Lipstick Must-Have & Some Wedding That Was Today

I need to start off with sharing some amazing goodness with you today.  Thanks to my sweet mother, I've been introduced to this:

Revlon ColorStay Ultimate.  Mom and Dad visited last weekend to help us move into our new house, and before dinner Saturday night she whipped this out of her purse.  She and I often wear the same shades of lipstick well, so I asked her what it was.  She gushed to me that after application, she often woke up the next morning with the lipstick still slightly on.  Girls ... it is true.  I used her lipstick that night and woke up with a hint of it still on my lips.  This was after a tapas dinner, two St. Germain cocktails, and 8 hours of slumber.  And a smooch or two.

I have been having a thing lately for red lips, so I bought it the other day in Top Tomato.  It's a true red, but on me it went a little more hot pink.  It was just too bright.  I went out at lunch today and bought the next deeper color, Superb Sangria.  I'm hoping for a nice glamorous red, and I'll let you know what I think.  It goes on matte, but you can add a gloss to the top for a nice shiny lip.  It runs about $7-8 ... a definite steal for that type of longlasting lipstick!

In other new, there was a wedding today.

I know you may be Royal-Weddinged-Out but my oh my, did you see this cake?!  It is 8 tiers of pure perfection.  Just lovely.

I didn't watch all of the wedding.  I did wake up 30 minutes early, got ready, set my hair in rollers, and made a cup of tea.  And in true English style, I took it with milk.  Okay, it wasn't so much milk as it was powdered creamer with a pack of Splenda.  But it was still delicious.  And I watched the 3-hour DVRed wedding in about 20 minutes, thanks to fast forward.  Don't get me wrong, I wanted to watch all of it, but a working gal's gotta do what a working gal's gotta do!

Happy Friday.  :)


Guess What I Found At Ross?!

Hello, I'm alive!  I know it's been a while since I was able to blog and trust me ... I have missed it dearly!

I'm in Virginia now for work and have been having 4:30am mornings.  Me with less than 8 hours of sleep = NOT PRETTY.  I can't wait to get home, unpack, and crash.

So after working today I stopped off for a little retail therapy at TJ Maxx.  I decided to pop into Ross afterwards.  Not my favorite store, but it was right next door.  How could I resist?

And sitting there on the shelf, just begging to be owned by me, was this:

I got it half price ... was $42.00, and is now mine for $21.00!  Whoo-hooooooo!

In other happy news, tomorrow marks the one month countdown of when I get to marry this handsome man.

We got engaged on May 15th last year.  Hang with me for about two more weeks, and on that engagement anniversary, I'll tell ya how it all went down.  That's right, full proposal details, with no super-sappy romantic details spared.  :)


Scenes From Dinner

We have moved! Thursday night was the last night in the condo.  We are now in our new home, and we're ecstatic.  My sweet parents came up this weekend to help us get settled into the new house.  You've never met two people more eager to help!

The new house is so perfect for us.  But I have to give some props to the condo!  It really brought us a lot of fun memories.  When we moved from Columbia, we downsized from a 2200 sq. ft. condo to a 600 sq. ft. condo.  Did I mention we have a 70-lb dog?  We went from 3 bathrooms to just one.  We went from separate closets to one shared teeny closet.  An open closet that masks no new purchases.  Dang.  We  lived on the lightrail in Charlotte and got used to the constant ding-ding-ding of the train.  We took weekend runs from our condo straight into the heart of uptown Charlotte where we stopped for a coffee (Ian) and iced soy chai (me) and then leisurely walked back home. 

We had some of the most fun just cooking together in the tiny kitchen.  Scenes from dinner the other night:

Delicious broccoli rabe steaming for dinner

Fresh mozzerella used to make a salad with basil, tomato, avocado, EVOO, & balsamic

Yes, I drank my sauvingnon blanc with some ice cubes.  Don't judge :)

We've had a lot of great times and fun memories together.  Now, time for more great memories in our new home, which we LOVE!  More details on how that's coming together soon.

