a seaside affair, part I::

Last weekend, we took a trip to Seaside, FL for two friends’ wedding. We and our friends rented 3 cottages right in the middle of “town,” if you can call it that because it’s so small. We had the most amazing time — gorgeous weather, pretty houses, great seafood (and food trailers), a beautiful wedding, and the best group of friends. I did come to the realization that I have a problem, though. I officially take an obscene amount of photos, especially when weddings and vacations are involved. I took 200 pictures last weekend, for crying out loud! There are far too many favorites to share, but here’s a glimpse at Travis + Anna’s wedding weekend!

Our pretty yellow cottage with bright blue doors and 4 balconies and porches.
With views of the ocean and only a 1-minute walk to everything in town.


The Meltdown…. I had the exact same thing for lunch 2 days in a row, and I contemplated getting it on the 3rd day.
I love a good grilled cheese — and add bacon to that, and you have my heart!



Beautiful, beautiful beach. Our playground for 3 days.


Shameless plug…. the La Totale Bag from Stella & Dot is the perfect beach bag.
Water bottle holder, lots of pockets, wipeable lining, and waterproof on the outside.

View from the top!



Craig got his oysters at the Great Southern. 

Hanging out with the bride at Bud and Alley’s.




Why can’t we do this every weekend? I need to win the lottery.

Because there were far too many photos from the actual wedding, stay tuned for part 2 this week!

A Few of My Favorite Things (21)

[pretty rings on an old tree.]

[outfit of the week (for the beach):
neon shorts // cream blouse (similar here) // leopard belt (similar here) // Kimberly Necklace // Fiona Earrings // bracelet stack]

[Lunch at The Meltdown on 30A food trailer – Three Cheese Grilled Cheese with Bacon.
To die for.]

[Our home in Seaside for the weekend.]

[I will never tire of this view.]

[Such a fun, beautiful beach wedding – 4.27.13.]

travel bucket list

We love to travel. It’s one of my most favorite things to do, and we do it often. There are so many places I’d love to explore for the first time, and another large handful of places that I can’t wait to go back to or take Craig to for the first time. Being the list-maker that I am, it makes sense that I should create a travel bucket list to keep track of all the adventures I’m going to take one day! It’ll be fun to cross them off one by one and add more as we go. Where in the world is on your travel bucket list?

1) Drive the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to San Diego in a convertible.

2) Go whale watching in San Diego on a Navy SEAL Rigid Inflatable Boat.

3) Hike to the top of Stone Mountain, just outside of Atlanta
(this should have been done a long time ago given that we’ve lived here since 2006!).

4) Hike the Grand Canyon.

5) See the El Arco de Cabo San Lucas (Lands End) —  DONE, August 2013

6) See the La Sagrada Familia and all of Antoni Gaudí’s work in Barcelona, Spain.

7) Take Craig to Cinque Terre and hike between the 5 towns. Most gorgeous place I’ve ever been.

8) Pet a Kangaroo in Australia.

9) Visit the Acropolis in Athens and island-hop through Greece.

10) Travel through Scotland, Ireland, and Great Britain.

11) Ride in a hot air balloon in Arizona or New Mexico. — doing this in April 2014!

12) Tube down the river and play in Austin, TX with friends.

13) Revisit (and take Craig to) Innsbruck, Austria, where I studied abroad in college.

14) Take a big anniversary trip to Bora Bora / Tahiti / Fiji. Probably won’t be able to afford it till we’re 75, but a girl can dream, right?

15) Maybe we could swing a trip to Maui more easily? Our family went when I was in high school, but I’d take any opportunity to go back!

16) See the tulip fields and take a boat tour of the canals in Amsterdam.

18) Go on an African safari.

17) Stay at the Biltmore during the holidays — and check out all of the amazing food in Asheville!

18) Spend a weekend in Savannah and do a “slow ride” tour. How have we never been there?

A Few of My Favorite Things (20)

[fresh fruit overload at the international farmers market]
[red velvet twinkies. my new favorite dessert.]

[quick kitchen art project + an adorable treat jar for coco.
the cities represent milestones for us, from where we met to where we now live.]


[and my brass animal collection begins with mr. rhino]

[the berry mintelow cocktail @ 5 seasons]

Working events makes for a hectic week…glad that’s over! We were fortunate to have another low-key weekend at home, though. We went out to listen to a band Craig likes at a little old house-turned-restaurant/bar, and we also scored a private room at dinner with several friends on Saturday night. Love those rare weekends in town where we just sort of make plans as we go…. but so looking forward to this coming week, as we leave bright and early Thursday to celebrate a couple friends’ wedding in Seaside, FL!

date nights for you + your favorite


I’ve started keeping a list of my favorite date night ideas to spice up our weekends and free time. There are so many fun adventures to take around Atlanta and the surrounding areas, yet we usually end up doing the same things.
So here’s a list of some of the fun things we have done or want to cross off our list!


