Thursday, January 31, 2013

14 Days of Love Instagram Challenge!

There are a few very tall Pine trees that were swaying like crazy last night! We didn't get a big storm or any tornadoes, just a ton of wind and a cold front. 

It has been at least a year since I have completed a photo-a-day challenge. When I saw this on created by Mandy of Miss Indie, I felt inspired! As everyone knows, Valentine's Day is coming up and she thought it would be fun to do a photo challenge all about the things you love! 

Each day will have a different theme, and you just have to take a picture of that item that you love (movie you love, favorite possession you love, quote you love, etc), and use the hashtag #14DaysofLove.

I'm really excited about this photo-a-day challenge! You can see my photo each day by following me on Instagram (@eeelishalynn), starting Feb 1st and ending on Valentine's Day when I will post a collage of my photos for those who do not have Instagram (Hi Grandma, Hi Grandpa!). 

I can't wait to share the love!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

365 Project: Frankie Daily Journal 2013

Last year I saw the 2012 frankie daily journal on several blogs and s hard as I tried, I could not find anywhere (even on Ebay!) to order one. I kept it in the back of my mind all year long and when the 2013 journal came out, I bought my copy right away! 

It is beautiful! The binding is a "dusky red cloth" with brown lettering. Inside, each spread is one week and has individual boxes for each day. They are not very big, so it's really for the highlights, not the details. It is filled with colorful patterns, vintage-inspired details and hand-drawn typography from frankie illustrator Amy Borrell. As a long time journal lover, I can say that it is definitely top notch.

Even though I have this blog, I am not convinced that the internet is iron clad or that Blogger is here to stay. I wanted to be sure that I have a hard copy account of my daily life, especially for such a big year in my life. I keep it on my nightstand so that I remember to write in it everyday!

Skwisgaar approves.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Simply Saturday

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Favorites

Maybe not the most comfy, but the most beautifully designed for sure!

During my day off on Monday I stopped into Bath & Body Works to pick up a new bottle of my favorite perfume - White Citrus - and I saw the spa collection. It is a large collection, but I decided to try the True Blue Spa Invigorating Spa Scrub. It has a cool, eucalyptus scent and makes my skin feel so soft!

Have you ever wondered what life as a Crawley would be like? Yes you have, comeon... This couple decided to get married at Downton Abbey, which is really called Highclere Castle. If only Anna was there to help the bride get dressed and Mr. Carson could be on butler duty to serve the champagne!

Pink Goat Cheese Hearts a la Joy the Baker!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Forever Bridal Show

Early in the fall when Aaron and I had just started looking at wedding venues, one of the vendors asked me if I was going to the Forever Bridal Show. I didn't know anything about it at that point, but when I got home I checked out the event website and told my fellow Raleigh bride-to-be friends, Brittany and Kelly about it right away!

The show ran for two days at the NC State Fairgrounds. It was the weekend that we got back from our New Years Caribbean cruise so I pulled all of my energy together, brewed a large cup of coffee, and drove over to meet up with the girls. I wasn't sure what to expect walking in, having never been to a bridal show like this before. This was an AMAZING bridal show! 

image source
image source
After checking in at registration (where we were given a cute tote bag stuffed with wedding planning goodies) we walked into the show and a beautiful acrobat hanging upside down from the ceiling began to pour a glass of champagne for each of us! For the next 3 hours we walked up an down each of the humongous aisles, meeting vendors, watching presentations, looking through portfolios, signing up for raffles and honeymoon giveaways, and tried a ton of free cake, appetizer samples and even a chocolate fountain!

Each of the vendors that we stopped to talk to were so surprised that we were three brides at this event together. We had the chance to do so many fun things together like take photo booth pictures, make a photo flip book on the spot, and check out the inside of a HUGE party bus. I made an appointment at David's Bridal for a dress consultation, played games to win discounts and giveaways, and found a possible photographer, florist, and a fanastic makeup/hair stylist that I already booked!

