Friday, February 25, 2011


Today marks 2-years since my first blog post! I can't believe how much I have enjoyed blogging. Not to sound cheesy but it has really been one of the best things I've ever done. Just like last year -- I have to give a shout out to my college friend and LSU sorority sister, Casey for my inspiration to blog.
Her dorky family blog drew me in. Click here to read.

In the past 2-years I've made some wonderful friends and really learned the power of blogging when SIL, Robyn was diagnosed with breast cancer back in October. Your donations to her Race for the Cure team was unlike anything I have ever seen.
Truly a network of people that help and support each other.

My first blog post was about our adventure to Lake Tahoe. Brad and I had only been dating 6-months at this point. I had planned for this blog to be about our trips and adventures but I think I've gotten off point with that. Oh..well..

In other news today...
My friend Beth in San Fran had her baby last night!! A little girl named Dylan Sierra J--. Perfect since her hubby goes by DJ. They now have another DJ in the house! I love Sierra for a California baby..named after the Sierra mountain range.
Congrats kids!

Lastly, on this Friday. Dee has the shingles. Yeppers..sucky. The rash on my back popped up Monday and I had Brad look at it. I thought it might be eczema but then started googling and figured it might be shingles. Brad made fun of me, as usual, about being a WebMD. Well, guess what. WebMD aka Dee, was right this time.
It hurts but it looks like I might have caught it early. Let's hope so!
Thanks for joining me today for my blog anniversary!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Brain Dump

Nothing major going on here after our long weekend but a few things to report. So today - a sort of 'brain dump'.

#1. Our niece Hannah made the front page of the Baton Rouge Advocate Sunday! She's the one on the far left with the blond hair.
Yes, it's Mardi Gras season down there and, being that she's 16-years old, she's learning how to party with the best of them at parades.

#2. Blogs are always asking questions like, 'where would be your dream place to live?'

I always say Lake Tahoe because it's just as fabulous in the summer as in the winter. Since I lived in Reno for a year or so, I still have friends that live out that way.
One is a former director of mine. He's always posting pictures on Facebook to make everyone jealous.

Back Country skiing at Castle Peak with your dog on the slope with you? One word: Awesome! He said he generally runs behind him as he skis.
This isn't him but a friend.

Here's Gary. He's a total rock star. He has and always will be obsessed with skiing. In the summer he goes to Argentina for a month to continue skiing.
Yeh -- I can't keep up with him.
Isn't this beautiful?
North Star Resort in Tahoe. I asked him if was Squaw at first and he said --'No, can't you tell? There aren't 50-other people around me.'

But -- jealous as I am -- after I saw this picture over the weekend that he posted I was glad to be in my short sleeves sitting outside in 70-degree weather.

#3. Since college I have been obsessed with true crime stories. I read every book written about the OJ trial and Scott Peterson along with other cases(Jon Benet and Michael Skakel to name a few).
So you know I was all about watching the Amanda Knox movie on Lifetime last night. Such a sad story all around.
I still am undecided on what happened or who did it? I DO think Amanda was too high to know what was going on.
Was it a sex game? Seems far fetched but who knows? What do you all think?

#4. We've found our new favorite place to grocery shop here in Charlotte. Aldi! Do you all have one of these where you live? Between here, Trader Joe's and Sam's -- we're good to go.
Aldi is cheap! Granted, I would NOT buy all of my groceries in there but overall - a good deal!

#5. Just when I thought I had all of my name changing done I got a notice in the mail to renew the registration on my car.
The name on the registration? Wallace instead of Stephens. ARGH! So, Friday I braved the DMV and after one-hour had it all taken care. I'm just waiting for something else to pop up.
#6. Last but not least - SIL Robyn is done with chemo!!!! Can I get a WOOHOO!!?? We are so proud of her and all her courage since her breast cancer diagnosis in the Fall.
What's new in your world?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Anniversary Weekend

Longest 1-year anniversary celebration ever? Maybe...
As you know we went to Charleston, SC a few weeks ago as an early celebration but giving that yesterday was our actual anniversary we celebrated this weekend too.

It started with a day trip on Saturday to Lexington, NC where we visited artist Bob Timberlake's gallery. We decided to buy one of Bob's pieces for our anniversary. It's our 'paper' gift. Works for me!!

Afterwards, we stopped by Childress Vineyards for lunch.

Not sure why blogger won't cooperate sometimes! argh..


Then on Sunday, our actual anniversary, I took our cake topper out of the freezer. It's a tradition that Brad wasn't into AT.ALL.
He thought it was dumb that we even kept it. But.. I wanted to do it.
I have to say -- not too terrible but not worth wasting the calories on.

Buddy doesn't count calories though and was happy to indulge!

