3.31.2011

Back from Florida...

It was great to spend some quality time with the family in Florida. Here is a shot of my three nieces, getting so big! Maggie (10) is on the left, followed by Sophia (2), and then Ellie (8). They mature so much in between my visits and I miss them so much when they're gone! Little Miss Sophia is becoming quite the stinker ;)

3.25.2011

Headed to Disney World!

I am so excited for a little vacation that starts TODAY in Orlando Florida! I get to see my parents and my older sister Sarah and her three kids Maggie, Ellie, and Sophia. I don't get to see them a lot and am so excited to spend some time with them in the form of a long weekend.

Have a great weekend everyone, see you back at work on Wednesday!

3.24.2011

Big A$$ Tires!

This was easily the coolest thing I've seen on the way to work since I started making my long commute last June. There were two semi tractor trailers carrying 3 tires each. I am not sure, but I am guessing these giants were about 15'-0" in diameter! I just want to see the combine or whatever these babies are going on in person. :)

3.23.2011

This One's For You, Chilly Willy!

I once had a dwarf Siberian hamster that looked very much like the one pictured above. I got him when I was about 13 and he passed when I was 14. It seemed like a lot longer of a time but for almost 2 years I loved that little guy!

He had an amazing little tube home as well that was pretty fun to put together. I loved his little wattle too when he tried to run away if my sister and I had him out to play. R.I.P. Chilly Willy!

3.21.2011

Wedding Entry #7 | "No, this is NOT for a Wedding."



Don’t tell anyone that the item you need, no matter the item, is for a wedding. As I learned in the whole cake fiasco [Entry #6], people feel the need to double their prices for no apparent reason just because the particular item will be used on, above, for, or in a wedding. This brings me to hair.

In terms of fashion, I am pretty simple. I had a simple gown, plain shoes, and knew exactly what I wanted to do with my hair, which was also a pretty easy side bun. 

Here goes my conversation related to THAT topic…

Lady: “Generic Salon, how can I help you?”
Me: “Yes, I am looking to get pricing for my hair for a wedding.”
Lady:  “Are you the bride?”
Me: “Yes.”
Lady: “Well that will be $119 with a mandatory $30 practice run and a waiver signed and we will need 3 hours for hair and this needs to be 2 hours before your wedding and blah blah blah… and we also do makeup and...”
Me: “Thanks, I’ll get back to you.”

The next conversation went something like this:

Lady: “Generic Salon, how can I help you?”
Me: “Yes, I am looking to get pricing for my hair for a wedding.”
Lady:  “Are you the bride?”
Me: “No, I’m a bridesmaid.”
Lady: “Well our standard up-dos start at about $46 depending on difficulty.”
Me: “Does 1:30pm work?”
Lady: “See you then.”
Me: “Thanks, good bye.”

And my hair turned out great. I will admit, there were a few people, including my mother, that thought I was a little too easy going about this whole thing since I had never even met this stylist before (I just had recommendations for her and read more online), but sometimes I just want to let the professional do their thing. Everyone will be more relaxed in the end and I think it turned out great!

3.20.2011

Fun Day in the Park!

Charleston weather is getting gorgeous! I love days like today, not a cloud in the sky, not too hot, not too cold.... just a great day to spend downtown with your 11 month old niece! I better get in these days before it gets too hot outside :)

3.18.2011

Wedding Entry #6 | Cake? What cake?



Cakes are expensive! And let’s face it, I have never had a good tasting cake that also looked good (don’t hate me for this, I am not really a cake person). So when my friend Kasey had these delicious cupcakes at her wedding a light bulb went off! I changed my mind on the cake and wanted to go with cupcakes. They are fresher, more modern, and sort of unique, plus you don’t have to rent plates (or forks for that matter) and no one has to be paid to cut and serve it either.

This was all a great idea until I got a quote from the cupcake store (which did not give discounts for large orders) and they were $4.00 a piece! My money saving idea had been a bust since the cakes I was looking at weren’t even $500.00 (125 people x 4, you get the idea).

So, back to square one and the wheels are spinning, some time allotment budgeted + my friend Katie will be there to help = I will MAKE the cupcakes myself! I was already making the centerpieces anyways so what is one more hour? 

I immediately hopped online and found a Paula Dean recipe with real butter and cream and all the really yummy good stuff to make them from scratch. A few tries with the icing and they were perfect! After perfecting the recipe I only had about 250 more days to go, so that was just one more thing off the checklist. Did I mention I over plan?

