Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cute as a Button

Well...my nails are!

I just repainted them and I am loving the color. It is a bright and fun shade that is just perfect for summer. I considered doing red for the 4th but am so glad I used this cute color instead. Meet Cute as a Button by Essie:



If you have not tried this shade yet, run over to Ulta and grab a bottle for yourself. Seriously...it is cute as a button!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday Loves


Happy Wednesday ladies! Its time for What I'm Loving Wednesday with Jamie. Link up here to play along!



one.
I'm loving that tomorrow is the last day of the semester! Only one more jam packed summer term and I'll have my master's. Twenty more class days after tomorrow. Its so close I can taste it!

two.
I'm loving that Corey picked up the keys to our new apartment yesterday. We're going to hang curtains and do some minor things some time this weekend!


three.
I'm loving that I'll be relaxing on the boat this weekend in New Jersey and celebrating a long July 4th weekend with my sweet fiance.


four.
I'm loving that I will probably drink an entire bottle of these to celebrate the end of this stressful semester! Who else loves these?



five.
I'm loving that my bridal appointments are made and confirmed at the Amsale Flagship Salon (they carry lots of lovely Kenneth Pool gowns) and at Kleinfeld's for the weekend of July 16-17. My bridal gown search takes Manhattan in two weeks!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bridal Talk Tuesday

Life with Elizabeth
Hello ladies!

Well, so far so good. I'm posting my second bridal talk Tuesday. Today's topic is "Meet the Maids of Honor." I say "maids" because I have two!

Meet Elizabeth

Elizabeth and I have been friends since my freshman year of college. She was on my sister hall and we bonded during sorority recruitment. We both ended up joining Kappa Kappa Gamma and our friendship grew. She stayed up all night and waited with me at the hospital when I had to have an emergency EKG and I sat in a seventeen hour(!!!) traffic jam on the interstate in the middle of a blizzard with her so we could pick her stranded boyfriend up at the Atlanta airport. She was always one of my "go to" people throughout college and I could always be very honest with her. Some of my best memories with her are creating our own karaoke to a highly inappropriate song that will remain nameless, tanning at the pool and consuming unbelievable amounts of Bud Light Lime and Mike's Harder Lemonade, thirsty Thursdays at the Greenville Drive baseball games, and lots of fun double dates. I met Corey because of her. She began dating his roommate and early on in their relationship invited me to come out with the two of them. And as they say, the rest is history!


Meet Anna

I have known Anna all of her life. She is my first cousin and is only five months younger than me. We are both only children and we have always lived within thirty minutes to an hour of each other. Because of this, we grew up very close and have remained close over the years. She is a great shopping companion and a great listener. I know that I can trust her with anything and that we'll always be on each other's sides. As children, Anna and I both loved our Barbies and we put on some pretty elaborate Barbie and Ken weddings. Even then, our Barbies were each others' maids of honor!

Want to join in on the Bridal Talk? Grab the button (from the top of this post and I promise I'll fix it to make it a little bigger by next week) and link-up here.

Guidelines:
  • If you're planning a wedding, link up to your most recent wedding-related post or an older one related to this week's topic.
  • If you're already married, link up to an older post featuring your wedding party that you'd like people to revisit or take this opportunity to reminisce. 
  • If you're a lover of weddings, link up to a post somehow related to the wedding party topic. 
  • Please try to visit at least one or two other blogs in the link-up to share the wedding love.
If you link-up, I promise I will read and comment on your post! :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Misc. Monday

Happy Monday girls! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!



Its time for Misc. Monday with Carissa at lowercase lettersWant to play along? Write random and link up here.


one.
I had such a great time dress shopping on Friday. My fabulous wedding planner emailed me pics of me in some of the dresses last night and I am seriously loving one of them. We're putting the finishing touches on our NYC trip and visit to Kleinfeld's so hopefully I will have a final gown decision in the next couple weeks! Obviously I can't show you pictures of the real possibilities but here are a couple of gowns that were beautiful but won't make the cut.

loved the skirt on this gown

This was a really fun dress. Please ignore the look on my face - my mom snapped the picture when I turned around to ask our wedding planner a question

two. 
One of my roomies from college came to Charlotte on Saturday to visit me and we had a yummy dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Ahh - I love that place. The food is amazing and cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts. The Oreo is my favorite flavor. It was a great night and it was so great to catch up with her. She went into AmeriCorps after graduation and has been traveling most of the year. And, she's off to Oregon Law in the fall so some quality friend time was much needed.


