Friday, August 30, 2013

friday five + fancies

Happy Friday!! WE MADE IT!
This week was one of those that just drug on... Lately I've had commitments with either after-work events or Junior League but this week was mainly just exercising after work (I need it).

Tonight Ty and I are hopping on a plane to Houston, TX to visit my brother and sister-in-law. We are so excited to experience Texas for the first time! At the end of September, they are moving back to Rhode Island where my SIL is from, so this will be a great last hoorah for them! We haven't seen them since our wedding in March and are looking forward to a fun weekend.

We'll be pulling for Clemson Saturday night when they take on the Georgia Dawgs, since Cameron and Tyler are Clemson alums! Hopefully we can round up a few other Clemson fans in the bar! Last night we watched THE Carolina game (and I mean South Carolina Gamecocks) with our new friends and neighbors. We are thrilled to have a new couple 5 houses down from us in our neighborhood! A good time was had by all.... Except for that whole lightening thing... Come on, mother nature... don't you know its football season?

Here's my outfit for Labor Day weekend! My last bit of white, Clemson orange, and cowboy boots in honor of Houston. Sadly, my boots were left at my parents house, but I can at least pretend! Linking up with my favorite, {av} for Friday's Fancies!


tank // shorts // boots // sunglasses 

I've really gotten into this "giving to others" thing! Yesterday I paid for the lady behind me's lunch at Chickfila. I had never done it before and had butterflies because I was a little nervous (no idea why) and excited. It made my Thursday much better! Her meal was cheaper than mine (OK only by a few cents!!). 

White after Labor Day..... What are your thoughts? I've always been an Easter --> Labor Day white kind of girl and I don't think that will be changing, even though I live on the coast. What are your thoughts? No judgement, though, to those of you who wear it year-round or throughout September! I just retire mine and call it fall!

What are you up to this Labor Day weekend?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

an ode to my girlfriends

One thing I've learned since I've been married is that girlfriends are just as vital now as they were in college. I was super blessed that I attended a very social college, was in a sorority, and was always surrounded by an awesome group of girls!

After moving to a new city twice in two years, I understand how hard it is to make friends. In Illinois, I lived with two girls around my age which really helped me make friends (above). They invited me to hang out with their high school friends, attend girls night at a Mexican restaurant, and run 5k races. Now since I've moved to Beaufort, I'm really learning that you really have to put yourself out there to find women like you. There are a few young women (in their 20s and 30s) that I work with and work out with at the YMCA after work. The guys that I work with have wives that are in the same age group as well. I've applied to be a member of the Junior Service League to not only give back to my community, but fight a tight-knit group here in my new town. Tyler and I are seeking a church family and an important thing we are looking in while "church shopping" is young couples.

All but two of my closest girlfriends from my ZTA pledge class are getting together for Labor Day. The other friend who is unable to make it and I were talking today about how hard it is to be a friend and to really keep friendships going. Though we will always remain best friends, I think its important to also find women in your own town/city.

Girlfriends are so important. I cannot imagine not having a female to talk to about "girl" things. Whether it is talking about unimportant things, venting about a fight with your husband/fiance/boyfriend/fling, borrowing that favorite dress, or going to them when you need a shoulder to cry on, I just think it is vital for us as women to have other women in our lives!

And don't get me wrong, I love my virtual friends that I talk to all day everyday (hey Shannon and Megan), but there is just something about calling up a friend town to ask to join you for happy hour! Does anyone ever feel like it is a red flag when other women you know don't have girlfriends? I don't know what it is. Are they catty? Jealous? Spoiled? Bratty? Obnoxious? I have no idea but lately I've run into women that "don't do girls as friends" or end up ruining every relationship they have. And I hate that!

This post may have not made any sense at all, but I think it was one of those that was floating around in my head for a while and needed to get out! I guess I'm just thankful for my girlfriends - in Beaufort, at home, in DC, NYC, Florida, Charleston, Raleigh, Illinois, and even those that I've never met in person but can't wait to share a margarita with!

So cheers, friends!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

wedding recap: reception details

Details seriously make a wedding reception, am I right?

My mom and I, along with our decorator Cricket Newman really put a lot of thought and effort into all of the details.

The Cinema isn't the most exciting venue, but we really tried to make it work. Cricket and her staff are so good at what thy do and seriously transformed this old movie theater.

The lamps and console tables came from my mom's office and we displayed the guest book here for guests to sign.

I ordered these cocktail napkins through my friend Elizabeth's boutique, Formosa.

My dad and uncle came up with the signature drink idea. I thought of a "his and hers" but it got too complicated. We didn't want a full bar for many reasons, but I wanted at least one drink other than beer and wine. A madras was perfect because we could pre-mix the vodka, crandberry, and orange juice and unlike soda, it wouldn't go flat! It also helped make the lines at the bar go more quickly! We didn't want a slow bar at all.

Beef tenderloin.

