Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Bachelorette weekend in Charleston

Y'all. I have the BEST friends ever! We did it up last weekend in Charleston for my bachelorette party. There were 10 of us who went and we had the best time. Here's a breakdown of the weekend.

On Thursday, Doran, Karah & Bekkah drove down to Charlotte from Charlottesville to break up the drive. It was nice having house guests (though our house was a disaster from Taste of the Nation stuff!). We took them to Mert's for dinner and they loved it. If you haven't been you're missing out!

The famous cornbread
 Fried chicken, insane Mac & Cheese, & collards

We went to J. Major's to visit my dress in the morning. It was the first time Bekkah & Karah had seen it on me so it was fun showing it off! We also hit up JT Posh and I got a really cute dress for that night.

We had a few stops on our road trip, Frugal MacDoogal's being first
 And drinking a summer shandy in the BP parking lot!
 When we finally got to Charleston, my first requirement was eating lunch at East Bay Deli! I used to eat here on a weekly basis in college. Get the Carolina with honey mustard!!
 We stayed at the Hampton Inn right by Marion Square. Highly recommend this hotel! 9 of us shared 2 rooms. I slept on the pull out couch.

Connor sent me with 3 presents to open at different points through the weekend. My first present was PreToxx pills for preventing a hangover. Can I tell you about these? THEY WORK. (please excuse the scary face, I was just so excited for presents!)
 We threw our swimsuits on and hit the pool. We knew that it would be our only day of sunshine. Unfortunately there was a major storm headed our way and we only got like 30 minutes of sun.
After pool time (and a few Skinny Girl Margaritas!) we got ready for dinner.
Here Karah & I posed with a stripper cute cop. He actually lives across the street from an old friend from college! And please excuse the pregnant-looking pose. I HAD to show you how cute the dress is! It was a weird angle....maybe
Lara's boyfriend works at the Wild Olive on John's Island and Lara worked with the chef to come up with an AWESOME menu for the 10 of us. She even brought the perfect wines to pair with the meal. It was an OUTSTANDING meal. We drove through a monsoon to get to the Wild Olive but let me tell you...it was WORTH IT!

Snacks from the kitchen: Crispy calamari with marinara, garlic aioli, lemon, parsley
Bruschetta with rapini, purple cape beans, chile flake, garlic, pecorino sardo
House cured salumi (as in like Duck, Venison, Wild Boar....YES) with mozzarella, caponata, chicken liver rustica crostini
Tagliatelle alla Bolognese with ground pork and veal, parmesan, white wine, milk, tomato
Ricotta gnocchi with marinara, mozzarella, basil. OK Y'all. THIS GNOCCHI. I mean I can't even describe how perfect it was. I couldn't get enough! What I loved about this place is that everything was made in house. YES PLEASE
We sat at the awesome community table and had a ball. It was such a great night!
After our plates were cleared, something SPECIAL was brought out...
Yes. It is exactly what you think it is. Lara's friend baked it! It was HYSTERICAL
Everyone got into the fun

After we made lots of friends with the special cake, we made our way back downtown and got in bed. How cute are Meredith & Kristen all snuggled up? Not sure why I took this picture but I'm sure the wine had something to do with it...
The next morning I felt pretty good! Thanks PreToxx!!

Karah gave me a special badge, "I ride bareback". I wore it all weekend
We walked to Kudu for some caffeine and then to Virginia's for brunch. We sat upstairs at a big table and the bottomless mimosas started flowing.

I got the quiche of the day. It was great!
 Connor got us bachelorette koozies for my Saturday AM gift. He knows me so well...

The girls! Love this pic!
After a great brunch, we divided & conquered. Most of us went to go get our nails done. I got a great hot pink color for the evening's colorful festivities!
Kristina & I were done early so we headed over to CVS to pick up a few things, and then headed to Mellow Mushroom. Lara met us for a few beers and pretzels
 Then we headed up King Street towards Forever 21. Charleston has the biggest & best one! Love pretending like I'm 17!
 I got a really cute belt that I needed for that night, and I'm so glad I got something otherwise I never would have seen these cute makeup bags in the impulse-buy aisle! Seriously, Boston Terrier-patterned anything? SOLD.
 After that we went to the old Vickery's (now a place called Leaf) for a beer. Gotta put that koozie to good use!

We met everyone back at Yo Burrito, my favorite place in the world, at 5:00. We got mason jar margaritas and lots of queso, guac, & salsa! It tasted like college
 Some of us headed back to the hotel to rest up a bit before our big night out. We had so much fun getting ready together!

My one Bridezilla requirement for the weekend was WIGS. I thought if we all had colorful wigs on it would be so much fun...and it was!
I mean seriously? Everyone looked AMAZING in their wigs!
I mean....I can't even. We looked FABULOUS! And it was great because no one got lost!
 We had  BIG BIG night on the town. We hit up Wet Willies and then some other random bars on East Bay. The last bar is where I made my Tambourine debut...
It was the best thing EVER. I "dropped a tam beat" to Adele's Rolling In The Deep. I had so much fun! The video is on FB....