Us in the Bahamas during our senior year spring break

three. 
I had one of the worst headaches of my life last night. It was completely debilitating. I was dizzy when I was standing up and it was making me nauseous. No fun at all. Do any of you get those?

four.
It is my finals week in my Summer I class. Please forgive me if I go m.i.a. some this week. I have lots of work to be done! But after my last class on Thursday, I'm starting to pack for the movers then I'm off to visit Corey for a long weekend. Then, on Tuesday, I will start Summer II aka my last semester ever! I'll have my master's in one month!

Friday, June 24, 2011

I'm in love...

with this man:

But also with one of the wedding gowns I tried on today! I'm not 100% sure its the one yet. One of my maids of honor is studying abroad in China and I need her opinion. She was also planning to go to Kleinfeld's with me so if I end up getting this dress and not going then I still want her to be involved in the process.

It is so beautiful. I tried on so many dresses and there were three that I really really liked. All right about in the same price point. But they all had some major differences. This dress is fabulous and I seriously can't stop thinking about it now that I'm home. In a couple weeks, we are going to go visit one more salon in the Charlotte area and then go back to this fabulous salon to try the dress on again. It is seriously one of the most beautiful dresses I have ever seen!

More to come on dress shopping tomorrow after I finish this current trends in literacy education research paper that is currently consuming my life. Happy Friday ladies!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Some days you just need a milkshake.

I stopped on the way home from class for one of these delicious treats:


Nevermind that even though I got the junior size it was still a third of my caloric intake for the day. I'm currently stressing over my two huge final assignments for my class - the draft of one of these is due tomorrow at midnight. I feel like I might spontaneously combust from the stress of it.

On days like today, I think I deserve a delicious 570 calorie treat.  Some days you just need a milkshake.

BTW, to answer a couple questions on recent posts:

I am not planning to be on Say Yes to the Dress. I did apply to be on the show but have not heard back. That is not a determining factor in my dress shopping and I want to go to Kleinfeld's regardless for their amazing and extensive selection. But I do think it would be pretty cool!

The van photo in my previous post was taken the day a utility van was parked across the street from the back yard of my condo. A good...30 yards away from my back door. It shifted out of gear, rolled down a hill, became airborne, and literally flew into the back of my townhouse. Everyone was ok and all of my stuff was fine. The townhouse had structural damage and the relaxing garden tub was shattered. I might do a post on this at some point! It was a pretty interesting and memorable day!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Operation Relocation: Phase 1

Planning a 700-mile move during the last month of graduate school is not easy. I have learned this through experience.

I thought the hardest part of "Operation Relocation" would be finding and choosing a place to live. Home in North and South Carolina finding an apartment is easy. Finding an apartment that will allow a fifteen pound dog is not difficult. And if you decide to buy - well in the South three hundred thousand dollars can buy you four bedrooms and a backyard.

The same is not true of Hoboken, New Jersey. For those of you who don't know, Hoboken is located on the Hudson river and is only one train stop away from Manhattan. In Hoboken, decent 1 bedroom apartments for rent under $2500/month generally stay on the market for less than 24 hours, the majority of them have a no pet policy, and well, $300,000 will buy you a studio or a small one bedroom. And maybe not even in an elevator building. (Imagine taking a dog on potty walking when you live in a seventh floor walkup - or even going to check the mail.) Not to mention a parking space can run you another $175-$300 a month.

