Monday, December 27, 2010

wedding book

On a completely unrelated-to-Christmas note, look what finally came in!

When I got home last night from holiday traveling, my wedding/bride's book was waiting on my doorstep! I was so excited to finally see it, and I can't wait to start filling it with memories! (Side note: I highly recommend Way Cool Designs for your bridal and baby book needs. They are such a pleasure to work with, and their embroidered silk books are absolutely GORGEOUS!)

Of course, the photos above were taken with my iPhone last night. Sorry for the poor quality!

grown-up gifts

I know that I said I was going to be brief in my Christmas gift recap, but I did want to share just a few things that I received. While we did get several "fun" gifts, we also got quite a few "grown-up gifts" this Christmas. I wanted to point out a couple since they happen to be wedding related (sort of).

I received a couple of serving pieces that match my Christmas china shown above- the Lenox "Holiday" Pattern.

My silver flatware pattern is Old Master by Towle. Santa also brought me the cake knife and server in my pattern, which we will use to cut our wedding cake.

Another gift we received was one of the beautiful Annieglass chargers on our registry. The gold band around these chargers looks great with not only my Christmas china, but also with my formal china.

In addition, Clint's mom also gave us a set of toasting flutes (sorry, could not find a picture) that we will use at our reception.

We are so blessed to have such generous family!

a very merry christmas

Well, Christmas has come and gone, and I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did. I had a lovely time spending the week with my family, a fun overnight stay with a best friend, and a fabulous time with Clint's family as well. So many fun traditions! I also cannot remember the last time I have been so lazy- lots of relaxation over this holiday! Since I did not manage to get any pictures during the gift opening (dead camera battery- boooo), I will me brief and just say that Santa was very good to Clint and me once again this year. Because we split time between both of our families, we also enjoyed way too many DELICIOUS meals. And as if the holiday wasn't perfect enough, we also had our very first white Christmas! Our families live south of Birmingham, so we were not lucky enough to get much (if any) accumulation. But just getting to see those big, beautiful, fluffy flakes from the window was treat enough for us!

All in all, it was another great Christmas filled with family, friends, and food. Next up- New Year's Eve in Birmingham! Can't wait!

I hope that you and your's had a very Merry Christmas as well!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I've been at Mom's house for almost a week now.

It. has. been. fabulous.

I've spent a lot of time relaxing and just spending time with family. Clint was here over the weekend, but unfortunately he had to go back to Birmingham for work this week. We'll be reunited in a couple of days, and we will do Christmas with his family then. [Side note: Clint and I actually dated in high school and share the same hometown area. However, my mom now lives elsewhere. We do Christmas at her house first, then head back to our hometown for actual Christmas since we both still have friends/family there]. Since I've been at Mom's I've completed so many of our annual traditions. To name a few: baking cookies (chocolate chip and sugar with sprinkles); gift wrapping (Mom always waits until I get home and let's me wrap ALL the gifts. I'm still not sure if that's a chore or a priviledge); making eggnog, fudge, and many other Christmas goodies; watching Christmas movies (Charlie Brown, Christmas Vacation, and Home Alone are MUST-SEEs, but we have watched many more); and riding around to see Christmas lights. I snapped a few pictures with my phone of a particularly festive house we saw during our outing:

Next up I'm headed to my hometown to visit one of my best friends and her family. Clint will arrive the day of Christmas Eve, and we always go to his Granny's house that night. The rest of the weekend will be spent bouncing between his family, my family, and friends. Can't wait!

Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

new crush

We interrupt our normal Christmas programming to bring you:

I had to take a breather from Christmas posts and candy-eating to tell everyone how fabulous Jason Aldean's new c.d. is! I listen to everything from pop to rap to oldies to country to classical- and everything in between. I bought this c.d. a few weeks ago before setting off on a long work trip. Every song, LITERALLY every song, is great. I've been on a Christmas music kick lately, but this will be back to playing on repeat once the holidays are through!

My favorites:
#1 Tatoos on this Town
#2 Dirt Road Anthem
#5 Just Passing Through
#7 Don't You Wanna Stay
#11 Country Boy's World

I'm not normally a major country fan, but Taylor Swift's Speak Now and Jason's My Kinda Party are the only two albums I've purchased recently where I felt like I REALLY got my money's worth. I've bought several great singles on iTunes lately, but these albums made me want to listen from start to finish. Can anyone recommend any other new c.d.s that are good in their entirety??

Merry Christmas!