You would expect that by the end I would be exhausted, but I was high on wedding happiness and so inspired by an array of amazing ideas to use at our wedding in October!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Girls Home Decor: Mermaid Bookends

Special talents are called such because they are special, not everyone has the same one. One of mine is spotting mermaids wherever I go. Even if it is tiny, blurry, or tucked away in a corner behind a rack of scarves, I will spot it. I could make a blog mini-series of mermaid sightings, but the downside of my special talent is that it's self serving, I'm really the only one who cares, haha. 

Anyway, this mermaid was spotted in this week's episode of Girls in Shoshana's bedroom. It is a beautiful Kalalou Turquoise Ceramic Mermaid Bookend piece. I think she would find a happy home holding up cookbooks amongst tiki cups and a lei or two. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Weekend Adventuretime!

Friday - Recently, Fridays have been feeling like crunch time at the office. For some reason our clients like to, but when Friday rolls around, they start sending non-stop emails and asking for updates. Ah! It does feel so good when the clock hits 4 and I'm outta there!

I arrived home from work to find Aaron and Skwisgaar cuddled so deep into the couch. I love that - It's one of my favorite things about Friday. It was still cold after the previous night of snow, so we decided to stay in and keep the cuddling going all night long. We popped out to pick up Taco Bell then came back and watched Django Unchained, which was amazing. 

Saturday - After Saturday morning gym time and breakfast we decided to check out Triangle Town Center for the first time. We had talked about going in December, but once we saw the we knew that we didn't want to go anywhere close to that mall until the holidays were over. Luckily, this trip was traffic free, and the mall was pretty quiet. 

We went to a few jewelry stores to look at wedding bands. We found out Aaron's ring size and he got a good idea of what he wants. I am going to need a custom ring to fit comfortable with my engagement ring. 

After shopping we had lunch at our favorite Chinese Buffet on Millbrook and then went home to take naps and catch up on some of the TV shows that have been sitting on the DVR.

Sunday - On Sunday morning I took my car to get it washed and then went to Target to pick up a few things while Aaron went to Best Busy to exchange a few DVDs. I talked to my Aunt Robbie to wish her a happy birthday then went back to our place for lunch, laundry, and nap time. The rest of the day was dedicated to video chatting with friends and family and wedding planning! I feel like we have gotten so much done, but we still have so much to do. On Sunday evening we watched the Ravens defeat the Patriots (!!!) and then

Monday - Surprise weekend extension! My boss texted me last night to tell me that she totally forgot about MLK Day and that she was closing the office for the day, score! I decided to drive out to the Crossroads Plaza DSW and I found my wedding shoes! I will post about them another time for Wedding Wednesday.

Now, I am going to watch the latest episode of Girls and maybe go for a walk before Aaron gets home. 

Hope you had a good weekend!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Simply Saturday

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Currently I Am...

Reading: The second book in the Chesapeake Bay trilogy by Nora Roberts. 

Watching: As many 2012 Oscar noms as I can! I will write a full post about this later after we get to see a few more movies.

Anticipating: Winter weather! We have our first snow forecast here in Raleigh and I'm hoping that we get some tonight.

Planning: Our wedding! Duh. I am working on it a tiny bit everyday. Currently our save-the-date magnet proofs are on their way and wedding shower theme brainstorming sessions are happening.

Working on: Keeping up with my 365 Frankie Diary project. I am so excited to have this journal for 2013. I keep it by my bed so I remember t

Wishing: That I was back on a catamaran in St. Lucia...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Weekend Recap

This was our first full weekend back in Raleigh after the cruise. Luckily Aaron was amazing and took care of all of our laundry last Sunday, so we had time this weekend to get other errands done and fit in some time to relax. I guess after taking 600 pictures on the cruise, I forgot to take more pictures this weekend. Mostly I just have pictures of food!

