Monday, November 14, 2011

Erin Condren

I had never even heard of Erin Condren until one of my friends at work (Allison - see her blog here: Just a Carolina Girl) came to me about Plum District featuring a deal on their products. I couldn't be more thankful that I went ahead and bought it, because I got one of their $50 personalized life planners for less than $30. Now, I legitimately don't know what I would do without it.

They offer all different kinds of things, but their biggest seller is their life planner. They offer different kinds of planners, including a wedding planner, but I just stuck with the regular one because I knew I would still get use out of it after the wedding is over (it goes until January of 2013). There are multiple different designs to choose from and you can specify any colors that you want from their list of available ones. You can also get your name or anything on the front. I have been having a hard time staying away from things that have names/monograms on them because mine is going to be changing so soon, so I just got my first name on the front. Its so funny to think that in less than a year my name will be changing!

My planner looks like this:

I love the way that it is organized, with a monthly calendar at the beginning of each month tab and weekly pages in between. Literally the only issue that I have with this planner is that it doesn't have lined boxes, but then when I think about it that's okay because you can usually squeeze more into a day without lines if you have to.

At the end there is space for notes, as well as a pocket to hold papers, a ziplock to hold other things, and stickers for special occasions like birthdays, weddings, etc. I have already added a sticker for our wedding and my cousin's wedding in June! I legitimately spent at least an hour putting in birthdays and already scheduled events for the next year right when I got it. LOVE IT!

I have honestly never received a package in a cuter box, and they also sent me complimentary stickers with my name on them in two different patterns!! 

It has taken me a while to get a new planner, because I really hate ones with wire spirals that can get all bent and stuff. That is the only reason I have yet to try a Lilly planner. I throw my stuff into my purse far too haphazardly for that. I love that my Erin Condren planner has a plastic spiral that won't change shape or get out of whack.

Is there a certain planner that you swear by?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


So I was finally able to ask all of my bridesmaids! I am going to have a Maid of Honor and a Matron of Honor, and I asked them a couple of weeks ago with a bouquet of flowers sent to each of their houses. Besides them, I have seven other bridesmaids (big party, I know). I had some trouble getting the cards that I had ordered to send them all, and they finally came in and I finished sending/giving them out!

I found a million ways to ask bridesmaids on Pinterest, but I ended up going with the cutest cards. My mom found them on Zazzle, which I had never heard of before, but they have a few cute things that are very inexpensive. The cards I ordered for each bridesmaid had a picture of that person and I together on the front, then the girl's name, and the inside had "10 Reasons You Should be My Bridesmaid." The reasons were things like "What else do you have to do on 9/29/12?" and "I want to show off how hot my friends are." The template came with a set of 10, but I changed them around just a little bit.

So the next step (after making sure they all agreed), was to give them all the low-down on plans, dresses, shoes, etc. I sent them all a really long email (forgive me), laying out all the deets and also requesting that they each send me an individual picture for the wedding website!

For dresses, I decided on the J. Crew short silk taffeta line in Dark Pacific. It was a pretty easy choice since I pretty much live my daily life in J. Crew. There are 8 different styles, and I'm letting my girls pick whichever one they want. I realize people's body types will differ, and they will feel comfortable in different things. Especially with so many girls, I want everyone to like what they're wearing so we all have a stress-free day when the wedding comes. Here are just three examples of the styles:

I decided to just go with nude patent pumps, something that at least a couple of my bridesmaids will already have and definitely something they will all be able to use again. My cousins found an adorable pair at Target for really cheap that will be perfect:

All of my girls are so excited to be a part of the wedding and a lot of them have already bought and received their dresses (J. Crew has the BEST shipping EVER). I am so lucky to have this group of girls to stand beside me on my wedding day and I know they will make the year leading up to it as amazing as possible! Love love love you all!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Deposits are down and the date is set! JMC and I are getting married on September 29, 2012.

Our venue ended up being NONE of the ones that I had posted last time. Although we thought one of those places was going to be best, we realized that all of them were probably going to be too small to accommodate our large group. We had also almost given up on finding a church to have the ceremony in, but we found one and its perfect!

Our ceremony is going to be at Harrison United Methodist, right down the road from both JMC's and my parents' houses. Both of our families have attended services at this church for a while, since we are both Methodist and this is the closest one to where we live. I don't know why I hadn't thought about it earlier. Also, considering our love for history, Harrison UMC is the oldest United Methodist congregation in Mecklenburg County, having begun in 1785.

