Dear Santa...

Dear Santa,
Just a few things I might just love to see under the tree.  ;)

Sigma Makeup Brushes ...the E40, E60, and F10! 
(Use coupon code DEC2012 to save 10% during December!)

The New York Times 36 Hours by Barbara Ireland
(10% off with code PURPLEWISHES)

(10% off and free shipping with code JDCGE48)
...also love the Jetsetter Large Dopp Kit!

Is anyone else having a hard time coming up with a Christmas list?  I can usually rattle off a huge list of things I want, but I really had to dig for these.  I think it's because my mind is on the wedding...and a lot of things on my wish list are on our registry.  
What's on your wish list this season?  


Let's Talk Thursday

How about the fresh Lohan drama this morning?  The girl cannot stay out of trouble.  I think she needs to take a long break from acting, move to the mountains and hibernate for a few years.   

Huffington Post referred to you as the "Freaky Friday" and "Mean Girls" star.  That's how you know the spotlight isn't for you.  If you've been arrested countless times and your last "top movies" were in 2003 and 2004, it's time to call it quits for a while.  You have more mugshots in the last few years than movies you've starred in.  You probably still have money left over from your latest lawsuits, so go to one of those spa retreats in Arizona, do a cleanse, spend a few hours with your  a new hairdresser, get out of the tanning bed, and eat some  white chocolate Kit-Kats.  
You'll thank me later,

On another note... Have you tried the Bailey's Creme Brulee creamer?  It's amazing and a pretty darn good stand-in for my all time favorite Starbucks drink, the Caramel Brulee Latte.  

"Evening with the Stars" on Tuesday night was incredible.  First of all, we raised $160,000 for the Children's Hospital.  The photos I have are really terrible, but it kind of paints the picture.  The radio hosts of WEZL 103.5 interviewed each star (Rodney Atkins, Josh Turner, and Darius Rucker) for five minutes before each man performed a song.  After all three interviews/songs were over and each star was seated on stage, they each took turns performing different songs.  It was so neat to see each one interact with the others ...they are really funny!  Not to mention, I'm now completely obsessed with Josh Turner.

Hot off the press... 
My wedding gown has arrived!!!!!!!!!!  I just got off the phone with the boutique.  That was so quick.  As of one month ago, I was getting measured for a dress that only consisted of rolls of fabric.  Now, it's here.  In Charleston.  Crazy.

Did anyone catch the segment about "Top Baby Names of 2012" on Today this morning?  Sophia and Aiden are at the top of the list.  Apparently, Mac and Siri are rising in popularity due to our society's obsession with Apple products.  They also announced that a baby girl was recently named Hashtag.  Now that's just bad.

Do all of you who celebrate Christmas have your trees up?
I feel kind of behind in comparison to all of my Facebook friends who have posted pictures of their trees.  Brandon and I are going to go together this weekend to pick out a tree.  Our first tree.  I'm starting from scratch here... need to get ornaments, lights, tree skirt, tree stand.  The list goes on.  Going to need a whole day devoted to this.  

Happy Thursday, friends.  Happy almost weekend!


evening with the stars

It's a gray day in Charleston.  A scarf and boots day, for sure.

Tonight, Brandon and I are going to "Evening with the Stars," an event that my office has planned.  It's an intimate, panel concert featuring Darius Rucker, Rodney Atkins, and Josh Turner, along with each of their songwriters.  All proceeds will come back to our office, the MUSC Children's Hospital Fund.
Fun AND raising money at the same time makes this gray day a little brighter.

Until tomorrow, my friends!



 Hello again!  I'm finally back home after being away for Thanksgiving with my family.  I may have eaten my way into a food coma once or twice and laid around in sweatpants a bit too much, but what's Thanksgiving without a little indulging and relaxation?

 My family made a fire out back on Thanksgiving night.  This has turned into an annual tradition.  Nothing quite like not having any neighbors and not having any noises besides the sounds of the bugs and owls.

Mom and I braved the crowds around 10pm on Thursday night and went shopping at the Tanger Outlets.  We were in bed at 2am ...a new record in the fasting Black Friday shopping yet.  We usually stay out until lunch time on Friday.  

It was an amazing change to get a good night of sleep before heading up to Clemson on Friday with Brandon.  We go to the Clemson/Carolina game every year and I'm usually dragging from lack of sleep due to our crazy Black Friday excursions.  Not this year.

Friday was our "engage-iversary."  I can't believe we've been engaged for a whole year.  Tomorrow begins our five-month countdown until the wedding! 

We went out to dinner and out on the town in Greenville with our friends, Whit and Ryan.  Greenville is the cutest town.  We wished we had an extra day to walk around the downtown area.  

 On Saturday, we got up early for the Clemson/Carolina game.  For all of my readers who aren't familiar with South Carolina football, Clemson and Carolina are each other's biggest rival.  The game always takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving and is a huge deal ...to football fans, at least. 
I was raised a Clemson fan and Brandon went to Clemson, so our blood runs a little orange. 

