Kitchen Organizing and Carrot Cake

I hope everyone had a great weekend! It was so hot here in Memphis. Today it was 90 degrees and they are saying that tomorrow it will be up to 95 degrees! I, for one, do not like the extreme heat. I don't see how people lay out in this weather. I'd much rather stick to my spray tan and be indoors in the AC!

Okay, so we might qualify for the smallest kitchen ever award. Seriously, our kitchen is probably the size of some of y'alls pantries. Our house was built in the 40's and our kitchen has never been updated, so it's a little old school. When we first moved in I wasn't sure what to do with the shelving above our sink. At first I had it decorated with picture frames and candles. Once we started getting all of our everyday china, I quickly realized that we had NO room to put anything. This is what I've come up with ... I moved all of our everyday china and wine glasses to the exposed shelving. I am thinking if we ever update our kitchen I can get a glass door to cover the shelving. Does this look stupid? I think it will suffice for now ... we just have no room!


Also, I wanted to share with everyone the best carrot cake recipe ever! It's from cooking light and it is simply divine! I think I ate half the cake in the first couple of days. The cream cheese icing gets me every time!


Cooking Light Carrot Cake

Movie Reviews and Other Things

Good Morning!

I have a couple of movie reviews to share with you all. Rob and I have been on a big movie kick the past couple of days. He can download literally any movie (new releases included) so we have enjoyed watching movies each night this week.

This week we've watched "Obsessed" and "Taken"

If you have not seen either of these movies, I must warn that there is a SPOILER ALERT.

First off, let me say that it takes a GOOD movie to keep my attention these days. I find it hard to pay attention with the internet, twitter, cell phone, etc. to distract me during movies.

Obsessed was just okay. It was your typical lifetime movie scenario where a girl becomes obsessed with a married man and makes up that they're cheating, when in fact, they are not. I thought Beyonce was AWFUL in this movie. She should definitely stick to her singing career because she is an awful actress. All in all the movie was very predictable, down to Ali Larter's character dying in the end. Blah ...

Now on to Taken ... wow, this was really a thrilling and captivating movie that definitely kept my attention the whole time. Anyone who likes suspense and thrillers must see this movie. I will say that the ending was a little unrealistic. Like some guy is going to kill all these people and blow up buildings and get away with it? He just rescues his daughter and is back on a plane to Los Angeles like nothing happened ... no authorities after him or anything.

Also, the plot was a little unrealistic as well. The movie takes place in Paris, where a 17 year old girl and her friend get kidnapped and sold to a prostitution ring. First of all, who would let their 17 year old go to Paris unsupervised? I understand that human trafficking is a big problem in European countries, but seriously, I got on a plane and flew to Paris all by myself when I was 21 and I made it just fine without people trying to kidnap me and sell me to a prostitution ring (I even got lost in CDG airport for an hour before I could find my study abroad group). I lived in Paris for a whole summer in an apartment in the 11th arrondissment (kind of sketchy) and never encountered any sketchiness or weirdness from people (besides the homeless man who exposed himself to my friends and I on the metro everyday).

View from my seedy apartment in Paris:

My lovely daily metro ride:

Also, people do Eurotrips all the time and seem to come out just fine. Another thing that bothered me about this movie is that the girl is kidnapped right off the bat, like BOOM, first 5 minutes she's there. A little unrealistic if you ask me.

Okay, if you all have ANY recommendations for other newer movies that are suspenseful PLEASE leave me a comment because we need a new movie for tonight.

Now on to another topic, LUGGAGE!

Upon arriving back in Memphis International Airport from our honeymoon, I realized that it's about time for PIPM to get some new luggage! I've had the good 'ole DVF orange zebra print (hey, it's easy to recognize, don't judge) for a few years now and it's beginning to look really worn.

I have the Longchamp La Pliage travel bag and cosmetic case in lavender:

I am thinking of getting the matching bag on wheels, or suitcase on wheels ... which do you all like better? It would be the matching lavender color to match my travel bag. Since we incurred so much in baggage fees, I am wanting to get something small enough to check as a carry on.

