Friday, April 29, 2011

Birthday Fit For a Princess

So yes, I did wake up at 5:30 this morning to watch the royal wedding along with 75% of the US. However, April 29th signifies another important event, my 24th BIRTHDAY!

My co-workers pulled out all the stops to ensure my birthday was not overshadowed by the royal wedding.  Tonight, I am flying to DC to continue the birthday celebration with Jess, Jon and Will. More exciting news to come!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Happily Ever After

With April 29th upon us, I find myself looking forward to watching Will and Kate's highly anticipated wedding!  While the world waits to see this royal spectacle, I know two more duos who are planning spectacles of their own.  Two of my favorite couples announced their engagements this month!  

Two weeks ago, my dear friend Anna came home from work to find her boyfriend Chett waiting in a candlelit backyard.  Chett thoughtfully chose a passage in the Bible for them both to read.  When he asked Anna to close the Bible, their married name was engraved in the corner.  If that isn't enough to make your heart melt, Chett bought the ring a year and a half ago and has been waiting for the perfect time to pop the question.  I guess it's true what they say, "When you know, you know".  Their relationship is based on a strong friendship, as well as shared beliefs and values.  They are two of the most caring people I know and, I wish them all the best!  You can read more about the proposal on Anna's blog.

One week later and two states away, another proposal took place.  Brad is one of my boyfriend's closest friends from law school.  I met Brad a year ago in Miami the same night I met Will.  I remember how fondly Brad would speak of his girlfriend.  One month later, I met "the girlfriend" and instantly knew why Brad spoke so highly of her.  She is beautiful, optimistic, and full of life.  They have a genuine adoration and respect for one another that is impossible to ignore.  Last week, Brad dropped to one knee after taking Abby on a re-creation of their first date.  How's that for dessert?!

While we're on the topic of weddings and happily ever after stories, my newlywed friend Katharine had some exciting news to share with me.  After eight months of hard work, Southern Weddings Magazine released a detailed account of Katharine and Kyle's wedding that I was lucky enough to be a part of in September.  Being the magazine's Managing Editor, Katharine's wedding was nothing short of spectacular.  I have included some of my favorite shots from the wedding, but for a more detailed account of their nuptials, visit SW Mag's blog



Monday, April 25, 2011

Sole Food

This weekend I was at home visiting Mom for Easter. We decided to pamper ourselves with a pedicure.  Not just any pedicure though...a fish pedicure at All About the Sole.  Yes, I said fish pedicure.  For those of you who have never heard of this bizarre procedure, I have decided to provide a video rather than try to explain. 

These toothless freshwater fish are native to Western Asia so, unless you're planning a trip to the Fertile Crescent, swim away.  This exfoliation technique was introduced in Turkey where the Garra Rufa fish serve as doctors to patients with skin ailments.  Hence the name "Dr. Fish Treatment".  In Turkey, patients and spa enthusiasts actually dip their entire bodies in fish infested pools.  Talk about braving the waters!

Can't say I would enjoy this...
Unlike traditional pedicures where a razor is implemented to slough away dead skin as well as healthy skin, the fish only remove the the bad skin. The first 5 minutes of our 15 minute dip, Mom and I squirmed in our chairs and tried to get acclimated to the ticklish sensation.  The tingling soon subsided and, before we knew it, our aquatic adventure was over.

Mom went first
Most people probably find this outlandish activity risky and unsanitary.  That is probably why it is banned in 14 states...  However, since this rare spa ritual has been introduced to the US, there has been no reported cases of harm done to the fish or the patrons.  It's a symbiotic relationship that leaves both parties satisfied.  The fish get full meals and I get soft heels!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Campaign Trail

Now that I have an apartment, I had better begin looking for furniture.  In a serendipitous twist of fate, one of my managers was selling a couch on Craigslist and asked if any employees were interested.  I immediately responded to the email and secured the sofa.  The remaining item I need is a dresser.  Believe it or not, I have NEVER owned a dresser.  I somehow have lived 23 years hanging all of my clothes or piling them into storage bins or closet shelves.  My friend Molly wrote about her campaign furniture find, and I am so excited to see the rehab she does on these hard-to-find treasures.

I am now on my own "campaign trail" if you will.  I am a huge advocate of Craigslist, but, every time I visit the site I spend at least an hour clicking, scrolling and minimizing.  Before I know it, I have exhausted my eyes and my computer's battery. 

Well, for those of you who have not heard of Craigseasy, behold!  Simply click on this link and follow the simple instructions and Voila!  No more clicking and guessing, squinting and zooming, hoping and wishing.  So to my fellow Craigslisters, here's to happy (and easy) hunting!