Our reception is going to be held at Carmel Country Club. After a long, hard day of looking at venues that disappointed all of us, my mom and Mrs. C suggested we just drop by to see if we can walk in and check it out ourselves. Right when we walked in the ballroom, I knew this was the place we should have it. Even after we just let ourselves in, the event director excitedly agreed to give us a full tour of the clubhouse! She was very helpful in giving us examples of what other couples had done and she emailed us almost immediately with menus and specs sheets. It was very refreshing after the day that we had.

This weekend, we are going to look at dresses! I have a style in mind, but I could very well walk into the bridal salon and fall in love with something completely different. You never know! Mrs. C made me appointments at Mecklenburg Bridal and J. Major's, so hopefully I will find something at one of those places! If I don't find something this weekend, we are thinking about looking at the Priscilla of Boston in Raleigh since they are going out of business. I'm just so excited!!

Special thanks to my mom, Mrs.C, SRC, and Mrs. R for being of great help already in the planning process. I am so lucky to have all of you!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Charlotte Venues

JMC and I both grew up in Charlotte, so it only made sense that we get married there. We are both obsessed with our hometown and wouldn't have it any other way. Just look at how beautiful it is...

JMC headed to the Queen City yesterday for another office visit for a potential job, and I'm making my way down there today after work. Which seems like its coming at the speed of smell. I swear, every day this week has felt like a day later, which is the worst way for a week to be. Thursdays that feel like Fridays are COMPLETELY the worst, because I kept having to remind myself that I had to be at work again today for another 8 hours. Blegh.

I'm just so excited to get to Charlotte that I can't even stand it. 

Our main goal for the weekend is to find a ceremony and reception site. There are a few places that we have been looking at online, but we plan on going to visit them in person so that hopefully we can set an official date! We are also taking a trip to the jeweler to get my gorgeous ring cleaned and to pick out wedding bands. Yay!

Here are a couple of the venues we are trying to check out:

Byron's South End

The Charlotte Museum of History

The Palmer Building

Our wedding promises to be pretty big, especially since we are both such recent college graduates that we are still in touch with all of our friends from undergrad. Not to mention, we have big families! So we are going to have to accommodate a large party, but the more, the merrier! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Avett Brothers Greensboro

It has been one week since JMC and I got engaged. And let me tell you, this has been the best week ever. Not only are we starting to plan our wedding for a short year from now, JMC got a job offer for when he finishes his masters, we went to maybe one of the best Avett Brothers concerts I've ever been too (and I've seen them 9 times), AND I won my first fantasy football game (bringing my record to a stunning 1-4).

I don't know if I have mentioned this before, but I'm basically obsessed with the Avett Brothers.

I have been going to see them in concert since my senior year in high school and my obsession has only grown. If you have never heard of them, you should definitely look their music up. 

So the concert was in Greensboro and my parents drove my brother up for it and we met for dinner beforehand since they hadn't seen JMC or I since the engagement. We also met JMC's oldest brother & his wife, his second oldest brother, and a few of their friends since they were all coming to the concert as well. We met at a pub called M'Couls that was pretty awesome. They had a good beer list (which was a must for JMC and his oldest brother, JTC), and their food was great! Not to mention, it was right across the street from Natty Greene's Brewpub that JMC and JTC have been wanting to check out. We didn't get to go in, but I'm sure we will return soon for a brewery tour.

The concert was completely amazing. Although the seats weren't the best one's I've ever had to one of their shows, they literally had the best set list I have ever heard. They played both of the songs that JMC and I wanted, Murder in the City and Swept Away (Sentimental Version), as well as The Once and Future Carpenter (which happens to be my future last name).

This perfect week is only a foreshadowing of JMC's and my life together. I know that even through good times and bad, we will always have eachother and that's all that matters.

And now, I get to blog all about the planning process! I couldn't be more excited to have the best friends and family to help me, especially my mom, Mrs. C, and SRC (JMC's sister-in-law). They were all instrumental in getting the ring designed and made and will be my right-hand-women through the next year. First up, venues and setting an official date!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Guess What?!?!

We're Engaged!!!

JMC is the most amazing man that I have ever met and I couldn't be happier about spending the rest of my life with him.