PS - If you are the one person left in the world that has not yet joined Rue La La, you're in for a treat.  Click here to join for free before 4/25 and you'll automatically be given a $20 credit.  No lie!  You will have to spend it before 5/25, but I don't think you'll have a hard time with that.  :)


Recipe: Lavender Champagne

So as I mentioned in this post, my girlfriend Kerry made the most amazing drink for my bridal shower! 

Kerry, on left, with the simple syrup mixture.

And guess who got the recipe for you, right in time for Easter brunch?!  :) 

Lavender Champagne
2 tablespoons dried lavender
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Bring lavender, water and sugar to a boil and let boil for one minute.  Let cool, and strain simple syrup mixture to remove lavender pieces.  To serve, pour a glass of champagne and top with 1 tbsp. of lavender simple syrup. 

This beautiful floral champagne is absolutely delicious.  It smells divine and tastes even better!  I think I may have to whip some up this weekend when Mom and Dad come in to town.  They'll help us move and then stay for Easter Sunday at our new house!


{More} New Home Decor

It's official, we closed on our new house this afternoon!  I'm so thrilled and -- at the same time -- nervous about how everything will come together decor-wise.  I guess sometimes you've just got to jump right in and purchase, and then just take it step by step.

Recently I've been hitting up a lot of stores and snapping pictures of things I've liked.  I also take a pic of the price tag.  My camera's memory stick has been a great tool for reviewing found items and playing around with different combos.  Here are some of the fun items I've found so far.

World Market has a great selection that isn't too hard on the wallet.  The suzani drapes (top left) are completely lined and just $29.99 per panel (that price is for 84"; the 96" panels are $34.99/ea).  The rustic metal barstool (top right) is just my style, and a nice pairing with some of the more feminine touches I gravitate toward.  That jute boucle rug (bottom left) is $149 for a 6x9 size ... just hit up the Pottery Barn website if you want a good price comparison.  And those beautiful floral cotton panels (bottom right) are priced the same as the suzani panels.  They are also completely lined.

Ikea also has some great options.  We'll most likely be purchasing two of the Hastveda rattan chairs (top left) which are $49.99 each.  They'll flank each side of the fireplace in the den.  The Gislev rug (top right) is 4'4" x 6'5" and only $19.99.  Perhaps not the best quality, but the perfect addition to the kitchen floor which will receive a lot of foot traffic.  The Husnes mirrors (bottom left) have a beautiful beveled edge and pretty lines.  Did I mention they are only $29.99 each?  And that gorgeous Leran rattan shade (bottom right) is just begging to go over our kitchen table.  It's $89.99.

Sleepy Poet is a local antique mall in Charlotte that is one of my favorite places to visit.  Check out those gorgeous gray Martha Washington chairs with nailhead trim (top left).  The set was priced at $635.  The convex eagle mirror (top right) was marked at $250.  The totally Mad Men-esque chest (bottom left), which also came with a matching mirror, was marked at $295.  And that pretty gray hutch with the perfect amount of distressing (bottom right) was marked at $425.

So far we have purchased this couch and two of these chairs from West Elm.  We have to wait 8-10 weeks to receive them, but I think it will certainly be worth the wait!  They'll be topped with colorful pillows and accented by a side table that I also bought recently that I'm ga-ga over.  Can't wait to tell you all about it!


Weekend In Review: Party Party Party & My Bridal Shower

I had the best weekend!  In fact, I must have been so sad to see it go that yesterday afternoon while walking out the front door of our office, I called over my shoulder to our security guard "Have a great weekend!"

Ummm... it was only Monday at 5pm.  We still had 4 more full workdays to go.  Where was my mind?!

Anyway, here's a little recap of my weekend:

Friday Ian and I had a much-needed low key evening.  We met our realtor at our new home and took some measurements for furniture shopping.  We headed to the mall (which is about .5 miles from our new house!) and hit up Pottery Barn.  We were in there for only about five minutes before we decided the sofas there weren't what we were looking for.  That night we made Greek salads and oven pizza and shared a bottle of red.  Perfect.

