Wednesday, July 31, 2013

DIY & a tour: My vanity

I had a pretty productive day on Friday. We get "early release" in the summers, when the students aren't here, so I get to leave at noon on Fridays.
I had lots of errands to run, so I started out in South End. I decided to grab my favorite sandwich at Common Market, a Tuna Melt on 9 Grain, and a root beer to wash it all down. It was funny, I almost grabbed a real beer, since I didn't have to work anymore and there were other people having one. But I knew I had stuff to get done so I didn't want to immediately become lazy and unmotivated.
After my yummy lunch, I walked over to Modern Fabrics to browse. I knew I wanted to recover the bench I use at my vanity, and Modern is the best place in town to get discounted designer fabrics. They have a great website where you can order online, and they'll ship it to you if you're not in town!
I picked out a yummy cream cheetah print, which I think goes nicely with our deep red oriental and dark wood furniture. What do you think? So gorgeous.
I have used them before for 2 other projects, and they were all so helpful each time! I recovered a bench from my grandparent's house, and I also recovered my dining room chairs, again from my grandparent's. When I was recalling my past fabric purchases to the guy, he ended up giving me a discount because I am a loyal customer. Isn't that awesome? This place is the best, I tell ya!
So I went home, and gathered my supplies. For some reason, I didn't finish the 8th dining room chair, I think because I ran out of staples, so I got out that last piece of fabric and finished that before doing the vanity. My tools were: Phillips Head screwdriver, Flat Head Screw Driver (to get out old tacks/staples), Scissors, Staple Gun, Measuring Tape   
  Before: Stained cream velvet on chair {Probably 40+ years old! But the chairs themselves are GORGEOUS, right?}  + Stained pink fabric from Connor's grandmother's vanity bench

Of course I neglected to take an "after" for the chair. But here's the vanity! Much improved.
And because you're so fabulous, I decided to give you a little tour of where I get ready in the mornings...
I think it looks perfect in the space!
Here is the vanity in all its glory. I LOVE it! It is big enough for me to lay out all of my sparklies. I keep sunglasses in the top left skinny drawer, jewelry boxes on the left side, and my makeup in the right drawers. Luckily this thing has a lot of storage, so I can keep it relatively uncluttered.
I used old small bowls and the like for my rings and studs, and a big silver tray to catch those plus some bracelets
An old white platter holds my lippy, the polish I use most often, and my perfumes
Our ring box that I painted for our wedding holds my nicest rings & earrings. Plus a locket with pictures of my Papa and my Great-Grandfather's monogrammed tie pin. Also, the tag for my bouquet. I'm quite sentimental {read: hoarder}
I use this jewelry stand I got at Ikea last year {but can't find a link online, sorry!} and I mainly use it to hang my big earrings. Also pictured is my bobby pin holder, which was on my grandfather's desk and has his name etched on it. I also framed the card Connor gave me on our wedding day, which says "I like the way you're put together".
  What does your dressing area look like? Do you keep everything out of sight? Or do you like to see your "investments", like Carrie Bradshaw?

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

#CM2013 {ceremony details}

  Good morning! Here is a look at our gorgeous ceremony. We decided to have it outdoors on the "Hill", which overlooks the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains. It was definitely a huge risk, considering we didn't rent a tent for the Hill, but we lucked out in a MAJOR way with the weather! I think it was about a high of 75 that day, perfectly blue and clear, but it was really windy. Luckily, the wind made our ceremony arch installation even more breathtaking. Enjoy!

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Faves

5 Friday Faves link-up with A. Liz Adventures, Carolina Charm, Hello! Happiness & The Good Life!

 :: ONE ::

Thank you for your thoughtful comments on yesterday's post. You really brought me out of whatever pit of despair I had put myself in. I am going to get through this. Y'all are the best.

 :: TWO ::

 I wanted to create my own professional-looking photo album, with flush-mount pages and a nice cover. I read about BrideBox, and it sounded to be exactly what I was looking for. You download the software and then go to town! You can fully customize the layouts, or use a pre-designed template. I'm obviously doing the DIY route, because I enjoy making my life more difficult. I can't wait to see how it turns out!

 :: THREE ::

 My Best Friend's Birthday!
She's joining me in the 26 Club on Tuesday! I will be driving to Charleston to celebrate with her next weekend. It is going to get WILD!

 :: FOUR ::

Yesterday we got our Canvas Prints that I ordered last week AND I got the BaubleBar earrings.  Yay!

:: FIVE ::

 HRH Prince George of Cambridge
It was an exciting week! I love the Royal Family (remember, I even invited Wills & Kate to our wedding! AND they responded!), and thought it was so sweet the way they came out together. They looked adorable and that BABY is so adorable!

That's it for this week. What about you? What are you feeling this week?