The proposal was more perfect than I could have ever imagined. And the RING is to DIE for! I have never been so surprised in my life. I had literally just been talking to my cousin who just got engaged about how I didn't think it would happen for a couple more months. I even boasted that I thought I would know because I would be able to tell by his nervousness. But the guy was calm as can be. Just like any other Tuesday. Little did I know October 4th, 2011 would be such an important date in our life together.

I'm still basically speechless about the situation, and I stumble over my words every time I retell the romantic story. I couldn't even concentrate at work yesterday and ended up going home to my fiancé right around lunch time. I'm hoping I can make up for the time in these last two days of the work week, but I'm pretty sure at least 2 hours per day will be devoted to being distracted by this gorgeous thing on my hand.

The past few days have been full of phone calls and emails and skyping and lunch dates. I couldn't be more excited about the year to come, as well as the many years to come that I get to spend with my best friend in the whole world.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

butter LONDON... Fabulous!

Just got my butter LONDON nail polishes yesterday in the mail. Of course, the first thing I did when I got home was my nails.

Official verdict: AWESOME.

I love the two colors that I got. On my fingers, All Hail The Queen is a sparkly grayish taupe that is the perfect darker neutral for fall. The navy is great too! Its opaque with no sparkle, which I would rather have than a sparkly navy.

At first when I opened them, I had a feeling that the brush was going to be a little small for my taste, but it actually worked quite well. The bristles fanned easily, which made for a nice even coat with each brush stroke.

Hope you're enjoying your Tuesday!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Nail Polish

Nail polish is so hot right now. I love nail polish because it makes me feel just a little more put together. My toenails are ALWAYS painted, no matter what. I honestly don't think I have gone a day without my toenails being painted since around the 6th grade. Fingernails are a different story. I should keep my fingernails painted (and I try to), but I have a bad habit of peeling it off when I get even the tiniest chip. I'm definitely a stress-biter, which is totally embarrassing at the nail salon. But I'm working hard to change my ways.

Personally, I've always been a fan of OPI. Their polishes are of great quality, they have fun colors, even more fun names, and (this might seem weird) their brushes are appropriately wide. Essie polishes are adorable, but I have trouble painting with my left hand with their minuscule brushes.

Just this week, I ordered a couple butter LONDON polishes that I am SO excited for. Has anyone ever tried butter LONDON? Their polishes are non-toxic and they have fabulous colors. They are a little more expensive than OPI and Essie (running at around $14 a bottle), but I will be sure to let you know if they are worth it or not. Much of that will depend on the functionality of the brush.

It used to be that I only really wore traditional colors on my nails, but I'm trying to branch out. I am loving dark colors for fall, but since I'm not a big black-wearer, I am totally on a navy kick. I'm wearing navy on my toes right now and I LOVE it!

The butter LONDON colors I ordered:
Royal Navy
All Hail The Queen
My other go-to colors:
Wearing this on my hands now!
Feelin' Hot Hot Hot
Melon of Troy
Colors I want to try:
French Quarter for Your Thoughts
Rosie Lee
The Old Bill
WANT this copper color!!! LOVE IT

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Our Nation's Capital

I hope you read that like Forrest Gump.

Anyway, our DC trip this weekend turned out to be quite a success. I can't believe it has taken me this long to post about it.

A bunch of us at Old Glory
We stayed in Arlington because it was a million times cheaper than staying in the city. We drove up Friday afternoon after JMC got out of class and ended up arriving to our hotel just in time to freshen up and meet some people at a bar in Georgetown called Old Glory.

I love Georgetown. Its definitely one of my favorite parts of DC. I wanted to go there during the day to get some shopping in, but it would have been more trouble than it was worth toting three boys around. Old Glory was definitely my kind of bar. There was a rooftop level that we stayed on the whole time and it was very laid back. We even met some people from UNC there!

Saturday we ate at the Taylor Gourmet on K Street for lunch, where KPB and I had eaten the last time I was in DC to visit her. This may be my favorite sandwich place of all time. They have risotto balls that are completely to die for and every time I've been, I've gotten the most delicious sandwich called the "South Street." It has chicken (grilled or breaded) with pesto, tomatoes, and goat cheese. And those happen to be four of my favorite foods. Period.
Luckily Taylor Gourmet was pretty close to the Spy Museum, because that was our next stop. The spy museum was really cool. I wish it would have been a little less crowded so that we could have looked around for longer, but none of us were really the kind of people who want to spend hours trudging through crowds of randos.

