Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Step Into My Week - Seattle + Sophia's Wedding

It feels so good to be back! I missed y’all during my unintended hiatus from blogging while in Seattle. I had every intention of having posts scheduled to go live while I was gone but between how busy work has been, packing to go out of town, and last-minute wedding preparations that sadly didn’t happen. Fortunately, those posts will be coming to your computer screen this week and next so you won’t be missing much. As much as I didn’t want to take a week off from posting, it was the best way to recharge and fully enjoy the time I had with friends celebrating Sophia and Judson. Even with all of the wedding festivities, it still felt like a vacation, and I’m grateful for that. 

I’m going to go ahead and warn you now that this post will be a long one filled with lots of photos. I even tried to get this post up yesterday but had too much to share and it didn't feel quite finished! I’ve done my best to outline what we did each day, and I look forward to coming back to this post to relive the weekend. Many of the photos are ones from friends or even screenshotted from Sophia’s wedding vendors’ Instagram stories. So while they may not be the best quality, they should still depict how much of a blast was had by everyone. Once Sophia gets her photos and videos back from the teams she worked with, you can count on an even more photo-heavy wedding post like I shared for Kate’s wedding. For now, this will do, and given how sad I was for the week and weekend to end I think there’s no question about whether or not we had fun celebrating the newlyweds. 

Tuesday morning, I was all packed up and ready to go before I left for work. I worked until 2:00 and then headed home to grab my bags before Nell drove me to the airport. From there it was off to Atlanta and then to Seattle. The flights were long especially after having worked during the day but thanks to my Ostrich travel pillow I was able to sleep for about two of the four hours on the way to Seattle (even though I should have been working on my maid of honor speech then). I arrived in Seattle around 11:50, and Sophia and Judson were kind enough to pick me up from the airport. Sophia and I were staying with her mom at an Airbnb so we were dropped off there and I was beyond ready for bed. Fortunately being so tired helped me to quickly adjust to the time change and Sophia and I were both able to sleep until around 9:00 Seattle time.

There were six of us there on Wednesday, so we made the most of the time we had, and Sophia and Judson planned a hike for us. Once we were dressed, and ready Sophia and I headed to Judson’s family’s home to pick up the rest of the crew before going to grab a coffee and finish out the drive to where we were hiking. I don’t know the exact area we were in, but the hike we did was to the top of Rattlesnake Ledge. It was about 2 miles up, and Judson kept the pace brisk. It was completely worthwhile when we made it to the top to see the incredible view of the mountains, trees, and bright blue water below. Getting close to the edge was not my thing given how long the drop was down, but even from where Sophia and I cautiously stood, it was pretty breathtaking. As you can imagine, we worked up quite the appetite by the time our hike was over, so we headed to a delicious sandwich place called Deru in Bellevue. From there, it was back to Judson’s family’s house to hang out and have dinner as a group in his backyard. I could not get over how gracious and welcoming his family was to all of us, and being able to spend that time together as a smaller group before everyone else arrived felt pretty special. We took a walk down memory lane, looking at old pictures of Sophia and Judson and got to chat with their families as they began to arrive. We ended the night with dessert and a drink around their firepit before turning in for the night!  



Thursday was when most of the rest of the wedding party and other Furman friends were getting in and was definitely the most eventful of the weekdays we were there. Sophia and I started the day by dropping off our luggage at Judson’s house before getting coffee and going to get our nails done for the wedding. The alone time just the two of us was really sweet, and it was an excellent time for us to start narrowing down what may have been left to do. I’ve never had someone do my nails more meticulously, which was nice given the occasion. The place we went to was in Bellevue, so we went to the Bellevue mall food court (which was much more upscale than the name would suggest) to meet up with the rest of our group and our friends who had just arrived. After a quick bite to eat, we went to the Capitol Hill area of Seattle for ice cream at Sophia’s favorite spot, Molly Moons. I’m not usually a cone person but after smelling them being made opted for one with a scoop of cookie dough and a scoop of coffee. We walked from there to the Starbucks Roastery where we explored, got coffee, and sat down to soak it all in. The group split up after that sending most people to the hotel to check-in and Judson, some of his groomsmen, and me back to Judson’s house to get the luggage, welcome baskets, and Sophia’s dress to take to the hotel. We freshened up quickly and were all back down in the lobby to go back to Judson’s parents’ house soon after for a drink before the night’s festivities. We spent that evening at the Mariner’s game in some pretty amazing seats. We had three rows filled with their family, friends, and the bridal party, and it was such a fun, laid-back way to all get to hang out together. The Mariner’s won and even hit a grand slam, which was exciting. From the game, we went back to the hotel and stayed up for a while by the hotel bar before eventually turning in for another busy day.


