Monday, March 28, 2011

Is It April Yet???

My March Mania has yet to slow, down but fingers crossed, I will have more free time come April.  My list of March-Must-Do's includes but is not limited to:
  1.   Get a North Carolina License
  2.   Transfer my car Title
  3.   Register my car in North Carolina
  4.   Make a dentist appointment
  5.   Finish my taxes
  6.   Get an oil change 
  7.   Fill out 401K paperwork
  8.   Sign a lease on an apartment
  9.   Buy a sofa
  10.   Buy an armchair 
  11.   Replace my brake pads
So far, I have completed just over half of my list, which was no small feat I will have you know.  I was reading this month's Real Simple which devoted several of its pages to ways to relieve stress and stop procrastinating.  I think the writers of this month's issue were channeling my thoughts! One of the tips RS encouraged when tackling that daunting To-Do List was "Do the Worst Thing First", which in my case meant numbers 1-3.  I am famous for having to make multiple trips to the Devil's Waiting Room DMV whether it be for lack of the right paperwork, showing up on a Federal Holiday or failing my driving test.  So 14 months, $496.00 and 2 trips to the DMV later... I felt like an enormous weight had been lifted.  I am finally OFFICIALLY a North Carolina resident!!!!

Taxes were a new experience, and I am sure I could have saved myself a lot more money if I had a clue what I was doing.  However, I did get a refund and the pride of knowing that I did my taxes completely on my own for the first time.  Oh the joys of a recent college grad.

NOT to be confused with the "Easy Button"

Will took my car in for an oil change while I was at work, and I finally got my teeth cleaned this morning.  With half of my list completed, I can sleep a little better at night.  However, if I can't complete #8 by next month, I may have nowhere to sleep...

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

Spring is in the air and you know what they say: April showers bring May flowers.  This week's forecast calls for rain, rain and more rain.  Stay dry and stylish with the accessory that makes even the gloomiest days a little brighter.

Marimekko Silkkikuikka

Cottage Rose
Mod Baltic
So until the flowers bloom, pull on your galoshes, open your umbrella and embrace April showers.  Your new outdoor accessory may even inspire you to look forward to cloudy skies.

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

Monday, March 21, 2011

March MADness

I am experiencing my own March Madness in the form of lease agreements and eager realtors. I have been spending almost all of my free time searching for apartments over the past few weeks.  I have come to find (or not find as the case may be) that apartment searching is much more difficult than I had anticipated.  Should I move to a more remote area closer to work in an effort to limit my commute and gas expenditures? Or, should I opt to stay in the comforts of my present surroundings where the grocery store, restaurants, and boutiques are only a stone's throw away? I cringe at the thought of moving uptown but shudder at the cost of living downtown. I have less than 2 months to make a decision, so until May, my blogging may be a bit sporadic. I will attempt to provide a very brief run-through of the past few weeks.

I was in Tennessee at the beginning of the month and as always, enjoyed the change in scenery. On Saturday night, Will and I went to dinner and were fortunate to have the best seats in the house!  The restaurant we went to was connected to a small music hall that featured up and coming artists.  We were seated behind a glass wall and got to enjoy our meal while watching one of my favorite acoustic artists, Matt White, perform. Good food + great music + wonderful company = the perfect date!

VERY blurry picture of dinner.

On our actual "anniversary", Will had Thai food delivered to my apartment so imagine my surprise when I found another surprise gift waiting for me after dinner.  If you recall from a previous post, I have been hunting for a decanter and recently have been looking for a set of stemless wine glasses that match.  Well, my quest is finally over thanks to Will!!

My very own swirl set!
On Sunday, we went to the Tennessee vs. Kentucky basketball game.  Like the football games, UT's fans packed the stadium, or as I would refer to it, the Super Dome.  Even though Tennessee lost in the final minutes, I was happy to be in the stands cheering with thousands of spirited spectators.

What a crowd!
Fast forward to this past weekend.  I made the short but sweet trip to North Myrtle Beach for one of Mary Loyal and Lash's engagement parties.  The soiree was held at the beautiful Pine Lakes Country Club.  I loved the simplicity of the exterior and the interior was lavishly decorated with sparkling chandeliers, gold dusted accents and tall vaulted ceilings.  Since both the B&G are South Carolina natives, the hosts themed the party "South Carolina Grown".  The party was catered using only locally cultivated crops which were in season during the month of March.   Fittingly, dessert consisted of cookies and a cake in the shape of SC.  I can't believe Mary Loyal is getting married in just over 2 months! 

