Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Seusserific Baby Shower

Over the past few years, I have gotten to expand the list of words that that describe who i am in terms of family. Daughter. Sister. Wife. And in two weeks, aunt. My sweet sister-in-law will be having her first baby boy on April 6. She and my hubs' younger bro are so super excited and so is the rest of the family. So naturally, we had to throw her a party. For those of you that read the other blog, this might be a bit of a repeat, but I wanted to write it up here as well. 


Baby Eli's room is done in Dr. Seuss, so we decided to go with that for the theme. I have always loved Dr. Seuss and was pumped to get to bring in all of the silly elements from his books. As soon as we set the date for the shower, I got to work making crafties. I absolutely adore crafting and love the way handmade items look at events. But it's hard to get myself motivated when I don't have a purpose. I have stacks and stacks of supplies for different projects just sitting on shelves in my house, waiting to be used. It's too easy to let life run away with you -- you get busy working, running errands, playing house and it just seems like there is no time. So I love it when I have a reason to actually make time for crafting.

And I had so much fun crafting for Molly's shower! I tried to keep the decor pretty simple and colorful. I made Truffula Trees from tissue paper poms and decorative stems that I found at Jo-Ann. I yarn wrapped Eli's name for the mantle and made a few mini truffula trees with yarn and paper straws. I also did a banner using one of my favorite quotes from Horton Hears a Who. I made the two table runners from striped and polka-dotted fabrics. I used the leftovers to make a backboard of fabric streamers.

Apart from the decor, I had a blast planning out the food in true Seusstastic style. I had some help from my fab mom-in-law and her friends on the preparation. We did Green Eggs and Ham mini quiches, Hop on Pop(corn), Yot in a Pot (little smokies) and Roast Beast sandwiches, with Pink Ink to drink. Molly's mom brought some delicious Poodles with Noodles pasta salad. For dessert, we had Yertle's Caramel Turtles, marshmallow Cat's Hats and Thing 1 cupcakes.

The Cat's Hats and Thing 1 cupcakes were especially fun for me to make. For the hats, I dipped both ends of the marshmallows in red chocolate to make the stripes, then stuck them on white chocolate discs with a lollipop stick. The cupcakes were red velvet with white frosting and blue cotton candy. I had seen these online and just had to make them -- although no one warned me about what cotton candy will do when it sits out for a prolonged period of time. They looked great when we first put them out, but little by little the cotton candy started to wilt, then melt so by the time we were well into the shower, the tops of the cupcakes were covered in a blue goo. Well, it still tasted good anyway...

We had such a good time playing a some little games, eating and chatting with one another. Molly's best friend Justine surprised her and drove down from Indy to be at the shower and she was hilarious. 

We asked the guests to all bring a book instead of a card and baby Eli got a ton of awesome books. Molly and Eli also got bunches of cool presents. 

I found these adorable red fish, blue fish soap favors here.

Throwing the shower was so much fun -- I am a planner, it's kind of my thing. And, I am so excited to watch our little family grow as Molly and Travis welcome their new baby into the world!

The new mommy-to-be!
Me and Molly

Friday, March 9, 2012

On Being 31

Today is my birthday. I am now officially, not just 30, but in my thirties. Mulling the sound of that around in my head. I feel like the appropriate response is, "Oh God, when did this happen? I'm getting so old, what have I accomplished?!" But to be honest, I don't really feel that way.

Me as a little lass

To start, I don't feel 31. Or, maybe I'm just not really sure what 31 is supposed to feel like. I still feel like the same old me. Sometimes I wonder at the fact that the numbers are creeping up there, but I don't feel like anything has really changed. Sure, I suppose I'm a little more mature (a little), I have a stable job, a car payment, I pay my bills responsibly. But I still have yet to feel that pressing anxiety or tiredness that you hear about when people realize they are getting old.

Next, the "I haven't accomplished anything," "This is not where I thought I'd be at 31" argument. Admittedly, my big plans did not roll out exactly as I pictured they would in my young whippersnapper days. I did not move to New York after college. I do not write for a major travel magazine. Once I changed those plans and decided to go for a PhD in Anthropology, I realized my love for ethnology and research could not support my absolute disinterest for teaching. So, here I am now, 31 and doing field marketing for a pizza chain. It's not my dream job, but I get to travel a lot and work at home when not on the road. And when not working on that, I am constantly pursuing what has suprisingly become by dream job: event planning.