Saturday Ian and I drove an hour down the road to the furniture mecca of Hickory, NC.  Went to a few furniture stores, struck out.  More furniture shopping in Charlotte and finally we fell in love with a sofa and 2 chairs from West Elm.  Score!

That night my friend Kerry drove to town and we went to a friend's 30th birthday party.  We had a blast.  Kerry stayed with us at the condo and then woke up early the next morning to drive back to Greenville and host a bridal shower for me along with our friend Ashley.  Yep, amazing right?

Sunday I drove to Greenville with a few girlfriends for the shower and it was just lovely.  Kerry's condo was looking beautiful and she had the best drinks.  Try this one on for size: champagne with lavender-infused simple syrup.  Ahhhhhh-mazing.  Kerry, please do send me the recipe and I'll post it on the blog?

Me with my beautiful hostesses, Ashley (l) and Kerry (r)

With my youngest sister, Laura

LOVE these wine and champagne glasses!

A Southern gal and her deep fryer.  Giddy.

Love this for making sangria - and it's in the shape of a beehive!


OMG I Won + Lilly Pulitzer

First of all, I am feeling like the luckiest gal.

I won, I won, I won!

Are you a Shasta Anne reader?  Okay, I know you probably already are.  One visit to her blog and you're signing up as a loyal follower.  She is so sweet and will quite often respond back to you personally on any comment you leave on her blog.  Especially if you asked a question, like recently when I begged her to tell me the secret of her long lashes.  :)  (Sidenote: if you don't have your Blogger account set up to show your email address, then people can't respond to your comments.  See Classic Annie's post about how to fix this)

So anyway, the giveaway I won is for a $100 Forever 21 gift card AND a $100 Exxon gas card.  Ummmmmm really?!?!  Could this come at a better time?  We just bought a new house and we are getting married next month -- helloooooo honeymoon clothes.  And with the price of gas, the gas card couldn't have come at a better time.  I can't wipe this smile off my face - I am a happy girl.  I'll keep you posted on my shopping finds at F21!  Thank you Shasta for your wonderful blog and sweet giveaway!

Also, quick reminder that in just one hour (11:00am Eastern time) the Joss + Main Lilly Pulitzer sale begins.  Have you already signed up to join Joss + Main?  It's free to join this invite-only site.  And who can't resist a great deal on Lilly stationery and gifts?  Just click here to accept an invitation and get ready to shop in an hour! 


I Didn't Lie; I Omitted The Truth (Home Update!)

Okay okay.
I have a confession to make.

I've wanted to say this for a while now, but I was nervous.  So I acted like it didn't exist.  I did this because of the way that this potential home purchase worked out.  No bueno.  It was complicated and frustrating and we lost a lot of money on it.  But in retrospect, all worked out very well.

Ian and I were once bitten twice shy, and this made me so reluctant (even under contract) to share the news or even let myself get really excited about the new house.  It was when we were under contract last time that they found structural issues that required lots of expensive fixes. 

Blogger friends from this brunch, remember when I mentioned that Ian and I had an appointment that afternoon to see a home that had just come on the market that morning?  This is the very one!  We knew it was perfect and that it had to be OURS.  We submitted an offer the following day (Monday).  On Wednesday we found out that we were one of 3 parties that submitted offers on the same day.  Thus begins a bidding war of sorts.  Long story short, we didn't come in with the highest bid, but the folks that did could not agree to some of the sellers' requests.  We could, so we were the frontrunners. 

At this point, inspections have been done, appraisals submitted, repair requests agreed upon and executed.  Our closing date is next Wednesday (!!!!!!).  Tomorrow Ian and I will go shopping for furniture.  I've been working on some decor ideas, what do you think?

Formal Living Room


Casual Den

My objective is to purchase large neutral pieces (sofas, bedding, curtains) and then accent with color (rugs, pillows, decor).  I am no interior decorator ... and I still have to take into consideration Ian's decor opinions ... but I think these at least will give us a good start.  Please share feedback you may have!


My Lilly Purchase on Rue La La

When Rue La La had Lilly Pulitzer on sale last Wednesday, you can bet I was poised at my laptop with my hand hovering over the touchpad, ready to click "Add to Basket"!

