Best of | Weddings!

I was talking with a friend the other day and she and I were going back and forth about some of the weddings we had been to... we were all like, "she had the best dress," and "their food was amazing!" and so this blog post was born. Although I have been to some pretty spectacular weddings over the years, here are my favorites from some of them. Please keep in mind these are my own opinions and could vary greatly depending on whom you talk to.

Best Bachelorette Party
Heather & Justin
When you start out your night by having dinner in the Pope room, then you head back home and the bride-to-be opens up several "dirty" gifts in front of her grandmother, who seems to be enjoying herself, then you know things are going pretty well. But things get even better when the doorbell rings because the limo is there to take you downtown, your night continues in a piano bar, and ends with vomit down the side of your car, you have yourself a party! Someone also went missing from the time we got home to the time we woke up... but that story is better left untold. Don't worry, she was fine. I miss my 20s. :)

Best Wedding Transport
Rachel & Frank
You know the transportation is good when you take a photo in front of it!

Best Bridesmaid Dress
Shannon & Chris
I have been a bridesmaid in approximately 6 weddings, and to this day, this is the only bridesmaid dress that I have worn again, several times actually. It was under $100 and I didn't have to have it altered one bit, plus I think it looked fantastic on everyone!

Best Destination
KB & Jeff
Bald Head Island, NC is one of the coolest places I have ever been for a wedding. I wrote more about it here, but I think the perfect weather really helped this secluded island - you can only get there by ferry and the main mode of transportation is a golf cart!

Best Bridal Entrance
Lindsey & Christopher
The bridal party and bride came by boat! That is a lot of planning and coordination (and quite a hike to get to the alter) but it was worth it as we could ooh and ahh over her beautiful dress. I also liked that they came from the front. No one had to do the awkward turn around to watch the bride as she walked down the aisle. It was also a very beautiful day.

Best Ceremony
Janye & Andrew
Not many words are needed to go along with this picture taken at Wildcat Cliffs Country Club in Highlands, NC. The ceremony was beautiful, the weather was perfect, the views are breathtaking and the entire wedding party is good looking. ;)

Best Dress
Liz & Joe
Her wedding dress was the first to really "wow" me. My wedding was only a week prior and I was like, "damn, now THAT is a dress." :)

Best Vows
Lauren & Tripp
I have never cried at a wedding until this particular friend's big day. I was so unprepared that I had to use a napkin stuffed into my husband's pocket! I could not tell you today what their vows were, except that they wrote them for each other and were very personal and heartfelt. 

Best Wedding Decor
Sarah & Chris
This one is no surprise as Sarah has her own vintage rental company here in Charleston, but her taste is very nice and eclectic! I like that she re-purposes flea market finds and gives them new life by reupholstering, painting, or rewiring them. We were greeted by custom seating, handmade signs, and monogrammed wayfarer sunglasses, but my favorite was the love lighting above the bar. It was a beautiful night!

Best Reception
Tyler & Danny
This was one of the most fun receptions I have been to; from the food, to the band, and to the break-dancing grandfather. We were greeted with drinks, comfortable seating arrangements, no waiting for food... it was definitely a great time and all of it was spectacular!

Best Cake
Janye & Andrew
The best cake I have ever put in my mouth was at this wedding... only to be topped by ANOTHER cake at the SAME wedding! The first was a caramel chocolate layered cake, and then second was a sweet potato cake. I know what you are thinking, sweet potato? Not my favorite either, but this cake was to die for!

Best Music 
Katie & Jeff
I know that some people have an opinion if bands are better than DJs, they certainly are more expensive, but I didn't use that to determine my favorite here. What I saw at this reception was everyone from kids to grandmother's dancing to the DJ and his on point music selections. You could slow dance (or take a breather) to Unchained Melody or get your groove on to the latest pop beat, but my favorite was a rendition from Meatloaf where the bride and groom sang "will you love me forever, will you need me, will you never leave me, will you make me so happy for the rest of my life, will you take me away, will you make me your wife?" and it was unplanned, but so fun! Katie would sing the girl's part and then Jeff would sing the guy's part, then we would all join in. I couldn't believe how great this DJ was.


Kidd Kraddick | 1959-2013

I am a creature of habit and do the same things in the same order most every day. I have a 15 minute bedtime ritual that consists of face washing and teeth brushing and my weekday mornings are no different. Every weekday afternoon around 1pm just as I am finishing lunch, I turn on the podcast of the Kidd Kraddick in the Morning Show on my iPhone.

Their morning show used to be syndicated on a radio station here in Charleston, and I got into the habit of listening to them on my morning commute in 2005. After a few years, the day I turned on my radio and they weren’t there, I immediately turned to their website to see where the heck they went! Turns out that whole station changed hands locally.

