashville for a weekend of shopping.

I found the dress there. I knew it was the one, because the longer I kept it on, the more I loved it. It was comfortable but pretty. I felt I could move in it.

I didn't have an overly dramatic "Say Yes to The Dress" moment. In fact, I could have kept shopping for dresses because I loved trying them on. But I made up my mind that I wanted to buy a dress that weekend. I knew that if I kept shopping, I'd probably find one that looked similar to what I chose, because that is what I liked. It is important to keep in mind what you want and how you want to feel on your wedding day.

I found my veil only a few months before the wedding. I knew I didn't want a blusher and I didn't want anything extremely ornate or long. My friend Ashley helped me pick my veil out at the shop where I had my alterations done.

I knew I wanted purple shoes. I found some simple, comfortable dye able shoes on ShoeBuy.com and had them dyed to match the bridesmaids dresses. They came pretty close!

I kept the accessories simple. Because I wore my half-up and half-down, I skipped the necklace. I purchased my earrings and bracelet from this etsy seller and I love them.

I felt beautiful on my wedding day, but still like myself which I think is the most important thing!

Next week: What everyone else wore!

All photos in this post were taken by William Massey Photography

June 19, 2011

Happy Fathers Day, Daddy!

Some facts about my dad:

  • He introduced me to some of my favorite movies--Gone With The Wind, Lonesome Dove and The Right Stuff
  • He appreciates a good bargain and his favorite weekend ritual is the Saturday morning flea market with a stop for waffles after. He even asked if he had time to go before my wedding!
  • One of my favorite childhood memories is going to McDonalds for hotcakes on Saturday morning together

Happy Fathers Day, Daddy! Sorry Linley and I aren't home. Hopefully you and Nip have a good day rambling around.

June 16, 2011

Recent Reads

I'm a reader. I love, love, love reading. I love getting lost in a good story and feeling connected to characters. My Mawmaw taught me to read at a young age--I remember that the first book I read was "Hop on Pop" by Dr.Seuss. I've been going non-stop since then.

I have a goal to read 50 books this year! According to Goodreads, I've read 17 thus far! However, my tracker says I'm 5 books(11%) behind where I need to be to keep on track for 50 this year. I think I can do it though!

I thought I'd share with you a few I've read recently and enjoyed. You can check out my lists on Goodreads too for more ideas!

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

I'm almost embarrassed to admit how much YA fiction I like, but it is true--I'm a sucker for a good YA novel. I believe I first saw this book on NPR's list of the Top 10 YA Novels of 2010(I've read a few and all were very good!). This is a cute love story and very well written. Perfect for a day by the pool!
Divergent by Veronica Roth
This book blew me away. I didn't realize I was very "in to" dystopian fiction, but I've read a couple of books now and enjoyed them all. I devoured this in 3 or 4 days. To me it was like a cross between The Giver by Lois Lowery(which my husband has never read! wth?) and The Hunger Games trilogy(amazing, by the way. I read them last summer). I'm already looking forward to book #2...too bad it's probably a year away! Another amazing fact? The author is only twenty-two years old!

The Art of Racing in The Rain by Garth Stein

Oh, dog books tear at my heart. I was expecting this one to make me ugly-cry like Marley & Me did, but it didn't. It pulled at my heart strings though. It is such a sweet story about a dog's life with his family and how he see's the tragic events.

The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond

Ok, technically I listened to this book. I enjoy audio books on my long drives back to Georgia. I listened to this one on my drive home for the wedding and on the plane to and from the honeymoon! Appropriate since she tells the story of falling in love with Malboro Man and their first year of marriage. I really enjoyed it.
Dead Reckoningn by Charlaine Harris

I'm a big fan of the Sookie Stackhouse series. I blew through the first 8 or 9 a couple of summers ago. They're trashy entertainment and I'm okay with that :) I can't WAIT for True Blood season 4! I've also read her other books an enjoyed them.
Decision Points by President George W. Bush

See, not all of my reading selections can be shared with my 12 year old cousin or focus on vampires! I read this at the beginning of the year and was surprised by how interesting and intriguing it was. I'm not anti-Bush or anything, but political memoirs aren't really my thing. Some of the most fascinating chapters centered around 9/11 and the Iraq war. I will admit to skimming the economic chapters, only cause economics make my head spin.

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

I checked this out of the library last fall and read a couple of chapters and just stopped; I don't remember why. I checked it out again because I plan on seeing the movie and found it very cute! For some reason I keep picturing John Krasinski as Dex, but I know that's not right. I'm currently reading the sequel, Something Blue.

