Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend Recap!

Posted By: Leah
You guys, I had a super crazy busy week last week! I went to Disney World! I went Camping! I went to a NASCAR race!

Thank you instagram for being the only way my lazy self can get it together to do a blog post. But whatever, these photos are probably new to you!

Ok, let's start with last Saturday. We went to Fiddler's Grove. I've blogged about it before here. It's actually a really cute, kind of fun fiddler's convention where everyone camps. Super family oriented, and there is no alcohol or pets allowed. My dad's a professional storyteller and so I go to see him tell Jack Tales and camp with the fam. We have ramin noodles and tuna and a can of peas for dinner. I am not even joking you guys. It's real. And it's actually pretty good (in a broke college kid, my belly is swollen for days type of way).

Anyway, the sad news is after last year they were canceling Fiddler's Grove because not enough people were attending and it was too expensive for the family who's farm they have it on (think Woodstock or Bonnaroo... yet not even close even a little bit). 

Everyone was so sad at the prospect of canceling Fiddler's Grove that all the musicians got together and they decided to hold the show. For free. As in they didn't get paid to perform. There were no prizes. It was just people who love folk music coming together for the sake of hanging out. And this quite possibly was the best year yet.

Like I mentioned, my dad's a storyteller and I kid you not... he has his largest group of kids ever on the little porch where he tells the stories. AND he got to perform on the main stage for the first time. It was really cool to see. BF had a car show at a vineyard, but left early to come and see my dad. It was super sweet.

Then when the sun went down, it was time to camp! At my conference in Florida (I'm saving those pics for another post) I had gotten these light up glasses for a beach party event thing they had. I gave them to Gav and omg, best gift ever! Not only did he love them, but he could run around and play in the pitch black dark with other kids, and I could always see him! Mom tip: Invest in light up stuff for your kids for the night!

BF has gottne Gav into reading a lot, especially comic books. Gav reads before bed every night. This is Gav reading a trade (which means 4 or so comic books in one book) of G-Man. 

Anyway, we woke up the next day and headed down to BF's house (no bf didn't camp with us). BF's mom had won 4 tickets to the Coca-Cola 600 Nascar race in Charlotte and invited us! I have always wanted to go to see a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Being from Charlotte I see this huge track, but had never really seen a real race there.

Um well.. it was fun except let's say there are stereotypes for a reason....
You guys... seriously... so I am from North Carolina, but clearly not a red neck. I don't know anyone who is a red neck. I always thought they existed somewhere in the country with shot guns and camo, but no where near me, right? WELLL it's true, they somehow made their way to Charlotte for the Coca-Cola 600. 

PS if you don't know anything about racing, that means the cars go 600 laps then it's over. 
But for real I was super excited to see the race. BF's parents got us some delicious chicken and we did a little tail gating (something else I haven't done. Sorry. I'm lamer than you think). 

We saw all sorts of trashy outfits. Really bad tattoos, wayyyy too much skin. And real life necks that were red. It was pretty awesome. 

The seats BF's mom scored us were really good... 3rd row! Everything was good and the guy Willie from Duck Dynasty did the opening prayer. Then the race started. ANd omg. It was cars going in a circle. It was really loud and super cool for a while. Then it's like ok I get it. Cars, circle, shake and bake, where's Borat? no wrecks. 

And then there was like a broken camera cord cable so they had to stop the race and fix that. The drunk rednecks a zillion rows behind us started getting rowdy. So of course they were throwing beer and cups of ice at us. Then they started fighting each other. And lots of people had on confederate flags. And shirts with bible verses. Also shirts with NRA and Tap Out and.... you get the idea. 

I am not going to lie. I really enjoyed the sound of the cars. It was like the movie Cars, but also white noise. Very relaxing in a weird way.  Anyhow, after the race got started back and it was maybe 170 laps we all decided we were over it and left. But I'm super grateful and thankful I got to go. And I would go back probably as long as I had close up seats again. 