All that to say, I may be getting older, my plans did not turn out exactly as expected, but I'm ok with that. If I had moved to New York after college, I would never have taken the jump from good friends to a relationship and later marriage with my hubs. I wouldn't have gotten to live in Brazil or New Mexico. And if I hadn't decided not to move forward with my PhD in Albuquerque and move back to Tennessee, I would never have started an event business with Becca.

Some of my adventures so far.
I still feel like I have accomplished a lot:

  • I have a wonderful husband with whom I can be utterly stupid and never act old
  • I have managed to get two bachelor's degrees (even if I am not exactly working in either field)
  • I am a small business owner
  • I have lived in another country (Brazil)
  • I have traveled to many more (count is up to 20)
  • I, with the help of the hubs, had the guts to move across the country for school and the guts to come home when it didn't work
  • I am a published writer, even it's been awhile since my last freelance job
  • I have finished a half marathon and will do another in April
Things that I look forward to accomplishing in the future:

  • Growing our business to something that is more than just on the side
  • Owning a house
  • Being a parent (one day)
  • Continuing to laugh often with my hubs
  • Paying off my credit cards
  • Traveling to even farther and more fabulous places
  • Learning to love cooking non-dessert foods
  • Becoming a better writer
  • Adding continuously to this list

Me at 31
Even though my metabolism may have slowed down a bit and I'd rather go to bed than stay out till the crack of dawn, I'm still excited about what the future holds for me and all the goals I have to work towards. Yes, I think I can handle this getting older thing.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cross Country Running: Greenville

Last week's run is brought to you from Greenville, SC, home of gorgeous a Main Street, Falls Park and Dukes Mayo. I was in Greenville for three days last week attending some meetings. Originally dubbed Pleasantburg in the early 1800s, Greenville is just that. The weather is super mild, the people are friendly and there are a ton of things to do. From live music to shopping or just riding around town on the free downtown trolly, you can fill your days with entertainment.

The area is also just stinkin gorgeous. Falls Park, set in Greenville's historic West End area, offers the perfect place to relax, picnic or go for a run on the Reedy River Trail. No, I unfortunately did not get to have my run there, but it is absolutely on my list for next time! The park is also home to the Liberty Bridge -- a pedestrian suspension bridge that runs over the Reedy River.

The Liberty Bridge in Falls Park
The old Dukes Mayo building, now part of the Peace Center performing arts complex.
As for my actual run itself, my hotel was not downtown this time around, so the scenery for most of my 5 miles was more like this:


The weather was perfect though and I still had a really great run. Although it can be hard to juggle my mid-week runs with a crazy travel schedule, it definitely pays off to be able to explore new places and new scenery. And I am constantly adding to that ever growing list of places to visit for pleasure. Greenville is now absolutely one of those places. I'm thinking next time, I try to plan my work travel there for the end of the week and then maybe stay the weekend. Can't wait to see what else the city has to offer!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Billy Button Love

I first discovered Billy Buttons when I was planning my wedding and it was love at first sight. Their real name is Crespedia, but billy button sounds way more fun, right? These guys are actually a form of daisy that just grows in little yellow balls of awesome. They are so easy to decorate with. and can alone can give a centerpiece a super modern feel or when paired with other flowers can also look completely flowy (is flowy a word?) and natural.  

They are the perfect addition to a wedding design and so easily suit home design as well.

I wanted to incorporate billy buttons into my wedding so badly, but they just did not fit the look at all. Instead I opted for these  fern curls. Now though, I try to use these lovelies as often as I can...which lately has been a lot. We used them for Laine's Bay-Bee Sip & See last month in Chattanooga:

And again at the Pink Bridal Show last weekend. Notice the double use of the chevron runner. Do I get stuck on things or what?

