Friday, June 13, 2014

Life Lately (Happy Friday)

Life lately has been a blur of travel, spreadsheets, to-do lists, and weddings--lots and lots of weddings. 

Last weekend JT and I traveled to Savannah, Georgia, to see Kelsey Jo tie the knot, and tomorrow we go watch one of my sister's good friends do the same. OH, and I said 'yes' to the dress! It's an exciting time! Between planning my own wedding, going to my friend's, taking on extra responsibilities at work, and freelancing more, I'm excited to hopefully slow down a bit in the coming weeks. But, then again, maybe I won't, and that'll be wonderful, too.

MOH, Bride, MOB.

Captain and Mrs. John Hawkins!

our best "wait 'til you see the bride..!!" faces

pre-wedding kickball bridesmaids v. groomsmen

my very first item with my future monogram :)

Sweet Robby is growing like a weed! Those cheeks... #swoon

our fur baby, lilly, is pretty excited about JT's shift change

My latest "sweating for the dress" experiment .... eek...

And the reason I endure lemon juice with cayenne pepper... this stud of a wedding date.

So there you have it, life lately. Bonus: I think my Friday will be spent watching this and the Robster. #winning

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Words of Wisdom

Today, we lost one of the greats. Whether you simply pin her quotes on social media or read her poems and books, you know she was one inspirational woman.

Before Oprah, before Sheryl Sandberg, it was Maya Angelou who taught women to be strong, creative, humorous, and smart. That is no small feat.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

If I Were 22

"It's miserable and magical, oh yea" 
-Taylor Swift, "22"

Only a few years removed from this lovely, scary, enlightening age, I have found this catchy tune to ring eerily true. It's a wonderful age in so many ways: you get to decide for probably the first time ever, what you actually want your life to look like. But as any double edged sword goes, that means it's you who have to decide where and what your life will look like... which is completely terrifying.

I recently found this series and fell in love. I'm a sucker for advice and am always curious to learn more and what if? This series does just that. It takes nearly a hundred "influencers" in various fields and asks them, "If I Were 22..."

It's incredibly insightful, and I find myself diving down the rabbit hole of knowledge. A few of my favorites include Naomi Simson's, Julia Boorstin's, and Arianna Huffington's

From Naomi:
"I worked hard, I was focused, determined and disciplined. But I did not necessarily allow myself the space and time for creativity and self-expression.
I did what was expected of me, not really knowing what I wanted for myself. I had no conscious, mindful inquiry into why I did what I did. But getting me to listen to these ideas would have been a challenge. (I was not famous for my listening in those days.)"
Julia Boorstin at 22, via LinkedIn

From Julia: 
"You never really know what you’ll enjoy doing, or what you’re good at, until you actually do it. In other words, try opportunities that come along, no matter how distant they seem from your plan.
I was dabbling in magazines and within the magazine world I was dabbling in the area of business journalism. And then one day my boss asked me to talk on CNN about an article I'd written, so I began dabbling in television. A few years later, that fun little side gig yielded a job offer from CNBC to be an on-air correspondent."
Arianna Huffington at 22, via LinkedIn
 From Arianna:
"Surely getting by on less sleep and constant-multi-tasking are an express elevator to the top, right?
This couldn’t be less true. And for far too long, we have been operating under a collective delusion – that burning out is the necessary price for achieving success.
I wish I had known this when I was 22. I’m convinced I would have achieved all I have achieved with less stress, worry and anxiety. In college, just before I embarked on a career as a writer, I wish I had known that there would be no trade-off between living a well-rounded life and my ability to do good work. I wish I could go back and tell myself, “Arianna, your performance will actually improve if you can commit to not only working hard, but also unplugging, recharging and renewing yourself.” That would have saved me a lot of unnecessary stress, burnout and exhaustion."

Like my girl Giuliana says:
"Everything will be okay in the end, if it's not okay, it's not the end yet."

Monday, May 12, 2014


our first night in Nashville at The Tavern.

'Tis the season ladies and gents, both figuratively and literally. Spring and Summer are always prime time for weddings and events, but this is takes the cake for me. Perhaps it's my age/phase of life, or perhaps it's just summer again and that's when everyone wants "June weddings at the Plaza." Who knows. All I know is I'm on a marathon of happiness, cocktails, Bed Bath and Beyond coupons, and dress fittings, and it's sublime.

