Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bridal Talk Tuesday - Pretty Bouquets

Life with Elizabeth
Happy Bridal Talk Tuesday girls! Today is Corey's mom's birthday. Happy birthday to my future mother-in-law! We'll be enjoying a fun birthday dinner with her later this evening.

I've had bouquets on my mind lately! Aren't these all so pretty?

I just love peonies! I think they're the prettiest flower. 

Isn't this bouquet to die for? I love, love, love it!

Love the touches of grey. So pretty!

Fabric flower bouquet. Gorgeous!

Broach bouquet. So unique!

Love this! Perfect combination of cream and pink. (minus the feathers)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Misc. Monday & Weekend Recap

Miscellany Monday @
lowercase letters
with Carissa at lowercase letters

Happy Monday ladies! I have to say, I wish this past weekend had been longer. I am not ready to be back at work today!

Corey and I had a really relaxing night Friday night. We were both completely exhausted so we ordered pizza and had a bottle of wine and we both went to bed pretty early. This week at work really wore me out and I appreciated the extra rest.

On Saturday, the weather was beautiful so we took Riley on a long walk. At mile seven, I stopped to tie my shoe and when I looked up, this is what I saw.
Seriously, melts my heart.

Then, I spent the afternoon relaxing and cleaning the apartment. We headed into the city for dinner at Masak, a Singaporean restaurant in the East Village. It was delicious. I especially enjoyed the Quih Pie Tee appetizer. Yum! (And our bottle of sparkling wine, of course.)

I wore my favorite fall/winter top, a crocheted tunic from a local boutique with gold flats and accessories.  I used to wear high heels almost every day but I'm finding that I'm wearing the taps off way too quickly with all the walking everywhere.

We headed to Corkbuzz, a wine bar afterwards for a few glasses of wine. It had a super fun atmosphere.

Sunday, we ran errands all morning and I cleaned the refrigerator. I really hate that chore. I'd say its my least favorite - although laundry is a pretty close second.

I've been on a major health kick lately, seeing as how the wedding is only 194 days away. I weighed in at nine pounds lighter than my first weigh in with my personal trainer on Friday and that really inspired me. Only five more pounds and lots of toning to go.

I finally did my nails on Thursday night. I chose Essie's Fun in the Gondala. I have no idea what collection it is from. I've been neglecting my nails lately but I'm trying to get back on track. I've also been neglecting my spray tanning, but I'm getting one on Wednesday.

Can you believe its almost February? Holy cow, time is seriously flying by. That's giving me a little bit of wedding anxiety (getting everything done, etc.) but also I am so, so, so excited!!!

Have a great start to your week lovelies!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Product Must-Have: Primed and Poreless

Happy Thursday girls! I was thinking I'd start doing short features on products that I love and that I consider "must-haves" every so often. Today, I want to introduce you all to Primed and Poreless by Too Faced Foundation Primer.

If you don't already own this, run - don't walk - to Ulta and pick you up a bottle! It is amazing and I absolutely love it. I can use just a little bit and it makes my skin feel silky smooth - like cashmere. It has a little bit of a tint to it (it goes on tan, not clear or white like some primers) and I think this really helps create a nice, even base to my makeup. I use it after washing and moisturizing my face. I let it dry thoroughly then apply about a pea sized amount with my fingertips. I've used it under both my BareMinerals foundation as well as a couple liquid foundations and noticed a huge improvement over the primer I used to use. Amazingness! You must give it a try.
It also comes in a "tinted" version, which I haven't tried yet but I imagine is great if you use a very lightweight foundation, have very tan skin, or just wanted to apply a primer and a little translucent powder. It has an SPF so this would be fabulous during the summer months.

Have a great day lovelies!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bridal Talk Tuesday - Recent Pinspiration

Life with Elizabeth
Thank goodness for Pinterest. I am constantly falling in love with new wedding ideas because of that site. Lately, I'm inspired (pinspired?) by...

I'm loving the idea of a dessert bar or cookie buffet. How fun!

I think the idea of a vintage suitcase as a cardholder is so cute. Our wedding will be very classic with a few vintage elements so I think this would be perfect!

I love gold candlesticks. I love how these were used to hold flowers as well as candles. These can easily be crafted out of inexpensive candlesticks.

I haven't given much thought to our programs yet so I have no idea if this would be appropriate, but isn't this such a sweet idea? Love the happy tears tissues.