Later on in the evening, I showered Brad with a few 'fun' gifts. One being a lunchbox. Stupid? No, see..
Now that he's working Uptown he's packing lunch but we were having a hard time finding him a 'manly' lunchbox. I finally found one at Marshall's.
I also gave him a gift certificate to an Uptown men's spa of sorts. Thanks Annie for the suggestion!

We had planned on using one of our gift cards and going out to dinner but then realized the restaurant is closed on Sundays!
So, we stayed in and cooked steak, risotto and brussell sprouts. We even ate off our china for the 2nd time in a week!(Valentine's day we ate on it too)
Sort of fun!

A colleague of mine gave me the cool idea of taking a picture of the two of us at every anniversary and keepthem in an album.
Her and her hubby do this every year(they've been married 10 years) and she says it's cool to go back and look at them.
So, here's our first picture. Don't mind my red face -- I had been over a hot pot of risotto getting my stir on.

Several family and friends sent us cards for our anniversary. Last weekend Brad's parents bought us a nice bottle of wine and today the doorbell rang and my parents sent us flowers.

A nice end to a great weekend!! My Mom had the florist that did our wedding flowers recreate something similar to what we had on our big day.
Thanks Mom and Dad!!

Here's to many years to come!

Friday, February 18, 2011

One Year of Bliss

Happy Day!!
Our one-year wedding anniversary is actually this Sunday, 2.20, but giving that it's a long weekend and we'll be out and about enjoying the nice warm weather we're having, I thought I would post about it today.

As Brad always says -- 'One Year of Blissss'. HAHA! Seriously, though, it's been a great year! My hairdresser told me the other day that she thinks the first year of marriage is the hardest. I've heard that from other people too.
Well, I'm here to say - that if that's the case we're on the up and up! I've also heard others say that the hardest is after you have your first kid.
To me.. that makes more sense.

All I know is that this year has been great.

I'll tell you why and how as I share a few of my favorite wedding photos by our amazing photographer, Jeff Cooke.

It's been great because we've learned a lot about each other and have learned to appreciate each other's qualities.

It's been great because we enjoy being together and have become even better friends.
It's been great because we've gotten a routine down and really compliment one another.

I could go on and on but overall this year was amazing and I'm so glad looking back that's it's been all about us this year.
We've traveled, loved, laughed, cried. I'm ready to do it all over again!

You can see more of our wedding pictures at our photographer's blog by clicking here and you can see my bridal pictures by clicking here.
Here's to a fantastic weekend with weather that is close to what it was this time last year! 70-degrees!!
Happy Anniversary Brad, I love you more and more each day! TOL(tons of love).

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Love Me Some Doggies!

One of my favorite events each year is the Westminster Dog Show in NYC! So fun to see the different breed of dogs and hear their stories and where they are from.

Last night Brad, Buddy and I all watched together. Budster was too cute. Sitting, staring at the dogs.
Isn't it interesting how they do that? Only when animals are on TV though. (Even though he has been caught running for the door when a door bell on TV rings)

Last night was awesome because the Scottish Deerhound that won Best in Show is from Brad's hometown of Warrenton, Virginia!
When they announced it during the first showing of dogs, Brad turned it up and said.. 'Really? Warrenton??'

Then 'Hickory' the Deerhound WON the whole thing! Brad immediately listened for the owner's names to see if he knew them. He doesn't.

The other cool part about Hickory winning? It's the first time a Scottish Deerhound has ever won Best in Show!
Love that sometimes, it's not the prissy breeds that win it all. Sorry Sass. I know Josie is a prissy.

Just like in 2008 when Uno the beagle, from the Carolinas, won! As a beagle owner, I felt proud! Proud that beagles finally got their day in the spotlight despite their less prissy look. If you recall, Uno was a ham too! Howling!! Barking!! Awesome!!

They actually did a follow up piece on him last night showing Uno prancing around the ranch he lives on.
I want to be Uno's friend. I want Buddy and him to be friends. Yes, I'm a TOTAL nerd. That's all I have for today.
Happy Humpday!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day

No big report from Valentine's Day. It's never been a big holiday for me. We cooked a fabulous dinner tonight and hung out.

But..going back to why I'm not a Vday fan.

I remember these days:

* The only girl from high school NEVER getting flowers delivered to school.

* The few times I did have a boyfriend during high school it was so new it was weird and I didn't know what to do and neither did he. I would always get him a cookie cake and a balloon.

* College sucked too. Same as above minus the cookie cake and/or drinks instead.

* Out of college was a lot years by myself. A.LOT!