Mini caesar salad bites. After the wedding one of my friends tried to recreate them and sent me a picture of the ones she made. They were a HIT!

This is such a classic Cricket Newman display!

Brownies- can you ask for more?

Open face cucumber and tomato sandwiches.

Southern ham biscuits.

I loved the centerpieces! The peach tree flowers made it!

We have leftover pecan pie bites and the maple cookies (frozen) and dang it they are still as good today as they were on March 23!

Beautiful fruit display!

This table cloth was my maternal grandmother's Army-Navy tablecloth. The silver goblets are also my paternal grandmother's.

This draping was beautiful! It covered the kitchen that we didn't want guests to see. Thank you Cricket!

These were our favors for our guests. I really wanted to do boiled peanuts or some sort of peanut but our venue doesn't allow anything peanut because of allergies. These Nams Bits Chocolate Chip cookies were a hit! My mom's company was able to order them wholesale for us! You can find them online here on Amazon.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013


If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a picture of groceries on my feed on Saturday.

Lately I've realized that I have been spending too much on myself. Not caring about others, not tithing, not giving as the way Jesus wants us to give. One particular person kept coming back to my mind over and over and it hit me: I really needed to do something for this family.

Miss Hyiat was at my house from the moment that my parents brought me home from the hospital almost 25 years ago. My mom stumbled upon her sister at our town post office when she was posted a "Wanted: Babysitter/Nanny" poster on the local bulletin board. She has been a member of our family ever since. She was at our house when we got home from school. She made us (albeit maybe disgusting) foods like eggs and ketchup (do y'all do that!?), but could make some darn good cornbread and french toast. My dad picked her up at 8 am every morning and my mom took her home at 6pm every evening when she got home from work. My mom worked so that we could have Miss Hyiat.

Growing up, I'm sure my brother and I took her for granted. We were one of the few kids who didn't go to daycare. She would come at us with a spoon (remember this was the 90s so this was totally OK) when we misbehaved, and she made us watch The Bible Network almost daily.

She is the best second mother I've ever had.

So.... back to my story.

Miss Hyiat (who is about 72) has a sister who is in her mid-90s. Perfectly healthy and one of the sweetest ladies you'll ever met. Not only do they live together, Miss Hyiat's daughter, granddaughter, and sometimes son live with her. She's never driven a car or gotten her driver's license and once we grew up, she worked for a few families here and there but not steadily.

Can you believe Miss Willie Mae is 94?!?

Like I said, she and her family had been weighing on my heart and I decided I really needed to do something for them. I've always given her family my hand-me-downs and toys, but as a young adult, I don't have much "stuff" to give them now. I decided the way to help them was to go grocery shopping for them and surprise their family.

Saturday I was at my parents and I called Miss Hyiat to make sure she'd be home. She said yes and asked if I was going by "the store" and if I could get her two liters of Sprite (she only drinks clear liquid -- silly lady) and I said of course! Then I threw in my, "well how do you normally get to the store?" question that I've been wondering for years but too afraid to ask. She said her niece would take them once a month or that someone at church would either drive them or pick up items for them, but their main source of food was from the local mobile food pantry that comes to town every other week.

That was a shot to my heart and I had reassurance that I was honestly doing the right thing. When I got to the grocery store, I filled my buggy with bananas, grapes, bread, peanut butter, cereal, milk, eggs, cheese, rice, oatmeal, hamburger helper, rice, and canned goods. I had tears in my eyes the entire time because I was so excited, but at the same time I was so afraid that she would be upset or ashamed. BUT I know Miss Hyiat, and I knew she would gracious accept my gift.

I pulled up to her house and walked inside, telling her I had a surprise and more than two liters of Sprite. Now, if you've ever heard and older black lady scream, you can totally resonate with the shrieks and screams and "Oh praise Jesus's!" As I pulled the groceries out of the car, they all (four of them) were screaming and ooh-ing and ahh-ing and Thank you Charlotte-ing. I've never seen anyone more gracious and humbled and thankful.

After she got over the shock (and I made her promise not to be mad at me so thankfully she wasn't mad), she squeezed me so tight that I could barely breath. I heard "thank you" I bet a hundred times and my heart fluttered. It was one of the best feelings I've ever had.

Now, I don't want anyone to think I'm telling this story to put myself on a pedestal at all. I just want you all to realize how AMAZING giving is. Groceries that we take for granted can mean the world to someone. I know that this family can eat "healthily" for the next few weeks. I have no idea when they've had fresh break, milk, or eggs! We just take those things for granted and spend, spend, spend on our "things."

As part of the church of Christ, we are called to tithe. But tithing isn't just about throwing a $20 in the basket at church. Tithing can be helping out others and aiding in their need. Jesus calls us to give. 

The Bible says:

Acts 20:35 
"In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "

Proverbs 22:9
"He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor."

Colossians 3:17

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

After I drafted this post, I came across this article from the Huffington Post on Twitter about giving: The Giving Habits of Americans May Surprise You.

