4.28.2013

WE DID IT!

We are MARRIED!
...leaving on a jet plane tomorrow morning for St. Lucia.

Until I get back, here's a sneak peek.






Xo- The Mrs.

4.24.2013

LAST Wedding Wednesday!


As of tomorrow, my family is going to start making their way into Charleston for our wedding!  So, I'm not even going to pretend to be a good blogger and say that I'll post more before Saturday.  I'll be busy getting myself a husband. ;)

After the wedding, we are off to St. Lucia for a week! 


Follow me on instagram along the way!

Thank YOU for all of your support during this looong journey to the altar.  Love you guys.
Xo- MMS

4.21.2013

Vlog Review: Lo and Sons O.G. Bag

I really don't do vlogs often, but I felt this review is better seen through a video, rather than photos.  So, here she goes....



4.17.2013

my favorite sale of the year

One of my favorite sales is, without a doubt, the Shopbop "Friends and Family" event.  Of course, it would be going on NOW when I'm ultra tempted to stock up on more honeymoon things.  While I'm working hard to practice self-control, here's the information so that you can treat yourself.

Wedding Wednesday: 10 MORE DAYS!

Today is the last day of our double-digit countdown!  My to-do list has taken a drastic beating... I've accomplished a lot amidst this being one of our busiest times at work.  Not going to lie, I've sometimes felt like my head is spinning so fast that it's going to take off like a helicopter.  This is how my list is looking since last week's Wedding Wednesday post.  The items in green are things that have been done since last Wednesday.  Bold, black items are still on the list!

Set a date
Book venue
Book photographer
Book videographer
Book band
Ask bridal party to be in wedding
Book caterer & bar
Create wedding website 
Register
Book florist
Buy wedding dress
Book ceremony musician
Book rentals
Take engagement pictures
Select bridesmaid dresses
Select and order groom & groomsmen attire 
Purchase veil and accessories for dress
Book cake baker
Hire coordinator
Buy cake knife & server
Order save the dates  
Finalize guest list 
Send save the dates  
Book officiant   
Pre-marital retreat 
Pre-marital counseling (Finished last session on Saturday!)
Order guest book
Hotel room blocks
Hire a calligrapher
Engagement announcement in The Beaufort Gazette, The Sumter Daily Item, and The Jasper Sun
MOB & MOG dress shopping 
Find wedding shoes
Find wedding jewelry
  Find garter
Book makeup artist & hair stylist
Menu tasting  
Take bridal portraits / hair & make up trial
Dress Measurements
1st dress fitting 
2nd dress fitting
 (Had a few minor alterations done last week and will pick up my dress next Tuesday!)
Order ceremony programs (Was told to submit to local printer the week-of)
Figure out where I'm getting ready & where Brandon is getting ready 
Order invitations
Mail invitations 
Book rehearsal dinner venue
Book RD music
Buy RD dress 
Order koozies
Book trolley for bridal party    
Order monogrammed cocktail napkins
Buy bridal party gifts 
Bachelorette party 
Bridal showers
Order wedding bands 
Put together picture list for photographer (Almost finished!)
Get marriage license (Tomorrow!!)
Book transportation from reception to hotel
Book honeymoon 
RD invitations
RD groom's cake
Music selections to band and ceremony artist
Book wedding night hotel room
 Rehearsal dinner seating chart
Pick out first dance songs
Order printed fabric with custom monogram for lounge pillows
Order sparklers for send-off (picking up from local vendor)
Finalize wedding-day timeline
Find a million gold frames for food station signage, okay, more like ten.
Get family wedding portraits and put in silver frames (halfway there)
Put together a few bathroom essentials for ladies bathroom
Pick signature drink and name!
Confirm throw bouquet
Find throw garter
Find lamps for bars
Decide on random floral arrangements around reception tent 
Wrap bridesmaids gifts in a cute way
Get ring cleaned! (this weekend)
Confirm rentals with one of our vendors
Prepare final payments!
Confirm check-in/check-out with Wentworth Mansion
Order thank you notes
Walk down the aisle & say I do!