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Post-Wedding funk

Y'all, please tell me I'm not the only one. Ever since we got back from our honeymoon and I got back into real life, I have felt weird. I've got the post-wedding blues
I don't have vendors to e-mail, wedding blogs to stalk for inspiration, decisions to make, crafts to when I get home from work I've been trying to stay busy. I've put away all of our gifts, written all of our thank you's, purged our old stuff, organized and re-organized our kitchen. I even opened an Etsy shop. But I'm still feeling like I need to do something. I feel like something's missing.
This is a weird, whiny post, I know. Poor me, I don't have to plan a wedding anymore. Maybe it's that my Dad had surgery and that is hard to deal with. But something that consumed my life for 18 months is now over and done with.

Maybe I realized that I need to plan weddings full time, or at least make things for weddings. Maybe I just need to make some goals for myself this summer and fall to stay busy. When does this feeling end?
How about you. Did you have a nagging feeling that something is missing?
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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

St. Martin Honeymoon: Days 6-11

{In case you missed them, here are the other 2 posts from our Honeymoon in St. Martin!}
Days 1 & 2
Days 3-5
Our last few days in St. Martin were just amazing. We had been on the go quite a bit, and now it was time to RELAX!

:: Sunday ::

Connor's co-workers and clients have been to the neighboring island, Anguilla, many times. They stay at Cap Juluca, which is a fabulous resort in Maundays Bay. They highly recommended going, so we decided that on Sunday we would take the 20-minute ferry. We were so glad we did!

The ferry leaves from Marigot, so we of course stopped by one of the two amazing french bakeries, Le Sucriere (they are right next door to each other, and both delicious!) We were really getting used to the French lifestyle...

It kind of rained on the way over to Anguilla, so no photos of the ferry. We had to go through passport control (I have a stamp from Anguilla, love it!), and the guard even chatted with me in French because he thought I was French from my (old) last name. I was like "Uh, my family is from Quebec??" I need to learn French I think....

Anywho, we took a cab to the Viceroy in Meads Bay, which is another fabulous resort (Anguilla has many) designed by Kelly Wearstler. I loved her on Bravo's Top Design, and from looking her up, apparently she's from Myrtle Beach! Interesting.

So we pretended like we were guests of the hotel, and walked around the property to the beach. We heard many great things about the beaches in Anguilla, and we were so impressed. The sand was like super fine sugar, and it was shallow for about a half mile. Very nice wading water!
After walking on the beach for a bit, we walked back through to look at the hotel lobby
The property is very light gray concrete. It was definitely not what we were used to seeing, as most of the resorts are either bright colors or white. It was very modern
I loved every single chair and decorative item. She has quite the taste!
This was right by the bar. I mean, COME ON
These were chairs. Aren't they awesome??
Views of the more populated part of the Bay from the hotel 
So we were really told to go to Anguilla to eat at Jacala. It is a beach front fancy French restaurant that also happened to be super laid back. I was into it.
We grabbed a seat, and the owner/host brought us out Rum Punches. It might have only been about 10:30 but whatevs.
We had an incredible view! It was really a perfectly gorgeous day. I went out for a nice swim, and it was just so peaceful. There wasn't anyone around, because it was the low season in the islands. The water around the Caribbean is super salty, so I floated really easily. It was so fun!
  One of the lunch patrons came in by boat. This place is famous, I tell ya!
We got hungry around 12:30, so we dried off and walked in. The host, Jacques, greeted us like we were old friends and immediately brought us out a bottle of Rose. His partner, Alain, is the Executive Chef. They're there almost every day!
For our first course, we ordered the Tuna Carpaccio (sesame oil & seaweed) and a chilled cucumber soup with a frozen tomato mousse. Both were so refreshing on the warm day!
Jacques is quite the host, and here he was scooping out the meat from the lobster for a guest.
Happy hubby!
Happy wifey!
For our entrees, we ordered the lobster (caught THAT morning, he brought around a bucket to show each guest how active they still were!) and grilled whole snapper
I was a little scared to dig in. It was a LOT of food!
Let's just say that it was the most memorable meal we have had. The snapper was just so fresh and light. They grilled both to perfection! The lobster was sweet and salty, just how it should be. The entrees came with a wild rice dish and potatoes. The lobster was served with this incredible butter & cream sauce, and we dunked EVERYTHING in it. We wanted to drink it, it was so delicious!
After we finished our lunch, we obviously needed dessert. They had a pot de creme on the menu, so we shared one. It came with two mini meringues that were like little clouds! So yummy.
We relaxed on the beach chairs with a couple more rum punches, then walked back to meet our cab drive. We had luckily set up a pick-up time, so he was there right on time! I was surprised. 

We were sad to leave Anguilla, but know that we will definitely be back!

:: Monday ::

The next day, we had to leave our palace in Cupecoy for the French Side. I was sad but knew that we had 4 more days left in paradise.

We finished up the last mango and bananas and then hit the road
I found a little apartment, again through VRBO, in Cul-de-Sac Bay. It is a gated community, and was a little hard to find.  We drove around for about 20 minutes trying to get to the gate!

Our place was perfect! I was relieved. The owner grew up in Paris, is a fashion designer, and has made St. Martin her home with her husband and children. She greeted us and gave us the tour, showing us the kayaks that come with the apartment and the little beach. She was so nice!

The apartment was very modern, and very European. It felt like we were living in an Ikea catalog!