On Friday after a great day at work I met Aaron and his coworker, Erin, at The Raleigh Times. They had been at a work conference at the Downtown Marriott all day. Shortly after we left and went to Foundation on Fayetteville St, which is a liquor bar, but Aaron and I both ordered a delicious coffee stout. 

Saturday morning was beautiful! Aaron went to the gym and I sat outside on our balcony after tidying up our apartment. We braved the crowds at CostCo and Trader Joe's and rewarded ourselves with lunch at BurgerFi. My burger was delicious and the restaurant had a really fun atmosphere. We were able to sit outside and watch the NC State vs. Duke game while we ate.

Later that evening our friends Kelly and Carmen came over for appetizers and drinks to catch up since we had not seen them since before the holidays. Around 9 we decided to drive downtown to go to the Cornerstone Tavern to see a DJ that I met at the Forever Bridal Show. The DJ wasn't actually playing that night, but we decided to stay for a bit anyway.

After a few songs Aaron and I decided to leave Glenwood South and go to The Architect for our friend Pat's birthday. When we left the bar after midnight the fog was so heavy! It was so dense that he top of the PNC building downtown disappeared completely. I tried to get a good picture of it, but my iphone camera isn't the best in the dark.

We slept in on Sunday morning and then went to Relish Cafe for brunch for gingerbread banana pancakes and fried green tomato biscuits, yum! After brunch we spent a lot of time working on our wedding guest list, shower guests lists, and designed our save-the-date magnets! It feels good to cross items off of our wedding to-do list. Only 9 months to go!

That evening we caught up on a few TV shows (The Office and Bob's Burgers) and then we watched the Golden Globes before bed.

Hope you had a good weekend!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Simply Saturday

Thursday, January 10, 2013

LUSH Products Review

The holidays have come and gone and I totally forgot to publish this post (it has been sitting in my draft posts since Hanukkah, oops) but, I don't want to just delete it so, here is my very first LUSH product review! 

The first time I ever heard about LUSH Handmade Cosmetics was when we were living in Miami, FL. I know that there is a store in the Aventura Mall, and I might have walked by it once or twice, but honestly, that mall was insane and I tired to avoid going there as much as possible, so I never stopped in. Soon life got super busy, we moved to Raleigh, and so it goes.

Around the end of November I saw that someone had pinned the Happy Hanukkah Gift Box from LUSH on Pinterest and I thought that it was the perfect gift to send to my sister at Penn State. I spent some time looking around the site read through their blog, watched their product demo videos and ended up cuddled up in our bed watching LUSH bath bomb demos on YouTube until midnight...I got a little hooked. It really makes me wish that we had a nice tub so I could use a bath bomb, but it will have to go on the wishlist for our next house.

The next time that Aaron and I went to the Crabtree Valley Mall I decided to go to the LUSH store (we are so lucky that the only store in NC is at our mall!) and pick up a couple of items that had caught my eye on the website. 

With assistance from a very helpful shop employee I got to smell and touch just about every product in the store and I finally settled on the Popcorn Lip Scrub (seasonal, no longer available) from the Christmas collection and the Therapy Massage Bar.

I love them both so much!

The Popcorn Lip Scrub is sweet, salty, and buttery. I expected it to be mixed in oil like other salt/sugar scrubs that I have, but this is a dry scrub. I mix it with a little tap water on my finger. Every time I use it, my lips feel super smooth and tasty. 

The Therapy Massage Bar is my favorite favorite. I like to use it after I get out of a hot shower just after my skin has dried off. It's basically solid lotion, but when you warm it up in your hands, it melts just enough to go smoothly onto your skin. It smells like a mix of shea butter, citrus, and lavender, but it doesn't have an overwhelming strong smell, which I like. (I smelled ever other massage bar in the shop, and this was the only one that I liked.)

I can't wait to try more products from LUSH!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: We're Getting Married!

