Friday, August 30, 2013

Five on Friday: more randomness.

Yay! It's that time of the week again. For some reason I just LOVE this link-up. I'm all about some randomness and to be honest, I rarely plan my blog posts. This kind of post is perfect for me to put down all the thoughts bouncing around in my head to share with y'all! 

I was so excited when I heard the Nordstrom has shoes on sale up to 40% off! Paired with a gift certificate that has been burning a hole in my pocket, this is an opportunity I don't feel like I can pass up. For some reason I am stuck on the "statement flat" and loving the pink. I'm obsessed with the Kate Spade one, but they're a little more expensive and I've heard they're not as comfortable. I've heard great things about Sam Edelman flats but I'm just not sure I'm sold. Do y'all have any advice?!

Sam Edelman "Felicia" flat

Kate Spade new york "Tock" flat

I'm so excited because my mom and dad are coming into town this weekend! Because of Andrew's class schedule and financial limitations, we weren't able to make big Labor Day weekend plans, but it will be great and low-key with lots of good food and city exploring! I've been homesick these days so it will be so nice to have a few more familiar faces in the capital city!

I think everyone has been blogging about this, but I am SO excited for football season to start back! I'm not sure how many games we'll actually make it to, but there's just something about wearing your team colors and knowing that fall is just around the corner! This weekend we'll be cheering on the Clemson Tigers as they take on the Dawgs and I'll be keeping up as my little Terriers battle it out in Texas against Baylor! 
Terriers on their way to Waco!

Everyone has been all about the Pumpkin Spice latte that's back at Starbucks, but to be honest, I don't think I can even think about them until the temperature drops about 10 degrees! These days I am CRAVING a Frappuccino... I don't think I've had one in a year. I'm trying to be good when it comes to my coffee drinks (money and calorie wise!) but I may just have to splurge this weekend! 

I babysat for our neighbor's little boy last night and for some reason it made me SO happy. The 3 year old is so good and sweet and according to his mother's text this morning, he just loves me! It's such a blessing to have friendly neighbors and the opportunity to get to know new people. The mom told me she gave my number to other moms down the street, and I was so appreciative! Andrew and I have been struggling with feeling "at home" here and this is definitely an encouraging step in the right direction. 

Thanks for staying tuned for my random thoughts today, sweet friends! Hope you have a fabulous long weekend!


Monday, August 26, 2013

falling for Lilly.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to partake in the Lilly Pulitzer Endless Summer Sale-- I'm trying to be better about shopping, especially since I am on a strict newly budget. And quite frankly, I don't truly need anything else for summer. However, in light of the sale, I've been dreaming about how I would style some of the Lilly 2013 Fall Collection. Here are a few of my favorite pieces: 
I can't tell you how long I've been wanting an Elsa top. I debated buying a turquoise one last spring but I just can't decide if it looks good on me. I love the versatility of the top, but my mom hates it because she says it just swallows me and makes me shapeless. Nonetheless, I'm dying over this chevron Elsa.. it would look so cute with my colored royal blue jeans!

This Hayden Cardigan is absolutely gorgeous. It's a little out of my price range, but it looks so effortlessly chic I can't help but drool over it. I love how it's so simply styled in the catalog-- it looks so timeless!

This Isabella sweater dress is just precious. I love the bright, bold colors. I love a sweater dress with riding boots and this one is a fun twist on a plain solid color.

4 / 5 / 6

I'm loving the simplicity of the Jamie sweater. Obviously, it's not truly built for warmth, but it's reminiscent of one of my favorite dresses of the summer-- the Marie Kate Battenberg Lace! It's a great way to add interest to a simple white top!

I'm definitely a scarf lover, and the Tusk In Sun Murfee is no exception. I've always wanted something in the print and the scarf is the perfect solution to add pop to any outfit. 

Another sweater dress for the win! the Santana is a fun chevron done well. I first chose it because I thought it was black and gold (Go Terriers!) but it's actually navy, which I like just as much! A little hint of glitter glams up the dress for a night out, or it could be paired with riding boots yet again or casual flats for a day at the office or out shopping!