Good news though! They have an app and I have an iPhone and so we were reunited once again. I maybe became even closer to the show because I could listen to the entire thing beginning to end without commercials since it would play after the show had previously aired and thus, my favorite afternoon ritual was born. It got me through the hump of the day and made me laugh and made me cry, it is the best radio show I have ever listened to.

I was awakened this past Saturday morning by my husband with a cup of coffee and the news that Kidd Kraddick had passed away the previous day. My husband told me knowing that it would be hard for me to take (he knew how much I loved the show by the amount that I talked about it although he is more of a Howard Stern fan), but I don’t think he expected me to start crying. I didn’t even expect to have that reaction!

When you listen to a show that affects your life every day, when someone shares their life with you for 90 minutes every single day, even if it is one sided, it is going to have an impact. I felt like I knew Kidd and the whole crew. I identified with each of them on different aspects. I would think that I was exactly like Kellie and Jenna’s personalities combined. That Big Al could have been a great friend, I could have been married to J-Si, and that Kidd could have been my dad.

I know it sounds so weird, but I love that cast. When I heard the heartbreaking news, I felt compelled to call them up as if I was their best friend because that is how they made people feel. I felt sad for his family, sadder for the crew, and saddest that this world will be missing out on a very kind and generous man. He didn’t fill the airwaves with sexy time talk, he talked about his charity Kidd’s Kids, about how to be a good person, and he was funny. So damn funny.

I feel a sensation of emptiness this morning. I was able to listen to the show’s brief last memories of him and some clips of his past shows live while it streamed on the internet, and they were all so sad. His crew, no matter their age, had spent most of their adult life working with Kidd. Some for 20 years and some for 5 years, but they were all beside themselves. I can only imagine how they feel if what I am feeling is even a 100th of what their pain is like.

I personally have never felt this type of grief before, for someone I have never met. I imagine it being similar to those who cried for Kennedy? Or Elvis? Or maybe even Cory Monteith from Glee most recently? All I do know is that afternoons will never be the same for me. I don’t know what to listen to now?!? I am hoping I will be able to hear some of the crew together, at new jobs, or otherwise in the future. They are all so talented. Rest in peace Kidd Kraddick, you will be missed! "Keep looking up, cause that's where it all is!"


F'real Milkshakes? For REAL!!!

I was thirsty so I stopped at the gas station on the corner by my house to get some Gatorade. When thirst hits me I've got to satisfy it or else! While inside the gas station, something I almost never do as I am a pay at the pump type of girl, I see this glorius-ness!

A milkshake bar?!? With a touchscreen? How does this work?

Turns out, it is pretty easy. You pick your flavor, set it in the thingy, choose thick, thin, or regular, and about 20 seconds later, voila.

It actually tastes pretty good! I would definitely get another one since it is made from natural ingredients, just maybe not all the time since that sugar comes with a calorie punch!

This particular Sunoco also has a growler station of regional beers, fresh made breakfast, and 22oz. Lime-A-Ritas, 2 for $3.00. I think I am going to start hanging out here more often!


Blurred British Lines

Everytime I see an actor that I think is cool, they always end up being British or Australian or from some other exotic place with an attractive accent while they pose as an American on televisions across the country. My latest surprise was Joshua Bowman who plays Daniel from Revenge.

I am pretty good and spotting a fake accent, but he is dead on! It would probably be harder for him as well considering two other main characters are from Britain and actually use their British accent in the show.

The difficulty hits home whenever I am talking to any of my Chicago native friends or have had a few beers, my husband immediately knows that I am on the phone with some of my friends or family from home as my As change dramatically.

Coming back to the whole British American fake out... the opposite actually happened to me for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I had been convinced since one of Robin Thicke's first big hits "Lost Without U" that he was British. I didn't even question it in fact. He had funny hair and a high voice and seemed very European to me.

Imagine my surprise when I find out that he is the son of none other than 80s dad icon Jason Seaver from Growing Pains, Alan Thicke!

This sort of rocked my world. He is as American as they come and his 2013 summer hit "Blurred Lines" has been blaring out of my radio for the past month. The unrated video, on the other hand, is a little risque and demeaning for my taste...


Honey Boo Boo Watch 'N' Sniff

The whole time I was thinking... they have pigs, farts, bad breath, sneezes, dogs, "special" diets... why in the world would I want to smell any of that!?! But I was still intrigued... :)


Customer Service Survey

When asked if I wanted to complete a one minute survey after I spoke to the company's representative, I said yes... I have a theory that one or more of the following things will happen:

  • maybe my wait time will be reduced?
  • maybe they will give me a more highly rated customer service rep?
  • maybe they will be more willing to satisfy my problem?

I am currently waiting on the phone, right now! Typing as I wait... let's see if my theory is right.

1 minute.

3 minutes.

5 minutes.

19 minutes...

24 minutes when they finally picked up.