Since Sophia didn’t have a bridesmaid luncheon, we instead were able to use Friday to continue exploring. The bridal party started the day with brunch at Portage Bay complete with the most delicious oatmeal crusted French toast I’ve ever had. Next on the itinerary was exploring Pike Place Market, seeing the original Starbucks, and grabbing a cup of coffee at Storyville. We stayed in downtown Seattle until around one before heading back to the hotel for a bit of downtime to get ready for the rehearsal dinner. The rehearsal and rehearsal dinner took place at the golf club Judson’s family is a member at even though that was a different venue than the reception and wedding. I spent most of the 40-minute uber ride there working on my speech which I was asked to give at the reception as opposed to the rehearsal which made it so that there were no nerves on Friday. After rehearsing, we all headed to grab a drink and mingle before the rehearsal dinner began (given the number of photos in this post we will consider it lucky that I only have one from that event). The food was delicious, and everyone who chose to speak did a stellar job. We continued to enjoy the signature drinks after those toasts were over and Judson’s parents even had us doing a shot or two before the night was done which had us all excited for the fun we’d have the next day as well. We stayed at the rehearsal dinner for a bit longer before heading back to the hotel. Judson’s best friend and I both had to finish writing the speeches we were giving the next day, so we did that once we got back and practiced them to some of our friends before calling it a night. 



Saturday was the big day and Ellison (my roommate from last year!), and I had the first hair and makeup appointments of the day. We put on the adorable lake pajamas from our welcome gifts and headed up to the bridal suite. Y’all, the view was unreal. We had a huge terrace overlooking the lake the hotel was on, and it was the most serene place to start celebrating. Once my hair and makeup was done I gathered people’s Starbucks orders and made a few trips down to the lobby of the hotel (in pajamas with full hair and makeup before 9:30) to get our coffee. Everything went so smoothly and seeing how relaxed Sophia was made us all realize just how well the day would go. As we were enjoying mimosas and chatting, Sophia’s planner was in contact with me about a surprise her photographer had planned. If there’s one thing Sophia gushed about leading up to her wedding day, it was how excited she was about her photographer and meeting her in person. Well, I guess the photographer couldn’t wait either given that she surprised Sophia at our suite with some getting ready photos. Talk about a happy bride! After she left, it was officially time to finish our drinks and breakfast and head to the venue. 

The venue was about 40 minutes away, and we unashamedly went still in our pajamas. When we arrived and put everything in the getting ready room Sophia and I had some downtime together as I steamed her dress. Then she got ready with her mom and Judson’s mom while the rest of the group ate chickfila together downstairs. While Sophia and Judson had their first look, the bridesmaids got ready for the photos to follow. Group photos went really well, and her photography team was all about capturing the moments that came about organically instead of having us pose the whole time. From then it was a waiting game while guests got settled and we all prepared to walk down the aisle. I practiced my speech in front of Ellison, which left both of us tearing up, which I did not expect from myself. The planner then lined us up, and it was time for the ceremony to begin. Even though they had already seen one another Judson and Sophia were both in tears as she walked down the aisle (looking breathtaking might I add) which caused the rest of us to do our best to keep it together. The ceremony was so well done complete with laughter that eased everyone a bit. Before we knew it, they were officially married, and the ceremony ended without anyone tripping or passing out! 




Cocktail hour followed the ceremony, so we all mingled for a bit as Sophia and Judson finished up photos with their families. We were able to get a Furman photo and take in the beautiful surrounding before it was time for the seated dinner. One special moment that I’m glad to have had was getting to take Sophia around the venue showing her all of the beautiful things she had so meticulously planned and put together. I was so worried she wasn’t going to take a moment to soak it all in, and it was extraordinary to see her excitement over how beautiful it all turned out. Dinner was delicious, although I was a bit nervous since I knew I still had to give my speech. Once everyone had finished, we headed out to the dance floor area for Sophia and Judson to cut their cake and for speeches to begin. I followed Sophia’s mom and was pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t that nervous when it came time to give mine finally. People laughed when they were supposed to, Sophia cried, and everyone told me it was great although I’ve already blocked it out of my mind due to nerves. I guess we will know for sure if they were serious once the wedding videos come back. Judson’s best friend followed me and did an incredible job as did Judson’s sister. We ended speeches with Judson’s parents, which left us all trying not to cry. And then, the fun began. I ate all of one bite of cake while first dances occurred and then it was time to hit the dance floor! We had the BEST time dancing and singing as a group, and so many guests came up to us to say how impressed they were at the amount of fun us Furman friends could bring to an event.