What are some of your favorite pieces? Any Lilly you can't live without this fall?!


Friday, August 23, 2013

5 on Friday!

TGIF, y'all. I'm linking up for "Five on Friday"... you should too!

Many thanks to my sweet readers who weighed in on my iPhone case predicament! I'm still up in the air, but I'm currently obsessed with this Emily Ley case. However, my wallet is cringing as this cutie sits in my shopping cart awaiting my decision to splurge...

I'm sure most everyone else has mentioned this for their "5 on Friday," but I am SO ready for fall. Last week Raleigh was such a tease... I wore jeans to the farmer's market! And yet, yesterday my outfit went right to the hamper since I sweated completely through my dress. (I know, attractive right?) I'm all about some Pinterest fall fashion... 


I have become obsessed with New Girl on Netflix. While Andrew has been in class I've been at home getting the house together and finishing up my thank you notes. I wanted to find a show to have on so I'm not so lonely and I think I hit the jackpot. Seriously, I don't know what I love most about this show. Zooey Deschanel is quirky and awkward and it's so great. And she dresses so cute. And the guys she lives with are hilarious and dysfunctional. I highly recommend it for a few laughs!

On that note, as of 5:30 this evening, Andrew has finished his first week of grad school at NC State and I am so proud of him! Architecture students have studio (a.k.a a 4-5 hour lab) three times a week as well as regular classes and Andrew has already worked so hard on his assignments. It's only the first week and he's already been communicating with his group for a project and doing research in the library and reading for his classes. I gotta give him some credit... I am SO over school and don't think I could do any more!
this might be the cutest/coolest Pillow Pet I've ever seen. Go Pack! Can I haz it?

As mentioned in yesterday's post, I am having serious college nostalgia, especially when it comes to my sorority. As y'all may know, I was VP of my ZTA chapter and basically lived and breathed turquoise blue and steel grey for years. It's so hard to believe I won't be a part of recruitment at Wofford this year, but hopefully I can get involved with the alumnae chapter here and volunteer with ZTA at NC State or UNC! Some of my Wofford sisters have made these their cover photos on Facebook and I thought they were so clever, I just had to share!

Thanks for hanging with me this week, loves! Hope your Friday is fabulous and your weekend is wonderful!


Thursday, August 22, 2013

#tbt: Freshman year

Postgrad life is great, I will not deny that. However, there is a small part of my heart that aches as I see my friends at Wofford (and even at other colleges) posting statuses and pictures about moving in and their first day of classes. In attempts to temporarily recover from my nostalgia attack, I dedicate today's blog post to a little #tbt (throwback thursday for all you who have been living under a rock!) to my freshman year of college. 

Quintessentially college. Toga, anyone!?

Matt Wertz came to perform in Spartanburg the first week of class! We may have stalked him for this picture. 

Bid day! FINALLY a ZTA!

ZTA 80's bowling

Bubbles and Blossom at the "Never Grow Up" function

Spring Weekend shaving fight

I think it's hilarious how many of my college photos are with my friends and we are dressed up for one reason or another! I was much more of a social butterfly at the beginning of college... once I made it to the senior apartments, I was so content to just stay in with my best friends and a glass of wine or a pint of Ben and Jerry's! Hope you enjoyed a peek into my not-so-distant past.

Are you missing college as much as I am?!


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

NEW Ben Rector album: The Walking In Between

I'm going to let the music speak for itself in this post. 

I've loved Ben Rector's music for a few years now and have had the good fortune to see him live twice. I'm working on making it three times come this fall with the release of his new album, "The Walking In Between."