Wedding Slideshow

For those of you that just can't get enough of my wedding pictures, the photographer has put up the slideshow on her website :)

http://allisonrodgers.typepad.com

Weekend Fun

I am wrapping up a fun weekend in Kentucky. I came up here to hang with the 'rents and have a bachelorette day with my dear friend, Sarah, who's getting married on July 4th. We laid out all day Saturday and went to a fun restaurant on the river last night. It's so funny how we're all getting so old. We shut down the night around midnight at the restaurant patio with a live band. We had absolutely no desire to go out afterwords.

Here are a few pictures from the evening:




I am wearing the adorable Ellen & Ollie maxi dress that I ordered from M Boutique. If you all are interested in purchasing any Ellen & Ollie dresses you can refer to her blog post about ordering from M Boutique in Columbia, SC. They make it super-easy and are very friendly :)

Happy Friday Everyone!

Not much to say today ... busy getting ready for a fun memorial day weekend :)

I hope everyone has a great weekend, no matter what you might be doing!

Just wanted to leave you with a picture of Georgina ... we call her hedgehog because of her crazy bangs.
I think the shopping gods are trying to tell me something ... this morning when I got on Saks.com to peruse, I was welcomed with this message:

Thanks, pffff. I'll just go to Neiman's website instead.

How much do y'all love these Tory Burch sandals. They are so simple and would go with everything!

One of my bridesmaid's, Claire, came to my rehearsal dinner in the most adorable Cole Haan Air Platform Slingbacks. I have been on a massive search to find them with no avail. In my search, however, I came across these cute Cole Haan Air Platform shoes ... i can't decide if I like them or not.

Is it sad that I'd pass up some louboutin's for some Cole Haan Airs? I am just so tired of getting expensive shoes that are so uncomfortable. Can I get a witness? Seriously, I had to sell my Chanel Mary Janes to a co-worker because every time I attempted to wear them I would be in severe pain.

Sneak Peek

The sneak peek from my photographers is up :)

Check it out here and let me know what you all think:

Allison Rodgers Photography

Summer Essentials ...

I can't live without these things for summer, and neither should you!

1. Sun Laboratories Sunless Tanning Foam- This foam goes on great and gives you a great tan without streaking. It also smells great!

2. White True Religion Johnny Jeans- Yes, white jeans are back in a big way! I love pairing white jeans with a simple cotton tee or a floral blouse for the perfect summer outfit!

3. La Mer- moisturizing in the summer months is crucial! Don't let your skin get too dry, moisturize with a cream-based moisturizer for premium results!

4. The Maxi Dress- I don't think there is one item that is more comfortable than the cotton maxi dress. Simply throw it on with some flip flops and you can easily go from day to night!

5. Bright nail polish- I am so excited to get my mani/pedi this week because I am going bright! I am so happy to be breaking away from this nude color I have been wearing since pre-wedding festivities began.

6. Splendid cotton tee-shirts- These, my friends, are the absolute best cotton t-shirts around. They are so comfy and you can wear them with anything.

7. Clarisonic Skin Brush- this is the perfect accessory for the summer since it softly exfoliates away dead skin cells that can be found in the summer months.

What are some of your summer essentials?

Officially a Mrs.!

Okay, so changing your name with SS and DMV isn't all that hard. All of you girls that wrote that you have been putting it off -- it's really not that bad.

I started out my day today with the Social Security Office. I thought by driving out to Germantown I would be able to escape some of the creepy types that I might encounter downtown. Well, I was wrong. They are everywhere. I think the key is to go to these places early in the morning when people may be at work. I waited at the SS office for a total of 30 minutes. Not bad in my opinion. With my marriage license and current driver's license, my new SS card will be in the mail within two weeks!

The DMV is another story. All I can say is gross. I really would have loved having a medical mask here because I felt like germs were floating around everywhere. People were coughing and hacking left and right.