You can check out my Goodreads profile for more suggestions.

Do you have any good books to share?

June 15, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: The Bridal Party + Other Roles

So after laying the foundation for our April 2011 wedding, we began discussing who all would be involved with our wedding(aside from the obvious!)

Bridesmaids: 6

My matron of honor was my Delta Gamma Big Sister. This was a no brainer. She is one of my best friends. Although she lives in Wichita and couldn't be around for any of the planning, she helped as much as she could over the phone. On the day of the wedding, she was constantly by my side and helping me. She saved the day by finding my grandmother's engagement ring when it fell off my bouquet! If I'd lost that ring, the entire day would have been ruined for me.

I "broke tradition" by having two maids of honor. My best friend from high school is practically a sister to me and her family is an extension of my own. The other is another DG sister, former roommate and best friend from college.

My sister, cousin and childhood friend(and DG sister) were the remaining three bridesmaids. Some people thought it was odd I didn't pick my sister as MOH, but I asked if she'd be bothered by that and she said no, so that's all that matters.

Groomsmen: 5

J's best friend from college was his best man. He's a great guy and I really like him and love that he is such a good friend to J.

His brother, college roommate and two high school friends were the other groomsmen. The roommate flew all the way from California to be in our wedding! We really appreciated it.

We had uneven numbers and that was fine by us. He has two other friends we would have liked to have included, but they are both in the military. One is in the Air Force and was anticipating a deployment and his younger brother is currently completing OCS for the Army down at Ft.Benning. I know people stress over "even sides"--trust me, it is not a big deal.

Kids: 4

Yes, we had kids in our wedding. I have a few younger cousins I adore and I wanted them involved. The two oldest(12 and...9?) handed out programs. The only boy was our ring bearer and the two youngest girls were our flower girls. They were adorable.

Readers: 2

We had two readers. One was J's best girl friend from college and the other was one of my best friends from college. I'll post the readings in my ceremony post.

I also had a childhood friend as our guestbook attendant. We did not do reception hosts/hostesses or cake cutters.

I read a lot of horror stories about bridesmaids dropping out, groomsmen not showing up, etc. and I was shocked that this happened. We knew we could count on these people. The important thing is to choose those who are closest to you to stand up there with you or be involved in your ceremony. No need to ask your BFF from middle school who you actually haven't seen in years but still stalk on Facebook. Or your college roommate you no longer see just because you were in hers. The people we had in our wedding have been in our lives for years and we expect them to always be there.

And I have to say, we made a pretty good looking group!

All pictures in the post were done by William Massey Photography

Next Week: Attire (DRESS SHOPPING!)

June 13, 2011

Menu Monday

Congrats, you've made it through Monday! Hopefully Friday will be here before we know it. Here's our menu for this week, almost all courtesy of skinnytaste.com. I'll post our reviews on Sunday!

Monday- Low Fat Baked Ziti with Spinach

Tuesday- Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets with Zucchini Sticks

Wednesday--On our own; we're either going to see Beauty & The Beast at the Orpheum or possibly hanging out with friends.

Thursday-Chicken and White Bean Stuffed Peppers

Friday--Pizza using Eat Live Run's pizza crust recipe.

What are you cooking this week?

June 12, 2011

Weekly Menu Review

I hope you are having a fabulous weekend! Below is a review of the recipes I had planned for last week. I'll be back tomorrow with our menu for this week!

Monday: Grilled Chicken with Spinach and Mozzarella from Skinny Taste. Rice on the side. This was good, although I cooked the chicken a little too long so it was kind of dry. I should have served this with veggie instead of rice, but oh well.

Tuesday: Shrimp & Grits via Cooking Light( Note: This isn't the exact recipe I have marked at home, but it actually looks a little more interesting! I think I have all the extras on hand to make it)Delicious, but I burnt the bacon that was supposed to go with it! Whoops. And we were out of regular hot sauce, so I just used a couple of drops of the habenero hot sauce we had.

Wednesday: Cheesy Brussel Sprout Casserole from Healthy Tipping Point. I've only cooked with brussel sprouts once before and it was a giant fail. I hope this works out. I've cooked her Santa Fe Casserole before and it is yummy! This wasn't that great. It was dry and didn't have a lot of flavor. I think I didn't have enough cheese. I also didn't have Italian herbs in a tube; those would have made a difference.

Thursday: Salmon w/Asparagus We didn't make this. I went out for drinks with friends and he went to a car show.