If you've never heard Ben, think of Matt Wertz, Dave Barnes, Mat Kearney, etc. A combination of sweet and soulful as well as catchy and upbeat tunes that you just can't get out of your head. If there was a soundtrack to my life, I'm pretty sure I would want Ben Rector to write it. Head on over to iTunes and buy his new album, or if you're a rookie, check out some of his top hits. Personal favorites are "White Dress," "When a Heart Breaks," "The Feeling," and "Loving You is Easy." I pre-ordered the new album and haven't had time to really dive deep yet, but I'm loving his new song "Ordinary Love":

So, do yourself a favor and download the new album here. Your ears will thank me. 


Monday, August 19, 2013

iPhone case woes!

I used to go through phone cases like it was my job. When I still had a flip phone (weren't those the days?!) I would love to go to those little kiosks at the mall that rip you off but seem to have every color, design, and cartoon character in phone case form that you could ever want. And then I upgraded to the beauty (jokes) and no case was needed!
But, here I am again, an iPhone owner and changing my phone case like I change my undies. (Okay, not that much, but you get it). I think I've tried them all: The glittery gold J.Crew case that made me feel like Ke$ha because the sparkles fell off everywhere. The Lilly case that looked great for a solid week then began to peel... but I love the bright patterns. Do I try again? And somehow I destroyed the indestructible Otterbox. Now I'm in a rut.

I'm currently using a really cheap flexible case on my iPhone 4, but I'd really like to invest in a new case that is both functional and cute. I'm not about the LifeProof cases... too expensive and I don't think I need that much protection until I have sticky baby hands close to my phone (which will not be anytime soon!) Here are a few that I'm looking at:

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Do you have a case you love? Any advice or tips? Happy Monday, y'all!


Friday, August 16, 2013

Pinspiration and turquoise tables!

Yuck, right? This was our dining room before I got a crazy idea and my husband actually agreed to it. Bless him for letting me do most anything I want to make our little rental feel more like home! Our dining room table (this is a very generous description... as you can see, nothing fancy, it is literally a table we dine on!) was a hand-me-down/gift from my best friend Natalie's family. Her mom was going to sell the table and chairs (with two leaves and chairs not pictured) in their yard sale for next to nothing. Natalie knew Andrew and I were looking for one and offered it to us... we jumped on her very generous offer! 

We of course were thankful for a free table, but it was not prime. The veneer on the table was a little bubbly and worn and the seat covers were a yucky fabric that Natalie said was the original fabric on them when her family bought the set at an estate sale. I knew that I wanted to give our dining room a makeover and really make the most of our dining space. 

As usual, I was perusing Pinterest and I stumbled upon these pretties:

Anyone that knows me knows I'm semi-obsessed with the color turquoise. Once a ZTA, always a ZTA I guess! So, I decided that with a little can of paint and some new seat covers, we could really make our dining set pop. When we went home for a long weekend my mom helped me pick out fabric and recover our seats-- it was so easy, all we needed was a staple gun! We chose a multi-colored paisley and a green chevron that are so fun and bright for our mostly "vanilla" walls, counters, etc. I'm so excited because next my Nana is going to take the extra fabric to make reversible placemats for us!

When Andrew and I returned home, he set to work with a sander one afternoon and we set down an old shower curtain under the table to set up our paint shop. After one coat and some touch ups, our
table looked incredible!

Now it's your turn to weigh in:
Should we paint our chairs white, like in my first pin?! 

I like the wooden chairs, but it's a lot with the hardwood floors and our china cabinet. However, our walls are off-white. What do you think?!

Happy weekend, friends!


Friday, August 9, 2013

our wedding highlight video!

I am so excited to share this video with y'all! If anything, I knew I wanted a videographer for our wedding and I was willing to make other compromises in order to fit it into the budget. I am SO glad we did... it was the best decision we have ever made! The very talented Jeff Bradt was the most wonderful to work with and just a plain nice guy! He so beautifully captured our special day and I cannot wait until our full length video is complete!

Click on the screenshot to go to his blog post and check out our highlight video!


Monday, August 5, 2013

St. Lucia honeymoon recap!

Better late than never, right?

