Monthly Archives: January 2013

A Shamelessly Fun Bachelorette Weekend? (Part 2)

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So Saturday morning all the girls woke up bright-eyed and bushy tailed…yeah ok, that’s a lie.  We took forever and as D would say “we were dragging more ass than a wagon full of fat kids.”  It is impossible for 6 girls to get anywhere on time and I learned a valuable lesson: When in doubt, forego the reservations.  Ya ain’t gonna make it on time.  We ventured into Nashville for lunch at Jackson’s.  The place was absolutely slammed and our server was running around like a chicken with his head cut off.  He made sure to let us know right off the bat that he was a musician and this wasn’t his real job.  I don’t know if that was an excuse for whatever caliber of service we were about to receive or if it was an attempt to impress us.  But really, in Nashville, isn’t everyone a musician?   At any rate, the food was bangin’ and it was totally worth our time.  But we had to eat and run because we had a surprise planned for Katie.

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Noms at Jackson’s

Okay, so what girl in the world wouldn’t want to tour the city in a carriage pulled by a horse named Kyle?  No girl, that’s who.  It was perfect, the sun was shining and a sweet woman named Lucky lead us all around town with her trusty sidekick Scooby.  Scooby didn’t do anything but lay around and get loved on.

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Lucky, Jessica, Katie, me, Jessica, Miranda and Lindsey about to tour the city.

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Katie, Jessica and Scooby.

If for some reason you don’t think you’re the “cute carriage riding” type there’s always the sideways bicycle beer buggy that you and all of your favorite alcoholics can ride together through the city if you would rather.

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We were confused when we saw it too.

When we finished touring the city we came back to the apartment to prepare for the evening.  The nice Girls Night In was over and we were going to paint the town red for sure.  But not before we got all dolled up and transformed the apartment one last time.  While Katie got ready, we got down to business.  We had cut out all sizes of circles (traced from dishes) from fabulous scrapbook papers to make a pretty pattern on the feature wall.

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We got rid of the burlap runner and threw sequins all over the table, filled the apothecary jars with pink sparkly tissue paper and mardi gras beads, laid out the obligatory bachelorette paraphernalia and put out some food to hold us over until dinner since we bumped back our reservation more times than I can recall.

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We also made lingerie cookies to go along with the Girls Night Out/Bachelorette party theme.  It was totally worth it even though I wouldn’t have believed it while I was actually making them with Jessica.  All you have to do is use sugar cookie dough and a heart-shaped cookie cutter.  We cut the bottom point off and baked them per the instructions.  Afterwards we colored some homemade icing and started decorating.  I will say though that decorating the cookies is tedious and is not something you can rush through.  Take your time though, because they are a huge hit if you’re feeling up to the task.

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If you haven’t heard of the “Panty Line” I’m going to tell you about it right now.  My friends did this for me when I got married and it was so cute!  Each party-goer selects a pair of panties to put on the line, and the bride-to-be has to guess which pair came from which girl.  You can attach notes if you like to give the bride a little more help.  This is way more fun than just opening a bunch of panties and lingerie and doesn’t take much more effort.

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You know, for those full-coverage days. HA!

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Hands down, the best looking bachelorette I saw all night. Lucky Casey!

I know you’re probably wondering what all those presents off to the left are.  They are none of your business, that’s what they are!  So Katie opened all her gifts and we took some pictures before anyone got the margarita lazy eye, ahem.  And off we went to dinner.  We had great food at the Big River Grille and Brewery and surprised Katie one more time for the night.

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Uh yes that’s a stuporous bachelorette barbie missing a shoe laid out on that cake.

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Katie loved it!

Then we hit the streets and made our way to The Stage for some live music.

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BEST group shot by far!

We had a great time there and we tried our hardest to get our friend Katie on that stage.  But everything went awry when girls from some OTHER bachelorette party caused a bar fight.  There was just a lot of commotion: pushing, yelling, thrown drinks (party foul), and attempted punching.  Let me just say, my friends and I are classy freaking ladies and we were not wearing the appropriate shoes for a scuffle soooooo… BETTER THEM THAN US!  We continued on down Broadway and found some other spots,  and we ended at the perfect place.  I don’t know where we were exactly but I know that Katie got on stage and that made her night!

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We had a really great night out but it’s safe to say Sunday morning came too early.  We made breakfast and presented Katie with one last surprise.  Jessica put together a photobook and we picked our photos, decorated each of our pages, and wrote messages to Katie in the back.  It was just a nice way to end the weekend.  DSC_0801

So congratulations to you, Katie.   Thanks for picking me to stand beside you on your big day.

