life lately

I have been so bad about updating this blog! We are 15 days away from the wedding, and with finalizing a million details, I’ve just not had the time.

But! A lot of stuff has been going on.

I had the most amazing bridal shower brunch last weekend. My maid of honor and bridesmaids did so amazing and everyone made me feel so loved. I have a million photos, but here’s some of the decorations from the big day:

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Seriously, it was beautiful! And my maid of honor and one of my bridesmaids made almost all of that food (except the chicken minis). I was seriously blown away.

My dress was from Rent the Runway and I LOVED it. I seriously wanted to buy it after wearing it haha.

As far as wedding planning goes, we are so close to being done and the date is almost here. I can’t believe it.

Here’s what we have left:

  • pay our florist (we can’t do that until September 28)
  • write our vows
  • one DIY project (and the only one we are doing haha)
  • buy a few last minute decorations
  • buy alcohol

And that’s it! We’ve already got our wedding license, so once this list is done, we just have to show up 🙂

I also recently volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House in Durham with my company. I’m so lucky to work with a company that actually pays us to volunteer. If you are in the Raleigh/Durham area, the RMH has so many volunteer opportunities for groups and individuals.

We ended up spending the afternoon baking cookies and brownies for the residents, and it was so fun! We even had a kid sneak in for a taste-test. Here’s our final product:

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We had such a good time!

 

Happy Friday!

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final wedding checklist

We are around 40 days until the wedding! I can’t believe how fast the time has gone by. I still feel like there’s a millions things to do though.

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(this was us getting our marriage license a few weeks ago! i actually cried of excitement)

Here’s the running list of the final wedding plans we have to coordinate:

Send rehearsal dinner invites: they are ordered and on the way to us, but we still need to send them. We also need to finalize the menu for the rehearsal dinner.

Order alcohol:  We are able to purchase our own alcohol, but we still haven’t bought any. One of Omar’s coworker’s husband makes beer and he is making us this amazing lavender beer, so we will have that. But we still need to buy wine, champagne and other beer options

Finalize buying decorations: We’ve got a plan for this worked out with the venue, but some things still have to be purchased.

Order Omar’s gift: Same with this, I know what I’m going to get, I just actually have to order it.  

Write vows: We are writing our own vows! We also wrote our ceremony. The ceremony is complete and sent to the venue, but we still need to write our vows.

Wedding programs: This has been a bit of a torn in the side for me, I can’t find one I like!

Track missing RSVPs:  Our RSVPs were due yesterday, and we are still missing about 30, so we have to track those down. I have a list of who I am missing, so I’m hoping to divide that up among family and conquer it.

Finalize venue packet and send to venue: Our venue gave us this huge packet to go through to get our preferences on everything (which has been SO helpful!). But it’s due by August 30, and we are still working on it.

 

Those are all the big things left! We have smaller things, like payments due, etc., but for the most part, we are so close to being done!

 

Asheville Bachelorette Weekend

This past weekend was my bachelorette party and I had the best time.

Everything (other than the fact we were going to Asheville) was a surprise for me. I had no idea what to expect, by my expectations were completely exceeded!

We got to Asheville late Thursday night. That’s when I also found out the theme of the weekend: Beyonce.

One thing I wish I did was get more photos of the decorations – they were the BEST.

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We stayed in the cutest Airbnb right outside of Asheville. Thursday night we hung out at the house, soaked in the jacuzzi and had a few drinks. We also did the lingerie shower Thursday night.

Friday morning we woke up and went to Another Broken Egg Cafe. It’s one of my favorite breakfast places in Raleigh, so I was excited to see they had one in Asheville with a minimum wait (we were a party of 6, so I was expecting to wait a while everywhere we went – we had luck on our side because the wait was not long at all!)

After that, we went back to the Airbnb. We got ready and headed into Asheville.

Friday night, we started at the Asheville Retrocade. It’s pretty much an arcade with a bar – it was a ton of fun! For a cover fee, you can play all of the games for free, which I loved. We have a similar concept in Raleigh, but you have to pay per game.

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After the Retrocade, we went to one of my favorite restaurants in Asheville – Papas and Beer. 

Then we had a scavenger hunt in downtown. We broke into two teams and had to get photos doing various things (photos with another bride, photos with someone who looked like the groom, etc.) It was a ton of fun! We went out dancing for a bit, but it was getting late and so we headed back home.

Saturday, we woke up and cooked breakfast (well, Julie and Alura did). We got ready and headed downtown. We were about to go on the Pubcycle, but realized that we were all kind of hungry, so we made a quick decision to stop in at the City Bakery. It was so good! None of us had ever eaten there or knew anything about it, so we definitely lucked out. I got the Avogoddess sandwich and it was amazing.

After we stopped in to eat, we ran quickly over to Wicked Weed to grab growlers for the Pubcycle. We took the 40 minute Pubcycle tour through downtown, which was a ton of fun!

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After the Pubcycle, we walked back over to Wicked Weed. 

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After being at Wicked Weed for a while, we were hungry again (we love to eat). We were going to stop at a restaurant near Wicked Weed, but as we were walking in, someone stopped us and told us we were better off going to White Duck Tacos. We listened, and it ended up being a great idea. The tacos were amazing! I got a Steak and Cheese taco. We also got the chips and queso and the salsa trio. They were all delicious!

Then we stopped into French Broad Chocolate Lounge quickly to sample some chocolates (I got the liquid dark chocolate!), and headed over to Well Played.

We weren’t originally planning on going to Well Played, but our tour guide on the Pubcycle mentioned it and we decided to check it out. They have a ton of games you can play, as well as food and drinks. It was so much fun! We played Cards Against Humanity, and a new game we had never hear of: Funemployed. It was recommended to us by an employee at Well Played and it was so much fun!