Friday: Enchiladas. Veggies & black bean for me, chicken & veggies for him. A staple in this household! I use squash, zuchini, bell peppers, onions and spinach. Our favorite enchilada sauce is a Kroger brand one we found. We use the pre-cooked chicken strips for his half. I used to put black beans in mine, but now I just use it as a way to shove as many veggies as possible in a meal :) And there's always leftovers, so we have dinner tonight!

Enjoy your Sunday!

June 10, 2011

Friday Ramblings

I don't have much to write about, so today you get a random collection of thoughts!

  • I want to learn to coupon. Not the crazy, 39482090 boxes of Ramen noodles and 39804932 cans of dog food type of couponing, but reasonable things. If I could get a small stockpile of items like shampoo & conditioner, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies and toilet paper, I'd be happy. As my BFF in Kansas said Monday, "I just want some free toilet paper. That's all." All coupon blogs make it see so easy, but I can't wrap my head around the planning process and spending hours on the process.
  • I need a new summer bag. I'm still carrying my purple leather purse from winter. I want something light, but structured and under $50.
  • We are terrible about watching our Netflix movies. I've had Black Swan for two weeks now; we had Tangled for at least a month before we watched it.
  • I am reading this book. I'm just a few chapters in but I already know it is going to make me cry.

Sorry for a short(both in length and substance) post today. Hopefully something exciting will pop into my head over the weekend to write about! We have busy Saturday and not so busy Sunday. I'll be back Sunday to recap this week's menu. Have a great weekend!

June 9, 2011

This is happening

image via nkotbsb.com

I bought the tickets this morning. My sister is flying up next weekend and next Monday night we're going to see the New Kids on The Block and the Backstreet Boys in concert. The worlds of my six-year-old self and sixteen-year-old self will collide.

I was a HUGE NKOTB fan when I was in 1st-2nd grade. I had a fanny pack(neon colors, of course), night gowns, beach towels, t-shirts and of course a Jordan Knight doll, complete with rat tail:
image via Google

As I grew older, they grew less popular. Then these guys came along:
Oh, yes. I was a BSB girl. My BFF was an N'Sync girl(because you had to pick one or the other), so we went to multiple concerts for both of them. I won't lie. I still run to "The Hits-Chapter 1" on my ipod. In fact, I may play it this afternoon just to get in the spirit!

I. Can't. Wait. I wonder if my sister can go home and find my NKOTB fanny pack and BSB Millennium tour t-shirt(3 sizes too big, of course, because I liked baggy clothes back then) before she flies up here. Clearly I'll need them.

June 8, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Laying the Foundation

Wedding Wednesdays is a series where I recap all parts of planning my April 2011 wedding.

Last week I recapped our proposal. I spent the weeks following in newly-engaged bliss, buying magazines, joining TheKnot and adding wedding blogs to my reader.

One big hurdle I faced planning our wedding is the fact that Memphis is 6 hours away from my hometown, where our wedding would be. I worried about this at first--How could I possibly get it all done??--but looking back, I think this may have been a blessing. It forced me to make a decision and stick with it. It also helped me decide what was important to me in terms of the wedding and what wasn't that big of a deal.

I wasn't the first of my friends to get married. By the time our engagement rolled around, I had a general idea of what I wanted from our wedding. I saw my friends stress over the tiniest things--the exact flowers, bridesmaids gifts, who their future mother-in-law invited--and who made it seem like planning a wedding was one of the worst, most stressful experiences of their lives. I had stressful times--more about that later--but for the most part, I really enjoyed planning our wedding.

Since my friends started getting married, I've told my parents the three things I wanted for my wedding:

1) pretty dress
2)pretty pictures
3) a fantastic party with all my friends

I'm happy to say I managed to have all 3, plus stuff I wasn't expecting. I believe it is because I decided early on what I wanted and didn't waver from my choices.

My parents gave me a budget a month or so after the engagement. In the end, I went slightly over(more on that later), but it gave me boundaries for my planning. With a budget set, J and I took a few days off work before Easter weekend and went home to spend the holiday with my family and start planning our wedding!

I had a date in mind when we went down there. I knew I wanted a Spring wedding because of the color palette I had in mind. I didn't want it to be too early, but I also didn't want it to be smack in the middle of "wedding season". We settled on April 16,2011!

I knew that the ceremony would be at the church I grew up going to. It was renovated a few years ago and looks fantastic:
I snapped these pictures after the Easter service that weekend. My dad handled securing the church for us.