In South Carolina, I was a little spoiled. I lived here:



A three bedroom, 2.5 bath townhouse with a tiny backyard for Riley to run around in circles and a two car garage.  Then this happened:


So for the past several months I've been living with my parents and all the furniture from my beautiful townhouse has been staying in one of these:


Needless to say, I've become a little less spoiled. Corey and I decided that purchasing a condo would be the best financial decision so we toured numerous condos (walk-ups in historic brownstones, modern elevator buildings, etc.) and finally decided on one.


We went into negotiations with the seller and came to an agreement fairly quickly. THEN, when our contract came under attorney review, things became problematic. The seller's attorney didn't want the price to be negotiable after the results of the home inspection. And they were not willing to budge on this. Our attorney thought this was absolutely unacceptable because we shouldn't be locked into a contract if significant problems were found with the pipes, wiring, etc. So, we did not end up purchasing the condo.

Back to the drawing board we went and decided that maybe we did want to rent after all. That way if Corey gets a promotion or I end up not getting a teaching job then we will be free to move sooner. The day this lovely apartment came open to rent, we snatched it up and signed a lease. Coincidentally, it is literally right next door to the condo we almost purchased and we will still be able to see the Empire State Building from our living room.


For some reason the kitchen is the only room I have a picture of. No worries, there will be plenty of posts of this apartment as I decorate it.  

Finding a place to live that would allow my sweet puppy and that was of decent size, had in-unit laundry, central air conditioning, and parking was most definitely a challenge. It was the hardest part of "Operation Relocation" but I have to say finding movers is proving to be a close second.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bridal Talk Tuesday

Happy Tuesday girls!

I've decided I am going to start doing a weekly wedding planning column to update you on how the wedding planning is going and to discuss wedding related topics. The goal is for this to happen on Tuesdays. Please place emphasis on goal.


Introducing...


This is my cute little "Inner Bride" avatar from the Knot. I had such a good time with that feature. I've made six inner brides.

Today's topic is going to be wedding dress shopping! I am so excited because I am going wedding dress shopping for the first time this Friday. I am going to two fabulous boutiques in Charlotte. Our amazing wedding planner has organized the day for us and she and my mom will be going with me. I am beyond excited.

This is not the only talk of wedding dress shopping that you will hear about on this blog. There is another trip in the works. Any Say Yes to the Dress fans reading? My mom, maid of honor, and Corey's mom are planning a trip to Kleinfeld's. I watch Say Yes to the Dress religiously, particularly at the gym to motivate me to stay on the treadmill. I don't think I'm going to make a decision until after I've been shopping at both places. I love the idea of buying from a smaller salon back home but I know I'm not going to miss finding the perfect dress by going to Kleinfeld's. They are the largest bridal salon in the country, after all! And so close to my new home in Hoboken.


I have a love for fashion and for beautiful clothes. Being a former pageant girl, the dress is something that is very important to me. I have a number of beautiful gowns from my pageant days and they are all very special to me. One of my favorites is this one:

Custom designed for me by the one and only Sherri Hill.

When it comes to wedding dresses I love a classic elegant look. I want the gown to be beautiful and breath-taking but also not too over the top. I want it to be gorgeous without being too extravagant.

Here are my current favorites:
I love a gorgeous satin ballgown. Simply beautiful.

I love the elegance of lace. And all the detail! Breathtaking.

Ladies, what is your favorite style of wedding dress? Which of my two favorites do you prefer?

I'm also thinking that if anyone is interested, I'll add a linky tool to these bridal talk posts. Engaged ladies can link up to a post about their own plans, married ladies can link up to a past post or reminisce, or those who just love a good wedding can link up to share some of the things they love about the week's topic. Regardless, I love hearing all of your opinions on wedding planning and reading about others' upcoming weddings. If you're interested in a wedding-related link up, let me know! :)

Also, I'm so excited that I reached 50 followers yesterday! I'm thinking that at 75 I'll do a giveaway! 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Misc. Monday

Happy Monday girls!

Its time for Misc. Monday with Carissa at lowercase lettersWant to play along? Write random and link up here.

one.
I'm feeling extra exhausted this Monday. How many more Mondays until I'm done with graduate school??? (Six!)

two.
My midterm went so well. Unfortunately I still have SOOO much work to do in the next two weeks of this term. I might go m.i.a. from bloggy world next week since it will be the week of finals.