What a neat way to save the bouquet! I will probably have mine preserved but also really love this cute idea of turning the petals into a Christmas ornament! How special!

Happy Bridal Talk Tuesday girls! Want to join in? Link up below! xo

Monday, January 23, 2012

11 Things {I've been Tagged!}

The lovely Lindsey at Vineyard Loveknots tagged me in the 11 things virtual tag game that's been going around blogger! So here it goes!  

The Rules
1. You must post the rules.
2. Post eleven fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you've tagged.
4. Tag eleven people and link them on your post.
5. Let them know you've tagged them.

11 Fun Facts
1. I'm obsessed with shoes. I consider them an art form and will buy a cute pair even if I don't have an outfit that matches yet. 
2. I love being a blonde and am terrified that my hair color will darken as I get older. My mom's hair changed from a dark blonde to brunette when she was pregnant with me. I'm sure other blondes agree - its a state of mind more than it is a hair color. 
3. I didn't make any serious New Year's Resolutions this year. I've already been pretty successful with my wedding weight loss so my only resolution is to clean our kitchen every night so its always perfect.
4. Pink is my favorite color and has been for most of my life. I was the pink power ranger for Halloween when I was seven. 
5. Its hard for me to focus on anything that isn't wedding related right now. I'm so excited for August 11.
6. I've recently become a lover of airbrush tans. Love, love, love them! 
7. I want to buy something in Lilly Pulitzer's Kappa Kappa Gamma print even though I'm not in college anymore. If I was in college, I'd probably buy every item Lilly offered with my precious fluer-de-lis and golden key. 
8. I have fluer-de-lis all over our apartment - had to sneak some Kappa love in even though I'm an alum now. 
9. I love Essie nail polish. I try to paint my nails twice a week so they always look perfect. 
10. I treat our dog like he is my child. He is beyond spoiled. And when I say our dog, I mean the dog my parents purchased for my graduation but I secretly adopted while Corey was out of town on vacation with his family.
11. I'm terrible at most sports. Softball, flag football, tennis. 

11 Questions from Miss Lindsey at Vineyard Loveknots
1. Favorite TV show?
Grey's Anatomy has been my favorite for years but I am seriously loving Revenge this year!
2. Heels or flats?
I love heels. I love how pretty they are and how they make my legs and butt look great. But I wear flats most of the time because I walk everywhere and like to be comfortable. 
3. Are you superstitious? 
No, not really. I've never been one to get caught up in superstitions. 
4. Favorite perfume?
Vera Wang Princess. My pageant director bought it for me when I was in college because the bottle has a crown on it but I loved the scent so I've been purchasing it ever since. 
5. Are you a Jackie or a Marilyn?
Most definitely a Jackie. I enjoy a good night out but I always aim to keep it classy!
6. Favorite magazine?
Cosmopolitan. Its my guilty pleasure. I have a subscription so I never miss an issue. Glamour is a runner up. 
7. Favorite candy?
Dove Promises in dark chocolate. And Snickers bars!
8. Siblings?
None! I'm an only child. 
9. What celeb would you trade places with for day?
I love Rachel McAdams. I think she's pretty awesome and so talented. I've also always been a Jennifer Aniston fan. 
10. Favorite time of year?
Spring and Summer. I could live in Jacks and sundresses forever.
11. Dream car?
BMW 528 or 535. With the heated steering wheel and seat warmers please.

Tag! You're It!

11 Questions from Me to You!
1. What is your favorite way to spend a weekend?
2. If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?
3. Are you a warm weather person or a cold weather person?
4. If you could live anywhere in the United States, where would it be?
5. What is your guilty pleasure?
6. Who is your favorite character from a book and why?
7. Where is your favorite place to shop?
8. If you could go on a date with any celebrity, who would it be?
9. What has been your favorite vacation?
10. What is your biggest pet peeve?
11. What is your favorite article of clothing? 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snow day!

It's a beautiful, snowy day here in Hoboken! We are relaxing and planning a nice, warm dinner with Corey's parents. I'm feeling so much better today so we took Riley out to play in the snow. He's only seen snow twice before so he didn't really know what to make of it but seemed to enjoy himself.

Of course I bundled him up in a jacket and boots before we went out so he wouldn't be too cold!