Since all of my Christmas cards finally made it out, I wanted to share the design with everyone. This is Clint's and my first joint Christmas card! We are also excited about them because, in addition to a Christmas greeting, the card also incorporates save-the-date information for our upcoming wedding. Without further ado, here is our 2010 Christmas Card:

Mailing preparation:



Also, to everyone who we have received cards from this year- THANK YOU! One of my absolute favorite things about the holiday season is anxiously checking the mailbox each day to see what beautiful cards will arrive. This year has really been a good year in that regard, and we have gotten some of the prettiest cards ever! I'm convinced that I have some of the best looking family and friends in the world! My what gorgeous families and wedding pictures you all have! Thanks for thinking of us when you made out your mailing list!

May you all have a very blessed Christmas with your loved ones!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

fa la la la...

Once again- another post related to Christmas...

I thought that I would share some of my favorite holiday songs (some old, some new) that have been playing nonstop since Thanksgiving:

1. The ENTIRE Glee Christmas Album by the Glee Cast
2. "Oh Santa" by Mariah Carey
3. "Christmas in Harlem" by Kanye West
4. "Christmas Lights" by Coldplay
5. "A Child is Born" by Rihanna
6. "O Come All Ye Faithful" by Josh Groban
7. "White Christmas" by Michael Buble
8. "Auld Lang Syne" by Susan Boyle
9. "Silent Night" by Sarah Mclachlan
10. "All I Want for Christmas is You" by Mariah Carey
11. "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" by Mariah Carey
12. "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" by N'Sync
13. "Breath of Heaven" by Jessica Simpson
14. "Baby It's Cold Outside" by Jessica Simpson and Nick Lache
15. "Christmas Tree" by Lady GaGa
16. "My Only Wish" by Britney Spears
17. "Candy Cane Christmas" by Darius Rucker
18. "Santa Baby" by Kylie Minogue
19. "Opera of the Bells" by Destiny's Child
20. "Jingle Bells" by Jimmy Buffett

What are your holiday favorites? Do you have any suggestions that are not on my list?

christmas dinner

A Christmas tradition that I always look forward to is Sarah's and my "Christmas Dinner". Sarah and I have been best friends for so many years now that it's almost impossible to think of a good Christmas gift. A few years ago, we decided that we would treat one another to a really nice Christmas Dinner in lieu of exchanging presents. I don't think we could have come up with a better idea or something that we enjoy more! Each year we pick a place, make reservations, and enjoy an amazing meal just the two of us. And we go allllllll out. This year, after some deliberation between Highlands Bar & Grill and Hot & Hot Fish Club, we finally decided on HBG. We met at the bar prior to dinner for our favorite cocktail- dirty martinis! Per usual at HBG, we started the meal with oysters- a mix of Apalachicola, Beau Soleil, and Island Creek. With the oysters, I had a fantastic glass of champagne and Sarah tried the special cocktail (an apple and Maker's Mark concoction). For our main course, I had the veal sweetbreads and Sarah had the grilled Gulf triggerfish- each with a glass of wine suggested for the meal. Finally for dessert, we each had coffee, while I had the chocolate peanut butter tarte and Sarah had the creme brulee. Another successful Christmas dinner in the books!

For anyone else struggling to think of new gift ideas for an old friend- I highly recommend this tradition. Birmingham has some great restaurant options, too! Not only does it solve your gift problem and allow you to spend time with a friend, but I can assure you that nothing will beat the food, the drinks, or the conversation!

Monday, December 20, 2010

"Roll Tide": Appropriate for Any Situation

I know this video has been making it's way around the internet, but I just HAD to share it on my blog, too.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas season! Roll Tide!

"Holiday Inn"

It's no secret that I love anything "Christmas-y". Case in point- I have been listening to Christmas music pretty much nonstop since the week before Thanksgiving. I usually try to pack in as many Christmas events as possible during the holiday season. Past events include: The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular, "The Nutcracker" by the Alabama Ballet, The Shakespeare Festival's "A Christmas Carol", etc. Last year, the Shakespeare Festival wasn't doing "A Christmas Carol", but we did take a girls' trip to see "Peter Pan" instead. This year, I wanted to do something different. Much to my delight, the Alabama Theater in Birmingham does a Holiday Film Series, where they show various Christmas movies in the weeks leading up to Christmas (thanks to Calley for the heads up). During the ONE weekend that Clint and I had free, it just so happened that "Holiday Inn" was playing. Perfect- a Christmas movie that I'd never seen before! Clint and I met Sarah and Taylor one Sunday afternoon to see the movie. It was such a cute film, and we all enjoyed it! Seeing anything at The Alabama is an experience alone- such a gorgeous theater! We were also treated to Christmas carol sing-a-longs as the organist played along. The movies range from old black and white films all the way up to modern movies like "Elf". I highly recommend this for anyone- families or couples looking for a little fun in the spirit of the season!