Pine Lakes Country Club

Carolina Cake

More pictures to come!

On a more somber note, my thoughts have been with Japan in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake.  While browsing New York Times website the other say, I came across these unbelievable satellite photos comparing the landscapes of cities before and after the natural disaster.  My thoughts are with all of those affected by this misfortune.  I can only pray that we all can continue to offer support to Japan during the difficult days, months and years ahead.

Here are some ways to lend your support:

If you would like to donate to the American Red Cross for Japan Earthquake Relief, just text REDCROSS to 90999. Each text will provide $10 towards the Red Cross’s humanitarian efforts.

The Red Cross has also launched a campaign on Causes to raise at least $25,000 for relief efforts. By logging in to Facebook, you can donate anywhere from $10 to $500 to help Tsunami victims and their families.

The people over at are donating $1 for every “Like” of the “Dog Bless You” Facebook page, up to $100,000.

Apple is also dedicating resources to the crisis in Japan. They have created a simple donation page in iTunes[iTunes link] that makes it simple to donate anywhere from $5 to $200 to the Red Cross with just a few clicks.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

This day last year...

I am really not doing so hot on my resolution to be more efficient with blog posting!  The weekend before last, I was thrilled to have my college roommate Bethany in town.  On Friday night, Bethany and I went to a restaurant near my apartment.  Upon arrival, we realized we were not as young and hip as we once were.  Apparently, we did not get the memo that Friday night was "wear your shortest skirt and highest heels" night.  We spent the night avoiding the loud speakers, slurring frat boys and short skirt stiletto stampedes on the dance floor.  We never thought dressing so modestly would make us feel so exposed!  Despite feeling like Golden Girls, we managed to have a great time catching up and people watching.  We dragged our old bones home around 1AM, took out our dentures, and crashed.  Suffice it to say, we just can't keep up with the college kids like we used to...sigh.

The next day we met up with Bethany's sister Ryan, mom Beth, and stepdad Jim.  The sun was shining, the lawns were perfectly manicured, and the boutiques had their doors propped open, beckoning shoppers to browse their brightly colored spring additions. After a late lunch,  I served as tour guide to Bethany's family and took them to some of my favorite places in Raleigh.

North Hills Mall
Five Points
My favorite home in Raleigh
Cameron Village
I dropped Miss Beth and Jim off at their hotel, and Bethany, Ryan, and I headed to my apartment to get ready for dinner.  I made reservations at my favorite restaurant in Raleigh, Caffe Luna, and we all enjoyed a tasty dinner downtown. It was great having old friends in my new town. I was so thankful for the visitors!


On an unrelated note, one year ago today I was in South Beach with Jessica browsing a dinner menu on Ocean Avenue.  I glanced up and saw a group of guys walking by and one in particular caught my eye.   After 15 minutes of begging, Jessica agreed to leave the restaurant with me in search of the boy in the blue button down.  She said we could walk 10 blocks and if I didn't see him we were giving up and turning around.  Nine and a half blocks later, I sat down at a table next to the boy in the blue shirt, who now happens to be my boyfriend.

So, although I would never condone "chasing" after a boy (Yes Mother, I did technically chase him), I must say this act of insanity spontaneity was one of the greatest and most rewarding risks I have ever taken.   So to Jessica and Will, thank you for putting up with my craziness.  I sure am a lucky girl ;).

March 8, 2010

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

I am loving Milly's Spring 2011 Ready To Wear Collection by founder and designer Michelle Smith.  Gone are the days of psychedelic swirls, abstract angles and shapeless frames.  Smith's line focuses on bright colors and geometrical shapes while adding her signature feminine touch.  Although the label is fairly new (11 years young), Smith has made quite a name for herself by consistently producing preppy yet professional pieces.  With so many designers trying to reinvent themselves in an effort to be fashion forward, it is refreshing to see that Smith's sense of style has stayed true.  Milly has proven that the classic silhouette still reigns supreme.  

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

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No KK, No

Has anyone else heard Jam? Kim Kardashian is trying her hand at "singing".  This is bad...I mean really bad.   In Kim's defense, her song was debuted on Ryan Seacrest's radio show in an effort to raise money for St. Jude's.  But is a techno song that includes lyrics like "Buzz got me high in the sky" and "5 more shots of tequila, I'm thirsty" really an appropriate way to represent a Childrens Hospital?   

I'm not quite sure why Kim is famous in the first place but one things for sure, she won't be adding "professional singer" to her celebutante resume.