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Love you frand!

A Shamelessly Fun Bachelorette Weekend? (Part 1)

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I know what you’re thinking.  You’ve seen them; I’ve seen them.  The bachelorette parties in progress that are completely gasp-worthy and cringe-inducing.  The wasted bridesmaids can barely keep themselves together much less their celebrated friend.  And I’ve seen a blushing bride-to-be crawl up onto a bucking bull only to be hurled off after some slack-jawed “mechanical bull attendant” bounces her (and sometimes her sloppy friend) to that inflatable floor of doom….but not before making sure she’s gyrated for all of kingdom come and shown her underwear to every male within a 20 mile radius.  Now, don’t get me wrong, if I see it I cannot look away.  I’m frozen in disgust every time.

Conversely, I’ve seen the bachelorette party that looks like a totally random group of girls that wish they had never met but are putting on fake smiles for the bride’s sake.  You know the type, can barely form a sentence if they aren’t talking to someone they already know, checking their watches all the while.

I’m interested in neither of those scenarios.  I’m here to tell you that there is a happy medium; you can have a great time and not have to keep the whole party a secret for fear of ruining your relationship or someone’s opinion of you.  I’m a good time, my friends are a good time, and we always have a good time.   But we’re gonna be classy freaking ladies about it.  So let me tell you how the weekend went.

First off, I achieved one of my resolutions: trying something new once a month.  I drove 8 hrs in a car alone.  My first solitary road trip.  And of course, life is ironic like this, it snowed like all Hell for a good bit of my drive.  So there I was, driving west towards Tennessee in the ONE open lane of I-40 praying I didn’t end up in the ditch like the others.  I felt sure that the good Lord above wouldn’t let my “I am woman, hear me roar” approach be thwarted like that!  So I took this picture to show you how well I did; we weren’t moving so don’t lecture me please.  THAT is I-40 and there are supposed to be 3 lanes, believe it or not.

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That’s legit, right?!

My mama was furious of course.  She called at the absolute worst time but I figured if I didn’t pick up the phone she would think I WAS in a ditch and then the downward spiral would have been started.  But I did make it to Nashville after a couple of weather-related delays and it was on like Donkey Kong!

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Enter my best frand, Jessica.  She hosted the weekend.  We had a lot of work to do before the other girls arrived the next day and of course we got in our OWN way every chance we got.  I broke an apothecary jar.  She dropped a bottle of wine.  We forgot half the ingredients to everything about ten times over and had to make multiple trips to Walmart late at night, and so on and so forth.

We promised that we wouldn’t tell the other girls about anything we did wrong.  Pphhhh.  All that really mattered is that Katie couldn’t tell anything is amiss…until we told her.  And of course we did, over lots of laughs late at night lying in bed.  We had a whole weekend ahead of us and we were going to really make the most of it.  Sometimes all you want is to lay around in your pajamas watching movies, eating like pigs, and laughing on a Girls Night In.  And sometimes you wanna pull up those party pants, and stomp around the city streets in your heels with your ladies on a Girls Night Out.  We were gonna do both.

Girls Night In: GO!

Jessica MADE this wreath. She used a grapevine wreath wrapped in sassy garland. I used safety pins to secure the panties to the garland itself and hot glued the champagne flutes together.  Jessica used floral wire to make sure the flutes weren’t going anywhere.  How saucy and appropriate.  Of course we locked the door so Katie couldn’t just barge in from the airport.  We gotta have the “oh my gosh, I can’t believe this” picture.

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You know that feeling of anxiety when you throw a party?  That pit in your stomach that accompanies your fear of not having everything ready in time.  Jessica and I felt a lot of that for certain.  At random though she mentioned that it would have been fun to dress the girls up.  The girls being Eliza and Myla, her weenie dogs.  Of course I squealed with delight, it would be perfect and everyone would love it!  A few hours later, we were running behind and she said she was sad we wouldn’t have time to fix the girls up.  And I got quiet because I had been so excited about it and I had determined that it WAS happening.  Jessica could tell my “gears were grinding” because I was trying to figure out how to make time for this.  Don’t worry, we DID find time!

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SUCCESS!

Jessica and I made sweet tea (DUH), lasagna, homemade garlic knots, salad, and cheesecake (recipes to come soon under the recipes tab).  We framed the invitation to the party and used a DIY blackboard platter to congratulate our friend.   We chilled our wine and dressed the table up.  And we ate our meals in courses like fine ladies.  After the long day each of us had, I’m sure we would have preferred a free-for-all meal but there was a hidden agenda behind our attempts at being civilized.

