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Parisian stationery

October 8, 2009

While I was wedding planning I frequently visited and now that we’re in Charlotte I was thrilled to discover a bricks and mortar store nearby. So, naturally, I headed over there for materials to document our honeymoon to Paris and Amsterdam. I picked up a set of Parisian themed stamps and while I haven’t done anything remotely honeymoon related, I did have a lot of fun the other night making my own stationery. Five minute project!

Eiffel tower and Paris postage stamp card

Eiffel tower and Paris postage stamp card











Crown and Paris card

Crown and Paris card


Back in action

October 4, 2009

Now that I’m officially past the one month mark since getting married, moving, honeymooning and coming home to unpack – I am finally back into my routines and happy to be more settled. While our first month in Charlotte has included way too many trips to Target and Lowes, we’ve also been able to squeeze in a few fun things and are looking forward to this fall.

We were happy to have family and friends join us for the Blues, Brews and BBQ  festival several weeks ago.

Charlotte's BBQ, Blues and Brews festival

Charlotte's Blues, Brews and BBQ festival

Happier still was our discovery of amateur row – where the BBQ was handed out for nothing more than speechless eating and wide-eyed wonder. Many thanks to the dozens of “amateurs” who generously doled out some of the best BBQ this NC native has enjoyed in a while.

We traveled to Asheville one evening for a benefit concert in honor of my very dear friend, Palmyra Romeo. Palmyra was blindsided by a brain abscess this summer which left her temporarily paralyzed and in need of two brain surgeries. Luckily with a great spirit, support and wonderful medical team Palmyra is well on her way to a full recovery, but as an Americorps employee her limited insurance has left her burdened with the astronomical sum of care. Palmyra’s boyfriend and friends in bluegrass hosted one hell of a concert and raised thousands of dollars – it was so touching to see the community come together in support of Palmyra and I was proud to be a part of that. More information on her story is available here.

Dehlia Low at the benefit

Dehlia Low at the benefit

Palmyra and me at the Grey Eagle in Asheville enjoying the show

Palmyra and me at the Grey Eagle in Asheville enjoying the show

This coming week we are looking forward to…

The Alfred Hitchcock fall film series begins, hosted by the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Every Monday in October and November, a free Alfred Hitchcock flick will be screened at ImaginOn. Tomorrow night the series kicks off with “Notorious,” starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman at 7 p.m.

And, of course, Oktoberfest is this weekend. With over 350 beers, a good time is guaranteed and I’m looking forward to sampling some new flavors.

Back in September

July 31, 2009

Working, Moving, Wedding, Honeymooning. See you in September!

Happy Bastille Day!

July 14, 2009

Jardin du Luxembourg, half mile from our hotel in Paris

Jardin du Luxembourg, half mile from our hotel in Paris

Six longing weeks ahead of me…

Blowing Rock camping: Julian Price Memorial Park

July 12, 2009

This weekend we spent Friday night camping at Julian Price Memorial Park, just down the road from Boone and near Moses Cone at mile 297 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Over the past year we’ve acquired all kinds of camping gear and this was the first chance we’ve had to break away for the night and test it out! Our campsite was looking great…

but there were a few bumps in the road. The innocent looking grill collapsed right at the climax of cooking two filets that were peacefully minding their business…and after battling smoke and flame to try and hold the grill in one piece, we ended up finishing dinner while grilling on the ground – still delicious! We laid the grill to rest at the camp dumpster and counted ourselves lucky that my thumb was the only casualty.


Added to that we forgot our pillows…so we happily packed up to head home the next morning fully recognizing maybe we aren’t quite professionals yet.

We spent most of the day today planning the Paris leg of our honeymoon, which I’m looking forward to sharing as we continue to build our plans…any travel tips? I discovered this handmade papers store on good bones, great pieces today, and it’s definitely added to my list of stores to seek out in the city. With less than six weeks to go until our wedding, it’s nice to focus on the honeymoon for a change!

On Home

June 24, 2009
Aerial view of SouthPark

Aerial view of SouthPark

I am beyond thrilled to share that we  have officially signed a lease for our new home in Charlotte. We’ll be living in Southpark – close to work, friends, and the mall ;). This will be our first home together as a new family and it’s got me thinking about all that goes into making a foreign city my home.

The first time I moved away from home to Raleigh, it was a surreal experience. I was a freshman at NC State and couldn’t get into college life fast enough – all I wanted was to feel comfortable and at home in an environment that felt anything but, no matter how much fun I was having. Raleigh didn’t truly feel like home to me until I was in my own apartment and had made some of the connections that really cement your soul to a place – knowing enough people to lose touch and run into them again on the street, a hairstylist and dentist that I loved, jobs that I loved and jobs that I hated, volunteer commitments, etc. After seven years, Raleigh was truly home, but I am ready for the next challenge.

I don’t anticipate having all the same anxieties about moving to Charlotte, but some challenges never change about learning a new place. Learning my way around town means a lot more than knowing the back roads or understanding 77 vs 485 vs 581 – I’m not even sure I have those right yet. But I can’t wait to have memories associated with the city, to look back and remember what my perceptions of the city were in August 2009 and whether or not those first impressions held true.

But this time, instead of being three hours apart, we will discover this new city together. What a gift to start our new life completely fresh – we are both preparing for exciting new challenges in work, family, and home. For now, I just have to squirm in my own excited impatience and know that August – between moving, wedding and traveling to Europe – will be here soon, will be crazy and I will cherish every second of it.

What makes “home” for you? What makes “home” for you in Charlotte?

Nobles of the Mystic Shrine

June 12, 2009

Last weekend Matt and I went to Blowing Rock for the afternoon, and found the streets lined with people eager for a parade to start. Not knowing what was in store, we joined the crowds and waited. It wasn’t long before we realized we were in for a Shriner parade.Shriner Parade 009


According to the local hot dog vendor, we had stumbled upon a rare statewide meeting of the Shriners – a group I have never really understood. But, they seem to try and prevent the burning and crippling of children, so I can support that. Most importantly, they throw a mean parade.

From the standard creepy clowns and doll combo…

Shriner Parade 017

To the family tractor…

Shriner Parade 020

…each chapter’s vehicles were the key to the whole event. According to Wikipedia, …”Shriners often participate in local parades, sometimes as rather elaborate units: miniature vehicles in themes (all sports cars; all miniature 18-wheeler trucks; all fire engines, and so on), an “Oriental Band” dressed in cartoonish versions of Middle Eastern dress; pipe bands, drummers, motorcycle units, Drum and Bugle Corps, and even traditional brass bands.”

This is true.

 Shriner Parade 022 

Shriner Parade 035


But I feel the John Deer gator car deserves special recognition. This baby even snorts steam!

Shriner Parade 030


Shriner Parade 033

I was completely tickled by the whole experience and truly had no idea this existed. Any wild Shriner stories to share?