After the spy museum we wanted to grab a drink before we headed back out to Arlington to get ready for dinner and stuff, so we walked around for a little bit and found District of Pi. I had seen this restaurant on some food channel show, so that made me even more excited to check it out. They had a GREAT beer list, and I honestly wish we would have been there for dinner because their food looked delicious. 
But nonetheless, we made our way back to our hotel, got ready quickly, and headed to a sports bar in the Clarendon area called Hard Times Cafe to watch the South Carolina/ECU game (one of JMC's friends went to USC for undergrad and we were meeting some of his friends there). After that, we went to Rhino Bar in Georgetown and had a great night! I wish I would have taken more pictures of this night, but we were too busy having fun I guess.

Sunday, we got up to have brunch, but in the frustration of trying to get into the city, ended up eating at Shake Shack (which just opened in DC near Dupont Circle). Although I had been looking forward to a nice mimosa to start off the day, Shake Shack was so delicious and I'm glad we got to go there. I had been to one location in NYC near the American Museum of Natural History, but none of the boys had ever been before.

After we were finally fueled, we walked around downtown for a while, checking out the White House and the Washington Memorial, etc. Our last stop was the American History Museum, which I had been wanting to go to FOREVER. It was really awesome to see everything and my favorite part was the inauguration dresses of all the First Ladies. I was disappointed that we didn't have much time to REALLY look around, and when we got to the 9/11 exhibit it was 3:30 and the exhibit closed down at 3. But otherwise, the museum was really cool and I can't wait to go back to get the FULL experience.

Since our weekend had been so busy, we were all pretty tired and Sunday night became sort of a chill night. We went to dinner at the Dogfish Head Alehouse in Arlington that was right around the corner from our hotel, which just about made JMC jump out of his pants. Their food was DELICIOUS and their beer was obviously amazing. If you have access to it, you MUST try the Punkin Ale. They only release so much of it every year and JMC and I couldn't find it within 100 miles of Chapel Hill or Charlotte. But its totally worth the hunt.

For a 4 day weekend, we got A LOT accomplished. 

Things I would do over and over again:
1. Georgetown. Everything about it.
2. Taylor Gourmet
3. Dogfish Head Alehouse
4. Nightlife

Things I wish I wouldn't have missed:
1. Close-up Washington Memorial & Lincoln Memorial
2. Arlington National Cemetery
3. Air & Space Museum
4. Newseum
5. More time at the American History Museum & 9/11 Memorial Exhibit
6. Food Trucks

Guess this means I have to go back soon!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Happy Birthday JMC!

Happy 22nd Birthday to JMC!

We have this agreement that 21 is the last birthday that you REALLY have to look forward to. After that, you just get older without getting anything fun for it (besides retirement, of course). So, I am going to bask in the fact that I am stil 21, because come November, its all over. 

Speaking of JMC, be sure to check out his blog, BrewNC!

To celebrate JMC's birthday, we are going to DC for the weekend with two of our friends, who both went to high school with us (and middle school with me). It promises to be a fun-filled weekend with lots of museums, awesome restaurants, and bars! If you have any suggestions of places to go, let me know. I have already been told that I have to get Julia's Empanadas and I'm thinking about trying to catch a cool food truck. And there is no way I'm missing out on a trip to Taylor Gourmet. I wish I had a Taylor Gourmet inside my house (but then I would be enormous from eating too many risotto balls).

We are driving, but DC is only about 4.5 hours from Chapel Hill, so it shouldn't be too terrible. I will be sleeping in the car (I hope JMC reads this so he has a head's up).

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


First of all, I have to give credit to my roommate, VBG, for the idea for a post about keychains.

Maybe what annoys JMC the most is the fact that I can never find my keys. Not because they're ever lost, but because they get misplaced in the bottom of my gigantic Longchamp, often seeming never to be found again. His favorite move is the one where I lift my knee to rest my bag on it to get a better view of every corner of my bag (totally guilty). It has gotten infinitely worse since my bright red pepper spray got taken at a concert and I no longer have that contrast that had served as my guiding light towards where my keys might be resting. Now, I need something that will stand out when I'm digging, making it easier for me to locate my keys (and diminish the amount of time JMC has to wait outside my car/apartment for me to unlock the door).

In searching for a good keychain, you have to consider the fact that you're going to be using your keys ALL THE TIME, throwing them around, laying them places, etc. Therefore, they are going to get dirty. Period. I would probably avoid anything white or pastel, as well as anything that might chip easily.