We looked at two potential reception venues. One was a gorgeous farm with a view of the mountains, but it was also 1/3 of our budget. The other was the reception hall at the local country club. My family has been members my whole life and I've been to numerous receptions there. We ultimately decided on the club. While I wouldn't get the outdoor, southern garden wedding I pictured from all the blog posts I'd read, I would get a great reception within my budget! It was $500 to secure the hall and in the end, that $500 went towards our final bill. They provided tables, chairs, basic white table cloths, the food and the staff, plus a coordinator(who was amazing). It was a great deal.

We also met with two photographers I had researched before hand, William Massey Photography and another local pair. I knew I wanted a mix of the popular candid/journalistic style photos and traditional, posed portraits. Both photographers do great work, but in the end we went with William Massey Photography and we are beyond thrilled with our pictures(more on those later). I wanted to book the photographer early because pictures were one of my "Big 3" important items.

We squeezed all of that into one day of planning! It was exhausting, but we did it. We knew our visits to Georgia(especially together) would be few during our engagement. We had to make the most out of each visit. By the end of the weekend, we had decided on a budget, date, church, reception venue and photographer, essentially laying the foundation for our wedding!

Next week: Picking the bridal party and other wedding party roles. Please let me know if there is anything you would like to hear about!

June 7, 2011

I almost forgot....

I have no shame--I can't wait.

Ten on Tuesday

Not much to blog about around here today, so I decided to give you a "Ten on Tuesday" post! In this series, I'll post 10 items--songs, books, etc---I want to share.

Today's Ten on Tuesday focuses on some of my favorite websites. These are websites I frequent quite a bit for information or entertainment purposes. I'm leaving off Facebook and Twitter, because those are just a given.

1) Mint- I've used Mint to track my spending and finances off and on for almost three years. However, now that J and I are married and have a joint account, I check it almost daily. June is our first month with joint finances, so at the end of the month we will sit down together and review everything. Then we will take our first stab at really setting up a budget. It is very helpful and easy to use. Bonus: It's free!

2)News sites- The Commercial Appeal, The AJC and CNN are my favorite sites for staying updated on current events. I have to admit though,I mainly skim headlines and read the articles that are most intriguing to me. I need to do a better job of reading the news and really being informed on the issues going on today.

3) Pinterest- I haven't pinned a lot the last week or two, but I love browsing what others have pinned. It is also helpful to pin gift ideas for my birthday next month!

4) Healthy Living Blogs--These are all in my Google Reader, but I enjoy Meals and Miles, Healthy Tipping Point, Kath Eats and The Fitnessista among others! I get meal and workout ideas from these blogs.

5)Food Blogs/Websites--Although I have a stack of cookbooks and old issues of Cooking Light, I also use the internet to find recipes for a weekly meals. My favorites lately have been Eat Live Run, All Recipes, Cooking Light and Skinny Taste.

6) The Sugar Network of Websites--There are over a dozen Sugar sites, but the ones I have marked in my Reader are FitSugar, SavvySugar and CasaSugar.

The next few I don't check as frequently, but they provide some good laughs and are my go-tos when I need to waste some time ;)

7) Damn You Autocorrect--I've been the victim of Autocorrect before. These are hysterical.

8) Texts From Last Night- My friends and I love posting funny ones on each others' Facebook walls.

9) STFU Couples and STFU Parents- There are a number of STFU Tumblrs out there. I have more than a few people who pop up on my FB feed I'm tempted to send in(but I'm not that mean)!

10)Young House Love--Ok, I do see this one daily because it is in my Reader. They are such a creative couple!

Technically that was more than 10! I hope I showed you something new. What are some of your favorite websites?

June 6, 2011

Menu Monday

I've decided to hop on the Menu Monday train and post the meals I have planned for this week. I try to plan for Monday-Friday for when we go grocery shopping so as to have a good list and not be tempted to eat out. Next week(Sunday, maybe?) I'll post our opinions of them.

Monday: Grilled Chicken with Spinach and Mozzarella from Skinny Taste. Rice on the side.

Tuesday: Shrimp & Grits via Cooking Light( Note: This isn't the exact recipe I have marked at home, but it actually looks a little more interesting! I think I have all the extras on hand to make it)

Wednesday: Cheesy Brussel Sprout Casserole from Healthy Tipping Point. I've only cooked with brussel sprouts once before and it was a giant fail. I hope this works out. I've cooked her Santa Fe Casserole before and it is yummy!