Happy weekend girls!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

One of life's little curve balls...

...happened at work yesterday morning.

I'm currently laying in bed, still recovering. Sore, exhausted, and with a huge black eye. Corey is taking good care of me but refusing to commit to going out to dinner this weekend or doing anything in public because he's afraid people will see my swollen, black eye and think he beat me!

Corey did take me out last night on the way back from my emergency doctor's appointment for pizza and wine from the most amazing pizzeria ever. If you're ever in Hoboken, you must eat at Grimaldi's!
 I had a number of glasses of Pinot Grigio with my pizza.

Fresh mozzarella, the most amazing sauce, fresh basil, and onions (and olives on my side).

Then, I promptly went home and crawled into bed, where I have spent almost every free moment since. To hear the full story of my most recent adventure in Kindergarten and how pencils can be an occupational hazard, hop on over to Lipstick, Lattes, and Lesson Plans.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What I'm Loving Today!

Happy Wednesday girls! Today I'm linking up with Jamie at This Kind of Love for What I'm Loving Wednesday.

I'm loving the great weekend I had this past weekend. I mentioned that one of my Maids of Honor was in New York. She and one of her law school friends flew up for the weekend. I met up with her and another sorority sister from college and her friend met up with a couple college friends of her own. We had a big group of girls and spent Saturday doing lots of the fun touristy things in New York.
 Girls in Grand Central Station
 Kappas in the NYC Public Library - where Carrie and Mr. Big almost got married.
 With Elizabeth, my MOH, at Bryant Park.
 The girls in Time's Square
with Elizabeth at Rockefeller Center

I had fun sight-seeing because we did go into some famous shops and stores that I never take time to stop into but the most fun part of the weekend was catching up with friends from college and a full day of girl time. I had such a fabulous time. 

I'm loving luxurious master baths on Pinterest. I have to say I'm really content with our apartment. Its half the size of my old townhouse but huge by metro NYC standards. I've even come to terms with the lack of closet space. The only thing I really don't like is the bathroom. Its the smallest, ugliest bathroom on the planet. Of course, I cutened it up when we moved in but still - I'm missing my old garden tub and his and her sinks.

I'm loving this Kate Spade bag. Ahh..Kate Spade is my favorite. Kappas have impeccable taste.

Speaking of Kappa Kappa Gamma, my chapter will be welcoming its new sisters this coming Sunday. I'm loving that and I'm really loving that I'll be a great-great-great grandbig. I was (and still am) super close to my Kappa family so I get so excited this time of year every year. 

As always, I'm loving my sweet fiance 
and this cuddly puppy

Happy, happy Wednesday! We're halfway to the weekend!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bridal Talk Tuesday - Choosing a Planner

Life with Elizabeth
Happy Bridal Talk Tuesday girls! I hope you all had a fabulous three day weekend. I definitely did!

One of my coworkers recently got engaged on New Years Day and she is just beginning the planning process. She asked me now that I am nine months in to planning, what is my biggest piece of advice. While I have a world of tips and advice to share with her (take your time, enjoy being engaged, splurge on a great photog, etc.) my single biggest piece of advice would have to be - hire a planner. And hire a good one.

Her response was, "Really? Do you think I really need one?"

Absolutely. The week after I got engaged, I went to visit my grandbig from my sorority, Ashley.

Photos by Meggie Velasco

Yep, those photos are from the front lawn of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville where she got married in June 2010. It was the most beautiful, perfect wedding ever (at least until mine in August!). While sipping Pinot with Ashley and her mom to celebrate my engagement, they both offered up the most important piece of advice - hire a planner. I consider Ashley to be an expert on this. Take a look at those wedding photos again. Flawless. Fabulous. And everything went off without a hitch - a perfect evening for not only the happy couple but their 400 guests.

I knew I needed a planner because Corey and I would be living in New Jersey while the wedding planning was taking place home in Charlotte. But I think that regardless of how close you're getting married to where you live, a planner is necessary.

We chose Cortenay at Carolina Wedding Design. We looked at CWD's portfolio online and read reviews from other real brides on a variety of websites (the Knot, Wedding Wire, etc.) All the reviews were glowing. The business is a member of the BBB and both partners have extensive experience in the wedding and event industry dating back over a decade.