From the end of April to Mid-June, I have a grand total of 5 weddings (a bridesmaid in 2), one graduation, a handful of birthdays, a family beach trip, and I just got back from a bachelorette weekend in Nashvegas. Whew. Cheers to the freakin' weekend, oh wait, it's Monday.

Here are a few snapshots from Kelsey Jo's #AllPinkEverything (taken from Eva the Diva's "all red everything" tagline) Bach Bash:  

The Bride-to-be, Kelsey Jo

some of her maids, R to L: Ashley, Erin, August, bride, Mere, EZ, me.

my turn with the gorgeous bride-to-be

yes, I went all the way to Nashville to get a pic with Elvis.


readying the sash

The whole gang ready to hit the town after yummy Rosepepper Cantina supper.

Nashville, you didn't disappoint. 
Now, to schedule in some sleep...

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Love is in the Air

Well hello there. Long time, no talk. I've spent the last month on a happy hiatus from MC simply to enjoy all of the exciting things going on. I wanted to fully enjoy all of it and not even think about sharing it. Selfish, I know, but it's true. I wanted to soak it all up and now that I have, my cup runneth over. 

This past month has been a whirlwind to say the least, but absolutely wonderful in every way. I'm so excited to finally share all of the little things.

March 29, 2014: JT and I got engaged!
Right after JT proposed at Shelby Farms Park!

The fabulous family dinner he planned for after the proposal at my fav restaurant, Jim's Place Grille.

So excited bebe stayed put for a few more days so JT wouldn't have to propose in a hospital!

The stunner weighing down my left hand :)

April 3, 2014: Robert "Robby" Benjamin Todd, Jr. graced the world with his presence making me an official auntie.
Emily had to touch up before go time, and I was happy to assist// New dad telling us of his arrival.

We finally found out his name, and Uncle JT and Aunt Anna meet Robby for the first time!

Bringing bebe home, and Allie is smitten with her new brother.

April 13, 2014: I got the letter that my student loans were completely paid off making this girl debt free!
So long, Sallie Mae. I won't miss you at all.

April 24-26: We packed up and headed to Lakeland, Florida for Ashley and Coady's lovely wedding. #CheekPartyOf2
Ashley celebrating her last fling before the ring!

TNBs reunited again!

JT and I before the rehearsal dinner

Besties getting ready for the big day

such a stunning bride and wonderful friend!

The brand new Mr. and Mrs. Coady Cheek!

To say love is in the air is an understatement. It's in everything I do lately. And I wouldn't have it any other way! Can't wait for what's next!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Old School Cool

When JT and I were counting down the days to our first Christmas together, we would give each other clues as to what we had gotten each other. I'll never forget the way he described what I would later find out was a gold necklace with my birthstone pendant. He said some people think you might not like it, but I know you will because it's your style -- vintage chic. I'll interject here to say that he was partially joking because I put "chic" after everything (ie hipster chic); he doesn't use the word unless it's for mocking purposes. But I knew what he meant. He was being genuine, and it was perfection. And it was also one of the best compliments I've received. 

Not long after that, I took one of those buzzfeed quizzes about what decade you belong in. I'm sure it's a shock which one I got. 

Just this weekend, I was talking to my aunt and she said "oh, I found some things you might want for your kitchen someday! They just look like you." They were vintage cookbooks, and yes, I love them.

Call it what you want: vintage, old school, or traditional. Whatever it is, it's me, and I don't think I'll ever really change. I'll always love old things, anything that tells a story, anything that has character.

That might be why when I heard Miranda Lambert's new song "Automatic," a little part of me smiled, and I started singing right along. So, c'mon let's take a picture, the kind you gotta shake.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Screen Shopping

I must confess that I haven't been shopping in probably close to a year or more. Yes, I've bought things here and there, and experienced a birthday and Christmas, so I'm not saying I lack for anything. But, I haven't really satisfied that urge to splurge in quite some time. There are many reasons why, which I won't bore you with, but I'm almost to a place where I can allow myself a few indulgences here and there. That is what I do want to share with you. The things of which I've been window shopping (er, screen shopping?) for quite some time now, and will finally be able to pull the trigger. Can you tell I'm excited?

Madewell's Mira Heel as seen on Sequins and Stripes

These Zara items:

Left: Jumpsuit // Right: Shift dress

So, I'll be hiding and watching for a few more weeks, but I promise when my piggy bank has anything left to spare, some of these will find a home in my closet. And I couldn't be more thrilled.


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