Everything was OK, I guess... seeing as I was on hold for so long, I did not take the survey...

Also, to change a flight costs you $200. My ticket was $221... and you just simply need to call back to book the new flight. I think I would save more to just book a new one online, in time at least! The joys of travel...


Begging Frenchie

S:            Wow, we have so seen that look before, huh? (referring to the sad begging look on the dog’s face from my earlier post about the best Instagram ever.)

 Me:        I know. It makes me so happy.
S:            That’s a cute frenchie, but it is a BIG one.
Me:        You don’t know that it is a big frenchie, it looks like it's a small boy.
S:            I do know. I can tell.
Me:        Asians are small, honey. I really think the scale is throwing you off.

Here's our Minnie begging! 
She is not happy unless she is on us.



Bridesmaid Dress!

Here is what I will be wearing next March 22 in my friend Brooke's wedding! Love it! There was even a coupon to save 30%. Easiest.bride.ever. :)


Instagram Favorite

My heart melts every time I view this Instagram user's page...

It is the most precious thing! I want to have this someday... I already have the Frenchie, now I just need the... small Asian boy? ;)


Symbols With Your Keyboard

Have you ever needed to use the copyright symbol © or turn 98 degrees into 98°? Maybe you want a little Spanish in your life, ¿Que pasa? Well, here is a cheat sheet below for some symbols you can create using any keyboard. Just simply press the alt key and the numbers you see below to create the symbol.

There are a ton that aren't on here I am sure as there are a lot of missing numbers, but the important ones are all there for my personal use. I could have used this a long time ago!



My Aunt Karen

Karen Burklow Pahs
7/14/1941 – 6/30/2013

My aunt Karen passed away yesterday morning. She has had some health complications for a while, but I don’t want to dwell on this part of her life as it was such a small part of who she was during her time here on earth.

Aunt Karen was the type of aunt that all of my friends even knew, and I have quite a big family. She stood out because she was one in a million, had stories like you wouldn’t believe, and shared them often. She lived every day to the fullest and that is why, although I am very sad that we don’t have her here with us anymore, I can rest easy knowing that she had a very wonderful and full life.

The things I will always remember about her are her laugh and that she would let me get away with things at her house that I couldn’t do at mine when I was little, like put on a whole face of makeup and drink pop. She loved poker and Vegas and would give me and all of my cousins spare change to rub her shoulders at holiday parties while the adults played cards together. One of my favorite memories about her was when she picked me up from preschool. She had three kids of her own, yet still took the time to pick me up for a "day with my aunt." She took me to Kmart and bought me white cowgirl boots. 27 years later and I will never forget it.

During my bridal shower in Indiana, at almost 70 years old, she told us stories of how she was a little tired because she stayed up until 4am the night before at the casino boat gambling and partying – I haven’t stayed up until 4am in a very long time and I am 40 years younger! She didn’t act tired. She made lewd jokes about our “wedding night” and made everyone laugh, as was typical of the type of person she was, always bringing joy wherever she went.

Aunt Karen had such a youthfulness about her and a smell like I will never forget. Just the other day I was sitting in Chik Fila and this woman sat behind me and I turned around because it reminded me of my Aunt Karen so much! My cousin Jenny later reminded me that it was most likely the Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds smell that I was remembering. I know that I will think of her every time I smell that for the rest of my life.

This tribute to her brings me to this morning… I am not a very religious person per say, but I would consider myself to be quite spiritual. I was praying last night and “talking” to my Aunt Karen while in bed before I fell asleep and I told her that if she was OK and at peace to show me a sign. I couldn’t think of one for a second and then I thought of a playing card. It is common enough, but definitely not something I see every day. The playing card would remind me of her and her love of poker. This was at about 10:45pm.

The next morning at about 6:10am, I was looking for a particular cardigan sweater to wear over my outfit. As I moved a pile of clean folded clothes I saw my overnight bag that I had used for a wedding we went to a couple of weeks earlier. Thinking it might be in there, I put my hand in and pulled out an undershirt and a deck of cards that I set on the dresser. Feeling stumped that I couldn’t find my sweater I was standing there in my room looking around when my gaze came back to the cards… I instantly got goose bumps. Not even 8 hours later, my Aunt Karen was showing me not only just one playing card, but an entire deck of cards that I had completely forgotten about until that moment. I know in my heart that it is a true sign from her that she is at peace.

I love you Aunt Karen! You have shaped my life in many ways and always will be a reminder to let go and have fun and just be myself. Rest in peace.

Here is a typical picture of her. This was was taken at my wedding in 2009. She is smirking and winking at the camera while she licks off the frosting from the cupcake. The picture below was taken
at my cousin Jenny's wedding. I am going to miss this woman! :)

From Charleston, South Carolina to your computer. I hope you enjoy. :)