I woke up after the Nascar race the next morning and all I wanted in life was an acai bowl. WELL... super awesome plan, except unless you live in SoCal, specifically San Diego, chances are you have no clue what that even is. So getting one pre-made in North Carolina was a no-go. The good news is there's a Whole Foods down the road from BF. So we hopped in the car and I made my own!!! I had the smoothie lady make me a smoothie, then I got a bunch of fruit and granola from the breakfast bar. You can see an actual acai bowl in my SoCal post about Ocean Beach HERE. But whatever, mine was close enough and sooo good (ok yes it cost me $10 to make. Damn $5 smoothie and $5 fruit. I 'borrowed' the honey for the top from the coffee/tea bar place as I was shouting YOLO!!! lies. I did not. Ok I did utilize the free honey, that is the only true part)


And the crazy business (busy-ness, not business. well that too) continues!
This weekend Gav's taking a day off of school and I'm taking a day off of work and we are headed up to Philadelphia for my step-cousin's super awesome hipster wedding in the city!

I realized Gav had zero fancy clothes and I couldn't even find his bow tie! So I took him to try on fancy 'church clothes' at Kohl's!  He of course loved dressing up. I won't give away the final decision, but it's one of these four super adorable outfits! I let Gav choose because, I mean, he's the one who has to wear it.

YOLO bahaha. sorry. can't stop 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Design Inspiration in an Unexpected Place

Posted By: Leah
I will start off and say I'm not going to London. I have been to Europe before, and am going again in a few weeks for work (!) but this post is not about that trip.

You all know I do logistics for my work. Logistics is a fancy word meaning I pull together the details of events. So part of my job is to help other people at my work with their hotel reservations. I'm sure many people do this at their work, not super exciting usually, right?

 I work for a global company, so that said, last week I was seeking a hotel in London to book for an upcoming conference. Sounds pretty routine, right? you guys... London is NICE! Not that I ever had any doubt, but having never been there, IDK I never really thought about the hotels.

omg so I never knew my design inspiration... but after clicking through the suggested hotels for an upcoming conference in London... I think I have finally found it!

Get ready for some awesome!

This was the first hotel I saw, the above photos are from the Covent Garden Hotel. 

And afternoon tea of course!

 I kept searching. Next I found Number Sixteen.

Then the Haymarket!


So after looking at all these gorgeous boutique hotels, I figured out my decorating style... finally! I really like clean/simple white/gray with a pop of color. Especially pink/green/yellow! 

Apparently this is the style of boutique hotels in London and it works for me as well! 

I feel like I've been searching for a decor style forever. Now I know what it is! It's a relief! I feel like I could go to Marshall's or Home Goods and be like "YES! This is what I want!"

And just as a reference for myself (before I forget the design elements)
  • Stripes
  • Magenta
  • Light Green
  • Square Vases
  • Dark Pink Flowers
  • White/light background
  • Gray/tan accents

And because I'm a researcher and wanted a name for this style decor, I found the designer of this style AKA the one who designed EVERY SINGLE ONE of the above hotels (score! and a coincidence!)
Her name is Kit Kemp and here is her book called A Living Space!!!

Pretty much going to have to buy this book asap!

Where have you found design inspiration? 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Real (not IG) photos of my Birthday at the Beach!

Posted By: Leah
BF has a super nice camera and I'm so lucky that he loves taking pictures, because we have really fun ones.

Here are a whole bunch of awesome shots from the beach this weekend and my birthday!

The one below's my fav!

Gav legit thinks that smiling with his eyes closed is the best type of smile.

Gav prancing in the water is the best ever!

Not sure if you can tell, but the waves were crazy choppy. It was extra windy and cold. 

Aww, love this one. I like how Gav's still so small. He will be taller than I am before I know it!

I tried to edit this picture for forever, but I could not get it right. So here it is unedited. 
I swear to you I don't have a happy trail. 
It's a shadow. seriously.

This might have been the most awesome picture ever! But not even sure what happened with the exposure.

This was at Hot Pink Cake Stand. I look crazy windblown, but oh well.

My birthday!!!

Birthday breakfast in bed!

And if you want to see even more pictures, search #LovelyBirthdayofLeah  :)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Birthday Full of Surprises at the Beach!