Oh, I also saved $430 (total spent was about $70) but the time spent was actually about 3 total hours on the cupcakes, and that included making custom chocolate monograms to go on top as well. The result for the bottom two tiers, 125 red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing and a chocolate monogram!

You will notice the top tier is a cake. I went to Publix grocery store for this and they custom made exactly what I drew out on paper for them as a “go by.” They asked me if this was for a wedding, when I asked why, they told me that it would be about $54, but if it was for a shower it would be $22… When I asked them what the difference was since it was all the same ingredients, they said that even inch cakes were “wedding” cakes and odd inch cakes were for all other occasions. 

Needless to say, the top tier of my cake was 7” and that saved me another $32.

3.16.2011

Southwest Airlines Coming to Charleston!


This billboard makes me happy every time I see it... which is pretty much every day! I am very happy to have a more affordable direct flight to see family and friends. It has been too long my loves!

3.14.2011

Wedding Entry #5 | Ask the Experts


While on my quest for flowers I got quite a large quote on the bouquets for the big day. I asked for red calla lilies for my bridesmaids, and calla lilies, roses, and ranunculus (all red) for mine. For the 6 bouquets the cost came up over $400. 

When I asked how to get them all for under $200 my florist, Beth LeonGuerrero of Wildflowers, being the savvy woman that she is, said that if I replaced the calla lilies with tulips, all my bouquets would be $180.00. DONE! 

Tulips don’t last as long as the lilies, but what did I care? I was headed on a cruise to the Bahamas the day after the wedding!

3.13.2011

3.11.2011

My Best Friend's Getting Married!


I am sooo happy for my best friend Katie, she just got engaged! It felt so awesome when she asked me to be matron of honor... until I realized that "matron" sounds so old!

I could blog all day about how good of a friend Katie has been to me. We have known each other for 25 years (wow, that makes me feel so old too haha) and I don't know what I would do without her!

Congratulations Katie and Jeff!

THIS... is going on the front of my car

I miss football season! But is it seriously already time for baseball to start back up? Yeesh.

3.10.2011

French Bulldogs



For some time now I have been intrigued by the French bulldog. It all started when I saw the movie Secondhand Lions like 10 years ago... I have no memory of what the movie was about, I just remember wanting that dog! I did a little research and found out that specific little cutie was a French Bulldog AKA Frenchie.

I have been keeping an eye on local ads and checking Craigslist for the past two years, but apparently I am not the only one who fell in love with this breed because I haven't had the best of luck locating one. It even seems the absolute only way to get a healthy one is to shell out $3,000 or find a rescue dog that they take 50 applications each for if you are not a proponent of puppy mills, which I'm not.

To be honest, I am not getting a dog right now anyway but really just wanted to find out more information on how to get one. After visiting some shelters I do think that I will be able to love a rescue dog of any breed that is similar in kind to the frenchie and this will save a life. The doggy doesn't need to be a full fledged frenchie, but a combination or sorts of a Boston Terrier, Bulldog, Pug, really any short stocky type dog that isn't hyper. I love me a fat little piggy of a dog!

Even though my should be icon, Martha Stewart, has TWO of these beauties, I swear to you, I loved this breed of dog before I knew! It just reaffirmed my good choice ;)

3.07.2011

Wedding Entry #4 | Innovate


Since I was doing the wedding setup myself (with the help of my family and best friend) the day of and taking them down right after I did not want to do anything too complicated with the decorations. That being said, if there was one thing I cared about the most when dealing with our wedding, it was the way the reception hall/ ceremony space looked. Afterall, I am a designer.

The ceiling in the hall was really high and it needed a little something to fill the space. I didn’t have time to string lanterns down from the rafters (much less did I want to take them down afterwards) nor did I have a ladder that tall, so I added helium balloons and went from the tables up!

I found these fun balloons online and they were a huge hit! I believe they were mostly used by car dealerships since they were so big. The balloons were all white and 36” in diameter and it took a whole tank of helium to fill 12 of them up, about the equivalent of 15 regular balloons each, doing the math. 

It was a funny sight to see people (including the caterers) walking from the wedding with them (my mom actually was popping a few before people stopped her in a fit of rage).  I heard after I got back from my honeymoon that they lasted for quite a while and their kids got a huge hit out of them. That was exactly what I wanted to accomplish, something unexpected.
From Charleston, South Carolina to your computer. I hope you enjoy. :)