Last night, I spent some time at the Chanel counter to pick out my wedding lipstick.  Definitely wasn't easy as I thought, but we all agreed on a shade in the Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour.






That's all I've got for today.  Happy Humpday!

4.11.2013

Sephora 15% Off


Had to share... 
Sephora rarely does sales, so stock up while you can!

Use the code CHICWEEK.

Here are some of my picks:

NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Luxembourg


(Has green tea, aloe, and cucumber to soothe and protect skin.)



(Supposed to moisturize, tighten, and brighten skin.  Acts like a primer.)

What's on your wishlist?
Xo-M


4.10.2013

Wedding Wednesday {invitations and checklist}

Now that all of our guests should have received their invitations a few weeks ago, I think it's safe to share them with you!  We used Scotti Cline Designs and couldn't be more thrilled with how they turned out.  I picked Crane's Lettra paper in 220, so it's thick and truly shows off the letterpress details.

 photo IMG_1676_zpse3109baf.jpeg

 photo IMG_1675_zps7e83a298.jpeg

Now for the checklist.  The last time I posted a list was in January.  The items in green are the changes that have been made since January.

Set a date
Book venue
Book photographer
Book videographer
Book band
Ask bridal party to be in wedding
Book caterer & bar
Create wedding website 
Register
Book florist
Buy wedding dress
Book ceremony musician
Book rentals
Take engagement pictures
Select bridesmaid dresses
Select and order groom & groomsmen attire 
Purchase veil and accessories for dress
Book cake baker
Hire coordinator
Buy cake knife & server
Order save the dates  
Finalize guest list 
Send save the dates  
Book officiant   
Pre-marital retreat 
Pre-marital counseling (Finished last session on Saturday!)
Order guest book
Hotel room blocks
Hire a calligrapher
Engagement announcement in The Beaufort Gazette, The Sumter Daily Item, and The Jasper Sun
MOB & MOG dress shopping 
Find wedding shoes
Find wedding jewelry
  Find garter
Book makeup artist & hair stylist
Menu tasting  
Take bridal portraits / hair & make up trial
Dress Measurements
1st dress fitting 
2nd dress fitting (A tiny, last minute alteration scheduled for tomorrow!)
Order ceremony programs
Figure out where I'm getting ready & where Brandon is getting ready 
Order invitations
Mail invitations 
Book rehearsal dinner venue
Book RD music
Buy RD dress 
Order koozies
Book trolley for bridal party    
Order monogrammed cocktail napkins (*Doing this today!)
Buy bridal party gifts 
Bachelorette party 
Bridal showers
Order wedding bands 
Put together picture list for photographer (*Working on this!)
Get marriage license
Book transportation from reception to hotel
Book honeymoon 
RD invitations
RD groom's cake
Music selections to band and ceremony artist
Book wedding night hotel room
Order thank you notes
Walk down the aisle & say I do!

It's funny how many things are on my mental checklist, but aren't visible on this list.  These are things that I didn't think of when I started my wedding planning.  Here are some of those things that are still left to do:

Rehearsal dinner seating chart
Pick out first dance songs (Harder than I thought!)
Rent candles for rehearsal dinner
Order printed fabric with custom monogram for lounge pillows
Order sparklers for send-off
Finalize wedding-day timeline
Find a million gold frames for food station signage, okay, more like ten.
Get family wedding portraits and have them framed in silver frames
Put together a few bathroom essentials for ladies bathroom
Pick signature drink and name!
Confirm throw bouquet
Find throw garter
Find lamps for bars
Decide on random floral arrangements around reception tent - yay or nay and what kind?
Wrap bridesmaids gifts in a cute way
Get ring cleaned!
Confirm rentals with one of our vendors
Prepare final payments!
Confirm check-in/check-out with Wentworth Mansion

....among MANY other random thoughts trailing through my head!
17 DAYS TO GO!

4.09.2013

{weekend ...a little late}

It might be Tuesday, but since I didn't post about my weekend yesterday, here 'tis. 


