Thursday, November 25, 2010


After work on Friday I made my way to Knoxville where Will attends Law School.  With the holidays swiftly approaching (and exams for Will) we will be seeing less of each other over the next few weeks. That being said, I was happy to spend the last weekend with him before he moves into the library for the next two weeks.

The weather was beautiful and we went to Market Square and enjoyed the uncharacteristically warm November day.  We ate lunch outside and I feasted on Tomato Bisque and Grilled Cheese.


Market Square
After lunch, we went walking throught the square and I had to pet every dog I saw. I have been thinking about getting a dog.  My financial timeline is telling me wait until my first promotion but my animal loving side (which is winning) is saying NOW! I have always wanted a big dog. I grew up with a Golden Retriever (RIP Shammie) and am obsessed with Weimaraners but, city/apartment living is not conducive to raising large dogs. I have decided a small breed is more suitable and I have narrowed my choices down to a Mini Australian Shepherd or a Boston Terrier. 

However, after meeting the below "gentle giants" I considered waiting to get a dog until I could afford a house with a HUGE back yard. The miniature horses drew quite the crowd!




When I got home on Sunday I found a surprise in the mailbox.  A personalized Christmas card from Jess, courtesy of Snapfish. What a clever idea! Can you believe Thanksgiving is here and Christmas is a month away? How time flies......

.....Must Have.....
What is the first thing you notice when you walk into a home? For some people, it is the lighting, or the flooring, or the furniture.  For other people (like me) I notice the scent.  I have been hunting for a candle that is crisp yet fragrant, a blend of fresh and floral tones. While visiting a friend the other weekend I discovered Pottery Barn's "Paperwhite"candle which is infused with hints of  jasmine and gardenia. 

And in the spirit of Christmas, treat a friend to one of these festive Paperwhite Votives.  Half of the proceeds from each purchase are donated to St. Jude's Children Research Hospital.

.....Must Hear.....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

757 in the 704

Last weekend I had an amazing time having all of my college friends in town.  With a free weekend on the horizon, I contacted two of my closest childhood friends and asked if there was any chance that we could get together.  I was surprised and thrilled to find out that they both were sans plans, so on Friday we met up in beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina. 

Anne Cabot, a fellow Hampton native, has been a friend of mine since we were 10 years old.  I met her in Cotillion, something our parents forced us to attend every Friday night. Looking back, the weekly dancing lessons seemed more like an awkward speed dating service than a white gloved etiquette class.  We attended middle school and high school together, and then Anne Cabot went on to showcase her talents as a member of UVa's field hockey team. She now works in Charlotte as a Client Associate for Merrill Lynch.

As children, Emmy and I had the same tennis instructor and were instantly friends. After high school, Emmy went to the University of Georgia where she spent time interning for, you guessed it, Widespread Panic?! Fittingly, she majored in Music Business.  She now coordinates parties and books bands as an Event Planner for a swanky hotel in Athens. Not bad for 23! 

Ems, Cabs and I have remained close through the years and I was thrilled to find a weekend that would allow all of us to get together again. We spent the nights wining, dining, dancing, and the days relaxing.  As always I had a fantastic weekend with them and I can't wait to meet up again soon!

The weekend ended, and before I knew it, it was the beginning of another work week. The fun-filled weekend started to take its toll on me, and by 5 o'clock today, I felt like I had been hit by a truck.  I arrived home to discover two clever E-cards from Will and Jess.

I fell into bed and drifted off but was soon awoken by a phone call from Jess informing me that she had ordered me dinner.  Ten minutes later I was sprawled on the couch watching Jeopardy! and feasting on a pepperoni and black olive pizza. 

Bliss :)

.....Must Have.....

With the change in weather comes the change in wardrobe.  We find ourselves packing away our tropical totes and strappy sandals and start layering on neutral knits and dark denim. But saying goodbye to your lightweight linens does not mean your winter wear has to consist solely of earthy tones.  Add a pop of color to any outfit with a bag by Beverly Hills designer JJ Winters.  My personal favorite the Envelope Chain Bag can easily transition from a daytime over the shoulder purse to a sleek nighttime clutch. The bags come in an array of colors and materials including hot pink suede, metallic leather, and green crocodile.  And at $85, everyone can afford to brighten up an otherwise drab ensemble.

.....Must Hear.....