I arrived at the DMV around 12:30 (not by choice) and let me just say, this is the WRONG time to go. I was under the assumption that most of these people would be on their lunch breaks and maybe would leave when they heard they would have to wait a long time. Wrong. I think most of the people hanging out at the DMV today were unemployed. This was the least pleasant of my experiences today. I felt like I was being herded around by a "security" guard who made me throw away my Starbucks within five minutes of being there. Second, the lovely employees of the DMV were yelling (yes, yelling) at grown people to SIT DOWN and HUSH because there was to be minimal talking in the waiting area and absolutely NO CELL PHONE usage whatsoever. Bogus. I should have brought a magazine because I was there for TWO and a half hours. I did not see one normal looking person there, and this place was PACKED. When I got my waiting ticket it said that there were 25 people ahead of me. I sat down in the packed tight chairs only to be greeted by the lovely man sitting next to me ... "What are you in for?" ... I pointed to my marriage license envelope and said nothing else. He soon shut up.

All in all it really wasn't that bad getting everything changed. It took five minutes at my bank. Now I just have to send in my passport change request and I'll be done!

You really do need to have a day off to get all of these tasks completed. I started my adventure at 10 am and was not home until 3 pm.

Clean Feet

Surely I'm not the only one out there with any weird habits. All of my life, I have been overly obsessed with having clean feet. Basically, I'm obsessed with feet in general. I always look at people's feet and if someone has a weird toe or strange feet I will never forget it. I will always think of them as "hammer toe" or "one long toe". Men's feet especially gross me out. Thank goodness Rob has normal toes because I would not have been able to handle it if he had a weird toe or something like that. I am sorry if any of you readers have weird feet. I promise I won't hold it against you!

Back to the clean feet thing ... If I am ever around pools I despise stepping in puddles of water. I will walk on the sides of my feet just to avoid fully stepping in standing water. I have noticed that I am even like this in my own house. I HATE being barefoot in our house ... especially the bathroom. Something about being barefoot on the tiles grosses me out. Most of the time I just wear my flip flops around the house, but recently I have found a comfy solution to my OCD problem.

Behold, the fur booties:


These, my friends, are the most comfortable lounging booties I've ever worn. I got the idea from my friend Claire, who was donning a pair when we visited her in Louisiana. The booties come from restoration hardware and were on sale for 9.99 when I purchased them a couple of months ago. I wear these suckers every night! They aren't the prettiest things to look at, but they are so comfy and keep my feet clean!

Changing a Name


Sidenote: this picture was taken at the lovely Shelby County Clerk's Office at 8 am in the morning the Thursday before we got married. I was less than thrilled to be in downtown Memphis that early.

Okay, I am married. Great. Now comes the fun stuff -- Name changing!

What should I do first? What am I required to change? What could I get away with without changing? This is the kind of stuff I hate to do ... I hate calling CC companies and other places because I know I will be on the phone forever.

I was reading blue eyed bride last night and saw that she waited a year. I think I will most likely be like her with this endeavor.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend :)

Putting together a wedding timeline ...

I have been asked by some of you beautiful soon-to-be brides to do a break down of my "day-of" schedule telling you what worked and what didn't work.

Let me start off by saying that the "day-of" timeline took a lot of logistical planning and scheduling. Thinking about a timeline really started to stress me out a few weeks before the wedding. My bridesmaid's probably thought I was crazy because I would email them hour-by-hour timelines for the day of the wedding.

Here is an example of my timeline merged with my photographers timeline (courtesy of the lovely APR Photography):
Saturday, May 2nd:
11:00 AM- Bridal Luncheon
12:30 PM- 3:30 pm- Hair Appointments
4:00 - pictures start
4:00 - Ready with exception of her dress, arrive at Brooks (all bridesmaids as well)
4:15 - boys arrive - they need to be dressed & ready
4:30 - First meet with Megan & Rob
5:00 - Group shots - Wedding party and breakdowns
5:30 - Family Shots - this needs to be all family that you want in images - unless there are grandparents that can't get there until ceremony time. In that case, we can photograph them right after.
5:45 - "down time" before ceremony - this is to get ready for the ceremony, let you have a minute to freshen up relax and catch a few detail shots
6:30 - ceremony begins
7:00 - reception begins - I will keep you outside for just a few minutes so all of your guests can get inside and settled
during reception: I will work with the coordinator at The Brooks on the event times for the rest of the night.
First Dance
mingle & eat
Cakes
10:50 - exit

1: Take all of the necessary items to your reception venue a couple of days before your wedding. For instance, I took my guestbook, champagne flutes, favors, coozies, nameplates (that I didn't end up using), and our picture frame for guests to sign. I took all of these items to my venue planner the Thursday before the wedding and left them with her. This was great because they were out of my hands and I could trust that she would put them in their necessary places when they were setting up for the reception.

