Friday, January 9, 2015

Catching Up

It feels like ages since I've blogged. I'm pretty sure I went the whole month of December without reading, writing, or acknowledging anything blog-related. And to be honest, it's been lovely. I love this space, and I love the fabulous people I've met while inhabiting this space, but sometimes (a lot of times lately), it has been a space that I've been reluctant to go to. I think when life starts shifting and things start changing, it's only natural to take a step back from the internet and focus on actually living those exciting, challenging, and different things.

This past year, quite a bit has changed in my life, the most exciting of which is Eric's and my engagement. Also adopting Hazel. Equally important. Obviously.

All of that being said, this year is going to be super exciting. We have a full year of wedding planning and celebrating ahead of us, so I'm going to try my hardest to get back into the swing of blogging, not only to update anyone who wants to be kept in the loop with wedding details and everything, but also for my own nostalgia so I have a log of real-time wedding planning to look back on later.

I'll be back in the next couple of days to fill you in on the wedding details we have so far, but for now, I figured I would just say "hi" and let you know I'm still here. I hope everyone's 2015 is getting off to a fabulous start, and I hope everyone's holidays were fun and relaxing and flooded with joy.

Here are a few photos for a mini photo update on my life. And by that I mean the only photos I've taken in the last month, most of which are Hazel, let's be honest. Oops. So out of character ;)

Crazy cat lady, I know. But Hazel needed an ornament!
The Whitley kids
My grandparents' cat Henley (basically Hazel's 14-year-old twin) gave Hazel a cat calendar for Christmas. Hazel likes to sit on it. It's precious.

Yeah, that's really all I've got. Let me know what you've been up to! I want life updates! :)

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Cyber Monday Roundup

What??? Two posts from me in one day? Can it be?

If I'm being honest, I am not a giant Black Friday shopper. It's all a little too chaotic for my liking, so Cyber Monday is more my speed. I can shop all the great sales from the comfort of my home snuggled up with my kitty and my furry blanket and not have to find parking in a too-full parking lot. It's divine.

So, for all you Cyber Monday shoppers, here is a roundup of some of my favorite deals on the web for this year's retail extravaganza :)

Kate Spade | 30% off entire site with code CYBER30

Furbish Studio | 20% off $75 or more with code HOLLADAY

ASOS | 30% off entire site with code ILOVEMONDAYS

Anthropologie | 20% off sale items with code EXTRAJOLLY

J. Crew | 30% off full price with code MONDAY

BaubleBar | 20% off entire site with code CYBER20 | Play to win more

Forever 21 | 20% off $60 or more with code CYBER20 | 30% off $100 or more with code CYBER30

C. Wonder | 40% off entire site

What are your favorite sales right now? Any suggestions???

Happy shopping!
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Tupelo Honey Raleigh

You guys. It's here. I can't even begin to express my excitement. Today is the day that Tupelo Honey officially opens its new Raleigh, NC location. The wedding diet is effectively moot now that it's here, and frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

Eric and I fell in love with the original Tupelo Honey in Asheville a few years ago, and now every time we're in the area, we brave the long wait so we can get our fix. So you can only imagine how excited we were a year or so ago when we learned they would be opening a location right in our back yard! Well, about a mile down the road, but still! So super close! We have been impatiently watching and waiting for the construction to finish (Oberlin Rd., across from Cameron Village), and I would be lying if I said we didn't let out some excited little squeals when we saw the sign go up. #loserloserdoubleloser

A couple of weeks ago, I received an invitation to a private friends & family event the weekend before the restaurant's opening. It was almost like getting my Hogwarts letter. So Saturday night, Eric and I donned our stretchy pants to embark upon the serious Tupelo Honey goodness. There was so much food...I swear to you, it was like Thanksgiving all over again...and then some. They spoiled us rotten.

