Monday, November 26, 2012

J. Crew Warehouse Clearance Event

Yesterday, on our way back to Charlotte, we stopped in Lynchburg at the J. Crew warehouse (25 Millrace Drive) for the Clearance weekend shopping event. My friend, Karah, told me about her finds the day before so I knew we would have some luck!

We pulled up to the warehouse and were directed to a back door where we were greeted with a bag and a price sheet/instructions. Shoes were priced at $10 (sandals), $20 (flats), $30 (pumps, wedges), & $70 (boots). Sweaters were $20 and ALL cashmere was $25. Pants & skirts were $10 (!!), and jackets were $40.

The first section you walk past is the shoes. They are mostly organized in boxes by size. The selections were all current or recently on sale, and in brand new condition! I got a pair of the Booker boots in light brown (retail $298) for $70, the Martina Patent Wedges in black (retail $228) for $30, and open-toed leopard patent heels for $30 (can't find online).

I also got red wool City Trousers, gray Minnies(here), a navy brocade pencil skirt, and a wool gray mini (here) for $10 each, and a cashmere sweater for $25.

There are no dressing rooms/mirrors, so I literally just held up the clothes against myself and made a judgement call. If it didn't fit when I got home, I was just going to sell them online or something.

Miraculously, everything fits PERFECTLY! I'm shocked at how the pants fit. I have a really hard time finding them in the right length, and these are great. I'm wearing the red pants right now and have gotten a zillion compliments already! They are the perfect holiday pants :)

We were only at the warehouse for an hour and a half (and saw couple we knew!), but I know we could have done much more if we had the time. Next time I'm going with my sister/friends/mom/aunts for an all-day event! The max you can spend is $500, and I can see where it might be hard to come under! I spend only about $200, and I feel like it was hard to stop!

The only downside was the clothes were ALL together, only sorted by gender (mostly). There wasn't a skirt table, pants table, etc. You had to dig through everything to find stuff. I gave up at one point and walked to the front of the warehouse and then I found all of those great clothes! There was just a whole random section of men's, women's and Crewcuts at the front that had a lot of stuff in my size so I had a lot of options. Score!

Normally we aren't the kind of frenzy shoppers so it was majorly overwhelming but once we got back and tried on our clothes and saw how good the quality was, we were really happy that we stopped. I'm OBSESSED with my new shoes!

Have you hit up a sample/clearance sale? How did it go?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Today Connor & I are working half days then driving up to Fredericksburg to spend Thanksgiving with his family. We have been splitting holidays since we started dating (first Thanksgiving at his house was in 2006!) We go do Thanksgiving with his family and Christmas with mine. His family does a very traditional Thanksgiving...Turkey Trot in the morning, followed by muffins & coffee. I spend the day chopping veggies for the stuffing and helping his mother in the kitchen. We then put the bird in the oven, get ready, and have a blind Champagne tasting (my kinda party!). After a few bottles and maybe a round of Charades or two (getting more creative with each bottle finished), we sit down and have an early dinner.

  Friday is spent either shopping around Caroline Street (with a mandatory trip in to Monkees!) or visiting Connor's Grandmommy in Richmond. We then head back home and get the food ready again for his parent's annual Leftovers Dinner. They invite whoever's in town that year, and everyone brings their leftovers (duh) for some more great food & company.
 It is always a great time! My favorite Fredericksburg people usually come over for a round of pool and some good food

Saturday, we get up and say our goodbyes. We drive to Charlottesville to spend the day with my family. We usually try to take our Christmas Card picture...
There's always a nice dinner and great company! Oh, and Bodo's.

I hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving break!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Target finds

Y'all, Target has really cranked it up this year! Connor & I went in this weekend and I had a really hard time resiting the cute jewelry, purses, and home decor items! Here are a few of my favorite things I saw...

First up, two really cute clutches with gold chain straps. Can go cross body!



And then there was the jewelry display. I stood there for about 5 minutes oohing and aahing over all of the pretties.

