what i did this week

We had our friends over for dinner and ate off of our wedding china for the first time.  Steaks with brandy cream sauce, twice baked potatoes, caesar salad, cheese bread, and for dessert, mini strawberry shortcakes.  It was all so, so good.

I've been wanting a print of this abstract dress painting by Clare Elsaesser for the longest time.  I decided to order it this week and plan on propping it up on my nightstand in a silver frame when it arrives.

I took everything off of our built in shelves and only added neutrals back on it.  I'm really enjoying the simple look.

Speaking of neutrals, I completely drooled over this kitchen this week.  I think I could live in there.

Our bed was delivered!
We used the money we received from the wedding to purchase a Drexel Heritage Postobello king bed.  There she is in all her glory ...naked and all.  (We also bought a Serta iComfort "Insight" mattress and it's amazing.)

 I really took appreciation of this quote.

What did YOU do this week?
TGIF, ladies!

P.S. Wedding photos will resume on Monday.


Our Rehearsal Dinner

Next up to bat... our rehearsal dinner, which was held at the Harbour Club.  We had the dinner on the rooftop and later, welcomed additional guests for a party downstairs!  Brandon's parents did such a great job hosting a beautiful evening.  The welcome party allowed me to speak with family and other out of town guests before the actual wedding, which made the reception so much less overwhelming since I had already visited with these guests.

Our wedding party and their guests.
...and then this face felt totally necessary.

After dinner, we moved downstairs for the welcome party!
Brandon's parents hired two members of the band, Soul Fish, to play.  They were so, so good.  Perfect for our smaller group.
...but there was still a lot of dancing!
...and --well-- jumping, I guess.

I didn't plan on wearing black to our rehearsal.  I was with my mom as she was trying on MOB dresses when I spotted it on the rack.  I really didn't have rehearsal dinner in mind when I saw it, but knew I had to at least slip it on.  As soon as the dress was zipped, I fell in love and immediately knew I'd wear it to the rehearsal.  It's Noir by Lazaro.  Even though I found out that it's made in ivory, I decided to stick with the black.  It was unexpected, which is exactly what I was going for.

Bridal Luncheon {photos}

My dad's sisters hosted my bridal luncheon.  Everything was so tastefully done... the perfect southern brunch.  They went above and beyond!

Mimosa bar...
Salad with strawberries, bacon, and a light vinaigrette. 
Amazing chicken salad served on a cantaloupe slice!
Mini key lime pies.  So, so good.

I gave my girls their bridesmaid gifts at the luncheon ...sparkly chandelier earrings, monogrammed robes, and little slippers!

My two bests!

By the way, my aunt and uncle have opened up their yard for weddings!  Here's the link to their webpage for more information.

Much more to come.  ;)


weekly roundup

I unsubscribed from a ton of emails ...like, promotional emails from almost all of my favorite stores.  My influx of junk mail was getting to be ridiculous.  Not only that, but it was constant temptation to check out the latest sale.  It was so refreshing (and something I've been wanting to do since reading The Happiness Project). I also deleted almost all of my emails that weren't necessary to keep.  Currently, I have FOUR emails in my inbox.  I can't tell you how great that feels!

I looked through all of our 1000 wedding photos, organized them, plastered them on Facebook, and relived every moment.  Don't worry, I plan on sharing some with you next week.

Marni Rothschild Pictures
Made this bruschetta and loved it.

We celebrated Brandon and his best friend, Jonathan's victory in winning the Beaufort Charities Invitational Golf Tournament.  Remember how I told you we were there at Fripp Island last week?

As part of the prize, they each won an original painting by Bill Mead.  These paintings are a little off the wall, but we love them!  ...and they are HUGE.  At least 4 ft by 4ft, if not bigger.

We chose the one above and Jonathan chose the one below.  Veerryyy interesting, to say the least.

Finally ordered some Bourbon & Boweties bangles and couldn't be more thrilled for them to come in!

 Happy Memorial Day weekend!  We have been so on the go since the wedding, we plan on totally relaxing and getting some chores done that have been hanging over our heads.  It's supposed to be gorgeous here, so I'll definitely have my toes in the sand at some point!


can't miss this

J. Crew is having a pretty amazing sale right now.  If you spend $250 (which let's face it, you can easily do with just one outfit), then you get $75 off.  That's 30% off, which is the best sale you're going to find at J. Crew on full price clothing.  Shop away, my friends.