1) Spend an afternoon at the zoo or aquarium.
2) Go bowling – loser buys dinner!
3) Play putt putt golf & celebrate the winner with ice cream.
4) Go-kart racing!
5) See an improv comedy show.
In Atlanta, we love going to late night shows at Dad’s Garage Theatre.
Relatively cheap tickets, buckets of beer, and gut-busting comedy. Can’t beat it.
6) Have a picnic in the park.
Bring your blanket, wine, and cheese… turn on some music on your phone and watch the sunset!
7) See a drive-in movie.
Perfect for those warm spring and summer nights. Pack drinks and dessert to enjoy during the movie.
8) Have movie night in with a popcorn bar.
Pop in a movie, light some candles, and make your own little popcorn bar,
complete with butter, m & m’s, peanuts, or whatever other fun toppings strike your fancy.
9) Take a cooking class.
10) Visit an art, history, or science museum.
11) Spend a Saturday morning at the local farmers market.
Stock up on some fresh goodies and make a meal together when you get home.
12) Visit a local festival or fair.
So many option – food and/or beer festivals, craft fairs, music festivals, and even BACON fests (if your city is so lucky).
13) Attend an outdoor concert.
14) Take a day trip to a nearby town.
Always wanted to check out a nearby beach or mountain town? Hop in the car with a map (or your GPS) and turn up the tunes.
Visit a mom and pop diner, specialty boutiques, wander the parks… and be sure to pick up a little souvenir to remember your day.
15) Take a bike ride around the city.
16) Go on a winery tour.
17) Go thrifthing/antiquing.
Find something to re-vamp and make your own.
18) Get tickets to a professional baseball / football / basketball game and cheer on your home team.
19) Volunteer at a local animal shelter or organization of your choice.
20) Have a backyard bonfire with s’mores.
21) Get all dressed up in your finest and see a show at the theater.
22) Take dancing lessons. Learn the Waltz or the Tango… it’ll be fun to practice in your kitchen later!
23) Go to a Mystery Dinner Theater.
24) Get pedicures together! You know there are lots of guys out there who would love it.
25) Keep a list of restaurants you both want to try. Take turns picking a new place every couple weeks.
26) Go sky high with a hot air balloon or airplane ride over the city.
27) Get a hotel room.
Put on the plush robes, order room service, and stay in for the night.
28) Have lunch at a food truck park.
29) Visit a pumpkin patch in the fall.
Decorate your pumpkin together when you get home.
30) Hit up the driving range or the gun range.
He can show you how to perfect your swing/shot… or you can show him!
31) Go to the county fair.
Act like kids… ride the rides, overload on corn dogs/cotton candy/funnel cakes, have your faces painted, play games and win a goldfish.
32) Test drive a car just for fun.
33) Specific to Atlanta, go see a children’s puppet show at the Center for Puppetry Arts (shameless plug).
Wander the Museum and make a puppet to take home as a souvenir of your day!
34) Go on a quest to find the city’s best dessert… so what if you have to try 2 or 3 places in one night?
35) Re-enact your first date. Go all out and have fun remembering what it was like when you first started dating!

A Few of My Favorite Things (19)

[The Summer Collection is here from Stella & Dot!
PS — I’m doing a really fun GIVEAWAY with my friend Natalie this week! Just hop on over to NattyMichelle.com and
enter to win either the navy ikat How Does She Do It tote bag or the elephant Pouf!]

[Biggest sock puppet I’ve ever seen. Coming to the Center for Puppetry Arts soon!]

[lunch break with my crazy girl]

[neon green trees]

[Welcome to Nashville.]

[hot pink running shoes scored at the outlet]

[“meeting” baby Roos]

Last week was a good one. It started off with a dinner date with my friend Karen ($2 tacos @ Noche – yeah!), continued with my first summer collection trunk show at my friend Lauren’s, and then ended with a trip to Franklin, TN to visit Craig’s family.  Aside from the driving, it was a really relaxing weekend spent hanging out with his parents/brother/sister at home, having lunch with his grandparents, and visiting some of his longtime friends down the street — and “meeting” their soon-to-be baby boy! That was one of the first times we’ve gone back to visit without having a million bazillion things on the agenda, and it was so nice.

a quick little bathroom DIY

Wednesday, 4/10 was our 3 year anniversary of moving into our house. (oops — totally forgot that the other day!) For months and months and months, I’ve been trying to figure out how to fill the wall space in the small room that houses our toilet in the master. I wanted something functional for storage, but not a giant wooden cabinet. So after we successfully built and stained our guestroom headboard, I decided we could just build our own shelves and make them what I wanted.