This ring came in a bunch of different colors, but the purple was my fave

This bracelet screams HOLIDAY! Love the gold polkadots!
This necklace reminds me of a J. Crew necklace I have. This is a great length and would look awesome with a LBD!
I'm always on the lookout for leopard shoes, and I love these smoking slippers! They're a little big but really comfortable.
Another surprise was finding great work clothes. I bought these pants in the Pink and the Black, and wear one or the other on a weekly basis. They're really comfortable, and a little stretchy which helps when you work at a Culinary school! Also, the length is great. Love wearing them with the cheetah loafers!
And finally, my favorite new blouses...I have this blouse in Black & the White w/ Black Polkadots. I wish I could wear them every day! They're really comfortable, affordable, and SUPER CUTE. Tucked into a high-waisted pencil skirt or worn with skinny jeans, I always feel polished when I wear them.

Love the ruffle neck, the buttons, and the ties. The details are exceptional for the price!
So basically run to your closest Target for some great, affordable items!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Wedding weekend!

Last weekend, Connor & I drove up to Fredericksburg for his middle sister's wedding weekend. We drove up after work on Thursday. It took us 6 hours and one Agatha Christie book on CD to keep us entertained. I was so glad we went up there that night so we could wake up on Friday and get to work!

Friday, we had a nice breakfast catching up with Connor's oldest sister, Marianna, and her family. They live in Reading, England, and we see them only about once/year for Thanksgiving. She has a son, Etienne Michael, who is turning 4 in January, and a 4 month old daughter, Maxine, that we hadn't met yet. It was awesome spending time with them!

We then all got to work. You can see we had lots of piles to be taking various places: out of town gift bags for the hotel, flowers, vases, & burlap runners for rehearsal space, champagne for reception, tulle for church...we were busy!

 We also spent lots of time doting over our niece & nephew.

Isn't Maxine the cutest?
 That face. Making her smile was the most rewarding experience!
 I can't believe Etienne Michael is almost 4! He's such a big boy. Here he is showing off his new firetruck shirt. He's obsessed with trucks!
 I just can't. She's ADORABLE!
 Connor and I went over with the Bride-to-be to the Rehearsal dinner space. We put linens on the tables with the help of one of her bridesmaids.
 One of Mrs. C's friends helped put the flowers together. She was so quick and amazing!
 The finished tables. I thought they looked so good! Florence & Brian had a BBQ caterer, so the checked tablecloths, the burlap, & the galvanized buckets looked so great together!
 Setting up
 The event space was gorgeous! The view from the windows was spectacular.
 Card table & an awesome arrangment
 Gary Melcher's house, Belmont. It was a perfect day with perfect weather!
 This is the event space. Love the stone work!
 The walkway from Belmont to the event space
 Love old southern houses!

After setting up the space, we went back home and cleaned up around the house. We also got to babysit more! Love these kids!
 Etienne LOVES Bowser
Helping his Granddad  with the yard work
 And posing in front of his favorite car!
 After we finished up the yard work, we got ready for the rehearsal at the church. Connor's mom was over most of the day helping set up. It looked beautiful! I was baby-wrangling during the rehearsal so I didn't take any pictures. I'll post the professional photos when they're up!

We then headed over to the venue for dinner. Brian's dad made an awesome slideshow that he spent 100+ hours on! It was great. The speeches were hilarious and heartfelt. It was an awesome evening!
 Florence with her bridesmaids that made it that day! Due to the Hurricane, they were 2 short as most of their friends live in NYC!

Saturday I didn't take any pictures at all. Blogger fail! Our day consisted of cleaning his parent's house top to bottom to set up for Brunch the next morning as well as babysitting.

Florence came back to the house around 2 with the Bridesmaids to take pictures. That meant we had to wrangle the kids into their outfits and get ready ourselves! It was a very quick 2 hours.