Carolina Wedding Design offers three options:
Marry Me 
Full service wedding planning from "Yes" to "I do" and everything in between.
Mentor Me 
Guidance in planning a wedding, vendor suggestions, to do lists, budgeting information, and a planner to help put the finishing touches on during the last four weeks.
Mend the End 
Put the finishing touches on and coordinate with vendors you've already chosen during the last four weeks before the wedding. Basically, handle all the last minute stresses and make sure there are no surprises. 

We chose the Marry Me package and are so glad we did. Cortenay has been such a blessing. When I have an idea, she knows how to make it happen. She knows what vendors to call and where to set up consultations. She has been able to negotiate contracts and has already paid for herself in savings from our venue and other vendors.

She acts as a big sister and gives great ideas and encouragement but also gives me tough love, which sometimes you need when planning a wedding. Yes, I may love elegant letterpress invitations. But no, it is not reasonable to spend $3,500 on stationary with my budget.
Color board Cortenay designed for me.  ©CarolinaWeddingDesign

I couldn't imagine planning a wedding without her. I'd definitely not be able to get everything I wanted. She searches endlessly to make my ideas come true. But she also helps save us money. In the budget, she has thought of absolutely everything and added in gratuity and service charges already so there won't be any surprises. Every vendor in Charlotte knows her and has wonderful things to say about her and her partner, Heather.

I think hiring a planner is a necessity. Whether you choose a full service package or something more like the mend the end depends so much on what you're needs are - how big will your wedding be, does your venue offer catering and decorations themselves, do you want to add a lot of DIY touches, etc. If you hire a planner, you'll definitely not regret it. I've had some really crazy wedding nightmares (supposedly this is common!) but when I wake up I can relax because I know Cortenay would never let me forget to pick up my bridesmaids' gifts or wrap Corey's wedding day gift. She'd never let me forget my veil in New Jersey and she'll tally the response cards and send them to the caterer for me. Basically, a planner lets you be two places at once, do more than one person can do alone, and because they're a professional, they'll do a better job at it.

If you're getting married in Charlotte, you should definitely hire one of the CWD women. Email me and we'll chat!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Refreshed and Rejuvenated...

...is how I'm feeling today.

I had the absolute best weekend. I enjoyed drinks and dinner with friends on Friday and said goodbye to a sweet friend who is moving to Boston. My Maid of Honor was in New York on Saturday so she and I and a couple other girls spent a long day out and about in the city. As much as I love all my friends in Hoboken and New York, it was very refreshing to spend a day with some of my college favorites.

Kappas at the NYC public library - where Carrie and Big almost got married. 
Hopefully I'll be able to share more details and photos later in the week. 

Sunday Corey and I took a long, seven mile walk with Riley. Then, we ran errands before meeting some friends to watch the Giants playoff game. Which was amazing! I even got a little excited and pro football is not my fav. We went out with friends afterwards and celebrated the win but also being off work today by staying out way too late. 

Corey and I slept in until ten this morning. That absolutely never happens but it felt great and I feel so refreshed. I have the whole day today to clean our apartment, work on some wedding things, and then take the Christmas boxes to his parents house where we're planning to cook them dinner. 

A three day weekend was exactly what I needed after being sick for six weeks. I feel like I actually need a three day weekend every weekend - I would get so much done! I'm actually pretty excited for this week. I feel like I can get back into my normal blogging schedule, my normal gym schedule, and my normal cooking schedule. (We've been eating a lot of take out and spaghetti while I've been sick.) 

Extra sleep and an extra day off to relax has really made me feel energized but I think seeing my old friends is what really improved my mood this weekend. I love all of the friends I've made since moving here, but there's something so uplifting about laughing for twenty minutes over something silly we did in college or a special inside joke you have with a friend you've known forever.  

I'll post more photos from my weekend later this week. For now, I'm enjoying a day to get things done around the apartment and spend time with Corey. Happy Monday girls! 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Confessions

I confess...that I've been neglecting my blog lately. Sorry girls! I've also been neglecting my manicure and spray tanning but that's beside the point. Life and work are crazy busy right now and I was sick forever - so I feel like I don't have any spare time or spare energy right now. There are days where by the time I go to work, get home, and go to the gym it is already time for bed. And I will have gone a whole day without doing anything I wanted to do at all. Thank goodness I have a three day weekend this weekend.

