Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wedding Details: Cake/Counseling/Countdown

As I mentioned on Monday, this past weekend was my cake tasting.
Second to trying on wedding gowns, the cake tasting was what I was looking most forward to after becoming engaged.  My friend Lauren recommended D'lish and they did not disappoint.
We arrived right on time for our 10:00 appointment and sampled 9 different cakes for breakfast.
So much fun!
This is the inspiration for my cake.  I will be using my parents' topper!
In other news, we have begun our Premarital Counseling sessions.
Our minister, who is also a liscenced psychologist, is leading us through the PREPARE program.
Oh, and here's a little glimpse inside the church.
I am of the mindset that churches do not need decorations.
What are your thoughts?
And one more thing I thought I'd share for any of you brides, future-brides, or anyone with a big event coming up...
I'm nearing our 6 months until date, and so I found this perfectly on point.

Bridal Beauty: Countdown to Gorgeous

5-6 Months Before

  • Begin a stress-relief regimen. Reserve at least one night a week for some non-wedding fun or quiet time to regroup.
  • Want to grow out your hair or try a new color or cut? Talk to your stylist and start experimenting now.
  • Get serious about skin care: Start a good cleansing and moisturizing program, and consider consulting a dermatologist or making appointments for monthly facials.
  • Start paying attention to your nutrition. Bad food habits and too much caffeine mixed with wedding planning stress can transform a bride-to-be into Bridezilla.
  • If you don't already, start exercising. A few sessions with a trainer may help to jump-start your routine. Try practicing yoga; the postures build strength and are great tension relievers as well. You'll look great, feel better, and be less stressed out.
  • If you'd like to lose weight before your wedding, consult your doctor to develop a nutrition and fitness plan. Set a weight-loss goal and meet it before your dress fittings begin. Once fittings are underway, you'll need to maintain your weight. (Or reconsider losing weight. Obviously your guy thinks you look great just the way you are.)

3-4 Months Before

  • If you don't plan on using your regular hairdresser, make consultation appointments with potential candidates. Bring along pictures of hairstyles you like, even a picture of your veil and headpiece. If you want to wear your hair in a updo, discuss with the hairdresser how long it will take to grow out your hair so it's the right length for your desired look.
  • Make consultation appointments with potential makeup artists. Be sure to take pictures, then analyze them. Do your features stand out? Do you look like you're wearing a mask?
  • Decide on a makeup artist and book him/her for your wedding date. Set up a day-of-wedding schedule.
  • Decide on a hairdresser and book him/her for your wedding date. Set up a day-of-wedding schedule.
  • Want to experiment with self-tanners? Now's the time. Consider the neckline of your gown, and whether you have existing tan lines you'll need to cover.

1-2 Months Before

  • Meet with your makeup artist for a trial run. If you're not hiring a pro, get a makeover at a department store counter and purchase anything you need now (so you have time to practice).
  • Bring your veil to your hair stylist for a trial run of potential big day 'dos. (If you're not happy, now's the time to speak up.)
  • Ever consider having your eyebrows professionally shaped? Why not? It's your wedding. Now's the time to try it.
  • Use an at-home face mask or get a salon facial. (Don't risk an allergic reaction closer to your wedding day.)
  • Want a sparkling big-day smile? Cut down on tea and coffee now and try whitening toothpaste. You may also want to consider a professional bleaching by a dentist, or using an over-the-counter whitening system.

2 Weeks Before

  • Get your final haircut or trim. No experimenting here, just stick to the look you love.
  • Remember to eat right. (Load up on fruits and veggies for energy, and nix the salt and fat.)
  • Exfoliate and moisturize. Soft and silky elbows, hands, and feet are marriage musts.
  • Drink lots of water to help keep your skin clear and glowing.
  • Keep up the exercise, exercise, exercise, for your body and soul.
  • Touch up your hair color.
  • Confirm big-day beauty appointments.
  • Remind your man to get his final trim if he hasn't already done so.

1 Week Before

  • Avoid overindulging in salty snacks and alcohol at those fab pre-wedding parties.
  • Get a bikini wax and a final eyebrow shaping, and shave those legs. You want to be prepared for that honeymoon lingerie.
  • Splurge on a massage or reflexology. (If your budget's already stretched to the limit, ask your fiance to do the deed, and give him one too.) You both deserve it.
  • Get a final facial. Don't wait until the day before to do this. (Your face may need a day or two to get back to normal.)

1 Day Before

  • Drink lots of water. Have we made ourselves perfectly clear?
  • Pack an emergency beauty kit of items you shouldn't leave home without.
  • Deep-condition your hair.
  • Exfoliate your skin (with a favorite product you've used is NOT the time to try something new) so it gleams on your wedding day.
  • Have a professional pedicure and manicure (especially since everyone's going to be checking out that ring).
  • Take a long, relaxing bath.

On Your Wedding Day

  • Be sure to eat something. This is not a day to operate on an empty stomach.
  • Get your hair and makeup done. Wear a robe or button-down shirt (one that matches the color of your gown, if possible, to get the right makeup color application) that can be easily removed.
  • Take a few moments to reflect on the meaning of the day before giving yourself one last once-over in the mirror. Now get going!

I hope you are all enjoying your week.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Finger Lickin' Fried Chicken

 I'm not sure why, but I've always been intimidated by the idea of making my own fried chicken.
With exception to seafood, I never really fry anything.
We usually grill chicken which is so yummy, not to mention a heck of a lot healthier.
A couple weeks ago it was nasty outside so we abandoned our initial grilling plans, and I decided to try my hand at home-made fried chicken.
And, as I frequently do, I looked to the Pioneer Woman for a recipe.
I used chicken breasts which I pounded and cut into strips.
I soaked the strips in buttermilk (I just added a squirt of lemon to regular milk) for about 20 minutes.
I combined flour and seasoned salt.
I took the wet chicken, dunked it in the flour.
And then I pan fried them in a couple inches of canola oil.
It was so simple, I was shocked!
I know this picture isn't appetizing, nor does it really show any instructions, but whatever.
I fried them for a couple minutes per side, once they were golden I put them on a towel lined plate.
Better than Kick Chick my friends...
Much better than anything from the freezer.
Anyone else nervous to try making your own fried chicken?
I enjoy realizing how easy it is to make restaurant quality meals.
What can you make at home that's just as good as going out?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Life Lately

Wow! It's been a week since my last post and what a week it was!
My time in Winston Salem was so fast y'all, this is my only picture from the trip.  I thoroughly enjoyed that King bed to myself!
Upon returning home, I helped coordinate our sponsorship of Charleston Horticultural Society's Plantasia Event.
I love the hanging lanterns.
I also loved the event's focus on local produce. 
By Friday night I was absolutely spent.  K brought home this Pinot Noir, which was a little bit of a splurge at $20.
It was so so good though.   I savored every sip while relaxing on the couch. 
Saturday was a busy day.  We started bright and early with cake for breakfast.
A wedding cake tasting, that is!  (more on that later this week)
K went to the Carolina Spring game and I spent the day with my mom and Aunt.
Later on we all headed downtown for apps at The Macintosh and drinks at Stars.
We had a blast, y'all.

And then things started to get a little silly.
A lot silly, actually. 

I think we were all struggling a bit yesterday.
But it was just too too nice out to resist enjoying every minute of the weekend.
We took a Sunday drive out to Kiawah with the windows down.
It was straight out of a country song y'all.
I hope your weekend was a little somethin' like that.
XO Laura