2: Make sure you have someone to be your "personal assistant" for the wedding day. For me, this was Paisley & Pearls. When we got to the hair studio and I noticed that my dress was not a zip down dress, Paisley & Pearls went to get me more clothes, champagne, and some crackers.

3: Account late-ness in your timeline. I over-estimated my hair appointment times which resulted in us having some nice downtime at my house. Some things will run late and some things will take less time than you thought, so be prepared for that.

4: Don't change into your wedding dress until you are at your ceremony venue. Hopefully your venue will have a room set up for you and your bridesmaid's to get ready. Save your dress for this room because your photographer will want to get some pictures of your dress, you getting into your dress, and your bridesmaid's helping you with your dress.

5: Make sure you have someone that will be watching your gift table at your wedding reception. I wish I would have told someone to periodically take my gifts and cards to a car. I totally forgot to make a card box or to get one of those birdcage boxes. I wish I would have remembered because we feel like I got way less cards than we expected and I'll never know if someone took them or not.

6: My hair and make-up stylist came to my house the morning of my wedding and did my base make-up. This was a good idea because it gave me enough make-up for my luncheon and gave me a base for her to touch-up when we went for our hair appointments.

Edit:

My friend Lauren who just started her own wedding planning business, added this, which is so true:

You forgot to add... for all those who aren't planner diva's in the making... you can just hire a wedding coordinator.. show up, look beautiful, and have a luxurious day at your fingertips : ) Shameless plug... couldn't help myself. Great timeline explanation : )

Any gals in the Kentucky area, check her out at LC Events KY

Update

I have been asked to let you loyal readers know that Bergdorf Blondes is taking a blog leave of absence. She will be back soon :)

Recent Deals



My mom dogsat for us all last week while we were on our honeymoon. Upon our arrival back, she wanted to take a trek to the Super Target. Of course, when I get bored in Super Target I take it upon myself to troll over to the women's clothing to check out what they have. This past weekend I found a couple of really good buys!

First (on the left) I found this adorable cotton maxi dress. It may or may not be a maternity dress, but seriously, who cares if it fits, right? That just means it will be a little more comfortable! It was $24.99!

Second I found this cute (on the right) paneled dress that I plan on wearing with black TB flats. It was $24.99 as well and I think it looks like similar dresses I've seen on shopbop, and other designer clothing websites.

Ultimate Honeymoon Post

When Rob first asked me where I wanted to go on my honeymoon, I immediately responded with, "Maldives! Fiji! Paris!" ... I quickly learned that such a trip would be hard to accomplish for a honeymoon. Rob could only take off so many days and a flight to Maldives would require a whole day and a half of travel time. This brings me to my first honeymoon tip: Go somewhere that is easy to get to. You really won't care where you are ... all you'll care about it laying out in the sun and eating bad. San Juan required one easy stop in Atlanta proceeded by a 3.5 hour flight to Puerto Rico.

My first travel observation was noted at 4:25 the morning after our wedding: Life is Expensive! Okay, since when did Delta start charging FIFTEEN dollar per checked bag? I travel a good bit every year and have never encountered such fees as we did on this trip. I heard a rumor about this baggage fee, but I never believed that it would actually happen. Oh yes fellow bloggers, if you intend on bringing a suitcase (which all travelers do) be prepared to pay fifteen dollars for you "excess baggage" ... I love how they call it excess, like you taking a suitcase on a trip is so out of the ordinary? In addition to our suitcase fiasco, we arrived back in Atlanta earlier than anticipated on Saturday afternoon hoping to get on an earlier flight to Memphis. Instead of waiting on our scheduled 3 hour layover, we noticed the exact same Delta flight was leaving for Memphis in 10 minutes... we ran over to the desk to see if the earlier flight was full (it wasn't) and we were told that there were plenty of empty seats on the flight. Great! we thought ... we wouldn't have to sit in the Atlanta airport for three hours. Oh no, don't worry ... it's fee time! To get on the earlier empty flight to Memphis, we would have to pay TWO fifty dollar "Re-booking fees". Um, I don't think so. We decided we would just people watch for three hours (which I love to do in airports). But seriously, 50 dollars just to get on an earlier flight that wasn't full? bogus!