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Today I did not have work, and the free day couldn't have come sooner! The past few weeks I have had little to no free time.  After a long day at work, whatever energy I have had left I have devoted to fundraising and preparing for PurpleStride.  My efforts most certainly paid off  and were worthwhile, but I have been looking forward to checking off some of the tasks on my ever-increasing "To Do List". 

I woke up around 9 this morning and watched "Regis and Kelly" (or as I fondly refer to them, Reeg and Kels). I then headed to my haven, Costco to get gas, pick up a prescription and snag the latest issue of Real Simple (Side Note: Costco members get a 30% discount on all magazines, just one of the 827,356 reasons everyone should be a member). 

Next, I got my car washed and vacuumed, something I have been meaning to do for over a month.  I came back to the apartment and began my cleaning spree.  I went Comet crazy on my bathroom and was so satisfied with the outcome, I proceeded to clean my roommate's bathroom as well! Then onto the kitchen, my bedroom, and my closet.  I felt so accomplished, I rewarded myself by getting a manicure. Check, Check, CHECK!  All that's left to do is go running and it's only 4 o'clock.  I do LOVE days like this!

In much more exciting news, I can not forget to congratulate my best buddy Jessica.  She has been studying non-stop for her insurance exam which she took this morning.  Of course, she passed with flying colors and is now licensed to sell insurance.  

Way to go Ca-Ca!!!!!!!

.....Must Have.....

There is one thing I will splurge on time and time again and never feel guilty about it, even if that means eating Ramen in the dark until my next paycheck.  A pair of designer stilettos can be worn to a party, but not to work.  A leather jacket is great for cold weather, but looks ridiculous in the summer.  Skinny jeans are a great investment, but can only be worn confidently after a week of fasting and/or multiple visits to the gym. There is one accessory that can jazz up any outfit, is appropriate in every season, and is also one of the few things that truly is one size fits all.  As long as the sun is out, you're going to need sunglasses.  I have been gawking over one pair of shades in particular for months, and if Santa doesn't deliver them, I will bite the bullet and buy them myself come January. 
My Wish List #1: Tom Ford's Dahlia sunglasses.  They are round but not in the Nicole Richie bug-eye way.  They are square but not too boxy.  Like iconic Wayfarers and Aviators,  Ford's Dahlias reflect the public's fascination with androgynous eyewear.  Hopefully I made Santa's "Good List" this year but if not, I'm willing to crack open the piggy bank.  Let's just say my eyes are on the prize, literally!

.....Must Hear.....

Monday, November 8, 2010

PurpleStride 2010

 "Let us run this race that is before us and never give up" Hebrews 12:1

This was the daily devotional my friend Anna Perkins received a few days before her trip to Raleigh for PurpleStride.  When Anna shared this information with me, I couldn't help but smile.  It was impossible for me to convince myself that it was merely coincidence that Anna received this particular verse in the last days of fundraising. I was more inspired than ever and I sent a few last minute emails to friends and family urging them to donate.

The weekend finally arrived, and on Friday night, Will, my roommate Joe, 5 girlfriends and I went to dinner at Cameron Bar and Grill. My brother and his friends arrived around 11 all the way from Jacksonville! We celebrated well into the morning, dancing and catching up at Fosters.  We had a blast, and it was such a nice start to what was bound to be a wonderful weekend.

The girls at my apartment before dinner

Me, Mary Loyal, Anna, Lauren, Bethany and Anne

Lauren, Anne, Bethany and Joe at dinner

Me and ML on the dance floor. 

Saturday the rest of the clan arrived.  By three the next day our party of 8 became a party of 15 with the arrival of Tippins, Wilson, Jessica, Blanche, Frances, Louisa and Kat.  At 5:30 we headed to the McDougal's house for cocktails.

 Nancy and her husband Gregg were nice enough to host 25+ PurpleStriders.  

Geo, Mom and Me

Purple ornaments for Team Pauli's Girls

My brother George announced he had a gift for me, Jessica and Bethany

Imagine our surprise when the trickster Iced us all! Very clever, Yetti.

We then paraded next door for dinner at Jami and David Holt's house.  Jami made a huge dinner of baked ziti, salad, and bread for everyone, followed by her famous strawberry cake. My friend from home, Megan, joined us for dinner, as well as several more aunts, uncles, and cousins. We entertained ourselves by playing "The Cereal Box Game," which challenges participants to pick up an ever-shrinking cereal box (or in this case a paper bag) using only their mouths.     