Thursday: Salmon w/Asparagus

Friday: Enchiladas. Veggies & black bean for me, chicken & veggies for him.

Thursday may change a little because I'm planning on meeting a friend for drinks, but if it does we'll just cook that later! What are you cooking?

Weekend Recap: Parents & The Pool

Monday is back! Didn't we just have a Monday?

This weekend was nice and relaxing. My parents came to town and it was great seeing them. We hadn't seen them since we got back from the honeymoon. I've lived here over three years now, so I've pretty much shown them everything there is to see in Memphis(Elvis is still dead, people). It was nice to not have to *do* anything with them.

The arrived Friday afternoon and came to our apartment after I got off work. We finally got to show them the wedding pictures! My dad swears this is just a bad camera angle and he doesn't really have a bald spot:

Picture by William Massey Photography

We cooked out on our tiny patio with our tiny grill. We made this flank steak recipe from Skinny Taste. It was delicious! I've only cooked flank steak once before and this was seasoned very simply--salt, pepper and garlic powder. I scored a deal on the meat too! I bought two packages(a little more than 2lbs...more than we needed, but what the recipe called for) at Kroger and they had just marked them down from $12+ each to $4-5 each! I rarely buy/make red meat. I was happy to get a deal. We paired it with rice and salad and just had a good time visiting and not dealing with a restaurant crowd.

I'm very proud to say that Saturday I got up and completed Day 4 of Jillian Michaels' Ripped in 30 DVD before my 9 AM photography class! I was tempted to sleep some more, but knew that was the only chance I had to work out that day. Class was a little boring--people asked questions that didn't really apply to me since I have a Canon, not a Nikon camera. Next week is the last session. After class I met my dad at an estate sale he found in Midtown. My dad LOVES bargain hunting and goes at 7 AM every Saturday to hit up a big flea market back home. He had his eyes on a dining room table at this sale, but we didn't buy. I'm looking for a china cabinet, but I didn't see anything there I liked(and I probably need more than 3 settings to merit buying one!). After lunch at Chipotle(my first time since it opened in Memphis!), we spent the remainder of the afternoon by the pool at their hotel. All the lounge chairs were taken at our apartment. I read most of this book:
Image via Amazon.com

I finished it Sunday. Very entertaining, but I felt like it just "ended" without tying up a storyline!

Saturday night we went to Mellow Mushroom with my in-laws. Yummy pizza!

Sunday my mom ran errands with me while JR and Daddy went to a car junkyard to look for a part for Daddy's car(I told you the man loves a bargain). My mom bought us a few things--we're living large with brand name Cokes now! :) We normally buy Kroger brand cokes, but my mom bought some for us along with two bags of chicken breasts that will last use a month or two! We're set :) After my parents left, JR and I spent the afternoon by the pool before doing our grocery shopping and returning a few wedding gifts/purchasing some items we actually needed. We went to dinner with his family as we normally do Sunday and came home to wind down before starting a new week.

Next weekend is a little busy, so it was nice to relax most of this one! How was your weekend?

June 3, 2011

Summer Must Haves

I do believe it is safe to say summer has arrived here in Memphis(and pretty much everywhere else). What this screen grab doesn't reflect is that it currently feels like 102 right now. blah.

So in honor of summer, here's my list of summer must haves:

1)Cute swimsuit
I'm a girl who will buy a swimsuit and wear it for years. My favorite places to get them are Target and Old Navy because they are cute and affordable. One thing that annoys me about those places though is that the fit of the suits changes each year! When I was shopping for the honeymoon, I bought two new suits and they were the only ones I wore all week:

I bought this one from Old Navy, with the matching bottoms(image via Oldnavy.com):

I am a Delta Gamma, so I have a soft spot for anchors! Then I splurged and bought a Ralph Lauren suit at Macys that I liked, because you only go on your honeymoon once! I can't find a picture of the exact suit on the website, but it is a halter top in this paisley print with matching bottoms.

2) Sunglasses- I love my aviators.
They aren't real Raybans. I lose/break sunglasses all the time, so I refuse to pay more than $10-15 for a pair. I like shopping the little kiosks in the mall that say "You like Rayban?" or TJMaxx!

3) Floppy Hat- To keep my face from getting burned,I like wearing a big floppy straw hat. If I wear a baseball cap, my head gets even hotter! I just bought this one at Target last week and it has just the right amount of floppiness! Although I'm ticked it is now on sale!