Okay, so all of this rambling brings me to my second honeymoon tip: Be prepared to spend A LOT of money (unless your resort is all-inclusive).

We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria El San Juan, which was a fabulous five star resort that was full of posh decor, lounge music, and a salsa band that provided live entertainment every night. I absolutely loved our hotel.

On the second day as I was lounging in our beachside cabana, my nosey ears honed in on someone talking about how Marc Anthony and J Lo were staying in our hotel. "WHAT!", I screamed to Rob. I took it as a mission to celeb-stalk. I immediately told Rob that we were going to post up in the lobby, because if there were celebrities staying at our hotel they would surely have drivers and black cars would be parked outside our hotel. We rushed to the lobby only to find no cars in our hotel drive. Dissapointed, I insisted that we sit around for a bit to take in the surroundings and see if I noticed anything suspect with the hotel workers indicating that a celebrity was there. I noticed an unusual short man sitting in the couches by the doors. He was holding a VERY expensive camera and was constantly checking his cell-phone. Instantly, I thought "PUERTO-RICAN PAPARAZZI!!!!!". I followed the little man to another couch near the entrance to our hotel. He started to look excited and got up and ran out the door. I snapped at Rob to "GET YOUR CAMERA READY" and what did I see? Well, first I saw a caravan of black escalades roll up to our hotel... and then MARC ANTHONY AND ENTOURAGE walking into our hotel. This man travels with a pack ... he must have had at least 20 people with him. Let me tell you, I have trained my husband to be a paparazzo, because without instruction, Rob walks right up to Marc Anthony and SNAPS a picture right in his face. Sidenote: I got Rob a Cannon DSLR Rebel for a wedding gift, so naturally, he looks like a paparazzi with a camera like that. Marc and his entourage all gave strange looks to Rob ... that, my friends, is how we became the Marc Anthony stalkers on our honeymoon. From that point on, I swear, we saw Marc & Co at least 10 times in our hotel and they always gave us weird looks (probably because they thought rob was a pap). I personally did not see J Lo even though I heard several people say that she was there as well. I was hoping to see her and proclaim my love for her acting career (Maid in Manhattan, THE WEDDING PLANNER, Enough) ... yes, I am a sucker for awful movies.

Third honeymoon tip: Pray that you see a celebrity ... it was fun!

Okay, back to the second tip about money ... luckily we had several people that gave us "honeymoon spending money" and good thing we did ... our dinners were about 150 + each night. Also, we got a grand idea to get a "Couples massage" one day. Not so much ... it ended up being 300 dollars and honestly, it wasn't that great.

Okay, I am sorry this post rambled A LOT, but I just knew that you all would be excited for my Marc Anthony story ...

NOW ON TO THE PICTURES!

Our poolside cabana:


The beach:


A portion of our hotel:


Hotel Lobby and blue bar:


Marc Anthony Pap Shot:


Outfit Shot (Ellen & Ollie Dress, Cynthia Vincent wedges, Chanel purse):


Rob and Mojito:


Dancing to the 24/7 techno music in our hotel:


El Morro and Old San Juan:





Bacardi Rum Factory Tour:


Dinner one night:


Beach shot (I'm not sure why I look so pale in this picture, I was actually sunburnt):


Last night:

The Ultimate Wedding Post

I'm back!

Don't worry dolls, several hundred pictures to come.

First, I wanted to give you all the details of my big day since many of you have been asking about dresses, etc.