Posted By: Leah

My birthday is a big deal. It's because I make it that way. I have high expectations, and those who know me indulge me in everything Leah for one day a year. It also happens that my birthday falls on Cinco de Mayo. It makes me so happy that people all over the world (ok, the USA only and a few in Mexico) celebrate on my birthday. It's always a party on May 5!

This year was no exception. Although I have been crazy busy at work and have had no time to plan, bf totally exceeded my birthday expectations and planned my bday down to the smallest details. I'm a lucky lady!

BF lives about 2 hrs away and arrived the Thursday prior to my bday weekend (yes I claim the entire month of May as mine). He got Gav from his afterschool and took him on a secret mission aka getting me bday gifts! They also went by the comic book store. 

Friday BF took Gav to school, took me to work, then came back and brought me Starbucks! BF went back to Gav's school and had lunch with him. Then BF cleaned and packed my car for the beach! BF picked up Gav from school, and I got to leave work a little early. And we were off to the beach!

BF got Gav comic books and got me a really awesome nail art magazine for the ride down!

I keep saying we went to the beach, but we actually stayed in Wilmington, about a 10 minute drive from Wrightsville beach. It was so great we didn't stay at the beach because the weather was a little chilly and windy. 

Upon check-in, the receptionist upgraded us to a suite when she heard it was my bday weekend! She then gave me a glass of wine and sent me out to the hotel's private pier on the sound as BF and Gav unpacked the car. The hotel overlooked the USS North Carolina Battleship.

BF and Gav got me from the pier and showed me our suite. BF surprised me and had brought my christmas Hello Kitty inflatable! He and Gav (really just BF) decorated the room with balloons, presents and a birthday banner! I was so excited and shocked!

On the other side of the suite was the bedroom where out one window was the USS North Carolina and the other window had a palm tree! 

We left the room and took a quick walk up to Front Street. It's the street in Wilmington with tons of restaurants  bars, stores, galleries, etc. I ended up picking the restaurant Nick's Diner for dinner. It was really cool. Hard to describe the decor... kind of retro, hipster, random. BF even spotted a Kurt Cobain sweater on the wall!!!

BF and Gav at dinner at Nick's Diner

BF and I split the crab and lobster mac & cheese. Those are bread sticks sticking out. They were super good!

After dinner, it was almost 10 pm... yikes! A little late for Gav to be out, but oh well! We went to sleep and the next day we went to the beach!!!
You guys, I love the beach. I think everyone either loves the mountains or the beach. I'm totally a beach girl. The water was chilly! And the wind was intense! But we had fun, took a walk all the way down the beach, and had a little photo shoot (pics coming tomorrow!) 

But no problem on the cold ocean, because we just went back to Wilmington and hung out and shopped of course. 

We found the cutest cupcake shop called Hot Pink Cake Stand. They put edible glitter on everything! It was the best. The girl who worked there was the coolest! She went to Bonnaroo the same year we did and it was so cool talking about that amazing experience with someone who had been there at the same time!

That night, we went to Elijah's and had a really good seafood dinner. BF was sooo sweet and shelled everything for me! I had clams, oysters, crab legs and shrimp. I let Gav play with my oyster shucker. He thought that was awesome. 

The next morning was Sunday, May 5th... my birthday!!!!
BF had the coolest set-up for me! He had Hot Pink Cake Stand make me (and Gav) custom cupcakes! 
And remember my post on cupcake domes? BF Got me two!!! I love them!
The cupcakes were pink lemonade and funfetti flavor!!!

 Seriously, are these not the best cupcakes ever??

We went to the beach again. Actually to a few different spots. Then we headed back home.
I was sooo shocked and surprised when I walked to my front door and Lauren had decorated it!!!
She's my work BFF from my old job. Usually she decorates my cube, but this year she came over when we were out of town and decorated my door. It was so awesome!!!

That's it for my bday this year! Thank you to everyone who gave me such amazing and thoughtful gifts! I am truly grateful that you each indulge me on my birthday!

I'm not going to list everything I got from everybody... but I do want to highlight the amazing Kate Spade bag from BF's mom. BF's real name is Chad just FYI :)

And I am sooo touched with everyone's super sweet FB posts, texts, calls, and emails! And I especially loved the sweet IG's and even a blog post! I have the best friends ever!

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