I urge you to find a way to give back to your community. If you've done something recently- volunteered, mentored a child, taught Sunday School, played with the animals at the animal shelter, etc, let me know! I think it is great to share those things so that we can support each other and hold one another accountable. 

For it is in giving that we receive.
-Francis of Assisi

Monday, August 26, 2013

sunglass search

I haven't bought a new pair of "real" sunglasses since 2008! My Ray Bans have seen better days and I am really ready to upgrade.

The problem is that I have a very small face and I can't wear sunglasses with huge frames because they really overshadow my features. I've done a little research and have found these four pair that I really want to try on to see how they'd work for me!

Now, I don't really have to get a super nice pair, I just would like a good pair that will last a long time.


Now the question is, where do I go to try them on? Are there online stores with good sales where I can order, try on, and return? Or is it better to go in a store?


Friday, August 23, 2013

currently loving

It's FRIDAY!!!!!

Thank you all who entered the Rodan+Fields sample giveaway! If you missed it, there are more samples to be given, so leave a comment here and I'll direct you to the correct place! I really appreciate Alexa working on this with me!

Currently I'm loving......

This necklace on my bff Virginia's sister-in-law's website...

This room...

This song...

This look...

The thought of making this sangria...

A girl can dream right?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

rodan + fields & a sample giveaway!!!!

A month or two ago I was connected with Alexa, a fellow ZTA and SC girl by a mutual college friend. Alexa is a consultant with Rodan + Fields, a dermatologist- created skincare line by the two Stanford-trained dermatologists who created Proactiv. I'm sure all of us have either tried Proactiv in the past or are familiar with their products.

If you've never heard of Rodan + Fields, let me give you a little introduction.

From their website:

Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields founded Rodan + Fields Dermatologists in 2002 to extend their vision of bringing dermatology-based skin treatment to everyone. Originally available as a top-selling clinical skincare brand in high-end department stores, the company realized the Doctors' vision could never be fully realized when confined to the department store counter.

In an unprecedented move, Rodan + Fields became the first prestige skincare line to exit the department store for the world of direct selling. And today, there are numerous Rodan + Fields independent business owners experiencing the income associated with sales volume that far exceeds what leading department store chains were able to achieve.

The power of the individual, combined with Rodan + Fields' brand legacy, clinically proven products and a proprietary systematic approach to independent business management, makes Rodan + Fields an opportunity like no other. 

Alexa and I were emailing back and forth awhile about Rodan +Fields, and the possibility of me becoming a consultant, but my schedule is just too packed right now to commit to anything else. I really loved hearing about their products and how committed these women are to skincare! Rodan + Fields has a great line of products for all skin types and from everything to fine lines to wrinkles to dark spots to acne. Another great aspect of these products is that there is a 60 day money-back guarantee on all products! 

After talking, Alexa and I decided I needed to sample some of the products myself! I quickly agreed, and agreed to post a review for you all. Alexa sent me a sample of the Multi-Function Eye Cream and Micro-Dermabrasion paste. 

Here's what I thought: 
I'd never used any sort of eye cream, but talked to her about my forehead wrinkles from squinting all day at a computer (guilty). This multi-function eye cream "utilizes powerful peptides to minimize the look of crow’s-feet and reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness. Optical filters visibly brighten the eye area." Though I did not see an immediate difference (what can I say, I like to see things asap! But I realize that isn't the case with skincare!), I think if I were to use the eye cream continually I would see a huge difference!

She also sent me the micro-dermabrasion paste which I thought was great! I usually don't use any type of product, face wash, or scrub, just because I have fairly sensitive skin and using products makes me break out. For some odd reason, I noticed a new bump or two on my face after using the paste, but I honestly think they were forming before I ever used the product. It had a great minty smell and made my face feel so smooth afterwards. I actually need to order some of this!!

All in all, I would highly recommend these products, especially if you are concerned about your skin (you should be!!!!) and want to get ahead of aging and damage. I think we can all agree we need to take care of our skin! And remember, I only used these samples for about a week! Things take time!!

And now on to the exciting part for YOU, my readers!!! Alexa has graciously offered samples of Rodan + Fields products to the first 10 readers who fill out the solution tool (it is seriously SUPER easy and takes maybe 1-2 minutes). You can find the solution tool HERE!!!!!. Once you fill out the tool, it sends an email to Alexa letting her know which type of products best suit your needs! She'll then mail you a sample, and we hope that you love them and fall in love with Rodan + Fields! 

In addition, please leave a blog comment letting me know you filled out the tool, and also let me know what kind of skin products you use, I'd love to know!!

Alexa is so passionate about these products and I really enjoyed getting to know her and talking about what Rodan + Fields has to offer. If you have any questions about Rodan + Fields, please let me know and I can direct you to her!

Thank you Alexa for this fun sample giveaway!

Good luck to the first 10 readers!