We celebrated Brandon's 26th birthday on Friday.  His birthday wishes were my command... a burger and a beer at Rita's on Folly Beach.  My go-to is the Southbound Grilled Chicken Sandwich ...bacon, pimento cheese - can't beat it.  The Blackened Tuna Nachos are also a favorite.  If you're in Charleston and haven't tried those, then do it.  Soon.

The next morning (dark and early) we were at the starting line for the Cooper River Bridge Run.  My work is a feature charity of the Bridge Run, so it was my job to coordinate 100 volunteers to help with the start of the race.  I LOVE the excitement of being in the midst of 45,000 runners and all of the hustle and bustle that goes with it.  Makes getting up at 4:30 a.m. worth it. 


On Sunday, I met a dear friend for brunch at Fleet Landing.  The weather was perfect for sitting next to the water.  We both ordered the same thing... how can you go wrong with creme brulee french toast? (seriously good)


Other shenanigans throughout the weekend (that you've already seen if you follow me on Instagram)...

Organized my Essie polish.


Proudly wore my new J. Crew bangles.


Did some Friday evening cleaning while enjoying a glass of wine.  Who says those two don't go together?  By the way, this is the Shark Vac & Steam.  My mom bought it for us for one of my bridal showers and it's nothing shy of amazing.  You use the vacuum feature, then add on the mop attachment.  Add in a little water and boom - it's ready to steam your floors.   Trust me, you don't know a clean floor until you've walked on a freshly steamed one.


The countdown is truly on for the wedding - 18 days!


I'll be sharing our wedding invitations on the blog tomorrow.
Xo-M

4.05.2013

a really long-winded story about beauty pageants

As a former competitor in pageants, I felt that this would be an interesting topic to bring up.  We all seem to have opinions on the subject and I thought I'd share mine.

Growing up, I was never a "pageant girl."  I competed in my first pageant when I was in sixth grade.  I had the stomach virus the whole week prior and was still sick on pageant day.  But I was determined to wear that dress we found on the sale rack at David's Bridal (it was definitely a flower girl dress), even if my face was sickly and had the same pale, white shade as the dress.  Mom and I really didn't know what to expect.  I think I had my hair curled at the JC Penney salon and we put on a dab of blush, some lipstick, and I was set to go on stage.  Needless to say, I didn't win, but I didn't care by the end of the night... all I cared to do was get my nachos and coca-cola and get home in bed.

Two years later, I tried it again and won both of the small, local pageants I competed in.  And the next year I tried again... and won both of those pageants too.  At the incredibly awkward ages of 13 and 14, getting on stage with the spotlight centered on you wasn't the easiest thing, but it was a huge self esteem boost that girls this age often need.  

 Fast forward about six or seven years later, and I, for some reason, got interested in pageants again.  I was a college sophomore and thought it would be something fun to do.  Mom and I went to Columbia to pick out a -get this- real pageant dress, not something picked up off the racks at Dilliards.  I also picked out a pageant swimsuit, heels, and jewelry ...all in one fell swoop.  I was told about an upcoming pageant called the "Carolina Queen Pageant."  This was a whole different deal than the local pageants I had competed in ...the hair was bigger, the dresses tighter, and there was a swimsuit portion.  Without any experience in this realm of pageantry, I braved it and ended up placing first runner up to the former Miss SC Teen USA, Caite Upton.  You know her.  Remember?

 

The pageant was even nationally televised.  We didn't know it at the time, but it was used during the first episode of TLC's "King of the Crown" TV show that aired back in 2009.

Then I was introduced to RPM Productions, Inc.  For more than 30 years, RPM has partnered with the Miss Universe Organization to produce premiere statewide events.  There are local preliminary pageants across SC that lead to RPM's Miss South Carolina USA pageant.  So, I tried my hand at two.  In November of 2009, I ended up entering the Miss SC USA pageant "at large."