The next day we all enjoyed the extra hour of sleep and began getting ready for the big event.  I was so touched when my friend Abby flew in Sunday morning from Atlanta to attend the race.  Our fleet of vehicles processed to Fletcher Park where the first ever PurpleStride Raleigh-Durham was held.  My long time friend (and newlywed) Katharine, her father, and husband Kyle even made it into town for race!  Everyone was decked out in their purple and white gear, face paint and all. 

Lauren, Boyd, Mary Loyal, and Louisa

Lady LaLa

Where would I be without them!

Although she was unable to attend, my dear friend Hanna designed the team's shirts. We received countless compliments and were thrilled with Hanna's finished product!

Over 700 racers gathered at 2 o'clock and listened as the top fundraisers were announced. Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of friends and family, I raised over $7,000 and was named PurpleStride Raleigh-Durham's Top Individual Fundraiser! 

I was even more humbled when Team Pauli's Girls was honored as the Top Fundraising Team!  Because of the love, dedication, and tireless efforts of my friends, we raised almost $15,000 for pancreatic cancer research!!!! 

I never dreamt of such an incredible outcome.  Then again, I never dreamt I would be blessed with such amazing friends.  Words cannot begin to express how grateful I am for my friends.  They selflessly dedicated their time and energy to raise awareness, and I hope someday I can repay them.  Thank you to everyone who helped make this year's PurpleStride a race worth running. May we never give up searching for a cure! 

WAY TO GO!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Smashing Pumpkins

This past weekend, I took a much needed mini-vacay to the mountains with Will.  We left Friday night, destination: Troy, North Carolina.  Never heard of it? Neither had we.  Although the town had little to offer as far as entertainment and attractions, its tranquility and breathtaking display of fall colors was the quintessence of a dream getaway for yours truly. The cabin was straight from the pages of L.L. Bean, just as I had envisioned it.

Saturday, I awoke from hibernation around the crack of noon (I cannot remember the last time I slept past 9 AM)! We had planned to head to Asheboro that day to go to the zoo, but our schedule was a bit askew as a result of my semi-coma.  Nevertheless, we began the 45 minute drive to Asheboro. Along the way we made a pit stop at an eclectic art gallery.  By the time we left Circa it was already three, and we had not eaten lunch. We decided to put off our zoo plans for one more day, and good thing we did or we would have missed THIS:

YES! That is an elephant smashing a pumpkin.  To our surprise, the North Carolina State Zoo throws pumpkins into the Elephant Reserve on Halloween every year, much to the elephant's delight.  It was so amazing to see the elephants seemingly exert no energy to squash their festive meal. I loved every exhibit, but this one was by far my favorite. We spent 4 hours walking from exhibit to exhibit and then headed back to Raleigh.

In other news, a few weeks ago, I spotted a hutch that had been abandoned by its owner outside my apartment building. At first glance, the macaroni yellow paint job seemed less than appealing, but upon closer inspection, I discovered the reject woodwork had potential. There were no chips, the wood was smooth and cared for, and the carpentry well executed. 

Despite my initial grimace, I happily hauled my new treasure back to the apartment. I intended on bringing the hutch home over Thanksgiving and painting it with my father, seeing as he loved all things handyman. After Dad's passing, I rode back to Raleigh with Bethany and Jessica, and the first thing I saw when I opened the door to my apartment was the hutch. Immediately, tears welt up in my eyes. But before a tear could drop, B and Ca whisked me off to the hardware store to pick up the essentials for completing my project.  Five days, four spray cans and three coats later, our work was done.  I now present the newest fixture in my room!

Ta-Da! I immediately propped a picture of Dad and me on my masterpiece. So here you are Dad, it may have been a bit of a challenge, but with a little help from my friends, I completed my first Do-It-Yourself project!

.....Must Have.....


When I daydream about decorating my first home, my mind is flooded with images of blown glass vases, mosaic framed accents and white couches covered in throw pillows featuring my favorite color combination: turquoise and coral.  My beachy interior design preferences probably stem from growing up on the Chesapeake Bay.  Sharing my affinity for all things beachy, my grandmother, a fabulous artist and designer, influenced my tastes as well.  As a little girl, I remember admiring her as she decorated our family's beach house. She had the ability to infuse every room with nautical symbolism and summery tones while maintaining the feel of a home rather than a weekend escape. I instantly fell in love with Marjorie Skouras Design. I particularly adore her sea glass chandeliers. Her breathtaking fixtures are the focal point of any room, whether it be a foyer, a bathroom, or in my wild mind, my future walk-in closet.

.....Must Hear.....