Here they are in our styled shoot last spring:

And on the side table in my living room (leftovers from the Sip & See):

The suckers just seem to last forever. How could you not love them?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cross Country Running (literally)

I travel a lot for work. Not so much for the event planning job, but for my other job as a field marketer for a national restaurant chain. This is the job that pays the most of bills while the event company gets up and running. One day I hope to have just one fabulous job, but until then I will continue to be a busy bee.

As a mentioned in my first post, I am training for my second half marathon. This means I need to run at least 3 days during the week so that I can make it through my long Saturday runs without my legs falling off. With my ever changing work schedule, it can get hard to work in those runs during travel. I'm having to learn to keep myself disciplined enough to drag myself out for a run in a strange town after 6 hours of flights or get up extra early to run in the morning before a full day of meetings. It has been an absolute test of will. It's so easy to say, "It's too late, I'm tired, I'm hungry, I'm too busy." I am proud to say, more often the side of me that knows I will not only feel guilty for not doing my training, but also pay for it in extra sore legs at the end of the week, wins out. 

Because at the end of the race, I want to look like this:

Not this:

For awhile, when traveling I stuck to running on what I disaffectionally like to call the "dreadmill" in hotel fitness centers. Running in place, while staring at a spot on the wall is next to torture for me. Even though running is a constant challenge, it can be pretty fun to get out there on a nice day and explore your surroundings.

So, I've made a decision to do just that while traveling for work. It can be a great way to get to know a new city -- something I don't get to do a lot of on my limited free time while on trips. As I continue to explore new places on my runs, I thought I'd share them with you and some of my impressions about the city. It's also a great way to figure out things like dinner plans for the evenings and whether or not that place should go on my giant list of future visits.

This week's runs were in Jacksonville, Fl and Charlotte, NC. This time around, due to weather, I had to suck it up and run on the dreadmill. However, during my last visit to Jacksonville, I took a run down a little greenway right behind the hotel that parallels the St. John's River, which was an absolutely gorgeous view.

The second half of the week was in Charlotte. I've flown through Charlotte about a gazillion times, but this was my first time to stay there. I stayed right in Uptown and got a few good runs in around the  city. Charlotte is a super cool city and it looks like there is an absolute ton to do. I am a foodie and the streets are just packed full of restaurants and bars. A couple of note that I'd like to try on a future trip back there: Malabar Spanish Cuisine on Tryon Street. It looked super fun. There was also this cool bar i passed called Prohibition. Will definitely check that out next time.

I also got to see things like this on my run:
From left: Charlotte Panthers Stadium, Duke Energy Center, Charlotte Bobcats Arena & Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

Is it just me, or does the Duke Energy Building look like it has a giant martini glass on it? Yum...Finally, had to snap this photo from the car on my way out of town. How cool is this retro Dairy Queen?

Finally back home after this week's trip and had a great 8 mile run today which went well after keeping up with my mid-week runs.

Where will my next "cross country" run be?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

So, this is my blog...

Howdy, internets. Since this is my first post, I figure I should tell you a little bit more about me.
  1. I like to make lists.
  2. I talk to myself on a regular basis.
  3. Maybe this blog is just an excuse to continue talking to myself in a more widely accepted way.
  4. I am currently training for my second half marathon.
  5. I am not in as good a shape as that might make me sound.
  6. I have recently discovered that I really enjoy baking.
  7. I have also discovered that this newfound joy does not extend to other forms of cooking. Sorry, Stefan.
  8. I have a tendency to procrastinate which I will try not to extend posting blog content.
  9. I live in Nashville, TN and love every minute of it.
  10. I have been an anal retentive planner since forever.
  11. In the past year, I’ve somehow managed to exploit the above tendencies for good and started  an event planning company with my best friend.
  12. I am nuts about traveling and am constantly trying to plan the next trip, whether we can afford it or not.
  13. Many of these are unfortunately just daydreams.
  14. I have a tendency to get cabin fever in about 10 minutes and sometimes have a problem sitting still. A friend recently referred to me as a “Go-go” – always on the move. Does this make me ADD?  I don’t think so. Maybe.
                                   This is me. I am a mystery wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in a bunch of lavender. Or something.

I plan to use this blog to post about my crafting adventures, traveling exploits and other daily life goings on. Should be fun, right? Right.