I'm so sorry it took forever to get this post written- as mentioned before we just recently got the internet hooked up in the new house and I couldn't upload pictures until now! I was inspired by Jamie at Southern Simplicity (who went to the same resort we did!) to document our trip through not just photos, but video too! Check out the quick video I made:

Instead of jetsetting first thing Sunday morning, we stayed at a nice hotel downtown (fun fact: our prom was there!) before getting a flight from the local airport early Monday morning. We had a connection in ATL and then we were St. Lucia bound!

Once we arrived at the tiny, humid St. Lucia airport, we took a car to the hotel-- an upgrade well worth it to have proper air conditioning and our own bubble as opposed to a packed van! Our driver stopped at a lookout on the way to our resort-- Sandals LaToc-- so we could get a view of the local fishing village and gorgeous blue waters. The funny thing about the picture below is that we are holding beers... which we both hate. Our driver encouraged us to try the local beer, called Piton, and we were too polite to say no. So this picture is pretty funny in our own little way!

We got to the hotel and spent most days by the pool, which had a swim up bar, floats everywhere, "Playmakers" who facilitated activities (we jokingly called them the Twerk Team because they danced everywhere they went, haha!), and beach access just steps away. However, we did want to take advantage of our location and did a couple of activities between our days of eating, lounging, and relaxation. 

The picture below is from our sunset catamaran cruise and snorkel trip. We boarded a catamaran after lunch and were driven out to a prime snorkel spot between St. Lucia's signature twin peaks, called the Pitons, which you see behind us! We met lots of other nice young couples and even a few guys who graduated from N.C. State-- it was nice to make the southern connection! After snorkeling, we headed back to the resort in time to catch the sunset and enjoy local fruit, desserts, and drinks. They crew was so fun and though it took some convincing, they finally got me to dance... once they played the Wobble, of course :)

While we were honeymooning, we missed Independence day in the good old US of A! I was disappointed to not see fireworks, but I wore my red, white and blue all day long to show my American spirit! We took quite of a few of these breakfast solo shots.. this one was obviously pre-coffee. Sleepy Ryann. 

See?! No matter where you are, it's still the 4th of July! 

 One of the main reasons we picked our resort was for the awesome (all inclusive!) restaurants on site! There was an incredible French place, pizza, mediterranean, and so much more. The picture below was taken before our July 4th dinner at the Japanese steakhouse... oh, the irony. But dang, it was good. 

Surprisingly, it's hard to get pictures on your honeymoon. I always hate asking people-- so our vacation turned into selfie central. #sorrynotsorry

 Another "outing" we chose was horseback riding on the beach, per my request. I will admit it's not exactly what I thought it would be-- I didn't expect to ride on dusty roads for a long time then get about 10 minutes of beach time on a horse that sort of hated me-- but it was still a fun adventure! The guide made us take this picture, and it makes me giggle so of course I had to share!

One of the quirks of the resort was that there were cats everywhere! We saw this guy a lot, and we named him (affectionately, of course) Stumpy. Sup, Stump?

And soon, it came to be our last day in the beautiful St. Lucia. We made sure to drink lots of fruity treats, eat an extra piece of pizza, and complete our marathon of Kindle reading in the sweet St. Lucia sun. 

My sweet husband arranged for a special dinner on our last night! We ate in a gazebo and had the most perfect view of the beach sunset and some awesome beef tenderloin while we enjoyed our last few hours of daylight before we had to go back to the "real world"!

We had a quick breakfast before heading to the airport and made sure to walk around the resort one last time to get pictures of the place. We were so pleased with how clean and well-kept everything was, and all the employees were so kind and helpful!

Okay, so now I'm craving some Bella Napoli cheese pizza... yummm. 

This was our cute little villa we stayed in! Ours is on the left and had a living room with a ocean view porch upstairs and a bed and bath downstairs. It was a great place to spend our week and I of course miss it already!

We loved St. Lucia and our resort- I would totally go back again! It was so wonderful to spend some quality time unwinding and just relaxing and having fun with Andrew after a hectic period of planning! Can I go back now, please?!