All of the choices were great but I did decide on a big yellow tote (my favorite color!) that I can't wait to use on our honeymoon to Punta Cana.

What do you think?  See the koalas hanging from the bamboo?! Love it as much as I do?  I can't wait to fill it with magazines, books, sunscreen, and a big floppy hat for days spent on the beach or poolside.

Speaking of Lilly Pulitzer ... are you a member yet of Joss & Main?  They are another invite-only shopping site, similar to Rue La La, One Kings Lane, and HauteLook.  You know, free to join and daily deals up to 70% off -- the typical set-up.  They specialize in beautiful home decor and gifts, and they were actually created by the oh-so-loved CSN Stores!  Gah, do they just do everything right?

Well - this coming Monday (18th), they will be featuring Lilly Pulitzer stationery and gifts.  WHOO-HOO!  So if you haven't joined already, click here to do so.  And please, don't blame me for your credit card statement this month.  :)


My Bachelorette Weekend in Miami

My goodness gracious, my bridesmaids and I had the BEST time in Miami for my bachelorette weekend.

And let me just say this first.  I have the best girlfriends.  Every single one of my bridesmaids booked a flight to Miami for this trip (minus the one bridesmaid that lives there).  And that Miami bridesmaid was our complete hook-up the entire trip -- planned the most fun adventures for us, AND hosted a lingerie shower at her beautiful apartment for me!  I'm one lucky gal. 

Above -- just arrived at airport and gals slapped a veil on my head.  The festivities began!  Here we are in the van on the way to our hotel, The Townhouse Hotel.

We arrived around 4 and quickly got our swimsuits on to head down to the beach.

That night, Ashley (far right, opening the champagne) had us all over to her apartment, which she shares with her sweet husband.  That girl can host a party.  She cooked a full dinner for us and even surprised me with pink macarons!

May I also mention that she put together the huge floral arrangement centerpiece?!  Votive candles and my wedding invitation were also on the table.

Then the lingerie shower began, and you'll only see a few select photos from that.  :)

My sister Sarah gave me a sash to wear!

Then to get the night started, we had a few shots of rum...

Aren't my bridesmaids so pretty!?

Fun elevator pic.

We had to snap a few pictures in Ash's building lobby.  See the gold garden stools with the faces on them?!  Wild.

So then we kept the party going at The Florida Room at The Delano Hotel.

My two sisters, Sarah and Laura

The next day we grabbed a little breakfast and then headed to The Shore Club for lunch and some pool time.  It was wild.  There was a DJ and people were dancing all around the pool and in the pool.  We saw some of the craziest things including a girl with very visible bun implants!  You could see the incision and bruise on each cheek, and that derriere completely defied gravity!

Saturday night we all went to Mr. Chow at the W. Hotel.

We first got drinks at the W. Hotel bar, where a certified mixologist made our drinks.  Aren't they gorgeous?  All you did was tell him what you liked/wanted, and he mixed something especially for you.  Laura's request: Something with tequila blanca but not too fruity.  Ashley's request: Something to match her yellow dress.  My request: Anything made with St. Germain!  And that's my drink on the far left, the one with the rose petals scattered on top.

Mirrors all over Miami are great for impromptu pics :)

Sunday morning we headed to The Standard Hotel for brunch.

The pool scene was great and was straight out of the '70s.  The perfect retro vibe.

Nice yacht, right?!

Rose was our drink of choice this weekend!

Sadly, all of the girls had to leave to catch their flight back home, and then it was just the sisters that remained.  We all decided to stay an extra night and enjoy some sister time.  We headed out to dinner that evening at the Soho House in Miami and dined at their Italian restaurant, Cecconi's.  Ahhh-mazing.  I had the gnocchi with wild mushrooms and white cheese fondue sauce.  Good for fitting in a wedding dress, no?

The inside was amazing.  It's open-air with these beautiful trees that have their trunks and branches wrapped in teeny white lights.  The service and food was impeccable.

Hope you all enjoyed your weekend as much as I did.  It was a bachelorette weekend to never forget!
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