Here are some of my favorites.

nightly skincare routine

I always pre-cleanse my skin with Clinique Wash-Away Gel Cleaner to get all of my makeup off.  I've used this stuff for years.  I've tried other makeup removers (wipes, liquids, other cleansers, etc.) and always come back to this.  A pea sized amount is all you need ...a bottle lasts forever. This dissolves makeup (including pesky mascara and liners!) like a charm.

Then, I apply Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Cleanser to my face, neck, and decolletage with my Clarisonic brush.  The Clarisonic cleans your face six times better than traditional face washing, which helps your skincare products absorb better.
 This Neutrogena cleanser is almost completely natural, meaning no harsh chemicals, dyes, or parabens.  It has Willowbark in it, which is a beta hydroxy acid that detoxifies the skin.  It's also packed with vitamins!

Clinique's Clarifying Lotion 3 makes all the difference for me.  It's a toner that truly makes my skin feel clean.  I apply it with a cotton pad on my face and neck to absorb pore-clogging oil.

This is where my nightly routine differs every few days...
If my skin is lacking moisture and looking splotchy, I like to use Murad's Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum followed by Origins High Potency Night-a-Mins Mineral Enriched Renewal Cream.  Together, these two help to add brightness, fade dark spots, and add in moisture to the skin.

When my skin is suffering from a breakout, uneven skin tone, dullness, and is just in huge need of cell turnover, I like to use a product with retinol.  I am loving Neutrogena's Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer (Night).  Even my esthetician said she noticed a big difference in my skin when I started using it!

One thing that always stays the same is step five.

I always end with Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream.  It's super moisturizing and I've even noticed a little difference in the dreadful fine lines I've started to notice under my eyes.  It's also great for decreasing puffiness.

*For reference, my skin type is combination.


cloudy skies


It's a rainy, rainy day here in Charleston. I don't know what's up with this weather lately.  Usually, we are in the 70s and 80s by late March.  We've had strange lows and unusual rain all throughout April.  It's finally consistently warm, but still rainy!  We really lucked out on our wedding day.  It rained the slightest bit in the morning, but was clear for the rest of the day.  We had bits of sun and clouds in the afternoon, then it was overcast that evening.  Our photographer kept reassuring me that cloudy skies were much better for photography.  I think she was right.  We are so pleased with our wedding photos.  Here's a little sneak peek!!


on the radar: {target finds}

This console table is adorable and a steal at only $127 (It's 15% off!).  I'm dreaming of creating a cheery vignette using this table, leaning artwork and stacks of books!  It could even make a pretty darn cute bar if you put a mirror behind it, a orchid on one end, a styled tray on top, and some stylish bottles on the bottom.

Baskets are always a good idea.

I own this starburst mirror and think it looks way more expensive than it's $39 price tag.

These frames are not too modern and not too rustic.

Just looking at these organic blankets makes me want to crawl into bed.

These glass containers would look perfect on a bathroom shelf or ...heck, anywhere.


long weekend

Our weekend started a little early this week.  Our annual tradition is to go to Fripp Island for the Beaufort Charities Invitational golf tournament, which falls the weekend after Mother's Day every year.  It's such a fun weekend filled with old (& new!) friends, golf, dancing, and strawberry daiquiris.  I'll be back to the blog on Monday.

Oh yeah, I'm on Facebook now!

Happy Friday!


honeymoon: Sandals Grande St. Lucian and final thoughts!

Mid-week, we hopped in a taxi and enjoyed every minute of our commute to our second resort.  We took one road from the bottom of St. Lucia to the north end and traveled next to the Caribbean coast the entire time.  Two hours later, we were at Sandals Grande St. Lucian!

I didn't take near as many photos at Sandals as I did at Jade Mountain.  The views weren't quite as spectacular, but we had such a fun time in a completely different way than we did at JM.  

I'll be honest, Jade Mountain is AMAZING.  Literally dreamy.  BUT it was very, very quiet.  We loved the time we had together with no distractions, but after three (somewhat repetitive) days and nights, we were ready to listen to tropical music poolside, be around other couples, and have a little entertainment.  We figured that would be the case, which is why we planned half of our week at Jade Mountain and the other half at Sandals.  We wanted the best of both worlds.  Jade Mountain is on the south end of St. Lucia.  The town there lives by the slogan, "max chill" (that's what the locals say!).  Sandals is in the capital of St. Lucia, so it has a much more lively atmosphere.