Here’s a very blah before photo::


Craig had a couple pieces of cabinet grade board left over from another project,
and they magically happened to be just the size I needed, so no cuts were involved.

We were very precise in our measuring for shelf placement. 

To prep for staining, I lightly sanded them (mostly just the edges).

I had some leftover stain from the guestroom headboard, and I loved the way that turned out, so I used it for the shelves as well.


I waited several days for the shelves to fully cure, and I bought four 6″ metal brackets from Home Depot (2 for each shelf).
Time to install!

My live-in handyman.

The install was pretty quick — Craig just screwed one side of each bracket into the bottom side of the shelves,
and then he screwed the other side of the brackets into the wall.

I bought this cute rectangular woven basket at Target, and it’s perfect for holding toilet paper! 

This cute little white sea urchin is from Target as well.  I think he gives a nice clean pop to the dark shelves. 

The finished product! These shelves bring great contrast into this little room and
also provide some fun storage for practical use — and cute decorations.

beach essentials

Who is ready for the first beach vacay of the season? I am really wishing I was a teacher or a student right about now so I’d get to enjoy a week-long spring break like so many people on facebook seem to be doing. I do take some solace in the fact that we’ll be heading to Seaside, FL for the wedding of two friends at the end of the month, and we have a couple other really fun beach trips to look forward to throughout the summer.  So I guess I can’t complain. Being the planner that I am, I have of course already been putting together a list of items to pack for our beach trip. Here are some of my favorite beach essentials for the summer!

beach essentials 2013

sunscreen // swimsuit // flip flops // sunnies // beach towel // tote bag // scarf (sarong)

Sunscreen:  I was reading through the March issue of Lucky Magazine this weekend, and came across this powdered sunscreen called Tickle Time. It was created by Anne Heche for her kids and is made from 100% all-natural minerals. I know most people despise putting on suntan lotion (me included), so I’m very intrigued. It’s $35 per tube and says it lasts for more than 300 applications. I think Ima’ have to get some.

Swimsuit:  Everyone needs a cute swimsuit for their beach getaway. I prefer to get a few new ones each year, so I usually shop at Target and mix & match my suits for more versatility throughout the season. I actually got the top shown above (just $14!) and picked up some pink bottoms to match the ties. I’m really enjoying the separated from Victoria’s Secret as well — they’re just a little more pricey.

Flip flips:  I’ve been eyeing TB’s fun, patterned flip flops for a couple years now, and I just might have to break down and get myself a pair before our beach trip. They’re $50, which seems a little steep for plastic shoes to wear with your swimsuit, but they’re just so cute. And if they’re anything like the TB flats, they’re well-made.

Sunnies:  I love a good pair of sunglasses, but these are fun for summertime and definitely won’t break the bank. I love the mint green accent, and I love the price, too — they’re just $12.99 at Target.

Beach towel: I recently stumbled upon Haymarket Designs when looking for custom koozies I wanted to have made for my SIL’s bachelorette party (seen in the post from last week). Their website is sort of cuteness overload with all the different options for customizable gifts. The $55 beach towels are so preppy and fun — they kinda make me want to drive straight to the beach right now just so I can use one of them. And with your name on your towel, you’ll be sure nobody steals your pool chair!

Tote bag: You’ll need something to carry all your beach supplies and goodies, and what better than a fun summer tote? This “How Does She Do It” tote just debuted this week with Stella & Dot’s Summer Collection. It comes in several patterns, but the bold blue ikat pattern is sure to turn heads. The bag has a top-zip, snaps on the sides to make the bag smaller, the lining is a gorgeous green with several pockets (even one for a water bottle!), and it’s a steal at only $89.

Scarf:  Why would you need a scarf on your beach vacay? To use as a sarong, of course! I LOVE this new Stella & Dot turquoise ikat summer scarf! It’s just $59 and can be worn several ways as a stylish swimsuit coverup during the day, and then you can wrap up in it at night if the weather turns breezy!