I feel like this little girl.
{via Google images}

three.
We chose the first engagement party invitations and they are being printed as I type this. I can't wait for them to arrive. They are going to be super cute!

Here's a reminder of what they'll look like. We chose a cuter font, though. 

four.
Round one of wedding dress shopping is occurring this Friday. I am beyond excited. My fabulous wedding planner has made some appointments for us at some of the best boutiques in Charlotte. Look for more info about that upcoming expedition in tomorrow's post.

five.
I cannot wait for the next six weeks to be over. This is a totally, completely honest statement. I am sick of being long distance with my fiance. I'm so over this 700 mile distance. He's been living in New Jersey and I've been living in South Carolina since the week before Thanksgiving. I'm ready to get to see him everyday! If I wasn't so close to having my masters (exactly six class weeks) then I think I would quit.

41 days until I'm reunited with the sweet man and can see him everyday. (btw, Corey hates this pic because he says it caught him off guard but I love some tailgate fun so I'm using it anyway)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

To my wonderful dad. I love you with all my heart.


This is not the most flattering photo of my family. However, I got a new computer recently and not all of my photos have been transferred yet! :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Please pardon my absence...

...from my usual commenting as well as writing a decent post today.

Today is my midterm! (Already-can you believe it??) Afterwards, I'm having dinner and wine with some wonderful ladies.

I'll be back to my normal blogging habits tomorrow. Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What I'm Loving Today


Happy Wednesday ladies! Its time for What I'm Loving Wednesday with Jamie. Link up here to play along!


one.
I'm loving these two cute summery tops.



two.
I'm loving this fun and flirty coral dress.


three.
I'm loving that we are starting to plan our engagement party! It is going to be at this cute historic house with a phenomenal outdoor garden.


four.
I'm loving these two potential invites for our engagement party. We're leaning towards the first.



five.
I have to brag on myself a little...I'm loving that I've lost almost five pounds. Its fluctuating between four and five but I'm definitely headed it the right direction. My goal is to look like this by my wedding:


six.
As always, I'm loving these two sweet guys.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Travel Etiquette (According to Moi)

Hello ladies! Today, I'm going to do something a little different. I would like to share some of my thoughts on a very serious topic with you all. That is, travel etiquette.

As you all know, I travel quite a bit lately. Approximately every two to three weeks via airplane. And I must say, these past seven months that Corey has been living in New Jersey, I have met some pretty interesting folks.

I have come up with Travel Etiquette According to Elizabeth. (i.e. you can take what you please away from this, it is only my rather sarcastic opinion.)

Rule 1: Greet your neighbor.
When you board the plane, smile and say hello to the people sitting next to you. Even if you are cranky. You don't have to strike up a full-on conversation for the duration of the flight but you do have to sit three inches away from the people on either side of you for several hours. Acknowledge their existence and start the flight off on a good note.

Rule 2: Follow the flight attendants' directions.
I had the pleasure of sitting next to a teenage girl on the plane on the way back from New Jersey on Sunday. She refused to power off her cell phone the first two times the flight attendant asked because she was in a text war with some boy named Kevin. Then the flight attendant stood over her until she turned it off and put it away in her bag. THEN, as we were taxiing she pulls it back out to continue the conversation. Crew members tell us (as well as a recent study) that cell phones interfere with air traffic control communication. Don't make your neighbor have heart palpitations because you couldn't stop texting your boyfriend.



Rule 3: If it isn't yours, ask before you move it.
On my way to New Jersey on Friday, I was sitting next to a businessman and he had only flown into Charlotte for a couple days. He boarded with just a suit jacket and a duffel bag and placed them in the overhead bin. By the time Zone 4 loads, overhead bin space is limited and a woman decided to take this gentleman's belongings out of the overhead bin and stuff them between two other suitcases to make room for her own things. If it doesn't belong to you, you should not relocate a bag to serve your own storage needs without asking the owner. It is such a pain to track down your bag if 1.) you don't know where it is and 2.) it ends up being placed behind you when there are one hundred people trying to move forwards off the plane. Be courteous of people's belongings.