I confess...that I've learned a lesson about pushing myself while I'm sick. When I don't feel well, I will take it easy for two or three days but then I'll push myself. I will pick up going to the gym, even if I only do weights, and I will continue to be social on the weekends. I am finally 90% back to normal but am just now recovering from five weeks of a sinus infection, ear infection, walking pneumonia, and bronchitis. Seriously, I don't think I've ever been sick this seriously for such a long time in my entire life.

I confess...that I'm in full-on wedding mode ever since our Save the Dates went out and people started mentioning that they've received them. I could talk about our wedding for hours on end. In case you were wondering, it is 210 days away!!!

I confess...that I'm having a really difficult time deciding on flat black boots. Living in an area where I walk almost everywhere, I really need a pair of black boots that are flat and comfortable. For the most part, my 124 pairs of high heels stay in the closet except for weekend nights out and special occasions. I've exchanged three pairs of boots and am thinking about going back to these, my initial choice.

I confess...that I tried the new Fiber One brownies because I loved the advertisement - dessert for the dieting woman. They definitely don't taste like a real brownie but you can pretend if you use your imagination. 
I confess...that I told Corey I was going to move home to South Carolina yesterday when I woke up to a torrential downpour, freezing winds, and flooded roads. My school is 6.4 miles from my apartment and it took over an hour and a half to get there and when I did, I had to pay for parking because the lot was full and walk in the rain. I also confess that I had a sour attitude most of the day.

I confess...that I haven't been using my camera enough. The battery has been dead since before Christmas and I can never remember to charge it. I haven't been taking pictures of anything! I didn't take a single picture of pretty Vermont on our ski trip or how cute I looked in my ski outfit. New years resolution, maybe? Take more photos. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bridal Talk Tuesday - Final Save the Dates!

Life with Elizabeth
Happy Bridal Talk Tuesday ladies! Corey and I are so excited because our Save the Dates are finally out! I am so pleased with the way they turned out. I've edited out all the personal information for our privacy but wanted to show you all the Save the Date we chose.

I've always loved elegant, traditional Save the Dates. But I also love how personal photo Save the Dates are. I feel like we found the perfect combination in the Save the Date we chose and I love that it is in pink and gold - our wedding colors! 

I've also been busy finalizing shuttle and limo transportation contracts. Well...mainly our wonderful wedding planner has been busy finalizing the details and I have been busy signing the contracts. We have been updating our website and adding engagement photos since Save the Dates are out and our guests will be checking it more frequently. 

My Maids of Honor and I have been discussing showers and my bachelorette party details. I'm so excited for these events coming up, and can't wait to choose some dresses from the Lilly Pulitzer spring line to wear to these occasions. 

Corey and I are starting to look more seriously into honeymoon destinations. We know we want to go somewhere tropical but are worried about hurricane season in the Atlantic so we are thinking more seriously about Hawaii or Tahiti. 

So all in all lots and lots of little wedding tasks are happening all at once now. I've had a couple crazy wedding dreams. Maybe I'll share those next Bridal Talk Tuesday. They are pretty hilarious. 

We're getting married seven months from tomorrow. I can't believe our wedding is so close! It seems like just a few weeks ago that I announced our engagement to you all in the blog world but it has already been nine months! Wow! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wednesday Loves

Happy Wednesday ladies! This week is flying by. Love it when that happens!

Today, I'm loving that I have a short week this week. I had Monday off and I am leaving at noon on Friday because Corey and I are going to Vermont to go skiing with some friends.

I'm loving my sweet fiance because he ventured out to the pharmacy in the 16 degree New Jersey weather in search of a Neti Pot. Girls...remember how I mentioned I was sick like three weeks ago? I'm still sick! I have a sinus infection and ear infection and someone recommended the Neti Pot to me over the weekend so I was desperate to try anything as antibiotics are taking way, way too long.
Such a sweetheart!

I'm loving that my sweet puppy wears a jacket to go outside because it is so cold. He looks so cute and has three different jackets to choose from - two puffer coats and the lightweight jacket pictured below.
A little blurry because he was so excited to go outside and wouldn't stay still!

I'm loving vintage inspired dresses from The Shabby Apple, one of my favorite online boutiques, who have recently asked Life with Elizabeth to be an affiliate. 

And this little number that would be perfect for some wedding - related event.

I didn't love waking up early yesterday but I'm loving being back at work with my kiddos. They are too funny!