* One year I dated several different guys. Some serious but some not. I never even got a card.
Not that I *need* things but when every other chick gets something it makes you feel weird and like a loser(see above for high school).
My Dad even sent me roses as a "An Admirer" this year. It wasn't until recently that I figured out that it was him.

* Then I got a real boyfriend who I really liked. He did it right for the most part. Wine, roses, a nice card. He ended up sucking in the long run. Sorry, if you're reading this.


* I met THE ONE...

Our first Valentine's Day was spent in Lake Tahoe just a mere few months after we started dating.
My old stomping ground if you are not familiar.

I was stoked to have him experience Reno-Tahoe and this was our first REAL vacation together. It was fun..we learned a lot about each other.
A total fun and memorable experience!

Needless to year later we were getting married and one year later we are about to celebrat our one year wedding anniversary.
WHAT..WHAT!!??? I got married in the month of Valentine's Day despite my dislike of it.So..BE.IT!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Shenanigans

The title of the post has to do with how our weekend ended. You'll have to read the entire post to hear the crazy story.

Until then -- what's been going on around here and a few pictures from our weekend which was pretty low key.

It started out Friday night with homemade pizza night at our house! We love doing this! I'm not going to lie -- I'm a sucker for pizza.

Granted it's not the healthiest thing to eat but you have to do it every now and then.
Speaking of that -- I was reading the latest issue of People magazine where they interview Jennifer Aniston and ask her about her diet and exercise regime. She responds that she doesn't eat crap and that she can't remember the last time she ate a cheeseburger.
Granted -- I guess it's her job to be in tip top shape all the time but I believe life is too short not to eat a cheeseburger or brie and crackers every now then. Do you agree?

I made a little wine display in our house with a few bottles of wine that I really like. Kind of fun.

For those of you who read this blog on a regular basis you know we're winos. On Saturday we drove up to my in-laws house that is about an hour away to get Buddy back(they have been watching him since our Charleston trip).
My MIL had been invited to a Valentine's Day wine tasting so we went with them.

It was kind of neat...
It's one of my MIL's friends who owns a wine business that specializes in South American wines. I don't know too much about these wines so this was different. They had a warehouse full of vino!

Several of which we bought. I didn't take any pictures of us tasting because I felt a little weird about busting out the camera.

Afterwards my MIL and I went to a cute little store in their town of Salisbury. It's called Carolina Lily and is set in two old farm houses.

All sorts of gifts and fun stuff in there. My MIL bought me the cutest headband that I will reveal in the next few weeks.

If you are ever in this area you have to stop by! They also do tea parties for kids and much more. Click here for their website.

Buddy was happy to see us after a week! He gets so spoiled there but we miss him!!

As many of you know, my in-laws live on a lake and we spend tons of time there in the spring and summer.
That's why it was weird to see the lake this way.
They drained the lake!!
OMG! so weird! This is the same area where we chill out on noodles and float around. Now it's just dirt!
They've started filling it back up but in the cove that my in-laws live in they will need a lot of rain to get back up.

We stayed the night up at the lake and were looking forward to coming home and riding our bikes and doing something outside since it was in the mid-60's here today.

My in-laws got up early this morning and headed up to Blacksburg, VA for the Va Tech basketball game. Blacksburg is about a 2/12 or 3 hour drive from where they live.
After packing up the car, and the dog -- we looked around for our car keys.!
After searching the entire house we realized that my MIL accidentally put them in her purse! Again, they are 3-hours away at this point and we also realize that there are no other keys to our car or their truck at the house.
What to do?
Well we can stay at the house until 7pm until they get home from the Burg?
* Or.. drive their antique convertible car home to Charlotte(an hour away)
Granted -- it was in the 60's today but driving down an interstate at 70-miles an hour is still cold!
I have never laughed so hard in my life!! Brad, on the other hand, wasn't as thrilled with the Sunday adventure.

HA!! We finally stopped and figured out how to put the top on. SHENANIGANS!

Of course, we couldn't fit Buddy in the car so we had to leave him behind. My in-laws are bringing us our car tomorrow and taking the antique MG back to Salisbury.
Definitely a Sunday to remember!!
How was your weekend?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Funny Foto Saturday

I wanted to post this yesterday but never got around to it. So it's an edition of Funny Foto Friday on Saturday morning.

The year was 1992 from what I can recall. Who else was part of their teen fashion board at their local mall?
Cheesy but so very 90's.
I did it in Baton Rouge and I did it in Hot Springs. This particular fashion show was not at the mall but instead for a bridal shop in Hot Springs that one of my family members happened to be part owner of.