When the DJ announced the last song, we were all in disbelief since we could’ve danced for hours longer. Sophia had a surprise for Judson, so we went out to the back of the venue to watch fireworks with the couple. They had the whole bridal party up there with them hugging and taking it all in which was a fun way to wrap up the celebration before they left for the night. We may have even sung our Furman chant (which you can see in one of the last photos) which had the crowd laughing pretty hard. From there, it was back to the reception area to gather our belongings before leaving to head back to the hotel. Once we got back, a big group of us ended up gathering in one of the hotel rooms to play cards and catch up. We ended up staying up past two, and I was pretty exhausted when it came time to finally head to sleep. 



Sunday morning, we all were feeling a little tired but got ready and packed up before heading to the send-off brunch being hosted that morning. I wish I had remembered to get more photos from that as well, but the coffee, food, and mimosas we had were a fun way to end our time in Seattle. There were four of us on the same flight to Atlanta, so we ubered straight from the brunch to the airport and made it from the car to our gate in under 20 minutes when we were told security could take 2 hours. The couple that had TSA pre-check took longer to get through security than the guy and I who did not, which was equally as shocking. I slept for most of the plane ride back and finally got back to Birmingham just before midnight on Sunday night. 

I hope that y’all enjoyed this recap and I can’t wait to share more about this most fun wedding I’ve been to soon! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Nordstrom Sale Workwear Finds

I went to bed too late last night and set my alarm for too early, but my excitement is overpowering my tiredness since this is my last workday of the week since I’m flying out to Seattle this afternoon for Sophia’s wedding! When I really started to think about it, this is also the first time that I’ve taken substantial time off of work when everyone else is still working. With teaching over Christmas or spring break, everyone is off, so you’re not really getting behind. But in my case this time, our office will still be operating as usual even though I won’t be at my desk. I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself to make sure I’m ahead enough to not leave my responsibilities on any of my co-workers, and I’m hoping to treat this trip as a vacation although I know I will still be checking my email some. I’m already a little nervous about coming back next Tuesday since I’m sure that no matter how much getting ahead I attempted to do I’ll have a lot to catch up on. When I know I’m going to be especially busy at work, one of my favorite treats for that type of day is to wear a favorite outfit. 

top // jeans // tote // watch

top (similar) // jeans // tote // slides // watch

My office’s attire is relatively casual, allowing us to wear jeans and sandals, but I know not all offices are like that. With the Nordstrom Sale still in full swing, I thought it could be fun to share some of my top workwear finds of the sale. Some of these items would fit my dress code well, although that doesn’t necessarily mean they would be perfectly suited for a corporate setting. Definitely use your discretion when it comes to picking out the items you’d be able to wear. 

To shop any of the items below click directly on the product to be taken to where it can be purchased. 

Monday, July 22, 2019

Step Into My Week 7.22

I woke up ready to roll this week knowing that I will only be at work two days and the vacation I’ve had on my calendar for well over a year is finally here! It’s officially Sophia’s wedding week, so I will be Seattle bound on Tuesday after work for my first taste of the Pacific North West and all the wedding excitement and festivities the week will bring. I will admit that I am slightly nervous since I haven’t taken a whole week off of work (or anything more than two days at a time) since starting this job last September and am hoping that all of my effort to get ahead before departing will make it so that I don’t feel too guilty while being away from the office for that long. Between you and I, I’m kind of hoping I’ll be having too much fun to even think about it. In the meantime, if you have any recommendations when it comes to packing up a bridesmaid dress for a plane ride, let me know. 

I knew going into the office last Monday that I was in for a busy day given that the to-do list to be tackled had been started the previous Thursday. I had an article for an issue due that I wanted to re-work before submitting and had the biggest dose of writer’s block in a while. Fortunately, while brainstorming what I wanted to write, I had plenty of other tasks to keep myself busy. I finally got the piece completed and was also able to tackle most of the rest of my list accomplishing sending out complimentary copies, creating invoices, responding to comments, and getting through my weekend emails. After work, I went to the Y to work out before coming home and showering before settling in to watch the Bachelorette with my dinner and some friends that night. I got in bed shortly after the episode was over to read and fall to sleep a lot earlier than the previous night. 

Tuesday was a bit calmer with less on my to-do list. We are already focusing on holiday content, so the better half of my morning was spent sourcing Christmas ornaments for a shoot that I had to call in products for later in the week. I pulled inspiration shots for that same shoot and attempted to get ahead on pulling social posts for when I am gone. The caption writing for that was not nearly as productive as I would have liked it to be, but fortunately, I had some time to continue working on that the remainder of the week. I was in a hurry out of the office that afternoon since I had plans to meet Macy and her boyfriend, Drew, at a free True40 workout class in downtown Birmingham. I was a bit of a dummy and forgot to put a yoga mat in my car that morning, which made it a bit of a challenge, but you live, and you learn, I suppose. We did a ton of leg work and pushups, so I felt the workout on Wednesday morning when I woke up. After the class was over, we headed to Taco Mama in Crestline for half-priced margaritas and then Macy and I walked home (and Drew kindly drove our stuff there). Once I got back, I showered and did a little blog work before drying my hair and turning off the light to go to sleep around 9:40. 

