My 2010 In Review

This has been a fabulous year.  I mean truly, I have been surrounded by good people and have had the most fun experiences and travels.  Here's a month-by-month look at some of my adventures.

{January} Ashley's bachelorette in Las Vegas

{February} With great friends in Folly Beach, SC for Folly Gras

{March} Carolina Cup horse races in Camden, SC

{April} Out in Columbia for Dad's birthday, before I moved from Charlotte

{May} WE GOT ENGAGED!!!!  Whoo hoo!!!!!

{June} In Wilmington, NC for a friend's wedding

{July} Fun family vacay to Cancun, Mexico

{August} Gorgeous engagement party in the mountains

{September} Trip to visit Ian's mom in Murrells Inlet, SC

{October} Weekend trip to Ian's family mountainhouse in Boone, NC

{November} With my fellow "Recessionistas" at Amanda's baby shower in Charlotte, NC

{December} Ashley engagement party in Greensboro, NC
Here's hoping that 2011 brings as many fun adventures as this past year did.  Tonight Ian and I are going out with my parents for tapas, adult beverages, and the hoopla that comes with ringing in the new year!

I love it when the clock strikes 12 and everyone goes crazy -- and at that very moment it will then be my......
29th BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!


Too Sweet.

Have you met the brunette Martha?  Her name is Liz and you can find her at Splendid Minta.

Liz is a friend of mine and she recently wrote about me on her blog.  You can find her sweet posting here.  She wrote about a pair of pretty earrings that I made and traded for some beautiful vintage-inspired dishtowels that she makes (they are currently gracing the front of my oven!).  Check out the post to find out what makes the earrings so special & how she's going to switch up the way she rocks 'em.

This girl is full of crafty knowledge and dry wit (the best kind).  Enjoy, and tell her I sent ya!

The Way We Do Christmas

Man oh man, we had a really nice Christmas.  It was wonderful being off for several days and having the family all around. 

Christmas Eve I arrived at my parents house and we put together a nice cocktail before dinner - champagne, limoncello, lemon zest, fresh mint, and a sugared rim.  Unfortunately, we went heavy on the limoncello, and the alcohol content alone of the cocktails was enough to singe our eyebrows and make us "goose pimply all over" {Marilyn Monroe}.  We found some diet lemon-lime soda in the fridge and added a splash to each drink just to be able to tolerate it.  I'm seldom one to dilute my drinks, but Santa is watching -- you know??

That evening we had our traditional seafood dinner and then went to bed so the reindeer could land on our roof!  We awoke the next morning and got ready to walk down the stairs and open presents. 

Our little dog is named Tipsy - isn't she the cutest?  Dinner that evening was the traditional Christmas dinner - turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce. I decorated the table and hung ornaments from the chandelier.

The next morning we woke up to snow!  A white {day after} Christmas!  Unfortunately we had to pack up the cars and leave that white paradise.  We headed to Southport, NC, to visit my mother's side of the family. 

Oops!  Dead car battery at the gas station.  At least we have two manly men to handle the situation while we wait shivering in the cars.  :) Three hours later, we reached our destination of the beautiful coastal town of Southport.

Once we arrived we unpacked all of the gifts and caught up with the family.  For dinner that night, my uncle surprised us with a cooler full of foot-long hoagies hand-delivered from DiCostanzas, the mecca of hoagie shops in Philadelphia, PA (opened in 1925).  My uncle paid someone to drive up to Philly, purchase 18 12" hoagies, and drive back.  Unbelievable.  And they were out of this world, ya'll.

The next day we opened gifts and stockings and went into the quaint downtown area of Southport.  It's a cute coastal town with the sweetest little antique shops and stores.  One of my favorites is a Christmas store that is just wild.  It's in a large old house and every room is decorated to the nines.  Check out my favorite room below -- I was in heaven.  Candy bins, ornaments galore, crystal chandeliers, EEK!  I bought the cutest ornament for our tree, a glass mermaid.

Hope you all had a beautiful holiday with your loved ones!  Did you get any snow?


And We're Off!

It's off to North Carolina we go!  We awoke here in South Carolina to find a White {day after} Christmas.  The snow is still coming down like crazy.  We'll be hitting the road in a little bit to celebrate Christmas with my mother's side of the family in Southport.  Southport is a quaint little town with some nice downtown shopping.  I'll be back Wednesday with stories and pictures.  Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!


Merriest of Christmases To You.

This just about sums it all up.

It truly is a wonderful life!  Now, let me go to finish my cup of wassail and then pour a mimosa to toast with the family while we open Christmas gifts from each other.  Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!


Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas Eve! 