Here are my picks for cute, practical keychains:

This acrylic monogrammed keychain will be sturdy and won't show scratches very easily. It's big enough so that it will stand out in the bottom of your purse, but not overwhelmingly bulky. Plus, anything with a monogram is automatically better.

The needlepoint keychains from Smathers & Branson are classic and adorable. You can choose from a ridiculous number of design options, including patterns and colorfully stitched items like animals, flags, etc. You also have the option of getting a monogram added to the other side! They are smaller, but can be bright and colorful enough to stand out in almost any bag.

There are some Etsy shops and other online places where you can order the supplies to stitch your own needlepoint keychains (and other needlepoint products), which is what VBG is going to do. She is making one with a black lab on it because she just got a new puppy (named Maybelle who is AWESOME)! VBG is also making MB a needlepoint collar that is going to be absolutely adorable (and hopefully she won't chew on this one like she did her Lilly one).

Sunday, August 28, 2011


I'm no graphic designer, nor a fashion expert, but I'm really starting to enjoy playing around on Polyvore.

For those of you who don't know what Polyvore is, it's basically a website where you can search for different products (apparel, accessories, makeup, etc.) and put them all together in a "set." I had never heard of it until I started using Pinterest a lot, where a bunch of people will pin different sets that they make or like on Polyvore. Some people use ti to display trends for different seasons and things like that, but I just like it for putting outfits together. Here are a couple of the sets I have made in anticipation of the fall:

I wish I knew more about graphic design and stuff so that my sets looked better, but I still like to be able to see what items will go well together, even with things that I already own. Also, Polyvore allows me to look at the MOST expensive designer items, so then I can look for similar things that might be less expensive (or if I REALLY like something, I know what I need to save up to buy).

Seen in sets: J Crew, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Ray Ban, Madewell, Tory Burch, Alexis Bittar

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

On the search for a new bag...

I think its about time that I quasi-ditch the large Longchamp as my everyday bag. Don't get me wrong, I love a good Longchamp. I just feel like now that I'm a "real person" I need a grown-up purse to carry around. I'm sure its going to be a little while before I can get one considering the amount of money I just spent on this gorgeous computer that I'm typing on right now, but I figure if I look now, what I actually want will be on sale when I can buy it! Anyway, I am a really big fan of medium-brown leather, pretty basic bags.

Here are a few of my favorites that I've seen lately:
Michael Kors Hamilton Satchel
Tory Burch Amanda Hobo

Tory Burch Robinson Small Tote
Has anyone else seen any similar cute ones? I am anxious to see what the Cole Haan boutique on Rue La La will have to offer tomorrow!

Lilly Pulitzer Endless Summer Sale - Going on NOW!

Lilly is having the annual Endless Summer Sale right now and they have a bunch of cute stuff! Make sure to hit it up before its all sold-out!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Boots. Love them.

Boots are awesome. For some reason, I used to not like boots... and that was about the dumbest thing I could have ever decided. Luckily I got over that really quickly when I bought my first pair of riding boots from Banana Republic when I used to work there. I still have them and still love them just as much... but after 4 years of wear and tear, it might be time for a new pair.

UGGs, to me, don't count. They are solely for comfort purposes. I have a love-hate relationship with UGGs. I used to SWEAR that I would never own them, but now I do. Sure, I think they make my feet look like potatoes, but then again, its TOTALLY worth it for the furry, warm comfort they provide my toesies. For some reason, there are three parts of my body that are always cold: my nose, my hands, and my feet. I get that I probably have circulation problems, but whatever (and my nose isn't particularly long... so why? I may never know). But anyway, my UGGs take care of my toes. But I will tell you right now - I will NEVER be caught dead in UGGs with shorts, a skirt, anytime between the months of April and September, or at a bar (which would ruin them anyway).

If I had all the money in the world, I would definitely buy a pair of these sweet Tory Burch riding boots. But I don't, so I am going to have to shop around for something much less expensive than half a grand.

Still expensive, but a little more do-able are the options that Madewell has this season. I went to the store and they only had the flat ones and I was really sad that I couldn't try the olive green ones on.

J. Crew has some great options, too, that I saw when I was in their SouthPark store in Charlotte with JMC's mom last week. Their fall line is really making it difficult for me to keep from spending lots and lots of money.

In other news, I'm about to go face the ridiculousness that is move-in weekend in Chapel Hill and try to get some lunch. Hopefully JMC and I won't have to wait too long to get something, because I'm starving after cleaning all morning since my roommate, VBG, comes back tomorrow. I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE HER!!! Living alone all summer has been weird! It will be nice to have some company.