After my big moment, we headed back to the hotel. I of course love playing paparazzi and took these hilarious pics:
All of my stuff
Late night cravings
Kristina passed out like this, it was so cute!
The next morning, we got up and said goodbye to the girls who had to drive back to VA & ATL.

Mary, Meredith, Kristen, Lara, & I headed to High Cotton for a classy brunch. Yes, I wore my jacket with the Bareback pin. And my Bride To Be pin that lights up.

We got donut holes with bacon glaze for the table and then I got the Fried Oyster Florentine. I ate about 1/4 of this and then was immediately full. It was so rich! But delicious
Lara had to head back home to catch up on her life (she was out of town that whole week in NYC documenting the International Olive Oil Competition). The rest of us took a much needed walk around the battery before we said farewell to my favorite city.

It was a wild weekend and it was just PERFECTION. I enjoyed every minute of it with my besties!


Friday, April 26, 2013

DIY Friday: All of the projects I signed myself up for

So it looks like it's going to rain again here in Charlotte, so this is the perfect weekend to get more DIY wedding projects done! Our wedding countdown is 29 days as of today. I had a minor panic attack yesterday when I realized it was 30 days. For some reason, being under the 30-day mark is frightening!
My friend Kristen and I went through all of the little details that I still need to do so here is yet another list to scare any of you bride-to-be's! (cue eye roll)
  • Paint cornhole boards
  • Paint ringbearer box
  • Paint easel & create Ceremony signage (not making programs)
  • Old pictures of M & C
  • Old pictures of family
  • Window frames: what to do with the 2 I've collected
  • Card Box (Going to Sleepy Poet tomorrow)
  • Music (This is the hardest thing to decide on!)
  • Finalize ceremony readings & outline (dragging our heels on this)
  • Groomsmen gifts
  • Cake cutting instruments
  •  Welcome Bag snacks & itinerary (luckily Mom's helping with that, she got the Welcome to VA stuff)
  • Jars for flower arrangements (saving $5/arrangement on rentals)
  • Order rehearsal dinner flowers
  • Buy white ceramic pitchers for rehearsal dinner arrangements
  • Create signage for
    • Bathrooms
    • Ceremony
    • Reception
    • Games
    • Special surprise
    • Food
    • His/Hers drinks 
    • VIP/Reserved tables?
    • Bride/Groom?
 We've gotten a lot of other stuff done so I'm not feeling too overwhelmed but I know there is still a good amount of stuff that needs to get done this weekend. I'm hoping to knock out at least half of this list!
I hope y'all enjoy the weekend!


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: HONEYMOON!

So we're getting married in 31 days. Details.

BUT we're going on a 10-day honeymoon to St. Martin in 34 days! I am honestly more excited for that right now than the wedding. Rude, I know. We just need a VACATION.

How we decided on St. Martin was a long process. Our first requirement was a short, direct flight from Charlotte. We talked to a bunch of people who suggested Anguilla so we thought we were going to stay at Cap Juluca. Then we did a ton of research, decided we didn't want to be locked in to a resort for 10 days, and decided on renting an apartment so we had FREEDOM to move around the island. That's when we realized Anguilla basically only has resorts, and we focused on St. Martin.

St. Martin has a ton of restaurants, shopping, beaches, nightlife, and activities. There are a lot of apartments, complexes, resorts, B&B's, etc so it was pretty easy finding a place to stay. We used VRBO to book, and it was simple.

The island is governed by both the French (north half) and the Dutch (south half). We decided to split our time evenly between each side(5 days each), because each has a lot to offer. We will be renting a car so it will be easy to go around the island.

Our first 5 days will be at a 2-bedroom apartment with a big pool in Cupecoy. We have a little private beach right in front of our apartment. Baller status.
Our side patio with a grill! We'll probably be grilling lobster on the daily.
Fabulous gourmet kitchen
The second half of our trip will be spent in Cul-de-Sac Bay right by Pinel Island. This is on the French side and our little apartment comes with 2 kayaks for us to explore Pinel. It is a tiny island that has 3 restaurants that serve you in beach chairs ALL DAY LONG. The tourists have to leave at 6PM so the people who can swim/kayak there can stay and watch the sunset. Seriously. We will most likely be doing that every day.
Not as nice of a pool, but a pool regardless.
Pinel Island is to the right. There is also a little private beach for us to lay out on.

We're pretty independent people and we love to cook so not being able to get in the kitchen for 10 days when there's fresh fish & seafood right outside would have been impossible to pass up. It's going to be so much fun using the fresh ingredients St. Martin has to offer!

We can't wait!