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With each course we had a little gift for Katie.  Bamboo Salad hands for our salad course, a chevron-patterned insulated casserole carrier for our Lasagna course, and a springform pan for our dessert course.  All of these gifts were intended to be things you wouldn’t necessarily think to register for but might wish you had in the future.  And let me tell you, Katie’s gonna look a lot better than me carrying her covered dish to a party in that new casserole carrier than I do when I bring my dish in covered in towels.

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So we ate and it was delicious, took a couple of group shots and changed into our pajamas (yesssss!).  What other movie would we watch but Bridesmaids.

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And, you’re welcome for that.

We did our nails, ate more, and traded bridesmaid horror stories (you know you have them too).  All in all a good first night.  And just so you know, if you spill red wine in the carpet you should blot it up and liberally pour club soda over the wine stain immediately and blot some more.  My gosh I’m such a believer that  I would almost pour red wine in my carpet RIGHT NOW and take photos of how great it works so I could show you here, but let’s not be crazy!

Stay tuned my friends… because Part 2 of the Bachelorette Weekend story is coming shortly.  It’s too much goodness for one measly post!  Happy Sunday Funday!

Staci and Oreo Truffles

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Happy Friday to all you fine people.  I want to introduce you to Staci… but I gotta tell you a little story first.

When I was in college, I had to scrape.  I worked for meager wages slingin’ sandwiches at Subway, carried plastic purses, wished I could get paid for studying, and thanked my lucky stars for hand-me- downs.  Ah the beauty of being on your own for the first time.  When I got my first little off-campus apartment I thought I was movin’ on up.

Wrong.  I was still slummin’ it.  In fact, after our first trip to get groceries together I found myself having to justify sliced American cheese as a necessary purchase because my roommate informed me, “cheese is a commodity.”  Anyway…

It was my sophomore year, I had landed a cute boy, made what proved to be lifelong friends, and I felt unstoppable.   I bought a couch from a friend, a coffee table from a yard sale and I filled my kitchen cabinets with old wares from my Grandma.  She is the bee’s knees.  She gave me this hand mixer that had far exceeded anyone’s expectations.  It was that off-white color with the brown stripes that were all the rage back in the 70s. This was 2005.  That mixer held its own but every time you turned it on it made the TV full of static.  When you turned it off, it made this zapping noise indicating the TV interference was finished.   Probably should have been a sign, but we were 19.  I have nothing else to say.  You’ll be happy to know that our apartment never burned down.

Today, I have an ever-evolving wishlist but I wouldn’t consider myself to be excessive.  I had been pining after a KitchenAid Stand Mixer for all my days but when I saw it in “Raspberry Ice” I nearly lost my good sense.  I discussed it with D as is required in our home for any purchase greater than $100.  He wasn’t thrilled but he entertained the conversation and research on different models.  And this is the ridiculous part where I make myself out to be completely frivolous, judge all you want!  When he realized that the color itself carried a larger price tag he quickly let me know that we were having two separate discussions, one for the mixer and another for the color choice since the color choice alone exceeded our “purchase without consultation” rule.  He’s pretty quick.  Now, I’ve been told when I make my mind up, I do not waiver.  Battle mode: Engage.   He then suggested “Why don’t we just get the black one since it’s the exact model just a different color?”

Black. Black?  I don’t want the damn black one.

And I told him so.

And I pestered him.

And turned all of our female relatives against him until he relented.

Victory is mine, and her name is Staci.  With an “i” because she’s sassy.  We’ve come a long way, baby.

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Ain’t she a beaut!?  Some proceeds benefit Susan G. Komen and that makes my heart happy.  My taste buds are happy too, because I used Staci to make Oreo truffles tonight (thanks to Jess for the recipe).  And it’s ten times easier now that I don’t have to mix that dough with my hands like I’m kneading bread.  Who the hell wants Oreo crumbs under their fingernails!?

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Oreo Truffles:

1 package of Double Stuf Oreos

8 oz cream cheese

1 big ole bag of Tollhouse Semi-sweet chocolate (or whatever you like better) chips

Use a food processor or rolling pin the grind Oreos into a uniform dust.  Mix Oreo dust with softened cream cheese.  Put mixture into refrigerator to thicken.  When mixture is thick like a dough, roll into 1 inch balls and place on wax paper.  Melt chocolate chips and carefully dip or roll Oreo balls until completely covered in chocolate.  Place back on wax paper and place in refrigerator.  Serve chilled or at room temperature.