Friday, August 12, 2011

My wait is FINALLY over...

I ordered a new computer!!! I have needed a new computer basically since I graduated from high school. Although I tremendously appreciated the 17-inch widescreen computer that I have been lugging around for the past 4 years, I am long overdue for something more portable.

Thanks to tax-free weekend in NC and being a university employee, I saved like $200 on my brand-spanking-new MacBook Pro that will be arriving to me in the mail very very soon.

UPDATE (read in Unsolved Mysteries voice): My computer is arriving earlier than expected!!! I've been checking the FedEx tracking system religiously, and when I looked yesterday it said it was still in China. But THEN I looked this morning and ITS OUT FOR DELIVERY... and since I have to work, they have this great option for me to have them drop it off at the store and I can pick it up on my way home from work! YIPEE! Looks like I'm not doing anything productive tonight!!

I imagine as I open the box, rays of light will emit from it and I will hear angels singing in the background...

Looking Forward to Fall

Fall is by far my favorite season. Its the best, and I don't know how you can even argue with that statement. Although I could go on for days about why fall is awesome, here are my top reasons:

1. Weather, obviously. As the leaves start to change and the ridiculous humidity goes away (in NC at least), everything just gets better. Its warm enough that you don't have to wear a heavy coat; even at night a light jacket will suffice. I long for those "crisp October nights" of Chapel Hill that Charles Kuralt spoke of so fondly. When you live somewhere that has so many trees that change to an array of reds, oranges, and yellows like Chapel Hill, its hard not to love the fall.

2. Scents. Okay, I don't know about y'all, but walking outside in the fall and getting a faint scent of bonfire gives me this excited feeling that will literally make me stop in my tracks just to breathe for a few minutes. Its not just the natural smells of the air that I love in the fall, but also the burning candles that smell of cinnamon, apple pie, and pumpkin spice. Not that JMC and I don't burn candles that smell like that year-round just to remind us of how great fall is. Obsession? Maybe.

3. My birthday. Who doesn't love the season their birthday is in? (unless your birthday is in any season but fall... just kidding... but really). Although I have come to terms with the fact that 21 was the last birthday that I will ever REALLY look forward to, everybody loves their birthday.

4. Clothes. Boots, jackets, scarves, UGGs... I'm getting excited just thinking about being able to wear a decent amount of clothing and not feel like I'm burning alive.

5. It's acceptable to be pale. Working full-time has really put a damper on my summer tan. I'm already ridiculously pale (which I'm sure my dermatologist will be happy about), so I am anxiously awaiting the fall when everyone else will be pale and I won't look so ghostly in a group.

6. Christmas is coming. Christmas is AWESOME. Just the anticipation of Christmas is awesome. JMC is basically obsessed with Christmas, so we definitely participated in the Christmas in July specials on TV a couple weeks ago (Elf and Christmas Vacation are totally year-round movies, though. Just saying.). His mom starts decorating on November 1st, and you better believe that JMC will have Christmas radio on POSSIBLY starting at the end of October.

While others may not be as obsessed with fall as I am, I think we can all agree that it is about time for this hot weather to be GONE-ZO. 

Lilly Pulitzer on Rue La La Today 11am!!!

I'm so excited that Lilly is going to be on Rue La La again. Last time it was on there, I got an adorable Worth Shift for like $50!! Things go fast, so make sure you get on right at 11! If you don't already have Rue La La, here is a link for an invitation -

Happy Shopping!!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Work-Appropriate Staples in the Heat

Since graduation and starting my full-time job, I have definitely had to make some wardrobe adjustments. Luckily, my office is pretty casual and I can wear jeans whenever I want, but in the summer in NC, that does me absolutely no good. I am constantly stuck in a limbo between how hot it is outside (especially with the heat wave of the last week) and how ridiculously cold it is in my office. Just walking to and from my car before and after work makes me break a sweat, but without fail, I will need a sweater at most 30 minutes after I get to my desk. I am the kind of person who likes to be prepared for everything, so getting ready for work in the morning is quite the routine of preparing for the possibilities of the entire day. Here are a few of the staples that I have relied heavily on this summer (and will continue to rely on through the rest of this ridiculous heat... which could run through September).

I love dresses. How can you beat having an entire outfit in one piece (minus accessories, of course)? They are easy and tend to breathe really well in the blistering heat. Add a Cardigan and you can make almost any dress look appropriate for work. Emphasis on almost.