A Few of My Favorite Things (18)

[healthy eating – and pretty, too]

[cotton candy trees lining our backyard]

[funky patterned maxi dress]

[Pen and ink drawing of the Georgia Theatre by the talented Natalie Kilgore.
And such a cute idea for an invitation!]


[Is spring finally here to stay in GA?]

[weekend railroad walking]

[lazy baby]
After being out of town on the bachelor / bachelorette trips last weekend, this stay-at-home-and-do-nothing weekend was much appreciated. We had (almost) no set plans and spent our time cooking dinner, going to the gym, playing in the park with Coco, working on home projects, and just enjoying the beautiful 70+ degree weather. We also had a little dinner date with two friends on Saturday at one of our local sports bars for the Final Four game. We were in bed by midnight both nights and it was awesome. Oh, and I may have spent a couple hours at the mall. Oops. And on a side note, Craig started the Advocare 24 Day Challenge this week, and in an effort to support him, I’ve given up desserts and sweets for the month (maybe with a cheat day here and there). One week down,  three to go! Happy Monday — hope your week is a good one!

what happens in vegas…

As soon as my brother and his fiance got engaged last April, their bachelor and bachelorette trips were one of the first things to be planned. Andrew decided on Charleston and Lauren decided on Las Vegas. Both were set for the last weekend in March. We had 11 girls attending Lauren’s trip from all over the country, and most of them had never been to Vegas — so needless to say, there was a lot of excitement going into the weekend. This would be my 4th bachelorette trip there, so I happily took the reigns in planning. Well, that and also because I have an obsession affinity for planning things. And of course “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”…. but I had to share some highlights.

I made goody bags for all the girls (thanks to Sarah M. for the great idea on her sister Meg’s bachelorette trip last summer!)… and again, since I love to plan, I had the best time putting these together. I then realized that because we’d be there over Easter weekend, I was essentially giving out miniature Easter baskets… which Craig thought was hilarious and very “mom” of me. I guess that’s fitting since I was one of the old ladies on the trip. The goody bags included: personalized koozies (found them on Pinterest),  glow stick bracelets (because who does Vegas without glow sticks?), pedialite packets (for rehydration…because it’s so hot out there…), Cheez-its, and candy. I think they were a success!


The lovely bride, all decked out in her white boa at the airport!



We started off with a late night dinner at Javier’s, a Mexican restaurant at the Aria Hotel, where we were staying. We lucked into this ah-mazing private room, complete with the largest table I have ever seen. We had 11 girls and barely filled half of it. There were gorgeous fresh flowers and candles everywhere. And really beautiful sparkly walls. The salsa was really spicy and good, ritas were delicious, and my food was fine… but I wanted to stay just for the room.


First stop: Moon at the Palms. Every time I’ve been to Vegas in the past 10+ years, we’ve stayed there, so it only felt right to pay a visit. Moon has always been a busy, fun club on top of one of the towers at the Palms, but it was sort of dead while we were there. It does have a retractable roof and a fantastic view of the entire Strip from their balconies, though. And this is a pretty fun sign for a photo op.


This was my first stay at the Aria, and omg, I loved it. The hotel is so technologically advanced — as soon as you swipe your room key, the curtains open to reveal a massive wall of windows, the tv and lights turn on, and your name pops up to welcome you on a little directory on the nightstand. They also had a large assortment of restaurants, bars, and the most yummy French bakery. We had brunch at Cafe Vettro the first morning — I got the chicken and waffles… they were so good, I almost ate my plate.


Pool party #1 @ the Liquid Pool at Aria. Hands down favorite thing we did all weekend.
I love a good pool day, and it can’t get much better than 2 poolside beds with dedicated waitstaff.



Dancing at XS @ Encore. Prettiest indoor/outdoor club I’ve ever seen. It was like an enchanted garden outside. Didn’t want to leave here either.


2 visits to Todd English Pub. Make your own Bloody Mary menu, giant soft pretzel sticks & cheese sauce, mini corn dogs…. what’s not to like?

After pool party #2 on the last day, we had our most favorite meal — pizza delivered to the hotel!
We celebrated our last night with a pizza dance party in our bathing suits and bathrobes, and it was so.much.fun.

Vegas is such a funny place. There is hands down the BEST people watching in the world. Nobody sleeps and nothing ever closes.
There’s bright lights, dancing, amazing restaurants, over the top clubs and hotels, casinos so big you literally need GPS to find your way out,
and more sparkly clothes than should be allowed in any one place. It’s like adult Disney World.
I could never in a million years live there, but it is so fun to visit — for a max of 3 days. Till next time!