favorite ornament

I think everyone has a favorite ornament on the Christmas tree. When I was little, I had two favorites on our family tree: a mini Princess Barbie and a tiny porcelain angel. Now that I have my own big-girl Christmas tree, I also have a favorite. Clint's mom gave us the ornament below last Christmas. Since we were newly-engaged and starting to plan our life together, she wanted to give us an ornament to begin a collection for our tree. I don't think she had any idea how much I would cherish it, but it is most definitely my favorite on our tree!

'O Christmas Tree, 'O Christmas Tree

Despite not being home hardly ANY since before Thanksgiving, Clint and I did manage to get our tree up a few weeks ago. We knew we would be busy throughout December and travelling most of the time, but we couldn't NOT put up our very first tree together. We didn't do much else: a small lighted tree beside the front door, a wreath on the front door,a few Christmas hand towels, and some Christmas candles. Next year, when we don't have so much travelling to do and a wedding to plan, I intend to do more in the way of Christmas decorations. But for now, this was perfect and was plenty to put us in the Christmas spirit!

Christmas Story

This is such an inventive way to use modern technology to tell and teach the Christmas Story.

Click HERE.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

hustle and bustle

This week I'm busy working near Destin, which is not too shabby as far as work locations go. Last week, however, I had the pleasure of working from home and enjoying a nice long weekend (thanks to the Veteran's Day holiday). Clint and I were busy little bees and got quite a lot accomplished. I'll summarize the highlights.
Wednesday evening we had friends over for dinner and had such a nice time. Loaded potato soup, caesar salad, and pecan pie were on the menu:

Thursday we finalized our invitation proof and got the final order sent out for those. Can't wait to see them all! We spent the rest of the day REGISTERING. Clint had a blast with the scanner, and we were both WORN OUT by the end of the day. We are officially registered at the Mustard Seed (hometown boutique), Bromberg's, Macy's, Williams Sonoma, and Pottery Barn. We may or may not add Bed, Bath and Beyond to that list.
On Friday, Clint and I started the day with a visit to a travel planner's office. We are not adament about any one place for our honeymoon, so we let her make suggestions. Based on current promotions and specials, it looks like we can get an AWESOME deal and so many perks if we choose the Sandals Grande Ocho Rios. We are leaning in that direction but plan to do a little more research. Here's a shot of one of the resort pools:

We wrapped up the day Friday by starting our Christmas shopping. We still have a ton to do, but at least we got a few gifts out of the way.
Saturday I spent the day helping Clint's mother and grandmother shop for potential wedding dresses. We had a great time and a lovely lunch at J. Alexander's. Clint and I ended the day at home with a couple of friends watching Bama roll on to another victory over Mississippi State.
And finally, Sunday was just a lazy day at home. We cleaned, watched movies, and relaxed all day.
In completely random news:

I'm officially obsessed with this guy. I've always loved Lacey, but her partner this year (Kyle Massey) is hilarious and so fun to watch. Tonight is the last elimination before the finals and I've got my fingers crossed for them.

A ROYAL WEDDING IN 2011!!! I'm so excited about the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton. I was really young when Diana married Charles, so this will be my first opportunity to really appreciate all the pomp and circumstance.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Ashley over at A Process of Learning is a close work-friend... well, at this point I'd actually call her a close friend-friend and not just a work-friend. Anyway, she came to visit Sunday evening and brought me the CUTEST little prize. She and her mom visited a craft show over the weekend, and one of the vendors was selling adorable bookmarks. Because she is such a thoughtful person and knowing that I'd love it, she picked up one for me. No more bent corners for this girl! I snapped a couple of quick pictures with my phone so that you can see how cute it is and how it works.

Such a sweet and useful gift! Thanks again Ashley for being so thoughtful!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Last week while I was working at home, I got 3 more things checked off our "wedding to-do" list:
  1. Tuxedos
  2. Cakes
  3. Invitations
Woohoo! We're making progress people!

Melissa at Weddings, Etc. was such a huge help selecting invitations!