She even had fruit, rum, and a little welcome basket for us, so we didn't have to go to the store right away. She was so thoughtful!
Our little plunge pool, and view of the Bay. I'm so glad we were on the Bay, as it was very quiet and peaceful
We had already stopped at the supermarket before we got there, and we loaded up on snobby French cheeses, cured meats, and baguettes. Again, we LOVE eating like this!
We were tired so we just hung out at our pool, drank rum punches, and relaxed. We even watched a movie!

 :: Tuesday ::

 On Tuesday, we decided to kayak to Pinel Island. It was about a 20-minute cruise, and it is an island that has 2 restaurants on it. You pay for chairs & an umbrella, and the handsome Fabian takes care of you all day. We were paranoid about bringing our camera, so we don't have any pictures. Don't worry, we went back and brought my iPhone and have great photos from Thursday!

We obviously loaded up for our adventure. Pastries and apples
That night, after a wonderful day at the beach, we decided to check out Le Ti Bouchon, which was right in our little neighborhood. It was another incredible French meal! 

We started off with the escargots in creme, butter, garlic, herbs. YUM.
I ordered the seared tuna with sesame oil on ratatouille. How gorgeous is this?
Connor had a steak with grilled veggies. It was incredible!
 And because we obviously needed dessert, we ordered the chocolate served 3 ways. It was rich and I don't think we could finish it.
 With our amazing host, Momo! He has quite a following, as most of his customers come the same time every year! We were lucky enough to meet 2 couples who met 10 years ago and come to Momo's together. It was great meeting big fans!

:: Wednesday ::

We drove in to Grand Case on Wednesday. We knew there are a lot of little shops and French restaurants, so we toodled around. We toodle a lot.

We stopped by a group of Lolo's (barbeque grills made from old oil barrels), and sat down at the Rib Shack. It came highly recommended from Lucy, our hilarious waitress at Coco's in Marigot, so we followed her advice. It was another delicious meal!
The photos are super yellow, we were under a yellow awning
We ordered fried fish bites, ribs & chicken. There were many sides: fries, plantains, salad, and rice. We definitely did NOT eat it all. But we tried our best!
After lunch, we walked our food off on the beach
It was fun seeing how they cook their food!
Busy, narrow streets
Um HELLO gorgeous turquoise wall!
We meandered back home, stopping at Rhum Ma Doudou. It was in our neighborhood, and it is a local rum maker. They had all sorts of flavored rums, spices, and hot sauces. We needed to bring back gifts back for our friends who watched Bowser, so it was fun to stop in and do a tasting.

The pink shack is their store. It was tiny!
We brought back lots of rum and goodies!
That night, we grabbed pizza from Villa Pizza at the bottom of our neighborhood. It came highly recommended from the apartment owner. We picked a veggie pizza, and one with olives and anchovies. It was thin, crispy, & delicious!
I think we just had a few beers, played cards, and went to bed early.

:: Thursday ::

We got up early, and had some mini croissants & jelly. So French.
We decided to kayak back to Pinel, and we are so glad we did that! I wrapped my phone in a zillion layers of plastic wrap, and it made it.
 Look at these views!   
These were the chairs & fancy umbrellas at Karibuni
We had Fabian bring us water to start, because it was still only about 9:30 when we got there
  We played lots of Rummy 500
  By the time it was drink o' clock, I decided on their blended rum, pineapple, & coconut punch. It had cinnamon sprinkled on top, and was deadly but so delicious
We had the most PERFECT weather for our last day! 

For lunch, Fabian recommended the lobster. We happily obliged! Hey, you only go on a honeymoon once, right?
We also got a fabulous Mahi Mahi burger. We were in hysterics when he brought our our huuuuge platter!
It started to rain a little bit as soon as our food came, so we walked into the actual restaurant. Here is my happpppy guy! We love lobster.
I saved some of my salad to feed the iguanas. They were huge and kind of creepy but not scared at all!
After the little storm, we went back and relaxed for our last few hours in paradise
Obviously we ordered more rum punches. We loved Pinel because we didn't have to drive home anywhere, just kayak!
Our last night, we dressed up for a few pictures
 {dress from J.T. Posh}
And we had the leftover pizza. We both read, played cards, and watched a movie. It was a perfect last night!

:: Friday ::

We packed up, cleaned, and got ready to leave. One last obnoxious breakfast photo!

It was really rainy, which means St. Martin didn't want us to go. We didn't want to leave!
 We drove through Marigot for one last coffee and to get our beloved tuna nicoise sandwich to go. We then headed to the airport in Simpson Bay and dropped off our rental.

We made it through security and then had 2 hours to kill (they want you there that early). We killed our sandwich, and had a few beers with our round of Rummy. Our plane was an hour delayed, due to a wicked storm around Charlotte, and we finally boarded.

We made it through customs somehow without them checking our bags (we declared spices, rum, etc, but they didn't stop us!) and headed home to see our pup.

We had the BEST time in St. Martin, and would highly recommend it to anyone. There is a lot to do, but you have the freedom to just sit on a beach and drink all day if you want. It was our version of paradise.

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