Basic Lightweight Pants
Before I started working full-time, I honestly didn't own a pair of casual pants that weren't jeans. I had dress pants, but nothing that was really summer appropriate (or that I don't have to wear heels with... bleghh). So I was on the hunt for some simple, straight-legged, ankle-length pants and I found the perfect pair at the J.Crew Factory Store. Subsequently I bought them in khaki, white, and navy. I also have a pair of the J.Crew Oxford Scout Chino, but honestly, I like my factory store ones better.

I don't know if it's possible to own too many cardigans. I basically bring a cardigan with me to work every day because I know I'm going to get cold (I'm freezing right now because I made the mistake of thinking the dress I am wearing wouldn't look good with a cardigan over it. Stupid, stupid, stupid.). My favorite are the J.Crew Jackie cardigans that JMC's mom has so generously showered me with over the past couple years. I'm a lucky, lucky girl.

Basic Tees
V-necks are my favorite, but that's just because I'm bigger on top and crew-necks tend to make me look like I have a uniboob. You can NEVER have enough t-shirts. I buy new white t-shirts more often than I buy toothpaste.

In other news, I can't wait for fall.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The B-friend's Obsession with Beer.

JMC loves everything about beer. He homebrews, reads about it all the time, tries as many different kinds as he can, and has even started a blog about it ( He and his oldest brother (he has 3 older brothers) have sort of fueled each other in their dream to start their own brewery. So naturally, through his obsession, I have become somewhat beer-obsessed as well. Which means I'm totally okay with being a part of this "opening a brewery" idea so I can drink delicious beer for the rest of my life (with the only downside really being the extra calories).

I'm not talking about plain old Bud Light or anything; it had even gotten to a point before we graduated that we brought our own good beer to parties. Sure, some might consider us "beer snobs," but I'm okay with that. It used to be that when someone asked me what my favorite beer was, I would say "Blue Moon." Don't get me wrong, Blue Moon is delicious, but it was just the gateway beer to the ridiculous amounts of amazing craft beers there are surging through America right now.

Whereas for a long time America was scoffed at for our choice of beer, we are emerging with a craft brewing industry with a creativity that, I think, blows many of the European beers out of the water. JMC and I have the privilege of living in North Carolina, where brewing laws are pretty lenient and craft brewing is booming. Asheville has been named "Beer City USA" for three years in a row now, beating out the usual contenders like Denver and Portland. The Chapel Hill/Durham/Raleigh area has some great craft breweries as well, including Carolina Brewery, Fullsteam, Roth, and Aviator.

Last weekend, we toured Roth Brewery in Raleigh and it was awesome. The people there were so nice and willing to talk to us about anything we were interested in. They even told JMC that he could come brew with them sometime! We got to taste all of their beers, and my favorite was definitely the Raleigh Red. It was very drinkable, but unique with great flavors.

Besides Roth, we have been to a number of other breweries in NC as well, including Top of the Hill and Carolina Brewery in Chapel Hill, Olde Mecklenburg Brewery in Charlotte, Fullsteam Brewery in Durham, and Lexington Avenue Brewery in Asheville. If you want more info about our experiences at any of these places, JMC has written posts about most of them on his blog (linked above).

What I'm most looking forward to right now is the Beer, Bourbon, & BBQ festival in Cary this weekend that we bought a Groupon for. The Groupon was for a $35 VIP ticket that includes all the beer, bourbon, and BBQ that you could want. Considering JMC and I basically LIVE for beer and barbeque, this event should prove to be right up our alley. I will definitely give the deets after going on Friday!

Sunday, July 31, 2011


On Friday, my best friend from high school (LET) came to visit me just to hang out at my apartment for a couple of hours since she had plans in Raleigh for the weekend. The last time I had seen her was New Year's at Malaprops Bookstore in Asheville (we were both in town for the Avett Brothers concert... I will have to post again later about how obsessed I am with them), and even then I only got to talk to her for a few minutes. *Here is where I give credit to JMC for being the one who found her in the bookstore and brought her to me. But anyway, it had been basically a lifetime since I had seen her last, which is totally unacceptable and totally my fault (sowwy LET).

So as we are just sitting on the couch in my apartment (which she had never even seen... again, unacceptable) and just generally catching up on eachother's lives, she introduced me to Pinterest.