2013 is finally here and that means that our wedding is just about 10 short months away! We have our bag of vendor info ready to look through, food tastings to schedule, guest lists to go over, reception ideas to plan, and probably hundreds of Pinterest boards bookmarked for inspiration. We're ready to get ready!

Here is a list of couples that also have upcoming 2013 weddings that I am excited about:

Brittany F. & Andrew P.
Anya T. & Josh W.
Kelly M. & Carmen P.
Leslie Knope & Ben Wyatt
Barney Stinson & Robin Scherbatsky 
There are probably more that I can't remember right now...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Hello 2013

Where I Went
Hallandale, FL // Tampa, FL // Akron, OH // Columbia, MD // Raleigh, NC // Leesburg, VA // Athens, OH // San Juan, Puerto Rico // Barbados

What I Did
Celebrated the New Year in Hallandale, FL with Aaron // worked for Hillel as a substitute teacher // celebrated 6 years together with Aaron // played slots in a casino for the first time // earned a promotion // became the substitute coordinator //
tutored middle school students in pre-algebra // decided to move to Raleigh, NC // went to Akron for spring break to celebrate Passover and Mia's 2nd birthday // went to Columbia to celebrate Kristin's bridal shower // stopped working at Hillel // celebrated Steven's graduation with the Kline/Manassa family // Moved to Raleigh NC!!! // started a new blog // started a new career // bought real furniture for the first time ever // hosted my family // hosted Aaron's family //  celebrated my birthday MD style at a crab feast // I said yes! // celebrated Kristin and Michael's wedding in VA // started planning our wedding // drove to Athens for Homecoming 2012 // hosted my grandparents // Joing the Yelp Elite Squad // hosted friends // celebrated Halloween at the Boogeyman Pubcrawl in Downtown Raleigh // voted for President Obama // went to a Hanukkah party in Chapel Hill // saw fun. live at The Ritz // went on a shuffle in DTR in footie pjamas // celebrated Christmas weekend seeing movies and had Christmas Eve dinner at the Flying Burrito // traveled to Tampa to visit Aaron's family // went on a Caribbean Cruise with the family to celebrate New Years

Most-played Songs & Albums 
Fun. - Some Nights // Glee Season 4 // Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday // Mumford & Sons - Babel // Pandora // Perks of Being a Wallflower Soundtrack // Of Monsters and Men - My Head is an Animal // Old Crow Medicine Show - Wagon Wheel // Glee Season 4 Volume 1

Most Loved Television and Movies
Mad Men // Community // How I Met Your Mother // Pan Am // American Horror Story // The League // New Girl // Big Bang Theory // True Blood // Gossip Girl // Glee // Weeds // Modern Family // GCB // Once Upon A Time // The Five Year Engagement // The Avengers // Girls // Parks and Recreation // Brave // The New Normal // Sons of Anarchy // Moonrise Kingdom // Perks of Being a Wallflower //

Top 5 Purchases 

iphone 4S // Skwisgaar! // my new watches // RTG Couch & our new bed // New glasses

Best Food & Drinks 
Cake pops at Kristin's bridal shower // Chuck's High and the Valley Burger // End of the summer corn from the farmers market // triple apple cider // Gigi's Pumpkin White Chocolate Cupcakes // Big Boss - Harvest Time // Lily's Gus Pie // homemade chili // HoneyBaked Ham Thanksgiving Dinner // beef wellington on the cruise

Best Things I Did for Myself
Kept blogging // found another apartment on Craigslist // found steady employment all year long // worked on my creative side // worked on keeping in touch with my friends and family

Loveliest Gift 
My engagement ring!

Favorite Websites
Pinterest // Twitter // Bloglovin' // Tumblr // Etsy // Gmail // Facebook // Yelp // BuzzFeed

Couldn’t Be Without
My mermaid ring // Aaron // my iphone // Kindle // chapstick

If you are interested in reading my previous annual recaps, here is my Hello, 2012 // Hello, 2011