Our friend (my bridesmaid), Ashton, hosted a tailgate shower for us.  It was an amazing time.  We had food, drinks, music, and got to see a lot of friends we haven't seen in a long time.  Ashton had a sign made for us that says, "Tailgate and Celebrate with the Stokes'"  So cute!!

Here we are with a some of my bridesmaids. 

On Sunday, we headed back to Beaufort to spend the evening with Brandon's parents.  
Got extra cuddles from this love-bug.

Hope you all had a happy, happy holiday!  Now, putting up the tree is my next goal.  Sometime soon.


Twas the night before Thanksgiving {Wedding Wednesday}

Twas the night before Thanksgiving...
when Brandon asked me to marry him! 

Our official "engage-iversary" is the 23rd, but it was the evening before Thanksgiving that Brandon got down on one knee.

I went with my mom and future MIL to a dress fitting a few Fridays ago.  It wasn't technically a fitting, but a measurements appointment, since my dress will be custom made specifically to my numbers.  I got to try on my wedding shoes with the sample gown for the first time!  I did mention that my shoes came in, right?

I got to tuck my dress here, extend it there, and add multiple special touches throughout ....I've customized it in so many ways, which I love.  There's no other dress like it. 

We also had a reception menu tasting that afternoon.  Wow, was it ever smart to schedule the tasting in the afternoon... well after the fitting appointment.  But we still made a big goof because we stopped to have a "snack," which ended up being a full meal, at Virginia's before the tasting.  We didn't know how much food was going to be at the tasting, but it ended up being a ton.  We literally went from one sit down meal to the next, but Brandon joined us this time.

Here we are with the catering manager, Lacy.

Notice my big binder?  That thing is loaded down with contracts, notes, inspiring photos, budgets, proposals, guest lists for various parties, etc. etc. 

We had so much fun trying all of the AMAZING food.  Can't wait to finalize the menu and knock one other thing off the list! 

Happy, Happy Thanksgiving Eve!


the view from my lens

Blouse: J. Crew Factory (no longer available), Denim: J. Crew (Hurry to your closest store... on sale!), Sandals: Sam Edelman, Necklace: Moon & Lola via Petal Boutique

Blouse & Belt:  J. Crew Factory (no longer available), Skirt: Banana Republic, Boots: Old!

Scarf: J. Crew Factory, Top: LOFT, Jeans: (old), Boots: Banana Republic
Two favorite lipsticks: Chanel Chintz and Bobbi Brown Sandwash Pink

Chili and a fire last night...


{holiday gifting}

A week ago, someone asked me to post some Christmas gift list ideas.  Well, if there's one thing I'm good at, it's putting together wish-lists.  Within the coming weeks, I'll be posting some holiday gift giving ideas.  
Here are some goodies from C. Wonder that I think anyone would love to receive. 


the makings of the perfect at-home manicure

I love being treated to a good mani/pedi, but I really don't get them done that often.  I tend to get them done more often in the warmer months when I live in sandals and need to have pretty feet, but all throughout the winter, I try to maintain with at-home treatments.  The right tools make all the difference in the world and at least you know they are clean and sterile!

Here are the steps I follow:

1. Cut nails.

2.  Shape nails with a glass nail file, as it will maintain the integrity your nails, unlike traditional filers.

3. Buff the tops of your nails with a fine/medium grit buffing tool.  This smooths your nails so that there isn't a ridge at the end from the filing. 

I love this nail buffer from Sephora because it has four sides.  Use buffing sides #2 and #3 for step three! 
4.  Trim hang nails or anything else visibly sticking up off your nails with a cuticle nipper.

5. Apply a cuticle softener and massage it into each nail bed.
(There is no way I could give myself a proper at-home mani or pedi without this.)

This cuticle butter is amazing.  It softens my cuticles better than anything I've ever tried.  It's made up of lemons, beeswax, avocados, and other butters and oils.  You can also use it on your heels, elbows, or any part of your body that is a little rough.  A little goes a long way, so this little pot has lasted me a long time. 

6.  Push cuticles back gently with a cuticle pusher while your nails are still heavily moisturized with the cuticle butter.
I use a cuticle pusher that has a spoon edge, like this one:

7.  Wash hands while using a nail brush to scrub away anything under or around your nails. 

8.  Base coat, polish x2, and a top coat... then you're good to go!

My favorite top coat is Essie All in One Base.

...and my favorite top coat is Sally Hansen Mega Shine because it gives that gel-like appearance and makes my polish harden very quickly!


Loves of the Week

I went to Target last night to catch a glimpse of the Nate Berkus collection and walked out with these...

 The selection at our Target was small, but I'm very pleased with the items I scored.  I may or may not have purchased a Christmas pillow, two red berry Christmas tree cones, and a glitter reindeer ...all of which are currently displayed in my living room right now.  #readyforChristmas

Loving my new Ali Ro winter white number.  It has a swoop back and can be worn with black tights for holiday parties.   I can also wear it with nude pumps for an early-spring bridal shower.

I love the simplicity of this room.

Loving this hazy sunrise that was in my "backyard" first thing this morning.  No filter or editing done to this photo.  The beauty was unreal.
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