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

Catherine Fitzsimmons, founder of Rikshaw Design and a native Virginian (woohoo!), gathered inspiration for her line while traveling across the globe.  Her trip to India, however, made the greatest impact on her present collection.  Fitzsimmons' bohemian style is reflected in her ever-present use of vibrant colors and block-prints.  From bedding to bibs and beyond, Fitzsimmons has something for everyone.  Here are some of my favorite Rikshaw pieces:

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

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bridal Showers Bring May Flowers

I am still having girlfriend withdrawals nearly two weeks after our brief reunion in South Carolina.  I was thrilled to spend the weekend in DeBordieu for an unforgettable Bachelorette Party honoring the Bride-To-Be, Mary Loyal.  Eight of the 10 bridesmaids were in attendance, and considering 7 of us were Wofford alums, I felt like I was back in Terrier-land! On Friday night, we had a very enjoyable dinner at Frank's Outback.  Among the meal's many memorable moments was the presentation of Tippins' Jumbo Sweet Potato Scallop.  Talk about an oxymoron... We then piled into the party bus and headed out on the town.

Tippins holding her not-so-jumbo meal.
The bridesmaids (minus Helen and Lightsey)!
On the way to The Islander.
Next, we danced and sang the night away at Pawley's Island's local dive.  The bar was small which was advantageous to us because we received star treatment.  The band was eager to join the BM's in our quest to make Mary Loyal's night memorable.  Everyone took their turn dancing or singing on stage, but ML's rendition of  Matchbox 20's "3AM" was the ultimate show stopper.  We ended the night back at the house with an impromptu dance party.  We finally turned in our dancing shoes sometime before dawn.

Dancing...I think?
The girls!
The beautiful bride takes center stage!
Looks like a widespread case of Bieber Fever

Saturday was spent relaxing on the porch chatting about the big day.  With a looming thunderstorm, we decided to eat dinner at the house.  Next was the lingerie shower and of course, game time.  We played "Fish Bowl", a combination of charades, Cranium and Taboo.  We all were in stitches, and I have not laughed so hard in a long time.

Laugh Attacks during Fish Bowl
It was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend.  The next time we will all be together will be for....THE WEDDING!

So happy for the Bride :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Movin' On Up....The Street

Well, I finally did it.  I signed my lease! After a long and laborious search, I found a one bedroom apartment around the corner for an affordable price.  I have not even been inside yet (yikes?) but I did manage to drive by and snap a picture of the front porch.  It may not be much, but it's all mine, and I am thrilled!

My Very Own Place :)

The kitchen is smaller than my bathroom, but on the bright side, Chef Boyar-ME does not have an extensive collection of cookware...shocking!

Worst case scenario?
The apartment is equipped with the bare necessities, and come May 7, I will start filling the space with my own odds and ends.  I am excited to decorate my very first place.  I have been reading some of my favorite DIY blogs and taking tips from "Design on a Dime".  Hopefully I can find a way to make my apartment look great without breaking the bank.  Apartment Therapy's Small Cool 2011 Contest really gave me some inspiration.  Contestants submit pictures of their quaintly and cleverly decorated apartments some of which are less than 400 square feet!

Great entryway in a 552 Square Foot Apartment
All of this in only 500 Square Feet
325 Square Foot Studio
500 Square Foot loft
Elegant 600 Square Feet
I love this armchair found in a small apartment in Raleigh!

Although I thought finding my new residence would be the trickiest task, I am discovering that my move is far from complete.  I am learning that "utilities" encompasses much more than just electricity and that "basic cable" is actually not as basic as I once thought.  I am still trying to convince myself that the hefty 401K deduction on my recent paychecks is, as Mom so eloquently stated, "most certainly worth it, Concetta.  Someday when you're old and decrepit you'll be thankful for your savings".  Not exactly the selling point I was hoping for, but, I guess I will rely on the one truth I am fairly certain of: Mother Knows Best.  Welcome to the real world!

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

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Consign Me Up

I had a great weekend at home spending time with Mom and enjoying the sunny weather.  On Saturday, Mom and I headed to a consignment store.  I LOVE consignments!  One woman's trash is another woman's (my) treasure.  I was picking through the shoe rack when I spotted some leopard print wedges with two unmistakeable red soles.  I snatched up the shoes and, to my disbelief, they fit and were in nearly perfect condition.  Best of all, they were priced at more than half retail cost- what a snag! I am now the proud owner of my first (and most likely last) pair of Christian Louboutins!  

On Sunday, Will and I passed through Richmond to visit Jessica and her boyfriend Jon.  Jess suggested that we eat at Can-Can, an authentic brasserie in Carytown.  The menu featured all the signature French dishes from crepes to croque monsieurs... Yummy!  After lunch, we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and strolled up and down Cary Street window shopping and people watching.  I hadn't been to Richmond in quite some time and had almost forgotten how charming some parts of the city were.  It was a very enjoyable pit stop, and I am looking forward to another double date soon!


Look at this adorable furniture store!
Me and Jess on Cary Street 

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

I made the mistake of visiting the Kate Spade Outlet a few weeks back.  Since then, I have not been able to forget Spade's Washington Mews bags.  The Mews line comes in two styles, the Maryanne and the Marcela.  Spade is known for her playful yet refined taste and her eye-popping color palates.   My two favorite colors in this particular line are the Deep Ochre and Peacock.  Staying true to playful and tasteful form, Kate Spade proves that she can make even the most eccentric accessories fashionably inconspicuous.

With the flowers in bloom, it's time I switch out my neutral nylon carryall for a lighter and brighter shoulder bag.  So, looks like it's out with the cold and in with the Mews.

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