The new location is so cool. It's a lot bigger than it looks from the street, and the decor is awesome. It has its own unique Raleigh flair, so it really isn't a carbon copy of the one in Asheville. The menu is different too. It's catered to the area with a few exclusive dishes just for the Raleigh location. The real standout though is a piece of commissioned artwork in the form of a honeycomb light fixture just inside the door. Be sure to look up because you don't want to miss it!
The event started at 7pm, but we were excited so we got there about fifteen minutes early. Turns out, a lot of people must have been excited, because there was already a twenty minute wait for a table when we arrived. It gave us an opportunity to hang out at the bar, The Pickled Okra, which has its own street entrance if you're just going for drinks and don't want to walk through the restaurant. Brilliant. I was boring and just got a beer, but their cocktails sounded completely amazing. Next time, for sure ;)
Once we were seated, our server walked us through the menu they had prepared for the friends & family event, and it all looked incredible. We started off with the "Southern Popcorn" appetizer, which was a gigantic serving of the most perfect fried okra. Yes, please.
And you can't forget about the biscuits. The biscuits are all part of the Tupelo Honey experience. They're light and fluffy and delicious and they are served with a blueberry jam as well as a bottle of tupelo honey.
We spent far too long deciding what entrees to pick, but I think we both ordered well. I got the "Shoo Mercy Cheesy Grill," which is essentially a really heavy duty grilled cheese on sourdough with havarti, pimento cheese, bacon, ham, caramelized onions, and a friend green tomato. Heart attack not included. It comes with either tomato soup or a cheesy onion soup, but I switched it out for the browned butter brussels sprouts because I can never say no to brussels sprouts. The whole thing was incredible. I had the other half of my sandwich and brussels yesterday, and it was just as good day two :)
Eric got the pork chop with figs and asparagus. I'm not a pork chop fan, but I did try the figs and they were to die for. Instead of the mashed potatoes that come with it, he got the shoestring fries with parmesan and BBQ spice. Um, amazing.
Drooling yet? We ended our over-the-top meal with some classic banana pudding, which, go figure, was awesome.

So here's the thing: if you're in the Raleigh area, you're going to have to go. The doors officially open today (December 1st) at 4pm, so bombard them with Raleigh love and hospitality. If you like southern food with a fun new spin on it, you'll love this place.

A huge thank you to Tupelo Honey for the sneaky peek!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Home Office Inspiration

I've been searching for the best affordable desk solution for months now. I had a roommate who moved out in September when she got married, so now I have a whole extra room to use. I've been planning all along to turn it into an office, but really, I didn't want to shell out big buckaroos for a desk. Naturally, I turned to Ikea...and then to the internet for all the Ikea hacks. 

On Sunday, Eric and I went to Charlotte for the Andrew McMahon concert with our friends Philip and Adair (who also just got's an epidemic), so we dragged them to a pre-concert jaunt around the mothership that is Ikea. It really is a shame we don't have one closer to us...but probably a good thing too. I could be seriously dangerous in that store.

Anyway, I digress. I used willpower as well as the little voice inside my wallet and walked away with only a tabletop and some legs (which I will spray paint gold, natch), to turn into my little desk/vanity space. I'm super excited about it! Exhibit A:

Hopefully mine looks half that chic and doesn't end up with cat hairs plastered to it. Only time will tell.

Since I haven't had a home desk space since college (whoa, Nelly), I have some serious deskorating to do (ha see what I did there? yeah never mind...ignore that. please). Naturally, the ever-faithful Pinterest has come to my aid for this one and has simultaneously sucked hours of my life into its black hole. I don't even want to know how long I've spent scrolling through beautiful home offices on Pinterest, but nevertheless, here are some of my favorites.

So...that's kind of where my brain has been lately. Now that have procured the desk, I just have to get cracking on making it livable beautiful. Use the widget below to scroll through and shop some of my favorite desktop odds and ends :) I'll keep you posted!

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

We're Engaged!

I'm back!


Seriously, one of these days I'll stop starting posts that way, but you know, sometimes life just gets in the way.

And that's exactly what has happened. Life.

On October 8th (over a month this is old news by now, oops!), Eric asked me to marry him. Aaaaaand I said yes...duh. So.....WE'RE ENGAGED!!!