My dress was Monique Lhuillier. I absolutely loved my dress. I will say that getting your dress so early (I got mine in November) can be good and bad. I loved my dress when I got it, but the longer it sat in my closet the more I got sick of looking at it. At one point I found another Monique Lhuillier dress that I liked and was so close to buying it to have two dresses (more options!). Paisley & Pearls and my Mom both talked me out of doing so, which I am thankful for because I ended up LOVING my dress.

My bridesmaid's dresses were Vera Wang. Way before I got engaged I used to stalk the Vera Wang website and I already had these bridesmaid's dresses picked out. They were quite pricey, so I opted to purchase all of mine in bulk from a wholesaler in New Orleans, LA called "Pearl's Place". I would highly recommend Pearl's Place because they sell their dresses at cost if you make one big order.

My flowers were done by Gesture's Flowers here in Memphis. Kim Gardner and her team did an amazing job and I was completely and utterly obsessed with my flowers. They were exactly what I had envisioned. She used hydrangeas, roses, and stock to give the bouquets a packed feel. I didn't want much greenery or branches, so I liked the idea of having more compact arrangements. My flowers were expensive, but were WELL worth it in the end. I would highly recommend spending a lot on flowers because they really do set the mood that you're going for with your bouquets and your reception flowers.

My photography team was Allison Rodgers Photography based out of Olive Branch, Mississippi. Allison and her team were amazing and I couldn't have asked for a better group to follow me around all night. I cannot wait to see the pictures :)

I used Amerispan Tents for my tent liner, chandeliers, dance floor, and chair rentals. They were great to work with.

All of the entertainment aspects of my wedding were covered by R.A.M entertainment agency here in Memphis. Through them, I booked the 1-900 band, The Beth Lipscomb string Trio, and the King himself, Elvis.

Hair and make-up was done by David Hudson Hair Studio here in Memphis.

A few things I learned from having a wedding:
- People will RSVP and not come. We were expecting around 80 and probably had more around 65-70.

- Have a Plan B in case it rains. Luckily, my plan B worked out perfectly and I was so pleased. I couldn't have imagined not having a back-up plan because in my case it literally rained all day. If you are planning on having an outside wedding I would highly recommend having a back-up plan. If there is no building to go in, consider having a tent-rental company on hand in case you have to have them put up a tent (it's better than nothing).

- Unless you are adamant about a seating chart, don't worry about it. I had nameplates made for our wedding party and immediate family, but ended up not using them. I loved that people just sat where they wanted (a TON of people actually sat inside versus outside at our wedding, something i had not planned on) and people were able to mingle without feeling like they had to sit somewhere assigned.

- You will NOT have time to eat. Nor will you feel like eating. We even had our food packaged for us to take to our hotel and even there I was still too hyped up to eat anything. Just accept it and have people tell you how everything was. Luckily everyone kept talking about how good our food was. Unfortunately for me, I only got a small taste since I was too hyper and anxious to eat.

- It's totally okay to have a breakdown on your wedding day. I was a ball of nerves the morning of my wedding and I just had to have a quick breakdown at my hair appointment. I was so nervous about everything working out with the rain and I just had to have a meltdown. After a 5 minute crying spree, everything was fine and I felt a lot better. Everything worked out in the end and it will for you upcoming brides as well, so don't worry about it.

- Have someone take pictures of EVERYTHING. I know your photographer will capture most of these moments, but trust me, you will want to see pictures IMMEDIATELY. I told my mom to take as many pictures as she could so that I would be able to look at pictures immediately after my wedding. I wanted to capture every moment. My flowers, my food, the arrangements, the gifts. I wanted pictures of it all.

I am working on making an online album so you all will be able to see ALL of the pictures that people took at my wedding, but here are just a few that my Mom took with her camera.

Rehearsal:


More Rehearsal:


Bridesmaid's Luncheon:


Before the ceremony:


Photos with the girls:


With the flower girl:


Father-daughter dance:


More:


watching the dancing:


cake cutting:


more dancing ... we shut the place down!


my smaller arrangements:


my tall arrangements:


With flower girl:


The spread:


The centerpiece:


Our good friends Sara and Byron, but I also wanted you all to be able to see the beautiful hydrangea wreaths my florist made:

Progrid

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