(Splendid High/Low Skirt, top and necklace from local boutique)

The resort's decor was beautiful!

Brandon and I stayed in the William Jefferson Clinton Suite, which is almost triple the size of where we live now!  It had two bedrooms, a huge den/dining area/kitchen, a porch that overlooks the Caribbean Ocean, a back porch that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, three bathrooms, and an outdoor shower/roof opening area.  We loved it!

Fully stocked bar...



                                    The second bedroom:                                      

The Master Bedroom:

View of the Atlantic Ocean from the master bedroom deck:

Outdoor shower!
 Other side of shower...
 View from the roof viewing area!

We spent a LOT of time on the beach and in the pool since we really didn't do much of that at Jade Mountain (aside from our in-room pool!)

Brandon's authentic Cuban cigar...

There were great restaurants at Sandals.  We loved this little pizza place for lunch.

The hut on the water is the resort's fine dining restaurant, Gordons, where we ate one night.  On the hill is Pigeon Island ...you can see a fort at the top (Ft. Rodney) where the French and the British fought fourteen times!

Not a bad taxi ride!

We took a helicopter from the resort to the airport... the 15 minutes in the air saved us a two hour car ride!

There's Jade Mountain (on the little point in the upper middle)

In between the two Pitons (above) is a resort called Sugar Beach.  Matt Damon recently rented out the whole resort to renew his vows with his wife.  He had about 50 guests including George Clooney, Brad and Angie, Emily Blunt, Ben Affleck & Jennifer Garner, etc.

My thoughts on the two resorts...

Jade Mountain and Sandals are COMPLETELY different.  We would've gotten "cabin fever" at Jade Mountain for an entire week.  At the same rate, we would've gotten tired of drinking fruity drinks in the pool everyday at Sandals for a whole week.  That's why I'm glad we split it up.  It was nice to have a change of scenery.

But with a change of scenery came a bit of a shock, as well.  Obviously the level of luxury at Jade far surpasses what we saw at Sandals, I mean... it's the third top resort in the world.  I'll be perfectly honest, within the first 45 minutes at Sandals, we called Jade Mountain to see if we could go back!  We were ready to jump in the car for another two hours to return, but there weren't any availabilities.  It really was just a culture shock that we experienced.  We went from dead silence at Jade to TONS of young couples, music, and dancing.  Not that we are against any of those things, we just had gotten used to the solitude, I guess.  We felt that we left our honeymoon and were now on any old vacation.  As it turned out, we had such a fun time at Sandals and I completely appreciate the two resorts for very different reasons.

We had private butlers at both resorts, but the service was much better at Jade Mountain.  They literally waited on our hands and feet, almost making it uncomfortable at times.  The food was better at Jade Mountain ...and MUCH more healthy, but the selection was 50 times greater at Sandals.  Our room had a better view at Jade, but our room was double the size at Sandals.  Jade Mountain is a good place to go if you want to live in luxury while completely alone with your other half, or if you are in desperate need of peacefulness.  It's a place to unplug from the phones and computers ...no alarm clocks, no tvs, no music or entertainment.  Sandals is a place to be if you're looking for pool/beachside entertainment, lots of food and if you're wanting to be around a lot of friendly faces.  

We had excursions planned at Jade Mountain, but honestly, we loved our room so much, we hated to leave it!  Plus, we had just gotten finished with the wedding, so we wanted to sit around and relax.  Other than the volcano tour, that's exactly what we did.  We even canceled our afternoon sailing/snorkeling trip to just walk around the many bridges and stairways of the resort.  At Sandals, there is so much to do that it's really not necessary to leave.  Had we been there for a whole week, we would have definitely gone on some excursions to break the repetitiveness. 

Overall, we had an amazing honeymoon and I would whole-heartedly recommend both resorts to all of you.  St. Lucia is a beautiful place.  It encompassed exactly what Brandon and I wanted to see... rain forest and beach.  The natives of the island were incredibly friendly and welcoming.  

Now I've just got to convince Brandon to take me back for our one-year anniversary... ;)

(read part one of our honeymoon here)
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