We got to the church around 3:45 for the 4:30 ceremony. Isn't Etienne Michael dapper in his tux? He was MAJORLY cheesing! Cracked me up.
 Miss Maxine in her sweet knit dress. That smile. I melt.

After the ceremony, with beautiful readings and music, we stayed to help clean up the space. Then we headed over to Fredericksburg Square for the reception. My parents & aunt were invited so they happily took Maxine off of Marianna's hands during the cocktail hour!

Family pictures were taken, and then it was time to eat! They had buffet food set up, including lots of veggies, salad, prime rib, and chicken. It was good!

Dinner was followed by dancing and cake. Such a fun night! After it was over, all the young people headed back to the hotel and we all had drinks. It was so much fun!

Sunday, we set up the house for Brunch. Mrs. C prepared about 8 quiches, and we also had ham biscuits, pumpkin muffins, bagels, and fruit salad. About 50 people came, so it was quite busy! Connor & I hit the road around 11. It took us about 5.5 hours to get back, and we were exhausted!

It was such a fabulous weekend, meeting Brian's family and celebrating the marriage of his sister to an incredible guy! They spent the week in Mexico relaxing and soaking up the sun.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Halloween Activities

 I'm a week late on posting our Halloween activities but I promise you this is the end of Halloween recaps.

The weekend before Halloween we carved pumpkins and I was too lazy to upload my pictures. Here they are!
I found an awesome template online for carving a Boston Terrier. Yes, I'm obsessed.
 You had to tape the outline on the pumpkin and then prick along the edges to mark where you carve and where you peel. Peeling is HARD.
 It took me about an hour to finish it. How do you think it came out?
 I thought it turned out pretty well. This was my first attempt are REAL carving. Not just spray painting or making weird faces.
My friend Kristen made the cutest little pumpkins for the kids she went to babysit that night. She's so creative!
 This was Kristen & Bryan's second round of pumpkins. The first time theirs rotted. I read if you sprayed with bleach and water then it keeps it from rotting. Definitely helped ours.

Kristen free-handed the one on the left. SO TALENTED. And Bryan's was silly, of course.
 Here's a peek at our decorations. I didn't do a great job taking pictures from our party since I was so busy catching up with people.

Spray-painted mini pumpkins gold and found some cute signs online
 Our bar. I got a lot of decorations last year that were reusable so that was great! Our friend Ryan bought the light up pumpkin that we loved having on display.
 The Jell-o shots that were THE DEATH of me. Slime (lime), Blood (black cherry), & Pumpkin Guts (orange)
 Kristen brought over dessert in the shape of fingers. They were really yummy but grossly realistic!
She also made the cupcakes. They were those chocolate-bottomed ones. YUM.
 The spread
 Mummy Dogs (half hotdogs with slivers of crescent dough wrapped around). These were a HUGE hit!
 Blood 'n bones (pizza dough/breadstick dough cut into the shape of bones served with marinara). These didn't turn out as well but looked good!
And now for what you've all been waiting for....our costumes!

Bowser was an unimpressed pig. Target has the BEST costumes for dogs.
And here we all are! Connor as a Farmer and I was Bacon! Circle of life. I know it's kind of dark but I wasn't very inspired this year.
You can see how I did it: Bought 2 pieces of poster-sized foam board from Michael's. Cut them into 2 strips of bacon each. Took thick craft paper and cut a  made wavy strips to keep it white while I spraypainted it Wine-colored.
 Spray paint was easy! The color came out really well, too. I was surprised.
 Laying out to dry. The total time spent was about an hour.
 Bowser was also a bat. That's his favorite costume (i.e. everyone's favorite costume for him). He was, again, unimpressed.
 Ryan as a furry frog. Kinda creepy :)
 Lady Gaga-esque, construction worker, serial killer
 Frog Head was not destined to stay on long

I hope y'all enjoyed the recap. Halloween was so fun this year! Now I'm really looking forward to Thanksgiving, where we get to see all of our family.