I had sort of been hearing of Pinterest lately, but I didn't have much information on it. Now I'm hooked. Much like StumbleUpon, Pinterest allows you to surf through things that most interest you by category. I'm pretty sure Pinterest will become my new obsession.

So, thanks LET for inviting me to Pinterest. I can't wait to read your blog (Made for this moment.) and follow your pins!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Merritt's Store & Grill

If you like BLTs, Merritt's Store & Grill is probably the best place in the world (okay, I don't know about the world, but definitely in the state of North Carolina), to get one.

I had heard about Merritt's from a number of articles, most of them with a title to the effect of "Best 100 Restaurants in NC." So, naturally, I had always been meaning to go there, especially when I realized that it was a couple blocks from my office. Never in my four years at Carolina did I make it over there, though, which was a HUGE mistake.

It turned out to be the perfect opportunity to go for the first time last week when one of my good friends who is in dental school picked me up to have lunch and suggested we go there. And then I went again on Monday for lunch because it was that good. JMC is upset with me for going twice without him since he has never been before either, so I promised we would go on Saturday when his mom and grandma are in town to visit. So that will be three times for me in 8 days. Obsession.

Merritt's is a perfect Chapel Hill restaurant for a few reasons:
1. Their food is delicious (duh). Their ingredients are always fresh and the quality of their food takes precedence over everything else. And you can get a single, double, or triple BLT on a wide variety of breads. Perfection.
2. They are proud of their history and have kept things the way they were since they opened during the Great Depression. Except for they added a credit/debit card machine (which is awesome).
3. They have a parking lot. Even though it's small, its one of the biggest in Chapel Hill. If you know anything about parking in Chapel Hill, you know that it's the biggest pain in the you-know-what. If you don't know anything about parking in Chapel Hill, don't come here and try to park somewhere if you're not sure you're allowed to. You WILL get towed.
4. The people are ridiculously nice. Everyone is happy to be there and is always willing to give you a warm welcome when you walk in the door.

If you're ever in Chapel Hill, Merritt's is a place you shouldn't pass up. In fact, now I'm craving one of those BLTs... could I make it four times in eight days?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Must-Haves for Basic Jewelry

When it comes to jewelry, I'm not big on bulky pieces. While I love some sparkle or bright color in an accessory, its the most basic pieces that usually draw my eye. Here are a few things that tend to be my staple jewelry items:

Tiffany Pearls. Earrings, bracelet, necklace. Do I really need to say more?

Kate Spade Basic Stud Earrings. They come in round and square, as well as transparent or opaque. The Round ones are called "Gumdrops" and the square ones are "Sweet Nothings." I have these in about eight different colors (mostly thanks to JMC's mom). but my favorite pair might be the round emerald green ones, which happened to be my first pair. They are the best basic earrings that I own, besides my Tiffany pearls of course.

Michael Kors Watches. Before I graduated a couple months ago, there were very few girls that I knew who didn't own a Michael Kors watch. Personally, I have the rose gold one that JMC got me for Valentine's Day (shown at the right). I also have a tortoise shell watch that I love, but its the one made by Fossil. As much as my watch was a fashion statement at first, I have grown addicted to it and have learned to tell time on it without having to stare at the face for 5 minutes (I've had to learn, since its pretty awkward when someone asks you what time it is because you have a watch on and you pull out your cell phone - totally guilty).

Kate Spade Idiom Bangles.
The two that I have are the "A Shining Light" and "A Feather In Your Cap" (both shown at right). These bangles are SOOO cute. Just enough pattern and design to attract the eye, but not too much as to overwhelm an outfit. Plus, they have the cutest sayings inside!

Alexis Bittar Tapered Bangles. I own four of these and have already bought one for one of my best friends (KPB) as a gift for her birthday! I have light blue, silver, black, and a tealish-green (most recent addition to the collection that JMC got me for our anniversary). I bought KPB a blush pink one that I hope she loved. These bangles are the most basic bracelets that go with EVERYTHING. I'm coveting the gold one right now.

A basic statement necklace. This may seem like a contradictory statement, but in all seriousness, every girl needs a necklace that will go with almost anything while still taking an outfit up a notch. My favorite necklace has to be the one that JMC's sister-in-law got me for Christmas from Ann Taylor LOFT. Its a simple medium-length, bronze-colored metal chain with a couple clusters of rhinestones. For those of you who have HandPicked nearby, I have found some great, unique pieces there for very low prices.

What are your basic jewelry staples?