When I look back at my calendar for Wednesday, it doesn’t look like I got that much done solely because the things I was working on ended up taking a good bit of time. Since I am heading out of town this week, I was trying to get pretty far ahead on regular social captions and also captions regarding an event we are hosting. I also had a web post to work on and resources and images to pull. After work, I went home and changed to play tennis with a friend. It was insanely hot, but we played several games (which I lost all but two of…), and I was reminded of why I steered clear of hand-eye coordination sports. We grabbed a quick dinner at Saw’s before I was supposed to head off to bible study, which ended up getting canceled. Instead, I showered and did blog work before heading to bed. 

Thursday was a day for the storybooks when it came to the photoshoot we had all day. The location was incredible with a perfect view of the Birmingham city skyline. Little did we know just how important the view would become as we could see the rain coming not once, not twice, but three separate times. After meticulously setting things up and starting to get some photos this was pretty frustrating but also would’ve been very entertaining for any on-lookers to watch since we were scrambling in the rain to make sure none of the props we were using got soaked. If you followed along with my Instagram stories that day, then you already got to see a behind the scenes glance of how it all went down. By the time we wrapped the shoot, we were all a weird combination of sweaty, drenched, and tired. I had to take the van back to the office to retrieve my car and quickly shower before meeting my friends to celebrate the July birthdays in our friend group. We went to Chez Fon Fon (order the burger if you go, it’s amazing, and I’m not usually much of a burger person) which was as delicious as I had remembered. Since it was a birthday celebration, we ordered a few different desserts to share one of which was a coconut pecan cake that I had had the week before and hadn’t been able to stop thinking about since. Some of the group was headed to the Baron’s game that night but after activities each night of the week already I was ready for a night in attempting to relax. That was until I came home to discover that my Nordstrom Sale order had arrived which meant it was back to work finishing the next day’s blog post. I went to bed close to 11 and was up early the next morning to get some photos taken.


When my alarm went off at five on Friday morning, the last thing I wanted to do was change my outfit countless times to get pictures for that day’s post, but once I started pairing the items with different pieces, I ended up shooting about 15 different looks. I was swamped all day at the office and ended up staying a bit past noon to get everything I needed to do accomplished. From there I went to Trader Joe’s for some granola bars and honey and then picked up my bridesmaid dress for next Saturday at the alterations place. By the time I got home, I was hungry, so I made lunch and showered before baking oatmeal and continuing to get work done. Once I finished some laundry, I packed an overnight bag for the lake and met Nell and her roommate Madeleine at their apartment to drive nearly two hours to Lake Martin. I slept a little bit in the car (world’s worst passenger), and we arrived around 7:00 ready to dig into the pizza that the other girls had picked up on their way in. After eating, we changed into our pajamas and got comfy in the living room watching This Means War. I don’t know how I had never seen or even heard of this cue Reese Witherspoon movie, but it’s one I’d recommend! After the movie was finished, we all were tired enough after a long week to go to sleep. 

my pajama pants are on sale here

Saturday morning I woke up around 8:30 and my friends Anna and Molly were already in the kitchen making breakfast for us. Slowly everyone began to wake up, and we all ate a big breakfast complete with a muffin with candles to celebrate one of our friend’s birthdays. By 10:00, we were in our swimsuits headed to the pool to soak up some sun and hang out. We lucked out in that the weather stayed clear the whole time we were at the lake. We popped back into the condo for lunch and were back out by the lake shortly after. Since we only had planned to stay Friday night, we packed up and loaded up our cars to head back to Birmingham around 4:00. I was convinced I was going to fall asleep on the way back too until we stopped at Dairy Queen for a blizzard. I got back to my house around 6:20 and showered before meeting friends for dinner at Saw’s (yep, for the second time that week) a little after 7:00. We went to my house afterward and watched Father of the Bride before everyone headed home.

I slept in a bit on Sunday morning before eating breakfast in bed and eventually getting ready to head to church with Nell. I ran to Target afterward to pick up a few travel-size items for my trip before coming home and having lunch. Nell came over that afternoon to help with some photos, and once she left, I went for a walk while talking on the phone to my parents. I made the mistake of deciding to run on my way home, and I think I sweated out every bit of the water I had hydrated with that day given how hot it has been. Once I had cooled down, I showered, did some laundry, and started to pack before getting in bed to read.

Also as a heads up, the Lake Pajama Summer Sale just started and sizes are already selling out. If you've been wanting a pair of these pajamas that I adore then start definitely shop fast

I hope that y’all had a great weekend. Happy Monday! 

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