You have to love the fashions back then AND the hair. Curly and big was the name of the game! I think we were doing some sort of dance routine?
In other news, Brad and I are continuing to run but it's painful kids...that is..until it's over. Then you feel great.
I've thought about quitting on multiple occassions but for now I'm sticking with it. Happy Saturday to you all!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Scents Past and Present

I'm copying off a bloggy friend whose blog, Newlyweds Next Door, I just adore reading. Go check her out by clicking here.
She's a cute blonde living the life in Southern California with her hubby enjoying snow skiing, cheering on USC, being a pet parent and more.

Today she posted about the different scents she has worn throughout her life. I too, am one of the people who can remember what perfume I wore at different stages in my life.

I can smell them to this day and memories flood me from high school, college, my time out West, etc.

Are you the same way?

The first perfume I remember wearing was Giorgio Beverly Hills. Who else remembers the popularity of this perfume?
It was Jr. High school for me. It was during that time that Guess Jeans, Coca-Cola shirts and Swatch watches were the bomb. Not to mention those school Esprit drawstring bags.

My Mom also wore this scent.

Then I moved onto several different perfumes throughout the years. Ralph Lauren(original, Romance), Calvin Klein(CK1 and others)and then around 15-years ago I found this scent.

Jessica McClintock.
I left and tried several Givenchy scents for a while but found every single one of them caused me to break out in a rash despite my love of the scent.

So, I'm back to my favorite. JM.

What scent do you wear? Have you worn it for a long time? What scent do you remember best?
Happy Thursday! It's Valentine's Day weekend and we're planning on spending it wine tasting with my in-laws. Awesome!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Early Anniversary Celebration in Charleston, SC

Despite rainy weather we had a fantabulous time in Charleston, South Carolina this weekend! On Wednesday night we decided to head out of town for the weekend for a sort of early one-year anniversary celebration. Love spontaneity!

Our actual anniversary is on 2.20.11 which is two weeks away.

This was Brad's first visit to Charleston believe it or not and my probably 10 or 12th visit in the past 10-years.

We drove through torrential downpours to arrive in town around 10pm. Our first stop -- the Blind Tiger.
Super cool place with this very funny sign. Sorry for the blurry picture.
It says:
"When I was your age we hiked 10-miles through the snow for sex and cigarettes"

Good times for sure. We stayed right near the open air market in the historic district so we were able to walk everywhere. The only way to do it in my opinion.
We hit up an Irish pub after we left the BT and randomly ran into a kid from Louisiana who was babysat by a girl I know here in Charlotte who is from the same town.
RANDOM fo sho!

The next morning we slept in and headed out to the market and to give Brad a tour of the city.

The open air market is full of all sorts of South Carolina treasures including the sweet grass baskets.
Made by Gullah natives these baskets are not on the cheap side but very cool and they take a long time to make.

Oops! I got scolded for taking these pictures. These men and women are VERY PROTECTIVE of their creations.
When I say these baskets aren't cheap -- this one here is sold for upwards of $300. Of course there is negotiating.

We stopped by the Moon Pie store.
I found something out about Brad I didn't know. He doesn't like Moon Pies.

But I do! As a kid my favorite flavor was banana. I passed on getting one this time. We had just eaten breakfast.

You could even get a Moon Pie sundae! That's what I'm talking about!

Afterwards we took one of those carriage tours through the city. It might seem cheesy but it's the best overview you can get if you've never been to Charleston. I literally think this was the 6th time I've been on one of these tours.
I don't mind though. It seems I learn something new every time.

Our tour guide was also a high school history teacher in the city.

Battery park. If you've never been to Charleston you must go. It's one of my favorites! I would choose it over Savannah any day of the week.

Beautiful homes that I can only dream of ever owning.

My pictures don't do it justice.
This is what they call 'Rainbow Row'. A little different than the one in my other favorite city, San Francisco.

Cobblestone streets.

After touring around we ate lunch at Henry's House where I enjoyed a fried green tomato BLT. To die for!
Pimento cheese, bacon, fried green tomato with lettuce. Perfection. I was semi-good though and went for the side salad instead of the sweet potato fries.

Later on in the evening we went to a nice dinner. Giving that our trip was last minute we weren't able to get reservations at any of the new hot spots in town and we went with a recommendation from the concierge at our hotel.
We were pointed to The Library restaurant at the Vendue Inn. I had been to the Vendue before but not the restaurant.

We were right on top of other people -- which I know some people may not mind but when you're trying to enjoy an anniversary dinner it's a little much.
The food was not good. My shrimp and grits? Weird. The put orange marmalade on top and the shrimp were half cooked. No seasoning.
This Louisiana girl needs some seasoning!

Oh well. Better choice next time.
Despite the rain -- we ventured onto a few more bars and enjoyed a few more cocktails.

Overall a great weekend and a much needed get away for Brad and I both. Now we're back at work and it's Monday.