Rule 4: Make room for others' belongings.
Anyone who has flown in the last two or so years knows that flights are almost always full now and that more people are carrying on luggage to avoid the standard $50 per checked bag charge. Flight attendants ask passengers to put their smaller items under the seat in front of them. And for some reason people tend to ignore this simple request. Leg room is unfortunately limited and I understand everyone's desire to try to maximize it. Yet, just because someone was randomly assigned to Zone 5 boarding, doesn't mean they don't deserve for their bag to be on board if at all possible. Purses and tote bags can fit under the seat in front of you. Please, do us all a favor, and put them there!  Also, let's check those oversized bags. If you get that bag that you honestly know is too big past the gate attendant, don't smile and think you've "pulled one over" on them. Remember that you are only inconveniencing another passenger.

Rule 5: Make room for others.
This is a little bit of a sensitive topic. You may remember my post about my middle-seat experience on a flight several weeks ago. Whether you choose to put the armrest down or not, the person next to you deserves the space on the other side of that armrest. All of it. They did pay for an entire seat. Please refrain from spreading out pillows or blankets and invading their space. If you feel cramped and often find yourself elbowing your neighbor or feel like you or your belongings are invading their space, simply request an aisle seat.


Rule 6: Look behind you before you lean your seat back.
It really is a pet peeve of mine, when I'm scrunched in the middle seat with elbows coming at me from all directions and then, the person in front of me pushes their seat back as hard as they can. This leaves me with approximately two square feet of space and splashes my coffee that was on the tray table everywhere. Glance behind you and make sure you aren't going to bump into the person or spill something if you lean your seat back. Then please do so slowly. It also never hurts to lean back and ask the person if they mind if you lean your seat back. Of course they should say yes and you do have the right to lean back and take a nap if you please - however if you are courteous and polite it does make the scrunched person behind you feel much better.

Rule 7: Keep in-flight grooming to an appropriate level.
I'll admit I've been known to powder my nose or reapply my lipgloss in flight on occasion. Especially when I have an immediate dinner reservation with Corey as soon as I arrive. However, grooming in flight should be kept to an appropriate level. This means, please do not pick lint or dandruff from your outfit so that it falls on the person sitting next to you and please do not reapply deodorant or heaven forbid floss your teeth at your seat. Just go to the restroom - some things should be done in private.


Rule 8: Reserve PDA for somewhere else.
Its totally ok, in my opinion, to hold hands with your sweetie, give them a couple quick smooches, or lean your head against the shoulder. However, a plane ride is not a private moment. Let's keep the makeout sessions and intense PDA at bay until you reach your destination.

Rule 9: Keep in-flight conversation to an appropriate level.
I love when I meet a nice person on a flight and am able to have a good conversation to entertain myself. However, these people are strangers! Everything is not meant to be shared - especially with strangers. Some examples of what I consider off-limit topics: relationship drama (think Rachel from Friends on the flight to Ross and Emily's wedding), family drama, drug/alcohol use (not everyone partakes in these and it can make people pretty uncomfortable), political debates, and your sex life or lack there of.


Rule 10: Remember not everyone wants to have a conversation.
Piggybacking off Rule 9, remember that not everyone wants to have a conversation of a flight. I love to talk to my neighbor but not everyone feels that way. If your neighbor doesn't seem interested in having a conversation or are being very short with you, don't continue to force the conversation just because they are your captive audience. Try to pack a book, magazine, or your iPod in your carry on so you can entertain yourself.

So here they are, my ten rules of airplane etiquette based on my experiences with frequent flying these past several months. I'm sure you all are perfectly courteous when on a plane but nevertheless, these are things that I think are worth thinking about when you have 100-200 people in such close quarters.


All images found via Google images.


© 2011 Elizabeth A. Lee and Life with Elizabeth Blog