Thursday, August 25, 2011

Surprise Honeymoon Shower!

It was like any other Tuesday night. I met one of my best friends, Brynn, in the Starbucks parking lot at 5:45 p.m. sharp for our weekly {and much needed} 2 hour power walk. We were about 20 minutes into our walk when out of nowhere she received a text message from her roommate, Abbey, that read "Hey Brynn, all 3 of your JCrew Wedding Dresses arrived today! They are in our apartment's mail room, and my hands were too full to grab them on my way out." Now Brynn had told me a few days earlier {at the Pinterest Party} that she was expecting these dresses to arrive any day now, and I was exceptionally excited because I had picked one of them out! 

{Sidenote: Brynn had made a deal with JCrew that she could order several dresses, try them on in the comfort of her home, and then return the two she didn't want.}

Back to the story. The fear of 3 JCrew packages sitting in her apartment's mail room swept over her and sent her into a panic. She immediately begged me to hurry back to her car and we sped back to her Uptown apartment to grab the dresses! The 4 minute car ride to her apartment was the most nerve racking experience ever. Would the dresses still be there???...

We peeled into the garage {as if we were in a movie} and sprinted to the mail room. We checked EVERY box that was there. No dresses. Not one. Our hearts were racing a million miles a minute. Brynn frantically calls Abbey back to ask her when/where she had last seen the dresses, and Abbey casually mentions that she decided to make a second trip back to the apartment with Brynn's dresses, and that they were safely hanging in her closet. WHAT A RELIEF! And little did I know that the "call to Abbey" was strategically planned to signal to all the girls hiding in her apartment that I was seconds away from entering in to my SURPRISE HONEYMOON SHOWER!!!!!!!

LOOK at THAT FACE! haha.
The party could not have been more perfect. The spread of appetizers, the homemade sangria, the decorations, the gifts and the best friends in the world to share it all with was nothing short of amazing. I was truly overwhelmed with happiness.

Here are a few of the party details:

The girls showered me with gifts I could either wear or use on my honeymoon! 

My sweet friends.

Thank you for the best surprise honeymoon shower ever!

{Note: For those of you wondering about the JCrew dresses, it was all made up. She never ordered them. HA!}

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pinterest Party!

What do you do when you need to make approximately 400 pom-poms for your upcoming wedding ceremony? You host a PINTEREST PARTY!!!

So I invited 7 of my best girl pals over for an afternoon of pom-pom making. The Pinterest inspired invitations I sent out weeks in advance required two things of my guests: 1. Come prepared to get crafty, and 2. Bring a Pinterest inspired dish to pass! 

My lil sis and I spent the afternoon preparing for the party...

 For our dish, we made  a heavenly triple layer cookie, combining a gooey chocolate chip cookie, warm fudgy brownie, and an extra sweet double stuffed Oreo

We also made  a delicious champagne punch!

We may or may not have gone through 4 pitchers of these {dang you, Martha Stewart}!
Inspired by a pom-pom tutorial I found on Pinterest {obviously}, I thought pelting pom-poms at the bride and groom as they walk back down the aisle would make for a festive, fun, playful end to our ceremony.

So I created a thorough tutorial for all the ladies...and for hours we rolled pom-poms!
All of the girls had an amazing time crafting together, sipping on cocktails, and snacking on pinterest recipes! Here is a peak at a few other recipes that came to the party...

Meg made jalapeno poppers!

Brynn and Mary brought a festive sunflower arrangement decoration and champagne, Tiffany brought a cheese platter, and Katrina brought a broccoli and cheese casserole.  YUM.

9 spools of pink yarn, and 3 hours later...

we had a FINAL COUNT of 363 pom-poms!!!

Practicing the toss for the big day!

Great work, friends!! Love you all! 

Post wedding Update:
Here is the custom label we had created for our pom-pom bags. Feel free to download it and use it {please link any credit back to this post}.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Visit from my Sister

My lil sis, Lindsey, came into town to play this past weekend! Since it was her very first visit to the Queen City, we crammed as much as possible into 3 short days! We did not waste any time. As a matter of fact, her flight landed at 10:55 p.m. on Friday, and we were in Uptown by 11:30 p.m.

