Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Our Dream Venue

Well, I have made you wait long enough but I am finally excited to announce the dream venue that Josh and I have booked for our wedding! A few weeks ago you all read my post "The Hunt for our Dream Venue" and learned that we visited a total of 9 venues across the state of North Carolina. Well here it is.....drum roll.......  We are getting married in Benson, North Carolina at the beautiful Preston Woodall House!!!
Seriously y'all, this place is beautiful and my little heart knew it was the place as soon as we stepped foot in the front door. I tried to take so many pictures while I was there but none of the one's I gathered can truly do it justice so I've also pulled off some from their website for you all to enjoy!
Main Entrance of the Preston Woodall

Our ceremony will be held outside in the wedding pavilion

The Cora Lily Ballroom were our reception will be held

We are so excited with the fact that our entire wedding party plus parents will be able to stay on site the entire weekend with breakfast served to everyone on Saturday and Sunday morning! Me and my bridesmaids will stay in the actual house in beautiful rooms. Here is an example of one of the rooms:

 The following room is actually the bridal suite where I will stay and get ready the day of!

The other thing we really loved is that there are actually 3 cottages on site and each have 3 bedroom plus 2 baths. We will use these cottages to house our parents, groomsman, and other important out of town guest! It is going to be so wonderful to have our entire bridal party on site the weekend of and not having any of them worry about driving to and from a hotel! 

Well I hope that you have enjoyed the first look at what has quickly come to be our dream venue! 
NC Belle In Boots

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Why I Took A Blogging Break

If you've been around these parts for long, you might have noticed that I only posted three times in May...yes, only three times. Don't get me wrong, there were many times that I sat down to write a post or brainstorm ideas, but every time I was left with little to nothing and a desire to remind myself that blogging wasn't the most important thing in the world. Every day I wanted to blog but I found myself being happy and content with what was around me; not what was in a computer screen.
You see, after coming off the road from traveling on April 29th I was faced with a "new world"; one that was different than what I had grown to know over the past ten months. Finishing up my travel as a TLC meant I was coming home and it meant my life was changing. I was no longer working a 7am-12am job, there was no need to be behind my computer 24/7, and quit honestly my brain just needed a break from technology. 
So here they are, the reasons why I took a blogging break and why it is OKAY for YOU to take one too (should you ever need it):
LIFE & FAMILY // No matter how many minutes or hours we sit behind our computer screens, life continues to happen all around us. While I was on the road, I relied on technology to fully connect me with my loved ones at home so I found blogging to be a way for them to feel closer to me. However, as I got home those family members were no longer behind a computer screen but were actually right beside me. For me taking a break from blogging meant that I got to adjust to life back home and that I got to make up for lost time with my family. 

JOB // Since my job as a traveling leadership consultant was only a 10 month position, I had to turn my focus away from blogging and to finding a job in the education field. I spent the month of May researching schools, attending job fairs, applying and interviewing for jobs. There are normally three hiring waves in North Carolina for teachers: one in May, one towards the end of June, and one again in late July/early August. I set a goal for myself to be hired by the second wave and what do you know, I actually got hired in the first wave! (More details to come soon on the new job!) Taking a break from blogging meant I could focus on finding the perfect job. 

WEDDING PLANNING // The first three months of Josh and I being engaged I was on the road so all of our wedding brainstorming had been done via phone calls and Skype dates. There was a one week gap between his last grad school exam and him starting work full time so we took that one week and traveled the state in search for our perfect wedding venue. During this time I did not have to worry about taking time away from him to create a blog post but instead got to focus on our future together and live in the moment of excitement with him!

ENJOYMENT // I am not going to lie, those first few days off the road it was a real struggle for me to blog. Every time I sat down to do it I felt of it as an obligation and not fun as I had found it on the road. I had so much on my to-do list that blogging felt like dragging my nails down a chalk board. When I started blogging back in September, I read several bloggers who said: if you ever felt like blogging was losing it's enjoyment just stop. Stop and enjoy life around you and when the spark comes back it will come back. Well, that is exactly what I did and can fully say that blogging is enjoyable again for me. 

So here I am, opening my little heart up to y'all and being real about why I feel it truly is okay to take a little blogging break. For now though, a Bojangles biscuit is calling my name ;-)

Monday, June 2, 2014

May in Pictures

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed that this month there was a lot less posting than my usual 2-3 pictures per day that had normally been happening since September. Some people asked what happened but to be honest I was just enjoying life while trying to be less consumed with the technology around me. Since coming off the road of traveling, I promised myself that I would use the month of May to get life in order and start planning for the future (more on both of those tomorrow). I took the time that I've missed with my family for the past 10 months and soaked up every minute I could with them. May also held two exciting week long adventures: the hunt for our dream wedding venue and my reunion trip with the other amazing girls who traveled this past year alongside me on the road! So here are a view pictures of the moments I loved in May:
1 // I finally got to attend a Wake Forest Divinity School function with Joshua and meet his wonderful friend James.

2 // I completed my DIY wedding binder and cannot wait to post about it on the blog soon

3 // Josh and I started our wedding venue tours

4 // Spent the day in downtown Wilmington, NC

5 // Loaded up on my favorite hot dogs in the world (from Trolley Stop)

6 // Had a wonderful, but sad, good bye brunch with my sweet TLC sister Rachel (Sequins and Subways) who left for her new job in NYC!  

7 // Showed off some of my favorite arm candy (Lemon Lime Creations plus 5th and Ashland

8 // Celebrated Mother's Day in my new Mint Julep dress

9 // Headed out to New Orleans for the weekend

10 // Traveled over to Seaside Beach, Florida to spend a week with my TLC sisters and had fun creating pyramids on the beach

11 // Was treated to a surprise Bachelorette night with my TLC sisters

12 // Attended the wedding of my sweetest high school friend

Whew, May was full of travel, relaxation, hello's, and goodbyes but what a wonderful month it was! If we aren't already friends on Instagram, come find me and follow along on this beautiful month of June that lies ahead of us :)  

Sunday, June 1, 2014

NEW! Southern Sundays

Happy June y'all! I cannot believe that in 30 days we will be halfway through! Anywho, I am so so so excited to get the ball rolling on a new weekly post that I am extremely over the moon joyful about. During my travels over the past year, there were so many times that I came across a tradition, word, way of life, etc. that up until that moment I thought was a common thing across the country only to find out it was just a southern way of life. These fun findings have inspired me to create a new weekly post called "Southern Sundays" that you guessed it, will be posted on Sundays. Behind these post I hope to bring to life some fun sayings, recipes, cities, and things to do if you ever visit the South!

My first official Southern Sundays post will debut next Sunday (June 8th) but until then, if you are someone who considers yourself a southern blogger and would love to be featured on this blog during these post please contact me at: :) I'm looking for anything from post on your favorite southern city, where you live now, your favorite southern saying or recipe! I cannot wait to come back here every Sunday and share with y'all a little bit of my southern heart!