“Ju need more Cultcha” and Resolutions I’ll Actually Keep

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I hope errybody had a fun-filled New Year’s Eve; I know I did.  I could lie to you and say that my group of friends and I are ultra fabulous.  I could pretend that we all dressed up, and went to some rooftop bar littered with skyline scenes of Uptown Charlotte while we sipped on martinis and acted proper.    But I won’t, and we didn’t, and this ain’t that kind of blog 🙂

We went to Wild Wing Cafe, or Tha Wingy as we say,  and listened to live music from The Aristocrats.  We ate wings, had draft beer and pomegranate margaritas, photobombed as many pictures as we could because that’s just what we do, and played a game on this pay-by-the-hit machine that gauges how hard you punch.  I’m really competitive and I hit it hard enough that a guy near me said “OHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” when it was tallying my score.  I’m a boss, what can I say? All in heels and a $20 sequin mini skirt from JC Penny.

Here are some of my favorite photos for your viewing pleasure:

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Sing your heart out!

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A fan so adoring Dillon had to come offstage to jam with him.

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After the ball dropped, Happy New Year!

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Putting a little No Doubt on ’em

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I’m sorry but this picture is just too ridiculous not to share with you.

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Friends share.

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Guest spots from Brandon and Dan

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Drummin’ and singin’

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My New Year’s kiss 9 years runnin’

So I mentioned before that my resolutions are kind of a backburner deal.  I don’t get too hyped up, I’m more concerned with the next gathering (Superbowl, hello!).  BUT this year I’m actually going to make and keep a couple of resolutions.  A few years ago I was sitting in a movie theater about to watch “Marley & Me” with my best friend and our boyfriends at the time.  Back then I didn’t get to see Jess much, and the times we had spent double dating were low in number.  The room was practically empty, it was just the four of us, another couple, and a mother out with her daughter and daughter’s friend.  The previews were rolling and that mother and two teen girls were talking so loud- but it’s no biggie.  Well then the movie started and they didn’t get any quieter.  The other couple actually got up and moved far away from the talkers but it didn’t seem to phase the three women.  I’ll preface this by saying…sometimes something unexplainable just comes over me.  I thought, “how RUDE?!”  They didn’t even care about how they were impacting anyone else.  They continued to talk, and as you know, the beginning of a movie can sometimes be pretty pivotal.  If you don’t get that first 5 minutes then you either miss a funny joke or the framework for the next two hours of your life.  Both are things I’m interested in.  Cue my temper.  I leaned forward and said “Could you please just SHUT. UP?!”  There may have been an explicative, but I don’t remember.  There was lots of giggling from the teens and the mother turned and told me “JUUUU need more CULTCHA!!!”

ME?! I need more culture?!  What’s this got to do with culture!?  I’m not a racist or a closed-minded person I don’t think.  So I didn’t know what she was trying to imply.

So I replied, “In my culture, we shut the hell up when we come to the movie theater!”  Oh, gah.  My face turned red, and D looked at me like I had lost my mind, and Matt was nervously laughing like I was inciting a riot.  Awesome, way to embarrass the friends!

So, the New Year’s Resolutions.  I’m indeed going to get more culture.  Maybe if I post my resolutions here, I can hold myself accountable.

1.  I’m going to attempt to be more cultured and try something new at least once a month.  Each month may not literally bring me a better sense of culture by typical definitions, but it will make me more self-aware and well-rounded. Besides, culture means something different to everyone and there are hints of culture in most anything.

For January, I’ve started this blog to document my foray into domesticity.  I’m also reading other blogs more now, so I’m learning about how other people live and function in all areas of the world.  I’ve kind of tapped into this whole other realm and I like it.  I’m also taking my first road trip by myself, EVER.  I feel like that’s a rite of passage in some way.  I don’t know how I’ve managed to have avoided a loner road trip.  I’m going to Nashville to visit my BFF to throw a little party for a friend 🙂

In February, I’m going to try sushi for the first time.  I think D and I are going to make a little trip south to Charlotte to visit some friends and eat at The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar.   Sounds good?  I don’t know how authentic any of it is but you have to start somewhere.

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D “doesn’t like” sushi so that should be a good compromise.

2.  I’m going to do something for someone else each month, something charitable.  I wouldn’t consider buying appletinis for a bride-to-be at her bachelorette party to be “charitable” so I’ll have to give a little more thought to my January giving.  I feel like when you volunteer or give back you expose yourself to different kinds of people, different ways of living and so on and so forth.  And I’m ashamed to say it but a lot of the donating I do is centered around the holidays.  And that’s just not right.  I’ve been blessed beyond measure even if I don’t see it outright every day, I know I should be paying it forward all through the year.

I hope whatever you decide you want to achieve this year you are successful, go for yours!