Barb (of Barb's Cakes) creates true works of art! So excited to be working with her!

halloween weekend

Sorry for the delay- I'm busy working in Destin this week- but just wanted to let everyone know that Halloween weekend was a success again this year. We had a blast at the annual Strickland Costume Party, despite the fog-machine-induced fire truck visit! Here is a quick sample of just a couple costumes:

Clint and I as Raggedy Ann and Andy

Calley and Brian as Wilma and Fred

Candace and Addison as Gypsy and Owl
In other weekend news, the cool fall weather inspired me to cook some homemade chili on Saturday while we watched college football. On Sunday Sarah, Calley, Mallory, and I went to see a matinee showing of "13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey" presented by Red Mountain Theater. It was such a cute and entertaining play, especially if you grew up reading any of Kathryn Tucker Windham's books. And of course, Sunday night Clint and I spent the evening handing out candy to neighborhood trick-or-treaters. We saw some great costumes, and luckily we were only left with a tiny bit of candy by the night's end.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween!

No matter how you choose to celebrate- I hope you all have a safe and FUN Halloween weekend! Clint and I are headed to the annual Strickland Halloween Party on Saturday night. I hope it's half as fun as last year...

Expect photos and a party recap next week! Happy Haunting! :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

holiday ponderings

I'm not sure why, but I have had Christmas on the brain NONSTOP this past week. I've started my annual Christmas shopping list and have been jotting down gift ideas as they come to me. Just this morning, I found myself humming "Santa, Baby". I've also started thinking about decorating the house. I have PLENTY of ornaments, so the tree is not a big concern. However, since we have a mantle now, stockings are a MUST and this is one thing I do not have. I've been doing some online shopping and so far the only place I've found that I really like is Pottery Barn. I like all three of these options:
Just simple red and green- the colors of the season....

A more sophisticated look...

Or a classic childhood Christmas look..
Another perk about all of the stockings pictured above is that they have matching tree skirts. While I love all of these, I would still like something a little more young, funky, and elf-like. If anyone has any suggestions, please send them my way!

merry maids

I don't think I ever shared my final choice for bridesmaid dresses. First and foremost, I new that I wanted black. I couldn't commit to any one color, and I just thought black would be classic and elegant. Next, I wanted the girls to be able to have some choice in their dresses. I worked with Bella Bridesmaid and selected the following styles from Lulakate:

The girls have the option to wear a one shoulder dress, a strapless sweetheart dress, a ruffled halter dress, or a ruffled scoopneck dress (ruffle not shown in the scoopneck picture above). Some girls have already selected their dress, and I'm so excited to see what everyone else will pick. I know they will all be gorgeous come wedding day!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

newest obsession

I have been listening to Taylor Swift's new album pretty much nonstop since I bought it on Monday. Not only do I love the melodies and sing-along nature of her songs, but I'm in awe of her writing ability. She single-handedly wrote EVERY track on this album (and there's 14!). Her lyrics are so relatable, and as a self-confessed celebrity gossip junky, it's fun for me to try and figure out who she wrote each song about. For instance:
  • "Back to December"- something tells me this is about Taylor Lautner
  • "Dear John" - most definitely about John Mayer
  • "Better than Revenge" - I'm guessing Camilla Belle
  • "Innocent" - written for Kanye West (duh- didn't you watch the VMAs?)
However, so far I think my favorite track is "Last Kiss". I'm not sure who this one is about, but I love it! I saw Taylor's Fearless tour last year and had a great time. Something tells me the Speak Now tour will also be in my future!

On my bedside table...

I recently bought the first 3 novels in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. The first is pictured above, and I just started it. A friend recommended this series to me as a light and HILARIOUS read. I've found that I really enjoy triologies and series because if I really like a book, I get extremely attached to the characters. Thus meaning that ONE book is never enough! I'll keep you updated on what I think as I finish the first three. Happy reading!

Getting back on track...

Sorry for the long blog vacation. I'm really going to try to get back on a schedule with my posting in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out a few of our engagement pictures taken by the sweet and wonderful Stacey of Gresham Photography.

Also, feel free to check out our Knot wedding website!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

That time of year...

College Football officially begins again today, and Clint and I couldn't be more excited! While the Crimson Tide will forever hold our hearts, we genuinely enjoy watching ANY college team (especially from the SEC) take the field. Bama will make their debut this Saturday against San Jose St. in a newly renovated stadium (OVER 101,000 FANS!!), in new uniforms, and unfortunately without our shining star Ingram. As most UA fans would agree, we wish Mark a speedy recovery but are more than confident that Richardson and Lacy will make us proud in the interim!

In fact, football is just the beginning of why I love the next few months so much. Bring on the colorful leaves, crisp temperatures, holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas), more excuses to see friends, good food, etc. Summer may have flown by a little too quickly, but even that can't squash my excitement for fall! Here's to another fun and successful season! RTR!!!