After that we headed back to the Airbnb for the night to hang out, and then Sunday came and it was time to go home. Here’s some random photos from the weekend:

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We all had so much fun, we are hoping to make a girls trip a yearly tradition!

I was so blown away by how much thought and work my bridesmaids (and bridesman!) put into my bachelorette party. I almost cried a few times about it over the weekend.

Our go-to favorite meals

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It’s no secret that Omar and I love to cook. We cook pretty much every night (for a multitude of reasons – it’s cheaper, it’s fun for us, and it’s way healthier).

Here’s some of our go-to meals recently. We both like meals that are somewhat simple, and are easy to make, but still taste great, so those are big requirements for us. We also only eat meat with dinner a couple of nights a week, so that’s why quite a few of these are meat-free!

Also, we take leftovers as lunch for the next day, so all of these recipes make plenty for two meals for two people!

  1. Healthy Tuscan Soup Vegetable Soup  – this is a great soup even in the summer! We make it all the time.
  2. Gnocchi with Bacon and Brussel Sprouts – you really can’t go wrong with any of the Trader Joe recipes, but this one is our favorite so far. We use regular bacon instead of turkey bacon.
  3. Easy Lemon Garlic Pasta – I recently made this for the first time, and Omar and I both loved it! It will definitely be a repeat meal.
  4. Garden Veggie Tortellini Pasta Salad – almost every time we’ve grilled this summer, we’ve made this pasta salad. It is SO good.

 

What are some of your favorite recipes?

Boone weekend

Last weekend, I got to spend the weekend in Boone, NC! This is where I went to college, and where my two oldest friends, Julie and Alura, still live (we’ve known each other for 19 years – since we were 6!). It was the perfect way to end my birthday week (my birthday was June 19).

I got there Friday afternoon and we went to dinner and hung out at their house. It was a low-key afternoon.

Saturday, we woke up and Julie made breakfast! Then we decided to venture to Elk Knob State Park. I’ve never been, but it was beautiful. We almost turned around and decided not to go because it was raining, but it ended up clearing up for the post part. It was still pretty foggy, but the temperature was perfect. It’s a 1.9 ascent to the top and is pretty steep, but the views are awesome:

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I definitely want to go again! Omar and I have a goal to visit all of the NC State Parks together, so I will definitely be back. Next time, hopefully it will be sunny.

After Elk Knob, we decided to go to Cascade Falls on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s a much shorter hike, but still beautiful.

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The photo above is Alura’s dog, Daisy, who we brought with us while Alura was working. I wish I would have gotten more photos of the waterfall, but it was beautiful.

We then went back to Julie and Alura’s house to get ready. We decided to go to Cobo for dinner (which, I know what you’re thinking – seafood in the mountains?! But it’s so good. My favorites are the New Yorker, The Appalachian, and Going Green.)

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After Cobo, we went to Appalachian Mountain Brewery ,which is a staple if you are visiting Boone. They had a live performance while we where there.

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And then we ended the night dancing at Portofino’s, another local place in Boone that I visited all the time in college.

Sunday, we woke up and went to Sunrise Grill,  which is one of my favorite breakfast places ever (I might be a bit biased because Alura works there, but still it’s delicious). And then I packed up and made the 3 hour drive back to Raleigh.

I LOVE going to Boone so much. It’s probably my favorite place to visit ever. It always brings back college memories. Julie, Alura, and I all used to live in Boone, then I moved, and Julie is starting an internship in another town so Alura will be the only one left.

June Wedding Updates

June has been a very busy month regarding wedding planning.

We got our engagement photos done (and, as of this weekend we got them back)! We ended up doing two sets of engagement photos, and I love them both so much! I’ll do another post with photos, as we really haven’t gotten a chance to go through and download them all.
We ordered our wedding favors (which will be koozies!) – we haven’t them in yet but here’s a copy of the proof (and here’s the place we ordered them from):

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We ordered our wedding certificate! I’m so excited about this and loved the way it turned out! (here’s the place we ordered it from). In a previous post, I mentioned that I wanted two of the wedding certificates combined, and it ended up working perfectly.

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I ordered my bridesmaids gifts! Not posting those but I’m super excited for those to come in!

We started working on the “flow” of the wedding day, and planning out the ceremony. My goal is to at least start working on our vows this month (we are writing our own), and to finalize a rough schedule for the day of.

 

may updates

May was such a busy, yet fun month!

First thing, I cut my hair! Super short (for me, at least!):

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Honestly, I love my hair cut. I never thought I would like my hair short, but I love my cut.

We celebrated Omar’s 25th birthday! We had dinner at Centro and then dessert at Lucette Grace. One of our goals as a couple is to go on one big date night a month (instead of going on small dinner outings because we don’t feel like cooking one night), and this was the perfect way to start.

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We celebrated Mother’s Day!

We spent the weekend in Fayetteville with both of our families. My sister had to work on Mother’s Day, so we spent the Saturday with my mom and Sunday with Omar’s mom. With my mom, we saw “Caroline, or Change” at the Cape Fear Regional Theatre.

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The weekend of May 20, we went camping with Omar’s family in Myrtle Beach! We had a great time, but for some reason we didn’t actually take any photos.

The weekend of Memorial Day was super busy also! Friday, we went to the Freedom Balloon Fest in Fuquay Varina.

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And Saturday, we got to see my friend from college, Stephanie, get married in Statesville! It was such a beautiful wedding, and the reception was so much fun! I got to see a bunch of my college friends, also. It was a great night.

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May was such a fun month. We are super busy in June also!