Competing in the state pageant yet again took pageants to a whole new level for me.  I still felt new at this and was "thrown into a pack of wolves" ...so to speak.  My expectations on the whole experience were so different than the reality I experienced.  It was harder in many ways, but I gained so many rewards that I didn't expect.  We all hear that pageant girls are catty, rude, and two faced.  In reality, you become part of a sorority of women who leave a legacy that impacts communities through charities and other causes. You make new friends and enjoy an atmosphere of glamour and fashion, while developing poise, confidence, and career-enhancing skills.

I experienced this.  

Through the handful of pageants I competed in, I walked away with dear friends, role models, and mentors.  I tested my abilities and surprised myself in many ways.  I stood on a stage in a bathing suit with the spotlight on me in front of thousands of people for goodness sakes.  Not just stood on the stage...but you gotta work it, you know. ;)

Another great reward of pageantry is the adrenaline you get from high amounts of determination and motivation.  The best I've felt in my life was during the months that I competed in pageants.  Everything I did was with the pageant in mind.  Not to where it was an obsession, but I watched everything I ate, exercised regularly, got plenty of sleep, and really worked hard on the white-strips, hair masks, face masks, etc.  Taking care of yourself pays off and it's nice to have that extra motivation to do so every once in a while. 


Competing in pageants opened many doors for me.  I signed with a modeling agency here in Charleston.  I hate to say "signed" because that makes it sound big time.  So, to re-word... I was under a contract with an agency and was able to do some modeling projects on the side while I was still a student in college.  This began because I won a photo shoot as my prize in the Carolina Queen pageant.  Without that shoot, I wouldn't have had the photos in my portfolio to be able to meet with the modeling agency.  I wouldn't have had that extra push to pursue it either.  On the same note, numerous Miss USA contestants have gone on to do much bigger things, like launch careers in entertainment by appearing on E! Entertainment, CMT Insider, MTV, Survivor, The Amazing Race, Fear Factor, The Bachelor, and countless television shows and movies. 


I realized that I have a passion for communication, specifically public speaking, through the many instances when I had to speak in front of large crowds during pageants.  I then went on to change my college major from Health Promotion to Communication.  I enrolled in various advanced public speaking classes.  Sounds corny, but those classes really molded me as an individual.  Facing a fear changes you...especially when you end up excelling at it.  I can honestly say that if it wasn't for pageants, I wouldn't be in the career field that I am today.  I would have graduated in Health Promotion and gone on to be a nutritionist or something directly health related.  My life is different because of the rewards I gained through competing.  

 

If you're interested in competing and live in South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, or Louisiana, you can contact RPM to find out how you can compete in this year's state pageant.  
You can find out more on their website, www.rpmproductions.com, or by visiting them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/rpmproductions, or simply by calling the office: (803) 648-6220.

Miss SC USA, Megan Pinckney, and Miss SC Teen USA, Tori Sizemore


I think the whole summary of this post isn't specifically why competing in pageants is something you should do.  The point I am trying to make is that testing yourself can cultivate many rewards.  Whether it's sky diving, training for a race, getting certified in something new, or really, anything that challenges you.  
There are many bounties to be developed through weighing your limits!  

4.04.2013

throw obessed

I have a weakness in a huge way for throws.  I love a good blanket, whether it's warm or cold in the room.  Just like to be cozy.

...and when I saw this one on Joss & Main this morning, I couldn't resist sharing its pom-pom goodness.

getting my M.R.S. in CPC

...that's Crock Pot Cooking.
We received a slow cooker for a shower gift and I decided to pull it out last night for the first time.  Twenty three days until I'm a Mrs. means it's time to get domestic.  
I've been so amazed at the meals you can make in one of those things!  Not just meals, but tea, hot chocolate, bread, sauces.  Thanks to Pinterest, I have quite the array of recipes to choose from.  There's just a huge satisfaction that I gain from knowing that my dinner is being cooked for me while I'm at work.

Anyway... first up to bat.
Don't those look amazing?  You could always 86 the bread and just put the chicken on a salad.  

Here are some other recipes I plan to try soon.














Any recipes you want to share?  Have you tried any of these?
 
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