I'm a super nosy little girl, so whenever I see the standard "we're engaged!" Instagram or Facebook post, all I want to know is how it happened. I realized yesterday that it's been a month and I still haven't filled you all in! So here's the story:

Eric and I spend almost every special occasion at King Family Vineyards just outside of Charlottesville, VA. The first time we ever went, I knew it's where I wanted to get engaged. It just felt special and magical and it instantly became "our place." I knew a proposal was coming sooner rather than later, so when Eric started planning a "random" trip to Charlottesville, I knew exactly what he had up his sleeve. He was excited and not entirely subtle, so for about a month and a half, I had October 8th marked in my brain as a potentially exciting day. But I kept my mouth shut...I didn't want him to think I was on to his plan :)

In the weeks leading up to our trip, he started dropping hints...and by hints I mean telling me he had picked up the ring and saying things like "I just want to get engaged somewhere special. Like King Family." Major side eye. Whatever, the kid was excited, but I was devastated that I knew exactly when it was coming and that the whole element of surprise I've been looking forward to forever was gone. Cue the tiny violins...

The morning of October 8th, I got up in record time and got ready in the outfit I had planned and made sure my hair looked somewhat decent. I also wanted to make sure we left in a timely fashion so I could go give my mom the house key so she could take care of Hazel. She teaches preschool and needed to get the key before preschool chapel at 9:30...precious. So anyway, I was in a bit of a hurry. At about 9:00, I finished getting my stuff together and put the finishing touches on my makeup while Eric loaded the car. When he came back in, I had my purse in one hand and my spare key in the other. I kissed Hazel on her furry little head and said, "Okay, let's go!"

He just kind of stood and stared at me like a weirdo. He said, "Can we have a family hug with Hazel before we go?" Okay...? So we did, and when we hugged, I noticed that his heart was absolutely racing as if it was going to fly out of his chest. He put the kitty down and stared at me again. I'm over here thinking we need to hurry and get my mom the key, but finally he looks at me with tears in his eyes and says, "I want to ask you something."

I said, "RIGHT NOW?!" He said, "Yes, right now." And because I'm a brat, I said "But we need to take my mom the key...." Priorities, Mason. Priorities.

So I put my purse down, and my sweet Eric said some completely lovely things and I cried a lot. He got down on his knee, and asked me the question I had been to excited to someday hear him ask. The little nugget completely caught me off guard...and surprised me! He knew exactly what he was doing convincing me it was going to be at the vineyard, but at the end of the day, he knew he wanted to propose in a private, intimate setting, and he wanted to make sure we could tell my parents in person. So sweet! He also wanted to make sure we had the whole trip to celebrate and enjoy our engagement.

We quickly ran to my mom's preschool and told her the good news (and gave her the key...can't forget that!). I called my dad and he said he was right down the street at a coffee shop, so we ran over there and told him in person, too. Really, it couldn't have been more perfect. We grabbed some coffee and set off on our celebratory trip, and we spent the entire car ride making the obligatory "we're engaged!" phone calls and gushing things like "oh my gosh I can't believe it's real!"

It was the most surreal day. It couldn't have been more perfect. I love that we got to spend two whole days soaking up the excitement and just being together celebrating away from reality.
We lucked out with the actual best weather imaginable, the cherry on top of an already perfect day.
In other news, I cannot even express to you how obsessed I am with this dress. That was one fantastic thing about knowing the "general" day of the proposal...I got to outfit plan! And my nails were done!
 After our day at the vineyard, we headed to downtown Charlottesville for dinner and champagne at The Downtown Grille, another favorite of ours.
The next day, we knocked around Charlottesville a bit more and did a lot of driving and shopping and coffee drinking, which was completely fabulous. On the way home, we stopped in Richmond for dinner at The Tobacco Company and drinks at The Jefferson Hotel, two of our other spots. The whole trip was basically a tour de Mason & Eric. It simply couldn't have been better. Just blissful.

We're so so so excited and already busily planning! We don't have an official date set yet, but we're planning on January 2016 in Raleigh, NC! I can't wait to fill you in on all of the details as they come together! 

Stay tuned!

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