4)Sunblock. Duh. I love laying by the pool, drinking a beer and reading, but I don't want to get cancer! I use Aveeno for my face(because it is sensitive) and usually Banana Boat or something like that for my body. Always at least SPF 30. I'm interested in trying the new Neutrogena Wet Skin line--has anyone tried that?

5) iPod + Reading materials- I'll do another post one day on a good summer playlist, but my iPod is a must by the pool. I also read a lot more during the summer. I use GoodReads to keep track of the books I want to read. The iPhone app is really handy when I am in the library looking for books to check out! I just pull up my "to-read" list and look for them!

Those are my must-haves for summer! My parents are on their way to town for a weekend visit. I'm excited to show them our wedding pictures since they haven't seen them all. Then I'm pretty sure we're staying by the pool, because it is way too hot to do anything else(and they've already been to Graceland!)

What are your must-haves for summer?

June 2, 2011

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts

I don't watch a ton of television. I have "my shows" that I like to watch and that's pretty much it. I'll turn it on for background noise, but I don't spend hours wasting away in front of the TV(unless I'm sick, there's terrible weather out, etc...then I'm known for tuning in for Buffy marathon via Netflix).

One of my absolute favorite shows is "Friday Night Lights." You've probably read the book and seen the movie by the same name. The final season is airing right now on NBC, but patience isn't my strong suit and I went out and bought it on DVD. Thanks to NBC/DirectTV for having the screwiest setup ever, thus allowing me to do this!

J and I watched the finale last night and I am so, so sad it is over. It is rare that you find a show that has such wonderful actors, story lines, cinematography, etc. It is just a beautiful show. The actors are phenomenal--Kyle Chandler & Connie Britton especially. How those two don't have Emmys is beyond me! The show won a Peabody; everyone realized how wonderful it was but no one watched because NBC constantly scheduled it at terrible times.

Based on a small fictional town in Texas, the characters are REAL people. They are characters you recognize, especially if you're like me--from a small(ish) town where Fridays are about high school football. Coach Taylor and his wife don't live in a mansion, they don't have tons of money, they argue, they love each other, they raise their family...you could look down the street and find a couple just like them. The characters were wonderfully written and as you watched the show, you began to care for them.

Clay Travis said it best on twitter....the fact that this show is ending is criminal. It will be replaced by yet another talent reality show or Law & Order series. NBC did this a few years ago when they cancelled "American Dreams."

If you've never watched this show before, I suggest you start on season one NOW. Stick with it through the WTF story lines(I'm looking at you, season 2 murder plot) and you'll enjoy it all.

image via Google

Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose.

June 1, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: The Proposal

Part of me wishes I had blogged throughout the wedding planning process. What a neat way to record a time that at one moment seemed to be dragging by and at another flying by with lightening speed! However, I never could make myself sit down and do it. So I'm doing it now, looking back on the 14 months I spent planning the day I dreamed about since I was a little girl!

What better place to start than the beginning?

We started talking about getting married back in the summer of 2009 and we shopping for rings. I made it very clear that he shouldn't buy a ring until he was ready. I knew I was going to spend the rest of my life with him, so I didn't feel the need to say "I need the rock by X or I'm gone!" While I didn't tell him what I was thinking, I was guessing he would ask sometime in the spring or early summer of 2010.

February 27, 2010 was a really pretty, unseasonably(55 or so) warm day. JR and I had a date planned. It is something we try to do each month and this one was our make-up Valentine's Day date because neither one of us like the idea of battling the Feb.14 crowds and waiting four hours at a restaurant we could go to any other day with no wait!

At the time, he lived in an apartment out in suburbs while I lived closer to my job downtown. We were spending the weekend at his place and had plans to go to Bonefish Grill, one of our favorites for special occasions that wasn't too far from his place. He told me all weekend he wanted to go downtown to The Peabody since it was such a pretty day and and I'd received my DSLR for Christmas and could practice taking pictures with it down there. I thought it was odd he wanted to drive 30 minutes in the opposite direction of our destination, but whatever. It was date night!

We made it downtown and into the lobby of the hotel...and saw Charles Barkley. That was exciting. I entertained myself taking pictures of the ducks in the fountain, all the while J was trying to get me up to the roof. He finally convinced me to step away from the ducks and we went up to the rooftop for a view of downtown Memphis. He found a spot away from some crowds, told me he loved me and then he proposed!

After celebrating, we immediately called our friends and family. He called his parents and sent a mass text to his friends. I spent a half hour calling my family and then all of my close friends. We had champagne to celebrate and then went off to dinner!

That's our proposal story! Sweet but not extravagant, it was one of the best days ever!