I'm here at our family's house -- all is right with the world.  Home just smells like "home," all the pets are hanging around me, and we'll have a fire crackling in the fireplace in just a little bit. Tonight we'll dine on our traditional Christmas Eve dinner of crab legs, spicy baked shrimp, and crusty bread to soak in the shrimp broth.  We will most definitely be having a few glasses of wine.

This will be the last Christmas that Ian and I spend apart.  We both had today off so we slept in (all the way til 7:30!) and ate breakfast together.  Then we put on Christmas music and I wrapped presents while he worked on putting my Christmas present together ... more on that later.  We went out to lunch before saying goodbye for the next four days.  Next year we'll be splitting up the holidays between our families somehow, and that won't be the easiest -- but it will be nice celebrating the day together.

Merry Christmas Eve to you and your family, and remember -- you have to be fast asleep before Santa will come!


Straight Up Loving These.

Be still my heart. 

Found these on Etsy:
From this Etsy shop

Did I mention I have a birthday coming up?!?!
Good gracious these are simply lovely.


Where's My Hot Glue Gun?!?!

I've been crafting up a storm this holiday season.  AND LOVING IT, I might add.

The holidays are the perfect excuse for me to fire up the trusty hot glue gun (my first favorite crafting accessory, closely followed by the product I mentioned in this post).  But don't worry, I'm an EOC -- an equal opportunity crafter -- and I would never shun the likes of other great crafting materials, like spray adhesive, pipe cleaners, and of course the trusty ol' needle & thread.  Wanna see what I've been working on?

Project #1:
Fun fabric-covered stud earrings for my Etsy site.  They're posted now - click right over!

Prepalicious Fabric Earrings

Snowball Fabric Earrings

Project #2:
Converting a dollar store placemat into a fun metallic holiday pillow.  Tutorial coming!


.... and after!

Project #3:
Creating beautiful large matchboxes just begging to be kept out for display.  Another upcoming tutorial!

This project will set you back less than $1.

Striking, right?  (Sorry, couldn't help it)

Project 4:
Using Martha Stewart for some gift labeling inspiration.

My first attempt - not so perfect, but moms like that.  :)

This one's for the sister.

What have you been crafting this season?  Please send me links to any projects you may have blogged about, I'd love to see!


Ski Bunny (Yeah Right.)

This past weekend we decided a little mountain escape was in order.  Snow was on the ground (quite a departure from what we were seeing in South Carolina) and the slopes were just calling Ian's name.  He is a fantastic skiier - me, not so much.  But there's only one way to get better, and that's what got me strapping on the ski boots and politely asking for the "easiest" skiis available to rent and the "easiest" slopes of the mountain.  I'm no show-off.  I'm also scared to death of a broken femur.

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend too! 


Oh, He's Good.

Yep.  My guy is a good one. 

Happy anniversary to you too, sweetie.

Wanna see the out-take?  This is a fun one.

{Someone was curious.}

Sweet Anniversary

Two years ago today, I went out with some girlfriends in Charlotte to hit up some holiday parties.  It was a Saturday night and we were ready to have some fun. 

Our girls night out - Annie, Moira, Jess & me

We ended our evening at a local bar - Dilworth Neighborhood Grill.  I saw a familiar face -- a guy I'd met the previous weekend but hadn't spoken much to.  I knew his name was Ian, but that's all I knew about him.  That night we started chatting and just couldn't stop.  At the end of the night he asked for my number, and we went out just a few nights later.  We were inseparable after that.  That was two years ago to the day, and we've used December 20th as our anniversary date since then.

First Anniversary - 12/20/09

Now here we are, gearing up for a new anniversary date to celebrate - our wedding date.  We'll be married in May.  I'm so very happy to be spending my life with this man!

Happy anniversary, hon.


Shop Online Today!

Quick!  Pour yourself a cup of coffee (or glass of wine if it's after 5pm).  You're only a few mouse clicks away from some fun online shopping and free shipping!

All day today (12/17) is Free Shipping Day.

Click here to see a list of participating stores.  Just as a little teaser: Nordstrom, Victoria's Secret, Ralph Lauren, Nieman Marcus, Apple, Frontgate, Trina Turk, Proflowers, Kate Spade, Kiehls, Destination Maternity, Red Envelope, Tory Burch -- the list is 1500+ stores long!

Ready... set... SHOP!


I Need To Know.

Moroccan oil: is this stuff worth all the hype?  Should it make it to my Christmas list?  Tell me everything you know.

Or are you a fan of this one?

Ahh, decisions decisions.  A girl's gotta have good hair!


Ornament Tour

I love to collect whimsical, silly, ornate, beautiful, unique ornaments.  Want to see some of my favorites?

Take a peek at the beauties that grace my tree.....

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