Saturday, we woke up early and met one of my besties, Brynn, at my favorite coffee shop, Nova's Bakery, in Plaza Midwood. 
Then we toured all the fun neighborhoods of Charlotte, and even stopped in to tour the Duke Mansion, SO beautiful!
For lunch, we ate at one of my favorite places, Big Daddy's Burger Bar!
Afterwards, a group of us girls went to go see my wedding dress. Lindsey was so excited to finally see me in my dress. She and Brynn even tried on a few dresses! It was so fun!
After my dress appointment, we headed to NoDa for dinner where we scarfed down lots of tacos and skinny girl margaritas at Cabo Fish Taco!
We ended a perfect day with a few drinks and live music at another favorite place of mine, Kennedys, in Elizabeth.
We started Sunday morning off with an amazing brunch at Zada Janes.
Then we came home and immediately started preparing for my Pinterest Party!!!
The party was so amazing that it deserves a post of it's own, so stay tuned!

What a fabulous weekend with some of my favorite people!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pasta al Forno

A tasty treat for all you pasta lovers!!!!

You Will Need:
{2} TBL Extra Virgin Olive Oil
{2} Garlic Cloves, Crushed
{2} 14 oz. Cans Diced Italian Tomatoes
{1} TSP dried oregano
{1} lb Penne Pasta
{8} oz Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
{2/3}  cup parmesan

Heat oil in skillet. Add garlic and cook over medium high heat, 1 min. Add tomatoes and oregano and simmer rapidly, stirring occasionally until thickened, ~15 min. 

Note: I am obsessed with Rachael Ray's Lazy Spoons! Clever and convenient, these spoons are worth every penny of $16 {for the set}. Your counter top will thank you later.

Meanwhile, cook pasta.

Toss pasta with sauce.  

Place half of pasta in an oiled 9×13” dish. Cover with half parmesan and half mozzarella. Top with remaining pasta, then parmesan and mozzarella.

Bake at 400° for 15 minutes.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tuh-MAY-toh. Tuh-MAH-to.

Plump, ripe and warm from the sun, the moment you bite into it, a juicy explosion of flavors will convince you that nothing beats growing your own tomatoes! Here is a little snapshot of the journey of our "Celebrity" and "Husky Cherry Red" tomato plants this summer. 

We bought our tomato plants from Walmart for $1.50 each {that's how much I spend on ONE tomato at the Teeter}! 

21 days later...

7 days later...

8 days later... 

6 days later...

7 days later...

 4 days later...{we finally saw RED}

5 days later...

14 days later...we have more tomatoes than we can ever eat {and we eat a TON of tomatoes}!

Time to enjoy the fruits of our labor! Recipes {using our homegrown tomatoes} to follow...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Burlap Monogram

I am absolutely in love with any craft involving BURLAP right now. A touch of burlap adds the perfect amount of rustic appeal to just about anything! It’s a neutral color, so it goes with all color schemes and its versatility allows for it to be used in many different ways. Besides its use for sack racing, burlap can be used for furniture, banners, weddings, wreaths, curtains, bows, and so much more! Oh, and did I mention burlap is not just an eco-friendly fabric option, it’s also super inexpensive?!

My most recent burlap project is a monogrammed canvas. I am thrilled with how it turned out. 

You Will Need:
Canvas {I used 12x12} - $6.99
{1/2} Yard Burlap - $1.50
Black Acrylic Paint - .22
Paint Brush - $1.99
Staple Gun - $7
Letter Stencil - free
To create my stencil, I used “Times New Roman” font, and blew it up to size 800. Once it was printed, I very carefully cut it out.
 and taped it to the burlap so it didn't move while I painted.
Time to paint!
Let it dry for a few hours before removing the stencil.
Make sure your letter is centered on the canvas before you start stapling...
 The perfect addition to our guest book table!
And now it hangs in our living room.
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